Monday, October 31, 2022

Candy and COVID

another pew

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Hot Topics With THE PEW" went up Saturday.

You’re not wrong about candy prices. The price of candy and chewing gum rose by more than 13% year-over-year in September, the highest increase on record, according to the latest figures by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To illustrate just how big a rise that represents: It took nine years, from December 1997 to December 2006, for candy and chewing gum prices to increase by that amount. That outpaces the current rate of inflation (8.2% in September.)

Wow.  That's huge.  The economy is in the toilet and Joe Biden wants to pretend otherwise.  

And COVID's just around the corner.  It's never stopped.  But it's expected to get worse with winter upon us.  Erik Schreiber (WSWS) reports:

Although the predicted fall surge of the pandemic is only beginning, many rock and pop musicians already have had to cancel concerts because of COVID-19 infections and related concerns. Because live performances represent a far bigger share of musicians’ income than royalties from online music streaming do, these cancellations can be a source of financial hardship. The artists are coming face to face with the fact that the current political setup can neither safeguard human health nor promote a flourishing culture. 

The most famous musician to be affected recently is Ringo Starr, the former Beatles drummer, who began a North American tour in September. On October 3, Starr announced that he had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and was canceling a week’s worth of dates. On October 10, he announced that he had tested negative and would resume the tour. Three days later, however, Starr tested positive again and decided to cancel the remainder of his tour. At age 82, the drummer is at high risk for severe outcomes of the virus, but the tour cancellation presumably will not cause him financial difficulties.

Many musicians are far less fortunate. Animal Collective, an indie rock group whose music combines psychedelia and electronic influences, recently canceled their fall concert dates in the United Kingdom and Europe because of “touring obstacles related to COVID and the economy,” according to their post on Instagram. The band already had canceled shows during the past year after three of its members became infected with the coronavirus. They thus “lost large amounts of the income that sustains us and our families.”

With notable frankness, the band wrote that they faced “an economic reality that simply doesn’t work and is not sustainable.” Citing inflation, currency devaluation and increased shipping and transportation costs, they concluded, “We simply could not make a budget for this tour that did not lose money even if everything went as well as it could. ... We are choosing not to take the risk to our mental and physical health with the economic reality of what that tour would have been.” With evident chagrin, the band apologized to its fans and asked for their understanding.

Other musicians have been sidelined by Long COVID. Car Seat Headrest, a band known for its loose, introspective and moody style, recently canceled a West Coast tour and an appearance at When We Were Young Fest in Las Vegas because of singer–songwriter Will Toledo’s persistent symptoms. After his coronavirus infection, Toledo developed histamine intolerance, which, in his words, entails “heavy nausea, fatigue, dizziness and a buzzing nervous system.” This syndrome is a common presentation of Long COVID.

“After another month of struggling to regain my health, I am currently forced to face the fact that my body lacks the basic levels of functionality necessary to leave the house most days, let alone embark on a tour,” Toledo tweeted.

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

 Monday, October 31, 2022.  On Halloween, the snapshot is a plethora of treasures, a grab bag of them.

Starting with Eric London (WSWS):

The decision by the entire congressional slate of Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) members and DSA-backed representatives to rescind a letter to Joe Biden calling for peace talks with Russia increases the likelihood of direct conflict between the US and Russia and raises the risk of nuclear war.

The DSA’s endorsement of US imperialism’s war against Russia in Ukraine is not a break with the DSA’s history. On the contrary, it is the latest (and most dangerous) iteration of the organization’s pro-imperialist political essence.

Less than 24 hours after 30 of its members published the letter to Biden last Monday, the House Progressive Caucus issued a statement not only rescinding the letter, but calling for prosecuting the war “until Ukrainian victory.” A week has passed the letter signed by DSA members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Cori Bush (D-MO) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) was withdrawn, and none has made any statement about the cowardly reversal or even tweeted on the subject. 

On October 25, the WSWS contacted Ocasio-Cortez’s press office and asked, “Does Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez oppose the decision by the leadership of the Progressive Caucus to withdraw the letter calling for a negotiated settlement to the war in Ukraine? If so, we’d like to give her the chance to say so on the record.” The congresswoman’s office acknowledged receipt of the question but did not give an answer.

DSA-endorsed Ilhan Omar has spoken publicly about the 24-hour reversal, claiming she withdrew her signature from the original letter because of “timing” and because “the letter was a response to intel we were getting” in late June, evidently from the Pentagon and CIA, about the danger of escalation. This explanation is disingenuous, since the danger of nuclear war has only increased, with Biden declaring earlier in October that the world is on the verge of “Armageddon.” In reality, the DSA slate withdrew their signatures because Nancy Pelosi told them to on behalf of Wall Street and the military.

Significantly, Omar responded to questions about her reversal by attacking opponents of war. In a series of tweets, she said those who claim the DSA members are “war mongers” for rescinding their signatures are merely promoters of Russian “internet disinformation.”

Omar re-tweeted a thread by a Huffington Post reporter denouncing “the fringe [for] attempting to suggest… that progressives who support Ukraine—the vast majority, from Bernie to Ilhan & AOC—are war-mongers.” She also pledged to vote for additional military spending for the war, even as the Biden administration does next to nothing to provide support to tens of millions of Americans confronting rising inflation, poverty and the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in their schools and workplaces.

Bernie Sanders, (I-VT), another DSA-backed candidate, was asked about the initial letter calling for negotiations: “I don’t agree with that, and they don’t agree with it apparently,” he said, perhaps not intending the insult.

The call for war until “Ukrainian victory” is indistinguishable from the position of the most extreme elements of the military-intelligence apparatus of which the DSA is a part. In fact, their silence places them to the right of figures like Ro Khanna (D-CA), a member of the Progressive Caucus who represents Silicon Valley, who defended the letter and called for negotiations.

The only semi-official attempt at damage control by a DSA leadership body on the 24-hour reversal was issued by the DSA’s International Committee via its Twitter account on October 28.

If we could, we'd quote it in full.  It's riveting and it's an important -- especially when it goes into the historical aspect.  

You can also refer to Eric London's Twitter feed.


There's a lot to cover every day so, for the record, we're not interested in the wealthy bisexual who let what he hoped was rough trade into his highly secure home for a tryst only to be attacked.  So sorry, let others fret over that story. Yes, it is my neighborhood but, as a neighbor said on Saturday, "We've all told our sons not to go in that home when his wife's not there."  Yes, we have and for good reason.

Speaking of rollover boys, Denny Kuccinich.  I love how Aaron Mate is never weighed down by facts or reality.  Which is how he can take THE GRAYZONE and lie that Denny Kay "led Congressional opposition to the Iraq War."  That would be news to so many who lived through that reality.  But of course Aaron Mate's War On Women demands that he erase all their efforts and award wishy-washy Denny Kay with a year book credit he never earned.

US House Rep Maxine Waters was the chair of the Out of Iraq Caucus, for example, not Denny. Along with Maxine, Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee led on that.  Not Denny Kay.

Denny Kay caved on Iraq and did so at the 2004 DNC convention.  I know, I was there and got stuck cleaning up his mess.  A Denny Kay supporter wailing at how Denny had just betrayed Iraq and I was left to calm her down and explain to her that a Kucinich always caves.  

Years later, Dennis would loudly and repeatedly -- and rightly -- say that ObamaCare was not universal care for all and that he would not vote for it.  But Barack needed his vote so they took a little planetrip together and 'brave' Denny, when he got off the flight, noted he would now be voting for ObamaCare.  On the flight, Barack had told him how they could redistrict Denny out of office.  Stupid Denny then went along with Barack only for them to redistrict him out of office.

