Sunday, March 14, 2010

Truest statement of the week

I knew the phony progressive left was just a trick of Soros and billionaire criminals to take down health care. I knew Obama got more wall street money than any other candidate, and I knew he was a phony too, all the way, as I watched him snicker about Hillary, the woman's candidate being "likable enough". I didn't like her vote on Iraq, but she promised to end the war, and I believed that she would. I knew that she would listen to women, not completely abandon them as Obama has done. I knew that she would listen to working people, before bankers, unlike what Obama has done.

-- Roseanne, "when the dems screwed Hillary, they screwed america" (Roseanne's World).

Truest statement of the week II

If anybody wants to know where cynicism is -- cynicism is that there's one, two press people in this gallery. We're talking about Eric Massa twenty-four-seven on the TV. We're talking about war and peace, $3 billion, 1,000 lives and no press? No press? You want to know why the American public is fit? They're fit because they're not seeing their Congress do the work they are sent to do. It's because the press, the press of the United States is not covering the most significant issue of national importance, and that's the laying of lives down in the nation for the service of our country. It's despicable the national press corps right now.

-- Patrick Kennedy on the House floor Wednesday, during the vote on withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan which found 65 in support of the resolution and 356 voting against.

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another Sunday, a dreadful writing edition. First up, who 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),
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

We thank them all. What did we come up with? Not a whole lot.
Roseanne easily earned top honors this week.
As did Patrick Kennedy.
The editorial? We actually like it. We fine tuned it and made it presentable. Everyone worked on this.

Ava and C.I. had a mountain of things they wanted to cover including a talk show. They may tackle the talk show next week. But they tackled some serious issues and did so really well. We knew this was the strongest piece in the edition even when we had nothing else to show.

Cobbled together by splicer Jess, this pulls from six different pieces but reads like it was actually written as one. Everyone worked on this. Thank you. And thank you to Isaiah for allowing us to use his comic.

Thank you to Mike who took a break during the edition (that was going nowhere) and came back with, "Hey, I just took a Zogby poll and . . ." This short feature resulted. Thank you, Mike. Ava and C.I. did not work on this because they were too busy trying to piece together something, anything to fill in the gaps.

We asked for an Academy Award feature. Yeah, they said, they could do that. They would do it. They knew we needed to fill in the holes. But they'd also do a political piece. Which is this one.

And hear is their Oscar piece. Enjoy.

Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it. We thank everyone who helped this week and we especially thank Ava and C.I. for writing three articles thereby allowing us to finally end this never-ending writing edition.

We'll see you next week.

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

Editorial: Time to stand up

Wednesday, the US House of Representatives voted on "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 98Directing the President, pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution, to remove the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan." The bill received 65 votes supporting withdrawal and 356 votes against. But what was most interesting about the bill was that it called for a withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by December 31, 2010. By the end of this year.

A withdrawal by the end of this year?

Oh, yeah, remember when Congress used to demand that for the Iraq War. Bush was in the White House in those days

Sworn in January 2009, Barack Obama said that the troops would leave Iraq at the end of 2011. And no one in Congress bothered to bat an eye. He's still not handed over a 'plan' for that withdrawal to Congress so we think anyone showing blind faith in Barack Obama at this point is not only mistaken but unteachable.

The Michele Flournoy axis of the administration received a bit of attention last week from a bad article at The Nation (look it up, we're not linking to trash). But the article refused to acknowledge that third-in-charge-at-the-Pentagon Flournoy has the stamp of approval from Barack. It refused to explore when she came onboard with Team Obama (long before the swearing in) and who brought her on board. The article rightly noted her War Hawk nature. But it's a nature Barack knew all about and, in fact, agree with.

Why does that matter?

One reason is all these attacks on Thomas E. Ricks? Enjoyable as they may be, grasp that he types with Flournoy's permission. Grasp that Flournoy is part of the administration and doing just what Barack wants her to. Put it all together.

Then you'll realize that only the foolish (Gareth Porter) and the liars (far too many to mention) continue to offer excuses for Barack. He's not being deceived. There's no military rebellion taking place. Everything that is happening is unfolding as he, the President of the United States, wants.

So if Thomas E. Ricks is floating the US military staying in Iraq after 2011, that's what Flournoy and her boss wanted floated.

The White House is very interested in an event this week: Saturday's rallies.


In DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles, rallies against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the occupation of Palestine will be held.

How big will the turnout be?

Rahm Emanuel thinks it will be minisule. He may be right. And, if he is, that will send the message to the White House that they can continue either or both wars and do so without suffering any political fallout or costs.

If instead a large group turns out, the White House may finally begin to suspect that the liberal base they courted during the primaries isn't to be taken for granted.

Among the many groups, individuals and organizations that will be taking part is the Green Party of the United States which issued the following:
For Immediate Release:
Thursday, March 11, 2010

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,

March 20 is the 7th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq

Green Party Speakers Bureau: Greens available to speak on the wars, foreign policy, and related topics:

WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party candidates, leaders, and other members will participate in the 'US Out of Afghanistan and Iraq Now' march in Washington, DC, on Saturday, March 20.

Greens will join hundreds of thousands of others to demand an end to the wars and occupations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, and Haiti and threats of war against Iran. March 20 is the seventh anniversary of the invasion launched by the Bush-Cheney Administration against Iraq, in which hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died and tens of thousands of US troops have been killed or been maimed.

For more information on the march, which has been organized by the ANSWER Coalition, visit (

Related events will take place in Washington throughout the week leading up to the March 20 march: see the Washington Peace Center's 'Iraq Anniversary Special Alert' (

The Green Party of the United States opposed the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan from the very beginning, and more recently criticized President Obama for expanding the Afghanistan War into Pakistan and for his announcement of 30,000 additional US troops to be sent to Afghanistan (

Greens participated in the "Rally to tell Obama No You Can't!" on December 12, 2009, in Washington, DC in Lafayette Park near the White House, which was sponsored by the End US Wars Coalition ( Among the Green Party speakers at the rally were Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party's 2008 presidential nominee; Lynne Williams, 2010 Green candidate for Governor of Maine (; and Marian Douglas-Ungaro of the DC Statehood Green Party.

On November 25, Ms. McKinney sent an open letter to President Obama urging a reversal of his warhawk policy on Afghanistan (

Green Party leaders have disputed President Obama's claims that the invasion of Afghanistan was "the right war." The invasion has resulted in a catastrophe for Afghan civilians, with thousands killed and maimed and the destruction of property and infrastructure. The Taliban has won greater popular support because of its defiance of foreign troops, while President Karzai's corrupt administration have betrayed any hope for democracy and regional warlords have turned Afghanistan into the world's leading producer of opium. Human rights for most Afghans, especially women, have not advanced because of the US invasion.

"The expansion of the Afghanistan War with drone attacks inside Pakistani borders has created even greater regional instability and animosity towards the US," said Craig Thorsen, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and former US Navy Lieutenant. "We're dismayed that President Obama has embraced the Bush-Cheney doctrine of 'preemption' -- the idea that the US may attack any country around the world to replace that country's government. This doctrine was expressly outlawed in the wake of World War II."

"The Democratic leadership in Congress rubberstamped the GOP war agenda. Both parties have voted to spend enormous amounts of taxpayers' money to feed a military machine that bullies other nations and ultimately sustains corporate war profiteers. The Green Party urges all Americans who desire peace to speak out with their voices and votes, join us on March 20, call on Congress to cut military spending, and demand that President Obama call our troops home now," said Mr. Thorsen.


Green Party of the United States
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Green candidate database and campaign information:
Green Party News Center
Green Party Speakers Bureau
Green Party ballot access page
Green Party Livestream Channel

Green Party International Committee

TV: Fluff -- admitted and hidden

And they say educational TV is dead. Last week, NBC informed us that Guy Ritchie got custody of the British accent in his divorce from Madonna. But we get ahead of ourselves.


TV has had many names over the years such as "The Boob Tube" or "The Idiot Box." TV is not a semester at Cornell. Not even a fall viewing of PBS. Radio used to like to see itself as above TV and, in some corners, still does. Pacifica Radio, for example, loves to see itself as educational. In fact, the Pacifica Radio stations -- KPFA (Berkeley), KPFK (Los Angeles), KPFT (Houston), WBAI (NYC) and the joke in DC -- are licensed as "educational radio."

And we were reminded of how much alike radio and TV are when we caught the latest offering of The Marriage Ref. Madonna, Larry David, and Ricky Gervais, none of whom could be mistaken as half of a spousal success, showed up Thursday night to offer bits of faux wisdom.

For those who've missed the reality show, various couples are taped with marital complaints. Three celebrity judges are in a studio watching the clips (one couple at a time) and then speaking with the couple via satellite. Sadly host Tom Papa does most of the talking and he's neither as funny nor as appealing as Jerry Seinfeld and the other producers wish he were.

The show's been a dog since it began airing with Tina Fey making such a fool of herself in one episode that even we felt sorry for her. But our package included a note asking that we wait until watching the Madonna episode, or else watch it first, before making a decision. A smart recommendation because that episode actually was watchable.

Madonna, apparently relinquishing rights to her faux British accent, was more lively than she'd been in years. Her skin looked good, her hair looked good. She could have worn a better outfit (that dress screamed "K-Mart shopper" and didn't flatter her body) and Visine should have been used on the eyes (insomnia remains the one thing Madonna's never triumphed over), but it was the sort of TV appearance her fans always hopes she will do. She was funny, she was strong and she spoke like someone living in this world.

At one point, as the men were yammering away about one couple whose main problem (vocalized problem) was a lizard the wife dressed up, as the men insisted so much time must be wasted on the costumes and creating them, it was left to Madonna to point out the obvious -- after asking if any of them have children: The lizard was wearing doll clothes. It was also left to Madonna to state (repeatedly) that they were supposed to be helping these couples.

Whether they do or not is anyone's guess. That's not just because of the ruling the celebs make (which Papa shares with the couple) but because this isn't a court of law. We're not even told if the couple has agreed to abide by the decision of the judges. Not that the decisions are based on anything realistic. Only Madonna remained consistent (including in recommending that every couple shown with an ugly couch get rid of it). We mentioned the couple with the lizard. It was decided that the woman was in the wrong by the men. And Papa (how apropos) is in the middle of explaining the judgment when the wife points out her husband is the one who brought the lizard into the home to begin with causing Larry David to insist he has to change his vote to side with the woman.

Along the way we learned of Larry's continued disgust over his ex-wife leaving him (which actually is a funny story if you know the inside details), Madonna expressing that British men never want to talk about sex and Ricky explaining that when he couldn't get women to allow him to 'sample' their breasts, he sprouted two of his own.

But if this season of The Marriage Ref is remembered for anything, it will most likely be remembered for Madonna's appearance which recast her as human, likable, intelligent and able to tell a joke as well as to laugh at one.

Some may question that assessment. Those who do may not understand The Marriage Ref. It's not a show about helping couples. It's an update, Seinfeld's own plan, of the old celebrity game shows. Translation, the winner will always be the celebrity who uses the program best. Point, the program is diverting fluff.

But it knows what it is and doesn't attempt to hide that reality putting it far, far ahead of Pacifica Radio.

Pacifica exists these days on the propaganda model. If you know anything about the faux left, you know that they never have real answers or solutions, that they exist as a photo negative of the other side. So it's not at all shocking to you that the faux left (on MSNBC, for example) mimics the right-wing echo chamber today. That's what happens when you have no solutions or, for that matter, inherent talents. As Woody Allen's Alvy Singer put it in Annie Hall, "I'm a bigot but for the left." So once Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky defined the way the mainstream media largely worked in 1988's Manufacturing Consent, the shallow minds of the faux left immediately got started working the same model 'for the left.' Here's the model as worked by Pacifica and other faux left outlets:

1) 'Ownership' of air time
2) Medium's funding sources

3) Sourcing

4) Flak
5) Anti-capitalism ideology

We could go through the five step-by-step if we wanted or had the time today to write a book. Instead, we'll focus on "sourcing."

Who provides the information?

Pacifica and other outlets -- such as the laughable FAIR -- like to insist that the MSM refuses to weed their Rolodexes of the sources who get it wrong. "It" being war, the economy, the election outcomes, etc. But Pacifica and others never do their own weeding of those who get it wrong. You can be as wrong a Vera Wang worn with argyle socks and Pacifica will still book you.

Will still book you provided of course that you stick to their talking points. Last Sunday's New York Times featured a full page ad by the ACLU noting how America appears to be experience the third term of George W. Bush. Did you catch the ACLU on Pacifica last week? Did you hear or see Amy Goodman interview anyone from the ACLU about the ad?

Of course not. Of course not. Because one of the talking points you must maintain is that Barack is sent from heaven and you must sing Cole Porter-ish paeans to him, "He's delightful, he's delicious, he's de-lovely."

Which is how you get an A.N.S.W.E.R. spokesperson paying homage to Barry O in order to get a little Pacifica time (KPFA's The Saturday Talkies yesterday). We rolled our eyes as we listened.
How very shameful but how very necessary to get booked on most Pacifica programs.

Norman Solomon and Melissa Harris-Lacewell best exemplify the problems with "sourcing" on the faux left. Norman Solomon has spent how many years hectoring others on the need for disclosure? Yet in 2008, he was selective in his disclosures. He's actually paid by the few newspapers that grab his columns. So early in 2008, he disclosed in a column (for newspapers -- don't confuse it with his online columns that pop up everywhere like astroturf) that he was supporting Barack and would be a delegate to the DNC for Barack. Even after that column appeared (published in only a handful of papers across the country), Norman Solomon could be heard on all the Pacifica stations offering 'analysis' of the primary race which was really attacks on Hillary Clinton and praise for Barack Obama -- he did this without ever disclosing that he was already a delegate to the convention for Barack Obama. He didn't disclose it, the hosts of the Pacifica programs didn't disclose it. Were Lewis Hill (founder of Pacifica) still alive, Norman Solomon would not be brought on any Pacifica station again because that was unethical. Unethical was Melissa Harris-Lacewell's Pacifica appearances in 2008. In 2007, Lie Face began working for Barack Obama's campaign (among her 2007 duties were traveling to California to campaign for Barry O). But in 2008, she was allowed to pose as an independent analysis and to go from program to program trashing Hillary and praising Barack. Neither she nor her hosts (including Amy Goodman when MH-L first appeared on Democracy Now!) ever disclosed that she was working for the campaign.

Neither Norman nor Melissa were held accountable by Panhandle Media. Both are still brought on programs. And it's considered poor form to critique the unethical when they're on the left. Say what you will about Eric Massa but at least he had the decency to step down.

Did someone say "down"?

"Change comes from the bottom up, not the top-down." That's the ridiculous excuse offered for the sorry state of affairs in the United States on faux left media programs. Supposedly that belief existed prior to 2008. And yet, it was never offered as an excuse for any of George W. Bush's actions. When George W. Bush occupied the White House, he could be called out. At least near the end. With Barack in the White House, every day is like September 12, 2001. No strong criticism can be offered and, if you do offer it, your air time will be significantly reduced. For example, neither Chris Hedges nor John Pilger suffer from laryngitis nor have they taken vows of silence.

But if you won't offer warm testimonials to the White House, you won't get Pacifica time. That's how it works. There are a few programmers (such as Bonnie Faulkner of Guns & Butter) who don't play that game but they are few and far between.

"Change comes from the bottom up, not the top-down" was part of the calling out of George W. Bush but now it's repeatedly used as an excuse, a cop-out for Barack Obama.


The Corporatist War Hawk gets one pass after another. Pacifica Radio -- peace radio -- defends a War Hawk. The dreadful Aimee Allison defends Barack for ordering the deaths of Pakistani civilians -- and expresses no sympathy for the dead. And people act as if there's nothing outrageous about that. It's how you get claims, for example, that you're being offered "another in our series of health reform programs" -- but what you actually get is someone muddying up Dennis Kucinich's stance on Barry O's BigGiveAway to Big Pharma and the Insurance Companies.

Pacifica Radio: Radio for the powerful. Radio of diversions and faux issues. Can't call out the current War Hawk in the White House, can't lead a peace movement, can't even really cover one. But will do endless hours on Haiti. Because it's so much easier to focus on Haiti than it is to focus on ongoing wars. It's so much easier for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. It's why so many people are disgusted with Pacifica Radio these days. Instead of making their lot with the left, Pacifica tied their fortunes to the Democratic Party and the reality is that the fortunes of that political party are sinking fast.

The Marriage Ref is fluff, pure fluff. But it doesn't pretend or present as anything else. Pacifica Radio, calling itself "free speech radio" and "peace radio," wants to pretend it's informing the public, "educating" according to their broadcast licenses, but all they do is minimize and clampdown on outrage by offering excuses and praise for Barack. It's a Cult of Personality. It's propaganda and, funnier than any episode of The Marriage Ref, they actually think they're fooling the audience.


In St. Louis Wednesday, Barack Obama yelled, "The Congress owes the American people a final up or down vote on health care reform. The time for talk is over!" What about what the president owes the people? And when is "the time for talk" ever over for Barry O?

We grasp that he wanted to score some easy points by attacking a body that shares his low poll numbers (the Congress), we grasp that. We also grasp that after Scott Brown's Senate election, he publicly claimed he would be focusing on the economy and, if that means the economics of Claire McCaskill's 2012 re-election campaign, he has. But if that meant the US economy, he hasn't.

Barack, Corporate, Tauzin and Baucus

ObamaCare is deeply unpopular. Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen wrote a column last Friday for The Washington Post explaining the potential pitfalls as indicated by the polling. [Disclosure, C.I. has known Caddell for years.] Are they right? Are they wrong? Steve Kornacki (Salon) says they're wrong and backs up his belief . . . via character assassination of Pat Caddell. But what about the arguments Caddell and Schoen are making? Refuting them appears to be beyond Kornacki's abilities. Attacks also come from The Huffington Post repeatedly such as this one passed off as analysis.

"It's really cute the way Arianna's site features these attacks," says C.I., "while forgetting to inform readers that Arianna is not only a friend of Pat's, she's also a subscriber of his political beliefs. It was all part of her makeover into a 'left voice.' They've worked on many projects together."

The faux analysis at The Huffington Post is best demonstrated in this passage:

"The battle for public opinion has been lost," they write. Nothing could be further from the truth. When asked how much they know about the health reform proposal, 40% of respondents in a recent Ipsos/McClatchy poll said "not very much" and 17% said "nothing at all." 32% said they knew "a fair amount," which isn't a lot. When 57% of the public indicates little or no understanding of the bill and another 32% knows they don't fully grasp it, the battle isn't "lost." On the contrary - these numbers show that the battle has barely been fought.


That's a misreading -- a deliberate one -- of what was written. Caddell and Schoen were not stating that the public option was or was not popular with the people. You have to lie or be very stupid to read the following passage and come to that conclusion:
First, the battle for public opinion has been lost. Comprehensive health care has been lost. If it fails, as appears possible, Democrats will face the brunt of the electorate's reaction. If it passes, however, Democrats will face a far greater calamitous reaction at the polls. Wishing, praying or pretending will not change these outcomes.

Americans don't want comprehensive health care! No, that's not what Caddell and Schoen are saying. They're dealing in the political landscape of Congress. In Congress, the public option is dead. In Congress, comprehensive health care is dead. The writer then wants to accuse Caddell and Schoen of "some extreme cherry-picking of the data." That's laughable coming from you, RJ Eskow. If Eskow and Kornacki are offering counter-'analysis' to Caddell and Schoen, we'd offer Caddell and Schoen's argument stands.

Joe Frolik (Cleveland Plain Dealer) offers a look at obstacles outside of Congress, should the bills become legislation:
As Obama struggles to pass a health bill, opponents prepare their next line of attack. The Virginia legislature has passed a law that says citizens of the Commonwealth cannot be required to buy medical insurance, and new Gov. Bob McDonnell says he'll sign. Similar laws have been proposed in 32 states; Arizona votes on a constitutional ban this November. Virginia alone assures that any law with an individual mandate will end up in court, where anything can happen.

Will it get that far? We'll soon find out whether the bills can be passed or not. If it were up to citizens, they majority wouldn't vote for ObamaCare.

And that's due to the fact that what you have now as an option to purchase or not, ObamaCare forces you to purchase. Listen closely, that's Big Insurance singing, "Wait 'till we get our Haynes on you!"


Illustration is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Barack, Corporate, Tauzin and Baucus"

Idiot of the Week: Zogby

It's not as if there's ever a shortage for Idiots of the Week. Or that the competition isn't fierce. But the Zogby polling group won for a survey they mailed out Saturday morning which included the following:

Last month, the President proposed raising taxes on U.S. companies who do business overseas. The higher taxes would significantly increase the operating costs that these companies must pay. This additional burden would make it even harder to compete in the global marketplace against companies based in countries where the taxes are lower and overhead costs like health care are paid for by the government. Would you support or oppose changes to the U.S. tax code that would hurt American companies trying to compete internationally?

Do you catch the problem? They want you to answer yes or not to "Would you support or oppose changes . . ." Yes, I would support or oppose? No, I would not support or oppose? If the purpose of the question was to elict a "Not sure" because yes or no would not answer the question, then well done, James Zogby!

The Worst Woman in the World!!! (Ava and C.I.)

We know US House Representative Lynn Woolsey and we like her. So color us surprised to learn last two weeks or so that she's evil -- pure evil!!!


Noted 'feminist' Jane Hamsher was one of the first to attack Lynn. We consider ourselves lucky to live in a world where someone who's already done a great deal of damage can go on to do further damage in other fields. Jane Hamsher, we salute you. You produced crap movies that were insulting to women and now you produce crap online that insults women. Congratulations, Jane!

Jane outlined Lynn's crimes at The Huffington Post. ObamaCare is a nightmare. We wish Lynn wouldn't support it. But we're not as simplistic as Jane. The charge sheet she offers on Lynn Woolsey has damn little to do with Lynn.

It has a great deal to do with the state of the Progressive Caucus and it has a great deal to do with a member of the Progressive Caucus who has ruled that "Barack will not be embarrassed." That woman's name is not "Lynn Woolsey." That woman, the one Jane should be raging against, is repeatedly presented as a THE progressive in Congress. Were that really the case, she would have been the media focus after Wednesday's Afghanistan War vote and not Patrick Kennedy. But she's not really that progressive. She's really not anything she pretends to be and she better hope no one ever fact checks that bad book she put her name to.

It does not matter who is in charge of the Progressive Caucus in Congress, no one will go up against the She-Monster who has ruled Barack off limits.

Now Jane may want someone else in charge of the caucus (possibly Raul Grijalva whom she appears to feel she has a relationship with) and that's fine and she can advocate for that in any way she wants, even if it means spitting on Lynn if that's how Jane gets her kicks.

But she needs to get her facts straight. The caucus is in disarray and that has nothing to do with Lynn and nothing to do Raul or anyone else who might become the next leader.

But maybe tough talking, bad-ass self-presenting Jane isn't Ripley enough to take on the Queen?

Whatever else her faults, as least Jane can work up genuine rage which puts her miles ahead of Sominex poster boy Tom Hayden. Having used his Brinks Robbery masquerading as a property settlement money to buy a seat at The Nation, Tom-Tom now uses the magazine to launch his attacks and, as everyone well knows, Tom-Tom's not happy unless he's attacking a woman. Possibly he endured too many "Beauty and the Beast" ribs in the 70s and 80s?

So he came out swinging at Lynn last week. Lynn's big 'crime' for Tommy is that she won't endorse his approved token Marci Winograd. The way Tom's going on and on about Marci, he's reminding us of the way he once carried on with a chain-smoking, 'blond' with the Dukakis campaign and we all know how that worked out, now don't we, Tom?

The insufferable bore that is Tom Hayden writes, "During the Iraq war, the congressional Out of Iraq caucus represented a bloc of 70." What? The Iraq War's over? We must have missed the grand homecoming following the departure of all US troops from Iraq.

He goes on to lament the implosion of United for Peace and Justice (while failing to disclose his own conneciton to the organization) and to whine about "the peace constituency has never turned into a permanent, organized, well-funded lobbying force in Washington--except for the brief flare-ups like those of MoveOn in the 2004-06 cycle." What peace constituency? The one you told to blindly vote for Barack Obama during the primaries? And during the general election? And the one you spent months after inauguration making excuses for?

Tom Hayden, you glorious failure, you have done more than anyone else to execute the peace movement. The blood will not wipe off your hands. Now you condemn Lynn Woolsey who actually has stood for peace. And not to sell a book or to dream of the day when she might again be invited on Meet The Press or interviewed by Barbara Walters or walk the red carpet or . . .

Poor, Tom-Tom, those days are long-long gone.

As are the days of anyone taking you seriously.

We think the comment left on your article says it all:


By McGehee, Michael at Mar 10, 2010 20:28 PM

writers like yourself who encouraged people to vote for obama is part of the problem. how was it not predictable beforehand that they would exploit sentiments to get in office and then leave everyone high and dry?

another part of the problem is not recognizing that "other issues" and the peace movement are inter-connected. the economy, healthcare, the environment and gay rights are just as important than ending the wars, and realizing how these are inter-related can bring people together. ignoring this link only aids the alienation, and deriding others for not uniting around your preferred focus is patronizing.

and why will obama and the democrats have to work to bring it back? what about the public? on one hand you seem to recognize the importance of peoples movements but it comes off as only something to facilitate political leaders who should do the acting. am i misunderstanding you? it seems that if your perception is that people should be organized spectators to push people who will predictably not act once in office then youre just encouraging the disillusionment of the organized spectators.

Tom, the people have caught on. Enjoy.

What we saw during and after (Ava and C.I.)

Last Sunday, we attended the Academy Awards and saw a great deal but saw even more the day after when a friend wanted us to see various Tivoed moments. For example, inside the Kodak Theatre, you could feel the animosity towards George Clooney, but from our seats, we couldn't really see that Clooney felt it too. Watching Tivo-ed bits the day after, it was obvious that even he grasped how the entertainment industry was turning their back on him.

That happens quite often, actually. The case most similar to Clooney's is that of John Travolta's. Like Clooney, Travolta shot up the small screen. He also began doing film roles and, when he did Saturday Night Fever, the Academy endorsed him with a Best Actor nomination. Shortly afterwards, the Academy wasn't pleased with anything that followed for many, many years.

At which point the industry turned on Travolta. Possibly, like John, Clooney has the ability for a comeback. (Travolta's turn in 1994's Pulp Fiction restored the industry confidence in Travolta as more than a pretty face.) That seems debatable. Unlike John, Clooney's never really connected on the big screen and the sex appeal is lost as well (or maybe just buried under that bad Ellen DeGeneres 'do he currently sports).

Anything can happen. You never know. But Clooney's had too many bombs and really hasn't lived up to what the industry once predicted for him so chances are he'll be doing the slow fade back to television shortly.

If that happens, he may meet-up with the rest of the Clooney Pack who have also exhausted the industry's patience. Chief among them: Julia Roberts and Matt Damon.

Julia Roberts used to joke that there would be no sequel to Pretty Woman because what would you call it? Still Pretty Woman? Older But Pretty Woman?

Sadly that joke is now her career. In the early 90s, she took a long break from film -- and the industry needed one from her. When she returned to the screens with the hit film The Pelican Brief, everyone appeared willing to stop mentioning the rumors of a bizarre sex life, the hard drug rumors, how she earned the name "Tinkerhell" on the set of Hook. (Temporary) Success wiped it all away. Near the end of that decade, her private affair would become a little too public as would the fact that she really doesn't read scripts despite having a production company and being an actress. She would embarrass herself and everyone else on the set of Something To Talk About with one raging tantrum after another and demands that Kyra Sedgwicke's scenes be cut. But then she reteamed with Richard Gere for Runaway Bride and it restored industry confidence in her leading to her Academy Award for Best Actress three years later.

She said "thank you" by going on to star in one bomb after another (while being a glorified extra in Clooney's first two Oceans). Her bombs included America's Sweethearts, The Mexican, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (with Clooney), Full Frontal, Mona Lisa Smile, Closer, Charlie Wilson's War and Duplicity.

The last time she carriedItalic a film over the $100 million mark was 2000's Erin Brokavich. But there she was on stage last Sunday night, looking awful, her face looking like a wreck, her dress a joke and that hair pulled too far back as she sang the praises of fellow Box Office Poison George Clooney. When Jeff Bridges' name was announced, the applause was as much for Bridges winning a long deserved award as it was for the fact that the industry had turned it's back on Clooney.

Those watching closely saw that message sent when Matt Damon lost the award for Best Supporting Actor early in the show. Matt's the Sly Stallone of the Clooney Pack: An airhead who thinks he has some knowledge and who managed to type out a screenplay that really wasn't all that. (In fact, Good Will Hunting can easily be seen as Rocky Goes To Campus.) Like Stallone, Damon has two franchises. Instead of Rocky and Rambo, they're Oceans and Bourne. As with Stallone frequently swearing off both franchises, don't take Damon at his word when he insists no more Bourne. Without Jason Bourne, Matt Damon has no career.

What he has is a string of flops. When you're asking price is in the millions, you need to be able to fill the seats. When you can't do that, you're overpaid. Outside of his bad Clint Eastwood impersonation as Jason Bourne and playing Clooney's boy in the Oceans, Matt Damon can't deliver an audience -- something he's repeatedly demonstrated in the last decade and something, when the box office figures are released at the end of the day today, he's again demonstrated over the weekend.

In the Kodak Theatre, we were reminded again of why Demi Moore became a star and Molly Ringwald a minor footnote to pop culture. There was Demi presenting, looking incredible and commanding the stage. Contrast that with Molly Ringwald who was sullen, pouty, wearing what appeared to be a bad wig and a 'dress' that left you with the impression that, when she removed it, it would be taken back to Cloth World.

