Monday, October 12, 2015

Truest statement of the week

As an aside, I must say that it is good, from time to time, to revisit these founding documents because as I re-read the Declaration of Independence it becomes very clear that today we, too, are saddled with a government like that of King George III—committing many of the very same offenses delineated as grievances in the July 4, 1776 document. And so, you could say that the United States has come full circle and is in dire need of fundamental change.

-- Cynthia McKinney, "Time to Imagine: From ‘Disaster Capitalism’ to a System of Our Own" (Black Agenda Report).

Truest statement of the week II

With considerable help from the corporate media, the Obama administration is claiming much of the credit for the pending release of about 6,000 federal prison inmates, most of them convicted under the now-defunct statute that mandated 100-to-1 penalties for possession and sale of crack cocaine, versus the powdered kind preferred by whites. In reality, Obama’s Justice Department has fought since 2011 to prevent most of these same, overwhelmingly Black inmates from being set free under the terms of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010. Attorney General Eric Holder successfully argued against retroactive application of the new law, thus condemning the roughly 6,000 federal prisoners convicted under the old statute to serve out their draconian sentences, or to apply for individual review. Ever since, the Justice Department has given thumbs-up or thumbs-down to a steady stream of inmates seeking to prove their individual qualifications for release.
It is, therefore, a revision of history – a lie! – to describe the large, one-time, upcoming prisoner release, scheduled to take place between October 30 and November 2, as an Obama administration “initiative.” The administration’s consistent purpose has been to resist the growing, bipartisan consensus to dramatically reduce prison numbers.

-- Glen Ford, "Obama's Justice: Holder Fought Prisoner Release, Lynch Backtracks on Killer Cops" (Black Agenda Report).


A note to our readers

Hey --

A Monday.  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?


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

Editorial: Lies and more lies

As The Common Ills reported, last Wednesday in the Senate Arms Committee hearing, retired Colonel Wesley Martin declared that Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-"Abadi, as I mentioned before, is very weak.  And this is a golden opportunity for the United States to pressure him into allowing the residents to leave and for us to bring all the residents here. As I mentioned, there are enough families throughout the United States, we can absorb all of them. And when you think of all the torment and all the horror  they have had to go through for the past three, four years especially --  well since 2009 -- and yet they still remain loyal hoping that we will be able to do something to lift them out of that tyranny.  It's time to bring them out.  And it's only a matter of time before the fight between [former Iraqi prime minister and forever thug Nouri al-]Maliki and al-Abadi is going to come to a head.  And I fear Maliki has the strong support of the militias, Abadi will be out."

With Congress openly speculating on how long Haider will survive in office, you might think the press would perk up their tired (but obedient) ears and show some interest in the topic.

But no.

Can't talk about that or Barack Obama's Operation Inherent Failure.

Can't tell the truth.

Never can when it comes to Iraq.

The war started with lies.

It continues with lies.

Over a year in office and his success rate is the same as Barack's over a year long bombing campaign -- which is to say an abject failure.


TV: Quantico

At one point or another, we've all felt unfairly accused of something.  That's a feeling ABC's latest hit knows how to work.


QUANTICO stars India's Priyanka Chopra as FBI agent Alex Parrish.Parish who is on the scene of a terrorist attack in NYC and is the main suspect.  As she rushes to clear her name, she will learn that the conspiracy to frame her began while she was a recruit in training, possibly even before that.

In the present, she rushes to investigate the immediate past which includes attempting to figure out which of her classmates might be in on it?

It was obvious that Tate Ellinton's Simon Asher was always going to be in on it.  Only on ABC do they bring you 'gay' characters that aren't, in fact, gay.  It's that little 'twist' that helped run viewers away from the sitcom MALIBU COUNTRY.  In QUANTICO, it's only slightly less grating -- possibly because, from the first episode when he kissed a stranger for a photograph (which he then passed off as a picture of him and his boyfriend), it was clear Simon was a liar.

There was also his lack of serious interest in seeing his roommate Ryan in a towel or various stages of undress.  Ryan's played by Jake McLaughlin who was excellent as Bo's father in NBC's too quickly cancelled Believe.  He's excellent here too as the recruit with a secret.  He's not a recruit.  He's an agent.  And he's been ordered to spy on Alex.  Watching her, from the start, only makes him attracted to her and the two end up having sex in a car after their initial airplane meet.

The spying is ordered by Liam O'Connor (Josh Hopkins, COUGAR TOWN's Grayson) -- Ryan's spying on Alex is ordered by Liam -- who partnered with Alex's father years ago and who also has a secret from those long ago days.

The spying Simon's doing is ordered by FBI Director Clayton (THE TOMORROW PEOPLE's Mark Pellegrino).  Pellegrino's the kind of actor who can be arresting in a one episode guest role (and was, see his work PERSON OF INTEREST's "Til Death" episode) and equally effective in a long term role.

The casting is one smart decision after another including Aunjanue Ellis' strong performance as one of the few people who know Alex is interest, someone who even attempts to talk Alex's mother (Anna Khaja) from turning on her.

About the only one playing it dumb is the ABC network which chose to pair this show with BLOOD & OIL as a lead-in.

We noted BLOOD & OIL was the worst soap opera ABC had ever done and that its ratings were only going to get worse.  It's time to pull that waste of an hour off the air.

Monday, Rick Kissel (VARIETY) noted that "ABC's hot rookie QUANTICO saw its first week-to-week decline on Sunday behind a fading BLOOD & OIL [. . .]."  THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Michael O'Connell also noted BLOOD & OIL's ratings problems.

The show is a flop.

There is no come back for it at this point without seriously revising the central premise (such as bringing on Melanie Griffith to play a villain on the show -- a sorely needed woman who does something -- anything).

It never should have been aired and that someone gave it a greenlight should result in firings in the executive suite.

In 2015, no one wanted to see a dull soap about an elderly man (Don Johnson) and his son and want-to-be son doing this or that while the gals pined on the sidelines, too weak apparently to even carry a subplot.

This is the sort of crap REVENGE was cancelled to make room for?

BLOOD & OIL never should have made it to the airwaves.  The fact that it's now threatening the hit that is QUANTICO means the bad program may get the axe just a little bit sooner.


10 best 'dumb' blonds in movies


1) Sugar Kane.
Marilyn Monroe's SOME LIKE IT HOT character steals your heart and funny bone.  A classic performance and a classic film, Marilyn won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical for this role.

2) Judy Benjamin.
Dumb enough to believe her recruiter who tells her the military is like Club Med and La Costa and that she can quit anytime she wants, Goldie Hawn's Judy Benjamin overcomes a great deal to emerge in triumph -- and punch out her wayward finacee -- at the conclusion of PRIVATE BENJAMIN.

3) Laura Partridge.
She gets a dummy job for asking too many questions at stockholder meetings but uses the fake job to turn the company upside down. One of Judy Holliday's classic but often forgotten roles, THE SOLID GOLD CADILLAC stands up all these years later.

4) Tess McGill.

She may not be brilliant, but she's no door mat.  "I'm not steak," she tells her boyfriend played by Alec Baldwin.  "You can't just order me."  Melanie Griffith's Tess explains, "I have a head for business and a bod for sin."  And she's got hilarious comic timing which is why Melanie earned a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for her performance in Working Girl.


5) Toni Simmons.

"Dirty rotten bachelor," she huffs when learning her married boyfriend isn't married.  Toni is a hilarious and good natured character, a mistress with so much innocence, no one can hate her.  Goldie Hawn won an Academy Award for her performance in CACTUS FLOWER and one's of the few times no one can quibble over the winner.

6) Shelley Darlington.

Anna Farris plays the Playboy Bunny kicked out of Hef's mansion who becomes a house mother for a college sorority house in the underrated classic THE HOUSE BUNNY.

7) Miss Caswell

In a film starring Bette Davis and fleshed out with Thelma Ritter, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm, George Sanders, Hugh Marlowe, Gregory Ratoff and Gary Merrill, Marilyn Monroe still manages to hold her own and leave a strong impression as Miss Caswell via multiple party scenes and and in one scene following a failed audition to become Margo Channing's understudy. ALL ABOUT EVE's a better film because of her participation.

8) Sunny Davis.

Graduating in the top 75% of her class, Sunny goes from cocktail waitress to State Department employee after preventing an assassination attempt on the Emir, Goldie Hawn triumphs in a role that suffered constant rewrites and revisions as PROTOCOL did a complete turn around from its original premise.

9) Michele Weinberger.

Whether arguing with her smarter friend Romy over who is the Mary and who is the Rhoda, Lisa Kudrow's Michele provides one hilarious laugh after another in ROMY & MICHELE'S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION.  As they travel to the reunion and down memory lane, Michele offers, "Hey Romy, remember Mrs. Divitz's class, there was like always a word problem. Like, there's a guy in a rowboat going X miles, and the current is going like, you know, some other miles, and how long does it take him to get to town? It's like, 'Who cares? Who wants to go to town with a guy who drives a rowboat?'"

10) Elle Woods.

Reese Witherspoon essays the role of Elle Woods with comic zeal as Elle takes on Harvard Law and a hundred stuck up noses.  It's a cultural movie as can be attested by it's 2012 appearance in a MODERN FAMILY episode when Haley uses the movie to argue her point.

Haley: In LEGALLY BLONDE, Elle won her case because she was true to herself and dressed cute.

Phil: Haley, this is real life, not an excellent movie.

WTF did Barack just say?

US President Barack Obama just broke one of the biggest rules he can break: Don't comment on an ongoing investigation.

It takes a real dumb idiot to break that rule.

Over and over, in presser after presser, you hear this spokesperson and that official note that they can't comment on an ongoing investigation.

The FBI has at least two ongoing investigations regarding Hillary Clinton's use of a private e-mail server while Secretary of State.


Yet Barack has declared nothing to see here on CBS' 60 Minutes.

CNN reports:

Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state did not pose "a national security problem," President Barack Obama said in an interview on CBS's "60 Minutes."
Obama, in a wide ranging interview with CBS's Steve Kroft that aired Sunday, said that he thought that Clinton had made a mistake in handling her emails but added that he thinks the controversy been "ginned-up" in part because of politics. 

Now we get why Barack would insist "nothing to see here."

If the FBI determines Hillary did put national security at risk, that's not just a reflection on her failure but on Barack's as well since he should have known what the Secretary of State was doing.

So he's protecting his own ass by insisting there's no "national security problem."

He's also now interjected himself into ongoing investigations.

He should be held accountable and censured for his actions.

From The TESR Test Kitchen

We like sweet potatoes.  We like yams.

We like chips.

So TGIF's Sweet Potato Skins seemed like a dream come true.


But then, we tasted them.

And they were awful.

They're too sweet.

And, honestly, they even seem soggy though they're not damp.

We couldn't finish a bag, eight of us eating them together.

And we are all people who will order sweet potato fries in place of french fries.

The idea is good.

The flavor is not.

TGIF should have spent a little more time in their test kitchen before releasing these on an unsuspecting public.

This edition's playlist



1) Janet Jackson's UNBREAKABLE.

2) Janet Jackson's THE VELVET ROPE.

3) Janet Jackson's JANET.

4) Janet Jackson's CONTROL.

5) Janet Jackson's RHYTHM NATION.

6) Janet Jackson's ALL FOR YOU.

7) Diana Ross & The Supremes' REFLECTIONS.

8) Marvin Gaye's SEXUAL HEALING.

9) Diana Ross & The Supremes' SING HOLLAND-DOZIER-HOLLAND.

10) Diana Ross & The Supremes'  LOVE CHILD.

Outrage over ‘war crime’ as US bombs kill 22 people in an Afghan hospital

This is from Great Britain's Socialist Worker:

Outrage over ‘war crime’ as US bombs kill 22 people in an Afghan hospital

by Judith Orr

The aftermath of the Kunduz hospital bombing in Afghanistan
The aftermath of the Kunduz hospital bombing in Afghanistan (Pic: MSF)

US bombs killed 22 people in a hospital in Kunduz in northern Afghanistan last Saturday. The dead included 12 doctors and ten patients. 

The hospital was run by charity Medicines sans Frontiers (MSF).

Lajos Zoltan Jecs, an MSF nurse based in the hospital, described the carnage as the US plane circled and bombarded them.

He said, “It was absolutely terrifying. There are no words for how terrible it was. In the intensive care unit six patients were burning in their beds.”

The coordinates of the hospital had been regularly given to Nato and the Afghan government. MSF said these were last communicated on 29 September. 

As missiles designed to blow up tanks were fired on the hospital, staff contacted US and Afghan officials in desperation.

They explained that health care workers and patients were in the hospital being attacked.

The bombing carried on for a further half an hour.

The US changed its story on the bombing after international outcry.

First it dismissed the dead as “collateral damage”. Then it said the bombing was carried out to protect US forces. Finally it claimed Afghan troops called in the air strikes.

Hamdullah Danishi, the acting governor of Kunduz, confirmed the hospital was not an accidental target.

He claimed that Taliban were in the hospital’s “vast garden” which he said justified the bombing.
MSF is demanding an investigation of what it is treating as a war crime.


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.

 "Silence on Shi'ite militia violence, gossip when t..." -- most requested highlight of the week.

"A twittering fool tries to rewrite Iraq" -- most requested highlight of the week.

"John Feffer's still a punk ass" -- Ann calls it.

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