Monday, June 01, 2020

Truest statement of the week

In early March, Tara Reade accused former vice-president and likely Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden of sexually assaulting her in the spring of 1993, when she worked as a staff assistant in his Senate office. Two months after Reade first made the allegation, and one month after she filed a criminal complaint against Biden on April 10, a consensus seems to have been reached by Democratic politicians: do not ask more questions, do not press further, and do not elevate Reade’s voice. This contradicts the heart of the fight against sexual assault and is the exact opposite of how women who come forward should be treated. Whether or not Biden is guilty, Reade deserves to be heard. 
A slew of staunch supporters of the #MeToo movement, including Democratic politicians Stacy Abrams and Kirsten Gillibrand, have quickly voiced their continued support for Biden, tacitly stating they believe his denial. Media investigations continually fail to mention all available evidence, and often seem predisposed to find the allegations not to be credible, urging their audience to come to a certain conclusion. In all this, Reade has been left behind and has not been given even a semblance of the investigation her accusation merits. 
The response to Reade, like every response to women who accuse powerful men of sexual assault or harassment, tells survivors in this country how society will treat them. Reade’s accusations have garnered disbelief, disdain, and nonchalance. There is almost a consensus that women will only be fiercely defended when it is politically convenient, as can be seen in the different responses to Reade’s accusations of Biden and Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Reade, who has received little support from the media and prominent Democratic officials, deserves to have her claims investigated and taken with the utmost seriousness. 
Reade first made her allegation in a podcast on March 25. It took over two weeks for major outlets, including the Associated Press, the New York Times, and the Washington Post to write articles on the allegations. In contrast, the Intercept reported on Ford’s allegations before her initial letter detailing the allegations to Sen. Dianne Feinstein was made public, and CNN, the New Yorker, and the Post all published stories within four days on the revelation. Meanwhile, Reade was discredited on social media, with a tacit understanding by much of the public that the lack of articles was a direct reflection of the accuracy of Reade’s claims. In recent days, articles about other aspects of Reade’s life have been used to create doubt of the veracity of her claims. 
The stories that were then released often took a dismissive or critical tone, and focused on Biden’s response rather than the allegations themselves. A particularly egregious “investigation” by the New York Times asserted the Times had found no corroboration of her claims and “no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden,” effectively making a judgment on the veracity of Reade’s claims for readers. In the days after the article was released, multiple pieces of evidence that supported Reade’s claim and had been overlooked by the Times came to light. 
We cannot expect reporters to examine claims of sexual assault to the extent of a criminal investigation. We should, however, expect them to be honest about when they fall short, and to allow their readers to make their own judgments. We can expect them to treat women who come forward with far more dignity and respect than Reade has been afforded, and we can expect them to report on women’s claims regardless of the political party of the accused.

-- editorial board, "Don’t leave Tara Reade behind" (GEORGETOWN VOICE).

Truest statement of the week II

Yet even if American voters do not have sufficient evidence to determine what Mr. Biden did or did not do in the past, there are standards by which the public can judge his present conduct. One such standard is whether Mr. Biden has made every effort to be transparent and to provide access to potentially relevant archival materials. Unlike in the hearings for Justice Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, when Senate Republicans chose to press ahead to a vote as close as possible to their original schedule, there is still sufficient time to resolve the question of whether any documents relevant to the present case exist and to do so well in advance of the election.
The former vice president has asked the National Archives to search for any relevant documents or other evidence, and he has made a similar request of the U.S. Senate. But he has thus far not allowed access to his personal papers at the University of Delaware, saying that those archives do not contain personnel records.
That may be true, but Mr. Biden should open those archives anyway. He could commission an impartial, professional archivist or archival firm to conduct a narrow search for any material related to Ms. Reade’s allegations. This would go a long way toward proving to a wary electorate that he is taking every possible step to be transparent.

-- the editors, "Joe Biden should open his personal files" (AMERICA: JESUIT REVIEW).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Early Monday   morning. 

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, 
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?

Tara Reade -- we believe her.
We aren't the only ones.
Is Joe Biden ever going to be asked serious questions?
Ava and C.I. examine the history of TV and film.
Last week's biggest story (and probably this week's as well).
The answer is: No.
Stream that video.
Ty on basic issues when you're ordering a beverage.
Ajuma Baraka.
What we listened to while writing.
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them.


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

Editorial: When will the questions be asked?

The US government continues attacking ISIS -- in Iraq, at least.  During Barack Obama's second term as US President, the US backed ISIS in Syria while attacking it in Iraq.  And, of course, it was during Barack's first term, when they overruled and tossed aside the votes of the Iraqi people in the 2010 election, that you saw the rise of ISIS in Iraq.  It rose in response to the thug and despot -- and the US's 'guy' -- Nouri al-Maliki's second term as prime minister.

The US backed ISIS in Syria and they helped it rise in Iraq.

That's reality.

When do you think the press will ever ask Joe Biden about that?

Or, since he keeps claiming credit for Iraq, why he overturned the votes of the Iraqi people in 2010?

TV and Movies

Movies and TV.  For years, the two were enemies who battled for the same audiences.  Film companies warned their actors under contract not to do TV.  This had not been the case with radio.  Film was the visual entertainment medium.  Films had morphed from silent to 'talking pictures' and from black and white to color.  Even the Great Depression hadn't stopped people from buying tickets to the movies.


 Joan Crawford summed up the film community's attitude towards TV when, in 1952, she declared, "Anyone who appears on TV is a traitor."  She issued that declaration as Bette Davis made her TV debut guesting on ALL STAR REVUE's "Putting on the Ritz" episode with Jimmy Durante. March 19, 1953, the Academy Awards were aired live on TV for the first time.  Bette Davis was to host the New York portion but dropped out.  Joan Crawford refused to host or present.  She would only appear on TV if she was announced Best Actress (she was nominated for SUDDEN FEAR, she did not win).  (She wouldn't appear -- other than audience shots -- on an Academy Award telecast until April 9, 1962 when she presented the award for Best Actor.)

By 1957, Joan had changed her attitude toward TV and used her position on the Pepsi board and her marriage to Pepsi Cola president Al Steel to bump Mary Martin out of the holiday greeting spot at the end of the Pepsi sponsored broadcast of ANNIE GET YOUR GUN.  Also 1959, Joan starred in the TV film WOMAN ON THE RUN -- ignored by most TV historians when covering TV movies.  The 101 minute film was supposed to lead to THE JOAN CRAWFORD SHOW but that never happened.  Joan also starred in the eighty-minute TV movie THE FOXES which aired on NBC September 21, 1961 (it was also a pilot).

The wall between the two was falling away by that point.  The sixties saw UNIVERSAL STUDIOS begin producing more episodes of TV shows than they did films.  And Joan?  All over TV.  She was doing THE TONIGHT SHOW (including October 1, 1962 -- Johnny Carson's debut as host of the prorgram ), THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW, Virginia Graham's talk show GIRL TALK and THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW.  Joan was also doing games show (WHAT'S MY LINE? -- first on December 30, 1960; I'VE GOT A SECRET, PASSWORD; TO TELL THE TRUTH) She was also doing frequent guest spots on TV including CAR 54, WHERE ARE YOU?; THE LUCY SHOW, NIGHT GALLERY, THE VIRGINIAN, THE SIXTH SENSE and, most infamously, filling in for her sick daughter on the daytime soap opera THE SECRET STORM.  Joan was also part of another TV and film product -- the TV show that becomes a film.  In 1967, her two parter on THE MAN FROM UNCLE (parts one and two of "The Five Daughters Affair") was turned into the film THE KARATE KILLERS and 1964's ROYAL BAY pilot became the 1965 film DELLA with an additional ten or so minutes tacked on.

 From "Anyone who appears on TV is a traitor" in 1952 to "I wish to hell someone would ask me! I was dying to do a DAKTARI or an I SPY.  I was desperate to act with Judy or with Gentle Ben.  I'm dying to do an FBI or a MISSION IMPOSSIBLE. I just wish someone would ask me" (Joan in TV GUIDE's AUGUST 16, 1969 issue).

What changed?

 Television took off and it did so quickly -- 0.5% of American families had TV sets in 1946 but the figure had leaped to 55.7% in 1954 and then to 90% by 1962.  During the same time period, film attendance went from 90 million ticket buyers in 1946 to 40 million in 1960.

It was during this time period that film studios realized they could make money off TV.  For example, the first theatrical film to be aired on television?  1939's THE WIZARD OF OZ which aired on CBS November 3, 1956.  Three years later, CBS aired it again -- and to high ratings which prompted CBS to then air it annually until 1968 (except for 1963).  In 1968, NBC picked it up for annual airings until CBS picked the film back up and began broadcasting it in 1976.

TV had already realized that they could make money off film.  They'd grabbed film stars and made them TV stars with their own series: Loretta Young, Lucille Ball,  Anna Mae Wong, Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Donna Reed, Hattie McDaniel, Bob Hope, Judy Garland, Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Abbott & Costello, Phil Silvers, Martin & Lewis, etc.

In addition, long before MGM sold airing rights to CBS for THE WIZARD OF OZ, TV was airing B-movies from MONARCH and REPUBLIC STUDIOS.


 As Propellerheads and Shirley Bassey note, "It's all just a case of history repeating."

 Movies on TV never went away.  LIFETIME continues to air new TV movies.  HBO, SHOWTIME and others air theatrical films.  In fact, every Saturday night, HBO debuts a new film -- new to cable, one released in theaters.

Yesterday, it was Natalie Portman's LUCY IN THE SKY which came out (in the US) last October and promptly bombed.  In fact, the only thing harsher than the box office was the critical response.  The film was savaged.

We missed it at the theaters and ended up watching it by chance Saturday night.  We were many minutes in when we realized this was based on the true events of astronau Lisa Nowak's infamous 2007 stalking of an ex-boyfriend.

Maybe that's why we weren't disappointed?

It's actually a strong film.  The cast also includes John Hamm, Ellen Burstyn, Tig Notaro, Jeffrey Donovan, Nick Offerman and Zazie Beetz. All give praise worthy performances.  The script tells the story in a less than obvious manner for a 'based on a true story' film.  It's inventive as is the direction by Noah Hawley.

Natalie's Lucy is a complex character, someone who's achieved something amazing (flight in space) and who is brought down by her own desires.  You never feel you're watching Natalie give a performance, you always feel you're watching Lucy Cola (the character she plays).

Maybe cable will give LUCY IN THE SKY new life?

Maybe not.

But there's no life in THE CBS SUNDAY NIGHT MOVIE.  Not even the announcing by Morgan Freeman seems of this century.  Certainly the choices don't.  FORREST GUMP and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK?  People own those movies if they like them.  

RAIDERS provided "decent" ratings, reported DEADLINE.  FORREST GUMP saw the ratings improve "slightly" -- TV INSIDER noted.  By week three, the project was a bust but no one was supposed to notice.

This was supposed to be CBS' answer to sweeps month.  They might have been better off airing blocks of MAN OF THE HOUSE.  The ratings were dismal.

They might have been better off making the airings a party -- the way TNT used to.  Get a lively host (Sandra Bernhard did a great job, for example, hosting the cable network's broadcast of FUNNY GIRL) and let them provide commentary, turn it into an event.

But that would require better movies as well as actual effort -- too much for CBS these days, apparently.  Much easier to just toss out a series of films over 20 years old onto TV with nothing to make the airings unique or special and then just pretend to be surprised when the viewers don't tune in.

George Floyd

Marcia explained it last week:

George Floyd? Of course he was murdered. Didn't you watch the video? He wasn't resisting.
I believe murder charges are necessary. I do not blindly scream that every time. I do have an uncle who is a police officer and that's probably why I will say, "Let me look at it." When there's a killing, I try to look at the information. Most of the time we don't have video. I don't know how anyone seeing the video could dispute that the police need to be charged. He was cooperative. He was doing what he was asked. This is the case of abuse by the police and it resulted in death. They are given that shield to protect and serve -- not to kill and maim. There is no excuse for this.

George Floyd was murdered. I feel for his family. If we do not get real justice, it sends a bad message. There has to be accountability. 

 Protests soon followed. Some protests had violence and that shocked the pearl clutchers.  It didn't shock Marcia who noted:

 If you think you've seen rough with the protests so far, you don't know the half of it.  People are tired of this.  People are tired of an out of control police force hunting African-Americans in full view of We The People. 
You don't want unrest?  Prove to all of us that the system is fair and works for all.  The way you do that is arresting the murderers and putting them on trial for murder. 

Though the response was perfectly understandable, that didn't prevent some conspiracy nuts from making crazy claims on TV.  Aaron Mate noted the ridiculous Susan Rice:

Susan Rice on unrest and violence at the George Floyd protests: "This is right out of the Russian playbook as well."
Full screen
0:00 / 0:13

 More of Susan Rice speculating on CNN that Russia is fueling US protests: "I would not be surprised to learn that they have fomented some of these extremists on both sides using social media. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they are funding it in some way, shape, or form."

 The tin foil hat wearing Susan Rice shouldn't be allowed on the airwaves again after the crazy talk. 

 Over on the right-wing, actor James Wood noted Susan's crazy:

In an Olympic level feat of pretzel-twisting, hoax hustler Rice manages to shoehorn the Russians into the narrative yet again! #ObamaGateLizard

Why is Susan offering crazy talk instead of addressing real issues?

Maybe because, for eight years, she served in an administration that ignored every real issue that is now on fire?

Sanna Towns offers:

Living a privileged life as a Black person can cause you to be out of touch with the lives of the masses. I guess Susan Rice doesn’t understand that some of our anger is against policies instituted by folks like her.

CBS NEWS, unlike CNN, tried to stick to reality.

Katie Halper discussed the murder of George Floyd and the protests with Margaret Kimberley.

Does Joe Biden ever stop lying?

Earlier this month, Joe Biden stepped in during a media appearance where he attempted to tell the country who was -- and who was not -- Black.

Less noted was that in the same interview, Joe Biden lied yet again.  He insisted that he had been endorsed by the NAACP "every time I've run."


No, he hasn't.

He's never been endorsed by the NAACP.

The NAACP issued the following statement:

NAACP Statement on Endorsement Comment by Former Vice President Joe Biden

May 22, 2020

Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP, made the following statement about a remark by former Vice President Joe Biden during his Friday morning interview on “The Breakfast Club.”
“Yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden made a comment about the NAACP’s endorsement. We want to clarify that the NAACP is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse candidates for political office at any level. Persons affiliated with the NAACP at the national, state, and local levels are free to make candidate endorsements in a personal capacity, but they do not reflect support by the NAACP as an organization. The NAACP has one mission and that is fighting for and advancing our Black communities towards an equitable reality. Our primary focus at this moment is to ensure that our communities that have been victims of domestic terrorism and disproportionately impacted by this pandemic have the opportunity to cast their powerful vote come November.”
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas at

When does Joe stop lying and when does the media start seriously calling him out for these lies?

Discussion to catch


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Ty's Corner


Can DoorDash please do a better job?

My boyfriend and I ordered chicken our sides were okra and corn.  Long after it should have been here, we get a call from our driver.  And that part's okay.  We understand food may be late.

It was even okay when we were told the reason for the call: the establishment was out of corn.  That's not the delivery driver's fault.

When she arrived with the food, she apologized for being late but explained that they were out of Diet Coke so she had gotten Sprite and . . .


My boyfriend's diabetic.  A lot of people are diabetic.

In what world would you substitute a regular Sprite for a Diet Coke?

Why do I even have to write about this?  It should be obvious to everyone.

But this isn't just a DoorDash issue.  Back in January, we went to one of my favorite eateries on Clay Street.  And he ordered an unsweet tea and I forget what I ordered to drink.  We're waiting for the food and the wait staff sits down our drinks.  I'm sipping away and it's a perfect day until my boyfriend takes a sip and spits it out.  What's the problem?

It's not unsweet.

We call the waitstaff over and he explains that they were out of unsweet tea so, while that's brewing, he brought over a sweet tea.

How are those the same thing?

There are people who are trying to lose weight and cutting sugar out of their diet.  Those people have every right to receive what they order.

But when we're talking about diabetic people, it's not just that they deserve to get what they pay for, it's also that for health reasons, they can't have sugary drinks.

It seems so obvious but clearly it's not connecting with everyone.

Back to DoorDash.  We get a call about a side being out.  But when drinks are out, they don't bother to call?  And, one more time, a regular Sprite is not now or ever the same think as a diet soft drink.

Tweet of the week

Ajuma Baraka Tweets:

The U.S. government is deploying the army ( that is what the national guard is) against its own citizens. Isn't that now when someone calls for regime change if that was happening in another nation?

This edition's playlist



2) Ricky Martin's PAUSA.

3) Billy Joel's 52ND STREET.

 4) Pretenders'  PACKED.

5) Harry Style's FINE LINE.

6) Joni Mitchell's FOR THE ROSES.


a park painting 11

This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

"Kat's Korner: Ricky Martin re-emerges" -- Kat's latest album review.

 "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Iraq snapshot," "Ties increase between Iraq and Saudi Arabia as an ...," "Joe Biden is no FDR," "Katha Pollitt isn't just cancelled, she's revoked," "How many signs do we need before we dump Biden?," "SECULAR TALK, Jimmy Dore, Elizabeth Warren and her fake ass and more," "Joe Biden's campaigning like it's 1920," "The butt ugly winner of Idiot of the Week," "Who you gonna get to do the dirty work when all the slaves are free," "Joe Biden and his racism," "Science post on monkeys," "Praise for my daughter and boos for racist Joe Biden," "No, we're not all in this together," "Congress betrayed us," "America revealed as it is," "The protests are a perfectly normal response," "George Floyd," "Sexism in the Progressive Movement, Tara Reade Allegations, Biden & more... w/ Tina-Desiree Berg," "The awful -- Cenk Uygur, Mia Farrow and a decision by ABC," "Cheri Jacobus is just another Karen," "Michelle Goldbert attacks Tara Reade again," "The Democratic women in the Senate are a huge disa...," "Ralph, it's time to go, you're as senile as Joe," "I believe Tara Reade," "When are the Bidens being vetted?," "General Michael Flynn," "That hideous Adam Schiff," "Three things," "Russia-gate," "Joe Biden, Tara Reade, Iraq, lesser evil voting, THE GREAT," "FACEBOOK is evil" and "joe biden fan fiction" -- news coverage in the community.

"5 strong solo tracks from Annie Lennox," "5 great tracks from Alanis Morissette" and "Gaga" -- music coverage in the community.

"Tiny Hayder's Plea" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.

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