Monday, May 13, 2019

Ken Silverstein, Marco Rubio, NETFLIX

At WASHINGTON BABYLON, Ken Silverstein has an article on US Senator Maro Rubio screaming for war on Venezuela:

So if regime change in Venezuela were to happen, the new sh*t heads in charge, who are backed by Little Marco, will cut off oil shipments to Havana and children will starve, the Cuban government could fall and right-wing sh*t heads will take power. Little Marco believes he will greatly benefit from all of this because he’ll become an even greater hero to the right-wing anti-Cuba lobby in the U.S., raise more money from these cretins and become president one day even though he’s too ignorant to read from a teleprompter in Spanish or English.

We noted Ken's Sunday Tweet about this upcoming report at THIRD in "Best tease."  Make a point to read the article. 

Since I'm noting THIRD, let me note Ava and C.I.'s "TV: NETFLIX continues to underwhelm:"

We long ago suggested that NETFLIX needed to build up their own inventory of movies -- we meant good movies.  But these days, they can't even do a series right.  We seriously question what was the point of green-lighting BONDING?

There's no story there.  A show about a dominatrix and her gay male assistant could be interesting if it was the backdrop for a crime show, a mystery/suspense, maybe even a comedy with an actual overall storyline.  BONDING has nothing but boredom as it struggles along.  The only inspired moment was when Alex Hurt's Frank asked Pete (Brendan Scannell) to finger him -- inspired because Frank is supposed to be straight.  But that really didn't justify seven episodes of a show.

Especially one that pretends to be something that it actually isn't.  Zoe Levin plays Tiffany, the dominatrix.  As the show moves along, we learn what a softy she is, what a sweet and misunderstood girl and the whole thing goes icky and gooey.  If you're going to do S&M, do S&M.  We are so sick of the typical treatment: A man is the sub for a few minutes but to reassure the audience he quickly tops the woman.  See BODY OF EVIDENCE or EXIT TO EDEN or any of it.  And add to that list BONDING -- which debuts with the same-old same-old the same year Gregg Araki's NOW APOCALYPSE shreds media stereotypes.

NOW APOCALYPSE is on STARZ.  These days, more and more of what you'd expect NETFLIX to offer can be found elsewhere.  And that's happening as NETFLIX keeps axing favorite shows.  Add SANTA CLARITA DIET to the list of casualties.  After the fallout from the mass cancellations of MARVEL shows, NETFLIX began floating to the press the notion that they really only needed three seasons of a show to be successful.  This was blindly accepted by the press in the same way that they accept NETFLIX's claim of streams for TV shows and movies.

A real press would have pondered that claim.  They only need three seasons?  Then the show is dead.  But it's still attracting viewers?  Really?  Is TV LAND ruling the ratings with reruns?  And do thirty episode shows really make it big in syndication?

NETFLIX is still running in the red and still borrowing money.  As yet, their 'model' has failed to turn a profit.  Why is the media in the US so shy about making that point or about questioning the claims the NETFLIX execs make?  It's almost as though the whole thing is a Ponzi scheme and the press is afraid telling the truth will cause it to all toppled to the ground.

Too much money is going out and too little is coming in.  How is that a successful business model?  And no money should have gone into WINE COUNTRY.  The shooting script should never have made it into production.  That it did -- that BONDING got a green light -- raises serious doubt about the future of NETFLIX.

If you've seen WINE COUNTRY, make a point to read the start of the review where they detail everything that's wrong with that NETFLIX film.  It really is awful and you have to wonder why NETFLIX wasted money on it.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Monday, May 13, 2019.

Sixteen years into this wave of the Iraq War and success!  No, kidding.  Just more failure.  The latest sign of how poorly the never-ending war is going?  The US Embassy in Baghdad issued the following:

Security Alert – U. S. Embassy Baghdad, Iraq (May 12, 2019)

Event:  The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad advises all U.S. citizens of heightened tensions in Iraq and the requirement to remain vigilant.
Actions to Take:

  • Do not travel to Iraq
  • Avoid places known as U.S. citizen gathering points.
  • Keep a low profile
  • Be aware of your surroundings
U.S. Embassy Baghdad
Al-Kindi Street, International Zone, Baghdad
Telephone (during business hours)
From Iraq:  0760-030-3000;
From the United States:  301-985-8841
U.S. Citizen Emergency After-Hours Telephone (ask for the duty officer)
From Iraq:  0760-030-3000;
From the United States:  301-985-8841

Nothing spells success for the US government like an advisory that US citizens "do not travel to Iraq."

Lies started the Iraq War, lies continue around the Iraq War.

The commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces said he hoped American troops would stay in Syria, pointing to the American departure from Iraq in 2011, which was followed by the rise of Islamic State. “They must not make the same mistake,” he warned.

No surprise that the nonsense would appear in THE NEW YORK TIMES -- no outlet did more to sell the Iraq War.  No, Judith Miller was not the only one selling it at that paper.

The US departure in 2011 did not allow for the rise of ISIS.  Nouri al-Maliki is responsible for that.  The Iraqi people saw a crazed tyrant and they turned out, in March 2010, to vote him out as prime minister.  The election was in March.  When did Iraq get a prime minister that year?  November.  Why?

Because Nouri refused to step down and idiots like the then-US Ambassador to Iraq Chris Hill, idiots like Samantha Power and idiots like Susan Rice advised Barack Obama that Nouri was their guy.  Idiot Barack went along with it.  Instead of insisting that Nouri honor the democratic election results, Barack tasked US diplomats with negotiating The Erbil Agreement which nullified the will of the people, set aside the actual vote and gave Nouri a second term.

In his second term, he only grew worse.  He is the reason for the rise of ISIS.  He was the one arresting innocent people without an arrest warrant, throwing them into secret prisons and torture chambers, he was the one ordering the abuse of Iraqi girls and women, he was the one calling on Iraqi people to kill suspected lesbians and gays, he was the one having the press arrested, he was the one bombing residential areas of Falluja, he was the one arresting protesters . . .  We'd need several snapshots just to review all that he did.

Nouri is responsible for the rise of ISIS.

As for the ridiculous Syrian Democratic Forces?  Uh, aren't you fighters?  Why do you need the US to breast feed you?  Are you not able to stand up on your own?

Barack had the US fighting ISIS and al Qaeda in Iraq while supporting it in Syria.  That's a policy screw up that he will never escape.

On the topic of ISIS, RT has a documentary about what life was like under ISIS in Iraq.

Meanwhile, AL-MANAR reports:

Iraq’s Hashd Shaabi volunteer forces announced on Sunday a plan to redeploy in Nineveh governorate.
A commander in the Hashd, which is also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), Raed Al-Karawi, said the PMF is to redeploy across the governorate, noting that coordination with the Iraqi army and security forces are going on.

This move takes place as Nineveh has a new governor.  RUDAW reports:

The Nineveh Provincial Council elected Mansour Marid as its new governor on Monday.

He is from the Ataa Movement that confirmed the news.

The 39-member provincial council voted him in with 28 votes.

The political group is close to the Hashd al-Shaabi and Iraqi National Security Advisor Falah al-Fayyadh.

How long Mansour Marid will be in office is anyone's guess.  If the past is any indication, he's highly likely to be removed from office as happened to his immediate predecessors Nawfal Hamadi and Atheel al-Nujaifi.  Nujaifi was kicked out by the Baghdad-based central government because Mosul was seized by ISIS.  That was the excuse, anyway.  Two years prior to that, Nouri al-Maliki was trying to remove Atheel from office.  Ramadi, Mosul, Falluja, etc. were seized by ISIS and the person sacked for that was the governor of Nineveh?  Not the prime minister of Iraq?

As for Nawfal Hamadi, he was also part of a long effort to force him out of office.  The council voted him out of office long before the ferry disaster earlier this year.

RUDAW notes there was an effort to stop the vote:r.

Doubts over the Council’s ability to elect a new governor are rife. The Council, whose role includes overseeing governorate budget plans, itself faces accusations of corruption following an investigation launched by Iraq's Integrity Commission, with many calling for its dissolution. It was found that nearly $64 million from funds allocated for reconstruction projects had been embezzled.

[. . .]

In the run up to the vote that was supposed to take place in an Iraqi parliament session on May 2, a video statement was released by a group of Nineveh MPs, which said "Our people in the province of Nineveh are awaiting the decision of the Iraqi parliament to dissolve, members of who directly or indirectly deliberately caused in wasting funds or stealing them on part of the local government."

But parliament allegedly removed the vote on the fate of the Council from its agenda, much to the MPs' dismay.

New governor Mansour Marid is backed by the Ataa Movement that is close to Hashd al-Shaabi and NSA Al-Fayyadh

Mustafa Habib details other issues with the election.

Dangerous developments in . While the city suffers of destruction, needs reconstruction. Big political crisis has begun over governor's post, today is scheduled to be elected governor but hundreds of protesters gathered around provincial building to prevent that (1
  • Protesters are demanding the staying of the interim administration of Mosul headed by Muzahim al-Khayat. Some say that rival parties participated in the protests (2)
  • Iraqi parliament has sent order to Nineveh provincial council to postpone governor's election due to corruption by sale of the post to some parties, but members of the provincial council refuse to postpone (3)
    Now, Moqtada al-Sadr calls the president and the prime minister to intervene to resolve the crisis by dismissing members of the provincial council (4)
    Breaking: elect Mansour al-Maraid to governor of Ninewa, he is close to "Fatah" alliance led by Hadi al-Amiri and he supported by Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF)
  • Former Prime Minister Haider Abbadi criticizes election of the new governor of Nineveh, and says: "we will stand against the corrupt and treacherous who paved the way by their corruption to ISIS control on

    New content at THIRD:

    We'll close with some Tweets from former US Senator Mike Gravel who is seeking the Democratic Party's presidential nomination:

  • Here's the official Mike Gravel 2020 Campaign Launch Ad - "Rock 2.0" Join the to push American politics to the left and speak truth to power, send Mike $1 to get him on the debate stage: .
    From Mike's interview on : "It's not a matter of age - it's a matter of whether your IDEAS are old." - Donate $1 to get Mike to the debates! We're more than halfway there, and we need your support!
    Would people be interested in a livestream Q&A with Sen. Gravel? (Teens will not be able to be present.)
    this is the greatest day of my life
    Louise Mensch, "journalist"
    Mike Gravel stands in solidarity with the nurses of Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, who are striking for better wages, insurance, and decent schedules. We encourage all our supporters to support the nurses and staff in their brave stand.
    Ilhan Omar is an American hero. You should challenge any presidential candidate who doesn’t say that outright.
    Sen. Gravel was honored to go on to speak out against the coup in Venezuela. America is bankrolling death and destruction in a desperate attempt to install a business-friendly conservative - we cannot stand for it.
    it's good to know that we need to find a compromise between "the world must flood" and "the world should not flood." real progress since noah's ark
    Sen. Gravel on Pete Buttigieg and LGBTQ+ rights
    "Like most human beings, I have no concrete principles or views about anything"
    Best panel is definitely in handcuffs
    It’s rare that we’ve faced problems as large as those we face today. And it’s rare that we find someone as hilariously ill-equipped to handle them as Joe Biden.