Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Truest statement of the week

Ocasio-Cortez wants us to “come home.” Along with her ‘socialism’ message, it is hard to tell If she is also making this up by herself, or if she is receiving tutelage from someone in the Democratic Party’s Fairytale & Children’s Section.Ocasio-Cortez is messaging the Blue version of “Make America Great Again.”
The progressive ideas and programs of the New Deal were not, as Ocasio-Cortez claims, bestowed upon the nation in 1940 by the Democratic Party and FDR; these ideas and programs were the sour medicine co-opted from the decades-long struggle of socialist, communist, and anarchist organizations and swallowed by FDR and the Democratic Party as a life-preserving measure to counter the threat of capitalism’s demise. The New Deal was, in FDR’s own estimation, what saved the capitalist system— although one might argue WWII played just as crucial a role. Notwithstanding the positive gains of the New Deal, it was still in form and substance racist. It gave a pass to Jim Crow and lynchings, and ignored large sectors of Black, Mexican, Native, Puerto Rican, and women workers. In the 1930s, hundreds of thousands of Mexican adults and children (some estimate well over a million) were rounded up and ethnically cleansed from the U.S. For plenty of marginalized people, the New Deal was a shitty deal. Here’s another thing: The Johnson Administration was also racist as f__k.

-- Quetzal Caceres, "An Open Letter to 'Socialists' Who Might be Fronting for the Democratic Party" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

The Russiagate investigation is proof that this country is run by liars, race baiters, warmongers, torturers and their enablers. The Brennans of the world work for both Republican and Democratic administrations. The Guilianis and Trumps thrive politically by publicly declaring and then acting upon racist intent. All of these evil doers are upheld by the corporate media if they curry favor well enough.
They shouldn’t be able to influence those who purport to be on the left. Anyone who is really paying attention can see that the criminal gangs at the top are exposing themselves. They are all enemies of the people and the people should loudly say that none of these emperors are wearing any clothes.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Giuliani and Brennan: Truth or Dare" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Wednesday morning  And we're done. 

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, Marcia of SICKOFITRDLZ,
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?

Quetzal Caceres gets a truest.
As does Margaret Kimberley.
Another death.
Ava and C.I. take on NETFLIX, yes, but they also update you on the always sexist Terry Gross of NPR.
No tears for John Brennan.
Time to sample again.
A great singer passed away.
Oh, she was trusted once.
Continuing to note the book coverage in the community.

What we listened to while writing.


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

Editorial: The war in Iraq continues

Pentagon identifies Army helicopter pilot killed in Iraq crash: CW3 Taylor J. Galvin, 34, from Spokane, Wash. Member of 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, had 9 deployments to Iraq & Afghanistan

How many more have to die in the Iraq War before the American people demand that all troops go home?

What does it say about the national priorities when porn actress Stormy Daniels gets more media attention in one month than the Iraq War does all year long?

Operation Out of Sight and Mind.

The next time a ridiculous Meryl Streep starts yammering away about how great and important the American press are, stop a moment and remember how that same media didn't just sell the Iraq War, it now ignores it.

TV: Yet another bad week for NETFLIX

Another bad week for NETFLIX.  Have they had any good ones of late?

Matt Groening, Joel McHale and Michelle Wolf.

Let's start with Wolf.  We kept waiting for her to turn out one decent show before weighing in.  But she never did.  So finally, July 17th, we offered our take:

We'd hoped that another show would succeed but THE BREAK WITH MICHELLE WOLF just isn't making it.
We waited and waited to find something good to say about this show. Here it is, she took on virtue signaling in a recent episode. She addressed a topic we have -- applause is not laughter. She took on the 'comedians' of late night in a pointed segment where she noted that they just weren't funny but people were applauding to show their agreement with the sentiments.
Maybe that can lead to something?
Who knows but if she's going to be the voice for women, she's going to have bring women on as guests. Her line up so far is worse than David Letterman's has been.
There she is, on her July 4th episode, celebrating women's rights . . . with guest Seth Meyers? Or she's delivering a commentary on what she sees as the entitlement of White men before chatting with the guest for that epiosde . . . Nick Kroll. Eight episodes and eight guests and only one has been a woman.
Does Michelle really think she has standing to criticize Donald Trump?
She's as bad as any of the men hosting talk shows.
Let's be really clear, if Michelle can't find a way to make half the guests women, why should women watch her? What she's saying currently with her guest list is that women aren't interesting enough to be guests. Well if they're not interesting enough to be guests, they aren't interesting enough to be hosts.
So which is it, Michelle?

If you judge all women by Michelle, then women aren't interesting enough to be hosts.  As the week ended, NETFLIX announced they had cancelled her show.  (Apparently, they forgot to inform people working on the show first before they made the announcement.)

Some lament it, a few, we don't.  What's the good of another Terry Gross?  What's that worth?  We'd say damn little.

August, for example, isn't over yet but already this month, Terry has stocked her 'stocking' with men, men and more men: John LeCarre, Ken Tucker (three times), Justin Chang (twice), Karen Piper, Somini Sengupta, Kevin Whitehead, Seymour Stein, Jim Gavin, Sam Briger, Maureen Corrigan (twice), David Sedaris, David Bianculli (twice), Franklin Foer (to discuss immigration because who better than a White, Jewish, NYC neoliberal who has written books like HOW SOCCER EXPLAINS THE WORLD, HOW FOOTBALL EXPLAINS THE WORLD and JEWISH JOCKS to explain immigration?), Geoff Nunberg, Jennifer Fox, David Kirkpatrick, Julian Ander, Judge Victoria Pratt, Peter Gould, Jonathan Banks, Giancarlo Espisito, Dave Davies (two episode), A.C. Thompson, David Edelstein, and Nick Pyesnon.

If Aretha Franklin hadn't died, it would have been even worse.  But airing the 1999 interview with Aretha made it 8 times Terry had women on her show.  Men?  25 times.  That means over two-thirds of the people Terry chose to bring on were men.

Some of these people were critics!

All the critics were men except for Maureen Corrigan.  In Terry's world, female critics of music or film of TV or what have you just don't exist.

Some of those people were host substitutes!

All of the people who filled in for Terri were men.  In her world, only men can fill in for her.  She's the token girl in the room, she's the execption that proves the rule, she's the queen bee.  She's another fake ass piece of crap holding women back.

masculinist terry

As noted in January of 2011, "Terry Gross' New Low" (a piece Ann wrote with us reviewing Terry's guests for 2010):

In all, her show featured 399 guests (fresh and canned). How many were women?


Can we get a percentage?

That would be 18.546% of her guests were women. 18% were female. 

The world doesn't need more Terrys, we need women who support women.  We need women who realize that women are half the world (slightly over half, in fact) and that we deserve to be part of the conversation -- an equal part of the conversation.

Terry Gross can cup her imaginary balls but she can't do a thing to help women.  Neither could Michelle Wolf.  That's last one's even more surprising since, when slammed for her jokes about Sarah Sanders (White House spokesperson), Michelle insisted that, as a woman, there were places she could go that men couldn't.

Who knew she meant to the feet of men?  That's where she worshipped.  Or maybe their crotches.

 It's as though the women of America were collectively singing Fiona Apple's "Get Gone" to Wolf:

How many times do I have to say
To get away, get gone?
Flip your s**t past another lass's
Humble dwelling
You got your game, made your shot
And you got away with a lot
But I'm not turned on
So put away that meat you're selling

And with few bothering to stream her, NETFLIX finally got the message.

Joel McHale?  That was a different story.  THE JOEL MCHALE SHOW WITH JOEL MCHALE was a hit as a weekly series for 13 episodes.  The problem was with the next six episodes.  NETFLIX thinks everything is a binge.  No, it's not.

THE JOEL MCHALE SHOW WITH JOEL MCHALE couldn't stockpile episodes.  As  weekly show, he was examining some of the most absurd, televised moments of the week.  When he has to stockpile episodes, it's no longer about what happened that week.

That NETFLIX couldn't grasp that the fans didn't want to binge the show goes to their own failures.

A program that delivers and is inexpensive?

For some reason, NETFLIX can't relate to that.

Last week, VARIETY found the news angle we were working June 20th, the massive debt NETFLIX is stockpiling -- crippling debt that could bring the entire service down.

Since we wrote that article, NETFLIX has now signed a $100 million dollar deal with Kenya Barris.  Why?  Shonda Rhimes is ABC Thursday night.  If only to weaken ABC, it makes sense to sign Shonda.  But Barris?   He has black-ish to his credit.  But that show has never been in the top fifty shows of any year.  In fact, this past season was so low rated that the show was ranked the 84th most watched show.

He wrote GIRL TRIP which made $115 million in ticket sales across North America.  But, again, he wrote it.  He didn't direct it.  He didn't produce it.  He wrote it.  In film, writing's not the top tier.

PRIVATE PRACTICE, GREY'S ANATOMY, SCANDAL, HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER are successes on Shonda's resume.  The NETFLIX deal makes sense.

But even betting on track records can leave you broke.  Matt Groening made that clear last week.  DISENCHANTMENT is so-so.  It's not really funny, it's not really involving and the animation lacks any real style or character.

Groening is responsible for THE SIMPSONS.  And FUTURAMA.  FUTURAMA was axed twice.  THE SIMPSONS?

Groening had three seasons of THE TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW to develop the Simpson family before they got their own show.  Even so, seasons one through three are among the worst of the series.  So possibly DISENCHANTMENT might improve if NETFLIX sticks with it for a few years.

Or maybe not.

This isn't about a family.  This is about fairytale days.  Or someone thinks it is.  Us?  We just think it's one more way for animated America to ignore people of color.  Of the 14 voice actors working on the show, only one, Eric Andre, is a person of color.

This might be a good time to point out that neither Dr. Hibbert nor his wife -- although African-American characters -- are voiced by African-American actors.  (Apu and Manjula are also voice by White actors.)  It might be an even better time to point out that of all the characters in THE SIMPONS' universe, not a single one is voiced by a person of color.

DISENCHANTED plays out like a series created by a White person who's never worked with -- or even met -- a person of color.  That's not a good fit for NETFLIX and, it appears, these days, a lot of things don't fit on NETFLIX.

Spying and lying Brennan

A security clearance is not a lifetime gift.  It is a trust, yes.  And if you are seen to no longer deserve it, that's that.

Security Clearances Are Approved & Withdrawn At The Discretion Of the President. Trump is perfectly within his rights, under US Law, to withdraw Brennan's Security Clearance (and anyone else he considers is appropriate)

US President Donald Trump has taken away John Brennan's security clearance.

175 former US officials have added their names to a list of intelligence officials denouncing President Trump's decision to revoke former CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance

Doesn't matter what they think.  This isn't a decision that goes to a vote.  The office of the president can revoke the security clearance.

Trump was right on this.  Brennan left government.

He's no longer director of the CIA -- he no longer needs a security clearance.

And that's before you think back to when he got caught lying and spying on Congress.

  1. Sen. Wyden on Clapper: Regardless of what was going through [Clapper's] head when he testified, failing to correct the record was a deliberate decision to lie to the American people about what their government was doing.
  2. Sen. Wyden's statement on Clapper's resignation after Clapper provided false info to Wyden/Congress under oath. Clapper had denied existence of a mass surveillance program on Americans that he knew about.
  3. The Atlantic's article on Brennan spying on Senate Intel Committee, then falsely denying it, only to have to admit it.

Brennan has never lived up to the trust placed in him.

He should have been put in a prison for spying on the US Senate alone.

He is not to be trusted and, therefore, does not deserve a security clearance.

Amy Goodman is good on ICE fascists, but naive on CIA's John Brennan. Why dose her headline today parrot the frivolous lede in Washington Post? Fact that Brennan did all he could, legally & illegally to elect Mrs. Clinton should subject him to close scrutiny, not give him a pass.

And there's that as well.

But at the end of the day, it really comes down to the reality that he had that clearance because he was the Director of the CIA.  Those days are gone and so is his security clearance.  That's how it should be.

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