Tuesday, June 19, 2018


From THE NUMBERS, here's the top ten at the weekend box office:

1 new Incredibles 2 Walt Disney $182,687,905   4,410 $41,426   $182,687,905 1
2 (1) Ocean’s 8 Warner Bros. $18,968,184 -54% 4,145 $4,576   $78,588,354 2
3 new Tag Warner Bros. $14,947,396   3,382 $4,420   $14,947,396 1
4 (2) Solo: A Star Wars Story Walt Disney $10,001,056 -36% 3,182 $3,143   $193,765,143 4
5 (3) Deadpool 2 20th Century Fox $8,681,501 -39% 3,212 $2,703   $294,562,309 5
6 new Superfly Sony Pictures $6,870,740   2,220 $3,095   $9,012,057 1
7 (4) Hereditary A24 $6,855,063 -50% 2,998 $2,287   $27,016,183 2
8 (5) Avengers: Infinity War Walt Disney $5,442,261 -25% 2,164 $2,515   $664,346,211 8
9 (6) Adrift STX Entertainment $2,200,333 -58% 1,929 $1,141   $26,905,478 3
10 (7) Book Club Paramount Pictures $1,827,492 -57% 1,656 $1,104   $61,977,585 5

I liked INCREDIBLES 2 -- a lot.  I loved it, in fact.  Can't believe (a) how well it held up and (b) how long we've been waiting for a follow up. 

BOOK CLUB has now made over 60 million.  There is no denying that it is a hit.  Paramount picked it up for $10 million and it's made $60 million.  It's a very strong argument for counter-programming in the summer.  It has made more than many other comedies this summer with higher profiles (I FEEL PRETTY, for example).  And it's not just 'older' people who went to see it.  My girlfriend and I saw it twice (although, since we're not teens, maybe we qualify as 'older').  There were young people both times we saw it.  There were people around our age.  There were people older than us.

I was going to see it because it was a comedy that starred Diane Keaton and Jane Fonda.  That was without any preview and without any real promotion.  I knew I'd be going to see it. 

And it turned out to be a great comedy -- and Candice Bergen was hilarious.  Andy Garcia gave a star performance.  I can't praise the comedy enough.

We need more diversity in age.  It seems like there's been a bit of a catch up when it comes to race in the last few years.  But we still don't have it when it comes to age.  Put Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Diana Ross, etc. in a solid movie in the summer and I'm there and I bet a lot of other people are as well.  BOOK CLUB is the summer hit.  Paramount paid $10 million for it and the box office is six times that amount. 

I was going to write about INCREDIBLES 2 this past weekend.  Didn't.  Why?

I got really pissed off.  I read Elaine's "Mindy Kaling is the problem and needs to stop whining" and I am still furious.  Not with Elaine.  She wrote a great post.

Mindy Kaling and Cate Blanchett are whining about the reviews for OCEAN'S 8.

It would have gotten better reviews, they insist, were it not for sexim and all the White and male reviewers.

I'm not White.  I am male.

And I'm pissed.


I was so f**king kind to that piece of s**t flick.

I made a point to emphasize Sandra Bullock and Anne Hathaway.  They are the only good things about the film.  I didn't make a point to say that.  But I will now.

That film is crap.

It should have been direct to video.

And I bet a lot of other people -- including White men -- were being kind in their reviews because of the goodwill Sandra's built up. 

The film is garbage.

Sandra and Anne make somthing out of their time onscreen but they can't save it.

It is not suspensful, it's is not stylish, it is not even pro-women. 

It sucked.

And I'm sick and tired of trash like Mindy being unwilling to own their garbage and instead want ing to insist that they were reviewed unfairly because of their gender.

What a lod of crap.

Mindy's garbage really ticks me off. 

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

Monday, June 18, 2018.  The Iraq War continues, Hayder al-Abadi thinks he's still relevant and, in the US, Brianna Wu thinks she's going to save us.

Oh, how cute, Hayder al-Abadi still thinks he's relevant.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi invites politicians to meet after holiday .

After Eid?  Meet me down by the railway station, I've been waiting . . . Or as Stevie Nicks said in another song:

The most beautiful things
The most innocent things
And many of those dreams
Pass us by
Keep passing us by

-- "Angel," written by Stevie Nicks, first appears on Fleetwood Mac's TUSK

Hayder, you are the ghost in the fog and the country is passing you by.

Iraqi PM calls for post-Eid meetings between all parties to discuss political situation ERBIL -. – Iraq’s Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, on Thursday called upon all political entities in the country to hold a “high level” ... KURDDAILY

Though not as desperate -- nakedly desperate --  as Nouri al-Maliki, Hayder's still coming off pretty desperate.

He's been desperate for some time and that desperation was evident in his campaign. As Kirk Sowell (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) noted in April ahead of the May 12th elections:

Hampered by the earlier mishandling of his coalition launch in January, he appeared to sell out his nationalist credentials to guarantee his reelection thorough a deal with Iran-backed factions of the Fatah Alliance, led by the Badr Organization, only to see this deal fall through. The impression of inauthenticity was reinforced in February when one of his closest allies in the Dawa Party, MP Ali al-Allaq, revealed in an interview that Abadi and Maliki had agreed in writing to merge their coalitions after the election despite each regularly blaming the other for Iraq’s current woes. Allaq’s comments set off a media firestorm about the apparent “secret agreement,” and as a result, the party reportedly hauled him before a disciplinary committee.
This disclosure reinforced the impression that Abadi’s nationalist credentials were for sale, as with the near-alliance with the Iran-backed Fatah. And it meant that Dawa was violating electoral rules, since the electoral commission’s ruling in January that a party could not run on more than one alliance meant that Dawa had to publicly claim that its leaders were running as independents on separate lists.
Adding to Abadi’s campaign troubles, there was increased media coverage of an apparent terrorist resurgence following a spate of lethal attacks by IS against security personnel in parts of Kirkuk governorate where militant groups have long flourished. These operations undermined Abadi’s security narrative and war leadership. Populist Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr even went as far to say that, “given the government’s clear failure in this regard, we are ready to save Kirkuk from the hand of terrorism,” referring to the possible remobilization of Sadr’s own militia.

Abadi might as well be singing the song of Stevie's lazy and less talented ex, "I'm just second hand news."  That's all Hayder is at this point.

After weeks of analysis and expectations, Muqtada al-Sadr leader of Saeroon Coalition & Hadi al-Amiri leader of Fatah Coalition announced their alliance tonight...
  • More than a year ago, H.E. Sayid Muqtada Al-Sadr in a proposal addressed to the Iraqi Parliament called for a nationalist, proficient, non-partisan mechanism to choose IHEC; the very same leaders who accuse this commission today rejected that proposal.

    Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada al-Sadr won the elections.  And when the US government attempted to (again) circumvent the electoral process, Moqtada out-gamed them by teaming up with Hadi al-Ameri.

    Of the election, Iraq War veteran Michael D. Sullivan (FOREIGN POLICY) notes:

    [. . .] 2018 split the spoils across Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish lines. In such an atmosphere, Sadrists, who received roughly 30 to 40 seats in previous elections, were poised to make a much stronger showing. As the election results came in, it became clear his list would win a plurality of the 329 seats in the Council of Representatives. That’s when the angst, bordering on panic, began in Washington, London, and in the minds of hundreds of thousands of Iraq War veterans who only knew the Sadr who’d tried to kill them during past deployments in Iraq.
    After all, Sadr doesn’t like the United States. He never has and most likely never will. Sadr and his militias fought numerous battles against U.S. forces whom he viewed as occupiers. Even the government of Iraq launched Operation Charge of the Knights against Sadr and his militias in Basra in 2008 with massive help from coalition forces, an operation that prompted Sadr to flee to Iran. Following the 2008 cease-fire, Sadr shifted the Mahdi Army’s focus away from military operations to the provision of social services, establishing a nonmilitary wing called the Mumahidoon and reassigning most of the Mahdi Army’s members to it. Attacks against the Iraqi military and citizens were halted, although a small number of Mahdi militia members were assigned to the Promised Day Brigade and continued their attacks on U.S. forces until the U.S. withdrawal in December 2011.
    The Sadr who returned to Iraq in 2011 from his exile in Iran was different. He disbanded the Mahdi Army, ordered his militias not to attack U.S. forces, and, in 2014, instructed them instead to defend Iraq against the Islamic State. The rise of the Islamic State coupled with the fall of Mosul resulted in an odd coalition: Iraqi Shiite militias, Iranian-backed forces, Iraqi counterterrorism forces, and U.S.-led coalition forces all fought against the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria. Sadr’s forces, unlike other Shiite militias, cooperated with Iraqi government forces in that fight. More important, after Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced in December 2017 that the Islamic State had been defeated in Iraq, Sadr ordered his militias to disband and continued to follow the instructions of the Iraqi government.

    In America?  Maybe things will be better?  Brianna Wu does not reassure but the reaction to her idiotic comment does.

    You cannot say often enough, Trump directly happened because Bush taught the Republican party that truth didn’t ultimately matter. Media never asked Americans to reflect on the Bush years. Never thought about rushing to war in Iraq, or Katrina, or really anything from 2000-2008.
  • Now do the Clinton years. Now that Hillary is irrelevant many Ds and media cronies are finally coming out and condemning his graft and womanizing. This whitewashing has normalized this behavior with both parties. That is why we have Trump you partisan hack.
  • No, we have Trump b/c "Amurrica" is full of racists and xenophobes who are so afraid that if anyone the slightest bit "different" manages to have a decent life that it will throw the world off its axis. Fear and wilful ignorance. THAT'S why we have Trump.
  • Yes. EVERYONE who voted for him was racist and xenophobic. Thanks for simplifying things. Didn’t realize all those union voters who supported the Obama presidency (twice) were secretly racists.
  • Trump openly campaigned on racism, hate and xenophobia, . Not every Trump voter was actively racist themselves. But every single Trump voter - without exception - decided that racism and bigotry isn't a dealbreaker.
    You can continue to rest on that misguided theory and lose to Trump in 2020, or you can support policies that appeal to rust belt working class voters. Russian collusion and these other things that froth up voters like you, do nothing to get a Trump voter to defect it only 1/
    Replying to   and 

    Sorry, Brianna, go back to gaming if you think it's the media's job to ask people to reflect.  That's not their role and it's never been defiend as it's role.  Also true, the media did a lot more (after the war started -- the war that's still going on) than the Democratic Party did.

    They promised they would end the Iraq War, ran on that in 2006, give us one house and . . .  And they didn't.  They did what craven politicians always do when they find an issue, refuse to resolve it so they can instead use in numerous election cycles.

    It's not going to work, Brianna.

    You're an idiot, an out of touch idiot.

    I knew Donald Trump was going to win because I wasn't hidden away in a gated community.  I'm out there.  I'm college campuses and I'm school campuses, I'm speaking to women's groups and labor groups and veterans.  And I know the mood that people like you missed completely.

    The Iraq War continues.  In 2018, thus far, 11  American troops have been killed in the Iraq War.

    That would be the Iraq War the Dems promised to end in 2006 if they had one house of Congress and We The People gave them both houses of Congress.  But they didn't end it.  Then in 2008, Barack said he'd end it if we elected him president.  (Samantha Power left his campaign because in March of 2008, she told the BBC that it wasn't really a promise, this promise to end the Iraq War.  We covered it.  THE WASHINGTON POST covered it.  That was about it.  John Nichols flat out lied to avoid covering it -- yet again inventing some b.s. story that was face free.)

    Barack left the White House in January of 2017, after two terms as president and US troops were still in Iraq and the Iraq War was still going on.

    People's disgust over the Iraq War remains high.  Especially those who would vote.

    Yet every four years the Democrats place another I-voted-for-the-Iraq-War on the ticket -- apparently never learning from their failures.

    And people like Brianna Wu thinks Americans are stupid enough not to notice the failure of the Democrats on the Iraq War?

    Not only did so many of them vote for it, but they refused to end it and they refused to do serious hearings on it after they were in power.  Brianna thinks the nation should have reflected?  That's not the media's role, that's what Congressional hearings are for.

    If Brianna doesn't grasp that, why is she running for Congress?

    Let's close with this on the Hobby Lobby of journalists   Rukmini Callimachi of THE NEW YORK TIMES.

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    Hey if you could return those like 16,000 documents you stole from Iraq in 2016, that would be awesome. Stop saying you're going to make them accessible when that's not your g**damn job, your job is to return archival documents to the country you stole them from

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