Friday, January 13, 2017

Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, Fat Albert

Meryl Streep.

Aren't we all sick of her?

WSWS writes:

However, the basis of the actress’s opposition—and liberal Hollywood’s overall—is neither substantial nor genuinely principled and does not give a lead to the mass opposition that will emerge to the Trump administration.
Well-to-do layers in the film and entertainment industry have a close relationship with the Democratic Party. Streep was a prominent speaker at last year’s Democratic National Convention, which nominated the corrupt warmonger Clinton.
Streep made a thoroughly banal and establishment speech there, in which she paid tribute to America’s “female firsts,” including US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Democratic Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and Secretary of State Madeline Albright. Streep declared that Clinton “will be our first woman president. And she will be a great president.”
For eight years, Hollywood has been almost universally and vocally enthusiastic in its support for Barack Obama, even as his administration has run roughshod over democratic rights, prosecuted one bloody neo-colonial war after another, killed thousands with drones, and presided over a massive stock market bonanza for the rich. Where was Streep and the others when the Obama administration persecuted whistleblowers, drew up “kill lists” and ordered the assassination without due process of American citizens? Why did no one call Obama and his officials “on the carpet” for their “outrages”? This record of sordid acquiescence, frankly, diminishes the moral force of Hollywood liberals’ present critique of Trump.

Look at the comments to that article.

Banal describes both her speech and her acting.

I prefer Nicole Kidman as an actress and I also preferred her maturity about how the election is over.

Good for Nicole.

US House Rep. John Lewis is making an idiot of himself again.

Trump's not a legitimate president.

Oh shut up old man.

Your work in the sixties on Civil Rights long stopped mattering as you allowed wars and corruption and back them and encouraged them.

And, let's be honest, you a mush mouth, John Lewis.

Anyone who grew up watching FAT ALBERT knows just what I'm talking about.

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

Thursday, January 12, 2017.  Chaos and violence continue, the Iraq War continues, big tenting with some is simply not possible, and much more.

Starting with Conor Friedersdorf.  Conor is a talented writer for THE ATLANTIC -- talented in both thought and writing.  But I'm calling out this piece:

A large cohort of Americans have reservations about the presidency of Donald Trump, who lost the popular vote by 2.9 million, strikes many who did vote for him as a highly flawed “lesser of two evils,” and has a dismal 37 percent approval rating. These ideologically diverse skeptics must cooperate if they hope to minimize the damage they believe the Trump Administration will do to America if left unopposed. But so far, they are easily divided. In fact, they cannot even refrain from attacking or alienating one another on matters where they are mostly in agreement.
This self-defeating approach was illustrated earlier this week when Never Trump conservatives who fully believe that Donald Trump is a bully watched Meryl Streep level that criticism. Rather than embracing a rare moment of narrow convergence with a Hollywood liberal, they let the mutual antagonism between their cultural tribes drive their reaction and wound up furiously attacking the actress over perceived hypocrisy. Doing so advanced none of their ends. It was a missed opportunity.

A large cohort?

When is that news?

I and many others opposed Ronald Reagan (and George H.W. Bush -- in fact, the best thing the Bush family ever did was get his son to run for office, it's allowed George H.W. to be seen in a better -- and artificial -- light).  On the other side of the spectrum, the right felt that way about Bill Clinton before he'd even been sworn in.

What's going on is not new and we need to stop acting like it is --  or that we're novel or original.

So that's A.

Let's move to B.

Conor, you're not the industry.

I am.

That speech was inappropriate -- at best.

This was a lifetime achievement award.  Yes, it was at the tacky Golden Globes which are sold to the highest bidder and always have been.  But it's still an industry function -- one that no one takes too seriously.

But a lifetime achievement award is supposed to result in a speech of reflection -- ideally on the industry but most often on the individual's own personal career.

Her speech was hideous.

Tom Middleton was political in his speech -- granted he won an award -- a competitive award.

I disagree with him on Sudan.

I wasn't offended by the position he took or the words he said.

I was offended by the outrage expressed afterwards.

This is an industry function so the nonsense of some people about: Oh, his show was streamed in Sudan, he's so shocked?

Just sit down.  You're allowed to watch, but guess what, at the end of the day you're not part of the industry.

Which is why you made such idiotic Tweets and attacks.

Working of a film or TV set is removed -- unless you tape in front of a live studio audience.

You have no idea what the effect will be, what the reach will be.

It's very easy to think of one massive glob: "the audience."

Tom, at an industry function, was making a very solid point and he got shamed for it.

Biggest problem, I would argue -- as someone who has repeatedly championed Tracee Ellis Ross for an Emmy -- is that Tracee's wonderful speech and her award for BLACKISH got lost.

Julie Louis Dip**it did not deserve five consecutive Emmys for joking her way through the same series.  There's no character there.  There's no inspiration.  But five Emmys in a row?

I'm sorry Tracee has not gotten the attention she deserves.

Meryl wanted to whine because Hillary didn't win.

Sorry, Conor, Hillary is not the second coming of FDR.

Nor was Barack.

And objecting to Meryl's ahistorical bulls**t will always be valid.

As someone who's written about The Drone War and the spying, Conor, I'd think you'd understand why things can't be wished away.

As for our need to resist Donald Trump?


Donald Trump is qualified to be president.

He met all the Constitutional qualifications and the voters approved him.

He's fit.

Will he be a good president?

I don't think so.

But that's how I operate.

I never had a problem on auditions because I went in with the attitude of "I'm going to bomb" and I left with the attitude of "I bombed."

Ask anyone and they'll tell you that.

That freed me up from a lot of stress and a lot of worry.

Didn't worry about their expectations, just went in and did what I wanted.

So I don't expect that Trump will be good.

I know the man and I don't like him.

As a person, I've known him for some time.

I did not vote for him, I would not vote for him.

But with all that said, I'll wait for him to do something as president before I start protesting him.

And I'll protest him the same as I would anyone else in the White House.

I will call him out as I did Bully Boy Bush, as I did Barack Obama.

The president is a public servant.

The press, fey lap dogs that they are, will treat these people like kings or gods.

They're not.

We'll call him "Donald" because that's his name.

He works for us.

And if he does a poor job -- which is what I expect, but I could be wrong -- I'll call Donald out.

But, no, I'm not an idiot like Meryl Streep who is going to pretend that the last eight years have not been hideous -- hideous in terms of wars, in terms of drone killings, in terms of illegal spying, in terms of a war on the press and whistle-blowers -- or that we lost something wonderful when War Hawk Hillary wasn't named president.

Conor then goes on to talk about the post-inauguration march.

A White woman and her daughter were gong to attend but are not now because on of the leaders, who is African-American, feels that African-Americans have suffered and that White people new to suffering should grab a spot at the back of the line and listen.

Conor frets over identity politics.

He thinks the bumper sticker "Yes We Can" is so much better.  Look, Conor, "Yes We Can" didn't even really work as a Pointer Sisters song in the seventies -- and I love the Pointers.

The African-American woman?

I'm not going to call her out.  I feel the same way regarding the peace movement.  All of you dirty whores -- that includes Meryl -- who couldn't say a word in the last 8 years better not try to push your way to the front of the line.

That's what the African-American woman is saying with regards to racial discrimination: Where have you been and, more importantly, you're sudden interest doesn't allow you to commandeer this march.

I understand what's she's saying.  I don't think it's identity politics.  I think it's about the life she's lived and the struggle she's had and I think calling that "identity politics" trivializes what she and others have lived through and experienced.

I also understand the White woman's objection.

Her notion was that this was a march against Trump and she wants to be against Donald -- as does her daughter.  She hears that message and, no surprise, feels she doesn't want to participate.

It's not an inclusive message.

But it's not an inclusive march.

Conor's acting like all those loons who thought if they kept repeating OCCUPY WALLSTREET they could hop on that bandwagon and ride it to their own personal nirvana.

They tried to co-opt it.

The march isn't defined.

One reason the march isn't defined is because people don't know what Donald will do.

People have been encouraged to protest before he takes office.

That's never a smart thing to do.

They're going to be the Sour Grape Kids as a result.

By failing to wait for some action to protest, they're just people against Donald and the press, in a year or two, will be noting that they've objected since before he became president, that they aren't critic but just haters, etc.

I have friends who are participating and, since they're friends, I wish them luck.  But since they're friends, I also honestly state, "I think the action's a little ridiculous."

I think the African-American woman is right to try to carve out some sort of platform or message beyond "We will resist."  She's protesting over what she feels were derogatory remarks and disrespect that Donald has shown so many during the campaign.  That's why her attitude is that those who have not lived in fear their whole life should not think they're going to be center stage at this protest.  I get that.  I also think if the protest followed her intent it would actually have meaning.

Instead, it's a useless, watered down assembly.

Conor wants us to big tent.

Like Hillary and the necons did in 2016?  Shall we also hold hands with David Frum?  Maybe do some heavy petting with Henry Kissinger?

Exactly where do we draw the line?

So many different kinds of people 
Trying to be the same 
"No way," baby 
He said "Baby, baby, there's no way" 
If we could start again 
Well, who knows 
Have we really changed? 
Some say we have 
Reflecting our past 
Who can say? 
Who can say? 
 Races are run 
Some people win 
Some people always have to lose 
Oooh, yeah
-- "Races Are Run," written by Stevie Nicks, first appears on the album BUCKINGHAM NICKS

Stevie's song still applies today.

And for the last eight years -- no matter how much a Meryl Streep tries to pretend otherwise -- it's the Iraqi people who have lost due to a war started by the United States that continues to this day despite Barack insisting, as he campaigned for president in 2008, that he would end the Iraq War.

In Iraq, thousands of terrorism's victims go unnamed via

Moni Basu (CNN) writes:

Throughout the morning, the death toll kept rising: 100, 115, 140. It would be many weeks before the final count would be known: 382.
Among all the terrorist attacks of 2016 worldwide, the Karrada bombing on July 3 stood as the year's deadliest.
And yet to Westerners accustomed to news reports about violence in Iraq, it would be just another bombing in which the numbers, not the victims, would be front and center. Media outlets would report what happened, who claimed responsibility and how many were killed and injured. And then the world would move on. 

And then the world would move on.

Like the shallow and detached Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes.

AP notes, "In its annual report, the London-based Iraqi Body Count reported that 16,361 civilian Iraqis died in 2016, with the northern province of Nineveh the worst hit at 7,431 people killed. The Iraqi capital, Baghdad, was next with 3,714 civilians killed, the research showed."

It does matter Conor.  And these people's lives mattered.  They aren't here anymore.  The very least the rest of us can do is stop lying that the Iraq War ended.

A lie that's all over Twitter.

Barack didn't end the Iraq War.  He actually made it worse.

In 2010, the Iraqi people had enough of Nouri al-Maliki.

Even with Nouri's bribes and well documented dirty tricks (such as refusing to allow some candidates to run and such as refusing to simplify voting in order to depress Sunni turnout), he still lost.

Ayad Allawi won.

He should have been named prime minister-designate.

Nouri refused to step down.  For over eight months after the election, Iraq was at a stand-still.

Instead of backing the winner, Barack had the US broker a contract (The Erbil Agreement) that nullified the votes of the Iraqi people and gave Nouri a second term.

That's on Barack.

And it gave Nouri and his paranoia the ability to persecute everyone.  He had military tanks circle the homes of members of Parliament who were Sunni or who disagreed with him.  He ordered a pre-dawn raid of the home of one Sunni MP and the MP's brother was killed in the raid.  He refused to follow the Constitution and packed a kangaroo court to declare Iraq Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi a terrorist and  him to death (six times sentenced to death).  Barack never uttered a word -- certainly not about the witness who died from torture or any other detail of the ridiculous trial -- ridiculous and illegal.

Nouri was disappearing the Sunnis.

He would give an order to arrest Habib Hammid (made up name for this example).  There was no arrest warrant.  His forces would go to Habib's home.  Habib's not there.  But his son or daughter is or his wife or mother or . . .  Whomever is home gets taken away.

There was no arrest warrant.

Not even for Habib.

Now the person they've grabbed disappears -- maybe into one of Nouri's many secret torture cells.

Or if it's a woman or girl and she ends up in one of the prisons (as she waits for a trial that may or may not ever come), she can be tortured and raped.

Barack had no problem with that.

Finally, in 2012, Barack's feelings were miffed.  So when Nouri called him after the November 2012 US election to congratulate him (Barack), Barack refused the call.

That's taking a stand, big boy!!!!!

It would be two more years before Barack would tell Nouri that it was time to step down.

And that's when Barack would start publicly sending troops back in.

So let's all stop pretending Barack ended the Iraq War.

It did not end.

For those not getting it, this morning the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack, bomber and fighter aircraft and rocket artillery conducted eight strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Beiji, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle.

-- Near Huwayjah, two strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed three ISIL-held buildings and a command and control node.

-- Near Mosul, five strikes engaged three ISIL tactical units; destroyed three fighting positions, three ISIL-held buildings, two heavy machine guns, two mortar systems, a command-and-control node, a vehicle bomb factory, a vehicle bomb, an ISIL unmanned aircraft, a supply cache and an artillery system; and damaged 24 supply routes and an ISIL-held building.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

It should be clear, even to Meryl, that the Iraq War has not ended.

Even to Meryl.

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

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