Sunday, January 17, 2016

Truest statement of the week

Last weekend, the State Department released two smoking guns – each an email from Clinton to a State Department subordinate. One instructed a subordinate who was having difficulty getting a document to Clinton that she had not seen by using a secure State Department fax machine to use an insecure fax machine. The other instructed another subordinate to remove the "confidential" or "secret" designation from a document Clinton had not seen before sending it to her. These two emails show a pattern of behavior utterly heedless of the profound responsibilities of the secretary of state, repugnant to her sworn agreement to safeguard state secrets, and criminal at their essence.

-- Andrew P. Napolitano's "Two Smoking Guns: FBI on Hillary's Case" (INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE).

Truest statement of the week II

Before she was entrusted with any state secrets – indeed, on her first full day as secretary of state – Clinton received instruction from FBI agents on how to safeguard them; and she signed an oath swearing to comply with the laws commanding the safekeeping of these secrets. She was warned that the failure to safeguard secrets – known as espionage – would most likely result in aggressive prosecution.
In the cases of others, those threats have been carried out. The Obama Department of Justice prosecuted a young sailor for espionage for sending a selfie to his girlfriend, because in the background of the photo was a view of a sonar screen on a submarine. It prosecuted a heroic Marine for espionage for warning his superiors of the presence of an al-Qaida operative in police garb inside an American encampment in Afghanistan, because he used a Gmail account to send the warning.

-- Andrew P. Napolitano's "Two Smoking Guns: FBI on Hillary's Case" (INFORMATION CLEARING HOUSE).

A note to our readers

Hey --

A Sunday (we're surprised too!).

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?

This wrongly read "Paul Craig Roberts gets a truest."  It should have said "Andrew P. Napolitano"  gets a truest.  Thanks to readers Leslie, Brent and Jordan who e-mailed to point that out.

In fact, he gets two.
If the country is at war, it shouldn't be treated as a secret.  Nor should the basic war plan be treated as a secret.  
Ava and C.I. look at the week.
The Democratic Party's Sunday night debate briefly noted Iraq.
The buzz on the Academy Awards misses a great deal.

Isaiah did.

How stupid is this woman?  Seriously.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.

We have no resposts.  We were rushing to get this up on a Sunday.


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

Editorial: No secret government, Loretta

Tuesday, Janauary 12th, the House Armed Services Committee held a hearing.

The topic was the Islamic State.

US House Rep. Loretta Sanchez was acting as Ranking Member for the hearing.

And she made many strong points.

Including repeatedly noting how there did not appear to be any clear strategy for defeating the Islamic State.

That we agree with.


US House Rep. Loretta Sanchez:  I think we need a clear strategy.  And I'm not sure that strategy is one we ought to make public, Mr. Chairman, because I'm one of those people that says if you want to battle someone you want the upper hand.  But I think we, as the representatives of the people, need to understand what the strategy is.

We don't.

She would declare that "defeating ISIL will require a broad commitment that will take many years" -- and the American people are supposed to be kept in the dark?

All last week, people kept forgetting who rules in a democracy: We The People.

The politicians serve us.

This nonsense of they'll decide and keep things secret and we just go along in silence is bull.

If the Islamic State is a threat, defeating it should be a national conversation not something whispered of in the halls of Congress.


C.I. covered the hearing in "Iraq snapshot" and "Iraq snapshot" while Wally covered it in "Bungler Obama."

The week in media

Last week was not a good week for media.  Let's survey a bright spot or two and the week's worst as well.


Among the few bright spots?

Alisyn Camerota interviewing Hillary Clinton for CNN and asking a very uncomfortable and awkward Hillary about Vice President Joe Biden's praise for Senator Bernie Sanders.

Telling moment?

Alisyn Camerota: So you didn't take Biden's comments as a slight?

Hillary Clinton:  No.  Not at all.

The dry response, the thin lips, the undisguised hatred.

Camerota even asked about Bill Clinton's past behaviors (allegedly raped Juanita Broadderick, harassed Paula Jones, allegedly harassed Katharine Wiley, his affair with Monica Lewinsky, etc) and when Hillary insisted she did not have to respond to that, Camerota wondered, "But when someone accuses you of being an enabler of sexual assault, don't you need to respond to it?  I mean particularly since this an issue that you wanted to talk about on the campaign trail?  Campus sexual assault?  You say that-that survivors need to be believed and they need to be heard.  So when he's accusing you of doing something that is the antithesis of what you want to talk about, don't you need to address it?"

Hillary's response?

That she'd "let the voters decide what's relevant" -- what a cute little out for her whenever she doesn't want to answer a question.

Another Hillary moment earns praise for MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.  When Hillary appeared on Rachel's show Thursday and tried to offer her myth of good campaigning on issues, Rachel pointed out that Hillary had been attacking her opponent Bernie Sanders.

Hillary insisted that Democrats, other than Sanders (apparently), "engage on substantive differences."

Rachel didn't let it slide.  She pointed out that it was one thing to run against someone but another to make him "an enemy in the world in the Democratic Party."

She pointed out, "He's a very well-respected figure.  Your campaign is essentially fighting with him now in a way that is casting aspersions on his character, calling him dishonest."

Hillary Clinton: No, no.

Rachel Maddow: [Your charge that] He won't level with the American people?

Hillary Clinton: Let's parse this out.

Which means she stalls and she changes the subject.

But mainly it means she lies.

She lies and she lies again.

Over and over.

Assault matters, she insists, victims must be believed . . . until it's her husband being accused (again).

She respects Bernie, she insists, but he can't be honest with the American people . . . which isn't an attack, she insists and "he hasn't laid out a plan" for single-payer and . . .

She's a liar.

And she lied repeatedly last week.

She wasn't the only one.

The worst media moment of the week took place on NPR Friday.


We're not sure what.

Discussing the GOP presidential nominee debate on Thursday, sex worker Ari Shapiro asked MSNBC's failed talk show host Joy Reid the following:

SHAPIRO: Joy, there were a couple of lines in the debate last night about president Obama that rankled a lot of people. Chris Christie called the president a petulant child, and Ted Cruz said, we're going to kick your rear end out of the White House. And some observers said, you'd never make that remark about a white president. What do you think?

REID: Well, I think that gets to the kernel of one of the many ironies of the situation that the establishment of the Republican Party finds itself in because right - so Chris Christie is a part of that establishment wing, but he speaks about the president in such a degrading way as if the president is a child and not the commander in chief of the United States - such a disrespectful way. That's suborned the kind of rage and the kind of paranoia, frankly, that you see among the base of the Republican Party. The problem for the establishment is that they've lost control of it. They suborned things quietly like birtherism. They winked and nodded at ideas like death panels. They have sort of allowed this kind of fury and paranoia to help them win midterm elections, but it's now out of control. So they've both locked themselves out of even the possibility of reaching out, particularly to African-American voters, who read the entire Republican Party - not just Donald Trump, but all of it, every single part of it - as being essentially sowing hatred of the president based at least in part on race. And that bleeds over to Hispanics, it bleeds over to Asian-Americans. It creates a vibe that the Republican Party can't fix, and Donald Trump is just better at them at exploiting it.

Shapiro might have thought he was still tied up in his bondage den and that he'd forgotten his safe word -- that might explain why he brought Ted Cruz in on the issue (Christie called Barack a "petulant child" and also made the "rear end" remark).

Joy Reid needs no excuses to mangle the facts.

Nor does she need any proof of anything.

She just whines like the spoiled brat that she is,

In America, anyone can criticize a president.

But we do know in the history of America, presidents have been called children and far worse.

We also realize that Barack will leave office younger than any two-term president in modern history.

Most importantly, unlike ignorant fool Joy Reid, we know what a commander in chief is.

Someone school the moron.

Barack Obama is not commander in chief of the United States.

There is no such position.

Barack is commander in chief of the military.

That is not a minor point or a minor role.

If the Constitution is too damn hard for Joy Reid, maybe NPR shouldn't treat the blathering fool as a respected guest.

The president is in charge of the military why?

Because we have civilian control of the military in a democracy.


Joy forgets what democracy is as she rushes to fall to her knees in supplication before this US president (and only this one -- she's just a partial whore, you understand, not a full on whore).

Democracy is the people are in charge.

That's democracy.

And in a democracy, no matter how it upsets a failed talk show host like Joy, any American can insult any president or any ruler.

RNC's Holland Redfield declared last week of the GOP nominees, If your child was doing that, you would put that child over your knee and spank them."

And guess what?

He can say that too.

That's democracy as well.

And should Donald Trump or any other GOP nominee become US president?

Redfield can continue to make remarks like that.

It's hard to know who to blame more?

Joy for her stupidity or Ari for his failure to correct it.

The debate (Iraq)

At one point, we were all booing.

Three candidates on the stage and they were all lying.

All pimping and whoring for imperialism.

Then to our surprise, one slipped in just a tiny bit of honesty.

Just a tiny bit.

And just one.

From THE WASHINGTON POST transcript of the NBC broadcast debate moderated by Lester Holt and Andrea Mitchell:

MITCHELL: I have a question. I have a question for Senator Sanders. Did the policies of the Obama administration, in which Secretary Clinton of course was a part, create a vacuum in Iraq and Syria that helped ISIS grow?

SANDERS: No. I think the vacuum was created by the disastrous war in Iraq, which I vigorously opposed. Not only did I vote against it, I helped lead the opposition. And what happened there is yes, it's easy to get rid of a two-bit dictator like Saddam Hussein, but there wasn't the kind of thought as to what happens the day after you get him and what kind of political vacuum occurs. And who rises up? Groups like ISIS.
So I think that President Obama made a promise to the American people when he ran, and he said you know what, I'm going to do my best to bring American troops home. And I supported what he did. Our job is to train and provide military support for Muslim countries in the area who are prepared to take on ISIS.
And one point I want to make here that is not made very often, you have incredibly wealthy countries in that region, countries like Saudi Arabia, countries like Qatar. Qatar happens to be the largest -- wealthiest country per capita in the world. They have got to start putting in some skin in the game and not just ask the United States to do it.


MITCHELL: Secretary Clinton, I want to talk to you about red lines, because former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a recent interview that President Obama's decision to stand down on planned missile strikes against Damascus after Assad had used chemical weapons hurt the president's credibility. Should the president have stuck to his red line once he drew it?

CLINTON: Look, I think that the president's decision to go after the chemical weapons once there was a potential opportunity to build on when the Russians opened that door resulted in a very positive outcome. We were able to get the chemical weapons out.
I know from my own experience as secretary of State that we were deeply worried about Assad's forces using chemical weapons because it would have had not only a horrific affect on people in Syria, but it could very well have affected the surrounding states, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Turkey. So getting those chemical weapons out was a big deal, but...

MITCHELL: But should he -- should he have stuck to his...

CLINTON: Well -- but -- but...

MITCHELL: ... line? Did it hurt U.S. credibility?

CLINTON: I think, as commander in chief, you've got to constantly be evaluating the decisions you have to make. I know a little bit about this, having spent many hours in the situation room, advising President Obama.

And I want to just add to something that Senator Sanders said, the United States had a very big interest in trying to help stabilize the region. If there is any blame to be spread around, it starts with the prime minister of Iraq, who sectarianized his military, setting Shia against Sunni. 

Of course, Barack's policies helped create the Islamic State.

As Hillary briefly notes, "If there is any blame to be spread around, it starts with the prime minister of Iraq, who sectarianized his military, setting Shia against Sunni."

Who would that be?

Nouri al-Maliki.

And if the blame "starts with the prime minister," it actually starts with Barack Obama.

Nouri did what Hillary's alluding to during his second term.

He didn't win a second term at the polls.

The White House -- Barack Obama -- gifted him with a second term via a legal contract (The Erbil Agreement).

They also backed him until the summer of 2014.

Despite Nouri's non-stop attacks on the Sunnis in Iraq.

Not only did Barack give Nouri a second term as prime minister, but Barack also ignored the protesters. Even when they carried signs proclaiming "Obama, if you Cannot Hear Us Can you Not See Us?"  

And yet Barack stood with Nouri, continued to stand with him.

From Samarra من سامراء

Iraqis in Samarra with a message for the world (photo via Iraqi Spring MC).

So, yes, it is on Barack.

 Emma Sky is the author of  The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq.   Last August, she appeared on KEVIN SYLVESTER'S THIS SUNDAY EDITION (CBC):

Emma Sky: And that national election was a very closely contested election. Iraqis of all persuasions and stripes went out to participate in that election.  They'd become convinced that politics was the way forward, that they could achieve what they wanted through politics and not violence.  To people who had previously been insurgents, people who'd not voted before turned out in large numbers to vote in that election.  And during that election, the incumbent, Nouri al-Maliki, lost by 2 seats.  And the bloc that won was a bloc called Iraqiya led by Ayad Allawi which campaigned on "NO" to sectarianism, really trying to move beyond this horrible sectarian fighting -- an Iraq for Iraqis and no sectarianism.  And that message had attracted most of the Sunnis, a lot of the secular Shia and minority groups as well.

Kevin Sylvester:  People who felt they'd been shut out during Maliki's regime basically -- or his governance.

Emma Sky:  Yes, people that felt, you know, that they wanted to be part of the country called Iraq not -- they wanted to be this, they wanted Iraq to be the focus and not sect or ethnicity to be the focus.  And Maliki refused to accept the results.  He just said, "It is not right."  He wanted a recount.  He tried to use de-Ba'athification to eliminate or disqualify some Iraqiya members and take away the votes that they had gained.  And he just sat in his seat and sat in his seat.  And it became a real sort of internal disagreement within the US system about what to do?  So my boss, Gen [Ray] Odierno, was adamant that the US should uphold the Constitutional process, protect the political process, allow the winning group to have first go at trying to form the government for thirty days.  And he didn't think Allawi would be able to do it with himself as prime minister but he thought if you start the process they could reach agreement between Allawi and Maliki or a third candidate might appear who could become the new prime minister. So that was his recommendation.

Kevin Sylvester:   Well he even calls [US Vice President Joe] Biden -- Biden seems to suggest that that's what the administration will support and then they do a complete switch around.  What happened?

Emma Sky:  Well the ambassador at the time was a guy who hadn't got experience of the region, he was new in Iraq and didn't really want to be there.  He didn't have the same feel for the country as the general who'd been there for year after year after year.

Kevin Sylvester:  Chris Hill.

Emma Sky:  And he had, for him, you know 'Iraq needs a Shia strongman. Maliki's our man.  Maliki's our friend.  Maliki will give us a follow on security agreement to keep troops in country.'  So it looks as if Biden's listening to these two recommendations and that at the end Biden went along with the Ambassador's recommendation.  And the problem -- well a number of problems -- but nobody wanted Maliki.  People were very fearful that he was becoming a dictator, that he was sectarian, that he was divisive. And the elites had tried to remove him through votes of no confidence in previous years and the US had stepped in each time and said, "Look, this is not the time, do it through a national election."  So they had a national election, Maliki lost and they were really convinced they'd be able to get rid of him.  So when Biden made clear that the US position was to keep Maliki as prime minister, this caused a huge upset with Iraqiya.  They began to fear that America was plotting with Iran in secret agreement.  So they moved further and further and further away from being able to reach a compromise with Maliki.  And no matter how much pressure the Americans put on Iraqiya, they weren't going to agree to Maliki as prime minister and provided this opening to Iran because Iran's influence was way low at this stage because America -- America was credited with ending the civil war through the 'surge.'  But Iran sensed an opportunity and the Iranians pressured Moqtada al-Sadr -- and they pressured him and pressured him.  And he hated Maliki but they put so much pressure on to agree to a second Maliki term and the price for that was all American troops out of the country by the end of 2011.  So during this period, Americans got outplayed by Iran and Maliki moved very much over to the Iranian camp because they'd guaranteed his second term.

So is Barack responsible?

Yes, he is.

How sad that no one could tell the truth.

How very sad that the person who got closest to it on the stage tonight was Hillary Clinton.

It takes a village (of idiots)

Usually with leaders like MSNBC's Joy Reid.

  1. Seeing "Creed" on Sunday. I think the best revenge is to just see & support the films that matter to you. Oscars can go sit down somewhere.

Is she saying CREED should have been nominated?

The film she had not yet seen should have been nominated?

Boxing films don't usually get Academy Award nominations.

One that did was ROCKY.

CREED is yet another Rocky sequel.

Sylvester Stallone did get a Best Supporting Actor nomination for CREED.  He won an Academy Award for writing the screenplay to ROCKY.

As a past winner and as a man over 60 his nomination is not surprising.

CREED star Michael B. Jordan is 28-years-old.  He did not get nominated.

He also starred in the box office failure FANTASTIC FOUR but the key point here is under 30.

The entertainment industry rewards young women and old men.

Doubt it?
Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda were both talked up for nominations.

Neither women got a nomination.

Both women are over 70-years-old.

In terms of Stallone?  He also won the Austin Film Critics Association's Best Supporting Actor award, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, Critic's Choice Awards, Las Vegas Film Critics Society, National Board of Review, Phoenix Critics Circle, St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association, . . . 

Stallone had a groundswell of support for the role fostered by the press.

That's true of his Golden Globe nomination and win.

Joy Reid's not real smart or very intelligent.

Academy Awards are competitions.  Getting a nomination is a long process.  Includes advertising and lobbying.

You can't show up the day after the nominations suddenly insisting a performance no one heralded as a break through is Academy worthy.

The reality of 2015 in films is, as Ann's "The best of 2015 DVDs and Streaming" and Stan's "2015's best offeirngs for home video" noted, was a really bad year for films.  Stan restated this last week:

If this was the year of Halle Berry in MONSTER'S BALL, okay, we've got a problem.

But it wasn't.

It's not like anyone can say, "This actor was robbed!"

I think CHI-RAQ should have gotten nominated multiple times including a Best Director nod for Spike Lee.  I would argue Jennifer Hudson and Angela Bassett should have gotten nominations for their work in that film.

But that's really it.



We agree that CHI-RAQ should have been nominated.

Spike Lee should have been nominated for Best Director.  Jennifer Hudson and Angela Bassett should have both been nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

We also happen to feel Jane Fonda should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Lily Tomlin for Best Actress.

Those nominations didn't happen.

That's life.

And every time we're disappointed, there doesn't have to be a conspiracy working against us or our favorites.

Sometimes it's just bad luck or bad timing.

Live Cartooning The Democratic Debate

Tonight, NBC aired the Democratic Party's presidential debate with contenders Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders and with NBC News' Lester Holt and Andrea Mitchell moderating.

As with the last debate, Isaiah again live cartooned the debate.

He started with "Accountability."


This one noted Bernie's stance that every must be accountable -- and juxtaposed this with Hillary no accountability Clinton standing next to him on stage.

Isaiah then followed with "Boy Scout."


This one captured Martin O'Malley's repeated effort to play the good guy.

Martin, when you're in third place, you really need to come out swinging.

And, yes, he did say "answered" when he meant "asked."  In fact, he struggled with words (including Andrea Mitchell's first name) throughout the debate.

Then came "We Survived."


A comic that captures how Lester Holt panicked whenever Bernie talked about putting bankers in jail and how Andrea Mitchell, rich beyond any one's definition of rich, doesn't really care how Americans struggle with the cost of healthcare.

A point that Bernie needs to learn to make since, at the debate and in an interview, Andrea dismisses this issue repeatedly.

Finally, there was "The Closing Argument."


This comic captures how Hillary repeatedly evoked her experience while failing to note the failures.  She took on the healthcare industry, she insisted, but forgot to share how she failed at health care reform when she was First Lady and Bill put her in charge of that program.

Joy Reid praises domestic abuse

She really is an idiot.

  1. George C. Scott. One of the all time greats :)

  • George C. Scott. One of the all time greats :)

  • Does she realize how stupid she is?

    That George C. Scott regularly beat women?

    That Ava Gardner went public about how he beat her when they were a couple?

    "One of the all time greats"?

    Joy needs to stop praising men who beat women.


    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.

    "Old fool Kerry spoke too soon" -- most requested highlight of the week by readers of this site.

     "Iraq snapshot," "Bungler Obama" and "Iraq snapshot" -- C.I. and Wally cover a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

    "Movies" and "The Oscars" -- Stan covers movies.

    "Hero of the week" -- Mike picks Cher.

    "Put Cranky Clinton behind bars," "She couldn't protect classified information how can she protect you?," "Have you read the book?,"  "isn't jan schakowsky the closet lesbian married to the felon?," "THIS JUST IN! NO PERP WALK CAN HOLD HER!" and "Hillary boasts, "Hillary and the powerball," "Joe calls out Hillary" and "Disgusting Hillary" -- community coverage of Cranky Clinton.

    "Shades Of Blue (overview)," "Shades of Blue (episode two)," "Shades of Blue the pilot," "Shades of Blue,"  "You are watching Mad TV," "the golden globes" and "heroes reborn" -- Elaine, Stan and Rebecca cover TV.

    "Brass in Pocket," "Beyonce is not Aretha," "David Bowie" -- Kat and Betty on music.

    "The speculation about Aaron" -- Betty on Rogers.

    "Ralph Nader, put down the pom-poms already" -- Ann calls for the simpering to end.

    "About that jobs report" and "It's a Barack economy" -- Trina covers the economy.

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