Saturday, June 29, 2024

Lindsay Wagner on why she didn't want The Bionic Woman role & working with Lee Majors & James Garner

MAGA Mike Waltz stokes international tensions, death toll in Gaza reaches 37,834

Not content to focus on destroying the United States, MAGA Republicans wants to take their crazy international.  Case in point, Robert Gates' former butt-boi Mike Waltz.  The member of Congress is never shy about sporting his huge incompetence and now he's angering Iraq.

Today, the Iraqi government released its response:

The Foreign Ministry followed the statements and directions of the United States Congressman Mike Waltz, regarding the President of the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council judge Faiq Zidan, the Ministry affirms its categorical rejection for these statements that undermine the person of the president of Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council, judge Faiq Zidan, and the basic rights of the Iraqi state, in which the judiciary represents the primary guarantor of rights and freedoms.

The Ministry considers these statements a blatant interference in Iraqi internal affairs, and affirms that the attempt to influence the Judicial authority is a violation of the most important elements of the state entity, which is responsible for achieving justice, equality and stability in the country. 

The Foreign Ministry regrets the attempts to involve Congress in such issues, as it constitute an interference in the sovereignty of states and their judicial systems.

Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Iraq

June 29, 2024 

Walz has long made critiques of Zidan over rulings that appeared to benefit Baghdad and shortchange the Kurdistan; however, this move makes it hard for him to be taken seriously on anything.  And, for the record, I agree that Zidan favors Baghdad over Erbil and favors Baghdad over the law.

But now you want to fog everything up with this claim of being an agent of Iran?  That's ridiculous.  A) You have no proof and B) are you ignorant of the very deep ties that Iran ahs with Erbil -- especially with the Talanbani family.  For example, Hero Talabani could not have fooled the people of Iraq about her incapacitated husband without the help of the Iranian government which is why she spent more time visiting Iran after her husband's stroke than she spent visiting her husband in his hospital in Germany.  

Jalal Talabani was the President of Iraq when he had his stroke and was immediately taken to Germany.  He never recovered from the stroke and Hero and the others posed him for photos to try to make it look as though he were mobile.  Over a year and half later when he returned to Iraq, they still wouldn't let him be seen in public because he could no longer speak and had not recovered full use of his body.  Jalal should have been replaced as President immediately but the Talabani family did not want to give up their hold on power so they deceived the Iraqi people.  Hero would not have been able to pull that off had the Iranian government not helped and supported her.

For those late to the party on the Talabani scandal, let's drop back to the October 18, 2021 snapshot:

In 2012,  Iraqi President Jalal Talabani suffered a stroke.   The incident took place late on December 17, 2012 (see the December 18th snapshot) and resulted in Jalal being admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20, 2012, he was moved to Germany.  He remained there for a year and a half.  He was incapacitated.  But the Talabani family lied to everyone so that, as the Iraqi Constitution requires, Jalal wouldn't be removed from office.

They lied to the country.  They deceived the Iraqi people.  They propped him up and posed him for pictures -- leading Arabic media to mock it as WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S -- but they couldn't offer video because he couldn't speak.

The first time was in May. Jalal was posed for a series of photos that appear to indicate his body was present but that was all.


The second set, months later, also showed Jalal posed with his right side to the camera.

[. . .]

Over 18 months later Jalal would return.  They wouldn't be able to use the return to pump up his party in elections because he couldn't speak.

In other words, the Talabani family lied to the Iraqi people, deceived them.  Iraq had a non-functioning president who should have been removed from office.  But the Talabanis lied to keep Jalal in a post he could not serve.

[. . .]

They lied to the country.  They deceived the Iraqi people.  They propped him up and posed him for pictures -- leading Arabic media to mock it as WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S -- but they couldn't offer video because he couldn't speak.

He never spoke in public again.  Not even when he returned to Iraq 18 months after his stroke.

He was not able to do any duties and he was not able to speak but the Talabani family lied to the press and to the people so that they could hold onto the position and the prestige.  They harmed Iraq in the process.  Iraq needed a real president.  It had none.  

The next election showed how much damage the Talabanis had done to the PUK and that's been true ever since.  In addition, you've got Jalal's sons showing up to try to tell the Kurds what to do.  They love that -- and who wouldn't?  One of Jalal's pampered sons who lives in the US and is married to an American woman returning to the Kurdistan to lecture them on how they shouldn't want independence for Kurdistan, lecturing them on how they shouldn't vote for it in a non-binding referendum.  

Back to the current issue of Mike Walz's stupidity,  XINHUA notes:

   The Iraqi parliament's Acting Speaker Mohsen al-Mandalawi noted that Iraq, as a sovereign country, builds its relations with all countries "upon mutual respect."

Al-Mandalawi said that if the draft law is approved, it will constitute a dangerous turning point that will affect, in one way or another, Iraq-U.S. relations.

Mike Walz, from butt=boi to creator of international incidents.  THE IRAQI NEWS AGENCY notes the remarks of al-Mandalawi in a little more detail:

A statement by the media office of the Speaker of Parliament on behalf of Al-Mandalawi was quoted as saying - received by the Iraqi News Agency (INA): “What was reported by American media regarding the submission by Republican Congressman Mike Waltz of a draft law amendment and its inclusion of a clause affecting the head of the Supreme Judicial Council, Faiq Zidan, is a dangerous precedent this is added to the record of the actions of the Biden government, which openly supported the most horrific mass massacre committed by Zionist gangs against the people of Gaza, and today it threatens to attack the sovereignty of states and their symbols without a legal justification that allows it to do so."

According to the statement, Al-Mandalawi called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to “move through its diplomatic means and deliver a direct message of Iraq’s rejection, with all its authorities, of such offensive interventions, which came from the American Congressman, describing them as tools of influence for other countries,” stressing that “Iraq is a country with Sovereignty, and its relations with all countries are built on the basis of mutual respect."

Al-Mandalawi stressed, “The draft law to be submitted to Congress by the Republican representative, and if approved, will constitute a dangerous turning point that will affect, in one way or another, the nature of bilateral relations between the two countries.

You'd think Mike Walz could form a circle jerk with the government of Iraq over their mutual love of homophobia.  RUDAW notes:

As many in the world celebrate pride month, Iraq’s President Abdul Latif Rashid ratified controversial amendments to the country’s anti-prostitution law criminalizing any practice of homosexuality and transsexuality.

The Iraqi presidency announced that Rashid has approved several bills which recently passed parliament, including several amendments made to the country’s anti-prostitution law that criminalize any practice of homosexuality and sex reassignment surgeries, making them punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

Maybe Butt-boi Mike is upset because he doesn't think the law goes far enough?  RUDAW notes:

Any individual, who undergoes a sex-reassignment surgery, as well as the doctor or surgeon conducting the operation, will face one to three years in jail. The bill excludes cases of medical intervention to "treat birth defects to affirm the sex of the individual," referring to genital surgeries on intersex children, which can inflict permanent harm on the individual and compromise sexual function and sensation."

 Intersex recognition is something avoided by the MAGA morons.  The law, please note, is not effective in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan.  

In other news, ALJAZEERA reports, "Five large bombs were discovered hidden in the walls of the historic al-Nuri Mosque in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq, a remnant of the armed group ISIL’s (ISIS’s) rule over the region. The mosque – famous for its 12th-century leaning minaret – was destroyed by ISIL in 2017 and has been a focal point of the UN cultural agency UNESCO’s restoration efforts since 2020."  Per AFP, UNESCO has only been able to remove one of the five bombs because four of the bombs are "connected to each other."  AP adds, "Iraqi authorities have requested that UNESCO halt all reconstruction operations at al-Nouri mosque and evacuate the entire complex until the devices are disarmed."

On the political front, ASHARQ AL-AWSAT reports:

The Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) have ousted Abu Zeinab al-Lami from his role as head of their security unit, a move that highlights his influential standing within the organization.

“The head of the PMF has removed Abu Zeinab al-Lami from his role as head of security and discipline directorate,” sources said Thursday.

“Ali al-Zaidi, deputy director of PMF security, has been appointed temporarily in his place,” they added.

Later Thursday, sources suggested the PMF rescinded al-Lami’s dismissal, which he reportedly contested.

Sources familiar with al-Lami’s role reveal that he made significant decisions without consulting PMF leader Falih al-Fayyadh or Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani.

From that uncertainty of al-Lami's status to the firmer topic of numbers, KURDISTAN 24 reports:

In a troubling development, seven suicides have been reported in Iraq over the past 72 hours, highlighting a growing mental health crisis among the population.

Iraqi security agencies attribute this surge to the overwhelming mental fatigue caused by ongoing social, financial, and political crises.

Experts are urgently calling for the establishment of awareness and counseling centers to address the increasing suicide rates.

 Staying on the topic of suicides, rumors abound that a social influencer held in a Baghdad jail has taken her own life.


Ahmed Luaibi, the ministry's spokesman, told the local media, "Social media circulated news about the escape of the person named Hadeel Al-Samarrai, nicknamed Umm Al-Lul, from the prison where she is currently serving her sentence, and a second piece of news that she committed suicide inside the prison." "Umm Al-Lul" is an individual's nickname.

"We deny these circulating reports and confirm that she is in a women's prison and is in good health," Laibi said. "We are not aware of any other information." The released news is biased and lacks nuanced information.

Remember when THE NEW YORK TIMES -- the paper that sold the Iraq War -- pretended to be interested in the Iraqi judicial and prison systems?  Remember that?  So long ago that the reporter covering it was Michael R. Gordon.  Gordon's been with THE WALL STREET JOURNAL for seven years now.  It was that long ago -- actually it was before Barack Obama was president that Gordo was covering that topic.  At any rate, KURDISTAN 24 reports:

Prisoners and detainees in Iraqi jails are enduring severe hardships, including significant delays and restrictions on visits from their relatives.

In some prisons, it can take up to three months for family members to see their detained loved ones, a situation that has drawn sharp criticism from human rights organizations and activists.

Although there are no precise figures on the number of detainees in Iraq, estimates suggest that there are around 100,000 prisoners housed in facilities managed by the Ministries of Justice, Interior, and Defense, as well as those under the control of security agencies, national security, and counter-terrorism units.

Additionally, the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF or Hashd al-Shaabi) and several secret prisons also hold thousands of prisoners.

[. . .]

The Iraqi Center for Documenting War Crimes recently reported that 50 prisoners have died from torture in Iraqi prisons this year alone.

The prisons just grow more and more corrupt.  Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) reports:

Civil war could break out in Iraq unless prison reforms and national unity are enforced, the country's first prime minister since the 2003 invasion, Ayad Allawi, told The National.

Mr Allawi, a secular Shiite Arab and former vice president, warned of the possibility of rising sectarian tensions in the country and said a new wave of extremism was brewing in Iraq's overcrowded jails.

"Prisons are becoming a fertile ground for extremism. Before it was between Sunnis and Shiites, now it's involving tribes, involving regions, involving districts. The problem, if this continues, will be a civil war throughout the country," he told The National from his home in London. It is 20 years since he took office in Baghdad.

Mr Allawi also believes prisons are a "breeding place for ISIS" and the extremist group could be on the rise.

He said one solution would be to "clear prisons" from those who have been "accused of political reasons – there must be a pardon". There must be a push for national unity and reconciliation between Iraq's various ethnic and religious groups that are currently ruling the country, he added.

At THE NATIONAL, Tariq Tahir has a strong article about how the US imposed exiles on Iraq after the 2003 invasion.  Lastly, PRESS TV reports:

Yemeni armed forces say they and Iraqi resistance fighters have carried out several military operations against ships linked to the Israeli regime.

A Yemeni statement by the Yemeni forces said the operations on Friday were carried out in support of the oppressed people of Palestine and retaliation to Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza.

“Our Armed Forces carried out several qualitative military operations, including a joint military operation with the Islamic resistance in Iraq targeting the oil tanker ‘Waler’ in the Mediterranean Sea with a number of drones,” said the statement.

Turning to Gaza . . . 

THE NEW ARAB reports:

Israel has been shelling different parts of Gaza City on Saturday morning following a deadly assault on Shejaiya on Friday.

Israeli shelling on the Al-Daraj and Al-Sabra neighbourhoods killed eight people, including women and children, according to Palestinian news agency WAFA.

The shelling comes as reports emerge on US efforts to propose new language for a ceasefire deal in Gaza and to bridge the gap between Israel and Hamas.

On the elusive cease-fire or 'cease-fire,' ALJAZEERA notes:

Hamas says there’s been no progress in ceasefire talks with Israel over the war on Gaza as tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Tel Aviv demanding the government save the captives and get a deal done.

Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official based in Lebanon, said on Saturday the Palestinian group is still ready to discuss any truce proposal that ends the nearly nine-month conflict.

“Once again, Hamas is ready to deal positively with any proposal that secures a permanent ceasefire, a comprehensive withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and a serious swap deal,” Hamdan told a news conference in Beirut.

Ikram Kouachi (ANADULA AGENCY) adds, "Flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, Israel has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by Hamas."  The slaughter continues.  ALJAZEERA notes, "The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor accused Israeli forces of 'widespread massacres' in Gaza City, saying it has received reports from its field teams of soldiers executing 'dozens, possibly hundreds, of victims'."  Frances Madeson (TRUTHOUT) reports:

On June 1, approximately 50 medical students from Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis University, and others interested in the topic gathered at a public library in St. Louis’s Central West End near both campuses to hear neonatal specialist Yassar Arain describe the medical apartheid he experienced while volunteering in a neonatal intensive care unit in Gaza this spring. Some openly wept as he recounted tragedies he’d witnessed but was powerless to avert.

Arain is a Californian of Pakistani descent now practicing medicine in Fort Worth, Texas. He’s also a father of young children. In mid-April, he joined in a two-week medical mission under the aegis of the Palestinian American Bridge, a group of doctors that hosts foreign specialists to help provide care in Gaza in the face of their own drastically reduced numbers. Per the World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest monthly tally, since October 7, 2023, Israel has attacked 464 health care facilities, killed 727 health care workers, injured another 933, and damaged or destroyed 113 ambulances. Among the doctors, 55 specialists were killed, according to a Reuters report. Hundreds of bodies have been found in multiple mass graves at three hospitals. At the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in Gaza, Arain was the sole neonatologist.

One of Arain’s patients was an infant who’d been shot in the head during a surprise Israeli attack, while breastfeeding in his mother’s arms. The bullet entered and exited his skull, making two wounds that baby Mustafa somehow survived, but with an unknown developmental fate. He’s since had seizures and needs long-term medical care — and, Arain said, justice. “One of the hardest things that happens for me internally, in my own mind,” Arain told the gathering, “is how we reconcile this with what we promote here in America with newborn mothers, which is skin-to-skin ‘kangaroo’ care. It helps the baby’s temperature stay normal, develops bonding, delivers healthy bacteria to the gut — all these nurturing things. But [think about what] we’re putting Palestinian mothers and infants through.”

Babies in Gaza are dying needlessly due to supply shortages, babies that would not have died if hospitals had even 50 percent of the resources they had prior to October, Arain told the stricken audience. They’ve run out of surefire medications like surfactant to help prematurely born babies through respiratory ailments, and don’t have access to certain technologies like a cooling room needed to cool down babies’ brains when they experience oxygen deprivation. Israel has destroyed them all. One newborn in need of cooling was delivered at 24 weeks [(typical gestation is 36) after her mother’s house was bombed, killing her mother’s family in the blast and sending her into preterm labor as a result of the shock. But with no place to send babies in need of brain cooling, they are condemned to a life of neurological impairment. Arain called it “a crime against humanity.”


Gaza remains under assault. Day 266 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  THE NATIONAL notes, "The Gaza Health Ministry said on Saturday that at least 37,834 Palestinians have been killed and 86,858 injured in Israel's war on Gaza since October 7. In the 24 hours to noon on Saturday, 40 people were killed and 224 injured, the ministry added."    Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:


April 11th, Sharon Zhang (TRUTHOUT) reported, "In addition to the over 34,000 Palestinians who have been counted as killed in Israel’s genocidal assault so far, there are 13,000 Palestinians in Gaza who are missing, a humanitarian aid group has estimated, either buried in rubble or mass graves or disappeared into Israeli prisons.  In a report released Thursday, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said that the estimate is based on initial reports and that the actual number of people missing is likely even higher."

As for the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."

The following sites updated:

  • Diana Ross - All Is Well

    Diana Ross - Thank You - Live at Red Rocks 6.27.24


    Aretha Franklin - A Rose Is Still a Rose (Official Music Video)

    ZEINA - Hooked (Acoustic with Loshendrix)

    Church Sells Land In Heaven For $100 Per Square Meter | The Kyle Kulinski Show

    TLC - Creep (Official HD Video)

    Trump FREAKS OUT over BAD POLLS After Debate


    The Breeders revisit their 1993 hit Cannonball on Later… with Jools

    NEWS: Casar Pushes to Hold Meat Packing Corporations Accountable for Child Labor Violations


    NEWS: Casar Pushes to Hold Meat Packing Corporations Accountable for Child Labor Violations

    June 26, 2024

    House Ag Republicans hold closed-door roundtable on child labor with meat packing associates

    WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Greg Casar (D-Texas) releases the following statement after sitting in on the House Agriculture Committee Republicans’ closed-door, corporate-backed child labor roundtable with meat packing industry associates.

    “Child labor has been illegal in American plants since the 1930s. We should hold companies that get multi-million dollar contracts from the federal government, but continue to exploit children, accountable,” said Congressman Greg Casar (D-Texas). “Members on both sides of the aisle at this closed-door meeting agreed that 13-year-olds working in meat packing plants is wrong. The question remains — will we just keep talking about it, or actually do something about it?” 

    At the closed-door meeting, the witnesses said that children working in their plants are hard to identify as underage. Casar brought two children’s backpacks to the meeting, referencing a Department of Labor case at the Seaboard Triumph facility in Sioux City, Iowa, where federal investigators witnessed

    children “carrying glittered school backpacks” before starting their graveyard shift to clean kill-floor equipment.

    Republican witnesses at the hearing included: 

    • Paul DeCamp, who works on labor issues for the law firm Epstein, Becker and Green. Prior to his work at the Firm, DeCamp was the Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Wage and Hour Division under President George W. Bush. Recently, DeCamp served as an expert witness for Packers Sanitation Services (PSSI) after they were found to have hired 102 teenagers across multiple states.
    • Bryan Burns, who serves as Vice President and Associate General Counsel of the Meat Institute. In his role, Burns serves as the primary staff liaison to the Worker Safety Committee, Environmental Committee, and Labor & Employment Committee. Prior to joining the Meat Institute, Burn previously served as a Senior Counsel for Litigation and Regulatory Affairs at Tyson.. 

    Ahead of the hearing, Casar and Congressman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) hosted a press gaggle. Remarks as delivered:

    Casar: “During the Farm Bill markup, I brought forward an amendment that Mr. McGovern and all the other Democrats supported to hold companies, major meatpacking companies, accountable if they violate our child labor laws that date back to 1938. 

    GC:“The Department of Labor, just in the last year, found over 4,000 cases of illegal child labor just last year. We know there's thousands more kids that are illegally put to work every year. But the Department of Labor has extremely limited resources, so the fact they were able to find 4,000 of these cases last year shows just how significant and pervasive this problem is. So what we're asking is that if the federal government gives billions of dollars in federal contracts to these mega-corporations, that they simply follow the law. And don't exploit child labor. 

    GC: “What, I expect, we will hear in this closed-door, industry-only roundtable is excuses. What is on the meat packing lobby’s website, is that they essentially say that they can't identify when a worker is an adult versus when they’re a child. But we know that many of these cases are cases of 13-year-olds and 14-year-olds working night shifts at the meat packing plants. Cleaning really dangerous equipment, mopping blood off of kill floors, and doing other extremely hazardous work. And if a bartender isn’t — we know that bartenders aren't serving 13-year-olds when they walk into the bar because they can tell, regardless of what their ID says, this child is 13 or 14, then I think multi-billion dollar companies can do the same thing. 

    GC: “And, we’ve got these backpacks here today because in one of the complaints, one of the verified complaints, from the Department of Labor — they saw children wearing, and the exact quote, ‘glittered backpacks, glittered school backpacks,’ as they walked into their night shifts. And so I’m going to ask representatives from these major companies today, how it is that they can't tell that these are school children going into their plants, if they are walking in with these sort of backpacks. It's a serious, very serious issue. It's a life and death issue. You know, there was recently a 14 year old child, named Marcos, who had his entire right forearm ripped off, in a dangerous machine working in these plants. These are kids that should be in school, and, and should be able to grow up like anybody else and not be put illegally to work, in these plants. And so what we'll be asking, is these questions in this industry-only roundtable. 

    GC: “And then, we will hopefully — the Chairman has said that we will have a hearing, a public hearing. And I hope that at the public hearing, we mark up Senator Booker’s and my bill, to hold these companies accountable, to make sure that if we're giving them billion dollar contracts that they aren’t illegally exploiting child labor. And I hope that both the House version of the Farm Bill, and then Senator Stabenow’s Senate version, that we include these provisions to protect children from being exploited and also to just protect workers, in general, at these meatpacking plants where, you know, many people have died working for many of these corporations in recent years in these meat packing plants, many people have been hurt and we should have these baseline protections both in the House bill and if not in the House bill, then we should have them in the Senate bill.” 

    McGovern: “I can't even believe we're having this discussion. You know, we work, we have a Congress where there's lots of disagreement on lots and lots of issues. I would like to think that what would not be controversial, is that we would all agree that we have to crack down on child labor violations, that somehow that's a radical idea in this Republican-controlled Congress, really is insane. 

    JM: “Child labor is getting worse in this country, it's going in the wrong direction. And we're having a briefing here today, basically in response to not taking up my colleague's amendment, during the Farm Bill markup, when we’re briefing today, it's all industry. I mean, really? I mean, this is the, this is the response, somebody who represents the trade association from meatpackers, another who used to work for a company where, you know, they were found 100 violations, in terms of child labor, I mean, this is insane. 

    JM: “I mean, look, there are states all around the country, state legislatures that are moving in the wrong direction. That are weakening child labor laws, and these guys here, you know, want to be wind at their back. It's disgusting. It really is. And it's so disappointing. And we're going to go through this charade today and we'll listen to the industry-only panel tell us how everything is beautiful or how they can't tell them who is a child and who's not, all that bullshit. Right? But the bottom line is, this is, this doesn't cut it. And so it's really disappointing. 

    JM: “I expected much better from the Chairman and, and from the Republicans quite frankly.”

    Last year, Casar introduced the Child Labor Exploitation Accountability Act, aimed at holding corporations accountable for the exploitation of children and workers in the food industry.


    Congressman Greg Casar represents Texas’s 35th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, which runs down I-35 from East Austin to Hays County to the West Side of San Antonio.  A labor organizer and son of Mexican immigrants, Casar serves as the Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for the 118th Congress. He also serves on the Committee on Oversight and Accountability and the Committee on Agriculture.

    Diana Ross - Not Over You Yet - Top of the Pops 05/11/1999 (HD)

    Congressman Robert Garcia Releases Second Annual Pride Playlist to Celebrate the Beginning of Summer

    Congressman Robert Garcia Releases Second Annual Pride Playlist to Celebrate the Beginning of Summer

    June 25, 2024

    Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Robert Garcia (CA-42) released his 2024 Pride Playlist to celebrate the end of Pride Month. The playlist includes songs from artists like Chappell Roan, Beyoncé, and Selena. This is the second annual Pride Playlist that the Congressman has released. You can listen on Spotify

    or Apple Music


    Robert Garcia 2024 Pride Playlist Cover Art


    Garcia spoke

    to The Hill, key excerpts below: 

    “Garcia, one of 12 openly LGBTQ members of Congress, released his inaugural Pride playlist last June on Spotify and Apple Music. This year’s collection of songs is meant to be a continuation of that, he said. 

