The Evening Blues - 4-15-19



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Memphis Slim


Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues singer and piano player Memphis Slim. Enjoy!

Memphis Slim - Rockin' The House

"It’s very important to defenders of the political status quo for us all to believe that Assange is not a journalist, because otherwise that would mean they’re cheering for a dangerous precedent which would allow for the prosecution of journalists who exposed the truth about US government malfeasance. ...

It doesn’t work that way, sugar tits. Assange is being prosecuted by the Trump administration for standard journalistic practices, he stands no chance of receiving a fair trial, and it is very likely that he will be hit with far more serious charges for his activities once on US soil. The next time the US government, under Trump or someone else, sees another journalist anywhere in the world doing something similar to what Assange did, there will be nothing stopping them from saying, “We need to lock that person up like we did Assange; they’re doing the same sort of thing.” ...

You won’t get to define how the US government will interpret what constitutes journalism in the future. Only the US government will."

-- Caitlyn Johnstone


News and Opinion

Julian Assange Languishes in Prison as His Journalistic Collaborators Brandish Their Prizes

While Julian Assange languishes in south London’s maximum security Belmarsh Prison, a British court is weighing his fate. The 48-year-old Australian founder of Wikileaks is serving time for the minor crime of jumping bail by taking asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden. His fear at the time was that the Swedes, with a track record of assisting rendition of suspects sought by the U.S., would send him straight across the Atlantic. Now that he has lost his diplomatic refuge, 70 British members of Parliament have petitioned to dispatch Assange to Sweden if prosecutors there reopen the case they closed in 2017. The greater threat to his liberty is the United States Department of Justice’s extradition demand for him to stand trial in the U.S. for conspiring with Chelsea Manning to hack a government computer. ...

His most likely destination is the “Alcatraz of the Rockies,” otherwise known as the United States Penitentiary Administrative Facility (ADMAX) in Florence, Colorado. Among its 400 inmates are Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Boston Marathon terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, FBI-agent-turned-Russian-spy Robert Hanssen and Oklahoma City co-bomber Terry Nichols. The prison’s regime is as ruthless as its prisoners: 23 hour daily confinement in a concrete box cell with one window four inches wide, six bed checks a day with a seventh at weekends, one hour of exercise in an outdoor cage, showers spraying water in one-minute spurts and “shakedowns” at the discretion of prison staff. ...

I have visited Assange often over the past eight years, first at the Norfolk farmhouse of Vaughan Smith, a former British Army officer and news cameraman, where he lived under house arrest for a year and a half. The next place I saw him was in the dreary recesses of an embassy that is a little more than a 630-square-foot converted apartment with no outside space. It was not ideal, but better than ADMAX. ... Dr. Sean Love, who is part of a medical team with Dr. Sondra Crosby of the Boston Medical Center and British psychologist Dr. Brock Chisholm that has conducted regular evaluations of Assange since 2017, said, “He had no ability to access medical care.” Dr. Love complained that the physicians were under constant electronic surveillance, a violation of the doctor-patient relationship, and the British government would not allow Assange safe passage to a hospital for urgent dental surgery. While the British tabloid press scorned Assange’s hygiene, it ignored what Dr. Love called “the deleterious effects of seven years of confinement, whose risks include neuro-psychological impairment, weakened bones, compromised immune function, increased risk of cardio-vascular disease and cancer.” Reacting to the stories about Assange not washing, Dr. Love insisted, “This is a complete smear. This is meant to degrade his humanity.” He believes the “cumulative effect of pain and suffering inflicted on him is most definitely in violation of the 1984 Convention on Torture, specifically Articles 1 and 16.” ...

Wikileaks’ collaborators were a consortium of the world’s leading newspapers, the New York Times, London’s Guardian, El Pais of Spain, and Paris’s Le Monde. If Assange violated the law, they were in it with him.

Tucker Carlson Defends Assange. Huh?

Foolish? Hell, it's dangerous.

Many Democrats and liberals are cheering Assange's arrest. That's foolish

The attempted extradition and prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by the United States should be an obvious outrage. It’s a very clear effort by the US government to punish those who expose embarrassing secrets about its actions, and it could set a precedent that would threaten journalists everywhere. And yet many of those who should be championing Assange’s cause and condemning the prosecution are doing exactly the opposite. Plenty of liberals and mainstream journalists are inexplicably cheering for Assange to be punished.

There has been plenty of over-the-top gloating about Assange’s arrest. In the Atlantic, Michael Weiss said Assange “got what he deserved”. Some Democratic politicians have been salivating at the possibility of prosecuting him. Hillary Clinton said that Assange needs to “answer for what he has done”. Charles Schumer said he hoped Assange “will soon be held to account for his meddling in our elections on behalf of Putin and the Russian government”. Dianne Feinstein has been calling for Assange to be brought here and prosecuted since 2010. West Virginia Democratic senator Joe Manchin went even further, with the truly disturbing comment that “now [Assange is] our property and we can get the facts and truth from him”. Nor did Bernie Sanders speak up to defend Assange, opting for the same shameful silence he has taken on the imprisonment of whistleblower Chelsea Manning. The other 2020 candidates, with the exception of Mike Gravel and Tulsi Gabbard, have also stayed quiet.

There’s a lot to be disturbed by here. First, it’s not clear that people like Schumer even care about the question of whether Assange broke any laws. Assange has been charged over allegedly helping Chelsea Manning to crack a Department of Defense password in 2010. The indictment has nothing to do with Putin or the 2016 election. Yet Democrats are thrilled enough to have a longtime villain in the clasps of the United States government that the actual charges, and their implications for free speech, are irrelevant. ...

This prosecution is about silencing dissent rather than enforcing the law. The accusation against Assange is that nearly 10 years ago he tried unsuccessfully to assist in breaking a government password. How often does doing this result in a years-long federal investigation and an extradition request? Or US senators declaring a foreign national the “property” of this country? The Obama administration fished for years to find a charge that would stick to Assange, but ultimately couldn’t find a way of going after him that wouldn’t also criminalize ordinary acts of journalism. Donald Trump’s government is less scrupulous. ...

You don’t need to know what Weiss, the Post, or I think of Assange’s morals. What you need to know is that anyone who doesn’t stick up for him against this prosecution is both unprincipled and foolish. Unprincipled, because they don’t care about protecting the liberties that are essential to exposing government crimes, and foolish because authoritarianism doesn’t come all at once. It creeps slowly, normalizing itself bit by bit, until you don’t realize that it’s too late. First they came for Assange, and if you say nothing, they’re coming for you next.

Assange Exposes Democrat Fascists, Torturers & Warmongers

Sweden Could Reopen Rape Investigation of Julian Assange; U.K. Urged to Prioritize Swedish Case Over Extradition to U.S.

As he awaits sentencing in England for breaching bail, and fights possible extradition to the United States, Julian Assange might soon face legal jeopardy in a third country, Sweden, where a woman who says the WikiLeaks founder raped her in 2010 has asked prosecutors to reopen their investigation. More than 70 British lawmakers signed a letter urging their government to give priority to any extradition request from Sweden, should the abandoned rape case resume, over the one filed by the U.S. The letter, written by Stella Creasy, a member of Parliament for the opposition Labour party, was signed on Friday night by colleagues across the political spectrum. In it, the lawmakers urged Home Secretary Sajid Javid “to give every assistance to Sweden should they want to revive and pursue the investigation.’ ...

Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecution, Eva-Marie Persson, is currently conducting a review of the case, according to a spokesperson for her office. Persson stressed in a written statement that the investigation “has not yet been resumed” and offered no timetable for when the decision would be made. But prosecution authority explained that the investigation could be reopened, now that Assange’s extradition to Sweden is possible, given that the statute of limitations for the suspected crime of rape is 10 years, and the offense was allegedly committed in mid-August 2010.

Assange immediately denied the allegation, and one of his lawyers, Mark Stephens, even claimed at the time that Sweden intended to stage a “show trial” as part of a plot to take revenge on the WikiLeaks founder for publishing documents that exposed wrongdoing by American soldiers and officials. “We saw the smirking American politicians yesterday,” Stephens said after Assange was taken into custody in 2010. “The honey-trap has been sprung. Dark forces are at work. After what we’ve seen so far, you can reasonably conclude this is part of a greater plan.” ...

David Allen Green, a contributing editor to the Financial Times on law and policy, who has written extensively about Assange’s failed legal battle against extradition to Sweden, suggested on Friday that if Sweden does renew its extradition request, it could make Assange’s extradition to the United States less likely.

If U.S. prosecutors tried to seek extradition following any legal proceedings in Sweden, Green observed, that could require the consent of courts in both Sweden and England, and could be challenged by Assange’s lawyers before the European Court of Human Rights. “Therefore any decision to extradite Assange onward to the United States would be subject to legal challenges in both Sweden and England, as well as at Strasbourg,” where the European Court of Human Rights sits. Even if Sweden does not renew its investigation, Assange’s extradition to the U.S. is likely to be challenged by his lawyers with reference to Article 4 of the extradition treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom signed in 2003, which states that “extradition shall not be granted if the offense for which extradition is requested is a political offense.”

U.S. To Slap Even More Sanctions On Venezuela To Kill Off Oil Exports To Cuba

Just a week after the United States levied additional sanctions on Venezuela in an effort to curb its oil exports, the US has again hit shipping companies doing business with Venezuela with even more sanctions aimed at further plugging the holes that allow Venezuela to export crude oil to Cuba.

This go around, the US targeted four shipping companies and nine vessels in its latest attempt to cut off the revenue stream of what the US Department of the Treasury refers to as “the illegitimate regime of former President Nicolas Maduro”. ...

The move comes after reports surfaced earlier on Friday that Venezuela was still shipping crude oil to ally Cuba in the amount of 1 million barrels just days after the US levied sanctions on Venezuela-to-Cuba oil shipments in what is quickly becoming a weekly Little Dutch Boy event. The close-knit ties between ideological allies Cuba and Venezuela is proving more complicated that earlier sanctions that targeted shipments from Venezuela to the United States and its allies.

Diego Garcia: The “Unsinkable Carrier” Springs a Leak

The recent decision by the Hague-based International Court of Justice that the Chagos Islands — with its huge U.S. military base at Diego Garcia — are being illegally occupied by the United Kingdom (UK) has the potential to upend the strategic plans of a dozen regional capitals, ranging from Beijing to Riyadh.

For a tiny speck of land measuring only 38 miles in length, Diego Garcia casts a long shadow. Sometimes called Washington’s “unsinkable aircraft carrier,” planes and warships based on the island played an essential role in the first and second Gulf wars, the invasion of Afghanistan, and the war in Libya. Its strategic location between Africa and Indonesia and 1,000 miles south of India gives the U.S. access to the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and the vast Indian Ocean. No oil tanker, no warship, no aircraft can move without its knowledge.

Most Americans have never heard of Diego Garcia for a good reason: No journalist has been allowed there for more than 30 years, and the Pentagon keeps the base wrapped in a cocoon of national security. Indeed, the UK leased the base to the Americans in 1966 without informing either the British Parliament or the U.S. Congress.

The February 25 Court decision has put a dent in all that by deciding that Great Britain violated United Nations Resolution 1514 prohibiting the division of colonies before independence. The UK broke the Chagos Islands off from Mauritius, a former colony on the southeast coast of Africa that Britain decolonized in 1968. At the time, Mauritius objected, reluctantly agreeing only after Britain threatened to withdraw its offer of independence.

The Court ruled 13-1 that the UK had engaged in a “wrongful act” and must decolonize the Chagos “as rapidly as possible.”

While the ruling is only “advisory,” it comes at a time when the U.S. and its allies are confronting or sanctioning countries for supposedly illegal occupations — Russia in the Crimea and China in the South China Sea.

Brexit talks ‘will stall unless May shifts on customs union’

Talks between Labour and the government are unlikely to advance much further in the coming week unless Theresa May moves on her red lines over a future customs union, sources close to the talks have suggested. David Lidington, who is leading the government’s talks with Labour, said a compromise would have to be reached but played down suggestions that a government shift was imminent and added that Labour would also have to move.

Labour has suggested the ball is in the government’s court and, while the opposition will engage on other topics including workers’ rights and security, the key question on customs arrangements remains unresolved. “She needs to take a political decision to move off her red lines – or not,” one source said.

Lidington said both sides had common ground on future customs arrangements but refused to say whether the government was prepared to agree to Jeremy Corbyn’s central demand for a common external tariff policy with the EU.

Wall Street on Parade continues to point out Wall Street's fraud and criminality despite the msm's studied efforts to look the other way. It's worth a full read.

Research Study on Ongoing Crime Spree by Wall Street Mega Banks Gets News Blackout

One day before Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee held an historic grilling of the CEOs of the mega banks on Wall Street, the nonprofit watchdog, Better Markets, released an in-depth research report on “Wall Street’s Six Biggest Bailed-Out Banks: Their RAP Sheets & Their Ongoing Crime Spree.” The report detailed facts, figures and this inescapable conclusion:

“[Six Wall Street mega banks] have engaged in—and continue to engage in—a crime spree that spans the violation of almost every law and rule imaginable. Taking the breadth and depth of their illegal conduct as a whole, the six biggest banks in the country look like criminal enterprises with RAP sheets that would make most career criminals green with envy. That was the case not just before the 2008 crash, but also during and after the crash and their lifesaving bailouts…In fact, the number of cases against the banks has actually increased relative to the pre-crash era.”

The six mega banks profiled in the report are: Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.

A reliable source tells us that all major business media received the report on Tuesday, April 9. We know that Politico had the report by 8:00 a.m. because its “Morning Money” column provided a small news nugget at that time announcing that the report was out. Politico did not follow up, however, with any detailed coverage of the shocking revelations in the report.

Wall Street On Parade, after carefully reading and digesting the report, published an article on its contents the next morning, April 10. Then we began to hear from our outraged readers, who wanted to know why they weren’t reading about this report at major business media outlets. We checked the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Financial Times, Bloomberg News, Reuters, CNBC, and CNN. We could find no mention of the Better Markets report. (We checked again this morning. There is still a news blackout.) ...

There are four words in this outstanding report from Better Markets that rendered it unpalatable to corporate business media: “rap sheets” and “criminal enterprise.” ... Since at least 2013 there has been a concerted effort on the part of lawyers and giant public relations firms working on behalf of Wall Street and its trade associations to silence any media suggestion that Wall Street is inherently evil, criminal or has a business model of fraud, as Senator Bernie Sanders has correctly asserted.

Report Says Trump Offered Pardon to CBP Head if He Broke Law and Blocked Asylum-Seekers

"Maybe someone should hold a hearing into all the different ways Trump has asked people who work for him or the government to break laws." That's what journalist Garance Franke-Ruta suggested Saturday in leading off a Twitter thread with a list of reported examples.

Number three on her list: reporting by CNN on Friday that President Donald Trump promised Customs and Border Patrol chief Kevin McAleenan a pardon if border agents violated U.S. law and blocked asylum-seekers from entering the country.

The floated pardon, Jake Tapper reported, came last week when the president was in Calexico, California. There, Trump reportedly told border agents behind closed doors they should block entry to migrants at the southern border. After Trump left, their supervisors, however, told them they must obey the law, CNN reported at the time.

From the new reporting:

Two officials briefed on the exchange say the president told McAleenan, since named the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, that he "would pardon him if he ever went to jail for denying U.S. entry to migrants," as one of the officials paraphrased.

The White House referred CNN to the Department of Homeland Security. A DHS spokesman told CNN, "At no time has the President indicated, asked, directed or pressured the Acting Secretary to do anything illegal. Nor would the Acting Secretary take actions that are not in accordance with our responsibility to enforce the law."

... Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) called the alleged pardon offer an "egregious abuse of power [that] must be condemned in the strongest terms.  And Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Penn.) called it "a textbook example of abuse of power and reckless disregard for the rule of law—and it's no 'joking' matter."

Rural America is running out of teachers

20 religious groups call on Congress to ‘stop weaponizing anti-Semitism’

Twenty faith groups — many of them Jewish — called on members of Congress to “stop weaponizing anti-Semitism” and said the issue should not be used to attack politicians from the other side of the aisle. ...

The letter directly referred to an incident last month when Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alaska), quoted from Hitler’s 1925 book “Mein Kampf” on the House floor, comparing present-day Democrats with members of the Nazi Party.

“We welcome bipartisan efforts aimed at combating anti-Semitism,” the letter says. “However, much of the recent rhetoric and political maneuvering on the issue seems cynically focused on showing that one party cares more about anti-Jewish bigotry than the other.”

Ilhan Omar’s defenders say Trump’s 9/11 tweet is endangering her life

President Donald Trump is now using 9/11 imagery to attack Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of only two Muslim women ever elected to Congress. On Friday evening, Trump tweeted and pinned to his account a video that juxtaposed remarks Omar made last month with imagery of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “WE WILL NEVER FORGET,” he wrote. Right-wing politicians and media publications have latched onto a handful of words Omar said and are attempting to characterize them as a flippant disregard of 9/11.

"CAIR was founded after 9/11, because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties," Omar said at an event hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Los Angeles. Her comments were part of a larger speech about Muslim life in the United States. Many on the right have taken the words “some people did something” as an attempt to downplay the terrorist attack and as disrespectful to those who suffered. Omar also inaccurately stated that CAIR was founded after 9/11. It was founded in 1994, though it increased civil-rights advocacy initiatives after Sept. 11, 2001.

The tweet was Trump’s most pointed attack against the congresswoman yet and has caused fierce outrage from the left, who say the president is endangering Omar and her family with anti-Muslim rhetoric. Omar has already received numerous death threats, one of which lead to an arrest of a man just this month. ...

In addition to the video, Trump retweeted an account that pondered why Omar was allowed to walk the halls of Congress. His son, Donald Trump Jr., also retweeted a meme Friday that included a racist, Islamophobic conspiracy theory linking Omar to terrorism. ... Her defenders [...] say that the attacks are nothing more than an attempt to silence Congress’ most vocal critic of Israel.

Trump is ‘endangering lives’ and encouraging ‘hate’, says Democrat Omar

Facebook, Twitter Urged to Suspend Trump Following Attack on Ilhan Omar

Supporters of Rep. Ilhan Omar are urging Facebook and Twitter to suspend President Donald Trump's accounts after the president posted a video attacking the Minnesota Democrat.

"We don't have to give hate a platform," a new petition states.

Launched Saturday by the Women's March, it accuses the president of "inciting violence and engaging in hate speech" through the "propaganda video targeting Congresswoman Omar" he posted Friday which uses an out-of-context phrase Omar said in reference to 9/11.

Democratic leadership, meanwhile, is also facing heat in the aftermath of the video.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is under fire for issuing "cowardly" statement that, as analyst Juan Cole wrote, "was so anodyne that Pelosi didn't even mention Omar's name." 

Responding to that failure of leadership, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Minn.) said: "They put us in photos when they want to show our party is diverse. However, when we ask to be at the table, or speak up about issues that impact who we are, what we fight for & why we ran in the first place, we are ignored. To truly honor our diversity is to never silence us." 

Yemeni bodegas boycott New York Post over attacks on Ilhan Omar

A group of New York corner-store owners has announced a boycott on the sale of the New York Post, arguing that the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper’s attacks on congresswoman Ilhan Omar are making Muslim Americans less safe. On Thursday, the Post published a front page featuring an image of the World Trade Center towers in flames on 11 September 2001 and a quote suggesting that Omar, a Somali American congresswoman from Minnesota who wears a hijab, had minimized the seriousness of the terror attacks in a speech last month.

In an open letter in response, the Yemeni American Merchants Association wrote that the front page “provoked hatred” and “aims to harm Omar and her family and other people of the Islamic faith”. The group said it was calling on “all Yemeni American bodega and deli owners” as well as “our community and allies across New York City” to boycott the sale and purchase of the Post.

The association represents Yemeni Americans who own and run an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 of New York City’s thousands of delis and corner stores, which are known as “bodegas”. Such stores are integral to the daily life of most New Yorkers, a crucial source of late-night snacks, morning coffee and newspapers and magazines. ...

Ayyad Algabyali, the group’s director of advocacy, told the Guardian: “It’s not the first time that the New York Post basically spreads hate and fear in their newspapers.” Selling the New York Post might bring merchants “a little profit”, he added, but it also means “you are committing to sell violence and hate in the community, and that’s totally unacceptable”. There was “no end date” to the boycott, he said, adding: “This might be for good.”



the horse race



Click the link for the nice charts and graphs and more analysis.

Which Candidates Are Mentioned Most Often on TV News?

Curious about how much media coverage the Democratic presidential hopefuls were getting, I asked FAIR intern Teddy Ostrow to do a count, using the Internet Archive’s TV News Archive, of candidate mentions in 2019 (1/1/19–4/11/19). He used the list of declared or exploratory candidates on Wikipedia, plus Joe Biden, since he leads most national polls of the race.

Somewhat to my surprise, the results tracked fairly closely with candidates’ positions in the polls. When one candidate’s mentions are divided by the total of all candidates’ mentions, the resulting percentage generally resembles the polling average published by Real Clear Politics (3/14/19–4/7/19).

The one candidate who’s getting a much smaller percentage of TV news mentions than his average in the polls is Biden, who got 16 percent of the mentions and is averaging 31 percent in polls. Of course, Biden has not announced he is running, and further does hold a current office that might keep him in the news. Bernie Sanders also is covered somewhat less than his polling numbers: He got 18 percent of mentions, and averages 21 percent in polls. Andrew Yang, the least covered of the candidates who got more than a tiny amount of coverage, got 0.6 percent of mentions with a 0.8 percent polling average.

All the other candidates are getting a share of coverage equal to or greater than their share of support in polls. The biggest gap was for Elizabeth Warren, who got 16 percent of mentions and averages only 6 percent in polls. Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand also got a substantially larger share of coverage compared to their poll averages.


Trump is raking in mountains of cash ahead of 2020

For all the excitement surrounding the fundraising efforts of Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris, Donald Trump has outpaced them both — combined.

Trump’s 2020 campaign has announced it raked in $30.3 million in the first quarter alone, which far outpaces all the Democratic hopefuls, including the top two fundraisers, Sanders ($18.2 million) and Harris ($12 million). Granted, Trump’s the incumbent, and the Democratic field of more than a dozen candidates is splitting the donor dollars.

Trump’s campaign emphasized that almost all of the donations came from grassroots supporters, with nearly 99 percent of the donations at $200 or less and an average donation of just $34.

But it’s not just Trump’s own campaign benefiting from his extremely unconventional brand of presidency: The Republican National Committee announced it had pulled in $46 million in donations during the same period.

RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the campaign had raised over a million dollars in a single day eight times in 2019 and has added 100,000 new donors since the start of the year.

The combined total gives Trump a war chest of over $80 million — an unprecedented amount at this stage of a re-election campaign.




the evening greens

'Shut the country down': British climate group Extinction Rebellion heads to US

Bea Ruiz, a veteran progressive coordinator, has been telling scores of first-time climate change protesters they face being harassed and beaten by police next week. Most seem happy with the deal. “I told a 72-year-old volunteer that he will probably be targeted by police,” said Ruiz, who is based in Eureka, California and is helping organize the first US rollout of Extinction Rebellion, a group founded in the UK that has grabbed attention through disruptive protests leading to mass arrests. “He paused and then said: ‘OK, yes.’”

Following a foray into New York in January, several thousand protestors will aim to cause similar mischief in dozens of US cities next week. “This is a coordinated rebellion that targets industry and government indefinitely, to shut the country down,” Ruiz said. “In my 30 years plus of activism I’ve never seen so many everyday people worried in such a visceral way, for themselves, their children, their grandchildren. It’s unprecedented.”

Some activists hope the arrival of Extinction Rebellion will be a watershed moment for the US environmental movement, shifting it from what they see as a tepid response to the cavalcade of disasters threatening the livability of the planet. Extinction Rebellion is aimed at spurring a muscular, punkish outpouring of civil disobedience, snarling cities and frogmarching politicians towards meaningful action. In the UK, Extinction Rebellion members have caused uproar by halting traffic on bridges in central London, stripping naked in parliament and blockading the BBC. Last week, protestors glued themselves to the entrance of a fracking conference. “Troublemakers change the world,” said Roger Hallam, one the group’s founders. ...

American protesters have shown willingness to chain themselves to oil drills or, in the case of the Keystone XL pipeline, be rounded up outside the White House. Native Americans, regularly subject to the collateral damage of extractive industry, rose up in the face of savage policing during the Standing Rock protests of 2017. But some activists feel forceful confrontation needs to become the norm. ... “The mainstream environmental movement has been asking so little of people here, whereas we are saying, ‘We are in danger and we are asking you to act accordingly, to put your lives on the line,’” said Ruiz. “Very commonly, the big environmental groups will send emails saying, ‘Donate $5 today, call your congressman’ and then ask for very symbolic action where people won’t be held for long.

“Falter”: In New Book, Bill McKibben Asks If the Human Game Has Begun to Play Itself Out

South African police seize 167 rhino horns after tipoff

South African police have seized 167 rhino horns believed to have been destined for Asia. Two suspects were arrested in the sting operation in the North West province on Saturday, which followed a tipoff. Police said it was one of the biggest hauls of rhino horns in the country. ...

Demand for rhino horn is primarily fuelled by consumers in China and Vietnam, where it is advertised by some traditional medicine practitioners as a wonder ingredient. In reality it comprises little more than keratin, the protein that makes human hair and fingernails. ...

South Africa, which is home to about 80% of the world rhino population, has been hit hardest. In 2018, 769 rhinos were poached in South Africa alone. More than 7,100 animals have been killed over the past decade.

Endangered North Atlantic right whales experience mini baby boom

Endangered North Atlantic right whales are experiencing a mini baby boom in waters off New England, researchers on Cape Cod have said.

The North Atlantic right whale is one of the rarest species of whale on the planet, numbering only about 411.

But the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) in Provincetown, Massachusetts, said on Friday its aerial survey team had spotted two mother and calf pairs in Cape Cod Bay a day earlier. That brings the number seen in New England waters alone this year to three.

That is big news because the whale’s population has been falling, and no calves were seen at all last year. In all, seven right whale calves have been seen in 2019.


Also of Interest

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

Julian Assange’s Nightmarish Future

Assange’s ‘Conspiracy’ to Expose War Crimes Has Already Been Punished

CIA's Vault 7 Files Launched New Case Against Assange - Attack Intends To Prevent Further Leaks

Lawyer alleges Ecuador spread lies about WikiLeaks founder

The US Government Won’t Care About Your Definition Of Journalism After The Assange Precedent Is Set

How Democrats Did, and Did Not, Defend Ilhan Omar

This April 15, Don’t Fall for the Right’s Favorite Lie About Taxes

"Keep It, It's Yours." Postal Workers' Message to Public Denounces Trump Privatization Plan


A Little Night Music

Memphis Slim - Treat Me Like I Treat You

Memphis Slim - Blues For Jimmy Yancey

Memphis Slim & Matt "Guitar" Murphy - Wish Me Well

Memphis Slim - Got To Find My Baby

Memphis Slim & Buddy Guy - Jamming at the Castle

Memphis Slim - Five o'clock blues

Memphis Slim - Life Is Like That

Memphis Slim - I Feel So Good

Memphis Slim - Lonesome


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17 users have voted.

Comments

Wally's picture

The one percent needed in a major poll that is.

The first time for both. They need to get in two more before the deadline to ensure their access to the debate stage once their required number of unique contributions is verified. Last I heard, Gravel had around 20,000 unique contributions. So he needs to get going on that front.

And Bernie with 29% is leading Biden. Nobody else close.

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17 users have voted.
QMS's picture

@Wally
Given a choice between beetle juice and Gabbard would seem to be a no brainer. But the polls are not set up that way. Who cares what these rigged polls indicate? Oh, maybe I'm in the minority because I care about our future? Kinda crap is that? Don't believe there are more people who care not about our best path forward than these statistics indicate. It's a sham set up for the pre-programed.

up
6 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

@QMS
barely even paying attention.

up
6 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

QMS's picture

@UntimelyRippd
I don't seem to have the ability to remember that most people do not notice the lies. Except, maybe you, me and most everyone else I talk to. Seems pretty damn obvious. Although, am not brainwashed to the point of actually owning one of those programming devices called TV. So, what is there to say?

up
7 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

@QMS
is being talked about in the press. and a lot of them don't even know that, which is one reason Biden and Warren (and Sanders as well, to some extent) are polling relatively well -- they're the people that folks already know something about.

up
5 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

joe shikspack's picture

@Wally

i'm glad to see gabbard and gravel's numbers up. gravel just started out, what, last week, so i suspect that he will have the needed 65000 contributions in a couple more weeks if his publicity people get his name out there.

it's also good to see that sanders is running ahead of the centrists, that's a good sign for the mood of the people.

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11 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

Thanks for the Memphis Slim and news of the world. What an upside down situation... truthtellers imprisoned and liars exalted. I enjoyed Bill McKibben's take. I like the fact he still expresses hope. All the folks in London and around the world with the XR movement spell hope too.

Sometimes I think it could be so simple...other times I think it is impossible to save people and ecosystem. I really think most people do have the will to make the changes, but the corporate global empire is fighting against progress.

Sad to see Notre Dame burning (as well as the planet).
https://www.rt.com/news/456608-notre-dame-cathedral-fire-paris/

Hope you and yours are doing well this spring Joe. Thanks so much for all your work collecting this info for us on a daily basis. I always learn something and enjoy the music.

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9 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Lookout

heh, truth has never been terribly popular with the ruling class. it seems that their ranks have always been populated with shifty little weasels on the make.

it seems like it should be simple, given that science tells us that continuing to do x, y and z means doom. i guess we'll find out if corporations really are immortal.

spring is pretty good here so far, i vote to keep it. Smile

have a great evening!

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7 users have voted.
Wally's picture

Tonight is the deadline. Before 8 ET.

Here's the link:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/4/15/1850407/-Daily-Kos-Democratic...

You know how to make him mad.

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6 users have voted.
Shahryar's picture

@Wally

from The Hill, reporting on the latest poll showing Bernie ahead at 29% with Biden 2nd at 24% and way back in 3rd, Buttigieg with 9% (just slightly ahead of going-nowhere Kamala and Warren).

Yet....

“While still early in the nominating process, it looks like Mayor Pete is the candidate capturing voters’ imagination,” Spencer Kimball, director of Emerson Polling, said in a statement Monday. “The numbers had him at 0% in mid-February, 3% in March and now at 9% in April.”

How does he figure that? It does remind me, though, that CNN had a similar report a month or two back when Kamillary was in 3rd and how she, at 10% or whatever, was the really big news.

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12 users have voted.
Wally's picture

@Shahryar @QMS @Shahryar

A tip of the hat to the Chapo Trap House folk for this

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11 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

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5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@lotlizard
hand movements would reveal their words to be weasels. So they came up with putting their fingers together, conveniently even making a sign of a heart. Touching the hearts and minds, right, in a controlled manner.

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4 users have voted.

TTTT (too tired to talk)

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Shahryar

believe that they owe it to any one candidate to report on them--unless they make themselves available, and frankly, have something 'new' to say.

From their discussions, they "like" Mayor Pete and Mister Beto because of their gimmicks they break news more often. Beto with his various social media videos, hopping on tables, etc. Mayor Pete by picking fights over religion (with Pence), speaking several languages, etc.

IOW, Warren, Klobuchar, Sanders, Booker, and (Biden--if he gets in) are all "old hat," and say and do the same things, over and over, again.

Reporters and Cable News hosts are mostly interested in what they think gets them 'clicks.' Not substance.

That's one reason DT got so much press, early on during the 2016 primary season, Cable ratings skyrocketed when he was interviewed, according to CNN hosts. IOW, the bottom line is money--what sells.

Mollie

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

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4 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

joe shikspack's picture

@Wally

he must be a bit peeved, media outlets aren't paying any attention to his poll anymore.

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8 users have voted.
Dawn's Meta's picture

might be upset with us all. For good reason. The same week that Julien Assange is hauled out of sanctuary, the great Cathedral burns.

Mourning in so many ways for so many lost things and lives. We have homeless in Paris, and people who can't be helped with the social safety net. Macron, following Hollande and before him, Sarkozy, have been bffs of corpratists for so many years. The loss of funding for national treasures is one of the casualties of the privatization of so many commonwealth sectors. Well here it is.

The transportation sector: airports and fast rail are being privatized as fast as they can go. The previous luxurious TGV will become like private airlines, a costly and dehumanizing experience.

The gem of health systems may become like the previously well done UK health system: defunct.

We are devastated by the loss of environmental, historical and human treasure.

Edited to add: so disappointed in Jeremy Corbyn. What happens to all these public people? I don't understand the social/political infection under which they seem to suffer.

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8 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

joe shikspack's picture

@Dawn's Meta

yep, it appears that we humans have an innate capacity to screw up anything nice.

sorry to hear that france is no better than anywhere else.

have a good evening!

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5 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

Reading the headlines, I know it's difficult to stay positive. So the only thing I have to say is:

Have a beautiful evening, folks! Pleasantry

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6 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

have a great evening!

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4 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

starting in a few minutes. Will probably listen to it on XM, unless we watch it online. Interested to see if he's released his taxes. (I believe today was his self-imposed deadline.)

Speaking of which (taxes), gotta run, take Pup out, and do final check, and transmit ours. Smile

Don't know if Fox has transcripts for special events (they do for Chris Wallace's Sunday Show)--but, if they do, I'll post it here, once it's online.

Will swing back to read later. Today was nippy, but gorgeous--sorry couldn't be out in it.

[Edited: His tax returns were just released.]

Everyone have a good evening! PleasantryByeMollie

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

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6 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

*edited to add part 2 of the fox town hall

looks like fox put up part of the town hall:

this came up in my search, too:


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5 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

the videos you posted. Missed maybe 5 minutes--getting 'the K' out for a pit stop.

Yea! Transmitted that pesky tax return about 7:30. Even though I started it several days ago, just couldn't bring myself to knock it out--until I had no choice. Heck, I'd rather have to shop for a Medicare Part D plan, than mess with filing taxes. Thanks goodness it's over for a year!

Yahoo

Thought the Town Hall went well--definitely, better than the one on CNN. I'm waiting for a transcript to be generated, though, so I can screenshot one statement he made, and, possibly Tweet it to his campaign for an explanation.

My only objection stemming from tonight's program was that Bernie pulled "a Jayapal"--by insinuating that his MFA proposal was the current Original/Traditional Medicare program. Which, of course, it isn't.

(Actually, it won't bear much resemblance to it, considering the global budgeting and managed care aspects of the proposed MFA system. Of course, for folks who currently have very narrow provider networks, that part would be improved.)

Hopefully, your video will show the portion of the Town Hall pertaining to the Medicare discussion. Gonna quickly see if I can find it.

If I do, I'll leave folks with the beginning/ending times, since I don't have the capability of actually making a standalone clip.

If I can't do it in a few minutes, will do it later this week (and post it here). Got to catch up on a couple chores, that I put on the back burner while I've been working on taxes.

Hey, off to catch a few minutes of the videos, before I have to "go out," again. You know, we haven't had a real young puppy since the early 90's. "Forgot" how often they have to go for a walk. One thing, though--no one can say I/we don't get any exercise!

Biggrin

Have a good one!

ByeMollie

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

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4 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

have any idea what the trick is?

I've double-checked. My sound is working on my computer, and, I don't have the video on mute, and the volume is turned up.

Yikes!

(I'll poke around, and see if I can find another video, somewhere.)

Mollie

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

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2 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

they work fine for me. try a different browser maybe?

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2 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

initially (so didn't make changes).

Anyhoo, came back to computer, tried WD's Playing For Change video--it worked.

Came back to Town Hall--now, I can hear it.

Sorry!

Sorry 2Mollie

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

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3 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

enhydra lutris's picture

embassies, provided sanctuaries to all. Today it seems that they only provide sanctuaries to those a different age would identify as evil and/or wicked. Assange's rendition to the US is all but certain and it appears that Notre Dame is a goner, an irreplaceable masterpiece of art and architecture lost, seemingly due to renovation. Pure coincidence, for certain, but the irony is palpable.

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9 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

There was a time when cathedrals, not embassies, provided sanctuaries

it seems like pretty much all major institutions are corrupt these days. sanctuary is a matter of taking whatever shelter offers itself these days, sometimes as for snowden, for one institution to poke its thumb in the eye of another.

sad about notre dame.

have a good evening!

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5 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

thanks for the links! heh, none too surprising that many of the stink tanks in deecee are working on how to get the military introduced into venezuela, seeing as soft power doesn't seem to be getting the job done.

have a great evening!

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5 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

Great Memphis Slim, man he could play great...

Thanks for the Assange coverage/air time. The whole thing is one of the most despicable, sickening, disgusting things I have ever seen in my life. So much for 'don't shoot the messenger', eh?

Glad to see the Diego Garcia issue get some exposure too. More little people that weren't very white getting abused bigtime. I am sure we have screwed up the place bigtime as our military bases are wont to do. It was a real crooked deal U.K. pulled on the Chagos people. Was Thatcher, Blair, or May involved?

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5 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

memphis slim is one of the great blues piano players, his recorded work in the 50's and 60's with matt "guitar" murphy is really good stuff worth seeking out as are his earlier recordings with big bill broonzy.

the assange extraordinary rendition is one of the key issues of our time. people who don't have the right to expose crimes and fraud by their government are not citizens, they are subjects.

It was a real crooked deal U.K. pulled on the Chagos people. Was Thatcher, Blair, or May involved?

it started before their time - from wikipedia:

On 30 December 1966, the United States and the UK executed an agreement through an Exchange of Notes which permitted the United States to use the BIOT for defence purposes for 50 years until December 2016, followed by a 20-year extension (to 2036) as long as neither party gives notice of termination in a two-year window (December 2014 – December 2016) and the UK may decide on what additional terms to extend the agreement. No monetary payment was made from the United States to the UK as part of this agreement or any subsequent amendment. Rather, the United Kingdom received a US$14-million discount from the United States on the acquisition of submarine-launched ballistic missile system Polaris missiles per a now-declassified addendum to the 1966 agreement.

harold wilson was pm at the time the deal was finalized, both david cameron and theresa may were pm during the window when the deal could have been terminated.

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5 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@dystopian  
The Chagos islanders fought and won in British courts for their right to return, but the U.K. politicians appealed the case all the way up to the Law Lords (very roughly equivalent to the U.S. Supreme Court), who, as could have been predicted, found a pretext to reverse the lower court findings and rule against them.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=chagos+law+lords

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depopulation_of_Chagossians_from_the_Chago...

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5 users have voted.