Sunday, November 23, 2014

Truest statement of the week

The defeated measure, drafted by the outgoing chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, would have placed very slight restrictions on the NSA program that collects metadata on virtually ever phone call placed in or through US telecommunications companies or the Internet.
The bill had the support of the Obama administration, demonstrating that the military-intelligence apparatus, which dictates policy on such issues, was quite content with the toothless legislation from Leahy. The main purpose of the bill was to give the impression that Obama and the Democrats are responding to the widespread public outrage over government spying sparked by last year’s revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, while actually doing nothing to restrict snooping by the intelligence agency.

The bill was also endorsed by a coalition of technology companies, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, AOL and Yahoo, which feared that Snowden’s revelations had exposed them as de facto arms of the US spy apparatus, harming their ability to sell their products and services, especially in foreign markets.

-- Patrick Martin, "Senate blocks any limit to NSA spying on phone calls" (WSWS).

Truest statement of the week II

Referring to immigrant workers, Obama said, “All of us take offense at anyone who reaps the rewards of living in America without taking on the responsibilities of living in America.” Who is he talking about? Who is reaping rewards without taking responsibility?
Such terms apply with much greater justice to the parasitic ruling elite that Obama and the congressional Republicans and Democrats represent. These gentlemen were bailed out to the tune of trillions following the 2008 financial crash. But no banker or hedge fund mogul has had to repay these infusions of taxpayers' money or been held accountable for the financial manipulations and fraud that wiped out the jobs and living standards of tens of millions of working people.

“Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable,” Obama declared. The Obama administration has refused to apply this standard to bankers and speculators who broke laws against swindling, or CIA agents who broke laws against torture, or top officials of the Bush administration who waged illegal wars and lied to the American people. And, of course, the Obama administration itself operates outside the law, trampling on the US constitution in its assertion of unlimited presidential powers to spy on, arrest, detain and even assassinate American citizens.

-- Patrick Martin, "Obama announces right-wing immigration 'reform' in national address" (WSWS).

A note to our readers

Hey --


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?

Patrick Martin.
And Patrick Martin.  It has happened before but it is rare for one person to get both truests in the same week, Martin earned them.
In January, will hit the 10 year mark.  And in all that time, every editorial has been on Iraq.  Until now.  This issue is too important for us to not have it as the editorial.  

Ava and C.I. agree and they were asked what topic could attract the most readers TV wise?  They noted that the awful Jane The Virgin was getting a pass (due to the ethnicity of the cast) and it needed to be called out, that they could pair that with the awful Madame Secretary while noting that State of Affairs actually works as a TV show.  Why are we suddenly worried about attracting readers?  Because we want people to know about the Corrine Brown nightmare and maybe they can wake up Democrats in Congress before it happens.

In order to attract more readers, Ava and C.I. suggested we all work on a piece about this film.

Dona did a roundtable on the issue of Congress and Veterans. 
Our short feature. 
Two Benghazi pieces.  This one . . . 
And this one.  Elaine actually brought the idea for this one over.
What we listened to while working on the edition.

From Senator Patty Murray's office. 
From Workers World. 
From Great Britain's Socialist Worker.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for this.

And we thank Isaiah for both illustrations of his we used. 


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

Editorial: Corrine Brown must not be named Ranking Member

When veterans group advocate for someone to be a leader on the veterans committees in Congress, you have to be an idiot or someone who wants to lose elections to ignore the veterans.

But that's what happened last week.

Veterans voiced their desire for US House Rep. Tim Walz to be the next Ranking Member on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.  The outgoing Ranking Member, Mike Michaud, also voiced his support for Tim Walz.

Tim Walz is a veteran himself, with over 20 years of service.

So it should have been a done deal.

Should have been.

Enter the losing leader who refuses to resign, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

She wants her personal pet, US House Rep. Corrine Brown, to be the next Ranking Member on the Committee.

lets be what

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Let's Be Whats!" captures the insanity going on.

Now no one like's a teacher's pet so what makes Nancy think anyone's going to like one of her own personal pets?

Who knows?

Nancy crazy, bat sh*t insane.

That's the only reason you would turn down a qualified veteran at the same time you're insisting that, across the country, employers need to be hiring veterans.

For Nancy, it's always do as I say, not as I do.

To get rid of Tim Walz, Nancy and her cronies declared him -- on Wednesday -- to not really be a member of the Committee.

The rule is you can only serve on two Committees and Tim Walz was serving on three.

So he had to get a waiver to serve on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.

Nancy and her cronies ruled that he wasn't really a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee so he couldn't run for its leadership.

They're little mind f**k was enough to distract the so-called press.

But we know our readers are much, much smarter than so-called reporters.

If he had to obtain a waiver to serve on the Committee?

That meant he served on the Committee.

That's what the waiver did, it made him a Committee member.

And Tim Walz asked questions in hearings, voted on the Comittee, etc.

He was a member and he participated.

Gov.track isn't confused:

Committee Membership

Timothy Walz sits on the following committees:

And he didn't just serve on the Committee and show up for hearings, he sponsored bills dealing with veterans issues:

H.R. 5680: Veterans’ Toxic Wounds Research Act of 2014
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: Sep 19, 2014
Referred to Committee: Sep 19, 2014
H.R. 5059: Clay Hunt SAV Act
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: Jul 10, 2014
Referred to Committee: Jul 10, 2014
H.R. 4191: Quicker Veterans Benefits Delivery Act
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: Mar 11, 2014
Referred to Committee: Mar 11, 2014
H.R. 3569: Protecting the Freedoms and Benefits for All Veterans Act
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: Nov 20, 2013
Referred to Committee: Nov 20, 2013
H.R. 2785: Military Reserve Jobs Act
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: Jul 22, 2013
Referred to Committee: Jul 22, 2013
H.R. 1980: Quicker Veterans Benefits Delivery Act
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: May 14, 2013
Referred to Committee: May 14, 2013
H.R. 975: Servicemember Mental Health Review Act
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: Mar 5, 2013
Referred to Committee: Mar 5, 2013
H.R. 679: Honor America’s Guard-Reserve Retirees Act
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: Feb 13, 2013
H.R. 6574 (112th): Servicemember Mental Health Review Act
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: Oct 12, 2012
Referred to Committee: Oct 12, 2012
H.R. 1855 (112th): Veterans’ Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitative Services’ Improvements Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: May 11, 2011
Referred to Committee: May 11, 2011
H.R. 1566 (112th): Protecting Servicemembers from Mortgage Abuses Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: Apr 14, 2011
Referred to Committee: Apr 14, 2011
H.R. 865 (112th): Veteran Employment Transition Act of 2011
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: Mar 1, 2011
Referred to Committee: Mar 1, 2011
H.R. 6188 (111th): Veterans’ Homelessness Prevention and Early Warning Act of 2010
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: Sep 22, 2010
Referred to Committee: Sep 22, 2010
H.R. 6123 (111th): Veterans’ Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitative Services’ Improvements Act of 2010
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: Sep 14, 2010
Referred to Committee: Sep 14, 2010
H.R. 5928 (111th): Veterans’ Disability Claims Efficiency Act of 2010
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: Jul 29, 2010
Referred to Committee: Jul 29, 2010
H.R. 5400 (111th): Veteran Employment Transition Act of 2010
Sponsor: Rep. Timothy Walz [D-MN1]
Introduced: May 25, 2010
Referred to Committee: May 25, 2010

In fairness to Corrine Brown, we should note that during the same period above (2008 and to the present), she also sponsored some bills. 

Well . . . 


Because there was only one.

From 2008 to the present -- six years -- she only sponsored one bill having to do with veterans.  

But she thinks she's earned the right to serve as Ranking Member on the House Veterans Affairs Committee?

In fairness to Corrine, we should note she had other things to focus on.  In the same period, she introduced two bills on Haiti.  Maybe that makes her an expert on veterans?  And she sponsored four bills on National Train Day.

Of course, she also had to put in a lot of time going through those mail order catalogs to buy all her hideous wigs.

On top of everything else, Corrine Brown's used her position on the Committee in the last six years to excuse away one VA scandal after another and frequently, while doing so, to try to pin the blame for the problem on veterans.

There's a reason veterans don't like Corrine Brown.

So why in the world would you try to make her the Ranking Member of the Committee?

TV: Madonna versus Whore all over again

If you ever doubt how sexist The Water Cooler Set is, just check out Jane The Virgin.  The eternal teenagers posing as TV critics have proclaimed this show a hit.

Of course, viewers have declared otherwise.

And for good reason: It's an offensive show.

Jezebel recently gathered a group of Mexican-American women to discuss the show and most praised it with one going on about being tired of "White women" on TV.  First off, Latinas can be White.  The majority in the US, in fact, are.  There are exceptions but if you're dealing with Latinas -- and that's much more in the country and in the world than just women who can trace their roots to Mexico -- most are aware that the race is White.  The uninformed woman at Jezebel needs to learn the term "Anglo-White."

And Jezebel needs to learn how to stop being so damn xenophobic.

This is neither new nor unknown.  It's so basic even Crapapedia can get it right:

Ethnicity: Hispanic or Latino origin

The question on Hispanic or Latino origin is separate from the question on race.[3][14] Hispanic and Latino Americans have ethnic origins in the Latin-speaking countries of Andorra, Latin America, and Spain. Most of the Latin American countries are, like the United States, racially diverse.[15] Consequently, no separate racial category exists for Hispanic and Latino Americans, as they do not constitute a race, nor a national group. When responding to the race question on the census form, each person is asked to choose from among the same racial categories as all Americans, and are included in the numbers reported for those races.[16]
Each racial category may contain Non-Hispanic or Latino and Hispanic or Latino Americans. For example: the White (European-American) race category contains Non-Hispanic Whites and Hispanic Whites (see White Hispanic and Latino Americans); the Black or African-American category contains Non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanic Blacks (see Black Hispanic and Latino Americans); the Asian-American category contains Non-Hispanic Asians and Hispanic Asians (see Asian Hispanic and Latino Americans); and likewise for all the other categories. See the section on Hispanic and Latino Americans in this article.

Self-identifying as both Hispanic or Latino and not Hispanic or Latino is neither explicitly allowed nor explicitly prohibited.[2]

Get it?

According to [PDF format warning] the 2010 census results, 53% of Hispanic or Latinos  in the US identify as White, 2.5% identify as Black or African-American,  1.4%  as American Indian and Alaska Native,  0.4% as Asian, 0.1% as Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, 36.7% as Some Other Race, and 6.0% as Two or More Races.  [All racially categories mentioned prior are the ones used by the Census.]

One of us is a Latina (Ava) who is damn tired of being assumed to being Mexican-American, when she is not and when Mexican-American women -- pay attention, Jezebel -- are not the only Latinas in the United States.

It's xenophobic and ignorant to present a five-person roundtable that does not include even one Latina who does not trace her roots to Mexico.

Leaving out Mexico, the number one region for Lations/as and Hispanics to trace their roots to is Central America, after that, it's the Caribbean (which includes Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico), then "All other Hispanic"  and then South America.

So Jezebel gave you five self-identified Mexican-American women discussing a Puerto Rican woman -- the lead in Jane The Virgin, Gina Rodriguez, hails from Puerto Rico.  Next up, a Haitian roundtable exploring the roots of slavery in the US during the 1800s!

Jane The Virgin has many problems including stereotypical portraits -- the gals of Jezzie felt the characters were deeper than stereotypes.  Really?  The Latino police office has . . . a criminal brother.  Women -- especially older women -- are harpies.  And let's not forget the ultimate insult outside of Jane, the cheesy announcer who all but yells "Ay, Papi!" every time he interrupts a scene.


Yeah, the announcer is a man.

What else would the all knowing 'god' be on this show?

Jane is celebrated by The Water Cooler Set because she's the ultimate Madonna, the new Mary, pregnant without ever having had a sex.  A virgin.

That's what critics are embracing, the virginity.

It's 'refreshing' to them when a woman is a virgin.

It's not realistic, that's for damn sure, but how they love it.

If you can't be a virgin on TV, at least be a sexless woman.

The Water Cooler Set will love you for it.

Look at Tea Leoni's Madam Secretary.

Tea's playing a faux woman, not a real one.

She's a little girl in Daddy's world.

We're supposed to find her hesitant manner in speaking charming and classy.

She's like a parade float of Greer Garson.

She's married to a professor so that the audience understands she's not the smartest in her own home.  She's in a sexless marriage (you guarantee that by casting an actor who screams erectile dysfunction as her husband).  And she uses her 'girl smarts' to get her way -- getting the (male) president's attention by going to his wife, getting the press' attention by getting a beauty make over.

She's a woman functioning in a man's world who's only female of note is her chief of staff that she's repeatedly in conflict with.

Tea should be embarrassed for playing the role.

She should be more embarrassed for being in the so-called TV show.

There has never been a show like it before and it's a sign of our trash culture that it exists now -- and is wrongly praised.

This is a 'political' show.  It wants to 'enlighten' and 'educate' but it's from a creator who thinks the height of radical leftism is centrist Democrat Rahm Emanuel.  It exists to, yet again, shift the political spectrum to the right in this country.

Tea considers herself a "good Democrat" so maybe she feels marching lockstep through this garbage is for the good of the party -- if not the country.

If so, she's desperately wrong.

Her show is far more damaging than anything Newt Gingrich could come up with.

The praise it's received, however, isn't at all surprising.

When you're a token woman using wiles to get your way and basically in your second virginity, The Water Cooler Set loves you.

But if you're not Greer Garson, if you show some of the backbone of Barbara Stanwyck?

Oh, how they hate you.

Katherine Heigl stars in State of Affairs which premiered Monday on NBC.

Unlike Tea's show, Katherine's new series is not a 'political' show trying to water down the left.  Alfre Woodard plays the president and Heigel's a CIA analyst.  The two women share love for a dead man (or maybe just 'dead') -- the president's son and the analyst's fiance.

Since his death, Charlie (Heigel) has been haunted by the death and by one part of it that she can't quite remember, a significant event in the death.  She suppresses her grief with alcohol and casual sex.

Charlie's gusty and brave, treats women as her equals and doesn't back down in a confrontation with a man.

Barbara Stanwyck's spirit lives on and thank goodness for that.

Greer Garson is a "Who?" to young America and wasn't all that important in her own time.

She was the anti-Rosie The Riverter.

Joan Crawford and Bette Davis both considered her an insufferable bore (onscreen and off) and for good reason.

It's also for good reason that unlike Crawford and Davis or Stanwyck, Garson couldn't go the distance.

By 1947, she was bombing at the box office, the following year she was second banana to Elizabeth Taylor and then the career was really over.

As Jeanine Basinger observes in The Star Machine:

If a female could last for a decade, she really paid off.  If she could last for two decades, she was a phenomenal success.  If she lasted longer than that, she was a miracle, and today we can call her a legend: Bette Davis, Myrna Loy, Barbara Stanwyck, Katharine Hepburn and Joan Crawford. 

Greer Garson was the most minor MGM star to ever emerge.  She demonstrated no fire or passion and she's largely forgotten today.

Tea should grasp that and be screaming her head off for better scripts and a stronger character.

But she's been lulled into the pretense that she has a hit (her show lives in a good neighborhood, one scheduling change and it tanks).

Heigl's playing a character people can identify with even as The Water Cooler Set sneers.

Her show also has a secret weapon in the recurring role of Nick: Chris McKenna.

If you look up his bio, you'll find he was on One Life To Live and blah blah blah.

Forget that.

He hit people's radar in 2013 due to a commercial -- one that had Kat and  Rebecca raving about him and Rebecca even putting him at the top of her "10 most f**kable men of 2013."

Heigel's Charlie slept with Nick and it appears she did so while engaged to the president's dead son.  You need someone sexy in the role of Nick to make it believable and Chris McKenna is one of the few men who can handle that task.

There are no political statements to be found in State of Affairs, it's trying to be a thriller and, largely, succeeding. By contrast, the hideous Madam Secretary wants to be so genteel and slightly one degree left of center that it's about as tasty as government cheese.

Another thing that leaves a hideous taste in your mouth?  The Water Cooler Set's inability to champion active women, adult women and instead repeately latching onto pixies with moxie, overgrown Shirley Temple's who are more embarrassments than anything else.


The Hunger Games has been a very successful film franchise.  Over the weekend, the latest installment opened and while it was the biggest opening weekend in terms of tickets sold of the year, it was considered by some to be a disappointment since projections have it being twenty-million dollars short of the previous North American opening.

So what's happened?

This perceived failure of Mockingjay will be discussed non-stop and the blame's going to fall on Jennifer Lawrence because she is the star of the franchise.

So let's start with her actions.

1) First and foremost, she's been overexposed.

We're not talking about in promoting the film, we're talking about her Academy Award win and multiple nominations, we're talking about her interviews and her opinions.

2) Now let's talk about her romance.

She lost Chris Martin to Gwynnie?

That is the perception and it comes as she's supposed to be carrying a film.

That's never good for an actress.  When Lana Turner, for example, lost Tyrone Power that was the beginning in a shift of press coverage from Lana Golden Girl to "what's wrong with Lana?"

3) Jane Fonda took to praising her publicly.

Fonda's 76 and not at all relevant to the lives of young women and girls.  She's older than their great-grandmas.

When a young actress is so popular that even a woman who's 77-years-old next month is trying to hop on the bandwagon, there are far too many on the bandwagon and the performer has gone stale.

4) The petty wars -- which Jennifer Lawrence should have issued a statement on.

For the likes of Ms. magazine -- forever looking to 'heart' someone -- Jennifer Lawrence and The Hunger Games franchise was an opportunity to trash Kristen Stewart and to slam the Twilight franchise.

Those five films that Kristen carried have made over $3 billion world wide.  There was no need to trash Kristen or the Twilight franchise in order to build up Jennifer Lawrence.

It looked petty and it looked bitchy.

And Twilight fans didn't enjoy it.

Nor should they have.

Twilight is a huge franchise that was based on romance.  It was telling a different type of story -- an equally valid story -- and as various Jennifer Lawrence boosters in the press and on the blogs went out of their way to explain how much more important Jennifer was and how much greater Hunger Games was, it did help create a backlash.

Again, Jennifer Lawrence should have issued a statement -- and she still needs to this week -- explaining that there's nothing wrong with Twilight and that she wishes people would stop pitting Hunger Games against Twilight.

5) Beefcake.

Josh Hutcherson was never handsome.

He did have a cute phase.

By the end of 2012, that moment had long passed. That leaves only Liam Hemsworth.

Twilight actually added more good looking men to the cast as the franchise went along.

With Hutcherson looking more and more like Herman Munster, the reality is The Hunger Games franchise has fewer and fewer attractive men for young girls and young women (or, for that matter, young boys and young men) to be attracted to and fantasize about.

None of the above should be shocking.

And while some may argue this is obvious in hindsight, we'd argue this should have been obvious months ago.


Since this posted minutes ago, this has been corrected to note "multiple nominations" -- Academy Award nominations -- and only one win.

Congress and Veterans


Dona: Last Thursday, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing on military suicides.  C.I. reported on it in the Wednesday "Iraq snapshot," the Thursday "Iraq snapshot" and the Saturday "Iraq snapshot."  Kat included the Ranking Member Richard Burr's comments in "Mental Health and Suicide Among Veterans."  We'll discuss the hearing, but before that, there was another Congressional issue involving veterans last week.  C.I. covered it in "Corrine Brown is not fit to serve" and "Nancy Pelosi lost her brains on the plastic surgeo..." -- as well as in the snapshots already noted.  Ava covered it in "It's a shame the Democrats won't do what's best for veterans" and Kat covered it in "Corrine Brown is nuts."  There was other community coverage but the three of them and Wally attend the hearings and report on them.  This is an issue that's huge and that the media's missing because they work to cover for the officials, they don't care about reporting.  Pelosi is the House Minority Leader, a Democratic, and she was already under fire for refusing to allow US House Rep. Tammy Duckworth to vote by proxy last week in the election of leadership posts for Democrats in the House.  Duckworth is an Iraq War veteran, she lost both legs in the war.  She was not able to travel to DC because she was under doctor's orders not to fly.  This was due to her pregnancy.  She gave birth last Tuesday.  Pelosi already looked, at best, like a jerk for her actions.  Things only got worse last week.  Wally, why don't you give us an overview of what happened.

Wally: In the current Congress, the Republicans have had the majority in the House -- that will also be true when the new Congress is sworn in January 3rd.  Because of that, Republicans are Chairs on House Committees.  Because Democrats are in the minority, their leadership posts on Committees is Ranking Member.  The current Ranking Member on the House Veterans Affairs Committee is Mike Michaud.  He did not seek re-election.  So Democrats need to pick a new Ranking Member.  US House Rep. Tim Walz was endorsed for the post by not only Michaud but also many veterans group.  Nancy Pelosi and her gangsta tribe used arcane rules to eliminate him from running for the post so that she could install her pet US House Rep. Corrine Brown -- also known as the Congressional Disgrace From Florida.

Dona: Which is where Wally hails from and, my apologies for an oversight earlier, C.I. slid me a note reminding me that Wally's "THIS JUST IN! CORRINE SPEAKS!" and Cedric's "Exclusive interview with Corrine Brown" joint-post took on the nonsense of Corrine Brown.  Humor is obviously a very effective political tool.  We were talking, while working on this edition, with Isaiah who will have a new cartoon going up late tonight at The Common Ills on this topic and he plans to address it also on Thanksgiving with a special comic.  Thank you to C.I. for the note and my apologies to Wally and Cedric -- I did not mean to overlook their commentary and contribution. Corrine Brown is clearly unqualified.  Wally and Cedric did their joint-post as an interview with Corrine and Wally explain what the point was.

Wally: That she can't speak the English language.  She's a native American, born in this country, English is the only language she semi-speaks.  She invents words because she's so stupid -- and, yes, after getting into Congress, she got a degree but everyone laughs about that in Florida -- but beyond being stupid, when she gets excited, she starts dropping vowels out of her words and slurring her consonants and you can figure out what the hell she's saying.

Dona: And there are the ridiculous -- and ratty -- wigs.  The Congressional Black Caucus is backing Corrine, who is African American.  When her wigs were rightly mocked in the press, Jane Fonda's ridiculous Women's Media Center -- a whore outlet if ever there was one -- insisted Corrine was the victim of sexism.  No, she wasn't.  Jane needs to stick to doing more bad acting to remind people how her talents disappeared after The Morning After and that all the plastic surgery in the world won't bring back the talent or the relevance she once had.  But my point here is some may say, "Well she's being attacked for her race."

Wally: Some may say that.  Cedric's African-American. Isaiah's planning a series of comics, he's African-American as well.  Marcia's African-American and she wrote "Corrine Brown, show some integrity and step aside"  last week. Corrine's a national joke and that's on her.  She could have educated herself a long time ago.  But she's the one who didn't feel she had to.

Dona: Your from Florida, why is that?  Why didn't a member of Congress work to sound better instead of talking like an idiot?

Wally: She didn't have to work.  Her district guaranteed that any Democrat would win.  It was the most gerrymandered district in Florida.  Ava, in 2012, wrote about wishing Corrine wouldn't be re-elected.  After that went up, I explained to Ava that Corrine's district was drawn so ridiculously that she over 90% of African Americans from something like six different counties.  It was so ridiculous that it was struck down this year and Corrine whined like a baby because it lowered her African-American demographics to something like 70%.   With what she had before and even what she has now, she's in Congress until she retires or someone primaries her.  She won't lose to a Republican.

Dona: Ava, as Wally noted, you've long opposed Corrine Brown.  Talk about that.

Ava:  In the Bully Boy Bush years, Corrine was a vocal critic of the VA -- you could even call her a vicious critic. Which I was fine with.  Congress is far too comfy with the officials they're supposed to provide oversight on. I thought, "Here's someone who will hold the VA accountable."  And veterans need that.  But then Barack was sworn in and, at that point, Corrine used her time in hearings to insist the VA could do no wrong.  We have documented this repeatedly here and C.I. at The Common Ills.  But in addition to those archives, you can also refer to  West 12th Road Block Association News which noted last May:

Despite a myriad of indications of problems with the VA in her own district, Rep. Brown states that "I did my own reconnaissance in Florida. I can tell you that we are doing fine in Florida.....I went and talked to various V.A. groups in Florida and not one single complaint because we're doing our jobs."

Rep. Brown then goes on to blame President Bush and the Republicans for a lack of funding for the VA, but that under President Obama and "when we had a democrat House and a Democratic Senate we got the largest increase in the VA budget in the history of the United we got the money but we got to know that we're not just  talking the talk but we're walking the walk".

In addition to Rep. Brown's remarks regarding the VA scandal on the House floor being blatantly partisan, they are also remarkably disjointed as well as sophomoric for a member of Congress, totally ignoring the VA problem staring her and the rest of Congress in their respective faces.

In response to what is going on with the VA today Rep. Brown proudly states on the House Floor that "we have new cemeteries in Florida..."   If our nation depends on Rep. Brown's personal "reconnaissance" of this issue to address the serious problems within the VA, our veterans may need those cemetery plots!

Dona: Thank you for that, Ava.  I pulled some outside coverage as well.  I'm not including it.  We had a record number of e-mails on an issue come in.  We get tons of e-mails about our coverage -- some positive, some stinging -- and we get e-mails about what we should be covering but aren't.  We had, according to Ty's count, 1471 e-mails on the topic of Corrine Brown come in from Wednesday through Saturday night.  Over 1200 were from people identifying themselves as veterans.  All expressed outrage over the thought of her heading the Democratic side of the House Veterans Affairs Committee   A little over two-thirds of the veterans e-mails noted that Eric Shinseki left his post as VA Secretary in disgrace and that while the media propped him up for years we called him out here and said he should resign.  The e-mails applauded that but pointed out that Brown, even to the end, was against Shinseki resigning. That's a very important point and goes to why she has the image problems she has with veterans.  And those e-mails are much more important to me than the articles I found in various Florida newspapers where Corinne gave cover to the VA -- one scandal after another, she offered excuses for the VA and blamed the veterans.

Kat: I'd agree with you and let me jump in to note that we were in DC last week.  Tuesday night is when we heard, from members of veterans group, that Nancy was pushing Corrine for the post.  There was so much anger and dismay.  And it's not a formula for winning votes.  Nancy Pelosi is insane and so is the Democratic Party if they're going to let her run off voters.

Dona: I would agree with that.  And I wish we could it explore it more but we are under time limitations so let me turn to C.I. and ask you, in two minutes or less, to give us an overview of Wednesday's Senate hearing.

C.I.: Okay, in my reports, what I focused on was three examples -- there were many more -- where basic numbers were beyond the VA officials capabilities.  How many women -- or what percent of women veterans -- are taking their own lives?  The 'answer' the VA gave to that question was that women don't usually attempt to take their own lives with guns and guns are more decisive in turning an attempt into a suicide.  What that had to do with the question?  Nothing at all.  The VA attempted to distract repeatedly.  Senators Mike Johanns, Richard Blumenthal and John Boozman were among the ones pointing out that while the VA was spinning success on suicides, they were actually talking about older veterans and that the younger veterans cohort had a very troubling detail -- younger veterans seeking VA help and assistance were more likely to try to take their own lives than those who ignored the VA.  So the people they were supposedly helping were, in fact, being in some manner harmed by the VA.  And the officials didn't want to talk about that either.  They didn't want to deal with anything, they sought to waste time and eat up by being evasive and flat out lying.  And that's why Committee leadership matters and why the House Veterans Affairs Committee cannot afford to have Corrine Brown as the Ranking Member.

Dona: Thank you for that and I'm sorry that we have so little time on this.  We might have time to return to it next week.  We may not.  It is a serious issue and, for the first time in the almost ten years of this site, our editorial will not be on Iraq.  We will instead focus on the issue of need for a real Ranking Member on the House Veterans Affairs Committee.  This is a rush transcript, enjoy all typos and errors.

Explaining Barack's fashion sense

Barack frequently looks weird in his suits -- not just when they're tan.

Now the reason becomes clear.

They're not so much suits as pant suits from the 70s, check out the back of that jacket.

Apparently, Barack got Dinah Shores' old clothes at an estate sale.

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