Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Another Hunter Biden outbreak

Hunter Biden should probably be in a prison.  It might keep him off the hard drugs.  Then again, it might not.  Mr. Biden is the family's herpes, always due for another outbreak.  Jonathan Turley explains:


We have repeatedly discussed the virtual news blackout on the influence peddling by the Biden family, particularly Hunter Biden. Despite overwhelming evidence of millions given by foreign companies and officials, the media has preferred to cover literal scoops over a story of breathtaking levels of self-dealing and corruption by the Bidens. Now, however, the New York Times has sued to force the Biden Administration to turn over information on Hunter Biden’s Romanian dealings. The lawsuit comes after another report that, in 2019, the FBI subpoenaed JP Morgan for records on Hunter Biden’s Chinese dealings.

In a new lawsuit on Monday, the Times sued the State Department to obtain emails from Romanian embassy officials sent between 2015 and 2019 mentioning a number of international business figures, including the president’s son and his former business associate Tony Bobulinski.

While the request was sent in December 2021, the Biden Administration told the Times that the soonest that it could possibly turn over the information is April 15, 2023. That is after the mid-term elections.


POLITICO notes, "The newspaper sued the State Department to obtain emails from Romanian embassy officials sent between 2015 and 2019 mentioning a number of international business people, including the president’s son and his former business associate Tony Bobulinski, who briefly became a political celebrity at the end of the 2020 election because of his Biden connections."   And THE NEW YORK POST adds:

One of Hunter Biden’s former business partners “cooperated completely” with the feds in their probe of the first son’s tax filings, The Post has learned.

Devon Archer, who is awaiting sentencing in an unrelated fraud case, is among four people reportedly referenced in a May 15, 2019, subpoena — first reported by The Post — sent to JPMorgan Chase Bank for records related to any transactions involving the Bank of China.

The others include James Biden, a younger brother of President Joe Biden.


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


Tuesday, February 1, 2022.  US President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange, greed and hypocrisy fueld the attacks on SPOTIFY, Nouri al-Maliki remains a big player in Iraq and much more.

Starting with Julian Assange who remains persecuted by US President Joe Biden for the 'crime' of providing sunlight in a democracy.  Julian exposed the War Crimes that the US government was covering up and, as a result, he is persecuted.  Journalism is not a crime.  

Mike Papantonio:             Julian Assange has been granted the opportunity to appeal his extradition to the US, to the UK’s highest court. Thank goodness. Here’s what this, this story. I, every, you know my, you know my angle on this story is here we have these liberal snowflake types that used to love Assange when he was disclosing that the CIA was, was, was spying on us, or when he talked about mass surveillance, or when he talked about disclosing drone killings where we were using drones to kill people, or when he disclosed financials, where people are keeping money offshore. He was their hero. He was the snow, he was the snowflake liberal hero. Then what happens? They blame him for the Hillary loss, Hillary lost because she’s just incompetent. But they blame him and now all of a sudden he’s a villain. What’s your take on it?

Farron Cousins:                  I, I, I mean, the man has already spent essentially nine years locked up, right. You know, through his time in the Ecuadorian embassy, he has now been in prison for going on three years in conditions that even, you know, international human rights groups have said, what’s happening to him over in the UK right now is torture. There is no question, this is torture, what’s happening to this man. And they’re trying to lock him up because all he did was publish the documents from other individuals as an outlet. You know, outlets have all kinds of privileges here in the United States, but we don’t want to give it to him because he exposed the secrets about how horrible the government really can be across, you know, Democrat and Republican administrations.

Mike Papantonio:             But Hillary takes him and he, Hillary wraps him around Russia, wraps him around this is the only reason I lost the election because of Assange.

Farron Cousins:                  The Podesta emails.

Mike Papantonio:             And all the liberal snowflakes buy into it. Never ask the question, what did he do to disclose what was going on in this country? That never would’ve, it’s just like, it’s just like, it’s just like Snowden. It, it’s, it’s just like Manning. These people, or Dan, Daniel Ellsberg. So they’re villains? They’re villains because he takes, he didn’t intend to destroy Hillary’s election. She destroyed herself. I think she’s gonna do it again, right?

Farron Cousins:                  Yeah. It’s actually looking like that. And an important thing to remember is that after WikiLeaks published those Podesta emails that made him, you know, hated with the Democrats, her poll numbers didn’t move. Her poll numbers did not move downward in a real negative way till late October, when Comey came out and did his press conference. You can see it correct, you know, absolute clear as day correlation. It wasn’t because of him.

Mike Papantonio:             Yeah.

Farron Cousins:                  And we all need to understand that these attacks on him, if they are successful and unfortunately they, they probably will be, it’s not gonna end with him. They’re not gonna say good. We got him. This is all of journalism that is at risk right now.

Mike Papantonio:             Totally.

As the lead attorney for the New York Times in the “Pentagon Papers” case in 1971, I’ve been doing a slow burn ever since over the government’s behavior in that instance: lies, disregard of court rules, arrogance, destruction of documents. All of this was brought to mind earlier this week when a British court hinted in the Julian Assange case that the U.S. government has acted in the same way once again.

