Sunday, October 07, 2012


Jim: Iraq, the elections, Libya, TV and so much more.  It's roundtable time.   Our e-mail address is Participating our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim (Con't): Let's kick things off with the presidential election.   Last week, we did various roundtables and Dona moderated "Campaign roundtable" and noted they'd run out of time before they could really discuss Jill Stein's campaign.  Jill Stein is the Green Party presidential candidate.  So let's start with Dr. Jill and then move to the debate last Wednesday.  Ann and Jess are Greens, they're supporting Jill Stein.  Everyone participating in this roundtable is except for Ava and C.I. who have announced that they don't intend to vote in the presidential election.  If they change their mind, they say they'll note it.  But Ann and Jess, why don't you kick things off on Dr. Stein.

Ann: It's October 7th and the Stein campaign hasn't updated their website since October 3rd.  I find that disturbing.  Jess and I were talking earlier and both agreed we'd note disturbances.  You're a third party candidate and the election is about four weeks away.  You need to be updating daily and you certainly cannot afford to go four days without  updating.  Gary Johnson is also a third party candidate, the presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party.  If you go to his website, not only do you find out he's raised a half-million dollars, you also see that he last updated Friday, October 5th.  It's one thing to take the weekend off -- which I don't think is ever smart for a third party candidate -- it's another to allow four days to pass with nothing new from your campaign.  I also notice that the campaign no longer allows people to leave comments like they did last month.  So there's nothing new and there's not even new comments you can read.  I'd say that's ridiculous.

Jess: Yeah and on the disturbing and ridiculous, they've got something on the main page that shouldn't have made it there to begin with.  Maybe if they'd updated throughout the week it would be gone.

Jim: It is?

Jess: About a bunch of stupid little bitches who took part in a protest against Mitt Romney in Boston.  They dressed up as chickens.  Their point was that Romney was too scared to debate.  Let's work in Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The So-Called Presidential Debate" right now. 

the so-called debates3

Jess (Con't):   You'll note that Isaiah makes fun of Mitt Romney for being scared also.  But, hey, look, he also makes fun of Barack for the same thing.    Yeah, it's both of them.

C.I.: Actually, it is Barack.  But go on.

Jess: I'd agree with that too.  But the point is if you're going to protest, for example, the NFL tomorrow, you don't go stalk the New England Patriots.  They are number two, as of last year's superbowl.  You go with the biggest and the baddest, the New York Giants, who won the Superbowl last year.  If you only protest the Patriots to protest the NFL, you look like a little bitch.  If you're stupid enough to wear costumes nd your men and you  have women in cheesecake poses, the only real word for you is one we can't use here so I'll just repeat: bitches.  You don't look strong, you look incredibly pathetic.  And by posting that crap, Jill Stein's campaign looks incredibly pathetic.

Ann: I would agree.

Jim: C.I., you don't usually jump in but you did on that.  You want to expand on it?

C.I.:  Jill Stein and Gary Johnson and all other candidates are barred from the debate per the contract drawn up by the Democrats and the Republicans.  Whether Mitt Romney has the power to break the contract or not can be debated.  While he is his party's presidential nomination, if he declared his intent to break it, they might just toss aside the debates or ignore the call.  Barack Obama is the President of the United States, not just a nominee, a sitting president.  If he publicly called for the debates to be open, Democratic Party officials and Republican officials would have no choice but to go along with him.

 Jim: That's a very good point.  For those who don't know this, the last time the Democrats and Republicans were not in charge of the debate was the eighties.  The League of Women Voters no longer put on the debates.  It's Democrats and Republicans and that's how they keep third party candidates out -- except for the mega rich Ross Perot -- and both parties demand a certain list of conditions for these corporate sponsored debates.  Which would include Wednesday night's fiasco.

Betty: Fiasco and "bitches" describe the joke that is FAIR -- so-called Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting.  Not only did the cowardly bastards refuse to demand an open debate, they rushed in to carry water for Barack.  Jim Naureckas isn't just a gossipy bastard, he's a piece of trash.  The left really needs to grasp that FAIR isn't about fairness or accuracy.  It's also not about being left.  It's a bunch of cheap whores -- basically one White man, his Black wife and their White friend -- who can't get real jobs so they whore for the Democratic Party so that they can fund raise.  They're whores.  Stop giving them money, make them find a real profession.  Make them find a job where they have to work.  I understand they're unskilled.  That's not my problem.

Isaiah: I think the world would be a lot better off if trash like FAIR shut down.  I am really amazed to see the truth about them because in 2004 and 2005 my favorite radio program is CounterSpin/  I thought they were so brave and so real.  I thought that they were truth tellers and assumed, wrongly, that they'd be doing the exact same thing if there had been a Democrat in the Oval Office.

Jim: And now?

Isaiah: They are Susan Sarandons.  Ridiculous freaks.  Bug-eyed Sarandon became one of those whores for the Democratic Party and probably to save her sagging career after endorsing Ralph Nader in 2000.  I would have had more respect for her if she had endorsed Ralph in 2004 and 2008.  Instead, she looks like a cheap and tacky whore, a very used whore.  I have no respect for her.

Ty: And lost respect is all over.  There are so many who spent the last four years bathed in public hypocrisy.  And it's really amazing to watch their bastard asses.  What it finally boils down to is that so-called 'independent' media is nothing but anti-Clinton Democrats.  FAIR only whines for debates to be open when Hillary Clinton's running for office.  They're a joke.  I would be embarrassed if I were 17 and acted like them but these are grown adults.  There's no excuse for their garbage.

Jim: And the debate on Wednesday.  Any thoughts?

Ruth: Is there really much to say?  President Barack Obama looked foolish.  Governor Mitt Romney won the debate.  I am aware that many have tried to spin it but that is what has gone on and what is going on.

Jim: Okay, well, let's move on to Libya.  September 11, 2012, the US Consulate in Libya was attacked.  Four Americans were killed.  The Barack administration told us that it was protesters angry about a YouTube clip.  In fact, it was a planned terrorist attack.  It had nothing to do with the YouTube clip.  But the White House used that cover story, that lie, to conceal from Americans the fact that on the 11th anniversary of 9-11, there was another attack on the US.  Last week, prior to the debates, the media briefly paid attention.  Some more so than others.  Ruth, you wrote "The NewsHour underwhelms"  last week.  Explain that.

Ruth:  They tanked the story, they did so deliberately.  Did the administration lie?  Yes, and they did so repeatedly and not just Susan Rice either.  But The NewsHour continues to spin and conceal for the president.  So they treated it as a minor news item and then pretended to explore the story in another segment but intentionally avoided mentioning anything of value.

Jim: You mention that they did not book CNN's Elise Labott.

Ruth: Go to the snapshots.  C.I. has already covered what went down there in real time.  If you want to ponder whether the White House lied or misled, ask Ms. Labott who dared to ask questions that were shot down -- dared to ask them weeks ago -- questions that we now know she was right to ask.  No one could talk about that on the show because they did not have the experience Ms. Labott did.

Jim: C.I.?

C.I.:  Ruth's referring to the September 13th Iraq snapshot.  That day, Elise Labott asked questions and was lied to.  It was pretty much known that she was lied to by all present.  That's why I included it in the snapshot.  The section's all about Libya and we don't generally include that stuff.  A friend in government told me he couldn't believe (a) how much CNN knew at that time and (b) how much Victoria Nuland spun.  I then checked with three different journalists present at the briefing and all knew Nuland was lying. 

Jim: And CNN knew a great deal in part because they discovered the late Ambassador Chris Stevens' journal.   Does the media get back on the Libya story this week?  That's an opinion answer, by the way?

Cedric:  No.  No, I don't see that happening.  I see them continuing to spin for Barack as they've done the last four years.  The Libya story is too damaging to Barack.  It's probably among the reasons the race is so tight.

Ruth: I would agree with Cedric.

Betty: Same here.

Jim: Anyone disagree?

Kat: I might.  When's the next presidential debate?

Dona: October 11th, Joe Biden and Paul Ryan debate.  October 16th is when Barack and Mitt return.  How come?

Kat: I don't know that the vice presidential debate can shake up the news cycle.  Maybe it can, but I don't think so.  October 10th, this is why I think it can come back into the news cycle, October 10th, the House Oversight Committee holds a hearing entitled "The Security Failures of Benghazi."  Schedule to appear, I'm reading from a press release I got when we were in DC, Charlen Lamb who is with the State Dept., State's Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom and a member of the Utah National Guard, Lt. Col. Andrew Wood.  I think that hearing could get Libya back into the news cycle.  I could be wrong.  But I'll go ahead and say "yes."

Jim: I was not aware of that hearing.  Thank you for bringing that in, Kat. 

Dona: I'm jumping in to note that last week was such a relief, to break up into small groups.  We're past the half-way mark and we still have 8 people who haven't spoken.

Jim: And I have the list of the 8, Dona just slid it to me.  We're switching to the topic of TV because there were two e-mails about TV and I'm always attacked in e-mails for not including these. So first off, Barney e-mailed to say he'd found a glaring hole in Ava and C.I.'s TV coverage.  He writes, "They never covered the classic Friday Night Lights.  All the other TV critics did."

Ava: Which is one of the reasons we didn't.  The other was it was a soap opera with a predominantly male cast.  If the gender of the cast had been reversed, it would not have been a critical hit.  Repeatedly, the Water Cooler Set of male critics and women who want to be men repeatedly attack worthy shows in which women are equal or the leads but turn around and praise this tired crap that focuses on men.  Again, it was a soap opera.  Nothing wrong with that, but let's stop pretending it was anything magical.  Because we have to have a media piece every week --

Dona: At least one.

Ava: Right, at least one.  Because we never have a week off, C.I. and I have some things we designate back ups.  These are the shows that really don't need a review from us but that we can grab during summer reruns if we have nothing else to cover.  At one point, Friday Night Lights was on that list.  Our review would not have been a rave.  The fact that it always struggled in the ratings was another reason we didn't rush to pan it.

Jim: Second e-mail I said I'd try to work in was from Troy who wrote, "I miss Ava and C.I. doing TV.  I'm sorry but I could care less about this damn election.  I'm sick of it.  I don't think I'm going to vote and that is an opinion that a large number in my dorm are entertaining.  So I'm hoping Ava and C.I. can soon start covering the fall shows."  C.I.?

C.I.: We're so in agreement with you, Troy, Ava and I are.  But we're not going to write three pieces or four pieces a week.  Last week, we wanted to cover Jami Gertz's show The Neighbors.  It was said that there were other things more important, so we did the other things.  But, Troy, we share your opinion.  We'd rather be writing about anything -- anything -- other than the race for president.

Jim: And to clarify, when C.I. says "they," she means me.  I'm the one insisting that the race needs to be covered.  Which brings up the last TV e-mail.  Ava and C.I. did a great piece on the debates last week entitled "America recoiled from Barack last night (Ava and C.I.)" and e-mails came in asking about that.  Specifically, can Ava and C.I. write what they want?  Yes.  But I will beg and badger, maybe even bully, to get politics into their scope.  They noted they would be doing two articles on the debate here -- noted that in their piece about the debate.  Did they need to check that with anyone at Third? No.  If they would agree to write five pieces for one edition on politics, we wouldn't complain.  So I hope that addresses some of the TV e-mails that came in last week.  Now for Iraq.  Trina, your thoughts?

Trina: Amazement.  The White House is negotiating to send more troops in, this after just adding a Special-Ops troop to the US military already still in Iraq.  And no one is talking about it.  And no one is addressing it.  It's huge news.  A.N.S.W.E.R. just did a protest against wars today and yesterday and they couldn't be bothered including what's going on in Iraq.

Wally: I agree this is astounding, the silence and the move by the White House.  I also think we need to do the editorial we talked about last week.  At this point, redundancy may be the only way to keep getting the word out.  And, in this community, we are getting the word out.  But  that's not happening at most places.  Even those that have covered it have done one tiny article on it.  Like  John Glaser writes one article.  Where's the amplification of that?  Where's the outraged columns by Justin Raimondo and the rest at to get the news out?  Those columns don't exist.

Elaine: This actually goes back to the points that Betty, Isaiah and Ty were making, the hypocrisy.  That's what keeps the so-called left media like The Nation, The Progressive, etc. silent.  I heard a cute little conversation on this where it went, 'they are trainers, they are just trainers.'  This was a conversation among Nation staff.  A friend pocket dialed me intentionally so I could hear it.  They are 'trainers,' it was insisted, 'and advisors.'  So it doesn't matter, was the argument.  Really?  Because I am old enough to remember Vietnam and I really kind of think that JFK putting advisors on the ground helped fuel the war.  So spare me the nonsense of 'they're just advisors.'  I'm not 12-years-old and I know better.

Marcia: And doesn't that say it all.  Really, doesn't it?  And how pathetic is The Nation?  They were happy to use Iraq against Bush but they don't give a damn about it today and include that pathetic Tom Hayden in that because his six paragraph blog post about a team of Special-Ops going in was nothing because he was using Tim Arango's New York Times article but ignored the part about the White House negotiating to send more troops in.  The hypocrisy, Elaine's right, it's all tied together.

Stan: I'm reading Endgame and hoping to finish in time so that we can do a book discussion in a few weeks but it's a big book.  But I'm far enough in that it's obvious that the mistakes and errors didn't end on Iraq when Bush left office.  Barack has harmed that country as well.

Jim: That's Michael Gordon and Bernard Trainor's Endgame. And since a book just came up, I have to note Theresa's e-mail.  She thanks Ava and C.I. for last week's "Ann and Nancy Wilson share the true story (Ava and C.I.)" about the new book by Heart but is upset that "there is so little book coverage."

Rebecca: I haven't spoken!  I can actually address this in a way.  Marcia and I have reviewed two books this year.  And?  We're about to do another.  It will be this Thursday if we can pull it off.  That's because the week after sees the October 19th return of Whitney on NBC and Marcia, Betty and Ann are Whitney bloggers.

Marcia: Actually, we're going to blog about that on Monday the 22nd.  We already decided that.

Rebecca: Okay, then let's make the 19th the day we do the new book.  I'm only on page 82 but I will be done long before then.

Marcia: And I'm at the half-way mark.  Also Ann's noted at her site that she's reading Neil Young's book and enjoying it.  The plan for her is to write about the book when she finishes it.

Mike: And roundtable are long and hard to do with this many people.  That's probably why doing the Heart book as a book discussion didn't work.  We did try that and it was awful.  No one would have read our book discussion and said, "Oh, that book sounds interesting!"  That's why Kat said, after two hours spent on that discussion, that we should get Ava and C.I. to write about the book.  19 people is a lot of people to do a book discussion with.  And I agree with Wally about this week's editorial.

Jim: Alright, we'll do that then and we're ending this right now.  This is a rush transcript, by the way.

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