Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Tanner Lee McFarland

I'm just going to note Tanner Lee McFarland again (see yesterday's post).  He is the man who tragically passed away leaving behind friends and loved ones -- including his wife and their child.  As with most stories that matter, I learned about this news from WSWS.

Twenty-five-year-old miner crushed to death in Pennsylvania coal mine Tanner Lee McFarland was killed Thursday evening when part of the wall and roof in the area of the mine he was working collapsed, crushing him...

Fallen Miner Tanner McFarland

PA Man Tanner McFarland ID’d As Victim In Thursday Night Fatal Consol Energy Enlow Fork Mining Accident In Prosperity via

  1. PA Man Tanner McFarland ID’d As Victim In Thursday Night Fatal Consol Energy Enlow Fork Mining Accident In Prosperity
  2. PA Man Tanner McFarland ID’d As Victim In Thursday Night Fatal Consol Energy Enlow Fork Mining Accident In Prosperity -
  3. PA Man Tanner McFarland ID’d As Victim In Thursday Night Fatal Consol Energy Enlow Fork Mining Accident In Prosperity
  4. PA Man Tanner McFarland ID’d As Victim In Thursday Night Fatal Consol Energy Enlow Fork Mining Accident In Prosperity via

A Go Fund Me page has been set up for Mr. McFarland's family.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Wednesday:

Wednesday, September 4, 2019.  Joe Biden, his "word as a Biden," can't stop lying.

Starting in the United States where the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.

Joe Biden is suddenly now insisting he opposed authorizing the Iraq War -- when in fact he was the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman who actively led the fight to help the GOP authorize the Iraq War.

Joe Biden is a War Hawk and that remains true no matter how many times US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard lies and covers for him.  Joe's a mess.  Paul Rosenberg (SALON) notes:

The core of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign is the argument that he represents the “safe” choice. He’s the candidate who can defeat Trump. He’s the candidate folks are comfortable with. (He’s “Uncle Joe”!) He represents a “return to normalcy.” He can “reach out to Republicans” and “bring people together.”
But not only is it unclear whether Biden is really the “safe” choice — other Democrats have beaten Trump handily in recent polls as well (Quinnipiac, Fox), while seeming more sure-footed — it’s unclear how safe being “safe” really is. A "return to normalcy" will do nothing to address the underlying problems that led to Trump's election in the first place — neither the deep systemic problems of democratic decline around the world nor the specific problems of the American political system, driven by long-term forces described by Peter Turchin in “Ages of Discord” (Salon review here). 
The long-term trends of increased polarization and negative partisanship described by Alan Abramowitz in "The Great Alignment" (Salon interview here) and Rachel Bitecofer (Salon interview here) aren’t going anywhere. Nor will the Republican Party magically reverse its 50-plus-year transformation, as explained in “The Long Southern Strategy” by Angie Maxwell (Salon interview here) and Todd Shields. Nor is there any reason to believe the GOP will stop playing asymmetric constitutional hardball (Salon stories here and here). Everything fundamental that made Trump possible in the first place is going to continue, unless something sweeping and extraordinary is done to counter it — and that’s precisely what Biden’s “return to normalcy” argument assures us will not be done.
A would-be President Biden will not get much more cooperation from the GOP than Obama did, but he will continue to play nice, babbling on about his “good Republican friends” only to have them tar him with everything that goes wrong as a result. All this will make massive midterm losses in 2022 even more likely (à la 1994 and 2010, as I noted here), and will position the GOP to run a more professional and disciplined Trumpist to defeat him in 2024. 

None of that is certain, of course. The future never is. But what is certain is that Biden doesn’t give a moment’s thought to any of these grave concerns. He can’t. If he did, he’d have to engage in a much broader discussion of political realities that his entire candidacy is premised on avoiding — not least because his whole political history of defensive political posturing helped to bring about this disastrous state of affairs in the first place.

Over at THE WEEK, Tim O'Donnell observes:

The 2020 Democratic presidential candidate recently came under fire again after The Washington Post revealed that a story he told on the campaign trail about a time when he traveled to Afghanistan to pin a Silver Star on a Navy captain actually conflated details from several different anecdotes. In an interview with NPR on Tuesday, Biden didn't deny that he flubbed some minor details when recounting the story, but, in his opinion, that shouldn't really matter. Instead, Biden maintained he was making a point about the bravery of soldiers in Afghanistan, which holds true regardless of there being some inaccuracies.

First off, he sounds like Karl Rove and many others in the Bully Boy administration.  Will he next insist reality is what he makes it?  Second, he called the troops who were dead "fallen angels."  This is becoming an issue to everyone but the press.

Does the press neither go to a place of worship or know any people who do?  As e-mails to the public account have repeatedly pointed out for days now, dead troops are not fallen angels.  The term "fallen angel" derives from the Bible and describes Lucifer.  The devil.  Joe Biden needs to stop calling troops who have passed "fallen angels."  It's ticking a lot of people off including people who might otherwise support him.  The press has missed this story and they might want to start asking themselves why that is.

CBS NEWS notes Joe's dismissal as well:

But according to the Washington Post, who spoke to more than a dozen military and campaign sources, "Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient, as well as his own role in the ceremony" wrong.
[. . .]
In an interview Thursday, Biden called the criticisms "ridiculous," saying, "...The central point is it was absolutely accurate what I said ... The story was that he refused the medal because the fella he tried to save, and risked his life saving, died. That's the beginning, middle and end."

It's ridiculous to hold Joe accountable, it's ridiculous to expect his words to be accurate?  Sounds a lot like Karl Rove, "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out."

Joe Biden is a damn liar.

That's the reality.

And shame on the media because they've refused to push back.

Joe's 'defense' (lie) is that the details don't matter.


Well when he told that story what else did he say?

"This is the God's truth.  My word as a Biden."

It's not just that what he said wasn't true, it's also that while telling his little fable, he told the audience "This is the God's truth" when it wasn't and gave them "My word as a Biden."

Why isn't the press holding him accountable?

Why isn't anyone asking him, "You say the details don't matter, but when you told the story, you told the people before you, 'This is the God's truth. My word as a Biden.' Don't you need to offer some sort of an apology since it wasn't 'the God's truth' and since you'd give your 'word as a Biden' or is it just okay to lie?"

Let's go back to Joe's lies about Iraq, specifically, his lying that all he did was vote for it and immediately opposed the war.  First off, it's a lie.  Second off, if trashy Tulsi Gabbard hadn't spent her post-debate time weeks ago providing cover for Joe, lying for him, insisting he'd apologized and said he was wrong, he might not be able to get away with this nonsense.  (By the way, while Tulsi lied for him, US House Rep Seth Moulton was calling for him to admit he was wrong for voting for the war.  Tulsi knew this.  She chose to whore.  That's why we don't have to cover her campaign anymore.  That and the fact that it's a dead campaign.)

Joseph Zeballos-Roig (BUSINESS INSIDER) notes:

 Former Vice President Joe Biden said in an NPR interview that he opposed the Iraq War shortly after it began in March 2003, but he didn't publicly come out against it until 2005.
The leading Democratic presidential candidate voted to authorize the use of military force against Iraq in late 2002 as a US Senator from Delaware. He's been strongly criticized for that vote to support the war throughout the Democratic primary.
Furthermore, Biden claimed during the interview that the moment the war began in earnest, he "immediately" opposed it.
"That moment it started, I came out against the war at that moment," Biden said.
Although during the time preceding and following the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq, Biden, in fact, did not oppose the broader war effort. In many instances, he openly supported it.
During a press conference outside the White House in June 2002, Biden recalled telling Bush there isn't "a single informed person who suggests that you can take down Saddam [Hussein] and not be prepared to stay for two, four, five years to give the country a chance to be held together."
This appears to conflict with his recollection to NPR, that his vote was conditioned on the apparently limited scope of Bush's mission.

Paul Blest (SPLINTER) notes the lie as well:

Here’s a fun game to play at home with your friends and loved ones: Is Joe Biden lying, senile, or both?
Hot off the heels of the former vice president getting essentially every detail wrong while retelling one of his favorite war stories, and then denying he got that story wrong, NPR and Iowa Public Radio have a new interview out with Biden today in which Biden stressed that the details are “irrelevant” (his word).

Eoin Higgins (SALON) also notes the issue:

As Khalid pointed out in her report from the interview, that's not backed up by the historical record:

In multiple public remarks made after the invasion began in 2003, Biden openly supported the effort. Biden publicly said his vote was a mistake as early as 2005, but not immediately when the war began in 2003.
"Nine months ago, I voted with my colleagues to give the president of the United States of America the authority to use force, and I would vote that way again today," Biden said in a speech at the Brookings Institution on July 31, 2003. "It was a right vote then, and it'll be a correct vote today."

In a statement, Bush spokesperson Freddy Ford told NPR that Biden was misremembering the events in question.

Is he fit to lead?  One of his biggest critics currently is former Secretary of Defense, Gen James Mattis.  He is out promoting a new book he's co-written which takes Joe to task and then some.  Unless, of course, you watch CNN.

CNN has allowed Christiane Amanpour to have a show even though she has used that platform to call for war on Syria non-stop.  Now, if the trashy Amanwhore was calling for peace, CNN would say she was an activist and fire her.  But she can call for war -- and does -- and keep her show even though it's low rated and her tired act is not bringing in viewers.

She had the general on her show yesterday.  Did they talk about Iraq and his criticism of Joe?  No.  She's not interested in Iraq.  She once was.  She advocated for that war to.  She's just a War Whore who tries to pretend that she's something more.  She's nothing and her husband's a little nothing too.  They are laughed at constantly.  But CNN still lets her destroy.  So Amanwhore used the bulk of her time on Syria.  She wasn't interested in Iraq.  She wanted to then talk Afghanistan but didn't want to pull in Iraq when Mattis' entire point right now is that what happened in Iraq shouldn't happen in Afghanistan.

On Mattis, a number of e-mails are coming in to the public account and the private one.  What am I saying, where do I stand?

I'm telling you what Mattis is saying.

Where do I stand?

Where I always have.

Go back to the archives.

As soon as Barack was elected, before he was even sworn in, I argued here, get the troops out.

This was never going to be peace breaks out in Iraq.

Do it immediately after being sworn in, give a speech saying the American people voted and I have honored their wishes.  And then?

If it went badly -- and it would -- Barack's not the bad guy.  Barack did what he was voted into office for.

Barring that, keep your promise.

Sixteen months became ten at one point, as Tom Hayden giddily noted at one point.

Sixteen or ten months, pull them out.  And the speech you give is, "The American people spoke in the election.  On the campaign trail, I promised to pull US troops out of Iraq by ____ and I have done that."

What did I always say would the mistake -- and usually noted that with Samantha Power on the team, it would be the mistake they would make because that fool always thinks she can fix something?  That they would tinker with it.

And they did.

Barack did not keep his campaign promise (of course, in real time, Samantha Power told the BBC he wouldn't -- that's why she left the campaign, not because she called Hillary a "monster").

He and Joe and Sammy and Susan Rice were so smart and so special that they knew they could fix things.  They couldn't.

Now we come to their big fix, the 2010 election results.  Nouri al-Maliki?  The Iraqi people said no to a second term.  He was an abusive prime minister.  He ran secret prisons and jails and that had already been exposed in his first term as prime minister.

The people instead backed Iraqiya, the brand new political coalition.  It was about unity -- a united Iraq.  That would have been the way to build the future.

But Barack and company believed that Nouri would be their best bet and so they overturned the votes of the Iraqi people (with the US-negotiated Erbil Agreement) and gave Nouri a second term.

Then all hell broke loose.

It wasn't a surprise and I'm not a psychic.

The Erbil Agreement promised that Nouri would make concessions to the other political parties in exchange for his second term.  He used The Erbil Agreement to get his second term and then stalled -- no surprise -- and then announced that he wasn't going to follow it (his attorney announced) because, his attorney said, the contract was illegal.

At this point, the Iraqi people had gone to the polls to vote and to oust a thug.  They had succeeded but their votes were ignored.

Now political leaders in Iraq began stating that they would begin the process to remove Nouri from office.  But, as Moqtada al-Sadr (Shi'ite cleric and movement leader) repeatedly noted, if Nouri would just immediately honor the contract (Erbil Agreement), they would stop this effort.

He wouldn't.

So they followed the Constitution.  They got the MP signatures they needed.  Per the Constitution, they turned it over to the president.  That's a ceremonial role.  All the president does it introduce it formally to the Parliament.  But Joe Biden, yes, Joe Biden, pressured Jalal Talabani.  And Jalal buckled.  He said he had to check the signatures.  There's nothing in the Constitution about that.

But Jalal said he had to.  And he said he had to verify not only that the MP signed the petition but also that, given time to think about it now, did the MP still want their signature on the petition?

Jalal then claimed there were not enough signatures.  He didn't give a number.  He didn't list the ones who said they no longer wanted to be on it.

He just said, take his word for it.

And then he said he had to leave immediately for Germany to have emergency surgery.

He lied there too.

He went to Germany for elective knee surgery.

Let's note that as that same year ended, karma bit Jalal in his fat ass.  He suffered a stroke.  The incident took place late on December 17, 2012 following Jalal's argument with Iraq's prime minister and chief thug Nouri al-Maliki (see the December 18, 2012 snapshot).  Jalal was admitted to Baghdad's Medical Center Hospital.    Thursday, December 20, 2012, he was moved to Germany.  He remained there for approximately 18 months.  He was not able to speak, he was not able to move.  The Talabani family posed him for pictures that were mocked on Arabic media and compared him to WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S.  The Talabani family lied to the Iraqi people that Jalal had recovered.  He never did and he should have been removed from office for medical reasons per the Iraqi Constitution.

But at that point, where it stood was the Iraqi people had used the ballot to try to fix things.  That was overturned by Barack and Joe.  Their representatives had used the legal means outlined in the country's Constitution.  That was overturned.

What happened next?


And Nouri's response was to call the protesters "terrorists."  He had his forces attack and intimidate them.  He threatened the press that dared to cover the protests (one group of reporters were snatched off the streets and tortured -- NPR and THE WASHINGTON PRESS covered it -- THE NEW YORK TIMES mocked it).

What happens when the people and their representatives have exhausted all remedies?


It's not a shocker.  And I'm no prophet.  But I did study political science and, under that umbrella, revolution and rebellion.

This was always predictable if you bothered to pay attention.

That's why I warned over and over as this was unfolding.

Nouri's attacks on the people led to the rise of ISIS.  And it wasn't a surprise.

Now the Amanwhores wanted to lie about what was happening so they started this garbage, "Oh, ISIS was created by Bully Boy Bush and the arrests and the imprisonments . . ."

They never wanted precious little Barack to have to be held accountable for anything.

Mattis feels that it was a mistake to have pulled the troops out when Barack did.

It was.  We noted over and over in real time, get them out now.  We noted make it your first action, we then noted that you keep your promise from the campaign trail.

Barack didn't do that.  He wanted to tinker and, as we noted before that started, if you play with it, it becomes your problem and not Bully Boy Bush's alone.

Mattis argues that it was a mistake to pull out when Barack did (with the drawdown -- which was not a withdrawal -- Senator Kay Hagen, among others, pointed that out in the Senate and the DoD was always very clear that it was a "drawdown" and not a "withdrawal").

If his position isn't clear, here's Greg Ri (FOX NEWS):

But Mattis, in his book, did open up about his tenure as head of U.S. Central Command from 2010 to 2013, and zeroed in on the Obama administration's desire to wind down the U.S. troop presence in Iraq, no matter the cost.
Mattis wrote that Obama's tenure "was to be a time when I would witness duty and deceit, courage and cowardice, and, ultimately, strategic frustration."
“In Washington, the debate swirled throughout 2011 about how many, if any, U.S. troops should remain in Iraq,” Mattis recounted. “Central Command, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the new defense secretary, Leon Panetta, who had replaced Bob Gates, continued to recommend to the White House retaining a residual force, as did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton."
All of them, Mattis asserted, were "talking to the wind," as Obama was singularly focused on living up to his public promises to end the war in Iraq. In late 2011, Obama said confidently in a speech to the nation that some 40,000 servicemen and women still in Iraq "will definitely be home for the holidays."
The administration's faith in Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Mattis said, was also misplaced.
“Prime Minister Maliki is highly untrustworthy, Mr. Vice President,” Mattis said he warned Biden. “He’s devious when he talks to us. ... He looks at our ambassadors and military advisers as impediments to his anti-Sunni agenda. He wants to purge or marginalize Sunnis and Kurds from the government."
Mattis wrote that “Vice President Biden and his assistants listened politely. But as we spoke, I sensed I was making no headway in convincing the administration officials not to support Maliki. It was like talking to people who lived in wooden houses but saw no need for a fire department. ...  I found him an admirable and amiable man. But he was past the point where he was willing to entertain a ‘good idea.’ He didn’t want to hear more; he wanted our forces out of Iraq. Whatever path led there fastest, he favored.
"He exuded the confidence of a man whose mind was made up, perhaps even indifferent to considering the consequences were he judging the situation incorrectly," Mattis concluded.
According to Mattis, Biden countered that “Maliki wants us to stick around, because he does not see a future in Iraq otherwise. I’ll bet you my vice presidency.”

We can pick up there tomorrow but I'd rather read the book first and see where Mattis goes with it.  I'd go to the obvious place, the dickering over the number of troops.  The lies Barack told.  We covered it in real time.  I've long noted that Leon Panetta is a friend.  What went down was very ugly and very childish.  And Iraq suffered.  That's on Barack and Joe.

The following sites updated: