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MH370

Debris have been found in the Indian Ocean that could be from Malaysia Flight MH370 that went missing last year. From AP.

Here’s hoping there’s closure for all the grieving families.

Fargo

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Season one was fantastic. Season two looks to be just as good.

Season one’s cast was stellar: Billy Bob Thorton, Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, and Martin Freeman.

Season two’s cast is unbelievably star-studded: Patrick Wilson, Kirsten Dunst, Jeffrey Donovan, Jean Smart, Jesse Plemons, Brad Garrett, Kieran Culkin and Ted Danson.

The storyline is a prequel of sorts to season one. Patrick Wilson plays Lou Solverson – Keith Carradine played the character in season one – who investigates a crime involving a local gang and crime syndicate in 1979 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The season premieres in October. Can’t wait.

Going Clear

The most compelling reason to watch Alex Gibney’s documentary based on Lawrence Wright’s book, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief is how vehemently the Church of Scientology objected to it and the lengths it went to stop it.

Kudos to HBO for standing up to the bullying tactics of the CoS. The head of HBO Documentary Films, Sheila Nevins, said, “I thought, ‘They really don’t want us to do it. All the reason more to do it.'”

For its part, the film has generated equally rave reviews and damning indictment of the church. It opened in the U.S. in March and is now showing on HBO.

Deluxe Edition

The Deluxe Edition of The Illustrated History of Don Post Studios by Lee Lambert is now in the hands of our printer. We wrapped yesterday and celebrated with an evening at the Hollywood Bowl where Dudamel conducted Tchaikovsky and fireworks lit up the sky.

Back to the book. When we first released it last September, we were hopeful that it would be received well. Little did we know that there would be such demand. We sold out 20 minutes within the opening of Mask Fest and two months later we sold out of the first printing. We hedged our bet with a small run of 500 copies. But the reception was encouraging enough that we had to consider a second printing. Yet, we did not want to just reprint the book. We wanted to offer more value and give fans something different, something worth a second look. So we supersized the book to a 9″ x 12″ hardcover – the original was 8.5″ x 11″ softcover – and added 100 additional pages of never-before-published photos.

Oh, and we are offering a limited special collector latex mask relief slipcase. The slipcase is being sculpted by Greg Duffy and will be produced by Greg’s company, Creature Revenge Studios. This special slipcase edition will only be available for pickup at DON-CON in November. Both standard hardcover and collector slipcase edition are now available for pre-oder, although the slipcase will only be available while supplies last. Pre-orders will come with one free admission per order to DON-CON.

Frank-DPS-Front-Slipcase

FIDM

The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, or FiDM, always throws a great party. Last night’s was the annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design Exhibition opening. The exhibit has consistently featured some of the best costumes from some of the best shows. This year’s collection includes costumes from Marvel’s Agent CarterS.H.I.E.L.D.Wolf Hall, SalemBetter Call SaulGothamRay Donovan, Once Upon a Time, among others.

Here are some photos:

File Jul 19, 4 32 23 PM File Jul 19, 4 32 47 PM File Jul 19, 4 33 03 PM File Jul 19, 4 33 19 PM File Jul 19, 4 33 35 PM File Jul 19, 4 33 51 PM

Trump

Donald Trump on John McCain: “I like people who weren’t captured.”

Stephen Colbert & Neil DeGrasse Tyson

The best.

Ridiculous

This is what President Obama was greeted with in Oklahoma on July 15, 2015:

(Photo: Evan Vucci/AP)

Obama

There are still 16 months before the next election, so it’s kind of premature to start looking at President Obama’s place in history. But, for argument’s sake, if his presidency were to end today, would he not already be one of the most accomplished presidents in American history? Forget whether you like him or not, just take into account what he’s done: the newly announced Iran nuclear deal, Dodd-Frank Act, executive action on immigration, clean energy bill, New START, Trans Pacific Partnership, Cuba, Osama Bin-Laden, and of course the big one, the Affordable Care Act, or as the opposition so derisively called it, Obamacare. The jokes on them, though, since Obamacare will likely be spoken in the same breath as Social Security and Medicare in the future as the foundational social programs of this country.

On the universal healthcare point, it was Teddy Roosevelt who first attempted to achieve national healthcare. Yes, not just any Republican, but the Rough Riding, speak softly and carry a big stick, Nobel Peace prize-winning Republican badass himself. For more than a century, some notable big names – the aforementioned TR, his cousin FDR, Truman, Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon, Carter, Clinton – all failed to pass a national healthcare platform. Obama did so in a more divisive and acrimonious environment than any of his predecessors.

Says College of William and Mary political scientist Chris Howard: “FDR and LBJ had lots of fellow Democrats in Congress when they pushed for the New Deal and Great Society. Their opponents, in and out of government, were not nearly as ideological or hostile as the ones facing Obama. The fact that the ACA exists at all is pretty remarkable.”

Dylan Matthews, writing for Vox.com, adds: “When you consider the law in the context of 100 years of progressive activism, and in the grand scheme of American history, it starts to look less like a moderate reform and more like an epochal achievement, on the order of FDR’s passage of Social Security, or LBJ’s Great Society programs.”

Obamacare has been great for the headlines, both for its supporters and detractors. However, it’s not just this one accomplishment that will define or shape Obama’s legacy. Lest we forget, he inherited two wars in the Middle East and what’s come to be referred to as The Great Recession, and look at what he’s done to alter and transform those landscapes.

Still, Obama’s administration has been from the start and seemingly will continue to be blamed for 1) things he was not responsible or 2) for not doing enough. Sure, the guy could have done more or taken a harder stance on certain issues. But, hey, he’s got a year and a half left to do something about that before the movers come to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Iran

After 20 months of intense negotiations, a consortium of world powers led by the United States and includes France, Germany, Britain, China and Russia has reached a potentially historic nuclear agreement with Iran. (Read about the details of the deal here.)

The deal isn’t done, because the U.S. Congress has 60 days to review it and then to accept or reject it. Republican leaders in Congress have already publicly stated that they were prepared to reject the Iran nuclear deal, while many Democrats remained skeptical. President Obama will now work on his sales pitch to Congress and the American public, though he has also said he would veto any legislation that blocks the deal.

One would expect Israel (read: Netanyahu) to lobby against the deal. Bebe, as he is nicknamed, has called the Iran nuclear deal a “historic mistake” that would create a “terrorist nuclear superpower.”

One would also expect the Pentagon to have a say. A friend of mine, who will likely be promoted to Colonel next year, spent some time at the War College in Carlisle, PA where former Iranian chief of staff to Ahmadinejad was a guest speaker. So this friend of mine actually has good knowledge of the Iran situation. He told me after the nuclear deal was announced that this agreement is “exactly what [was] needed to happen to show Iran that the U.S. is willing to reach out with the olive branch.”

Take it for what it’s worth: the Pentagon might actually prefer a peaceful resolution.