Thursday, May 23, 2019


Why is it a kid wearing a MAGA hat smiling can become a national scandal, but a mainstream performance can have endless Satanic references and nobody bats an eye?

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

Thursday, May 23, 2019.  The race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues as does the push for war on Iran, two Democrats betray the party in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote, and more.

In the United States, the race is on for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  24 candidates are currently competing for the nomination.  Some would argue any press at all can help.  They have probably not read Hanna Trudo's DAILY BEAST post on Senator Cory Booker:

When Cory Booker announced his presidential bid in February he pledged to wage a campaign around unifying the country, calling for “radical love” of all people.
But as he continues to slip in polls and fundraising momentum, Booker’s love for his competitors, radical or otherwise, has frequently slipped into passive-aggressive digs, even taking time to punch down at the least competitive contenders.  
“It struck me as ironic because Booker is running as this kumbaya candidate,” one senior official on a rival campaign said, describing an indirect shot fired by the senator at their candidate. “To be running on such a positive platform but calling people out without actually calling them out, it seemed kind of desperate.”
Sometimes the shots are direct. When Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called for restoring voting rights to convicted felons—including the Boston Marathon bomber—still serving prison time, Booker slammed him for taking the focus off “black and brown people and low-income people” who are languishing in prison.
Others have been more discreet. After Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) copped to smoking marijuana in her youth on a radio show in a light-hearted exchange, a month later, Booker took a swipe at “senators” who joke about having used the substance that has led to the incarceration of thousands of people. 

Again, Cory is one of 24.  He and the rest are being lobbied by Put People Over The Pentagon.  Elana Schor (AP) explains:

Nearly two dozen progressive groups are launching a new push to persuade Democratic presidential candidates to support dramatic spending cuts at the Pentagon.
The liberal groups are writing Thursday to all candidates in the crowded 2020 Democratic primary, urging the White House hopefuls to support slashing $200 billion or more from an annual defense budget that topped $700 billion for the current fiscal year. 

Put People Over The Pentagon was the name of a Norman Solomon column last month.  You cannot have everything.  You cannot continue to pump money into the wars and provide for the people at home.  History has demonstrated over and over.  The lack of attention to this basic fact by the press -- and by some campaigns -- is glaring.  We need new alternatives and new proposals to carry us over into a country that can care for its people.

One candidate questioning the never-ending wars is Marianne Williamson.  Lissandra Villa (TIME) profiles her:

When Andrea Martinez asked about medical marijuana, the question quickly turned from the political to the personal.
At a town hall in a dimly lit church in Washington Monday evening, the 51-year-old Navy veteran suggested to Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson that marijuana might make a suitable alternative to some of the medications prescribed to veterans, adding that she’d personally experienced suicidal thoughts on some of those drugs.
Williamson reached out and touched Martinez’s arm.
“I’m glad you said that. I’m glad you said that,” she said, reassuringly. “Because [it’s] a big, national underbelly secret that — it’s almost like a sacred cow, you’re not supposed to say it.”
A spiritual adviser, best-selling author and lecturer with no prior political experience, Williamson is an unconventional candidate for the 2020 Democratic nomination. But the argument for her campaign boils down to moments like this one — times when she can personally reach out and empathize with voters in a way that eludes many of her rivals, especially President Donald Trump.

After floating in elite circles with the likes of Oprah Winfrey, who introduced her to a national audience, Williamson has a core group of supporters who believe in her message of love and kindness, enough that she reached the threshold of 65,000 individual donors to qualify for the first primary debate earlier this month.

Marianne has called out the move to war on Iran.  She's also attempting to stop not just one bad effort but a whole mindset that leads to them.  At her campaign site, she writes:

I want to talk to you about waging peace.
From millions of chronically traumatized children to mass incarceration to family separation at the border, the United States has no more serious problem than the problem of violence itself.
And yet, even as the current administration starves the international peace-building capacities of the State Department, we have no federal platform from which to seriously wage peace domestically.
We need both.
Through support of my candidacy for president of the United States, you can help alter the course of our nation and model peace for our world.
When I become president, I will establish a U.S. Department of Peace.
This campaign to establish a U.S. Department of Peace is the first step in dismantling our systemically entrenched perpetuation of violence. And it is critical.
Our current administration actively cuts peace-building programs that are statistically proven to increase the incidence of peace and reduce conflict, despite their efficacy. These programs represent expanded economic opportunities for women, expanded educational opportunities for children, reduction of violence against women, and the amelioration of unnecessary human suffering wherever possible.
We should see large groups of desperate people as a national security risk. In doing right by our fellow human beings, we will pave the way to a better world.
I believe Americans are ready to do the right thing.
This is why I will make peace-creation a signature of my presidency. Sign today if you agree that there should be a US Department of Peace.
Our country's priorities are clearly reflected in our budget. The Defense Department has a military budget of $718 billion – almost larger than that of all other nations combined – while our State Department budget – including all peace-creation agencies – is $40 billion. The independent U.S. Institute of Peace has a budget of only $36.8 million.
As president, I will make the relationship between the State Department and the Department of Defense a robust partnership. And I will build up the peace-building agencies within the State Department in a major way.
Domestically, we need to similarly disrupt patterns of violence. Join me in support for building a U.S. Department of Peace to address issues of peace-building here at home – trauma-informed education, community wrap-around services, restorative justice, conflict resolution, mindfulness in the schools, violence prevention programs, and more.
When I am president, the world will know that America’s greatest ally is humanity itself. Let us restore our position as a moral leader both here and abroad. Far more Americans love than hate, but we must display our love with a renewed commitment and serious conviction. Together, we can and we will.

And we'll note this Tweet which goes to the issue of people suffering due to big money (the topic the TIME profile opened with):

Putting corporate profits before wellbeing of people & planet isn’t just immoral; it’s bad economics, stealing from the future by sucking short term profits from the present. Political establishment created & enabled this. Time for the people to step in.

Marianne is one of 24 candidates seeking the party's presidential nomination and, in a historic moment, she is also one of six women seeking the nomination.  Another woman running is US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard. BIG ISLAND NOW reports:

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawai‘i-02) and Rep. Sean Duffy (Wisc.-07) introduced the Heroes Entering Roles of Education Service (HEROES) Act on Tuesday, May 21, 2019. The legislation would provide an expanded pipeline for servicemembers and veterans to transition into school careers such as teachers as well as nurses, counselors, teacher’s aides, librarians, administrators, school resource officers and other support personnel.
“Millions of veterans have returned home since 9/11 and bring with them a wealth of experience and technical skills from which our children and communities can benefit. At the same time, there are schools across the nation who face a shortage of qualified personnel,” said Rep. Gabbard. “This bill helps our veterans connect to these employment opportunities while bringing their mission of service over self to schools in need.”

Tulsi is one of two Iraq War veterans running for the nomination (Seth Moulton is the other).  She is the first female veteran to seek the nomination of one of the country's two main political parties.

John Schwarz (BUBBLE BLABBER) notes:

Tulsi Gabbard has a lot of very strong stances that I think most people can get behind. Stopping trillions of dollars being wasted on regime changes, Facebook being broken up, and not taking special interest money to fun her campaign makes for admirable characteristics for someone to be a President. Having said all that, Tulsi’s an outed fan of the brilliant South Park and that might get my vote just by itself.
While on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast last week where a conversation about terms of service agreements came up when discussing Google and Facebook End User License Agreements. According to Tulsi, she thinks of the “HumancentiPad” episode of the Emmy-winning series whenever she reads those things which was also a topic brought up from the very popular “6 Days to Air” docu-series that lead up to the aforementioned episode. For those that don’t recall, the episode revolved around Apple’s ridiculous end-user license agreements, The Human Centipede, and tracking software.

The interview by Joe Rogan has proved very popular and already has over 1.7 million views.

Some are using the video for house parties.  Mike's "Tulsi house party you can do," Trina's "Crustless Pumpkin Pie in the Kitchen," Ruth's "Tulsi Gabbard inspires" and Isaiah's "Primary thoughts" cover the house parties they had.

War with Iran would make the Iraq War look like a cakewalk.

On the issue of war on Iran, Tulsi is hitting back hard.  While some in Congress have fought back (Tulsi, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Seth Moulton  -- all vying for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination and all currently serving in Congress -- have come out against war on Iran), not enough members have.  Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) reported yesterday on an effort by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee to assert their proper role (Congress is the body that has the authority to declare war):

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Tom Udall (D-NM) led an effort on Wednesday to try to reassert Congressional authority, by trying to preemptively de-fund any US war against Iran unless Congress authorized it ahead of time.

This proposal was brought forward at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and immediately failed, 13-9. Murphy said this vote would remind the administration that they don’t have authorization for the war.

Republican Rand Paul voted for the measure, he is one of the nine.

My confusion?  Why it wasn't 13 to eleven.  The Democrats have ten members on the Committee.  Was Cory to busy campaigning to vote?

Who was the piece of crap Democrat who voted with Republicans?  Actually, there were two.

Democrats have ten members on the Committee.  Republicans have 12.

In a 13-9 vote, with Republican Rand providing the ninth vote, that means 2 Democrats crossed over.

Does no one do math?  12 and 11 is 23.  13 and 9 is 22.

So one person missed the vote.

That leaves us with 21 votes in all.  Of those 21 8 were Democrats saying only Congress could authorize war and 1 Republican (Rand Paul) joining them.

That means only 8 of the Democrats voted for it.  Allowing that one person missed it -- probably Cory judging from his Twitter feed -- that still means that two crossed over.  My first guess would be J.S. -- she's a noted War Hawk and has been forever and day.  We'll continue on this topic tomorrow.

 The following sites updated:

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