It asked Britain’s supreme court to determine the appropriateness of a late filing by the government that completely undercut a ruling that Assange could NOT be extradited to the U.S. This followed British trial court Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who was hearing Assange’s extradition case, ruling that Assange might commit suicide if held in a U.S. prison in solitary confinement under what is called Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) and, so, he could not be extradited. 

As soon as she announced her decision, the U.S. government filed assurances that Assange would not be held in that kind of detention, although it reserved the right to revoke the assurance if circumstances changed.

The judge was unmoved by this assurance, but she was reversed on appeal. The U.K.’s supreme court has now asked to consider the timeliness of this filing.

I do not believe the U.S. government’s assurances are worth the paper on which they have been written. Its behavior in this case has been rampant. Most outrageously, the CIA discussed a plot to kidnap Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he was holed up, and to kill him. The CIA also tapped into conversations in the Ecuadorian Embassy, including those with Assange’s lawyers.

There is not much question whether all of this is true. There was testimony about it in open court, and Mike Pompeo, the CIA director at the time and later secretary of State during the Trump administration, has conceded that there is “some truth” in the foregoing.

I do not pretend to be particularly familiar with the extradition laws of the U.K. But common sense tells me that you deliver highly important documents about a case — such as government assurances — before the case begins, not after it has been decided. U.K. counsel representing the U.S. disagrees, saying he can deliver documents when he wants and if he loses the appeal, he will start the extradition proceedings all over again.

This is the very same arrogance that was on display in the Pentagon Papers case, in which then-U.S. Solicitor General Erwin Griswold said the usual rules of evidence did not apply. His view of the law manifested itself in his introduction of new evidence in the case anytime the government was so moved. The claims were always extravagant: Publication of the new evidence would be a disaster for the country’s national security, etc., etc. They never were. Indeed, most of them turned out to be previously published.

As Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian Assange, he seems unaware that the world is watching.  And, no, the world is not siding with Joe.  EURO NEWS reports:

Four French MPs are pushing for Julian Assange to be offered asylum in France amid the WikiLeaks founder’s ongoing fight against extradition from the UK to the US.

Jennifer De Temmerman, Jean Lassalle, Cedric Villani and Francois Ruffin are due to speak at a press conference in Paris on 1 February where they will explain why Assange -- currently in prison in the UK -- should be given sanctuary in France.

THE CONNEXION explains, "The proposal highlights comments from France’s Minister of Justice Eric Dupont-Moretti, who qualified the 175-year sentence Assange is facing as 'undeserving and unbearable,' as well as comments from President Emmanuel Macron who stated that 'all liberties should be protected'.''

DECRYPT covers a new project supporting Julian:

On the heels of his highly successful "Merge" NFT drop on Gemini-backed NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway, celebrated digital artist "Pak" announced yesterday a collaboration with WikiLeaks to launch a line of NFTs that will support the Wau Holland Foundation.

Founded in 2003 and named after the co-founder of Europe's largest association of hackers, the Germany-based Wau Holland has raised millions in donations for WikiLeaks.

"They support freedom of communication and through their moral courage project Julian Assange's defense," Gabriel Shipton, film producer and brother of Julian Assange, tells Decrypt.

Pak is famous for his NFT sale of the artwork Mass hosted by Nifty Gateway which in theory made him the most expensive living artist, knocking Jeff Koons off the top spot.

In the curiously designed sale, which brought in $91.8 million, 28,000 buyers bought 266,445 units of a Pak artwork that could, in theory, be combined into a single NFT owned by a single buyer worth the eye-popping, multimillion-dollar total.

Julian Assange is an Australian editor, publisher and founder of WikiLeaks. Earlier, the US charged him with hacking government computers and espionage after he obtained and published hundreds of thousands of classified documents between 2010 and 2011. However, Assange won the right to ask the Supreme Court to block his extradition to the US, allowing his lawyers 14 days to make their case.

The silence many in the US have on Julian is telling.  

Let's turn to greedy musicians.   Money, money, money makes the world go round, Joni Mitchell wrote/confressed.  Yesterday, I noted that if she's calling for censorship for past actions, she needs to apologize for wearing Blackface on the cover of her 1977 album.  An idiot e-mails this site (common_Ills@yahoo.com) to tell me she's not in Blackface "on the cover with thoset wo men."


That's Joni in Blackface.  The largest person in the photo is Joni dressed as a man and in Blackface.  I'm sorry you're too stupid to grasp that and that you're such an idiot that you would e-mail me without checking your facts first.

That's the cover of DON JUAN'S RECKLESS DAUGHTER.  The only Joni Mitchell album I've never owned.  I refused it when it came out in 1977 because of the cover.  Joni thought it was funny.  I ddidn't agree.  The CD copy was in my home for three days.  Actually longer.  But the CD with the booklet was left in my home.  By accident.  I called the man who left it and told him he could come get it or I could send it to him.  He'd pick it up, he insisted.  He knew why I didn't want it in my home.  When we got off the phone, I opened the case, removed the booklet and trashed it.  A month or so later, when he finally picked up the CD, he was upset.  I told him I did not allow crap like that in my home.

Standards.  Some of us have them.


David Rovics decides to weigh in.  Who?  Yeah, exactly.  The supposed radical who lives in a veal pen the Democratic Party put him in.  He's on Neil Young's side.

Neil and Joni are on the side they are on due to greed.  I addressed this last week in the gina & krista round-robin.  Joni's always been greedy and always has insisted she's been ripped off.  Neil's the same.  Turns out, so is David Rovics, "And lots more good music, too, although most of us artists are forced to spend a lot less money on recording albums, given Spotify’s priorities, namely to spend $100 million on a contract with Joe Rogan, rather than paying us for the music on which their platform was built."  Good music?  David, someone should have told you long ago, you have no talent.  You can put words to music.  But they say nothing.  You don't understand metaphors and a third grader is more poetic than you could ever hope to be.  You're not attractive.  I don't know what you thought you were going to build a career on?  Cheering the Democratic Party?  Cher's already done "Happiness is a Thing Called Joe," David.

David wants you to know he worship Neil.  He's always worshipped Neil.

Really?  I know Neil.  I even like Niel.  He's no hero.  He wasn't a hero when he destroyed Carrie Snodgress.  He wasn't a hero in the 80s when he wrapped his arms around Ronald Reagan's policies.  He wasn't a hero when he was spouting homophobia about AIDS.  I'm confused when he was heroic.

I like Joni but we're talking a greedy and entitled woman.

What did she say about being sued by her housekeeper?  That she just barely kicked her?

Grasp that.  Don't turn these people into heroes.  Love their music.  Worship their art.  Don't turn them into heroes.  They are not.

They are, however, very greedy and that's what's really gotten them riled up.  Joe's getting X for his popular podcast and Joni and Neil are acclaimed musicians.  They don't sell records.  They don't dominate the charts.  But they feel they got a raw deal and want to whine. 

And let's be very clear that Kat's point about Carly is true.  The Neil, Joni axis and all those who are part of it were rampant homophobes.  Carly's the only exception.  She grew up around artists.  She grew up around educated people.  It's not off the mark to call Neil a hick or a redneck.  And it's not wrong to note his homophobia or that homophobia was ingrained in the singer-songwriter set of that period.  Again, Carly had a different upbringing.  Outside of her, pretty much anyone you could name made a point to express homophobia and express it publicly.  Maybe it's time for a reckoning?  Maybe it's time for middle-aged David Rovics to not just admit that he's wasted his life but that he's an idiot for confusing the art with the artist.

Iraq's still not formed a government.  A lot of "I think he can, I think he can" articles about Moqtada al-Sadr today.  There's also one getting at thet ruth.  ABNA reports:

Tense post-election days continue in Iraq. Muqtada al-Sadr as the winner of the October 2021 elections goes on with his tough and exclusionary approach towards the government formation. He has certainly been the top man of the Iraqi politics in recent months, attracting all of the attention to himself. He continues to insist on forming a majority government and shows no intention to walk back from his position.

In the latest comments, al-Sadr, who leads Sadrist Movement, reiterated his previous stances on the cabinet formation. In a televised speech, he openly opposed ex-PM Nour al-Maliki's participation in the new "national majority government." He held that he asked Hadi al-Amiri and Qais al-Khazali, leaders of two large blocs, to join the government but not al-Maliki, a proposal they turned down. The powerful cleric now seems more self-confident in confrontation of his rivals after federal court last week ruled the outcomes of the first session of the parliament were legal and thus not annullable.

To al-Sadr's frustration, however, the Shiite Coordination Framework (SCF), a bloc of Shiite parties excluding Sadrist Movement, insists on al-Maliki's role in forming the next government, and its leading political figures have stated that either al-Maliki will be part of the majority coalition or they will not join the government.

Ali al-Fatlawi, one of the leaders of the Fatah coalition, announced on Friday that the SCF has refused fo join a coalition government with al-Sadr and Sunnis without al-Maliki and informed al-Sadr of the decision. Now more than any other time in the past, Sadr-Maliki differences are on the Iraqi politics surface and this raises questions about the future possibilities and the reason behind al-Sadr's opposition to al-Maliki.

Continuation of differences or unwanted ceasefire

The tension between two leaders in the current situation makes unlikely any agreement and reconciliation between them, and the Sadrists, along with their Sunni and Kurdish allies, intend to form a national majority government, excluding the SCF. But looking at the history of politics and governance in different countries, there is a golden rule that suggests there is no permanent friendship and enmity in politics. Therefore, despite the current differences, it is also possible that a ceasefire takes place between al-Maliki and al-Sadr. A clear example of this is the alliance of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) with the National Freedom Party in Turkey, once political enemies, in 2018. Despite their conflict of views, the two Iraqi political leaders are not unlikely to reconcile. 

Though the US press has repeatedly ignored Nouri al-Maliki -- throughout the lead up to the October 10th election and after -- he remains an important player.  One of the most important.  But, following US coverage, you'd never know it.  Could he end up prime minister? I hope not but anything's possible right now and it's amazing how the US media has ignored him.

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