Monday, October 15, 2018

Truest statement of the week

The Supreme Court was already a right-wing club when John Roberts was nominated in 2005. Twenty out of 42 Democrats voted to confirm the reactionary jurist. Two months later, right-winger Alito was confirmed after 19 Democrats joined 53 Republicans to halt a filibuster against his nomination by Senators Barack Obama and Harry Reid. Brett Kavanaugh represents an imminent threat to “women's reproductive justice, affordable health care, and the future of our democracy,” as DNC operative Seema Nanda put it,because the Democratic Party, as a body, collaborated in laying the groundwork for an ultra-right majority. And, when West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin made it clear he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, the party’s honchos made it just as plain that he would not be punished.
Yet, the Democrats have the gall to continue playing the Supreme Court card, when it is already too late to reverse the damage they have helped to inflict. Make no mistake: the Democratic Party is a corporate party that will never create a real political crisis -- never shut down the Senate, which is within the power of a unified minority party – unless the interests of their masters, the Lords of Capital, are threatened.

-- Glen Ford, "The Long Night Has Fallen on the Supreme Court -- Thanks Largely to Democrats" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

The Palmer raids begat the Espionage Act which begat COINTELPRO and now the Black Identity Extremist designation is part of the law enforcement lexicon. The name may change but the game of practicing brutal government control does not. There will always be a Robert Mueller ready to create fake crimes and a Shahed Hussain ready to assist. The only question is whether people who claim to love democracy will speak out against them.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Robert Mueller, Shahed Hussain and the FBI War of Terror" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Early Monday 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?

Another truest for Glen Ford.
Another truest for Margaret Kimberley.
The Women's March on the Pentagon is this weekend.
Ava and C.I. warn you that THE CONNERS is garbage.
So maybe you don't care about peace?  If so, this article's for you.
We test out sugar free cookies.
We select Cher's ten best.  And we argued and argued over which ten.  IT'S A MAN'S WORLD, for example, had a lot of vocal support but, in the end, not enough to make it onto our top ten.
Continued coverage of the book coverage in the community.

What we listened to while writing.
From the Michigan Greens.
A look at last week's best.


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

Editorial: Make your voice heard

Replying to   and 
The invasion of Iraq was neither in self-defense against armed attack nor sanctioned by UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force by member states and thus constituted the crime of war of aggression, according to the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)

A rare thing on Twitter, someone who tells the truth about Iraq.

But there are so few who even bother to talk about Iraq.  Instead they focus on Trump.  Not Donald's actual policies but how much they hate him personally.  And they then pretend that's doing politics.

It's such a hard life for them, reality.  They prefer to play blind soldiers of the partisan forces.

Meanwhile, there's death and destruction around the world as the US government continues to bomb and send soldiers all around the globe.  Sometimes to new wars, sometimes just to keep the never-ending wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) going.  There's always The Drone War.

So many people to kill.

If you're tired of it, actions are taking place this coming weekend -- October 20th and 21st.  In DC, there will be a Women's March on the Pentagon.  Around the country, there will be satellite activites.

You can make your voice heard.

 Press Advisory 
Cindy Sheehan: 707.317.8586
Bonnie Caracciolo: 470.328.2186
Emma Fiala: 612.913.6240

After months of planning, the Women’s (and others) March on the Pentagon is one week away!

Despite the fact that our children are getting third rate public schooling; homelessness is a national crisis and disgrace; U.S. infrastructure is failing at an alarming rate; and this nation is being dissolved foot by foot by global warming and unprecedented natural disasters: the Pentagon receives almost .60 of every tax dollar to continue the war machine’s program of global domination for resource control and profit.

We at WMOP reject the thinking that just because the U.S. has long been the world’s dominant hegemonic force, that it has to remain that way. Maintaining the U.S. war machine at its current levels is sucking the life our of our families, communities, nation and world.

Imperialism is the disease and Women organizing in a dedicated and militant (we won't stop until they stop) way for a peaceful and sustainable planet is the answer!

Lead organizer Cindy Sheehan had this to say from her home in California, “Without curing the disease of Imperialism, the symptoms of racism, sexism, and other endemic (to the U.S) violence will never stop.”

From the Boston area, co-lead organizer Bonnie Caracciolo added, "All power to the people."

Join Us!

Share on Facebook1.8K

TV: Roseanne didn't kill ROSEANNE, ABC did

THE CONNORS is the latest bomb in Channing Dungey's one woman attempt to tear down ABC.  The new comedy should be able to manage something other than be a wasted half hour because it's not really new -- in fact, the only new thing about the show is how unfunny it actually is.


Many years ago, Roseanne Barr created the basic premise for ROSEANNE with her standup routine which featured not only the character she would later play on TV but the husband, sister and children.  These are Roseanne's characters on THE CONNERS but without Barr around to steer the show, they are lifeless and one dimensional with the sole exception being John Goodman.

For those who've been living in a cave for the last year (or at an undisclosed location with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi), Roseanne did a Tweet comparing Iranian-born Valerie Jarrett to a cross between Planet of the Apes and the Muslim brotherhood.  Channing Dungey, ABC president, fired Roseanne for the Tweet.

At the time, ROSEANNE was the network's biggest hit, the biggest scripted hit on any network.

Now Channing's groveling before her bosses by offering THE CONNERS.

All the scraping and bowing in the world can't make this show worth watching.

The first thing THE CONNERS makes clear (we've seen the first three episodes -- apparently, Water Cooler critics were only allowed to see episodes one and four) is that Sara Gilbert is not now and never will be an actress.

At best, she's a flavor, like salt, to be used sparingly.

Drew Barrymore walked away with POISON IVY -- the film that was supposed to belong to Gilbert -- because she was a star and because Sara was . . . well a dowdy version of DARLA.

Sara's still dowdy -- plain and tall -- but does anyone want to see a middle aged DARLA?

Sadly for THE CONNERS, no.

At 43, you expect something more than a teenage wiseacre but that's all Gilbert has to offer.

What was good enough for tossing barbs from the sidelines really can't hold the spotlight center stage.

Watching the first three episodes of THE CONNERS, we're reminded of how Sara was supposed to be co-star on THE BIG BANG THEORY after a few notable guest spots but that quickly petered out with a source explaining to ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY why, "They [the writers] couldn’t write for her, so they changed her status to recurring. It's a little mystifying."

Not really all that mystifiying.  A performer who dead pans everything and never fleshes out an actual character is little more than a talking lamp and adds little.  THE BIG BANG THEORY rightly ditched her.

Smart producers, trying to do this spin-off, would have ditched Gilbert and zoomed in on the characters of Jackie and Dan.  Maybe had them go into business together or just have Dan forced to give her a job because she was his dead wife's sister.  But THE CONNERS doesn't have smart producers -- for the record, they have Tom Werner, Bruce Helford, Dave Caplan, Bruce Rasmussen, Tony Hernandez and Sara Gilbert. Poor Sara, always the token, never the norm.

Let's move to the positive: John Goodman.  Give him an Emmy just for the first three episodes we saw.  Goodman's Dan is the only reason to watch.  He brings a sadness and haunting quality to the role while still finding the comedy.  Yet again, Goodman demonstrates he is one of television's finest actors.

Solidarity events are popping up across the US: Los Angeles Milwaukee Fresno Minneapolis Asheville, NC Madison,WI Cleveland Seattle Buffalo, NY Patchogue, NY Montclair, NJ Las Vegas Don't see one near you? Organize your own!

Sadly, the same can't be said for others.

Laurie Metcalf is poorly served by the scripts which don't seem to be what we would call female aware.  Jackie was never just a ditz.  Until now.  There's nothing else for Metcalf to play.  Give her credit for making the lines seem funnier than they are by sprucing them up with off-kilter delivery and physical movement but even Laurie can't save these scripts.

How bad is it?  THE CONNERS makes THE HOGAN FAMILY look like a major work by Anton Chekhov.  Yes, it's truly that bad.

And Sara's heading a troup of actors -- Lecy Boranson and Michael Fishman -- who haven't worked since ROSEANNE left the airwaves in the 90s for a reason -- a very good reason.  Sara, Lecy and Michael are so bad, you wait for the announcement that they've been cast in the road company tour of FROM JUSTIN TO KELLY.

Bad scripts, bad acting, why bother to watch?

To find out how they kill off the character of Roseanne.  That's the only reason most people will watch the first episode.  (And we're willing to bet that, come Tuesday, most viewers won't tune in at all.)  After that, expect each episode to drop and drop and drop and drop in viewers.

And maybe now it's time for Channing to start answering questions?

For months now, we've been reporting what was going on at ABC.  In the last few days, the mainstream press finally caught wind of a small part of it.  Channing has nothing but enemies at ABC now because they realize she's going to get a golden parachute shortly but they're going to be left at ABC trying to fix her f**k ups -- which are enormous.  Tuesday nights are expected to go down in flames once curiosity viewers bail on THE CONNERS.  Which means that will be another night she's destroyed.  As one ABC exec joked to us last week, "Forget speculation about 9-11, the takedown of ABC was the real inside job and Channing's the bomber."

10 reasons to avoid Women's March on the Pentagon


People who care will be there.  Maybe you won't?  If so, here are ten reasons to explain your absence from this very important event.

1) You're just about to explore adult diapers in your NCIS Jethro fan fiction.

2) You'd rather spend your time pulling the wings off butterflies.

3) You're a War Criminal and know you won't be welcome.

4) You actually enjoy meaningless murders and deadly destruction.

5) You don't feel that The PATRIOT Act went far enough.

6) The tattoo on your arm reads "Thin the heard" and the one above your ass crack reads "Time for a culling."

7) Someone's got to fill the front row at that Kid Rock concert in Atlantic City.

8)  The Northern California Renaissance Faire in Hollister is taking place and you were really hoping to attend and, fingers crossed, score with your second cousin.

9) Someone has to stay home and watch THE HALLMARK CHANNEL's 2018 COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS PREVIEW.

10) You're attending a dinner party thrown by Michelle Obama and Bully Boy Bush where the theme is Learning To Love The Destroyers.

From the TESR Test Kitchen


Alice argues that The TESR Test Kitchen never explores sugar free items.  Wrong.  We've covered Coke Zero Cherry, for example.  But, true, we don't spend a lot of time on sugar free here.

So this go round we decided to look at sugar free cookies.


We started with Voortman's Bakery -- specifically their "SUGAR FREE!" Pecan Chocolate Chip "baked with real pecans."  The wrapping also boasts "20% LESS NET CARBS than regular cookies!"  And how much less taste than regular cookies?

Quite a bit, actually.  If chocolate chip means Chips Ahoy, you're going to be disappointed.  If you prefer the Keebler hard cookies, you'll like these.  They are short.  They are also small.  The taste?  Alright.  Not great.  But if you're looking for less carbs, these may be for you.

Murray Sugar Free Cookies with Pecans was the other one we explored.

We were divided on this.  Half of us thought the cookie was okay and better than Voortman's upon eating just one.  The other half?  Hated it.  Thought the taste was hideous.  Didn't want a second cookie.  But that half then tried dipping the cookie in milk or Diet Coke.  Upon dipping, the cookie actually tasted very good.  These cookies were also much larger than Voortman's.

Our recommendation?  Murray Chocolate Chip with Pecans Sugar Free Cookies.

Cher's ten best albums

At the end of last month, Cher released her latest hit album DANCING QUEEN so we thought it was time to look back and list her ten best albums previously.






5) CHER (1987)



8) CHER (1971 -- also known as GYPSIES, TRAMPS & THIEVES)



Read a book?


Readers have e-mailed us asking for more book coverage at community sites.  We've passed this request on.

So far, the book coverage includes:

"When a book no longer pleases" -- Betty.

"Parker Posey's YOU'RE ON AN AIRPLANE" -- Mike.

"Sally Field IN PIECES" -- C.I. 

"Neil deGrasse Tyson and his superficial book" -- Betty.

"Alice Walker's The Chicken Chronicles" -- Marcia.

"The really bad book The Bridge" -- Ann.

"The Third Hotel by Laura Van Den Berg" -- Trina. 

"T.J. Berry's Space Unicorn Blues" -- Marcia.  

"HELLO GORGEOUS by William Mann" -- Stan.


"Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's and the Dawn of the Modern Woman Paperback" -- Ann.

"No one Peter Bogdanovich knows is ever gay" -- Marcia.

"Seymour Hersh meanders throughout REPORTER: A MEMOIR" -- C.I. 

"Dusty (by Karen Bartlett)" -- Marcia.

"Media critiques -- Nora Ephron's SCRIBBLE SCRABBLE" -- Mike.

"Judy Garland (the biographies)" -- Kat.


"UNCOMMON TYPES: Let's kill whomever taught Tom Hanks to type" -- Elaine.


"Anne Sexton: THE COMPLETE POEMS" -- C.I.

"Charlotte Chandler's MARLENE" -- Elaine.

"A sexist woman writes She's a Rebel and distorts music history" -- Ann.

"barbara ehrenreich's 'natural causes'" -- Rebecca. 

"Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook" -- Trina.


"Blackfish City" -- Marcia.

"THE CHICKEN CHRONICLES by Alice Walker" -- Ruth.

"Harry Belafonte" -- Mike.

"THE SAME RIVER TWICE (Alice Walker)" -- Isaiah.

"Dancing with Demons: The Authorized Biography of Dusty Springfield" -- Marcia.

"Good for Jimmy Stewart, bad for readers" -- Stan.

"Conversations with Toni Morrison" -- Marcia.

"Forced Into Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream" -- Ann.

"He Ran All The Way" -- Trina.

And we'll also note Ann's "How a book store could stay alive in today's economy" about the book business.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }