Sunday, June 25, 2023

Truest statment of the week

In every corner of our country, there are parents and children, teachers and nurses, community leaders and small business owners who are afraid that the rise in legislative assaults and political extremism has put a target on their backs. LGBTQ+ people are living in fear, and such fear has no place in the United States of America.

Thus, we have declared this state of emergency. In addition, we have issued a guidebook to help LGBTQ+ Americans stay safe as they navigate these new anti-LGBTQ+ laws—whether they are deciding to move, planning a vacation, or searching for a new job. We have also compiled a report that details the impact of these laws for advocates, policymakers, and the media. I have submitted both into the record for your reference.

Although this is a state of emergency, I believe that we still live in a land of possibility and a nation that prides itself on progress. For every Missouri, there is a Minnesota, which recently passed a statewide ban on so-called “conversion therapy.” For every Florida, there is a Michigan, which recently became the 22nd state to make LGBTQ+ non-discrimination protections law. For every Texas, there is a Pennsylvania, which is on the cusp of becoming the 23rd. For every Defense of Marriage Act, there is a Respect for Marriage Act. And for every extremist, there are many more Americans who support LGBTQ+ rights.

Our nation is greater than hate -- and we must act now to end this emergency and secure equality for every American, without exception.

-- Kelly Robinson (Human Rights Campaign) testifying before the US Senate (see Friday's "Iraq snapshot" ).

Truest statement of the week II

Changing what needs to be changed, this is an apt description of Cornel West. In his interviews and remarks, West makes certain points that are generally ignored or excluded from the media—noting, for example, that the war over Ukraine was provoked by the expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders. But these are washed over by the overpowering wave of vague generalities and moralistic slogans in which nothing is worked through in a systematic way.

Everyone, it seems, no matter how rotten his or her politics, is his “dear brother” or “dear sister,” with whom West proclaims deep sympathy and agreement on many things, from the Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and the Green Jill Stein, to the fascistically inclined RFK, Jr. and Joe Rogan. Everyone is his friend because he has no firmly held views of his own.

West elevates unseriousness and pragmatic maneuvers to the level of a principle in and of itself. He is a “jazz man in world politics,” West proclaims in his campaign video, “and the jazz man is always about improvisation, always about compassion, always about style, and always about a smile.”


-- Joseph Kishore, "Cornel West’s campaign for US president: A pragmatic and bankrupt muddle" (WSWS).

A note to our readers


Hey --

Somehow Sunday -- and not just here on the west coast, on the east coast as well -- and in between!

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?


Joseph Kishore gets another truest.

Where's our Iraq piece!  We had it.  We can't find it.  More on that at the end.  This is Ava and C.I.'s piece on media and the campaigns of Marianne Williamson and Cornel West.  It's a great piece and why we're up with the edition this early.  Ava and C.I. had just finished the discussion -- book discussion -- with Isaiah and Stan and typed it up and said they were done.  No one blamed them.  They were actually up all night working on this and other things.  But we were just reading this and were like, "No, no, give us one more hour and we'll have a whole edition up."

The roundtable was done before Ava and C.I. finished the book piece but we were typing it.  And it ends with C.I. who, thank goodness, went with an overview type wrap up comment.  Maybe that way people won't notice that the roundtable wasn't over.  Not only did we not get to type my usual ending sentence or two but Dona also had a bit that was after C.I. spoke.  We honestly forgot it wasn't finished -- the typing wasn't finished -- when we posted it.  Oh well.

The book discussion.

We quickly worked on that and other things in the hour we were given to wrap up the edition.

Thank you, sincerely, to Kyle for doing what so many others refuse to do.

We really are getting tired of you reporting on one another.  Seriously.  Just stop.

Jess remembered this while we were rushing for (Dona's words) "Short pieces!" to finish this edition.

Books covered in the community.

There was another one vying.  The other one was Luqman explaining how she had to give herself a shot with a photo to illustrate.  We probably should have done two Tweets of the week and included them both.  (Trina suggested the medical one.)

Isaiah's book review.

Stan's book review.

Ava and C.I. wrote this with memebers of the community and it went up at various community websites on Thursday.  We're only publishing now so we're including it.

Dona hoped to do a piece on this hearing but, again, we were rushing to get things pulled together.

What we listened to while working on this edition.

Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


We had an Iraq piece.  No one can figure out where it is.  It was put into Blogger/Blogspot.  We don't know what happened.  But we're not going to wait any longer.  Ava and C.I. have been up since 6 am on Saturday and it is now Sunday at 11:03 am (PST) so we need to keep our promise because they're both ready to head to bedrooms and crash.




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



Media: Marianne's campaigning for right wingers, Cornel's trying to destroy The Green Party

We're over sixteen months away from the next presidential election and yet the contenders currently soaking up attention are a real mess.  


That's good news for Marianne Williamson.  Means she could still turn her campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination around.  We're not saying she will, we're just saying she could.

We've been noting -- before the press did (POLITICO has been especially covering her campaign) that she has control issues and trouble communicating appropriately with staff.  She's also now lost not one but two campaign managers.  It shouldn't be this difficult for her to carry out another little-chance-in-hell campaign for the nomination.  She managed to do that, after all, in 2020 barely breaking a sweat.

So what's changed?

Her lackeys have convinced her that she has a real shot at the nomination.  Krystal Ball especially has worked hard to pimp Marianne but scared off potential voters when she loudly hectored them to in that infamous grow-up-get-real-speech/attack.

Maybe it's time The Merry Mariannes got real.  Their candidate is in serious trouble and needs to right her ship immediately before it capsizes.

Williamson is running a lousy campaign.  Lousy.  It's worse than what she did in 2019 and 2020 where she at least came off real and genuine.  Who the hell is this Marianne?

Three still with the campaign spoke to us to try to explain what the problem is. 

As they detail it, the problem is Marianne.  Specifically, the problem is that she doesn't know who she is anymore.

For example, June's about to pass with Marianne never uttering the words "Happy Pride."  Yes, that is a change from 2019's campaign.   We're pulling these Pride Tweets from 2019 to the real time repost of them that went up at THE COMMON ILLS June 9, 2019 (we, Ava and C.I., write these media pieces here, C.I.'s solo site is THE COMMON ILLS): 

  • As Americans and others in free societies celebrate LGBTQ + pride this weekend, let's remember LGBTQ + people in repressive societies who live at the mercy of hate and even state-sponsored violence against them. Some even might be reading this. May they know they are not forgotten.
    Why is pride important? Because shame is an act of emotional violence. We should more than tolerate our differences; we should celebrate our differences, and see the richness of our diversity as the source of our collective strength.
    Those on the contemporary spiritual journey are like sleeping giant, neglected in the last few years into a dysfunctional slumber of political disengagement. But that was then and this is now. If that giant awakens, the power will be staggering.
    Whether it's prejudice against LGBTQ +, blacks, Jews, Muslims or anyone else, it's all the same spiritual malfunction active in the world: deep fear & exclusion of the other. The only antidote? Deep love & inclusion active in the world. Everywhere. All the time. Now.


    There are five days left of Pride Month as we type this.  Yet Marianne's offered not one damn Tweet the whole month.  Go back and look at her June 2019 Tweets and you'll see many more than just the four noted above.


    What's happened? 

    She styled herself -- and came to fame -- in the 90s with the hogwash of RETURN TO LOVE which deeply effected some -- not all -- gay men dying from AIDS.  It's a given that Barbra Streisand owes her career to gay men because they were the ones applauding her and turning out for her long before she was a name.  Though she's not keen on any of her fans, Barbra does usually trying to acknowledge and reach out to the core group that made her.   Bette Davis could be a bit of a homophobe (some would argue 'But for her time . . .') and did not embrace gay men the way Joan Crawford did.  But both actresses courted their gay fans and knew they owed a great deal to them. Currently, it appears Madonna would have no following at all were it not for the elder gays who have been with her from the start.  So it's a bit strange to watch Marianne act as though she just saw someone she owes money to walk in the room whenever LGBTQ+ issues are raised.


    At present, she's done 58 seconds on LGBTQ+ in a video -- after being asked about it.  In May, she appeared before a college group, Student Democrats at Emory College, and was surprised to find them asking her about the issue:

    After being asked about the U.S. House of Representatives’ decision to pass legislation on April 20 that would ban Transgender athletes from competing at schools that receive federal funding, the candidate said that such issues should be handled on a case-by-case basis.

    “There are ways to scientifically determine whether or not, in terms of hormones and muscle mass, it is a fair contest,” Williamson said. “Whatever is a fair contest is what should determine what happens in that school.”


    That's pretty much it from Marianne -- there's one more, we're holding it for a moment -- which is a huge contrast to her earlier run.  For example, in 2019, she was happy to speak to THE WASHINGTON BLADE -- one of the nation's leading LGBTQ+ periodicals.  From that article:

    “I’ve worked with thousands of people during that time, during the AIDS crisis, spiritual support groups, food, etcetera.,” Williamson said. “So actually, my activism on behalf of that community has been ongoing and began during the AIDS crisis, so my connection to that community has been strong and has been going on for a very long time.”

    In the aftermath of racist tweets from President Trump and presiding over a rally in which supporters chanted “send her back” in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Williamson likened the current administration to Nazi Germany before World War II.

    Asked what aspect of the Trump administration’s anti-LGBT record bothers her the most, Williamson identified the transgender military ban, saying Trump “in many ways, leads the pack” in cultural attitudes against transgender people.

    When the Blade asked Williamson why she thinks Vice President Mike Pence seems so uncomfortable with the idea of gay rights, she laughed and referenced rumors that Pence is himself gay without explicitly saying so.

    “Well, there are all kinds of theories about that, aren’t there?” Williamson said. “Everyone can have their own — can have their own. I have no idea, but I have a sense that other people do.”

    Remembering Los Angeles as being hard hit by AIDS in the 1980s because it affected many people in the entertainment industry and LGBT people, Williamson became emotional and unable to speak when she reflected on the ravages of the disease.

    “Those of us who did experience it, it imprints them,” Williamson said. “You’re imprinted with something. I can’t even talk about it now and not —“


    Also in 2019,  she appeared at the LGBTQ Presidential Forum and, when not rewriting history with regards to hogwash during the AIDS crisis -- she insisted she opposed "conversion therapy" and a ban on transgender persons serving in the US military and she insisted that, had she been Donald Trump when Ben Carson mocked and insulted transgender persons, she would have fired him as Secretary of HUD.

    There are many, many more examples.  So why is she so silent today?

    The ACLU, for example, just noted this month:

    We celebrate Pride this year in defiance of the almost 500 anti-LGBTQ bills pending or passed in state legislatures around the country. Unsurprisingly, these attacks are turning to the criminal legal system to enforce homophobia and transphobia:

    • Bills that would criminalize health care providers and families of trans children for providing necessary and life-saving gender affirming care.
    • Bills that would criminalize drag performances.

    That was not happening in 2019 when Marianne could find her voice.

    We were told at the start of last week that we were missing one moment where Marianne stood up.  We were asked if we wanted talk about that because, we were told, it's why she's so silent now.

    June 4th, her campaign published a column -- largely from an idea by Marianne herself -- entitled "Transgender Americans Are Americans."  It was a brave stand and it left her reeling. 

    The person who fleshed out her idea into a column?  Berated in front of everyone.  Attacked for "risking" her campaign.  Huh?

    Marianne still hasn't read the full column -- which doesn't speak well for her as a candidate since any reporter can read it and might ask about what 'she' wrote -- but she did pour over the comments.  And she's a bit of a dope, always has been.  Which is how she failed to grasp that the majority of the negative comments are actually coming from just two transphobes -- one of whom, a man, claims he may not vote for her due to her support of transgender people but, elsewhere online, you'll learn that he was never going to vote for her and he hates all leftists.  The other is a New Age woman who pulls out every sad trope you could expect other than blaming the transgendered for 'crimes' in past lives resulting in the 'karma' of being born in the wrong bodies this life.  That nonsense, by the way, actually does exist.  You can be vegan and New Age and also deeply homophobic and deeply racist -- even with all your healing crystals and your aligned chakras. 

    This sent Marianne reeling, we were told in a group conversation on Saturday.  

    She wasn't reeling from the transphobia being expressed.  No, she was amazed that a 'Libertarian' had been supporting her.  It proved, she insisted, that she had a wide base.  She needed to cultivate them -- these right wingers -- and this is when she began berating the staffer who actually wrote the piece. 

    She's okay with the hate expressed against transgender people in the comments because, to her, the big news is that she can court the right-wing.

    And that's why she's done nothing else for Pride Month.

    Marianne sees her path to the Democratic Party's presidential nomination secured just as long as she can bring homophobic Libertarians into the Democratic Party's primaries and caucuses.  Now some may say that the problem there is that there are Democratic Party primaries in some states that are closed -- meaning only declared Democrats can vote in them.

    We'd say if you think that's the problem with her strategy and not the fact that she's abandoning core beliefs -- selling out an entire group of people she stood with just a few years ago -- then you're as pathetic as she's become.


    Did someone say Chris Hedges?

    Chris Hedges is running Cornel West's campaign to distract the American people.  As we noted last time, it was Chris that got the presidential nomination for Cornel from The People's Party and that the original plan was that Chris would be Cornel's running mate; however, Eunice Wong (Chris' wife) said no to Chris running.  The People's Party imploded the moment Cornel made his announcement because the mainstream press finally had a reason to write about the nut-jobs of that 'party' who are racists (or just believe in embracing racism) and who sexually harass women and who . . . You get the idea.  To save his image, Cornel needed a new narrative.  So Chris joined with Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka in trying to convince The Green Party to give Cornel their nomination for president.  They said no.  They said he could run for it, like anyone can, but they weren't giving it to him.  

    To distract the people, Chris and Cornel were dispatched to go the liars and the fools and the ones you know are too stupid to ask real questions.  Which is how, for example, Cornel or "Cornell" as they spelled it, ended up on various YOUTUBE shows with him being portrayed as the nominee of The Green Party.  One person, we're being kind, changed her headline after being called out at THE COMMON ILLS to make clear that despite what the interview portrayed he was not the nominee.

    But would have been better if you could've grasped that reality on your own.

    Worried that might be an issue -- it should have been -- Cornell continued his outreach and ended up on BLACK POWER MEDIA where he was surprised to find real questions.  White folks hadn't asked him a single real question.  They just nodded and shucked and grinned with him.  He was there way of signaling virtue and that's so much better, isn't it, than actually bringing on African-American voices to speak about issues -- or at least they think it is.  

    Pressed, Cornel spilled all the tea.  Told everything about Chris Hedges and the whole backdoor dealing to grab a presidential nomination and how Chris was going to be his running mate and all these other details that never made it in to Chris' 'reporting' about Cornel's run or to Chris' media appearances (YOUTUBE) promoting Cornel's run.  

    Last week, Jill Stein officially joined the campaign.  

    She's convinced she can sell Cornel to the Greens and make him their nominee.


    This is the woman who couldn't even get registered Greens to vote for her. And she's going to steer the nomination to Cornel?  There's a Karen stepping forward every minute, usually dialing 911.  And this is Jill's moment to sour in the sun and grasp just how unimportant and unliked she truly is. 

    Self-promotion and her trips to Russia made her the Green that people like Katie Halper wanted to speak to on their shows.  She failed in her 2012 presidential run and in her 2016 presidential run.  May she bring that same level of incompetence to Cornel's campain.

    For now, Ajuma Baraka's largely working behind the scenes but deliberately avoiding the spotlight as he realizes that his links to  9/11 Truth and other controveries  could harm Cornel's attempt to seize the presidential nomination.  The two did manage to show up for an interview on BLACK POWER MEDIA with 'brother Kalonji.'  Brother?  Yeah, Ajamu was serving up the same garbage that Cornel does.  Would have been nice if it had been a real interview but Jill was giggling and laughing and tossing her old crone hair around.  She wanted to talk about medicine -- we need a big healing -- but she doesn't trot that snake oil out to the corporate media because they know she's a quack.  There were jokes about Russia and there was nothing of value.

    Kalonji?  We don't know what to say here.  You're a nice person but you don't get that an interview requires knowledge and work.  Green Party right now?  It's a war.  It's a war over who's going to control it.  And there were things said in that interview that sailed right over your head because you didn't know a damn thing about the party. 

    And most people don't.  But when you've got Green liars who are butt hurt over 2020's nomination still and they want to bring up, for example, Dr Margaret Flowers?  They're treading on a whole block of ice that you're going to slip on, land on your ass and look like a fool.

    The Green Party has suffered a real blow of late and 2024 could kill it off completely.  2020 saw a bunch of butt hurt whining about the results of the convention.  Excuse us, lying about the results of the convention.  Dario Hunter, for example, was running for the presidential nomination of the party and then went on Cindy Sheehan's radio show where he accused Dr Flowers (and her late husband Kevin Zeese) of stealing the nomination from him and giving it to Howie Hawkins.  Cindy, not the best interviewer herself, just nodded along and fed into garbage.  

    A real interviewer would have said, "So, Dario, you say it was stolen from you.  Can you tell me how you worked to get the word out on your campaign?"

    Or, better yet, "Howie Hawkins issued press releases several times every week as he ran for the nomination, he Tweeted non-stop and had an active social media presence.  By contrast, you did nothing.  There were whole weeks while you were 'campaigning' in which you didn't do a single Tweet.  While he was doing video interviews, you weren't.  You issued few press releases.  Since you didn't have the money to mount a campaign in all 50 states -- or even the 48 of the mainland -- exactly how did you think word was going to get out on your campaign?"

    It took a lot of nerve for Stein and Baraka (not "Barack" as one White YOUTUBER put as the title of their fawning video of him) to invoke Margaret Flowers' name considering their behind the scenes garbage pulled against both Kevin Zeese and his wife.

    How do they get away with this?  They get away it because no one pays attention to The Green Party.  

    That may seem harsh but it's true.  There was a Green that we promoted up until around 2008.  She wasn't a candidate.  She was a blogger and she was a Green.  We found her, honestly, facile.  But we wanted to include all voices.  So we'd work in a link here or there.  And we'd exchange e-mails with her and try to encourage her to speak up. (She never would, and in 2008, would vote Democrat, promote Barack Obama and apparently never look back at life as she crossed over to ON THE NEUTERED SIDE.)

    Speak up?

    We're not Greens.  We've never presented ourselves as Greens.  But we've got a stronger body of work on The Green Party -- more positive, yes -- than Green bloggers from the '00s.  

    We're the ones calling out Amy Goodman for devoting a week each presidential year -- a week of shows -- to the Democratic Party's convention and to the Republican Party's convention.  During that week -- which usually sees the one hour daily show expanded to two hours -- they get non-stop coverage.  Now The Green Party also has a national convention.  If they're lucky, Amy Goodman devotes one paragraph to them in headlines on the Monday after the convention.  One paragraph.

    Sad but true -- and in fairness to Amy, that one paragraph is often more than any other left outlet -- print, online, radio, YOUTUBE, etc -- offers.

    So it's easy for a Dario or a Jill to lie and get away with it.

    Which is why you should be questioning the hype machine.  What the hell has Cornel ever done to rate any kind of coverage?  Nothing.

    But for some reason, the YOUTUBERS who have ignored The Green Party are suddenly obsessed with him and promoting him like crazy.  Where was that attention when Will Lehman was running to be the president of the UAW and when Will was raising real issues about union leadership betraying the workers?

    Katie Halper, THE VANGUARD, DUE DISSIDENCE, Jimmy Dore, THE CONVO COUCH, USEFUL IDIOTS, et al, not one of them -- not one damn one -- bothered to mention Will, let alone invite him on as a guest.

    Cornel's useless and a waste of time.  And you know that because these same people -- who claim to care about workers -- couldn't be bothered with Will Lehman but can't stop shoving Cornel down your throat.  

    For a Green Party candidate, this hype is unparalleled. 

    And that's your first clue that he's not going to accomplish anything.  Emma Goldman famously pointed out, "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."  And if a candidate had a chance of changing anything, they'd bury them.  They'd bury them and ignore them, the way these YOUTUBERS ignored Will Lehman. 

    Cornel showed up on ALJAZEERA last week where they flattered him and pretended he had a campaign with actual plans.  Grasp that if a snowball survives in hell and Cornel somehow manages to become president, he's going to need to learn on the job how to do the job.  He's never held elected office.  So he needs to come in prepared which means actual plans.  He has none.  He sloganeers while pretending that speechifying is the same as planning.   He didn't do the kind of pandering he did on THE CONVO COUCH where he suddenly became open to anti-vax and open to COVID being created in a Chinese laboratory and all the other things those hosts believe in.  But he was still pandering.  And he got away with it.  ALJAZEERA gave him over 23 minutes of time and he couldn't come up with a single plan.  

    He seems to try to argue that plans aren't needed, that he's like a jazz musician -- see Joseph Kishore's report for WSWS -- but of politics.

    That analogy does not work on any level.  But let's keep it to the simplest level.  Jazz musician's do not make it up as they go along.  They may riff and they may improvise but this is around an existing musical plan -- known as a "song."  We don't expect Cornel to grasp that because while we actually can play jazz, Cornel studied the violin and that's really not an instrument that people clamor for in a jazz combo.  Cornel learned to play by rote and was supposedly very good at marches and classical pieces in high school.  He had no flair or exceptional talent.  And we think that kind of describes his politics which seems to boil down to repeating everything Bernie said in 2016 and 2019 but adding "brother" and "sister" and "crack pipe" and "Tony! Toni! Tone!" to it.  For Cornel, that passes as improv.

    As bad as Cornel is, he could be worse, he could be his puppet master Chris Hedges.


    Chris remains a part of the campaign while pretending to the media that he's just an observer.  And the media let's him get away with that.  


    From Friday's  "Iraq snapshot:" 


     Briahana Joy Gray.  You know her.  She's a co-host of RISING.  Remember them?  Remember when two of the hosts went to town on transgender people and it was left to Olayemi Olurin to call them out?  Now when Katie Halper got dropped (for calling out the inhumane treatment of Palestinians), Bri-Bri wondered if she should leave-leave.  But, hey, she's happy to sit right next to Robbie and giggle each day never being bothered by his  (continued) transphobic remarks.  So that tells you about Bri-Bri.  She was the press secretary on Bernie Sanders' last campaign.  Some might think she'd have a career but no Democratic Party candidate will touch her.  Has to do with the end of Sanders campaign.

    So yesterday, she's giggling with Chris Hedges.  She's lying with him too -- and maybe we'll cover at THIRD -- because that's what they do, they stroke each other and lie for each other and pretend for each other and in their tiny bubble they appear to have influence as a result.   

    Tired of Cornel West's clowning yet?  Greens are already grumbling about him being in the race.  And that was before Chris started his latest nonsense:

    Now the Green -- I've had a long relationship with the Greens. It can be pretty dysfunctional as well.  It's got to really open its doors to a whole new generation of activists -- whether they do that or not, I don't know because it's -- some of these Green Parties are just a collection of like old cranks --

    Bri interrupts to giggle and play with hair, smooth it out on both sides -- it should remind you of the following scene in  ABOUT LAST NIGHT.  

    While she flirts, he finishes with "who want to put their name on the ballot to be governor or something."

    So this is Chris Hedges.  An old crank himself.  Unless you just want to call him a prig.  And the fact that he lied on the front page of THE NEW YORK TIMES in an article 'reporting' Iraq was linked to 9/11 -- it was not linked, the story was garbage fed to Chrissy.  It was the first one to start that lie.  But that doesn't deter Chrissy or Bri-Bri.

    So what he's doing is making fun of the Green Party.  He's mocking them.  And that should be enough.  He's the one who got Conrel the People's Party nomination and he and Cornel were supposed to run as a ticket but Chris' wife said no.  Chris then spent his time trying to strong arm the Green Party into gifting Cornel the nomination.  That did not happen and he's been a pissy little priss ever since.

    But when he's knocking the Green Party, you may not be getting the back story.

    "Rage Against The War Machine."  Remember that pathetic nonsense.  Small turn out.  That surprised them.  Because who wouldn't want to be onstage with a convicted pedophile like Scott Ritter and who wouldn't want to be among the many racists invited to the event and the homophobes?

    Turns out most people didn't want to be.  And, in fact, the Green Party had to release a statement about that nonsense because lies were being spread that they were a part of the group.  They were not.

    Chrissy Hedges was.  He spoke there.  He'll do anything for attention.  With that in mind, again, this is what he said to Bri:

    Now the Green -- I've had a long relationship with the Greens. It can be pretty dysfunctional as well.  It's got to really open its doors to a whole new generation of activists -- whether they do that or not, I don't know because it's -- some of these Green Parties are just a collection of like old cranks --

    Yep, he's trashing the party -- as Cornel's spokesperson -- and he's also complaining about the fact that the Green Party actually has ethics and doesn't get on stage with registered sex offenders and Nazis and other hate merchants.  Chrissy thinks they need to get with the program.


     So he insults the Greens.  And Bri-Bri finds it hilarious.

    Because she's not a journalist.  She's a hack and a really dumb idiot.

    Let's pretend you have your own YOUTUBE show -- you could, Bri proves anyone can -- and you have a guest come on to promote someone trying to capture The Green Party's nomination.  Don't you think after they insulted the party, you would ask them about that?  You would probe that?  Maybe note that it's probably not helping Cornel if his media guy is attacking the party.

    How about this.  What if, as the interview went on, he revealed that his 2020 run for Congress -- which lasted maybe a day before he bowed out, wasn't a real run?  What if he said, "I wasn't going to mount a real campaign?"  Would you just. as Bri-Bri did, continue to giggle and smile at him while nodding along like either a lobotomized idiot or the most desperate whore in the world?  Shouldn't  you get to the point and say, "You announced a run and yet you never planned to mount a real campaign?  If we were dumb enough to believe you back then, why should we be dumb enough to believe you now about Cornel?"

    Bri-Bri was too impressed with the empty suit Cornel and blathered idiotically on about how The Green Party was "finally getting someone who has a lot of culture traction, name recognition."  First off, stop wetting your panties, Bri-Bri, he's not the party's nominee yet.  Second, Ralph Nader.  He was the 2000 candidate and he was then -- and is now -- more famous than Cornel could ever hope to be.  Ralph was a house hold name.  His work for consumer rights made him that.  His seventies credits include THE TODAY SHOW, THE DAVID FROST SHOW, THE DICK CAVETT SHOW, DONAHUE, KIDS ARE PEOPLE TOO, THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JOHNNY CARSON (guested three times), THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, THE MERV GRIFFIN SHOW -- that's just the 70s and it's not all of the shows he appeared upon.  He also wasn't looked down on for being an egghead. No, he spoke to the people, he did not lecture them and was not an egghead like Cornel.  

    Ralph also wasn't a punchline.  Cornel's spent most of his career being a punchline. 

    Bri-Bri's a dumb idiot who gets dumber every day.  How she manages to live that down, we have no idea.  Most idiots like that would have long ago rushed for the shadows and not returned. 

    But like the Jessica Simpson of the faux political set, Bri-Bri just keeps coming back, basically saying, "Watch to see what idiotic thing I'm going to say next!"  Somehow she always manages to top herself when it comes to stupidity.  And she did chatting up Chris Hedges.  She referred to The Green Party as "old hippies from the previous generation."  She's not been to a Green Party convention.  She's not looked at the stats that explain The Green Party has more likely support from people 24 and under.  She doesn't know a damn thing.

    Chuck Todd's leaving MEET THE PRESS or maybe he's already gone.  Either way, good riddance.  But we bring that up because of USEFUL IDIOTS.  The show now stars Katie Halper and Aaron Matte.  And it really has outlived its purpose.  They think they're cute each Monday tellings us how they suffer through the Sunday chat & chews "so you don't have to."  Yeah, they stole that from bloggers.  In the '00s, you had plenty of them saying that.  It's tired.  And that focus -- like Chuck Todd -- needs to retire.  They don't offer anything of value.  They're not smart enough to wing it and they won't do the work required to raise their intelligence.  So what they offer each Monday is their own gas bagging about the gas bagging that took place on Sunday.

    This is the reality of too many YOUTUBERS including Bri-Bri.  They gasbag and that's all they do.  Facts don't matter.  She serves up false stereotypes while pretending that's she's doing something needed and important.  Honey, you're a whore and you're a really dumb whore.

    To THE VANGUARD boys, Bri is god.  To them and others we quote Demi Moore in THE BUTCHER'S WIFE, "Well you ought to get out more." 

    Because she's right up there with Rachel Maddow when it comes to exaggerated praise for her supposed intelligence.  She's spewing on about "the younger, Bernie-esque energy" and how Greens need to summon that.  Huh?  In the end there was none.  For brief moments, it appeared the were momentum from Bernie's supporters.  But in the end, where were they?  

    Bri should know that better than anyone.  Not only was she part of that campaign but she she tried to rally the energy after  Bernie dropped out and endorsed Joe Biden, Bernie publicly rebuked her.

    Do you remember a mob of support going Bri-Bri's way?  No, just members of the YOUTUBE circle-jerk.  

    Serial plagiarist Chris Hedges  had the brains to not reply when Bri-Bri started talking about Green Party members "white-knuckling it" (yes, she was trying to paint them as a White party) and refusing to let new blood in.   If only this stupid woman spent as much time doing research as she did doing her eye make up, she might be able to talk for five minutes without being a complete freak show embarrassment. 

    Chrissy did say, "You can't ask people to come into an organization and immediately be part of a hierarchy."  That's exactly what a political party is.  But what Chris wants is for People's Party members to invade The Green Party and take it over to give Cornel the nomination.

    Greens need to be paying attention.  No one's waring you what's taking place.  And it didn't start today.  This has been going on for weeks.  Within The Green Party, they're talking about it -- including to us.  But this needs to be all over the internet.  Cornel failed with The People's Party and now the goal is to hijack The Green Party and bend it towards the right-wing.  

    For that to work it's going to take a lot of whoring from a lot of whores.  Bri's up for the job as evidenced by this nonsense:

     Briahana Joy Gray: I've heard you were asked in an interview if you were going to be part of Cornel West's campaign --

    Chris Hedges laughs.

     Briahana Joy Gray (Con't): -- and you said something along the lines of "I'm trying not to be!" but you're getting sucked in! What's the status of that now?

    Chris Hedges:  Well Cornel's a friend of mine over many, many years so I'm definitely sucked in.

    He's been a part of the campaign since before Cornel announced it and dirty whore Bri-Bri knows that.  She's conning you and working a grift and you're a damn fool if you fall for it.  

    We're the ones who said, "Hold on a minute" back when everyone was convinced that all we had to do was get rid of the gasbags.  We're the ones who said, cut off Cokie Roberts head and watch a dozen and a half bloggers sprout up in her place saying the exact crap that they called her out for.

    And that really is how it's gone.

    Reality for Katie Halper and Aaron Matte, Chuck Todd didn't start out wanting to whore.  He thought he had ethics and he thought he was going to be able to change things.  Little by little, day by day, he got co-opted and corrupted.  Just like the two of you.  Since you are your own bosses, unlike Chuck, you do have the opportunity to get back to where you started when ethics actually mattered to you.  If they still do, maybe stop turning every headache of your friend Matt Transphobe Taibbi into a segment?  Maybe grasp that the world doesn't revolve around Matt and that there are serious issues out there -- including the war on LGBTQ+ members, the one you ignore.  Maybe grasp that you've become what you used to mock and the only thing sadder than that is you appearing not to have noticed.  Sixteen months away from a presidential election and you could make a difference.  You won't do that by avoiding reality or by cooing to your guests (friends).  That's exactly how Chuck Todd wound up a joke, stop thinking this film  somehow ends differently for you.


    Jim: Roundtable time again. And a lot to cover.  Remember our e-mail address is and we can also be reached via  Participating in our roundtable are  The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and me, Jim; 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); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz); Ruth of Ruth's Report;  Wally of The Daily Jot;  Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub. Betty's kids did the illustration. You are reading a rush transcript.

     Jim (Con't): So news roundtable and Dona, Ty, Jess and I selected items.  Tatyana Tandanpolie (SALON) reported

    House Republicans are growing tired of their right-wing colleagues' attempts to impeach President Joe Biden and investigate his family after Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., filed a privileged motion Tuesday on articles of impeachment she introduced against the president.
    Boebert surprised many of her colleagues on the floor when she filed the motion, which would force a vote to impeach Biden as early as this week. The articles relate to Biden's handling of the U.S.-Mexico border and allege his dereliction of duty and abuse of power. 
    The hardline conservative's critics have called her move premature and assert that it will harm the ongoing Republican investigation into the Biden family's alleged international financial schemes and undermine future attempts at impeachment, The Hill reports.

    Jim: Thoughts?

    Wally: Should Elaine have first go since she covers this?  

    Jim: Good point.  Elaine covers Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert at her site regularly.  Elaine, any thoughts?

    Elaine: Sure.  I think the article outlines a real concern on the part of Republicans.  Lauren is raising the stakes and it could be very disappointing if she's screwed up.  In addition, a screw up on this could also exhaust the patience of the American public.  Let's say there was reason to pursue an impeachment against Joe Biden -- I'm not saying there is -- Lauren doing this on her own without guidance from House leadership increases the likelihood that she will fail. If she does fail, she's exhausted America's patience and also created -- via failure -- that there's nothing to impeach him for or her attempt would have been successful.  Therefore, a second attempt by the House Republicans would be a bigger struggle because most Americans would be like, "Wait, didn't they just try this?  And didn't it fail?  Aren't there issues that they need to be focused on, real ones?"

    Wally: Okay, I'll just add that I agree with Elaine and not only would it try America's patience it could harm Republicans in the 2024 elections.  She was an idiot to do this on her own and go 'rogue.'

    Betty: And thank you, Jesus, for making Lauren an idiot.

    Jim: Because?

    Betty: I'm all for anything that helps the Republicans lose control of the House.  In fact, I hope they all, every single one of them, each week, week after week, bring impeachment charges against Joe.  The American people will turn on them.  Thank you, Jesus, for making Lauren so deeply, deeply stupid.

    Dona: Next item is also about Republicans. Alex Griffing (MEDIAITE) reports that Chris Christie, one-time governor of New Jersey now seeking the Republican Party's presidential nomination had some remarks to make on TV last week:

    “Brian, you know, I just don’t want to see our government getting more and more intrusive in everybody’s life, getting bigger,” Christie replied, adding:

    I don’t think anything can replace parents when you’re talking about major decisions that are needs to be made by our children. And I will tell you this. I want all parents out there to think about something. How many other decisions do you want the government making for you in your home regarding your kids? I don’t want any of those decisions made by the government. Parents are the ones who love their children the most, who care about their children the most, who understand their children the most. And parents should be the ones making these decisions.

    “So if a 14-year-old comes home and says, I really want to start switching genders, that’s the parent’s decision?” Kilmeade asked.

    “I’ll tell you, it’s more of a parent’s decision than it’s a governor’s decision, for goodness sakes, Brian, you really think that Sarah Huckabee Sanders should be making this decision for children in Arkansas?” Christie insisted.

    “I love Sarah. I think she’s a great person and a really good governor. But I don’t think she would ever allow the government to substitute her judgment as a mother for their judgment. And that’s what I’m saying. I would want any government official coming in and telling me what decisions I could help my child through and how I should do it. And I want those decisions to be made by parents, not by the government,” Christie concluded.

    Dona (Con't): Thoughts?

    Ruth: It is only one issue but he is the only one in the race for the GOP's nomination who has gotten it right so far.  That is the perfect answer.  It is no one's business but the parents or guardians.  I find nothing to nitpick regarding that.  C.I.'s made that point, Chris Hayes has made that point and, in the Senate hearing that C.I. covered last week, a US senator made that point.

    Dona: C.I.?

    C.I.: It was one of Delaware's senators, Senator Chris Coons.  He's quoted in Friday's snapshot but I will pull the comments he made to a witness.  He stated:
    Mr. Sharp, if I might, in your written testimony, you criticize schools for trying to replace parents as the ultimate determents of what's best for their children when it comes to things like teaching about LGBTQ rights and issues but, if I understand you correctly from your spoken testimony, you also think parents should be barred from making medical care decisions about their own children in the case of gender affirming care as described by Dr Lopez. Which one is it? Are parents in charge of what's in the best interests of their children or not?

    C.I. (Con't): We're not wasting time on the lies Sharp tried to offer.

    Ruth:  Good for the senator.  I do not see how that statement or position -- or former Governor Chris Christie's statements -- are controversial.  They go straight to the heart of what we have always believed in this country when it comes to the rights of parents.

    Marcia: I support that.  Who is the government to come and tell you what kind of medical treatment your child can have?  The Republicans arguing for that -- Ron DeSantis, Nikki Hayley and other losers -- are arguing for eroding the legal rights of parents.  Shame on them.  

    Dona: On the topic of trans issues, C.I.'s repeatedly made a point that Senator Dick Durbin made in last week's hearing.  You can see Friday's snapshot.  But I wanted to comment because I repeatedly found stories online while looking and would think, "This is big." And then I would see that it wasn't the US.  Ava, I'm going to toss to you because I know you were at the hearing with C.I. as well.  Could you talk about the location of so many stories for FOX "NEWS"?

    Ava: Sure.  As C.I. has pointed out, the country is trying to navigate trans rights.  The hate merchants have gone after trans people in an attempt to take down LGBTQ+ period.  They can't go after gay men, for example, because they've played that card one time to many and it doesn't work anymore.  

    Isaiah: Ava, can I jump in for a second?

    Ava: Sure.

    Isaiah: I'm sorry.  I just want to first note that when C.I. started pointing this out, I'd read along and nod.  Might have thought "Interesting."  But all these months later?  I mean, talk about crystal ball time.  And that's good because I'm about to talk about Krystal Ball.  But all the things C.I. was warning about and seeing?  They were just emerging and if you go back now, you get how it was taking place and how a lot of us were missing it.  So an example of what Ava's saying. Remember when MonkeyPox was first popping up?  On that hideous garage dump BREAKING POINTS, Saagar twice tried to use it to target and attack gay men.  And I remember C.I. calling that out in real time as it happened.  And that goes to what Ava's talking about.  It wasn't working, it wasn't taking hold.  He and others tried to do it, try to whip up hysteria and hatred towards gay men.  And it was people -- not just C.I. but certainly C.I. in this community -- who stood up to these people that stopped them and made them realize, we need a new target.  Ava?

    Ava: Good points, thank you, Isaiah.  So Joe pointed out as Vice President that WILL & GRACE had helped put a  face on gay rights.  And it did as did the fact that so many brave people had come out to their friends and families and it was harder and harder to find a person who didn't know a gay person.  They were no longer the monsters that liars like Anita Hill painted them as, they were people you knew.  And it wasn't going to work on gay men.  So they turned it to transgender people and made them the focus.  FOX "NEWS" has been one of the most explicit examples of this.  And if you cover the US transgender news, time and again, the news here is the violence that so many African-American trans women are targeted with.  Over and over.  So what FOX "NEWS" does is try to grab stories that have nothing to do with tis country or with our laws or our system of government or anything and put them on as "IT'S A-HAPPENING!  BE SCARED!"  Which is how you get that freak -- the White British man who spent a fortune trying to make himself look Asian -- specifically like the K-Pop star he was worshiping -- worshiping like a god -- who then, for a few months, decided he was trans and then, a few months later decided he wasn't.  This freak tells lies all the time and gets media attention for it. And FOX "NEWS" brings him on to lie and scare America.  He doesn't live in the US, he's got nothing to do with us and for all his whining he didn't have surgery and he wasn't a child or a teenager.  So in the hearing, Dick Durbin called the nonsense of trying to pretend like we ere England or whatever else country to frighten and alarm America wasn't right.  That they were Europe and we were America.

    Dona: Right, I'm going to quote some of that:

    Durbin made a point to note that when a Supreme Court nominee appears before the Judiciary Committee, they will always be asked about what laws would influence them the most ("whether or not they're going to be influenced by foreign laws") and that the answer the Committee always wants, expects and receives is "US law."  

    Chair Dick Durbin:  The answer they're waiting for is, "I stick with America."  And now we have references to Europe as the standard-bearer in terms of where America should go for it's future.  Secondly, if we're called an outlier in that headline [that a Republican wanted noted], guilty as charged.  America's always been an outlier. A written Constitution for over two hundred years.  A Bill of Rights that people can depend upon. We are outliers.  No one in Europe can make the same claim.  So I would just start with the premise, I love Europe, I love Europeans, but we're Americans.  And when it comes to the decisions as basic as the rights of our individual citizens and freedoms, I think we've got a pretty good starting point with the Constitution and Bill of Rights. 

    Ava: And he's right.  And we all need to see what's going on.  And I'll echo Isaiah absolutely -- it was C.I.  She and I started calling it out in pieces we were doing here.  But she'd already seen it and already started calling it out at THE COMMON ILLS.  She was ahead of the curve.

    Cedric: I'm jumping in.  And if we're trying to keep track of who is speaking during the roundtable, I'm fine with using every second time I have to speak on this topic.  I know Wally and I and Betty and Ann often work together on a joint-post.  From day one at Wally's site, he's always run everything by C.I.  He uses her as a test audience -- we're trying to write humor posts most of the time.  And she'll laugh or sometimes not and we'll figure out what we did wrong -- if we have the time. Sometimes it's like, "Okay, it's late, that's good enough!"

    Wally: Exactly.

    Cedric: But if it's one of those times when we're really working it and C.I.'s saying "maybe change that word" and we're brainstorming we'll talk about things going on in the world.  And I bring that up because we get little mini-tutorials as a result.  So we got what C.I. was seeing probably within days after when she first started noticing it.  And Ava just said that "she was ahead of the curve" and Ava's right.  But, here's the thing, even if you weren't ahead of the curve, there's no reason now, today, to not see reality or to refuse to call it out but that is the reality for so many people.  And, sorry to Jess and Ty, don't know what stories they pulled, but I'm more than fine with staying on Dona's topic for the rest of the roundtable.

    Jim: Don't know if we've got enough to discuss but, yeah, we'll switch to time.  We usually do a designated time on these roundtables and call it then -- after trying to get everyone to speak.  Our plan for this one was to use a round of questions and then end it.  But, yeah, this is an important topic.  The media isn't covering it -- I'm not talking about you, USA TODAY, for example, I'm talking about 'left' media.  And we can certainly focus on this topic.  

    Rebecca: Then let me go because I won't sugar coat or spare any feelings.  I've already Tweeted to, for example, Katie Halper las week telling her that she was letting people down by refusing, month after month, to cover this story.  Let me go because I don't give a damn and I don't give a damn about some YOUTUBErs hurt feelings.  This is about people rights and their very lives and I'm not in the  mood to play.  Katie Halper on THE KATIE HALPER SHOW is a huge disappointment.  This is me speaking no one has to come after and clean up.  She's supposed to be a feminist.  Yet Katie, month after month, brings on more male guests than females.  In two years and counting, I don't remember her every addressing LGBTQ+ issues.  And even when she had the guy from the group The Ballet --

    C.I.:  Greg Goldberg.

    Rebecca: Thank you.  Even when she had him on as a guest, he's gay, she wasn't addressing LGBTQ+ issues.  I'm tired of it.  Are you left or not?  Are you a feminist or not?  I'm tired of it.  Now with the garbage that is USEFUL IDIOTS, fine.  You've got screwball Aaron Matte -- living through his last 30 minutes of being semi-attractive before he starts looking exactly like his father.  You're not responsible.  But you damn well are responsible for your own, solo show and you're failing.  If  you're not aware, now you are, fix it.  If you are aware?  You've committed a huge betrayal and I don't forgive.  And she's already on thin ice with me because she's Matt Taibbi's former co-host and there's no denying that he's a transphobe.  Translation, you've got a lot to make up for, Katie Halper.

    Trina: I support every word that Rebecca just said.  I have a son who's gay.  I'm watching this unfold, these hate merchants, in horror and wondering what the hell happened to our country? We had been moving forward and maturing and now we're left with Ron DeSantis and "Don't Say Gay"?  It's outrageous and it's unacceptable and I don't need some ugly witch named braying, "We can debate whether or not teenage girls should have to share locker rooms with biological males later. If the US continues down this war path, those questions won't matter." F**k you, Anya.

    Jim: We farm the audio of this out to HILDA'S MIX so they'll get to hear it but for those reading.  There was just this obvious silence that seemed to hang on for several minutes as we all just absorbed Trina's use of the f-word.  Trina's not Polly Purebread and we've certainly seen her heated before but this was huge time heated.  

    Trina: Well it is huge time to me period.  How dare that pompous witch.  Forget teenage, it's rude to all trans people and it's ignoring them all.  But when you think about it and about how at risk trans teenagers are?  I know this witch was mocking the striking writers so I know she's garbage.  But she's also garbage for that nonsense.

    Cedric: And, if I may, Trina, what war?  I'm sorry, she acts like she's the only person in the world.  First off, there's no war on Iran right now.  I'm coming back to that.  Second off, US troops are still on the ground in Iraq and in Syria, but she's not talking about that.  She's worried about Ukraine.  I'm to the point that these people are about to lose my support.  I have been against the proxy war from the start.  And -- 

    Ann: Don't you dare do Green Party!  I will tackle that.

    Cedric: Okay, gotta listen to my wife on that.  She'll grab the Green Party aspect.  But  all of Anya's 'work' on this issue hasn't done a damn thing.  Meanwhile trans people continue to suffer.  And their suffering has to wait per Anya because of her war work.  As Trina said, f**k you. Do we remember when CODEPINK dropped the Iraq War while Bully Boy Bush was in the White House and started their garbage of stop the war on Iran!  There was no war on Iran.  There's still been no war on Iran!  I wonder how many Iraqis are dead today because CODEPINK couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time?  I do know, Anya, if we can only focus on one thing at a time, we should be focusing on Americans being denied rights because that's happening right here in our own country.   Oh, and sky is falling Anya is convinced the world's about to end due to nuclear war at any moment. 

    Marcia: As someone who was in school when THE DAY AFTER aired on ABC, I've lived through this before.  I'm not going to be paralyzed by the fear of nuclear war.  I will call out nuclear weapons, I will call out countries that have them, I will argue against nuclear power -- check my face, I'm Black, not White like Katie Halper who, along with Aaron Matte brought on Oliver Stone to pimp nuclear power plants -- but I'm not going to be ruled by fear again.  It's the only emotion Anya has: Fear. 

    Stan: Cedric's right, we can do more than one thing at a time.  As an African-American, I don't accept ever telling anyone that now is not the time to discuss their rights and their freedoms.  It would have to be a White woman like Anya who'd make that argument.  Shame on her and anyone who tells someone that now is not the time to talk about their rights.  Shame on them.  People like Anya have a 101 reasons for not addressing issues about liberation and civil rights and 101 of them are garbage and lies.  They're just bigots and they hide behind garbage like that.  Speaking of bigots, the hate merchants of Moms for Liberty got caught quoting Hitler.  Does it get more embarrassing than that?  Sorry, Ann, think I just took it into the political campaigns.

    Jim: Ruth?

    Ruth: They are a hate group.  And RFK Jr. is about to do a rally with them so I am candidate-less.  As I wrote at my site finally, that is a big deal for me.  I thought he was different from his mother -- Ethel Kennedy is a raging homophobe.  She apparently blames gay men for not being able to turn her homely self into Jackie Kennedy or even Joan Kennedy.  Joan Kennedy had a lot of style, but no one had the style and chic that Jackie Kennedy did.  So Ethel Kennedy's a homophobe who raged against her own granddaughter and refused to attend the same-sex wedding and is she speaking for her son Robert as well.  Sorry.  It is a breaking point for me.  And to add one more thing, I noted Naomi Wolf.  Since I posted on Friday, she has Tweeted about her 'friends' Moms for Liberty.  Bye Naomi.  Did not have to agree with you on everything.  But when you promote a hate group -- a known hate group -- that is out to destroy LGBTQ+ rights, you have betrayed me, my grandson Jayson and yourself because it was not all that long ago that you had a book -- since pulled and pulped -- about attacks on LGBTQ+ people.  So you are dead to me.  Your looney chem-trail nonsense?  I could agree to disagree.  This?  Not playing.

    Jim: I think if we stay with politics and campaigns for a minute we can get back to Ann who wants to talk about the Greens.  Or maybe, Ann, can you just grab the lead right now?

    Ann: Sure. Who are you going to support this election when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues?  There is only one candidate right now.  Hopefully, others will emerge.  But the only candidate right now is . . . Joe Biden.  When DOBBS destroyed ROE, Clarence Thomas, in his opinion, made clear that birth control and marriage equality were his next targets.  Joe delivered.  Congress has made marriage equality legal, it's no longer just a court ruling.

    Jess: "Just a court ruling" because thanks to the crooked Supreme Court, precedent really doesn't exist anymore.

    Ann: Right. So Joe delivered it on both issues.  I'm a Green.  I'm not a fan of Joe Biden.  But I'm not going to lie and say he didn't keep his word.  He kept his word.  And I'm glad because I want our children -- Cedric and mine specifically -- to grow up in a world that suffers from too much love, not too much hate.   This is no small thing what Joe did.  He codified marriage equality -- both same sex and interracial.  As a Green, I have no problem pointing out that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama swore in 2008 that his first act as president would be to codify ROE.  Despite 8 years in the White House, he never did that and he never even tried to do it.  If he had done it, ROE would still be the law of the land today.  He made promises and he did not keep them.  Joe kept some promises.  Marianne Williamson?  That kook gets no respect from me when she doesn't do a damn thing to address the war on LGBTQ+ people.  She's a fake and fraud.  She was happy to use gay men with AIDS when she needed to market herself, she was happy to preach and sale snake oil to them.  But if she can't con them and make money off of it, she has no use for them.  And it's a point Trina made at her site in "If I were voting for president today . . . ."

    Dona: Let me be on record stating that Marianne is the least appealing candidate in the race currently and, please remember, Ron DeSantis is in the race as well.  But Marianne tries to act so concerned and caring yet she refuses to address this topic.  She's forever saying now and during her last run that the country needs healing and she can do it.  This from the woman turning LGBTQ+ rights into the elephant in the room that must not be spoken of.

    Jess: Mark Cornel West down as one of the many fake asses as well.  He can offer generalities and even say the word "gay."  But that's about it.  And he wants to be the Green Party nominee.

    Ann: That crusty lipped clown needs to sit his tired ass down and shut his mouth.  I'm not voting for him.  If we don't have a qualified Green candidate who addresses issues including but not limited to: The environment, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ rights, fixing our schools not with more useless tests but with real investment into the sciences, etc, I'm just not interested in voting Green and I won't.  Jess, you're a Green.

    Jess: Yeah, I'm not voting for Cornel.  I don't need lectures from a clown face fool going around saying "____'s on a crack pipe."  That's his whole shtick: "on a crack pipe, on a crack pipe, on a crack pipe."  Shut up old man.  Our party deserves better than you and we damn well better have some serious candidates running for the nomination.  

    Cedric: Sorry for piping in but I told you this is a topic I can stay on.  First off, as Ann said, Joe Biden has worked on this issue and does deserve credit.  And I don't say that just because she's my wife. 

    Ann: You say it because you're a Democrat.

    Cedric: Maybe.  But Joe has delivered.  Everyone else who should be supporting it?  They're running from it.  Like this is 1978 or something.  It's shameful and embarrassing.  The other side, they're not running from it, they're demonizing LGBTQ+ people.  And I don't support them and I don't support the cowards who stay silent.  Ann and my church?  They're addressing it.  Our preacher has been following C.I.'s coverage for months now.  And he's been bringing it up in services and how we need to realize that we are only strong when we stand together.  My church is all the way in on LGBTQ+ rights and I hope that will be the case for many other Black churches because (a) we're talking basic rights, (b) no one knows better than us the struggle for freedom, (c) when we lift up others, we lift up ourselves, (d) as Ava pointed out earlier, transgender people are being targeted and African-American trans women are especially being targeted.  This is not an abstract issue, it's one that requires real work and real attention.  Cornel does not appear to posses the skills or knowledge to lead on this issue.  Possibly that's because he's a Baptist  -- not a faith known for uplifting anyone but straight Christians and only wanting to listen to male straight Christians.

    Betty: He's Baptist?  Oh, Lord, we are in trouble.  And let's talk historical in the Black community.  We have turned our back on our LGBTQ+ brethren way too many times.  I have an older brother who is gay and the church was not nice to him -- nor the congregation itself -- when I was growing up.  That has thankfully changed in the Atlanta church I grew up in.  But for years and years, we turned our backs and we also forced them to live in the closet.  We all knew our churches were built on our choirs and we all knew a gay choir director or two.  But we forced them to live in silence or to live in pretense.  We refused to honor their truths and their experiences.  And we were far less progressive on that issue than White churches or mixed churches.  We have a debt we need to pay and we have sins of intolerance that we need forgiveness for.  The only way forward is to say "Enough" and to dig in and say, "No, you're not treating anyone in this country as less than because of whom they love."  And Cornel has not led on this and is currently not trying to lead on this so I don't think he can lead on it.  In which case, sit your butt down because we don't need you and we don't need your endless speechifying that, in the end, adds up to a ton of words that say nothing at all.

    Jess: I want Ty to speak and I want to point out something.  We've got Marcia who is a lesbian, we've got Ruth who has a gay grandson, we've got Trina who has a gay son -- who is also Mike's brother, we've got someone who has a brother who is going to be coming out next week to his family but has already come out to their relative participating in this roundtable.  These are not abstracts or pie in the skies, these are people we know and love.  And we're not going to let Moms for Liberty or Ron DeSantis or crazy Naomi Klein or ruthless Robert F. Kennedy Jr. railroad our loved ones.  You hate merchants started a battle and you'll live to regret it because you won't win this.  Tulsi Gabbard, you ugly, hateful idiot, we will never choose you and your hate over our own friends and family.  You lost the minute you started this war. 

    Ty: DOBBS was such a wake up call.  Abortion rights?  Settled law and the majority of Americans supported it.  That did not stop the crooked judges of the Supreme Court from destroying it.  It was a shock or, as C.I. said in real time, "a gut punch."  It was not the world I had grown up in.  And this world of hate that Tulsi, Ron, John Stauber, Miss Glenneth Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Max Blumenthal and his ugly wife, Jonathan Turley, Marjorie Taylor Greene and others are determined to live in is not the world that I believe in.  Jess, is right, they are not going to win. We will not let them.  I'm married now because my boyfriend and I had to worry that we might lose the right.  I mean we love each other and have lived with each other for years but we rushed to get married before the hate merchants overturned that.  I don't know this world and I don't know this hate.  This is not who we are nor is it who we are supposed to be.  Marcia, do you want to speak in terms of your own life?  I know you spoke earlier but just wondering.

    Marcia: Sure.  I'm married to.  I noted that at my website.  And I'm tying posts and sometimes I'll say "girlfriend." And anyone e-mailing me to gripe, please know that she tears me a new one more than any of you ever could.  "I'm just your girlfriend, oh, okay.  Guess I dreamed up that wedding that we invited 100 people to." She makes me laugh. Always.  And she's wonderful and she's great.  But, like Ty, I'm kind of like, okay, that was the nudge I needed to make it legal, DOBBs and the threat that we could lose the right to marry.  My life has been a story of progression, the world has moved forward repeatedly and gotten better in so many ways.  And then this comes up, this wave of hate merchants.  You have to wonder just how long Jonathan Turley has been plotting to destroy America?  I hope every student that has him reports his homophobia, his transphobia, his refusal to make needed disclosures, all of it.  I will celebrate as each of these homophobes goes up in flames.  And, let me note, Ty and his boyfriend have been together for 17 years even though they've only been married for two.  

    Ty: That's not right, is it?  Yeah, I guess it is.  We got together in college.  Oh my goodness.  Yeah, our life is entwined, our life is together.  I'm very lucky and very fortunate.  17 years.  Wow.

    Kat: Jim passed me a note which reads, "According to Dona, we need to wrap up and you and Mike haven't spoken yet."  Mike, could you speak first while I try to think of something that hasn't already been brought up?

    Mike: Sure.  Well my brother is gay.  Trina's my mom -- hi, Mom.

    Trina: Hi.

    Mike: I'm one of 8 children.  I have a younger sister but the other six -- my brothers and sisters -- are all older.  I don't think my brother came out to me.  I think I was either too young or it happened before I was born.  I just know that it was who he was for as far back as I can remember him.  It was not an issue in our family -- that's the eight of us and our folks and that's also my cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc.  It was normal and no different than one of my brothers who is involved with women.  If my brother was dating with a guy or living with a guy, that guy was a part of our lives the way any girlfriend would have been.  That said, in the outside world, outside of our family and outside of the block we lived on, it could be a big deal.  I grew up with it and it never made sense to me that this was somehow a big deal.  It's my brother and who he was.  And no one was picking on other boys because they liked girls so where did these people get off picking on my brother for liking guys?  I didn't have to ever come to an awareness because it was always part of my life and I don't understand why anyone thinks they can look down on or take away the rights of LGBTQ+ people.  I can't understand hate merchants.  I think someone like Jonathan Turley has to have a really sick mind and really awful life to dedicate so much time to trying to destroy the rights of trans people.  And we got far off Rebecca's topic of the people who are silent on this issue.

    Kat: Thank you!  That's what I'll talk about.  Rebecca noted how disappointing Katie Halper's silence has been.  So many have been silent.  BLACK POWER MEDIA hasn't been silent and I applaud them for that.  Amy Goodman, who I've had issues with before, is someone else who has really stepped up and covered these issues as we've seen just how hateful these people can be.  Karen Hunter has stood strong.  O has as well.  I applaud those people and their programs.  I applaud everyone at QUEER NEWS TONIGHT because this is their life, they're putting this out there knowing there could very well be a target on their backs.  And I'm appalled, like Rebecca, by the Glenneth Greenwalds who are part of those attacking trans people.  It's disgusting.  And they've formed their own little bubble which is why Katie Halper needs to make clear where she stands on this.  All around her, you will find one transphobe after another.  So is that who she is?  We have a right to know.  And if it's not who she is, she needs to speak up. Silence is not helping anyone.  Also, f**k Naomi Wolf.  Crazy b**ch has spewed too much crazy and supporting and defending Moms For Liberty really is the last straw.

    Jim: Thank you.  Do we have some summing up or some way to end?  Dona's pointing at C.I.

    C.I.: Me? Give me a second.

    Jim: Ava and C.I. take notes during these roundtables.

    C.I.: Yep.  Okay.  The hate merchants zoomed in on trans people.  Because they are less well known.  And so if you're discouraged right now, I understand and I think we all do.  But it's a learning process.  People are basically good and believe in equality.  Someone who might have been a transphobe six months ago, for example, might now have been exposed to something beyond hateful stereotypes.  We all grow.  I'll speak for me.  Ava and I wrote a piece about the Academy Awards and reducing performers to one award for Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor and doing away with the actress categories.  Some misunderstood that article and that's fine. Our issue, read it, was that a Tom Hanks, for example, doesn't deliver an award worthy performance.  Men have been able to be blanks and cyphers that we the audience project onto.  They're not acting.  Marlon Brando, yes, he's acting.  Dustin Hoffman, yes.  But far too many of them are doing nothing and we pretend otherwise.  No actress gets to coast into an award.  Actresses have to work their asses off.  We said in the piece that if a performer identified as female, that's the category that they belonged it.  For example, Linda Hunt was amazing playing the man in THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY.  If she had identified as male -- she doesn't -- then put her in the male category.  We were fine with that.  I think where some are confused it was that we also said we didn't know with regards to non-binary.  As we've seen Riley Gaines work overtime to destroy trans persons, we know.  Reduce it to one category.  We stand by the fact that actresses, year after year, have given the strongest performances.  But we're not here to hate or harm.  And, in fact, when an Angela Bassett loses out to a Tom Hanks, it will just make it even more clear how biased the system is.  Again, we're all learning as a society.  It's going to get better but I don't know when.




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