Monday, July 22, 2019

Truest statement of the week

In 2007 this columnist declared that Nancy Pelosi is our enemy. She was the new Speaker of the House after Democrats emerged victorious in the 2006 elections. But they didn’t oppose George W. Bush and the Republicans the way their voters wanted them to. Little has changed since that time. Democrats mobilize in order to defeat the Republicans but still end up with snake in the grass leadership like Pelosi.
Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar dissented and voted against the latest compromise with Republicans to fund Trump’s immigration enforcement. Immigration is supposed to be a litmus test issue which sharply differentiates Democrats from Republicans. But that is not how the game is really played.
Pelosi trashed her members in an interview with the New York Times. “All these people have their public whatever and their Twitter world. But they didn’t have any following. They’re four people and that’s how many votes they got.” Like a true gangster Pelosi conducted the beatdown in public. 

When Ocasio-Cortez truthfully stated that the remarks were disrespectful and showed a pattern of attacking women of color, Pelosi, the corporate media, Democratic party propagandists, and lap dog Congressional Black Congress (CBC) members all sprang into action. Gregory Meeks joined in ganging up on his colleagues and threatened Ocasio-Cortez with a primary challenge. Kamala Harris  weighed in with a seal of approval for Miss Nancy.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: The Trump and Pelosi Lovefest" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

There is no doubt that the young Black opportunists helping to run Biden’s campaign probably wanted their man to forcefully condemn the Trump administration, but they faced a dilemma. They knew that his condemnation could very well open him up to the charge of hypocrisy by his opponents. They remember thatthe Obama administration – which Biden was obviously a part of – only prosecuted onekiller cop in the entirety of its eight-year reign. 
And so here we are. The “squad” condemns Trump for his white nationalism, not understanding that as a white supremacist settler-colonial state, white nationalism is “American” nationalism.Until there is break with that history and reality, and with Biden, who like Trump either understands that reality better or is more honest than the squad. 

Biden as a neoliberal white supremacist imperialist was always clear where he stood. His voting record and policy support for war on Iraq; the dismembering of Syria; the U.S./ NATO attack on Libya that turned the most prosperous nation on the African continent into a real “shithole country;” and support for Trump’s campaign to buttress the white minority oligarchy in Venezuela by implementing a regime change program was not much different than that from Trump. Most of the Democratic Party supported these policies. 

-- Ajamu Baraka, "The “Squad” Will Need to Realize that You Can’t Defeat White Supremacy with White Supremacy" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Sunday night here on the west coast.

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 Margaret Kimberley.
A truest for Ajamu Baraka.
There was a 'pivot.'
Ava and C.I. tackle VERONICA MARS.

Our picks for the ten best actors of the 20th century.
A non-candy or sugar food entry.  :D
We take on a candy bar.
Here's who'll be on stage when.
Cynthia McKinney gets the honor.

What we listened to while working on this edition.
Green Party coverage.
Press release from Senator Patty Murray's office.
Green Party coverage.

That's what we got.  See you next time.


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

Editorial: Have you heard latest reason they insist US troops need to remain in Iraq?

painting 1

Last week, a little reported hearing took place.

THE COMMON ILLS covered the hearing in Wednesday's Iraq snapshot and Saturday's Iraq snapshot.

The Near East Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing entitled "Iraq: A Crossroads of US Policy" and appearing before the Subcommittee were the State Dept's Joan Polaschik (Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs) and the Defense Dept's Michael P. Mulroy (Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East).

While the Subcommittee Chair Mitt Romney fretted that Iraq's "significant natural resources" were just sitting there with no one "to exploit them" and that ExxonMobil's $53 billion deal had been "placed on hold,"

But the hearing mainly underscored the latest 'pivot.'  US troops had to remain in Iraq, we are now told, to curb the influence of Iran.

That would be the neighbor that borders them on the east.

This is more nonsense and more money and more lives wasted.

US troops never should have been in Iraq to begin with.  Now they have to stay to try to thwart the influence a neighbor may have on Iraq?

This is beyond nonsense and that's from both sides of the Subcommittee.  In fact, the Ranking Member, Chris Murphy, was pretty much as embarrassing as Mitt Romney.  Murphy made clear he was a dumb ass by declaring, "Listen, I opposed the Iraq war. But I also understand that we have a moral obligation as a country to help fix a nation that we played a leading role in breaking."

The robber doesn't have a moral obligation to be in the owner's home.  The robber needs to get the hell out and that's what should happen with US troops.

TV: VERONICA MARS returns so that America can ask 'Why?'

HULU launched another dud and the real question is why they ever thought it would end any other way?




A lot of bad acting from Patton Oswalt (DIMENSION 404, DIFFICULT PEOPLE, etc), Tyler Labine (DEADBEAT), Tommy Wiseau (THE NEIGHBORS), and a host of others, all HULU really has to point to with pride is THE HANDMAID'S TALE and FUTURE MAN.

Sadly for them, VERONICA MARS isn't going to improve their image.

Decades ago, COLUMBIA RECORDS, trying to pretend they were hip, started an ad blitz with, "Blessed is the merchant who can read the fads of the days, and ride them carefully to what can be a sizable fortune.  America's Fountain of Youth is an ever-changing market, and the man who sells successfully to this market must understand it, hunt out its fads, and read its new trends while they are still in the making.  He must stay hip, aware, keen as the teen."  The year was 1966 and COLUMBIA really had nothing.  Not one of their albums went to number one that year -- the Mamas and the Papas, Herb Albert & The Tijuana Brass, the Beatles, the Supremes, Frank Sinatra and the Monkees were among the thirteen acts hitting number one on the album charts that year (also the soundtrack to DOCTOR ZHIVAGHO ).  Singles?  There were 26 number ones in 1966.  COLUMBIA only scored two: Simon & Garfunkel and Donovan provided those hits; however, MOTOWN and CAPITOL scored more number one hits that year and more weeks at number one.  COLUMBIA was hopelessly out of step in 1966 and HULU remains out of step today.

In what world was doing a fourth season of VERONICA MARS needed?

Before releasing it last week, HULU made available the first three seasons of the show.  Execs were surprised by how few bothered to stream them.  Time and again, we had to correct them that this show was not "like BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER."  BUFFY was a hit TV show, for example.  It often got over seven million viewers for an episode while every now and then -- usually a season opener -- VERONICA MARS would manage to deliver three million viewers.  More often than not, it delivered two million or less.

When we'd point that out, we'd be informed that VERONICA aired on UPN and BUFFY on THE WB and THE WB had more stations!!!!  The reality is that BUFFY aired on THE WB for five seasons and then aired on UPN for two more seasons.  On UPN, BUFFY continued to get 7 million.  VERONICA aired on UPN for two season and then UPN merged with THE WB and became THE CW which is where the third and final season of VERONICA aired.  On THE CW, one episode delivered 3.4 million viewers another delivered 1.78 million which was closer to the average audience for the show.

There were other differences as well.  Sarah Michelle Geller played a young woman while Kristen Bell played a girl.  SMG's Buffy interacted with other women -- Willow, Cordelia, Anya, Kendra, Dawn and others were real characters who took part in storylines.  On VERONICA MARS, Kristen's little girl Veronica existed in a sea of men.

While no one was streaming the first three seasons of VERONICA MARS on HULU, the execs told us this was temporary and because "the fans" had already seen these episodes.  But, they insisted, when they debuted the exclusive to HULU season four, the attention from it would mean the three earlier seasons would attract attention.

It didn't really work out that way and we thank one exec in particular for the very kind gift (he was paying up on a bet) that arrived Sunday.  We told them so.

And it's as though they couldn't hear the truth even then.

How did they, for example, miss the 2014 film VERONICA MARS?  This was, we were all told, a demand by the fans!!!

Not many of them must have demanded it because the film only sold $3.3 million in tickets.  With $8.17 being the average ticket cost in 2014, that means that approximately 400,000 people went to see that film.

400,000.  In 2007, the show ended ranked the 138th most watched prime time show -- out of 142 shows.  Yeah, that's awful.  And seven years later?  Less than half a million people showed up for the movie.

This is something HULU thought was going to excite?

Season four is another boring, racist and sexist season for the show that already had too many of them.

In one of the most offensive scenes, a man tells Veronica he didn't think detectives looked like her -- meaning pretty.  At 39, Kirsten's ego still requires that she be called pretty?

And she's really not beautiful.  She's the racist version of pretty -- a plain woman with blond hair and blue eyes whose Whiteness gets her average looks elevated higher.

The returning cast amounts to fifteen characters -- only one of which is played by a woman.  Season four adds eight new characters -- this being HULU, one of which is played by Patton Oswalt.  Patton plays one of four male characters.  So with the four new female characters and the 1 returning one that means Kristen acts with five women in season four . . . and 18 males.  As we noted years ago, "Veronica Mars is from Mars."

VERONICA MARS was never grrl power.  It was never really much of anything -- a fact HULU is learning way too late.  But money wasted on one series is nothing compared to NETFLIX's nightmare last week as they had to admit they'd lost subscribers in the US and they still weren't turning a profit?  We warned you for years that it wasn't a successful economic model and that it could go the way of the DUPONT NETWORK very easily.  Compared to no profit and losing subscribers, HULU's one bad program is no big deal.

The Men

Joan e-mailed to note that, "Ava and C.I. have repeatedly hailed Jane Fonda's performance in KLUTE as the best film performance of the 20th century and you've done a list of best actresses of the 20th century.  What about the men?"



Below is our choice for the ten best male actors of the 20th century.

1) Jack Nicholson

2) Gene Hackman

3) Marlon Brando

4) Sidney Poitier

5) Al Pacino

6) John Travolta

7) John Garfield

8) Paul Newman

9) Denzel Washington

10) Dustin Hoffman

Top 10 fruits and vegetables of summer

Summer and produce is a plenty.  What screams summer to you when it comes to fruits and vegetables?

bell peppers

Here are our picks.

1) avocados

2) tomatoes

3) corn on the cob

4) bell peppers

5) mangos

6) lemons

7) limes

8) peaches

9) serrano peppers

10) artichokes

From The TESR Test Kitchen


We do like our sweets in the TESR Test Kitchen and our junk food as well.  Which is why so much candy and other crap gets high ratings from us.

But not this go round.

milky way

Milky Way has always made a good, solid candy bar that we love.

In addition, we love Milky Way Dark and consider it one of the few times when a candy bar has done a variation on its original offering and hit it out of the park.  Yes, Milky Way Dark may be even better than the original Milky Way.

So going in, we have every reason to hope that Milky Way Midnight would be another home run; however, it isn't.  It's not a triple.  It's not even a safe walk to first.

It's a disappointing candy bar that is too much like Milky Way Dark without actually being Milky Way Dark.

The July Debates

second round of debates

As Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Next Round of Debates" notes, the participants for the next round of Democratic Party presidential debates has been announced.  From Mike's "Tulsi made the second debates!!!": "The first night, July 30th,  will be Marianne Williamson, Tim Ryan, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, John Hickenlooper, John Delaney and Steve Bullock.  The second night, July 31st, will be Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, Kirsten Gilibrand, Julian Castro, Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Kamala Harris, Jay Inslee, Mike DeBlasio and Joe Biden."

Tweet of the week

The numbers do not lie, police in America have killed 12.8 times more citizens than mass shooters in just the last 4 years. Why do you tolerate murder behind the badge?

This edition's playlist

judy garland alone

1) Judy Garland's ALONE.


3)  Mavis StaplesWE GET BY.


5) Dionne Warwick's SHE'S BACK.

6)  Chaka Khan's HELLO HAPPINESS.

7)  James Blake's ASSUME FORM.

8) Sam Smith's THE THRILL OF IT ALL.

9) Frank Sinatra's IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS

10)  Cat PowersWANDERER.

Green Party of New York demands justice for Eric Garner

From the Green Party of New York:

NEW YORK – The Green Party of New York (GPNY) renewed its call for justice for Eric Garner in response to the Justice Department's announcement that it would not bring federal civil rights charges against the New York City Police Department officer responsible for killing Garner, an unarmed citizen, five years ago today.

Green Party of New York
For Immediate Release
July 17, 2019
Peter LaVenia, Co-chair, GPNY or 518-495-8001
Gloria Mattera, Co-chair, GPNY or 917-886-4538

"For five years, justice has been denied to the family of Eric Garner," said GPNY co-chair Gloria Mattera. "For five years, officer Daniel Pantaleo has remained on the NYPD payroll, despite video evidence and conclusions by the city's medical examiner, an independent autopsy, and an NYPD internal affairs inquiry that Pantaleo used a chokehold. We call on Mayor Bill de Blasio to exercise his influence with Police Commissioner James O'Neill to do the right thing and fire officer Pantaleo," said Mattera. O'Neill is currently awaiting a judge's verdict following a departmental trial.

"The Justice Department announcement comes on the eve of the fifth anniversary of Eric Garner's homicide," said GPNY co-chair Peter LaVenia. "It comes in the aftermath of demonstrations across the country last Friday calling on the Trump Administration to close the ICE concentration camps that are holding immigrants trying to enter the United States. It follows a week that has seen an overtly racist and divisive President Donald Trump continue to find support from white nationalists and fascists for his disturbing comments, and his repeated refusal to disavow them. Viewed together, these events starkly bring into focus the ongoing struggles for black and brown liberation in America, struggles that the Green Party is committed to," said LaVenia.

Senator Murray’s Statement on Trump Administration’s Roll Back of Fish Consumption Rule


 Senator Patty Murray's office issued the following:

Jul 15 2019

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) issued the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s notice that it would move to withdraw Washington state’s finalized water quality standards, also known as the “fish consumption rule,” without scheduling any public meetings in Washington state to elicit feedback from local stakeholders.

“It is beyond offensive for the Trump administration to begin working to roll back critical water safety protections that Washingtonians have been implementing for the last two years without any in-person public hearings to consider the interests of local tribes, families, recreationists and business owners.

“Families from Spokane to Seattle understand the importance of our state’s pristine waters to our health, culture and economy, and this brazen move to undermine the will of people in our state is misguided on the merits and disrespects the voices of Washingtonians who have worked tirelessly to conserve and preserve our precious natural resources, including protecting our water quality.

“As a voice for our state, I will be demanding more information from the Environmental Protection Agency on why they can’t be bothered to seek input, in person, from Washingtonians before making such a drastic move that could compromise our health, our environment, and our values.”

Some Tweets from the Green Party

  • Green Party of Minnesota presidential debate streaming now at
  • Don't miss the MN Green Party presidential candidate debate streaming this Friday at 6pm at www.facebook/Mngreens
  • National Green Party Co-chair Andrea MΓ©rida CuΓ©llar quoted in Newsweek on anti-ICE protestor photo-sharing scandal
  • The always fashionable, classic & iconic Green Party button. this summer everywhere you go. Check out the free downloads while browsing. Priced for bulk sale, union made and free shipping.
  • While the Democrats and Republicans march us ever closer to war, Greens across the country are demanding peace.
  • The Green Party, 100% PAC Money Free - Become a Candidate, Vote, Run & Organize Green Party 2020
  • Updated Schedule of Events for Media at the Green Party's 2019 Annual National Meeting in Salem, Massachusetts, July 25-28:

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