Thursday, February 24, 2022

A Special Counsel is needed

This is from Jonathan Turley:

From Hunter Biden’s laptop to influence peddling to financial dealings, the media has presented a fairly unified front dismissing allegations and blacking out coverage. As I previously wrote, the Biden family made an elephant disappear on stage and the media was invested in the trick. The media has largely allowed President Joe Biden to repeat without challenge that that his son did “nothing wrong”  . . .  despite many of us writing for years that what he did was very wrong indeed. Yet, it is becoming increasingly hard to spin out of this scandal as David Weiss, the U.S. attorney for the District of Delaware, continues to call people before a federal grand jury to testify on Hunter Biden.

For over two years, Weiss has been investigating tax and financial issues connected to Hunter Biden’s foreign dealings. Biden has engaged in some of the most open and raw influence peddling schemes in history. That itself is “wrong,” to use his father’s standard, but not necessarily criminal. The Biden family has long been accused of such influence peddling generating millions in windfall payments. Even diplomats complained that his actions during the Obama/Biden Administration were setting back anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine.

The problem is not that Hunter Biden allegedly shook down foreign countries and companies for millions. The problem is that he may not have reported or paid taxes on all of that largess.

Weiss is calling witnesses to testify on Hunter’s lavish lifestyle and spending habits, including a former stripper who Hunter impregnated. Lunden Roberts spent years fighting to get child support, even as Joe Biden was running for president. A court finally forced Hunter to support his child.


Hunter Biden's actions do require the appointment of a Special Counsel.  The refusal of U.S. President Joe Biden to appoint one goes to the rot at the heart of his administration.


This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Thursday, February 24, 2022.  Greed.  It accounts for Joni Mitchell's posturing against Joe Rogan and it accounts for the US drive towards war on Russia.

We're starting with Joni Mitchell because we live in a world of greed where even people who should know better try to steal more money and feel entitled to do so.  You may know "The Circle GAme" (written in response to Neil Young's childhood laments), you may not.  Its one of Joni's better known songs.  It first appears on her LADIES OF THE CANYON album, the version below is from her double disc live album MILES OF AISLES.

When the nonsense attacks by Joni and Neil and other greedy souls began on Joe Rogan I tried not only not to go scorched earth (it would be very easy for me to do on Neil Young and anyone who knows both of us would never fault me for doing so due to our past history).  I also tried to keep those dicussions in the community newsletters.  But as soon as they popped up there, communicy members with sites began posting on how I had explained it was about greed and not about Joe Rogan.

In Sunday's "TV: Some people court and deserve scorn," Ava and I noted the greed, the first time outside of a community newsletter that I did so:


COUNTERPUNCH's Jeffrey St. Clair deserves more than a little scorn for this nonsense,"Spotify pays artists (or the corporations or hedge funds which own the rights to the music) about $0.005 per stream, which means Joni Mitchell’s 'Clouds' would have to be played 2,000 for Mitchell to make $10." Joni Mitchell has no song "Clouds."  She did write "Both Sides Now," the song Jefferey's attempting to name. The song hit the charts in 1968 when Judy Collins had a top ten hit with it.


Are you grasping reality?  The song is over 50 years old.  And Joni's still making money from it?  She should be on her knees offering thanks (the last major artist to record the song was Herbie Hancock in 2007).   Copyright law needs to be going the other way -- not increasing the number of years something can be held but decreasing the number of years before it becomes public domain.  

Excuse us for not crying over someone's online royalties when she's charging hundreds of dollars for archive recordings on vinyl.  Archive recordings.  The cost was already paid for recording.  All they have to do is put them on a format.  Her greed knows no bounds.

We told you that's what her beef with SPOTIFY was about.  They're paying 1/6 less than traditional radio stations.  And they're doing that for a reason, they reach a smaller audience.  All listeners to our mythical landlocked radio station WCCP would hear Joni Mitchell's "Three Great Stimulants" when we played it.  SPOTIFY is on demand.  If one or two people listen to a song, that's not going to result in much.  If Joni (or whatever artist) does something to be in the news, they can see a huge increase in their streams.  

But, again, you did the song fifty years ago.  You got a lot of nerve expecting us to feel sorry for you,having made millions from it, that all these years later you're being paid a nickel for every stream.  She and Jeffrey are out of touch.  

Let's not sob for the rich who are only getting a little richer instead of much, much richer.

Money, greed gives so much away.

In the video above, Jnoi delivers a spoken intro:

That's one thing that's always, like, been a major difference between, like, the performing arts to me and being a painter, you know? Like, a painter does a painting, and he does a painting. That's it, you know? He's had the joy of creating it, and he hangs it on some wall, somebody buys it, somebody buys it again or maybe nobody buys it and it sits up in a loft somewhere till he dies. But he's never - nobody ever says to him - nobody ever said to Van Gogh, ''Paint a 'Starry Night' again, man!' You know? He painted it, that was it." 

Here's another thing Van Gogh never said, "You paid for my painting and bought it in 1970?  Well you're looking at it now, so pay me the same price again."

Jon Imtchell hasn't recorded a new tune since 2008's SHINE.  She -- and Neil and others (including her apparent identical twin these days: David Crosby) are so damn entitled that they think what they've done, what they've got in the can that everyone's already heard and purchased in multiple formats is so good it rivals what a comedian is doing right now.  So good, in fact, that it surpasses a comedian's new, live work.

They're tripping.  

Reality on Joni Mitchell and money from her work.  She had a comfortable living because David Geffen babied her throughout the 70s.  Carly Simon was deralied by David intentionally because the minute he got control of Carly's label back in the shoe store days of WARNER, he set out to undercut her and did so repeatedly.  Joni was his pet and anyone -- including Carly, Laura Nyro, Judee Sill, etc, was going to be destroyed in order to set Joni up as the queen.  That war goes on to this day from him and his friends -- PBS allowed it to be aired not that long ago, the attacks on Laura Nyro.  They brought on a fat f**k who spent the bulk of his life in the closet, David's best friend, and allowed him to attack Laura as disloyal and as this and as that.

Shortest version of the story (I knew Laura through Peggy Lipton), David had taken Laura to COLUMBIA and Clive Davis when her first album didn't do well on the smaller VERVE.  As part of his payment -- 'payment' -- as manager, David demanded half of Laur's publishing to the songs she wrote.  PBS didn't feel that was worth noting.  David never again got that from any artist and if Laura hadn't been so young he wouldn't have gotten it from her   She was 20 years old, he was her manager.  He had no right to half her publishing.  

He was supposed to be her friend.  

David's really not anyone's friend ( a reality Carrie Fisher learned too late).

Laura's songs became huge hits for other people: "And When I Die," "Wedding Bell Blues," "Eli's Coming," "Save The Country," "Stoned Soul Picnic," "Sweet Blindess," "Stoney End," etc.

And David was banking half of that money from publishing.  When he did nothing.

Laura's own career, that he was supposed to be managing, was not advancing.  She was expanding her audience album by album, tour by tour.  But David wasn't giving her his full attention despite earning half her publishing.

He also was more interested in other acts and going out of his way to promote them, for example, like a certain supergroup where everybody hates each other but they can come together to rail against Joe Rogan.

As people, including Clive Davis (who I've known for years, decades) were pointing out realities to her -- like even Albert Grossman wasn't taking half of Bob Dylan's publishing, that it just wasn't done, that Marty Erlichman started working with Barbra Streisand for free as her manager, Laura's counters of "well he's my firend" became softer.  She began to realize that he had exploited her.

He was now about to set up ASYLUM so he could move from managing to label head.  He wanted Laura on the label.  She noted that she got along with Clive very well and was happy at COLUMBIA.  She didn't feel he listened in their talks so she made a point to outline that in three hand written letters to David. 

She had allowed herself to be maniulated before so he thought she would again and David's never been anything but a manipulator so he thought he'd get his way.

Then came the $20 million deal.  Laura's publishing.  David brokered that to enrich himself.  Laura did not want it to be about money and was not sure she even wanted to proceed with the deal but he talked her up and found time to act (pretend) like he was a friend again.

But, as Clive pointed out, he was doing nothing for her career.  Now Clive wanted Laura to stay at COLUMBIA.  I don't mean to portray Clive as a saint.  But Clive pointed out what COLUMBIA could do -- and had done -- and that David was starting this new label, he was already saying that Joni would be the prize and what was going to happen to Laura?  He'd made $10 million off her, was he really going to work to help her career anymore?

And it was obvious that he wasn;t.

He no longer felt the need to lie that they were lovers.  David was in the closet back then.  And he felt the need to lie when he was 'just a manger' because he wanted to appear more powerful than he was and he also wanted to appear straight.

As Laura's doubt about David increased, a writer (he knows who he is and most of us do but David is vengeful so I'll leave the writer unnamed because David doesn't know this detail) who had done a big profile on Laura contacted her to tell her that David had told him that he shaped the songs, that Laura's talent was unformed and that he was the secret behind her songwriting.

That was it.

Laura wasn't going to his new label.  She called Clive and told him she was staying at COLUMBIA -- which is where she stayed her entire career with the exception of one live album.

David and his cronies have spun that as David's heart was broken, poor David, it was awful, it was the end of an affair, it was . . .

It was business.  He betrayed her as a friend, he betrayed as a manger and he exploited her.  As a manger, he was supposed to be promoting her, not telling reporters that he took her raw talent and processed it into hit songs (a lie, by the way, David had nothing to do with her songwriting).  

A billionaire who stole his first ten million is someone PBS allowed to lie and trash a dead woman who was actually one of David's first victims.

Joni knew she benefited from David.  In 1975, as part of the effort to allow Joni to 'conquer' Carly, David rushed out THE BEST OF CARLY SIMON ("VOl. 1" was the concession Arlene Rothberg insisted upon, Carly's manager).  It immediately cut into Carly's album sales, as David knew it would, as Joni knew it would.  As David's friend and his non-sexual living companion, Joni was protected.  She didn't want a best of and she didn't have to have one.  She was very clear publicly about this: A greatest hits meant the record stores (which is what they were back then) moved to stocking that and whatever your new album was.  Without it, her catalog would be available at most ercord stores.

Joni Mitchell's BLUE was not  a hit when it first came out.  Throughout the seventies, her best selling album was COURT & SPARK and that was really it in terms of selling a million copies.  By keeping BLUE in stock all that time including through the CD boom, it eventually did sell a million copies.  Even so, Carly's WE HAVE NO SECRETS outsold BLUE.  And imagine how many more copies that early seventies album would have sold if it wasn't pulled from most record stores after THE BEST OF came out.

Joni benefited from a campaign carried out by David to harm other female singer-songwriters.  

But let's pretend her hands are clean in the field of commerce.

Even were that the case, she's been paid repeatedly.

She -- and Jeffrey St Clair -- want to pretend that something she recorded five decades ago or more is worth the same money as Joe's podcast?  His new pdocast.  

The one that SPOTIFY broadcasts?  You can stream Joni on SPOTIFY, on AMAON, on YOUTUBE, on . . .

It's old work and it's not exclusvie.  But she wants money, money, money.  

And we're supposed to believe that she's entitled to more than a few coins each time one person streams one of her songs that she wrote and recorded decades ago?

She's been overpaid for years.  That was the falling out in the 80s with David Geffen.  He felt she was ungrateful, she felt the same about him, but that is what it was about.  Her albums didn't sell and she was being a paid a huge amount of money.  (Money was also at the root of Neil and David's conflict and why David sued Neil.)

The video above?  Posted by Joni Mitchell's org in 2015.  One of her more famous songs and it only has 24,000 streams.  Only.

In ten years, on YOUTUBE, just at Pink's official channel, "TRY" has had 499,850,557 streams.

And one of Joni's best known songs has had 24,000.  Pink's "Try" will hit the 500,000,000 mark by the end of March.

The greed involved is appalling.  She was always paid more than she was worth as an artist.  Now she's paid the same performance rate by any one else who lets SPTOFIY post their music and she's paid by the stream.  

If Pink only makes a nickle off each stream of "Try," it's not her faul that she's making a huge amount more than Joni.

I love Joni's albums.  I think she's a gifted singer-songwriter.  I also think she's an embarrassment right now.  When people who attended the Kennedy Center Honors made jokes to me about Joni's looks (saying she looked like David Crosby), I responded that she's nearly eighty.  But, honestly, as she embarrasses herself now, those cutting remarks I refused to entertain back then?  I'm now giggling over.

She did look like David Crosby.  :D

She has gotten paid her fair share and then some.

We don't see factory workers being paid for years after they put together a Ford.  But she is still getting paid (and copryight law needs to refgormed for the people, not for the greedy).  It's not enough?

You stupid ass.  You haven't worked on it in decades and you're still beging paid for it, take the win.

Greed was behind the attacks on Joe from artists.  Joni is embarrassing herself and spitting on her life's work by her calls for censorschip.  She's gotten too cushy and too insulated and no one can talk to her, every conversation is a monologue -- which is why I haven't spoken to her since she got out of the hospital except to check on her three times.  I have no desire to be across the table from someone who is going to come up for air after three hours of extolling their own greatness.  She has no interest in others anymore (but passes off her cat fetish as some sign of humanity) and no real interest in the outside world.  She's grown more and more reactionary with each passing year.

We'll always have the art and it's frozen in time, fortunately, untouched by her recent actions.  But her image isn't untouched, she's destroying it herself and there's no one around her who has the guts to tell her.

Greed destoryed her.

Greed's destroying the US and certainly what passes for democracy here.  Tom Hall (WSWS) reports:

A federal judge in Texas issued a ruling Tuesday upholding a previous anti-strike injunction against 17,000 conductors and engineers at the BNSF Railway (Burlington Northern Santa Fe). The original injunction was issued last month after workers overwhelmingly voted to strike against the company’s new “Hi Viz” attendance policy, a points-based system designed to squeeze more availability out of the existing workforce and pave the way for layoffs and cost-cutting.

[. . .]

But the reference to the inviolability of “supply chains” has an added significance given the advanced plans by the Biden administration for war with Russia over Ukraine. The aim of this campaign is to attempt to suppress the enormous social tensions at home and within Washington itself through a torrent of patriotic, warmongering propaganda and to enforce “national unity” by putting American society on a war footing.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg put this most bluntly in comments last year referencing the prospects of conflict with China, when he declared, “The new China challenge provides us with an opportunity to come together across the political divide. At least half the battle is at home.”

There is a staggering hypocrisy in Washington’s professed deep concern for the national rights of Ukraine while it is savagely attacking the democratic rights of workers at home.

The corrupt, pro-corporate unions are critical to Biden’s strategy. The BLET (Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen) and SMART-TD (International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers—Transportation Division) unions at BNSF, obviously aware of the deep opposition and frustration among railroaders, issued a letter criticizing the ruling but called on workers to allow the process to play out. However, as Judge Pittman himself admitted, the entire legal process established by the RLA and other labor laws is designed from start to finish to benefit the companies.


Eric London (WSWS) notes fake-ass Bernie Sanders rushing to prop up Joe Biden's move for war with Russia:

No American politician, let alone Sanders, is in a position to criticize others for waging pretextual wars in violation of international law. For 31 years, Sanders has sat in Congress, a body which is responsible for approving and funding ruthless wars of aggression, for laying waste to entire societies and killing millions of people under false pretenses and in blatant violation of international law.

Over this three-decade span, Sanders has played a critical role providing a “progressive” spin to the war aims of American imperialism, legitimizing the US government’s aims and false justifications as it staggers from one bloody crime to the next. The routine goes as follows: the ruling class allows Sanders to cast “no” votes when his “aye” vote is not required and promotes his image as “anti-war” in order to capitalize on his support when the time comes to sell the population the latest humanitarian lies for its wars of imperialist plunder.

Fake Ass Bernie.  Eric London goes on to note all of Benie's efforts to embrace imperialism over the years and that is shocking.  But, for me, the most telling moment will always be the Senate Veterans Affairs hearing.  That morning, the news had just broken about the large number of veterans dying due to the VA not seeing them, the wait lists, the hidden wait lists that we allowing them to continue the backlog but off the official books and much more.

And there was Bernie, Chair of the committe.  And he was hectoring the other members that these details didn't matter, he wanted the hearing to focus on alternative medicines.

Dead veterans?  Bernie's pet cause of alternative medicine?  Who won out?  Who do you think.  A fake ass who never should have been allowed to chair the Senate VEterans Affairs cCommittee.  He was appalling then and he's a fake ass to this day.  "I'm not going to dro pout . . . until a week later when I say I am."  Reitre, old man, retire.  Sit across from Joni for the rest of your days and eeach edliver speeches to one another about your own greatness.

Greed and lies.  The Iraq War is being used to sell war on Russia.  FACT CRESCENDO notes that a vidoe of Russia attacking Ukraine is actually . . . Iraq War footage:

The video is not a footage from the clashes between the Russian and Ukrainian army. The video originally shows US Special Forces raiding the Golden Mosque in Iraq in 2004.

[. . .]

Fact Crescendo found the viral video on social media to be False. This video shows US Special Forces raid on Golden Mosque in Iraq in 2004. The video does not show footages of the ongoing clashes between Russian and Ukrainian army. 

Over at THE ALTANIC, Prashant Rao has set up house.-- apparently AFP didn't allow him the freedom to advocate war that he so needs.  So he speaks with David Petraeus.  

An expert on what?



Losing your security clearance?

Being stripped of your CIA post?

I'm not really sure where we find honor or admiration in the life of David.  Sorry.  Prashant tries to build up David's counter-insurgency work.  That's killing the local population though Prashant won't tell you that.  Did he leave AFP out of fear that they might start doing historical coverage of the French war on Indochina?

Prashant was never a great reporter.  But he still had his soul intact.  Until now.

The greed and entitlement is appalling.

"Save my soul, save myself."  Indeed, Tracy Chapman, indeed.

For the record, that went up on her official YOUTUBE channel the same year Joni's "The Circle Game" went up on Joni's YOUTUBE channel.  Joni's got 24,000 streams.  Tracy?  9 million.

Again, Joni can be greedy all she wants but the sad reality is what the numbers she delivers do not justify her greed.


The following sites updated: