Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Truest statement of the week

“I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president certainly that I’ve known about,” [former President Jimmy] Carter told  The New York Times in an interview published Saturday.
Carter pointed to the reports that question Trump's mental stability as a sign the press is going too far in scrutinizing him. 

-- Olivia Beavers, "Jimmy Carter: Media 'harder' on Trump than other presidents" (THE HILL).

Truest statement of the week II

This is because in spite of its meek professions of neutrality, Washington did take a side in this conflict: that of Iraq's central government. But it did more than that by attempting to minimize the role its regional adversary, Iran, apparently played in the reconquest of Kirkuk. The commander of the Quds Force, the foreign expeditionary arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, was reportedly instrumental in the Kirkuk operation.
Nothing better illustrates the incoherence of America's stance in the Middle East than the fact that it turned out to be on the same side as Major General Qasem Soleimani, who occupies a status within US intelligence circles somewhere between Professor Moriarty and Darth Vader. He and his proxies are believed by US officials to have caused hundreds of American fatalities and injuries on the battlefields of Iraq.  
Yet it's hard to overstate what the Iranian operative has just pulled off. Not only did Soleimani out-marshal and humiliate Washington by brokering a cleverer and more cynical deal, which undercut its own vain attempts at conflict resolution, but he was then rewarded with US legitimization of his scheme. (Iran officially denied any involvement in the recapture of Kirkuk.)

-- Michael Weiss, "How America sided with Iran over Iraq's Kurds" (CNN).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Tuesday.  We barely made it.

Let's 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?

Jimmy Carter gets a truest.
As does Michael Weiss.
Betty and C.I. brought this idea in and we worked it out.  We're not calling it an editorial.
Ava and C.I. examine DYNASTY.  Now this was done on Sunday and among the loudest voices about not wanting to get together on Monday were those two.  
But if we'd published on Sunday, we would be missing some features.  Including this one.  Ava and C.I. called me Tuesday afternoon when they were in a bookstore.  And one of them saw the Ann Powers book. They assumed it was a collection of Ann's previously published music criticism.  So they thought they could cover that and give it a rave.  Then they saw it was Ann attempting to write a book.  And then they realized how awful the book was.  At that point, there was talk of ignoring it.  (I, Jim, just listened throughout all of this.)  But then they said, "Where in feminism does it say we have to give a bad book a pass?"  Fortunately for our readers, it doesn't say that anywhere.  So Ava and C.I. take on the Ann Powers book.
We're trying to do more list pieces as so many of you have requested.
Diana Ross.
Who, November 19th, will be awarded and acknowledged in the ABC broadcast of THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS.

What we listened to.
A press release from Senator Johnny Iskason's office.
An important post by someone telling truth.
A press release from IAVA.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.

See you next week.


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

If you were a Kurd . . .

What would you think?

Looking around at what's going on and what people are saying, what would you be thinking?

Maybe you'd note how the Kurds came together September 25th to vote on a referendum?

You'd think about how the vote was peaceful despite threats from the Baghdad-based Iraqi government.

And maybe you'd be proud that 92% of the Kurds voting wanted an independent Kurdistan.

The Kurds are the largest ethnic group on the globe without a homeland.

It was a vote, a non-binding vote.

And yet Baghdad tried to bully and intimidate.  They sent troops to the border of northern Iraq.  So did Turkey.  So did Iran.

And Baghdad closed the Kurdish airports and made more threats.

They then sent the Shi'ite militias in to attack the Kurds.

And maybe you're thinking, "Our Peshmerga could have taken them."

Because they could have.  But the Talabani family -- now being called The Treasonous Talabanis -- betrayed the Kurds and ordered the Peshmerga to withdraw.

Do the Talabanis really not want an independent Kurdistan?


Or maybe they just can't stand that the Barzani family were the ones to take the Kurds closer to this long dream of an independent homeland.

THE GUARDIAN seems to think the matter is now over for at least a generation.

Ali Khedery Retweeted Kurdistan 24 English
The Kurds have given up on the United States. They're appealing to Russia - Russia - to save them from Islamists in Iran, Iraq & Turkey.
Ali Khedery added,

Apparently, the Kurds didn't get the memo.

. North of . The West betrays . But the demonstrate against Iranian and Iraqi occupation .

The Kurds aren't waiting a generation, nor should they.

The Baghdad-based government is attacking them.  It's that simple.

Evidence of abuse, human rights violation targeting Kurds in Tuz Khurmatu: report.

Maybe all the silence can be broken?

But if it's not, that will just harden the Kurds resolve.

If you were a Kurd and felt like the world was basically ignoring your suffering and the attacks on you right now, we would understand your feeling that way.

TV: A reboot done right

A little diversity comes to the Whitest of all genres -- the prime time soap opera.  THE CW's DYNASTY reboot attempts to drag the eighties relic into this century by making Jeff Colby and chauffer Michael African-American while Sammy Jo and Crystal are now Hispanic.

Next up?

Dominque Deveraux becomes prime time's first transgender bitch?

a new illst

The mind reels at possible casting.

For talent, they go with Laverne Cox;  for oversaturated media coverage, they go with Caitlyn Jenner; and for a nod to the long historical acknowledgement maybe Caroline Cossey?

The world has tilted but
The world has expanded
And the world has turned
My world upside down
Cause the night is warm and all full of stars

-- "Scar," written by Carly Simon, first appears on her album THE BEDROOM TAPES

Those are just three names -- three well known names -- and the fact that there are so many more goes to how much the world has expanded since 1981.

This is touched on most with the characters of Sammy Jo and Fallon.

A shot of Sammy Jo in a shirt unbuttoned to the waist captures the curve of Sammy Jo's breast only this isn't a Heather Locklear lookalike.

Sammy Jo is now Sammy Joe or just "Sam" and he's Crystal's nephew (played by Rafael de la Feunte).

Hopefully, this means this go round the actor playing Steven, James Mackay, won't have the problems Al Corely did on the original series -- one week Steven's gay, the next he isn't.

The character was written gay by Esther and Richard Shapiro but the network (ABC) got very skittish repeatedly.  So gay Steven had an affair with Claudia and then ended up married to Sammy Jo.

This after his homphobic father Blake Carrington killed Steven's ex-lover Ted for the 'crime' of hugging.

James Mackay plays Steven with just enough dork that you can see him falling head over heels for Sam and Sam manipulating the hell out of him.

This storyline has huge promise.

Even more so when you factor in that Rafael and Elizabeth Gillies (Fallon) are the show's standouts.

Take the scene where Fallon's speaking to her brother Steven.

Fallon: What's up your ass this morning?

Sam walks in.

Fallon: Hmm.  Never mind.

Gillies' character gets all the lines but the moment between her and de la Fuente's is the stuff good soaps are built on -- pure melodrama.

Elizabeth Gillies' Fallon also benefits from the time traveled.

Wonderfully played by Pamela Sue Martin in the original series, Fallon was talented, smart and ambitious.  But she's unable to move forward in her father's company and never finds any real success (outside of bed) until season four when she's in charge of a hotel.

Pamela Sue Martin brought Fallon to life -- more than can be said for the writers.  They seemed unable to visualize a successful business woman.  (Even Alexis' 'success' was not real -- it was motivated by the desire to crush Blake -- and she'd repeatedly risk it in attempts to do just that.  Alexis was far more lucky than talented.)

Fallon's not a stunted daddy's girl this go round.

Yes, she's still got daddy issues but she's also got ambition and goes after business opportunities.

It's amazing to look back at 1981 and grasp that even a show co-written by a woman (Esther Shapiro) couldn't see a company business role for a young woman.

Linda Evans played Krystal Carrington in the original.  Her character suffered repeatedly.

Nathalie Kelley's Cristal Flores Carrington doesn't really suffer.  She's just a bitch to Fallon -- at one point, she even pushes Fallon into an open grave at a cemetery.

A soap -- a good one -- needs victims for the victimizers to target or, if you prefer, 'good guys.'

It can be a thankless role.

This time around, it appears that role will go to James Mackay's Steven who is the only well meaning character on the show thus far.

Grant Show deserves credit for his conception of Blake Carrington.

He's made him far more interesting than John Forsythe ever did.  You don't picture him, for instance, telling the producers that Blake and Cristal can't cheat on each other.

And you can picture him cheating on Cristal.

What is she to him but a possession?

He takes a fancy to her and then wants her and it doesn't bother him a bit that she's also with another guy (Matthew).

It's a more honest concept of Blake than the crap Forsythe served up -- a sexist and homophobic man the country was supposed to worship.  That was part of the reason the series struggled so in season one and part of why Joan Collins' Alexis was so warmly welcomed by viewers in season two.  Here was a character who wasn't intimidated by Blake, who didn't worship him, who told her gay son that she loved him.

Grant Show's Blake may end up a lovable rogue but right now Show's not afraid to play unlovable colors and to sketch out a complex character.

Season one of the reboot already trumps season one of the original.  If THE CW sticks with the show, this DYNASTY could end up their biggest series.

Good Golly, What A Folly (Ava and C.I.)

Ann Powers.

Rock critic.

Would-be historian?


GOOD BOOTY is the book.

Is she trying to bring passion into history or just using sex to sell?

Years ago, Pat Benatar insisted, "Stop using sex as a weapon."

After reading GOOD BOOTY, we more than agree with Pat.

This is one of those bad books that tries to squeeze everything in and say everything needed but you can't cover the history of modern music in five hundred pages.

So you get a fleeting sentence here and there on this influential artist (Joni Mitchell, for instance) but nothing lasting, nothing unique and nothing original.

Powers spends a few pages on certain artists.

They'd be better off reduced to a single sentence in her rush-rush coverage.

That's especially true when she decides to 'explore' Jim Morrison.


For writing this shallow, 'explore' is really a generous term.

Her 'analysis' of Jim was that he wanted to show his cock.

We're not kidding.

Now there's one concert where Jim may have pulled it out.

He wanted people to think he did -- but whether he actually did or not,  that's in dispute.

Unless you are Ann Powers and writing about how Jim's desire to flash the cock is his entire modus operandi for his music, his performance, his entire existence.

Stop using sex, Ann Powers, as a weapon.

Especially when you write so poorly.

Here she is writing about a genuine rock god, The Lizard King, for goodness sake.

And it's so boring she puts you to sleep.

Does Ann know what a cock can do?

She knows exposing it can cause trouble, but does she know what a cock can actually do?

Her writing is asexual despite her constantly insisting everything is sex. Carly Simon's "Anticipation" is foreplay, Joni Mitchell's "You Turn Me On I'm A Radio" is a sensual song -- funny Joni always saw it as the song she wrote as a dare when David Geffen doubted she could write a hit single.

Diana Ross is mentioned briefly.  Once as a Supreme.  Later, Ann notes her early solo career in a sentence.  But, strangely, for a book supposedly covering sex and race, she has nothing to say about Diana's hit "Muscles" or the beefcake video that came with the song.

She insists Michael Jackson was "soaked in sexual anxiety."

Strange that Ann Powers ignored "Muscles" since the song was written by Michael Jackson.

She types, "In his other great 1980s videos, for "Billie Jean," "Beat It," and "Bad," Jackson plays similar roles: whether noir gum-shoe or gangland street fighter, he is always a hero driven into action by baser desires."


Has she ever seen the video for "Billie Jean"?

She writes like she has never seen the video.

What "baser desires" motivate him?

A fit bit to count his steps?

Many critics, including J. Randy Taraborreli, have lamented that "Billie Jean," which is so strong lyrically, has no visuals that live up to the song in the video.

Ann's confusing throughout.

For example, she can type "JIM MORRISON: LAMENT FOR THE DEATH OF MY COCK."

She just can't follow it up with anything that matters.

Nearly 500 pages of tease, tease, tease.

It all adds up to so damn little.

Good golly, what a folly.

10 best hot dog toppings

Hot dogs.  Boiled, grilled, microwaved, who doesn't like them?


Here's a list of our picks for best toppings -- and we'll note that Betty and C.I. swear by the Chicago dog as the best hot dog in the country.

1) Onions.

2) Catsup.

3) Chili.

4) Pickles.

5) Chili with Frito chips.

6) Relish.

7) Sauerkraut.

8) Shredded bacon.

9) Shredded cheese.

10) Melted cheese and jalapenos.

Video of the week

Diana Ross performing her classic "If We Hold On Together."


The Live Broadcast Will Air Sunday, November 19th at 8:00pm ET on ABC
Los Angeles, CA (October 18, 2017) – dick clark productions and ABC announced today that music superstar Diana Ross will be honored at the “2017 American Music Awards” with the “American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement,” in recognition of her remarkable career and her outstanding artistic contributions to the entertainment industry and popular culture.  A seven-time American Music Awards winner, Ms. Ross has a long-standing connection to the AMAs. In addition to attending the very first show in 1974 and leading several show-stopping performances throughout the years – including a star-studded performance of “We Are The World” in 1986, she hosted the show in both 1986 and 1987 and was on-hand in 2014 to present the first ever “Dick Clark Award for Excellence” to Taylor Swift. As this year’s “American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement” recipient, the legendary singer will take the stage for a rare performance. The “2017 American Music Awards,” the world’s largest fan-voted awards show where music enthusiasts watch their favorite artists and pop culture icons come together to honor idols, newcomers and record-breakers in the contemporary music scene, will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 8:00pm ET on ABC.
“I have endless memories of all the years that I have appeared on the American Music Awards,” says Ms. Ross. “It started with Dick Clark and The Caravan of Stars and American Bandstand.  It was Dick Clark who said, ‘Music is the soundtrack of our lives.’ So true. I am so excited to be receiving this honorable award.”
The “American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement,” formerly the “American Music Award of Merit”, is only given to artists who have made truly exceptional contributions to the music industry. The award was last given in 2016 to Sting. Additional previous honorees include Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, Gloria Estefan, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Joel, Bon Jovi, Annie Lennox, Loretta Lynn, Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, Prince, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Tammy Wynette.
Nominations for the “2017 American Music Awards” were announced earlier this month, revealing Bruno Mars leads with eight nominations, including Artist of the Year, Video of the Year, and Favorite Male Artist – Pop/Rock. The Chainsmokers, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran and The Weeknd tied with five nominations each, while Justin Bieber, Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi received four nominations each. Additionally, Keith Urban earned three nominations, and Rihanna and Halsey earned two nominations each.
The American Music Awards winners are voted entirely by fans. Voting is open in all categories except New Artist of the Year presented by T-Mobile and Collaboration of the Year presented by Xfinity, which will both open on Wednesday, November 1.
The Artist of the Year nominees are Bruno Mars, The Chainsmokers, Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Ed Sheeran. Voting for Artist of the Year will close on Thursday, November 16 at 8:59:59pm PT. Voting for all other editorial categories closes on Monday, November 13 at 8:59:59am PT.
For New Artist of the Year presented by T-Mobile and Collaboration of the Year presented by Xfinity, fans can vote for each award 100 times per day, per voting platform in one or both of the ways below. Fans can vote for all other awards once per day, per voting platform.
American Music Awards nominees are based on key fan interactions as reflected in Billboard Magazine and on Billboard.com, including album and digital song sales, radio airplay, streaming, social activity and touring. These measurements are tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Music and Next Big Sound. The eligibility period for the “2017 American Music Awards” was September 9, 2016 to September 14, 2017.
Sponsors for the “2017 American Music Awards” include Comcast’s Xfinity and T-Mobile. Media partners include Cumulus Media/ Westwood One and Music Choice.
The “2017 American Music Awards” is produced by dick clark productions. Allen Shapiro and Mike Mahan are Executive Producers. Larry Klein, Barry Adelman and Mark Bracco are Producers.
For the latest American Music Awards news, exclusive content and more, be sure to follow the AMAs on social and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #AMAs.
Facebook: Facebook.com/AMAs
Twitter: @AMAs
Instagram: @AMAs
Snapchat: TheAMAs
Cheat tweet: Music legend @DianaRoss will receive the American Music Award for Lifetime Achievement & perform at the @AMAsamas.news/dianaross #AMAs
Diana Ross – Social Media
Twitter: @DianaRoss
Instagram: @dianaross
Tickets are now on sale at www.axs.com.
To apply for media credentials to cover the “2017 American Music Awards” please go to here. Submissions for credentials will stay open until 6pm PT on Friday, November 3, 2017.
About the American Music Awards
The American Music Awards, the world’s biggest fan-voted award show, features performances from today’s hottest artists and presents fan-voted awards in the music genres of Pop/Rock, Alternative Rock, Country, Rap/Hip-Hop, Soul/R&B, Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Inspirational, Latin, EDM and Soundtrack, and the categories of Artist of the Year, New Artist of the Year presented by T-Mobile, Collaboration of the Year presented by Xfinity, Tour of The Year and Video of the Year. The American Music Awards pays tribute to today’s most influential and iconic artists.  The show is produced by dick clark productions and is seen in more than 200 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.theamas.comwww.dickclark.com or abc.go.com/shows/american-music-awards.
About dick clark productions
dick clark productions (dcp) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Miss America,” “Hollywood Film Awards” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and dcp. dcp also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with more than 55 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.
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