Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Leslie Bennetts writes about something but it's not Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers was a stand up comedian who carved out a career for herself when women did not often have careers in comedy.  She became a star in the 60s and continued to grow her base.  But?  She had setbacks, she had tragedies.  She also had incredible comebacks.

All of this should mean that Leslie Bennetts' Last Girl Before Freeway: The Life, Loves, Losses, and Liberation of Joan Rivers should make for an amazing read.


However, this is the worst book ever.  It’s awful in every way imaginable.


The author ditches a linear narrative to go with mosaic ‘groupings’ which aren’t actually grouped correctly and which also lead to major moments being ignored.


If you’re a Joan Rivers’ fan, for example, you’d probably expect something about THE GIRL MOST LIKELY TOO . . .  It was the most successful TV movie of the week for ABC of its year (1973).  Due to that ABC re-aired it regularly.  It became a cult classic.   Stockard Channing, Ed Asner, Larry Wilcox and Fred Grady are among the stars.  Also Susanne Zenor.  Remember that name for later.


I don’t get this book.  Throughout, I had the impression that the author did not like the subject.  So why write about Joan Rivers then?  And if you’re going to be a bitch don’t be bitchy in a passive voice. 


It wasn’t just Joan that the author appeared to hate.  She also appeared to struggle with Joan’s daughter Melissa and with Kathy Griffin.  I don’t understand the hatred with either.  Let’s do Kathy as an example because she’s in less of the book.  Kathy shows up near the end to praise Joan and talk about her talent.  But Kathy’s already shown up because when the death of Joan is covered we learn from the author that Kathy called E! and said, if Joan didn’t make it,  she would host Fashion Police.  This is portrayed as cold blooded and worse.  Was that move a mercenary move?  I have no idea.  If it did happen, Kathy might have just been trying to ensure that a show that was Joan’s baby continue on the air.  I don’t know why the author spews such venom at Kathy nor why she then, pages later, treats her like a character witness.


Here’s another thing I don’t know.  Why anyone would see Gloria Steinem as a humor expert is beyond me.  She’s never been funny.  A few times, I can recall her being sardonic.   But she’s offered as such.  And let’s be clear, not to present a feminist critique of Joan but to tell us what is and isn’t funny.  If you’ve ever seen Gloria, you’re aware she doesn’t look like someone who laughs a lot.  She offers a critique as a feminist as well.  And that’s interesting and possibly correct and possibly wrong.  Open to interpretation.  I don’t know that because Gloria doesn’t like a joke that it’s sexist.


And let’s leave Gloria to deal with the author.  Often the author takes a joke literally and I question (a) her honesty and (b) her emotional age.  Sometimes, and Joan herself has said this, a joke is just for a laugh.  There’s no deep meaning.  But the author wants to tell you all about Joan and what her jokes really, really meant.


And, no, I don’t REALLY REALLY trust her.


I also don’t trust her on other issues.


She sees sexism in the jokes including one aimed at a woman who is so dumb she wets floors when she sees a sign.  Sound familiar?  It should.  In 1983, guest hosting on THE TONIGHT SHOW, Joan told a joke about a man who was so dumb that when he saw a sign “Wet floor,” he did.  It wasn’t sexism.  It was stupidity.



She offers a quote that’s actually from People Magazine, I remember it.  And it was a joke.  I felt she missed that too.


I question everything about the book.  I spent forever on the phone with C.I. (who knew Joan).  On Gloria Steinem, C.I. said (and she said I could put in anything we talked about) that Joan called Gloria out so to present Gloria as someone who was neutral or had no bias was crazy.  Gloria refused to do Joan’s Fox talk show.  She didn’t want to be banned by Johnny Carson.  Joan begged her and tossed out that she was the first woman to host a late night network talk show.  But Gloria refused.  And Joan then went semi-public calling Gloria a fake for refusing to support women.




I could go on and on.  But remember how I mentioned the tele-film Joan wrote, that’s a classic.  Later in the book, the author feels the need to talk about Heidi.  That’s one of Joan’s characters – a slut – that’s in her act.  And the author notes Heidi even resulted in a book.  But she’s so damn lazy that she apparently couldn’t watch The Girl Most Likely To . .  Not even on YouTube.  Stockard’s character rooms with . . . Heidi.  (Susan Zenor played Heidi, I told you to remember that name.) How do you miss that?


Because you’re a moron who never did the research required.  Joan deserved a better book.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Tuesday:

Tuesday, November 13, 2018. Fakes asses and the silent ones do their part to keep war going.

"Diversity, in the hands of the White power elites -- political and corporate -- is an advertising gimmick: a new face -- a brand -- gets pushed out front accompanied by the lavish, financial rewards that come with serving the White power structure as long as the game is played," Chris Hedges noted on last week's ON WEEK'S WITH CHRIS HEDGES.  He and BLACK AGENDA REPORT's Glen Ford discussed the con of diversity -- how the power structure allows tokens who carry on the power structure not independent actors who can address real issues.

The con.

Rep. Barbara Lee is running for Dem caucus chair this month. There has NEVER before been a black woman in House leadership in either the Democratic or Republican parties.

Oh, look, it's shuck and jive Barbara Lee who wrote a biography filled with lies.  Do we need to go into all the lies that she jammed into that book?  Because we can.  Suffice is to say, Barbara is a do nothing and retains her seat at the talbe because she never challenges and she never truly argues for the people.

What Vaccine Safety Review?? RFK, Jr and Del Bigree win huge vaccine case!

Cynthia McKinney.  She raised real issues.  She spoke her truth.  And they did all they could to run her out of Congress.  When she made her way back, Nancy Pelosi ridiculed her and refused to recognize the years she served.  Maxine Waters did call that out.  Where was Barbara Lee?  Slathered in Porcelana and desperate to show Miss Nancy that she's a team player who won't offend by taking up for Cynthia.

What has Barbara ever done?

A statement.  A vote that was meaningless.  That's the story of her life: Meaningless.

Where's the Out of Iraq Caucus, Barbara?  Because the US is not out of Iraq.

Barbara wants her seat at the table even though she never does anything and won't do anything if she gets her seat.  She just wants it for a yearbook credit, not to stop wars, not to alter an unjust system.

You'll note she stayed silent on the below.

Let's give war criminals medals, guys! What Iraq war? What Afghan war?

Her silence on Joe Biden (Democrat) giving War Criminal Bully Boy Bush a medal shows just how pathetic and craven Barbara Lee is.  Supposedly, Iraq matters to her and Afghanistan matters to her.  But Biden might run for president and he's a Democrat like Lee so she's not going to say one damn word.

Fortunately, not everyone is silent about the normalizing of a War Criminal.

“A group of veterans are blocking the entrance to the National Constitution Center Sunday, where former Vice President Joe Biden is slated to present former President George W. Bush an award for his commitment to veterans.”

.  Protesting Joe Biden giving the war criminal the Obama administration didn't prosecute, George W Bush, the - Thus rendering this award a useless piece of crap to whoever holds one.


3K viewers


Joe Biden just presented a Liberty Medal to George and Laura Bush.

Middle East Eye : In the recent months, up to 100,000 people have been taken to hospital for water-related illnesses in the southern Iraqi province of Basra, which suffers from a shortage of potable water, prompting thousands to protest in the streets.

Proud to call one of these protesting vets a friend. Shameful to win an award for starting a sham war. I wonder if Bush or Biden stopped in Kenzo to meet Mark, who's now homeless&addicted (due to the REAL "WMD" - VA opioid policy). 

Biden just spat in the face of millions of anti-war Dem voters and sent a message to people of Iraq that their suffering means shit to him. 

Thanks to all who protested war criminal George W. Bush receiving a Liberty Medal. I hope Democrats were paying attention Joe Biden presenting completely disqualifies him if he decides to run for president. When will the Bush Admin face ?

Great piece : “Biden says he ‘always respected’ Bush during his administration, presumably even while he was getting countless thousands murdered for no legitimate reason and after it was public knowledge that Iraq had been invaded based on lies.”

You know we're living in some kind of strange, delusional world when Joe Biden is presenting George W. Bush with a Liberty Medal for his "commitment" to veterans...

When Joe Biden, who helped Obama topple governments in Libya, Ukraine and elsewhere, praises George Bush, the destroyer of Afghanistan and Iraq, for his commitment to “democratic values”, you know that the phrase has completely lost all of its meaning.

2020 Democratic presidential candidates should be salivating over the image of Joe Biden giving a medal to George W. Bush.

The continued rehabilitation of war criminal George W. Bush as a hero and patriot by liberals including Joe Biden has got to be one of the most disturbing and dangerous developments of the Trump era. It’s clearly intentional and the implications are terrifying.

“About 30 protesters — veterans and others — disrupted the 90-minute ceremony with whistles and sirens that could be heard over speeches by former Vice President Joe Biden.”

No Awards for Endless Wars!

  • Joe Biden is a war criminal on his own merit. He has probably been lying about Iraq longer than GW Bush has.

    Replying to   and

    George W Bush is a war criminal. He deserves no honor for “his commitment to veterans”. I’m ashamed of Joe Biden for giving him the award!  Disgusting!

    I want Joe Biden to read the story wrote for following his embed with my unit in 2005 or any one of thousands of stories of Iraq War injustice and misery and look me in the eye and tell me Bush deserved that stupid worthless medal today

    Leah Todd (Center for Constitutional Rights) notes:

    CCR stands in solidarity with the veterans who yesterday interrupted an award ceremony in Philadelphia honoring former President George W. Bush. Veterans were responding to President and Laura Bush receiving the “Liberty Medal,” an award to honor those “who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people around the globe,” for their “commitment to veterans.” This is a whitewashing of history, and, in particular, ignores Bush’s shameful role in advancing a lawless, hyper-militarized, and privatized “endless war” paradigm that led to the commission of widespread war crimes and human rights violations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and beyond, and the lack of care and services provided to U.S. veterans and service members under his tenure. The Trump administration’s overt white supremacist, xenophobic, Islamophobic hate must not serve as a cause to forget that many of today’s egregious policies originated in or were incubated by the Bush administration’s disregard or distortion of bedrock Constitutional principles and an international human rights framework.

    CCR is appalled at the presentation of this award to Bush by Joe Biden. As president, Bush was responsible for starting unconstitutional and illegal wars – that put U.S. service members unnecessarily in harm’s way and killed, injured, and displaced millions of civilians – under false pretenses, while instituting the repressive domestic response to 9/11. Those wars continued into the Obama administration, which refused to hold Bush administration officials accountable for illegal policies of torture. The lack of accountability – this impunity – helped pave the way for the reappearance of Bush-era officials in the current administration, including C.I.A. Director Gina Haspel, who oversaw torture at a C.I.A. black site, National Security Advisor John Bolton, who advocated hawkish anti-multilateralist positions, and recently confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose precise role in developing the Bush administration’s legal justifications for its torture policy remains unclear. Biden’s presentation of this award to Bush reinforces the legacy of impunity upheld by both their administrations. Granting Donald Trump such an additional example or justification for embracing lawlessness is downright dangerous.
    Bush’s legacy is relevant today. The brutal effects of U.S. militarism post-9/11 – including the descent into torture and unlawful detention, the conservative estimate of half a million directly killed and twice that indirectly killed since 2001, an environmental crisis impacting public health and organizing in Iraq, a refugee crisis spurred by expanding wars and stymied by discriminatory U.S. immigration policies, and sectarianism further entrenched by U.S. policies under occupation that fomented the emergence of groups like ISIS in U.S.-run prisons in Iraq – are neither over nor reckoned with. Forty men remain imprisoned at Guant├ínamo Bay. Victims of torture at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison are still seeking accountability for torture involving private military contractorsAirstrikes continue to cause underreported civilian casualties. And John Bolton continues to attack both accountability and multilateralism, this time seeking to interfere in efforts at the International Criminal Court to investigate U.S. torture in Afghanistan. As the U.S. expands military activity in the region and globally – and continues to bombard Iraq and Afghanistan to this day – it is vital that we remember the gory history of these wars and work to end them once and for all.
    This award erases these realities and burnishes the image of a president who has been broadly condemned for his policies and scandals – including revelations of torture at Abu Ghraib, Guant├ínamo, and C.I.A.-run black sites, invasion of Iraq justified by non-existent weapons of mass destruction, and implementation of a post-9/11 counterterrorism framework that incorporated mechanisms of detention, surveillance, and criminalization that abandoned Constitutional principles and set in motion countless human rights violations yet has been modeled around the world. But Bush’s rush to war also led to horrific consequences for U.S. service members – disproportionately from communities of color – who consistently lacked access to necessary health care, experienced high rates of sexual assault that was rarely prosecuted, were regularly discharged and denied benefits for untreated mental health issues, and among whom suicide rates skyrocketed to nearly one every day.
    CCR stands with war-impacted communities, including veteran communities, in exposing the reality of the nearly two decades of U.S. militarism since 9/11 and its devastating consequences, for which Bush and his accomplices must be held responsible. A true way to honor Veterans Day, which began as the peace-oriented Armistice Day, would be to acknowledge these harmful legacies and finally provide reparations and accountability.
    Veterans who oppose the awarding of this medal to former President Bush are encouraged to sign About Face’s petition.

    This was a major moment and it's amazing how many stayed silent.  Joe Biden wants to be president but this is his John Kerry moment (John speaking to high schoolers in California and kissing his shot at the presidency goodbye).  It was so bad that John was forced to issue an apology (and even that didn't save his presidential dreams).  Joe should be forced to as well.  And if Joe Biden doesn't know what to say, maybe he can steal the words of John Kerry?

    In Basra, protests continue.

    Middle East Eye : In the recent months, up to 100,000 people have been taken to hospital for water-related illnesses in the southern Iraqi province of Basra, which suffers from a shortage of potable water, prompting thousands to protest in the streets.

    As Iraq's new prime minister continues to dither, Hamdi Malik (AL MONITOR) reports:

    Anger is escalating in Basra over the new government's stance toward this strategic city and the demands of its people. The continued marginalization of this oil-rich city could spell a new round of unrest.
    Voices have been calling for new protests and sit-ins in Basra in light of what activists describe as neglect of the province by the Iraqi central and local governments.
    As part of their efforts to organize protests, Basra activists launched the Arabic hashtag that translates into “We are coming back for you.” They called on Basra’s residents to stage mass protests in front of the South Oil Company (SOC) on Nov. 4 and to prevent its employees from entering its premises.
    Mahdi al-Tamimi, head of the Basra office of Iraq's High Commission for Human Rights, confirmed Oct. 31 the existence of a strong movement by all coordination committees in the province to stage protests.
    Indeed, a protest took place Nov. 4 in front of the SOC. Protesters tried to prevent the entry of vehicles into the company’s premises.

    The following community sites -- plus Jody Watley and CCR -- updated: