Monday, December 19, 2016

Is there a reason Paul Krugman lies?

Let's not mince words, Paul Krugman is such a little bitch.

  1. I stuck my neck way out -- I was pretty much the only major-paper writer saying that we were being lied into war. So this is annoying 4/
  2. You might want to look at what I was actually saying, compared to everyone else: 3/
  3. What really gets me here is the final bit about "Paul Krugman, who was mostly silent during the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq" 2/
  4. I don't waste much time on the anti-anti-Russian left, but this was forwarded to me by friends 1/

He was not calling out WMD.

His memory's as bad as Donald Trump's.

"George W. Queeg" (Paul Krugman, NYT):
Over the past few weeks there has been an epidemic of epiphanies. There’s a long list of pundits who previously supported Bush’s policy on Iraq but have publicly changed their minds. None of them quarrel with the goal; who wouldn’t want to see Saddam Hussein overthrown? But they are finally realizing that Mr. Bush is the wrong man to do the job. And more people than you would think.

That's from his March 14, 2003.

He's not questioning WMD.  He's not questioning starting a war.

He just does not think Bully Boy Bush can pull it off.

Paul Krugman is a weasel and a liar.

"TV: HULU, 8 or so years on" (Ava and C.I., THE THIRD ESTATE SUNDAY REVIEW):
SHUT EYE is a caper show.  It's about a married couple working a con -- played by Jeffrey Donovan and KaDee Strickland -- as psychics for a Roma gypsy mob.

Over ten episodes, the couple plot and plan to get out from under the mob -- while Donovan's Charlie actually manages to develop psychic powers.

If that's all the show offered, it would still be a success on pure entertainment terms.

But what really made the December offering a success was Isabella Rossellini's performance as Rita. SPOILERS follow.

Rita's the mother of mobster Fonzo (Angus Sampson).

And from the start, she was shudder inducing.  Charlie's sister is caught in a lie and, to punish her, Rita has mobsters hold her down while Rita carves letters into the woman's face.

She's not at all troubled by what she's doing or by the screaming taking place as she does it.

Throughout later episodes, she goads and admonishes her son.

This includes when, to end a beef, she forces Fonzo to marry off one of his under-age daughters.

Fonzo is torn up over committing his daughter to another family and destroying her life.  He tells his mother, at one point, that he wishes he'd had a son.  Rita eyes him up and down before replying that so does she.

It all ends with Rita set up for murder by her own son and carted off to prison.

The role of Rita is scary and juicy, the kind of role that too often doesn't exist for a woman of any age, let alone one over forty.

Isabella runs with the role and, in the process, HULU can boast of something truly memorable as 2016 winds down.  With any luck, they'll build on that in 2017.

Isabella really is great in this series.

I've been trying to figure out how they do a season two?

They have to have her character (Rita) back in some form.

She can be on trial, for example.

But they can't do the show without Rita unless the couple is just fleeing all the Romas.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Monday, December 19, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the slog in Mosul continues, Reporters Without Borders notes the deaths of 2016 and much more.

Iraq -- the war that never ends.  March will mark 14 years of war.

Or at least this round.

  1. So 2 divert the attention from next session, decided 2 attack by massive missiles in operation
1998, President Clinton announced military strikes against Iraq.

Yep, last week was the anniversary of Bill Clinton bombing Iraq.

The US government has been destroying the people of Iraq for years.

Always to 'help.'

Currently, US President Barack Obama 'helps' by dropping bombs on Iraq daily.  He's been helping like that since August 2014.

He's also helped by backing Shi'ite miliiats and their War Crimes as they 'liberate' cities in Iraq like Mosul currently and Falluja more recently.

More than five months after was liberated from ,none of its 350,000 residents has returned home.


What a 'success' story.

Wonder what the Iraq exhibit will look like at the Obama presidential museum?

Maybe they can offer a multi-media exhibit?

If so, they should include some video.

Iraqi Sunni civilian Burning to death brutally by Iraqi army in

It's day 63 of the Mosul slog.

And there's no end in sight.

Missy Ryan and Mustafa Salim (WASHINGTON POST) report, "Doctors in an array of medical facilities around Mosul -- including military run field clinics and mobile treatment centers -- are struggling to keep up with demand as the offensive against the Islamic State grinds on."

Hungry, Thirsty and Bloodied in Battle to Retake Mosul From ISIS

Awara Hamid (NIQASH) speaks with the commander of the Golden Division forces, Major General Fadhil Jalil Barwari:

NIQASH: Can you tell us a little more about who is fighting in Mosul and where?

Barwari: In addition to our own Golden Division forces, there are the 15th, the 9th and the 16th Divisions fighting – but many haven’t yet entered the city. Some of them got to the city entrances but they haven’t come in. Our own forces – three brigades - are being assisted by other counter-terrorism troops and we are really fighting an urban war, street by street.

NIQASH: And how do you find working with the international coalition, formed to fight the IS group?

Barwari: Our relationship with the international coalition is a very good one. There is a very high level of coordination between us. But the artillery and planes cannot bomb areas inside Mosul because many people have stayed in their houses.

NIQASH: Being Kurdish yourself, how would you describe the relationship between your forces and the Iraqi Kurdish military, also known as the Peshmerga?

Barwari: The agreement that the Iraqi army and the Peshmerga came to was excellent. It’s the first time the two forces have fought together and it really works. It’s a very positive step.

NIQASH: So, when do you expect Mosul to be completely free and clear of the extremists?

Barwari: It’s not possible to put a date on this. We are advancing slowly, to try and keep civilians safe. And we want to maintain the Golden Division’s reputation; we don’t want anyone to suffer because of us.

2 army commandos killed in eastern blast

Reporters Without Borders notes at the top of their webiste:

Since January 2016 :

Here, we call it 75 journalists.

Somehow, they end up with 74 journalists killed this year and they note in (PDF format warning) "ROUND-UP 2016 of journalists killed worldwide:"

A total of 74 journalists were murdered or killed in connection with their work in 2016, compared with 101 last year.  This significant fall is due in part to the fact that more and more journalists are fleeing countries that have become too dangerous: not only Syria, Iraq, and Libya, but also Yemen, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Burundi, which have now also become, to varying degrees, news and information black holes where impunity reigns.

The five deadliest countries were Syria (19 killed), Afghanistan (10 killed), Mexico (9 killed), Iraq (7 killed) and Yemen (5 killed).

From the report:

Targeted by Islamic State in the Iraqi city of Mosul
Journalists have been risking their lives again to cover the military offensive launched in mid-October with the aim of recovering Mosul, a city in northern Iraq that has been under Islamic State control since June 2014.  Embedded with Iraqi government forces and Kurdish units, reporters, cameramen, photographers and other media personnel have been targeted by Islamic State's snipers and suicide bombers. Ali Raysan, 33, a cameraman with Iraq's Al-Sumaria TV, was killed by an IS sniper while filming fighting near Al-Shura, a village south of Mosul, on 22 October.  The day before, Ahmed Hajer Oglu, 30, a reporter for Turkmeneli TV, was fatally shot by an IS sniper while covering clashes between Peshmerga forces and IS fighters in the city of Kirkuk (170 km southeast of Mosul), where IS launched a counter-offensive.  At least 14 journalists were wounded during the first week of the offensive.

Lastly, a topic we'll note more later this week . . .

In the past 13 years the Christian population in Iraq has gone from approx 1.6 million to less than 150,000.

New content at THIRD:

And Kat's "Kat's Korner: John Legend can sing, it's making albums he struggles with" went up Sunday.

The e-mail address for this site is