Sunday, November 01, 2009

Truest statement of the week

The heartbeat went out of our house
The rhythm went out of our romance
But in life that happens
And you just have to remember to breathe
And it then
It then will return
Well if you just remember to breathe
After all I've been through
I waded on through
If I can just remember to breathe

-- Carly Simon, "Coming Around Again" from the new album Never Been Gone.
Never Been Gone

Truest statement of the week II

Surely "liberals" in the House will revolt? No, not quite. Earlier this year Representative Anthony Weiner voted for the Energy and Commerce Committee bill on health care after threatening to vote against it. There were sufficient votes to block the bill in the Energy Committee. Nancy Pelousy and other House leaders made promises to get votes.
A most crucial promise was that Anthony Weiner would get a vote on an amendment on the House floor for his proposal to establish a single payer system. No surprise that Nancy Pelousy lied. No surprise that "
liberals" caved and won't protest the lies:
Even New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, who received a public assurance from Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) over the summer that he would get a vote on an amendment establishing a single-payer government-run health care program, seemed to take the news in stride that party leaders had reneged on that agreement.
"I wouldn't be the first person to learn this place isn't on the level," Weiner told a crowd of reporters.

No surprise that lies are discounted and Obama excused. We recall Obama's FISA lies.

-- Hillary Is 44, "Nancy Pelousy And Barack Obama Economic Lies."

A note to our readers

Hey --

One more Sunday. Along with Dallas, the following helped with this edition:

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),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

We thank them all.

What did we get?

Truest statement of the week -- Who else but Carly Simon? Have you heard the album?
Truest statement of the week II -- Hillary is 44. We always mean to note that site and this week we did. There are two other statements in this edition that could qualify but we went with this pick.

Editorial: No, it's not journalism. -- This was almost a feature but Dona pointed out that if we were going to work on it at a time when we could barely keep our heads up and while we needed an editorial, we better make it our editorial. And so we did.

TV: The Forgettable -- Ava and C.I. take on bad TV.

Roundtable -- Betty's kids did the illustration. For all who will e-mail and ask if I(Jim) was tired, "Yes!" My head keeps falling to the side and I doze off and someone has to holler to wake me up. I just want to be done with the note, sorry.

Sexism And The Stupid Guy (Ava and C.I.) -- We asked for another feature from Ava and C.I. because the edition was running slow and behind.

Iraq -- Our Iraq feature.

10 thoughts of Carly Simon's Never Been Gone -- A piece just to note that Carly's album came out last week.

Idiot of the Week -- We couldn't overlook someone linking 9-11 and Iraq.

Highlights -- Mike, Elaine, Rebecca, Betty, Ruth, Marcia, Ann, Cedric and Wally wrote this and selected highlights unless otherwise noted. We thank them.

And that's it. See you next week.

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

Editorial: No, it's not journalism.

"The reason I created this motion," Chris Condon, a member of Pacifica's National Governance Committee, explained, "is because there has been a lot of debate about whether or not Amy Goodman has received CIA conduit foundation funding from the Ford Foundation and other places."
Amy Goodman is, of course, the co-host of Democracy Now!, an unabashedly progressive news program that airs on over 800 stations across the country. As anyone who has listened to even five minutes of the program knows, Goodman is about as likely to be on the payroll of the CIA as Howard Zinn or Noam Chomsky. She has probably devoted more airtime to dissecting the CIA's transgressions in the past decade than any other member of her profession.

That's The Nation's dirty whore Eyal Press demonstrating how one doesn't do journalism.

If you're going to write about someone accused of being bought by foundation money, you need to note in there that your own magazine's foundation gifted Goodman with $100,000 in 2006.

It's called "disclosure" and a journalist would know that. Of course, a journalist wouldn't belong to a foundation. Eyal belongs to the New American Foundation (he's a Schwartz Fellow there).

"She has probably devoted more airtime to dissecting the CIA's transgressions in the past decade than any other member of her profession," sniffs Eyal.

Uh, what show have you been watching?

Not Democracy Now!

Democracy Now! does damn little on the CIA -- and, point of fact, The Nation's long, long connections to the CIA (including their current editor & publisher's family connections to the CIA) really make it laughable when Eyal hops on his hobby horse to fume. But Eyal, the CIA has many journalists on their payroll. They always have. They've long funded periodicals that would close shop without that funding because the periodicals can't turn a profit and can't stay in print on their own. The Ford Foundation's ties to the CIA are fairly well known at this late date and you can be sure -- as any journalist knows -- that it and other foundations determine what gets on air via the threat of no future funding.

But back to the false claim that Amy Goodman's reported on the CIA more than anyone else. Does Eyal even know what the CIA is? He appears to have confused them with the NSA, the FBI, ICE or Homeland Security. Goodman has featured segments on those agencies.

The CIA?

That really comes down to the issue of kidnapping and, to cover that topic, that means booking . . . Jane Mayer of The New Yorker.

Jane Mayer, not Amy Goodman, has done more to cover the CIA than any other journalist this decade.

"But I said airtime!" whines Eyal.

Yeah, and Mayer's on Democracy Now! and on KPFA's The Morning Show and on various NPR programs and on PBS' The NewsHour, etc. She's on those shows talking about her reporting. Her reporting.

As for Democracy Now! being progressive? Try in its original incarnation. What happened to all of those hosts, by the way? It's hilarious when you grasp that some people today believe Amy Goodman was the primary host ('primary' is how she billed herself in Colorado at the Apsen Institute, not "co-host," "primary host") back when the show started. Uh, no.

Of course, when Democracy Now! started (and for many years after) it was a Pacifica asset -- owned by Pacifica. That changed, didn't it? And Amy Goodman -- Queen of Beggar Media -- started taking home a million dollar a year salary from Pacifica. When Pacifica couldn't pay their bills, when paid staff was let go, Goodman was taking home one million dollars a year. Community radio paid a person one million dollars a year?

Goodman's not a "progressive" and Eyal insults everyone's intelligence by claiming that's what she is. As Bruce Springsteen once sang, "Closets are for hangers."

But Eyal reveals his own gross stupidity throughout the really bad blog post -- no more so than when he writes, "Amy Goodman is, of course, the co-host of Democracy Now!, an unabashedly progressive news program that airs on over 800 stations across the country. " How many stations her show appears on really has nothing to do with the topic Eyal's allegedly writing on; however, if you're going to include a 'fact' try getting it right.

"Over 800 stations across the country"?

In whose dreams?

Try, "Democracy Now! is currently broadcast on nearly 805 stations around the world." The source for that fact? This Democracy Now! webpage.

We could go on and on but, point is, we've already demonstrated that whatever Eyal Press was doing, it was not journalism.

TV: The Forgettable

So we're talking with an exec at ABC Friday and mention, in passing, we'll be panning one of his network's shows, he wonders which one and, we look at one another stumped. That's how lame the show is, we can't even think of the title. He tries to help out -- and remember, as an ABC suit, he should know the line up better than anyone -- but he's naming everything but the show. In the long pause that follows, one of us says "Christian Slater" and then we all realize it's the aptly named series The Forgotten.

Jay Leno's getting lousy ratings each night but NBC can take comfort in the fact that, week by week, they get closer to The Forgotten on Tuesday nights. Not because Jay's ratings are building but because The Forgotten's are sinking. And it's being blown away not only by CBS' The Good Wife but also by FX's Sons of Anarchy.

And that's just the ratings. In terms of entertainment value, the next night on CNN Campbell Brown presented far more enjoyment on her self-titled program as she spoke with the administration's very own Martha Mitchell, ladies and gentlemen, Valerie Jarrett.

"So do you think Fox News is biased?" Campbell Brown managed to ask with a straight face.

Looking several sheets to the wind, Jarrett snapped, "Well, of course they're biased. Of course they are."

At which point, Brown moved in for the kill, "Well, then do you also think that MSNBC is biased?"

Looking even more spaced out, Jarrett began to sputter insisting that she didn't want to "generalize" and tried desperately to back peddle. Brown, to her credit, refused to act as stupid as Jarrett seemed to think she was. Brown continued to press, "But you only see that at Fox News. That's all, that you've only spoken out about Fox News."

Eyes in panic mode, Jarrett insisted, "That's actually not true. I think that what the administration has said very clearly is that we're going to speak truth to power."

The sound you heard was the entire world laughing. At The Baltimore Sun, David Zurawik observed:

I am about 60 comments behind, and posting them now. But scanning them, I see many commenters mocking Jarrett's use of the phrase "speaking truth to power." Yes, I agree, it deserves to be ridiculed in this context. What's the great power the White House is fearlessly standing up to -- a cable channel? I think such a phrase from our collective past that has real resonance because it was once loaded with such intergrity, moral authority and wisdom when first uttered, is cheapened when used in such a blantantly and inappropriate political context.

"Truth to power." The poor little White House, having to speak "truth to power." Do you get for even a second how damn pathetic the current administration is? Barack couldn't, for even ten minutes, weather a Whitewater or any other media storm. He's been coddled and stroked by the media for so long that he can't even live with one TV outlet not cooing sweet nothings. Forget a hostile press, if he ever faced a working press, you get the feeling that he'd break down in tears. Or maybe storm out -- the way he did when the press dared to question him the way they would any other politician back in March of 2008.

Valerie Jarrett, the administration's freak show, really was a sight to behold on TV as she reminded the people of just how petty and pathetic the administration was. She truly made an impression.

Which is more than you can say about The Forgotten. ABC's hopped on to the Bruckheimer train . . . just as the engine was shuddering to a stop and the other networks were intent on debarking. So ABC gets Bruckheimer when all that's left to offer is a variation of CSI: Volunteers. Or maybe they're community organizers?

A bunch of losers with nothing better to do look into the missing person cases the police just doesn't have the time for. Doesn't have the time for? Yes, that would make this Bruckheimer's Cold Case if the posse had badges.

Christian Slater stands out among the posse as the haunted ex-cop Alex. TV always seems to be populated with these haunted cops and ex-cops. So much so that after awhile you begin to suspect that "haunted" really means: Doesn't work well others and can't perform solo.

Slater starred in last fall's heavily promoted My Own Worst Enemy and we took a pass on reviewing that NBC disaster. What it attempted to do was to give America the 2 Christian Slaters. The first is the Slater which America embraces with Heathers: JD, the over the edge, word slinging gangster. The second is pretty much everything he did after starting with Kuffs: Soulful boy. Christian veered back and forth between the two notes he can hit as an actor as he played a 'loose cannon' government agent and a 'nice guy' suburban dad.

The latter came off especially dull as dishwater so it's especially sad that this is the persona he's elected to go for in his second attempt at being a series star. Someone's wrongly hoping he'll come off brooding but he keeps coming across like a moody 12-year-old. At least he has a mood. The other five members of his team are forgettable.

It's not really their fault because they're not given that many lines. In fact, each week one character gets the bulk of the lines. No, it's not Christian.

Want to guess who it is?

The corpse.

If we've learned one thing about corpses from eight episodes of The Forgotten (six have aired so far), it's that they're incredible chatty.

Who knew?

And pseudo-philosophical.

They're dead.

You'd think they'd be moving on and you keep recalling the old adage about how they "tell no tales."

On this show they're caught up in a chatty, reflective mood and they want to share, in voice overs, all about their friends, their loves, even their pets.

In fact, maybe the FBI should add "highly talkative" to their profile of murder victims because, judging by this show, they all are. You start thinking that maybe they were knocked off just because they never shut up?

And, artistically, you long for a quiet moment until almost the end of the episode -- that's when you think "Bruckheimer!" And suddenly remember he's about to serve up some 'silent' moments with a bad pop song playing over shots of the cast.

And that's how The Forgotten plays out: Like a copy of every other Bruckheimer TV show -- a pale copy. A very pale copy. Completely forgettable -- if you don't believe us, check with any ABC exec.


Jim: This is an e-mail roundtable and, as usual when we do one of those, we're hustling to pull together an edition. Participating in this roundtable are The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Ty, first e-mail?

Ty: John R. e-mails to note the book Mark Ribowsky wrote entitled The Supremes -- about Diana and the Supremes -- and he quotes this from the book:

Diana Ross -- hailed by MCA executives as “the queen returning home” -- was given stock in MCA that carried over to PolyGram and Universal, but has failed to register a single Top Forty pop hit since 1981, compiling only scattered lightweight R&B hits such as “Workin’ Overtime” in ‘89 and her ‘91 duet --

C.I.: Stop. Enough of the crap. Ribowsky wrote a bad book on Phil Spector. How bad? The book came out years and years ago but when Phil went on trial, there was no effort to rush it out in a new printing and work it. He's a bad, bad writer. In the passage Ty was quoting? Diana Ross hasn't a Top 40 hit since 1981? Really? 1982, "Mirror, Mirror" goes to number eight, same year sees "Muscles" make it to number ten, 1983 sees "So Close" make it to number 40 -- which is top 40 -- all of these the top forty pop charts. This isn't R&B or adult contemporary. He lied that she didn't make the top 40 after 1981 and she repeatedly made the top 40. 1983's "Pieces of Ice" made it to 31, 1984's "All of You" -- which was a duet with Julio Iglesias -- made it to number 19, as did "Swept Away" in the same year. "Missing You" would go to number ten. So that's seven songs right there, seven songs that hit the Top 40 and did so after 1981. I'm just not in the mood for the crap.

Betty: Agreed. I've seen that book around and picked it up a few times because I am a big fan of Diana's and I skimmed a few pages to see if I'd like it. You can scan any page at random and grasp that the author has an axe to grind against Diana. Now C.I. just counted the hits since 1981 and if you include "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" -- which hit number 7 -- you have eight top forty hits from 1981 to 1985. That's a pretty solid record for a woman who's been hitting the charts for decades by then. What I'm saying is that there's this knee jerk response to say, "Oh, Diana, she stopped having hits!" How long was she supposed to have hits? Find another hit maker like Diana and explain to me how many decades they had hits? Because Diana had a top 40 hit every year from 1963 through 1985 except for 1978. That's 21 years of Top 40 hits. "When The Lovelight Starts Shining In His Eyes" is the first top forty hit she has -- with the Supremes -- in 1963. "Missing You" in 1985 is the last one she has. Now there are many years when she had more than one -- and, again, no Top 40 hit in 1978 -- but that's a huge string of hits. Not to take anything away from Cher or Tina Turner -- I love both of them -- but they had their moments out of the public eye during those years. Diana's accomplishments are very real and something to be proud of.

Ty: I'm glad Betty and C.I. raised the points they did because I made a point to count up all the Top 40 hits Diana's sung on. 52 if you don't count "We Are The World." 53, if you do. Outside of Madonna, I don't know anyone else who could make that claim. And if we expanded that to the Top 100 on pop, it would be an even higher number. But her career has seen her hit the Top 40 fifty-two times.

Jim: How many times has Madonna hit the Top 40?

Ty: I counted 48. Erika e-mails to note that "The Carly Roundtable" mentioned Isaiah but he's no where to be found in it. Did he end up having to leave? Did he get forgotten? Was it a typo?

Jim: I typed that up and what happened was a series of things were edited down because it was so long. Isaiah spoke right after a long section where C.I. was talking about chords and C.I. said to pull that because it would probably be too technical. I gladly did to avoid typing and, in doing so, I also missed Isaiah. My apologies for that. I'll let Isaiah speak now.

Isaiah: That was on Coming Around Again and, like Marcia, I had picked it as my favorite. I talked mainly about the images from the lyrics like "something in my pocket that was written years ago in faded ink says you are my fire" from "Do The Walls Come Down" and "you're freight trains whistling over my track" from "All I Want Is You." And especially "Give Me All Night" for "Don't give me fountains, I need water falls, and when I cry, my tears will fill an ocean." I really felt it was her strongest lyrically with some of her strongest images which is true in the title track with "break a window, burn a souffle, scream a lullaby." "Two Hot Girls (On A Hot Summer Night)" has "the kettle was on and it started up steamin'" in the second verse and then, in the third verse, "the kettle boiled down and evaporated me." And then "Don't look at yourself in the same old way, take another picture, shoot the stars off in your own backyard, don't look any further and you will see" from "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of." There's so much going for that album and I really love it for any number of reasons but I felt that it had the strongest lyrics of any of her albums. I think that's basically what I went into. It was no great loss for me to be left out and I'd have gladly said "Cut me!" if it would have meant we could keep in the section on the chords.

Ty: Still on the subject of Carly Simon, Bill, who runs Carly Simon Conversations, recommends this Day Trotter article on Carly Simon's concert, last week at Lincoln Center, this blog post on the concert and this video of "Touched By The Sun." A number of people are e-mailing to ask if Kat's going to do a review of Carly's new album Never Been Gone?

Kat: No. Not going to. What? I announced it at my site, it was noted here last week. Maybe people are so in love with the album that they're impatient for my review to go up? Generally, they go up on Sunday. The reason for that is (a) to give me a little more time -- meaning I write it on the plane ride home Saturday and (b) to give C.I. and/or Isaiah a breather if they need it. See, once upon a time, a weekend at The Common Ills might mean a review from me, a comic from Isaiah and a report from Ruth. Those days are long gone. And it really falls on Isaiah and C.I. So when I do a review, it does give Isaiah the chance of taking the weekend off without having to worry that C.I.'s going to do extra entries to make up for Isaiah's absence. And before anyone wonders about Ruth, she was benched.

Ruth: I was benched by C.I. I was told I could do my own site and my "Ruth Reports" for The Common Ills or I could work on the Third editions here and do "Ruth Reports" for The Common Ills but I could not do five posts a week at my site and work on the weekends here and still do a "Ruth Reports" for The Common Ills.

C.I.: It's too much to ask for. It's too much to expect. You also do pieces for Hilda's Mix. And no one should think Ruth's not missed. She still does her yearly look back at radio. But she's not doing that on a weekly basis anymore. I loved her reports and I miss her reports. But it's just too much to ask of one person.

Rebecca: And just to back C.I. up on that, if you're not the core six of Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava and C.I., you're usually gone earlier. I don't know when Dallas leaves. But the rest of us who aren't part of the core six usually get dismissed about two to four hours before the writing's posted here. At least. That's because they're still editing and there's still the typing to be done. But even getting dismissed early, we start the edition on Saturday night and finish it up on Sunday morning and it's just really long. C.I. also tries to encourage Isaiah not to do that and turn around and do a comic.

Isaiah: Yeah. And that's why C.I. got really ticked about the time I spent 12 hours here and, in the end, Jim decided we didn't need to work on the article -- the one I wanted to help write. And it's that way with Trina as well but probably less so because Trina will say, "I'll do this but not that." Trina?

Trina: Yes, I'm comfortable with that. I get up early in the morning and walk through and someone here -- Mike, Rebecca, Elaine, Ruth, Marcia or Stan -- will say, "We're doing a roundtable in a second want to take part?" And a lot of times I will but sometimes I've got a headache or too much to do that morning and won't. I'll also, if I know the editorial topic, help on that if I think I can add anything. But I don't generally stay up through the entire edition. I'm usually too wiped out from daily life.

Jim: And we love all the assistance we get but we always encourage people to do like Trina or like Elaine who will say, "I don't think this is getting anywhere and I'm tired." And she'll go on to sleep. Nobody should knock themselves out. And, in reference to the piece Isaiah was speaking of, that was my bad. I did know Isaiah was working with us that edition just waiting for us to do the feature on comics and I had just put it off and then there was no time for it. Again, my apologies for that.

Dona: Let me interrupt for a second to note that Kat's review is up. It's entitled "Carly Simon's warm benediction."

Ty: Roberto e-mailed, "I detect a sense of moving away from politics in recent weeks and I'm wondering how intentional that is?"

Jess: I don't think it's intentional. If you look at the last three weeks, you'll probably find some ways of backing Roberto up but I believe one of those -- at least one -- was an edition where everything fell apart and Ava and C.I. ended up doing three TV articles just so we'd have an edition. Now Jim, Dona, Ty, Ava and I all got our degrees in journalism and that means we do know about feature writing and there have been some good feature articles in the last three weeks -- one of those was political in that it was a survey of political opinion journals -- but that's not so much a walk away from politics as just trying to have some variety. We try to do at least one feature article on comics each month and we have other regular features as well.

Dona: To pick up on what Jess just said about Ava and C.I. doing three articles one week just so we'd have an edition, we're going to ask them to do a second one this week. Why? It's the only thing that we've got so far -- their article on The Forgotten. Mike and the gang are going to do highlights right after this roundtable and the six of us will be trying to figure out what else we can do because things did not work out this edition. At all. And we're scrambling which means we'll be tossing out ideas quickly and writing quickly. And that may mean no political topics because if someone comes up with an off the wall suggestion that's something we haven't done or don't usually do, that's going to generate more interest for those of us writing than another piece on whatever.

Mike: And if I can jump in here, what are we supposed to be writing about that we're not covering? I mean, we've got a mix of stories here each week. At our own sites, we're covering a mix. As far as I can tell, the bulk of the 'left' outlets are doing nothing but repeating administration talking points. And, honestly, I'm so damn sick of the ObamaCare at this point and I'm not alone. Forget that I despise it and know it doesn't work -- it's built around what we have in Big Mass -- for a minute. I'm just so damn sick of hearing about it. I can't watch f**king PBS anymore because every damn show seems to be obsessed with this topic -- this topic we've had to hear non-stop yammering on since July. I'm damn sick of it. And that's a pretty common feeling on my campus. It's not an issue that inspires young people and that may be due to the fact that we see ourselves as invincible. Or it may be because of all the overkill. Or it may be because of all the fawning over Barry and the lack of reporting.

Elaine: And, similar thought, I was on the phone with a friend -- a Democrat who voted for Barack in 2008 -- and she was saying that she made it through the Bush years thinking it could never be worse and that when a Democrat got into office, everything would be better but now there's a Democrat in office and he's just George W. Bush. Now I agree with her, he is the third term of George W. Bush but we've covered that. Over and over. Here and at our own sites. We're among the few who broke the ground on that on the left. Everyone else was too damn chicken. And I won't mention the joker who had a joke my friend passed on but I will note that it was a funny observation, one that made me laugh when I first read it a year ago in an article Ava and C.I. wrote. But my larger point -- away from the rip-off -- is that we can't just churn it out. We know each week we have to hit hard -- here and at our own sites -- because this is just like what C.I. was doing on campuses when it was Bush Cannot Be Questioned! It took people like C.I. going around and saying, "Yes, he can" to kill that worship passed off as reporting. So each week we will let the air out of the balloon. But we can't do the same piece over and over. Or if we're going to, just re-run it and let us all go to sleep.

Marcia: What Elaine's saying, I'm seeing that too. People who wrote me off in early 2008 suddenly showing up to say, "You were right about Barack." And that's good but what worries me is that the people like us, like Hillary Is 44, etc. are not going to get any credit and it's going to be the people who cheerleaded us into this mess that get credit for, in 2010, suddenly realizing Barack's a fake. The liars who caused the problem will not be exposed, will not be held accountable and, as a result, they will live to do it again.

Cedric: Yeah. I agree with that so much. Like Elaine and Marcia, I'm seeing and hearing that from people I know -- people suddenly grasping Barack is a fake. And Marcia's right and before anyone tries to say, "She just wants credit for her ego!" No. First, after the way she and others were treated for speaking the truth, she deserves credit. But more importantly, if we don't get rid of our own Judy Millers and Michael Gordons, they will be around to do this again. And they're doing it now. With the war on Fox News, they're attacking that network and also being hypocrites.

Wally: Right because if it was MSNBC, they'd be screaming their heads off. As it is, FAIR won't call out MSNBC unless it's Chris Matthews. They're so damn busy fawning over MSNBC. They're so ethically corrupt. I don't think we can move forward on the left until people start taking accountability. And anyone cheering on a government attack on a press outlet better start explaining when that became acceptable?

Ruth: Let me jump back in because this is a topic Elaine and I have covered at our sites and I agree completely. When we cheer a president and/or an administration for going after a news outlet, we are encouraging them to do it again. We are saying it is okay. When does it become not okay? Watergate did not happen over night. It was a slow and steady erosion, each bit greater and greater leading to the big cover up.

Stan: And look at Bob Somerby whom Betty and I like to highlight but he keeps demanding and applauding a war on a news outlet -- a war from the White House. That's not the role of the White House or the role of the government. I'm sorry that pundits and reporters are too weak to call out Fox when it needs calling out but that's not the role of a president and I've about had it with Barack's repeatedly lowering the stature of the presidency. And Mike had a really good point last week when he explained that no one ever needed to see Barack shirtless and the little girly-boy should have learned to pull on a shirt instead of strutting with his man boobs dripping and dragging all over the place. What is that? Is he a hillbilly? Does he just not know any better? Or does he think we all need to see him without a shirt? Whatever it is, put a damn shirt on already.

Betty: Just to back up Stan, I wrote about Carly's album twice last week at my site and one reason was because it's so great and another is because I just wasn't in the mood for Bob Somerby and his idiotic cheerleading of the White House declaring a war on a press outlet. No White House should be cheered for doing that. The Democrats have their pit bulls, if they can't bark effectively, that's no reason to bring the White House into it. It cheapens the White House and, like Stan just said, it lowers the stature of the presidency. But what really concerns me is what happens when we encourage a government to attack the press. That's what concerns me. What is this? Lifeboat? We're all going to beat up on the bad German -- Fox News -- and then when the young wounded German comes on board, what are we going to do? Beat up on him too?

Ava: Betty's referring to Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat. I just want to add that where does it end? Betty's talking about -- and others as well -- that you're asking for a White House -- any White House -- to start attacking all the press organs they don't like. I believe that's how many reporters ended up on Nixon's enemies list. Bob Somerby might want to try grasping that. But I want to talk about a different way it ends. Fox News. Now C.I. and I have already pointed out this year that Amy Goodman is among those who doesn't know the difference between Fox News and Fox home of The Simpsons and many other shows. But maybe they need to boycott that too? All these do-gooders who want to call for the end to Fox News. And let's hold accountable the ones working for Fox as well, right? Including Laura Flanders' niece who works on House? This is all such bulls**t and it really needs to stop. It's one thing for media critics to document Fox News' problems, it's another for the White House to go after it.

C.I.: Do you want to bring up the other thing, the frenzy of 'climate'?

Ava: Yeah, let's do that here. C.I. and I've been talking about this. Unless Lou Dobbs is lying -- and we don't think he is -- then his wife was shot at last week. Now all we've heard is that Fox and Rush and blah blah blah are creating a 'dangerous' climate in this country. Maybe it's time for the Kool-Aid drinkers to wonder what sort of climate they create? I'm for free speech. I feel anyone should say what they want -- and accept the consequences. But I'm not demonizing Lou Dobbs every five minutes and there aren't many on the left who can say that. The Kool-Aid drinkers have repeatedly stated that there is a climate created -- and Barack is threatened in it -- from the right-wingers. Well Lou Dobbs' wife got shot at. Anybody from the Kool-Aid side going to express any regret?

C.I.: And to be clear for any who didn't pay attention to what Ava just said, neither she nor I believe that speech creates a climate. People do what they want to do. Political speech is not responsible for violence. We have never pushed the notion that it was. But many of Barack's biggest cheerleaders push that crap. They whine that Barack's compared to a Nazi but had no problems with Bush being compared to a Nazi. And they say something bad will happen because of political speech, that it must be curbed. They didn't curb their political speech with regards to Lou Dobbs so they need to step up and figure what they believe in.

Jess: And just to jump in because a point does come up in e-mails. There is a commentary Ava and C.I. did addressing the" 'Barack is a Nazi' is outrageous but it's okay to call Bush one." They're addressing idiots who did one thing with Bush and another with Barack. They are not comparing either Bush or Barack to Nazis and, at this site, we have never compared either to Nazis. Every few weeks there's an e-mail insisting that we did to either Barack or Bush. We didn't. Nazis really isn't a word we use in our conversations or in our writing.

Ann: I think, if I can jump in, it's been the hypocrisy and the lack of consistency that has so discouraged me from our 'brave' left -- The Nation, Democracy Now!, FAIR, etc. You have standards or you don't. You can't put them on some days and prance around and throw them on the bottom of your closet other days. I find the fact that an attack on the press wouldn't be called out by these people to be repulsive and telling.

Jim: Thank you, Ann, for jumping in right then. I was about to call on you because you're the only one who hadn't spoken at least once and Dona has twice passed me a note saying "TIME!" This is a rush transcript, our e-mail address is Illustration by Betty's kids.

Sexism And The Stupid Guy (Ava and C.I.)

We didn't want to. We didn't want to write any other articles and we certainly didn't want to write about Barack and sexism. We've covered it before and there are some details we currently sit on. We're not ready to unpack all of that just yet.

But Dona wanted a feature. And this week's edition was coming up short so it was needed.

We foolishly thought we could string together some quotes from others, dash off a wrap around and exclaim, "Done!"

But we couldn't do that because there really weren't quotes.


It all begins with Mark Leibovich's "Washington Memo -- Man's World at White House? No Harm, No Fould, Aides Say" (New York Times last Sunday). The article documents the unease a number of women feel with a White House which appears to be a relic of a time that should be tossed aside. The article notes Barack's basketball game -- yes, it is rather sad that with the economy in the toilet and all the wars the US has going, the president is playing b-ball -- and how it was an all male event.

Trashy Anita Dunhill insists there's nothing wrong with it and tells Leibovich that she held a shower for a female employee and invited no men. Really? That's something to brag about? A work place baby shower and the White House chose, via Anita, to send the message that a baby was a 'woman's issue'? Really?

Anita Dunhill needs to fade away real quick. She's helped no one (least of all Barack) and sets the cause back for all women every time she flaps her gums.

Because of that article and criticism he's received, Barack decided to have a female golfer in the mix last Sunday. It was game 24 since he became president. The first 23 games? All men. Grasp that he plays a foursome. Grasp that he has invited 3 men twenty-three times while inviting no women.

You think it's not a problem?

Ask any woman who's ever broken the glass ceiling and she'll tell you it's a problem. Ask any woman who's been shut out and she'll tell you about it. Talk to the Paramount women of the late seventies and early eighties. They damn well remember how men got to know each other and mingle and mix on those 'men only' activities while women were left out in the cold. Talk to the women who were part of the Disney crew from the eighties and early nineties and they'll tell you about all the outside networking opportunities . . . for men.

And if you need a visual aid, watch the episode of Friends where Rachel goes to work for Joanna at Ralph Lauren. Joanna and her other assistant smoke. They're deciding everything on smoke breaks. They're making vacation plans and business plans and bonding. And Rachel's left out. And that's just on a smoke break.

These non-work work moments are prime bonding moments, they're moments when you can move up with your issue or project. And anyone who knows the first damn thing about business damn well knows that.

So imagine our shock when we went to NOW's website and found nothing on it. Or when we went to Women's Media Center and found nothing on it.

As appalling as the women playing the quiet game were, what may have been even worse were the women bound and determined to enable and justify Barack's actions.

Jo-Ann Armao (Washington Post) probably regrets her piece since she revealed she was not prepared to write on the subject (Armao has no clue that golf was also an issue). Jo-Ann embarrassed herself also as she rushed to reject all sports (and all sports talk). Jo, if we pretend you're highly feminine, will you calm down already?

Then there was Hadley Freeman. Hadley had to weigh in . . . because she writes for a British paper. And apparently if she couldn't excuse Barack, she might have to cover the public inquiry into the Iraq War or some other issue that's actually effecting her country. Instead, the stringy headed, no-chinned blob (only in England could she work for Vogue -- only in England) rushed to prove she could put the "bitch" in "bitchy."

"A CBS reporter," she snapped, "taking a break from covering things such as healthcare and the recession [. . .]"

First, Mark Knoller. That's the reporter non-journalist Hadley doesn't feel the need to even name. And did she just snap because she didn't think Knoller was following serious issue? Her? The woman who can't stop writing about celebrities? This year alone, she's covered such 'pressing issues' as Shannen Doherty, Lindsay Lohan and Angelina Jolie. And in a misguided attempt to prove her 'feminist' cred, Hadley only recently wrote about Palin "set to the music of R Kelly" because what feminist can't get on board with underage sex which would also be statutory rape?

This is who wants to lecture Knoller?

Poor Hadley, she's got a better chance at passing for fashionable than she does at passing for informed.

Just as we were about to give up, we found one woman expressing indignation:

President Obama could invite Chamique Holdsclaw to the private White House basketball court and Billie Jean King to play tennis with him. I still wouldn't believe he's any more comfortable dealing with women or concerned about "women's" issues than the dearly departed former Sen. Jesse Helms. President Obama talks the talk a lot better and a lot louder than Helms. But Jesse Helms was so rooted in his atavist traditions, he chose to remain true to his misogyny rather than pose for cameras with faux female golfing partners. President Obama must hide the side of his personality that is clearly uncomfortable with women because he needs their votes much more than Helms ever did.
Whether it was his treatment of Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail (as in his condescending remark that she was "likeable enough") or his clearly career-oriented mate who has been toned down and remorphed into a Stepford Wife, I just don't get the impression this man is comfortable with women. Nor do I believe he cares about them beyond needing women's votes. It's an act and a thoroughly see-through, amateur one at that.

That's Bonnie Erbe. And well said.

But we don't mean to imply that Hadley and Jo-Ann didn't also help. Many years ago, Wolf was stuck in rewrite hell. Elaine May had been brought in. And around this point, Michelle Pfeiffer suggested the writers stop trying to find a career for her character to dabble in. Sometimes, Michelle knew, the most feminist statement can come from showing the hollow nature of a life lived in repression with your feet and spirit bound. And that's when the script finally started to gell.

By the same token, Hadley and Jo-Ann did as much as Bonnie. Bonnie elected to speak from strength and use her own voice, no doubt inspiring many young girls as well as many grown women. And then there's Hadley and Jo-Ann served up as the cautionary tale, showing young girls and women how silly and embarrassing you look when you rush to defend the patriarchy, when you try to sell sexism as a form of liberation.

Most of all, we suggest you remember the silence from so many when next Title IX is discussed. Grasp that women think equality on the sports field is important . . . up until a woman leaves college then our faux feminists appear to think a woman's got no reason to complain and certainly no right to. Remember that.


Last week began with Baghdad bombings which claimed 155 lives and left over 500 wounded. Let's go over last week's reported deaths. In addition to the bombings in Baghdad, 2 people were reported dead on Sunday, Monday was when Sunday's death toll reached 155 and 9 others reported dead and 21 others reported wounded, Tuesday 2 people were reported dead, Wednesday 10 were reported dead and 21 wounded, Thursday 4 people were reported dead and 6 wounded, Friday 6 were reported dead and 5 reported wounded, and Saturday 3 people were reported dead and 27 were reported wounded. That's a total of 191 reported dead and 580 reported injured.


Those were not the only deaths. Tuesday, the US military announced: "CAMP VICTORY, Iraq – A Multi-National Corps-Iraq Soldier died today of a non-combat related injury at Camp Victory. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. The names of service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense official website at The announcements are made on the Web site no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary next of kin. The incident is under investigation." Thursday, the US military announced: "JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq – A Soldier who was currently assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) died Wednesday of a non-combat related injury at Camp Adder, Iraq. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense.The names of service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense official website at The announcements are made on the Web site no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary next of kin. The incident is under investigation." Friday, the US military announced: "BAGHDAD -- A Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldier died, Oct. 30, of non-combat related injuries sustained in a vehicle accident. The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense. The names of the service members are announced through the U.S. Department of Defense Official Website [. . .] The announcements are made on the Website no earlier than 24 hours after notification of the service member's primary next of kin. The incident is under investigation." And they announced: "CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE, Iraq -- A Soldier assigned to Multi-National Division - South died of non-combat related injury October 30. [. . .] The incident is under investigation." The announcements bring the total number of US service members killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war to 4355.

And, yes, that was four deaths of US service members in the last week of the month (the total number of the month was 8).

Throughout the week, there was talk -- endless talk -- that the Iraqi Parliament would pass an election law. They never did. They're allegedly taking up the issue again today. The US Congress disgraced itself too with US House Rep Duncan Hunter declaring on Thursday, "And -- and if we want to politically about this war too -- it would fall off the map if nobody was dying. Iraq's not in the paper anymore because nobody's dying." Nobody's dying in Iraq anymore? 4 US service members and at least 191 Iraqis died last week. But Duncan Hunter says "nobody's dying."

Friday on NPR's Morning Edition, Quil Lawrence explained what could happen re: the election law, "Well, as you say, the Iraqi prime minister and his government's term run out on January 31st so the election commission here has said they need 90 days to organize a legitimate poll and Parliament is deadlocked on over a dozen or so complicated issues regarding the election. They may vote on it today. If the elections are delayed or if they are rushed, there's a risk that Iraq's government could be deemed illegitimate and then a whole Pandora's Box of problems can open up -- issues of legitimacy of the government, maybe even a crisis like we've seen in Afghanistan. One big question is whether the US has done enough to push it through, especially since their plan to pull out 70,000 troops by August can't really start until the elections are done."

The Baghdad bombings last Sunday led to at least 61 arrests. One person being questioned Saturday managed to get a hold of a gun (allegedly) and shoot a police officer dead (allegedly) and then either shoot himself or be shot to death by the police. Even so, Nouri al-Maliki and Hoshyar Zebari managed to accuse Syria of harboring 'terrorists' and/or of aiding 'terrorists.'

James Denselow (The Guardian) told the truth on the press, "It takes a certain death toll for Iraq to make it back on to the headlines. Despite the presence of some 120,000 US troops (and 100 or so British naval trainers who were recently let back into the country) Iraq appears to be old news. In many people's minds it is yesterday's conflict; the surge was a success and the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is a democratically mandated strongman who is bringing economic success to the country -- or so the narrative goes."

Iraq is the largest refugee crisis on the planet and, last week, Senator Carl Levin's office released the following statement:

WASHINGTON -- Calling the plight of religious minorities in Iraq "a tragic consequence" of the war there, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., today introduced a Senate resolution calling on the U.S. government, Iraqi government and United Nations Mission in Iraq to take steps to alleviate the dangers facing these minority groups. Sens. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., joined Levin in sponsoring the sense of the Senate resolution.

"While violence has declined in Iraq overall, religious minorities continue to be the targets of violence and intimidation," Levin said. "Members of many minority groups who have fled other parts of the country have settled in the north, only to find themselves living in some of the most unstable and violent regions of Iraq. We strongly urge the Iraqi government, the United Nations and the U.S. government to address this crisis without delay."

Of approximately 1.4 million Christians of various denominations living in Iraq in 2003, only 500,000 to 700,000 remain. Another minority group, the Sabean Mandeans, has seen its population decline by more than 90 percent. Iraq's Jewish community, once one of the largest in the Arab world, has almost ceased to exist.According to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, members of religious minorities "have experienced targeted intimidation and violence, including killings, beatings, abductions, and rapes, forced conversions, forced marriages, forced displacement from their homes and businesses, and violent attacks on their houses of worship and religious leaders." The U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees reported that in 2008, there were an estimated 2.8 million internally displaced persons living in Iraq. Of that 2.8 million, nearly two out of three reported fleeing their home because of a direct threat to their lives, and, of that number, almost nine out of ten said they were targeted because of their ethnic or religious identity.

The resolution introduced by the senators addresses the tragedy in several ways. It states the sense of the Senate that the fate of Iraqi religious minorities is a matter of grave concern and calls on the U.S. government and the United Nations to urge Iraq's government to increase security at places of worship, particularly where members of religious minorities are known to face risks. The resolution calls for the integration of regional and religious minorities into the Iraqi security forces, and for those minority members to be stationed within their own communities. The resolution calls on the Iraqi government to ensure that minority citizens can participate in upcoming elections, and to enforce its constitution, which guarantees "the administrative, political, cultural, and educational rights" of minorities. Finally, it urges a series of steps to ensure that development aid and other forms of support flow to minority communities in Iraq.

That received very little attention from the press. Also receiving little press attention was Iraq's desire to go nuclear. First there was Martin Chulov's (The Guardian) report which he followed up with an audio report for The Guardian Daily:

Martin Chulov: I think Iraqi politicians are looking around and they're seeing that they're out of options as far as delivering services to their -- to their constituents. It's got no electricity capacity, or very little. It has very little water capacity. And not much for science and technology so they figure now that a new reactor may help them serve their energy needs and all sorts of other scientific and health needs that might lead them forward.

Jon Dennis: Iraq hasn't had a very happy history with its nuclear technology.

Martin Chulov: It certainly hasn't. Three decades of Saddam during which he attempted to make good and maintain a nuclear program ended in catastrophe. All three nuclear reactors were bombed and destroyed. And he was invaded twice, partly on the basis that he had these reactors. So it's been a long and fraught and ultimately fruitless history with nuclear energy in Iraq but now, six years after Saddam was ousted, the Iraqis are looking to have another go at it.

Jon Dennis: But how could Iraq ensure that any new nuclear facility would be secure?

Martin Chulov: And this is indeed the problem and this is going to be a giant step -- a giant obstacle in getting any sort of approval. Iraq is a signatory to a number of non-proliferation treaties that were -- that were imposed after the invasion and which a number of yellow cake vials did, in fact, go missing. There are some contaminants out here in the Iraqi community that have not been recovered in six years since. Iraq has shown a very limited capacity to ensure its essential sites including four of its ministries which have been destroyed over the past three months by suicide bombers who have been able to drive straight up to the gates.

Oliver August (The Times of London) reported on the story as did The New Zealand Herald.

And that was pretty much it. Last week began with two of the Iraqi governmental ministries being destroyed by bombs but the thought providing nuclear plants as bombing targets apparently didn't trouble the bulk of the press.

10 thoughts of Carly Simon's Never Been Gone

Kat's "Kat's Korner: Carly Simon's warm benediction" went up this morning about Carly Simon's latest album Never Been Gone. We won't top that (and we does include Kat) but we wanted to add a few thoughts.

Never Been Gone

1) Many of us downloaded the album. That means no notes. While you can [PDF format warning] download the Carly's notes here, is there a place you can go online to get credits for the tracks including who is playing on which one? (Yes, we can find that information out very easily -- we didn't all download the album. But it is an issue, and the primary one for this age of downloads, when it comes to albums.)

2) There is no one favorite track. We all tossed out our favorites and not one track got left out. We have no idea what will be your favorite track but, if you're a Carly fan, not only will you quickly have a favorite, you'll have a lot of fun figuring out what that track is.

3) Fun. This is really a fun album. It's dealing with a lot of weighty issues but it's got a lot of joy and fun as well.

4) This is also a repeat-listen album. There's so much here, you don't just need multiple listens, you want them and, despite non-stop play, the album still feels fresh.

5) "Let The River Run" is an anthem like Patti Smith's "People Have The Power" which lives up to anthem. The re-imagining on Never Been Gone only underscores that fact. (As opposed to the bloated, pig hollering sessions that our former Ireland boys U2 are so fond of churning out.)

6) The vocal mix throughout the CD is a pleasant surprise. We're referring to all the people providing wonderful backing vocals. Call them The Carly Choir but don't overlook them. Their touches add so much texture. (And 'they' includes Carly who does a lot of backing vocals on the album.)

7) "Clouds in my coffee" is a vocal powerhouse and a nice addition to "You're So Vain."

8) "Anticipation" really does sum up the album.

9) A lot of time and imagination went into this album.

10) The heartbeat went out of our house

The rhythm went out of our romance

But in life that happens

And you just have to remember to breathe

Idiot of the Week

Idiot of the week is a feature we used to do quite regularly but then there just became too many idiots. So to score these days, you really need to have done something stunningly stupid.

Enter Thomas E. Ricks on NPR's The Diane Rehm Show Tuesday.

Fair Play For Old Men

Discussing last Sunday's bombings in Baghdad, Ricks declared, "Which means a Sunni extremist probably working with al Qaeda. Simultaneous large blast is one of the al Qaeda signatures that they like to do. We all remember that from 9-11."

Just last April, Jonathan S. Landay (McClatchy Newspapers) was again reporting, "In fact, no evidence has ever been found of operational ties between Osama bin Laden's terrorist network and Saddam's regime." For the debut of Bill Moyers Journal, the focus (for 90 minutes) was the lying a nation into war with Moyers observing at the start of the show, "Two weeks before he will order America to war, President Bush calls a press conference to make the case for disarming Saddam Hussein. For months now, his administration has been determined to link Iraq to 9/11. At least a dozen times during this press conference he will invoke 9/11 and al Qaeda to justify a pre-emptive attack on a country that has not attacked America. But the White House press corps will ask no hard questions tonight about those claims."

Yet there was Thomas E. Ricks pretending that a homegrown (in Iraq) group (al Qaeda in Mesopotamia) is the same as the group alleged to have attacked on 9-11. Even after Bully Boy Bush and the former president of vice Dick Cheney have been forced to admit no link, there was Thomas E. Rick trying to draw a connection between the two groups -- a connection which doesn't exist.

Despite being one of three guests for the hour, Ricks still found plenty of time to continue to show his ass. He insulted Matthew Hoh as a nobody, as someone who (he said) didn't even have a key to men's room. Thomas E. Ricks thought that was funny which may be the scariest thing of all. Who is Matthew Hoh? You could read Karent DeYoun'gs Washington Post report. -- the report that Ricks insulted, stating that there was nothing there and the paper was blowing up a story of no importance. That was a triple for Ricks: He managed to insult Hoh, The Washington Post and Karen DeYoung.

Mainly he just showed his ass over and over.

Illustration of Ricks is Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Fair Play For Old Men."

For more on this topic, see C.I. and Elaine.


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. and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

"Kat's Korner: Carly Simon's warm benediction" -- Kat's review of Carly Simon's Never Been Gone. Just went up this morning.

"That's a review?," "Carly Simon on Today today," "Carly Simon invites you into her dreams," "carly coming around again," "Equality, Russ Feingold, Carly Simon," "Carly Simon, Dennis Kucinich," "Carly Simon's last album?," "Carly Simon's Never Been Gone," "Recommend album: Never Been Gone," "carly releases new album, blowhard attacks," "Andy Worthington, Carly Simon," "Carly Simon makes sense, Patrick Cockburn doesn't," "wowOwow, Carly," "carly simon's new album," "Carly's new CD," "Isaiah, Carly Simon, Hank" and "Isaiah, Carly Simon, Third" -- some of the Carly Never Been Gone coverage in the community last week. Some?

"Equality, Roseanne Cash," "Carly," "Carly, Tweets, Never Been Gone," "Carly," "Carly's new CD" -- Kat worked in Never Been Gone to every post last week. (Kat: "That's nothing, C.I. got in one mention each day last week starting Tuesday and sometimes got in as many as three entries each day mentioning the album.")

"I Hate The War" -- Most requested highlight of the week by readers of this site.

"Does he ever not talk about himself?" & "THIS JUST IN! SELF-OBSESSED MUCH!" -- Cedric and Wally on Barry O's favorite topic.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "'Feminist' Naomi Wolf speaks" -- Isaiah's latest comic, a huge hit in the community.

"Iraq snapshot" -- C.I. covers a Congressional hearing in this snapshot.

"Alito does his business" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.

"Rice cookerin the Kitchen" -- Instead of a recipe, Trina offers a recommended kitchen applaince.

"Happy B-day internet" -- Did you know it was the internet's birthday? None of us did until we read Ann's post.

"It was done to punish, attack and shame" -- Betty on efforts to punish pregnant women.

"tony blair, go away" -- would that he could, would that he could.

"Senator Roland Burris" -- Well said, Ruth.

"Laura Flanders, America's Most Embarrassing Dyke" -- Marcia on Laura.

"The Oprah effect" -- Stan on the realities of the Big O.

"Netflix, Family Guy, Barack the Chick" -- Mike offers up a grab bag post which was Stan's personal favorite of the week. (He notes it in this week's roundtable.)

"THIS JUST IN! TAKING THE FANS FOR A RIDE!" & "Selling it" -- Wally and Cedric on Barry O's pay-to-play.
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