Sunday, June 16, 2013


Jim: We haven't done a roundtable in a while.  We're going to try to talk Syria, spying and scandals.  We may not have room for everything.     Remember our new e-mail address is Please note that is a change.  Participating our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim (Con't):  We've got a large number of topics on the agenda including privacy, war, spying, you name it.  Barack decided to arm the so-called 'rebels' in Syria in their efforts to topple Syria's government.  Government, not 'regime,' Deborah Amos.   Thoughts?

Betty: My first thought was, "Wag the dog."  Barack's mired in scandals and hopes this will get people talking about something other than the IRS scandal, the spying scandal, all of the scandals.  Will it?  I don't think so and I don't think anyone with any level of brains will applaud this b.s.

Jim: Jonathan Alter is praising it.

Betty: He's so stupid and he's so ugly.  He ran Newsweek into the ground and I'm guessing Bloomberg News finally had enough him as well since he hasn't done columns for them in two months.  He's an 'MSNBC analyst' which, more and more, is the equivalent of being the American Molly Luft.  And he just gets uglier each year which is an issue if he's going to be on TV.  I mean you look at him and you want to hurl. A quick glance of Amazon, Barnes and Noble and USA Today's charts makes clear that no one is buying his awful new book.   His new, heavily promoted book isn't even in the top 100.  In fact, at Amazon, it's at 310.  No one wants to read him, no one wants to see him, he should do the world a favor and retire to some buffet where he can eat until he explodes.

Jim: So wag the dog -- where you misdirect people by creating some diversion -- is one response.  Wally, what are your thoughts?

Wally: I'd argue that Betty's right and add that the Samantha Powers of the left need to start enlisting if they're so hell bent on sending other people to war.  I'd further argue that this is about their own sexual impotency, these cheerleaders.  I mean, look at Alter, he and his wife can't find his dick under all that fat.  When little boys have surgery that requires them to have their penises taped down, as soon as the surgery is over, they're in a panic reaching around to make sure their penis is still there.  So magnify that by about a thousand, maybe more than that since it's probably been ten years since Alter's seen his own penis, and you can understand the pathetic panic of Jonathan Alter.

Marcia: Or of War Hawk Susan Rice.  Just look at those eyes and all the hate in them.  She clearly has never had enjoyable sex in her life and that's left her bitter and eager to lash out.

Jim: Okay, not sure how serious you two are being, but thank you.

Marcia: I"m being very serious.  Susan Rice has never enjoyed sex.  I'm saying that as a lesbian, looking at her, I can tell.  And she was out in full force lying about the use of chemical weapons.  And when she starts ranting and raving, you can see that she almost gets off.  Almost.  It's the closest to an orgasm -- ranting and raving about destroying a country -- that she ever gets.  I really think she should see a sex therapist before her faces freezes like that, with all those bizarre lines, and her chances at ever having good sex drop even further.

Jim: Edith M. Lederer of the AP reports Susan Rice states that sarin nerve gas was used by the Syrian government twice in March.

Marcia: I think what Susan Rice was referring to in that letter was her own unwashed pudenda.  Get some soap and water, Susan, and give it some air as well.

Jim: KUNA reported that United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "criticized Washington earlier in the day for its decision yesterday" Thursday evening "to arm the opposition as a result of concluding that chemical weapons were used by Damascus against the opposition and civilians in Syria."  KUNA quotes the Secretary-General as stating that "the validity of any information on the alleged use of chemical weapons cannot be ensured without convincing evidence of the chain-of-custody."  He further added that there was "no military solution to this conflict."

Kat: And there is no military solution to it.  There's no point to it either.  Syria is not a threat to the US.  The 'rebels' are a motley collection of US-backed terrorists who've attacked the US in various countries.  And that's who Barack is now openly arming.  He was arming them before but now he's doing so openly.

Mike: And C.I. pointed out Tuesday that Jabaht al-Nusra kicking out al Qaeda in Iraq was just a for show effort to allow the White House to back these so-called 'rebels' and, sure enough, al Qaeda in Iraq announced yesterday that they hadn't left and that they weren't leaving, AP's Adam Schreck reported that.

Jim: Good points.  And Kat's about a threat, once upon a time it was thought that a country should only get involved in foreign skirmishes when their own security was at stake.  What is the overriding principle that demands that the US openly become involved in the battle in Syria?

Elaine: There is none.  This is more imperialism and it's part of the 'grand chessboard' crap that Bully Boy Bush was speaking of.  I actually, I was listening to gas bags on NPR, where they're treating this as though it is the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, and I thought, "You hang around long enough and the past boomer rangs back to the future."  To sell Vietnam, the lie of a domino theory was used. If the US doesn't go into Vietnam, like cascading dominoes, all of Asia will fall.  And on NPR, they were talking about how this was needed to carry out "the domino theory" -- yes, they used that term -- of the Arab Spring -- or so-called Arab Spring.  People talk about US exceptionalism all the time but miss the point of it.  It's tended carefully like a garden of rare flowers because the reason it exists is to justify attacks on other countries.  That's all it's really about, creating a 'noble' purpose for why the US must interfere in everyone else's business.  Without the concept, we'd look like the nosy neighbor Gladys Kravitz from Bewitched -- a busybody forever sticking their nose into other people's business.

Jim: Okay.  Barack's spying on Americans remains n the news.  We've seen a lot of embarrassing things.  A few people have backbones.  Rebecca, you wrote about the Friday.

Rebecca: Yeah, there's really just four people speaking to the issue of the unconstitutional spying with any real fire.  Two are in office, Senators Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul.  Then you have former US House Rep. Ron Paul, Rand's father, and former US Senator and the former Vice President of the United States Al Gore.  That's it.

Jim: And, in fact, Norman Solomon's called out US House Rep. Barbara Lee for her lack of leadership on this issue.

Cedric: At last.  Barbara Lee is a joke.  She's done nothing for the last five years worthy of even a moment's praise.  She's seen her job as being defense linebacker for Barack Obama.   That's why, on the National Journal poll when Bully Boy Bush was in office, Lee was always in the top ten  of the most liberal members of Congress but now that it's Barack, she doesn't even make the top ten.  There's nothing liberal about Barbara Lee, she's just another cheap whore slinging her ass down the road.  She's had her legs in the air for the last five years and has forgotten how to stand up.  I'm glad Solomon called her out, I wish he'd done so louder.  Barbara Lee of 2006 would call out Barbara Lee of 2013.

Jim: Which reminds me of something else, Cedric, the joint-post you and Wally did last week, "Ralph Nader is the problem!" and "THIS JUST IN! NADER HARMS THE U.S.!"

Cedric: Well he gave a speech where he noted Barack was the biggest con-man to occupy the White House ever.  And then he wrote another one of his weak ass columns.  I'm tired of it.

Ruth: Agreed.  I can remember, for example, in 2009, Kevin Zeese going on radio shows, like Lila Garrett's or Cindy Sheehan's, and quoting what Ralph Nader really thought of Barack Obama.  But we would never get that fire in a column.  In a column we would get the weakest, blandest pretense at holding President Obama accountable.    He moves from calling Mr. Obama "a con man" to writing a weak and an awful column that ends with, "If President Obama sweats the small stuff, he will empower the American people to take greater charge of their government and their future over the destructive and cowardly corporatism that now dominates Washington, D.C."  Ralph Nader's become an embarrassment.

Jim: Ann and Jess, you both voted Nader for president -- everyone here but Ava and C.I. endorsed Nader in his 2008 run, I'm referring to prior to 2008.  What are your reactions?

Jess: I don't disagree with Ruth.  I've felt that way for some time now.  Ralph needs to show leadership and he's shown none.  He's demonstrated that he knows not to anger the little left media gods.  Don't question Barack too much or Amy Goodman won't have you on as a guest!  He plays the game the same as the rest of them and how sad is that?   You'd think at 79 years old, you could tell the truth without worrying about the effects.  But Ralph's done that the whole time.

Ann: If Ralph announced he was running for president in 2016, he'd be my first choice.  I don't know who else would be running, but Ralph would be my first choice for who to vote for.  That said, in the last five years he's been extremely disappointing.  We've been the flame throwers here.  We've taken the fall out for it.  We're the ones who, from the left, have criticized Barack.  We've done so in every kind of language imaginable and created a space that a bunch of cowards now tip-toe across.  So the idea that Ralph's going to be such an embarrassment when everyone in this roundtable has shown more courage -- showed more courage in 2009 that Ralph shows today?  I mean, it's embarrassing.  It's humiliating.  It's so bad it almost makes me want to apologize for voting for Ralph.

Jim: Trina, last week, the news was pretty bad.  But you managed to find some humor.

Trina: Well, I came across some.  It was Reductress' "Is The NSA Into Me?  How To Seem More Interesting On Your Tapped Calls" --  a parody of the NSA spying scandal that was probably closer to the truth than many realize.  In the parody, it's written in the style of those bad women's magazine articles about how to make a guy like you.  But it's parody and it isn't because that's really what The Nation and others have spent the past five years doing.  It's very funny.  In these times when you want to scream or cry, a good laugh is important and I'd recommend that to anyone feeling like pulling their hair out right about now over the destruction of the US Constitution.  This really does -- the spoof -- capture what the last five years have been like, an abusive male and a desperate, battered woman eager to forgive him anything just to get a kind word.

Jim: Isaiah, you have a great comic that's going up later this morning.  It's on the spying scandal.

Isaiah: I actually prepared this week so that I could do a Sunday comic even if this went on forever.  The way the writing editions here have the last few weeks. The spying scandal so far consists of data on our phone calls and also our e-mails and our internet traffic.  So I've got Barack outside a couple's window, peering in and explaining that's just the starting point.  And I really do believe we need to personalize it that way.  We're acting like it's okay for the government to do various things but it's not okay -- in fact, it's especially not okay for the government to do these things.  And we have to call it out and we have to personalize it because our members of Congress are not doing their jobs.

Stan: I would agree with that.  Its why the Democratic Party looks so embarrassing.  They've forgotten how to stand up for core beliefs.  Barbara Lee, for example, has spent the last five years acting as if she was voted into the position of defensive tackle and as though her goal was a Barack Obama 2012 ring instead of supporting and defending the Constitution.  I am ashamed of the Democratic Party and have been for five years.  Everything we were supposed to believe in has proven to be a fraud.

Jim: How so?

Stan: We were told it was wrong, for example, that the 2000 election was stolen but we were told to shut up about the 2008 primary being stolen -- Hillary got more votes and should have been the nominee  We were told that money corrupts elections but when Barack trashed public financing in 2008, we were told to shut up.  We were told that unnecessary and illegal wars were wrong but Barack launched the war on Libya and even mocked the War Powers Act and we were told not to complain.  Over and over.  He's the worst president in history.

Trina: I would absolutely agree with that and I was in high school when Richard Nixon was in the White House.  He's absolutely even worse than Nixon.

Ty: And yet, as Ann pointed out a little while ago, it's really been us and just a few others who've been calling him out from the left.    Why is it that we hit harder than Ralph Nader?  Even now, we're hitting harder than Nader.  And Wally and Cedric used "Bitch Barry" the other day.  And that wasn't the first time but I know the first time they used it, they had a long discussion about it.

Wally: Right.  And then we thought, "Hey, we used it on Bush?  What's the problem here?"

Cedric: And when we're doing that and hitting hard it's just disgusting to watch the timid.  We've cleared the space, we've paved the road.  It's relatively easy for you to criticize the War Hawk Barack now but even now you're afraid and even now you refuse to use your voices.

Ty: And this isn't about pat ourselves on the back.  Clearly, no one's done more than Ava and C.I. who've criticized online and have criticized around the country. And done so when it was unheard of.

Ava:  Yeah, it was something in January 2009 to be booed.  We'd been speaking out against the wars under Bully Boy Bush and even when there were conservatives or whatever in the group we were speaking to, they didn't boo.  Along comes 2009 and it is public booing.  It just kind of shocks you.

Jim: So what do you do?

Kat: We didn't do anything the first five or six times.  C.I. did.  She was able to defuse the situation with a joke.  After that, we realized that was the way to go and followed her lead on the seventh or eighth time but that was shocking.  You're saying something like, "The Iraq War needs to end now, not in six months, not in two years --" and you're booed.  If you'd said the same thing just a few months prior, it would have been applauded.  The only thing that changed was now Barack was the one keeping troops in Iraq.

Jim: C.I.?

C.I.: Yeah?

Jim: Did it bother you?

C.I.: Not really.  I'd been in that scene before.  I started speaking out against the Iraq War in February 2003, a month before it started.  People don't remember this now in some cases but Bully Boy Bush was hugely popular.  Speaking out then?  You had the same college kids, for example, booing and insisting Bully was a hero and all the other crap.  If you can't handle being heckled, you shouldn't speak.

Betty: And note that they defused it with a joke unlike priss pot Michelle Obama who threatens to leave if a heckler's not thrown out.

Jim: Alright.  Final thoughts, Ava?

Ava: What goes up, must come down.  That was the whole point of the piece "Let the fun begin (Ava and C.I.)."  We wrote that the day after the 2012 election and noted this was the last glorification phase for Barack. Enjoy it because reality was about to march in and that's when the rest of us could enjoy it.

Jim: Alright.  This has been a rush transcript.

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