Monday, October 09, 2023

Truest statement of the week

The most obvious explanation for the bloated CEO pay in the U.S. is that we have a corrupt corporate governance structure. It is obvious what keeps a check on the pay of ordinary workers. Management works very hard to ensure they are not overpaying assembly line workers, retail clerks, or administrative assistants. But who works to ensure that the company is not overpaying the CEO?

In principle, that is supposed to be the job of the corporate board of directors. But for the most part, by their own account, reining in CEO pay does not even seem to be on their list of responsibilities.

--  Dean Baker, "The Big Three’s CEOs are Ripping Off Their Companies" (COUNTERPUNCH).

A note to our readers

Hey --

Sunday night.

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?


Dean Baker got a truest.

For this week's Iraq coverage, we reposted C.I.

Ava and C.I. report on the implosion of Cornel West's political campaign and note how some YOUTUBERS continued to lie.

A new snack has us reopening the Kitchen.

A fairy tale, a fable.  

Elaine talks with Ava and C.I. about her book review.

This is Renee Johnston and Dr Jared Ball discussing reality for BLACK POWER MEDIA.

Did anyone need to hear from Ahnuld?  Shouldn't he be more focused on his daughter and her cheating husband?

Paul Rudnick gets Tweet of the Week.

We note six Instant Pot recipes Trina shared.

Repost of Stan's review of the new EXORCIST film.

A list of what the community's read and reviewed so far this year.

Iraq video.

 What we listened to while working on this edition.




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



Reposting this from THE COMMON ILLS:

Iraq begins exercising its voice on the international stage


As AP notes in the video above, those living in northern Kurdistan live in fear of the oppressive Turkish government which continues to bomb the area terrorizing the population.  This has been going on for years, almost two decades, in fact.  The Turkish government uses the claim of 'terrorism' to terrorize Kurds in Iraq.  They terrorize Kurds everywhere.  No one's supposed to draw parallels to this action and the Turkish government's genocide of the Armenian people at the start of the last century.  Yet they occupy the Kurdistan.  They've sent ground forces in and illegally set up bases on Iraqi soil.  They have attacked resorts, they've even attacked US-led patrols.  And they keep getting away with it.   Ulas Atesci (WSWS) reports:

Turkey’s air strikes against Kurdish forces in Syria began after an armed attack on the Turkish National Police headquarters in Ankara last Sunday, during which two attackers were killed and two policemen were wounded. The stolen car used in the incident belonged to a civilian named Mikail Bozlağan from Kayseri, who was killed before the attack, according to the official statements.

The PKK claimed responsibility for the attack, stating it was intended to “send the necessary message to the relevant places and give them a serious warning.” In reality, the attack only served to provide justification for Ankara’s police-state repression at home and new military operations in Iraq and Syria, contributing to the possibility of a broader conflict in the region.

The legal Kurdish nationalist Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and Green Left Party (YSP) condemned the Ankara attack as “unacceptable.” However, at least 75 people have been detained so far in police operations mainly targeting the HDP-YSP.

The Turkish Defense Ministry has announced that air strikes have been carried out against PKK positions in northern Iraq since Sunday. On Wednesday, a “security summit” was held in Ankara with the participation of interior and foreign ministers, the head of the intelligence agency and the chief of the general staff.

On the same day, Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan alleged that the perpetrators of the Ankara attack were YPG-PKK members coming from Syria. “All infrastructure, superstructure and energy facilities belonging to the PKK/YPG, especially in Iraq and Syria, are from now on the legitimate targets of our security forces, armed forces and intelligence elements,” he declared in a statement, warning the United States: “I recommend that third parties stay away from PKK/YPG facilities and individuals.”

SDF General Commander Mazlum Kobani rejected Ankara’s claim and called on the United States and other NATO allies to protect them. He said, “The perpetrators of the attack in Ankara did not travel there from our region, as the Turkish authorities claim. ... We expect the guarantor countries and the international community to stand up to these frequent threats and take a stand to ensure stability and peace in the region.”

Iraq's continuing to build it's international presence.  Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani recently concluded a week-long visit to the US where he met with business leaders and politicians.  MEMO notes he's schedule to visit Russia October 11th where he will meet with the president of Russia Vladimir Putin.  A violent conflict, meanwhile, is taking place between the government of Israel and the Palestinians.  MINT notes:

In a statement, Hamas commander has said that it launched attacks on the Israeli territory ‘in defense of Al-Aqsa’ which was stormed by Israeli settlers a few days ago. Al-Aqsa has been the flashpoint between Palestine and Israel. Hamas military commander Muhammad Deif, who released a recorded message after the attack, said the strikes were in retaliation for Israel’s “desecration of the Al-Aqsa" mosque in Jerusalem.

Government officials and political leaders in Iraq on Saturday issued statements of support for the people of Palestine following a deadly Hamas attack on Israel.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed group of the Hamas movement, claimed responsibility for more than 5,000 rockets fired at Israel in a surprise attack early Saturday morning. Israel’s health ministry said that at least 150 Israelis have been killed and about 1,100 more injured. 

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have retaliated with airstrikes that have killed 198 people in Gaza and injured another 1,610, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

The Iraqi government expressed its support for Gaza and the Palestinian people and called the rocket attack on Israel a "natural result of the systematic oppression... at the hands of the Zionist occupation authority," according to a statement from spokesperson Basem al-Awadi.

Iraq’s presidency also expressed its “full support” for Palestine in a statement on X (formerly known as Twitter). 

 Iraq on Saturday condemned the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip after Hamas launched an offensive, saying it always stands by the Palestinians.

Government spokesman Bassim al-Awadi called on the international community to stop the injustice done to the Palestinian people and to intervene to restore the rights of the Palestinians.

Al-Awadi warned that the escalation and continuation of the tension in Palestinian territories will have negative repercussions on the region. He also called for an extraordinary meeting of the Arab League.

Iraq has every right to exercise its voice in the international realm. The current prime minister, unlike two-term prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-Maliki, appears interested in something more than using Iraq to enrich his own pocket.  That may be one difference between the two, another being that Mohammed never fled Iraq the way Nouri -- and all the other previous prime ministers since 2003 -- did.  

At ASHARQ AL-AWSAT, Farhad Aladdin (advisor to the prime minister for foreign affairs) writes:

Ever since the Iraqi government assumed its responsibility in October last year, our administration has focused on extending the roots of Iraqi diplomacy across the region and beyond; practicing a policy of balance in foreign relations, and moving away from the policy of adversary. As stated in Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia Al-Sudani’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 22, the goal of this policy is to “preserve the security and stability of the region, its progress and economic prosperity, in order to achieve the welfare of its people.”
From this standpoint, the Prime Minister’s visit to Moscow is consistent with the principle pursued by the Baghdad government, which is one of productive diplomacy.

Following the formation of the government, the Prime Minister has been keen to visit many European countries including Germany and France, and neighboring countries such as Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Iran and Türkiye, as well as participating in the Arab-Chinese summit held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His goal has been to strengthen relations and build partnerships around common interests with countries across the board, and it is with this approach that he is now responding to an official invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin. The visit to the Kremlin coincides with the Russian Energy Week Forum, where the Prime Minister will deliver an address as a keynote speaker.

Meanwhile, the world wonders when cleric and cult leader Moqtada al-Sadr will come out of the closet?   Rumored raging homosexual Moqtada al-Sadr is raging over a recent Baghdad festival and insulting the US Ambassador to Iraq Alina Romanowski who must have worn the dress he wanted to but even control top pantyhose wouldn't let him get into the dress.  So he's raging over the festival.  
Maybe Moqtada wouldn't be so angry and hateful if he could just say the words, "I'm gay"?

Media: What was the plan? (There was none)

We think the left has the numbers in the US, the left has the best policies in the US.  So why, year after year, can we just not seem to get it together?

If, in frustration, like us, you've wondered that repeatedly, you got the answer last week if you were paying attention.



Cornel West.  The shuck and jive artist still intends to run for the office of president.  Remember, though, not as The People's Party's presidential candidate.  Nope.  And he's no longer trying to win the Green Party's presidential nomination.  No.  He announced last week that he was going to be running as an independent candidate.


In case you're thinking we've somehow slanted that, here's THE NATION's Jeet Heer on the events:

West is having a hard time settling on a political party to serve as a vehicle for his ambitions to reenergize the left. He started off as a candidate for the minuscule People’s Party (which had little or no ability to get a presidential candidate on the ballot), then moved to the Green Party (which has had a record of being able to secure ballot access in a critical mass of states), and finally, on Thursday, announced that he is simply running as an independent.

He doesn't call Cornel a shuck and jive artist but then he wouldn't, he's concerned about decorum and we don't give a damn.  


Especially when it comes to a fake ass.


The writers and actors strikes allowed us a lot of time this summer to cover things other than scripted entertainment programs which means we spent way too much time covering Cornel West and his fake assery.

You might have thought that Cornel's latest stunt would allow others to catch up to us.  You would be wrong. 


Instead of hearing real critiques about the garbage Cornel was pushing off on America we heard complaints about . . . The Green Party.


Over on THE VANGUARD, where Zac's more gassy than usual (can he get through a broadcast without burping repeatedly -- is all that gas the result of his very noticeable weight gain?), Gavin was pursing his lips and whining, "I've been increasingly frustrated with the whole third party movement now.  Basically since 2020 when the Green Party debacle with Howie Hawkins went down and they kind of turned up their noses at Jesse Venture [. . .]"  We'll come back to his brat act.  


