Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wise Up

The union screwed over the autoworkers.  If you ever doubted it, read Jerry White's latest at WSWS:

In a conference call with Wall Street analysts Tuesday morning, General Motors CEO Mary Barra and the company’s chief financial officer boasted that the new four-year agreement with the United Auto Workers would allow GM to slash billions in manufacturing costs and give it the “flexibility” to replace higher-paid veteran workers with temps.
Although the walkout cost the company an estimated $3 billion in profits for 2019 and 2020, the savings from the contract will lead to far larger long-term gains, Barra and CFO Dhivya Suryadevara told the analysts. The new agreement, Barra said, would maintain the “competitiveness” of GM, “strengthen the future of this company and create shareholder value.”
Despite the 40-day strike, the longest national auto strike in half a century, GM made $3 billion in third-quarter profits in North America. This is up $200 million from last year, with an 8.4 percent profit margin. GM International reported a $65 million loss on slowing sales in China and elsewhere.

Who will protect the workers?

The answer is: No one except the workers.  That's the reality and we see it over and over again.

Like the song says, wise up.

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

Wednesday, October 30, 3019.  Protests continue in Iraq, Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr issues a call, Joe Biden continues to flounder on the campaign trail and, since Butch Patrick wasn't available, Biden's gotten one time TV actress Alyssa Milano to host a fundraiser for him (no word on whether she's inviting her friends, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Weinstein).

Let's start in the United States with the ongoing race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  War Hawk Joe Biden continues to struggle to convince America he's the candidate that they need.  America?  Most states have open primaries and Joe's counted not on the progressive base that backed Barack in 2008 but on the never-Trump Republicans who will cross over and vote in Democratic primaries.  Joe knows Democrats won't choose him over the others so he needs to pad out the prmaries.

On Sunday, War Hawk Joe appeared on CBS' 60 MINUTES and declared that his son Hunter -- currently a new groom having dumped his brother's widow -- remember Hunter dumped his own wife and kids when his brother died so he could go shack with his brother's widow -- which prompted his wife to sue for divorce and cite his excessive spending habits with regards to hookers and drugs in her court papers -- and though he is married, it will be a court in December that will determine if he's a new daddy -- not by his new wife, or his ex-wife, you understand -- but by one of the many women the nearly 50-year-old keeps sleeping with -- it's all so tawdry and gaudy.  But, hey, Joe thinks it's presidential.

"He did not do a single thing wrong," Joe insisted on 60 MINUTES.

Joe wasn't talking about any of the above or the crack pipe that Hunter left in a rent-a-car or Hunter getting kicked out of the reserves while Joe was Vice President -- kicked out due to drug use.

No, Joe was saying that his spoiled rotten, 49-year-old, drug addicted son did nothing wrong -- not a single thing -- with regards to using Daddy's name and, more importantly, Daddy's position as Vice President to profit.  Little Hunter may turn 50 next year, but he's never been much of a man.  Just a spoiled little boy.  And Daddy's habit of repeatedly rescuing him has fed Hunter's addiction and his troubles.

Hunter did not do anything criminal -- as far as we know.  But he did many things wrong with regards to Ukraine.

The US government's position publicly was that they were cleaning up corruption in Ukraine.  It was, they insisted, rising up from years of oppression and corruption.  The person to spearhead that?  Joe Biden.  And there's Joe's son getting on board a company and raking in over half a million dollars -- well over half a million -- a year for being part of the company.  Hunter has no experience.  And his position on the board speaks to the very corruption that supposedly the US government is trying to help Ukraine prevent.

All by itself, that is wrong.

It is unethical.

Joe was a public servant and Joe and Hunter betrayed the public trust.  That's a very serious no-no.

Many try to whore and pretend otherwise.

Did someone say "whore"?

Yeah, she's dragging that tired body into it.  Ladies and gentlemen, you liked her -- you didn't love her, you just liked her -- as a child on WHO'S THE BOSS in the 80s.  You watched her career collapse over and over in the 90s until she lucked into CHARMED (she was not the actress anyone wanted and she was a replacement after the pilot was filmed).  Yes, Alyssa Milano.  Known in the 90s for her numerous nudie photos online.  Remember boys and girls, she didn't know how her top fell off during that BIKINI magazine photo shoot!  She's done nothing of value or worth remembering since CHARMED was axed all those years ago.  But here she comes to host a fundraiser for Joe Biden.

We need to note Ann, so hold on a minute.  For those who missed it, Alyssa and Holly Marie Combs are actresses.  They did not create CHARMED -- somehow they forget that and forget to give credit to the woman who actually did create the show -- the woman Alyssa shoved off the show (the same way she got rid of Shannen).  When Alyssa failed at bringing back CHARMED as an update, THE CW began work on a reboot.  Instead of applauding the three new actresses, Alyssa and Holly used social media to attack the women -- to attack the women of color.

That does matter because both Alyssa and Holly try to present themselves as producers of the show.  And they did, in the second half of the show, get a producers credit.  But let's remember that they were producers on a show set in San Francisco . . . and they never had any gay or lesbian characters on the show.  How progressive, Alyssa, you whore.  Also remember that all the people of color on the show, the ones who weren't extras, they were created by the woman Alyssa forced off the show.  After she was gone, Alyssa -- our progressive wonder -- had no interest in creating characters of color.  It's a White, White world for Alyssa.

So Ann wrote "Kate Jackson curses Elizabeth Banks out and bitchslaps her too" last week:

Did you hear the news?

Kate Jackson (star of Scarecrow & Mrs. King, Charlie's Angels, The Rookies and Dark Shadows) went off on Pitch Perfect's Elizabeth Banks this morning.  She cursed her out, ripped some of her hair and bitch slapped her.  Why?  Because Eliabeth Banks has directed (and written) the new Charlie's Angels film out next month and Kate insists it's her show!

Reality: None of that happened.

Why?  Because Kate Jackson has a brain and is a functioning adult.

Have you seen the commercial for the Charlie's Angels movie?

Every time I see it (and it looks good), all I can think of is bitchy Alyssa Milano and Holly Marie Combs having a titty fit over Charmed being rebooted.

They didn't create the show.  They were highly paid to act on it.  When The CW decided to reboot it, they showed up -- out of nowhere because they don't have careers anymore -- whining about how unfair it was and how it was their show and other bulls**t.  Aaron Spelling produced that show.

You know what else he produced?  Charlie's Angels.

Yet Farrah Fawcett, Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith didn't have a hissy fit when Drew Barrymore did her movie version, Charlie's Angels.  There was no whining, "We are the show!  They should have asked us!"

Those two bitches need to grow up.

Recently, the two were on TV.  It was a blast from the past -- people like them and the woman who played Mimi on The Drew Carey Show -- people who no longer have careers -- popped up on various ABC shows.  Holly and Alyssa popped up on Grey's Anatomy.  Alyssa's bad plastic surgery has left one side of her face smaller/tighter than the other.  Holly just showed up fat.  That's how you do it, Holly, that's how you get your career going again, finally getting a role and show up fat and unkempt.

They're losers.  I love the Charmed reboot.  Alyssa and Holly weren't owed crap.

They should have been told to shut the f**k up.

Did you hear Lynda Carter whining about the film Wonder Woman?  No.  Did you hear Lindsay Wagner whining about the TV reboot Bionic Woman?  No.

Those are adults.

Alyssa and Holly are just two pathetic failed actresses.

For the record, former CHARMED actresses Shannen and Rose publicly welcomed the new CHARMED actresses on social media.  Some people can be gracious even if others have to throw temper tantrums.  And let's not even get into the fact that while Alyssa and Holly held producer credits, a man roamed the show harassing women -- it's why CBS would later fire him.  But Alyssa and Holly looked the other way.  Whore Power, gals, Whore Power.

So now as Joe's tapped out with his big donors and can't attract small donors, here comes hefty, hefty, hefty Alyssa Milano to host a fundraiser for him.  Keep on whoring, Alyssa, you aren't fooling anyone.

And neither is Joe.  His campaign knows he's a loser -- he's a dirty dog with fleas.  They know he stands no chance of winning Iowa or New Hampshire based on the campaign's own polling.  So they're playing the press and trying to pretend like it won't matter.

It will matter.

No, there is no comeback.  They're trying to play it like it's Bill Clinton in 1992 when he earned the name "the comeback kid."  It's nothing like that.  Bill was a governor.  He didn't have a national profile.  No one, no former vice president, has ever been humiliated by losing Iowa and New Hampshire and gone on to get the nomination.

Grasp how humiliating losing Iowa would be if that happens.  He's got more name recognition than anyone in the race and yet the people of Iowa don't want him.

At SALON, Igor Derysh observes:

Former Vice President Joe Biden is at risk of a “humiliating” loss in Iowa as a result of his poorly organized ground operation and his failure to win over party leaders and voters, 11 senior Democrats told Bloomberg News.
The top Iowa Democrats, nearly all of whom declined to be named, told the outlet that Biden is at risk of finishing in third or fourth place in the first-in-the-nation caucuses on Feb. 3. Biden’s campaign outreach has been “largely ineffective,” they said, and his campaign is too reliant on big-money fundraisers. Biden’s Iowa state director, Jake Braun, does not live in Iowa full-time and has not run a campaign in the state since 2007. Democrats told Bloomberg that Braun has made it difficult for party leaders to contact the campaign and work with Biden’s team.
[. . .]
Other Iowa Democrats told the outlet that Biden has frequently skipped events that are key to a successful strategy in Iowa, like town halls at community centers, schools and diners. Instead, he has opted for TelePrompter speeches without taking questions, which was intended to help cut down on Biden’s gaffes but now make him seem “aloof.”

Grasp it, he can't handle the campaign but somehow he's ready to be president?  No, no and no.

Carl Campanile (NEW YORK POST) notes:

Former top Obama White House adviser David Axelrod says Joe Biden is running his 2020 presidential campaign as if he were in the federal witness protection program, and also trashed his “bewildering” defense of son Hunter’s controversial business dealings in foreign countries.
“They have him in the candidate protection program,” Axelrod said in a profile of Biden in New York magazine, headlined “The Zombie Campaign.”

“I don’t know if you can do that. I don’t know if you can get through a whole campaign that way. Either he can hack it or he can’t hack it. If you’re worried the candidate can hurt himself talking to a reporter, that’s a bad sign,” Axelrod said in the piece.

Again, he can't handle campaigning for the job.  This despite the fact that he's the most seasoned campaigner in the race.  He ran for office in 1970, then he ran for senator six times, then he was on two presidential tickets.  All he's done his entire life is campaign for office.  But now, at age 76 (77 next month), he's too tired to campaign?  Simple answer: Sit your tired ass down, Joe.

Joe has much to fear from voters -- from facing them.  They're aware he can't stop bragging that he was responsible for Iraq from 2009 through 2016 because Barack Obama put him in charge of it.

Look at Iraq today.  Joe notes he'd face serious questions about his decisions -- and should face serious questions.  That includes supporting thug Nouri al-Maliki and giving him a second term (via The Erbil Agreement) after the Iraqi people voted him out in the 2010 elections.

Breaking: Muqtada Sadr to Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi: Leave the office

Hamdi Alkhshali and Sharif Paget (CNN) report:

One of Iraq's leading Shiite clerics and powerful politicians has called on other parties to back him in removing Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi after weeks of protests.
Muqtada al-Sadr, who leads the largest political block in parliament, invited Iraq's second largest party on Tuesday to cooperate with him in "immediately" holding a vote of no confidence in Mahdi.
In a letter addressed to the prime minister, al-Sadr said Tuesday that "I thought asking you to call for early elections will preserve your dignity. But, if you refuse, I ask Mr. Hadi Al-Amiri to cooperate in the withdrawal of confidence from you immediately, to work together in changing the Electoral Commission and its law, and agree on comprehensive reforms, including the provisions of the constitution to be put to the vote and in the absence of the Parliament vote, then the people will choose."
Al-Amiri, who is the leader of the Iran-backed Badr Organization, accepted al-Sadr's invitation on Tuesday, saying "we will work together to achieve the interests of the Iraqi people and save the country as required by the public interest."
Earlier this week, al-Sadr had called on Mahdi to come to parliament and announce "early elections under the supervision of the United Nations," which the prime minister refused, citing constitutional and operational challenges. 

Mustafa Salim and Erin Cunningham (WASHINGTON POST) add:

At least 83 people have been killed across Iraq since a new round of demonstrations erupted Friday, according to a Health Ministry official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. 
Earlier this month, 149 people were killed in a similar outburst of unrest, government officials said. A government-appointed inquiry into those week-long protests recommended the firing of senior security officials after finding them responsible for protesters’ deaths.

And the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) issued the following:

In our continuous efforts to promote dialogue between protesters and the government, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis Plasschaert, visited Tahrir Square to engage with the people out there.
While exchanging views and discussing possible ways to address the legitimate demands of peaceful demonstrators, SRSG Hennis Plasschaert reiterated that no government could comprehensively tackle the legacy of the past and the present challenges in just one year in office.

SRSG Hennis-Plasschaert called for a national dialogue to identify prompt, meaningful responses, to break the vicious cycle of violence, and to unite against the perils of division and inaction. Standing together, Iraqis can find the common ground needed to shape a better future for all.

Baghdad, Iraq 🇮🇶

1 million people are on the streets protesting economic distress and inequality, corruption and injustice. Persisting through the live ammunition and tear gassing by Iraq Security forces and police.

Standing in solidarity with my brothers and sisters in IRAQ 💔



In Nasiriyah this weekend, protesters played dominoes and volleyball, recited poetry and mourned those they'd lost during previous, violent protests.

This is not a normal protests not a distraction nor a rebellion but just another day to demand freedom and democracy that showed but not applied to demand my rights, your rights and every single rights living in this country 🇮🇶 God bless this new generation.

Kawthar was one of the thousands of young people attending elementary schools, high schools and universities who formed a sea of white uniforms in squares across as they came out to join the third day of the country's . Read more here:

We'll wind down with this from Amnesty International:

Iraqi security forces resorted yet again to excessive and unlawful lethal force to disperse crowds of largely peaceful protesters in the southern city of Karbala last night, said Amnesty International, after at least 14 protesters were reported killed and more than 100 injured.
Evidence gathered from eyewitnesses and verified geo-located video footage indicates that Iraqi security forces and anti-riot police opened fire using live ammunition as well as tear gas, chasing peaceful protesters staging a sit-in at the Tarbiya roundabout on 28 October. Witnesses also said security forces attempted to run them over with vehicles.  
“In horrific scenes from Karbala last night, Iraqi forces opened live fire on peaceful protesters and resorted to excessive and often lethal force to disperse them in a reckless and utterly unlawful manner. These scenes are all the more shocking as they come despite assurances from Iraqi authorities that there would be no repeat of the extreme violence used against demonstrators during protests earlier this month,” said Lynn Maalouf, Middle East Research Director at Amnesty International.
“According to international law, security forces should refrain from the use of firearms unless there is an imminent threat of death or serious injury and there is no suitable alternative available. Eyewitness accounts clearly suggest that was not the case. Iraqi authorities must immediately rein in security forces to prevent further bloodshed.”
A second wave of protests erupted on 24 October in Baghdad and other governorates across Iraq including Diwaniya, Thi Qar, Basra, Karbala, Najaf, Maysan and Babel. According to the Independent High Commission for Human Rights in Iraq, at least 77 protesters have been killed and 3,654 injured in this latest round of protests.
One eyewitness present during protests in Karbala last night told Amnesty International that security forces had attempted to chase away protesters using tear gas and batons on previous days, but that the violence used last night was far more extreme.
“Security forces opened fire on the protesters they were chasing. There was a black four-wheel drive that started to drive towards the roundabout and attempted to run over the protesters. It was complete horror. There were women and children. The children were screaming. The security forces dispersed everyone and started chasing them into the side streets,” he said.
A doctor at al-Hussein hospital in Karbala interviewed by Amnesty International said protesters arrived at the emergency room last night with shrapnel and gunshot wounds including in the leg, stomach, eye and head. The doctor added that they had also received several protesters injured due to beatings in recent days and that on 27 October security forces in plainclothes had visited the hospital and arrested around 50 people suspected of participating in protests.  
“They arrested a lot of people from the hospital… They even took children. One of the protesters they took was 14 years old,” the doctor said.
Another eyewitness told Amnesty International that at first, army officers had verbally warned protesters not to cross the gate to the government buildings near the roundabout where protesters have gathered since 24 October. Some of the protesters ignored the warnings and approached the area but were driven back by tear gas and sound grenades.
“They used a lot of tear gas. Even the army was suffocating and started leaving. When the army left, the protesters started burning tyres and trash,” he said, adding that protesters began to throw stones in response.
“Around 8pm they started using live ammunition to disperse us. At first it was a little, then it started increasing,” he added.
The eyewitness said that at around 11pm anti-riot police cars began charging towards the peaceful protesters, attempting to run them over. He said the tactic of using cars to run over protesters was also used in protests over the weekend. 
Another protester said he was attending the largely peaceful protest when he heard gunshots coming from the area near the government buildings. He described how security forces dressed in black were chasing protesters.
“There were about seven to 10 cars driving fast towards us and the men inside were shooting in the air to scare people. We all started retreating… protesters and the army were injured alike. These other forces started catching people and beating them, even young boys. They beat them so savagely. They grabbed me and started hitting me on my head…. The live fire was non-stop. It was complete horror. There were children as young as 12 among the protesters.”
One protester who was arrested in Karbala on 28 October described the appalling detention conditions at the anti-crime station inside a complex of government buildings.
“There was blood all over the walls. There were boys who were under the age of 18. We heard screams from the other room,” he said, adding that he saw at least one child bleeding heavily from the mouth after being kicked in the face and another young man with similar wounds denied medical care.
“Iraqi forces must order an independent impartial investigation into events last night in Karbala and ensure all those responsible are held accountable for their actions,” said Lynn Maalouf.
Amnesty International is also calling on Iraqi authorities to end arbitrary arrests and lift the curfews imposed in several areas in the country, including Karbala.

The following sites updated:

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Medicare For All

Medicare For All is a need, not a want.

  1. I REPEAT:

    People aren't attached to insurance companies.

    They're attached to their health care providers and to affordable care.

  2. UC Berkeley economic professors E Saez and G Zucman:
    "Supporters of Medicare for All are right. Funding universal health insurance through taxes would lead to a large tax cut for the vast majority of workers."

    : no premiums, no copays, no deductibles!
  3. Buttigieg’s new ad attacks Bernie for “infringing on people’s freedom” to be fleeced and bankrupted by the insurance and drug industries, whose donors are pumping money into Buttigieg’s campaign.
  4. 📈 Deductibles
    📈 Drug prices
    📈 Premiums
    📈 Copays

    Are rising faster than

    💵 Wages

    That’s why our current system has failed and Medicare for All is the cost-effective solution.
  1. We’ve spent $300 billion annually on unwinnable wars.

    We can afford to prioritize and guarantee .
  1. Here’s the standard that will be included in Medicare For All:

    ❤️Long term care

    This means every single American will have better access to healthcare.

And yet Medicare For All is allegedly too expensive

  1. 1 in 8 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. every year. Many struggle to afford treatment— in fact, medical bills cause 2/3 of bankruptcies.
    is a stark reminder to raise awareness & fight for better health care through .
“Let’s be clear. Whenever someone hears the term ‘Medicare for All Who Want It’, understand what that really means. It’s Medicare for all who can afford it.”

We’ve got to make sure EVERY American has the healthcare they need.

Medicare for All is an enormous middle-class tax cut
Medicare for All is an enormous middle-class tax cut
I’m outraged because this is outrageous…

We are a country that quite literally punishes you if you’re sick or poor or pregnant or black.

Being sick shouldn’t push you into poverty and poverty shouldn’t push you into sickness.

- on the need for

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2019.  Some passings matter and deserve significant attention (Kay Hagan) but others don't (garden variety thugs).  We look at some of those today.

Let's start with this:

(1/2) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi led a campaign of mass violence and terror that devastated the region and threatened the world. His death is a setback for ISIS and a victory for justice. I am grateful for the skill and courage of our special operations and intelligence professionals.

(2/2) Baghdadi's death closes one chapter, but it is not the end of our fight against terrorism. We need a settlement that ends the suffering and destruction in Syria—and ultimately, a long-term plan to counter extremism and allow the region to achieve peace and stability.

That's about all the should be said.  I don't know that even that much is required.  This is a man who, if we noted his death every time he was said to be dead, would have multiple entries.  Maybe he's dead this time, maybe he's not.  He's really not all that important and never was.  He's not unique or special.  He didn't do anything amazing other than tap into resentments and ride them.  Someone else will come along who will do that.  That's what happens.

A series of e-mails to the public account (were we targeted for astroturf?) insist that, if Barack Obama were in the White House, I would be treating this death as the most important development in the world but because Donald Trump is president, I am underplaying it.  "I bet," one e-mailer insists, "you didn't downplay the death of Osama bin Laden!"

I think you'd lose that bet.  bin Laden died May 1, 2011. CRAPAPEDIA says May 2nd. There's a reason we call it CRAPAPEDIA.  On May 1st, Ava and I wrote "TV: Blather."  That was a Sunday night and we cover media for THIRD.  We had already done our TV piece ("TV: You can learn a lot from the screen") but Barack Obama broke into prime time for his announcement so Jim asked us to cover the death from a media point of view.  We'd worked with Ann on "Diane Rehm's gender imbalance (Ann, Ava and C.I.)" and were tired and just wrote it to be done with and done with the damn edition.

There will be no THIRD piece by Ava and myself on this latest death.  I have no desire and we wrote a very long piece on Sunday covering a news segment, a TV show development and a new book.

Osama's coverage here at THE COMMON ILLS?  We didn't mention the death that Sunday night.  In the May 2nd "Iraq snapshot," we covered deaths.  We did a long paragraph noting the deaths of "Spc. Andrew E. Lara, 25, of Albany, Ore" and "Pfc. Robert M. Friese, 21, of Chesterfield, Mich." as well as the funeral of " 25-year-old Pfc Antonio G. Stiggins."  After that, these two paragraphs followed:

April ended Saturday and it's time to do the monthly count of Iraqis killed in the ongoing war.  April 1st 5 people were reported dead and 55 injured. April 2nd 8 were reported dead and 12 injured. April 3rd 3 were counted dead and 29 injured. April 4th 17 were reported dead and 23 injured. April 5th 8 were counted dead and 14 injured.  April 6th 19 were reported dead with 28 injured (we're not including the 8 dead from the collapsed brick plant).  April 7th 1 person was reported dead and 1 wounded.  April 8th 9 were reported dead and 9 injured. April 9th 3 were reported dead and 4 injured.  April 10th 5 were reported dead and twelve injured.  April 11th 23 were reported dead and 45 injured.  April 12th 12 were reported dead and 15 were reported injured.  April 13th 2 were reported dead and 21 injured.  April 14th  38 were reported dead and 19 wounded (34 dead at Camp Ashraf on April 8th are included in this day's count because April 14th is when the United Nations was able to confirm the deaths). April 15th 9 people were reported injured. April 16th 2 were reported dead and 7 injured. April 17th 10 were reported dead and 52 injured.  April 18th 9 were reported dead and 35 injured. April 19th 8 were reported dead and 17 injured. April 20th 4 were reported dead and 6 wounded.  April 21st 7 were reported dead and 8 injured.  April 22nd 5 were reported dead 3 injured. April 24th 1 person was reported dead and 13 injured. April 25th 3 were reported dead and 15 injured.  April 26th 4 dead 36 injured.  April 27th 1 was reported dead and 12 injured. April 28th 19 were reported dead and 49 injured.  April 29th 15 were reported dead and 31 injured.  April 30th 22 were reported dead and 27 injured. That's 262 deaths and 598 injured (as always, check my math).

Salman Faraj (AFP) notes that the Iraqi "ministries of health, interior and defence and released on Sunday showed that a total of 211 Iraqis -- 120 civilians, 56 policemen and 35 soldiers" -- died as a result of attacks in April" that's a total of 211 and they state 377 were wounded. Now let's move over to Girlie In The Green Zone, to read her bad reporting for Reuters is to always be uninformed.  Serenes tells you that the number of wounded has decreased because only "190 civilians were wounded in April."  Does Girlie just make up her figures?  Or do her handlers give her them?  She credits the Ministry of Health.  Who knows.  She's worthless.  The reality is that every outlet that reports deaths on a daily basis should be doing their own count. Iraqi Body Count does their own and counts 283 civilians killed in the month of April.  AFP mixed the count with an actual report on another topic.  Reuters just tossed out a partial figure.  No one offered any analysis. April 24th, Ammar Karim (AFP) noted an emerging trend: "In recent days, however, three top officials have been shot dead with silenced guns in the Iraqi capital, leading to tighter security at checkpoints, with officers checking pistols to see if they can be fitted with silencers." Silencers have been used in many attacks throughout the month but the big trend has been the targeting of officials -- with guns or, as with Baghdad provincial council member Jasim Mohammed, with bombings.  Jasim Mohammed survived the bombing with injuries.  Some targeted officials were lucky enough to survive without even injuries (though in at least one case, four body guards were injured) and of course some (like Judge Tuma Jabar Lafta) were killed in the bombings (also killed was Lafta's wife and their two daughters). Academics were targeted through out the month (school and college).  And another common theme was home invasions tended to be carried out by people wearing Iraqi military uniforms. Today  New Sabah notes a Parliamentary Committee has lodged an accusation that the Iraqi military is "responsible for the security violations in areas they control" surrounding the capital. The committee notes that repeatedly reports find the assailants are wearing Iraqi military uniforms and that the assailants are able to move freely throughout the areas, through checkpoints, and without arousing suspicion.

Then we had two paragraphs about the protests in Iraq over the government corruption and inability to serve the Iraqi people and how the government response was to attack the protesters.  (The prime minister may change but, as this month's events make clear, the Iraqi government remains hostile to the Iraqi people.)   We covered the Iraqi political scene for several paragraphs and then we noted the following:

Turning to the disgusting.  In the United States. At the New York Times Stephen Farrell grasps that and seeks out everyone's opinon on the death of Osama bin Laden. I can think of so many things to write about, other things, but Farrell includes everyone.  We'll come back ot him. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Sharif Durhams wants to hear from you on the topic if you are one of the "US service members from Wisconsin who are in Iraq or Afghanistan or who served in those theaters since Sept. 11, 2001."  If so, they've got a reporter for you to e-mail!  The Lakeland Ledger has two reporters for you and you can call them as well!!!!  There are many other examples from around the country but back to Farrell, what else has Farrell done that these two outlets haven't?
Reported on Iraq.  For a 'hot topic,' suddenly two papers who can't be bothered with the Iraq War on any given day suddenly wants to hear from troops who have served there? They need to check their damn priorities.  They're a joke, not because I'm mocking them, but because they've made themselves a joke.  You have at least 47,000 US troops on the ground in Iraq and the only damn time you want to speak to them for a story is when you're hoping they'll weigh in on your 'hot topic'?  How disgusting.  Here's a topic for you ask them about: What's it like to be stationed in Iraq in the midst of a war that the bulk of your country's media ignores?
While it's treated like a sports event by the US media, Aswat al-Iraq reports the Iraqi Parliament warned today that a wave of vendetta attacks may be forthcoming as a result of the killing of bin Laden.
Some can't absorb that.Take  Michael D. Shear (New York Times) who can barely be understood as he frantically tongues Barack Obama's crotch.  He just knows!!! just knows!!!! this death/execution was what Barack was speaking of last Wednesday and found the pull quote to prove it . . . If you're stupid.  Last night, Ava and I covered the death and we concluded:
A better press would've noted what a contradiction the presidential address was. After all, it was only last week that Barack was addressing the nation about his birth and, at the top of that televised event, he declared, "I was just back there listening to Chuck -- he was saying, it's amazing that he's not going to be talking about national security. I would not have the networks breaking in if I was talking about that, Chuck, and you know it." So what was tonight? Was bin Laden's death about national security or not? And if bin Laden was the reason the US went to war with Afghanistan (that has always been the stated reason), does bin Laden's death mean US forces finally (and immediately) leave Afghanistan?
A functioning press would have a ton of questions. Instead, ABC served up Spring Break DC! very MTV style.
If Barack were going to be talking about national security, he said Wednesday, "I would not have the networks breaking in if I was talking about that, Chuck, and you know it."  No, he did not have the assassination of Osama bin Laden at the front of his mind when he spoke Wednesday, Michael Shear, you stupid, stupid, little boy.  Iraq War veteran Mike Prysner is with March ForwardHe tells Ari Bloomekatz (Los Angles Times),  "Bin Laden's death is being touted in a symbolic way, but the reality is our friends and family are dying in two wars that have nothing to do with protecting ourselves from Al Qaeda. It's great that people are heartened by the death of Bin Laden, but what about the deaths of the American soldiers and Iraqi civilians that's going to continue after he's dead?"

The Iraq War has not ended.

That was it from me.  It was not a topic that received a lot of play here at all.  In fact, check out
"2011: The Year of the Slow Reveal" and you'll notice, in looking back on the year, the death doesn't even get a mention.

Other than that?

mouser and glory hog

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS  "The Mouser and Glory Hog." That went up May 5, 2011.  And it became a topic at various sites in 2012.

But bin Laden himself wasn't really an issue in 2011 or 2012 here.

So the claim that I would have treated this as huge news if Barack were in the White House today is a false claim.

Sunday, we posted "Isakson Statement on U.S. Raid Targeting ISIS Leader" which was Senator Johnny Iskason (Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee) noting the death.  Until this snapshot, that's it.  And that'll probably be it unless it turns out the man is still alive.

His death really doesn't matter.  His only power was to tap into rage and resentment.  If he's dead, I'm not crying.

I'll cry for protesters killed in Iraq, for example.  But for him?  I don't really care and he himself was meaningless.  Just a little thug.

The death below?  It matters to me.

Senator Kay Hagan was a tireless fighter for women, veterans, and military families, and a dear friend and colleague. I'm heartsick for Kay's family and friends.

The world is a little grayer since we lost this amazing woman and dear friend today. The courage and determination that Kay Hagan and her family showed in the face of her debilitating illness over the last few years was awe inspiring. I loved her.

I've never been a Claire fan but I'll note her Tweet because she and Kay were friends.  I won't note Joe Biden's Tweet because the last time I heard him speak of Kay was to rip her apart for her remarks in a Senate hearing.  His Tweet is insincere.

He was furious with what she said.

You know what she said, right?  If it was so big that the then-Vice President of the United States was cursing about her, surely you saw all the press coverage, right?

What's that?  The press didn't cover it all.  (One reporter covered it for THE NEW YORK TIMES.)  Well we covered it here.  We covered that very important hearing at length, in fact.  Equally true, I was just mentioning Kay here and that hearing last week (October 22nd snapshot).

The November 15, 2011 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing was covered at length throughout the community.  In terms of the exchange between Chair of the Joint-Chiefs Gen Martin Dempsey and Senator Kay Hagan, it was covered in the November 16, 2011 snapshot and THIRD's "Gen Dempsey talks "10 enduring" US bases in Iraq."  That exchange was as follows:

Senator Kay Hagan: Well with the drawdown taking place in less than two months, what is your outlook for the ability to continue this training process to enable them to continue to do this on their own?

General Martin Dempsey: Well they will be limited. They don't have the airlift to deliver them to the target that we might have been able to provide. They don't have the ISR target to keep persistent surveillance over the top of the target. So they'll be limited to ground movement and they'll be limited to human intelligence and we'll keep -- But part of the Office of Security Cooperation provides the trainers to keep the training to develop those other areas, but we're some time off in reaching that point.

Senator Kay Hagan: We'll, as we continue this drawdown of our military personnel from Iraq, I really remain concerned about their force protection -- the individuals that will be remaining in Iraq. So what are the remaining challenges for our military personnel in Iraq in terms of managing their vulnerabilities, managing their exposures during the drawdown?

General Martin Dempsey: Senator, are you talking about getting from 24,000, the existing force now and having it retrograde through Kuwait?
Senator Kay Hagan: The ones that will remain over there.

General Martin Dempsey: The ones that will remain --

Senator Kay Hagan: Their protection.

General Martin Dempsey: Yes, Senator. Well, they will have -- First and foremost, we've got ten Offices of Security Cooperation in Iraq bases. And their activities will largely be conducted on these bases because their activities are fundamentally oriented on delivering the foreign military sales. So F-16s get delivered, there's a team there to help new equipment training and-and helping Iraq understand how to use them to establish air sovereignty. Or there's a 141 M1 Tanks right now, generally located at a tank gunnery range in Besmaya, east of Baghdad and the team supporting that training stays on Besmaya so this isn't about us moving around the country very much at all. This is about our exposure being limited to 10 enduring, if you will, Offices of Security Cooperation base camps. And doing the job of educating and training and equipping on those ten bases. Host nation is always responsible for the outer parameter. We'll have contracted security on the inner parameter. And these young men and women will always have responsibility for their own self-defense.

Senator Kay Hagan: So we'll have contracted security on the inner-paramenter?

General Martin Dempsey: That's right.

.[Other real time community coverage of that hearing included the following: "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot,"  "Iraq snapshot," "Scott Brown questions Panetta and Dempsey (Ava)," "The costs (Wally)" and "Who wanted what?"]

 Joe was furious with Kay.  She was 'off message!'  The rah-rah lie of all US troops out of Iraq was what everyone was supposed to stick to.  She chose to note that there would be some US forces remaining in Iraq.  It was, as the Defense Dept repeatedly noted, a "draw down."  It was not a "withdrawal."  We've applauded Kay for some time for her honesty.

And, again, Joe cursed and whined after that hearing.  The press missed it (intentionally or not) but that was a major moment and Joe treated it as such.  Now he wants to Tweet kind words?  He may mean them.  His explosion back then may have purged him of his anger.  But Kay was right and he was wrong and I'm not playing or pretending otherwise.

Nor am I saying Kay was perfect.  But I did congratulate her after that hearing and I did thank her for bringing up the very real issue that the press was ignoring.  I liked Kay and I'm very sad that she's passed away.

Kay mattered.

In Iraq, concern about events in Karbala as protests continue.

Very alarming videos coming from Karbalaa tonight: Live ammunition, beatings, detentions of protestors.

This guy is running helpless as he screams that others are being shot behind. It’s 3:00 a.m there


Very alarming videos coming from Karbalaa tonight: Live ammunition, beatings, detentions of protestors.

This guy is running helpless as he screams that others are being shot behind. It’s 3:00 a.m there


Breaking: very scary news coming out of Karbala, the government has used force to break the civil protest , the world is watching the Iraqi government use violence day by day without any interference or pressure to stop it.

“ they are firing live Ammunition “ , the government quelled the protest in a very violent way, crimes were committed and unknown number of casualties so far.


Masked gunmen in Iraq killed up to 18 protesters in Karbala and wounded hundreds. The gunmen are believed to be security forces.

Over 90 people have been killed in anti-government protests since Thursday.

As the protesters continue to be attacked, there are calls for the prime minister to appear before the Parliament.

MPs from Sairoon call to summon Adil Abdul-Mahdi.
"We want! We want! We want!"
"Now! Now! Now!"


And journalist Mustafa Habib notes:

Breaking: parliament decided to form a committee to amend the constitution within four months, in response to , and cancellation the special living financial of all senior officials in the government

Instead of cracking down on the violence against the protesters, the prime minister cracks down on the protests.  ALJAZEERA reports:

Authorities in Iraq have declared a curfew in the capital, Baghdad, where mass anti-government demonstrations continue for a fourth day.
The renewed protests came weeks after an earlier wave of rallies broke out as a result of widespread anger at high-level corruption, mass unemployment and poor public services. More than 200 people have been killed in this month's demonstrations in Baghdad and several southern cities.

At his FACEBOOK page, the prime minister posted the following yesterday.

2 of 12,560
The National Security Council stresses the necessary measures to maintain security and the lives of citizens, security forces, public and private property
On Monday, the National Security Council held an extraordinary meeting under the presidency of the Prime Minister, the commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, Mr. Adel Abdul Mahdi. The Council discussed the performance of the security forces to ensure the protection of protesters, public and private institutions and property, and the council stressed the taking Legal actions against the instigators and saboteurs who attack security forces, citizens, property, government institutions and party headquarters.
The Council also discussed the killing of the terrorist leader of the ISIS gang, according to the information obtained by the Iraqi National Intelligence service by capturing his close, and praised the role of the security and intelligence services in finding the information that led to his description.
Media Office of the prime minister
The National Security Council stresses the necessary measures to maintain security and the lives of citizens, security forces, public and private property
On Monday, the National Security Council held an extraordinary meeting under the presidency of the Prime Minister, the commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, Mr. Adel Abdul Mahdi. The Council discussed the performance of the security forces to ensure the protection of protesters, public and private institutions .. 

The following sites updated: