scandal was a waste of time

thursday night, the latets episode of 'scandal aired.  it was not that good.

from the best episode, they went mediocre.


because shonda rhimes wants to make 'statements.'  and she's not smart enough to integrate them into a storyline.  so she goes all 'ripped from the headlines' like dick wolf.

so she had a half-baked episode last night where an intern doesn't put out and doesn't get a job and then she's blackballed on this secret list.

she kills herself at the start of the episode.

she matters not 1 bit.  she's never been on an episode before.

it's bad story writing.

shonda suddenly decides she wants to say something about 'metoo' so out of nowhere we get this storyline.

when we just ended the previous episode with olivia discovering vice president cyrus staged the taking of air force 2 and is planning to become president without an election by removing president mellie from office - possibly via murder.

let's remember that's what was revealed at the end of spring 17 - cyrus killed the man at the top of the ticket.

well cyrus has set charlie up.  it looks like charlie did the hack of air force 2.  that's in the last scenes of the episode.

prior to that a lot of dumb scenes about a dead woman we never saw before and who is dead before we can know her.

oh and jake and mellie were on the floor of the oval office - she threw out her lower back doing yoga - reviewing strategies when jake thought there was a moment and he touched her hand only to be rejected by mellie.

this is what was wrong with the previous 2 seasons.  shonda kept losing interest in the actual characters and instead wanted to write a story about this real life event 1 week and that 1 the next.  dick wolf has crappy shows - those 'law and order' crappy shows.  and he does that 'ripped from the headlines' crap.  but it works as much as it does because they don't have continuing storylines on those shows.

they do on 'scandal.'

shonda thinks she's reaching people but she's actually turning them off.

not because she's preachy - although she is preachy - but because we want to see olivia choose fitz or jake, we want to know what's going to happen with abby, we want to know how far cyrus will go, etc.

and we don't get that because shonda keeps detouring to do a 'ripped from the headlines' b.s. storyline that is shoehorned in at the last minute and not made an integral part of the overall story.

let's close with c.i.'s 'Iraq snapshot:'

Thursday, March 15, 2018.  Election madness all over the world.

Let's start with elections.

This year, those of us in California, have a chance to make a real change.  We can jettison the Iraq War supporting, torture hand holding Senator Dianne Feinstein and support Kevin de Leon to be our next US Senator.  In June, we will hold a primary and all running for the US Senate will be on the ballot.  The top two vote getters will then face off in the November general election.  Kevin de Leon is a Democrat.  Dianna says she's a Democrat.  Yes, they can face off.  Don't believe rat f**kers from Canada who hide in New York after their art galleries fail (fail like everything else in their lives).  This is how the election will work in California.

As noted in yesterday's snapshot, Dianne can't decide whether to vote against "Bloody Gina" Haspel or go to third base with her.  Kevin de Leon has made clear that torture is not a value we want to embrace or to teach.

Feinstein, who oversaw the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation of the CIA's torture program, said Gina Haspel has been "a good deputy director."

I just asked Kevin de Leon about this tweet. He tells me he would vote NO on confirming Gina Haspel if he were elected to the U.S. Senate and notes that following orders is a poor excuse for carrying out policies and practices that tear at the fabric of our democracy.

It's amazing how so many who cannot vote in the election want to influence it.  It's amazing how stupid they are.

Remember that time California Senator Kevin De Leon admitted that half his family fraudulently assumed fake identity & didn't apply for citizenship?

Maverick says he lives in Indiana.  He's not hurting Kevin.  It might hurt him in Indiana, I don't know, I don't live there.  But in California?  If his family did not go through the recommended process to come to California (and the US)?  It's not a blow against him.  I guess Mavrick's home area is 'pretty White' (all White?).  But I don't think you can live in California without knowing a first generation American whose parent or parents did not jump through whatever hoops.  That's why Dreamers is not a divisive issue in California the way it might be in Iowa (95% Anglo White).  So while Maverick thinks he's hurting Kevin with that Tweet, he's actually helping to make Kevin even more relatable to those of us who vote in California.

Kevin is an American citizen.  The worst Maverick is saying for those of us in California is that Kevin had a parent who so loved the United States that they were willing to do anything to get here.  Don't see why we'd hold that against Kevin.  Is Maverick anti-American?

The should not equivocate on rejecting Trump’s pro-torture CIA nominee. John McCain understands that. Why doesn’t Dianne Feinstein?

PHOTOS: California Advocates Condemn Trump as He Visits Golden State for First Time as President via with

Thank you to State Senator for speaking up about Haspel's unacceptable record of torture. Congress, take note: The only vote on Haspel is no.

Now let's move over to another US election.

Mission: enlisted at 19, became a combat medic and served with the SEAL teams in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now this veteran will be part of the , running for Congress in California’s 50th district.


Josh Butner was in Iraq.


That's reason to vote for him?

Doubt it.

But, help us out, Vote Vets, what did he do there?

He is, after all, using that time as 'experience.'  So what exactly did he do there?

As Patrick Martin (WSWS) pointed out earlier this month, he is among many people the Democrats are running as "experienced" but they can't seem to talk about their experience:

Josh Butner, running in the 50th District of California against Republican Duncan Hunter, Jr., “served for 23 years in the United States Navy where he saw multiple combat deployments, most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.” The career Navy SEAL says almost nothing about what he actually did in the top military assassination unit, but that is to be expected. His campaign website features the slogan “Service, Country, Leadership,” alongside a photograph of Butner in desert fatigues.

I cannot endorse him or not endorse him.  I don't live in that district (Nancy Pelosi's my House Rep).  But if you're running for election on your "service" and your "leadership," you damn well should explain what that is.  If you can't explain, you shouldn't run on it.  And be sure to check out all three installments of Patrick Martin's "The CIA Democrats:"


Iraq is gearing up for elections as well.  They will hold elections May 12th.

Hayder al-Abadi?  He wants a second term as prime minister.  In the fall of 2014, Barack installed Hayder as prime minister prompting the world to ask: "Hayder who?"

The watery figure hasn't grown any clearer in the years since.

But the US installed him and still backs him which prompts Tweets like this:

America will rig Iraqi elections for Abadi. Hopefully it won’t be a success.

Hayder wants a second term and is running on defeating ISIS.

It's shaky ground for him to stand on.

Adnan Abu Zeed (AL-MONITOR) reports:

The Islamic State (IS) appears to be staging a comeback in parts of Iraq, which could endanger the country's oil deal with Iran.
Hamid Hosseini, the Iranian secretary-general of the Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, warned in late February that the countries' plan can't be implemented fully because of security concerns. The countries signed a bilateral agreement in July 2017 to install a pipeline to transport Kirkuk’s crude oil to Iran to be refined. In the meantime, the oil is being transported by trucks, which are vulnerable to attacks.
The Kurdish military, or peshmerga forces, took control of Kirkuk in 2014 after Iraqi forces fled as IS swept through the area. But in October, Iraqi forces reclaimed the oil-rich territory from the Kurds.
IS has been blamed for numerous recent attacks in the area. On Feb. 19, IS fighters ambushed a convoy of the Baghdad government's Shiite Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) in the Hawija district, southwest of Kirkuk, killing 27. On Feb. 27, gunmen had targeted the Turkmen Front with a rocket shell. Since Hosseini's warning, security has deteriorated both in Kirkuk and Hawija. Local authorities have called for military enforcement.
Masrour Barzani, the head of Kurdistan security, stressed that the “IS offensive in Kirkuk province is not coming to an end anytime soon.”



And XINHAU reports:

Iraqi security forces on Wednesday killed at least seven Islamic State (IS) militants in clashes at a village near the city of Shirqat in Iraq's central province of Salahudin, a provincial security source said.
The clashes erupted at dawn when about 10 IS militants attacked a military base at the village of Mseihli in southern Shirqat, some 280 km north of Iraq's capital Baghdad, Col. Mohammed al-Jubouri from the media office of the provincial police command told Xinhua.

Again, oops.

It was always a mistake for Hayder to run for re-election with nothing to show for it.  Even worse was to run claiming ISIS was defeated.  That might have worked for two weeks but for a campaign that's going to last months, it was a big mistake.

We've noted Moqtada al-Sadr's election alliance for two weeks now but here's a video report so let's include that.

Shi'ite cleric and movement leader Moqtada will be teaming with the Communist Party in this election cycle.  His followers and the Communists will be joined by four other groups -- at least four -- for a political slate (the way Nouri al-Maliki has a political slate State of Law made up of various Shi'ite groups).

MIDDLE EAST MEDIA RESEARCH INSTITUTE has posted the following clip from a BBC ARABIC broadcast earlier this month of an interview with the co-founder of the Iraqi Council for Interfaith Dialogue Jawad al-Khoei.

Jawad al-Khoei: Violence in our region has its origins here.  We are all in the same boat.  There is no difference between Syria, Iraq, and so on.  Some of the violence is the outcome of the injustice of the dictatorships that ruled us.  Poverty, ignorance, deprivation and oppression all stem from that.  Some of the violence is religious violence.  It exploits religion.  The birth of ISIS is not an anomaly.  ISIS is deeply rooted in Islam. It's roots can be traced back 1400 years to the first century of Islam. When you read history, you find that people would kill someone, then exhume the body, cut off his head, and then burn the body.

BBC ARABIC presenter: But all nations experienced this kind of violence.

Jawad al-Khoei: Fine. But violence is a bad thing. And when it dons the cloak of religion, it is a hundred times more evil.

BBC ARABIC presenter: From what you are saying, it sounds as if violence is predestined to remain in this region because it is so deeply rooted.

Jawad al-Khoei: No.  This depends on our determination, our resolve, and the will of our rulers.  If our rulers really want -- I mean, is it really conceivable that to this day there is not a single page in the religious curricula in Iraq about Christianity or about the Yazidi faith?

BBC ARABIC presenter: Even though the first Christians were --

Jawad al-Khoei: They were the owners of this land and the Muslims came in as their guests

The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated: