The Evening Blues - 5-19-17


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Larry Williams

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features New Orleans r&b singer, songwriter and piano player Larry Williams. Enjoy!

Larry Williams - Slow Down

Press Corps: “Look, Comey’s cutting the lawn!”
Arctic: “I’m melting, I’m melting!”
Press Corps: “Get out of the way, then, you’re getting our Guccis wet.”

-- Jeffrey St Clair

News and Opinion

Sweden Withdraws Arrest Warrant for Julian Assange, but he Still Faces Serious Legal Jeopardy

Swedish prosecutors announced this morning that they were terminating their seven-year-old sex crimes investigation into Julian Assange and withdrawing their August 20, 2010, arrest warrant for him. The chief prosecutor, Marianne Ny, said at a news conference this morning that investigators had reached no conclusion about his guilt or innocence, but instead were withdrawing the warrant because “all prospects of pursuing the investigation under present circumstances are exhausted” and it is therefore “no longer proportionate to maintain the arrest of Julian Assange in his absence.”

Almost five years ago – in June, 2012 – the UK Supreme Court rejected Assange’s last legal challenge to Sweden’s extradition request. Days later, Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and two weeks later formally received asylum from the government of Ecuador. ... In February of last year, a U.N human rights panel formally concluded that the British government was violating Assange’s rights by “arbitrarily detaining” him, and it called for his release. But the U.K. Government immediately rejected the U.N. finding and vowed to ignore it. ...

Almost immediately after the decision by Swedish prosecutors, British police announced that they would nonetheless arrest Assange if he tried to leave the embassy. Police said Assange was still wanted for the crime of “failing to surrender” – meaning that instead of turning himself in upon issuance of his 2012 arrest warrant, he obtained refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy. The British police also, however, noted that this alleged crime is “a much less serious offence” than the one that served as the basis for the original warrant, and that the police would therefore only “provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence.”

That could perhaps imply that with a seriously reduced police presence, Assange could manage to leave the embassy without detection and apprehension. All relevant evidence, however, negates that assumption. ...

The termination of the Swedish investigation is, in one sense, good news for Assange. But it is unlikely to change his inability to leave the embassy any time soon. If anything, given the apparent determination of the Trump administration to put him in a U.S. prison cell for the “crime” of publishing documents, his freedom appears farther away than it has since 2010, when the Swedish case began.

Human Rights Lawyer: Sweden Dropping Investigation of WikiLeaks' Assange is "Long Overdue Decision"

When the Trump Coup-makers Cometh

So what did you think a U.S.-styled “soft coup” would look like? What we’re seeing regarding the intended removal of President Trump is not that much different from what has happened in dozens of other countries, whether Iran in 1953 or Ukraine in 2014 or Brazil in 2016. This one just has a few extra American touches. Like other coups, there are often vague and unproven accusations leveled against the target and his or her entourage. Even though hard evidence is usually lacking, “process crimes,” such as making misstatements to prosecutors or obstructing justice, are developed as a substitute under the popular saying: “the cover-up is worse than the crime.” Whatever the case, a complicit media then trumpets alleged wrongdoing into grave and impeachable offenses. And, if you had any doubts about what is looming, you should read Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr.’s op-ed, entitled in print editions “A quick end would be better.” ...

As this American coup against Trump progresses, one commonality of coups around the world – whether “hard coups” of military tanks or “soft coups” of “constitutional” removals – is that the coup’s target is not some perfect human being. He or she has likely made political mistakes or cut some corners or had associates who lined their pockets. But the difference between those misdeeds being treated as politics as usual or becoming the stuff of “scandal” has more to do with the interests of powerful interests – a domestic “deep state” or an outside “superpower” – than any evenhanded pursuit of justice. What’s really at stake in any coup is power and the direction that a country will take. In the case of Donald Trump, there appear to be several factors at play: he is regarded by many establishment figures as too incompetent and uncouth to serve as America’s President; he also defies the neoconservative orthodoxy over U.S. foreign policy; and perhaps most significantly, he doesn’t believe in the New Cold War, which will assure the Military-Industrial Complex years of expensive new weapons systems by making Russia the new/old “enemy.” ...

There is one – and perhaps only one – winning move that Trump has left. He could authorize CIA Director Mike Pompeo to prepare for release U.S. intelligence information regarding turning-point moments in recent years, such as the truth about the 2013 sarin incident in Syria and the 2014 Malaysia Airlines shoot-down in eastern Ukraine. [See here and here.] If – as I’m told – the Obama administration systematically misrepresented the intelligence on those catastrophes to register propaganda gains (against the Syrian government in 2013 and Russia in 2014), the U.S. government’s internal information could shift those key narratives in more peaceful directions.

But whatever the truth is, Trump could shift his own image from a compulsive liar who disdains facts into a champion for transparency and honesty in government. He could turn the tables on The New York Times (which has set itself up as the great hero for Truth) and The Washington Post (which has fashioned a new melodramatic slogan, “Democracy Dies in Darkness”). He could point out their hypocritical lack of aggressiveness in challenging the Obama administration’s excessive secrecy. ...

Revealing hidden truths – where the American people may have been misled – would not only be the right thing to do for democracy, it also could be the smart thing to do. When the Establishment coup-makers come for Trump – as they now almost certainly will – he can at least say that he tried to do something to return the U.S. government to the American people. That might not save his presidency but it would at least elevate his purpose and possibly create some positive legacy to attach to the Trump name. As the situation stands now, Trump appears headed for a humiliating exit that won’t just strip him of the presidency but would strip away any luster for the Trump brand.

Intel Trump gave Russians came from Jordan, not Israel – report

Jordan, not Israel, was likely the original source of secret intelligence information given by US President Donald Trump to the Russians, the Qatar-based al-Jazeera news network reported Thursday, citing current and former Jordanian intelligence officials. ...

The country supplying the intelligence to the US was identified in the Post story only as “an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State.” But The New York Times reported Tuesday that Israel was that country, prompting reports in local media that Israeli officials were reassessing intelligence sharing cooperation with the US.

ABC news even reported that, as a result of the information leaked by Trump, an Israeli spy’s life was believed to be at risk. The spy was said to have tipped handlers off about an Islamic State plan to blow up a passenger plane headed for the US by hiding a bomb in a laptop, ABC said, quoting current and former US officials.

However, the Jordanian sources assessed to al-Jazeera that Israel is unlikely to have been able to position a key spy in IS, the jihadist terror group.

The sources said the intelligence that Trump shared with the Russians came mainly from Jordanian spies. Jordan, they said, has developed human intelligence resources with agents on the ground, including some who have infiltrated militia groups — among them IS — inside Syria and Iraq.

US jets attack Iran-backed militiamen in south-eastern Syria

US jets have attacked a convoy of Iranian-backed militiamen in south-eastern Syria in the first clash between the American military and forces loyal to Tehran since the US military returned to the region almost three years ago.

The airstrikes occurred near the Syrian town of al-Tanf, where Syrian opposition forces backed by the US have been under recent attack by Syrian and Russian jets near the main road linking Damascus to Baghdad. The militias, made up mainly of Iraqi Shia fighters, had been advancing towards the base throughout the week.

The US military said the strikes were aimed at stopping the militia advance and protect fighters it has sponsored throughout the civil war and in the fight against the Islamic State terror group.

The clash underscores the complexity of the fast-changing battlefields of Syria and Iraq, where a splintered opposition is struggling to hold ground, Isis faces military defeat, and forces allied to the Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad, are in the ascendant.

Opposition units in the area continue to be backed by the CIA. They were raised to fight Isis, but have also been positioned as a bulwark against Iran-backed forces that have crossed from Iraq and been instrumental in recent gains made across Syria by the Assad regime.

Senate Democrats reject Lieberman for FBI director

President Donald Trump may be dramatically miscalculating how much support Sen. Joe Lieberman would have among his former Democratic colleagues if nominated to become FBI director.

Some Senate Democrats hold a grudge against Lieberman for his rightward turn and opposition to some of President Barack Obama's agenda late in his Senate career. Others say even though they respect Lieberman, the job of FBI director should not go to a former politician. And all Democratic senators interviewed for this story said the former Connecticut senator lacks the kind of experience needed for the post.

The 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate, who later caucused with the party as an independent in the Senate after losing his 2006 Senate primary, has emerged as a front-runner to replace fired FBI Director James Comey. But Lieberman's nomination likely would produce the most partisan vote for an FBI chief in Senate history. Typically, nominees for the job have been approved unanimously or with token opposition.

“I don’t think there's going to be much excitement about that from our side of the aisle. Not because we don’t respect Joe Lieberman. But we need a law enforcement professional, not someone who’s run for office before,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). “We don’t need anyone who’s put on a red shirt or blue shirt — or who’s campaigned for president.” Lieberman ran for president in 2004.

Republicans are lining up behind Lieberman.

Brazil’s President Temer refuses to resign despite bribery claims

Brazil president Temer vows not to resign as court approves investigation

Brazil’s president Michel Temer has vowed to fight for his political life after the supreme court approved an investigation of allegations that he condoned hush money pay-offs to a witness in a sprawling corruption scandal.

“I will not resign. I repeat: I will not resign. I know what I did,” he said in a live TV broadcast, amid growing calls for him to stand down following the suspension of one of his closest confidants in Congress and most powerful coalition allies in the Senate.

The moves on Thursday followed explosive claims that he was secretly taped discussing hush-money payments to former House speaker Eduardo Cunha, who was jailed for his role in the massive Petrobras corruption scandal, prompting calls for him to step down or be impeached.

Following last year’s dubious impeachment of Workers’ Party leader Dilma Rousseff and the ongoing trial of her predecessor Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil has now been plunged even deeper into turmoil.

Case of slain Archbishop Romero reopened by judge in El Salvador

A judge in El Salvador on Thursday reopened the nearly four-decade-old case of murdered Archbishop Oscar Romero, an icon of the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America, and asked that prosecutors seek criminal charges against the main suspect. The ruling, by Judge Ricardo Chicas, follows a decision last year by the country's constitutional court to repeal an amnesty law that prohibited criminal trials stemming from the Central American nation's bloody civil war from 1980 to 1992. ...

Romero, then archbishop of San Salvador, was shot dead in 1980 by a right-wing death squad as he celebrated Mass in a hospital chapel. ... The murder was one of the most shocking of the long conflict between a series of U.S.-backed governments and leftist rebels in which thousands were killed by military death squads. No one was ever brought to justice for Romero's murder.

"Repair the Damage from the Drug War": Susan Burton on A New Way of Life to End Mass Incarceration

Planned Parenthood forced to close four clinics in Iowa after funding cut

An aggressive campaign by Iowa lawmakers to strip Planned Parenthood of much of its public funding will force it to close four clinics serving 15,000 patients, the women’s health group said on Thursday.

Planned Parenthood said the closures were a harbinger of what might happen across the country if Congress passes legislation to defund its clinics.

Individual states have made piecemeal efforts to block Planned Parenthood from receiving public funds meant to help states provide low-income women with STI tests, contraception, and cancer screenings.

But Iowa’s campaign to defund Planned Parenthood represents a stepped-up version of those other efforts, one that more closely resembles a provision in the Republican legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The new Glass-Steagall legislation that the administration has been trumpeting turns out to be considerably less significant than its predecessor.

Steven Mnuchin Goes Through the Looking Glass-Steagall in Strange Exchange With Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Elizabeth Warren had a confounding exchange with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a Senate Banking Committee hearing today. Mnuchin indicated that the Trump administration supports a 21st century version of the Glass-Steagall Act, except for the part about separating commercial and investment banks, which is substantially what is meant by Glass-Steagall.

Warren wasn’t having it.

Responding to Mnuchin’s earlier testimony that the White House didn’t support “a separation of banks from investment banks,” the Massachusetts senator pointed out that “The president and this administration have repeatedly said that they support a 21st century Glass-Steagall.”

Indeed, Mnuchin said these words in his confirmation hearings. National Economic Director Gary Cohn has said the same. And the 2016 Republican Party platform adds explicitly, “We support reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 which prohibits commercial banks from engaging in high-risk investment.” As Warren said to Mnuchin, “Now you’ve just said the opposite.”

Mnuchin responded that there wasn’t any reversal, despite Warren’s incredulity. He said that the administration merely supported a 21st century version of the law. “Which means there are aspects of it, OK, that we think may make sense. But we never said before that we supported a full separation —” “There are aspects of Glass-Steagall that you support but not breaking up the banks and separating commercial banking from investment banking?” Warren interrupted. “What do you think Glass-Steagall was if that’s not right at the heart of it?”

the horse race

Activist Accepts Sen. Joe Manchin’s Challenge to “Find Somebody Who Can Beat Me“

West Virginia's Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin used a conference call with local activists in February to tell them to stop complaining about his pro-corporate voting record. “What you ought to do is vote me out. Vote me out! I’m not changing. Find somebody else who can beat me and vote me out,” he dared the activists.

Paula Jean Swearengin, an environmental activist descended from generations of coal miners, has accepted that challenge, announcing earlier this month that she will be challenging Manchin for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. She is one of the first candidates endorsed by Brand New Congress, a new effort spawned by former Bernie Sanders staffers who want to recruit both Democrats and Republicans who have never held office before to run for Congress. ...

To Swearengin, West Virginia’s historic dependence on the coal industry has created an impossible choice for the people of the state. “We’ve been bid against each other for basic human rights,” she explained. “There’s no reason that people should have to worry about putting food on the table for their children and clean water. Appalachians are strong. We’re better than that. So my path to primary Joe Manchin is to fight back. Fight back for my community. Fight back for my neighbors, my family, my friends.” ...

Her platform is built around offering West Virginians an alternative to the coal industry’s stranglehold over the state’s economy, framing this as delivering”economic freedom.” It includes support for tuition-free college, Medicare for All, and investment in infrastructure.

Bernie Sanders Supporters Are Suing the DNC for Fraud - Interview with Elizabeth Lee Beck

Interesting article, here's a taste to get you started:

Propagandists Have Been Using Dishonest Manipulations To Kill The Seth Rich Story

Two days ago, two different inflammatory and highly controversial stories were released by two different media outlets citing anonymous sources to support their claims. You are only allowed to talk about one of them.featured the claim by a federal investigator who asked to remain anonymous that Seth Rich had been in contact with late WikiLeaks director Gavin MacFadyen. The source asserts that 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments changed hands from Rich to MacFadyen prior to Rich’s murder, and that the source has “seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks.”

The Trump-Russia collusion nonsense has marched on unabated while establishment pundits fan the flames, but the Seth Rich story has been aggressively and relentlessly stomped into the ground by a coordinated corporate media campaign aided by the propagandized masses who realize that the very real possibility of Seth Rich being the source of the DNC emails released by WikiLeaks spells the end of their Russiagate fun.

Why are the establishment propagandists so keen on killing interest in the Seth Rich story? Because it throws a fat monkey wrench in their geopolitical manipulations, of course. America’s unelected power establishment wants to smack down the Putin government, which has been unashamedly involving itself in key strategic locations like Syria and the Crimean peninsula, and has been collaborating with China and its allies to eventually weaken the hegemony of the US dollar in that region. In order to reignite Cold War tensions with Russia and stage a proxy war with the Kremlin in Syria, the oligarchs need the consent of the public, because otherwise you’re dealing with 320 million heavily-armed Americans who’ve got a problem with the way you’re risking the lives of their families by tempting a possible nuclear holocaust over fossil fuels on the other side of the planet. They also need the public to hate Russia because that’s a major part of the way they’re leveraging Trump into walking back on his non-interventionist campaign promises; if he doesn’t take a hard stance against Russia he’ll feed into the “Putin’s puppet” narrative, which you know Mr. “look how big my hands are” doesn’t like.

Seth Rich kills all that. If he leaked the DNC emails, then the Russians didn’t hack them. If the Russians didn’t hack them, then the story that Putin is this omnipotent supervillain bound and determined to spread fascism across the free world doesn’t really work, and they also lose the story of Trump colluding with Russia to win the 2016 election by weaponizing WikiLeaks.

the evening greens

Interior secretary’s personal schedule shows industry chiefs have frequent access

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke spent much of his first two months in office meeting with energy and other industry groups, according to personal schedules released this week under the Freedom of Information Act.

The schedules, which cover March and April, detail a slew of meetings with oil and gas producers as well as officials representing gun owners, marine industries, automobile dealers and builders. Zinke, who was confirmed by the Senate on March 1, also met with representatives of the Navajo Nation and Montana’s Little Shell Tribe, as well as numerous lawmakers and officials from a range of states and U.S. territories.

Zinke held more than a half-dozen meetings with executives from nearly two dozen oil and gas firms during the period, including BP America, Chevron and ExxonMobil. He also spent time with the American Petroleum Institute, the Western Energy Alliance and Continental Resources chief executive Harold Hamm. Several of these discussions covered executive actions the administration would later take in an effort to reverse President Barack Obama’s policies, such as limits on drilling off America’s coasts and the venting of methane from drilling operations on federal and tribal land.

Migrant Farmworkers May Have Been Sickened By Toxic Pesticide Greenlighted by EPA Under Trump

The Coral Reefs You Never Heard of, in the Path of Trump's Drilling Plan

One of the planet's most unique coral reef systems happens to be nestled in one of the world's most active oil and gas production areas. And for a decade, federal agencies and outside experts have studied how to better protect this fragile marvel, the only national marine sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, President Donald Trump's executive order to unleash offshore drilling threatens to derail their solution: an expansion of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, from 56 square miles to as much as 935 square miles.

The sanctuary, home to more than 180 species, is blanketed with a forest of corals, where schools of young grouper, snapper and other fish find protection from predators. The area is considered "essential fish habitat," vital for ensuring the survival of highly sought reef fish, which make up a significant part of the commercial and recreational catch in the Gulf. The sanctuary expansion was proposed by the Obama administration last year and was to be finalized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in early 2018. It drew on 30 years of scientific research, public meetings and comments, as well as the recommendations of task forces convened after BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. ...

Trump's April 28 "America-First Offshore Energy" order halts expansion of any national marine sanctuary until the government conducts a study of its energy potential, a move consistent with the president's no-holds-barred fossil fuel development agenda. The provision appears to target Flower Garden Banks—the only sanctuary in a drilling zone with a planned expansion. The oil industry has strongly opposed expansion of Flower Garden Banks to include more reefs and banks, which it insists are not as unique as the coral system in the current sanctuary. The industry has also said that NOAA underestimates the amount of fossil fuel buried beneath the seabed. ...

NOAA, which was to release its final environmental analysis of the plan as early as this month, is awaiting guidance from the administration.

Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

The Deep State Has Digested Both Trump And Sanders. Fight The Deep State.

Better Call Bob! Mueller Is the Lawyer You Bring In to Handle Politically Toxic Situations

Do High-Level Leaks Suggest a Conspiracy?

Republican Immigration Bill Threatens to Turn Millions of People Into Criminals Overnight

How Russia Became “Our Adversary” Again

If we cared about peace we would be talking to Hamas

Will New York Beat California in the Race to Enact a Single-Payer Health Care System?

As Fiancée Looks On, Mnuchin Faces Hostile Senators on Banking Committee

Miles of Ice Collapsing Into the Sea

Chelsea Manning shares first photo after prison

Anthony Weiner pleads guilty to sexting teenage girl and faces prison sentence

A Little Night Music

Larry Williams - Short Fat Fannie

Larry Williams - Bony Moronie

Larry Williams - Bad Boy

Larry Williams - Dizzy Miss Lizzy

Larry Williams - My Baby's Got Soul

Larry Williams - I Can`t Stop Lovin` You

Larry Williams - Call On Me

Larry Williams - Hey Now Hey Now

Larry Williams - Lawdy Mama

Larry Williams - Jelly Belly Nellie

Larry Williams - Hocus Pocus

22 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture

i'm headed out to hang with some relatives, so i won't be around tonight.

you all have a great weekend and i'll catch up with you later on!

14 users have voted.

10 users have voted.


Steven D's picture

@UntimelyRippd had hacked them.

13 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

Steven D's picture

Made my day.

11 users have voted.

"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

featheredsprite's picture

@Steven D Yes. I'm also happy to see that smile.

Lovely, isn't she?

8 users have voted.

Life is strong. I'm weak, but Life is strong.

gulfgal98's picture

@Steven D Clinton, I hope. Wink

9 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

mimi's picture

as long as they don't have to read twitter they'll be ok and multiply.
let me think...
good night

12 users have voted.

“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.” -- Mark Twain

snoopydawg's picture

In both of her articles about How the propagandist are killing the Seth Rich story and The deep state digested both Trump and Bernie. I hope people read these articles as they show that many agencies in our government are attempting a soft coup.
This comment from the article is spot on, isn't it? And this is basically all the evidence that we have seen regarding the Trump and Russian connections. We haven't seen any hard evidence that links them together.

If the sources for any story, or revelation is anonymous, don’t believe it under no circumstances. In a true, open and fair society, it is not necessary for the messenger to hide behind anonymity. The fact that everything comes now from “undisclosed”, or “anonymous” sources is the worst grade a so called democratic society can get. A big fat “F” for “FAILED”.

Funny how people have hated what our intelligence agencies do or say, except people are eating their propaganda up because of how much they hate Trump and they think that Hillary should have won the election.
Here's Dennis Kucinick's take on what's happening

"The political process of the United States of America being under attack by intelligence agencies and individuals in those agencies," said Wednesday night.

"You have politicization of agencies that is resulting in leaks from anonymous, unknown people and the intention is to take down a president," former Rep. Kucinich said. "Now, this is very dangerous to America. It's a threat to our republic, it constitutes a clear and present danger to our way of life. So we have to be asking, what is the motive of these people? Who's putting these leaks out? Why doesn't somebody come forward and make a charge and put their name and reputation behind it, instead of attacking through the media and not substantiating their position?"

Exactly! What is their motives and who's leaking the false information?
And just because this interview was done by Hannity, it shouldn't take away from what Kucinich says. Fox News was the only one that even covered the Seth Rich story.
Caitlyn's article starts off with this

Two days ago, two different inflammatory and highly controversial stories were released by two different media outlets citing anonymous sources to support their claims. You are only allowed to talk about one of them.

7 users have voted.

Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents

enhydra lutris's picture

4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Rallies, F-bombs and a raucous start to the California Democratic Party convention

The California Democratic Party convention started with a bang Friday night, with protesters disrupting speeches at the official kickoff and state party Chairman John Burton unleashing a series of F-bombs aimed at the demonstrators.

The chanting began when Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Burton stepped up to the podium in a cavernous hall at the state capital's convention center, with protesters shouting demands that the party reject corporate donations and work to implement a single-payer healthcare system.

Burton, known for his salty language, lashed out quickly. He told protesters that the Democratic Party had been fighting for single-payer healthcare “since before you were born.”

“Hey, shut the ... up or go outside,” Burton said.


Gavin Newsom faces backlash as state fights Sierra Club and San Francisco over waterfront

One of Gavin Newsom’s few duties as lieutenant governor is to serve on the State Lands Commission, a powerful agency that governs much of California’s shoreline.

The three-member panel rarely draws public attention. But now its lawsuit to overturn a San Francisco ballot measure that can limit the height of waterfront developments is stirring up trouble for Newsom as he runs for governor.

If the Lands Commission wins, environmental groups say, it could block voters statewide from passing local ballot measures to restrict coastal development and oil drilling, as Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Hermosa Beach and other communities have done for decades.

Fire Newsom and his cronies, don't keep promoting please. Yesterday every single "news" article in the weekly local rag, was vomit regurgitated through the fat belly of the Chamber of Commerce, it is disgusting. These are supposed to be Berniecrats, and they are not. They are the same old same old, it is all they know. Greed. jkmn

7 users have voted.

and all c99ers. Hope everybody is doing well.

Just saw this clip with Bill Maher and David Frum and their cheering audience ripping Cornel West and demanding consensus that Mike Pence is the way to go. This is the establishment mantra now. What a disaster these people are.

7 users have voted.

@Joanne Leon I saw Cornel West trending on Twitter. HRC supporters hammering him. Of course! Now it's his fault!

5 users have voted.

Peace out. Let's be radicals together on twitter. I'm at @Beddy63.

@Joanne Leon thanks for that "what the heck?" moment.

”Neil DeGrasse Tyson asked why bother arguing about the 2016 election. Maher cried, “They haven’t learned the lesson that we need to win the next election!”

Wah! So the beatings will continue until morale improves. Better hurry, whoever the "we" he speaks of is. Here is The End:

You can watch the full back-and-forth above, via HBO.

because of course everbody that matters subscribes to HBO, others need not apply. Do their heads all nod in unison while they trash others, like the dash-board dolls? I just can't get that out of my head.


2 users have voted.

principal reasons for the "soft coup" attempt that is now underway:
(1) Trump is regarded by many establishment figures as too incompetent and uncouth to serve as America’s President;
(2) he also defies the neoconservative orthodoxy over U.S. foreign policy;
(3) he doesn’t believe in the New Cold War, which will assure the Military-Industrial Complex years of expensive new weapons systems by making Russia the new/old “enemy.”

Phillip Giraldi writing for The American Conservative, draws on his own experience as a CIA officer to summarize the probable mechanisms by which the coup is being accomplished:

I now suspect that there is indeed a group at the top of the U.S. national security system that wants to remove Donald Trump and has wanted to do so for quite some time. If that is true, I believe that they have been operating with that goal in mind for at least the past year. It is not a traditional conspiracy or cabal in that it does not meet and conspire together, but I suspect the members know what they are doing in a general sense and are intervening whenever they can to keep Trump off balance. Their program is simple: convince the nation that the president and his team colluded with the Russians to rig the 2016 election in his favor, which, if demonstrable even if not necessarily true, would provide grounds for impeachment. They are motivated by the belief that removing Trump must be done “for the good of the country” and they are willing to do what they consider correcting a mistake made by the American voters. They are assisted in their effort by the mainstream media, which agrees with both the methods employed and the overall objective and is completely on board with the process.

Perhaps what's most disturbing about this, is that nearly the entire US "Left" seems also to be completely on board with it. So that we now have most of our most prominent "liberals" joining hands with neoconservative warmongers in an effort to undercut and/or prevent more peaceful relations with Russia -- and worse, to actually exacerbate tensions to the point of threatening nuclear war. How this effort can be construed as being in any way "liberal" is a mystery to me, but that's what seems to be happening.

Adding salt to the wound, is the unavoidable fact that if these liberals, by acting in concert with the US Deep State were to help impeach Trump, the result would be a President Pence. Nobody seems to be thinking much about what this would mean, though clearly Pence is a far more dangerous character than Trump -- and to my mind at least, even more unsavory. I fail to see the light at the end of this particular tunnel-vision.

2 users have voted.


@native on this "soft coup" theory.

The unprecedented (in recent years) mass hysteria around their RussiaRussiaRussia campaign is multi-faceted in its origin, in my opinion, but it is also a tell as to what their main problem with Trump is. His foreign policy.

I don't think that's the only thing driving this witch hunt (yes, I think that's one of the few things Trump is right about). Brennan is probably at the center of it. (VIPS people believe that). Obama and Brennan are, according to a former officer, very tight.

Both Brennan and Obama have a big reason to want to get Trump. Trump committed a cardinal sin of criticizing the intelligence agencies, going as far as to call them Nazis. And speaking of vendettas, the ex-mil & intel folks at Lang's blog said Brennan's team was responsible for getting Flynn fired from DIA. Some people believe Flynn intended to clean out and reorganize the 17 intelligence agencies and again, an ex-officer speculated in an interview I did a few months ago, that the intelligence agencies feared a purge. Same person said Obama was extremely close to the CIA, perhaps unprecedentedly so.

None of it is hard evidence, but the opinions and analysis of former intel officers is probably the best thing we have to help understand this major mess.

Here's our Around the Empire interview from January:

3 users have voted.

@Joanne Leon Stephen Cohen does a weekly radio show with John Batchelor. He has often said that there is a faction in our military/foreign policy establishment that does anything it can to prevent detente with Russia.

One week, he elaborated on this subject and went through the history of how, at least since the 1950's, every major attempt at detente with USSR or Russia was sabotaged by a powerful faction in the deep state, with the exception of the Reagan-Gorbachev relationship, where somehow they managed to achieve detente, at least temporarily.

I don't recall which week it was that he laid out the history but if you're interested, I could probably find it.

3 users have voted.

@Joanne Leon
But if you please, what is VIPS?

It does seem odd that Brennan's name has not come up at all during these investigations, or probes, or whatever they are.

I read Col. Lang's blog regularly. It's an invaluable resource in these confusing times.

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@native Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

You've probably come across them before. They've written a lot of letters to presidents.

You can generally find their writing at and some other places. And a lot of them publish things as individuals, like Giraldi, Ray McGovern, Coleen Rowley, et al.

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