Tuesday, January 03, 2023

If your life was so awful, you shouldn't have shared it weekly on TV and pretended otherwise

another pew2


That's  Isaiah's THE WORLD TODAY JUST NUTS "THE PEW loses it." 

Leah e-mailed to inform me that she's no longer watching Valerie Bertinelli's Food Network show, "She lied.  She lied over and over.  I never asked her to talk about her husband or bring on the show.  But she did.  Repeatedly and now she wants to say she's been miserable for the last five or six years?  So she lied to us that whole time.  She was fakin' and shakin'.  I don't need to know someone's personal life but if you're putting it out there on your show, you better be honest.  One year of miserable?  Okay, I can forgive that but you're telling me it was five or six years?  No.  You're just a damn liar.  I don't have time for that."

I understand how she feels and she's referring to this report:

Valerie Bertinelli is reveling in the new year. 

The Food Network star took to Instagram to celebrate 2023's New Year's Day with a video of herself smiling ear to ear as Taylor Swift's "Clean" played in the background.

"This new year day is coming in so much happier than last year’s," Bertinelli, 62, began her caption. 

She continued: "From a young age, New Year’s Day has been one of my absolute favorite days, for the last 5-6 years it’s been one of the saddest. No more."

There was no reason for her to include her husband (Tom?) in the show.  But she did.  And I understand Leah's point.  Valerie was someone a lot of us trusted.  Now she looks like a liar.

That's bad.

You know what's worse?  

She looks like a bitter liar.  

It's not a look that's going to win over viewers.  If she has any smart, she'll pull up her big girl panties and stop whining.  I've held my tongue on this.  But Leah's a longtime reader and so I'm weighing in.  Kat long ago called Valerie out for this nonsense at her site "Not feeling sorry for Valerie" and "Okay, so I'm griping about Valerie Bertinelli."



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

Tuesday, January 3, 2023.  2023 is just starting and so much already to cover.

Barbara Walters passed away as the year was winding down.  I've put up videos about that and that's about all I planned to do.

Needs a hair cut has the nerve to say of the women on THE VIEW -- and I'd assume past and present because they're talking about the past and the present, ""First of all, no one on THE VIEW is really all that qualified to be talking about politics."

I believe what he means to say is that women aren't qualified to speak of politics.

THE VIEW was created by Barbara Walters.  She is a famous journalist.  She even interviewed Bashar al-Assad in 2011 and did so because of the war drums pounding -- not to encourage war but to  give Americans a look at who Assad was.  And she did it over the initial objections of ABC brass.  That was one of Barbra's last power moves as a journalist.  

Meredith Viera -- whom I loathe -- may be a game show host to the little weiner boys of THE VANGUARD, but Vieira was a professional journalist. She joined THE VIEW in 1997.  She began her professional journalism career in 1975 -- along the way, that includes being a correspondent for 60 MINUTES and WEST 57TH.

Lisa Ling was one of the best hosts THE VIEW ever had and Lisa was and is a journalist. 

Rosie O'Donnell ran MCCALLS (into the ground, some might argue, but the magazine was already struggling before she came on board) from 2000 to 2003. 

Joy Behar is a comedian who has long been a talk show host. 

We could go through the list all day.

But many of the women have journalism backgrounds.  

And they're not required to have that.  "All different backgrounds" -- that's what Barbra introduction to each show would note, she wanted to bring together women to discuss the news of the day.

I'm not claiming THE VIEW was ever epic breaking TV.  But it was a step forward and I need to note something before Barbra Walters passes so she can get the credit she deserves.  Today, there's THE CHEW and so much else outright copying THE VIEW.  And we've had, for example, a news/public affairs program (CBS MORNING NEWS) that featured Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King at the same time.  When THE VIEW came on, women weren't on.  They were the smiling wifey that a Jane Pauley (I've never been impressed with that ___) or a Joan Lunden (who was at least a sweet person) portrayed next to the male host -- and female guests weren't really on that often -- not on the Sunday chat & chews, not on the public affairs programs.

Barbra wanted a program that was made up of women -- plural -- who would conduct interviews and comment on the events of the day.  She wanted to take the TV cameras to the majority of the world -- women.  It was successful and it's been so copied that it's very easy, all these years later, to not give her credit for what she did and what she accomplished because it seems so natural and so obvious.  But what she did was groundbreaking for commercial, broadcast television.  (Bonnie Erbe did something similar for public television with TO THE CONTRARY WITH BONNIE ERBE starting in 1992, five years earlier.)  Barbara deserves credit for that.

When she passes, her obits should note the ground she broke as interviewer and how she went on to break more ground with THE VIEW.  I'm not a friend of Barbara's and I'm not a big fan of her work but I do give her credit for what she did on TV.  And, to her credit, she never shied away from reactions.  I haven't watched THE VIEW in years and that's probably because Barbara's no longer a part of it.  When she was, I could call her after the broadcast and she'd take the call even though she knew if I was calling, I was calling to gripe.  My calls usually didn't even open with a hello.  They usually opened with an "I'm enraged."  Such as when Meredith proved to be the ultimate bitch on air and, no, I will never forgive her for that.  Joy has stated to me that she went too far that episode (yes, you did, Joy) but was caught up in the times.  Caught up in the times?

This was when THE VIEW went right wing -- shocking for viewers of today's show.  They didn't just go right wing, they spent 'hot topics' trashing Jane Fonda.  Excuse me.  Lisa didn't trash Jane.  Lisa watched with discomfort as the others trashed Jane.  Lisa tried to speak up but was talked over (yelled over) by Joy and Meredith.  Which I also pointed out to Barbara who wasn't on that day's show but was on the next day's show and made a point to sit next to Lisa for support.  It was outrageous..  It was the biggest nonsense you'd ever seen in the world and there are people in their 20s who probably would never believe it happened, certainly not on the 'lefty' VIEW.  It happened.  And I will never, ever forgive Meredith for it. The venom and hate that she snarled and unleashed?  I will never forgive her.  They were so eager to appear to be Republican that they went to town on Jane in the most disgusting way.  It was out of bounds.  And that point was made, to Barbara's credit, by Barbara on the next day's show.  

So don't think I'm some devotee of the show who catches every episode.  

But I do appreciate what Barbara did and how she changed television.  

So let's give her credit for that.

And that's 2021.  It's 2023 now.  I don't have much to say.  I didn't like her that much.  I had reasons for that -- solid reasons -- that went to her professional career.  

I really don't need Megyn Kelly offering her thoughts on Barbara as a mother.  I really don't.  I don't know anyone who thought Barbara was a good mother.  I don't know anyone who didn't see the adoption as a desperate measure to save a failing marriage.


I would only comment on one of Barbara's marriages, and I have over the years.  That would be Merv Anderson.  The first time she married him, I have no comment on him.  The second time?  Barbara destroyed that marriage and she did it to be political to her friends.  She chose her friendship with certain Republicans -- and I can name them -- over her marriage to her husband.  She did an interview where she went after someone and that someone was a big moneymaker for her husband's business.  Now I've gong into that in the past at THIRD and I think it's pertinent today because that does go to her work.  

But this nonsense that she was a bad mother?  She was born in 1929 and she was a driven as any male and I'm not recalling Megyn holding any man accountable for his fathering.

She was a bad mother.  

It's a single sentence.

It's not a nine minute plus segment.

Nor is your own parenting, Megyn, which I'm told would make an entire book.  So maybe lay off a dead woman who was not your mother and who did as well as any of us expected she would as a mother.  It's strange because I didn't think one way or the other of Megyn until this morning when I got on the stair master and looked for something to stream.  I saw Megyn's nonsense and thought it might be about something worthwhile.  It wasn't.

I then called around to ask, "What's the deal with her?"  I got one horror story after another about Megyn as a parent and was also formed that she works with an anti-LGBTQ+ organization.  

Another friend of Glenn Greenwald's who is anti-LGBTQ+?  Marcia was right to name him "The Most Disgusting Person of 2022."  He's making self-loathing a lifestyle choice.

Moving onto another story in the news, the Hunter Biden laptop.  Josh Boswell (DAILY MAIL) reports:

The Department of Justice is trying to prevent disclosure of 400 pages of sensitive documents on Hunter and Jim Biden's dealings with China, Russia and Ukraine – by pretending they don't exist.

Colorado lawyer Kevin Evans sued the department in March after it failed to comply with his request for records on the Bidens' dealings under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Evans, a FOIA expert, asked for documents pertaining to 'any relationship, communication, gift(s), and/or remuneration in any form' between the president's son Hunter or brother Jim, and China, Russia or Ukraine.

He said government lawyers first admitted in court to having at least 400 pages of 'potentially relevant' documents – but are now trying to get away with saying they can 'neither confirm nor deny' the existence of any records that match his request.

A Justice Department prosecutor, David Weiss, is currently considering a criminal case against Hunter with potential allegations of money laundering, illegal foreign lobbying and tax crimes in relation to the First Son's overseas business dealings.

The 400 pages are not the only cache of Biden records being sought from the government.

The National Archives and Records Administration is preparing to release hundreds of Obama White House internal documents containing information about Hunter's relationship with controversial Ukrainian gas company Burisma, Business Insider reported this month.

 Over the weekend, a story of violence emerged from Iraq: a mass arrest following an assault.  Nik Martin (DW) reports:

Sixteen young men were arrested Saturday in Iraq's automonmous Kurdistan region after a viral video showed a teenage girl being attacked by a group of youths.

The incident took place a day earlier at a motorbike rally in the suburbs of Sulaimaniyah, the region's second city.

Footage of the attack was shared on social media, sparking widespread condemnation.

It shows dozens of young men and teenage boys following the girl before some of them assaulted her, kicking her against a car.

AFP notes that the woman attacked was 17 and "The incident took place in the suburbs of Sulaimaniyah, the Kurdistan region´s second city, where footage shared online showed dozens of young men and teenage boys following the girl before some of them assaulted her, kicking her against a car."  Holly Johnstone (THE NATIONAL) adds:'

She was reported to have been attacked after arriving at a motorcycle race where men asked that women be excluded.

While the Kurdistan Region has laws against domestic violence and is often upheld as an example of more progressive attitudes towards women, gender-based violence remains a problem.

At least 24 women were killed in such circumstances in the first half of 2022, according to a local anti-trafficking and women's rights foundation.

The “senseless assault” is the result “of a barbaric narrative used systematically against our women”, said Rewaz Faeq, the speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament, said in a post on Twitter accompanied by video of the attack.


In Baghdad today, the militias remember Qassem Soleimani a thug who the United States murdered with a drone.  Mina Aldroubi (THE NATIONAL) notes:

Candles were lit by mourners as others waved Iraqi and Iranian flags near the airport.

Although the Iraqi parliament denied that Tuesday is an official holiday, the provinces of Baghdad, Basra, Wasit, Dhi Qar, Muthanna and Diwaniyah in the south announced an official day off to mark the occasion.

It is expected that other Shiite majority provinces will join in and suspend official working hours. However, northern provinces with a Sunni majority have ignored the anniversary.

Iraqi militia leaders such as Iranian-backed militia chief Hadi Al Amiri and Asaib Ahl Al Haq’s Qais Khazali called for an end to the US presence in the country.

In his own country of Iran, the dead man's facing more of a pushback.

Let's wind down with this from Kyle C. Velte's piece at TRUTHOUT regarding the attacks on LGBTQ+ persons:

Anti-LGBTQ Court Decisions

While some anti-LGBTQ legislation was temporarily blocked in the courts, judges also joined legislatures in diminishing LGBTQ rights this year. In September, a judge in Texas held that a mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act that requires employers to provide insurance coverage of a drug that prevents the transmission of HIV could not be applied to a company that had a religious objection to such coverage. The company argued that compliance with the mandate made it “complicit in facilitating homosexual behavior,” which in turn violated its sincerely held religious belief that the “Bible condemns sexual activity outside marriage between one man and one woman, including homosexual conduct.”

This religious exemption from complying with the Affordable Care Act tracks efforts by wedding vendors seeking similar religious exemptions from state public accommodations laws so that they may refuse goods and services to same-sex couples. In fact, on December 5, 2022, the U.S Supreme Court heard oral argument on one such case: 303 Creative LLC v. Elenis, a case in which a Christian wedding website designer is seeking a religious exemption from Colorado’s anti-discrimination law so that she may turn away same-sex couples. She argued that application of the Colorado law violates her First Amendment free speech rights because it forces her to express a message about marriage that conflicts with her religious beliefs.

Notably, this case could further expand the ability of vendors to receive religious exemptions and thus gain the right to discriminate against LGBTQ customers. That is because the court’s previous anti-LGBTQ religious exemption case involved the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause, as opposed to the Free Speech Clause that is at issue in 303 Creative. In its 2015 decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the court granted a religious exemption to Colorado’s law to a baker who wanted to refuse to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple. The court held that the adjudication process was tainted with religious hostility and thus violated the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause. Although the baker in Masterpiece Cakeshop also asserted a free speech claim, the court did not address that claim.

The free speech claim is now teed up in the 303 Creative case. If the court finds in favor of the web designer, going forward vendors will have two legs to stand on when claiming the right to discriminate — the Free Speech Clause and the Free Exercise Clause. Stay tuned: The court’s ruling in this case is expected by June 2023, although many suspect that a decision in favor of the website designer is likely, based on the court’s decisions in its last term.

The Hidden Threat to LGBTQ Rights

Likely more elusive to even those most attentive to LGBTQ civil rights are a series of dangerous doctrine-shifting decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court this year that, on their surface, had nothing to do with LGBTQ civil rights. So why include such cases in a year-end wrap up of the LGBTQ legal landscape? Because these cases set the stage for significant retrenchment in the area of LGBTQ civil rights moving forward.

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

One of 2022’s blockbuster Supreme Court cases, the Dobbs decision struck down 50 years of precedent when it overruled Roe v. Wade and proclaimed that the U.S. Constitution does not protect the right to abortion. Although Dobbs didn’t present any questions about LGBTQ civil rights, its holding imperils those rights, including the right to gender-affirming health care and the right to same-sex marriage declared in the 2015 case of Obergefell v. Hodges.

Why does a case overruling a constitutional right to abortion threaten same-sex marriage? Because the reasoning on which the right to abortion was based in Roe is the same reasoning on which the right to same-sex marriage was based in Obergefell. In fact, Justice Thomas’s concurring opinion in Dobbs explicitly invited the court to revisit — and reverse — Obergefell.

Thus, even what looks like good legislative news — the recent passage of the Respect for Marriage Act and its pending signature into law by President Biden — isn’t all that good. The passage of that act was lauded by many as a victory for LGBTQ civil rights. But it does not — and cannot — prevent the right to marriage from being taken away, as only the Supreme Court has the power to declare what constitutes a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution. And after Dobbs, the Obergefell holding is up for grabs.

Should that occur, the question of same-sex marriage would return to the states, just as the question of the right to abortion has returned to the states after Dobbs. The Respect for Marriage Act would provide no protection against states banning same-sex marriage. In fact, it is likely that over 30 states would ban same-sex marriage and the Respect for Marriage Act would be powerless to stop them.

[. . .]

The court’s shift to the right has been marked by a willingness to take its opinions “in radically different directions.” Professor Mark Lemley describes today’s court as the “Imperial Supreme Court” because its recent decisions have “taken significant, simultaneous steps to restrict the power of Congress, the administrative state, the states, and the lower federal courts” in a manner that leads to the conclusion that it seeks to consolidate power in one place: itself.

Its recent LGBTQ cases reveal that the court has its sights set on further dismantling LGBTQ rights in the name of Christian nationalism. The non-LGBTQ cases of Bremerton, Makin, West Virginia and Dobbs set the stage for the ongoing retrenchment of LGBTQ rights when cases like the 303 Creative reach the court.

In sum, 2022 saw a tripartite attack on LGBTQ rights, although only two of those might be on the radar of most LGBTQ people and their allies — anti-LGBTQ legislation and anti-LGBTQ decisions by lower courts. These expressly anti-LGBTQ attacks are, of course, dangerous and cause for concern. But their explicitness means that they can be targeted by LGBTQ activists and allies; LGBTQ people can organize, rally, lobby, run for office and litigate to push back against these express attacks.

It is the third prong of the tripartite attack, the Supreme Court’s insidious shift to the right in the constitutional and regulatory spheres in non-LGBTQ cases, that is especially nefarious and troubling because these decisions hide their destructive power to undermine LGBTQ rights. The hidden quality of the threats makes it more difficult to rally, organize and set an agenda for the LGBTQ rights movement that can tackle head-on the downstream threats to LGBTQ rights posed by these cases. LGBTQ rights activists and allies will need to build more powerful coalitions in 2023 with other progressive causes, such as environmental justice advocates and '.First Amendment activists, to anticipate these downstream threats and organize to meet and defeat them.