Sunday, November 07, 2010


Jim: We have a ton of topics including the mid-term elections to cover. Some of the topics will be from e-mails and our e-mail address is 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. Betty's kids did the illustration.


Jim (Con't): The mid-term elections were last Tuesday. As expected, the Republicans won control of the House of Representatives. The big news from the election in the last few days is that Nancy Pelosi is not stepping down as Speaker of the House. Today on NPR's Weekend Edition, it's potrayed as something being done to show strength, we're told the Democrats are proving they're 'fighters' by sticking by Pelosi. Thoughts?

Rebecca: Bulls**t. They're sticking by Nancy because she raises a ton of money. She played hardball with her fundraising and that's the only reason they're sticking with her.

C.I.: I'm sorry, Rebecca, I'm sorry, I'm jumping in. We need to correct what was said. She was Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi was. The elections flipped control of the House. When people are sworn in at the new year, Democrats will not be in control. Pelosi wants to stay on in party leadership but, Jim just mispoke, no big deal, but with Republicans in control of the House, Democrat leadership would not be as Speaker. To finish this out, NPR did present as she's going to remain leader -- minority leader -- however they were wrong. She is running for the post. She may or may not be challenged -- I'm not following that nonsense so you'll have to go to someone else on that. But at this point, what she's done is she's declared her intent to run for leadership. Not Speaker of the House, she'd have to switch parties for that because the next Speaker will be Republican. Sorry, again, Rebecca.

Jim: And sorry for my wording. I was completely wrong in everything I said. Okay, Rebecca, back to you.

Rebecca: Nancy Pelosi's fundraising abilities are the reason she was made party leader in the House in the first place. That's the leverage she had over the likes Martin Frost others who wanted the post way back in 2002. She's inept. She's lousy at anything other than strong arming. She can't speak worth s**t. That's why she avoids the Sunday chat and chews. She's a liablitiy. And that's before you get into all the bagged from the big loss the Dems just suffered in the House.

Jim: Okay. What else stands out about the elections Tuesday? Or the coverage?

Ann: I caught PBS' live coverage -- basically The NewsHour extended. And I would praise a lot of it but there was one serious problem. To cover the Alaska race for Senate, they brought on this asshole from Alaska. Sarah Palin wasn't running for that post. We didn't need his song and dance about Sarah Palin. I'm sure he thought his crude remarks were witty but they weren't. And PBS needs to make it really clear in the future that if you are brought on to report, that's what you do. You don't tell jokes. Especially sexist and offensive jokes.

Jim: You wrote about the coverage in "Elections" but didn't mention that.

Ann: I was dealing with four or so hours of coverage and I thought the PBS staff did a good job. This man does not work for PBS. He was a local reporter from Alaska. I thought the way segment was quickly cut -- I believe by Judy Woodruff -- went to the reality that The NewsHour realized there was a problem with their 'reporter.' And that was the only big flaw for me. But it became more of an issue when a friend visisted Saturday and she'd seen that bit and thought it was hysterical.

Cedric: Ann didn't think it was hysterical -- and, of course, I side with my wife. A huge, loud argument ensued.

Ann: Here's the thing for me. I wouldn't vote for Sarah Palin. But I don't need to lie about her, nor do I need to hate the woman. She has positive qualities, admirable qualities. We disagree completely politically. But I'm not engaging in lies about her. And this friend was running with that 'jokester' who appeared on PBS' spin and just trashing her and -- I'm just not in the mood for it. You want to talk about her positions? Great, I'll disagree with her. But this let's launch this personal attack, I'm just not in the mood. It's gone on for far too long. It's showing the ugliest side of ourselves. I have no idea why so many want to wallow in that kind of hate. It's also stupid because should she ever have any kind of a station and actually be on the verge of some national elected office, she'll be immune. Any valid criticism of her policy proposals will be seen as just more of the same carping and attacking. It's just not smart.

Betty: I agree, Ann, but it's not really about being smart, it's about these people using hate to fundraise with. That's what it is. That's why The Nation, The Progressive and all of them can't let go of Palin. They're driving up the hate hoping it will mean more money for them. It's the same with the Democratic Party. They thought they'd fundraise on her back. And by the way, I believe we stand alone in calling the nonsense of having Nathan Daschle -- Tom's son -- be in charage of the Democratic Governors Association. The idiot is inept. Redistricing will take place and the Dems couldn't afford to lose on this issue. I don't the stats. Anyone? C.I.?

C.I.: I -- I'll call these approximates. I've been focused on Iraq. I believe they lost 9 governorships.

Betty: And that is the point. Little Nathan wasn't qualified. I'm sick of all the nepotism in the Democratic Party. I'm sick of Pelosi's daughters, I'm sick of all of it. Nathan was obviously not prepared for the job and so Republicans walked away from the mid-terms with 9 more governorships than they had before last week.

Jess: Chiming in to offer a New York Times link that does chart those races and, yes, the Democrats did lose 9 spots.

Jim: Thank you to Betty, C.I. and Jess for bringing that into the discussion. What else on the elections? Any thoughts on the Senate?

Mike: I'll grab that. The Senate remains in Democratic control. But there were losses of seats and clearly Harry Reid has been ineffective and that's going back to the Democratic takeover after the 2006 mid-terms. We need a shake up. I don't care if it's Dick Durbin or who. But the Senate needs a new Majority Leader. And to me this -- and Nancy Pelosi -- go to the lack of leadership in the Democratic Party. Pelosi shouldn't be running for the Minority Leader post. She should have learned something and she should be thinking about what's best for the party. She's not. Nor is Harry Reid. He's weak and he's ineffectual. When Rebecca was talking earlier, I believe she noted one quality Nancy did have: the ability to strong arm. Harry doesn't even have that. Harry's got nothing and he's lackluster.

Jim: Good point. Nancy Pelosi didn't end the Iraq War but was able to pull together the House votes on every faux effort. Harry Reid couldn't even do that. Anyone want to go for a theme of the elections?

Stan: I'll grab. For me the message was: Checks and balances. America wants it. Doesn't feel they're getting it. Are they going to get it now? I don't see how. Hopefully I'm wrong. However, if this had been the balance in 2009 and 2010, we wouldn't have that hideous ObamaCare. In fact, let me back up. I think we will see checks and balances. If this hadn't happened, you can be sure even worse than ObamaCare would be attempted and pass.

Trina: I agree with Stan. Can you imagine what the next two years would be like if the House hadn't flipped? Look at all the crap that was pulled to pass ObamaCare. And look at the indifference and arrogance on that. The people wanted single-payer, universal health care. Couldn't get that but our 'liberals' could force us into the same corrupt system that already existed but now, on top of everything else, you will be fined if you don't have insurance. In other words, they forced us at gun point into a corrupt system.

Ty: And yet who even wanted to talk about that? I'm referring to a piece we have about how these 'brave' 'independent' media outlets don't do a damn thing. And I want to go back to 2008 just because I'm so sick of the liars like Robert Parry -- all the Fat Old White Men -- who whored in 2008. If you can't tell the truth about 2008, why the hell should I believe a word you say? It would be like your denying that Al Gore won in 2000. If you're lying and pretend there wasn't caucus fraud in 2008, you are as useless as the liars of 2000. And liars like Robert Parry chose their sides early on. Not only that they attacked women with their columns and I won't forget that either. They wrote the kind of s**t you expect from The National Review or something. You did not expect from a left site. And that's why the trash like Robert Parry's Consortium News needs to die. And hopefully it will. It was bought and paid for and then did the whoring it was told to. There's nothing independent about Robert Parry.

Trina: I do think that's an important point. Early on, here, Ava and C.I. were noting that it wasn't normal. You do not get every left outlet getting behind the same candidate in a primary. It was organized and it was orchestrated. And they're whores -- in every sense of the word. The caucus fraud? Whose votes were stolen the most via the caucus fraud? The elderly. But the so-called 'independent' press didn't give a damn, didn't feel the need to be the watchdog. They'd toss out the elderly, they'd toss anyone -- as they demonstrated over and over.

Ruth: As one of the elderly, let me say I agree. And let me add that it was not just the caucus fraud. It was everything. They lied over and over. Their lies split the Democratic Party because people saw through them. Now it is two years later, they cannot make their bills and they are out begging and surprised their begging is returning so little.

Isaiah: They all showed up, picking up on Ruth's point, trying to tell us how to vote and telling us to vote in 2010. It was so clear that they didn't grasp that no one gives a damn. You can't whore in 2008, be exposed and turn around two years later and expect to be listened to unless you're just insane. They really think we're stupid and -- even funnier -- they think they're smart and crafty.

Jim: Robert Parry decided he could show up and, with his increasingly dwindling audience, have pull with the rest of us. That's bulls**t. People don't trust him and they won't trust him. He doesn't grasp how he destroyed his own reputation in 2008. He's like a criminal -- pick your crime, I'll go with rapist -- who thinks everything's okay because he has been thrown in prison. But everybody knows he did it. And no one trusts him. Ava, I know you and C.I. wrote an epic this week but are there any main points you had to leave out or anything that stands out?

Ava: Sure. There are many. We would have loved to have fact checked the six hours but there was not time or space for that. At one point, Rosa Clemente -- who does not identify as Latino, C.I. and I covered that in 2008 -- was referring to all the White male candidates running and said of the Green Party,"after having picked the first women ticket in presidential politics, referring to her run with Cynthia McKinney in 2008. They were not the first women ticket. It's really appalling that a woman would say that -- and Latoya Peterson's also repeated that nonsense.

Jim: Did she mean first women of color ticket?

C.I.: It doesn't matter. That's wrong as well. Monica Moorehead was the Workers World Party presidential nominee in 1996 and in 2000. In both runs, her running mate was Gloria LaRiva. They were a women of color ticket.

Ava: There were other things as well. Colorado, when Gloria Neal was done hosting and David Sirota took over, became a cesspool of sexism -- with shout outs for Bill Mahr and talk of how working for Barack in 2008 was a great way to pick up "girls." It was frat party centeral so, of course, you knew they had a White Anglo rapper as guest for their coverage. Sara Haile-Mariam is a complete idiot. There she was whining about the youth vote but the organization she's a part of was doing what? Justin Bieber videos? You want to talk about wasted efforts to reach the young people of America politically. You had neoliberal Wellington Webb on whining about Barack being "emasculated." The whole thing was a sewer of male anxiety -- coming from many of the men and a lot of the women. There was the idiot John Nichols who thinks you do a roundtable on live TV with your cell phone turned on. And when it starts ringing, it keeps ringing until Michael Moore makes a joke about you because you're too much of an idiot to turn it off.

C.I.: And Michael Moore -- hello, Michael, thanks for reading -- 'came up' with an example of how if your house gets trashed and you hire someone to clean it up, two years later you're not going to be thrilled that it's still not been cleaned up. Yes, that is very similar to Trina's statement in ""Don't leave my car in a ditch for 2 years" and that we picked as "Truest statement of the week" last week.

Dona: Elaine, Wally and Cedric haven't spoken. Cedric's backed up Ann for about one sentence but he hasn't been asked anything or brought up anything on his own. We need to wind down -- oh, almost forgot Kat, she hasn't spoken either.

Jim: Okay, Elaine, you were opposed to this roundtable. Why?

Elaine: I just think enough's been done on the elections. I knew we were going to have to do this roundtable this week. We made a point last week not to cover the elections. But I really think there are more important things to focus on. While the leadership issue may be a real issue, a lot of the 'coverage' in the last three days has been indulgent and embarrassing. There are real issues and real concerns out there. If you can't find them in the election results, why don't you cover Iraq or something that actually matters. My opinion only.

Kat: I agree with Elaine. In the "Iraq snapshot" for October 25th, the US State Department's spokesperson Philip J. Crowley is quoted about extending the Status Of Forces Agreement with Iraq to allow the US military to be on the ground there beyond 2011. Where's the coverage of that. We were in DC a little bit last week and, at one point, speaking with a Pentagon correspondent and he wanted to insist it wasn't news -- that the SOFA might be extended -- and that's why Crowley's remarks weren't covered. But who says it's not news? Do most Americans realize what's going on right now? The Christian Science Monitor did that editorial two weeks ago insisting that Barack needed to prepare the Congress for the possibility that the US military may be in Iraq past 2011 but who's bothering to prepare the people. Don't tell me "everybody knows it" when you're not covering it and when you continue to repeat the nonsense that all troops will be out in 2011 when that is clearly not clear at this point.

Wally: I would agree with that. I would further say that I'm getting real damn tired of C.I. having to point out the basics. This morning -- no links -- the reports are that a deal's been brokered and Nouri will be the next PM. Continue in his post. The prime minister is voted on by the Parliament. Considering how many times Nouri's been hailed as the next prime minister, you'd think people learn to get it right. He is not the next prime minister unless and until the Parliament votes on it.

Cedric: I agree with Wally. For reasons community members will know, I'm not really much for talking this roundtable. On that, I'll just note -- no links -- Wally and I made sure to be hard hitting Saturday and not back down. But I'd rather give my time to C.I. to flesh out what Wally just said.

Dona: If that's okay with C.I., that's fine with me. But I just realized Marcia hasn't spoken so let's toss to her first.

Marcia: Actually, C.I. went over this Friday at Trina's so I can grab it. Wally's noting that Parliament elects the Prime Minister. They're not meeting Monday -- as C.I. pointed out all last week when people were saying THEY WILL MEET MONDAY, there could be quorum issues. That turned out to be the case on Friday. They're now scheduled to meet on Thursday. The Parliament has to first elect a speaker and two deputies. They can not rush in and elect a prime minister. There is a process they have to follow. So Wally's point that anything could happen between now and that is valid. The day after the election, March 8th, Quil Lawrence was hailing Nouri as the winner. You'd think the press would have learned by now. But they repeatedly demonstrate that they have not.

Jim: Okay, thank you, Marcia for grabbing that and we're going to end the roundtable on that note. This is a rush transcript.
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