Thursday, September 3, 2015

What 80s sitcom would I like to see revived?

E-mails asked -- after my comments about FULL HOUSE and COACH -- what 80s sitcom I'd like to see revived?

First and foremost: ROSEANNE.  That was a great show and one of the most popular of all time.

After that?

Forget GROWING PAINS and FAMILY TIES and all that other nonsense, FACTS OF LIFE.

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and then you have the facts of life, the facts of life . . .

Blair, Tootie, Natalie and even Jo need to come back.

And need to do it soon.

I don't care if it's Mrs. Garrett or Cloris Leachman's Beverely with them, they need to do a revival.

That was a strong sitcom.

So that's my two picks.

(And I had the biggest crush on Kim Fields -- Tootie -- when I was a little kid.  She may have been my first crush.)

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, September 2, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, Haider al-Abadi blames officials for crimes and calls them terrorists, Baiji is again lost, more reports of US forces on the ground in Iraq (not on bases), the White House may ignore the legal obligation to the Ashraf community but the community is not forgotten, and much more.

AFP reports, "Gunmen kidnapped at least 18 Turkish employees of a company building a football stadium in Baghdad on Wednesday, officials said, but it was not immediately clear who was holding them."  NINA notes the kidnapping took place in the Sadr section of Baghdad. And, of course and no surprise, First Post adds of the assailants, "Masked men in military uniforms kidnapped 18 Turkish employees of an Ankara-based construction company in Baghdad early Wednesday, bundling them into several SUVs and speeding away, Iraqi and Turkish officials said."

But never accuse the military or the militia in Iraq -- not even when it turns out it was them.  Ignore that fact in every subsequent report and just continue to pretend there's a mad tailor in Baghdad churning out impostor  uniforms.

Iraq Times notes a Baghdad police source states that armed militia (which one is unidentified) stole the 3 SUVs earlier that day.  All Iraq News reports Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi responded by declaring this was all a conspiracy by "corrupted officials"  while Kitabat notes he vowed to pursue the wrong doers as terrorists.

Alsumaria reports Baghdad Operations Command issued a statement announcing they were opening an investigation into the kidnappings.

Among today's other violence, Alsumaria notes 1 attorney and his nephew were shot dead outside Baquba,

In Friday's snapshot, we were noting the lack of progress in the fight against the Islamic State.  It's even worse today.  It's no longer just that the year-plus campaign that's failed to retake Mosul and seen Ramadi seized.

There's Baiji.  Strategy Page notes:

The government also admits that the ongoing battle with ISIL near the oil refinery at Baiji (on the Tigris River between Baghdad and Mosul 200 kilometers north of Baghdad) is crucial. Security forces have been unable to keep ISIL away from the refinery. The ISIL attacks generally involve suicide car bombs and gunmen. These attacks are usually repulsed within a few hours. ISIL seems willing to suffer as many as several hundreds of casualties a week with these attacks. ISIL has been fighting here since mid-2014 and despite being defeated and pushed back many times, keeps returning with suicide bombers and mobs of suicidal gunmen. This year all these ISIL offensives have been repulsed but the security forces are so far unable to push the Islamic terrorists far enough away to restart refinery operations. The Beiji refinery can process 320,000 barrels of oil a day and that represents more than a quarter of Iraq's refining capacity. Until ISIL is cleared out of Baiji a major advance on Mosul will not be practical. 

Haider was in DC when Baiji was threatened (the oil refinery -- not in use -- was overtaken by the Islamic State) and when the Islamic State made it's move on Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province.

What to do, what to do, Haider apparently debated.

Before sending the Iraqi military to Baiji to 'protect' a basically abandoned oil refinery.

The people of Ramadi?

He would wait and wait before sending the Iraqi military there.

Reminder, Ramadi fell to the Islamic State and remains under IS control.

Well, he didn't save the people but at least Haider saved that oil refinery, right?

Uh, no.

  • Of the efforts to defeat the Islamic State, Strategy Page notes:

    Some members of the American led coalition providing air support are openly questioning the tactics and procedures being used. There are accusations from within the American intelligence community that political leaders are hiding the truth about how the restrictive ROE (Rules of Engagement) are crippling the air offensive against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. Another problem with the use of more ground control teams is the American political leadership wanting to put more of them on the ground while American military commanders believe that the risk of these U.S. troops getting killed or captured outweighs the benefits of more precise air strikes. That's because the ROE is obsessed with avoiding any civilian losses from air strikes and ISIL exploits this by regularly using human shields.
    Meanwhile the United States and Britain have very quietly brought in more special operations troops to fight ISIL in the "ISIL Homeland" of western Iraq and eastern Syria. The American and British commandos in Syria have apparently been operating together on raids, scouting missions and assisting the local Kurds and other armed anti-ISIL groups. One reason for keeping the commando presence quiet is that it is largely concerned with collecting more intelligence on ISIL. This means interviewing locals who deal with ISIL and observing ISIL operations in areas ISIL believes they are safe. The commandos want to make those areas less safe and, sooner rather than later, free of ISIL presence. Many of the locals agree with that.

    So US forces, as Al Mada had previously reported, are on the ground accompanying Iraqi forces on missions?

    It would appear so.

    Saturday's snapshot noted:

    In addition, Wael Grace (Al Mada) reported this week on what the people of Nineveh Province were seeing: US forces joining Iraqi forces in combat.
    The residents say this is not 'consulting' or 'advising' but that US forces are actually taking part in on the ground combat.

    So with Grace's report and Strategy Page, is there a reason the US press isn't noting that US forces are on the ground in Iraq -- off 'training bases' -- and taking part in military exercises?

    Before US President Barack Obama began bombing Iraq from US warplanes in August of last year, he'd already publicly declared (June 14, 2014) that the only answer to Iraq's various crises was a political solution.

    Then came August 2014 and, of course, he forgot all about that and just focused on dropping bombs.

    Look who's picking up Barack's slack.

  • As previously noted in the last months, Ammar al-Hakim is already powerful via his leadership of the Shi'ite political organization the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq.

    He was also seen as a US ally for years.

    Then something happened in the summer of 2014 which caused a break.

    Some say Ammar did not feel the administration courted his opinion, others say he was upset that the US didn't back him to be the new prime minister (instead going with Haider al-Abadi).

    Whether it was either of those, both or some other reasons, the US and Ammar experienced a public break that, had the State Dept not wasted all their time on Iran, could have been fixed.

    Instead it festered and, for the first time in his public career, Ammar began publicly criticizing the US government.

    This has taken place over months and in public and the US State Dept has done nothing to rectify it.

    And now there are rumors that the powerful Shi'ite bloc the National Alliance is on the verge of naming Ammar its leader.  As the leader of SICI, he's already powerful.  Were he to be named head of the National Alliance, he would be arguably the most powerful political leader in Iraq.

    And the US government?

    Unable to even keep basic promises or follow the law.

    I'm referring to the Ashraf community now.

    When Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq, a number of dissident Iranians came to Iraq.  They were part of the Socialist MEK group.  They were considered criminals in Iran for their political goals and aims.

    Saddam protected them.

    When the US invaded in 2003, the US government asked them to disarm.

    They resided on Camp Ashraf -- hence their being known as the Ashraf community -- and because they disarmed, they fell under the Geneva Conventions -- they became protected people with a legal obligation on the part of the US government to ensure their protection.

    Barack has repeatedly looked the other way as the Ashraf community has been attacked.  They were forcibly moved to Camp Liberty.  They have continued to be attacked there.

    At least 7 were kidnapped by Iranian forces -- and all the State Dept's Brett McGurk could do was spin and lie when Congress asked him about it.

    There is no protection for the Ashraf community despite the fact that the US government is legally obligated to protect them.

    (This obligation is only in force while they are in Iraq.  The US could quickly relocate the remaining members to other countries and be done with the legal obligation.)

    Not everyone is as silent as the White House:

  • on September first of 2013 by 'i agents =crime against humanity

  • 2years after / keep silence on the faith of 7 abducted MMB

  • Wednesday, September 2, 2015

    Coach is cancelled again

    I've heard few things more stupid than NBC's plan to bring back the 80s sitcom (1989 to 1997) COACH.