    “Obviously you can listen to whatever song you want, but I did take some take to curate it to how I would listen to it,” he said. “You can actually listen to it in order from the first playlist, and this one for a total of 40 songs.” 

    Among some of this year’s musical selections: Janelle Monáe’s “Make Me Feel,” Carpenter’s “Please Please Please,” “Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels” by Todrick Hall, and Selena’s “Fotos Y Recuerdos.” 

    “I wanted to include stuff I’ve also liked for a long time and some songs that personally mean a lot to me from different points of my life,” Garcia said. 

    “All types of art and music are incredible and can change people’s perceptions on issues and can be very powerful,” he added, pointing to Beyoncé’s efforts to empower women and Roan’s use of her newfound platform to uplift LGBTQ voices.” 


    The Bangles - Hero Takes A Fall (Official Video)

    Tlaib Statement on City of Grants Pass v. Johnson


    Tlaib Statement on City of Grants Pass v. Johnson

    Jun 28, 2024
    Housing is a Human Right

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (MI-12) released the following statement on the recent Supreme Court decision:

    “The far-right Supreme Court just ruled that it is legal to criminalize homelessness. This ruling is a heartbreaking display of the dehumanization of our unhoused neighbors. It is unconscionable to criminalize people who are simply trying to survive and sleeping outside when they have nowhere else to go. We must take action to guarantee housing as a fundamental human right in our Constitution and invest in proven solutions like a Housing First approach, not ineffective and cruel measures that simply push people experiencing homelessness out of public view. Jails and fines will never end the homelessness crisis.”


    Vesta Williams - Congratulations

    Labelle - Lady Marmalade (Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi Ce Soir ) 1974 • TopPop

    Congresswoman Bush Statement on Supreme Court Grants Pass v Johnson Decision

     June 28, 2024

    Congresswoman Bush Statement on Supreme Court Grants Pass v Johnson Decision

    Washington, D.C. (Jun. 28, 2024) — Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, released the statement following today’s Supreme Court Case decision in City of Grants Pass v. Johnson, where a 6-3 majority ruled that cities are allowed to jail, ticket, or fine people for sleeping outside, even in cases where there are no shelter options available. The Court held that enforcement of public camping laws—including those that criminalize sleeping outside—do not constitute “cruel and unusual punishment” in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

    “As someone who has been unhoused, I know that no one ever plans to be homeless. Punishing our most vulnerable and marginalized communities for our government’s failure to house its own people is heinous – and that’s exactly what the Supreme Court has greenlit today. Our nation’s highest Court steamrolled the civil and constitutional rights of unhoused people by allowing cities to fine, ticket, or jail people for sleeping outside, even in cases where there is nowhere else for them to go. Penalizing our unhoused neighbors isn’t just cruel and inhumane, it further exacerbates the unhoused crisis by destabilizing people’s lives and increasing the likelihood of people becoming chronically homeless. Nearly 40 percent of the unhoused population is Black, and Black people are among the most at risk of being criminalized, surveilled, and harassed. We will not allow this MAGA Court to get away with this vile act of inhumanity. We will continue to fight to reform and expand the Court, while simultaneously championing real, tangible solutions to the unhoused crisis like my Unhoused Bill of Rights, universal housing vouchers, permanent federal rental assistance programs, and guaranteeing housing as a human right.”

    This April, Congresswoman Bush led 18 Democratic colleagues in filing an amicus brief to the Supreme Court arguing that penalizing homeless individuals without available shelter violates the Eighth Amendment, and further spoke out in front of the Court urging the Court to uphold the constitutional rights of unhoused individuals. Yesterday, Congresswoman Bush, alongside Professor Stephanie Sena, published an op-ed ahead of this decision, titled: “Whose Streets? Our Streets?”.

    While in Congress, Congresswoman Bush has repeatedly shared her personal experience with being unhoused, which has guided her fierce and consistent advocacy for affordable housing and rights of the unhoused community. 

    • Out of the $13.7 million Congresswoman Bush secured in this year's Community Project Funding, approximately $4.5 million went to various housing and housing-related projects across the district.

    • In May, Congresswoman Bush and her fellow Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Homelessness led their colleagues in a letter to House Appropriations calling for robust federal investments in homeless services and programs.

    • In December 2023, Congresswoman Bush—in her capacity as Vice Chair of the Criminalization of Poverty on the Poverty Task Force and Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Homelessness—led a member-level briefing educating members of Congress about how the federal government can decriminalize homelessness. 

