Monday, August 06, 2018

Truest statement of the week

The 2016 election is a story of miscalculation by many people. Trump didn’t think he would win, the media who gave him free air time did so because they didn’t think he would win, and Hillary Clinton was so certain of victory that she didn’t campaign in the states that flipped and gave him an electoral college win. A sustained get out the vote effort and protection of the franchise by the Democrats might have countered the electoral larceny that made Trump the 45th president.
Who are the real villains in the story of the 2016 presidential election? Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, the greedy “consultants” who made off with $1 billion in campaign funds and still didn’t get their person into office, and Republicans who have perfected vote thievery. They will strike again and they will do so without any help from Vladimir Putin.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Russiagate Covers Up Black Vote Theft" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

Over 570 immigrant children remain in detention centers and foster facilities throughout the United States weeks or months after the government separated them from their parents this past spring.
Some 460 parents have already been deported without their children, many after being coerced into signing forms waiving their right to reunite with their sons or daughters. In many of these cases, the parents will never see their children again.
The government has deemed hundreds of parents “ineligible” to reunite with their children on the grounds that they have criminal records. This deliberate mass theft of children by the government is among the most shameful events in US history.
These crimes are being ignored by the corporate media. Since the beginning of August, the New York Times opinion page has featured eight op-ed pieces or editorial board statements relating to allegations of Trump’s ties to Russia or the #MeToo hysteria, but none about the conditions facing immigrants. The Washington Post has published seven opinion pieces or editorial board statements about Russia and #MeToo, and none about immigrants.

The children languishing in detention are living a nightmare. On Wednesday, the American Immigration Lawyers Association confirmed a report that a child died of a respiratory illness shortly after leaving an Obama-era family detention center in Dilley, Texas.

-- Eric London, "US immigration nightmare continues amid media blackout" (WSWS).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Sunday night.  And we're done.  We're surprised too!  (It's an hour and 16 minutes until Monday on the west coast, our time stamp remains eastern despite our leaving NY years ago.)

Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?

Another truest for Margaret Kimberley.
A truest for Eric London.
How many months before Iraq forms a government?  Or before the US lets it?  Or before the US imposes one?
Ava and C.I. grade the scripted summer offerings.
Rose McGowan told you Alyssa Milano was a fake.  We told you Alyssa was a fake.  Are you getting that she's a fake?
I did a quick bit when I saw the idiot claiming the media quickly backed away from WMDs in Iraq.

The biggest box office success this summer in the comedy genre was . . . 
Our continued efforts to note books.
Thanks to Totinos, we go back into the kitchen.
Glenn Greenwald makes some strong points.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.

See you next week.


-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: Where's the government?

01/08/18 – DSRSG revisited the Baghdad electoral recount centre to assess progress on the manual recount of votes from the 12 May national ; met with Judge Jassim, Head of the Board of Judges overseeing the recount, recount staff and reps of political parties.


Elections were May 12th.

It's now August 6th.

Where are the results?

Arwa Ibrahim (ALJAZEERA) reports:

Nearly three months since Iraqis went to the polls to cast their ballots in a parliamentary election, a new government is yet to be announced - and the wait might be long.
With no party or bloc able to secure an outright majority in the May 12 vote, political leaders in the country began negotiations over the formation of a governing coalition.

The process, however, has been put on hold due to a manual recount of votes that was called on in June following allegations of rigging. 

Six days from three months and still no government.

Eight months is how long it took to form a government after the 2010 elections.  Will it take five more months this go round?

The people need results from their government.

Protests have been going on for over a month -- and 14 protesters are dead -- because the needs of the people are not being met.

At what point do the politicians get their act together?  Or are they just waiting for the US to once again pick their prime minister for them?

TV: Those summer offerings

Summer score card time and, no, we're not talking about the underwhelming box office performance on TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES.  We're talking about the summer offerings, scripted offerings.  And for summer?  We're talking about it the way it was learned by many kids across the US -- the end of May forward, because that's when most schools let out.  With that in mind . . .

a new illst

HULU's CASTLE ROCK, a new offering, works best as an allegory about the abuse of and preying on children.  Sadly, Stephen King's never really been interested in that -- despite the number of children in various screen versions of his horror stories whose lives have been destroyed (that list neither begins with nor ends with Jonathan Brandis).  Or at least not interested in that in terms of damage.  IT, for example, is notorious for the scene where the child Beverly engages in a gang-bang, or train, and she's 11.  Worse, in last year's hit film of his novel IT, Beverly's father attempts to force himself on her and it's all just for a plot device.

King flirts with rape and abuse throughout his novel, but he never really sees them as anything other than a growing experience -- which would explain why his books have always been so popular with film studios and TV networks -- predators in high places have always seen their exploitation of children as a 'gift.'

'Gift' is also Harvey Weinstein's defense -- he maintains that the women he harassed, he was actually in an arrangement where he had sex with them in exchange for roles.  The system protects the abusers and looks the other way.  Just asking Leslie Moonves of CBS.

. earnings call is yet another example of how too many wall street analysts are in the bag for companies they cover. OK Moonves wont answer questions abt the sexual misconduct allegations, but these cowards wont even ask him about succession, which is important to investors

A careful reading of Kings' works will reveal that he tends to identify with oppressors in his writing.  Again, there's a reason so many of his books turn into films, mini-series and TV shows.

CASTLE ROCK revolves around the town's large prison and an unknown person who pops up hidden in the prison (Bill Skarsgard -- his acting much improved following HEMLOCK GROVE).  He asks for Henry Deaver (Andre Holland) who is a death row attorney but years before briefly disappeared as a child.  Are the two connected?  Were both held by the former prison warden?

The warden's played by Terry O'Quinn (he kills himself in the first episode but shows up in flashbacks).  He's part of a very strong cast which also includes Academy Award winner Sissy Spacek as Henry's mother, Ann Cusak as the new warden (her finest performance to date, and that's really saying something), Melanie Lynskey as the only one who might really know what's taken place, and Jane Levy.  Scott Glenn is also in the cast and he's just as weird as he was in NASHVILLE and URBAN COWBOY.

Wherever it ends up going, it starts off as an interesting ride.

CBS can't claim anything of interest that they debuted this summer*.  They've been showing the second season of SALVATION -- a series whose low ratings once again reveal what a huge mistake the network made in cancelling Halle Berry's EXTANT.  Otherwise?  They've been burning off the hideous ME, MYSELF AND I and the slightly better LIVING BIBLICALLY.  While it's smart not to waste all the money that went into the shows, it's not helpful to announce that they are cancelled before you burn off the episodes over the summer.  Not a lot of people are going to rush to watch a show that they know is cancelled.

Let's move over to ABC which offered the charming TAKE TWO.  For a summer show, it's been a hit, scoring highter ratings than all three of the shows CBS offered combined.  NBC has had several shows this summer. MARLON held an audience but it lacked a suitable pairing.  While TRIAL & ERROR started out strong in its initial ratings, the show quickly tanked to the point that there probably will not be a TRIAL & ERROR season three unless NBC's willing to grasp that TV audiences just don't like whatever it is Kristin Chenoweth exudes.  Casting Chenoweth in the lead for season two was a huge mistake and NBC should have known better since they first tossed her on TV in her self-titled sitcom KRISTIN back in 2001.  It lasted six episodes.  More recently, they cast her in HAIRSPRAY LIVE! -- only to discover that, unlike Carrie Underwood, Kristen could not deliver 18 million viewers.  Other shows she took down include PUSHING DAISIES, GCB and SIT DOWN, SHUT UP.  We've never been fans of TRIAL & ERROR (and have noted how it's a rip off a recurring skit on THE KROLL SHOW) but even we felt sorry for it when NBC decided to impose Chenweth on the program.

NBC's biggest hit this summer, the biggest hit on any of the broadcast networks, has been Jennifer Lopez's SHADES OF BLUE.  Despite NBC announcing this would be the final season before a single episode aired, viewers have turned out in large numbers.  That's really not a surprise since SHADES OF BLUE is quality programming.  And, as Stan has noted, Jennifer has delivered what might be her strongest performance ever.  At a time when so many in the entertainment industry want to tut-tut over the lack of diversity here, there and everywhere, it's amazing that a successful show -- especially for ratings challenged NBC -- with a Latina lead would be so quickly tossed aside.  (Especially when Lopez also produces NBC's other summer hit WORLD OF DANCE.)

But NBC's not the only one to toss aside things quickly.  Over at THE CW, THE ORIGINALS added Danielle Rose Russell to the cast and promptly devoted every episode to her.  Not, mind you, to the performers that the audience had fallen in love with over the previous four seasons, but to this new woman they had never laid eyes on before.  The backlash was intense and the show picked up some of its lowest ratings ever in the process.  As we noted back on July 17th, " the final season of THE ORIGINALS which has not been about the characters you love but instead all about setting up teeny bop Hope for her spin-off.  It's shoved all the other characters except for Klaus to the side and THE CW might want to worry about that because by not sending the show off with a powerful last season, it's ensured that LEGACIES (the Hope spin-off) has generated tremendous ill will before a single episode has aired."  Marcia, Stan and Mike all documented the lousy end to a previously promising series.

THE CW spent very little time, effort or money promoting BURDEN OF TRUTH.  It also didn't spend any money producing it, it's a CBC show (which is currently filming its second season for the CBC).  Despite this, the Kristin Kreuk produced and starring program has done solid, for THE CW, ratings.  Kreuk has starred previously in SMALLVILLE and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.  There's a lesson there for THE CW, if they pay attention, viewers will tune in for their favorite performers.  They refused to tune in for THE OUTPOST.  No one should blame them, the show is unwatchable.  THE CW would be better off expanding the improv show WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY to two nights a week next season than chasing after something like THE OUTPOST again.

We started with HULU.  What has AMAZON offered this summer?  Nothing.  They've pinned all their hopes on JACK RYAN which debuts August 31st and stars John Krasinski.  Let's hope it's a winner and not just because we like John but also because their next 'big' offering will be in October, THE ROMANOFFS which stars a wide range of performers who showed promise . . . three decades ago.  When Paul Reiser's a 'name,' run screaming.  Loudly.  Like AMAZON, FOX decided not to submit any assignments this summer.

TNT had CLAWS and ANIMAL KINGDOM, probably the two best shows of summer after SHADES OF BLUE.  USA had a revitalized SUITS and a confusing SHOOTER (last summer's aborted season appears to have resulted in a more confusing season this year).

And NETFLIX?  Despite dropping one offering after another this season, few stood out.  One offering with real value was the second installment of THE JOEL MCHALE SHOW STARRING JOEL MCHALE. Another would be ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK's sixth season which managed to improve on the difficult fifth season and get the show back to its core.  Finally, they served up SECRET CITY, their most involving series since the first season of STRANGER THINGS.

So for those needing letter grades, it goes like this . . .

AMAZON I (indicates incomplete work)
FOX I (indicates incomplete work)


*CBS' ELEMENTARY is airing new episodes; however, it kicked off this latest season in the spring as did the network's CODE BLACK and ABC's QUANTICO.

Unlike Alyssa Milano, we'll stand with Illeana Douglas

Sunday, Kelly Kahl, CBS entertainment president, declared, "At the same time, we must respect the voices that come forward. All allegations need to be and are being taken seriously."

But are they really taking allegations seriously?

CBS has allowed Leslie Moonves to remain in his position despite all the allegations against him.  Allegations are not proof, agreed.  But if allegations are being taken seriously, then you put Leslie on vacation for the duration of the investigation.  He holds the position of Chair of the Board, CBS President and CBS CEO.  That's too much power to allow him to remain in place while an investigation is carried out.

It's for that reason that we wrote "Moonves needs to step down or take a forced vacation" last week.

That's what we did.

You'll note Alyssa Milano did nothing.  Despite pretending to be an activist.

See, she can slam Harvey Weinstein because her chance at a feature film career ended two decades ago.  She's aged out of any chance at starring in films.  But she counts on TV for a paycheck.  And she's not going to risk pissing off Leslie Moonves in case he manages to hang onto his jobs at CBS. 

Alyssa has presented herself as a leader of #MeToo but she won't say one word against Leslie Moonves or, for that matter, the agency who aided Moonves.  CAA.  Remember how we've told you repeatedly that CAA is a piece of garbage agency, that they regularly pimped out actresses.  For those who missed it, Alyssa's career hangs by a slender thread and that thread is provided by her being married to an agent for CAA.

So Alyssa a big, fat hypocrite.  A liar who pretends to care but, as Rose McGowan rightly noted, Alyssa is just "a lie."

The allegations contained in here are on the record and corroborated contemporaneously by mulitple people. The conduct alleged is not gray-area or borderline in any way: it's plain and simple harassment, assault and vicious retaliation.

Illeana Douglas bravely came forward to publicly tell her truth.  We believe Illeana.  C.I. heard the story of what happened to Illeana years ago from Martin Scorsese.  Many people heard what happened years ago.  Illeana told her truth.

  2. The allegations against Moonves took place as recently as the late 2000s. They include two cases in which women said they were pinned down and struggled to get away from Moonves, including this story from Illeana Douglas:

  1. Part of Les Moonves's case relies on our believing that Illeana Douglas was fired by CBS because of bad acting. Better hope the jury hasn't seen Cape Fear, To Die For, or Goodfellas

  1. 'Goodfellas' actress Illeana Douglas says she was fired from sitcom for refusing to have sex with CBS chief Les Moonves What happened to me was a sexual assault, and then I was fired for not participating, she told the NYdailynews
  2. “Six Feet Under” actress Illeana Douglas is one of six women accusing CBS CEO Leslie Moonves of sexual misconduct
  3. Statement from Illeana Douglas.
  4. Replying to   
    . as someone who first heard Illeana Douglas' story and included it in my collection of stories about being Fired, published in 2007, I can tell you that her account is not at all related to this court case. The timing is related to climate that has made it

We believe Illeana.

Unlike Alyssa Milano and other whores (Sara Gilbert, we include you on that list!), we will publicly support Illeana.  We believe her.

And all we're asking for is a real investigation.  A real investigation is not going to take place while Leslie Moonves overseas CBS.  Forced vacation or step down, those should be the choices.  Anything else and CBS is making a mockery of any woman who comes forward to tell her truth.

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