Monday, June 06, 2016

Truest statement of the week

The U.S. claim that it is waging a global “war on terror” is the biggest lie of the 21st century, a mega-fiction on the same historical scale of evil as Hitler’s claim that he was defending Germany from an assault by world Jewry, or that the trans-Atlantic slave trade was a Christianizing mission. In reality, the U.S. is the birth mother and chief nurturer of the global jihadist network – a truth recognized by most of the world’s people, including the 82 percent of Syrians that believe “the U.S. created the Islamic State.” (Even 62 percent of Syrians in Islamic State-controlled regions believe this to be true.)

-- Glen Ford, "There is No U.S. War Against ISIS; Instead, Obama is Protecting His 'Assets'" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

Truest statement of the week II

If Trump is a fascist then he will fit in nicely with the pantheon of horrific men we are told to respect and venerate. Barack Obama charges and convicts whistle blowers with the little used espionage act from the era of Woodrow Wilson. He claims and has exercised an invented right to kill Americans. His predecessor invaded and occupied Iraq but he continues the dirty deed there and in Afghanistan. He tries to fool the public by assassinating “al Qaeda number two,” over and over again. Al Qaeda certainly doesn’t lack for plan B staffers.
Bush the younger cut tax rates for rich people but Obama didn’t change that. Under the guise of compromising with intransigent Republicans he did the same thing. When he and the Democrats controlled Congress in 2009 and 2010 they raised the minimum wage a paltry 70 cents.

-- Margaret Kimberley, "Freedom Rider: Who’s the Fascist?" (BLACK AGENDA REPORT).

[For more on this topic, see CINDY SHEEHAN'S SOAPBOX this week where Cindy speaks with Margaret about this column.]

A note to our readers

Hey --

A Monday.

Yeah, we're getting used to it too.

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: Journalists aren't interested in Iraq

Is it any surprise that the Iraq War fails to get the coverage it deserves?

The media isn't even paying attention.

Memorial Day again made that clear.

Notable POTUS said 3 US casualties in died "in combat" as WH has repeatedly said no troops in combat role

Greg Jaffe (WASHINGTON POST) reported, "President Obama’s remarks at Arlington National Cemetery on Monday focused on the three American service members who were killed fighting the Islamic State militant group in Iraq. This time, Obama left no doubt that the missions that took their lives involved combat."

But Memorial Day was May 30th.

As journalists, shouldn't Jaffe and Sciutto have been aware that Barack had made these comments the week prior in a STARS AND STRIPES interview:

1. Mr. President, many military families wonder why there is debate about whether or not their sons and daughters are on a combat mission in Iraq. They are risking their lives to defend not only Iraq, but ultimately the United States and the Western way of life. The U.S. forces who have lost their lives in Iraq since 2014 died on the ground fighting the Islamic State. In your own words, could you please say why this deployment back to Iraq is not a combat mission?

In our fight against ISIL, three of our brave service members have made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield—Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler, Staff Sergeant Louis Cardin and Chief Special Warfare Operator Charles Keating IV. These three men were killed in combat while they were supporting local forces in Iraq. They gave their lives to keep us safe, and our prayers are with their families who have endured a loss that few of us can imagine. This Memorial Day, I’ll have the opportunity to honor these three patriots and speak to the American people about their sacrifice.

They should have.

But that would require the media paying attention to the topic.

As any White House or State Department press briefing makes clear pretty much on a daily basis, journalists just aren't interested in Iraq.


Can a variety show succeed in the 21st century?

NBC can think of two reasons why not: Rosie O'Donnell and Neil Patrick Harris.

Both headlined high profile variety flops on NBC.

Both wanted to bring back the variety format.

Or said they did.


Neil actually just appear to want, as we noted last year, to rip-off Joseph Gordon-Levitt's HITRECORD ON TV.

If you don't like the format, don't do the genre.

Rosie O'Donnell loves the format but she bombed in November 2008 because she mistook YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS for political satire.

It's a mistake Lorne Michaels again made last week when MAYA & MARTY debuted on NBC.

The mistake NBC made was letting Lorne Michaels produce to begin with.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE is a struggling staple that's been airing since 1975.  Other than a break in the 80s, Lorne's been responsible the entire time.

Maybe a 71-year-old isn't the best bet for producing a variety show?

He's built up so much ill will over the years and being given THE TONIGHT SHOW and moving it to New York City did not help.

Now he's done his one trick dog and pony show yet again and a smarter network would be easing him out and turning to some of the talent that's been putting on their winter live theater events instead.

Maybe a non-elderly man who wasn't cloistered in Manhattan would've realized last week's skit mocking Melania Trump was crossing a line?

Melania Trump, for those who do not know, is the latest woman unfortunate enough to be married to Donald Trump.

For some reason, she was mocked by Maya Rudolph in a skit whose 'humor' revolved around the fact that Melania has an accent because she was born in Slovenia.

That's progressive humor?

Mocking someone because of their accent?

Turning them into "the other"?

It's amazing how often, on the left, we drop our beliefs if we think it will help us.  It's why so many will quickly traffic in racism (hello, David Brock) or sexism (Keith Olbermann, you are never forgotten) to attempt a takedown 'from the left.'

It was a disgusting moment.

It was also a puzzling one.

If you needed to do political -- and we honestly do not believe a summer variety show needs to -- skit, last week it would have made more sense to do a skit about Hillary Clinton's e-mails since all of her public statements were rebuked by the report from the State Department's Inspector General.

So a skit on that would have at least passed for timely.

Even stranger still, the skit featured Kate McKinnon.

That would be the same McKinnon whose been getting laughs this year and last on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE for her impersonation of candidate Hillary Clinton.

But McKinnon didn't play Hillary.

She just participated in a tasteless skit making fun of the fact that a foreign-born person had an accent.

It was offensive and it wasn't funny -- not even in a so-crudely-offensive-you-laugh-in-shock manner.

The show got off to a very sad start with a stillborn taped skit in which Maya Rudolph was the wife of Tom Hanks' astronaut.

Tom Hanks.

Well, in 1971, the first episode of THE SONNY & CHER COMEDY HOUR featured Jimmy Durante as a guest.

So faded performers appearing on variety shows is nothing new.

But the emphasis on Tom Hanks made the show seem dated from it's opening, as though it were 1998 and Hanks was fresh off the one-two punch of YOU'VE GOT MAIL and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN.

There were a few bright spots.

The show closed with Savion Glover and the cast of SHUFFLE ALONG, OR, THE MAKING OF THE MUSICAL SENSATION OF 1921 AND ALL THAT FOLLOWED (Glover choreographed the musical -- and is Tony nominated for that choreography -- awards will be handed out June 12th).

It was a great moment for variety television and the only reason to justify doing the show in NYC -- to provide Broadway casts with a number showcase each week.

The show could use a larger cast.

Despite the fact that Cher's classic character Laverne needed Olivia (Teri Garr), there's no woman other than Maya in the show's cast.  Mikey Day is in the cast and as eager to make an impression now as in his infamous 2011 breast pump fixated character.

Day is comedic gold and he teamed with Maya for the hour's funniest skit -- a re-enactment of letters from a husband and wife during the Civil War.  More skits like that and the hour would have been off to a classic comedic start.

Kenan Thompson is the other cast member.  He was funny as Steve Harvey in a goofy sketch with Martin Short and guest Jimmy Fallon.

And Martin Short was great interviewing Larry David.  Short brought out his classic celebrity interviewer Jiminy Glick for the skit.  Here's hoping it will be a staple of all six episodes because the Jiminy skits have always had a long life on YouTube.

Miley Cyrus did a great job with Leonard Cohen's "I'm Your Man" and then segued into "I'm A Woman" as a duet with Maya.

So the episode had its highs and lows.

The most important thing they need to do is hire some stronger writers.

After that, figuring out how to open the show would be nice.  Maya and Marty were stiff in their opening monologue.

Then they should probably grasp that there's no need for political humor.

First off, more adults watch TV than register to vote.  Second off, when you're 'political sketch' revolves around a foreign accent, you really lack the insight or maturity to handle political comedy.

A little more care with the remaining episodes and MAYA & MARTY could be the strongest variety show since FOX's Emmy winning THE TRACEY ULLMAN SHOW.

A lot more care with the remaining episodes and the variety genre just might be back.

Lying on the eve of the California primary

Did you catch the 'news' today?

Hillary Clinton Has Clinched Democratic Nomination, Survey Reports

New York Times - ‎2 hours ago‎
On Monday, Hillary Clinton gathered commitments from enough delegates to become the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democratic party, according to Associated Press.

AP can find whatever it wants -- although usually it struggles to find even its own ass.

But the reality is that Hillary Clinton does not have enough delegates to secure the nomination.

Nor does Bernie Sanders.

Super-delegates do not vote until the convention.

A case could be made that they should not be endorsing at present.

But their support is meaningless at this point.

Here's the reality of the delegate math:

Look at the REAL MATH of the Democratic Nomination. Updated TODAY. Hillary has not won and cannot win tomorrow.

This is an effort to suppress the vote ahead of tomorrow's primaries.

Superdelegates do not count until the convention.

Again, just a month ago, the spokesperson for the DNC said Super-Delegates DO NOT COUNT until the convention.
Luis Miranda, Dir. of Communications for the DNC on super-delegates
On CNN just one month ago, Luis Miranda, the Director of Communications for the DNC, said super-delegates should NOT be included in media tallies because they are not official until the convention.

AP should explain why they're attempting to circumvent primaries?

Bill Clinton is the hangman

  • Energetic crowds for in AZ yesterday. Tomorrow is election day—vote and remind your friends, too!

  • Bill Clinton is a former president of the United States and the spouse of War Hawk Hillary Clinton.

    He's a great deal more than that.

    He's a serial cheater, for example.

    We recently asked of Bill Clinton "Is he a rapist?"

    We still don't know.

    Because, to this day, he's refused to speak to Juanita Broaddrick's charge (first made publicly in 1999) that he raped her.

    But what we do know is that Bill Clinton is the hangman.

    Bill Clinton was more than happy to execute Ricky Ray Rector on January 24, 1992.

    Rector was mentally incapacitated.

    Bill was involved in one of his many sordid messes (rumors of infidelity to Hillary Clinton were threatening to surface) as he attempted to win the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

    So he flew home to Arkansas to oversee the execution of Rector.

    It's an issue that will not go away.

    1. Bill Clinton recently apologized for some of his tough on crime policies during the 90s, but hasn't discussed the Rector execution.
    2. The Rector execution happened right before NH primary as Bill touted himself as tough on crime & attacked opponents as soft.
    3. As far as I can tell, the last reporter to ask was 's Amy Goodman, who asked Bill about it in 2000.
    4. Clinton left the campaign trail in 92 to make a ceremonial trip, rejecting clemency, to oversee execution. Rector was mentally disabled.
    5. Just asked Bill Clinton if he has any regrets over executing Ricky Ray Rector. He just stared and moved on to next selfie on rope line.
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