Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Iraq: No budget, no Minister of Defense, no promises kept

Al Rafidayn notes that all over the world -- including in Iraq -- people will celebrate Valentine's Day. A history of the day is provided and then details of how Baghdad's markets have flowers with red hearts and how a florist explains the flowers are red because it means love.

There's no love in the continuing political crisis. Al Mada reports there is still disagreements over exactly what's being proposed for the national conference with State of Law insisting that the issues around Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq and Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi would not be addressed and the Kurdistan Alliance insisting that Iraqiya is not asking for those issues to be addressed. Iraqiya spokesperson Maysoun al-Damlouji notes Nouri's remarks Saturday on the anniversary of the Dawa Party and how his remarks were "provocative" (they were insulting and threatening). She states that they escalate the situation in Iraq, not help it. As Sheikh (Dar Addustour) observes that "the differences are over the details." Alsumaria TV notes that the Turkmen will provide their written proposals today and are calling for the studying of political blocs among other things.

Fiscal year 2012 started October 1, 2011. And Iraq still has no 2012 budget. Muhammad Abdul-Jabbar (Al Sabaah) writes that this terrifies him and he is not pleased by the words of Parliament's Financial Committee about there not being a specific target date to pass one still. He states that the citizens are kept in the dark. Repeating, Fiscal Year 2012 started October 1, 2011. It's now February 14, 2012. Iraq still hasn't passed their 2012 budget.

In other budgetary news, remember last year, the February 25th protest in Baghdad's Tahrir Square and how it had Nouri promising that (a) he would reduce his (unknown) salary in half (didn't happen), (b) address corruption in 100 days (didn't happen), (c) eliminate positions in his cabinet (he didn't unless you consider his refusal to name a Minister of National Security, Minister of Interior and a Minister of Defense as eliminating). But now Al Mada reports an unnamed source "close to" Nouri declares that he will be announcing the expansion of support staff for members of his Cabinet. Let's remember this sort of thing is why Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi resigned last summer, in protest of this sort of nonsense. He considered the government a failure and also felt the government needed to save money (his salary was supposed to be at least US $100,000 annually.)

Al Mada notes the judiciary's insistence that it is independent. Al Sabaah notes MPs in Parliament state that and independent judiciary is one of the strongest indicators of a democratic state. Alsumaria TV notes Kurdish Alliance MP Mahmoud Othman states that the Parliament is forming a committee to study the disturbing requests by the judiciary to lift immunity on certain MPs and deputies. Iraqiya has called these requests politically motivated. Alsumaria also speaks with Iraqiya's spokesperson Haider Mulla that this is an attempt to "muzzle" discussion and opponents, an attempt to gag the Parliament and prevent them from conducting their oversight role.

In the continuing violence, Aswat al-Iraq notes a Mosul bombing which left three people injured. AP notes a Baghdad bombing has claimed 1 life and left six other people injured. In addition, Reuters notes the corpse of 1 woman was discovered in Baquba (strangled) and 2 corpses were discovered elsewhere in Baquba (the two are thought to have been killed in 2006).

Added right after this posted. Do not submit anything to this site with foul language. That includes taking a deity's name in vain. If I'm not allowed to do that here (and I'm not), I'm surely not going to let a visitor. The only time that appears here is in a direct quote and even then I try to excerpt around it. Second, a number of community members are complaining about Facebook elements and other things appearing in entries (usually with something from Great Britain's Socialist Worker). If you're not on DSL, I'm told in e-mails, that interferes with the page loading. Thank you for telling me that, we will not include those elements anymore. I had no idea and I apologize for what was my mistake, completely mine. I know that many members are not on DSL, I know a lot of rural community members have no choice but dial up and I know many members are using older operating systems. When we include something that makes it more difficult for you to view the site, please let me know. Lastly, where's Isaiah? I said he was going to have a comic on Monday? He's working on it.

What's the hold up?

He's hoping this, if it works, will allow him to have a way to do easier comics. I'm not explaining this right. During the Bully Boy Bush era, everyone took shots and made jokes so there was a great deal to parody. Isaiah has to till new ground every week because so many cartoonists are so chicken s**t. So he's working on a comic about Syria. If he can pull it off it would be a template that he could use at other times when he wants an easy comic. (The template's a theme.)

The problem?

He's shown me several attempts. I say if he's unhappy with them, he either has to do it in black and white (which means redrawing or going to photo shop and taking the color out of already drawn comics) or he needs for them to 'pop.' He has a set of pencils that if you wet them the colors will pop and photo shop could also be used to pop the colors if need be. But he's drawing on fantasy (established fantasy, literature) and he's very particular about how it goes. If he finishes it (or gets tired of it and says "enough") this afternoon or tonight or tomorrow morning, it will go up right then.

And I'll add that I like the comics and think they're fine as is -- any of the ones he's attempted but I do understand the desire to want it to be perfect. (Perfection's a quality I don't strive for online. Otherwise nothing would ever get done.)

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.