Sunday, July 17, 2011

Truest statement of the week

We've kind of been ostracized from the community. I left my job teaching. I had great scores, you know for the be-all-to-end-all test at the end of the year that all teachers are judged by whether we say they are or not, great scores. But I had missed a lot of work. It was my fourth year, my tenure year, and it was Loyd's first year after he was retired. We were spending a lot of time at the VA which meant I was spending a lot of time out of the classroom and the principal came to me and told me I had to choose between getting my husband better and teaching. So I left. So, no, the community does not understand.

-- Andrea Sawyer, wife of wounded Iraq War veteran Loyd Sawyer, testifying before the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Thursday. For coverage of the hearing, see "Iraq snapshot," "Scott Brown asks if it is a staffing issue (Ava)," "Burr: I'd heard it before, I just hadn't heard it from you," and "The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing."

Truest statment of the week II

Well the use of military force by the president has to be authorized by Congress under the United States Constitution. That's very clear. And it's not just war, it's use of -- it's hostilities, it's really any military action anywhere in the world other than in self-defense. So we start from the premise that military actions, whether in Libya, killing people in Somolia or Yemen, etc., has to be authorized by Congress. In some cases the president claimed that the authorization to use military force passed in 2001 -- after 9/11 -- gave him authority. But in other cases, he's just asserting raw, naked power. He's claiming that because these don't amount to large wars that the Constitution doesn't apply and he doesn't have to go to Congress. Now then what happened because this is a common claim of presidents whether it's in Libya or Somolia, Congress after Vietnam built in a safety trigger. They said, "Lookit, you still need our consent to go to war, or to go into hostilities or bomb people, etc. But we're going to put in a safety trigger. If you do that, if you engage in hostilities and you don't come to us first like you're required to do under the Constitution, then you have sixty days to come back to us and get authority or within sixty days all troops have to be automatically withdrawn." So it's a safety figure because they knew the president would do exactly what Obama is doing, violate the Constitution. They put in a safety trigger that said you have sixty days to get authority, if you don't have authority then you then have 30 more days to get all the troops out, a total of 90 days. So in the case of Libya, of course, the 90 days have passed and the War Powers Resolution had required that all those troops be brought out. So we had a sort of double system.

-- Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) addressing the Libyan War last week on Law and Disorder Radio which he co-hosts with Heidi Boghosian and Michael S. Smith

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another Sunday. We're publishing at what's becoming our usual time.

First up, we thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
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?


First up, it's the annual summer read edition.

This is our seventh summer of offering the summer read.

For those late to the party, let's recap.

The June 26, 2005 edition was our first summer read. Those who worked on that edition were:

Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava of The Third Estate Sunday Review;
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man;
Kat of Kat's Korner;
and C.I. of The Common Ills

You can also be sure Dallas worked on it as well. The short story content was:

A Fractured Life (the Wally Lamb style book) K-Boy Tries To Get Back Home (a horrific parable) The Gleeful Boy (the Sue Miller type read) Summer poetry: "Filling the Well" Peek (the summer page turner) Kooky Cokie Roberts offers up advice

and rounding out that summer read edition:

Five Books, Five Minutes, Editorial: Mainstream Press Do Your Homework on the pre-invasion bombings and TV Review OC: The arm pit of body wash operettas

The June 4, 2006 edition was our second summer read. Working on that edition (along with Dallas) were:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and 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;
and Wally of The Daily Jot.

The fiction offered:

Song of the War Hawks Super Laura?
Once upon a time there were plenty of Baby Dumbasses
Sherman's Story
From a diary found in the Mayflower Hotel
The ones we never know
TV: TESR Investigates

June 24, 2007 was our third edition. Along with Dallas, the following helped:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and 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,
and Wally of The Daily Jot

And we produced:

TV: Hidden Yawns
Base Is Hell
The Tired Tryst
The Asbury Park Murder
Creation Theory
Samantha Power Between Her Knees
Cut The Fat! Newt Takes It Off!

June 22, 2008 was our fourth edition and along with Dallas, the following worked on it:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and 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,
Wally of The Daily Jot,

And our summer reads included:

TV: Breaking what?
New York Times, Early Edition
The non-whistle blower
Bee-bees and cockle bugs

June 21, 2009 was our summer read last year, worked on by Dallas and:

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,
Ann who's filling in for Ruth at Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
and Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends.

And our efforts were:

TV: Fiction

The curse

Hey there! Marilyn Monroe is using Twitter.

Clooney's Dark Secrets

Summer reads

The Dumb Ass Hour every Saturday morning

The wedding day

The house

The literary ranter

Summer reads? It's summer and it's a time to goof off and read for fun. Take your laptop to the beach, if you want.

A wife testifies to Congress that she was fired from her teacher's job for taking care of her wounded husband -- wounded in Iraq.

Michael Ratner provides a primer on the illegal Iraq War.

When are Democracy Now! and all the others going to get honest with their viewers, listeners and readers that all those months and years they claimed the SOFA meant the end of the illegal war, they were lying? That is at the heart of the rejection of Panhandle Media by today's high school and college students.

Ava and C.I. take on the USA network, the Barack administration and more in this piece.

This kicks off the summer edition. Leslie Cagan drawing by Isaiah. We also hoped to have a Barbara Ehrenreich piece. Maybe next time. Isaiah's using his great illustration of Babsie for his latest comic.

Betty knew we needed a poem. She was right. We wrote this quickly. We spent more time on the illustration and wished we could have made a house out of empty Heineken bottles.

Horror and scary made the list of would-be stories. Ruth and Dona came up with the idea of adding "Once upon a time" to make this one a little bit different. Betty's kids worked on this illustration.
Betty's kids and Isaiah worked on this illustration. This was a last minute one because three stories we'd worked forever on didn't work at all. Dona said, "You have 15 minutes to write something." Isaiah's rough sketch of Michelle Obama was laying out and Betty's kids thought she looked like a robot, hence the story.

Again, horror stories were what made the board for suggestions. Ava and C.I. had a suggestion we didn't pursue and looking at the mix now, I (Jim) wish we had just to have a different type of piece. Maybe next summer.

The point of the summer edition is not to pretend to be great writers but to encourage the do-it-yourself approach.


Workers World repost.

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


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

Editorial: Projection and distraction

Peter Hart wrote a ridiculous piece for FAIR last week on the Iraq War where he argued with . . . The Washington Post. He felt the newspaper was dishonest about the Iraq War. Don't expect FAIR to ever call out the press for refusing to address reality about Barack because FAIR is a firm practioner of denial.

The same FAIR that has repeatedly ignored the Iraq War since Barack Obama became president. The same FAIR that has never told its audience, "Woops, we got it wrong! Remember when we said the SOFA ends the Iraq War? Turns out we're not just lazy and we're not just idiots, we're also dumb asses."

A lot of people better start figuring out what they're going to say if the US does extend the stay in Iraq. That's because they spent the last three years ignoring the wars and then whining because the emerging Tea Party was getting press. 'The anti-war movement doesn't get that!'

What anti-war movement?

Where is the rage against Barack Obama the War Mongerer?

Where is Leslie Cagan's fiery speech denouncing the wars?

No where to be found.

And the most some 'anti-war' types can do is whine that, come November 2012, they'll be voting for Barack reluctantly. Reluctantly! That'll teach him.

The right has an anti-war movement that's remained consistently opposed to the Iraq War but, on the left, you'd be really hard pressed to find some one-time leader who will call it out today. And when someone on the left shows a tiny bit of bravery, be sure to contrast their statements on Barack's wars with those on Bush's. You'll see just how weak left leaders have become.

Barbara Ehrenreich wants you to listen to her on matters of war and protest. Until last month, her daughter served in Barack's administration -- in the Pentagon. Something that, with all the words and words she wastes, she always forgets to own up to. In other words, Barbara Ehrenreich needs to shut her damn lying mouth and it's a sign of how pathetic the left has become that Babsie thinks she can speak publicly on these issues.

Her daughter works for the Pentagon. Does it get any worse?

Until the left leaders can get serious, they better get used to being laughed.

Their stock has already fallen across the country -- as we've long documented here -- and that's really too bad for them because next year is an election year and they were hoping to whore their positions of trust one more time.

Do they still not get it?

No one takes them seriously because of their past whoring which they've still not taken accountability for. You know, the exact same behavior that FAIR likes to accuse others of.

TV: Visible to the naked eye?

"USA, characters wanted" could just as easily be the cable network's motto. For every promising Suits, there are the paint-by-number stick figures of Covert Affairs and White Collar. Burn Notice represents the lucky of USA, a show that blows chunks one season and pulls it together the next and will end its series run with a passing grade which is far more than most USA shows can ever hope for. The one crown jewel isn't the overly praised and thankfully gone Monk which thought a quirk could pass for characterization. The crown jewel is In Plain Sight.


The series, now in season four, stars Mary McCormack and Fred Weller as US Marshals Mary and Marshall who work in Federal Witness Security Program. It airs Sunday nights on USA in the final hour of prime time (and streams at the USA website and at Hulu). Weller did strong work in the films The Shape of Things and The Business of Strangers whereas McCormack seemed to make a career out of being miscast with the exception of Mystery, Alaska. In Plain Sight provides Weller with a strong acting partner that allows him to go deeper than he has in any other role. The show provides McCormack with a dream role that allows her to demonstrate just how talented she is -- and she is incredibly talented.

Each week, a guest star -- or guest stars -- are either introduced to the witness relocation program or are having problems in the witness relocation program and Mary and Marshall have to be beat cop, investigator, bodyguard, psychologist and much more. The characters they help have been played by some strong actors such as Martin Landau, Matthew Davis, Fred Ward; however, we think the strongest performance was delivered last season by Laura San Giacomo in the episode "Death Becomes Her." Rita Moreno and others who have played family members of series characters have done a strong job as well but we're referring to the ones playing relocated witnesses.

And how easy is it to hide "in plain sight"? Yes, in real life it does take place. But it's not something most people obsess over or even think about until someone like Henry Hill comes along. Hill was a minor league mobster who entered the witness relocation program to avoid returning to prison and snitched out his fellow mobsters. He and his wife Karen (and their two kids) were relocated to a variety of places -- all under assumed names -- including Omaha and Seattle. It was in Seattle that he got busted for drugs and it was his never-ending problems with the law that led to both him and Karen being kicked out of the program. Some of his story was told in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas and Hill attending premieres of the film and seeking publicity is also said to have played into his forced departure from the witness relocation program.

But, really, how easy is it to hide "in plain sight"?

Apparently not all that difficult. For example, currently there's outrage as Barack Obama floats the notion of gutting Social Security. 'How could that be? Where did this idea come from? It's not Barack!!!!' From the January 16, 2009 "Iraq snapshot:"

Turning to US politics, President-elect Barack Obama met with the Washington Post editorial board yesterday. Here for Michael D Shear's text article, here for the sixty-one minute audio. Warning for those listening to the audio, Barack's speaking abilities have not magically improved. Sample: "Uh, obviously military service is uh something we uh honor as a country [. . .] That's going to be something that we uh uh . . ." And four minutes, for those wondering, he takes his first swipe at African-American fathers. Yes, it's Barack singing all his well known tunes. And mixing in a few new ones such as, "It's not something I've said publicly . . . but spending money wisely is not easy." Mostly, the interview will be remembered as the one where Barack declared War on Social Security. Barack's replied to questions and made vague statements. But, his Love Cult insists, that's just the Nice Guy Barry trying to make nice and get along. He doesn't want to say, "Stupid crooks, Social Security is not going to be chipped away!" Well, actually he does want to say that and he did say that.
[On This Week with George Stephanopoulos (ABC -- video and text), Barack had declared, "Everybody is going to have to give. Everybody is going to have to have some skin in the game.]
Barack was asked about it above. With the Washington Post, he brought it up on his own -- and referenced George Steph's "grand bargain" -- so hopefully even his Love Cult can start to see a few realities. He begins talking about his big "Fiscal Responsibility Summit" that will be held in February and include a motley crew that will "talk about waste." He then segues into Social Security during this response (at approximately 16:14) and states the following:
"We're also going to have a discussion about entitlements and how we get a grasp on those. Uh and uh, you know, like I think everybody here is familiar enough with the budget problems to know that as bad as these deficits that we're running up over the next -- that have already been run up -- have been and despite the cost of both TARP and the stimulus, the real problem in our long term deficit actually has to do with our entitlement obligation and the fact that historically uh if our revenues ranged between 18 and 20% of GDP they're now at 16. It's just not sustainable so we're going to have to uh craft a uh what George Stephanopoulos called a grand bargain and I-I try not to use the word grand in anything that I say but uh but we're going to have to shape a bargain. This, by the way, is where there are going to be some very difficult choices and issues of sacrifices and responsibility and duty are going to come in because what we have done is kick this can down the road. We're now at the end of the road and uh we are not in a position to kick it any further."
Those are right-wing talking points and only the most historically ignorant of Barack's Love Cult will fail to grasp the declaration of war.

Yet here we are, in July of 2011, and people are angry and surprised. The angry we understand. The surprised?

4 US soldiers have died in the Iraq War this month alone. Counting June as well, that's 19 dead in the Iraq War. 'But Barack promised he would end the Iraq War!!!!!' Well he managed to rename it Operation New Dawn August 31, 2010. Before Friday's death was announced, the number of US military personnel who had died in Iraq since Barack declared the end of 'combat operations' and the start of Operation New Dawn was 54. So 55 US military personnel have died in the Iraq War since August 31st and yet some fools still think Barck's either ended or is ending the Iraq War.

This despite the fact that the White House is engaged in negotiations with Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister and chief thug of Iraq, to extend the US military presence in Iraq -- despite the fact that Jay Carney's lying denials were reality checked publicly by the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm Mike Mullen.

And despite that, there are people who just can't see it.


Because they don't want to look for it.

And maybe that's the key to witness relocation?

The key to In Plain Sight is McCormack and Weller. There are no bad episodes of In Plain Sight because Mary and Marshall's relationship is key to the show. For example, when Mary's shot, after knowing whether or not she'll survive, your primary interest is in how Marshall's going to react. That's not a slam against any of the other actors -- including Lesley Ann Warren who is excellent as Mary's mother -- it's just that they are the key to the show. At that point, season two, Mary was engaged to Raph (Christian de la Feunte) and even his reaction didn't mean as much.

Mary and Marshall matter so much because, to be honest, they were both pricks at the start of the show. Possibly the reason Mary is so strong is because of the huge chip on her shoulder? And Marshall's show boated in the most pompous way that you started to believe Mary's jokes about him being a virgin were actually foreshadowing of a future revelation.

Then why give a damn? Because Mary and Marshall are each others oyster and each others sand and, together, their friendship is the pearl. And as they've bumped up against one another, irritated one another, raged against one another and comforted one another, they've ended up with one of the deepest friendships TV's seen in some time.

And it's a friendship. In the latest plot development this season, Mary's pregnant (as opposed to use big hats and large plants to hide McCormack's real life pregnancy). And some wish it was by Marshall. As far as we know, the father is Mary's first husband Mark. We keep waiting for the twist where it turns out that Mary and Raph hooked up off camera. But what is known is that Marshall's not the father. In fact, he's involved with police officer Abigail (Rachel Boston who brings a whole new energy to the show).

And that's how it should be. At least currently. The two have pushed each other into becoming better people. At some point in the future, they might push themselves into being lovers. But currently, they work best as friends.

"Brandi, single mothers are heroes but I don't want to be one." What we also know currently is that Mary's planning on giving the baby up for adoption. Her mother and her sister Brandi (Nichole Hiltz) were hesitant but now appear on board with the decision. How it ends, you never know because as much as you know Mary or Marshall, they never lose their ability to surprise. And that's probably why In Plain Sight remains the real USA success story.

Movement Mama aka Moving On Up preface

When Knopf asked me to write my life story, I quickly dashed off a book about how Barack's the best thing that ever happened to me. Knopf was not pleased. "Where is the struggle?" they asked. "Where is the sense of reality?" they wondered. And most of all, "Why do you think this fan clipping collection on Barack Obama would pass for an autobiography."

I wanted to please Knopf because, well, I wanted their money. Mama's not getting any younger and either she starts feathering that nest or her chick's gonna flee. You feel me, fellas? Even so it pained me to have to write anything that in any way put responsiblity on Barack Obama.

He is the President of the United States, not God. (Not that I believe in God, but still.) He is not responsible for the nuclear meltdown in Japan. Or for whether it floods in parts of the US. Or for the economy. Or the Libyan War or the Iraq War or the Afghanistan War or . . .

Well, you get the idea. And I love Barack so much that I closed shop on United for Pathetic Injustice in order to ensure that no one could say "the country's largest peace organization called out Barack today."

But again, Mama needs some bread. So I tried and tried. I allowed that maybe he should start buttoning his jackets and maybe his smile was a little too gummy. I really couldn't manage much more than that.

leslie cagan

So it wasn't a complete surprise when Knopf called to tell me they were shelving the book. Besides, they'd wanted me to also do an audio book version and I kept blowing the sound board as I took these deep, emphysema breaths after every six words or so -- whether I was at the end of a sentence or not.

Not having any luck with Knopf, I decided to self-publish and focus on the really important moments in life. For example, what to do when your 'friend' Alice Walker puts a photo of you in one of her books and mispells your last name K-a-g-a-n instead of "Cagan." I've got eighty whole pages on quiet simmering and being bitchy in a blase way so as to keep people guessing.

I also write what it's like to be a proud political activist. But I never use the "C" word because, well you know, I'm in the political closet. What would my art history friends from NYU say!!!!!

Mainly I share deep thoughts like this one: "Am I lesbian? Yes, I am! But could Barack turn me straight? Yes, he can!"

I think it's that sort of searching for the really intense and indepth answers about modern sexuality that will lead to my book's historical importance. That and my pop cultural references which demonstrate that I'm "down" with my "peeps" and able to "shout out" as well as any Tweener. If you mised it, I name check The Jeffersons repeatedly in the book.

I learned more about Black people and the Black struggle from repeated viewings of The Jefferson than anywhere else. That saucy maid Florence cracks me up! And Mother Jefferson is so funny when she gets in those digs at Louise's expense. The Jeffersons, in fact, let to my first bout of serious activism Jews for Radical Living and George Jefferson and Dry Cleaning which I formed in March of 1979.

My initial burst of activism was a huge success. The following year The Jefferson's ranked number 8 out of all TV shows (up from 49!!!). And then they moved up to number 6 the next year, then 3 and then they slid back to 12. But the country had elected Ronald Reagan, so what could you expect? From 12, it dropped to 19 and then, in its final year, to 56.

I stood outside the White House denouncing Nancy Reagan who had contributed to the downfall of The Jeffersons by appearing as a guest star on the rival and watered down story of Black America entitled Diff'rent Strokes.

After the cancellation of The Jeffersons, I tried to throw my weight behind Gimmie' a Break but my heart wasn't in it.

I considered moving into the corporate world and faking it there but my good friend Barbara Ehrenriech shook me awake. "Les," she told me, "with your looks you can never make it in that world. But in the world of the underground, where looks and bathing are far less important, you might stand a chance."

With those wise and encouraging words to boost my morale, I decided I would fake it in the underground instead of the corporate world and I decided I would be a leader to fake vistas and faux horizons.

I am Lesley Cagan and this is my story.



Words tumble

In the

Dreams and hopes

Dreams, hopes

Aunt Tess

Once upon a time, after third period, Angie was skipping on clouds as she headed to first lunch in the cafeteria. It was a great day, one of those break-out-in-song days.

And Angie might have sung if she'd made it a few steps more.

But there, in the hall, was Leah, her sister.

"They're dead now."

Angie knew it was bad news as soon as she saw Leah. But she had no idea how bad.

Both parents. Gone.

And Uncle Phil.


A gas leak.

It was her. It was Leah. They'd been reduced to two.

aunt tess

There was Aunt Tess still.

And Tess was who they'd be staying with.

Their house was gone. The gas leak, the explosion. They'd stay with Aunt Tess for awhile. Then get their own place at some point.

Aunt Tess was family.

There were funeral details and estate details and other meetings. Angie pleaded I'm-only-16 to get out of all but attending the funeral. She knew that was shoving a lot off on Leah but wasn't that what older sisters were for?

And Aunt Tess had supported her decisions, encouraged them even.

It was that sort of thing that really made her appreciate her aunt. That and making a point to invite Bryan over. When Leah had told her the news, all she'd wanted to do was run into the school cafeteria and tell her boyfriend. But Leah was saying it could wait and they had to get going.

Aunt Tess had understood and had made a point to invite Bryan over to dinner.

A part of her was still in shock over her losing her parents and uncle. And that part just couldn't handle anything but routine. That part really needed Aunt Tess.

As the weeks went by and Leah tried to juggle college with managing the finances, she seemed to have less and less time for Angie. For anyone really. Leah had broken up with her boyfriend. It was a rough time and it would have been so lonely without Bryan and Aunt Tess.

It was fifth period. Study hall. And one of only two periods Angie and Bryan had together. She and Bryan were part of a group spending the period in the library to do research for a paper. She saw him talking to Lonnie and rushed over.

"Why doesn't Leah like me?"

Didn't she?

Angie had never thought about it. Never troubled over it. Angie liked Bryan and she just figured who wouldn't like Bryan?

Apparently Leah didn't.

Bryan was explaining that Leah had been saying that he'd been spending too much time hanging around Angie.

"She's just stressed."

Maybe so, Bryan agreed but he didn't want to be causing any problems.

"What are you saying?"

And they were cooling down, they were taking a breather.

She'd lost her parents and her uncle and now her boyfriend.

Angie had confronted her sister. Or tried to.

Leah insisted that if Bryan had broken up with her, it was something between the two of them.

Each day, she seemed to like her sister less and less. Each day, she seemed to have less and less in common with Leah.

Angie would talk to Bryan about it. He'd try to console her pointing out that at least she had Aunt Tess. Aunt Tess was someone you could talk to and trust.

And Bryan really had a point.

She did talk to Aunt Tess. She did trust Aunt Tess.

Three months later, Angie looked at everyone gathered for the funeral. She didn't realize so many people loved her. And were willing to show up for her funeral. Her funeral and Leah's.

That gas leak? Aunt Tess.

She'd wanted the insurance money.

First the parents and Uncle Phil. Then Angie and Leah.

Aunt Tess made sure to tell Bryan all about how she thought Leah needed to get her brakes checked. So when brake problems resulted in the car crash that killed Angie and her sister, it wasn't such a shock.

There was Aunt Tess sobbing so bravely. Everyone looking at her sympathetically.

North Korea's secret weapon

Kim Jong-Il loved the talk of Barack Obama being born in Kenya and using an illegal Social Security number. The more the talk focused on the holy doofus, the less anyone paid attention to North Korea's finest achievement: The fembot Michelle Obama.

animatronic michelle

Kim's father, Kim Il-sung, had come up with the idea of a robot back in 1960 and the prototype was ready in 1963. Thanks to the American psychic Jeane Dixon's willingness to be paid in fruit -- and apples at that -- Kim Il-sung was able to know who would be First Lady in forty-four years.

Even more desperate for an apple pay-off was Robert Conrad who had just lost his job with the cancellation of the Hawaiian Eye and The Wild Wild West was a ways off. So Conrad dashed over to Chicago and snatched the newborn in January of 1964.

And robotic Michelle worked out just fine for years and years. In fact, the only hiccup came when CIA Director William Casey found out about the operation in 1984. But instead of attempting to halt the plan, Casey sold the whole scheme to Metromedia Productions which quickly developed it into the sitcom Small Wonder.

When Kim Il-sung died, Kim Jong-Il took over North Korea and the animatronic First Lady project. Now the family's plans would be implemented. Creating famine throughout the US via the White House garden's genetically modified seeds which would spread with the wind and leech the soil of all nutrients.

Let them keep talking about Barack, Kim Jong-Il thought laughing to himself, they'll never catch on to North Korea's tool of world domination. Apples, apples all around.


a house

Cary was staying with his grandfather for the summer and his grandfather lived in an old wooden house in Lafourche Parish. The TV reception wasn't that hot and his grandfather didn't have a satellite so, most nights, after dinner, entertainment was a story from Grandfather.

And he had plenty of them. Funny stories, silly stories, even a few scary ones. Well not too scary. But variations on things that go bump in the night. Not like the ones that guy Eddie down the street told.

His grandfather didn't much care for Eddie. Said he was a "burn out" and a "bum." Probably because Eddie spent the day baked. But that was part of the reason Cary liked Eddie, that and his willingness to slide over the j and share the stash.

It never seemed to dry up. When you think it might, Eddie's older sister Sarah would pull up outside in her Honda, having driven in from Texas, with more pot.

Eddie and Sarah fought a lot but also had this weird vibe like they'd slept together once or thought about. And Sarah really creeped Cary out. She was always griping about something or kissing Gus, her large dog she traveled with.

"A dog's mouth is cleaner than any humans!" she would insist.

Maybe so, but you wouldn't catch Cary soul kissing with a dog.

After Sarah would leave, Eddie would insist Sarah wasn't always so weird. But she was married to this attorney named Kevin and she'd gone a little nuts, insisting for over a year that they not have sex and then insisting that he'd cheated on her and broken their vows because no man could go a year without sex. Sounded to Cary that she was nuts when that year started, not after it came to a close.

Eddie had an ex-spouse too: Shelley.

He said he was a go-getter to get Shelley.

He'd talk about that a lot when he was stoned. He'd talk a lot about anything. And Cary would get so wrapped up in the tales, he'd sometimes forget the time. Grandfather said dinner was at seven each night and you had to be home by then.

Eddie was a developer. He purchased land and cleared it and turned it into a housing division. He liked to talk about that a lot. It's why he had the big, double-wide trailer that he lived in, with his office and a spare bedroom, and a bathroom on one end, a big living room and kitchen and dining area in the middle, and the big master bedroom and second bathroom. He would buy up a piece of land, move the trailer there and buy up surrounding lots and then start clearing.

Cary's grandfather had lived here his whole life and didn't like the idea of (a) things being torn down or (b) moving elsewhere. So he and Eddie didn't get a long much even when you put the whole pot thing to the side. They were neighbors so Grandfather would be neighborly but he didn't care for all the time Cary spent over at Eddie's.

Sometimes Cary would try to lie but you can almost manage that straight, when you're rushing home baked, it can be a little harder. One day Eddie brought out this bong and they'd swapped hits until 8:00. When Cary saw the time, he'd darted out of the trailer and ran all the way back to his grandfather's house.

"You're an hour late. I told you dinner is at seven. You're an hour late."

Cary knew it was serious. It was the old man's only rule for the summer. But he was buzzed and had a case of the giggles that he was trying to suppress.

"You think this is funny? You think this is funny?"

Biting his lower lip and trying to put a serious expression on his face, Cary shook his head "no."

"We have rules for a reason. We have rules for safety."

Again, this was the old man's only rule. Rules?

It was too funny.

Don't laugh, he kept telling himself, don't laugh.

The moment and grandfather's anger faded and Cary made sure to get home by seven from then on.

They were eating gumbo a week or so later and Cary pointed out that Eddie said there were giant shrimp in the area now since the BP spill.

"That was oil," his grandfather said. "Not steroids. See what that weed's going to do to you, huh?"

Cary just laughed.

Eddie was a short guy, maybe five foot, six inches, maybe not that tall. He said people had teased him all his life about his height and his "chicken legs," but he'd shown them. He'd gotten the cheerleader.

That was Shelley.

Shelly and Eddie went to high school together. He was a freshman. She was a friend of his sister's and she was a cheerleader. She was pretty and popular and he was Sarah's kid brother, the lowly freshman.

But he'd gotten the cheerleader.

Not when she was in high school. She'd already graduated. And he would graduate as well. It would be nearly five years later. They'd bumped into each other at a party, she was drunk, he had some baby bhang, they went back to her place, sparked it up and got busy.

"Three months later, she calls me to say she's pregnant."

He took a deep drag on a joint, smiled and said, "So I got the cheerleader."

After she gave birth and got tired of living with her mother. Shelley didn't even put Eddie down on the birth certificate as the father. But she did move in with the baby four months later and they got married shortly after.

It was a dream that broke apart like a tropical storm.

But for awhile, Eddie had everything he wanted.

"Nothing lasts forever," Eddie muttered rolling yet another joint.

Looking over at the clock, Cary saw it was fifteen minutes after nine. His grandfather was going to kill him.

He dashed out of the trailer, skidding across the deck and took off in the dark for his grandfather's house. On the asphalt road, he turned to hear what was making the noise and ended up tripping on his own feet and falling. He put his arms out to break the fall and skinned his palms and banged up his knees.

Still on his hands and knees, he heard that noise again.

Looking slowly to the left, he saw nothing. Looking over to the right, still nothing.

Looking over his shoulder . . .

A giant crustacean. Its gills alone had to be three feet long. And it was oozing some sort of brown slime behind it. And advancing at a rapid pace due to its five pairs of pereiopods.

a prawn

But the slime wasn't just going behind it, it was advancing in front of it, coming at Cary.

He managed to stand just as the slime hit him. So his arms could move. But his feet were stuck to the slime. He couldn't move them.

And the giant shrimp was advancing.

Think, think, he told himself.

Of course. His shoes were stuck, not his legs. That slime was sticky. Reaching down, he began unlacing his Converse sneakers. No problem with the right one but he'd double laced the left one. Looking over his shoulder, he knew he'd never make it.

That's when he saw his grandfather running from up ahead carrying his Winchester Model 70.

"Grandpa! It's a giant shrimp!"

"Prawn! It's a prawn!" his grandfather said stopping to take aim and let a series of bullets fly over Cary's head and into the prawn.

The head split open as the bullets hit, sending more slime flying everywhere.

Some of it hit Cary in the face since he failed to turn his head or cover his face. As he wiped it off, pulled it off, the small was enough to make him retch.

Still hurling, he noticed Eddie, puffing on a joint, walking up through the ooze. Eddie stood behind the crustacean which, though dead, still remained upright up to the thorax. Eddie shoved it to the left, tipping it to the ground causing even more slime to spill out.

Pointing in disbelief, Cary wondered how Eddie was able to walk through the slime.

"Galoshes," Eddie explained. "So your grandpa killed another giant shrimp? What is that, Jim, forty this month?"

"Prawns, Eddie, they're prawns. Damn BP."

ETAN on West Papua

From ETAN.

Global support for human rights and human rights defenders in West Papua

Statement shows global support for human rights and human rights defenders in West Papua

Organizations based in more than a dozen countries today issued a statement of support for West Papuan organizations appealing for justice and human rights.

The Papuan organizations have "decried the failure of the Indonesian government to ensure justice for or protect Papuans who have been the victims of security force brutality, including extra-judicial killing, torture, abduction and imprisonment," the statement said. The international organizations expressed their "support for these courageous appeals" by the Papuan organizations and pledged "to pressure our individual governments and international organizations to press the Indonesian government to act positively and immediately on these demands for justice and the protection of human rights defenders." They said that the "continuing violation of human rights starkly demonstrates the limits of 'democratization' in Indonesia."

The statement was endorsed by 54 international, regional, national and local organizations, based in more than a dozen countries. It was initiated by <>Tapol , <>West Papua Advocacy Team and <>East Timor and Indonesia Action<> Network (ETAN)

Contact: Ed McWilliams - +1-575-648-2078,
Paul Barber - +44-1420-80153,
John M. Miller +1-718-596-7668,


July 14, 2011 - In recent weeks, highly regarded West Papuan non-governmental and religious organizations which promote respect for human rights have spoken out forcefully regarding the deteriorating human rights situation in the territory. In two separate statements, the organizations decried the failure of the Indonesian government to ensure justice for or protect Papuans who have been the victims of security force brutality, including extra-judicial killing, torture, abduction and imprisonment. The organizations have also called for protection of human rights defenders. The continuing violation of human rights starkly demonstrates the limits of 'democratization' in Indonesia.

In a recent press conference, two human rights NGOs, BUK (United for Truth) and KontraS-Papua (Commission for the Disappeared and the Victims of Violence), <>underscored the failure of the Indonesian justice system to address endemic violation of human rights by the military and police. They noted that some cases have languished for over a decade and said that years of inaction by the Indonesian government regarding these cases have compelled them to appeal to "international mechanisms" to ensure that the Government of Indonesia brings these incidents before a court of law.

At their June 14 press conference in Jayapura, the NGOs, describing the consistent failure of justice in West Papua, said:

"With regard to the human rights violations that have been perpetrated in Papua at the hands of members of the Indonesian army (TNI) and the Indonesian police (POLRI), in all these cases, it has been virtually impossible to bring them before a court of law. In the case of those incidents that were actually taken to court, nothing was done to side with the victims; the perpetrators were protected with the argument that what had been done was in the interest of the security of the state."

The NGOs made specific reference to particularly egregious incidents in which Papuans were killed, brutally tortured or disappeared. These include the June 2001 Wasior and 2008 Wamena incidents, a police rampage in Abepura, as well as repeated military "sweeping operations" in West Papua's central highlands in which civilians were driven from their homes into local forests where many died due to a lack of food, shelter and access to medical care. The NGOs also detailed policies and practices which subject "many Papuans to discrimination, intimidation and extra-judicial punishment based on groundless charges by Government agencies that these Papuans, or their family members are "separatists."

The two NGOs issued the following demands:

1. The President of Indonesia should immediately resolve the Wasior and Wamena cases and in doing so recognize the fact that Papuans are citizens of the Unitary Republic of Indonesia, NKRI which means that their standing and dignity within the state is in keeping with the values of the Papuan people as citizens of Indonesia.
2. The attorney-general's office should end its machinations with regard to the Wasior and Wamena cases and co-ordinate with other state institutions and in so doing halt their activities which have resulted in reinforcing the cycle of impunity.
3. The administration of the province of Papua, along with the DPRP (Provincial Legislature of Papua), KomnasHAM-Papua and the MRP (The Papuan Peoples Council) should act together as quickly as possible to ensure that the Wasior and Wamena incidents are brought before a human rights court in the Land of Papua.
4. A Papuan human rights court should be set up immediately.
5. If the government fails to deal seriously with the Wasior and Wamena cases, we, as representatives of all the victims of human rights violations in the Land of Papua, will bring these matters before an international court of law.

In a separate <>June 17 press conference, the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in the Land of Papua, comprising leading human rights and religious organizations spoke out against "acts of violence and terror that have been perpetrated against human rights defenders as well as against journalists."

The coalition includes KomnasHAM-Papua, the Synod of the Kingmi Church in Papua, the Synod of the Baptist Church in Papua, Foker NGO (NGO Working Group) Papua, KontraS Papua, LBH - Legal Aid Institute in Papua, and BUK. The organizations were especially critical of the Indonesian military whose members were involved in five recent incidents of violence against Papuan civilians and whose actions they noted, contradict claims that the Indonesian military is engaged in a process of reform.

The Coalition of Human Rights Defenders in the Land of Papua therefore issued the following statement:

1. Protection is needed for human rights defenders in Papua in carrying out their humanitarian activities throughout the Land of Papua. Such protection can be provided by the introduction of a special law, while at the same time setting up an independent commission at state level for the purpose of monitoring and advocacy as well as taking sanctions against those individuals who commit violence against human rights defenders.

2. As a short-term measure, we regard it as important to set up a special bureau within KomnasHAM to focus on the protection of human rights defenders.
3. In view the many acts of intimidation and violence perpetrated by members of the armed forces, we urge the military commander of Cenderawasih XVII military command (in West Papua) to take firm measures in the law courts and administration against all violations perpetrated by members of the TNI on the ground.
4. To provide moral guidance to all officers of the armed forces as well as disseminate an understanding of human rights so as to ensure that acts of violence perpetrated by members of the armed forces are not committed against civil society or against human rights defenders in the Land of Papua.

Indonesia has clearly failed to ensure justice in multiple cases of gross violations of human rights in West Papua and to protect Papuans defending their human rights violate the Indonesian government's legal obligations contained within international agreements to which it is party, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It also contravenes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, notably articles 6, 7 and 8.

These abuses, policies and practices, as well as others not mentioned specifically by the NGOs and religious organizations have been carefully documented and condemned in United Nations reports, reports by other governments, and by leading international human rights organizations.

These international reports also include accounts of egregious government abuse, including the 1998 Biak tragedy and the Indonesian government's incarceration of scores of political prisoners. Many of these political prisoners experienced targeted abuse and mistreatment that exceeded even the brutality meted out to criminal prisoners. International accounts of the failure of justice in Indonesia have also condemned the continued use of provisions of the Indonesian criminal code which form the basis for charges of "subversion" (such as Article 106 of the code). This was a legal tool of the Suharto dictatorship to repress freedom of speech and has its antecedents in Dutch colonial rule.

We, the undersigned organizations express our strong solidarity with and support for these courageous appeals made by these Papuan non-governmental and religious organizations. We pledge to pressure our individual governments and international organizations to press the Indonesian government to act positively and immediately on these demands for justice and the protection of human rights defenders.

Endorsed by

Tapol (UK)
West Papua Advocacy Team (USA)
East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) (USA)

Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)
Asia Pacific Action (USA)
Asia Pacific Support Collective (Australia)
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Australia East Timor Friendship Association Inc
Australian West Papua Association South Australia (Inc)
Baltimore Nonviolence Center (USA)
Campaign for Peace and Democracy (USA)
Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD) (UK)
The Catholic Justice and Peace Commission of Brisbane (Australia )
East Timor Action Network / Portland, Oregon (USA)
East Timor Religious Outreach (USA)
Fellowship of Reconciliation (USA)
Foundation Dr. F.C. Kamma, the Netherlands
Foundation Pro Papua, The Netherlands
Green Delaware (USA)
Indonesia Human Rights Committee, Auckland (New Zealand)
Indonesian Solidarity (Australia)
THE INSTITUTE on Religion and Public Policy (USA)
International League for Human Rights
KontraS (Indonesia)
Land is Life
Luta Hamutuk Institute (Timor-Leste)
Madison-Ainaro (East Timor) Sister-City Alliance, Madison, WI (USA) Missionaries of the Sacred Heart Justice and Peace Centre, Australia
Nonviolence International
Office of the Americas (USA)
Pax Christi Aotearoa-New Zealand
Pax Christi Australia
Pax Christi Metro New York (USA)
Pax Christi, New Orleans (USA)
People's Empowerment Consortium (PEC), Indonesia
Philippine Workers Support Committee (USA)
Press for Change (USA)
Seattle CISPES
Seattle International Human Rights Coalition (SIHRC) (USA)
Swedish Association of Free Papua
Swedish East Timor Committee
Syracuse Peace Council (USA)
Urban Poor Consortium, Indonesia
War Resisters League (USA)
West Papua Action Network, Canada
West Papua Action Network / US
West Papua Media (Australia)
West Papua Network (WPN), Germany
The West Papua Solidarity Group Brisbane (Australia )

John Feffer, co-director, Foreign Policy In Focus*
Sharon Silber, U.S. Representative, Society for Threatened Peoples
Eileen B. Weiss, Co-Founder, Jews Against Genocide (U.S.)
Shulamith Koenig, People's Movement for Human Rights Learning (PDHRE)

*organization for identification only

This statement is online at <>


Support ETAN in 2011. Make a contribution here
Thank you for your support.

John M. Miller, National Coordinator
East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873 USA
Phone: +1-718-596-7668 Mobile phone: +1-917-690-4391
Email: Skype: john.m.miller


Send a blank e-mail message to to find out how to learn more about East Timor and Indonesia on the Internet

The Libyan War

Reprint from Workers World.

Despite U.S./NATO bombing of Libya, imperialist war stalls

Published Jul 17, 2011 6:55 AM

After four months of heavy bombing, the U.S./NATO forces have failed to dislodge the Libyan government in Tripoli. The Western-backed Transitional National Council contra forces remain confined to select areas in the east and west of the oil-producing country of 6.5 million people.

There is no concrete evidence that the TNC and its imperialist backers are on the verge of taking the war to the capital, despite their constant claims. Hundreds of thousands of people in Tripoli continue to publicly demonstrate their opposition to the U.S./NATO war. The Libyan military continues to strike the rebels in areas around the port city of Misrata and in the Nafusa Mountains near the border with Tunisia.

With the escalation of the fighting in Misrata, which is being used as a transport area for rebel forces and Western humanitarian organizations, the conditions among the civilian population have worsened over the last several weeks.

In efforts to help the TNC gain a stronger presence in western Libya, NATO warplanes have escalated their anti-people bombing campaign. On July 9, NATO forces struck Libyan army units stationed outside Misrata. Nonetheless, the Associated Press admitted on July 9: “The civil war has fallen into a stalemate with rebels unable to make significant advances, even with NATO bombing Gadhafi’s forces to enforce a U.N. resolution protecting civilians.”

Actually, the war has never been geared toward protecting civilians. The actions of the rebel TNC and their U.S./NATO supporters have created dire conditions for the population in Libya and those who have fled the country by land and sea.

NATO, TNC cause humanitarian crisis

The beginning of the civil war in Libya on Feb. 17 prompted the worst humanitarian crisis in North Africa in modern times. Immediately the Benghazi-based rebel gangs set out to attack those perceived as supporters and allies of the central government in Tripoli. Dark-skinned Libyans and migrant workers from neighboring African states were harassed, beaten and even murdered.

Videos and photographs of these executions have been circulated broadly over the Internet. They remind some of the lynchings racist mobs carried out in the southern U.S. against African Americans during the late-19th and early-to mid-20th centuries.

The vast oil reserves in Libya, reputed to be the largest on the African continent, allowed the country to achieve the highest standard of living and per capita income in the region. Anywhere between 1.5 million to 2 million migrant workers were employed on oil, construction and service projects throughout the country.

The TNC and NATO attacks forced hundreds of thousands of these migrant workers to flee Libya. The International Organization for Migration, which monitors the dislocation of migrant workers as well as Libyan nationals, reports that 150,000 people have already left the country.

IOM spokesperson Jean-Philippe Chauzy said some 2,000 Chadian workers were left without transport in the southern Libyan town of Sebha: “They are really very vulnerable migrants — children, women and the elderly — very weak and sick,” too weak to continue traveling. Another 300,000 migrants who want to leave cannot due to the crisis caused by the U.S./NATO war. (AP, July 9)

A July 10 New York Times article exposed the political character of the TNC forces. When the TNC overran the village of Qawalish, many of the residents evacuated the area.

The Times noted that the shops were still well stocked with fresh fruits, vegetable and bread. However, almost immediately, “The [TNC] rebels began helping themselves to the fuel in Qawalish’s only gas station. ... A short while later rebels were shooting padlocks off the metal doors to shops, and beginning to sweep through them.” The article noted, “The town, in short, was being looted by the rebels, and vandalized, and worse.”

This report exposed the imperialist lie that the TNC army has mass support. After the NATO bombing of these villages and towns, the TNC forces move in to take nominal control. Yet the majority of the population flees in fear of the violence perpetuated in other areas of the country.

This is true even in the Nafusa Mountains where the Western corporate media have claimed that widespread support exists for the NATO bombing and the TNC. The village of El Harabah “still flies the green flag of the Gadhafi government,” the Times reported.

France calls for talks

On July 11 French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet called upon the TNC rebels to negotiate a settlement with the Libyan government. He emphasized that talks would be the only mechanism to end foreign intervention in the North African state.

At the same time Saif al-Islam, the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, announced that the government in Tripoli is currently in negotiations with Paris. In an interview, the Libyan official said that Libya’s government “was negotiating with France and not with the rebels. Our mediator met with President Nicolas Sarkozy. (El Khaber, July 11)

After four months of bombings and a naval blockade of Libya, the NATO forces have begun to have serious internal disagreements over the war. Norway announced several weeks ago that it would halt its operations by August. Italy, the former colonial power, called for a ceasefire during early July.

A July 5 article in the Philadelphia Tribune reported, “In the Netherlands, Defense Minister Hans Hillen complained last week of ‘mission creep’ and suggested that the campaign’s advocates were deluded to believe they could crush Gadhafi. ‘People who thought that merely by throwing some bombs it would not only help the people, but also convince Gadhafi that he could step down or alter his policy were a little bit naive.’”

Inside the U.S. Congress both the Republicans and Democrats, although expressing reservations about the war, have continued to support its funding. This comes at the same time that a proposed defense budget would provide another $17 billion in funding for the Pentagon.


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, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

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

"Iraq snapshot," "Scott Brown asks if it is a staffing issue (Ava)," "Burr: I'd heard it before, I just hadn't heard it from you," and "The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing" -- C.I., Ava and Mike cover the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on mental health Thursday.

"Iraq snapshot" and "House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health hearing" -- C.I. and Mike cover the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee hearing as well.

"THIS JUST IN! NOW THEY TELL US!" and "Now they tell us he was lying 3 years ago" -- aren't you glad to know Barack was vetted by the press?

"Summer pasta in the Kitchen" -- Trina offers a recipe for pasta salad.

"In which I explain "Cracker" to White people" -- Betty takes on a liar.

"700 people left sickened by a chlorine gas leak" -- Ruth covers Iraq.

"He didn't change the world or even the perception of the US" -- Kat provides reality.

"The brains of that marriage" -- Marica talks music figures.

"Netflix Part II" "Bye-bye Netflix" -- Stan on the big entertainment news of last week.

"jezebel likes beating up on rape victims" and "fan mail from jezebel" -- Rebecca takes on Jezebel.

"The Libyan War" -- Elaine on the Libyan War.

"Little baby storms out" -- Mike on Barry's walking out on the meeting.

"New rules from Stitch Bitch Carney" and "THIS JUST IN! MORE BITCHIN FROM THE STITCH BITCH!" -- Jay Carney is in love with Barack.

"He's not much of a man" -- Betty on Barack's lies and use of his dead mother as a prop.

"the scare tactics" -- Rebecca opts out of Barack's attempt to scare America over the debt ceiling limit.

"The latest White House scandal" -- as Ruth notes, the scandals never end.

"Tom Joyner, kiss my ass" -- Marcia has no use for Tom Joyner.

"Blow Out" Stan goes to the movies and Ann covers radio:

"I don't heart Huckabee" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.

"Assuming the worst" -- Elaine on the NPR portrayal of the Libyan War.

"Idiot of the week" -- Mike picks the idiot of the week.
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