Sunday, April 03, 2011

TV: Extreme Makeover (Horror Edition)

Oh, how we hate 'reality' programming. Last week we caught multiple installments of Extreme Makeover: Horror Edition.


Barack Obama kicked things off on Monday with a speech, ten days after he started the Libyan War, attempting to explain his actions. The big takeaway was that the ridicule over "Let me be clear . . ." led it to be stricken from his usual bag of tricks.

"Let me be clear" is a phrase that's almost become one of Barry's tics. He generally cannot get through a speech without saying it at least once. But the March 18th speech led to laughter in DC as he employed "let me be clear" yet again but the Beltway dinner circuit pointed out it should have been "let me be redudandt." Clarity is not repeating the same thing, clarity is expanding and explaining. As various rats swam back to the White House to explain, with horror, that the myth of "genius" Barack was developing cracks, a decision was made to strike his overly used (and overly misused) phrase.

Which is why, on Monday, we instead got Barack stating "to be blunt." We'll be blunt, even flanked by eight US flags on stage, he didn't look presidential. That was in part because of the bad rinse they'd put on his hair. When will they ever learn how much gray to leave? It also had to do with him wearing more face powder than a clown at a children's birthday party.

Mainly it had to do with his poor delivery. "On the outskirts of the city" wouldn't seem like a difficult phrase for the tongue but he lost his volume, steadyness and breath control on "outskirts." Then came his major stumble, "We knew [long pause] that if we wanted -- if we waited one more day . . ." He was reading from teleprompters. It shouldn't have been that difficult.

Nor should his hand gestures have been so effete. But they were. Throughout the speech, his hands motions took place below the chest -- how dainty -- and usually involved closing off the hands, not pointing. For example, when he should have pointed (from the chest and above), he would touch his fingers to his thumb and gesture with what now appeared to be a claw and not a hand. He frequently placed his left hand on top of his right as though attending a tea party. It was eight minutes in before he became comfortable raising the hand to pec level but he was still pressing his index finger into his thumb.

"I want to be clear," he declared over ten minutes into his speech, leaving many to wonder why he hadn't wanted to be clear from the start? A little clarity would have gone a long way.

Instead, the president provided the country with the following summary:

Then we took a series of swift steps in a matter of days to answer Qaddafi's aggression. We froze more than $33 billion of Qaddafi’s regime's assets. Joining with other nations at the United Nations Security Council, we broadened our sanctions, imposed an arms embargo, and enabled Qaddafi and those around him to be held accountable for their crimes. I made it clear that Qaddafi had lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to lead, and I said that he needed to step down from power.

In the face of the world's condemnation, Qaddafi chose to escalate his attacks, launching a military campaign against the Libyan people. Innocent people were targeted for killing. Hospitals and ambulances were attacked. Journalists were arrested, sexually assaulted, and killed. Supplies of food and fuel were choked off. Water for hundreds of thousands of people in Misurata was shut off. Cities and towns were shelled, mosques were destroyed, and apartment buildings reduced to rubble. Military jets and helicopter gunships were unleashed upon people who had no means to defend themselves against assaults from the air.

So, according to Barack, the US began taking steps against the Libyan leader and Barack "said that he needed to step down from power" and, in response to that, surprise, surprise, Ghadaffi dug in, responded to what Barack was doing? That's the way Barack's narrative portrays it. And while we don't support the Libyan War, it bears noting that Barack's narrative reveals that war supporters should be asking why the US left so many holes in their original plan that Ghaddafi was able to push through?

In addition, since when does any government have the right to take action because a leader has allegedly "lost the confidence of his people and the legitimacy to lead"? That's based on what? A PEW poll? A Gallup? Goodness, consider Barack's polling numbers last week, we sure hope not, otherwise France may soon be flying war jets over America.

Having failed to convincingly make a case in his prime time speech, the next day Barack went flying to New York to tape interviews with all three of the Big Three evening newscasts. The big revelation there? Don't make a drinking game out of how many times Barack says "uh" -- unless you want to die from alcohol poisioning. For example, speaking to Diane Sawyer on ABC's World News Tonight, four "uh"s in 38 seconds around the discussion of munitions being supplied to 'rebels.' That's a lot of shots to slam.

It was even more difficult to watch Diane trivialize the interview by turning it to the topic of college basketball. Is that a transition? The Libyan War to basketball? Well this is Diane, who attempted to publicly shame Natalie Maines for her comment that she was ashamed George W. Bush was from Texas. Where there are wars to be sold, you will always find the whores.

Asked about the vetting of the so-called 'rebels' by Erica Hill, on the CBS Evening News, Barack insisted that the 'rebels' had been vetted. He made that false claim on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller (Washington Post) were reporting, "The Obama administration has sent teams of CIA operatives into Libya in a rush to gather intelligence on the identities and capabilities of rebel forces opposed to Libyan Leader Moammar Gaddafi, according to U.S. officials."

Insisting the day before that the 'rebels' had been vetted, Barack continued on the CBS Evening News, "Most of them are professionals: lawyers, doctors, uh-uh, people who appear to be credible." These are his fighters? To us, it sounded like he was talking about the self-described 'creative class' who were ignorant enough to support and whore for him in 2008. Those wimpy little boys and self-hating little girls? If only we were lucky enough to pack them all off to Libya. Does Barack truly think those arm-chair warriors have it in them to lead a revolution because, as demonstrated with their whoring for ObamaCare and their refusal to demand universal, single-payer health care, that group was defanged, declawed and deboned (specifically, the spine).

Hill did a straight-forward news interview with no attempts at cutesy as did Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News (see Wednesday's "Iraq snapshot" for more on the big three broadcasts) but what might be most interesting is how unpopular all three interviews were. This was most true at MSNBC where the forty most popular videos from Nightly News do not include the interview with Barack. He's beat out not only by dogs (one rescued in Japan, the other "on a hot tin roof") but, how fitting, even by a story on Richard Nixon.

And if Barack was ineffectual in all three interviews (and he was), at least he demonstrated Michelle Obama was correct about his stinky feet by wearing a pair of dirty socks on national TV -- as camera work on all three networks noted.

Wednesday the horror was The Ed Show which is, of course, redundant. Squeezed into a suit so tight it looked like a sausage casing, Big Ed demonstrated that all the fat wasn't in his head. "Look, I am a liberal, I am a progressive," the allegedly 'former' Republican, still anti-choice Ed Shultz insisted on his MSNBC show. "That means we need to stand behind people who want freedom. This isn't Bush talk."

Ed went off on a rant about how "the president" has spoken: "That's all as an American I need to hear! Let's get it done! [. . .] Hell no! This is about freedom!" He shouted so loudly, you'd think the Grandy's server had just told him there was only a salad buffet today.

"I believe those people that I have seen on these reports from our network, NBC, they deserve a fighting chance," Sgt. Schultz insisted -- apparently unaware that the clip he'd shown of Libyan 'rebels' was from ITN (Independent Television Network), not NBC.

Reaching back to his Reagan roots, Sgt. Schultz began insisting these were not "rebels," they were "freedom fighters." For those not in the know, Ronald Reagan's administration was forever tarred as a result of his (criminal) funding of 'freedom fighters' -- the contras -- illegally funding them, against an established government in Nicaragua. Crazy Ed painted the "rebels" as "that young kid." You sort of got an image of sweaty Ed moaning as he rubbed one out for the 'rebels.'

Sgt. Schultz brought out Jeremy Scahill and the comedy never stopped. Some will make the mistake of defending Jeremy thinking, 'He's on our side.' Forget Horror Makeover, Jeremy's part of the Whore Makeover. No one whored for Barack more than Jeremy. He was taken in completely by Samantha Power -- so much so that a friend at the top of the Obama 2008 campaign laughed last week that Power didn't have him eating out of the palm of her hand, "she had him eating out of the crotch of her panties." (Don't like the word choice? Take it up with Barack, these are the men he surrounded himself with.)

Jerry Scahill whored big time. He whored to knock Hillary out of the race. We covered this throughout 2008 and we're not going to spoonfeed. If you're late to the damn party, it's your own damn fault. We'll provide one and only one example: Jeremy writes a piece at The Nation demanding that candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama swear that, if elected president, they will not use contractors in Iraq. Hillary makes the promise. Barack refuses to. Jerry does a follow up. Anyone with integrity would of course have favorable words for the Clinton campaign. Instead, Scahill, at The Nation, made it a point to question her decision -- "Why now?" -- while refusing to call out Barack's. Not only did he scribble, he went around promoting his (bad) article. Our favorite televised appearance? When he talked about how it took "days" for him to get someone from the Obama campaign willing to go on the record thereby demonstrating he doesn't know the first thing about journalism. When someone goes on the record, you print their name.

Jerry never did. We outed her at The Common Ills and here: Samantha Power. That was Jerry's big 'in' in the Obama campaign. She was bragging to the campaign about how she was "neutralizing" Jerry and Amy Goodman was gushing on air at WBAI (during a pledge drive) about how she and Jerry had just, on that day's show, interviewed the future Secretary of State -- oops, Amy corrected herself, the possible future Secretary of State. Whores corrupt so easily.

If you wonder where War Hawk Power got her temporary credentials from the left, it was from Jerry and Goody.

So it was hilarious to watch Jerry -- who'd vouched for Barack against Hillary at Winter Soldier repeatedly to the Real News Network (which only aired a small portion of his actual remarks -- we were present, we saw the crap flow from his mouth) -- and Sgt. Schultz do battle.

Jerry noted that the US was taking sides in a civil war (true) and Big Ed insisted that America needed "to do justice on a man" (Ghaddafi, false -- unless we're sending Big Ed over there -- we'll support that).

Then came the best moment, the most enjoyable, as the two began fighting loudly after Big Ed demonstrated on air that he needs a hearing aid.

Jerry Scahill: [. . .] you don't know that, you don't know that. I take President Obama's word for it.

Ed Shultz: My president?

Jeremy Scahill: -- you know what President Obama, who's word you've taken --

Ed Shultz: My president? My president Obama?

Jeremy Scahill: -- he didn't --

Ed Shultz: My president Obama?

Jeremy Scahill: -- who's word you've taken --

Ed Shultz: Is he your President Obama, too?

Jeremy Scahill: -- you've taken, I said --

Ed Shultz: Jeremy, is he your President Obama too? Wait a minute now! You're not going to be at the water's edge! Is he your president too?

Jeremy Scahill: Of course he is. I'm an American!

That last line? We want to make it our ring tone. How hilarious. Big Ed and Jerry both embarrassing themselves. Jerry being forced to waive the flag -- Dan Rather-style -- while under attack from Big Ed. What a little loser. Moments like that are the reason we almost believe the rumors of whiny little messages Jerry left for Samantha after she stopped returning his calls.

Jeremy wanted Barack in the White House. Jeremy got what he wanted. He (and others) had to act unethically to install the Christ-child but they pulled it off. Now they're unhappy.

Thursday Jerry wanted to suckle on Mommy's breast (Barack's cock no longer so tasty?) so he went running to Democracy Now! where he was paired up with Joshua Foust and discussed Libya and Yemen with Foust and hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. The pull quote? "If Gaddafi emerges from this still in power, what does that say about Obama's -- President Obama's credibility, having gone so far as to say that he has to fall? I think there's a lot of reactionary policy making going on here that in the end could prove dangerous for Libyans and for the United States."

That's Jeremy speaking, but for all four that was the big concern.

Libyans who might die? They were never mentioned. The Libyans who have died in the US air strikes? They were also invisible. But what, oh heavens, might happen to "President Obama's credibility"? The so-called "war and peace report" by Amy Goodman who always laments that the MSM never focuses on where and on whom the bombs land had all the time in the world for everything but those who are dying as a result of the US-led air war.

That's quite an ugly makeover.

One of the most bizarre makeovers took place on Friday and involved the weak-minded Ari Berman. Berman wrote a piece for The Nation which attempts to take the heat off Barack by painting Jim Messina as the bad guy. (Barack knew what he was getting and that's why Messina was brought in. But Cinderella wanna-bes like Berman can never blame their frog princes.) In the two-page (online) article, Berman waits until the third to last paragraph to include this: "Even as Messina jet-sets around the country, huddling with big donors, will the campaign cultivate the small donors and grassroots activists who powered and shaped the ‘08 Obama campaign?"

They did no such thing. That was a lie populated by the campaign and one disproven quickly by The New York Times.

Making the myth of the 'small donors' a fleeting reference at the end of an article may be part of
The Nation may getting a little more honest. (Also see Tom Hayden's piece on War Hawk Samantha Power from last week.) Or it just might be that they realize the Real Media has repeatedly debunked the claim that small donors fueled Barack's campaign. On Democracy Now!, the lies live on. And that's why you had Ari insisting, "Well, if you look at the Obama campaign in 2008, what made it interesting was the fact that they raised all this money from small donors. Now, obviously they raised a lot of money from large donors, but they also raised a very significant amount from small donors."

Will the lying ever stop?

November 24, 2008, the issue should have been settled. That's when the Campaign Finance Institute issued there "REALITY CHECK: Obama Received About the Same Precentage from Small Donors in 2008 as Bush in 2004." There was one-percent difference between the two. In 2004, small donors made up 25% of Bush's contributors while in 2008 26% of Barack's contributors were small donors. It was a lie. It was all a lie.

Even now, the lies never end with this crowd. Take Alexander Cockburn. In his latest garbage ("Battling the Beast" -- no link to trash) at CounterPunch, he writes, "Everything is out of proportion. Qaddafi is scarcely the acme of monstrosity conjured up by Obama or Mrs. Clinton or Sarkozy." It's his way of demonstrating that although he has one foot in the grave, he can still be a little bitch.

"Mrs. Clinton" is his snide way of dismissing Hillary. You can search in vain for any reference by him at CounterPunch to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell as "Mr. Powell." As with Condi Rice, Cockburn might have been billed with "Secretary of State" before his name but Cockburn never wrote a piece billing him as "Mr. Powell" or Condi as "Ms. Rice" or "Miss Rice." Nor in the latest column are Obama or Sarkozy ever "Mr. Obama" or "Mr. Sarkozy."

Lexie, you may remember, bloviated about the lack of standards online in a piece attacking Truth Out for publishing Jason Leopold and Lexi Cock Burn only hopped off his high horse when it was pointed out that CounterPunch had also been publishing Leopold. Yes, he's always good for an (uninentional) laugh.

In his latest free association ramble, Cock Burn blathers on, "There was plenty of evidence available in 2008, much of it amassed by CounterPunch, allowing conscientious enquirers to conclude that Obama was very bad news, in the pockets of the banks and big corporations. How about the words 'dumb' and 'credulous', right next to 'idealism and passion'? " The biggest liars are always the two-bit whores. Alexander and CounterPunch did nothing but trash Hillary Clinton in every way imaginable. One of the people he brought in to trash Hillary went so far that the person can no longer find work -- and, prior to 2008, this person was publishable. But the loony tunes conspiracy crackpot s**t that the person published at CounterPunch ensured that no one wanted to touch that person's writing.

Having cleared the Democratic field for Barack, Alexander Cockburn needs to take accountability and quit pretending as though he's the voice of truth. Put him on the same list Glen Ford's keeping with Amiri Baraka and Bill Fletcher.

We've never argued that a President Hillary Clinton would have done this or done that because we don't know what she would have done. Those who savaged her and savaged count-every-vote (and other concepts that Democrats are supposed to believe in) ensured that we would never know.

One thing many of us did know and do know, if Hillary had gone to the White House, the left wouldn't have bent over backwards trying to justify a backstabbing White House. (See Adolph Reed Jr.'s piece on the two Dem candidates from The Progressive.) As evidenced by the fact that a Cockburn is still more comfortable calling out Secretary of State Clinton for a war that President Obama started, we know for damn sure that, had she made it to the White House, Hillary would have been held accountable.

Barack will never be. That was the message from last week. Jerry Scahill's heart-on-hand testifying that he was an American and Barack was his president shows you just how weak the so-called 'left' is, how easily intimidated, how easily shut up. Ed Shultz shows you another makeover: War Opponent into War Hawk. (Ed was always a War Hawk, he just pretended otherwise when Bush was in office.) Alexander Cockburn and the others who cleared the field for Barack Obama now want to make themselves over into wise sages that were never taken in. And Obama?

barack the starlet

Barack tried repeatedly last week to make himself over from a president who didn't think things through to one of convictions; however, the moment last week that truly captured him was on ABC World News Tonight, when Diane brought up Kentucky and he closed his eyes and threw his head back in his best wanna-be-Charlie's Angel, starlet style.
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