But let's note another whiny little brat, Kit Cabello who used HARD LENS MEDIA to blubber, "The Green Party seems to be a complete and utter disaster.  Were we being screwed from the very beginning because truly how incompetent is the Green Party?"


Did reality not matter at all?  Was the whole thing just a joke and us the sour pusses who refused to laugh along?


THE VANGUARD boys, for those who've forgotten, saw their programs raison d etre electing Marianne Williamson as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee.  As we noted here months ago, Zac even fessed up to that on air.  Marianne floundered and continues to.  All the sudden Cornel's in the race and THE VANGUARD boys can't stop spit-polishing Cornel's knob -- excuse us, Dr West's knob.


Like Katie Halper and so many others, THE VANGUARD boys couldn't stop lying.  They kept calling him the Green Party's presidential nominee when he wasn't.  When he dropped out of the race last week, he was one of three declared candidates for the Green Party's presidential nomination.  They won't select their nominee until summer of next year when they hold their party convention.

This was a basic fact that YOUTUBERS lied about over and over.


But little nitwits on YOUTUBE refused to accept that basic fact and are still refusing.   


Kit Cabello was convinced it was a conspiracy -- "The Peter Daou effect!"  Peter Dauo had recently been named Cornel's campaign manager after Jill Stein repeatedly failed in that role.  (Last week, she insisted, it was always going to be an interim post.)  Peter Daou troubled Jimmy Dore and many others when he came on the campaign.


He was a Democrat!

Wasn't Jimmy at one point?  

Peter soured on the Democratic Party in 2008.  That's when the real walk away began although YOUTUBE Cornel fans tried to act as though it was when Bernie Sanders lost the 2016 Democratic Party nomination.

They don't know their history as usual.

In 2008, the DNC rigged the nomination so that it went to Barack Obama and not Hillary Clinton.  There were many shenanigans.  This included the DNC insisting that Michigan and Florida -- primaries Barack lost to Hillary -- would not be counted.  At first, when that nonsense started, elder journalist Diane Rehm rightly used her NPR program to push back on that insisting that there was no way they could put aside the results of those two states.  However, per a Diane staffer, Diane fell in line when she was threatened with a loss of certain prominent Democrats as guests.  

There was also a very sexist campaign against Hillary which included very sexist remarks from Barack, his flipping her off (to cheers from his fan base) and so much more.  

There was, for example, Texas.  Who won that primary?

It's a key question and maybe the YOUTUBERS aren't really stupid, maybe they're just damn hypocrites.

If you really don't know, Hillary carried Texas.  But she didn't get the votes for Texas, those went to Barack.  Explain that.  (And please note, we have seen the tape of the woman over the Lovefield caucus telling Hillary supporters that they could go on home, that signing in was all they needed to do, when in fact they needed to remain in order to vote but they believed her and left.)

There's a whole history there and Peter Daou observed it and couldn't believe the dishonesty. 

That's when he tries to power through it for 2009 before he slowly wakes up to reality.  

But they don't know his history and they really don't know him.  Which is how you get idiots like Kit thinking this has all been some secret conspiracy carried out in the shadows by Peter.

There was an actual conspiracy and no one ever wanted to talk about that.  We did.  We wrote about it repeatedly.  But we were so hoping that others would start addressing it as well.

Didn't happen.

Instead, we got Gavin, last week, gushing, "Yes, I love Dr. West."

What do you say to that besides, "Ick!"

It's getting close to twenty years since the two of us wrote our oft repeated remark, "We don't fall in love with politicians -- we're not that pathetic."

Yet sadly some people are, some people like Gavin are.

And their love prompted them to yet again excuse Cornel instead of holding him accountable for his actions.  Instead, Kit and Gavin (and others) blamed the Green Party. 

Gavin whimpered, "I've been increasingly frustrated with the whole third party movement now.  Basically since 2020 when the Green Party debacle with Howie Hawkins went down and they kind of turned up their nose at Jesse Ventura who was another candidate I thought could get them to 5%."


First off, what debacle with Howie Hawkins?  You mean when Dario Hunter refused to campaign -- couldn't even manage one Tweet a week -- and then starts spreading lies about how Dr Margaret Flowers conspired to give Howie the nomination?  Those were lies from a lazy ass who couldn't campaign because he was so lazy.  Howie was nominated (and voted as the nominee) at the 2020 Green Party convention. 


If the 'debacle' is supposed to refer to the turnout, he got 0.26% of the popular vote.  Not very impressive, no.  But in 2012, Jill Stein only got 0.36% of the popular vote so let's not pretend it was all that astounding or surprising. 

Second, frustrated with the whole third party movement?  But you voted Green in at least 2016 and 2020 that we know of.  So why the pissing of the panties and the stomping of the feet now?


Third, "They kind of turned their nose at Jesse Ventura who was another candidate I thought could get them to 5%"?  You thought that of Jesse and of Cornel?  You really are stupid.

But, more to the point, stop pretending you believe in democracy.  We've already called out Jimmy Dore for this Jesse Ventura nonsense.  Like Jimmy, Gavin has a hissy fit that Jesse was not the Green Party's 2020 nominee for president.


Because, like Jimmy, Gavin doesn't really believe in democracy.

He's upset, when his guy (Bernie Sanders) is screwed out of the nomination due to backstage planning but he's okay with rigging a nomination if it means his guy wins.  

See Jesse didn't get to be the nominee for a number of reasons -- chief among them, he didn't run.

He refused to run for it.  He said, publicly, that if they'd give it to him, he'd accept it.

Oh, how kind of him, right?

Political parties aren't supposed to give out nominations.  Their members are supposed to vote on people running for the nomination. 

Jesse didn't get it and Gavin still doesn't.

Don't pretend you're for democracy when you have a hissy fit that someone who wouldn't even campaign for the nomination didn't get it.

And this goes to the backdoor deals that were always a part of Cornel's campaigns.

As we noted long ago, Cornel went on BLACK POWER MEDIA after he gave back the nomination from The People's Party and gave an interview that everyone wants to pretend didn't take place.

In that interview, he revealed that Chris Hedges, his friend, came up with the idea.  It was originally that he and Chris would be on the same ticket.  And Chris spoke to The People's Party and they were fine with that.  Then it changed because Mrs. Hedges told Chris he wasn't running.

So it was Cornel all by himself.  And it was Chris, in the press, pretending that he had no role in this process and interviewing Cornel about how it came about.  That write up never noted that Chris was the intermediary who secured the nomination for Cornel.

And then with the Green Party?  Chris and Jill Stein (some say Ajuma Baraka as well) tried to strong-arm the Green Party leadership into giving Cornel the nomination.  The party stood firm against that -- and rightly so.  

When he couldn't steal the nomination, Cornel and Jill decided to present him as the nominee -- even though he was not -- because they knew that would scare people off.  As usual, they didn't know dookie. 

And not one but two people declared their intent to run while Cornel was claiming to be the party's nominee.  And that number was only going to grow because real Greens -- not YOUTUBE Greens such as Kit and Gavin -- were offended that a non-Green (Cornel) was trying to steal their party's nomination.

They were right to be offended and Gavin needs to clarify whether he's a hypocrite or whether he just didn't grasp all of this?

The whole thing was sick and pathetic.  It was also a joke.


Over at RISING, Bri-Bri Joy Gray was trying to get attention for her breasts by sporting a cleavage revealing blouse.  Problem was she really has no breasts.  So it didn't help to wear a blouse slashed across the top of where her boobs should have been when she had no cleavage to sport in the first place.  As always, her mind was as empty as her bra.  That explains why the supposedly educated woman kept using "independents" over and over when, often times, she actually meant swing voters.  There is a difference as poli sci majors know.  


It also explains why she and her co-host, citing Jesse Ventura winning a race for governor of Minnesota decades ago, was due to the state being so racially diverse.



Check the census.  Minnesota is 82.6% White (and they list Latinos seperately so don't think for a moment that includes White Latinos or White Hispanics).  Yes, Bri-Bri is obsessed with all things White Valley Girl (we recall those awful 'news' segments she used to do on SEX AND THE CITY) but we'd think that even she could grasp that a state that is 82.6% White is not a racially diverse state.  We would think that but last week she proved us wrong.

We've always pointed out that she's the equivalent of a crossover artist in music, someone who could climb the pop charts but not the soul charts, and that's because White people like her and see her as their kind of folk.  Why?  Because when a state is over 80% White, Bri-Bri will rush forward to insist that it's very racially diverse.  In what world?  In the world where your job consists solely of reassuring White people and maintaining the status quo.  That is, after all, why RISING continues to employ her.


And as she and her guest host chuckled over the whole Cornel issue, laughed on camera, it was clear that Bri-Bri had long ago internalized was what required of her and that she was bound and determined to deliver it.

It wasn't that long ago that Bri-Bri was chatting up Cornel West on Sabby Sabs show.  Last week, while others had to ask questions to empty air, Sabby got to question Cornel.  She asked him from the start why he left the race for the Green Party's presidential nomination?


Cornel West:  As things went on, it was clear, you've got a lot of internal dynamics in the Green Party.  You've got four debates among the Green Party -- presidential debates. You have to go to a variety of different events in different states to do that -- in addition to the web seminars.  And then you have to somehow connect what you're doing in the campaign with the Green Party and it just became just too cumbersome -- too cumbersome -- too cumbrance in that regard.

Read over it again, if you need to.


It's not Peter Daou's fault.  It's not the Green Party's fault.  It's fake ass, lazy ass Cornel.  He wanted the nomination, he just didn't want to do the work required.

That's your great hope, that's the guy who was going to deliver 5%?  If he can't even do the bare minimum in the primaries, what the hell do you think he'd accomplish in a general election?

Over at Jimmy Dore's YOUTUBE show, it was hit or miss. "This is actually a step backwards," Craig Pasta rightly observed.  Then Jimmy wanted to seize credit (as he always does) which led to him insisting that his announcement (after his controversial interview with Cornel) made him some sort of a prophet: "Cornel West basically just quit the race." 


Actually, Jimmy, if you paid attention to what Cornel said to Sabby, the truth was, he was never in the race because he was never up to the race.

One of the few who actually has the right to brag is Renee Johnston.  She questioned Cornel's run from the start.  Appearing yesterday on BLACK POWER MEDIA with Dr Jared Ball, she again addressed the issue of Cornel.

Renee Johnston:  So what's wild for me is -- and this is the one part that people are really not talking about -- and this is the part that's most frustrating for me -- is that when he first announced that he was going to run NPP [The People's Party], we were all like, 'Did you not do your research? Did you not know who these people are?  You've been involved with them for all these years, what's going on, what happened?  What made you make this decision?  Come to find out, it was phone calls and conversations and he just decided to run for president.  So okay.  Okay, he changes his mind because after he starts hearing different things -- phone calls and conversations -- now he decides he's going to go do something else, now he's going to go run Green Party. Okay.  Everyone gets excited -- running Green Party! -- people were, as you know, really unhappy with me for not jumping on the bandwagon and being really excited that he was going to run Green Party.  But my question at the time had been the same question when he initially started which was: "What is the plan?"  You're going into this, how exactly are we going to move forward for this to become something that is viable and reasonable and action that works towards improving material conditions of working people?  People didn't like that question.  Okay, no problem.  So now, fast forward -- and all of this -- I will remind everybody -- has happened in four months. Not like we're talking a super long amount of time, four months this is all transpiring. So now it's 'we're not really comfortable with the Green Party, there's some issues with the ballot access issue, this idea of having to run within the party as well as to run an independent campaign at the same time simultaneously, the money, yada yada yada. Now we're going to run independent.'  So now you're making a third choice because you didn't properly analyze your first two choices?  Now we're going to choice three and we still have yet to have an answer of what exactly are you going to do? How are you going to make this work?  What is your plan?   

As Renee points out, he was never been able to answer that question.


From The TESR Test Kitchen



Time for another TESR Test Kitchen and we've sampling a sweet.


reeses pr


 Reese's Dipped Pretzels?  The package tells you, "BITE SIZE PRETZELS DIPPED IN PEANUT BUTTER CANDY AND DRIZZLED WITH MILK CHOCOLATE."  The back explains "Salty pretzels dipped in peanut butter candy drizzled wit milk chocolate" just in case you were confused that the pretzels were not identified as "salty" on the front.  

If you eat the whole 4.25 package, you've just consumed nearly 80 grams of carbs (76).  Was it worth it?

On the plus side, these actually taste good.  You'll want to consume the whole package in one sitting.


If it's too many carbs for you, trying finding a friend willing to split a package with you.  You could try just eating a fourth or a half of the package but we'd argue you're setting yourself up for failure because these just taste too good and you'll want to eat the whole bag in one sitting.




The Cracked Face

Gather round, kiddies, for the latest in POLITICAL FAIRY TALES.


"Kiss Ass, Kiss Ass, on the wall, who's the most qualfied of them all?"

For years, decades even, US House Rep Barbara Lee had asked that question of her Whore Mirror John Nichols and Johnny 5 Cents had replied, "You are, you are, of course, of course."


Until the day came when Kiss Ass replied, "Laphonza Butler."

"What!" screamed Barbara Lee in horror.



"You're old, your face is cracked, she's alive with energy," Kiss Ass replied.


"Bitch," Kiss Ass replied sassing it up, "the only thing you're qualified for at this point is Social Security and Medicare."

Books (Elaine, Ava and C.I.)



As we did in 2021, we're attempting to again increase book coverage in the community. After a review posts, we try to do a discussion with the reviewer.  This go round, we're talking to Elaine about her "Anne Edwards is a waste of time and a killer of trees." So tell us about the book.


Elaine: Sure.  Katharine Hepburn is the focus of Anne Edwards' book A REMARKABLE WOMAN: A BIOGRAPHY OF KATHARINE HEPBURN.  She was mainly a film actress.  She won four Academy Awards for Best Actress, she won an Emmy, she was nominated for two Tonys.  Her most famous films are BRINGING UP BABY, THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, ADAM'S RIB, SUMMERTIME, MORNING GLORY, ON GOLDEN POND and THE RAINMAKER.  She started in films in 1932 with A BILL OF DIVORCEMENT and her last film was 1994's LOVE AFFAIR.  

Katharine Hepburn today is not the same legend that you knew of in college, can we start there?

Elaine: Sure.  So Katharine was this brave woman who was liberated and had all these affairs with men and blah blah blah.  That was the image.  Then we learn about some abuse and she's not that strong woman.  But then we learn that there were these affairs with women and that adds a new layer.  So she's not been static in our cultural history.  It's been an evolving portrait.  

And you didn't like the portrait in Anne Edwards' book?

Elaine: No, not at all.  As I noted in my write-up, a friend of C.I.'s, a film director, mentioned the book when we were discussing autobiographies and biographies. It's always interesting to me, conversations like that.  Unlike C.I., I'm not in the industry.  I care about information but they analyze it for more than just that.  It's an interesting take whether it's that director or C.I., it's different from mine. The book is an awful book on every level, by the way.

You felt there were too many errors.

Elaine: Way, way too many errors.  I noted one example, how the book tells you that, prior to the 70s musical COCO, Hepburn only sang professionally once, "Onward Christian Soldiers" in THE AFRICAN QUEEN when, in fact, she sang in DESK SET back in 1957 -- "Night and Day." 

And, of course, she sang in BRINGING UP BABY -- she and Cary Grant repeatedly sang "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," "Camptown Races" in HOLIDAY, she sang in LITTLE WOMEN, SPITFIRE, SYLVIA SCARLETT and TE LITTLE MINISTER.  It's just a huge error on Anne Edwards part to think they Hepburn only sang in one film when she sang in seven.  

Elaine: Right.  And there's the reality that Anne Edwards didn't want to confront the issue of sexuality and was more comfortable presenting lies. 



Previous book discussions this year.


"Books (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Isaiah, Ava and C.I.),"  "Books (Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Trina, Isaiah, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Marcia, Rebecca, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Ann, Mike, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Stan, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Mike, Ava and C.I.),"  "Books (Ann, Elaine, Kat, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Isaiah, Stan, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Trina, Kat, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Marcia, Ann and C.I.)," "Books (Ruth, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Isaiah, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Mike, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Kat, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Trina, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Rebecca, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Isaiah, Kat, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Stan, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Kat, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Ann, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Trina, Ava and C.I.)," "Books (Marcia, Ava and C.I.)" and "Books (Ava and C.I.)."






Video of the week Cornel West Green No More!


Great Grandpa's got advice that no one asked for (Ava and C.I.)

If you missed it, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who appears never to have read a book, has now 'written' one: BE USEFUL.  And now believes not only does he have a mind but he has something worth sharing from it.

America today, he wants you to know, is "a generation of wimps and weak people" who are "weak" and "too pampered" and need to "turn off the iPhone."

As great-grandpa's tits continue to grow, he wants you to know that the kids need to get off the tablets and phones and it's time to "teach kids to be tough . . . go out and do sports."

Oh, sports.  Are we considering body building a sport?  Reality, in 2023, now more than ever, children need to develop and strengthen reading skills.  That means more steroids for you, Arnold.  And as someone probably told you years ago, if you can't be useful, try to be happy.

Tweet of the week


Someone's cooking in the Kitchen

Trina covers recipes at her site.  She and her readers have been on an Instant Pot kick.

Instant Pot Potato Soup in the Kitchen

Mason e-mailed to say that we need a soup recipe for the Instapot before concluding the week of recipes.  He suggests The Recipe Rebel's recipe for Instant Pot Potato Soup:


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons salt reduce if using salted broth
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 lbs red potatoes about 6 medium
  • 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1 rib celery chopped
  • 1 cup evaporated milk or cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • For garnish cheese, green onions, and bacon


  • Turn the Instant Pot to sauté and add the oil. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they start to brown.*
  • Add the salt, garlic, parsley, thyme, and pepper. Stir and cook for one minute. Turn the Instant Pot off and add the broth, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to remove any browned bits.
  • Slice and cut potatoes into 1 cm cubes and add to the Instant Pot.
  • Add carrots and celery. Put the lid on, turn the valve to sealing, and select Manual, high pressure, for 3 minutes.
  • It will take about 20 minutes in total, including the time it takes to build pressure. Once the cooking time is over, do a gradual quick release by slowly opening the valve to release the pressure. You don’t want to let it all release at once, or it could sputter and foam.
  • When the lid is off, turn the Instant Pot to sauté.
  • Make cornstarch slurry by whisking together the evaporated milk and cornstarch, then stir it into the soup. Cook and stir until thickened.
  • Now it’s time to season and serve. We use cooked, crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped chives or green onions for garnish. If you like, you can add extras right into the soup for more flavor! 

Seems fairly straight forward.  Now this week we focused on Instapot recipes and we also had one last Saturday:

Instant Pot Penne Pasta Recipe in the Kitchen

Rachel notes that I haven't had a vegetarian recipe this week "and I hope you're not going to make it through this week of Instant Pot recipes without offering a vegetarian one."  Thanks to Rachel, we'll note this recipe from The Herbeevore:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 cup bell pepper chopped
  • 1 (14 ounce) can No-Salt-Added Diced Tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons No-Salt-Added Tomato Paste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning Spice Blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 8 ounces dried penne use gluten free
  • 2 cups No-Salt-Added Vegetable Stock


  • Set your Instant Pot to Sauté Mode. Add the olive oil, onions, garlic, bell pepper, and zucchini. Sauté for 6 to 7 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, Italian spices, and stir.
  • Add the pasta to the Instant Pot. Pour the vegetable stock over the pasta. Do not stir.  Lock lid, and set to Pressure Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Quick release the steam, taking care not to put your hands or face near the steam valve.
  • Once steam has vented and the pressure valve has gone down, stir the pasta.  It will continue to thicken for a few minutes.
  • Serve with a side of fresh garlic bread and top with parmesan cheese if desired.  Enjoy!

I'll do more instant pot recipes next time.  

2 Ingredient Salsa Verde Chicken in the Kitchen

Brenda e-mailed to say she loves recipes at Our Balanced Bowl and recommends 2 Ingredient Salsa Verde Chicken in the Kitchen:


  • 1-1.5 lbs chicken breast
  • 12 oz. jar of salsa verde (preferably Trader Joe's brand)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • dash of salt and pepper


For Instant Pot:

  1. Place raw chicken breast, spices and jar of salsa verde into the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Release steam valve for quick release. Shred. Adjust seasoning if needed. Enjoy!

For Crockpot/Slow Cooker:

  1. Place raw chicken breast, spices and jar of salsa verde into the crockpot/slow cooker: Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours. Shred. Adjust seasoning if needed. Enjoy!

For Oven:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Place chicken breast, spices and jar of salsa verde into a baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until done. Shred. Adjust seasoning if needed. Enjoy!

If you like that recipe, Brenda suggest you surf the other recipes at Our Balanced Bowl.

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole in the Kitchen

Coy e-mailed to note Simple Life's recipe for Instant Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole:


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (see the note about salt)
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 pound chicken (see note)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas

Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (or a 10 ounce can of store bought)

  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Before you begin chopping your vegetables, set your Instant Pot to Sauté . This way when you are done prepping your carrots and onion, it will be hot and ready for you to put the vegetables in. (Read the notes to learn how to skip this step.)
  • Once the Instant Pot says "Hot" add the butter and stir quickly, so that it doesn't burn. Add the chopped vegetables (carrots, onion, and garlic). Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent burning, until the carrots are tender. Turn Instant Pot off.
  • In this order, add the chicken stock, rice, and set the chicken on top (please be sure to see the note about the chicken). Close the Instant Pot and set to High, Manual, 10 minutes. (Make sure that it is set to seal on top.)
    It will take the Instant Pot about 10 minutes to come to pressure. Once it is done cooking, let the Instant pot have a natural pressure release for 10 minutes (be sure to watch the time), then turn to venting until all the pressure has fully released.
    (Between coming to pressure, the cook time, natural release, and quick release it will be about 34 minutes.)
  • While the Instant Pot is doing it's job, make your homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup. (Read the notes to learn how to skip this step.) In a small saucepan over medium low heat, melt the butter. Once melted, whisk in the flour.
  • Gradually whisk in the chicken stock. Stir in the milk and the spices. Continue stirring, bringing the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes while stirring to prevent burning .
  • When the 10 minutes is up and you have vented and fully released the pressure of your Instant Pot, open it. Remove the chicken, cut it to bite sized pieces (or shred in the IP). Return the chicken to the IP, add the peas, and the Cream of Condensed Chicken Soup. Stir to combine and enjoy.


Thank you to Coy for that recipe.  Again, I'm trying to focus on Insta Pot recipes all week.

Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers in the Kitchen

Michael e-mailed he had the perfect recipe for the Instapot from The Food Network:



  1.                If the bell peppers don't sit upright on your cutting board, trim about 1/8 inch off the bottom to make level. Cut the top 1/2 inch off each pepper. Remove and discard the stem, then finely chop the remaining flesh from the trimmed top. Scoop out the seeds and as much of the membranes as you can. Set the hollowed-out bell peppers aside.
  2. Set a 6-quart Instant Pot® to high saute (see Cook's Note). Add the olive oil to the pot; once it's shimmering, add the chopped bell pepper, onion, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, about 4 minutes. Add the ground beef, then cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon into small pieces, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes more. Stir in the diced tomato, chicken broth, tomato paste, chili powder, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato starts to break down and the mixture becomes thick and saucy, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the Cheddar and the rice until cheese is melted and rice is combined. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper. Turn off the saute function, then spoon the filling into the reserved bell peppers. Wipe out the Instant Pot bowl. 
  3. Set the rack into the bottom of the pot, then pour in 3/4 cup water. Add the stuffed bell peppers (they should fit snuggly). 
  4. Follow the manufacturer's guide for locking the lid and preparing to cook. Set to pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. After the pressure-cook cycle is complete, follow the manufacturer's guide for quick release and wait until the quick-release cycle is complete (this should take about 1 minute). Being careful of any remaining steam, unlock and remove the lid, then top the stuffed peppers with the remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar, dividing evenly. Place the lid back on the pot and let stand until the residual steam melts the cheese, about 1 minute. Use tongs and/or a large spoon to transfer the stuffed peppers to a plate and sprinkle with the parsley.              

If you missed it, last week I noted I was going to do a week of Instapot recipes.  

Instant Pot Chicken Potpie Casserole in the Kitchen

 I feel like no sooner did I type the words "Instapot" in the last post then everyone started e-mailing.  Sheila was the first.  So here's a recipe for Instant Chicken Potpie Casserole in the Kitchen from Adventures of a Nurse:


  • 1 pound cubed chicken
  • 16 oz bag frozen mixed veggies
  • 16 oz egg noodles
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasonings
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper     


  1. Place your pot on sautee, Add chicken, spices, and olive oil.
  2. Saute about 2-3 minutes until the outside of the chicken is white.
  3. Add Egg noodles, broth, and veggies.
  4. Cook on manual high pressure for 5 minutes.
  5. Do a quick release.
  6. Stir in heavy cream.
  7. Place pot back on saute.
  8. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until thickens.
  9. Serve.

Sheila swears by it and I can see why, it's easy and tasty.


Stan goes to the movies

Most weekends find Stan offering a movie review (without spoilers).



THE EXORCIST: BELIEVER.  I was eager to see this film.  Word that reviewers found it awful had me worried but this is a really strong horror film.  To be sure, it wouldn't be half of what it is without Ellen Burstyn.  She returns as Chris -- mother of Regan.  She was nominated for an Academy Award for the original EXORCIST (and won one for ALICE DOESN'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE).  Linda Blair played Regan and returned for the first sequel but Ellen's never appeared in any of the sequels before.  She brings real gravity to the role and that's due, first and foremost, to the fact that she's an incredible actress, but it's also due to 'lived experience.'  We have lived with her as Chris for years and years.  We've seen the original film dozens of times and we know what Chris had to endure.  So we've got that 'lived experience' with the character that we don't have with the newer characters.  We identify with her and would even if Ellen walked through the film with no emotion.  She doesn't though, she delivers one of her high caliber performances.

And I don't get how the critics dismiss that.

What am I saying?

I've read Ava and C.I. for nearly two decades.  As they note repeatedly, women do not get the credit they deserve when it comes to acting.  And that's proven with the negative spin on THE EXCORIST: BELIEVER.  If this was a sequel to some 70s film -- say FRENCH CONNECTION -- and Gene Hackman walked through a two minute cameo they would be going to town on the film.  I remember years ago, reading Ava and C.I. talking about AGNES OF GOD and how Jane Fonda and Anne Bancroft really deliver in that film but the critics pretended not to notice and that this was two of the country's strongest actress who both studied with Lee Strasberg and were members of The Actors Studio and the critics ignored that as well.  But they rave over two similar men.  Or, as Ava and C.I. have pointed out,  the critics go to town praising Robert DeNiro for his weight gain in RAGING BULL but act like Jane Fonda doing the same to play the lead in THE DOLLMAKER was not worth noting.  Really?  Because unlike DeNiro, Jane's body was the breathing poster for her workout business -- gyms and videos and albums and books.  

So I guess it's not surprising that Ellen Bursytn has delivered an amazing performance and the critics would rather talk about something else.

Let me note my ten favorite Ellen Burstyn performances:











Let me note some stuff.  First, Ava and C.I.'s latest is "Media: The week of WTF?," so check that out.  Second, Rebecca continues the story of transphobe Martina Navratilova in "macho martina gets more disgusting."  Third, Ruth's "MAGNUM P.I. returns (for final season)" covers the new episode this week of MAGNUM P.I. and my girlfriend wants me to note, "Ruth is 100% right.  If you like the show, you will love this week's episode."


Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }