Sunday, January 25, 2009

Truest statment of the week

At the same time, many of his elite sponsors have certainly long understood that Obama's technical blackness helps make him uniquely qualified to simultaneously surf, de-fang, and "manage" the U.S. citizenry's rising hopes for democratic transformation in the wake of the long national Bush-Cheney nightmare. As John Pilger argued last May: "What is Obama's attraction to big business? Precisely the same as Robert Kennedy's [in 1968]. By offering a 'new,' young and apparently progressive face of Democratic Party - with the bonus of being a member of the black elite - he can blunt and divert real opposition. That was Colin Powell's role as Bush's secretary of state. An Obama victory will bring intense pressure on the US antiwar and social justice movements to accept a Democratic administration for all its faults. If that happens, domestic resistance to rapacious America will fall silent."
Obama's race is part of what makes him so well matched to the tasks of mass pacification and popular "expectation management" (former Obama advisor Samantha Power's revealing phrase). As Aurora Levins Morales noted in Z Magazine last April, "This election is about finding a CEO capable of holding domestic constituencies in check as they are further disenfranchised and....[about] mak[ing] them feel that they have a stake in the military aggressiveness that the ruling class believes is necessary. Having a black man and a white woman run helps...make oppressed people feel compelled to protect them."

-- Paul Street, "How Obama Happened: The Real Story" (ZNet). Street is the author of Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics.

Truest statement of the week II

But also a key there is how many troops he leaves behind. That's something we're not talking about so much, he's not talking about so much. This residual force that could be 50, 60, 70,000 troops even if he withdraws

-- Martha Raddatz (ABC News) on the January 23rd broadcast of Washington Week.

A note to our readers

Hey --

A slightly easier Sunday. Slightly easier. Along with Dallas, 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 Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends.

We thank them all and we thank Betty's son for an illustration and Isaiah for the use of four of his illustrations. Ty's in the e-mails because they piled up and he doesn't want that to happen again. (Ty and Dona work the e-mails here. I -- Jim -- really don't do my part.) So let's move to what we have:

Truest statment of the week -- Paul almost didn't get it. We had the worst time picking. Finally, Ava and C.I. asked, "Is Paul doing so poorly in the ballots because we quoted him?" They offered to pull him out of their TV commentary if that was what prevented him from getting the truest. It may have been what was preventing him because after they said that, the next ballot found Paul Street winning. But we all agreed his quote was strong enough to keep in the TV commentary as well.

Truest statement of the week II -- Martha Raddatz got this. For several reason. 1) What she's saying. 2) We don't think we've ever given her a truest. We're fine with making fun of people and fine with ripping them apart but we also do try to give credit when its earned. Martha Raddatz earned it. Ron Jacobs and Margaret Kimberly were two others (the list of truest potentials was 12) who came awfully close to get a truest. I think MK was hurt by the fact that her essay really does flow (link there thanks to Dona who pointed out that if I'm talking about it, I should provide a link) and it's kind of hard to pull out just one paragraph and have it stand alone. RJ lost out because of 50,000. I have no problem with that because I'm the one who always voted him against him this edition. He was my last choice in every voting. Because of the 50,000. The number of US troops left in Iraq after Barack's withdrawal? The transition team told Ava and C.I. that it was most likely "around 70,000" (told them in DC last week). 70,000 is the number C.I.'s gone with because of previous comments by them and because, if you do the math on the 'withdrawal,' you do get approximately 70,000. 50,000 is the number RJ used. Read Martha's statement on "50, 60, 70,000" and grasp that RJ is using the lowest possible number. Truest? I didn't see it. But credit to Martha Raddatz and we're happy to give it to anyone doing the work. Another nominee was Howard Kurtz for this piece of writing. He was hurt by the fact that there were too many sections up as nominees from his piece and no one wanted to give a little and say, "Okay, let's all go with this section." Every wanted their section nominated.

Editorial: Barack kicks the can -- He's not addressing Guantanamo. He's pushing it back. He's refusing to make a decision. Now maybe all the radicals screaming about Gitmo really were just wanting the prisoners out of that and relocated elsehwere. Maybe, being such Fidel Loving guys and gals, maybe it really was about the setting and not about what was being done? Don't think so and people better start standing up. He's just sold out on Gitmo and the silence is going to allow him to sell out on other things.

TV: Baby, I Know -- Did I screw up the title? When Ty went into e-mails, I asked him to let me know if anyone complained about the headline. If I did a bad job, I'd change it before the note went up. No one complained. So don't tell me in three days that I desacrated Ava and C.I.'s wonderful writing with my headline. It is wonderful writing, you can tell me that. Ava and C.I. are tackling three programs and they could have gone even longer. But they didn't want to and Ava says right now, "Look at the time, Jim. We were promised we'd be done three hours ago." Yeah, we were. Didn't work out that way. Title is from a line in "The First Cut Is The Deepest" and it's the line that, during Linda Ronstadt's version, you really have to sing out on. Trivia note, "First Cut" wasn't in the original. It was a Carly Simon in the original. What changed? They were screaming mad in their original. They wanted to tone it down so they flipped the song. (That may seem like a minor thing, but to them it made all the difference in the world. And allowed them to jettison some sections that they couldn't cover without nonstop curse words.)
And on credit when it's earned, note that they have kind words for Norman Solomon here. You earn kind words, you can get them. Unless you make our s**t list. If you get on that, it's pretty impossible to ever get off it.

Roundtable -- Betty called the roundtable and I'm glad she did. I think it was a strong one and I think it was an important one. (Ava says, "And notice the number of I's Jim has already used.") But it does go to issues. It goes to issue we discuss and it goes to issues we can ignore. I was ignoring the Green Party. I've told Jess I was sorry about that. I have no problem with his comments or Elaine's or anyone's being in this. I have no problem with him being so angry, he had to get up and walk across the room. Or, I guess I should say (because Jess is laughing at my wording), I have no problem with that being known. Of course, I am sorry that Jess was so upset due to my actions. (Jess says I got it right the first time.) So I really like this roundtable.

Hillary Clinton becomes 67th Secretary of State -- Not planned. This was done at the last minute. Marcia was talking about and someone said, "You didn't toss it out during the pitch session." She didn't. She said there was no need to because there was so much more to cover and we didn't want to come off like the Barack groupies. Dona and Ty pointed out that while she was correct about not wanting to be groupies for Hillary or anyone, it was also true that an article on it could (a) feature photos (visuals are always good), (b) provide an update of sorts in terms of "and after the 2008 elections . . .", (c) celebrate a woman's accomplishments which were always fine with and (d) serve as an antidote to Bambi Fever. Is it cruel to include (C.I.'s tensing up, too bad) that Barack showed up at State -- according to two White House sources -- because he was miffed by the rousing reception Hillary received? True or not, that's what's being said. By people who should know.

More great moments in Feminist Barack History -- We're thinking this will be a regular feature. Barack's not a feminist and the best way to prove that is to let him do it and just track it. Regularly.

'Caroline, No' cries Babycakes Bringiton -- Ty says reader Douglas suggested this. We didn't know that. When Ty proposed this as a topic, he was cut off by a number of people participating with cries of "Yeah, that did stink!" And there was not a great deal of need to explain, "Well Douglas asks that we . . ." when it had already been agreed to. So Douglas, there's your credit. We thank you. Caroline was derailed. Slowly the reasons why may fully emerge.

This week's Bronze Boobs -- Reader Marcy (not to be confused with TCI community member Marci) e-mailed with not one but two Bronze Boobs. Thank you, Marcy.

Green Party on how they'd handle 1st 100 Days -- A Green Party press release that deserved attention.

Highlights -- Kat, Ruth, Marcia, Stan, Betty, Rebecca, Cedric, Wally, Elaine and Mike wrote this and we thank them for it. I tried to mix up the names this go round and hope everyone got their credit. (I say that because I once left off Stan's name by accident.)

And that's what we have. Breakfast is ready. We're eating it, watching a movie and going to bed. Movie? Ty and Dona want to see Marnie (they're on a Hitchcock kick).

See you next week.

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

Editorial: Barack kicks the can

Barack Obama had a non-stop tongue bath last week. Let's hope he enjoys saliva. He didn't do anything to deserve a pat on the back, let alone tongue bathing, but we don't have a left in this country, just a crowd of suck ups.

Take the Center for Constitutional Rights which disgraced themselves last week. (See Mike's post.) CCR's infamous for a poster claiming they didn't whine, they took action. Apparently, they can only do that when Republicans are in office.

Last week, CCR was drooling because Barack was 'closing' Guantanamo. Yes, they truly have become that pathetic. Ava and C.I. last week broke down reality:

Barack Obama is going to close Guantanamo, he says. But what about the prisoners? Believe it or not, the cry to close Guantanamo was not a cry for relocation. It was a cry for freedom. But Barack made clear to The Post that some people held at Guantanamo could not be convicted in a court of law because their 'confessions' resulted from torture.

Did it change? No, not at all.

And funny because we thought CCR was demanding the release of the prisoners at Guantanamo. Silly us, CCR was just whining for nearly eight years.

What they really wanted was for the prisoners to remain prisoners but housed elsewhere. Consider the Center for Constitutional Rights nothing but a glorified Apartment Locator.

If you think we sound pissed off, you should hear some of the membership of CCR. A number of radicals making up the equally radical group aren't too keen on Vinne Warren applying "his mouth to Barack's nut sack on behalf of CCR."

Next month, Barack intends to beef up his attack on Social Security. Speaking to The Washington Post January 15th, he declared, "This, by the way, is where there are going to be some very difficult choices and issues of sacrifices and responsibility and duty are going to come in because what we have done is kick this can down the road. We're now at the end of the road and uh we are not in a position to kick it any further." Social Security he attacks in full next month.

Fresh faced Cover Girl Barack

What did he do with Guantanamo?

Not a damn thing. Despite the endless gushing from the likes of Vinnie Warren and despite his campaign 'promises," Barack is getting praise for 'kicking the can down the road.' No prisoners are being freed. Guantanamo's physical location isn't even immediately closing.

Most importantly, Barack's not releasing prisoners. He's continuing Bully Boy's programs. He believes in 'evidence' produced by torture. Hell, his own choice for National Intelligence Director, Dennis Blair, refused to call out torture in his Senate hearing last week leading Senator Carl Levin to declare, "Your reluctance to give your own judgment on that question, it seems to me, is troubling to me."

That's a clue for grown ups of how little is changing.

Barack's got three categories for the prisoners. The first group is roughly made up of people that other governments will take (even if it's to put them into prison), the second is a group that will be held in the US on military institutions (and some will get trials at some point) and the the third group isn't seeing the sunshine anytime soon. They're the ones who were tortured; therefore the 'evidence' against them won't hold up in a court of law so Barack plans to continue holding them.

Barack didn't do a damn thing. He hasn't kept his promise on Guantanamo. He hasn't announced that the prisoners will immediately stand trial or be released.

Liars like Vincent Warren are happy to polish Barack's knob. Maybe that's your thing as well?

Our thing is justice. Justice was obstructed and dismantled by the last regime. Barack promised change and he's provided none on Guantanamo. He kicked the can, that's all he did.


That's the reality and, when Vinnie Warren can get his hands out of his pants, maybe he'll be able to see that as well.

[Added: 1-26-09, TCI community member Brandy recommends Tom Eley's "Obama's orders leave framework of torture, indefinite detention intact" (WSWS) also be read on this topic.]

TV: Baby, I Know

I would have given you all of my heart
But there's someone who's torn it apart
And he's taken nearly all that I've got
But if you want, I'll try to love again

The first cut is the deepest and no one cut harder in 2008 than alleged 'independent' media in the US. The media beggars who preach on the equivalent of street corners (public television and radio as well as public access cable) demonstrated their dangers went far beyond the scent of stale urine. The biggest danger they presented was that the public would believe they were independent voices with an ethical code which they would live by. Expecting honest assessment from them was the equivalent of expecting true love to follow a night with a rent boy.


But if you want, I'll try to love again
Babeeee, I'll try to love again but I knooooooowwww
The first cut is the deepest
Babeeee, I knooooowwww
When it comes to being lucky, I'm cursed

We weren't the first women to find out that no one disappoints like Bill Moyers and we won't be the last. Friday, on The Journal, he was serving up one money-shot after another as he hit multiple orgasms over how well his part in The Pimping Of Barack paid off. As a journalist, he trashed his own legacy. He might have a future as a porn star . . . provided there's a market for audio porn since he really should avoid the cameras. In the meantime, he'll stick to PBS which he helped underscore all last year stands for Prepubescent Bull S**t.

Moyers dished with quack-pot Thomas Frank and all-over-the-map David Sirota. How bad was it? We had to blast our Linda Ronstadt live concert recording and dance around to the room to "The First Cut Is The Deepest" just to make it through.

Babeeeeeee, I knoooooooooowwwwwwwww.

It wasn't the fact that Sirota's head strongly indicates forceps were used and squeezed tightly during his birthing, it wasn't the fact that Frank's reductionist hypothesis were being yet again presented as historical facts, it was seeing Bill in all of his corpulence, laughing it up, convinced he'd gotten away with his inexcusable breach of journalism ethics throughout 2008. "Thomas Gullible Frank!" he minced when Frank whined that maybe someone should call him gullible. Bill found it so damn funny. And PBS viewers were forgiven for wondering why the local evening news banter s**t was clogging up the airwaves. It was so bad, you expected Bill to next go to a reel of 'football funnies'.

Instead, he moved on to the next segment, the one that had PBS friends telling us we'd want to tackle, that we had to tackle.

Lie Face Melissa Harris Lacewell teamed up with Professor Patti Williams for a fact-free, non-stop attack, passed off as an informed discussion. As one PBS friend (CPB) wondered, what happened to PBS' mandate? It was difficult to find in an hour of 'analysis' from Barack supporters.

Take Lie Face Melissa, the Barack campaigner who bragged of being that in 2007 on PBS but somehow thought she could later erase the public record. Lie Face went on Democracy Now! in January 2008 and and, oops, that wasn't disclosed (her first January visit). She went on Charlie Rose in March 2008 and forgot to disclose again (even though she'd by now let it slip on Democracy Now!). With Rose, she did find time to attack Tavis Smiley and say how offended other people allegedly were with Tavis while forgetting to inform PBS viewers she'd launched an attack on Tavis the month prior ("Who Died And Made Tavis King?"). She's just a cheap trash who violates every ethical standard in writing and now spends her time trying to think of new ways.

Cheap trash really describes The Journal Friday and it was so bad it was as if PBS was staging a remake of Myra Breckenridge. (For those who didn't get their playbills, Moyers is Mae West, Patti is Raquel Welch and Melissa is Rex Reed.)

Melissa, looking more masculine than the actual men who appeared on the program, got off one lie after another. Probably her best line reading came with, "I suppose the greatest thought I was having as I was watching the inauguration of Barack Obama was my sense that I didn't even know I wanted a black president. I wasn't particularly attached to the idea of an African American in the White House. "

Oh, that cheap piece of trash. She attacked Tavis, she lied repeatedly, she took part in several astro-turf campaigns and did it all to get Barack in the White House. Now she wanted to show up and claim she "didn't even know" what she wanted. For that to be true, she'd have to be Drew's character in Poison Ivy. Just stumbling into one sexual mishap after another, eh, Melissa?

Lie Face Melissa really doesn't grasp the concept of a public record or how it follows you around but then, if she did, she wouldn't be such an outrageous liar, now would she?

Professor Patti's a liar as well. Her lying is a little bit better known in journalistic circles. For example, her invented young French boy in the summer of 2004 still produces howls of laughter in the political commentary set. No one believed for one damn minute in Patti's invented creation, that young boy, who knew all about US politics, knew every detail of John Kerry's life, knew everything. As a real professor frequently invited on the chat & chews pointed out, "You could say that dreamed up boy must have floated in on a cloud but where would that leave Patricia?"

Exactly. Patricia likes to play classy with her fake voice that probably sounds 'cultured' to dock workers. While Melissa is the crunk of beggar media, Professor Patti likes to pull a Peggy Noonan and try to appear upper class. Like Noons, her attempts only result in raucous laughter. Appearing on KPFA to pimp Barack in early 2007, Professor Patti disgraced herself and demonstrated how hateful she truly is. She couldn't stop pimping Barack and began implying -- when possible she prefers falsely implying to outright lying, like the Bully Boy making false connections between 9-11 and Iraq -- that Barack Obama had voted against the 2002 authorization for war. Barack didn't vote for it, he wasn't in the Senate. When that point was raised by a MidEastern woman who called in, Patrica went bats**t crazy and started snarling, screeching and revealing how far down in the gutter she can get when she hops off that floating cloud.

It was embarrassing and has become a highly popular interview to share with friends. It's commonly referred to as "Andrea Lewis interviews the Fish-Wife."

Professor Patti has two missions currently. The first is to turn back time. Progress came to American in the nineties when the population finally became aware of bi-and multi-racial groups of people. It was a hard won moment for people of color and there were so very many hopes for the future. Barack killed that and did so because bi-racial wasn't seen as electable. (Barack claimed bi-racial up through this decade. He did so regularly in interviews.) Barack is bi-racial. He is not Black. His father was Black, his mother was White. Bi- and multi-racial people were the first tossed under the bus by Barack's presidential designs. [For more on Patti's remarks on race, see the beginning of this week's roundtable.]

Professor Patti wanted to dismiss them (in her pseudo-high-minded way) by purring, "I think one of the freighted problems within the black community with hearing words like 'bi-racial' is that, you know, African Americans have always been multi-racial. We are, I mean, you know, since slavery, at least bi-racial." Congratulations, Professor Patti, you've outdone Tom Hayden in the disgusting sweepstakes. (Tom-Tom wrote of his adopted child -- his latest adopted child, he appears to forget his earlier adoption -- and did so using bi-racial in quotes. The sort of behavior that should have the child immediately removed from the Hayden household by social services because that little stunt demonstrates he is not up to raising a bi-racial child.)

No, Patti, you don't get to piss on a movement just because you feel like it. Save your garbage and your bulls**t for your mythical French boys. For those too young to know, the racist attack Patti's launched? It was very popular in the nineties . . . from the right wing. The right wing launched these attacks on diversity. Now it comes from Professor Patti who might try reading her university's own diversity statement before next opening her big yap.

Bill lapped it up -- as he did throughout 2008. It was the superficial 'race' discussion he served up over and over, non-stop. Bill wanted Barack in the White House and he got it. He probably won't live to see Barack leave the White House but consider that Bill's own little gift to America.
75 this June and, if he really supports change, how about exchanging the hour with someone who doesn't need to nap between segment tapings and for whom "spry" wouldn't be seen as the ultimate compliment?

We noted Professor Patti has two missions. Before we get to her second mission, let's quote Paul Street (ZNet):

At the same time, many of his elite sponsors have certainly long understood that Obama's technical blackness helps make him uniquely qualified to simultaneously surf, de-fang, and "manage" the U.S. citizenry's rising hopes for democratic transformation in the wake of the long national Bush-Cheney nightmare. As John Pilger argued last May: "What is Obama's attraction to big business? Precisely the same as Robert Kennedy's [in 1968]. By offering a 'new,' young and apparently progressive face of Democratic Party - with the bonus of being a member of the black elite - he can blunt and divert real opposition. That was Colin Powell's role as Bush's secretary of state. An Obama victory will bring intense pressure on the US antiwar and social justice movements to accept a Democratic administration for all its faults. If that happens, domestic resistance to rapacious America will fall silent."
Obama's race is part of what makes him so well matched to the tasks of mass pacification and popular "expectation management" (former Obama advisor Samantha Power's revealing phrase). As Aurora Levins Morales noted in Z Magazine last April, "This election is about finding a CEO capable of holding domestic constituencies in check as they are further disenfranchised and....[about] mak[ing] them feel that they have a stake in the military aggressiveness that the ruling class believes is necessary. Having a black man and a white woman run helps...make oppressed people feel compelled to protect them."

Expectation management? Here's Professor Patti on Friday's Moyers:

I do think that we need to quell some of the expectations that, now that he is president, you know, bluebirds have suddenly come into, you know, that butterflies are hatching all over the country. It is, we still have difficulty with, for example, the vocabulary of race that I think is still very much confining how we see Barack Obama.

And, yes, Professor Patti is tight with Sammy Powers. By their actions, you will know them.

When it comes to being lucky, I'm cursed
When it comes to loving me, he's the worst
When it comes to being lucky, I'm cursed
That's how I knooooooww

Washington Week knew, they just knew, Caroline Kennedy was going to be the new US Senator from New York. We last checked in with Gwen and her gas bags in December. That was the December 19th broadcast of the show. Anyone remember that?

Hillary Clinton was nominated for Secretary of State and, if confirmed, her Senate seat would be open. The governor of New York, David Paterson, would have to appoint someone. Gwen opened the December 19th program with a clip of aged, minor-league socialite Caroline Kennedy declaring, "I told Governor Paterson that I'd be honored to be considered for the position of US senator."

Gwen needed her gossip fix and, as we noted then, needed it so bad that she dismissed the question of universal health care (raised by John Harwood) as "a whole nother subject" in her rush to become the next Mary Hart. During a supposedly educated discussion taking place on non-commercial TV, Gwen and her gas bags presented Caroline as such a done deal that they ignored any other potential candidates except for Andrew Cuomo -- included only because it was, as Gwen put it, "complicated." See, he "is divorced from one of Caroline Kennedy's cousins," gushed John Dickerson doing his best Hedda Hopper.

Among the many names she and her gas bags never uttered was Kirsten Gillibrand. Guess what? Friday, Paterson announced he'd selected her as the person to fill Clinton's Senate seat (Clinton was confirmed and sworn in as Secretary of State on Wednesday).

They never mentioned her. People watch PBS for what reason? Supposedly to be informed. And Washington Week presents itself as a program that is, their words, "Celebrating forty years of journalistic excellence". Oh, really?

Journalistic excellence is refusing to offer a serious discussion of a senate seat? Journalistic excellence is serving up gossip and gushing along the lines of Neil Sedaka's "Oh Carol"?

Journalistic excellence does require taking accountability so, certainly, they would rectify their glaring omission of Gillibrand and apologize for the trash gossip they'd passed off as an informed discussion, right?


There was no time to discuss their mistakes because there's never any sense of accountability on the part of Panhandle Media. Beggars don't get accountable, they just hit you up for more money.

Gwen did have time to open with this, "Those of us who live here in Washington, are so pleased you all came to visit, you crammed into our Metro system, you slept in our homes and, in general, you partied like it was 1999."

No, the nation's capitol really isn't hers to claim -- or anyone else's -- and if she doesn't like tourists, she should move somewhere else. Maybe somewhere that sees the reference to Prince's "1999" as 'hip' and 'current'? She certainly can't move to NBC because, as they explained, she screwed the pooch in 2008 and, in doing so, lost out on Meet The Press moderation for at least the next ten years. So she'll finish out her career on PBS, probably hang on way too long (like Bill Moyers) and offer little of any value (ibid).

As she did on Friday when it was time to yada-yada about the inauguration. Dan Baltz tried to be kind and say that the speech would be remembered for symbols and not "for specific words" because "the words didn't carry the day."

The bad speech. The awful speech. The speech where he didn't even know how many had been sworn in as president before him. Friday, Paul Krugman (New York Times) tried to do what an adult does (evaluate critically) and he noted this section of the speech:

Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed.

Krugman analyzed it in terms of the cribbing. See him for that. We'll go for the obvious. "Our minds" and "our capacity." And "our workers"? Does anyone else not see the problem with that?

"Our capacity" is something we can, presumably, control. Ditto "our brains." "Our workers"? The sentence should have read, "Our work is no less productive than when this crisis began." Anyone expecting Barack to be on the side of workers should try grasping the line in the sand he drew seconds after he was sworn in.

On the program, ABC News Martha Raddatz explained to Gwen ("I didn't know") Ifill how Barack claimed he would "meet with the Joint Chiefs and I think they were a little confused at the White House that that's not really who he would meet with right away, the Joint Chiefs, to talk about military advice. . . . That's not who he would meet with. He would meet with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He'd meet with his NSC advisor." Yes, it was a rather obvious mistake and what may, in fact, turn out to be a telling mistake on the part of the administration. But the moment that shined was the following:

Martha Raddatz: They laid out plans or started to lay out plans for the sixteen-month withdrawal, which President Obama says he wants, or the three-year withdrawal which is the Status Of Forces Agreement that the US has gone into with the Iraqis. And they talked about the risks with each of those. Ray Odierno, who is the general in charge of Iraqi forces, said, 'If you run out in sixteen months -- if you get out in sixteen months, there are risks. The security gains could go down the tube. If you wait three years, there are other risks because you can't get forces into Afghanistan as quickly.' So President Obama made no decisions. Again, he's going to meet with Joint Chiefs next week and probably will make a military decision. But also a key there is how many troops he leaves behind. That's something we're not talking about so much, he's not talking about so much. This residual force that could be 50, 60, 70,000 troops even if he withdraws --

Gwen Ifill: That's not exactly getting out of Iraq.

Martha Raddatz: Not exactly getting out completely.

That was the show's finest movement and, alone, made up for so much of the gas baggery Gwen usually dumbs down America with. More like that and you might have a show that actually informs. Pete Williams also deserves notice for telling the reality about Barack 'closing' of Guantanamo. It should be noted that Professor Patti objected to Barack's plan for Guantanamo as well, she and Bill Moyers just didn't feel they owed it to PBS viewers to explain what Barack was proposing.

Pete Williams sketched out the three classifications -- the three that the Center for Constitution Rights was too rah-rah or too stupid to detail, let alone call out. (See Mike's entry calling out that disappointing bulls**t of CCR.)

First group is people "who can be released or sent to another country." As Williams noted, this continues the previous White House's policy. Second group is bringing them to the US where they will be put "on some military base, many of them will go on trial". They'll be imprisoned and on military bases. Not in US prisons. CCR might want to try growing the hell up and doing so quickly because we don't want to hear the whining four years from now on this issue. The third group will be imprisoned and not tried because "some evidence is tainted" -- meaning torture was used. Meaning there is no admissible evidence. Meaning, in the US, that the defendants walk. That's how it works.

Babeeee, I'll try to love again but I knooooooooowwww
Babeee, I knoooooooooooowwwww
When it comes to being lucky, I'm curesed
When it comes to loving me, he's the worst

We're not sure whether "he" refers to Peter Hart, Janine Jackson or Norman Solomon but we knew if we were checking on the liars, we'd have to drop in on CounterSpin.

Moyers was one-sided and Gwen refused to take accountability but CounterSpin managed to out do both. They made 2008 all about demonstrating that the finger-pointing screeds they offer Big Media were nothing but rank hypocrisy. In doing so, they so destroyed their credibility so much that today they can't even offer consistency for one half-hour broadcast.

Peter and Janine made fools out of themselves in the headlines. They think they're funny and that actually is funny. They whined repeatedly in the headlines about people who felt that Barack was getting a free ride. He's not getting a free ride, he's getting a tongue bath.

As Barack supporter Mark Slouka notes in February's Harper's ("NOTEBOOK: A Quibble"):

At the same time, those of us on the winning side might want to do a cross-check before landing. How many of us -- not just in the general election but in the primaries, when there was still a choice -- voted for Obama because he was there It thing this season, because he was so likable, because he had that wonderful voice, because he was black, because he made us feel as if Atticus Finch had come home? If nothing else, the fact that so many have convinced themselves that one man, thus far almost entirely untested, will slay the culture of corruption with one hand while pulling us out of the greatest mess we've known in a century with the other suggests that a certain kind "clap your hands if you believe" naivete crosses the aisle at will.

That's reality so it's too much reality for CounterSpin to handle. Instead, Peter Hart rushed to make a fool out of himself in rejecting charges of favoritism towards Barack. Juan Willaims wants to lecture, Hart sniffed, about favoritism "in an op-ed in The Wall St. Journal, no less." What a catty little priss Petey can be. And an uninformed one. Juan Williams did not write an "op-ed." Pay attention because we're sick of suffering the fools. Juan Williams wrote a column that ran on the opinion-editorial pages. It's also cute that Petey's suddenly alarmed by Wall St. Journal columnists since it wasn't all that long ago that CounterSpin was chatting it up with quack and Wall St. Journal columnist Thomas Frank. Oh, we see, the Wall St. Journal is a bad source for columnists . . . except when it isn't.

Petey attacks Mark Halperin (Time magazine and ABC News) in a ridiculous volley of charges which really require footnotes on his part. He shades and distorts to such a degree that that we're not going through it step by step. We'll just note it went beyond crazy and, any careful listener should have been scratching their head at the notion that FAIR thinks "liberal" means 'unfair.' (To criticize the media for bias is a bad thing, Petey argues, unless it advances Democrats. Peter Hart, what you're describing isn't "liberal," it's "whoring.") Halperin got caught in the crossfire. The real target was The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz.

Petey never thinks Kurts is being fair in his representations. Big words coming from CounterSpin and when Peter Hart cares to explain how the weekly watchdog radio program made it through the long Democratic primaries only calling out sexism against Hillary Clinton once (and then in a single sentence), Kurtz may give a damn what street performer/beggar Petey Hart thinks. Click here to find the column that set Petey Hart off. Reading it will provide more value than listening to anything Petey had to say.

As usual, Janine and Peter went to the well -- in the headlines -- on the pre-Iraq War coverage by Real Media. They did it to feel superior and Panhandle Media has to repeatedly return to that not out of a concern for Iraq (concern would require coverage and they provide none) but because Panhandle Media can't point to anything since the start of the illegal war that they themselves have done. Let's stay with The Washington Post for a moment. The paper can certainly point to the amazing work done by Dana Priest and Anne Hull. (That would be the work CounterSpin attempted to undercut and minimize even though it resulted in the only improvements at Walter Reed Medical Center, even though it turned an abuse into a deserved national scandal, even though it was journalism at its finest.) But Panhandle Media? There 'record' is, in fact, so bad, CounterSpin had to drop back to 1999 and attempt to pimp The Divine Propagandist Amy Goodman as a 'journalist.'

If the point of headlines was to insist Barack wasn't receiving any special treatment (even Palestinians had to take a back seat to Barack -- a sure sign of CounterSpin's adoration for The Big O), the next segment demolished all the spin Peter and Janine had so lovingly served up as Peter -- with no apparent realization of self-contradiction -- declared "it is not entirely without merit" to assert that Barack's received excessive favoritism from the media. It truly was like the eight minutes prior had never taken place leaving us to wonder what drugs FAIR was distributing these days?

That second segment was an interview. Listing Norman Solomon's CV, Peter Hart somehow failed to note that Solomon was a pledged delegate for Barack Obama. Norman, to his credit, would disclose that in his second response, in the fourth sentence of his second response. That might have required follow up but you knew Peter wasn't going there. Let's drop into the second response for the last half of it:

Norman Solomon: I was, as an elected, actually, Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention, in the middle of some of that swirl in terms of his acceptance speech. And one of the things I was struck by is the way in which, especially for public consumption, the delegates to the Democratic convention felt it was necessary to stay within certain, pretty narrow bounds in talking about their candidate. And I think we're seeing that replicated now in the sense of so many people are very optimistic and happy about Obama being president in the country and, in a sense, the news media are mimicking them and then they in turn feel it's necessary to be concentric and mimic the media and so how do we get out of this just spiral of mutual reinforcement and 'hey, it's a brand new day'.

If you read the above and think, "Norman's actually making some sense. Maybe he can be one of the few to find redemption in 2009," you're wasting your time. Not because of Norman in this instance. But because none of his fellow beggars give a damn.

Read the above again and note all the points he's staking out. Look at all those topics being raised in that section of his response.

Immediately after he says "new day," Peter Hart will follow up with which topic? Which avenue will we drive down that Norman's pointed out? None of them.

Peter ignores everything Norman's saying to offer, "It's interesting to bring up the 2000 inuaguration of Bush, there is this sense that there's no memory in the media." Excuse us, but didn't Janine whine about false equivalencies in the program's first eight minutes? (Yes, it is whining when you call it out and yet do it yourself.)

Peter Hart wants to pretend that Barack today compares to Bully Boy in January 2001. No, he doesn't, you stupid ass.

The more apt -- and scary -- comparison is Bully Boy in the immediate aftermath of 9-11. And it should scare the hell out of you because corporate America wants that kind of conformity again. Big Business dreams of those bailouts that never get questioned. Those who manufacture consent long for the sheeple of America to yet again be so easily managed. So you should be really concerned that Barack's already receiving that sort of tongue bath.

You should grasp that the only outlets preventing a complete tipping over into fascism during that period (the period that silenced dissent and led to two illegal wars) was Panhandle Media. And you should grasp what a very dangerous time we have arrived at when we no longer have an alternative media, just an uncritical cheering section for Barack.

No, that's not a 'happy thought,' but leave those to the Lost Boys and childhood. No one ever said growing up was easy.

The first cut is the deepest

Babeeee, I knooooowwww

When it comes to being lucky, I'm cursed

When it comes to loving me, he's the worst

When it comes to being lucky, I'm cursed

That's how I knoooooowww

Babeeeee, I knooowwwww
Honeeeee, I knooooowww
Babeee, I knooooooowww


"The First Cut Is The Deepest" written by Cat Stevens.


Jim: No, we didn't plan on a roundtable. I was reading Ava and C.I.'s TV commentary to everyone and Betty had an issue she wanted raise. So we're doing a roundtable. Participating in this roundtable 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; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ and Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends. This is a rush transcript and the illustration is done by Betty's oldest son. Betty?

Betty: Ava and C.I. have a wonderful TV commentary and they're covering three shows which is a lot of ground to cover. I caught one of the shows and had strong objections to one speaker in particular. They grab some of her nonsense, but not all so I wanted to bring this up in the roundtable. Bill Moyers Journal Friday was the usual one-sided garbage with the added bonus of high-yellow Patricia Williams, Professor Patti, of The Nation. She was crass, she was vulgar and she was right-wing as she attacked bi- and multi-racial. She sounded like Rush Limbaugh going to town on diversity. She's an ugly, ugly woman. And Ava and C.I. call that out but, as a very dark skinned Black woman, I took especial offense to Professor Patti's comments regarding my race. Light-skinned Patti was insisting bi-racial Barack was Black and decrying this alleged special 'authenticity' and 'hiearchy' when it came to being Black. If you have one White parent and one Black parent, you are not Black. That's pretty simple. In addition, as a woman darker than anyone Bill Moyers is comfortable having on camera, let me point out that snippy Patti's a damn liar. High yellow knows damn well that the special benefits in 'rank' come not to me or any other dark-skinned Black woman or man. The special benefits have always gone to the light-skinned Blacks. They've always had an easier time assimilating and being accepted into society than have the people who look like me. And I'll be damned if some little liar is going to tell White America that it's just so unfair to the light-skinned. Shut the hell up, Patricia. Until you can admit that you have reaped special benefits in this society, shut the hell up. Your lighter skin has allowed you to pass and you know that. It was hysterical to watch light-skinned Patti with her processed hair on the TV talking about the 'suffering.' I'll be damned if someone who's had it easy is going to turn around and disrespect those of us with dark skins who pay a special price in society that high yellows like Patti never have to.

Cedric: Let me jump in. I'm listening to Betty and reading the transcript because I didn't bother to watch that garbage. I knew it would be garbage with professional liars like Patti Williams and Melissa Harris Lacewell. I'm reading it. and, yeah, as a dark skinned African-American, I find Patti's 'creative' revisionary work insulting. Someone needs to tell that woman her lies don't play and she needs to have the doctor check her for a thyroid problem.

Marcia: I'm laughing because I saw it and Patti does look like she has a thyroid problem in need of treatment. Okay, on the darkness scale, I'm about as dark as Betty, right? I mean that's how I see myself. Am I wrong?

Betty: I think we're pretty close. We're close enough that we could share foundation.

Marcia: Okay, good. I didn't want to be in the middle of my reply and have someone say, "Uh, Marcia --" But it is insulting to hear Patti, a light skinned woman, try to claim the mantle of suffering. Climb off the cross, cross-over, before you fall down.

Ty: I think I'm the lightest skinned of the five of us -- Betty, Marcia, Stan and Cedric. I'm not as light skinned as Patricia Williams. I'm about the same shade as Melissa Harris Lacewell. But if the five of us went into any store in America, I wouldn't be surprised -- and Cedric and Betty wouldn't be because we've seen it happen with the three of us -- at all when the White clerk made a point to address me and not the others. And true of some African-Americans as well.

Cedric: True that. Good point.

Ty: So I am fully aware that as a medium-darkness African-American -- is that the term "medium-darkness"? -- I get better treatment as a result. Now contrast what I get from White America and some of Black America with what Professor Patti -- much, much lighter than me -- gets and that's just appalling for her to have made those statements. How honest do we want to be here because I'm ready to just let it blast.

Marcia: Go for it.

Ty: What Patti was really doing was whining. She was whining that because she's light-skinned -- and because she processes her hair and tries to look White -- some people don't consider her authentic. She's not authentic. But that's what it was really about. That's what was behind all her crap. And when you're a crossover with no ties to the community, of course you want to bring in bi-racial Barack as "Black." Makes Patti feel like she's Pam Grier.

Cedric: Amen. Ty's exactly right. That's what it's all about and someone tell Imitation Of Life Patti Williams that nobody gives a damn in the African-American community what her tired ass thinks.

Stan: I'd agree with that and I'd point out that she's hardly our friend. She's never there. I'm thinking of when Peter Griffith on Family Guy finds out he's bi-racial and insists he's Black. He gives this speech about how he was there when Tootie got braces and the Jeffersons did this and all this other garbage. But the point is, when was Patricia Williams ever there for the Black community?

Marica: This is the woman -- this is the light-skinned woman -- who compared dark-skinned African-Americans to dogs, using People magazine as her 'scholarly' research, remember. That little piece of trash needs to be called out.

Jim: Betty, do you want to add anything?

Betty: Just that I agree with what everyone's said. I'm glad I brought it up because if I'd tried to write about it my site, I wouldn't have remembered what Marcia did -- that offensive instance where Patti Williams thought she could get away with comparing Black people to dogs. I wouldn't have made some of the connections Ty, Stan and Cedric did. I find Patricia Williams highly offensive. She does not speak for me. She's not part of the community. Only with bi-racial Barack has Patricia suddenly discovered 'Blackness.' She didn't defend any of the Jena kids. Now we defended the Jena Five and left the nonsense of you know who for others, but she didn't defend one of them. Nor does she cover Black America in her droolings in The Nation. She's not a part of Black America. Suddenly she wants to rush over and pretend she is to argue that bi-racial Barack is Black? It's disgusting.

Marcia: I'm jumping back in on something maybe related, maybe not. Ava and C.I. rightly noted early last year some very real hostility towards White women on the part of Melissa Harris Lacewell and wondered whether that included anger at Barack's own mother. As we're discussing Professor Patti, I'm flashing on how Melissa repeatedly insists -- and has done this for two years now -- that Barack is Black because he chose to marry Michelle. To Melissa this is a huge thing. And I want to come back to that in a moment but I think you could hypothesize that this is rooted in Melissa's anger at Barack's White mother. Her constantly insisting that Barack chose Black by marrying Michelle seems to reveal a tremendous fear that Barack could have, as his father did, chosen a White woman to marry.

Cedric: But who you marry -- unless it's some sort of a racist -- doesn't say a thing about your race itself.

Wally: Cedric, cutting in to say you should break your news.

Cedric: Yeah, good point. I got married at the end of the year. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it online. Everybody participating [in the roundtable] knows about it and community members know because my wife's doing a column for Polly's Brew -- and maybe we can talk her into doing a blog? I'd said at the time that I'd bring it up online at some point which is why Wally's prompting me now. Now, back to Melissa's lunacy. If my wife were White, that wouldn't make me White. My wife is African-American and I'm not Black because I married her. I'm Black because both my parents were. If I had married Ava, I wouldn't be Latino. That's such nonsense and goes to the fact that, no, Barack is not Black. If he were Black, Melissa Harris Lacewell would not have to offer such stupid notions in order for him to be seen as Black. He's bi-racial. Get used to it.

Dona: We've got a bit of a pause so I'm jumping in. I know that the TV commentary this week wasn't easy for Ava and C.I. to write and they first wrote it in long handed with non-stop cursing. They were that angry with the garbage. As Ty can tell you, we receive many of the most beautiful e-mails from bi- and multi-racial readers, many of whom have found us just because of Ava and C.I.'s strong defense of the bi- and multi-racial movement that they've done for over a year now. And an issue that comes up a great deal in the thank-you e-mails is people writing that they must get tired of doing that -- of repeatedly being the ones defending the bi- and multi-racial movement. So could one of you address that?

Ava: C.I.'s nodding to me. Does it get old defending the bi- and multi-racial movement? Not in the sense that we're thinking, "Oh, we've got to do it again." It does get old in terms of the refusal of 'alternative' media to stand up. This is the diversity movement and in the 90s, it would be defended in the very outlets that now ignore it -- that now ignore it because they have some reason to present Barack as Black and not bi-racial. You will find more exploration, more discussion in the MSM than in 'alternative' media. It's not as bad as it once was -- in terms of feeling like no one else would speak up publicly -- but we do realize we are among a small number who will publicly address the issue, we are aware of how big the diversity movement is and we are aware that we have a duty to speak up. As for the e-mails, that's what turns our duty into an honor. In terms of this week's commentary, we actually did have a line in there about being tired. But it was about we are so tired of having to go over Melissa Harris Lacewell's many lies. I think we ended up cutting that portion out. But we're happy to defend the bi- and multi-racial movement. We are aware it is the present and the future and that history will look unkindly on those who slamed the movement. So when we're exhausted or bothered by the silence from others, we always remember that history is on our side.

Jim: Ava's Latina and I just want to ask her about whether she feels under any special obligation as a result?

Ava: To be aware that it's not an entirely White and Anglo world? Yes. To present my own case day after day? No. I think one of the best things I can do as a Latina at Third is be a strong voice that takes a place at the table. If there's an issue that I feel needs to be addressed, I grab it. That may or may not be an issue directly effecting Latinos. Now remember that C.I. and I write for El Spirito which is Latino focused so I've got that outlet. But also true is that I don't want it to be seen as "Ava pushes her own little group."

Betty: Do I come off that way?

Ava: Not at all. But the difference there is that -- there are a number of differences. First off, you are one of five voices in this roundtable addressing the issues of the Black community. That's a discussion. I would not be one of five Latinas in this roundtable. Second of all, the issue of race is one you long ago staked out at Third. You were the first to point out Barack was bi-racial at this site. Now one reason I've offered since 2005, still true today, is that I am not the one to go to on all things Spanish speaking. There have been times when Jim's tried to push me into that role early on and I've refused. The Latino community is highly diverse and I would not pretend to be able to speak for all issues effecting all. We are more diverse than the Black community though Professor Patti seems unaware of that.

Betty: I agree with you on both things -- Patti being unaware and that there is more diversity. And that's one point that you've established very well. I'm Atlanta born and raised so I wasn't exposed to a huge cross-section of Latinos. And you really, here, have underscored that Cuban-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Mexican-Americans, Spanish-Americans, Hondurans, etc. are a widely diverse group.

Ava: Exactly. Even within Cuban-Americans, you're talking about a huge diversity that goes beyond age. Equally true is that many Latinos are in various forms of generations. Some are first, some go much further back. I'm referring to, for example, first-generation American. I don't know that we have the intense and concentrated shared history that so many African-Americans do. And I used "African-American" on that because Black America includes what Patti was offering, which is non-African Black people from other areas.

Jim: I'm jumping in. First, Ava's correct, I did attempt to use her as our Ambassador to All Things Hispanic. I would try to get her to translate constantly and try to assign her topics --especially during The Third Estate Sunday News Review pieces -- that were on Latin American countries. She stood up and had no problem steering me wise. Second, I know Betty and I know she's going to wonder this topic, puzzle it for some time so let me make clear that our readers love the fact that we address the topics of race and they love that Betty is never afraid to weigh in.

Ty: Yeah, after Ava and C.I.'s TV commentaries, we're probably best known for Betty's comments in these roundtables on race. And, as Ava pointed out, there are five people participating from the African-American community. Betty was talking earlier about how she wouldn't have thought of what Marcia did, for example. And that's the exchange we can have by having five people who can speak on the issue. If someone's brought Blackness front and center at Third, that person would be -- and he won't see this as an insult, nor is it intended as one -- Cedric.

Cedric: I agree with you. And, no, I'm not insulted. I really understand what Ava's saying. And I agree with it 100%. It would be a pain in the butt, which she didn't point out, to be the one going, "Okay, let me give you the remedial course" week after week. Betty's always been a strong Black voice for this community. When I came along, what Ty's talking about, when I started helping out here, one of the first things I did was get with Betty and Ty before each writing edition, I'd call them up, with something in the Black community and get their thoughts on it in terms of is this something worth addressing? If it was, we came into the edition with that pitch. That's what Ty's talking about and I agree with his call.

Ruth: If I can come in here, that is actually reminding me of a point Marcia made right after she started blogging.

Marcia: I was thinking that too. Part of the reason I finally blogged was the non-stop attacks on Hillary and I was glad to be an African-American woman standing up publicly and saying, "I'm supporting Hillary." There was a real effort by the likes of Melissa Harris Lacewell to silence women and men like me. But another benefit, as I'd told Ruth, was that I could get in on the discussions at Third, and I especially meant race. I agree with Cedric that Betty's been a strong voice and we all love Betty for that and much more. But Betty, Ty and Cedric being able to bounce off each other? I mean reading that, back before I ever participated, that was just a joy. A site where African-Americans actually got to share their opinions? Do you know how rare that is unless it's an African-American only site? So the lure of participating in some of those discussions was strong as well.

Ruth: And to toss in another aspect to what Ava is talking about, there would be a great deal of pressure. As the only Jewish person participating, I often forget that. I am often piping off and Ty will pass on an e-mail where I have offended someone who has gotten the impression that I think I am the final voice on Jewish America. I am not that and it is my fault when I fail to convey that. So with Stan, Marcia, Cedric, Betty and Ty participating, there is a discussion and you have five perspectives. That would not be the case for Ava and it is not the case for me.

Jim: I'm wondering how much those kind of e-mails have resulted in Ruth usually being rather quiet during these roundtables? Okay, let's move to another topic which resulted in seven e-mails from seven supposedly different people last week who all just happened to write the same, exact e-mail, word for word. When are we going to accept Barack Obama is the president? That's the thrust of the e-mail.

Jess: Let me jump in on that. I wasn't aware we were in denial. We've called him president-elect since the election. Last Sunday's editorial not only called him president, it noted we made it through eight years without doing that for the previous White House occupant. While there's no question that the nomination was stolen, none of us have ever questioned the general election. The seven 'people' e-mailing that garbage are illiterate and don't know what they're talking about.

Jim: Jess is pretty disgusted.

Jess: I am very disgusted that someone would waste our time with that. I'm semi-disgusted with you, Jim, for bringing that crap into the roundtable.

Jim: Jess isn't joking and he's over at the stereo. I'll explain why I brought it in one-on-one. Does anyone else want to comment?

Kat: Well, Jess made it very clear that no one's in denial that Barack's the president. Not only is no one in denial, this site and all the sites in the community take the approach of "You wanted to be president, now you are so get to work." I don't see how anyone could interpret that as us being in denial. Or how any sane person could interpret that as us being in denial.

Rebecca: I'm thinking the 'seven' are arguing that Barack is president and that we need to embrace that and hug him and love him and breast feed him and wipe his little bottom. In other words, what they're really pissed at is we don't believe And Barack Created Women . . . We don't see him as God and aren't rushing to worship him.

Stan: I agree with Rebecca's take. That's what I took away from it as well. That what they were calling denial they really meant was we won't drink the Kool-Aid. If I can add something else, Jess is the only Green Party member and I believe since we killed a Green Party feature this edition, it might be better to try to bring one of those topics in here.

Mike: I would absolutely agree with that.

Jim: Okay, let's do that and that's probably why Jess is angry. We don't have time for the Green Party but we can address this nonsense question. Is that it?

Jess: That's exactly it.

Elaine: Let me set this up. C.I.'s tackled some serious issues with the Green Party in snapshots last week. Let me add that I should have found a way to do something on the topic myself. Green Party member are part of the community. There is a tendancy to leave it all up to C.I. To expect C.I. to do everything. I do understand Jess being upset that we've got time for a nonsense e-mail written seven different times when we're not making time for the Green Party. I also grasp that Jim's not trying to brush off the Green Party. Jim is just -- as he's always been -- more interested in the e-mails from cranks. Mike's done a Google News search on "Green Party" and there's only one item on the front page that's the US Green Party, that's reason enough to be alarmed. Are they being silence by the US media or are they in that much disarray?

Jess: Who's the author?

Elaine: Bakari Kitwana.

Jess: So it's not about the Green Party at all. It's more garbage from the brain dead.

Cedric: I'm laughing because it's that "Hip Hop" voting bloc. I'm so sick of them and think someone needs to tell them, Grow the hell up. Seriously, my folks weren't in "The Quiet Storm" voting bloc. You ever see them ['Hip Hop' 'Leaders'] on TV and the first thing you notice is they're all a bunch of out of shape, middle-aged guys.

C.I.: For the record, Kitwana is forty-years-old.

Betty: As Cedric said, he needs to grow up. I love how this so-called 'Hip Hop' movement is about 'youth' and all the 'leaders' have beer bellies.

Elaine: Okay, hold up. Mike and I have something. Alex Keefe's "A Green Party first: contested primary in race for Emanuel's seat." I'm tossing to Mike.

Mike: Okay, the point of the article is that, since Greens got over 5% of the 2006 governor's race, of the vote, they're now in a position to make the ballot easier. As a result, you have non-Greens running for the Green Party nomination. So you've got Democrat until two weeks ago Matt Reichel trying to run as a Green and Deb Gordils who says she's an independent and the reporter explains, "But both Reichel and Gordils said their decision to go Green also came down to campaign calculus."

Rebecca: That's complete bulls**t and why the Green Party is not getting anywhere. I am embarrassed for them just hearing Mike summarize that article. That's so insane and goes to the fact that there is no interest in building a party. You manage to gain easier ballot access? You start plugging in the farm team you should have already built. If all you are is a way for Democrats, Republicans and Independents who couldn't win the nomination in their own groupings grab your Green nomination then you're not a political party at all, you're nothing but a place holder, I'm disgusted.

Jess: What's most appalling to me is that they don't even feel the need to disguise the realities when speaking to the press. Democrat until two weeks ago and going for the Green slot? What the hell's going on? I'm looking at the article and when Elaine was reading the title, I was upbeat. I was thinking, "Well maybe my party's getting their act together in one state." And the fact that we didn't even -- not even to get some news attention -- push our own candidates for any of the Senate appointments, I was thinking, "Well, at least we're making a run for Rahm Emmanual's House seat." Then it turns out "we" aren't. I'm looking at the article and it's like Mike outlined it, a bunch of non-Greens wanting to run on the Green spot. C.I.'s not going to speak here, on this topic, because last week there was a non-stop flooding of the inbox to the public account by Greens and Green Party officials. I'm not quoting their e-mails or naming them. But I will quote C.I.'s response to one Green Party member which was that if the Greens can't convince America they are different than Democrats, there's no reason to vote Green. If Pepsi wants to take out ads saying, "We taste just like Coke!" -- who will buy Pepsi? If it tastes just like Coke, unless Pepsi's cheaper, people will buy the original. And this article really does underscore all the e-mails C.I. was exchanging. At some point, my party either needs to get serious or needs to close shop.

Rebecca: I can imagine the e-mails that were coming in because C.I. was hitting hard on the importance of a third party offering something more than, "We love Democrats! Yea!" I mean, it goes to brand. You either have a brand or you don't. You can't copy someone else's brand and be unique. If you're a political party attempting to emerge and you can't clearly define what you

stand for and, most importantly, how you are different from another political party that's already established, you're not going to line up voters.

Wally: I'm not disagreeing but why did you judge the differences as most important?

Rebecca: The differences are where the defining takes place. In corporate America or political America, they both give the hazy explanations of what they stand for that are rarely specific. They offer their specifics when they draw lines between themselves and their rivals. And for most people, a list of what the Greens stand for would get the response of, "Yeah, yeah, the Democrats are for that too." So its in the defining of the differences that a political party can actually recruit.

Wally: Just to explain, Rebecca was very successful in public relations. That's some free advice that would cost a great deal.

Jess: Yeah that is free advice and maybe because it's free it will be ignored? I agree with what Rebecca's saying. But I've yet to see my political party do a damn thing to seriously define itself.

Jim: Okay but what about "The First 100 Days." C.I. highlighted that at The Common Ills this week and we'll make a point now to include it in some form here -- besides the link in the roundtable -- but what about that? That provides actual differences.

Jess: And, as C.I. noted in the same snapshot, Tuesday's "Iraq snapshot," that there were others rushing to wall paper over any differences in what Greens stand for and what Democrats stand for.

Wally: Which goes back to Rebecca's point and also goes to the point of place holders. Does the Green Party stand for something? Yes? Well then why are they allowing non-Greens to go after the slots they should be filling?

Stan: I'm not a Green, I'm a Democrat, so keep that in mind if some Green disagrees with what I'm saying. Here's reality for a lot of Democrats, we are outraged by what was done with the nominations. The floor vote was stopped by Nancy Pelosi at the convention and that happened after strong arm tactics didn't work. We know there was real concern that the Super Delegates would go to Hillary because she demonstrated she could carry the states needed. Barack stole that nomination and my feelings aren't uncommon. As a result of that and as a result of the Barack Kool-Aid in the Democratic Party presently, I am more open to the Greens than ever before. But if I go to one of their sites and read how wonderful Barack is, I'm not interested in them.

Jess: Those comments were made by C.I. in about ten e-mails last week. C.I. was explaining repeatedly that there is anger due to what Stan just spoke of and that the Greens could be picking up voters. But that when people go to these sites and find Greens saying Barack's groovy, they're just going to move on.

Stan: That's what I do. I did it on inuaguration day in fact. I was visiting Green Party sites trying to find some group on the left I could connect with. And I couldn't because it was all about wonderful Barack.

Elaine: If I had suffered the losses the Green Party did in 2008, I doubt very seriously I'd be sitting around wasting everyone's time propping up the Democratic Party. If they want to be seen as a political party and different than the Democrats, they're going to have to start establishing that they are. That means when Barack's doing his centrist dance, they're calling him out the same way they would a Republican on doing a conservative dance. This could be the greatest period for the Green Party if they'd use it. Every day they could be demonstrating how the Greens stand for something and the Democrats cave.

C.I.: Jim's been hitting my foot throughout and I'm going to speak to get him to stop. First, as Jess pointed out, I'm limited in what I'll say here because I've been exchaning e-mails on this topic last week. Second, what Elaine said is really important and goes to Rebecca's advice earlier. The Green Party has the basis for regular free advertising if they use it. The media is looking for -- Real Media -- critiques of Barack's administration to balance the gooey love-in. The Green Party, so often ignored, could get a lot of press for being a strong critic of Barack. And there are no excuses for Democrats. They control the House, the Senate and the White House. If I were a Green, I'd be using every day to remind the country that they have the votes required to pass any legislation the party wants and that they have their guy in the White House to sign off on it. I would then make the point of, "So where's the action?" The only thing stopping Democrats are Democrats. There are no excuses. And Greens could be constructing that argument every day.

Jim: There's frustration in your voice so I'm guessing this is a point you've raised repeatedly. Without naming names, can we get a sense of the reaction?

C.I.: For Green Party officials who've been writing, it's been split. Half react to statements similar to what I just said with, "I can't call out Barack!" and the other half see that, yes, this is a golden opportunity.

Dona: Because of the control in the White House and Congress and I'm jumping in on that because C.I. made a face I'm reaidng as, "I'm not dominating this roundtable." It is a golden opportunity. Greens say that they are a real political party for the left and they complain that the Democrats -- except apparently The Virgin Barack -- are corporatists. Okay, the present situtation allows Greens the context to reinforce that argument due to the control of Congress and the White House that the Democrats have.

Kat: The Virign Barack. I love that. That's a good one. I see C.I. responding to some of those e-mails and hear the groans of frustration. Here's reality. It's not our job on the left to educate Barack and it's not our job on the left to teach the Green Party how to walk. In both instances, we're allegedly dealing with grown ups.

C.I.: I'm jumping in to note we started this roundtable at 6:00 a.m. EST because Kat's statements are very similar to something I sent out at 1:30 EST. Her statement about Barack. And Kat didn't know about that e-mail before the one it was sent to starts wondering.

Kat: No, I haven't read anything. It's all I can do to keep my eyes open to participate in this. I don't go near a computer on the weekends unless they need help here, at Third, typing. Was it the Barack comment?

C.I.: Yeah.

Kat: Well you discussed that with a group we spoke to Thursday or Friday. You made the point that there's this attitude that we have to show Barack the way. You asked if he was just born? You pointed out that he was billed as the left candidate during the primaries so why all the sudden is he a stranger to left issues? You pointed out that he ran with a number of lefties in Chicago during the nineties. And you did it very well, you had everyone laughing so I was stealing from you but from your presentation earlier this week.

Wally: I'm jumping in because Dona slid me a note telling me I barely participated. I was there for what Kat's talking about and it did go over very well. And it was true. Barack's over forty-years-old, he's attended multiple colleges, been a community organizers -- as we heard over and over, and suddenly we have to teach him to speak liberal? What the hell is that? It's more garbage from a cowardly left.

Jim: Wally, I'm stopping you because there's a feature article I want us to work on and I think you're next comments would lead us into that. Also true we went past the time limit for this roundtable. So we're going to wrap up right here. Rush transcript.

Hillary Clinton becomes 67th Secretary of State

Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton met today at the State Department with fourteen prominent Afghan women judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. These jurists were in Washington to participate in a training program arranged by the Department’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan. Secretary Clinton told them: "Your American friends greatly admire your bravery and courage. It is your work in the tough environment of Afghanistan for women lawyers that will bring real reform and the rule of law to the Afghan people. As President Obama made clear yesterday in his first foreign policy announcement, we are committed to supporting your efforts to bring security and stability to your country."
Under the leadership of the former Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, Dr. Kerry Healey, and United States District Judge Stephen G. Larson of the Central District of California, the women participated in two weeks of intensive legal seminars, roundtable events, and consultations with senior officials from the State of California and the U.S. government, including former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. The women explored current topics in the Afghan and American legal systems, legal decision-making and mediation, domestic violence, family and mental health, and narcotics law, while gaining hands-on exposure to the American judicial system.

Hillary Clinton is the new US Secretary of State and, yes, she's already hard at work. Below are two photos of meeting with the Afghan women.

Afghanistan II

Afghanistan I

The meeting took place Friday, her second day on the job. The Afghan women were fourteen judges and attorneys who had been taking part in the State Dept's Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan. The Secretary declared, "Your American friends greatly admire your bravery and courage. It is your work in the tough environment of Afghanistan for women lawyers that will bring real reform and the rule of law to the Afghan people. As President Obama made clear yesterday in his first foreign policy announcement, we are committed to supporting your efforts to bring security and stability to your country."

Her first day on the job as the 67th US Secretary of State was Thursday which consisted of introductions and setting the mission, "There are three legs to the stool of American foreign policy: defense, diplomacy, and development. And we are responsible for two of the three legs. And we will make clear, as we go forward, that diplomacy and development are essential tools in achieving the long-term objectives of the United States. And I will do all that I can, working with you, to make it abundantly clear that robust diplomacy and effective development are the best long-term tools for securing America's future."

Hillary and State Department staff

Click here to read her speech in full, click here for video of the speech. She and her speech were a huge hit.

Working our way backwards, she was confirmed and then sworn in Wednesday with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, at her side.

Hillary Clinton Sworn In

More great moments in Feminist Barack History

New York Governor David Paterson appointed US House Rep Kirsten Gillibrand to the US Senate and made the official announcement at noon EST Friday. After pouting for much of the day, the White House released a statement five hours and ten minutes after Paterson's announcement:

Governor Paterson made a wonderful choice in appointing Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Secretary Clinton's seat in the United States Senate. I am confident that she will continue Secretary Clinton's distinguished service to the people of New York and to our country.
During her career, Kirsten has been a strong voice for transparency and reform in government and shares the belief that government should be open, accessible and work for all of our citizens. In Congress and as special counsel for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, she worked to strengthen public and private partnerships to invest in infrastructure and New York's economy.
At this time of great challenge, I know that Kirsten has the integrity, character, and dedication to public service to help us achieve our greatest goals.

"Kirsten"? "Governor Paterson"?

"Kirsten"? "Governor Paterson"?

Yeah, he respects women. If you're a fool, an idiot or a liar.

Ms. Pathetic

'Caroline, No' cries Babycakes Bringiton

Babycakes Bringiton lamented the death of his princess Friday through Saturday in a post (and in his comments) that go a long way towards explaining how f-ed up the so-called left is.

Princess Brat

Before exploring that, we should note, in fairness, that with Lambert having gotten on Bringiton's case for using the n-word not all that long ago, Bringiton may have felt his most valued tool had been taken from him.

"Congratulations to those Progressives who helped thwart Caroline Kennedy," snarls Babycakes. Elaine, Ava and C.I. shoot back, "You're welcome, little fella."

Early on Babycakes insists Caroline has "connections across the highest levels of government through which she could influence others in the same direction" -- where you'd discover that 'fact'? E! True Hollywood Story?

If Caroline had that kind of power, it's a real shame she never chose to use it. But, reality check, Caroline has no power in "the highest levels of government". Caroline is nothing but a photo-op. She's Michael Jackson visiting the Oval Office for the cameras. She has no power at any level of the government.

She can't even get the senators closest to her uncle Ted to lift a finger for her because "star power" Caroline doesn't do fundraisers (except of course for The One).

Pulling one out of his ass, Babycakes insists, "Caroline would have won it in a walkaway, and voted straight line Progressive on everything for as long as she was in office." Lambert dismisses the "voted straight line" nonsense, so we'll focus on "would have won it in a walkaway." Based on what?

Not based on facts. As noted in the January 6th "Iraq snapshot:"

In US political news, Brian Montopoli (CBS News) reports that supremely unqualified to be senator Caroline Kennedy no longer has the support of New York residents. Kennedy would like to be gifted with a Senate seat by NY Governor David Paterson but Montopoli reports a new poll has found only 27% of New Yorkers want Kennedy as their Senator while 58% "prefer [Andrew] Cuomo."

Only 27% of New Yorkers wanted Caroline to be their senator but Baby Cakes knows she would be wonderful and win re-election.

Princess Brat Speaks

Babycakes next produces howls of laughter with this, "I'd written here, and in an earlier thread, that Caroline is a very shy person, who very much dislikes confrontation. I also wrote that for her to engage in a public fashion took considerable courage, and that she would need to find her way and require considerable help from others to learn how to deal with the press and the public." Next up! Bringiton lends his help to the shut-in candidate!

Agoraphobia and politics really don't mix. If you're "shy" and if it takes "considerable courage" for you "to engage in a public fashion," than you really aren't constitutionally suited to hold public office of any sort. And those who "require considerable help from others to learn how to deal with the press and the public" probably shouldn't attempt to start their desired political careers with an appointment to the second highest elected office on the national scene* that an American citizen can hold. [*That awkwardly worded sentence is worded as such to note that we're excluding governors.]

Princess Brat Campaigns

"Caroline is a good person, a decent person, and a class act," sobs Babycakes. No doubt, while sipping tea from his Charles Loves Princess Di mug. Babycakes reminds us a great deal of the lead character on Keeping Up Appearances. Doubting it? Watch for "the club" in his next remarks:

She's been solid on Progressive causes her whole life, and while she is a shy person who clearly wasn't comfortable with confrontation that would not actually have been a problem once in office. The Club would have taken care of her, looked out for her, nurtured her and, when she did speak out, deferred to her.

"The Club would have taken care of her" -- which club is that? "The Club" that killed her father? Or "The Club" as a social circle? If so, Caroline is not a part of the DC scene. Never has been, never will be. She's not wanted. That's reality.

"Deferred to her"? So basically, this "club" is going to teach Eliza Dolittle to speak and then, for some unknown reason, Professor Higgins is then going to just do as Eliza says? That's a highly active fantasy life Babycakes has.

He offers more class porn:

The Kennedy name is still golden, especially Caroline. Outside of the South, Dems would have been falling all over themselves to get her to campaign with them. No need for her to take questions or debate, or do anything more than smile big, say a few words, shake some hands and have dinner with the high rollers. One hand washes the other in DC; she'd have been very popular, and well taken care of.

So many words. So few facts.

"The Kennedy name is still golden, especially Caroline." John, Jackie and John-John had "golden" names to the tabloids and, even in death, they still do. Caroline? She's the Traveling Wilbury just along for the ride. In the last month and a half, the press worked overtime to create 'memories' for the public of Caroline. They had to work overtime because there were no memories. Close your eyes and think John-John. You can probably picture him as a little boy saluting, or shirtless playing tag football, or still smiling even after failing the bar the first time around. Caroline? She's a cypher. America has no collective memories of her.

"Outside of the South, Dems would have been falling all over themselves to get her to campaign with them." Babycakes appears to think there's some Gen Y contingent obsessed with the myths of Spamalot. Otherwise, why would he make such a ridiculous claim? Or is Babycakes just so filled with hate of the South and so ignorant of history that he thinks he can get away with it.

"The Kennedy name" would apparently mean she could count on the support of areas that supported her father (or does Babycakes mean Jayne Kennedy when using "the Kennedy name"). The Kennedy name meant a lot more in the south than in some areas of the north.
Kennedy won Texas, won Louisiana, lost New Hampshire, lost Vermont, lost Washington, lost Wisconsin, lost Ohio, won West Virginia, won Arkansas, won Missouri -- get the point?

"No need for her to take questions or debate, or do anything more than smile big, say a few words, shake some hands and have dinner with the high rollers." Or, as Barack might declare, it's okay with him if she just sits there and looks pretty, eh?

"One hand washes the other in DC; she'd have been very popular, and well taken care of," predicts Corrente's Psychic Network. Who says she'd be popular? Who says she'd be taken care of? If you're a Senator who busted your ass to get into the US Senate, are you really going to want to spend your time hand-holding the pampered princess who doesn't "need" "to take questions or debate" but can get away with just smiling?

No, you're really not going to want to do your own homework and do their homework for them as well.

Babycakes is a fool for Caroline as he demonstrates here, "And perhaps you didn't notice, in the frenzy of Caroline-bashing, but everyone wanting this Senate seat wanted it in part because it would come by appointment and not by election. That's because it is an appointment, not an election. There is no election now - for anyone getting the appointment. Got that?" Caroline has never run for elected office. Got that? The others vying for the seat -- by appointment -- had put themselves before the public, had records, had voting records. Caroline wanted to breeze past everyone with a "thanks for holding my place." Turned out there were not cutsies. Too bad, so sad.

Babycakes is pissed and showing his right-wingery throughout the thread yet again because, reality check, those sneering "PC" are generally Rush Limbaugh Ditto Heads.

Caroline Kennedy was never qualified for the Senate. In an election, she can run and she might be elected. The voters might have enough faith in her (polls do not indicate that to be the case) that they'd go with her. Fine. She got in by being the people's choice and they judged her qualifications. The voters decided Barack was qualified. We really haven't made a point of pointing to his inexperience over and over since the election. The voters decided.

But to bypass the voters via an appointment, you better be someone who is qualified. David Paterson would have looked like a complete idiot if Caroline had a public imploding -- and 'shy' gal that she was, that was a possibility. Was she going to run from the photographers or assault them? (She has a history of doing both -- as did her mother.) Was she going to launch, you know, attacks, you know, on the, like, press? She has a history of doing that as well.

Princess Brat's Big Plan

The reality is the spoiled princess had more enemies than friends and, if she went to DC, she'd be on The Washington Post's playing field and not the playing field of her steady/walker's paper. Not having a publisher with romantic designs on her at her disposal, Caroline wouldn't have gotten the kid gloves treatment. Since the man who ran interference for her in the seventies has finally come out of the closet, she couldn't count on that former steady's help either. She couldn't count on anyone because, reality, Caroline never made friends. All she has is a bunch of suck-ups who either work for her or work for her family.

The reality is she wanted to be a senator but thought she could declare her past off-limits. Doesn't work that way. Trent Lott did or said something crazy in the past, the press had a duty to dig it up. Same thing for Caroline but, sad for Caroline, her past is very far from her public persona. In the end, that's why she dropped out. She'd rather walk away than trash her media reputation.

Illustrations above are Isaiah's "Princess Brat," "Princess Brat Campaigns," "Princess Brat's Big Plan" and "Princess Brat Speaks." For more on the nonsense of Babycakes' post, see Betty's "Hillary Is 44" and Marcia's "Chicago Dyke is an idiot."
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