Monday, May 23, 2016

Truest statement of the week

Now that the impeachment trial is over, it’s time for progressives to get back to their drawing boards and let Bill Clinton clean up his own mess. If, as NOW president Patricia Ireland said, “There’s no way that Bill Clinton can look into the cameras and deny it and have anybody believe it,” that is a problem entirely of the President’s own making, and it would be a grave mistake for feminists, environmentalists, trade unionists and civil rights and civil liberties advocates to lend him a penny more of their moral capital. For six years too many progressives have given Clinton the benefit of the doubt, whether it was their ill-founded hope that he wouldn’t sign the Personal Responsibility Act or the equally ill-founded skepticism about the existence in an unlaundered state of a certain blue dress. We’ve seen Jesse Jackson hailing “our President” as the bombs were falling on Iraq and Barney Frank defending–wittily, tirelessly–the man who signed the Defense of Marriage Act. As the anti-impeachment slogan put it, enough is enough.

-- Katha Pollitt, "Re: Juanita Broaddrick" (THE NATION, March 4, 1999).

Truest statement of the week II

How can & consider themselves progressive media while they do not cover the Green Party?

A note to our readers

Hey --

A Monday.

We had hoped for better.

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:

For a today's truest, we dip back decades.
Jill Stein gets a truest.
It's all war games and excitement to the so-called reporters.  What's it like for the civilians trapped in Falluja?  No one's ever supposed to ask that question.
Ava and C.I. did this one as a readers' request.  After their 2015 coverage of SCANDAL a lot of readers were expecting some sort of comment -- closing thoughts.  They provide them here.

They also review June Pointer's new book.
Oh, Hillary, you're so good at name calling others.


This is a serious question.  He needs to answer the charge himself -- something he has never done.
Hillary says a lot of stupid s**t, doesn't she?
What we listened to while writing.
Repost from THE COMMON ILLS.
Tweets from Stein.

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


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

Editorial: When will they actually report on Falluja

-i soldiers learn to operate an M1 Abrams tank through Advanced Gunnery Training System

The battle for Falluja has begun.

And the press has glommed on it as a story to --

Well, not report.


Glommed on it as a story to repeat?

Yeah, that's it.

They repeat what the Iraqi government tells them.

And they cast it as Superman versus whatever.

But, like Batman in BATMAN VS SUPERMAN, we wonder about the people.

Because Falluja is not an empty city.

"Tens of thousands" of civilians remain in the city by most press accounts.

And that's really all the coverage they get.

It is their city.

The fighting and bombing will take place in their city.

Why are they not a major part of the story?

Oh, right.

That would require reporting.

And today's press prefers to repeat, not to report.

It's as though they're covering Hurricane Katrina but refusing to talk about the residents of the 9th

It's not reporting.

It's not responsible.

It's deeply embarrassing.

TV: Going out with a whimper

Blame it on the Moldavian Curse, if you will, but the season finales this spring have been very unshocking and truly mundane.


Oh, sure, THE BLACKLIST managed to shock but that was the exception.

The Moldavian Curse?

Once upon a time, the only shows having season finale twists were the serials, the nightime soap operas: KNOTS LANDING, FALCON CREST, DYNASTY, etc.  And it was DYNASTY that ended season five with the prospect that any character might be dead.

Blake and Alexis' daughter Amanda was marrying Prince Michael in Moldavia when terrorists burst in and shot up the chapel.  It made for a tremendous cliff hanger and strong ratings.

It was also difficult to get the sixth season rolling and to manage expectations after the only deaths were two minor characters (Lady Ashley and Luke Fuller).

The let down is no something factored in when season finales roll around.

Shonda Rhimes may be factoring that in.

Equally true, she's running on fumes.

Once upon a time, she could create and manage pot boilers.  Then she spread herself too thin while also destroying good will by getting caught being a flat out bitch in public.

Back in February, 2015, we noted:

Katherine Heigl is not a bitch and the fact that Shonda Rhimes can't get over their conflict isn't reason for The Water Cooler Set to attack Heigl.  Considering her success, we think Shonda should have been a lot more gracious or at least kept her mouth shut.  She may think it's amusing but she's a woman and her one-sided cat fight with Heigl will later be used to help bring Shonda down -- probably in two years when Shondaland no longer seems new and the viewers fall away and The Water Cooler Set can really sharpen their knives on her.
Yes, Shonda, you dominate ABC TV.
Once so did Carsey-Werner -- and where are they on the ABC schedule today?

Shonda spent all of 2015 failing.

If that's news to you, you've missed her burials this spring as one publication after another discovered she was tanking in the ratings.

The Water Cooler Set is the Christopher Columbus of media criticism.

We say that because what they discovered in the last few months, we were charting from February to May of 2015:

TV: Shonda Wasteland
TV: Off the rails
TV: When a show runner is a show ruiner
TV: If They Could Turn Back Time
TV: Shonda Rhimes' fall from grace
TV: ABC in shambles, pretend not to notice

2015 was one failure after another for Shonda Rhimes.

Proof of that was she finally got herself on the cover of Ms. magazine.

If you want to know where TV is . . . don't go to that magazine, they haven't known from TV since the seventies.

They're a dishonest LITTLE GOLDEN READER for those who can't read, serving up crap public relations hype passed off as 'reporting' and 'criticism.'

The only thing worse than the print edition is the laughable website.

But as bad as 2015 was, 2016 was even worse.

Her shows were failures.

SCANDAL and HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER continued to bleed viewers.

And her new 'hit' THE CATCH?

It did scare up 10 million viewers for its premiere.  And by its final episode struggled to get four million.

Because no one could put up with that garbage.

It's why ABC informed Shonda next season would be SCANDAL's last.

Shonda did not make the decision to end the show, ABC did.

And several minutes too late?

Her big cliff hanger for SCANDAL?

Jake gets named Mellie's running mate but . . . he's still working for Olivia's father!!!

Does anyone care?

Does anyone give a damn about this show anymore?


Which is why a series whose season finale once grabbed 10.57 million viewers finished up this May with 6.65 million -- the lowest season finale the show has ever had.

Jake, for those of you who do not watch Shonda's claptrap, is one of two men on the show who treat Olivia like a chew toy.

Fitz is the other one.

Fitz, the President of the United States, left his wife in his second term after Olivia decided to tell the American people that she was the president's mistress.

Then they moved in together at the White House.

Then she had an abortion and left him.

What does Olivia want?

When viewers can't answer that about the main character of a show they watch constantly, the series is in trouble.

It's Shonda's fault.

She has no bible that she works from.

She has no long range stories.

She watches Headline News and rushes, from one week to the next, to try to craft a storyline on to the characters.

If the storylines don't actually fit the characters?

Who cares!

She's got preaching to do.

And it's this preaching that's run off the audience.

Complex (and satisfying) season finales can be hard to come back from.  And if you'd lost four million viewers from your fall debut to your spring wrap up, the way Shonda did, you might decide, as she apparently did, "F**k it, I'll just write some more 'commentary' and worry about actual storylines next fall."


What's the best selling girl group in Billboard history (singles)?

Females wanting to be sexual slaves of Beyonce pant her name, pant her name.

But the Beehive has confused their damp panties with actual record sales yet again.

All the manly women
All the manly women.

No, Destiny's Child isn't number one.

They barely make the top three.

At number one it's Diana Ross and her Supremes.

TLC -- the talented group Destiny's Child tried (and failed) to copy -- is at number two

Who's right behind Destiny's Child?

A group with 21 top forty R&B hits and 16 top forty pop hits (including one song that charted twice).

Though overlooked by some, they deserve to be known by all: Ruth, June and Anita Pointer of the Pointer Sisters.

It wasn't always that line up.

June and Bonnie became the Pointer Sisters when they invited sister Anita to join them.

In 1972, they brought in sister Ruth and that's when they had their first hits ("Fairy Tale," "Yes We Can Can" and "Wang Dang Doodle").

But it's only after Bonnie leaves (1977) and the sister act becomes a trio that they achieve massive success ["He's So Shy," "Fire," "Automatic," "Slow Hand," "Dare Me," "Neutron Dance," "I'm So Excited," "Jump (for My Love)," etc].

The hits included "American Music" (number 16 pop, number 23 R&B) -- a song they weren't so crazy about then or since -- as oldest sister Ruth reveals in her new memoir STILL SO EXCITED: MY LIFE AS A POINTER SISTER (written with Marshall Terrill).


And Ruth's not pulling any punches in this book.

She's got praise for Angela Y. Davis but none for Loretta Switt (like most of the cast of TV's M*A*S*H, Switt was a pain in the butt -- a detail that would have been long ago outed had that series aired during the internet age).

She also dishes on nasty Paul Anka for that matter.

Diana Ross, Cher, Bonnie Raitt, Muhammad Ali, Richard Pryor, Joe Namath, Burt Reynolds, Sammy Davis Jr. and others all get fond mentions.

And she shares the tale of when Bill Withers pulled a knife on James Brown.

If there's one flaw to the book, it's in the music.

At one point, after they're training a daughter to take June's place in the group, she remarks that, having sang with her sisters her whole life, she'd taken for granted how automatic the harmonies came.

And there's some of that in the chapters, taking for granted how these wonderful harmonies came about.

But there's so much to cover in 287 pages.

The drugs and the men, for example.

Ruth covers all of her marriages (including the first, albeit briefly).  But the real marriage problems are Bonnie and June's.

Both marry men who harm the group in different ways.

Bonnie's husband, for example, convinces her she is the group and to go solo.  (The Pointer Sisters have their first huge hit, the Bruce Springsteen written "Fire," after Bonnie leaves the group.)  Bonnie is the nemesis throughout the book -- despite the praise Ruth frequently offers her.

It's Bonnie, for example, who will use June's death to try to blackmail her way back into the group (having failed as a solo).

June's husband?

He thought he was running things.

He did ruin a few things.

For example, the Pointer Sisters were asked to sing on "We Are The World" (1985's massive charity single which featured Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper, Dionne Warwick, Paul Simon, Lionel Richie, Billy Joel, Ray Charles and others).

They were asked to sing.

They lost their solo in the song when June's husband started trying to boss people around and then stormed out with June after he was placed in a room with Jane Fonda and Ali MacGraw (among others) to watch the singing (those not singing were not allowed in the studio).

As a result, June's husband stormed out with June.

Instead of sharing a solo, Anita and Ruth sang backing vocals on the track.

It's an exciting read -- one well told.

And though we'd appreciate more on the music, the reality is that the book reads like a film.

The ups and downs, the betrayals and triumphs, STILL SO EXCITED: MY LIFE AS A POINTER SISTER would make a wonderful movie and offer four strong roles for African-American women.

Hillary's calling other people bullies

Hillary Diane Clinton, noted War Criminal, has declared Donald Trump (businessman running for the Republican Party's presidential nomination) "a bully.''

Was it being a "bully" when Hillary offered her thoughts on Qaddafi?

"We came, we saw, he died" -- that's what she said.  

And cackled over.

Hillary's bombastic and a bit of a bully herself.

But bully is better than her previous attempt.

Remember that?

Branding Trump a "loose cannon."

When her husband Bill is the original "loose cannon" -- as Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "The Original Loose Cannon" pointed out.

original loose cannon

Especially after he took his little Bedazzler and splattered Monica Lewinsky's blue dress with sperm.

"Loose cannon" was a flop.

And we think "bully" will be as well.

Tweet of the week

more than a decade later, still occupied still under siege. Mission accomplished?

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