Sunday, May 30, 2010

Truest statement of the week

I think we had an anti-Bush movement. I've been, like you said, still working really hard in the movement, in the peace movement, in the anti-war movement and in the alternative political movement, even when we have a new president. And it is really, really hard to organize. It's really hard to get people out in the streets anymore. There's such a lack of -- uhm -- intellectual honesty, I think, when it comes to this. A lack of integrity. And so my whole -- my whole focus since Obama's come to power is to get us back to the realities of US policies and not personality. And I started to actually try that when George Bush was still president because I ran for Congress against Nancy Pelosi. She's supposedly the most liberal member of Congress from the most liberal district -- which, of course, are also two myths. She's not -- well it depends upon how you define liberal. But you know, she's a politician, she's a centrist and the Democrats in San Francisco are centrists too. So I started to try and pull people away from partisan politics to humanistic politics and it's just been very difficult. And so now these same people who fifteen, sixteen, eighteen months ago were saying "Well we have to support Obama because he's the peace candidate and he's better than McCain" are starting to say, "Oh, geez, I guess we better start organizing something because he really is fulfilling his promises." And not only is he increasing in Afghanistan, he hasn't fulfilled his promises for the withdrawal from Iraq and we have a nuclear option on the table still for Iran.

-- Peace Mom Cindy Sheehan speaking with Matthew Rothschild on last week's Progressive Radio.

Truest statement of the week II

This is not a timetable, a binding timetable. It really asks the president to give us a flexible vision, a timetable of when he would intend for this to be over. And the senator from Michigan [Senator Carl Levin] tries to reassure us that the president has announced a start date for us to get out of Afghanistan. Well that doesn't really work because how do you feel the people in that area of the world would be reassured if we're only going to start withdrawing the troops in July of 2011? You can take one troop out. That starts it. That's not a vision of when we intend to complete it. The senator suggests that somehow this sends the wrong message in the region. Well actually the wrong message is that we intend to be there forever. We don't intend to be there forever. But you know what? After nine years, people start wondering. Nine years. Nine years. With no vision of when we might depart. In fact, I think the absolute worst message in the region is an open-ended commitment. The worst thing we can do is not give some sense to the people of that region, to the American people and to our troops that there is some end to this thing. And all we ask in this amendment is some vision from the president about when he thinks we might complete this task. So when this amendment is properly characterized. It is actually a way to help us make sure that the Taliban and al Qaeda and others do not win the hearts and the minds of the Afghan people -- because they need to be reassured that we intend to make sure that their country comes back to them and that we will not occupy it indefinitely.

-- Senator Russ Feingold on the Senate floor Thursday during the passage of yet another war supplemental. Senator Russ Feingold

A note to our readers

Hey --

Along with Dallas, the following helped 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,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

We thank them all and we thank you for reading. Dona, Ty and Jim are off this week due to the holiday. We are late today due to personal issues (one involving a death, the other involving all three of us -- Jess, Ava and C.I. -- throwing up a great deal of this morning). Except for the TV piece, all of this could have posted by six a.m. EST. All features were completed and, Ava, "C.I. and I tried to push forward with the TV article but we were really throwing up by then and just didn't have the focus, sorry."

So what did we get?

Cindy Sheehan offering some harsh truths that are sorely needed.

Russ Feingold. Kat, in the roundtable, makes clear that she's not impressed with the words of members of Congress anymore. We agree to a degree. We're also aware (as is she) that the Senate had little time for debate or discussion during this vote so the rest of us voted for Russ.

The editorial. We thank everyone for this. Stan deserves special praise for this because when it wasn't working, he brought in the McClatchy quote we open with. He'd highlighted the story at his site and thought it would make the perfect opening for the editorial. We thank him. Betty, Kat and Jess worked hard finding news posting and breaking this morning and we thank them. We thank everyone and that especially includes Rebecca who cries over this disaster. We're not joking. It makes her sick, it makes her cry. We appreciate the time she put in on this editorial with us despite the topic.

Jess: This is Ava and C.I.'s piece and already it's getting reactions in the e-mails. I read three e-mails including one with a headline expressing outrage. How dare, the e-mail proclaims, two feminists refer to a vagina as a hole. First off, Grace Slick called an album Manhole. Second, they're not referring to a vagina but how interesting that your hetro-centric mind went there. They're referring to an anus and they can get more specific if need be. Why do you think they have Barack insisting it's none of the children's business? Don't forget, Ava and C.I. have spoken to Barack's parents friends, Barack's friends, Barack's ex-lovers, go on down the list. They know where all the bodies are buried and the corpses' preferred positions. This, as Jim would note, is a hilarious commentary.

Ava and C.I.: Big thank you to Ann for this. She would have taken the weekend off were it not for this feature. When NPR friends passed on Alicia Shepard's insistance that "one month" surveyed hardly established a pattern -- too lazy to do your own work, Licia? -- we knew we'd have to follow this up. We did. Terry, as the headline notes, still hates women. So where's the NPR ombudsperson? (Cowering in the shadows as always.)

This was a good roundtable and we all think Ava did a good job moderating. For the record, Jess has moderated before and would be happy to do it again but Ava never got a chance to moderate here and Jess decided this week she should grab it. This is our Iraq feature. We could have done more on Iraq. We had visuals for another story but no time to write it -- we might do it next week. We also wanted to do a Dan Choi story and didn't have time for that either. Thank you to everyone participating.
A reader prepares to deploy to Iraq -- no, that war is not over. She's a big fan of our magazine survey pieces so, when possible, we try to include them. This edition we offered political magazines . . . .
And we offered musical magazines.

Mike, Elaine, Stan, Rebecca, Ruth, Betty, Kat, Cedric and Ann wrote this. The group decided they'd go with the usual byline. (Which includes some who took the week off.) That's their business and we thank them for the article.

And that's what we managed this week. We'll see you next week.


-- Jess, Ava and C.I.

Editorial: Gulf Oil Disaster might last through August


The pelican was shaking, covered in oil, waiting to die and not alone. It was surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of its species, brown pelicans roosting on a small island in the shallows of the Gulf of Mexico amid an ecological disaster.

That's from Joseph Goodman's "Jindal sounding alarm as oil bypasses booms in Louisiana" (McClatchy Newspapers) and it does more to capture the Gulf Oil Disaster than any of Barack Obama's nonsense served up on Thursday. (Ava and C.I. cover the press conference here.) This is a crime scene and, Thursday, Barack admitted it was his responsibility, "The American people should know that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort."

He also insisted that British Petroleum were the "experts." Some experts. Everything they've attempted has failed. As Mark Sappenfield (Christian Science Monitor) reports today:

Following the "top hat," the siphon, and "top kill" will be LMRP, the lower marine riser package. The goal of LMRP, like the "top hat" containment dome and the siphon, will be to capture as much leaking oil as possible -- not to stop the well.

Like the White House, BP has no clue what it's doing. And America, the world, can't afford to wait while they try to figure it out. Tim Padgett (Time magazine) reports on some of the environmental damage while Steve Hargreaves (CNN Money) reports on some of the economic damage. It is a disaster and, yes, as we said last week (see "Editorial: Where's the leadership?"), it is a crime scene. Today, Reuters quotes US House Rep Ed Markey stating, "I think without question if the word criminal should be used in terms of an environmental crime against our country, that what's going on in the Gulf of Mexico is going to qualify." So why is BP still being allowed to control the crime scene? Barack said it was 'expertise' but nothing BP has done has worked thus far.

Here's a screen shot from last night of what's currently going on.

oil spill

Does it remind you of anything?

Possibly it reminds you of NASA which should have you wondering why NASA wasn't put in charge of this long ago?

If you're not grasping why it's time for BP to step aside, grasp this from David S. Hilzenrath and Matt DeLong (Washington Post), "As BP prepared to implement another fallback plan to contain the worst oil spill in U.S. history, Obama administration and BP officials said crude could continue flowing into the Gulf of Mexico until August."

Barack thinks this shows leadership?

This is a crime scene and its time the kid gloves came off and all the weak asses (Robert Redford, that means you) refusing to stand up and call this crime out found the guts and the courage to stand up for the only planet we have to live on -- and stand up before the destruction goes any further.

There are no more passes, the earth doesn't have another pass to spare. It is time the people -- including people from other countries -- began demanding the White House gets off its lazy ass and takes action.

TV: The Visitor

Friends with V were none too pleased with our recent review and were especially offended by our conclusion, "This version of V is sort of like the 'intelligent design' version of science fiction." They lodged complaints, they demanded that we make time to take another look, mainly they pouted. We'd intended to ignore them -- the way you would any willful child -- but then last Thursday we caught a special broadcast.


"Good afternoon, everybody," declared the man sounding a lot like Dr. Nick on The Simpsons and looking a great deal like Barack Obama, Catty Bitch and President of the United States.

Listening to his lurching delivery, it was as though he was attempting 35 mph while still in first gear. To save you all motion sickness, we'll leave out all the stammers and uh-uh-uh and start-stop nature of his speaking.

"The American people should know," he said in that school marmish way he has about him, "that from the moment this disaster began, the federal government has been in charge of the response effort."


It was typical of the press to let that one slide.

What was Barack Obama doing when the Gulf Disaster started?

Does anyone remember?

No, not "Date Night."

He was doing "Date Weekend."

And, no, His Royal Candy Ass did not stop the date weekend to address the problem. He walked around some woods trying to look normal and held hands with She-Hulk trying to look lovey-dovey and did everything a gay man in a lavender marriage might do but a president? No, he didn't have that act down at all.

Thursday, Barack continued, "As far as I’m concerned, BP is responsible for this horrific disaster, and we will hold them fully accountable on behalf of the United States as well as the people and communities victimized by this tragedy. We will demand that they pay every dime they owe for the damage they've done and the painful losses that they've caused. And we will continue to take full advantage of the unique technology and expertise they have to help stop this leak."

It was one howler after another as he spoke. Both for his Mr. Roboto delivery and for the actual words. The US government is going "to take full advantage of the . . . expertise" BP has?


They're the ones who caused the disaster.

That's like letting the drive-by shooter oversea the operation to remove the bullet.

"But make no mistake," Barack said alluding to a Barbra Streisand and Kim Carnes duet, "BP is operating at our direction. Every key decision and action they take must be approved by us in advance." Wait. What? Didn't he just say British Petroleum was the expert?

It only got more confusing.

"As we devise strategies to try and stop this leak, we're also relying on the brightest minds and most advanced technology in the world. We're relying on a team of scientists and engineers from our own national laboratories and from many other nations -– a team led by our Energy Secretary and Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Stephen Chu. And we're relying on experts who've actually dealt with oil spills from across the globe, though none this challenging."

Then why doesn't he put those people in charge?

In response to a question by the Associated Press' Jennifer Loven, Barack replied, "The day that the rig collapsed and fell to the bottom of the ocean, I had my team in the Oval Office that first day. Those who think that we were either slow on our response or lacked urgency don't know the facts. This has been our highest priority since this crisis occurred."

And she let him get away with that.

The Gulf Disaster began April 20th. And he was where on April 23rd and 24th? Asheville, North Carolina.

Use the links. He golfed, he hiked, he played basketball, got free beer, bbq, you name it. Was bitchy to a seven-year-old girl. Again, use the links.

This is how he responds to a national disaster?

The American people who voted for him? Were they electing him president or were they attempting to save his marriage? If a marriage and the presidency is too much for him, he better consider either divorce or tendering his resignation.

Like Ronald Reagan, he slammed the federal government with little digs, "What is true is that when it comes to stopping the leak down below, the federal government does not possess superior technology to BP." Excuse us, but NASA should have been put in charge. There are many, many scientists working for the federal government and, yes, they know a great deal more than BP's paltry 'science' crew.

McClatchy Newspapers' Steve Thomma appeared to be one of the few reporters who wore a thinking cap to the press conference:

On April 21st, Admiral [Thad] Allen tells us the government started dispatching equipment rapidly to the Gulf, and you just said on day one you recognized the enormity of this situation. Yet here we are 39, 40 days later, you’re still having to rush more equipment, more boom. There are still areas of the coast unprotected. Why is it taking so long? And did you really act from day one for a worst-case scenario?

Another was CBS News' Chip Reid.

Chip Reid: First of all, Elizabeth Birnbaum resigned today. Did she resign? Was she fired? Was she forced out? And if so, why? And should other heads roll as we go on here?

[. . .]

Barack OBama: Now, with respect to Ms. Birnbaum, I found out about her resignation today. Ken Salazar has been in testimony throughout the day, so I don't know the circumstances in which this occurred.

While attempting to present himself as in-charge and hands-on, he doesn't even know the fate of Birnbaum?

One New York Times reporter saw the huge problem with that.

Jackie Calmes: And I'm also curious as to how it is that you didn’t know about Ms. Birnbaum's resignation/firing before --

Barack Obama: Well, you're assuming it was a firing. If it was a resignation, then she would have submitted a letter to Mr. Salazar this morning, at a time when I had a whole bunch of other stuff going on.

Jackie Calmes: So you rule out that she was fired?

Barack Obama: Come on, Jackie, I don't know. I'm telling you the -- I found out about it this morning, so I don't yet know the circumstances, and Ken Salazar has been in testimony on the Hill.

The whine in his petulant voice really had to be heard to be believed but listen to the nonsense he offers. Whatever happened, the alleged leader insists, took place "at a time when I had a whole bunch of other stuff going on." And apparently, since then, no one could pass on "She was fired" or "She quit" except Salazar. If he's not lying, this is a sign of how dysfunctional the executive branch has become.

It was not a reassuring moment as Sharyl Attkisson (CBS News) observed, "Elizabeth Birnbaum's departure was first reported as a 'firing.' Later, a 'resignation.' When asked for clarity, President Obama told the press corps today he had no idea." And if you're not getting how bad it was, grasp that Judith Miller (yes, that Judith Miller) at Fox News could safely mock him:

If this oil spill has had such burning priority for him and his administration, why didn’t he know whether Elizabeth Birnbaum, his hapless head of the Minerals Management Service, a virtual arm of BP and the oil sector, had resigned or been fired? There was a "whole bunch of other stuff going on," Mr. Obama said, unconvincingly. Indeed. There was the fund-raiser he attended across the country for Barbara Boxer. There were those "must do" photo ops with sports teams, not to mention an interview on the White House basketball court with TNT's Marv Albert.

The performance left much lacking, it failed to demonstrate leadership and, aside from establishing that, yes, the federal government was responsible for overseeing the operation (suck on it, Jeff McMahon), it offered little information and little reassurance.

At one point Barack attempted to hide behind his daughter. Now we're not sure whether Malia is the older one or the one who looks like a Mini-Me version of Wanda Sykes. We try not to think about them because allegedly they need their privacy. Allegedly? Their parents are the ones who keep bringing them up. Barack declared Thursday, "When I woke this morning and I'm shaving and Malia knocks on my bathroom door and she peeks in her head and she says, 'Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?'"

The only real response to that is, "What your parents do in bed is none of your business, young lady!"

Oh, sorry, were we supposed to take that fairy tale seriously?

As anyone with any behavioral psychology background could tell you examining that statement, it's a falsehood and that's why the verb tense changes repeatedly in that single sentence ("woke," "shaving," "knocks"). In other words, he didn't just try to hide behind his daughter, he lied about her. The Visitor still hasn't grasped how we expect business to be conducted on planet earth.

Terry Gross Still Hates Women (Ava, C.I. and Ann)

May 2nd, the three of us wrote "Terry Gross Hates Women (Ava, C.I. and Ann)." Monday's Memorial Day which most likely means Terry's Fresh Air (NPR) will be a repeat leaving us with 20 one-hour episodes broadcast Monday through Friday on NPR (we're ignoring her weekend 'best of' -- though maybe we shouldn't?).

Terry Gross

First the good news. After calling the self-loathing woman out for her lack of women in April, she nearly doubled her output this month. Now the bad news. She only had 5 living women as guests in April. In May she offered 8. Men made up 73.33% of all of her guests for May -- living men. We're not counting her 'remembrances' in this total. How did women come out better in May?

Largely because Terry booked them two-at-a-time. The Ling sisters, for example, and a team of female reporters allowed her to reach 7 and a woman who wrote a book with a man allowed her to reach 8. Please don't think women were given more air time in May because they weren't, she just doubled up on them. Who got the most time? Priest, smutty comics and prohibition would lead the list. And those would be male guests. No one, male or female, received forty minutes or more segments this month. 37 minutes and higher were, however, popular numbers. The two reporters (female) covering police corruption received 38 minutes and 10 seconds. Which put them behind the priest, the South Park boys, and the man discussing adoption.

For a change this month, women were largely guests speaking of big issues and -- with the exception of one singer and the Ling sisters -- were not on to talk about themselves. Even so, it was amazing how men were still experts on every subject while women basically had to own a story exclusively (the police corruption, Gretchen Morgenson's financial reporting for The New York Times) to be considered an expert.

May 3rd Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman were guests for a 38 minutes and 10 second segment about police and May 4th was Gretchen Morgenson (NYT) to discuss Goldman Sachs for 34 minutes and 47 seconds. May 5th the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David spoke for 27 minutes and 27 seconds and authors Randy Frost (male) and Gail Steketee (female) spoke for 17 minutes and 39 seconds, May 6th, Howard Fischer to talk about immigration (women don't know nothing 'bout no immigration, Miss Terry) and David Rohde (NYT) to talk about terrorism in Time Square, May 7th Sharon Jones and Gabriel Roth talked about their music for 27 minutes and 50 seconds and 25-year-old LeBron James discussing his memoir for 12 minutes and 29 seconds, May 10th Daniel Okrent discusses the pressing issue of prohibition for 37 minutes and 15 seconds, May 11th Spency Ackerman discussed what other reporters do for 37 minutes and five seconds, May 12th Doug Glanville spoke for 20 minutes and 29 seconds followed by Rodrigo Garcia for 25 minutes and 16 seconds, May 13 John Seabrook talked about international adoption for 38 minutes and 41 seconds (because only men know about children), May 14th Woody Harrelson was interviewed explaining how a movie goes to DVD (just joking, but he was interviewed -- for 19 minutes and 36 seconds), May 17th Peter Gleick talked about water (because only men drink it) for 20 minutes and 13 seconds, May 18th Scott Shane talked terrorism (37 minutes and 54 seconds -- hey, once upon a time Jane Mayer was considered an expert on this subject), May 19th Lisa and Laura Ling spoke (38 minutes) about Laura's detention in North Korea, May 20th Priest Gregory Boyle spoke for 39 minutes and 55 seconds, May 24th she interviewed Howard Gordon for 30 minutes and 26 seconds, May 25th John Powers reported on the Cannes film festival (28 minutes and 59 seconds) and Amy Schatz, May 26th Walton Goggins spoke for 34 minutes, May 27th Billie Joe Armstrong spoke for 36 minutes and 36 seconds, May 28th Trey Stone and Matt Parker spoke for 39 minutes and 28 seconds.

And that was the guest line up. Replay? Lynn Redgrave remembered from a 1986 interview (9 minutes and 46 seconds played) on May 4th, May 14th Lena Horne was remembered via a 1980s interview with her daughter for 21 minutes and 40 something seconds, May 17th Hank Jones was remembered with an interview from 2005 (25 minutes and 30 seconds), May 21st she remembered Law & Order (two males played, one female) and May 21st she remembered Artie Shaw with a 1985 interview (14 minutes and 58 seconds). Law & Order gets a link because it was the entire program except for a review. (Other ones are already linked to.) What did we learn?

We learned that Lena Horne, for example, had to just die (she passed away this month) to be remembered. Artie Shaw? Silly us, we thought he died in 2004. Lena Horne, please note, was news. But she was also a woman which is why Terry Gross provided her with far less time than she did the cancelled TV show or Hank Jones.

What of reviews?

Did Terry and her posse suddenly develop an interest in women?


May 3rd Maureen Corrigan reviewed a book by a man (Alan Brinkley) about a man (Henry Luce), May 7th David Edelstein reviewed Iron Man 2, May 10th John Powers reviewed the DVD release of a seventies BBC TV show, May 7th Ed Ward celebrated musical failure and spousal abuser Jimmy Donley, May 13th Kevin Whitehead weighed in on Chick Corea's old recording being put into a boxed set, May 14th David Edelstein reviewed Rodrigo Garcia's new film, May 18th Ken Tucker reviewed the band the Mynabirds, May 19th Maureen Corrigan reviewed a book by Dominique Browning, May 20th Kevin Whitehead reviewed Anat Cohen (woman), May 21st David Edelstein reviewed A Different Man Emerges After An 'Oath' Of Jihad, May 24th David Bianculli reviewed Lost and Lloyd Schwartz reviewed the work of Pierre Boulez, May 26th Ken Tucker reviewed Tracey Thorn's new album and Maureen Corrigan reviewed Jane Smiley's new book, May 27th Ed Ward continued his male corpse worship by noting Louis Ortega, and May 28th David Edelstein reviewed Sex And The City 2. The worst offender of all of them remains Ed Ward who seems to scrape every sewer in his search for a man who never made it as an artist but came in first place when it came to beating up his wife. Well done, Ed.

When we published our earlier feature weeks ago, NPR friends relayed by a 'critique' by Alicia Shepard. "It's one month," she supposedly sniffed. "You can't tell anything by one month." No, Shepard, it's how Terry runs her show, it's how she's always done it. We've made this criticism over the imbalance for over four years now. It was only at the start of this month that we documented one month in a feature. (And one of us, Ann, documents it each day at her site.) Alicia Shepard is said to be too scared to call out Terry.

You read that right. We're told Shepard is okay screaming "sexism!" at men (the men of Morning Edition and All Things Considered, for example) but she's scared to take on Terry. She's scared of a lot of things and a frightened ombudsperson is not an effective one. Next week, we'll tell you about the real gender imbalance on a show Alicia Shepard supposedly already weighed in on. She deliberately avoided the issue so you know we won't.


Ava: This is a news roundtable and I'm moderating -- Ava of The Third Estate Sunday Review along with Jess; 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; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Did I forget anyone? Speak up if I did. There are a number of people who are off this week, which is more than fine. At this site, it's Jess, C.I. and myself this week while Dona, Jim and Ty take off. This is a rush transcript and I remind everyone to please speak slowly. With me moderating, C.I.'s taking the notes all by herself. Generally we take notes together and when one's hand is cramped, we nod to the other and take a break. We had planned for Jess to moderate but he pointed out he'd done it before but I never had. So expect plenty of mistakes and be sure to point them out to us at our e-mail address Betty's kid did the illustration.


Ava (Con't): I'm going to kick things off with one topic. Arizona's law. The e-mails are coming in constantly more or less saying "Why won't you call those racists in Arizona out?" First of all, C.I. and I have marched in every immigration rights rally we've known of. Those are the big ones and the not so big ones. Our views on this issue are very clear. My feelings are open borders are the best. But I'm also aware if the borders were completely open, the US would be overrun -- any country would be. The people of Arizona are a border state. If you're not a southern border state, maybe it's really not your business to mount a high horse? When Iowa and Wisonsin have the Latino population of Arizona, Texas, California, etc., maybe then they should be allowed to offer 'expertise.' There are adjustments taking place in those states that other states have no idea -- can have no idea -- what it's like. In most cases, Anglos will have no say because it will just be the majority population deciding. It is an adjustment period and all the Anglos at Socialist Worker and all the crap farms need to shut the f**k up. People are not racist just because you say they are. They may have legitimate concerns, they may have laughable concerns but they are their concerns and they will work them out with the Latino populations in their states and neither side needs some uppity Anglos from Chicago tarring one side as racist. It doesn't help, it only feeds hostility, to scream "racist" oever and over. Sharon Smith, for example, we don't need you, we didn't ask for you. My people will get along just fine without you. The Anglos will also get along just fine without you.

Betty: The thing that irritates you the most, Ava, about the coverage from US Socialist Worker or any other outlet?

Ava: The mind reading that everyone must be a racist. I'm sick of it. There are a number of Latinos in Arizona who support that law. They're racist too? No. And I find it insulting and cheap that we're talking about race when Latino is ethnicity. Latino is not a race. I'm sick of this constant need to scream racism instead of ever addressing a problem. I'm sick of it. If we just scream racism then we never have to learn to form arguments and make the case for our side. I'm sick of the lazy minded on the left, they are destroying us as much as Barack is. If we're ever going to be able to take on the right we're going to need to offer something more than, "Nah, nah, you're wrong because you're a racist!" Thanks for asking, Betty. We've mainly kept this dialogue in El Spirito because it's the community newsletter which focuses on Latino issues. Due to the e-mails to this site, I've addressed it here. Ruth and Mike, you two wanted to talk about the Joe Sestak issue.

Ruth: Yes, Joe Sestak ran against incumbent Senator Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania's Democratic Party primary. Mr. Sestak won the race and he will now be the Democratic Party nominee for the US Senate this November. Neither Mike nor I are calling into question Mr. Sestak's ability to govern. We think he has been forthright with the public throughout. But the same can not be said for the White House. Mr. Sestak was offered a job by the White House early on if he would drop out of the primary. He refused the offer. We, Mike and I, do not agree with, for example, Bob Somerby that this is a minor issue. It is a big issue. I will pass to Mike.

Mike: It is a big issue, as Ruth was saying and if you doubt that, look at the lengths to which Barack went to cover it up. And also notice that he had to do it in secret to begin with. This is supposed to be Mr. Open. Mr. Glasnost himself. And he's doing the usual behind the scenes bribes. I'm sick of it. It's not a minor issue, he attempted to interfere in an election and -- yet again -- he did so to keep a centrist to right-wing Democrat in power. That would be Arlen Specter. Barack has repeatedly done that, he has repeatedly sided with the right-wing and the centrists. It is a pattern with him. He needs to stop interfering in elections and, with the Sestak issue, the White House may have broken the law. It is not a minor issue.

Ava: No one participating will be voting in that race so let's move over to Connecticut for a second. Ruth, you're endorsing Richard Blumenthal for the Senate, correct?

Ruth: Right. And I was going to stay out of it or maybe vote Green but then The New York Times decided to do a hatchet job on Mr. Blumenthal. Here Bob Somerby's done a solid job demonstrating that Mr. Blumenthal does not have a pattern of mistating his service. In something like 15 years, the paper only found one concrete example with two others that were questionable. That is ridiculous. They have tarred and feathered him and I am so sick of The New York Times sticking their nose into everyone else's business to begin with. It truly amazes me that this is the paper that praised a crooked administration, their previous mayor, and praised his cronies when most of them have been revealed -- by other outlets -- to be crooks. It would appear that The New York Times needs to stop sniffing around my state and focus on the issues in their own city.

Ava: Okay, thank you, Ruth. We're moving on to the topic of Iraq and this will most likely be our "Iraq piece" for the edition. Monday is Memorial Day. Another one while the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to drag on with no end in sight. What are some thoughts on -- Kat, I know you'll have some -- on Congress at this point?

Kat: Let me start, they're inept and they're never going to end a war. Give me on Mike Gravel in Congress and the wars would be ended. This group? Really? They're inept and they don't care about anything except their own re-elections and which committees they'll sit on. The wars are not ending. We've been promised that they would over and over. They didn't end under a Democratically controlled Congress and they're not ending under a Democratically controlled White House and Congress. The Democrats rode the anger over and revulsion towards the Iraq War into office in 2006 and they've not done a damn thing to end them.

Ava: Before we move on to someone else, you were present Thursday for the floor debate -- C.I., Kat, Wally and I were all present -- on the war supplemental in the Senate. What did you think of Russ Feingold?

Kat: Words. I applaud them. But where's the action behind them? I'm not going to grade on a curve. Congress has failed, every single one of them.

Ava: Okay, anyone else?

Rebecca: What bothers me is this attitude that we can hit the snooze button. Russ Feingold, whom I like a lot more than Kat does, is almost as bad as that idiot Barbara Lee. Both believed, as evidenced by public remarks, that the Iraq War and the Afghanistan War needed to end. Both believed that before Barack came to office. But once he was sworn in they both took the attitude of 'let's give him some time.' For what? The wars are wrong, you know that, you've said that, there's no reason to give anyone time. Afghanis don't have the time, Iraqis don't have the time. I really don't care if Candy Ass Obama gets the time to be tutored or not.

Stan: I agree with Rebecca and with Kat. And this idea that because Bush was out and Barack was in we should hit that snooze button and reset the clock, that's nonsense. It was all the more reason to put the pressure on Barack to end these illegal wars. C.I., what's the number?

C.I.: 171?

Stan: Thank you. 171 US service members have died in Iraq since Barack was sworn in. Barbara Lee, you gave Barack time, you gave those 171 service members a death sentence. Shame on you. I loathe Barbara Lee these days.

Mike: 171 have died since Barack was sworn in. I hope everyone's grasping that. 171. That's appalling.

Ava: Jess just started to speak. I'm asking him to stop and I'm grabbing a note pad. Jess is going to ask C.I. a few question about Iraq and I'm taking notes. Give me one second. Okay.

Jess: As Mike and Stan are noting, 171 deaths. What do we have to show for it?

C.I.: Not a damn thing. In 2006, it took four months after the elections before a prime minister could be selected. We're basically one week away from three months. That's it? Either it's going to take at least four months or they'll shave one month off. That's the progress 171 American lives bought? Iraq's government or 'government' has still not gotten it together. Forget the elections for a moment, Nouri can't even keep a functioning and fully staffed cabinet. For Baghdad, to protect it, they're going to be putting up more walls around the city and, in some spots, a moat. That was Nouri's great 'plan' in 2006. Four years later, it'll be implemented. There is no progress. There's no basic services, there's nothing. The only thing that has taken place since Barack was sworn in is that US troops have been on the ground to keep Nouri's government or 'government' in place. It still can't stand its own.

Jess: How much of that is Chris Hill's fault? The US Ambassador to Iraq?

C.I.: Chris Hill was supposed to be using the carrot and hinting of the stick. He did nothing. He still doesn't fully grasp how Iraq works -- after all this time, he still doesn't grasp it. He largely kept to himself and attempted to delegate work. The Kurds were the first not to trust him but they weren't the last. Sunnis don't trust him and one Shi'ite response is Nouri's which is Hill doesn't matter and you can blow him off. But, to be clear, Chris Hill couldn't have saved Iraq. That was beyond the abilities of anyone in his position. That said, it is very difficult for me to think of anyone who could have made things as bad as Hill did.

Elaine: I am speaking very slowly while I assume that C.I. is taking over the note taking. Last week, Amnesty International issued their "The State of the World's Human Rights" report and I want to read in this on Iraq: "Government forces and armed political groups continued to commit gross human rights abuses, although the overall level of violence was lower than in previous years. Thousands of civilians were killed or seriously injured in suicide and other bomb attacks by armed political groups. The government and the US-led Multinational Force (MNF) continued to hold thousands of uncharged detainees on security grounds, some after several years, but released thousands of others. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees by Iraqi forces, including prison guards, remained rife and were carried out with impunity. At least
1,100 prisoners were reported to be under sentence of death, many following unfair trials. The government disclosed no information about executions, but at least 120 were reported and it appeared that some were carried out in secret. At least 1.5 million people were still internally displaced within Iraq and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis were refugees abroad. New human rights violations were reported in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region where conditions generally were much better than in the rest of Iraq." I don't see the progress, where's the progress. 171 people died that were in Iraq on Barack Obama's orders. They're dead now. And there's nothing to show for it. And for all the space he's been given by the Congress, he has no plan. He has no new plan. He is doing what Bush did and, excuse me, I thought part of the counting the days until Bush was out of office was about the universal rejection of Bush ways.

Jess: But to have had or maintained that -- and, Elaine, I agree with you completely, you know that -- but to have had or maintained that would have required that those against the wars demonstrated vigilance and what we saw instead was fat assed Naomi Klein trashing people she described as "radicals" who didn't want to celebrate the 'victory' she did when Barack was sworn in.

Cedric: Can I jump in too? Fat assed Naomi's starting to look like Orca the Killer Whale and good, may she choke to death on all the food she's slamming down. Big Butt was always insisting that the peace movement was not supposed to be led around by the Democratic Party but there she was doing just that and going around inventing her 'Black fantasies.' Someone needs to tell that White bitch, we can speak for our own damn selves, we don't need her spying on a few of us and then explaining the 'meaning.' The presumpitous attitude of that White bitch. She could have spoken for herself but that wasn't enough she wanted to say what was on the mind of Black men -- and I find that very telling as well, her focus on Black men and silence on Black women -- and she 'knew' what we were thinking by observing us from across the street? That White bitch needs to shut the f**k up. She does not speak for the Black male, we had no special election in which we decided, "Naomi Klein -- this Canadian -- is the voice of the Black man in the United States." She's exactly what Marcia would call a White Mama.

Betty: Marcia would actually call her a Honky Bitch and since she's not here, I'll call her that. I don't know what's worse? The sexualization of the Black male by women like Naomi Klein or the silence on the Black women? I'm going with the sexualization because I actually think we -- Black women -- are better off not having Naomi's 'help' and 'focus.' And where does that Canadian woman get off butting into our elections in the first place? She wanted to 'enjoy' the victory? Well I damn well guess she did having sat on her fat ass and done nothing in her own country of choice to remove the ruling conservative party from power.

Ann: Naomi Klein wanted to have a victory party while Iraqis were still suffering and Afghans were still suffering and Barack had begun his predator drone program of killing Pakistani civilians. None of that mattered as much as one Honky Bitch's desire to prove she was down with the Black bruthers. Naomi, you're nothing but a White bitch reeking of entitlement including the fact that you think you can peer into the Black man's mind and tell the whole world what he was thinking. How simple minded does she think the Black man is that she doesn't even need to speak to him to 'just know' what he was thinking? And how simple minded is she -- this supposed author of books -- that she reduces every power conflict to White-bad and Black-good. You get the feeling her head must spin like Linda Blair's when confronted with any of the ongoing violence in, for example, the Congo.

Betty: Amen. And her little need for a 'party'? It's no different than Poppy Bush golfing during Gulf One. Come on, you fat ass fool, no one said it would be easy, if they did they lied to you. Fighting empire is a full time job and little Mall Rats like Naomi Klein are simply not up to the task. And for those who are late to the party -- and many may be because, outside of C.I., I can't think anyone that called Naomi out in real time -- what she did was so destructive. Long after the inauguration, she tells that racist tale and is using it still as her excuse for doing nothing, this fat ass who wanted to be elevated to leadership. This fat ass is, by statements and by attitude, encouraging the left to wallow. There was never a reason or excuse to drop the ball or go on vacation but there's Naomi urging further inactivity.

Elaine: It was appalling and so was her racist view that no one called her outside of this community. But, in terms of Iraq, I think it needs to be remembered that No Logo did not bring her acclaim. No Logo's was a child's book to the publishing world. It was not considered a serious work, it wasn't even considered a good first effort. She followed that up with those lazy columns. That collection did not rock the world. It was her Harper's essay on Iraq that finally elevated Naomi to a level of prominence and respect. She expanded on that in her clip-job book -- credit free, of course -- and for someone who went from being seen as an airhead to an intellectual on the back of the Iraq War to dismiss it as she has? I am so damn sick of the walk aways. They knew who they are. And as one after the other goes under -- some on their own, some with the help of more than karma -- I can't help but laugh at them. To profit from the illegal war, to enrich your coffers and name, and then walk away from it? That's disgusting, as disgusting as KBR. And I hear their pleas for money today and just laugh at them. Whores, that's all they are, begging for money so they can devote time to anything but Iraq. This is an exact replay of the post-Vietnam period in the seventies; however, please note, 'independent' media waited until after US troops were out of Vietnam to drop it like a hot potato then.

Mike: Well -- before I go further, Rebecca, Ava and C.I. are you giving any money to so-called independent media?

Ava: I'm not, they're not worth it. I give to charities my mother and aunts give to and to charities that C.I., Elaine or Rebecca recommend.

Rebecca: I'll jump in so Ava can take down C.I.'s comments in a minute. No. No. And no. There was a time when I would be tempted by Robert Parry. His pleas for 'funding' seem to come in near weekly these days. But he doesn't do a damn thing worth saving. He went bat s**t nuts in 2008 as he attacked Hillary and the man now sounds like a raving lunatic. We're paying for what? His musings? Please, he's not a reporter. He's a bad columnist. We've mainly focused -- this year -- on feminist causes and children's issues. And that's where the focus should be, if you ask me. But Ava, C.I. or Elaine call me, or I'll call them, and we'll get a money bomb going to some worthy cause. Ensuring that millionaire Amy Goodman get a few more bucks? Not a worthy cause. C.I.?

C.I.: I've always focused a large amount of charity work on children's issues -- especially on special-needs children. I've also always focused on feminist causes. So that's what I do now. I have no money to give to the whores of Panhandle Media. Elaine would scream at me if I did. And everything she said in the seventies and that she repeated this decade on how they use you and use your money and do nothing with it but try to set themselves up as the new George Will, for example, is accurate. They don't want to change the world, they just want to get seated at the main table. I give to UNICEF and the International Red Cross and organizations that really make a difference. At one point, Pacifica stood to get a huge chunk of change when I died but I've changed my will. If the Democratic Party can't fund and feed their own whores, that's really not my problem.

Mike: Okay. I just wanted to be sure before I went into this. Where the hell is Iraq? I've been talking to C.I. about this and if you read any of the so-called left print publications, where the hell is it? C.I. pointed out you can often find it in the photo section in the monthly issue of The Progressive. Otherwise, where is it? In These Times? No time for the wars. The Nation? Bad writing wanted, serious topics need not apply. ISR? Oh my God. We cover that crap-fest this issue in another article and I can't believe how embarrassing that magazine has become. "Going to where the silences are," chants Amy Goodman as she rushes to cover the same thing the MSM is.

Ava: Mike, you and I are basically the same age. And for people our age who are against the illegal war, the Iraq War is really all we've known. I don't think that can be stressed enough.

Mike: Right. For me, and I'm just a little younger than Ava and Jess, the war broke out when I was in high school. It's seven years of my life and counting. And so -- and so -- and I think this is Ava's point -- and so for people my age, we do notice the coverage, the lack of coverage. We do get it, that the interest of the media has moved on while the war continues. That's why we have so little faith in All Things Media Big and Small.

Jess: Right. Right. Exactly. Because we still had some idealism, we still had some hopes. And we heard all these whores claim that the Iraq War mattered and that it had to be ended and we believed them. And we've seen them walk away from it. They wrote their book or they did their documentary and they walked away. They used Iraq to make money and we saw it. And the disillusionment we feel? Elaine talks about the seventies and how so-called 'independent' media sold the country out and got on board with the corporatist Jimmy Carter -- who was not a man of peace or a man of the people -- and when she talks about that and how that media betrayed everything it stood for, there's real anger in her voice. And it's something that people who grew up with this illegal war can understand because we've seen the exact same hypocrisy on the part of Panhandle Media.

Kat: I talked about the breakdown in Congress and let me just tie this in, when no one in the media's demanding action on ending the Iraq War, you better believe Congress isn't going to make their big issue. The media makes it an issue? Congress panics and thinks it must be on the minds of millions.

Ava: Okay, I think everyone's spoken but I want to toss to Ruth who hasn't spoken on Iraq and see if she has any thoughts before we conclude. Ruth?

Ruth: I am going to go generational, talking 'bout my generation, as the Who once sang. The French were getting out or were out of Vietnam when I started college and the US was just beginning to flirt with it. I was in college, I got a degree, I got a husband, I got children and, all through that, the war dragged on. And we swore never again but it did happen again. And I hear these liars like Medea Benjamin proclaim "No War On Iran" or whatever. They can't stop the next war now, they can't even stop the current war. They can't even focus on it. I'm disgusted with them and I am glad that in my limited speaking -- Fridays I join Ava, C.I., Kat and Wally to speak to college and high school groups -- the students are aware that the likes of Medea Benjamin and Tom Hayden and others sold out the peace movement. That is really all that gives me hope. I am so sad that so young they had to learn how much hypocrisy exists on our side but I am so glad that they have absorbed the lesson and have no desire to listen to those liars ever again.

Ava: I'm reminded of Joni Mitchell's "The Circle Game," the last verse: "So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty/ Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true/ There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams, and plenty/ Before the last revolving year is through." This is a rush transcript, Dallas has hunted down all of links and we thank him for that. Our e-mail address is

Those wacky political rags

"Readers welcome!" Washington Monthly pretends to proclaim with the cover notice of "Special Spring Book Issue." But thumbing quickly through the May/June issue, you note you have to go way in the back of the magazine and the "book issue" consists of less than ten. The whole thing appears to exist so that Ed Kilgore could beat off to David Remnick's literotica The Bridge. Well even centrists need to get their rocks off, right?


Sadly, the rest of us are left with nothing. There's some hissing at conservatives ("Partisan Hacks") for attempting investigative journalism and then, a few fur balls later, "Can The Free Market Save The Space Program?" Does anyone wonder how this Washington Monthly article will turn out? Nine (long) pages later, Charles Homas is saying not just "HELL YES!" but also that the "free market" needs US tax dollars tossed to it. That's really not a "free market," now is it?

And Extra! really isn't a magazine. Does even Highlights try to sell 16 'page' issues (that's counting the cover material -- ads and all -- as four pages)? They certainly wouldn't attempt to do so at $4,95. What's on the tiny minds of FAIR's transcript publication? Peter Hart and Steve Rendall flaunt their tiny penises while admitting to Tea Party envy. Boys, put it back in your pants. Please. Peter Hart knew Barack was full of s**t in 2007 but stayed silent and thinks that makes him less of a whore than Stever. Please, Petey, the two of you stand beneath the same streetlamp.

Whores but never journalists, the two pretend they can't understand why the Tea Party might be news in a media landscape that insists it's an Obama-thon nonstop, a Barack-in eternally. Real journalists know that the discordant note will always be news. Whores? They know to get the money upfront. Keep pitching during those pledge drives, Petey and Stevie. Julie Hollar flirts with Whore status in an article about the lack of lesbians and gays featured in the January and February TV media coverage of a possible repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Flirts with? Rachel Maddow did a s**t poor job. Hollar feels the need to pad that out by noting that, in 2009, Maddow did . . . You're covering the repeal coverage in the first two months of the year. Stop trying to cheat the scale.

From the weak to the weaker, The New Republic. The June 10, 2010 issue tries to turn Barry iconic with a cover illustration that's supposed to harken back to a Saturday Review cover during the JFK era. Page one let's you know it's their special fairy tale edition. That's where the editors insist that Elana Kagan deserves your support because she's a liberal. Right. And Nancy Reagan was a virgin when she married Ronnie (and those rumors about her excelling at blow jobs. . .). Kenneth J. Theisen and a host of others would beg to differ but that's the thing about fairy tales, they don't have to make sense.

Continue the slide into the ridiculous, Foreign Policy. Robert Paarlberg contributes "Attention Whole Food Shoppers" which wants to argue that "organic" (aka the way civilization grew vegetables for centuries) actually can't feed the world's hungry. "Wherever the rural poor have gained access to improved roads, modern seeds, less expensive fertilizer, electrical power, and better schools and clinics, their productivity and their income have increased." Genetically modified seeds and crops are the answer sayeth Frankenweenie Paarlberg. Yes, people are paid to write this crap -- usually by corporations.

And then there's ISR. Which can usually be depended upon to say something worth hearing. Instead it's a bulls**t issue for bulls**t readers. ISR exists to cover domestic politics within the US and attempt to build connections to the Socialist movement worldwide. More and more, it can't even build connections in the US. The editor's note makes the why of that clear as ObamaCare is discussed:

On the one hand, it must still be said that the bill is a bad one overall, in the sense that it reinforces the private system, though it managed a few provisions that are an improvement over the previous setup. On the other hand, the passage of the bills against unanimous and vitriolic Republican opposition has stopped the GOP momentum and forced the "tea party" right wing onto the defensive.

First of all, no, it hasn't. They live in a dream world (where Daddy Howie Zinn still tucks them in at night -- from the grave). Second of all, the bill has ensured that single-payer will not happen in the next forty years. That's nothing to be proud of. Third of all, the passage of the bills required leadership and Barack to silence dissent and blackmail Democrats into support. How is that ever a good thing? Finally, since when the hell is ISR supposed to be applauding weak-ass Dems to begin with?

Answer, they're not. ISR's new motto: Written by Whores and intended for Whores.

Musical rags survey

Once upon a time, "Random Notes," Rolling Stone's celebrity gossip column (which, yes, indeed, did once put bold face God as they'd do any other celebrity) was the fluff. These days it qualifies as their hard reading. Or maybe it's just that gossip has infected every other article? Their "Q&A" feature has never been known as "hard hitting" but did exist to at least give a few "shout-outs" from time to time. Failed eighties musician Bret Michaels went into the hospital recently (we don't know the details and don't need to know them) and survived which leads to "Q&A&Whineathon." Rolling Stone readers (there must be at least two left) didn't need it.

Which pretty much sums up the entire June 10, 2010 issue featuring Russell Brand on the cover in heavy lip gloss sans shirt but on an even more lame note, features, on page 8, "Please, Mr. President" by Jann S. Wenner who's apparently decided to take his sub enjoyments out of the bedroom and bleed 'em all over the page.


Outside of who gets first shot at the free doughnuts, there's no issue that matters more to Jann than the environment so it's embarrassing to read his sniveling eight paragraphs as the Gulf Disaster continues.
* "the president has failed to take the kind of urgent action demanded by the crisis" * "this is an opportunity" * "there is still time"

Wah, wah, wah.
Pack it in I heard you did! Pack it in Was it hard to fold a hand you knew could win
-- "The Midway," written by Joni Mitchell, Clouds

Yes, all the celebs he once skewered now have a hearty laugh at Jann.

"GOOD MUSIC WILL PREVAIL" proclaims Filter on the cover of their 40th issue (featuring cover artists Broken Social Scene). Filter's a lot like the Bikini magazine but with more of an emphasis on music. This issue's "Neil Young's Greendale" by Cliff Chiang sports more inspiration than anything Rolling Stone's stumbled upon in three decades.

Paste's April/May issue attempts to cover a wide range of music including a fave of this site, Anais Mitchell on page 38. Mitchell's new album is Hadestown. And they feature actual music reviews -- so much so you picture Jann crying out, "Forgive me Ralph Gleason! Forgive me!"

Moving over to Uncut, you find Kate Bush on the cover -- yes, Virginia, women can be cover subjects. In the cover story, you learn why various musicians love Kate and you learn which of her works she's proudest of (Hounds of Love) and why, "In some ways it was the best and I was the happiest I'd been compared to making other albums. I had time to breathe and work creatively." Neil Spencer contributes a four page article (photos by Yui Mok) on the Who which finds Daltrey yet again making noises of packing it in (this time pinned to Pete Townsend's hearing: "If carrying on is going to mean Pete going deaf, let's stop now -- nothing is worth that!"). Reality is provided by manager Bill Curbishley, "Bullocks! It's been the last Who performance ever since I've been with them."

Q digs deep into the past to feature cover "boy" Paul McCartney. The British magazine continues its obsession with peering across the Atlantic as it runs down the ten election songs and six of them are US campaigns (eight of them are non-UK campaigns). They do a far better job with a four page feature on Noel Gallagher, formerly of Oasis, and his (then upcoming) Royal Albert Hall performances. They then run down the "20 Druggiest Albums Ever." Top ten?

10) Guns 'N Roses' Appetite For Destruction
9) Alice in Chains' Dirt
8) Dr. Dre's The Chronic
7) Oasis' Be Here Now
6) Beatles' Revolver
5) Spacemen 3's The Perfect Prescription
4) The Velvet Underground and Nico's The Velvet Underground and Nico
3) The Rolling Stones' Exile On Main St.
2) Sly & The Family Stone's There's A Riot Goin' On
1) Happy Mondays' Yes Please!

The issue features 26 pages on McCartney including the "20 Greatest Paul McCartney Songs" as picked by various fools. Fools? Billie Joe Armstrong picks "What You're Doing." And from there, it's pretty much straight down hill. Chris Martin selects McCartney's rip off of Graham Nash's "Better Days" ("Live And Let Die"). By the time you get done with the twenty, you notice no one picked "Let It Be" let alone "Get Back." We can't think of anything more shocking except maybe Richard Ashcroft attempting yet another comeback without The Verve.

So we travel back to the US and encounter Scott Weiland on the cover of Spin. A woman with half his public problems would be seen as a train wreck. Scott's seen as 'tortured.' Stephen Elliott offers: "Given the seemingly endless turmoil that surrounds Weiland, it is slightly shocking that the new self-titled, self-produced STP [Stone Temple Pilots] album isn't just good, but that it exists at all." Graded on a curve yet again? And demonstrating how hopeless behind the times they (and Spin) remain, Elliott drags old relic Danny Goldberg out of the mosh pit in order to vouch for STP's conintued 'relevance.'

If you were only going to read one of the magazines? Go with Filter, it's offering both journalism and poetry. Avoid at all costs? Rolling Stone which continues to be the drunken uncle at the wedding party trying to talk music with a group of fourteen-year-olds.


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" -- Most requested highlight by readers of this site.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Faith-based leadership" -- Isaiah's latest comic.

"Armchitka in the Kitchen," "No Secrets Carly promised and delivered," "Chain Reaction,"
"david saw, the whole enchilada," "When I've got trouble even opening a honey jar," "The doctrine continues," "Wicked Ways (Ben Taylor)," "Nine," "Graham Nash's Songs For Beginners" and "You're Boyfriend's A Really Nice Guy" -- Music theme post and Stan goes for a musical to fit Friday's theme.

"He tries so hard to be pretty" and "THIS JUST IN! DO THEY LOVE HIM AGAIN!" -- Never forget, it must always be out Barry.

"The economy," "The unconvincing press conference," "Liars get exposed," "Neal Conan's an idiot and a f**king liar,"

"Bully Boy George" -- Isaiah dips into the archive for this 2006 comic and the story behind it.

"As Joni said, 'I wish I had a river I could skate away on,'" "The ego on him," "suck on it, bob redford," "Will the crime be prosecuted?," "Good for Olympia Snowe," "Lisa Jackson: This is the best the administration can do" and "The birds are dying" -- Gulf coverage.

"Lunch from hell" & "THIS JUST IN! IT WAS A REALLY BAD LUNCH!" -- Cedric and Wally on what happens when Barry goes lunching with Republicans.

"Lynne Stewart" and "Lynne Stewart" -- Ruth offering the latest on Lynne.

And Ann's continued Fresh Air coverage:


"Don't trust 'em"
"Terry finds a woman (briefly) then loses her"
"the disaster continues"
"Lynne Stewart"
"Why NPR?"
"Who got paid off?"
"The Good Wife, V"
"Carville calls it"
"24, Chuck"
"The Guardian hires street walkers and provides them pens"

"Don't trust 'em"
"Terry finds a woman (briefly) then loses her"
"the disaster continues"
"Lynne Stewart"
"Why NPR?"
"Who got paid off?"
"The Good Wife, V"
"Carville calls it"
"24, Chuck"
"The Guardian hires street walkers and provides them pens"
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