THEY'RE SAYING "GAMBLING" BUT OUR SOURCES TELL US THAT IT WAS ACTUALLY PORN.
SPEAKING ON DEEP BACKGROUND, HILLARY CLINTON TOLD THESE REPORTERS THAT JOHN MCENTEE WAS "A PORN ADDICT -- GAY PORN. GAY PORN AND FARM ANIMALS. LOTS OF FARM ANIMALS. WITH TOUPEES! THEY LOOKED LIKE DONALD TRUMP! PORN ADDICTION. DO I NEED TO SPELL IT? P-O-R-N. A-D-D-I-C-T-I-O-N. WE'RE TALKING CRAZY PORN. DISGUSTING PORN."
ASKED ABOUT THE MOOD AT THE WHITE HOUSE, HILLARY CLINTON ASKED US NOT TO USE HER NAME BUT "IT'S TOXIC. TOXIC. IT STINKS. LIKE TRUMP'S ASSHOLES."
Will Moqtada al-Sadr support a second term for Hayder al-Abadi? ALSUMARIA reports the question was put to the Shi'ite cleric and movement leader who stated he would not be endorsing anyone at this time and noted that he was waiting -- still waiting -- for Hayder to address corruption.
AL MADA reports that Ammar al-Hakim met with Vice President Ayad Allawi and the two spoke of the need for the elections to be carried out in a calm manner. But KITABAT explains that voting buying has already started.
In an effort to look like they do something, the Parliament rushed through a 2018 budget earlier this month. To term it 'problematic' is to put it mildly.
ALL IRAQ NEWS reports that Iraq's president, Fuad Masoum, declared yesterday that he was sending the 2018 budget back to Parliament to rework it and that he would not sign off on it as is. ALSUMARIA notes that Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition is screeching that Masoum has violated the Constitution. No, he hasn't. He's used his veto power over laws -- it's the same power that the vice presidents also have. In the fall of 2009, this right/power was clarified when Sunni Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi used his veto on the election law. He didn't feel it properly represented and accounted for refugees. He used his power to veto the law. It was sent back to Parliament and reworked. (This is why the 2009 elections ended up taking place in March of 2010.) ALUMARIA also notes that the leader of GORAN (Change) in the Parliament, Amin Bakr, stated that the Parliament refused to use the legal committee when drafting the budget which accounts for so many of the problems with the budget -- including features that were unconstitutional. Meanwhile NINA reports that the United Kingdom has declared the budget Fuad sent back to contain a large budget deficit and stated that it does little to create jobs. Here's their official statement:
UK welcomes the passage of the Iraqi budget last week, which will allow Ministries to plan their spending and projects. But the budget deficit remains high, and we were disappointed that there were no new measures to improve public finance management, including procurement processes. Doing more to show commitment to the IMF support package will help Iraq build its credibility as an economic partner and help tackle corruption and waste of public money. Of course some decisions are more difficult in election year, but the UK will continue to work with the Iraqi authorities and the international community throughout the coming year to improve the environment for local and international business and investment. With a million young Iraqis coming onto the jobs market every year, a better environment for business is the only way to create enough productive jobs. This will be a big issue in the upcoming elections, and we are asking all the senior politicians what they plan to do about it.
Fuad's actions really don't matter though. Regardless of him, the budget has to be redone. That's what happens when you sell your soul to the IMF. For years, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani warned the government of Iraq not to fall into the trap the IMF repeatedly attempted to lay out for them. For a long time, Iraq's government listened. Under Hayder al-Abadi, it stopped listening.
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