Thursday, October 11, 2018

That Idiot Channing Dungey

 I hope you read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Who's destroying ABC?" already.

How stupid is Channing Dungey?  ABC will hopefully be firing her soon.

She is so stupid, as Ava and C.I. explain, she can't even program TGIF.

TGIF is, as most of us already know, kid favorite shows.  SARBRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH, BOY MEETS WORLD, FAMILY MATTERS, FULL HOUSE, etc.  So Channing puts two shows on Friday and calls it TGIF even though they're not kid shows. 

They're also not new shows.  They're two of ABC's flop sitcoms -- FRESH OF THE BOAT and SPEECHLESS.  No one really watches either.  They've been on for years.  They're not popular.

They have no breakout character kids love.  They have nothing.

But Channing is such an idiot that she doesn't understand what TGIF means -- or what it meant when ABC ruled Fridays with TGIF.

She's a real idiot.  They need to fire her.

She's losing in the ratings on Friday nights.  Guess who, besides CBS, is winning? 


Because they have LAST MAN STANDING -- you know, the hit show Channing cancelled three years ago?

It was a hit show when she axed it. 

FOX has picked it up, put it back on Fridays and it's a hit all over again.

She needs to be fired.  She's destroying ABC.

"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
Thursday, October 11, 2018.  The Iraq War continues and guess who suddenly noticed?

REUTERS reports that last night in Anbar Province, one Iraqi military officer was killed and three Iraqi soldiers were kidnapped.  KUNA reports a Kirkuk car bombing which left two people dead and four more injured.  In other violence, Margaret Griffis (ANTIWAR.COM) notes:

Ten security personnel were killed during an attack at the Akkas oil field in Anbar province.
In Tikrit, a bomb near a petrol station left one person dead and five wounded.
An attack on a military vehicle in Qaim left one soldier dead and two missing.
Five policemen were wounded by a blast in Dibs.

An unknown number of people were killed during a clash in Gwer.

No, the Iraq War hasn't ended.

In a new opinion piece at THE BOSTON GLOBE, Linda J. Blimes wonders, "Is the US Forgetting The Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?"  And what I say to that is, "Goodness me, Blimey, I thought you were dead.  We certainly haven't heard from you -- or Joe -- in forever.  Ten long years of silence, right?"  From her piece:

Ten years ago in “The Three Trillion Dollar War,” economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and I predicted — controversially — that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would cost far more than anyone expected. Fast forward to today. The total bill has spiraled to over $5 trillion, most of it paid for on the national “credit card.” Nearly 7,000 American troops and a similar number of contractors have given up their lives. With no political end game in sight, more than 15,000 troops remain on the ground. And yet Congress pays almost no attention to the wars — even though the cost continues to run at more than $70 billion a year.

She has to reference the ten years ago because she and Joe are not objective actors.  They fell silent for Barack Obama's two-terms because they supported his presidential campaigns and his presidency and that took priority over noting the costs of war.  Barack is gone and Donald Trump is in the White House so suddenly Linda's found her voice -- IT'S A MIRACLE!  Found her voice, please note, not when Donald Trump was referring to the the cost of war back in February.  Dropping back to the February 13th snapshot:

Let's start with the stupidity.

You really don't need to harp on everything Donald Trump Tweets or says.  But if you do and you call him out, you need to be correct.

Kyle is wrong -- no surprise, he works for blowhard Lawrence O'Donnell.

WaPo Fact Check: Trump has repeated this number at least 21 times. “It's flat wrong.” Experts say the U.S. spent about $1.8 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001-2017. (Plus, Afghanistan is not actually in the Middle East.)

I don't care what some WASHINGTON POST link says.  I'm not even going to go there.  And I'm fully aware that Kyle was in Australia for two years and apparently didn't think that a war the US was (and remains) engaged in was something he needed to follow.


"Experts" say many things.  Doesn't make them right.

Kyle types, "Experts say the U.S. spent about $1.8 trillion on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2001-2017."

I don't know what"experts" he's citing and really don't turn to THE WASHINGTON POST for reality on Iraq due to its history (only THE NEW YORK TIMES has a worst history).

But I do know his statement is wrong.

From March 2013, Daniel Trotta (REUTERS) reported,"The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said."

That was almost five years ago.

And that was Iraq alone.

So maybe next time, when you're going to town on him, know your facts so you don't end up looking like an idiot.

In November of 2017, THE COSTS OF WAR PROJECT estimated that by the start of 2018, the wars (post 9/11) would cost the US 5.6 trillion.  That ended up being the headline in November when it was reported on.  Now read the actual report when veterans issues are added in or just skip to Table Six where you'll find the cost is expected to be $7.9 trillion when veterans expenses and interest (the US government did not increase taxes to pay for the wars, they borrowed money to do so) are added in.

THE COSTS OF WAR PROJECT is generally considered the expert on the issue -- not THE WASHINGTON POST.  It's run by Brown University's Watson Institute.

They say $7.9 trillion.

So not only has Kyle Griffin's 'fact' check made Donald Trump look more informed, it's also raised serious issues about the intelligence level at MSNBC's THE LAST WORD.

Linda didn't speak up then because she's a partisan.  Don't mistake her for an independent voice or for someone who tells the truth.  She stays silent unless she sees a personal, political benefit.  Which is why, in October, she's writing about the costs of war when she could have spoken out in February when, remember, the press actually was paying attention to the costs.

The press was paying attention not because they gave a damn about the costs but because they wanted to mock Donald Trump.  And because the cost was being used to mock Donald Trump, Linda stayed silent.  She allowed MSNBC and others to promote the lie that the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars was less than 2 billion dollars.

If there's a problem, Linda, and I agree with you that there is, part of that problem is you.  Look no further than your mirror.

Back to Blimey, now talking about silence:

Compare this to the Korean and Vietnam wars, when Presidents Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, and Lyndon Johnson used their annual State of the Union addresses to highlight the expense of the wars and how to pay for them. Powerful congressional committees held multiple hearings on the cost of the Korean and Vietnam wars, and Congress helped end the fighting in Vietnam by asserting its “power of the purse” to cut off funding. By contrast, in the past 17 years the Senate and House Appropriations Committee subcommittees on defense have focused on the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan in just a handful of hearings. The same pattern exists in the fiscal authorizing committees. 
The conspiracy of silence has been made possible by two factors. The first is the unprecedented budgetary process used by Congress to fund the conflicts. In past wars, most of the money to pay for military operations was appropriated from the regular military budget. This meant that lawmakers were obliged to make difficult trade-offs, cutting domestic programs and nonwar military spending in order to prioritize the wars. In the current wars, between 2001 and 2011, trillions of dollars were spent using “emergency” appropriations — a process normally reserved for unexpected natural disasters such as hurricanes, when money is required quickly and with minimum oversight. Since 2011, Congress has been using a special “Overseas Contingency Operations” fund that is also exempt from regular budget constraints. The fund has also been a magnet for Congress to spend money on programs unrelated to the wars that it can’t force through the regular budget.

Yes, Linda Blimes, there is a conspiracy of silence and you are part of that. You're also part of a conspiracy of lying.  You're lying right now in the above passage.  Harry Truman, Richard Nixon and LBJ didn't Tweet.  Donald has Tweeted about Iraq repeatedly.  I know because we have to consider every time he does whether or not it's pertinent to an Iraq snapshot and, if it is, is it more pertinent than other Iraqi issues at that moment.  In the case of the cost of war, it was important that we weigh in.  Other times, it's not.

Does anyone watch his State of the Union Address?  I don't.  I read the transcript.  I've had to watch him twice -- both for pieces Ava and I did at THIRD.  This is from one in 2005:

But hey, we aim to please. So we looked at the TV schedule and decided that The Apprentice is the one show we could watch. After all, any show that presents the Donald as a benefactor is only fooling the willfully stupid who apparently slept through the eighties and never saw an interview with former wife Ivanna.
There are two teams competing to win the praise of the Donald -- that and cheapo prizes. (Oh wow! Our picture taken with the Donald! That's so great! I mean it's not as though we might already have a DVD boxed set to remember him by!) The two teams are apparently dopey and ditzy.
[. . .]
Donald's The Art of the Deal has petered out into The Fart of the Steal. Gasbag Donald (wearing a wig even Della Reese would look at in askance) steals your time with the assumption that you may actually learn something about business. That's what the people on campus that watch the show regularly offer as their reasoning. "It's important to study business," one dewey-eyed business major told us. Yes, and switching from plain Milky Way to Milky Way Dark will help you along the road of fine cuisine as well, no doubt.
Let's be honest, that's a self-justifying reason to cheer on someone else's humiliating public f**k-up. That's all this is about. And probably why so many losers show up on these shows. Gotta make the rubes watching at home feel like they're smarter. Why lift an audience up when you can flatter them with debasement?
To it's credit, no one's yet to offer that they're "learning about relationships" from the show, the way they do when asked why they watch The Bachelor or The Bachelorette. Most people will never enter the corporate boardroom and thank God for that. But we all have relationships (even if they're only one sided). So The Apprentice's skewed world view does far less damage than some of the shows pretending to educate about the human heart. That's about all we can say for it. Watch at your own risk. Donald, you're tired.

There's another one, probably in 2009, when THE APPRENTICE became CELEBRITY APPRENTICE.  I don't watch him on TV other than that.  I don't think most people do.  But his Twitter feed certainly does get reported on and consume hours and hours of TV.  So maybe Linda should have included that?

But she skews the world, right.  She weighs the scales.  In her world, there are only two reasons for the silence on Iraq and Afghanistan: Congress (Republican controlled) and the White House (ibid).  Strange how that works out, right?

And strange how she won't call out the media.  Is her column one of hundreds that THE BOSTON GLOBE has published this year on Iraq?  There are 365 days in a year, they publish at least two guest columns (three?)  a day.   We're near the end of the year so surely, this has to be the 200th column, right?  Wrong.  It's not even the tenth.  THE BOSTON GLOBE hasn't even published ten columns this year on Iraq.  The war continues and it's in year fifteen, Iraqis die daily, US service members have died this year as well.  But they can't even manage ten columns in a year on the Iraq War.

Somehow, strange, Linda misses the press when she's finger pointing.

But the press is the problem.  They're too busy selling the Iraq War still -- via another wave of Operation Happy Talk or their silence.

 As we were noting yesterday, the rah-rah of new prime minister (and sometimes also new president) in Iraq was not reality based and was nothing but an attempt to resell the US presence in Iraq (conveying the thought: This time we'll get it right!).  As Renad Mansour (Chatham House) concludes of these developments:

The elite and the traditional political parties remain stronger than state institutions, so the new president and prime minister will have an uphill battle translating recent developments into structural changes that make last week’s events a turning point rather than an anomaly.


Staying with reality, we'll note this from  Zaid al-Ali (ALJAZEERA):     

Women are bearing the brunt of Iraq's disastrous modern history.
Despite early advances in women's rights, including the fact that Iraq was the first country in the Arab world to have a woman serve as cabinet minister back in 1959, and that Iraqi women have been allowed to train as doctors for almost 100 years, society has taken a number of steps backwards in gender equality and women's rights in recent decades.
Today, many Iraqi women try to meet overwhelming work and family obligations with little assistance from men. Some are forced to care for their children, parents and siblings all by themselves, as men in their lives continue to fight and die on ever-shifting military fronts. To make matters worse, most extreme forms of gender-based violence are also prevalent in Iraq. In recent years, religious militias massacred dozens of sex workers and tortured journalists in Baghdad. Meanwhile, ISIL enslaved thousands of Yazidi women, many of whom are still missing today.

In the last couple of months, another worrying trend has emerged. Between August and September, four high-profile women have been assassinated. They lived in different cities and had different occupations. They only had two common traits: They were all women and they were all successful in their respective fields.

And in another story we've been noting, the targeting of LGBTQ community -- and those thought to belong to it -- in Iraq, Rayana Khalaf (STEPFEED):

A video capturing the brutal murder of a teen in Iraq has sent shockwaves on social media.
According to media reports, the victim is a 15-year-old social media personality known as Hamoudi Al-Mutairi, who was once dubbed as the "King of Instagram."
While authorities are yet to issue an official statement on the matter, many social media users speculate Al-Mutairi was killed because of his suspected sexual orientation.
According to Lebanese media outlet LBCI, Al-Mutairi was kidnapped from the neighborhood of Yarmouk in Baghdad.
In the graphic video, which apparently captures the victim's last breaths, he can be seen lying on the ground with blood around his abdomen. 
When the man behind the camera asked about his name, the victim mumbled, "Hamoudi." The man then asked about the victim's male friend, named Sajjad.

There is much to note about Iraq, certainly enough for more than ten columns a year in THE BOSTON GLOBE.  In other news, XINHUA notes:

The historical use of herbal medicine, also known as Arab medicine in Iraq, has thrived in the past few decades due to unrest in the war-torn country.
In Iraq, using herbs in medicine dates back over 5,000 years to the Sumerians, who created clay tablets with lists of hundreds of medicinal plants such as Myrrh, which is a natural gum extracted from small and thorny trees.
For centuries, the traditional Arab medicine was the backbone of treating illnesses, but at the beginning of the 20th century, the modern chemical medicine dominated, leaving Arab medicine the second choice for people.
The traditional herbal markets nowadays are located in old districts of Shorjah, Souq al-Arabi, Shawaka and Kadhmiyah in Baghdad, but the increase of demand for such treatments pushed people to open dozens of herbs shops all over the city.

The herbal treatment is widely wanted by many Iraqis as it proved its success in treating illnesses with fewer side effects, in addition to its low cost comparing with the chemical treatment.

Remember that the DC Women March on the Pentagon action takes place this month:

Mark your calendars: October 21st outside the Pentagon in DC.
Join us at the Pentagon on October 21st. Hear from Nick Braña and others as we call for an end to the bipartisan war machine.
Between now and next weekend's events we need to raise an additional $5,000 to cover costs such as stage and sound system rental and to fund Civil Assistance action. Can you help?

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated:

  • Wednesday, October 10, 2018

    It wasn't Russia but it may have been Israel

    Interesting, isn't it, when all the claims about Russia turn out to be possible for Israel, no one wants to talk about it.

    Let's hear the US Congress go on about Israel now, attacking it the way they did Russia.

    I won't hold my breath.

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
    Wednesday, October 10, 2018.  They keep selling and re-selling the war.

    Andrew Scott may be the most out of touch of all observers.  At THE NATIONAL, he writes, "The election of Iraq's new Prime Minister Designate, Adel Abdul Mahdi, has given Iraqis and international observers a cautiously optimistic view of the country's future."  You've got the LGBTQ community in Iraq again under attack . . .

    “I want to see my mother” those were his last words, an innocent kid who was killed just because he was suspected to be gay, sure because in Iraq being gay/different is a crime but killing people just because they are different than us is not!!

    Absolutely sickening. In Iraq, 15 yr old Mahmoud al Mutairi was mutilated & murdered because he was suspected of being gay, trans, emo. Killed for his appearance, clothing & behaviour. A horrific video of his final moments exists; his final words are "I want to see my mother".

    An innocent kid was was killed in Iraq just because they suspected he was gay , I think the international community and especially the lgbtq community should take a stand #

    An innocent kid brutally murdered in Iraq and his only fault is that he was born different in an ugly place that fears differences! 😤 RIP little angel, you deserved better than this fucked up world! I hope you’re in a better place now! 🙏🏻🌷

    . . . you've got a string of murders taking place where the victims are women and they're being killed for being seen as 'independent' . . .

    human shot dead in

    . . . you've got the protests in Basra and that's just the top of list.

    But Scott's seeing bright skies and rainbows in Iraq.

    Mohammed Adow (ALJAZEERA) reports:

    Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi will have to deal with ongoing economic crises that lead to months of violent protest in the country's southern, oil-rich Basra province. It's home to Iraq’s only seaport and oil fields that produce 75 percent of Iraq's oil, but despite the province's economic advantages, locals say that they see very few benefits from the government.

    Josie Ensor (TELEGRAPH OF LONDON) reports:

    A former Miss Iraq beauty queen has fled the country after receiving death threats, which followed a spate of killings of high-profile women.
    Shimaa Qasim Abdulrahman, who was awarded the crown in 2015, said she has left for Jordan after receiving a message from a man purporting to be an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) member reading “you’re next”.

    "I was threatened with murder. My life was in danger. The killing of this many people scared me,” she told local Kurdish news site Rudaw. “I wasn’t comfortable living there anymore and that is why I left Iraq and came to Jordan.”

    AP adds, "It is not clear whether the deaths are connected, however they have followed a pattern of targeting women promoting female empowerment and tend to fall on a Thursday.   The violence has shocked Iraq, raising fears of a return to the kind of attacks on prominent figures that plagued the country at the height of its sectarian strife."

    ‘How to bring peace to Iraq if you don’t look at serious crimes against women? There is a lack of attention to this problem. Authorities show concern but there is so much more to be done.’ Habib Nassar - Irak

    Bel Trew (INDEPENDENT) reports on Iraq's water shortage -- which impacts so much in Iraq.  Farmers had to cut back or stop farming.  Ghastly photos emerged all summer of Iraqi livestock near death.  The marshes are drying up and whole communities have lived in these areas.  This is only going to get worse.

    And then there are the religious minorities.  For example, THE TABLET notes:

    Christianity in Iraq is just one wave of persecution away from extinction, said the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Basra.
    In an interview with Catholic News Service, Chaldean Archbishop Habib Nafali said there were now so few Christians in his country that the church there would disappear if it was subjected to further persecution.
    He said the displacements and murders of Christians over the past 15 years constituted genocide.

    "Another wave of persecution will be the end of Christianity after 2,000 years," he said in the 5 October interview in St. Columba's Church.

    The problems are immense.  Yet the western press can't stop spinning.  Why?  Because this is part of selling the Iraq War.  Remember, I've called out Hayder al-Abadi.  The western press has written one poor-Hayder article after another in the last four weeks.  They think he was wonderful.  Well if he was wonderful, how is changing prime ministers going to change anything?

    There's no indication that it wil.  It may.  Mahdi may end up being a great prime minister.  But that's not what this is about.  The presidency of Iraq is a ceremonial role but before the rush to praise Mahdi, the same western press was raving over Barham Saleh.

    It's about selling the continued war and the continued occupation.

    Papa John's is crappy pizza.  It's oily and doughy and the crust is four times as much the pizza as any toppings.  Firing this person (the president of the company?) didn't change the lousy pizza.  But it did result in a bunch of press about how Papa John's was getting back on track.

    That wasn't reality and it wasn't news.  It was selling Papa John's -- a hideous company that should have closed long ago.  And now?  We see that as the stocks increase with the rumors that its about to be bought out.

    Papa John's press was about stringing people along.  The same way the press about Iraq's prime minister-designate -- he's not been declared the new prime minister yet -- is about selling the continued occupation of Iraq and the continued war on Iraq.

    While the western press pushes 'success' (because they're selling the ongoing war), Iraqi press notes problems already emerging.  Hassan al-Saeedi (AL ARABIYA) reports:

    :Iraq’s Prime Minister-Designate Adel Abdul-Mahdi received Iran’s Ambassador to Baghdad Iraj Masjedi on Tuesday, 24 hours after Abdul-Mahdi said in a statement that he will not receive officials from diplomatic missions and embassies.

    In a statement on Monday, Abdul-Mahdi said he will not receive the heads and top officials of diplomatic missions while forming the cabinet, except for very special cases such as the representative of the UN secretary general.

    His statement added that diplomatic missions can convey messages to him via the ministry of foreign affairs or the cabinet’s general secretariat or his office or via e-mail and the phone.

    News that Abdul-Mahdi received the Iranian envoy was posted on Abdul-Mahdi’s Facebook page and it sparked sarcasm with many commenting that the prime minister-designate could not keep a promise that he just made 24 hours ago.

    Not being able to keep your word?  Especially this early?  That's not reassuring.

    Moving over to the Kurdistan region.

    In a message addressed to Iraqis, British Ambassador to Iraq, , talks about the next political phase in the Kurdistan Region and , as well as the UK's contribution to the country.

    0:15 / 2:20


    Promises from the British ambassador?  That means nothing.  The reality is explained below.

    . Wilson’s Labour govt of the late 1960s covertly supplied massive quantities of arms to help the Iraq regime slaughter Kurds, as village after village was being destroyed. An episode written out of history.

    The governments of the UK and the US do not support the Kurds.  They give limited assistance and lots of promises but repeatedly stab the Kurds in the back and actively work to undercut efforts at Kurdish independence.

    Later this month in D.C., many will declare their independence from the War Machine and their solidarity with humanity by taking part on the March on the Pentagon actions.

    Join us at the Pentagon on October 21st. Hear from YahNé Ndgo and others as we call for an end to the bipartisan war machine.

    Join us at the Pentagon on October 21st. Hear from Margaret Flowers and others as we call for an end to the bipartisan war machine.

    No more wars for oil and empire

    . Co-Founder on Her Next Direct Action: The Women’s March on the Pentagon ()

    Why do women support & ? Because theyre tired of the killing machine! And stops these wars with truth! Why my son is persecuted! Join Womens March on the Pentagon Oct 21st Paint FREE ASSANGE on the back of your anti-war sign!

    Great opportunity for & supporters! Womens March on The Pentagon -October 21st! Julian brutally politically persecuted, detained 8 yrs without charge for exposing US war crimes/corruption! Download/Print off banners from my pinned tweet!

    This is long overdue. Please, show your solidarity. Go if you can, RT whether you can or not.

    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley -- updated: