Saturday, August 27, 2016

Next month, NETFLIX digs a little into the 90s

NETFLIX has revealed September's new movies being added.

They are from several decades (very few from the 70s or earlier) but I see some from the 90s.

These are the 90s films.  Read the list and see what stands out to you:

Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Hope Floats (1998)
Milk Money (1994)
Practical Magic (1998)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)

I like the first 20 minutes of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (then it goes flat) but I enjoy the other four films.

What it reminds me of?

As I'm hurrying out to go see the Statham flick, it reminds me that we don't get romantic comedies anymore.

One more reason to be disgusted with the glut of super hero movies.

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

Friday, August 26, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, Iraq's Parliament fires the Minister of Defense, and much more.

AP reports, "Iraq's minister of defense received a no-confidence vote from parliament Thursday just as Iraqi forces retook a key northern town near the Islamic State-held city of Mosul."

And that, per the Iraqi Constitution, is how you remove a Cabinet minister.

A vote of no-confidence.

You don't do it with Haider al-Abadi huffing and puffing that he needs a new Cabinet.

His Cabinet wasn't even two years old when he started throwing that tantrum.

And he does not have the right to remove a minister -- only the Parliament does.

Khalid al-Obeidi does have a process of appeals but it appears he's resigned to the dismissal.

In a series of Tweets, he offered:

Finally, those who have brought Iraq to where it is now have won, so I ask the people and the army to excuse me. I tried to fight (1/8)

corruption as much as possible, but it seems they are stronger, their voices are louder and their actions are longer. Regardless, I (2/8)

will remain a soldier among the brave soldiers of the Iraqi people who fight corruption and corrupt people. Thank you to all those who (3/8)

voted in our favour, stood with us, appreciated our position & supported us. To the people of Iraq, you are the ones who can judge my (4/8)
efforts. God is my witness that I exerted every effort to rebuild the army & the military institution, along with tireless efforts to (5/8)

fight corruption and the corrupt, prevent nepotism and clientelism that caused Iraq in 2014 to lose 40% of its land and displace (6/8)

millions of people and threaten the sacred places and our beloved capital Baghdad. (7/8)

I take great pride in the welcome I received from you in Adhamiya & Kadhimiya - a testimony for me in front of all the corrupt people. (8/8)

From the start, al-Obeidi was seen as a controversial figure.

His divisiveness was well known and part of the reason that he failed in his 2010 nomination for Defense Minister.

Four years later, he made the cut but was seen as sop tossed out to get an even more controversial figure named Minister of the Interior.

al-Obeidi was not popular with Sunni tribal leaders or with provincial and municipal government figures.

STRATFOR notes, "During al-Obeidi's tenure, the Iraqi parliament has twice opened investigations into corruption charges against him regarding defense procurement contracts. In the course of the second investigation, al-Obeidi openly accused several lawmakers and the parliamentary speaker of trying to blackmail him to secure contracts of their own. But after reviewing the case, Iraq's judiciary released the parliamentary speaker citing a lack of evidence, and a number of lawmakers demanded a vote of no confidence be held against al-Obeidi."

Unlike the Speaker of Parliement, al-Obidi had few friends left having provoked so many in the two years he held the post of Defense Minister.

AFP notes the military was suffering under the leadership or 'leadership' of Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister of Iraq from 2006 through 2014:

 Maliki had been premier for eight years when the army, gangrened by nepotism and hollowed out by a system in which "ghost soldiers" enrolled but did not show up for duty, collapsed completely in the face of a vast June 2014 IS assault.

How big is the news?

Here's your answer: have you ever seen Brett McGurk Tweet so furiously:

Political and military progress advancing in parallel can best help ensure that ’s defeat is decisive and lasting. 10/10
We also welcome recent political progress including passage of a general amnesty law today & renewal of oil exports from . 9/10
We welcome today's liberation of by Iraqi forces, opening main road to . ISIL said it would hold Qayyarah. It failed. 8/10
In – we are encouraged by impressive gains towards in recent weeks by Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish . 7/10
We are now focused intensively on setting the conditions to eject terrorists permanently from its HQs in and . 6/10

In the lead up to the efforts to retake Mosul -- seized by the Islamic State over two years ago -- Iraq's just fired the Minister of Defense.

Yesterday, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strike in Iraq

-- Near Ramadi, fighter aircraft conducted one strike in Iraq, destroying four rocket systems and four rocket rails. The strike was coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

CNN'sa Arwa Damon is back in Iraq.

  1. Watch: These two Americans traveled to Iraq to fight ISIS on the medical front lines, reports
    CNN Politics — Political News, Analysis and Opinion

Wednesday, August 24, 2016


I did not realize that MECHANIC RESURRECTION was a sequel.

It's the only movie I'm really looking forward to seeing this month.

Jessica Alba is in it.

I haven't seen her in anything since LITTLE FOCKERS.

And she was a good Sue Storm in those two bad Fantastic Four movies of the '00s.

Jason Statham is also a good reason to see it.

He rarely disappoints.

And the commercial features a few moments of what is probably the best scene in the movie: Jason killing a guy by scaling a building, crawling out under his glass bottom pool and putting a crack in it.

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016. Chaos and violence continue, turns out the widow Lankford accuses Donald Trump in commercials of bilking her out of $35,000 but promotes him online as a qualification for choosing her as your real estate agent -- WOOPS!,  Shi'ite militias carry out War Crimes and the White House is aware, this week's Iraq executions don't meet scrutiny standards, and more.

Yesterday's snapshot opened with this Tweet.

Cheryl lost her husband in Iraq. Then Trump's company targeted her and scammed her out of $35,000.

A number of e-mails poured in.
They fall in to two groups mainly.
The first are veterans and veterans families.
They objected to Hillary Clinton not naming the fallen in her Tweet.
The second group objected to the widow herself -- that she is a partisan.
Let's deal with the second objection first.  
The woman, Cheryl Lankford, spoke at the Democratic Party National Convention.
I did not watch either the GOP or the Democratic convention.  I did not attend either.  (Ava and I did go to the Green Party convention to report on it in "Media: The ignored political party convention.")
Being a war widow does not give the woman immunity from criticism.
Since she's been telling the same story since that convention and has also taped a commercial for Hillary Clinton's campaign, let's examine her story.
It's her own fault.
That's the short version.
If what she says is true, it's her own fault.
Greed got the better of her.
Because Donald Trump was rich -- she apparently missed all his set backs and bankruptcies over the years -- she wanted to trust him with what was a huge amount of money for her -- $35,000.
And this despite the fact that Donald was not present.
Or that she was informed of the $35,000 one time only deal that had to be sealed immediately.
A fool and their money are soon parted.
And that's the reality on why she didn't talk about this until years later.
She felt stupid because she was stupid.
(If her story is true, she was conned out of her money -- her stupidity does not make Donald Trump and his business partners innocent.)
Texas, like any state, has a number of reputable and existing avenues for anyone to pursue if they want a career in real estate.
She didn't want that.
She had already started her own firm and been in business.
That wasn't good enough for her.
She wanted Trump money.
That's on her.
If her story is true, I have no reason to believe it is not, then the courts should side in her favor.
If she's shaded or left anything out, the decision could go in favor of Trump.
But she was foolish and stupid (neither of which are a crime) with a sum of money which was apparently huge for her.  
That's on her.
Now for the second charge.
I agreed reading the e-mails that Hillary should have mentioned the fallen's name.
But is it the fallen?
He didn't die in combat.
Iraq is a combat zone throughout.
Former US House Rep John Hall can be proud of many things in his time in the House but one of the things he should be most proud of was establishing for the record that if you're shot at it in Iraq, you're in combat.  
Many veterans were being told they were not in combat -- especially women -- and that was nonsense.
Cheryl's late husband Command Sgt Major Johnathan Miles Lankford died in Iraq not due to a shooting or a bombing but due to a heart attack.
He would not be listed as a military fatality on DoD's tally of those who were killed while serving.
When he died, his mother did question whether the responsibilities he had in Iraq led to the heart attack.  It's surely possible.
The $35,000 she wasted on greed probably should have gone into a college  fund for John Lankford Jr. -- two-years-old when his father had the fatal heart attack.
Again, greed got the better of her.
Greed allowed her to put her child's future on hold.
If Hillary's going to cite a "war widow" (her term) in a Tweet, she does need to cite the name of whomever died in Iraq.
Especially since she's the one who voted for the Iraq War and supported it and championed it.
Cheryl Lankford is upset that Donald Trump apparently took $35,000 away from her but has no problem with Hillary Clinton helping start a war that Jonathan Miles Lankford's mother believes may have brought on her son's fatal heart attack.
Maybe Cheryl Lankford bonded with Hillary over greed?
I don't know.
For those who feel that may be too harsh, let me offer Cheryl a little free legal advice:
Change your professional online resume/promotion immediately.
Let's hope you do it before Donald Trump's lawyers get a hold of it.
Here's how it currently reads -- pay attention to the last paragraph:
Cheryl D. Lankford Biography
San Antonio, TX | December 4, 2012
Ms. Lankford’s husband served in the military as a command sergeant major, eventually sacrificing his life for his country. Inspired by the contributions he made to a cause he believed in, Ms. Lankford developed a business in his honor, Lankford Land Development, LLC. For the last four years, this business has offered commercial and residential land development services within the San Antonia region.
At the helm of this burgeoning venture, Ms. Lankford manages land for the construction of houses, apartments and shopping malls, dealing with both residential and commercial properties. She scouts for new properties with potential for development as well, scouring the Internet, auctions, newspapers and courthouse listings. Her marketing and public relations fortes enforce the progress of Lankford Land Development, but Ms. Lankford is especially grateful to those who have supported her in her professional undertakings. She feels her success, as well as that of her company, has been perpetuated by her mentors and the other wonderful people whom she has been surrounded by.
Ms. Lankford’s work as a CEO is influenced by her academic background – she holds an Associate of Arts in governmental studies from Prince George's Community College. She has also been enrolled in Trump University. Eventually, as she hones her expertise, she plans to take on many different projects and hire more employees, gradually expanding the scope of her business.
I didn't include the contact option for her.
But do you see the problem?
She's advertised her experience, her qualifications.
And she's included "She has also been enrolled in Trump University."
She's calling it a plus in her online promotion.
She's using it to attract business.
Trump's lawyers could easily argue it was worth the $35,000 alone for her to be able to use the 'university' as a professional credit.
More likely, they'll stick with this argument instead: "If she was so displeased, why did she promote the university herself online?"
Hillary's campaign is really stupid.
It took me 30 minutes to search Cheryl Lankford this morning.
I came across many things Donald Trump could use against her.
It's a surprise the Clinton machine wasn't already on this and getting her to remove certain things online.
I also question GLAMOUR for their idiotic article that could have been written in July -- and was by THE NEW YORK TIMES and assorted others -- and is served up this week not to report but in an attempt to sway an electorate.
I condemn GLAMOUR, in fact, for their failure to delve into the Iraq War.  
What an embarrassing rag.  
And here's the thing, I'm all over the country (except Alaska).  
I will be ragging on GLAMOUR at every speaking event.  
I will make sure they do not walk away from this.
So good for throwing objectivity and professionalism out the window, GLAMOUR.
You and others will learn -- as many have in the last 8 years -- that whoring comes with risks.
Not as many risks as the people of Iraq face in the never ending war on their country, but risks all the same.
 Human Rights Watch Ken Roth Tweets:
Sectarian abuse by Iraq Shia militia was even worse than believed (meaning downright awful).

Human Rights Watch has long noted the ongoing persecution of the Sunnis in Iraq.
Roth's referring to a new blockbuster report from Ned Parker of REUTERS news agency.
This time, Ned's teamed with Jonathan S. Landay for a report which opens:

Shi’ite militias in Iraq detained, tortured and abused far more Sunni civilians during the American-backed capture of the town of Falluja in June than U.S. officials have publicly acknowledged, Reuters has found.More than 700 Sunni men and boys are still missing more than two months after the Islamic State stronghold fell. The abuses occurred despite U.S. efforts to restrict the militias' role in the operation, including threatening to withdraw American air support, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials.
The U.S. efforts had little effect. Shi’ite militias did not pull back from Falluja, participated in looting there and now vow to defy any American effort to limit their role in coming operations against Islamic State.
All told, militia fighters killed at least 66 Sunni males and abused at least 1,500 others fleeing the Falluja area, according to interviews with more than 20 survivors, tribal leaders, Iraqi politicians and Western diplomats.
They said men were shot, beaten with rubber hoses and in several cases beheaded. Their accounts were supported by a Reuters review of an investigation by local Iraqi authorities and video testimony and photographs of survivors taken immediately after their release. 
Prior to the start of the war, Jonathan S. Landay filed strong reports for KNIGHT RIDDER.  Ned first shined on the Iraq War with powerful pieces for THE LOS ANGELES TIMES including ones exposing secret prisons.  At REUTERS, he's continued for file reporting that matters. 
In fact, he's filed reporting that matters so much, he had to leave Iraq after being threatened on state television for his reporting.
As for  the US government?
They're not legally allowed to support Haider al-Abadi's government or 'government' in Iraq with these actions being carried out.
There are laws, there are legal treaties and there is the Leahy Amendment.
It'll be interesting to see how the State Dept and White House spin this.
New media was going to fix all the problems.
Are you old enough to remember that?
That talked ended in early 2006.  
Or that boast.
For good reason.
In the last days, maybe you caught the rah-rah over the hangings in Iraq?
Presented as just.
Even setting aside one's objection to the death penalty, they were not just.
But new media has a real problem with accuracy -- the same problem big media has.
They don't want to examine, they don't want to face reality.
They want pretty.
All they got was pretty lies.
Executions in Iraq not real justice for Speicher Massacre- fair trials needed to restore faith in justice system


The hangings were carried out on Sunday at a prison in southern Iraq, state TV said. Those executed were suspected Sunni Muslim militants convicted in the killings of as many as 1700 soldiers, mostly Shi'ite Muslims, after they were taken captive by Islamic State insurgents two years ago.
"The individuals who have been executed were convicted only on the basis of information provided by secret informants or by confessions allegedly extracted under duress," UN human rights spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday.
She said the defendants' court-appointed lawyer did not intervene during the proceedings apart from a three-minute statement just before the verdicts were delivered.

 Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Clinton Piggy Bank" went up last night.  The following community sites -- plus KPFK and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS RADIO -- updated: