Thursday Reads: Strange Sounds in the Sky, the Fall of Ramadi, and Other News

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Good Morning!!

How could I have slept until 10AM? I can’t believe it. I’ve been waking up really early ever since the time change, which was ages ago. This will be a quickie post, because I have to get ready to go somewhere this afternoon.

Before I get to the latest political news, I wanted to share this weird story I came across a few days ago in The Daily Mail. Please let me know if you think it’s for real or some kind of bizarre mass hypnosis.

What IS this strange sound from the sky? Noise heard across the globe for nearly a DECADE – but nobody has an explanation.

A mysterious noise from the sky is continuing to baffle people all over the world – as well as giving those who hear it sleepless nights.

Sounding like a trumpet or a collective from a brass section of an orchestra, a selection of videos shot from the Canada to Ukraine, via the U.S., Germany and Belarus show strange goings on above us.

And the eerie sounds have been continuously heard at all different times and locations for almost a decade.

The first video posted on YouTube recording the unusual, unearthly sounds, was in 2008 when a user recorded the strange sounds in the sky from Homel, in Belarus.

That same year another anonymous user shared the ‘ear-deafening’ sounds that they insisted ‘were not a hoax,’ from a quiet neighbourhood believed to be in the U.S.

Kimberly Wookey from Terrace, British Columbia in Canada first captured the alien sound in June 2013, and since then she has managed to capture several recordings of the noise with her most recent being on May 7 this year.

There are several examples of recordings of the strange sounds at the Daily Mail link. I looked on YouTube, and dozens of these recordings have been posted. Of course the end-timers are going to think these are trumpets from heaven sounding the last days. Someone in New Jersey thinks it’s a UFO.

Is this going to be another crop-circles-type mystery/hoax? Anyway, I love strange stuff like this, so I thought I’d share and see what you think.

We haven’t been talking about foreign news much lately, but things are not going well in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS). I’m sure you’ve heard that ISIS has taken over the Iraqi city of Ramadi. ABC reports: Fall of Ramadi: 30 Car Bombs, 10 as Big as Oklahoma City Blast, US Official Says.

The State Department is sharing new details about the deadly fighting in Ramadi, Iraq, last Sunday, saying the city fell into ISIS hands after the militant group set off 30 suicide car bombs in the city center, 10 of which each were comparable in power to the Oklahoma City truck bomb of 1995.

The explosions took out “entire city blocks,” said a senior State Department official who spoke to reporters at the State Department Wednesday on condition that he not be named. The vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, or VBIEDs, were able to gain access to the city center after an armored bulldozer plowed through T-wall barricades lining the city’s critical government buildings, the official said, adding that the same bulldozer was later used as a power VBIED, itself.

Soon after the bombs went off, the Iraqis deployed a reinforcing column into the city center, but they were forced to retreat after coming under heavy enemy fire, the official said. That retreat led to a larger exodus of Iraqi security forces and the civilian populations, leaving the streets looking “barren,” according to this official.

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ABC also has video at the link. A little more:

The State Department and the Pentagon insist the fall of Ramadi does not closely resemble that of Mosul in 2014, when, after only a week of fighting, Islamic State forces were able to take over the entire city as ISF forces abandoned the posts, equipment and even their uniforms.

The State Department official argued that Ramadi has been fiercely contested for 18 months, as both sides controlled equal parts of the city. It wasn’t until the critical government center fell this weekend that ISIS was able to lay claim to the entire provincial capital.

But the official admitted that, in this case, the Iraqi forces did leave some U.S.-made weapons behind. The official suggested that if the enemy attempts to commandeer any of the bigger weapons, they would be killed in airstrikes.

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Washington Post columnist David Ignatius disagrees. He calls the fall of Ramadi a “tragic replay” of the “Mosul debacle.”

The capture of Ramadi last weekend by Islamic State fighters is a significant setback for U.S. strategy in Iraq and shows that, nearly a year after the extremists overran Mosul, the United States still doesn’t have a viable plan for protecting the country’s Sunni areas.

The collapse of the Iraqi army in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, was in some ways a replay of the Mosul debacle in June 2014. The Shiite-dominated Iraqi military, though trained and retrained by the United States, appeared to lack the leadership or will to fight off a relatively small but ferocious onslaught of Sunni insurgents.

The Ramadi defeat exposed the sectarian tensions that underlie this war. Among the urgent questions: Are Shiite regular army troops ready to fight and die to protect Sunnis, or will their lines collapse in Sunni areas, as happened in Mosul and now Ramadi? If the tougher Iranian-backed Shiite militias are sent instead to do the job, will the Sunni population see them as a Shiite occupation army — setting the stage for a generation of sectarian revenge killing?

Gee, do you think maybe Bush and Cheney might have made a mistake when they attacked Iraq based on questionable intelligence?

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Charles Pierce sees a replay of much tragic events in the more distant past:

The Fall Of Ramadi And The Vietnam Syndrome: In which we relive that which we ought not to have done in the first place.

It goes back to the “Bloody Shirt” campaigns in the decades after the Civil War. However, at least in those campaigns, the people waving the bloody shirt were doing so at people who actively had committed treason against the government of the United States and were attempting (with too much success) to win at the polls what they’d lost on the battlefield. More recent uses of the techniques sadly have been designed to cover the ass of bellicose mistakes, and worse, all over the world. Which means the “bloody shirt” begins to slide toward the Dolchstosslegendeof post-WWI Germany. And that never is a good thing.

In our current situation, we are seeing the beginnings of the kind of rhetoric that poisoned our politics for decades after the collapse of South Vietnam. In fact, there was a lot of that going around in 2006, when it became plain that the Iraq invasion had been sold on moonshine by a cabal of geopolitical fantasts and Dick Cheney….

The only way for the people who shook their moneymakers for the war in 2002 to justify their continued place in our politics is to use ISIL to replace the aluminum tubes and hope that enough people don’t notice what a grotesque fast shuffle this is. That will clear the way for the candidates on the Republican side — Rubio, Graham, Jeb (!), and, most recently, Chris Christie — who want to revive the old neocon hoo-rah while distancing themselves from its savage consequences. It looks very much like “Who lost Iraq?” may replace the disastrous decisions of the Avignon Presidency in this campaign, and that a good chunk of the Republican field will be perfectly happy to allow that to happen. For all the talk of the president’s fecklessness from the chickenhawk choir, what those candidates are about right now is the worst kind of cowardice.

Jesus. When will it ever end?

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Talking Points Memo discusses a recent survey of voter attitudes.

Study: Lawmakers Assume Voters Are Way More Conservative Than They Are.

“Pick an American state legislator at random, and chances are that he or she will have massive misperceptions about district views on big-ticket issues, typically missing the mark by 15 percentage points,” David Broockman and Christopher Skovron wrote in a study for the Scholarly Strategy Network originally published in 2013.

To investigate the question, the duo surveyed thousands of state legislators and compared their perceptions of voters to people’s actual views, derived from a large body of public opinion data.

Their conclusion: “legislators usually believe their constituents are more conservative than they actually are.”

On three issues — universal healthcare, same-sex marriage, and welfare — lawmakers’ assumptions about what their constituents believed were “15-20 percent more conservative, on average,” than the actual base of public support for such issues.

Most striking, both liberal and conservative lawmakers assume their voters are much further to the right than they actually are.

I’m not surprised, but it’s good to see intuition backed by empirical research.

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More news, links only:

David Wiegel at Bloomberg Politics: Rand Paul Launches His ‘Filibuster’ Against Patriot Act Renewal.

Politico: Rand Paul calls it a night after 10 1/2 hours. It’s not clear whether his speech on the PATRIOT Act had any real effect on Mitch McConnell’s plans.

Michael Schmidt at the NYT: A Closer Look at Hillary Clinton’s Emails on Benghazi. Also, First Batch of Hillary Clinton Emails Captures Concerns Over Libya.

Des Moines Register: Huckabee decides to skip Iowa Straw Poll.

Bloomberg Politics: Iowa Republicans Are Worried About Jeb Bush’s Viability.

CNN: Jeb Bush rails against ‘intellectual arrogance’ in climate change debate.

The Hill: Obama: Climate change deniers endangering national security.

The WaPo: Fox News rules will limit the field in first GOP presidential debate.

 

 


27 Comments on “Thursday Reads: Strange Sounds in the Sky, the Fall of Ramadi, and Other News”

  1. RalphB says:

    I read some of Blumenthal’s emails, on the NYT the other day, and he’s a brilliant political analyst. Of course his books have long established that. Don’t know about his foreign policy chops and don’t care since he seems to have had no effect there.

  2. RalphB says:

    On Rand Paul, did anyone else notice that he wasn’t filibustering or delaying the Patriot Act? Instead he chose to speak while, largely Democratic, amendments to the TPP were going to be considered. If McConnell just delays the TPP and brings the Patriot Act up on schedule his speechifying will have no effect on it at all.

    Wonder if the dummies who #standwithrand will notice he just hosed Dems on TPP instead of the Patriot Act? Thanks, brogressive hero.

  3. Fannie says:

    The Russert kid is on msnbc, doing his number to bash Hillary in the way the media wants him to…….like talking about how she was acting during the time she was writing those emails, like what rights does she have to have friends to talk to now that the emails are out, like Bloomberg.
    The republicans said if Obama doesn’t give them what they want in those emails, they are going to shut down the state department. They didn’t say when, or how. I suspect they will be doing what they did before, cutting funds to all embassies. That worked real well in Benghazie.

    They are looking hard for something to stick because of the upcoming election. I don’t like back seat drivers, and the clown car is full of them.

    • janicen says:

      I’m sure young Master Russert will be demanding to see the emails of all of the candidates in the GOP field any day now.

    • RalphB says:

      How would Little Luke know how she was acting? He covers Congress, not the State Dept. Of course, he’s just an incompetent little whack job anyway, so fuck him.

  4. RalphB says:

    The failed CEO seems to have other problems. 🙂

    TPM: Former Fiorina Staffer: I’d Rather Go To Iraq Than Join Campaign For Prez

    Carly Fiorina’s fledgling presidential campaign could encounter a major early obstacle – the long memories of her former staffers.

    Fiorina, who’s worth an estimated $120 million, didn’t pay high-ranking staffers who worked on her failed 2010 bid for California Senate for more than four years, Reuters found, and she only settled the debts just months before she launching her presidential campaign.

    As a result, nearly half of her former staffers said they wouldn’t enlist for Fiorina 2016. One anonymous staffer went as far as to quip, “I’d rather go to Iraq than work for Carly Fiorina again.”

  5. RalphB says:

    Jeffrey Goldberg does a great interview with President Obama.

    The Atlantic: ‘Look … It’s My Name on This’: Obama Defends the Iran Nuclear Deal

    In an interview, the U.S. president ties his legacy to a pact with Tehran, argues ISIS is not winning, warns Saudi Arabia not to pursue a nuclear-weapons program, and anguishes about Israel.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Did anyone try listening to the sky sounds? Any thoughts?

    • RalphB says:

      I’ve heard those before. I think they could be natural harmonics, amplified somehow, which occur all the time. Geophysically, Earth is a noisy planet. Lots of screeching etc from all kinds of plate tectonic effects, stretching, internal temperature variations and the like. Those noises are out of the range of human hearing and I don’t know amplification would occur but it’s certainly possible.

    • janicen says:

      I did listen but I think it’s some sort of hoax. Otherwise we would have heard a great deal more about it. I’d never heard of it until your post.

  7. RalphB says:

    I miss this kind of Republican in Texas. They were stingy as hell but didn’t but into private lives, just like the old Democrats.

    TPM: Sarah Davis Becomes First Texas GOP Lawmaker To Support Gay Marriage

  8. RalphB says:

  9. RalphB says:

    For giggles…

  10. bostonboomer says:

    Grand jury indicts Baltimore police in death of Freddie Gray

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/21/us-usa-police-baltimore-idUSKBN0O62P220150521

  11. bostonboomer says:

    NYT says Obama’s twitter account is attracting hate-filled tweets.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/22/us/politics/obamas-twitter-debut-potus-attracts-hate-filled-posts.html?_r=0