Monday, November 12, 2018


Jim: It's been awhile but it's roundtable time again.  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): Anyone want to talk mid-terms?

Rebecca: There was no blue wave.  I honestly would've loved to have seen one but it didn't happen.  And the House did go to the Democrats but not like in, for example, 1994 when the Republicans won the House in that mid-term.  It was underwhelming.

Mike: It had all the action of an episode of IRONSIDE.

Stan: Well put.  And a lot of that is Nancy Pelosi's fault.  She was Speaker of the House from 2007 to 2011.  It's now 2018.  We don't her in 2019.  This is beyond stupid.  The Democratic Party needs new leaders.  Even had she been a success -- and she wasn't -- all this time later she does not need to be Speaker of the House.

Marcia: She was a huge loser.  Her 2006 promise was control of the House would mean US troops out of Iraq.  So we gave the Dems control of the House and Senate and, guess what, US troops are still in Iraq.  Nancy is the face of failure, she needs to go.

Jess: We're talking about Iraq so I want to bring up the continued bombing of North Iraq, the Kurdistan Region, by the Turkish government.  Saturday, ANADOLU AGENCY reported that the Turkish government stated it "neutralized" 15 "militants."  Then today, it's reported that they claim they killed 14 "militants." They don't know who they're bombing.  And they've bombed villages and killed people and killed livestock and they never admit that even when, months later, it's reported that's what the bombs landed on.  The Iraqi government doesn't want this taking place -- the bombing -- but the US backs Turkey on it.  It's disgusting.

Ty: Agreed.  And it ticks me off when independent or 'independent' media repeats the claims as gospel.  I will be kind and not name someone or the site they post for but stop repeating these claims as facts.  They do not know who they killed.  They are dropping bombs from the sky.  Quit lying for them.

Elaine: While we're noting Iraq, let me note Daniel Brown (BUSINESS INSIDER):

Of the 76 countries in which the U.S. is currently fighting terrorism, at least three have been incredibly deadly: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Brown University’s Costs of War Project recently released a report detailing just how deadly they’ve been. It counts how many people have been killed by the “United States’ post-9/11 wars” in these three countries.

Elaine (Con't):  So they admit it's an undercount and they have a total of 250,000 for Iraq.  But my point here is C.I.'s snapshot on Thursday which rightly called out that idiot Ezra Klein who Tweeted last week that the US wasn't at war.  How stupid do you have to be?  How out of touch do you want to confess to being?  Way back when, this is 2005, I believe, C.I. said that we were cutting off the head of Cokie Roberts but all that would happen is a million more Cokies would sprout in her place.  That's exactly what's taken place.  All these Ezzie Kleins and others who pretended to give a damn about the Iraq War in 2005 no longer even acknowledge Iraq or any war the US is in.  They were lying assholes and they need to be called out.

Rebecca: I find it hilarious that these Kleins call out Glenn Greenwald for being wrong when Glenn's admitted he was wrong about the Iraq War but these Kleins can't acknowledge any ongoing war.  They're liars and they're disgusting.  They're worse than Cokie Roberts and, honestly, who would have thought that was possible.

Elaine: C.I.

Rebecca: Well, yes, but most of us wouldn't have.  The thing that I want the net to do, in 30 or so years, I want this available somewhere -- an archive, whatever.  I want people to know that the ones who self-present as being against the war aren't against it.  And they're not here to help you either.  They're here to help themselves and they will sell you out so damn fast.

Dona: But we knew that.  We all listened to THE MAJORITY REPORT with Janeane Garofalo and that awful Sam Seder.  Janeane was off, it was a Friday night and Sam brought on Bill Scher -- who no longer blogs but used to blog at LIBERAL OASIS.  The guest was the hideous DLC-er Simon Rosenberg.  And Sam endorsed him and coddled him and Bill was right there doing the same thing.  They pretended they were against the Iraq War.  Janeane didn't pretend.  She was against it.  But Sam Seder and, yes, Bill Scher pretended.  Simon was disgusting and, as C.I. has noted, credit to Rachel Maddow for this because when Simon was on UNFILTERED the same week and started his b.s. about how gays weren't a fight to defend and that we had serious issues, Rachel ripped him a new one and good for her on that.  But that sort of crap flew a-okay for Sam Seder and Bill Scher.

Jim: I will just note that Bill was a guest host.  He might not have been comfortable as the fill-in host --

Dona (Con't): Then he shouldn't have been on the show!

Jim: He may not have been comfortable disagreeing with the host Sam Seder who was agreeing non-stop with the guest Simon Rosenberg.

Dona: Then he shouldn't have been on the show.  He was called out on the message board and so was Sam Seder.  It got so bad that Sam started whining and attacking the listeners saying if they heard something they didn't like then they had their answer on where they stood on Simon Rosenberg.

Betty: Sam was and remains a disgrace.  Why do the so-called left always advance these men who are best described as 'weak sisters.'  Sam Seder is like a clone of Alan Colmes.  So many are.  Why is Brian Montopoli a behind the scenes producer at MSNBC when he should be on air talent?  If you're attractive and actually have a spin, MSNBC doesn't want you in front of the camera.  They seem to exist to perpetuate the stereotype Alan Colmes long ago created.

Ty: Okay, I need to work in an e-mail.  Every edition, we're trying to include "Read a book?" which notes the community coverage of books.  A lot of e-mails have come in expressing appreciation for the increased coverage.  They're wondering if this is going to continue beyond 2018?

Trina: I would say so.  I would say so.  I'm planning to do the review for next week.  It will be a pan, by the way, I'm not endorsing the book I'm finishing, I already loathe it.

Jim: And, C.I., are you going to review ______?  I know you made a point to read it --

C.I.: Planning to review it.  But then I read it.  It was awful in a number of ways.  I don't know.

Jim: I'm asking because I kind of felt like, recently, Elaine was sort of prompting you to do so with a piece she wrote at her site.

Elaine: I was.

Jim: I got that when I read it.

C.I.: You know, I've already trashed Seymour Hersh's book.  Is that what I'm going to do again?  Take on another 'lefty'?  Although in this case, the person is an actual lefty -- unlike Hersh.  I don't know.  I suppose I should.  He's just so irritating.  Why, as Betty was just noting, are so many of the lefty males who get promoted to hero status so unfortunate and irritating?

Isaiah: I hope C.I. does review it.  The few remarks she's made about the book in the gina & krista round-robin have really made me want her to review this.

Cedric: Wally and I need to review a book.  We're the only ones who haven't.  There's got to be a book we can work in someway somehow.

Jim: Your most recent joint-post veered away from Alyssa Milano.  Intentional?

Cedric: Yes.  We went with Rob Reiner instead and that was intentional.  She was nice to people who helped with regards to horses and she was nice to them regardless of politics which was a nice side of her.

Wally: We don't expect that it will last but we will find someone else to mock while it does.  And this isn't a book but there's an essay I want to note, from Ahmed Twau's FOREIGN POLICY essay:

Recent violent protests in the southern Iraqi city of Basra have brought to light years of suffering by Iraqis in what is known as the economic capital of Iraq due to its vast oil reserves and deep-sea port access connecting the country to the international market. Basra, a predominantly Shiite city, also has a significant minority population, including black Iraqis and Christians. It is Iraq’s second-largest city and has developed a reputation for fostering some of Iraq’s greatest artists. During the first Gulf War, the Iraqi military used Basra as a route for the Kuwait invasion; ironically, a decade later, U.S.-led forces used it as a path toward Baghdad during the 2003 invasion.
The current crisis in Basra is not a recent development. It stems from years of inattention from both the international community and the Iraqi government.  Increased civil unrest in the region has been exacerbated by the government’s focus on defeating the Islamic State in northern Iraq and unequal distribution of resources, making the current situation both expected and preventable. Basra’s once glorious canals, winding through a city previously known as the Venice of the Middle East, are now open-air sewers.
Following successful military operations against the Islamic State, most of the international focus has been on celebrating the liberation of northern Iraq and reconstruction of these areas. With most national and international attention focused on reconciling Iraq’s diverse communities in these liberated areas, Iraq’s predominantly Shiite southern cities have been neglected and their relative stability taken for granted.
Demonstrations and ensuing clashes with government security forces throughout this summer led to 27 deaths by the end of September, as well as the unsolved assassination of the women’s rights and anti-corruption activist Soad al-Ali. These protests, reflecting Iraqi anger about government corruption, also highlighted the lack of job opportunities and poor public services in the southern city. The protests not only targeted Iraqi officials but also foreign powers for their perceived role in supporting ineffective kleptocratic elites, with attacks on both the U.S. and Iranian consulates in Basra.

Ava: It's amazing how the Basra protests -- which have resumed now that the religious pilgrimage is over -- have been so little covered in the US.  But, what I wonder, is this guilt related?  You break up with someone -- don't write in asking if I'm referring to myself, Jess and I remain together, raising our baby -- and you feel guilty and you avoid them.  In this case, a lot of Americans walked away from the topic of Iraq.  Yes, it's the media's lack of coverage that is the primary blame but there are a lot of older people who walk away from the topic today.  Is it guilt?  Our country started the illegal war -- and continues it -- and is that too much reality for a lot of people to deal with?  I'm just tossing it out there.  

Ann: And I'm really interested in that question.  I think that the work you, C.I., Wally and Kat do is important and I think we can see ripples throughout our society.  Young people, for example, just aren't into the two party trap the way their elders are.  If they're political, young people are aware of how corrupt the system is and that's a good thing, we can't change anything without confronting it.  We need to know what it is to confront it.

Ruth: And I think Ava's on to something but I also hope that we are seeing a renewal of peace actions -- Cindy Sheehan's recent March on the Pentagon, the work of Black Alliance for Peace in DC a week ago and more.  I think we're basically having to relearn how to walk.  And I think we are looking at longterm efforts.

Cedric: Well that makes sense when you grasp that the Iraq War itself has been a longterm effort.  This thing's been going on for 15 years.

Kat: So the resistance will need to be longterm as well, agreed.  I also think Ruth's right that each action that's taking place in the autumn of action is impacting further actions that will come later.  And I really think Ava has a point here with the question she's raising.  She and C.I. have been raising it as we speak to older groups, yes, but also when we speak to college students and high school students about the wars.  

Jim: So one more thing we'll have to confront to kick start a peace movement is guilt?

Wally: Collective guilt?

Jim: On that note, let's go ahead and wrap up.  You are reading a rush transcript.

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