Thursday, July 27, 2023

The Pretenders

The Pretenders have followed up their star-studded Glastonbury set with the new single, ‘A Love’.

The new tune about love being addictive is taken from their upcoming LP ‘Relentless’ - which is out on September 15 - and follows their Worthy Farm set last month that featured Foo Fighters Dave Grohl and former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr.

Frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, 71, said of the track in a statement: “I suppose that’s the most traditionally Pretenders-sounding song on the album, in the vein of ‘Kid’ or ‘Talk of the Town’ or any of the mid-tempo ones over the years. I often see love/relationships almost in the same vein as drug addiction. Although, having said that, I know I am jaded, and cynical… ‘The Buzz’ on 'Hate for Sale' visited the same theme.”

Here's a video of them from Glastonbury.  

I'm excited about the new album.  But?  Confused about the article with regards to Johnny Marr.

I don't think BANG SHOWBIZ is aware that Johnny Marr was a Pretender.  It was 1987 and, during that time, he wrote "When Will I See You?" with Chrissie Hynde which appeared on the band's 1990 album PACKED! 

PACKED! is probably the most underrated Pretenders album.  And include me in that.  I liked it in real time but I only liked it.  I had loved GET CLOSE.  But PACKED! has just gotten better with each year.

My ranking of the band's albums from best to worst -- this is studio albums plus 1 live and 1 greatest hits:













ISLE OF VIEW is the best live album they've done -- the best live album almost anyone could have done.  It is a great album.  And THE SINGLES remains the best greatest hits package the band's put out.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, July 27, 2023.  Things heat up as crazy Ron DeSanits wants to play doctor with Robert F Kennedy Jr, the nation continues to rebuke Ronald for his efforts to recast slavery as a good thing and a glorified jobs fair, and much more.

Should we just do updates for a whole snapshot?

For Iraq, we could do: In an update on Iraq . . . US troops still on the ground.  Ryan Reynolds (EVANSVILLE COURIER & PRESS) reports:

 Ever been apart from a good friend or loved one for a few weeks? How about a few months? A year?

Remember what it felt like to know that the end of the separation was coming soon? That there'd be meals and movies and laughs and catching up, in person, for the first time in ages?

And remember how agonizingly slow those last few days were before the reunion?

That's life right now for the 1st Battalion, 163rd Field Artillery of the Indiana Army National Guard, an Evansville-based unit that draws in some 300 soldiers from around the Hoosier State. They've been gone since August 2022, sent 7,000 miles to Iraq to mind the details of a muted conflict that the American public has generally moved past.

The soldiers will tell you otherwise. So will their relatives and friends and nieghbors and co-workers. There have been a lot of holes in a lot of lives for the past year. And at some point − achingly soon − they'll be home.

We caught up with Capt. Ernie Griffin of the 163rd, who we also talked to in February about the deployment. When he gets back to the United States and his "other career," Griffin will start his tenure as principal at Plaza Park Middle School. He was previously an assistant principal at Harrison High School.

And the 163rd August return will see them replaced by other US troops.  US troops remain on the ground in Iraq. 

In 2008, Americans voted for all US troops to be removed from Iraq but that never happened -- not even during the drawdown.  

We could also note this from Brad Adgate (FORBES):

Since Tucker Carlson was suddenly fired from FoxFOXA +0.2% News last April and began posting videos on Twitter on June 6, his audience has been in a freefall. Carlson’s inaugural video on Twitter, dubbed Tucker on Twitter, had generated 26 million video views. (Twitter counts a video view as any person that watches a video for two or more seconds with half the screen viewable.) In the second episode, two days later, Carlson’s video views dropped to 13.9 million. While the third episode, which coincided with Trump’s indictment from the Justice Department, saw an increase to 18.7 million views, the general trend has been downward. For Carlson’s more recent eighth episode, on June 30, the viewing was only 3.8 million, its lowest to date and a 86% decline since June 6.

And we could note that the above requires an update and a correction.  As Ava and I noted in "MEDIA: No, Mother Tucker did not have 60 million people watch his video," Tucker was never having 'views:' 

Tucker decided his future was in the gig economy and with TWITTER -- where Matt Taibbi goes to play dungeon sub.  And Glenneth had a lot to say on TWITTER including this "This is pathetic of Fox. They fired Carlson, and now their position is: he's not allowed to speak. He didn't go to a competing network. He has no contract with Twitter. He's just speaking on social media."  He's not being silenced, he just can't host a program.  Don't sign the contract if you don't like what's in it.  That's what negotiations are all about.  That's why you need to read them yourselves before you sign them.

But more to the point, this: "CNN's collapse continues. Tucker returns with a Twitter show watched by millions" and  "Meanwhile, the only part of media that is growing is independent. The public sees what corporate media has become." and "The sad, pathetic, decaying corporate media's reaction to Tucker's explosive Twitter debut was everything you'd expect and more."

So which is it?  Tucker's triumphing in new media -- that's supposedly kicking "corporate media" in the butt -- or is he isn't?

Glenneth you're the one pretending to be his mouthpiece -- shouldn't you be able to make a coherent legal argument?

As we've said for years now (nearly two decades) for an alleged lawyer Glenneth has always struggled with the most basic legal concepts (such as breach of contract).

We should love stupid people.  They give us so much to write about.

No advertising and no subscriptions?  Tucker will be rolling in . . . no money.  

Equally true, he did not get 17 million views.  

The Great Glenneth Greenwald has been lying about the numbers as well.  But can we pause that for a moment.  Glenneth's jazz hands have been a problem since he debuted his new talk show -- while his husband lay dying in a hospital -- so very William Faulkner meets Grace Metalious.  But there's a new problem.  Does he have lice or bed bugs?  What's with his inability to stop scratching his upper arms of late?  

We'd warn people not to embrace him but, honestly, we can't imagine anyone ever wanting a hug from Glenneth.

At any rate, Glenneth was tossing around Tweets praising Mother Tucker for his "explosive Twitter debut" -- yes, it was like diarrhea -- "CNN's collapse continues. Tucker returns with a Twitter show watched by millions."

Oh, Glenneth, if you couldn't lie you'd have to sit there silently.

60 million people did not watch Tucker.  10 million people did not watch Tucker despite Glenneth's claim:

Tucker Carlson is the most successful host in the history of cable news. Even in his "stripped-down" Twitter form, he attracted an audience almost no corporate media employee could get close to. Is it possible this partially motivates the universal disdain they have for him?

Tucker's got 60 million viewers!  

That's what some are lying.

No, he doesn't.  Max Blumethal's wife is both ugly and hippy and that's enough reason not to note her stupidity.  But that transphobic Tweet she pinned to her feed in February?

People aren't watching it.  The numbers increase but people aren't watching.  You click on her TWITTER feed and start scrolling and doing that will start her video streaming.  It doesn't mean you're watching it.  In fact, you have to make a point to stop if you want to turn on the audio.  Even if you don't turn on the audio, even if you scroll past it quickly, it still counts as a stream.  And it does that each time you visit her Twitter feed.

John Stauber posted Mother Tucker's 'big' show four times last Tuesday to his TWITTER feed.

He really is a car crash and so he attracts rubber neckers.  Let's say 20,000 people visited his feed and scrolled.  That means Tucker's video streamed 80,00 times.

Megyn Kelly, Glenneth, all the usual trash, reposted Tucker's video.  

He did not get 60 million viewers.  It was -- automatically streamed -- many, many times.  

People are not watching Tucker.  
At YOUTUBE, they've put in some measures to try to prevent that sort of miscount.  But if you have a YOUTUBE page and put a video on the home page and it starts streaming when you go to the home page?  That counts as you streaming it.  You might go to another page at that YOUTUBE account in two seconds, say the "about" page, but the video started streaming the minute you hit the home page and they're counting that stream.


Twitter doesn't do that and doesn't care to.  

Repeating, Tucker is not a Twitter star.  He was reposted on hundreds of accounts.  The number actually taking the time to watch the video is very small.  And you can argue it's probably around the number of users leaving comments -- which Glenneth said was 29,000.

The numbers were not an accurate count because this was not people going to a video to stream it, this was a video that started streaming the minutes you visited someone's Twitter feed and counted as a stream even if you never stopped on it but just scrolled right past it.

The media should have grasped that and, certainly, at this late date, a writer for FORBES should know what's what.

Unlike Twitter, YOUTUBE has measures in place to prevent this sort of false inflation of streams.  Why?  A lot of people were trying to boost their own numbers by streaming, for example, a USEFUL IDIOTS -- sh, no rumors to be Cass Elliot about it -- clip and they'd stream it for a minute or two and then go away, search it and pull it back up and hit play and get 2 streams.  Now they make you start where you stopped the video and you don't get that second count (that was never a real count to begin with).  Musk won't implement anything like that because honesty and truth are not core concepts in Musk Land.

Remember the video of Ron DeSantis earlier this week with the Nazi symbol?  Ewan Palmer (NEWSWEEK) has an update:

Ron DeSantis 2024 campaign worker who was reportedly fired for retweeting a fan-made video about the governor which featured a symbol associated with Nazis had previously praised the impact of white supremacist Nick Fuentes.

Nate Hochman, a communications staffer, is said to have allegedly retweeted the controversial meme video from the Ron DeSantis Fancams Twitter account which ended with the 2024 hopeful's face imposed over what appeared to be a circular symbol known as the "sonnenrad."

Hochman, as first reported by Semafor, was let go after allegedly retweeting the since-deleted video featuring the ancient symbol which had been appropriated by the Nazi Party and is still used today by white supremacist groups.

Hochman, Axios reported, not only retweeted the video from his own account but had actually made the clip himself and posted it from the Ron DeSantis Fancams profile. Joey Hannum, a former aide for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, had also speculated that the Ron DeSantis Fancams Twitter account was being used by Hochman as a "sock-puppet operation."

And there's no way they didn't know who Hochman was when they hired him.  A social media search is the most basic of 'reference' checks these days.  Jonathan Chait (INTELLIGENCER) agrees this was no accident:

It would be easy to understand this development as simply more campaign dysfunction, perhaps poor vetting, or even a symptom of the campaign being “too online.” It is better understood as the result of a fundamental strategic decision by DeSantis to actively court the far right.


DeSantis’s campaign hired Hochman from National Review after it was reported he had participated in a Twitter Spaces with Nick Fuentes, who is at least Nazi-adjacent. “We were just talking about your influence and we were saying, like, you’ve gotten a lot of kids ‘based,’ and we respect that, for sure,” Hochman told him. “I literally said, ‘I think Nick’s probably a better influence than Ben Shapiro on young men who might otherwise be conservative.’” (The comparison is instructive: The nicest and perhaps only good thing that can be said about Shapiro is that Nazis hate him.)


When I wrote a long feature about DeSantis’s campaign last year, one factor I identified was its decision to position DeSantis to Trump’s right. The most visible aspects of this strategy have involved mocking Trump as a supporter of the COVID vaccine and LGBTQ rights, both of which are themes in the video Hochman created. But it has also led the campaign to woo the extreme right:

Tuesday's snapshot noted this item from DEMOCRACY NOW!:

In California, surveillance video shows a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy brutally beating a 23-year-old transgender man outside a convenience store in February. Emmett Brock was driving home from his job as a teacher when he was followed by Deputy Joseph Benza to a 7-Eleven parking lot, where the officer tackled Brock to the pavement and punched him repeatedly in the head, accusing him of resisting arrest even as Brock cried out for help, struggled to breathe and made no move against the officer. A police report said Brock was pulled over because he had an air freshener hanging from his rearview mirror; Brock says he was assaulted because he held up his middle finger when driving past Benza’s patrol car.

Two people write the editors of THE LOS ANGELS TIMES to object to the treatment of Brock:

To the editor: Brock never stood a chance. It is appalling to see him exit his car and never get a chance to even ask why he was being followed by a deputy without his patrol car's lights and siren on.

It is even more appalling to watch this deputy throw Brock to the ground and beat him.

This has nothing to do with being transgender. That comes later with the humiliation at the Norwalk sheriff's station. I hope to see justice served and for Brock to be able to put the pieces of his life back together.

Olivia Roberts, Hacienda Heights

To the editor: When Emmett Brock told the staff at the Los Angeles County sheriff's station in Norwalk that he is a transgender man, he said they asked to see his genitals. And he got a violent beating from a deputy for having an air freshener hanging from his car's rearview mirror.

It is ironic that the Assn. for Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs said requiring its members to reveal potential gang tattoos with skulls and Nazi imagery would violate the 4th Amendment's ban on unreasonable searches and the 5th Amendment's protections against self-incrimination.

Dennis Snyder, Long Beach

Let's update on two crazies who want to be president.  Paul Rudnick has strong takes on both psychos.

Ronald's floated a new plan for his faltering campaign.  If Ron alone isn't crazy enough to win your vote, well, he's ready to bring Junior on board.  That's twice as crazy as Ron alone!  Tim Dickinson (ROLLING STONE) explains:

Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis is talking up the prospect of Democrat and Joe Biden rival Robert Kennedy, Jr., serving in his administration. 

In a new interview with right-wing commentator Clay Travis, DeSantis was asked whether he’d consider the anti-vax conspiracy theorist Kennedy as a running mate. DeSantis, who has campaigned vigorously (and fecklessly) to appeal to vaccine skeptics, downplayed that idea, arguing that the Democrat was “averse to our base” on 70 percent of the issues. 

But the Florida governor was warm to Kennedy serving in the Cabinet, because Kennedy’s stance on “the medical stuff,” DeSantis said, “does appeal to me.” DeSantis lofted the idea that Kennedy could serve as his administration’s attack dog, battling the nation’s top health agencies. “Sic him on the FDA, if he’d be willing to serve,” DeSantis said. “Or sic him on CDC.”

Mike argues (rightly) "It's time for Ron DeSantis to be committed."  Ronald wants to 'rescue' medicine -- like he's done with education in Florida where the horrors of slavery have been glossed over so that we can now see the institution as just a really intense career day workshop, right?

Florida’s new education guidelines garnered widespread rebuke last week over the requirement that schools teach that some enslaved people extracted a “personal benefit” from technical skills they learned in captivity. 

It’s an obviously absurd and ahistorical suggestion that fundamentally relies on racism. It falsely suggests that enslaved people had the good fortune — despite their bondage and all the horrifying abuse that came from it — to learn specialized skills, such as blacksmithing, that many Black people had long been practicing outside of American chattel slavery.

As I wrote Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris took Florida to task for the new guidelines during an impromptu trip to Jacksonville. And DeSantis did himself no favors in response.

“I didn’t do it, and I wasn’t involved in it,” he claimed before pivoting to defending it.

“I think that they’re probably going to show some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into doing things later in life. But the reality is, all of that is rooted in whatever is factual. ... These were scholars who put that together. It was not anything that was done politically.”

The Florida Department of Education tried to offer examples of enslaved people benefiting from slavery — but as the Tampa Bay Times noted, “historic sources show several of the 16 individuals were never even slaves.”

University of Buffalo researcher Ndubueze Mbah’s work on the concept of “abolition forgery” shows us that oppressive (and occasionally violent) slave-like conditions were imposed on Black laborers even after slavery had officially been abolished in Europe and the United States. 

During an April lecture for Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute, Mbah told the story of Jampawo, an African British subject who was forced, after abolition, to comply with a contract that allowed him and other Black laborers to be punished with physical violence. A similar power dynamic occurred in the U.S. after abolition as well.

“African bodies experienced abolition as beatings and starvation,” Mbah explained. “As hanging on trees. As burning with fire. As prison confinement. As penal labor. As forced labor. And that is not the story of abolition as liberation.”

Slavery was actually beneficial to Black people, according to a set of new rules around how Black American history is going to be taught in Florida’s public schools.

The new curriculum also includes assertions that Black people themselves perpetrated violence during historical racial massacres like the 1906 Atlanta race riot and the 1921 Tulsa massacre.

The slavery-was-actually-a-good-thing and there-were-bad-actors-on-all-sides bits are old, racist talking points that I’m not surprised to see Ron DeSantis shamelessly dredging up now that he’s on a national crusade to make himself as appealing as possible to the worst of white America. Using school curricula to delegitimize the horrors of slavery was an obvious next step, but we still need to call it what it is – white supremacy in government.

The historical revisionism being employed here has a singular goal – to erase the horrors of America’s racist past, legitimize far-right ideology and create easier pathways for racism to thrive.

Just look at what’s happening in Italy. For years, revisionists have redirected conversation about Italy’s role in the second world war away from its fascist crimes, effectively trivializing that past – and helping legitimize the county’s new far right. The prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, and her ilk simply refuse to acknowledge that Nazis and fascists were the bad guys in the war, and this ridiculous glossing over of Italy’s past has been extremely helpful to Italy’s contemporary far right.

That is what DeSantis wants for America. A systematic destruction of human rights followed by a reworking of our collective memory around race, so that ultimately the country’s most vulnerable people don’t have a leg to stand on in fighting for their most basic rights.

Long before Moms for Liberty, there were the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Their passion and influence kept generations of Southern children ignorant of how slavery had caused the Civil War and how cruel it had been. The “war between the states” was rather over “states’ rights” and tariffs. Confederate soldiers were the heroes of a “Lost Cause.” Kindly masters had been considerate to contented slaves.

Reconstruction was bad. The Ku Klux Klan was good.

The Daughters didn’t have to pull the truth from shelves. Its influence with state boards kept offending books from ever being printed or bought. When a University of Florida professor wrote that the South had been more in the wrong in the Civil War, the Daughters of the Confederacy got him fired.

To nationwide scorn and well-deserved derision, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Board of Education has approved a required Black history curriculum with “clarifications” that trivialize slavery and distort the record on racial violence.

Here’s one of them: “Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

Another is worse: “Instruction includes acts of violence perpetrated against and by African Americans but is not limited to 1906 Atlanta Race Riot, 1919 Washington, D.C., Race Riot, 1920 Ocoee Massacre, 1921 Tulsa Massacre and the 1923 Rosewood Massacre” (emphasis added).

And by?

In each of those massacres, Blacks were never the perpetrators. It is a fraud on history and a libel on them to imply that they were. When whites died, it was because Black men had taken up arms to defend their homes, their families and themselves from armed mobs, seething with racism, bent on arson and murder.

Not everyone's noting the truth.  No, there's always FOX "NEWS."  THE MAJORITY REPORT looks at how FOX "NEWS" is leaning-in to stand with their fellow Klansman Ron DeSantis.

Let's wind down with this from The Green Party of Michigan.


Middle of the Mitten Greens Tag Sale

The Middle of the Mitten Greens is inviting you to a street sale on July 29, 2023. Proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Green Party of Michigan.

Corner of Michigan Ave. and Mifflin Ave. in Lansing. Free bags of groceries with each $10.00 purchase. (3 items).

Toys, clothing, household items, books, odds and ends. Free food!

Your purchase will go to administrative costs of the Green Party of Michigan. For more information please contact Robin Lea Laurain @

Robin Laurain, Ways and Means Officer GPMI


©2023 Green Party of Michigan | PO Box 2754, Grand Rapids 49501

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