Sunday, September 19, 2010

Truest statement of the week

Barack Obama, who said that he doesn't want to look back at the crimes -- or the alleged crimes -- of the George W. Bush administration, wants to look forward and move forward and, in effect, has decriminalized torture, a war of agression, warantless wiretapping -- obviously criminal under both the Fourth Amendment and American domestic law at that time -- years of criminal activity. Renditions, kidnappings, indefinite detention, the suspension of Habeaus Corpus in effect meaning, which most people really don't have a very clear idea of that, meaning detention without charges indefinitely. We now have a president actually who has declared the right to keep detained people indefinately that he suspects should not be out, even if they've been acquitted, he can keep them. In other words, as well as before without charges, following in the foot steps of George W. Bush in virtually all those respects. He claims that torture has ended but there is lots of evidence that it has not ended in Bagram and probably other secret sites at various places. The rendention, the kidnapping. Still. He's gone actually further than Bush in terms of open claims, the claim of the right -- through his intelligence chief at that time, Dennis Blair, who announced that the president had a hit list of American citizens and others that he felt -- that he'd given orders to kill, to assasinate, to execute, to murder abroad American citizens basically. But I just happened to read the words of the Magna Carta of 1215 today. I'd seen it before, I looked it up, but somebody else was referring to it. And the words are: "No free man shall be deprived -- shall be harmed, shall be destroyed or deprived of freedom except by a jury of his peers." In other words, this is a wiping out of rights that go back to 1215 -- almost 800 years right now. In short, in these Constitutional matters, we have an administration -- and in the foreign affairs matters, we have an administration that is a third term of George W. Bush. I'm not saying that's true in every respect. I'm not saying that the Republicans are not much, much worse. Actually they are in domestic matters. Actually Obama has not been strikingly better or different in matters of foreign affairs or Constitutional policy. In fact, we thought we were getting something here with a Constituational lawyer, a teacher of Constitutional law, Barack Obama, I haven't seen any opinions his Dept of Justice has been putting out [with] any difference in the opinion of Berkeley tenured professor John Yoo.

-- Daniel Ellsberg, Thursday in Oakland at a fundraiser for Bradley Manning.

Truest statement of the week II

In other words: When Josh started his blogging, he was part of the career journalism world (through his spot at the American Prospect) -- and he was still imagining the possibility of a full-time career in upper-end, established media. And can we talk? In 2002, if you wanted such a career, you tended to cast yourself as a Serious Person. You puffed on your pipe and you hemmed and you hawed. When it came to the war in Iraq, you saw all sides of Bush’s thoughtful proposal. You weren't sure that war was best -- but you certainly saw all the angles! This may be why Josh walked such a Serious line in the months leading up to Iraq.

-- Bob Somerby on Josh Micah Marshall, The Daily Howler.

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another Sunday. We're actually pretty late.

Thank you to all who worked on 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),
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.

What did we come up with?

We had a Bradley Manning feature that just didn't work. So we chose to highlight Daniel Ellsberg from a Bradley Manning fundraiser.
Bob Somerby on the price whores go for.

There is an Iraq War going on. And it is so amazing that the left periodicals that wanted it to be front and center -- especially at election time -- are now silent as the November mid-terms loom. What changed? Control of the White House. The wars continue.

This was a very rough writing edition. So bad that when our piece on the comic under fatwa didn't work out we did seriously discuss a best of edition. Where we'd just reprint past stuff with an intro explaining why we liked it. Ava and C.I. were ready to go to sleep so they were fine with it but they noted their piece was done. I read this outloud to everyone, this amazing article by Ava and C.I., and the response was "We've got to do an edition." So we did. Pulled it off barely.

A quick roundtable and thank you to Betty who gave it a depth it might have otherwise lacked.

Trina and C.I. and Jess pushed for a feature on the economy. It was a smart decision.


To pad out the edition so we could go to sleep, I suggest a reprint of C.I.'s Congressional reporting from last week.

And the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.

And that's what we ended up with. If you don't love it, it's not you. After everything fell apart, this was basically put together in three hours of rushing. (And, again, only because Ava and C.I. had written their TV article that gave us all a second wind.) Our e-mail address is

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

Editorial: The war continues while the coverage stops

As most people in the US were waking up Sunday, they were greeted with the news of two Baghdad bombings which claimed at least 29 lives and left at least one-hundred-and-eleven poeple injured.

Joan Baez once wrote and sang, "They say that the war is done, but where are you now my son?"

That was back when she had integrity. Now she's just another whore for Barack Obama. Can't call out the ongoing wars. Can't call out Barack.

But she can whore. And there are so many more like her.


Check the ridiculous website for The Nation magazine. Watch as whores like Melissa Harris-Lacewell (Lieface Lacewell who whored on Pacifica and PBS in 2008 as she 'forgot' to disclose that she was working on Barack's campaign while appearing as an 'independent' analyst) and others try to distract you from the real issues in order to use you.

Melissa just a whore, a cheap whore, who wants to take the money in your wallet.

The Progressive's becoming no better.

Remember when Cindy Sheehan's protest was stopped last July in DC?

We were passed an e-mail exchange between a Progressive subscriber and Matthew Rothschild.


The subscriber asked for some coverage of Cindy and Matthew wrote about how he admired her and how there would be coverage. And? Guess what, boys and girls, he never got around to it. On far less grounds, in Bush Days, Matthew wrote up quick posts on how our liberties were in danger. In this case, the government was manufacturing a 'bomb' to shut down a protest.

Does anyone in so-called leadership have any fire in the belly?

Or are they all the cowards they appear to be?

The Iraq War hasn't stopped. AP could note that reality. David Sirota could note that reality. But The Progressive and The Nation can't? Can't? Try won't. Say hello to this decade's Armstrong Williamses.

Illustrations are Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Wheel of Greed" and Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels"

TV: The View's not pretty

The biggest proof that Saturday Night Live had dropped comedy for advocacy in the last two years was to be found in their ridiculous attempts at parodying The View. The skits featured Kristen Wiig at her most grating in a vicious 'portrayal' of conservative Elisabeth Hasselbeck and appeared to exist solely to telegraph that Hasselbeck is the one and only problem with the show.


A strong argument can be made that Hasslebeck's not even the show's real problem. She hasn't, for example, insisted on air that the world might be flat and then, off air, repeated her claim that the world might be flat. Saturday Night Live's doing jokes or 'jokes' about Hasselbeck when you've got a fool who not only ignores the work of Pythagoras, Aristotle, et al but also of satellite imagery. The fool we're speaking of is failed actress Sherri Shepherd whose only real shot at fame was via "The One With Phoebe's Uterus" episode of Friends when she hollered, "Peter! Hey, Peter! It's me, Rhonda from PS-129! I shared my pudding with you man! I gave you my Snack Pack!" She then told Joey (Matt LeBlanc), "See, he pretends he don't even hear me." To which Joey replies, "I-I think everybody's pretending they don't hear you."

The folks at Saturday Night Live certainly were. Hasslebeck was mocked and ridiculed for her political beliefs while the idiot was given a past. Hasslebeck's political opinons are her own and she's entitled to them. But Sherri Shepherd not knowing whether or not the earth is round is not opinion, it is ignorance and it should be ridiculed. The failed actress is now on network television as an expert and she's completely uninformed -- as she proved most recently this summer with remarks that resulted in a GLAAD alert.

But if you're an idiot, the mother ship is ABC's The View -- as was again demonstrated last week when 'the girls' sat down with War Hawk Tony Blair. The forever poodle and former prime minister of England showed up sporting his heavily bronzed and recently face-lifted face to chat and chew. His opening line? "Yeah, I just couldn't find the way out, really."

And some might have thought the War Hawk was being confessional about the illegal war he joined George W. Bush in starting, however, he was attempting to make fun of a discussion about oils being marketed to women to increase their sexual satisfaction. Blair was looking down on the "Hot Topic" of oils? We were instantly reminded of Nick Cohen (Guardian) article that
we last quoted May 27, 2007:

During their stay at the Maroma Hotel, a pricey retreat on Mexico's Caribbean coast, Cherie Booth/Blair took her husband by the hand and led him along the beach to a 'Temazcal', a steam bath enclosed in a brick pyramid. It was dusk and they had stripped down to their swimming costumes. Inside, they met Nancy Aguilar, a new-age therapist. She told them that the pyramid was a womb in which they would be reborn. The Blairs became one with 'Mother Earth'. They saw the shapes of phantom animals in the steam and experienced 'inner-feelings and visions'. As they smeared each other with melon, papaya and mud from the jungle, they confronted their fears and screamed. The joyous agonies of 'rebirth' were upon them. The ceremony over, the Prime Minister and First Lady waded into the sea and cleaned themselves up as best they could.

Oh, yes, smearing papya, melon and mud on your bodies is so much better than so-called sensual oils. Tony has an act to play, most frauds do. So he stayed with the topic insisting, "I found it educational actually. [Cross talk] All that stuff about women and oil. The trouble is, as a prime minister, you lead a sheltered life." "Oh, I know," insisted show creator/culprit Barbara Walters, loose facial skin heavily taped back beneath the wig she seemed to have bought at a Bette Davis estate sale. (The false eye lashes were apparently tossed in for free.)

It was all so damn disgusting. The recently made over 'liberal' Joy Behar flirted with Tony Blair and implied he had amazing sexual powers while Barbara demonstrated yet again the soft-ball routine that made her the easiest lay -- interview wise -- of the seventies for any politician. At almost four minutes into the segment promoting Blair's bad book, she mentions Iraq in passing, notes that they'll get to it, but wants to deal with the really 'important' matters first: Blair says in the book "that you were never quite comfortable with the Queen" of England, Elizabeth the II. Then Shepard wanted to talk about Blair calling the late Princess Diana "manipulative." Then Whoopi revealed how uninformed she can be by talking about how Tony Blair ("You used to have") would go before the Parliament for questions. Whoopi was unaware that wasn't a Tony Blair creation, that it pre-dated him and that it continues. But what was really disgusting was seeing Whoopi make nice with the War Hawk.

What, Whoopi? You couldn't have called in and taken a sick day if it was too damn much for you to call the liar out?

What a disgrace Whoopi Goldberg has become what with her defense of rape (which Saturday Night Live did mock on Weekend Update) to her make-nice bit with Tony Blair. This is the woman who, try to remember, made remarks about War Hawk George W. Bush that were considered so offensive by some (we didn't find them offensive) that the DNC apologized for putting her on stage at a campaign event. And there she was grinning and playing footsie with Tony Blair.

Nearly ten minutes into the segment, Barbara whimpered, "We also have to come back and talk about the controversy with Iraq -- which you've answer a thousand times we're going to do it once more."

Poor Tones. He's had to answer about Iraq "a thousand times." Multiply that number by 4 and it still won't be the number of US service members who have been killed in the illegal war thus far. Multiply it by 1000 and it still won't equal the number of Iraqis who have died. But poor Tony Blair's being forced to talk about his decision to start an illegal war. Oh, the horror. How does he manage to go on after being questioned. He deserves a Purple Heart just for hawking his book, apparently.

Joy Behar, refusing to look him in the eye because she's such a coward, brought up the fact that "we then later found out" there were no WMD and we now know, Joy said staring at the carpet, that it was "a mistake." It was time for Tony to pontificate and Joy kept her eyes on him as did Sherri and Elizabeth while Barbara stared down at her notes the entire time and Whoopi stared over at Barbara.

Tony Blair: Well obviously I don't think so. I mean the important thing is to realize that Saddam actually used chemical weapons against his own people. There were hundreds of thousands of people that died in Iraq. Now we know from the people that we sent in after the war that he still had those ambitions both in nuclear and chemical weapons, And I took the decision really after September 11th that we should be shoulder-to-shoulder with America, that this threat that we faced from this terrorism was intense and difficult and profound and we had, therefore, to change our attitude towards countries like Iraq who were in breach of United Nations resolutions. So I took that decision then. It was the most difficult decision I took as a leader and, you know, I never disrespected someone who took an opposite point of view.

Now if Rosie O'Donnell were still on The View, Blair's lies would have been ripped apart, O'Donnell being a host who actually did the pre-taping work required. But O'Donnell wasn't present.

"Well obviously I don't think so. I mean the important thing is to realize that Saddam actually used chemical weapons against his own people." Blair is referring to a 1988 attack, claiming that an illegal war started in 2003 over a 15-year-old assault. And the reality on the 1988 assault was reviewed in 2003 by The Toronto Star's then-ombudsperson Don Sellar:

No doubt, Saddam has mistreated Kurds during his rule. But it's misleading to say, so simply and without context, that he killed his own people by gassing 5,000 Kurds at Halabja.
The fog of war that enveloped the battle at Halabja in 1988 never really lifted. With a new war threatening in Iraq, it's coming back stronger than ever.
Journalists risking their lives to cover an American-led attack on Iraq would face many obvious obstacles in trying to get at the truth.
In light of that, editors need to consider assigning staff back home to do reality checks on claims and counter-claims made in the fog of war.

As our retrospective on the Halabja story suggests, the bang-bang coverage -- gripping though it may be -- may not be enough to get the job done.

Let's again note that the above is from 2003. The hosts of The View are highly uninformed.

"There were hundreds of thousands of people that died in Iraq." Yes, that is a conservative estimate of the number of people killed during the ongoing illegal war. Also true of the number of people who died as a result of the 90s-era sanctions imposed by the West upon Iraq. Which number was Tony taking responsibility for?

"Now we know from the people that we sent in after the war that he still had those ambitions both in nuclear and chemical weapons." If ambition was a crime that came with the death penalty, Blair never would have lived long enough to become prime minister.

"And I took the decision really after September 11th that we should be shoulder-to-shoulder with America, that this threat that we faced from this terrorism was intense and difficult and profound and we had, therefore, to change our attitude towards countries like Iraq who were in breach of United Nations resolutions." Like a cheap whore, Blair keeps making the same pitch, in this case falsely linking Iraq and 9-11. He also lies that Iraq was in breach of UN resolutions. Which ones would those be? The one for inspectors to go back into Iraq? That was happening until the inspectors had to flee because Bush and Blair were declaring war. Iraq was not a threat to the US or England, was not conducting terrorism in either country.

"It was the most difficult decision I took as a leader and, you know, I never disrespected someone who took an opposite point of view." What a damn liar. He has repeatedly attacked those opposed to the Iraq War and the most recent example via Jason Groves (Daily Mail) in February of this year:

In an outspoken interview in the U.S., the former prime minister dismissed the inquiry as part of a ' continual desire to sort of uncover some great conspiracy'.

Speaking on Fox News he said critics of the war were obsessed with conspiracy theories, and refused to accept that his motives were 'genuine'.

Without Rosie or anyone else who might have a functioning brain, Tony Blair wasn't challenged. But Sherri did pussyfoot around and insist that some people had trouble understanding because Blair states he still would have invaded even if there was no WMD.

Blair replied, "Yeah, but let me explain why, the question was was he a threat? Did he threaten our security and when you look back at what he did and when you analyze what he would have done had we left him there, then I believe that we were justified in thinking he was a threat."

It was all such nonsense and what viewers mainly learned was how stupid the hosts of The View were. They'd never heard of the Iraq Inquiry, apparently, and were unaware of how Tony's many lies had been refuted in public hearings.

Eliza Manningham-Buller: As I said to Lady Prashar, we regarded the threat, the direct threat from Iraq as low. We did think -- and it comes in that letter -- that Saddam Hussein might resort to terrorism in the theatre if he thought his regime was toppled, but we did not believe he had the capability to do anything much in the UK. That turned out to be the right judgment. What the letter -- has been redacted from the letter, like I say, in general terms is that is partly as a result of action we took. But I don't think the threat in the UK was anything other than very limited.

That's the head of MI6, British intelligence, testifying. Again, Rosie would have known that. Any functioning person should have.

The View has been a eye sore for years. It's a bunch of liars lying daily. Take the self-styled 'liberal' Joy Behar whose acting was so awful in Manhattan Murder Mystery that Woody Allen couldn't stop complaining about what an editing nightmare Behar's scenes were. (That's also why her part is so small in the film.) Despite being a lousy actress, she's managed to convince many that she's a lefty, even getting a cable fluff show out of it (HLN's low rated The Joy Behar Show). Joy's so very lucky that the internet was in its relative infancy during the early moments of the Bush presidency. Back then the 'brave liberal' was daily attacking Bush critics. In its most outrageous form, that attacks found her joining Meredith Vieira in banning Bush critic Jane Fonda from The View. This happened on air. Live. With producer Bill Geddie attempting to stop the trainwreck in progress. [Barbra Walters wasn't present. She'd show up the next day to retract the Fonda ban.] Behar ripped apart Fonda as unpatriotic and much worse. She also attacked Lisa Ling when Ling attempted to disagree with the attacks on Fonda and, yes, on the Vietnamese. That's Joy Behar, the real Joy Behar. She cheered on the Afghanistan War (on live television) and she cheered on the Iraq War. Had Bush not tanked in the polls, she probably would have continued cheering him on.

The May 1, 2003 broadcast of The View not only found Joy and Meredith defending the Iraq War, it found them defending it to Janeane Garofalo and attacking Janeane for being opposed to it. And when Janeane noted Bush's attempt to lie and claim "combat operations" were over when they weren't, Behar snapped, "Americans, I think are smart enough to understand that." What viewers need to understand is that Joy Behar a loud mouth with a little brain. Which makes her the perfect fit for The View. Though they didn't have time to counter Blair's lies with facts, they had plenty of time to come up with a wish list of countries to go to war with next. Tony Blair brought up Iran and Joy agreed they must not develop nuclear weapons, Pakistan was mentioned, a whole host of countries were mentioned (Whoopi declared, "Kim Jong Ill"), it was a War Hawk paradise and you had to wonder how anyone could mistake any of the current View hosts for liberals?

Forget liberal, it's hard to mistake them for a thinking human being. Barbara noted that Tony was recently protested in Ireland due to the Iraq War and just canceled two events in London to avoid antiwar protests. She then declared, "There are people who are very, very angry with you. Does that hurt you?"

That question is such crap that we're not even going to bother to provide Tony Blair's ridiculous answer to it. In fact, after asking that and looking like Bette Davis in her final year, we'd say it was time for Barbara to attempt a hasty exit -- fully grasping that the chances for a graceful one passed some time ago. At 80, Barbara is now older than her one-time 20/20 co-host Hugh Downs was when he had the good sense to retire.

For years, Barbara's insulted the intelligence of everyone and helped to dumb down society by sitting across from various leaders and honing in on trivia while ignoring real issues that effect people's real lives. In the case of Tony Blair, he's a War Hawk and 'the girls' of The View whored for him. Played up to him, even got him some applause for being married for 30 years.

Know what?

Ryan Wrathall wasn't married 30 years, has no chance of being married 30 years. He died serving in Iraq Feb. 21, 2009, one of the 179 UK service members who have died in this illegal war.

And that's the reality about The View. Five overpaid, underinformed women, whose average age has to be somewhere around 67, blather on about gossip and unimportant trivia while trying to convince you that they're on your side. But the reality is, they're on the world leaders' side, the reality is that they don't give a damn about the working class, they never have. They're whores and, truth be told, they're ugly whores.


Jim: Roundtable time and this'll be an e-mail and, hopefully, an Iraq roundtable. Our e-mail address is Participating 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): Dona and Ty worked the e-mails last week. Dona?

Dona: Ava and C.I.'s "TV; When Right Does Wrong" received the most e-mails -- not surprising. A number of you had caught the show at the RightNetwork online or at FIOS. A number went to RightNetwork. But a number of people wrote asking where they could watch if they couldn't watch it on their TV? That would be where you would stream it online. In addition to streaming online at the show's website, one program, Running, may end up on Hulu as well.

Ty: And while Ava and C.I.'s piece was, as usual, the most popular, there were many other features that resulted in large amounts of mail. "No Koran Was Harmed In The Writing Of This Piece" resulted in Vicki e-mailing to share, "You are disgusting and being polite will always matter more than free speech." Approximately 30 other e-mails shared Vicki's distaste for the article. About 20 came in expressing some variation on Janice's e-mail where she explained, "Reading the article, it's easy to see the problem but when I'm watching CNN and listening to everyone talk about this topic over and over, it's hard not to get whipped up by all of this and start to forget about the First Amendment." We completely agree. And we made a point to use "we" in that piece for that reason. Several of you e-mailed to note that you were shocked to realize The Nation magazine and others refused to stand up for the rights we supposedly have in this country.

Dona: One piece that garnered a large number of e-mails was "AOL, also spelled T-H-I-E-F" which demonstrates how hated AOL now is by former subscribers. Philip e-mailed asking that we "please urge anyone still using AOL to sign up with another service instead. You'll realize quickly how badly you were being screwed by AOL."

Ty: And Sherry e-mailed to say we had promised to "do a discussion on Belinda Carlisle's book and you never have." Sherry, we have forgotten but we will try to do that before the end of the month. Sherry also wondered if anyone read anything this summer that they loved and would recommend?

Betty: I didn't love it but Terry McMillan's Getting to Happy will hold your attention -- especially if you liked the characters in Waiting To Exhale because this is the sequel. There was a quality to the book that just didn't work for me; however, the characters made up for what the plot, style and tone bungled.

Rebecca: I made the mistake of reading Lynsay Sands' Born to Bite. Weak. I found it weak as a page turner and when you've got a woman falling in love with a vampire who kills his wives, then you really have to up the drama on every page. This is so staid and plodding.

Stan: Page turner makes me think of Dean Koontz's The Taking which is a summer read that held my attention.

Jim: Alright, so there's three recommendations. Betty, I didn't see your topic. I'm going to toss to you and then we'll go to Iraq after that topic's been discussed. Betty had written down a topic when we were pulling together this roundtable and I didn't even look at the list until everyone was talking about books.

Betty: Alright, Starita Smith -- a really lousy writer -- has a b.s. piece at The Progressive entitled "Dems should stop snubbing Obama." Starita's one of those eternal doctorate students and, when you read her column, you may grasp why that is. She was a bad columnist who now -- judging by e-mails and her grading by former students online -- is a bad professor at University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. As a little girl, I watched Fat Albert, the cartoon. I know the movie pretty much bombed but maybe some will at least remember Mush Mouth from the cartoon. There is Mush Mouth and, thanks to Starita, there is Mush Brain. It's an embarrassment to read this near elderly woman's teenage lustful pleas for Barack. Someone needed to grab the woman forcibly by both arms and toss her into a cold shower. Distancing yourself from the unpopular Barack if you're running for office, to Starita is racism. I'm so sick of these damn liars. I'm so sick of these stupid whores. That's all Starita, a stupid ass whore. I have stronger words but I'll just use those. Stupid Starita doesn't seem to grasp the anti-incumbent mood or Barack's declining popularity or much of anything but then the tired whore's not much of a thinker, just a mental bed wetter. The Progressive magazine worships Russ Feingold -- I like Russ myself -- so I found it hilarious that in her list of candidates avoiding Barry Obama, Starita 'forgets' to include Russ Feingold. She keeps trashing Dems for what she sees as "trying to win White voters." The idiot seems unable to grasp that Barry O is down among all racial groups except Black. The dumb ass wants to make it all about race because that's all her tired and ugly ass understands. She is an ugly woman on the outside and she is even uglier on the inside. So she preaches her hate as 'fact' and The Progressive is stupid enough to print her garbage. As Starita's long winded fart finally winds down, she declares -- and remember this runs at the so-called "Progressive'' magazine's website -- "An amazing number of Americans refuse to give Obama the respect that a president deserves." I'm so sick of this bulls**t. I'm so sick of these whores.

Mike: If I can jump in first, I think there's going to be a lot of us wanting to jump in, I think if Matthew Rothschild is going to post that crap -- and distribute it around the country for newspapers -- it is incumbent upon him to write an essay explaing "the repsect that a president deserves." I've never heard of something of something so damn stupid.

Wally: I'm going to have to jump in here because that one line, that "An amazing number of Americans refuse to give Obama the respect that a president deserves"? That never belongs at any left site or any site pretending that free speech exists in America. I find that statement offensive and Starita's a cheap and tired whore who seems to forget she's living in a democracy and longing for an authoritarian regime where public servants are worshipped.

Cedric: Amen, Wally. And let's be clear, Barack's just a servant. This effort on the part of some people to worship him, he's not Bill Gates. He'll whore when he's out of office to rake in money like they all do but he's not really accomplished anything. He's nothing but a public servant and he is lacking in his ability to serve. He's done a lousy job and Starita can finger her clit and moan "Barack" until she almost convinces herself that she's not going to spend her entire life alone and unloved, but the reality is Barack's a lousy president. He had all the chances, he had all the opportunities and he screwed them up. But, like Wally was saying, in America, we shouldn't have to read Starita's crap in supposedly leftist magazines. That's horses**t and obviously Starita bathes in it. I'm so offended by her nonsesne and I need to start before I start calling her the b-word and worse.

Ann: Well honey, let me do it. Bitch is one stupid ass bitch who needs to stop disgracing my race. I am so damn sick of all these dumb asses trying to turn Barack into Princess Diana. We live in a democracy, deal with it. Barack's unpopular, accept it. Stop screaming race every damn minute thereby giving all other races the idea that we don't know how to reason or argue and can only scream "Racism!" It's not racism, it's the lousy job he's done. It's the fact that he's focused on that stupid ObamaCare instead of on the economy. The only thing more embarrassing than his lousy performance at this point or all of Barack's bitches -- male and female -- who keep offering excuses for why the itty bitty baby can't do the job he ran for.

Marcia: I'm going to agree with Ann on that -- on everything she said in fact. I'm also going to note that I'm so damn sick of the infant Barack. I'm so damn sick of baby's first steps and baby's first poop and blah, blah, blah. Barack wanted the job, he's got the job, he needs to do the job. Thus far he hasn't. He's given a lot of bad speeches. He just hasn't done the job he was elected to do. In October of 2008, he repeatedly made the case that he was the one to fix the economy. Barack Obama, fix the economy.

Trina: On the issue of the economy, let's note how quickly it changed. He was saying he could fix it. Then he's sworn in and we're told it will take time. And then more time. And now the White House makes noises about how it will be the second term before any real growth will emerge. They came in with promises and they've downgraded their word ever since. If you're telling me that Barack Obama had no idea what he was going to be facing, I'm telling you then he wasn't ready for the job.

Stan: I think everything that's taken place since he was sworn in has demonstrated that he was not and is not up to the job. And this has been when he could get anything through Congress. There will probably not be a moment like that for Democrats again until forty years from now. The way Barack chose to squander a historic opportunity is very telling. And he is not progressive and that idiot Starita -- who obviously has a mother who's an idiot as well to name a child "Starita" to begin with -- doesn't need to be raving about Barack at a magazine called The Progressive. Matthew Rothshcild can't figure out if he wants to call Barack out for selling out the left or if he wants to suck his dick. He better figure it out pretty damn quick because if his request to return to subscribing had showed up in my mailbox two weeks ago, I would have. But it came after his massive cave where he was all impressed with a speech Barack gave. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of Matthew Rothschild. I'm sick of all the whores who sold us Barack and how will they not take accountability for their actions or even stop lying.

Kat: If I can jump in on that, yeah, stop lying. It's just so embarrassing. You watch them and they try to lie and they try to cover for Barack and it's not like it's 2008. Barack now has a history, a pattern of stabbing the left in the back. Those still defending and covering for him are nothing but battered wives in my opinion.

Jim: Dona just slid me a note saying that Iraq wasn't going to be part of this because there's not time. That's fine but we're going to slide over to elections while keeping Betty's topic. C.I. explained Thursday night why the left needs to be making clear publicly that they're not saving Dems in the mid-terms. So let's put that with what we're talking about right now.

C.I.: Okay, Libbyliberal had a post a Corrente about how Dems should be making it clear to the party that we will not vote for this and that. In other words, as long as torture, the wars, etc. continue, we're not voting for Dems. And that was her argument why -- that Barack's continuing Bush's policies. And she's right. But another reason we need to be public right now is that the Dems are expected to lose big in the mid-terms this November. If they do, the day after the revisions will begin. We will hear that the Dems lost because they were too liberal and too left. That's not been the case at all but that will be the media message. Dems, in office, are always 'encouraged' by the press to go to the right. Changing the narrative after the fact to argue that Democratic voters stayed home because Dems were too liberal is insane, yes, but the press does it all the time. So the smartest thing to do would be to get ahead of it right now and to establish that there is resistance to voting for Democrats due to the fact that they repeatedly sell out.

Jim: Thank you, C.I. Okay, Ruth, Ava, Jess and Isaiah haven't spoken so I'll let them go. Ruth, you first?

Ruth: Well it is sad that The Progressive would print the sort of piece but it is sad that they have Gil Scott-Heron's "Whitey On The Moon." First of all, it's out of date and then some. Second of all, it didn't make sense in real time either. Mr. Scott-Heron's speaking about how his character's sister was bitten by a rat "and Whitey's on the moon" and all these other issues that have nothing to do with the people who landed on the moon but at the end of the poem, the narrator thinks he should send the bill for his sister's medical treatment to one of those astronauts. No, it did not make sense in real time and it does not now. Astronauts are like soldiers, they are not paid well, they do not rake in the riches. The poem never made any sense and only serves to make The Progressive look as silly as the Joan Baez knock off in National Lampoon's Lemmings from years and years ago.

Ava: What I am astounded by is how these White Anglos play the race card. I mean, C.I. and I made sure here that Bill Richardson's historic run was treated as such. We regularly would remind that no Latino had done this before. We didn't endorse Sonia Sotomayor because we do not believe in endorsing anyone without a public record on the issues that matter to us but we did make a point to note that her nomination was historic. As a Latina, I look at The Progressive and see that they really don't care about Latinos. I look at The Nation and it's even more obvious. How many African-American women are they going to hire -- bad writers all of them -- before they get candy Black and White asses and start hiring some Latino writers? In the world The Nation 'lives' in, everyone's Jewish or African-American apparently. If Sammy Davis Jr. hadn't shown all that love for Nixon, he'd probably be the patron saint of The Nation magazine.

Jess: I want to echo Ava on the Latino issue in that where are they? Where are the writers? Why is The Nation unable to add them? They could argue that if you look at the population, why are they so quick to repeatedly hire African-American writers? I can't think of one Latino writer they have. If The Nation magazine was supposed to reflect the make up of the nation, then the magazine would be a failure. It's hilarious because they can never stop whining about Lani but her voting plans are plans they don't seem to think should also be hiring plans.

Isaiah: I'm glad Jess just brought up half-baked fool Lani. I'm not even going to dignify her by giving her last name. But I will point out that Starita Smith has nothing to offer but race cries. She trashed Bill Clinton and lied about him and then used to trash Hillary. Starita is an infant kicking her crib and thinking she's engaging in adult conversation. She is an embarrassment.

Betty: I'm jumping back in. Sorry. Isaiah brought up something I was thinking about bringing up, Starita's past columns. In the one he's talking about, I have always had a question. She trashes Hillary, it's Starita's usual crap. In that b.s. column, she wrote:

After the war, the Republicans decided that only one group -- either white women or black men (but under neither option black women) -- would get the right to vote. This split the abolitionist coalition into acrimonious pieces. Some white women suffragists used racist rhetoric to argue that black men should never be allowed to vote. Black men, who were overwhelmingly loyal to the party of Lincoln, won the right to vote when the 15th Amendment passed in 1870. Black women did not get the right to vote until the 19th Amendment gave it to female citizens in 1920.

Betty (Con't): I've heard that garbage over and over and I want to call bulls**t on it. As she tells the story, as everyone does, two groups are wanting the right to vote. Only one's going to get the right to vote. The 'bad' women want to vote. How dare they! How dare they fight for the right to vote! Reality check for that stupid b-word Starita, Black men were saying things against women getting the right to vote, it was sexist. And we don't hear that side do we, when the argument's put forward today. But she's got to toss out that some women said this or that and it was racist. You can debate how racist it was, the reality is those were different times. But what you can't debate is that women like Starita think that women should always be second to men and that's what this always repeated tale is really about and as a Black woman I'll call b.s. on it. What's supposedly a story of 'injustice' to Blacks, is really the story of how some people don't believe women should fight for a damn thing and should let men have everything. If I'm not clear on that, e-mail and I will be. I know Dona had given the wrap up sign to Jim before I started speaking so I'm rushing. But we can address this next week if I'm not clear.

Jim: And I think you were clear but we may pick up with it next week anyway. That's going to be it and this is a rush transcript.

State of the economy

Do you know these banks?

Maritime Savings Bank, West Allis, WI
Bramble Savings Bank, Milford, OH
The Peoples Bank, Winder, GA
First Commerce Community Bank, Douglasville, GA
Bank of Ellijay, Elijay, GA
ISN Bank, Cherry Hill, NJ

The six are the latest to close. They bring the total number of banks shut down this year to, count them up, 125. That's 100 more than failed in 2008 while 2009 saw 140 banks fail. Where's that economic rebound Barack was promising?

Remember when he said:

The economic crisis we face is the worst since the Great Depression. Markets across the globe have become increasingly unstable, and millions of Americans will open up their 401(k) statements this week and see that so much of their hard-earned savings have disappeared. [. . .] The economic crisis we face is the worst since the Great Depression. Markets across the globe have become increasingly unstable, and millions of Americans will open up their 401(k) statements this week and see that so much of their hard-earned savings have disappeared.

That speech? October 13, 2008.

So why the hell didn't he focus on the economy?

ObamaCare? That crap's going to help anybody? Get real.

He wasted everyone's time, in the midst of the Great Recession, by making a big gift to the Insurance Lobby and Big Pharma. And, of course, he's taken one vacation after another. Last week, America learned of another way he spent the time he should have been doing his job in. As Wally's "THIS JUST IN! SO THAT'S HOW HE SPENDS HIS TIME!" and Cedric's "Doing everything but his job" pointed out:


Get it? The economy's crumbling and Barack's writing a children's book.

The economy

Friday, CNN reported:

Household net worth fell sharply in the second quarter, ending a string of four straight quarters of gains, according to a Federal Reserve report Friday.

The report shows a $1.5 trillion loss in combined household net worth in the period, to $53.5 trillion. That represented a 2.8% drop in total wealth owned by American consumers after all their debt is considered.

And Barack's writing a book?

Exactly when is the little princess planning to get to work?

Reject Dino Patti Djalal

From ETAN:

Groups Urge Obama Administration to Reject Dino Patti Djalal as Indonesia's Ambassador

Contact: John M. Miller (ETAN) 718-596-7668 Ed McWilliams (WPAT) 401-568-5845 (until Sept. 21), 575-648-2078 (after) The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) and West Papua Advocacy Team (WPAT) are deeply concerned about the appointment of Dino Patti Djalal as the Indonesia's Ambassador-designate to the United States. We urge President Obama to reject his credentials and urge Jakarta to send an Ambassador untainted by complicity with human rights violations and with greater credibility. Ambassador Djalal was a defender of the Suharto dictatorship, and his career involved him in brutal repression. While defending the Indonesian security forces in East Timor (now independent Timor-Leste), he would often attack human rights investigators and organizations. He sought to portray the violence there as civil conflict among East Timorese, rather than resulting from repression of resistance to Indonesia's illegal and brutal occupation. The Suharto dictatorship and the Habibie government that followed promoted Djalal as Indonesia's leading "expert" on East Timor. During that time, Djalal reportedly had close links with the Indonesian army's intelligence agency. In 1999, during and after East Timor's historic UN-organized vote on independence, Djalal was based in East Timor as the spokesperson for the Satgas P3TT (the Indonesian "Task Force for Popular Consultation in East Timor"). In that capacity he took the lead in the Task Force's political initiatives. As Task Force spokesman, Djalal quickly emerged as its leading political heavyweight, taking the lead in leveling false accusations against UNAMET (UN Assistance Mission for East Timor). In his official capacity Djalal also served as flack for the militias created and directed by the Indonesian military to terrorize the East Timorese population in the run-up to August 1999 vote. Those militias and their Indonesian security force allies repeatedly attacked East Timorese civilians, burning villages and assaulting churches in attempt to frighten the population into voting against independence. The militias also sought to intimidate the UN teams sent to prepare for the vote and the international media and humanitarian organizations in the country to monitor the process. As international alarm over the excesses of the militias and their Indonesian military sponsors grew, Djalal played a key role in seeking to deflect criticism of the militias and the military. Djalal denied the reality that militias were arming in the run-up to the vote and sought to obscure militia and military atrocities against civilians in East Timor. He was a dogged critic of international journalists and human right organizations who sought to report these atrocities. In the wake of East Timor's overwhelming vote for independence, the Indonesian security forces and their militias rampaged throughout country exacting revenge for the people's rejection of Jakarta's rule. The militia and military attacks destroyed vital infrastructure and buildings. They targeted UN facilities and personnel, as well as international journalists, diplomats and other observers. Djalal was key in Jakarta's unsuccessful efforts to deny the reality of the which cost the lives of approximately 1,500 East Timorese, displaced two-thirds of its population, and destroyed 75 percent of East Timor's infrastructure. In diplomatic assignments in the U.S., Great Britain and Canada, Djalal focused on defending the role of the unreformed and abusive Indonesian military, including targeting of its foreign critics. More recently he has served as Presidential spokesperson. Ambassador Djalal's past as an apologist for the worst behavior of the Indonesian military and its minions augers poorly for international efforts, especially in the United States, to press for justice and accountability for past human rights crimes and genuine reform of Indonesia's security forces. As the situation in West Papua becomes increasingly tense, will Djalal serve as Indonesia's Washington-based apologist for continued repression? In the interest of promoting strengthened U.S.-Indonesian relations based on respect for human rights, ETAN and WPAT believe that the U.S. government should not accept Djalal's credentials as Indonesia's Ambassador to the United States.

Congress member freaks out in open session!


Last week, a member of Congress, US House Rep Steve Buyer (above), had a public meltdown. Luckily, C.I. and Kat were present to report on it. You can read about in
Wednesday's snapshot, Kat's "Steve Buyer's nuclear meltdown" and Thursday's snapshot. And we're reposting the section from Wednesday's snapshot on the hearing.

The US House Veterans Affairs Committee held two hearings this morning, one -- more or less -- after the other (there was approximately a 12 minute break between the two) and they couldn't have been more different. In the first one, Ranking Member Steve Buyer was (for the most part) beaming and playful, offering statements such as, to Chair Bob Filner, "You pass acquisition form and I will hug you. I will hug you!" In the second hearing, Buyer stormed out asking that Dr. Roe take his place, saying his integrity would be compromised if he stayed and "I'm not going to do it!"
Keep in mind that I am a Democrat and Buyer is a Republican, I've never seen anything like that. And that was only the culmination of Buyer's behavior in the second panel.
My impression, Buyer was not grandstanding, he was genuinely outraged (whether it was by the hearing or something outside of Congress, I have no idea). But he can't back that outrage up. He basically accused a witness of lying -- while dismissing the other on the first panel as useless -- and waived around a file of medical records implying that those documents proved the witness was lying, he lectured the witness and would repeatedly say he wasn't going to say more because he had too much integrity but then he would come back to the same issue. Repeatedly. His storming out had an immediate effect in that he insisted US House Rep David Roe sit in for him, which Roe did, however, Roe was not prepared -- as he more or less admitted. In the room, people seemed on edge as a result of Buyer's outburst. Again, it seemed genuine on Buyer's part. Again, it was harmful to himself. If he does have something -- if -- he can't reveal it so he is left looking like a hothead who lost it in a hearing and then stormed out.
Who was testifying? Iraq War veteran Sgt Chuck Luther and journalist Joshua Kors. Chuck Luther testified about the war and seeing friends he served with wounded and dead and came back to the US on leave where he had trouble coping and was glad to return to Iraq; however, nose bleeds, chest pain and other problems developed in Iraq. He sought counseling from a chaplain to deal with stress. A mortar attack by the tower he was guarding "threw me down and I hit my right shoulder and head. I had severe ringing in my right ear with clear fluid coming from it and had problems seeing out of my right eye." The pain continued and worsened:
After several days on suicide watch for making the comment that "if I had to live like this I would rather be dead," I asked to be sent somewhere where I could get help and to be able to understand what was wrong with me. I was told I could not go and I then demanded that I be taken to the Inspector General of the FOB. I was told by CPT Dewees that I was not going anywhere and he called for all the medics, roughtly 6 to 10. I was assaulted, held down and had my pants ripped off my left thigh and given an injection of something that put me to sleep. When I awoke, I was strapped down to a combta litter and had a black eye and cuts on my wrists from the zip ties. I eventually was untied and from that point forward for 5 weeks I was held in a room that was 6 feet by 8 feet that had bed pans, old blankets and other old supplies. I had to sleep on a combat litter and had a wool blanket. I was under guard 24/7 and on several occassions was told I was not allowed to use the phone or internet and, when I would take my meds and fall asleep, I was not awakened to get food. On one occasion, I had slept through chow and asked to be taken to the chow hall or PX to get some food. I was told no and given a fuel soaked MRE to eat. I was constantly called a piece of crap, a faker and other derogatory things. They kept the lights on and played all sorts of music from rap to heavy metal very loud all night -- the medics worked in shifts, therefore, they didn't sleep, they rotated. These are some of the same tactics that we would use on insurgents that we captured to break them to get information or confessions. I went through this for four weeks and the HHC Commander Cpt Wehri told me to sign this discharge and, that if I didn't, that they would keep me there for 6 more months and then kick me out when we got back to Fort Hood anyway. I said I didn't have a personality disorder and he told me that if I signed the paperwork that I would get back home and get help and I would have all my benefits. After the endless nights of sleep deprivation, harassment and abuse, I finally signed just to get out of there. I was broken.
For three years The Nation has been reporting on military doctors' fraudulent use of personality disorder to discharge wounded soldiers [see Kors, "How Specialist Town Lost His Benefits," April 9, 2007]. PD is a severe mental illness that emerges during childhood and is listed in military regulations as a pre-existing condition, not a result of combat. Thus those who are discharged with PD are denied a lifetime of disability benefits, which the military is required to provide to soldiers wounded during service. Soldiers discharged with PD are also denied long-term medical care. And they have to give back a slice of their re-enlistment bonus. That amount is often larger than the soldier's final paycheck. As a result, on the day of their discharge, many injured vets learn that they owe the Army several thousand dollars.
According to figures from the Pentagon and a Harvard University study, the military is saving billions by discharging soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan with personality disorder.
Chuck Luther told his story as he's told it publicly many times before. But for US House Rep Steve Buyer it was all new and shocking. Again, he claimed -- repeatedly -- to have documents detailing what really happened. He also savaged journalism, journalists and Josh Kors specifically. Although he referred to Kors repeatedly as "Reporter" and never by his name. After thanking Chuck Luther for being in the military, Buyer began referencing his documents.
Ranking Member Steve Buyer: I also have a lot of documents here that are about you that are non-disclosable. I'm not going to discuss them in public. So when you make statements, now you've made public statements, and I am not going to go into your personal life. I'm not going to discuss your military conditions. You've made certain statements and sitting to your left is a reporter that makes some very exaggerated statements. You've disadvantaged DoD. And guess what, they're going to come up here and they can't talk about your case, they can't come in here and talk about some of the things you have said. You've made some pretty strong statements that are not supported by what I have. And I'm disadvantaged also because, number one, I'm disadvantaged out of respect. I respect you, I respect your privacy. I also will say this. I would never -- when I was chairman of a subcommittee or full committee, put a reporter on a panel to testify. I would never do that. Why? Because your testimony is hearsay. It's hearsay. Everything you say, it's hearsay. What we're supposed to do is get to the bottom of things so we can understand them. You can make whatever allegations you want, you can lead us to our professional staff and then we can find that person so that the testimony is in first person. So I'd say to the gentleman, I'd say you can say whatever say and basically you have and you've surmised your opinion based on what you've seen and heard. But I think it's pretty shocking that you would even come here and provide testimony with regards to someone's medical condition. You're not a doctor. If you were a doctor, they'd knock you right upside your head for that. I'd be pretty upset if you went and testified about my medical condition in a public place. Let alone, where are your sensitivities to talk about a woman and her health. Wow. I-I'm pretty shocked that you would -- you would do that. So I'm going to yield back my time, Mr. Chairman. I-I-I just want you to know, sir [Chuck Luther], I respect you and I could do more than -- Gosh, I could go into this. But sir, uh, uhm, follow -- My advice to you is follow the counsel of some individuals that really have your interests at heart. And those doctors have your interests at heart. You're upset with regard to a diagnosis on your personality disorder. The PTSD, in fact, has been recognized. I have the records with regards to the findings from when you attempted to correct the military records and so I have seen everything they've said and I've seen the documents with regard to that process. I think what we want, we want you to get better. We want you to get better with regard to the PTSD. And-and please, uh, follow the counsel of your doctors and mental health professionals that take you, your interests best at heart. Not somebody else that may want to use you or use your case to write stories or do other things. If they truly had your interest at heart, they wouldn't take your case and what I know about you and put it on public display. That's Steve Buyer's opinion. I would never do that to a fellow soldier. With that I yield back.
Joshua Kors noted he had been investigating and researching this story for years and was offering a summarizing of the research he'd done, that he also had Chuck Luther's medical records, had spoken to people who observed Chuck Luther in confinement, spoken to his doctor, seen pictures, checked every aspect of the story out repeatedly, etc. "Nobody in this story," Kors explained, disputes what happened. The only question is what to do about it."
At which point Buyer went from lecturing to exploding about what can be said.
Ranking Member Steve Buyer: I have records in front of me!
Joshua Kors: All said what?
Ranking Member Steve Buyer: I'm not going to do this! I can't -- My integrity as a gentleman will not allow me to do this. Dr. Roe! Will you take this seat? I will not participate in this! I'm not going to do it! It's wrong!
A confused Rep Roe stands and moved towards the front while Buyer storms out. Kors explained that the soldiers speaking to him on the record wanted their stories told and that, of course, he wasn't divulging confidential information that no one wanted revealed.
Chuck Luther: Just what I'd like to say is this. I'm not here just about Chuck Luther. This is larger than I. I haven't made any statements that were inflammatory or lies. I wish I didn't have this story to tell but what I will tell you is that in the three years that I've been treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the medications I've been given and several of my doctors have all said to me at different intervals to make sure I continue to fight to have my discharge changed because it doesn't reflect what my injury is. I saw a licensed clinical social worker and a pediatrician in a combat theater for less than two hours of face time and was given the diagnosis of personality disorder. In doing studying over three years, that is impossible to diagnose at that interval. In fact, in the last three years, I've been treated -- prognosed and diagnosed for my PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury, my cognitive function disability. And if it were a case of a personality disorder, I think that those licensed psychologists and psychiatrists would have in fact have found a personality disorder and seeing that I've never in my life had any issues prior to being blown up in Iraq.
Chair Bob Filner had little patience for the government witnesses from DoD and Veterans Affairs on the fourth panel as they attempted to repeatedly dance around the questions. Even something as basic as how many people had been discharged with personality disorders was a figure they didn't know. He noted, "You're playing with words." After stating they had no numbers, they repeatedly referenced them and Chair Filner observed, "So how can you even tell me that -- I ask you guys for figures and you don't have them. You're making judgments based on your sense of figures." He noted the topic of the hearing was known and they were brought before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs to testify on this subject; however, they were completely unprepared.
Things did not get better when Filner pursued an avenue he'd tackled on the other panels: Whether or not Chuck Luther was tortured? He directed the question on the fourth panel to DoD's General Gina Farrisee. Was it ever investigated?
Gen Gina Farrisee: Mr. Chairman, to my knowledge it was not. It first came out in the media it was referred to Fort Hood and I will have to follow up with them to see if
Chair Bob Filner: Man, if I were jyou, I would've jumped on it. We can't let something like that happen in the army. And if it's true, somebody's got to be punished and, if it's not true, that's got to be known too. People are making these public charges here where they're sworn to tell the truth, they've been in the newspaper and surely you'd be concerned if the army was accused of torturing its own soldiers, wouldn't you?
Gen Gina Farrisee: Yes, Mr. Chairman.
Chair Bob Filner: Would you find out if there was any investigation?
Gen Gina Farrisee: Yes, Mr. Chairman, I'll take that question for the record.
Speaking to the fourth panel at one point, Bob Filner pointed out that clearly there must be a problem or a perceived one with the original assessments if the military is claiming to have so many soldiers requiring personality disorders. (I just said "soldiers." Joshua Kors pointed out that the personality disorder discharge was not just happening in the army, it was happening in all four branches of the military.) If they believe the soldiers are being correctly discharged, then the military, Filner pointed out, should be working on fixing the initial assessment interview because clearly there would be a problem. In addition, Chair Filner noted he sounded frustrated because he was frustrated. He dismissed panel four and called Joshua Kors back from the first panel. Chair Filner: "I see you not as a person of hearsay but as someone who really understands this issue and is trying to do the best for our soldiers. What questions would you -- Or do you have any responses to some of the testimony you've heard since you testified this morning? Or what questions we should ask these panels?"
As to how many are being discharged for personality disorder, Kors maintained that soldiers taking their discharge papers to their initial VA screenings and the VA would be able to record that and keep an accurate number. He noted that Chuck Luther's VA doctors saw PTSD and not a personality disorder but DoD sent a letter to Luther stating that they are sticking with personality disorder.
Joshua Kors: So many soldiers come to me and say this discharge is like a scarlet letter they just can't wash off. In today's job economy, can you imagine going into a potential employer and handing them a paper saying you're mentally ill? You're just not going to get that job. And so that's how you end up with so many of these soldiers not just without benefits but also then broke and then homeless.
Kors also noted that service members discharged that way are also frequently asked to return signing bonuses and they've just lost their job via the discharge and now they've got to pay back money and this is how some service members end up homeless as well.


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.

"I Hate The War" -- Most requested highlight and most endorsed by readers of this site. Most endorsed? Going public with your refusal to vote for do-nothing Dems and going public before the election.

Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Time To Wizz" -- Isaiah's comic about the free-speech attacking Prez Barack.

"Kat's Korner: Heart's smooth ride" -- Kat reviews Heart's latest album.

"Debra Sweet at the Bradley Manning event," "Debra Sweet at the Bradley Manning event," "Dahr Jamail," "dumb ass ray mcgovern," "Veteran and activist Matthis Chiroux," "Matthis Chiroux and World Can't Wait," "Elaine Brower," "Josh Steiber," "Bradley Manning, Iraq and peace," "Cindy Sheehan, World Can't Wait," "The Peace Resister" "THIS JUST IN! TELLING MOMENTS IN SPORTS HISTORY!" and "Telling moments in sports history" -- The community on a World Can't Wait broadcast.

"Pasta Skillet in the Kitchen" -- Trina handles the economy and offers a recipe.

"Elections" -- Betty on the elections.

"grab bag" -- Rebecca offers a grab bag on women.

"Social Security" -- Ruth on Russ Feingold's opponent who wants to destroy Social Security.

"Jimi Hendrix and Laurel Canyon" -- Kat talks music and books.

"It is a mosque" -- Does it have a tax exemption?

"Joni Mitchell: In Concert" -- Stan's Friday night at the movies while Ann covered radio this week:

"Stanley Aronowitz and the importance of what is said" -- Mike closes out the week with a few thoughts.

"No whining, Howie, no whining" -- Elaine offers some reality including that some men need to stop whining.

"THIS JUST IN! SO THAT'S HOW HE SPENDS HIS TIME!" and "Doing everything but his job"
-- Wally and Cedric on Barack's latest scheme to avoid doing his job.


Jim note: Also, for Congressional reporting see Wednesday's snapshot, Kat's "Steve Buyer's nuclear meltdown" and Thursday's snapshot.
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