Wednesday, July 13, 2022

The Emmys stopped mattering long ago

coffee wisdom


 Above is Isaiah's latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Coffee Wisdom."


Emmy nominations? I stopped caring some time ago. So Tracee Ellis Ross didn't get a nomination and never got an Emmy for BLACKISH? One of the reasons I stopped caring. Silly shows from cable and APPLE+ are treated like brilliance when they aren't. If you're not on HBO, forget it? Is that the message? Julia Roberts and Michelle Pfeiffer deserved nominations but STARZ and SHOWTIME aren't good enough for the Emmys. I'm tired of them. They don't reflect me or my tastes and I don't see the point in indulging in their nonsense.

Back when there was just ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and FOX. There might have been some point. But the Emmy voters don't really care for TV anymore which is why they ignore so many strong shows.

I like Jennifer Coolidge, for example. But THE WHITE LOTUS is the worst project she's been in -- I'm talking in terms of the character that's been written for her. Glad she got a nomination finally. But it goes to how out of touch the Emmys are that she was never nominated for her hilarious turn as Sofie Kachinsky-Golishevsky.

But if you look at the past nominees in the 90s and 80s, you see that even when networks did get recognized, it still wasn't fair. Candice Bergen had the good sense to take herself out of the nomination process. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss didn't and we all got tired of her. But back then, a Julia Duffy or a Jackee could break through in a supporting part. We don't really see that anymore. Most of the nominees are from programs that the bulk of America has no desire to watch.

They're out of step and celebrating trends, not talent.

Make a point to read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: On wrap ups and streamers ."

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


Wednesday, July 13, 2022.  Moqtada al-Sadr may take to the streets on Friday (send his followers out, anyway), Joe Biden inches closer to appointing anti-abortion Chad Meredith to the federal bench, Ukraine sucks up all the money and dreams, and much more.

Remember, boys and girls, we're all supposed to pretend US President Joe Biden is going to fight for the American people.  We're supposed to pretend that and lie to ourselves.  He led no efforts to save ROE V. WADE.  After DOBBS overturned ROE, he's done nothing of significance.  ROE could be law tomorrow.  But he doesn't really care about it.

He lies a lot.  Then he lies some more.  And we're supposed to lie to ourselves on his behalf.

During the fallout after the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade and let states ban abortion, President Joe Biden has been dealing with criticism not just about his administration’s lackluster response to the healthcare crisis, but about a reported judicial nomination.

HuffPost reported on Tuesday that—despite widespread criticism from progressive lawyers, members of Congress, and a coalition of reproductive rights and justice groups—the Biden administration hasn’t yet backed off plans to nominate anti-abortion lawyer Chad Meredith to a lifetime judgeship in Kentucky. The Louisville Courier-Journal broke the story on June 29 that Biden planned to nominate Meredith reportedly in exchange for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) “agreeing not to hold up future federal nominations by the Biden White House.”

Reporters asked White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre multiple questions about Meredith at a press conference last week, and she said, “We haven’t nominated anyone—that’s what I would say—as of yet.” When asked if Biden would nominate a federal judge who was anti-abortion, Jean-Pierre replied, “That’s a hypothetical that I can’t really speak to.”

But privately, the administration doesn’t appear to be backing away. As a source briefed last week on the White House’s plans told HuffPost: “They’re defending it.”

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who chairs the Judiciary Committee, said he spoke to the White House last week about the potential nomination and asked what they would get out of it. “What’s in it for us? They didn’t give a specific answer,” Durbin told Politico.

They have tried to use the death of ROE to fund raise, to turn out the vote and this entire time, Joe Biden has been planning to nominate Chad Meredith to the federal court -- "a lifteim judgeship in Kentucky."  Stop pretending and stop excusing.  Clearly, Joe Biden is no friend of women.

That, weeks after ROE was overturned, he could even consider this goes to how low on his list of priorities reproductive rights are.

At COMMON DREAMS, Julia Conley writes:

The news of the reported deal followed the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, ending abortion rights for millions of women across the country and likely reducing access even in states where the procedure has not been outlawed.

Meredith's nomination would be "an enormous betrayal to the very people who worked to put Biden in office," said former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner.

Biden reportedly initially planned to announce his choice of Meredith on June 24, but scrapped the plan after the Supreme Court's right-wing majority handed down its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. The White House, along with the rest of the country, had known for weeks at that point that the justices were likely to overturn Roe due to a leaked draft opinion from the court.

"Why is a Democratic White House doing more for anti-abortion right-wing extremists than they have for the majority of us who just lost our reproductive freedoms?" asked Pennsylvania state House member and U.S. House candidate Summer Lee.

Exactly.  The Democratic Party is not earning votes right now.  The betrayals add up daily.  Right now, they do have the power to codify ROE.  That will likely be impossible to do after the mid-terms.  

Zoe Marks and Erica Chenoweth (MS. MAGAZINE) explain:

U.S. feminists have been raising alarms about persistent assaults on gender equality. Across the country, GOP-led legislatures are rolling back reproductive rights, legislating against trans youth and their families, and censoring school curricula about racism, sexism, LGBTQ+ issues and even what to expect at the gynecologist’s office.

These developments in the U.S. reflect a troubling pattern: Around the world, patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. The connection between sexism and authoritarianism is not coincidental, or a mere character flaw of individual misogynists-in-chief.

Women’s political power is essential to a properly functioning multiracial democracy, and fully free, empowered women are a threat to autocracy. Assaults on women’s and LGBTQ+ rights—and attempts to put women “in their place”—constitute a backlash against feminist progress expanding women’s full inclusion in public life.

As women’s participation becomes more prominent in domestic and international politics, our research sheds light on why political sexism and gender policing are also becoming more virulent—and what to do about it.

Patriarchal Authoritarianism

Authoritarianism rejects political competition and promotes a strong central power that upholds the political and social status quo. Autocrats try to maintain control by attacking the rule of law, separation of powers, political expression and fair elections.

But strongmen and their enablers also tend to usurp power in part by promoting a conservative and binary gender hierarchy. Patriarchy is, in the words of political scientist Valerie Hudson and her colleagues, the “first political order.” And it is closely related to authoritarianism.

Authoritarian backsliding occurs when women are stripped of equal access, opportunity and rights in the workplace, in the public sphere and at home. By strengthening men’s control over the women and girls in their lives, authoritarian leaders strike a patriarchal bargain, doling out private authority in exchange for public loyalty to the strongman. Incidentally, many women buy into the bargain, too. Women from dominant groups and classes are often willing to promote conservative gender norms and policies that retrench the status quo. The policing of gender expression and relations becomes a powerful tool for promoting a hegemonic racial, religious or ethnic national identity.

Betrayed, betrayed and betrayed.  And where is Joe's attention?  Like everything else in the US, he's given it to Ukraine -- specifically to the right wing nazis that he and Barack Obama installed in 2014.  Dave DeCamp (ANTIWAR.COM) reports:

The US on Tuesday announced it was sending $1.7 billion in new aid to fund the Ukrainian government that is meant to pay Ukrainian healthcare workers and support other “essential services.”

The funds are coming from the US Treasury Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and are being pulled from the $40 billion Ukraine aid bill President Biden signed into law back in May.

Also on Tuesday, the EU approved a new Ukraine aid package for 1 billion euros ($1 billion) in loans. The 1 billion is the first payment that’s part of an EU plan to provide Ukraine with 9 billion euros in financial assistance.

While Western nations have been shipping billions of dollars worth of weapons into Ukraine, the leadership in Kyiv keeps asking for more, including more economic assistance. Last month, the head of the Ukrainian parliament’s financial committee said the government needs $5 billion in external aid, or it will have to make drastic budget cuts.

Do those nazi cowards ever stop begging?  They have to beg.  They're pushing something unpopular even in Ukraine.  That's why they have to keep censoring political parties and news outlets.  Cowards.  That's what they are.  Jason Melanovski (WSWS) explains:

As the Ukrainian forces have continued to lose territory in the eastern Donbass region, including the entire Lugansk province, and reportedly suffer record casualties of over 500 per day, Zelensky and his entourage have implored the United States and its NATO allies to rapidly send even more powerful weaponry in an attempt to continue the war for as long as possible. 

While Zelensky and his advisers are attempting to portray themselves as scrappy underdogs taking on a treacherous bully, in reality, billions in military aid have already been sent to the country in order to provoke and exacerbate a war, which in its current form would never have occurred without massive training and funding from Western sources.

According to the Department of Defense, amid rapid worldwide inflation the US has contributed approximately $7.6 billion in military aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24, including an additional $820 million authorized on July 1. The Biden administration has pledged over $50 billion in military and economic aid since coming into office.

The supplies include anti-aircraft systems, tactical drones, rocket systems, howitzers and artillery rounds. Recently, Ukraine has claimed success in hitting Russian ammo depots after the arrival of the first four American-made High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) with four more on the way. In addition, Ukraine is also receiving 18 tracked Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) from the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Norway.

While the United States and NATO have moved to rapidly arm Ukraine since February, the history of NATO involvement and funding reveals that the current war was both planned for and provoked by the imperialist powers for years. 

The ties by NATO to Ukraine go back to the Stalinist destruction of the Soviet Union and restoration of capitalism. In the 1990s, Ukraine’s Yaroviv Combat Training Center in the Lviv region of western Ukraine became the center of NATO operations and training. In March, the base, which had housed as many as 1,000 foreign fighters being training as part of the Ukrainian Foreign Legion, was hit by a Russian missile strike. 

Since 1997 Ukraine has also cooperated with the United States and NATO forces annually in the “Sea Breeze” multinational military exercises on the northwestern Black Sea coast. Russia participated only once in 1998 and since then has openly opposed the presence of NATO and US warships so close to its Black Sea fleet as the exercises were obviously intended to displace Russia as the predominant naval power in the region.

However, prior to 2014, previous Ukrainian administrations had attempted to maintain historical economic and political relations with Russia while simultaneously increasing ties with Western imperialism and NATO. In 2006 as prime minister and later in 2010 as president, Viktor Yanukovych had effectively stopped Ukraine’s path towards NATO membership leading the NATO Review Journal to condemn what it called a “significant slow-down” in the country’s NATO integration. 

In 2014 in a US-and EU-backed coup, the Yanukovych government was overthrown. The coup triggered not only the Russian annexation of Crimea, a peninsula in the Black Sea, which hosts Russia’s Black Sea fleet, and an eight-year-long civil war in East Ukraine. Above all, it marked the beginning of the systematic, multi-billion dollar transformation of Ukraine’s military into what is essentially a proxy army of the NATO alliance, in order to prepare for all-out war with Russia. 

Building up and restructuring the Ukrainian army

Following the 2014 coup, NATO pushed Ukraine to conduct a major restructuring and buildup, providing billions in funding for military training and equipment. 

The Ukrainian army, which had over 800,000 personnel in 1991, had shrunk to just 130,000 in 2014. Out of these, it was estimated in 2014 that only between 6,000 and 7,000 Ukrainian troops were combat-ready in terms of training, equipment and personnel when hostilities in the Donbass first began. Mass desertions quickly crippled the war effort of Kiev against pro-Russian separatists in the civil war in East Ukraine that raged for eight years before Russia’s invasion in February 2022. 

Thanks to massive funding from NATO and an increase of Ukraine’s military spending to a massive 6 percent of GDP, the armed forces roughly doubled in size between 2014 and 2022, reaching 246,445 in 2021 (with over 195,000 military personnel). Thus, within just a few years, Ukraine’s army became one of the largest armies in the region, second only to Russia’s armed forces.

Beginning in late 2014, the Ukrainian army was also rapidly transformed to operate according to NATO standards. At the same time, the Ukrainian government authorized the formation of far-right militias, such as the Azov Battalion, who could now count on government assistance and training both foreign and domestic. 

Such forces would be used to continue the civil war against Russian-backed Donbass separatists while Ukraine collaborated with the US and NATO to transform its moribund and corrupt military. By 2020, Reuters estimated that such militia forces, largely consisting of and run by far-right extremists, constituted 40 percent of Ukrainian forces and numbered 102,000. 

The internal transformation of Ukraine’s Army to NATO standards was achieved with significant training from both NATO and the US, focusing on changes to command structure and the building of non-commissioned officers (NCOs), who were given permission to quickly make their own decisions in contrast to a more hierarchical Soviet command structure. Interoperability with other NATO forces was a major goal, recognizing that any “winning” of a war with Russia would require fighting alongside NATO forces. Officers suspected of being Russian sympathizers were arrested, discharged or chose to flee to Russia or the Donbass. 

Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) observes:

On May 1, after travelling to Kyiv, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised the colours.  “America,” she declared with earnestness, “stands with Ukraine until victory is won.”  She made little effort to expound on what this would entail, be it the expulsion of Russian forces from all Ukrainian territory, including Crimea, or the “meat grinder” solution, leaving Kyiv and Moscow to bleed, weakening the latter and strengthening NATO security over a dead generation.

Her remarks did enough to worry Michael T. Klare, defence correspondent for The Nation.  “Nowhere, in her comments or those of other high-ranking officials, is there any talk of a negotiated settlement in Ukraine, only of scenarios leading to Russia’s defeat, at whatever cost in human lives.”

The vagueness of the term has led to grand, sanguinary calls to battle unenlightened Russian barbarism, with the UK and US governments repeatedly calling this a conflict that involves the whole west, even the world.  Peering more closely at the rhetoric, and another sentiment comes to the fore: the desire to bloody Russia vicariously while arms manufacturers take stock.

For over a decade, Ukraine has been something of a plaything in branches of the US State Department, and US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman can be found telling the BBC’s Newshour that Russia had to “suffer a strategic failure” in Ukraine.

The checklist for doing so, as outlined by US President Joe Biden, is lengthy.  “We will continue providing Ukraine with advanced weaponry, including Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger antiaircraft missiles, powerful artillery and precision rocket systems, radars, unmanned aerial vehicles, Mi-17 helicopters and ammunition.”

Joe Biden's war of choice, like his own administration, has been one failure after another.

Turning to Iraq, Michael K. Lavers (LOS ANGELES BLADE) reports:

An Iraqi lawmaker has said parliamentarians plan to introduce a bill that would ban homosexuality in the country.

Middle East Eye, a website that covers the Middle East and North Africa, reported MP Aref al-Hamami on July 8 told an official Iraqi news agency that members of his Parliamentary Legal Committee have agreed “to collect signatures after returning to session to legislate a law prohibiting homosexuality in Iraq.”

“[The] legislation of such a law will be reinforced by legal provisions that prevent homosexuality and the perversions associated with it,” said al-Hamami.

Miss Moqtada al-Sadr is the 'genius' behind this discrimination.  Having failed at being a kingmaker, Miss Moqtada has little else to do but live a pathetic life.  Sadr's also making noise about protests this Friday against 'the government.'  That would be the government that, month after month, he was unable to form.  Moqtada al-Sadr is the dirty joke of the Middle East.


Though Sadr no longer has any MPs, he still controls about half of government positions - including the premiership. But it’s expected that he could lose all of them within six months of a new government being formed, one of Sadr’s aides told MEE.

The aide said Sadr will not allow his opponents to form a government under any circumstances, and that the cleric and his movement’s leaders now see the dispute as personal, as well as political.

“If they succeed in forming the government, everything will be over and they will control everything, including the position of commander-in-chief of the armed forces," the aide said.

"Regardless of any other considerations, Sadr is currently wounded. They hurt him and made him feel that he is an outcast and that he does not represent the Shia and does not deserve to lead them.

Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Joe's Support" went up last night and the following sites updated:

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