    • In March 2023, Congresswoman Bush joined her fellow Co-Chairs to re-establish the Congressional Caucus on Homelessness—a caucus dedicated to educating members of Congress and their staff on the complex issues faced by unhoused persons.

    • In July 2023, Congresswoman Bush reintroduced the Unhoused Bill of Rights, a resolution which declares unalienable rights for unhoused persons and provides solutions for the federal government to permanently end the crisis by 2027.

    • In February 2023, Congresswoman Bush joined Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) in sending letters to Greystar Real Estate and the Professional Background Screening Association (PBSA) to ensure renters’ rights are being protected during the tenant screening process. 

    • In August 2021, Congresswoman Bush led several of her fellow members of Congress in a 5-day demonstration on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to extend the federal eviction moratorium in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

    • In September 2021, Congresswoman Bush, alongside Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), introduced the Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021 to enact an urgently needed nationwide eviction moratorium.

    • Last Congress, Congresswoman Bush introduced the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) Improvement Act to bolster renters’ access to financial assistance during the pandemic.

    In addition to housing justice, Congresswoman Bush is also pushing for judicial reform. Alongside Senators Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Representatives Jerrold Nadler (NY-12), Hank Johnson (GA-04), and Adam Schiff (CA-30), Congresswoman Bush introduced the Judiciary Act, legislation that would expand the Supreme Court by adding four seats to create a 13-Justice bench. Just last month, Congresswoman Bush called for the resignation of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and in April 2023, Congresswoman Bush called for the impeachment of Justice Clarence Thomas after a barrage of ethics scandals.

    Heart - Crazy On You (1977) • TopPop


    Senator Baldwin Honors Pride Month in Senate


    Senator Baldwin Honors Pride Month in Senate

    Baldwin’s resolutions celebrate Pride Month, honor legacy and progress of LGBTQ+ movement, and acknowledge work still left to do

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – In honor of Pride Month 2024, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) co-sponsored several Senate Resolutions to honor the legacy of the LGBTQ+ movement and acknowledge the work left to do to achieve equality for all Americans. The Senate Resolutions Senator Baldwin co-sponsors recognize Pride Month, honor the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, and acknowledge the discrimination that LGBTQ+ individuals who served our nation have faced.

    “Pride Month is a time to reflect on the progress we’ve made and recommit to forging ahead on the path to true equality. I’m proud to introduce these resolutions to honor the history of the LGBTQ+ movement and the sacrifices made by those who came before us,” said Senator Baldwin. “In recent years, we have made incredible progress in our fight for equality, including passing my bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act, but we cannot take progress for victory. I will not stop fighting to create a more accepting, equal country that lives up to our nation’s ideals.”

    Senator Baldwin leads several Senate Resolutions honoring Pride Month, including:

    Recognizing Pride Month – Senator Baldwin recognized Pride Month with a Senate Resolution that highlights the contributions LGBTQ+ Americans have made to our country, notes several major milestones in the fight for equal treatment of LGBTQ+ Americans, and resolves to continue efforts to achieve full equality. A full version of the resolution is available here.

    Honoring Anniversary of Stonewall Uprising – Senator Baldwin introduced a resolution to commemorate the grand opening of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center and designate June 28th, 2024 as “Stonewall Day.” This resolution highlights the significance of the Stonewall uprising and the long and ongoing movement to ensure that all LGBTQ+ people have equality and freedom from discrimination in every aspect of daily life. A full version of the resolution is available here.

    Acknowledging Discrimination Against LGBTQ+ Individuals Who Served Our Nation – Senator Baldwin led a Senate resolution that acknowledges and apologizes for the mistreatment of and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) individuals who have served our nation in the uniformed services, as civil servants, or in the Foreign Service. A full version of the resolution is available here.


    Coco Jones - Here We Go (Uh Oh)

    Senator Murray Statement on SCOTUS Decision in EMTALA Case


    Senator Murray Statement on SCOTUS Decision in EMTALA Case

    Senator Murray: “This decision fails patients and doctors—and leaves an unacceptable level of uncertainty for women and their health care providers. Even with EMTALA still in place for now in Idaho —Republican abortion bans continue to have a dangerous chilling effect.  Doctors are still forced to contend with dangerous laws on the books that threaten them with prosecution or jail time, making our health care providers either hesitant or altogether unwilling to provide women lifesaving abortion care in these states.”

    Murray led Congressional Democrats in amicus brief urging SCOTUS to affirm that EMTALA requires hospitals to provide emergency stabilizing care, including abortion care

    Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member and former Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision in Idaho v. United States and Moyle v. United States, two consolidated cases that concern the rights of pregnant individuals to get the emergency medical care they need—which can include abortion care—under a federal law, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), enacted in 1986, that requires hospital emergency rooms to provide treatment for all people to stabilize their conditions.

    After the Dobbs decision in 2022, Idaho enacted a draconian abortion ban that makes it a felony for a doctor to terminate a patient’s pregnancy unless it is “necessary” to prevent the patient’s death. The United States sued the State of Idaho, arguing that the state’s law is preempted by EMTALA in those circumstances in which abortion may not be necessary to prevent imminent death, but still constitutes the necessary stabilizing treatment for a patient’s emergency medical condition. The district court agreed; it held that in those limited, but critically important situations, EMTALA requires Medicare-participating hospitals to provide abortion as an emergency medical treatment.

    Today, the Supreme Court dismissed the cases but without a ruling on the merits, sending the case back to the 9th Circuit Court and reinstating the district court’s injunction.

    “Women in America deserve nothing less than an outright rejection, on the merits, of the very idea that their doctors cannot provide lifesaving abortion care. This decision fails patients and doctors—and leaves an unacceptable level of uncertainty for women and their health care providers.

    “Even with EMTALA still in place for now in Idaho —Republican abortion bans continue to have a dangerous chilling effect. Doctors are still forced to contend with dangerous laws on the books that threaten them with prosecution or jail time, making our health care providers either hesitant or altogether unwilling to provide women lifesaving abortion care in these states.

    “We are talking about women whose water breaks dangerously early, or who are experiencing uncontrollable hemorrhage, sepsis, or pre-eclampsia—these are the women Republicans don’t think deserve access to emergency care. And so, even with today’s ruling that leaves so much in question,  pregnant women whose health is in danger are still being denied necessary medical care every day in America, including just across the border from my home state.

    “And let’s be clear, providing emergency stabilizing care under EMTALA is the bare minimum to keep a patient alive—these women may have undergone tremendous trauma and suffering up until they meet the threshold for emergency stabilizing care. Women shouldn’t have to lose organ function or their ability to have children jeopardized just to receive basic medical care.

    “Republicans and Donald Trump won’t stop until abortion is outlawed everywhere, until abortion care is impossible to obtain no matter a woman’s circumstance, and until pregnant women have fewer rights than an embryo—this is their vision for America. President Biden and his administration will keep fighting every way they can to protect access to essential health care, but we need the support in Congress to restore the right to abortion nationwide—that’s what we’ll keep fighting to do.”

    In March, Senator Murray led 258 Members of Congress in an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold the district court’s ruling, arguing that the congressional intent, text, and history of EMTALA make clear that covered hospitals must provide abortion care when it is the necessary stabilizing treatment for a patient’s emergency medical condition, and that EMTALA preempts Idaho’s abortion ban in emergency situations that present a serious threat to a patient’s health. In April, Senator Murray issued a statement emphasized the stakes of this case in a statement ahead of oral arguments before the Supreme Court. Murray also applauded the launch of a new tool from the Biden Administration to make it easier for women to report potential EMTALA violations.

    Senator Murray is a longtime leader in the fight to protect and expand access to reproductive health care and abortion rights, and she has led Congressional efforts to fight back after the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision overturning Roe v. Wade last year. Murray led her colleagues at the outset of this Congress to make crystal clear that Senate Democrats are continuing to fight to protect every American’s reproductive rights and will be a firewall against Republicans’ continued attacks on women’s rights—and that’s exactly what she’s doing now. Murray has introduced more than a dozen pieces of legislation to protect reproductive rights from further attacks, protect providers, and help ensure women get the care they need; she also co-leads the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would restore the right to abortion nationwide. Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the Dobbs decision, Senator Murray led Senate Democrats in seeking unanimous consent on the Senate floor for four common-sense bills to protect women’s fundamental freedoms, and in January she led her colleagues in hosting a “State of Abortion Rights” briefing with women who have suffered firsthand from Republican abortion bans. On June 4th, Senator Murray chaired a HELP Committee hearing titled “The Assault on Women’s Freedoms: How Abortion Bans Have Created a Health Care Nightmare Across America.” Recently, Murray also helped lead efforts to force Republicans on the record on votes to protect access to contraception and access to IVF—Senate Republicans blocked consideration of both bills, showing once again how extreme and out-of-step they are with the American people. In advance of the Dobbs anniversary, Murray, Schumer, and other Senate Democratic women introduced a bill expressing support for reproductive rights and challenging Republicans to at least support the idea that women should be able to access basic reproductive health care.


    Bonnie Raitt - No Way To Treat a Lady (unreleased version)

    Look At Me, I'm MTG! - A Randy Rainbow Song Parody

    DIANA ROSS Love Hangover- The Muppet Show

    Lawrence: We live in a country where most commentators declared the liar the debate winner


    Tina Turner - Private Dancer (Live in California, 1993)

    New Issue of The BlackCommentator The Mumbler-in-Chief and the Liar-in-Chief

    The Black Commentator Issue #1006 is now Online

      June 27, 2024

    Read issue 1006


    The Black Commenentator | P.O. Box 2635A weekly publication dedicated to economic justice, social justice and peace.,
    Tarpon Springs, FL 34688-2635