Monday, May 10, 2021

Truest statement of the week


Progressives have come to Biden’s rescue with even greater gusto than doubters like this columnist predicted. Congressional Democrats known as progressives have prostrated themselves without a hint of unhappiness and in the process make a mockery of themselves and the people who support them.

Congressional Black Caucus member Cori Bush  was asked if she and other progressives known as “the squad” would be willing to use their leverage as much as those Democrats who own up to being conservative. She said this about herself and her colleagues, “ vote alone, and you're voting for your districts.” Bush therefore admitted that there will be no action on behalf of what the people want. She defeated William Lacy Clay, known as an establishment Democrat, but like other progressives she is no more willing to buck the system than the person she replaced. 

Bush is following in the footsteps of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who entered Congress with great fanfare, also after defeating an incumbent in a primary. After being beaten down by Biden and the leadership she proclaimed that he “exceeded expectations that progressives had.” Pramila Jayapal  joined in the capitulation by pronouncing that she gives Biden an A grade. No minimum wage hike, no public option, no prescription drug cost reduction and nothing else that these members said they wanted is taking place. In fact Ocasio-Cortez demurred from forcing a vote on Medicare for all in favor of using leverage to push for a minimum wage increase. Biden dismissed her fake strategy with a cynical ploy about a parliamentarian and she is left with egg on her face.

There can be no more excuses made for these people. Regardless of what they may want, they steadfastly refuse to fight for what they know to be right. None of them are revolutionaries, which is what they would have to be in order to fight a corrupt system. Biden is in no mood for compromise and he doesn’t have to when no one will fight back. The leadership do what their donors want and by definition that means the people don’t get what they want and need.

-- "Freedom Rider: Progressives Capitulate to Biden," Margaret Kimberley (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).




Truest statement of the week II

It’s an appalling video that leaves no room for doubt: This was an execution. The victim was a helpless, older woman who wanted to end her life. The soldiers who executed her were either craven cowards of the sort who take fright at the sight of a sick, elderly woman with a knife, or they were cruel and inhuman and had no sense of judgment. One of them did shout to the others “Stop!” – but it was too late. Soldiers of the Nahal Brigade apparently know only one surefire way stop a mentally unstable woman, who could be their grandmother. A woman holding a kitchen knife in her limp hand – her husband later confirmed that it had been taken from their home – who did not endanger them for a second. And that way is: Shoot to kill.

They roared at her and then backed away as if she were a bold, young terrorist and not a heavyset woman who barely moved forward. The Israel Defense Forces thought these soldiers had acted properly, perhaps even in an outstanding way. The army doesn’t always release video footage of incidents like this one, but this time it made the video of the execution available – proof, ostensibly, that the troops had acted correctly. But this clip actually leaves no room for doubt: This was the execution of a helpless, 60-year-old woman. There is no other way to describe what happened this past Sunday morning at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank, near Bethlehem.

The incident was barely reported in most of the Israeli media. And in the few items covering the story, the woman was called a “terrorist,” the incident was called a case of “terror,” and some even referred to “those who dispatched the terrorist” on her ostensible mission.

"There's no room for doubt: This was the execution of a helpless 60-year-old Palestinian woman," Gideon Levy and Alex Levac (ICH)..


A note to our readers

 Hey -- 


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.

No, we didn't pull off an edition last week.  Sorry.  Next week, if all goes well, will be more of a theme edition.  Ava and C.I. got with Ty and roughed out that.  Their plan was to post it last Friday for last week's edition.  Dona heard about it and said let's hold that off so that it won't be up just for a day or two before it's replaced.  Our understanding for this week's edition was that whatever it was, it was.  We'd post it by Sunday (it's still Sunday on the west coast) and not worry about perfecting it or improving it.  


And what did we come up with?





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









Editorial: Another activist assassinated in Iraq

Repost from THE COMMON ILLS:

The assassination of Ihab Jawad al-Wani leads to mass protests

 As noted last night, "Ihab al-Wazini, another activist assassinated in Iraq."  AL JAZEERA reports:

Protesters have burned tyres and blocked roads in the Iraqi city of Karbala after a prominent civil activist was killed by unknown gunmen.

Ihab Jawad Al-Wazni was killed in the early hours of Sunday near his home in the predominantly Shia city, according to a statement by the Iraqi defence ministry. No group claimed responsibility.

Al-Wazni, a leading figure in protests against the government in the city, was buried on Sunday morning.

Witnesses said hundreds of people took to the streets in Karbala in demonstrations condemning the activist’s assassination.

Protesters blocked a number of main roads in the city and demanded security forces find and identify al-Wazni’s killers, and threatened to escalate protests if the perpetrators were not exposed.

We'll note these Tweets:

When the Tishreen River dries up blood? A short time ago, the revolutionary Ihab Jawad Al-Wazni was assassinated in Karbala Governorate. #ايهاب_الوزني #ستنتصر_ثورة_تشرين #على_الطريقة_الاسلامية #لاتعلنوا_الحداد_اعلنوا_الثورة

Happening Now, All cities demonstrators are meeting in Karbala city to take a unified and firm stand against the government regarding the issue of the assassination of the head of the Karbala Coordination for Civil Movement, Ihab Jawad Al-Wazni. #was

Prime Minister Kadhimi vows that killers of latest activist to be assassinated will be tracked down & punished - Ihab Jawad al-Wazni was gunned down by killers on a motorbike - he was a leading figure in anti-government protests #ايهاب_الوزني #ٱلْعِرَاق

He is one in a long line of assassinated activists in Iraq.  Despite promises of justice, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has delivered none.  The message has been clear all along, you can assassinate any Iraqi activist you want and get away with it.  

Suadad al-Salhy (MEE) reports:

Hundreds of protesters attempted to storm the Iranian consulate in the holy city of Karbala, raging against the assassination of a prominent activist, protest leaders and officials told Middle East Eye.

Gunmen on a motorbike targeted Ihab al-Wazni in Karbala early Sunday, shooting the protest leader dead in front of his home in the city centre.

Immediately fellow members of Iraq’s protest movement, who since October 2019 have been demonstrating against bad governance, corruption and foreign interference, accused Iranian-backed armed groups of the assassination.

Mina Aldbroubi (THE NATIONAL) notes other activists who have been recently assassinated:

One of the most prominent political commentators to be murdered was Hisham Al Hashimi, who was shot outside his Baghdad home in July 2020. His death dealt a huge blow to the country’s academic and civil society institutions.

Born in Baghdad in 1973, Al Hashimi was a well-respected expert who wrote extensively about ISIS and Al Qaeda, authoring three books. He advised current and past governments on terrorism and extremist groups.

Al Hashimi was also a strong supporter of the protest movement.

Prominent journalist Ahmad Abdessamad, 37, and his cameraman Safaa Ghali, 26, who had been covering anti-government protests in their home city of Basra, in the south, were shot dead in January 2020.

They were assassinated in their car, while parked near a police station.

Abdessamad was a vocal supporter of the protest rallies.

Jinan Madzi, a paramedic who treated wounded protesters, was shot dead during demonstrations in Basra the same month.

Riham Yaqoob, a doctor and female activist who became the face of the protest movement in Basra, was killed last August.

A few weeks after her death, the killing of another activist, Tahseen Osama, pushed protesters to take to the streets to demand that authorities find those responsible.

Salah Al Iraqi, who was well-known for taking an active role in rallies, was shot dead in eastern Baghdad last December.

In his last post on Facebook, Al Iraqi wrote: "The innocent die while the cowards rule."

Amjad Aldhamat was killed after walking out of a police station last October in his home city of Amara in southern Iraq.

He and another activist had been had been attending a meeting with police to discuss a planned protes.

As Aldhamat walked out, gunmen approached in a car with tinted windows and no licence plates and shot him dead.

Ali Jasb, a young rights lawyer, was kidnapped in Amara in October 2019 and nothing has been heard from him or his captors.

Jasb Aboud, the father of Ali Jasb, publicly accused a powerful Iran-backed militia of kidnapping his son, and sought to take its leader to court.

He was shot dead by gunmen in early March in Amara. 

MEMO observes, "Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi has pledged to prosecute those involved in the killing of protesters and activists, but no perpetrators have been brought to justice so far."

TV: Another bone headed move from ABC

Where are the comedic stars of today?  In low supply.  It's not that there aren't talented actors who, if given the right push, could become TV staples it's that they're not given the push.  


We were reminded of that while watching ABC's HOME ECONOMICS -- a painful process that we do not recommend for anyone.  Dean Holland is the executive producer and despite a long career that includes working on sixteen sitcoms, he's never worked on a series that was actually a hit and delivered viewers.  14 years and still drilling dry wells, do we really see that changing?

HOME ECONOMICS focuses on three siblings.  Tom is the oldest.  He writes books -- or rather, fleeting thoughts which is about all anyone could ever expect from him.  The middle grown child is Sarah and she is a child therapist.  Which leaves the baby of the bunch Connor who somehow manages to be a financial savant.  

If you don't believe that sounds like an impressive spine for a sitcom, we hear you.  But funny shows have resulted from far worse.  So what's the problem?

Topher Grace plays the oldest child Tom.  Many years ago, he starred as Eric Foreman on THAT 70'S SHOW.  That FOX hit is one of the few shows of its time that no one ever talks of revisiting.  For a reference, it aired its final new episode the same week the original run of WILL & GRACE ended.  That show has far too many problems to be reworked.  The death of Tanya Roberts is actually the least of the problems.  Danny Masterson's arrest last year on three charges of rape is a bigger issue.  But the biggest issue is probably the format.  FOX has spent the last few years with one failing sitcom after another -- when they are single-cam sitcoms.  When they are multi-cams they deliver an audience for the network -- compare the ratings of LAST MAN STANDING, CALL ME KAT and THE COOL KIDS  to, for example, the ratings of the single-cam sitcom THE MICK.


Topher Grace is not the problem in terms of acting.  He's the problem in that he makes you think about a funny sitcom.  And HOME ECONOMICS could have been that if it had been a multi-cam.


Why do they all think they can do better than Desi Arnaz did?  When The Water Cooler Set goes out of their way to attack the multi-cam sitcom before a live studio audience format, do they do it with so much zeal because a Latino came up with the format?  


In the 50s and 60s, there were tons and tons of sitcoms aren't remembered today.  Those that are tend to be the multi-cam before a live audience sitcoms: I LOVE LUCY, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW,  THE GEORGE BURNS AND GRACIE ALLEN SHOW, THE HONEYMOONERS, etc.  This continued in the 70s and 80s with the offerings of MTM (THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW, NEWHART, WKRP IN CINCINNATI, RHODA, etc), Norman Lear (THE JEFFERSONS, GOOD TIMES, MAUDE, ALL IN THE FAMILY, ONE DAY AT A TIME, SANFORD & SON, NEWHART, etc), Gary Marshall (LAVERNE & SHIRLEY, MORK & MINDY, HAPPY DAYS, etc), FAMILY TIES, ROSEANNE, THE FACTS OF LIFE, GIMMIE A BREAK, MURPHY BROWN, BOSOM BUDDIES, THREE'S COMPANY, etc.  The 90s would add THE NANNY, WILL & GRACE, LIVING SINGLE, FRIENDS, SEINFELD, MAD ABOUT YOU, etc.  In the years since, the sitcoms that delivered big audiences?  They were multi-cams like EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND, THE BIG BANG THEORY, TWO AND A HALF MEN, etc.


Topher starred in one of the better multi-cams and watching him on HOME ECONOMICS just reminds you of how bad the new show is.  He's struggling in scenes not because he's not delivering but because he's often acting against a wall passed off as co-stars. 


To be fair, we'll blame the format and not the actors.  With a live studio audience, they would have immediate response and feedback and be able to figure out what was working (damn little) and what wasn't working (way too much).

Jimmy Tatro comes off the best after Topher.  Tatro is playing Connor who is basically himbo Bill that Tatro played on MODERN FAMILY for six episodes.  The himbo should be a staple of sitcoms especially after Oliver Hudson's perfection of the role on RULES OF ENGAGEMENT.  Oliver went on to star in the drama NASHVILLE and deliver a strong performance but then he returned to sitcoms with SPLITTING UP TOGETHER which should have featured Oliver in a riff on the himbo but no one involved with the show knew what they were doing -- which also explains Oliver's appearance.  You don't cast someone that good looking in the role and then try to regular-guy him up.  It won't work.  And it didn't.  It's a lesson Tatro would do well to learn especially since his most memorable moment on TV thus far has been the episode of MODERN FAMILY where he drops his pants in front of Claire.

Caitlin McGee plays the middle child Sarah.  She would strongly benefit from a studio audience.  Her grip on the role is loose and tentative.  By contrast, Sasheer Zamata, is all over the place.  She plays Sarah's wife Denise.  She serves the joke.  In any scene, she is all about wringing the humor out of any line or action but it's at the expense of developing a character.  We're not blaming them for any of this.  But we are noting that it shouldn't be this way.

And it didn't have to be.  If ABC had grasped that their strongest rated sitcom was a multi-cam one, they would have dictated that HOME ECONOMICS by one as well.  The network's ignorance has doomed yet another sitcom.


Daddy's Boy Hunter Continues To Choose Spakings Over Adulthood

a little attention


 Time for Hunter Biden to take another spanking.  Jonathan Turley notes:

There are new disclosures from Hunter Biden’s laptop that offer an added perspective on his dealings with Chinese figures, including Patrick Ho, secretary general of Chinese oil giant CEFC, who was later indicted and has been connected with Chinese intelligence. The emails and pictures relate to the young Chinese assistant supplied to Hunter who makes revealing statements about the fluid expense accounts and level of support given Hunter by the Chinese. I have read through the new messages and I am not clear about the relationship with the young aide who tells him that she still has his dog tags in her New York apartment. However, the new emails include details on how Biden was paid and the fluidity of the accounts established by the Chinese.

There is much on the Internet suggesting that the 29-year-old Chinese-American assistant, JiaQi Bao, was an effort by Chinese intelligence to create a sexual relationship that could be used to influence Hunter and ultimately his father — much like the scandal involving Rep. Eric Swalwell’s intimate relationship with an alleged Chinese spy. It is not clear that Biden had any intimate relationship with Bao.

For anyone fretting over the redness of Hunter's buns, grasp that anyone else in the situation would probably be facing criminal charges.  Hunter?  He just gets taken over the knee for a quick spanking and then all's forgiven and forgotten.  Visit any mega-prison and see how many behind bars would gladly go the Hunter Biden route instead.



Illustration is Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "Hunter Biden Finally Gets A Little Press Attention." 






10 shows we think will be cancelled in the next weeks























Tweet of the week

 From Ajamu Baraka:

The lesson from India, the U.S., Britain, Brazil is that if China was a full blown capitalist nation with a privatized healthcare system and put profits over people, probably millions would have died from covid. The rulers are scared to death that people might notice that.

This edition's playlist




1) Nick Jonas' SPACEMAN.


2) Aretha Franklin's THIS GIRL'S IN LOVE WITH YOU


3)  Brenda Russell's GET HERE.

4) John Lennon's IMAGINE.


5) Ashford & Simpson's HIGH RISE.



6)  Harry Style's FINE LINE.  


 7)  Cher's STARS.




9) Dionne Warwick's SHE'S BACK.



10) Ben Harper's CALL IT WHAT IT IS.





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