Monday, September 12, 2022

Truest statement of the week

It is a political dictum that opponents should be attacked and not voters. Hillary Clinton’s pre-election remark about “deplorables” didn’t help her get out the vote in swing states where she most needed them. Biden diverges from traditional political discourse out of desperation so acute that he repeats Hillary’s failed course of action.

He is allowed to spew subpar propaganda because he has no opposition within the democratic party. The so-called progressives stand down when they are told to do so. They are window dressing within window dressing who are allowed to post platitudes on Twitter and fool democrats into thinking they have champions in congress. Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley can even tell an obvious lie that Biden canceled student loan debt and emerge unscathed. Neither she nor other members of “the Squad” or the Congressional Black Caucus have anything to fear when they go along to get along.

They would think twice about joining in the beat down if they feared the voters. Unfortunately most democratic voters have been indoctrinated into thinking that voicing any concerns with their party leadership will lead to republican victory. Black voters are once again caught in what they see as an insurmountable trap of defending democrats regardless of what they do or fail to do.

But that twisted thinking needs to stop. The liberation movement is uplifted at every possible moment yet its real significance, sustained opposition to political power, is rarely mentioned. There is no reason to accept crumbs and thus continue snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. There is no trap for Black or any other democratic voters if they show some determination to speak out when they are being conned.


-- Margaret Kimberley, "Biden's MAGA Obsession Won't Help Democrats" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT). 



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.

And what did we come up with? 

Margaret Kimberley

Iraq video

Ava and C.I. tackle the whore.

Why are they letting her fly from Florida to NYC twice a week?  With global warming that's completely unneeded.

Second Ava and C.I. piece.

We're either all in it together or we aren't.

Musings by me.


Ava and C.I.'s third piece.

Regular feature.

Margaret Kimberley.

What we listened to while writing.


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






IRaQ Evening Update WTO Here We Go


TV: Jen Psaki isn't capable of explaining what's going on to others

The US needs more news outlets and it doesn't.  That's a reality that has only become more true as the term "news outlets" -- it's not elastic -- has been stretched to include public affairs programs, talk shows and even hate sites like the always ridiculous RAW STORY which has refashioned itself into a Trump Stalker.  

There are real issues to cover.  Too many of the emerging news 'outlets' have cast themselves as partisan organs and mistaken partisan attacks for news.

New York state has a polio problem.  If you're every utterance is about how awful Donald Trump is, you really don't have time to cover that, do you?  Or Monkeypox or the continuing COVID 19 pandemic.  You might have made time, for example, when Donald Trump was in office to cover the crumbling US infrastructure but with Joe Biden sworn in as president, you lost all interest.  That doesn't really help anyone.

News outlets are not 'turn out the vote' organizations.  So be wary when you encounter partisanship from an organization insisting that they are a news outlet.

We bring all this up because of John Dickerson and Jen Psaki.  John comes from a journalistic family (Nancy Dickerson, his mother, was a trailblazer).  He has worked for SLATE and TIME and been with CBS NEWS for some time -- hosting CBS MORNING NEWS and FACE THE NATION during his tenure.  He is infamous in the age of fluff and softball for asking difficult questions of both Democratic and Republican politicians.  He has been appointed the anchor of CBS NEWS PRIME TIME -- which is streaming on the PARAMOUNT+ streaming service.

We've enjoyed watching the show unfold.  It's not a lefty paradise.  We'd love that.  But it's a news program and one going to great pains to hold everyone accountable.  Which is what a news program should do.  As a general rule, we wait before reviewing a daily show -- news or talk -- unless it's a limited series -- because it is going to grow and evolve as it goes along.  (USEFUL IDIOTS is an example of that.  Aaron Mate took awhile but he warmed up on camera and is now a solid co-host for Katie Halper.)  We do applaud John for his work so far.  

We have no applause for Jen Psaki.  

And she hasn't even stepped into  the sewer that is MSNBC yet.

Years ago, FAIR used to be a lefty outlet.  It always leaned Democrat but it was more to the left.  Funding issues brought in line with the other party organs.  These days the only real 'independence' it shows is during a primary when they clobber one Democrat to promote another one.  That can lead to ridiculous moments such as 2016 when they were trying to drum up support for Hillary Clinton -- the candidate that they had trashed in 2007 and 2008.  In fact, as we noted in real time, 'media watchdog' FAIR used their radio program COUNTERSPIN to defend Barack Obama week after week while only defending Hillary from biased media attacks once -- when she was called a 'bitch' on a supposed news program -- and then it was a one sentence 'defense' that didn't even bother to name the person calling her that name.  Their sudden allegiance to her in 2016 was laughable as a result.

But back when FAIR pretended to be independent (they weren't), they'd do things like call out outlets who hired people who cheered on the Iraq War and got it all wrong.  This call out, however, never extended to, for example, MOTHER JONES which could have hired any number of bloggers who called out the Iraq War but instead went with pro-war idiot Kevin Drum.  They did a lot of things that just exposed them as rank hypocrites and that included calling out the revolving door that allowed government employees to become press and vice versa.  

There's a reason this shouldn't happen.  The press is supposed to be independent.  

Jen Psaki is a dishonest person.  She was the mouthpiece for various campaigns and politicians before becoming attached as a press secretary to the Obama White House.  She would return as the White House press secretary under Joe Biden.

Her remarks are lies.  She lied on a daily basis. She was especially pathetic when attempting to dance and dodge on Hunter Biden's laptop.  Back in October and November of 2020, Jen was able to lie because the press was helping her lie and insisting it was Russian propaganda.  They all rode the high horse -- especially NPR's ombudsperson.  But the laptop was real.  POLITICO was the first to verify this (2021).  THE WASHINGTON POST and THE NEW YORK TIMES would follow. 

Jen would lie still.

And that's rather sad for a grown woman but she worked for the White House -- so lying was a natural pose for her.

And we didn't spend a lot of time focusing on her (here or at THE COMMON ILLS) but now she's going to be a member of the press?  She needs to get accountable for her public lies if she wants anyone to trust her.

But she doesn't want to be accountable and she doesn't intend to do news because news is beyond her.

She's already demonstrated that.

Jen insists her business is not rage and that she has a "passion" for "explaining things, debunking things, calling out BS."  Furthermore:

She also called it "bizarre" that many found President Biden’s recent speech in Philadelphia partisan, suggesting that "there’s a tactical component of what he’s saying publicly…but it’s not a reflection of a change in his view."

A number of people were offended by Joe's Philadelphia speech.  This included veterans who called out Joe's use of Marines as props for his political speech.  It also included many Republicans, a number of Democrats and others.  That she thinks it is 'bizarre'' goes to how she has nothing to offer.  She's either lying again -- spinning for her politician of choice -- or she's a stupid idiot.  

The Washington Post reported Friday that ABC, CBS, and NBC all declined to carry President Joe Biden’s Thursday remarks because they were viewed as too “political.”

The Post also reported after viewing the speech beforehand, Biden’s criticism of former President Donald Trump was a turnoff to networks that aired reruns and a game show.

Even the networks saw a problem but Jen's clueless and finds it "bizarre."  This is someone who can offer news or analysis?  

She can't see what most people can and she's an 'expert' to bring on the air?

No, she's just a spinmeister.  

We wondered what kind of a show Jen would bring to MSNBC and we were planning to review it.  Now?  We're going to take a pass.  When her former boss gives a divisive speech and she can't understand why some might take offense, it's clear that she's got nothing to offer but spin.  

Life is too short.  That's a reality that will probably only come to Jen on her death bed, when it's far too late for her to change the way she wasted her life -- and, yes, whoring for a political party is wasting your life.

THE VIEW needs to stop causing climate change

After nearly a decade of appearing on The View, Ana Navarro was named a permanent co-host last month for season 26. But just because she'll be on the show in a more defined role doesn't mean she'll be relocating to the Big Apple anytime soon.

"Every New Yorker I know has moved to Miami. You think I'm crazy enough to be the only Miamian who moves to New York?" Navarro, 50, tells PEOPLE with a laugh. "No, I am not moving to New York City. My husband and I live in Miami, I have a life that I love there. I have way too much going on there to give up."

Instead, Navarro says she'll "do what so many other professional do" and commute to work — though an airplane is involved in her case.

"I'm going to fly back and forth, twice a week, as I did most of last season," she says, in an interview coincidentally conducted as she heads to the airport after a show. "It's four planes a week, but it's worth it to be able to balance my work life and my personal life."

Well is it worth it to the planet?  ABC needs to figure out whether she can remote in?  If she can't, they need to let her go.  Florida to Miami and back four times a week?  No.  That's destroying our environment and a grown woman should be ashamed of herself for thinking a 'commute' to work is flying from Florida to Miami regularly.  Remote her in or she moves to the area.  Otherwise, she needs to be dumped.  We need to all be doing our part to tackle climate change.

Olivia Wilde created her own backlash (Ava and C.I.)

No, it's not sexism.  People who scream that all the time sport their ignorance.  

We realized that when Stephanie Zacharek of TIME magazine showed up Friday sporting 'lady wood' for Olivia Wilde, sporting her big crush on Olivia and her stupidity regarding how a starlet acts versus how a film director acts and sporting her stupidity with regards to history.  We've seen the backlash before and it wasn't about sexism.  
Before we go futher, Rebecca's "f**k you, stephanie zacharek" and Stan's  "TIME lets Stephanie Zacharek have a wet dream in public over Olivia Wilde" addressed this topic. 
This cover of VANITY FAIR.

No, it's not how directors pose for photos.  Ass in the air, legs spread, a see through garment, as Marcia noted.

She's begging to be slammed.  

Directors don't generally do cheesecake or beefcake photos. 

More to the point, most director and actor combos, where the two meet while one is the boss, do not go out of the way to advertise their relationship.

The last one that did the way Olivia and Harry do now?

Peter Bogdanovich.  
He began an affair with Cybill Shepherd on the set of THE LAST PICTURE.  He began promoting his affair as he moved to officially end his marriage (seeing a pattern here?).  And he talked about it and talked about it and talked about it.  The same way Olivia has.  And everyone turned on him.  As Cary Grant told him, most people aren't happy and they don't need or want to hear how happy you are.  
It created a backlash which is what's happened for Olivia Wilde.

And that's before you factor in her attack on Shia LaBeouf.

She's supposed to be promoting her film -- not her sex life.  She's supposed to be promoting her film -- not attacking an actor.  There would be backlash for any director making remarks about Shia.  She doesn't know what she's talking about with regards to his personal life and should shut her mouth immediately.  There was never a reason for her to stick her nose into his personal life.  Maybe she's upset because she wanted to hook up with Shia before he walked out on her project.  She certainly seems to use a lusty voice when she's begging him, in the audio released, not to leave the movie and mocking her leading actress.  

But it was none of her business to try to pile on.

Jane Fonda looked like an old bitch when she bragged about telling Lindsay Lohan off. It seemed as bitchy as when Joan Crawford used the press to attack Marilyn Monroe.  (Hopefully, Jane hadn't had sex with Lindsay the way Joan had with Marilyn but considering how circumspect Jane's become about that topic, who knows?)  

Jane thought she looked like a mother -- as did Joan.  Neither did.  They looked like elderly cranks.  

Olivia piled on Shia and she lied about him.  And this pompous attitude about "my sets"?  This is only her second film.  She needs to reel it in.  She has no visual style.  Her last film was not visually stunning  and played out like a radio broadcast.  A director does not just call out "Action!"  She has no visual sense and she also lacks a rhythm when it comes to dialogue.  

Her attitude is annoying to those of us who actually know film.

All the backlash she's facing, she brought on herself. 

(And, for the record, it was sexism when Jane decided to call out Lindsay's mother -- not her father.  Just because someone claims to be a feminist -- between marriages -- doesn't make them one.)

Jim's Corner



Whenever I come across the name Margaret Talev, I make a point to pay attention.  Why?  As Ava and C.I. have repeatedly pointed out here and at THE COMMON ILLS, she's the one that gets no credit.  Talev was part of the truth squad at KNIGHT RIDDER -- the ones who didn't just do stenography in the lead up to the Iraq War.  But the Bill Moyers of this world rendered her invisible and just focused on the bro-cest of Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel.  That pathetic relationship would implode during the presidency of Barack Obama.  But the record would never be fixed to add Talev's name to the list of those who did actual journalism.  

So I was reading up on Joe Biden's speech and it being seen as divisive (after I read Ava and C.I.'s latest) and came across this:

Axios managing editor and CNN analyst Margaret Talev suggested Biden's speech was intentionally "divisive." 

"I think some of this is about splitting the Republican Party. I mean it is divisive, it's divisive by nature. That’s the point of the speech. When you use a phrase like ‘MAGA Republicans’ this is clearly poll tested, and it's to say it’s not the same thing as say Republicans it's to say there is a different brand of republicanism inside the Republican Party. That’s what Biden is trying to get to and what he's trying to do is give independents and Republicans a permission structure to split the ticket. Or just to vote democratic or to stay home. That’s what he’s doing in states like Ohio, in states like Pennsylvania, in states like Wisconsin," Talev told the CNN panel.

I'm sure she's right.  I'm also sure that the president of the United States is supposed to be the president of America and not just some of America.

That's before you factor in that this president was supposed to be a uniter.  I'm tired of it.  His speech was divisive.  It was not fit for a president.  That's before you factor in his using the Marines as props in this speech.  You're not supposed to politicize the military.  Joe Biden owes the American people an apology.

But put that on a long list of things that Joe Biden owes Americans.

That list would include an apology for lying about having no knowledge of Hunter Biden's business dealings (his corrupt business dealings), an apology for the way he lied about Tara Reade, an apology for his assault of Tara Reade, an apology for his failure with regards to COVID 19, an apology for his failure to properly prepare for monkeypox, an apology for the way he has ignored the residents of Jackson, Mississippi while they have suffered without water . . .

It's a long, long list.

And his failures are proof that we do not need to ever again elect someone his age to be president.  He is too old.  He lacks energy, he lacks mental fitness.  His vanity run has cost the country dearly.  He should probably start his apologies with one for how he's harmed the country.


Useful Idiots Monday Mourning with Katie Halper and Aaron Maté


In "TV: Jen Psaki isn't capable of explaining what's going on to others," Ava and C.I. noted that Aaron Mate had come into his own on USEFUL IDIOTS.  Here's an example.  (Katie Halper's always been in her own.)



Remember when Kamala Harris, in a debate, called Joe Biden out on busing?  She was right to do so.

And we're seeing busing, as an issue, yet again.

And we're seeing a racist response to it, yet again.

Oh, poor DC, is it testing your community resources this influx (from Texas) of immigrants?  Suck it up, butter cup.  You're part of the US.  It's really easy to say you're pro-immigration when you're not a border state.  

What we're seeing is the reality that non-border states don't want immigrants.  They expect border states to deal with them but they don't want to deal themselves.  Too bad.  Read the inscription on the Statue of Liberty.  As long as it's in New York Harbor, we need to follow the motto "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The Wretched refuse of your teeming shore."

We agree with Ann who's noted that Iowa is one of the most Anglo-White states in the country.  And yet it expects to go first for the caucus each presidential election year.  We need to be steering newly arrived immigrants to Iowa.  And to other states as well.  We believe in open borders, we are pro-immigration but, sorry DC and Chicago and you other whiners, we are also of the belief that newly arrived citizens need to be dispersed throughout the country and not just in, for example,  Florida, Texas and California.  

If we're in this as a country, then we are in this country.  But if we were really in this as a country, you wouldn't see states with such a lily White composition as, for example, Montana and Iowa.

TV: Stop blaming negative responses to your own failures on trolls


It's a label many love to use.  Is it accurate?

We ask because some thin skinned types are insisting all criticism is trolls.   We are being told that poor entertainment conglomerates are under assault -- trolls at the gates! -- and all they want to do is entertain.

No, honey, all they want to do is make a buck.  Doubt it?  If we're watching ANT MAN & THE WASP on FX, we're not watching it because we want the lower right hand of our screen to be promoting DISNEY+ and the new offer if you subscribe.  We're watching for ANT MAN & THE WASP.  If they want to actually entertain us, stop distracting from the film with that garbage in the lower right hand corner.  

Are there trolls?  

Yes, there are and there always have been.  Josiah something on YOUTUBE strikes us a troll.  He's always attacking this woman or that.  

Now some female-led shows deserve to be attacked, that's reality.  MARVEL has made three female-led shows for DISNEY+ and they've all been garbage.  WANDAVISION promoted the rest cure that Charlotte Perkins Gilman railed against over a century ago.  MS. MARVEL stripped the character of a number of her powers, of her connection to the larger story and her powers were no longer inherent within her but gained when she wore a bracelet.  And then they offered the joke that is SHE-HULK: ATTORNEY AT LAW.  Our criticism of the latter, led to a DISNEY+ exec huffing that "for your information, WONDER-MAN will be a comedy as well."  That doesn't improve the stats.  Three times they could have created a strong female hero that people took seriously and three times they failed.  

Brie Larson is bothered by trolls.  So much so that she may quit playing Captain Marvel, or so she's insisting to the press.

Are the people criticizing her all trolls?

Brie's personable.  She's been fairly good as Captain Marvel.  Fairly good?  The first movie is a mess (and far too enamored of the US military)  We liked her mixing it up with the Avengers but felt there could have been more done to bring her character in -- she was a bit of an after-thought and more mingling might have helped ward off some of the criticism.  Equally true, while we loved Carole Danvers as Ms. Marvel and as Binary and as War Bird, we do understand why a lot of people found the comic book Carol as Captain Marvel off putting (she embraced fascism, among other things).  Listening to Brie whine, it only reminds us that she clearly knows damn little about the character she's playing -- including the whole Civil War 2 that destroyed Carol for a lot of comic book readers.

Brie feels she's a victim of trolls spewing sexism.

We think she might be right.  But we'd argue the trolls spewing sexism are the ones writing the scripts to her movies.  

MARVEL really should look at how it portrays women.  

Equally true that some being called trolls are not trolls, they are very devoted fans.

As the eighties wound down, it was announced that Michael Keaton would be playing Batman.  And people were outraged.  The guy from BEETLEJUICE? !!!!  But then people saw the film BATMAN and realized that Keaton could (and did) pull off the role.  Fans are happy to be proven wrong.  They will rail and rail -- look at Anne Rice before INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE was released -- and then, when they see the actual film or TV show, they'll offer praise.  

If it's done right.

Alden Ehrenreich is someone films and TV need to retire immediately.  He was never going to be a star.  He struggles in leading roles.  He's off-putting.  People objected to him playing Han Solo in SOLO for a number of reasons -- including that he looked nothing like Harrison Ford who originated the role.  When they saw him onscreen, they were given no reason to re-evaluate him.  He was awful in the role (and worse in Warren Beatty's film -- we love Warren but it needs to be noted that he's always struggled when it came to casting male actors -- whether it's jealousy or only appreciating beauty in women, he's cast one dog after another in film after film).

A lot of bad casting has taken place.

And some of it may not be bad casting, it might be threadbare writing.  Maybe STAR WARS shouldn't be churning out new movies?  Maybe that should have died long ago.  The trilogy is beloved.  What came after, much less so.  Maybe part of the problem stems from these watered down copies and studios should be learning to create new stories with new characters?

But when you're casting someone in a beloved role, there is going to be controversy.  A Michelle Pfeiffer triumphs as Catwoman (in BATMAN RETURNS) while Halle Berry struggles in the same role.  Bad writing.  And not understanding females.  Catwoman can take on anyone -- and does in BATMAN RETURNS.  But in CATWOMAN, someone got nervous about Halle battling men and felt the need to create a villainess for Sharon Stone.  She wasn't a villainess, she was a bore and her powers were unimpressive and the conflict was reserved for the final third of the film.

Recently, Viola Davis played Michelle Obama in FIRST LADY and had a hissy fit because people called her out for "duck face."  As we noted in our review, she looked more like Michelle when she was making the "duck face."  But we didn't call the people calling her out trolls or say they were wrong.  It was a spot-on criticism that had nothing to do with trolls but everything to do with an acting choice Viola made.

The tendency to reward cry baby artists is something we don't understand.  Jennifer Lawrence, for example, whining that she only got $25 million, less than Leonardo?  Stop whining.  

You're not a very good actress to begin with.  You've had seven flops in a row (that does include the film with Leo which didn't generate ticket sales).  You're lucky to be working.  THE HUNGER GAMES series gave you the pretense of popularity that you honestly do not have.  Every attempt you've made to carry a film has resulted in the film flopping.  You aren't box office. 

And, more to the point, there are a lot of people out of work in the country, there are a lot of people struggling to make ends meet and the fact that you didn't get X number of millions but only T number of millions?  We don't feel sorry for you.  

One of the reasons that Chris Pratt has been so popular for so long is because he had avoided whining in public -- until recently.  He took to whining over his AMAZON series.  We avoided writing about it because it bored us.  It bored Stan who did write about it "THE TERMINAL LIST" and it bothered Stan when Pratt started whining -- "Chris Pratt is getting on my nerves."  Sometimes, a person just doesn't like what you did, has nothing to do with being a troll.  

A limited number of actors and actresses are paid a lot of money -- in most cases, too much money when you factor in that they don't actually deliver at the box office -- and they need to develop a tougher skin.  

But maybe they complain because they realize that they're not as talented as they pretend to be and that they're overpaid?  

But if someone has invested the time to watch the performance (and, in some cases, paid to watch the performance), they have every right to complain.

Again, it all comes down to whether you deliver or not.  Actor or writer, if people are calling you out, instead of responding "Troll!" you probably need to take a moment to step back and look at what you offered.  You can't force-feed entertainment. 




From The TESR Test Kitchen



Water?  Some of us love it, some of us need an add in.  We all need it, however we consume it.

SONIC Cherry-Limeade is a sugar free add-in to water that you can find in small boxes at various grocery stores and dollar stores.  Inside the small box, there are six packets.  An eight ounce glass of water just needs one packet but you'd probably want to add an additional packet for every eight ounces you have in the glass.

We like the add-ins Sonic drive-in offers for their drinks and this box of add-ins equals the taste.  We tried, for example, also adding it into a Coke Zero and we got the same taste we'd get at Sonic -- though some of us (Dona, for example) swear by Sonic's ice and caution it's not exactly the same as a result.  (To help you judge that, let's note that Dona will go through Sonic and get a bag or two of just ice -- she likes their ice that much).

But as an add-in for water or for a cola, we have nothing but praise and highly recommend you check it out.


Tweet of the week

Margaret Kimberley took on mini-mind Jackie and his Little Hinkle:

 "uniting Marxists and MAGA" Coalitions can work, but they must have some degree of shared politics. What if anything do the two groups mentioned here have in common? Also, what are globalists? They are capitalists and any effort against them must be called anti-capitalist.




Are MAGA anti-capitalist? They can't work with marxists unless they are. What is the deep state? Its rooted in the protection of the US empire, which is all about protecting capitalism. In case you can't tell, I've never been a fan of this wishful thinking coalition.


This edition's playlist


 1) Harry Styles' HARRY'S HOUSE.


2)  Diana Ross' THANK YOU.


3) The Pretenders' THE SINGLES.


4) The Pretenders' PACKED.


5) The Pretenders' LEARNING TO CRAWL.


6) Chrissie Hynde's STOCKHOLM.  


7) Rod Stewart's EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART.


8) George Ezra's GOLD RUSH KID.


9) Adele's 30


10) Chase Rice's THE ALBUM.



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