Sunday, January 10, 2016

Truest statement of the week

The third factor was the feckless and incompetent rule of then-Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who marginalized Sunnis and disenfranchised them from Iraq's political process to the point that many Sunnis preferred the rule of the Islamist militants in ISIS to that of the "Shia" government in Baghdad. Inexplicably, the Obama White House kept backing Maliki despite his manifest flaws as a leader.

-- Peter Bergen, "Did Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton create ISIS?" (CNN).

Truest statement of the week II

Had I seen the image of Obama, weeping over American gun deaths, seven years ago, I know I would have been deeply moved. It would have reinforced my view of him then as an empathetic, bright, and progressive politician. And I did then, and do now, find America's violence -- all of it, not just the small fraction of it seen in street killings -- an appalling assault on the human spirit.
But the image comes seven years later, following a period of Obama’s proving himself an utterly cold and dry-eyed killer. Actually, apart from seven years packed with regular killing and support of others doing killing in at least half a dozen lands, he is reliably reported to have once said at a high-level meeting, without tears or the least change in demeanor, "I'm pretty good at killing."

-- John Chuckman, "Obama's Crocodile Tears" (COUNTERPUNCH).

A note to our readers

Hey --

A Sunday (we're surprised too!).

First, 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),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
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.

And what did we come up with?

Peter Bergen gets a truest.
John Chuckman gets his first truest.
They really can't, The Cult of St. Barack, offer anything meaningful to a conversation, can they?
Ava and C.I. examined Jennifer Lopez's new show.
Are they different?  Are they the same?  Do students benefit?
It's really shocking.
Lena Dunham can't deliver an audience on TV but she's going to motivate Iowa voters?
Bernie Sanders' continues to poll incredibly well.

Yes, we only have one more SOU speech from Barack to endure.
Radio broadcast not to miss.
What we listened to while writing.
VFW press release.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


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

Editorial: They're so damn pathetic

Having run away from the topic of Iraq in 2009 (in order to protect Barack Obama), so many lefties these days are just so damn pathetic.

This was again underscored when Saudi Arabia carried out a series of executions.

Michael D. Regan (THE NEWSHOUR, PBS) explained last week, "Saudi Arabia executed 47 people this week including leading Shia Cleric Nimr al-Nimr, who was accused of inciting violence and was often critical of Saudi’s royal family."

The execution of the Shi'ite cleric, and only his execution, led to protests in Iraq.

Matt Bradley and Ghassan Adnan's WALL ST. JOURNAL reported:

Shiite politicians and religious leaders urged their followers to take to the streets of Baghdad on Wednesday to protest Saudi Arabia’s execution of a dissident Shiite cleric as the prime minister appealed for calm amid a threat of fresh sectarian violence.

Outside of Iraq?

In the US, many segments of the left wanted to weigh in.

To oppose the death penalty?

No, not that.

They'd have to call out Iraq as well since the last years have seen Iraq in the top three repeatedly for countries carrying out the most executions.

So if they weren't upset about the death penalty, what were they upset about?

Really, they just wanted to attack the government of Saudi Arabia.

We're not defending that government.

We are saying that there were important issues at play that no one wanted to explore.

As usual, the worst offender was FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS.

In 2015, the outlet 'distinguished' itself by wishing for more bombings on Iraq.

As noted at THE COMMON ILLS, FPIF has already gotten off to a bad start in 2016:

The increasing useless FOREIGN POLICY IN FOCUS offers Giorgio Cafiero's "Saudi Arabia Executed a Nonviolent Shiite Cleric. It’s Going to Cost Them Big."  They don't seem to grasp what they're saying.

Words we use say a great deal.

So do words we choose not to use.

The execution -- which we'll again get to in a moment -- will "cost them big," Giorgio huffs and puffs like the bulls**t sexism offender that he and FPIF are.

Strange, isn't it, how you can search their archives and never find a single report on the Sunni women of Iraq being thrown in prison when they're charged with no crime (other than being related to someone the police couldn't round up) and then beaten and raped.

By its silence in real time and its silence since, FPIF made damn clear that beating and raping female prisoners came with no cost, that a government could carry these crimes out and not only get away with it but not even be called out for it.

Today sexist Giorgio is suddenly concerned because a cleric was executed.

(I oppose the death penalty.)

Today sexist Giorgio is outraged and insists the cleric was non-violent.

He bases that on hearsay.

But when Rasha al-Husseini, a politician's secretary, 'confessed' under what many bodies saw as torture (Human Rights Watch, here), FPIF said what?

Oh, that's right.

FPIF said not a damn thing.

It's a funny sort of concern.

The same 'concern' that led them to embrace Nouri al-Maliki and stay silent about his many crimes -- including torturing Iraqis (including torturing Iraqi journalists).

But today, today FPIF is suddenly concerned.

It would be touching if it were so ghastly and so whorish.


The one thing The Cult of St. Barack may have lost forever.

The Shia cleric al-Sarkhi al-Hasani: "Shias clerics have forgotten about the executions of Sunnies in "
Embedded image permalink

Not everyone has lost it.

Just those who whores their ethics and common sense to enshrine War Monger Barack.

TV: Who's tossing shade?

It's not that Jennifer Lopez can't make a mistake -- forget GIGLI, did you see that cringe inducing canary yellow outfit at tonight's Golden Globes.

So we're not saying she's infallible.


Her new show SHADES OF BLUE debuted on NBC last Thursday.

And we're not saying everyone has to love it.

But we are saying she appears to be this season's Ashley Judd.

In 2012, Ashley starred in the effective MISSING which was dog piled by 'critics' who focused on Ashley's face.

SHADES OF BLUE has been met with what they call 'mixed reviews.'

This means some positive, some negative.

And that can happen.

Every show is not for everyone.

But looking at 25 negative reviews, we were struck by something.

These 'critics' who just couldn't stand the genre . . . loved it when it starred a man.

Especially when it was a cable TV show that starred a man.

Sexism comes in all forms.

SHADES OF BLUE finds Lopez playing police detective Harlee Santos.  Santos works under Lt. Matt Wozniak (Ray Liotta) and he and his team -- including Santos are crooked cops, on the take.

FBI agent Robert Stahl shows up when Santos is set up in a sting.  The FBI uses Santos' teenage daughter Cristina (Sarah Jeffery) as leverage to force Harlee to become an informant.

Santos doesn't feel much guilt for extortion or being a crooked cop but she does feel remorse for betraying Wozniak and her team.

And she also feels fear.

Because no one plays crazy like Ray Liotta.

And Wozniak knows there's a rat on the team but thinks Harlee Santos is the one person he can trust and that she can help him smoke out the informer.

The series has various long running elements that should make for a satisfying ride.

Behind the scenes?

The executive producers of  SHADES OF BLUE include Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina -- the three are also producers of ABC Family's THE FOSTERS.  You don't go into a fourth season, as THE FOSTERS has, without knowing a thing or two.

And among the people the three team up with?

Barry Levinson.  The screenwriter and Academy Award winning director has a string of quality films including DINER, AND JUSTICE FOR ALL . . ., WAG THE DOG, BUGSY, BEST FRIENDS and especially TIN MEN.

Again, this is an involving show.

If it were on AMC or HBO and starred a man, some of the same critics slamming the series would apparently like it.

NBC has a tight drama -- melodrama actually -- and there's rooms for all sorts of twists and turns and flips.  SHADES OF BLUE is off to a strong start and is the best hour of television NBC's offered in the 2015 fall - 2016 spring season.

Jennifer Lopez may need to rethink her color scheme for business events, but she's delivering a first rate performance in SHADES OF BLUE and, as a producer, she's got a lot to be proud of as well.

Bernie and Hillary on student loan debt

Let's all get real.

Hillary Clinton's not going to do anything about gun control.

It's the latest issue she's planning to ride while there's public interest.

She's done that a great deal in 2015 and will continue to do so in 2016.

In 2015, she unveiled a 'plan' to end student loan debt.

It was more smoke and mirrors from a woman's whose entire life has been little else.

It did nothing to address the thousands of Americans buried under student loan debt -- a burial that accelerated under the presidency of Bill Clinton and continues to this day.

Those people are just to be written off as forgotten in Hillary's so-called plan (they can 're-finance' their loans, their wages can 'only' be garnished by 10% and, after 20 years of struggling to pay, their debt can go away).


Is Bernie Sanders' plan any better?

Here's the plan;

Here are the six steps that Bernie will take as President to make college debt free:

  2. This is not a radical idea. Last year, Germany eliminated tuition because they believed that charging students $1,300 per year was discouraging Germans from going to college. Next year, Chile will do the same. Finland, Norway, Sweden and many other countries around the world also offer free college to all of their citizens. If other countries can take this action, so can the United States of America.
    In fact, it’s what many of our colleges and universities used to do. The University of California system offered free tuition at its schools until the 1980s. In 1965, average tuition at a four-year public university was just $243 and many of the best colleges – including the City University of New York – did not charge any tuition at all. The Sanders plan would make tuition free at public colleges and universities throughout the country.
  4. Over the next decade, it has been estimated that the federal government will make a profit of over $110 billion on student loan programs. This is morally wrong and it is bad economics. As President, Sen. Sanders will prevent the federal government from profiteering on the backs of college students and use this money instead to significantly lower student loan interest rates.
  6. Under the Sanders plan, the formula for setting student loan interest rates would go back to where it was in 2006. If this plan were in effect today, interest rates on undergraduate loans would drop from 4.29% to just 2.37%.
  8. It makes no sense that you can get an auto loan today with an interest rate of 2.5%, but millions of college graduates are forced to pay interest rates of 5-7% or more for decades. Under the Sanders plan, Americans would be able to refinance their student loans at today’s low interest rates.
  10. The Sanders plan would require public colleges and universities to meet 100% of the financial needs of the lowest-income students. Low-income students would be able to use federal, state and college financial aid to cover room and board, books and living expenses. And Sanders would more than triple the federal work study program to build valuable career experience that will help them after they graduate.
  12. The cost of this $75 billion a year plan plan is fully paid for by imposing a tax of a fraction of a percent on Wall Street speculators who nearly destroyed the economy seven years ago. More than 1,000 economists have endorsed a tax on Wall Street speculation and today some 40 countries throughout the world have imposed a similar tax including Britain, Germany, France, Switzerland, and China. If the taxpayers of this country could bailout Wall Street in 2008, we can make public colleges and universities tuition free and debt free throughout the country.

It's a little better.

But not a great deal.

This site was started when five of us were in college (Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava) and our audience was mainly college readers.

The above doesn't really help our audience a great deal.

If you realize a wrong has taken place, why don't you right it?

Bernie declared last week that if a police officer breaks the law, he should be punished.

If it was wrong for the for-profit motive to enter into the loan program, how is just ending it, righting a wrong?

It's not.

The bankers were bailed out.

It's past time that the people were bailed out.

You can start with victims of student loans.

The proof is in the photo


It takes a special form of confidence for a grown man to display himself like that.

No Butterball turkeys were available (apparently)

Why else would War Monger Hillary Clinton be dispatching Lena Dunham to Iowa?



The tubby New Yorker is 'known' for GIRLS -- HBO's chronically low rated series (the 2015 season finale was watched by .67 million viewers -- you read that right, not even a million people tuned in for the train wreck).

Her heavily publicized 'book' underwhelmed as well -- reportedly it sold only 60,000 copies.  When you get a $3.7 million advance on a book, it really needs to sell.

But people won't watch her on TV and they won't fork over money to buy her book.

So who but hopelessly out of touch Cranky Clinton would see Lena Dunham as an asset?

Lena's bringing the ugly to Iowa.

As only she can.

Someone might want to ask her where she stands on the ongoing Iraq War.

Or did Judd Apatow not program her to answer that question?

Tweet of the week

Best news of the month

As the White House notes . . .


The final State of the Union address from Barack Obama.

May he quickly leave office and take all the whoring with him.

Carly Simon on Monday's Diane Rehm Show

Monday on THE DIANE REHM SHOW (NPR), Diane's guest star for the second hour will be singer-songwriter Carly Simon with the topic being her new book BOYS IN THE TREES.


The best selling memoir also topped "2015 in Books (Martha & Shirley)" -- the community's picks for best books of 2015.  And Carly's two-disc set SONGS IN THE TREES is a musical accompaniment to the book (and made Kat's "Kat's Korner: 2015 In Music").

This edition's playlist


1)  Janet Jackson's UNBREAKABLE.


VFW Announces Annual Publications Contest

The Veterans of Foreign Wars have announced their annual contest:

VFW Announces Annual Publications Contest

National deadline is April 1, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The VFW Publications Department announced today that it is accepting submissions for VFW’s 2016 National Publications Contest. Like last year, the VFW National Publications Contest will be judged within sub-categories based on publication frequency (one to four times per year and five or more times per year).

The four categories are:

  • Overall Design and Content of Newspaper
    (defined as being printed on newsprint)
  • Best Feature Story
    (all frequencies judged together in this category and submitted separately)
  • Magazine
    (defined by physical size and paper stock)

District/Post (combined):

  • Overall Design and Content 

Each category will be awarded three places: a grand award (first overall), silver (second overall) and bronze (third overall). The silver and bronze awards will take the form of a certificate suitable for framing.

Our awards system conforms to that of professional societies within the association publishing industry: National Mature Media Awards, Association Trends, Society of National Association Publications, Society of Professional Journalists and Communications Concepts. In other words, the same types of awards for which VFW magazine competes.

Please note that our Best Feature Story category is no longer retroactive. (That was a one-time introductory offer.) All stories submitted to this category must have been published sometime between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2015. The story must be a published article of at least 300 words. It can be originally written by your newspaper staff or by a freelance writer or be reprinted from a newspaper within your state.

Examples of eligible subjects include operations of state VA departments, National Guard/Reserve unit deployments overseas, troop-support activities, Department VFW programs, dedication of state memorials, state or local commemorative events for the 50th anniversary of Vietnam and editorials advocating positions on veteran issues within your state.

All national entries must place first in Department-level contests. One copy of each winning Post and District publication — as well as one issue of the Department newspaper and one copy of the Department’s selected “Best Feature Article” — must be mailed by Department adjutants, 

Department quartermasters or Department editors by APRIL 1, 2016, to:

Publications Contest
VFW magazine
406 W. 34th St., Suite 523
Kansas City, MO 64111

All issues and articles published between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2015, qualify.

Click here to download the contest entry form.

Download the updated judging sheets using the individual category links below:

Department Newsletter
Department Magazine

For questions or additional information, contact Kelly Gibson,


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.

"On those mosque bombings . . ." -- most requested highlight by readers of this site.

 "Idiot of the Week" and "For poser Barack and the bitches who worship him" -- Mike picks it and Ann agrees.

"Eric investigates Eric" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.


"The future of the internet" -- Betty ponders the internet.

"Where are the jobs?" -- Trina wonders where the jobs are?

"Response to the year in music," "Rickie Lee Jones" and "Tusk" -- Kat and Elaine cover music.

 "The Islamic State (Bergen weighs in)" -- Mike notes Iraq.

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