Thursday, April 9, 2020


BLACKLIST is back on NBC Friday nights with new episodes and I'm glad but when is BLIND SPOT coming back on?

We finally have an answer: April 30th.

This will be its fifth and final season and there will only be 11 episodes.

If you've never watched it before, it's a pretty fast moving, exciting show.

The show revolves around Jane (Jamie Alexander) and Kurt (Sullivan Stapleton).  They are working with the FBI.  Jane showed up naked on the first episode -- naked in the middle of Time Square with all these tattoos on her. They're clues that solve cases.  They've been in conflict with one another but they are a couple and they are married.

Each week, they face some new issue while also having a long running story that unfolds a little each episode.  There are four other characters who are part of Jane and Kurt's team.  Reade (Rob Brown) is the smart one.  He knows what's going on when others don't but he's rather stupid when it comes to his love life.  He needs to just get really honest with Zapata.  Zapata (Audrey Esparza) is FBI who then became a deep cover CIA agent.  Patterson (Ashley Johnson) is the tech support guru.  On the show, her father is Bill Nye (the Science Guy) played by . . . Bill Nye.  Rounding out the team is Rich Dotcom (Ennis Esmer) who is a criminal and an internet pioneer.

The long running villain of the deep storyline is Madeline Burke (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and she's just excellent -- Mastrantonio is just excellent.  She was good as Grimm's mom on GRIMM but she's even better on this show.

So if you have missed it, season five kicks off on April 30th on NBC.

If you haven't caught it yet, tune in and see if you like it.

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

Thursday, April 9, 2020.  Bernie Sanders betrays his supporters and his ideas, Iraq gets a new prime minister-designate, and much more.

Starting in the US where a coward has dropped out of an ongoing race.  Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders -- with one primary still counting votes and 26 more primaries to go -- dropped out of the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination leaving only alleged rapist Joe Biden running for the nomination.

His staff fought a battle, his supporters fought a battle.  Bernie?  He never really fought anything.

In the '00s, people like Robert Greenwald would make 'documentaries' and usually Bernie would pop up in them.  Oh, we need to stop the consolidation of our media, he would whine.  And then do nothing.  Back then the excuse offered for his do-nothings was, "He's in the House of Representatives and has to run for re-election every two years.  He can't do too much or the Democratic Party might primary him!!!!"  Then he ran for the US Senate and we were told that since it was a six year term, a Senator Bernie was going to be something to watch.

Really?  For comic value?

Real members of Congress of yore -- say Mike Gravel -- actually accomplished things in Congress.  Bernie?  No.

In 2015 and 2016, we told truths about Bernie in Congress and many of those truths became talking points for Hillary Clinton's campaign.  We'd get the outraged e-mail regularly, "How can you do this!!!" Tell the truth?  How can you not?

In 2019, Bernie had a movement he could ride to victory and an excellent group of people working on his campaign -- David Sirota and Nina Turner to name just two.

There was real excitement behind the empty suit.  That excitement could have been amplified and built on.

But apparently not by Bernie.

Just as in 2016 when he never really offered any strong criticism of Hillary Clinton, he never offered any strong criticism of Joe Biden.  You can't run for office with a meek whisper.

Bernie didn't fight.  He had a movement behind him that fought constantly.  They would have done anything because they believed what he said.  But the reality is that Bernie never believed what he said.  You can't believe in those things and not fight for them.

Bernie's an empty suit and he's a disgrace.

4 e-mails to the public account insist I'm upset that Bernie endorsed Joe Biden.


That's not a surprise.

Bernie loves to be useless.

From October 31, 2016, Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Hillary Talks To Bernie."  Bernie folds like a fluffy towel, he always folds.  The betrayal this go round is that he insisted he was in the race but ends up dropping out before millions of people even get to weigh in.

Normally when people drop out, it's because there's no more money -- Joe knows about that from previous runs -- all about that.  But all you need it a digital camera or phone to record/broadcast an 'event' these days and Bernie's not spending money on event locations or anything else.

Bernie dropped out because he's a coward.

This was a make or break moment.  He could run on the ideas he supposedly believes and make a difference.  Or he could fold before everyone was able to vote.  Even when he lost a primary, those participating made clear in exit polls that they supported Medicare For All.  Why not let the remaining 26 primaries take place so we could know where all the voters stood.

[If you're e-mailing the public account that I am wrong about the number of primaries remaining
it better be because I miscounted and not because you're so stupid you don't know that primaries are not just held for states.  Stop clogging up the public e-mail account with your stupidity.  I am not here to spoonfeed.  You can Google the remaining primaries and see for yourself.  I counted 27 before Tuesday's Wisconsin primary.  That would leave 26 -- 23 of which are state primaries.  If I got one or more wrong, e-mail.  If, on the other hand, you don't grasp that, for example, DC has its own primary, grab a dunce cap and go silent.]

If this was about ideas, if this was about what the American people wanted, you stay in the race until the end.  You do that, if nothing else, for the raw data showing support for Medicare For All.

With Bernie out of the race, there's no reason for anyone to rush to vote in a remaining primary.

Bernie betrayed the ideas he spoke of and the people who supported his campaign.

And now we're surrounded with lies.

At COMMON DREAMS, they offer lies.  Hey, but good for them, did you notice, it took them two weeks but they finally stopped being like corporate media and found a way to note Tara Reade.

COMMON DREAMS, JACOBIN, IN THESE TIMES and others are just being liars right now.

You got used, America.  He blew his wad and left you in the middle of the night.  Now you wake up in the still semi-wet spot of the sheets and you're all, "Do you think he'll call?"

He's never calling.  It's not that 'he's not into you,' he was into you last night, rutting away.  It's that he doesn't respect you and he honestly doesn't like you.

He didn't lose your phone number.  He didn't have a medical emergency.  He didn't get hit by a bus.

He used you.  He pumped and dumped.

You have some friends, America, friends who'll tell you the truth:

Stephen Sheehan:
It seems clear we now know when Sanders said, "not me, us," he was talking about a different "us" then we all thought he was. Apparently the real "us" was Sanders, his good friend, Biden, and the DNC. Bait and switch.

Cynthia McKinney:

Sheepdog 2.0 just kicked off. Bernie endorses Joe Biden. #FeeltheBURN again.

John Stauber:

Imagine if #Bernie had bolted ⁦
⁩ 4 years ago.  But no, he has always been a political fraud, putting ⁦
⁩ over any real movement, herding sheep for #Hillary and now #CrazyJoe, both warmongering corporate hacks.

Ajamu Baraka:

Feel sorry for those Sanders supporters who really thought they were taking part in a revolution.

The party platform. Give me a break. Who cares about a platform for a party that is not even a party?  Bernie your sheepdogging days are over.

Danny Haiphong:

The #BernieBros slander was always about bullying young working class people into Dem civility politics. Unfortunately,
went along. It has long been time to #DemExit and build a new party of the working class. I’m not interested in anything less.

Mike Prysner:

If your first thought after Bernie exit is to tell people to suck it up & vote Biden—and not to get involved in grassroots political organizing to keep fighting for your principles—you totally miss the gravity of this political moment & implications for new generation of struggle

Howie Hawkins:

With Bernie dropping out, the time has come to really ask yourself, who will represent my values in November. #Howie2020 #NeverSettle #DemExit #GreenEnter #PlanB

Abby Martin:

Hugely disappointed that Bernie dropped out and lost his leverage in the middle of a pandemic where his platform is urgently needed to fight for.

Biden already said he will never support Medicare for All & has total contempt for the millions of millennials who voted for Bernie’s agenda. He thinks “no change” will win. I shudder to think what Trump will do with his next term. Start organizing outside the system NOW

Jimmy Dore:

A campaign that failed to call out corruption of a senile pathological liar, failed to get policy concessions, failed its supporters, failed to meet the moment.  So proud.

Graham Ellwood:

drops out and endorses the warmongering, rapist with dementia. Takes all our money and hope and backs another friend of Epstein. Just like 2016. #NeverBiden #DemExit

The SEP's presidential nominee Joseph Kishore offers this evaluation at WSWS:

Already over the past several weeks and months, Sanders has reacted to the deepening crisis of the state apparatus by shifting to the right. As the Democratic Party moved aggressively to block a Sanders nomination in February and March, Sanders issued a number of statements declaring his readiness to wage war against Iran, North Korea, Russia, and China.
His last political act as a candidate was to vote for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides hundreds of billions to corporations and backs the Federal Reserve’s multi-trillion programs to buy up assets from banks and businesses.
In his proposals for further Congressional action in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Sanders has dropped any reference to increasing taxes on the wealthy. He has proposed further multi-billion bailouts to corporations, without challenging in any way their private ownership on the basis of profit.
Nothing that Sanders has done is in the least surprising. His entire tenure as a bourgeois politician made clear the role he would play. Moreover, his campaign is part of an international phenomenon. Whether it is Jeremy Corbyn in Britain, Syriza in Greece, the Left Party in Germany, or the Workers Party in Brazil—all have performed the same function.
The real treachery has come from organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America, Socialist Alternative and others who worked to present an opportunist bourgeois politician as some sort of vehicle for achieving socialism.
In a thoroughly demoralized event last night hosted by Jacobin, Bashkar Sunkara, the magazine’s editor, and other leading members of the DSA denounced not Sanders but the “sectarian left,” by which they mean the Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the World Socialist Web Site. For these layers, “sectarian” is a term used to describe anyone with principles, that is, those who do not prostrate themselves before the Democratic Party.
Sunkara declared that Sanders’ withdrawal meant that “our campaign for not even full socialism but half social democracy kind of petered out as of today.” What has “petered out”—in fact, thoroughly exposed—is the DSA’s brand of pseudo-socialism that claims that anything can be achieved within the framework of the Democratic Party.
In opposition to these organizations of the upper middle class, the WSWS and the SEP anticipated the trajectory of the Sanders campaign. In February 2016, early in his first presidential run, the WSWS explained that “Sanders is not the representative of a working class movement. He is rather the temporary beneficiary of a rising tide of popular opposition that is passing through only its initial stages of social and class differentiation.”
When he announced his 2020 presidential campaign in February of last year, the WSWS wrote, “The fundamental fraud promoted by Sanders, along with individuals such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is that the Democratic Party can be pushed to the left and made a force for progressive change.”
Once again, a political analysis based on Marxism, on the historical experiences of the Trotskyist movement, and not on pragmatic hopes and maneuvers, has been proven correct.
There are no doubt many sincere workers and youth who will be disgusted by what Sanders has done. They must draw the necessary conclusions.
The only campaign that is seeking to develop a real socialist movement is the campaign of the Socialist Equality Party. The SEP launched its election campaign to fight for genuine socialism, to develop within the working class and among young people a socialist leadership, to fight against war, inequality and authoritarianism, in opposition to the Democratic and Republican parties, the parties of the ruling class.
We call on all workers and young people to join this campaign and support this fight.

To support and get involved in the SEP election campaign, visit

Iraq War veteran Adam Kokesh is seeking the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination and he notes:

So it's looking like P**sy Grabber VS Kid Sniffer for the old parties. America deserve better! Ready to vote Libertarian yet?!

The Green Party issued the following:

𝗚𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝘁𝘆 𝗠𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗧𝗼 𝗦𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗖𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗦𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀
We believe everyday people must have a party to call home that is politically and financially independent of the capitalist power structure dominated by the parties of War and Wall Street. We say to you: the Green Party could be your home.
Senator Sanders raised critically important issues. He is right, it was not about him but about building a movement for those issues. The Green Party will continue to build and expand the issues Sanders raised. Join us.
We feel tremendous solidarity toward Sanders supporters who have been abused and marginalized by the Democratic Party leadership. We admire their commitment to shared goals like Improved Medicare-For-All, an eco-socialist Green New Deal to avert climate catastrophe, ending the U.S. war machine and dismantling intersectional oppression in our society.
We welcome Sanders supporters whose painful experience has led them to understand that none of those goals are possible so long as the Democrats and Republicans can operate as an anti-democratic cartel at the behest of this country's elite.
Join the fight, either as Green Party members or allies, to bring actual democracy to U.S. elections through transformational victories like Proportional Representation, Ranked Choice Voting and fully-public campaign financing.
These transformations will benefit all who challenge the two-party cartel and will help usher in the political revolution we all hunger for.
At this time of multiple crises, it is now essential to refuse the Democratic Party leadership’s relentless drive to lower our expectations of what we can accomplish in the fight for a just, equitable and sustainable world free from empire and oppression.
Learn more, sign up and volunteer at #GreenEnter #WeAreGreen

Some will continue to spin and offer pretty lies.

You like roses and kisses and pretty men to tell you
All those pretty lies pretty lies
When you gonna realize they're only pretty lies
Only pretty lies just pretty lies

-- "The Last Time I Saw Richard," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on BLUE

Turning to Iraq where there's big news.  ALJAZEERA reports:

President Barham Salih has nominated head of intelligence Mustafa al-Kadhimi as Iraq's new prime minister-designate, the politically fragmented nation's third choice this year.
The nomination on Thursday came moments after predecessor Adnan al-Zurfi ended his bid to form a government. The upheaval threatened a leadership vacuum amid a severe economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.
[. . .]
In a statement on his Facebook page, al-Zurfi said: "The failure to form a new government was the cause of domestic and foreign issues. But that will not prevent me from continuing to serve the people through my current parliamentary position.
"I will continue to work and prepare for early elections in order to complete our national project."
Before al-Zurfi, former minister Mohammad Allawi was also unable to pull together a cabinet.

Big surprise to anyone?  Maybe to members of the press who kept presenting Adnan al-Zurfi as prime minister when he wasn't.  As we noted Tuesday,  "He has not formed a government.  He has put together potential candidates.  To form a government, his proposed Cabinet must be voted on by the Parliament.  That's why he's still prime minister-designate and not prime minister."

And now he's no longer prime minster-designate.

Lawk Ghafuri (RUDAW) reports:

Zurfi had until April 16 to form a new cabinet, but it quickly became clear he would have no mandate to lead.

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani and the Sunni Coalition of Iraqi Forces (al-Qiwa) added their voices to the Shiite opposition to Zurfi’s candidacy, making his position untenable.

The main Shiite voices opposing Zurfi were the Fatih coalition, led by former militia commander Hadi al-Amiri, and the State of Law coalition, headed by former prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.

With Zurfi gone, the baton has now been passed to Mustafa al-Kadhimi – the serving head of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS).

At the same moment Zurfi stepped down, officials gathered at the presidential palace in Baghdad for a special ceremony to assign Kadhimi the job.

Fatih chief Hadi al-Amiri attended the ceremony, as did former prime minister Haider al-Abadi, and the United Nations special representative to Iraq Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert.

The following sites updated:

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