BULLY BOY PRESS & CEDRIC'S BIG MIX -- THE KOOL-AID TABLE
CELEBRITY IN CHIEF BARRY O MAY HAVE ENTERED HIS DIRECT-TO-VIDEO PHASE. A NEW POLL SHOWS ONLY 26% THINK HE DESERVES THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO TOSS AROUND TERMS LIKE METROSEXUAL TO DESCRIBE HIM -- A NICER WAY OF SAYING "FANCY PANTS" -- AND GOLF MAGAZINE IS SO WORRIED ABOUT BARRY O'S MASCULINITY THAT THEY WANT TIGER WOODS TO GIVE HIM TIPS -- A PLAN THAT PROBABLY BACKFIRES WHEN THEY HAVE BARRY O SQUATTING IN FRONT OF APPARENT 'STUD' TIGER WOODS.
REACHED FOR COMMENT, BARRY O TOLD THESE REPORTERS, "I NEVER WORRY ABOUT MASCULINITY ISSUES. HAVE YOU SEEN MICHELLE'S SHOULDERS? SHE'S GOT ENOUGH FOR BOTH OF US."
IN OTHER NEWS, EAT IT NANCY PELOSI, EAT IT.
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Last night Betty was confronting the latest wave of Operation Happy Talk the press has been pimping, noting how little attention Monday's school bombing in Baghdad was receiving, "But if you've followed the waves of it, you know that the children (dead and wounded) won't get much attention at all due to the fact that this is what happens in the aftermath of a wave. The reporters look the other way. Over and over. Until forced to admit reality. And they're always loathe to admit reality." Until they're forced to. Which would be today. Martin Chulov (Guardian) reports multiple bombings in Baghdad today which "have again exposed how vulnerable Iraqi institutions re to targeted bombings". Based on police sources, Al Jazeera put the death toll at 112 with 200 more people left injured. Their correspondent Zeina Khodr states:We just spoke to a high raking official who said he was worried that the security forces were infiltrated. This is a blow to the security forces and prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, who is running for re-election on a platform that he has improved security across the country. Attacks have become part of daily life, not only in Baghdad, but across the country. Security is not only fragile, it is deteriorating.The Telegraph of London (link has text and video) offers, "Some police sources said there had been five explosions, two near judicial buildings, one near a university, another near in a central Baghdad commercial district and the earlier one in the south. Smoke billowed from at least two sites." Steven Lee Myers and Marc Santora (New York Times) count 121 dead and also go with five explosions, three of which they state were suicide bombings. Richard Spencer (Telegraph of London) states the targets included the Ministry of the Interior, "a court building and the temporary home of the finance ministry". The Washington Post offers a photo essay here. Jamal Hashim and Ghassan Awad (Xinhua) reconstruct the bombings stating the first one was aimed at the Finance Ministry and was a car bombing, followed by a car bombing targeting the Interior Ministry, then another car bombing targeting the court house, a mini-bus bombing then exploded "near the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs" (the fifth bombing, according to the reporters, took place at a police checkpoint and was a suicide bomber). Chip Cummins (Wall St. Journal) observes, "The intensity of the blasts and their quick succession -- some spaced just minutes apart -- suggested a coordinated bombing campaign." Oliver August (Times of London) explains the cars didn't all just show and wait to explode: "A blue van charged through a checkpoint in western Baghdad just after 10am, ran over a security guard while his colleague fired at the windscreen, and raced through an alley of concrete blast walls. It then ploughed through a second barrier, crashing into the parking lot of the al-Karkh courthouse and exploding on impact." Natalia Antelava (BBC News -- link has text and video) emphasizes, "All five explosions targeted symbols of this state. Not only ministries but also a university and Baghdad's Institute of Fine Arts."
Ammar Karim and Prashant Rao (AFP) describe the scene, "Mangled wrecks of cars, some of which had been flipped over, lined the street opposite the courthouse, and several vehicles in the parking lot were crushed by collpased blast walls." Jane Arraf (Christian Science Monitor) captures the trauma and quotes a Ministry of Defense employee begging for help, "My son is at school. I don't know if he's dead or alive." At Global Post, Arraf explains, "Iraqi civil defense workers loaded body bags of at least 10 people killed in the blast into ambulances while rescue workers frantically turned over piles of bricks, flinging them aside with their bare hands looking for survivors. [. . .] A judge with building dust on his suit wandered through the rubble. On a nearby street, children evacuated from a school with its windows blown out waited in a minibus for someone in charge to take them home." Ned Parker and Raheem Salman (Los Angeles Times) quote shopkeeper Abu Haidar stating, "I never felt so scared in my life. I lived through wars and served in the military, but today was so terrifying. Many people were killed and wounded. Men, women, police and children who sell things, all were killed and injured." Oliver August quotes worker Ahmed Jowad stating, "The glass and windows were blown in as we ducked under the tables because of the shooting but then were thrown across the room. We couldn't get out because there was a fire. Smoke and dust everywhere. Later I saw all the dead bodies in the yard, the young lawyers. I heard screaming and helped people crawl out of the building." Also commenting, Jane Arraf notes, is Paliament which "demanded that the prime minister and senior security officials come in to explain why security forces were unable to prevent the bombings." Marc Santora and Steven Lee Myers quote the spokesperson for Ayad Allawi stating, "The government always forms investigation committees after each explosion, but it comes up with nothing later." Nizar Latif (The National Newspaper) quotes the Parliament's head of the security commission, Hadi al Amri, stating, "We have already sent a formal message to Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki saying that the current security plan has failed. It is clear that we need a new security plan. There have been consistent warnings that government and civilian targets will be increasingly attacked in the run-up to the national elections, but insufficient action has been taken to stop those attacks." At the United Nations today, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon was asked his reaction to the bombings and he replied, "I am very shocked, and I condemn in the strongest terms possible, this just unnaceptable, horrendous terrorist bombings against civilians. This must be stopped, and my spokesperson will issue a formal statement on this." As was to be expected, Nouri's spokesperson addressed the press and blamed al Qaeda in Iraq and Ba'athists. The Daily Mirror notes, "Iraqi officials blamed the August and October attacks on al Qaida in Iraq and loyalists of the Baath Party -- even bringing out three suspects on national television who gave what officials termed confessions." Ron Jacobs (CounterPunch) observes:
Like most of the rest of the bombings in Iraq in 2009, the bombers remain a mystery, although the government has blamed Baathists for the October attacks and some US officials speculate whether or not some of the others should be attributed to their favorite bogeyman -- Al Qaida in Iraq. Unlike many of the attacks during the heat of the conflict in Iraq, many of these recent attacks are targeting heavily defended government agencies. If these attacks are the work of the Iraqi insurgency and one places these bombings in the frameowrk of the rest of the conflict in Iraq, they seem to symbolize a resurgence of the insurgency. If one further considers the nature of guerrilla war, these spectacular attacks represent a new phase in the insurgents war against the government.
Various reports note Bloody Wednesday (August) and Bloody Sunday (October) -- two Baghdad attacks resulting in huge deaths earlier this year. Chris Floyd (Empire Burlesque) notes, "After you have taken a moment to mull this unspeakable rending of human lives -- not just the individuals who were killed but also the lifelong, lacerting grief of their survivors -- a rending which is a direct result of an American invasion and occupation that not only loosed a sevage sectarian war in the shattered conquered land but also actively abetted it at every turn, go back and read the last paragraph of that excerpt again. The worst attack in -- not years, not decades -- but mere weeks. In other wrods, it's hardly been a month since the last time, of many times, over and over, like clockwork, that dozens of people were ripped to shreds in the American-caused, American-abetted, American-supported civil wars in Iraq."
Meanwhile CNN quotes Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission's Faraj al-Haidari stating, "After intensive discussion with the presidential council we've all agreed on March 6, 2010 to be the new date for parliamentary elections." Marc Santora and Steven Lee Myers also report March 6th and credit it to the Presidency Council. So there you have it, parliamentary elections March 6th, Iraq's installed government has finally reached a conclusion and the matter is . . . What's that. Oh. Never mind. Not only does the date still have to be approved by the Presidency Council but it's already been changed. Suadad al-Salhy, Mohammed Abbas, Ayla Jean Yackley, Aseel Kami, Waleed Ibrahim, Ahmed Rasheed, Michael Christie and Noah Barkin (Reuters) report it is not supposedly and/or allegedly set to take place March 7th after Kurds pointed out that March 6, 1975 was when Saddam Hussein signed a treaty with the Iranian government that "marginalised" the Kurds. So for now, let's just keep calling them 'intended' elections.
RECOMMENDED: "Iraq snapshot"
"Bombings rock Baghdad, over 100 said to be dead"
"Strobel practices reporting, NPR self-embarrasses"
"Short futures for starlets and the US economy"
"It Takes A Starlet"
"i'm voting for martha and a great gift"
"That is bad radio"
"Harry Reid and NPR -- two go nutty"
"Barack, Amy Goodman, Kimmy W and other War Hawks"
"Isaiah, Flashpoints, Third"
"Who is he?"
"THIS JUST IN! MYSTERY SOLVED!"