Sunday, October 05, 2008

Truest statement of the week

In the comments someone pointed me to this ridiculous essay by Robin Morgan. Ridiculous because it's full of lies. You know, if I were going to write an Eminent Feminist's missive to the world -- which Morgan clearly thinks she's doing -- laying out the Eminent Feminist viewpoint on Palin, I think I'd least check my facts.
Morgan obviously didn't. In her piece she repeats long-debunked lies that it would have taken her only seconds to investigate: that Palin claimed the war was part of God's plan, that she didn't know what the Vice President does (it was a rhetorical question, for chrissake), that she denounced Hillary supporters as "whiners," that she opposes sex ed, that she's against contraception, that she opposes funding for pregnant teens, that she made a point of charging victims for rape kits, that she believes in "praying away" homosexuality, that she’s a crazy fundamentalist who wants to put us all in calico dresses, and on and on.
Those are all lies.

-- Dr. Violet Socks, "Why is Robin Morgan lying?" (Reclusive Leftist).

Truest stament of the week II

Well, the Green Party's viewpoint -- and Cynthia has been very clear, and the party has been very clear -- an immediate end to the war, an immediate withdrawal of troops in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan. And, you know, one thing Cynthia agrees with a former colleague of hers, Dennis Kucinich, is that we now have to talk about creating departments of peace. And we have to also talk about withdrawing troops wherever they reside in other people's homelands. I always found it interesting -- or, you know, the fact that we, as the United States government, and we, as the people in this country, allow our military to be placed in other people's homelands. And being from Puerto Rico, I'm very clear on why the military does what it does. But we would never allow another country to have a military base there. And that might be a little simplistic kind of thing to throw out there, but I also think it speaks to the way we want to move forward in the future. And I don't think that either party is planning on ending the war. I think that the Democrats are more about transferring troops to Afghanistan and potentially preparing for a war in Pakistan. And even yesterday, Joe Biden talked about the possibility of putting troops in in Darfur. And I think that's something that we have to say immediately is unacceptable and that the majority of young people in this country have been clear for the last five years that we want an end to the war right now.

-- Rosa Clemente (Cynthia McKinney's running mate) on Democracy Now! Friday.

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another edition. We're about to fall over. A really long edition.

The following worked on this edition:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, and Ava,
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 Dallas. We thank all who helped.

From thanks to apologies.

Community member Iwana had a suggestion C.I. brought over. We loved it. We planned to do it. Iwana, time ran out. We'll pick it up next week and that's a promise. Apologies also go out to readers who e-mailed for two reasons. First, we have a feature that a list which will do next week. Second, Ty wanted to do a "Ty's Corner" (and we wanted him to as well) but we'd still be working if he had. We did the roundtable as the very last thing and we were already late. It needed to be typed up. Ty grabbed that. (Thank you, Ty.) And . . . You almost had a review of Chuck. That's what Ava and C.I. had on deck. They thought they could cover it with the debate but had too many things to cover. Fine, they decided to do another commentary this edition and pair it with a fraud. But we asked them to do something else. Next week, we hope to have a humor piece which wasn't good enough this week online but made it into print edition. We're hoping we'll either be funnier next week or Ava and C.I. will be able to help out (they were doing their TV commentary when we were working on it).

Let's move to what we have:

Truest statement of the week -- Violet Socks was the obvious choice.

Truest stament of the week II -- This took forever. We went back and forth on it for two reasons. 1) We don't like to highlight politicians for a "truest" and 2) we didn't want to panic Nader readers into thinking we were choosing another ticket. Rosa Clemente's comment comes from her debate with Matt Gonzalez. But the reality was it said a lot that needed to be said. Rosa earned her truest.

Editorial: Sour Grape Girls, Tears Dry On Their Own -- Amy Winehouse. We love her. There's a positive in today's world. Sadly, Amy Winehouse makes much more sense than the leaders of the feminist movement these days. You'll note the f-word. If it offends you, don't drop by. If you're a community member, you got an e-mail from C.I. Friday evening warning you that this would be an explicit edition. And it really is. We like this editorial a lot.

TV: The Comedy of Errors -- "What is taking Ava and C.I. so long?" someone wondered when they were off writing this. (No, it wasn't me.) We were working on the humor piece that wasn't coming together so we were very aware of every minute they were gone. They came back, we set the humor piece aside and I read this out loud. We wouldn't have the roundtable if it weren't for this. As usual, their commentary gave the rest of us new determination to continue despite being tired. This is really wonderful. So wonderful that I wanted to raid sections. They said no and point out that there's a special thing going on for English Lit majors. It's your own little treat if you catch their structure and segues. They worked forever on this with special attention to that and said nothing could be pulled out without altering everything.

The Vagina Strikes Back! (Ava and C.I.) -- This is the piece that had to be written. And it was late. All of us in the core six were working like crazy editing and typing. Ava and C.I. planned to go off and write their piece on Chuck and the fraud. We stopped them (Dona and I stopped them) and said we really needed this piece instead. What piece? That was Ava and C.I.'s question. Dona and I were explaining it and tossing out title ideas and, as Dona and I got stuck on vagina being in it and tossing out movie titles, they looked at each other, looked at us and then said together (those two are in sync), "The Vagina Strikes Back!" Dona and I cried, "Yes!" They noted they were about to fall asleep and had no real structure so it would be a talking piece. We were fine with it. When they finished it, they handed it to us and asked us to edit it. We read it and didn't change anything. (They generally don't ask us to edit their stuff -- in fact, we don't remember ever being asked to before, but they were tired and not sure this was what we were asking for.) This really is amazing. Last week, you were all spoiled with not one, not two, but three pieces by Ava and C.I. We promise, to acknowledge Buddy's e-mail last week, not to continue to assign them multiple pieces.

Again, whose media center? -- Yeah, time to ask the question again as it traffics in non-stop Sarah Palin bashing. Apparently Palin's not so bad. I mean, if she were, would they have to make up lies?

Goodbye To All That WMC Style -- This actually was C.I.'s idea but C.I. and Ava didn't write anything in it. They headed off to do their TV commentary and we came up with this. We like it and think it says a lot (we thank Rebecca and Elaine who were happy to spill about earlier times and we thank C.I. who, at Rebecca and Elaine's request, fact-checked those events).

Roundtable -- There were many other topics. We were going to try to note The New Adventures of Old Christine (airing Wednesdays on CBS in the first half-hour of prime time). We'll attempt to note your suggestions re: that show next week. We ended up focusing on race. Dona wanted it noted that she didn't realize C.I.'s entire contribution to the roundtable was "You have turned my life into a paperback novel." Dona says, "If I'd realized that, I would have insisted C.I. and Mike get the closing thoughts." Illustration by Betty's eldest son and we thank him for it.

Bail Out Barry screws the tax payers -- Short pieces is always Dona's cry. This edition we have two of them.

Green Party Women's Caucus stands up -- A reposting of an open letter. Be sure to read it and we praise the Green Party Women's Caucus for issuing the open letter.

Authoritarina Fool of the Week -- Another short piece. Robin Morgan slimes democracy.

Sponsor a Team Nader volunteer -- Nader repost.

Highlights -- Mike, Elaine, Kat, Rebecca, Betty, Cedric, Ruth, Wally and Marcia wrote this and picked all highlights.

And, what do you know, we're finally through. Just as Amy Winehouse's again singing "Tears Dryl On Their Own" from the speakers. See you next week.

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

Editorial: Sour Grape Girls, Tears Dry On Their Own

As Robin Morgan joined the latest crowd of sell-outs last week, she made clear that Barbie got it wrong: It's not math that's hard, it's reading.

Last Monday, The New York Times reported:

Seen but not heard?

Michelle Obama joined Senator Barack Obama at a rally Sunday, but she did not speak. That was hardly unusual, particularly because Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. was on hand to intorduce the man at the top of the Democratic ticket.

But Mr. Obama went on to offer an explanation anyway.

"Michelle decided she wasn't going to speak today," Mr. Obama told a crowd in Detroit. "She just wanted to sit there and look cute. That's O.K. It's O.K. with me!"

Mrs. Obama smiled, but it was unclear if it was O.K. with her.

Reading's so hard for our faux feminists. Of course, had Robin Morgan and others seen it, they would have just stayed silent the way they have ALL DAMN YEAR.

It was more sexism on the part of Barack, driving home yet again that his repeated reference to women as "sweeties," that his non-stop sexism (and that of his surrogates) throughout the primary campaign (and ongoing in the general) was O.K. with him. Or, as he would put it, "That's O.K. It's O.K. with me!"

(For the non-readers, Jeff Zeleny wrote the item which had the headline "Silent Partner" and ran in the sidebar titled "THE CAUCUS" on A17.)

Is that O.K. with Robin Morgan? Is it O.K. with the feminist leaders and 'leaders'?

It's amazing what the Trash From Chicago has gotten away with repeatedly. Homophobia didn't bother our so-called leading feminists so it's no surprise that they've REFUSED to call out a candidate so sexist he makes Clayton Williams fade from memory.

Long before Bob Packwood got exposed, it was well known he wasn't a man any woman wanted to be alone with. The 'feminist' answer was not to meet with him solo but in teams. Bobby was a friend! Bobby couldn't be called out! Bobby would protect Roe v. Wade!

Packwood was disgusting trash and it's not all that surprising that the same feminists who knew that and refused to call it out are running interference for Barack today.


I don't understand,

Why do I stress a man,

When there's so many better things at hand,

We could have never had it all,

We had to hit a wall,

So this is inevitable withdrawal,

Even if I stop wanting you,

And perspective pushes thru,

I'll be some next man's other woman soon,

I shouldn't play myself again,

I should just be my own best friend,

Not fuck myself in the head with stupid men

Fuck themselves in the head with stupid men is what too many supposed leaders continue to do. And who knew Amy Winehouse would offer a stronger feminist statment ("Tears Dry On Their Own") than anything Robin Morgan, Gloria Steinem, Kim Gandy, et al could offer in all their de-clawed meekness?

Remember how Gloria's claimed for years that women get more radical with age. Robin Morgan made the same claim in Janaury in her "Goodbye To All That No. 2" but somehow, like Diana Ross, we're left singing, "I'm still waiting . . . still waiting . . . I'm just a fool . . . to keep waiting . . . for you." We're seeing the same Democratic cheerleader and apologist we saw in 1968, 1972, 1976 . . . get the idea. As Mother Jones infamously pointed out in 1992, the role of Catwoman (independent actor) at that year's DNC convention went to Maureen Dowd not Gloria. And as Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente run for the White House, we're not only aware of how they are ignored and ostracized by the so-called feminist establishment but we're really reminded of 1972 and Shirley Chisholm's condemnations of so-called support from some feminists.

That's right, the same crowd that couldn't support Shirley (except in swing-states!), the same crowd that served shit at the 1976 DNC convention but thought they could plop a cherry on top and call it an ice cream sundae is doing what they do so well and so very often.

Try to make us swallow sexism

We say no, no, no!

Yes, he used homophobia and won't get our votes

We say no, no, no!

Get your ass to feminist rehab

We say go, go, go!

TV: The Comedy of Errors

"I to the world am like a drop of water," declares Antipholus in Shakespear's The Comedy of Errors and what was TV last week but a comedy of errors played out on multiple nights?

The Republican and Democratic vice presidential debate was Thursday night, Governor Sarah Palin debated Senator Joe Biden with Gwen Ifill 'moderating' and the 'moderator' is a good place to start because PBS Friends asked us to comment.

Actually, they asked us how we thought Gwen would do? We replied our crystal ball was on the blink and we weren't holding Tarot Cards. The issue that had PBS concerned was the strongest criticism Gwen's ever come under which took place last week. Gwen has a book, to be published inauguration day, which includes Barack by name in the subtitle.

Was it a problem for PBS? Of course it was. PBS guidelines (NPR's as well) are very specific that a conflict of interest is not the only problem to avoid, the appearance of a conflict of interest is enough to make someone excuse themselves from any assignment or duty.

Right-wingers were calling out Gwen's book. Greta Van Susteren of Fox "News" raised the valid point that, in a court of law, Gwen would be in trouble. Michelle Malkin raised the issue of profit and how Gwen's book would sell better if Barack Obama won the presidency. Both women raised valid issues.

And sadly, the center and the left largely took a pass. Among the few exceptions were Bob Somerby who called it out and Jeff Bercovici who sprinkled in good words for Gwen but was clear in the fact that she needed to step down or disclose.

PBS friends said, yes, it could be a problem but did we really think Gwen couldn't be impartial?

We reminded them the issue in PBS' own ethics guidelines was not "could you be" but was there the "appearance of conflict." Clearly there was the appearance or so many of Gwen's guests and wanna be future guests wouldn't have taken to writing, "I trust Gwen with my life" type pieces. It doesn't really matter what journalists think, this was a public debate and what matters is if Gwen's actions have done anything that could contribute to the appearance of a conflict of interest. Clearly that was taking place ahead of the debate.

Okay, PBS friends agreed, but would we watch and weigh in after because they honestly, honestly don't believe it will effect Gwen's performance? We never knew our opinion mattered so much but, it was explained, we're seen as two of the harshest critics PBS has (largely because so many stay silent) and they pointed out that we've called Gwen to the carpet before and we've praised her as well.

So our PBS friends can breathe easy, let's note first off that Gwen showed neither candidate any special treatment.

If they're already hitting "print" on their computers and planning to pass this around, they may miss the next point: a debate about issues needs to be treated seriously, by the person moderating.

Gwen shouldn't moderate and we searched in vain for that criticism in newspaper accounts of the debate but found none.

In 2004, Gwen briskly replied to then Vice President Dick Cheney that thirty seconds was all the time he had. Last week, some Republicans argued this meant Gwen was in the tank for Democrats. And then some Democrats tried to come back with proof of how Gwen was in the tank for Democrats but others were in the tank for Republicans -- a sort of 'adult' version of did-not-did-too. In one of the most slapstick moments, some Democrats attempted to drag Tom Brokaw into it arguing that Brokaw doing what the network had asked him to, establish a dialogue with John McCain's campaign, indicated Brokaw was in the tank for the Republicans.

The sheer idiocy of that claim left us gasping for air and clutching our sides. We grasped how truly uninformed so many are. Our first thoughts was to Brokaw's voting record, our second was to his famous relative and our third went to what may be an issue in an upcoming debate: Bill Ayers. Saturday, The New York Times published an account by Scott Shane of Barack Obama and Ayers' ties. CNN then (no longer able to produce their own news?) ran with it throughout the day. So there's a good chance that Ayers may be an issue in one of the two remaining debates between Barack Obama and John McCain.

To those Dems having night sweats over Brokaw, we ask, "Who would you rather have?"

Seriously, outside of some old timers on NPR, no one's going to tread more gingerly around the Ayers issue than Brokaw. Or is the whole world unaware of how long Brokaw's known Bill Ayers? (Answer: Since before The Days of Rage.)

The charges and counter-charges were comical but so was the idea that Gwen's biggest conflict or failing was that she might toss to one side. She played it down the middle, as she always does. But, as we've noted in repeated commentaries on her Washington Week, that's not the issue. The issue is Gwen plays to Gwen.

She finds herself pithy and amusing. No one else seems to but that hasn't corrected her opinion. And it's been going on for years, long before we noted her attempts at humor ("For the record, Helene really does only care about what happens in her neighborhood.") in 2006.

That's what should have bothered everyone.

Gwen declared at the start, "The audience here in the hall has promised to remain very polite, no cheers, applause, no untoward outbursts, except right at this minute now, as we welcome Governor Palin and Senator Biden."

So she outlines the rules and then breaks them. She got laughs with one line and none with another. On the latter, she stopped in anticipation of the big chuckles. When none came, she moved on. Those were not her only attempts at one-liners but those were the two most noticeable. In the day-after (print) press coverage, there was some fretting over the fact that the debate was not more issue-centric. Well who the hell sets the tone?

The moderator does. When Gwen's making it clear that she finds the whole thing a hoot, if you're disappointed in the tone, take the criticism where it belongs.

That wasn't a new development. It was totally expected. Gwen finds herself so damn amusing and she's so bound and determined to share her 'wit' with all. That really was the issue and it should be the issue when moderators are next chosen. Want a serious tone? Don't ask Gwen to moderate.

Let's move on to what PBS offered after the debate and then return to Palin and Biden. During the Democratic and Republican convention coverage, PBS friends heard from us. Some might have wished they could change their home phones. We were outraged by the absence of women. We were outraged that, at one point, women voters and First Ladies were being discussed by eight 'voices' and all eight were men.

The post-debate coverage was a huge improvement. It's still not where it needs to be, but it was a huge improvement. First, Judy Woodruff was utilized prominently (for the brief post-coverage) and she was PBS' only bright spot in either convention. That alone was an improvement. In her segment, she interviewed a journalist and one of those who think they are but we just consider him a blogger. The journalist was Kate Zernike of The New York Times and she's certainly had her slams from both of us; however, we're not afraid (as we've done with Gwen before) to applaud anyone when they do something right. Zernike and the male were supposed to be commenting on what the two campaigns were saying. Zernike, assigned by the paper to the McCain-Palin campaign, stuck to that. She was very clear about it and didn't let her own personal opinions surface. She played it straight as The New York Times policies dictate. She did so even after the man at the outlet with no ethics (let alone an ethics policy) thought he was on to discuss his opinion of how Joe Biden won the debate. Repeating, both were on to discuss what the campaigns were saying. Zernike handled her part beautifully. Praise for Kate Zernike.

The panel of three presidential historians included three presidential historians. That's an improvement and you're only puzzled by that remark if you didn't catch us pointing out how an associate professor of Afro-American studies was brought on PBS during the conventions to pose as a presidential historian. They stuck to presidential historians and, low and behold, they were able to find a female one. See, they do exist. We knew we weren't dreaming.

The other part of PBS' post-debate coverage was Jim Lehrer speaking with Mark Shields and David Brooks. It's a rare moment when we ever feel sorry for David Brooks so let's note that if Mark is told he has only thirty seconds to reply to a direct question and eats up that time with a response that has nothing to do with the question, maybe it's time to retire his ass? PBS has a hard break coming up, where the live feed would be stopping, and Mark rambled on before Lehrer interrupted him to re-state the question. That left Brooks with about five seconds to answer. During the debate coverage we heard Mark Shields yammer on incessantly about change and breakthroughs and we might suggest to Mark that his stepping down would allow for some change and a breakthrough.

The debate?

It actually wasn't the comedy of errors. For that you needed to catch Saturday Night Live last night.

And where to begin with that?

How about, "Tina Fey's career is over!"

Last week, we quoted male comedians and that led to a number of women in comedy (writing, producing and performing) calling us. They wanted a say and we were happy to hear it, whatever it was.

"Tina Fey's career is over!" is a direct quote but it was echoed by others in similar statements. Why is that?

What makes a female comedy star?

Hint, not bitchy.

Joan Rivers was able to assemble some sort of following who enjoyed her bitchy put-downs of others (predominately women) but it was the bitchy nature of her humor that had Johnny Carson pass over her as a possible successor. (Which began the Rivers meltdown that continues to this day.) Find a successful bitchy female comic?

You can't. You've got the women who mock themselves (as Phyllis Diller did so famously) and you've got the women who do observational humor (such as Ellen De Generes) and you've got the women who examine humanity (such as Lily Tomlin). Bitchy? There's never really been a market for it or a future in it for women.

We'd used the word "bitchy" last week quoting one male comedian (who was once with SNL) specifically and also, at other points, because it perfectly captured the new Tina Fey. But it took women working in comedy to point out to us that entering her bitchy stage has killed Tina's career.

"You can get some laughs at the start," said one stand up, "but then it becomes your image and, to men, you're the bitchy nag. To women, it's why are you slamming other women? It cuts your audience of both genders and kills your career. And Tina can't do the gay club circuit because she doesn't have the style or looks."

A comedy actress wanted to point out how Tina needed to wear a wig when doing Palin because "that stringy hair just makes her go from 'America's sweetheart' to what the cat dragged in. And there's not a woman working today that doesn't grasp that even while you're getting the laugh, your looks are being judged. No women except Tina."

We heard about how bad her attempt at speaking like Palin was, we heard about how mean spirited Fey really was and how this 'characterization' was being absorbed by the same America that would be required to buy her "as the next Mary Tyler Moore when 30 Rock starts airing." We heard how she couldn't survive on stage at a comedy club for one minute. We heard it all. Including that well written lines are not a performance and that a performer does not exist from the chin up.

And those comments and so many more were proven true in the opening sketch last night where Tina Fey again 'returned' to Saturday Night Live to 'do' Sarah Palin in that bitchy way Fey has. It was based on snark and lies but, hey, there's got to be a reason Fey's so bitter, right?

Late Friday night, an SNL friend called to insist that the skit they were going to do was so funny and they really went after Joe Biden too. "We're really playing fair now," he insisted.

Yet another boastful man who couldn't deliver what was promised.

That was apparent as we watched. The sketch over-did Biden referring to himself in the third person. We remember him mentioning himself twice. The first time was completely understandable as he was referring to the differences between the two tickets and listed himself (last, he wasn't being a glory hog) as he mentioned Barack Obama, John McCain and Sarah Palin. The second time? "Gwen, no one in the United States Senate has been a better friend to Israel than Joe Biden." That's one line. We like Joe Biden and maybe we're being overly sensitive? We don't think so. We think it goes to the dishonesty of so many SNL sketches which we've long pointed out.

But we waited and we waited. And before we knew it, the sketch was over.

It was over before the one moment that SNL should have mocked -- and goodness knows they did so with Hillary. That would be what Bill Moyers calls the "moisty moment" -- at least he calls it that when it involves a woman.

Here's that moment via the CNN transcript:

PALIN: My experience as an executive will be put to good use as a mayor and business owner and oil and gas regulator and then as governor of a huge state, a huge energy producing state that is accounting for much progress towards getting our nation energy independence and that's extremely important.
But it wasn't just that experience tapped into, it was my connection to the heartland of America. Being a mom, one very concerned about a son in the war, about a special needs child, about kids heading off to college, how are we going to pay those tuition bills? About times and Todd and our marriage in our past where we didn't have health insurance and we know what other Americans are going through as they sit around the kitchen table and try to figure out how are they going to pay out-of-pocket for health care? We've been there also so that connection was important.
But even more important is that world view that I share with John McCain. That world view that says that America is a nation of exceptionalism. And we are to be that shining city on a hill, as President Reagan so beautifully said, that we are a beacon of hope and that we are unapologetic here. We are not perfect as a nation. But together, we represent a perfect ideal. And that is democracy and tolerance and freedom and equal rights. Those things that we stand for that can be put to good use as a force for good in this world.
John McCain and I share that. You combine all that with being a team with the only track record of making a really, a difference in where we've been and reforming, that's a good team, it's a good ticket.
IFILL: Senator?
BIDEN: You're very kind suggesting my only Achilles Heel is my lack of discipline.
Others talk about my excessive passion. I'm not going to change. I have 35 years in public office. People can judge who I am. I haven't changed in that time.
And, by the way, a record of change -- I will place my record and Barack's record against John McCain's or anyone else in terms of fundamental accomplishments. Wrote the crime bill, put 100,000 cops on the street, wrote the Violence Against Women Act, which John McCain voted against both of them, was the catalyst to change the circumstance in Bosnia, led by President Clinton, obviously.
Look, I understand what it's like to be a single parent. When my wife and daughter died and my two sons were gravely injured, I understand what it's like as a parent to wonder what it's like if your kid's going to make it.
I understand what it's like to sit around the kitchen table with a father who says, "I've got to leave, champ, because there's no jobs here. I got to head down to Wilmington. And when we get enough money, honey, we'll bring you down."
I understand what it's like. I'm much better off than almost all Americans now. I get a good salary with the United States Senate. I live in a beautiful house that's my total investment that I have. So I -- I am much better off now.
But the notion that somehow, because I'm a man, I don't know what it's like to raise two kids alone, I don't know what it's like to have a child you're not sure is going to -- is going to make it -- I understand.
I understand, as well as, with all due respect, the governor or anybody else, what it's like for those people sitting around that kitchen table. And guess what? They're looking for help. They're looking for help. They're not looking for more of the same.

Joe choked up while stating, "Look, I understand what it's like to be a single parent. When my wife and daughter died and my two sons were gravely injured, I understand what it's like as a parent to wonder what it's like if your kid's going to make it." Saturday Night Live avoided it (even during Weekend Update). Joe Biden was weeping the week prior onstage at an official campaign event and, Thursday night, he almost did again in the midst of the debate.

You can't have a comedy of errors without Bill Moyers and, if he can no longer provide journalism, at least he can still keep the home audiences in stiches.

Here's how the moment translated on Bill Moyers Journal Friday:

And then, he talked about his own biography, and his experiences as a single parent, choked up. But what struck me about that wasn't just that, oh, he had an emotional moment, but that in a campaign where gender is so important, he played what I call the "Tootsie" card. Not only am I as good a woman as you, but with my defense, with my Violence Against Women Act and outrage against Alaskans having to pay for rape kits, maybe I'm better.

Though folksy ("Tootsie" card?) what stands out is that Brooke Gladstone is speaking, bringing it up on her own, with no question asked to her about it. For the record, you inept fool, Kramer vs. Kramer is the reference you were looking for (where a man parents). Let's contrast that with when Hillary eyes welled up (as did Joe Biden's) and when Hillary didn't choke up (as Biden did onstage):

KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: But that's not the whole story. In the Hillary moment, characterized very differently by people-
BILL MOYERS: The moisty moment?
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Well, whatever adjective or adverb you use, Hillary Clinton has this moment in the diner.
BILL MOYERS: The national press was cynical. Clinton is hoping that showing that other side will bring women in particular to the polls, almost as if she had done it deliberate. We don't know whether she did or not. But the two significant newspapers in New Hampshire didn't cover the event at all. And local television coverage in New Hampshire was pretty matter of fact about it. It became a bigger national story than it did a local story.
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Mm-hm. But what's also interesting to me is you're not sure whether she did it deliberately or not.
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: I live in a different world. When Governor Romney becomes emotional talking about soldiers coming back from the war in Iraq in the context of having sons-- when he gets emotional talking about his father, as he did Thursday of this week-- when President Bush reports becoming emotional and you see him being emotional in circumstances, when President Reagan, in one of the finest speeches of his presidency, recalls the boys of Pointe du Hoc. and the men who took the cliffs and his voice is quavering and he speaks of Lisa Zanatta Henn who came back to Normandy because her father, who has since died, wanted to come back and she's representing him, and he is on the edge of tears when he says it, we don't say, "Is that real?" We accept it.
Why is it that we raise the question about whether it's feigned with Hillary Clinton? Is it that we assume that because Hillary Clinton is so calculating, she must be able to do this? Is it because we assume that that's not really who she is? Must be fake? Or alternatively, do we have a view of personality that says we all have a range of possible facets of personality and sometimes some are on display and others are not? Why would we not accept at face value expressions of emotions from candidates? I do. I don't question it. Now, you know, you may say that's naïve. But I don't think someone not trained as an actor is going to be able to counterfeit emotion in a credible fashion. And I find all of these expressions, Democratic and Republican, to be credible.
BILL MOYERS: In watching the Obama camp respond to her victory in New Hampshire, I thought we saw a precursor of the campaign to come. I want to show you a little sound bite of Jesse Jackson, Jr., Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr.-- who is a strong supporter of Obama, as he tries to put Hillary Clinton's camp on the defensive about, quote, the Hillary moment. Take a look at this.
Jesse Jackson Jr.: Not in response to voters -- not in response to Katrina, not in response to other issues that have devastated the American people, the war in Iraq, we saw tears in response to her appearance. So her appearance brought her to tears, but not Hurricane Katrina.
BILL MOYERS: What do you think?
KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: Much of the commentary about that moment is simply a Rorschach read on people's ideological relationship to Hillary Clinton. The question for the electorate at large is: Does it speak to her capacity to lead? It's the same question that one should ask of everything one sees of candidates.

That's the transcript of the January 11th discussion with our addition of Jackson's comments which the Moyers team renderes silent through the clever transcript practices of creative elipses. Hillary didn't choke up. She hadn't cried on stage (repeatedly) the week prior. But three sentences is all that's worth examining? Three brief sentences? Dr. Kathy was present Friday; however, strangely, she didn't feel the need to talk about it or even suggest, "It's the same question that one should ask of everything one sees of candidates?"

Dr. Kathy, we didn't get a Phd in hyprocrisy, so correct us if we're wrong, but by your January statements, Joe Biden's weeping the week prior and choking up in the debate should prompt the electorate to ask: "Does it speak to his capacity to lead?"

Dr. Kathy wasn't interested in that this go round and heaven knows Brooke's never missed a chance to stab a woman -- any woman -- in the back. Which is why Brooke prefaced her remarks excerpted above by describing it as "when Biden chided Palin for suggesting that because she's a mom and she's a woman, that she understands better what it takes to raise a family." Oh really?

That's what Biden was responding to because these are Palin's exact words regarding family:

But it wasn't just that experience tapped into, it was my connection to the heartland of America. Being a mom, one very concerned about a son in the war, about a special needs child, about kids heading off to college, how are we going to pay those tuition bills? About times and Todd and our marriage in our past where we didn't have health insurance and we know what other Americans are going through as they sit around the kitchen table and try to figure out how are they going to pay out-of-pocket for health care? We've been there also so that connection was important.

Brooke really inhabits her own hell, doesn't she? Palin's speaking of her qualifications and there's Brooke hitting the ceiling with another crackpot theory. Palin was asked about her qualifications and just including her qualifications as a woman is too much for Brooke who has to insist that that Palin was "suggesting that because she's a mom and she's a woman, that she understands better what it takes to raise a family." We call that projection and suggest therapy for Brooke. She should have plenty of time to get the help she so sorely needs, after all, she showed up to gas bag with Bill Friday about a debate she appears to have only paid fleeting attention to (which is how she manages to bring up "rape kits" -- for the record, not discussed in the debate playing on TV but apparently playing in Brooke's demented head).

Remember when we said Gwen's biggest problem is her desire to go for the chuckle? We stand by that. And you can agree or disagree and we really won't sweat it. But we didn't invent things that didn't take place. Brooke and Dr. Kathy, however, did just that.

Brooke maintains that Gwen "never asked any follow up questions" and Dr. Kathy just had to break herself off a piece of that insisting, "You asked about the journalists and their constraints. A journalist is now on live television. And when a question isn't answered, could say, 'For my next question, could you please answer the last question?' 'For my next question, could you please answer the question that I asked earlier?'"

Dr. Kathy goes on to praise Jim Lehrer's performance in the John McCain and Barack Obama debate and we have no quarrel with that, we've praised his performance in it ourselves. But we don't have the need to build up Lehrer by ripping apart Gwen with lies.

Dr. Kathy, your sexism is yet again showing or maybe it's just further proof that you gas bag about things you know nothing about. Here's Gwen early in the debate, "Governor, Senator, neither of you really answered that last question about what you would do as vice president. I'm going to come back to that... ... throughout the evening to try to see if we can look forward, as well." Or how about when Joe tried to dance around the issue of gay marriage and Gwen stated, "Let's try to avoid nuance, Senator. Do you support gay marriage?"

Uh, Dr. Kathy, Brooke, it appears Gwen was doing just what you both lamented hadn't taken place. We have no problem calling out Gwen but when we do, it's for things she actually did. We don't make up things to go after her with. Catty girls Brooke and Dr. Kathy cannot say the same.

Now it can be argued that Dr. Kathy and Brooke and Bill chose to ignore it because it made the point -- clearly -- that both Biden and Palin danced around questions and the talking point Bill Moyers Journal (aka PBS Gives Me A Full Hour Each Week To Elect A Democratic President) was pushing was that Sarah Palin refused to answer questions. No, gas bags, both candidates refused. We should note that serial women abuser Dr. Kathy had to drag Hillary through the mud yet again, "Well, when she [Palin] uses the word mandate, she's evoking the Hillary Clinton plan. And if you'll remember, Hillary Clinton's big point was you can't get to universal coverage without a mandate. And Barack Obama didn't have one. He only has a mandate for covering children. Now, here's another deception. If you take him at his word, it is not a government-run health care plan. And it's not — he probably isn't going to get to universal coverage." Dr. Kathy, you sad, sad woman. "Barack Obama didn't have one [mandate]. He only has a mandate for covering children." Which is it, dottering fool, he has one or he doesn't? (And they wanted to ridicule the way Palin spoke?)

You know Bill wasn't going to ask that anymore than he was going to bring up Biden's mistakes in the debate (including Biden's mistake that Barack Obama had not said he would sit down with the Iranian president). Brooke proved to be the ultimate Catty Girl -- so much so we expected her to turn to the camera and explain what flavor or Purina Cat Chow she eats -- as she delved into "Sarah Palin's persona" and appeared to decry the public wanting to be able to relate to a candidate as some sort of "an aspirational figure. You know, as we do when we flip through 'Vogue Magazine'. " Silly Brooke, you're describing Barack, not Palin. That would be the same Barack currently (yet again) on the cover of Men's Vogue. (And show us a man who reads Vogue -- Men's or otherwise -- and we'll show you a man with a stash of Honcho, Inches and assorted other mags under his bed.)

The crying, the choking up.

There's a real effort going on currently to cover up Biden's Thursday choke up. As a general rule, whenever Team Obama gives marching orders, there's a reason. They're trying to distract.

So the question people should be asking right now is what are they trying to cover up?

Now we're getting to the point we weren't planning on making. Why the need to paint Joe Biden as a caring father?

As two who know him, we found that surprising because he's a wonderful father. So why did they get so touchy and send out the marching orders (which Brooke and so many others are following)?

Your answer was in the debate and it came from Gwen. Brooke boo-hooed about how viewers have to do work after a debate. Yes, Brooke, life is so very hard for the very lazy.

Unlike lazy Brooke, we know Biden's position on the Iraq War and we'll stick to the public statements. In the April 26, 2007 South Carolina debate, he declared o

And the real question is:

Are we going to be able to leave Iraq, get our troops out, and leave behind something other than chaos? In order to do that, the president should start off by not vetoing the language which we just -- he says he's going to veto, we just passed today saying, "Begin to drawdown American troops right now and move toward a political solution."

April 10th he chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the treaties masquerading as SOFAs and declared, "Just understand my frustration, we want to normalize a government that really doesn't exist."

Are you getting why Biden's choke up (and earlier weeping) are being played by Team Obama as some sort of parental superiority?

If you're not, you need to go to Thursday's debate for this question by Gwen: "You both have sons who are in Iraq or on their way to Iraq. You, Gov. Palin, have said that you would like to see a real clear plan for an exit strategy. What should that be, Governor?" They both have sons who are serving in Iraq (Biden's son deployed last week).

What are their positions on the illegal war? Palin's for it. She thinks the Iraq War is winnable and, like her running mate has been saying publicly since May, she thinks the 'win' is taking place. Joe Biden?

That's what Team Obama doesn't want you thinking about.

They don't want you to ponder that because what does it say?

Palin is for the Iraq War. She thinks her son is off to fight a noble cause. We certainly disagree with her. But, from her stand point, it makes sense. What is Biden's stand on the Iraq War? And with that stand, his son is going to fight in it.

It's really important to Team Obama that you be distracted from that point. One says the illegal war is a mistake and yet stands by while his son goes off to fight in it. The other thinks it's correct and is proud of her son for fighting in it.

That's why it's important to attack Palin as a mother because if Team Obama can't shift it over to that area, too many people might be asking about the Hopey-Changey ticket, "If they're against the war, why is Biden's son going over there?"

Sorry if we 'harshed' your mellow. We've avoided going there for some time. But when Sarah Palin's going to be attacked for her Iraq War stand and as a parent, it's past time some questions were asked of Obama and Biden. The wrong war at the wrong time? That's how Barack put it and Biden's on that ticket. What kind of a parent sends their child to the wrong war at the wrong time?

Now an explanation can be made (and Biden can make it powerfully) but Team Obama doesn't want it even raised. ("S**t" was the one word response when we informed a friend with the Obama campaign -- thereby informing the entire campaign -- we were noting this.)

It's really not fair to Governor Palin (whom we don't know) for us to include the following; however, as John McCain noted last week, life isn't fair. So we'll again repeat, Biden is a wonderful father who loves his children very much. But the rah-rah 'anti-war' movement on board with Obama's campaign has never noticed the obvious. And Team Obama is really, really hoping that they don't notice it.

Palin's being attacked for Biden's choked up moment. Hillary was attacked when her eyes welled and now Palin's attacked because Joe choked up onstage in the debate. It's never a win for the women in a sexist media (which includes the likes of Dr. Kathy and Brooke attempting to destroy women).

Over thirty years ago, Biden faced a tragedy. He and his sons made it through that. Now one of his son's is going off to an illegal war started with lies. And this is the 'anti-war' movement's Last Chance Texaco of a Ticket?

As noted earlier with Kate Zernike, we're not opposed to praising anyone who warrants some. Amy Goodman so rarely does and was lying last week about Palin indicating that the non-God believing Goody should lay off of 'covering' religion. (If she laid off for all races, we'd be spared her airing of homophobia on the part African-American clergy. She always enjoys those moments, now doesn't she?)

But Goody gets her praise for a debate she offered Friday morning (text, video and audio)between Matt Gonzales (Ralph Nader's running mate) and Rosa Clemente (Cynthia McKinney's running mate). Both were shut out of Thursday's debate and with Women's Media Center so busy carrying the Democratic Party's water (or it is performing oral sex on the party?), you knew they weren't going to raise that issue. So it was left to Goody and she (and Juan Gonzalez) came through with a lively debate which even included a testy moment for the two candidates when the prison-industrial-complex was raised.

Because Iraq has fallen off the radar, we'll note the exchange on that topic:

JUAN GONZALEZ: Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Biden, talking about the war in last night's debate. Rosa Clemente, Green Party vice-presidential nominee, what's your viewpoint on the war?

ROSA CLEMENTE: Well, the Green Party's viewpoint -- and Cynthia has been very clear, and the party has been very clear -- an immediate end to the war, an immediate withdrawal of troops in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan. And, you know, one thing Cynthia agrees with a former colleague of hers, Dennis Kucinich, is that we now have to talk about creating departments of peace. And we have to also talk about withdrawing troops wherever they reside in other people's homelands. I always found it interesting -- or, you know, the fact that we, as the United States government, and we, as the people in this country, allow our military to be placed in other people's homelands. And being from Puerto Rico, I'm very clear on why the military does what it does. But we would never allow another country to have a military base there. And that might be a little simplistic kind of thing to throw out there, but I also think it speaks to the way we want to move forward in the future. And I don't think that either party is planning on ending the war. I think that the Democrats are more about transferring troops to Afghanistan and potentially preparing for a war in Pakistan. And even yesterday, Joe Biden talked about the possibility of putting troops in in Darfur. And I think that's something that we have to say immediately is unacceptable and that the majority of young people in this country have been clear for the last five years that we want an end to the war right now.

AMY GOODMAN: Independent vice-presidential candidate Matt Gonzalez?

MATT GONZALEZ: Well, I certainly -- and Ralph Nader supports getting our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately. I think the problem with a lot of the rhetoric that we're hearing is that if you concede that the surge is working, which we do not concede--but the moment you do that, you are going to run into a problem with the so-called timetable. Are the Democrats going to stick to a timetable if, as they start to draw down troops, there's increased sectarian violence? And I think the answer to that is really unclear, and probably no. I think the only way that we can successfully get out of this country is if, at the outset, we make it clear we're going to -- we're going to work quickly to get our troops out of the region, that we're part of the reason why the region remains unstable.

What might the Thursday debate have been like if they had been included? As well as Wayne Root (Bob Barr's running mate on the Libertarian presidential ticket) and Darrell Castle (Chuck Baldwin's running mate on the Constitutional Party's presidential ticket)? All the whining from Brooke about people have to watch the debate and also do some work might be for naught. Certainly, Rosa Clemente and Matt Gonzalez demonstrated they were more than able to hold their own and to provide the sort of information which Brooke lamented viewers would have to find for themselves after the debate.

That tends to happen when you shut out voices. Amazingly, Bill and his two gas bags wanted to talk about how unfair the debates were. Of course, they weren't concerned with who got invited, they just wanted to moan about the format. Brooke called them "kabuki" and, no doubt, thought that made her pass for informed. Bill wanted to whine about how the "Debate Comission" controls the rules -- but not about how the Republican and Democratic "Debate Commission" prevents candidates from participating in the debates?

It wasn't about democracy, it wasn't about information.

In Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors, twins Dromino and Anitpholus are so similar, they're mistaken for one another leading to much gas baggery, nail biting and sturm und drang. A lot like "presidential debates" and "vice presidential debates" that only invite the Democratic and Republican candidates to participate. Shakespeare provided the comedy onstage, but in this age of insta-pundit, gas bags provide the real comedy as they work themsleves into a frenzied lather pushing one side's talking points. The two candidates themselves play it out as though they've absorbed Shakespeare's line, "Let's go hand in hand, not one before another" -- which explains why they rush to offer tiny variants of degrees between themselves and their opponents. That really isn't change, now is it?

Last week, a debate aired Thursday night and another on Friday. Gwen didn't play favorites with anyone except her own ego (as expected to any paying close attention). Saturday night, SNL tried to cut loose but only underscored that all they have to offer passed off as political comedy is bitchy, little one-liners and Friday Bill Moyers & Company offered their own laugh-lines. It was all a joke. Or, if you prefer, a prank played on the public. If you need a belly laugh right about now, note this:

It's what happens when an interlocking media system filters through commercial values or ideology, the information and moral viewpoints people consume in their daily lives. And by no stretch of the imagination can we say today that the dominant institutions of our media are guardians of democracy.

That's Old Man Fibber himself, Bill Moyers, poniticating at the January 2007 National Confrence on Media Reform. Laugh because the presidential election takes place in mere weeks and not only will Bill Moyers not book Ralph Nader or Cynthia McKinney to appear on his show, they (and actual democracy and actually informing an audience) mean so little to him that he doesn't even bother to include them as topics for his Endless Gas Baggery.

At the end of The Comedy of Errors, the two lead characters are revealed to be twins and everyone has a hearty laugh. In the real world, every four years gas bags work overtime to divide up the duopoly twins and pretend there's a huge difference between the two.

The Vagina Strikes Back! (Ava and C.I.)

What could reduce allegedly mature, allegedly pro-women and feminists such as Robin Morgan and Kim Gandy (among others) to conducting themselves in the stereotypical manner of back-biting, harping shrews willing to repeat any lie or smear if it helps a man?

Sarah Palin.


That's the crowd that turned out for Palin in Minnesota from the McCain campaign's official blog (photo posted to that blog by Matt Lira who deserves credit for all the work he does online as an official campaign blogger, by the way). See, Sarah Palin packs in the crowds. She energizes people.

We can say that and not alarm any non-McCain supporters because we said here since 2005 that we wouldn't vote for McCain (and it was said at The Common Ills in 2004). The article needs to be written, as Dona and Jim point out, and everyone's pressed for time and a group article might be read as "They're dropping Nader and voting for McCain!" The endorsement of Ralph Nader by the rest stands. (We haven't endorsed. We have stated we will not vote for Barack Obama or John McCain.)

Palin is a strong woman and that's reason enough to scare the likes of Robin and Kim. Remember, those two and their ilk also make a point to black-out (or is that Black-out?) Cynthia McKinney who is the Green Party presidential candidate and who happens to have a woman (Rosa Clemente) as a running mate.

Strong women tend to scare that crowd unless they all went to Sarahrad Wellscliff together and, who knows, had secret crushes on each other and left notes on each other's pillows. Anyone who ever had to actually work for a living, as both Palin and McKinney have had to do, anyone who ever had to pull themselves up from the bottom, is just a little too hard to get close to. [Gloria Steinem, whom we love, did go to the 'right' college but she did have to pull herself up from the bottom. In terms of the leadership, Gloria's really the token product of the working class. Sh, don't say it too loudly, no one's ever supposed to notice.]

So when women bust their ass and try to move up, it's only natural that the highly insulated level of 'leadership' responds with hisses and starts playing like they're Alexis Carrington about to stage a throw down of Krystal. It's all so sad but, laugh or cry, we prefer to chuckle. Fortunately feminism will get past those women and their restricted minds. By 2020, the women's studies book will be decrying the women who not only refused to support either Palin or McKinney in the general election but worked to tear them down.

That is what's happening.

With Palin, it's attack, attack. She's considered 'pretty' and goodness knows the feminist movement has always been conflicted with beauty. Cynthia is a gorgeous women herself but she's African-American so the bulk of leadership doesn't notice. (What? You really thought we were geniuses for noticing that Naomi Wolf raved over free-love glamor girl Victoria Woodhull's looks while treating Madame C.J. Walker like an ugly oaf in Fire With Fire? We weren't geniuses, we just weren't so insulated from the real world as the leadership of the movement.) But Palin's judged attractive (and she is attractive) so it's attack, just like in high school. Acne scars and flat chests really did a number on a large group of women who just cannot put high school behind them. [Cynthia photo from her campaign site.]


They ignore McKinney's beauty (for reasons outlined) but, then, they ignore Cynthia period. That's the other catty girl move from high school, you may remember. The freeze out. The snub. So every day is a new attack on Sarah and every day is another snub of Cynthia. And the leadership wants the country to see it as 'supportive' and 'women-centered.' While, try not to laugh too hard, supporting a Corporatist War Hawk who uses sexism and homophobia regularly. They've gone a long way . . . backwards.

But that's often the case for a movement that outgrows its leaders and 'leaders' and that's really what appears to be happening today.

Instead of saying, "You know what I disagree with Cynthia and/or Sarah but I'm damn proud as a woman that both are in this race," the Sour Grape Girls make a point of working to destroy them.

You probably knew girls like that in high school. Remember? They attacked other girls to get in good with the guys. Like Robin Morgan in January, they may have tried to stand up against the male order briefly but they got called a few names and apparently words like "bitch" stung so much that they couldn't handle it. So it was time to do the men's bidding for them.

Ourselves, we laugh when we're called "bitches." Being feminists, we assume we'll be called that at least once a day and it's a rare day we're not called that more than once.

We should probably confess that we weren't of the flat-chested crowd. (Or the acne crowd.) Never having suffered from lack of male attention, maybe we don't take seriously enough the pains of other straight women when it comes to that issue?

Could be true. But we've also never attacked another woman for being beautiful and we wouldn't rank ourselves as Most Beautiful In The World.

But one thing we do know is no one gets by on good looks. That's a lie -- one usually started by ugly or plain girls (often long out of girlhood and still carrying grudges). You can sleep your way to a certain level and you can certainly claw you way to a certain level. Mainly though, a lot of women silence themselves to a certain level.

As anyone who's read even a little of our writing knows, we don't shy from expressing our opinions and that tends to cancel out any benefits that looks might garner.

No, Nora Ephron, this isn't Confessions of a Former Beauty Queen; however, it bears noting.

Jealousy really fuels the anti-women attacks which is why we felt the need to talk about looks in this commentary. It's really insulting when men act as if Sarah's beauty is her strongest trait or when they post those pictures of her head on the body of a bikini-clad women (they're posted all over Barack's site). But there's another offense and that's the women who can't stop sneering of Sarah that she was a "beauty queen."

We have never entered a beauty contest and never would. We think they're glorified cattle auctions and note that the only Miss America with a career to point to with pride is the woman who got stripped of the title (the amazing Vanessa Williams). But if that's what someone else defines as success, have at it. We're not going to make a point to mention it or obsess over it in our daily lives.

But a lot of women do. Like Robin Morgan. Who thinks it's fair to sneer "beauty queen" while not informing readers that Palin did compete but did so because she wanted a college scholarship. College scholarship.

Let's digress to refute a lie not associated with either Cynthia or Sarah. Barack Obama's mother. Ann. She was on food stamps. What?

She wasn't hurting for money. She did not attend college on a scholarship and it's been amazing to watch as feminists have let this lie slip by because feminism needs to take a bow here.

See, Ann got pregnant in college. And she had her baby. Had she been on a scholarship, in 1961, it would have ended right then. Women weren't seen as 'attractive' to colleges. The usual line was that women were just going to get married (and have babies) so what was the point of educating them? When it comes to scholarships, that was the line only more so. So, no, Barack did not grow up in a cash-strapped home. Ann's parents paid for their daughter's college. Before she had the baby and after. And after? It was the feminist movement that argued women had a right to equal education and it was the feminist movement that fought for many of the programs that exit today, the ones that help single mothers attend college. They didn't exist back then.

We always shake our heads in wonder when the lie is promoted and repeated about Ann's cash struggle. She did struggle in other ways, as all women do. But she wasn't the economically down trodden.

Sarah Palin and Cynthia McKinney come from working class roots. Cynthia's were a little higher up due to her father's positions but she fought to get where she was and it was a battle. In 2008, what Sarah and Cynthia accomplished can seem minor if you judge it by 2008's standards. But neither woman just graduated high school. They grew up at a time when feminism was fighting for the rights that are so often taken for granted today. And, though the Sour Grape Girls would have to believe otherwise, those rights were not just about abortion.

Both Cynthia and Sarah define themselves as feminists. It's really been amazing to watch Women's Media Center and the Feminist Majority Foundation do their poor-Michelle bulletins. That would be Michelle Obama who does not identify as a feminist. Goodness, Gloria hasn't called Michelle "Phyliss Schafly," has she?

Violet Socks pointed out last week that while Governor Palin proudly defines herself as a feminist, Michelle Obama replied when asked that question, "You know, I'm not that into labels. So probably, if you laid out a feminist agenda, I would probably agree with a large portion of it. I wouldn't identify as a feminist just like I probably wouldn't identify as a liberal or a progressive."

And that's who feminists want to defend. Cynthia they ignore, Sarah they attack.


Funny, we kind of thought women being on a presidential ticket was something to take pride in. We were supporting Hillary in the primary and we were proud of Hillary for many things. But there are things in Cynthia's record and campaign as well as in Sarah's we can take pride in. Take the photo above (posted to the McCain campaign site by Matt Lira).

Young women attending a presidential race function and they're crowded around a vice presidential candidate who is . . . a woman.

Yeah, it is something we're proud of. We don't have to vote for Palin to be proud of it or to be proud of her.

And we're proud of Rosa Clemente. Goodness, are we proud of Rosa Clemente. We weren't too thrilled with her (as we noted) when the campaign started. But damned if Rosa hasn't come into her own on the campaign trail. She's got a new confidence about her and she's increased her strength and we're damn proud of her. Rosa, you amaze us. (f you're not amazed, check out her debate performance Friday.)

All three women amaze us for so many reasons. One of the most important reasons is something that they all share with Hillary. Yes, the three have more in common with Hillary than just the double XX factor. They're strong women who get up every day and fight.

Like Hillary, they're ridiculed and attacked daily. KPFK hosted Pacifica's coverage of the Barack - John debate last month and what did they do? They brought on Cynthia and made it clear that they were done with her rather quickly. Then, the male host (sort of knew it would be a man, didn't you?) went on to insult Cynthia's intelligence (Cynthia was 100% correct about the Florida vote in 2000) and have a little laugh at her expense. It bears noting that, as with the Hillary attackers, he didn't have enough guts to try that while Cynthia was still on the line.

It's that kind of crap that women especially put up with to this day. The knowledge that when we leave the room, some of our 'agreers' will quickly stab us in the back with sadistic glee. And Cynthia knows what happened. She can't be happy about it (we'd be furious were we her and we're furious just for having heard it). But she keeps on. Because women always have to keep on. A Joe Biden or Chris Dodd can drop out a race with no concerns of "What will this mean for men!" The reason is there's always another man waiting in line to replace them. But women have to fight for their place in line and, when they finally get one, they look around and notice that they're surrounded by men.

If Hillary wanted to win a popularity contest, she could have dropped out in February. That wouldn't have made her 18 million voters happy (or the ones who came to her when others dropped out or when they saw her very real strength as it continued to emerge on the campaign trail) but it would have made the Elitist Class (yes, Robin, we used the e-word) happy. She could have had triumphant editorials. Matthew Rothschild might have even had to stop expressing disgust over what he saw as her lack of class. (Considering Matthew's upbringing, we're rather surprised he has the nerve to play snob.) She could have been applauded.

Similarly, Cynthia knows that if she announced tomorrow she was supporting Barack and ending her run, she'd get cheers from all the elites. They'd suddenly find a way to write about her -- unlike when she was in Congress and the likes of Air Berman were sneering at her in The Nation.

A woman always knows the way to garner the easiest applause is to stop fighting.

Robin Morgan's probably hoping for some of that easy applause now that she's so viciously attacked another woman. Women who aren't achieving can't drop out for applause; however, they can make themselves 'useful' to the patriarchy by attacking other women.

There's always been a seat kept warm for the gender traitors at the table of Male Oppression. A fact Robin damn well knows. We picture her sitting high and proud and ordering a-la cart while she flirts with the fellows.

But hitting the road every day when you're attacked? That takes strength. Hillary had it. Sarah Palin does, Cynthia McKinney does and Rosa Clemente does.

And what a proud moment for women across the country, if they can step out the sewer the likes of Robin are trying to push them in.

They don't have to vote for McCain-Palin or McKinney-Clemente to be proud.

You know, a lot's made about sports and we honestly aren't interested. We could go our entire lives without hearing another sports analogy. But we have to wonder, if you're rooting for Team A and Team B has a player who breaks a record, do you sit there and sulk. Or do think, "That's amazing. I'm so excited by that?"

We hope it would be the latter but with what we've seen from feminist leadership and 'leadership' this year, we really don't know. Instead of encouraging women to take a moment to realize that we're all up on the stage with Cynthia, Rosa and Sarah, we're encouraged to ignore the women or to attack them.

Sexism keeps women off presidential tickets but, it must be noted, sexism includes the crap Robin Morgan pulled last week.

Ourselves, we couldn't support a candidate who utilizes homophobia to scare up votes. So we do understand why Robin needed to 'support' Barack by tearing down Sarah. But the reality is Palin's making a historic run. McKinney and Clemente are as well but the media's paying attention to Palin (mainly because they're dying to see her fail). So at this historic moment, Robin decides the 'feminist' thing to do is to slime and smear Sarah, to repeat a lot of lies and, to prove just how tacky she can be, Robin drags Palin's teenage daughter into it.

"Sisterhood is Suicide" proclaimed Robin in one of her two stolen titles. Actually, Robin, we think what you meant to proclaim is "I'll Murder Sisterhood."

"Sisterhood is Powerful." Robin said that once. "Sisterhood is Forever." Robin said that once. "Sisterhood is Global" . . . These days, according to Robin, it's suicide.

Really? We're not aware of the definition of "sisterhood" changing so it strikes us as though Robin uncorked a bottle of imported whine and chowed down on a few sour grapes.

In the easy times, anyone can be a feminist. It's the difficult times that demonstrate what women are really made of. A lot of women are exhibiting some very non-feminist traits while insisting that they are feminists.

As usual, the women like Robin are rushing towards a man and trying to declare their love for him and, having no real power of their own, the easiest way for them to make themselves useful to the patriarchy is to rip in to women who might threaten Dream Boat Barack's chances to be BMOC.

Look, there's Robin, text book clasped firmly to her breasts, standing meekly in the hall. You can almost hear her saying, "Please, God, today, let Barack notice me. Please, please, God." It's all so damn pathetic. You'd be appalled if you caught some female character doing it on one of CW's bodywash operettas, it's even more so appalling coming from an allegedly mature woman.

By the way, you can vote for McKinney-Clemente or McCain-Palin. We're not telling you who to vote for. Your vote is your own and use it in the way that feels right to you. But even if you don't vote for either ticket or if you choose one of those two tickets, you should grasp that this is historic and that all women owe a debt to Cynthia, Sarah and Rosa. Hillary would have been in there doing just what the three women are doing so toss her in there as well. In 2008, four strong women have faced the most vicious, sexist attacks (sadly, too often from other women) and they've known the attacks were never about them individually, it was about discrediting women period. They've known that and they've gotten up each day and pressed on. There's no Pat Schroeder crying (which wasn't the end of the world, despite the way some try to play it). They fight the battle and they know that, yes, there will be a women president. It may be in 2008 if Cynthia gets enough votes. It may be in 2012. It may be later on. But a woman will be president and these four women made sure it was possible by fighting to the best of their abilities and by utilizing their strengths.

A word of caution, however. These Sour Grape Girls who can't stop attacking Sarah and can't stop shunning Cynthia and Rosa? Their actions are making it so much harder for that day to come. Don't be afraid to call the attackers out. Their behavior is not about feminism and their actions are shameful.

There are always hold outs like that, women who insist that a woman's not qualified or that she's harmful or blah, blah, blah. They're just smacking their tired gums. 2008, the year The Vagina Strikes Back! As Rickie Lee Jones once sang, "Oh, it's never going to be the same."


Nod to Jim and Dona who were free associating for titles and helped us come up with this one.

Again, whose media center?

Women's Media Center proclaims in blue at the top of their site, "Show Me the Women 2008 Presidential Debates" and, apparently, that's a plea so that they can have some targets to hurl abuse at. They're really making themselves into a joke at Women's Media Center and they need to get their shit together pretty damn quick.

"Show Me the Women: The Presidential Debates" is the sort of non-action that Democratic partisans (posing as feminists) wallow in. See, the girls are a little upset about women being represented in the debates. No, they're not calling for the McKinney - Clemente ticket to be invited. They just suck up to the Democratic Party. They're not capable of doing anything else. So they whimper and whine about the moderators and argue it a 'success' that Gwen Ifill was picked to 'moderate' the Democratic and Vice Presidential debate. That's not a 'success.'

It's a conflict of interest, of course. Most importantly, Gwen was happy to call out Don Imus for racism but, you'll note, she never said a damn word about sexism. The small number of broadcast women who actually called out sexism include Katie Couric, Bonnie Erbe and Cokie Roberts. 'Success' might have been one of them being moderator but it's not the hapless Gwen.

Calling Gwen a 'success' operates on the "at least she's got a vagina!" principle. You know the one that's so very important when it's someone they like but the one that's not at all important when they dislike the woman?

It's the same double-standard that leads to Carol Jenkins embarrassing herself with praise for Rachel Maddow. Maddow does possess a vagina. She's also a War Hawk and, Carol, sell yourself out somewhere else because this crowd ain't buying your bullshit. Our own Elaine called out Maddow's War Hawk ways (for those not aware, Maddow spent her entire year of Unfiltered arguing on air that the US should not leave Iraq -- some voice of peace) and it resulted in an on air meltdown. Rachel was born sucking up to the establishment, she'll die the same. (Just as she called out Chris Matthews for almost a 24 hour cycle . . . until MSNBC offered her a contract and suddenly she was telling the press how wonderful Chris was.) And, no, we don't find her Chachi male-drag act attractive. (For those who forget, some of the 'progressive women' Carol cites ripped Hillary apart for her 2002 vote re: Iraq, however, Maddow's 2004 to 2005 public support for the illegal war goes unquestioned by the same little girls.)

WMC Offers "Majority Post" -- a so-called blog they bill as "A Forum for the No-Longer-Invisible Majority." A laughable claim considering the number of women who left comments to Robin Morgan's insulting garbage last week only to never be let out of moderation. Our own Betty left her comments and they've never made it to the site. She figured they wouldn't (and plans to post on that next Friday) so we'll share what the "forum for the no-longer-invisible majority" wouldn't:

Calling it what it is: Garbage.
I understand WMC has refused to allow some women to post. Go for it with me, girls. This Black feminist has her own site and intends to reply there. But get it through your insulated heads, Bash the B**ch is never an acceptable game to play and WMC allowing falsehoods, long disproven by, to be printed helps no one. I find it hilarious that in the name of ’sisterhood,’ you largely White girls continue to prop up bi-racial Barack while ignoring our Black sister Cynthia McKinney.
I’ve got 75 angry e-mails from my readers (predominately Black) who are feminists and don’t tailor their opinions to this year’s talking point. They are offended by Robin Morgan’s writing and they should be offended. Bash the b**tch is queen bee behavior, it is not feminist behavior.
I’ll check back later to see if I too was never let out of moderation. If that becomes the case, I will be posting on that and, you can be sure, my post will be reposted at many other websites.
Thank you, Robin Morgan, for explaining how very little women matter. I will be sure and toss your books in the trash because my youngest is a girl and she certainly doesn’t need to grow up reading your "Sisterhood is Powerful" or "Sisterhood is Forever" when your own actions prove that Cynthia McKinney can bust her rear for feminism and it will never matter to the largely White feminists of WMC.

Yeah, we got e-mails as well. Funny that the forum is happy to render all those women invisible.

The top four stories at WMC currently all attack Sarah Palin -- you know, the woman.

Take High Priestess of Male Gaze Avis (she's a rental) A. Jones-DeWeever who wants to ask, "Where Have Our Standards Gone?" "Sit your ass down, Avis," says Marcia. "No one needs your high yellow face this early in the morning."

Avis wants to question Palin's competency. Repeating, wants to question Palin's competency. It's amazing the gas bags hanging out under the street lights trying to peddle that one. Governor Palin is a v.p. nominee and she has more experience than Barack Obama who is running for the highest office in the land. "Sit your tired ass down, Avis," says Betty with an "amen" from Cedric.

Peggy Simpson shows up insisting "Pundits and Viewers Give Palin a Pass" -- yeah, Pegs, it's a conspiracy. Poor Peggy Lu, she carries so much water for the Obama-Biden ticket, she might throw out her shoulders:

Biden also scored the emotional moment of the vice presidential debate against the younger mother-of-five Palin.
"Look, I understand what it's like to be a single parent. When my wife and daughter died [in a 1972 car crash] and my two sons were gravely injured, I understand what it is like as a parent to wonder what it’s like if you kid's going to make it."
Palin not only didn't react to that or give even a glance toward Biden. She changed the subject and talked directly into the camera.

It's really something to hear a so-called feminist gloss over Joe Biden's choked up moment -- really something to watch as she praises it and doesn't even raise the issue of the sexist pile up on Hillary following her New Hampshire moment. But it takes a special kind of STUPID to then blame Palin for moving on.

Pegs, what was she supposed to have done? Pulled the cry baby to her bosom and patted his head? Was she supposed to meet your sexist definition of 'nurturing female'? Or was she supposed to call attention to Biden's embarrassing moment?

Let us know, Pegs, because, as C.I. pointed out Saturday, there's no win for a woman in this no matter how she behaves. The treatment of Hillary and the treatment of Palin proves it.

And then there's Robin Morgan and her awful "When Sisterhood Is Suicide and Other Late Night Thoughts." As Betty pointed out, the title rips off Gloria Steinem's "Night Thoughts of a Media Watcher." C.I informs that Robin's using a fear tactic and ripping off the ultra-right Richard Posner ("Not a Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of a National Emergency"). What a proud moment for Robin.

Robin opens her column with, "I screwed up. I started writing this weeks ago as a Letter to Undecided Women Voters . . ." Well, she got it right in her first sentence, she screwed up. But why Robin Morgan thinks undecided voters needs to hear from her on how to vote goes to her own huge sense of self-importance and her own disdain for what we'll assume are the 'common folk.' Yes, Robin Morgan, it's election time! Please, please, don't just tell us how you will vote, tell us how we should vote!

Does she not grasp not only how insulting that is, not only how self-aggrandizing that is, but it how makes it appear to the outside world that the feminist movement is filled with a bunch of nimrods who can't think for themselves?

Well anyone who could say "Sisterhood Is Suicide" has a few screws loose. Try that for the title of your next opus, Robin. We're sure Bill O'Reilly and the others of Fox "News" will happily book you as a guest.

Robin confesses, "By now, my short tolerance for willful ignorance is as spent as Wall Street while socialism-Republican-style tries to nationalize it." Uh, you mean like the man you're trying to push women into voting for (trying to push women around is more like it)? Barack Obama. He and Joe Biden voted for what you're calling out. That's some ticket you're supporting, Robin.

She offers, "So many dolts and liars, so little time." Well, by all means, make the time to include yourself on the list of "dolts and liars."

Here's a lie from Robin: "She’s broad-minded, willing to have evolution taught alongside creationism."

Here's reality from "Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska's schools. She has said that students should be allowed to 'debate both sides' of the evolution question, but she also said creationism 'doesn't have to be part of the curriculum'."

Don't expect WMC to correct the error because . . . Well frankly, they never do. Surprisingly, considering the number of female journalists involved in the project, accuracy isn't apparently an aim or even a goal to strive for. Which explains how Robin can get away with being 'creative' in her own quotes. Hey, don't look at WMC as journalism, okay, it's a creative writing class! And who's more creative than Robin Morgan?

We would call her outright lies and her 'creative' quoting "toxic viciousness" were it not for the fact that she claimed to say goodbye to all that back in January.

Hey Robin, some women support Governor Palin. And there you are tearing her down to build up Barack. It makes no sense.

So why should all women not be as justly proud of our womanhood and the centuries, even millennia, of struggle that got us this far, as black Americans, women and men, are justly proud of their struggles?

Uh, Robin, "So . . . struggles?" is you writing in January.

In fact, Robin, you might want to re-read your "Goodbye To All That No. 2" because it reads like another woman wrote it.

*an era when parts of the populace feel so disaffected by politics that a comparative lack of knowledge, experience, and skill is actually seen as attractive, when celebrity-culture mania now infects our elections so that it’s “cooler” to glow with marquee charisma than to understand the vast global complexities of power on a nuclear, wounded planet.

*Goodbye to some women pouting because she didn’t bake cookies or she did, sniping because she learned the rules and then bent or broke them. Grow the hell up. She is not running for Ms.-perfect-pure-queen-icon of the feminist movement. She’s running to be president of the United States.

Robin, are you pouting because Sarah Palin learned the rules and then bent or broke them? Do you need to grow the hell up?

(We think you at least need corner time.)

Here's Robin last week, "She’s patriotic--well, except for attending that secessionist Alaska Independent Party conference during the seven years when First Dude was a party member pulling down DWI convictions on the side." DWI convictions on the side? That's Sarah Palin's problem? Hey, remember back in January when you were decrying the women who were leery of Hillary (or openly hostile) because "she couldn't 'control' him"? Shoe's not on the other foot, Robin, it's up your ass. That must make thinking very difficult for you. And, by the way, Todd Palin's conviction is over 20 years old. As for her attending the conference, notes "she attended at least one party's convention, as mayor of the town in which it was held." Yeah, Robin, she had actual responsibilities. Maybe she could have just told them to consider her "present" the way Barack voted on abortion issues in the Illinois state legislature?

And what's with the attack on Mary Matlin? Matlin's long considered herself a feminist. There's nothing "surreal" about her making that claim, nor anything new. You really need to get out more. A little sun would do wonders.

Robin declares, "Sarah Palin is to all women what Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is to African American women and men." How very right-wing of you, Robin. Any woman you disagree with is actually a man. How very 'liberated' of you.

Robin then wants to advise the media to look for John McCain making homophobic remarks. Like Barack did about the AIDs test in the televised debate? Or how about putting homophobes on stage, Robin? You do grasp just how thin the walls of your glass house are, don't you?

Robin then proves her 'maturity' (or thinks she does) by dashing off, "Do not crucify Bristol Palin for being a pregnant, unwed teen. Do note the irony that her mother opposes sex ed and funding for pregnant teens." First off, Robin, we're talking about a 17-year-old girl. If you truly feel any sympathy for her, the last thing she needed was to be included in your bad column. She certainly didn't need your ha-ha.

Guess what, Robin, feminists should grasp that a 17-year-old girl is not a trophy to be pulled for in a cultural war. Any comments about the need for sex education can be made without dragging a child into the discussion. Or do you think you're 'liberating' Bristol Palin with your garbage?

Robin received loud laughter from Ava and C.I. with this little jotting, "Do not present more all-pale-male panels shamelessly unfazed by pontificating on gender and race. Do be embarrassed that all three presidential debates are anchored by white men. Gwen Ifill, a two-fer—female and African American--landed the VP debate. She’s great. Two-fer’s not. Be ashamed. Be very ashamed. " Uh, Robin, it was PBS that presented eight male voices weighing in on women during the Republican Convention -- and, for the record, they weren't all pale faced. But calling out PBS is so very, very hard for some feminists who have sucked up to it for years always sure that someday, somehow, PBS would be there for feminism. Never happened, but hey, keep hoping. (That actually describes the relationship of some feminists to the Democratic Party as well.)

By the way, Robin, a number of feminists sit on the boards of The Nation and FAIR. Both have lousy representation of women. FAIR's CounterSpin has three hosts, two White males and what you dub a "two-fer" (Janine Jackson). In 2006, FAIR was calling out PBS for their low number of women when FAIR's own CounterSpin had a worse ratio. And of course The Nation published 149 female bylines in 2007 and 491 males. When might we expect you to work on that? (Or do you plan to join the many other name feminists egging us on to continue doing so?)

Robin had us all laughing with this one, "Do not keep humoring the tiny minority of woman-hating, lesbian-and-gay 'curing,' science-denouncing, religious-fanatic troglodytes in this country. Do not dignify them by 'equal time' 50-50 coverage when the reality is 6 (them)-94 (the rest of us)." Gee, Robin, how about we ask that candidates don't put those "lesbian-and-gay 'curing'" homophobes on stage? Of course that would require your calling out your 'sister' Barack Obama for putting homophobes on stage in South Carolina back in November as well as currently with his 'values' tour in swing-states. Again, the the walls of your glass house are very, very thin.

While you're happy to rail against 'faith-based' programs (funded by tax payers), you're unable to rail against Barack's use of homophobia. Ourselves, we've railed against both. That doesn't make us "better" than you, just smarter and more honest.

Robin, you tell so many lies and we have so damn little time.

But we must note this one because C.I. says it's a lie and actually made a call to find out:

Remember that at the Sturgis motorcycle rally, McCain mortified his wife by saying she should enter the Topless Miss Buffalo Chip contest. Remember that, responding to a comment Cindy made about his thinning hair, he guffawed, “At least I don’t plaster on makeup like a trollop, you c**t.”

Cindy McCain (who you dismiss elsewhere as a beauty queen and never mention that she's pro-choice) is suddenly a topic of concern for you? The sudden nature of your concern must explain both lies. Cindy McCain was not mortified. Like her husband, she didn't realize that it was a topless contest. As for the "c" remark? Never made. Our position all along has been, if a couple in a relationship are fine with their relationship, it's nobody's business from the outside what they do or do not do. But that remark never was made. A reporter created it and has no backup for his claim. It's also rejected by someone present. So shove that up your shoe-containing-ass and smoke it.

One more thing, Ty and Marcia are gay and want it noted that your "tired ass" refused to call out Barack's homophobia and you're now lying and calling Palin a homophobe. Palin opposes same-sex marriage, as does your ticket of Barack-Joe. Palin is not saying sexuality is "curable" and you're a damn liar for saying so. Marcia wants it noted that with 'friends' like you, the LGBT community is going to need a lot of help. (For Robin's lies regarding Hillary's campaign, see C.I.'s
"I Hate The War.")

Women's Media Center is becoming the mouthpiece of the Sour Grapes Girls. They could cover other topics but they're so damn determined to elect the bi-racial, sexist and homophobic candidate that they can't stop lying, day after damn day. It's pathetic. It's not feminism. But, hey, let's all play by the WMC rules. As such, we'll be offering our own "Goodbye To All That" (WMC style) and, if Robin and others are offended, hey, it's humor.
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