Saturday, November 17, 2018

Col Bernie Sanders


That's "Col Bernie Sanders" from September 28, 2015.  C.I. noted:

Isaiah's latest The World Today Just Nuts "Col Bernie Sanders."  Bernie Sanders explains, "African-American voters have really not embraced me yet.  This confuses me.  My fried Chicken has always been so popular.  Yes, it's me, Col. Bernie Sanders."  Valerie Jarrett waves a chicken leg and exclaims, "He's a creep!"  Isaiah archives his comics at The World Today Just Nuts.

I think the comic speaks for itself.  :D  I loved Valerie Jarrett for my comics during Barack's two terms in the White House.  I've been asked about finding someone in the Trump one.  I'm not meaning this as insult to anyone in the administration currently, but I'm just not finding anyone that I think, "I bet they'd be good in the comics."  But I will keep looking.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, November 16, 2018.  Someone suffers, so we are told in a new book.  [Citations are being added and I will be adding more later this evening.]

For some reason, Michelle Obama's put her name to one.  I was surprised when I read BECOMING that she'd put her name to it -- surprised anyone would.  It's one plodding sentence after another.  I asked a friend at Crown why they couldn't hire her a ghost writer with a gift for prose and was informed that what was supposed to be an inspiring and light read morphed quickly into something else because Michelle had "issues."  Most of the ghost writer's work involved asking her for happy moments and spending forever trying to unearth a few.  Michelle is not happy with her life now or in looking back.

The book that they spent forever watering down might have made for an interesting read -- whether she named names and dished or not -- but I do understand their fear because, even watered down, this is not a book for a former First Lady of the United States to put her name to.

Let's talk about First Lady, as a role, first.  The current one is more or less doing a fine job.  It's a ceremonial role, it's pure decoration.  There are women who have held the role who've striven for more.  Certainly, Eleanor Roosevelt expanded the role and the notion of what it could be.  Rosalynn Carter deserves high praise for her term as First Lady in terms of expanding public notions of the role and pulling it into the 20th century.  Hillary Diane Clinton showed up on the stage (Hillary Rodham Clinton was buried mid 1992 by the campaign) and was determined to reject the outdated notions for new ones and deserves praise for shattering so many expectations and stereotypes.

But if someone wants to carry out the ceremonial role today, that's fine.  Melanie Trump is carrying out that role in the same manner that Nancy Reagan did before her.  If that's what they want, fine.

I do think we need to expect equality, though.  Meaning for all of Hillary's self-made claims of feminism, it was appalling (and we called her out in real time) that in her 2016 campaign (not in her 2008 campaign, which was a better campaign) she felt the need to repeatedly tell the public that, if elected, she would be president but her spouse (Bill) would not be First Lady under any name (First Dude, whatever).  No, he would not be planning social dinners or . . .  Who was going to do that?  President Hillary Clinton.  She can bomb Libya and select the food and the china it will be served on at a formal dinner all at the same time!

First Lady is a ceremonial role.  It's all opticals, visuals.  Unless, according to Hillary, a man occupies the role, at which point, we have to rethink everything because, heaven forbid, a man is expected to do the work that a woman has had to do over and over for centuries in this country.

That's sexist and it was sexist when Hillary was pimping it.  It's appalling that the role that so many women have had to hold -- whether they wanted it or not -- would be changed, according to Hillary -- the minute a man held the role.


And the other issue there is the reality that, no, she cannot plan formal dinners and social engagements while carrying out the duties of president.  And it's vile of her to suggest she can.  Most women in the US already work endlessly -- many work a paid job outside the home and then turn around and do a shift in the home (caring for children or relatives, cleaning their homes, making meals, etc).  For her to try to normalize those extra hours is appalling.  She can go 'super woman' it if she wants but that's not helping any woman -- including herself.

What was Michelle like as a First Lady.

This might be why she is so hostile and touchy.  She's a smart woman.  She is someone with real skills and, yes, intelligence.

But the 2008 campaign remade her.  She writes of a meeting with David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett where they explain to her that she's not winning voters. She easily accepts their suggestion that she comes off too smart and works to publicly cut down her own smarts and independence.  (To see what that led to, refer to Ava and my "TV: The endless non-news.")

In 2008, until New Hampshire, I stayed out of it.  Then I did come out for Hillary.  (In New Hampshire, at one college appearance, a friend explained she had a debate by various proxies but the one representing Hillary had dropped out due to a scheduling conflict.  This is all noted in real time.  I tried to beg off but a friend was asking so I stood in as the Hillary voice in the debate.  That's when I started moving towards Hillary and then came the sexist attacks and that really did it.)  Michelle's "for the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country . . ."  was tone deaf considering that her husband was running for president.  But otherwise the Michelle Obama presented to the public was inspiring and hugely popular.

That she listened to Valerie and David and gutted herself is sad.  That she's still furious about that is evident in the book -- despite herculean efforts on the part of the ghost writer.

I understand the fury.  What she was actually inspired.  What she became embarrassed.

Unless you were an empty headed, closeted lesbian, you didn't care for the makeover.  It did attract that group of closeted lesbians that also go orgasmic over Beyonce's every move.  Straight adult women don't behave that way -- not even over Denzel or Brad -- nor do most lesbians.  But this sub group -- as creepy as Herbert on FAMILY GUY -- does.  They are very vocal but they are a very tiny part of the lesbian community and even smaller subgroup of the general American population.

As Michelle was reduced to an ornament, they found orgasmic nirvana.

Others were sheepish and embarrassed to see a grown woman, with a law degree and two children, reduced to the status of fashion plate.  We also grasped the reality that Michelle was not a fashion plate or a great beauty.  On the latter, Crown grasps that which is why the cover photo for her book shows her with hand over her chin (the hand minimizes the chin which is one of her visual flaws).  On the former, even when models were 'curvy' (what passed for it) with Cheryl Tiegs and Christie Brinkley, Michelle wouldn't have qualified as a model.  That shouldn't be a shocker.  She was in her forties.  No one should have expected her to be a model.  But that's what happens when you're reduced to ornament status.  Equally true, modeling isn't just about a sleek, slim body.  It's also about having a gift to wear clothes.  Cher can wear a sophisticated outfit or a shocking one and carry it off because she can 'wear' clothes.  It's a gift that a woman has or doesn't.  (Men can have the gift as well but we're talking about women here.)

Had Michelle been allowed to be Michelle, she could have been a ground breaking First Lady.  She had the intelligence to be one, she had the skills and the experience to be one.

Instead, they shoved her into a hole that very few women would ever fit in and it's clear that the fit did not work for Michelle.  Reading the book, it's very, very clear.

Does she deserve credit for anything that made it into her book?  I'll praise her for not buying into the Russia conspiracy.


I'd love to know what she really thinks of the "Whitey" rumor.  It's briefly in the book.  She's never said it and it's a rumor and?  That's about it.  Former CIA officer Larry Johnson spread that online in 2008.  She doesn't mention ..him.  Johnson did not claim to have seen the alleged tape.  Johnson was told it existed and would be surfacing.  When it didn't and Johnson grasped that he had been played, he outed the source feeding him the information: David Brock.

Yes, of MEDIA MATTERS.  Pure David and why no one should ever embrace him.  He did that as a Republican -- not just with Anita Hill -- and, when we were stupid enough to let him come over to our side, he did it repeatedly.  David Brock should be kicked to the curb.  He puts lies into circulation intentionally.  It's a shame Michelle didn't get to share that.

In one of the most ridiculous passages, she allows that she was treated (in the 2008 campaign) in a sexist way (she was) and that she was seeing the sexist attacks on Hillary and really understood them.  That last part is where it gets ridiculous.

How awful that Hillary was being attacked in a sexist manner in 2008!

But, know what, as someone who defended Hillary from sexist attacks in 2008, I remember them and I remember that a lot of people participated in them.

A lot.

Here's a photo we've noted here and at THIRD repeatedly,   This is from Ava and my "Left in the Dust" in 2008:

jon favreau

That's the photo and, as many have already noted, photos of people 'funnin' with cardboard Baracks led to punishments. But, as we pointed out last week, ". . . women are the canary in the coalmines. Hate and prejudice aimed at all women could never be aimed at any group of straight men without being called out. It is in navigating how much abuse it can get away with towards women that society sets down its markers for others. And week after week, that remains one of the biggest lessons of 2008."

Michelle does recognize those men, right?  It includes Barack's speech writer Jon Favreau.   From THIRD, here's Dee Dee Myers writing about the grabbing:

Truest statement of the week

What's bugging me is his intention. He isn't putting his hand on her "chest," as most of the articles and conversations about the picture have euphemistically referred to it. Rather, his hand--cupped just so--is clearly intended to signal that he’s groping her breast. And why? Surely, not to signal he finds her attractive. Au contraire. It’s an act of deliberate humiliation. Of disempowerment. Of denigration.
And it disgusts me.

-- Dee Dee Myers, "Favreau's Sexist Photo Is No Laughing Matter" (Vanity Fair).

That sexism that Michelle is so appalled by in 2008?  It came from Barack's campaign regularly.  And, guess what, it also came from Barack himself.

Periodically, the claw come out?  Do you remember that statement?

Maybe like Michelle, you don't.

Funny though, Google doesn't want you to remember it.

Search THIRD produces this:

 No posts matching the query: "marie cocco". Show all posts

No posts at THIRD mention Marie.  That's a lie.  Good way to censor Google.  A Google search of THIRD and Marie Cocco or her quoting Barack also turns up nothing.

Why is Google burying that history?  [Added: See below for Barack's sexism.]

Marie Cocco was the one who called him out in the MSM most loudly (Bonnie Erbe also deserves credit).  Sometimes, Barack explained, periodically, when she's feeling blue,  claws come out.

If Michelle's wanting to suddenly talk about the sexism that Hillary experience in 2008, she needs to talk about the sexism her husband promoted.

Or how about her own little bitchy remarks?

That one of the most important things that we need to know about the next president of the United States is, is he somebody that shares our values? Is he somebody that respects family? Is a good and decent person? So our view was that, if you can't run your own house, you certainly can't run the White House. So, so we've adjusted our schedules to make sure that our girls are first, so while he's traveling around, I do day trips.

"If you can't run your own house, you certainly can't . . ."  Michelle knew what she was saying (see Ava and my "What If Feminists Were Swing Voters?") and she said it.  It was sexist.  Hillary can't control Bill's sexual urges how can she control the White House!  It's sexism and those are Michelle Obama's own words.

Why are we writing about Michelle?

Because the anger's there and, here's the news value, Crown says it's really going to surface in interviews -- what they can no longer censor.  They point to the upcoming Oprah Winfrey interview where Oprah asks Michelle about Donald Trump and Michelle goes on about how he put her family at risk.

Her family at risk?  We don't have time to go into the history of the birther rumors.

But her family at risk?

They had -- and still have -- the Secret Service to protect them.  What do the people in Iraq have?

"Barack wanted to get US troops out of Iraq."

She writes that.  It's her entire Iraq output.

He didn't get troops out of Iraq.  He left with them still on the ground in Iraq (where they remain).

Maybe a little less self-focus would help Michelle with her frustration?  Maybe grasping that her family is protected but the Iraqi people are not would open her eyes to real horrors?

Replying to 

Does Michelle grasp that the children of Iraq do not have Secret Service protection?  That the medical professionals left in Iraq do not have Secret Service protection?

: A nationwide public awareness campaign to stop violence against medical personnel has been launched at the Ministry of Health in Baghdad, and will last for 10 days until 21 November

Does she grasp that her husband did nothing to protect Iraqi women?

Small protest on this morning in , calling for an end to violence against women. Protesters were specifically asking for stronger laws to help eradicate so-called “honour killings”. 16yo Doaa’s sign says: “There’s no honour in honour crimes”

When he was elected, before he became president, Ava and I were among the people advocating for Barack to send a woman to Iraq as an Ambassador.  It would be a powerful statement.  He refused.  Throughout his two terms, he refused.  He nominated man after man for the post.  Never a woman.

Does Michelle grasp that?

I understand her disappointment about being forced to deny her own gifts and skills while First Lady but she'd be a lot happier if she'd grasp that her 'tragedies' really are nothing compared to what the people of Iraq -- to name only one country her husband harmed and failed -- go through on a daily basis.

The following community sites -- plus Cindy Sheehan -- updated:

  • -------------

  • Added at 12:53 PST 11/16/18 -- Examples of Barack's sexism.

  • First here is the Marie Cocco statement I referred to, we made it a "truest" of the week July 13, 2008:

  • Truest statement of the week II

    Obama says that these women should not be able to obtain a late-term abortion, because just "feeling blue" isn't the same as suffering "serious clinical mental health diseases." True enough. And totally infuriating.
    During the recent Obama pander tour -- the one in which he spent about a week trying to win over conservative religious voters -- the presumptive Democratic nominee unnecessarily endorsed President Bush's faith-based initiative, a sort of patronage program that rewards religious activists for their political support with public grants. Then in a St. Louis speech, Obama declared that "I let Jesus Christ into my life." That's fine, but we already have a president who believes this was a qualification for the Oval Office, and look where that's gotten us.Obama's verbal meanderings on the issue of late-term abortion go further. He has muddied his position. Whether this is a mistake or deliberate triangulation, only Obama knows for sure.
    One thing is certain: Obama has backhandedly given credibility to the right-wing narrative that women who have abortions -- even those who go through the physically and mentally wrenching experience of a late-term abortion -- are frivolous and selfish creatures who might perhaps undergo this ordeal because they are "feeling blue."

    -- Marie Cocco's "Obama's Abortion Stance When 'Feeling Blue'" (Washington Post Writers Group).

  • Marie also got a truest on August 31, 2008.  And she's noted in "The race card, what's not feminism, and more" from August 17th. She's noted in "Yes, let's stop kidding ourselves (Ava and C.I.)."
  • Here's another truest Maria got at THIRD:

  • Truest statement of the week

    This has a lot to do with a graphic image of Palin I just saw in which she is dressed in a black bustier, adorned with long, black gloves and wielding a whip. The image appeared in the Internet magazine Salon to illustrate a column titled: "The dominatrix," by Gary Kamiya. Kamiya calls Palin a "pinup queen," and says she not only tantalized the Republican National Convention with political red meat, but that her "babalicious" presence hypercharged the place with sexual energy, and naughty energy at that. "You could practically feel the crowd getting a collective woody as Palin bent Obama and the Democrats over, shoved a leather gag in their mouths and flogged them as un-American wimps, appeasers and losers."
    That's some sexual mother lode. Dare I point out that I have never -- ever -- in three decades of covering politics seen a male politician's style, even one with an earthy demeanor, described this way?
    Salon editor Joan Walsh says she agrees the "dominatrix" piece had a "provocative cover,'' and that her columnists enjoy great freedom. "One day Gary (Kamiya) called Palin a dominatrix, the next day Camille Paglia called her a feminist." The magazine exists, Walsh says, to "push the envelope."
    No sooner did Walsh give me this explanation than another Salon contributor, Cintra Wilson, pushed that envelope again. Wilson described Palin as follows: an "f---able ... Christian Stepford wife in a 'sexy librarian' costume" who is, for ideological Republicans, a "hardcore pornographic centerfold spread." That is, when Palin is not coming across as one of those "cutthroat Texas cheerleader stage moms."
    What is it about a woman candidate that sends the media into weird Freudian frenzies?
    -- Marie Cocco, "Sexism Again" (Washington Post Writers Group)

  • And from November 23, 2008:

  • Truest statement of the week

    It is time to stop kidding ourselves. This wasn't a breakthrough year for American women in politics. It was a brutal one.

    -- Marie Cocco, "No Breakthrough for Women Politicians" (Washington Post Writers Group).

  • And for the climate that existed at that time, please "CBS 'cares' enough to promote sexism."  Especially see it if you're repeating the lie that 2016 was so bad for Hillary.  2008 was brutal for her in terms of sexism.

  • From Ava and my "TV: Gossip Girls and Barack's Bitches" (July 20, 2008):

  • The campaign played it up (as one bragged to us) to kill off what they feared would be the big story on Monday. Two Fridays ago, Barack had a fundraiser. Bernie Mac 'joked' about how women are 'hos' and offended a number in the audience. Barack came out and spoke (after booing) and pretended he was offended. He declared, "We can't afford to be divided by race. We can't afford to be divided by religion, or by region or class. Or by gender. That means, by the way, Bernie, you got to clean up your act. This is a family affair."
    Had he stopped there, it would have been cause for applause. The man who used sexism throughout the primary, who brused off a question from a female reporter by calling her "sweetie," who makes alarming right-wing talking points about abortion, who refused to give a speech, or even a remark, on the sexism that Hillary was targeted with was finally saying something.
    Then he undercut everything he'd said by adding, "I'm just messing with you."

  • You can also read Ava and my "TV: The Fringes."

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