Now let me reply to Cole. I was wrong, I'm sorry. With only 11 episodes in season five and with NBC waiting until May to start airing them, I did assume we'd run straight through with no missed weeks. For whatever reason, they took Thursday night off this week. We get a new episode next week and then it runs straight through all the month of June. I have no idea what's in store for July. Sorry for getting it wrong.
READY OR NOT debuted on HBO Saturday night. I'd praised it before. 2019 was largely saved by horror movies.
Ann's "2019 in film -- Ann and Stan" and my "2019 in films -- Ann and Stan:"
If we had more time -- we spent five hours debating out top ten -- we'd explore one development. Horror films continue to be one of the few film types that can hold their own against the superhero flicks. And we are seeing more and more diversity and inclusion and rule breaking of the format in this genre than in any other one. READY OR NOT is not on our top ten. If it was a top eleven, it would be. If it were a top 15, MA would be on the list. Horror has delivered throughout 2019.
Superhero films have become copy and paste productions, cookie cutter scripts. We've seen it all before and only the costume ever changes.
But horror films -- US, PARASITE, MA, READY OR NOT -- these films really delivered. And there were others that were more than worth seeing.
Horror really is the genre that both delivers and defies these days. LITTLE MONSTERS, DEPRAVED, THE LIGHTHOUSE, I TRAPPED THE DEVIL and BLISS were some other horror films of 2019 that stood out.
READY OR NOT is one of those films that has you screaming at the screen. You watch Grace realize what's going on. She's just a little behind the audience on that so you scream at the TV. The film has twists an turns. The basic premise is a deal has been made with the devil many, many years ago. Now Grace, who has just married into the family, has to be the sacrificial goat.
It's worth watching even if you've already seen it. I saw it once in the theater and twice on streaming rental but watching it tonight on HBO I was still gripped by the film.
Now let me note a TV show. Remember THE ALIENEST starring Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans? The TNT show returns with a second season on July 26th. I was noting some shows that would soon be airing new episodes in "Some upcoming TV shows" but wasn't aware of THE ALIENEST coming back.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Let's start with Ely Kreimendahl's hilarious parody of Women for Biden:
Let's note Pig Boy Michael Tracey who loves to attack women (especially women of color -- Maxine Waters, Kamala Harris, etc -- there's a reason Margaret Kimberley's rebuked him online).
If true, what does that have to do with her allegation of assault?
More to the point -- who the hell cares?
They are throwing everything they can at her. Have you had a problem with a landlord? Guess what -- not a crime.
Have women ever lied about the academic history? Yes. It is not uncommon (or for men too). It is so not uncommon that it was a story for Mary Richards. Yes, on THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, Mary reveals to Lou that she didn't actually graduate college as she had stated in her long ago job interview.
I didn't believe Christine Blasey Ford and I still don't. Find anything here where I ripped her apart. You won't. First off, I could be wrong. Second off, I'm not going to rip her apart for this or that event in her life that has nothing to do with her assault charge. I'm not interested in shaming or silencing women who say they were assaulted. Blasey Ford may be telling the truth, she may not. But I'm not going to rip her life apart to try to pretend that proves a point about whether she was assaulted or not.
It proves nothing.
Nothing is what Asama Khalid offered on NPR yesterday. That includes her justification for Joe Biden supporting the Hyde Amendment. She insists that Joe has evolved and "the Democratic Party has evolved on it." As Li Zhou (VOX) noted last June "until a few weeks ago , former Vice President Joe Biden was a staunch supporter of the Hyde Amendment."
Asama felt it was important to note that PBS spoke to 74 people who worked for Joe Biden but with Tara's corroborating witnesses, "these are people, I should point out, that we were connected with through Tara herself." As Ava and I noted Sunday in "Media: Lies and liars all around," PBS spoke to 74 employees the Biden campaign steered them to -- that's written in the actual report. That would be the report everyone keeps mentioning but fails to have actually read it.
Failing is all Asama has done on NPR with this story from day one.
The NPR segment offered a Patty in a soundbye insisting "we would have heard about it during the vetting" and demanding "Give me a break!"
Rebecca Traister, who was one of the panelists, rightly noted that the country has evolved on this issue since 2008. More to the point, Barack's vetting? He let one of his daughters intern for Harvey Weinstein. Are we really trusting Barack's vetting?
Democrat Hannah James is running for Congress out of California's 19th district and she Tweets:
Here's another question: When is Joe going to be vetted? These attacks have been organized by his campaign and yet he's repeatedly allowed to go on camera stating Tara has every right to tell her story and act as though he's not doing anything. He is running a campaign to trash and destroy her. When will the media get real about this?
Probably never. Ever.
When do Joe's actions in public impact the way this story is covered? When is he ever asked why did you say you apologized and days later make jokes about consent when you appeared before a largely male audience? How is that funny? How does that make it appear you took the complaints from women seriously?
When is he asked about his many lies about Anita Hill? That goes to Tara's assault charge. Joe has lied about Anita repeatedly. He has lied that he supported her. He then went to Republican senators and told them Anita was lying. When is he going to get honest about that? How many Republican senators have to talk about that before the media asks him? He has a long history of dismissing assault and harassment. That goes to this issue.
The Iraq War? It doesn't. His past lying about everything else? It really doesn't have to do with Tara. But if the media wants to dig through a citizen's life, they damn well should be digging through a public servant's life -- a public servant who somehow ends up with millions and millions of dollars. No, that's not how public service is supposed to work.
On Iraq . . .
Joe has spent 2019 and 2020 citing his being in charge of Iraq during Barack's presidency. So if he was responsible, when is he asked the tough questions?
There are a ton of tough questions that need to be asked. That interview has many lies in it.
Even to the idiots, it should be obvious that the rise of ISIS -- which Joe is responsible for -- raises the issue of how US troops left.
We were and are for all US troops out of Iraq. We argued for that to take place immediately. We argued that to Barack's transition team -- Ava and I did -- long before Barack was sworn in. Our argument was: Pull all troops now and the reason is: This is what the American people voted for.
Why does that matter?
Iraq's government was and is propped up by US troops. The US installed the government. It is not popular with the people. When US troops leave, the government most likely will topple.
Good. Let the Iraqi people determine the government that they want and need -- that is democracy.
So pull out immediately and when asked you reply: This was the will of the American people.
Fail to keep your promise of ten months and dicker around with Iraq and you own it. It's no longer Bully Boy Bush's problem, it is your problem.
And that's how it became Barack's problem. He did not keep his campaign promise. Samantha Power and Joe Biden and Susan Rice, among others, just knew they were smart to fix things. They were idiots.
And they made Bully Boy Bush's war into Barack's war. If he had kept his promise, it wouldn't have happened. But he didn't.
Hassan Ali Ahmed (ARAB NEWS) reports this morning:
After about two months of quiet due to pandemic concerns, Iraqi protesters returned to the streets soon after the formation of the new government.
The protests that erupted last year in October resulted in Adil Abdul Mahdi’s resignation and withdrawal of the last two prime ministers. After the approval of Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s government, the new prime minister announced plans to tackle corruption and address the protesters' demands.
Baghdad, Wasit, Dhi Qar, Al-Muthanna, Babel, Al-Qadisiyyah and Karbala provinces have been rocked by protests since last week. There have been several clashes between the protesters and the security forces. On May. 18, four activists were arrested in Diwaniya, the capital of Al-Qadisiyyah. Security forces also attacked protesters at the Ahdab oil field in Wasit province, burning their tents and damaging their vehicles. On May. 19, security forces fired live ammunition at protesters in Diwaniya, killing at leat one and injuring many others.
Protesters still complain about activists and paramedics being abducted. Prominent activist Haidar al-Lami was abducted on May. 18 when he was returning to Tahrir Square in Baghdad. Though those arrested and abducted were released by direct order from the prime minister, the protesters have not only reduced their activities but have stepped up the protests and raised their demands.
As summer approaches, the protests are expanding in the southern provinces over a lack of electricity and clean water. Hundreds of protesters gathered May. 16 in front of the governor's office in Basra, which has suffered salinity problems for last few years.Iraq's government does not serve the Iraqi people. The hope of US war mongers originally was the Iraqi people would be stunned -- shocked and awed -- into submission. Naomi Klein wrote about that in "Baghdad Year Zero" which originally appeared in HARPER'S.
That has long since changed. They no longer want to shock into submission, they just want to keep the Iraqi government in place until the Iraqi people are too exhausted to argue or fight back.
The US-installed Iraq government is corrupt and it does not serve the Iraqi people. Karwan Faidhi Dri (RUDAW) reports:
When 752 tons of wheat went missing from a state grain silo in Najaf this year, the site manager claimed it had been pilfered by flocks of hungry birds. Anti-graft officials aren’t convinced.
Iraq’s integrity commission, parliament, and provincial officials in Iraq’s holy city of Najaf have launched a probe into the alleged avian antics, which seem a little farfetched.
As the missing grain is said to be worth at least $350,000, investigators believed it was stolen by corrupt officials.
On Thursday, Iraq’s Federal Commission of Integrity (FCOI) said its officials completed an audit of the silo’s stocks between May 4, 2019 and April 1, 2020.
“The Office confirmed that there was a shortage in wheat material that amounted to (752 tons and 498 kg), and that its total value reached (421,120,000 IQD) [$353,744],” the commission said in a statement.
Investigators have submitted their findings to the Najaf Investigation Court and called for legal action against those deemed responsible.
The following sites updated: