Monday, June 29, 2015

Truest statement of the week

Every phony leftist that peddled Barack Obama as a “progressive,” and every knave and fool in “Progressives for Obama” that spread rose petals at his feet in 2008, should do penance through five years of silence. 

-- Glen Ford, "Obama Rams Through TPP With Little Democratic Support, Even from Black Caucus" (Black Agenda Report).

Truest statement of the week II

Krugman’s column, headlined “Hooray for Obamacare,” consists of one cynical lie after another aimed at convincing the public that Obama’s right-wing health care overhaul is an historic achievement for low-income Americans.

-- Andre Damon, "Paul Krugman’s apologia for Obamacare" (WSWS).

A note to our readers

Hey --

A Monday.  First, 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?

And that's what we came up with.


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

Editorial: Leave It To The Ridiculous Joel Wing

So last week, egghead wanna be Joel Wing found someone equally inane to chat up and the two explored how the Islamic State had done more damage than former prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki.

The two 'brains' insisted this was true and went out of their way to minimize Nouri's actions and --

Wait a second.

The Islamic State are seen as a terrorist group.

Niceties really aren't an issue for them, right?

But a prime minister?

He or she is not supposed to attack the civilians of the country, right?

Part of being the leader of the country is protecting the citizens -- protecting, not attacking.

It's a point lost on the foolish like Joel Wing.


Joel Wing has a long, long history of minimizing and outright ignoring the crimes of thug Nouri but this was a new pose even for Joel -- insisting that the crimes against civilians carried out by a leader of a country could be given 'context' if compared to the crimes carried out against the same people by a terrorist government.

Context -- a term Joel Wing's never grasped.

TV: The Grinch Who Stole The Simpsons

"TV babies," Matt Dillon snorts dismissively in the film Drugstore Cowboy and, boy, do we hear you, Matt.

TV babies know what they saw on TV, they just don't know a great deal about life.


You can see it with the Saturday Night Live writers.

Once upon a time, skits were based on relateable moments you could identify with.  Dating moments, for instance, that were recognizable even if they did have to go over the top to reach the comedy.

If your life was a TV talk show, then SNL captures it for you.

There are some episodes that feel like every skit was a spoof of a talk show.

That's what happens when writers with limited experience and/or limited talent end up 'writing.'  They can rewrite what they saw on TV from other television shows, they just can't capture any real life incident.

No where is this failure more apparent than on the shows from Seth MacFarlane.

Seth is funny himself.

The shows he's associated with (American Dad and Family Guy, for example) often are.

But far too often, they're failing to convey real life moments.

"They're cartoons!"

Well, yes, they are.

They are cartoons that rip off Woody Allen's Crimes & Misdemeanors and Sidney Pollack's Tootsie, to offer only two examples.

It makes the shows less and less funny and removes you from the characters as you sit there trying to figure out what film is being spoofed this time.

And that's before you even bring up the Star Wars parodies (Family Guy) or James Bond parodies (American Dad).

Can they tell their own story about their own characters?

Apparently not.

King of the Hill should never have been axed.

That show was rooted in reality and managed to find the jokes every half minute.

Today, Bob's Burgers does the same.

It's a hilarious show and probably one of the best animated ones on prime time television.

One of the best?

Though many keep predicting the death of The Simpsons, the long running show which has now aired 574 episode -- nine more than there are days in a year -- still has a surprising amount of life in it.

The last two years have found the show on something of a creative high and its comments about not only the characters but also the world we live in have been both funny and on the mark.

This year's stand out commentary moment for us, for example, was when Marge wanted Bart to tell her why something happened and he responded, "How can I explain something I know nothing about?  I am not cable news."

They, in fact, do so much right of late that it's hard to believe they could be on the verge of a colossal mistake.

Harry Shearer has left the show.

The voice of Mr. Smithers, Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Kent Brockman, Dr. Hibbert, Reverand Lovejoy, Lenny, Principal Skinner and more is no more?

Now you can recast voice actors.

Remember when they made the film of The Jetsons cartoon TV show?

Remember the 'smart' decision to recast Judy Jetson and have her voiced by then-hit maker Tiffany?

If you do remember, you may remember the outrage and the fact that the film crashed and burned.

Meanwhile, how greedy is James L. Brooks?

That's the question circulating these days -- followed by how stupid is James L. Brooks?

He hasn't had a hit film since As Good As It Gets.

And his only two other hits are Terms of Endearment and Broadcast News.

For some reason, he's not interested in working with either Debra Winger or Holly Hunter.

And he's never really recovered from the bomb I'll Do Anything.

But he keeps trying to have a hit film and America keeps making clear they won't be having what he's having.

The Simpsons have made him rich beyond anyone's measure.

But instead of guarding the art involved, Jim's only focused on the coin.

He got into a ridiculous lawsuit with Tracey Ullman (yes, he won, didn't make the lawsuit any less ridiculous) and that really soured a lot of people on him.

Ullman's variety show was where The Simpsons got their TV debut.

Few people want to work with Brooks on a TV show today out of fear that he will pull some similar stunt/betrayal on them.

And, as we pointed out, it's been nearly 20 years since Brooks had a hit film.

His refusal to work with actresses who brought him acclaim (toss Shirley MacLaine on that list) has also soured his image.

And the war on Polly Platt was both tragic and tacky.

All of it has left Brooks with mountains of moolah but not any real friends.

A bunch of lackeys remain, sniffing around the cash.  They're the ones who tell the trade publications that Harry Sharar needs to contact Jim Brooks and talk to him.

So Jim Brooks has raked in millions and millions for this show -- for doing nothing really -- and it's not even his job to speak to a voice actor about staying with the show?

Remind us again why Brooks makes even a dime off this show.

Brooks appears to believe that money can replace companions.  Well more power to him and lots of luck with that but is that any reason for him to risk the health of his only cash cow (The Simpsons)?

If the show doesn't manage to delight fans this fall in a Harry Shearar-less edition, it may not longer be referred to as "Fox's long-running show."

And if that happens, Brooks will have to explain to the world how his greed managed to kill the Goose that laid the golden egg.

Fortunately for Fox, they'll still have Bob's Burgers.


10 70's TV Characters We Never Want To See Again


Here are ten characters the 70's have not recovered from.

1)  Cousin Oliver (The Brady Bunch).

2) Maxwell Klinger (M*A*S*H).

3) Spike Fonzarelli (Happy Days).

4) Rhonda Lee (Laverne & Shirley).

5) David Kane (One Day At A Time).

6) Fatso Stavros (Kojak).

7) J.R. (Barnaby Jones)

8) Sheriff Chuck Bevans (Sigmund and the Sea Monsters).

9) Mr. Dingle (The New Zoo Review).

10) Wonder Twins Zan and Jayna (The All New Super Friends Hour).

Where are the girls and women?


Barack yet again frets about the youth of America -- the young boys and men.

Has there ever been a more sexist administration?

My heroes have always been . . . losers?


I've been in this town so long
So long to the city
I'm fit with the stuff
To ride in the rough
And sunny down snuff I'm alright
By the heroes and

Heroes and villains
Just see what you've done

-- "Heroes and Villains," written by Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, intended for the album Smile, eventually first appeared on the Beach Boys' album Smiley Smile.

You probably think we mean Barack Obama, right?


We're not talking about Cult of Personality.

Whatever his faults -- which we'll gladly list -- Barack is charasmatic.

The same cannot be said for others.

Take Valerie Plame who has quickly become this century's Loud family.

She just won't take a hint and hit the road.

Many of us on the left supported her when Bully Boy Bush and company outed her as retaliation against her husband Joe Wilson for Wilson writing a column debunking BBB's yellow cake in Africa claim.

The crime was that BBB's administration outed her.

That is a crime -- and BBB can thank his father for that.

But we never mistook Valerie Plame for an angel -- not even one of Charlie's Angels.

She was an undercover CIA operative.

That's not a role of nobility or honor.

In the time since she was outed, over a decade ago, she's taken to Tweeting 'about' Iraq.

It's never about Iraq.

She has no interest in Iraq.

She just wants to work her grudge against BBB.

She was a tool of empire so clearly she's not opposed to empire, she just didn't like the way BBB went about pursuing it.

On the left, we too often rush to celebrate those that we might need to defend but should never celebrate.

Plame is only one example.

[To enjoy The Beach Boys' classic tune "Heroes and Villains," click here.]

Not a minute too soon

It's not just the fact that at 52, old man Jon Stewart has aged out of Comedy Central's desired youth audience, it's also that he really has nothing left to do or say.

For example . . .



It's not your pale skin that appalls me
That dulls and knaws me, oh no
It's just the sameness of you

It isn't your dull conversation
That dulls all sensation, oh no
It's just the sameness of you

This edition's playlist


1) Steve Grand's All American Boy.

2) Laura Nyro's Christmas and the Beads of Sweat.

3) Minnie Riperton's Perfect Angel.

4) Donny Hathaway's Everything Is Everything.

5)  Tori Amos's Unrepentant Geraldines.

7) Carly Simon's Another Passenger

8)  Sam Smith's The Lonely Hour.

9) Amy Winehouse's Back To Black.

10) The Beatles' Help.

Ruling Establishes Marriage Equality Nationwide


Last Friday,  the ACLU issued the following:

     Ruling Establishes Marriage Equality Nationwide

June 26, 2015
A media call will be held at 12 p.m. ET. Please join by dialing (800) 230-1951; Call ID: “ACLU Supreme Court Marriage Briefing” 

WASHINGTON –The Supreme Court today issued a sweeping and historic decision that affords gay and lesbian couples the same legal right to marry as different-sex couples. The ruling invalidates discriminatory laws in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and as a practical matter, requires all 50 states to allow same-sex couples to marry.

“The Supreme Court today welcomed same-sex couples fully into the American family. Gay and lesbian couples and our families may be at peace knowing that our simple request to be treated like everyone else – that is, to be able to participate in the dignity of marriage – has finally been granted,” said James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and HIV Project. “Today’s historic victory comes on the backs of same-sex couples and advocates who have worked for decades to dismantle harmful stereotypes and unjust laws in the quest for equal treatment.”

The court’s 5-4 opinion holds that state marriage bans violate the due process and equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Recognizing that “marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death,” the court held that the Constitution grants to same-sex couples the right to “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”

“Today's decision has been 50 years in the making and will stand with Brown vs. Board of Education as one of the landmark civil rights moments of our time,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director. “Now we take the battle for full legal equality to the states, where 31 states have yet to pass any statewide LGBT non-discrimination laws. The wind is at our backs, and we are now on the cusp of achieving full legal equality for LGBT Americans across the country.”

The case is captioned Obergefell v. Hodges and is made up of cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. The ACLU represented plaintiffs in Kentucky cases Bourke v. Beshear and Love v. Beshear and in Ohio case Obergefell, et al. v. Hodges with private firms.

“We’re very excited for our clients, and for other families all over the country, who no longer have to have their relationships relegated to second-tier status,” said Dan Canon, attorney at Clay, Daniel, Walton and Adams representing Kentucky plaintiffs. “This is the right decision – one that puts the U.S. on the right side of both history and humanity.”

More than 50 courts ruled in favor of marriage equality following the Supreme Court’s watershed 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act. In January 2015, the high court granted review of an aberrant Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld marriage bans in the four states – the first appeals court to do so after Windsor.

“We started this case with a dying married man – John Arthur – and a death certificate. Without recognition of his marriage, this last document recording his life on earth would be forever wrong.  Now the Supreme Court has ruled that Ohio must recognize his marriage and Jim Obergefell will be properly recorded as his surviving spouse,” said Alphonse Gerhardstein of Gerhardstein & Branch representing Ohio plaintiffs. “This ruling will protect LGBT families from cradle to grave in medical and all other respects.  May John Arthur rest in peace.  We are thrilled and honored to help make this ruling a reality.”

Attempts to bring fracker Caudrilla back to Lancashire met with protests

This is from Great Britain's Socialist Worker:

Attempts to bring fracker Caudrilla back to Lancashire met with protests

by Dave Sewell

A previous protest against fracking in Lancashire
A previous protest against fracking in Lancashire (Pic: Victoria Buchan-Dyer on Flickr)

Hundreds of people protested outside Preston Town Hall on Tuesday of this week as Lancashire County Council considered whether to bring fracking back to the region.

Councillors were discussing whether to allow fracking firm Cuadrilla to drill for shale gas at two locations.

This would be the first fracking operation to take place in Britain since 2011.
Fracking operations stopped when a Cuadrilla company rig in Lancashire was shut down after it was found that it caused earthquakes.

Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing, a method mainly used to extract shale gas.

High volumes of water laced with abrasive sand and chemicals are blasted into horizontal fractures deep underground.

Bosses insist it is safe but fracking wells often rupture and can leak deadly chemicals into the soil and water.

The Tories have a lot riding on the Lancashire decision. They want to follow the US, where a boom in fracking has helped make it a major gas and oil producer.

But the dangers of fracking are much better known now—and Britain’s shale gas reserves are much closer to major population centres.

Protests have taken place wherever wells have been dug to explore for shale gas.

There have also been mass demonstrations in Manchester and in Balcombe, West Sussex. And Lancashire itself has seen sustained campaigning by a number of groups.

Protesters held a die-in in the street and tied a yellow ribbon around the county hall. A same sex couple even brought their “anti-fracking wedding” to the protest.

Council planning officers have recommended to allow drilling at the Preston New Road site.

But their fracking recommendations have been defied before in light of public pressure. A decision was expected this week.

Climate campaigners lobby MPs

Some 9,000 people from across Britain came to parliament in central London on Wednesday of last week to lobby their MPs for action against climate change.

The lobby was called by the Climate Coalition.

It is a broad alliance including charities, churches, trade unions and the Campaign against Climate Change.

On the eve of the pope’s speech about climate change, it aimed to build political pressure in the run-
up to international talks in Paris in December.

The Green Party’s Caroline Lucas, left wing Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn and prospective Tory candidate for London mayor Zac Goldsmith were among the MPs taking part.
Lucas said, “A lot of people have said how disappointed they were that climate change didn’t feature more highly in the election campaign.

“This shows how much people care about the issue.”
For more information on the Campaign Against Climate Change go to


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.

"An expert leaves his fly open and his inexpertise ..." -- most requested highlight by readers of this site.

"Iraq snapshot" and "Iraq snapshot" -- Congressional reporting from C.I. 

"Idiot of the week" -- Mike calls it.

"O'Malley" -- Ann notes Martin O'Malley.

"Jill Stein loves her some Bush and Barack," "Fake ass Green Party?," "Jill Stein?" and "The White Bitch Cometh" -- Jill coverage from Kat, Betty, Ann and Stan. 

"the secret conversations by peter evans" and "Summer read?" -- Rebecca and Marcia hit the books.

"september 24th," "Mistresses can't survive without Savi" and "Mistresses (oh, it's bad)" -- TV watching from Rebecca, Ruth and Stan.

 "Now you're angry, Ralph?" -- Ann wonders why it took so long.

"Obummer MisCare" -- Mike on the verdict.

"Rand" -- Elaine on Rand Paul.

"Why are people on Facebook?" -- Trina wonders.

"Look at the rack on Justin Bieber!" -- we agree with Betty on this one!

"Cause you gotta have Faith" -- Kat notes a birthday.

"Patrick Macnee" -- Ruth notes a passing.

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