The Evening Blues - 3-12-19



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: The Ronettes


Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features girl group The Ronettes. Enjoy!

The Ronettes - Be My Baby

"Stability is when the U.K. and U.S. invade a country and impose the regime of their choice."

-- Noam Chomsky


News and Opinion

Worth a full read:

US Regime Change Blueprint Proposed Venezuelan Electricity Blackouts as ‘Watershed Event’ for ‘Galvanizing Public Unrest’

The US-funded CANVAS organization that trained Juan Guaido and his allies produced a 2010 memo on exploiting electricity outages and urged the opposition “to take advantage of the situation…towards their needs”

A September 2010 memo by a US-funded soft power organization that helped train Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaido and his allies identifies the potential collapse of the country’s electrical sector as “a watershed event” that “would likely have the impact of galvanizing public unrest in a way that no opposition group could ever hope to generate.”

The memo has special relevance today as Guaido moves to exploit nationwide blackouts caused by a major failure at the Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Plant at Guri dam – a crisis that Venezuela’s government blames on US sabotage.

It was authored by Srdja Popovic of the Center for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), a Belgrade-based “democracy promotion” organization funded by the US government that has trained thousands of US-aligned youth activists in countries where the West seeks regime change. This group reportedly hosted Guaido and the key leaders of his Popular Will party for a series of training sessions, fashioning them into a “Generation 2007” determined to foment resistance to then-President Hugo Chavez and sabotage his plans to implement “21st century socialism” in Venezuela.

In the 2010 memo, CANVAS’s Popovic declared, “A key to Chavez’s current weakness is the decline in the electricity sector.” Popovic explicitly identified the Simon Bolivar Hydroelectric Plant as a friction point, emphasizing that “water levels at the Guri dam are dropping, and Chavez has been unable to reduce consumption sufficiently to compensate for the deteriorating industry.”Speculating on a “grave possibility that some 70 percent of the country’s electricity grid could go dark as soon as April 2010,” the CANVAS leader stated that “an opposition group would be best served to take advantage of the situation and spin it against Chavez and towards their needs.”

Flash forward to March 2019, and the scenario outlined by Popovic is playing out almost exactly as he had imagined.

Pompeo is pulling all U.S. diplomats out of Venezuela

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday that all remaining staff at the U.S. embassy in Venezuela would be withdrawn, as the country's political and economic crisis deepens.

The move comes as Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, suffered a fifth day without electricity — a power outage President Nicolas Maduro has blamed on “sabotage” by opposition leader Juan Guaido, who he’s accused of acting at the behest of the U.S.

Outages have also hit other regions in the country, impacting communications. Water shortages have also been reported amid widening protests. The cause of the blackout remains unclear.

National March on Washington: Hands off Venezuela! No coup, no sanctions, no new U.S. war!

Saturday, March 16, 12pm
White House, Washington, D.C.

On Saturday, March 16, thousands of people will march in Washington, D.C. against the Trump administration’s effort to engineer a coup in Venezuela and a new devastating war there.

It is time to stand up and with a clear voice say NO to the newest example of the “Monroe Doctrine,” which the U.S. government has used for over two centuries to repeatedly invade Latin America and Caribbean, control its politics and extract its resources.

Click this link if you’re interested in receiving transportation details from your area.

US begins work on new cruise missile after pulling out of cold war treaty

The US has begun building parts for a new ground-launched cruise missile in anticipation of the end of a cold war treaty that banned them, the Pentagon has confirmed. ...

Michelle Baldanza, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said on Monday that fabrication had begun on components for a new ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM), which was first reported by Aviation Week.

It is the first time the US has built such weapons since the 1980s when cruise missiles were deployed in Europe in a tense standoff against Soviet SS-20 missiles.

Trump threatens Germany: We won’t share intel if you use Huawei

The White House has threatened to curb intelligence sharing with Germany if Berlin allows Chinese company Huawei to build its 5G mobile network, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Issued in a letter by U.S. ambassador Richard Grenell to the German economics minister, the threat is the first time the U.S. administration has explicitly warned an ally that using Huawei — or any other Chinese telecoms company — will impact defense.

The German embassy in Washington confirmed it received the letter, but declined to comment on its contents. Germany announced last week that it would not ban any company from bidding on 5G contracts — despite strong pressure from Washington.

Angela Merkel’s CDU party said Tuesday it would make its decision about whether or not to allow Huawei equipment in its 5G network without taking advice from Washington, according to Bloomberg.

Bolsonaro under fire for smearing reporter who covered scandal involving his son

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has provoked a storm of protest after sharing fake news to attack a journalist who has covered a scandal involving a former aide of his son Flávio, a senator who is also under investigation for money laundering. Leading newspapers, the Brazilian Investigative Journalism Association and the Brazilian Bar Association, criticised the far-right president for sharing a “misrepresentation” and “false information”.

Bolsonaro launched his attack on Sunday night in a tweet with short audio excerpts of a conversation between Constança Rezende, a reporter at the Estado de S Paulo newspaper, and an unnamed man. The president accused her of seeking his impeachment and wanting to “ruin” the life of his son Flávio. But in the excerpts Bolsonaro shared, Rezende did no such thing. Speaking in halting English, she can be heard saying the case against the president’s son was “ruining” Bolsonaro – who campaigned on an anti-graft, tough-on-crime platform. Rezende also says the case could lead to the president’s impeachment and expressed her fear that investigations may not advance. ...

“This shows not just a lack of commitment to the truth of the facts, which is serious enough in itself, but also the use of his position of power to try to intimidate media vehicles and journalists,” the Brazilian Society of Investigative Journalism and Brazilian Bar Association said on Monday.

After Bolsonaro’s tweet on Sunday, the hashtag “Estado Lies” became the top trending topic on Twitter. But by Monday, “Bolsonaro is Fake News” had replaced it among top hashtags in Brazil. Estado is a conservative newspaper founded in 1875 that has published heavily critical editorials of recent Bolsonaro controversies, such as his tweet of a pornographic video of a sex act during carnival.

Brazil: two ex-police officers arrested over murder of Marielle Franco

Two former police officers have been arrested over the murder of the Rio de Janeiro councillor Marielle Franco, two days before the first anniversary of her death, which prompted international outrage. Franco, a groundbreaking politician who was born in one of Rio’s largest favelas and became a voice for disadvantaged people in the city, was killed in a drive-by shooting along with her driver, Anderson Gomes.

She had criticised police killings in the favelas where she grew up and took part in a 2008 state legislature inquiry into the paramilitary gangs that dominate large areas of Rio state. Known as militias, these groups often include police officers.

The suspects were identified as Ronnie Lessa, a retired military police officer, and Élcio Vieira de Queiroz, a former police officer. Investigators said Lessa fired the shots that killed Franco and Gomes on 14 March last year, on the north side of Rio. Queiroz drove the car that ambushed them, investigators said. Queiroz had been expelled from the police.

Prosecutors from a special organised crime unit said in a statement that the shooting was meticulously planned over the course of three months. “It is incontestable that Marielle Franco was summarily executed for her political activity in the defence of the causes she defended,” they added.

One of the detained officers lives in the same gated community in which the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, has a home and lived before being elected last year. The police did not explain whether that had any significance and so far the president has not been tied to the case in any manner.

The U.S. Targeted Journalists on the Border. Two Senators Want to Know Why.

There were nearly a dozen categories of individuals catalogued in the government’s secret list of border troublemakers. Revealed last week in documents obtained by an NBC News investigative team in San Diego, the list included 13 “organizers,” eight “instigators,” and 10 journalists with varying descriptions. There was a “lawyer,” an “associate,” and an individual described as “suspected Antifa.” Three people were recorded as administrators of the “Caravan Support Network Facebook page,” while more than 20 others were labeled as “unknown” or not applicable. The documents, provided by a Department of Homeland Security whistleblower, confirmed and advanced, in critical ways, the evolving story of joint U.S. and Mexican government intelligence-gathering operations on the border — though key questions remain.

In a bipartisan letter released Monday, Sens. Ron Wyden and Chuck Grassley called on U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan to provide an unclassified briefing on the operations by Thursday. The senators, who head the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, which oversees CBP, expressed particular concern about the press freedom issues at play. “Unless CBP had reason to believe the individuals in question were inciting violence or physical conflict, it is deeply concerning that CBP appears to have targeted American journalists at our borders,” they wrote. ...

The public now knows that the border dragnet was broad-based and binational. It involved each of the major agencies of the U.S. border security apparatus — Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Border Patrol — working with Mexican counterparts and the FBI, under the umbrella of the controversial joint DHS-Pentagon border initiative known as Operation Secure Line (formerly known as Operation Faithful Patriot), which the Trump administration initiated in the run-up to the 2018 midterms. ...

In February, Wyden’s office confirmed to The Intercept that it had opened an inquiry into the case of Kitra Cahana, a freelance photojournalist who was detained for 13 hours while trying to re-enter Mexico before being flown out of and barred from the country. In the wake of NBC’s reporting, Reps. Bennie G. Thompson, D-Miss., and Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., who both chair committees on homeland and border security, sent a letter to McAleenan, the CBP commissioner, demanding that his agency turn over the documents referenced in the story. Those documents are also due to be delivered Thursday, per the lawmakers’ request.

Ex-Mossad agents harass US students, BDS activists

In September 2017, Palestine Legal attorneys received nearly 30 emails from students, teachers and even librarians who were justifiably concerned about an anonymous message they had received. The emails contained threats from outlawbds.com that recipients had been “marked” and “identified as a BDS promoter” and had a “limited window of opportunity to cease and desist or face the consequences of your actions in legal proceedings.” The origin of the attack was a mystery.

Thanks to February exposés in The New Yorker, however, we now know the origin – Psy-Group, a defunct Israeli private intelligence firm. Additionally, we have further confirmation that former Israeli intelligence agents were paid to spy on US students and activists engaged in BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – campaigns. The organization responsible compiled dossiers on activists and published a Canary Mission-like blacklist site, as well as defamatory sites that attempted to discredit Muslim activists, among others.

The New Yorker first published an article by Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow on Psy-Group, which used former Israeli military, intelligence and governmental advisers to influence politics around the US. Psy-Group, which reportedly ceased operations in 2018 following an FBI investigation into possible 2016 US election interference reported on previously by The Electronic Intifada, used shadowy and coercive methods to attempt to undermine the Palestine solidarity movement in the US. Psy-Group raised at least $1.2 million to conduct dark web surveillance, in-person intimidation, online blacklists and smear campaigns against Palestinian rights activists.

Brexit: Who would be effected by a hard border in Ireland?

May wins ‘improved’ Brexit deal but it may not be enough for MPs

Theresa May has called for MPs to “come together” to back her deal after claiming to have secured the legally binding changes parliament wanted to ensure the EU cannot trap the UK in the Irish backstop and a permanent customs union. But within minutes of the start of a late-night joint press conference in Strasbourg, those words rang hollow, as Jean-Claude Juncker, the European commission president, conceded the EU had not agreed to the prime minister’s central demand.

Juncker told reporters that a freshly negotiated legal add-on to the Brexit deal, emphasising the temporary nature of the Irish backstop, “complements the withdrawal agreement without reopening it”. He added that the new text was in “spirit and letter by letter” in accord with the EU’s commitment to an insurance policy from which he has repeatedly insisted neither side could unilaterally withdraw. ...

Following the historic defeat of her deal by 230 votes in January, May had promised MPs that she would secure a unilateral exit mechanism from the backstop, a time-limit or its replacement with an alternative arrangement, such as a technological fix. Asked whether she had secured those objectives in her 11th-hour dash to Strasbourg for talks with Juncker, May did not directly answer.

Jeremy Corbyn said May’s “negotiations have failed” and he called on MPs to reject the deal. “This evening’s agreement with the European Commission does not contain anything approaching the changes Theresa May promised Parliament, and whipped her MPs to vote for,” Corbyn said. “Since her Brexit deal was so overwhelmingly rejected, the prime minister has recklessly run down the clock, failed to effectively negotiate with the EU and refused to find common ground for a deal Parliament could support.”

Keiser Report: Chlorinated chicken? Eugh!

The UN Fails to Name and Shame Firms Aiding Israel’s Illegal Settlements

The United Nations postponed last week for the third time the publication of a blacklist of Israeli and international firms that profit directly from Israel’s illegal settlements in the occupied territories. The international body had come under enormous pressure to keep the database under wraps after lobbying behind the scenes from Israel, the United States and many of the 200-plus companies that were about to be named.

UN officials have suggested they may go public with the list in a few months. But with no progress since the UN’s Human Rights Council requested the database back in early 2016, Palestinian leaders are increasingly fearful that it has been permanently shelved.

That was exactly what Israel hoped for. When efforts were first made to publish the list in 2017, Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, warned: “We will do everything we can to ensure that this list does not see the light of day.” He added that penalising the settlements was “an expression of modern antisemitism”.

Justice for Stephon Clark: Protests Erupt as DA Fails to Charge Cops Who Killed Unarmed Black Father

Billboard to Target Kyrsten Sinema as Only Senate Democrat Standing Against Net Neutrality

When Senate Democrats unveiled legislation to fully restore net neutrality last week, every member of the party's caucus signed on to the bill—except one. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), the lone Democratic holdout, is now the target of a grassroots campaign by internet advocacy group Fight for the Future, which is crowdfunding a billboard that accuses her of "siding with corporate donors to kill net neutrality."


"There's no excuse for not supporting this bill," Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, said in a statement. "Voters from across the political spectrum are outraged and overwhelmingly want their elected officials to support real net neutrality protections."

According to Fight for the Future, the Sinema billboard will be displayed at "one of the busiest intersections in Phoenix, Arizona."

'They May Have the Money... We Have the People': Sanders Calls for Citizen Co-Sponsors of Medicare for All

With his new and improved Medicare for All legislation coming in the next few weeks, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday issued a call for "citizen co-sponsors" of the bill to show the insurance industry and the political establishment that the public is "ready to fight harder than ever for the fundamental belief that healthcare should be a right."

"It was not long ago that the idea of Medicare for All was dismissed and ridiculed by the corporate media and political establishment of this country. Too radical, they said. Fringe. Crazy. Pie in the sky. Well, they are not saying that anymore," the Vermont senator and 2020 presidential candidate wrote in an email to supporters. "That is because of you... You've led the way. It is not because of me. It is because of us. That is the political revolution."

Sanders' call for citizen co-sponsors comes as the insurance and pharmaceutical industries are marshaling their limitless resources to stop Medicare for All and uphold the most expensive and least effective healthcare system in the industrialized world.

Acknowledging that the corporate forces profiting from the status quo are "spending billions of dollars in lobbying and campaign contributions" to defeat Medicare for All, Sanders said the deep-pocketed opposition can be overcome by an organized and energized grassroots movement. "They may have the money, but we have something more powerful: We have the people," Sanders declared.

Trump’s New Budget Slashes Medicare and Bolsters Military in an “Attack on the Poor & Middle Class”

CEO of Southwest Key, the largest network of shelters for migrant children in the U.S., has resigned

Juan Sanchez, the founder and CEO of Southwest Key, the largest network of shelters for migrant children in government care, resigned from his post Monday, according to an internal memo sent to Southwest Key employees and obtained by VICE News. ...

As of December 2018, Southwest Key reported housing 3,644 migrant children children across the U.S., and it has processed over 20,000 in the last two years. It operates 26 shelters in Texas, Arizona, and California. ...

The organization received widespread attention last summer and fall following controversies surrounding the agency’s management and treatment of undocumented minors in its shelters. Southwest Key has been plagued by accusations of sexual abuse at several shelter sites, criticized for its role housing children who were separated from their parents, and subject to FBI and DOJ investigations into its business practices.



the horse race



Rep. Tulsi Gabbard On America's Role In The World

Pelosi comes out against impeaching Trump: 'He's just not worth it'

Donald Trump should not be impeached unless the reasons are overwhelming and bipartisan, given how divisive it would be for the country, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has said.

“I’m not for impeachment,” Pelosi, the top US Democrat, said in a Washington Post interview published on Monday.

“Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country,” she said. “He’s just not worth it.”


#BreakUpBigTech: Elizabeth Warren says Facebook just proved her point

Elizabeth Warren could not have asked for a better illustration for her point.

The US senator and Democratic candidate for president took aim at Facebook on Monday evening after the social network briefly blocked her campaign from running advertisements that just happened to call for breaking up Facebook.


The idea that Facebook might be censoring political speech contrary to its interests proved irresistible to many Facebook critics, but the company said there was a much more mundane explanation. “We removed the ads because they violated our policies against use of our corporate logo,” a spokesperson told Politico. “In the interest of allowing robust debate, we are restoring the ads.”


Exxon, Big Pharma, and Wall Street Lobbyists to Host Fundraiser for Mark Kelly in Washington

Arizona Senate candidate Mark Kelly will appear later this month at a high-dollar fundraiser in Washington, D.C. hosted by one of the city’s top corporate lobbying firms. The K Street firm represents major fossil fuel companies, including Exxon Mobil and Chevron; Wall Street banks such as JPMorgan Chase; defense industry giant Lockheed Martin; and the lobby group PhRMA.

Kelly’s fundraiser with the corporate lobbying behemoth comes as he launched his campaign on the back of a pledge not to accept corporate PAC donations. Indeed, the invitation to the fundraiser, obtained by The Intercept, specifies that attendees should not pay with corporate PAC checks. Instead, those lobbyists will be asked to pay with personal checks, meaning that disclosure records will not reflect any contributions from drug makers, banks, or any other clients associated with the lobbying firm, Capitol Counsel.

The firm also represents Walmart, the NFL, Comcast, the American Health Care Association, the Health Care Service Corporation, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, Edison Electric Institute, the National Business Aviation Association, and the Internet and Television Association. ...

“This campaign is about the people of Arizona, not corporate PACs and the mess they’ve created in Washington,” Kelly is quoted as saying on his campaign website. “I won’t take a dime of corporate PAC money, and I’ll only answer to Arizonans.”



the evening greens

Climate Crisis Be Damned, 'Shale Revolution' Poised to Make US Net Exporter of Oil in Three Years

The United States is pumping out so much oil as a result of the so-called "shale revolution" that it's set to become a net oil exporter in 2021. That's according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which announced the projection Monday in its five-year forecast. "U.S. production growth has exceeded expectations," the analysis states.


Calling the country "the stand-out champion of global supply growth," IEA executive director Fatih Birol said, "The second wave of the U.S. shale revolution is coming."

"It will see the United States account for 70 percent of the rise in global oil production and some 75 percent of the expansion in LNG [liquified natural gas] trade over the next five years," he said. "This will shake up international oil and gas trade flows, with profound implications for the geopolitics of energy." ... By 2024, the report says, the U.S. will export more oil than Russia and will edge up to the number two exporter spot, right behind Saudi Arabia. Brazil, now under the leadership of right-wing Jair Boslanaro, is also projected to experience a surge in oil supply. The report additionally finds no peak in oil demand; it is set to increase at an annual average of 1.2 mb/d until 2024.


Radical proposal to artificially cool Earth's climate could be safe, new study claims

A new study contradicts fears that using solar geoengineering to fight climate change could dangerously alter rainfall and storm patterns in some parts of the world.

Published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change, the analysis finds that cooling the Earth enough to eliminate roughly half of warming, rather than all of it, generally would not make tropical cyclones more intense or worsen water availability, extreme temperatures or extreme rain. Only a small fraction of places, 0.4%, might see climate change impacts worsened, the study says.

Many climate experts have warned that cooling the Earth but keeping twice as much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as before industrialization could put some regions at risk. One scientist who read the paper published on Monday said it was not comprehensive enough to conclude that solar geoengineering – most likely involving spraying sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere, thereby mimicking gas from volcanoes and reflecting the sun’s heat – would be safe.

Some climate advocacy groups argue that banking on an unproven technology could hamstring efforts to reduce carbon dioxide still spewing from power plants and cars. But study co-author David Keith, a Harvard professor who works in engineering and public policy, said researchers should not rule out geoengineering yet. “I am not saying we know it works and we should do it now,” he said. “Indeed, I would absolutely oppose deployment now. There’s still only a little group of people looking at this, there’s lots of uncertainty.” Keith said the study’s main message was that “there is the possibility that solar geoengineering could really substantially reduce climate risks for the most vulnerable”.

Here Come the Frankenfish: Critics Warn GE Salmon Import Approval Puts Consumers and Fisheries at 'Serious Risk'

The Trump administration has lifted a ban on importing genetically engineered or GE salmon, which critics have long called "Frankenfish," in a move that consumer advocates charge "runs counter to sound science and market demand." The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the decision on Friday, more than three years after approving GE salmon as the first biotech animal authorized for commercial sale and consumption in the United States.

That approval as well as the agency's repeal of the import alert are major wins for the biotech industry—and have come despite concerns (pdf) repeatedly raised by environmental and public health advocates about the threats to wild salmon populations and consumers. ...

The Trump administration's guidelines for the GE or GMO labeling law, released last year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), have been described by critics as "a disaster." As Common Dreams reported in December, "To make the disclosure, food producers have four options: text, a friendly-looking symbol, an electronic or digital link, or a text message."

"USDA's new guidelines don't require adequate mandatory labeling, don't require calling the fish 'genetically engineered,' and don't help consumers know what kind of fish they are buying," George Kimbrell, legal director at the Center for Food Safety, said in a statement on Monday.


Also of Interest

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

Israel’s Stranglehold on American Politics

Intercept Investigation Leads to Record Fines Over Foreign Campaign Contributions

Netanyahu: Sending Money to Hamas Key to Keeping Palestinians Divided

Joe Biden’s disastrous legislative legacy

A Book on Wall Street’s Dark Underbelly Could Alter Election Outcome in 2020

Medicare for All (the Perplexed)

The 2020 Democrats of the ‘Anti-Green New Deal Coalition’

Greta Thunberg, schoolgirl climate change warrior: ‘Some people can let things go. I can’t’

As Hundreds of Thousands of Students Prepare for Global #ClimateStrike on March 15, Here's How to Get Involved


A Little Night Music

The Ronettes - Is This What I Get For Loving You

The Ronettes - I Can Hear Music

The Ronettes - Do I Love You?

Ronettes - Best Part of Breakin Up

The Ronettes - Baby, I Love You

The Ronettes - Shout

The Ronettes - Why don't they let us fall in love

The Ronettes - Here I Sit

The Ronettes - Chapel of Love


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Comments

Lily O Lady's picture

I can’t do links on my tablet, but it’s exactly as it appeared here on C99.

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19 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady thanks, I don't debate on Facebook but nice article. Way to go OPOL right on.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/12/its-time/

PEACE

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14 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Lily O Lady

Love his bio from CP for those who don't do FB. Congrats, OPOL!

Randall A. Shields is a well-known blogger posting as One Pissed Off Liberal or OPOL at DailyKos for over a decade, before leaving over their mistreatment of Bernie Sanders and the site’s inexplicable support for Hillary Clinton. He is a 60’s survivor, Woodstock alumnus, a human rights/anti-death penalty/anti-war/prison reform/anti-drug war activist, an artist/poet/writer, a dharma bum, a freedom-fighter and an original Southern hippie.

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18 users have voted.

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

OzoneTom's picture

@snoopydawg

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9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Lily O Lady

glad to see opol's piece getting some attention in a larger pond. his work deserves it.

have a great evening!

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Steven D's picture

Very underrated group.

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14 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Steven D

they got a lot of airplay in my area when i was a kid, but only for a few of their songs. great stuff, though.

good to see you, hope you guys are doing well tonight.

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5 users have voted.
Shahryar's picture

they were always good

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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Shahryar

yep, they really didn't need phil spector. thanks for the tune!

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snoopydawg's picture

Just lost my longish comment about numerous topics here. Oh well you guys were probably thinking the same thing I was about the evening blues news so I'm not going to rewrite it.

Smile

Great roundup, Joe.

One thing I remember is about Israel proving Omar's point.

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15 users have voted.

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

Shahryar's picture

@snoopydawg

couldn't have said it better, myself

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snoopydawg's picture

@Shahryar

Thanks.

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9 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

i heard you thinking about israel proving ilhan omar's point.

here's that tweet you were looking for:

Smile

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snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

I meant to continue my comment by pointing to Hedges' article on Israel that you listed in the also of interest place. Just one of those days where my brain thinks my fingers typed something that made my comment coherent.

But this jackass is just that.

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7 users have voted.

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

Azazello's picture

Thanks for the articles on AZ, joe. I'll pass them around a bit. I think I might chip in on that billboard in Phx.
I thought this was good: Are the U.S. and Russia Sleepwalking Toward Nuclear Disaster?
Has everybody read this ? The Obama Boys
Here's more on Obama:

Another Steele dossier in the making.

From Keith's book:

The Ronettes were the hottest girl group in the world, and early in 1963 they'd just released one of the greatest songs ever recorder, "Be My Baby," produced by Phil Spector. We toured with the Ronnettes on our second U.K. tour, and I fell in love with Ronnie Bennett, who was the lead singer. She was twenty years old and she was extraordinary, to hear, to look at, to be with. I fell in love with her silently, and she fell in love with me. ... We were twenty years old and we just fell in love. What do you do when you hear a record like "Be My Baby" and suddenly you are ? ... But basically, it was just hormones. And sympathy. Without us even thinking about it, we both realized that we were awash in this sea of sudden success and and that other people were directing us and we didn't like it.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Azazello

The best description of him really is the Empty Suit president who could have been the second FDR but didn't want to be.

These are my favorites from this article: I couldn't believe what I was hearing about how MLK wouldn't have been like he was if he was alive now.

Obama gave a very powerful Nobel Peace Prize speech about how the pacifism of Martin Luther King needed to be balanced with a recognition that using force can be morally necessary.

The Obama administration bent over backwards to show that it was pragmatic and moderate and sensible, even inflicting cruel harm on families to show their toughness. Here is Tyler Moran, who was a deputy immigration policy director on Obama’s White House policy council:

There was a feeling that [the White House] needed to show the American public that you believed in enforcement, and that [we weren’t pushing for] open borders. But in hindsight I was like, what did we get for that? We deported more people than ever before. All these families separated, and Republicans didn’t give him one ounce of credit. There may as well have been open borders for five years.

We deported tons of people and separated families, and Republicans wouldn’t praise us!

This same bizarre naivete is evident in Obama’s dealings with Benjamin Netanyahu, as recounted by Ben Rhodes. Rhodes says it was obvious that “Netanyahu wasn’t going to negotiate seriously” about a just resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and that Netanyahu “rejected any effort at peace.” Israeli settlements continued to be constructed in brazen violation of international law. Yet, Rhodes says, “despite Netanyahu’s intransigence, [Obama] would always side with Israel when push came to shove.” In 2011, the Obama administration vetoed a UN Security Council resolution declaring the settlements illegal, even though they plainly were and Obama himself had previously acknowledged as much.** Rhodes says the Palestinians were finding “little more than rhetorical support from us.” They barely received even that. Rhodes relates a stunning anecdote in which Obama meets with a group of Palestinian youth. One nervous boy summons the courage to tell the president that his people are being treated as Black Americans were once treated. Obama does not know what to say in reply. Incapable of directly criticizing Israel, he mutters something about how he believes in opportunity for all. But moved by the boy’s testimony, he decides later to act. What does he do? He adds a line to a speech he gives to Israelis, in which he tells them that Palestinian families love their children just as much as Israelis love theirs. Does he condemn the racist Israeli state? He does not. Does he actually do anything for the boy? Of course not.

"In the United States, our support for Israel is bipartisan, and that is how it should stay…. I have kept my commitments to the state of Israel. At every crucial juncture – at every fork in the road – we have been there for Israel. Every single time. … Despite a tough budget environment, our security assistance has increased every single year… We’re providing Israel with more advanced technology – the types of products and systems that only go to our closest friends and allies. And make no mistake: We will do what it takes to preserve Israel’s qualitative military edge – because Israel must always have the ability to defend itself, by itself, against any threat… No American president has made such a clear statement about our support for Israel at the United Nations."

Obama swore to AIPAC that he will always fund Israeli missiles before the Detroit school system (if this isn’t “declaring allegiance to Israel”—which Ilhan Omar has been called anti-Semitic for talking about—then pray tell, what would be?) As with the Republicans, Rhodes cannot understand how Democrats can give in on everything and yet still be rejected. How do they not understand? They’re being played for suckers. Of course they’ll still call you anti-Semitic even if you would give the lives of your children to protect Israel’s right to an apartheid state. Of course they’re not going to stop building settlements just because you have declined to challenge them on anything. That’s how political power works: If the other party senses you’re weak and won’t do anything to pressure them, they’ll walk all over you! Throughout the Obama staffers’ books, you can hear them crying: But it’s not FAIR! We played nice and they took advantage of it! Gentlemen, that’s how this game works!

The myth of Obama was not that he was somehow more than human. It was that he was the best possible version of a human, and that by following him—by believing without thinking, by rarely asking questions and never admitting doubts—I could become the best possible version of a human too. Now I saw how stupid that was… Barack Obama was just a guy… [M]y days as an Obamabot were done.

It’s good, of course, that he wasn’t an “Obamabot” anymore. But it’s telling—and typically West Wing-ish—that “losing a debate” was what took the luster off Obama. (Not drone strikes.)

I think it's in the Hedges article where Bibi and Obama were talking about the illegal settlements and Bibi basically told Obama to f'ck off about the settlements. He's not going to stop taking land or building them. What did Obama say to that? Nada. That pretty much sums up his character doesn't it? No Drama Obama. His supporters like to say that the republicans blocked his legislation, but more often than not Obama gave away the store before the republicans told him to.

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

@snoopydawg
"Man, this dude sounds more like me than I do."

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7 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

snoopydawg's picture

@UntimelyRippd

I vaguely remember people trying to tell me that Obama's rhetoric was just that and that he was basically blowing smoke

The article states that he'd either lose to McCain or people would be disappointed with his presidency because there was no there to him. But people were desperate after Bush's presidency that we bought the hope from him. I thought that the one who ran after Trump's tenure would almost walk on water, but looking at the current crop I'm thinking it's going to wait til he finishes his second term. Then we can look out..

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9 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

that sleepwalking to nuclear disaster piece was quite excellent. i guess it's a race to get bolton, pompeo and their ilk away from the levers of power before something truly awful happens.

thanks for the links and videos!

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8 users have voted.

@Azazello Will read the nuclear threat in more detail later.
Must go to bed. Some people of an age still work!

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6 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

billboard. The shale revolution is an interesting phantasm. Last I heard, all the frackers were in debt up the wazoo, and creating a glut ain't gonna help that any.

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12 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

fracking is an expensive process, despite all of the assorted breaks that frackers get from bought politicians. in order for frackers to break even, the price of oil has to be somewhere between $70-100/barrel according to the various assessments that i've read over the years. the only thing that's been keeping them going is the almost interest-free money that they are able to obtain to fund the drilling operations from wall street.

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@joe shikspack One of my fellow tourist was an engineer, a fracking specialist. He went on and on about how safe and efficient it was.
My roommate on that tour was heavily invested in the industry, had negotiated deals to frack her family farm/ranch in Ok.
As I sat there, fuming, she told me to get over my doubts about all things fracking.
I haven't had contact with her in several years, but understand she lost $250,000 on the deal.
My brother made an astute observation that people with $2 million are stingy and paranoid, but once they get up to $10 million, they treat the yard guy nicely.
I wonder if her employers are treating her nicely?
"Be my Baby" was not only my song-love, my parents would break out dancing when they heard it on the radio.
Good memories.

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joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

heh, the fracking engineer probably has different facts than you do. i usually tell folks like that to check out the work of anthony ingraffea, an engineering professor from cornell. the people intent on losing money betting on fracking, well, i don't know who to send them to.

have a great evening!

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Bollox Ref's picture

A deal that was neither fish nor fowl. It was doomed from day one. Not Brexit, and not membership of the EU. A Maykenstein.

But, because of the delicate balance in the House of Commons, her zombie premiership totters on......

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14 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

yeah, the guardian put up the vote a bit after i'd posted the eb tonight. it looks like it's going to be a bumpy ride for the uk.

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4 users have voted.
Deja's picture

Kids all over this country bust their asses to get into and pay for college. These rich assholes bribed their kids' ways in, and those undeserving kids (if they had qualified, no one would have had to cheat for them -- I'm reminded of Hillary in 2016 too now), took scholarships away from deserving kids. Makes me pissed off, and sick!

The following quote is contrary to something I heard on the 5 o'clock news. They said one child was given an extended SAT test time (allowed supposedly only for students with special needs), and during the test, a prompter corrected the answers!!! Grrrr

The students also were not aware their admissions had been compromised.

.
Snip

The 50 people charged so far in the scam include Singer, 33 parents, nine coaches and various test proctors and other figures, NBC News reported.

.
A tennis coach where my son attends on hard-earned and well-deserved scholarships, grants, and fellowship pay, was charged.

I hope these people do time!

https://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article227454259.html

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joe shikspack's picture

@Deja

wow. rich people are funny.

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Lily O Lady's picture

@Deja

and Harvard Business? Who the hell wrote his term papers for god’s sake? And he’s just one example. This has been going on forever.

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11 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Deja's picture

@Lily O Lady
Haha! That's exactly who came to mind as I was watching it on the news. Shrub.

I know it's been going on forever. I'm just glad some of them got busted, and I hope they do time for it.

The students shouldn't be punished, depending on age at time(s) of fraud/theft, but they sure as hell should ALL have their scholarships, where applicable, investigated. And if they (students) have failed to comply with the terms (it's a contract, after all), then not only should scholarships be yanked, but those in charge of scholarships, coaching, etc., should be investigated/charged if applicable, as well.

It's wrong on so many levels, both legally, and morally.

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9 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

@Deja

that provide cover for the rest.

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8 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Deja's picture

@Lily O Lady
Me too.

That's actually something I hadn't thought of. Damn. Sad

I'd hoped they'd squeal like piglets, instead. Then you reminded me what planet I'm on. Thank you.

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Lily O Lady's picture

@Deja

the colleges and universities. So it’s a bribe instead of an endowment.

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5 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Deja's picture

@Lily O Lady
That tennis coach where my son attends, received $100k (allegedly) to admit a non athlete on an athletic scholarship. It's gotta be based on a good ole boys network?

That tennis scholarship took one away from a deserving tennis player.

I'm not a fan of athletic scholarships because emphasis should be on academics, imo. However, they should never be awarded to someone who can't pass a basic entrance exam or SAT. And once awarded, there are requirements that must be met in order to keep them. Usually a gpa of 2.0, and other things. I had to compete in all speech tournaments for a particular semester, after accepting a speech scholarship, decades ago.

I read that some of those non athlete athletes faked injuries, or just didn't show up for sports related activities. Sooo wrong. So very wrong.

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5 users have voted.

A Book on Wall Street’s Dark Underbelly Could Alter Election Outcome in 2020

will never forgive Obama and his rush to bail out the banks in 2008 rather than nationalize them

in hindsight, he was the moderate, or something, spelled out in the OPOL's article noted above

and thinking about his article it is clear that we have to get Bernie in a solid position because the establishment will try new games to stop him in the primary

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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@DonMidwest

heh, the sad thing is that even if obama had been the sort to do the right thing and nationalize the banks, they probably would have wound up being run by the corrupt jackasses from the new york fed that carmen segarra writes about in her book.

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6 users have voted.
mimi's picture

eating as of today. Enough is enough. This meat is worse than chicken poop. The Keiser Report was a royal treat today. Thank You.

And I don't believe for a minute that corporate chicken and meat farming in Germany is much better. I guess Keiser just wanted to be a bit biased and charm the Europeans.

Here a google translated page of chicken farming in Germany:
Broilers

ok, I chicken out from here now.

ayam.jpeg

Good Night.
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7 users have voted.

Love is all we have to give.

Azazello's picture

@mimi

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mimi's picture

@Azazello
still really hot and juicy. Nostalgia you are my middle name. Thanks.

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5 users have voted.

Love is all we have to give.

joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

heh, i think that i'll chicken out, too. Smile

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5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@joe shikspack

Thanks for always make me smile with your music.

Give rose

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3 users have voted.

Love is all we have to give.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

Bernie 28%; Schumer 42%; Pelosi 47%.

Also, here's their percentage of "Half-True" statements, per PolitiFact which is owned by Poynter, which also owned by the Tampa Bay Times.

'O' 25%; Bernie - 25%; Schumer 21%; Pelosi 29%

Gabbard - Not Ranked (Only 1 Entry)

(Thought these were very interesting statistics. I landed at PolitiFact when I was checking out a Tweet that didn't sound accurate.)

Regarding the DN interview, Johnston declared,

". . . then what you do, is you take the disabled and the poor on Medicare--you cut close to a Trillion dollars in the next ten years out of care for them . . ."

I was floored when he said that (especially adding "out of care for them"), since the Medicare cuts are mostly from cutting provider reimbursements, or payments. (including hospitals, SNFs, etc.)

OTOH, if Part B drugs are switched to the private Part D RX Plans, it would definitely hurt seniors who don't carry Part D (RX) insurance. Same for seniors with Medicare supplemental/Medigap policies, or, other secondary insurance, who would take a major hit.

At present, Mr M and I pay nothing for our Part B drugs, since our Medigap policy always picks up our 20% co-pay. Put the same drugs in our Part D Plan, however, and there's no telling what our costs could be (applies to Everyone in this category, of course, not just us). I say this, because these Part B drugs are among the most expensive drugs, therefore, they'd likely be categorized as either Tier 4 or Tier 5 in the Part D plans. Whew! IOW, some drugs would likely go from $0 to hundreds, or maybe thousands of dollars, depending.

(One example, a drug like Keytruda, that helped save Pres Carter. Actually, this drug was dropped from our Region's Part D formulary, this year. Guess it's 'okay' for a former President, but not for the great unwashed masses.)

BTW, this transition (transferring Part B drugs into Part D Plans) took place in MA, Medicare Advantage, effective 1 January 2019. Since they're private plans, a 'rules change' was all that was needed. However, Dems will have to go along with making same legislative change in Traditional Medicare (TM) Part B.

There are many awful proposals in the 2020 Budget, but, except for the change to Part B drugs, (Traditional) Medicare and (Old Age & Survivors) Social Security--the two mainstays of our Social Safety net--are not going to be restructured, for now. And, the cuts to providers--which the Budget called for--will not translate into cuts in medical services for beneficiaries, as some of O's reforms did--like, when he called for/implemented co-pays for 'home healthcare visits.' That could be quite costly, for beneficiaries with serious chronic ailments.

Bottom line, though--need to keep eyes peeled. The vultures are still circling--that won't change, I'm afraid.

Of course, Everybody and their Brother has come out screaming about the deficit--and how so-called "entitlements" need to be restructured/dismantled, like 'O' was trying to do by striking a "Grand Bargain." I could be wrong, but, I wonder if the PtB couldn't dangle cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits as a bargaining chip (with DT), in exchange for allowing him to step down--avoiding impeachment proceedings. Otherwise, I don't 'think' he'd be stupid enough to go along with slashing these two programs (right before the 2020 election). Or, could he be?

Scratch one-s head Dunno. Time will tell, I suppose.

Hey, thanks for tonight's EB, Joe. And, for posting all the Medicare articles. Since there's going to be a LTC component to Bernie's MFA Bill, think I'll wait to post about Jayapal's Bill, when he releases his new version.

(I hadn't heard that he was planning on doing this, but, makes sense, since Jayapal's Bill was practically modeled on his--but, with a bit faster transition period. And, LTC added.)

Gorgeous day, today! Nice tomorrow, too. Hope Everyone's enjoying Spring-like weather.

Everyone have a nice evening!

Pleasantry[Edited: 'was' not 'as'; deleted redundant word]

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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9 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

@Unabashed Liberal

i think that trump assumes that he can screw the little people all he wants and they will keep electing him. i wouldn't be surprised if he grand bargained just before an election.

have a great evening!

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6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

but himself; but, has consistently bucked the fiscal hawks--like his 'acting' Chief Of Staff (and Budget Director, since he didn't resign) Mulvaney--by not agreeing to structural reform of these two programs (yet).

Of course, everything he does is transactional--I get that. And, he's anything but a "nice guy." OTOH, from where I stand, the only folks he does try to please are those that elected him. And, my impression is that most of them (not all, of course), don't mind cuts to SSDI--which they mistakenly consider a racket. Same for SNAP and TANF--they hate those programs, because they believe (again, wrongly) that only minorities benefit from them.

But, the programs they benefit from, they don't want touched.

So, it's difficult for me to believe that he'll do it, unless he's not running in 2020.

In that case, "Katy Bar The Door!"

HelpBiggrinBlue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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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)

travelerxxx's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

... I wonder if the PtB couldn't dangle cutting Medicare and Social Security benefits as a bargaining chip (with DT), in exchange for allowing him to step down--avoiding impeachment proceedings.

(My bold, above) Our dear orange President no longer need worry about any impeachment, as Pelosi has taken that off the table, claiming “ ...he’s just not worth it.”

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6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@travelerxxx

of discussion about her statement (on Cable News).

Some talking heads think it was a strategic statement, and that she didn't intend to take the possibility of supporting impeachment proceedings off the table--she just wanted to look like she's not on a witch hunt, until Mueller's Report is issued.

Dunno. Guess it's just another one of those situations where "time will tell."

*Sigh*

Good to see you!

Blue Onyx

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

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5 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)

dystopian's picture

Who couldn't love the Ronettes? What voices of the angels they had.

Shame we are exporting so much oil they don't have to lower the price here. Wonder why they changed the laws to make it possible to export it? So they could keep robbing the citenzry here for one. Without that, gas would be .50 cents a gallon the last 10 years and people would have some spare change, gawd forbid. Same with propane.

Can't believe what an establishment shill Colbert has become. Pitiful. He ought to be ashamed of himself. All that wit, to waste.

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6 users have voted.

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

@dystopian

Wonder why they changed the laws to make it possible to export it?

traditional reasons. so that the rich could become richer by taking the resources that belong to all of us, fail to pay the external costs of extracting/using the resource and selling it at an elevated price elsewhere.

yeah, i thought that in spite of colbert's mealy-mouthed centrist bullshit, gabbard did a pretty good job of refuting him politely and with authority.

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5 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ecb-greece-banks/eu-court-shields-ecb...

(found via Keep Talking Greece and the Taz)

Ah hahaha . . . The central bankers don’t have to show us their arguments that what they’re doing is legal, because they need “space to think.”

And the elite wonders why people have begun to reject the E.U. in its present form . . .

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5 users have voted.