Monday, January 30, 2017

Single payer?

It's all fake.

Every last minute of it.

Single payer?

We could have it easily.

But we don't.

Russell Mokhiber (CounterPunch) explains:

Marston says that the California Democrats would pass single payer legislation knowing that then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would veto it. But when Governor Jerry Brown took office, they refused to pass it.

“The Democrats were playing footsie with Schwarzenegger,” Marston says. “They knew he would veto the bill so they kept submitting it just to throw mud in his face. When one of their own got in they found all sorts of creative ways to bottle up the legislation in order to keep it off Brown’s desk.”

He’s also critical of the single payer Democrats in the Congress who refused to push for single payer when the cameras were rolling during the push for Obamacare.

“If you recall the 2009 health care debate, Congressman John Conyers, the author of HR-676, never took to the floor. He could have advanced HR 676 at that time when there was a big spotlight. Does that sound like the actions of someone who wants to pass that legislation?

“I watched the entire House proceedings – all eight hours. Conyers ran and hid.”

 They all fake and shake.

It's what members of Congress do.

This s C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Monday:

Monday, January 30, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, the rewriting of history and selective outrage continues, the prime minister of Canada has issued a Tweet that supporters of war resisters should demand he follow, and much more.

BREAKING: Lawmakers: Iraq parliament approves 'reciprocity measure'
after Trump's travel ban, to apply for Americans entering Iraq.

Iraq: Iraqi parliament voted to ban US citizen's visa

Great, these are the folks that are fighting ISIS -Iraq parliament approves 'reciprocity' to U.S. ban via

They are the ones that are fighting the Islamic State.


And they are some of the ones who are fighting Iraqis.

And have been fighting them.

As any real observer of Iraq knows, the Islamic State (why then-President Barack Obama called them "junior varsity") took root in Iraq because of conditions created by the government of then-prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.

It is why Barack had to insist that Nouri not get a third term (this after Barack threw out the votes of the Iraqis in 2010 and gave Nouri a second term via The Erbil Agreement).

Because so many tuned out on reality once Barack was sworn in as US president in January of 2009, let's yet again note Kevin Sylvester's This Sunday Edition (CBC) from August 23, 2015, which featured Emma Sky discussing Iraq and her book  The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq.  Excerpt of the discussion about the 2010 national election:

Emma Sky: And that national election was a very closely contested election. Iraqis of all persuasions and stripes went out to participate in that election.  They'd become convinced that politics was the way forward, that they could achieve what they wanted through politics and not violence.  To people who had previously been insurgents, people who'd not voted before turned out in large numbers to vote in that election.  And during that election, the incumbent, Nouri al-Maliki, lost by 2 seats.  And the bloc that won was a bloc called Iraqiya led by Ayad Allawi which campaigned on "NO" to sectarianism, really trying to move beyond this horrible sectarian fighting -- an Iraq for Iraqis and no sectarianism.  And that message had attracted most of the Sunnis, a lot of the secular Shia and minority groups as well.

Kevin Sylvester:  People who felt they'd been shut out during Maliki's regime basically -- or his governance.

Emma Sky:  Yes, people that felt, you know, that they wanted to be part of the country called Iraq not -- they wanted to be this, they wanted Iraq to be the focus and not sect or ethnicity to be the focus.  And Maliki refused to accept the results.  He just said, "It is not right."  He wanted a recount.  He tried to use de-Ba'athification to eliminate or disqualify some Iraqiya members and take away the votes that they had gained.  And he just sat in his seat and sat in his seat.  And it became a real sort of internal disagreement within the US system about what to do?  So my boss, Gen [Ray] Odierno, was adamant that the US should uphold the Constitutional process, protect the political process, allow the winning group to have first go at trying to form the government for thirty days.  And he didn't think Allawi would be able to do it with himself as prime minister but he thought if you start the process they could reach agreement between Allawi and Maliki or a third candidate might appear who could become the new prime minister. So that was his recommendation.

Kevin Sylvester:   Well he even calls [US Vice President Joe] Biden -- Biden seems to suggest that that's what the administration will support and then they do a complete switch around.  What happened?

Emma Sky:  Well the ambassador at the time was a guy who hadn't got experience of the region, he was new in Iraq and didn't really want to be there.  He didn't have the same feel for the country as the general who'd been there for year after year after year.

Kevin Sylvester:  Chris Hill.

Emma Sky:  And he had, for him, you know 'Iraq needs a Shia strongman. Maliki's our man.  Maliki's our friend.  Maliki will give us a follow on security agreement to keep troops in country.'  So it looks as if Biden's listening to these two recommendations and that at the end Biden went along with the Ambassador's recommendation.  And the problem -- well a number of problems -- but nobody wanted Maliki.  People were very fearful that he was becoming a dictator, that he was sectarian, that he was divisive. And the elites had tried to remove him through votes of no confidence in previous years and the US had stepped in each time and said, "Look, this is not the time, do it through a national election."  So they had a national election, Maliki lost and they were really convinced they'd be able to get rid of him.  So when Biden made clear that the US position was to keep Maliki as prime minister, this caused a huge upset with Iraqiya.  They began to fear that America was plotting with Iran in secret agreement.  So they moved further and further and further away from being able to reach a compromise with Maliki.  And no matter how much pressure the Americans put on Iraqiya, they weren't going to agree to Maliki as prime minister and provided this opening to Iran because Iran's influence was way low at this stage because America -- America was credited with ending the civil war through the 'surge.'  But Iran sensed an opportunity and the Iranians pressured Moqtada al-Sadr -- and they pressured him and pressured him.  And he hated Maliki but they put so much pressure on to agree to a second Maliki term and the price for that was all American troops out of the country by the end of 2011.  So during this period, Americans got outplayed by Iran and Maliki moved very much over to the Iranian camp because they'd guaranteed his second term.

Kevin Sylvester:  Should-should the Obama administration been paying more attention?  Should they have -- You know, you talk about Chris Hill, the ambassador you mentioned, seemed more -- at one point, you describe him being more interested in putting green lawn turf down on the Embassy in order to play la crosse or something.  This is a guy you definitely paint as not having his head in Iraq.  How much of what has happened since then is at the fault of the Obama administration?  Hillary Clinton who put Chris Hill in place? [For the record, Barack Obama nominated Chris Hill for the post -- and the Senate confirmed it -- not Hillary.]  How much of what happens -- has happened since -- is at their feet?

Emma Sky:  Well, you know, I think they have to take some responsibility for this because of this mistake made in 2010.  And Hillary Clinton wasn't very much involved in Iraq.  She did appoint the ambassador but she wasn't involved in Iraq because President Obama had designated Biden to be his point-man on Iraq and Biden really didn't have the instinct for Iraq. He very much believed in ancient hatreds, it's in your blood, you just grow up hating each other and you think if there was anybody who would have actually understood Iraq it would have been Obama himself.  You know, he understands identity more than many people.  He understands multiple identities and how identities can change.  He understands the potential of people to change. So he's got quite a different world view from somebody like Joe Biden who's always, you know, "My grandfather was Irish and hated the British.  That's how things are."  So it is unfortunate that when the American public had enough of this war, they wanted to end the war.  For me, it wasn't so much about the troops leaving, it was the politics -- the poisonous politics.  And keeping Maliki in power when his poisonous politics were already evident was, for me, the huge mistake the Obama administration made. Because what Maliki did in his second term was to go after his rivals.  He was determined he was never going to lose an election again.  So he accused leading Sunni politicians of terrorism and pushed them out of the political process.  He reneged on his promises that he'd made to the tribal leaders who had fought against al Qaeda in Iraq during the surge. [She's referring to Sahwa, also known as Sons of Iraq and Daughters of Iraq and as Awakenings.]  He didn't pay them.  He subverted the judiciary.  And just ended up causing these mass Sunni protests that created the environment that the Islamic State could rear its ugly head and say, "Hey!"  And sadly -- and tragically, many Sunnis thought, "Maybe the Islamic State is better than Maliki."  And you've got to be pretty bad for people to think the Islamic State's better. 

That's the reality so many missed out on.

That's the part of the puzzle they lack as they try to whine, "It sprung from Bully Boy Bush going to war on Iraq!!!"


The Islamic State and al Qaeda in Mesopotamia are not the same thing.  They have similar goals and can work together or can be at war with one another.

The Islamic State took root in Iraq due to the persecution of the Sunnis.

The Sunnis had turned out to vote and their votes -- all the votes -- were trashed.

Let's again note John Barry's 2012 piece "'The Engame' Is A Well Researched, Highly Critical Look at U.S. Policy in Iraq" (Daily Beast):

Washington has little political and no military influence over these developments [in Iraq]. As Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor charge in their ambitious new history of the Iraq war, The Endgame, Obama's administration sacrificed political influence by failing in 2010 to insist that the results of Iraq’s first proper election be honored: "When the Obama administration acquiesced in the questionable judicial opinion that prevented Ayad Allawi's bloc, after it had won the most seats in 2010, from the first attempt at forming a new government, it undermined the prospects, however slim, for a compromise that might have led to a genuinely inclusive and cross-sectarian government."

And you can refer to the April 25, 2013 "Iraq snapshot" for an in depth history of how the Iraqis used the ballot box and were denied, their elected leaders attempted to use Constitutional mechanisms on Nouri and were denied, and then began the peaceful protests and Nouri's attacks on the protesters.

Your inability to pay attention isn't my fault.

And your sudden decision to march to the front of the line with no knowledge of Iraq since 2008 doesn't mean anyone should listen to you -- quite the contrary.

“Our lives, our families, we have everything to thank for our interpreters. We owe them."

You know you might have something to say if Senator Ted Kennedy was still alive or if, after his death, you'd honored his work.

But you didn't, did you?

It was Ted who cared about Iraqi refugees.

And when he died, no one stood up for them.

Barack didn't just do his period of halting.

We talked about that repeatedly last week and finally the press has caught up to that.

What they've still not caught up to is how the quota system was not met.

There was no push to meet it.

Thanks to Ted's efforts, the US was supposed to be admitting a number of Iraqis each year.

But after Ted's death, there was no effort to meet those goals.

So people didn't get into the US?

Big surprise.

We were stating that each year of Barack's presidency.

Realities escaped so many then and escape them now.

needs 2 rethink their outrage. Who is 2 blame 4 ? Stop being lemmings & start thinking 4 yourself. FTW

Killing hundreds of thousands of Muslims & destroying their states? OK. Stopping them going to the US? Not OK.

Dr. Alaa Ali has been kidnapped in Samarra -- by Shi'ite militias -- after he criticized government corruption.

That's not the Islamic State.

And while the idiots have focused on the Islamic State, nothing has improved in Iraq.

Sunnis are still being terrorized.

And they're being terrorized by their own government.

Want to end the Islamic State immediately?

End the persecution of the Sunnis.

But instead we drop bombs on Iraq and pretend that the $2 billion wasted on bombing Iraq and Syria in the last two years accomplished something.

Iraq cleric Moqtada Sadr to Americans: "You should get your nationals out.''

Borzou's so sad.


He couldn't even handle that piece about war movies, you may remember.

Now he works for BUZZFEED so he doesn't even have to pretend to be honest.

Moqtada al-Sadr has called for all US persons out of Iraq since 2003.

This is not any different.

Borzou works for the outrage machine so he's rewarded for pretending that it's different but it's not.

The outrage machine is all about fake news.

As Ava and I explained last night:

Last week, make no mistake, was a media collapse as THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, NIGHTLINE, THE VIEW and others ran fake news.

There's no other word for what they provided unless you want to use "lies" -- which would be accurate.

As many outlets are using Donald Trump -- fear of Donald Trump -- to raise money, it should be clear that the fake news, the lies, isn't just happening.

People are rushing to post their 'scoops,' at best, because they know they'll get high traffic from another story about that awful Donald.

At worst?

At worst, the media is intentionally being dishonest to increase their traffic.

Today, Iraqi forces raided homes and arrested two young men . . . whose corpses have now been found.

Want to keep pretending that the problem in Iraq is the Islamic State?

Even the prime minister of Canada is wading in on refugees:

To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength


So finally, Justin, war resisters are going to be granted citizenship?

Jeremy Hinzman's been waiting forever.

He and others fled persecution, terror and war.

They went to Canada because "diversity is our strength."

So Justin is finally saying he will do what his father did during Vietnam and grant aslyum to war resisters.


Joshua Key and all the rest can finally have what they need.

It has been a long fight but justice has prevailed -- if Canadians care to press Justin on his remarks, if they have the courage to make him stand by them.

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