Monday, November 27, 2017

Truest statement of the week

It is a good thing that the world knows about the enslaved migrants in Libya. It is good that Saudi Arabia’s crime against Yemen is now getting attention. But none of the criminals should be let off the hook. Barack Obama, his secretaries of state Hillary Clinton and John Kerry and all of NATO have blood on their hands. That fact should not be forgotten and must always be at the forefront of discussion and action.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Obama's Crimes Are Revealed Under Trump" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

When it comes to the people’s will, the FCC have never been good listeners. The Trump FCC wants to kill subsidies for poor people to pay phone and internet bills, and remove caps on how much telecoms can charge the families of prisoners to receive phone calls. Its FCC chair used to represent a prison phone company. And they intend to kill network neutrality.
Early this week former Verizon lobbyist and current FCC chairman Ajit Pai unveiled the details of the Trump administration’s plan to scrap the network neutrality rules which prevent telecoms from selectively blocking or throttling traffic, from segregating the internet into slow and fast lanes to favor or penalize customers and content providers according to the whims of corporate “business logic.”

-- Bruce A. Dixon, "Trump FCC Wants To Remove Caps On Calls From Jails and Prisons, and to Kill Network Neutrality" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Monday morning on the East Coast, still Sunday here on the West.

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?

Margaret Kimberley gets another truest. 
Bruce A. Dixon gets another truest.
And even Ben Rhodes can brag about it without facing outrage from the press.
Ava and C.I. examine NETFLIX.
Ava and C.I. wrote this one.  We thank them for it.  They will tell you the edition was over and it all could have gone up on Sunday when we said we needed something on Al Franken for the edition and tasked them with writing this.  They take on Al, Bill Clinton, Bob Somerby, priss Philippe and so much more.  They catch that Philippe has been accused of harassing women but was brought on as an expert by NPR, they catch that and a lot more.  This is a great piece.
After the last test kitchen, we had e-mail requests that we test something that wasn't candy.  Eat your veggies with this one.
Amazing how everyone else has ignored what Robin Morgan said.  
Al needs to step down.
CRAPAPEDIA -- we've been telling you it's that for years now.
This went up as we were finishing this edition.  C.I. and I argued it deserved note but we were pressed for time so it's just a link to the column.
All these months later, some idiots still attack Susan Sarandon.
What we listened to while writing.
A video from WSWS.
A press release from Senator Patty Murray's office.

See you next week.


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

Editorial: The Iraq War continues

As the Iraq War continues, we should all contemplate this Tweet:

  1. Also worth noting that Obama inherited 180K US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. That was down to around 15K when he left office.

Ben Rhodes.

Bragging that Barack Obama left troops in Iraq.

And the press lets him get away with it -- including his brother David who runs CBS NEWS.

They let him get away with it and never point out that in 2008 Barack ran on the promise of ending the Iraq War and bringing all US troops home.

Ben Rhodes, part of the Obama administration, can get away with it.

The press never points out the broken promise or the hypocrisy.

Barack didn't end the Iraq War.

That's reality.

TV: Barbra Streisand, NETFLIX and content


We didn't add the exclamation point -- NETFLIX did.

Maybe they could add an explanation for it?

a new illst

The special is exactly the direction they should be going.

It's something that people will stream this month and years from now.

Barbra Streisand's a one of a kind talent, a true original.

However, the special is low key.  She's in an auditorium singing some songs and talking to her audience -- with some footage of her ordering food and asking about ice cream.

She covers some of her biggest hits.

"Enough Is Enough (No More Tears)," "You Don't Bring Me Flowers," "The Way We Were," etc.

As well as signature songs like "Don't Rain On My Parade."

She shows a lot of class when doing an introduction for her cover of Carole King's "Being At War With Each Other" (first recorded for her 1973 studio album THE WAY WE WERE), the sort of class we wish she'd find a way to convey online.

But she conveys it in the special.

She's relaxed and apparently happy to be performing.  She has a chair on stage and sometimes sits during the special.

Again, it's really laid back -- which is why we question the exclamation mark at the end of the title.

It's part of a treasure trove that NETFLIX is slowly amassing.


That film is actually an equal to the Tim Burton classic PEE WEE'S BIG ADVENTURE.

You can -- and we have -- watch this film over and over -- a sign of a true classic.

We're not sure what to make of OUR SOULS AT NIGHT.

That made-for-NETFLIX project stars Jane Fonda and Robert Redford.

We had to wonder why?

It's not poorly acted.  Robert Redford turns in the same performance that made him a star -- if not an Academy Award winning actor -- while Jane digs deep and creates a fully dimensional person.

In a way, it's like many films Jane produced for IPC (Jane did not produce this film), Jane covers an issue that many will be groping with -- you're elderly, you're alone.

It's a drama.

And it has a less than happy ending.

So who's going to watch?

Were it a theatrical release, Jane might have earned an Academy Award nomination and it could have a life based on her acclaimed performance.

But that's not going to happen.

Our point here?

There are genres with shelf lives.

The same piece with Fonda and Redford done as a melodrama could be cause for repeat streamings.

But a character study piece with a downer ending isn't really going to grab anyone.

Comedies are the way to go and NETFLIX is lucky to have Christopher Guest's MASCOTS which is as funny as Guest's earlier works A MIGHTY WIND, BEST IN SHOW, WAITING FOR GUFFMAN and FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.

MASCOTS actually should have led to more Guest films.  That's something that would be of real value.

Right now, NETFLIX has a deal with Disney but not only does Disney also allow HULU to carry some of its films, Disney is about to offer its own streaming service.

It's very likely that the deal with Disney could go the way of the earlier deal with STARZ.

Early on in its streaming days, NETFLIX members could stream STARZ live or any of the films STARZ was broadcasting that month could be streamed on demand.

NETFLIX subscribers know that things never returned to normal after that.  The film classics were more or less gone and have remained gone.  In an effort to appease the subscribers, the company made a big to do about their deal with Disney and how other things were in store.

Other things never surfaced.

It's content pool is honestly very disappointing.

Which is all the more reason for NETFLIX to build up its own catalogue.

THE BABY SITTER and LITTLE EVIL -- like MASCOTS -- are good long term properties.  Both of those two films play well on repeat viewings.

In terms of other comedy projects?


One thing you may notice though, in that list and certainly at the NETFLIX website, women really don't get comedy specials -- not like men.  Jerry Seinfeld just debuted a so-so comedy and the thing there is where's Roseann Barr?

Why is it that NETFLIX missed out on a special from her or bringing her back in a sitcom?

They were all over themselves to get Seinfeld and David Letterman as well.

But they really don't appreciate the female comedians.

For example, they have Lily Tomlin under contract for a sitcom and a children's show but have not attempted to get her to do a comedy special.


Those specials resulted in multiple nominations and 3 Emmy wins.

Lily and her longterm partner (and wife) Jane Wagner are done with the TV special medium?  That seems doubtful.

They may or may not be interested in a stand up special but something like A VERY MURRAY CHRISTMAS (directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Bill Murray) seems the sort of thing that Lily and Jane could easily do.

Or Whitney Cummings -- why are her stand up specials for COMEDY CENTRAL and HBO but never NETFLIX?

At least NETFLIX has Lily for GRACE AND FRANKIE.  The sitcom is not only popular it's also resulted in three Emmy nominations for Lily.

It's with series that NETFLIX has had its most success.  Along with Lily and Jane Fonda in GRACE AND FRANKIE, the streaming service also has HOUSE OF CARDS (which may not age well at all thanks to Kevin Spacey's various scandals), ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, SENSE8, STRANGER THINGS, FULLER HOUSE, THE OA, OZARK, HATERS BACK OFF, SANTA CLARITA DIET, DISJOINTED, BIG MOUTH and Spike Lee's SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT have all found audiences and will continue to find some (though, again, the service's crown jewel HOUSE OF CARDS is now iffy for future viewers).

One of NETFLIX's least known series is also one of its most successful -- both in terms of numbers and creativity: JULIE'S GREENROOM.

This pre-K, educational show hosted by Julie Andrews is the sort of program that should be done for adults: A variety show.

We've long advocated that for the streaming service and we continue to do so.

At some point, NETFLIX may agree.

In the meantime, they need to focus on their original programming.

Melodrama, romance, romantic comedy (NAKED is a step in the right direction), comedy, music and suspense are the genres they can build their own catalogue around.

BARBRA THE MUSIC...THE MEMORIES...THE MAGIC! creates confusion with regard to the punctuation, otherwise it delivers exactly what NETFLIX needs to amass streaming content with longterm appeal.

The media works overtime not to believe the survivor (Ava and C.I.)

Remember, if a woman speaks out regarding harassment or rape, any low life piece of trash can attack them.

That's certainly the message NPR sent last week on MORNING EDITION.

To recap, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, discussing the changing environment regarding harassment, offered that she now believes Bill Clinton should have resigned due to the "allegations."

We need to recap that because liars like Phillipe and MORNING EDITION can't get their facts right.

Introducing last week's segment, NPR's Steve Inskeep insisted, "And she now thinks that Bill Clinton should have resigned when his affair with Monica Lewinsky was revealed in the 1990s."

That's not what happened.

Yes, that is how Jennifer Steinhauer and THE NEW YORK TIMES presented it.  But, look at their selling of the Iraq War, who is stupid enough these days to take NYT at its word without checking first?

Go down four paragraphs for the audio of what was said.  The senator is asked specifically about Bill Clinton (whether the country would be in a different place if he had resigned) and the senator responds about the problem -- how harassment is found in every segment of society, how she believes the only answer is for more women to be in positions of leadership -- "it's all about power."

Jennifer Steinhauer: So just to be clear, is it your view that-that President Clinton should have stepped down at that time given the allegations?

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: [Long pause]  I would -- Yes, I think that is the appropriate response but uhm -- I think things have changed today and I think under those circumstances there should be a very different reaction  and I think in light of this conversation a very different conversation about President Trump and a very different conversation about allegations against him then is currently -- then what has been had to date and what is currently being had.

For this mild comment, she was attacked.

A working media would ask why the paper of no-record distorted the senator's comments.  That would be a segment worthy of NPR: How a US senator takes harassment and rape seriously and NYT pull quotes for sensationalism.

Here's how the paper opened their report:

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, who holds Hillary Clinton's former seat, said on Thursday that Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency after his inappropriate relationship with an intern came to light nearly 20 years ago.
Asked directly if she believed Mr. Clinton should have stepped down at the time, Ms. Gillibrand took a long pause and said, "Yes, I think that is the appropriate response."

Look at how they distorted the exchange.  (And use the audio on the story page because they cut up the raw audio for the podcast that they eventually broadcast.)

It's something the paper does regularly.  It was this site, not THE NEW YORK TIMES, that told you Barack Obama would leave US troops in Iraq if elected president.  We told you that in November of 2007 and we did so using the transcript of the interview NYT did with Barack -- as opposed to the fluff story they published from that interview.

We can already hear Pig Boi Bob Somerby ripping apart the interview Steve Inskeep did.

Not because of what we've just noted but because Steve refers to Monica Lewinsky as an "intern."  Yes, Somerby's still having a fit over Monica being described as an intern -- because she was one when the affair began.  Monica Lewinsky was an intern when she began having sex with Bill Clinton.

It does matter and we'll come back to that issue.

But let's be very clear that the paper was pimping Bill Clinton and that the senator said "allegations" not "allegation."

And Lewinsky isn't an "allegation."

It's known.  As soon as it was news, it was known.

Oh, yes, Bill lied and said he did not have sexual relations with that woman -- but Monica kept her semen stained dress.

Allegations: "multiple women"  came forward (as the podast host notes).  Paula Jones is only one -- but Bill settled with her.

The "power relationship" of Bill and Monica is explored in the podcast with the host and the reporter but not with the senator.  The reporter states she (the reporter) wanted to explore that by the question regarding Clinton.

"I can't tell you whether she came to that conclusion in the course of our conversation," Jennifer Steinhauer says in the podcast.

What homework does NPR do for their programs?

None at all as evidenced by last week's segment.

They booked Philippe Reines?



One of his chief claims?

The lifelong bachelor is perhaps most infamous for, at the age of 39, being Chelsea Clinton's spokesperson.

Second most infamous for?

That's actually why he shouldn't have been brought on NPR to begin with.

There was no reason to bring anyone like him on.  But there was every reason not to bring Philippe himself on.

The late journalist Michael Hastings had a very public e-mail exchange with Philippe in which Hastings wrote at one point, "I now understand what women say about you, too!  Any new complaints against you lately?"

Any new complaints against you lately?

Referencing all the harassment complaints that have followed Philippe for years now.

Why would NPR bring on a man under a cloud of suspicion for harassment on to discuss the harassment of women?

Because in this society, even if you are a man accused of harassment, you're still 'qualified' to speak to the media.

Juanita Broaddrick (who has maintained publicly for decades that Bill Clinton raped her) was brought up in the NPR segment and Philippe slimed her in just the way you'd expect a pompous, fuss-budget New Yorker named "Phillipe" to do.

That keeps happening.

Even though, as many are noting, Juanita's statements are perfectly understandable and reflective of a rape survivor.

It's a point Stank Ass Pig Boi Bob Somerby can't grasp.

Apparently, reality receded for him even more than his hair.

So he runs to his cock-knocking buddy Gene Lyons so they can trash and echo the trash of Juanita Broaddrick.

Bob quotes Gene Limp Lyons insisting that "to accuse a man of a vile crime like rape requires serious evidence."

The real crime, for Lyons, isn't rape, but accusing a man of rape.

And, in his horror, he also misunderstands the law -- there's no "serious evidence" required to accuse anyone of anything.

Gene and his little buddy Bob circle one another on all fours, sniffing each other's ass, convinced that they are the only voices that matter.

It doesn't matter that they show no sympathy for the victims of rape or harassment and tend to refer to any charges of either or both as "panty sniffing."

And when that's all it is, it must be easy for Lyons to justify sliming Juanita Broaddrick -- even going so far as to float that she might be lying to cover up some crimes she committed.

Hey, Genie, where's the "serious evidence" for that musing on your part?

There is none.

Men have long accused women of various crimes.

The problem for the Bobs, and the Genes, and the Philippes is that women are not being ostracized by society any longer.  In other words, the Somersby Scarlet A isn't sticking.

We see that with a certain politician.

Senator Al Franken tried to lay low and hope that his scandal would go away and people would return from the holiday with other things to talk about.

Instead, two more women came forward -- that's four now -- to complain about harassment.

KSTP reports, "In a poll conducted Monday night after allegations from a second woman were made public, only 22 percent of 600 Minnesotans surveyed said he should remain in office. Another 33 percent say he should resign, while 36 percent say he should wait for results of a Senate Ethics Committee investigation. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.1 percent."

Speaking with Diane Rehm, former US Senator Barbara Boxer declared of Al's actions, "I'm sure in his mind, he felt this was a joke.  This is the furthest thing from a joke.  This is improper.  This is harassment.  It is forcing yourself on someone.  I-I'm at a loss."

So were others.

And those needing to defend Al Franken found that lying was the easiest way.

Which is where the likes of the hideous Suze Foss come in:

  1. Nov 21
    Replying to
    When you and your paid performers are in jail, we'll ALL be safer! Look at whose trampanzee's photo was found and now making the rounds!
  2. Nov 21
    We'll, well...what have we here???? Al Franken's ACCUSER!!!

The picture's a fake.  It's supposed to be Leeann Tweedem but it's her face pasted on another woman's body.

Suze Foss knows it's a fake but has refused to delete it or apologize.

When you have no defense, you just lie.

And that's where it stands for Al Franken's supporters today -- they have to lie to 'defend' Al.

Laraine Newman rushed forward to defend Al, for example, but 'forgot' to tell the press that she used to grab his ass (like a basketball, she insisted of it) and he used to grab her ass.  If that detail had been revealed, Laraine's defense would have looked as laughable to the world as it did to those of us who know her.

But maybe the press wouldn't have said a word even if they had known?

After all, they worked overtime to mis-report on an open letter.

For example, Daniel Kreps (ROLLING STONE), "Franken's new statement comes after the senator's former Saturday Night Live female cast mates penned a letter defending him as 'a devoted and dedicated family man, a wonderful comedic performer and an honorable public servant'."

Not true.

The "female cast mates" were Laraine Newman and Jane Curtin.

But the press struggled with that reality and repeatedly misled on it implying that over 30 SNL female cast members had signed it.  Only two did.

And Lorne Michaels rounded up the signers.  He asked everyone to sign.  And all but two SNL actresses refused.

(At THE WASHINGTON POST, Molly Roberts rightly nailed the letter and all that was wrong with it.)

Al issued another apology on Thursday.

Amber Phillips (WASHINGTON POST) explained:

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) has waded into the murky waters of trying to apologize for inappropriately touching women — while asserting that he didn't intentionally do anything wrong. And yet Franken hasn't denied any of the accusations against him, leaving the door open to the possibility that he is a serial groper.
[. . .]
If you're confused by what he's trying to say here, you're not the only one. Franken's attempt at clarifying what happened only raises more questions, the central ones being: Did he grab these women's buttocks or not? If he did, how, exactly, was it unintentional? Were the women mistaken?

Keisha Hatchett (TV GUIDE) noted that "his latest apology acknowledges that his actions have repeatedly been perceived as 'inappropriate' by multiple women." TMZ offers, "Senator Al Franken is clearly trying to save his job, but his answer to the various women who have accused him of sexual assault/harassment is sketchy ... he says he just likes to hug a lot."

A hugger.

So many rushed to dismiss his actions.

The hideous Joy Reid (MSNBC) did a show where she justified his actions -- Al targeted women, not children!

Yes, Joy Reid really is that pathetic.

Norman Ornstein (Al's friend of many years, though no one ever feels obligated to disclose that) fretted that punishing Al created the question of "what are you suggest for the really horrible acts of people like [Roy] Moore or [Donald] Trump"?

Uh, all can -- and should -- be punished if they harass.

And harassment?

It's a "really horrible act" even if someone like Norman -- some man -- tries to downplay it.

Benjamin Hart (NEW YORK MAGAZINE) notes Al declared Sunday that he was "embarrassed and ashamed" and that he can't say whether or not more women will be coming forward but he's going to fight to hold onto his Senate seat.

Four women have now accused him.  One had photographic proof.  That was Leeann Tweedem.  He's apologized to her.

Let's note that even with photographic proof, women like Lariane Newman and Jane Curtin rushed to defend Al.

Gene Lyons is horribly insulted that any man would ever be accused of rape -- and he insists that "serious evidence" is required.  But when serious evidence exists -- like the photo of Al groping Tweeden -- it doesn't make a difference.

People like Norman Ornstein will still rush forward to defend and people like Suze Foss will still rush forward to lie.

Notice also that Gloria Steinem has been silent.  Just like she was silent back in the 90s about a boss having an affair with an intern -- and the abuse of power involved in that.

Not everyone has been silent.

Naomi Wolf?  We checked and were glad to see that she didn't choose silence.

What a raw display of patriarchy: sex assault by your own rep. 'Two additional women accuse Franken of groping'

What a raw display of patriarchy: sex assault by your own rep. 'Two additional women accuse Franken of groping'

'I need to be much more careful and sensitive in these situations' and not seize your testicles.

Those are just a few of Naomi's Tweets.

But Gloria can't say a damn word.

That's only surprising if you haven't already read last week's "TV: Men aren't the only ones harming women."

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