Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Truest statement of the week

Now, at the 16-year mark, the war’s smoking ruins remain. In March 2019 the Associated Press’ Qassim Abdul-Zahra reported that the Islamic State group, while losing its last shred of territory in Syria, was creeping back into Iraq. Moreover, tens of thousands Iraqis remained displaced, large areas of the country were in ruins, corruption was rampant, infrastructure remained crumbled, armed militias continued to roam the streets of Baghdad, and unemployment, poverty and disenfranchised youth were widespread.

-- Joseph Wyatt, "The Iraq War at 16" (CHARLESTON GAZETTE-MAIL).

Truest statement of the week II

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell and the others who had manufactured from whole cloth the reasons for their war, would repeatedly employ transparent efforts to shore up their ebbing hopes for favorable legacies. Employing verbal devices, they would slyly switch the reasons for the invasion, moving away from their earlier certainties of WMDs to espousing new rhetoric about Saddam’s “plans” or “ambitions” to develop such weapons.

-- Joseph Wyatt, "The Iraq War at 16" (CHARLESTON GAZETTE-MAIL).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Tuesday night.  The 16th anniversary of the start of the never-ending Iraq War.

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?

Joseph Wyatt gets a truest.
In fact, he gets two.
In less than an hour, the Iraq War hits the sixteen year mark.  Can you believe it?  We can't either.  When we started this site in 2005, we assumed we'd have ended it long before now but then we also assumed the Iraq War would have ended long before now.
Ava and C.I. cover TV.
Don't forget them, they have really betrayed us and betrayed peace.
Is it our longest roundtable?  It felt that way.  Thank you to everyone who participated, we did it Monday night and we knew it put a lot of people off schedule.  Thank you to everyone.
We limited it to three -- it could have been much, much longer.
This is a topic that we've long planned to cover.

What we listened to.
As always, thank you to Mike & the gang for writing this.

Hey, we love you readers, we really do.  But 16 years from now we better not all be here talking about the 32nd anniversary of the still ongoing Iraq War.

Peace and love to the Iraqi people, peace and love to all non-Iraqis around the world who have fought in the Iraq War or lost loved ones in the Iraq War.  May this war and occupation end and end soon.

As the one and only Melanie Safka sings, till they all come home . . .


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

Editorial: 16 years

Despite promises and hopes and protests and demands and costs financial and costs in blood, the Iraq War hits the 16 year mark in about an hour.

16 years going and no end in sight.

If you're running for president right now, you might try articulating how this war ends because, thus far, it doesn't.

Happy birthday, Iraq war. You’re old enough to drive now.

16 years.  And now it's going to be 16 years and counting.

How can you run for president and not address this issue?

You can't.  Not if you want us to take you seriously.

So far, US House Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is the strongest.

  1. “So you ask what I will change? I will change our priorities so we stop wasting trillions of our dollars on wasteful counterproductive wars and dedicate them to taking care of the urgent needs of our communities across this country.”

The Iraq War has to end.  If you can't figure out how to make that happen, you shouldn't be running for president.


Illustration is Isaiah's January 1, 2006 comic.

TV: ABC and Colbert fizzle while NOW APOCALYPSE sizzles

It shouldn't be that hard to do a show fueled by sexual chemistry.  Maddie and Dave (MOONLIGHTING), Sam and Diane (CHEERS), Dean and Sam (SUPERNATURAL) . . .  Sexual chemistry may be like lightening in a bottle but it does happen.


Just not on ABC's WHISKEY CAVALIER.  The premise is that the FBI and the CIA work together and, as hijinx ensue, so will laughter.  We're all for anything that mocks the CIA but there's not an honest laugh to be found in this weekly, hour long show.

Scott Foley tries hard to bring the charm he provided on SCANDAL but there he acted opposite live wire Kerry Washington.  On WHISKEY CAVALIER, he acts opposite 37-year-old Lauren Cohan who's been working professionally for over fourteen years yet has failed to impress even once.  In scene after scene, Ana Ortiz sparkles in a supporting role but the camera's always searching in desperation when it zooms in on Cohan who often has a glum or foul look on her face as though someone forgot to clue her in that this show is supposed to be a comedy.

Just as four tires are required for a car to drive smoothly, two leads are required for a show that plans to rely on chemistry.  Scott Foley is a lead, yes.  But Lauren Cohan?  She's not a lead.  She's someone's who has been hired for a role she's all wrong for and every episode is an attempt to shoot around this reality.

More than anything, WHISKEY CAVALIER is a retread of SCARECROW AND MRS. KING if Meg Foster had played the Kate Jackson role.

WHISKEY CAVALIER is pure hokum and a rip off of every other show you've ever seen.  The only way it would ever work is if there was sexual friction between the leads.  Sadly for ABC, there is none.

About the only thing sadder than WHISKEY CAVALIER would be last week's THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT where the host tried to shame US House Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

Stephen Colbert: Why do you want to be president of the United States?

US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard: Because as a soldier I know the cost of war and the most important job the president has is to be commander in chief.

Stephen Colbert: Do you think that the Iraq War was worth it?

US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard:  No.

Stephen Colbert:  Do you think that our --  Do you think that our involvement in Syria has been worth it?

US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard: No.

Stephen Colbert:  Do you believe that -- Do you believe that ISIS could have been defeated without our involvement and support of the local troops there?

US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard: There are two things we need to address in Syria.  One is a regime change war that was first launched by the United States in 2011, covertly led by the CIA.  That is a regime change war that has continued over the years that has increased the suffering of the Syrian people and strengthened terrorist groups like al Qaeda and ISIS because the CIA was using American tax payer dollars to provide arms and training equipment to these terrorist groups to get them to overthrow the government.  So that is a regime change war that we should not have been waging --

Stephen Colbert:  So but if -- 

US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard:  The second --

Stephen Colbert: -- someone like Bashar Assad [cross talk] or engages in War Crimes against his own people, should the United States not be involved.

US House Rep Tulsi Gabbard:  The United States should not be intervening to overthrow these dictators and these regimes that we don't like, like Assad, like Saddam Hussein, like Qaddafi and like Kim Jong Un.  There are bad people in the world but history has shown us that every time the United States goes in and topples these dictators we don't like, trying to act as the world's police, we end up increasing the suffering of the people in these countries, we end up causing a loss of life -- both American lives and the lives of people in these countries, we end up undermining our own security. [. . .] to speak of the trillions of dollars spent on these wars that we need to be using right here at home.

The Iraq War veteran is running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination and she's got serious issues to discuss like Medicare For All, ending endless wars, addressing climate change, etc. but all the talk show host wanted to discuss was whether or not she thought Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad was a "war criminal."  Way to avoid addressing real issues.  Two things stood out -- one, how Colbert looked like the corporate whore interviewing Jay Billington Bulworth in Warren Beatty's BULWORTH and, two, how coming off as a pedophile in STRANGERS WITH CANDY worked to Colbert's advantage but does nothing for him on a late night talk show.

Serious issues elude the clown Colbert.   So much eludes him.

And for someone who makes his show about belittling Donald Trump, maybe he should learn to listen to others?  It's a talk show and Colbert's not interesting enough to carry the hour by himself, so learn to listen.

The chemistry Colbert and ABC can't manufacture, NOW APOCALYPSE parades.

STARZ's new show is a stand out.  Every now and then in the cookie-cutter world of TV, a show comes along with its own look and NOW APOCALYPSE has its own look.  More than that, however, it has a look that should advance visuals in TV.  It's vibrant and powerful. It's as revolutionary in the visual as Hal Ashby's COMING HOME was in the audio.  The choice of the songs and the way they were utilized changed film and that's the sort of impact NOW APOCALYPSE should have on TV.  Yes, HERE'S LUCY was a breakthrough in terms of color all those years ago but that was all those years ago.

Filmmaker Gregg Araki has worked in TV before (RIVERDALE, 13 REASONS WHY, AMERICAN CRIME, etc.) but this is the first time he's done more than direct.  He created NOW APOCALYPSE, directs every episode and co-writes each episode with Karley Sciortino (of VICELAND's SLUTEVER).

In a thirty minute format, the show follows its young cast around as they learn about themselves and the world around them.  The three leads are Avan Jogia as Uli, Kelli Berglund as Carly and Beau Mirchoff as Ford -- all three performers are talented and appealing.  Uli lives with roommate Ford -- and has the hots for Ford but Ford's involved with Severine (Roxane Mesquida) while Carly's involved with Jethro (Desmond Chiam).

Carly wants to be an actress -- even if she lacks the talent or ability to pretend she's interested in the performances of others in her acting class.  Ford wants to be a screenwriter.  Uli, when not doing night security, wants to figure out what his dreams of an alien invasion may mean or, as he puts it, "On one hand, I can't shake this gnawing dread -- this feeling that there's something going on just below the surface of everyday life.  But, on the other hand, I do smoke a lot of weed."

He also sees things.  Like an alien raping a man.

Ford sees little.

Even when he's fixing Severine dinner, Ford sees little.  He's right behind her but he never notices that his astrobiological theorist girlfriend is looking at photos of UFOs.  He also has trouble seeing that she wants an open relationship until she spells it out for him -- shortly before setting him up with a female friend to have sex with while she watches.  "You have the world's most magnificent cock," she tells him.  "It's so magnificent, in fact, I'd feel guilty keeping it all to myself."

Uli's alien dreams probably have something to do with Severine's secretive work and maybe even have something to do with Gabriel (Tyler Posey), the guy he's trying so hard to establish a relationship with -- but outside of mutual masturbation, little appears to be happening, not even texting.

Uli may be confused but NOW APOCALYPSE is sure footed and determined.  It's also the most interesting show of 2019 so check it out.

The War Whores

I am the war hawk you have been waiting for 

[Isaiah's "I Am The War Hawk You Have Been Waiting For" from December 1, 2009] 

Some people pretended to care about the Iraq War -- at least while they could profit off their 'resistance.'  Here are the ten worst.

1) Amy Goodman.  She was largely unknown before the Iraq War.  She was a 'freak' to those on the left who knew her because of her 2000 election day interview with Bill Clinton.  But she rode the Iraq War to fame by playing last journalist standing and never forget that it was acting on her part.  As soon as she could, she ditched serious coverage of Iraq.  She's a fake ass and one who's revealed her true war mongering ass to the world starting with her propaganda coverage of Libya.  (To its strong credit, BLACK AGENDA REPORT called her out on that.)  Read about Amy's filthy history here.

2) John Nichols.  Professional propagandist John once pretended to so care about the Iraq War that he called someone out on the Iraq War vote -- Barbra Streisand.  Miss Marmelstein Goes To Congress?  No, she didn't.  But John needed a villain for the column and he has a really hard time, weak-kneeded faux Socialist that he is, in standing up to actual Democrats in Congress so he tore into Streisand doing everything but arguing that "Coming In And Out Of Your Life" provided aid and cover to Saddam Hussein.  Nichols achieved a special level of whoring when, in October 2006, he was promoting his just published book THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT and suddenly came to a full stop because Nancy Pelosi said impeachment was off the table.  John knows who butters his bread as well as who lubes the dildo.

3) Leslie Cagan.  Leslie will be remembered for two things.  First, helping to destroy PACIFICA's financial future via the sweet honey deal she brokered   Shame on her for making Marc Cooper look like a prophet, "The historic project of Pacifica Radio as it was conceived and nurtured over several decades is now dead. Bessie Wash, Amy Goodman, Utrice Leid, Juan Gonzalez, Dennis Bernstein, FAIR, John Murdoch and Leslie Cagan alike will serve as pallbearers."  But Leslie's most famous for posing as a peace activist.  In this capacity, she led United for Peace and Justice -- a gang of do-nothings who existed solely to stoke anger against the illegal war and harness it into a meaningless get-out-the-vote campaign for Democrats.  It was for this reason that Cagan opposed protests against the war in DC after the Democrats took over both houses of Congress and why she insisted upon closing shop the day after Barack Obama was elected president.  The man promised to end the Iraq War (he didn't).  Shouldn't a genuine peace organization remain active to hold him to his promises?  UFPJ was never a genuine peace organization.

4) Aimee Allison.  Once known for being an objector in the Gulf War, Aimee used that to ride to low key fame and a co-hosting job on KPFA's THE MORNING SHOW.  It was there that the anti-war activist or 'activist' or 'anti-war activist' lost all interest in ending the Iraq War but used her position to boost the campaign of Barack Obama, to share that she was FACEBOOK friends with Michelle Obama, to call for book burnings (specifically for banning and burning THE NEW YORKER).  She now heads the centrist Democratic front group  DEMOCRACY IN COLOR which tries to elect corporatist Democrats like Corey Booker and Kamala Harris.  On the 16th anniversary of the start of the illegal war, she remains one of the country's greatest fake asses and one who has to work in her own organizations because no one else will have her.  Remember when she got fired:

2010 was when the people had experienced enough and made a point to say so. January 8th, careful listeners were put on notice when Joseph managed to get through on the caller line and informed Aimee Allison (KPFA's The Morning Show), that despite her (repeated and false) claims that everyone on the left had supported Barack Obama in the 2008 election, many did not drink the "Obama-aide" and that the "Obama-aide" was dispensed by "media types" who were far from honest. Whether he knew it or not, Aimee was one of those "media types" and she quickly attacked Joseph on air and hung up on him. Back then, that might have appeared to be winning behavior by the Cult of St. Barack. Of course, the reality is that as the year drew to a close, Aimee Allison found herself fired from KPFA.

5) Medea Benjamin. I Need Attention Benjamin spends a lot of time screaming for attention.  She just doesn't care about Iraq.  (Which might be a good thing considering what she tried to do to Afghanistan in 2009.)  She made that clear in the middle of a 2007 hunger strike for Iraq when she suddenly switched her focus to Palestine.  She's forever dropping Iraq as though the war long ago ended when it didn't.  Medea scrambled her brain on something.  Maybe it was drugs?  Maybe she was tortured by the CIA -- during the infamous pie-ing?  Maybe she just couldn't handle the foul body odor of Jodie Evans?  Whatever it was, something pulled her focus and she's little more than a dabbler these days -- one who lacks the focus even to Tweet.  As Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT) observed in 2014:

If there were a prize awarded for truly stupid twitter posts, Code Pink’s Medea Benjamin should win with these words, "Obama spoke with Raul Castro yesterday. The ice is melting. Mojitos for all!" It is difficult to know where to begin in analyzing such nonsense. [. . .] As for Benjamin, anyone whose response to a foreign policy decision includes references to a cocktail should be ignored now and forever. 

6) Norman Solomon.  Norman was a voice of passion and truth and then along came Barack Obama.  Norman became a case study in the self-help industry at that point and could have been the reason so many books were written: WHEN GOOD GIRLS TURN BAD, WOMEN WHO LOVE TOO MUCH, ACT LIKE A LADY THINK LIKE A MAN, HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU . . .  Norman whored his reputation and good name in 2008.  He was smart enough to disclose in his syndicated column that he was a pledged delegate for Barack but he didn't bother to make that same, needed disclosure when appearing on various PACIFICA radio programs.  Norman was a powerful and needed voice.  More than anyone who whored out, we miss Norman.  If he'd admit that he was misled by Barack, we'd hug him in a minute.  But if you don't own your mistakes, you don't learn from them.

7) Michael Franti.  Another bi-racial trying to pass as Black is the way he's now referred to in the Bay Area.  Michael was once a movement in the music world.  He'd sing truths like "We can bomb the world to pieces but you can't bomb it into peace."  Like Norman, Michael's pretty head was turned by Barack and he never got it on straight again.  He was unable to call out The Drone War or Barack continuing the Iraq War.  In other words, he was a fair weather peace activist.  And no one needs that.  Too bad for Michael because, before his head was turned, he had recorded YELL FIRE which was a classic of the 00s.  He seemed to have so much going for him and he gave it all away to be a groupie for Barack.

8) Ani DiFranco.  As bad as things got for Michael, they were far worse for Ani DiFranco.  Despite recording 19 studio albums, she never managed to record a classic studio album.  LIVING IN  A CLIP, her live album, was the closest she came (it made it to number 59 on the album charts).  She pretended to care about the Iraq War.  Maybe she actually did care?  If she did it was a viral care, a 24-hour kind of care.  She walked away.  It gets worse.  She did the hideous album WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? in 2012.  Never before had folk music harnessed its commitment in order to prop up a man killing people with drones.  It was as though BOB ROBERTS had come to life.  Kat called it out in "Kat's Korner: Ani DiFranco's embarrassing odor."  If you weren't getting how crazy Ani had become, a few years later, she was miffed because women were refusing to attend her 'retreat' on the grounds that it was on the grounds of a business celebrating slavery. 

9) Matthew Rothschild.  The original fake ass.  Yes, THE PROGRESSIVE is worse without him but it wasn't so great when he was still around.  Matthew 'cared' about Iraq when there was something in it for him.  Otherwise?  Ask him to cover Winter Soldier, as we did, and hear him reply, "Sure."  And then watch him to ignore it.  Point out that Cindy Sheehan is being harassed by the government and ask him to write about it and he'll tell you absolutely.  But then he won't.  In 2007 and 2008, he loved to play one trick in particular -- ask people why they were supporting a candidate who voted for the Iraq War.  He did that in print and on THE PROGRESSIVE's radio show.  Excuse us, he did that to people who supported Hillary Clinton.  He did not do it to people who supported John Edwards.  It was a funny form of concern.  By 2009, he was no longer concerned at all.  A film about him would be entitled HOW I LEARNED TO LOVE THE WAR AND WHORE MYSELF OUT.  For more on Matthew, see   Betty's "Kiss my Black ass, Matthew Rothschild" and Marcia's "Matthew Rothschild patronizes Black people" as well as this site's "The Black Roundtable,"

10) Kim Gandy.  She was so convincing when she pretended to care about ending the Iraq War.  Remember when she was president of NOW and Bully Boy Bush occupied the White House and she pretended it was important to end the war?  And she insisted "Peace is a feminist issue"?  Even had that slogan posted at NOW's website?  Then she never mentioned peace again once BBB left the White House. 


Jim: Roundtable time.  Remember our e-mail address is thethirdestatesundayreview@yahoo.com and you can also e-mail us at common_ills@yahoo.com..  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 (Cont): So, Russia hysteria, where's it headed?

Ruth: Out the door, into the trash.  There was no collusion and two years time was wasted on that nonsense, time we could have spent demanding Medicare For All, an end to the Iraq War, serious efforts to combat climate change.  All we got?  Nutty conspiracy theories and we resurrected The Cold War.  All because Hillary Clinton could not acknowledge that she ran a piss poor campaign. 

Betty: Support! 

Jim: Community wide, we rejected the hysteria but, Ruth, you covered it at length at your site. 

Ruth: I did. And remember C.I.'s year end column for the gina & krista round-robin back at the end of 2016?  She was noting the rumbles and the obsession that was already starting and she said, "Do we have to be paranoid to wonder if this isn't the Obama administration pulling strings behind the scenes?"  I thought of that every time I wrote about this nonsense and it seems more and more likely that it did go straight up to former President Barack Obama and that he knew -- and if he did not know, he should have.

Jim: Thoughts?

Cedric: Yeah, I'd agree with Ruth on that.  This didn't just happen.  A lot of people were involved -- James Comey, Loretta Lynch, you name it.  I honestly believe a lot of higher ups need to be in prison for this -- for spying on an opposing campaign, using the resources of the federal government to try to spy and then to try to take down a presidency.  I'm someone who votes Democrat every time.  I will hold my nose and do it.  But my not liking Donald Trump does not make me any less appalled by what was done to him.  I really would use the term "treason" to describe what Obama officials have done with regards to Trump.  Sorry.

Ty: No need to apologize for your opinion.  I agree, this was an effort to bring down a presidency.  I don't just see it as a conspiracy, I see it as a criminal conspiracy.  I think they spied on him and tried to benefit from that and then, after the election, they tried to destroy him.  I think they had help from friends in the media.  I think James Clapper belongs in prison.  Really, all anyone needs to do is read Ruth's "Strzok spills the beans about the deal D.O.J. made with Hillary" and see if you aren't outraged.  And that's even before you get to all the print and time and TV minutes spent on this Russian hoax that never was.  I'm outraged.  And I'm outraged at how Democrats in Congress have behaved and pimped this crap. 

Marcia: I'll add my thoughts.  Crusty Lips Elijah Cummings thinking we need a hearing about whether or not FOX NEWS -- a private company -- killed a report on Stormy Daniels?  F**k you, Elijah --

Jim: Which you said in a post.

Marcia: Indeed, I did.  We can't get hearings on the Iraq War but he's going to waste our time on whether or not FOX NEWS killed a report on a porn star?  Who the f**k cares!  You are wasting my tax dollars on this crap.  I'm sick of it.  Old Crusty Lips is not working for We The People.  He's not screaming about these endless wars.  He's just whoring. And at 68 years old, he should be ashamed.  Focus on the real issues, the ones we need to address.  I'm sick of this b.s.  And I hate FOX NEWS and MSNBC.  I wouldn't watch either -- because they don't deal with real issues.

Jess: I'm going to remind everyone that we were supposed to shut down in 2009.  And, at that time, we really thought by then the Iraq War would be over.  We thought there would be no US troops in Iraq anymore.  We're only here because Ava and C.I. watched FRINGE, were troubled by some of it, had friends with the show ask them to hold off reviewing it because the problems were being addressed and so Ava and C.I. wrote a piece where they noted they'd review FRINGE in the new year and that's why we're around.  But we really thought, and we weren't crazy, that the war would be over by 2009.

Dona: But let's talk about why we thought that for a minute.  We thought that because Nancy Pelosi, as House Minority Leader in 2006, promised us the war would end.  Give us one house of Congress, she swore in 2006, ahead of the mid-terms, and we'll have the power to end the war and to launch investigations into the start of it and blah blah blah.  The American people didn't give her one house, they gave her two!  Both houses of Congress.  And she became Speaker of the House and she did not keep her word.

Elaine: Because it was too much -- it helped too much to have the war.  The war put Democrats back in power in Congress.  They realized it would turn out votes and that they could run a candidate in 2008 who could win if the war was still taking place.  So they didn't want to end in it in 2007 or 2008, not with a presidential election coming up.

Dona: Exactly right. 

Stan: And along comes Barack breaking all of his promises --

Rebecca: That Samantha Power said weren't really promises in March of 2008.

Stan: Right and that BBC interview is why she quit the campaign.  And Barack had promised all troops out within his first ten months.  Didn't happen.

Trina: You know what else didn't happen?  All those liars who were going to hold his feet to the fire?  They never did.  Fake asses like Laura Flanders and Norman Solomon and so many others.  "Oh, when he's president, will hold his feet to the fire.  We just have to be silent right now."  Liars.  Fake asses and liars.  And they have never apologized for their actions.  They won't even get honest about it.  If a David Lindorff, for example, could just say, "Boy, was I a bonehead," I'd have a little respect.  But this pretense that they didn't whore?  I have no respect.

Marcia: For me -- and I think I jumped over someone -- but for me, the worst was fat ass Pam Spalding or whatever her name was.  Little Ms. Racialicious or whatever.  Saying that Barack couldn't be primary-ed in 2012 because it wouldn't be 'fair.'  He shouldn't be primary-ed because he was Black.  Kiss my Black ass, he's bi-racial, not Black.  Second, that sort of crap right there makes me really think twice about voting for any first again -- first woman, first Latino/a, first gay, first whatever.  I don't ever want to hear that b.s. and see it treated seriously.  That was outrageous.  And let me note that not only did I jump over someone to say this, I'm yelling it as I'm speaking -- that's how outraged I still am.

Jim: So Joe Biden has entered the race.  Any reactions?

Mike: In 2016, it might have meant something.  Today?  No.  His day has passed.  Goodbye Joe. 

Jim: Anyone think they'd support his run?  Silence.  Okay, there are six women running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination currently.  They are US House Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Marianne Williamson, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar. First up, is it Kam-a-la?

Ava: Yes.  Kahm-ah-lah would be prettier but it's Ka-ma-la.  It's harsh on the ear but that's Harris.

Jim: Okay.  Anyone supporting her or Amy?  Silence.  Didn't think so.  What about Elizabeth?

Trina: I could support Elizabeth Warren if she continues to raise important issues.  Warren is from my state and I'm not a fan.  But I'm not going to vote on personality.  Warren's running a smart campaign so far and I'm impressed.  Is she my first choice?  No.

Jim: Who is your first choice?

Trina: I would rank Tulsi and Marianne ahead of Elizabeth Warren.  Marianne has spoken seriously about food safety.  That is a huge issue to our country and we are not seeing politicians take it seriously, in my opinion.  Tulsi's opposition to endless wars is principled and consistent.  I am very impressed with her as well.  Of the male candidates, I could vote for Bernie Sanders.

Mike: I'd rank Tulsi first.  I'm interested in Marianne Williamson's campaign.  Elizabeth Warren is running a better job for president than I thought she did as a senator.  I'm not impressed with the bulk of the field, to be honest.  I'd vote for Bernie.  Otherwise, not interested.

Jess: I'd just like to point out that the Republican nominee -- barring any surprise announcement -- will be Donald Trump.  That's why we're not discussing it.  As for the Green Party, we're waiting on declarations of candidacy.  We are not attempting to pretend that there is only one show in town.

Wally: Good point.  And there's a candidate for the Libertarian Party's presidential nomination that C.I. has noted, Adam Kokesh.

Jim: C.I.?

C.I.: Adam Kokesh served in the Iraq War.  He came back from serving and spoke out against this never-ending war.  He has stood up for free speech even when it has meant getting arrested.  He is an activist, a strong supporter of the First Amendment as well as the Second Amendment. He has character and strength and he's highly attractive.  He notes at his campaign website, "To read the book that I started writing in jail for civil disobedience in Washington, DC, please click here. It explains how ethics can be applied consistently to politics to help humanity achieve a more peaceful, productive, and harmonious society."  He's been a talk show host for some time now.    From his website:

Adam first began his career in media with the birth of ADAM VS THE MAN as a radio show in Albuquerque on KIVA in 2010. After six months it was picked up as a TV show for RT America. After four months on the air, he was fired for criticizing Putin and went independent online to focus on podcasting and YouTube, where he has over 60 million views. He is well known for using Nonviolent Communication and Socratic Dialogue techniques in his 'man on the street' videos. Recently he has shifted focus to blockchain-based social media and is very active as a promoter of Steemit where he releases exclusive content."  

C.I. (Con't): I'd advise everyone to check out his campaign.  He may speak to your issues.  Whether he does or not, he's someone with tremendous character.  And I believe Ann has something to add on third party candidates.

Ann: I do?  Oh, yeah, I do!  One candidate has declared their intent to run for the Green Party's presidential nomination: Dario Hunter.

Jess: I did not know that. 

Ann: Yes.  This is CRAPAPEDIA:

Dario David Hunter (born 1983), also known as Yisroel Hunter,[2] is an American-Israeli lawyer, rabbi, educator[3] and politician[4] who is considered the first Muslim-born person to be ordained as a rabbi.[5][6][7]
Hunter is openly gay and was raised by his Iranian Muslim father and African American mother in New Jersey.[7]

Hunter was a Democratic Party candidate for Youngstown City Council in the 2015 primary election.[8] In the 2015 general election, he won a write-in campaign for a seat on the Youngstown Board of Education.[9] In May 2018, he joined the Green Party, becoming the only Green elected officeholder in Ohio. [10]
Hunter has been noted in the media for his outspoken stances on a number of school board issues, including what he sees as the Youngstown Board of Education's responsibility for low scores on state report cards,[11][12] ethics violations,[13] nepotism,[13] creationism in the curriculum[14][15] and the general dysfunction of the Board.

2020 presidential campaign[edit]

On January 21, 2019, Hunter announced he was forming an exploratory committee with the intention of seeking the Green Party nomination for President in 2020. [16][17] He formally launched his presidential candidacy on February 18, 2019.[18]

Jess: And you can visit his Facebook page for more about him.

Jim:  Ann and Jess are Green Party members, FYI.

C.I.: Actually, there are two more declared candidates for the Green Party's presidential nomination.  Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry declared last year. And Ian Schlakman is also a candidate.

Jim: Would, Ann or Jess, you support Jill Stein if she went for the nomination again?

C.I.: That shouldn't be an issue.  She has announced she won't be seeking it.  Howie Hawkins might seek it and Ajamu Baraka might seek the nomination.  I believe there's also speculation that Jesse Ventura might seek it.

Jim: Okay.  Of those candidates would either of you lean towards anyone.

Ann: I would be very interested in Ajamu Baraka.  He was Jill Stein's running mate in 2016.  His work has been on peace activism since and I would be very interested in his campaign should he run.

Jesse: I would agree with that.  I also think Howie Hawkins has some organization skills that would make me seriously consider him.  If Kat Swift declares, I'd also be very interested in her.

Dona: I'm a Democrat but I'd like to make the point that rank choice voting would allow all candidates to have a better shot.  Those who use terms like 'spoilers' better be supporting rank choice voting are they're hypocrites.  We don't believe in 'spoilers' here.  We don't believe anyone owns your vote.  If a candidate wins your support, that's great.  But no one owns your vote except for you.

Jim: Beto O'Roarke is in the race.  In fact, after declaring Thursday, he went on to raise $6.1 million in donations in his first 24 hours as a candidate.  Any thoughts?

Kat: I'm giving him an honest look.  I know some are not and that's fine.  But I am willing to consider him.

Jim: Based on?

Kat: As I said at my site, C.I. pointed out Beto's strong focus in Congressional hearings.  I'd forgotten that.  We attended those and I was and remain impressed with Beto on that.  He had a way of cutting through the nonsense.  I need him to figure out what his plan is for Iraq and the other endless wars.  If his plan is something I can support, I could support him.

Jim: Some do not support him.  Kat's right?  Anyone want to talk about that.

Betty: I will.  I don't live in Texas.  So why was he shoved down my throat in 2018?  And the glorification of him was far out of step with the reality of him.  He was a media darling.  I'm not generally fond of those.  I like workhorses, not show horses. And I really grew weary of the efforts to promote him nationally.  Like Wendy Davis, he left me underwhelmed although, in fairness, he did seem to have more on the ball than Wendy ever did.  If he came out with a strong position regarding ending these endless wars, I'd consider him.

Jim: Has anyone encountered any real enthusiasm for Beto?

Kat: Today.  We stopped by to see one of C.I.'s friends, a cardiologist.  He was saying that, at his office, if he could, he'd hang a poster of Beto in the front office.  He was very high on Beto.

Ava: And to give some background, he's in his mid-30s, the Beto supporter, Latino and a cardiologist.  He's a Democrat who will vote for the nominee regardless of whom it is but he really, really wants Beto to get the nomination.

Jim: Does Beto have more male support than female?

Ava: I wouldn't know.

Jim: Kat?

Kat: Same.

Jim: Ty, you have an e-mail, right?

Ty: Reader Jodi e-mailed about the HBO LEAVING NEVERLAND and wants to know why people lied for Michael Jackson.

Jim: Ava's laughing.  Why?

Ava: Because this is a topic C.I. bit her tongue on for several years now and I believe she's about to let it rip.

Jim: C.I.?

C.I.: I do try to be nice.  We had a non-stop tribute to a cheap whore and I just kept my mouth closed.  Carrie Fisher was so pretty -- no, she wasn't.  She was a breakthrough super hero -- no, she wasn't.  She was a great actress -- no, she wasn't.  She was someone worth listening to -- no, she wasn't. 

Jim: What's Carrie Fisher got to do with this?

C.I.: The question was why people lied for Michael and Carrie used her second to last book to lie for Michael, to proclaim his innocence, why she went to that dentist and blah, blah, blah.  Reality, Carrie was a drug addict.  Reality, she had shock therapy.  Reality, she could create on drugs.  She could not create after shock therapy.  Her last two books demonstrated that and were embarrassments.  She should have held her tongue on several things -- including Harrison Ford.  So desperate for money, she'd do anything.  That's sadly how she went out.  And everyone tried to act like she was a feminist.  A feminist doesn't attack others to cover for a pedophile.  Carrie Fisher was many things, a feminist is not something she was.  In fairness to her, prior to shock therapy, she was a talented writer.  After?  She suddenly thought it was 'clever' to pick on an old man by noting he farted.  Not clever, not funny.  Petty and bitchy.  Why did he get away with it?  Michael had friends like Carrie Fisher who would lie for him and attack the families of the victims.  That's her heritage and I'm damn sorry.  I warned her when that first awful book came out, SHOCKAHOLIC, that she needed to get it together because that book was beneath her and because Michael Jackson was a predator.  She could have taken care of it.  She chose not to.  It's her real legacy.  I knew Carrie and liked her.  I defended her many times.  But she brought her problems on herself in the end and she is the reason that Michael Jackson walked -- people like her. 

Marcia: The Jackson family defends him.

C.I.: I know many of them.  Janet defending him?  It's her brother and I don't fault her.  Jermaine? I fault him.  He tried to write a book while Michael was alive, even put it together in writing, his book proposal, where he was going to call Michael out for sleeping with young boys -- sleeping with them, not sex.  Jermaine is less than sincere when he pretends shock.  Latoya called it out in real time now she pretends otherwise.  There's a lot of money to be made off of him.  Janet doesn't need the money so greed doesn't factor in with her.  The others?  Everyone suspected while Michael was alive.  Everyone in the family.  For them to pretend otherwise in the hopes of grabbing more money is disgusting and beneath them.

Ava: And to be clear, there have been many times when the topic of Carrie has come up and C.I.'s bit her tongue or removed it from our writing for Carrie's brother Todd's benefit.  We even avoided LEAVING NEVERLAND for that reason.

Ty: Which brings up another issue in an e-mail.  Brandon wanted to thank you guys for tackling "TV: Truth and lies," "TV: The lies of Ellen DeGeneres are out in full fo...,"  "TV: PBS' long con," "TV: Telling stories" and "Maybe Cher's right and some women should be called...." And he wrote that it must get weary holding people accountable.

Ava: It does get old.  We do try to vary.  This week isn't a hard hitting piece, for example. 

Rebecca: Let me jump in.  Ava and C.I. have a body of work.  An honest to God body of work that you can point to with pride.  They have all these amazing pieces.  If I just had "Maybe Cher's right and some women should be called...," I'd be satisfied.  Or to have written "TV: The Soggy Katrina retrospectives," "MEDIA: Male norms, Russia hate and lots of excuses...," "TV: Aftermath leaves an aftertaste," "TV: Why bad TV happens to good viewers," "TV: Global Boring," "TV: 60 MINUTES of gossip," "TV: Poor sports and strip teases," "TV: Exploding a stereotype," "TV: What's happy about early endings?," "TV: The Death of the TV Movie," "The Circle Jerk Swallows (Ava and C.I.)," "TV: The War Crimes Documentary," "Media: Epic Meltdown," "TV Review: Will & Grace -- goodbye, good riddance," and "TV: Katie Was a Cheerleader" -- those are all amazing pieces of writing.  I really think they have built up a body of work to be proud of.  I beat Dona to it.

Dona: You did.  But, come on, I just say they have a body of work.  You provided some examples.

Rebecca: I did a little homework, I was prepared.  In terms of politics, I am firmly behind Tulsi Gabbard but I am also impressed with Marianne Williamson.

Jim: Wally and Stan, how about you two?  Dona slid me a note saying we needed more from you and Isaiah but I have a question for Isaiah.

Stan: Tulsi.  Absolutely.  She's far and ahead of everyone else in my book.  I'd vote for Bernie if he got the nomination but my preference is Tulsi.

Jim: Anyone you wouldn't vote for?

Stan: I don't believe we need Joe Biden at all.  I think Mike said earlier that his time has come and gone.  I certainly support that. 

Jim: Wally?

Wally: Tulsi's my clear preference.  But I will look into Beto's campaign, Elizabeth Warren's, the Castro brother [Julian Castro] and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. 

Jim: Okay, Isaiah, you just did three comics in a row dealing with the Democratic Party primary -- Joe Biden, Beto, Tulsi Gabbard --  "Beto's Running," "Real Issues" and  "America's Mayor."  Do you have any plans for the primaries?

Isaiah: No.  I doubt I will live cartoon any of the early debates.  There are so many running and I think that's great.  It's always better to have more choices.  I think there are some strong candidates.  My basic sense of fairness puts Tulsi ahead of the pack because I don't like how the media picks on her and treats her unfairly. Other than that, I am open to everyone -- even Kamala Harris -- except for Joe Biden. He's been out of the White House for two years and what's he done?  Handed Bully Boy Bush an award?  That alone -- I was with Elaine on this -- that alone was enough to disqualify him but who thinks, in 2017, about running for president after being Vice President and then spends two years doing nothing to pad the resume?  He's wasted two years.  I don't have time for him.  I'm not rooting for Kamala, for example, but I don't doubt that she really wants it.  Especially after Hillary Clinton, I don't want another candidate who thinks they are owed it. 

Jim: Good point.  And now we're going to wrap up.  This has been a rush transcript.

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