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15 Years after US Occupied Iraq, it is too Unsafe for Trump Admin to keep a Consulate There

A little over 15 years after the United States invaded and occupied Iraq on false pretences, the Department of State has been forced to close the US consulate in Basra because the US cannot guarantee its security.

Basra has been roiled this summer by huge protests against lack of services and mass sickenings of thousands caused by inadequately purified water. Infuriated crowds burned down the Iranian consulate in protest against Iran’s influence on the Iraqi state. Just last week, Basra activist Soad Ali was gunned down. (Then instagram model and rights activist Tara Fares, who had 3 million followers on Instagram, was gunned down on a visit to Baghdad from Erbil this week, as well.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has asked all Americans to leave Basra, and State has issued a travel advisory for Americans warning them against travel to Iraq.

The State Department spokesperson blamed the closing on “Iran-backed militias,” which is silly, since Iran’s own consulate was burned down and the militias’ target appears to have been the airport. Iran doesn’t seem to be in control of Basra. The Trump administration habitually lies about Iran just as it lies about everything else. Of course, there are pro-Iranian militias in Iraq. If Washington did not want that, they shouldn’t have overthrown the Iraqi government and dissolved the army.

Don midwest
Don midwest

saw that

started to write a comment to DK/TOP about the time I got 20 bad marks when I mentioned something similar

didn’t post the comment

wrote using the title from Juan Cole’s web site that Obama sneaks in and out of Afghanistan under the cover of darkness

Obama took a publicity trip there to talk with the troops and did the whole thing after dark

they thought that I was being disrespectful of the Great Obama

like the people sexually assaulted, I recall when i tried to push the envelope on DK

and have made a few comments in recent months

like the confession that I watched MSM news and it was not that bad after a long time, maybe years, since I had watched it.


The Dems winning the Senate would be fantastic, but winning the House is essential.


The years-old mystery of what’s in President Donald Trump’s tax returns will likely quickly unravel if Democrats win control of at least one chamber of Congress.

Democrats, especially in the House, are quietly planning on using an obscure law that will enable them to examine the president’s tax filings without his permission.

The nearly 100-year-old statute allows the chairmen of Congress’ tax committees to look at anyone’s returns, and Democrats say they intend to use that power to help answer a long list of questions about Trump’s finances. Many also want to use it to make public confidential information about Trump’s taxes that he’s steadfastly refused to release.


LD: you and missus JD 🙂 settled in your new crib yet?



But one key difference between Hill and Ford is the rise of #MeToo.

“Apparently Republicans have calculated that it’s worth taking a political bullet for,” Sykes said. “They’re on a mission to confirm Judge Kavanaugh but at the cost of looking like they are ignoring women.

“They’re going to pay a heavy price in the long term. I think this is something we’re going to be talking about 20 or 30 years from now. It’s going to help define Republicans for a generation of women.”


The country should not be in this position to start with. The fascists have been at it for years. It isn’t some big secret. They teamed up with the Jesus jokes; and now, the payment is coming due. I am sick and tired of feeling like a damned canary in a coal mine politically!


I really believe that the R’s are very willing to pay that price just to seat that judge on the USSC.


They definitely are, but it may be a miscalculation. The Supreme Court can’t block everything coming out of a Dem Congress and President. Plus if Kavanaugh is confirmed with the rape allegations and his wild anti-Dem performance, the Republican majority on the Supreme Court will be even more exposed as the partisan hacks they are.



Sheldon Goldman was floored by what he heard. The Supreme Court expert with the University of Massachusetts Amherst saw Kavanaugh’s aggressive style as a direct appeal to the party of Trump.

“The support of the president, that’s the name of the game,” Goldman said. “It’s short-term consideration to keep the support of the Republicans or the president, at the expense of public perception of him and of the court.”

Except that public perception is vital for the sanctity of a neutral Supreme Court, he said.

“It matters to the extent that people will want to accept the court’s ruling as legitimate,” Goldman said. “And if the court is considered simply another political body, people are going to ask: Why should we insulate these lifetime appointments from politics when they’re so heavily involved in politics?”

The Supreme Court’s justices don’t have the same legitimacy as elected officials. Nor does the top U.S. court have the power to enforce judgments, relying instead on the public’s will to comply with its mandates and faith that its wisdom is nonpartisan.

“But Kavanaugh’s testimony attests to the fact that he’s not impartial,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond. “You can think of lots of cases — campaign finance cases — that can come before the court, that you might wonder: Will he prejudge those issues? Will he recuse himself?”


I sure as hope that this is the case, a lot of voters have short memories. But since this Kavanaugh issue is resonates so strong to so many Women on a personal level they wont easily forget this R shit show. Not 100% sure but I heard somewhere that women are one of the largest if not the largest voting block out their right now.



Roberts, in other words, does not owe his first big career break to a conservative fraternity. He owes it to a man he has little in common with ideologically. That may explain why Roberts has shown a bit of an independent streak on the Supreme Court. He owes far less to the Federalist Society.

The troubling thing about Kavanaugh and Gorsuch’s careers is that they are made men. They would have had very fine lives if they weren’t plugged into a powerful conservative network, but they almost certainly would have led those lives in obscurity. And they know it. They know exactly who got them where they are.

This is not a recipe for an independent judiciary. The thing about loyalty is that it is not easily set aside. When you’ve spent your entire professional career depending on an ideological brotherhood for your advancement, you don’t easily become an independent thinker once you no longer need their help.




I would say that even this brotherhood network is somewhat in trouble. Kavanaugh may be the beginning of the end of how background checks are done as far as verification of personal events go. With the creation of various forms of social media and digital storage capacity increasing by leaps and bounds every year it will be very easy to find out about a future judges high school postings, college postings and other people posting pix of what someone did at a party back in their youth. The kids arnt shy about posting un flattering pix either. Most High school sports have a no tolerence policy for alcohol and ive seen kids suspended for having a pix of them holding a solo cup with soda in it but were suspended as it was found out that other kids at the party were drinking. But since the high school athletic director saw that pix on social media the kid was suspended. Then theirs the tracking that cell phones and even inactive on star in your car can confirm if your in a certain area at a date and time. Kavanaugh is whinning about the scrutiny that hes under now just wait until the full spectrum of social media and electronic tracking is unleashed on a future judicial candidate. Its gonna be real interesting.


The power of the Federalist Society needs to be wrested from their grip.


RIP Marty Balin
Jefferson Airplane was one of the best. I also loved Miracles from Starship. Balin and Slick had such great voices.


Still have the vinyl with miracles on it a classic


^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 🙂 🙂


Glad to hear your moving hassles are almost over, LD! Thanks for the thread!

Like mags, i apparently lost some posts via i phone (looked like they posted, but no), to Benny’s thread yesterday. Here’s one of them. Pretty darn funny. I’m soooo jazzed that the FBI is looking into this.

I’m hoping they have the authority to widen their scope–going to read Meyerson’s article now.


So Meyerson says the FBI can’t widen their scope unless the senators insist on it. In Alaska, Maine, Arizona, or West Virginia (Manchin), I hope they’re encouraging everyone you know to keep up the calls and ask that the scope be widened–that it’s crucial for their vote, if possible.

Although most probably won’t be voting for these, their friends might.


I’m hearing that the WH put restrictions of who/what the FBI can investigate. I’m not sure how Trump can do that.



It appears that at least one of the people who did that video is a NY filmmaker who goes by the name @ohboyson & that it was some kind of collaboration (@elarapicturescom?).

Here ‘oscarboyson’ gives a little more info after someone asks him if he did it:

Yes we were up late working on it, I posted it on the @ElaraPictures IG early this morning…other guy just credited us, whatever. More people that see it the better.


Illinois congressman’s bill making federal tax cuts permanent passes House, Senate vote uncertain

The Republican-supported legislation that would make last winter’s tax cuts permanent has passed the House but its future in the Senate is uncertain.

Illinois Congressman Rodney Davis’ bill removes the 2025 expiration of the lower tax rates enacted into law in December. It passed the House Friday with a couple Democrats breaking with their party and supporting it. Davis later said the passage is a great step forward for providing certainty in the tax code and is hopeful that the Senate will move on it soon.
“Looking at some of the rhetoric coming from senators just two short months ago saying they wanted individual rates to be permanent as the reason they voted against the bill, this is their chance to show the American people that they’re going to live up to the rhetoric,” he said.

This means the SALT deduction limitations would still be in place. I did a quick look at my taxes and my family would have benefitted better under the former tax system, as I would have more deductibles that would outweigh the new standard deduction. I cannot deduct any contributions to charity. I cannot deduct my home mortgage interest. Thus, technically, anyone who owns a home gets screwed unless you are have more to deduct than the $24K for married couples; it proves that socialism works, if you are wealthy.


It’s socialism for the haves, for sure!


For the “job creators” its just fine–for the rest of us its socialism and were broke or that a cut from another program has to of set it. For the rich we can add to the debt no problem


I might be in real trouble next year with those changes. When the dust settles on what appears to be a signficant impact for home owners I think that home prices may very well drop as more people won’t be able to afford to own.


Don midwest
Don midwest

Confessions of an addict. Not yet cured.

A couple of weeks ago I sent an email to my wife and sister in law confessiong to being a white male. I never assaulted a woman, but I am guilty of putting them down in some ways. Most all unconscious. Just taking women for granted too much.

But I here am confessing to a condition that my wife hangs on me, but now I am fessing up.

I am an addict to the news. To the web. Spend far too much time. Spent the whole day watching the Kavanaugh hearing. Watching the further coup here in the US. Ended the day with the drunken bully supported by the president of the same behavior. Was this going to be the packed court that would get Trump off the hook?????

So there.

WIsh me well

I am going to Greece on Oct 8 for 10 days so when I am gone it is not that I have checked myself into a treatment center when I don’t post for 10 days.


Have fun!!!! We’ll miss you. Take pix. :O)

btw, i posted a tweet where the woman said something like, Did anyone else get *none* of what they planned for the day done? (watching Kavanaugh)

i know it took me for a whirlwind ride and likely will until he is defeated and it (i pray) is too late for them to get another one through before the elections.


Wow, Greece, you all take some nice trips! I hope you can share a pic or two with us? When I think of Greece I think of white walls contrasted against blue water, blue sky.

p.s. I am def a news junkie. Every now & then I ease up on it, like I did when I was up in Canada for five days or so in the beginning of last August, but I tend to get back into it.

I do manage to stay away from most tv news, but I had no choice on Thursday to watching/hearing a lot of Thursday’s histrionics with boss having his tv on all day.

But orlbucfan might be happy to know that I finally got smart and caught up on a lot of shredding on Thursday afternoon to drown out all of Kavanaugh’s yelling! I was majorly triggered, between Ford’s ‘he covered my mouth with his hand’ and all of Kavanaugh’s angry shouting & interrupting his questioners, a total angry man BULLY. Kavanaugh was melting down so bad he was incoherent. It was a shameful spectacle.

Reaping the Lunatic Whirlwind

And Tennessee’s Bob Corker, after witnessing that hysterical, self-righteous, obfuscating, mansplaining performance by a guy clearly too unstable to manage a Cinnabon, never mind sit on the Supreme Court, inconceivably said he’s voting yes. For many of us, what lingers are the striking visuals of an ugly, surreal day when privilege met accountability and was some pissed, but America proved likely too broken to do right.

Don midwest
Don midwest

Brett you know who.

Marcy Wheeler at emptywheel has been doing her ongoing excellent work. A couple of years ago I took her off my twitter feed because she tweeted too much. I now have her twitter feed all alone on a different page of my browser. emptywheel twitter is what I use to only get her twitter account. And posting an ongoing series about Brett and the Muller investigation. She seems to see more importance of the Russian investigation than I do and noted that she had info which she took to the FBI several months ago.

emptywheel just tweeted this


More emptywheel Retweeted Adam Serwer ?
Same is true for sexual assault. One guy I knew wasn’t prosecuted for his first two assaults, against Amherst women. He *was* prosecuted when he assaulted a UMass woman, bc the local cops actually dealt with it.emptywheel added,

Follow Follow @AdamSerwer
One of the rarely-discussed perks of those private schools, by the way is private security that doesn’t call the cops when they bust rich kids doing lines in a dorm room. Being in a community that is policed, and one that isn’t, can make a huge difference in your life trajectory.

Intercept article about the Brett guy

and WA Post on a breathtaking Kav hearing provides a link to this senate investigation with Brett about some allegations. I read through about half of it. Published on sen committee web page

like the oligarchs who have come out of the closet, this is so bad that only those who are secure in power would have published this




Sen. Bernie Sanders wants the FBI to examine whether embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanugh told the truth when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The independent Vermont senator sent a letter Saturday to Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the panel’s chairman, calling on investigators probing allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh to take a look at statements he made while under oath.

“The fundamental question the FBI can help answer is whether Judge Kavanaugh has been truthful with the committee,” Sanders wrote. “This goes to the very heart of whether he should be confirmed to the court.”

Sanders said the current scope of the probe doesn’t go far enough and also wants the bureau to examine “several statements made by Judge Kavanaugh under oath regarding his treatment of women and his use of alcohol (that) appear not to be true.”

Sanders also wrote that the probe should not be limited to a week — and called for it to include accusations of sexual misconduct made against Kavanaugh by other women aside from Ford.




So that is the law, then, that the president can limit FBI investigations, eh?


That’s being debated, but I think since this is not a criminal investigation, it’s possible it’s constitutional. I’m still wondering what Jeff Merkeley intends to do.

Amy Klobachar is going to be on two of the talk heads shows in the morning. We’ll see what she says.


Ridiculous. what a sham. go home flake et al who set the terms.


Flake didn’t set the terms, the WH did. Trump lied again today, saying the FBI had free rein, but via Don McGahn, put its thumb on the scales.


Sounds to me that Kavanaugh lied all over the place.

Sounds like he even lied right off the bat by saying he didn’t watch Ford’s testimony while he had.



Run Bernie and force the neodems on board or 4 more years of trumpcorp.



From Team Gillum on FB:

Good morning Team,

I hope that this message reaches everyone well.

Yesterday was a tough day as many of us watched the heart wrenching testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. I think that we can all agree that she stands as a tremendous profile in courage. Though tough to watch her clear display of pain, I hope that her example gives permission to others to speak their truth. Let’s keep she and her family in our thoughts and prayers in the difficult days ahead.

I also wanted to write because I’ve noticed some consternation amongst our group about Secretary Clinton campaigning for me in Florida. This reaction is familiar to me as I received similar blowback when I decided to campaign with Senator Sanders.

From day one, I have tried to demonstrate that we are a campaign that will exist outside the “box” – not to be conditioned or confined to anyone’s four corners. I realize that there are still lingering concerns about the 2016 election, which I will not be able to cure through my race.

Whether it is Senator Sanders, Secretary Clinton or any other public figure – they are here to support my candidacy and my platform – not the other way around. I am honored to have the backing and support of a wide range of people and organizations and I hope that we would all stay focused on the mission at hand.

The other side will be fierce in their desire to maintain power and protect the status quo. Our state has not been well served by their politics. They have already begun a politics of smears, lies and innuendo. They aren’t running on a better vision for our future, but rather on hate and division. We can resist their politics of destruction, but a house divided cannot stand.

For the sake of our future and our collective vision for a state that sees, hears and is concerned for the needs of all – let’s stay focused.

I am more excited than ever to bring it home!

Let’s organize, and WIN!!!

Love, Andrew

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