Monday, December 24, 2018


Jess: It's been awhile but it's roundtable time again.  Remember the e-mail address is  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's  Ava and me, Jess; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;  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; Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ; Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts; Ann of Ann's Mega Dub and Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man, Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.


Jess (Con't): Okay, Syria.  President Donald Trump has stated he's pulling US troops out of Iraq.  Thoughts?

Rebecca: If it happens, I'm all for it.  Bring US troops home, end all the wars.  So if it happens, I'm all for it.

Ruth: "If" is what we're all feeling, honestly.  We have had a 'withdrawal' before.  Barack Obama 'withdrew' troops from Iraq at the end of 2011.  It was a drawdown, not a withdrawal.  The number of US troops never went to zero and, a year later, he was sending a division of special-ops back in and the number of US troops sent back in only grew and grew.  So "if" is really key.

Isaiah: Right.  We've been fooled before.  If Trump's really doing this, great.  I'll praise him for it.  But I'm not going to offer any praise before the actions take place.

Jess: He's getting grief just for the announcement.  Elaine, you noted that in your "That disgusting Rachel Maddow."

Elaine: Big surprise, Rachel Maddow's in alarmist mode yet again.  Big surprise, the War Hawk is opposed to US troops coming home.  She's a fake ass and always has been.

Mike: What do you think the shelf-life is for liars like her?  I mean, prior to the internet, a Cokie Roberts could have a long career.  These days, with the internet and a faster pace, the liars are exposed earlier.

Betty: I agree with that.  For example, Amy Goodman's influence continues to drop.  She's been exposed as what she really is and for the liar she is.  I think she will continue to lose audiences because of her fake ass ways.  But someone like Rachel?  She's built her popularity on hating Trump.  Until he's out of office, she's got an audience.  It doesn't grow, you might have noticed.  That's because her reputation is out there.  Her lies and War Hawk ways are well known.  Despite massive promotion, she cannot grow her audience -- and it's a small audience -- even by basic cable standards.

Cedric: Betty makes some great points and I agree that Mike's point about the internet is true.  Look at Norman Solomon, for example.  In 2006, he was everywhere.  He then went on to whore and lie so much that he really can't come back.  He's tried repeatedly but he trashed his won reputation.  He was a pledged delegate for Barack, for example, and as Ava and C.I. noted, he would reveal that in his columns because he could be dropped as a columnist if he didn't.  But during the same time, he went on KPFA and other PACIFICA stations repeatedly to offer commentary and never once revealed -- while praising Barack endlessly -- that he was a pledged delegate.

Ruth: I agree that something like that seriously hurt him.  However, the real wound was his refusal to follow through on Iraq.  He -- like so many others -- just dropped it as a topic once Barack Obama was elected.  And he had grand standed repeatedly on the topic of the Iraq War -- in books, in columns, in film and on radio and TV.  So when he walked away from the still ongoing war, he exposed himself as the fraud.

Ann: I voted for Jill Stein.  I'm a Green, my parents are, I was raised a Green.  That said, I was thrilled last week when C.I. noted Jill's Tweet about Iraq and that it was in contrast to Jill's 2012 presidential run and 2016 presidential run where she couldn't even address the war.  That was really disgusting.  I do not think she should be the 2020 presidential nominee but, if she is, she damn well better be talking about ending the wars.

Kat: Do you think they realize it?  That they've lost influence or even why they have?  I think they realize that they've lost influence but that they make excuses like "The corporate media is shutting me out!"

Ann: I think you're right, Kat.  They think they can be believed and that proves that they think this is some temporary thing.  It's not.  They demanded accountability from the liars of the corporate press and we heard them do that.  But they think accountability doesn't apply to them.

Mike: I would love to read a Norman Solomon column that opened with, "One of the stupidest thing I did was to walk away from the Iraq War.  As we all know, the war continues."  I would have so much respect for him -- for anyone that did that, that took accountability for what they did and acknowledged that this was damaging for the people of Iraq.

Marcia: Instead, we live in a world where Michelle Obama and War Criminal Bully Boy Bush are oohed and aaahed because he gives her candy.  Not to embarrass you, Isaiah, but I'm noting your latest THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Even Monsters Love Candy."

even monsters love candy

Stan: It's so disgusting.  But Michelle is not a saint or a Civil Rights activist.  She's just a corporate stooge and she proved that long before she became First Lady.  Post First Lady, she's just an embarrassment.  And, Martha, I loved your "Michelle and her hideous boots."

Betty: Put me down for that too!  Support!

Cedric: It's really sad that this is what she's choosing to do with her life.  Yes, she's a fake.  Yes, she's greedy.  But you'd think she'd at least try to find some sense of purpose.  She has none.

Stan: Except for grabbing as much money as she can.  Greed is her sense of purpose.

Marcia: Exactly.  One thing I wanted to note about Isaiah's comic, we see her all over Bully Boy Bush repeatedly.  Do you notice how little we see of her with her own husband?  She's not hugging in him public.  I find it strange.

Ruth: While we are singing praises, let me take a moment to note Elaine's "Was anything accomplished in the Afghanistan War?" which applies to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Elaine: Thank you, Ruth.  But let me knock that back to you with praise for everything you wrote last week:

Elaine (Con't): You tackled topics that others did not in the community and you did so in a way that was uniquely your own.  So thank you.

Jess: Okay, e-mail from reader Vanessa.  She wants to know if we have a favorite film franchise?

Mike: James Bond!  Claiming it first!  I love James Bond.  Favorite film?  Tie: YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE and CASINO ROYAL.

Kat: I'll bite.  GREASE.  But as much as I love the first film, I really love GREASE II even more.  That's not a popular opinion.  But I think GREASE II really upends a lot of norms and I also prefer the soundtrack.  And Maxwell Caulfield is a hottie.

Betty: It's not really a franchise but I love MAHOGANY and LADY SINGS THE BLUES -- two films that pair Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams.  I thought they had real chemistry.  I wish they had a third movie.  Considering all the money NETFLIX is throwing around, why can't they do a film with Diana and Billy Dee?

Ann: Because they're really not about people of color at NETFLIX, I've noticed.  I'd love to see Diana in a NETFLIX movie.  I also am surprised they haven't tried to put Pam Grier in a film -- either a new action character or as one of her 70s heroes like FOXY BROWN.  Again, NETFLIX has a real problem with African-American stars.

Cedric: I loved the RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK franchise.  It was fun.  I grew up on it and it's one I'll always buy a ticket to.

Jess: I'm surprised no one has said STAR WARS.

Marcia: I won't say STAR WARS but I will say STAR TREK.  I love the reboot with Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto but I loved the original cast in the early films as well as when they did the Patrick Stewart films.  There's no bad STAR TREK film.  There are ones that are better -- THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK, for example, but they are all solid films.

Rebecca:  Let me go left field, I'll toss out Frankie and Annette -- the beach movies.  BEACH BLANKET BINGO, etc.  And include the DR. GOLDFOOT films as well because I love those too.

Ava: Tim Burton's two Batman movies -- BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS.  They are classic.  I continue to watch Batman films -- with Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, Val Kilmer or George Clooney -- but none of them pack the life and texture that Tim Burton's first two films do.

Isaiah:  I think I'll go with TOY STORY but I agree with Ava regarding the Batmans and Tim Burton is my all time favorite director.

Stan:  I'll go with the ALIENS franchise -- as long as Weaver is in it.  Don't care for the films without her -- including the reboot.  And my two favorites are ALIENS and ALIENS III.

Ruth: The movies with Myrna Loy and William Powell -- THE THIN MAN movies, where they are Nick and Nora Charles.  I love those movies.  They still sparkle.

Jess: Elaine?

Elaine: C.I. and I have the same one.  It's the British franchise CARRY ON . . .  My favorite is CARRY ON SCREAMING -- their spoof of the Hammer films.

C.I.: And mine is CARRY ON SPYING -- the spoof of spy films.  It makes me laugh repeatedly.

Elaine: They're really funny and there are a ton of them -- there may be more CARRY ON films than even James Bond.  If that's the case, I'm sure Bond will surpass it at some point in the near future.  CARRY ON CLEO is another great one.

Jess: I'll go with LORD OF THE RINGS or the Sam Rami SPIDER-MAN films.  Betty had a point she wanted to note so let's make this the last topic before we close.  Betty?

Betty: I don't think it's the holiday but maybe it is.  I just feel like people feel a lot more hopeful right now.  Anybody else sensing that?

Rebecca: I am.  People seem tired of being scared and frightened and the daily outrage being ginned up every morning.  I think we're wanting to move beyond it.

Stan: I'd agree.  And I've noticed it too.  Maybe because of the Russia-gate going up in flames? I don't know.

Ava: And we've now endured two years of Donald Trump.  Supposedly, the world was going to immediately end, remember?  There are two more years left -- if we can get real candidates in 2020 -- and an end is in sight.

Jess: Okay, let's close on that hopeful note.  There's one more weekend left in the year.  For those celebrating Christmas, Merry Christmas.

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