Did you ever see the Family Guy episode called "Not All Dogs Go To Heaven"? It's the one where Meg gets the mumps at a sci fi convention, has to stay in bed, the TV only gets the religious channel, she falls hard for Kirk Cameron, is born again and goes all over the town saying Brian doesn't believe in God. It creates havoc.
Near the start of the episode, after Meg's mumps are gone, she comes down to the kitchen table at breakfast, chattering away and Peter declares, "That's right folks it's going to be a Meg episode. Stick around for the fun. Here's the clicker. No one would blame you." (I think that's "No one'd blame you" but "one'd" doesn't pass spell check.)
So I start streaming the episode of Fringe. And it's not a Peter & Olivia episode. It's not a Peter episode. Or an Olivia episode. It's a Lincoln episode.
Why the hell do I want to watch that?
I don't dislike the actor and I'm glad that the other guy went off to that failed NBC show Prime Suspect or whatever it was. I prefer Lincoln to that guy.
But let me self-quote from last Saturday:
Now they're together and the writers are giving us a Lincoln episode. Are they unable to tell a damn storyline. It's as though we're sitting through Die Hard and all the sudden they've decided to alter the storyline and show us the security guard before he arrived at the bank, when he was getting those doughnuts and they want to show us that for fifty minutes while we're just wanting to see how John McClane's going to get out of the bank alive.
Again, I don't have anything against Lincoln the character or actor.
But I'm not in the mood for another diversionary episode.
This is why Fringe has BAD ratings. They pull this s**t all the time. While every other show right now is building up to a season finale climax, Fringe is off day dreaming and acting like they're doing the second episode of the season.
If Fringe gets the axe this year, it's their fault.
This entire season has been a waste, a complete waste.
Until the end of March, they tricked us about Peter not being home. They spent the entire season keeping Peter and Olivia apart. When they finally both know they are the real Peter and Olivia, the show is no longer interested in them and decides to focus on nonsense like mutated killers and Lincoln.
That's why this show's ratings suck. They have no one to blame but themselves. These stand-alone episodes? There's really no place for them ever on Fringe. But if you're going to do them, you do them at the start of the season. At the end, you're supposed to have every episode build up to a climatic finale that no one wants to miss.
Instead, they've aired yet another episode that just makes you not want to watch. The title of that awful episode, by the way, is "Everything In Its Right Place."
And if one Lincoln isn't enough to piss you off, he teams up with his other self when he goes to World 2. What a bunch of crap.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
In more dist[ur]bing power-grab news, Raheem Salman (ioL news) reports, "The head of Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) and one of its members were arrested by police on Thursday on corruption charges, IHED officials said, in the latest apparent move for more government control of independent bodies. Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki won a court ruling in January 2011 that put the IHED and other entities, including the central bank, under cabinet supervision, raising concern over attempts to consolidate power by the Shi'a premier."
AP notes that the two are Karim al-Tamimi and the commission's chief Faraj al-Haidari. Yeah, the chief of the commission. Kind of important role, kind of an important person. He and Nouri have a history, of course. Nouri's angered pretty much everyone -- even erstwhile ally Motada al-Sadr -- in his too-long reign. Reuters observes, "Critics fear that the premier may be showing autocratic tendencies in some of his actions and view Maliki's control over key security ministries with suspicion." AFP does a service by explaining the history behind what went down, "There is bad blood between Haidari, a 64-year-old Shia Kurd, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri a-Maliki's State of Law list over his refusal to carry out a national recount after 2010 parliamentary polls, in which the premier's list came in second to rival Iyad Allawi's Iraqiya list."
Oh, that's right. The US government.
Why might they be concerned enough to be acting out either of the two scenarios? As Al Mada points out, Nouri sent to an independent MP with the National alliance (Ablzona al-Jawad) to the press yesterday to declare that Nouri is the only one who can lead. This is about a thrid term, as the MP makes clear. The third term's not that far away. Elections are now supposed to take place in 2014 -- though it may be 2015 or maybe Nouri will just call them off completely?
Nouri can't just run for a third term. There has to be a roll out. Because as Iraqis began protesting in January against him, against his fabeled "law and order" (they demanded to see their loved ones who'd been disappeared into the 'legal' system), against his corruption, and this took place while other leaders in the region were being challenged and overthrown. The protests in Iraq only grew in size and number. And what did Nouri do?
His only concessions were vows not to seek a third term in 2014 and to cut his pay in half. That was not persuasive, especially given his many recent power grabs.
Of course no one does easy, meaningless words like Nouri. Saturday, his words included the announcement that he wouldn't seek a third term. His spokesperson discussed the 'decision' and Nouri himself announced the decision to Sammy Ketz of AFP in an interview. Ketz reported him stating he won't seek a third term, that 8 years is enough and that he supports a measure to the Constitution limiting prime ministers to two terms.
Well Jalal Talabani declared he wouldn't seek a second term as President of Iraq in an interview and then . . . took a second term. Point, if you're speaking to a single journalist, it really doesn't seem to matter what you say. Did Nouri announce his decision to the people? No, Iraqhurr.org is quite clear that an advisor made an announcement and that Malliki made no "public statement" today.
In other words, a statement in an interview is the US political equivalent of "I have no plans to run for the presidency" uttered more than two years before a presidential election. That's Iraqi politicians in general. Nouri? This is the man who's never kept a promise and who is still denying the existence of secret prisons in Iraq. Deyaar Bamami (Iraqhurr.org) notes the Human Rights Watch report on the secret prisons and that they are run by forces Nouri commands.
That's not speculation, that's not opinion. He agreed to the benchmarks that the White House set. He was supposed to achieve those in 2007. Those benchmarks, supposedly, were what would determine whether or not the US tax payer continued to foot the bill for the illegal war. But he didn't meet those benchmarks and apologists rushed forward to pretend like they weren't a year long thing and that, in fact, he had 2008 as well. Well 2008 came and went and the benchmarks were still not met. Nor were they in 2009. Nor were they in his last year in 2010.
That's failure. When you agree you will meet certain things -- such as resolving the Kirkuk issue -- and you do not, you are a failure. Not only did he fail at the benchmarks, he failed in providing Iraqis with basic services. He failed in providing them with security.
There is no grading system by which Nouri can be seen as a success.
But just as he will not admit to or own his failures from his first term as prime minister, do not expect to own or admit to his failures in his second term. In other words, Little Saddam wants to be around, and heading the Iraqi government, for a long, long time.