Monday, February 28, 2022

Crockpot Salsa Chicken Stuffed Potatoes

Becky e-mailed to say that I don't note enough slow cooker recipes and wanted to note this one for Crockpot Salsa Chicken Stuffed Potatoes:


3 skinless chicken breasts

4 whole potatoes (skin on)

1 to 2 cups of salsa (I like salsa verde in this dish)


1) Spray slow cooker bowl with non-stick spray.

2) Poke a fork through each potato.

3) Put chicken in one third of cooker, potatoes in another and salsa in a third. 

4) Cook on low for eight hours.

5) remove potatoes and cut them in half.  Dish chicken and salsa onto each potato half.

On slow cooker. I don't use mine that often.  But I had a very busy Saturday so I was going to do roast and potatoes (anc onions, celery and carrots) in the slow cooker.  I pulled it out Friday evening to get it set up and I'm glad I did, it was dead.  


I had a mini-fit.  My husband walked in and I was just repeating over and over that I was geting a new slow cooker and he was looking at me like I was crazy.  When I cam eup for air, he said, sure, get a new one.  It was necessary.  He said, look and see if any can be delivered?

I ended up going with Bed, Bath and Beyond because I could get it delivered that night.  

That's the whole reason I selected from that store.  

It's a nice one and it's nicer -- and much more expensive -- than the one I had.  It was over $100 and I'm used to paying 20 to 40 dollars for a slow cooker.  But my husband was looking over my shoulder and he said go with that one since it could be delivered.  He said if I wanted to look at it first, he'd drive us over to Park Drive but otherwise, just order it on the app.

It's a really nice one -- nicer than I've had before.  So, Becky, any slow cooker recipes you want to shar, share.  After spending that much on a slow cooker, I need to make sure I'm using it. 

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

Monday, February 28, 2022.  Leaders?  A title that's rarely earned or deserved.


SEveral outlets have, while cheerleading events in Ukraine and war on Russia, fingered their inner ractists.  Among those jizzing in public?   Ben Kesslen (NEW YORK POST) reports on Charlie D'Agata:

A senior foreign correspondent at CBS News apologized Saturday after he said on air that the war in Ukraine can’t be compared to those in Iraq and Afghanistan — because the Eastern European nation is more “civilized.”

Correspondent Charlie D’Agata was reporting from Kyiv, Ukraine when he said Friday that Ukraine “isn’t a place, with all due respect, like Iraq or Afghanistan, that has seen conflict raging for decades.

“This is a relatively civilized, relatively European — I have to choose those words carefully, too — city, where you wouldn’t expect that or hope that it’s going to happen,” he continued.

D’Agata issued an apology on the broadcaster’s streaming network Saturday, after his comments went viral — racking up more than 1.5 million views on Twitter — and were swiftly condemned as racist and historically inaccurate.

At THE WRAP, Harper Lambert notes:

Imraan Siddiqi, the executive director of Muslim grassroots advocacy and civil rights organization CAIR Washington, expressed his criticism by simply tweeting the clip with the caption “Civilized”.

“Matter of Fact” host and “Real Sports with Brian Gumbel” correspondent Soledad O’Brien also reacted on Twitter.

“‘Relatively civilized, relatively European': when the white dude reporter knows he’s being kinda racist but carries on anyway. Whew,” she wrote. “Can we please diversify news coverage and get rid of this crap. Please.”

Sana Saaed Tweets:

CBS News’ Charlie D'Agata said unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, Kiev/Ukraine is civilized, it is European. Journalist & former UK politician Daniel Hannan (Tory) writes “they seem so like us”. The quiet part is being screamed everywhere. Take note & don’t forget it.

“It is very emotional for me..I see European ppl with blond hair, blue eyes, children being killed..” David Sakvarelidze, former Ukrainian deputy prosecutor. Appeals for humanity based on phenotype in the midst of ‘protect civilization’ discourse is..

0:09 / 0:27
Want to acknowledge that being a Ukrainian is an ethnicity and a nationality ie Afro-Ukrainians. These appeals - whether from journalists or politicians - hurt Ukrainians, rely on dehumanizing others & should be pushed back against ..especially by journalists.

Ghami Tweets:

Hi it’s me Almas from uncivilized Afghanistan logging from civilized Oceana, so even more civilized from all of USA. Shame Charlie D’Agata.

is this the type of ignorant bigots you hire? Do better.

9:26 PM · Feb 26, 2022

Gwen Wren rejects Charlies/ faux apology:

#CharlieDAgataRacist #CharlieDAgata Charlie D'Agata's apology... He did not compare conflicts, he compared people... the civilized whites vs the non-civilized browns. Europeans good Middle Easterns bad. We got the message, charlie.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE decided to show 'solidarity' with the White peopole -- something they've never done for the Haitians or the Palestinians or . . . They took to the stage to note that they stood with Urkaine.  

Acadmy Award winner Sean Penn took a break from his non-stop homophobia,  abusing women and accidentally -- or 'accidentally' -- getting his buddy El Chapo arrested to note that he stood with Ukraine.  Well, shen you've got Sean Penn on your side . . . you're screwed.

Sean's homophboia was once weell known but apparently all it took was a cameo on ELLEN and portraying Harvey Milk for Sean to be forgiven.  Others who've made mistakes as juveniles haven't been extended the same rehab.  Sean's so untouchable for some that he thinks he can question the masculinity of other men if they do something he sees as feminine (such as how they dress).  

He bonded with Ukraine over mutual Whitness and Whitness certainly explains how he directed five films and cast them.  Where did we ever get the idea that Sean was of the left?

Sexist, homophobic, racist.  That's Sean Penn.  And, so sad, that's also a great number in the media.  Josephine Harvey (HUFFINGTON POST) notes:

Daniel Hannan, a British journalist and former pro-Brexit politician, wrote in The Telegraph, “They seem so like us. That is what makes it so shocking. War is no longer something visited upon impoverished and remote populations. It can happen to anyone.”

And Al Jazeera English anchor Peter Dobbie said it was “compelling” that the refugees appeared to be “middle-class people.”

“These are not obviously refugees trying to get away from areas in the Middle East that are still in a big state of war. These are not people trying to get away from areas in North Africa,” he said. “They look like any European family that you would live next door to.”

In addition to accusations of racism, several critics called out the inaccurate implication that this type of conflict has been limited to countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia in recent history, pointing to wars in Europe in the 1990s.


The Party for Socialism and Liberation issued the following statement:

The Russian military operation in Ukraine highlights that the world has reached a dangerous fork in the road. It is critically important for people in the United States, who are receiving the bulk of their information from the capitalist media that functions as an echo chamber for the U.S. government, to know that the current crisis is the byproduct of a long effort by the United States to establish absolute domination throughout Europe. The U.S. policy is aimed at undermining Russia’s security by surrounding it with advanced missiles that can reach their Russian targets in less than 10 minutes. 

For the last three months, the Russian government simultaneously called for negotiations about their security concerns while at the same time amassing troops at the Russia-Ukraine border and at the border of Ukraine and Belarus. Putin announced that Russia would militarily intervene in Ukraine after the United States and NATO rejected their fundamental demands that Ukraine not be incorporated into NATO and that Ukraine, which shares a 1,200-mile border with Russia, not be used as a staging ground for advanced missiles that target Russia. 

In essence, Putin and Russia were demanding that Ukraine be a neutral country and never a member of NATO. It was precisely through the territory of Ukraine that Russia was subjected to the Nazi invasion of World War Two and earlier invasions by Western powers. In World War Two, when Ukraine and Russia were one country (the Soviet Union), more than 27 million people died resisting the Nazi invasion of their homelands. 

At this critical moment, it is imperative that the U.S. government change its reckless, provocative stance of encircling Russia and relentlessly expanding NATO eastward. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States has attempted to incorporate almost every former Soviet/Russian European ally into NATO, which is an offensive military alliance. 

After having all of its demands rejected by the United States and NATO, the Russian government decided to invade Ukraine. As of this moment, major military operations are underway. The Russian government said it will not occupy Ukraine but that it intends to carry out the “demilitarization” and “de-Nazification” of the country. It is unclear what these terms actually mean. In some segments of the Ukrainian state – particularly the police and military – there is considerable Nazi influence. In the political life of Ukraine, the power of fascist groups has waned considerably in recent years and they do not exercise decisive influence inside of the administration of President Zelenskyy. 

The United States and European powers have vowed to impose a total sanctions regime on Russia, cutting the country off from the world economy and targeting its most vital industries. An initial volley of sanctions was announced by Biden today. These target some of the largest banks and corporations in Russia and are especially aimed at limiting Russia’s ability to access foreign currency and high tech markets. A series of sanctions have already been imposed since 2014, with Russia’s incorporation of Crimea after the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev. More measures are likely to follow. Taken together, the events of the last two days constitute a profound and historic rupture in the existing geopolitical order and will have cascading consequences for years to come.

A preventable tragedy 

The deadly fighting currently raging across Ukraine is a tragedy. In any war, the working class of the nations involved are the ones to bear the brunt of the hardship and suffering. From 1922 until the dissolution of the Soviet Union the peoples of Ukraine and Russia lived in peace. They were partners in a socialist planned economy and together they defeated the fascist, Nazi invasion of 1941 at the cost of 27 million Soviet lives. The bourgeois-led counter-revolution that dissolved the Soviet Union separated the peoples and republics. This animus and hostility that followed was the predictable outcome of the end of socialism and the beginning of capitalist competition. 

While we do not support the Russian invasion, we reserve our strongest condemnation for the U.S. government, which rejected Russia’s legitimate security concerns in the region, with total intransigence that they knew could provoke such a war. This is the consequence of decades of U.S.-NATO bullying and humiliating Russia. The Party for Socialism and Liberation demands that the U.S. government and its allies in the imperialist NATO military alliance immediately cease their provocative behavior designed to escalate the crisis and provide security guarantees that can be the foundation for the restoration of peace – the cornerstone of which must be a pledge to end NATO expansion. This is what can bring relief to the people of Ukraine. 

A highly explosive situation has been developing in Eastern Europe not only in recent weeks and months, but for many years. What happened last night and the terrible violence to come was preventable, but decisions made by NATO powers at every key juncture since the end of the Cold War set the region on a collision course that was bound to come to a head sooner or later.

Since the breakup of the Soviet Union and the socialist camp of Eastern Europe, the imperialist NATO military alliance has steadily expanded eastward, absorbing 14 formerly socialist states between 1999 and 2020. Three of these countries — Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — were former republics of the Soviet Union itself. In 2008, a war broke out between Russia and Western-allied Georgia after Georgian forces attacked the pro-Russia breakaway region of South Ossetia. 

In 2014, a coup supported by the West took place in Ukraine that replaced the neutral government of Viktor Yanukovych with a staunchly anti-Russia government. This coup created the essential preconditions for the current crisis and war. It did not come out of nowhere in the last few months. Under the Trump administration, the United States withdrew from the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Open Skies Treaty, which were cornerstones of the arms control architecture of Europe. 

Actions elsewhere in the world compounded the tensions. In 2011, NATO carried out the destruction of Libya on the basis of UN Security Council resolution 1973 – which Russia allowed to pass based on false assurances from the West that it would not be used to justify a regime change operation. Around the same time, a civil war broke out in Syria, a close Russian ally. Russia intervened in Syria militarily to prevent U.S.-backed reactionary fundamentalist forces from seizing control of the country. 

A turning point in world politics

The speech given by Vladimir Putin last night announcing the invasion made it clear that he was prepared for an intense and long-term confrontation with the West. Starting with the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, Putin listed a litany of aggressive actions by the West and called on all segments of Russian society – military and non-military – to do their part in the coming mobilization, which undoubtedly will involve profound economic turmoil inside of Russia. Putin’s intention appears to be to change the balance of forces in Europe and turn the geopolitical tide with a major military intervention. 

The plight of ethnic Russians, especially those in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine, factored heavily into the speech delivered by Putin, which was directed towards the Russian public. Putin has been outspoken in recent days about his opposition to the Soviet policy on nationalities and considers the creation of modern Ukraine to have been a grave error on the part of Vladimir Lenin. As the PSL pointed out in our Feb. 22 statement:

“[T]he policy promoted by Lenin was the cornerstone of maintaining peaceful relations and unity among the peoples of the Soviet Union from the Russian Revolution until the beginning of the USSR’s collapse. By organizing the new, socialist state along the lines of the right to self-determination, Lenin was striking a blow at what was called “Great Russian chauvinism” — the domination of the Russian state and the Russian nationality in the territory of the just-overthrown Russian empire. Along with the administrative transfer of territories, this was a way of ensuring that the peoples of the newly formed socialist state could live together in peace and equality, replacing the brutal domination characteristic of the Czar’s regime. The principle of self-determination laid the basis for multinational unity that was the foundation of the Soviet Union’s great successes — for instance, 4.5 million Ukrainians fought alongside Russians to defeat fascism in World War II.” 

There is no guarantee that Russia’s effort to reverse the geopolitical situation in its favor will succeed. So far, the events of the past several days have allowed U.S. imperialism to secure key objectives. The critical NordStream 2 pipeline that would have brought massive amounts of Russian gas into the European market is no longer going forward. NATO troops have been and will continue to flood into the Eastern European members of the alliance, including the Baltic countries that share a border with Russia. Just today, the Pentagon announced that it was sending 7,000 additional soldiers to Europe. While Russia clearly aims to install a friendly government in power in Kiev, public support inside of Ukraine for the country’s membership in NATO – which has never been a completely dominant position – will undoubtedly surge in the aftermath of the invasion.

The conflict currently exploding in Ukraine and rippling throughout the region and the entire world is hugely dangerous. The reckless and provocative actions of the U.S. government and its allies must cease immediately. The economic warfare being unleashed against Russia – which will first and foremost affect the country’s working class – will only deepen the crisis, as would troop deployments anywhere in Europe. 

Recognizing that Russia has legitimate security concerns does not require an endorsement of all its military actions, nor Putin’s suggestion that Ukraine has no basis to exist as an independent county, nor his larger geopolitical strategies. The role of the U.S. anti-war movement is not to follow the line of countries in conflict with U.S. imperialism, but to present an independent program of peace and solidarity and anti-imperialism.

The menace of war can only be defeated by international solidarity among the peoples of the world and a resolute struggle against U.S. imperialism, which must demand the abolition of NATO. No war on Russia!


Ajamu Baraka Tweets:

For people too young to have gone through the war-madness in the run up to the Iraq war, this period is worst. It seems as though folks have completely lost their minds. Now you can see why so many of the left along with the working class supported their rulers in WWI.

Meanwhile the always ridiculous US President Joe Biden Tweets:

America stands up to bullies. We stand up for freedom. That’s who we are.

America may stand up to bullies, but Joe doesn't.  Joe is the bully.  Lying and schemining to discredit Tara Reade.  Refusing to open his records to this day.  He does know that history will learn the truth, irght?  

He's bellowing for Russians to be brought to their knees.  What is fhe same tactis were brought to bear on Joe?

GUESS WHO DON"T SUE.  This former US senator had a lengthy love affair with a high profile abortion rights activist.  While she supported abortion rights and advocated for them, she didn't want an abortion herslef but the senator coerced into one when she ended up pregnant saying his wife would tolerate affairs but not children from mistresses.  

WSWS issued the following statement:

Sixty years after the Cuban Missile crisis, the war in Ukraine has brought the world to the point where the exchange of nuclear weapons is a real danger.

On Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin took the unprecedented post-Cold War action of placing the country’s nuclear deterrent forces on alert. In televised comments delivered at a meeting with military officials in the Kremlin, Putin said that Russia’s nuclear weapons would be transferred to what he described as a “special combat service regime.”

Explaining the decision, Putin said that “Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding the country.” 

 The World Socialist Web Site denounces the nuclear brinkmanship of the Putin government. The disaster created by the breakup of the Soviet Union three decades ago cannot be reversed through increasingly reckless militarism. In an act that reflects the desperation and disorientation of the regime, Putin and the faction of the Russian oligarchy cling to the self-deluding hope that they can threaten the imperialist powers into shifting their policies and recognizing Russian security interests in Ukraine.

Putin’s recklessness, however, does not alter the fact that principal responsibility for the present crisis and all its potentially catastrophic consequences lies with American imperialism and its NATO allies.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki declared in response to Putin’s statement that it is part of “a pattern we’ve seen from President Putin through the course of this conflict, which is manufacturing threats that don’t exist in order to justify further aggression.” A senior White House official was quoted by CNN as saying that Russia “was never under threat from Ukraine or from NATO, which is a defensive alliance that will not fight in Ukraine.”

The claims that Russia’s action is a response to merely “manufactured threats” to Russia are contradicted by the US/NATO powers, whose statements and actions over the past three days are seen unavoidably by Putin as an effort to destroy the Russian economy and overthrow his government.

On Saturday evening, the White House, along with France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Canada announced that they would expel some Russian banks from the SWIFT financial transaction network.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire had earlier referred to removing Russian access to SWIFT as a “financial nuclear weapon.” He added, “The fact remains that when you have a nuclear weapon in your hands, you think before you use it.” He added provocatively that “we are not reluctant to use all necessary weapons, without exception, against the Russia of Vladimir Putin.”

The statement of the US and European powers on Saturday also announced a commitment “to imposing restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves.” The Washington Post noted, “The United States has never taken this step against any country with nuclear weapons or an economy as large as Russia.”

These acts of economic warfare are being implemented in the context of what has become de facto a war of NATO against Russia, with Ukraine serving only as the physical battleground.

The war rhetoric coming out of Germany, unlike anything seen since the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union during the Second World War, is particularly incendiary. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced Sunday that the German military would receive additional financing of $110 billion, nearly twice the amount of its annual budget, and that Germany will also be providing direct military aid to Ukraine.

On Sunday, EU Commission President and former German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced that the European Union, for the first time, will begin financing the purchase and delivery of weaponry to Ukraine, escalating its direct involvement in the war.

Even the claim that NATO forces will not be directly involved in Ukraine was undermined by British Foreign Minister Liz Truss’s declaration that she would encourage youth in Britain to join the fight against Russia.

These statements follow the announcement by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the US would be sending an additional $350 million in military aid to the country, bringing the total over just the past year to more than $1 billion. On Friday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg activated, for the first time since it was created in 2003, NATO’s 40,000-strong “rapid reaction force” in anticipation of a war with Russia.

Top officials in all the major NATO countries are calling for even more aggressive actions. US Congressman Adam Kinzinger has called for the declaration of a “no-fly” zone over Ukraine, which would involve NATO forces shooting down Russian aircraft. Putin is no doubt aware that the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya in 2011 was the initial step in a war that culminated in the overthrow of the Libyan government and the torture and murder of Muammar Gaddafi.

Richard Haass, the president of the Council of Foreign Relations, tweeted Sunday morning that “the conversation” over the war in Ukraine “has shifted to include the possibility of desired regime change in Russia.”

The threats directed against Russia have been accompanied by the promotion of vile anti-Russian propaganda in the media. While claiming that the US is not targeting the Russian people, it is encouraging punitive actions against Russian citizens, such as banning performances of Russian composers and musicians and canceling appearances of the Bolshoi ballet.

Putin’s belief that American and European imperialism will be compelled to back down is a disastrous miscalculation. On the contrary, the US and its NATO allies have seized on the invasion of Ukraine to intensify their warmongering.

One of the worst consequences of the invasion of Ukraine is the level of disorientation it has produced within significant sections of the population. Yesterday, 100,000 people participated in a demonstration in Berlin to oppose the Russian invasion.

No doubt many who took part are motivated by humanitarian sentiments, though it must be noted that there have not been mass demonstrations against the brutal wars launched by the US and NATO during the last 15 years. In any case, the NATO powers are seeking to exploit popular confusion to press forward with its own reactionary militarist agenda. They also hope to use the campaign against Russia to distract attention from the intractable internal crises of all the major capitalist powers, above all the United States, which have been enormously intensified by the ruling class response to the pandemic.

The international working class must adopt an independent position in response to the escalating crisis. It is necessary to oppose imperialism without adapting to Russian nationalism, and to oppose Russian nationalism without adapting to imperialism.

At the international online webinar, “Stop the Drive to World War III,” hosted by the World Socialist Web Site on Saturday, WSWS International Editorial Board Chairman David North explained, “In determining one’s attitude to a given war, there is no approach more politically and intellectually bankrupt than that which focuses and obsesses on the question, ‘Who fired the first shot?’

This question abstracts a single incident from the vast complex of interacting economic, political, social and geostrategic interests and circumstances, with deep historical roots and operating on a global scale, that suddenly obtain the political equivalent of critical mass, and trigger the eruption of military violence.

Accepting the narrative that the danger of a Third World War, waged with nuclear weapons, arises out of the actions of one individual, Putin, North noted, “requires not only a suspension of all the faculties of critical thought, but also mass amnesia.”

Elements of this amnesia include forgetting the background to the conflict in Ukraine itself, including the 2014 US-backed coup that placed an anti-Russian government in power, and the relentless expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe. And it requires that one forget that the United States took the lead in planning for the use of nuclear weapons by withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, stationing of offensive missile in Romania and Poland, and undertaking a multitrillion-dollar expansion of US nuclear forces.

We encourage all of our readers to watch and share the recording of the online webinar, “Fight Covid! Save Lives! Stop the Drive to World War III

Here's the thing, like the War Criminals before them (see Bully Boy Bush), Joe and Vladimir are set for life and will not face consequences for their actions.  It's the people of various countries who will suffer.  Tht is always the way it goes. 

And when Joe's lost interest in Ukraine, he'll act as though it never happened.  The same way he acts as though the US government did not destroy Iraq.

Politicians are craven and don't care about the people.  AA reports:

Former Iraqi Prime Minister, Ayad Allawi, has called on his country to prevent any infiltration by PKK terrorist group into Turkish territory, noting that it was "unacceptable" to protest Turkiye’s response to the terror group’s attacks.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Allawi said the Iranian political influence in Iraq has declined over the past years following a wave of popular protests in the central and southern provinces of the country.

"Issues should not remain suspended with Iran and Turkiye, but there should be a direct dialogue," Allawi said.

“Dialogue should conclude with solving problems with Iran and Turkiye. Iraq should not allow PKK members to breach Turkish territory,” Allawi said.

“We protest when Turkiye intervenes to respond to the PKK attacks, and this is unacceptable. Remedies should be found for serious issues with neighboring countries,” he added.

There was a moment, 2010, when Allawi could have risen to be what Iraq needed.  That moment has passed.  When he's equating the PKK targeting Turkey with the government of Turkey invading Kurdistan (northern Iraq), bombing Kurdistan, burning down Kurdistan forests and setting up military bases in Kurdistan, he's just another whore who ran for office.

Turkey and the PKK is a historical struggle and that's one issue.  Turkey violating Iraq's sovereignty and killing civilians is another issue and a more important one because we are supposed to hold governments to certain standards.  It's amazing the Biden wants war with Russia when Turkey has violated the rights of Kurdistan repeatedly and Joe has nothing to say about that.

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