The Evening Blues - 11-8-18



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Amos "Bumble Bee Slim" Easton



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features Piedmont blues singer and guitarist Amos "Bumble Bee Slim" Easton. Enjoy!



Amos Easton (Bumble Bee Slim) - I Keep On Drinkin'

“People will continue to commit atrocities as long as they believe in absurdities.”

-- Voltaire


News and Opinion


The siege of Hodeidah: Washington doubles down on its war crime in Yemen

One of the bloodiest events in what constitutes the world’s largest ongoing war crime is beginning to unfold in Hodeidah, the Red Sea port that serves as the principal lifeline for food, fuel and medicine upon which at least 70 percent of Yemen’s impoverished and starving population depend for survival. The Saudi-led coalition that has waged a devastating war against Yemen’s population for the past three and a half years reports that it has mobilized some 30,000 troops to surround the city. These include Emirati and Sudanese regulars, Al Qaeda militiamen and Yemeni mercenaries, all being massed on Hodeidah’s outskirts.

The city is being subjected to non-stop bombardment from both the air and sea, with the aid group Save the Children reporting that its staff counted some 100 airstrikes just over the weekend, a five-fold increase compared to the first week in October. ...

That the renewed siege has the blessing of Washington is indisputable. The massing of troops, the naval blockade and the endless bombing would all be impossible without the close collaboration of the Pentagon, which supplies aerial refueling for Saudi bombers, naval support for the stranglehold over access to Hodeidah from the sea and even intelligence assistance for selecting targets in the port city.

Yet the escalation of the siege comes just one week after extensive reports in the US media of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis calling for a “ceasefire” in Yemen and indicating a 30-day deadline for the resumption of peace talks. Even as the siege of Hodeidah was building, the New York Times published a hypocritical November 5 editorial titled “End Yemen’s Agony”, praising Pompeo and Mattis for having “urged all sides to stop the killing” and proclaiming that “the secretaries have taken a first step.” Events on the ground make it abundantly clear that this is all nonsense, a cover-up for continuing and intensifying slaughter that is reaching a near-genocidal scale.

Urging “all sides to stop the killing,” as if the US-backed Saudi-led coalition and its victims are equally responsible for the mass murder in Yemen, is designed only to create an alibi for war crimes.

From an interview with Senator Chris Murphy in Foreign Policy:

‘There Is an American Imprint on Every Single Civilian Death Inside Yemen’

FP: How much responsibility does the United States bear for the humanitarian disaster in Yemen?

CM: I think there is an American imprint on every single civilian death inside Yemen. We sell them the bombs, we help them with the targeting, we fuel their planes in mid-air, and we give them moral cover. So I don’t think there is any way around complete American culpability for the humanitarian nightmare that is happening there.

We also have made no meaningful effort at all to try to find a path to peace. The Trump administration has been totally AWOL on the political process. They have outsourced it to the U.N., and there is no sign that the U.N. is making any progress. It stands to reason the Saudis will never move until the United States commands them to move.

So, yes, I think we are very much responsible for every terrible thing that’s happened inside Yemen today. I’m not saying if we pulled our military support, peace would blossom, but the first step to getting the parties to the table is for the Saudis to feel like they don’t have a blank check from the United States.

FP: Secretary of Defense James Mattis says the support we provide to the Saudi-led war helps them reduce the number of civilian casualties. What is your response?

CM: It’s just BS. The Saudis are hitting civilian targets on purpose. They are blatantly ignoring the no-strike lists that we give them. Mattis works for Donald Trump, he has to espouse the position of this administration, and this administration’s position is “never question the Saudis about anything.” I worry that there are financial ties between the Trumps and the Saudi royal family. I don’t think that the civil servants who work on this problem every day see it the same way that Trump and his cabinet do.

At some point, you have to actually believe what you see. The number of civilian targets that are being hit are increasing, not decreasing, and the coalition is admitting to hitting civilian targets.

'The violence is unbearable': medics in Yemen plead for help

Aid agencies and medical staff on the ground in Hodeidah have begged the international community to intervene to stop the violence in the besieged Yemeni city as coalition and Houthi rebel forces struggle to gain the upper hand ahead of a planned ceasefire at the end of the month.

“The violence is unbearable, I cannot tell you. We’re surrounded by strikes from the air, sea and land,” said Wafa Abdullah Saleh, a nurse at the barely functioning al-Olafi hospital in the Houthi-controlled city centre.

“The hospital treats the hungry and people injured in airstrikes day in and day out, but there is a serious shortage of medicine,” she said. “Even if we try our hardest we cannot treat patients because we lack the necessities for basic operations.”

Worth a full read:

Midterm Elections: Corporate Democrats Versus the Monster They Empowered

Tuesday’s midterm elections put Democrats back in control of the U.S. House while strengthening the Republican hold on the Senate. The big picture is that, two years after Donald Trump replaced the GOP’s old arsenal of racial code words and dog whistles with blaring white supremacist bullhorns, majorities of U.S. whites are firmly committed to an openly white nationalist political program under the leadership of a billionaire huckster who speaks their vile language. Although the GOP remains a minority party -- Democrats outpolled them in House races by 7 to 9 percent – white supremacists remain the largest bloc in the U.S. political spectrum. The 2018 midterms were a test, not of insurgent left-leaning Democrats -- a disorganized and confused faction that was kept largely in check by the party’s corporate leadership -- but of whether Donald Trump could continue to hold majorities of white Americans in thrall to his non-stop, red-meat racist political theater.

He could, and did, confirming the potency of the overt white supremacist strategy, which has succeeded in proving both the intransigence and coherence of racist white majorities, even as most of the ruling class and its media mounted an unprecedented offensive to restore the previous corporate political consensus: austerity and war cloaked in a façade of “diversity.” Trump made “me feel like an American again,” said a white West Virginia hardware store worker quoted by the New York Times. The man felt restored in the belief that he still lives in a white man’s country.

This was a rematch of the contest that corporate Democrats wished for and thought would allow them to win decisively back in 2016. Democratic leaders sought to set the terms of electoral battle as a conflict between “deplorables,” as Hillary Clinton described white supremacist voters, and the rest of the electorate, the great bulk of whom the corporate Democrats believed could be corralled into Hillary’s Big Tent, where big city and Deep South Black politicians, Rio Grand valley and East L.A. Hispanics, suburban white “moderates,” Silicon Valley and Wall Street oligarchs, scheming CIA operatives and warmongering generals would find common cause against the Orange Menace. Clinton campaign chief John Podesta urged his troops and their friends in media to do everything possible to boost Donald Trump’s bid for the Republican nomination, in the certainty that Clinton would beat him in a landslide -- as incontrovertibly documented in the emails that were pilfered and delivered (not hacked) to Wikileaks (not the Russians) and sent to the media. By March of 2016, corporate media – most glaringly CNN, but including the whole herd -- had already given Trump’s GOP takeover gambit $2 billion in free media, amounting to more exposure than all the other candidates from both corporate parties, combined, including Clinton. By end the of the general election campaign, corporate media had bestowed a total of $5 billion in free media on Donald Trump -- their criminally cynical contribution to the solidification and consolidation of the white supremacist bloc in the United States.

Trump is not their Frankenstein, but the Democrats and their media supplied most of the electricity that energized the monster. ... This is the big picture -- much of the rest of the midterm results is clutter. The white supremacist bloc flexes its muscles and fingers its triggers. The racist horde -- a majority of whites – feels a renewed entitlement to primacy in the national life. Corporate Democrats, whose bungled schemes led us to this juncture, forge ahead with the same strategy as in 2016.

Billionaires, corporate money swing toward Democrats

The 2018 midterms have been the most expensive congressional elections in US history, with an estimated $5.2 billion raised and spent by Election Day, according to data collected and reported by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). The total not only rose 35 percent over the previous midterm record in 2014, it exceeds the money spent on congressional races during the 2016 presidential election year. Significantly, the Democratic Party and affiliated political action committees raked in the lion’s share of the record fundraising. Of the $4.7 billion spent by the latest reporting period, Democrats accounted for $2.5 billion, compared to $2.2 billion for Republican candidates and committees. Republicans have traditionally enjoyed a massive fundraising edge. ...

Overall, spending by the Democratic Party and associated groups was projected by the CRP to rise 44 percent over 2014, while the Republican Party and associated groups boosted their spending by only 21 percent.

Despite the claims that small-dollar donors were the driving force in the Democratic fundraising advantage, on the model of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign in 2016, donations of under $200 accounted for only 16 percent of the funds raised by House candidates and 27 percent of the money raised by Senate candidates—with the latter figure swelled mainly by the small-donor fundraising for Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who raised a colossal $70 million for his campaign, more than double the cost of a typical presidential campaign 30 years ago.

Among the most significant changes in big-money fundraising is the shift by Wall Street, with the securities and investment sector raising its spending by $100 million compared to 2014 and favoring Democratic congressional candidates over Republicans by 52 percent to 46 percent. This is the first time Wall Street has favored congressional Democrats since 2006, the last time the Democratic Party won control of the House of Representatives. Finance also backed the Democratic Party in 2008, by a margin of 58 percent to 42 percent, but the bulk of that funding went to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. In 2010, Wall Street swung its funding back to the Republicans, who raked in 69 percent of the funds from stockbrokers and hedge fund bosses.

Trump threatens 'warlike' response if Democratic House investigates him

Donald Trump has threatened a “war-like” response if his political opponents investigate him after a bruising night at the polls in which he lost control of a crucial arm of the US government. ...

The result hands Democrats powers to block Trump’s legislative agenda, for example his wall on the Mexican border, and to seek his long-concealed tax returns, investigate possible conflicts of interest in his business empire and dig into any evidence of collusion between him and Russia in the 2016 election. They can demand documents and issue subpoenas if needed.

At a combative, rambling and often wild press conference on Wednesday, Trump offered an olive branch for “a beautiful bipartisan-type situation” but also issued a warning. “Now we have a much easier path because the Democrats will come to us with a plan for infrastructure, a plan for health care, a plan for whatever they’re looking at, and we’ll negotiate,” he said.

But if Democrats launch investigations against him, Trump warned, his attitude will be different. “If they do that, then it’s just – all it is is a warlike posture.”

He added: “They can play that game, but we can play it better, because we have a thing called the United States Senate and a lot of questionable things were done between leaks of classified information and many other elements that should not have taken place. I could see it being extremely good for me politically because I think I’m better at that game than they are, actually, but we’ll find out.”

Trump Fires AG Sessions, Installs New Loyalist Whitaker to Oversee Mueller Probe

House Democrats already want to go after Trump for firing Sessions

House Democrats are already threatening an investigation into Jeff Sessions’ firing and the president’s motives — as it could derail the special counsel probe into Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

“It is impossible to read Attorney General Sessions’ firing as anything other than another blatant attempt by @realDonaldTrump to undermine & end Special Counsel [Robert] Mueller’s investigation,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader who is poised to become the House Speaker after Democrats swept the chamber in Tuesday’s election, wrote on Twitter.

Sessions submitted his resignation letter to the president Wednesday afternoon, after months of indications he’d be fired after the midterms. The AG recused himself in March 2017 from control of the special counsel investigation because of his contacts with Russia as part of Trump’s campaign, handing that authority to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Trump's been openly bitter about the recusal and critical of Sessions ever since. ...

Mueller has already been looking into Trump’s statements about removing Sessions to determine whether they fit a pattern of obstructing justice, according to the Washington Post.


Jeff Sessions Replaced by Aide Who Said Mueller Should Be Barred From Probing Trump Finances

Donald Trump moved to impede the Russia investigation on Wednesday by replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions with a temporary successor, Matthew Whitaker, who argued last year that Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be barred from investigating the president’s finances.

By naming Whitaker, who has been serving as Sessions’s chief of staff, as the acting attorney general, Trump effectively appointed the former federal prosecutor to oversee the investigation into his 2016 campaign’s contacts with Russia, taking that responsibility away from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller after Sessions had recused himself from the matter.

Before he joined the Justice Department, Whitaker had argued last year in his role as a CNN legal analyst that the Mueller investigation needed to be reined in, writing in an opinion piece that “investigating Donald Trump’s finances or his family’s finances falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign and allegations that the campaign coordinated with the Russian government or anyone else. That goes beyond the scope of the appointment of the special counsel.”

“The Trump Organization’s business dealings are plainly not within the scope of the investigation, nor should they be,” Whitaker added in that August 6, 2017, op-ed. Referring to reports at the time that the special counsel probe had widened to focus on possible financial crimes, unconnected to the 2016 election, Whitaker wrote that it was time for the Justice Department “to order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation.” ...

Several Democratic senators, including Chris Coons of Delaware and Kamala Harris of a California, a possible contender for her party’s 2020 presidential nomination, called for Whitaker to recuse himself from oversight of the Mueller investigation.

'A Red Line Crossed': Nationwide Protests Declared for Thursday at 5PM After Jeff Sessions Fired

Progressive organizations have announced coordinated protests to take place in cities and communities nationwide on Thursday, November 8th at 5 PM (local time) in the wake of President Donald Trump's firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Right after Trump forced Sessions to resign, the White House announced that Matthew Whitaker—a DOJ official who has shown open hostility to the probe by Special Counsel Robert Mueller—would now serve as acting AG and be put in charge of the ongoing investigation.

"Trump just put someone who has openly trashed Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation in charge of it," Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, one of the advocacy groups behind the rapid-response demonstrations, explained in an emergency email Wednesday evening. "Trump thought that by waiting until after the polls closed on Election Day, our voices would be silent. He was wrong."

Anna Galland, executive director for MoveOn.org, said: "This is a red line crossed, an attack on rule of law."

Macron criticised over Petain comment: "It's a tale of two Petains"

Macron's plan to pay tribute to Nazi collaborator Pétain stirs anger

The French president has said it is “legitimate” to pay tribute to Marshal Philippe Pétain, who led the French army to victory in the first world war but decades later collaborated with Nazi Germany. Emmanuel Macron’s plan to honour Pétain alongside seven other French marshals who directed military campaigns during the first world war, which ended 100 years ago on 11 November, has unleashed criticism from Jewish groups, political opponents and on social media. ...

Renowned as a “soldier’s soldier”, Pétain was promoted to commander-in-chief of the French armies in mid-1917, after victory at Verdun, rebuilding troop morale after a series of mutinies and other setbacks. ... Two decades later, with the country poised to fall to German forces in the second world war, Pétain was appointed prime minister of France. His administration, based in the unoccupied part of the country known as Vichy France, collaborated with the Nazis and their deportation and extermination of the Jews.

After the war, Pétain was sentenced to death for treason, though President Charles de Gaulle, a longtime admirer of Pétain, reduced the punishment to life in prison.

“It is shocking that France can pay tribute to a man deemed unworthy of being French in a trial held in the name of the people,” said Francis Kalifat, the president of Crif, the body that represents France’s 400,000 Jews.

Keiser Report: American Plutocracy

Alabama and West Virginia no longer support the right to an abortion

West Virginia and Alabama are getting ready for a future where abortion is no longer legal nationwide in the United States.

On Tuesday, voters in each state passed ballot measures that stripped the state’s constitution of protections for abortion. Those measures plan for a United States where Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion across the country, has been overturned and where states have more control over whether and how to regulate abortion access — including banning the procedure entirely.

With newly installed Justice Brett Kavanaugh weighting the Supreme Court toward conservatism, abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion activists alike say that future is closer than ever.

Deb Haaland, One of Nation’s First Native Congresswomen, Calls for Probe of Missing Indigenous Women

Ruth Bader Ginsburg fell in her office and broke 3 ribs

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 85, has been hospitalized after falling and breaking three ribs in her Supreme Court office Wednesday night. The Supreme Court released a statement confirming Ginsburg’s fall, the second time the 85-year-old justice has fallen and broken her ribs in six years.

"She went home, but after experiencing discomfort overnight, went to George Washington University Hospital early this morning," the statement said. "Tests showed that she fractured three ribs on her left side and she was admitted for observation and treatment."

Ginsburg’s health has been a matter of intense speculation, since she is the oldest member of the court by five years and is one of its four sitting liberal justices. ... Ginsburg has signaled that she wants to remain on the court for at least as long as Trump is president. The judge has hired law clerks through at least 2020, when Trump is up for re-election.



the horse race



History in the Making as Maine's New Ranked Choice Voting Likely to Decide Key Congressional Race

Maine is on the verge of making history as it appears the state's new ranked choice voting system—in use this year for the first time—will be needed in order to determine the ultimate winner of a too-close-to-call race for the U.S. House.

As of Wednesday afternoon, incumbent Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) had exactly 46 percent of the vote while Democratic challenger Jared Golden held 45.9 percent. Eighty-one percent of voting precincts had reported their results. Two independents, Tiffany Bond and William Hoar, had captured 5.7 and 2.4 percent of the vote respectively.

Under the state's ranked choice voting (RCV) system, which voters approved for state-wide elections by referendum in June, Mainers are able to rank congressional candidates in order of preference. A candidate must capture at least 50 percent of the vote for a race to be called for him or her. With neither Poliquin nor Golden appearing to have gathered a decisive majority of votes, votes for Bond and Hoar will likely be distributed to those voters' second and third choices until either the Republican or Democrat has 50 percent.

The use of RCV to elect a national candidate will ensure for the first time that voters in the 2nd Congressional District are represented fairly, advocates say, as whoever wins the instant run-off election will have been at least the second or third choice of most voters.

Massive Voter Suppression Could Be Deciding Factor in Georgia Governor’s Race

Brian Kemp finally resigned as Georgia secretary of state, but he’s not governor yet

The ballots are still being counted in the closely-watched Georgia governor’s race, but Republican Brian Kemp has claimed victory over Democrat Stacey Abrams, and on Thursday he resigned from his current job as secretary of state to take the job he doesn’t yet have.

Currently, Tuesday’s election results are too close to call, although Kemp has already claimed victory. Abrams, who would be the country’s first black female governor, has refused to concede.

In a news conference announcing Kemp’s resignation, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal referred to Kemp as “governor-elect.” Election officials are still counting provisional and absentee ballots, although Kemp is slightly ahead with 50.3 percent of the vote. If his share of the vote drops below 50 percent, it will trigger a runoff election for Dec. 4.

Pelosi Promises Dems Will Do Absolutely Nothing

Florida governor's race faces recount as Senate race gets even tighter

The Florida governor’s race is heading to a machine recount and the U.S. Senate race will face a lengthier manual recount after returns from Broward County on Thursday pushed Democrats Andrew Gillum and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson closer to their Republican opponents Ron DeSantis and Gov. Rick Scott. ...

Gillum trailed DeSantis by less than 39,000 votes, or 0.47 percentage points. A recount is automatically triggered if the margin drops below 0.5 points.

In the Senate race, Nelson trailed Scott by about 17,000 votes, a margin of 0.22 points. A hand recount of ballots, longer and more thorough than a machine recount, is triggered if the margin falls below 0.25 points.

Gillum conceded to DeSantis on Tuesday night, and DeSantis was busy Wednesday announcing his transition staff in emails describing him as “governor-elect.” But unless Gillum formally declines a recount, it would go forward if it gets within the needed margin — and his campaign staff did not look like it would turn down the opportunity.

“On Tuesday night, the Gillum for Governor campaign operated with the best information available about the number of outstanding ballots left to count,” Gillum spokeswoman Johanna Cervone said in a statement. “Since that time, it has become clear there are many more uncounted ballots than was originally reported.”





the evening greens


Why won’t red tide go away? After Hurricane Michael, toxic algae has again spread

Just before Hurricane Michael made landfall last month, a ferocious red tide that had scoured Florida’s Gulf Coast for a year, depositing countless dead sea turtles, dolphin and other marine life on beaches before spreading to the Atlantic coast, had finally started to wane.

In most places, with the wet season winding down and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers easing up on releasing polluted water from Lake Okeechobee, the toxic algae that had become a key election year campaign issue had dropped to relatively low levels. Fish kills were down and so were the coughing fits among beach-goers.

But in the weeks following the storm, red tide that is already considered the worst in a decade has roared back.

On Monday, state wildlife officials logged high to medium levels along beaches from Clearwater to waters off Everglades City and in the Panhandle. Fish kills were reported in nine counties from the Panhandle around the tip of the state to the Space Coast. Along the Atlantic coast, levels capable of killing fish and causing respiratory distress remained along Cocoa Beach and in Martin County, but had dropped from Friday to Monday along other stretches of the Treasure Coast. ...

While the red tide bloom on the Atlantic Coast has been less intense, the high numbers are still worrisome, said Rosenstiel algae expert Larry Brand. Usually counts remain low because the algae are dispersed as they are carried hundreds of miles by the Florida Current. High numbers suggest the algae could be beginning to multiply as well. “The fact we’ve had high concentrations up there suggests it’s growing. It’s not just getting carried over, but it’s growing. It’s surviving off the nutrients coming off land,” he said.

With Democratic Majority, Climate Change Is Back on U.S. House Agenda

With their win of control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats will now have the numbers to put climate change issues back on the congressional agenda. But the Republicans reinforced their firewall against any legislative efforts in the Senate by gaining at least two new members with poor records on confronting the climate crisis. That bolsters the power of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to block any measures unfavorable to the fossil fuel industries. ...

Back in the majority on House committees, Democrats will at least be able to turn a spotlight on the problem by using hearings to bring public attention to communities pummeled by storms, droughts, floods and wildfires, and wielding subpoena power to investigate President Donald Trump's climate policy rollbacks and retreat from responsibility.

In all, it's a mixed message, and the midterm election results highlight the steep challenges that remain at a time when the world's scientists, and most national governments, are emphasizing the need for more rapid action on climate change.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in line to regain the House speakership, has promised to revive the select committee on climate change that the GOP eliminated when it seized control of the House in 2010. The purpose would be to "prepare the way with evidence" for energy conservation and other climate change mitigation legislation, Pelosi told The New York Times.

In 'Loud and Clear' Rebuke of Factory Farming, California Passes World's 'Strongest Animal Welfare Law'

In a clear rebuke of factory farming, California voters on Election Day passed the "ground-breaking" Proposition 12, which is being celebrated by some advocates as the world's "strongest animal welfare law for farmed animals in history."

Backed by 61 percent of voters, Proposition 12 establishes "minimum space requirements based on square feet for calves raised for veal, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens"—which includes chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, and guinea fowl—and and bans the sale of veal, pork, and eggs from livestock from other states that are confined in spaces deemed too small under California's standards.

The ballot measure—which builds on Proposition 2, passed by voters in 2008—has two rounds of new rules. By 2020, calves must have at least 43 square feet of usable floor space and hens at least 1 square foot. By 2022, breeding pigs and offspring must have at least 24 square feet of space and hens must be kept in indoor or outdoor cage-free housing systems based on the United Egg Producers' 2017 cage-free guidelines.

"California voters have sent a loud and clear message that they reject cruel cage confinement in the meat and egg industries," declared Kitty Block, acting president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. "Thanks to the dedication of thousands of volunteers and coalition partners who made this victory happen, millions of veal calves, mother pigs, and egg-laying hens will never know the misery of being locked in a tiny cage for the duration of their lives."


California wasn't the only state to adopt new animal rights rules on Election Day. Florida's Amendment 13—which aims to phase out greyhound racing by 2020—also passed after receiving support from 69 percent of voters across the state. The Committee to Protect Dogs, which backed the ban, called it "a knock-out blow to a cruel industry that has been hurting and killing dogs for nearly a century."



Also of Interest

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

This Isn’t the First Time White Supremacists Have Tried to Cancel Birthright Citizenship

Democrats Encouraged Military Veterans to Run in Midterms. The Results Were Mixed.

Ukraine-Russia Tensions Rise in Church Row

The Fossil Fuel Industry Spent $100 Million to Kill Green Ballot Measures in Three States — and Won


A Little Night Music


Bumble Bee Slim - Everybody's Fishing

Bumble Bee Slim - Greasy Greens

Memphis Minnie & Bumble Bee Slim - New Orleans Stop Time

Bumble Bee Slim - Ease Me Down

Bumble Bee Slim - Lemon Squeezing Blues

Bumble Bee Slim - Dumb Tricks Blues

Bumble Bee Slim - Step Child

Bumble Bee Slim - Fattening Frogs For Snakes

Bumble Bee Slim - No Woman No Nickel



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Comments

Am I the only one who just can’t get worked up over the Sessons firing? I have a hard time seeing him as some protector of the truth, regardless of why Trump fired him. I just can’t see how this changes the day much either way. Maybe someone can set me straight on that one.

And I’m also still processing the election. Seems to be a bit like a quantum physics problem as depending on who is telling it, there was or wasn’t a blue wave, it was or wasn’t a refuting of Trump who did or didn’t win, progressives did or didn’t make progress, and so on. Again, I’m just not seeing how things change much. This analysis is probably closest to what I think the story really is, but I think no one really understands what’s going on anymore: https://eand.co/did-america-just-save-itself-from-the-bad-guys-f8831f4214cc

I suppose I’m just more interested in the clock hitting five so I can go home and tear into my new Blind Blake cds.

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QMS's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter The media machine keeps ahead of the curve by implementing convenient half truths. And then changing the tune, non-stop. The old switcheroo. Keep em baffled and entertained. Gotta dig deep to find any truth in this opus gropus. Thanks Joe for digging!

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12 users have voted.

Question authority = civil disobedience

WindDancer13's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

The furor isn't really about Sessions being fired. It is about his replacement who has stated that the way to stop the Mueller investigation is to starve it by cutting funding and other such remarks.

I think analyst are going to point to favored positions for the time being as in trying to prove themselves right rather than observing outside of their own tunnel. It will take some time for the dust to settle to get a good grasp of what changes could mean. My favored position is that getting more progressives not beholding to corporate/bank power is a good thing, but we will all have to wait and see if that adds up to anything getting done.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

dystopian's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter I am amazed how uppity the resistance is about it. He is a drug war warrior, among a dozen horrendous policy positions he holds. Good riddance. Trying to play all as a 'he's trying to kill Russiagate' thing is idiotic as the McResistance is. Russiagate should have died a long time ago. There is no there there.

The replacement Aho thinks judges should have a more biblical view. So it won't play well in the long run either.

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

joe shikspack's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

i can't say that america is worse off for trump having sent jefferson beauregard packing.

it is unsurprising that the dems want to protect their phoney-baloney investigation, though. they certainly are able to make an enormous outrage noise when they want to.

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Azazello's picture

Why is everybody so down on Nancy ?
Turns out she was in Tucson last week.
She was campaigning for Ann Kirkpatrick. Ann doesn't live here. She lives in Flagstaff and was in Congress before, representing a different district, AZ-01. She was put on the DCCC's Red-to-Blue list and parachuted into Tucson to run for one of our seats, AZ-02, which she has apparently won.
So Nancy was down here to help out her old friend. Here's an interview from the Tucson Weekly: Yet She Persists
And here's the bottom line:

You've been at this for a long time. You've certainly heard the calls for new blood in Democratic leadership. Why do you—to coin a phrase—persist?

I would not have persisted if Hillary had won. I'm very proprietary about the Affordable Care Act. You may have noticed that. So, I knew it would've been protected with a woman at the table. From the standpoint of policy, I know my stuff. It enables me to be master legislator. I know how to win. I know the politics and part of that is just having a plan, having a vision for our country, having a plan on how to win, and that attracts the resources.
So, I'm a dazzling fundraiser.

Just like Jimmy said. Anybody who thinks corporate money comes with no strings attached is either a child or an imbecile.

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Azazello's picture

@Azazello

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snoopydawg's picture

@Azazello

Nancy hasn't said one word about climate change since the election. Just keeps repeating bipartisanship. But this isn't news. She did this same thing in 2006 when they ran on rolling back the Bush abuses and then she continued working with the republicans. Some people still think that the democrats are going to impeach Trump. This is not going to happen. Period. The democrats are just fine with the things that he is doing. And what happens if democrats find out that he cheated on his taxes? Will they try to impeach him for that and if not then why get them in the first place? To keep them from having to do anything else.

But I'm sure that people will "make the democrats do it" right? Just like they did with Obama. Oops. This didn't happen now did it?

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

snoopydawg's picture

@Azazello

Here's her victory speech that Jimmy discussed. Text from the BAR posted above.

This is the big picture -- much of the rest of the midterm results is clutter. The white supremacist bloc flexes its muscles and fingers its triggers. The racist horde -- a majority of whites – feels a renewed entitlement to primacy in the national life. Corporate Democrats, whose bungled schemes led us to this juncture, forge ahead with the same strategy as in 2016. Nancy Pelosi, who ordered the Congressional Black Caucus to downplay the crimes of Katrina the last time she was Speaker of the House, served up pablum and called it a victory speech:

“We will strive for bipartisanship, with fairness on all sides. We have a responsibility to find our common ground where we can, stand our ground where we can’t, but we must try. We’ll have a bipartisan marketplace of ideas that makes our democracy strong. A Democratic congress will work for solutions that bring us together, because we have all had enough of division. The American people want peace. They want results. They want us to work for positive results for their lives

.”

This doesn't make any more sense when reading it then hearing her say it.

Ford also says that the media gave Trump $5 billion in free advertising during the primary and general election.

Clinton campaign chief John Podesta urged his troops and their friends in media to do everything possible to boost Donald Trump’s bid for the Republican nomination, in the certainty that Clinton would beat him in a landslide -- as incontrovertibly documented in the emails that were pilfered and delivered (not hacked) to Wikileaks (not the Russians) and sent to the media.

You're right, Joe. Worth a full read.

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joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

oh yes, by golly, the democrats will work with white nationalists because that's what the people want.

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WindDancer13's picture

@Azazello

a plan to win is not equivalent to getting things done.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

Azazello's picture

@WindDancer13
and in a bipartisan way too. It's just that I'd rather not see those things done.

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joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

thanks for the interview with nancy t. rainmaker.

schmoozing corporate chieftains for cash is her only real skill. providing leadership to enact a policy agenda for the voters? not so much.

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WindDancer13's picture

May be a weird question here (but not irrelevant as it involves a political stance), but looking for online shopping alternatives and have no one else to ask.

I refuse to shop at Amazon anymore (although, I do still use their reviews when I am shopping), and I try to keep my shopping at WalMart to a bare minimum. In my area, I am lucky to have another option for WalMart. However, nothing in my area can provide the amount or types of electronic/computer related items that I am currently in need of.

I have been using two resources lately to do my current window-shopping: NewEgg and eBay. While both seem to provide the majority of items I am looking for, I would like to expand my shopping choices, especially in light of the fact that I have very little trust in eBay sellers.

I should note also that it appears that the NewEgg site is being throttled. I never used to have an issue with their pages at all, now they continually have problems with loading.

So what I am looking for is suggestions on other online stores that carry electronic and commuter items (but not limited to) that people trust.

Thank you!

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

QMS's picture

@WindDancer13 I quit amazon awhile back. Now use my browser (duck-duck) to find alternative distributors. A bit more time consuming, but if you dig deep enough, items can be found at about the same cost. I don't ebay or walmart either. Too easy / sleazy. Good luck.

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Question authority = civil disobedience

WindDancer13's picture

@QMS

I just recently started using Duck myself from a recommendation here. However, my search results usually point me to Amazon. I also realized even with duck, I am not getting results for NewEgg unless I type it into the search. That and the new loading problem I am having with NewEgg makes me wonder if the lack of net neutrality is limiting my shopping choices or my awareness of other choices.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

studentofearth's picture

@WindDancer13 as a first stop: cyberguys.com For computers I generally swing by the local Best Buy, never used their website.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

WindDancer13's picture

@studentofearth

Looks like cyberguys will be good for the little odds and ends. Unfortunately, they do not carry the things I am currently looking for, but bookmarked for the always needed odds and ends. Cables are the bane of my existence. = )

There is a local Best Buy here, but I rarely leave the house, but when I remember them I do check prices online. I do like that they price match though.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

ggersh's picture

Here's JFK

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11 users have voted.

In 2008 $27tril was created outta air, where did it go
not for infrastructure, not for schools, not for student
debt, not for universal healthcare, 8 mil foreclosed on.
Nope it went to those that committed the massive fraud

mimi's picture

@ggersh

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joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

heh, that fella could give a speech. too bad that the media got so used to cooperating with the government that they became the propaganda arm of the mic.

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snoopydawg's picture

There are photos of what Yemen children actually look like in replies to the tweet. They certainly don't look like the ones in this photo.

Yemen-bombing Saudi Arabia says it ‘stands with' suffering Yemeni children in govt poster

Who do you think cares about Yemeni children facing starvation amid the Saudi-led armed intervention? Rights groups, relief agencies? Saudi Arabia insists it’s them.
Three years into the Yemen war, Saudi Arabia, which spearheaded the 2015 military intervention, says it “stands” with Yemenis. “Your children – our children,” reads a really questionable poster released in a tweet by the ministry.

To support their claim, the post, bearing the 'We Stand with Yemen' hashtag, features smiling faces of children along with emblems of Saudi government agencies, such as Communication and Media Center and the Foreign Ministry itself.

The Saudi message may indeed be questioned by anyone following updates on the humanitarian crisis raging across Yemen. Famine had in fact become the face of that war, and aid agencies say children are among the most affected by the lack of food and healthcare.

Is it really a constitutional crisis if the investigation is based on a falsehood. I agree that Mueller should have to stick to the original charge that Trump colluded with Vlad to win the election. Unless he sees an obvious link to Russian money during his campaign then his financial information should be off limits. Let congress work on this and conclude this farce. It's taken enough time and money already.

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joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

sure, just let us cleanse your country of people from that other religious sect, install our dictator and then we can get about the business of creating smiling, happy children. pinky swear!

Is it really a constitutional crisis if the investigation is based on a falsehood.

there are some questions of process here that are worth sorting out. a president should not be able to shut down an investigation of criminal wrongdoing in his administration, but at the same time, such an investigation should not be a platform for a partisan fishing expedition.

in an actual democratic republic, where people actually care about the constitution, after the starr/clinton debacle there would have been some discussion of process followed by the creation of statutes ...

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snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Rosenstein gave Mueller too much leeway on investigating Trump and everyone involved with his campaign. But from what the republicans have discovered it looks like the FBI did try to set people up many times. Papodopolous only knew that 'Russia had Hillary's emails' because he was told that by someone working with the FBI. Milfud IIRC.

The Trump tower meeting would never have happened if the Obama justice department hadn't straightened out the lady lawyer's passport. And trying to get 'dirt' on ones opponent is not illegal.

And Trump did not ask Russia to hack the DNC computers. He said that if they find her deleted missing emails to let us know. That the republicans know all that means that Mueller knows it too as well as the democrats and that's why I want Mueller to wrap it up ASAP. But if he says that he has found evidence that Trump colluded with Vlad I'm going to call him a liar. This whole thing was cooked up by Hillary and Podesta after they found out that Wikileaks was going to release their emails. BTW. Funny isn't it that Podesta wasn't charged for doing the same things that Manafort did. Yep. Very funny.

Nea

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Bollox Ref's picture

and all I got was this lousy Nancy Pelosi t-shirt.

If she's the face of the Demothings for the next two years, expect 2020 to be less than impressive. Even cardinals have their voting privileges retired.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

it seems to me that the greatest danger that pelosi and the democrats present at this point is that they will engage in a long-running mudfight with trump that settles nothing and disgusts many of the people that were encouraged to get active and try to make a difference.

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dystopian's picture

Firing a radical right wingnut ass crosses a red line to the Dem McResistance? ROFL
How can CA keep electing Pelosi and DiFi, and be called liberal or progressive?
Alabama and WV took a giant leap backwards in women's rights to self-determination. Sad.

Thanks for the blues JS!

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

WindDancer13's picture

@dystopian

people realize. One of those state's measures, maybe both, according to an article I read (sorry, did not save it) is not only for banning abortions, but for banning IUDs and other forms of contraception as well.

I am sure that Kavanaugh with his two well-spaced children used the good old Catholic system of praying not to get pregnant and will consider his own behavior when he votes on this potential case. Nah.

Note: I am not really sure if even praying not to get pregnant is acceptable to church teachings. I know the rhythm method (tracking fertility periods) was not. Neither was abstinence for married people. Note 2: I have not followed church teachings in so long, some information may be outdated. I am then just saying how it used to be and how it may well return.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

joe shikspack's picture

@WindDancer13

heh, on the other hand, perhaps what folks should do to put a stop to this is start advertising campaigns in red anti-woman states encouraging all women of child-bearing age to move to blue states. Smile

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joe shikspack's picture

@dystopian

heh. yep, hiring beauregard sessions should have been a red line.

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snoopydawg's picture

Amen, Caitlin.

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Lookout's picture

Kemp has declared himself governor in GA as he resigns as SoS, and Deal, the current gov, has okayed the deal so to speak. It is all about who counts the votes.

We seem stuck in a cycle of shootings, wars, and sanctions. Russia (our great enemy) is hosting peace talks with Afghan and the Talaban. Will peace break out like in the Koreas? We can hope.

Thanks for the news and the music. All the best to all of you!

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6 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

joe shikspack's picture

@Lookout

yep, i'm not sure that this thing in georgia is really over. it may settle down, but there will be repercussions from this one, i think.

We seem stuck in a cycle of shootings, wars, and sanctions.

yep, it seems to be escalating, too. maybe it's time to invest in some kevlar and a helmet.

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from my conservative friends who watch Fox News daily.
They are friends, heretofore with differences on government policy which we joke about, love each other anyway.
But racism/white supremacy remarks are slipping in to idle chat. A lot.
A whole lot.
Like, A WHOLE LOT.

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joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

yeah, it looks like trump's rhetoric has emboldened a lot of folks who were barely able to suppress their feelings for years. they were the ones who would growl when they used the term "politically correct."

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snoopydawg's picture

LOL!

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joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

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Beware the bullshit factories.