Friday, January 01, 2016

2015: The Year of the Ass

"Donald Trump is a jerk," Jeb Bush declared in December of 2016.  "You cannot insult your way to the presidency."


Braying and/or just dumb, 2015 was The Year of the Ass.  In fact, showing one's ass basicaly became the new high-five, punch-in, back slap, social greeting.

Jeb was blissfully unaware as he insulted Trump for . . . insulting others.  Blissfully unaware, but he was far from alone.  Some dropped their drawers, some were pantsed but visions of  butt cracks danced through everyone's heads as a chorus line of asses high-kicked their way through the year.

Amy Goodman was chosen "2015 Media Whore of the Year" earlier this week at Third -- and goodness knows she earned the title and then some.

Anyone know when the Green Party holds its national convention?

August 4th through 7th, 2016.

And what will they be doing at this national convention down in Houston, Texas?

Selecting their presidential nominee.

So back that ass up a bit and explain how Amy Goodman was able to declare Jill Stein the Green Party's 2016 presidential nominee . . . on the June 22, 2015 broadcast of DEMOCRACY NOW!?

When one thinks of all the time that the braying ass Goodman has put in castigating the corporate media for attempting to shape the outcome of elections via their coverage, it's rather sad to see Goody doing exactly the same.

Eeyore, Amy, eeyore!

And what was this rush to crown Dr. Jill Stein really about?


2012 saw Stein run an embarrassing campaign.  The years since saw her struggle for any form of significance.

In certain ways, she's like former presidential candidate Ralph Nader.

Both Stein and Nader suffered from laryngitis as US President Barack Obama pursued The Drone War, his war on whistle-blowers, his continued war on Iraq, his continued war on Afghanistan, his new war on Libya . . .

None of these crimes and actions led to one significant protest or column from either leader or 'leader.'  If Jill was less embarrassing than Ralph, it's only because she didn't produce a book that seemed to attest to her addiction to a Milton Bradley board game.

After all, what was 2009's ONLY THE SUPER-RICH CAN SAVE US but the text equivalent of Milton Bradley's MYSTERY DATE?

Still, Ralph could rightly counter, that's one more book than 'intellectual' Jill Stein's ever produced.

But the reality is that not everyone's been biting their tongues since the dawn of 2009.

For example, Democrat Barack being sworn in as president in January 2009 didn't silence the 2008 Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney.


or should.

On every issue, on every crime, Cynthia's strong voice has been heard in the last years: Libya, empire, media representation, unarmed citizens gunned down by US law enforcement, etc.

If you didn't know where former US Congresswoman Cynthia stood, you just weren't paying attention.

Or, then again, maybe you were paying attention -- to racist, so-called 'independent' media which treated 2015 as a coronation for Jill Stein.

No one, during all of these fawning interviews, thought to ask Jill why she felt she deserved the 2016 nomination.

Apparently, like Hillary Clinton, she just felt it belonged to her.

Over on the Democratic Party side, it was a yawn and a tired been-there-done-that-bought-the-t-shirt -- and, for some, used it as a cum rag.

Or was no one supposed to notice that the only party where an African-American and two Latinos were declared candidates for a politcal party's presidential nomination was the GOP?


That must be it, right?

That is what The Cult of St. Barack has hissed any time some Republican has publicly disagreed with their own personal savior -- that the person had to be racist.

Never mind that Democrats and Republicans are supposed to be opposed on most issues.

It just had to be racism.

So, turnabout being fair play, it's surprising that the Republican Party hasn't noted the sour grapes silence over their diversity this go round.

It's surprising the media hasn't noticed how Barack's election in 2008 and 2012 appears to make the Democratic Party believe that they no longer have to even field a candidate of color on the national level anymore.

Again, been-there-done-that-bought-the-t-shirt.

Two Cuban-Americans were making serious runs for the White House and the best media celebration of this moment of diversity was . . . a cartoon in THE WASHINGTON POST rendering Ted Cruz's two daughter as monkeys?

In 2008, when the faux liberal magazine THE NEW YORKER ran a cover parodying the trash talk aimed at Barack and Michelle Obama, Aimee Allison had a meltdown over KPFA airwaves and called for -- on the home of free speech radio -- the equivalent of book burning -- she called for people to burn copies of THE NEW YORKER.

But 2 young, Cuban-American girls are rendered as monkeys on the pages of THE WASHINGTON POST and no one's overly alarmed?

I guess we really have become post-racial --

Unless we want to get honest about the ugly alternative: We don't care about fairness or about diversity unless you're a member of our team.

If you don't play on our side then we can tell any lie we want about you -- which, after all, is the operating principle behind both FOX NEWS and MSNBC.

Hypocrisy, thy first name is Amy Goodman.

But many, many more names quickly follow.

Many, many names.

Monday, December 28, 2015, for example, story after story, broadcast after broadcast, found the US news media trumpeting that Iraqi forces having liberated Ramadi.

The dictionary defines liberation as "freeing from enemy occupation."

So, just as a woman is either pregnant or she's not, an area is either liberated or it is not.

And Ramadi was not liberated.  (RUDAW's headline on December 31st, "US Army: ISIS militants still in Ramadi.")

In the coverage, if you waded through, buried near the end of the report,you might discover -- might -- that reality.

Then again, depending on the news outlet, you might not.

Even while they were reporting Ramadi had been liberated, US Secretary of State John Kerry was declaring, "While Ramadi is not yet fully secure and additional parts of the city still must be retaken, Iraq's national flag now flies above the provincial government center and enemy forces have suffered a major defeat."

The refusal of news outlets to report accurately and/or fully meant we can look to further blending of news and gossip and psychic abilities.

Though who knew the two could be cross-bred further?

Especially after the year's final broadcast of ABC's THIS WEEK?

Ava and I observed Sunday:

As bad as MEET THE PRESS was today, Andrea can take comfort in the fact that it wasn't ABC's THIS WEEK where Jonathan Karl handled hosting duties.

He apparently did his entire prep while standing at the urinal before the show.

That would certainly explain why viewers felt pissed on.

Karl presided over the "powerhouse roundtable" -- a rather weak assembly of a neocon, a corporatist rightest, a corporatist leftist and a corporate journalist.

This dweeb trust was used to comment on events of the week?

No, of course not.

They were too busy offering their predictions of who would win Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Then they were galloping off to November 2016's general election.

This served no one.

This was utter crap.

A complete waste of time.

Andrea didn't go deep into any issue but she did cover issues.

ABC was more concerned with broadcasting political coverage via The Psychic Network.

Dispensing with experts and facts, Jonathan Karl brought on the self-proclaimed "powerhouse roundtable" and wasted minute after minute having them predict who would win what primary.

ABC News, you've found your new bookie!

You just haven't found anyone interested in news which is, after all, events that have taken place which shape our lives.

Shape our lives?

Did someone say Ms. Troll has returned?

Ms. Troll

[Image is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Ms. Troll" featuring Robin Morgan.]

Ms. Troll hosts WOMEN'S MEDIA CENTER LIVE WITH ROBIN MORGAN -- a show with a title that clues listeners in that Morgan's going to lie from the very beginning.


It's taped ahead of time.

Why in the world would you call a taped show "LIVE WITH ROBIN MORGAN"?

Do facts matter at all?

Not on this show which exists mainly for Robin to bray non-stop.

She spent the end of the year mainly informing listeners how much she loathed Muslims and the religion of Islam.  She took to referring to countries as being part of "the Muslim world."

Mainly, she wanted to use the D-term for the Islamic State.

Even Barack realizes it was a mistake for his administration to use it.

The White House is trying to walk that back currently.


The Islamic State needs to be defeated.

That's not going to happen with bombs or guns.

They can kill fighters, yes.

They can't kill recruits.

Bombs and guns can't kill the reason that the Islamic State rose from al Qaeda.

The Islamic State was embraced by some Sunnis in Iraq, tolerated by others and ignored by still more.


Because Nouri al-Maliki's Iraq was actively persecuting Sunnis.

They were being kicked off payrolls.

Sunni men were being rounded up and imprisoned on false charges.

And if Nouri's forces couldn't find the Sunni men they were looking for?

They hauled off a parent, a child, a sister, a wife.

Hauled off and threw in a prison.

Where they were disappeared.

And Nouri over saw mass executions -- even while public appeals were being made to halt executions, Iraq spent each year setting records for the number of executions the government carried out.


And why the refusal to implement a national reconciliation bill?

Many saw it as Nouri executing every imprisoned Sunni he could before the bill went through.

As of this week, the bill's still not gone through: NATIONAL IRAQI NEWS AGENCY reported this week that the general amnesty law may soon be voted on.

In August of 2013, the International Crisis Group issued "Make or Break: Iraq’s Sunnis and the State:"

As events in Syria nurtured their hopes for a political comeback, Sunni Arabs launched an unprecedented, peaceful protest movement in late 2012 in response to the arrest of bodyguards of Rafea al-Issawi, a prominent Iraqiya member. It too failed to provide answers to accumulated grievances. Instead, the demonstrations and the repression to which they gave rise further exacerbated the sense of exclusion and persecution among Sunnis.
The government initially chose a lacklustre, technical response, forming committees to unilaterally address protesters’ demands, shunning direct negotiations and tightening security measures in Sunni-populated areas. Half-hearted, belated concessions exacerbated distrust and empowered more radical factions. After a four-month stalemate, the crisis escalated. On 23 April, government forces raided a protest camp in the city of Hawija, in Kirkuk province, killing over 50 and injuring 110. This sparked a wave of violence exceeding anything witnessed for five years. Attacks against security forces and, more ominously, civilians have revived fears of a return to all-out civil strife. The Islamic State of Iraq, al-Qaeda’s local expression, is resurgent. Shiite militias have responded against Sunnis. The government’s seeming intent to address a chiefly political issue – Sunni Arab representation in Baghdad – through tougher security measures has every chance of worsening the situation.
Belittled, demonised and increasingly subject to a central government crackdown, the popular movement is slowly mutating into an armed struggle. In this respect, the absence of a unified Sunni leadership – to which Baghdad’s policies contributed and which Maliki might have perceived as an asset – has turned out to be a serious liability. In a showdown that is acquiring increasing sectarian undertones, the movement’s proponents look westward to Syria as the arena in which the fight against the Iraqi government and its Shiite allies will play out and eastward toward Iran as the source of all their ills.
Under intensifying pressure from government forces and with dwindling faith in a political solution, many Sunni Arabs have concluded their only realistic option is a violent conflict increasingly framed in confessional terms. In turn, the government conveniently dismisses all opposition as a sectarian insurgency that warrants ever more stringent security measures. In the absence of a dramatic shift in approach, Iraq’s fragile polity risks breaking down, a victim of the combustible mix of its long­standing flaws and growing regional tensions.

Anthony H. Cordesman and Sam Khazi (CSIS) noted in May of 2013:

Iraq’s main threats, however, are self-inflicted wounds caused by its political leaders. The 2010 Iraqi elections and the ensuing political crisis divided the nation. Rather than create any form of stable democracy, the fallout pushed Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki to consolidate power and become steadily more authoritarian. Other Shi’ite leaders contributed to Iraq’s increasing sectarian and ethnic polarization – as did key Sunni and Kurdish leaders.
Since that time, a brutal power struggle has taken place between Maliki and senior Sunni leaders, and ethnic tensions have grown between the Arab dominated central government and senior Kurdish leaders in the Kurdish Regional government (KRG). The actions of Iraq’s top political leaders have led to a steady rise in Sunni and Shi’ite violence accelerated by the spillover of the extremism caused by the Syrian civil war. This has led to a level of Shi’ite and Sunni violence that now threatens to explode into a level of civil conflict equal to – or higher than – the one that existed during the worst period of the U.S. occupation.
This struggle has been fueled by actions of the Iraqi government that many reliable sources indicate have included broad national abuses of human rights and the misuse of Iraqi forces and the Iraqi security services in ways where the resulting repression and discrimination has empowered al-Qaeda and other extremist groups. As a result, the very forces that should help bring security and stability have become part of the threat further destabilized Iraq.

And some blowhard, braying asses like Robin Morgan want to wonder how Iraq got to its current state?

More importantly, she wants to use the D-word when referring to the Islamic State.

She explains on air that it's important to mock them.

Important for whom?

Free speech means every braying ass can cry eeyore-eeyore! over and over.

But free speech doesn't mean every utterance is a word of wisdom.

And all Robin's offering is stupidity.

Repeating, the Islamic State rose for a reason: the persecution of the Sunnis.

They were embraced, tolerated or left alone by a number of Sunnis because?

Sunnis felt threatened and persecuted.

So mocking this group -- a Sunni group -- is not going to help demolish its support.

Westerners using the D-word may actually drive some Sunnis to support the group, they may see it as further evidence of the disrespect Sunnis are receiving.

Again, free speech means Robin Morgan can use any word she wants.

Common sense doesn't dictate that she should.

And in the charged atmosphere where the Islamic State has benefited from the scorn and abuse Sunnis have suffered, I'm just not convinced mocking a Sunni group -- even a terrorist group -- is the way to go for non-comedians.

Robin's candidate for 2016 is, of course, Hillary Clinton.

It's a strange choice for someone supposedly concerned with peace.

Hillary's record was tiny in 2008.

She had a term and two years in the Senate to judge her by.

That's really it.

First Spouses aren't allowed to be people, they're appendages of the president.

So all she had going for her was the Senate.

And some could -- I did -- look at her 2002 vote for the Iraq War and say, "Okay, it was a mistake.  She needs to be more honest about it, but it was a mistake. We all make mistakes."

Then, following a 2008 campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, she took the post of Secretary of State.

And, from the start, a number of her supporters in 2008 (again, I was one) were leery.

It turned out, we were right to be leery.

I have no problem explaining why I can't support Hillary this go round.

And, check the archives, it's all in there in real time.

For example, Barack transferred the Iraq mission from DoD to State in the fall of 2011.

And Hillary's State Dept stone-walled Congress.

They refused to present their plans for Iraq, they refused to break down their budget request.

Check the archives, I was at those Congressional hearings and I reported on them.

Hillary's State Dept refused to answer Congress, refused to submit reports, acted as though they were above Congressional oversight.

Among the biggest critics in Congress at that time was US House Rep Gary Ackerman -- a Democrat.

Millions were wasted in just the first nine months State was over Iraq.

And no one wants to talk about that.

No one wants to talk about Hillary implementing a training program for Iraqi forces that they did not want, that they publicly rejected before it even started, that they did not show up for.

No one wants to talk about how she oversaw turning over US property in Iraq to the Iraqi government -- at no cost.

The December 9th snapshot covered some of that day's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing and the testimony offered by the Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs Gen Paul Selva and by the Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.  The following day, we continued the coverage noting this exchange.

Senator Bill Nelson:  So go over to Iraq.  Is that anti-sectarianism?  Is it working with the forces on the ground that we're supporting from the air?

Secretary Ash Carter:  Well first of all, uh,  Prime Minister Abadi, I've spoken to him frequently.  I'll have the opportunity to speak to him in the coming days uuhhhh when I-I too will be visiting our-our troops in theater.  Is-is  committed  precisely to that kind of vision for Iraq.  I believe him.  I've talked to him.

Senator Bill Nelson:  Do you think that's working?

Secretary Ash Carter: Whether he can pull it off in Baghdad, that is obviously a difficult matter for him.  We are supporting him in that regard because we, uh, believe that the alternative -- which is further sectarian division, civil war, cleansing and so forth.  We've seen that before.  And if he can keep his vision of an Iraq which as he called it  is decentralized.  So it's not everybody under the thumb of Baghdad because he knows the Sunni and the Kurds won't go fot that.  But still the ability to retain an integral state that keeps peace within its borders -- that's what he's committed to --

Senator Bill Nelson:  Right.

Secretary Ash Carter (Con't):  -- that's the end state we also want in Iraq.

Senator Bill Nelson:  Right.  So it's possible with Assad leaving Syria, you could get Syria under control but everything could go haywire in Iraq?

Secretary Ash Carter:  There are two separate dynamics.  They're different dynamics.  There's one thing I'll-I'll mention that I mentioned to you when I was with you six-six weeks ago and has subsequently come to pass.  I was talking about the importance of getting the town of Sinjar.  You're talking about The territory but-but a lot of that territory is empty it's the towns that matter.  The critical crossing of Sinjar.  Now what is Sinjar?  Sinjar is a place in between Mosul and Raqaa.  And to cut ISIL into it's Syrian branch and stop from cross-feeding is a, uh, the objective, uh, of taking Sinjar.  And so in the end the political end states are different for Syria and, uh, Iraqi absolutely.

That exchange should alarm for so many reasons.

But chiefly due to Carter's insisting of Haider al-Abadi:

 We are supporting him in that regard because we, uh, believe that the alternative -- which is further sectarian division, civil war, cleansing and so forth.  

Yeah, that belief allowed the White House go overrule Iraqi voters and give Nouri al-Maliki a second term as prime minister in 2010.

And Nouri al-Maliki took Iraq to the brink of destruction in his second term.

While the US government went along with him because of their fears of "the alternative."  Ruled by fear, the US government joined Nouri in corruption and persecution.

That hearing was preceded by a House Armed Services Committee hearing we covered in the  Tuesday December 1sts snapshot  and the Wednesday, December 3rd snapshot and in "Ash Carter spun wildly to Congress," additional reporting: Cedric's "Hank Johnson's sexual obsession with Barack" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! HANK HIS JOHNSON!" covered US House Rep Hank Johnson wasting everyone's time to profess his strangely sexual obsession with Barack and Carter and Gen Joe Dunford refusing to indulge Johnson,  At Rebecca's site, Wally reported on Ranking Member Adam Smith  in "Even House Democrats are criticizing Saint Barack.(Wally)," at Trina's site Ava reported on the obsession with oil that was at the heart of the hearing in "It's still about the oil," Mike reported on US House Rep Niki Tsongas offering some realities about the so-called coalition in "US Armed Services Committee hearing offers a little bit of reality," Ruth reported on US House Rep John Kline's questioning which established that there was no cap on the number of US troops that could be in Iraq "Iraq still matters,"  Kat took on the surreal aspect with "The US just declared war on everyone but Santa," Elaine covered one time anti-war US House Rep Jackie Speier making an idiot of herself in statements and dress with "The idiot Jackie Speier" and Dona moderated a roundtable at Third on the hearing with "Congress and Iraq."

From that hearing, we'll note this exchange.

US House Rep Beto O'Rourke:   There's so much in those countries -- I'll just use Iraq as an example -- that we do not control, cannot control and will not be able to predict when it comes to the political outcomes and so when we say we are going to set conditions on our aid, when we say we are going to set conditions on our military presence, do we really mean that?  Is that a viable threat?  Will we really walk away from Iraq if the government there doesn't meet those conditions?  And I think that's an important question because if, in fact, we will not, then I wonder what the motivation is there for the Iraqi government to take the very important and very difficult steps to integrate these other minorities -- whether they be Kurds, whether they be Sunnis -- into a functioning government -- decentralized or otherwise?

Secretary Ash Carter: Uh, first of all with respect to the first part of your question, uhm, the -- It -- The -- Your point gets back -- is exactly the military and the political going together.  In addition to the -- The only end state that involves the lasting defeat of ISIL is one in which there are -- whether there is local governance that cannot be once again supplanted by ISIL.  That's why once again the political and the military go together -- that's the heart of the strategy and that's why enabling committed, capable forces who can make victory stick is the other part of the definition of victory, critical --

US House Rep Beto O'Rourke:  Yes.

Secretary Ash Carter (Con't):  -- to the strategy. With respect to the leverage, I'll start there in Baghdad but the leverage involves offering to do more for those who are pursuing the same objectives and withholding our support from those who are taking a different path or not going down the path they're supposed to.  So we find alternatives, we find people that can act.  If-if-if the people 
that we're dealing with are not capable of -- because we have to act and we will find such forces that are capable. 

Nouri al-Maliki was rewarded by the White House with a second term when he'd done nothing to bring Iraq together.  And after Barack Obama gave Nouri a second term in 2010, Nouri went on to further persecute the Sunnis.

This happened while Hillary was Secretary of State.

And in 2008, she had called Nouri a thug -- in a public hearing.

So she can't claim ignorance of what Nouri truly was.

She made the decision to support him.

And that decision took the tragic and criminal state of Iraq and only made it worse.

She needs to be asked about that.

She especially needs to be asked how much abuse, as president, she'd tolerate from a foreign leader before cutting off US support because this White House let Nouri carry out one crime after another from 2010 through 2014 before Barack finally pulled US support in the summer of 2014.

She needs to be asked, since she's claiming she's so pro-woman, what she did as Secretary of State to improve the lives of Iraqi women?

The answer is not a damn thing.

Because of this, because of Libya, because of an addiction to regime change and so much more -- all part of her record thanks to her awful tenure as Secretary of State -- is reason enough for me not to vote for.

But it causes Robin Morgan not a moment of doubt.

2015 will lead into 2016.  So is it any surprise that, as the year ends, it appears very likely that the two major party candidates who'll be competing next year will be Hillary and Donald Trump?

What else, honestly, what else could The Year of the Ass produce but a match off between each major party's biggest ass?


Previous year-in-review pieces include:

2014: The Year of Self-Exposure
2013: The Year of Exposure
2012: The Year of Avoidance
2011: The Year of the Slow Reveal

  • 2010: The Year of Enough
  • 2009: The Year of Living Sickly
  • 2008: The Year of Living Hormonally
  • 2007: The Year of Living Useless

  • 2006: The Year of Living Dumbly

  • Other year-in-review pieces include:

    Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Whatever Happened To Hillary Diane? AKA American Horror Story"

  • Kat's Korner: 2015 In Music
  • the 10 hottest hotties of 2015
  • Ruth's Radio Report 2015

  • 2015 in Books (Martha & Shirley)

  • Rebecca's "the 10 hottest hotties of 2015"

    Mike's "Tweet of the year"
    Trina's "My wish for 2016"
    and Third's:

  • TV: 2015 Fakery and genuine
  • Candidate 2016 desperately needs
  • Tweet everyone's talking about
  • 2015 Media Whore of the Year
  • 2015's Song of the Year

  • From the TESR Test Kitchen