Sunday, September 15, 2013

Truest statement of the week

Little did your school boy chums in Hawaii, watching you race up and down the basketball court, know how prescient they were when they nicknamed you “Barry O’Bomber”.
Little did your fellow Harvard Law Review editors, who elected you to lead that venerable journal, ever imagine that you could be a president who chronically violates the Constitution, federal statutes, international treaties and the separation of power at depths equal to or beyond the George W. Bush regime.

-- Ralph Nader, "Stopping Barry O’Bomber’s Rush to War" (CounterPunch).

Truest statement of the week II

Even the “peace wing” among black liberals, represented by figures like Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who affirms she will vote against Obama's war in Syria if given the chance, or Van Jones, who says he'd do the same if he had a vote, pretend to believe every single lie the president and his advisors tell to justify that war.
They never mention the monstrous hypocrisy of US posturing on chemical weapons. They neglect to remind us that every one of the last 11 presidents has lied to get us and keep us into wars around the world which have killed millions. Two or three million in Vietnam alone, another million perished in Iraq, and countless more in invasions, bombings, deployments of special forces, mercenaries and drones on four continents from Central America to Africa to the Middle East. And they don't tell us that the US and its client states, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Jordan the Gulf States, are funding and supplying the international mercenaries who make up most of the Syrian “rebels.”

-- Bruce A. Dixon, "The Unspeakable Truth No Black Democrat Can Utter: President Obama Is Lying On Syria" (Black Agenda Report).

A note to our readers

Hey --
Another Sunday.

First up, we thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

We thank them all.  What did we come up with?


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: Iraq, the forgotten tragedy

Through Saturday, Iraq Body Count counts 507 violent deaths in Iraq so far this month.  That averages out to 33.8 violent deaths a day.

Friday, Ana Marie Cox (Guardian) noted:


Hey, there's still a war going on there! A milder, less deadly one, but sectarian conflict did not end with the official US military exit (over 5,000 armed private security contractors remain). Of all the other stories Americans should be aware of as the Syria debate continues, this is the most significant – and not just because the disaster looms so large in American memories, but because of the disaster that continues today – and has recently escalated. Car bombings and suicide attacks were killing a manageable 200-300 people per month last year; in July, that number was 900, and 700 in August – the deadliest months in five years. While far less than the 2,500 per month that died at the height of US involvement, the higher tolls are linked to Sunni extremists morbidly encouraged by the chaos next door in Syria.
Arming or aiding the Sunni rebels in Syria could give Iraqi Sunnis even more reasons to react with greater violence to the repressive techniques of the Shi'ite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. 

And the most the US can do is send Brett McGurk to Iraqi politicians to talk some more about a conference to focus on positive solutions for the country.

More and more, the White House is being called out around the world for their slavish devotion to Nouri al-Maliki who is a thug and is seen as such.  It's only in the US that Barack manages to escape blame -- at least so fae.

His refusal to immediately withdraw US troops from Iraq means he owns the war.  (US troops remain in Iraq today.)  Owning it means he is held accountable for things that go wrong.

And while he has been attempting to start a war on Syria, Iraq has burned in the background.

At some point, Barack's going to have to answer for his failures on Iraq.  They are his failures.  Didn't have to be.  Voted into the White House to end the war, Barack could have kept his 16 month promise (from the minute he was sworn in, he insisted, he would implement that 16 month plan).  By refusing to do so, he is responsible as much as Bully Boy Bush and, right now, it doesn't appear history will remember Barack any more kindly than Bully Boy Bush will be remembered.

Media: Syria's not a simple upgrade

Whether they catch it on HGTV, W or OWN, many Americans have tuned in to Love It Or List It.  The basic premise is that a family finds a home unpleasant, for whatever reason, and they contemplate buying a new one.


On the fan favorite version, Hilary Farr and David Visentin show up to assist the family.  Hilary's goal is to do improvements to the home to make the family love it while David tries to find them a new home so that they will list their current home for sale.

The fan favorite?

There's another version of the show airing on HGTV as Love It Or List It but, elsewhere, it airs under the title Love It Or List It Vancouver.  This version stars Jillian Harris and Todd Talbot.

As with the fan favorite version, it's the woman that stands out; however, for everything Hilary does right, Jillian does a hundred things wrong.

We were thinking of Jillian on Friday.  That's because, on the latest edition of FAIR's weekly radio program CounterSpin, Peter Hart spoke with Rania Khalek begging the question: Why?

First off, if Khalek has a problem with the US Communist Party, why doesn't she just say that instead of hinting?  They're the ones she's furious with for being supportive of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.  Second of all, who the hell is she?

The Communist Party has been clear where they stand, what's the woman's problem with it?  Clearly, she has one.  She'll hint around about the Communist Party but she won't even say what her problem with the opinion is.  Apparently, it's that she dislikes al-Assad.

We don't worship politicians to begin with.  But if we want to call out the Communist Party for something, we'll call them out.  If we think they're wrong about something that matters, we'll note our disagreement.
Rania Khalek has an opinion of al-Assad.  Based on what we're not allowed to know.  Maybe a better interview would be one where the host and the guest explain and not simply repeat White House assumptions?  That is how it came off.

Rania also wanted to slam peace groups in the US for not meeting with her pet-group of 'rebels' in Syria.

Syria's in the midst of a civil war and the US government has helped fuel that.  Certain groups (and, yes, we know who she's pointing the finger at in her cowardly way) don't want to meet with them.  But, guess what, no one is obligated to.

Even more important, no one should.

Raina pet-group is a group of civil activists -- native Syrians -- who are working within their own country to press for civil rights and liberties.  This group -- a small one -- is unarmed.  This group has been working since 2011.  They are similar, in many ways, to the group of Iranians working in Iran to press for increased rights and liberties.

And what hurts that Iranian group?  When they are seen as US stooges or puppets.

That's true of the Syrian group.  The most peace groups in the US could do was amplify awareness of that group's aims.  Anything else, even a sister-cities type partnership would lead the Syrian group to being tarred as 'western' or 'US-backed.'

If she had called out any peace leader in the US -- Socialist, Communist, Libertarian, Democratic, Green, Independent, independent, non-political, etc -- a real leader would have replied and would have noted what we just did.

Now let's deal with Raina's larger nonsense.  The US government is not helping those activists.  Did the White House help the activists in the kingdom of Bahrain.  Does she have a critique of the White House based on that?  If so, fine.  Please offer it.  Offer anything.  You instead engaged in a private conversation with Peter Hart where you both assumed nothing needed to be backed up, no point needed to be explained or established.

We are not spokespeople for the peace movement in the US but we can make a generic statement that A.N.S.W.E.R., The World Can't Wait, International Action Center, MoveOn, and others can agree with: We do not want a military strike on Syria.

Many -- if not all -- would further add that a strike would assist one side in the ongoing war (since a strike would target the Syrian government, a strike would back the armed 'rebels').

In such a climate, why is it necessary to meet with any group of Syrians opposed to their government? If the point is to keep the US military out of Syria, it is only natural that you refrain from allowing yourself to be duped or to look like a dupe.

Raina apparently has yet to learn the dangers of looking like a dupe.

In that way, she is exactly like Jillian.

If you're the person trying to improve the home on Love It Or List It, you've got the hard job.

When Hilary attempts to remodel, she seems to find structural damage in every basement and either black mold or asbestos.  (In one home this summer, she hit the trifecta -- the load bearing wall wasn't present, the home had asbestos and then they discovered black mold.)

The way it works is that the family in question picks a top dollar amount that they can pay for another home.  David (or Todd) then goes looking for properties that meet the budget as well as the family's need.  David's biggest crime -- why he so often loses -- is going out of the area the family wants to live in.  His own ego destroys him more often than not.

Hilary has the more difficult task.  The family tosses in a much lower amount for renovations.  $60,00 is a common number -- even when, as with one family, they're living in a home that's a few thousand short of being worth a million dollars.

With that $60,000 they tend to want a great deal.  In the almost-million-dollar home, for instance, they wanted a bedroom created somewhere in the house, a remodeled bathroom on the third floor, a new bathroom on the second and an additional full kitchen (for catering).  There were other minor details but that was the main thing.

To be the Hilary means drawing up plans that always fall apart because the contractor starts working only to discover black mold or structural or plumbing issues which have to be addressed.  These issues often take up the bulk of the budget.

Hilary handles it all and always manages with little fuss.  Jillian, by contrast, seems to forget she's working for the family she's complaining about.  Jillian's really too young for the role and that's especially obvious when you grasp that she sounds a lot like Lindsay Lohan.

Raina lacks maturity as well.  She's one of those something-must-be-done!!! types.  But the remodel she's proposing for Syria will accomplish nothing.  Again, the peace advocates in Syria attempting to change their government do not need to be tagged "US flunkies."  The further they stay away from the US, the better.  Raina thinks she can slap on some wall paper to cover up reality and that we'll all be taken in.  In other words, she's less a journalist and more a ringer for the White House.   Syria's not going to be fixed by outsiders anymore than the addition of an ever-popular granite counter is going to convince everyone to lay down arms. A few throw pillows won't make the tragedy look any better and it's a real shame that Raina preaches cosmetic flourishes as opposed to anything meaningful.

The Jowls of War


And after the two finished growling over Syria . . .

They scampered around the White House lawn sniffing one another's butt.

Which did provide Barack with the opportunity to note that Samantha was (again) wearing men's pants.

Benghazi a year later and nothing to show for it

Last week, with little attention, the one year anniversary of the attack in Benghazi -- which killed Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Chris Stevens -- came and went.

There was little media attention

Which is all the more surprising when you consider what just happened this month.

Secy Kerry tells congress he will not honor the request to make Benghazi survivors available for questioning.

That's rather shocking -- especially when you consider what Secretary of State John Kerry promised Congress April 17th.

Chair Ed Royce: This Committee has been frustrated in obtaining documents and other information from the Department concerning the Benghazi terrorist attacks.  Of course, our investigation pre-dates your tenure so I am hopeful we will be able to resolve this as you get your team in place so that we can move forward on this important issue. 

Secretary John Kerry:   On the subject of Benghazi, look, I-I -- I'm -- I was on the other side of the podium the day, just a short time ago, when that was a big issue and we held hearings in the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate and we wanted materials and we got a lot.  In fairness, I think the administration has testified 8 times, has briefed 20 times, Secretary Clinton spent five hours answering questions for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, 25,000 documents have already been turned over, video of the actual event has been made available to members to see.  If you haven't seen it, I urge you to see it because it is enormously helpful in understanding events and the flow of what happened.  And the people who were all involved have all been interviewed and not only interviewed, but those FBI interviews were made part of the record and in an unprecedented way have been made available to the Congress in order to read those-those testimonies.  So if you have addition questions or you think-think there's some document that somehow you need, I'll work with you to try to get it and see if we can provide that to you --

But now information will not be provided.

It's as appalling as what happened last month.

Click here to play the video Daily Press Briefing - August 20, 2013 Daily Press Briefing - August 20, 2013 August 20, 2013

That's when State Department spokesperson Marie Harf delivered the news that no one was being fired for Benghazi.  Excerpt.

QUESTION: Can we just ask quickly about the State Department employees before we get to Egypt? Because I know this could take a long time.

MS. HARF: I think both could take a while, but let’s start with that, and then we’ll go to Egypt, yes.

QUESTION: Okay. Is it true that Secretary Kerry has not issued any kind of disciplinary action – formal disciplinary – against the four employees who were criticized in the investigative report? And are they back at work?

MS. HARF: The State Department has determined that the four officials who were placed on administrative leave following the independent Benghazi Accountability Review Board’s report should be reassigned to different positions within the Department, and they will be returning to work. 

Saturday Julian Pecquet (The Hill) spoke with Thomas Pickering who co-chaired the Accountability Review Board for the State Department's handling of Benghazi and he stated, "Our report recommended two people should leave their jobs, nothing more, nothing less."

No one was fired -- but at least attackers were arrested, right?  Uh, no.  Sharyl Attkisson (CBS News) reporteds: last week, "One year after the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, no arrests have been reported [. . .]"

No one was fired, no one was arrested.

And, worst of all, the families of the fallen have no answers.   Barnini Chakraborty (Fox News) reports:

“When I was there in Washington, when this first started, the FBI had me in a room to tell me what they were doing,” Pat Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, one of the Americans killed in the terror attacks, told Fox News.
Smith says President Obama, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the FBI promised her that finding out who killed her son Sean, an information specialist working in Benghazi, would be a top priority.
But it’s a commitment Smith says the president hasn’t kept.
“The government is not doing what they should do,” she said. “Everybody knows this. They lie to you. They tell you what they want you to know. It may or may not be correct. And in my case, it’s always been lies.”

Maybe if John Kerry could stop trying to start a war, he could actually do the job he was appointed to?  (Reminder, that job wasn't Secretary of Defense, it was Secretary of State.)

Hypocrite of the week

At her website, US House Rep. Nancy Pelosi makes a pretense of wanting to represent her constituents. For example, in one spot, she asks, "How can I help you?"


But if she really wanted to help you or valued your opinion, she wouldn't be pimping war with Syria, she'd be heeding the call of her district and demanding: "No war on Syria."

97% of those contacting her office are calling for no war on Syria; however, Pelosi just blows them off.

As she rushes off to pimp war, she becomes the country's biggest hypocrite.

When Morons Meet

Edward-Isaac Dovere made like Leonard Nimoy In Search of Liberals but lost immediately by heading to right-wing Markos Moulitsas for a listing.

Little Dicky Breaks It Down

Moulitsas (pictured above) worked for Henry Hyde, is know as one of the biggest sexists online and wants to keep his right wing Latin American history (as well as his family's) off the public record.

Moulitsas list?

1) Sandra Fluke.  Only to a weak ass wimp could birth control for college students be seen as a liberal position (it's a centrist position) and only could someone be elevated to leadership for Congressional testimony.

2) Rachel Maddow.  The War Hawk never met a war she couldn't wrap her leg around and hump.

3) Dan Savage.  Liberal because he's gay?  We are aware that, like Rachel Maddow, Savage supported Bully Boy Bush starting the Iraq War, right?

4) Richard Trumka.  The AFl-CIO leader used none of his influence at last week's convention for things that matter.  He refused to support a no-war-on-Syria position.  He also refused to back a resolution supporting Iraqi workers.

5) Bill McKibben.  Ha! The whore of the faux environmental movement.  For a primer, start by reading MacDonald Stainsby on McKibben and his ilk.

6) Senator Elizabeth Warren

7) US House Rep. Luis Gutierrez.  The only one who qualifies as left.

Ask a moron get a moronic response.

Marcos is the idiot in the car who sings "I got ham but I'm not a hamster" when The Killers' "All These Things That I Have Done" plays on the radio.

Tweet of the week

  • Ava's POV

    They say you can tell love by whether or not your beloved meets you at the airport.

    No, I'm not griping at Jess.  I don't expect him to meet me at the airport.

    But how do you judge friendship?


    A very good friend of ours just got away from the roommate from hell -- several thousand dollars lighter -- and it was week after week of hell.  I'm sure we'll all be weighing in each week on some aspect of it but for me it comes down to medical treatment.

    If you are with a friend when something gets broken (and I'll let someone else address the break because I don't think it was an accident, I believe my friend was intentionally hurt), you don't go into a bookstore to look for books.

    If you do make that mistake, maybe you're too involved to notice blood and a broken bone?, you damn well go to the emergency room with your friend.

    Unless you're a snotty nosed snob who has no reason to be a snob -- you were homeless not that long ago, you bilked my friend out of thousands and you bilked your niece out of your dead's sister's estate -- yeah, I went there.  There's your girth, there's your inability to shave your armpits despite the fact that you insist on wearing tank tops, there's you're missing teeth -- and you want to act like you're too good?

    You certainly thought you were too good to sit in the ER with someone you called a friend, someone you stole thousands of dollars from.

    I think Dona or Jim will address the Labor Day meltdown.  They heard it.  They were on a late night phone call and heard the drunken pig attack our friend.

    But what I'll note now, a real friend goes to the ER with you when you break something.

    Drunken pig -- Drunken Sow is a piece of work.

    She may be thousands richer now but she'll be back out on the streets where she belongs.

    In a six week period, Drunken Sow took thousands of dollars, insisting they were loans, insisting she was keeping track, insisting it would all be paid back with the money from her sister's estate.

    Then she threw that money at her 'friends.'  She has no friends.

    My friend was her only friend.

    No one comes to visit her.  No friend calls her on the phone.

    She has no job and she lies around in her own filth, wasting $300 a month on cable, and whining about how her money is gone.

    My friend had a broken bone but helped Drunken Sow with unpacking and with moving things and hanging things.  And Drunken Sow didn't pay him one cent.

    Because he thought Sow was his friend.

    And you don't take money from friends to help them.

    Drunken Sow has a 'friend' who comes over and does work as long as she pays a thousand bucks each visit.

    Her other 'friend' is the cab driver she pays to take her around.  Like to drive her lazy ass a block from her apartment. Yes, Drunken Sow is that lazy.

    My friend did everything he could for this crazy woman.  This disgusting, trashy woman.  And despite everything, she went off on him in a drunken rage on Labor Day and that's when he finally grasped he needed to get the hell out before that drunk stole more money from him.

    I never trusted her.  But for me it was obvious she was no friend when she couldn't even stop her journey to a bookstore while my friend was bleeding and had a broken bone.  For me, it was obvious when she didn't accompany him to the ER.

    When you need emergency medical treatment, a real friend is right by your side.

    AFSCME Local's resolution against war drive (WW)

    Repost from Workers World:

    AFSCME local’s resolution against war drive

    By on September 11, 2013 

    Workers World Party members at the AFL-CIO Convention in Los Angeles were among those distributing this excellent anti-war resolution by the AFSCME local representing workers from the Illinois Department of Human Services. (

    September 4, 2013

    Whereas, the overwhelming majority of the people of the United States and the overwhelming majority of the people of the world oppose any involvement by the United States in Syria and;

    Whereas, the enormous financial costs of bombing and war could be better spent on public services such as healthcare, education, jobs, safety for our children or to feed the hungry and;

    Whereas, military action in Syria by the United States government can only have a harmful effect on the people of Syria and can only lead to worsening of relations between the people of the United States and the people of the Middle East and;

    Whereas, the death of innocents from bombings would come with no possible positive counter balance;

    Therefore be it resolved, that AFSCME Local 2858 go on record opposing military intervention or bombing by the United States government in Syria;

    Be it further resolved, that a copy of this resolution be faxed or sent to President Obama, Senator Kirk,
    Senator Durbin and all members of the House of Representatives from the Chicagoland area;

    Be it further resolved that AFSCME Local 2858 endorse and encourage its members to attend the rally called for Saturday, September 7, 2013, in Chicago’s Federal Plaza to “Tell Congress to Vote No on War with Syria.”

    Articles copyright 1995-2013 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.


     This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

    "Women Wanted" -- most requested highlight of the week by readers of this site.

    Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Defending Miss Barack" -- Isaiah on the courtly McCain defending Miss Barack.

    "Vegetarian Meat Loaf in the Kitchen" -- Trina offers a vegetarian recipe.

    "Barack skates free"  -- no accountability.

    "Kerry can't stop threatening" -- Marcia calls it.

    "Insidious: Chapter Two,""The Courtship of Eddie's Father," "DVD releases," "Movie lists" and "Heaven Can Wait" -- Stan goes to the movies.

    "Science Fridays on PRI" and "Voyager"  -- Elaine and Betty on science.

    "Toss Barack into Guantanamo"  -- Mike has a solution.

    "What You See on ABC This Fall, You'll Be Talking About Tomorrow!" and "THIS JUST IN! THE FUN STARTS HERE!" -- Cedric and Wally on the starlet's latest interview.

    "more spin from matt lauer," "revenge," "The truth about the media," "John Kerry and Amy Goodman need a vocab list," "The media," "Where are the televised rebuttals?" and "The fake 'news'" -- Rebecca, Marcia, Ann and Trina on the media.

    "A year later, no arrests," "Benghazi," "Benghazi" and "More on Benghazi" --  Ruth continues her Benghazi coverage. 

    "Putin and Barack" -- Kat offers some perspective.

    "To Clarify Any Confusion" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.

    "The Drone War" -- Mike covers The Drone War. 

    "Neil Young" and "Bob yawn" -- Ann and Kat on music.

    "He landed on his ass" -- Betty watches Barack fall.

    "The sad confusion of violence with diplomacy" -- Elaine weighs in on the nonsense of bombing as peace.

    "Dirty Rice wants your trust" and "THIS JUST IN! DIRTY RICE SPEAKS AGAIN!" -- Someone really thought Susan Rice could pull off trust worthy?

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