Sunday, November 15, 2015

Truest statement of the week

With Clinton, poor judgment is referred to as a regrettable mistake. Owning a personal server was a “mistake,” voting for the Iraq War was a “mistake,” she “wasn’t raised” to envision gay marriage, and now opposes the TPP based upon “What I know about it, as of today.”
Generally, poor decision-making is addressed as an honest error, then acknowledged wholeheartedly, while supporters find every way to justify the flip-flop. Accountability is a foreign concept to the Clinton campaign and any reasoned critique is met with“You sound like a Republican!” Even accepting $100,000 from Donald Trump is simply part of Washington politics.
Hillary Clinton has evolved on war, gay marriage, Keystone XL, the TPP, in addition to marijuana legislation, and her supporters believe this is a good thing. All human beings evolve, therefore politicians who do the same must be doing so for altruistic reasons. For the rest of America, 57 percent of voters nationwide find Clinton to be “not honest and trustworthy.”

-- H.A. Goodman, "Hillary Clinton is on wrong side of everything: Stop telling me I have to vote for her because of the Supreme Court" (SALON).

Truest statement of the week II

She reminds me too much of the slave plantation white wife of the white 'Master.' She talks down to people, is condescending and pandering. 

-- Sister Souljah to TIME magazine on Hillary Clinton.

A note to our readers

Hey --

Oh look, 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: Already forgotten Sinjar

The Kurds took Sinjar last week.

The Peshmerga defeated the Islamic State.

The attack on Paris overwhelmed that event.

American news outlets, after all, can only do one foreign story a week.

So, yes, the Peshmerga get cheated out of credit they earned.

But, more to the point, the meaning of the victory gets ignored.

Shoved aside.

You better believe the White House is happy the media's side-stepping meanings and takeaways.

If the media was paying attention, a few key questions would be popping up.

First of all, why can the Peshmerga do what the Iraqi military can't?



If that's the case, we're probably looking at a decade or so of training for the current forces.

Second, who gets Sinjar?

Both the KRG and the Baghdad-based government claim Sinjar.

But only one stood up and fought.


Those are just two questions that the press should be exploring.

They are significant ones.

And, thing is, there are a lot more significant questions to ask as well.

TV: The networks forget the viewers

"The only thing," a friend insists, "that I learned is that Jeremy Sisto finally grew out his chest hair -- but did so way too late to be an otter and was still too spotty to be a bear."

And that, apparently, is about all WICKED CITY had to offer.


Despite this fall featuring some of the all time worst new series, despite cratering ratings for 'hits' like SUPERGIRL, ABC's WICKED CITY is not just the first fall offering to be cancelled, it's the only one at this point.

How bad are the fall offerings?

WICKED CITY is a People's Choice Awards nominee for Favorite New TV Drama.

That's how bad things are.

In a more sensible environment, ABC would never have green lighted the show, let alone aired it.

For starters, Steven Baigelman created the show.



20 years of filmography and not a single success.

His work has been muddled at best.

This was true of WICKED CITY as well.

Who the hell thought anyone wanted to see SERIAL KILLERS IN LOVE?

A vice president at ABC tells us that they wanted edgy, they wanted "something like HANNIBAL."

That would be NBC's chronically low rated series which finally got the axe after a second dismal season.

ABC has never been able to do edgy.


And HANNIBAL wasn't edgy, it was just trash.

That's what ABC got with WICKED CITY in which no character was someone you wanted to root for.

The alternative to serial killers?

Cocaine snorting, cheating on their spouses, corrupt cops like Jack Roth played by Jeremy Sisto.

What someone thought was 'gritty' was just repulsive and not all the promotional spots playing up the sex angles could result in ratings success.

Who in the world thought audiences wanted this?

But who -- at CBS -- thought audiences wanted SUPERGIRL?

Was their some heavy clamor for this character from a failed film (1984)?  A character who couldn't even carry her own comic title for any significant length of time?

Supergirl has always been a colorless character -- even for DC.

Batgirl, created for the BATMAN television series, has a real following.

Certainly, Wonder Woman does as well.

In fact, Wonder Woman is a DC comic book star on par with Batman and Superman.

But it's not Wonder Woman CBS wanted to bring to the small screen.

Nor fan favorite Batgirl.

Nor was it the edgy Batwoman.

Or the anti-hero Catwoman.

Or Huntress . . .

Or Black Canary . . .

Or . . .

It's Supergirl.

A bad photocopy of Superman.

A character so bland that there's no significant difference between her in a costume and her in secret identity.

Before watching the show, you could hope that the new series would finally give the character a personality and a purpose.

But episodes quickly revealed that far more characterization was present in Filmation's seventies SHAZAM! series.

There was no intent to craft anything, just a cheap move to toss off the most insulting version of a cartoon.

And the question is why?

It's the same question we ask about WICKED CITY.

Maybe next time the networks will keep in mind the viewers when selecting from various pilots?

Probably not.

Diana Ross Sings The Songs Of Michael Jackson

Diana Ross fans are gearing up for a new Motown release -- DIANA ROSS SINGS SONGS FROM THE WIZ due out November 27th.

And while those 1979 recordings will be a treat, everyone seems to be missing the obvious Diana album: DIANA ROSS SINGS THE SONGS OF MICHAEL JACKSON.


Diana's one of the few artists to have sung a duet with Michael ("Ease On Down The Road"), been produced by Michael and had songs written for her by Michael ("Muscles" and "Eaten Alive").

An album like this would not only be a fitting tribute from Diana to her friend who has passed away, it would also remind the world of Michael's songwriting gifts.

Our suggested track list?

1) "He's Out Of My Life"

2) "Remember The Time"

3) "The Way You Make Me Feel"

4) "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough"

5) "Wanna Be Starting Something"

6) "Leave Me Alone"

7) "They Don't Really Care About Us"

8)  "Keep The Faith"

9) "Love Never Felt So Good"

10) "Will You Be There"

11) "Heal The World"

The victims you don't see

The US government backed thug Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister despite his targeting of Sunnis.  In fact, even after he lost the 2010 elections, they backed him -- demanding he get a second term and going around the voters and the Iraqi Constitution to craft The Erbil Agreement which allowed his second term.

Though currently not prime minister, his replacement Haider al-Abadi has not ended the targeting of Sunnis.

  • Tweet of the week

    The FBI announced it will probe Hillary further, but agents said they will only accept the assignment if the job description is rephrased.

    This edition's playlist

    1) Carly Simon's THE BEDROOM TAPES.

    2) Carly Simon's ANTICIPATION.
    3) Carly Simon's HAVE YOU SEEN ME LATELY?

    4) Carly Simon's BOYS IN THE TREES.
    5) Carly Simon's THIS KIND OF LOVE.
    6) Carly Simon's  NO SECRETS.
    7) Carly Simon's NEVER BEEN GONE.
    8) Carly Simon's INTO WHITE

    9) Carly Simon's COMING AROUND AGAIN.

    10) Carly Simon's LETTERS NEVER SENT.

    Wisconsin Medical Society Supports Senator Baldwin’s Bipartisan VA Reform Legislation

    Tammy Baldwin

    Senator Tammy Baldwin (above) is a US Senator from Wisconsin.  Her office issued the following last week:

    For Immediate Release                                                          
    Thursday, November 12, 2015
       (202) 224-6225
    Wisconsin Medical Society Supports Senator Baldwin’s Bipartisan VA Reform Legislation
    Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act would provide VA with the tools it needs to address the problem of overprescribing practices

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today announced that the Wisconsin Medical Society is supporting bipartisan VA reform legislation she has introduced that is aimed at providing safer and more effective pain management services to our nation’s veterans.

    "The Wisconsin Medical Society appreciates Senator Baldwin's leadership in introducing the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act and is proud to support the bill. There is an opioid public health crisis in Wisconsin and throughout the country and this legislation makes important regulatory reforms in the VA System to help ensure safer opioid prescribing for our veterans,” said Donn Dexter, M.D. “Physicians stand ready to be part of the solution, and as the Chief Medical Officer of the Wisconsin Medical Society and a veteran, I am grateful Senator Baldwin is asking for critical opioid reforms to happen in the VA System."

    “I'm  proud to have earned the support of the Wisconsin Medical Society for this bipartisan reform. Families like the Simcakoski family have a story to tell that needs to be heard,” said Senator Baldwin. “After two, decade-long wars, our veterans and their families are facing the difficult challenges of physical injuries, addiction, PTSD and other mental illnesses. We must find safer and more effective ways to confront these problems to help them meet that challenge. My legislation proposes a number of solutions to strengthen opioid prescribing guidelines; improve coordination and communication throughout the VA; and put in place stronger oversight and accountability for the quality of care we are providing our veterans. My goal is to put these reforms in place to prevent Jason’s tragedy from occurring to other veterans and their families.”

    Senator Baldwin’s Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, introduced in June with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), was produced in close consultation with medical professionals, veterans’ service organizations, and the Simcakoski family. The legislation focuses on strengthening the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) opioid prescribing guidelines and improving pain management services by putting the following reforms in place:

    ·         Requiring stronger opioid prescribing guidelines and education for VA providers including stricter standards against prescribing dangerous combinations of opioids with other drugs and for prescribing opioids to patients struggling with mental health issues;

    ·         Increased coordination and communication throughout the VA with medical facilities, providers, patients and their families surrounding pain management, alternative treatments for chronic pain, and appropriate opioid therapy; and

    ·         Holding the VA system accountable for appropriate care and quality standards through consistent internal audits as well as GAO reviews and reports to Congress.

    In addition to improving opioid therapy and pain management, the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act helps strengthen patient advocacy, expand access to complementary and integrative health and wellness, and enhance VA hiring and internal audits.

    Senator Baldwin’s bipartisan legislation has also gained support from: Disabled American Veterans Wisconsin, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), The American Legion, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Veterans for Common Sense, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Association of the United States Navy (AUSN), Military Health Project, National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS), Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), American Veterans (AMVETS), American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), and Trust for America's Health (TFAH).

    In the U.S. Senate, the Baldwin- Capito legislation is cosponsored by Democrats and Republicans: U.S. Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Al Franken (D-MN), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Mark Warner (D-VA).

    "This is an opportunity to take all of this and learn from it. We have a chance to create a new path; or we can continue how we currently are and keep making the same mistakes we are today,” said Heather Simcakoski, Jason’s widow. “When I look back at the past, I want to know we made a difference. I want to believe we have leaders in our country who care. I want to inspire others to never give up because change is possible."

    "This legislation from Senator Baldwin is one of the most important actions we can take to save the lives of our greatest assets, our veterans,” said Marv Simcakoski, Jason’s father.

    PHOTOS from press conference introducing legislation are available here.

    An online version of this release is available here.


    Isakson, Blumenthal Applaud Passage of Comprehensive Veterans Legislation ahead of Veterans Day

    Senator Johnny Iskason is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Senator Richard Blumenthal is the Ranking Member.  Isakson's office issued the following last week:

    French activists respond to Paris attacks

    This is a repost from Great Britain's Socialist Worker:

    French activists respond to Paris attacks

    by Dave Sewell

    Your wars, our dead - the response from the French NPA
    'Your wars, our dead" - the response from the French NPA

    A series of shootings and suicide bombings saw at least 128 people killed in six sites around the French capital Paris last night, Friday. Activists in the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) in Paris spoke to Socialist Worker on Saturday morning.

    Vanina Giudicelli said, “Paris is in a state of utter shock. People spent the whole of last night checking their friends, family and colleagues were ok. But the shock at these barbaric acts hasn’t checked the speed of the political actions.”

    President Francois Hollande declared the first nationwide state of emergency in more than 50 years, and reimposed controls at the borders. In a chilling speech from the site of the worst massacre he warning, “We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless.”

    But France is already at war. Its forces began bombing Syria just under seven weeks ago, and Iraq a year ago. Hollande last week announced that that he would expand the campaign.

    Radio presenter Pierre Janaszak had been inside the concert hall. He said of the attackers, “I clearly heard them say ‘It’s the fault of Hollande, it’s the fault of your president, he should not have intervened in Syria’. They also spoke about Iraq.”

    Friday night’s attacks come as far right groups are already organising “protests” targeting refugees, and in a regional election campaign shaped by the fascist National Front. Journalists and politicians took to Twitter to blame Muslims and demand they disassociate themselves from the violence.

    The massacres at the office of magazine Charlie Hebdo and at kosher supermarket Hyper Cacher in January were followed by a wave of vandalism on mosques and attacks on Muslims.

    Activist Sellouma told Socialist Worker, “It’s clear that Muslims will pay dearly. People are reading horrible things on social media—it seems this will be worse than after Charlie.”


    Vanina has been organising in solidarity with migrants on the streets of Paris. Protests organised by migrants that were set to take place this weekend have now been banned.

    In a statement leading anti-racist Denis Godard wrote, "In a cruel and tragic irony it's in the area around Place de la Republique that many people were killed - the very place where the migrants' camp was cleared out a few hours earlier."

    Vanina said, “The debate is dominated by calls to national unity. Even leading radical left figure Jean-Luc Melenchon has called for ‘our government to have all the means at its disposal to act as it sees fit.’ There are dissenting voices, but they are scattered.

    “They are those who haven’t forgotten what the national unity demanded in January meant. It brought only authoritarian laws, more racism, a bigger audience for the far right and more French military interventions—but no real solution.”

    She added, “Now more than ever we need to take on the arguments.”

    In a statement, the NPA slammed the government’s wars and racism.

    It said, “Once again, those most responsible for this onslaught of violence are calling for national unity. They want to turn this tragic situation to their advantage to stifle indignation and revolt. And for that they already have a scapegoat handy—the Muslims.”

    It warned, “To end terrorism, we must end imperialist wars”.

    For a statement by the Socialist Workers Party on the Paris attacks go to

    Isakson Thanks Georgia’s Veterans

    Senator Johnny Isakson is the Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.  His office issued the following last week:

    Contact: Amanda Maddox, 202-224-7777
    Tuesday, November 10, 2015
    Marie Gordon, 770-661-0999
    Isakson Thanks Georgia’s Veterans
    ‘America is better because of …our Armed Forces.’

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, today thanked Georgia’s veterans for their service in honor of Veterans Day.
    “To all the veterans in Georgia, those serving today and those who have served in the past: God bless you and thank you for your service. Happy Veterans Day,” said Isakson.  
    Noting that “America is better because of the one percent that serves a little bit of time in our Armed Forces,” Isakson also added a special message to recently retired veterans, thanking them for the sacrifices they made in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    “We’re here to help you,” said Isakson. “We love you and appreciate what you’ve done for all of us. God bless America and God bless each of you.”
    Isakson celebrated the Veterans Day holiday by participating last week in a home refurbishment project in his home state of Georgia for United States Army veteran Yvette Thomas Ray.
    Isakson is a veteran himself – having served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966-1972 – and has been a member of the Senate VA Committee since he joined the Senate in 2005. He became chairman of the committee in January 2015.
    Click here to watch Isakson’s full Veterans Day message.
    The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs is chaired by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., in the 114th Congress. Isakson’s home state of Georgia is home to more than a dozen military installations representing each branch of the military as well as more than 750,000 veterans.
    Description: Description: cid:image001.gif@01CB9C61.36E8FA70
    Press Secretary
    131 Russell Senate Office Building | Washington, DC 20510
    phone: 202.224.3643 | fax: 202.228.0724
    Visit Johnny’s website to learn more about his work in the Senate and to sign up for his newsletter.


    Cassidy Honors Louisiana Veterans

    Senator Bill Cassidy's office issued the following last week:

    For Immediate Release
    November 10, 2015

    Cassidy Honors Louisiana Veterans

    WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. thanked veterans for their service
    in  honor of Veterans Day. He recounted the stories of two World War II heroes from
    Louisiana and thanked staff members who served. 

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