Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Truest statement of the week

Though advocates don’t describe them this way, anti-abortion policies clearly aim to push women both into more unplanned pregnancies and down the ladder of civic power. Likewise, anti-gay and anti-transgender policies aim to push the growing group of young people who identify as LGBTQ back into the closet, and into heterosexual relationships and more pregnancies, planned and unplanned. It’s not a surprise that we found that in Texasafter the state imposed a six-week abortion in 2021, the 2022 teen birth rate (and specifically the rate of births to non-white teens) rose for the first time in 15 years, though slightly, while fertility rates for Hispanic women 25–44 (ages with greatest likelihood of inability to travel for an abortion due to having children already at home) rose markedly—foreshadowing post-Dobbs 2023 birth (and poverty) data to come, in Texas and many other states as well.

-- Elizabeth Gregory, "From 'Don’t Say Gay' to Abortion Bans, There’s a New Pronatalism Afoot" (THE NATION).





A note to our readers

Hey --


Let's thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen, 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?



Elizabeth Gregory gets a truest.

Repost from THE COMMON ILLS.

Ava and C.I. cover the attacks on BARBIE.  By the way, I (Jim) changed the title on this about two hours after it went up from "The Attacks On BARBIE" to "Punching BARBIE."

Loving those ads on AMAZON, are you?

Who doesn't love popcorn?

Latest in our ongoing feature.

Heart's going back on tour!!!

They drag down and destroy our country.

Jacquie Luqman.

Paul Rudnick.

What we listened to while working on the edition.




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



Reposting C.I.'s snapshot for today:


Iraq snapshot

Tuesday, January 30, 2024.  Israeli forces invade a hospital and shoot people, Nancy Pelosi is rightly called out, we look at the latest from the campaigns of Marianne Williamson and Little Robbie Kennedy Junior, and much more.

As we noted in yesterday's snapshot, Nancy Pelosi is using McCarthy tactics, is slandering in the same way Donald Trump does and she owes the people an apology.  Amy Goodman (DEMOCRACY NOW!) notes "former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has urged the FBI to investigate pro-Palestinian protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. Without sharing any evidence, Pelosi claimed on CNN that the protesters may have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Pelosi said, 'For them to call for a ceasefire is Mr. Putin’s message'."

Here's THE MAJORITY REPORT on Nancy's outrageous remarks.

Here's THE HUMANIST REPORT on Nancy's offensive remarks.

At THE NATION, Katrina vanden Heuvel responds to US House Rep Nancy Pelosi's ridiculous remarks:

According to a December New York Times/Sienna poll, a plurality of Americans—44 percent—±support a ceasefire, including 50 percent of women, 62 percent of 18–29 year-olds, 59 percent of Democrats and 58 percent of those who voted for Biden in 2020.  

Sixty-seven members of the Democratic caucus in the House, including 13 members from Pelosi’s California delegation have already joined the call. These include centrists like Don Beyer, Debbie Dingell and Judy Chu, Pelosi allies like Jan Schakowsky and Jared Huffman, as well as progressive leaders like Pramila Jayapal, Barbara Lee, Jamie Raskin and members of the “Squad.” They are joined by leading Senate Democrats including Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, Chris Van Hollen and Dick Durbin.

The White House has labeled such calls “repugnant and disgraceful.” Pelosi attributes them to Putin’s machinations. But it is the White House and the former Speaker that are out of touch with the country and the world. In reality, the growing support is not a product of Putin’s “financing” or of Russian disinformation but of people moved by their conscience and their sense of decency.  

Which leads one to ask the former Speaker, to paraphrase Joseph Welch’s famous query to Joe McCarthy in the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearing: “Have you no sense of decency Madam?”

She has no sense of decency.  Few in the US government do as they rush to cut off funding to UNRWA.  From yesterday's DEMOCRACY NOW!

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org. I’m Amy Goodman.

Palestinian officials and human rights groups are denouncing the move by the United States and at least 12 other countries to temporarily suspend funding to UNRWA — that’s the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees — after Israel accused 12 UNRWA employees of helping Hamas stage the October 7th attack. Nine of the employees have been fired. UNRWA said two of the accused employees are dead.

UNRWA is one of the largest employers in Gaza, with a staff of over 13,000. It provides aid to most of Gaza’s 2.3 million residents. The agency has long been targeted by Israel. Since Israel’s assault on Gaza began, over 150 UNRWA staffers have been killed.

Francesca Albanese, U.N. special rapporteur on the Occupied Palestinian Territories, said on social media, quote, “The day after @ICJ concluded that Israel is plausibly committing Genocide in Gaza, some states decided to defund UNRWA, collectively punishing millions of Palestinians at the most critical time, and most likely violating their obligations under the Genocide Convention,” unquote.

Meanwhile, UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini condemned the freezing of funds at a time when famine looms in Gaza. He said, quote, “Palestinians in Gaza did not need [this] additional collective punishment. This stains all of us,” he said. And the U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has urged donor nations to continue supporting UNRWA.

For more, we’re going to Oslo, Norway, where we’re joined by Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council. Norway has decided to continue its funding of UNRWA.

Jan, thanks so much for being with us. Can you start off by responding to the cutting off of funding at a time when, among other things, Gaza is under bombardment and is on the edge of famine?

JAN EGELAND: Yeah, it’s the worst possible reaction to these allegations that some — I mean, maybe a dozen — of the 13,000 UNRWA aid workers betrayed our humanitarian principles of neutrality and independence and participated in the horrific attacks on Israel. That, however, was met immediately with the response of UNRWA by, as you said, firing these staff and now having an independent investigation. What the donors did — the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Italy, Finland, Netherlands, Australia and some others did — was to cut all aid to the children of Gaza, to the women in Gaza, to the completely innocent there. It’s the worst possible move, at a time when this trapped population is under bombardment. Do not punish the many innocent for the sins of the few who did very wrong, it seems.

AMY GOODMAN: Now it will be interesting to see if Israel hands over the evidence for the U.N. to investigate this situation, because we’re talking about an immediate cutoff by many of these nations, suspending weapons. I wanted to read you a clip of the former Israeli official Noga Arbell, who said, “It will be impossible to win the war if we do not destroy UNRWA, and this destruction must begin immediately.” The Prime Minister Netanyahu said there will be no UNRWA in postwar Gaza. Your response, Jan Egeland? And talk about the — you’re the head of large humanitarian aid group. How important is UNRWA to all of the groups, not to mention the people on the ground?

JAN EGELAND: UNRWA is completely essential. I mean, it’s true that I lead the NRC, Norwegian Refugee Council. We’re a large humanitarian group, across the world. We’re on all sides of all conflict lines, for the displaced and the refugees. And we’ve been in Gaza for two decades. We’ve been funded all over the world by the United States and by 40 other donor nations and international agencies.

In Gaza, we have to recognize that all of us combined other groups are not even close to be what UNRWA is for the people of Gaza. UNRWA was the response to the creation of Israel and the 1948 War that displaced so many of the original Palestinian population to Gaza, to the West Bank and elsewhere. UNRWA was then created to give them relief and works. Since then, there has not been a political, peaceful settlement. And that is because the international community has not been able to force the parties, Israel and the Palestinians, to settle this conflict, and thereby we end up by having humanitarian groups like, first and foremost, UNRWA provide for the population.

So, to undermine and undercut UNRWA as extremists, which the Israeli government are doing, is basically to say, “We’re going to punish the women and children, the innocent, on the other side for what some extremists have done, in a situation of utter turmoil and perpetuous conflict, that we’re not ourselves willing to try to settle with talks on a future.” It’s very wrong.

And the international donors must stay with the humanitarian organizations, like Norway did. Norway is a large donor, giving much more per capita to Palestinians than any other donor. We stay with UNRWA, and we say, “Good that you terminated all of those contracts and fired these people, and good that there is an investigation, and then we’ll draw the conclusions what we should do for the future.”

AMY GOODMAN: Jan Egeland, what evidence is there of Israel’s charges? Have they handed over the evidence?

JAN EGELAND: As far as I know, it’s not been received by UNRWA or by the U.N. investigators. I hope they will be received, so that they can do a thorough investigation of this, very serious allegations. I read about them in The New York Times. And if it’s true, again, they betrayed all of our principles, really — neutrality, impartiality, etc. — that is so important for us, who are unarmed humanitarian workers in the crossfire around the world.

But, of course, no one who’s working across the Middle East can guarantee that there are not people within our midst that may, in the end, have hidden agendas. Palestinians cannot do that. Israelis cannot do that. We know of many Israelis who have done very bad things in Gaza, shooting at people with white flags. It’s documented and detailed. They’ve even shot their own people with white flags. They have settler organizations, Mafia-style settler organizations, displacing unarmed women and children and families across the West Bank. Many of these are recruited to the Israeli Defense Forces. They belong in jail, but they are in the Israeli Defense Forces. No one can guarantee that there are not problems. Therefore, they have to be investigated, and there has to be action taken every time something happens. But don’t cut funding to people in great need. It’s the worst possible response.

AMY GOODMAN: Jan Egeland, I want to thank you for being with us, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, speaking to us from Oslo. I’m Amy Goodman. This is another edition of Democracy Now!

International aid agencies have said they are “deeply concerned and outraged” at the “reckless” decision by major donors to cut funding to a UN Palestinian aid agency after Israel accused some of its workers of taking part in Hamas’ 7 October attack.

“We are shocked by the reckless decision to cut a lifeline for an entire population by some of the very countries that had called for aid in Gaza to be stepped up and for humanitarians to be protected while doing their job,” the coalition of 21 agencies, including Oxfam, Save the Children and ActionAid, said in a statement on Monday.

  Amnesty International on Monday joined the growing global chorus denouncing Israel's allies for suspending aid to the United Nations' Palestinian refugee agency even as they continue to support the Israeli military's war on the Gaza Strip, risking complicity in genocide.

Agnès Callamard, Amnesty's secretary-general and the former U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, said that while Israel's claim that a dozen staffers at the refugee agency played a role Hamas' October 7 attack is "serious and must be independently investigated," the "alleged actions of a few individuals must not be used as a pretext for cutting off lifesaving assistance in what could amount to collective punishment."

"Some of the very governments that announced they will cut off funds to UNRWA over these allegations have, in the meantime, continued to arm Israeli forces despite overwhelming evidence that these arms are used to commit war crimes and serious human rights violations," said Callamard. "Rushing to freeze funds for humanitarian aid, based on allegations that are still being investigated, while refusing to even consider suspending support for the Israeli military is a stark example of double standards."

"Instead of suspending vital funding to those in need," Callamard added, "states should be working to halt arms transfers to Israel and Palestinian armed groups and pushing for an immediate and sustained cease-fire and full humanitarian access to help alleviate devastating suffering." 

Gaza remains under assault. Day 116 of  the assault in the wave that began in October.  Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) points out, "Bloodletting as form; murder as fashion.  The ongoing campaign in Gaza by Israel’s Defence Forces continues without stalling and restriction.  But the burgeoning number of corpses is starting to become a challenge for the propaganda outlets:  How to justify it?  Fortunately for Israel, the United States, its unqualified defender, is happy to provide cover for murder covered in the sheath of self-defence."   CNN has explained, "The Gaza Strip is 'the most dangerous place' in the world to be a child, according to the executive director of the United Nations Children's Fund."  ABC NEWS quotes UNICEF's December 9th statement, ""The Gaza Strip is the most dangerous place in the world to be a child. Scores of children are reportedly being killed and injured on a daily basis. Entire neighborhoods, where children used to play and go to school have been turned into stacks of rubble, with no life in them."  NBC NEWS notes, "Strong majorities of all voters in the U.S. disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of foreign policy and the Israel-Hamas war, according to the latest national NBC News poll. The erosion is most pronounced among Democrats, a majority of whom believe Israel has gone too far in its military action in Gaza."  The slaughter continues.  It has displaced over 1 million people per the US Congressional Research Service.  Jessica Corbett (COMMON DREAMS) points out, "Academics and legal experts around the world, including Holocaust scholars, have condemned the six-week Israeli assault of Gaza as genocide."   The death toll of Palestinians in Gaza is grows higher and higher.  United Nations Women noted, "More than 1.9 million people -- 85 per cent of the total population of Gaza -- have been displaced, including what UN Women estimates to be nearly 1 million women and girls. The entire population of Gaza -- roughly 2.2 million people -- are in crisis levels of acute food insecurity or worse."  THE HINDUSTAN TIMES notes, "At least 26,083 Palestinians have been killed and 64,487 injured in Israeli strikes on Gaza since Oct.7, the Gaza health ministry said in a statement on Friday."  AP has noted, "About 4,000 people are reported missing."  And the area itself?  Isabele Debre (AP) reveals, "Israel’s military offensive has turned much of northern Gaza into an uninhabitable moonscape. Whole neighborhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been blasted by airstrikes and scorched by tank fire. Some buildings are still standing, but most are battered shells."  Kieron Monks (I NEWS) reports, "More than 40 per cent of the buildings in northern Gaza have been damaged or destroyed, according to a new study of satellite imagery by US researchers Jamon Van Den Hoek from Oregon State University and Corey Scher at the City University of New York. The UN gave a figure of 45 per cent of housing destroyed or damaged across the strip in less than six weeks. The rate of destruction is among the highest of any conflict since the Second World War."  Max Butterworth (NBC NEWS) adds, "Satellite images captured by Maxar Technologies on Sunday reveal three of the main hospitals in Gaza from above, surrounded by the rubble of destroyed buildings after weeks of intense bombing in the region by Israeli forces."   

ALJAZEERA notes this morning, "Israeli special forces dressed as doctors and nurses killed three Palestinians inside Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday." CNN adds, "The Palestinian Ministry of Health condemned the attack and the targeting of a health center. They called on the UN General Assembly and NGOs to provide the necessary protection for medical treatment centers and emergency crews." THE PENINSULA offers this description of the events:

Israeli forces disguised as civilian women and medical workers stormed a hospital Tuesday in the occupied West Bank, and opened fire inside the wards of Ibn Sina Hospital in Jenin, killing three. 

The Palestinian Health Ministry condemned the raid and called on the international community to pressure Israel's military to halt such operations in hospitals. A hospital spokesperson said there was no exchange of fire, indicating that it was a targeted killing. 

CNN notes, "Israeli shelling killed dozens of people and wounded others east of Gaza City on Monday, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said. CNN is unable to independently verify the report. Elsewhere, the Palestine Red Crescent said it lost contact with a team dispatched to rescue a 6-year-old girl trapped in a car in central Gaza after it was fired upon. The Red Crescent said the girl's father and four siblings were killed in the attack."

“They are weak now, they always have diarrhea, their faces are yellow,” Hanadi Gamal Saed El Jamara, 38, whose family was displaced from northern Gaza, told CNN on January 9. “My 17-year-old daughter tells me she feels dizziness, my husband is not eating.”

She tries to feed her kids at least once a day, she says, while tending to her husband, a cancer and diabetes patient.

As Gaza spirals toward full-scale famine, displaced civilians and health workers told CNN they go hungry so their children can eat what little is available. If Palestinians find water, it is likely undrinkable.

When relief trucks trickle into the strip, people clamber over each other to grab aid. Children living on the streets, after being forced from their homes by Israel’s bombardment, cry and fight over stale bread. Others reportedly walk for hours in the cold searching for food, risking exposure to Israeli strikes.

Even before the war, two out of three people in Gaza relied on food support, Arif Husain, the chief economist at the World Food Programme (WFP), told CNN. Palestinians have lived through 17 years of partial blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt.

Learn more about the looming famine in Gaza.

Let's wind down on US politics.

Marianne Williamson is running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  She came in third in New Hampshire.  Dean Phillips came in second (Joe Biden won).  Dean is not news.  Dean has never been news.  He doesn't know how to make news.  Marianne is news.  She's making news by going all out for Nevada and by going all out on social media.  It'll be interesting to see what happens in Nevada.  It may be no different.  But it is news.  For her latest YOUTUBE videos, click here.  For her Twitter feed, click here. And click here for her campaign site.  What she's doing is news and should be covered as news.  How's this going to turn out?  The media should be paying attention.  It could be very humiliating for her.  It could shake up things.  It's absolutely something poli sci majors with an emphasis in campaign politics should be following.

Marianne may end her campaign and seek the Green Party's presidential nomination.  I don't know that she will.  She didn't in 2020.  But based on what we're about to quickly talk about, I want to be clear that if she does the following does not apply to her.  She would have gone from a run in the Democratic Party to a run for the Green Party's nomination.

Yes, it's time to talk about Little Junior and his Daddy issues that led to his embarrassing campaign.

Robert Kennedy Junior started out running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination but no one wanted him.  So then he announced he was an independent candidate!  

But he's had trouble getting on the ballot -- he's only made the ballot for one state.  He and his corrupt cronies looked around and saw that he'd have less requirements to make the ballot if he pretended to have a political party so they'd just create a political party.  As we noted weeks ago, that is called fraud. Worse yet, it's intended fraud that can be proven because they were stupid enough to publicly state their plans and goals.  It's fraud.  Realizing that he will face challenges -- legal  challenges -- on any ballot that he makes due to some newly created 'political party,'  Junior's floating a new idea.  He's thinking about pursuing the presidential nomination of The Libertarian Party.

He seems to think he would be the obvious choice.  Is Junior back on the heroin?

The Libertarian Party is fine with losing as long as they feel they keep their principles.  They're in for the longterm and they're not lured by celebrity.  So there's not real need for them to get a 'name' on their ticket.

Second, The Libertarian Party wants a cease-fire. Junior has repeatedly rejected a cease-fire and has championed the Isreali government's 'right' to carry out a slaughter.  

Again, is he back on the drugs?

He really needs to shut down his embarrassing campaign that has disgraced the memories of his father and his uncle as well as every living member of his family.  See Ruth tonight for more on this topic.

The following sites updated:


Media: Punching BARBIE

In 1970, The Temptations reminded the world it was a "Ball of Confusion" and in 1982, Tina Turner reminded everyone again.  Maybe we don't need a reminder in song currently because the message is clear on TV, in print and online currently?


Take the attack on BARBIE for example.


Or rather the attack on BARBIE's fans.


At THE ROOT, for example, Dustin J. Siebert screeches "The Salty White Woman Tears Shed Over the ‘Barbie’ Oscar Snubs Taste So Good."  Poor pathetic Dusty.  At the very least, based on the article, it should be "women."  Didn't you learn pronoun and subject agreement in school?  No wonder you've been fired from one outlet after another.


Or maybe it was your ignorance on the topics you cover -- such as the ignorance behind saying Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig didn't deserve to be nominated for Best Actress or Best Director.  On director nominations, the early indicator is the Directors Guild of America's nominations for Best Director of a Feature Film -- and, by the way, Greta got nominated by the DGA.


Dustbin tries to hide his dusty sexism by bringing up Lily Gladstone and hailing her as a first in the Best Actress category.  

She is something and that is: A big mistake.

She doesn't belong in the category.  There is no lead female role in KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON.  That's per the way the role is (under)written and it's per the running time of the film.  Gladstone appears in less than half the movie.  She plays a supporting role and does not belong in the lead category.

Then there's the fact that Hattie McDaniel won an Academy Award.  For Best Supporting Actress, yes.  But she won for playing a slave in GONE WITH THE WIND.  And that is a controversial decision to this day.  No one questions that Hattie could act.  Many question the role she won for.  Many question her for taking it.  That questioning started when the film was made.  It has only grown more intense as the years have passed.  A similar fate awaits KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON which uses a Native American narrative to prop up two Anglo White men and offers an embarrassing role for Lily Gladstone.  She's not bad in the role.  But like Hattie, the role and the film are far beneath her.  



Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon has been promoted on the strength of the filmmaker’s dedication to honouring the First Nations people. But the film itself fails that mission.

In his signature style of seemingly effortless meticulousness, and creating all-consuming worlds out of the power dynamics in micro-cosmic communities — Killers of the Flower Moon sees Scorsese lend his craft to the horrific Osage Murders of the early 1900s. During the ‘Reign of Terror’, as it would come to be known, the Osage Native community lost over 60 wealthy tribal members who were murdered for their land claims.

This is the story of Killers of the Flower Moon. It’s a story of how colonial capitalism and white American greed motivated the murder of dozens of First Nations people. Since its debut, the film has been promoted on the strength of its inclusiveness, activism, and by extension how Killers of the Flower Moon, supposedly, advocates for the condemnation of the colonial settlers responsible for the Osage Murders. Even the film’s co-lead, Lily Gladstone, told Vulture the film is not a white saviour story. And it’s true. Far from being a story about white people nobly “saving” First Nations people, the film is more akin to a slow-burn horror about the infinite cruelty of colonial settlers.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts of Scorsese and his team to involve the Osage in telling their story, the film adopts a self-flagellating white gaze. At every turn, Killers of the Flower Moon refuses to decentre whiteness. Instead, the film uses the gruesome murder of First Nations people, not to advocate for Indigenous humanity, but to showcase the lack of it in white people.


NATIVE MEDIA THEORY's  Elias Gold offers this critique. 



EQUAL OPPORTUNITY READER explains, "I am tired of seeing stories about Black, Brown, and Indigenous people that center white feelings. I don't care if those feelings are guilt. I don't need any more nuanced portrayals of the villainy of evil white people of history. I need nuanced portrayals of the people they tried to destroy."


We can't blame Dustbin too much, he may not have seen the movie.  Most people skipped it.

You know what they didn't skip?  BARBIE.

The reason so many are complaining about what they see as snubs is because so many people saw BARBIE.

Many people may not be aware of that.  A sexist industry press tried to make it BARBIHEIMER last summer and sell them as the two biggest films.  They were not.

Do people get that?  The number one film of 2023, in terms of ticket sales, was BARBIE.

'B-b-b-but OPPENHEIMER was number two!'

Kids, it wasn't even number three.


Top five box office hits for 2023:






And it wasn't even close.  BARBIE, with $656,239,421 in ticket sales made nearly double at the box office than OPPENHEIMER with $328, 159,000. 


That the number one film of the year didn't get a Best Actress or a Best Director nomination is going to be something people comment on.  A lot of people are going to comment -- mainly the many fans who paid to see the movie. 

This happens every year with the nominations. People often complained, in more recent years, that Robert Downey Jr. didn't get nominated for any of his Iron Man performances and we happen to agree that was a huge oversight and snub.

Dustbin, working out his frustrations over being a failed writer, wants to reduce those complaining to White women (in the headline to "White woman").  Really?  The first we heard of a complaint was from Michelle Yeoh who told us she hoped we'd write about it.  We've known Michelle for years and she is an amazing actress but apparently more so than we ever knew because, until Dustbin typed his bad article, we never knew she was a White woman.

Dustbin also doesn't know anything about acting as he downgrades Margot's performance insisting that it's easy to play a doll.  No, it's not.  It's one of those roles -- like Peter Sellers plays in BEING THERE -- where one false note destroys everything.  Ask Tom Hanks how difficult it was to play Forest.  Margot  excelled as Barbie.  

Dustbin is a sexist pig.  And they started oinking the moment the film came out.  They were all over the left web eager to start attacking until, after COUNTERPUNCH's second or third article attacking the film, they got called on the sexism involved.  Barbie doesn't throw grenades.  Meaning?  These same left outlets have never once felt the need to call out, for example, the live action GI JOE films.

But let a film star a woman -- let alone be directed by one -- and everyone's rushing to attack.


Take racist Bill Maher who pretended he wanted to ponder whether or not sexism was involved in Margo and Greta being shut out in the Best Actress and Best Director categories.  Pretended?


We know he's an idiot but even he's not so much of an idiot that he believes he can address sexism with two guests -- two male guests: US House Rep Adam Schiff and Seth  MacFarlane -- Seth who infamously hosted the Academy Awards with one sexist moment after another.

Bill didn't want to get real about sexism.  What shocked us was how many others didn't want to.

Whoopi Goldberg wanted people watching THE VIEW to know that some times you just don't get nominated.  That is correct.  And sometimes there are reasons for that.

But that was too much for Whoopi to grasp.


Maybe next time he doesn't want to address sexism, Bill can have Whoopi on and bring producer Lynda Obst with her. 

THE ATLANTIC's Elaine Godfrey posted at HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE and included a Tweet from Lynda (which appears to have been deleted) in which Lynda dismissed the alleged snub for numerous reasons including "For one thing, name another comedy where the lead got nominated for an Oscar (always supporting) and that goes for straight comedy for directors too."  


For starters?  


This year, Emma Stone for POOR THINGS -- Best Actress nominee.

Need other examples?  Margot Robbie for I, TONYA, Olivia Colman for THE FAVOURITE, Meryl Streep for FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS, Meryl Streep for AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, Amy Adams for AMERICAN HUSTLE, Jennifer Lawrence for SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, Annette Bening for THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT. Meryl Streep for JULIE & JULIA, Meryl Streep for THE DEVIL WORE PRADA, Annette Bening for BEING JULIA, Diane Keaton for SOMETHINGS GOTTA GIVE, Renee Zellweger in BRIDGET JONE'S DIARY, Gwyneth Paltrow for SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, Helen Hunt for AS GOOD AS IT GETS . . . 

We could go on and on. 


For those listed, we used women who were also nominated for Golden Globes for the same film and nominated in the comedy category (GG nominates best comedy or musical performance and best drama performance) and we did so because Lynda dismissed "dramadies" as an exception.  So, for example, Cate Blanchet is not noted for comedy-drama BLUE JASMINE despite her AA nomination since the Globes put her in the drama category. The same with others -- including Felicity Huffman for TRANSAMERICA.


Were you drunk, Lynda, when you Tweeted that nonsense?  It only got worse in her Tweet,  "I put the first female lead in a blockbuster (Jodie in CONTACT) but didn't expect applause."


Good.  Good that you didn't expect applause for that because you didn't do that.  


Of living actresses, probably Julie Andrews holds the claim to being the first female lead in a blockbuster with THE SOUND OF MUSIC.  Then there's Barbra Streisand in FUNNY GIRL.  PRIVATE BENJAMIN starring Goldie Hawn was a blockbuster (and Goldie produced it) as was 9 TO FIVE with Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton (and Jane produced it).  In fact, there are many blockbusters starring a female lead.  Now, in the 90s, a blockbuster became a film that made $100 million or more in ticket sales.  Even with that measurement, Lynda's lying.  CONTACT came out in the summer of 1997 and made $100 million domestically.  That same summer?  Julia Roberts' MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING came out and made $126 million domestically.  And before that?  Julia's PELICAN BRIEF made $100 million domestically (1993), SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY made $101 million domestically (1991), PRETTY WOMAN made $178 million domestically (1990).  And, by the way, before 1997's CONTACT, Jodie Foster was already the lead in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) which made $130 million domestically.



So you're embarrassing claim that you pioneered something when you didn't?  Let's hope it was a drunken boast. 


 Was it a snub or not?  Failing to nominate Margot and Greta?

We've listed solid reasons why it could be seen as a snub.  We haven't called it one.   An argument can be made either way.  And those rushing to insist it was no snub?  They came in ready to attack the film, did you notice that?  They were excessively eager to attack a film that pleased a lot of little girls and women.  It's interesting how the pig class always runs forward to oink-oink-oink when, even just one movie -- even just one -- appears to cater to women.  


What's the future of AMAZON?

The greed of the streamers.  If you haven't noticed 2023 was the drop off in new content.  We'll see even less this year.  Yet the prices continue to soar.  And when not increasing their prices, they seem to be all trying to add advertising.  Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez (FORTUNE) reports:

Amazon spends billions of dollars every year on programming for its Prime Video platform and now it wants customers to pay up or get used to seeing ads on their favorite shows.

On Monday, the tech giant made ad-supported streaming the default on Prime Video for its more than 200 million subscribers. The company originally announced the plan in September, saying that ​​it was needed, “to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment ...” 

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if it was another streamer?  No, not MAX.  MAX is the worst streamer that has nothing to offer but those ridiculous and crappy shows from Chip and Joanna and the other basement dwellers.  AMAZON really doesn't offer that much original content.  Not any worth watching.  We watch REACHER and we're watching EX PATS.  If AMAZON serves up two series worth watching a year, that's considered epic for them.  

Maybe it's also the fact that, unlike HULU, AMAZON didn't start out with ads.  Want to skip them?   Quiroz-Gutierrez explains:  

Amazon claimed in its original announcement that Prime Video will show fewer ads than regular TV or other streaming services, but those who want to avoid them altogether will have to pay an additional $2.99 per month on top of the $14.99 monthly fee that already exists.

Expect even more advertising to come in AMAZON's future.

Need a scary thought?

How long exactly is AMAZON's future?

It will go the way of many brick and mortar stores one day.  When that day happens, do we kiss goodbye all the streaming films we've bought from AMAZON?  All the music?  All the books for KINDLE?

Five things to add to popcorn

Aaron Hutcherson (WASHINGTON POST) served up "5 popcorn recipes for snackers of all types" and it left us less than inspired and less than hungry. 

Here are five things we like to add to a warm, just popped, bowl of popcorn.

1) Taco seasoning.  You won't believe how good this tastes.  Start with 1 tablespoon and mix into popcorn.  If it's for you, next time add a little more.

2) Garlic salt.  If you're a garlic lover, this is wonderful to use in place of regular or sea salt (we love sea salt ourselves).

3) Honey heated for about a minute in the microwave.

4) Cinnamon fan?  We love to dash cinnamon on top of our popcorn.

5) Chocolate chips.  Sweetened.  Let them melt some in the still hot popcorn. 

In addition, we swear by Kernel Seasons -- a series of popcorn spices such as Dill Pickle, Ranch, Nacho Cheddar, Cinnamon Roll, Ranch, Carmel Corn, etc. 



WTF journalism?

Charlotte Chilton's "40 Iconic Couples From the '70s" (ELLE) raised the WTF question.  Repeatedly. 

There's the factual issue of "but split."  Farrah Fawcett and Lee Majors did not split in 1982 -- ("they divorced" which implies they split then) -- Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal became a couple in 1979.  Or take this on Jane Fonda and Roger Vadim, "They were together for eight years and had one child together, but split in 1973."  Uh.  No.  They split in 1969.  Jane Fonda was seeing, among others, Donald Sutherland in 1970.  So, no, Roger and Jane weren't a supercouple of the 70s.  As for the 1973 divorce?  Jane was pregnant with Tom Hayden's child and married him three days after the divorce was final (January 19, 1973).  Or this on Goldie Hawn and Mark Harmon, "The couple married in 1976, but by 1982 they were done." No, they were doing in August of 1980 when Goldie filed for divorce.  We could do that all day long.  

But what really puts the WTF into this article from ELLE would be sentences like this from their blurb for Diane Keaton and Warren Beatty, "The couple began dating in 1978 and he even casted her in his 1981 filmReds."  Casted?  He casted her?  Cast.  He cast her.  

And runner up for the week produced this sentence, "On stage during a Monday appearance at the University of California, Berkeley’s law school, the first Latina justice spoke to the demands of the gig's demands at her age since she was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2009."

The demands of the gig's demands?  Googling should provide you with the runner up's outlet and name.

Dream set-list for Heart

kicking and dreaming



Heart is going on tour in 2024.

On Monday, the rock band announced the Royal Flush tour featuring special guest Cheap Trick.

Royal Flush will see Heart perform across North America and Europe. The tour kicks off April 20 in Greenville, S.C., and concludes Sept. 22 in Morrison, Colo.

Heart's going back out on the road!

Which means we should celebrate with our dream setlist from the band.

15) "Will You Be Their In The Morning"

14) "Even It Up"

13) "Crazy On You"

12) "What About Love"

11) "Never"

10) "Heartless"

9) "Who Will You Run To"

8) "Stranded" 

7) "These Dreams"

6) "Nobody Home"

5) "The Oldest Story In The World"

4) "Up On Cherry Blossom Road"

3) "Alone"

2) "Dog & Butterfly"

1) "Barracuda" (the encore)

Ann and Nancy Wilson rocking out.  Visit Heart's website for tour date information.

Aaron Hutcherson (WASHINGTON POST) served up "5 popcorn recipes for snackers of all types" and it left us less than inspired and less than hungry. 

Here are five things we like to add to a warm, ju




Hate Merchants

Joseph Ax (REUTERS) reports, "As many as one in 10 hate crimes in the U.S. take place at schools - from kindergarten through college - according to an FBI report released on Monday, with Black students the most frequent targets, followed by Jewish and LGBTQ victims. Schools were the third most frequent location for hate crimes - after residences and roadways or alleys - from 2018 to 2022, even though most schools experienced months of closures during the 2020-2021 academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic."

Which is why schools should teach real African-American history (and not the garbage that racists like Ron DeSantis come up with).  Which is why Moms For Bigotry help no one and actually do outrageous harm.  OUT TV.

And let's include on the list of hate merchants that ugly, sour faced, bulging gut (not even control top pantyhose can hold her gut in) Anya Parampil.  She's a sycophant of that Mother Tucker Carlson and so enjoyed ridiculing trans people that she kept a Tweet mocking transgender people pinned to the top of her trashy Twitter feed for over six months.

These people do real harm.  Toss in John Stauber as well.  He pretends he's of the left while reposting Tweets from the hate group Gays Against Groomers.

To be really clear, it's not just bad for African-Americans and LGBTQ+ people, it's bad for a lot of things.

For example, John Stuber and Anya pretend to care about Palestinians.  But if they truly cared, they wouldn't be hate merchants.  They'd grasp that their disgusting attacks on others makes it hard for people to join them in actions.  

They are disgusting.

This is a list of people who attack the LGBTQ+ community.  They're hate merchants and should be avoided at all costs.

1) Marjorie Taylor Green

2) Ron DeSantis

3) Lauren Boebert

4) Anthony Monteiro

5) J.K. Rowling

6) Kristi Noem

7) Kim Reynolds

8) Marco Rubio

9) Rand Paul

10) Tucker Carlson

11) Greg Abbott

12) Ron Johnson

13) Todd Aiken

14) Doug Lamborn

15) Dan Burton

16) Candace Cameron

17) Kirk Cameron

18) Jonathan Turley

19) Tulsi Gabbard

20) John Stauber 

21) Kid Rock

22) Matt Taibbi 

23) Riley Gaines

24) Anya Parampil

25) Matt Walsh

26) Gregg Abbott

27) (Butt Ugly) Moms For Liberty (aka Moms For Bigotry)

28) Tiffany Justice

29) Tina Descovich

 30) Bridget Ziegler

 31) Megyn Kelly

32) Ana Kasparian

  33) Ben Burgis

 34) Jesse Singal

 35) RFK Junior

36) 'Dr' Naomi Wolf

37) Bari Weiss

38) Jesse Singal

39) Katie Herzog

40) Jamie Reed


42) Dax Shepherd

43) Victoria Jackson

44) Dave Chappelle

45) Alice Cooper

46) Da Baby

47) Kim Burrell

48) Donnie McClurkin

49) Azealia Banks





Illustration is Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY "Bigot Becky Barks."


Tweet of the week (political)


Tweet of the week (humor)


This edition's playlist

diana cover 2



1) Diana Ross' THANK YOU.



3) Ashford & Simpson's STREET OPERA.


4) Green Day's  'SAVIORS.'


5) Joni Mitchell's JONI MITCHELL ARCHIVES -- VOL. 3: THE ASYLUM YEARS (1972 - 1975).



6) The Rolling Stones' HACKNEY DIAMONDS.


7) Sam Smith's GLORIA.


8) Chase Rice's THE ALBUM.




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