Monday, March 9, 2020

Weekend box office



lyin with biden

Those are Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Mookie's Mixed Messages," "Cher's Ridin' With Biden" and "Lyin' With Biden."

Now from THENUMBERS.COM, here's the box office for last weekend:

1NOnwardWalt Disney$39,119,861 4,310 $9,077$39,119,8611
2(1)The Invisible ManUniversal$15,132,340-46%3,610n/c$4,192$52,675,9102
3NThe Way BackWarner Bros.$8,170,315 2,718 $3,006$8,170,3151
4(2)Sonic The HedgehogParamount…$7,704,067-53%3,717-460$2,073$140,522,2194
5(3)The Call of the Wild20th Cent…$6,762,405-49%3,914+49$1,728$57,246,1433
6(13)EmmaFocus Fea…$4,805,785+314%1,565+1,468$3,071$6,697,8503
7(5)Bad Boys For LifeSony Pict…$3,022,087-31%2,159-549$1,400$202,000,1908
8(6)Birds of Prey (And th…Warner Bros.$2,137,794-48%2,173-951$984$82,538,3765
9(7)Impractical Jokers: T…truTV$1,845,000-49%1,775-125$1,039$9,472,0913
10(4)My Hero Academia: Her…FUNimation$1,704,205-71%699-561$2,438$12,899,612

THE CALL OF THE WILD continues to make money -- $57 domestically and another $42 million overseas for over $99 million so far.  They say it needs to make $250 million to break even due to high special effects cost.  I don't see it making $250 million but I do think it's possible it could make $150 to 180 million -- domestic and international combined -- if it holds up for a few more weeks.  It is a great movie.

THE INVISIBLE MAN did very well in the second week.  BAD BOYS FOR LIFE crossed the $200 million mark.  BIRDS OF PREY?  They should have just focused on Harley Quinn.  Margot Robbie is the only reason that the film made $82 million so far.

And, as Manuel pointed out in his e-mail over the weekend, probably not a good idea to co-star Jussie Smollett's sister in this film.  She was awful in it.  In my review, I didn't point out that she was Jussie's sister.  But a lot of people are pointing that out in e-mails.  That probably did hurt the box office.

IMPRACTICAL JOKERS has made a little over $9 million at the box office.

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

Monday, March 9, 2020.  More questionable behavior from Joe Biden -- and his brother James -- and his son Hunter, as protests continue in Iraq and the country still has not found a new prime minister.

I suppose not all of Joe Biden's media supporters are stupid.  Some are just liars. What do you think?  Mitchell Blatt of THE NATIONAL INTEREST -- stupid or liar:

Mehdi Hasan, contributor and host for The Intercept and Al Jazeera English, compared Biden to Hillary last year because he voted for the Iraq War (before opposing the Surge) and he wrote the successful crime bill and assault weapons ban that Sanders voted for. 

Blatt does know that Hillary opposed the surge also, right?  Joe Biden is a far worse candidate than Hillary was in 2016.  You have to distort reality to pretend otherwise.

Ben Schreckinger (POLITICO) notes one of Joe's problems that so many are ignoring, his brother:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation raided a health care business linked to Joe Biden’s brother in late January, seizing boxes of documents.

The raid of an Americore Health hospital represented a deepening of the legal morass surrounding James Biden’s recent venture into healthcare investing at a time when questions about the business dealings of Joe Biden’s relatives, and their alleged connection to the former vice president’s public service, continue to dog his presidential campaign.

In the weeks since the raid, two small medical firms that did business with James Biden have claimed in civil court proceedings to have obtained evidence that he may have fraudulently transferred funds from Americore “outside of the ordinary course of business,” and a former Americore executive has told POLITICO that James Biden had over half a million dollars transferred to him from the firm as a personal loan that has not yet been repaid. 

The purpose of the Jan. 30 raid of an Ellwood City, Pa., hospital remains unclear, and there is no indication it was related to the actions of Biden’s younger brother, who has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing. Its owner, Americore, has faced legal problems and allegations of mismanagement that are unrelated to James Biden.
But recent filings in ongoing legal proceedings, along with new accounts provided to POLITICO by former Americore executives and others, point to potential pitfalls for the former vice president, painting the fullest picture to date of James Biden’s healthcare dealings and the ways in which they allegedly related to his powerful older brother. In 2017 and 2018, James Biden was embarking on a foray into healthcare investing, telling potential partners, including at Americore, that his last name could open doors and that Joe Biden was excited about the public policy implications of their business models, according to court filings and interviews with former business contacts of James’s. 

"As a Biden."  Remember how Joe says people should trust him "as a Biden"?  That whole family is trash and thieves. -- like Deadbeat Dad Hunter Biden.  Ariel Zilber  and Cheyenne Roundtree (DAILY MAIL) note:

  • Hunter Biden, 50, could once again be in hot water with Arkansas court 
  • Lunden Alexis Roberts, 28, says Biden missed deadlines to submit paperwork 
  • Roberts gave birth to a child from Biden after meeting in a Washington strip club 
  • Last week, a judge denied Biden's request to delay child support deposition
  • Roberts is seeking Biden's tax returns and source-of-income documents
  • Biden is living in Los Angeles with his new bride, Melissa Cohen Biden 

Elizabeth Rosner (PAGE SIX, NY POST) explains:

Biden’s baby momma filed a motion in Independence County Circuit Court in Arkansas on Friday asking the judge in their child support case to hold the former vice president’s son in contempt due to his habitual defiance of court orders.
Ex-stripper, Lunden Alexis Roberts, 28, alleges Biden, 50, missed the March 1 deadline to submit discovery materials, including his source of income for the past over five years, an unredacted copy of his tax returns from 2017 and 2018, his phone number, address and the address of his 32-year-old wife, Melissa Cohen Biden.
Biden “has no respect for this court’s orders, the legal process in this state, or the needs of his child support,” wrote Roberts’ attorney, Clint Lancaster.
He also allegedly didn’t hand in a list of companies he owns and other financial documents.
The former vice president’s son has missed multiple deadlines and has skipped two court hearings.
Judge Holly Meyers previously said she would dismiss previous contempt motions related “to the failure to produce documents of answer discovery” if Biden provided the information to Roberts by March 1.

Biden denied fathering the child, but the court determined last month that he was the father of the toddler, identified as Baby Doe.

Patrick Knox (THE SUN) covers the story hereGiancarlo Sopo (THE BLAZE) zooms in on this reality:

  Dead-beat Biden?
The mother of Hunter Biden's Arkansas son has filed a motion asking the state to hold him in contempt of court after the son of the former vice president failed to turn over documents detailing the nature of his finances in a child support law suit. Hunter Biden — who is renting a $12,000 per month 2000-square-foot house in Beverly Hills where he has been seen driving around a Porsche Panamera — has previously said he has no source of income.

Paul Bois (DAILY WIRE) reminds:

Former Vice President Joe Biden has largely ducked the controversy regarding his grandchild and even expressed hostility to a reporter who dared ask him about it.
“Do you have a comment on this report and court filing out of Arkansas that your son Hunter just made you a grandfather?” Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked Biden previously.
“No, that’s a private matter, I have no comment,” Biden responded. “But only you would ask that. You’re a good man. You’re a good man. Classy.”

No, Joe, it's not a private matter, it's a legal matter and that's why it's in court currently.  It's a legal matter and like all legal cases in the United States, those are public cases.  Add to the fact that you're running for the presidency and claiming to be a friend of families and of mothers but not only is your son refusing to take responsibility for his child, so are you.  You and your wife have raked in over $15 million in approximately three years.  You could step up and do what's right for your grandchild.  You're as pathetic as your Deadbeat son.

Greg Re (FOX NEWS) reminds:

Campaigning late last year, Biden has also lashed out at voters -- even appearing to call one man "fat" for bringing up issues with his son's possible corruption and questioning his fitness for office.
“You’re a damn liar, man," Biden said. “Let’s do push-ups together here, man. Let’s run. Let’s do whatever you want to do. Let’s take an IQ test. ... No one has said my son has done anything wrong."

As noted last night, Joe's stumbling, fumbling, disoriented St Louis speech Saturday is getting attention.  Over on the right-wing, Brandon Darby Tweets:

This isn’t going to work out well and I really do feel that people who love him should intervene and stop this.

Replying to 

This is an edited clip to push an agenda. It is taken out of context.

    1. 3 more replies
    1. New conversation

  • Replying to 

    Until the MSM starts reporting these episodes, he will continue to be the nominee. It truly feels like elder abuse from his handlers.

    1. 2 more replies


    KSRO notes, "Twitter has labeled the edited video 'manipulated media,' using a new policy it started last week."  At the start of the year, Katelyn Burns (VOX) noted another video of Joe that was questionable and why it mattered:

    On its own, the fact that it was so easily believed that Biden would repeat alt-right talking points portends a potentially serious image problem for his campaign. There is plenty for Biden critics to find fault with, without resorting to sharing out-of-context video clips. The portion of the speech from which the clip was pulled is a frequent Biden riff on the stump, and some of his related comments drew heavy criticism toward Biden’s campaign in March last year. He said then he regretted his role in the Anita Hill hearings during the confirmation battle over Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, though he stopped short of apologizing to her.

    Related, Caitlin Yilak (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) reports:

    A former adviser to President Bill Clinton said he’s concerned about 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s mental acuity.

    Dick Morris, who was Clinton’s political adviser and later campaign manager, argued that the former vice president’s memory lapses make President Trump’s reelection more likely.
    “I don’t think that Biden has much of a chance of defeating Trump. I think that Biden is a very fragile candidate,” Morris told radio show host John Catsimatidis on Sunday. “He has risen from the dead, but the ashes still remain. I think he’s incredibly vulnerable on the Hunter Biden issue. I think his gaffes raise serious questions about his mental ability.”

    Biden, 77, has often mixed up details in the stories he tells on the campaign trail, bringing scrutiny about his ability to be an effective counterpuncher to Trump. 

    COUNTERPUNCH?  John Stauber has an article published there this morning where he offers his prediction of how things will unfold -- including that the DNC convention will be called off.  In other Joe Biden news, Patrick Martin (WSWS) observes:

    Former Vice President Biden is the personification of the decrepit and right-wing character of the Democratic Party. In the past 10 days alone, Biden has declared himself a candidate for the US Senate, rather than president, confused his wife and his sister as they stood on either side of him, called himself an “Obiden Bama Democrat,” and declared that 150 million Americans died in gun violence over the past decade. This is not just a matter of Biden’s declining mental state: it is the Democratic Party, not just its presidential frontrunner, that is verging on political senility.
    It is evident that the Democratic Party leadership in Congress, as well as the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee, aims to run the 2020 campaign on the exact model of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016: portraying Trump as personally unqualified to be president and as a Russian stooge, while opposing any significant social reform and delivering constant reassurances to the ruling financial aristocracy that a restored Democratic administration will follow in the footsteps of Obama, showering trillions on Wall Street and doing the bidding of the military-intelligence apparatus.
    One could ask of the nine ex-candidates who have now endorsed Biden, why they were candidates in the first place? Why did they bother to run against the former vice president, clearly the preferred candidate of the party establishment? None of them voices any significant political differences with Biden. All of them hail the right-wing political record of the Obama-Biden administration, even though that administration produced the social and economic devastation that made possible the election of Donald Trump.
    Even more revolting, if that is possible, is the embrace of Biden by the black Democratic politicians. The former senator from Delaware is identified with some of the most repugnant episodes in the history of race relations in America: the abusive treatment of Anita Hill, when she testified against the nomination of Clarence Thomas, before Biden’s Judiciary Committee; an alliance with segregationist James Eastland on school integration in the early 1970s, highlighted at a debate by Kamala Harris, eight months before she endorsed Biden; and the passage of a series of “law-and-order” bills that disproportionately jailed hundreds of thousands of African Americans, all of them pushed through the Senate by Biden.
    How did a politician who boasted of his close relationships with Eastland and Strom Thurmond become the beneficiary of a virtual racial bloc vote by African Americans in the Southern states? Because African American Democratic Party leaders, including Representative James Clyburn in South Carolina and hundreds of others, represent one of the most right-wing and politically corrupt sections of the party.
    The thinking of this layer was summed up in a column Saturday in the Washington Post by Colbert King, a former State Department official and local banker, a prominent member of the African American elite in the nation’s capital, who wrote in outrage, “America’s black billionaires have no place in a Bernie Sanders world.”

    King denounced the suggestion that black CEOs and billionaires are “greedy, corrupt threats to America’s working families or the cause of economic disparities and human misery.” Voicing the fears of his class, he continued, “I know there are those out there who buy the notion that America consists of a small class of privileged, rapacious super-rich lording over throngs of oppressed, capitalist-exploited workers. You can see it in poll numbers showing th

    In Iraq, the issue of a prime minister remains.  Mohammed Allawi announced he would no longer seek the nomination because he lacked the support of members of the Parliament.  You may remember that cult leader Moqtada al-SAdr, who fled to Iran, had insisted that Allawi would be confirmed and had stated he would cause trouble if Allawi wasn't confirmed.




    Moqtada is yet again the joke of Iraq.  Since fleeing to Iran, Moqtada has issued orders that the protests must be segregated by gender.  The reaction in Iraq?  Women and men ignored him.  The same way members of Parliament ignored his threat regarding Allawi.  He had called for an end to the protests.  The protesters ignored him and they continue.

    Moqtada had some power before he was seen as a tool of Iran.  Iraqis don't hate Iran.  They're neighbors, they share a border.  But no one likes it when another country interferes with their own.  Moqtada is seen as a joke and as someone who has betrayed Iraq.  He's got a lot of ground to cover if he wants to be seen as anything other than a cult leader.

    He's now calling for protests in the streets.  He apparently missed the fact that no one stopped protesting when he asked them to.  The protests continued.

    Women wearing protective face masks, following an outbreak of , chant slogans as they protest during the in ,

    became the trusted voice from , Iraq, for many of the world’s broadcasters after an outbreak of anti-government protests in 2019.

    The "Power of Truth" is the theme of our latest review:

    AP reports, "Protesters gathered in the centre of Baghdad on Sunday to demand more help from the government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. They called on Iraq's ministry of health to provide further supplies of facemasks and gloves for members of the public."  Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM) notes, "In Baghdad, security and militia forces killed two protesters near Khulani Square. Also, 20 protesters were wounded."  Last Thursday, Amnesty International issued the following:

    On 1 October 2019, mass protests broke out in Baghdad and several southern Iraqi cities over corruption and failed government policies, and they continue today. Throughout this crisis, Amnesty International has documented security forces using excessive and, in some cases, lethal force to disperse protesters. The consistent question I receive from journalists and researchers concerns the weapons used by the security forces against the demonstrators. There have been a variety of novel weapons employed, nearly all of which are inappropriate as policing tools.
    From the attacks with head-splitting tear gas grenades that started last October, to the air rifles that prompted the #StopHuntingUs hashtag on Twitter, our Iraq research team and the Crisis Evidence Lab have spent a lot of time monitoring the evolution of the security forces’ armament. In this post, I go through the variety of weapons being used against protesters in Iraq.

    Grenade Launchers

    Security forces are firing two different sized grenades, requiring them to use two different launchers. The smaller, lighter grenades, which are standard 37mm or 38mm tear gas canisters found all over the world, are fired by the NARG 38, manufactured by the Chinese company Norinco.
    Security forces with a NARG 38 and molotov cocktail. Image via ALi Dab Dab on Twitter.
    The heavier and more dangerous 40mm grenades, which we have reported on extensively, are launched via the Serbian RBGP M08. This makes sense, as many of the problematic grenades are Serbian M99s.

    Still from video at 1:08, depicting security forces with RBGP M08 launchers, via @LawkGhafuri

    Witness accounts indicate why the grenades have caused so many injuries. Partly it is the weight of the grenades — at 250g they are up to 10 times heavier than standard canisters — but equally troubling is how they are used.
    “Sometimes they fire it in an arc – into the air and it lands,” said one protester in Baghdad last October. “Sometimes they fire it straight at the protesters like an RPG [rocket-propelled grenade]. They fire five to six after one another within 30 seconds.”

    Air Rifles

    In January 2020, images emerged of security forces deploying a new weapon: air rifles, most commonly used in Europe and the Middle East for hunting birds and small game.
    These weapons use compressed air, rather than black powder or other burning propellant, to launch a small pointed pellet at the target. While they are unlikely to kill a person, they cause very painful wounds requiring surgery and are totally inappropriate for police use.


    Standard police shotguns can fire a variety of ammunition. Some varieties, like rubber bullets, are acceptable for use in very specific circumstances. But birdshot, which has recently been deployed, should never be used.
    Like the pellets in air rifles, birdshot is also used in hunting. However, instead of a single projectile, a cartridge of birdshot contains dozens of bb sized (3mm diameter) balls, that cause distinctive, and potentially deadly, injuries in a spray pattern. Birdshot wounds near vital organs in the face and torso are particularly dangerous.


    Even more unusually, Iraqi security forces have been seen with slingshots, which they use to launch heavy ball bearings and marbles. Again, this is completely inappropriate police use of force.
    Security forces using slingshots, image via ALi Dab Dab


    Often, security forces stationed on bridges and overpasses would shoot down upon protesters from a distance. However, when the forces reached individual protesters, they often beat them.
    In January, one protester told us: “I witnessed many cases where the security forces were dragging people on the ground and beating them. Some were underage, 14 or 15 years old tops. When the beaten protesters would return to the main area of protests, they would have marks of batons and sticks on their bodies.” 
    Amnesty International also reviewed photographic evidence of serious wounds across the back of one protester, consistent with beatings that could amount to torture.


    Although a variety of less-lethal weapons are used by security forces (some appropriate but many not), many gunmen are also armed with a variety of Kalashnikov-style rifles. These weapons are often used in conjunction with tear gas grenades and other weapons.
    According to a protester, “security forces were using the following strategy: they would first use live ammo to disperse protesters, and they would be shot directly at protesters, then, in the commotion of protesters running away, they would use tear gas. And they would shoot the canisters directly at the protesters.”
    Security forces holding an AK-style rifle. Image courtesy AliDabDab on Twitter
    Some specific units have other firearms, however, which can be individually identified. For example, the “Shock Forces” of Basra are armed with Croatian VHS-K2s, which were acquired during the fighting against the armed group calling itself the Islamic State: 
    Croatian VHS-K2, via HS Produkt
    This unit, in particular, has been known to commit human rights violations. In January, a protester told us: “In Basra, the oppression is extreme, more than any other governorate. Shock forces use live ammo and tear gas on us all the time even for blocking roads. They even use animal hunting gear.”


    A reminder to journalists and activists: if you do collect spent cartridge casings, please photograph the “headstamp” on the flat bottom portion of the cartridge, as it allows investigators to track the provenance of the ammunition.
    The headstamp of a 7.62x39mm cartridge, manufactured by the Novosibirsk Plant in Russia in 1984. Photographed by an Amnesty International investigator in Tripoli, Libya, in August 2019.

    Flouting International Obligations

    According to UN guidelines, security forces should refrain from the use of firearms unless there is an imminent threat of death or serious injury and there is no suitable alternative available. It is clear both from eyewitness testimonies and our analysis that this restraint is lacking in myriad instances in Iraq’s policing of protests since October. Protesters have a right to expect that the security forces protect – not arbitrarily kill and maim – them. The Iraqi authorities must urgently rein in the security forces, remove those responsible for serious violations and initiate thorough, independent investigations aimed at bringing accountability and redress for victims and their families.

    CORRECTION: this article was updated on 6 March 2020, to include a new image of security forces carrying AK-style rifles. The original image published was from was from previous protests, it was exchanged with one from the current violence.

    Kat's "Kat's Korner: Judy does JUDY" went up Sunday as did Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Mookie's Mixed Messages," "Cher's Ridin' With Biden" and "Lyin' With Biden." The following sites updated:

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