Monday, February 15, 2016

Truest statement of the week

"If it were me, I would have been out the door and probably in jail," said Flynn, who decried what he said was a "lack of accountability, frankly, in a person who should have been much more responsible in her actions as the secretary of state of the United States of America."

-- Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former Defense Intelligence Agency Chief, to Jake Tapper on CNN's THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER.

Truest statement of the week II

Hillary Clinton has an honesty problem.
That point is driven home hard in the exit poll following Clinton's 22-point drubbing at the hands of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. More than one in three (34 percent) of all New Hampshire Democratic primary voters said that honesty was the most important trait in their decision on which candidate to support. Of that bloc, Sanders won 92 percent of their votes as compared to just 6 percent for Clinton.
Ninety-two to six. That is absolutely unbelievable — even given the size of Sanders's overall victory in the state. And it should be deeply concerning to a Clinton campaign that has been resistant to acknowledging the idea that the ongoing controversy over Clinton's private email server while at the State Department is a problem for her.

--  Chris Cillizza, "Hillary Clinton Has A Major Honesty Problem After New Hampshire" (WASHINGTON POST).

A note to our readers

Hey --

A Monday.

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:

War Hawk Brad Sherman.
Ava and C.I. continue to chart the demise of Shonda and SCANDAL.
They both need a dresser.
Ava and C.I. take a look at who should be nominated (and who should win).  Next week, they'll do best supporting actress in a comedy series.
A Tweet most will enjoy.
A moment at the White House.
Press release from US Senator Johnny Isakson's office.
Press release from US House Rep Jeff Miller's office.
IAVA repost.


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

Editorial: Congress has a plan for Mosul


Or at least US House Rep. Brad Sherman does.

Mosul was seized by the Islamic State in June 2014.

The Iraqi government has been unable/unwilling to liberate it.

So all this time later, Mosul remains in the hands of the Islamic State.

But rest assured, Brad Sherman is on the job.

Last Wednesday, during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Sherman felt the need to pontificate to Barack Obama's Special Envoy Brett McGurk.



Brad's bothered, you understand, by the electricity.

Why, he wanted to know, was the Iraqi government supplying civilians in Mosul with electricity?

Brad would just cut it off.

They've been occupied for almost two years.

Could be for two more years more as far as anyone knows.

But it don't bother Brad.

He also didn't understand why more bombs were not being dropped by the US and why, specifically, Mosul wasn't being bombed.

"Civilians!" the world collectively screams back.

Oh, Brad didn't forget about them.

He just doesn't give a damn about them.

Why when France was occupied, he insisted, the allies killed at least 90,000 civilians while they bombed.

Brad Sherman is deeply disturbed.

TV: Shonda Wasteland

Last Thursday, SCANDAL finally returned to ABC with new episodes and the big question: Why?


"It's Hard Out Here for a General" managed to do something no one would have expected: Get the lowest rating for an episode since season two when the show was still emerging.

It's no longer debatable: SCANDAL has faded.

It started last season but no one wanted to address that reality -- certainly not ABC which was hoping to serve up another Shonda series.

Like CBS' THE GOOD WIFE, SCANDAL has simply run out of stories.

It has jumped and re-jumped the shark so many times that the characters no longer have any consistency and are largely unrecognizable to the audience that once like them.

At the start, SCANDAL was about fixer Oliva Pope (Kerry Washington) and her team of gladiators/white hats (Huck, Abby, Quinn, Harrison and Stephen) who solved problems when Olivia wasn't being romanced by President Fitzgerald "Fitz" Grant much to the dismay of First Lady Mellie Grant.

Oh, how things change.

The original gladiators are now reduced to Huck and Quinn.

And the president?

He's now divorced.

He left Mellie for Olivia.

He finally left Mellie for Olivia.

After she told the world that they were having an affair.

And then?

She didn't want him.

Or, as viewers learned in the November 18, 2015 winter finale, his baby.

For some time now, fans have been asking, "What does Olivia want?"
The chorus just keeps growing louder.

And finding Olivia back in bed with Jake last Thursday probably didn't help.

Nor did Jake killing the boyfriend of Olivia's latest client or being back in business with her father or they're asking/expecting Olivia to keep their secret.

As this nonsense continues and Olivia looks like the most indecisive fool in the world, it becomes very clear that Shonda Rhimes does not know what she's doing from one episode to the next.

She's also not too concerned with pleasing the viewers.

Olivia could have had an abortion in a way that moved the fans.

There might have been a problem with her health or the health of the fetus.

Instead, Shonda wanted to be 'political' and do a story about how a woman could just decide to have an abortion.

And, yes, a woman can.

But when that woman's the object of a million fantasies as part of a super couple (Olivia & Fitz), lots of lucks getting viewers to go along with the decision.

The contempt for the viewers?

They sense it.

That's why they've increasingly stopped watching.

Last week, Chris Rock had a lame commercial where he said the Academy Awards were the only thing Shonda Rhimes didn't control . . . yet.

Shonda's moment has come and gone.

She's is yesterday's flavor, as wanted as the avocado green kitchen appliances from the seventies.

Fashion backfires

He may be the President of the United States, but Monday the 15th at Rancho Mirage, presiding over the US - ASEAN Summit, Barack Obama was all island tropic.



For a summit?

For a US president?


And then the one driven to be president . . .

Hillary Diane Clinton.

In yellow, bright yellow.

Did that canary die in the coal mine?


Is this her idea of business professional?

Who the hell would wear that to a professional debate?

Hey, Hillary, the Gordon Fisherman called, he wants his slicker back.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Ava and C.I.)

We've avoided doing a yearly piece on who should get what award, blah, blah, blah.

But with the emphasis on the Academy Awards (after the fact), we think some time needs to be focused on the Emmys.

1) Patricia Heaton

The two-time Emmy winner has never been nominated for her work on THE MIDDLE.  Seven nominations in her career and not one for her long running comedy hit?  As we noted some time ago, she more than deserves a nomination, she's doing her best work ever.  We will never agree with Patricia's politics but this award is supposed to be for acting and she's more than earned a nomination.

2) America Ferrera

Proving UGLY BETTY wasn't a fluke, America's back in SUPERSTORE.  Back and delightful in the sitcom.

3) Anna Farris

Playing the lead in MOM is no easy feat.  The show can get very intense and then hilarity can come out of that.  This is not cookie-cutter comedy.  And Farris is outstanding.

4) Lily Tomlin/Jane Fonda

Let's be real, it's going to be hard for both women to be nominated.  They both deserve it but The Emmys are so horny for HBO, they seldom note the worthy elsewhere.  Lily was nominated last go round and would have been a worthy winner.  Jane was good in season one but, in season two, she's not coming to play, she's bringing it.  Either actress is a solid nominee.

5) Tracee Ellis Ross

How did they manage to rob her of the Emmy last year?

Who knows, but they did.

And the winner is . . .


Tracee Ellis Ross for BLACKISH.

Remember we were talking about the snobbery involved in chasing after HBO?  It's that snobbery that allowed Tracee to carry UPN's GIRLFRIENDS for eight seasons but, since the show aired on UPN, the Emmys never felt the need to even nominate her.

Now her (critically acclaimed) series airs on ABC.

And she damn well deserves the Emmy.

Who doesn't?

Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

No way in the world did one actress deserve the award four years running.

Tweet of the week

  • Everyone's saying 's concession speech was great. Can't wait to hear the one when she concedes the nomination.

  • Barack takes a private moment in the Oval


    His thong riding up his ass, Barack takes a moment in the Oval Office to pick it out of his ass crack.

    Isakson Statement on Proposed VA Budget


    Senator Johnny Isakson (above) is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  His office issued the following Monday:

    Monday, February 9, 2016
    Contact: Amanda Maddox, 202-224-7777
    Lauren Gaydos, 202-224-9126

    Chairman Miller Statement on the President’s VA Budget Request


    US House Rep Jeff Miller (above) is the Chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.  His office issued the following statement last week:

    Chairman Miller Statement on the President’s VA Budget Request

    Feb 9, 2016

    WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today Chairman Miller released the below statement regarding President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 VA Budget request.

    "Over the past year, VA has repeatedly failed to keep its financial house in order. In Denver, a botched construction project is more than $1 billion over budget. The department has routinely wasted millions on lavish art projects, exorbitant relocation benefits and bonuses for failing employees. And last July, VA threatened to shut down hospitals within weeks due to an unforeseen budget shortfall, forcing Congress to give the department access to an additional $3 billion. In classic VA fashion, not a single employee has been held accountable for these monumental failures. I will fight to ensure VA has the resources it needs, but given the complete lack of accountability for the department’s string of past financial failures, this budget request will receive every bit of the scrutiny it is due. It’s the very least we can do for American taxpayers and veterans.” - Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs

    The Unfinished VA Hospital That's More Than $1 Billion Over Budget
    June 9, 2015

    VA spent $6.3 million on sculptures and fountains for their hospitals. Should they have?
    The Washington Post
    October 9, 2015

    Veterans Affairs pays $142 million in bonuses amid scandals
    USA Today
    November 11, 2015

    VA Lacks Authority to Force Executives to Return $400K Netted in Scam
    Stars and Stripes
    Nov. 25, 2015

    VA says it will start closing hospitals in weeks if Congress doesn’t help plug its budget hole
    The Washington Post
    July 17, 2015

    Post-9/11 Vets: One Year Beyond Clay Hunt SAV Act, More Work to be Done

     Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America issued the following last Friday:

    Tel: 212-982-9699

    IAVA calls on Washington to fully implement robust suicide prevention measures

    NEW YORK (February 12, 2016) – On the one year anniversary of the signing into law the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) today applauds the progress made by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) but calls for all sections of the bill to be fully implemented. IAVA led the effort to pass the historic veteran suicide prevention legislation named after Marine veteran Clay Hunt who died by suicide in March 2011.

    “IAVA worked across party lines for 18 months to get this bill to the president’s desk, and we will not stop fighting until every portion of this bill is implemented,” said IAVA Founder and CEO Paul Rieckhoff. “It has been one year and we’ve seen a lot of improvements, but far too many of our brothers and sisters are still taking their own lives. While we are encouraged by the progress in data collection, community outreach, collaboration between VA and nonprofits, expanded eligibility and increased community outreach, there is still much work to be done.”

    The anniversary comes at a time when renewed national attention is being paid to veterans mental health care. Tuesday, the House passed the Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act (H.R. 2915), which would require the VA to include specific metrics on women veterans in its annual evaluation of mental health and suicide prevention programs, identify the programs that are most effective and carry the highest satisfaction rates among female veterans. A study released last summer found that women who have served in the military die by suicide at nearly six times the rate of those in the civilian population, adding to the growing urgency of the SAV Act implementation.

    The past year has seen a more resolute national focus on veteran suicide prevention and an inclusive process of planning to thoughtfully implement the SAV Act. Over the past year the VA has made strides towards the implementation of key measures of the act, including:

    • Expanding eligibility for those discharged or released from active duty who did not previously enroll to receive mental health care. This has resulted in nearly 1,000 new enrollments in the VA mental health care since the eligibility extension went into effect in February 2015.
    • Creating incentives for mental health practitioners to join VA staff through the Psychiatrists Loan Repayment Pilot program, expected to go into effect in early 2016.
      Developing a comprehensive mental health portal to streamline access to care and prioritize mental health care;
    • Bringing together over 150 non-federal key stakeholders and partner organizations to enhance the nation’s work of suicide prevention and enable organizations to work in better coalition with one another.

    Since IAVA’s Campaign to Combat Suicide launched in the spring of 2014, more veterans are seeking help to address their mental health challenges. Over the past year IAVA’s Rapid Response Referral Program (RRRP) program has seen a 39 percent increase in the number of clients approaching the organization for support with mental health care. IAVA continues to call for the key components of the act to be fully implemented in order to better serve every veteran seeking mental health assistance.

    “Veteran suicide is a complicated issue that requires every resource available to support those who are in a difficult place,” added Rieckhoff. “The veteran community should feel pride in knowing that their hard work is beginning to payoff. This is just the beginning of a long fight against veteran suicide and IAVA will continue to work with Congress and VA as we move forward in implementing this historic law.”

    IAVA has urged the chairs of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees to hold oversight hearings on VA’s implementation of the SAV Act.

    Note to media: Email or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.

    Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. As a non-profit founded in 2004, IAVA’s mission is to connect, unite and empower post-9/11 veterans. Celebrating its 11th year anniversary, IAVA has connected more than 1.2 million veterans with resources and community, and provided more than 5,800 veterans with personalized support from IAVA’s Master’s level social workers.
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