Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Truest statement of the week

A case in point: the smear that was promulgated when I left CBS. It was often incorrectly reported that I told CBS management I was quitting due to liberal media bias. That false story turned out to be convenient for both political sides, and largely survives today. It simply wasn’t rooted in fact. And I don’t recall reporters even asking me whether it was true. Once a few articles reported that it was, others simply copied the claim and adopted it as if established fact, eventually without attribution. Now there would be no point in trying to clarify it. After all, Wikipedia says it’s true. No going back from that.
Powerful smear groups and certain interests—including some within CBS at the time—started the narrative that I was “conservative,” not because they necessarily believed it, but as a tool to “controversialize” the reporting I was doing that was contrary to powerful interests. The idea is that if I can be portrayed as a partisan, then my reporting can be more easily dismissed.
In fact, prior to the operation to push the narrative that I was “conservative,” my reporting had been lauded by a diverse group of observers, including the likes of Rachel Maddow, who once delivered an entire monologue on an investigative expose I did on the “charity” of then-Rep. Stephen Buyer (R- Ind.). My most recent Emmy award was for an undercover investigation into Republican fundraising.
But the narrative requests—nay, requires—that we forget all that. We must focus on the supposed miraculous metamorphosis. Depending on who’s spinning, they may insist I was a rational journalist who went crazy one day and flew to the dark side of conservatism. Or they may say I used to be a devoted liberal, but decided the big money was in pandering to Republicans, so I sold out. The details aren’t important. You are simply to come away with the notion that my reporting is now politically conflicted.

-- Sharyl Attkisson, "How Media Narratives Became More Important Than Facts" (EPOCH TIMES).

Truest statement of the week II

Facebook and other social media platforms are an indispensable means of communicating with people all over the world. They are vital tools for anyone wanting to share or receive information. That is why their surrender to the dictates of the state is so very dangerous.
The Democratic Party is responsible for this assault which began in the wake of their 2016 presidential defeat. Blaming Russian interference served them well. They escaped blame for the debacle of their own making while also getting buy-in for surveillance state censorship from progressives.

Social media became the poster child in the psy-op meant to convince Americans that the election result was a Russian intelligence operation. Facebook knew better than anyone that Russian clickbait ads didn’t sway the election result.The threats against them must have been considerable because Mark Zuckerberg and his team knuckled under very quickly. 

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Facebook and the Farrakhan Distraction" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Tuesday night.

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?

Sharyl Attkisson gets a truest.
Margaret Kimberley gets another truest.
Time to use your voice.
Ava and C.I. tackle DEAD TO ME and much more.
We were looking at impeachment and willing to cut Nancy some slack until we remembered BBB wasn't running for a third term.
Who still trusts FACEBOOK?
Glenn gets it.
Roseanne's son speaks out.
What we listened to while writing.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.

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

Editorial: Expanding the Iraq War even further

2019: Iran moving ballistic missiles by boat, US officials say 2003: Iraq moving WMDs by trucks, US officials say

Yes, it is very similar and it does appear the US government is attempting to expand the Iraq War to include Iran.

As pointed out at THE COMMON ILLS, measures the government is undertaking really seem to be setting up a Gulf of Tonkin moment so that the government can lie us into war.

Where are the cooler heads?

This is what happens when you get the so-called 'resistance.'  A bunch of fake asses who don't give a damn about anything but their Queen Hillary.  It's also what you get when you spend eight years (2009 through 2017) appeasing a sitting president because (a) you think he's cool and (b) you don't want to put any real pressure on him.

That's how we arrive here today.

That and a lousy media.  Meryl Streep is butt ugly.  Because the media refuses to tell that truth (Joe Queenan excepted), she rushes to prop them up.  She has no factual basis for her cheerleading of a corporate media that is both craven and deceptive.  Mere days ago, THE WASHINGTON POST was insisting that Americans didn't care about foreign policy issues -- this from the media that refuses to cover the ongoing wars.

You've got candidates saying they want to be the next president of the United States.  Start demanding that they make clear how they would run the country and that this includes how they would address the wars.

Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard are two candidates who do address those realities.

  1. 18 years, thousands of dead, trillions of dollars. We’re right back where we started. Our leaders have failed us. It’s time our troops in Afghanistan came home.

If they can't address those issues, they can't address any because, as Tulsi knows, we don't have the money for these forever wars and the money to also address what our own country needs.

  1. We need to take the trillions being spent on regime change wars, the new Cold War & arms race, & reinvest those dollars in the needs of our communities--quality healthcare for all, protecting the environment, improving education, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, & more.

TV: Dead To All Of Us (spoilers)

DEAD TO ME is NETFLIX's latest offering.  It's a test of endurance in many ways.


Christina Appelgate stars as Jen Harding, a real estate agent and a recent widow.  At a grief group, she meets Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini).  Jen's husband was killed by a hit-and-run-driver.  Judy explains to the group that her fiancee died.

Jen ends up trusting Judy only to learn that the fiancee (James Marsden) is not dead, he broke up with Judy.  Over and over, truths will emerge and Jen will frequently get mad but repeatedly forgive Jen in the end (including in the last episode).  Is it believable?

Or is Judy herself believable?  Repeatedly, she will attempt to take a stand only to immediately collapse with a weak "okay" and go along -- regardless of what the stand is.  So is that believable?

We'd say "no," but we read Valerie Jarrett's FINDING MY VOICE: MY JOURNEY TO THE WEST WING AND THE PATH FORWARD.  For two terms, she was then-President Barack Obama's senior advisor. Reading the volume, we were amazed at how little she did and how little she spoke.  It's rather embarrassing, over and over, to see her make a declaration and then wait to see if Barack shot it down or not.  If he didn't, for example, say, "No, you can't leave the room," she would leave.  Otherwise?  Was this a book written by an independent woman or a book on how to train your Cocker Spaniel?

How believable is Christina's Jen?  How much forgiveness does one person possess?  To be lied to repeatedly -- over and over -- including one really big lie that gets exposed in the second to the last episode?  How do you forgive that?

DEAD TO ME wants to be BIG LITTLE LIES but it doesn't have a coherent storyline and it also can't focus on what it wants to be -- comedy, suspense, thriller, drama, you name it because it's all over the map.

Among the supporting players, strong performances are given by Ed Asner, Diana Maria Riva, James Marsden and Telma Hopkins (who also sings a nice cover of "Don't Leave Me This Way").

Steve Howey shows up as Jason -- mainly to show off his pecs -- or are they so big that we call them tits?  No matter how big his body gets, he's still the smallest of actors and you have to marvel over the fact that he continues to get work while his former co-star Scarlett Pomers has retired from acting.

Christina shouldn't retire from acting.  But she should get better projects.  UP ALL NIGHT was her previous sitcom and she deserved season one.  She didn't deserve season two -- no one did -- especially not women.  All of the sudden, she has no job and can't function while stay-at-home Dad is suddenly doing everything.  The audience fled and for good reason.  (Christina fled when Lorne Michaels decided the show should be revamped again and filmed in front of a studio audience.)

DEAD TO ME is also beneath her.  She nails the right notes in her scenes but it's all unbelievable.  SPOILER -- in the end she's even forgiving Judy for running over her husband and killing him.  Again, we're left with how much forgiveness is one person supposed to have?

Yes, accidents happen and, yes, you can work to forgive a stranger but who forgives the woman who killed your husband and, furthermore, tells her to come "home"?

It's completely beyond belief.

Suspend disbelief?  That's the phrase Hillary Clinton tossed around in September 2007, when she was a US senator and questioning Gen David Petraeus.  To believe him, you'd have to suspend disbelief.  And she couldn't.  Neither could we.

Today, we can't suspend disbelief enough to believe Hillary's lie.   Hillary's latest lie? "I really do believe we're in a crisis, a constitutional crisis."  Really?

You really believe we're in a Constitutional crisis?

Because if that's the truth, then you really are a despicable person.  All you've ever done is brag about your commitment to civic duty but now you claim that you believe the country is in the midst of a Constitutional crisis and you're telling people that . . . as long as they pay -- what?

$1785 is what she wanted per ticket.  But she can't fill the venues.  So the price keeps dropping.  Again, if you really believed that, you'd be making these speeches for free.  Unless, of course, you're so pathetic and greedy, you would try to profit off your own country's pain?

BIG LITTLE LIES worked (season one) because it had a cohesive storyline with believable characters.  We had a few e-mails responding to our review that slammed us for revealing a key detail -- who the father of the 'troubled' child was.  We hadn't read the book and we don't believe that anyone we knew with the show (Nicole Kidman, Laura Dern, David E. Kelley) had passed that on.  It was obvious, watching just the first episode, what was going on.  Judy being the one who ran over Jen's husband is also obvious from the start of DEAD TO ME -- only it's obvious in a "please don't let them go there and be that obvious."  But they do (go there) and they are (that obvious).

Christina Applegate deserves better.  She's turned into the Barbara Stanwyck of her generation -- an actress who can do it all -- melodrama, comedy, drama, musicals, you name it.  But despite even her heroic acts, DEAD TO ME never comes to life.

Impeachment, Nancy Pelosi, backlash and so much more

Replying to 
Just like in 2006, Pelosi is afraid to exercise her constitutional responsibility to hold corrupt presidents accountable for their malfeasance & corruption. She refused to hold GW accountable for fabricating evidence to start the Iraq war & she refuses to hold Trump accountable.

We supported impeachment of Bully Boy Bush.  We called out Nancy Pelosi for not allowing John Conyers to move forward on this.

All these years later, was she right to take impeachment off the table?

The argument that supports Nancy the most is that Democrats needed to win.  She's undercut by the fact that Democrats had just won (in the 2006 mid-terms) control of both houses of Congress.  So her eyes were on the White House.

That's worth noting because some are angry that she's not calling for Donald Trump's impeachment (she's saying there should be hearings first to explore various issues).  Is it the same as 2007?

No, it's not.

The fear is that impeaching Trump (or trying) could result in the same sympathy response that Bill Clinton (and the Democrats) received when the GOP was going after Bill.

That was not an issue in 2007.

Bully Boy Bush was occupying the White House for a second term.  There would be no re-election.  Looking back from today, we know Dick Cheney does not seek to continue the BBB administration by running for the presidency. (The 2008 Republican candidate, for any who have forgotten, was the hideous John McCain.)

This is different from today.  Donald Trump plans to run for re-election.  Impeaching him and removing him from office might stop him from running for another term.  (It might not.  There's nothing in the Constitution that says a president removed from office can never run for re-election.) But the Senate is controlled by Republicans.  Removal from office is no sure thing.  (Equally true, removal from office puts Mike Pence in charge and Mike Pence is dangerous -- especially as a sitting president running for re-election.)

Creating sympathy for Donald is a given should impeachment be pursued.  Again, it would be the Clinton effect that saw big losses for Republicans after they impeached Bill Clinton.

Republicans, back then, were seen as wasting the country's time and money and not focusing on the issues effecting the American people.

Congressional Democrats swore that Robert Mueller would find collusion with the Russian government (Mueller didn't).  They swore Trump was going down for this and for that.  It didn't come to pass.  Instead of accepting their losses, they now scream for this or that, threaten to arrest the Attorney General of the United States and so much more.

Frankly, they look a little unhinged.  They also appear to be focused on everything but the American people.  That's not a good look with elections 18 months away.

And the Democratic Party's presidential candidates?  They need to stop obsessing over Donald Trump and start presenting their plans for how they would govern.  Hillary Clinton failed at her strategy of vote-for-me-he's-worse.  That's not a winning strategy.  Showing the people the difference you would make as president?  That's how you win votes.  Democratic candidates need to stop campaigning in response to Donald.  They're giving him too much power and failing to define themselves.

So was Nancy right or wrong in 2007?

We'd argue she was wrong because an illegal war -- one you lie the world into -- is an impeachable offense.  We'd argue she was wrong because there was no threat of another term in the White House for Bully Boy Bush.  We'd argue she was wrong because the country had turned against the Iraq War.

In fairness, we'd argue she may have been right on one aspect: There may not have been votes to impeach Bully Boy Bush or to remove him from office.

All Democrats did not vote against the Iraq War.

Removing him from office would have required that John Kerry (I-was-for-the-war-before-I-was-against-it), Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and so many others who supported the Iraq War were willing to now admit what a mistake it was.  None of those people are particularly known for owning their mistakes.  For that reason, Nancy Pelosi may have been right to bury impeachment then.  We'd argue she needs to bury it now.

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