Friday, October 21, 2016


Okay, I'll say it: What the hell happened to Tom Cruise's face?

Do you remember the firestorm people made over Ashley Judd's face when she was starring in that ABC show awhile back?

I didn't see the big issue with her face.

I do see a big issue with Tom's face.

It looks like an overstuffed sofa.

In fact, it reminds me of poor Kim Novak when she got trashed a year or so ago when she was on the Academy Awards.

So because Tom's a man, we're not supposed to talk about it?

Is that it?

He doesn't even look the same.

In a lot of the film, he sports scratches and bruises (make up) and I wish he'd had something like that only bigger -- make up to make him look normal.

What's the film about?

Run of the mill action flick, as best as I could tell.

It's like COCKTAIL, an instantly forgettable film.

But I also should be really clear that the whole time I was watching, I was never in the moment because his face kept pulling me out.

It looks like he had some sort of treatment or procedure on his face.

It's very distracting.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Friday, October 21, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, another US service member dies in Iraq, the Islamic State mounts a counter-attack, the US media wastes our time on whether Donald Trump will or won't contest election results (when there are no results yet to even contest), the Emmys are rigged, and much more.

American service member has died from wounds sustained in an IED explosion in northern Iraq, U.S. military says.

Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Susannah George (AP) report, "U.S. officials said the American service member died Thursday from wounds sustained in a roadside bomb explosion north of Mosul. More than 100 U.S. special operations forces are embedded with Iraqi units in the offensive, and hundreds more are playing a support role in staging bases."

Aren't we all glad US President Barack Obama swore that US troops would not be in combat in Iraq?

Guess he forgot to pass that message on to the Islamic State.

US troops are in combat -- despite Barack's lies.

Make no mistake, we are currently at war in Iraq.

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has never bought into those lies and has always insisted publicly that, of course, this is combat.

Politicians need to stop lying to the American people.

Let's drop back to yesterday's snapshot:

Iraq was raised [during the debate].


[WALLACE:] The Iraqi offensive to take back Mosul has begun. If they are successful in pushing ISIS out of that city and out of all of Iraq, the question then becomes, what happens the day after? And that's something that whichever of you ends up -- whoever of you ends up as president is going to have to confront.
Will you put U.S. troops into that vacuum to make sure that ISIS doesn't come back or isn't replaced by something even worse? Secretary Clinton, you go first in this segment. You have two minutes.

CLINTON: Well, I am encouraged that there is an effort led by the Iraqi army, supported by Kurdish forces, and also given the help and advice from the number of special forces and other Americans on the ground. But I will not support putting American soldiers into Iraq as an occupying force. I don't think that is in our interest, and I don't think that would be smart to do. In fact, Chris, I think that would be a big red flag waving for ISIS to reconstitute itself.

Will you put US troops into that vacuum?

She doesn't answer.

She says no US troops "as an occupying force."

Hillary, like Bill before her, is known for weasel words.



She should have been asked to define what she meant.

If you didn't grasp the cost of spin yesterday morning, maybe you will today.

They shouldn't be allowed to spin, they should speak honestly -- or be called out.

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Let's stay with the Wednesday debate for a second.

As many Republicans (at least those on TV) flee the GOP for the Democratic Party in order to support conservative War Hawk Hillary Clinton (who stated in the debate she would have voted to ban late term abortions -- a fact no one is discussing except for Rebecca in 'hillary would ban late term abortions'), pundits gasp or cackle this may be the end of the Republican Party.

It may be.

Which would be a reason to vote Green -- unless you're hoping that the GOP's demise means only one party.

As the Democratic Party becomes closer and closer to the Republican Party, a new party is needed.

Just as this could be the year the GOP goes down (I don't think so but it could be), this could be the year a new major party emerges: Green.

Think about all the gas baggery you've seen on so-called 'news' programs on cable about the GOP's demise.

If you're going to gas bag over that topic, then the topic that goes with it is what replaces it.

Only that hasn't prompted gas baggery.

Do we have a media or do we have a Democratic Party megaphone?

This morning Mika is again blathering on about how Donald Trump, in the debate Wednesday night, refused to say if he will accept the results.

This a non-issue.

Let's say Donald understood the question and its meanings and is planning on not accepting the results if he loses.

So what?

The Electoral College will name the winner regardless, that person will be sworn in.

Doesn't really matter what he accepts.

Hillary grandstanded on the issue as always.

But she was wrong, Al Gore did not accept the results.

That's why he filed challenges.

Yes, after the Supreme Court ruling -- one month and five days after the election -- Al Gore did concede to Bully Boy Bush.

But Al did not publicly accept the results until that moment.

'But the results were in dispute!'

Yeah, whine to someone who didn't contribute to Al Gore (I did and to the recount fund) and to someone who doesn't refer to Bully Boy Busy as BBB or "White House occupant" -- check the archives, I have never applied the p-word to BBB.  I will say "President Barack Obama," I do not use the p-wod with BBB.

The results could be disputed again.

Chris Wallace did not do a great job with his questions.

The one on Syria is probably only the most notable one.

I would hope that most of us could agree Donald Trump is not politically astute.

He looked like he felt he was being cornered (and he may have been) and may have seen the question as if the vote was close he was promising away his right to challenge it (in the manner Al Gore did).

I have no idea.

But I do know that it doesn't matter if any candidate accepts the results or not.

This isn't a live award show where Donald Trump can run up onstage and Kanye -- the electoral college's verdict will be final and that person will be sworn in next January.

That's how it works.

And all the gas baggery from the likes of Mika are attempts to stuff junk 'news' down your throats instead of exploring real issues because whether Donald Trump will or won't accept the results is completely meaningless.

Didn't plan to get into this, but dropping back to Wednesday's debate and "rigged."

Donald Trump was accused by Hillary Clinton of saying that the Emmys were rigged?

Did he say it?

I don't know.

Here's the Emmy response:

Rest assured, the  are not rigged. 

Kate McKinnon is a one-note comic.  She's not that funny -- as she demonstrated in GHOSTBUSTERS.  Leslie Jones is on the same show -- SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.  Kate, not Leslie, got nominated.  Shouldn't have been that way.  Last February, Ava and I noted:

People need to earn these nominations.

Sofia Vergara (MODERN FAMILY)

Sofia's never won.  She's been nominated many times. Her character Gloria?  She has changed over the course of the series and Sofia has repeatedly altered her performance.


Leslie Jones is a constant laugh getter in SNL skits.  She's not given as much variety in the characters she's allowed to play but she makes every character convincing.

Zoe Lister-Jones (LIFE IN PIECES)

Any life in this sub-standard sitcom comes from Zoe Lister-Jones who flings lines in one direction and her body in another while hitting one zany comic high note after another.

Jenifer Lewis (BLACKISH)

As Dre's overly devoted mother and Bow's antagonist, Jenifer fills a number of roles in each plot while still managing to deliver one manic laugh after another.

Chelsea Peretti (BROOKLYN 99)

Gina clearly does not belong in a squad room but Chelsea's performance is so wonderful, you keep praying no one notices.

Why was Kate even nominated?  She is a one note actress, a one note comic.

Audiences do not like her in film.

Let's look at another piece we did in February on the Emmys, this time not for supporting actress but lead actress in a comedy:

1) Patricia Heaton

The two-time Emmy winner has never been nominated for her work on THE MIDDLE.  Seven nominations in her career and not one for her long running comedy hit?  As we noted some time ago, she more than deserves a nomination, she's doing her best work ever.  We will never agree with Patricia's politics but this award is supposed to be for acting and she's more than earned a nomination.

2) America Ferrera

Proving UGLY BETTY wasn't a fluke, America's back in SUPERSTORE.  Back and delightful in the sitcom.

3) Anna Farris

Playing the lead in MOM is no easy feat.  The show can get very intense and then hilarity can come out of that.  This is not cookie-cutter comedy.  And Farris is outstanding.

4) Lily Tomlin/Jane Fonda

Let's be real, it's going to be hard for both women to be nominated.  They both deserve it but The Emmys are so horny for HBO, they seldom note the worthy elsewhere.  Lily was nominated last go round and would have been a worthy winner.  Jane was good in season one but, in season two, she's not coming to play, she's bringing it.  Either actress is a solid nominee.

5) Tracee Ellis Ross

How did they manage to rob her of the Emmy last year?

Who knows, but they did.

Are the Emmys rigged?

Leslie Jones didn't get nominated.

Tracee Ellis Ross didn't win.

African-American women in comedy?

They've been around for over sixty years.

How many African-American women have won Emmys for comedy?


Jackee Harris won supporting for 227, Isabel Sanford won lead for THE JEFFERSONS.

And before anyone wonders, both actresses only won one time.

Who got the Emmy for best lead this year?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

And they year before?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

And the year before?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

And the year before --

She's received it five years in a row.


Where she doesn't play a character, she goofs her way through a skit or sketch.

It's not acting.

But she's White.

Nell Carter, to name only one African-American woman, never won an Emmy for her sitcom -- despite it airing in a "death of sitcom" period (meaning there were far fewer sitcoms on the air).

Julia can win five times in a row and, in it's entire history, the Emmys have only handed out one Emmy for a comedy lead actress to an African-American woman (Isabel Sanford) and only one Emmy for a comedy supporting actress to an African-American woman (Jackee Harry)?

227 lasted five seasons, THE JEFFERSONS lasted 11 seasons and Marla Gibbs (who played Mary on 227 and Florence on THE JEFFERSONS) never won an Emmy.

But Julia has now won seven for acting (her five for VEEP, one for SEINFELD, one for THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE)?  Five for the same show that has aired five seasons?

Five in a row.

Julia is the portrait of White entitlement.  As are the Emmys.

So don't go insisting that they aren't rigged.  There is systematic racism at the Emmys -- from the nominations to the awards themselves.

And that's before we get to how they are awarded.

With the Academy Awards, it goes to whomever gets the most votes.

The Emmys are awarded by 'judging panels.'

In other words, the entire body of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is too stupid to pick a winner so they need 'panels.'

This helps perpetuate racism as the statistic for winners (and nominees) demonstrate.

In Iraq, the battle for Mosul continues.  The city was seized by the Islamic State in June of 2014.  Two years and four months later, attempts are finally made to liberate or 'liberate' it.  James Cogan (WSWS) reports:

Iraqi Army units and troops of the autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG), backed by US and allied air power, special forces and “advisors,” continue to push toward the Islamic State (ISIS)-held northern city of Mosul and the estimated 1.5 million civilians trapped within its confines. In the past 24 hours, Kurdish forces claimed to have captured villages and towns to the city’s north and east, while Iraqi Army units advanced from the south.
The assault is unfolding amid uncritical media coverage, with embedded journalists filing reports that in general laud the success of Kurdish and Iraqi forces in the face of supposed fanatical resistance and suicide attacks by ISIS defenders. Vast columns of black smoke rising over the battle zones are universally attributed to ISIS igniting oil wells and mounds of tyres to obscure their movements from aerial detection and attack.
No official estimates of Kurdish or Iraqi government casualties have been released, nor figures on ISIS losses. The US military confirmed yesterday that one of its special forces soldiers was killed by a roadside bomb to the north of Mosul.
Next to nothing is being reported about the devastation and casualties caused by US and allied air strikes on targets within the urban reaches of the city itself. Instead, the media is full of accusations that ISIS is using people as “human shields”—justifying civilian deaths in advance. American, British, Australian, French, Canadian and Jordanian bombers, jet fighters, helicopter gunships, drones and surveillance aircraft are involved in the air assault.
One indication of the destruction being inflicted was an October 19 report by the British Broadcasting Corporation that the University of Mosul, once one of the best equipped in the Middle East, is in ruin. A source stated: “The university is completely inoperative and air strikes have made it a difficult place to go. Most of the buildings have been brought down, it’s virtually gone.”

US and allied military commanders project that operations to recapture Mosul will last as long as three months. This suggests that much of the city will be reduced to rubble and the predominantly Sunni Arab civilian population will suffer horrific casualties from the bombing, starvation and disease.

This go round, unlike with Falluja and Ramadi, ISIS hasn't merely retreated from the city, it's launched a counter-attack -- on Kirkuk.

  1. Fighting still going on in in what seems to be a pretty significant counterattack

BBC NEWS reports:

Islamic State (IS) militants have mounted a ferocious counter-attack in north Iraq, killing at least 19 people in and around the city of Kirkuk.
They attacked government buildings, killing at least six police officers, and a power station under construction, where 13 employees died, officials say. 
Twelve IS fighters also reportedly died and fighting seems to be continuing.

As the same thing is done each time, is it really a surprise that this go-round the Islamic State would mount a counter-attack?

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated:

  • iraq