Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Who wants to watch?

THE HILL notes:

CNN's prime-time ratings dropped a whopping 26 percent in April compared to last year, according to Nielsen Media Research.
MSNBC's ratings were down 14 percent in April 2019 compared to April 2018, while Fox News's ratings overall were flat.

Are you surprised?

I'm not.

I grew up with CNN.  If there was a disaster, I'd turn on CNN and it would explain it. 

But that was the old CNN.  Now it's just like MSNBC and FOX NEWS.  It's not about news.  It's just opinion and cheaply made programs.

If they had a show that deal with the Iraq War for an hour every day or night, I'd watch that hour. 

But this garbage they keep ramming down our throats?  Propaganda.  Witch hunts.  Fear mongering?

Not interested in sitting through that. 

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

Wednesday, May 1, 2019.  Robert Reich and other 'resistance' warriors exist to distract you from not just basic facts but also the events that actually take place -- war, poverty, disease, etc.

In the US, where we set the crazy standard for the world, Robert Reich takes the lead.  Robert Reich is a neoliberal and third-way-er who was going to 'reinvent government' by putting it up for sale which is how he teamed up with Bill Clinton and Al Gore to begin with.  He's never really found a home since which is a shame but the US, sadly, turns many mental patients out on the street because we do not have enough beds or the money to pay for extended stays in most of our sanitariums.

Which is how Robert gets to take his crazy to the street or, in this case, to NEWSWEEK.  Robert's part of the 'resistance' -- a group that exists to Bitch Moan and Whine while doing nothing and never addressing any serious issue.  So he's offered another 'solution' where there is none.  Arrest William Barr!  Barr, for those who don't know, is the Attorney General.

What is Robert proposing, a citizen's arrest?

No, the stupid moron -- who preaches to stupid morons -- is saying Congress needs to arrest Barr.  If Barr decides not to appear before the House Judiciary Committee, Reich says that he should be arrested.

Only a liar or an idiot would propose that.

Bodies exist to grab power, that's the reality there.

If you have a clash between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch, the Judicial Branch is going to be the one ruling.  And the Court exists -- as most bodies do -- to claim power for itself.  That's what it will do.  It's ruling will redefine power in a way that favors the Court.

That is how it's always worked.

Now that's the longterm and Reich has no idea about that.  He's a stupid man, he has little idea about anything.

Under Bully Boy Bush, there were several times when US House Rep John Conyers (check with him, he'll tell you about it, he and I have spoken about it many times) did want to place someone under Congressional arrest.  Why didn't he?

There's the political aspect and how it can swing back at you -- even if it's the right thing -- and harm the party.  There's also the practical aspect.

They have no one to monitor a prisoner.  To arrest someone and to keep them, they would really have to depend upon the assistance from the Justice Department.  Now help me out, who is over the Justice Department?

Oh, right.  The Attorney General.  The one Robert Reich is saying should be arrested.

He is lying yet again.  he and his whole fake 'resistance' exist to lie.  Glenn Greenwald (as Rebecca noted in "tweet of the week") got it exactly right.

It's like those who couldn't believe Hillary really lost to Trump & kept waiting for people to come & make it right (ie the Electoral College coup). They can't believe Mueller concluded no evidence establishes Trump/Russia conspiracy so they'll cling to anything that reverses it:

This is still what the Mueller Report concluded. This was what it said yesterday and it's what it will say tomorrow. And this reality will never change.

This fake bunch of people sells one lie after another and their delusional base never catches on.  As Glenn pointed out, immediately after the election, this crazy 'resistance' was insisting that the electoral college would vote Hillary into office.

That did not happen.

Nothing they say will happen ends up happening.  They are con artists and liars, stooges and whores.

They are in a tizzy over what might happen -- always in a tizzy, always on a maybe.

Focusing on maybes allows them to ignore what actually is.  For example, they could be calling out Donald Trump for his hideous actions on Venezuela but that's about war and empire so the Democrats in Congress are all on board with that.

Here's BLACK AGENDA REPORT's Glen Ford on Venezuela:

The 'resistance' cries Trump's evil!  Unless he's being war-like and then the party that hates him just can't get enough of him.

Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) points out:

The United States war against Venezuela is fought on many fronts. On April 30, 2019 the U.S. upped the propaganda ante with a photo-op pretend coup attempt made for the cameras. Their hand picked opposition leader Juan Guaido posed with about 70 men in uniform and called on the army to oust president Nicolas Maduro. They didn’t engage the Venezuelan military, attack Maduro physically or do anything else that is traditionally done in such an effort. The goal is to give Guaido credibility in the international media and with politicians in Washington. The staged event is still dangerous though. It is the latest salvo in a years long effort to undo the will of the Venezuelan people.
The troika of tyranny, Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, may have been stymied in their effort to bring down the elected Nicolas Maduro government, but they have not given up. All of their machinations are conducted with the goal of creating as much stress on the Venezuelan state, its economy and on the Venezuelan people as they can muster. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza  spoke at a public forum in New York City on April 25, 2019 and explained how his country is suffering due to the United States war waged by means other than military attack.

Back to Barr.  He is the Attorney General.  A previous Attorney General was Eric Holder.  I know Eric.  I've known him since the 90s.  I like Eric.  But these 'resistance' 'warriors seem to forget that only one sitting Attorney General -- so far -- has ever been held in criminal and civil contempt -- that would be Eric.

We bring that up for a reason.  What happened there?  Per CNN:

The White House and the Justice Department made clear Friday what had been expected all along: Attorney General Eric Holder will not face criminal prosecution under the contempt of Congress citation passed by the U.S. House.
Legal experts noted this week in the runup to Thursday's House vote that President Barack Obama's assertion of executive privilege in the case would prevent a criminal prosecution under a practice dating to the Reagan administration.
The House also cited Holder for civil contempt to give it the option of filing a lawsuit compelling Holder to turn over documents sought by Oversight Committee investigators linked to the failed Operation Fast and Furious weapons crackdown. Such a case was expected to take years to complete.

It took two years for the courts to complete.  From POLITICO:

A federal judge has declined a House committee's bid to have Attorney General Eric Holder held in contempt of court — and perhaps even jailed — for failing to turn over documents related to the Justice Department' s response to Operation Fast and Furious.

However, in a ruling Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson also denied Holder's request for an indefinite stay of her prior order that the attorney general must turn over any "non-privileged" documents the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subpoenaed as part of an investigation into the botched gunrunning investigation. The judge previously ruled that Holder must give the panel any documents that are not both predecisional and deliberative in nature.

Well what if Barr appears before the Committee but pleads the Fifth!!!!!

Nothing would happen there either -- see Lois Lerner (and her poor grasp of what pleading the Fifth actually means).

Robert Reich and NEWSWEEK have published garbage.  They know it's garbage.  It'll probably be amplified by MSNBC and other crap outlets.  Why?

Because it's garbage.  It doesn't cost a damn thing to do that garbage.  It allows you to avoid focusing on reality.  It allows you to grandstand and pretend to be outraged.

It's garbage.  Maybe the small penised boys like Robbie have confused their fantasy football worlds for actual life?  Yes, it does let the Robbies pretend they're in a locker room and that's really important to those boys for various reasons.  But it's not real life and neither is the garbage that they are serving up.

Speculation of what might happen if Barr takes a certain actions -- that he hasn't taken -- is gas bagging.

Our nation is involved in how many wars?  We're deporting how many people?  How many people either have no insurance or, for practical purposes, have insurance that they can't use?  There are real issues to focus on and address.  But here come the court jesters like Robert Reich to distract us all from that sort of realty.

From William J. Astore (ANTIWAR.COM):

People condemn President Trump for his incessant lying and his con games – and rightly so. But few Americans condemn the Pentagon and the rest of the national security state, even though we’ve been the victims of their long con for decades now. As it happens, from the beginning of the Cold War to late last night, they’ve remained remarkably skilled at exaggerating the threats the U.S. faces and, believe me, that represents the longest con of all. It’s kept the military-industrial complex humming along, thanks to countless trillions of taxpayer dollars, while attempts to focus a spotlight on that scam have been largely discredited or ignored.
One thing should have, but hasn’t, cut through all the lies: the grimly downbeat results of America’s actual wars. War by its nature tells harsh truths – in this case, that the U.S. military is anything but “the finest fighting force that the world has ever known.” Why? Because of its almost unblemished record of losing, or at least never winning, the wars it engages in. Consider the disasters that make up its record from Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s to, in the twenty-first century, the Iraq War that began with the invasion of 2003 and the nearly 18-year debacle in Afghanistan – and that’s just to start down a list. You could easily add Korea (a 70-year stalemate/truce that remains troublesome to this day), a disastrous eight-year-old intervention in Libya, a quarter century in (and out and in) Somalia, and the devastating U.S.-backed Saudi war in Yemen, among so many other failed interventions.

In short, the U.S. spends staggering sums annually, essentially stolen from a domestic economy and infrastructure that’s fraying at the seams, on what still passes for “defense.” The result: botched wars in distant lands that have little, if anything, to do with true defense, but which the Pentagon uses to justify yet more funding, often in the name of “rebuilding” a “depleted” military. Instead of a three-pointed pyramid scheme, you might think of this as a five-pointed Pentagon scheme, where losing only wins you ever more, abetted by lies that just grow and grow. When it comes to raising money based on false claims, this president has nothing on the Pentagon. And worse yet, like America’s wars, the Pentagon’s long con shows no sign of ending. Eat your heart out, Donald Trump!

Niles Niemuth (WSWS) notes:

Global military spending has reached a new post-Cold War high, topping $1.8 trillion in 2018, according to an annual report published this week by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). This marks a 2.6 percent increase over the previous annual record for worldwide military expenditures in 2017.
Most notably, US military spending increased by 4.6 percent in 2018, to $649 billion, the first annual US spending hike recorded by SIPRI since 2011. This trend is set to continue, with President Donald Trump having signed a $686 billion budget for 2019 and requesting $718 billion for the Pentagon in 2020. The Congressional Budget Office projects that if current funding trends continue, the US will spend $7 trillion on its military over the next decade, equivalent to the amount which will be spent on education, infrastructure and public health programs combined.
[. . .]
With its continued aim of global dominance, even as its economic position continues to decline, US imperialism far outpaces allies and enemies alike in military spending. In 2018, the US spent more than two and half times the amount of economic rival China ($250 billion) and more than ten times that of the supposedly great menace Russia ($61.4 billion). All told, the US spent as much as the next eight countries combined, accounting for 36 percent of the world’s military spending.
This immense military buildup is being carried out with the support of all factions of the political establishment, without even a whiff of protest. In fact, the Democratic Party’s main critique of Trump has been from the right, demanding an even greater military buildup and a more aggressive posture toward Russia.

Robert Reich is a distraction.  That's why he exists.  He'd rather write about maybes than deal with realities.  It's real easy to call out maybes but calling out what is?  As we saw with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., calling out what is can get you killed.  By your own government.

And the media that feels so maligned today?  Remember that they will attack you, as they did Dr. King.  They will then all but ignore your spouse's death as they did Coretta.  An overrated hack playwright -- but she was a girl! -- Wendy Wasserman dies and it's treated by THE NEW YORK TIMES as the end of everything.  Front page coverage, an editorial, columns -- plural.  Coretta Scott King dies?  She gets a news story -- one.  And, after weeks of many of us calling 'the paper of record' out, Bob Herbert does a tiny paragraph on her death -- the only column to note Coretta's passing.

The NEW YORK TIMES worked harder than any outlet to destroy Dr. King in his final years.  Decades later, he's a national hero with a day in his honor and his spouse -- who carried on the fight -- dies and the paper pretends nothing of importance just took place.  That's what they'd like to do to Dr. King's memory.  It's why the assassinate him with pieces that intentionally obscure his actions and words.

That's how the media really is and never forget it.  They lie and then they lie again while pretending not to understand why everyone doesn't love and respect them.

The US is engaged in war in Iraq.  People pretend otherwise.  They lie to themselves and they whore.  But the Iraq War goes on regardless of their pretending and regardless of their pretensions.  The United Kingdom's DEFENCE BLOG notes:

According to a statement released by the U.S. Air Force on Tuesday, F-35A Lightning II aircraft conducted an air strike at Wadi Ashai, Iraq, in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.
“This strike marked the F-35A’s first combat employment,” it said in a statement.
The F-35As conducted the airstrike using a Joint Direct Attack Munition to strike an entrenched Daesh tunnel network and weapons cache deep in the Hamrin Mountains, a location able to threaten friendly forces.

The following sites updated:

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