Sunday, December 21, 2014

YES HE . . . might?

BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

FADED CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O WAS INTERVIEWED BY TELETUBBY CANDY CROWLEY AND INSISTED HE WOULD DO "EVERYTHING I CAN" TO CLOSE GUANTANAMO.

OF COURSE, HE PROMISED, RUNNING FOR THE OFFICE IN 2008, THAT HE'D CLOSE IT.

AND HE DIDN'T.

AND HE HAD THE POWER TO DO IT THEN AND HAS IT NOW -- A POINT WE'RE SURE TELETUBBY CANDY WOULD HAVE RAISED WERE SHE NOT SO BUSY SHOVING FOOD INTO HER GULLET.

GOT A KNOSH?



FROM THE TCI WIRE:




CNN's Jake Tapper Tweets:


                           Retweeted 235 times


Approximately 1,000 paratroopers from the Army’s famed 82nd Airborne Division will deploy to Iraq



And who will they find there?


To read this week's press, they'll find  R.E.M.'s   "Shiny, Happy People" come to life.


That's what the press has insisted all week long and what we've disputed all week long.



"Why would they fight for a government that refuses to respect them? [New Prime Minister Haider] Abadi is just another face on the same Shiite agenda – and the Sunni anger will continue until there is meaningful change in Baghdad."


That's Sunni Sheikh Mohammad Ramadi (al-Bajan tribe) and we'll get back to him and the article that's the most important one on Iraq this week in a moment.

But first . . .

Let's take a moment to reflect on this week, this week of propaganda.

Where the US State Dept worked overtime in Iraq.

A first!

Sadly, the work wasn't on the Iraqi government or diplomacy.

It was selling propaganda to the press.

Again, I hope the press got something out of it because all news consumers got was b.s.

If you've forgotten, the propaganda effort was Haider al-Abadi and his healing touch.

The rollout started early this week with any outlet the State Dept could corral, blackmail, bully or buy pimping the lie that Haider had brought unity to Iraq.

The effort was supposed to culminate with the column written for -- not by -- Haider which appeared on the op-ed pages of the Wall St. Journal exclaiming that a national identity had been forged for Iraq via the Iraqi military.  For those a little slow on the uptake that would mean, ultimately, by Haider himself since he is commander-in-chief of the military.

Wow.

How amazing.

How wonderful.

The war is being won!  Soon the US will be able to come home!

There are some who will believe that nonsense.

There are idiots all over the world.

Equally true, to some, this spin is new.

They were too young to have caught it from 2003 through 2007 when it was constantly repeated.  (And when it constantly proved to be false.)

But most adults should have caught on.

And they should have called it out.

Instead, it was just us.

And there's gonna come a time when we're not here.  I'm sick of the internet.  I'm sick of writing every day for over ten years now without a day off.

What was this week's big faux scandal?  The thing that had the Center for American Progress, The Nation, The Progressive, et al up in arms?

Because it sure as hell wasn't Iraq and it sure as hell wasn't the same corporate media yet again selling lies to the American people about Iraq.

I hope whatever crap the faux independent media of CAP, The Nation, et al passed off as important at least provided giggles because it provided no substance and had no real point at all.

(What was it?  Largely it was a propaganda effort to convince you that Senator Elizabeth Warren -- anti-Palestinian rights, Republican until she ran for the Senate, falsely passed herself off as a Native American to benefit in hiring, anti-Iran, etc -- was the one to take down Hillary Clinton. Reality, Elizabeth doesn't photograph normal and her voice will be irritating to most American ears.  The best she could hope for is the same results as another politician who struck Americans as a "freak," Paul Simon.  She's not electable on a national scale for 2016.)


Some place the cost of the Iraq War at a trillion dollars for US taxpayers.

If for no other reason, this week's lies of success should matter for financial reasons.

As the work week came to a close, the Pentagon sotto voice admitted the cost of Barack's latest wave of war, which began August 8, 2014, have already reached $1.02 billion.

That's four months.

And US President Barack Obama has said this will last years.

If for no other reason than cost, this should outrage Americans.

3 US service members have died in the operation during the four months.  But no one wants to talk about that either.




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"THIS JUST IN! WHO'S THE REAL TERRORIST, MADGE?"



  • Thursday, December 18, 2014

    She's living in a terrorist world and she is just a terrorist girl

    BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE



    STRANGE, THAT'S WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT ALL THE MUSIC MADONNA'S RELEASED  SINCE 1993'S "RAIN."

    FROM THE TCI WIRE:

    Staying on the topic of fake ass, the Wall St Journal's round up of corruption reporting includes one on Iraq:

    Iraq’s prime minister is quoted saying he’s willing to be assassinated, if that’s what it takes to effectively fight corruption. (NY Times)


    That's from Tim Arango's report we've noted already this week.


    Haider al-Abadi only looks more ridiculous when he makes statements like that.

    In 2016, the United States will vote on a new American president.

    That person will be sworn in during the month of January 2017.

    And that person (and his or her family) will move into the White House.

    You can find similar situations in other countries with elected leaders.

    Where does Haider al-Abadi live?

    Not in the home of the prime minister.

    In August, he was named prime minister.

    But the previous one refuses to vacate the home.

    Thug Nouri al-Maliki continues to live in the home of the prime minister.

    Haider, that's corruption.

    Nouri is not the prime minister and he needs to vacate the home immediately.

    Haider's either too much of a chicken or in league with Nouri.

    (A video of the two emerged last week that records how close the two actually are.)

    Tim Arango's article notes Nouri continues to occupy the residence of the prime minister.

    The Iraqi people foot the bill for that housing occupation.

    That's corruption.

    And if Haider can't even weed that out, lots of luck seeing him punish those officials who've stolen money from Iraq (that would also include Nouri).

    Tim Arango's article also noted Nouri's plane but insisted he'd surrendered the private jet.

    No, he hasn't.

    It's parked at Baghdad International airport but it's not been handed over -- and this point has been firmly established repeatedly by both Iraq Times and Kitabat.

    I have no idea whether or not Ibrahim al-Jaafari is a fake ass but he's a joke.

    In December 2005, Iraqis voted.  No one was named prime minister-designate for months because the Iraqi Parliament wanted to name Ibrahim al-Jaafari to the post but Bully Boy Bush and his administration didn't want that.  They didn't care for al-Jaafari, they feared his personal militia, didn't want him to have a second term as prime minister, etc.

    So they forced the pockmarked faced thug Nouri off on Iraq.

    Ibrahim never really stood up to Nouri in the eight years that followed despite the hopes of Ibrahim's followers that their leader would discover a spine.

    Now Ibrahim has a post.

    Foreign Minister!

    Yeah, it is a huge step down.

    All that's left below it is parking valet.

    Hoshyar Zebari held the post for 8 years.  It's photo ops and nothing more.


    Xinhua reports of Jaafari:

    Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's government has been in power for only months' time, and the city of Mousl is still in the hands of the IS militants, yet Iraq has made "great" progress in political reforms and the security situation is improving, he said, adding that the IS terrorists have started to pull back.


    That's a sweet little dream.  It's not reality but fairy tales have lulled many at bedtime.

    In the real world, Hamza Mustafa (Asharq Al-Awsat) notes:

    The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is boosting its presence in Iraq’s restive Al-Anbar province in a bid to turn Baghdad’s attention away from the liberation of Mosul, a senior Iraqi military commander said on Wednesday.
    The senior Iraqi military officer, who spoke on the condition that his name and rank would not be disclosed, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the battle for Mosul, which government forces are presently gearing up for, would be “critical” to the defeat ISIS. Mosul, the provincial capital of neighboring Nineveh governorate, has been under ISIS control since June.

    “We can say that the fate of ISIS is tied to the result of the battle of Mosul, more than any other battle, whether in Iraq or Syria,” the officer said. 





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    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Nation magazine pushing the Pookie


    BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

    THE METH LAB REMAINS OPERATIONAL AT THE NATION MAGAZINE AND NO ONE SMOKING MORE CRANK THAN GREG GRANDIN WHO FEELS BARRY O HAS JUST WON FLORIDA FOR THE DEMOCRATS IN 2016 AS A RESULT OF PLAYING FOOTSIE WITH RAUL CASTRO.


    THOUGH IT MAY BE HARD TO SEE IT FROM BROOKLYN, FLORIDA IS A HOT BED OF CUBAN EXILES.  THEY WERE PART OF THE BAY OF PIGS PLOT AND THEY'VE ONLY MULTIPLIED.

    THE NOTION THAT BEING COZY WITH THE CASTRO GOVERNMENT WINS CUBAN VOTES IN FLORIDA IS RIDICULOUS.

    GIVE UP THE CHUNKY LOVE, GRANDIN.

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    Sunday, December 14, 2014

    The love affair that can't be denied

    BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

    IN LIGHT OF RUMORS ABOUT ONE DIRECTION SINGER HARRY STYLES BANGING FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O (SEE "Love is all around, even at the White House" AND "THIS JUST IN! BARRY GOT A BRITISH LAD!"),  SONGSTRESS TAYLOR SWIFT HAS RELEASED A NEW SINGLE CLEARLY AIMED AT HER EX-HARRY AND THE NEW COUPLING:

    HE CAN TWIST YOUR THIRD TEET
    BUT CAN HE HANDLE YOUR MEAT?
    YOU'RE GOING DOWN, BOY
    GOING DOWN
    THE SOCIAL LADDER
    HE'S GOT NO CLASS
    AND A PANCAKE ASS
    YOU REALLY WANT TO BE CAUGHT WITH THAT?


    REACHED FOR COMMENT, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON JOSH ERNEST STATED, "WHILE NEITHER CONFIRMING NOR DENYING, WE OBJECT TO THE CARICATURE THAT BARRY O HAS NO CLASS."


