The Evening Blues - 7-11-18


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Clarence "Frogman" Henry

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features New Orleans r&b singer and frog impersonator Clarence "Frogman" Henry. Enjoy!

Clarence "Frogman" Henry - Shake Your Money Maker

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there'd be peace.”

-- John Lennon

News and Opinion

Chuck Schumer Warns Senate Democrats: Fight Brett Kavanaugh or Pay the Price From the Base

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is warning Democrats in the chamber that if they don’t put up a brutal fight over the next Supreme Court justice, there will be hell to pay from the Democratic base, according to senior Senate aides briefed on Schumer’s message.

Democratic leadership’s response in the two weeks since Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement has been in stark contrast to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s firm, across-the-board rejection of any Obama nominee sent up in 2016. McConnell, flexing the power of a majority leader, announced within an hour of the news of the February 2016 death of Antonin Scalia that under no circumstances would the Senate consider a nominee before the November election. But shortly after Kennedy announced his retirement on June 27, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, said that “the Senate should do nothing to artificially delay” the nomination, a public pronouncement of good faith that was celebrated by Republicans and condemned swiftly by Democratic activists.

Blumenthal quickly cleaned up his statement, saying that a deliberate process to confirm any nominee would necessarily take the Senate until beyond the November elections. Since then, an organized effort to pressure Senate Democrats has conveyed the stakes for refusing to do so. ...

With the announcement Monday night that Trump has selected Brett Kavanaugh as his next justice, the question of how unified Schumer can keep his caucus will determine whether the votes of Republican senators who have shown some semblance of independence, such as Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, Cory Gardner, or Dean Heller, will come into play. Collins and Murkowski support legal abortion — a constitutional right long upheld by the Supreme Court, but that Trump has pledged to overturn by appointing justices who want to criminalize abortion. The Federalist Society screened Supreme Court applicants for Trump with overturning Roe v. Wade in mind, so there is little mystery where Kavanaugh stands. ...

For Democrats to put up a united opposition, Schumer would have to corral Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri, all of whom face re-election in November in states won by Trump and are accustomed to having free reign. Heitkamp, Donnelly, and Manchin all voted to confirm Gorsuch. Whipping those Senate votes into line will require Schumer to push his colleagues in ways he never has before. ... Pressure will be on Collins and Murkowski only as long as Democrats stay united either in opposition to or at least not in support of Trump’s pick, producing something of a staring contest between the two sides. Given the one-vote margin, the minute that a red-state Democrat signals support for Kavanaugh, a decision by Collins or Murkowski becomes less important.

'Disaster for Internet Freedom': Trump Supreme Court Pick Despises Net Neutrality But Loves Mass Surveillance

In addition to the mountain of much-discussed reasons the American public should be alarmed by President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh—from his anti-abortion views to his past opinions favoring the interests of big polluters—advocacy groups are warning that the 53-year-old judge's established record of hostility to net neutrality and support for mass surveillance shows that his confirmation would spell "disaster for internet freedom."

In an analysis of Kavanaugh's past opinions late Monday—which include his assertion that net neutrality rules are "unlawful and must be vacated"—Slate's April Glaser notes how the record of Trump's pick for the court reveals a judge who is vastly more "sympathetic to the handful of companies that control the internet...than to the hundreds of millions of Americans who use it."

While the net neutrality protections established in 2015 were officially rolled back by FCC chair and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai last month, this telecom-backed move is facing a slew of legal challenges from advocacy groups and state attorneys general that could ultimately make it to the nation's highest court. "If any of those cases do make it to the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh probably feels that net neutrality isn't something the federal government should take strides to preserve," Glaser writes.

While Kavanaugh's past rulings as a federal appeals court judge demonstrate his concern for the rights of giant corporations, they also lay bare his apparent contempt for the privacy rights of Americans. As Politico reported ahead of his nomination, Kavanaugh "has a history of embracing warrantless surveillance and rejecting Fourth Amendment challenges to it." In a concurring opinion in 2015, Kavanaugh argued that the National Security Agency's warrentless metadata collection program—which was exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013—is "consistent with the Fourth Amendment" and insisted that "critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program."

Trump picked Brett Kavanaugh as 'barrier' to Russia inquiry – Schumer

The Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, has a theory about why Donald Trump settled on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. On Tuesday he said that Trump is “worried” about an investigation over Russian collusion in the 2016 election and believes Kavanaugh would serve as a “barrier” should the inquiry end up before the supreme court.

As a brutal confirmation battle over Justice Anthony Kennedy’s replacement begins, Schumer said Kavanaugh should expect to face tough questions over his past writings that argue a sitting presidents should be exempt from lawsuits and criminal investigations. “Why did he stick with Kavanaugh?” Schumer said at a press conference outside the supreme court on Tuesday. “Because he’s worried that Mr Mueller will go to the court and ask that the president be subpoenaed and ask to do other things necessary to move the investigation forward and President Trump knows that Kavanaugh will be a barrier to preventing that investigation from going there.”

Kavanaugh, a reliably conservative judge on the US court of appeals for the DC circuit, has been involved in some of the highest-profile political battles of the modern era, including the impeachment of Bill Clinton. ...

In a 2009 article for the Minnesota Law Review, Kavanaugh argued that the president should be exempt from “time-consuming and distracting” lawsuits and investigations, which he said would “cripple the federal government, rendering it unable to function with credibility in either the international or domestic arenas”. In the piece he does not suggest that the supreme court should interpret executive authority differently. Rather, he draws from his experience working for independent counsel Ken Starr, whose zealous investigation of Bill Clinton resulted in a recommendation for impeachment, and as a top aide in the Bush White House to make the case that Congress should pass a law excusing the president from criminal prosecution and investigation while in office.

Democrats on Tuesday made clear that this would be a focus of their criticism of Kavanaugh given the interest in the legal challenges facing Trump on several fronts.

Trump’s Supreme Court: Capitalism and Democracy Can No Longer Coexist

Freedom Rider: British Collusion and Criminality

Most people believe that Donald Trump owes his presidency to Russian activity because they have been told this repeatedly for the past two years. There was indeed high level collusion taking place in the 2016 presidential campaign but it wasn’t carried out by Trump. It was Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee who acted in concert with intelligence assets in the United States and in the United Kingdom.The British government continues to manufacture false flag incidents, force international agencies to do its bidding, and push for regime change in Syria. Having failed to defeat Trump, they kept up the campaign to cover their tracks, escape blame for Hillary Clinton’s failure, and maintain the foreign policy status quo. ...

Steele isn’t the only British spook in the story. A man named Richard Dearlove, former head of MI6, is a business partner of Stefan Halper, a CIA asset who also spied on Donald Trump. Halper had contacts with Page and George Papadopoulos, two men now under indictment by Robert Mueller’s special investigation. The lesser lights of the Trump team were no match for seasoned professionals who get protection from the New York Times. The Times calls Halper “an FBI informant” and tries to claim that is somehow different from being a spy. While Russia is vilified at every turn the British government conducts very public and very shady business which could conceivably impact both countries. The case of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal has the British government’s finger prints all over it. There is no reason for Russia to poison a former spy whom they had swapped eight years earlier. The only logical conclusion is that the act was carried out with the goal of embarrassing Vladimir Putin and creating a possible pretext for war. The Skripal case was soon followed by questionable reporting of yet another chemical weapons attack in Syria which resulted in a short lived United States, British and French attack on that country. ...

Collusion continues not between Trump and Russians, but between intelligence agencies, the media and American politicians with hidden agendas. While the public are fed a steady diet of tales of an unfree press in Russia, it is the British press which has been censored by its government. A Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice (D Notice) has been issued which prevents them from reporting fully on the Skripal case. Most Americans are unaware that the British government may prevent the media from reporting on any subject or person they choose. The person being protected now may be a man named Pablo Miller. Miller was Skripal’s MI6 handler and was also employed at Christopher Steele’s firm Orbis. Miller and Steele may have involved Skripal in writing the anti-Trump dossier. While Americans are given endless misinformation making Russia look like the foreign interloper in their nation’s affairs it is actually the British deep state that is well connected to American media and politicians. ...

