The Evening Blues - 8-15-18



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features blues harmonica player, singer and prolific songwriter John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson. Enjoy!



John Lee Williamson - I Been Dealing With the Devil

"The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous."

-- George Orwell


News and Opinion


Guided Bomb Fragments At Site Of Yemen Bus Airstrike Trace Back To Lockheed Martin

A prominent Yemeni journalist who throughout the war has been instrumental in getting images and information out of the country ahead of Western journalists has photographed and examined fragments from one of the exploded missiles found at the site of the US-Saudi coalition airstrike on a school bus in Yemen, which left as many as 50 people dead and 63 injured — the vast majority of which were children.

Ben Norton, an American journalist among the first to track down publicly available government contract information showing the MK-82's likely origins, said of the bomb fragment imagery: "Yemeni journalists found this fragment of the bomb Saudi Arabia dropped on a school bus full of children in Yemen. It's a US-made MK-82 guided bomb, which has been used in previous attacks on Yemeni civilians. The cage code on the bomb is Lockheed Martin's." [The CAGE Code, or Commercial and Government Entity Code, is a number assigned to suppliers of various government or defense agencies which provides a standardize method to track military items to a given facility at a specific location.]

The MK-82 is a 500-pound air dropped guided bomb which US Air Force and military publications previously touted as "causing the least amount of collateral damage" — US defense contractors have over the past few years sold the MK-82 to Saudi Arabia under contracts worth tens of millions of dollars.

40 Yemeni Children Dead by U.S.-Made Bomb? Outrage Mounts Over U.S. Role in Airstrike on School Bus

Elizabeth Warren Demands in Letter That U.S. Military Explain Its Role in Yemen Bombings

In the wake of a U.S.-backed bombing last week that killed dozens of children on a school bus in north Yemen, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is demanding answers about how U.S. military advisers support and oversee the Saudi and UAE bombing campaign in Yemen. Warren sent a letter on Tuesday to Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command and top commander for U.S. forces in the Middle East, requesting that he clarify past congressional testimony about the U.S. role in the Yemen war. Warren’s letter referenced an article by The Intercept about an airstrike in May, based on a U.S. intelligence report that recounts in detail, minute by minute, how the strike unfolded and American munitions were used.

Votel has previously suggested that the U.S. has little knowledge about how Saudi Arabia and the UAE use American weapons, and does not track the aircraft missions that the U.S. helps refuel. During a congressional hearing in March, Warren asked Votel whether CENTCOM tracks what aircraft do after the U.S. refuels them. He responded, “Senator, we do not.” Votel also denied knowing whether U.S.-produced munitions were used in specific strikes when the media has reported on civilian deaths.

However, earlier this month The Intercept published a detailed article about a coalition airstrike in May, which targeted a site in Yemen’s Northern Saada governorate where a dozen family members slept in tents; the bomb happened to miss the tents, so the civilians survived. The article quoted an intelligence report that includes “what appear to be comments from an American intelligence analyst” who closely supervised the strike from a coalition command center in Riyadh, suggesting that U.S. military observers have detailed information about how strikes unfold.

Eric Eikenberry, an advocacy officer for the U.S.-based Yemen Peace Project, told The Intercept that the existence of an intelligence report shows that coalition airstrikes are more closely supervised than Votel had indicated. “When it comes to Yemen, the priorities of General Votel and the rest of the administration are obscene,” he wrote in an email. “We knew that the United States was providing the fuel, weapons, and intelligence for coalition strikes, and now we know that the U.S. is perfectly capable of assessing strikes on civilian targets that use U.S. munitions.”

'Potential War Crimes': Lawmakers Demand Answers About US Role in Saudi Slaughter of Yemeni Civilians

In the wake of the U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition's horrific bombing of a school bus last week that killed 40 Yemeni children and amid reports on Tuesday of dozens more civilian deaths after a new wave of Saudi bombings, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) has sent a detailed letter (pdf) to the Department of Defense Inspector General demanding an investigation into whether Trump administration officials violated U.S. or international law by assisting the Saudis in their assault on Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition, which receives essential military support and intelligence from the U.S., "has repeatedly hit civilian targets—including schools, hospitals, funerals, and weddings—nowhere near military targets," Lieu writes, pointing to an analysis by the Yemen Data Project showing that a third of Saudi bombings in Yemen have hit civilian targets. "I previously served on active duty as a JAG [Judge Advocate General] and a number of the coalition's airstrikes look like war crimes."

"If the coalition's targeting of farms, food storage sites, and water sites was deliberate, these airstrikes would constitute a violation of Article 14 of Additional Protocol II and customary international law in non-international armed conflict," Lieu adds. "I am deeply concerned that continued U.S. refueling, operational support functions, and weapons transfers could qualify as aiding and abetting these potential war crimes."

The California congressman goes on to note that the U.S.-backed Saudi attacks on civilian targets cannot be attributed to mere faulty intelligence or incompetence. "The coalition, which has air superiority, has in a number of cases very precisely struck civilian targets," Lieu notes. "For example, coalition jets precisely struck a funeral attended by a large number of people and then came around and struck the same civilian target again. It is indisputable that the DoD-supported coalition has killed large numbers of children, women, and men who are civilians."

AP Investigation: Behind the Scenes in Yemen, U.S.-Backed Saudi Coalition Is Working with al-Qaeda

Martial Law By Other Means: Corporate Strangulation of Dissent

The people that rule the United States are in the third year of a frenzy to blame Russia and its “trolls,” “dupes,” and witting or unwitting “colluders” – including a sitting president – for racial conflicts, eroding respect for public institutions and a general social breakdown in the nation. “We are at war!” they scream, incessantly, in a thousand well-placed voices. The relentless barrage of war-talk crowds out all other subjects in the corporate media -- the Omnipresent Voice of Oligarchy -- including the actual wars waged all across the globe by the U.S. and its shrinking gaggle of allies.

By now, 65 percent of Americans -- if asked -- tell pollsters they think Russia “interfered” in the 2016 elections. According to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released late last month, 41 percent believe that whatever the Russians did had some effect on the election, and 30 percent think Hillary Clinton would be president if the Russians had not interfered. People don’t volunteer these opinions; the question is presented by the pollsters and respondents select an answer among the multiple choices offered. However, a Gallup poll, taken during the same period, that allowed respondents to offer their own list of problems besetting the nation showed that less than one percent thought “the ongoing situation with Russia was the top issue.” ...

Apparently, Americans don’t yet believe that anything like a “Pearl Harbor” has occurred, despite the Herculean efforts of the corporate media, the Democratic Party, old school Republicans, and the National Security State (Spookland). Undeterred, these fevered fomenters of hysteria insist that Russia’s “war” against the United States -- aided by a “fifth column” composed of left-wing and right-wing web sites -- must be answered by putting the nation on martial footing, through further curbs on freedom of speech and association at home, and relentless pursuit of full spectrum military dominance over all potential adversaries and competitors abroad. The oligarch-declared state of war requires that there be one set of “truths” and a common worldview to unite the nation at this time of peril -- whether the people perceive such a peril, or not. If there is insufficient public resolve to respond to the “threat” from Moscow and their partners in Beijing, then that is blamed on Kremlin-disseminated disinformation designed to confuse Americans or cause them to lose faith in U.S. institutions, and to fight among themselves – to “hate” each other -- thus requiring more censorship. ...

Facebook, Apple, Google, YouTube and Spotify all came down on right-winger Alex Jones and his Infowars, this week, in what appeared to be a coordinated purge. Although the corporate media have long accused Jones of spreading “disinformation,” he was not purged for telling non-truths. Apple announced that “it does not tolerate hate speech.” Facebook said “false news” was not the issue, but that Jones had violated its policies by “glorifying violence” and “using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants.”

Twitter suspends Infowars' Alex Jones for abuse

Controversial Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been suspended from Twitter for up to seven days. The suspension has put Jones into what Twitter describes as “read-only mode” preventing him from tweeting, liking or retweeting, but not removing his tweets or personal account from the social network. The Infowars Twitter account remains unaffected.

A Twitter spokesperson said the action was taken for tweets containing a video that was in violation of the company’s rules on abusive behaviour and inciting violence. Twitter instructed Jones to delete the tweets, which he has done. The New York Times reports that Jones tweeted a link to a video calling for supporters to get their “battle rifles” ready against media and others.

The move by the last remaining high-profile social network, from which Jones has yet to be permanently banned, comes after a tumultuous period in which Twitter’s chief executive Jack Dorsey has had to repeatedly defend the company’s position.

“Duhhh, Stop Defending Alex Jones! This Will Never Hurt The Left, Derp Duh!”

In the controversy surrounding the coordinated corporate censorship of Alex Jones’ notorious Infowars franchise across multiple online platforms, journalist Glenn Greenwald made an under-appreciated tweet in response to the various leftists and Democrats who’ve attacked anyone objecting to the censorship as “defending Alex Jones.” “The world’s dumbest and/or most deceitful people have always been those who equate ‘I defend X’s right to speak’ with ‘I defend X and their ideas,’” wrote Greenwald. “It’s the scummiest tactic there is. They did it to Chomsky when he opposed prosecuting a Holocaust denier.”

The tweet got mostly lost in the shuffle of warring opinions at the time, but it so perfectly summed up the general gist of the debate. Principled leftists have objected to the way a handful of Silicon Valley plutocrats have been handed unlimited authority to determine what ideas and information are suitable for public consumption and coordinate to remove the online audiences of any speaker deemed unsuitable. The fact that they started with a widely reviled speaker shouldn’t matter, the argument goes, because sooner or later the powerful people who are able to censor will begin censoring in the interests of power. This always ends up hurting the left (the actual left, not the McResistance rainbow-flag-on-a Reaper-drone “left” that is permitted a platform in mainstream America), because leftists are the political faction that stands in the most stark opposition to the status quo which holds existing power structures in place.

These few principled leftists brave enough to take a strong stand on the issue have been attacked and smeared with amazing viciousness by leftists who are blinded by their hatred of Jones, and by Democrats who know that censorship will never hurt their power-enabling faction. The position that the left is always the real target of censorship was ignored and replaced with the absurd straw man argument that anyone objecting to the coordinated de-platforming is defending Alex Jones because they love him and think Infowars is awesome.

And now, just days after these foam-brained livestock applauded the removal of Alex Jones’ audience by their beneficent Silicon Valley overlords, we are already seeing Facebook deleting the pages of leftist outlets. Imagine that.

TeleSUR English, the English version of a prominent left-leaning Latin American publication, has had its Facebook page deleted without explanation. This is the second time that Facebook has done this, and as of this writing, more than 24 hours after it was initially reported, the page is still gone. Five days earlier, the left-leaning Facebook page of Venezuela Analysis was temporarily unpublished, reportedly just as it had a story getting high-performing circulation regarding The Guardian‘s fact-free conspiratorial false flag allegations about the attempt on President Maduro’s life. ... But hey, at least we shut down Alex Jones! Right guys?

Brazil's Lula launches presidential bid from jail as thousands march in support

As thousands of his supporters rally in Brazil’s capital city on Wednesday, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will officially register his candidacy for October’s presidential election from behind bars. Official campaigning in Brazil’s most unpredictable election in decades begins on Friday with almost half the electorate still undecided.

Lula leads in the polls, but is serving a 12-year prison sentence for corruption and money laundering, which electoral judges have said makes him ineligible under a “clean slate” law. “If Lula is not a candidate – and I think there is a 90% he won’t be – that turns the election upside down,” said David Fleischer, an emeritus professor of political science at the University of Brasília.

In one polling scenario, a fifth of voters said they would vote for nobody at all in the election’s first round on 7 October. Running second in the polls is Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right retired army captain and lawmaker. ... If and when Lula is excluded from the race, his vice-presidential candidate Fernando Haddad, the former mayor of São Paulo, is expected to take his place. Manuela D’Avila, a communist party legislator, will then become Haddad’s deputy.

But while Lula was able to get his protege Dilma Rousseff elected in 2010, there are doubts as to whether he can pull off the same trick for Haddad from prison, said Fleischer. In one polling scenario without Lula, Haddad lies fifth with just 6%.

German Social Democrats launch xenophobic campaign about child benefits

On last Thursday’s “Tagesthemen” TV news programme, Social Democratic Party (SPD) mayor Sören Link ranted against European Union (EU) nationals who were allegedly flocking to Germany to fraudulently obtain social welfare payments such as child benefits. Since then, leading Social Democrats have been banging the drum for cuts in child support payments to families of European workers and plying racist sentiments in the style of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), among other things.

“We have about 19,000 people from Romania and Bulgaria in Duisburg, Sinti and Roma. In 2012, we only had 6,000,” Link agitated. “They do not come for work, but for social benefits.” He had to “deal with people here, who spill rubbish on the streets and exacerbate the rat problem.” Neighbours felt “disturbed by mountains of garbage, noise and rat infestations.” He had set up a task force to “tackle” the alleged “problem properties” of the Sinti and Roma.

Link’s statements are no different from those of the far-right. In a Facebook post on August 9, the AfD parliamentary group leader Alice Weidel wrote almost word for word: “More and more child support is flowing into other European countries. ... In addition, many cities are sounding the alarm because they can no longer cope with the great immigration of poverty. In Duisburg alone, the number of Roma and Sinti increased by 13,000 to 19,000 within six years. Mayors of many cities speak of a ‘targeted migration into the social system.’”

The chairman of the Central Council of Sinti and Roma in Germany, Romani Rose, sharply criticised Link’s statements: “Racist stereotypes are being deliberately used here to produce scapegoats—even at the risk of violent attacks.” The SPD is aware of the dangerous consequences of its policy. According to the federal government, there were more than 700 attacks on refugees and refugee shelters in the first half of 2018 alone. According to the government, the offences include grievous bodily harm, aggravated arson, property damage, incitement, libel and violations of the weapons law. Altogether, 120 people had been injured in xenophobic attacks. Despite this, the Social Democrats are pushing ahead with their right-wing campaign.

Turkish lira rallies as Ankara increases tariffs on US imports

The lira has continued its recovery against the dollar on Wednesday as Turkey increased tariffs on US goods and introduced measures to restrict bets against the embattled currency. After rising as high as 5.9 to the dollar, the lira was up 3.8% to $6.16 shortly after 1pm on Wednesday. The currency’s climb followed retaliatory tariffs by Ankara against US goods including rice, coal and cars. The tariff increases followed Donald Trump’s decision last week to double US tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium, deepening Turkey’s economic crisis.

Turkey’s trade minister, Ruhsar Pekcan, said: “The United States is an important trading partner but it is not our only partner. We have other partners and alternative markets.”

In an effort to defend the lira, Turkey’s central bank tightened its rules on currency swaps and other foreign exchange transactions, limiting the ability of banks to supply lira to foreign financial companies. Peter O’Flanagan, the head of trading at the foreign exchange consultancy Clear Treasury, said: “Restrictions from the Turkish central bank limiting banks’ use of swap lines has had the desired effect on the lira.”

Denouncing 'Wanton Disregard for Congress and the American People,' Dems Call on Ajit Pai to Come Clean About False FCC Cyberattack

Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are demanding answers after Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai finally admitted last week that—as many cyber experts, digital rights advocates, and members of Congress had long suspected—the claim that the agency's public comment system was targeted by a cyberattack during last year's net neutrality debate was false. Pai's admission came just ahead of an FCC Inspector General's report which shattered allegations that the system was targeted by multiple "distributed denial-of-service" (DDoS) attacks last summer after television host John Oliver encouraged his viewers to comment in favor of preserving the regulations, which were repealed in a party-line vote in December. ...


The Democrats included a list of eight questions with the letter, and requested answers from Pai by Aug. 28. The chairman has not yet publicly responded to the letter, but he is expected to face similar scrutiny from Senate Democrats at an oversight committee hearing scheduled for Thursday. ...
Although the CRA resolution passed the Senate in May, so far only one House Republican has signed on to support the measure. Battle for the Net recently launched a scoreboard to let constituents know where their lawmakers stand on the matter.

Military Cover-Up? Hundreds of Migrants Feared Dead in Mass Grave at Arizona Bombing Range

'It Was a Set-Up': Internal Docs Show How US Agencies Arranged Marital Status Interviews with Immigrants, Then Arrested and Deported Them

Essentially entrapping undocumented immigrants trying to obtain legal residency, newly unsealed documents show that two federal agencies coordinated with one another in an effort to get people seeking U.S. green cards to show up at government offices where they were then detained, and in some cases, deported.


The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts filed a legal brief this week as part of a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), accusing ICE and Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) of entrapping the spouses of American citizens who were seeking legal residency. According to the Boston Globe, "E-mails and depositions of ICE agents obtained through the lawsuit show the federal agencies were working 'hand-in-hand' to bring people in for interviews so they could be arrested and deported."

The five plaintiffs in the ACLU's case include Lilian Calderon, a Guatemalan woman living in Rhode Island, who arrived at an immigration office for an appointment with CIS in January. Just after Calderon was interviewed about her marital status, ICE agents arrived to arrest her. Calderon, like at least 16 other people in New England who have been detained in the same way, had filed an I-130 petition, offered to undocumented immigrants who want legal status in the U.S. through their spouses. A judge stayed Calderon's deportation and she was released from jail after a month, but several people have been deported under the same circumstances.

"These were coordinated arrests," Matthew Segal, a lawyer with the ACLU, told the Boston Globe. "And the marriage interviews that our clients had to go through were in fact set-ups."

RBS bankers joked about destroying the US housing market

RBS bankers joked about destroying the US housing market after making millions by trading loans that staff described as “total fucking garbage”, according to transcripts released as part of a $4.9bn (£3.8bn) settlement with US prosecutors. Details of internal conversations at the bank emerged just weeks before the 10-year anniversary of the financial crisis, which saw RBS rescued with a £45bn bailout from the UK government. ...

In one exchange, as the extent of the contagion in the banking industry was becoming clear, RBS’ head trader received a call from a friend who said: “[I’m] sure your parents never imagine[d] they’d raise a son who [would] destroy the housing market in the richest nation on the planet.” He responded: “I take exception to the word ‘destroy.’ I am more comfortable with ‘severely damage.’” Another senior banker explained to a colleague that risky loans were the result of a broken mortgage industry that meant lenders were “raking in the money” and were incentivised to make as many loans as possible. Employees who might raise the alarm about the riskiness of such lending “don’t give a shit because they’re not getting paid”, he said. ...

By October 2007, as signs of stress began to show in the banking system, RBS’ chief credit officer wrote to colleagues expressing his true feelings about the burgeoning volume of subprime loans in the housing market. He said loans were being pushed by “every possible … style of scumbag”, adding that it was “like quasi-organised crime”.

“Nobody seems to care,” he added. ...

When the bank became concerned about the poor quality of loans and started imposing tighter due diligence, one senior banker complained, saying: “Oh, God. Does anyone want to make money around here any more?” RBS expected to make $20m from one deal that involved trading particularly risky loans, but faced resistance from the bank’s chief credit officer. A senior executive responded to the concerns by telling the bank’s head trader: “Please don’t fuckin’ blow this one. We need every dollar we can get our hands on.” ...

The transcripts were released by the DoJ as it confirmed the details of the settlement with the bank over its trading in RMBS. RBS said: “Under the terms of the settlement, RBS disputes the allegations but will not set out a legal defence, while the settlement does not constitute a judicial finding.”

More than 300 Pennsylvania priests abused 1,000 children over decades, report says

More than 300 “predator priests” were found to have committed sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, harming more than 1,000 children, according to a grand jury report released by the state supreme court on Tuesday. The near-900-page report is the result of one of the largest US investigations into sexual abuse in the Catholic church. In painful detail, it showcases how for decades one of the most powerful churches in the world hid the abuse and suffering of children.

“There have been other reports about child sex abuse within the Catholic church,” the report said. “But never on this scale. For many of us, those earlier stories happened someplace else, someplace away. Now we know the truth: it happened everywhere.” ...

Twenty-three grand jurors – including practicing Catholics – worked for two years to compile the report based on internal documents surrendered by the six dioceses it investigated and testimony from victims. More than a dozen priests appeared before the grand jury and “most of them admitted what they had done”, the report said. The grand jury wrote that they also consulted the FBI, which analyzed cover-ups to find what the grand jury described as “a playbook for concealing the truth”.

The grand jury said it was able to identify more than 1,000 mostly male child victims, but expected there were thousands more because of lost records and victims who have not come forward.



the horse race



Dishonest Daily Beast Russiagate Story Debunked By WhistleBlower. w/Bill Binney

‘Too Big to Fail’: Russia-gate One Year After VIPS Showed a Leak, Not a Hack

A year has passed since highly credentialed intelligence professionals produced the first hard evidence that allegations of mail theft and other crimes attributed to Russia rested on purposeful falsification and subterfuge. The initial reaction to these revelations—a firestorm of frantic denial—augured ill, and the time since has fulfilled one’s worst expectations. One year later we live within an institutionalized proscription of proven reality. Our discourse consists of a series of fence posts and taboos. By any detached measure, this lands us in deep, serious trouble. The sprawl of what we call “Russia-gate” now brings our republic and its institutions to a moment of great peril—the gravest since the McCarthy years and possibly since the Civil War. No, I do not consider this hyperbole.

Much has happened since Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity published its report on intrusions into the Democratic Party’s mail servers on Consortium News on July 24 last year. Parts of the intelligence apparatus—by no means all or even most of it—have issued official “assessments” of Russian culpability. Media have produced countless multi-part “investigations,” “special reports,” and what-have-yous that amount to an orgy of faulty syllogisms. Robert Mueller’s special investigation has issued two sets of indictments that, on scrutiny, prove as wanting in evidence as the notoriously flimsy intelligence “assessment” of January 6, 2017.

Indictments are not evidence and do not need to contain evidence. That is supposed to come out at trial, which is very unlikely to ever happen. Nevertheless, the corporate media has treated the indictments as convictions.

Numerous sets of sanctions against Russia, individual Russians, and Russian entities have been imposed on the basis of this great conjuring of assumption and presumption. The latest came last week, when the Trump administration announced measures in response to the alleged attempt to murder Sergei and Yulia Skripal, a former double agent and his daughter, in England last March. No evidence proving responsibility in the Skripal case has yet been produced. This amounts to our new standard. It prompted a reader with whom I am in regular contact to ask, “How far will we allow our government to escalate against others without proof of anything?”

This is a very good question.

[A discussion of new evidence follows this at the link. - js]





the evening greens


“Hothouse Earth” Co-Author: The Problem Is Neoliberal Economics

When journal papers about climate change make headlines, the news usually isn’t good. Last week was no exception, when the so-called hothouse earth paper, in which a team of interdisciplinary Earth systems scientists warned that the problem of climate change may be even worse than we thought, made its news cycle orbit. (The actual title of the paper, a commentary published in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences, is “Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene.”)

Coverage of the paper tended to focus on one of its more alarming claims, albeit one that isn’t new to climate researchers: that a series of interlocking dynamics on Earth — from melting sea ice to deforestation — can feed upon one another to accelerate warming and climate impacts once we pass a certain threshold of warming, even after humans have stopped pouring greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The best chance we have for staying below that catastrophic threshold is to cap warming at around 2 degrees Celsius, the target enshrined in the Paris Agreement.

That’s all correct and plenty daunting. Yet embedded within the paper is a finding that’s just as stunning: that none of this is inevitable, and one of the main barriers between us and a stable planet — one that isn’t actively hostile to human civilization over the long term — is our economic system. Asked what could be done to prevent a hothouse earth scenario, co-author Will Steffen told The Intercept that the “obvious thing we have to do is to get greenhouse gas emissions down as fast as we can. That means that has to be the primary target of policy and economics. You have got to get away from the so-called neoliberal economics.” Instead, he suggests something “more like wartime footing” to roll out renewable energy and dramatically reimagine sectors like transportation and agriculture “at very fast rates.”

In the lead-up to World War II, the government played a heavy hand in industry, essentially shifting the U.S. to a centrally planned economy, rather than leaving things like prices and procurement of key resources up to market forces. By the end of World War II, about a quarter of all manufacturing in the United States had been nationalized. And while governments around the world continue to intervene heavily in the private sector — including in the U.S. — those interventions tend now to be on behalf of corporations, be it through subsidies to fossil fuel companies or zoning laws that favor luxury real estate developers.

“We need to immediately stop deforestation of the Amazon rainforest and other tropical forests, and start reforesting them. That means a U-turn in terms of how we operate the world’s economic systems,” Steffen told me via Skype. ... For high-emitting countries like the U.S., Steffen says the first step to avoiding planetary apocalypse is basically self-evident: “absolutely no new fossil fuel developments. None. That means no new coal mines, no new oil wells, no new gas fields, no new unconventional gas fracking. Nothing new. Second, you need to have a rapid phase-out plan for existing fossil fuels,” starting with coal, he says.

Think 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 Were Hot? New Study Warns Next Five Years Won't Be Any Better

With 2018 on track to become the fourth hottest year on record—surpassed in temperature only by 2015, 2016, and 2017—scientists warned in an alarming paper released on Tuesday that the next five years will likely be "anomalously warm," a sign that extreme weather events currently wreaking havoc in the United States and across the globe could become even more intense in the very near future.

Published in the journal Nature Communications, the new analysis predicts that 2018 to 2022 will be a "warmer than normal period" that "will temporarily reinforce the long-term global warming trend."

"The coming warm period is associated with an increased likelihood of intense to extreme temperatures," the researchers add. In addition to predicting that the planet's overall temperature will likely be "anomalously warm" over the next five years, the scientists also found that Earth's oceans could see "dramatic" temperature rises as well due to possible extreme heat events.

In addition to predicting that the planet's overall temperature will likely be "anomalously warm" over the next five years, the scientists also found that Earth's oceans could see "dramatic" temperature rises as well due to possible extreme heat events. Making matters worse, the Trump administration—which is currently engaged in a relentless effort to tear down even the most basic environmental protections and sabotage global efforts to combat the climate crisis—simply rejects climate science outright and has attempted to blame the wildfires currently devastating California on "radical environmentalists."



Also of Interest

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

Police Unions’ Opposition to Prison Reform Is About More Than Jobs — It’s About Racism

Progressives Ask Why So Many Unions Seem Anti-Progressive

How heat became a national US problem

Freedom Rider: The United States Destroys Venezuela’s Economy

Why I’m Not Worked Up About “Fake News” And Why I Am

Space force: your logos mock Trump's new frontier


A Little Night Music


John Lee Williamson - You´ve Been Foolin Round Downstairs

John Lee Williamson - Tell Me, Baby

John Lee Williamson - Sugar Mama Blues

John Lee Williamson - Better Cut That Out

John Lee Williamson - Sonny Boy's Cold Chills

John Lee Williamson - Shake The Boogie

John Lee "Sonny Boy" Williamson - Hoodoo Hoodoo

John Lee Williamson - Welfare Store Blues

John Lee Williamson - She Don't Love Me That Way



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Azazello's picture

especially this one and this one. I know they're a week old, but I don't usually check that site so thank you for bringing them to my attention.
Here's Dore/Binney Part 3:

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11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

heh, bar is on my "check periodically" list, and when i looked at it yesterday, i saw that there was way too much good material that had been posted since the last time i looked to fit into one eb. a visit to their site this week would turn up even more good stuff than i've posted here.

thanks for the video, have a great evening!

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8 users have voted.

obamacare.jpg

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13 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@gjohnsit

applied when the ACA was created has been reversed. Congress voted to remove the tax and of course it passed with the majority of both parties voting for the bill. This is how the Resistance continues Assisting the Trump administration. I think that the only time that the democrats actually did some resistance was when the republicans voted to demolish the ACA. Other than that enough of them have voted with the republicans for the legislation to pass.

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13 users have voted.

Self-censorship actually silences exponentially more anti-establishment opinions. For every one voice you crack down on overtly, a thousand more silence themselves out of self-preservation

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@snoopydawg

especially Franken and Klobuchar. Here's a piece about the nonbinding budget amendment that was passed in 2013.

Matthew Arnold

March 22, 2013

Senate vote puts ACA's device tax in doubt

Among the device industry's champions in the Senate have been Minnesota's Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, both Democrats. Minnesota is home to Medtronic and St. Jude Medical, among other device makers.

An overwhelming Senate majority voted to repeal the device tax as a unified Republican minority was joined by a majority of Democrats, many representing states that are home to device firms.

Because the budget amendment they passed is nonbinding and Senate leadership remains in favor of the tax, nothing will come of it immediately, but in marking the law's vulnerability, the 79-20 vote is a big win for the device industry.

“The medical device industry has created tens of thousands of good-paying jobs in Minnesota and 400,000 nationwide and helps save countless lives every year," said Franken in a February statement. "I've fought against this tax since it was proposed. And I am cosponsoring this legislation to repeal the medical device tax so we can ensure that this important industry continues to create jobs and produce life-saving devices. I will fight to get this bill passed and to find a bipartisan offset to replace the revenue from the tax."

Blue Onyx


"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."
~~Lao Tzu

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7 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

heh, i guess obama will forever be associated with a plan that failed spectacularly because of his inability to overcome his neoliberal, corporatist obsessions. of course democrats will forever blame its failure on republicans.

what a bunch of maroons.

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13 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Any criticism of his tenure is met with "he could have accomplished much more if the republicans hadn't blocked every legislation he wanted to pass."

It's just unbelievable how many people believe that. But then they also thought that Hillary was the most qualified candidate in the history of the country.

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3 users have voted.

Self-censorship actually silences exponentially more anti-establishment opinions. For every one voice you crack down on overtly, a thousand more silence themselves out of self-preservation

lotlizard's picture

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3 users have voted.

been there, done that

Och-Ziff Capital Management’s investors withdrew $418 million from its hedge funds in the second quarter. Total inflow of assets under management, however, were $1.2 billion, its largest increase in assets in four years. The firm’s hot product: Collateralized loan obligations — a derivative debt investment that invests in leveraged loans and is a cousin of the type of funds that blew up in the housing bubble.
...
And there does seem to be some tell-tale signs of a bubble in CLOs, like when former critics change sides. Earlier this year, Morningstar Inc. warned that CLO managers’ push to boost returns had led to weaker deal structures. This week, those same researchers said many lower-rated CLOs may in fact be less risky then their BBB or BB grades imply.
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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

those wall streeters have a nearly endless supply of alphabet-soup inventions, all of which are capable of taking down the economy. what a blessing they are!

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7 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

So much good stuff just doesn't bubble up to the top of my playlists very often.

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7 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 --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

one of my best inventions when i was a deejay was the blues calendar, which allowed me to make sure that i played all of the classic blues artists at least once in the course of a year. on the eb, the cycle is a good bit longer than a single year (since there are so many artists to cover, but it's the same idea.

have a great evening!

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Good question. I hope that Binney knows that he isn't alone.

Am I the only one who sees a weird and worrisome gap between what we are intent on believing—as against thinking or knowing—and the consequences of these beliefs?

I sure hope that it doesn't take 20-30 years for the truth about Russia Gate comes out. I want everyone who believes in it to see how they were manipulated and brainwashed into believing it. But they still have to take responsibility for their willingness to believing it when they refused to look at the evidence against it or their telling people that tried to explain the truth to them that they were Putin lovers, Russian trolls and other insults. I especially want to see what Rachel does when the truth is exposed. How will she tell her fans that she 'got it wrong'?

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14 users have voted.

Self-censorship actually silences exponentially more anti-establishment opinions. For every one voice you crack down on overtly, a thousand more silence themselves out of self-preservation

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

I want everyone who believes in it to see how they were manipulated and brainwashed into believing it.

heh, me too, but i suspect that it won't happen.

how many of the dead-ender neocons have been meaningfully held to account for their lies, misrepresentations and general idiocy?

how many of those f@ckers are still insisting whenever they can get in front of a teevee camera or a media interviewer of any sort that they were absolutely correct?

how many regular consumers of fox news, flush rimshot or any of a number of other right-wing talkers will admit that they were duped?

no, the lies will only get louder. just because rachel maddow is a corporatist liberal and liberals like to say that they are the reality-based community doesn't mean that they will act any differently than their right-wing corporatist counterparts.

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10 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

RX benefits.

Hey, Joe & Gang! Absolutely pooped due to long road trip, so this will be fairly short and sweet.

Wink

The other evening, while searching for info on the Alex Azar proposed 'rule'--regarding merging/consolidating Medicare Part B RX benefit into the private (retail) Part D plans--I stumbled on several articles about 'O' planning/trying to do the same. Too tired to elaborate, so, I'll just furnish a link/excerpt for now.

Obama plan to overhaul Medicare Part B is unlikely to get derailed

By ED SILVERMAN @Pharmalot MAY 17, 2016

Wall Street analysts.

At issue is an attempt by the administration to encourage greater use of lower-cost, but equally effective, medicines covered by the Part B program, which pays for injectable and infused drugs for the elderly. . . .

. . . But ever since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services unveiled its proposal two months ago, there has been a rising backlash from some lawmakers, physicians, patient groups and drug companies, which argue that the initiative will ultimately harm patients and raise costs.

The proposal has its supporters, too. More than two dozen consumer groups, unions and insurers, including AARP and the Medicare Rights Center, wrote to CMS backing the proposal. And a dozen Democratic senators sent CMS a letter saying the CMS plan is right to emphasize medicines based on value and outcomes, rather than treatments that provide doctors with the largest financial incentives. However, they also asked for some modifications.

For those who don't take time to read this piece, or follow the link to the Dem Party lawmakers' letter in support of slashing Part B RX benefits, below is the list of Dems who signed the letter,

Warren
Franken (retired)
Baldwin
Reed
Klobuchar
Markey
Merkley
C. Murphy
Hirono
Mikulski (retired)
Durbin

Whew! With 'friends' like these, who need enemies?

Dash 1

If I can get this Tweet to post--think I have the hang of it, now--this is my reply to a Kaiser VP, Tricia Neuman, regarding the DT Administration's toxic proposal to merge Part B drugs with the Part D plans. Man, Neuman puts it out there, like I can only aspire & struggle to do!

Wink

Just found out that we'll likely be in the midst of some pretty severe storms tomorrow, so, fingers crossed! Almost forgot, I've got a photo of hail that I took several weeks ago with a crummy cell phone--dime to almost quarter size! If I can figure out how to transfer it from a cell phone to a laptop, I'll post it.

Everyone have a nice evening, and stay cool!

Bye

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

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15 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

of one of the LCC Comfort Dogs playing Uno that I thought was adorable. So, here you go,

'Uno' LLC Comfort Dog.JPG

Looks like a young'un to me. Whatever, he's/she's pretty!

Biggrin

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

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12 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

janis b's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uno_(card_game)

We loved that game. It's the perfect game for kids, dogs and adults!

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7 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@janis b

about the barbershop--that's interesting. Mr M and I played Uno and Hearts on a weekly basis with several couples many, many moons ago--including while we were in Alaska. Can't remember 'how' to play those card games, but recall that we always had a great time.

Wink

Speaking of 'Uno'--here's one of my favorite ones,

Uno With Ribbons.JPG

Uno is Westminster’s Best in Show (February 13, 2008)

Have a nice evening!

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

up
6 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

janis b's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

I can imagine that card games were a welcome activity during the long winter evenings in Alaska.

Numero Uno is molto bello ; ).

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4 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@janis b

Blue Onyx

up
2 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

snoopydawg's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

Did you know that they are born black and white and then their brown comes in later? I did not know that so imagine my surprise when Dusty Dawg had her first litter of puppies when the first one popped out.

IMG_2467.JPG

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4 users have voted.

Self-censorship actually silences exponentially more anti-establishment opinions. For every one voice you crack down on overtly, a thousand more silence themselves out of self-preservation

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@snoopydawg

Blue Onyx


"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

up
1 user has voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

well of course the democrats are in favor of killing off the surplus population of "useless eaters" just like the republicans. they work for the same dark corporate overlords.

oops, gotta go, i've got a call waiting from a charles dickens on the other line. Smile

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9 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Unabashed Liberal @Unabashed Liberal

to article about 'O' planning to 'reform' Medicare Part B. Pretty much the same plan that's currently being considered--a value-based payment model. (Which is why the Part B drugs will be merged into the Part D plans, and drug prices negotiated with PBMs.)

Obama plan to overhaul Medicare Part B is unlikely to get derailed

Note that AARP and some of their so-called progressive cronies supported the reform, when proposed by a Dem Party Prez.

BTW, there's a link in the piece to the Dem lawmaker letter which I referenced.

(Edited: Included link--maybe third time's the charm.)

Mollie


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."--Lao Tzu
up
7 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

karl pearson's picture

If the Roman Catholic church were any other entity, it would be out of business.

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11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@karl pearson

i find it surprising that people look to churches (the catholic church is not alone in its problems of despicable conduct of leaders) for moral guidance.

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8 users have voted.

@joe shikspack he was skeptical of priests, pastors, and anyone who dealt with kids, such at volunteers at little league baseball, church kids choir, or kids church camp. Told me that is where pedophiles are most likely to be.
And yet he was entrenched in the biggest Methodist Church because votes.
That is how it works.

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6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

when the pope said that even if a man was HIV positive he still couldn't wear a condom. How insane and asinine was that?

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2 users have voted.

Self-censorship actually silences exponentially more anti-establishment opinions. For every one voice you crack down on overtly, a thousand more silence themselves out of self-preservation

enhydra lutris's picture

@karl pearson

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6 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

The Russia obsessive-compulsive personality disorder in the American media is in need of treatment at the your next neighborhood psychiatric ward

Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder is a personality disorder characterized by a general pattern of concern with orderliness, perfectionism, excessive attention to details, mental and interpersonal control, and a need for control over one's environment, at the expense of flexibility, openness to experience, and efficiency

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8 users have voted.