Monday, February 08, 2016

Haider's not running anything and POLITFACT spins for War Hawks

Yesterday afternoon, AP reported that a spokesperson for Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared that a wall encircling Baghdad was being constructed.

Dropping back to Saturday's snapshot:

Meanwhile, in Iraq, will there be a wall or won't there?





  • | PM Haider al-Abadi refuses Operation Command plan to build a security wall around the Iraqi capital.



























  • premier Haider al-Abadi refused to build a fence around , stressed that Baghdad is the capital for all Iraqis.



  • So Haider's saying the wall's not going up and others are saying the construction has already begun.



    Who was right?

    Everyone but Haider.


    He really has no control over anything in Iraq, does he?

    He makes these pronouncements and no one listens to him.

    He's the figure head openly mocked.


    His spokesperson, Saad al-Hadithi, insisted to the Associated Press that this will not result in any "demographic change," but of course it will.

    For those who've already forgotten recent history, it was only months ago that Sunnis were not being allowed to enter Baghdad as they fled Ramadi and Falluja.

    Of course, this will effect the demographics.


    In other lies and liars -- POLITIFACT and Mad Maddy Albright.


    They want to insist that Mad Maddy was against the Iraq War when her record is not just much spottier, there's also a key detail they leave out.

    What might the press forget?

    The money motive.

    The money making.

    From DEMOCRACY NOW!'s October 13, 2004 broadcast:


    NAOMI KLEIN: Yeah. So, we got to the point where Carlisle had submitted their statement. James Baker was appointed debt envoy. He did not resign from the Carlisle Group and the Carlisle Group did not resign from this consortium that was trying to convince the government of Kuwait that it should allow it to become its chief lobbyists to the world, to the United Nations, to members of the Security Council, and that’s very important to understand, because the Security Council has the power to stop reparations from Iraq to Kuwait at any time. These reparation payments are entirely at the discretion of the Security Council. So, essentially what they were in communications with the government of Kuwait about was how they could access high-level people at the Carlisle Group. As we know the Carlisle Group is called the ex-presidents club because it has people associated with it like the president’s father, like John Major, like James Baker, and so that was what they were doing. In the documents, it says, previously to James Baker’s appointment, Frank Carlucci, who is the chairman emeritus of the Carlisle Group and also former Secretary of Defense, had been engaged in they say in a convening role for the Carlisle Group, but after Secretary Baker’s appointment as debt envoy, the optics had to change. The way the optics changed is that Carlisle no longer was publicly involved as a lobbyist. They said that their only role in the consortium was going to be to manage the investments. Now, this is kind of strange, because as you said at the top, Amy, we’re talking about a huge amount of money going to the Carlisle Group, a billion dollars in investment. Even for a company like the Carlisle Group, a billion dollars represents 10% of all of their equity investments. So this is a very, very big deal that they’re landing. But they said that all they would do is manage this money for the government of Kuwait, and this presented a problem for the consortium, because, of course, what really, one of the people who I showed the deal to, Jerome Levinson, who is a very respected international law professor with experience in the area, he described it as "influence peddling of the crassest kind," but they had this problem, which is that the Carlisle Group couldn’t openly admit that it was involved in lobbying. So, they needed to find another politically connected firm, and on December 1st, which was four days before Secretary Baker’s appointment was publicly announced, the consortium reached out to the Albright Group. The Albright Group is the consulting firm that is headed by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and is also populated by many powerful ex-politicians. And the Albright Group signed on to basically take the lead in the lobbying and public relations effort involved in this deal so that the Carlisle Group could only deal with the money part of it. And I had a really interesting exchange yesterday with Chris Ullman, who is the vice president and chief spokesperson for the Carlisle Group, where he told me that the Carlisle Group would not be engaged in lobbying at all, and was not involved in trying to secure the deal. So I asked him, "So what you’re saying is that you were willing to take the $1 billion, but you weren’t willing to try to get it." And he said, "That’s correct." But, of course, as I said before, $1 billion is a huge investment for the Carlisle Group, so obviously, they were very interested in how these negotiations were proceeding.

    AMY GOODMAN: And how has the Albright Group responded? What is it they’re saying about this relationship they have with the Carlisle Group and Kuwait and Iraq right now?


    NAOMI KLEIN: Well, they’re not publicly admitting that they were brought in as political cover. It looks to me as if the Albright Group was brought in as political cover by consortium so that attention would be taken away from the Carlisle Group, and to fill this gap, because the Carlisle Group could not publicly be engaged in lobbying to secure Iraq’s debt at the same time as James Baker was asking the world to forgive those debts. But of course, we’re really splitting hairs here because the Carlisle Group was part of this consortium, and the consortium’s main pitch to the government of Kuwait, and we have the documents to prove it, was saying, look, you will not be able to secure these debts on your own. In fact, they say that they talked to financial experts and told them that the $27 billion that Kuwait is owed in reparation awards, at this point would be worth, if they were to try to sell it on the market, $1.5 billion. So, that’s so — it would be discounted to the tune of 90% if they tried to do this on their own. But they said because we are so politically connected, we would be able to get a portion of these reparation payments for you. So it’s a trade, really, of influence for money as well as investment expertise and public relations. That’s essentially what’s outlined in the proposal. The documents are actually already online on The Guardian website if people want to take a look at them. Now, the Albright Group, their position is that Madeleine Albright, as Secretary of State, was involved in securing these reparations. And that’s true. In fact, Madeleine Albright was the main author of the Security Council resolution that created the Oil for Food program, which diverted 30% of Iraq’s oil revenue to these reparation payments. And they say that it’s not a conflict of interest, but of course, U.S. policy has changed, and now U.S. policy is to get as much debt forgiveness for Iraq as possible. So, what you have are two former Secretaries of State, both of whom had key roles, of course, in the invasion, the first — the first war, the first Gulf War in the case of James Baker, that the peace — the cease-fire that forced Iraq to pay these reparations, and then you have Madeleine Albright who enforced the sanctions regime and the reparation payments, both of them part of the same deal to now get a piece of those reparation payments, that they themselves helped to secure. So, it’s quite shocking.


    AMY GOODMAN: That —



    NAOMI KLEIN: The Albright Group, just to be clear, they say that they are involved in this deal because they believe that the Kuwaitis deserve reparation payments, and that they were essentially on a humanitarian mission. Now, I think it’s very important to understand that these reparation payments — there are genuine humanitarian and environmental claims being made before the United Nations Compensation Commission, but the vast majority of the money has been going to oil companies. It’s been going — the largest single award was $15.9 billion to Kuwait’s oil — national oil company for lost revenue during the occupation of Kuwait. What they don’t — what the Compensation Commission didn’t assess was how much Kuwait’s oil industry gained during the long embargo against Iraq because they were able to sell much more oil. The United Nations Compensation Commission is a controversial body. It’s a quasi-tribunal with very very little oversight. So we’ve seen things like Texaco receiving an award of $505 million, once again for lost revenues, damages, things like this. It’s actually become a bit of a slush fund for corporate America. As I have been learning more about the reparation payments that Iraq has been paying, I have come to understand why corporate America hasn’t — during the embargo, during the sanctions, during the 90’s why they didn’t make more of a fuss about not being able to invest in Iraq, because they were collecting losses in Geneva at the United Nations Compensation Commission for billions of dollars. You have awards being given to Kentucky Fried Chicken, to Toys-R-Us, to companies like this, simply for lost revenue they would have made if Iraq had not invaded Kuwait.


    POLITIFACT looks like the idiot they are.

    You'll also note that their fact check ignores the sanctions that killed at least a half million Iraqi children and Mad Maddie Albright's declaration on 60 MINUTES that it was worth it.


    It's amazing the monsters that the 'press' will forgive and embrace in their never whoring.




    A spokesman for Iraq's prime minister said Sunday that a security wall is being built around Baghdad but that it is "not politically motivated" or aimed at "achieving demographic change."
    Saad al-Hadithi spoke to The Associated Press after an earlier statement from the prime minister's office seemed to dismiss the idea entirely. "Baghdad is the capital for all Iraqis and it's not possible for a wall or a fence to isolate the city," the earlier statement said.







    The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.















     


    Sunday, February 07, 2016

    Hejira


    Today, the US Defense Dept claimed/bragged/announced:

    Strikes in Iraq

    Attack and fighter aircraft, and ground attacks, resulted in 10 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:


    -- Near Kirkuk, one strike struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL light machine gun, two ISIL vehicles, and eight ISIL fighting positions.

    -- Near Mosul, three strikes destroyed four ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL assembly area, an ISIL command and control node, two ISIL weapons caches, and suppressed an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Qayyarah, one strike destroyed seven ISIL assembly areas.

    -- Near Ramadi, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL recoilless rifle, an ISIL vehicle borne bomb, an IED cluster, an ISIL staging area, two ISIL bed down locations, and an ISIL weapons cache.

    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.


    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.



    Meanwhile, Mad Maddy Albright is in the news.  As she tries to drum up votes for War Monger Hillary Clinton, Mad Maddy's  repeating her saying about "there's a special place in hell for women who don't support other women."


    On ABC's SCANDAL, when that tired saying was trotted out to Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), Pope responded, "There's a special place in hell for women who spout that tired quote to justify their bad behavior"  (Season 4, Episode 9, "Where The Sun Don't Shine").


    And that's one strong response to Mad Maddy's nonsense.

    There's another.

    Is this special place in hell for women who don't support other women near or adjacent to the place in hell for women (and men) who are responsible for the deaths of over a million Iraqis?

    Because Hillary's vote and actions mean she's responsible.

    She's responsible for those deaths.

    And Mad Maddie?





    Sanctions that killed over 500,000 Iraqi children and Mad Maddie thought it was worth it?

    And it would take nearly a decade of people expressing outrage over her statement for her to finally try to walk it back?

    I don't know that those who take pride in their part in killing a half million children are people that anyone needs to listen to.

    Mad Maddie probably thinks a great deal about hell.

    Most people responsible for that many deaths would be obsessed with what might happen in an after life.

    And maybe it makes her feel better to pretend that everyone else is going to hell with her?

    I don't know.

    I just know that's she's not anyone who should be taken seriously or treated as an endorsement worth having.







    I'm traveling in some vehicle
    I'm sitting in some cafe
    A defector from the petty wars
    That shell shock love away
    -- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name




    The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4497 (plus 10 in Operation Inherent Resolve which includes at least 1 Iraq War fatality).



    The following community sites updated:







  • The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.











     






    Saturday, February 06, 2016

    Iraq snapshot

    Saturday, February 6, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, British troops are reportedly the victims of violence in Iraq, Haider says the wall is not going up around Baghdad, others say construction on the wall has begun, Barack Obama releases some -- not all -- photos of abuse, and much more.



    The US Defense Dept announced more bombs dropped on Iraq today.  As Sonny & Cher used to sing, And the beat goes on . . .

    Strikes in Iraq
    Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 14 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

    -- Near Habbaniyah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL fighting position.

    -- Near Mosul, five strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL assembly areas, three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, and eight ISIL command and control nodes.

    -- Near Qayyarah, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL assembly area.

    -- Near Ramadi, three strikes struck a large ISIL tactical unit and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL recoilless rifle, and an ISIL fuel transporter, six ISIL weapons caches, an ISIL command and control node, an ISIL front end loader, and an ISIL vehicle borne bomb facility.

    -- Near Sinjar, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.


    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.



    Since August 2014, Barack's been ordering Iraq bombed to bring 'peace.'  All these months later, peace has still not arrived.

    As Russ Wellen (FPIF) observes, "It’s hard to believe, but 13 years after the United States invaded Iraq and the situation isn’t much better than when it was at its worst."

    Today, Jay Akbar (DAILY MAIL) reports, "Three British Special Forces soldiers were wounded in a firefight with 30 ISIS militants in Iraq, it has been reported.  The SAS and SBS are said to have been on a secret mission deep inside enemy territory when the terrorists opened fire on them with machine guns mounted on American-built Humvees."  THE MIRROR adds:


     But the heroes’ bravery has not been officially acknowledged as Tory ministers lean on defence chiefs not to acknowledge the secret ground war being fought by our special forces in Iraq and Syria .
    The SAS and SBS soldiers suffered blast and fragmentation injuries as 30 ISIS thugs fired on them during a 25-strong allied special forces patrol in northern Iraq.
    It is believed these are the first major military injuries of Britain’s shadowy war.

    Estelle Shirbon and Jeremy Gaunt (REUTERS) note, "The Ministry of Defence said it did not comment on special forces operation."


    At Friday's US State Dept press briefing, spokesperson John Kirby was asked to comment on a new development.



    QUESTION: The Pentagon released 198 previously classified photos that document abuse or mistreatment of some detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001 to 2009. Are you concerned that putting these – I know that there has been some concern with the government. They’ve been trying to withhold them. So now that they’re finally out, what are you – is the State Department issuing any warnings to Americans overseas to be cautious or to watch out essentially for any --


    MR KIRBY: Well, look, any citizen traveling can go to our website and read whatever our travel warnings and alerts are. I’m not aware of any specific alerts with respect to this release. That said, we have made sure that our posts and our embassies, particularly in the Middle East, were aware of this release and were aware of the essential content of it and reinforced what they already know, which is they have to do what they need to do based on the temperature there – the security temperature – to look after the safety and security not only of our facilities, but providing information – the appropriate information – to American citizens there.


    QUESTION: And do you think these photos could lead to retaliatory-type attacks or --


    MR KIRBY: I wouldn’t speculate one way or the other. I wouldn’t want to do that. I certainly wouldn’t say – want to say anything that could in any way have an effect on that.




    Ryan Browne and Barbara Starr (CNN) explain:

    The Pentagon released 198 photos Friday, several of which appear to show injuries suffered by detainees after allegedly experiencing abuse while held in Iraq and Afghanistan during the George W. Bush administration.
    Department of Defense spokesperson Cmdr. Gary Ross said that the photos originated from independent criminal investigations into allegations of misconduct by U.S. personnel.
      The investigations substantiated approximately 14 allegations of misconduct while another 42 allegations were proven unsubstantiated, he said.


      Cora Currier (THE INTERCEPT) observes, "The photos are mainly close-up shots of arms, feet, heads, hands, or joints, sometimes showing bruises or scabs. Faces are redacted with black bars. It's not always clear where each of the photos was taken, but they come from internal military investigations and have dates ranging from 2003 to 2006. Sometimes the marks on the prisoners' skin are labeled with tape measuring the size of the wound, or a coin or pen for comparison."


      Tara Copp and Corey Dickstein (STARS & STRIPES) report:

        The Pentagon provided no names or locations of where the abuses occurred, or the corresponding punishments for military personnel who were convicted. However, each photograph contains the corresponding U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command case numbers.
      In one example, identified as an Army Criminal Investigation Command case from 2004, black and white photographs depict a detainee holding a pen to his shin just under an area that appears slightly discolored. According to redacted files obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union through the Freedom of Information Act and presented on its website, The Torture Database, the photos show a detainee from Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq who claimed he was hit in the head with a rifle and kicked in the shin while detained at Al-Adhameyah Palace. CID concluded there was not enough evidence to determine whether the detainee, whose name was redacted, had been abused by U.S. or coalition forces. Investigators did, however, determine the detainee was likely abused by Iraqi Civil Defense troops.


      BBC NEWS notes, "None of the photos released on Friday involved detainees held in Abu Ghraib or at the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Pentagon said."


      While that is news, Shane Harris and Nancy A. Youssef (DAILY BEAST) emphasize another aspect:


      But the real story is what the Obama administration decided to keep hidden. Friday’s photos are an innocuous fraction of a much larger cache of 2,000 images, detailing the abuse of detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
      Some of the most graphic images are said to show American troops posing with corpses. Others depict U.S. forces holding guns to people’s heads or simulating forced sodomization. In one, a large man rides an elderly woman as if she were an animal and whips her with a stick. The mistreatment of corpses and prisoners are widely considered to be violations of the international rules of war.
      [. , ,]
      While the abuse occurred under the administration of George W. Bush, the Obama administration has successfully kept this evidence of possible war crimes buried.


      TELESUR TV offers:

      The photographs released this month represent just 10 percent of the total collection of photos that the American Civil Liberties Union sued to get released 12 years ago. Though President Barack Obama vowed to release all of the torture footage in 2009, he backed out after strong words from the top U.S. commander in Iraq and then-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who claimed that knowledge would spur extremism. This time around, the judicary rejected that argument as "too easy and too meaningless," in the words of New York judge Alvin Hellerstein, who ordered the release of several torture videos and photos.


      Eliza Relman (ACLU) explains:

      The photos were released in response to an ACLU lawsuit that we have been litigating for almost 12 years. You can see a few of them in the slideshow to the right. The photos mostly show close-ups of body parts, including arms, legs, and heads, many with injuries. There are also wider shots of prisoners, most of them bound or blindfolded. But what they don’t show is a much bigger story, and the government’s selective release of these photos could mislead the public about the true scope of what happened.
      Six months before media organizations published the notorious Abu Ghraib photos, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act request for records, including photos, relating to the abuse and torture of prisoners in U.S. detention centers overseas. Since we sued to enforce our request in 2004, the legal battle has focused in part on a set of some 2,000 pictures relating to detainee maltreatment. The photos released today are part of that set, and they are the first photos the government has released to us in all these years of litigation. (The court hearing our lawsuit ordered the government to release the Abu Ghraib photos in 2004, but the photos were leaked, and posted online by Salon, while the government was appealing the decision.)
      The disclosure of these photos is long overdue, but the photos released today are almost certainly the most innocuous of the 2,000 that were being withheld. From the nearly 6,000 reports, investigations, emails, and other documents the government has been forced to release to us in the course of this litigation (all searchable in our Torture Database), we have found more than 100 documents that either reference photos related to cases of abuse or actually contain photos that were redacted before they got to us. From what we can infer from the descriptions, we know that the most damning evidence of government abuse remains hidden from the public. (This spreadsheet details what we know about the photos we’re still waiting for.)

      The photos still being withheld include those related to the case of a 73-year-old Iraqi woman detained and allegedly sexually abused and assaulted by U.S. soldiers. According to the Army report detailing the incident, the soldiers forced her to "crawl around on all-fours as a 'large man rode' on her,” striking her with a stick and calling her an animal. Other pictures depict an Iraqi teenager bound and standing in the headlights of a truck immediately after his mock execution staged by U.S. soldiers. Another shows the body of Muhamad Husain Kadir, an Iraqi farmer, shot dead at point-blank range by an American soldier while 


      REUTERS quotes the ACLU's Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer stating, "The still-secret pictures are the best evidence of the serious abuses that took place in military detention centers. The government’s selective disclosure risks misleading the public about the true extent of the abuse."  The ACLU's Alex Abdo pens a column for TIME here.  RT speaks with a variety of people and we'll note this section:


      Sarah Flounders from the International Action Center said that “these photos are a reminder of just how criminal the continuing war in Iraq and Afghanistan is to this day and the amount of time that torture and drastic abuse was used as a matter of policy.”

      “We should remember all the photos released from Abu Ghraib, the incredible revelations of Private Chelsea Manning,” she added.



      Amnesty International has a new podcast where actress Michelle Hendley speaks for Chelsea Manning.




      Meanwhile, in Iraq, will there be a wall or won't there?




    • | PM Haider al-Abadi refuses Operation Command plan to build a security wall around the Iraqi capital.


















    • premier Haider al-Abadi refused to build a fence around , stressed that Baghdad is the capital for all Iraqis.



    • So Haider's saying the wall's not going up and others are saying the construction has already begun.


      It's as confusing as this week's Iowa caucus.  Barry Grey (WSWS) explains:


       The Iowa Democratic Party has rejected calls by the campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and the state’s leading newspaper, the Des Moines Register, for an audit of the vote in Monday night’s dead-heat contest between Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
      Clinton, in a highly unusual move, went on television late Monday night to effectively declare victory over Sanders, despite the fact that vote counters had her ahead by a razor-thin margin of only 0.2 percent, with a number of key precincts still unaccounted for.
      Preempting the victory speech of Republican Senator Ted Cruz, she thanked Iowans for allowing her to “breathe a sigh of relief,” a reference to her loss to Barack Obama in the 2008 Iowa caucuses and the collapse of her lead over Sanders in the state, which just months before had been polled at more than 50 percent.
      At 2:30 AM Tuesday, the chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party, Dr. Andy McGuire, declared Clinton the winner based on results from 1,682 of 1,683 precincts. The Iowa Democratic Party said the final tally of delegate equivalents for all the precincts statewide was 700.59 for Clinton and 696.82 for Sanders—a margin of just 3.77 delegate equivalents.
      At 2:35 AM, Clinton’s Iowa campaign director, Matt Paul, issued a statement saying, “Hillary Clinton has won the Iowa caucus.” Campaigning the following day in New Hampshire, the scene of the first primary election, to be held February 9, Clinton made much of her victory in Iowa. With Sanders poised to score a decisive victory in New Hampshire, the Clinton campaign had feared a possible meltdown in the event of a loss in Iowa.
      Under the Democratic caucus process, a head count is taken at each precinct of the supporters assembled there for each presidential candidate, which is then translated into delegates to a county convention, which, in turn, selects delegates to a statewide convention. That convention then selects national delegates for the competing candidates to the Democratic National Convention, to be held in July of this year in Philadelphia.
      Amid complaints of disorganization at many of the caucus sites, including long lines, delays of up to two hours, and a lack of trained staff and designated chairpersons, the Sanders campaign initially asked to sit down with state party officials to review the paperwork submitted by precinct chairs. Sanders aides told the Des Moines Register that they had found discrepancies between tallies at the precinct level and numbers that were reported to the state party.
      McGuire, whose state organization, like the national party apparatus, is solidly behind Clinton, rejected the request, telling the Register in an interview Tuesday, “These are the final results.” Democrats have never released actual head counts in Iowa caucuses, and McGuire flatly said they would not be released this time either.
      On Thursday, the Register published an editorial headlined, “Something smells in the Democratic Party,” denouncing state party officials for refusing to agree to an audit or release details of the voting. “What happened Monday night at the Democratic caucuses was a debacle, period,” the Register wrote. “Democracy, particularly at the local party level, can be slow, messy and obscure. But the refusal to undergo scrutiny or allow for an appeal reeks of autocracy.”
      The newspaper argued that the results, with “two tenths of 1 percent [separating] Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton,” were “too close not to do a complete audit of results.” It continued: “Too many accounts have arisen of inconsistent counts, untrained and overwhelmed volunteers, confused voters, cramped precinct locations, a lack of voter registration forms and other problems.”
      The editorial alluded to the fact that ties for six county delegates were decided, in accordance with party caucus rules, by coin flips. Clinton won all six.



      Corruption and Cranky Clinton are never far apart.  And some are starting to panic as a result. Luciana Lopez (REUTERS) reports:


      A prominent Democratic donor worried about the party's chances of winning the presidency emailed dozens of fans of Vice President Joe Biden on Friday, urging them to remain prepared to donate if Biden jumps into the race.
      The donor, Bill Bartmann, cited new polling showing Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont nearly tied with the Hillary Clinton, eroding the 30-point lead the former secretary of state held at the end of last year. Bartmann and other party insiders are concerned that Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic socialist, is too far to the left to win against a Republican in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

      "We cannot afford to lose the White House," Bartmann wrote in the email, seen by Reuters.




      Lastly, community theme posts this week.  On songs, Mike wrote about  "Steve Grand 'Stay'," Rebecca tackled "phoebe snow" singing "If I Can Just Get Through The Night," Trina went with 
      "Carly Simon 'Make Me Feel Something'," Stan went with "PJ Olsson and "Visine"," Betty wrote about "Aretha's 'Sweet Bitter Love'," Ruth remembered "Driving All Night with Joss Stone," Marcia focused on "Donna Summer "There Will Always Be A You"," while Kat went with "Stevie Nicks 'Lady'," Elaine chose "Ashford & Simpson's "High Rise"" and Ann wrote about the Afghan Whigs' 





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