Sunday, July 29, 2012


Jim: Carol e-mailed to say take back her "blistering e-mail of two weeks ago, Ava, C.I. and Ann were right."  What's she talking about?  "Roseanne: The Green Party's greatest gift in 2012" which went up July 15th and noted Roseanne Barr was running for president.  Carol was among three e-mailers who felt Ava, C.I. and Ann had misconstrued a "tweet."  As people have just found out this weekend, not only is Rosenne making an independent run, she's announced a running mate.  Someone very familiar to this site.  It's roundtable time and we're talking politics.  Our e-mail address is Usually participating our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.


Jim (Con't): Betty's kids did the illustration.  Okay, Roseanne's running.  I know Ava wants to say something.

Ava: Carol shouldn't feel bad about her e-mail.  I didn't read it, C.I. didn't read it, Ann didn't read it.  But whatever she said could not match two reporters who told C.I. she was dead wrong when, the day after our article went up, C.I. referenced it and wrote about Roseanne's campaign in an Iraq snapshot.  Those two were convinced that the three of us were seeing something in a Tweet that just wasn't there.  It was there.  If you looked you saw it.  We did and, as a result, we apparently scooped everyone by several weeks.  That may be because C.I. knows Roseanne and knows how to interpret her.  Isaiah?

Isaiah:  In "Roundtable," the same edition that Ann, C.I. and Ava's article ran in,  I was talking about the Tweets Roseanne had continued to do the day of the Green Party convention.  I brought that to the roundtable and we discussed some of it.  But I didn't raise that Tweet and I had read it.  I read it and didn't make from it that it was the announcement of an independent run for president.  After the roundtable and after Ann, C.I. and Ava finished their article and Jim read it outloud to us, I was able to see what I missed and it was so clear.  But I could see people missing it in the Tweet.  That said, once it was pointed out by Ann, C.I. and Ava, it was pretty clear the meaning of that Tweet.

Jim: It's always fun to break news.  So Roseanne is running and I'm tossing to Jess and Ann for comments if they have them.  Can someone give us some backstory?

Ann: Jess, go ahead.

Jess: Okay.  Ann and I are registered members of the Green Party.  They held their national convention in Baltimore earlier this month.  Roseanne was among those who ran for the party's nomination.  She stated months ago that she was only running during the primary and doing it to raise attention for the Green Party and that she would be supporting Jill Stein who would get the nomination.  Dr. Stein did get the nomination.  The days leading up to the convention found Roseanne sounding off on Twitter about the Green Party.  She had various charges against them and she had the idea of who Stein should choose as her running mate -- this after Stein had already announced that Cheri Honkala was her running mate.  That takes us up to the convention with one noteable omit.  Ann?

Ann: Which was the interview Roseanne gave on Smiley and West .  If you can't stream it or if you need text due to hearing issues, C.I. transcribed the significant portion in the July 15th snapshot. That interview made clear Roseanne had serious problems with the Green Party.  It took it beyond Tweets and the press seemed to treat those Tweets as "Tweets from a comedian."  Meaning they weren't taking the comments as seriously as they would have if Roseanne were famous for another profession.  Instead, there seemed to be a floating question mark of whether or not she was Tweeting to be silly or was spoofing the country.

Dona: She's not spoofing, that's should be clear now to those who couldn't see it before.  It's noted  at her campaign website, "This is an exciting time for us to vote our values! Roseanne Barr is a mother, grandmother, activist, leader, feminist, and successful business woman that is addressing the concerns of the 99%. She is the lone voice of courage and reason who is unstoppable as she holds corporate-funded politicians feet to the fire."

Ty: And Roseanne's running mate was announced early Sunday morning, Cindy Sheehan.

Jim: So what does that mean?

Kat: Cindy means everyone has to take a look at the campaign.  I don't know if any other running mate would mean that.  But Cindy means that if you were considering supporting Roseanne or not, suddenly you're looking at the campaign differently.

Jim: Continue that with why?

Kat: Cindy's consistent.  Cindy Sheehan's message in 2012 is not different from what it was in 2005 when she came to national attention.  Meaning her addition to Roseanne's ticket means all who shared Cindy's anti-war stance, the majority of Americans in 2005 and 2006, regardless of where they are now -- even if they're Cult of St. Barack -- for a second they have to consider the campaign. They may dismiss it, they may embrace it, they may take a wait and see attitude, but they have to consider it.

Marcia: I'm with Kat, I think this is sort of an in-your-face move, it puts the campaign front and center on the left.  'The issues are the same, where do you stand?' is sort of the unspoken motto.  And there are people on the left who will dismiss it because they're Cult of St. Barack, but it does force them, even for 90 seconds, to grasp that there's something inconsistent in their approach to life now.

Jim: Mike, pretend someone's asking "Cindy Sheehan who?" and answer that question.

Mike: Sure.  Cindy Sheehan's son Casey Sheehan died in the Iraq War.  As she dealt with that awful news and looked more and more at the ongoing war and the increasing death tolls for everyone, for every side in that war, she decided to start speaking out.  This eventually led to her camping outside Bully Boy Bush's Crawford residence.  So she set up Camp Casey and it really turned the tide in America, put a face on the war.  Cindy's continued to speak out against war and war mongering.  She doesn't care who's in the White House, she supports peace and so she's protested Barack as well.  This doesn't make people comfortable if they're mindless party zealots.  If they're able to break the chains around their minds, they tend to respect her for standing up and being for peace.  It's amazing that it's just as controversial now as it was in 2004 to be a supporter of peace.

Jim: Thank you, Mike.  Trina, consistency.  That's a topic you addressed in "Senator Bernie Sanders raises the issue" and you mentioned to me that you wanted to bring your post up here because "it's the only thing I'm embarrassed of."

Trina: I said "embarrassed" but I'm ashamed of it.  I don't have strong feelings about my posts for the most part.  That's one is an embarrassment.  An outright embarrassment and one that almost went up here --

Dona: Did go up here for 30 seconds.

Trina: Did go up here while Jim and I were talking and then Dona tells us and I say, "Pull it!"

Jim: And the reason for the shame?  You've got an intro noting that Bernie Sanders isn't really that strong of a senator and that the Socialist -- the only declared Socialist in the Senate -- acts like a Democrat and clamps down on criticism so that the Democrats don't run a real candidate against him.

Trina:  But I thought he was really making a statement.  He is calling out Barack Obama's silence on Social Security.  Is it going to be cut or what?  He wants Barack to tell the public.  And so I highlighted it.  And then I got to thinking about it and was talking to my husband in bed that night about it.  He said, "Call C.I., she'll remember."  And I didn't want to do that because she was in DC and I was thinking it was too late.  And I thought about calling Mike because I didn't want to try to figure out the time difference -- he and Elaine and their daughter were in Hawaii.  So I called Betty because she was on the West coast and it was three hours earlier.  Betty?

Betty: And Trina asks me, "Was Barack a supporter of Social Security?  Bernie Sanders says he was in this statement.  But I'm questioning that now." And I said no because he wasn't.  It's not just his January 2009 talk to the Washington Post, which C.I. documented in real time, right before he is sworn in, but it's all along.  He's not a friend of Social Security.  For Bernie Sanders to claim otherwise means Bernie's a liar.  I'm not in the mood.

Trina: And we talked about it and I said, "I'm so embarrassed."  I didn't want to delete the post because I don't want to airbrush my life.  I wrote what I wrote, it's there, I'm not going to pretend it's not or hide it or delete it.  My plan was to write about it the next night.  But Ava did "The joint Armed Service and House Veterans hearing (Ava)" -- which I'm thrilled to have at my site and was thrilled to read, she's focusing on US House Rep. Bob Filner's move to create an exit boot camp for service members which would inform them of the options out there for them in civilian life.  And then I forgot all about it.  So I mentioned it to Jim and asked him if I could bring it up in the roundtable today.

Betty: And we all forget things like that.  For example, all last week I told myself, tonight I'm going to link to Ruth's  "TV groundbreaker Sherman Hemsley has passed away" and I never did.  I forgot over and over.  Ruth, I'm so sorry for that and that was a wonderful post.  I've told you that privately on the phone but, since I forgot to link at my site all last week, let me publicly state that I watched Hemsley on TV but the death didn't really register one way or the other until Ruth provided the context.  Wonderfully written and thank you, Ruth.

Ruth: Thank you, Betty.

Jim: Ruth, you cover Social Security from time to time at your site.  What are your thoughts on Sanders?

Ruth: Much like Trina, I felt it was cowardly.   President Barack Obama does need to answer as to Social Security.  It is a shame that Senator Sanders was unable to leave it at that, with the question in the opening of his statement, and instead had to lie and pretend Barack Obama was a friend to Social Security.  He never has been.

Cedric: Right.  And, as Black Agenda Report's Bruce Dixon and Glen Ford have pointed out, he was DLC when he ran for the Senate.   The DLC has long supported gutting the safety net with a special target being Social Security.  Since this is the political roundtable, I'm going to put Ann on the spot.  Friday night, we went out for drinks with an old friend of mine from college and his wife.  If you read her "6 men, 1 woman," you may have picked up on the fact that Ann did not like the couple.  That's fine. I knew it at the time and I told her on the drive home that she could rip the woman, my friend's wife apart, in her blog post.  But she skipped it trying to be nice.  There's no reason to.  Ann?

Ann: Don't you love it when your husband puts you on the spot?  I'm sure the woman's nice in many ways but she's an idiot.  There's a topic Betty and I both are always planning to blog about but never do.  We probably never will at this point.  But there are some Black women who tick us off because they think they are so that.  Betty, explain what I'm talking about, please.

Betty: I don't know if it's that they -- I don't care.  I'm not going to do that.  They're stupid women and they get on my nerves and I'm not going to try to be nice about them.  They are Black women who will tell White people all the time about how hated  they are by other Blacks because they're not dark skinned and because they have either White hair or Hispanic hair.  That's what they'll call their hair.  And sometimes, these women, if they get enough booze in them or feel especially close to you, will tell you to your face -- tell Ann and I to our faces, our Black faces -- that they suffer so because Black people are so mean to them because they're not dark skinned and they look White.

Ann: And they don't look White.

Betty: No, they don't.  Sometimes they're not even light skinned though they seem to think they are.

Ann: So that was strike one.  The woman leans over, pats me on the hand after we're on our second round of drinks and says to me that she's glad I'm not one of those dark skinned women who's jealous of her because she looks White and has Hispanic hair.  And she wasn't light skinned and her hair was as kinky as mine under that weave she had on.  And I'm not putting down women with weaves or who wear wigs, I am putting down a woman who thought I was too stupid to know that her White "hair" was actually a weave.  Strike two was when she felt the need to say how great it was to be at a table where, quote, "we all love our president."  I asked her what gave her that idea?  She said, "We're all Black."  I said I'm a Green, not a Democrat which she took to mean I'm a Democrat but I'm really into the environment.  Strike three followed when she finally got that I didn't support Barack. She suggested I was uninformed and that he's done so much and I cut her off and told her I was not an idiot and Guantanamo remains open, Bush only claimed the right to imprison you without a trial but Barack claims the right to kill you without a trial, he's shredded the Constitution and he's declared war on whistle blowers.   At which point, she interrupts me and says that if you pick apart anyone's record you'll find some faults but in the big picture, Barack is wonderful.

Cedric: And I'm jumping in because Ann has tried to be nice during this.  She's made clear that she doesn't care for Barack and has said repeatedly that another topic should be discussed instead but this woman wouldn't let it go.

Ann: So when she's talking about big picture I said there was no bigger picture than life or death and that I couldn't justify Barack's wars including the Drone War.  At which point she got very mad and hissed, "He's Black!  You have to support him because he's Black!"

Cedric: At which point, her husband, my friend, says, "Well, honey, he's half-Black.  Would it be okay for Ann to just half support him?"  And he was trying to make a joke to lighten things up but that woman was so mad.  She stormed off into the ladies' room and was in there for a half hour at least.  At one point, he asked Ann if she'd go in and check on her and Ann said, 'I'm the reason she's in there, I'm sure she doesn't want to see me.'

Stan: I'm just stunned.  I'm listening and I'm stunned.  I can't believe at this late date that there's someone that stupid.  I know there are many Blacks who still support Barack but, in my circle, the fact that I don't support him isn't controversial.  Nor does it cause arguments.  This woman's such a silly whore for Barack that she sounds like a Black Naomi Klein.

Ann: Interesting because her first name actually is Naomi.

Stan: Well there you go.

Jim: We're going to have to wind down in a minute.  Dona handed me a note which says that Rebecca, Wally, Elaine and C.I. haven't spoken and C.I.'s shaking her head right now indicating she doesn't want to speak.    Who wants to offer closing thoughts?  Long pause.  Anyone?

Rebecca: Since you noted long pause, I'll jump in.  But I was willing to let someone else speak.  When Ann talks about that Naomi, I think, "It's like it's January 2009."  I really can't believe how uninformed some people still are.  Now at the end, Naomi probably got to why she really supports him but the idea that someone wants to throw a tantrum at a table because someone doesn't like Barack?  That's the Cult of St. Barack.  And, here's a tip for them from someone who had a very rewarding career in public relations: Your tantrums do not help your candidate.  But that's really all they have because, after nearly four years, Barack really has no accomplishment that can be pointed to with pride.

Jim: And on that note we'll wrap up.  This is a rush transcript.

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