Monday, February 06, 2012

Choose your moments, Joe

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

GAFFE PRONE JOE BIDEN APPEARED TO HAVE SCORED A WIN MONDAY NIGHT WHEN HE DECLARED, "OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD AND GENERAL MOTORS IS ALIVE."

HOWEVER, HE QUICKLY ADDED, "MY BRAIN IS DEAD AND I'M ALIVE."

PAUSING, HE THEN CONTINUED, "YOU REALLY DON'T NEED A BRAIN TO LIVE. OR A POT TO PEE IN. THE HOMELESS SHOULD REMEMBER THAT."

"SO EVERYBODY ENJOY BRUNCH AND LET'S GET STARTED ON OUR MORNING RUN RIGHT NOW."

FROM THE TCI WIRE:

In the US, an album was released today as a download. That's news for many reasons including that albums are released on Tuesday in the US. So what album's so special that it alters the street date? Let It Be Roberta: Roberta Flack Sings The Beatles. Amazon currently is preselling the new collection on sale for $9.99 on disc but you can download it right now from Amazon, all 14 tracks (one is a live track from 1972, all the others are studio tracks recorded for this album), and if you do it right now, you're getting an amazing bargain because it's only $3.99. Roberta Flack's not just someone I've called a friend for years, she's also a living legend, one of the all time music greats, a four-time Grammy winner known for such classics as "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," "Killing Me Softly With His Song," "Oasis," "Set The Night To Music" (with Maxi Priest), "Where Is The Love?" (with the late Donny Hathaway, we'll link to his daughter Lalah Hathaway), "The Closer I Get To You" (with Donny)," "Feel Like Making Love," "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love" (with Peabo Bryson), the Ashford & Simpson classic "Uh-Uh-Ooh-Ooh Look Out (Here It Comes)," "Making Love" and Janis Ian's"Jesse." Kat will have a review up here tomorrow of the album. The songs she covers are "In My Life," "Hey Jude," "We Can Work It Out" (the first single for the album), "Let It Be," "Oh Darling," "I Should Have Known Better," "The Long & Winding Road," "Come Together," "Isn't It A Pity," "If I Fell," "And I Love Him," "Here, There And Everywhere" (this is the live track, from her 1972 Carnegie Hall concert), "I'm Looking Through You" and "Yesterday." John Lennon collectors take note, the album booklet includes a little seen photo of Yoko Ono, John and Roberta. It's a great album, it's been almost 9 years since Roberta put out her last album and, again, right now, it's $3.99 to download the entire album, all 14 tracks, at Amazon. That's a sale price, not a regular price. The sale won't last forever.
Moving over to Iraq, Aswat al-Iraq quotes Iraq's Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi stating today, "The Constitution must be adjusted in such a way that it shares in transforming Iraq into a State of Modern Civilian Institutions, enablingthe citizen to enjoy his national fortunes, and to activiate a balance between the Constitution and the nation to evaluate civilian institutions rather than looking for loopholes that marginalize partners." The news outlet reports he was responding to "certain paties that he did not name [who were] . . . exerting pressure on the Iraqi Judiciary." Al Rafidayn reports that the Supreme Judicial Council has notified the Parliament that they want the immunity (that all members of Parliament are granted) lifted from MP Haidar al-Mullah because he noted that the judiciary was politicized. One of the judges over Iraq's 160 courts is stating that this statement was a personal "assault" and is demanding that the immunity be lifted. (If this lifting of immunity took place, not noted in the story, it would the first time such a thing happened. It would set a very dangerous precedent.) al-Mullah, no surprise, is a member of Iraqiya. Nouri's targeting them and now the court he controls is as well. al-Mullah states the judge in question is Judge Sayad al-Lami. The article notes other members of Iraqiya may be targeted -- two who share stories of requests from months ago that were apparently not followed up on. Barbara Surk (AP) notes that Haidar al-Mullah is a Shi'ite member of Iraqiya and that he told the AP, "We will not be silenced. I have the right to express my opinion and criticize inappropriate acts."

Iraqiya came in first in the March 2010 elections. That should have been the end of Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister (his State of Law came in second). But the White House wouldn't hear of it. With their backing, he began an eight-month long stalemate where nothing could move forward. And like the spoiled child he is, he got humored. In November 2010, various parties met in Erbil and signed off on the US brokered Erbil Agreement which would allow Nouri to remain prime minister in exchange for other agreements -- such as Ayad Allawi (leader of Iraqiya) leading an independent national security counsel and the referendum on Kirkuk finally taking place (the Constitution required that it take place at the end of 2007, Nouri refused to obey the Constitution in his first term). Nouri got the post he wanted and then trashed the Erbil Agreement. Since this summer, the Kurds have been calling for a return to the Erbil Agreement. Iraqiya joined them in that call. In October, Nouri insisted a "coup" had been discovered -- by Libya, no less -- and ordered the arrests of over 800 Sunnis -- including elderly college professors -- and this was the beginning of his targeting of Sunnis and Iraqiya (a mixed coaltion which recognizes Sunni, Shi'ites, Turkmen, et al -- all Iraqis). In December, after several photo ops with US President Barack Obama -- who couldn't stop slobbering over Nouri and the 'democracy' he was leading in Iraq -- Nouri returned to Iraq and immediately had tanks surround various Iraqiya officials homes in Baghdad. He declared that Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq should be stripped of his post (and immunity) for remarks al-Multaq made comparing Nouri to Saddam Hussein and began insisting that Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi was a terrorist. After making this assertion for several days (Saturday and Sunday) and having al-Hashemi and al-Mutlaq (and their bodyguards) pulled off a flight to the KRG (they were then allowed to fly out there for their meetings), Monday (December 19th) arrived and Nouri issued an arrest warrant for Tareq al-Hashemi.

Al Mada notes al-Hashemi has filed another request for his case to be transferred to Kirkuk. Rudaw interviews al-Hashemi. Excerpt:

Rudaw: Are you sure you can prove your innocence in a court of law?

Tariq al-Hashimi: I can defend myself and my bodyguards. According to what I have heard, one of my bodyguards, Major Ahmed Shawqi, had bought a car and sold it later. The car was later used in a suicide car bomb in Madayin area. I didn't know about it at that time but knew that he was a car dealer before he started working with me. That's all I have heard and frankly I wouldn't expect him to be involved in any illegal acts. Regarding myself, I can defend myself anytime in a fair trial. I hope my guards are also provided that opportunity, and justice according to the law. I am optimistic that whenever there is proper justice, then I will go before a court and defend myself. Because there is a lawsuit, I am not evading responsibility. All I have asked for is a fair trial. That kind of trial cannot be provided under the current circumstances in Baghdad. Therefore, I have asked the trial to be transferred to another place, based on Article 55 of Iraq's Penal Code. This is a normal procedure and has to do with protecting my life and will also provide the chance for the facts to be discovered. I have been deprived of this legal right and they won't allow for the trial to be transferred to Kirkuk.

Rudaw: Do you feel that your presence in the Kurdistan Region has put the Kurdish authorities in a tough position?

Tariq al-Hashimi: I am now a guest of the leadership and all citizens of this (Kurdistan) Region. If they feel Tariq al-Hashimi's presence has embarrassed them, then God's land is immense and I have not really forced them (to have me here). I came here based on a demand from President Jalal Talabani. I am still holding the vice-president's post and have not resigned. I have not been also removed from my position by Parliament. So, I am still a government employee. The president has asked me to stay in Kurdistan and Mr. Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Region, has said 'Tariq al-Hashimi is our guest.' I have been staying in Kurdistan based on this. Whenever the people of this region no longer want to host me, then God's land is vast. I really do not want my presence here to cause the smallest embarrassment to the leadership and people of Kurdistan.

Abdul Aziz al-Talabani is a member of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's clan or tribe. Al Rafidayn reports that he states the clan met in Sulaymaniyah Friday to discuss Tareq al-Hashemi and they are demanding that the KRG turn al-Hashemi over to Baghdad.
From al-Hashemi to al-Mutlaq, Aswat al-Iraq reports, "Deputy Premier Saleh al-Mutlaq discussed with a delegation from Ahrar Bloc the recent political situation in Iraq and the importance of unifying ranks to contain the present crisis, according to a statement issued by his office. The statement, as was received by Aswat al-Iraq, said that Mutlaq valued the initiatives made by Ahrar Bloc and the Sadrist Trend to minimize the gaps among political blocs in order to achieve political stability." Al Rafidayn notes the rumors that al-Mutlaq is expected to put a formal apology to Nouri in writing and that Sadrist MP Odai Awad explains that they've been working on this for some time but only now have they had significant results.





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