Monday, July 27, 2020

Olivia de Havilland -- gone

From earlier tonight, here is Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "What Stimulus?




Great comic.

A few weeks back when HBO was pulling GONE WITH THE WIND and the debate over that movie was raging, I did not think, "Oh, Olivia de Havilland is still alive."  Mainly because I am not a fan of that movie.  But I was a fan of Olivia's and now she has passed away at the age of 104.

Joan Fontaine was her sister.  They remain the only siblings to have won Best Actor or Actress Oscars.  They were not close and a rivalry existed between them.  Ms. Fontaine passed away in 2013.

To say that Joan and Olivia both won Oscars is not really getting a point across about Olivia.  Olivia was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for GONE WITH THE WIND.  She had four other nominations for Best Actress.  Joan won one Oscar for Best Actress while Olivia was in the rare club of actresses who won two Best Actress Oscars (others in that club include Bette Davis and Jane Fonda). 

Like most people who grew up watching TV in the fifties and sixties, I know Olivia best for the many films she made with Errol Flynn.  They were together in the films CAPTAIN BLOOD, THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD (probably their most aired movie to this day). THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX (Bette Davis was the star of that film), SANTA FE TRAIL and THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON.

She won her Oscars for TO EACH THEIR OWN and THE HEIRESS (the latter with Montgomery Clift as her co-star) and she was also Oscar nominated for her wonderful performance in THE SNAKEPIT.  HOLD BACK THE DAWN with Charles Boyer was her other Oscar nominated role.

Offscreen, her best friend in the field of acting was Bette Davis.  Along with ELIZABETH AND ESSEX, they also made the films IN THIS OUR LIFE and HUSH . . . HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE.  The latter was to have co-starred Joan Crawford.  But the two -- Bette and Joan -- did not get along on their hit film WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE and things were worse on the new film.  Bette, among other things, acted as though she was director, dispensing with pages of the script and questioning Joan's acting choices -- loudly questioning them in front of everyone. 

Joan faked illness and was eventually fired (she had wanted to quit but was told she would be responsible for millions of dollars and would not work again if she walked out). 

Bette attempted to get other actresses -- Vivien Leigh ("I could almost take looking at Joan Craford at 8:00 in the morning, but not Miss Davis.") and Barbara Stanwyck (a friend of Joan's who passed) among others -- but when they had no takers, Bette appealed to Olivia and told the director, Robert Aldrich, to get on a plane and make it happen.

They got along during filming but, while promoting the film, there were some sparks.  Bette asked her how she would like to be promoting the film with her sister Joan Fontaine and Olivia shot back, "How would you like to be promoting it with Joan Crawford?"

Along with the films I have named, she made many other great movies.  One I absolutely have to note is THE DARK MIRROR, a film noir that co-starred Lew Ayers.

In 2014, Luis Rainer passed away.  She was the oldest living Oscar winner before that.  She died at 104, like Olivia, and, like Olivia, she also won two Best Actress Oscars.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, July 27, 2020.  Joe Biden continues to run his campaign with a fatal blind spot while protesters are attacked by security forces in Iraq.

Starting in the US with the race for the president.  Joe Biden has yet to be crowned the Democratic Party's presidential nominee.  They will declare their nominee at their national convention in August.  Until then, he's the presumptive nominee -- and he's presuming a lot.

It was stupid of him to announce months ago that he would pick a female running mate.  Whatever woman is finally picked will not be seen as the best choice -- though she well may be -- but as the best female choice.  Currently, various advocates are insisting that Joe must pick an African-American or Black woman.  Why?  He's already stated that he will put a Black woman on the Supreme Court if elected.  

There is talk of Texas.  The Democrats, some insist can carry Texas.  With a dream ticket?  The reason I ask is Texas has tried dream tickets before.  Texans appear not to see it as a pie when they vote -- a pie everyone can have a slice of -- they see it as zero sum game.  So if X advances, I do not.

This was most obvious in 2002 -- and times could well have changed -- when Texas Democrats had what they and the press dubbed "the dream ticket."  Latino Tony Sanchez was running for governor, African-American Ron Kirk was running for the Senate and Anglo White John Sharp was running for Lt Governor.  

None of them won their race.  Despite the huge amount of press this ticket received -- including national coverage.  In the end, Sanchez got 40% of the vote in his race, Kirk got 43% in his race and Sharp got 46% in his race.  Running as a team did not benefit the group.  There are many variables at pay -- including Kirk's failure to run TV ads in East Texas -- he surrendered it for some reason before the race began.  Right or wrong, many political scientists concluded that the ticket failed to sell their message as lift all boats and instead voters tended to vote their own ethnicity and race.  That may well be.  It may not be.  And that was 2002.  It's 18 years later, after all.

But as Joe makes one promise after another to African-American voters, he continues to struggle to reach Latino voters.  

Had he not announced that a woman would be his running mate, for example, he could run with Julian Castro.  Since announcing a female running mate, the press has been demanding an African-American one -- Susan Rice, Stacey Abrams, Kamala Harris (who would probably be billed Black and not African-American due to her mother's country of origin), etc.  

Loretta Sanchez and her sister Linda Sanchez have both served in Congress, for example.  Loretta has been close to Joe for years.  Is there a reason the press is so hell bent on excluding Latinos from even consideration?  Veronica Escobar not only serves in Congress, she's been a judge.  There are many other who are qualified.  

Joe has a serious problem with Latinos that has not gone away.  His campaign does not know how to reach them.  They have struggled all along with this group.  In May, Laura Barron-Lopez and Elena Schneider (POLITICO) reported:

Joe Biden won the primary in spite of, not because of, his efforts to turn out Latinos. Two months later, Hispanic leaders are waiting on his campaign to deliver on its promises to do more.

In interviews, more than 20 Latino political operatives, lawmakers, and activists said they don’t see a game plan from Biden to marshal Hispanic voters effectively in the fall. They said there’s little evidence the campaign is devoting the resources or hiring the staff that task will require — all the more crucial during a pandemic, when reaching and mobilizing Latino voters through in-person canvassing is nearly impossible.

The campaign has refused to release statistics on the diversity of its staff — details many of his former opponents shared early in the primary — and a majority of a dozen recent high-level hires were white. And Biden has neither spoken to nor been formally endorsed by one of the highest-profile Latino politicians in the country, Julián Castro, since he won.
Biden had a tense relationship with many Latino groups during the primary, stemming largely from his connection to the Obama administration's aggressive deportation policy. The former vice president recently acknowledged that that policy was misguided and he has moved toward progressives on immigration.

But the campaign's disconnect with Latinos appears to be based more on lack of execution than on policy. Cash-strapped coming out of the primary and hemmed in by the coronavirus, its efforts to reach Latino voters have been lackluster, critics in the community say. The fact that Latinos weren't central to his primary strategy has meant Biden's campaign has more ground to make up.

Things are only getting worse.  Refusing to release basic statistics, refusing to court their vote, Latinos may end up being up for grabs.  Harry Enten (CNN) warned last month:

Joe Biden is reaching heights that Hillary Clinton never did this late in the campaign against Donald Trump. The former vice president holds a significant national lead of around 10 points and is over 50% support.

Yet a look at recent polls suggests Trump is outperforming where he was four years ago with a key part of the Democratic coalition: Hispanics. This could have implications for what electoral strategy Biden may need to take into the fall if he is to beat the President.
Clinton crushed Trump with Hispanic registered voters in the final 2016 preelection polls. She led by 61% to 23%. (I use the preelection polls for an apples-to-apples comparison for current polling.) 
Biden, on the other hand, holds an average 58% to 33% lead among Hispanic registered voters in an average of eight live interview polls taken over the last two months. These eight polls were ones for which I could procure a breakdown among white, Hispanic and black voters. All told we are looking at somewhere around 700 to 800 Hispanic voters total.
If we examine polls conducted over the last three months (so that we're looking at 15 polls and well over 1,000 interviews), it's Biden 58% to Trump's 32%.
Doing the math, Biden's margin of about 25 points is more than 10 points lower than Clinton's. This is more because Trump is doing better without third party candidates than Biden taking a lower share of the vote, though both seem to be occurring to some degree. 

His campaign leaders do not understand the Latino vote.  And that's only more clear in the last few days as Bianca Padro Ocasio (MIAMI HERALD) has reported:

Over 90 field organizers for the Florida Democratic Party signed a scathing letter Friday to the party’s leadership, claiming among other things that the campaign is “suppressing the Hispanic vote” in Central Florida.

The seven-page internal letter, obtained by the Miami Herald, contains eight allegations from field organizers about what they say is a lack of a “fully actionable field plan” from the Biden campaign as it transitions into the Florida party to coordinate voter outreach efforts.

This letter comes 100 days out from the general election and as recent polls show enthusiasm about voting among Latinos in battleground states like Florida could be waning in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more here:

Among the claims: mistreatment of field organizers, relocating trained staff members without explanation, lack of organizing resources and taking on volunteers who are then left in limbo.

In a battleground state where elections are historically won by thin margins — and as presidential campaigns ramp up outreach efforts in Florida’s Hispanic communities — organizers claim that the Coordinated Campaign lacks key infrastructure and perpetuates a “toxic” work culture that is hurting morale among on-the-ground staffers.

Read more here:

If you're an undecided Latino voter watching this unfold, you're not getting the message that we're all in this together.  You are getting the message that your needs are not going to be addressed and that while Joe is happy to put an African-American woman on the Supreme Court and to entertain dozens of African-American and Black women for his running mate. Lationas can wait outside the big tent because they're not welcome.

That's not a winning strategy.

It's not my job to help Joe Biden, or any candidate, win an election.  I will note what I see here and, on the above, I also made it very clear to a friend with Joe's campaign.  He's in danger of alienating Latinos, especially the closer we get to the election.  

He has taken them for granted.  He has failed to grasp the burden he already has having served eight years under the deporter-in-chief -- Barack deported more immigrants than any other president.  

This needs to be immediately addressed.  And, yes, we are hearing about it in the online meet-ups we're currently doing.  Latinos feel ignored by the campaign.  

It's not my job to elect Joe or any candidate.  It's also not my job to cover your fake ass campaigns.  Joe's running a real campaign, I'm not talking about him.  But there are e-mails insisting that now that Dario is running as an independent, I have to cover him.

In 2008, I covered Dennis Kucinnich and John Edwards -- both of whom I loathe  When Dennis revealed -- in Iowa -- that he wasn't a real candidate (as I always knew), I no longer covered him.  I don't have to waste my time on nonsense.

Dario Hunter is nonsense.  He's not going to be able to get on ballots.  He waited too long and even now, when he's claiming he's trying to run as an independent, he's failed to update his website (which still notes his failed run for the Green Party's presidential nomination) and he doesn't have the money to pursue serious efforts to get on the ballot.  All the deadlines are about to come up and he's not going to be on those ballots.

It's not my job to waste my time and cover his b.s.  We do have a lengthy article on him that will go up at THIRD.  The delay this edition is we did a collage and we had to wait for it to dry -- I checked it this morning, it's almost dry.  (While it was wet, you couldn't see Joe or Donald Trump's faces.)

After that piece on Dario goes up, I think we're done with him for 2020.

This morning, ALJAZEERA reports:

At least two protesters have been killed in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, during renewed overnight demonstrations against corruption, unemployment and poor public services.

The deaths reported on Monday by human rights monitors and officials were the first during anti-government rallies since Iraq's new Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi was sworn into office in May.

Al Jazeera's Simona Foltyn, reporting from Baghdad, said dozens of people were also wounded late on Sunday after "plain-clothed officials" opened fire using live ammunition towards the demonstrators who were gathered in Tahrir Square.

They are not the only ones (finally) reporting on yesterday's violence aimed at protesters.  To cover it last night, we went with Tweets because news outlets were not covering it.  We're going to include that in here now.

Protests continue in Iraq.  Deeba Shadnia Tweets:

Some graphic content coming out of #Baghdad, #Iraq this evening as anti-government protests have resumed over socio-economic conditions. Several videos circulating show protesters wounded. Unclear what sort of ammunition is being fired by security services. #ساحة_التحرير
4:33 PM · Jul 26, 2020

#BREAKING The protest starts in #Baghdad , with the slogan of ( no electric in #Iraq #العراق #iraqprotests #العراق_بدون_كهرباء
5:45 PM · Jul 26, 2020

Now wave of protests arrives to #Karbala in #Iraq demanding electricity and basic services, after protesters in Tahrir Square in #Baghdad expanded their protests to other streets within the capital city. #IraqProtests #العراق
4:40 PM · Jul 26, 2020

Protests near An Najaf International Airport Iraq
Quote Tweet
Heshmat Alavi
#HappeningNow July 26—Najaf, S #Iraq Locals have taken control of the boulevard leading to the city airport. Protesters are demanding the governor & all other officials who have links to #Iran's regime to resign immediately.
Show this thread
4:00 PM · Jul 26, 2020
Mswih also notes the protests:

there are currently protests that have been going on for 10+ months in iraq, the people want what every human NEEDS, clean water, electricity, a good government, but the response from iraqi government to their peaceful protesting is brutally murdering them in the streets?
1:20 AM · Jul 27, 2020

The protesters are attacked, not welcomed, by government forces. Ruba Ali al-Hassani notes:

Let me emphasize this: security forces' use of tear gas, live fire, & snipers against peaceful protestors is taking place under the watchful eye of PM Kadhimi who insists that he supports the #IraqProtests So, if he didn't support the protests, what would he be doing now? #Iraq
8:58 PM · Jul 26, 2020

EXCLUSIVE IN #IRAQ: A protester filming crackdown the protests when he shot dead. #IraqProtests | #IraqUprising
6:52 PM · Jul 26, 2020

Worth noting that PM Khadimi launched a “fact-finding” investigation in June to provide justice for the hundreds of people killed, wounded or kidnapped during the protests in October 2019

Yesterday Iraqi PM Kadhimi tweeted that they are in the last stages of revealing the names of the killed protesters during October 2019 protests in #Baghdad and other southern provinces in #Iraq. However, tonight more protesters will be added to the list. #IraqProtests #العراق

We're covering the protests via Tweets because the press is ignoring what's going on.

A nationwide protest movement in Iraq over government corruption and incompetence threatens to erupt again after two demonstrators were killed in Baghdad early on Monday after being shot with tear gas canisters during clashes with security forces.

On Sunday, rallies were staged in the capital and across several southern cities as anger mounted over power outages while temperatures exceeding 50 degrees overwhelmed electricity generators. 

In Baghdad, dozens clashed with security forces in Tahrir square, the epicentre of the protest movement that began in October but died down in recent months as measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic came into force.

An AFP correspondent saw the burnt remains of tent structures in the square on Monday morning. 

"Two protesters died this morning. One was shot with a tear gas canister in the head, and another in the neck," a medical source told AFP on Monday. 

The two victims are the first since Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, who had promised a dialogue with protesters, took office in May.

In a statement overnight, his office acknowledged "unfortunate events" in protest squares, but insisted security forces had been instructed not to use violence unless absolutely necessary. 

He's prime minister, does he have any power or not?  Equally true, this isn't the first time this month that security forces have killed protesters.  His strategy earlier this month was to deny, deny, deny that there were any deaths.  There were deaths.  But let's pretend that there were no deaths, there were still protesters injured from being attacked by security members.  He never addressed that reality while issuing his denials of death.

Prior to joining office Mr Al Kadhimi vowed to meet protester demands by holding early elections and investigating protester deaths. Yet the new prime minister has had to deal with a catastrophic economic crisis triggered by a decline in oil prices caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ali Al Bayati a member of the Independent Iraqi Human Rights Commission told The National that the government must hold the perpetrators to account and should urgently respond to protester demands.

“We condemn the violence used by the Iraqi Security Forces and remind the government about its commitments to the constitution on protecting citizens and the right of freedom of expression,” Mr Al Bayati said.