Tuesday, August 7, 2018

The Meg

Thursday night (probably late), The Meg comes out.

A few e-mails are asking me if I plan to see it since I love sci-fi?

I'm late in terms of movies.  I don't know if I've seen anything since Book Club.  I want to see Mission Impossible, for example.  I've lost interest in a lot of the super hero films.

But The Meg?

I might see it.  It looks good.  It looks funny.  If it's sci-fi, the thing I don't get is why it's not sci-fi in its promotion.  I saw the long trailer at a movie this summer.  Not Book Club.  I can't remember what it was.  But it was a long preview and it had laughs galore.  Rain Wilson, for example.

It was just a little too light hearted for me to take seriously.

And that's fine, I like silly movies.  But if it were being pitched as real sci-fi, I'd be eager to see it.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Tuesday, August 7, 2018.

We're going to start with something non-Iraq at all (we'll also be ending with something non-Iraq).  I know Illeana Douglas and have known her for years.  As Rebecca noted last month, I first heard of Leslie Moonves' assault of Illeana years ago.  At THIRD this week, we did "Unlike Alyssa Milano, we'll stand with Illeana Douglas."  (Ann offered "Alyssa Milano reveals she doesn't give a damn about women" last night.)

Alyssa Milano is not who she claims or self-presents as.  Rose McGowan rightly called her a lie.  Though Corey Feldman was sympathetic to her, he publicly mocked her -- rightly so -- when she claimed she never had any idea that he or Corey Haim had been molested as children.  She knew.  She claims she never knew that Brad Kern was abusive to women on the set of CHARMED -- where she was a producer.  Everyone else knew.  There were complaints.  Repeated complaints.  She took a producer's credit (and pay) and it was her job to provide a safe work environment.  She failed.  To TIME magazine and others, she has presented herself as the head of #MeToo (after stealing the phrase from African-American  woman Tarana Burke -- one of her many cultural appropriations).  Yet though she Tweets over and over daily, she's still not Tweeted about Illeana or any of the other women who spoke out in Ronan Farrow's NEW YORKER piece.

Not one Tweet.  CAA is the reason I'm not part of #MeToo.  CAA pimped out women constantly.  There's a foreign actress who appeared in several hit films and was used by CAA before and after.  They pimped her out.  She remains destroyed today.  (If she chooses to tell her story publicly, I will support her.  Currently, she's still in therapy attempting to deal with what they put her through.)  Alyssa's married to CAA's David Bugliari and Alyssa's a "CAA speaker" that you can 'book.'

Alyssa's silence backs up everything many of us have long said.  She's is not a friend to women, she is stilted actress determined to self-promote, desperate for a career.  She is not about empowering women.  She's is about co-opting anything she can.

As for CBS, Leslie is part of a long pattern there that began with William Paley and the hell he put his wife (Babe Paley through) -- one affair after another, while he stopped having sex with her early in their marriage, his refusal to allow her to raise their children or even hug them in front of him.  He was pure filth and set the tone all those years ago.  CBS has always been hostile to women.  Most networks would be thrilled to have a hit show but CBS has always only been thrilled to have a hit show if it starred men.  Whether we're talking DESIGNING WOMEN, CAGNEY & LACEY, CYBILL, THE NANNY or the now returning MURPHY BROWN, CBS repeatedly undercuts and undermines their programs with female leads, undercutting them, pushing them through one time change after another, etc., etc.  At THIRD, Ava and I have long documented the institutional sexism at CBS and we've done it for a reason.

Leslie is guilty and if I were Julie Chen, sleeping with my married boss and then lucky enough to get him to leave his wife for me, I guess I'd rush forward to defend him too.  I mean, what career would Julie have if she hadn't slept with Leslie?  None at all.  I could go on and on here.

The point is Illeana told the truth and has been telling it to a number of us over the years.  And CBS has made clear that they do not take harassment seriously by allowing Moonves to remain on the job while he is under investigation.  He should be put on administrative leave.  Anything less goes to CBS not taking the issue seriously.  He is accused of harassment and attempted rape.  These are serious charges.  If you take them seriously, you put him on administrative leave until the investigation is over.  Otherwise?  You're saying work safety and the right of women to be safe at work does not matter.

Grasp that fake ass Alyssa is not just refusing to stand up for Illeana, she's refusing to stand up for women who may encounter Leslie.  He needs to be removed during the investigation.

Meanwhile, protests continue in Iraq.

Why?  Each year, Iraq rakes in billion from oil sales.  And the World Bank estimates the current population of Iraq to be 37.2 million.

With that kind of money coming in and that small of a population, meeting the needs of the people should be easy.

But it hasn't been.  The World Bank notes, for example, "The poverty rate increased from 19.8 percent in 2012 to an estimated 22.5 percent in 2014."  How does that happen?  Government corruption.  Politicians and officials stealing the public's money.

And it leaves nothing for the people.  Hence the video below.

Another video of Iraqi children eating from the garbage.


Live Right: The Protests Pockets of are ongoing throughout cities in the south of the country, perhaps not as large as in recent weeks, but will the same demands of electricity, potable water and employment. looks at the situation. 🇮🇶💪🏼

0:08 / 1:29


The corruption has enriched many.  Nouri al-Maliki's son, for example, has some really swank living spaces in England and some really sporty cars.  That's nice for a man who's never really worked in his life.  But that's awful for the Iraqi people.

The Iraqi people are protesting to save their lives.  They are risking their lives with these ongoing protests and 14 have already died.

The excessive violence and cruelty used by the Iraqi security forces ended the lives of 14 demonstrators in 10 days of ongoing protests calling for economic and service improvements," the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights said."

They are demanding basic rights including access to electricity and potable water, including jobs.

These protests are now a month old and it's amazing how many of the Twitter 'social justice warriors' have ignored these protests.

Why do they have to protest?

Among other things because the US government destroyed Iraq with the (ongoing) war.  The US still bombs Iraq.  Monday, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq yesterday.
On Aug. 4 near Dulab, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against ISIS targets, destroying two ISIS tunnels.
On Aug. 3 near Wadi Ashai, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against an ISIS tactical unit.
There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq on Aug. 2.
On Aug. 1 near Wadi Ashai, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets, destroying two ISIS-held buildings and three ISIS supply caches.
On July 31 near Wadi Ashai and Wadi Zagatoon, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS-held building.

On 30 July 30 near Wadi Ashai, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of an engagement against ISIS targets. The strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.

The US government turned Iraq into a land of widows and orphans.  And it compounded the problems by 'selecting' Iraq's prime ministers.  Yesterday, we went over Nouri al-Maliki and Barack Obama, then-US president, selected Hayder al-Abadi to replace him in 2014.  (After Nouri's actions led to the rise of ISIS in Iraq.)

Supporting Abadi "was the easy way for the US to try to protect the gains it has made in Iraq over the last four years without having to do the substantial groundwork that would have been required to build up a range of political alternatives"

From Tamer El-Ghobashy and Mustafa Salim's WASHINGTON POST report:

For the United States, this recent turn exposes a weakness in a strategy that centered on supporting Abadi in the hope that his message of anti-sectarian nationalism would translate into a new era of Iraqi politics.

That is what the US government maintains but that is a lie.

Barack, in 2010, could have supported an anit-sectarian nationalism.  It is what the voters chose by voting Iraqiya.  But Barack overturned the votes of the Iraqi people with The Erbil Agreement to give Nouri al-Maliki a second term.  Four years later, he replaced Nouri with Hayder.

Nouri was Dawa (political party).  So is Hayder.  Nouri created State of Law (political slate).  Hayder belonged to it.

Hayder was Nouri.

He was never the face of anti-sectarian nationalism and the continued bombing of civilians homes in Falluja by the Iraqi government once Hayder became prime minister made that clear.

It's a lie.

The lies need to end.

Okay, we're winding down. We're not this from Senator Mazie Hirono's office:

August 03, 2018

Hirono Introduces Legislation to Protect Medicare and Medicaid from Partisan Attacks

Bill Would Require Supermajority to Make Major Changes to Critical Health Care Programs After Promising to Protect Medicare and Medicaid During Campaign, Donald Trump has Proposed Nearly $2 Trillion in Cuts to both programs in his FY 19 Budget

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Mazie K. Hirono and 15 Senate Democrats introduced the Medicare and Medicaid Protect Act, legislation that would protect these cornerstone health care programs from partisan attacks through the budget reconciliation process.

“For the past 53 years, Medicare and Medicaid have provided a crucial lifeline to hundreds of thousands of Hawaii residents who rely on these programs to access health care and long-term nursing care,” Senator Hirono. “But over the past year and a half, Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans have tried to gut Medicaid. They began threatening so-called ‘entitlement reform’—code for Medicare cuts—to rein in the debt and deficit even before ramming through budget busting tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. This legislation would protect Medicare, Medicaid, and the millions of Americans who depend on these programs.”

The Medicare and Medicaid Protection Act is co-sponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

“The millions of Wisconsinites who rely on Medicare and Medicaid deserve to know that their care will be there when they need it most,” Senator Baldwin said. “We need to protect Medicare and Medicaid and the quality, affordable health care coverage it provides.”

“I will not allow cuts to healthcare Ohioans rely on to pay for handouts to millionaires and corporations that ship jobs overseas,” Senator Brown said.

“Together, Medicare and Medicare provide health insurance for over 100 million Americans, including over 400,000 individuals in Delaware. These vital programs that have provided life-saving care for the past 53 years should not be subject to partisan attacks, and any efforts to improve the care they provide should be considered on a transparent and bipartisan basis with robust input from the public,” Senator Carper said. “I believe we have a moral obligation to protect the least of these in our society, and this legislation upholds that commitment by preserving beneficiaries’ access to Medicare and Medicaid and comprehensive health care for the generation to come.”

“Medicare and Medicaid have empowered millions of Americans to access vital health care over the past century. Yet, Congressional Republicans have not given up their efforts to cut Medicare and eliminate Medicaid for millions of families in Illinois and across the country,” Senator Duckworth said. “It’s clear that the American people must never take Medicare and Medicaid for granted, which is why I am proud to join Senator Hirono and more than a dozen of my colleagues in this effort to protect seniors, Veterans, working families and people with disabilities and ensure they have access to the healthcare they have earned.”

“For more than 50 years, Medicare and Medicaid have been delivering health care to seniors and some of our most vulnerable citizens, including those who experience disabilities,” Senator Hassan said. “Unfortunately, these critical programs have been under constant partisan attacks from the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress, threatening the health and well-being of countless Granite Staters and Americans. This commonsense bill will help safeguard Medicare and Medicaid from reckless attacks that undermine these vital programs.”

“Millions of Americans rely on Medicare and Medicaid every day for essential health care,” Senator Merkley said. “These programs represent a basic, fundamental compact with America’s working families. The promise of Medicare and Medicaid is a promise that needs to be kept.”

The Medicare and Medicaid Protection act would create a budget point of order to prevent changes to Medicare that raise the eligibility age, change eligibility requirements, or privatize and voucherize the program. The amendment would also prevent block granting Medicaid or rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion – policies that would limit resources to states and result in people losing their coverage. Any changes to either program would require a supermajority vote in the

Earlier this week, Senator Hirono advocated for aggressive action to protect Medicare and Medicaid from partisan attacks as both programs celebrated their 53rd anniversary during a speech on the Senate floor.

The Medicare and Medicaid Protect Action builds on Senator Hirono’s amendment to the FY 2017 Budget Resolution that would have required a supermajority of the Senate to approve major changes to Medicare and Medicaid. The amendment, which was co-sponsored by Senator Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and 32 Senate Democrats, secured bi-partisan support in a 49-47 Senate floor vote, but did not meet the 60 vote threshold necessary for additional consideration.


The following community sites -- as well as a few non-community ones -- updated:

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