    FROM THE TCI WIRE:

    Which shines a light on the lies told to the US Congress this week. Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  This was covered in Tuesday's snapshot,  Ava covered it at Trina's site with "Ground Hog Day (Ava)," Wally at Rebecca's site with "Barack wants war all over the world (Wally)" and Kat with "John Kerry, damn liar."  Wednesday, the State Dept's Brett McGurk testified before the House Foreign Affairs Comittee and we covered it in Wednesday and Thursday's snapshot (and will continue covering it later in this snapshot).  Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations held a hearing and we covered it in the Wednesday snapshot (and noted it elsewhere repeatedly).

    The Tuesday Subcommittee hearing was an embarrassment and we've called out Subcommittee Chair Barbara Boxer and Ranking Member Rand Paul.  We've largely ignored the others -- the spook, the hired gun, all of them.


    The hired gun?

    When news of Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar broke, at this site we were for air drops of food and water and medical supplies for the thousands trapped on the mountain by the Islamic State and we were against bombings.  We built our case around the plight of the Yazidis historically.  We ignored one person, one woman, except to offer a Tweet by a journalist of the Cry Baby.


    Cry Baby may not have been a fair call when she was speaking before the Iraqi Parliament and shooting out the tears.  It may have been fair.  We didn't call her that then but I did think it.

    And Cry Baby went on to become a hired gun.  Early on in August we noted the Yazidis had no US p.r. firm but that they were being used in the US in an effort to promote wider war on Iraq.

    Let's also note the bitchiness of Yazidi speakers in Iraq.

    Iraqi Christians were being attacked and killed and when the Yazidis ended up trapped on the mountain, a number of them started whining to the press that Iraqi Christians got all the attention.

    Iraqi Christians get very little attention in the mainstream media.  When the western press does cover them, it's usually because they're taking up arms in Iraq to protect themselves.


    Whether it's true or not, bias charges are better left to others.

    When there are at least two groups under attack and one of them whines the other gets more attention -- true or not -- it looks petty and bitchy.

    And here's a little more reality for the Yazidis, Christians are a larger group in the world and when you start whining that Iraqi Christians are getting more attention -- especially when they're not -- you risk pissing off a lot of people who will no longer help you amplify your issues.

    And while outsiders can say that Palestinians get far more attention, for a Yazidi to write that also looks petty and bitchy -- so maybe Cry Baby shouldn't have written this post?


    Cry Baby.

    Again, we've only previously noted her in a journalist's Tweet.  And that was due to a request and due to it being pointed out that she was a woman, "you run a pro-women, feminist site and you haven't noted her."


    We should probably name cry baby, I don't think she was named in the journalist's Tweet, just identified as a Yazidi who was a Member of Parliament.  We did name her when she was in a helicopter crash.  Her name is Vian Dakhil.

    And since her tearful performance -- and I am calling it a performance -- she's attracted foreign money but no one wants to talk about that.

    No one wants to question how this woman's everywhere all the sudden.

    She was at the hearing on Tuesday, she was speaking to the Woodrow Wilson Center, at John Cabot University, she's just been everywhere outside of Iraq.  And the reason is she's now a hired gun to promote war and she's represented by a public relations group.

    And as I listened to her spin at Tuesday's hearing, I knew all of that but thought, "There's so much more to focus on."  Then she started making the media circuit.

    First off, know your facts or don't appear before Congress.

    She's lucky she appeared before Boxer and Paul who are so eager for war that they also don't care about the facts.

    Before the Subcommittee she tried to present herself as the voice of the Yazidis.

    She is not.

    Some Yazidis bill themselves as that and that alone.

    Others bill themselves as Kurds.

    That split alone, forgetting everything else, means she cannot speak for all Yazidis.

    Equally true, she's not from the city with the biggest concentrations of Yazidis (that would be Shekhan followed by Sinjar -- she is from Mosul originally and then moved to Erbil).

    At the hearing, she made one ridiculous statement after another.  Here's one example:

    Since the invasion of the so-called Islamic State in June 2013, I have been working tirelessly to bring attention to the plight . . .

    It was January, at the start of the year, when the Islamic State seized Falluja.  And the Islamic State was in Iraq prior to that.   As a member of the Iraqi Parliament and as a member of the KDP, she's actually supposed to speak for all of Iraq and should know these basic facts.  Added: April 8, 2013 is when the press begins -- world press -- acknowledging the Islamic State is in Iraq. They were there prior to April.


    It was an awful hearing and we would have ignored her but then she went on NPR's Here and Now and NPR highlights this section of her remarks regarding what the US needs to do:

    “They first started out with a great mission and attack on ISIS, and that made us very happy. That was only for one week. After one week, they stopped. They suspended airstrikes and we were kind of surprised. We were looking to see why they were suspended for a while, and we’re hoping to understand why.”
    “What is really urgently needed right now, there are five women and children being held by ISIS and we really need assistance right away to help them be free and run away from ISIS. Plus humanitarian aides are mostly needed at the moment for those refugees who ran away from ISIS and made a way to get to the shelters. We’re here to tell the people in the United States that this is what we are living through right now in Iraq, and that’s what we need your help with at the moment.”


    We've been nice.

    Maybe too nice.

    Maybe I've baby-ied?


    Here's some harsh truths.

    You claim to have 500,000 Yazidis, ma'am, there are no more than 30,000 Islamic State members in Iraq.

    Maybe you should stop traveling to other countries to speak and do media appearances to advocate for war and instead return to Iraq, pick up a gun, urge your fellow Yazidis to take up arms and address the problem yourself.

    If that sounds harsh, well your request for US forces on the ground due to five people being held sounds stupid and insane.

    Worse yet, it also sounds cowardly.

    Stop coming to the US demanding US troops and start using your position as a Member of the Iraqi Parliament to advocate for action from your own country's troops.





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  • Saturday, December 13, 2014

    Love is all around, even at the White House

    BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

    FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O HAS A NEW LOVE -- AND THIS ONE HAS 3 NIPPLES!

    RUMORS SWIRL THAT BARRY O'S BEEN TAKING A HEAVY ASS POUNDING FROM ONE DIRECTION SINGER HARRY STYLES.

    REPORTEDLY, HARRY TOLD BARRY, "BABY JUST SHOUT IT OUT, SHOUT IT OUT, BABY JUST SHOUT IT OUT, YEA."

    AND, REPORTEDLY, BARRY O DID JUST THAT, "POUND ME BRITISH DADDY! POUND ME!"


    FROM THE TCI WIRE:



    Yesterday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing.  During it, a member offered a testimonial to the greatness:



    US House Rep Gregory Meeks:  It's easy for many of us to be up here and think that it's simple.  We thought it was simple to get rid of Saddam Hussein.  We said that it would take just a few days.  In fact, we got on the ship that said Mission Accomplished a few days after shock and awe.  I am glad we are not being that simplistic about this.  The administration has been honest to say it will take years to get this done and to get it done right not based upon emotion, not based upon trying, just get it together so we can say rah-rah [. . .]


    Testimonials and endorsements can be important.  But let's first see just what sort of person was slobbering over Barack.  Here's how CREW sees Meeks:


    A swirling federal corruption probe into crooked charities associated with Rep. Meeks is just the tip of the iceberg in the congressman’s litany of ethical lapses.
    Rep. Meeks has accepted numerous improper gifts while in office, including a below-market rate on a new home, major loans that he failed to disclose for years, and discounted rent on his district office.  He has also accepted at least six trips to Caribbean resorts from a non-profit backed by convicted financier R. Allen Stanford, on whose behalf Rep. Meeks may have sought a favor from the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.


    • Nine-term member of Congress representing New York’s 5th district
    • Under federal investigation for his ties to several corrupt non-profit groups, including one that lost track of thousands of dollars intended for victims of Hurricane Katrina
    • Previously named to CREW’s Most Corrupt in 2011 and 2012
    • One of four members of Congress from New York named to CREW’s Most Corrupt
    • Appeared in CREW’s Family Affair exposé


    "It's complicated. It's going to take some time.  We're going to have to figure this out," declared Meeks but he wasn't talking about his legal strategy.

    First thing Meeks might figure out is how to pronounce areas in Iraq.  Erbil can be spelled Arbil but no one pronounces it "EE-BRILL."

    Nor does anyone say "KurDICKstan."

    It's Kurdistan.

    Gregory Meeks, please keep your dick out of Kurdistan.


    Yesterday's House Foreign Affairs Committee may have actually been hugely revealing in a way no one noticed.


    US House Rep Albio Sires:  Can you talk a little about Camp Liberty and any of the abuses by the Iraqis.  I know you're on  the discussion.

    Brett McGurk:  Well I get a briefing on this every single day.  I get reports from the residents and also from the United Nations.  And as you know UN monitoring teams confirms to us about humanitarian supplies and the overall situation at the camp.  We look at it every single day.  My colleague Jonathan Winer who's our  senior advisor on the MEK resettlements.  He's in Albania today with a team, an interagency team with DHS represented as well -- representatives as well.  And we've gotten about 600 residents of Camp Liberty out of Camp Liberty and out of Iraq to safety over the past year and we're looking to increase that number this year and Albania has been very helpful in this regard.  And Jonathan Weiner has really done a heroic, courageous job of getting this moving.  And I think the new government will be even more cooperative. And we want to get all the residents of Camp Liberty -- as I've testified before -- out of Iraq to safety.  That is our goal and we're working with partners around the world to achieve that goal.  And right now Albania has been extremely cooperative and we should thank them for taking in hundreds of residents.  And the residents are assimilating quite well in Albania.  But Jonathan -- my colleague --  Mr. Winer is there addressing this issue right now, and I'm sure he'd very happy to follow up with you.



    600?

    Some outlets wrongly reported this year that Winer took his post in October of 2013 (here for Huffington Post getting it wrong)..

    No.

    He was first noted by the State Dept in a September 6, 2013 press statement by spokesperson Marie Harf:


    Marie Harf
    Washington, DC
    September 6, 2013





    We are continuing to follow with urgency the situation at Camp Ashraf in Iraq. The United States reiterates its condemnation of the horrific attack that took place on September 1 and we express our condolences to the families and friends of the victims.
    We further reiterate our support for the United Nations Assistance Mission (UNAMI) and its efforts to conduct an independent fact finding investigation into this terrible event and to document what took place. We have called on the Government of Iraq to fully support UNAMI’s efforts to conduct a full investigation of its own and to help find and return to safety those who are missing. We insist that the perpetrators of this barbarous act be brought to justice.
    We also note the troubling statements issued by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) praising the attack, and call on the Government of Iran to use whatever influence it might have with groups that may be holding missing persons from the camp to secure their immediate release.
    Regarding the immediate situation at Camp Ashraf, we urge all parties to cooperate with a plan proposed by UNAMI to ensure the safe and secure relocation of the survivors to Camp Hurriya as soon as possible. Consistent with this plan, we call on the Government of Iraq to move expeditiously to enhance security structures within Camp Hurriya, pursuant to the plan discussed with UNAMI, and we call on the MEK to make all necessary preparations to move remaining residents at Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya in full cooperation with UNAMI. The United States stands behind the UNAMI efforts to resolve this crisis.
    The State Department has appointed a Senior Advisor for MEK Resettlement, Jonathan Winer, to oversee our efforts to help resettle the residents of Camp Hurriya to safe, permanent, and secure locations outside of Iraq, in addition to those countries, such as Albania, that have admirably assisted the United Nations in this important humanitarian mission.



    He's been 'on the job' since at least September 2013 and Brett's proud of him for finding homes in that time for 600 Ashraf residents?

    Most people presented with approximately 3,000 people who needed to get out of country -- a life-or-death issue -- would work to successfully get them out in 90 days tops.  Check out previous evacuation efforts by the US is you doubt that.

    But the White House is fine with it taking 15 months for Winer to relocate 600 people is acceptable?

    At this rate, it will take over five years to relocate all the refugees -- over five years to do what previous administrations accomplished in 90 days.

    No wonder Barack thinks his 'plan' (bombing Iraq) will require years to 'fix' things.

    By the way, Brett may be impressed with Winer's work but he's likely the only one.

    Not only is 600 a ridiculously small number, Winer's position isn't important enough in the eyes of the State Dept.



    As Domani Spero (Diplopunidit) noted May 22nd, State Dept spokesperson Jen Psaki declared in a press briefing:

    Jonathan Winer, who you also may know, visited Tripoli in February in his role as Special Coordinator for Libya and met with a variety of Libyan and international partners, and he’s working closely with Ambassador Satterfield and our NEA team.


    Spero pointed out:

    Jonathan Winer, the new Special Coordinator for Libya was previously appointed by the State Department as Senior Advisor for MEK Resettlement in 2013.  In that capacity, he was tasked with overseeing USG efforts to help resettle the residents of Camp Hurriya to permanent, and secure locations outside of Iraq. He also previously served as chief counsel and principal legislative assistant to then Senator Kerry for 10 years and was a DAS at INL.


    Again, Brett may be impressed but the State Dept and White House felt it was such a nothing assignment that they tasked him to be Special Coordinator for Libya as well.



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    Thursday, December 11, 2014

    Happy baby will still find time to cry

    BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE

    BABY BARRY O GOT A NEW TOY TODAY WHEN THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE VOTED TO GIVE HIM THE WAR HE ALWAYS WANTED, THE ONE HE HAD MANY WET DREAMS OVER, THE ONE THAT LED HIM TO AWAKE TO HIS TINY PENIS STUCK TO THE SHEETS FROM HIS OWN O-JUICE.

    REACHED FOR COMMENT, FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O DECLARED, "I'D BEAT OFF BUT I'VE ALREADY RUBBED MYSELF RAW!"


    FROM THE TCI WIRE:



    This afternoon, Senator Robert Menendez declared, "I know some may see this as limiting but at the end of the day, Americans will not be supportive of an authorization of an endless war."

    He was speaking at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee  hearing on the Islamic State and the administration's lack of authorization of force, from Congress, to conduct the current bombings taking place in Iraq.  Secretary of State John Kerry was appearing before the Committee "to provide the administration's views," as Committee Chair Robert Mendendez explained.

    But he appeared to believe he was elsewhere -- possibly on a parade float?

    Kerry was looking around, grinning and waving.

    As Menendez declared Americans would not "be supportive of an authorization of an endless war."

    As Menendez declared, "They do not want us to occupy Iraq for decades."

    Has John Kerry morphed into Johnny Kardashian?

    "I think the American people expect their Congressional leaders to engage fully on this issue," Chair Menendez  said as Kerry all but pulled out a compact and mirror

    AUMF is the "Authorization of the Use of Military Force."  ISIL is one of the names tossed around for the Islamic State.  With that in mind, we'll note these remarks from the hearing.

    Chair Robert Menendez:  Well thank you, Mr. Secretary, let me just say there is I think undoubtedly and I'll let members express themselves, there is a bold bipartisan view that we need to defeat ISIL and I think there is no debate about that.  And virtually every political element from the spectrum those who might be considered dovish to those who might be considered hawkish -- and everybody in between -- I think, has a common collective goal of defeating ISIL.  Now I must say that the administration has not sent us -- five, six months into this engagement -- an AUMF.  And had the administration sent us an AUMF maybe we would be better versed as to what the administration seeks or does not seek and that would be the subject of Congressional debate.  But that has not happened. And with reference to my distinguished Ranking Member's comments?  You know, if we wait for that and it's not forthcoming by this or any other administration then the absence of getting an AUMF from the executive branch and Congress not acting because it's waiting for an AUMF from the executive branch would in essence create a de facto veto of the Constitutional prerogatives and responsibilities that the Congress has.  And so, there are many of us on the Committee who, in the absence of receiving a AUMF for the purposes of understanding the administration's views felt that it is Congress' responsibility to move forward and define it.  Now no one has worked harder in the last two years as a chairman of this Committee to make this a bipartisan effort not just on the AUMF but across the spectrum.  And I'm proud to say that we have -- working with the Ranking Member, we have virually passed out every major legislation on some of the critical issues of our time from the AUMF on Syria and the use of chemical weapons to OES reform to Kor -- to North Korea to Iran -- On a whole host of issues, we have been bipartisan.  Virtually ever nomination except for three -- of hundreds -- have largely been on a bipartisan basis.  So there's no one who has striven harder in this process.  But there are some principled views here that may not be reconcilable.  And it starts with when the administration itself -- and I think you've reiterated what you've said -- earlier in your previous visit here that the president has been clear that his policy that the United States military forces will not be deployed to conduct ground combat operations ISIL.  That it will be the responsibility of local forces because that's what our local partners and allies want.  What is best for preserving our coalition and most importantly what is in the best interests of the United States.  Now there are those members of the Committee and the Congress who have a much different view than that.  They would have a very robust and open ended -- uhhhhh-- use of combat forces in this regard.  And if the administration wants that then it should come forth and ask for that.


    Menendez was speaking after Kerry finished reading his opening statement.

    Combat forces?

    The Chair must have been mistaken, right?

    Surely the White House doesn't want US forces in combat on the ground in Iraq, right?


    Kerry, reading from his opening statement:


    On the issue of combat operations, I know that this is hotly debated, with passionate and persuasive arguments on both sides. The President has been clear that his policy is that U.S. military forces will not be deployed to conduct ground combat operations against ISIL. That will be the responsibility of local forces because that is what our local partners and allies want, what is best for preserving our Coalition and, most importantly, what is in the best interest of the United States . However, while we certainly believe this is the soundest policy, and while the president has been clear he's open to clarifications on the use of U.S. combat troops to be outlined in an AUMF, that does not mean we should pre-emptively bind the hands of the commander in chief oo  or our commanders in the field -- in responding to scenarios and contingencies that are impossible to foresee. 



    If you found Kerry confusing, you weren't the only one.

    Secretary John Kerry:  Let me try to help you a little bit on this.

    Ranking Member Bob Corker:  Well help me this way:  Are you going to ever explicitly seek an authorization from Congress?

    Secretary John Kerry:  We're seeking authorization now.  With respect to  --

    Ranking Member Bob Corker:  So you are.  And if you didn't receive the authoirzation, will you continue the operation?  That's a --

    Secretary John Kerry:  The authorization for what we're doing nowin both Iraq and Syria?

    Ranking Member Bob Corker:  That's correct.

    Secretary John Kerry:  Absolutely we will continue it because we believe we have full authority under the 2001 AUMF and parts of the 2002 AUMF but here's where I want to help you.

    Ranking Member Bob Corker:  Good.

    Secretary John Kerry:  If Congress passes a new Dash specific AUMF we will support the inclusion of language in the AUMF that will clarify that the Dash specific AUMF rather than the 2001 AUMF is the basis for military force.  And I think that will give comfort to a lot of people.  Second, we will also support the repeal of the 2002 AUMF as part of an effort to clarify the ISIL specific AUMF would be the only source of legitimacy for the use of military force against Dash and therefore we would live under the confines of what we pass here.


    John wants to play like Congress is confused.

    No, the senators knew what they were talking about.

    US President Barack Obama told the American people no US troops would be on the ground in combat.

    He made that promise.

    And now they want to change it.


    Throughout the hearing, Kerry repeatedly insisted that the use of ground troops needed to be put into the AUMF.  Such as when he insisted, "It does not mean we should pre-emptively bind the hands of the commander-in-chief or our commanders in the field in responding to scenarios and contingencies that are impossible to foresee."


    If refusing to send US troops into combat on the ground in Iraq would "bind the hands" of anyone then maybe that needs to be taken up with Barack Obama who is the one who made the promise.


    In fact, when he did, there was criticism from some member of Congress -- mainly Republicans -- that he had tipped his hand, let the enemy know how far he'd go.

    If Barack wants to take back his promise, the coward needs to stand before the American people and make that announcement.

    Congress should not provide him cover to break his promises, cover to lie.



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    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    He has duties

    BULLY BOY PRESS &    CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE


    LIKE THE LITTLE BITCH THAT HE IS, FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O WENT ON THE STEPHEN COLBERT SHOW TO PROMOTE HIMSELF.

    AND HE SENT JOHN KERRY TO CONGRESS TO DEMAND CONGRESS ALLOW BARRY O THE OPPORTUNITY/LUXURY TO SEND U.S. TROOPS INTO GROUND COMBAT IN IRAQ.

    SAID BARRY O, "I BELIEVE IN DELEGATING THE TOUGH STUFF AND IN LIVING OUT THE FUN STUFF!"


    FROM THE TCI WIRE:




    The Democrats lost control of the Senate in the November mid-term elections.  Mary Landrieu was forced into a run-off which she lost to her Republican opponent over the weekend.


    When the new Congress is sworn in next month, Republicans will control the Senate (and they remain in control of the House of Representatives).  Community member Brandon wanted to know if I could score the outgoing Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee?

    Sure.

    It's Bernie Sanders.  He is not a Democrat.  He votes with Democrats (way too often for someone supposedly opposed to corporate control of the Congress) and is often referred to as an "independent" but as Laura Flanders noted the night he was elected to the Senate (in 2006), she doesn't want to hear anyone calling him an independent because he is a Socialist.

    He will not be Chair in the next session, a Republican will be.

    Sanders as Chair was a disappointment.

    If you're a third party, you need to be better than good because there are so few of you.

    But Sanders wasn't even good.

    His pet issue was non-traditional medicine.

    And no one ever forgot it.

    That's not what you do as Chair.

    That he would advance, for example, acupuncture was not a surprise.

    That he would be unable to set aside his pet issues when a scandal emerged?

    That's appalling.

    But that's exactly what happened and exactly why he lost the support of veterans.

    He refused to allow a hearing that was scheduled as the scandal of the VA keeping 'official' lists and secret lists emerged to acknowledge that scandal and insisted that if this was indeed a real scandal he would be the one to lead on this and the Committee would lead on it and blah, blah, blah.

    Reality: It was a real scandal.

    Reality: The Committee never dealt with it in a hearing.

    Over in the House, they did.

    Not in the Senate.

    Then there's VA Secretary Eric Shinseki whose tenure was one scandal after another -- usually one of his own making.

    And when he had lost the confidence of veterans, there was Sanders prattling on about how it was too soon . . .

    I think President Barack Obama realized he had to ask Shinseki to resign before Sanders ever grasped their might be a serious problem here.

    I spoke with veterans last week as I attended two Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearings -- two.

    What was Sanders' sudden interest, everyone wanted to know?  He held very few hearings which became even more noticeable when the scandals kept breaking.

    Last Thursday may have been his final hearing as Chair (until the next election cycle).

    If so, he went out looking like a huge disappointment.

    The hearing was on the nomination of Leigh A. Bradley to be the General Counsel for the VA. In 1998, when she was nominated to the same post by then-President Bill Clinton, the post was described this way, "The General Counsel serves as the chief legal officer of the Department of Veterans Affairs and is responsible for the interpretation of all laws affecting the department and for the review of all regulations implementing such laws. The General Counsel directs the legal, litigative and legislative activities of the department, provides legal advice and assistance to the Secretary of Veterans' Affairs and represents the Secretary in Congressional committee and other hearings and in interdepartmental conferences on legislative matters."


    Chair Bernie Sanders showed up late for the hearing and noted there were impending votes.

    Chair Sanders had Bradley stand and swore her in -- something we support doing for all witnesses who come before Congress.


    She then began reading from her prepared statement.

    Leigh Bradley:  We'll Chairman Sanders, Ranking Member [Richard Burr is the Ranking Member and was listed as such in her written statement, in the hearing Johnny Isakson acted as Ranking Member and she acknowledged him verbally], Distinguished Members of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. I am humbled and honored to have been nominated by President Obama to be VA General Counsel, and grateful to Secretary McDonald, and Deputy Secretary Gibson for their confidence in me. Mr. Chairman, from the start of my legal career in 1987 as an active-duty Air Force Judge Advocate to my present position as Director of the Department of Defense  Standards of Conduct Office, I have been guided by a deep and personal commitment to our nation’s Armed Forces and its Veterans. I come from a long, proud line of military Veterans. My father is a Vietnam Veteran who served as a career officer in the Army Corps of Engineers. Both of my grandfathers served in the U.S. Army--one in World War I and the other in World War II. My husband served for 20 years as an Air Force Judge Advocate, and my brother-in-law currently serves as an Air Force B-1 Weapons Systems Operator. Finally, and I say this with great joy and pride, my daughter has decided to follow in the family’s footsteps. She is a 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force, studying to be a doctor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences at Walter Reed. I am immensely proud of her decision to continue our family’s tradition of service in uniform. I have spent the majority of my legal career supporting the mission of the Armed Forces and the needs of our nation’s Veterans. After five years on active duty, I was selected for a civilian position in the DoD Office of the General Counsel. Later, I served as the Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Navy, the second highest ranking civilian attorney in an office of over 600. In 1998, I was nominated by President Clinton and confirmed by the Senate to be General Counsel of the Department of Veterans Affairs. And in my current position, I advise the senior DoD leadership on ethical compliance and creating and sustaining ethical cultures across the Department.

    [. . .]
    Of late, however, VA has not fully met its responsibilities and obligations to Veterans, and we must make restoring their trust our top priority. To quote Secretary McDonald, “the seriousness of this moment demands urgent action.” I am deeply inspired by the dedication, vision, and leadership of Secretary McDonald and Deputy Secretary Gibson. While this is a challenging time at VA, it is also an exciting and transformative time in which the leaders of the Department, in cooperation with Congress, Veterans Service Organizations, and other Veterans’ stakeholders can collaborate to reform and improve services to Veterans. Yes, there is hard work to be done. But for me, there can be no higher calling than to be part of this historic moment which will have lasting, positive impacts on the care and benefits we deliver to Veterans and the way VA operates going forward. Accordingly, if confirmed, I will work closely with the VA leadership team to strengthen the Department’s ability to serve our nation’s Veterans and restore trust with them, with Congress, and with the American public. I will do all in my power to provide thoughtful, expert advice and counsel on all legal matters including those associated with the implementation of both the Veterans Choice Act and MyVA (the Secretary’s ground-breaking initiative to bring a singular focus on customer service to Veterans), improving access to medical care, better delivery of other VA services and benefits, protecting the rights of whistleblowers, and helping to ensure that the processes to hold employees accountable for wrong-doing are expedient, fair, and defensible. I will do this by exemplifying VA’s core ethical values of integrity, commitment, advocacy, respect, and excellence.


    Half-way into the year, Leigh Bradley was named special counsel to (then acting) VA Secretary Sloan D. Gibson.  "On loan from DOD's Standards of Conduct Office" as Leo Shane III noted July 2nd.

    That position was supposed to be a temporary assignment for her and the understanding was she would return to the Defense Dept.  So one question for her at the hearing might be about that.

    I'm sorry.

    Questions for a witness?

    Not in Bernie's world.

    This is a transcript of what followed when Leigh Bradley stopped stop reading her statement.


    Chair Bernie Sanders: We thank you very much for your statement.  You and I chatted yesterday and I am strongly supportive of the nomination and you answered my questions yesterday.  Mr. Isackson?

    Senator Johnny Isakson:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I too met yesterday with Ms. Bradley and we had a wonderful meeting and I want the record to reflect this is one Georgia Bull Dog that's going to pull for an Alabama Roll Tide, Crimson Tide lady in the fall game coming up pretty soon.  Good luck this weekend.  Mr. Chairman, I told Leigh this is probably the most important appointment in the VA other than the Secretary themselves.  And the implementation of the Veterans Choice Act is going to require an awful lot of work from legal counsel to support the Secretary in whatever disciplinary action he takes as well as expedite the review process in cases that are appealed because we're getting more and more disability determinations coming out faster and faster which means we're going to have a higher and higher volume of appeals which means legal counsel is going to be under the gun.  We want to be supportive of you.  We want to streamline that process as much as possible.  We have a two-year window of opportunity to make the VA the best VA in the world and we want to make that happen.  And you're a key part of that. I'm very supportive of your nomination.  Appreciate your willingness to accept the job.  And I really have no questions for [her], Mr. Chair.

    Chair Bernie Sanders:  Thank you very much, Mr. Isakson.  Ms. Bradley, thank you very much for your willingness to serve.  As Senator Isakson indicated, the position is enormously important.  We're seeing transition in the VA right now but I'm confident you're going to do a great job for us.  Okay.  And with that, if there are no other comments -- Okay?  Okay.

    Leigh Bradley:  Thank you both.

    Chair Bernie Sanders: This hearing is adjourned.

    That was the entire hearing.

    And it goes to how awful a Chair Bernie Sanders has been.

    The position is important, the one Leigh Bradley is up for.

    It's a shame the hearing couldn't have treated it as such.

    And I'm sorry but I thought Socialists in the US led the call for transparency?

    Where was the transparency in that hearing?

    Bernie and Johnny going on about how they had spoken with the witness the day before?

    Well good for them but did those conversations mean that there was no reason to have a conversation for the record?  No reason to question a witness publicly?

    What was the point -- besides wasting time -- in having the witness sworn in if no one was going to ask her one damn question?

    And with all the scandals in the VA, let's grasp that a lot of them happened because of people in positions of power.  No one thought this person or that would be inept or worse.

    Hopefully, Leigh Bradley will be a huge success.

    But with the problem in the VA, the Committee was required to ask questions.

    They failed.

    Veterans around the country have interest in this appointment and were looking to how the nominee would respond under questions.

    But a candy ass, poorly led Committee refused to do its job.

    This is the typical nonsense that has taken place over and over under Bernie Sanders' leadership.

    There was never time, while he was Chair, to address serious issues or problems.

    There was always time to explore acupuncture and other holistic medicines.

    That's really all he ever made time for.

    We're all so very sorry for Chair Sanders and the Committee that they were put out, that they're valuable time was shortened with the expectation that they'd do their damn job and hold a real hearing on a top post at the VA.

    Going through the motions, that's all Bernie Sanders offered during his time as Chair of the Committee.




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