Monday, November 13, 2017

Truest statement of the week

It didn’t take long for white liberals to attack Donna Brazile.
From its portals in media and politics, the vindictive left is in battle mode now that Brazile -- a longtime Democratic strategist -- has spilled the beans about how broken our political system really is.
Having served as interim chair of the Democratic National Committee during the final innings of the 2016 election, Brazile ought to know. In her explosive new book, “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House,” she reveals a secret agreement that turned the DNC into a subsidiary of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Clinton handed over $20 million to help get the DNC out of debt. In return, she got control of the inner workings of the organization. This included decisions about scheduling debates, who should fill key posts and how messages should be shaped.
Clinton’s challengers -- Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chafee -- never had a chance. The fix was in.

Ruben Navarrette, "Brazile speaks truth to white liberals" (Greensboro News & Record).

Truest statement of the week II

Brazile has been accused of damaging the Democrats and if that is indeed the case she ought to be thanked. One year ago this columnist wrote that the Clinton defeat should result in a mass exodus from the party and a plan for replacing it with one truly dedicated to the interests of people. Human rights, economic justice, and peace will never truly be on the Democratic Party agenda.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "No Honor Among Thieves" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Monday evening.  Isn't that a retail store?

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?

Ruben gets a truest.
Margaret Kimberley gets another truest.

Iraq remains the same old song.
Ava and C.I. take on the Trump charges versus the Trump treatment.
We roundtable.
I (Jim) picked this video.  Remember AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS next Sunday -- Diana performing and receiving a lifetime achievement award as well.
What's NASA up to?
To believe George Takei over the weekend, you had to assume he was lying a few weeks ago.
John Stauber.
We do too.
What we listened to while writing.

See you next week.


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

Editorial: Circles and circles

Pentagon: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Lee Smith died Saturday at Camp Taji, Iraq, due to injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident.

Another US death from the Iraq War.

The death toll rises as the war continues.

It's the same story as it's been every year of the war.

Christopher Woody (BUSINESS INSIDER) observes:

For the close to 1,000 US Marines assisting Iraqi forces in the area, the campaign has led them back to familiar terrain to continue the fight against an enemy that appears set to evolve into a different kind of threat.
"Marines, in particular, understand western Iraq," Marine Corps. Brig Gen. Robert Sofge told Marine Corps Times this month — an area Sofge called "old stomping grounds" for US Marines.
"We spent most folks' career there and there are relationships there that endure," Sofge said. "Even while priorities may shift in and around [US Central Command], that doesn't make what's going in Anbar [province] less important." 

Circles and circles, always the same thing.

Well not exactly the same.

Back in the early days of the Iraq War, the press actually gave a damn.

That would include THE NATION magazine.

At the start of 2005, the magazine offered "Iraq's Lost Election" -- an editorial which included:

As long as the occupation continues, any Iraqi government or constitution will be tainted and incapable of producing the compromises necessary for a stable and unified Iraq. Therefore, for the sake of Iraq's future and the safety of our young men and women, the United States must begin an orderly withdrawal, coordinated with stepped-up US and international economic assistance. We recognize that further violence and internal fighting among Iraqis may follow, but to believe that a continuing US military presence can prevent this is na├»ve or disingenuous; it will, rather, contribute to the instability. The best long-term outcome is for Iraqis to regain control of their own country and sort out their own future. 

What's changed?

Why is the magazine silent today?

US troops need to leave.

They need to stop being used to support whichever politician the US government puts in place.

They need to stop being used to prop up a government that doesn't represent the Iraqi people.

TV: If Donald Trump is so bad . . .

We are really confused of late.

Donald Trump is Hitler.

Donald Trump is the KKK.

Donald Trump is Satan.

Silly us, we thought Ronald Reagan had been The Great Satan.

a new illst

And Donald?

We thought he was a self-involved bore incapable of actual thought.

Unlike so many on the left, our opinion of Donald was based on observable fact.

We know him and we don't like him.

It's okay, he doesn't like us either.

And our interaction with -- and avoidance of -- him goes back years.

Today's hysteria over him has always seemed to us to smell of self-created drama for so many.

Monologue after monologue by Jimmy The Con Kimmel or Stephen Homophobic Colbert or Bill I Hate Women and Muslims Maher?

If he's Hitler, if he's the KKK, if he's Satan, why the jokes?

Are we supposed to believe that late night comics in Serbia were doing bits about Slobodan Milosevic back in 1999?

Donald Trump is a cottage industry for CNN.

CNN doesn't have to be embarrassed about that.

Trump coverage delivers ratings.

But they can deliver intelligent -- and, yes, fair, -- coverage.

Why they don't?

That's what should embarrass them.

The same way that SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE should be embarrassed that the abusive and homophobic Alec Baldwin keeps guesting to play Donald Trump instead of one of their own cast members.

Is it such a great role?

We're sure its one full of comic potential.

We're not seeing Alec hit those notes.  We're seeing him play to the audience.  We're seeing him give the type of performance that Lorne Michaels has always insisted did not belong on SNL.

Equally true, Alec Baldwin turns sixty next April and will be celebrating the birth of his fifth child.

What happened to concerns about overpopulation in this world?

Does Alec Baldwin need a fifth child?

Is he something amazing becoming a father again at sixty?

Or isn't he becoming just as creepy as the caricature of Donald Trump?

Five children.

Alec's friend Harvey Weinstein got into trouble and we saw what happened -- Alec minimized harassment and then started blaming rape survivor Rose McGowan.


Rose McGowan fired back at Alec Baldwin on Sunday after he said McGowan “delayed justice” against disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein, whom she says raped her. “wee little baby man had a widdle baby tantrum cos he wants to protect rapists. You’re sooo liberal, you scum bucket,” McGowan tweeted in response to Baldwin’s remarks.

How does a Harvey Weinstein happen?  Because of people like Alec Baldwin.

(Equally true, Alec has a lot more in common with Harvey than he's willing to admit.)

So if Trump's so bad and so evil, does that excuse our making nice with Alec and letting him play Donald on SNL?

It's a funny kind of world we're living in.

MSNBC's Joy Reid's commenting on how she feels she has more in common with neocons than with the left.

Rachel Maddow's daily rants are seen as inspirational when they're so beyond the cray they make Howard Beale appear reticent and reasoned.

Ellen DeGeneres brings on War Criminal Bully Boy Bush because he attacks Donald Trump verbally.

Ellen, did that really bring the dead from the Iraq War back to life?

No, it didn't.

And you normalizing Bully Boy Bush is something we can't ignore or forgive.

It was shameful.

You were shameful.

Donald Trump?

He may be all the bad he's said to be by the frantic fortune tellers.

But even if that's so, would it really excuse one-sided journalism?

Or the spreading of still unproven allegations against Russia regarding the 2016 election?

Or egging on a clash between Russia and the US -- two countries with nuclear weapons?

In The Age of Barack, so many looked the other way and that was bad enough.

They ignored the fact that he didn't end the Iraq War and he didn't end veterans' homelessness.

That was bad.

That was really bad.

But it's no longer just situational ethics.  When you're praising Bully Boy Bush and making nice with him, you are now a part of the true Axis of Evil.

Have you no shame?

Donald Trump is a bore.  He's a narcissist.

But thus far, his actual actions aren't all that different than his predecessors.

Maybe at the end of his White House tenure, he'll have made it clear just how corrupt the presidency is and maybe people will be smart enough to apply that to the ones who came before because they've got blood on their hands -- even if Ellen's doing the hand-jive with them.


Jim: Where are the roundtables?  Multiple e-mails are asking that.  Here's one and 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): Wally, an e-mail came in that insisted the speaking work that you, Kat, Ava and C.I. do is responsible for young people deciding not to vote in 2016.  Your thoughts?

Wally: How do I plead?  [Laughter.]  We speak.  We listen.  We've noted this here and elsewhere, people aren't enthused by the choices they're being given.  Are we responsible for people not voting? I don't think we have that kind of power.  We are part of a larger discussion and many participants across the country are part of that.  Many decided not to vote.  Many decided to vote on all races but the president.  Many decided to vote for a third party.  We're part of a conversation.  We don't lead it, we don't own it, but we are part of it.  Kat?

Kat: Yeah, what you said.  People are responsible for themselves.  That includes those who choose to run for office and those who choose not to.  I believe your vote is earned.  We all do.  If we've helped popularize that no one owns your vote, good for us.  I find it hilarious when I hear the whining of this or that person about 2016.  I laugh at the crybabies who insist Hillary was the victim of sexism.  Where were they in 2008?  Because in 2008, Hillary was the victim of sexism.  And they said not a word.  They were fine with it.  We defended her against sexism.  We called it out while the press and trash like Kathleen Hall Jamison pretended it didn't exist with KHJ actually taking part in the sexism aimed at Hillary.

Jim: And she did it with Bill Moyers -- and, at this site, she was called out for it.  Ava and C.I. defended her from sexism, Cynthia McKinney from sexism and, yes, Sarah Palin from sexism throughout 2008.  It was The Cult of St Barack that pimped sexism.  And they have never been held accountable for it.  Let's move to another topic --

Cedric: Wait.

Jim: Okay.

Cedric: If we're going to have to rehash 2016 one more time, let's be clear that Bernie Sanders' remarks did not hurt her.  They were mild compared to what Barack Obama said about her in 2008.  What he said -- mocking her as Annie Oakley, saying "the claws come out" when she's "periodically feeling blue," saying "You're likable enough," all of that -- hurt her.  The Cult of St. Barack calling her a racist, branding her that in 2008, their saying that she was calling for the assassination of Barack, all of that, hurt Hillary.  Eight years later, those attitudes were even firmer.  Bernie didn't call her a racist.  It's a shame she was a lousy candidate in 2016.  She seemed to feel she was a celebrity or that this was how Barack won.  In 2008, she connected with workers.  In 2016, she didn't.  We can explore the whys of that but she was a lousy candidate on the trail and she was dealing with the toxic image that Democrats supporting Barack created eight years later.  Hillary lost.  She was lousy going into the campaign because of the way she was tarred and feathered in 2008, her period as Secretary of State had nothing to show for it -- she championed war, she achieved no peace anywhere, didn't work for it, just took a lot of selfies.  She was a lousy candidate.  I'm sick of the blame Russia b.s. and I'm sick of her.

Jim: Okay, I guess we're staying with this because Dona's waiving.  Dona?

Dona:  I want to address the b.s. from her fetish slaves who claim Al Gore wasn't told to go away.  That's because he went away.  It was over a year after the elections before he spoke.  He grew a beard, he went away.  Not true with Hillary.  She refuses to go away.  She should be apologizing for all she did wrong and for the fact that she prevented the US from having a President Bernie Sanders.  This is from Daniel Chaitin, WASHINGTON EXAMINER:

Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee urged the members of Hillary Clinton's failed 2016 campaign to "look in the mirror" after neglecting to own up to its faults over the past year.
Briefly a Democratic presidential candidate himself, Chafee condemned the "Clinton people" for blaming other people for Clinton's election loss to President Trump.
"It's been a year since the election and the Clinton people just haven't looked in the mirror over the course of this year," Chafee said on Fox News in an interview Saturday morning. "They've been blaming the Russians and everybody else, blaming Sen. Sanders. They've got to look in the mirror and say how could we, as a Clinton campaign, lose to a seemingly unelectable man?"

Dona (Con't): She lost.  She's a loser.  She needs to apologize.  She's not a leader, she's a loser.  Chafee has noted the attacks on Donna Brazile.  Betty, you wrote "Racist Terry McAuliffe" about McAuliffe's attacks on Brazile and we'll be using something from Ruben Navarrette Jr.'s "Democrats should listen to Donna Brazile - not silence her."

Betty:  Sure.  But let me note something from Navarrette's column that we're not using for "Truest statement," this part:

Twelve years ago, I wrote a column where I excoriated liberals for expecting Latinos and African-Americans to be deferential and attacking those who aren't. The left, I noted, prefers minorities who "ask for permission before they speak and make sure that what they say falls in line with the views of their liberal benefactors."
Out of the blue, Brazile sent me an email praising the piece and congratulating me for writing it. Now she is the one who refuses to be deferential. She has every right to tell her story. And don't expect her to ask anyone for permission.

Betty's (Con't):  12 years ago would be 2005.  I wish I'd seen that column.  I wish he'd had a link to it in his current column.

C.I.: I have no idea why he didn't.  I was thinking it might be due to the fact that it was before he was part of THE WASHINGTON POST's Syndicate Group but it's not.  You can find Navarrette's "Liberals don't know what to do with nondeferential minorities" at the link and here's the conclusion of that June 2005 column:

I don't see why liberals won't say what they really mean. It's obvious that what concerns them is not that these nominees aren't real minorities, but rather that they aren't their kind of minority. You know, the kind that asks for permission before they speak and makes sure that what they say falls in line with the views of their liberal benefactors.

Betty: Thank you!  I'll be using the link when the roundtable goes up to read the 2005 column in full. Okay, first on that point he made.  Yes!  As a Black woman I noticed exactly what he's talking about repeatedly from White liberals.  We're egged on for more comments when we agree but let us put down our bales of cotton for one moment and suddenly we're attacked.  That's what has happened to Donna Brazile.  I don't really like Donna, to be clear.  But I do support her right to speak.  And I do defend her from these people who saw her as a friend when she was feeding questions to Hillary ahead of the debates but who now attack her.  She is not "Patsey the slave" and I praise her for saying that.  At work people keep coming to me about that, non-Blacks, "What's she mean, Betty? What's she talking about?"  Yes, Patsey is a character in the film 12 YEARS A SLAVE but she was an actual person and she was written about by free Black man Solomon Northup in his 1853 book 12 YEARS A SLAVE.  I hope we can all get this right because some have got it twisted and only note that it's a character Lupita Nyong'o played in the film.  No, she was an actual woman who lived and breathed.  Let's not get it twisted.  That's how you are treated by the White left if you are a person of color.  By all the White left?  Goodness no.  I have friends who are good friends -- including participating in this roundtable -- who are White.  But you can't be a person of color and not have experienced this feature online.  Cedric and I have, for example, have been talking about this in roundtables here over and over for years.  And this is exactly what Donna Brazile is now going through.  I'm sure she's been through it before.  But this is exactly what we spent the bulk of the '00s facing online.  As I've noted, I left comments on blogs -- including THE DAILY KOS -- and would be welcomed and egged on to say more.  But if I noted a reality -- like that Blacks were loyal to the Democratic Party but the Party wasn't as loyal to us -- then the attacks came.  This was also the argument COMMON ILLS community member Keesha made regarding comments at THE COMMON ILLS in 2004.  C.I. stated she wasn't someone who followed blogs but that wouldn't be tolerated at THE COMMON ILLS and that the first time that it happened there, she -- C.I. -- would shut down the comments.  And she kept her word when a group of White centrists showed up to try to shut down Keesha in the comments.  That's how we're treated.  That's how Donna Brazile is being treated now -- shut her down. Again, Donna's not my favorite person in the world but I'm not going to let them attack her and, she's right, she's not Patsey the slave.

Ty: For people who can't seem to believe Donna Brazile, I'd like to urge them to read this REAL NEWS NETWORK report on the memo NBC NEWS published.  The deal the DNC entered into with Hillary Clinton's campaign was not above board, was not right, was not ethical.  For the record, I saw what Betty was talking about as well, I saw it and I experienced it.  I'm a gay African-American, there were not welcoming places online in the early '00s.  You were tolerated.  That's it.  If you disgareed, if you said that Jesse Jackson should have spoken in Florida in November of 2000 about the recounts, you were trashed.  That made it clear that everything you said before, that they had supported, was not really support but tolerance.  And I'm really proud of this site, which started 12 years ago, because we didn't fight for tolerance.  Not on marriage equality, not on anything.  We operated from the position of strength: We don't beg for tolerance, we demand it and expect it as our right.  Hillary was a lousy candidate in 2015 and 2016.  She took forever to come out for marriage equality.  She was asked about it by Terri Gross -- the disgusting Terri Gross who has since apologized for asking -- and she couldn't reply.  It was an important question.  Hillary did not lead on gay issues.  In fact, on many gay issues, she had to be dragged into the conversation.

Marcia: I would agree with that.  I'd also note that, in early 2005, she tried to walk further away from abortion rights.  It took her being called out for her to stand back on her weak support -- she's one of those apologists, one of those beggars.  Abortion rights are health rights.  Get it straight.  You don't have to have one but you should support the right of anyone to make their own decision.  She pimped that shameful back alley "we want fewer" blah blah nonsense.  Putting a stigma on abortion.

Jim: Would anyone here vote for her -- or for Bernie -- in a 2020 primary?

Marcia: Her?  No.  She's wasted our time and embarrassed womankind with her refusal to be a good support and exit the court.  "Good game," that's all she needed to say.  Instead she and her cult have refused to let the election go.  So what's it going to be like in 2020?  Will have three years of her refusing to let it go?  "Elect me or else I'll publicly whine forever!"  Grow up, you lost.  As for Bernie?  Four years from now, the age will be an issue for me.  But if he can show he's spry and active and up to the role, yes, I could support him.  Hillary's had her two shots, that's it.

Cedric: I would support Bernie.  I would also consider supporting Bernie if he ran as a third-party candidate.

Ava: No offense, but I feel like we need to wait to see who's going to get in the race before we start committing.  I also feel like Hillary's sour grapes have prevented the Democratic Party from focusing on what's needed.  She needs to stop taking up all the oxygen in the room.

Rebecca: Corey Booker is someone I might support over Trump.  Kamala Harris?  Less likely to do so.  Neither Corey nor Kamala would be my first choice -- or even my fifth choice.  But my problems with Kamala go to her prosecutions.  I think she's responsible for many innocents behind bars, I think a look at her casework demonstrates at least institutional bias and her mixed race does not give her an excuse for taking part in institutional racism.  I would prefer a populist.  Someone who spoke along the lines of Bernie or John Edwards.  I'm fully comfortable with voting third party and will be likely to go Green if we have another Corporatist War Hawk like Hillary pushed down our throats.

Jess: As a Green, I would like to see Kat Swift get a real shot at our party's nomination in 2020.  I think she's paid her dues, I think she's done some major grassroots work.  Ajamu Baraka, our vice presidential nominee last year, is doing some important work currently and I would not be opposed to him being top of the ballot either.

Jim: Thank you, Jess, for bringing in the Green Party.  Many of our readers will join me in saying thank you on that, I'm sure.  "TV: The gifted?" was not just the most read piece in last week's edition, it's also the most e-mailed topic.  I'm going to some e-mails -- this is for Ava and C.I., who wrote the piece.  Andy P wants to know why you felt "the need to draw a line and say that it's not about gay or straight, it's about pedophiles."

Ava: That's referring to the allegations against Bryan Singer.  Pedophiles aren't about gay or straight.  They want to have sex with children.  Let's not mistake this for anything else.  That's why so many were angry when Kevin Spacey finally came out -- after he's accused of assaulting an underage male. He was putting forth the whole gay and pedophile are the same myth -- so many saw that as what he was doing.

Jim: Charlie wants to know why you think you should be believed?

C.I.: About Bryan Singer?  We say in the piece he's free to call us a liar -- so is Charlie, so is anyone.  But we're now seeing a regular pattern. Another friend of his was identified as a child molestor last week.  That's now three.  How many child molestors are you friends with?  As far as I know, the answer is none.  But somehow Bryan Singer has three.

Jim: On friends, Tara S. e-mails that you are part of "a cabal" that includes "your friends Patricia Arquette and Jessica Chastain."

C.I.: I don't believe Ava knows Patricia --

Ava: I don't.

C.I.: I do know her.  I like Patricia, I consider her a friend.  We don't plot things together -- she's on her own on her Hillary high -- she's smart enough to know better than that or is KPFK no longer even remotely independent?  But we've never spoken of Bryan Singer, I found out she'd Tweeted about it after Ava and my article went up -- she'd Tweeted before that but I only found after we'd done our article when a mutual friend told me.  Had I know before it went up, we would have included her Tweet.  I think I've met Jessica once.  We're not friends.  That's not an insult, I've just met her once and we've only spoken -- that one time -- in passing.

Ava: I don't know Jessica either.  And there was no "cabal."  We were relieved to see Jessica had tackled it and moved to include that into our article which was probably 80% written by then.  It wasn't an easy piece to write.  We included Danny Masterson for two reasons -- he was part of the topic and we also wanted to make clear that this was an issue of assault.  Again, there's nothing wrong with being gay.  We do get that it can be really difficult to have honest conversations about this topic because there is fear that this could be used as a weapon to target gay men.  That's why we tried to stress that pedophiles are not about gay or straight -- this is not about adult attraction, this is about crimes with children.  We also would've liked to have noted that women could be criminals.  Certainly, there are tons of stories of adult women sleeping with underage boys.  In fact, Tina Fey's 30 ROCK tried to turn that into a joke.

Jim: Can you explain KPFK?

C.I.:  It's the Pacifica radio station in Los Angeles.  I listen to KPFA because of where I live.  Patricia listens to KPFK -- listens and pledges donations to them.

Jim: How widespread do you two believe pedophilia is in the entertainment industry?  Joe e-mailed asking that.

Ava: Much more widespread than even the whispers get to.  There are far too many women and men who have tales of what happened to them when they were children.  In many cases, when you're seeing a former child star short circuit, you're seeing the effects of molestation from their childhood.

Jim: If that's true, why don't people come out?

C.I.: It's easier to come out against an adult who has assaulted an adult.  Rose McGowan or any number of women can tell you about the disbelief that they faced when telling what happened.  Say it's a big time director who has made some classic children's films, for example, had a feel good career, and you come out and say he molested you?  You're going to have even more people disbelieving you because they don't want to admit that the director of their favorite film did this to you.  We reviewed the show about the Menendez brothers and one of the things the show did right was notice how the judge stopped the testimony about the father assaulting his two sons.  It made the judge uncomfortable.  Even today, there's that from a lot of people when you start talking about child molestation. They don't want to believe it's true and they don't want to hear it.  Anthony Edwards wrote about his abuse as a child last week and that was very brave of him.  Hopefully, others will feel empowered by his actions and do the same.  Stan's "Social Justice Warrior -- and weight watcher -- Alyssa Milano" last week criticized Alyssa Milano -- rightly, in my opinion.  "I was a little girl!" or whatever she whined.  Well, you aren't a little girl now.  Grow up.  Children were molested.  Her "little girl" defense is so typical of the grabbing for childhood by so many to deny the suffering others endured -- it's my favorite show, I really liked him/her, why can't I have my childhood memories, blah blah blah.

Jim: You and Ava have long warned about Charlie Sheen.  Last week, it was said he had sex -- at 19 -- with an underage Corey Haim and that this relationship -- which would have been illegal, I think Corey would have been 13 at the time -- is why Corey killed himself.  Any comments?

C.I.: Me?  I didn't know Haim and I don't know Feldman.  Charlie's a loose canon.  I'm limited in what details I can provide here because he's not exactly been honest about his life.  That said, I don't know of any children he's raped.  Does that mean he hasn't done it?  When Bob Filner was accused of harassing women, I said at THE COMMON ILLS that I hoped it wasn't true.  I also noted that I couldn't say it wasn't.  Bob admitted to it.  He's since danced around it but he'd already admitted to it.  Bob has many good qualities and I never experienced what some did.  But I did not say he didn't do it because I just don't know.  Now I do, he did it, he confessed.  But my point is, I don't know what Charlie Sheen does.  Not everything.  I would hope it wasn't true.

Jim: Okay, in the piece, you didn't go after Woody Allen.

C.I.: Ava, he's looking at me.  Can you grab this?

Ava: Sure.  Why would we?  The allegations against Woody were raised and investigated.  Whether Mia Farrow likes it or not, that's reality.  There were no grounds to move forward.  There's also no pattern.  If he's a pedophile, where is another victim?  If he's a pedophile, how did he manage to hide it?  We have Mia, in her angry fury, making a tape of Dylan -- in which it was observed in real time, it appeared Dylan was coached in her testimony.  The New York court did not find it believable.  Did Woody do it?  In our legal system: No.  That's the reality of the judgment rendered.  Now you may think differently and that's your right.  But it does matter that Mia's brother is a convicted pedophile.  It does matter that she's never said a word against him publicly.  But she told the Golden Globes to use her clip from the Roses -- BROADWAY DANNY ROSE or THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO or both -- and then took to Twitter to slam them for doing a tribute to him.  She told them to use her clip.  A fact she wants to avoid telling America.  If she didn't think he should get a tribute, she shouldn't have included herself in it.  But she did because she's always been an attention whore her whole life.  I don't like her.  She's a known liar as far as I'm concerned.  If her story is true then she should have had all her children taken away.  That's a detail that also goes unexplored.  To hear her tale, she was worried that Woody would molest Dylan.  But that day, when Woody comes for one of his rare visits, she doesn't protect her daughter, she goes off shopping.  She's not even there.  So if she's telling the truth and she honestly was worried and something did happen, it happened because she left her child alone with a pedophile.  Now does that make sense to anyone?  I have a daughter.  Let's say I thought Jim was a pedophile and I didn't want him around my daughter.  If I know Jim's coming over am I really going to rush off to go shopping so he can be alone with my daughter?  No.  Her whole story is laughable.

Jim: Okay, let's open this up to this topic -- the assault and molestation.  Ann, you've covered this at your site repeatedly.

Ann: I have.  I was raped many years ago.  It's an issue I do cover.  I want to stress for anyone reading this that we do not say "sexual assault" here.  We say "assault."  That's community wide.  Rape is assault, it's not sex.  To put "sex" in front of these crimes is to confuse the situation.  We're talking about crimes here.  I have friends who say they are "bored" with this topic.  That really bothers me.  Some of us don't have the luxury of being "bored" because we've survived it.  If the public is -- if some of the public is already weary after these few exposures, that doesn't bode well for our ability to deal with this as a society.

Elaine: Which is a really good point.  This may seem like a lot to some but this is not a lot.  It goes, yet again, to people being Alyssa Milanos and looking for an 'out' to avoid dealing with the topic.  Like Ann, Rose McGowan is a survivor and does not have the option of an 'out' on this topic.  It was offensive the way Alyssa responded to Rose stating that Alyssa needed to dig a little deeper.  Sadly, there are probably a lot of people like Alyssa who don't want to dig deep.

Ann: David Walsh, at WSWS, has a piece about sexual McCarthyism.  I agree with him that is a potential problem and then some.  If you're assaulted, by all means come forward.  But some are talking less about assault and more about an ick factor.  If a man comes on to you and you're a man, that's not necessarily assault just because you're grossed out that a man came on to you.  I do understand his point.  There's someone who, for example, is said to have massaged a guy and the guy started to jerk off.  The man said to stop.  The guy said he'd pay the man.  The guy shoots and gives the man a couple of thousand dollars.  Is that assault?  I don't see it as such as described.  You didn't want him to do it but then when he offered to pay you suddenly you're okay with it.  That's fine, that's the decision you, as an adult, made.  Now maybe you weren't expecting to be sprayed or maybe you had, as part of the monetary arrangement, insisted that he cum somewhere else.  That could make it an assault.  Sarah Silverman's sister was involved with Louis CK.  She notes that what the women are describing is assault by Louis CK.  She also notes that when they were involved and after they broke up and were on a trip together, he pulled the same stuff with her.  She noted that, due to her decisions and their experiences, what took place wasn't assault.  I see her point.  I agree with her.  I do believe we need to own our choices.  But when we're not making choices or when we're below the age of consent and it is assault, we need to call it what it is.

Trina: I'm going to take this somewhere else.  The allegations -- and let's include Roy Moore in this, running for Congress in Alabama, December's when the special election will take place, women have come forward on him too, what we're seeing is a lot of men who have had power and used that power to get tight in the world of politics.  Is this why they're tied to the Democrat and Republican parties?  Or is there something about these big money parties -- and there is financial corruption in both of those two parties -- that draws this type of person?  It seems to take a great deal of effort to pry contributions from Weinstein, for example, out of Hillary Clinton's hands.  I think the assaults and rapes can be tied into the financial corruption in this country that telegraphs the attitude of "Everything is for sale."  Now that's just something I'm throwing out.

Jess: I'm glad you threw it out.

Isaiah: Me too.  We need to be aware of this.  The system grows ever more corrupt.  The two dominant political parties reflect We The People less and less.  Hillary on stage with Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, etc did not look cool, she looked out of touch with We The People.  I do think this has to do with the society we live in.  I think we could also tie it into the piece Ava and C.I. did for this edition about Trump.  Do we have ethics?  Do we have beliefs?  Some of us are as bad when it comes to ethics as the most corrupt politician in office.  When you start bringing Bully Boy Bush on to dance with you, Ellen DeGeneres, the whole world is upside down.

Ruth: I agree with the points Trina and Isaiah made -- as well as Ava and C.I.'s piece.  I think we're having our own reckoning taking place.  You're seeing people who sell out everything.  And they're the ones who, for example, attack Susan Sarandon.  Susan spoke out against the Iraq War.  The same one Hillary voted for.  And Hillary's cult thinks they can attack Susan and not look like craven opportunists?  These endless wars -- including the Iraq War -- have done more to destroy faith in this two-party system than anything else.

Jim: And on that cheery note, we'll wrap up.  This is a rush transcript.

Dirty Looks (Diana Ross)

Sunday, November 19th, THE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS will air live on ABC.  Diana Ross will be performing.  She will also be receiving a lifetime achievement award.


NASA -- you pay for their work, do you follow it?

⚡️ “Earth: Our Living Planet”

What's up with NASA right now?

Among other things, the Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station on Tuesday:

International Space Station Cargo Successfully Launches Aboard Orbital ATK Mission

Orbital ATK's Antares rocket, with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, launched Sunday, Nov. 12, 2017 at 7:19 a.m. EST from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Orbital ATK’s eighth contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station will deliver approximately 7,400 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew. The cargo is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station Tuesday, Nov. 14. NASA TV coverage will begin at 6:15 a.m. EST.

And don't forget Curiosity is still exploring Mars:

High five, everybody! We made it through another Wednesday. Check out the team blog and see what I’ve been up to on :

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