Showing posts with label CNN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CNN. Show all posts

May 11, 2023

In our match between The Peanut Butter Falcon and the Trump Show, we're glad the Falcon won

 By Hal Brown

Click images to enlarge

My partner and I decided that we'd find a good alternative to watching Donald Trump's misnamed town hall on CNN and watch something uplifting on TV. "The Peanut Butter Falcon" turned out to be worthy of being a great escape not unlike the plot of the book and movie by the same name. The story involves a great escape not by a group of POWs but by a young man basically imprisoned in a nursing home.

Here's what some of the reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes write about the movie:

  • A tender and often funny heartwarmer with loads of charm, personality, and humanity.
  • The importance of the family you make, rather than the one you're given, is at the heart of this low-budget independent American feature that just happens to have two enormous Hollywood names on the marquee.
  • The Peanut Butter Falcon makes a strong case for the value of sentimentality.
  • It might be pretty optimistic in its wholesomeness, but whats the point of the movies if they cant be? Especially in a film that is committed to its faithful and hopeful representation for a community that is almost never shown on screen whatsoever.
  • Peanut Butter Falcon excels as a story of simple kindness.
  • Swept up in those bayou waters, we all root for Zack and happily accept whatever good fortune the writers provide for him.
The movie begins with the escape shown below. The character Zak,  has the same name as the actor playing him Zachary Gottsagen,  who has Down's syndrome like the actor does in real life.

Zak is living in a nursing home and due to two thwarted attempts to escape has been labeled a flight risk. His last attempt, enabled by this roommate Carl, played by Bruce Dern, helps him in his third and successful escape (below screen grabs from trailer).

The story involves Zak's quest to go to the wrestling school run by his idol, pro wrestler Salt Water Redneck. The name he adopts for himself is Peanut Butter Falcon for reasons that are made clear in the movie.

Since this is a feel good movie it shouldn't be a spoiler to reveal that he with his partner Tyler, played by Shia LaBeouf, Zak not only overcomes threats to life and limb to actually fight a match as the Peanut Butter Falcon in a local competition where he battles against a villainous cruel opponent twice his size. 
I won't reveal the outcome of the match.

This morning I watched "Morning Joe" and saw the most outrageous clips from Trump's CNN appearance. Seeing them was plenty to endure. It was better than enduring 70 minutes of Trump spewing his lies and venom.

“Morning Joe” co-host Scarborough ripped CNN and Trump for a “virus of lies” as Trump peddled falsehoods on live television about the 2020 election, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, which he called a “beautiful day.”

It was “a disgraceful performance” and “showed the corrosive effects of Trumpism over eight years,” said Scarborough.

The “most shocking part,” Scarborough said, was the audience “who cheered on a president who tried to overturn American democracy, an audience that mocked and ridiculed the woman who, a jury of her peers, Donald Trump’s peers, found had been sexually assaulted.”

Our own breaking point might have come when many in the audience applauded his saying he'd pardon most of the J6 prisoners, below:

The crowd also cheered and clapped when he insulted E. Jean Carroll.

It is also possible that Trump gave prosecutors new evidence for all three ongoing criminal cases (see article). This Salon article also describes how what he said about E. Jean Carroll makes a new case for her to sue him for defamation. If she saw him call her a "whack job" which prompted the audience to laugh I imagine this would have hurt.

I am pretty sure that had we decided to watch CNN instead of "The Peanut Butter Falcon" rather than rooting for the good guys and experiencing inspiration we would have been feeling frustrated and angry. 

CNN deserves all the excoriation they are now receiving for giving Trump the opportunity to spew his hateful lies. For example:

Click above to read article

We are happy we decided to spend our evening enjoying our home cooked delicious filet mignon dinner with the first baked potato we've had since we began a low carb diet the day after New Years, and watching "The Peanut Butter Falcon", rather than enduring the Trump debacle.
Our filet mignon, zucchini and yellow squash, crispy skinned baked potato with butter, sour cream and chives dinner.

Rather than feeling pleasantly sated after diner I think we'd have had cases of dyspepsia.

Addendum: Here's another feel good movie we watched a few days ago: A Man Called Otto.

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February 20, 2023

Quite a contrast: Biden visits Kyiv,, Trump used a Pence visit to blackmail Zelensky

 By Hal Brown

There was a commercial on MSNBC so when I sat down this morning with my cup of coffee I clicked on HUFFPOST to see what their lead story was.

I want to share the third thing I thought about when I read the following:

This was the main page of the BBC website:

I read these articles before I saw the news on MSNBC:

 The first things I thought were a mixture of "good on him" feelings about being proud that the United States had president like him. Next, I thought briefly about how stringent the secrecy and security had to have been. Then, third, I thought about this:


President Trump repeatedly involved Vice President Pence in efforts to exert pressure on the leader of Ukraine at a time when the president was using other channels to solicit information that he hoped would be damaging to a Democratic rival, current and former U.S. officials said.

Trump instructed Pence not to attend the inauguration of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in May — an event White House officials had pushed to put on the vice president’s calendar — when Ukraine’s new leader was seeking recognition and support from Washington, the officials said.

The last president to visit a war zone was George W. Bush who visited Iraq in 2003. This was probably a high point in his dismal presidency (see last paragraph here). Biden joins Bush, Lincoln, FDR, Eisenhower, and LBJ on the list of presidents who have visited war zones.

The logistics of the trip are now being reported including the fact the Russia was notified about it in advance:


The trip that Biden made into Kyiv was “bold” and “risky,” and done after months of planning for a range of security concerns, according to several White House officials.

The logistics were coordinated with a range of different government agencies, which included threat assessments to determine if Biden could safely enter and exit the war-torn country. It was made more challenging, officials said, because there is no U.S. military presence in Ukraine.

“This was a historic visit unprecedented in modern times to have the president of the United States visit the capital of a country at war where the us military doesn’t control the critical infrastructure,” said Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser.

There's a video here of an air raid siren going off as Biden and Zelensky visit the historic St. Micahel's Cathedral. I don't think anything in presidential history compares with this.

Watch the video (below) here:


. .


Watching the President of the United States walk down the line of Ukrainian officials and shake hands with each of them was inspiring enough but then this happened with one of them:


Update: I wasn't the only one to think along these lines. This is from David Rothkopf.


In sending this message, Biden pointedly evoked without mentioning his name yet another American president in a visit to the Eastern edges of Europe: Donald Trump during his 2018 Helsinki meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Biden went to Europe to send Putin a message of American and allied strength. Trump went to grovel before Putin. Biden stood up for American values and our allies. Trump said he trusted Putin more than America’s own intelligence and law enforcement services. Biden embodied America’s strength. Trump illustrated and represented our greatest weakness.

A year after Trump embarrassed the country in Helsinki, he compounded the offense by withholding aid from Ukraine in an attempt to extort Zelensky into doing political dirty work against Biden to help Trump’s reelection efforts. It was an illegal act that ultimately led to Trump’s first impeachment. At the same time and throughout the following year according to reports from Trump’s own top advisors, he was actively advocating to withdraw American troops from Europe.

There is no doubt that had Trump been re-elected, today we would be witnessing an American president standing alongside his Russian counterpart not Zelensky, marking the weakening of the West, not its enduring strength. Perhaps that prospect, the sense that America was weak and divided and did not care about Ukraine, would not lead the fight to preserve democracy, encouraged Putin to undertake his ill-fated, hugely costly, profoundly ill-considered invasion last February. It seems likely it had an effect leading to that disastrous miscalculation.

Noon update:

From Fox Business:

'Bold move': Fox Business host gushes over Biden's 'game-changer' Ukraine visit

Fox Business host Stuart Varney praised President Joe Biden on Monday for a surprise visit to the war zone in Ukraine.

Varney reacted on his Fox Business program just hours after Biden visited Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv. 

"This could be a game-changer," Varney announced. "President Biden makes a surprise visit to Ukraine. It was a very well-kept secret. He took a train from the Polish border to Kyiv. And even as air raid sirens were sounding, he was meeting with President Zelensky. And then, walking the streets in a war zone! Highly symbolic."


Unrelated to the visit per se I noted that story was headline news on major media websites like The New York Times ... 

... and even the partisan Fox News had it on the opening page so you didn't have to scroll down to see it...
... but the supposedly nonpartisan CNN website had it so far down the page you had to scroll down twice to see it:

Perhaps this is another sign that under new leadership CNN has moved closer to being like Fox News. Consider: 

The changes at CNN look politically motivated. That should concern us all. By Robert Reich.

This article is more than 5 months old

Compassion doesn't count ballots: Biden does the moral thing on immigration and it will hurt him with many voters. All Trump needs now is his own Willie Horton. by Hal Brown, MSW

In the news today a top story  (read article)  is that President Biden has once again demonstrated that he has a heart and good sense when i...