Sunday, December 23, 2012

Truest statement of the week

Well Iraq lurches from crisis to crisis.

-- master of understatement Jane Arraf  speaking Wednesday to Marco Werman (PRI's The World).

Truest statement of the week II

Someone needs to tell Barack Obama -- it must get particularly confusing this time of year -- that his own birth is not Year One, the date around which all other events are understood. His much-noted, self-referential tic was on cringe-worthy display Friday when the president gave his eulogy for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye, who served in Congress for half a century representing Obama’s birth state of Hawaii.

Inouye was a Japanese-American war hero (he lost an arm in World War II, destroying his dream of becoming a surgeon), and as a senator he served on the Watergate committee, helped rewrite our intelligence charter after scandals, and was chairman of the Senate committee that investigated the Iran-Contra affair. It’s the kind of material any eulogist could use to give a moving sense of the man and his accomplishment. But President Barack Obama’s remarks at Inouye’s funeral service were a bizarre twirl around his own personal Kodak carousel.

-- Emily Yoffe, "Today We Are Gathered … To Hear More About Me" (Slate).

A note to our readers

Hey --

It's Sunday.

We thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's 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.

Jim, Dona, Ty and Jess are off this week so we (Ava and C.I.) steered the edition.  We weren't in the mood for a never ending writing session.  We had hoped to have a piece on the two Congressional hearings we attended but time ran out and we said, "Oh well."  Sorry, if we're in charge of the edition, we have a firm cut off.

So what did we manage to come up with in the allotted time?

We've been told we use the same people over and over (or too often) by some readers.  This week, Jane Arraf got a truest and we don't believe she has before.
A truest also went to Emily Youffe and this is her first.  (Both truests were selected by all listed above.)
In an ideal world, we'd have Iraq in every article and, after last week, we certainly could have done an all Iraq edition.  This is about the political crisis, the latest one, that's threatening Iraq. (Worked on by all listed above.)
We put TV on hold to note the Bash The Bitch round being played the last week on Kathryn Bigelow.  It's not about a film, don't let them kid you.  It may be about a woman directing a film, but it's not just about a film.  If it were, they would have protested a ton of other films.  But focusing on attacking Kathryn does allow them to ignore calling out those in power who refuse to prosecute law breakers or refuse to end torture.(We -- Ava and C.I. -- wrote this.)
We did a roundtable.  We stuck to e-mail topics because there were a lot of e-mails complaining that there had not been a roundtable in forever.  That's because no one wanted to do a never-ending roundtable.  We'd floated it for the last three editions (or others had) and the response was usually "I'm not spending two and a half hours on that."
Reader Carter e-mailed about this sale this morning.  We were publishing articles already when we came across the e-mail and knew we had to do something quick on this.  $4.99 for a full season (streaming).  (Wally, Betty, Ava and C.I. wrote this.)
It's not really the place of US Senators to demand a damn thing from a film studio or to alter any artist's work.  This is outrageous and they should be ashamed of themselves.  (All listed above wrote this.)

This is our second Iraq article.  Nouri is targeting journalists.  He's done that throughout his six years of misleadership. (All listed above wrote this.)

During the roundtable, we listened to our MP3 playlist of kd lang.  Trina loved the songs she hadn't heard before (she has one kd album).   This song was her favorite of many favorites she heard.  It's a great one.  (Trina, Kat, Betty, Marcia, Mike, Ava and C.I.  wrote this.)

Vanity Fair deserves a round of applause for allowing Judd Apatow to expose himself as the vile sexist (expose himself to those who couldn't face the truth prior). (Marcia, Ann, Ava and C.I. wrote this.)
Senator Patty Murray is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and fights daily for veterans issues.

A repost from Workers World.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.

We've added credits in parenthesis in response to Kevin's e-mail asking who wrote what and in response to Lenny e-mailing to ask if Wally was listed wrongly since he does not participate in the roundtable?  Wally worked on other pieces (as noted above).

And that's what we came up with.  We're about to go to sleep.  Most Sundays, we'd be looking at 10 to 12 more hours.  And maybe this would be a better edition if that happened?  Maybe not.  We believe in a start time and an end time.


--  Ava and C.I.

Editorial: Nouri's Crazy Runs Free

Before last week began, Iraq already had problems.  The biggest being Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister and thug, whom Iraqiya has publicly accused of starting crises to distract from his failures to improve the lives of Iraqis.

Nouri was installed as prime minister in 2006 (when the Parliament wanted Ibrahim al-Jafaari) at the insistence of the Bully Boy Bush White House.  His term should have ended in 2010.  That's when parliamentary elections were held.  Per the Iraqi Constitution, the winner of the most seats ends up getting the prime minister-designate spot (and then has 30 days to form a government and become prime minister or fail at that and someone else is named prime minister designate).

Nouri's political slate State of Law came in second to Iraqiya, headed by Ayad Allawi.  So Iraqiya should have had a member named prime minister-designate.  But Nouri dug in his heels and the Barack Obama White House backed Nouri in his public tantrum.  Barack wanted Nouri to have a second term.  But he was second place.

So the US circumvented the voters, the results and the Constitution by brokering a deal which was put into writing and became a contract known as the Erbil Agreement.  For 8 months following the election, Nouri refused to let anything move forward.  Now, the US argued, the other political blocs should reward Nouri for his tantrum and let him have a second term as prime minister.  That didn't sound so good to the political blocs.  So the US asked, "What do you want?"  This was put into the contract and every leader (including Nouri) signed off on it.

He used the Erbil Agreement to become prime minister and then trashed the contract, refusing to carry out any of the promises he made.  He stalled at first, then he just ignored it.  By the summer of 2011, a political crisis was beginning as the Kurds, Iraqiya and Moqtada al-Sadr all demanded that he honor the contract.  This crisis played out throughout this year.

It was not the only crisis.

A few months back, Nouri sent his Tigris Operation Command forces into disputed areas of Iraq.  The Constitution explains how these disputes are to be resolved in Article 140: Census and referendum.  But Nouri's refused to implement Article 140 (despite the Constitution calling on him to do so by the end of 2007).  To get Kurdish support, the Erbil Agreement included the demand that Article 140 be implemented.

Having spent 6 years refusing to follow the law, Nouri now sends his forces into these disputed regions and the Kurds interpreted it as Nouri attempting to claim the lands for Baghdad by force.  They immediately had the Peshmerga (elite Kurdish force) move in and circle areas.  This resulted in a military stand-off.  This was a new crisis.

And it is ongoing.  (Last week, the Peshmerga shot down one of Nouri's helicopters flying over disputed areas.)

But one crisis is never enough for Nouri.


Iraqi President Jalal Talabani  (above) was trying to talk some sense into Nouri.  He's had a health emergency and is now out of Iraq and in a hospital in Germany.

Some might see that as a reason for reflection.  Nouri saw it as a sign that he should take the reins off The Crazy and let it run free.

So last week, he sent the military into the Green Zone to surround the office and home of the Minister of Finance Rafie al-Issawi.  150 people were carted off.  Only 10 were charged with anything ('terrorism").  The others were held for 'questioning' (torture) as he did this time last year with Tareq al-Hashemi's staff.

The move was called out by various Iraqi leaders including Moqtada al-Sadr, Ayad Allawi, Ammar al-Hakim, Massoud Barzani and Ahmed Chalabi.  It also led to protests in Falluja, Tikrit, Samarra, Ramadi and just outside of Falluja.

If Nouri had even an ounce of sanity, he'd realize he'd gone too far.

But this is Nouri al-Maliki.  And for six years now, Iraqis have had to live with his crazy as he has created one crisis after another.

Iraq needed a leader, they got a drama queen.

When they rejected the drama queen in 2010, Barack Obama overrode their vote.  When will their suffering end?  When will their voices be heard?

Media: The allure of Bash The Bitch

In 2006, Katie Couric was being attacked because she was going to be the anchor of The CBS Evening News -- going to be.  For months before she ever sat behind the anchor's desk, she was trashed.  We explained it was "Bash The Bitch."  Two years later, Third (everyone, not just us) offered:

Being opposed to Bash The Bitch does not require that anyone stop criticizing women or that they only criticize with the appropriate 'tone.'  It does require that when you see the angry mob gathering around one woman, you step back to reflect on what's going on?  You ask yourself whether or not the standard this one woman is being held to is a standard her male peers are also being held to?
If the answer is "no," then Bash The Bitch is being played.

And it's being played currently with director Kathryn Bigelow as the target.


Bigelow won the Academy Award for Best Director, the first woman to do so, and she and the film she directed (The Hurt Locker) received many vicious attacks.  But that was nothing compared to what's been thrown at her and her new film Zero Dark Thirty.

Bret Easton Ellis, bad writer, went after Bigelow from his Twitter account with sexist Tweets about her looks and then he wrote a piece (dubbed an "apology") for The Daily Beast where he tried to argue that, being a gay man, he should have been granted some sort of pass and where he referred to Bigelow's "balls."  Bigelow has strength, she doesn't have balls and to suggest she does is not only insulting, it's sexist.  Some apology.

But that was nothing compared to the storm sexist Glenn Greenwald intended to brew.  Greenwald's a right-winger (Libertarian) who's been adopted by a lot of radicals (Socialists who self-present as Democrats) over the last years.  They've been happy to overlook the fact that he was a Bully Boy Bush cheerleader who championed the illegal Iraq War. 

Illegal.  Remember that he championed an illegal war the next time you hear someone (falsely) refer to Greenwald's 'legal smarts.'  A lot of closet cases went after Bigelow and The Hurt Locker.  Some of them were veterans (a few were even  Iraq War veterans and not just people who pretend to be).  They insisted the movie wasn't real.  Amazing since an actual Iraq War veteran would sue in court claiming they had taken his story and put it up on screen.  They would trash the movie, these freaks, and trash Bigelow.  And they would insist it had nothing to do with gender.

Now they're back, in larger numbers, trashing her again.  Debra Sweet joined in for reasons that she needs to explain.  She called a protest of the film before she'd even seen it.

Zero Dark Thirty is a film, it is not a documentary.  It's a story about the CIA and about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.  Some whine that this isn't a true story, some whine that it glorifies torture.

Bigelow opens her film with a lengthy scene of brutal torture.  It's not an erotic scene.  It is horrifying.  But small brains can't process apparently and Greenwald and others have insisted this scene glorifies torture.  (Spencer Ackerman has argued to the contrary.)

So does it?

You're a grown up, see the film yourself and make up your own mind.  You shouldn't take our word for it and you certainly shouldn't take the word of people who organize protests against a film that they haven't even seen.

What's more interesting is that when three US Senators (Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and John McCain) attacked the film, people stayed silent or, like The New Yorker's Amy Davidson, they rushed in to agree it was a good thing -- government censorship was a good thing.

That's when you know Bash The Bitch has gotten way out of hand.

'Explaining' why he felt it was okay to attack Bigelow, Bret Easton Ellis wrote, "The Hurt Locker also felt like it was directed by a man.  Its testosterone level was palpable, whereas in Sofia Coppola's work you're aware of a much softer presence behind the camera."

Does he not get how sexist and insane that sounds?

You have to be 'educated' to make such stupid remarks.  Take Jodie Foster who is an airhead that's been fawned over by the press.  Never challenged, she sucked up the patriarchy and thinks it's cute when she tries to pass 'biology' off as destiny.  (We think it's cute that she still thinks most of America doesn't know she's a lesbian.  Or that she still talks about kissing Scott Baio in interviews -- while at the same time taking offense when asked about her personal life.  Can you get more closeted?)  Foster tries so hard to fit the 'educated' opinion of what a woman is that it's destroyed her directorial efforts, rendering them  huge disappointments that seem both strained and artificial.

Like Jodie, Bret sucked up an 'education' without thinking (only repeating) and it allows him to write sexist crap without even realizing it.

A woman can be anything in the world.  Sofia's a wonderful director.  She is not, however, the template for all womankind.  And Bigelow's film is not full of 'testosterone' unless you've treated your brain like veal and never let it out to wander in the real world.

Women can tell any kind of story any kind of way.  Women can be good, they can be evil.  (Despite Jodie Foster's ridiculous claim that there are no women serial killers.)

But Bret feels women can only be real women and authentic if they present a "softer presence."  That's sexism and it's exactly what's at play.

Glenn Greenwald feels he can trash the film for that very reason.  Debra Sweet feels she can organize a protest for that very reason.

Neither was offended enough by the opening scene of Casino Royal (where torture becomes erotic as a nude Daniel Craig receives it) to protest.  Neither's been offended by any of the many films glorifying torture in the last eight years to step forward and launch an attack.  But those films were directed by men.

When a woman directs a film, it's as if she becomes the straw that breaks their camel's back.

Along with Bigelow, this loser crowd has also trashed Kimberly Peirce for Stop-Loss.  Those attacks helped ensure that she would go nearly five years before she'd get another crack at directing a film.  She's incredibly talented (her first film was the classic Boys Don't Cry).  But she's a woman and she directed a film against war that wasn't enough against war for some big cry babies:  'Oh no, the guy wants to drop out of the war!  But then he decides to get on the bus and return!  Why, oh, why, can't the film say what we want it to! Even if it doesn't fit the character!'

It said more than any of its critics managed to and reached more people.  In its first week on DVD, it made $4.8 million in sales and rentals.  That was long before Channing Tatum was declared (weeks ago) The Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine.  In fact, this is the film that makes Channing a star and, most important to his fans, features lots of shirtless scenes, lots of scenes of him in briefs.  Which is why it continues to rent and sell on DVD and via streaming.

The whiners wanted Kimberly to make a film where she clobbered everyone over the head.  Instead, she made a film where a man wants out of the war but in the end, much to the viewers' regrets, goes back into it.  You have to be really stupid to not grasp how that impacts an audience.

But when women are the targets, a lot of men (and plenty of women) let their stupidity tumble out of their flies.

As Debra Sweet organized her protest against Kathryn, we had to wonder, "Even if Kathryn's film was the offense that Debra claims it is, so what?"

Because it is only a film.

Debra, gets that, right?

She gets that Kathryn has not ordered the torture or death of anyone, right?

She gets that the same can't be said of Barack Obama.

But Debra would rather protest a film than protest the White House?

Never deny the allure of Bash The Bitch.

It's far too ingrained for most people to shake.  They see the stones flying and instead of saying, "Okay, that's enough," they rush forward to grab their own rocks.  They want their shot at bloodying the woman everyone's going after.  In Salem, in the 1600s, they pretended it was about witch craft.  Today, they kid themselves that it's about a film. 


Ava: It's the holiday weekend.  We're doing a roundtable and our e-mail address is Participating in our roundtable are me, Ava with  The Third Estate Sunday Review, as moderator;  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; 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.


Ava: Where are Ty, Jim, Dona and Jess?  Jess has taken our baby to his folks for the holidays.  Actually, he's met our baby at his folks.  I dropped her off Friday and Jess arrived later that day.  Why am I not there?  I'm with our baby all the time.  Jess and his family deserve some solo time.  I'll be celebrating with family on the West Coast.  Ty and his boyfriend went back East to holiday with his grandmother.  Jim and Dona hadn't planned on going anywhere because there was a disagreement about whose family to go to.  That got settled at the last minute and they and their baby are celebrating with both sets of parents in neutral territory.   We encouraged as many people to take off as possible and enjoy the holiday.  We're looking to e-mails for the topics of this roundtable.  First up, Charlie e-mailed about the December 4th "Iraq snapshot" where C.I. reports on attending a Bradley Manning event.  C.I. called the event out for many reasons and Charlie writes, "I agree with most points but don't see why it hurts for Brad's attorney to refuse press requests."  C.I.?

C.I.:  I've stated my opinion and rather than re-state it now, I choose to utilize a valuable resource we have with us, Rebecca.  Rebecca's career was in p.r. She was so good at it, she was able to sell her business and retire very early.

Ava: Okay, to Rebecca.  Since she was not at the event, let me put this on the record, this is what C.I. reported and offered on that aspect:

Probably when Coombs was climbing the cross to praise himself -- the first time.  Now attorneys tend to have oversized egos, that's not surprising.  But what was surprising was hearing someone self-aggrandize to a packed room about how great they were because they turn down all interview requests.  ("I also avoid any interviews with the media.")  That's not great at all. 

You're in a media war, David Coombs, you need to be taking every interview request and then some.  Your failure to do so goes a long, long way towards explaining how Bradley has disappeared from the radar so often.

Rebecca: Well what C.I. said was 100% correct.  If you're the attorney of a client the government wants to disappear, it is your job to court the press.  You want them to feel vested in the outcome of the case.  If they don't, it becomes very easy for them to just spit out what the government says about Bradley or, worse, ignore the whole case.  It's stupidity for any attorney to do what Coombs was bragging about doing.  It's a huge p.r. mistake to have done it and it's nothing to brag about.  As C.I. pointed out at the end of what you just read, that does go a long way towards explaining why his client has gotten so little press.  You really do have to baby the press.  I'm serious.  You have to hold their hand and flatter them and build up their esteem.  And that's just to get coverage for someone not being targeted by the government.  Coombs is an idiot when it comes to p.r.  I hope he's better at the law.

Ava: Thank you, Rebecca.  Cedric, Nola e-mailed about your joint-posts with Wally -- Cedric and Wally do humor posts together and post them at both of their sites.  Nola wants to know why "Princess Barry" and if you're sticking with it?

Cedric:  We pioneered "celebrity" Barack.  We did that back when he was a candidate in the primaries.  Once he became president, we made it "celebrity in chief" and added Barry O! to make it like Jackie O!  But we've doen that and we're trying to find a new monicker.  Due to his relationship with Psy -- someone who he should never speak to since he is commander in chief and Psy twice publicly called for the deaths of US soldiers and their families -- we've gone with Princess Barry.  I'm not sure if we're sticking with it or not.  Whatever we're using when the inauguration rolls around will probably be what we stick with throughout the four years -- if we're online those four years.

Ava: And why "princess"?

Cedric: Because Bitch Barry upset too many people.  I'm not joking.  After Barack got all over Psy we did use "bitch" in at least one post and a few people wrote nice e-mails saying they were bothered by that -- they've written to express that they're fine with Princess Barry -- and we didn't want to alienate our regular readers. But "bitch"? Yeah, that's what I think he is after he attended that concert that Psy performed at and then went backstage to tell Psy how great he thought Psy was.  I think he's disgusting.

Kat: And I'll agree with that.  I wrote about that at my site.  He really disgraced the office by attending that concert.  Finding out that he went backstage and congratulated the man who called for the deaths of US soldiers and their families?  I can't stand him in any way right now.  And Cedric and I are using "soldiers" because that's the term Psy used.  We'd use "service members" otherwise.

Ava: Alright.  Ann's the topic of DeLisa's e-mail.  Ann, she wants to thank you for all your work tracking the gender balance in guests on NPR's Tell Me More.  She notes that you didn't do that most of last week and wonders if you're done tracking the show?  She e-mailed Thursday morning, by the way.  So she was unaware that Ann didn't write about Tell Me More at all last week.

Ann: Right.  I had a bigger issue, to me anyway, for Monday and then got called names -- the n-word -- in e-mails for covering the topic.  Is that supposed to scare me off?  You don't me, bullies, it just means I'll write about it again.  And it was so nice to have the week off from that awful show.  I may play hooky again next week.

Ava: I wouldn't blame you a bit.  And two e-mails, one from Kelli and one from Lesley, came in saying to congratulate Ann and Cedric on the baby they're going to have.  How's your pregnancy by the way?

Ann: After having morning sickness basically 24 hours a day my first weeks, it's been too smooth of late.  I have some aches in my hips and that's about it.

Cedric: If I can add something --

Ava: Sure.

Cedric: I found out my wife was pregnant October 17th.  Because C.I. put a note in that day's snapshot for me to read what my wife had written the night before.  I get e-mails asking me to this day about that and am I mad?  First off, C.I. did not say, "Ann is pregnant!"  She steered me to a post my wife wrote that I had read but not paid attention to.  Second, Ann was having a difficult start of the pregnancy and she didn't need to go through it alone.  But her plan was to tell me the day after the election because I always do all these activities with our local Democratic Party chapter.  I went ahead and explained I wouldn't have time for that and that's what was needed.  C.I. did not spoil it as some have wondered and if she had spoiled that would have been fine.  If Wally had figured it out, he told me he would have just picked up the phone and said, "Cedric, Ann's pregnant and you need to drop these volunteer activities."

Ava: Ann, anything to add?

Ann: Just that I was surprised C.I. got my pregnancy from that post I wrote.  And I'm happy she did what she did because I did want to share the news but was sitting on it due to the election and Cedric's schedule.

Ava: Trina, is that you I hear humming?

Trina: It is.  I love this.  Is it a CD?

Ava: No, it's our MP3 playlist -- our relaxing one.  Most weeks, Kat, Wally, C.I. and me are on the road talking about the wars.  As we drive around and sit on planes, we have a lot of time to listen to music.  Sometimes Wally will have his guitar in the car and he'll strum something and we'll sing along.  Other times, we'll listen to local stations to get a sense of a place.  But a lot of times we're listening to our playlists.  This one, the one Trina's humming to, is our k.d. lang playlist.

Trina: I did not know she had covered Joni Mitchell's "Jericho."

Ava: And a few tracks on in, you'll hear her cover Joni's "A Case Of You" as well.  Music, we all love music.  Kat, you're gearing up for your year-in-review piece, right?

Kat: Right.  So I'm not going to be able to do another album review.  I'll be including an album that I love in the top ten.  I was hoping to give it an individual review but there just wasn't time.  I've got five albums picked for my top ten but that's it so far.  I'll either have mine posted December 31st or January 1st.  Martha and Shirley are hoping to have their year in books up on the 31st, by the way.

Ava: Ruth, your radio piece?

Ruth: I will be writing that the night of the 31st so I have no idea when it will go up.  I have no idea if I will be able to finish it that night.

Isaiah: I am trying to figure out if there is a comic I can do that day.  I just don't know.  Stan and Ava also have to do their year in movies.

Stan: We plan to have that up at our sites on the 31st and people always ask about it being reposted by C.I.  Ann and I are so flattered.  When that thing goes up at The Common Ills, C.I. always waits until the next day, our traffic soars.  A good day for me is about 600 hits.  I'm in the thousands for days after that goes up at The Common Ills as people click the link not to read the piece -- the whole thing is up at The Common Ills -- but to check out a few other things I've written.

Ava: And, C.I., the year-in-review you write?

C.I.: I have no ideas at this point.  My plan is to attend the party I'm throwing, to drink throughout, to then go back to the bedroom, boot up the computer by two or so in the morning, continue drinking like crazy and bang out something.

Ava: Iraq is in the news like crazy and we got a ton of e-mails on that.  I need to correct that.  Iraq is at The Common Ills like crazy.  Most US news outlets are still ignoring Iraq.  We're hoping to have at least two Iraq features this edition.  But an e-mail noted Mike covered Iraq in "Nouri's next move?" last week and wondered why he didn't cover Iraq more?

Mike: I think that's a good question.  The easy answer is that C.I. covers it every day, several times every day, and does an excellent job of it.  But Betty, Ruth and I were on the phone last week and talking about how crazy things were in Iraq and how little coverage there was of that so we all wrote about it that night -- Betty with "The news today" and Ruth with "Another reason for concern in Iraq" -- and I think we should probably try to do that once a week.

Betty: I would agree with that.  There's a point in not writing about Iraq, to be clear.  This is something p.r. wizard Rebecca came up with long ago.  We all repost the snapshot at our sites so you've got Iraq amplified that way.  But if we write about something other than Iraq, we may get someone reading us who doesn't normally and when they're done with whatever topic we were going on about, they can read the Iraqi snapshot and be reminded that the suffering hasn't ended for Iraqis, not at all.

Ava: The biggest threat to Iraq currently?

Elaine: Nouri al-Maliki.  KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani made that call this weekend and I agree with it.

Betty: And it's really important -- it's vitally important -- that we grasp that the US government both installed him in 2006 and insisted he get a second term in 2010 -- despite the fact that the prime minister-designate in 2010 should have been a member of Iraqiya since they came in first in the elections and his State of Law came in second.

Elaine: Exactly.  The US government loves to talk democracy and they will even back that up if it happens to be in their interest.  It was not in the interest of the US government for their puppet Nouri to be replaced in 2010 so Barack Obama demanded Nouri get a second term.

Mike: Taking a giant crap on the Iraqi people, the votes, the Constitution and democracy in the process.

Ava: Trina?

Trina: I'm in complete agreement.  Nouri has proven to be a failure in his six years.  The Iraqi people are no safer, they still struggle with the most basic of public services, unemployment is off the charts and yet he's importing nurses and doctors from other countries instead of instituting a massive training program to allow Iraqis to become doctors and nurses?  He's a disgrace.  I'm sorry if I'm kind of out of it but I always loved "Bird On A Wire" and hadn't ever heard k.d. lang's version.

Ava: It's really a great mix, isn't it?

Trina: As soon as we're done with the roundtable, I'm going to Amazon and downloading a ton of k.d. tracks.  I have Ingenue but that's it.  I clearly need a great deal more.

Ava: And music is entertainment as well as nourishment.  On the topic of entertainment, Gossip Girl wrapped up last Monday night and Marcia wrote "Gossip Girl as it should have ended" offering her take on the show.  Marcia, we had 15 e-mails asking about that, specifically why you decided to do that and could you do it with another show?

Marcia: I guess I could.  I got such tremendous response from that post.  I watched the finale.  I was a huge fan of season one.  I struggled through season two and by season three they were on their own.  But I did watch the series finale and just felt like it was lacking several things including some honesty about sexuality.  So I wrote up, basically, a slash-fiction version.  I had the idea during the final scene when I realized nothing was going to end the way I thought it should.  As for doing it again, I have no problem if I've got some inspiration.

Ava: Good.  And we're going to wind down on that note.

Super sale on The Bionic Woman at Amazon


The Bionic Woman is a TV series that starred Lindsay Wagner as Jamie Sommers, a role for which Wagner won the Emmy for Best Actress.  We've ranked it as one of the "5 Best Super Hero Shows (Live Action) of All Time."

And this year, we've weighed in on the show in "The Bionic Woman Season One" "The Bionic Woman Season 2"  and "The Bionic Woman Season Three."

A large number of e-mails have come in on these articles and we know that a lot of you are fans of the show as well.  So when Carter e-mailed to tell us about a sale at Amazon, we knew we needed to do a heads up.

Right now at Amazon, you can get streaming of season one of The Bionic Woman and season two for $4.99 each.  This is purchasing the full season for streaming -- you can keep it in your Amazon cloud and access it whenever you want. 

Season three isn't part of the special.  Not yet, anyway.  And we have no idea how long the sale will last but if you stream, that's a great deal.

mission jaime 2

Can't do their jobs, so they blame a film


[Senator Carl Levin and Senator Dianne Feinstein above are brainstorming before dashing off a letter.  Having polished off two bottles, they needed a third and Senator Barbara Boxer was kind enough to bring a bottle over.  Senator John McCain had already been drank under the table by the time the photographer shot this picture.]

Last week, Senators Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin and John McCain felt the need to write the head of Sony Pictures, Michael Lynton (letter in full at the end of this article), decrying Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty.

The Senators explain they have "deep disappointment" and "believe the film is grossly inaccurate and misleading."  They maintain that they "understand that the film is fiction," but other than that half of a sentence, nothing in their letter suggests that they, in fact, do understand that.

 We are fans of many of your movies, and we understand the special role that movies play in our lives, but the fundamental problem is that people who see Zero Dark Thirty will believe that the events it portrays are facts. The film therefore has the potential to shape American public opinion in a disturbing and misleading manner.

 So what?

Every film has the potential to shape American public opinion in a disturbing and misleading manner.  That's in the hands of the audience.

And someone needs to explain to the three that the Senate has no role in art.

Let's get to the reality here.

The Senators are angry about a film.

First, the complaints they lodge are that the film distorts things that happened. 

If that's true, that's the fault of the Senators who have allowed programs to take place in secrecy.  If they fear the American people do not know what happened and might be 'swayed' by a film, that goes to the secrecy level that they Congress has allowed the CIA to operate in.

So in other words, Dianne, Carl and John are complaining about the fact that they didn't do their own jobs.  That's on them.

Second, the complaints they insist "The use of torture should be banished from serious public discourse for these reasons alone, but more importantly, because it is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, because it is an affront to America’s national honor, and because it is wrong."  If, indeed, they feel that way, they need to (a) hold hearings into the torture that took place (public hearings) and (b) demand the Justice Department prosecute cases of torture carried out by people working for the US government.

In other words, Dianne, Carl and John's real problems stem from the fact that they haven't done their jobs.

Now they want to whine about a film.

And insist that a studio add a disclaimer to the film.

Though they're too lazy to do the jobs they were elected to, Feinstein, Levin and McCain fancy themselves the new censor board. 



December 19, 2012
Mr. Michael Lynton
Chairman and CEO
Sony Pictures Entertainment
10202 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Dear Mr. Lynton:
We write to express our deep disappointment with the movie Zero Dark Thirty. We believe the film is grossly inaccurate and misleading in its suggestion that torture resulted in information that led to the location of Usama bin Laden.
We understand that the film is fiction, but it opens with the words “based on first-hand accounts of actual events” and there has been significant media coverage of the CIA’s cooperation with the screenwriters. As you know, the film graphically depicts CIA officers repeatedly torturing detainees and then credits these detainees with providing critical lead information on the courier that led to the Usama Bin Laden. Regardless of what message the filmmakers intended to convey, the movie clearly implies that the CIA’s coercive interrogation techniques were effective in eliciting important information related to a courier for Usama Bin Laden. We have reviewed CIA records and know that this is incorrect.
Zero Dark Thirty is factually inaccurate, and we believe that you have an obligation to state that the role of torture in the hunt for Usama Bin Laden is not based on the facts, but rather part of the film’s fictional narrative.
Pursuant to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s recently-adopted Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation program, Committee staff reviewed more than 6 million pages of records from the Intelligence Community. Based on that review, Senators Feinstein and Levin released the following information on April 30, 2012, regarding the Usama Bin Laden operation:
  • The CIA did not first learn about the existence of the Usama Bin Laden courier from CIA detainees subjected to coercive interrogation techniques. Nor did the CIA discover the courier's identity from detainees subjected to coercive techniques. No detainee reported on the courier’s full name or specific whereabouts, and no detainee identified the compound in which Usama Bin Laden was hidden. Instead, the CIA learned of the existence of the courier, his true name and location through means unrelated to the CIA detention and interrogation program.
  • Information to support this operation was obtained from a wide variety of intelligence sources and methods. CIA officers and their colleagues throughout the Intelligence Community sifted through massive amounts of information, identified possible leads, tracked them down, and made considered judgments based on all of the available intelligence.
  • The CIA detainee who provided the most significant information about the courier provided the information prior to being subjected to coercive interrogation techniques.
In addition to the information above, former CIA Director Leon Panetta wrote Senator McCain in May 2011, stating:
“…no detainee in CIA custody revealed the facilitator/courier’s full true name or specific whereabouts. This information was discovered through other intelligence means.”
We are fans of many of your movies, and we understand the special role that movies play in our lives, but the fundamental problem is that people who see Zero Dark Thirty will believe that the events it portrays are facts. The film therefore has the potential to shape American public opinion in a disturbing and misleading manner. Recent public opinion polls suggest that a narrow majority of Americans believe that torture can be justified as an effective form of intelligence gathering. This is false. We know that cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners is an unreliable and highly ineffective means of gathering intelligence.
The use of torture should be banished from serious public discourse for these reasons alone, but more importantly, because it is a violation of the Geneva Conventions, because it is an affront to America’s national honor, and because it is wrong. The use of torture in the fight against terrorism did severe damage to America’s values and standing that cannot be justified or expunged. It remains a stain on our national conscience. We cannot afford to go back to these dark times, and with the release of Zero Dark Thirty, the filmmakers and your production studio are perpetuating the myth that torture is effective. You have a social and moral obligation to get the facts right.
Please consider correcting the impression that the CIA’s use of coercive interrogation techniques led to the operation against Usama Bin Laden. It did not.
Thank you for your assistance on this important matter.
Dianne Feinstein
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Carl Levin
Senate Armed Services Committee
Ex-Officio Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
John McCain
Ranking Member
Senate Armed Services Committee
Ex-Officio Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

Nouri uses the military to bully journalists


That's Fakhri Karim, the owner and editor of Iraq's Al Mada newspaper.  He owned and operated the Al Mada Publishing House in Syria.  In the 1970s, he was the Secretary for Iraq's Communist Party.   In the 1980s, Saddam Hussein ordered him assassinated.  He was injured in the attack but survived and left Iraq.  Returning in 2003, he quickly started the newspaper and by 2004, it was garnering international headlines with its series on how Saddam Hussein had thrown lucrative oil contracts to supporters.

Sam Dagher profiled him in 2007 for The Christian Science Monitor and noted:

A seasoned newspaperman and publisher with shrewd political instincts and friends in high places, Fakhri Karim's rise to the top of Iraqi media mirrors in many ways the path of Orson Welle's Charles Foster Kane.  
Mr. Karim, owner of the Baghdad-based Al-Mada newspaper, considered the country's most professional, came from the most humble beginnings as a Shiite Kurd.  He was a young idealist, later an exile.  But today, he holds court with the country's most powerful, such as Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani, president of the autonomous Kurdish region.

Recently, Nouri al-Maliki closed down al-Baghdadi satellite channel in Iraq.  This is part of Nouri's ongoing war on a free press that didn't stop with his lawsuit against England's Guardian newspaper.  And as part of this war, Fakhri Karim is being targeted by Nouri -- Nouri's office issued a statement  attacking the Al Mada editor -- because Karim believes Iraq can be and should be everything outlined in the country's Constitution.  For that, for faith in Iraq's future, Karim is being publicly attacked by Nouri al-Maliki.

Al Mada reported Tuesday that Fakhri Karim has received orders to evacuate his home immediately -- military orders.  And to try to enforce them, Nouri sent a convoy of troops to Fakhri's home.  Shafaq News reported:

Fakhri Karim said in a statement briefed by "Shafaq News", that "within the series of (Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki) to prevent freedom of speech, his office has sent a military convoy led by a colonel to Qadisiyah complex to evacuate my house immediately."

Nouri used the military to shut down al-Baghdadi as well.  What is it with Nouri sending the military in to attack the press?

Because that's what petty dictators do, that's how tyrants intimidate, bully and control.

The world better start paying attention to what's going on in Iraq and that includes the disgraceful Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders who both issued reports on journalism around the globe last week and both ignored Iraq.

Song of 2012

If the video doesn't display, click here for YouTube.  The one and only k.d. lang performing "Pullin' Back The Reins" (written by lang and Ben Mink) from her album Absolute Torch and Twang.  Though released some time ago, the chorus really hits 2012:

Pullin' back the reins
Trying to remain
Tall in the saddle when
When all that we had 
Ran away, ran away, ran away 
With a will of its own.

k.d.'s so cool, she sang 2012 back in 1989.

Judd The Sexist (Marcia, Ann, Ava and C.I.)

Judd Apatow is 'guest editor' for the latest issue of Vanity Fair.  As the four who wrote "We do not embrace sexism (Marcia, Ann, Ava and C.I.)," "We do not embrace sexism (Marcia, Ann, Ava and C.I.)" and  "We do not embrace sexism (Marcia, Ann, Ava and C.I.)," we were curious about the issue.  See, in that piece, we noted a plain fact:

Judd Apatow is her enabler, sponsor and the executive producer of her show.  Apatow's sexism in film after film -- yes, that does include Bridesmaids -- is well known.

But some people had a problem with it.  Judd, they insisted, was not a sexist.

So thank you, Vanity Fair, for allowing the pig to edit.  This is the magazine's comedy issue.  There are three different covers -- we went with the one featuring Leslie Mann (married to Apatow), Melissa McCarthy, Paul Rudd and non-comic Megan Fox.

Apatow isn't responsible for the entire issue, just for a segment beginning on page 53.  That's where "The Comedy Portfolio" kicks off.

The first two page spread (we're not outtakes from the various covers) features Steve Martin and Apatow.  Then an interview with Chris Rock (conducted by Apatow) and a full page photo of Jorma Taccone, Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer, then two pages featuring Mindy Kaling, Aubrey Plaza, Zooey Deschanel and Dakota Johnson.  Then a page photo featuring Bo Burnham, Amy Schumer, Chelsea Peretti, Reggie Watts, Hannibal Buress and John Mulaney. a one page essay by Conan O'Brien, a two page photo spread of Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner, a page of "The Masters" Norman Lear, James L. Brooks, Roseanne Barr, David Milch, Paul Reubens and Garry Shandling, a one page photo of Jim Carrey, a one page photo of Will Farrell, 2/3 of a page of a drawing of Zach Galifianakis and a mini-essay from him with the other third being four minor paragraphs by Sarah Silverman, a two page spread of Sarah Silverman reclining with six unidentified elderly people.  And that's the photo essay.

Did you catch how many men were there versus how many women?

Let's count it or you.

Men:  21

Women:  8

Want to explain to us again how Apatow's not a sexist pig?

We'll come back to the photo essay.  He also 'guest edited' a look at a comedy film: The Blues Brothers.  It's a funny film.  It's not the funniest.  If Vanity Fair was going to highlight a film from that period, it should have probably gone with Tootsie which is a comic masterpiece.  But Judd Apatow probably finds Tootsie too 'challenging.'    Endless  photos of Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi and John Landis (no mention of how Landis is responsible for the death of Jennifer Jason Leigh's father).  Then a lengthy profile on comic actor Martin Short.  Endless pages on Apatow's failed TV show Freaks and Geeks.  Then Judd inteviews Albert Brooks.  Then Judd has Sam Kashner interview Elaine May and Mike Nichols.  So a TV feature, a movie feature and three profiles -- profiling three men and one woman.

Still want to pretend he's not a pig?

Let's go back to "The Masters" for those who don't get it.

Remember how Roseanne was the only woman included?  Here's what Apatow writes, "ROSEANNE BARR kicked down the door for women in comedy with her groundbreaking show.  More important, she gave me one of my first jobs, writing jokes for her, when I was broke and unqualified."

So we can blame Roseanne for Apatow?  Good to know.

But about that first sentence?

Roseanne did what?

Roseanne's sitcom Roseanne is a groundbreaking show.  But it's not groundbreaking for women.  It's groundbreaking for dealing with taboos, it's groundbreaking for being funny.

Lucille Ball broke down the doors for women in TV comedy and did it before Roseanne told her first joke.  Mary Tyler Moore was next.  And if Judd had bothered to speak to Carl Reiner, he'd know that.  Moore was hired to play Rob's wife on The Dick Van Dyke Show because of her pretty looks.  And that was her role on the show until Carl discovered, to his surprise, that she could be funny.  Mary Tyler Moore was hilarious on that show and on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.  Presumably, Judd Apatow believes Goldie Hawn is funny since, for one cover of the funny issue,  his wife dressed up as Goldie from her Laugh-In days.  Goldie was hilarious on Laugh-In.  Seventies television would feature comedic performances from Bea Arthur, Marla Gibbs, Jean Stapleton, Penny Marshall, Cindy Williams, Nell Carter, Suzanne Somers, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman, Ja'net Dubois, Betty White, Cloris Leachman and Valerie Harper, among others.

All of those women -- and many more -- were making audiences laugh before Roseanne ever got her own sitcom. By the time Roseanne finally got a sitcom, Candice Bergen had already spent a year on CBS getting laughs in Murphy Brown.

We don't begrudge Roseanne any praise she's earned.  But you have to be a real idiot to think Roseanne kicked down any doors for women in TV comedy.

Women have to repeatedly reinvent the wheel exactly because of men like Judd Apatow who repeatedly want to erase their contributions.  All the women who came before Roseanne are erased -- probably because Judd didn't work on their shows.  The word for erasing the accomplishments of women is "sexism."

Judd Apatow is a sexist and we thank Vanity Fair for allowing him to 'guest-edit' a portion of the magazine because it really underscores just what a sexist pig he is.

Lily Tomlin received no two page spread.  Jane Curtin wasn't included despite starring in three successful comedy shows (Saturday Night Live, Kate and Allie and 3rd Rock From The Sun). Goldie Hawn and Cher were aped on the covers but they don't pop up in a photo essay, so many women who've consistently been funny are ignored and rendered invisible.

But, again, he can and did feature Megan Fox.   Fox might become a great comic actress but for now she's known for popcorn films and for her body.  Only a sexist would go out of his way to overlook many wonderful women of comedy to include Fox.

Murray fights for Veterans Dignified Burials

senator patty murray

Senator Patty Murray (above) is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  Last week, her office noted:

Contact: Murray Press Office
Thursday, December 20th, 2012 
(202) 224-2834
Murray Bill to Ensure Dignified Burial for Every Veteran Passes Senate
Bill also includes provisions to improve veterans’ benefits, including transportation assistance and the creation of a burn pit registry
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, applauded Senate passage of the Dignified Burial and Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2012. This House and Senate-negotiated package contains proposals from Democrats and Republicans in both Chambers.
The legislation includes provisions from Chairman Murray’s original bill to authorize the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to furnish a casket or urn to a deceased veteran when VA is unable to identify the veteran’s next-of-kin and determines that sufficient resources are not otherwise available to furnish a casket or urn for burial in a national cemetery. Under current law, VA is not authorized to purchase a casket or urn for veterans who do not have a next-of-kin to provide one, or the resources to be buried in an appropriate manner. Earlier this year Chairman Murray and Ranking Member Burr, joined by U.S. Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Marco Rubio (R-FL), introduced this legislation after a veteran, with no known next-of-kin, was buried in a cardboard container at a VA National Cemetery in Florida. The exposed remains were discovered during a project to raise and realign headstones at the cemetery. 
The Dignified Burial and Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2012 would also establish a registry for those veterans exposed to open burn pits while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and commissions an independent scientific report on the health effects of such exposures. The legislation would expand and protect access to VA services by furnishing eligible veterans with transportation to and from VA facilities and provide transition assistance to eligible veterans and their spouses outside of military installations.
“When America’s heroes make a commitment to serve their country, we make a promise to care for them,” said Chairman Murray, following passage of the bill. “That includes helping them access VA facilities and providing them with a burial befitting their service.”
The House and Senate-negotiated package also includes authority for restoration of the Clark Veterans Cemetery in the Philippines and renames several VA facilities across the country, including the Spokane VA Medical Center, in honor of veterans and individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to veterans, to their communities, and to their country. The bill will now move on to the House of Representatives.
Kathryn Robertson
Specialty Media Coordinator
Office of U.S. Senator Patty Murray
448 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510


Bradley Manning Person of the Year (WW)

Repost from Workers World:

Manning picked as Person of the Year

By on December 21, 2012 » Add the first comment.
B. Manning
B. Manning
By an overwhelming vote of its online readers, the British newspaper The Guardian has been forced to name U.S. political prisoner Pvt. B. Manning its “Person of the Year.”
Daniel Ellsberg, the releaser of the Pentagon Papers, which exposed U.S. lies about the contrived Tonkin Gulf incident used in 1964 to justify U.S. attacks on Vietnam and the massive U.S. occupation, last year said this about Time magazine’s selection of its “Person of the Year”:
“The Time Magazine cover gives a protester, an anonymous protester, as ‘Person of the Year,’ but it is possible to put a face and a name to that picture of ‘Person of the Year.’ And the [U.S.] American face that I would put on that is Private Bradley Manning.”
Why has Pvt. Manning inspired such support?
In April 2010, the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks released a U.S. military video taken from an “Apache” helicopter in Iraq as it gunned down a dozen civilians, including a Reuters videographer and his driver. A month later, the U.S. Army arrested and jailed Pvt. B. Manning.
For more than two and a half years, Manning has been locked up, charged with the capital crimes of espionage and “aiding the enemy.” The “enemy” here consists of the world’s people. The “crime” is the release of thousands of military and State Department documents that made the public aware of human rights abuses, U.S. support of ruthless dictators, government and corporate corruption, and U.S. war crimes.
Manning endured months of torture in Kuwait and the brig in Quantico, Va. He was placed in solitary, in a tiny cage, and was often forced to strip naked.
Many “establishment” newspapers in the U.S. and Europe, including the New York Times and the Guardian, published excerpts from what was released by WikiLeaks. Nevertheless, none of these bastions of the so-called free press lifted a finger to defend the person accused of providing this information to them.
Early in December, the Guardian conducted a survey to choose its “Person of the Year.” The paper’s management made their choice clear — Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani 14-year-old who was shot in October because she was waging a campaign for the education of Pakistani girls. The corporate media are trying to use her legitimate campaign in order to justify imperialist intervention in Pakistan and Afghanistan. (See article by Deirdre Griswold, Oct. 17, at
However, some 70 percent of responders selected Pvt. Manning. Obviously Manning’s stirring courage in the face of overwhelming vilification and harsh treatment has attracted profound support among progressives and people in general here and abroad.
Manning exposed U.S. war crimes, which is supposed to be how an honorable soldier should behave, according to the U.S. Army Field Manual and the Nuremberg Principles determining war crimes. To jail and torture Manning obstructs the people’s justice. It is, in fact, itself a war crime.
Free Manning now!

Articles copyright 1995-2012 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.


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.

"CPJ looks the other way as Nouri threatens Fakhir Karim" -- most requested highlight of the week by readers of this site.

"Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Deaths of Children" -- Isaiah takes on the Drone War.

"Kat's Korner: Stones release a tooth grinder" -- Kat takes on the latest Stones repackaging and shares additional thoughts in "Thoughts on the Stones."

"Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Brad Sherman,"  "Howard Berman's fuzzy figures (Ava)," "Waste at the State Dept. is okay (Wally)," "Gary Ackerman, Embarrassing Ass" and "Benghazi questions must still wait" -- C.I., Ava, Wally and Ruth attend the House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing and report on them.

 "The idiot Glenn Greenwald," "Iraq snapshot," "World Can't Wait goes completely nuts," "The sexism of Glenn Greenwald," "Dianne, Carl and John, shut the f**k up,"  "Debra Sweet, kiss my Black ass,"  "World Can't Wait jumps off the deep end" and "F**k you, Bill Van Auken" -- Ann, C.I., Kat, Stan and Elaine on the latest nonsense from our defocused friends.

  "Monkey Business," "good going for penny marshall," "Movies" and  "Total Recall" -- Stan and Rebecca go to the movies.

"Fringe 'Black Blotter'," "Gossip Girl as it should have ended" and "GG again" -- Mike and Marcia cover TV.

 "Stephen Zunes shows up late for the party" -- Elaine calls out a latecomer.

"The news today," "Another reason for concern in Iraq," and "Nouri's next move?" --  Betty, Ruth and Mike cover Iraq.

"THIS JUST IN! BAD NEWS FOR BOBBY!" and "Somerby's big lie gets rejected" -- Wally and Cedric fact check the asshole.

"How bad are things really?" and "Tuition rates don't bother everyone" -- Trina on the economy.

"Inouye's funeral" -- Betty calls out Barack's familiarity at a funeral.

"Holiday thoughts" and "Christmas work party" --  Betty and Ann note the holiday.

"Full On Federline" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.

"Tapping and slapping" and "THIS JUST IN! PRINCESS LOVES PSY!" -- Cedric and Wally on Princess Barry's main man. 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }