Sunday, February 05, 2017

Truest statement of the week

Recall that when President Obama came into office, with a solid Democratic majority in both houses of congress, he came off a campaign in which he had vowed to restore open constitutional government, to make it easier for unions to organize, to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to kickstart the recession-mired economy with a burst of major deficit spending. He did none of that, and the Democratic Congress did none of it for him either. Obama and the Democrats paid for their lack of decisive progressive action by losing Congress two years later and it’s been downhill ever since.
Now they’ve lost the White House too.

Unless that party wakes up and realizes that it needs a wholesale makeover, in the form of a return to its New Deal roots, it will lose the Congressional elections in 2018, and it will lose the presidential race in 2020, along with even more state governorships and statehouses (currently 32 of the 50 states are wholly in Republican hands).

-- David Lindorff, "The Left Needs to Be a Movement, Not a Bunch of Lobbyists" (COUNTERPUNCH).

Truest statement of the week II

“Progressives” is the name Democrats call themselves when they need to draw attention away from the greedy and murderous one percenters who actually call the shots in their party.
Lazy, hypocritical progressive followers protest the unconstitutional machinations of Republican administrations like those of George W. Bush and Donald Trump while they ignore excuse the same crimes when committed by Democrats like the Clintons or Barack Obama. But Black Agenda Report does not bestow its coveted #ProgressiveHypocrite of the month award on mere followers. We pledge that each and every month our #ProgressiveHypocrite awardees will be leaders in their fields, major players whose recognized game inspires and enables the ordinary hypocrisy of countless partisan Democrats – or as they call themselves, progressives.

Thus we are proud to announce as Black Agenda Report’s very first #ProgressiveHypocrite of the month, for February 2017 is Madeleine K. Albright.

-- Bruce A. Dixon, "#ProgressiveHypocrite of the Month for February 2017: Former Clinton-era Secretary of State Madeleine Albright" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Another Sunday.

First up, 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?

David Lindorff gets a truest.
As does Bruce Dixon.
The drama queen should have stayed way.
Ava and C.I. take on two new sitcoms.
A long overdue roundtable.
What's the point?
John Stauber.
What we listened to while writing.
Cher's getting ready to do two residencies.
Repost from Great Britain's SOCIALIST WORKer.
Press release from Senator Johnny Isakson's office.
Mike and the gang wrote this.

See you next week.


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

Editorial: Olbermann lies about Iraq again

58 year-old Mama's Boy Keith Olbermann is spitting mad.

No, it's not at all the funsters pointing out that his Tweeter photo makes him look like an old man wrapped in a blanket.

It's at -- no surprise -- Donald Trump.

  1. Even those of us who railed against Bush's war in Iraq never condemned our troops as "killers." just did.

Donald Trump did not call troops "killers."

But a drama queen who spends every night alone humping his mattress has to jump to conclusions just to add a little fire to his otherwise limp and soggy life.

Keith Olbermann is a drama queen liar whose empty, pathetic life forces him to deliberately distort.

Lisa de Moraes (DEADLINE) explains the exchange between Bill O'Reilly and President Donald Trump:

“He’s a killer, though. Putin’s a killer,” O’Reilly noted.
Responded Trump: “We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think, our country’s so innocent?”
In today’s broadcast, more of that exchange was shown. In the new footage, O’Reilly responded to Trump’s gob-smacking remark, saying, “I don’t know any government leaders that are killers,” in this country.
“Well – take a look at what we’ve done too,” Trump shot back. “We’ve made a lot of mistakes.  I’ve been against the war in Iraq from the beginning –”
“Mistakes are different than–” O’Reilly started to interrupt.

“A lot of mistakes – OK – but a lot of people were killed,” Trump insisted. “So a lot of killers around, believe me.”
Expect much TV-news mastication over the next several hours as to whether Trump just accused former President George W. Bush of war crimes.

Keith Olbermann will always be the little bitch who can't debate an opponent so he lies about what they said.

Keith Olbermann will always be a little bitch and those who support him will be making a mistake that we won't forgive them for.

His sexist past is well known.

He once took part in a deliberate distortion of Hillary Clinton's remarks to imply that she was calling for the assassination of Barack Obama.

That's what a little bitch he is.

MSNBC dropping him was one of the smartest moves the network ever made.

Those who can't follow the cable network's lead are useless to We The People.

TV: Funny and unfunny

Judd Hirsh.

Did the name or his return to TV excite many?

If so, we weren't among them.


It's not that he was awful as Alex on the seventies sitcom TAXI.  He played the overly preachy character about as well as anyone could.

He followed that up with, among other things, an Academy Award rated supporting performance in the film ORDINARY PEOPLE.  There, he wasn't just preachy, he was also oh-so sensitive, at times even more so than the suicidal character played by Timothy Hutton.

He combined both qualities in the 90s with his return to sitcom form in DEAR JOHN.

Audiences quickly learned to avoid the series.

So Hirsch went on to nonsense like CBS' long running NUMB3RS.

Sitcoms, meanwhile, got less and less funny and more and more preachy.  It was as though, for example, the Capra corn moralizing of MODERN FAMILY had been fathered by Judd.

So if he was going to return to the genre, now was probably the best time.

All of the above, doesn't prepare you for SUPERIOR DONUTS or Hirsch.

The CBS sitcom should have been dead on arrival.

Arthur (Hirsch) owns a Chicago donut shop that's seen better days and will probably close soon.  Franco (Jermaine Fowler) has ideas of how to save the shop.

Hirsch and Fowler have true comedic chemistry and Hirsch has actually found a new character.  He's not Alex, he's not constantly proselytizing. He's scared and scarred and Hirsch doesn't hide that.  He lets it ooze out and make you want to see Arthur succeed.

Fowler is a TV natural.  He steps into his first scene with all the sureness of a Lucille Ball who, after all, came to TV after decades in the movies. He's helped by Katey Sagal who has some lines that are real clunkers but delivers them in a breezy, warm manner that not only enhances her own character (police officer Randy) but also establishes a relationship with Franco.

SUPERIOR DONUTS is a show CBS should be backing.

While CBS has something to be proud of, NBC should hang its head in shame over POWERLESS.

This sitcom is a stain on Thursday nights.

RON: I wished we worked for Batman.  I feel like he would really get us.

EMILY: Well maybe someday we will.

VOICE OVER: Heh.  That's funny.

No, it's really not.

That's not the fault of Ron Funches (Ron) or Vanessa Hudgens (Emily) or any of the cast.

With the exception of Alan Tudyk, the cast does a great job.

But the writing's not there.

Will it ever be?

Could it be?

Comedies don't tend to do well in America when they revolve around superheroes.

More recently, the 2006 film MY SUPER EX-GIRLFRIEND struggled to find an audience.

THE CW makes every night about superheroes.  Monday it's SUPERGIRL (transplanted from CBS).  Tuesday's FLASH.  Wednesday is ARROW.  Thursday it's LEGENDS OF TOMORROW.  All of that plus ABC's MARVEL AGENTS OF SHIELD.

That's before you even consider the non-stop superhero films.

Was a comedy really needed?

POWERLESS fails to make a convincing argument.

It features all the laughs of an episode of FELICITY -- which is to say very few -- while managing to feel twice as long.


Jim: Roundtable time.  Remember our e-mail address is  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; 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); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report; Trina of Trina's Kitchen; Wally of The Daily Jot; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jim (Con't):  We're in the age of Trump.  Thoughts?

Trina: I agreed with Michael Wolff on CNN's RELIABLE SOURCES today.  The media's battling Donald Trump and losing.

Jess: That was an interesting conversation, wasn't it?  Host Brian Stelter just didn't seem to get it.

Rebecca: I think the show greatly suffers due to the fact that Stelter is a baby.  Howard Kurtz wasn't a kid.  People think, because Stelter's bald, that's he's old but he's only 31-years-old, he has no sense of history -- not even media history -- and it leads him to jump to ill informed conclusions and to be grossly melodramatic.

Cedric: I would agree completely with that.  He's too young to be hosting the program he hosts.  He's too young to be making those weekly pronouncements -- "to the camera," as Wolff said -- and he comes off like an idiot.

Isaiah: He's 31.  That means, what?  8 years of Barack?  That takes him to 23. 8 years of Bully Boy Bush and that takes him to 15.  That's his whole world.  He's not experienced enough to be hosting a program on the media.  He lacks the wisdom and the insight.

Ruth: I could and did disagree with Howard Kurtz when he hosted.  But I could understand where he was coming from.  Mr. Stelter is just so over the top about the least incident that it is too much to watch him.

Trina: He's the Mountain Dew X-Tream Sport version of a media gadfly -- gadfly, not critic.  CNN would do well to dump him.

Rebecca: And that's before you factor in the fact that he's highly unphotogenic in a visual medium.

Ty: And his immaturity on camera is reflective of the hyper knee jerk atmosphere of today's media -- especially in their dealings with Donald Trump.

Jim: Is the media winning the war with Trump?  Or are they losing like Wolff argued?

Trina: I'd say they are losing over and over.  I'd say they're embarrassing themselves.

Ann: I'd agree.  And it goes to the Stelter approach.  Let's just deal with lying.  If Donald Trump is wrong, it's lying.  It's lying, lying, lying.  If Barack Obama claims to have visited all 57 states -- when the US has 50 states -- the media shrugs.  SNOPES will even offer a so-called 'fact check' that includes "an obviously tired" -- what?  Who cares if he was tired?  He said it.  It was wrong.  You don't offer those excuses for others but you do for him.  It's always been a biased system.

Wally: Right, they're playing favorites.  Anyone honest can admit that.  Joe Biden was a gaffe prone disaster but they liked him so the media didn't go out of their way to humiliate him the way they do to name call Donald Trump.  They're damaging themselves in so many ways.

Marcia: Including their own images because they don't look fair or impartial.  They come off like partisan activists and not journalists.  And every time some disgraced idiot like Dan Rather takes to the talk shows to talk about how now the times are different it just reminds you that Dan Rather was fired by CBS and left in disgrace.

Dona: And it's sickening -- this talk of 'now it's different' or 'now more than ever.'  I'm sorry where were you the last 8 years?

Marcia: Exactly.  Again, they don't look at all impartial.

Jim: Okay, into the e-mails.  Last week's "Media Collapse (Ava and C.I.)" got a ton of e-mails and requests that Ava and C.I. do that every week.  Which they won't do.

Ava: No, we won't.  We're not a juke box, we don't play the same song over and over.

Jim: But there was a huge appreciation for what they did.  FYI, their response to that is always to go another direction.  As Ava said, they aren't a juke box.  C.I. usually says she's not going to stand on stage and perform greatest hits.

Elaine: And they're right to take that approach, it's why they have a body of work.  I'm really blown away by their body of work over the last 12 years.  They've done humor, they've done hard hitting analysis and reporting, they've done parody.  They've got this huge body of work and the impact they've had can be felt and noticed.

C.I.: Spoken like a true friend, thank you.

Elaine: And I am but I'm also being honest.  Sunny and I ended up talking twice last week just about the writing Ava and C.I. have been doing.  It is amazing.

Jim: I would absolutely agree with you, Elaine.  They register and make an impact and that's evident every week in the e-mails alone as well as in what's being read.  Stan, you cover movies and TV at your site and we have an e-mail from Martina who says thank you for that because she's so sick of politics.

Stan: I think we all are.  I think we're also all sick of awards shows being turned into political party conventions.

Betty: Amen.  And I agree with Stan's "The award goes to . . . SOUTHPARK" that SOUTHPARK is really the only political humor worth applauding.  Maya Rudolph destroyed her own chances of being a variety star with that dreadful one sided MAYA & MARTY.  I didn't know we were going to bring up Ava and C.I.'s writing, which is great, agreed, but I did grab their "TV: MAYA & MARTY" and sorry, I'm doing a long excerpt.

Rosie O'Donnell loves the format but she bombed in November 2008 because she mistook YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS for political satire.

It's a mistake Lorne Michaels again made last week when MAYA & MARTY debuted on NBC.

The mistake NBC made was letting Lorne Michaels produce to begin with.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE is a struggling staple that's been airing since 1975.  Other than a break in the 80s, Lorne's been responsible the entire time.

Maybe a 71-year-old isn't the best bet for producing a variety show?

He's built up so much ill will over the years and being given THE TONIGHT SHOW and moving it to New York City did not help.

Now he's done his one trick dog and pony show yet again and a smarter network would be easing him out and turning to some of the talent that's been putting on their winter live theater events instead.

Maybe a non-elderly man who wasn't cloistered in Manhattan would've realized last week's skit mocking Melania Trump was crossing a line?

Melania Trump, for those who do not know, is the latest woman unfortunate enough to be married to Donald Trump.

For some reason, she was mocked by Maya Rudolph in a skit whose 'humor' revolved around the fact that Melania has an accent because she was born in Slovenia.

That's progressive humor?

Mocking someone because of their accent?

Turning them into "the other"?

It's amazing how often, on the left, we drop our beliefs if we think it will help us.  It's why so many will quickly traffic in racism (hello, David Brock) or sexism (Keith Olbermann, you are never forgotten) to attempt a takedown 'from the left.'

It was a disgusting moment.

It was also a puzzling one.

If you needed to do political -- and we honestly do not believe a summer variety show needs to -- skit, last week it would have made more sense to do a skit about Hillary Clinton's e-mails since all of her public statements were rebuked by the report from the State Department's Inspector General.

So a skit on that would have at least passed for timely.

Even stranger still, the skit featured Kate McKinnon.

That would be the same McKinnon whose been getting laughs this year and last on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE for her impersonation of candidate Hillary Clinton.

But McKinnon didn't play Hillary.

She just participated in a tasteless skit making fun of the fact that a foreign-born person had an accent.

It was offensive and it wasn't funny -- not even in a so-crudely-offensive-you-laugh-in-shock manner.

Betty (Con't): It was one-sided humor.  It's why the show sucked.  They're making fun of Trump by attacking his wife's accent and it's the week that Hillary's claims about the e-mails were shown to be false by the IG report.  But even though the hideous Kate McKinnon appeared on the episode, there was no Hillary skit.  It's been one-sided and the world has noticed.  SOUTHPARK went after everyone.

Jim: Great point.  Another e-mail asks about Wally and Cedric.  You two do joint-posts and it appeared to some that you were dropping to one post a week?

Cedric: We're just tired.

Wally: Last week we got five.

Cedric: We're going to try for that this week.  Our big problem goes back to the point earlier about the press.  Everything about the presidency turns into a OMG moment, an it's-the-end-of-the-world time.  Exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point.

Wally: We're parodying and mocking.  It's a little hard to do that when the press is making a mockery of journalism in their own actions.

Ty: On another e-mail, Christina asks why some artists on our "This edition's playlist" get a link and some don't?

Dona: We link to living artists.  We do link to Cass Elliot but she's the only one who's dead that we link to.  In terms of the albums themselves, if Kat's reviewed them or someone's written about the album at their sites, we usually include that link.

Jess: Wendy wants Mike to answer why there are "Highlights" some week and some week there are not?

Mike: Every week, we try to do that but we're tired -- like Cedric and Wally were saying -- and sometimes too tired.  Now at least once -- when Ruth wrote something -- we made the decision to just repost what she wrote because we thought it was so strong and right on.  I don't think we're gong to get to the topic a number of us wanted to talk about -- supposed interest in protecting Muslims.  I want to point out that these same 'concerned' people were no where to be found in 2014 when THE INTERCEPT was reporting that 5 Muslim Americans were being spied on by the NSA: Faisal Gill, Asim Ghafoor, Hooshang Amirahmadi, Agha Saeed and Nihad Awad.  For more on that, you can read Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain's July 8, 2014 report for THE INTERCEPT.

Rebecca: On Glenn, I wanted to note a Tweet:

You literally spent years on TV screaming that George W Bush was a fascist and a Nazi

Kat: I have no idea why the limp Keith Olbermann has been welcomed back by some.  He's a sexist pig and he's a blow hard.  He's nothing but a fancy boy -- Ben Affleck nailed him in that SNL parody.
If we can't make it on the left without the divisive and mean Olbermann, maybe we shouldn't survive. I can't stand him or the people who praise him.

Jim: And many would rush to agree with you Kat.  On that note, we're going to need to wrap up.  This is a rush transcript.



February 10th, THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE opens.

In 3-D!!!!!


They're plastic toys.

Why do you need 3-D?

What's next?

MY LITTLE PONY'S FIRST DUMP -- in IMAX and 3-D everywhere!!!!!

Tweet of the week

This edition's playlist

sandy shaw



3) Little Richard's HERE'S LITTLE RICHARD.

4) Neil Young's AFTER THE GOLD RUSH.

5) Joni Mitchell's FOR THE ROSES.



8) Diana Ross' THE BOSS.

9) Thelonious Monk's BRILLIANT CORNERS.

10) Doris Day's I HAVE DREAMED.

Classic Cher

Cher's gearing up for residencies in Las Vegas and DC.



Mar 19, 2017 The Theater at MGM National Harbor Washington, DC. United States
Mar 20, 2017 The Theater at MGM National Harbor Washington, DC. United States
Mar 23, 2017 The Theater at MGM National Harbor Washington, DC. United States
Mar 25, 2017 The Theater at MGM National Harbor Washington, DC. United States
Mar 26, 2017 The Theater at MGM National Harbor Washington, DC. United States
May 3, 2017 Park Theater at the Monte Carlo Las Vegas, NV. United States
May 5, 2017 Park Theater at the Monte Carlo Las Vegas, NV. United States
May 6, 2017 Park Theater at the Monte Carlo Las Vegas, NV. United States


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