We saw history made as Kathryn Bigelow won Best Director for a full length feature film. And, the next day, we saw the generic response to any trail blazing woman -- a never ending round of "Bash The Bitch."

In their rush to tear apart Bigelow, so many of the women haters (which include women -- such as Amy Goodman -- and is not all male) rushed to prop up Mo'Nique for her offensive acceptance speech.

Apparently mistaking herself for Vanessa Redgrave, Mo'Nique opened with, "I would like to thank the Academy for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics." A number of post-awards commentators did not grasp what she was saying and invested meaning into those remarks. Mo'Nique did not 'play' the party game, she refused to 'campaign' for the award (or said she refused). That's what she was referring to. She went on to thank Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, her attorney, BET, her husband and . . . .

"My Precious family" doesn't cut it. When you've named your attorney, but refuse to name your director (Lee Daniels), refuse to name your screenwriter (Geoffrey S. Fletcher), refuse to name the star (Gabourey Sidibe) of the movie you appeared in?

Sandra Bullock won the Best Actress award and managed to thank not only the people working on the film but also her four other Best Actress nominees. By contrast Mo'Nique appears in a movie that Sidibe carries and can't thank her by name.

The big-post ceremony story was Mo'Nique who was seen as ungrateful onstage and who was a holy terror backstage as she refused to follow the protocol the Academy had in place and as she challenged/sneered at reporters. As one friend over studio production said, "A scar was born . . . and it will be visible for years." It was at the after-parties that we learned of Mo'Nique's sad appearance on Barbara Walters' last Academy Awards special. During her interview, plus-size Mo'Nique revealed that she'd married a (thin) man and given him a career (as the producer of her specials) and also provided him with the opportunity to sleep around. As she explained it, they have an open marriage but she doesn't cheat, she doesn't.

After Mo'Nique the big talk was Clooney's ridiculous hair do (which we had seen) and his sullen expression (which we would see the next day via Tivo) and the death of the Clooney Pack. Or as one agent put it, "The castration of the Clooney Sack."


This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

"I Hate The War" -- a very popular entry (most popular with readers of this site and it's reposted at non-community sites over the web).

"Iraq snapshot" & "Iraq snapshot" -- C.I. reports on two House Veterans Affairs Committee hearings (subcommittee hearings).

"Archer trumps American Dad," "Iraq, Fresh Air, American Dad," "American Dad," "the decline of american dad," "American Dad this season," "Thoughts on American Dad," "American Dad: No; Archer: Yes," "Cleveland killed American Dad for me," "American Dad" and "American Dad, Supreme Court" -- Community theme posts.

"Bully Boy Finds New Ways To Invade Our Privacy" -- Isaiah reaches into the archives for the destruction of privacy.

"Easy Soup in the Kitchen" -- Jim likes this recipe and if he can fix it, anyone can.

"New Adventures of Old Christine" -- Betty weighs in on her favorite TV show.

"prom grinches" "Prom?" -- Rebecca and Ruth take on the destruction of a prom due to homophobia.

"Under God?" -- Marcia on a phrase she can do without.

"The Owl & The Pussycat" and "Men Don't Leave is a great film" -- Stan's movie posts. And, FYI, Stan was rushing on this Friday's movie post and covering a film he just got from Netflix. This isn't the Barbra Streisand film he planned to write about. He'll grab that one this Friday.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "War Hawk Youth Mentor" -- Isaiah's latest.

"Star Jones The Sequel" -- Betty's too true post.

"The pile on never ends" -- Elaine on the sexists.

"Oh how they work to cover . . . up" & "THIS JUST IN! PRESS LOVE! PRESS LIES!" -- A whole lot of whoring going on -- Cedric and Wally call it out.

"The Give Away, The Green Zone" -- Mike on health care and the bad movie.

"THIS JUST IN! WE GO TO THE MOVIES!" & "Movies" -- Wally and Cedric take on the same bad movie.

Did we really forget Ann last Sunday? Yes. And that includes Ann who co-writes this feature. As a result, we'll note all of her posts last week.
And if we forgot anyone today, we're just tired and trying to get done. Long writing edition. Little accomplished. As proof of that, Ava and C.I. have dashed off two pieces in addition to their TV commentary. As one piece after another bit the dust, we had little to offer. So thanks to them for stepping up to the plate and then some.
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