Wednesday, January 15, 2020


ADDED: Mike called me and told me this isn't the last season.  Season seven will be the final season. Sorry to get the facts wrong but, on this, glad to be wrong.  So I'll be around with NETFLIX for just a little while more.

Season six of GRACE AND FRANKIE is up on NETFLIX.  I'm streaming right now.

Frankie's furious about Grace getting married to Nick.

I don't think the show should have ended.  NETFLIX needs shows like this and there were still many stories to tell.

In the first episode of this last season, when we saw Grace doing her vows, I thought it was a special and touching scene.  Makes me really mad this is the last season.

I'm streaming it right now and I'll stream a few more times but then I'm cancelling.  This was the last good show that NETFLIX had.  SENSE8 is gone, so many are.  GRACE AND FRANKIE was the last show I loved on NETFLIX.

This really has been a special show, one that mattered and one that was funny.

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin really accomplished something with this series.

If you've enjoyed any of this series, make a point to stream the latest season.

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

Wednesday, January 15, 2020.  A less than inspiring debate, Joe Biden whines in public about his 50-year-old next month son who is a crack addict, a dead beat dad and ethically challenged, US officials are meeting all over Iraq (to stop any efforts to expel US troops) and much more.

Last night, six candidates for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination gathered to talk, yack and, every now and then, actually debate.

Let's start with Tom Steyer.  I don't believe we've discussed him here.  Ava and I did take on his nonsense commercials awhile back at THIRD.  We've meant to update that since he's done two new sets of commercials but we haven't had time.  Consider the following on Tom to be Ava and my comments because we've discussed repeatedly what we'd like to write.

From last month's "TV: Funny can be hard, funny can be sad:"

HAPPY MERRY WHATEVER? The first episode is like a Tom Steyer commercial -- annoying. Tom's running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination and POLITICO's Trent Spiner recently noted how annoying the commercials are to people in New Hampshire.

It's not just New Hampshire. Try watching HULU PLUS LIVE with ads and not encountering him. You'll quickly grasp why the people in New Hampshire make fun of the ads and Tom.

In the POLITICO article, he claimed this was him introducing himself. No, it's not.

An introduction would wear thin quickly, yes, but it would be better than what he's airing.

'I'm better than Donald Trump' -- that's his message.

How stupid is Tom?

We wouldn't vote for Joe Biden but we know he'd be better than Donald Trump and that's true of anyone running in the Democratic primary.

Tom does get that he's asking Democrats to vote for him in these ads, right? He's a better businessman than Donald, he brags. Does he really think that's the way to go? Donald's already set the bar for self-boasting. In a Democratic Party primary, he really doesn't need to match Donald. He should have used the time to talk about what he believes in. The environment, for example, has been either ignored in the debates or treated superficially so that's an issue he could have talked up and explained how he would address it and what he believes. He could do that with so many issues.

And he should. Back in July, PBS' THE NEWSHOUR asked "What does Tom Steyer believe?"

It's a question many Democratic voters are still asking.

If you're trying to get people, to get Democrats and undeclared voters (undeclared voters can vote in New Hampshire's primary), to support you, maybe you ought to explain where you stand so they can find common ground?

It was a lousy ad buy.

He's continued to spend a fortune on ads -- you'll also see them, regardless of where you live, if you're streaming content on PLUTO -- and some are arguing he bought his way into last night's debate.

No, he didn't.

Mike Bloomberg's spending a fortune (and not just on the two ads of Judge Judy endorsing him) and he didn't make the cut for last night's debate.

Spending money alone won't help.

What helped Tom was the last two sets of ads.  He's still awkward as hell on camera and I would physically stand behind him in a rehearsal to show him when to move his arms and when to keep them still.  I'd also have him wink to the camera at the end of his ads because that not blinking really is scary.

But what he's done right in the last two sets of ads is stop blathering about Donald.  More than anyone in the race, Tom is blank for many potential voters.  So he's done something smart by focusing on himself and his story.  It's interesting to hear about his father, for example.  He's telling America both who he is and why he's running.

Those ads are a huge reason he was able to make it onto the stage.  His ability to improve the ads demonstrates an ability to think on his feet and that's not something we're seeing a lot of.

I'm not endorsing Tom (nor is Ava) but we do give him credit for seriously improving his ads.

Who would we vote for in the Democratic Party primary?  Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren.

Yesterday's snapshot addressed the nonsense.  I would like to say that it's over but it's not, it's ongoing.  And we're all sick of it.  I'm not going to reward the bad behavior of the two candidates.  I will recommend Trina's "The Democratic Party debate" which says it all perfectly about the need to bury this garbage.  I will also note Rebecca Traistor's essay on the contradictory stories.  As usual, Rebecca brings strong insight.  For the record, I'm not interested in either campaign currently.  I will continue to post David Sirota's Tweets -- he's focusing on the issues and representing his candidate (Bernie) well.  Because of past history and because I'm impressed with his wife Emily, he'll continue to get posted.  I don't know that anyone else from Bernie's group will and I don't know that anyone at all from Elizabeth's camp will be posted.  It'll depend on my mood and I'm really not in the mood for the ongoing nonsense.

War Hawk Joe Biden should be the focus.

“Biden has been proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare for decades”

Joe Biden spent 40 years trying to cut Social Security, and CNN didn’t ask a single question about the program, which millions of Americans rely on for their economic survival.

Utterly shameful.

Listening to Joe Biden at last night’s Democratic debate, you would’ve thought he was a staunch antiwar activist in the lead-up to the Iraq war. But don’t let Biden rewrite history: he was one of the invasion’s biggest backers.

He should be called out for his support of the Iraq War, for his efforts to cut/gut Social Security and so much more.  But that didn't happen.  And I completely understand Van Jones' comment on CNN that the nonsense is "dispiriting" and that they all better do better or it's four more years of Donald Trump.

Let's note this Tweet.

Joe Biden Emotional Tweet on Hunter: "Republicans Have Savaged My Only Surviving Son" via

Biden: Republicans ‘savaged my surviving son’ Hunter

Republicans have savaged my only surviving son?

It's time to end this nonsense with Joe.  He hides behind a dead relative, he whines about this and whines about that.  As Ruth wrote last night, "It is really past time for Mr. Biden to drop out of the race.  If he has time on his hands, he can use it to address his failures when it came to raising his son Hunter."

Joe can't stop trying to campaign on his family.  But when asked a basic question about his family, he tries to attack the reporter.  I'm not talking about Hunter Biden's corruption.  I'm talking about a reporter asking about Joe's grandchild and Joe snarling it was a private matter.

I wish it were, Joe.  But when your son is a deadbeat dad who is sued for not proving child support, that's not a private matter.

And your whining about your only surviving son?

Excuse me, the press at the end of December?  It shouldn't have been asking why Hunter wasn't in the family Christmas photo.

The question should have been where was Lunden Alexis Roberts and her child -- the child that DNA has declared is Hunter's child?

You're running for president, you bag of s**t.  It's past time that you owned up to having a grandchild.  Hunter lied -- and you knew he was lying -- that he wasn't the father.  He is the father.

You raised a dead beat dad, Joe.  You raised a drug addict, who has no ethics and spends far too much time in strip clubs for a married man and, on top of everything else, he's a dead beat dad.

Why in the world should anyone trust you?  Your parenting skills are clearly crap and you have no desire to improve them or you would have already made an announcement welcoming your grandchild into your life.

Instead, you're as trashy as your dead beat dad son.

Women especially and children who suffered because of divorce or abandonment should be loudly rebuking Joe Biden.

A man who supports a dead beat dad and ignores his own grandchild is not a friend to women -- especially not working women -- or to children.

Joe wants sympathy for what's being done to his son.

His son turns fifty next month and should have gotten his life together long ago.

The only ones deserving sympathy are Lunden Alexis Roberts and her child -- Joe's grandchild that he will not publicly recognize.

Joe should have made a public announcement and that announcement should have included what he -- not just a rich grandfather but a man who wants to be entrusted with leadership and the presidency -- was going to be supplying Lunden with monthly since she was raising his grandchild.

Hunter's continued refusal to turn over financial documents and to claim that he's bankrupt?

That is beyond tacky, that is an attack on women and children and for Joe not to call it out -- or to tell him privately, "Settle the child support now"?  That goes to how Joe has no leadership skills and has no sympathy for anyone but himself.  He's pathetic about whining about himself but he's got no compassion for anyone else.  Since no longer being vice president, Joe and his wife have earned (or 'earned') over $15 million dollars.

And yet they are allowing their grandchild, Lunden's child, to live in poverty.

That does not speak to leadership or to presidential quality.

Your soon to be 50 year old son was kicked out the reserves while you were vice president, was a crack addict while you were vice president, left his wife and kids to shack up with his brother's widow, has fathered a child out of wedlock that he denied and that he continues to deny child support to and he wants to be called "Daddy's little boy" when he has strippers inserting dildos up his ass.

I'm really not seeing how any of that says (a) great job parenting Joe or (b) Hunter's an innocent all of this.  Nor am I seeing why we're not having a serious discussion about this.  Hunter's an immature brat.  That doesn't excuse Joe's inability to reach out to Lunden and to his grandchild.

If you're bored with the Dems or tired of them or just want to be informed and know what else is out there, remember there are other campaigns.  For example, there's the race for the Green Party's presidential nomination.

Join Howie TONIGHT AT 11:30 EST/8:30 PST for his livestream response to the !  (Non-FB link will be provided as soon as it is ready.)

Howie Hawkins is seeking that nomination and so is Dario Hunter.

In Oregon, on Iran: “The game that’s being played by the Trump administration is a dangerous and a murderous one. Their targeted assassinations are primitive, are unconscionable… Our administration will seek an end to US aggression and imperialism...”



Ann is supporting Dario.  Another person who'd like to be president?  Iraq War veteran Adam Kokesh.

Fresh YouTube with ! Find out why he's running for President under the party.

What role should the play in life?

Ask a soldier who served in Iraq how they feel about their lives being used for political purpose.  It is time to stop this childish behavior and listen to an actual soldier for leadership direction.  It is time for   to bring some sanity back to the USA. 

Adam is seeking the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination.

Donald Trump should be the GOP nominee barring some major upset.  If the Democratic Party is stupid enough to go with Joe Biden, both the Green Party and the Libertarian Party may end up attracting new members.  You can argue the Libertarian Party already is.

They've got Lincoln Chafee now.  Chafee was a Republican in the Senate in 2002.  He was the only Republican who voted against war on Iraq.  War Hawk Joe Biden voted for it, remember.  So Lincoln became an independent and then a Democrat (2013) and he was among those seeking the 2016 Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Now he's a Libertarian and he's seeking their presidential nomination.

We should also note that another candidate has dropped out of the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

The past year has been a deeply moving, transformative experience for me—and much of that is because of our incredible team. They poured their hearts into our mission. None of this would have been possible without them.

  • To our incredible Iowa team, who brought each day on the trail—you inspired me from the very beginning with your creativity and joy. I see you, I love you.

    Turning to Iraq,  ALMADA reports on the remarks US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made at Stanford University where he asserted that some Iraqi officials told him privately that they did not want US troops to leave.  The paper notes that Pompeop would not name the officials but did provide a number: 50 officials.

    How likely is his claim?  Very likely.  For years, the Iraqi people have wanted US forces out of their country.  Protests that have been taking place since the start of October have repeatedly called for all foreign forces out of Iraq.  But the Iraqi government in place?  It's a 'caretaker' government since the prime minister resigned in December.  More to the point, the central government based in Baghdad would have collapsed long ago without the presence of US troops.  And Iraqi officials know that.  (I am not saying: Keep the US troops in Iraq to protect this government.  It should have collapsed.  The Iraqi people need to create their own government.  And if they do, you can be sure it won't be led by Iraqis who fled Iraq decades ago.  No one wants a chicken to be their leader.)

    Among the 50 (if that number is correct)?  The Kurds.  From Monday's snapshot:

    The KRG, for example, made clear their opinion: "The meeting viewed the unilateral steps taken by the Iraqi Parliament on Sunday, January 5, with concern, and saw it as a violation of the principles of consensus and federal state and considered it a distabilizing factor to the political stability of Iraq."

    And, in addition to that statement that the Kurdish government elected to issue, Saturday saw the US State Dept's Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, David Schenker, dispatched to the KRG.

    ALSUMARIA reports today that former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki met with the ambassadors from the US and France and that they discussed the current crisis and that Nouri declared that Iraq needed to strengthen relationships with all the countries in the world.  Nouri is likely one of the Shi'ites stating privately to the US government that US troops need to stay.  He did the same thing with US Senator John McCain in 2011.  He told McCain that it was needed (in order for the government to stay in place) and he insisted that he needed over 20,000 troops.  He stated it would be difficult to fight for US troops to stay in Iraq publicly but if they could provide him the number he felt was needed, he would make the case.

    Another Shi'ite they might be speaking to?  Ayad al-Allawi.  The former prime minister issued a press release to ALSUMARIA stating that expulsion of US troops is beyond the powers of the caretaker government Iraq currently has.  Again, the prime minister issued his resignation last month (in response to the demands of the ongoing protests).  NINA reports on his press release here.  On the caretaker government in place, NINA reports there are rumors that a candidate for prime minister will be announced next week.

    Kurds and most Sunnis boycotted the vote the Parliament held on expelling US forces from Iraq.  NINA reports that former Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi (a Sunni) met with US Ambassador Matthew Toller today and termed the vote by the Parliament "a hasty decision." ALL IRAQ NEWS notes that Moqtada al-Sadr, Shi'ite cleric and movement leader, has given no indication that he's dropped his opposition to Adl Abdul-Mahdi returning as prime minister.

    What is your reaction to the prospect of being re-nominated as prime minister?

    Ahmed Abdul-Samad interviews Hussein al-Madani.

    Hussein was assassinated in early October. Ahmed followed him three days ago. Both are from the southern city of Basrah.

    Friday, Iraqi journalists Ahmed Abdul Samad and Safaa Ghali's were assassinated for the 'crime' of reporting on the protests.

    ’s Journalistic Freedoms Observatory said Ahmed Abdul Samad, a 39-year-old correspondent for local television station Al Dijla, along with his cameraman Safaa Ghali, 26, were shot dead on Friday. Read more here:

    Many in Iraq are fearful of PMF and pro-Iranian militia. There’s been hundreds of assassination and targeted killings against Iraqis fighting back against Iranian corruption. Let’s look at the killings in Tahrir square and Ahmed Abdul Samad, Iraqi journalist killed in Basra

    The protesters in Tahrir Square, governorate, organised  a protested procession and chanted angry slogans, to call for an investigation into the assassination of media workers Ahmed Abdul Samad and Safaa Ghali who were assassinated in governorate.

  • Replying to 

    The world is watching, but media coverage on violent actions against protestors in Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon are bleak. Iraqi journalist, Ahmed Abdul Samad, was brutally murdered in Basra without so much as a 30-second news coverage. His only crime...coverage of protestors and fact

    While our media infatuated over Meghan Markle’s move, or Vince Vaughn’s handshake with . Brave men and women die in Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon to protest Iranian influence. Brave journalist like Ahmed Abdul Samad, brutally murdered, doesn’t get a 30-second glimpse in US media

    Investigate the recent killings of Iraqi journalists Ahmed Abdul Samad and Safaa Ghali in Basra and hold those behind the crime accountable.

    🇮🇶: We join a group of international press freedom organisations to call upon the prime minister of Iraq and the Council of Representatives to secure the investigation of the killings of Ahmed Abdul Samad and Safaa Ghali

    The two reporters were Ahmed Abdul Samad, a 39-year-old correspondent for local Iraqi television station Al Dijla, along with his cameraman Safaa Ghali, 26.

  • International Press Freedom organizations call for an independent investigation in the killings of Iraqi journalists Ahmed Abdul Samad and Safaa Ghali.

    This picture is going around on media these days and is being captioned A martyr interviewing a martyr
    It shows assassinated journalist Ahmed Abdul Samad interviewing assassinated activist Hussein Al Madani who was shot in cold blood by masked men, along with his wife Sarah in

    Again, the Iraqi people want the US out.  ALSUMARIA reports that pointers have been issued ahead of this Friday's protests.  (Protests are ongoing throughout Iraq.  Friday is the day that many leave their places of worship following sermons and show up to demonstrate.) The expected turnout across the country is expected to be massive.  They will be calling for US troops to leave.  The pointers note that and many other things -- including it is fine to wear a shroud to the demonstrations.  One key detail is that they are preparing for more than just the ongoing protests and they mention the possibility of sit-ins and hunger strikes.

    The following community sites updated:

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