Monday, December 9, 2019

Weekend box office thoughts


Above is Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "I Like Being A Doormat" which went up Sunday.

Via THENUMBERS.COM here's the box office for the weekend:

We usually note the top ten.  Why the top 14?

PLAYMOBIL is a bomb, a huge bomb.  The lowest big budget film opening of the year.  It's a bomb like no other.  It's numbers are so bad, it makes Julia Roberts' MARY REILLY look like a blockbuster.

Other things that stand out?

As I noted last week, Tom Hanks star power days are over.  A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD is not going to make even $70 million domestically.  When you are paid what he is, you have to deliver and he no longer does.

KNIVES OUT continues to have staying power and FORD V. FERRARI should pass the $100 million mark in ten or so days.

JOKER continues to have staying power.  It will be one of the top films of the year in terms of box office gross.  Joaquin Phoenix got a Golden Globe nomination today so hopefully that will translate into an Academy Award nomination.  And, honestly, I'd be fine with Joaquin winning the award.

The only other real contenders, my opinion, right now are Daniel Craig (KNIVES OUT) and Christian Bale (FORD VS. FERRARI).

Tom Hanks?  He's awful in the Mister Rogers film.  He's also the top billed star.  So explain to me how he got nominated as Best Supporting Actor by the Golden Globes today?

He's the star and he's nominated as supporting actor?

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, December 9, 2019.  Joe Biden continues to come undone, Hunter is a potential security risk, a base in Iraq is attacked, an activist in Karbala is shot dead, and much more.

Starting in the US where the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues and no campaign is in bigger danger than War Hawk Joe Biden's campaign.

Where to start?

As Ava and I noted, he already attacked Rachel Martin of NPR for asking about his unhinged moment last week where he went off on an elderly man in Iowa.  He called the man "a damn liar," "fat" and much more.  And, yes, he did say "fat," no one listening to the audio can pretend otherwise.  Rachel had the 'nerve' to note that a Joe supporter present at the event told Rachel it was like watching Donald Trump and Joe exploded at Rachel.

Let's stay with that elderly voter and let's note something I was asked to note -- and, hopefully, that will lead to less requests for me to note stuff.

The last thing RING OF FIRE ever needed was another man on the show.  It's the most anti-woman show in the world as men rage and rage and scream and yell.  And then they wonder why no one wants to listen?

Farron Cousins is the one raging below and it's a shame he has such a high opinion of himself.  He really shouldn't.

You know, as I watched Joe Biden’s unhinged rant at that Republican troll who asked him about his son earlier this week, it just made me realize several things, and also obviously the video that went viral this past weekend of Joe Biden talking about kids rubbing his hairy legs and sitting on his lap, and the Republicans always talking about Hunter Biden and Joe Biden and corruption and Ukraine and how they’ve done all these things wrong, even though they actually haven’t. It made me realize that Joe Biden is the Hillary Clinton of 2016 and another reason I say that, and I’m going to get into all the details in just a second, but we also earlier this week had Joe Biden’s campaign release an awesome ad attacking Donald Trump. Right? They played the clip of the world leaders from the NATO summit snickering behind Trump’s back, making fun of him. The whole ad was about how Trump’s a laughing stock around the world. It was a great ad. So were the ones that Hillary Clinton ran in 2016 that didn’t sway voters because she spent all her time talking about how bad Trump is, but not why she would actually be a good president and Joe Biden has already fallen into that same trap.

That elderly man was not a "troll," he was a voter.  And maybe if Farron could stop raging like a man about to hit a woman, he could grasp that.

In case he can't, let's move on to the other issue.  Where's the correction?

The man's not a Republican.  He even told the press that he'd vote for Joe if it came down between Joe and Donald Trump.

This is why women don't want to hear the garbage of RING OF FIRE.  A bunch of rage-aholic men screaming and yelling -- in this case about an elderly, Democratic voter -- with no concerns about facts or realities.  RING OF FIRE is the epitome of toxic masculinity.  (RFK Jr. excepted, they are all rage-aholics.)

Now let's move over to Joe's latest attack on the press.   Conner Mannion (MEDIAITE) notes Joe also went off on AXIOS' Mike Allen for daring to ask about Hunter Biden's actions while Joe was vice president.  Hunter is Joe's crack head son -- and we'll get to that and why we need to be using the term "crack head" in just a minute.  When not raging at Allen, Joe insisted that, if he becomes president, Hunter will be doing no foreign business.   Kenneth Garger (NY POST) puts it this way:

If presidential hopeful Joe Biden gets elected, his family members — including son Hunter — will be barred from engaging in foreign business dealings, he said in an interview aired Sunday.
“They will not be engaged in any foreign business because of what’s happened in this administration,” Biden said on “Axios on HBO.”
The former vice president blamed President Trump’s family members’ government and business practices as the source of his decision, not Hunter’s past work with Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings.
Axios’ Mike Allen questioned Biden — who was vice president while Hunter was in his position at Burisma — if he thought his son’s situation was “kosher.” Hunter was paid up to $50,000 per month for sitting on the company’s board.

“You know there’s not one single bit of evidence, not one little tiny bit to suggest anything done was wrong. You know that,” Biden shot back.

Yes, there is.  It's one thing to argue there's no evidence of anything illegal.  Most of us would agree with that.  But it's another to insist there was nothing "wrong" done.  Of course, it was wrong.  Hunter was paid because he was Joe Biden's son.  Whether Hunter sold influence or not, that's what the payment was for.

Wait, though, it gets worse.  That's what the payment was for at a time when Barack Obama charged Joe Biden with cleaning up corruption in Ukraine.  Joe's supposed to be cleaning up corruption in that country and the unqualified drug addict Hunter is getting thousands a month to sit on a board he's not fit to serve on.

Joe is supposed to be cleaning up corruption while Hunter is the face of corruption in Ukraine.

Grasp reality.

Hunter's a crack head.  We need to say that and we need to say it often.

First off, we all know Joe Biden's tough-on-drugs stance throughout his career in the Senate.  Second, Hunter Biden's becoming a security risk should Joe get elected.

How so?

Read the ridiculous profile Adam Entous (THE NEW YORKER) did on Hunter back in July.

It's one lie after another.

He's a drug addict active in his disease.

Kicked out the reserves for testing positive for cocaine?  Uh, it wasn't him!  Uh, maybe someone laced a tobacco cigarette he had with cocaine!

This is someone active in their disease.

It is one lie after another from Hunter's mouth.

And these lies make it clear that Hunter would be a security risk.  He can't get honest about anything.  He lies non-stop.  He wasn't going to strip clubs until his wife accused him of it!  He wasn't supposed to be drinking but he took his kids on a trip with him and drank every night -- just a single shot, he insists, and no sane person is going to believe that.  He can't stop lying.  He's a security risk because he can so easily be blackmailed.

Of all the lies Adam Entous swallowed, my personal favorite is when Hunter shares he again went into a rehab (over and over again) but not because he was using.  Yeah, right.

Hunter's a crack head.  Let's all just accept it -- since Hunter can't -- and get it out there already so he's less likely to be blackmailed over it.

Well, this isn’t a great look

'I don't know what my son was doing, even now, years later, but elect me president because you can trust me and I can get things done -- as long as it doesn't involve finding out what my son did.'

Replying to  

The Biden thing is such a joke. There are thousands of people sitting on random boards without relevant industry experience right now. It’s not uncommon at all.

No, it is not a joke but you, ma'am, are an idiot.

Yes, this happens very often.  Yes, the children of private citizens do this all the time.  The difference here, pay attention because you seem very slow, is that Hunter's father was Vice President.  That's why it's a problem.  It would be a problem for the child of any vice president or president -- or member of Congress.  It is especially a problem here because it reflects poorly on Barack and his promise to run the most open administration in history.  It is even more of a problem here because the administration went over, at length, with Hillary all the things she could and could not do and all the things Bill could and could not do while she was Secretary of State.  At that level, it doesn't even matter if it's an actual conflict of interest.  At that level, even the appearance of a conflict of interest is a problem.

I know that doesn't fit into your world where you screech your situational ethics but it is reality and maybe you need to study ethics before you weigh in again?

Oh, look, another idiot bringing down the country's IQ level:

Replying to  

But nobody is launching an investigation into Trump for hiring his children.

I don't have time to follow the Trump children -- adult children -- nor do I want to.  If that's your fix, go for it.  But grab some clues before you do.  Special deals Ivanka Trump makes with a country for her clothes line?  That might be similar to what Hunter did, it might.  Donald hiring his children to work in the government?

Not at all the same thing.

Crack a book, learn to read if you have to, you'll find out that -- shocker -- JFK named RFK to be attorney general when he was president.

It's amazing how uninformed and, frankly, stupid so many Twitter users are.  The only thing more amazing is how eager they are to flaunt their stupidity.

On the topic of stupidity, back to Joe Biden.  NPR has published a full transcript of the interview Rachel Martin did with Joe (part of it aired on Saturday's WEEKEND EDITION, the other airs this morning on MORNING EDITION).  Joe thinks he can lie and get away with it.

He claims he's not worried about Iowa because they don't make their mind up until after Christmas (after Thanksgiving, he also floats apparently not aware that Thanksgiving has passed).  In one month, Iowa goes into their caucus.  Most have already made up their minds.  Any student of campaign politics is aware of this.  The polls right now will be very similar to the first round of caucusing.

Joe also points to his national polling.  That doesn't mean a damn thing.  He will most likely lose Iowa and New Hampshire.  We've said that for some time now.  The rest of the country is actually where Joe pretends Iowa is right now -- still sorting it out.  And the minute they see Joe fail in Iowa, they will be looking elsewhere -- as will the press.  If he then fails in New Hampshire, he's probably sunk.

Steve Kornacki (NBC NEWS) just noticed that no one has ever lost Iowa and New Hampshire both and won the nomination.  He writes:

The bad news is that in the first two voting states, he's trailing. In fact, according to an average of the polls, he's running in fourth place in both Iowa and New Hampshire.
If that holds, it will place Biden on the perilous side of history. Traditionally, the results from Iowa and New Hampshire play a dramatic role in winnowing and clarifying presidential fields. Since the dawn of the Democratic Party's modern presidential primary system in the 1970s, no candidate has lost contested races in both Iowa and New Hampshire and still gone on to win the nomination.

Joe is familiar with this reality.  Again, in 2008, losing Iowa was enough to make him pack it in.

In Iraq, the protests continue.  THE SAUDI GAZETTE reports:

A prominent civil society activist was shot dead late Sunday in Iraq's shrine city of Karbala while returning home from anti-government protests, a neighbor said.

Fahem Al-Tai, 53, had been taking part in weeks of rallies denouncing Iraq's entrenched political elite as corrupt, inept and beholden to neighboring Iran.

Good afternoon,
-Hundreds mourn Fahem al-Tai, gunned down last night in Karbala
-Rockets wound 6 CTS forces outside Baghdad airport
-Confusion, rumors after Hashed al-Shaabi publishes then deletes statement on Friday attack in which it acknowledges being present

: Prominent civil society activist Fahem al-Tai was shot dead late on Sunday in the shrine city of while returning home from anti-government protests

Fahem al-Taï, père de famille de 53 ans, a été assassiné dimanche soir devant son domicile à Kerbala
Il était une des figures du mouvement de contestation dans la ville sainte chiite

  • the moment that shows how militias assassinated the activist "Fahem al-tai" in karbala-iraq

    "save the Iraqi people"

    Warning graphic content video!
    Prominent activist Fahem al-Tai, 53, gunned down in shrine city . Other survived assainatiion attempt!

    - Prominent civil  society activist Fahem al-Tai civil was shot dead late Sunday in while returning home from protests

    Fahem al-Tai was shot dead while returning home from anti-government protests.

    Friday, at least 20 protesters were killed in Baghdad alone. It is not yet known who carried out the attacks but the US government insists this was carried out by the government of Iran.  Though that accusation may or may not be true, the US Treasury Dept issued the following Friday:

    Action Also Targets Corrupt Iraqi Millionaire for Bribery
    Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated three leaders of Iran-backed militias in Iraq that opened fire on peaceful protests, killing dozens of innocent civilians.  OFAC designated Qais al-Khazali, Laith al-Khazali, and Husayn Falih ‘Aziz al-Lami pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818 for their involvement in serious human rights abuse in Iraq.  Additionally, OFAC designated Iraqi millionaire businessman Khamis Farhan al-Khanjar al-Issawi for bribing government officials and engaging in corruption at the expense of the Iraqi people.
    “Iran’s attempts to suppress the legitimate demands of the Iraqi people for reform of their government through the slaughter of peaceful demonstrators is appalling,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.  “Peaceful public dissent and protest are fundamental elements of all democracies.  The United States stands with the Iraqi people in their efforts to root out corruption.  We will hold accountable the perpetrators of human rights abuse and corruption in Iraq.”
    As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of the individuals named below, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually or with other designated persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons, are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.  Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.  In addition, any approval, financing, facilitation, or guarantee by a U.S. person, wherever located, of a transaction by a foreign person where the transaction by that foreign person would be prohibited by E.O. 13818 if performed by a U.S. person or within the United States would be prohibited.


    Qais al-Khazali is Secretary General of the Iran-backed Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) militia in Iraq.  During the late 2019 protests in many cities in Iraq, AAH has opened fire on and killed protesters.  Laith al-Khazali, Qais al-Khazali’s brother, is also a leader of AAH.  Qais al-Khazali was part of a committee of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) proxies that approved the use of lethal violence against protesters for the purpose of public intimidation.
    In Diyala Province, Iraq, AAH has been involved in widespread forced disappearances, abductions, killings, and torture, targeting Sunni Iraqis with impunity.  In late 2015, Laith al-Khazali controlled efforts to remove Sunnis from areas of Diyala Province, including killings to drive Sunnis from the area. 
    Additionally, Qais and Laith al-Khazali had leading roles in a January 2007 attack on an Iraqi government compound in Karbala.  The attack killed five U.S. soldiers and wounded three.
    Qais al-Khazali is designated for being a foreign person who is a leader or official of an entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse relating to his tenure.
    Laith al-Khazali is designated for being a foreign person who is responsible for, is complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse.
    The IRGC-QF, designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 25, 2007, is a branch of the IRGC responsible for external operations and has provided material support to numerous terrorist groups, making it a key component of Iran’s destabilizing regional activities.  The IRGC-QF’s parent organization, the IRGC, was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 13, 2017, and on April 15, 2019 was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Secretary of State.


    Husayn Falih ‘Aziz al-Lami (al-Lami) is an Iran-backed militia leader, tasked by other senior militia commanders with suppressing the late 2019 protests in Iraq.  Al-Lami was part of a committee of IRGC-QF proxies that approved the use of lethal violence against protesters for the purpose of public intimidation.  In late 2019, al-Lami was responsible for ordering the assassinations and suppression of protesters in Baghdad.  Al-Lami directed militia fighters who shot protesters in early October 2019, a time when dozens of protesters were killed. 
    Al-Lami is designated for being a foreign person who is responsible for, is complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in serious human rights abuse.


    Khamis Farhan al-Khanjar al-Issawi (al-Khanjar) is an Iraqi businessman and millionaire who enjoys significant power on a regional and international level.  According to a former senior Iraqi government official, al-Khanjar’s influence has been mostly due to his willingness and ability to use his wealth to bribe others.  Al-Khanjar has reportedly planned to spend millions of dollars in payments to Iraqi political figures in order to secure their support.
    Al-Khanjar is designated for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery. 


    Building upon the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, on December 20, 2017, the President signed E.O. 13818, “Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption,” in which the President found that the prevalence and severity of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, has reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems.  Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets.  The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons.
    Information on the individuals designated today..

    IRAQ: 🇮🇶
    Rockets hit military base near Baghdad airport

    Six 'fighters' wounded in attack with no claim of responsibility, military says.

    That's the base US officials tend to land at on their sneak-in visits to Iraq.  AP notes:

    Four Katyusha rockets hit a military base near Baghdad International Airport early on Monday, wounding at least six soldiers, Iraqi security officials said. It was the latest incident in a series of rocket attacks in recent weeks.

    Iraqi security forces discovered a rocket launcher and some defused rockets nearby after searching the area following the the attack, a statement from Iraqi security forces said.
    According to the security officials, the area targeted by the rockets is frequented by military advisers from the U.S.-led coalition. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.                                                     

    Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "I Like Being A Doormat" went up Sunday.  New content at THIRD:

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