Anti-Russia sentiment has been stoked for two years straight and with expert precision. Any counter narratives have been obscured with equal precision. Honest discourse is now nearly impossible and the likelihood of public support for anything up to and including hot war between nuclear powers has increased. The world is a more dangerous place but not because of Russia. As always the United States and its allies are the cause of turmoil. This time they may have created dangers that they are unable to contain.

NATO Summit: Trump criticises Germany, says country is controlled by Russia

Intensifying 'Genocidal Policies of Collective Punishment,' Israel Shuts Down Gaza's Main Cargo Crossing

In a move condemned by human rights advocates as another of the Israeli government's "genocidal policies of collective punishment" in Gaza, Israel has announced stringent new import rules for the territory's main cargo crossing.

As Israel and Egypt have maintained a naval, aerial, and land blockade of the occupied territory for more than a decade, the Kerem Shalom crossing is how most commercial goods and foreign aid reach Gazans. Under the new restrictions, only food, medicine, and "humanitarian equipment" can come through the entry point.

The rules, Al Jazeera noted, "will also affect Gaza's exports, further straining an already crippled economy brought to its knees by the 12-year blockade."

While the Israeli government claims the closure is aimed at curtailing militant activity in Gaza, human rights advocates such as Omar Shakir, the Israel and Palestine director for Human Rights Watch, condemned the border closure as just the latest example of Israel's "unlawful collective punishment" against the people imprisoned within the Gaza Strip.

Israel Shuts Vital Crossing, But Gazans Will Not ‘Die in Silence’

Trump pardons Oregon ranchers whose case sparked 2016 militia standoff

Donald Trump on Tuesday issued full pardons to two Oregon ranchers whose imprisonment prompted a militia standoff with the federal government. Dwight Hammond Jr and his son Steven Hammond were convicted in 2012 on charges of arson, after federal prosecutors alleged they were responsible for multiple fires on public lands.

The government said the ranchers were covering up evidence of hunting violations and endangered people with the fires. The Hammond family and their supporters insisted they started a “prescribed fire” to burn off invasive species and another to protect their feed and home from a growing fire. The case became a symbol to some conservatives of government overreach in rural parts of the American west. ...

In 2016, the imprisonment of the men from Harney county led ranchers and militia groups from across the US to travel to eastern Oregon to take over a federal wildlife refuge in protest, sparking a protracted standoff during which one occupier was killed. Brothers Ammon and Ryan Bundy, from a well-known Nevada ranching family, helped lead the occupation and were later found not guilty of federal crimes. ...

The pardons of the Hammonds mark a stunning reversal of the justice department’s approach to a major arson case and is another victory for a movement sparked by the Bundy family. Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, an environmental group, slammed Trump’s pardons, saying in a statement that the decision “sends a dangerous message to America’s park rangers, wildland firefighters, law enforcement officers and public lands managers”. Trump, she said, “once again sided with lawless extremists who believe that public land does not belong to all Americans”.

Rigged: New Report Details How Combined $5.1 Trillion in Tax Cuts by Bush, Obama, and Trump Went Mostly to Nation's Richest

With $5.1 trillion, the U.S. government could provide healthcare for all Americans and make public colleges tuition free with cash to spare, but a report released on Wednesday by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) shows that the past three presidents have instead opted to send this vast sum of money to the richest Americans through massive tax cuts.

Titled "Federal Tax Changes in the Bush, Obama, and Trump Years," the new analysis (pdf) finds that tax cuts enacted since 2000 have cost the U.S. government $5.1 trillion in revenue, "with nearly two-thirds of that flowing to the richest fifth of Americans."

Thanks in large part to President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion tax cut package that was signed into law last December—which will send 83 percent of its benefits to the top one percent—"the tally of tax cuts will grow to $10.6 trillion" by 2025 and "nearly $2 trillion of this amount will have gone to the richest one percent," the report estimates.

At a time when tens of millions of Americans are suffering from "massive levels of deprivation" and "appalling rates" of poverty, the tax cuts rammed through by George W. Bush, extended in part by Barack Obama, and built upon by Trump "have mostly benefited those who are least in need of help," Steve Wamhoff, director of federal policy at ITEP and the lead author of the new analysis, argued in a statement on Wednesday. "For example, the richest one percent received more benefits than the bottom 60 percent," Wamhoff added. "It's worth asking whether this is the result most Americans wanted from their lawmakers."

Months After GOP Approved $1.5T Giveaway to Rich, Ocasio-Cortez Shreds Those Questioning How to Pay for Bold Proposals Like Medicare for All

In a viral tweet on Tuesday, progressive New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez crystallized the absurdity of arguments against Medicare for All and other bold proposals—as conservatives and centrist Democrats frequently claim the United States lacks a robust social safety net because of an inability to pay for one.

In an apparent reference to a "luxuriously obscene" indulgence Gizmodo reported on in 2014, Ocasio-Cortez mocked the notion that, months after applauding a tax law containing $1.5 trillion in cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, conservatives are now questioning her assertion that a country that can afford such benefits for the rich must also be able to provide healthcare and living wages to all its citizens.

Judge Asks ACLU for "Possible Punishment" Ideas After Trump Misses Deadline to Reunite Youngest Children With Parents

While President Donald Trump and administration officials took to social media to celebrate the news that 12 Thai children and their soccer coach will be reunited with their families after being trapped in a cave for 18 days, the White House didn't even come close to meeting Tuesday's court-imposed deadline to reunite 102 children under the age of five with their parents after they were separated by Trump's cruel policies.

Federal judge Dana Sabraw—who issued the ruling that set the Tuesday deadline—asked the ACLU to "submit a proposal for possible punishment" against the Trump administration for failing to meet the target date.

Rebuffing White House requests, Sabraw also declined to extend the deadlines for reunification, declaring that they are "firm deadlines" not "aspirational goals."

Speaking to reporters just before his flight to Europe for the NATO summit, Trump blamed his administration's failure to meet the court's deadline on the detained families themselves, saying the "solution" to the crisis he created is "don't come to our country illegally." ...

Noting that the Trump administration manufactured this disastrous situation with its inhumane policies in the first place, the ACLU vowed to keep up the pressure until all families separated by the White House's cruel policies are unified.

'They thought they'd die': Ice shackled women for hours in hot van, suit says

Immigration authorities in California shackled nine women in a hot windowless van for hours, causing them to struggle for breath, faint and vomit, according to a new lawsuit that details claims of extreme suffering during a day-long journey last year. The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which filed the suit on Tuesday, alleged that the women were also denied food and water for roughly 12 hours during a 24-hour journey on a hot summer day in 2017, and that they experienced physical injuries, medical complications and psychological damage during the protracted transfer.

“The women all thought they were going to die, that they were going to experience their last breath together in that van,” said Vasudha Talla, an ACLU staff attorney. “The stench, the heat, the crying, the screaming – it was very traumatic for the women,” Talla said, adding that the women were “treated like cargo”.

According to the ACLU and legal filings, the women were detained in a facility in Richmond in northern California when they were woken up in the early morning hours of 17 July 2017 and given little information about where they were going. One of the women, Floricel Liborio Ramos, detailed her account in a blogpost and in a formal claim with Ice, which the Guardian has reviewed. ....

The women were put in a van that was dark, had no windows, no air circulation and no air vents and looked like it was “used for animals”, she continued. The driver ignored their cries for help, including from one woman who suffered from some kind of phobia and was screaming “in desperation”, the claim said. The shackled women tried to support each other and were blowing air on one other in an attempt to stay cool, Liborio Ramos said, but one of them began throwing up and fainted. When the fainted woman did not respond, the women thought she might have died, but the driver yelled at them to shut up and ignored their banging and pleas, the claim said, adding that he was texting and twice veered off the road.

Hours later, they arrived in Fresno and were given food and water at around 10.30pm for the first time since the morning, Liborio Ramos said, adding that officers only unshackled one of her hands so she could eat. By the time they arrived and were processed at their destination in Bakersfield, about 300 miles south of their original location, a full day had passed, the claim said. One woman was denied critical diabetes medication during the trip, and another rolled her ankle while being transferred, according to the filings.

Officials admit they may have separated family – who might be US citizens – for up to a year

The Department of Justice (DoJ) told a federal judge Tuesday that it may have mistakenly separated a father and toddler who could both be US citizens for as long as a year, in the process of enforcing the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called the revelation “horrific” and blamed the administration’s poor execution of the practice of family separations. ...

On 26 June, in a suit filed by the ACLU against the government over the separation of families at the southern border, federal judge Dana Sabraw granted a preliminary injunction requiring the reunification of children under the age of five by 10 July. In a hearing on Tuesday, just before the deadline, the DoJ was asked to account for each failed reunification of the 102 younger children in its care. It noted 27 cases where it found reunification was not currently feasible, including one “because the parent’s location has been unknown for more than a year … and records show the parent and child might be US citizens”.

Previously the DoJ had only revealed that the child’s father could not be located. The ACLU and the court were only made aware that both father and child might be US citizens on Tuesday. “It actually happens much more frequently than you would believe,” Gelernt said. “They [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] make mistakes.”

As Trump Admin Misses Deadline to Unite Families, HHS Head Calls Jailing Kids an Act of “Generosity”

Elected Officials From 20 States Join the Call to Abolish ICE

More than 100 state and local elected officials from 20 states on Tuesday joined the call to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement, adding momentum to a push that, until recently, was dismissed as a fringe left rallying cry. In a joint statement, state legislators, mayors, city council members, and county officials made their demand clear: “The experiment that is ICE has failed, and must be ended as soon as possible.” State senators and representatives from Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Illinois signed the open letter, which is being reported for the first time by The Intercept. They were joined by officials from dozens of cities in 14 other states and the District of Columbia.

“While this escalation of policy is particularly devastating and inhumane, it is part of a larger crisis that has been building in our communities for years because of the rampant and brutal enforcement tactics of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the lawless federal agency that, since its creation in 2002, has terrorized immigrants and separated families in the communities we live in and represent,” the statement reads.

Immigrant communities and rights groups have drawn attention to abuses by the agency for years, but the call to “abolish ICE” has found renewed urgency in the year and a half since Donald Trump took office, and particularly in the two months since the Trump administration began to implement its “zero tolerance” border policy. What was started by some grassroots immigration activists turned into a viral hashtag and eventually became part of the platforms of several progressive Democratic candidates. It even made its way to Congress, where Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., and Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., have promised to introduce a bill to eliminate the agency.

the horse race

Dianne Feinstein Drafts House Candidates in Effort to Stave Off Party Endorsement Loss in California

With little chance of winning the California Democratic Party endorsement at an upcoming meeting, Dianne Feinstein is campaigning hard to prevent the party from endorsing her opponent, state Sen. Kevin de León, in the U.S. Senate race. And she’s employing a series of House candidates to help make her case.

For weeks, Feinstein and her team have been calling, emailing, and texting the roughly 360 delegates of the party’s executive board, which is meeting this weekend in Oakland to decide the endorsement. It’s the same style of campaign run by candidates seeking a state party endorsement, only Feinstein is playing for the block. De León, say close observers of the race, is relatively close to securing the 60 percent endorsement threshold, one of the few avenues available for him to change the dynamic of the race, after finishing 32 points behind Feinstein in the open primary in June.

On Saturday, delegates received a letter from six candidates in flippable districts in the state, making the argument that they should vote for no endorsement in the name of party unity. “A divisive party endorsement … would hurt all down ballot candidates and our ability to turn out Democrats we desperately need to vote in November,” the letter reads. Feinstein’s campaign paid for the mailing. ... Left unsaid in the letter is any reason why the party uniting around one candidate — de León — would somehow be divisive.

'Civilization at risk?': Democrats hype upcoming midterm elections

The Guardian’s Marina Hyde accuses actress Susan Sarandon of being Trump’s “asset”

In a column in the Guardian July 5, (“Protest all you like, Susan Sarandon. In effect you work for Trump”), commentator Marina Hyde asserted that American actress Susan Sarandon was an “asset” of Donald Trump. Sarandon’s great crime? Failing to endorse Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, and instead calling for a vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party. The event that immediately occasioned Hyde’s indignation was Sarandon’s arrest June 28 at a protest in Washington against Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policies and the brutal breaking up of immigrant families.

According to Hyde, Sarandon had no right to demonstrate against Trump and his policies. In her “droll,” mocking way, the Guardian journalist noted, “I’m puzzled as to what Susan was doing there in the first place. Didn’t she, in effect, vote for Trump, with her showy endorsement of third party Green candidate Jill Stein? Yes. Yes she did.”

There is no politically coherent or compelling logic to any of the arguments in Hyde’s column, even the most apparently obvious of them. In fact, if Sarandon had actually voted for Trump, she would still have every right to denounce his policies. There are countless Trump voters who are currently shocked and outraged by his administration’s actions. It is Hyde and the Guardian who are in effect aiding and encouraging Trump’s vicious crackdown on immigration by jeering at and maligning those protesting against it. In any event, because she opposed both Trump and Clinton, Sarandon has brought down upon her head the wrath of Hyde and the entire upper middle class, “progressive” Democratic Party constituency (including, venomously, the Nation’s Katha Pollitt).

Who’s More Corrupt, Democrats Or Republicans?

the evening greens

With "Mountainous" Evidence on Plaintiffs' Side, Hundreds of Cancer Cases Against Monsanto Get Green Light

After opening arguments kicked off in California state court on Monday for a Bay Area man's landmark lawsuit alleging that Monsanto's popular weedkiller Roundup caused him to develop cancer, a federal judge on Tuesday ruled that hundreds of unrelated but similar cases against the agrochemical company can also proceed to trial.

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco concluded that although he believes the evidence presented by attorneys representing the cancer patients and their families, "seems too equivocal to support any firm conclusion that glyphosate," the active ingredient Roundup, causes in cancer, the matter should be taken up by a jury. As Reuters noted, his decision "followed years of litigation and weeks of hearings." ...

"We're going to see for the first time evidence that nobody has seen before, evidence that has been in Monsanto's files that we've obtained from lawyers and the people in Monsanto," co-counsel Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I don't think it’s a surprise after 20 years Monsanto has known about the cancer-causing properties of this chemical and has tried to stop the public from knowing it, and tried to manipulate the regulatory process."

Kennedy added that he believes this case will help the hundreds of other clients he is representing in cases filed against the company. "So many people have been exposed to this chemical, this group of chemicals, and many of them have been injured," he said. "The science is on our side. It is mountainous."

Trump’s Supreme Court pick has a history of tossing out Obama’s environmental regulations

Long before the current Environmental Protection Agency started slashing Obama-era regulations, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, made a name for himself doing the same on the D.C. circuit Court of Appeals.

In his 12 years on the lower court, Kavanaugh developed a robust history of ruling against environmental regulations and leaning hard on Congress to set its own laws, instead of relying on the EPA. If confirmed, he’ll replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose swing vote helped uphold a milestone climate change ruling that instructed the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases as air pollutants.

With multiple environmental cases heading to the Supreme Court next term — and the Trump administration's environmental rollbacks tied up in lower courts — Kavanaugh could guide the U.S. into a more conservative era of regulation.

Since his appointment to the D.C. circuit court in 2003, Kavanaugh has struck down multiple Obama-era environmental regulations — often for business reasons. For example, Kavanaugh argued against an Obama-era ruling in 2014 that the EPA must take monetary costs into consideration when deciding if it’s appropriate to regulate mercury emissions from power plants. Kavanaugh wrote in his dissent that the EPA didn’t prove the regulation did significantly more good than harm — an opinion that a 2015 Supreme Court ruling later affirmed. ...

Kavanaugh also struck down an Obama-administration regulation on hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, in 2017 because it didn’t have approval from Congress. That same year, he ruled that the EPA has no authority to place regulations on companies to replace chemicals with more sustainable alternatives. And in 2016, in a case over President Obama’s climate change regulations, Kavanaugh argued that Congress should decide the environmental policies of the EPA, instead of the courts.

Church of England votes to withdraw funds from companies that contribute to climate change

The Church of England has voted to withdraw investment from companies that are not pulling their weight in the fight against climate change. Following a motion that passed with almost universal approval, the Church will sever ties with firms that do not meet the terms of the Paris climate agreement by 2023.

The General Synod – the decision-making body for the entire Church – said it broadly supported the current investment strategy, which is based on engaging with companies rather than removing investment. However, an amendment put forward by Canon Giles Goddard of the Church’s environmental working group asked that the investing bodies assessed all companies’ progress in five years’ time.

At this point, bodies such as the Church pensions board will disinvest from any that are still not complying. A spokesperson for the Church of England said: “Synod’s vote makes clear that the Church must play a leading role and exercise its moral leadership on the urgent issue of climate change.

“Today’s decision, including the amendment by Giles Goddard, will allow us to continue to push for real change in the oil and gas sector and use engagement, our voting rights and rights to file shareholder resolutions to drive the change we want to see."

Also of Interest

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

Bernie Sanders: “Don’t Be Rude to White Nationalists, Do What Alexandria Did”

Scotusblog: Potential nominee profile: Brett Kavanaugh

“Nerve agent” death of Dawn Sturgess raises fresh questions over UK Skripal affair

How the Iran sanctions drama intersects with OPEC-plus

Trump’s Energy Offensive Against Iran: An Expert Analysis

US to impose tariffs on further $200bn of Chinese imports

'Make them pariahs': how shaming Trump aides became a resistance tactic

Why you might want to wrap your car key fob in foil

Who owns the space under cities? The attempt to map the earth beneath us

A Little Night Music

Clarence "Frogman" Henry - It Won't Be Long

Clarence "Frogman" Henry - Come On And Dance

Clarence Frogman Henry - Troubles Troubles

Clarence Frogman Henry - Please Mr. Bossman

Clarence Frogman Henry - A Little Too Much

Clarence Frogman Henry - On Bended Knee

Clarence 'Frogman' Henry - Little Green Frog

Clarence "Frogman" Henry - Think It Over

Clarence Frogman Henry - Long Lost And Worried

Clarence Frogman Henry - I'm in Love

Clarence Frogman Henry - Lonely Street

Clarence "Frogman" Henry - Ain't Got No Home

13 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture

i have to run an errand out of town tonight, forcing me to sit in dc beltway rush-hour traffic (for as long as it takes) - so, i will catch up with you guys later or maybe tomorrow.

have a great evening!

7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@joe shikspack

thanks everybody for your comments!

0 users have voted.
Strife Delivery's picture

I just want to throw out that while I often haven't been present here in the evening blues, I appreciate the effort you take in it.

10 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

The dysfunctional American government is quite in disarray these days. Punishment for separating the children and not being able to reunite them cannot be too severe. To highlight the horrific dysfunction of ICE, let me drop this here: Read it and weep or get more pissed off.

Sorry you have to be in DC right now, joe......

Have a beautiful evening, folks! Pleasantry

7 users have voted.

"The herd management intent is simply to get you into one of the corrals. Nobody is right, if everybody is wrong.
I am a free range DFH."

The Aspie Corner's picture

8 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

The Aspie Corner's picture

5 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.


yep. They will hate us


Attack by Gaia!

Those 2 quotes are from a book by Bruno Latour "Facing Gaia" 8 lectures on the new climate regime"

Today he posted 3 tweets. A couple of weeks ago he tweeted a similar point that liberals cannot simply hope that the pendulum is going to swing back in their favor. The liberals have not addressed the climate.


Illliberalism is what liberalism becomes when facing the new state of the Earth & yet deciding to do nothing about it. A psychological state of denial that explains the conservative revolution.

5h5 hours ago

The migration question that is engulfing Europe politics is clearly an auto-immune disease (pace Sloterdijk) given the disproportion between the small numbers & the reaction. Migration is a proxy for the dire state of the earth.

‏ 5h5 hours ago

The idea that liberalism will come back after a swing in the other direction is a pipe dream if the present conservative revolution is really a symptom of the denial of the new climatic regime. Both sides ignore what is twisting politics in new ways.

This is but one reason that the win by AOC in NY is so important because she has the most aggressive climate plan.

6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Schumer seems to be more interested in keeping Russia Gate going than protecting the country from a rabid sc.

Democrats on Tuesday made clear that this would be a focus of their criticism of Kavanaugh given the interest in the legal challenges facing Trump on several fronts.

People on the right are absolutely giddy about having 7 justices who will vote the same way. I've been asking people how they would feel if there were 7 liberals instead. Decisions should be made on law not political views, but we haven't seen that for quite some time.

7 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg Last weekend was at our camper and trying to get through old issues of NY Review of books

Oct 13, 2016 issue reviewed 2 books and the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war. UK involvement.

Lied into war. Blair to blame.

I am going to take one paragraph and separate each sentence and/or phrase with white space.

Yet it will do no good to blame Blair alone.

Among the effects of the war were a collapse of cabinet government and parlimentary government,

along with what might frankly be called the corruption of the intelligence agencies as Dearlove and Sir John Scarlett of the Joint Intelligence Committee, colluded with Downing street to "fix the facts,"

as well as Peter Goldsmith, the attorney general, who just as patently changed under pressure his previous advice that the invasion might be of dubious legality

Well, well. Remember not too many years ago the US and the enlightened ones were going to establish democracy throughout the world?

And we learned, or should have learned, that a government and political system is not something that you can drop in from a plane and inflate.

And now we have so harmed our own governments that they may never recover.

I thought it was in this article but I don't see it now

There was a that one was taken aback that the leaders could be so dumb

And the dims embrace of neo liberalism and the crazy repubs are taking the government to its knees

8 users have voted.

along with some estimates of $6T for the wars since 9/11

what does it take to get people's attention?

when the economy comes crashing down there will be a wake up

but given the police state we live in and the world awash in weapons, no way to predict how it will turn out

and in the background, actually it is the ground, it is the earth, as it is depleted there will be less room to recover

do remember a time when you looked forward to the future?

7 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

German Parliament say it may get some attention at last, or not, we shall see.

5 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 --

mimi's picture

Moon of Alabama article are very interesting. Yesterday evening I watched a discussion round on German TV (Phoenix Runde on 07/11/2018 Nato summit - Germany under pressure ) where the reactions of Merkel to Trumps accusations that Germany is totally controlled by Russia was observed as something rare and that the discussion about the not high enough 2 percent contribution of Germany GDP to the NATO defense budget is a rhetorical tool for the American voters. It was more a discussion about the Trans-Atlantic relations fundamentally changing these days and its danger. It was made clear that the argumentations are not new ones.

I always regret that something like that round table discussion can't be translated into English. A former US ambassador Kornblum said it best how the structures of the NATO have changed in the last 70 years and that the NATO has re-invented itself as a "life insurance" and "solidarity of the NATO members" to defend each member, when it is necessary (Beistands verpflichtung). But when the NATO in public shows disunity and fighting quarreling between US and Germany (NATO and EU not having a strategic united mission and discussions and negotiations about it since 2014, Kornblum saying that the united mission is not there since the mid 1990ies), it makes it harder to believe in the mission.

Steinhofers remarks were seen as nice words that don't have too much influence. Merkels response were more important as she is rarely that clear.

I can't make a comment, because I have never understood or made up my mind about the Russian occupation of the Crimean peninsula. For me its especially difficult, because I am still living in the Germany of the late sixties and early seventies.

So, let's just wait about the next tweets that change US foreign policies 90 degree every other six hours. One gets used to it... and my hopium medication is running low.

6 users have voted.

Love is all we have to give.

enhydra lutris's picture

starting with access. Who had the easiest access to the victims. Who had to smuggle a hitman and chemical agent into Britain, and who not only did not, but actually had them in close proximity? Who had no motive whatsoever, and, in fact, had a motive not to do such a thing, versus who had at least the motive of upping the propaganda war against Russia? Etc.

9 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 --

@enhydra lutris the security folks trying to keep their budget

i do not have any special information, but it looks like what these institutions do

like their lies on WMD in Iraq

4 users have voted.
k9disc's picture

Is Bayer going to be financially responsible for the previous management? Haha! That's a good one...

Activists and I-Told-You-Sos should be proactive on this. I'm gonna.

3 users have voted.

“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu