Sunday, December 21, 2014

Truest statement of the week

The question is, what do we do with this moment of national self-awareness? Beyond demanding the prosecution of high-level perps, how about really changing the game? I suggest reviving S. 126, a bill introduced into the U.S. Senate on Jan. 4, 1995 by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, titled: Abolition of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Abolish the agency that has secretly stirred up hell on earth. Its sins go far beyond torturing suspected terrorists. This agency, with its annual budget (in 2013) of nearly $15 billion, has covertly carried out the bidding of special economic and political interests since its founding, orchestrating, among much else, the overthrow of democratically elected, populist governments in Iran, Guatemala and Chile because the U.S. couldn’t control them. In each case, the regime that followed was darkly repressive, murderous; the blood of their victims is also on American hands.

The abolition of the CIA could be a conscious step in tearing our government out of the grip of the war consensus — this unelected force that feeds on perpetual global mistrust and hatred, the exact opposite of what true security requires.

-- Robert C. Koehler, "Abolishing the CIA" (Information Clearing House).

Truest statement of the week II

But for many of us who took part in or were simply aware of the Black Panther Party in the late 60s and early 70s, the Kwaanza holiday is inseparable from the career and persona of its inventor, Ron Karenga, now a tenured professor in California. Back in the day, Karenga headed up an organization called US. As a tool of COINTELPRO, the federal counterintelligence program directed at movement organizations, Karenga's US organization murdered 2 leading members of the Black Panther Party in Los Angeles, Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter and John Huggins, and 2 more in San Diego, Sylvester Bell and John Savage. To my knowledge, Mr. Karenga has never expressed the faintest remorse or regret for these murders, or for his part in furthering the nefarious aims of federal and local police agencies in their assault upon the movement of those times. Karenga was later convicted along with his wife, of kidnapping and torturing two women in his own organization, a crime for which he served 4 years in prison, and one of which he still claims to be innocent. Some of Karenga's close and credible associates however, like former US chair Wesley Kabaila, maintain Karenga was not only responsible for those women's torture, but that it was part of an ongoing pattern over the years.  

-- Bruce A. Dixon, "Why I Don't Do Kwaanza" (Black Agenda Report).

A note to our readers

Hey --


First, we thank all who participated this edition which includes Dallas and the following:

The Third Estate Sunday Review's Jim, Dona, Ty, Jess and Ava,
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude,
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man,
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review,
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills),
Mike of Mikey Likes It!,
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz),
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix,
Ruth of Ruth's Report,
Wally of The Daily Jot,
Trina of Trina's Kitchen,
Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends,
Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts,
and Ann of Ann's Mega Dub.

And what did we come up with?

Robert C. Koehler gets a truest. 
Bruce A. Dixon earns another truest. 
On the ground combat is taking place.  Why isn't Barack being honest with the American people?
Ava and C.I. cover Cristela, the sitcom format and the critics love of asexual women.
Look who's under the Christmas tree already. 
Ava and C.I. respond to angry idiot.  And, for the record, the e-mail address for this site is and you really shouldn't be bothering other sites -- certainly not griping at them -- for things we wrote and published.
Oh how the press works overtime to protect Dirty Rice.
They get real dumb in the Cult of St. Barack.
What we listened to while writing this edition.
From US House Rep. Maxine Waters' office.
Repost from UK Socialist Worker. 

Press release from IAVA. 
Mike and the gang wrote this and we thank them for it.


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

Editorial: US troops fighting in Iraq

Before leaving for his latest vacation, US President Barack Obama should have appeared for the nation to explain that, despite his public promises, US troops have been engaged in on the ground combat in Iraq.

A few overseas outlets and some smaller US ones reported last week about a fierce battle that US troops participated in.  For example, Wednesday, The Inquisitor reported:

American troops in Iraq had their first actual battle with ISIS troops after the Islamist militants tried to overrun a base, an encounter that left the ISIS troops decimated and in retreat.
The attack took place near the Ein al-Asad base, which includes close to 100 U.S. military advisers. The U.S. troops, armed with “light and medium weapons,” and were able to inflict casualties against the ISIS fighters, forcing them to retreat, Shafaq News reported. The American troops were also aided by fighter jets, which directed air strikes against the ISIS troops that “silenced their heavy sources of fire.”
“US forces intervened because of ISIS started to come near the base, which they are stationed in so out of self-defense,” said Sheikh Mahmud Nimrawi, a prominent tribal leader.

That was last week and Barack never got honest with the American people.


Bloomberg News' Zainab Fattah and Aziz Alwan report:

U.S. soldiers clashed with Islamic State militants, helping the Iraqi army repel attacks against the town of al-Baghdadi in the western Anbar province, Al Jazeera TV reported, as Kurdish forces advanced in the north.
The U.S. troops were from al-Assad military base, the biggest in Anbar, First Lieutenant Muneer al-Qoud from the Iraqi police said by phone.

When's Barack planning to get honest with the American people?

Oh, wait.

We've been asking that question for six years now.

Clearly, honesty will have to be forced from Barack, it will not be surrendered on its own.

TV: The TV Latina the press renders invisible

Fall 2014 saw two networks introduce shows featuring a Latina lead.  One was a show worth watching and the other starred a stereotypical 'hot tamale' in a series of contrived situations all revolving around the fact that 'the little Latin Spitfire' was a virgin.

Guess which ones the Golden Globes got on board with?

Did you guess the hideous Jane The Virgin -- a disgusting tale of a 23-year-old pregnant virgin starring 30-year-old Gina Rodriguez?

Yeah, it's the whole Black Snake Moan crap all over again.

Jane's a freak before her 'miraculous pregnancy' (artificial insemination) and yet some 'critics' want to hold it up as an example of great television when it's just another sexist, b.s. show where someone other than a woman controls her own body.

But the show the critics want to ignore?

It's so different from Jane The Virgin.

For example, Cristela actually has viewers.

It's a hit which Jane will never be.

It's also hilarious when Jane, at best, aspires to the 'humor' of Desperate Housewives.

And it stars a woman with goals beyond holding on to her 'flower.'

(And we didn't make that allusion, the opening of Jane The Virgin did -- where grandma had Jane crumple a flower and then explain that the flower was destroyed and that the flower was like Jane's virginity.)

The woman playing Cristela is Cristela Alonzo, a Tejana.  She's also a co-creator of the show and a writer.

Co-creator of the show?

Cristela follows in the tradition of a successful stand-up comic's act becoming the basis for their sitcom -- Roseanne, Seinfeld, These Friends of Mine (Ellen), Home Improvement, Everybody Loves Raymond, Grace Under Fire, etc.

And part of the 'problem' with the show is so-called critics.

A sitcom is not complete in its pilot.

The Mary Tyler Moore Show, for example?  Ted Knight would sketch in additional layers to his character Ted Baxter.  Cloris Leachman, Valerie Harper, Ed Asner and others would also add layers as the season continued.

Cristela's first episode was just okay.

And had it been episode 15 or a second season episode, that would be a problem.

But it's a sitcom before a live audience and, when a show has promise, the audience can help so much.

The audience allows Cristela, the actress, to breathe.  That's very important in comedy.

As she's found her space, her acting has gotten richer and deeper.

So has her writing.

The hardest thing in the world to pull off is a special-Christmas episode.

"It's Not About The Tamales" was the rare Christmas episode that succeeds.

No nonsense about the homeless man who looks like Santa Claus and gets brought home only to turn out to be Santa Claus or an accident that requires the miracle of the season to fix things.

The episode, written by Cristela Alonzo, involved her Jewish co-worker Josh (Andrew Leeds) showing up and seeing Cristela's family at their best and at their worst.  In addition, it filled in so much with the appearance of Eddie, the brother of Cristela and Daniela (Maria Canals Barrera), which allowed Terri Hoyos to show another side in her role as Cristela's mother Natalia.

All of this was done while providing laughter -- the element so many alleged sitcoms forget these days.

It was the ninth episode of a series where each episode has shown a marked improvement.

That's what happens to promising sitcoms if they are filmed before a live audience, the performers, the writers, are able to improve.

A stand up comic, like Cristela, takes an act on the road and, through a series of concerts, hones the act until it's at its strongest.

To fail to do that with a sitcom, to fail to allow it to be performed before a live audience is to doom it to never improving, to only being as good as its initial pilot.

A lot of people think Modern Family is wonderful.  It's really not but the parts that do work tend to come from other shows.

Mitch?  It's the exact same character Jesse Tyler Ferguson fleshed out in The Class (only openly gay).  Ty Burrell's also brought his character over from a sitcom with a live studio audience.  By contrast, Julie Bowen's performance and character is one note.  With no studio audience to offer feedback, she's played a thinly sketched character in a superficial manner and done so season after season.  Her performance isn't just tired, it's dead.

The cast member we worried most about after viewing the pilot was Carlos Ponce who plays Cristela's brother-in-law Felix.  He doesn't want her around (she lives in Daniela and Felix's home). In the first two shows, this was not humorous and Ponce was hitting on notes that made you wonder if Felix was going to end up being a heavy on the show?

The actor was not connecting.

The lack of response from live audiences allowed Ponce (and the writers) the measurement on what to pull back and what to push forward.

Felix is now a relatable character as opposed to the blank question mark that you feared might start beating up his wife.

Had Cristela been a single-camera 'sitcom,' Ponce would still be hitting the wrong notes and be as frozen and dead in his performance as Julie Bowen is as Modern Family's Claire.

Instead, a show with promise has already lived up to it.

Cristela is the strongest sitcom ABC's introduced in years and the growth its demonstrated since the first episode recalls ABC's landmark comedy Roseanne which starred Roseanne Barr who, incidentally, shows up as the ex-wife of Cristela's boss next month.  Forgive us for seeing it as a torch-passing moment.

The grinch who stole Christmas

Look out Malia and Sasha!  Someone's already started grabbing and unwrapping presents.

All the little bitches (Ava and C.I.)

Hello, welcome to The Third Estate Sunday Review.  We're Ava and C.I.

We hope that's clear.

It seems to be confusing for some.

Like mswhs@[. . .]  who e-mailed another website to gripe about our "She sang so much, she wrote so little (Ava and C.I.)" which we wrote back in 2013.

Which we wrote for this site.

But mswhs -- dubbed "MS" for the rest of this piece -- got confused and e-mailed another website to slam them for writing the piece and publishing it.

When the e-mail was forwarded to us, we had to laugh at the stupidity.


We wrote a critical appraisal of Linda Ronstadt's book.

If you're not grown up enough to handle that, too damn bad.

Reality: It didn't and couldn't hurt the sales of her book.

Our turning a critical eye on Linda actually meant that her more immature fans -- like MS -- would feel the need to defend her and that, pay attention, actually spurs sales -- of books, of albums, you name it.

We've covered this before noting the attacks on Stevie Nicks passed off as 'critiques' ("space cadet" -- among the many terms appearing in Rolling Stone as they trashed Stevie repeatedly -- being only one example) actually increased the bond her fans felt with her.

We're not bothered that MS had a tantrum in an e-mail.

He or she is clearly obsessed with Linda so we're not surprised by the e-mail (we also saw the e-mails he or she continued to write to the site after they explained he had the wrong site).

We're just shocked by the ignorance.

For those who don't know, balding creep and bad singer James Taylor is the ex-husband of Carly Simon and he's imposed -- or tried to -- various rules.  He will not talk about Carly in interviews. His friends and peers are not to mention Carly.  If you're doing an approved of biography of James, such as the awful one Timothy White wrote, you do not speak to Carly.  Carly is not allowed to speak of him.

Carly, rightly, eventually said screw you on the nonsense that she was not allowed to talk about James.

It's a shame others do not do the same.

Here's where MS needs to pay attention.

MS writes:

If you're upset about Carly not getting the respect she is owed ( and deserves) for her rightful place in rock history, blame Rolling Stone and the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame.  Female acts not inducted into the RRHOF include singer-songer writers Stevie Nicks (solo career), Joan Baez, Bette Midler, Carole King, Joan Armatrading, Annie Lennox, Sheryl Crow and just plain old singers like Tina Turner (solo career), Pat Benatar, and Cher.  I'm sure these artists and their fans don't hold Linda Ronstadt responsible for their omissions.
46 years after her first Top Ten hit, Linda Ronstadt was finally inducted last year. But the RRHOF took so long that she couldn't even sing anymore.  It's no wonder she didn't attend.

We're sorry but we covered that years ago -- the omissions in the Rock in Roll Hall of Fame.

Why don't we now?

One of us (C.I.) knows Jann Wenner very well, too well, and if we continue to cover this topic, men will be outed.  So-so 'rockers' who got covers and write ups even though no one liked them simply because they were 'friendly' with Jann.  Jann wasn't out then but he did get some 'favors' from some desperate male recording artists.

He abused his power from Rolling Stone and, we'd argue, he still abuses that power with regards to the Hall of Fame.  In fact, we think he should be stripped of his post with regards to the Hall.

But we're trying not to go there so we're currently ignoring the Hall and Jann.

(There are five who really benefited from being 'friendly' with Jann.  We're trying not to go there because 3 men we'd name are straight but wanted press coverage and 2 are in the closet about their many same-sex relationships.)

Linda's not required to mention Carly, MS insists.

Uh, yeah, she is.  They're peers from the same period.  They knew each other.  They were friends.

She's noting Cher in the book.

Cher doesn't like Linda.

Cher's never liked Linda.

Cher's always thought Linda was a "f**king joke."

That was when Linda was 'first lady of California,' that was when Linda was doing musical theater.

Cher's thoughts on Linda are not classified.

But Linda can note Cher, in passing, but can't mention Carly?

Linda -- like Carole King -- was an idiot to follow the rules laid down by James Taylor -- a forgettable singer, a bad songwriter and ugly spirit and an ugly man.

MS whines, "46 years after her first Top Ten hit, Linda Ronstadt was finally inducted last year. But the RRHOF took so long that she couldn't even sing anymore.  It's no wonder she didn't attend."

You know what's no wonder?

That it took 46 years.

Why did it -- why does it -- take so long for women?

Because so many of them prefer to be little bitches then to support their female peers.

Reality, if you tie yourself into your peer group and who you followed, you have a history and it's impossible for you to be ripped out of it.

So it's in your interest, as a female rocker, to be aware of and to connect yourself, your work, within the context of other women.

By doing so, you're part of a movement as opposed to an exception or a token.

Nothing is easier to vanish in history than a token.

If all female artists would be women -- and not little bitches who stab other women in the back on behalf of a man or men -- then it would be damn hard to render female musicians invisible and impossible to continue to keep them out of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Women writing their own books is important.  They need to tell their own stories.

But the crap Carole King offered [see our "Carole King's Conditioned Role and Desire (Ava and C.I."], where she couldn't give one woman credit for any career accomplishment while waxing over John Lennon, Bono, James Taylor and countless other men, that sort of bitchery serves no one -- except male artists.

Carole King used a book to praise the men and ignore the women.

That's bitchery and it's hurtful to women.

Linda's was only slightly better.

MS insists, "Instead of attacking Carly's female peers, this author should be attacking the real culprits behind Carly Simon and her female peers ( yes, Linda Ronstadt is her peer even if Linda never wrote a hit song, nor did Aretha Franklin for that matter), not getting their due in rock history."

Stupidity runneth over.

Aretha Franklin never wrote a hit song?

Uh, MS, you better think -- think think.

Aretha wrote "Think" and "Sweet, Sweet Baby (Since You Been Gone)."  (Both have Teddy White listed as co-writer.  He was not a co-writer.  He was her abusive first husband who tried to control her career.)

And she wrote her hit "Rock Steady."  And she wrote her hit "Call Me."  And she wrote her hit "Day Dreaming." And she wrote her hit "All The King's Horses." And, with Preston Glass and Narada Michael Walden, she wrote her hit "Who's Zoomin' Who."

How sad that you rush to e-mail us in order to 'correct' us but you don't even know the basic facts.

As for "the real culprits" who deny women their due?

That includes many critics -- male and female -- and also many book writers.

What did Linda do?

Oh, right, she wrote a book.

Where she was Snow White surrounded by male dwarfs.

We've read that story in far too many incarnations and we've never mistaken it for a feminist tale.

Linda got into the Hall.  So her story has a happy ending.  It's a damn shame it can't be said that she did anything with her autobiography to help other women.

The lies of Susan Rice

Saturday afternoon, Isabel Coles (Reuters) reported:

Iraqi Kurdish fighters flashed victory signs as they swept across the northern side of Sinjar mountain on Saturday, two days after breaking through to free hundreds of Yazidis trapped there for months by Islamic State fighters.

So why is it only The Common Ills hasn't been pointing out since October that Susan Rice lied again on Meet The Press?

Most recently, in the December 18th snapshot:

Well good for the Peshmerga.

It's good that Mount Sinjar is finally liberated.

Wait -- something's wrong here.

The name Susan Rice . . . .


Oh, that's right.

In the October 15, 2014 snapshot, we were taking on her many lies uttered on NBC's Meet The Press.  Let's zoom in:

Offical Benghazi Liar Dirty Rice: Our air campaign is off to a strong start and we've seen very important successes in places like Mosul Dam, Sinjar Mountain, where we were able to rescue many tens of thousands of civilians at risk. And this is going to take time. So it can't be judged by merely what happens in one particular town or in one particular region. This is going to take time and the American people need to understand that our aim here is long-term degradation and building the capacity of our partners.         

So two months and three days after the liar claimed Mount Sinjar was liberated and it was a US success, Mount Sinjar is liberated and it's a Kurdish Peshmerga success

Poor Susan Rice.  No one ever gets more egg on their face from the Sunday Chat & Chews.

At what point does the press intend to hold her accountable for citing Mount Sinjar as a "success" in October when, in fact, thousands of Yazidis remained trapped on the mountain as Susan was lying?

Dumbest Tweet of the Week

Did The Obama Diary think before Tweeting?

It doesn't appear they did.

Or maybe they just don't think period?

  • We're no fans of Bully Boy Bush, check our archives, but how stupid do you have to be to say Bully Boy Bush shouldn't have gone to his ranch-ette during the Iraq War?

    The war has never ended, first of all.  It started in 2003 and continued beyond Bully Boy Bush's term so is The Obama Diary arguing that Bully Boy Bush should never have gone to his ranch-ette?

    The Obama Diary is aware that the Iraq War continues, right?  And that Barack has gone to Hawaii during that, to Martha's Vineyard and much more?

    Bully Boy Bush is a War Criminal.

    That was the problem with his occupation of the White House.

    Visiting his ranchette?

    Not so much.

    This edition's playlist



    2) Jefferson Airplane's Volunteers.

    3) Diana Ross' Swept Away.

    4) Nina Simone's Here Comes The Sun.

    5) Frank Sinatra's In The Wee Small Hours.

    6) INXS' Kick.

    8)  Tori Amos' Unrepentant Geraldines.

    9) Prince's Art Official Age.

    10) The Beatles' Abby Road.

    VA Honors Waters for Commitment to Women’s Veterans

    This is from US House Rep. Maxine Waters' office:

             Washington, Dec 5 | Christopher Spina ((202) 226-3904) | 0 comments

    VA Honors Waters for Commitment to Women’s Veterans

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) has honored Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) for her years of work on behalf of America’s women veterans.

    In a ceremony that took place in Washington, D.C., Waters was honored by VA Secretary Bob McDonald for her work in creating the Center for Women Veterans, a special bureau within the VA that advocates for women veterans by ensuring health care benefits and other programs are effectively meeting women’s needs.

    The event was to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Center’s founding. To mark the occasion, Waters participated in a ceremony with McDonald, Center Director Elisa Basnight, and former directors Irene Trowell-Harris, Joan Furey, and Dr. Susan Mather.

    “Ranking Member Maxine Waters is the true matriarch of the Center for Women Veterans. It was her work back in 1994 that made the Center a long-overdue reality,” said VA Secretary Robert McDonald.

    “After being elected to Congress, one of my first priorities was to introduce legislation that ensured women veterans were informed of their benefits and receiving appropriate care at the VA. And 20 years later, I am so proud to see how the Center has affected change,” said Waters. “By the year 2000, the Center had influenced the VA to provide prenatal and obstetrical care to women veterans. That same year, the VA announced a $3 million dollar investment to lift women veterans out of homelessness, an investment closely followed by Congress enacting legislation to care for children with birth defects born to women veterans of the Vietnam War. The Center has also connected female veterans with public and community service opportunities, while also ensuring the service and contributions of women Veterans and women in the military are properly recognized by our nation and society.”

    Before the Center was created, there was a shocking inequality for women veterans trying to access VA benefits. A 1982 report found women were not receiving proper physical examinations at VA facilities. There was no access to basic gynecological care – a serious problem which contributed to women suffering a cancer rate twice that of women in the general population, with gynecological cancers being the most common.  And a shocking 57 percent of female veterans did not even know they were eligible for VA services, benefits, and programs.

    Acknowledging this problem, in 1993, Waters spearheaded legislation to create a special bureau for women at the VA. That legislation was enacted into law in 1994, creating the Center for Women Veterans to address these problems. As a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Waters fought to ensure that the creation of the Center was included as part of the “Veterans’ Benefits Improvements Act of 1994,” enacted to provide for veterans of the Persian Gulf War.

    Waters added, “Twenty years later, the Center is needed more than ever.  Women are the fastest growing population within the DOD and VA. And they still face challenges – like a broken grievance system that forces them out of service more often than it holds predators accountable.  I believe that in the future, the Center can take a leadership role in ensuring victims of sexual assault are provided access to the important services they need. And we all must act boldly to offer these victims a path to justice, so that they may come forward without fear.”

    Waters received the Honor on Wednesday, November 19.


    Ed Miliband makes immigration pledge - again

    This is from Great Britain's Socialist Worker:

    Ed Miliband makes immigration pledge - again

    by Ken Olende

    Ed Miliband has made controlling immigration the second pledge of his general election campaign.

    He made the announcement in a speech on Monday of this week in Great Yarmouth, where Ukip is on the rise.

    Most of the questions from local people were on other issues—particularly the NHS and benefits.
    Miliband’s pledge states, “We will control immigration with fair rules.

    “People who come here won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years and we will make it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.”

    This implies that immigrants come to claim benefits.

    Yet all statistics show that they don’t, and that better pay benefits all workers.


    But Labour has its own reasons for going along with scapegoating.

    A leaked Labour Party document warns activists not to get in a “bidding war” with Ukip on the doorstep.
    But it doesn’t tell them to say that migrants are not responsible for the problems they are worried about.
    Labour needs a diversion as it plans to continue Tory cuts.

    Miliband made his first election pledge last week.

    He explained that if elected, he will continue “sensible reductions in public spending” throughout the next government.

    Labour has attacked the Tories for not being “tough on the deficit”.

    And shadow chancellor Ed Balls was more blunt about what this means.

    He warned potential Labour ministers that they would face cuts in their departmental budgets every year after the election.

    Sen. Coburn Blasted for Blocking Veteran Suicide Prevention Bill (IAVA)

    This is from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America:

    Washington, D.C. (December 15, 2014) – Due to the action of one U.S. Senator, critical legislation that would address the epidemic of veteran suicide was today blocked in the Senate. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), which spearheaded the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act, blasted Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) for objecting to passage of this vital legislation that would support the veterans community. The legislation, unanimously passed last Tuesday by the House, is named after Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran Clay Hunt, a Marine who died by suicide in 2011.

    “As parents who experienced the pain of losing a veteran to suicide, it is shocking to see this bill blocked because of one lone Senator’s agenda,” said Susan Selke, mother of Clay Hunt. “Too many veterans are facing the same bureaucratic red tape Clay confronted years ago, and they are looking to our elected leaders for hope. While throughout this process we have been so thankful for the widespread and sincere support from our Congressional leaders, today, once again, vets like my son were failed. I am grieving thinking of those young men and women who will be delayed receiving help because of this inaction. The VA’s mental health care system needs urgent change as more veterans die from suicide than on the battlefield, and Senator Coburn’s action today just delays that reform.”

    “It’s a shame that after two decades of service in Washington, Sen. Coburn will always be remembered for this final, misguided attack on veterans nationwide. It’s sickening to think another 22 veterans will die by suicide today and every day we fail to expand mental health care for our vets. While we appreciate the many Senators who have stood up to support our bill and our nation’s veterans, we join them in expressing our dismay that Senator Coburn would block this fiscally responsible bill,” said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “While we recognize Senator Coburn’s reputation as a budget hawk, clearly the minor cost of this bill would have a tremendous payoff to help save lives in our community. This isn’t about spending new money – it’s about honoring the commitment we owe to the men and women who put on the uniform. With the suicide crisis continuing, it is unconscionable for a lone Senator to block a fair vote and for Congress to leave Washington without dealing with this crisis. This fight is not over because the suicide crisis is not over. If it takes 90 days for the new Congress to re-pass this bill, the statistics tell us another 1,980 vets will have died by suicide. That should be a heavy burden on the conscience of Senator Coburn and this Congress. Have no doubt, we will be back with reinforcements when the next Congress arrives.”

    IAVA and its members do appreciate the leadership of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for bringing the bill to the floor for a vote. IAVA also thanks the Senate sponsors of the bill, Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), as well as all those who signed on to support the measure. A total of 21 co-sponsors — 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats — supported the Clay Hunt SAV Act.

    Note to media: Email or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.

    Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the nation's first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has nearly 300,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, IAVA recently received the highest rating - four-stars - from Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator.


    This piece is written by Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix, Kat of Kat's Korner, Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man, Mike of Mikey Likes It!, Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz, Ruth of Ruth's Report, Marcia of SICKOFITRADLZ, Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends, Ann of Ann's Mega Dub, Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and Wally of The Daily Jot. Unless otherwise noted, we picked all highlights.

    "Unicorns found in Iraq!" -- most requested highlight of the week.

    "All those tax dollars" -- Betty on the financial costs of war.

    "Christmas shopping thoughts" -- Elaine shares.

    "Barry got nothing to say?" -- Marcia notices.
    "Easy Quesadillas" -- Ruth cooks.

    "Joe Biden, seriously?," "I would love it if Jeb Bush ran for president," and"Ruth Conniff is disgusting"  -- political coverage from Betty and Trina. 

    "The Dishonest Cheese Doodle" -- Isaiah dips into the archives.

    "Joel Wing?" -- Marcia takes on the big idiot. 

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