Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The audience has bailed on EMPIRE

After watching the season debut of EMPIRE last night, I wrote that there was no reason they should have had another season.  Clearly others agree:

“Empire” came back without Jussie Smollett. The audience is gone. Last night’s rating was the lowest ever: Only 3.35 million cared about Cookie and company. Not good. Last season the lowest number was 3.731 million. It’s time let “Empire” sleep with the fishes. And that’s what Fox will do.

There's no point in that show being on.  And Taraji P. Henson has destroyed her career and the audience's goodwill with her "I love Jussie!  I want Jussie back!"

She should have been told to shut up a long time ago.  Every time she opened her mouth, the ratings went down.

This week, the show returns for the final season and starting Sunday, she's publicly praising Jussie again.

Jussie is not Jamal.  Audiences loved Jamal.  Jussie betrayed them and destroyed the show.  Taraji helped destroy it with her lies.

Lies that included that Jussie would be back on the show.

She really is awful.

And she's destroyed own career.  PROUD MARY, ACRIMONY, WHAT MEN WANT and THE BEST OF ENEMIES -- four flops in a row.

In the meantime, she's failed to protect Cookie and allowed the character to become even more stupid and more of nag and whiner.

She should have protected her character.  It's all she really had.  Now the show goes off the air and no one's really going to give a damn what happened to Cookie.

Taraji P Henson misses Jussie Smollett "terribly" on |

And someone needs to tell her that saggy boobs hanging out loose don't make her look sexy.  They do make her look old.

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

Wednesday, September 25, 2019.

Starting in the US with the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Sarah Lazare (IN THESE TIMES) reports:

Massachusetts Senator and 2020 presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren has been widely celebrated in liberal and left-leaning press for churning out progressive policy proposals on the domestic front, from child care to housing. Articles have hailed her as the “intellectual powerhouse of the Democratic party,” the person who “has the plans” and the “progressive policy anchor in the 2020 field.” One Guardian piece from late February asks, “Why vote for Sanders when you can have Elizabeth Warren instead?”
Yet, none of these articles take a close look at Warren’s track record on war and militarism, despite the fact that the realm of foreign policy is where presidents have the most power to act without Congress (thanks in part to Obama’s unfortunate expansion of presidential powers to make war). It’s as though the United States existed in a vacuum, with only domestic matters to attend to; in reality, we are the biggest military empire in human history, with 800 military bases around the world and U.S. commandos deployed to 75% of countries.

Once Warren’s foreign policy record is scrutinized, her status as a progressive champion starts to wither. While Warren is not on the far right of Democratic politics on war and peace, she also is not a progressive—nor a leader—and has failed to use her powerful position on the Senate Armed Services Committee to challenge the status quo. While she’s voted for military de-escalation on some issues, including ending the Yemen War, she’s gone along with some of the most belligerent acts that have occurred under her watch, cheerleading Israel’s devastating 2014 war on Gaza and vocalizing her support for sanctions against Venezuela. Even judged according to the spectrum of today’s Democratic Party, which is skewed so far to the right on war and militarism it does not take much to distinguish oneself, Warren gets an unsatisfactory grade: not the last in her class, but far from first.

There's only one candidate that's been able to speak about peace and to call out war -- Bernie Sanders.  Tulsi Gabbard had the chance in the July debates to call out Joe Biden but refused to do so and spent the days after the debate making excuses for and, yes, lying for Joe Biden.  In this month's debate, Bernie was the only one talking about the Iraq War and the issue of judgment.

Yesterday, Elizabeth Warren -- at her candidate feed -- wasted everyone's time with six Tweets about impeachment.  The Debra Messings are not America.  Most Americans are more focused on real issues.  That's (a).  (B) is this a political issue because it shouldn't be.  But that's what Elizabeth makes it look like.  Impeachment isn't a "vote for me!" issue and it's outrageous that she's playing it as though it is one.  If the House votes impeachment, the Senate would preside over the issues and determine, among other things, whether removal from office was warranted.

Elizabeth is tossing aside innocent until proven guilty, she's tossing aside all legal beliefs that are supposed to be held in a democracy.  If she's already decided to convict and remove, then what is the point?

She's not coming off presidential.  And if this is day one of the circus, then she's making it very clear that she's unable to run a presidential campaign if impeachment is considered or pursued.

Did Bernie Sanders Tweet about impeachment?  Yes, he did one Tweet which was about all that was needed after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's afternoon press briefing.

On the topic of impeachment, Patrick Martin (WSWS) observes:

The tipping point was apparently reached on Monday evening when seven freshmen Democratic representatives, all of them veterans of the military-intelligence apparatus, issued a joint demand for impeachment in the form of an op-ed column published by the Washington Post.
The seven include six representatives from the group the World Socialist Web Site has labelled the “CIA Democrats.” Two of them are actual ex-CIA agents, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia. Four are former military officers: Elaine Luria of Virginia, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania and Jason Crow of Colorado.
The statement from the seven identifies them as “veterans of the military and of the nation’s defense and intelligence agencies” concerned by “unprecedented allegations against President Trump.” The statement continues: “To uphold and defend our Constitution, Congress must determine whether the president was indeed willing to use his power and withhold security assistance funds to persuade a foreign country to assist him in an upcoming election. If these allegations are true, we believe these actions represent an impeachable offense.”
The seven were joined by former CIA Director John Brennan—the overseer of widespread torture and illegal spying under Bush and Obama—who cited their statement in a cable television interview Tuesday and joined them in calling for Trump’s impeachment.

The line-up of Pelosi, Brennan and the CIA Democrats gives a glimpse of the real forces at work in the conflict within the ruling elite and the dominant role played by the intelligence agencies in the US political process.

Like too many Congressional Democrats over the last years, Elizabeth chased after the hope of impeachment yesterday at the expense of the needs of the American people.  Medicare For All, the issues fair wages, immigration reform and so much more got tossed out the window so Elizabeth could repeatedly Tweet about impeachment.

Bernie's focus was on the issues that effect Americans.

While working Americans ration insulin and work 2 or 3 jobs, the 1% saw its wealth increase by $21 trillion in the last 30 years.

The problem is not that Americans aren't working hard enough or saving enough money.

The problem is that the whole system is rigged against them.

If we make the top 0.1% pay their fair share in taxes, their quality of life would not change at all. But we would be able to invest in housing, child care and health care and improve the lives of millions of working people.

Issues like this:

The City of Chicago must sit down with , bargain in good faith and work out a contract that is fair and just. I'm proud to stand with Chicago teachers today:


And this:

If you "can't afford" to pay workers a living wage, then you can't afford to pay your CEOs tens of millions of dollars.


As UAW members continue to strike for a fair contract, communities and elected leaders from across the country have come out to show their support. Join Senator on the picket line tomorrow:

Common sense like this:

Clear your mind for a moment and count to 10.

In those 10 seconds, Jeff Bezos made more money than the median employee of Amazon makes in an entire year.

We have a crisis of inequality. We're going to address it with a wealth tax on the top 0.1%.

Joe Biden's team has already begun the whisper campaign against Elizabeth Warren among the press.  They're shaping a narrative as we speak.  If she's focused on everything but the needs of the American people, Joe's campaign is going to be very effective in railroading her.  She needs to be focused on real issues.

Her inability to do so helps Carly Regina and Joanna Wuest's argument at JACOBIN, that Bernie Sanders is the only real candidate for workers:

On September 17, the Philadelphia AFL-CIO hosted its first-ever Workers’ Presidential Summit, a forum where those vying for the Democratic Party’s nomination addressed the hopes and concerns of the city’s rank-and-file union members. It would be difficult to choose a more appropriate place than Philadelphia to discuss the existential threats facing the labor movement. Despite being a city where unions remain a political heavyweight, Philadelphia workers have endured their share of the attacks as nurses and hospital staff, refinery workers, public school teachers, academics, those in the building trades, and others have faced closures and unsafe, undercompensated working conditions. Pennsylvania, too, continues to be a likely battleground state in the upcoming 2020 general election, one which could fall into the hands of Donald Trump once again. Three years ago, Hillary Clinton received an astounding twenty thousand fewer votes in Pennsylvania than Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign won in Philadelphia alone. Those lost votes made up nearly nearly half the margin of which she lost the state to Trump. If once-reliable union strongholds like Philadelphia are unable — or, in some instances, perhaps unwilling — to deliver their votes to a Democratic Party that has largely turned its back on labor, it could happen again.
Given these stakes, why was Senator Bernie Sanders the only Democratic front-runner to accept the invitation to the summit when it was first announced weeks ago? Shockingly, Joe Biden — who has made his political career feigning working-class — only agreed to the event at the last hour, following a two-week saga of Philadelphia labor leaders publicly lamenting the candidate’s previous unwillingness to attend. Recently surging Elizabeth Warren, darling of a particular strata of more affluent liberal progressives, remained firm in her decision to snub the event. It speaks volumes about Sanders’s commitment to building labor power — and his sheer electability — that he stood alone among the serious contenders for the office in enthusiastically accepting the call to meet with and learn from Philadelphia’s working class.

If the thought that Donald Trump might be impeached by the House is too distracting for her, she needs to drop out because America needs leadership and Bernie can offer it.  If she can't, she needs to drop out.  But she might not have a choice, again, Joe's campaign is working overtime helping the press figure out how to portray her.

It won't be pretty.

Neither is Joe Biden's actual record, as Patrick Martin points out:

Obama mouthed rhetoric about “hope and change” to appeal to the millions who hated President George W. Bush and the Republicans, but he selected as his running mate the most right-wing figure among those who sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. This set the tone for an administration that bailed out Wall Street at the expense of the working class, added wars in Libya and Syria to those it inherited and continued in Iraq and Afghanistan, and enacted domestic policies such as Obamacare, whose goal was to strengthen corporate America, not improve conditions of life for working people.
In the lead-up to announcing his 2020 presidential campaign, Biden created controversy with his gratuitous praise for ultra-reactionary segregationist Democrats in the Senate like James Eastland and Herman Talmadge, citing their willingness to work with him in a collegial fashion despite supposed political differences. This was not simply a “gaffe,” as the media claimed, but revealed something of Biden’s long-term political role, both in the Senate and in the Obama administration.
He has always been a Democratic wheeler-dealer, able and willing to work with the most reactionary forces in both capitalist parties when it served the interests of corporate America. Biden was never afraid to get his hands dirty, and in the process covered himself with the muck and filth of American capitalist politics.
This is why the current effort to package and sell Biden as the embodiment of up-from-hardship, struggling Americans, as “middle class Joe,” rings so hollow. He first came to the Senate in 1973 at age 29 and spent a political lifetime in the circles of power and influence in Washington.
It should be noted—particularly for readers outside the United States—that Biden’s home state of Delaware has an infamous reputation as the headquarters location of choice for giant corporations seeking to evade taxes, regulations and scrutiny of all kinds.
The tiny state has only 975,000 people, ranking 44th of the 50 states. However, “More than 1,000,000 business entities have made Delaware their legal home,” according to the state’s Division of Corporations website. “More than 50 percent of all publicly-traded companies in the US including 64 percent of the Fortune 500 have chosen Delaware as their legal home.”
Delaware is the Cayman Islands or Singapore of America, sheltering corporate tax evasion and criminality of every kind, and every capitalist politician from that state, Democrat and Republican alike, upholds that distinction. It was this particularly noxious milieu that produced the young Senator Joe Biden.
It took several years of cajoling, but in 1977 Biden finally obtained a coveted seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, then under the chairmanship of James Eastland. In 1981, when the Republicans gained a majority in the Senate, the chairmanship passed to Republican Strom Thurmond, the antediluvian reactionary from South Carolina who had run for president in 1948 as the candidate of the States’ Rights Democratic Party, the ultra-right segregationist wing of the Democrats, and who crossed over to the Republicans in 1964 in opposition to Lyndon Johnson’s concessions to the civil rights movement.
From 1981 through 1997, a period of nearly two decades, Biden was either the ranking Democrat under Thurmond or chairman himself after the Democrats regained control in 1987-1995. Thurmond and Biden collaborated closely in approving such Supreme Court nominees as Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas, and in passing numerous pieces of law-and-order legislation that resulted in longer jail terms for millions of people.
Biden likes to dismiss this legislation as ancient history, seeking to avoid any close scrutiny of what he actually did. But the record demonstrates his role as the principal advocate within the Democratic Party of the most brutal forms of state repression, including, among other things, capital punishment. The laws included:
* The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, which established mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, increased the penalties for marijuana cultivation and use, and re-established the federal death penalty.
* The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which contained the notorious 100-1 provision penalizing possession of crack cocaine over powder cocaine by that ratio (a minimum five-year sentence for 5 grams of crack or 500 grams of powder).
* The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, which further stiffened penalties for drug abuse, provided $6.5 billion for the “war on drugs” and strengthened the federal death penalty.
* The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, which created 60 new federal death penalty offenses, stripped federal inmates of the right to obtain educational Pell grants, set aside money for 100,000 new police officers and further entrenched a “three-strikes” rule in sentencing.

The combined impact of this legislation was barbaric and racially discriminatory. A report from the US Sentencing Commission found that in 1992, 91.4 percent of federal crack cocaine offenders were black, even though the majority of crack users were white. And Biden was a fervent defender of these laws, boasting in one Senate speech, “We do everything but hang people for jaywalking in this bill.”

War Hawk Joe and his family raked in dough over the Iraq War.

Biden’s younger brother James Biden joins a construction firm as an executive. The firm then receives a billion dollar contract to build houses in Iraq while as Vice President, Joe Biden oversaw the US led occupation of that country.

During Obama years, several months after Joe's younger brother, James , joined a construction firm as an executive, the firm received a contract worth more than a billion dollars to build houses in Iraq while Joe oversaw the US-led occupation of that country.

You need to audit the supposed construction company of Joe Biden's brother. 1.5 billion to build housing in Iraq. How many houses were built.

in 2012 the Washington Examiner reported a story about your brother, $1.5 billion dollar contract with Iraq. And in May of 2019 & May 2019 NYPOST reported about your China deal. Pic of that story in comments. So this Ukraine thing has nothing to do with trump smearing U

In Iraq, the Green Zone came under attack again (see yesterday's snapshot).  Though the intended target is not known, the US government is assuming the US compound/embassy was the target.  Qassim Abdul-Zahra (AP) notes:

U.S.-led coalition forces in Baghdad said Tuesday that attacks on coalition personnel and facilities in Iraq "will not be tolerated," adding that coalition forces retain the right to self-defense.
No coalition or U.S.-occupied facility was struck in Monday night's attack in which two Katyusha rockets were fired into the heavily fortified Green Zone, according to a statement issued by the coalition and Iraqi security forces.

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