That's brave Denny Kay, that's the man Aaron pimps today.  By the company they keep, please remember, by the company they keep.  And also remember that Denny's done nothing in the nearly ten years since being out of Congress . . . except cash those checks from FOX NEWS.  

At some point, Aaron Mate might need to explain why he repeatedly ignores women and strips them of their accomplishments.  Then again, he's on the faux left and they never have to face much reality, do they?

Like Aaron, Twitter thinks it can get away with a great deal.

Note the second Tweet above.

As we pointed out on Saturday, Twitter is censoring this image. (click on "VIEW TWEET" above if you don't believe me):

Of that photo, they say, "The following media includes potentially sensitive content. Change settings"

And that's the sad world that we live in, that photo is censored.  

 AFP notes, "A gas tanker exploded in Baghdad on Saturday night killing at least nine people and injuring 13 others, security forces said, adding that it was an accident."  KURDISTAN 24 adds, "Prime Minister Mohammad Shia’ Al-Sudani and President Latif Rashid have both asked for an immediate probe into the deadly incident."  Why a probe?  Maybe they're not sure if it was an accident.  NEWS 84 MEDIA states, "Officials said on condition of anonymity that it was unclear at this time whether the explosion was due to a technical fault or a targeted attack. The blast came two days after Iraq’s parliament approved a new cabinet in a long-awaited vote, which was described as a major breakthrough in de-escalating ongoing political tensions in the country."

In other news, Chenar Chalak (RUDAW) reports:                                                                             

The mother of a former opposition bloc head in the Kurdistan Region parliament told reporters on Sunday that medical reports have concluded that her son was “poisoned” and that he is receiving treatment abroad, in light of repeated remarks from the bloc denying the seriousness of his illness.

The New Generation Movement (NGM) last week alerted Kazim Faruq, former head of the bloc, that he must stop accepting his salaries as an MP and “return the money which he has received for the last year and seven months” due to his inactivity.

Faruq’s family responded to the comments of the NGM, telling Rudaw and other media outlets that the reason the MP has not been seen publicly is because he has been receiving treatment in hospitals abroad for several months, without specifying where he is being treated.

“We took him [Faruq] abroad… and they [foreign doctors] told us your son has been poisoned,” Akhtar Ahmad, Faruq’s mother, told reporters in front of her house in Sulaimani on Sunday, noting that the family cannot reveal where the MP is because they can no longer tell “who is an enemy and who is a friend.”

Twitter has several Tweets about this development including:

Of course, if you go back a month, you'll also find this:

Meanwhile, THE PEOPLE'S DISPATCH notes The October Revolution:

This October marks the third anniversary of the 2019 popular protests in Iraq. On Tuesday, October 25, a large number of people gathered in the Tahrir square in capital Baghdad and paid homage to the people who were killed in the protests. They raised slogans in support of what has been termed by the protesters as the Tishreen movement.  

The countrywide protests in 2019, rooted in the long-term grievances of people against successive governments, went on for months. Before the global COVID-19 outbreak forced them to end, the protests were successful in forcing the then government led by Adil Abdul Mahdi to resign, putting the ruling classes on the defensive and pressing for reforms.  

Caretaker prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who came to power in May 2020 after months of uncertainty, had promised to deliver on some of the major demands raised by the protesters, including rebuilding the economy and punishing those guilty for the deaths of over 600 people including protesters and others. 

Three years down the line and with a new government on the horizon, none of these promises have been met. This is likely to lead the vast majority of pro-reformers pushing for their demands in the coming days. 

Economic and political aspects of the protests 

The 2019 protests were one of the largest in Iraq’s history since the 2003 US invasion. Long-term grievances regarding inefficiency of successive administrations and the widely perceived corruption among the ruling establishment were at the center of the public anger. In their slogans, the protesters repeatedly denounced the failure of the system created under the supervision of the US occupation in tackling the issues faced by the people, such as rising poverty, unemployment, and basic services delivery. 

At the time of the protests, the official rate of poverty in the country of approximately 40 million people was rising. Even before the pandemic hit in 2020, the poverty rate had risen to above 31%. Oil-rich Iraq witnessed an unprecedented rise in poverty during the COVID-19 outbreak. While the government claimed that the poverty rate was coming down after the pandemic, a large number of Iraqis are still forced to live a life as paupers.  

Since oil revenues make up the bulk of Iraq’s federal budget – around 96% – the economy remains vulnerable to market fluctuation. 

Iraqi youth, who make up the majority of the population, were at the center of the 2019 protests. The unemployment rate among the youth – fresh graduates from the university and others – was above 40% at the time of the protests.

The majority of Iraqis were forced to live without the basic amenities such as power, sanitation, and health care. Protesters claimed that these failures on the economic front were the result of inefficiency and corruption of the ruling elite. They also pointed to structural reasons such as the system of Muhasasa or sectarian quota based on distribution of political posts for this inefficiency and corruption.

We'll wind down with this from Ms. Magazine:


Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Hot Topics With THE PEW" went up Saturday.  The following sites updated:

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Taco Soup in the Kitchen

Caroline notes she works and she has three kids.  She likes a soup because it's filling and it's warm as the weather gets colder but "I am so sick of blend this and blend that.  I don't have that kind of time -- not for cooking and prep and not for clean up."  I hear you.  She notes this recipe for taco soup from Spend With Pennies:


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion diced
  • 16 ounces pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 10 ounces Rotel tomatoes
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 4 ounces green chile peppers diced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • ¾ cup frozen corn
  • cup green pepper diced (or ½ small green pepper)
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix or homemade

  • Directions:

  • In a large pot, brown ground beef with onion until no pink remains. Drain off any excess fat.
  • Add remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

  • What is my go to for cooking on the weekends?  Elizabeth asked that.  I'm big on soups in the late fall and winter.  My basic will always be chicken soup.  I'll simmer some chicken thighs (boneless and skinless) when I get home Friday night/Saturday morning (I'm a nurse and we're still being double-shifted).  I'll eat a snack while that's going on and see what I've got to do around the house, maybe talk to my husband or anyone else who's still awake.  I'll usually start a load of laundry.  So that's about an hour that I let the chicken simmer.  Then I'll go to bed.  When I wake up, I'll take the pot of chicken out of the fridge, take it out of the stock in the pot, add my onions, celery and carrots (chopped) and cook that on the stove while I'm chopping/shredding the chicken.  I may add corn (fresh or a can) to the pot and maybe mushrooms or potatoes.  


    Now there's already a pot of beans on the stove these days.  It's cold enough.  I'll presoak the beans (starting it Friday morning before I leave for work).  When I get home Friday night/Saturday morning, I'll drain and rinse the beans.  Then put them in a fresh pot of water, bring to a boil and them simmer while covered 

    After I've added the chicken, I cover the pot and let it simmer while I toss the laundry in the washing machine (from last night/earlier that morning) into the dryer.  I'll then go have some coffee and maybe some toast while I catch up with my family in the kitchen.  for an hour, as I do my wrap up stuff (outlined above).  I will keep it covered but turn off the burner when I go to bed.

    Usually someone in the house has put the pot on low and uncovered it by the time I wake up and people will help themselves throughout the day.  We (the adults) know to regularly check the water level -- otherwise the water's going to cook down and the beans will burn.  

    This morning, after I woke up, I made some cornbread and as soon as it was down, everyone was hitting the beans and getting some corn bread.

    Again, I love that we will snack on a pot of black beans, navy beans, black eyed peas, red beans, etc.   Yes, we have popcorn and chips in the house and eat them.  But I do find if a pot of beans is warm on the stove, my family will hit it throughout the day.  Beans are protein, they are rich in fiber, they're unprocessed.  

    Kayla asked if I add anything to them?  Sometimes.  I might chop up an onion, a jalapeno, both, and add them to the beans (or peas).  I might also add some chopped carrots.  

    I don't add a lot of meat.  Remember that we have eight kids.  They're all adults now.  But eight kids growing up, my husband and I both working, there wasn't the money to be adding ham or beef or whatever to a pot of beans every day.  Or even every other day.  

    I have been covering Will Lehman's campaign for the presidency of United Auto Workers.  Carlos e-mailed asking when the elections were?  Good question.  This is from Will's website:

    What are the UAW national elections which are taking place in 2022?

    The first-ever direct elections of the UAW national leadership, on the basis of “one member, one vote,” are taking place in October and November this year, 2022. In a 2021 referendum, UAW members had overwhelmingly voted to approve direct elections of the union’s top positions.

    The referendum came about as a result of a years-long UAW corruption scandal, which revealed that a large portion of the UAW leadership were either accepting corporate bribes or embezzling workers’ dues. Two of the last four UAW presidents—Dennis Williams and Gary Jones—were sentenced to prison in connection with a federal corruption investigation, and the UAW was placed under the oversight of a court-appointed monitor (the “UAW Monitor”).

    Which UAW positions are being voted on?

    UAW members will be voting to elect the officers on the UAW International Executive Board (IEB). These positions include the national president of the UAW as whole, for which I, Will Lehman, am running as an official candidate. Other positions being voted on include the UAW secretary-treasurer, vice presidents, and regional directors.

    Which candidates for UAW president will be on the ballot?

    The following are the official candidates for UAW International president who will appear on the ballot:

    • Will Lehman (me)

    • Ray Curry

    • Shawn Fain

    • Mark Gibson

    • Brian Keller

    When will ballots be mailed out for the UAW elections?

    The UAW Monitor states that the “first formal mail distribution” of ballots will take place on October 17.

    When must ballots be returned?

    Ballots should be placed in the mail no later than November 18, according to the UAW Monitor, in order to be received by the final deadline of November 28.

    How do I ensure I receive a ballot?

    Ballots will be mailed to the address on file with your UAW local. Therefore, it is critical that you make sure your local has your current home address. Efforts to inform your local of your address should be documented in writing, for example, via email.

    How do I track my ballot, or get a ballot if I didn’t receive one?

    The UAW monitor has stated that it will maintain a ballot-tracking page at The monitor also states that if you do not receive a ballot by October 24, you will be able to request one from

    What will the ballots look like?

    The UAW Monitor has provided copies of VOID ballots. These ballots are not official, and are solely for the purpose of members familiarizing themselves with the ballot instructions. View a PDF copy of the VOID ballot for UAW International Officers here.

    Who is eligible to vote in the UAW elections?

    “All UAW members in good standing as of October 31, 2022, are eligible to vote in the 2022 Election, including members who are part-time workers, reinstated members, and retired members,” according to the UAW monitor (emphasis added). To be in good standing, a member’s dues payment must be current as of October 31, 2022.

    When will UAW election ballots be counted?

    Counting of ballots will be carried out by an “Election Vendor” and will begin on November 29.

    Where do I find the full list of rules for the UAW elections?

    The UAW Monitor maintains the official rules for the 2022 International Officer Election of the UAW. The official election rules can be viewed on the Monitor’s website here.

    I would hope this goes without saying but this is an anti-pedophile website.  We're not Aaron Mate or Margaret Kimberley here meaning we don't promote convicted sex offenders here.  They do, they do promote them.  I don't and I never will.  Read;

  • And C.I.'s "The lack of respect for females leads some to prom...''  Again, this is not a site that promotes pedophiles and I am sorry that I live in a world where other supposed left websites feel differently.  I guess the heart and soul of Black Agenda Report died with Glen Ford.    

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

    Friday, October 28, 2022.  Iraq forms a government.

    Big news out of Iraq unless you're BLOOMBERG NEWS.  If you're BLOOMBERG, you run with "Iraq Appoints New Oil Minister After Yearlong Political Impasse."  It certainly shows you where there priorities are.  

    Mohammed Shia al Sudani is prime minister of Iraq.  Born in 1970, the 52-year-old is the youngest person to hold the office created after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.  The median age in Iraq is 21.  REUTERS reminds that Mohammed "previously served as Iraq’s human rights minister as well as minister of labor and social affairs, will head the new government."  Sinan Mahmoud (THE NATIONAL) explains:

    Descended from a well-known tribe in the southern province of Maysan, Mr Al Sudani, 52, started his political career after 2003 as a member of the Shiite Dawa Party.

    From 2004 to 2009, he served as member of the provincial council in his home town and as provincial governor for a year.

    He ran for election with the State of Law Coalition led by former prime minister Nouri Al Maliki and has won three terms in parliament since 2014.

    Among other posts, he served as minister of human rights from 2010 to 2014 and minister of labour and social affairs from 2014 to 2018.

    Al-Sudani is taking over from Mustafa al-Kadhimi who was serving as an interim prime minister after widespread anti-government protests shook the country and triggered early elections.

    The political deadlock since then has done little to quell public anger over what many see as widespread and rampant corruption.

    "The epidemic of corruption that has affected all aspects of life is more deadly than the corona pandemic and has been the cause of many economic problems, weakening the state's authority, increasing poverty, unemployment, and poor public services," al-Sudani said in parliament.

    Since Nouri al-Maliki, every prime minister has promised to fight corruption and every prime minister has left office without making any impact on that front.

    The US State Dept issued the following:

    The United States congratulates Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani on forming a new Iraqi government.  We look forward to working with him and his government on the range of our shared interests, from improving services for the Iraqi people to ensuring a safe, stable, and sovereign Iraq as outlined in our Strategic Framework Agreement.

    The Iraqi people deserve economic opportunity, an end to corruption, and improved public services.  The United States welcomes Prime Minister al-Sudani’s commitment to bring weapons under the control of official and legitimate state institutions.  We share the Iraqi government’s interest in preserving stability and security.

    The United States stands ready to work with the Iraqi government and people to confront Iraq’s challenges together, from improving respect for human rights to addressing climate change and improving economic opportunities for a growing population. Iraq has a partner in the United States as it moves forward with reforms.

    UNAMI issued the following:

    Baghdad, 27 October 2022 - The United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) welcomes the confirmation of Prime Minister Mohammed S. Al-Sudani’s government by the Council of Representatives. The swift completion of his cabinet is now an essential next step.

    The new government faces many serious challenges that require decisive action. These will include addressing Iraq’s systematic corruption; implementing desperately needed reforms and delivering adequate services to all citizens; diversifying the economy; encouraging the meaningful participation of women and youth; tackling the effects of climate change; ending impunity and making perpetrators accountable; and reining in non-state armed actors while asserting the State’s authority.

    A strong resolve, across the spectrum, to provide concrete solutions will prove vital. The United Nations reaffirms its steadfast commitment to supporting the government and people of Iraq.

    Along with his age,  Mohammed is also significant in another way.  He was named prime minister-designate October 15th.  Yesterday, he became prime minister by getting his Cabinet of 21 ministers approved by Parliament (two spots remain vacant).  That's 12 days after being named the designate.  The Constitution gives the designate 30 days.  Mohammed has set a new record for fastest formation.  21 is what most outlets are saying.  Most.  KURDISTAN 24 reports:

    His cabinet consists of 22 ministers, mainly representing the Administering the State Coalition's parties that formed the government.

    There are currently two Kurdish ministers in the cabinet. Fuad Hussein, representing the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) member, was elected as Iraq's foreign minister for the second time. 

    Khalid Shwani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) became Iraq's justice minister. 

    Al-Sudani's cabinet has three female ministers, Finance Minister Taif Sami, Minister of Migration and Displacement Evan Jabro, and Hyam Al Yassri of the telecommunication ministry of communications.  

    AL-MONITOR lists the following Cabinet heads:

    • Health: Salih Mahdi
    • Finance: Taif Sami
    • Interior: Abdul Amir Al-Shimmery
    • Water Resources:  Aoun Diab
    • Electricity: Ziad Ali Fadhil Sudani
    • Oil: Hayyan Abdul Ghani
    • Youth and Sports: Ahmad Al-Mubarqa’
    • Agriculture: Abbas Jabr
    • Transport: Razzaq Muhaibis
    • Labor and Social Affairs: Ahmad Al-Asadi
    • Communications: Hoyam Abboud
    • Higher Education: Na’im Al-Abboudi
    • Planning: Muhammad Tamim
    • Culture and Antiquities: Ahmad Fakkak Ahmad
    • Defense: Thabit Muhammad
    • Education: Ibrahim Namis
    • Industry: Khalid Battal
    • Trade: Athir Daowd Salman
    • Justice: Khalid Shawani
    • Foreign Affairs: Fuad Hussein
    • Immigration: Ivan Faiq

    The most recognizable name on the list to the west may be Fuad Hussein.  

    He will continue as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, a post he assumed in 2020, and he was previously the Minister of Finance.  A Kurd, he is a member of the KDP.  In 2018, the KDP nominated him for President of Iraq (the post went to the PUK's Barham Saleh).  

    RUDAW reports, "The cabinet consists of 23 ministers but only 21 were approved as Sudani did not present any names for environment and construction ministries. All members of the cabinet were later sworn in."  Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) also goes with 21, "A majority of the 253 lawmakers present voted to appoint 21 ministers, with two posts -- the Construction and Housing Ministry and the Environment Ministry -- remaining undecided."  TRT states, "Of the 21 ministries nominated, 12 posts go to Shia supported by the Coordination Framework, six to Sunni leaders, two to Kurds and one to a Christian woman — one of three females in the new government."

    The formation of the government came one year and 17 days after the elections (October 10, 2021).  

    For months, cleric and cult leader Moqtada al-Sadr had attempted to form a government and repeatedly failed.  He had been hailed by the western press as a "kingmaker."  He'd never been it before and, turns out, he wasn't it this go round either.  Will the western press be issuing corrections?  Amending previously published news reports -- not opinion pieces, news reports?  Of course, they won't.

    Moqtada had one tantrum after another.  He overplayed his hand when he stomped his feet and ordered members of his political bloc to immediately withdraw from Parliament.  Fatty just knew that everyone would beg him to have his ministers return.  Didn't happen.  They resigned and his bluff was called.  The second biggest vote getters replaced Moqtada's MPs.  He's not represented in Parliament and, guess what, his people also hold no ministry.

    From kingmaker to failed cult leader. 

    In his speech prior to the vote, Sudani described the economic and political priorities of his government.

    “The world is witnessing tremendous political and economic changes and conflicts, which will add new challenges to our country,” Sudani said. “We will ... do our utmost to succeed in addressing these challenges."


    Analysts say that despite breaking the deadlock, the new government is set to face a number of obstacles.

    “The fulfilment of the enormous expectations outlined in the Ministerial Programme will be one of the primary obstacles this government will encounter,” Research Associate at Chatham House, Hayder al-Shakeri, told Rudaw English on Friday.

    “For instance, fighting corruption throughout and organizing early elections one year later. This will not occur while attempting to maintain the satisfaction of the political elite who have empowered Sudani to become Prime Minister,” Shakeri argues. 

    Another obstacle may be protests.  The October Revolution will be in the streets demanding accountability.  As usual, Moqtada will try to piggy-back on to the movement.  He'll have to struggle for that because they refused to back down last go round -- on his demands that males and females not be protesting at the same site, for example.  

    Winding down . . .

    BROS is playing around the world and, in the US, you can also stream it -- rental or purchase.  It's a comedy classic and the best film of 2022.

    The following sites updated: