Saturday, July 04, 2020

Cranberry-Almond Coleslaw in the Kitchen

Wendy writes that she has an active garden but next month, "I'll be harvesting from my almond trees.  I doubt I'm the only reader you have who has almond trees.  I was hoping for an almond recipe.  I already use them when I'm cooking green beans -- fresh or canned -- and I also toss them into green salads."

Wendy may be the only one reading who has almond trees because no one else has ever told me that they had them.  I e-mailed her back asking what section of the country she lived in.  She's in California and she has four almond trees.


  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 (10-oz.) packages shredded coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup chopped, smoked almonds
  • 3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced

                   How to Make It

Whisk together first 5 ingredients. Gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until blended. Stir together coleslaw mix and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl; add vinegar mixture, tossing to coat.

Again, Wendy's the first one to ever e-mail that she had almond trees.  I know a number of you have pecan trees because you've e-mailed about that over the years.  So let me note a pecan recipe.

  • 8 cups torn mixed salad greens
  • 2 packages (6 ounces each) ready-to-use grilled chicken breast strips
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dried cherries

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

    • In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the first six vinaigrette ingredients; gradually whisk in oil until blended. Pour over salad; toss to coat.
    Editor's Note
    To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
    Nutrition Facts
    2-1/2 cups: 414 calories, 32g fat (5g saturated fat), 59mg cholesterol, 1104mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 3g fiber), 23g protein.   

    Okay, new topic.  John Bolton is a War Criminal.  I'm glad Roger Jordan and WSWS remember that:

    Canada’s mainstream media outlets have been fawning over the unindicted war criminal John Bolton, since the publication last month of The Room Where it Happened, his insider account of the Trump administration.

    Bolton’s remarks in lengthy Canadian television interviews and print articles on everything from Trump’s acumen to Russian “aggression,” the “threat” posed by China, and the supposedly “non-political” character of the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou have been served up to the public as the considered observations of a respected statesman.

    Bolton, who was lauded in Democratic Party-aligned publications like the New York Times for his supposedly “withering” portrait of Trump, is one of the chief US warmongers of the past two decades. An architect of the 2003 Iraq war, which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians and left a complex society in ruins, Bolton has advocated the savage bombardment of at least half a dozen other countries during the past decade, including Venezuela, Iran, North Korea and Syria. He is also notorious for his opposition to the United Nations—he once suggested the top 10 floors of its headquarters should be lopped off—the International Criminal Court, and other multilateral institutions that Canada’s governing Liberals and much of the ruling class claim to staunchly support.

    Why then is the Canadian corporate media lavishing so much attention on this Republican Party operative and aggressive proponent of American imperialist violence in every corner of the world?

    In the most immediate political sense, Bolton’s revelations have been seized upon to bolster the Canadian elite’s aggressive anti-China campaign, which has reached fever pitch in recent weeks.

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

    Friday, July 3, 2020.  Joe Biden, who overthrew the 2010 Iraqi election results, has the nerve to claim Donald Trump might not honor this year's US election results, the Iraqi government is considering filing a complaint with the United Nations of Turkey bombing the country and sending ground soldiers in, Susan Rice supported the Iraq War but Steve Chapman smokes a blunt and decides otherwise, and much more.

    Here's a thought: Next time Steve Chapman's on a pot high, how about he just eat some munchies and not try to write a column for THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE?  

    He want to save Susan Rice.  He's convinced not only that he can, but that he should.  Why?  He just knows she's the one to be Joe Biden's running mate.

    Okay, unlike Steve, I'm not stoned as I'm dictating this.  

    So I realize that more than anything, Joe's running mate has to bring energy to the ticket.  That's not Susan Rice.  She brings nothing.  

    Of the women mentioned, only Kamala Harris -- via her supporters -- brings passion.  If it's not Kamala, the smart move would be to go with someone not currently seen as a potential running mate because the rest are all dull and inspire no passion.

    That's especially true of Dirty Rice who carries with her the scandal of Benghazi.  Is Steve trying to re-elect Donald Trump?  Because picking Susan means bringing up Benghazi all over again.  And while that might not matter to Democrats and neocons, I believe they'll need to reach beyond the group that turned out for Hillary in 2016 if they're going to win the White House this time.

    Before we get back to Steve Chapman's stupidity, let's deal with the other stupidity right now.  Peter Van Buren addresses it and we'll note him in just a section.  But the stupidity is the conspiracy talk that Donald, if he loses, will refuse to step down.  

    That nutty conspiracy theory did not start last week or last month.  Crackpot Bob Somerby has been pimping that for several years now.  Bob's been projecting his own grand lunacy onto Donald.  Donald is many things (none of which I like) but he's not "grand" in any sense.  He doesn't have big ideas or plans.  After three years in the White House, I'd think that would be obvious to even the most ignorant in this country.  As a business person, Donald never had big ideas either.  He copies and ripped off.  He wasn't an original.  So this notion that suddenly, Donald's capable of a grand conspiracy?  It only speaks to the crackpots who repeat these lies.

    Peter Van Buren, at ICH, notes how this nonsense is being pimpec by many -- including Joe Biden.  Ptere misses an important point and we'll get back to that but this is from his column:

    For nearly four years, the same forces that may declare 2020 invalid tried very hard to convince us 2016 already was. There are plenty of Hillary people (including Hillary) who have not accepted 2016. Has Stacey Abrams really accepted her defeat yet? Think back to everything that happened during the last election, the gaming by Comey and the FBI to influence results. Remember how the intelligence community manipulated Russiagate. Why wait for November 2020 to have a coup? We’ve been in what Matt Taibbi calls a permanent coup for years. They’ve been practicing.

    Any of the those things would have been considered crazy talk only a few years ago. None would have ever passed into the mainstream. Compare Russiagate to the Great Obama Birth Certificate kerfuffle. The idea that Obama was ineligible for office festered on right-wing talk radio. It was dismissed as fact-less by just about everyone else. Fast forward to 2016+ and America’s paper of record is happy to front a story claiming the president is subject to a foreign enemy’s blackmail based on nothing but desperate hope that it might be true.

    The critical tool for the ending of democracy is people’s conditioned readiness to believe almost anything. The media tells the world what’s important using a very narrow range of truth, or just makes things up if truth is not around to be manipulated.

    We are exhausted, neck-deep in cynicism, decline, and distrust. And scared. There are no facts anymore, only what people can be made to believe. That power was not well understood in 2016 and was clumsily applied. Today it is ripe for exploitation, far beyond generating clicks and ad revenue. I don’t think Trump will try to stay in office if he loses. But there are people who will tell us that to manipulate our fears and steal this election. That’s why I am finally scared.

    It's a great column and one that he deserves praise for writing.  But, yes, he missed one point that surprised me.  Joe Biden is going around insisting that Donald may not accept the 2020 election results and, if he loses, may refuse to step down.

    Joe Biden is saying that.

    We've covered why that's offensive before.

    I guess we'll need to cover it again.

    Joe Biden needs to shut his damn mouth.  He has no right to ever talk about someone refusing to leave when they lose an election.  Why is that?

    Joe is the mother of ISIS in Iraq.  He passed it through his slim birthing hips in 2010.

    That's the year Iraqis voted incumbent Nouri al-Maliki out of office.

    Remember that?  Iraqis risked their lives to vote that March.  They turned out in record numbers. That really hasn't happened since but why should it?  When you risk your own safety to vote and your vote is overturned why ever bother again?

    Who overturned those votes?

    Joe Damn Biden.  Robinette.  Joseph Robinette Biden Jr.  Miss Priss Instant Coco Biden.

    US Gen Ray Odierno knew giving Nouri a second term he didn't earn was a mistake.  But, hey, Ray was only the top US officer in Iraq, why listen to him, right?

    US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was against it as well.  So was US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    But who cares what they thought, Joe knew best.

    Barack decided to listen to Joe who was (along with Susan Rice, Samantha Power and Chris Hill) of the opinion that Iraq didn't need democracy, it needed a "strongman" (thug).  So Joe called for the election results to be overturned and Barack, who had put Joe in charge of Iraq, went along.

    So Nouri, who spent eight months after the election refusing to step down, got a second term.  Joe was the lead behind The Erbil Agreement -- the US negotiated legal contract that overturned the 2010 election.  It gave Nouri a second term.  To get the heads of the other political parties to go along with this theft of democracy, Joe offered bribes.  That's all The Erbil Agreement was -- a bribe list put into a contract.  To get Kurds to go along, for example, the contract said Article 140 would be implemented.

    Kurdish leaders were idiots.  The Iraqi Constitution called for it to be implemented and that didn't lead to it being implemented.  But this legal contract was going to change everything?

    It didn't.

    Nouri went along with the promises going into the contract and used The Erbil Agreement to get his second term as prime minister and then he refused to honor it.  He kept none of the promises made to get a second term.

    And the US had sworn to all the parties that the contract was something that they would stand by and demand it would be honored.  Barack Obama, on the telephone, gave his word to Ayad Allawi who had walked out of Parliament.  

    But the US government looked the other way.

    They did that over and over for Nouri.  He persecuted Iraqis, especially Sunnis, he ran secret prisons and torture chambers -- the US just looked the other way.

    ISIS rose in Iraq because of that.  No one was sure, at first, what they were. Black masks.  They showed up to defend the protesters against Nouri's attacks -- protesters blocking the road between Baghdad and Anbar Province.  

    We covered it here.  Not only that, we predicted it here.

    The Iraqi people had done everything that they could and they were failed, they were betrayed.

    They went to the ballot box to change things and the US government, led by Joe Biden, overturned their voices, disregarded the will of the Iraqi people.  What happened next?

    Too many in America didn't pay attention.  Next you had the various leaders -- Barzani, Moqtada, al-Hakim and others -- insist that Nouri implement The Erbil Agreement or they would vote him out via a no confidence vote in Parliament.  They'd given him a year to implement The Erbil Agreement.  He refused.  Moqtada al-Sadr said, the whole time they were threatening a no confidence vote, that Nouri could stop the effort at any point by implementing the contract (the contract he had agreed to, the contract he had used to claim a second term).  Nouri refused.

    The Parliament followed the law as outlined in the Constitution.  They gathered the signatures.

    Per the Constitution, the President of Iraq, reads it into the record.  At the time, fat ass Jalal Talabni was the president.  Under pressure from Joe Biden to stop the no confidence vote, Jalal refused to introduce it.  It's a ceremonial task but Jalal created new 'powers.'  He said he'd contacted people who signed it.  To ask if they had signed it?  No, to see if they would sign it right now.  He then claimed that many said they wouldn't -- this was all done in secrecy and all anyone had was Jalal's claims -- so he was refusing to introduce the petition for a no confidence vote.

    He then lied that he had to have surgery in order to save his life and fled to Germany where fat ass had . . . knee surgery.

    He's blown out his knee due to his intense girth.

    Karma bit him in his fat ass.  Months later, in December, he got into a verbal fight with Nouri and suffered a stroke.  He was care flighted from Baghdad to Germany.  This time it was a life or death issue.  Karma signed off on his earlier lie.

    Jalal never recovered.  His family posed him for photos and pretended he could move his body and speak.  He couldn't.  18 months later, he returned to Iraq.  He was a joke.  He still couldn't speak.  And his lies ensured that the PUK party he led went from one of Iraq's two dominant political parties to a weak third party in the next elections.

    Joe destroyed Iraq in so many ways.  Most infamously, he destroyed it by spitting on democracy.  The Iraqi people voted and being a racist and a xenophobe, that didn't matter to Old Racist Joe. Old White Man knew best.

    He gave Nouri the second term and he and Nouri gave birth to ISIS.  It's their baby.

    I need to work something in here, following the 2012 elections, Nouri called the White House to congratulate Barack.  Barack, disgusted with Nouri, refused to take the call and fobbed it off on Joe. We've noted that here since it happened.  Barack and I share a mutual friend who, over the weekend, told me that one point I got wrong or left out on that was that Barack did so because Joe was responsible for Nouri.  It was his disgust in Nouri and in Joe that made him refuse to take the call.  I said I'd work that in the next time I discussed 2010 in the snapshot so there it is.

    But the point is, in 2010, Nouri lost the election and refused to step down.  And who called him out?  Not Joe Biden.  No, Joe Biden was all about ignoring the vote of the people.

    So he needs to shut his damn mouth and the press needs to be calling out his hypocrisy.

    Now let's get back to Steve Chapman's nutty nonsense.  He tries to rewrite history.  Susan Rice didn't support the Iraq War -- despite what everyone says -- despite what the public record says.  She's an innocent!!!!!

    He concludes his revisionary history with this: "A lot of smart, knowledgeable people made the mistake of endorsing the Iraq War. Susan Rice deserves credit for not being one of them."

    She didn't oppose the war.  She did endorse it but Steve lies and, even lying, can only offer that she didn't endorse him.

    She didn't speak out against it either.  (And she did endorse it.)

    It's moments like this that make me wish Steve would stop his pot habit and switch to heroin in the hopes that an overdose could spare the world from his hideous writing and his constant need to lie.  Or at least leave him too strung out to write.

    We don't need your lies, Steve, we never did.  Toke up and pretend the world needs you, Steve.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish government continues to terrorize Iraq.  Martha Leah Nangalama Tweets:

    via Iraq sets up border posts to try to prevent Turkish advance: Iraq is enforcing positions along the border with Turkey to try to prevent a Turkish military advance deeper into Iraqi territory after two weeks of airstrikes as Ankara…

    Baghdad is taking a look at its trade with Turkey as it considers using economic pressure to compel Ankara to end its military attacks within Iraq’s borders, the foreign ministry spokesperson told Rudaw on Thursday.

    “There is a trade balance between Iraq and Turkey in favor of Turkey with a value of more than $16 billion annually, and there are hundreds of Turkish commercial companies operating in Iraq. We put all of these criteria under urgent evaluation,” said Ahmed al-Sahaf, spokesperson for Iraq’s foreign ministry. 

    Baghdad is also applying diplomatic pressure. “We are still communicating and coordinating with the Turkish side on the need to apply international laws, good-neighborly rules, and diplomatic agreements,” Sahaf said, adding Iraq plans to push for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to condemn Turkey’s military intervention. 

    Trade's not all that Iraq's considering.  Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) notes:

    Iraq said on Friday it might file an official complaint to the UN Security Council if Turkey does not halt its military operations against Kurdish fighters in the north.

    "We reject any unilateral action that would harm our sovereignty. We started with a statement of condemnation and may resort to gathering support from the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation and could file a complaint to the UNSC,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Al Sahaf said in a statement.

    The “unilateral” action taken by Turkey will not “enhance security nor will it result in joint efforts to combat terrorism”, Mr Al Sahaf said.

    Baghdad has requested an emergency meeting of the Arab League meeting to discuss the issue, he said.

    The government of Iraq better take some serious steps immediately.  Not only are they letting the Iraqi people down, they are also risking Mustafa al-Kadhimi looking even weaker.  He's only been prime minister since May 7th and he's already becoming a joke.  Mustafa Salim and Louisa Loveluck (WASHINGTON POST) report:

    A raid ordered by Iraq's new prime minister on militiamen accused of planning an attack against Baghdad's international zone could mark a turning point in his government's efforts to bring Iran-backed groups to heel.

    The arrest of 14 members of Kataib Hezbollah late last month marked the boldest move yet by any Iraqi leader against the Iran-linked militias, which often operate in Iraq outside the law. Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who took office in May, has vowed to halt their attacks on foreign forces in the country, primarily U.S. troops.

    But the response of the powerful militia to the June 26 raid underscores how challenging it will be for Kadhimi to recast the relationship between Iraq’s government and some of the country’s armed groups.

    After gunmen in pickup trucks cruised Baghdad’s Green Zone demanding their comrades’ release, most were let go, then welcomed back to the group’s headquarters as heroes. Television stations linked to the militias live-streamed the men burning American flags and stamping on photographs of Kadhimi’s face.

    In the raid against Kataib Hezbollah, Kadhimi’s message was simple: Shiite militia groups in Iraq can no longer operate with impunity. The operation was audacious insofar as it could have prompted an armed response from the group, disrupting the fragile political consensus that enabled Kadhimi’s appointment two months ago.

    However, the events that followed the raid have done little to carry Kadhimi’s message. It appears very probable that the operation was carried out in coordination or consultation with Iran and Iran-aligned political actors. For instance — whether out of sheer luck, or prior coordination with Iran or the leadership of militia groups and parliamentary blocs — the group did not respond in a major way. After the raid, Kataib Hezbollah mobilized a force of roughly 150 fighters in nearly 30 pickup trucks around the prime minister’s residence, which was designed to intimidate Kadhimi but avoid escalating the crisis into an armed confrontation.

    Moreover, it was telling that the militiamen captured during the raid were placed under the supervision of the security directorate of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the umbrella militia organization that is dominated by Kataib Hezbollah and other Iran-aligned groups. The directorate is led by a Kataib Hezbollah commander. Therefore, the group was essentially able to get the prime minister to release the suspects into its own custody and deter the government from escalating the crisis in the process. On Monday, the militiamen were then, unsurprisingly, released by the PMF’s security directorate on the basis that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute them.  

    The following sites updated: