Monday, September 13, 2021

Hillary Swank in a new TV show?

As Ava and C.I. noted in "TV: ABC's disappointing dive ," ABC's fall schedule is an embarrassment. So the idea that they may soon have a series starring Hillary Swank is a good thing. She's a great actress and a two time Best Actress Oscar winner. VARIETY reports:

Hilary Swank is set to star in a drama from Tom McCarthy that has been ordered to pilot at ABC, Variety has learned.
In the untitled series, a star journalist (Swank) moves to Alaska for a fresh start after a career-killing misstep, and finds redemption personally and professionally joining a daily metro newspaper in Anchorage.
McCarthy is writing and directing the pilot in addition to serving as executive producer under his Slow Pony banner. Swank will executive produce in addition to starring. Bert Salke of Co-lab21, Melissa Wells of Slow Pony, and Kyle Hopkins and Ryan Binkley of the Anchorage Daily News will also executive produce. 20th Television is the studio.


Former Fox 21 president Bert Salke will exec produce via his recently launched Co-lab21 banner alongside McCarthy and his Slow Pony topper Melissa Wells. Swank also exec produces. The Anchorage Daily News’ Kyle Hopkins and Ryan Binkley will also exec produce.
The untitled Alaska drama is the first major order to come from Erwich since he added oversight of ABC entertainment in December. He continues to oversee Hulu as well as ABC’s content streams on Hulu.
The drama hails from 20th Television, where Salke is now based with a four-year overall deal after he stepped down as Fox 21 president as part of the same Disney executive shake-up in December. Fox 21, which was rebranded last year as Touchstone Television, was folded into 20th Television.

And DEADLINE notes:

Similarly, it marks Swank’s live-action return to broadcast television for the first time in more than 20 years. The two-time Oscar winner, who starred in FX’s Trust, previously starred in Season 8 of Beverly Hills, 90210.
Slow Pony’s Melissa Wells will exec produce alongside Anchorage Daily News President and CEO Ryan Binkley and reporter Kyle Hopkins.
The off-cycle pilot order comes after ABC made decisions earlier this summer about the status of its last set of pilots, passing on Triage, Dark Horse, Kevin Costner-exec produced National Parks Investigation and Epic and picking up Promised Land to series.

I hope the pilot works because ABC really needs a show like this. Badly, they need it. Their fall line up is an embarrassment and I'm really offended that they're holding back BLACK-ISH but trying to push that stupid WONDER YEARS down our throats. That sexist garbage didn't need to be remade and to hide behind "Well they're Black now!" -- we deserve better. So much better.


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

 Monday, September 13, 2021.  Faucci, Iran, oh my.

Not a fan of RISING now that Krystal and Saager have left.  We haven't noted the show since then.  But an e-mail to the public account argued this video should be noted.

I streamed it.  I agree it does need to be included and I've noted it here in the entry right before this one.  I'm also including it in the snapshot at the top.  Here's Senator Ran Paul speaking with Megyn Kelly about the issue.

There are periodicals like WSWS who have staked their reputation on where COVID came from -- insisting that discussing China is akin to claiming WMD in Iraq.

If it is true that it came from China -- I have no idea nor am I the gatekeeper that WSWS has tried to be lately -- that's an issue.  And 'trust the science' has always been crap and I have called that out here.  I don't worship science.  Science gave us the atom bond.  Science gave us Tuskegee.  Science gave us the suicide of Frank Olson.  Trust the science?  I don't trust anything carried out in private.  

And my feelings are not uncommon.  I'm not unique in that.   You should have built your campaigns around doctors.  People trust their doctor -- those lucky enough to have one.  We know our doctors.  "Trust the science" was never an answer to concerns the people had.

It doesn't matter where it came from in terms of Dr. Anthony Faucci.  He's compromised in terms of trust because of the changes in policy that have been present since the start of the pandemic.  If you want to send a new tone, a message that your administration is different than Donald Trump's, the first thing you do is retire the troubled spokesperson.

B-b-b-but what if Faucci is not lying to Congress or what if his blunders were the blunders of the government and not his own (example: no point in wearing masks, everyone wear masks, etc)?  

I don't care.  Nor does America nor should they.  I don't believe in the 'greater good' theory -- that leads to so many being exploited.  But it's strange, isn't it, that the proponents of greater good never apply to it big money.

Faucci has become an issue.  A large segment of the American public does not trust him.  We are in the midst of a pandemic.  We have switched presidents from Donald Trump to Joe Biden.  It is perfectly natural for a succeeding president to 'shake up' the teams by putting in new people.  

The administration is having to spend too much time defending Donald Trump's Faucci.  He keeps the government off message.  It's time for him to go -- for the good of the country, for the good of the administration and to help everyone get on the same page regarding the pandemic.

That we're having to open the Iraq snapshot with Faucci goes to how much of a problem he has become.

Thank him for his service and send him packing.  When the spokesperson creates this much controversy, the spokesperson is the problem.  He needs to go.  The White House needs to be focused on COVID 19, not on defending Faucci.

The pandemic has not ended, not in the US, not elsewhere.  AFP reports:

Iraq on Sunday received a donation of more than 100,000 AstraZeneca doses against Covid-19 from Italy via vaccine-sharing facility Covax, the UN children's agency UNICEF said.

More than four million people in Iraq, or around 10 percent of its 40 million inhabitants, have received at least one coronavirus vaccine jab, according to the health ministry.

Healthcare workers say they are battling not just the coronavirus but also widespread scepticism over vaccines, as a result of misinformation and public mistrust in the state.

Anyone who's very presence (Faucci) sews mistrust needs to go.  That's in the US, that's anywhere.

In Iraq, the Kurdistan has continued to be attacked.  Last Thursday, Iran attacked the Kurdistan (northern area of Iraq) with bombs and drones (called "suicide drones" by the press for some reason).  Saturday, northern Iraq was attacked again.  ALJAZEERA reported:

Erbil International Airport in northern Iraq has been targeted in a drone attack, Kurdish security officials said, the latest in a series of similar incidents over the past year.

The internal security service for Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, of which Erbil is the capital, initially said three rockets had hit near the airport. 

A second statement by the Kurdish counterterrorism force said the attack had been carried out by explosive-laden drones.

While the US media ignored the bombing on Thursday and the bombings that continued to take place, Dilan Sirwan (RUDAW) noted:

At least three blasts had been heard near the airport. According to initial reports from Rudaw reporters citing security forces, the blasts occurred outside the airport perimeter. 
[. . .]

This is the fourth time this year Erbil airport has come under attack. Previous attacks were blamed on Iranian-backed Iraqi militias who have demanded United States forces withdraw from Iraq. US forces are stationed at the airport.


Seth J. Frantzman (JERUSALEM POST) added, "The area has been targeted by drones frequently over the last eight months and also by rockets in the past. Pro-Iranian groups in Iraq are alleged to use drones and rockets to target US forces at Erbil airport or threaten the US consulate in Erbil. "

No one knew who's responsible for this attack at present but, yes, Iran has been bombing the Kurdistan region -- which is where the Erbil airport is -- since Thursday.  RUDAW reported:

Iranian forces bombed the mountains around a village in northeast Erbil province on Saturday, terrifying local residents, according to the head of the village. Kurdish forces say it was an airstrike on the third day of attacks by Iran on Kurdish opposition groups based in the Kurdistan Region.

“Since 4am, Iran has been regularly bombarding the mountains in the vicinity of Barbzin, creating fear among the villagers. The lives of people who own livestock and farmers are in danger,” Mohammed Majid, mukhtar (chieftain) of the village, told Rudaw. 

The village has been under fire since Thursday when Iran launched attacks against Kurdish opposition groups located within Kurdistan Region borders, sending warplanes, drones, and suicide drones across the border. Areas around Choman, Sidakan, and Haji Omran in northeastern Erbil province are the focus of the attacks. Barbzin is located in the Sidakan area. 

Yet it wasn't until Sunday that the US media took notice and then it was only one outlet.  Sunday, Kaelan Deese (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) reported:

The U.S. military struck down two Iranian drones attacking the Erbil airport in Kurdish-held Iraq on Saturday, defense officials said.

The late attack on the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 did not come with any reports of casualties or damage, according to a spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition in northern Iraq.

"Each attack against the GoI, KRI and the Coalition undermines the authority of Iraqi institutions, the rule of law and Iraqi National sovereignty," Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Col. Wayne Marotto tweeted on Saturday. "These attacks endanger the lives of civilians and the partner forces from the ISF, Peshmerga and Coalition."

THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER covered it -- the story was then carried by YAHOO NEWS (which is where the link above goes).  MSN reposts Deese's report here.  And if you couldn't hide behind Deese, you didn't note the news because you were too busy pretending it never happened.


Multiple reasons.  In terms of Iraq, the US had stage crafted Mustafa al-Kahdimi's trip to Iran.  It came on Saturday and much to the US government's horror, that's when the latest attack took place.  The whole point was to show Mustafa as a leader in the US government's desperate bid to get Mr. Useless some votes in the October election.  Covering the bombing, Secretary of State Antony Blinkin himself told CNN was bad for ''optics'' and "off message.''  So that's how we determine what is and isn't news?  Based on what the US State Dept says can be covered and what it says can't be covered?

And Mustafa's visit to Iran on the same day only made it more news worthy.  CNN wonders why it's no longer the news outlet you can trust, well look no further than their taking orders on their coverage from Antony.

I'm so anti-State Dept these days -- that's what friends tell me.  Friends who are at the State Dept.  I don't think I'm anti-State Dept at all.  But if US tax dollars are being used to pay off Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and I know about it -- sorry about your slip up on the phone with me -- then I'm gong to note it.  And it is news and other sshould be noting it.  The US government paid off Moqtada to get him to come out in favor of the vote, this was last month.  We're the only ones with the guts to tell you.  RUDAW may deserve credit for, in recent days since we noted that pay out, tip-toeing around it.  But the US media has ignored this topic.  I don't mean, "How dare they not credit us!"  They don't have to.  The same State Dept person I was speaking to had already spoken to serveral members of the press and let slip about the pay off -- let slip?  Bragged about it.

So this is known and yet they cover it up instead of covering it.

It's amazing also because if you really want to end Moqtada al-Sadr, the easiest way is to expose him as a US-client.  That's what he is when he carries out the orders of the US government when they pay him off.

On Moqtada, to the blogger who keeps bothering me with his loud and angry e-mails telling me that I was wrong about the candidates aligned with Moqtada running for office . . .

In July or early August, I noted that a member of Moqtada's party had written at length to explain that despite Moqtada's public statements against the election, his candidates were running for office.  And since then, this blogger has bothered the public account repeatedly.

From a report RUDAW filed yesterday:

Sadr himself has never run for elected office, but he has been involved in the political scene since 2005 and his party is a current partner in the sectarian quota system. The movement secured 30 - 40 seats in each parliamentary election between 2006 and 2014. And it had no fewer than ten ministers between 2010 and 2014.

It has 90 candidates across Iraq competing in the October vote and is confident of victory, Sadrist member Hassan Faleh said in an interview with Rudaw.  

"The position of the next prime minister is the least that the Sadrist movement deserves, and we are certain that we will be the largest and strongest coalition in the next stage," Faleh said.

90 candidates.  Guess what?  August 27th, was too late for them to file to run.  That's the day Moqtada withdrew his objection to the elections.  

I'm sorry that you can't handle reality.  But, again, this member of Moqtada's political group has been e-mailing this site since 2007.  I've differed with some of his viewpoints but I've never had a problem with anything he said happened -- he's been proven right year after year.

 In other news,   Durrie Bouscaren (PRI) reports on the drought issues plaguing the region:

Muhammed Fouad, a cattle rancher, was just two years into a venture to bring affordable milk to his hometown in Iraq’s Anbar province, when — seemingly overnight — the cows started dying. 

“We brought in veterinarians from Erbil, because they were OK and suddenly dying the next day,” Fouad said in a phone call, through a translator.

The initiative left him with $350,000 in damages. Fouad had to lay off his employees and sell his home to pay his debts to the project’s investors. He now works in construction, back in Erbil.

Unprecedented drought — driven by climate change and exacerbated by upstream irrigation — is wreaking havoc on some of the world’s oldest river-fed farmlands in Iraq and Syria.

A dry winter has pushed water levels on the Tigris and Euphrates to record lows, disrupting hydroelectric power facilities and concentrating pollution in the river to undrinkable levels. Aid groups estimate that 12 million people are affected, in a crisis they warn could tip the balance of the food system and livelihoods for the entire region.

Kat's  "Kat's Korner: TREES OF THE AGES: LAURA NYRO LIVE IN JAPAN   " went up earlier today.  The following sites updated:

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