Monday, March 07, 2016

Truest statement of the week

The war in Syria and Iraq is no place for the U.S. We have no clear allies there, leading us to bargain with bad actors who besmirch our good name. In our single-minded fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), we look desperate and ineffective, because we are. Our tunnel vision targeting ISIS has made us blind to the dangers from our allies of convenience there, and the likelihood that they will turn on us in future.

-- Anders Corr, "U.S. Needs A Moral Compass Leading Out Of Syria And Iraq" (FORBES).

Truest statement of the week II

Another figure highlights the hollow and socially regressive character of Obama’s so-called “recovery.” The financial cable network CNBC pointed out that according to the Labor Department’s household survey, which is the basis for the unemployment rate figure (the figure on payroll growth is derived from a separate survey of business establishments), full-time jobs increased in February by only 65,000, while part-time positions increased by 489,000. This means that a mere 11.7 percent of new jobs in February were full-time!
These statistics point to the fact that the American ruling class, through its instrument, the Obama administration, has utilized the financial crash of 2008, for which it was responsible, to fundamentally reorganize the US economy, transforming it into a low-wage system. The millions of decent-paying jobs that were destroyed have been largely replaced by poverty-wage, part-time and temporary jobs.

-- Barry Grey, "US employment report: Payrolls rise, wages fall" (WSWS).

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:

Anders Corr gets a truest.
As does Barry Grey.
Is there any real point to Barack's 'plan' for Iraq?
Ava and C.I. take a look at THE GOOD WIFE.
Poor Hillary, the more they see her, the less they like her.

If this is the first you're hearing of it, blame the bulk of the corporate media.
Surely, one of the greatest crimes of all time (or so Bob Somerby would have you believe).
Telling the truth on Twitter.
It's not often that a campaign admits their candidate is cold.

What we listened to while writing.
Ava and C.I. wrote this and posted it to THE COMMON ILLS, we repost it here.
Press release from the US Embassy in Iraq.
Mike and the gang wrote that and we thank them for it!


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

Editorial: What's the point?

Seriously, what is the point of Barack Obama's Iraq 'plan'?

It's worth asking for a number of reasons -- not limited to the fact that Hillary Clinton's 'plan' for Iraq -- if forced off on America as President -- is exactly the same as Barack's 'plan.'

Billions of dollars are being wasted bombing Iraq (destroying the country and terrorizing and killing civilians) while months are being wasted with the US government doing nothing to help/push the puppet government in Iraq into being more inclusive.

Months and months are being wasted with the US government cozying up to Shi'ite militias that killed Iraqi civilians (and continue to) and that killed US soldiers (see "Well look who the State Dept woke up in bed with this time").

Nothing's being accomplished at all.

Last week, Anders Corr (FORBES) argued:

We should choose to end our part in the cycle of violence. We should call for de-escalation of all military activities in Iraq and Syria, and demonstrate our commitment through complete withdrawal.
We would not be withdrawing from fear. We could use the diplomatic, monetary, military and human resources we save, for challenges we can win. Our focus should be on finding and striking specific international terrorist cells that are, with more than lip service, preparing to attack Western or allied targets.

Is there any real plan?

How about a plan to ever leave?

TV: The Tired Show

THE GOOD WIFE is winding up it's seventh (and final) season on CBS and it couldn't happen a minute sooner.


When ABC's REVENGE wrapped up last May, there were some who argued that the show had run its course and was out of twists and turns.

We disagreed on that but there truly is no where else for THE GOOD WIFE to go.

The show opened up with a wife disgraced by her husband's scandal as he was under investigation.

The show wraps up with Alicia (Julianna Margulies) again dealing with her husband, Governor Peter Florrick (Chris North), the subject of a grand jury investigation.

The show began with Alicia starting as a minor player at a law firm headed by, among others, the hideous Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and, despite Alicia opening a firm with partner Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry) before moving on to her own practice, it winds down with her back at Diane's law firm as a flunky.

The good wife, the show appears to preach, is the consummate failure.

Seven seasons added up to nothing.

Alicia has no friends.

Does that not bother anyone?

At one point, she had Kalinda (Archie Panjabi) but, between Margulies inability to get along with co-stars and the show runners loathing of Kalinda after their attempt to turn her into a woman turned on by her ex-husband beating her backfired, Kalinda was sent packing.

There's been no one since.

And let's not pretend Cush Jumbo's Lucca is anything but a minor token added due to viewers' constant criticism about just how White this show has been -- Chicago (the show's setting) may have produced the first US President of color but, outside of drug dealers and other criminals, it hasn't really produced any characters of note in shades other than White.

That's the really sad thing -- or maybe honest one about this show.

It was created by preachy do gooders who think/thought they had all the answers but their stories, repeatedly told, were about White people who helped other White people and, every now and then, maybe a person of color.

For some unknown reason, they had a really hard time seeing people of color as attorneys capable of carrying storylines.

The closest they came to one was Wendy Scott-Carr (played by Anika Noni Rose) who was little more than a fictionalized Omarosa (the diva/villian of season one of THE APPRENTICE).

Seven seasons.

They could tackle racism as a storyline . . . via this minor character or that briefly appearing.

No one was supposed to ever notice or comment on that.

Or the somewhat weak stands for what was right became less and less as the show progressed.

There was the illegal spying, which the series came out on the right side of (against), but which the writing delivered Alicia from via blackmailing Senator Bill Nelson of Florida.

This season it's putting up the pretense that The Drone War is something to embrace.

It's not as bad as MADAM SECRETARY but few things ever are.

The show has been the biggest disappointment because it had so much promise.

Sunday saw Alicia explaining to her latest (White) lover that she and her husband had an arrangement -- they stayed together for the public relations and power but took to bed whom they wanted.

Alicia never seemed sadder.

By season seven, there's no one left to root for.

CBS' SCORPION is a hit not because of the plots but because you care for all the main characters.

On THE GOOD WIFE, there's no one left to root for.

The characters have become as tired as the repeating storylines -- and as dead end.

Clinton just gets more unlikable


Last Tuesday, Hillary Clinton lost the Oklahoma Democratic Party primary to Bernie Sanders.

That alone was news worthy.

But in 2008, she won that primary -- by 55%.

Last week, her support dropped to 41.5%.

She was more popular in Oklahoma back in 2008.

Hillary gets more and more unlikable as time goes by.

A fact the Democratic Party should probably grasp before the November general election.


Illustration is Isaiah's Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Revenge."

US Army jet crashes in Iraq


A US Army jet crashed in Iraq.

Thomas Gibbons-Neff (WASHINGTON POST) reported the crash on Saturday.

 He even noted that the US military issued a statement saying the crash was under investigation.

But a US Army jet crashed in Iraq.

And did it get the kind of coverage that should merit?

She interrupted a presidential campaign event

Bob Somerby is obsessed with college grad student and activist Ashley Williams.

Yes, she's a woman, so that means Somerby insults her.

But she also"interrupted a presidential campaign event."

Oh, the horror!

Who does she think she is?  A citizen in a democracy?

As with most Somerby obsessions, this one goes back to Clinton -- specifically to Hillary Clinton.


In 1996, in support of her husband's crime bill, she gave a speech in which she stated, "They are often the kinds of kids that are called 'super-predators.'  No conscience, no empathy, we can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel."

The 'super-predator' was a myth, a falsehood.

And she gave a speech using the term.

Now she's running to be president of the United States and Bob Somerby thinks no one should ever question someone so exalted.

Anne Gearan and Abby Phillips (WASHINGTON POST) reported what happened after Hillary saw Ashley's sign:

 The last part of the quote was written on a large, hand-lettered sign that Williams held up as Clinton spoke to her donors and supporters.
 Clinton took note of the sign and read it aloud, squinting to read it and apparently unaware that it was her own quote.
Williams addressed Clinton, asking whether Clinton would "apologize to black people for mass incarceration." Williams added, "I'm not a super predator, Hillary Clinton."
Clinton first told Williams, "we'll talk about it," but grew irritated as Williams continued to speak. “Do you want to hear the facts, or do you just want to talk?” Clinton asked sharply.
Off camera, guests at the fundraiser, apparently held in a private home, can be heard saying "shhhhh," which then turns to such comments as "this is inappropriate," and "you're being rude." Williams asked again about Clinton's words from 1996, as a man approached Williams to escort her out.
 "You know what? Nobody’s ever asked me before. You’re the first person to do that, and I’m happy to address it," Clinton said, but did not elaborate.

Bob has rushed to rescue Clinton (his knee jerk response intact).

He's attacked Ashley repeatedly.

In doing so, he's made statements he can't back up.

Did Hillary use the term only once?

Bob says she did.

Apparently, he kept a daily journal of every sentence she ever uttered.

Ashley is African-American.

The issue matters to her and it matters to her for personal reasons (which he has also mocked) that include what she saw growing up.

He mocks her for telling Hillary "I am not a super-predator."

He mocks her and insists Hillary never called her that.

He fails to grasp -- he intentionally fails to grasp -- that Ashley is putting a face on her community.

The super-predator myth has long been discredited.

Bob ignores that.

He also ignores that Hillary never addressed the issue at the event.

He also ignores that Hillary has a big problem with young voters and maybe referring to young people as "dear" and getting testy with them isn't the best campaign strategy?

Hillary made the statement.

She needs to be held accountable for it.

Unless you're Bob Somerby. 

Tweet of the week

  • Even Clinton's campaign acknowledges she comes off cold


    So even her own campaign is acknowledging Hillary Clinton comes off cold?

    Acknowledges it and markets it?

    This edition's playlist


    1) Janet Jackson's UNBREAKABLE.

    2) Tracy Chapman's GREATEST HITS.


    4) Afghan Whigs' DO THE BEAST.


    6)  Jack Johnson's EN CONCERT.

    7) The Mamas & The Papas' THE PAPAS & THE MAMAS.

    8)  Steve Grand's ALL AMERICAN BOY.


    10) Chrissie Hynde's STOCKHOLM.

    10) Ben and Ellen Harper's CHILDHOOD HOME.

    Lie Face Melissa Harris Whatever has been fired (Ava and C.I.)

    Repost from THE COMMON ILLS of a piece Ava and C.I. wrote last week.

    "Lie Face Melissa Harris Whatever has been fired (Ava and C.I.)"

    Contrary to the opinions expressed in some e-mails, we did not get Lie Face fired.

    Yes, we warned Phil and others about her -- strongly -- and repeatedly.

    But Lie Face got herself fired.

    A performer who delivers ratings can get away with a lot -- see Tim Allen at the height of HOME IMPROVEMENT, for example.

    But a performer whose show competes with three other cable networks and yet regularly comes in fourth?

    That's someone who should consider themselves lucky to have a job.

    When Melissa Harris Lacewell Lie Face Perry elected to pull her little stunt, she sealed her own fate.

    A) It's called "job abandonment."

    First and foremost, if you're supposed to be on live TV, you report to work.

    You do not decide you're not going to and announce it in a rude and accusatory missive you post online.

    B) You can't walk out on your contract because you don't want to cover breaking political news if you work for an entertainment channel that bills itself as a news channel.

    In her heavy-drama-mama posting on Friday, Lie Face was talking her "brand" and blah, blah, blah.

    If she had a brand, it had cratered long ago -- as evidenced by the hideous ratings -- ratings almost as hideous as that dollar store weave she insisted on wearing (yeah, we went there).

    She had no brand.

    She had no audience.

    And she was whining because she was expected to cover what the network wanted covered -- the political campaigns -- and not spend her time on topics that she felt were news -- like her infamous STAR WARS is racist rant (because Darth Vader was voiced by James Earl Jones but when the mask came off, he was White -- yeah, we all saw it in the 90s in CHASING AMY, but there it was done for comedy, on Melissa's show, it was presented as fact).

    She tried to play the race card because . . .  Well, because it was Lie Face.

    The woman who lived the photo negative version of IMITATION OF LIFE.

    Going around the country in 2007 and 2008, telling the country what Black was and insisting she was Black and, at one point, "sitting here in all my Blackness."

    As the sole judge of what was and was not Black, Lie Face forgot to disclose she had a White mommy.

    Or maybe a White "mammy"?

    Is that how she plans to word it in her next online posting?

    Since she was arguing with African-Americans -- usually about Barack and his being biracial -- she kind of owed it to the dialogue to disclose that.

    (We are happy to have 'helped -- forced? -- her to finally disclose the truth.)

    As it's being explained, four weeks ago, she was asked to focus on the primary races.

    Instead, she decided the thing to do was to discuss Beyonce's music video "Formation."

    Because she is that stupid.

    She honestly thought she was on E! and not a network that insisted it was a news network.

    She was always that stupid and that's why, in her melodrama mama posting on Friday, she referred to her doctorate in political science but did not note the 'books' she has written.

    Heavy on pop culture, light on politics.

    Melissa doesn't do politics.

    Or, let's be honest, ethics.

    This is the woman who went on DEMOCRACY NOW! in January 2008 posing as a Princeton professor (we did get her kicked out there) who was there with students and just happened to notice the turnout for Barack.  (January 7th appearance we noted here, the whole lies the week later we noted in "TV: Democracy Sometimes?")

    She'd play the same game in February of 2008 on THE CHARLIE ROSE SHOW and go so far as to attack the wife of a Congressman as biased. (See "TV: Goodman and Rose 'honoring' bad TV past.")

    The laugh there was that Lie Face started campaigning for Barack in 2007.

    A fact she failed to disclose in either of the appearances we've noted above.

    Ethics matter if you're a professor.

    And they mattered to Princeton as did our documented insults that she'd repeatedly made of Princeton students.

    So, yes, we did get her kicked out there.

    She bounced back with a lower position at a lower university and yet another marriage -- this one that's led to problems with the IRS.

    Not surprising, considering her ethical problems previously.

    Lest you think only we've taken on Lie Face, Glen Ford (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) did as well:

    Melissa Harris-Perry is one of the saddest examples of how the advent of a Black president has distorted the thinking of some of the most promising African American minds. She is a political scientist who has abandoned all the science of politics in order to build a higher Black Wall around Barack Obama, a war criminal with six simultaneous aggressions now running at full tilt, and the prime facilitator of the most massive transfer of wealth in human history. Writing from her roost at The Nation magazine, Prof. Harris-Perry flails about in search of a progressive position from which to defend the First Black President. There being none, she has to settle for saying that Obama is as competent as any white president – Damn it! – and it is white “liberals” that are bringing Obama down by “holding him to a to a higher standard” than his white predecessors – specifically, Bill Clinton.

    As usual, David Brock's idiotic MEDIA MATTERS rushed to Lie Face's defense.

    They ignore her ethical problems, they ignore her chronically low ratings and they ignore her failure to be anywhere on any political issue -- anywhere that mattered.

    She pretended to care about the Iraq War in 2007 and 2008 while going around the country promoting Barack.  But with her own show?  She could care less.

    She did make time, remember, to attack NSA whistle-blower Ed Snowden.

    To mock him.

    Well who's mocking who?  Take another look, Lie Face, and tell us, who's mocking who?

    Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk Visits Iraq


    haider and brett

    That's Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi above meeting with Barack Obama's Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Brett McGurk.  Below is the statement the US State Dept issued yesterday on Brett's trip to Iraq.

    Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk Visits Iraq

    March 6, 2016
    On March 2-4, Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk visited Iraq for meetings with senior Iraqi government and security officials, and United Nations representatives.  Accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart E. Jones, Mr. McGurk met with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Speaker of Parliament Saleem al-Jibouri, the governors of Diyala, Salah ad-Din, Ninewa and Anbar provinces, along with other Iraqi leaders to discuss the International Coalition’s support for Iraq’s ongoing operations to defeat [the Islamic State]. He commended Iraqi forces for their courage, bravery, and recent successes in Anbar and Salah ad-Din provinces. Mr. McGurk underscored that the United States and the Coalition is prepared to increase support to the Iraqi governments we work together to accelerate [the Islamic State]'s defeat.

    In all his meetings, including with UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq Jan Kubi┼í, Mr. McGurk stressed the United States’ commitment to supporting post-conflict stabilization in newly liberated areas, facilitating humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons and refugees, and promoting the safe, voluntary return of displaced persons to their homes. Meetings also addressed Iraq’s economic challenges, and ways the U.S. is prepared to help address them, under our Strategic Framework Agreement with Iraq. This includes deferring payment on $2.7 billion ‎in U.S. security equipment to ensure Iraqi forces are able to accelerate operations over the coming months.
    Mr. McGurk also delivered remarks at a graduation ceremony for 900 federal and local Iraqi police who completed training courses conducted by the Government of Iraq and Italy's Carabinieri as part of the Coalition's train, advise and assist mission. Mr. McGurk thanked the Italians for their vital contributions to the anti-[Islamic State] campaign and commended the Iraqi police for their brave commitment to restoring the rule of law in areas liberated from [the Islamic State].

    Mr. McGurk reaffirmed the United States’ condemnation of the recent [the Islamic State] attacks in Sadr City and Abu Ghraib, extending condolences to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded in the attacks.


    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.

    "Well look who the State Dept woke up in bed with t..." and "Lie Face Melissa Harris Whatever has been fired (A..." -- the week's picks for best by readers of this site.

    "Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Revenge"" -- Isaiah looks at Cranky.

    "SHADES OF BLUE," "Wayward Pines," "ABC renews 15 shows" and "Faves on The Originals" -- TV coverage in the community.

    "Idiot of the week: George Clooney" -- Mike picks his favorite.

    "zac efron?" -- Rebecca contemplates manscaping.

    "Hillary is a menace," "Hillary has a problem with people of color," "Hillary wants our votes, she just doesn't want us at her rallies," "It's time for the Black community to stand up to Hillary," "Hillary has lost again," "CNN says Bernie Sanders has beat Hillary in Maine," "THIS JUST IN! CALL HER THE ODD MOTHER!" and "Cranky says he'll swim with the fishes" -- Cranky Clinton coverage in the community.

    "WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT" -- Stan goes to the movies.

    "Again, she's not Aretha" and "Aretha" -- They cover music.

    "Salads in the Kitchen" -- Trina has a recipe.

    "Natalie Wood" -- Ruth has a memory.

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