Sunday, October 21, 2012

Truest statement of the week

The point is that as a moderator, it is not Crowley’s job or any other moderator for that matter to fact-check a presidential candidate. She fact-checked Romney on Libya. That was wrong, but if you are going to play that game, you should at least be even handed.
Obama was also factually wrong on issues in the debate, according to The Associated Press, but Crowley didn’t interject and fact check the president.
You could make the argument that if a moderator isn’t in a position to fact-check all of the assertions, then they shouldn’t be in the position to correct just one like Crowley did.

--  Bowling Green Daily News editorial board, "Candy Crowley a moderator, not a fact-checker."

Truest statement of the week II

Apparently 3am phone calls to the White House are forwarded to Hillary’s cell. I don’t think hiding behind Hillary’s skirt is going to help the jackass out of this one.

-- Murphy, "Now look, It's all HER fault" (Puma P.A.C.).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another Sunday.

First up, we thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

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),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?

A new source for a truest.
And another new one.  We do pay attention to the e-mails.

Yes, she does.  And that is a suggestive title.
Ava and C.I. take on stereotypes as they survey the entertainment scene.
Short feature!  Yes, Debbie is a dope.
Let's all talk about what Barack doesn't want us to.
A piece on streaming.

We found another potato chip we can recommend.
Ty goes through the e-mails.
Ava and C.I. on last week's debate.
Ava and C.I. on NPR sidelining third parties.
A press release from Senator Patty Murray's office. 
A repost from Workers World.

Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.

See you next week.

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

Editorial: Crowley fingers herself


If you ever doubt that the media is the problem, grasp what took place in last week's debate between Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

No, we're not talking about Candy Crowley's ridiculous effort to fact check.

The debate last week was about domestic and foreign policy.

You may remember the high horses that a number of journalists have mounted in the last months.  'Mitt didn't mention Iraq in his speech!'  'Barack didn't talk about the wars!'

This was a debate on foreign policy and there were no questions about either the Iraq War or the Afghanistan War.

Now you can pretend, if you'd like, that the Iraq War is over.

To do that, you'd have to ignore what Tim Arango (New York Times) reported September 26th:

Iraq and the United States are negotiating an agreement that could result in the return of small units of American soldiers to Iraq on training missions. At the request of the Iraqi government, according to General Caslen, a unit of Army Special Operations soldiers was recently deployed to Iraq to advise on counterterrorism and help with intelligence.


But you can pretend.  Even if you do that, do you realize how many billions the US State Department is spending in Iraq and plans to continue to spend for many years to come?

That foreign spending?  It does have an impact on what we can't afford in the US and on how much deeper in debt we go to pay for these illegal wars.

Candy Crowley looked, last week, like she'd just spent three hours chowing down at The Sizzler without ever once haviing hit the salad bar.  She looked very impressed with herself, like she'd really accomplished something.

If she thought what she selected from the ridiculous questions submitted indicated intelligence on her part or skill, she was sorely mistaken.

What it indicated was that she dabbles in current events and has no real grasp or understanding of what's taken place and is taking place in the world in which we live.

She also ensured that her peers looked as stupid as she did.

Mere weeks ago, they were hectoring Barack and Mitt about forgetting wars, refusing to mention them and when the press had the chance to get questions asked, the ignored the wars to instead focus on crap like AK-47s.

What a proud moment for Candy and company if the point was to telegraph just how embarrassing the news media has become.

TV: When comedy just isn't funny

How awful can comedy get?  That's a question we've been wondering since the season started.  Last night, as we watched the latest installment of In Living Color, we had to wonder it again?


In Living Color?  Actually, it was Saturday Night Live, it just played like a spoof of  In Living Color as the sad and bad White writers played Beat Down On Whitey.  At least when that was the focal point of  the non-homophobic In Living Color skits, there was the fact that Jim Carrey was immensely talented.  So there was an edge to the skits that wouldn't be there if, for example, Whitey were played by Jonathan Silverman instead.

Or Jason Sudeikis.  To be clear, Jason has some talent.  He doesn't have any talent to display in political sketches.  His Mitt Romney was no different than his Joe Biden.  He comes off highly limited as a performer when he tries for political sketches.  That's not all his fault.  Last night's cold open would have been a hard stunt for even Carrey to have pulled off.

It shouldn't have been that hard to write a funny spoof of the debate last week between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.  Unless of course you're a writer for Saturday Night Live.

When the first debate took place, Barack tanked.  So Saturday Night Live came to his rescue with a bad skit about him being distracted during the debate.  We got an entire interior monologue from 'cool cat' Barack instead of seeing him as the stammering fool he came off as.

 Last night was yet another serving of bad Shaft-lite revenge fantasies from the limp dicked writers  writers of Saturday Night Live, the limp dicked White writers of Saturday Night Live.

In the second debate, last week's debate, both were eventually seen as too aggressive (general consensus).  Somehow that translated into a skit about Mitt wanting to fight Barack.  Jay Pharoah now plays Barack.  He can do visual imitations, he's yet to inhabit a character.  Fred Armisen previously played Barack.  Regardless of who delivers the lines, the character is always written poorly.

On the show, Barack can never make a mistake, his family will never be a joke and he will always have the upper hand.  It's the sort of thing, understand, that killed All My Children.  Susan Lucci played Erica.  Erica was a little bitch from day one.  Around the time (1979) that Days of Our Lives made Lucci a serious offer (and she seriously considered it), Erica was headed for the grave yard.  It was then that ABC gave into every one of the actress' whims in an effort to keep her.  She made more money than someone of her (fading) popularity should and the actress ran off many a talented performer.  But worst of all, Erica Kane became a big bore.  Take Melrose Place.  Sydney Andrews (Laura Leighton) was always more interesting than Amanda (Heather Locklear) because you always knew Syd really could lose everything.  Amanda, like Erica, had ceased to be an interesting character.

And SNL's Barack has always been a lousy character.  To say he's one-dimensional is to give the writers credit for writing deeper than they have.  We were pointing this out in 2008.  They have had four years to find humor and they have repeatedly ignored it.

They are the limpest of limp dicks, the tiniest of small penises.  They are an embarrassment as comedy writers.  There has never been a skit where Barack did not triumph and overcome.  A SNL skit about Barack is as predictable as one of Joan Crawford's shop-girl movies.

It's a shame Herman Cain didn't get the GOP nomination for president.  That would've forced everyone to address the fact that Saturday Night Live is a highly racist show.  In the brief time when Cain was in the running, Kenan Thompson played him in the typical racist manner that SNL usually presents Black characters.

So it's not even that SNL woke up to their own racism following the emergence of Barack on the national stage.  They're still as racist as they always were.  But when it's time for Barack, they get to scream "Racist!" at others and pretend like the Whitest thing in the writers room is the walls and not themselves.  And that's been behind every Barack skit they've written from day one.

So last night we got Barack making "Magic Mormon underwear" references.  They never worry about that, their intolerance towards religion.  And the audience certainly didn't worry about it.  They acted as though manna had dropped from heaven.  Remember what Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II made clear in South Pacific, you've got to be taught to hate.  Certainly, Saturday Night Live has ridiculed Mormons and made fun of them non-stop.

If there was any reason to spoof the debate, it was to spoof it's biggest moment when Candy Crowley (as moderator) interjected herself into the debate to 'correct' Mitt Romney.  As The Washington Post and CBS News (text report by Brian Montopoli, video report by Jan Crawford) have pointed out, Mitt Romney wasn't wrong.  Candy Crowley has taken to defending herself by pointing out that she allowed Mitt was also correct.  What Ruth caught in real time, Saturday Night Live couldn't find days later.

They redid the whole debate to make fun of Mormons, the Romneys and more. Instead of ridiculing the press, they made Candy a hero (kind of like a lot of idiotic bloggers last week) and had her call out a defeated Mitt allowing a triumphant Barack to drop his microphone to the stage and brush off his shoulders.

It wasn't funny, it wasn't a spoof of the debates but if you want to think about the idiotic, the pre-juvenile mind -- yes, pre-juvenile mind that wrote it, that might be funny.  A bunch of White writers who don't want to bring in any non-Whites (they seem to think they've been inclusive and expansive when they hire non-Irish and non-Jewish) really get off writing these skits where everyone is racist to Barack Obama and Barack triumphs over evil Mitt Romney.

With In Living Color, the racism was mitigated by a number of factors including that the variety show employed large numbers of Black performers and writers.  So, acknowledging the fact that the history of entertainment is a history of racism (and sexism and homophobia), it was more than understandable that another point of view would emerge.  Not a better point of view, we never seem to get that on TV.  But the same racist view only aimed at non-Blacks, that's what In Living Color offered.

SNL can't even claim to offer that, not with the Whiteness of its writing staff.

Which is why the Barack skits are so limp dicked.

These writers worship and dream about Barack, dream of wrapping their lips around his cock and sucking him off.  Unable to do that (or even be honest about the desire), they write impotent little skits, their idea of what a Black revenge fantasy would be.   Nothing about the skits are funny or authentic.

And certainly not fair.  They've felt they could make fun of Romney's children.  They've never made fun of Michelle Obama or the two daughters.  Not once.  Until Michelle, there's never been a First Lady they haven't mocked.

It's limp dick writing and it's by a bunch of  dicks who chose to self-castrate.  (There are 23 credited writers this season, all but three are men.)

If there's anything worse, its bitches who sell out women.

By all mean, gals, sell yourself out.  If you've got no ethics and can live with that, more power to you.  But make sure you're just selling out yourself and not all of womankind.

There's a trend story this season but you won't hear about on NPR, now will you?

Do you ever?

The trend is: Women lose their jobs.

Now, let's get a few things straight.  When you watch a sitcom, you're not watching for much more than to laugh.  If it can do more, great.  But a sitcom shouldn't bring you down.

This fall, Jess  (Zooey Deschanel) has lost her job as a teacher on New Girl, Reagan (Christina Applegate) has lost her job as a TV producer on Up All Night and Frankie (Patricia Heaton) has lost her job as a car salesperson on The Middle.

All three shows were created by women so you might think we could expect some point to be made.  But only with Frankie does the post-firing make any sense.  It's a bad economy, cars really aren't selling.  Frankie's going to get some training for a better job.  That's the plan currently as she tries to decide what she wants to do, a career, not a job.  She's got to get something before unemployment runs out and they are having to economize.  This is realistic.  If you're going to do a story about someone losing their job, then be realistic.

While the storyline works for Frankie that's because it's a storyline.  No one knows what it is with New GirlOctober 2, 2011 we shared our thoughts on the 'hit' show for Fox.  Forget about outrage in e-mails, a Fox suit huffed to us that New Girl would never dip below 9 million viewers.  That was the Monday after our piece ran.  We responded it would be pulling in 5 million by the end of season.

A day after that conversation, a new episode of New Girl aired.  Guess what?  It fell below nine million.  And none of last seasons' last eight episodes made it above 5.6 million.  Season two's 'big' debut brought in 5.35 million viewers which was a big disappointment to Fox but after the last two episodes have both resulted in less than five million viewers, they're probably looking fondly at the 5.6 in retrospect.

Jess was a teacher.  How do you get fired from your teaching job at the start of a school year?  No one wanted to ponder that but there's never been a great deal of thought behind the show.  So you've had Jess as a shot girl and as a fast food employee and, this week, a model.

This crap never plays. It didn't really play with That Girl.  In fact, the changing jobs probably harmed the show in the long run.  No one wants to watch that crap.  "Oh, who will Jess be this week?"  They want to feel they know the character.  And, in a bad economy, they don't think it's funny that someone's lost their jobs or that, not only is Jess doing menial jobs. but she's doing them badly.

It's humiliating and goes to hatred of women.  It's probably the most offensive thing that's taken place since 1985 when 'creative geniuses' Ken Levine and David Isaacs were explaining that on Mary they were going to destroy all that had made Mary Tyler Moore beloved as Mary Richards (The Mary Tyler Moore Show).  Like most pigs, when they wanted to brag about how they were going to trash Mary, they ran to Rolling Stone.

So it's no surprise that Zooey Deshcanel ran to Rolling Stone to gab about the "big emotional impact" this change will have on Jess.  At least Zooey thinks it has a "big emotional impact" on her character.  Reagan losing her job on Up All Night sort of really didn't happen.

If you saw season one of the show, you know that Reagan was the producer of a daytime talk show hosted by Ava (Maya Rudolph).  Chris (Will Arnett) and Reagan were the new parents of Amy.  Chris gave up his law career to stay home with Amy.  Well over the summer Ava got the axe because everyone just 'knew' that the problem with the sitcom was that Chris didn't work outside the home.

Now some networks would say, "Okay, Amy goes to daycare and Chris goes back to work."  But this is NBC. You don't get in the toilet of last place without being a huge dumb ass.  See, even Fox is higher ranked than NBC.  Fox which really can't claim to produce a full schedule, even now all these years later.  But Fox beats NBC.

And it does so because of decisions like making Reagan a stay-at-home Mommy.  Not only does that sideline the funniest character (Ava) but we've all seen this show before.  It was called Yes, Dear and only shut-ins watched it.

Taking a funny show and turning it into something else?  We've seen that before as well.  CBS had a very funny show called Gary Unmarried.  It was hilarious.  Jay Mohr played the title character Gary who had two kids who lived with their mother, his ex-wife, played by Paula Marshall.  She's got a new fiancee (played by Ed Begley Jr.).  He's a house painter and getting used to the dating scene again.

Season one ended on a funny note.  And then the show came back in the fall of 2009 or something called Gary Unmarried did.  He wasn't a painter.  He was now on the radio, doing sports talk radio.  And he was in all these office hijinx with a female boss.  Please pay attention, suits, you can change a show by emphasizing a different character (Fonzie on Happy Days, Urkel on Family Matters, to give two examples) but you can't alter the basics of a show and retain an audience.

You also can't insult the audience.

If you're unemployed (as many are currently) or afraid you're going to lose your job due to the economy (ibid), you really don't find it funny that someone loses their job -- or that a lot of someones did when the talk show Ava got the axe.  Not only do you not find that funny, you don't find it funny that Chris and Reagan can continue to live in their dream house and never worry about bills.  They can pay various baby sitters and try to paint the town red, money's never a problem.

"Well," you say, "Chris is a successful attorney."

No, he's not.  Chris gave up his job in the first episode.  He's not in the home remodel business with Reagan's brother.  They're a two man crew with office space and not a lot of business going on.  Yet no one's concerned about money in that family.

It doesn't play well.

And neither does Up All Night or New Girl.  It's not that funny doesn't happen anymore.   New shows like ABC's The Neighbors (Jami Gertz, Lenny Venito, Toks Olagundoye and Simon Templeman) and CBS' Partners (David Krumholtz, Michael Urie, Sophia Bush and Brandon Routh) are hilarious.  NBC shouldn't be scared of new shows.  Comedy's all about the new -- new takes, new lines, new relationships.  When you stop surprising people, you stop doing comedy.   What are you doing instead?  Season 38 of Saturday Night Live.

Idiot of the week

dirty debbie

Debbie Wasserman Schultz sounds like an idiot every time she opens her mouth.  She can just be saying hi but with that thick tongue that makes her sound like the stereotype of a body builder, the Democratic Party operative comes off like a real idiot.

Never more so than last week when she was asked about President Barack Obama's kill list and she said she'd never heard of such a thing.

She apparently never read the story.  How a sitting member of Congress could be so ignorant, we don't know.

But, let's be honest, it wasn't because she spent any time washing that greasy, unbrushed hair.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz was never ready for prime time.  Just a visual was enough to make that clear.  But last week, she decided to open her mouth and let her uninformed 'wisdom' slip out.

It was not pretty.


Illustration is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Dirty Debbie."

The Drone War

drone photo by bruce hoffman, dod

Greg Miller (Washington Post) words it nicer but what you have is a so-called intelligence agency wanting to become "a paramilitary force, U.S. officials said" pinning the blame on David Petraeus who is the CIA Director but used to be the top US Commander in Iraq, General Petraeus.

 Living Under Drones notes:

First, while civilian casualties are rarely acknowledged by the US government, there is significant evidence that US drone strikes have injured and killed civilians. In public statements, the US states that there have been “no” or “single digit” civilian casualties.”[2] It is difficult to obtain data on strike casualties because of US efforts to shield the drone program from democratic accountability, compounded by the obstacles to independent investigation of strikes in North Waziristan. The best currently available public aggregate data on drone strikes are provided by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), an independent journalist organization. TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562-3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474-881 were civilians, including 176 children.[3] TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228-1,362 individuals. Where media accounts do report civilian casualties, rarely is any information provided about the victims or the communities they leave behind. This report includes the harrowing narratives of many survivors, witnesses, and family members who provided evidence of civilian injuries and deaths in drone strikes to our research team. It also presents detailed accounts of three separate strikes, for which there is evidence of civilian deaths and injuries, including a March 2011 strike on a meeting of tribal elders that killed some 40 individuals.
Second, US drone strike policies cause considerable and under-accounted-for harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians, beyond death and physical injury. Drones hover twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning. Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities. Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves. These fears have affected behavior. The US practice of striking one area multiple times, and evidence that it has killed rescuers, makes both community members and humanitarian workers afraid or unwilling to assist injured victims. Some community members shy away from gathering in groups, including important tribal dispute-resolution bodies, out of fear that they may attract the attention of drone operators. Some parents choose to keep their children home, and children injured or traumatized by strikes have dropped out of school. Waziris told our researchers that the strikes have undermined cultural and religious practices related to burial, and made family members afraid to attend funerals. In addition, families who lost loved ones or their homes in drone strikes now struggle to support themselves.
Third, publicly available evidence that the strikes have made the US safer overall is ambiguous at best. The strikes have certainly killed alleged combatants and disrupted armed actor networks. However, serious concerns about the efficacy and counter-productive nature of drone strikes have been raised. The number of “high-level” targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low—estimated at just 2%.[4] Furthermore, evidence suggests that US strikes have facilitated recruitment to violent non-state armed groups, and motivated further violent attacks. As the New York Times has reported, “drones have replaced Guantánamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants.”[5] Drone strikes have also soured many Pakistanis on cooperation with the US and undermined US-Pakistani rel­ations. One major study shows that 74% of Pakistanis now consider the US an enemy.[6]
Fourth, current US targeted killings and drone strike practices undermine respect for the rule of law and international legal protections and may set dangerous precedents. This report casts doubt on the legality of strikes on individuals or groups not linked to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2011, and who do not pose imminent threats to the US. The US government’s failure to ensure basic transparency and accountability in its targeted killing policies, to provide necessary details about its targeted killing program, or adequately to set out the legal factors involved in decisions to strike hinders necessary democratic debate about a key aspect of US foreign and national security policy. US practices may also facilitate recourse to lethal force around the globe by establishing dangerous precedents for other governments. As drone manufacturers and officials successfully reduce export control barriers, and as more countries develop lethal drone technologies, these risks increase.

There are multiple reasons to oppose the the move.  First and foremost, Barack Obama's Drone War is already killing enough people around the world without providing the CIA with even more drones.  Second, the killings are bad enough but when you add in the large number of innocents that are killed in these attacks, it becomes outrageous and appalling.  Alice K. Ross (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism) observes, "The Human Rights Clinic found that according to the available reporting, between 72 and 155 civilians were credibly reported killed by drone strikes in 2011."  Third, there's the CIA itself.  An intelligence gathering force that has forever been the worst example of "mission creep" as one 'we would never' after another falls by the wayside over and over.  Fourth, enough money is already spent on killing people.

Miller notes, "In the past, officials from the Pentagon and other departments have raised concerns about the CIA's expanding arsenal and involvement in lethal operations, but a senior Defense official said that the Pentagon had not opposed the agency's current plan."  That's the ignorance of human kind.

Time and again, you see people who have opposed something for good reason suddenly drop their opposition when someone they 'trust' is put in charge.  Look at the so-called 'anti-war leaders' who dropped opposition to wars when their baby Barack got elected.

Barack could no wrong, not their sweet baby.

But even if he's re-elected, Barack still has to leave the White House at some point.  And how comfortable will they be with another Democrat or with a Republican over the Drone War?

How our history is preserved

This weekend, we saw an interesting thing on the "Movies" screen of Netflix.


"Popular on Netflix" is a series of films that Neflix-ers are streaming.  There next to offerings by Jason Statham (2011's Blitz) and Mark Walhberg (2007's The Shooter) is Jane Fonda's Barbarella

Barbarella was a French comic strip that appeared in V-Magazine.  The strip, created by Jean-Claude Forest, followed a female astronaut through various adventures throughout the galaxy.   Roger Vadim would direct the film based on the comic strip starring his then-wife Jane.  The film angered prudes and entertained film lovers (such as The New Yorker's Pauline Kael who found the film (and especially Jane) worthy of praise.

Over the summer, the film got a Blue-Ray release which really does justice to its visuals.  (Roger Vadim was one of the masters of using colors to evoke moods and emotions.)  This is not the version Netflix is streaming.

Jane has nothing to be embarrassed of, she's hilarious in the film and it's' a classic of the French New Wave.  But Jane's also gone on to be nominated seven times for an Academy Award (she's won two Best Actress awards -- for Klute and Coming Home).

But does a young Netflix streamer know about that?  Do they know The China Syndrome, for example?  How about her amazing performance in The Morning After?

We ask that for a reason.

Films are a part of our American history.  In the early days of television, the stations so chopped up films for commercial breaks, there was little point in watching. (A point made in Billy Wilder's The Apartment when Jack Lemmonn attempts to settled down for a night in.)  Revivals at art house theaters and people like Pauline Kael and writer Peter Bogdanovich (later director of classics such as Paper Moon, The Last Picture Show and What's Up Doc?) helped correct these wrongs.

Then Jane Fonda led a home entertainment revolution when she moved the video cassette market from strictly rentals to purchasing for your home library.   Since then, for the most part, the industry's done a good job promoting the past and keeping film history alive.

But everyone seems to be lagging with streaming.

It doesn't seem the same effort is going into promoting streaming when it comes to the classics, not the same effort that was there earlier with releasing them on video cassettes, laser discs, DVDs, etc. For example, on Netflix currently, 1963's The Caretakers is the only streamable in the Joan Crawford filmography.  This iffy picture in which Crawford's third billed, is that really how to educate anyone as to what she could do or why Joan was able to have a decades long career?  Still, Joan's got one more streamable film than Carole Lombard.

An actress many have longed to be or to emulate, one of the first female comedy stars of talking films, Lombard's classics include Twentieth Century with John Barrymore (Drew's grandfather), My Man Godfrey, To Be or Not To Be, Hands Across The Table, The Princess Comes Across, Nothing Sacred and True Confessions.

Or take Alan Ladd.  You can stream him in the classic Shane but that's an 'idea' film.  It didn't make him a star.  It was the films This Gun for Hire, The Glass Key and The Blue Dahlia that made Alan Ladd one of the biggest actors of the 1940s. 

 Does any of it matter?

It matters in terms of both film history and our country's own history.

It matters in terms of dollars and cents as well.

People didn't care a great deal, for example, in the 60s about It's A Wonderful Life.  It was only when it became a staple of television in the seventies that the tide began to change and it began to be considered a holiday classic.  We can think of many holiday films that are actually better than It's A Wonderful Life (including Frank Capra's Meet John Doe starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck) but they didn't get mass saturation.

That kind of access to a film creates both memories and a bond that lives on.

Whether it's Netflix, Hulu or Crackle, the studios don't seem to grasp that currently and aren't using their product to enrich film history or themselves.  They could easily do both.  One of Alan Ladd's classics featured prominently online for streaming would result in people being aware of and interested in his other film noir roles.  In other words, for the first time in many years, the studios are back to failing to create a market for their archives.

We're thrilled Jane Fonda's Barbarella is popular on Netflix.  We think it's a film worth watching and that she's a real pleasure in it.  We're also aware that she's done a lot more in other films.  Access is what creates bonds and identification.  We think the studios need to grasp that.  To focus on Jane, studios would do well to grasp that she's only made one sci-fi film thus far and if you're wanting to build an audience for the films you retain the rights to that she stars in, you probably need to create a streaming model that both lures and showcases.

From The TESR Test Kitchen

In our never-ending search for low calorie foods, we will endure a great deal.  We often toss around how bad ice cream could be and us still eat it if they could get the calories down to 100 per half gallon?

We like the Pringles Light line.but  a number of you wrote in to note that you didn't eat items with olestra in it -- due to concerns about anal leakage chiefly.

Well try Simple Truth Natural Popped Chips with Sea Salt.  21 chips are 120 calories and there's no olestra.  Plus, they taste great.

 potato chips

They've got a thickness to them that makes for a more substantial taste than many of the 'healthy' chips offer.

And binges?

If you eat the entire bag, it's 360 calories. 


We get e-mails.


Our e-mail address is

There are many topics in last week's e-mails and let's grab a TV one first.  Several of you want us to know that Unforgettable is slated to return to CBS this coming summer.  May 27th, Ava and C.I. wrote:

On top of losing a program they really did need, they cut a show with ratings ABC, NBC and Fox would have killed for.  When they realized they'd be cutting the hit show Unforgettable (the decision was known in April), they should have instead made it a summer series and asked the show to go into immediate production for those episodes.  Over ten million viewers every week is nothing to sneeze at.  And a network willing to cut a show with that many viewers is one suffering from hubris and one soon to find the ground kicked out from beneath it.  

So what's going on?  Well, it has been referenced here a few times by Jim.  But it's been cut when mentioned.   So we've got it noted now.  CBS is planning to bring it back as a summer show.  (That could change if they need to fill a slot mid-season. In which case, the show would return earlier than expected.)

Still TV.  Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ;  and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub are known collectively as "The Whitney Bloggers."  Inspired by Ava and C.I.'s "TV: The perverts still drool over Shirley Temple,"  Betty, Marcia and Ann decided a bunch of women-hating gas bags would not have the last word or be able to kill off a program with their lies with a real fight on their hands.  So they focused on NBC's Whitney and saving it.  And they were supposed to return to the Whitney beat tomorrow.

They won't be.

NBC has jerked Whitney and Community around.  Both were supposed to return last Friday with new episodes.  Neither did.  Whitney return in November on Tuesday nights.  They'll return to covering it then.

That's not the top ten on TV but let's go to the biggest issue: Complaints about the lack of entertainment TV coverage.  "Look," wrote Alice Pownall speaking for many, "Ava and C.I. illuminate things from a debate that I miss.  I love their political coverage.  But it's October and they've yet to review one entertainment show.  Already NBC has taken the axe to one sitcom.  When will Ava and C.I. address entertainment?"

Kind of this week?

They won't be surprised when I bring this issue up to them.  It's nothing that they don't feel as well.  Jim's asked for political coverage because it's an election year.  They'd rather be exploring sitcoms or something fun.  They've finished this week's piece.  It does look at the debate.  By way of Saturday Night Live.  It also tackles this season's trend (the woman lost her job!) and weighs in on The Middle, New Girl and Up All Night.  Tomorrow night is the last of the three presidential debates.  That should mean that they can cover other topics.  They want to.  Based solely on conversations I've overheard, they could tell you what works and what doesn't with Mob Doctor today, they could cover The Neighbors, Partners, Arrow and so much more.

We could stay on TV forever, but let's move to other topics in the mailbag.  Rex is one of our readers who feel we blew it by recommending a product with olestra (Pringles) and at the same time feels we really need to do "more TESR Test Kitchens."  We have one this edition.

Rex feels "From The TESR Test Kitchen" offers some "much needed variety."

Rex's e-mail came in on Tuesday and we did try to put in a bit more to the mix than usual.  But there are also editions that are theme editions.  If it's not a theme, we should always provide a bit of a mix.  Politics is only one thing we cover.

We're also doing an idiot of the week piece due to e-mail requests though, honestly, if Mike had done one at his site last week, we'd probably have skipped it.  He brought that to this site as a feature.  When we began dropping the ball he made it a feature at his site. 

Lauren e-mailed to ask if we'd forgotten that with "The Bionic Woman Season Three" we promised to go backwards and review all the seasons?  No, we haven't forgotten.  We are working on that currently.  And there will be three articles, not two.  We'll end up with four articles.  If that confuses you, you'll have to wait and see what's in store.

King of Self-Love sings to Choir (Ava and C.I.)

This is a repost of Ava and C.I. taking on Monday night's debate.

The King of Self-Love sings to the Choir (Ava and C.I.)

debate 2

If only everyone could find Barack as amusing as he finds himself.   Last night at Hofstra University, it was a three-way draw in many respects as President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney and CNN correspondent Candy Crowley faced off with truth left bruised and bloody.

As the authors of "TV: Jim Lehrer, notch below child molester," we wanted to applaud Candy Crowley.  The debates -- controlled by a duopoly commission -- are a sham.  So we pointed out, "And when a Jim Lehrer (or Bob Schieffer or Martha Raddatz or Candy Crowley) provides cover to these shams by posing as a journalist, they're doing incredible damage to democracy and, again, they're as damaging as child molesters.  If they don't have any self-respect, their peers should at least hold them accountable.  Until that happens, nothing is going to change."

But there was Crowley talking about how she wasn't going to follow this rule and wasn't going to follow that one and she was going to break the conract's rule against her asking any follow up questions and she was going to be in charge and --    In her 'pre-game' interviews, she certainly talked a good game.

Sadly, she appeared to leave that game in the locker room.

And her post-game (let's not pretend that was a debate) interview was appalling.

In her big moment, she yet again interrupted what could have been a debate between the two candidates to vouch for the veracity of Barack's claim.

Barack:  The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we're going to hunt down those who committed this crime.  And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.

Romney expressed disbelief that Barack stated that on September 12th but Crowley declared that "he did in fact, sir."  And Barack asked her to repeat that "a little louder, Candy" which led her to state, "He -- he did call it an act of terror."

No, he didn't.  At best, he implied it.  And Crowley knew she was wrong almost immediately.  You can see it on her face as the audience applauds and she rushes to quickly add, "It did as well take -- it did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea there being a riot out there about this tape to come out.  You are correct about that."

Ruth caught that quick amend by Crowley but few others did, especially alleged news outlets.

They also apparently missed Candy Crowley on CNN after the debate trying to justify her nonsense.  So far, we can only find The Daily Caller reporting on that which is surprising because we were embarrassed last night just watching Crowley due faux accountability as she minimized her actions -- we were especially embarrassed because it was clear Crowley knew she'd crossed a line.  There she was telling Anderson Cooper,  "So I knew that the president has said, you know, 'These act of terror won't stand,' or whatever the whole quote was."  Well, if you knew it, you'd know what he said.

And Candy didn't.

Glenn Kessler (Washington Post) explained:

What did Obama say in the Rose Garden a day after the attack in Libya? We covered this previously in our extensive timeline of administration statements on Libya.
“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for,” Obama said.
But the president did not say “terrorism”— and Romney got tripped up when he repeated the “act of terror” phrasing.
Otherwise, Romney’s broader point is accurate — that it took the administration days to concede that the assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was an “act of terrorism” that appears unrelated to initial reports of anger at a video that defamed the prophet Muhammad. By our count, it took 8 days for an administration official to concede that the deaths in Libya was the result of a “terrorist attack.”
More to Romney’s point, Obama continued to resist saying the “t” word, instead repeatedly bringing up the video, even in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 25. On Sept. 26--15 days after the attack-- the White House spokesman felt compelled to assert “it is certainly the case that it is our view as an administration, the President’s view, that it was a terrorist attack.”

What was claimed in the debate?

Barack:  The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we're going to hunt down those who committed this crime.  And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.

He did not label it terrorism.  He spoke of 9-11 from 2001.  He, at best, implied that the September 11, 2012 incident was terrorism.  He did not declare it was one.  And not only did he lie to the United Nation  such thing, he went all over lying -- including on The View.  By contrast, September 12th, the State Dept's Patrick Kennedy was briefing Congress that it was a terrorist attack and had nothing to do with some YouTube video -- or didn't anyone pay attention to his testimony at last week's House Oversight Committee?

Crowley was an embarrassment.

You may have noted we said the audience applauded Candy when she did as Barack ordered her to.

At the start of the debate, Candy Crowley declared, "Each candidate has as much as two minutes to respond to a common question, and there will be a two-minute follow-up. The audience here
in the hall has agreed to be polite and attentive - no cheering or booing or outbursts of any sort."
(We're using the CNN transcript, by the way, which is laid out on one web page and will not require you to click for another page every few paragraphs the way ABC and others offering a transcript do.)   Applause is an outburst.  And it can be distracting.  For example, Ruth caught Crowley admitting at the debate that Romney was correct but most people didn't and that was probably due to the second round of applause that was going on.

Crowley did a lousy job.

She interjected to side with one candidate.  And, worse, the candidate was not telling the truth.  Again, the best and most generous assessment is that Barack implied it was an act of terrorism when he spoke on September 12th.  Having picked sides, she then tried to walk it back but the walk back was largely lost due to the applause.

Attempting to minimize what she'd done in the debate during the post-debate analysis on CNN, she insisted that, "I was again trying to move them on.  They were hung up on this one thing."  Wow.  Hung up on an act of terrorism.

How dare they.  Crowley wanted to go to a question about AK-47s.

What the hell?

Terrorism trumps your pet causes.  Yeah, we called it that.  AK-47s are not as threatening to the world, the entire world, as terrorism nor are they all over the streets of America.  It was wasted time by Crowley who repeatedly went with questions that supplied generic soundbytes and repeatedly refused to allow the issues to be explored.


30 minutes of the debate devoted to Libya wouldn't have been too much..

Crowley was awful.  Oh, she talked a good game before it started, but how quickly she crumbled.

The only one who should be rejoicing about Crowley's performance is Don Gonyea.  We're were streaming NPR, watching CNN and listening to the BBC Radio to get a feel for the general consensus immediately after the debate and we heard a lot of crap but only Don came close to rivaling Candy as he insisted that Mitt Romney looked like he was on the ropes because during the debate he stammered a few times.

Barack's start and stop speaking?  Yes, we are aware of it.  Have been for a long, long time.  In February 2009's "TV: Blustering Boys," we observed:

We watched Monday in full as Barack uh-uh-uhed and spoke in that robotic manner that allows him to find more unnatural pauses than Estelle Parsons and Kim Stanley combined. "He's our Method president!" we quickly gasped while wishing we could have one president this decade capable of normal speech. If he gets any worse, he'll be Sandy Dennis.

But we weren't thinking of Barack while we listened to Don Gonyea explain live on NPR that Romney's stammering at points in the debate showed he was on the ropes.  No, we were thinking of Don Gonyea.  Who was stammering as he said it.  "This-this-this-this" at one point.  Over and over, he stammered.

By Don Gonyea's logic, that meant Don Gonyea was on the ropes.  By Don Gonyea's logic, that meant that Don Gonyea was 'losing' the analysis.

And we had to wonder if Don Gonyea was even aware, as he picked apart Mitt Romney's stammer, that he himself was stammering on air?

Barack stammered as well, for the record.

That was hardly his biggest problem.

"But she works for me!" he insisted at one point in the Libya section about Hillary.  No, Barack, she doesn't.  Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State for the United States of America and takes an oath to serve the people and honor the Constitution.  She takes no oath to the current president, nor does anyone in the Cabinet.  We were appalled to hear Barack make this claim when one of his biggest campaign gurus used to praise us, during the Bully Boy Bush years, for pointing this out when Colin Powell would claim that he served Bully Boy Bush.  You may have, Colin, but you were supposed to be serving the American people.  Presidents come and go.  The country is supposed to remain.

But there was Barack insisting Hillary worked for him.

He never looked more self-absorbed than he did this debate.

And last go round, he looked pretty self-absorbed.

Like last time, Barack seemed to believe his job was to tell the moderator how to do their job.  So last night we got lots of, "Please proceed."  We got Barack repeatedly going over time limits and insisting, as he continued, "Just one second because this is important."

Cutting off Romney to ask, "How much time do we have, Candy?

We had him babbling on about how Romney is supposedly "currently investing in countries -- in companies" while Crowley tried to call time.

Crowley looked so weak with her, "Mr. President, let me --" only to let him continue talking and then come back with, "Mr. President, thank you."

Barack wanted to run the debate and she let him.  Maybe we should have told Barack the media was the president for the last four years?  He only ever wants to do a job if he doesn't have it.  If he thought someone else was president, he might have actually rolled his sleeves up and got to work on the economy -- remember how many times he promised that 'now' he was going to focus on the economy?  Never did though.

A friend with a column in a daily paper argued Barack's most laughable line was when he said, in reply to a man who declared he was struggling economically, that "a lot of us are."  Us?

Yeah, that was cute.  The same way he trotted out dead grandma yet again.  It's amazing how she was hidden away until her death and how, until her death, she was just a "typical" White person who was racist but today, in death, she's this model for Barack.

But what stood out to us was his claim that "we are also a nation of laws."

Bradley Manning has been imprisoned for how long now?  Bradley Manning was pronounced guilty by Barack Obama who now wants to claim "we are also a nation of laws"?

We remember all the garbage about the K-mart lecturer being a "constitutional professor" and how great that would be to have in the White House.  But it didn't work out that way.  Despite his alleged opposition as a senator to the Patriot Act, he's refused to allow it to sunset.  He's declared he -- a, any -- president has the right to kill any American they want -- of course, not in hand-to-hand combat because that might mess up his lovely, manicured nails.  But via drone or team of assassins, any American can be killed on the order of the president of the United States and this is not subject to court review -- according to the 'constitutional professor.'

And there was Barack asserting "we are also a nation of laws."

As he tried to spin -- with Candy Crowley's help -- his way away from the lies he'd repeatedly told for days after September 11, 2012 about YouTube videos, protests and other nonsense, Barack had the nerve to not just deny what he did but to claim, "That's not what I do as president, that's not what I do as Commander in Chief."

As we pointed out a second ago, what he does as Commander in Chief is pronounce Bradley Manning guilty when Bradley's had no trial.  Instead of asking some dumb ass question about AK-47s, the little idiot should have been asking about Bradley Manning.  Guns are already in society.  The real threat is a government that believes they can ignore the Constitutional right to a speedy and fair trail.   That's your danger.

And that's what was so insulting about the questions.  They were all uniformly stupid.  We kept waiting for, "How will you use your reign as Miss America to help others less fortunate?"  And maybe the dumbed down presidency deserves dumbed down questions?

But those questions were appalling.  And that's not just a reflection on the people asking them but also on Candy Crowley who picked which ones would be asked.

And in the end, they didn't matter at all because, no matter what was asked, it was talk about what you want.

Which is how one question found Barack babbling away about how "we haven't had a chance to talk about education much, but I think" and on and on he went about colleges and governors and job training.  Crowley would interrupt him repeatedly every lit bit to pretend she was about to move along but he'd tell her "just one second" and continue.  "Because -- because," he said stammering (in one of many moments Don Gonyea missed), "this is important.  This is part of the choice in this election.  Teachers was important to growing our economy, Governor Romney said that doesn't grow our economy.'  Finally, Crowley did cut him off noting, "The question, Mr. President, was guns here, so I need to move us along."

It's worth pointing out she wasn't so kind to Romney.  With him, she was curt.  Such as when Barack was talking over him and Romney stated, "Mr. President, let me finish."  Crowley jumped in with, "Governor Romney, you can make it short.  See all these people? They've been waiting for you.  Make it short."  No need to wonder whose side the alleged moderator was on.

Regardless, the idiotic questions didn't matter in the end because the response session was less about answers and more of a free-style mash-up. 

BBC had a gas bag who felt a key moment was when Romney asked a woman her name.  He found that so hysterical and 'telling.'  We'd recommend Q-Tips and ear wax removal for the jolly Brit.  Here's the section, he found so damning of Mitt Romney.

ROMNEY: Is it Loraina?

QUESTION: Lorraine.

ROMNEY: Lorraine?

QUESTION: Yes, Lorraine.

ROMNEY: Lorraine.

QUESTION: How you doing?

ROMNEY: Good, thanks.

He found it hilarious that Romney asked her name twice.  He felt that anyone should have known, from Candy Crowley's introduction, that the woman's name was Lorraine.

Well if that made Romney stupid, what did it say about Barack who went after Romney?   And first called her "Lorranna."  If the BBC gas bag thought Mitt should have gotten it, then certainly after Crowley and Mitt, Barack should have known the woman's name.  The CNN transcript probably has multiple errors.  One we caught is "Hi Carey."  No, he said, "Hi, Care."  And appeared surprised when the one asking was a man prompting him to then state, "I'm sorry. What's your name?"

Both times he struggled with the name of another person.  Maybe the BBC gas bag could have found time for that -- if he'd cleaned his ears first, of course.

Who won the debate?

The clear loser was an informed public.

We are sure there are well informed undecideds.  But the ones who made it to the microphone with questions (picked by Candy) did not represent the basis for an informed discussion.  We have, in fact, heard more probing questions asked of pageant contestants.

The clear winner?

Some are saying it's Barack.  We don't see how.

He was abrupt and rude.  'So was Mitt Romney!'  Maybe Romney was as much as Barack.  (It seemed to us like Barack was more so.)  But Romney's not been hailed as The One.  While some Dems will cheer, not all will (we aren't).  More importantly swing voters and undecideds had little to grab onto.

If you're undecided at this point, presumably, the last four years have not pleased you.  And that's why we see Barack as the loser.  Last night, he yet again had a chance to present a vision or even a glimpse of four-more-years of Barack.  He never did.  He runs from his actual record and he won't talk about the future.

That left him with nothing but cheap shots.  Like that last one at the end of the debate when he was given the last word and chose to bring up Mitt Romney's 47% remarks.  If you wanted to explore that, you bring it up in an exchange.  If you're a little, scared kid, you wait until the last minute, blurt it out and high tail it off stage. 

That parting image?  Not striking us as presidential.

Fake News, Wasted Tax Dollars (Ava and C.I.)

This is a repost of a piece regarding third party presidential coverage that Ava and C.I. did last week.

The news is fake, your wasted tax dollars are real (Ava and C.I.)

a radio
National Public Radio (or PBS) couldn't exist currently without your tax dollars.  Should it be  taken off public tax dollars, it could follow another model (most likely listener donations would continue and they'd take more corporate money and provide more on air commercials billed as non-commercials).  But for now, it gets tax dollars.

Operating with money from all American people, it should be representing all American people.  It doesn't.  People like Bill Moyers ensured, at its inception, that the CPB would be controlled by Congress.  They did that by refusing to create an independent revenue generator.  In England, at the same time, there was a TV tax (known as a license fee) that provided funds for the BBC.  That model was known and proposed.  Democrats like Moyers objected because it would give the CPB -- Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- too much independence.

Yes, Virginia, ugly people do make overs too.

Hard to believe when you look at Bill Moyers today, but, yes, he has had a make over.

The opponent to independent public broadcasting now likes to self-present as its biggest champion.

Back in the day, when he wasn't targeting gays in the Johnson administration, Bill was doing his part to ensure that public broadcasting in the US -- PBS and NPR (to a lesser degree at that time Pacifica Radio -- at that time, Pacifica was much more independent than what it is today) -- would be controlled by the two party duopoly in the United States.

"You keep saying you're done with Bill Moyers and you keep coming back to him."


Believe us, we have better things to do.  We've documented the sexism of his previous show (here and here, if you're new to the topic) and his current show  (here) and how women make up so few of his guests.   We've documented his questionable 'reporting' and how he disgraced PBS in 2008 and we told you about it before the last straw for PBS news correspondents -- when a PBS commercial presented him as part of  PBS news team.  They were offended.  We'd told you long before the commercial how much his 'ethics' and his slanting and misrepresenting had ticked off reporters for PBS.  We told you he wouldn't be returning with PBS and, sure enough, they don't produce his current show.

But if you're going to talk about the CPB and the need for public broadcasting to serve the public, there's no point in lying about that unless you want to be Bill Moyers -- and we work out too much every day to ever settle for his body, thank you very much.

Someone we'd much rather talk about is Harry Shearer.  You may remember that besides his acting, he's also known for many other things including the most powerful documentary of 2010 The Big Uneasy.  And if you remember that, you're probably aware of the nonsense NPR pulled on him.  Harry was hoping that he'd get some serious NPR coverage. All he got was Talk of the Nation which isn't considered a big show in the way that Morning Edition and All Things Considered are. 

We like Harry and the documentary is brilliant.  However, if NPR had taken the position that, "You've been on one of our prestige shows and so we need to cover other things on the other shows," we would have been okay with that.  We're not really fond of press junkets that result in the same performer on every magazine cover and every TV morning show.  So had NPR taken the position that, "We've given you exposure and now we need to give someone else exposure," we could live with that and even defend it.

But what they told him instead was, that for booking reasons, they have a "dibs list" that allows certain shows to get a guest as an exclusive.  Strangely, no such concern exists regarding PBS and NPR personalities which is how Jim Lehrer and Michele Norris get multiple bookings when they have a product to promote -- a product that NPR does not benefit from the sales of but that NPR turns over the public airwaves to in order to promote in some sort of taxpayer-sponsored Home Shopping Network moment.

So the above establishes that the CPB  is set up to be controlled by the duopoly parties and that, even when it has nothing to do with elections or funding, NPR still choose not to play fair.

Did the "dibs list" apply to Jill Stein?

We ask that because All Things Considered, to their credit, provided a vice presidential debate October 6th between Green Party presidnetial candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

Is that why Jill Stein hasn't been on Morning Edition this month? She was arrested this week at the presidential debate.  Even that didn't prompt a story on Morning Edition.  Is Jill on a "dibs list?"

We wondered that this morning as Morning Edition finally found third party candidates.  Mara Liasson did a 4 minute, 38 second report on Gary's run and that of Virgil Goode, Constitutional Party's presidential candidate.  We're glad Mara reported on the two and don't even quibble over her reporting.

But we're talking Morning Edition.  Which means if third parties got 4 minutes and 38 seconds, pretend candidates should get even more.  Thereby explaining the 4 minutes and 41 seconds wasted on a made up candidate.  Is that all Planet Money does with their NPR funds?  Mental masturbation?  And a supposed third party candidate -- that doesn't exist, that's made up -- is then critiqued by a Democratic Party operative and a Republican party operative?

We're missing the news or analysis on NPR where a Green is brought in to critque the Barack - Mitt debate.

That awful Planet Money segment existed solely to mock third parties ("Move to another country!") and re-inforce the duopoly system ("If you don't like" Barack Obama or Mitt Romney).  What a load of crap and what a misuse of taxpayer money.

National Public Radio is rarely national and even less about the public.  These days, more and more, it's not even radio as the online streaming continues to increase and over the airwaves listenership continues to drop.

How very telling that they cram two candidates into one segment while jerking off about a fake candidate for a longer segment.

They're not serving the public and that is why the funding model needs to change.  If it does, NPR might become more about the public.  It might become more about the corporate.  But quit pretending that it's public radio currently.

And quit pretending that you're having honest discussions about how to determine who should be at the debates.  We've already shared that if you make one state's ballot, you should be onstage at the debates.

We propose that because we're  thinking people -- unlike the 'experts' NPR offers.  Those 'experts' start explaining percentage of the national vote and blah blah blah as if the US elects the president via the popular vote.  The electoral college is how the  president is elected and that's based on states.

Unless/until that changes (we support a move to the popular vote), if even one state could potentially vote their electors to you, then you should be on that stage.  If you are before the voters in even one state, you belong on the debate stage.

While Morning Edition does a lousy job of covering third parties (Mara's report today is a rarity), Brian Montopoli has filed two very important reports for CBS News this week -- click here and here



For those who wonder: As noted before, we aren't voting for president in the 2012 election.  No candidate has spoken to us and earned our vote.  And we've been hugely disappointed in the third party candidates -- especially one who's used a campaign not to fight for change but to play Team Mascot for the Democratic Party.

Senator Murray wonders where the review is?

 senator patty murray

Senator Patty Murray (above) is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  Her office notes:
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Contact: Murray Press Office
(202) 224-2834
Sen. Murray Calls on Secretary Panetta to Provide Timeline for Promised Military Review of PTSD and Behavioral Health Diagnoses
In the aftermath of the misdiagnoses of servicemembers in Washington state, Murray calls on the Pentagon to move forward with nationwide review of mental health diagnoses since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began
Letter also calls for information on efforts to collect missing unit military records that could prove critical if certain health care problems arise from service in Iraq or Afghanistan
(Washington D.C.) -- Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, sent a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta requesting next steps and a timeline for the execution of a critical military-wide review of PTSD and behavioral health diagnoses made since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.  The review, which Secretary Panetta promised following the misdiagnoses of severvicemembers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, has seemingly stalled since being announced on June 13th.
"The Department must act with a sense of urgency in order to complete this review and to act on its findings in coordinating with other ongoing efforts to improve the disability evaluation system."  Murray wrote to Panetta.  "Each of these efforts is vital in ensuring servicemembers truly have a transparent, consistent, and expeditious disability evaluation process."
"Senator Murray's letter also addressed her concerns that records for military units in Iraq and Afghanistan, which are often used to provide information on potential health and exposure issues be carefully identified, located, and collected.
The full text of Senator Murray's letter follows:
October 18, 2012
The Honorable Leon E. Panetta
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301
Dear Secretary Panetta:
I am writing to express my concern about two distinct issues, which taken together impact the disability evaluation process for servicemembers and veterans.
At the outset, I very much appreciate your ongoing efforts to address behavioral health diagnoses and care both within the Integrated Disability Evaluation System and throughout the Department at large.  In June, as part of this ongoing effort, you announced a comprehensive Department-wide review of mental health diagnoses.  Shortly after the announcement, I had the opportunity to meet with Under Secretary Conaton to discuss some of the initial steps the Department had taken in preparation for this review.  However, it appears that progress on this effort may have stalled.  I am writing today to request the Department's next steps and timeline for execution of this review.
The Department must act with a sense of urgency in order to complete this review and to act on its findings in coordinating with other ongoing efforts to improve the disability evaluation system.  Each of these efforts is vital in ensuring servicemembers truly have a transparent, consistent, adn expeditious disability evaluation process.
My second concern relates to the ability of the Department, and specifically the Army, to identify and account for many records for units that served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The lack of access to documentation of the locations and fucntions of specific military units interferes with the ability of both servicemembers and veterans to obtain evidence of military service that may result in adverse health conditions now or in the future.   As we have learned from prior conflicts, this lack of documentation all too often leads to hardship for veterans in establishing a relationship between miltiary service and a specific medical condition. 
The lack of accessible documents may also impede future research efforts if health care problems arise from service in Iraq or Afghanistan.  For these reasons, I would like to know the current status of efforts to identify, locate and collect records for units that served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I also urge you to take all necessary steps to ensure unit records are properly archived and accessible.
I appreciate your attention to these requests and look forward to our continued work together to strengthen both the disability evaluation system and behavioral health diagnoses and care and to ensure our servicemembers and veterans have access to critical military documents.
Patt Murray

Power Authority in Puerto Rico (Berta Joubert-Ceci)

Repost from Workers World:

People win battle with Power Authority in Puerto Rico

By on October 20, 2012 » Add the first comment.
Puerto Rico’s people won a vital environmental struggle when acting President of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) Josué Colón publicly withdrew a request for a permit to allow the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to construct a 92-mile-long gas pipeline. Puerto Rico is barely 106 miles long and 37 wide.
Since right-wing, pro-business and pro-statehood Gov. Luis Fortuño raised the proposal two years ago, strong voices opposing the project immediately began organizing to defeat the project.
The ‘tube of death’
PREPA provides electricity, mainly generated by oil-fired units, for the whole island. One gas-producing plant owned by the foreign transnational, Ecoeléctrica, and located in the southern city of Peñuelas, provides 13 percent of Puerto Rico’s gas.
In 2010, Gov. Fortuño declared an energy crisis in the island to pressure for his pipeline proposal, which he called the “Green Way”. It would have taken gas from Peñuelas, crossing to the north through the Central Mountain range and end in three generating plants along the northern coast, ending in San Juan.
“Green Way” is an outrageous name considering the tremendous environmental destruction the pipeline would have provoked as it was to cross important aquifers that provide water to the south, rivers, protected forests areas with biodiversity, etc. It would have affected the climate and exacerbated risks from tsunamis, corrosion, floods, fires, earthquakes and landslides, affecting directly more than 200,000 people. Additionally, it would have required the expropriation of at least 400 parcelas (plots of land) (See
Studies also showed that the project, which was proposed as low-cost alternative green energy, would not lower utility bills to the consumer.
Some $80 million of the $800 million public-money budget have already been spent. Even before the project was approved, Fortuño had already spent several millions in advertising and consultants, paid to his business allies.
Since Puerto Rico is a U.S. colony, any struggle on the island is also for independence and self determination. Washington’s and U.S.-based corporations’ role is all over this project, and USACE was an accomplice. In an article last June, Casa Pueblo — the environmental organization that initiated the struggle — said, “Gov. Luis Fortuño told a newspaper this week that his administration will not withdraw the application for a permit for the pipeline because USACE has recommended not to stop obtaining such approval.” (
The project has also underscored the corruption that has plagued the Fortuño administration since its beginning, including payments to lobbyists and contractors.
People’s struggle
In spite of the millions wasted by the government on publicity and consultants, however, the unity and perseverance of the people finally won. Casa Pueblo, a 25-year-old environmental activists’ organization located in the center of Puerto Rico, did an outstanding job in researching, exposing and organizing the people around the island.
With the help of local and foreign scientists, engineers and environmentalists, Casa Pueblo published thorough investigations and promoted popular participation. It mobilized throughout the country with full participation of all social progressive organizations and parties, unions, community, women and students groups. It reminded many of the peoples’ struggle against the Navy bombing in Vieques.
This mobilization was a significant step forward for the class struggle. The militant UTIER union represents PREPA’s workers and was an important part of the resistance; its public position on the energy crisis reflected a deep political understanding of the situation.
In his presentation during a pipeline hearing, UTIER President Ángel Figueroa Jaramillo placed the situation within the context of the global capitalist crisis and climate change. Stressing that in Puerto Rico, “The current government has decided to deal with the challenges posed by this crisis by implementing neoliberal measures that not only do not serve the fundamental problems but that put all the weight and cost of the solution on those who have the least, increasing the gap between the economic sectors of the country.”
Both Casa Pueblo and UTIER call for the involvement of the people in the design of a new direction for the environmental policies and sustainable energy production.

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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, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

 "The King of Self-Love sings to the Choir (Ava and C.I.)" and "The news is fake, your wasted tax dollars are real (Ava and C.I.)" -- the two most requested highlights by readers of this site. 

"Wild Rice and Mushroom casserole" -- Trina offers a simple recipe.

 "That awful Candy Crowley," "The real presidential debate is coming," "an unexpected highlight,"
"Most important network news report this week," "The nonsense," "Crowley and third parties and more," "The debate and the bad moderator," "The race continues,"  "Most important story by the network news,"  "'It did as well take two weeks or so'" "Barack did not come off presidential,"
"A learning experience,"  "He's such a prissy priss"  and "The Three-Way Debate" &
"THIS JUST IN! CANDY'S CAMPAIGN!" -- some of the debate coverage in the community.

"book 'em friday: new barbra bio delivers!," "Horrifyingly Mad" and "William J. Mann's Hello, Gorgeous" -- book coverage in the community.  Rebecca and Marcia cover William J. Mann's new book on Barbra Streisand while Kat covers a volume from Mad Magazine.

"Her name was Charlotte" -- also on books, Kat notes the 60th anniversary of a most loved book.

"Diamonds Are Forever" -- Stan reviews a James Bond film.

"Nikita," "Revolution,"  "Park 666,"  "revenge," "The Good Wife" and "Fringe" -- Mike, Marcia, Betty, Rebecca and Stan cover TV.

"The Jewish Stooge: Jon Stewart" -- Ruth on the embarrassment that Stewart has become.

"Piss on Mike Thompson" -- Kat shares some election thoughts.

"The Cult of St. Barack" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.

"Michael O'Hanlon's a crook" -- Elaine on the big loser.

 "You don't buy their albums anymore but . . ." and "THIS JUST IN! FRANKIE & FABIAN WERE BUSY!" -- Cedric and Wally on two losers.
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