Thursday, December 19, 2019

We need better holiday TV

Here's this:

  • So we're now in the 'holiday' TV season.  And there's nothing.

    Yes, we all love to rewatch Charlie Brown and Frosty.  But we can't create new Christmas classics?

    And the variety shows have been awful.  That CMT thing?  I watched that garbage.  It was garbage and that included the host.  Trisha Yearwood, you're fat.  Did you not know that?

    It doesn't mean you're ugly.  Maybe in a White world it does, but in the African-American community, we know big can be beautiful.  We've always known that.  Go back to the 60s and the Supremes.  Diana Ross, onstage would say, "Thin is in."  The larger Florence Ballard would counter, "But fat is where it's at."

    If you're hosting a show, don't hide yourself.  She seemed to think, Trisha Yearwood, that should could camo up her weight with the use of black sack cloths.

    You're on a Christmas show, dress up.  Look festive.  From Ava and C.I.'s "TV: 'Tis the season for what exactly?:"

    Last week, ABC offered CMA'S COUNTRY CHRISTMAS and it was a depressing and disappointing affair.  The disaster commenced the moment Trisha Yearwood, the host, stepped on stage.  Trisha's a large woman.  That's not the problem.  The problem was that this was a Christmas special and she showed up wearing what looked like a long, trailing feed sack.  There was nothing about the outfit that screamed either "Special!" or "Christmas!"  Things only got worse when she opened her mouth to sing.  She wasn't prepared on the first number to sing and it wasn't until "Winter Wonderland" that her voice finally warmed up and she was hitting more than two notes.  However, the larger range was undercut by her poor enunciation -- "winder" wonderland?  "Winder"?


    I had missed Dolly Parton's NBC special at the Grand Ole Opry.  Thanks to Ava and C.I.'s piece above, I learned of it and streamed it on demand via HULU.  It really was a special and something worth watching.

    I like Dolly.  I think we all do -- regardless of race or whatever.

    Dolly makes us all happy.  She's made that her career and we're lucky for that.

    But that's really about it.  Just Dolly.  I hope they'll do something with her next holiday season.  I'd love to see a Lily Tomlin special, a comedy special, as well.

    Even better, why not a Carol Burnett show?

    ABC airs old scripts of ALL IN THE FAMILY?

    Why can't CBS do a two hour variety special with Carol?  A new special.  She can sing with guests.  She can do skits.

    I bet it would be huge.

    Why can't we have quality?

    Diana Ross.  Why can't she host a TV special for the holidays?  No one sings Christmas standards or new Christmas songs better than she does.  Listen to "Ava Maria" or "Winter Wonderland" or anything in between and she's amazing.

    Check out Kat's "Diana Ross WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS TIME" and ask yourself why there's never been a Diana Ross Christmas special on the broadcast networks?  (She has taken part in a Christmas special that was broadcast on PBS.)

    Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

    Thursday, December 19, 2019.  A sexist appeal to Elizabeth Warren to take one for the boys should go over with a thud and the writer -- David Swanson -- should be loudly rebuked, Human Rights Watch's Belkis Wille sees more bloodshed in the future for Iraq as the government continues to crackdown on protesters, and much more.

    The ingrained sexism in society is also deeply woven into the left.  We can never forget that because the world we live in won't let us.  Say you listen to, for example, KPFK.  How would you listen to that station (Patty, I'm looking at you -- you who pretends to be a warrior for women) and never notice that show after show is male, male, male?  They're progressives -- on every issue but diversity and gender.

    It shouldn't require you, me or us together having to point out the nonsense.  But it has.  Ava and I documented COUNTERSPIN's sexism in 2006.  This is the radio program from 'media watchdog' FAIR.  It's supposed to be our friend, right?  But when Ava and I asked "Are You On CounterSpin's Guest List?," the answer was: Probably not if you're a woman.  From October of 2005 to March of 2006, 36 men were guests while only 13 women were.

    Why in the world did we chose that time span -- October to March?

    Because FAIR was slamming THE NEWSHOUR (PBS) for it's lack of female guests in that same period.  While featuring roughly one woman to every three men, they were calling out THE NEWSHOUR for featuring roughly one woman to every four men.  Yes, COUNTERSPIN was a tiny bit better.  But the lack of awareness, the inability to self-check is a hallmark of the left when it comes to gender.

    At least they took their lumps and shut up.  THE NATION is another story.  In 2007, Ava and I began studying the bylines in THE NATION (print issues).  As we noted a tally each issue, half-way through -- following the publication of "Are You A Writer For The Nation? If so, chances are you must have a penis," a desperate e-mail comes in from THE NATION.  Could we please kill this feature?  Pretty please?  They insisted they were aware of the problem and they would be addressing it.  "On the subject of women and the magazine; you should also know that the magazine is more than aware of the imbalance, and has taken steps in the last several months to recruit and bring in more women writers," Ben Wyskida wrote.


    Because they didn't address it.  We continued the study for another half year and, when the last new issue of THE NATION for 2007 went to print, we offered "The Nation featured 491 male bylines in 2007 -- how many female ones?"

    Want to take a guess on the number?

    491 by men, 149 by women.

    Ben Wyskida, in his e-mail imploring us to kill the feature, wanted us to know -- apparently, we were too stupid in his mind to have known this -- "Its worth noting, I think, the extent to which women ARE the leadership of the magazine -- from the editorial side (print, web, and almost all of our senior and executive editors) to the business side (President and the heads of advertising and fundraising) -- but there is an ongoing effort to bring in more women in to the magazine and the website."

    Oh thank goodness Ben and his mighty penis came along to share that because, as women, Ava and I had no idea what a woman was, right?

    The whole reason we were calling out THE NATION was because of the women making the key decisions -- a point we noted when the feature started.  Katrina vanden Heuvel was the definition of what we would later dub the Deanna Durbin syndrome -- 100 guys and a girl.

    Thank you, Ben, for all the hard work you did lifting your mighty penis to state the obvious -- to tell us not only what we already knew but, in fact, what we'd already written about.

    And women are part of the problem -- a fact we've never denied.  With Ann, we studied NPR's Terry Gross and her not-so-fresh-air that featured 399 guests in 2010.  How many were women?  74.  And we're the only ones calling it out.

    We could talk 2008 and the sexist trashing of women (Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente) and we certainly documented that but let's leave it at the above and get to the point of why I have to note the above today.  "Six Reasons Elizabeth Warren Should Volunteer to Be Bernie Sanders' Running Mate."

    You know a man wrote it, right?  It had to be.

    It shows up yesterday in the public e-mail account (  Martha calls to tell me about it.

    It's by David Swanson who's not all bad.  When not passing Rebecca's private e-mail response to him with his editorial statements  -- when not passing that around -- and not being smart enough to realize he included Rebecca on it -- David can do a good thing or two.  I mean, he does remember the Iraq War every three months or so, right?

    So Bernie Sanders supporter David Swanson felt his mighty penis needed to weigh in.

    Now David is part of the left problem and look at what he's constantly sharing and you grasp that.  You grasp that there is no effort to present equal numbers of female guests and female writers.  Some on the left complain about the lack of equal pay in the US -- when will they complain about the lack of equal representation?

    Until that day comes, I guess I just have to be the bitch online who always points out the problem.

    Elizabeth Warren has a shot at being the second woman in the nation to be the presidential nominee for one of the duopoly parties.  That is not a minor thing.  Unlike Hillary, Elizabeth didn't 'inherit' her public stature.  She made it herself.  Most women in politics have had their stature bestowed on them -- by marriage, by parents, whatever.

    So Elizabeth would be a game changer.

    That doesn't mean I embrace her as the candidate.  I think either she or Bernie Sanders would be a worthy nominee.

    I'm not taking sides.

    Awhile back, Bernie supporter Norman Solomon tried to take sides.  We ignored the column and he moved on realizing it wasn't the time.

    It's still not the time.

    Who the f**k is penis waving David Swanson to tell Elizabeth Warren she would be a good vice president.

    Why doesn't he just ask her to stay home and take care of the babies?

    She'd be good at that, right, David?

    This is sexism plain and simple and it's appalling that I'm having to write about it.

    He's on the left.  But gender means so little to him that he doesn't grasp the various tropes he's trafficking in, the various ways he is reinforcing sexism.

    David just wags his mighty penis and says, "Girls, I'm upgrading you, I'm saying a woman can be vice president."

    David needs to sit his tired ass down and start composing an apology for what he wrote.  I'm not joking.  It demands an apology.  Maybe he'll have the guts to write it.  No one else that we've called out ever has.  (And don't get me started on the lists of excuses various NPR omsbudpersons -- hey, Alicia, you were always the snarkiest -- have shared privately to justify the sexism on NPR airwaves.)

    It demands an apology.

    Women do not need David Swanson telling them what to do.  It's amazing how little he bothers to note women or issues that directly impact the lives of women but he's so full of himself that he can still take it upon himself to tell a candidate who is basically in a three-way tie that she -- emphasis on the "she" -- should step aside and be a vice presidential nominee.

    C'mon, Lizzie, step aside for the big balled boys.

    David needs to apologize.

    Unlike his bitch ass, I do remember 2008.  Like many women, I have the scars from 2008.  David's b.s. right now was done to Hillary as well.  It did not 'bring the party together.'  His sexist b.s. not only makes him look stupid, it harms Bernie's support.

    He crossed a line that does not need to be crossed.

    And if he'd written "Corey Booker" and not "Elizabeth Warren"?  That's the whole point.  Men on the left know not to write that about race.  They grasp that is offensive.  But when it's a woman, they think it's a-okay.

    It's disgusting and he needs to retract it and apologize for it.

    Yes, the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination continues.

    Until Iowa, it will be a three-way race -- Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.  After Iowa, things will change based on the results.  There might be a surprise new name due to the results, the three-way may expand to a four-way or shrink to one nominee only.

    But currently, it is a three-way race.  Far from the winner's circle currently is Mike Bloomberg.  But that doesn't mean he doesn't know how to campaign.

    Carl Campanile (NEW YORK POST) reports:

    Michael Bloomberg dumped on Democratic rival Joe Biden, saying the former vice president is not qualified to be president because he’s never run anything.
    “He’s never been a manager of an organization. He’s never run a school system,” Bloomberg said during an MSNBC interview, excerpts of which were released Wednesday night.
    The former three-term New York City mayor and billionaire media mogul thought no better of the rest of the Democratic competitors running for president.

    “But no, I don’t think any of them — you know, the presidency shouldn’t be a training job,” he said.

    Bloomberg knows he needs press attention -- not just ad buys (ad buys that have not helped him) -- and he knows the press will cover attacks on his competitors.  It's a shame others don't grasp that basic reality.  Instead, real and fundamental policy differences are glossed over in the name of 'togetherness.'

    On the topic of Joe Biden, Kimberly Leonard and Joseph Simonson (WASHINGTON EXAMINER) report:

    Former President Barack Obama’s once-longtime doctor said the medical records Joe Biden’s campaign disclosed are concerning and incomplete.
    “He’s not a healthy guy,” Dr. David Scheiner, who was Obama's personal physician for the 22 years before he became president, concluded after reading the records. “He’s not in bad shape for his age, but I wouldn't say he’s in outstanding health. Could I guarantee he won't have issues for the next four years? He has a lot of issues that are just sort of sitting there.”
    A three-page letter from Biden’s physician concluded the former vice president is a “healthy, vigorous, 77-year-old” that is fit to be president. But the letter also revealed Biden receives treatment for an irregular heartbeat and high cholesterol and that he deals with acid reflux and seasonal allergies. It noted his already known history of aneurysms and that he took blood thinners.

    The details from the letter made Scheiner, 81, concerned about Biden’s potential for strokes, and he said he would want to see results from an MRI or CT scan. Because Biden also used to have sleep apnea before getting surgery on his sinus and nasal passages, Scheiner said he would also like to review the results of a sleep study. 

    Turning to Iraq where the protests continue.  Sunday, Mustafa Saadoun (AL-MONITOR) reported:

    The constitutional deadline for nominating a new prime minister arrived Dec. 15 with no consensus candidate in view, even though a spokesman for Iraqi President Barham Salih said Dec. 12 that the president was committed to coming up with a candidate within the constitutional time frame.
    Former Human Rights Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani threw his hat in the ring Dec. 13, announcing on his Twitter account that he has resigned from the Islamic Dawa party to become a candidate for the premiership. Sudani has not been nominated by any bloc in the parliament, although he is believed to be backed by Fatah bloc, which is the political front of the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Units and former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition, which together could form the largest bloc in parliament. However, the president sent a request on Dec. 15 to the parliament, asking to determine the largest bloc, in order to nominate a candidate for the premiership position, which indicates that Fatah was not able to form the largest bloc and Sudani candidacy was not successful. In fact, one of the main criticism against the parliament and government formed after the 2018 election is that the whole process of forming the government had not followed the constitution guideline which obliged the parliament to determine the largest bloc officially, which did not happen. 
    Moreover, the protesters had rejected Sudani previously. His photo, among those of other five possible candidates, can be seen in Tahrir Square with a big red X across it, indicating that the protesters do not accept any of the names. The other names are Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Qusai al-Suhail, Basra Gov. Asaad al-Eidani, former Minister of Youth and Sports Abdul-Hussein Abtan, former Oil Minister Ibrahim Bahr al-Ulum and veteran politician Izzat al-Shahbandar.
    The protesters had previously said that they want a new face without any affiliation with the current political class to lead the caretaker government and prepare for fair early elections, on the condition that the caretaker prime minister not run for office in the upcoming contest. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who has the largest parliamentary bloc with 54 seats, also has rejected Sudani. Sadr has said the protesters must nominate the new prime minister. 

    The deadlock continues today.  This morning, REUTERS reports, "Iraqi lawmakers said on Thursday that deadlock in parliament was holding up the selection of an interim prime minister, meaning leaders would miss a deadline to name a replacement for Adel Abdul Mahdi and prolong nationwide unrest."  The protests have been going on for months.  The refusal of the lawmakers to act on declaring a replacement prime minister is outrageous.

    The deadlock takes place as the protesters are under attack.  As Eleanor Hall (Australia's ABC's THE WORLD TODAY) noted this morning, "the targeting of activists is the latest attempt to shut down the movement."  This led into a story on the killing of activist leaders.  "They really are putting their lives at risk,"  Belkis Wille notes.

    As they continue to put their lives at risk, the lawmakers do nothing.  Human Rights Watch Belkis Wille offered this on THE WORLD TODAY I think that the government or the powers that somehow remain in power will do everything that they can to get the people off the streets. So I think the movement is going to dwindle and it's going to be extremely bloody in coming weeks.  I think it's going to get much worse."

    In other news, XINHUA reports:

    The U.S. forces on Thursday conducted an operation and captured a leader of a paramilitary Sunni tribal fighters over participating in rocket attack on an air base housing U.S. troops in Iraq's western province of Anbar, an official and a security sources said.
    The U.S. troops conducted an airdrop operation before dawn on a house in Jubba area at the town of al-Baghdadi, some 190 km northwest of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, and arrested Naseer al-Obeidi, a leader of local tribal fighters affiliated with the Hashd Shaabi forces, a local official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

    The source said that al-Obeidi was arrested over intelligence reports which said that he had participated earlier in the month in a rocket attack on the nearby Ain al-Asad air base, where hundreds of U.S. troops are stationed, the official said.

    The following sites updated:

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