Monday, February 22, 2016

Truest statement of the week

Amidst the endless media commentary, debates and stump speeches by the major candidates for US president, there is virtually no discussion of the active preparations of the ruling class for an immense escalation of war following the elections in November.

-- Joseph Kishore, "War and the 2016 US elections" (WSWS).

Truest statement of the week II

There is no leftist among the Democrats. Neither one is in sync with the true political leanings of black America. When all is said and done, whether Sanders was at a particular march with King or didn’t meet John Lewis or is or isn’t liked by Ta-Nehisi Coates is immaterial. The whole effort is immaterial and it is time for black people to do serious soul searching and reject the entire phony project. Or we can sit and wait for Al Sharpton to make his move when he thinks he sees the next president.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Black Politics and Bernie Sanders" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

A Monday, but a very early Monday.  One a.m. here in California.

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:

Joseph Kishore gets a truest.
Margaret Kimberley gets another truest. 
THE NATION magazine just gets more and more disappointing.

Ava and C.I. cover 11.22.63, LOVE and FULLER HOUSE, James Franco, Tuesday Weld, Valerie Perrine, sitcoms, streaming and so much more.

We look at the decade by noting some of its finest lyrics.

They told us Donald was finished last week.  Oops, they were wrong.
Ava and C.I. continue their efforts to ensure that worthy individuals get a fair shot at the Emmy.
Oh, Barack.  Another one?
What we listened to while writing.
David Swanson's radio show.
Repost from Senator Isakson's office.

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


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

Editorial: That disgraceful NATION magazine

THE NATION magazine once promised -- in an editorial that began on the front page of the magazine -- that they would not support any candidate who had voted for the Iraq War.

That was then.

A Republican was in the White House.

A Republican could be blamed for the Iraq War.

The myth, back then, was that only Republicans were neocons.

What is Hillary Clinton but a neocon?

She has neocons advising her and did when she was Secretary of State.

The truth was always more complicated than THE NATION wanted to portray it.

They regularly ditched articles that got too close to the truth.

For example, Naomi Klein could go after James Baker for profiting from the Iraq War but they had her downplay Madeline Albright doing the same.

Baker was a Republican.

Albright a Democrat.

And there's the way the magazine covered for Democrat Dianne Feinstein.

As we noted in a November 25, 2007 article:

On February 25th, Katrina vanden Heuvel -- editor, publisher and destroyer of The Nation magazine -- offered up "Suppressing News: Deja Vu" to celebrate how brave the magazine was during the early 60s. It's easy to wax poetic of the past. Under her reign?
Project Censored 2008 is out and features their "Top 25 Censored Stories of 2008" -- the top censored stories is an annual feature. Story number 23 is Peter Byrne's expose on US Senator Dianne Feinstein who has "voted for appropriations woth billions of dollars to her husband's firms." We've noted that here before, we've noted that The Nation magazine funded the investigation and we've noted that they refused to pay for it. What's new is Peter Byrne's update where he notes that Joe Conason ("from The Nation Institute") wanted The Nation's name removed from the funding credit "because, he said, Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation's editor and publisher, did not want the magazine or its non-profit institute to be postively associated with [Rush] Limbaugh. . . . The back story to that encounter is that, in October, vanden Heuvel had abruptly killed the Feinstein story, which had been scheduled to run as a cover feature before the November 2006 election in which Feinstein was up for reelection."

Katrina vanden Heuvel has destroyed the magazine.

If you doubted it, proof came last week.

From the February 20th "Iraq snapshot:"

In other destruction, this crap:

But the fact remains that whoever’s elected this year is nearly guaranteed to inherit the war on ISIS that President Obama launched back in 2014. He or she will be the fifth consecutive US president to preside over some variety of military intervention in Iraq—a dour chapter that’s already continued for at least 25 years, dating back to the Gulf War. (And that’s not even counting the US role in the bloody Iran-Iraq war before that.)
The good news is that Sanders sent some promising signals about his judgment on the last US invasion before it was even launched—in fact, probably even more so than he’s usually credited for. But the bad news is that his statements on the latest iteration of the conflict have been all over the map. In his bumbling calls for a “Muslim coalition” to stop ISIS, he’s shown none of the acumen that so distinguished him over 13 years ago.
Without a plan to resolve the ISIS war responsibly, the US war in Iraq could reverberate through yet another generation. If Sanders is elected, that’ll be a grim asterisk to his “political revolution” indeed.  

If that garbage appeared at a military think tank, no one would be surprised.

Instead, it's from jizz in his pants Petey Certo and it's published by THE NATION.

That's what happens when Democrats are in charge of the White House (war), THE NATION goes all wobbly and loses any strong voice at all.

The 'responsibly' is a lie.

It's the lie that continues war every damn time, even when everyone knows it's time to end it, the 'responsibly' qualifier keeps it going.

If you're my husband and you're beating the crap out of me?

I'm going to end that marriage.


No, immediately.

By the same token, there is no 'win' here.

There is nothing but more destruction.

But THE NATION is a cathouse, a bordello of whores and FPIF is a joke.

Does Phyllis Bennis really find pride being associated with what is now a war mongering outlet that let's just sprouted pubes boys pretend that they have any perspective to offer?

Petey's a little idiot who pulls his pud to Barack Obama and thinks that makes him special or smart.

He's just one more whorish idiot arguing for the continuation of war.

We all suffer when liars claim a crime can be ended "responsibly."

We all suffer as the crime continues while these liars look for their way out -- their 'responsible' way out.

We all suffer.


And we all suffer when the best THE NATION magazine can call for is more years of war.

Make no mistake, their bulls**t call for a "responsible" end to this ongoing crime is a call for extended war.

TV: HULU scores another win (and so does NETFLIX)

How does this end for James Franco?

He's diversified his roles and projects in a way that few ever do.

In the process, some argue that he's diluted his star power.


Maybe not.


Tuesday Weld chose art over box office and though she has no Academy Award or film franchise, she does have a reputation that earns respect and is considered a real actor.

Valerie Perrine is the same age as Tuesday and, like Tuesday, has an Academy Award nomination.

But that's all Valerie has.

She never diversified.

She was the blonde bimbo in SUPERMAN, in SUPERMAN II, in THE ELECTRIC HORSEMAN, in THE BORDER . . .

If she's remembered for anything, it will probably be for performing the female lead in the cult classic CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC.

Valerie was talented in every role.

She never embarrassed herself and usually came across (even in small roles such as with MAID TO ORDER).

If Tuesday had just stuck to roles like the one she played in Bob Hope's I'LL TAKE SWEDEN, she might be in the same boat.


She creates roles that defy logic and scripts, people who come to life on the screen and seem completely real.

In the seventies, there weren't a lot of great roles for women.

If it was a musical role, Barbra Streisand had first rights; if it was comedy, Goldie Hawn had first rights; if it was melodrama, Diana Ross was the go to.

When film makers finally decided they were interested in women, the roles tended to go to Jane Fonda and Shirley MacLaine.

Valerie frequently took the best roles available in commercial films during this period.

Tuesday Weld took the roles in questionable films if she thought the role would let her really explore.

So, yes, there's a good chance that in ten years Baby Franco might not be offered the lead roles in whatever a studio hopes will be their summer blockbuster.

But there's always that chance.

And so better Franco should use the time now to explore his craft.

That's what he's doing in Hulu's new 11.22.63.

The mini-series is based on Stephen King's book of the same name.   J.J. Abrams stepped in as show runner after the original one (Jonathan Demme) had some loud and bitter fights with King about the direction of the project.  (Demme wanted to use the book as a jumping off point while King felt the point of turning the book into a mini-series was to utilize the book.)

Franco is a teacher, Jake Epping.  He loves creative writing.

But life itself goes creative when he notices, in basically the blink of an eye, his friend Al (Chris Cooper) goes from healthy to deathly ill.

What happened?

Go into the closet, he's told.

Al tells him to walk to the back of the closet, that it will make more sense that way.

So Jake walks through the darkened closet until he suddenly emerges outside in daylight in the year 1960.

Al's been using the closet in an attempt to go back and alter time and events to prevent the assassination of JFK.

He wants Jake to continue the effort.

HULU earns high praise for this mini-series.  It's a must-watch, their second one they can boast of.

Their other strong effort is the sitcom DIFFICULT PEOPLE.

Sitcom is a hard thing to do.

Especially for HULU and NETFLIX.

GRACE & FRANKIE succeeds but NETFLIX's other offering, LOVE, falls flat.

It's just not funny.

It, at times, approaches pithy and at other times manages to embrace whimsy.

But funny escapes it over and over.

And that brings up a problem that both HULU and NETFLIX have been having: Single-camera sitcoms.

The most popular sitcom on HULU is . . . SEINFELD -- taped before a live studio audience.  The most popular sitcoms on NETFLIX?  FRIENDS and EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND -- both taped before a live studio audience.  The most popular sitcom on broadcast TV?  THE BIG BANG THEORY -- taped before a live studio audience.

Jane Fonda is wonderful in GRACE & FRANKIE but, let's be honest, her performance would have more of an edge if she were performing in a front of a live audience.  There's a comfort level in her performance that would fly out the window if they weren't shooting each episode piecemeil.

Lily Tomlin can be hilarious either way -- studio audience or without.

That's because her process is workshop.

She's always done workshop, she's always played with this element or that element, before audiences and alone, honing the role.

Lily got the Emmy nomination for the first season of the series and deserved it.

Jane deserved to be nominated as well.

And the only criticism we have of her performance is that a studio audience would add an edge to her performance that is so far missing.

When we've noted the need for HULU and NETFLIX to either offer sitcoms filmed before a live audience or stick to dramas, industry friends have insisted that the two streaming services can't afford it.  We have no idea where that nonsense comes from.

It can be done and it should be done.

And good for NETFLIX, it is being done.

February 26th, NETFLIX debuts FULLER HOUSE.

For those arriving late, ABC aired new episodes of FULL HOUSE from 1987 to 1995.  The show revolved around a dad and his brother-in-law and his friend raising the dad's daughters.  This was not Chekov nor was it Neil Simon.

But it was a family show that appealed to many and offered some laughs.

FULLER HOUSE finds D.J. (the oldest of the daughters on FULL HOUSE, played by Candace Cameron Bure) now a single parent and her sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and her friend Kimmy (Andrea Barber) join her to help raise D.J.'s kids.

We expected the show to be a huge embarrassment.

When we were offered four episodes to view, we were frank that we probably would ignore the show.  We'd watch the episodes but we didn't think we'd have anything nice to say about it and we'd probably ignore it.

But the show is actually funny.

The three leads are wonderful and the writing is quality writing for a family show.

In addition, the regulars from the original series who drop by are all welcome additions -- Lori Loughlin and John Stamos are especially strong and welcome guest stars.

A family sitcom has a whole set of rules and guidelines it has to follow.

It can't be 'edgy,' the way some hipsters demand because it's attempting to appeal to multiple generations.

It's can't be dull or it ends up easily forgotten like THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S FATHER (remembered today, if at all, for the show's theme song).

We anticipate that the show will be trashed.

First of all, you have three female leads and, if you haven't noticed, The Water Cooler Set really loves to bash women -- Ashley Judd, Whitney Cummings, Jennifer Lopez, etc.

Second off, it's a family sitcom which won't provide the snickers hipsters feel a comedy must have.

But it's a strong show and it's going to appeal to many people -- including original fans of FULL HOUSE.

HULU needs more original shows -- especially for the summer which, as we've noted for years, finds HULU with little new programming to offer (since the networks produce so few new shows during the summer).

11.22.63 is a strong offering which should earn praise for them.  FULLER HOUSE probably won't please The Water Cooler Set but it's a brave step for the streaming service and it's one that's probably going to deliver strong numbers.

We started out wondering how this all ends for James Franco but we end up wondering what it means for the future of these new 'networks' (streaming services)?

Stephen King is a major talent.  James Franco is a major talent.  J.J. Abrams is a major talent.  That HULU got them is big news in and of itself.  That 11.22.63 is actually entertaining is news as well. While that offers an indication of where streaming services can go, we'd argue that NETFLIX's FULLER HOUSE is just as important to the future of streaming services.

The 00s in lyrics

a radio

In this feature, we're saluting some of the best songs of the '00s.  Looking back on the decade, we came up with 30 songs worthy of note.  We argued over each and everyone that made the final cut and over many more that didn't.  If you'd like to weigh in, our e-mail address is

Here are our picks, and this is not in any particular order.

You think I'd leave your side baby
You know me better than that
You think I'd leave you down when you're down on your knees
I wouldn't do that
I'll tell you you're right when you want
And if only you could see into me
Ha ah ah ah ah ah
--  Sade Adu, Andrew Hale, Stuart Matthewman, Paul Spencer Denman, Sade's "By Your Side"

Sometimes I love ya
Sometimes you make me blue
Sometimes I feel good
At times I feel used
Lovin you darlin'
Makes me so confused
-- Alicia Keys, "Fallin'"

Because we separate
Like ripples on a blank shore
In rainbows
Because we separate
The ripples on a black shore
-- Radiohead, "Reckoner"

The world awakens on the run
And will soon be earning
With hopes of better days to come
It's a morning yearning
-- Ben Harper, "Morning Yearning"

I've laid it out on paper
Instructions of what to do
As my mind begins to waver
Losing contact with you
Now it all begins
Or continues to
Spiral down
Spiral down
-- Michael Timmins, Cowboy Junkies' "Spiral Down"

Strong and wrong you win--
Only because
That's the way its always been.
Men love war!
That's what history' s for.
A mass--murder mystery...
His story
-- Joni Mitchell, "Strong and Wrong"

Don't shoot me Santa Claus
I've been a clean living boy
I promise you
Did every little thing you asked me to
I can't believe the things I'm going through
-- Brandon Flowers, The Killers' "Don't Shoot Me Santa"

Say a little prayer till they all get home
Say a little prayer till they all get home
I knew when we woke up
You would be leaving
You knew when you left me
It might be too long
That kiss on your shoulder
It's me looking over
Close to your heart
So you're never alone
Say a little prayer till they all get home
Say a little prayer till they all get home
-- Melanie (Safka), "Till They All Get Home,"

There was a time when love wasn't chosen
now I'm just open for more
now I'm just reaching out for something better
that I had before, girl
there ain't a bottom line in your world
-- Maxwell, "Lifetime"

A grey day in February
Some flecks of white, but mostly brown
The world has tilted but
The world has expanded
And the world has turned
My world upside down
-- Carly Simon, "Scar"

I don't care for fancy things
Or to take part in the freshest wave
But to provide for mine who ask
I will with heart on my father's grave
-- Animal Collective, "My Girls"

I was just thinking about you
Wondering if you wear the same cologne
Smelled good
On you
Had the next boyfriend of mine try the same kind
But it stunk on him though.
You know what they say everything ain't for everybody.
But I tried anyway.
You sure did smell good.
-- Jill Scott, Darren Henson, Keith Pelzer, "Cross My Mind"

I heard about the trip.
I heard about your souvenirs.
I heard about the cool breeze in the cool nights
And the cool guys
That you spent them with.
I guess I should have heard of them from you
I guess I should have heard of them from you
-- Chris Carrabba, Dashboard Confessional's "The Places You Have Come To Fear The Most"

So, like a ghost in the snow
I'm getting ready to go
'Cause baby, that's all I know -
How to open the door
And though the exit is crude
It saves me coming unglued
For when you're not in the mood
For the gloves and the canvas floor
-- Aimee Mann, "That's How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart"

I just want a ticket outta town
A look around
And a safe touch down
Window seat
-- Erykah Badu and James Poyser, "Window Seat"

I attack with love, pure bug beauty
I curl my lips and crawl up to you
I attack with love, pure bug beauty
I curl my lips and crawl up to you
-- Jeff Tweedy, Wilco's "Company In My Back"

I fell like water
In sweet gasps of hydrogen up
Into the sea over the Bikini Islands
And I dove into the liquid concrete of sweet silver lake
The liquid concrete of down by the river
And nobody knew my name
-- Rickie Lee Jones, "Nobody Knows My Name"

living these days is making me nervous
archaic doctrine no longer serve us
now we're left as silent witnesses
we don't know quite what this is
other than a war that can't be won
-- Ben Harper, "Both Sides of the Gun"

All my girls at the party
Look at that body
Shakin' that thing like you never did see
Got a nice package alright
Guess I'm gonna have to ride it tonight
-- Janet Jackson, James Harris III, Terry Lewis, David Romani, Wayne Garfield, Mauro Malavasi, "All For You"

Then you drive all night
Sayin' what use is the night
When you can't sleep anyway
You might be tired
But the fact of the matter is
You're standing right in front of my face
You saved me
Saved me from hate
It's so close to love
No one's ever done anything like this
For me before
No one's ever drove for miles
To make me smile before
-- Joss Stone and Francis White, "Drive All Night"

While music pumps from passing cars
A couple watch me from a bar
A band just played the wedding march
And the corner store mends broken hearts
And a woman asks me for a dance
Oh it's free of charge, just one more chance
-- Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the Rolling Stones' "Streets Of Love"

we're just
in this country you know
so we go along and we said
we'd fake it
feel better with
oliver stone
till i
almost smacked him -
seemed right that night and
i don't know what
takes hold
out there in the
desert cold
these guys think they must
try and just get over on us
-- Tori Amos, "A Sorta Fairytale"

He said Oh I'm going to buy a gun and start a war
If you can tell me something worth fighting for
Oh and I'm going to buy this place, that's what I said
Blame it upon a rush of blood to the head
-- Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Chris Martin, Coldplay's "A Rush Of Blood To The Head"

Baby, I'm amazed
at how long I still believed
How many lies it takes
before someone like me sees
All the tears you cry
never can deny
that you make love a lie
All the tears you cry
they never can deny
that you make love a lie
-- Janis Ian, "All Those Promises"

Don't wanna hear about it
Every single one's got a story to tell
Everyone knows about it
From the Queen of England to the hounds of hell
And if I catch it comin' back my way
I'm gonna serve it to you
And that ain't what you want to hear
But that's what I'll do
-- Jack White, The White Stripes "Seven Nation Army"

It's only gonna be about a matter of time
Before you get loose and start loose your mind
Cop you a drink, go head and rock your ice
Cause we celebrating No More Drama in our life
With a great track pumpin', everybody's jumpin'
Goin ahead and twist your back and get your body bumpin'
I told you leave your situations at the door
So grab somebody and get your ass on the dance floor
-- Mary J. Blige, Andre Young, Bruce Miller, Camara Kambon, Michael Elizondo, "Family Affair"

Peter said to Paul you know all those words we wrote
Are just the rules of the game and the rules are the first to go
But now talking to God is Laurel begging Hardy for a gun
I got a girl in the war man I wonder what it is we done
-- Josh Ritter, "Girl In The War"

One, two, three!
My baby don't mess around
Cause she loves me so
This I know fo sho!
-- Andre 3000, Outkast's "Hey Ya!"

All the details of your mind you would tell me through the night
After we'd made love and the way was so open
Now you turn your back to me
As if we'd never spoken
But I still love you more than the first sunset
I swear I caught a shooting star the first time we met
So how could you ever
I know that I'll never
How could you ever, ever forget?
-- Carly Simon and David Saw, "How Could You Ever Forget"

And when the dawn breaks I see my fellow man
And on the flat-screen we kill and we're killed again
And when the night falls, I pray for peace
Try to remember peace (visualize)
I join the multitudes
I raise my hand in peace
I never bow to the laws of the thought police
I take a holy vow
To never kill again
To never kill again
-- Neil Young, "Living With War"

Trump trumps?


Anthony Salvanot, Fred Backus, Jennifer DePinto and Sarah Dutton (CBS NEWS) report:

Donald Trump (35 percent) continues to hold a commanding lead over the rest of the field, with a 17 point lead over his closest rival, Texas Senator Ted Cruz (18 percent). John Kasich (11 percent) has now risen to a virtual third-place tie with Marco Rubio (12 percent). Trump leads among nearly every demographic group.
More than half of Republican voters say they may still change their minds about who to support, but two thirds of Trump voters say their minds are made up.

And, of course, he won the Republican primary Saturday in Nevada.

B-b-but the bloggies were telling us all last week that Trump was going down because his claims of original opposition to the Iraq War was revealed to be untrue or, at best, complicated.

Well, as usual, they were talking out of their asses.

The reality is that people saw it many ways.

One group of people, who weren't against the Iraq war until 2005 and 2006 (when most of the country turned against it) saw the moves as gotcha! moves and felt that they, like Trump, were under attack.

Another group of people saw it as memory being shaky and they have their own issues with memory.

Still more people felt Trump was being attacked for calling out the war right now.

This is a complicated issue.

And the bloggies missed it as usual because their heads were up their asses.

For what was actually going on, see "On Trump, Iraq, and opposing the illegal war (ille..." and "The lack of enthusiasm around the release/rescue o...."

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

This is an Emmy award for comedy.  An award for a woman playing a supporting role, a comedic role.

So Kate Mulgrew, find your sorry ass another category.

You're not funny.

Your character isn't funny.

You can't compete in the drama category so you think you can sneak over to comedy and grab a spot.

Not when we're calling the shots.

Julie Bowen.

You've won two times already.

For playing the same role.

You've not unearthed any new layers to your one note character.

So you really should consider yourself done.

People need to earn these nominations.

Sofia Vergara (MODERN FAMILY)

Sofia's never won.  She's been nominated many times. Her character Gloria?  She has changed over the course of the series and Sofia has repeatedly altered her performance.


Leslie Jones is a constant laugh getter in SNL skits.  She's not given as much variety in the characters she's allowed to play but she makes every character convincing.

Zoe Lister-Jones (LIFE IN PIECES)

Any life in this sub-standard sitcom comes from Zoe Lister-Jones who flings lines in one direction and her body in another while hitting one zany comic high note after another.

Jenifer Lewis (BLACKISH)

As Dre's overly devoted mother and Bow's antagonist, Jenifer fills a number of roles in each plot while still managing to deliver one manic laugh after another.

Chelsea Peretti (BROOKLYN 99)

Gina clearly does not belong in a squad room but Chelsea's performance is so wonderful, you keep praying no one notices.

And the winner is . . .


Sofia Vergara (tie) and Jenifer Lewis


A tie would allow two worthy actresses to both win and end our endless deliberation over which of the two deserved it most.

With attention to the lack of African-Americans nominated for acting Academy Awards this year, we're doing a series noting the lack of diversity for the Emmys.  In terms of African-Americans, only Isabel Sanford (THE JEFFERSONS) has won a Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy (and only won once) and only Jackee has won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy (and only won once).  In the meantime, hagged out no-talents like Cynthia Nixon have won Comedy Emmys despite the fact that all they can really offer is watered down drama portrayals.  Our previous effort was "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Ava and C.I.)."

Another national security failure

Last week,  Mariano Castillo (CNN) reported:

Iraqi and international officials said Thursday that radioactive material was stolen from a contractor working for an oil services company in Basra Province back in November.
The missing material was reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency in November, but the investigation continues into its whereabouts.

How does it go missing?

Yes, it's finally been found.

Jennifer Deutschmann (INQUISITR) reports:

Officials in Iraq have confirmed that missing radioactive material was found intact near a Zubayr gas station. In November, 2015, the material was reported stolen from a secured bunker near Basra Province. The theft was specifically disturbing, as officials were concerned it was stolen by a terrorist organization. 

And Mariano Castillo and Mohammed Tawfeeq (CNN) report:

That's what Iraq's deputy health minister, Dr. Jassim al-Falahi, told CNN on Sunday: "Thank God."
    Al-Falahi's sigh of relief was over the discovery of some potentially deadly radioactive material that had been missing for months.
    "We found the missing radioactive material inside its case with no damages," he said.

    We share the relief.

    But we also wonder how it happened?

    How it was allowed to be missing for months?

    Repeatedly, US President Barack Obama insists we in the US are at risk from the Islamic State.

    We must bomb Iraq, Syria and Libya as a result.

    But when radioactive material went missing -- back in November -- in Iraq and was assumed to have fallen into the 'wrong hands,' there was no effort made to discover where it was.

    Sounds like, yet again, Barack Obama has failed on national security.

    This edition's playlist



    2) Ben and Ellen Harper's CHILDHOOD HOME.

    3) Diana Ross' THE BOSS.

    4) Janis Ian's FOLK IS THE NEW BLACK.

    5) Hanni El Khatib's HEAD IN THE DIRT.

    6) Carly Simon's THE BEDROOM TAPES.


    8)  The Mamas and the Papas' THE PAPAS & THE MAMAS.

    9)  Prince's ART OFFICIAL AGE.

    10) Ben Harper's BOTH SIDES OF THE GUN.

    Dahlia Wasfi talks Iraq with David Swanson

    The following is from David Swanson:

    Talk Nation Radio: Dahlia Wasfi on the Past Quarter Century of U.S. Bombing of Iraq
    Dahlia Wasfi is an Iraqi-American justice activist who has written and spoken extensively on U.S. policy in the region of Iraq. She is currently writing a book on Iraq and recently published the article "Battling ISIS: Iran-Iraq War Redux.
    She discusses the past quarter century of U.S. bombing of Iraq.
    Total run time: 29:00
    Host: David Swanson.
    Producer: David Swanson.
    Music by Duke Ellington.
    Download from LetsTryDemocracy or Archive.
    Pacifica stations can also download from Audioport.
    Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

    Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!
    Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

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    David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.
    Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

    War Is A Lie: Second Edition, published by Just World Books on April 5, 2016. Please buy it online that day. I'll come anywhere in the world to speak about it. Invite me!

    Isakson Announces Hearing on VA Budget Request


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

    Monday, February 16, 2016
    Contact: Amanda Maddox, 202-224-7777
    Lauren Gaydos, 202-224-9126

    Isakson Announces Hearing on VA Budget Request
    WASHINGTON The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., will hold an oversight hearing on Tuesday, February 23, 2016, to examine the president’s fiscal year 2017 budget and 2018 advanced appropriations requests for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
    VA Secretary Robert McDonald will testify at the hearing on the proposed budget.
    The hearing will be streamed online at Media who plan to attend should RSVP to
    WHO:         Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
    WHERE:   418 Russell Senate Office Building
    WHEN:      10:00 AM
                       Tuesday, February 23, 2016
    The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 114th Congress.

    Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate VA Committee since he joined the Senate in 2005. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the military as well as more than 750,000 veterans.

    Jeremy Corbyn inspires trade union activists - despite union leaders' attacks

    This is a repost from Great Britain's SOCIALIST WORKER:

    Jeremy Corbyn inspires trade union activists - despite union leaders' attacks

    by Nick Clark

    GMB leader Paul Kenny (centre) with Rachel Reeves MP at GMB conference in 2012
    GMB leader Paul Kenny (centre) with Rachel Reeves MP at GMB conference in 2012 (Pic: James Alexander/flickr)

    The first union conference since Jeremy Corbyn’s election to the Labour leadership—Unison’s women’s conference—was held in Brighton last week.
    Suzy Franklin, who was at the conference, told Socialist Worker, “There’s an anger among women at the Tories’ attacks and you could sense that from the floor.”
    Union activists are enthusiastic about the alternative to austerity that Corbyn’s election as Labour leader represents.
    And there’s a desire to turn enthusiasm into action.
    Suzy added, “There was great excitement and positivity around Corbyn’s campaign. People have been wanting to get involved in Unison because of Corbyn’s victory.
    “Last year when Ed Miliband was leader the atmosphere was very flat. This year it was different—and I think Corbyn’s election absolutely has something to do with that.”
    Sir Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said last week that Corbyn would step down from the Labour leadership before the 2020 general election.
    He said that Corbyn was failing to provide a “credible alternative” to the Tories.
    Kenny has previously attacked Corbyn for wanting to scrap Trident nuclear missiles. Kenny and the Unite union leader Len McCluskey are lining up with the Labour right to defeat Corbyn on Trident.
    Both unions are set to hold special pro-Trident defence sector conferences in the next few weeks.
    Corbyn’s shadow defence secretary Emily Thornberry was shouted down by right wing Labour MPs for speaking against Trident at the Parliamentary Labour Party meeting last week.
    Meanwhile an article in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper attacked individual leading members of the Labour left group Momentum.
    It criticised members of Momentum’s steering committee for organising student protests and supporting Lutfur Rahman.
    Rahman was removed as mayor of Tower Hamlets in east London last year after an Islamophobic witch-hunt in 2014.
    The attack came after Momentum’s first national meeting earlier this month, where it was agreed to restrict membership and focus on internal Labour Party battles.
    Members of Momentum hope to support Jeremy Corbyn against the right. The best way to do this is to build a fight against the Tories based in workplaces and on the streets.


    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.

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