Friday, June 21, 2024

THE BIKERIDERS is a must see movie

If you're going to the movies this weekend and want a live action film, THE BIKERIDERS is what you're looking for.  This is an adult film.  Not a porno, but a grown up one for grown ups. It's about a motorcycle gang and how they evolve -- or devolve -- over a period of time.

Tom Hardy is great in the film.  I'm a big Tom fan so that didn't surprise me.  How good Austin Butler is in the film was a surprise to me. I'm new to Jody Comer -- the third lead -- but she was very good as well.

Jeff Nichols delivers as the director; however, I think Adam Stone's cinematography should make him a lock not just for an Academy Award nomination but also for the award itself.  The visuals are amazing. 

I usually write Saturday or Sunday about a movie we see on Friday but this is such a good movie.  It left me with the same kind of hyped up energy that I've only felt this intensely one other time: when I saw Scorsese's GOODFELLAS.

Oh, by the way, the press is starting to grasp what Ann and I have pointed out repeatedly -- the 'big' 'hit' BAD BOYS RIDE OR DIE is doing worse than the 2020 BAD BOYS FOR LIFE.  For example, DEADLINE notes tonight, "By Sunday the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence fourthquel will be trailing about $4M behind Bad Boys for Life at the same point in time." The same article notes that INSIDE OUT 2 will, with tonight's ticket sales, become the highest grossing film of the year (domestic).  Big surprise, it's a great movie and it did in 7 days what Little Willie Pinkett couldn't -- break box office records.

Adding this about a minute after I posted.  Mike's "BURN IT DOWN WITH KIM BROWN, MAMA'S FAMILY, the sad fadeout of Mike Lindell" is a must read.  I think he really captured why MAMA'S FAMILY didn't work the first season.


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


Friday, June 21, 2024.  As the slaughter continues in Gaza, Junior and his campaign sputter out.

June 27th, the nation will suffer through a debate with Donald Trump onstage.  It could be worse, yes, it could.  Robert Kennedy Jr could be onstage as well.  Instead, it will just be Donald and Joe Biden -- the Convicted Felon and the sitting President.  But no Junior.  Kathryn Watson (CBS NEWS) report:

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy has failed to qualify for the presidential debate with President Biden and former President Donald Trump. The debate will be hosted by CNN next week in Atlanta, on June 27. Kennedy had until 12:00:01 a.m. ET Thursday to fulfill the debate requirements.

Under CNN's criteria, a candidate must appear on a sufficient number of state ballots to be eligible to win 270 electoral votes, the number needed to win the presidency. Kennedy is on the ballot in five states — Utah, Michigan, Delaware, Oklahoma and Tennessee — for a total of 42 electoral votes. He'll also be on the ballot in California as the nominee of the American Independent Party, and in Hawaii, on his We the People ticket, which adds up to 100 potential electoral votes.

Junior is stomping his feet and crying.  It's so unfair!!!!

I'm sorry, did Junior first become famous this election cycle?  

Because I'm not remembering him ever railing against the debate system ever before.

But now that he's a candidate, he wants to whine and scream:

“My exclusion by Presidents Biden and Trump from the debate is undemocratic, un-American, and cowardly. Americans want an independent leader who will break apart the two-party duopoly,” Kennedy said in a statement. He also falsely claimed that debate is illegal.

In an effort to qualify, Kennedy filed a legal complaint to the Federal Election Commission. But the agency has not taken any action.

Junior's an idiot and a fool.

He's spent a fortune on this campaign and he's still not on all the ballots and he's not on enough ballots to qualify for the debate.  He's so good at wasting time, isn't he?  The election is less then five months away, when exactly does he plan on getting his campaign together?  

He's sent out two e-mailings in the last 12 hours.  The usual beg for money is one, the other "Urgent Call to Action: Report Censorship & Support RFK Jr." insists he's being deplatformed.

Begging for money and whining about a 'documentary' about himself allegedly being 'censored.'

Robert F. Kennedy is dead and no where is that more apparent than in the actions of his son Junior.

RFK didn't make his campaign for the Democratic Party's 1968 presidential nomination about himself.  He made about the people and what they needed.  But Junior, who's achieved far less in his 70 years than his own father did in 42, does not focus on people.  He's self-centered and self-obsessed.  His vanity is his destruction.  And if that comes as a surprise to you, you do realize he's on steroids, right?  He's 70 and he takes steroids for those topless photo shoots he loves so much.  

Junior doesn't know anything oor care about anything unless it effects him.

Which is why he's acted as though he can wait until the day before the election to qualify for ballot access.

He's not in the debate, he didn't qualify, he needs to stop whining.

But this is Junior.

"The new head of NPR is a CIA agent," Kennedy declared at a New York campaign fundraiser in April, drawing gasps from some of his supporters.
He was specifically referring to Katherine Maher, who nearly two months earlier became NPR's CEO and president after a long career in international development and digital advocacy. At the fundraiser, Kennedy said Maher's hiring at NPR was just the latest salvo in the CIA's "systematic takeover of the American press, particularly the liberal media."
Kennedy continues to amplify such claims at campaign events, in media interviews, and on social media, supporting them with what experts described to ABC News as "half-truths," "intimations," misinterpretations of law, and twisted historical anecdotes. He often cites widespread -- but utterly unsubstantiated -- allegations that a CIA program supposedly called "Operation Mockingbird" secretly recruited journalists decades ago to help brainwash Americans.
"Operation Mockingbird is alive and well today," Kennedy has said repeatedly in recent months.

And it's coming from inside the campaign!!!!

Amaryllis Fox Kennedy.  That's his 43 year old daughter in law and campaign manager -- and former CIA officer!

Oh, Junior, it was all a deep CIA plot to plant Amaryllis into your campaign and deep six it!!!! In 2010, she officially left the CIA while secretly assigned to her new mission OUTFOX JUNIOR!!!! and she circled RFK III until he married her in 2018 thereby putting her in place to disrupt your 2024 campaign!!!! 

As crazy as my sarcastic comments are, they probably make more sense than Junior's crazy ones. 

He is not up to the job and that's clear by his sorry campaign and all the money he's wasted. 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign raised $2.6 million in May and had just over $6.4 million in cash on hand at the end of the month, according to new filings, a paltry sum compared to the fundraising juggernauts behind his two major competitors.

Kennedy’s independent presidential bid announced the tepid fundraising haul in Federal Election Commission filings Wednesday. The documents show his team spent $6.3 million in May as he worked to gain access to ballots around the country and appear at next week’s presidential debate on CNN.

About $2.7 million of that figure went to a consulting firm that specializes in ballot access.

Those efforts appeared to be in vain on Wednesday before a midnight deadline, with the network requiring candidates to appear on enough ballots to have a shot at winning the White House, as well as receive at least 15% in four national polls. 

He has been steadily declining in the polls for months and now sits at around 7 percent, down from nearly 20 percent in the fall. It’s possible, meanwhile, that many of his biggest fans may not even get the chance to vote for him—he currently only has enough signatures to appear on the ballot in just nine states. And he’s hemorrhaging cash. If not for his vice president—an unknown tech billionaire who may have been selected because her immense wealth has allowed her to fund their political operations—his campaign may very well be flat broke. It raised a paltry $2.6 million in May, suggesting that no one really wants to give him money.  Kennedy is, in other words, spending millions to be on the ballot in a handful of states and is only getting less popular in the process. 

On Thursday, Kennedy’s campaign got even more bad news. He would not be appearing at next week’s presidential debate due to his low poll numbers. The candidate was apoplectic. “My exclusion by Presidents Biden and Trump from the debate is undemocratic, un-American, and cowardly,” Kennedy Jr. seethed in a statement released soon after CNN announced that he didn’t make the count. “Americans want an independent leader who will break apart the two-party duopoly. They want a President who will heal the divide, restore the middle class, unwind the war machine, and end the chronic disease epidemic.”

That may be true—at the very least Americans certainly say they want those things in a leader when polled. But it’s abundantly clear that they don’t want Robert F. Kennedy Jr. The candidate should be grateful he didn’t make the cut—appearing in next week’s debate would only accelerate his campaign’s demise. 

The biggest problem with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s campaign is that voters do not like him. That’s not an overstatement. Last October, his favorability rating, per 538’s average, was plus eight points; he was, around the same period, regularly polling in the 15-20 percent range. His favorability rating today is minus nine points; he has been polling in the high single digits for months. 

On the upcoming election, let's note this from Tyler Walicek (TRUTHOUT):

During presidential primary elections this spring, a nationwide network of organizers under the banner of the Uncommitted movement rolled out a groundswell campaign across nine states urging participants to vote in protest of President Joe Biden’s role in the Gaza genocide. With November’s Trump-Biden rematch not yet an entirely foregone conclusion, the primaries offered an opportunity to send a message to elected officials. Uncommitted campaigners argued that instead of reflexively backing the presumptive Democratic candidate, the voting public, a majority of whom disapprove of the administration’s record on Gaza, should take the chance to register their distaste, aiming to motivate Biden to use the U.S.’s considerable influence on Israel to halt its attacks.

The organizers of Uncommitted campaigns cited both strategic and ethical arguments for the protest vote. The latter, in short, is that the Democratic establishment — which has been in many respects directly complicit with Israel’s perpetration of genocide — must not be rewarded for its involvement in a world-historical crime.

Now, at the conclusion of the primaries, it appears that the Uncommitted campaigners’ energies were well spent. After weeks of fevered organizing and turnout efforts, the “uncommitted” vote scored substantial percentages in multiple primaries, including 13 percent of the vote in Michigan.

Let's note this from yesterday's THE NEWSHOUR (PBS).


  • Geoff Bennett:

    Today, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated criticism the Biden administration calls untrue and unfair, that the U.S. has withheld weapons Israel needs to fight the war in Gaza.

    The diplomatic spat between the prime minister and the Biden White House comes as simmering tensions between Netanyahu and his own military boiled over.

    Nick Schifrin is here with more — Nick.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    For months, even years, military officials in Israel have often disagreed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but most military criticism of Israel's longest-serving leader is made anonymously or after retirement.

    This week, though, Israel's Defense Forces' top spokesman made public the military's concerns about Netanyahu's repeated claim of total victory over Hamas.

  • Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, Spokesperson, Israeli Defense Forces (through interpreter):

    The political echelon has to decide and the Israel Defense Forces will implement. But this business, this business of destroying Hamas, making Hamas disappear, it's simply throwing sand in the eyes of the public. If we don't bring something else to Gaza, then at the end of the day, we will get Hamas.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    So how significant is this public criticism by the military of the prime minister? And how does it play into the diplomatic tensions between Netanyahu and the Biden administration?

    For answers to that, we turn to Laura Blumenfeld, a former senior policy adviser on the State Department's Israeli-Palestinian negotiating team and currently a senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

    Laura Blumenfeld, thanks very much. Welcome to the "NewsHour."

    So, how significant is this public military criticism of the prime minister?

    Laura Blumenfeld, Senior Fellow, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies: I think it's very significant.

    I think the IDF recognizes, while they may be winning militarily, they're losing morally, and that has long-term strategic implications for Israel's security.

    This idea of indecision, I think what they're saying to the prime minister is, take a position and defend it. The prime minister cannot be an undecided voter. We need you to support our ask for Ultra-Orthodox fighters. Our forces are depleted.

    Number two, we have a political horizon that we're looking for that we can aim for militarily, and we don't want to occupy the Gaza Strip after the war. I remember spending time with the last military commander of Gaza before Israel withdrew, and he wore what I recall was the Gaza mask.

    It was this combination of dust, sweat, and the smell of regret. We rode around in a Jeep while kids were throwing stones at him, and he said: "This is the most morally corrosive thing for our state and ultimately for our security."

  • Nick Schifrin:

    For Netanyahu, this is not only about what is now a public spot with the military. It's also tensions within his coalition.

    And, this week, he released a statement saying — quote — I demand that all coalition partners get a hold of themselves and rise to the importance of the hour, put aside every other consideration, put aside all extraneous interests, line up as one together behind our fighters."

    How fractious is this coalition, and how important are those tensions?

  • Laura Blumenfeld:

    Well, look, he needs the coalition in order to exercise what he calls the cease-fire deal, which is the most important priority right now for the Israeli public.

    And to get to that deal, he's going to have to keep his coalition together. There are sort of some behind-the-scenes assurances and winks from the United States that maybe Lapid and some of his opposition members will support him. But he's got to be able to pull this through for the Israeli public.

    That is the number one demand and he's responding to it, or he's trying to.

  • Meanwhile ALJAZEERA notes, "Broadcaster Al-Aqsa TV announced via Telegram that one of its journalists, Salim al-Sharafa, was targeted in an Israeli bombing in the Gaza Strip a short while ago." At least 108 journalists have already been killed in the ongoing slaughter.  Salim is the latest. 

    Israeli forces killed another journalist in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, bringing the total number of Palestinian media workers' deaths since Oct. 7, 2023, to 152.

    The Government Media Office in Gaza identified the victim as Salim al-Sharafa, who worked as a presenter and journalist for local broadcaster Al-Aqsa TV. The statement, however, did not elaborate on how or where he was killed.

    The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the war in Gaza has become "the deadliest for journalists" since it began documenting journalist killings worldwide in 1992.

    In February, the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, said the war in Gaza has seen the highest levels of violence against journalists in 30 years.

    Gaza remains under assault. Day 259 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  THE NATIONAL notes, "Gaza death toll reaches 37,431, with 85,653 injured."    Months ago,  AP  noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  February 7th, Jeremy Scahill explained on DEMOCRACY NOW! that "there’s an estimated 7,000 or 8,000 Palestinians missing, many of them in graves that are the rubble of their former home."  February 5th, the United Nations' Phillipe Lazzarini Tweeted:


    April 11th, Sharon Zhang (TRUTHOUT) reported, "In addition to the over 34,000 Palestinians who have been counted as killed in Israel’s genocidal assault so far, there are 13,000 Palestinians in Gaza who are missing, a humanitarian aid group has estimated, either buried in rubble or mass graves or disappeared into Israeli prisons.  In a report released Thursday, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said that the estimate is based on initial reports and that the actual number of people missing is likely even higher."

    As for the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."

    Meanwhile, how's that 'tactical pause' doing?  THE NATIONAL notes this morning:

    A "tactical pause" declared by the Israeli military in Gaza to enable aid flows has had no impact on deliveries of the badly-needed aid, the UN's health agency said on Friday.

    "Overall, we the UN can say that we did not see an impact on the humanitarian supplies coming in since that, I will say unilateral, announcement of this technical pause," said Richard Peeperkorn, the World Health Organisation representative in the Palestinian territories.

    "That is the overall assessment".

    The following sites updated:

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