Saturday, September 16, 2023

Fox News Takes Their Disgusting Bigotry To DEMENTED New Level


Pretenders - I Think About You Daily (Official Video)

DIANA ROSS Last Time I Saw Him on The Muppet Show


Naomi Klein's a cultural writer and her new book is DOPPELGANGER: A TRIP INTO THE MIRROR WORLD. Speaking this week to Amy Goodman (DEMOCRACY NOW!), Naomi offered, "Amy, you listed some of my previous books in that lovely introduction. My books back to NO LOGO, my first book, which I wrote on the cusp of the new millennium almost a quarter of a century ago, have been attempts to map our political moment. They have been attempts to make sense of moments of big shifts in our political world, our cultural world, and in the case of THIS CHANGED EVERYTHING our physical world. I would say that Doppelganger is an attempt to make a usable map of our moment." 

The moment is the continued after-effects of the (ongoing) pandemic.    MCMILLAN PUBLISHERS describes the book as follows:

What if you woke up one morning and found you’d acquired another self -- a double who was almost you and yet not you at all? What if that double shared many of your preoccupations but, in a twisted, upside-down way, furthered the very causes you’d devoted your life to fighting against?
Not long ago, the celebrated activist and public intellectual Naomi Klein had just such an experience -- she was confronted with a doppelganger whose views she found abhorrent but whose name and public persona were sufficiently similar to her own that many people got confused about who was who. Destabilized, she lost her bearings, until she began to understand the experience as one manifestation of a strangeness many of us have come to know but struggle to define: AI-generated text is blurring the line between genuine and spurious communication; New Age wellness entrepreneurs turned anti-vaxxers are scrambling familiar political allegiances of left and right; and liberal democracies are teetering on the edge of absurdist authoritarianism, even as the oceans rise. Under such conditions, reality itself seems to have become unmoored. Is there a cure for our moment of collective vertigo?
Naomi Klein is one of our most trenchant and influential social critics, an essential analyst of what branding, austerity, and climate profiteering have done to our societies and souls. Here she turns her gaze inward to our psychic landscapes, and outward to the possibilities for building hope amid intersecting economic, medical, and political crises. With the assistance of Sigmund Freud, Jordan Peele, Alfred Hitchcock, and bell hooks, among other accomplices, Klein uses wry humor and a keen sense of the ridiculous to face the strange doubles that haunt us -- and that have come to feel as intimate and proximate as a warped reflection in the mirror.
Combining comic memoir with chilling reportage and cobweb-clearing analysis, Klein seeks to smash that mirror and chart a path beyond despair. Doppelganger asks: What do we neglect as we polish and perfect our digital reflections? Is it possible to dispose of our doubles and overcome the pathologies of a culture of multiplication? Can we create a politics of collective care and undertake a true reckoning with historical crimes? The result is a revelatory treatment of the way many of us think and feel now -- and an intellectual adventure story for our times.

That's really not the book she's written and, when she speaks of the book, she also seems to be describing another book.

Make no mistake, DOPPELGANGER is worth reading.  It's well written, it will hold your attention and it will make you think.  

But this isn't a book about 'doppelgangers' or, as we would have earlier called it, 'twinning.'  Naomi's not interested in that actually.  

This is book where she reflects upon herself in an attempt to illuminate what's going on in the world currently.  

Were she actually interested in doppelgangers, doubles, twins, for example, Otto Rank would be more than a passing mention.  Rank broke with Freud over differences of approach and of instigation.  In the most simplistic reading of that, Freud traced things back to childhood trauma while Rank went to birth trauma, Freud practiced psychoanalysis while Rank practiced psychotherapy.

More to the point, if you're writing on twinnings, you really at some point refer to one of Rank's patients -- as well as practitioners -- Anais Nin.  Long before her classic novels such as A SPY IN THE HOUSE OF LOVE or her prose poem THE HOUSE OF INCEST or her study of D.H. Lawrence, she had her journals -- published in her lifetime as THE DIARY OF ANAIS NIN with various numbers after that title.  Following her 1977 death, they would be reproduced with different headings which now included the phrase "THE UNEXPURGATED DIARY OF ANAIS NIN" in the title.

The most famous of the rebooted journals -- and the best selling one -- would be 1986's HENRY & JUNE which was also made into a film starring Maria de Medeiros as Anais with Uma Thurman and Fred Ward as June and Henry Miller.

In fact, HENRY & JUNE is probably a good reference point for Naomi's book.  

This journal volume covers Anais' first encounters with June, wife of author Henry Miller.  They exchange secrets, vows of love and a bracelet.  

Some might argue that June was Anais' great love.  However, unless you're a committed narcissist, you can't fall in love with a reflection in the mirror. 

In the end, that's all June was for Anais.  She made a huge impact on Nin, no question.  June would show up in every piece of fictional writing -- most obviously, she's Sabina (as is Anais) in the five novel volume CITIES OF THE INTERIOR.  

The twinning -- physically -- of the two women, their time shared, was brief and limiting.  Long after June left Henry -- which was also leaving Anais -- she continues to weigh on Anais.

For Naomi Klein, at least in DOPPELGANGER, the twin is Naomi Wolf. 

Sadly, Naomi Wolf is no June Miller.

Wolf is a questionable academic who came to prominence with THE BEAUTY MYTH, a book the ripped off the work of Judith N. Shklar -- see FACES OF INJUSTICE -- the book based upon Shklar's Oxford lectures to discover every literary allusion Wolf worked into THE BEAUTY MYTH without giving any credit to Sklar.  When you're stealing basics from others to make yourself sound erudite and well rounded, it's doubtful your career ever gets better.

In most ways, Naomi Wolf' didn't.  FIRE WITH FIRE was the follow up and it was at least alive.  For its many problematic moments and passages, it was alive on the page in a way that THE BEAUTY MYTH wasn't.  It sold well.  But it wasn't stocked well and that mattered in the pre-internet age.  Most people -- even those who bought it -- did not read THE BEAUTY MYTH but it was stocked well.  Even five years after its release, you couldn't escape it in the women's studies section of any bookstore.  Naomi Wolf's writing appeared in an actual bestseller during this time -- she wrote a lengthy passage for the soft cover edition of Gloria Steinem's REVOLUTION FROM WITHIN.  Gloria's book was an actual best seller.  It was not, however, stocked well and after the book fell off the hard cover and then soft cover charts, it was no longer to be found in most bookstores.

After FIRE WITH FIRE, Naomi would never again appear alive on the page.  She would, however, cling to her inaccuracies and out right lies.  

And that's where I have the big problem with Naomi Klein's new book and her promotion of it.

In interview after interview to promote the book, she tries to distance her book from Naomi Wolf.  Which I can understand.   And she tries to defend Naomi Wolf as well.  Which I honestly won't tolerate.  On the former, it's the dance that's always done to avoid a lawsuit.  On the latter, it's Naomi Klein being uninformed.

Naomi argues in the book (and in interviews) that Naomi Wolf went to the dark side because she'd lost favor as a feminist or in the feminist world.  First of all, what profit is there in the feminist world?  I mean, I'm a feminist, it's great to be one.  But where's the big money payday in the world of feminism.  Gloria Steinem was over sixty-years-old before she didn't have to worry about money.  Susan Brownmiller wrote the feminist classic AGAINST OUR WILL but she never ended up with John Updike money -- to note another author and to note one whose work is decidedly anti-woman.  Shulamith Firestone wrote the classic THE DIALETIC OF SEX but died in poverty.  (Her death was a result of capgras delusion -- a condition those who don't enjoy DOPPELGANGER might want to look up and work into their reviews.)

Feminism has never been a money making business -- not for the writers, not for the activists.  It's why Susan Faludi, for example, is rightly concerned the minute a 'Lean In' type emerges because when they're being feted and applauded by the corporate media, they're usually advancing something other than feminism.  

To read DOPPELGANGER is to read Naomi Klein's view that Naomi Wolf wrote THE BEAUTY MYTH and then had a high flying career.  She insists that there are two time periods for Wolf "Before Bannon" and "After Bannon."

And here we need to pause.

Naomi Wolf was a feminist.

Naomi Klein is not a feminist.

And she never has been.  This matters for many reasons. 

First, some are dismissing this book as a "cat fight" between the two Naomis.  Naomi Wolf has, thus far, wisely ignored the book.  If she has any brains left, Naomi Wolf will continue to ignore it until a year and a half from now -- by which point it will have been out in soft cover long enough to have ended any run on the best selling charts.  Any comment she makes prior to that will be promoting this book -- that's how it will be used.

Naomi Wolf grasps that and grasps that a "cat fight" is being set up in the media.  As dumb as she's become, she would never have fallen into the trap of writing a book that could be seen as a "cat fight."  She knows first hand how the media uses sexist narratives.

Naomi Klein doesn't.  We've talked about this many times before but a woman pursuing her dream is not a feminist.  She can be a feminist but that requires support for key principles.  Just being a woman doesn't make you a feminist -- not even just being a woman on the left.  And I'm not slamming Naomi Klein for not being a feminist -- certainly not slamming her at this late date.

Naomi Klein surfed the Iraq War to a higher profile.  Her reporting on it led to THE SHOCK DOCTRINE and then she ran from the ongoing illegal war as fast as she could.  That didn't help end the Iraq War but it probably saved her reputation because she chose to flee just as major news outlets, after years and years of criticism, were sort-of-kind-of finding the women in Iraq -- the women they'd ignored.  Naomi, as people were starting to realize, had also ignored the women of Iraq.  That only became clearer after the publication of Deborah Amos' ECLIPSE OF THE SUNNIS: POWER, EXILE AND UPHEAVEL IN THE MIDDLE EAST (2010).  

NO LOGOS, Klein's first book, had a kind of Gen X esprit that led to the misconception of woman=feminist.  But while Naomi's work may reference a feminist point on the occasional page or two,  her work is never informed by feminism.

She wouldn't have to do her current dance if she were a feminist because she wouldn't have painted herself into the corner that now requires her to give interviews insisting she hopes the best for Naomi Wolf.  These are statements to avoid the "cat fight" angle the corporate media wants to sell the book on --  the angle the media always wants to sell.

I'm not Naomi Klein.  I have no sympathy for Naomi Wolf and no feminist should.  But again, Naomi Klein is not a feminist.

As we were saying Klein's divides Naomi Wolf's life into two periods -- BB (Before Steve Bannon) and AB (After Steve Bannon).  It's her opening sentence, in fact, to chapter five.  That's not feminism.

Naomi Wolf has many problems but she's not beholden to any man.  I no longer consider her a feminist -- for obvious reasons -- but she's not been shaped or molded by a man.  It's insulting for Naomi Klein to suggest that and it's less than honest for Naomi Klein to suggest that and then give interviews where she pretends she's being kind to Naomi Wolf.  It is never kind to a woman who writes to pretend that her scope is dictated by a man.  Naomi Klein is robbing Naomi Wolf of her agency -- and that's not feminism.

It's also incorrect.  Not just for the reasons outlined above but because Naomi Klein oversimplifies, ignores and just flat out doesn't know Naomi Wolf's history.

We've had to call out Naomi Wolf a lot lately.  She's in bed with Moms for Bigotry, she's pimping Donald Trump (who she's flirting with voting for -- and absolutely will if he picks Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as running mate), she's reTweeting men who call for the end of women's studies programs on campus, there's just so much horrible that surrounds her these days.

However, we've been charting the decline of Naomi Wolf since 2008.  One example you can refer to is, "Naomi Wolf: The Feminist Myth (Ava and C.I.)" which Ava and I wrote in January of 2009.  

So Naomi Klein's work on Naomi Wolf's history or 'history' doesn't work for me or for anyone else whose informed.

Naomi Klein's argument is that Naomi Wolf fell out of favor because she was no longer the fresh face and that Wolf's need to remain pertinent drove her to the right.


But not true.  

Naomi Wolf did want to remain pertinent and that's how a centrist Democrat ended up restyling herself as a radical.  2007's END OF AMERICA was the most obvious attempt there.  It was a provocative book an one worth reading.  It was clear she was struggling with concepts and that led to the Center for Constitutional Rights' Michael Ratner asking me, "Is she for real?"  To which I replied, "She's for real in whatever moment she's living in at that second.  Don't get vested and don't trust her."  He would later repeat my remarks back to me when he learned the reality of Naomi the hard way.

Naomi Klein wants to -- but is stopped either by legal reasons or a refusal to clarify -- call Naomi Wolf an outright fraud.  

It's not a controversial call.  Naomi Wolf is a grifter seeking attention and every phase of her public life has been about how to garner attention.  

That's why she's been all around the globe politically speaking.  A centrist Democrat is how she started out and that's who Al Gore hired.  Outside the scarlet fever brains of FOX "NEWS," Al Gore would never hire a radical.  With the ascension of Bully Boy Bush, Naomi loses her prominence and celebrity.


In part it's due to the sexist take down the media carried out.  Naomi was part of the Gore campaign, they lie, to advise him on fashion.  I honestly get tired of being the one who has to stop and point out history and make the connections.  It would be much quicker if we could just ignore reality the way the bulk of book reviewers do.  Instead, we're like a segment of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.

Justine Bateman hosted SNL -- not if you go to her credits on CRAPAPEDIA -- again, that's an anti-woman site.  You won't know she hosted.  I thought it was 1988 but had to go to IMDB to confirm that (yes, I fact check my pieces), season 13, episode 11 and I'm now streaming it on PEACOCK to make sure my memory is correct (I only saw it when it first aired).  In that episode, as I remember it, there's a parody of FAMILY TIES which is also a parody of sitcoms.  Sitcoms reach a certain number (say the 100th episode) and they do a clip show.  Characters sit around a kitchen table or they're trapped in some locked room and they say, "Hey, remember when . . ."  In the skit with Justine, they sat around the kitchen table recalling one past episode after another including the time they watched THE JEFFERSONS and George and Louise were tied to chairs in the living room remembering when Florence . . . 

And that's what we end up having to do here because of people like Naomi Klein.  And it pisses me off.

They do not provide context, they do not provide history.  Naomi Klein wrongly gets the criticism about Naomi Wolf re: The Gore campaign wrong but, even more importantly, she provides no context for it.  Such as?  During the 1972 George McGovern campaign, when Gloria Steinem was an advisor, the press insisted (wrongly) that she advised him on what ties to wear.  As much nonsense as saying that Naomi Wolf advised Al Gore on earth tones.

A feminist -- again, Naomi Klein is not a feminist -- would have called out the trashing -- the sexist trashing -- of Naomi Wolf.  An informed feminist would have tied it into the same thing being done in 1972 to Gloria Steinem. 

The sexist treatment of Naomi Wolf at the start of this century was part of removing her from the talking heads on TV.  Also helping to remove her from the media was 9/11.  9/11, day of, was so interesting in terms of the media.  The rewrites that immediately started were so true to form.  On 9/11, we heard about brave women and men . . . but as the press stopped having to respond live and could instead take a moment to shape the narratives, it became brave men.  Apparently, on 9/10/2001 all female police officers, firefighters, doctors, nurses, EMTs, etc were let go in a mass firing.  Or that's how the media decided to portray the events.  It was manly, manly, manly 24-7 and it was toss out anything that questioned that narrative of who and what a man was.  That's why Mark Bingham went from 9/11 hero to who? in about 24 hours.   As the media discovered that Mark Bingham was a gay man -- openly gay -- he was no longer one of the heroes of Flight 93 who died.  

The 9/11 coverage post-9/11 was instructive on how things would now be portrayed and, in this new media world, there was no place for a Naomi Wolf.

After this became obvious, Naomi Wolf went left-er.  The US was moving towards authoritarianism was her first step in that direction -- see her 2007 book THE END OF AMERICA.  By August 17, 2009, she was on Michael Ratner's LAW AND DISORDER RADIO discussing Guantanamo Bay (see her "What happened to Moahmed al-Hansahi?").

This is where it all goes off the rails so Naomi Klein ignores this period at the risk of her own book.  

Naomi Wolf now has serious topics.  She does not, however, have serious arguments.  And her arguments and claims now fly higher and higher above the ground as she continues down this path.  She goes from questionable statements to outright lies in this period.  But on the left, the mood is: Don't criticize her, she's talking about our issues.  (Ava and I criticized her prior to this time and continued to criticize her throughout this time.) 

That was a key event in her public life and Naomi Klein's not even aware of it.

She then loses a significant portion of the left and it shuts her newfound alternative media stardom down.   I've avoided bringing it up in criticizing her of late and, as recently as a week ago, I noted I'm biting my tongue.  It doesn't help Julian Assange for this to be raised so I've left it alone.  Julian needs to be freed immediately.  The persecution of Julian Assange must stop.

But you can't talk about Naomi Wolf and her political square dancing without noting that moment.

That's when feminists had the real break with her.  And for good reason.

This is when she begins her 'groundbreaking' work on 'chemtrails' and the danger of 5G and this is where Naomi Klein traces centrist Democrat Wolf moving over to the dark side.

She had milked centrist Democrat for all she could and, to regain attention, she'd moved to radical Wolf.  And then when that started falling apart, she got deeper into conspiracy theories and finds an audience online in the pre-Q-Anon days -- because conspiracy hypotheses can find a lot of platforms on YOUTUBE.  And she eases ever closer to the nutjob world of Ron Paul.  

So her eventual wedlock to the right wing isn't a surprise and she has been grifting her way along the political ideology interstate for some time now.

Skipping all of that, Naomi Klein pretends centrist Naomi Wolf ended up where she is today by chance and leaves out her flirtation with the activist left, the radical left and then the utlra-left which, as Cynthia McKinney's own adventures confirm, will land you in the lap of the right-wing.

DOPPELGANGER finds Naomi Klein building on the work of Susan Faludi's TERROR DREAMS -- though Naomi gives no indication that she's read the book.  The difference between Faludi's strong book and Klein's new book is that Klein focuses on herself throughout, such as here:

All of this attention to packaging and style was, I told myself, a wink -- better yet, a hack of the world of corporate branding. It also worked: No Logo sold over a million copies, beyond anything I could have imagined. And as I toured continuously for two years, I kept playing with the idea of being an anti-brand brand. I had a look that was simple but consistent: black trousers, T-shirt, denim jacket --mainly to make packing easier. I ginned up a No Logo logo and taped it to my water bottle. During speeches I would swig from it and joke dryly, "I just don't understand why all these journalists keep saying I'm a brand."
There was a disingenuousness to this theater; I see that clearly now. I wanted it both ways: to be the No Logo girl (the face of an emerging anti-capitalist movement) and to deny that I cared a bit about building a brand. To be the only clean one in a dirty business. And isn't that what so many of us want as we try to win the game of personal branding -- or at least not to get slain by it? We carefully cultivate online personas -- doubles of our "real" selves -- that have just the right balance of sincerity and world-weariness. We hone ironic, detached voices that aren't too promotional but do the work of promoting nonetheless. We go on social media to juice our numbers, while complaining about how much we hate the "hell sites."

And another section from the book:

"Really?" Avi asks. 
It's eleven o’clock on a warm night in early June, and he has walked in on me doing yoga before bed, a nightly practice to help with back pain. When he arrives, I am in Pigeon Pose, breathing into a deep and challenging hip release. And, yes, okay, I am also listening to Steve Bannon's War Room. Life has been hectic lately, with the end of the school year and Avi's campaign for federal office heating up, so when else am I supposed to catch up on Other Naomi's flurry of appearances? 
My obsession has become a growing gulf between Avi and me. And not just between us -- it is intensifying my already deep isolation, cutting me off further from other friends and family. No one I know listens to War Room, and I feel increasingly that it is impossible to understand the new shape of politics without listening to it. Still, it has gone pretty far: for days, I have been unable to get the show's rabidly anti-communist theme song out of my head ("Spread the word all through Hong Kong / We will fight till they're all gone / We rejoice when there's no more / Let's take down the CCP"). I pledge then and there to give it a rest, to put this least charming of pandemic hobbies aside. It seems like the right time to reassess anyway. Twitter has just suspended Wolf's account, seemingly permanently. I'm not comfortable with this heavy-handed corporate censorship, but I tell myself that Wolf losing her main public communication tool surely means that she won't be able to get herself (and me) into nearly so much trouble. 
"I'll block Twitter," I tell Avi. I promise to spend the summer not only helping more with the campaign but also focusing on our son (still deep in his shark phase) and the rest of our woefully neglected family.


And that self-focus is why it matters that Naomi Klein doesn't get Naomi Wolf right.  

She's using Naomi Wolf to understand herself.  But she doesn't understand Naomi Wolf and doesn't even get Wolf's journey correct.  So, in the end, Naomi Klein can't understand her own self.

From 1931 (when she met June Miller), until her own death in 1977,  Anais Nin focused on June.  And she was aware that she didn't know June.  She knew that her impressions of June were influenced by the way Henry Miller saw her.  She knew that her impressions were influenced by what June told her which might have been true and might have been false.  She did not have the internet to track June or June's beliefs and actions.  Naomi Klein had all this and more but somehow comes across believing that she knows Naomi Wolf and Naomi Wolf's political lives.  She wants you to know that she's been seriously grappling since 2020 -- three years ago.  Anais grappled with who June was for over thirty years and she never came away with the self-assured, self-satisfied knowing that Naomi Klein wrongly projects in DOPPELGANGER: A TRIP INTO THE MIRROR WORLD.


Diana Ross - I'm Still Waiting (Live in Copenhagen, 1973)

Pretenders - A Love (Official Visualiser)

Sonny and Cher - Little Man (1966)

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Courting dark money

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The New Standard!

Aretha Franklin - A Rose Is Still a Rose (Official Music Video)

Double Date (ft. Judy Greer) | Portlandia | IFC

Rickie Lee Jones - The Last Chance Texaco (Live at Farm Aid 1985)

Boebert BUSTED Drunkenly Disrupting Beetlejuice Show

Rihanna - Stay ft. Mikky Ekko


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Congressman Robert Garcia, Entire Democratic Freshman Class, Join Forces Demanding Speaker McCarthy Avoid Government Shutdown


Congressman Robert Garcia, Entire Democratic Freshman Class, Join Forces Demanding Speaker McCarthy Avoid Government Shutdown

September 13, 2023
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President of the Freshman Class, Congressman Robert Garcia (CA-42), led a unified Freshman Class of House Democrats in urging Speaker Kevin McCarthy to work towards a bipartisan solution to keep the government operational ahead of the looming September 30th funding deadline. Congressman Garcia was joined by Freshman Representative to Leadership, Jasmine Crockett (TX-30), and Freshman Steering & Policy Members Rob Menendez (NJ-08) and Hillary Scholten (MI-03). All members of the Freshman Democratic Class signed on to the letter

In the letter, the House Democratic Freshman Class stressed their commitment to serving the American people and emphasized the need to prioritize functional governance over partisan politics. All Freshman members asserted that the threat of a government shutdown stands in direct contradiction to their duty as Representatives and would compromise the functioning of essential services that millions of Americans heavily rely on.
“Holding the American people hostage with the threat of a shutdown is irresponsible and risks destabilizing the lives of millions of American families,” said Congressman Garcia. “We have an obligation to the American people as elected lawmakers and Freshman Democrats are committed to working tirelessly towards a government that is effective, efficient, and accountable to the needs of our citizens.”
“Let’s be clear about what is at stake with this game that House Republicans are playing with our government: if Republicans launch us into a long-term shutdown at the end of this month, millions of Americans will be at risk of not receiving their federal benefits and millions of federal workers would be furloughed without pay. Speaker McCarthy has admitted that shutting down the government is merely a stunt to make his Caucus look tough and to retain the support of his MAGA colleagues—members who care more about attacking trans kids and banning reproductive healthcare for our military members than keeping our government functioning. The Republican Caucus has made delusional statements that a shutdown would be, in their words, ‘a good thing’. If that is what they believe, I hope they are ready to explain to their constituents why they are no longer receiving the federal benefits they depend on, or are unable to go back to work in our federal agencies and offices,” said Congresswoman Crockett.
“Our Freshman Democratic colleagues and I ran for Congress to work on solutions for the real challenges facing working families in our districts across the country,” said Congressman Menendez. “Unfortunately, instead of working across the aisle to collaborate on important issues impacting Americans, the House GOP has pursued a destructive partisan agenda that will soon bring us to the brink of a government shutdown. I am proud to join Rep. Garcia, Rep. Crockett, and Rep. Scholten, as well as all Freshman Democrats, in calling on Speaker McCarthy to keep his end of the spending agreement he struck with President Biden in May and avert a catastrophic shutdown.”
“A government shutdown is not inevitable – it is the product of a House Republican Majority that’s unwilling to do the work the American people sent them to Washington to do. In fact, Senate Republicans join us in our frustration about the roadblocks being thrown up by House Republicans,” said Congresswoman Scholten. “Our neighbors are counting on the GOP to join us in urgent, bipartisan action to fund the government and to protect the paychecks of hardworking federal employees — including our United States Coast Guard Members who do not get paid for serving our nation during our shutdown — and the benefits that our seniors, veterans, and so many others rely on.”
In the letter, the Freshman Democratic Class advocated for the same productive approach that the Senate Appropriations Committee used to pass all of its funding bills with broad bipartisan backing. In stark contrast, within a week of the passage of the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023, House Republican leadership announced that they would not adhere to the funding levels negotiated. The work of the House Republican Appropriations Committee members broke three core tenets of the debt limit deal, moving the federal government closer to a shutdown. In contrast, a unified Democratic Freshman Class is demanding that any short-term funding extension remain free of controversial amendments and any detrimental cuts that would compromise the wellbeing of everyday Americans. House Republicans need to do what is right for the American people and write spending bills that are consistent with the deal that they overwhelmingly supported.
The full text can be found here


Heart - Crazy On You (1977) • TopPop

Senator Murray Announces Over $42 Million to Expand Access to Green Spaces in Neighborhoods Across Washington State


Senator Murray Announces Over $42 Million to Expand Access to Green Spaces in Neighborhoods Across Washington State

ICYMI: Senator Murray Helps Pass Largest-Ever Climate Action Investment to Build Clean Energy Economy, Lower Energy Costs – MORE HERE

Senator Murray: “Right now, too many people lack easy access to green spacesso these dollars we secured in the Inflation Reduction Act are going to make a real difference in helping people all across Washington state enjoy the outdoors.”

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced more than $42 million in funding to support projects across Washington state to plant and maintain trees, combat extreme heat and climate change, and improve access to nature in cities, towns, and suburbs where the majority of Americans live. The grants are administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service, and funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, which Senator Murray helped pass and that is the largest climate investment in American history. 

“We know that more neighborhood green spaces mean happier residents and lower temperatures in the heat of summer—not to mention all the other benefits that access to nature brings for people’s physical and mental health,” said Senator Murray. Right now, too many people lack easy access to green spaces, so these dollars we secured in the Inflation Reduction Act are going to make a real difference—people want trees, shade, and green spaces in their neighborhoods.”

Washington state will receive $6 million for urban forestry projects across the state, and the following projects were awarded grants directly:

  1. $730,413 for the City of College Place: Urban Forestry Enhancement Project to plant trees and install drip irrigation throughout the City in key multimodal corridors under construction.
  2. $334,588 for the City of Tumwater Urban Forestry Capacity and Equity Project to protect, enhance, and expand the urban tree canopy.
  3. $230,507 for the Climate & Economic Justice Grant – Castle Hill Neighborhood Tree Canopy to add trees to a locally-funded road project that will provide green stormwater infrastructure.
  4. $900,000 for the Delridge Native Forest Garden in Seattle to enhance approximately four acres of City-owned parcels and unimproved rights-of-way in the Longfellow Creek basin in West Seattle.
  5. $1,000,000 for the Enhancing Urban Forestry Efforts project in the City of Shoreline for plans to improve the health of our urban forests while supporting community resilience in the face of climate change.
  6. $12,000,000 for Growing Seattle: Community-driven urban forestry and job training to leverage longstanding partnerships to improve the health of Seattle’s urban forest and people.
  7. $2,480,761 for Growing Urban Forest in Snohomish County to collaborate with the cities of Everett, Marysville, and the Tulalip Tribes to develop urban forest management, monitoring, and maintenance plans.
  8. $1,680,140 for the Oak Harbor WA Urban & Community Forestry Program Development to implement urban forest resiliency projects and develop a program to promote and broaden green career pathways.
  9. $1,308,198 to the South Lynnwood Urban Forestry and Stewardship Program to protect urban forests, riparian areas, and wetlands to expand healthy urban tree canopy within the South Lynnwood Neighborhood.
  10. $6 million for the Spokane County Natural Resource Apprenticeship Program to improve urban tree canopy and expand forestry career opportunities through forestry education programs.
  11. $6 million for Tree Equity Spokane to increase tree canopy cover and provide urgent care for trees in disadvantaged communities in Spokane.
  12. $240,517 for the Urban & Community Forestry Future in Port Townsend to develop an Urban Forestry Plan and engage a professional arboricultural planning service with demonstrated capacity to provide a timely plan and code update at cost and provide public outreach.
  13. $300,000 for the Vancouver Urban Forestry Project to build a new Urban Forestry Workforce Development Project to provide paid job training for young adults.
  14. $1,786,400 for Washington State University to work with faculty at four community colleges to empower students to enhance urban forests through coursework and opportunities for professional development.
  15. $1,374,299 for the Snoqualmie Tribe Ancestral Lands Culturally Modified Tree Protection Program to protect the urban forest canopies on Snoqualmie Tribe ancestral lands and launch an educational program to spread awareness of the importance of urban forests.

The grants are a part of the Urban and Community Forestry Program, the only program in the federal government dedicated to enhancing and expanding the nation’s urban forest resources. This is the largest single USDA Inflation Reduction Act investment to date in urban and community forests and will improve 140 million acres of urban and community forest across the United States.

Studies show that more trees in communities are associated with improved physical and mental health, lower average temperatures during extreme heat, and increased food security. This historic funding will help the Forest Service support projects that increase tree cover in disadvantaged communities, provide equitable access to the benefits of nature, and deliver tangible economic and ecological benefits to urban and Tribal communities across the country.



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Roundtable: Project 2025, hate merchants

Trina: Let me start with this from LGBTQ NATION:

Bans on gender-affirming care are just the tip of the iceberg that is a “coordinated effort to eliminate LGBTQ+ people of all ages from public life,” according to a new report by the Movement Advancement Project (MAP), an organization that tracks policies on LGBTQ+ issues and voting.

The MAP’s five-part report on the national trend, entitled Under Fire, notes that states are restricting access to gender-affirming care for transgender youth and adults; passing religious exemptions to deny medical care for LGBTQ+ people; increasing the difficulty of obtaining accurate identity documents listing trans people’s correct gender identity; censoring coverage of LGBTQ+ issues in schools; and increasing the targeted harassment and violence of queer people, all while eroding voting rights.

“The number of anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in just the first two months of 2023 is more than the anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in all of 2012, 2013, and 2014 combined,” the MAP wrote. “At the same time, concerted efforts are underway to reshape access to the ballot and undermine democracy; in 2023, at least 380 bills have been introduced in state legislators that would restrict voting and undermine democracy,” the group added.

Bans against gender-affirming care don’t only target minors. Some state laws are trying to redefine “minors” to include adults up to age 26 or to exclude transition-related care from Medicare and state health insurance plans.

Concurrently, four states have banned trans and nonbinary people from updating the gender marker on their birth certificates — something that makes it difficult to obtain other forms of ID that are more commonly used on a day-to-day basis. Nine states ban trans people from using bathrooms and other facilities matching their gender identity. Ten states have passed policies that effectively make it illegal for schools to use a transgender student’s name and pronouns, and 23 states ban trans student-athletes from playing on sports teams matching their gender identity.

Numerous states have passed “Don’t Say Gay” laws censoring discussions of LGBTQ+ people, and multiple states have passed laws forbidding schools to accommodate trans students. These laws often allow people to sue or fire LGBTQ+-supportive teachers or to purge LGBTQ+-inclusive books from schools and public libraries.

Even worse, “Too many people face barriers to voting or live in gerrymandered states where they effectively aren’t able to elect lawmakers who reflect their values on LGBTQ equality and other issues,” said Brian Hinkle, Senior Voting Policy Researcher at MAP. “Our opponents know this and have spent years creating these systemic barriers on purpose for political gain.” 

Trina (Con't): This week, Ava and C.I. wrote "Media: Hypocrisy, thy name is THE VANGUARD" and this is from that:

If someone wants to vote Green, fine.  If they want to vote however fine.  But we need to know what our vote means.  We're not voting Green because there is a plan by the Republican Party to strip people of their rights.  That's dreamers -- and that's even the children of immigrants -- children born in this country -- that the Republican Party thinks they can strip of citizenship.  'B-b-b-but the Constitution!'  Doesn't matter.  Nothing does with an illegal and corrupt Supreme Court.  We saw it with ROE.  We saw it when it rewarded the hate merchant Lorie Smith out of Colorado.  'It would deny her religion if she had to design a website for a same-sex marriage but this Court opinion is not to be expanded upon, honest, pinky promise.'  It's already being used to deny the rights of gays and lesbians. And the GOP extremist goal is to overturn marriage equality.  Why?  Because they believe it is the first time the government has recognized legal rights for gays and lesbians. They think if they overturn this, they can overturn anything.  They have also defined same-sex relationships -- living together, marriage, dating, what have you -- as pornography.  They don't do that for straight relationships.  But they do it for same-sex relationships and their plan is to further attack LGBTQ+ rights by doing that and arguing that free speech does not apply to pornography.  They want to now move on to outlawing birth control.  They think they have the perfect Court to do this with.  They think they can achieve all their dreams and rebuke every advance this country has made in the last 70 or so years on race, gender and equality.  


Trina (Con't): Ava, talk about that a for moment.

Ava:  This isn't happening by accident, these attacks on the LBGTQ+ community.  They are part of a plan.  C.I.'s covered at THE COMMON ILLS more than once but a lot of people are still unaware of what's going on.  It's planned and it's part of a Republican plan to destroy the country.  It's called Project 2025 and it's a blueprint for what they want to do if they, the Republican Party, wins back the White House in the 2024 elections.  Fright-wing hate mongers came together and made up their wish list.  Some of it gets more attention -- the part that lays out firing federal workers to replace them with loyalists to a president -- not to a Constitution.  This is a very real threat.  And these hucksters pimping Cornel West are a huge problem.  We are not attacking the Green Party and many of us -- including C.I. and myself -- are on record saying if you're voting for the Green Party in 2024 to build the party, that's great, that's wonderful.  But Cornel is not the Green Party's presidential nominee.  I don't care how many times some liar on YOUTUBE tells you otherwise.  The Green Party will determine their nominee at their 2024 summer political convention.  Not until then.  

Trina: Thank you.  Now C.I.'s picked a few videos on the topic of Project 2025 that we're including in this roundtable.

C.I.: While text outlets including THE GUARDIAN and SALON have covered the 2025 Project seriously, it's largely been ignored among the big YOUTUBERS.  You can refer to this video that Kyle Kulinski did on it.

C.I. (Con't):  And to this video report from THE HUMANIST.

C.I. (Con't): POLITICS BY TABITHA did the video below which is a very useful primer.

C.I. (Con't): And that's only one of many videos Tabitha has done on the topic so refer to her YOUTUBE page for even more.  And I'll note WALDORF NATION.

C.I. (Con't): There are more videos by right-wingers thrilled by destroying the rights of LGBTQ+ people, of women, of people of color, of immigrants.  The 'name' YOUTUBERs are ignoring it.  And if you feel you did a great video and I ignored you, ask yourself if you talked about people?  If you did it -- like two lefties I saw -- and only talked about the federal employees, we don't need you.  Attacks on reproductive rights need to be called out, attacks on immigrants need to be called out, attacks on people of color need to be called out and attacks on LGBTQ+ people need to be called out.  Don't have time for your nonsense if you can't address it.

Trina: Thank you.  And thank you to Ava and C.I. because they're the ones taking notes and typing this up.  I do not put publications  or outlets in all caps.  Some in the community do.  Because Ava and C.I. are the ones doing the notes and typing it up, it's going to utilize the all caps.  This is a roundtable and participating are The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Ty, Jess, Ava, and  Jim;  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); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!;  Wally of The Daily Jot;  Stan of Oh Boy It Never Ends; Isaiah of The World Today Just Nuts and me, Trina of Trina's Kitchen None of us are surprised by Project 2025 -- this is in keeping with the plans on a thumb-drive purported to possess Glenn Greenwald's browser history.  The drive was dropped off at C.I.'s agent. Since she's had the drive, C.I.'s worked through it slowly and shared it with the community and also with journalists and advocates she trusts.  She saw the article from LGBTQ NATION that we started at the top with and she texted me about the article wondering if I could cover it because she would if I wouldn't?  I said no problem.  And said that without looking.  Once I looked, I thought, "Oh, this is bigger than me."  So I sent out a text asking who hadn't posted for Friday already?  I didn't want to double dip on anyone who'd already posted and worked a full week.  So when those participating texted back that they hadn't posted yet, I asked if they wanted to do a roundtable?   And they all did.  So thank you to everyone participating.  If you wish to comment on this roundtable, e-mail because there are several people who work the public e-mail account for THE COMMON ILLS.  That said, C.I.'s usually the only one who goes into it on the weekends so it may be Monday before your e-mail is read.  I will start.  As the mother of a gay son, I am outraged by what the hate merchants are doing.  And I'm further outraged that they've gotten away with so much.

Jim: Agreed.  I want to start by noting C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" today which addressed how the media repeatedly fails on the LGBTQ+ issue.  Mike Pence, as C.I. points out, was asked this week by the mother of a transgendered person why he was attacking trans rights.  He claimed -- as Ron DeSantis did before -- that in his state, you can't even get a tattoo at 16 so you shouldn't be able to have this blocker or that medicine or whatever.  Ronald made that claim about Florida.  C.I. called the nonsense out when Ron made it.  This morning, C.I. had to call out the nonsense with regards to Indiana -- Pence's home state.  Both men lied or are stupid.  Neither state says no tattoos until you're 18.  Both allow for tattoos with parental consent.  So two points here.  First, why is it that paid 'journalists' are letting these lies sail by and not be called out when C.I. can and does catch them.  Second, this isn't an accident.  As C.I. points out, these politicians are lying to get support for their policies.  They're the ones making the false argument that in their state you can't get a tattoo before the age of 18.  The reality is that you can with parental consent.  By the same token that has been the policy -- in all but the state of Oregon -- in the US and that should be the policy.  But if they tell the truth, they don't get to advance their hate as the push to chip away at actual parental rights.

Kat: And that's why I was glad Jim was participating.  I knew he'd bring up the snapshot and I knew he'd credit C.I.  I want to do the same, credit C.I.  She's got enough on her plate and she does this with no charge to anyone and yet she's the one doing the work, not the so-called journalistic outlets.  And she's right that they lie about the tattoos so that people at home will say, "Oh, you can't even get a tattoo?  Well we shouldn't allow blockers then!"  No, you can get a tattoo with parental consent and it should be the same with regards to your medical treatment.  That's between your parents and your doctor.  And for a bunch of right-wingers, I find it very telling that they're ready to rip parental rights to shreds. 

Betty: Agreed with everything you've both said.  And, as C.I. points out, letting this lie go unchecked means the media is promoting this hatred.  Whether they intend to or not, they're promoting it.  And, to toss this out there, my brother -- who I love with all my heart -- is gay.  And I'm not taking kindly to these hate merchants coming after him.  I am way younger than him.  I leaned him constantly growing up.  He was there for me anytime I had a problem, he was there for me in times of joy.  I love music and he's the one who taught me about music.  It makes me want to cry to see these hate merchants trying to turn back the clock on equality.  I am outraged.  Sorry, I lost my point.  Okay, so the media refusing to fact check results in hate being advanced.  But it goes beyond that.  There are the people on the 'left' -- they claim -- who are part of this as well.  That's the ones who join in and that's the ones who stay silent and I'd like for us to spend some time on those types.

Trina: Certainly.  Okay, let's do the ones who claim to be left -- or until recently did -- who amplify the hate.

Mike: I'll start.  And, Trina's my mom so, obviously, I have a brother who's gay.  And, like Betty, I love my brother and you come for him, you're coming for me.  I'll toss out Jimmy Dore.  In his exchange with Cornel West, he kept tossing in trans -- if they were trans, Cornel would care, if they were trans -- Can he just shut up a moment and grasp that he has lost us and we're not coming back.  His hatred of trans people -- which included that stupid joke in his so-called stand up routine -- make it clear that he's a grifter and he's a hate merchant.  I feel sorry for anyone that I ever steered towards his program back when I thought he was someone decent because he was fighting for Medicare For All.  He and his grifting squad are disgusting.

Ty: Agree and I'm jumping in because 'Black' -- please put that in air quotes -- Sabby Sabs is in his grifting squad.  She recently brought on some White boy transphobe, Link Lauren, that you usually have to go to FOX "NEWS" for.  He's gay and a transphobe so he's basically Glenn Greenwald.  And they had their little talk and I thought Sabby is just disgusting and a grifter and a creep.I'm sick of these people.  They are not left wing, they are grifters and the door needs to be closed in their faces -- we all need to be Michael Corleone at the end of THE GODFATHER closing the door on Diane Keaton's Kay.  

C.I.: I need to jump in, I'm sorry.  I didn't know Ty was bringing up Link Lauren.  THE COMMON ILLS community is a very vocal community and it's all over.  Thanks to them, when Bully Boy Bush pretended to buy a home in Highland Park, Texas, we knew not only that he didn't -- he was too cheap -- but we also knew that he bought a house that wasn't up to code or completed and we had the floor plan and posted it. Thanks to those same DFW members, we knew the rumors about Harriet Miers and were able to post those rumors and it killed her nomination and sent her southern Republican supporters scampering away as quickly as they could.  I don't know Link Lauren, don't know of him.  But, like Ty, some were offended by Sabby's interview with him, some DFW community members, and they want it know that he wrote a column that they see is "100% lies" and "completely false" -- I found those two e-mails just now, there are others but they repeat that line of thought.  Here's a third e-mail, "He completely lied in a column where he attacked LGBTQ+ people as 'groomers' and worse while claiming that he had been at a 2017 pride event and it didn't have this and it didn't have that.  To which I say, 'Bitch, you're a lying drama queen.'  I was at that same pride event.  And I was a foot and a half away from him in Oak Lawn aka 'Gay Town' in Dallas.  It was on Cedar Springs and the little drunk cry baby was crying between Hunky's and the Kroger parking lot -- not having fun as he tries to pretend in his column.  He was convinced someone shouted 'Queer!' at him when five guys joined the parade walking up from Reagan Street onto Cedar Springs.  We laughed at him -- this was a gay Pride parade, the five guys were taking part in the parade, and though there were tons of gays present someone supposedly yelled 'Queer' and, due to his self-obsession, it had to be yelled at him.  I will further add that his claims in the column attacking the NYC parade compared to the more 'sedate' one he had been at in Dallas?  That's a complete distortion.  All lies.  We were the same as the one he attended in NYC, the one that he's spitting on.  He was a self-loathing closet case in Dallas and rumored to need to be degraded by any partner he was lucky enough to get on those rare instances when he could interest a man.  He's a liar, he's a fake and he left Dallas in part because we, the LGBTQ+ community, couldn't stand him."  This is one of the things I've tried to work into a snapshot since Sabby's interview aired and the e-mails started coming in; however, I really haven't been able to.  But Ty referencing this hideous person means I have to make a point to include it now.  So that's what DFW community members have said.  I don't know, I wasn't there.  They've never been dishonest before on anything that they've e-mailed in.

Dona: I'm glad you brought that up.  He sounds disgusting.  And Max and Ugly Blumenthal, they're disgusting with their transphobia as well.  Although his ugly wife is disgusting regardless.  These are not left people.  They dismiss these attacks.  Either they are too stupid to grasp just how large this issue is or they just don't care.  

Betty: I'd guess the latter.  They don't care.  Remember Max's ugly wife has made remarks making it clear what she really thinks about trans people.  

Dona: Right.  And this is big.  It was big if it were just the attacks on trans persons.  But it's not.  It's much bigger than that.  They are the first ones being targeted.  

Ty: DATA LOUNGE is a gay themed site and you get these elderly gay men like Glenn Greenwald on there who'll start carping that trans rights don't matter and that they're LGB only, no T, and blah blah blah.  Others, younger gays and lesbians, will try to point out that we either all stand together or we'll be defeated.  The Glenn Greenwalds don't appear to care.

Isaiah: They seem to think they can token their way along, be the club mascot for MAGA and they'll be unharmed.  They're idiots.

Jess: I think you're right, Isaiah, but I also think that some are into something different.  That browser history that's supposedly Glenneth's is all about gay subs and MAGA alphas and how each wants to dominate the other.  Meaning, I think Glenneth may be the kind who gets off on being dominated and reduced to sexual slave.  Jim's laughing but it could happen -- there are chubby chasers so someone could be interested in Glenneth again some day.  But, yeah, he'd sell everyone out, I can see that completely.

Cedric: Like Jim, I want to note the snapshot for Friday.  I want to echo what C.I. said about the press repeating the lies of Ron DeSantis and Mike Pence.  This is not minor.  They are being confronted with how they are harming transgendered people and their response is to lie and the press response, sadly, is to repeat the lie and not fact check it.  It shouldn't be up to the woman running THE COMMON ILLS website to have to say over and over, "That's not your state's law.  Someone under 18 can get a tattoo if they have parental permission."  This is not a minor point.  DeSantis and Pence are making their argument for what they're doing with lies and these lies need to be called out.  Their arguments are so weak that they have to resort to lying.  And when the press doesn't call them on the lying and doesn't point out that what they say the law says is not what the law says, then the press is promoting transphobia.  And I find that very disappointing.  Very, very disappointing. 

Stan: It's like what world are we living in?  How did we end up here?  Three years ago, would anyone have guessed that these hate merchants would be tolerated?  That's what the press is doing, that's what the so-called left on YOUTUBE is doing.  They're tolerating it at best.  At worst? They are actively participating in spreading and fostering hate and this hate doesn't result in someone throwing a Kleenex tissue at you, it resorts in people being killed.  Lauri Carleton, an apparently selfless and great person to know was shot dead by a Robert F. Kennedy Jr. supporter because she displayed Pride flags.  Shot dead.  The woman's children now don't have a mother.  Her husband is now a widower.  She gave to her community and helped out anyone she came across in need.  And because she displayed Pride flags some lunatic -- who supported RFK Jr. and who loved Matt Walsh -- murdered her.  

Wally: That murder truly should have started a national dialogue about how the hate merchants had poisoned everything and how we needed to take a serious look at where the county was headed. 

Betty: Exactly.  Lauri was the woman we all know who checks in on those in need, who offers to help when you need help, she's the person we all knew no matter what city or town we lived in.  And that's who gets shot dead.  We should have recoiled in horror and this is should have been a CNN townhall.  We can't afford to lose the Lauris, they're the ones who keeps our neighborhoods functioning, they're the ones who you count on in your area.  And for someone like that to be shot dead, that should ahve been a national dialogue -- both in terms of guns and especially in terms of this out of control hate speech and effort to destroy LGBTQ+ people. 

Trina: Alight, good points.  Anyone else disappointing us?

Ava: Naomi Wolf going over to the dark side.  That's disappointing.  And since at least 2008, C.I. and I have documented all the things wrong with that woman.  But to see her get in bed with anti-LGBTQ+ hate merchants and misogynist men?  That's more disappointing than her being a Trump supporter.  And what C.I. has said is true: She doesn't get back in.  Left-lite wants to let her back in a decade from now?  Well then they're pathetic.  But no feminist should sign off on it.  And I mean real feminist.  You're on the left and you're a woman?  Doesn't make you a feminist.  There are a lot of women who are not feminists and I want to be clear on this, no feminist should support forgiving her.  First off, she's done real damage.  Second off, this is a pattern with her -- as C.I. has pointed out over and over and may point out in a book review shortly. There is no forgiveness.  She is not to be let back in.  

Isaiah: Before we close this down, let me note Matt Taibbi.  He's just human filth.  He knew better but didn't care.  And how he attacks trans rights and trans people.  F**king Uncle Fester look alike.  He grifts to the right and it should call into question everything he's ever done or written.  It should all be suspect now.  

Betty: Me! Me! Trina! Me!

Trina: Okay, Betty.

Betty: Moving to the silent.  The disgusting Katie Halper.  Matt's roll dog.  Now she rolls it with Aaron Matte.  She and Matte are disgusting.  They bring on convicted pedophile Scott Ritter and yet they can't cover LGBTQ+ issues.  That ugly woman's gotten away with enough already.  Her 'streams' are in the tank and her career has faded. She's a fake and she always has been.  There's no excuse.  She used to play, on WBAI, that she was a feminist -- as though Spencer Ackerman's 2008 roll dog would be a feminist.  She used to pretend like she cared about gay people.  She stopped that long ago.  She's a grifter.  And a huge disappointment.  

Trina: Thank you.  Who else do we notice remains silent?

Mike: I'd say Graham Elwood.  Maybe he thinks gay is just too 'icky' to discuss?  It's amazing that, in Florida, Doo-Doo Ron Ron DeSantis had to pass don't-say-gay when all these supposedly left YOUTUBERs are more than willing to go along with it without any arm twisting from Doo-Doo. 

Kat: This is an organized effort on the part of the right to destroy the LGBTQ+ community and after that they'll come after the rest of us on the left.  That's what Project 2025 makes clear, in writing.  And it's what's been noted for over a year at THE COMMON ILLS.  This doesn't end with trans people, this doesn't just expand to then go after LGBTQ+.  It's going go after reproductive rights, it's going go after single-mothers, it's going go after everyone who's not a White, straight male, Christian married to a stay-at-home, docile Christian woman.   I don't know why you wouldn't want to stand up for LGBTQ+ people all by themselves but if that doesn't do it for you, you'd think some sort of self-preservation would kick in.

Isaiah: You'd think.

Ty: I wonder what these 'left' people who are silent and the grifters think happens next?  

Trina: In terms of?

Ty: Well for one thing, where is their future audience.  Gen X on up to today's teens?  Not confused or troubled.  They are pro LGBTQ+.  Where do these grifters think they're going to go when their aging audience dies?  

Jess: I think they don't think that far ahead and also they're not grifting from the common person.  C.I., what show?


Jess: THE VANGUARD had a piece about how the rich man that funded Jimmy Dore funded them briefly.  He was a $5,000 a month patreon.  And they talked about how weird it was not to have to worry about rent for the first time ever --

Ava: I think he was $5,000 to Jimmy or someone else.  I think he was $1,000 or $2,000 to THE VANGUARD.

Jess: Probably right.  So the minute they dispute something Jimmy's grifting on, the money disappears.  But Jimmy continued to get his $5,000 a month from that one person just for spreading lies about COVID and probably for attacking transgender people.  There's always going to be some disgusting rich person eager to buy a grifer like Jimmy Dore.

Mike: I don't get the hatred.  Why do you have to hate?  Or why do you choose to?

C.I.: For some, the issue is change.  Most people are resistant to change by nature.  Some that are, they realize that and force themselves to grow.  Others don't want to.  They plant their feet and don't want to know.  A cure for cancer would be shot down by these type of people.  So when, for example, SNOW WHITE is being remade and she's going to be played by a Latina, it's time for them to lose their lunch as they struggle.  

Trina: Struggle with?

C.I.: Well not reality.  Reality isn't a fairy tale.  

Betty: That's so true.  Her name is "White!"  I see that online about the new SNOW WHITE Rachel Zegler.  I don't get it.  And I wonder about the people who don't grasp that a Latina or Latino can also be White when it comes to race.  That's apparently too much for today's right wing racists to grasp.  But again, she's a completely fictional character.  They don't seem to grasp that.

Isaiah: It's just hate, hate, hate.  And I don't get it.  

Stan: I'm with you, Isaiah.  I went to college in the 90s, we believed in equality.  We believed in fairness.  These hideous grifters who walk around with a chip on their shoulder and it's like the worst thing in the world to them is that a few movies now have leads of color.  That's got them up in arms and ready to revolt.  Do you know how many times, as a kid, I would tune into the fall TV season and see no kid with skin color the same as me?  I'm so sorry racist bigots that only 97% of the lead roles are going to White men.  That must be a tragedy for you all.  A huge unending tragedy. 

Dona: They loathe the word "diversity."  If you don't look like them, you don't matter.  That's the reality.  

Ava: Sad but true.

Cedric: And to these Glenneth Greenwalds who want to go along with the hate against the transgendered and think the haters won't come after him next?  It's a war on diversity and I just have to hear that for my skin to crawl -- my Black skin.  And maybe not being White like Glenneth allows me to grasp how it's just a skip and a stone's throw for them to come after me next. 

Wally: But someone like Glenneth won't make that connection because he never has.  He's never been part of any struggle.  He hid out most of his life with regards to being gay, passing among staight right-wingers often by attacking openly gay men.  He's never been part of a struggle.  He doesn't care about diversity for that reason.  He's always been in the room when decisions were made so he doesn't care.  And it shows just as surely as that awful red dye he puts on his hair shows that he's too cheap to go get done professionally.  

Stan: You know, we used to be challenged.  When I was in school and college, I was challenged.  It wasn't enough to know what you knew when you walked into the classroom.  You were supposed to learn more.  You were supposed to try to learn about people different than you.  That's why the attack on our education system by these hate merchants like Ron DeSantis doesn't surprise me at all.  Attacking LGBTQ+ people, attacking Black history or women's studies?  It's about attacking knowledge, it's about attacking education and willing into being a population that doesn't know anything and never learned anything.

Mike: And, that's such a good point, Stan, the thing is though, they don't get that.  Florida students right now are going to suffer in the near futrue because of Doo-Doo DeSantis' actions with regards to education in Florida.  They will learn far less and they will be seen as less educated.  And that's just the right now impact.  If Doo-Doo and his ilk get their way, we are destroyed as a country.  We can't compete on the world stage if we're destroying our education system.  And, as Elaine points out often, Doo-Doo doesn't grasp education.  What you can look up online or do with a calculator, that's not education.  Education is not repeating memorized factoids.  An educated mind is a mind that hears something and can process it, that can hear something and know further information is needed.  An educated mind is one that can analyze.  Doo-Doo just wants rote and rote will rot us.  It's not 1817.  We're in the 21st century and if we want to compete we need for our children to be highly educated.

Betty: I'm sorry but I marvel over DeSantis' delusion that he's the one we need to look to for education or ethics, he the man who oversaw torture at Guantanamo

Kat: Since we're on the topic of Ronald, I want to note this from THE GUARDIAN about what's happening in Florida:

A central Florida city is moving forward with plans to join the popular national Safe Place initiative protecting LGBTQ+ people and others, despite opposition from Republicans who consider it a “deceptive and coercive” political mandate.

Councilors in Mount Dora, a historic and eclectic small city famous for its antiques stores, art galleries and festivals, voted last month to affiliate with Safe Place, which seeks to give victims of hate crimes or bias a temporary shelter if they feel threatened.

The program began in Seattle in 2015 as a voluntary partnership between the police department and local businesses, which displayed rainbow stickers in the shape of a police badge to denote their participation. The effort has since been adopted in more than 350 cities nationwide, including dozens in Florida.

But four Republican state politicians from Lake county, in which Mount Dora sits, took exception to the city’s declaration, accusing the city in a letter last month of “virtue signaling”, and insisting they would explore “all legislative, legal and executive options available” to oppose a move they say contravenes “Biblical principles”.

Jess: What a bunch of sad, hateful and ignorant people.

Kat: It just makes me want to pray that God delivers to them the punishment that they so deserve for the hatred they heap on others.  They are disgusting.  And I'm tired of your so-called Biblical principles.  I was raised Catholic, not a word you say fits into my Biblical principles. 

Trina: Well, Kat, don't forget that we have additional books in our Bible.

Kat: True.  I doubt a lot of non-Catholics even know about that.  But they really need to stop trying to speak for people of faith.

Isaiah: I liked C.I.'s suggestion last year about a church.

Mike: Yeah.

C.I.: I argued that the LGBTQ+ community, which includes many people of many faiths, needs to move towards an official church so that the LGBTQ+ community can also demand religious rights. 

Trina: Oh, yeah, I'd forgotten that.  That was right after DOBBS was handed down.  

Ty: I'm all for it.  Come up with our own church -- I'm gay -- and are own worship services and then let's get the same freedom of religion that the right wing screams for.

Jim: But it's really sad that in the 21st century, people are having to plan sanctuary cities because there's so much hate and backwardness out there.  It's really, really sad.  

Kat: And, back to the safe cities, is that what we're looking at in the future if these creeps destroy our country further?  We'll need safe cities to keep our rights?  I mean this is A HANDMAID'S TALE.  That's what this is.  And that's what they want.  And Sarah Palin and the other freaks?  They're not warning about 'civil war.'  They are actively calling for it. And I wish Elaine were here because there was a point she made regarding Marjorie Taylor Green, "How is a member of Congress repeatedly calling for secession not a violation of her oath?"  I would really like some news outlet to put that question to Marjorie.  

Trina: I'd like to hear Marjorie answer that question as well, Kat.  I'd also like to hear the US Army Reserve explain why Tulsi Gabbard, active in the Army Reserves, can Tweet of her commander-in-chief:

Biden Admin’s “accomplishment” is that America has gone to hell in a handbasket since he took office: - Successfully gotten our country into a new cold war and hot proxy war with Russia. - Succeeded in driving Russia and North Korea into each other’s arms. - Handed over control of our border to the cartels and human traffickers - Handed over our cities to criminals. - Undermined our democracy. - Divided our country. - And the list goes on… The Democrat elite don’t want to lose their power. If they need to replace Joe Biden, they will.

Trina (Con't): C.I. and I could say more on that topic but let me leave it there.  Uhm, I do want to go back to something that you were saying, C.I., about change?  How much time are we supposed to give people to catch up with life.

C.I.:  I hear you and I agree.  Some people just need to hate others.  That's reality.  But some people are scared.  A lot of the garbage on that flash drive, for example, is scared people trying to sound like they're not -- that's especially the case when they're bitching about the masks, for example.  COVID -- which is still present -- was a pandemic and it scared a lot of people.  When Ava and I wrote "TV: The future is out there" back in March 2020 we began looking at the pandemic in 1918 and, in later pieces, looking at the way that impacted the emotional response at that time.  And, for some people, the entire world is moving too fast and they will need time to adjust.  I've also covered how the attacks on LGBTQ+ today echo the earlier attacks in the 70s and how those hate merchants overreached.  A few months ago, I wrote that I thought we'd reached the tipping point and that Americans had reached the point where they weren't fond of Moms For Bigotry or the lies being pushed.  History can inform.  And so my point here is, some people just needed time to adjust -- and may need further time -- and that group, okay, that's how it is.  And how it would be on numerous topics.  But this homophobia from professional hate merchants?  That's not changing and they need to be called out.  That group is hateful at the core and will do anything and everything to destroy this country.  We need to realize that group is a danger to democracy and to the whatever this country is supposed to aspire to.  So how much time do you give someone?  I guess it depends upon which grouping you put them under.  I don't have time for racists or homophobes or sexists.  I don't.  My time is limited and needs to be focused on things that actually matter.  Transgender persons, for example, are more likely to go through a period of being homeless -- 30% of the transgendered population reports that they've been homeless, 29% live in poverty, they experience discrimination at work, they experience discrimination when trying to utilize public accommodations.  These and other issues go to why you have such a high rate of attempted suicide in that population.  I get that Billy may have a problem with change but at the end of the day I'm more concerned with the realities that Pam, a trans woman, has to live with than with Billy's comfort zone.

Dona: I have a relative who has recently come out.  And it's been interesting.  We've talked about it and one of the benefits of this awful time we're living with these hate merchants?  My family member feels more accepted among the family because of it.  Our grandmother, for example, was the big fear.  But she just hugged and said, "Honey, there are enough crazy people harming others right now.  It's going to take me a minute to wrap my head around all of this but, of course, I love you and I'm so glad that you trust me enough to share this with me."  And when I think about that, I have to go back to the YOUTUBERs on the left who are silent through all of this.  People I know personally are actually being awakened to discrimination and the need to push back by what the hate merchants have done.  Where as the YOUTUBERs just seem to want to act like it's not happening.  What would do the Katie Halpers live in?  It's not my world.  It's not most of our worlds.  And one thing I want, one outcome, is that in 20 or so years, when this is behind us so we can all agree how awful and hateful some people acted?  I want it remembered that Katie Halper and others did nothing.  The same way people call out Ronald Reagan today for his silence during the AIDS crisis, I want it remembered that disgusting trash like Katie Halper refused to stand up and be counted.  That she actively worked with multiple transphobes and that she remained silent as people were targeted.  I want their legacy to be reality.

Jim: I'd agree with that and I find it hilarious that she's spent so many years calling out Chuck Todd for all that she found lacking in him when the reality is that she's probably even worse than Chuck Todd.  Her silence in the face of all these attacks on LGBTQ+ people and her continued support of her transphobe buddies like Matt Taibbi and Aaron Matte -- that's her legacy.  That's how she should be remembered.

Wally: And speaking of hilarious, someone we long ago put on the list of "Hate Merchants" at THIRD is in the news.  LGBTQ+ hater Kristi Noem is in the news.  Did she talk again about how wrong and sinful gay people are?  No, she's in the news for having sex with a man who is not her husband.  Kenzie Bryant (VANITY FAIR) reports:

The Daily Mail has published an explosive report that South Dakota governor Kristi Noem and Corey Lewandowski, a former Donald Trump aide, have been having a secret affair “for years”—at least since 2019. Noem’s spokesperson told the tabloid, “This is so predictable that you would attack Governor Noem less than a week after she endorsed Donald J. Trump as the 47th President of the United States.” Neither have denied the Daily Mail’s reporting, and Vanity Fair has reached out to both of them for further comment.

A “family values” Republican, Noem has three children with her husband, Bryon. They’ve been married for over 30 years. Lewandowski married his wife, Alison, in 2005, and they have four children.

Lewandowski has a reputation of being just one of the many characters that Trump can’t quit. Trump’s original campaign manager, Lewandowski was fired in June 2016 after “a series of incidents that the Trump family worried had cast the candidate in a negative light.” These may have included, but were not limited to, aggressively handling a reporter and protester, reportedly calling a coworker a “fucking bitch,” and reportedly calling a staffer to yell at him as the staffer’s grandmother was having her Last Rites read. Soon, though, Trump brought Lewandowski back in the fold. 

Noem stoked speculation that she’s angling to be Trump’s running mate for 2024 with an early endorsement of the indicted man for president. Trump received her endorsement onstage in North Dakota last week, where a Trump-Noem 2024 graphic reportedly appeared on a screen behind them. “I will do everything I can to help him win and save this country,” Noem said when introducing the former president.

The Daily Mail claimed it has a long list of receipts including “stays at luxury resorts where their intimacy was observed and noted.” They allegedly took private planes on donors’ dimes, and would disappear frequently. Rumors of their alleged affair surfaced briefly in 2021, via far-right conservative website American Greatness, but Noem issued a strong rebuke of the story. She said it was “total garbage and a disgusting lie,” and she was “proud of the God-fearing family” that she raised with her husband. Lawyers for Lewandowski dismissed the allegations as “rumors.”


Cedric: Glass houses, right?

Dona: And while we're talking about hypocrites, Lauren Boebert.  LGBTQ NATION reports, "The man who was with anti-LGBTQ+ Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) when they were kicked out of a performance of the musical Beetlejuice reportedly co-owns a Colorado bar that has hosted LGBTQ+ events, including a drag show."

Jim: And this is the sort of thing that leads Americans to think, "Yeah, these aren't the people to listen to."

Trina: And they are most definitely not people to listen to.  This is a rush transcript and I thank everyone who was able to participate.  And I thank Ava and C.I. for taking notes and for typing this up.