Saturday, November 12, 2022

Call Me Kat

Call Me Kat airs Thursdays on Fox.  This week's episode found Kat and Max finally sleeping together.  That was the implication two weeks ago -- last week, Fox had the world series in baseball so there was no Call Me Kat.

They wake up and feel awkward.  They try to power through with a romantic date and that goes worse.  They head back to Max's place and Kat destroys his bathroom and he forgets to bring the wine back to the bedroom because he ends up watching TV with Carter.

She's ready to quit because she doesn't want to lose the friendship she had but her mom tells her that the friendship was at the root of her romance with her father.

So they ease into it and talk about their favorite times in the years prior.

Meanwhile, Carter and Randi end up in a race because he thinks any man can beat every woman.  Phil is the referee.  Carter loses but insists Randi tripped him.  She didn't.  Phil gets security cam feed and Carter just fell on his own.  He's going to lie but gets honest with Randi and even tells her she should be his son's track coach.

We've had Leslie Jordan as Phil in two episodes now since he passed away in real life.  There are supposed to be nine.  So that would be seven more unless it's nine since the start of the season.  At any rate, I don't see how they replace Phil.  It's like Cheers and how the show was never the same after Coach died.  

Be sure to read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: A romanceless romance -- who's policeman is it anyway?"

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, November 11, 2022.  DON'T RUN JOE launches, and much more.

I wish the theme to THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW were true and love was all around -- instead it seems to be spin and lies that are all around.  "Misinformation" will always exist.  Like this garbage.

Is Greatscottwii an idiot or a liar?  He's saying that, in 2004, he voted for Bully Boy Bush because the Democrat, John Kerry, wanted to restart the draft.  Now I supported John Kerry in the 2004 primaries and, for the first time ever, my candidate finally won the nomination.  And I know John.  John never supported reinstating the draft nor did he campaign on that.

But there's another problem.  

Greatscottwho explains that he "was tricked into being a Republican" -- which doesn't appear to be that hard of a trick for him -- because "then came the Iraq war, and I changed my party and never looked back."

Great Scott certainly never looked back at facts or reality.

The Iraq War started before the 2004 election.  That's why John Kerry's most infamous moment was when he was trying to explain why he voted for it in 2002 "I was for it before I was against it'" -- remember that?

Scott's either a liar or an idiot.  

And we're screwed if Joe Biden is the 2024 nominee.  In nine days, Joe limps and scoots to 80.  He's too old to be president now.  And it is disgusting and outrageous that he might be the nominee in 2024.  The greatest foreign policy crime and misadventure of the 21 century is the Iraq War.  And Joe voted for it.

No one has ever paid for that.  Joe wants to make Julian Assange pay for it -- pay for exposing War Crimes.  But no one responsible for it has ever had to pay for it in this country.  And every presidential election since the Iraq War started in 2003 has had an idiot on the Democratic Party presidential ticket who supported that war.

2004: John Kerry and John Edwards -- both voted for it

2008: Barack Obama and Joe Biden -- Joe voted for it 

2012: Barack Obama and Joe Biden -- see above

2016: Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine -- Hillary voted for the war

2020: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris -- Joe voted for it

Every ticket.  Five presidential tickets.  And, for those who don't know, when only one person voted for it on the presidential ticket, it doesn't mean the other didn't.  No one who voted against the Iraq War has been on the presidential ticket.

156 members of Congress voted against the Iraq War.  Not one of them ever made the Democratic Party's presidential ticket.

State Congress Name Party Notes
Alabama Rep Earl Hilliard D retired from office
Arizona Rep Ed Pastor D  
Arkansas Rep Vic Snyder D  
California Sen Barbara Boxer D  
California Rep Joe Baca D  
California Rep Xavier Becerra D  
California Rep Lois Capps D  
California Rep Gary Condit D  
California Rep Susan Davis D  
California Rep Anna Eshoo D  
California Rep Sam Farr D  
California Rep Bob Filner D  
California Rep Mike Honda D  
California Rep Barbara Lee D  
California Rep Zoe Lofgren D  
California Rep Robert Matsui D deceased
California Rep Juanita Millender-McDonald D  
California Rep George Miller D  
California Rep Grace Napolitano D  
California Rep Nancy Pelosi D  
California Rep Lucille Roybal-Allard D  
California Rep Loretta Sanchez D  
California Rep Hilda Solis D  
California Rep Pete Stark D  
California Rep Mike Thompson D  
California Rep Maxine Waters D  
California Rep Diane Watson D  
California Rep Lynn Woolsey D  
Colorado Rep Diana DeGette D  
Colorado Rep Mark Udall D  
Connecticut Rep Rosa DeLauro D  
Connecticut Rep John Larson D  
Connecticut Rep James Maloney D  
Florida Sen Bob Graham D  
Florida Rep Corrine Brown D  
Florida Rep Alice Hastings D  
Florida Rep Carrie Meek D retired from office
Georgia Rep John Lewis D  
Georgia Rep Cynthia McKinney D  
Hawaii Sen Daniel Akaka D  
Hawaii Sen Daniel Inouye D  
Hawaii Rep Neil Abercrombie D  
Illinois Sen Dick Durbin D  
Illinois Sen Bobby Rush D  
Illinois Rep Jerry Costello D  
Illinois Rep Danny Davis D  
Illinois Rep Lane Evans D  
Illinois Rep Luis Gutierrez D  
Illinois Rep Jesse Jackson Jr. D  
Illinois Rep Bill Lipinski D retired from office
Illinois Rep Jan Schakowsky D  
Indiana Rep Julia Carson D  
Indiana Rep John Hostettler R  
Indiana Rep Pete Visclosky D  
Iowa Rep Jim Leach R  
Maine Rep Tom Allen D  
Main Rep Baldacci D  
Maryland Sen Barbara Mikulski D  
Maryland Sen Paul Sarbanes D  
Maryland Rep Benjamin Cardin D  
Maryland Rep Elijah Cummings D  
Maryland Rep Connie Morella D  
Massachusetts Sen Ted Kennedy D  
Massachusetts Rep Michael Capuano D  
Massachusetts Rep Bill Delahunt D  
Massachusetts Rep Barney Frank D  
Massachusetts Rep Jim McGovern D  
Massachusetts Rep Richard Neal D  
Massachusetts Rep John Olver D  
Massachusetts Rep John Tierney D  
Michigan Sen Carl Levin D  
Michigan Sen Debbie Stabenow D  
Michigan Rep David Bonior D  
Michigan Rep John Conyers Jr. D  
Michigan Rep John Dingell D  
Michigan Rep Dale Kildee D  
Michigan Rep Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick D  
Michigan Rep Sandy Levin D  
Michigan Rep Lynn Rivers D  
Michigan Rep Bart Stupak D  
Minnesota Sen Mark Dayton D  
Minnesota Sen Paul Wellstone D deceased
Minnesota Rep Betty McCollum D  
Minnesota Rep Jim Oberstar D  
Minnesota Rep Martin Olav Sabo D  
Mississippi Rep Bennie Thompson D  
Missouri Rep William Clay Jr. D  
MIssouri Rep Karen McCarthy D retired from office
New Jersey Sen Jon Corzine D  
New Jersey Rep Rush Holt D  
New Jersey Rep Robert Menendez D  
New Jersey Rep Frank Pallone Jr D  
New Jersey Rep Donald Payne D  
New Mexico Sen Jeff Bingaman D  
New Mexico Rep Tom Udall D  
New York Rep Maurice Hinchey D  
New York Rep Amo Houghton R  
New York Rep John LaFalce D  
New York Rep Gregory Meeks D  
New York Rep Jerrold Nadler D  
New York Rep Major Owens D  
New York Rep Charles Rangel D  
New York Rep Jose Serrano D  
New York Rep Louise Slaughter D  
New York Rep Edolphus Towns D  
New York Rep Nydia Velazquez D  
North Carolina Rep Eva Clayton D retired from office
North Carolina Rep David Price D  
North Carolina Rep Melvin Watt D  
North Dakota Sen Kent Conrad D  
Ohio Rep Sherrod Brown D  
Ohio Rep Stephanie Tubbs Jones D  
Ohio Rep Marcy Kaptur D  
Ohio Rep Dennis Kucinich D  
Ohio Rep Thomas Sawyer D  
Ohio Rep Ted Strickland D  
Oregon Sen Ron Wyden D  
Oregon Rep Earl Blumenauer D  
Oregon Rep Peter DeFazio D  
Oregon Rep Darlene Hooley D  
Oregon Rep David Wu D  
Pennsylvania Rep Robert Brady D  
Pennsylvania Rep William Coyne D retired from office
Pennsylvania Rep Mike Doyle D  
Pennsylvania Rep Chaka Fattah D  
Rhode Island Sen Lincoln Chafee D  
Rhode Island Sen Jack Reed D  
Rhode Island Rep James Langevin D  
South Carolina Rep Gresham Barrett R  
South Carolina Rep James Clyburn D  
Tennessee Rep John Duncan Jr R  
Texas Rep Lloyd Doggett D  
Texas Rep Charles Gonzalez D  
Texas Rep Ruben Hinojosa D  
Texas Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee D  
Texas Rep Eddie Bernice Johnson D  
Texas Rep Ron Paul R  
Texas Rep Silvestre Reyes D  
Texas Rep Ciro Rodriguez D retired from office
Vermont Sen Jim Jeffords D  
Vermont Sen Patrick Leahy D  
Vermont Rep Bernie Sanders I  
Virginia Rep Jim Moran D  
Virginia Rep Bobby Scott D  
Washington Sen Patty Murray D  
Washington Rep Jay Inslee D  
Washington Rep Rick Larsen D  
Washington Rep Jim McDermott D  
District of Columbia Rep Brian Baird D  
West Virginia Sen Robert Byrd D  
West Virginia Rep Alan Mollohan D  
West Virginia Rep Nick Rahall D  
Wisconsin Sen Russ Feingold D  
Wisconsin Rep Tammy Baldwin D  
Wisconsin Rep Jerry Kleczka D retired from office
Wisconsin Rep David Obey D  

And don't go to Crapapedia -- they've got people on their list who didn't even make it into Congress until five years after the vote took place.

But none of those people above made the ticket.  The idiots like Joe who got it wrong make the ticket.

We need better.

Joe Biden has spent the week trying to do a victory lap -- at his age, any form of movement is difficult.  There's no victory lap to be had.  The House is probably going Republican.  The Senate could go either way.  And he's trying to claim victory.  

The exit polls show the American people don't want him to run and that they think the country is going in the wrong direction.

Mid-week, Gloria Borger rightly called Joe out on CNN for his response that he not changing anything he's doing for the next two years.  Gloria stated, ""Now you have 75% of the country saying that we're headed in the wrong direction. Seventy-five percent believe we are in a recession. And then the president, you know, in a way to try to brag about himself and what he's done" says he's not changing anything.

He's a Moron with a War On -- even if he needs Viagra to get it up.

Inflation rose at an unadjusted annual rate of 7.7 percent in October, according to data published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Thursday morning. The report noted that consumer prices rose by 0.4 percent over September, the same rate as the previous month.

While consumer prices are still rising at a pace not seen since the early 1980s, with devastating consequences for working class living standards, the October rate was less than the 7.9 percent that had been predicted by analysts.

The BLS Consumer Pricing Index (CPI) summary said the inflation rate for October was “the smallest 12-month increase since the period ending January 2022,” and was down from the September rate of 8.2 percent.

The statement said that the “all items less food and energy index rose 6.3 percent over the last 12 months.” But in the critical categories of energy and food, prices increased by 17.6 percent and 10.9 percent respectively.

There's a group getting media attention, Roots Action.  They're site is DON'T RUN JOE -- if they had any humor it would be DON'T RUN, JOE, YOU MIGHT BREAK A HIP.  If they had a sense of grammar, it would be DON'T RUN, JOE.  Their mission:

Democrats will need bold leadership in 2024. We're calling on Joe Biden to announce that he's not running for re-election.

They note:

In 2024 the United States will face the dual imperatives of preventing a Republican takeover of the White House and advancing a truly progressive agenda. The stakes could not be higher. The threat of a neofascist GOP has become all too obvious. Bold and inspiring leadership from the Oval Office will be essential.

Unfortunately, President Biden has been neither bold nor inspiring. And his prospects for winning re-election appear to be bleak. With so much at stake, making him the Democratic Party’s standard-bearer in 2024 would be a tragic mistake.

“Moderate” policies have failed to truly address such pressing concerns as the climate emergency, voting rights, student debt, health care, corporate price-gouging, and bloated military spending in tandem with anemic diplomacy.

Biden triumphed over Donald Trump in 2020 with vital help from extraordinary grassroots efforts in swing states by progressive organizations (including RootsAction). A president is not his party’s king, and he has no automatic right to renomination. Joe Biden should not seek it. If he does, he will have a fight on his hands.

Contact: | Learn more at our FAQ

Can you imagine the GOP putting a presidential candidate in a debate with Joe, someone under 62, who stands on the stage with energy and awareness?  The Democratic Party cannot afford Joe.

On June 13, 2022, Suadad al-Salhy, a senior reporter for Middle East Eye in Iraq and a former correspondent for Reuters, checked her phone to find that three people had texted her a screenshot of a post on the social network Telegram. The post, on a channel run by a government-affiliated Iraqi paramilitary group, asked followers whether they were aware that Salhy’s sister was an opposition politician. It included images of the two women. 

Salhy is Iraqi, and in 2004 covered the Battle of Fallujah and the American invasion. She is not easily frightened. But as Iraq changed in the years since, paramilitaries have taken prominent roles in the country’s economy, security, and government and operate with practical impunity. Since the end of 2019, paramilitaries are suspected to have been behind at least thirty-six assassinations, with activists and journalists as their primary targets. In November 2021, they went as far as to conduct a drone attack on Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Khadimi, an assassination attempt that was widely seen as retaliation for his attempts to bring a paramilitary “death squad” to justice. 

Social media attacks can serve as a precursor. In May 2020 Hisham al-Hashimi, a renowned analyst of paramilitaries and terrorism, saw an uptick in posts targeting him. Just weeks later, on June 9, 2020, he was shot by two gunmen on the back of a motorcycle as he returned home. 

Salhy’s sister is in fact a politician, and the two had kept their being related a secret to protect each other. Salhy did not want her sister to become a target because of what she had written; nor did she want her work to be associated with her sister’s political positions. Now the paramilitaries were letting them know that their relationship was not only understood but monitored. “It was just telling me they can reach me,” Salhy said. “And if they cannot reach me, they can reach my family.” 

Iraq remains a war zone and no one has paid for their role in harming that country.  Instead, they get away with it.  They don't even have to answer questions as the Tweet below demonstrates.

Let's close with BROS.

The following sites updated:

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Musical beds

In her new book, 'The Stone Age: Sixty Years of the Rolling Stones,' acclaimed biography author Lesley-Ann Jones suggests Mick Jagger had ongoing sexual relationships with not one but two bandmates: Keith Richards and Mick Taylor, reports the Daily Mail. Jones claims that the various wives and girlfriends of the rockers knew of the affairs between the men, as Richards’s former girlfriend Anita Pallenberg, who died in 2017, told Jones, "From when I first met them, I saw Mick was in love with Keith." Taylor's former wife Rose also reportedly found her then-husband in bed with Jagger at a dinner party.

Those two are in great company on the list of Jagger's conquests, which allegedly include other notable male celebs and musicians like David Bowie. Still, even moving between friends, colleagues, and lovers, Richards reportedly remained Jagger's most meaningful, and most long-lasting, relationship of all.

Every year, we read another celebrity story that blows our collective mind. In an interview with Piers Morgan, Mel B revealed that she had slept with Geri Halliwell. They definitely aren't the only bandmates to sleep with each other.


Does that really surprise anyone?

This is C.I.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'


Thursday, November 10, 2022.  Joe Biden can't stop confusing Iraq and Ukraine, Robert Pether remains imprisoned, Noam Chomsky notes Turkey's aggression on the Kurdistan, and much more.

Tuesday, WSWS started their live coverage of the mid-term elections here -- and they have continued to update it as more votes are counted.  We'll note this update on abortion:

In Michigan, voters overwhelmingly cast a ballot in favor of Proposal 3, which would incorporate into the state constitution provisions guaranteeing abortion rights and safeguarding freedom of choice “about all matters relating to pregnancy,” including the use of contraceptives.

Support for the constitutional amendment exceeded the vote for the incumbent and reelected Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, with 2,240,961 Michiganders voting in favor of Proposal 3 compared to 2,221,539 who voted for Whitmer.

Michiganders also voted in favor of proposals to expand early voting and increase financial disclosures by candidates running for office.

Amendments enshrining the right to an abortion also passed by large majorities in Vermont and California.

In Kentucky, where Republicans appear to have expanded their majority in the state’s General Assembly, voters rejected an amendment to the Kentucky constitution stating that “nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.” As of this writing, the measure has failed by a margin of nearly 60,000 votes.

After the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade earlier this year, a previously enacted “trigger law” banning abortion, which had been passed by the Republican-dominated Kentucky legislature, went into effect. The law prohibits abortions under virtually all circumstances and is currently being challenged in court, with the Kentucky State Supreme Court set to begin hearing the case on November 15.

Nationwide polling conducted by the Associated Press indicates that roughly two-thirds of the population agrees that “abortion should be legal in most or all cases,” while only one in 10 supports a complete ban on the medical procedure.

Exit polling showed (a) hostility towards Joe Biden's administration and (b) voters don't want Joe to run for re-election.  Wednesday afternoon, the White House shot him up with pep and sent it for what was supposed to be a press conference -- but as Mike noted, who he would call on was predetermined -- and even Joe said he'd be calling on the ten he was told to, senile as he is, he only called on nine.  Those shots aren't working the way they used to.  But when they started being used in the Democratic debates, remember, they were warned how ineffective they would become as Joe built up tolerance.  If he does run for re-election and has no pandemic to hide behind (stashed in his basement), it's going to be brutal.  The White House can barely keep him together for 45 minutes, imagine two days of campaigning in a row.  

He said that he would “continue to work across the aisle” and boasted that he had signed more than 200 bipartisan laws since he became president. “Regardless of the final tally,” he said, “I’m prepared to work with my Republican colleagues. The American people have made clear that they expect Republicans to work with me.”

In other words, Biden has turned from warning that “the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country,” as he said in a speech in September, to declaring that the highest objective of his administration is to collaborate with this same Republican Party.

A bipartisan agreement with the Republicans will be based on a common foreign policy of confrontation directed against both Russia and China, Biden indicated. He said that he was leaving on a trip to the Middle East and Asia, which would include a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Singapore. On his return, he said, he would invite both Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to the White House for a briefing.

Biden dismissed a question from one reporter about McCarthy’s remark that there would be “no blank check” for Ukraine going forward, in the war with Russia. There would be bipartisan support for Ukraine, he said. There was no blank check for the Ukraine war under his administration, he said, citing the US refusal to send US warplanes to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, in order to avoid “World War III,” despite pleas from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

In addition to the ongoing US-NATO war against Russia in Ukraine, both parties support the escalation of aggression directed at China, which is seen by US military strategists as the principal threat to US global economic domination.

Whatever the exact trajectory of American foreign policy, any bipartisan agreement with the Republicans would be based on a common determination to make the American working class pay the massive costs of imperialist militarism and war. While Biden made a show of rejecting the proposals by several Republican senators to cut spending on Medicare and Social Security, there is no question that the Democrats and Republicans will be united on the basis of cutting social spending and cracking down on struggles of the working class. 

The immediate battleground is the impending eruption of a nationwide rail workers strike, as more than 100,000 workers are voting on a sellout deal accepted by the unions after it was imposed by a Presidential Emergency Board appointed by Biden. Workers in several unions have already voted down the deal, while the two largest groups of rail workers, engineers and conductors, are expected to follow suit this month.

Biden telegraphed his hostility to the working class in response to a reporter who pointed out that 75 percent of voters, interviewed in exit polls, think the country is going in the wrong direction. “What are you going to change?” he asked. Biden responded, “Nothing.” Later, in response to a similar question about what impact popular hostility would have on a decision to run for reelection in 2024, Biden responded again, “Nothing.”

This arrogant response gives voice to the class hostility of the millionaires and billionaires for whom the Democrats and Republicans speak. They hate the working class and fear any intervention from below into the political crisis in the United States.

Over the past year, the real wage of a typical worker fell by three percent, as the prices of food and fuel surged by more than 10 percent. In the past 12 months, 100,000 Americans lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile corporate profitability soared to the highest level on record.

By declaring that “nothing” will change, Biden is making clear that his administration’s policies of war, austerity and mass infection will continue. 

Others noted just how difficult it is for Joe to speak coherently.

And FORBES notes how Winky mixes up Falluja and Ukraine -- look him close his eyes and try desperately to remember what the question was that he was just asked.

Well if Winky Biden couldn't confuse Iraq with Urkaine, then he'd never mention Iraq at all -- except when lying that his son died there.

HARPER'S "Weekly Review" notes, "In a speech, President Joe Biden mislabeled the war in Ukraine as the war in Iraq and incorrectly stated that his son had died in the Middle Eastern nation.16"  Sadly, that was published on Tuesday -- there referring to his speech last week in Florida.  THE DAILY MAIL reminds:

Last week, Biden delivered a speech in Florida: mixing up representative and senator, claiming the United States has among the lowest inflation in the world and saying his son Beau died in Iraq.

The president was campaigning in three different locations across the state and intended to trumpet his triumphs.

Instead, he baffled listeners with a bizarre series of claims.

Speaking alongside Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is hoping to get re-elected in Florida's 23rd district, in greater Miami, Biden mistakenly referred to her as a senator.

'I don't have a greater friend in the United States Senate,' he said.

'And I didn't have a greater friend as vice president, nor as president. 

'So Debbie, thank you, kiddo.'

In Hallandale Beach, a Miami suburb 20 miles north of downtown, he claimed that the United States has low inflation - and managed to say once again that his son Beau died in Iraq.

Beau Biden, who served as Delaware's attorney general and in the Delaware Army National Guard in the Iraq War, died at age 46 in 2015 from brain cancer. 

He passed away at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. 

These moments come more and more.  He's not fit to be president right now.  He certainly shouldn't be running for re-election. 

Moving over to Iraq, Robert Pether remains imprisoned.  Anton Nillson (CRIKEY) reports:

An Australian engineer jailed in Baghdad has been issued with legal papers in his cell claiming he owes the Iraqi government US$50 million, the man’s wife says. 

Robert Pether has been detained in Iraq since April last year and his mental and physical health are deteriorating fast behind bars, according to his wife, Desree Pether.

She told Crikey she spoke to her husband twice in the past three days and was told he may be in for another legal battle in an Iraqi court. 

According to Desree, whose claims are yet to be verified by the Iraqi embassy or DFAT, her husband was served with papers written in Arabic this week, which he was asked to sign and mark with his thumbprint. 

Though Pether doesn’t understand Arabic well enough to read the documents himself, he was told by a cellmate the papers made a claim he owed US$50 million.

The cellmate, Pether’s colleague Khalid Radwan, an Egyptian national, was asked to sign the papers as well. 

“They were given it for like two minutes and told ‘sign here’, that’s it,” Desree said. 

“They weren’t allowed to keep a copy of it or anything like that.”

Australian Robert Pether, jailed in Baghdad last year over a business dispute, has penned an emotional letter warning his prognosis is “bleak”, his human rights are being violated, and he is facing a potential “death sentence”.

In the letter to his family, released to Guardian Australia, Pether also reveals his daily torment about how he should break it to his children that he might not be coming home.

“How do you tell a little girl who loves unicorns and cats that her daddy will not be coming home? How do you tell your children that you are proud of them, but will not be sharing the accolades (and pitfalls) of their lives with them?,” Pether wrote.

“And toughest of all, how do you tell your wife, who is very much the other half of you, that you will not be keeping the promise you made to grow old together?

“These are the questions that I am currently grappling with every day – from the moment I wake up and the sit on the cell floor for the first head count of the day, until the last thing at night, when I look at the photos of my family on the wall next to my bed.”

Pether was arbitrarily detained in Iraq in April last year over a business dispute between his architecture firm and the Iraqi government. Pether was working on a new headquarters for Iraq’s central bank, and had returned to Iraq to resolve a contract dispute at the request of the Iraqi government.

 The 47-year-old previously survived skin cancer in 2005, and before his arrest had attended regular screenings to monitor his health status.

But Pether warned in the letter that prison authorities, including a dermatologist brought in for consultations, have ignored the growth of a new lesion on his ear — the same location of a previous melanoma.

In June, he started to notice rapid changes in the lesion and alerted prison officials. But a dermatologist only prescribed Pether topical cream, which failed to arrive.

Free Robert Pether Tweets:

In other news, the Turkish government bombs northern Iraq, drones it, sends troops on the ground into it and has set up military bases.  All are acts of war.  Yet, the bulk of the world shields its eyes and pretends nothing is going on.  Stockholm Freedom Center notes:

Professor Noam Chomsky, a well-known American linguist, philosopher and political activist, said in an interview with the Medya Haber news website that an independent organization should conduct a serious investigation into the alleged use of chemical weapons by Turkish forces in northern Iraq.

In October the pro-Kurdish Fırat News Agency (ANF) published a video showing two members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community, apparently under the influence of a chemical agent.

“The Turkish government has committed many atrocities. … Every imaginable form of torture was used during the 1990s against Kurds in Turkey,” Chomsky said. “Therefore, although there is no direct evidence of chemical weapons use by the Turkish government, the allegations provide a legitimate basis for a serious investigation by an independent team in northern Iraq.”

Chomsky also pointed out that the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) could be a highly reliable institution to undertake the investigation as a continuation of a probe they conducted in September with support from the United Nations or one of its member states.

Let's close with BROS.

The following sites updated:

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Juan Vazquez is trash

Watching Judy Justice.  Season two, episode five had this hideous filmmaker Juan Vazquez

Juan C. Vazquez is known for Trap Plane (2017), Murder Book (2015) and The Squad: Rise of the Chicano Squad (2022).

He gets this college kid to be an intern.  Before the kid even starts work, Vazquez has lost an assistant director.  So he texts the kid and tells him he's now an a.d.  

Then he refuses to pay the kid.  Judge Judy made him pay.

Vasquez lied throughout.  He claimed that the kid had COVID and didn't work the last two days of the 14 days.  The kid testified that yes he did work and that he was being texted at home to work and Vasquez lies and says it's not true.  The kid had the texts.

What a liar.  And what a creep.   If you doubt it, go to Amazon and stream Judy Justice.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, November 9, 2022.   Did you live through all the alarmist nonsense?

Are you okay?  Where's Joe?  Where is Joe!!!  Oh, he's safe.  Thank goodness.  Can someone now check on Marianne Williamson?  Please tell me she didn't choke on her own ego.

Katie Halper did a solid live broadcast last night.

That said, I took a lengthy break when Marianne and unhinged crazy came on.

She's become demented.  Truly.

I wish Beto had won and was governor of Texas.  He didn't, Marianne, and it was his own fault.

I offered advice during that campaign but ended up washing my hands because no one -- well one person -- was smart enough to listen.  Once they had their campaign bus out on the road, no one wanted to turn, no one wanted to self-correct.  

By October, it was obvious they needed to rethink the campaign ads and to respond to what Gregg Abbott's campaign was airing -- obvious to anyone with a brain.  Instead of being dismayed by the ads, they thought the ads were funny.

I guess they were.

If you wanted Beto to be the butt of the joke.

At the start of the month, I wrote about it in the gina & krista roundrobin and said ignore the chatter, the race is over and Gregg Abbott will win. Kat wrote about, at her site, what I'd said here.

They made fun of him in these ads.  Sometimes they used his own words to turn him into a joke.  Sometimes, they just made sure to show him frozen, arm extended out, pit stain on full display.  Sometimes they called him "beet-O" and sometimes they called him "Bet-O" and sometimes I couldn't tell what they were calling him -- but the point being that they were saying his name was nonsense and made up -- they especially got that across when they used Latinas to speak on camera.  

They hit hard on crime and broadcast him making apparent anti-police remarks -- and this was in a climate where the whole state was seeing ads about crime over and over.  Like the widow of the border patrol agent who spoke of a female Democrats who had disparaged border patrol agents and the widow defended her late husband on camera.  Or the crying African-American mother who spoke of how the man who killed her son should never have been released.  

Beto's campaign didn't know what the hell they were doing.  Those remarks about the police that Beto made -- they played them word for word in the anti-Beto commercials -- were being heard in an environment that had heard from families and survivors in one commercial after another.

I like Beto.  I know him from his time in Congress.  But is he honestly that vain?

Where is his family?

I was asking that in August.  Where was his family in the commercials?

They never showed up.  

And the Abbott campaign finally noted this and started, in the last two weeks of October, putting Gregg's family front and center.  "They've just released a commercial with a niece, I think she's Hispanic!"  That's how one phone call of panic from someone with the campaign began.  

Yeah, because he's not an idiot.  

Did they think Gregg Abbott got to be governor by luck?  He knows politics.  And Beto should have known that about his opponent.

Beto looked like a sweaty fraud with a funny name that everyone mocked him for who was deeply out of touch with Texas -- they played a lot of soundbites.  And deeply out of touch with the world.

That's why you put the family in the ads.  You want the viewers to see that the candidate has connections to the world we live in.

This is the conclusion of what Kat wrote:

Beto needs to be talking about crime in some form, C.I. pointed out, and he needs to bring his family into the ads and talk about the future of Texas and what that means to him as the father of three children.  And she offered concrete examples including footage of the ice storm that hit Texas awhile back and how close they came to losing power across the state.  "We deserve better."  

Maybe Beto doesn't want to really be governor?

By the time October rolled around, I was done with a campaign that didn't listen and was constantly saying, "Hey, remember what you said last week, maybe you were right?"  Maybe?  I was right but even then the campaign didn't self-correct.  

It was a lousy campaign that wasted a lot of money.  There were other races that could have used that money, races where people wanted to fight for the office.  

Marianne's nonsense is exactly why Beto lost.  And she is the problem.  And how dare she whine about being in Texas and trying to turn out the vote for him and being appalled because someone dared to ask her why they should vote for Beto instead of Abbott.

Idiot, that's why you were there.  And every chance you got was not something to whine about, it was an opportunity to communicate.  Marianne's an idiot.

There are a lot of idiots out there.  They think what works national will work in a state and that's really not true.  That especially don't know Texas.  When Ann Richards was governor, a friend of Ann's put us together because Ann had just been elected and was riding a high wave.  I was asked to talk to her about pitfalls.  Specifically, if she ran for re-election down the line, who would be up against her, blah blah blah.   It sounded like a fun game.  So I went to Texas (I'd been there before) and spent a few weeks and came up with George W. Bush.

I didn't know it was Bully Boy Bush.  I just identified several scenarios and the one that she lost to was Bush.  It was a man who had been in the military, he had a connection to a popular Texas sports team, he was married to teacher or a librarian (I did have the wife, in the illustrations I drew, as blond, so I was wrong on that), he would have daughters so they wouldn't worry he would be like Ann's previous opponent (who made an infamous rape remark).  I also identified some of the issues that could be a problem for Ann in an effort to be re-elected.

I was right there too.  

The advice wasn't heeded -- my presentation actually got a laugh from Ann -- not a kind one -- when I was sketching in the man who could beat her.  There's no one like that, I was told.  And that's fine and dandy but I wasn't casting, I was saying this is the opponent who would destroy her.  He might not have been around that year, and he might never come around.  But who would destroy her chances?  A person fitting that description.  Too bad for Ann, Bully Boy Bush did emerge.  (Too bad for the world, he emerged.) 

She could have beaten him but when it was time for her re-election, she was a national figure and national people came around who just knew best.  They knew nothing.  And Ann on a Harley was just flat out ridiculous.  They knew nothing and they steered her campaign into the ditch.
If I'm asked advice about a campaign, I don't have a cookie-cutter response because each campaign is different.  There are some universal trueisms, yes, but it is a mistake to think that something that worked in Iowa can be transplanted to Florida.  At best, adjustments will have to be made, at worst, the whole thing will need to be scrapped.

I have no idea what state Beto pictured himself campaigning in but it wasn't the Texas of 2020.

As for Marianne's nonsense, it's the day after, most of us are still alive.  Calm the f**k down.

As of late Tuesday evening Eastern Time, the Republican Party appeared to be within reach of winning the House of Representatives in the first nationwide election held since it supported Trump’s January 6, 2021 coup attempt.

The results in many House races remain very close, however, and control over the Senate will likely not be known for days. The narrowness of the margins and the length of time required to count all votes set the stage for a protracted period of crisis, with a potential for violence. Trump is falsely claiming that the Democratic Party is engaged in fraud in states like Arizona, where a technical glitch caused a delay in vote tabulation.

Though Republicans will win seats from the Democrats, results do not indicate a substantial increase in support for the Republicans, whose hopes for a 30+ seat shift in the House do not seem to be materializing.

On the contrary, the national picture that emerges from the results so far is one of popular disinterest in what both parties have to offer. Republicans are performing well in Ohio and Florida but poorly in the Northeast, where they had expected to make gains.

Beyond Ohio and Florida, Democrats are also underperforming in Wisconsin and have been unable to deliver clear victories in Georgia and Pennsylvania, though the Senate races there remain undecided. Democratic Campaign Committee Chair Sean Maloney is presently losing his election for Congress in New York’s 17th District in what would be a substantial defeat for a Democratic leader.

The election also shows that Trump is not having success at expanding his base of support beyond a relatively narrow core. Many of the candidates most closely associated with Trump appear headed for defeat, including in gubernatorial races in Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania, three battleground states, though these results could still change as more votes are counted.

The results of a number of state ballot referendums also make clear the election does not reflect a shift to the right in popular consciousness. In Vermont, Kentucky and Michigan voters appear likely to enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution, and a similar measure will be voted on in California. Referendums in favor of legalizing marijuana are also passing in Maryland and Missouri, and voters in heavily Republican South Dakota are voting by a substantial margin to expand Medicaid for the state’s impoverished residents.

A U.S. citizen who worked at a local English-language institute was shot dead in Baghdad, the U.S. Embassy there announced Tuesday, in a rare attack on a foreign visitor to the country.

Stephen Troell lived and worked in Baghdad at the Global English Institute together with his wife and four children, all of whom were involved in the running of the facility.

[. . .]

Iraqi officials said Troell’s vehicle was attacked by “unknown” gunmen as he drove through central Baghdad on Monday. The weapon that killed him was fitted with a suppressor, they said, but they provided no further information. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the sensitive case.

In "Stephen Troell was murdered in Baghdad," Trina pointed out that we named Stephen in yesterday's snapshot and that US press outlets weren't doing that.  I have no idea why they didn't.  RUDAW had already named Stephen and multiple Twitter accounts in Iraq had named him and published his photo.  I have no idea why the US press didn't name him when it was not something hidden.  Maybe it was sloppy reporting on their part?  I have no idea.  Maybe they didn't know his name was already out there and had been for a few hours.  

Meanwhile, failed and disgraced cult leader Moqtada al-Sadr has struggled in recent months for relevancy.  He wasn't able to put together a government despite repeated attempts.  He's not a kingmaker.  He's not much of anything.  But he's finally found an issue he can dedicate himself to.  THE ARAB WEEKLY reports:

The leader of the Sadrist movement, Moqtada al-Sadr, has recently kept a low profile, demonstrating that he has accepted the new political realties in Iraq, foremost of which is the control by his rivals in  the Coordination Framework of both the government and parliament.

But the Sadrist leader has reemerged to express fears that Iraqi youth could borrow a page from Iran's anti-clerical protests.

What concerns Sadr in particular is the practice by young Iranian teenagers of knocking off turbans of mullahs in the streets in defiance of the ruling theocracy.

The new "street game" comes as part of ongoing popular protests over the death of 22-year old Mahsa Amini in the hands of the morality policy for not being "properly veiled".

Sadr did not hide his anguish over the possible spread of the symbolic movement to Iraq where clerics, blamed for many of Iraq's ills since 2003, could be the target of street's anger.

I guess the plight of tipping cows was already taken.  But Moqtada has found his issue, has found his cause.

Let's close with BROS.

Forgot to note THIRD yesterday:

The following sites updated: