Sunday, August 23, 2009


Jim: This is a current events and e-mail roundtable. Participating are The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, 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; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Ty's got an e-mail that we'll open with and we will try to work in as many as we can.


Ty: Last week started with C.I. calling out Crapapedia again. Roma e-mailed to note a Crapapedia entry and wanted to know if C.I. could identify the problem in the following, "In the 1990s, facing competition from men's magazines such as FHM, Rolling Stone reinvented itself, hiring former FHM editor Ed Needham. The magazine started targeting younger readers and offering more sex-oriented content, which often focused on sexy young television or film actors as well as pop music. At the time, some long-time readers denounced the publication, claiming it had declined from astute musical and countercultural observer to a sleek, superficial tabloid, emphasizing style over substance."

C.I.: Well the most obvious mistake involves the Anne Robinson lookalike freak Ed Needham. He was not hired in the 1990s. He wasn't even in American until 1999 when he came over from England to start the American version of FHM. So to say that the 1990s were a crisis and that was when Ed Needham joined is to just flat out lie. Crapapedia is so full of garbage. Robert Love leaves as managain editor in April 2002. In June of that year, it's announced that Ed Needham is joining the magazine and will be taking over Love's old position. And the 90s, the bulk of them? Not that awful compared to the Ed Needham period which is where you get the teeny bop and all the other crap including the unscientific 'trend' story of bug chasers which remains the all time worst piece of garbage Rolling Stone has ever published.

Jim: Our e-mail address is And as Ava and C.I. like to say, remember kids, it's not Encyclopedia, it's Crap, Crapapedia. Reuters notes that Hamad Karzai's main challenger in the election for president of Aghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah, is saying that the vote was rigged. Any thoughts?

Wally: We must do something! Pronto! I've set up my own Twitter account, Twittering Fools, and we all need to switch our location to Kabul in order to show solidarity and we need to talk about nothing else because what will a country do without us sticking our big noses into everything!!!! What will they do!!!!

Cedric: Exactly! We must write about it non-stop because other country's elections must be, MUST BE, decided by citizens of the United States! If we don't like the results of another country's elections, we must protest!!!

Kat: We're all laughing but we should probably explain that Wally and Cedric are joking and parodying the idiots wetting themselves over Iran's elections.

Marcia: And did anyone really expect that Afghanistan would have free and fair elections? While occupied by the US? What's next, expecting the same for Iraq?

Jess: The surprise isn't that Afghanistan would have crooked elections, the shocker is the US remains in Afhganistan despite eight years of accomplishing nothing but non-stop killings.

Jim: Last week an ABC News - Washington Post poll found support erording further for Barack and that most Americans are opposed to continuing the Afghanistan War. And that was before the questionable elections.

Ruth: And, just for the record, Japan has elections at the end of the month. In case anyone really enjoys following elections.

Jim: You were in Japan for the month of June, Ruth. Any predicitions?

Ruth: None at all. But I highly recommend Japan as a vacation spot for anyone who can go. It was really the most magical vacation and the country is just so beautiful.

Jim: Okay. Ty has another e-mail.

Ty: Atlhan e-mails to complain that we have not written a word about Israel allegedly harvesting organs. That e-mail came out on Thursday and I farmed the topic out to Stan. Stan?

Stan: This is based on one article, "Our Sons Are Being Stripped Of Their Organs," which ran in Aftonbladet, a newspaper in Sweden. The article has resulted in a huge flare up between Israel and Sweden. Israel maintains the article is false. Aftonbladet has so far stood by its report which has soldiers in the Israeli army grabbing Palestinians and harvesting -- removing -- their organs to sell on the black market. Israel's demanding an apology. Despite the fact that some American bloggers claim to have read the article, in their retelling Donald Bostrom reports these organ harvesting charges as fact but he doesn't have any facts. He has a belief that when Israeli soldirs shot a young Palestinian, the autopsy performed resulted in organs being harvested. But his article does not establish that as fact. He notes his questions about one Israeli he saw shot and he notes Palestinian families who feel that happened to their children who were killed. It may have happened and it may not have but, despite the usual I-Hate-Israel crowd online claiming otherwise, there has been no proof only an allegation made based upon suspicions. And that doesn't mean it won't be true but it does mean that a number of liars in the US need to stop saying the report said it was happening or that it proved it was happening.

Ty: Thank you, Stan. And I will just add that we publish once a week, on Sundays, and there are many topics we do not cover -- either due to lack of time or interest -- but stories that break between our last edition and our next one aren't ones that can have already mentioned.

Jim: True. And, back to elections, conservative Jeff Jacoby has a column in today's Boston Globe calling on Ted Kennedy to resign his Senate seat. Trina, Mike and Rebecca are registered voters in Massachusetts. Your thoughts?

Rebecca: Well it's not a surprise that Ted Kennedy's in awful health. Here, C.I.'s been noting that Ted's health was worse than was being let on since 2008. In terms of Jeff Jacoby, I glanced at the column because you handed it out before the roundtable. Jacoby's correct that Ted championed the process being changed for filling a vacancy if a Senator resigns or dies in office. Our state changed it. Now Ted wants to change it back. And Jacoby's correct, the only thing that's changed is Massachusetts' governor went from Republican to Democrat.

Mike: And my mother and I have been very vocal that Ted needs to step down. We've been saying that at our sites since December of last year at least. In fact, I'll toss to my mother.

Trina: Right. I even offered that Caroline, who was attempting to snag the Senate seat out of New York, could go for Ted's seat and that people might be more willing to give her that due to her being a Kennedy and Ted having owned that seat for most of our lives. I can't remember when Ted wasn't one of our senators. In terms of Jacoby's column, like Rebecca outlined, he's right. And, no, we don't need to change our process again. That's ridiculous and that we would even listen to someone who is terminally ill and has a vested interest? No way.

Mike: Jacoby says that Big Mass doesn't have two senators and he's correct on that. We haven't had it and don't give me that Kennedy's office can run fine without him. We need a functioning senator and Ted Kennedy needs to step down. It's really disgusting. Does he plan to die in office? Is his vanity so great that he's going to deny us our second senator and continue to hang on even though he can't appear in public and misses most of the sessions and votes. His ass needs to be out of the Senate seat and if our idiot governor, Governor Who, wants to earn some brownie points with voters, he could propose that Ted be removed from office.

Jim: You would support him being removed from office?

Mike: 100%. He needs to go. He's sick, he's not fit for his job, he needs to go. He is the best argument for creating a mandatory retirement age for Congress, idiots like Ted Kennedy who do not have the common sense to step down when they are no longer able to report for work. If you or I missed as much work as Ted has this year alone, we'd be fired. He's not compentent, he's not fit. He needs to retire or he needs to be forced out of office. Not in a few months, right now.

Ty: Ted's health brings up an important point. One C.I.'s raised. Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Supposedly, Congress is going to lead on it. You have Patrick Murphy providing 'leadership' in the House -- when not running off to Iraq or elsewhere. And Ted Kennedy was supposed to provide leadership in the Senate. Ted who's done nothing, including his failure to show up for work. I think we need to get honest that Voices of Honor may have some well intentioned people in it, but Congress doesn't want move on this issue. They don't want to repeal it. If they did, they would have addressed it. If they did, they wouldn't have hid behind Ted's sick bed.

Marcia: Absolutely. It's really disgusting how they will lie to us. I see Voices Of Honor as nothing but an effort to white wash and take attention off the issue, to make us think there's movement on it when there's no movement. And the reality is that if Congress won't act on it this year, they damn sure won't next year which is a re-election year.

Betty: Which is all part of Barack's non-stop caving. Dan Savage has an article in The Advocate I'm going to quote from:

Never mind that gay people are being turned away from their partners' bedsides during medical emergencies now. Never mind that people are being kicked out of the military now. Never mind that Arkansas banned adoptions by same-sex couples on the very same day that Obama was elected. (Gosh, where's that bully pulpit when you need it?) The man who wasn't afraid to appeal directly to us for our votes as a candidate -- and certainly wasn't shy about asking us for our dollars -- couldn't be bothered to acknowledge the promises he had made to us and seemed to greatly resent being asked to actually honor them.
The difference between candidate Obama and President Obama crystallized for me when NBC's Brian Williams asked the president if "gay and lesbian couples who wish to marry ... have a friend in the White House?" The comfort candidate Obama demonstrated with gay people and issues was gone. I don’t remember exactly what the president said, but I will never forget the look on his face. Judging from his pained and slightly annoyed expression, you would have thought that Williams put the question to him in a suppository form.
Have you ever been introduced to someone with whom you'd had a torrid one-night stand and he acted like he didn’t know you? "Don't know me?" you're tempted to say in a loud voice. "Honey, you ate my ass."

Betty (Con't): And I would just ask, "What the hell was Dan Savage smoking?" When the hell was Barack comfortable with gay people? Have we all forgotten the Democratic Party debate where someone brought up AIDS test and Barack had to rush in with nervous 'jokes' about how he was straight?

Dona: I was just going to raise that issue. We've covered it here many times and I think the most recent was in November, "The Homophobia of Barack Obama." In that, we note how he was telling the press in August 2006, "One of the things, when I go to Kenya, that I'll be doing is probably getting an AIDS test myself; in front of the cameras just to encourage, so that people can see you know there's nothing stigmatizing about getting an AIDS test. So you know a lot of times I think leading by example can be very helpful and that’s something I'd like to do." He was grand standing to get some press in August 2006. But at the debate in July 2007, he was suddenly not concerned about removing any stigma. He was more concerned with enforcing them. This is Keith Boykin's "Is Barack a Homophobe?," where he addresses the July debate:

At the debate last Thursday, when a question was asked about HIV/AIDS among black teenagers, Senator Clinton made a good point. "If HIV/AIDS were the leading cause of death of white women between the ages of 25 and 34, there would be an outraged outcry in this country," she said. And of course she's right.

But when Senator Joe Biden answered the question, he mentioned that he had been tested for HIV/AIDS and then mentioned that Senator Obama had also been tested for AIDS. The camera then panned briefly to Obama, who by one account, looked "vaguely stunned" by the remark.

"Tavis, Tavis, Tavis," Obama interjected to laughter. "I just got to make clear -- I got tested with Michelle when we were in Kenya in Africa. So I don't want any confusion here about what's going on." The conversation continued:

Joe Biden: Well, I got tested to save my life because I had a blood transfusion.

Barack Obama: I was tested with my wife.

Tavis Smiley: And I'm sure Michelle appreciates you clarifying that.

Barack Obama: In public.

It was described as a light moment in the press, but it left a bitter taste in the mouths of some observers. "So while he's all for combating homophobia within the African American community, it seems he also doesn't want anyone to get the impression that he's on the down-low," wrote The New Republic's Alexander M. Belenky. "This seems to reveal not only some level of homophobia, but also a level of immaturity which causes me to question Obama's ability to go all the way in this campaign," wrote Lane Hudson in the Huffington Post.

Dona (Con't): So I'm with Betty, when was he comfortable with gays during the campaign?

Ava: When he put homophobes on stage in South Carolina, maybe? It's stupid to claim that he ever was comfortable. And what's this nonsense Dan Savage is spreading around that Barack marched with gays? WTF? That never happened. Never.

Elaine: It really is a rewriting of history, Ava's correct. Thing is though, Dan Savage should know that because he was covering it in real time. We have all gotten a lot of flack for failing to link to that "truth telling" article. It's not truth telling.

Ava: Exactly, it's rewriting history to forgive the gay leaders who refused to call out Barack in real time. It puts forwards the lies and the myths that he ever offered more than words, empty words, to the LGBT community. As the gay community sees what a load of bulls**t Barack is, they start wondering how this happened and along comes Dan Savage with the big mop to try to muddy up history.

Elaine: Exactly. And that's why we've ignored it. Betty said she'd try to work it in here and she found a way too, by going for his humor line but his logic is faulty and we're not in the mood to play stupid just because Dan Savage wants to make it easy for all the big time liars who covered for Barry O.

Ty: Okay, Jim's pointing to me so another e-mail. Liz e-mails to ask if we will all take the pledge to join others in boycotting Whole Foods?

Jim: Sorry, Liz, we won't. None of us shop at Whole Foods so we can't boycott it.

Ann: And I'll add that the boycott is over a column against ObamaInsuranceCare that the owner of Whole Foods wrote. I'm not getting what that has to do with food or with Whole Foods' practices? I don't shop there, it doesn't matter to me. But I didn't realize we were now organizing formal boycotts against people we disagreed with.

Jim: And we need to wind down. This is a rush transcript, Betty's kids did the illustration. We didn't have time to get to Lori Mongtgomery's piece in Saturday's Washington Post so we'll close with her opening, "The nation would be forced to borrow more than $9 trillion over the next decade under President Obama's policies, the White House acknowledged late Friday, bringing their long-term budget forecast in line with independent estimates. "
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