    Netflix bringing back FULL HOUSE at least had kitsch value.

    And the show as a touchstone for a generation.

    But COACH was just a middling sitcom that never took off and struggled through several seasons before being cancelled.

    Now NBC has scrapped the plans to air it after filming the pilot and having a ton of problems.

    Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

    Tuesday, September 1, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, some rush to cover crimes, some ignore War Crimes, Francis A. Boyle speaks out, and much more.

    As September starts, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq announces at least 1325 violent deaths for the month of August in Iraq:

    Baghdad, 1 September 2015 – According to casualty figures released today by UNAMI, a total of 1,325 Iraqis were killed and another 1,811 were injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in August 2015*.

    The number of civilians killed was 585 (including 20 civilian police and casualty figures in Anbar), and the number of civilians injured was 1,103 (including 44 civilian police and casualty figures in Anbar).
    A further 740 members of the Iraqi Security Forces (including Peshmerga, SWAT and militias fighting alongside the Iraqi Army / Not including casualties from Anbar Operations) were killed and 708 were injured.
    “With the steadily increasing number of casualties, internally displaced persons, and the alarming rate of Iraqis fleeing war, persecution and poverty to seek refuge abroad, the successful implementation of the government reform plan will be paramount to restore order, legality and social justice in the country and renew confidence in the fair participation of all in the society”, SRSG Kubis said, acknowledging the immense sacrifices Iraqi civilians and security forces continue to make in the ongoing war against terrorism.
    Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate with 1,069 civilian casualties (318 killed, 751 injured). Diyala suffered 108 killed and 162 injured; Ninewa 69 killed and 3 injured; Salah al-Din 23 killed and 13 injured and Kirkuk 17 killed and 15 injured.
    According to information obtained by UNAMI from the Health Directorate in Anbar, the Governorate suffered a total of 187 civilian casualties (39 killed and 148 injured).
    *CAVEATS: In general, UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in conflict areas. Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate and are noted below. Casualty figures obtained from the Anbar Health Directorate might not fully reflect the real number of casualties in those areas due to the increased volatility of the situation on the ground and the disruption of services. In some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. UNAMI has also received, without being able to verify, reports of large numbers of casualties along with unknown numbers of persons who have died from secondary effects of violence after having fled their homes due to exposure to the elements, lack of water, food, medicines and health care. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.

    This is an undercount.  It's always been an undercount.

    In the past, we've noted

    Not interested anymore.

    Not because Justin Raimondo is the equivalent of wet-pantied, squealing little girl at a Beatles concert when it comes to Barack Obama.  (They call themselves Antiwar and 'libertarian' but any time Barack pulls a fake ass 'peace' move, Raimondo's hands go straight down his pants as he begins moaning.)

    This is because they're liars and I don't like liars.

    Back in 2014, we raised the issue of Margaret Griffis tossing "militants" onto any deaths because some official did.  We'd hoped that would change this year.

    Not only did it not change but when it turned out that so-called 'militants' were actually innocent civilians, didn't go back and change the propaganda and lies they'd offered.

    This is no different than be outraged that the New York Times spread propaganda to sell and continue the illegal war in Iraq.

    This is no different than expressing dismay that its then-reporter Judith Miller took dictation from government sources instead of doing actual reporting.

    When civilians are killed by governments and governments try to wall paper over those deaths by pretending the dead were 'militants' or 'terrorists,'

    Those who help them reach that goal -- intentionally or due to their own blatant stupidity -- are no better than the government liars.

    I've tried to be nice about it, but I'm sick of it now.

    One of the worst War Crimes of the illegal war was the murder and gang-rape of Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi who was gang-raped while her parents and younger sister were murdered.  This was done by US soldiers who were sure they could get away with it because the violence would be blamed on, yes, 'militants' and 'terrorists' and, yes, they almost got away with it.

    We covered what happened here.  We covered the Article 32 hearing, the plea deals, the civilian prosecution of Steven D. Green, Abeer's family reacting to the verdict on Green and so much more.

    By contrast, I think offered three pieces on this War Crime.

    They really weren't interested which goes to the hatred of women which you'll find at -- one of those sites infamous for multitudes of men writing and blogging and the occasional token woman.

    They weren't interested in Abeer.

    And they're not interested in Iraqis.

    They really do reek of the isolationist slur or stereotype that so many War Hawks try to pin on them -- and they have no one to blame for that but themselves.

    As I've repeatedly noted over the years, I'm part of a peace movement, not an anti-war movement.  That crowd has trouble grasping what to hold on to but they can tell you in three seconds everything they're against.

    Those were ideological differences.

    I bit my tongue.

    When knows that civilians were killed and that they reported those deaths as deaths of 'militants'?  When they know that and they don't correct it or follow up on it?

    Not only does Justin Raimondo have no high horse to ride but we have no use for them.

    Mistakes are one thing -- we all make them -- intentionally lying is another.

    Their embrace of Nouri al-Maliki?

    We largely looked the other way.

    But that's typical of the immaturity they've demonstrated repeatedly over the years while pretending to be the leading light of 'anti war' thinking.

    You'll notice that even now, especially now?, with Nouri a public disgrace, they don't address their ridiculous support of Nouri -- a position that seems as laughable as the pro-Stalin Americans of yesteryear.

    But thing is, it was always laughable.

    We called Nouri out in real time and we called him out repeatedly.

    The abuses he's now infamous for?

    We called them out while they were taking place. wall papered over those in order to keep their pro-Nouri stance.

    We have no more use for and the reason is that they don't respect Iraqis enough to stop repeating unverifiable claims that the dead are 'militants' or 'terrorists.'

    It's not a minor point.

    If they truly were antiwar, they would grasp that not only is it not a minor point but that what they are doing perpetuates war because it provides cover for the deaths of civilians.

    "Watch Donald Trump Completely Contradict Himself . . ."

    Oh, it's time to gas bag and pretend you reported, is it?

    Yes, a US presidential election is only 15 or so months away which means it's time for Mother Jones to start pretending they're covering real issues.

    And first stop:  Iraq.

    The little twerps spend forever trying to figure out how to shame the GOP and call it 'reporting' before arriving at useless crap like that Donald Trump nonsense we'll note but not link to.

    If they're truly worried about someone contradicting themselves on Iraq, they'd be noting Hillary Clinton as well.  They don't.

    Now in 2008, they slaughtered her -- especially David Corn.

    That's when they were pimping Barack.

    Since he can't run and Hillary's the desired candidate of big money, Mother Jones is pimping her now.

    They call it 'reporting' but they're really just thugs sent out to destroy for their corporate masters.

    Let's stay with the topic of stupidity for a bit more.

    Reuters identifies a writer as follows:

    Mohamad Bazzi is a journalism professor at New York University and former Middle East bureau chief at Newsday. A former fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, he is writing a book on the proxy wars between Saudi Arabia and Iran. He tweets @BazziNYU         

    They included everything but buffoon which, for the record, Mohamad Bazzi is.

    In a ridiculous piece of adult porn focusing on Haider al-Abadi (Prime Minister of Iraq), Mohamad raves:

    Since Abadi took office last September, Sunni political leaders have made several demands: amnesty for tens of thousands of Sunnis imprisoned — in many cases without judicial review — by Maliki’s regime in the name of fighting terrorism; greater power in the new government; an end to aerial bombardment of Sunni towns; and a more significant role in the Iraqi security forces, which Maliki cleansed of many senior Sunni officers.
    Abadi has responded to some of these demands, releasing prisoners and ordering an end to the Iraqi air force bombings of Sunni areas. 

    Haider ordered an end to the Iraqi air force bombings of Sunni areas?

    Mohamad Bazzi is a moron.

    First off, for the bulk of the time, it's not been the Iraqi air force.  It's been the Iraqi military launching mortar attacks.  They didn't have the planes to devote to bombings until recently.

    These bombings began in January 2014 under then-prime minister (and forever thug) Nouri al-Maliki.

    They continued under Haider.

    These bombings target residential areas in Falluja.

    This is a designated and defined War Crime (collective punishment) where civilians are punished, harmed or threatened because their may be rebels, fighters, militants, enemy combats in the area.

    The presence of those does not allow you to harm civilians -- international law and US law is quite clear on that.

    Mohamad is referring to September 13, 2014 when Haider declared that these illegal bombings were over.

    For reality, we'll drop back to what we wrote here on September 14, 2014, the day after Haider's big announcement:

    Third's "Editorial: The bombing of civilians continues in Iraq" notes Iraq's new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, ordered an end to the military bombing civilian targets on Saturday -- or that al-Abadi said he gave that order -- yet Falluja General Hospital was bombed today.
    Iraqi Spring MC notes the bombings of residential neighborhoods in Falluja also continued today with 6 civilians left dead  and 22 more injured.

    Apparently, facts aren't a requirement at NYU. Mohamed should excel there.

    One of Haider's 'reforms' is ending the position of vice president.  Iraq has had three.

    The three Haider's 'reform' kicks out are thug Nouri, former Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi and Iraqiya leader Ayda Allawi.  (Allawi and Nouri are Shia, Osama is Sunni.)

    Hamza Mustafa (Asharq Al-Awsat) reports that Osama is stating the move is unconstitutional and that he can support any reform that is constitutional but not ones that are unconstitutional.  He maintains that he is still a Vice President.  Hamza Mustafa maintains Ayad Allawi has accepted the posts being cancelled but that Nouri al-Maliki has not:

    Meanwhile, Abbas Al-Mussawi, the official spokesman for Nuri Al-Maliki, told Asharq Al-Awsat the former PM also regarded the cancellation of the vice president posts as unconstitutional and believed only President Masoum could remove the incumbents or cancel the posts.
    “We support the reforms announced by Abadi and which he passed on to parliament, and Mr. Maliki supports them. But Iraq is a democratic country with a constitution and an elected parliament, and so the issue here is that even what is related to Abadi must be decided by parliament. In addition to this, parliament did approve the [reforms] but added a caveat that they should not clash with Iraq’s constitution,” he said.
    He added that like Nujaifi, Maliki was still “practicing his post as vice president until now, since there is nothing in this that contradicts the constitution.”
    Maliki is also facing the possibility of standing trial over his culpability in the fall of Iraq’s second city Mosul to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) last year. A parliamentary report issued last month, now referred to the judiciary, accuses Maliki and top military commanders of failing to take adequate measures to stop ISIS’s capture of the city despite having ample evidence of their approach.
    Reports suggesting the outgoing vice presidents’ return to parliament center on Maliki seeking to gain immunity from trial by standing as an MP. Mussawi said: “Why should he [Maliki] return to parliament when he is still, until now, a vice president?”

    Nouri will not be resigning from Parliament most likely.  As we've noted before, he's counting on the immunity he's granted as a sitting member of Parliament -- the same immunity he ignored when he attempted to persecute Tareq al-Hashemi and other Sunni politicians.

    Staying with politics, cretin John Podesta apparently got tired of standing at the urinals and emerged in the sunlight this month to hurl insults at others for the Iraq War -- a war he's suddenly against.

    In the August 20th snapshot, we noted how Podesta worked overtime to stop Democrats in Congress from bringing impeachment charges against Bully Boy Bush and allowed the Iraq War to start.  We were relying on the public statements of international law and human rights expert Francis A. Boyle.  Boyle issued another statement on the matter last week:

    On 13 March 2003, that is just before the outbreak of the war against
    Iraq, Congressman John Conyers, the ranking member of the House
    Judiciary Committee, convened an emergency meeting of 40 to 50 of his
    top advisors, most of whom were lawyers, to put in emergency bills of
    impeachment against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and at that time Ashcroft,
    to head off the impending war.
    He invited me and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark in to debate the
    issue in favor of impeachment. The debate lasted two hours. We had my
    draft resolution on the table and Ramsey also had his draft resolution;
    we don’t disagree at all in how we see the issues. And to make a long
    story short the lawyers there did not disagree with me and Ramsey that
    Bush merited impeachment for what he had done and was threatening to do
    so far.
    The main objection was political expedience and in particular John
    Podesta was there. He had been Clinton’s White House chief of staff. He
    stated he was appearing on behalf of the Democratic National Committee
    and that as far as the DNC was concerned it was going to hurt their
    ability to get whoever their candidate was going to be in 2004 elected
    President if we put in these bills of impeachment. I found that argument
    completely disingenuous when the Democrats had no idea who their

    candidate was going to be in 2004 as of March 2003. We had no idea.

    Podesta is now serving on Hillary Clinton's campaign for the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nomination.

    Tuesday, September 1, 2015

    Favorite music from a movie?

    Jillian e-mailed asking what my all time favorite music from a film is?

    That's hard.

    But one would be from Clint Eastwood's PLAY MISTY FOR ME.

  • Roberta Flack performing "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face."

    Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

    Monday, August 31, 2015.  Chaos and violence continue, the State Dept is too busy to follow the news, Bernie Sanders smoke and mirrors game grows tired, and more.

    Starting with this:

    1. reinforced that all must ; it is our collective responsibility.

  • I'm sorry, sweetheart, which Disney princess are you?

    I kind of thought you were Secretary of State.

    But to be that, you'd need to be doing something on Iraq.

    You haven't.

    But you think you have time for Climate Change so you must be a Disney princess, right?

    I happen to believe in global warming.

    And that the issue needs to be addressed.

    But, John Kerry, your plate is full.

    And after a year of US taxpayers footing the bill for billions more on Iraq, you should be Tweeting about Iraq and focusing on Iraq.

    If that's too much for you, maybe you should apply at Disney?

    As a Vietnam veteran, you'd benefit because Disney believes in hiring veterans.

    But if you want to be Secretary of State, it's past time you started focusing on Iraq.

    Your lack of leadership is evident at the State Dept.

    From Friday's snapshot:

  • 's celeb militiaman Abu Azrael was filmed mutilating corpse of -er he allegedly burned to death. He's one of the good guys, right?

  • As noted, this thug is treated by the western media as something heroic -- a Rambo.

    It's that sort of whoring by the press that allows so many around the world to never grasp what's going on in Iraq or how things got to the point they are now.

    Clear enough, right?

    And the story received attention from the media all weekend.

    Despite that attention . . .

    When the issue was raised to State Dept spokesperson Mark Toner at today's press briefing, he pleaded ignorance.

    QUESTION: I want your reaction for a video that circulated over the internet of a celebrated Shia militia in Iraq, whose, like, his graphic pictures are seen basically burning an ISIS member and slicing off his flesh. I wanted to know whether the United States has a position on the anti-ISIS forces taking basically what seems to be from ISIS playbook in fighting the ISIS fighters?

    MR TONER: Sorry, so you’re speaking to a video that shows --

    QUESTION: Of a very famous militia man named as the Rambo of Iraq in Western press. He’s seen basically in the video like desecrating the body of an ISIS fighter. Is it okay for anti-ISIS forces to practice --

    MR TONER: I mean, we wouldn’t – I’m not aware of this actual incident that you’re speaking about. But the desecration of any --

    QUESTION: But in general, you are not --

    MR TONER: In general, no, we don’t support --

    QUESTION: Against ISIS. Against ISIS.

    MR TONER: Regardless of who it is, we don’t support the desecration of bodies of fallen enemy or anyone, frankly.

    Again, Princess John, you're not doing your job and it's effecting those working under you.

    For Toner to go into a briefing on Monday and not know about a major Iraq story that broke on the previous Friday and was covered all weekend in the press goes to John Kerry's lackadaisical  -- I'll get there when I get there -- attitude about Iraq.

    Analyst Kirk Sowell Tweets the following:

  • The article is in Arabic.

    It notes reality.

    First of all, stripping Nouri al-Maliki, Ayad Allawi and Osama al-Nujafi of their posts as Vice President (which may or may not be Constitutional) and the deputy prime ministers -- including Saleh al-Mutlaq -- of their posts (ibid) does not strip them of their membership in Parliament.

    They remain MPs.

    This is only confusing if you're one of the idiots who thought what happened to Tareq al-Hashemi -- starting in December of 2011 -- was legal.

    It wasn't.

    And if Nouri was treated the same way he treated Tareq, there would be a trial right now for Nouri.

    I loathe Nouri al-Maliki but I support the rule of law.

    We maintained from December 2011 forward that Tareq could not be tried because he remained a member of Parliament (as well as Vice President, he was never stripped of that title) and, as such, he had legal immunity until the end of that Parliament.

    Nouri was elected to Parliament in the last go round last year.

    Until the current Parliament dissolves -- either at its natural time or via an early move to dissolve the Parliament and hold new elections -- Nouri can't be put on trial unless the Parliament votes to strip him of his immunity.

    Nouri didn't care about the law when it came to persecuting Tareq.

    But you better believe that now that he's the one who might go on trial and he and his love slaves will all be screaming about the immunity -- the same immunity they refused to recognize when persecuting Sunni politicians.

    Politicians . . .

    Senator Bernie Sanders appeared on ABC's This Week Sunday and Martha Raddatz had some questions for him.  Not the right questions, but some questions.

  • He   citied his 2002 vote against the Iraq War.  Repeatedly.

    In 2015, you need to have a little bit more to offer than a 2002 vote.

    Thirteen years ago, Bernie managed to vote against authorizing the Iraq War.

    After that, he really did nothing.

    Despite calling it the worst foreign policy mistake (crime), he never filibustered.

    He never did anything.

    But that is the suck-up Bernie.

    He's just a little suck ass and the idiots supporting him -- I'm calling you idiots because you are idiots, we were kind in 2008 to The Cult of St. Barack and look where that got us -- know nothing about Bernie besides his TV appearances.

    Bernie does nothing.

    Over and over.

    We're going to the May 1, 2014 snapshot:

    Senator Bernie Sanders: Within the veterans' community -- and in fact, the nation both in the public sector and the private sector -- we face a very serious problem as a nation of overmedication. The result of that overmedication is that significant numbers of people treated in the Department of Defense facilities, in VA facilities and in the private sector become dependent upon those medications intended to help them and ease their pain. Pain relief is a huge problem in the country and how we treat that pain in the most effective way is really what we're discussing today. Some people who are treated with a whole lot of medication become addicted -- and I think we all know what happens when people become addicted -- and some in fact will end up taking --  losing their lives through overdoses. And in my state and throughout this country this is a huge problem as well. So this is a major issue which has been discussed in this committee during the last year and we're really glad we have such a distinguished panel to discuss this issue.

    We're starting in the US and dropping back to yesterday for a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  Iraq voted in parliamentary elections yesterday, we focused on that, there wasn't room for the Wednesday hearing.  Senator Bernie Sanders is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and Senator Richard Burr is the Ranking Member.

    The big news of the hearing?

    The big news was about the allegations of deaths.

    What allegations of death?

    Dropping back to the April 9th snapshot to note this from that day's House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing:

    US House Rep Jeff Miller:  I had hoped that during this hearing, we would be discussing the concrete changes VA had made -- changes that would show beyond a doubt that VA had placed the care our veterans receive first and that VA's commitment to holding any employee who did not completely embody a commitment to excellence through actions appropriate to the employee's failure accountable. Instead, today we are faced with even with more questions and ever mounting evidence that despite the myriad of patient safety incidents that have occurred at VA medical facilities in recent memory, the status quo is still firmly entrenched at VA.  On Monday -- shortly before this public hearing --  VA provided evidence that a total of twenty-three veterans have died due to delays in care at VA medical facilities.  Even with this latest disclosure as to where the deaths occurred, our Committee still don't know when they may have happened beyond VA's stated "most likely between 2010 and 2012."  These particular deaths resulted primarily from delays in gastrointestinal care.  Information on other preventable deaths due to consult delays remains unavailable.   Outside of the VA's consult review, this committee has reviewed at least eighteen preventable deaths that occurred because of mismanagement, improper infection control practices and a whole host -- a whole host --  of other maladies plaguing the VA health care system nationwide.  Yet, the department's stonewall has only grown higher and non-responsive. There is no excuse for these incidents to have ever occurred.  Congress has met every resource request that VA has made and I guarantee that if the department would have approached this committee at any time to tell us that help was needed to ensure that veterans received the care they required, every possible action would have been taken to ensure that VA could adequately care for our veterans.  This is the third full committee hearing that I have held on patient safety  and I am going to save our VA witnesses a little bit of time this morning by telling them what I don't want to hear.  I don't want to hear the rote repetition of  -- and I quote --  "the department is committed to providing the highest quality care, which our veterans have earned and that they deserve.  When incidents occur, we identify, mitigate, and prevent additional risks.  Prompt reviews prevent similar events in the future and hold those persons accountable."  Another thing I don’t want to hear is -- and, again, I quote from numerous VA statements, including a recent press statement --  "while any adverse incident for a veteran within our care is one too many," preventable deaths represent a small fraction of the veterans who seek care from VA every year.  What our veterans have truly "earned and deserve" is not more platitudes and, yes, one adverse incident is indeed one too many.  Look, we all recognize that no medical system is infallible no matter how high the quality standards might be.  But I think we all also recognize that the VA health care system is unique because it has a unique, special obligation not only to its patients -- the men and women who honorably serve our nation in uniform -- but also to  the hard-working taxpayers of the United States of America.

    Miller is the Chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.  Like Miller, Sanders takes this issue seriously and noted it in his opening remarks.  He noted, "I just spoke to the VA's Inspector General yesterday.  There is a thorough investigation taking place in Phoenix and Richard Griffin who is the VA's Acting Inspector General told me that he has the resources that he needs to thoroughly investigate that situation."

    Keep that in mind.

    The big disgrace that is the VA's Dr. Robert Petzel told the Committee, "I need to say that to date, we found no evidence of a secret list.  And we have found no patients who have died because they were on a wait list."

    Did you grasp what just happened because the press didn't?

    I've heard Jen Psaki, Marie Harf, Victoria Nuland, Jay Carney, Robert Gibbs, Dana Perino and many more explain, when asked, that they couldn't what?


    Pick any controversial and embarrassing topic and what do they say, "I'm sorry.  I can't comment on an ongoing investigation."

    But Petzel didn't say that -- despite it being an ongoing investigation.

    So, in fact, we now know that they can comment on an ongoing investigation, they just don't want to.

    After denying any guilt, Petzel then declared, "We think it's very important that the Inspector General be allowed to finish their investigation before we rush to judgment as to what has actually happened."  But he rushed to judgment when he denied it.

    But Bernie didn't deal with it, did he?

    He spent that hearing talking about holistic medicine.

    He wasted everyone's time.

    It was said veterans were dying -- and they were -- because of what the VA was doing.

    But Bernie wanted to talk holistic medicine.

    Now he did promise, in that hearing, that he would be holding a hearing on this issue.

    And who knows, someday he might.

    He lied April 30, 2014 when he said he'd be holding a hearing on the matter.

    May 15, 2014, he announced at the start of a hearing that the investigation was going on and they should wait for the facts before trying to determine what happened.

    July 16, 2014, it still wasn't time -- according to Bernie.  Another hearing refusing to hold the VA accountable.

    September 9, 2014 -- five months after the scandal broke -- he finally held some sort of hearing.  It didn't try to hold VA accountable and Bernie offered excuses throughout for the VA.

    He was known as the VA apologist in the Senate.

    Covering the May 14, 2014 hearing,  Wally noted, in "More talk, no action (Wally),"  that after the hearing Sanders went on CNN and was so craven in toadying up to the VA that host Chris Cuomo even pointed it out.

    That's your 'brave' and 'independent' Bernie Sanders who has repeatedly failed to show leadership.

    Yes, he can be convincing for a soundbyte or two; however, he never does anything.  What's his track record on legislation?  Something like 1 out of every 200 bills he introduces gets passed?

    That's your Bernie Sanders who, by the way, looks a lot like Colonel Sanders of KFC fame.