Wednesday, January 16, 2019

When does HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER come back?

Tomorrow.  The show has a new episode Thursday night.

It really has become my favorite hour long show.  I do have others I like: THE BLACKLIST, BLINDSPOT, the new CHARMED and FLASH.  Sitcom wise?  It's really just WILL & GRACE.

But of all the shows, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER is my favorite so I'm really excited to finally have a new episode tomorrow night.

This might be the last year.  Without SCANDAL as a lead-in, the ratings are rather low.  That's a shame because Viola Davis alone makes the show a must-see.

All by herself, she makes it worth watching.

She's surrounded by a great cast but she's just off on her own mountain top, triumphing over and over in scene after scene.

I do like the whole cast but I will always be most grateful that this series gave Viola a chance to show just what she could do and how great she is.

Thursday night's episode is called "He Betrayed Us Both."  Can't wait to see it.

Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, January 16, 2019.  In Iraq, the war continues -- maybe even heats up -- but in the US the media is as useless as it was in the lead up to 9/11 attacks.  It can offer useless gossip, it just can't cover the most basic events of the day.

Patrick Martin (WSWS) observes:

When President Trump made a prearranged call in to Jeannine Pirro of Fox News during her Saturday night program, she asked him, in a joking tone, “Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?” Pirro was clearly phrasing the question as a way to mock the media assault spearheaded by the Times, and Trump responded in kind, denouncing the question as “the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked.”
The Times and its media chorus responded, however, as Senator McCarthy would have. “Aha,” they declared, “Trump didn’t answer the question directly. He’s hiding something!” The newspaper’s web site noted the exchange with Pirro on Sunday, writing, “Mr. Trump did not directly answer the question.”
This became the media mantra over the next 24 hours.
The Associated Press: “[T]he president avoided directly answering when Pirro asked whether he currently is or has ever worked for Russia.”
The Hill: “President Trump late Saturday declined to directly answer a question from Fox News host Jeanine Pirro about whether he had ever ‘worked for Russia,’ calling it ‘insulting.’”
The Washington Post’s opinion editor, James Downie: Pirro’s question “triggered a two-minute rant, none of which included the word ‘no.’”
Similarly questions were raised on the Sunday television interview programs, with CNN’s Jake Tapper, host of “State of the Union,” playing a tape of the Pirro-Trump exchange and declaring, “The president did not directly answer the question.”
The media commentary came full circle with a front page report by Peter Baker of the New York Times, published Monday, which began: “So it has come to this: The president of the United States was asked over the weekend whether he is a Russian agent. And he refused to directly answer.”

Baker’s “news analysis,” an editorial in all but name, declared that this question—in effect, whether Trump is guilty of treason, a capital offense—“has hung over his presidency now for two years.”

What a load of nonsense from our idiotic and wasteful media.  All it's going to take is one 9/11 to send them all scattering yet again from the lawn of Senator Gary Condit and have them insisting that they've learned their lesson.  Remember that?  Does anyone?  They were going to be real and serious and stop the endless chatter by actually focusing on real news.

ADDED 12:48 pm EST 1/16/19, NPR reports, "American troops were killed in an explosion in northern Syria, the spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State says. The ISIS extremist group has claimed responsibility."  This is real news, the endless chatter of basic cable 'news' is garbage.

They don't know real news, they know cheap coverage of gossip and that's all they've got, that's all they'll ever have.  They are useless and they waste our time with their drivel.

In the real world, wars take place, wars continue and they don't have time to cover those, they lost interest long ago.  Better to be the global Ethel Mertz than to ever actually provide any coverage that actually matters.

Another 9/11 and they'll be revealed as the useless gossips they are.

Don't think another one could happen?  The Council on Foreign Relations begs to differ.  On their "Top Conflicts to Watch in 2019" is a terrorist attack:

Of the thirty contingencies included in this year’s Preventive Priorities Survey, a mass casualty terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland—or a treaty ally—by a domestic or foreign terrorist was assessed as a top tier priority for the United States in 2019. The contingency was deemed moderately likely to occur and, if it does, of having a high impact on U.S. interests.

Repeating:  "This year, a mass casualty terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland or treaty ally was included as a top tier priority in the Center for Preventive Action’s annual Preventive Priorities Survey."

And still the media wastes all of our time with nonsense.

"The most trusted name in news"?  Did I just hear people chuckle?  Yeah, I think I did.

Remember the Iraq War?

MOOSE81 100214 C17A tracking south over , east of Baghdad. Operation . 1232z

The American media doesn't appear to.  How strange when you remember how many lies that they repeated and concocted to start that illegal war.

US military officers in Anbar province in 🇮🇶, who occupy Iraq against the wishes of the Iraqi parliament...

demanded to inspect Hashd Al-Shaabi units (Popular Mobilization Forces), which Hashd immediately rejected.

Why does the US🇺🇸 continue to treat Iraq like a US colony?

Jane Arraf shows up on NPR's MORNING EDITION today to offer, "There's an ongoing push here among some political parties to get rid of the US troops in Iraq.  The prime minister, yesterday, here said there were 6,000 of them still here."

"Among some"?  It's the Parliament, Jane.

After Trump's Visit Iraq Wants All US Troops Out. wants us out of their country, I don't blame them: parliament demands timeline for foreign troop withdrawal via aaboulenein, Ahmed_Rasheed_R

But she learned to spin at CNN, after all.  Another issue?  If the prime minister is stating 6,000, that's a higher number than the US government has told the American people.  Somehow Jane missed that, didn't she?

Strange she can remember it for Twitter:

Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi tells journalists 6,000 US troops now in . Recent US military numbers put it at about 5,000. Abdul Mahdi says total numbers of coalition troops declined by about 1,000 recently.

And despite the prime minister's claims, others insist the number of US troops in Iraq is unknown.

politician, Nayef al Shamari, says that the does not know the exact number of or in



THE NATIONAL notes MP Wajih Abbas:

"The actual number of US forces in Iraq is 9,000, we do not have accurate information on their whereabouts or what their role is," Mr Abbas said, adding that it is vital for parliament to intervene to reduce their presence on Iraqi land.

Jane Arraf misses so much in her little over three minute NPR segment.

For example, she speaks to and quotes the president of Iraq's spokesperson Lukman Faily.  She doesn't note who he is other than the spokesperson.  Starting in 2013, for example, he was the Iraqi ambassador to the US.  Today, he's just a spokesperson.  Talk about a public demotion.  And, though you'd never know it to look at him, he was only born in 1966.  Apparently, being a coward ages you -- yes, he's yet another person the US put in charge -- another coward who fled Iraq and lived abroad for decades until the US-invaded Iraq.

Meanwhile, MIDDLE EAST MONITOR reports:

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called on the Iraqi government to disarm 67 Shia militias and freeze their activities in preparation to them being disbanded. In response to the US request, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has asked Washington to give him some time to act.

Why the sudden interest?  Hmmm.

Commander: Hashd al-Sha'abi Preventing US Troops' Spying along Iraq-Syria Border

's Hashd Al-Shaabi forces block US troops from conducting survey along Syrian border: report

Does that explain it?

New content at THIRD:

The following community sites updated:

  • Tuesday, January 15, 2019

    Can FOX fire Percy Hynes White

    The latest episode of THE GIFTED aired on FOX tonight and, yet again, Percy Hynes White destroyed every scene he was in.  That's not praise.  He brings every scene down.  He can't act.  He comes across like an alien studying humans, there's nothing real or recognizable in his performance of Andy.

    He's the worst actor on the show.  If you pay attention, THE GIFTED works when he's not onscreen.  The rest of the cast is strong.  And the shows are now watchable -- as the season's moved along, Percy's been pushed away from the center of the show.

    But he is what's destroying the show.  His performance is that bad.  His Andy is a weak, little freak that you hope will die each episode.  He brings nothing of value to the show.

    They need to replace him or just kill Andy off.  There's no point in doing a third season with him in the cast.

    Lorna's become the glue for the show -- tonight especially as her guilt eats at her.  But all the characters are worth watching except for Andy.  When Lauren and Andy battled in their dreams on this episode and Lauren won?  The minute Andy was covered in blood, I was so hopeful that he would be dead.

    Sadly, Andy lived.

    Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

    Tuesday, January 15, 2019.  Events in Iraq make clear that there is no bravery or independence in the western press -- especially not in the US press.

    Liars run all over the world and they tend to cover for each other.  Guess that explains Michael Burke (THE HILL) typing up this:

    Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said in an interview published Monday that his vote in support of the Iraq War "tainted my heart."
    Reid told The Nevada Independent that the vote "was a horrible mistake I made."
    "It tainted my heart. It was the wrong thing to do. But I was sucked in by General [Colin] Powell and others and I believed them. So I regret that, yes, I do," he said.

    Did it taint baby's heart?

    Did mean old Colin Powell trick little Harry with his bad old blot?

    Oh, how sad.  How very, very sad.

    Did little Harry not have parents nor parental figures?  Oh, wait.  Little Harry had Inez and Harry Vincent.  Were they complete failures as parents?  Most parents teach children that when you make a mistake, you make up for it.  But former Senator Harry Reid never did, never even tried to.

    Let's drop back to May 29, 2008:

    Turning to the US where Nancy Pelosi, Speak of the House of Representatives, launched an attack on the Democratically controlled Senate, blamed them for the continued illegal war, repeated slogans she was questioning only two years ago and much more.  The Barack Obama for President Pelosi's interview had an appalling write up in the San Francisco Chronicle.  That nonsense Pelosi offered was the least important thing about the interview.  (Market based strategies sounds an awful lot like privatizing -- especially when Pelosi brags of speaking to private business.  That's just one aspect of the interview that should have raised alrarms.) 

    On US withdrawal (partial) from Iraq, Pelosi declared "it is essential and it will happen and it will happen in my view with a Democratic president and that will begin in a matter of months and that is the optimism" she's feeling.  Let the rest of us know when her feet touch back down to earth.  A November election is nothing to pin all your hopes upon but that's the game Pelosi wants to play. 

    Apparently a Democratic president will be able to control that US Senate which keeps letting her down over and over.  She explained to the editorial board and reporters of the San Francisco Chronicle that she's all for withdrawal dates, it's that Senate that keeps insisting on 'goals': "The house keeps passing these bills with deadlines or, to accomodate the Senate sometimes, goals.  We just sent them another one we'll see -- they sent it back without the redeployment language, we'll send something back to them."

    However, she wasn't done pinning the blame on the Democratically controlled Senate.  She was queried if the "Democratic Congress had pushed as hard as they could"?  She insisted,

    "The House has always voted to have the redeployment of the troops out. . . .  From the House we have always fought but the senate [let's voice trail off into silence]"  I'm not really sure the best way for the Speaker of the House to conduct themselves is to declare war on the Senate semi-privately.  Maybe a war between the two houses of Congress is what it will take to end the illegal war?  If so, Pelosi needs to take her comments to a very public forum which, apparently, this meeting was not since it was not reported on.  She further instead of the Democratically controlled Senate, "they are guarding the president's desk."

    It's the sort of thing that might have once fooled people.  Apparently the only fool in the room was Pelosi.  She was questioned: "Why not put withdrawal dates in this bill with the Senate and just stand up to them and say, 'it's got to be this way, we're not going to give in'?"  In stops and starts, Pelosi gave a response that appears below word for word minus a stammer or two.  If you can find more than three complete sentences in the following, wipe your glasses.

    Nancy Pelosi: Well they see, that's -- there is a bi-partisan majority for that in the Senate -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- but there aren't sixty votes and so nothing would ever get to the president's desk.  And there just isn't a -- a -- that just won't happen -- it --  this has been the obstacle from day one.  Every -- we've sent now maybe a half  dozen times to the Senate.  They will not.  They will not and I don't think that there is a -- I don't, I don't believe as much as I have opposed this war from the start and have said from the start there is no  intelligence to support the threat that this administration is claiming so it has been a misrepresentation from the start, I know that.  But it is -- I don't think people would want to think, although we're sending the bill with conditions, that the money is supposed to be used for the redeployment of troops out of Iraq, that anybody's going to leave them high and dry.  And that's just really the -- uh - - uh dichotomy -- if that's the word and -- and -- and exists in the mind of the Am -- they don't -- they want 'em out but they -- we can't leave them high and dry.  We're saying this is the way we'll do it.  We'll do it with the conditions that this money is used to bring them home uh to leave some of there to fight al Qaeda, if that's still necessary, to protect our embassy but otherwise -- and that isn't a lot of troops -- but otherwise  they should be coming home if they don't go with these conditions --

    Who was Nancy critiquing there?  Harry Reid.  Harry Reid was in charge of the Senate, he was Senate Majority Leader.  

    His vote for the war was a big mistake, he whines today.  But when he had the power to do anything about it, to make up for his error, to fix his mistake, he didn't.  Per Nancy Pelosi, the House was doing what it needed to end the war but the Senate wasn't getting it together.  That was the Speaker of the House pointing her finger at the Senate Majority Leader.

    Harry Reid remains a joke.  It's too late for him to salvage his image.  And people really need to stop letting him lie.

    But it's doubtful the press will ever hold him accountable while he's alive -- he mobbed up long before he entered Congress and the press pretended otherwise for years.

    The same press that pretended things were going great in Iraq only eight days ago.  Remember?

    While the western press was pretending otherwise, the people of Iraq have been suffering.

    For example?  ALSUMARIA reports Basra Operations Command announced yesterday that they will be releasing protesters . . . shortly.  They insist that this is for the "protection" of the activists.  These protesters were demonstrating yesterday.  And "protection" included, apparently, also shooting one protester in the back.  That's at least the fourth time in recent weeks that Basra Operations Command have used "live ammo" on activists.   The third time was this past Friday.

    Anti-corruption protesters demanding better services were dispersed by security forces in , Iraq Friday evening.
    (📷Hussein Faleh/AFP)

    Where's the western press?  Oh, that's right, it's "turned corner" time again as they, yet again, attempt to re-sell the ongoing Iraq War which hits the 16 year mark in two months.

    Basra protests?  They've been going on since July.  The activists are asking for jobs, basic services, water that doesn't send you to the hospital if you drink it, etc.  It's too complex, apparently, for western reporters to grasp.  They're too busy selling themselves -- TIME magazine included -- as the saviors of the world, risking all to tell the truth.   Well, that's what they're saying.  Reality is far different from their empty lip service.  It's the Iraqi reporters covering the Basra protests who risk all.  As usually happens in 'liberated' Iraq when reporters cover actual events, reporters get arrested.  That's been happening repeatedly in Iraq for the last weeks in an effort to stop press coverage of the protests.

    Never doubt that lazy asses in America with press passes have nothing when it comes to ethics or scruples.  They play like the press matters and they're interested in real stories but while Iraqi reporters risk their lives to cover protests, American reporters spend all day playing shocked at whatever they saw on a president's Twitter feed.

    Another topic 'brave' reporters in the west keep ignoring?  US troops in Iraq.  As we noted yesterday, their numbers are increasing.

    All this desire to report/proclaim "Donald Trump is a liar!"?  It apparently doesn't apply to war.  Because the US officially has a little over 5,200 troops in Iraq but in the last days that number has risen and, in northern Iraq alone, non-western outlets have reported an increase of 20,000.  We were discussing that in yesterday's snapshot -- a discussion corporate America media still can't have.

    Informed sources reveal night movements by the US forces # towards some districts and areas of the province of Nineveh north of Iraq.

    Informed sources reveal the presence of more than "9000" US troops in "4" military bases deployed in the province of Anbar # - west of Iraq #, after withdrawing from # Syria.

    Another story they refuse to cover?  Corruption in Iraq.  Once upon a time (Barack ended it), there was an office that tracked reconstruction in Iraq and waste.  Once upon a time, the US Congress held hearings on waste in Iraq.  These days?  No.

    But corruption continues in Iraq.  Billions have been . . . wasted?  No, stolen.  And more money is pouring in.

    France commits more than $1 billion to help rebuild Iraq

    Yea!  France is going to toss in a billion!  Yea!  What politician's children are going to get rich this time?  It's not going to help the Iraqi people.  None of the billions have so far helped the Iraqi people.  There's a reason Iraqi is repeatedly cited for corruption in each of Transparency International's annual examinations.  But let's pretend otherwise.

    Corruption in became a , bribe and relations lead everything in iraq.
    Even in non governmental works you find this matter, just a little who take positions by his own qualifications.

    in the public and private sectors carries very high for businesses investing in .

    In case anyone forgot, Hayder al-Abadi promised to end corruption.  He couldn't even win a second term -- let alone end corruption.  Nouri al-Maliki, former prime minister and forever thug, facing protests throughout Iraq while the 'Arab Spring' was taking place in Egypt asked for 100 days to end corruption.  He wasn't going to end corruption, he just wanted the activists to stop protesting.  They stopped and, 100 days later, he announced he'd done nothing.  That's the way it 'works' in 'liberated' Iraq -- where the US installs one puppet after another -- all of them, strangely enough, right?, all of them cowards who fled Iraq and only returned years -- decades -- later when the US-led invasion took Baghdad in 2003.

    Teaser for what I hope we discuss tomorrow . . .

    Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received France Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian at Erbil International Airport on Monday evening following thee French FM's visit to Baghdad where he met Iraqi officials, including Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi.

    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley, DISSIDENT VOICE, BLACK AGENDA REPORT and the ACLU -- updated: