Sunday, May 11, 2008

Biggest crap of the week

"Message to the Base: Stay home."
-- The never delightful Donna Brazile in an e-mail she sent out last week saying that Democrats didn't need working class voters anymore. Brazile needs to be fired by the DNC and by Ms. magazine. Neither of which, for the record, can lose their working class base. (Though both appear to be trying to do just that. Maybe Donna speaks for them as well?) Biggest crap of the week, no surprise Donna Brazile squeezed it out.

A note to our readers

Hey --
Happy Mother's Day.

Were it not for this being that day, we would have been finished before sunrise. Not joking. All but one feature was written. How we stayed on track, no one knows. But the promise was that we'd stop by four-thirty EST and regroup this afternoon. That would give people time to sleep and to do Mother's Day activities. I really wanted to say, at four-thirty EST, "If we gave thirty more minutes, we wouldn't have to regroup, everything would be done." But I felt they'd all curse me out. ("I" is me, Jim.)

Thank you to everyone starting with Dallas and including:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,

Here's what we got:

Biggest crap of the week -- Why go with a truest when Donna Brazile seems bound and determined to make one hateful remark after another until she's run everyone out of the Democratic Party? We don't think she necessarily hates the entire world, we think it's more likely she's been told there will be a buffet at the DNC convention in Colorado this August and Big Momma's Mouth is scared she might have to share.

Editorial: Bye-bye Cynthia McKinney -- We don't waste our time following the campaigns of those in a race declaring (before they've even received the nomination) that they're not winning to run. We're not wasting our time. Our time matters. You're not running to win, we're not interested in your campaign.

TV: Tiny Tots -- Ava and C.I. and this differs from the print version (which ran minus one feature) in that there's an additional paragraph. When they finished it and I read it out loud, Elaine said, "What about those comments you'd made about that Marvin Gaye special?" They said if there was time, they'd add it in. (There was time.) This is a very funny piece by Ava and C.I. and they pull in Big Shots only because longterm viewers are asking about entertainment shows. (They're fine with a mix, they're fun with just public affairs but they point out that since the writers strike ended there hasn't been one TV commentary that focused only on entertainment television. Ava and C.I. ask, "What are we supposed to review? There's one show currently airing that we haven't reviewed and we are trying to wait for the cancellation to be announced.")

Barack's message to veterans "Get lost" -- No wonder Donna Brazile loves Barack Obama, he's just like her! Maybe Pretty Words are really Ugly Words when they never have any action behind them? We think so. We think they're called "lies." In this feature article, you'll notice the appearence of text jokes on colorful paper. What's going on? We were thinking about visuals earlier last week and tossing out different ideas. Wally and C.I. came up with the idea of, like Laugh In, running text visuals. They are in this feature article and pop up and others below as well. They're for laughs and to break up the articles. Thanks to Wally and C.I. for coming up with it and thanks to Laugh In for inspiring it. (Laugh In is the TV show that featured many comedians including Lily Tomlin and Goldie Hawn who made their names originally on that program.)

Roundtable -- The roundtable ran pretty smoothly. (Dona jokes -- I think she's joking -- that's because I was a topic so frequently.) The illustration of the roundtable is done by Betty's eldest son. We use that illustration for the roundtables and I didn't note that in the transcript. Hope I noted it was a "rush transcript."

The 527 of the Democratic Party (it's Green) -- If you disagre with this article -- and you're free to -- take it up with Green 'leadership.' All they have to do is prove us wrong by stopping the nonsense of 'safe state strategy' and 'I'm only running for 5% of the vote' and most of all allowing their members to repeatedly write articles that not only ignore the Green Party but also build up Barack and tear down Hillary. If they're really Greens, they've got no business fluffing for any candidate in another party. In case they missed it, they are a TINY party and they need all the attention and votes they can get. Instead, they waste their time in the Barack fan club.

Remember Otto? The Nation appears to forget -- Yes, Virginia, The Nation always published Communists. They just made them step into the political closet.

Yes, they really are that stupid -- Air Berman -- one of The Nation's No-Stars Airs. Air Boredom (thanks C.I., but why didn't you think of that earlier!). They really are stupid.

Happy Mothers Day -- Campaign news.

Highlights -- Ruth, Rebecca, Marcia, Kat, Elaine, Betty, Wally, Cedric and Mike wrote this and picked highlights unless otherwise noted. We thank them for this.

That's it. See you next Sunday. Happy Mothers Day.

-- Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: Bye-bye Cynthia McKinney

Well, Cynthia McKinney has defined victory as getting five percent of the vote. She understands she is not going to be walking into the White House on January 20, 2009.

So declared supreme loser Ted Glick on Democracy Now, April 23rd. It wasn't quite a Don McLean "Bye-Bye, Miss American Pie" moment. That would come the next day when the McKinney campaign declared "Glick Speaks for Cynthia in Radio Forum"!


Loser who better not whine, "I'm being excluded from the debates" if she gets the Green Party nomination. She's a loser.

And we never intended to say that about Cynthia McKinney. But you don't enter a presidential race for 5% of the vote. If that's "victory" to you, you gave up your right to stand on stage with other candidates. See real candidates run to win. They give everything they have to winning. Candidates who define "victory" as 5% of the vote aren't real candidates.

Glick said it and we rolled our eyes. He's a Natural Born Loser and always has been. But then the McKinney campaign linked to those statements, thereby endorsing them.

So Cynthia McKinney, if she gets the nomination, is not running a real campaign.

She's running a campaign not for the presidency but for 5% of the vote.

Supposedly this election is 'important.' You keep hearing that from Panhandle Media. Well then Cynthia doesn't belong on the stage in any presidential debate if she gets the nomination because, by not running for victory (that would be the White House), she's wasting everyone's time.

In The Common Ills community, there's no support for Barack Obama. The bulk of the members are Democrats. They have stated they will not vote Democratic in November if Barack's the presidential nominee. These voters were up for grabs. They don't favor McCain. So if Barack gets the nomination, there choices were:

1) Don't vote in the presidential race

2) Vote for Cynthia McKinney

3) Vote for Ralph Nader

Cynthia actually had the lock on them. She's been brave. She's been fiery. She's someone they know very well. She lost them all when her campaign endorsed Glick's statement. That says she's not a presidential candidate. She's a 5% candidate.

Like everyone else, we have lives. We don't have time to follow every issues and every niche movement in the world. We need to use our time wisely. We're not using it for a 5% candidate. We have better things to do.

5% is not unlike the 2004 "safe state strategy." It's not a real campaign. In 2000, Ralph Nader gained ballot access for the Green Party with his run and the 'leadership' destroyed that in 2004 by electing to run what they called a 'safe state strategy' that was nothing but a party killing strategy.

At best, Cynthia's campaign appears to be an effort to take the Greens back to 2000. Why? So in 2012 they can run another 'safe state strategy'?

Nationally they have just demonstrated that they aren't a real political party. (We'll note Green state races if they're brought to our attention.) That's really pathetic.

Ralph Nader doesn't know how many votes he's going to get. He's running a presidential campaign. Could he become president? We think it's likely and we don't hear him limiting himself.

A race for the presidency that starts out -- and McKinney's not even been declared the nominee yet -- by defining the ultimate success as 5%, by stating "We have no chance of winning the White House," isn't a real run for the presidency.

So we won't be covering her campaign. And we don't think anyone in the media should. She's turned it into a joke.

When she was first considering it, before she got cold feet and had to be reassured, Cynthia was making noises about how the Greens could win the presidency and after she declared her run for the nomination she was saying how she was going to run a real race. Yet before she's even gotten the nomination, a surrogate is saying that she knows she can't win the race and is really only after 5% of the vote and her campaign then does a "Ted Glick Speaks For Cynthia" endorsement of the statement.

That's pathetic.

It is sad when real candidates are shut out of the debates. But in Cynthia's case, we will not shed any tears for her because she's not planning to run for the presidency, just for 5% of the vote. So there's no reason for anyone to shed tears when she is not invited to the debates (assuming she's the party nominee). She's not a real candidate.

And until the Green Party learns to act like a national party, there's really no reason for anyone to consider it to be one.

The Green Party alleges that it wants to break through the two-party monopoly in this country. We support that. But we don't support stupidity or faux runs. And declaring that your campaign will be focused on a 'victory' of 5% of the votes relegates you to the margins and fringes. Some people will actually be running to win. Those are the real candidates.

We have no idea how important the election is. We're fully aware that 2004 was supposed to be "the torture election" if you believed The Nation magazine. We're not sure what issue would be more important than a nation illegally practicing torture but we're sure that trashy magazine will find some way to hype the 2008 election through the roof with more sensationalistic headlines. We're equally sure that life will go on for those lucky enough to live through the next White House occupant's tenure.

We do know a real candidate when we see one and that's not a person who defines 'victory' in a political race as 5% of the vote. We know how important our own time is and we won't waste it by treating this fringe run as a serious one when covering the presidential race.

We drove our Chevy to levee and, yes, found the levee was dry. Bye-Bye Cynthia.

TV: Tiny Tots

If you're lucky, you never caught ABC's Big Shots. The show came and went quickly so maybe in that sense it was, as it claimed to be, a portrait of 'modern American manhood'? We weren't so lucky. We watched five episodes last fall and read at least as many scripts. That's work down the drain (or down the urinal, as Big Shots would have filmed it) and we really had no reason to ever comment on since it's dead and we really don't plan to recycle our old notes on various TV shows. [During the writers' strike we stopped reviewing entertainment television -- or what passes for it.] But Big Shots really seemed to think it was and it really wasn't. But it told a great deal about how some men see men.

Most men disagreed which is why, like women, they ignored the show. Dylan McDermott played chief cock and infamously declared, "Men, we're the new women." The show was created by a man, the show was as male heavy behind the scenes as it was in front of the camera. So if, as it professed, it believed that the male characters they were featuring were, in fact, women, it said a great deal about how much they hated women.

The male leads were not always getting saunas or facials, it just seemed the way. They were very preening, to put it politely. And seeing Chris Matthews new carrot-top do this week, we were reminded that the sickness the program captured exists far beyond the men responsible for the show. (We're not referring to the actors. Of all four leads, Michael Vartan achieved the most but he could never overcome the stunted character.) It was a boys club all the way where the 'girl' receiving the most airtime and interest was, naturally, a male who cross-dressed.

Just the line that men are the new women went to the program's hostility towards women. And that hostility was present in every episode having been written into every script. It was hard not to wade through a script or view an episode without suspecting that if cloning were perfected, the men responsible for the program would gladly call for the deaths of all women because there was so much hostility towards women (including a domestic abuse subplot treated as 'normal' and sympathetic) that Big Shots really seemed to want to exist in a world without women.

And that seemed to be some of the theme of this week's Washington Week where alleged journalists embarrassed themselves. We hadn't planned to watch. Last week we gave a sincere compliment to Gwen and thought on that high point we could begin ignoring the show. But PBS friends called to inform us this was a "road show" and we can't figure out if they really wanted us to trash the program (it's not a popular program inside PBS) or if they genuinely thought we'd enjoy it?

Washington Week was back on the road. It was in Philadelphia and you might wonder why that city was chosen but that would require thought and the best way to get through Washington Week is thinking as little as possible.

Thinking too hard puts you far and above the average gas bag invited on.

For instance when Little Jeanne Cummings starts talking about Hamas, if you think, you will of course realize that before they gas bags took the stage, Hamas was already back in the news via Tom Baldwin's Times of London report that Barack had lost yet another advisor -- this one was in long talks with Hamas, labeled a terrorist organization by the US State Department.

So if you think while watching, you'll realize that not only is Jeanne not as cute as she think she is (or even cute), you'll realize that she 'prepares' for the show largely by watching other gas bag programs. She has no knowledge base and she doesn't even what's in the news.

So there was she, so obviously tickled, to say that John McCain had suggested some sort of tie between Barack Obama and Hamas and, get this, Barack fired back with an insult and McCain claimed it was ageism.

She found it all so funny, all so humorous.

And if you watched without thinking, you might have gotten caught up in Jeanne's warped world. If you paused, even for a second, to think, you realized how truly sad she was and how her 'jovial' treatment of the elections pretty much sums all that is wrong with political coverage.

Had she been on Big Shots, she would have been the transvestite.

And she proved she was more than up for the role as she bent conventional wisdom until it broke to slam Hillary. Truth-bender Jeanne insisted that John McCain was going to be sold as a "working class" hero and that this was Hillary Clinton's fault. Why, she informed, "they're going to take her playbook!"

Really, Jeanne?

You mean John McCain only decided to run as man-of-the-people because of Hillary? Wow. It's a shame Hillary didn't run sooner, imagine how the Bushes and Reagan and assorted other millionaire Republican candidates might have benefited from running as "man of the people." Of course, in the real world, those GOP candidates (and many others) ran as if they identified with the working class. John McCain was always going to run a campaign in which he attempted to appeal to the working class. We don't like John McCain and think he's wrong on nearly every issue (we can't think of an issue he's right on, but in case there's one, we'll say "nearly every issue"), but he's not stupid.

Jeanne can't make the same claim.

His 2000 run wasn't "I'm John McCain and I don't relate to working Americans!" But it's really important to vilify Hillary, important to Jeanne and her co-horts, so she bends the truth. Barack has a real problem with working Americans and that's no one's fault but his own. There was no reason to speak in Iowa about the price of arugala at Whole Foods. Iowa doesn't have a Whole Foods store anywhere in the state. There was no reason for him to sneer that working class Americans "cling" to guns, religion and anti-immigration attitudes. That last one gets left out by Jeanne and her crowd. If you include it, Barack can't -- as he does these days -- lie that he wasn't insulting working class Americans. If you include it, he can't dance around what he said and insist it wasn't an insult.

As bad as Jeanne was, she was far from the only offender. The worst offender was actually Michael Viqueira of NBC and, apparently, Foreskin Fanclub. It takes a lot of stupid, fortunately Micheal has a lot, to gush about Barack's visit to the US House of Representatives. Michael did just that dubbing it "a conquering hero moment." Heroic? That was Thursday. He's a US Senator and he sits on the Veterans Affairs Committee. They held a hearing Wednesday on the veterans benefits and Barack wasn't present (as has happened too often for the freshman senator). So when he finally gets his ass back to DC, he's really got no business glad-handing on the House floor.

For the record, when the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee held their hearing, Barack wasn't campaigning. He was, again, resting. He had to rest in March as well because, apparently, giving a nearly 4,000 word speech on how he loved Jeremiah Wright and could no more turn his back on Wright than on his White grandmother tired him out. So he high tailed it off to the Virgin Islands for a few days of rest. If you're recalling how easily Bully Boy got tired on the campaign trail, if you're remembering him whining about wanting to sleep his own bed and missing his pillow, you're not mistaken. There's a lot of Bully Boy in Barack.

Michael wanted to laugh about Hillary and working class Americans. Why should he be left out? Hasn't The Nation and The Progressive sneered at and mocked the working class this entire campaign? (Yes, they and many others have.) So he laughed about the Clinton campaign's argument that Hillary was more electable and how Congress members of "about 20 districts" agreed. Laugh it up now while you can. More than likely you'll soon be repeating "Perhaps I've been there too long" to excuse your ignorance.

Michael did just that with regards to McCain's vigorous campaign. He just never saw that coming. And wasn't able to muster a laugh on that. He looked sad. Poor baby.

He wasn't the only one going for theatrics. Karen Tumulty (Time magazine) can usually be counted on for some common sense but, apparently thrilled to 'on the road' and before a live audience, she mugged like Bette Davis at the end of her career when the problem wasn't that no one asked her to tone it down, it's that Davis wouldn't listen. After Friday's 'performance,' we eagerly await the announcement that Karen will soon be starring off-off-off Broadway in Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte.

Her desire for theatrics was most evident in the double-take she attempted when Gwen noted a comment by Bill Clinton that Hillary could still get the nomination. Not content to mug like crazy, Karen added a slowly delivered, "Uh-huh." If only she was as precious as she thought she was in that moment.

Dan Baltz was the four guest. Baltz is like Charles Babbington, another regular, the program's seeming nod to reality. It's really amazing to watch Dan or Charlie appear on these programs and grasp how far from the rest of journalism those two are.

We're not insulting either man. They're meat and potatoes reporters who believe you look into something, you get the facts and then you write the story. They're not interested in selling narratives, they're not interested in making themselves the star. In a just world, that would be applauded. In today's world it makes them come off like freaks or relics of a by-gone era.

Dan rained on everyone's parade by sticking to reality. After he spoke, like Jack Nicholson slamming a fist down on the set, it had a calming effect on the crowd. But while Nicholson can restore order instantly and for the day, Dan was only able to restore order for a few seconds. Then it was back to the chuckles and nonsense. So much so that you had to wonder if the gasbags actually 'prepared' for journalism careers by playing Monopoly and not via training.

So in terms of Karen's bug eyed theatrics, Dan's comments that Hillary stood a chance in West Virginia ("If you look at the demographics, it's bad for" Barack) calmed her down for a moment, calmed them all done. For a few seconds they looked like adults and you could have mistaken for journalists or at least the ideal of journalists. But that's when Gwen brought up Hamas and Jeanne took a star turn.

Or there was the time, after Michael was crestfallen that John McCain might actually run his campaign with the intent of winning where Dan explained that, though they may disagree on politics, McCain and Clinton have a healthy respect for each other and, putting it mildly, "I think he's skeptical of Obama."

He is skeptical of Barack and that pre-dates the campaign season. It goes to his opinion that Barack stabbed in the back for a few headlines and though Barack quickly put his tail between his legs and whimpered an apology, the McCain campaign made it clear last week that they wouldn't take the garbage that all but the Clinton campaign took from Obama during the primary:

First, let us be clear about the nature of Senator Obama's attack today. He used the words 'losing his bearings' intentionally, a not particularly clever way of raising John McCain's age as an issue. This is typical of the Obama campaigning. We have all become familiar with Senator Obama's new brand of politics. First, you demand civility from your opponent, then you attack him, distort his record and send out surrogates to question his integrity. It is called hypocrisy, and it is the oldest kind of politics there is. It is important to focus on what Senator Obama is attempting to do here: He is trying desperately to delegitimize the discussion of issues that raise legitimate questions about his judgement and preparedness to be President of the United States. Through their actions and words, Senator Obama and his supporters have made clear that ANY criticism on ANY issue -- from his desire to raise taxes on millions of small investors to his radical plans to sit down face-to-face with Iranian President Ahmadinejad -- constitute negative, personal attacks. Senator Obama is hopeful that the media will continue to form a protective barrier around him, declaring serious limits to the questions, discussion and debate in this race. Senator Obama has good reason to think this plan will succeed, as serious journalists have written off the need for 'de-tox' to cure 'swooning' over Senator Obama, and others have admitted to losing their objectivity while with him on the campaign trail.

PDF format warning, the memo can be found here. That memo, authord by Mark Salter, did what the media never did, contrasted Barack's words with his deeds. And, in that memo, you see how McCain's going to campaign against Barack should the Democratic Party be foolish enough to give Barack the nomination.

What's McCain's camp doing in that memo? They're first of all noting that Barack insists on the high road when things get uncomfortable for him and as soon as the other candidate agrees to take it, Barack's low roading it again. He's done that over. Whenever John Edwards called him out, Barack -- who was attacking Edwards -- would whine that the 'tone' was going negative and Edwards would back down. They really all did except Hillary. John McCain didn't need Hillary's playbook to know that you can't win without contrasting the other candidate's lies.

It's a pity other Democrats didn't grasp that as well but Joe Biden, complimenting Barack but stumbling while doing it, saw the first sign of how the Barack campaign (which includes Panhandle Media) would lash out. It sent a message early on. And, if you've forgotten, after Biden was slimed and slurred enough to improve Barack's standing, Barack showed up to vouch that he was sure Biden didn't mean anything wrong. Uh, that was clear in the fact that it was a compliment -- a badly worded one, to be sure -- but Barack had been praised by Biden. The Obama campaign did that repeatedly, drummed up a phony race issue and got the media focused on, took what they needed from it, and then had Barack show up with a statement where he claimed he didn't think the person was a racist.

If you want to know who gave McCain the playbook, it wasn't Hillary. It was Geraldine Ferraro who refused to be silenced with phony charges that she was racist. (Barack had made the same comments himself, Peter Hart had offered the same criticism in FAIR's Extra!) Ferraro hasn't been hurt by her comments. Because she stood up. Others who have been falsely charged -- who refused to stand up -- have been harmed.

We don't think McCain needed Ferraro to make that point but if Jeanne's going to credit someone, credit goes to Ferraro. But McCain's watched the same Democratic primary campaign the rest of the country has watched and, not being an Barack Groupie, he's surely been as puzzled as many others. He's no doubt that it was embarrassing for Democratic males, supposedly trying to win the nomination, to use their own debate time slobbering praise for Barack. That was out of fear of the race card being played on them. McCain's made it clear, in that memo, that he's not going to let the card played.

And if Barack's the nominee, McCain's not going to play that game. And he doesn't have to worry about it because "racist" charges will only rally the GOP base to him. Many, though not all, don't even see real racism when it's in front of them. If Barack tries to play the same con on McCain that's he's done on his Democratic opponents, he's going to find out really quickly that he's only increasing McCain's support. And when McCain fights back on those charges, he'll get support from across the political spectrum. That will happen because we're talking about a general election, not a Democratic primary. We're talking about people who aren't Barack groupies. And because we're talking about people who will slowly start to say, "Didn't the campaign try to claim that it was 'racism' to even talk about Barack's drug use? But didn't Barack write about it? Didn't he go on The Tonight Show and make jokes about it?" Barack's backlash has been created for him by his own campaign which repeatedly went to the well with the false charge of racism.

And a lot of knee-jerk 'leftists' may fall for it. But a lot of other people -- of all races -- will say, "Hold on a minute, I know racism and that's not racism." You can't build a national campaign on crying 'racism!' You can't build a national campaign by refusing to debate. You can't build a national campaign by going off to rest every time it gets rough. Hopefully a Democratic leaders are paying attention (some are). But it's the topic the media doesn't want to address . . . yet.

But they will address it if Barack's the nominee. Maybe Washington Week could kick-start that discussion?

Bill Moyers certainly won't and talk about men being the women of today. On Friday's Bill Moyers Journal, a guest brought up the fact that Hillary's health care campaign was stronger than Barack's and that was quickly pushed aside. Which should remind you for all of Bill's whining that serious campaign issues aren't addressed, he's three times since the year started devoted the show's examination of the campaign to race (and never gender) while refusing to explore issues. No doubt that's another reason Elizabeth Edwards still hasn't been invited on.

It's becoming obvious just how touchy masculinity is for so many. And if you doubted, you could have checked out a PBS 'documentary' aired on American Masters last week in some markets. The subject Marvin Gaye . . . or that was allegedly the subject. We didn't expect authorship to be dealt with -- no one wants to touch that outside of a very few music historians. But we did assume we'd get at least the level of reality offered in Intimate Portrait. It was no where to be found and, somewhere around the time it was being said that he was literally (and this was said seriously) an angel come down from heaven (apparently they sing his "Sanctified P**sy" in heaven, who knew?) and that he committed suicide (his father shot him to death and, no, Gaye wasn't hoping to be killed), you grasped that you were watching a revisionary, 'uplifting' piece of garbage better left to Pax. You grasped that as a woman bragged that she and Marvin raised their children -- while the program skirted over the public and known drug use of that period. She and other women spoke of love and it was soft and platonic -- yes, it was even necessary to strip Gaye of his very real, very strong sexual urges. (This is the man who, upon meeting Carly Simon, shoved his tongue down her throat -- apparently what you do when "Hello" just doesn't seem enough.) He was a penis-less, unich come down from heaven and, like a savior, willing to die and willingly going to his death. What that had to do with "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" or Marvin Gaye, no one knows. Most were probably left wondering, "Is this a special Pat Boone?" or "Who knew Marvin was so boring?" But as surely as Chris Matthews' new strawberry-blond shade indicates the crisis in masculinty for some males, so too did that 'documentary.' We look forward to a documentary on Jim Morrison next that says he was Buddah come to America, and ignores his drinking and drug use as well as sexuality. It no doubt will be the centerpiece of next year's American Masters and will continue the bad programming.

Big Shots was a really bad show that gave you a look at what some elite men (the ones behind the camera) really think about men and women. No surprise, women were seen as unnecessary (even to plot twists). You've seen that throughout the campaign season in your alleged news and public affairs programs as well. The final show of Big Shots was entitled "Who's The Boss" and viewers responded that they were by refusing to watch. That's why the show was cancelled. If only the American people could use that same power with other programs.

Barack's message to veterans "Get lost"

Where Senator Bam-Bam last week?

He was all over but where wasn't he?

Tuesday was a primary and, so wiped out was he from losing Indiana and winning North Carolina, he had to have a day of relaxation. Good thing he's a candidate without any responsiblities, right?

Oh, wait, he does have responsibilities. But Wednesday was his day of rest.


Hope nothing that required his presence was going on.

Let's see, Wednesday? Well the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs was addressing veterans' benefits. The Democrats have seven senators that sit on the committee. There's chair Daniel Akaka, John D. Rockefeller, Patty Murray, Jim Webb, Sherrod Brown, Jon Tester and, yes, Barack. How nice of him, considering his already lousy record of attendance, to blow off yet another committee meeting. It was more important to Barack, who was only sworn in as Senator back in January 2005, to take a day of rest than to take the time to do fulfill his Senate business. So nice of him to send the message to veterans that, if they vote for him, he may get to work on their issues but, right now, he's got so many more important things to do.

If, like Barack, you missed the hearings, you can excuse yourself with the fact that (a) you weren't elected to the Senate and appointed to that committee and (b) it's not like the press bothered to cover it.

As Patty Murray noted, the hearing followed on the heels of Tuesday's House Committee on Veterans Affairs "The Truth About Veterans Suicides," examining the VA's cover up of the rates of suicide. She stated she was "greatly concerned about the transperancy and truthfulness of the Department." We'll assume Barack was less so -- judging by his absence. (Though we're sure the same ones insisting Barack was against the 2007 Iran resolution despite the fact that he didn't vote against it -- and co-sponsored a similar resolution -- will also create an excuse for his lasest AWOL episode.)

They had a lot to discuss, as Chair Akaka noted:

First, S. 2617, the "Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2008" would increase the rates of compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for the survivors of certain disabled veterans, among other benefits, effective December 1st of this year.

Many of the more than three million recipients of these benefits depend upon the tax-free payments not only to provide for their own basic needs, but for the needs of their families as well. Without an annual COLA increase, these veterans and their families would see the value of their hard-earned benefits slowly diminish. We, as a Congress, would also be in dereliction of our duty to ensure that those who sacrificed so much for this country receive the benefits and services to which they are entitled.

S.2309, the proposed "Compensation for Combat Veterans Act," would ease the evidentiary requirements facing veterans who file claims for disabilities incurred while serving in a combat zone. During oversight visits to regional offices, Committee staff has identified a number of cases where service medical records of veterans serving in combat areas are missing. Discussions with physicians who have served in those areas confirm that records are not always made or maintained. As a result, combat veterans have had claims denied or unduly delayed. This bill would result in faster and more accurate decisions.

The "Veterans' Rating Schedule Review Act", S. 2737, addresses the authority of Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. This legislation would give veterans a legal recourse to challenge portions of the rating schedule that fail to conform to the law.

S. 2825, the "Veterans' Compensation Equity Act" would provide a minimum disability rating for veterans receiving medical treatment for a service-connected disability. In the course of its oversight work, Committee staff has found a great deal of inconsistency in the ratings assigned to veterans with minor, but chronic conditions. This bill would ensure that any veteran requiring continuous medication or the ongoing use of an adaptive device, such as a hearing aid, would receive at least a 10 percent rating for that disability, entitling them to a minimum level of compensation.

In the area of readjustment benefits, I have introduced two bills that would help servicemembers and veterans return to their civilian lives. S. 2471, the "USERRA Enforcement Improvement Act of 2007", which I co-authored with Senator Kennedy, would strengthen the employment and reemployment rights of returning servicemembers by imposing compliance deadlines on federal agencies. It would also implement measures to reduce inefficiencies and improve the information collected by the government on USERRA compliance.

S. 2864, the "Training and Rehabilitation for Disabled Veterans Enhancement Act of 2008", would improve VA's Independent Living program, which serves veterans whose disabilities render them unable to work. The bill would eliminate the annual cap on the number of enrollees in the program and shift the program from a discretionary pilot initiative to a mandatory program. It would also make improvement in quality of life -- an explicit objective of training and rehabilitation services of the Independent Living program.

Finally, I have introduced two complimentary bills that would improve the opportunities available to veterans for home ownership. The first bill, S. 2768, would temporarily increase the maximum loan amount for certain VA-guaranteed home loans. The second bill, S. 2961, would raise the maximum guaranty limit on refinance loans and decrease the equity requirement for those who want to refinance to a VA-backed loan.

As is the case every Session, the biggest hurdle for implementation of these bills into law is cost. I am working to find appropriate offsets within the Committee's jurisdiction.

Finally, I am pleased to see S. 22 back on the agenda this morning. I have worked hard with Senator Webb to develop this proposal, and I believe that the measure as we have it before us this morning is a good one. I am certain that it would not only be a vastly improved readjustment benefit for our newest generation of veterans but it also gives the armed forces a valuable recruitment and retention tool. As one of the 8 million veterans who attended school on the original GI Bill after World War II, I am committed to seeing that this legislation go forward.

And the VA was stalling, claiming they didn't have time for this to be reviewed or that to be reviewed. The big issue was Webb's proposal (S-22) of education benefits for veterans. Though widely supported, the VA and Senator Lindsey Graham were attempting to derail it. Maybe Barack should have been there?

Friday morning, Paul Kane (Washington Post) would report that House "Blue Dog Democrats" were citing veterans education benefits in the war supplemental as their reason for not supporting it: "The Blue Dogs have objected to the creation of a program that would guarantee veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan a year of in-state college tuition for each year served in the war zones."

Maybe Barack should have used that 'rock star' presence to draw attention to the issue by showing up for the Wednesday hearing he was supposed to attend? Maybe veterans benefits are a little more important than whether or not he has bags under his eyes? (Were we him, we'd worry more about the thinning hair in the last months.)

When did he decide that he could take personal time? He certainly didn't tell voters in 2004, "Vote for me and I guarantee I will take all the days I need to be rested. I guarantee you that I will miss hearings but I will be rested."

On his Senate website, the veterans page, the bragging never ends: "As a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, Senator Obama is committed to helping the heroes who defend our nation today and the veterans who fought in years past." Committed? He skipped the hearing.

August 21, 2007, in Kansas, he was declaring and promising, "Keeping faith with those who serve must always be a core American value and a cornerstone of American patriotism. Because America's commitment to its servicemen and women begins at enlistment, and it must never end." How did he keep faith by skipping the hearing? We believe his own commitment to service members ended Wednesday so he could take a personal day. That speech was titled "A Sacred Trust" and, apparently, the subtitle was "except on days when I need my rest."

Barack Obama offers up a lot of Pretty Words. He offered them up when running for the Senate as well. But words without action is all they are. He says he wants to serve the country as president but he's still not serving the people he pledged to serve in Illinois if they would only send him to the Senate. His Senate website asserts, "Illinois has a large proportion of aging veterans. Unfortunately, Illinois ranked 50 out of 53 states and territories in disability benefits for at least 20 years." Unfortunately the senator who still hasn't completed his first term can't even attend hearings on veterans benefits.


Pretty words aren't actions.


Jim: Hillary Clinton won Indiana and we've got a roundtable. Participating are The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and, and me, Jim, Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man, C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review, Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills), Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Mike of Mikey Likes It!,Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Wally of The Daily Jot, and Marcia SICKOFITRDLZ. We've got a lot to cover and first Ty wants to note a new reader.

Ty: Manuel e-mailed to explain he's a lefty, 23-years-old, but has a really hard time with some sites due to the fact that they "enshrine Cuba." He found a roundtable from long ago, I don't remember it, where we didn't do that and, after reading it last week, he started reading more and feels like he's found somewhere he's comfortable.

Jim: I vaguely remember that and actually, Ava and C.I. were the ones who were practical. The rest of speaking were enshrining Cuba. I remember because it was obvious that Ava and C.I. strongly disagreed with us and that was one of the few times so it still stands out.

Ava: Well, we have nothing against Cuba or the Cuban people. We don't worship at the feet of Fidel Castro. I know Alice Walker loves to do that and she's far from alone. I don't buy into that garbage and I never have. Talk to someone if you want to sell that s**t because I'll never buy it. Fidel oppresses people in Cuba. That doesn't give the US a right to invade or 'punish' Cuba. It is reality and rewriting it because you think Fidel's sexy or Big Daddy is embarrassing. It's actually a point of we shared with Molly Ivins and why Molly was a bit leery of one group.

C.I.: It's not a roundtable. It's a book discussion. Bonnie M. Anderson's News Flash. It was 2005 and, I'd guess, it was November of 2005.

Jim: November 27, 2005. Dallas just found it and i.m.ed me. And I'm reading it or trying to. I'm glancing through, hold on. It's actually several books. Okay, I'm too the part where Ava and C.I. are praising the book and . . . I love Betty's comment, "I'm staying out of the crossfire." See, that's why I remember that.

Elaine: Well, I remember it and there were problems with the book, such as Kat, I believe, was the one that pointed out, don't include abuses in the book that weren't reported in real time. And that is on Cuba. But, yes, it did boil down to Ava and C.I. firmly on one side. I agreed with them at the time, whether I said it or not, I know Rebecca did and I'm sure she said something about that. I believe Jess, whom I supported in my comments, was the one most firmly opposed who said so during the discussion. Jim, you spoke after the discussion about it.

Jim: You're right, as I read over this, I see I must have waited until after the discussion. Jess?

Jess: I'm prone to be knee-jerk towards Cuba. Less so today. The further you get away from the toxic nature of Panhandle Media, the less you belong to their cult. Ava's position, Ava and C.I.'s, is that Castro's a leader and not a saint and that too many people are apologists for what he does. There's an article in the recent Harper's magazine that backs that up and when I read it and some other things recently, I realized how much propaganda I had swallowed from the likes of Amy Goodman. That was almost three years ago. Live and learn.

Jim: What's the title of the article?

Jess: I don't remember. Sorry. And it's probably not available online.

C.I.: It's Patrick Symmes' "The Battle of Ideas: Searching for the opposition in post-Fidel Cuba." It should be available in PDF format and it's the May issue of Harper's regardless.

Jess: Thanks. Private libraries are not allowed. Those trying to keep them are beaten, imprisoned, etc. It's a very alarming article and one of many I've come across recently. Again, I had the Panhandle Media knee-jerk reaction of Castro is a God! And I've left that behind in the years since. I don't remember what I said in that book discussion, I don't even remember the book discussion, but I'm sure I was pro-Castro.

Ava: Well, to be clear, as C.I.'s said, we don't favor invading Cuba. We don't favor sanctions on Cuba. But we also don't believe that Fidel's a god or a saint. And there are a lot of people, including Alice Walker who I have a lot of respect for, who will beg to differ. I'm thinking of an essay by her that I will kindly not name where she justified Fidel quaranteening Cubans with AIDS. I read that and thought, "Uh, I won't listen to Alice on international topics in the future."

C.I.: And the justification for wahtever Castro does is that he must retain unity in Cuba. Well, I believe the current administration could justify the Patriot Act and other laws and actions on the same grounds. I don't know if I said this in the discussion or after, probably after because I remember Jim being shocked, but I don't consider Cuba a revolution. It's a rebellion at this point. When you've had one leader the entire time, you don't have a revolution. Or you don't have proof of one. You have a rebellion. That's controversial to some on the left and it's always been my opinion.

Rebecca: And expressing that when we were in college led a professor to actively loathe C.I.

C.I.: But based on the criteria for revolutions and rebellions, Cuba can't be established as a revolution. Had Castro handed off power long ago and Cuba continued to be what it is today, I'd have no problem calling it a revolution. It may in fact be a revolution. But with one-person rule since the rebellion, the criteria's not there to make that call. Or not so that I could make the call. I don't loathe Fidel Castro, nor does Ava. We also don't worship him. He's a leader and as willing to do what he can to consolidate his power as anyone else. Michael Moore was ridiculous in that film, as Jess agreed, and that's why we didn't bother to note it. That's not to say Cuba doesn't have universal access to health care. They do and that's a wonderful thing. But Cuba also has a lot of oppression and I've never bought into the argument that it's okay because Fidel's a target. He is a target. I don't dismiss that and I certainly don't support it. But I can oppose those things and also not be Oliver Stone gushing over Fidel. I don't gush over world leaders or think, that because they're personable, we need to ignore their abuses. This isn't a minor issue to Ava or I. It wasn't during the discussion all those years ago.

Jim: No, it wasn't and you two sort of distanced yourself after.

Ava: Our working theory has always been we're not going to lie. We're not going to pretend. We were honestly, and Jess knows this because he and I had a huge fight about the topic throughout the rest of that day, surprised that there was such an effort to enshrine Fidel. We don't hate Fidel, C.I. and I, we're not rooting for his downfall. But we're also not going to hype him as Saint Fidel. Sorry, this Latina don't play that game.

Mike: If I can jump in, I was probably more guilty than Jess about turning Fidel into a Saint. And I'll put it off on Panhandle Media, and on two men in particular. I didn't hear about it from Ava but my grandfather did have a long talk with me about that after it went up. He said there's no excuse for the US government repeatedly trying to overthrow and kill Fidel but that doesn't make Fidel above criticism. But I was listening to a radio show where Fidel was a hero and --

Ava: C.I. and I would agree that Fidel's done some heroic things. We would include health care and education on such a list. Just to be clear.

Mike: Well, this was a little more of the Saint Fidel where everything he did was beautiful and he had no warts or faults. I haven't listened to that radio show in some time; however, my grandfather and I have talked about Fidel many times and, like Jess, I would say I've had some growth since that discussion. I participated by phone and I didn't realize it was such a big deal to Ava and C.I. So I'll say I'm sorry here.

Ava: You don't have to apologize. We disagreed and it didn't change my opinion of you or my love for you. But with Jess, as everyone should understand, there's a difference because he and I are a couple. So, yes, it was a long argument betweeen us.

Rebecca: Wally, like Ava and C.I., was vocally skeptical. I assumed, at the time, that it had to do with the fact that Wally lives in Florida. Am I right?

Wally: Yes. I mean I am around a lot of Cuban Americans. And there's the hard right core, which is mainly older, that wants the US to invade Cuba. And there's the younger generations, closer to my age and my age, who think that's extreme but, as one of my friends told me, Mercy, she has a hard time embracing some on the left because even though she's not crying for Fidel's head on a stick, she's aware that he's not a saint and responsible for a lot of suffering. She equates it with the same sort of suffering that goes on here and doesn't think he's a war criminal but she recoils from left outlets that treat him like a hero and saint. So, when I spoke, whatever I said was prompted by that. Mercy and I have known each other since fourth grade. She's not my only Cuban-American friend but we're both in college now and she's someone that, if I'm in Florida, I'll see all the time. So I'm sure she was especially on my mind in any comments I made.

Jim: Cedric, Marcia, Ruth, Betty?

Cedric: I don't know what I said at the time so I'll just be silent today. Today, I don't disagree with anything I've heard but I'm afraid I may have enshrined him as well. I know that Ava and C.I. have really made a point, while I've been helping out here, that Hugo Chavez doesn't need to be worshipped to call out what the US government does to Venezuela.

Marcia: Ruth and I weren't participating at the time. Fidel Castro's not a part of my life or conversations so I'm just listening. If I disagreed with what was being said, I'd say so.

Ruth: As the one who did the reports on radio, I will note that there is an attempt to enshrine Fidel. I do not think that's necessary to do to call out the US attacks on Cuba. And I'm certainly old enough to know that any time Americans worship at the feet of foreign leaders, it generally bites them in the rear ends later on.

Jim: Betty?

Betty: Well, as you pointed out, I avoided the crossfire. I remember that very well, like Jim does, because it was so obvious that it was a big disagreement. Between Jess and Ava and C.I. and I say "Ava and C.I." because we all know that they always agree. So it was Jess on one side and Ava and C.I. on the other. After the discussion, Jim got into it, on the same side as Jess. I do remember Mike's remarks and I don't know how they read today but Mike said them in a friendly manner. They weren't offensive and Ava wasn't offended at the time. I felt Elaine was trying to add some relief to the tension with her own remarks but, for me, that was probably the most tense exchange. Probably because, as Ava pointed out, she and Jess are a couple and were then. And it was just so strange to see them so firmly on two different sides. So firmly and so vocally. I seriously doubt the transcript of that went up with all the remarks made during the discussion. After the discussion, taking in everything that was addressed, I re-read Bonnie Anderson's book and I still enjoyed it. That's what I'll leave my statements at.

Dona: My question would be for Jess because, as Betty points out, that really was a tense moment and I remember looking at Jess during it and feeling that he had no idea it was as tense as it was. Also, Betty's correct, we did edit out certain comments before posting that.

Jess: During it, I had no idea I was being controversial in any way. I had no idea that Ava and C.I. were offended which I think they were. I appreciated then and now Elaine's supporting me on some points. After it was over, when Jim weighed in and all hell broke loose, I realized there was friction. I think I fell into the trap of "We must not allow anything negative, no matter how small, to be said of ___" whomever it is at the time "because they are under attack." I've given up on that attitude. It's counter-productive. And, as I've stated already today, I did have a knee-jerk reaction to Cuba and Fidel back then. And the point C.I. made a little while ago, about how the justification of "Fidel's under attack! Fidel must maintain Cuban society" -- that's really true. I know I went to that justification over and over. I don't now. And that article in Harper's where someone's beaten and destroyed and imprisoned just for having books, I really think everyone should read it.

Ava: I want to be clear that no one but me picked on Jess in any way. No one screamed at him, other than me and I did it privately, over that opinion. And I think Betty's right about the way Mike spoke being part of it. Jess was speaking in very sure tones and my own attitude was, "You don't know what you're talking about." It was an argument for about 24 hours and then we both moved on. But, honestly, that is probably the most intense argument we've had privately the entire time we've been together. If Jess told me tomorrow, "I don't believe in evolution," I would be less shocked than I was by his statements regarding Fidel. I'd really prefer to move on to another topic and think Jim started with this thinking it would make good copy.

Jim: Indeed I did. Okay --

Dona: I want Ty to say something right now.

Ty: Thank you, I forgot about that. I'm gay. I'm African-American. Someone who e-mails all the time e-mailed C.I. to say they didn't know I was gay until C.I. replied to them because I was outraged by their e-mail. I've noted that over and over and over but somehow it was apparently news to them. They also confused Ava as my girlfriend and me as the Green Party member.

Ava: I'll jump in. Someone we exchanged e-mails in the past and may in the future wanted to speak to Jess, and at that point knew the difference between Ty and Jess, and wrote The Common Ills about that. I replied because (a) Jess is my boyfrined and (b) Jess was helping his mother with a legal case for class credit and didn't even have time to talk to me or the rest of us. I replied with that. Jess might want to add something further.

Jess: The person's spouse is in Green Party leadership. I nixed the phone call for that reason. I'm not interested in private conversations with Green Party leadership. I'm not emanoured with Green Party leadership and believe it repeatedly lets those of u sint he grass roots down. I know we have other features planned that may deal with that so I'll leave it at that. But, no, I'm not interested in talking to Green Party leadership privately. I also know that I read dozens of e-mails each day to the public account of The Common Ills with people desperate to talk to C.I. and I'm not seeing how that person, or any person, is worthy of a phone call. I'm not trying to be rude on that point. I'm just pointing out that I'm not your phone buddy. I'm busy. I'm a law student, I'm involved with Ava and I give my weekends to Third. Anytime I have left I'm going to give to the people I love and know.

Jim: If Jess had made that call, it would have been fine since he's a Green. But generally speaking, we frown on the requests of "Call me!" It's not like we have just three readers. We barely have time to acknowledge e-mails --

Dona: We need to make sure the automated message is still current.

Jim: Good point. But we don't have time for that and we don't have time to be phone buddies or pen pal writers. Regular readers we try to reply to and even then, just doing two lines, we don't have the time. And as someone who also helps out with the e-mails at The Common Ills, just talking about the public account, there are people who just think they have a bond with C.I. that is scary. Call me, write me, I mean, it's kind of scary at times.

Marcia: Well don't make fun of them all. Some may become community members and C.I. has certainly called me and other members many times when we've asked for it or an issue has come up. I want to be clear on that because community members do read Third and I think they could read Jim's comments and think, "What the hell?" I know you don't grasp it, or didn't used to, but you have pissed off more community members than anyone else. Repeatedly.

Jim: I know. Do you want to talk about an example in particular?

Marcia: Well, for example, when Trina started her site. You didn't know it who it was, you certainly didn't know it was Mike's mother. But there you were whining about the time C.I. was using to help some member and how it was delaying Third. Just the fact that it was a community member made many of us, community members, think, "Uh, who does Jim think he is? Would he say the same about us?" I know, and I think most of us in the community do, that you firmly believe that Third's point is to put out a weekly edition, that's why it exists. And we can respect that. But there are times when some of your comments, as with the Trina thing, seem disrespectful.

Jim: Point taken.

Marcia: I wasn't done. Your attitude by itself isn't a problem and most of us realize that after we get over our offense. But equally true is that, even now, C.I. is the most accessible to the community. You have a problem, C.I.'s there. You feel offended by something at The Common Ills that C.I. wrote, you get an apology, you get a "Do we need to talk further about this?" Rebecca will call any of us, to point that out. You e-mail her and you might get a 2 line e-mail before she'll say she doesn't feel like typing and ask if you can call her collect or can she call you? And she will. And she'll stay on the phone with you forever.

Elaine: No one has ever loved the telephone more passionately or longer than Rebecca.

Marcia: That really is true. So I want to be clear that it's not just C.I. who is accessible but I know right now that some members will read this and you'll be asked to clarify.

Dona: And Jim loves to clarify. I'm not being saracastic. And anyone feeling sorry for Jim, don't. He loves these kind of discussions.

Jim: Well Marcia's right and I do know that I've offended a number of community members over the years. I'm not insulting C.I. in any way but clearly my temperment isn't such that I could have built up the community if I was the one doing The Common Ills. But my attitude is and has always been, end of the day, what we're judged by is what's up here. You may think an e-mail matters the most or whatever. But the reality is that more people read without ever contacting. That's true of a newspaper, a TV show, this site and everything. I do reply to all community members that write this site, whether they're angry at me or not, if I read their e-mails.

Dona: since we're not doing "Mailbag" lately, we should throw that out.

Jim: But I do believe that we're responsible first and foremost for did we get content up here. That's always been my attitude. And I know I offend members from time to time. I'm a member too. I'm never angry when a member says, "You offended me." I always reply to those e-mails.

Dona: Jim enjoys that back and forth.

Jim: And I wasn't bothered by Elaine's entry this week. Do you want to talk about that, Elaine?

Elaine: If you do. Set it up.

Jim: A problem was brewing in the community. C.I. contacted all the community sites to make sure it was okay to say what needed to be said because the snapshot was reposted at other sites. C.I. then wrote it. Sent that out. Making sure again that it wasn't a problem. Everyone signed off on it. Ty mentioned it to me and I immediately asked that it be saved for this site.

Elaine: And as I stated at my site, I don't think you grasp how much work the snapshot is on a given day but how much more work it took -- when C.I., Ava, Kat and Rebecca were on the road speaking -- for C.I. to make time to do all of that, contacting all of us, writing up that section, sending it out to all of us for approval and then you say, "Let's hold that for Third."

Jim: I really don't think about it at the time. You're right. When I read your post, I thought, "She's right."

Dona: But Jim's tone says he'd do it again. I mean, that's Jim. That's not a defense and it's not a slam. And if you're new, Jim and I have been involved since the second week of this site and are now engaged. So when I say that's Jim, it's not a slam.

Kat: And certainly Jim's attitude is supported by Rebecca who usually rushes in to defend him right about now.

Rebecca: Note that I'm laughing but Kat's correct. Jim's attitude is that of a journalist and he will fight for anything to go up here that he can. I understand that and respect it and generally support him on that. But I'm not unaware that it creates problems and we probably need to enlarge the topic and let's toss to Ruth or Betty to be sure they speak!

Betty: Give it to Ruth, she always says the least.

Ruth: Well, I am off on my own thing at my site so it never effects me but I know that Jim will ask that we all ignore a topic he wants to tackle at Third. I imagine that does create problems for some. I know Kat and Rebecca follow or honor that request depending on whether they want to or not. I also know that C.I. honors it and if C.I. does not do that, it would do the most harm.

Wally: Because Rebecca's writing in her voice and Kat in her's and also because, unless they make the topic the entire post, they're just going to mention it in passing.

Ruth: Correct.

Jim: And before anyone feels sorry and e-mails, I'm not offended or hurt by anything said. As Dona pointed out, I enjoy these type of discussions. They don't bother me. I also initiated this one. But I know C.I. and Ava both look bored and C.I.'s probably thinking, "This is so self-referential," while I see it as about the process, so we'll move on. Hillary won Indiana last week.

Betty: And didn't they work overtime to take that away from her! To hear the "Drop out" calls, you'd think Hillary lost. It's disgusting and it is disgusting that the mayor of Gary, Indiana, a Barack supporter, purposely withheld the results until after paper's were being printed so that the headlines could not read "Barack Wins North Carolina, Hillary Wins Indiana." That was all about spin and he should be ashamed of himself. He did not act in his role of mayor. He clearly confused his role and, if there's any justice, voters will be outraged by that.

Jim: For anyone who missed it, Gina and Krista polled the community last week and published the results in the round-robin. 3% are undecided. 97% of the community will vote for Ralph Nader if Hillary is not the Democratic nominee.

Betty: And, sorry to hog the roundtable, I think that's the best thing that could have happened. The Black community hasn't pressed Barack for anything. I think working class Americans and feminists -- working class and otherwise -- should be pressuring him. I don't know that it will get any results or change any votes, but Barack needs to grasp that if he's the nominee, he didn't win it, he was given it and he doesn't have votes sewn up.

Jim: You will vote for?

Betty: He's lied non-stop. I will not vote for Barack. I will be voting for Ralph Nader. Cynthia McKinney was a possibility but I'm not supporting a candidate who's running for 5% and not for the presidency. I'll go with Ralph. And let me add one more thing. An insulting piece was e-mailed to various sites, a White Mama piece. It was insulting. As a Black woman, I found it very insulting and I'm really sorry that a writer wants to claim it wasn't insulting. Ty is furious and can't comment on a response from that writer so Cedric and I will and, let me point out to White Mama going in, Cedric and I are Black so save your 'awareness' for someone who gives a damn because it sure ain't us. I'm grabbing this section on negative criticism of Wright:

I get it. I feel it. The reason that it is working to attack Barack Obama by using Reverend Wright, is that most white people dislike BOTH of them for either being black, or having mannerisms or language patterns that black people have. I think that I get that more than a black person. I understand the little racist within myself. I do not want people to like Barack Obama.

Betty: (Con't) White Mama, don't ever write me. I think you're a screwball, I think you're an idiot. I'm Black and found Jeremiah Wright offensive. I'm offended that you call Barack Black when he's bi-racial. My children are Black, my family is Black, I know Black when I see it. You're pathetic e-mail, and I, speaking only for me, say it is pathetic, indicts "most white people" as racist and pushes the idea that you're not like them, you're the exception. That's what makes you White Mama and you are exactly the type of White person that so many in the Black community ridicule. Spare me your stereotyping of "language" and "mannerisms." Wright and Barack do not speak alike, do not have similar mannerism. You apparently lump all Black people together, we all look alike to you. Kiss my Black ass.

Cedric: Betty's furious. I've never heard her so angry and I don't blame her. It's an insulting e-mail from a White Mama who is going to be the Black Savior, going to save us all, White Mama, what would wez a do without you, Missah, what woulds we a do? Here's the section I'm emphaiszing:

I want someone to explain why I am having a conversation about a candidate's former pastor? The reason is because it is a way to feed on subliminal racism and cultural differences.

Cedric: (Con't) Why don't you explain to yourself why last week you felt the need to write about Wright. If you're having a conversation, unless you're claiming someone controls you, you're doing it because you want to. There are about a hundred things in any given week that piss us off or make us happy. We write about what we choose to. And your b.s. of "a candidate's former pastor," is b.s. Wright just retired. His million dollar home, for him and the wife he stole from a church member while allegedly giving "marital counseling," awaits him. He and Barack had a long standing relationship, Barack took the name of his book from a sermon by Wright, Barack has admitted he sought out Wright to get a foothold in Chicago, he used to claim him as his spiritual mentor until Wright hit the lecture circuit at the end of last month. I want someone to explain to me just how stupid you are because, from where I'm sitting, you're plenty stupid. C.I. loathed the Terry Schiavo subject, to name but one, and never felt the need to write about it while it was going on. Check the archives. If you feel it's a non-issue, don't write about it. Don't write about it and then claim you were forced to. And stop thinking any African-American's impressed with you. We aren't. If you missed it, even Melissa Harris-Lacewell slammed Wright recently. And if you missed it, someone in the media appointed her the voice of all African-Americans. As a general rule, African-Americans are always suspicious of any White person who says 'the bulk of White people are racist, but I'm not!' What a load of crap. Go play the exception somewhere else. White Mama. She'll star in the remake.

C.I.: For the record, that e-mail is a reply to an e-mail I wrote for Ty and I don't consider it to be a personal message to me. My only request was that the person not be identified. But I made it clear in my e-mail that I was writing to respond for Ty because he was too offended to reply. Therefore any comment made in reply to my e-mail -- and I didn't ask for a reply -- should have been understood to be not something to me. With the condition that we not name the writer, I was more than fine with the e-mail being used because it was never an exchange that was just for me. It wasn't anything I even wanted or had the time to write. But Ty was -- and is -- very upset. I wrote the reply noting that and noting that I was doing it for Ty. When my reply was replied to, Ty saw it and Ty, as his right, shared it with Betty and Cedric. They wanted to bring it in to the roundtable and I asked that the writer not be identified. I feel like I'm repeating myself.

Jim: You are, but that's okay. You're stressing the fact that it's not a Common Ills e-mail. The rest of us will post e-mails or not as we see fit and we have no problem identifying the sender. However, C.I. did ask that we not note the writer's name so we're not doing that. That said, even I, a White guy, can see how offensive that e-mail is. "Most White people are racist." Uh, Green Party, if that's what you believe, no wonder you're a marginal and ineffective party. Sorry, Jess.

Jess: No problem with me. I don't care for my 'leaders' in the party. I'll be voting for Ralph Nader. My 'leaders' betray the party on a daily basis. Want to talk about I-Need-Attention-Benjamin.

Marcia: I'll talk about her! What a rude little troll. We all pulled her organization after the little stunt she pulled last week. And credit to Kat for going public, a year ago, with the fact that CODESTINK was betraying its roots. They can kiss my Black ass as well. Uppity White women who think they can play political radicals in attacking a woman while ignoring the man. Kiss my Black ass, you over privelaged White women. Screaming like you're at a football game. You're a joke Medea. I would pie you myself if I came within five feet of you. What is she today? Communist, Green Party member or Democrat? It's so hard to keep up with her ever evolving politics. All she's about is 'Get me in the papers!' Glory Hog that needs to retire, is what she is. Tired ass, weak ass do-nothing. A portion of the Democratic Party is trying to push Hillary out of the race and there's Medea doing her part. How proud she must be to be such a tool and so pathetic. Whine, little girl, about the torture of being pied again, I need a good laugh.

Ava: I'm biting my tongue on CODESTINK. But Marcia's comments do have me laughing.

Wally: I don't think any of us give a damn about CODESTINK anymore. We had already backed away from it, as Kat noted they were more interested in DC than anything else, and that just cinched it. Medea wouldn't do that to Barack, hasn't done it to him. Will never do that to him. She thinks she's beloved and I think she's about to find out just how unpopular she now is. I know, when I've been in the Bay Area staying at C.I.'s, most people are offended by her remarks about Marla and that's never gone away. I don't know Marla's last name.

C.I.: Someone else will have to help you Wally, like Ava, I'm biting my tongue during this.

Dona: Marla is the woman who was killed in Iraq. She went there to help Iraqis. I don't know her last name either --

C.I.: Ruzicka. Killed in April of 2005.

Dona: Thank you, Marla Ruzicka. And, yes, it is a big deal in the Bay Area where Medea's little jabs at Marla, after the woman was dead and after Medea took to Panhandle Media to talk about how close they were, are a big deal. I'll leave it at that anyone else can comment, though.

Rebecca: I'll take it back to her stunt with Hillary. There was no need for it. There was no purpose to it. It was promoting Barack and that's all 'Green' Medea does. They'll never again get any help from us, CODESTINK, and I think Ava and C.I. dealt with, in a previous roundtable, how out of touch the group was to ask women to go on a hunger strike. I'll add one more thing on that, while they cheated day after day and FLAT OUT LIED, C.I. stayed on a real fast.

Kat: Yeah, I'm going to have to weigh in on that. A fast is fast. If you're nibbling or putting food into a blender to drink that, you're not fasting. It's a joke. Ava and C.I. were correct that with the eating disorders in this country, no organization needs to encourage a fast. But, furthermore, no one needs to say they're on a fast when they're cheating. And then to go back on it, to say, "We're fasting for peace and will fast until . . ." only to then call it off was really weak. They never should have promised to stay on it but, having done so, they should have seen it through. It was a huge joke.

Jess: A HUGE joke. We are fasting to end the war, what's that? Lebanon's under attack. Screw Iraq, we're going there, pronto! Their 'anti-war' work is a joke. They don't even send out e-mails on war resisters anymore, haven't seen Ehren Watada and do you realize how long ago that was and how many people have gone public since then? And if we're going to talk about Castro propagandists, is there a bigger one than I-Need-Attention Benjamin? No, there's not. That was part of my own awakening and moving away from the knee-jerk reaction, statements by her and others associated with her. As a rank in file Green Party member, she is my natural enemy because she regularly undercuts the Green Party while being in 'leadership.' Her ass needs to be kicked to the curb. You can't claim to be a Green and belong to a group whose goal is to bring Green voters into the Democratic Party.

C.I.: Progressive Democrats of America.

Jess: I hate her. I hate her. There's no other term for my feelings towards her. I disliked her for selling out the Green Party. But what she did last week bordered on cruelty -- from the woman who wanted sympathy for having a pie thrown at her. She's ridiculous. And she's made herself that.

Jim: Ava and C.I., you really aren't going to say anything on this topic? They're shaking their heads "no."

Mike: Let me say something on it. I don't like whiners, I don't like babies, I don't ungratefuls. No one promoted CODESTINK more than C.I. and I think it needs to be noted that Wally, in reposting the snapshot one day, got a nasty little e-mail about how he failed to include a link to a book. Wally wasn't writing about the book. Wally was copying and pasting the book mention from that day's snapshot. And how ungrateful are you, and this was a CODESTINK member, that you whine that your book was mentioned and not linked to? I mean, really, that's how pathetic the 'left' leadership is. They're e-mailing websites that say something positive about their books very few people even read to gripe, "You didn't include a link!" Well guess what CODESTINK, after Medea's little stunt last week, you lost your groups links at all websites. Don't e-mail to gripe about that, no one gives a damn about you. You've gone from street theater to street ridicule. You earned that. Own it.

Betty: Wally, Mike's telling the truth? I know Mike doesn't lie but I'm laughing at how petty that is.

Wally: Yeah. And I'll tell you which member of CODESTINK it was outside the roundtable. And, for the record, we praised the book here. We all did during a book discussion and we never heard from the whiner. But we linked to the book. C.I., in an Iraq snapshot that had 65 links that day, because I counted -- and multiple links to Retuers or McClatchy were only counted once by me -- didn't link to the book resulted in the Big Whine e-mail. I forwarded it to Mike but ignored it otherwise.

Betty: That is beyond petty. That is just childish. You know what, we started out loving Medea and then she walked a little away from Iraq, and then she ran from Iraq. And she's so far from it today she has no excuse for her attack on Hillary. She's just pathetic. Starving for attention. I love how these groups of all White women 'prove' they're not racist by attacking White women. It really makes me laugh at how pathetic these women are. Medea's not worth commenting anymore, in my opinion, can we talk about a real topic and not the socially stunted?

Jim: Every word C.I. writes is being closely examined these days for a sign that Hillary's dropping out. That's in the e-mails I keep seeing and I told three people I would ask in the roundtable.

C.I.: Me? I don't know if she's dropping out. I certainly don't think she should. But, Elaine noted this Friday, the pressure to do so is intense and she's already shown more strength than any male Democrat pressed by the same 'leadership' to drop out. I hope she doesn't. I think she stands a real chance in a convention fight even if Barack doesn't implode. The press is more than willing to implode him and Democrats better wise up to that fact. But the press would prefer that in the general election. In the general election, it's too late to say, "Hillary's the nominee!" If Barack implodes before the convention -- and he's already teetering ---

Ava: Hence the big push to force Hillary out.

C.I.: Correct. If he implodes before the convention, the nomination is Hillary's but even if he doesn't implode, I would say, based on my conversations with super delegates, that Barack doesn't have a lock on the nomination. It's still fifty fifty. But, repeating, the pressure on her is intense and I wouldn't blame her or trash her for dropping out. I don't want her to. I hope she doesn't but I don't know how much pressure one person can take. She's already stood up to so much.

Ava: And C.I.'s right about the pressure and everything else. I'm screaming at ____, "Why aren't you airing" blank. And being told, "We're still nailing it down." But, yes, the press has their stories and are planning a dramatic fall if Barack's the nominee. That will be good for them but lousy for the Democratic Party. Those stories need to come out now. And to preview one press narrative that will be popping up if Barack's the nominee: McCain has experience, Barack can wait a bit a learn a little more. It'll be done with 'kindness'.

Jim: What about McCain?

Ava: McCain's been active on the immigration issue. Whether you agree with him or not, I don't, he's been active and these Democratic mindless idiotic leaders who think McCain has no standing with the Latino community are talking to someone other than Latinos. I think I'm a great deal more in touch with my community than some White gas bag or, in Donna Brazile's case, some closeted gas bag.

Jim: Will you talk about that some more.

Ava: Sure. Arnold, our governor, is seen as friendly with Latinos. I don't think he is. I think his policies are awful and I didn't vote for him. But I do know many who did, many Latinos. And McCain would ride the same wave. Especially in California. There's this idea that Barack can carry California and maybe he could but there's no indication currently that he can. Latinos do not like him, I don't care what they say to pollsters, he and his surrogates attacking working class Americans, calling them racist for supporting Hillary -- and they've done that, to both Latinos and White Americans -- have created a wall that he really doesn't have the time to climb over. Arnold will obviously campaign for him. Arnold's beloved by a number of Latinos -- it makes no sense, I know. In California, Maria will campaign for Obama. You might think that would split it but Maria's not a native of California and doesn't fit in the way Arnold does. She's not effective in turning out the vote except with White, non-Latino women. And many of them in California are already dead set against Barack. So someone like McCain who has some sort of a dialogue with Latinos, and we make up a huge part of the population, could win California. I don't see that as at all unrealistic. I know Latino males, like other working class males, see Barack as effete among other things. He's too snazzy of a dresser, too flashy. And he comes off weak. Machismo is a characteristic the community does respond to. Hillary, like many women in the Latino community, has it. And that and her history with the community is why Latinos so strongly supported her in the primary. They're not going to cross over to Barack automatically and, in fact, a number of the Latino young males who voted for Hillary voted for Bully Boy in 2004. McCain's going to play the same cards Bully Boy did and Latinos do worry about safety and do worry about someone being tough enough to do the job. I'm not trying to stereotype my own community, I'm just saying we don't respect weakness. And all Barack is is weak. The 'egg heads,' to use Paul Begela's term don't get that. They think Barack shows a soft and gentler side. They think he's intellectual. He may be all those things but how they come off and who he is is why he's failed to connect with Latinos and don't bring up Illinois, it was his home state and one state isn't going to win an election. We were in Florida not that long ago and I heard the same complaints from Latinos there that I hear here. I don't think anyone should assume Barack can pull in Latino voters because what I hear and see on the ground, over and over, suggests he will not get the votes if the election was held tomorrow and there's really no way he can transform his image without being seen as fake. By both Latinos and the media. Can I add one more thing?

Jim: Sure.

Ava: A closeted Communist in NYC, of course, wanted to disagree with me privately, in e-mails to The Common Ills, back in January on this topic and on what I saw. Of course, as a White, Anglo woman in NYC, she knew just how California Latinos were going to vote. She probably used her all knowing White crystal ball to determine that. But, point of fact, I was right about the vote and she was wrong. People need to step out of their own comfort zone and start looking at the country realistically. Currently, Barack doesn't have the support of Latinos and will not get their support. He's weak, he's feathery, he's seen, frankly, as girly. I know it's going to break the little closeted Communist hearts in NYC but the reality is the Latino community doesn't have room for weakness. It can be accepting of women, of gays and lesbians, of anyone provided they're seen as having . . . the English translation would probably be 'grit.' But if they're weak, if they're airy, pie in the sky, they're dead in the water. And Barack comes off very weak to the Latino community. I know Marcia doesn't like us to get specific on his flaws because two members of his campaign do closely follow these conversations but he can't fix this. There is no fix. If he tries to change, it will be greeted with laughter from Latinos. "Oh, look at him trying to act tough now." There's no fix for it. And, frankly, were I a Democratic leader, my big concern would be about Latinos. We are the largest growing segment of the population, we are going to become the majority shortly -- barring a plague -- and future elections will depend upon us. The failure to honor our choice in this cycle and to do so by going with someone who we see as weak will most likely seal a deal with the Republican Party for many years to come for a number of Latinos. And this nonsense that the Democratic Party is pulling of trying to tie McCain into Bully Boy isn't going to work in the Latino community. It may fly elsewhere, but McCain's seen as a different person and not tied to the White House's current occupant. If that's their big plan for Barack being their nominee and 'winning,' they better prepare to lose because it's not going to fly.

Jim: Why do you say that?

Ava: For a number of reasons including they can't Bush-bash and not alienate some Latino Democrats because you're talking about the illegal war. Now the community is against the war, not as much as the African-American community and certainly not as early as the African-American community. But an African-American and White surrogates bashing Bully Boy and the Iraq War will create a backlash. I'll toss to C.I.

C.I.: Ava's referring to the over-represenation of Latinos in the US military. She's specifically referring to parents we speak to who are against the illegal war but have sons or daughters who are there or may go there. And it's a losing strategy to build the election on that with a weak candidate. It will look like a bunch of namby, pamby criticism and anger parents and family members of those serving. It's a delicate balance. We're aware of it because we do speak Latino groups and we do have structure our points differently. Kat came along on one of those a few weeks ago, she may want to talk about that.

Kat: I accidentally offended everyone. I apologized and made a joke about myself and everyone laughed and it defused things. But, you have to be very careful in your remarks when you're speaking to groups because what would fly with a mixed audience or an audience of any other group, doesn't fly so easy in an all Latino group. And Ava and C.I. had told me that before and I'd always used that as my excuse to say, "Okay, I'm going back to the hotel." I'm lazy, I'll grab any excuse not to speak. But this one was during the day and I went and I saw what they were talking about. There is a pride that their relatives are serving. To be clear, I didn't insult anyone serving. But even a remark on the illegal war -- and 'illegal war' has always been okay, these aren't people supporting the Iraq War that I'm speaking of -- has to be carefully considered. I honestly don't think a candidate, in this case Barack, who hasn't already been supported by Latinos can run for president and use the war as one of the fronts. He doesn't have their trust and every remark will be examined. He can't hold up. I realize now why Hillary was so supported by them. The radicals tear her apart for her remarks on the illegal war. Cindy Sheehan had a meltdown a few weeks ago about one of them. But those remarks go over very well with Latinos because they are calling out the war very clearly and not dishonoring those who are serving. Barack can't do that. He doesn't have their trust and he doesn't have the perception of Hillary's strength.

Rebecca: To jump in here, Hillary's postion on the illegal war is more likely -- from a p.r. stand point -- to resonate with general election voters. Barack and his surrogates harping that he was right is going to tick off voters because, at various points during the illegal war, it's had huge support from Americans. The way they see it has evolved and that's more reflective in Hillary's stand than in Barack's. You're going to have a know-it-all up against McCain if you go with Barack and some voters -- of any race -- won't vote for him just because the false cry of "I was right!" He's constructed his own trap for failure. There's no one who's ever done p.r. that wouldn't see what I'm talking about. If being right was so popular, people would rush to be right in huge numbers -- instead, they're more apt to be cautious. Dennis Kucinich would be the nominee. A know it all tends to turn people off. The cage Panhandle Media's created for Barack, with Barack, is the cage his campaign most likely dies in. If he's the nominee and McCain calls him for any dirty tricks, the press will point out, "He said he was a new style candidate!" He's in a cage of his own making. His personality faded long ago. The hoopla is gone. He's a tired act that's only going to grow more stale.

Mike: Okay, I watched online the NOW on PBS episode that C.I. and Ava wrote about last week and it was a great discussion. But I'm trying to figure out how the Democratic Party got into the mess?

Jim: How so?

Mike: End the caucuses in the future, obviously. If candidates aren't elected in a general election by caucus, don't select them that way in the primary season. I also agree that these portions need to end. The primary should reflect the general election. Don't start saying "X goes to and X goes." Winner takes all. The point was made, in that broadcast, that John McCain wouldn't be the GOP nominee right now, it would still be undecided, if the GOP used the Democratic system. But what I really don't get is why the elections end in June and the convention is in August.

Cedric: It was in July in 2004 and there were money concerns, I believe that was one reason. Outspending. I'm not justifying it by the way, I'm saying there was a lot of fretting in the summer of 2004.

Mike: I want to make a point from that broadcast. If we had, in the Democratic Party, the winner takes all system for delegates in the primary. With the states won so far, Hillary would have the same lock on the nomination that McCain does now. I found that astounding and found it astounding that it's not a point the press ever makes. Why do they have that system? Because they want to win. It's insane.

Wally: And it's insane that they always let Iowa -- so prone to theft -- go first. I felt that way before my state, Florida, was treated like crap and I feel that way now. And this site has always called that out. In 2005, this site was calling out the notion that Iowa and New Hampshire should be allowed, year after year, to kick off the primaries. It's not fair and it's not right.

Jim: Well this Democratic primary season fails if it's compared to sports. You got the order for the primaries and imagine if one state -- regardless of who the teams were -- always got to host the Superbowl or one country always had the Olympics? It wouldn't fly. Take the issue of Michigan and how Barack, John Edwards and Joe Biden removed their names from the ballot, by choice. And now Barack's whining that he has to have X number of delegates. You don't show up for a sports match, you forfeit. There's no whining after. None of it is fair but I look at a simp like John Nichols and I doubt he ever played sports, maybe he washed the jock straps for the team, but he's such a simp I doubt he played any sport. And before the e-mails come in, I'm not calling all males who didn't play sports simps. I'm talking about how John Nichols likes to present himself and act like he's a manly man and you can just tell he's not. He's the sort of guy I'd meet in ten years at a bar and, as soon as he found I didn't grow up in his city, would invent this sports background he didn't have.

Ruth: If I could emphasize one point, or phrase, C.I. coined, "Poisoning the well." People need to grasp how non-Democratic Party members injected themselves into the primary and tried to hijack it. I am speaking of the people in Panhandle Media. And I do include Jeremy Scahill in that and I have no respect for him. He supposedly wants Blackwater out of Iraq. But when Hillary had a proposal for that and Barack refused to put forward one or sign on to her proposal, Jeremey Scahill told Real Network a pack of excuses for Barack and then questioned Hillary's motives. I don't care about a politician's motives -- and his theories were not factually based -- I want them to do what needs to be done.

Wally: He really did embarass himself with that one and I want to talk about his "motives" argument. Schahill is saying that Hillary responded to pressure. That's a bad thing? Barack didn't. He blew it off, by Scahill's logic. Hillary responded. Which would you want in the White House? Haven't we already had seven years of a politician who blew off the will of the people, seven years of ignoring pressure? Scahill made a complete ass of himself and he's far from alone on that.

Mike: Right you are. Look at the idiotic Allan Nairn. His 'logic' was yes, Barack and Hillary both take corporate money but Barack just does it because he's scared. He's scared Big Business would come after him. I mean, get real. You're jacking off in front of the country when you're saying that. Allan Nairn, you've got your hands down the front of your pants, jerking your pud in public. It's embarrassing. Don't pretend it's journalism.

Marcia: I'm listening and I agree with Ruth, Wally and Mike. They're right and the "poisoning the well" is apt. That's what they did, Panhandle Media. They made excuses for Barack. They lied for him. Barack's against the Iran resolution! Barack didn't vote against it. He skipped the vote. Don't say someone's against it if they didn't vote on it. Don't offer excuses. His job was to be a senator and that includes voting. He was given a heads up to the vote, he chose not to vote. Quit lying for him. They really all are liars and don't forget Amy Goodman who turned her propangada over to Barack in 2007 and never let up. What a liar.

Jim: And you're the one who coined the phrase "Democracy Now!, always worth watching." I mean that was in so many entries at The Common Ills: "'Democracy Now!, always worth watching,' as Marcia says."

Marcia: Don't remind me.

Jim: I mean, we all consider that show trash and propaganda now. But I just think it says so much more coming from you than from us because you coined that phrase.

Marcia: What can I say? She ran off everyone. Who watches her crap-ass show or listens to it these days? The audience gets smaller and smaller because she's nothing but a propagandist. She's an embarrassment and she's far from alone. That crap-ass e-mail Betty and Cedric were addressing earlier, Goody would probably write something similar. Goody's a joke. I'm censoring myself because what I would normally call her can't run here due to language concerns. I loathe the woman. And, like Jim pointed out, I was one of her big fans. But she exposed herself as a liar, a propagandist and someone who didn't play fair. And not just on the campaign, on everything. If she came to my door tomorrow and said, "You've got to get out, the place is on fire," I'd slam the door and check it out for myself. I don't believe a word from her lying lips anymore.

Betty: Well it's a long list and maybe we should do a feature on this at some point but we should include Dave Lindorff in this discussion. In September he was doing his "Leave the Democratic Party" movement, leading it. Then he hopped on board the Barack 'movement' and, last time I checked, Barack didn't support impeachment. And that laughable line of his that Barack deserves support because 'as a Black man he risked prison to do drugs.' We need a term for people like him. Not even "White Mama" covers that nonsense.

Jim: Agreed. And we're going to close on that.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }