Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Sam Raimi, Natalie Wood

I didn't like DOCTOR STRANGE.  Thought the script was sketchy and felt that the special effects weren't what they should be -- or could be.  Strange needs to be animated only unless there is a major breakthrough in special effects.

I had no desire to ever see a live action Strange again.


Now there are reports that Sam Raimi might direct the second one.  Okay, that would get me to see it.  Sam Raimi and Brian de Palma are two directors that can get me to a movie.  They have very strong visual sense and they are masters of cinema.

So if Sam's directing, I'll see the second Strange movie.


TW: RAPE Do enough people know about Kirk Douglas and Natalie Wood... I mean know we've been having a lot of "legacy is complicated" discussions lately. But. Here is Natalie Wood at age 16. A year after Kirk Douglas allegedly raped her.
it’s a great day to fondly remember Natalie Wood
natalie wood looking down at everyone celebrating kirk douglas rn
Natalie's rapist died.  I'm not shedding tears for him.

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

Wednesday, February 5, 2020.  Two days later and still no results out of Iowa.

On Monday, Iowans turned out to caucus.  That generally means that late that night the country knows the results.  It's not a day later, it's two.  And the results are still unknown.

Iowa is not a vastly populated state.  It has approximately 3.1 million residents and, of those, about a quarter are children (under 18).  By contrast, NYC has a population of 8.6 million and Los Angeles has a population of 4 million.  Those are cities.

2,325,000 is the approximate number of voters in Iowa.  The most recent data (2010) has 645,000 registered Republicans in Iowa.  That would leave you with 1,680,000 eligible voters.  That's if they all participated in the Democratic caucus -- 700,000 is the number of registered Democrats per the most recent data.  Not everyone participated in the caucus.  (NPR's Mara Liasson said approximately 170,000 participated in the caucus.  That's a very small number if it's correct.)

There is no excuse for this failure to have happened.  There is no excuse for the results to still remain unknown.  The process failed and this was agreed on this morning in a discussion featured on NBC's TODAY SHOW.

By releasing a partial result yesterday evening, the Democratic Party in Iowa did further damage.  We don't need a news dump for the evening news that was about 71% of the tally.  This is outrageous.

Yes, Iowa should suffer consequences.

So should the hideous Shadow, Inc who sold the state party the new technology.

 Pinned Tweet

We sincerely regret the delay in the reporting of the results of last night’s Iowa caucuses and the uncertainty it has caused to the candidates, their campaigns, and Democratic caucus-goers.

That pinned Tweet?  After mid-day Tuesday, that wasn't nearly enough.  Last night?  You mean two nights ago?  Shadow, Inc should announce that they recognize the harm they've done and they'll be closing their doors before they cause further problems.

Ronald Brownstein (CNN) points out, "The meltdown in reporting results made it extremely unlikely that the full momentum that has often followed a caucus victory would flow to any of the candidates [. . .]"

Responsible call by colleagues, per : “Various individual Democratic campaigns are releasing their own numbers with estimates of how the Iowa caucuses turned out. We are NOT reporting these numbers, which are hand-picked.” We’ll get you reliable results.

Will you, Steve?  You will?  Because this morning, you reported on (here for THE MORNING EDITION segment) partial results.  That's not reliable results.  We still do not know who came in first -- we can't know that with what you termed this morning "some vote totals."

I'm not interested in partial counts.  The only thing I will note is that Joe Biden may come in fourth when the full totals are released.  May not, but he may.  In yesterday's snapshot, I noted he came in fifth in 2008 and appeared to do the same this go round.  If the results hold, he will come in fourth.  That's still not enough to justify his remaining in the race.  He had the biggest name recognition.  He had the easiest press.  He was declared the front runner the moment he announced he was running for the nomination.  Bill Barrow and Brian Slodysko (AP) report:

Joe Biden’s third presidential bid enters a critical stretch after a disappointing finish in the Iowa caucuses sent the former vice president on to New Hampshire with a skittish donor base, low cash reserves and the looming threat of billionaire rival Michael Bloomberg and his unlimited personal wealth.
In New Hampshire on Tuesday, Biden insisted he had a “good night” in Iowa even as he trailed the top moderate candidate, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and the leading progressive, Bernie Sanders, according to initial returns from 71% of precincts. Biden was running fourth, close to Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who just days ago polled in single digits.
[. . .]
Biden aides have said for months that he didn’t have to win in Iowa or on Feb. 11 in New Hampshire because he was better positioned in Nevada’s Feb. 22 caucuses, South Carolina’s Feb. 29 primary and a slate of March 3 primaries with more than a third of Democrats’ national delegates at stake on a single day.
That never meant, however, that Biden could sustain a bad showing in Iowa and New Hampshire. 

"This is a very disappointing finish for Joe Biden," NPR's Mara Liasson observed this morning and noted that this was low even after his campaign had attempted to lower expectations and she noted that some had been saying that  "he really had to come in a close second to in order to raise the money to keep on going."

Not a single poll in Iowa had performing as badly as he did. They were off, in most cases, by nearly 10%.

We think it shows that Biden’s polling is badly inflated by landline polls and that polling for Biden also misses new voters, young voters, and independents.

Shaun may very well be right.  However, there may be more to it.  It's also true that historically what this usually means is that people who are really not paying attention and don't plan to vote often say they will be voting when called on the phone for polling.  In other words, you're put on the spot by a pollster and you go with the first name you know while pretending you'll be voting when you actually don't plan to show up.  That really sounds like Joe's base.  Smart campaigns always prepare for that possibility if they're seen as the front runner.

Kenneth R. Rosen (NEWSWEEK) reports:

The War in Iraq cost nearly $2 trillion, roughly $8,000 per U.S. taxpayer, representing 9 percent of the national debt.
The current cost to the federal government for conflict zone operations in Iraq is an estimated $1.922 billion, including increases to the base budget in funding from the U.S. Department of State and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), homeland security, reenlistment bonuses, healthcare costs for active-duty and war veterans and accrued interest, according to a new report from The Cost of Wars project.
Without a war tax and few war bonds, direct war spending by the Pentagon resulted in interest payments of about $444 billion, the report estimated. The author warns even if the fighting stopped today, and the Trump Administration pulled out of all ongoing fights in the "Global War on Terror," those cumulative interest payments would continue to rise. If all war spending stopped today the existing war debt would "rise ... to $6.5 trillion by 2050," according to the report's estimates.

While the report does estimate that amount of interest on the debt, they do not attempt to estimate the costs of treatment over the coming years for the veterans of the war.

In Iraq, the protests continue.

University and institute graduates protest in Kirkuk after controversial hiring plan scrapped

The revolution never die, we made it, and will not give up.

journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who became famous for throwing shoes at President Bush at a 2008 press conference, answers questions on the protests and the contemporary situation in Iraq

| Demonstrators inside Tahrir come out with big number of demonstrators against Sadr attitude towards and Calls for resignation of a new iraqi PM.


The Blue Hats gangs burned more than four tents at 's Al-Umma Park  early today



In other news, this is being reported . . .

| pilots arrive at Air Base with an militia team to seize Iraqi F-16s.

Is it true?  I have no idea.  Did anyone worry about that when the US was making this deal with Iraq?  Uh, we did raise the issue here.

The following sites updated:

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