Saturday, July 30, 2022

For the second time in one week, the Green Zone has been breached


It really is cute the way this story keeps getting mistold.  The Parliament is in the Green Zone.  Moqtada's cult isn't just seizing the building, they are breaking into the Green Zone.  Again, when this first happened earlier in the week, I pointed out the videos on Arabic social media of Moqtada's cult removing concrete blocks that are the protective barrier around the Green Zone.  Why is this detail not being included by most US outlets?  AP is including it: "Earlier in the day and heeding al-Sadr’s calls, the demonstrators used ropes and chains to pull down cement barricades leading to the gate of Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses government buildings and embassies."

Do they have to attack the US Embassy in the Green Zone before observers start to wonder about how come the Green Zone is being invaded?  Or to question safety measures?

EURASIA REVIEW includes this, "The demonstrators breached the fortified barriers around the Green Zone, the INA said. The highly-secured Green Zone in the capital is home to several government buildings and diplomatic missions."  THE LIBYAN EXPRESS notes Mohammed al-Halbusi, Speaker of Parliament, "Halbusi also called on Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to take necessary measures to protect state institutions and demonstrators."

The United Nations also has no trouble noting that the Green Zone was breached:

In a statement issued late Saturday night, the UN chief appealed to all relevant actors “to take immediate steps to de-escalate the situation, avoid any further violence, and ensure the protection of peaceful protesters and State institutions”. 

For the second time in a week, on Saturday protesters stormed the parliament in Baghdad, breaching the high-security Green Zone and injuring more than 120 people, news media reported.

Issue at hand

Following nine months of a political deadlock that has prevented the creation of a new government, on Wednesday hundreds of people first broke into the parliament.

News reports said that the  unrest has been triggered by supporters of Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr – whose block won the majority of seats last October and who opposes the nomination of a pro-Iran rival candidate for prime minister.

Respect fundamental rights

Mr. Guterres noted that “freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are fundamental rights that must be respected at all times”.

“The Secretary-General urges all parties and actors to rise above their differences and form, through peaceful and inclusive dialogue, an effective national government that will be able to deliver on longstanding demands for reform, without further delay,” the statement concluded.

The Green Zone, we were told, was a protected area.  When it was almost breached in 2006, Nouri al-Maliki and the US government had a meltdown.  When ISIS began taking over territory in Iraq (during Nouri's second term as prime minister), one of the reasons Barack Obama was publicly sending US troops back into Iraq was because the US government was afraid that the Green Zone would fall. Barack had already begun sending US troops back into Iraq in the fall of 2012.  If you're late to the party, that's when Tim Arango (NEW YORK TIMES) reported:

Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.        

Now the Green Zone has twice been breached.  Is there a reason that the US press isn't discussing it?  And is the White House so focused on Joe Biden's COVID that no one's paying attention to what's taking place?

Radical hate monger Moqtada al-Sadr is responsible for the deaths of many Americans.  It would be nice if the US government could take a moment to comment on the invasion of the Green Zone since that is where the US government's largest embassy is located.

The Parliament building was empty for those who aren't being properly informed by news outlets.  Arabic media is very clear that the police warned this might happen ahead of today and that there was no session taking place as a result.  

So Moqtada's goons invaded an empty building.  

The issue here should be that the Green Zone has now been breached twice in one week.

The US compound/embassy is supposed to be impenetrable.  Maybe it is, maybe it isn't.  But with the unrest and the continued US presence in Iraq, this is something a functioning government would be publicly addressing.  And a functioning press would be demanding statements about.

None of this is a call for more US troops to be in Iraq -- all US troops should be out and the size of the so-called diplomatic presence should be drastically reduced.  But the US government's not listening to me.  They have chosen to keep Americans in Iraq.  They owe to the American people to issue, at the very least, a statement about what's going on and how it might or might not impact the safety of Americans in Baghdad.

The following sites updated:

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The REAL Jamal Koshogi: What Western Media Doesn’t Want You To Know

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Warrior Class: Human Trafficking Revisited

Katie Halper: Henry Cuellar CRUSHES Workers In New Bill. Minimum Wage, OT Rules ABANDONED

The Chris Hedges Report: Gerald Horne on the Unrelentingly Radical Life of Paul Robeson

Third Party BANNED From Florida Ballot


[We have always covered non-duopoly parties and I feel sorry for Nick because he was brutally smeared for what appears to have been a mutual decision to date -- not assault -- so we're reposting this video]

People's Power Lunch - Biden Goes After Black Radicals To Uphold The Fascist State of America

Democrats Are Standing In The Way Of $18/Hr Minimum Wage In California: Joe Sanberg

The Chris Hedges Report: Moby Dick and the soul of American capitalism

Joe Biden's Recession | Characteristics of Late Stage Capitalism

What Are The CIA & Special Ops Doing In Ukraine?


Unhoused Organizer Drowns While Tempe Police Do Nothing

Jason Kander: Why I Left Politics To Battle PTSD | Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar

Friday, July 29, 2022

The Tragic Tale of Hunter Biden

Carolina Bill To Restrict Abortion Talk On Internet

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BOO! Madea Goes Investing!

Chase Rice - Key West & Colorado (Official Audio)


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Costa Mesa, CA · The Pacific Amphitheatre
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Du Quoin, IL · DuQuoin State Fairgrounds
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Allentown, PA · The Allentown Fairgrounds

Wikipedia RECESSION Definition Edited, Page LOCKED. Emily & Ryan: Pandering To Biden?

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Prof. Richard Wolff on the 500 Year future of Inflation

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Hunter Biden Corruption Probes Possibly Obstructed By DOJ: Ryan Grim & Emily Jashinsky

Instagram COPIES TIKTOK With New Update | Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar


Iraq snapshot

Friday, July 29, 2022.  The motto for the Biden era: Its the incompetency, stupid.

The r-word.  BREAKING POINTS wonders if we're seeing the recession confirmed before our eyes.

THE HILL wonders if US President Joe Biden will admit the recession is here?

I wonder who will be the modern day James Carville and stress, "It's the incompetence, stupid?"

Nick Beams (WSWS) reports:

The US economy has taken another significant step towards recession with economic output contracting for the second quarter in a row, a situation often referred to as a “technical recession.”

When the first quarter results were released, they were generally passed off as having no real significance, the result of a statistical aberration. But the latest data indicate they were the start of a trend.

The official definition of a recession in the US is determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and it will not make a determination for some time. But whatever it decides, the data for the last two quarters indicate a significant slowdown over the past six months. In the December quarter of 2021, the US economy was growing at an annualised rate of 6.9 percent.

Breaking down the data, there were a number of results which point to the underlying trends. Consumer spending, which accounts for around two thirds of total economic output, grew by only 1 percent for the quarter, down from the 1.8 percent increase in the first. Consumer spending growth is now at its lowest rate since the start of the pandemic.

Real wages are falling, with real disposable income falling by 0.5 percent for the quarter, the fifth straight quarterly fall.

The biggest drag on growth was the drop in business inventories which cut 2 percent off the headline result. Earlier Walmart, America’s biggest retailer, reported that it was cutting prices in a bid to clear out inventories that had built up because of falling demand. Business investment was also down.

There is a concerted attempt to deny that recession is taking hold. Earlier this week US treasury secretary Janet Yellen said the US economy was not in recession and she would “be amazed” if the NBER declared it was.

Tuesday, Trina observed:

Yesterday, CNBC reported:

Walmart cut its quarterly and full-year profit estimates because of rising food inflation. This alarmed investors who deliberated the implications for other retail stocks. The big-box retailer said higher prices are spurring consumers to pull back on general merchandise spending, particularly in apparel.

Walmart plunged 7.6% Tuesday and dragged other retailers with it. Kohl’s and Target dropped 9.1% and 3.6%, respectively. Among apparel companies, Macy’s was among the hardest hit, down 7.2%. Nordstrom and Ross each lost more than 5%, and TJX Companies shed about 4.2%. The SPDR S&P Retail ETF fell nearly 4.2%.

Inflation's destroying everything.  We don't need war with Russia.  We never did.  And we've never needed to throw all of our money away by giving it to Ukraine.  But that's what Joe Biden's done and he's destroyed our economy.

DNYUZ reports:

A day after Walmart warned investors that its profit would shrink as rising prices forced shoppers to make fewer purchases at its stores, UnileverCoca-Cola and McDonald’s, three other consumer-facing giants, reinforced the message, to different degrees, providing a window into how companies are navigating this fragile economic moment.

On Tuesday, Unilever, the maker of Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Hellmann’s mayonnaise, said it raised prices until they were 11 percent higher than in the same quarter last year, offsetting a 2 percent decline in the volume of things that consumers bought. It was the fourth consecutive quarter in which prices outpaced volume growth at the company.

It's the incompetency, stupid.

Evan Blake (WSWS) points out:

The infection of US President Joe Biden with COVID-19 marks a significant turning point in the US response to the pandemic. This event, which should have provoked deep concern and self-reflection by the Biden administration, was instead utilized to openly state the White House’s brutal new policy towards the pandemic: Everyone will get infected with COVID-19, repeatedly, year after year, forever.

As the World Socialist Web Site has noted, last winter’s surge of the highly infectious and immune-resistant Omicron BA.1 subvariant prompted the scrapping of all mitigation measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. As with previous variants, officials from numerous world governments made unscientific claims that BA.1 would induce lasting immunity and send the virus into “endemicity.”

Now, after successive waves of three more Omicron subvariants, this threadbare lie is being discarded and the Biden administration is openly pursuing a policy of perpetual mass infection. This is essentially a repackaged and even more dangerous version of the “herd immunity” strategy implemented by Donald Trump, as it threatens to rapidly erode the efficacy of existing vaccines and treatments. While openly stating their intention to allow SARS-CoV-2 to spread uncontrolled in perpetuity, the White House continues to cover up the horrific implications this will have for American and world society.

It is evident that sometime in June the decision was made to substantially reduce the safety precautions in place to protect the President from contracting COVID-19. In recent weeks, numerous photos and videos were staged at large indoor events and meetings internationally with a maskless Biden. In effect, the White House consciously allowed Biden to be infected as part of a deepening propaganda campaign to force American society to accept their policy of “forever COVID.”

On July 18, three days before Biden’s infection was made public, his 81-year-old Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci told Politico, “We’re in a pattern now. If somebody says, ‘You’ll leave when we don’t have COVID anymore,’ then I will be 105. I think we’re going to be living with this.” In other words, Dr. Fauci stated that the pandemic will drag on for at least the next quarter century.

At each of the three press conferences held during Biden’s illness, White House COVID Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated this statement of surrender to the virus, while stating that all Americans will inevitably be infected with COVID-19.

On July 21, Jean-Pierre stated, “Look, we knew this was going to happen. As Dr. Jha said … at some point, everyone is going to get COVID.” The following day, Dr. Jha said bluntly, “This virus is going to be with us forever.” On Monday, July 25, Jean-Pierre repeated, “As we have said, almost everyone is going to get COVID.” Numerous articles in the bourgeois press and segments on the broadcast news outlets parroted these same talking points.

Finally, on Wednesday Biden tested negative for COVID-19 and ended his isolation. Visibly unwell, coughing repeatedly, his voice still deep from the infection, and stumbling over his words more than usual, Biden gave a lying and cynical 10-minute speech to a group of maskless, cheering staffers in the Rose Garden, in which he portrayed vaccines and Pfizer’s antiviral Paxlovid as magical “tools” that nullify the dangers of perpetual mass viral transmission.

In the course of his speech, Biden referred to God three times and “prayers” once. He made no reference to the rising daily death toll from COVID-19, the impacts of Long COVID, viral evolution, mask mandates, airborne transmission, or other critical concerns about the pandemic raised by leading scientists. On the same day as Biden’s speech, 801 Americans officially died from COVID-19 and the seven-day average of daily new deaths rose to 440, up 67 percent from the trough reached on June 21, while hospitalizations approached 44,000, a three-fold increase in the past three months.

In 1992, James Carville boiled down Bill Clinton's campaign to three main points with the chief one being the economy and stressing to staffers on a daily basis, "It's the economy, stupid."

That's what they were focusing on because that's what the American people were focusing on.

These days?  Someone needs to look Joe in the eye and tell him, "It's the incompetency, stupid."

Because the Biden presidency has been all about incompetency.

COVID 19?  It did not arrive on his tenure.  It was already here and he has no plans to this day for it.  The pandemic was already going when he ran for president and made promises.  Now he's president and he's not doing a damn thing.  We'll all get it?  How lucky we are to have you in office.

He's an incompetent fool.

Our economy was suffering.  But he made it much worse with his billions given to Ukraine while Americans at home suffered.  He was the 'great guy' buying dinner for everyone while at home the electricity was getting turned off because we hadn't paid the bills.  

Ukraine is not the 51st in the US.  

But Joe wanted war on Russia.  And that war is destroying the global economy.

It's the incompetency, stupid.

He is a failure in every regard and if, in year two of his presidency, the best 'solution' he can offer with regards to the pandemic is that we're all going to get COVID, he needs to resign because he has nothing to offer.

Under his watch, ROE V WADE was overturned.  Precedent has been trashed and Clarence Thomas has made clear that when not eyein' his porn, he's busy planning to overturn birth control access, marriage equality and nearly any other privacy right he can get his spare hand on.  By the way, is it karma that a sex perv like him ended up married to such an unattractive woman?

Joe does nothing.  He doesn't publicly demand Congress codify ROE into law.  He wobbles along, eager to get his photo taken and he does nothing.  

The country needs a leader and Joe's AWOL.

Kenny Stancil (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

Liberal comedian Jon Stewart chastised the GOP on Thursday, less than 24 hours after Senate Republicans tanked a bill that would have expanded healthcare access for U.S. military veterans exposed to Agent Orange and toxic burn pits—a move that was made in retaliation for Democrats reviving their reconciliation package following the passage of bipartisan legislation designed to boost domestic semiconductor chip manufacturing.

"Everyone needs to watch this," progressive commentator Krystal Ball tweeted, sharing a clip of Stewart, who has lobbied for improved assistance for veterans harmed by toxins, speaking in Washington, D.C. "Republicans are literally blocking care for veterans poisoned by burn pits as part of their temper tantrum over a deal to tax corporations and create clean energy jobs."

Speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference held in the wake of the GOP's refusal to advance the Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, Stewart told the crowd: "I'm used to the hypocrisy... I'm used to the lies... I'm used to the cowardice... I'm used to all of it, but I am not used to the cruelty."

"These motherf[**]kers," said Stewart, referring to U.S. senators, "don't support the troops, [they] support the war machine."

"They haven't met a war they won't sign up for, and they haven't met a veteran they won't screw over," added the former host of The Daily Show, who now has a program on Apple TV+.

Good for Jon for his righteous rage.  But it's not a surprise.  

Joe could have ensured the legislation passed.  He could have tied it around the Republicans neck ahead of the vote.  He could have made it an issue.  He didn't.

And the press really won't either.  When, years ago, 'Democrat' Jim Webb tanked a bill to expand veterans benefits with regards to Agent Orange, I was as outraged as Jon is now.  And then the head of a veterans group told me that if I wanted to get mad wait and get mad at all the people who rush to hush it up.  He was right.

Veterans knew what Webb did.  It's why he didn't run for re-election.  He didn't have enough support anymore to win.  But the media played it off and never raised that issue when he announced he was retiring and no one ever called him for being the piece of crap that he was.

We didn't cover for him.  Late to the party?  February 14, 2012:

First, if you need to know how ugly the Agent Orange issue got on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, you can refer to the September 23, 2010 snapshot reporting on that day's hearing when Senator Jim Webb had his little hissy, when Senator Roland Burris insisted that "budget shortfalls" do not mean you cut needed health benefits for veterans and, as Senator Burris said that, Senator Jon Testor, with an angry look on his face, rose and stormed out of the hearing.  Earlier Testor had been backing up Webb who was furious that VA Secretary Eric Shinseki was attempting to see to it that the victims of Agent Orange got the help they needed.
And we're going to drop back to the June 15, 2010 snapshot:
 WAVY reports (link has text and video) that victims of Agent Orange (specifically Vietnam era veterans) could recieve addition beneifts for B-Cell Leukemia, Parkinson's disease and coronary heart disease.  Could?  A US Senator is objecting to the proposed changes by VA.  Jim Webb has written VA Secretary Eric Shinseki that ". . . this single executive decision is estimated to cost a minimum of $42.2 billion over the next ten years. A regulatory action of this magnitude requires proper Congressional review and oversight."  Besides, Webb wrote, "Heart disease is a common phenomenon regardless of potential exposure to Agent Orange." That is really embarrasing and especially embarrassing for the Democratic Party (Webb is a Democrat today, having converted from a Reagan Republican).  It also goes a long way towards explaining Webb's refusal to get on board with Senator Evan Bayh's bill to create a national registry that would allow those Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans to be able to receive treatment for their exposures without having to jump through hoops repeatedly.

Veteran Jim Webb did everything he could to prevent victims of Agent Orange and Burn Pits from receiving the medical treatment they needed.  That's why he can't run for re-election.  Veterans in Virginia pulled their support in 2010 over the Agent Orange issue.  His decision not to seek re-election has to do with the fact that he doesn't have the votes to win.  And he shouldn't after what he did.  There's an important lesson there: A veteran isn't necessarily the one to elect to Congress if you're concerned about veterans issues.

Our Congress is very greedy when it comes to helping people who are not in Ukraine.  

Iraq remains in tatters.  Our Congress saw to that and now they ignore the country they tore apart.  THE ARAB WEEKLY notes:

The storming of Iraq's parliament by hundreds of supporters of populist Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr has piled pressure on his political opponents working to form a government nearly ten months after an election.

There are signs Sadr's pressure on his opponents is starting to spin out of control, with former premier Nuri al-Maliki taking unprecedented security precautions that could augur violent developments in the Iraqi scene.

"Neither side is willing to make any concessions," political scientist Ali al-Baidar said Thursday, one day after crowds breached Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone and staged a parliamentary sit-in, waving flags and demanding change.

The protests are the latest challenge for oil-rich Iraq, which remains mired in a political and a socio-economic crisis despite soaring energy prices.

Escalation of protests and counter protests could force Iraq into the "danger zone" of armed strife, experts fear.

Is Iraq heading towards more violence and protests? Or will it be obliged to hold fresh polls?

THE FINANCIAL TIMES wants you to know that Moqtada has power.  What power?

Besides Joe Biden backing him, what does Moqtada have?  Joe doesn't want Nouri back in power.  That's why US tax dollars were handed over to Moqtada back in August to get him to call for his cult to vote (he was boycotting the election prior to his payout).  It's why the Nouri recording surfaced.  That's allegedly an NSA recording of Nouri.  Whether it is or not, that's what Nouri believes: that the US passed it on to an Iraqi reporter who leaked portions of it on Twitter.  Should Nouri or his protege become prime minister, there will be a huge amount of ill will towards the  US government.  

For those who forgot or missed the leaks a little over a week ago, In a series of Tweets, Tammus Intel covered the recording.

Noori Almaliki: 1- The next phase in Iraq is war, the other speaker says "we are ready" ( after analyzing the records it turned out that the ones who were talking with Noori Almaliki are members of Kataib Hezbollah) #Iraq

2- I told Mustafa Alkadhimi that everyone will protect themselves by their own and Muqtada is coming to kill and slaughter and i will not count on army and police. 3- Muqtada will target me first because i ruined their agendas in Iraq. #Iraq

4- I started arming groups and if he attacks us i will even attack Najaf. 5- Muqtada wants blood and he's coward, he wants money and he robbed Iraq, he thinks that he's the Mahdi. 6- My tribe will protect me and they are ready. #Iraq
7- I call my good supporters to be ready and i will also not count on the PMF because they are also cowards. 8-Iraq is heading to a bloody war that no one will be saved from unless we end Sadr, Halbosi and Barzani project. #Iraq

Joe's the only power that Moqtada has and one has to wonder why the US government is so damn determined right now to support Moqtada -- a right wing, homophobic, sexist who is responsible for the deaths of countless America troops?

If you've seen the footage from the storming of the Parliament -- that day's footage -- you should marvel over one thing.  You see his cult taking down parts of the concrete barrier that protects the Green Zone.  That's how they get entry.  Has the ongoing stalemate so paralyzed the Baghdad-based government that it couldn't stop or was there a stand-down ordered?  

The following sites updated: