Tuesday, April 2, 2019


I wrote about THE VIEW last week or the week before.  It was based on reports about an upcoming book.  I now have the book, LADIES WHO PUNCH by Ramin Setoodeh, which came out today.  I'm just starting the book but if you're looking for gossip and fights and hatred, this is clearly the book to read.  I think I'm on page 43 but I can say this is the book to read.

Meanwhile, NETFLIX is upping the price.  I actually saw that on my screen -- I still haven't been sent an e-mail.  On my TV screen when I was pulling up NETFLIX recently, it said my plan was increasing and asked me to okay that. 

My attitude right now is cancel GRACE AND FRANKIE or SANTA CLARITA DIET, just do it.  Cancel one and I can cancel you.  Those really are the last two shows I'm staying for.  NETFLIX is a big rip off. 

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

Tuesday, April 2, 2019.  Oh, Joe.  Another day of "Oh, Joe."  Can we really endure 19 months of "Oh, Joe" and still see Dems take back the White House?

Yesterday, Neil Vigdor (HARTFORD COURANT) reported a second woman had come forward to state that former US Vice President Joe Biden had creeped her out with inappropriate behavior as well:

A Connecticut woman says Joe Biden touched her inappropriately and rubbed noses with her during a 2009 political fundraiser in Greenwich when he was vice president, drawing further scrutiny to the Democrat and his history of unwanted contact with women as he ponders a presidential run

"It wasn't sexual, but he did grab me by the head," Amy Lappos told The Courant Monday. "He put his hand around my neck and pulled me in to rub noses with me. When he was pulling me in, I thought he was going to kiss me on the mouth."
Lappos posted about the alleged incident on the Facebook page of Connecticut Women in Politics Sunday in response to a similar account by former Nevada legislator Lucy Flores, which comes as Biden is considering a 2020 run for president. Flores accused Biden of kissing her on the back of her head in 2014, when she was a candidate for lieutenant governor.

The response to Lucy Flores and Amy Lappos has been very telling.

Meghan Weight Gain McCain wants you to know that Joe is wonderful, wonderful and nothing bad ever happened to her.  She reminds me a lot of Chastity Bono -- I'm talking the pre-Chaz days.  Chastity never did a damn thing but ride the family name -- just like Weight Gain McCain.  And Chastity also felt the need to weigh in, remember?  Mel Gibson was not homophobic, Chastity insisted even though everone knew Mel was homophobic.  How did Chastity know he wasn't?  Because he was never that way around her.

In other words, while around the gay daughter of the legendary Cher, Mel Gibson was appropriate.  That proved only that he acknowledged some boundaries, not that he wasn't homophobic.

Alyssa Milano, the ultimate fake ass, rushed forward to insist Joe never did anything to her.  Hey, Alyssa, Joe never did anything to me either.  Bob Filner never did anything inappropriate to me (though many other women can't say the same).  John Grabby Hands Edwards is the only one I can think of who did anything inappropriate to me -- politician wise, the most recent after him would be a TV star at the height of his TV fame who seemed to think he owned the world and anything -- or anyone -- in it.

I've also seen some, no offense (well maybe a little offense intended), butt ugly women on Twitter -- especially a nurse -- who insist that Joe never did anything to him.  Joe's pattern, please remember, is attractive women.  If you're butt ugly, he didn't feel the need to nuzzle against you.

Two women are sharing their truths.

And the response?

Well, there's Mika who flirted and f**ked her way to cohosting MORNING JOE who wants to know if she can discuss that one of the women supported Bernie Sanders in 2016?  Of course you can discuss that Mika and we can all discuss how you cheated on your husband to sleep with your equally married co-host and how trashy that was and remains.  We can also continue to discuss the betting pool on when you two split and how many other women Joe sleeps with in the meantime.

I've seen some people on Twitter -- who I'm sure are well meaning (that's meant sincerely) -- who have wondered recently if Elizabeth Warren, as she pursues the party's presidential nomination will end up getting "the Hillary treatment."

I'm sure they don't mean gushing press and Andrea Mitchell attempting to police her peers on the campaign.  That's 2016.

I think the mean 2008.

You can like Hillary Clinton personally or not but hopefully you can agree that what happened in 2008 should never have happened and never needs to happen to a woman again.  "Iron my shirts!"  She was heckled with that and people -- pundits and hosts on TV, especially MSNBC -- found that funny.  Nothing was too far for them to go.  They giggled over Hillary "nutcrackers."  They smeared her in every way possible.  They lied about her -- Bill Moyers, Jesse Jackson Jr. and Dr, Kathleen Hall Jamieson -- on PBS.  Click here for a 2008 look back at some of the sexism.  Grasp that while this took place, FAIR and its radio program COUNTERSPIN -- supposed media watchdogs -- ignored everything until Hillary was called a "bitch" on TV (on CNN) and then they quickly rushed over it not even identifying the person who had called her a bitch on air (here for Ava and I in real time).

Again, you can like her or not, but hopefully you grasp that what was done to a woman in 2008 was unacceptable.  Some of us called it out in real time and that's why we always look puzzled when the 'brave' girls (girls, not women) emerged in 2016 to scream 'sexism!' at things that really weren't sexism and marveled over the fact that these middle-aged girls (Debra Messing, Patty Arquette, Alyssa, etc) didn't say s**t in 2008.

Now two women are speaking and someone like Alyssa has the chance to make up for her hideous silence in 2008.  But she can't because she is hideous.  Remember, I supported Illeana Douglas when she told her story about Leslie Moonves.  Did you not notice that Alyssa never gave Illeana so much as a Tweet of support?  She never gave her any support.  Because Alyssa was trying to sell a show to a CBS property (THE CW) and she didn't think Leslie Moonves would be toppled so she was going to keep her mouth shut.  That passes for 'bravery' among the cowards.

What's interesting is that the 'bros' -- men and women -- are back.  They're part of the laughable 'resistance.'  And they're trashing these two women who have come forward.  They were part of the trashing of Hillary in 2008.  They giggled over the attacks on Hillary and now they launch their own attacks.

Two women say they were made uncomfortable by behavior that was clearly inappropriate.

So they rush -- and Alyssa does this too -- to tell us that Joe meant no harm.

I love Bob Filner.  When women came forward to talk about what he had done to them?  I didn't say, "Oh, he meant no harm!"  I didn't shove my nose into their conversation.  They had things they needed to air and they needed to discuss and they had every right to do so.

Instead of letting the two women (and I think there will be a few more) discuss what happened to them and all of us addressing it on those terms, you've got the 'resistance' attacking them, laughing at them, mocking them.  I'm really bothered, for example, by a comedian who thinks he's sexy (he's really not) and thinks he can have an audience on the left while he mocks these women and makes light of what was done to them.

No, it is not acceptable to go behind a woman, grab her and smell her hair.

That's not professional and it's not acceptable.

And women that Joe has done this too have every right to speak their truth and we long ago should have been addressing this.  Joe's intent doesn't matter.  And he did this as a high ranking US Senator and as the Vice President so, instead of mocking women, we should be discussing the power issues and how Joe's actions were seen publicly and ignored or made into jokes.

It's inappropriate.

One idiotic 'resistance' member hissed on Twitter that "no candidate will be perfect.''

Joe's actions border on assault.  That's not an extreme read on it.  Women with less access to power were made uncomfortable by his refusal to honor accepted boundaries, by his invasion of their space and by his hands on their body.  That's assault, I'm sorry if the law wasn't taught at your community college.  For those of us who studied the law, however, it's very clear that what Joe did was assault.

And wanting a candidate who didn't assault someone is very different from wanting someone who is "perfect."

And if you're a Joe supporter, you should especially close your mouth right now.  You need to see if he has the strength to address this in such a way to silence it because, if he doesn't, it is going to be an issue later in any campaign.

'Well Trump's a pig so it will be a battle between two pigs!'

Well 2015 was The Year of the Ass and, in 2016, when voters were forced to choose between two asses, they went with Trump.

Joe Biden needs to address his actions.

He was perfectly comfortable doing what he did in public.  He should be able to talk about it.  And when one of his sons was publicly humiliated, I weighed in here (I know Joe and, yes, I like Joe) noting that we all fall down but the test is how we dust ourselves off and get back on our feet.  Joe later echoed that (which is fine, I'd said to him personally and not just posted it here).  Okay, Joe, put those words into practice.  Do what you said your son needed to.  And if you can't, you should not be running.

I'm bothered by so much of the way this dialogue is taking place.  That includes trying to reduce this to a 'woman's issue.'  Oh, he groped but he did this for women so it's okay -- that seems to be a talking point.  No, it's not okay.  More to the point, this is a conversation about power.  And women often do not have the power so it's very easy to make this a gendered conversation.

However, on two campuses yesterday discussing Iraq, this issue kept coming up.  It's not a gendered issue.  Not by the comments I heard.  It's an issue about the abuse of power and there are women and men who have experienced and/or observed that type of issue.

Joe voted for the Iraq War.  He was also over Iraq for the administration when ISIS rose in that country.  Barack couldn't put Hillary in charge because she'd rightly called Nouri al-Maliki a "thug" in a public Senate hearing in April of 2008.  Nouri was a thug.  He was also prime minister of Iraq.  So, once he was elected, Barack couldn't put Hillary in charge of Iraq and instead went with Joe.  Joe's actions as vice president including selling the overthrow of the 2010 election (Nouri lost but Joe advocated for him to remain prime minister).  Joe supported the corrupt regime of Nouri al-Maliki, someone who terrorized the people of Iraq while stealing their money.  Corruption is epidemic in Iraq.

Ammar Karim (AFP) explains:

Nationwide horror over the March 21 capsizing of the overloaded riverboat in the northern city of Mosul, which claimed 100 lives, mostly of women and children, has given way to a clamour for provincial officials to be put on trial.
Graft is endemic across Iraq, not only in the city the Islamic State group controlled for three years before their expulsion in July 2017.
The country ranks among the world's worst offenders in Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index.
Since 2004, a year after the US-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein, a total of $218 billion has vanished into the pockets of shady politicians and businessmen, according to parliament.
That is more than Iraq's GDP.
Few officials have been brought to account, and amnesties have allowed many to evade justice, only partially repaying the stolen funds.
For the past week, the cry of "corruption is killing us" has been ringing across Mosul.

& I seem 2 agree on many things re#Iraq.In his latest article on ferry, he writes in Arabic what may roughly translate to, "removing 1 or more officials frm power will yield zero change in the wider corruption network involving both militias and politicians"

Fear of corruption disrupts the reconstruction of liberated cities, and influential investors take advantage of the opportunity, by

Quotations : The occupation of Iraq produced a distorted political process, marked by corruption and sectarianism.

ISIS is not gone in Iraq.  They have morphed and will continue to morph. Saturday, NPR's MORNING EDITION featured a conversation about Iraq:

Last week, President Trump and Syrian democratic forces claimed victory over Islamic State in Syria. But what exactly does that mean? Syria's neighbor, Iraq, may provide some answers. Victory over ISIS was declared there in 2017 after U.S.-backed forces regained control of Mosul. Mara Redlich Revkin, a fellow at Yale Law School's Center for Global Legal Challenges, has spent a lot of time there. She says life after ISIS involves a lot of criminal trials against people suspected of joining or aiding the group. She's witnessed some trials.
Revkin told me about a man named Khaled. He worked at a slaughterhouse that ISIS took control of, leaving him with a choice - stay at the job and work for ISIS or leave and face retaliation.
MARA REDLICH REVKIN: Khaled, like many residents of Mosul, decided that cooperation was the only way to survive. So he continued working in the slaughterhouse. He claimed that he was never trained. He never received combat training or used a weapon or participated in any military operations on behalf of the group. But nonetheless, three years later, when Iraqi security forces, supported by the international coalition, recaptured Mosul, he was 1 of more than 90,000 people who have been detained on suspicion of association with the group. And he was arrested solely on the basis of testimony from a secret informant who had apparently witnessed him pledging allegiance, even though Khaled insisted that this pledge was involuntary and coerced.
So, you know, during the trial, I saw him explain that his work consisted only of feeding and caring for animals at the slaughterhouse. But nonetheless, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison after a trial that lasted less than 30 minutes. And the judges actually told him that he was lucky to receive such a lenient sentence because the crime for which he was convicted, which was membership in a terrorist group, generally brings capital punishment.
COLEMAN: A lot of post-ISIS life is figuring out who was or who was not involved in ISIS and bringing the appropriate perpetrators to justice. This is done mostly through courts?
REVKIN: Yes, it is. And it's happening both in federal Iraq and in the Kurdish region. The primary legal instrument for a prosecution is the 2005 anti-terrorism law which is very harsh and also very quite vaguely worded. So Article 4 requires the death penalty for anyone who has, quote, "committed, incited, planned, financed or assisted a terror act" - and a life sentence for anyone who covers up such an act or harbors those who perpetrated it. And the harboring language is particularly important because this has been used as justification to prosecute a lot of family members of alleged Islamic State affiliates.
So if you are the wife or child or a mother or father of an Islamic State fighter and living in the same house as that person, does that mean harboring? I think a lot of courts and Iraqi judges I've talked to would say yes. Another element of this law is the definition of a terrorist under Article 2 as anyone who has organized, chaired or participated in an armed terrorist gang.
And a word like participation is just so incredibly broad. And when you think about what that means in the context of a place like Mosul, where the Islamic State controlled the entire economy, had a monopoly on violence and then was also controlling borders and entry and exit, does it mean that anyone paying taxes there was participating? Or if you sold food to an Islamic State fighter, did that make you a participant and therefore a terrorist?

Corruption and ISIS are linked.  It's one of the issues, corruption, that gave rise to ISIS in Iraq.  An unresponsive government attacks its own citizens and ISIS rises in Iraq.

Barack may think his refusing to take Nouri's post-2012 election congratulatory phone call (he fobbed the call of on Joe Biden, refusing to speak to Nouri himself) was some sort of punishment but it wasn't.  His embrace of Nouri in 2010 set the stage for the rise of ISIS.  And that's something a candidate Joe Biden will have to answer for.


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