Sunday, July 10, 2016

Truest statement of the week

Democrats will keep progressives silent and passive only if they whip up hysteria about the prospect of a Trump presidency. Bernie Sanders is going along with the charade as a means of saving face. Like Trump he didn’t expect to be a credible challenger and he is using Trump as an excuse to bow out and endorse Hillary Clinton as he planned to do all along. Before he executes his final “sheep dog” herding maneuver he will keep saying that he wants to join in the fight against Trump, even though Trump would have to pull off a political miracle in order to win.
Donald Trump will surely get millions of votes, but Hillary Clinton will get more and in the states that really count towards the total needed in the Electoral College. She will use Trump to move to the right and pick up votes from Republicans uneasy with his candidacy. The only risk to her is not from Trump, but from Bernie Sanders supporters who for the moment are unsure of how to respond to their leader’s impending betrayal.

The worst thing they can do is believe in the almost non-existent risk of a Trump presidency. His party doesn’t want him and the “Stop Trump” clique know it. If millions of Democrats would say they don’t want Hillary Clinton either then the fracturing of the two parties will continue and the American people will have a hope of real democracy.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Republicans Reject Trump" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

Never have the American people deliberately elected a President they thought beforehand was unsuited for the office. Only a perverse electorate would do so, but the nation will commit this epic blunder if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton face each other in November.
A June 29 Quinnipiac University poll revealed the public apprehension about the apparent nominees: 58% of the respondents do not expect Mr. Trump to be a good president. 53% do not expect Ms. Clinton to be. And the race is now a dead heat: although the poll shows Ms.Clinton with a 42%-40% apparent advantage, the margin of error was 2.4%. Too close to call.

-- Richard W. Behan, "Dump Trump, Dump Clinton: Look To The Conventions" (COUNTERPUNCH).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Believe it or not, we got it posted on a Sunday!

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?

Margaret Kimberley gets another truest.
And Richard W. Behan gets his first truest.
Thank goodness though didn't it take long enough?
Ava and C.I. take another look at Maya and Marty.
Did anyone really not see this coming?
He's such a constipated looking man.
Hillary only cares about herself.
What we listened to while writing.
This should be one up but whatever.  Those lousy critics and their hatred of women.
Tweets from Johnson.
Press release from Senator Richard Blumenthal.
Press release from Senator Tammy Baldwin.
Press release from Senator Richard Isakson.
Press release from US House Rep. (and Dr.) Bill Cassidy.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.

And all before Monday morning.


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

Editorial: Lying about Iraq's getting harder

For basically two terms, The Cult of St. Barack has distorted Iraq.

They've made it all about Bully Boy Bush as though he were still occupying the White House.

It's getting harder and harder to lie about Iraq.

Barack's been president for two terms and the Iraq War continues.

So many broken promises.

But there's also the fact that the state in Iraq has worsened and, yes, sainted Barack is responsible for that.

Realizing that most Sunni tribal leaders were not Islamic extremists, Petraeus and his officers spent $400 million to secure their allegiance against the al-Qaeda extremists.
With their support base turned against them, al-Qaeda was quickly driven from the Sunni Triangle. This temporary arrangement fell apart after the U.S. troop withdrawal in December 2011 and then Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, ignored American advice not to marginalize the Sunni tribes.
Once again sensing their livelihoods to be at stake, the predominantly secular Sunni tribes welcomed [the Islamic State] extremists back into their fold in 2014.

Taylor's a lot kinder than we would be.


Nouri was not pressured by the White House.

Nouri was allowed to do whatever he wants.

There were no conditions placed on him regarding weapons the US supplied, regarding money the US supplied, regarding . . .

No conditions at all.

And the Sunnis being paid?

They were the Sons Of Iraq, "Awakenings," Sahwa.

Call them what you want, Nouri refused to pay them.

Then ordered their arrests.

And, no surprise, Iraq went into greater turmoil.

But Barack stood with Nouri.

Even when Nouri targeted reporters, even when he targeted peaceful protesters.

The most infamous example of the latter was the  April 23, 2013 massacre of a sit-in in Hawija which resulted from  Nouri's federal forces storming in.  Alsumaria noted Kirkuk's Department of Health (Hawija is in Kirkuk)  announced 50 activists have died and 110 were injured in the assault.   AFP reported the death toll eventually (as some wounded died) rose to 53 dead.   UNICEF noted that the dead included 8 children (twelve more were injured).

Even that didn't turn Barack against Nouri.

US policy is not based on human rights or democracy.

US policy is based on greed.

It's imperialism plain and simple and we're all ready to spot it and identify it in history classes but when it happens in real time we want to pretend otherwise.

But, like we said, lying about Iraq is getting harder and harder -- even for The Cult of St. Barack.

Especially for The Cult of St. Barack.

TV: Grading Maya & Marty

Last week's "TV: Summer flush" resulted in e-mails asking if we'd forgotten MAYA & MARTY?



We'd already weighed in when the show started.

Our plan was to give an update when the show was about to wrap up.

Which is this Tuesday, July 12 with guests Sean Hayes, Steve Martin, Kelly Ripa and Emma Stone joining hosts Maya Rudolph and Martin Short.

Episode six will hopefully be a strong one.

Each episode except the debut has been worth watching.

But a few questions emerge.

We're glad that after the first episode, efforts to be SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE were quickly dropped.

But we don't understand why Maya wasn't revisting her characters?

The show greatly benefited from Martin reviving celebrity interviewer Jiminy Glick -- in fact, Jiminy was often the high point of the show.

We don't think the show would have suffered from Maya reviving some of her previously created characters such as Sheldon, Donatella Versace or Bronx Beat's Jodi -- especially when Amy Poehler dropped by.

In fact, Amy quickly established herself as one of the show's best guests by being both willing and silly.

Tina Fey?

We nearly hit the roof on Tina.

We give her credit for being game.

But Tina Fey, wet dream of 1000 faux lefties, isn't a lefty.

And that's okay, she doesn't have to be.

But both she and her fans are convinced she is.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The right-wing, conservative Bible thumper virgin that she was well into her early 20s forms her 'humor.'

And that's why she's not left wing.

Men are normal, women are sub-species.

That is Tina's comedy.

And it marred what was a nice -- not incredible -- segment.

She and Maya sat down on (overly high) barstools to sing a medley of songs in their salute to past variety shows.

Tina's 'shout out' to Vicki Lawrence came off sarcastic -- which is why the audience laughed at it.

But that could have been moved along and forgotten.

But they decided to mock a singer-songwriter in the skit.

And Tina went with Joni Mitchell.

She's been working a grudge f**k against Joni for some time.

To ridicule a great singer-songwriter, it's no surprise that Tina would go after a woman.

Joni has many talented female peers -- equally talented.

But Joni's the only woman that the male canon has deigned to include.

And there was Tina marring a silly (and useless) piece of fluff by going after Joni Mitchell.

Coz Tina hates women.

And no one apparently -- we mean you, Maya -- had the good sense to tell her no.

You'd think Joni recovering from a brain aneurysm would rope her off from mockery at least temporarily.

Now that we know the Tina Fey rules, we can't wait for Tina's health problems so we can go to town on her.

The only thing possibly worse than Tina Fey -- who did this same bit on 30 ROCK and it was evil then too (not just unfunny, evil) -- would be idiots like Moze Halperin at FLAVOR WIRE who praised it.

Tina's bit is, to do Joni, all you do is mention a baby and a town in Canada.


There are two prominent baby songs in Joni's songs -- "Little Green" about giving up her child for adoption (BLUE) and "Chinese Cafe/Unchained Melody" (WILD THINGS RUN FAST) ("my child's a stranger/I bore her but I could not raise her").

We're really not getting how making fun of a young woman's decision when she finds herself unwed and pregnant is 'funny' or 'pro-woman.'

It's certainly not feminism.

It's also not accurate.

Two songs.


Out of 19 studio albums, she's got two songs.

And there's Tina with her false nonsense getting laughs.

At a woman recovering from a brain aneurysm.

Tina's whole career rests on the fact that she's a woman.

Were she a man, she'd have no career.

She hasn't had a real hit movie her entire career and even Jon Lovitz was a bigger ratings draw than her 30 ROCK.

She periodically gets applause for being  a funny . . . woman.

And here she is trashing the preeminent female musician of the second half of the 20th century in a skit that does not go after Bob Dylan or any male sacred cows.

Because Tina hates women.

She was raised to hate her gender and it's her entire shtick.

It's disgusting.

And shame on Maya.

Maya was a bit of bitch in that little skit herself.

At one point, Tina's mocking Charo (who at least is healthy) and Maya said to watch the accent.  She said it with a glower, still smarting from the previous week's falll out and criticism when she mocked a woman for the way she spoke.

It was ugly and it was disgusting, the whole skit.

And word to Maya, being half-White and half-African-American does not give you a pass on racism. You need to curtail the 'ethnic' mockery of Latinas.

Maya seems to think it's cute and funny.

It's not.

One of us (Ava) is Latina and, trust us, Latinas are not applauding your insulting and racist skits about them.

Not one bit.

Marty's used the five episodes to build up good will.

And it's why he can -- and does -- say stupid stuff in the opening and get laughs for it -- more for his exuberance than for the words themselves.

As the show's moved away from trying to be SNL in prime time, it's found its footing.

The closing segment has become Maya at the piano singing with Marty and Kenan Thompson and it's one of the better segments each week.

They've also, thankfully, stopped attempting political humor which is both beyond their range and beyond the range of a variety show.

The skits have instead been celebrity parodies or attempts to make us laugh at exaggerated slices of life.

They've found a template for the show and delivered strong moments with guests such as Miley Cyrus, Nathan Lane, Cecily Strong, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler, John Cena, Sean Hayes, Nick Jones, Steve Martin, Kevin Hart, Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld and featured regular Mikey Day.

There have been bumps as the show found its footing but it's finally delivering and NBC should strongly consider a second season -- summer or otherwise.

That disgraceful Corrine Brown


About you, US House Rep. Corrine Brown?

Oh, we know all about you.

You've spent nearly 8 years now making excuses for the Veterans Affairs Department.

You attacked the same Department when Bully Boy Bush was occupying the Oval Office.

With Barack President of the United States, you instead attacked veterans.

Yet, trash that you are, you wanted to be Ranking Member.

Even though you've yet to master the English language.

But all those bad wigs have sure been a hoot, haven't they?


Visit your press room?

Why would we?

You haven't updated it since June.

So you've left out the big news you had last week.

 Kevin Bohn (CNN) reported:

Brown, of Jacksonville, Florida, and her chief of staff, Elias "Ronnie" Simmons, of Laurel, Maryland, were charged in a 24-count indictment, included charges of participating in a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, multiple counts of mail and wire fraud, concealing material facts on required financial disclosure forms, theft of government property, obstruction of the due administration of the internal revenue laws, and filing false tax returns, the Justice Department said in a news release.

NPR's Jason Slotkin explains:

Federal prosecutors allege Brown, 69, and Simmons, 50, misled donors while soliciting donations for One Door for Education, under the guise of funding scholarships for minority students, raising more than $800,000.
Instead, as NPR's Greg Allen reports for our Newscast Unit, "prosecutors say Brown, Simmons and Carla Wiley, the head of the charity, diverted the funds to their own accounts."

Of all the money raised, the 24-count indictment states, only $1,200 was awarded as scholarships.

Jim Piggott, Lynnsey Gardner, Vic Micolucci and Chris Parenteau (NEWS4JAX) report that Corrine denies guilt on all charges and add, "If convicted on all charges, Brown could be sentenced up to 357 years in prison and fined $4.8 million."

Oh, Corrine.

Chris Cillizza (WASHINGTON POST) declares, "Corrine Brown, for having the words 'personal slush fund' in a headline along with your name, you had the Worst Week in Washington. Congrats, or something."

A health suggestion for Secretary of State John Kerry


Prunes, John, prunes.

Fake feminist Hillary


Fake ass Hillary Clinton is no feminist.  From Saturday's "Iraq snapshot:"

Trashy Hillary Clinton could pimp Iraq as a business opportunity.

But the alleged 'feminist' couldn't and wouldn't do a damn thing for Iraqi women.

This is most obvious in the e-mails WikiLeaks published this week.

Melanne Verveer e-mails Hillary on December 11, 2011:

We attempted to raise the issue of women's participation in the Iraq government, in their economy and more broadly when Biden was just in Baghdad.  Jeff Feltman was trying to get it into the conversations there.
You will recall the comments of the Iraqi who participated in the NGO meeting with you in Doha about how the door has been closed to women in the government.  We have had many discussions with impressive Iraqi women over the last couple years, and to a person they describe their fate as worse now than years ago.  Yet without them it will be even harder for Iraq to move forward.  To that end, we have been working with post on a action plan along the lines of the National Action Plan on women, peace and security, you will launch next week.
I hope you will find a way to raise the "women's issue" in your discussion tom'w.

And what does the 'great feminist' of all time, the woman with the highest cabinet position in the administration respond:

I raised women's issue w Maliki and Zebari.  Can't say either of them seemed interested.  But, we'll keep trying -- as always!

What a brave feminist Hillary I'm It For Myself Clinton is.

Verveer, at the time she e-mailed Hillary, was the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues.  She had previously, in the 90s, served as First Lady Hillary's Chief of staff, and, in 2001, she and Hillary created the Vital Voices Global Parternship.

Hillary never used her platform as Secretary of State to publicly encourage Nouri al-Maliki or Hoshyar Zebari (her Iraqi equivalent at the time, Foreign Minister).  Nor did she use her platform to publicly shame either man.

She did, however, use her platform to repeatedly praise Zebari -- a man whose actions never warranted much praise at all.

Well, Verveer mentions an upcoming event, right?

To that end, we have been working with post on a action plan along the lines of the National Action Plan on women, peace and security, you will launch next week.

That's a reference to Hillary's December 19, 2011 speech entitled "Remarks on Women, Peace, and Security."

In that speech, she name checks Ireland, Liberia, Egypt, Senegal, Darfur, Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Central African Republic, Afghanistan, Chile, Kosovo, Yemen and Nepal.

But she never mentions Iraq.

In her approximately 4,500 word speech, she never once mentions Iraq.

Helping the women of Iraq didn't, she believed, help her.

And like so many faux feminists, What's In It For Me Hillary has always defined her own self-interest as feminism.

This edition's playlist



2) Ben Harper's CALL IT WHAT IT IS.

4)  Animal Collective's CENTIPEDE HZ.

8) Tina Turner's Private Dancer.


10) Carly Simon's NEVER BEEN GONE.

Bringing in the sleaze

As if to justify all we wrote last week in "Who killed the romantic comedy?," along comes the hideous John DeFore.

Picking his ass crack and smearing the fecal matter across his keyboard, he calls it writing as he explains and ranks Tom Hanks' 37 best films and, no surprise, the more prominent women are, the lower the films.

Which is how PUNCHLINE ends up at 32 even though it's still his best dramatic performance.

Ahead of the Sally Field co-starring and produced film?

Such 'classics' as BACHELOR PARTY.

His best Ron Howard film, SPLASH, comes in at 21 (it stars Daryl Hannah who isn't even noted in DeFore's blurb) while the creaky and preachy APOLLO 13 comes in at number three (the less women do onscreen, the more DeFore loves the film).

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN -- with co-stars Geena Davis, Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna, Lori Petty, etc. -- comes in at number 16.


SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE and YOU'VE GOT MAIL tie for 11.  (And, as a 'bonus,' DeFore trashes director Nora Ephron.)

And then we get the preachy and homophobic PHILADELPHIA.


Yes, that 1993 film where Tom Hanks' character has AIDS is deeply homophobic.

Unless of course we're supposed to believe Tom Hanks got AIDS from a handshake?

Were Hanks and Antonio Banderas supposed to be lovers?

Antonio's not shy about same-sex scenes -- check out his bottoming in LAWS OF DESIRE.

PHILADELPHIA is and was a bad film.  See Larry Kramer's excellent analysis of it for THE LOS ANGELES TIMES if you have any doubts.

And don't you dare argue that 'time's have changed' since the film came out.  The same year (1993) saw Gregg Araki's TOTTALLY F**KED UP, Yurek Bogayevicz' THREE OF HEARTS, Ang Lee's THE WEDDING BANQUET, John Greyson's ZERO PATIENCE, Gus Van Sant's EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES, Pedro Amodover's KIKA (Almodovar's LAWS OF DESIRE came out in 1987), Kaige Chen's FAREWELL MY CONCUBINE, Katt Shea's POISON IVY, Denys Arcand's LOVE AND HUMAN REMAINS, Fiona Cunnigham-Reid's FEED THEM TO THE CANNIBALS!, Edgr Michael Bravo's I'LL LOVE YOU FOREVER . . . TONIGHT (1992 but playing the 1993 film circuit), Ellen Spiro's GREETINGS FROM OUT HERE, Aerlyn Weissman and Lynne Fernie's FORBIDDEN LOVE: THE UNASHAMED STORIES OF LESBIAN LIVES (1992 but making its NYC debut in 1993), Cheryl Dunye's AN UNTITLED PORTRAIT and THE POTLUCK AND THE PASSION, Rico Martinez' GLAMAZON: A DIFFERENT KIND OF GIRL, etc.

Even the two in bed, clothed couldn't be seen.  (Click here for the 1:35 second scene that the director deleted insisting it -- the one minute and thirty-five second scene -- "slowed" the film down.)

Cowardly, homophobic, self-impressed and, most of all, as Larry Kramer pointed out, boring.

The hideous CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR comes in at 8. (THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER has always been political reactionary.)

Steven Spielberg's awful BRIDGE OF SPIES and CATCH ME IF YOU CAN come in at 7 and 6 -- John Carpenter is a director, Spielberg's a joke

Spielberg's attempt at war pornography comes in at number 2 (SAVING PRIVATE RYAN).

And at number one?

The deeply racist CAPTAIN PHILLIPS.

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