The Evening Blues - 4-18-19



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Archie Bell & The Drells


Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features r&b group Archie Bell & The Drells. Enjoy!

Archie Bell & The Drells - Tighten Up

“The concept of good versus evil is a handy construct for framing a narrative. When you see someone applying that concept to real-world events, however, be aware that you're in the presence of a peddler of fiction.”

-- Stewart Stafford


News and Opinion

Critics assail Trump's veto of Yemen bill

Members of the United States Congress criticised President Donald Trump's veto of a resolution that would have ended US military support for the Saudi-UAE war in Yemen, calling it a "missed opportunity".

"From a president elected on the promise of putting a stop to our endless wars, this veto is a painful missed opportunity," said Democrat Ro Khanna, who was the lead sponsor of the bill in the US House of Representatives. ...

Advocates for the Yemen resolution are likely to turn their attention now to legislation in the House that would ban further US arms sales to Saudi Arabia and a bill in the Senate that would also impose financial sanctions on individual Saudis. ...

Representative Jim McGovern, a Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, introduced legislation in January with bipartisan support that would stop all arms sales and US aid to Saudi Arabia. The bill is pending before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

In the Senate, Democratic Senator Bob Menendez has introduced a bill that calls for an end to the war in Yemen, and would impose financial and travel sanctions on individual Saudis. It is pending before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Guantanamo military tribunal hit with another legal setback

A federal appeals court dealt another severe blow to the beleaguered Guantanamo Bay military tribunals Tuesday, tossing out three years worth of rulings in a key terror case after deciding the judge overseeing the proceedings did not appear to be impartial.

In a blistering opinion, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held that Air Force Col. Vance Spath created “an intolerable cloud of partiality” over the military commission by pursuing a job at the Justice Department while simultaneously presiding over the case against Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri, the alleged mastermind of the USS Cole bombing in Yemen in 2000.

The unanimous opinion from a three-judge panel also accused Spath of a “lack of candor” for obscuring his pending job change by not revealing it when he halted proceedings in the case in July 2018.

Judge David Tatel said that under the circumstances, Al-Nashiri had “a clear and indisputable right to relief.” ...

Tuesday’s ruling is yet another setback for the tribunal system. The order included an extraordinary rebuke of military judges, prosecutors and other officials for failing to ensure that the commission process remained free of bias and the appearance of bias.

“Criminal justice is a shared responsibility. Yet in this case, save for Al-Nashiri’s defense counsel, all elements of the military commission system—from the prosecution team to the Justice Department to the [Court of Military Commission Review] to the judge himself—failed to live up to that responsibility,” Tatel wrote. “And we cannot dismiss Spath’s lapse as a one-time aberration, as Al-Nashiri’s is not the first meritorious request for recusal that our court has considered with respect to military commission proceedings.”

EU Parliament Debates Extradition of Julian Assange

The “Resistance” is Silent on Julian Assange

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president we have heard a lot about people who call themselves the “resistance.” That word has very significant meaning and should not be used frivolously. The enslaved Haitian people resisted the French 200 years ago. Harriet Tubman resisted and so did Tecumseh. Brave people all over the world have resisted colonial invasion, occupation, and racist violence. But resistance for the anti-Trump group doesn’t amount to very much. They are united in dislike of Donald Trump, but only some of the time. They call him a fascist, but they mute themselves when his fascism supports the bipartisan imperialist consensus.

The so-called resistance have been conspicuously silent ever since Julian Assange was arrested after Ecuador withdrew his asylum from its London embassy. Under the guise of defending the press, this same group became hysterical when Trump had a stupid argument with a CNN reporter.They are enraged when he refers to the media as “enemies of the people.” But when publisher and journalist Julian Assange was snatched up by the U.S. and its vassal states they either said nothing or condemned a man whose actions are the very embodiment of resistance. ...

This resistance is little more than a collective hissy fit from dead ender Democrats who insist on following a party that can’t even reliably stay in office. They have spent the last three years railing against Trump but bite their tongues when he commits an act that reeks of fascist ideology. ... Liberals are just as much true believers in imperialism as the right wing they claim to oppose.They are nothing if not consistent. When the Trump administration announced the coup attempt against the Venezuelan government the resistance didn’t resist at all.

Instead they repeated talking points from the New York Timesand National Public Radio which labeled the elected Venezuelan president a brutal dictator. They didn’t question the United States claim of a right to undo the will of people in another country. Some gave wishy washy criticism of military intervention but none of them questioned an intervention which is fascist by any definition. ...

Attacking the person who revealed war crimes is compliance in the service of the state. Perhaps this group needs a new name. They should be honest and call themselves the conformists.

Is Trump for Detente or Militarism? – RAI with Stephen Cohen

Trump's new Cuba crackdown puts US at odds with Canada and Europe

Donald Trump has taken another step towards reversing Barack Obama’s historic rapprochement with Cuba with a measure that earned swift criticism from allies in Canada and Europe. The US announced on Wednesday that it would enable lawsuits against foreign companies that use properties nationalised by the communist government after Fidel Castro’s 1959 revolution.

The policy shift, which could draw hundreds of thousands of legal claims worth tens of billion of dollars, aims to put pressure on Cuba at a moment when the US is demanding an end to Havana’s support for Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicolás Maduro.

It was condemned by Cuba as “an attack on international law” and by Canada and the European Union as “regrettable”, since their companies have significant investments in hotels, distilleries, tobacco factories and other properties on the island. Title III of the Helms-Burton Act had been fully waived by every president over the past 23 years due to concerns from the international community and fears that it could overwhelm US courts with lawsuits.

But Trump, who has made a habit of breaking from his predecessors, gave the go-ahead for it to be activated. Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, said that, for the first time, US citizens will be able to bring lawsuits against individuals trafficking in property that was confiscated by the Cuban regime. ...

James Williams, president of the pressure group Engage Cuba said: “President Trump is doing this for one reason, and one reason only: to appease fringe hardliners in South Florida ahead of the 2020 election. The only way to get property claimants what they deserve is through diplomatic negotiations, which President Trump just threw off the table.”

North Korea says test-fired new type of weapon

Kim Jong-un oversees first weapons test since failed US-North Korea summit

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the testing of a new type of tactical guided weapon on Wednesday, state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Thursday. It is North Korea’s first public weapons test since the second US-North Korea summit in Hanoi ended with no agreement in February.

KCNA did not describe exactly what the weapon is, including whether it was a missile or another type of weapon, but “tactical” implies a short-range weapon, as opposed to the long-range ballistic missiles that have been seen as a threat to the United States. Nevertheless, the missile has a “peculiar mode of guiding flight” and “a powerful warhead,” KCNA said. ...

Meanwhile, satellite images from last week show movement at North Korea’s main nuclear site that could be associated with the reprocessing of radioactive material into bomb fuel, the Center for Strategic and International Studies in the United States said on Tuesday. “Kim is trying to make a statement to the Trump administration that his military potential is growing by the day,” said Harry Kazianis, an analyst at the Center for the National Interest. “His regime is becoming frustrated with Washington’s lack of flexibility in recent negotiations.”

Israeli Court Orders Deportation of Human Rights Watch's Omar Shakir Over Pro-Palestinian Activism

An Israeli court on Tuesday ordered the deportation of Human Rights Watch's Omar Shakir over his advocacy work against illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The court's decision marks the first time Israel's draconian "anti-boycott law" has been applied to someone already legally present in the country.

Shakir, HRW's Israel and Palestine director, has called on businesses to "cease operations" in illegal Israeli settlements and expressed support for individuals' right to participate in boycotts against Israel.

Israel said Shakir's advocacy work amounts to support for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement (BDS), which the country has criminalized.

Tom Porteous, deputy program director at HRW, said in a statement that Israel's efforts to deport Shakir are part of a broader attempt to muzzle critics of the country's brutal occupation of Palestinian territories. "Israel portrays itself as the region's only democracy, but is set to deport a rights defender over his peaceful advocacy," said Porteous.

Keiser Report: The door to censorship

Half of England is owned by less than 1% of the population

Half of England is owned by less than 1% of its population, according to new data shared with the Guardian that seeks to penetrate the secrecy that has traditionally surrounded land ownership. The findings, described as “astonishingly unequal”, suggest that about 25,000 landowners – typically members of the aristocracy and corporations – have control of half of the country. The figures show that if the land were distributed evenly across the entire population, each person would have almost an acre – an area roughly the size of Parliament Square in central London. Major owners include the Duke of Buccleuch, the Queen, several large grouse moor estates, and the entrepreneur James Dyson.

While land has long been concentrated in the hands of a small number of owners, precise information about property ownership has been notoriously hard to access. But a combination of the development of digital maps and data as well as pressure from campaigners has made it possible to assemble the shocking statistics. Jon Trickett, Labour MP and shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, hailed the significance of the findings and called for a full debate on the issue, adding: “The dramatic concentration of land ownership is an inescapable reminder that ours is a country for the few and not the many.

Guy Shrubsole, author of the book in which the figures are revealed, Who Owns England?, argues that the findings show a picture that has not changed for centuries. “Most people remain unaware of quite how much land is owned by so few,” he writes, adding: “A few thousand dukes, baronets and country squires own far more land than all of middle England put together.” ... Shrubsole estimates that 18% of England is owned by corporations, some of them based overseas or in offshore jurisdictions. He has based this calculation on a spreadsheet of land owned by all UK-registered companies that has been released by the Land Registry. From this spreadsheet, he has listed the top 100 landowning companies.

Nancy Pelosi Takes Control of U.S. Foreign Policy on Brexit With Stark Warning to U.K.

Addressing Ireland’s parliament in Dublin on Wednesday, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seized control of American foreign policy in relation to Brexit, saying that Congress would block any new trade deal with the United Kingdom if Britain’s exit from the European Union threatens the peace in Northern Ireland.

After introducing the slew of Irish-American lawmakers traveling with her, Pelosi praised the Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to the British-governed territory of Northern Ireland in 1998 and removed the need for customs and security checkpoints along its border with Ireland.


“Let me be clear,” Pelosi added, “if the Brexit deal undermines the Good Friday accords, there would be no chance of a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement.”

Mueller found 10 instances of potential obstruction, but Barr cleared Trump anyway

Attorney General William Barr delivered a full-throated defense of President Donald Trump Thursday, using Trump’s own repeated claim — “no collusion” — to describe the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, even before the public or Congress has had a chance to see it. ...


Barr said that while the report showed Russia worked extensively to influence the election, no American was involved in the effort. As to whether the president obstructed justice by firing the head of the FBI, James Comey, Barr said he concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to reach a determination, despite Mueller laying out 10 accounts of potential obstruction and supporting legal theories. Barr said he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, however, “disagreed with some of the special counsel’s legal theories.”

“Although the deputy attorney general and I disagreed with some of the special counsel’s legal theories and felt that some of the episodes examined did not amount to obstruction as a matter of law, we did not rely solely on that in making our decision,” Barr said Thursday. “Instead, we accepted the special counsel’s legal framework for purposes of our analysis and evaluated the evidence as presented by the special counsel in reaching our conclusion.”

Barr justified the decision not to charge the president with obstruction in part on a reading of President Trump's intent. He was angry at the two-year investigation, Barr said, and therefore not trying to obstruct justice, avoid questions, or contest the findings. He was just mad and frustrated at being investigated in the first place.

Trump claims 'game over' on Mueller report as Democrats say game on

Donald Trump’s claims of vindication after the release of Robert Mueller’s report on Thursday were quickly drowned out by furious Democrats, who pointed to a wealth of evidence the president attempted to obstruct justice and demanded fresh hearings into potentially criminal conduct.

Republican hopes of drawing a line under the affair were dashed as the bombshell document threatened to reopen debate over impeachment and raised questions over the futures of William Barr, the attorney general, and Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, both accused of misleading the public. The timing of the report was fortunate for Trump, with Congress not in session and Washington winding down for Easter. Initial reaction was perhaps preordained by a four-page summary released by Barr last month and offered a textbook example of Washington’s bitter partisanship and polarization.

Republicans circled the wagons and claimed exoneration again. Speaking at the White House, Trump said: “This should never happen to another president again. This hoax – it should never happen to another president again.” ... There was also a preview of how Trump will attempt to use the report in next year’s presidential election, arguing that it was cooked up by Democrats and anti-Trump officials in an attempt to thwart his supporters. His re-election campaign said in a statement: “Now the tables have turned, and it’s time to investigate the liars who instigated this sham investigation into President Trump, motivated by political retribution and based on no evidence whatsoever.”

But if the White House hopes the nation is ready to move on, it is likely to be disappointed. Mueller offered plenty of fodder for Democrats and other critics of the president, including detailing Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice and remove Mueller that were prevented only by those around him.

Chomsky: By Focusing on Russia, Democrats Handed Trump a “Huge Gift” & Possibly the 2020 Election

Alan Dershowitz sued for defamation connected to Epstein sex abuse claims

Attorney Alan Dershowitz, the Harvard professor and lawyer for convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, is the subject of a new defamation lawsuit from one of Epstein’s accusers.

In the suit, Virginia L. Giuffre, previously known as Virginia Roberts, said that she was a victim of sex trafficking and abuse by billionaire Jeffrey Epstein over a decade ago and that Dershowitz falsely claimed she had fabricated the accusations. The suit alleges that Dershowitz "was also a participant in sex trafficking, including as one of the men to whom Epstein lent out Plaintiff for sex."

Dershowitz has adamantly denied the allegations.

Giuffre says in the in the suit filed Tuesday that she was the victim of sex trafficking and abuse by Epstein during 2000 to 2002, beginning when she was 16 years old. "When Epstein was arrested for sex trafficking in 2006, Dershowitz defended his friend and client by falsely attacking the veracity of his accusers, including calling the children whom Epstein had abused [and, in the case of Plaintiff, the Defendant himself had also abused], liars and prostitutes,” the defamation suit filed by Giuffre says.

Case of officer who shot unarmed black man on ninth judge after eight drop out

The case of a white police officer charged with murder in the shooting death of an unarmed black man in Alabama three years ago is now on its ninth judge. Eight judges have dropped out as the case makes its way to trial, with the eighth recusing himself earlier this week, just a few days after being appointed.

A Montgomery police officer, Aaron Smith, is to face a jury over the killing of Greg Gunn, who fled a random stop-and-frisk and was chased, shocked, beaten and then shot five times in 2016, by Smith while he was on duty. Smith has argued that he acted in self-defense. Sam Welch became the eighth judge assigned to the case last Friday and then recused himself this week.

The state supreme court has now ranged further afield from Montgomery and tapped the retired Dale county circuit judge Philip Ben McLauchlin, in a ninth attempt to pick a judge to hear the case, the Montgomery Advertiser reported. Welch is a former presiding judge of the state court of criminal appeals who said he had denied motions asking for another judge’s recusal.



the horse race



National Republicans Bankrolled Lawyer for GOP Congressional Candidate Accused of Election Fraud

National Republicans picked up the tab for the legal defense of a North Carolina congressional candidate whose campaign illegally solicited and forged absentee ballots in the state’s 9th District, according to disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission. The attorney has been accused by the North Carolina State Board of Elections of improperly withholding documents that would help expose the fraud.

Financing the legal defense implicates national Republicans in the scandal, but it hasn’t stopped them from exploiting it to push new voter suppression laws. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy have both spoken out about ballot harvesting in the 9th District, without naming the party as the culprit, using the episode to justify their push for stricter voter ID laws and attempting to curtail early voting.

The National Republican Congressional Committee paid $157,303 to a Raleigh-based law firm representing Mark Harris, whose apparent narrow victory in a November election led to an investigation into election fraud.

John Branch, a lawyer with Shanahan McDougal Law Group, represented Harris while he testified before the state election board in February about his campaign’s scheme. The NRCC made the payments to Shanahan McDougal over a three-month period starting in December, the federal disclosures show.

Branch’s representation of Harris for potentially breaking the law itself has raised ethical questions. The lawyer withheld documents during the hearing, and the election board chair called his actions “unacceptable.”

More detail at the link.

Democratic 2020 Candidates Promised to Reject Lobbyist Donations, but Many Accepted the Cash Anyway

All of the Democratic presidential candidates have committed to rejecting the influence of special interests. To demonstrate their resolve, several of the candidates have promised to power their White House ambitions without a single dollar of lobbyist money. In the waves of small-dollar donations reported on Monday — the first financial disclosure reporting period of the 2020 presidential race — lobbyist money had made its way into the coffers of major candidates’ campaigns.

Beto O’Rourke is one of the candidates who had pledge to run a campaign financed only by regular people — “not PACs, not lobbyists, not corporations, and not special interests.” His latest filing, however, shows that he accepted donations from a federal utility-company lobbyist and a top Chevron lobbyist in New Mexico.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., has also collected donations from registered corporate lobbyists in South Carolina, New York, and California. Several technology lobbyists from San Francisco have given to her campaign. Another Harris donor, Robert Crowe, from the firm, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, is a federal lobbyist who has worked to influence Congress on behalf of pipeline firm EQT Corporation and Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., similarly announced that he would eschew campaign donations from federal lobbyists, and his campaign appears to be making most of the caveat about “federal” lobbyists. Though he has returned donations from lobbyists registered under the federal government’s system, Booker has taken half a dozen donations from lobbyists registered under state and municipal lobbyist registration laws, but who do not appear in federal disclosures.

‘Purity Tests’: How Corporate Media Describe Progressives Standing Up for Principles

Obama told an audience in Berlin, Germany (HuffPost, 6/4/19):

One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States…is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, “I’m sorry, this is how it’s going to be,” and then we start sometimes creating what’s called a circular firing squad, where you start shooting at your allies because one of them is straying from purity on the issues, and when that happens, typically the overall effort and movement weakens.

In the political world, the term “purity test” has a very specific meaning, largely used by elites to chastise and attack the left, or to gaslight them into supporting more centrist or right-wing policies.  Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi (4/24/17), for example, bemoaned the ideological “activists” infiltrating the Democratic Party, undermining “more pragmatic party leaders everywhere” with their “purity tests.” She highlighted the supposed “danger” in “pushing the party too far to the left and imposing rigid orthodoxy,” warning that they are creating a “one-size party suitable only for zealots.” ...

It is often made explicit that “purity test” is merely code for the Democratic base wanting more leftist policies, and being disgruntled with politicians who block them. The Denver Post (1/31/19) described Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper as a progressive, pragmatic and “moderate problem-solver” in favor of “bipartisanship,” under attack from the “hard-core” left who demand “drastic” change. Their “purity test,” wrote the Post, will destroy a candidate with perhaps the most “credible” chance to beat Trump.

In contrast, behavior or policies imposed on the left from establishment Democrats are rarely if ever framed as a “purity test.” For example, Sanders appointed Briahna Joy Gray as his press secretary, who had previously declared she voted for the Green Party’s Jill Stein in 2016. Instead of this being seen as the party expanding its appeal to third-party voters, it produced a scandal among liberals on social media. For many, it was proof, as they had been saying all along, that Bernie was not a real Democrat—in other words, it was an opportunity for them to excommunicate an ally for being insufficiently orthodox.

On this story, New York magazine (3/20/19) described Sanders’ campaign as an “irrational cult” of “left-wing factionalists” that were attempting to “split the party” by “intentionally misleading” voters. These kind of attacks are not seen as “purity tests,” however.



the evening greens

Bernie Sanders 'Raises the Bar Even Further' on Climate With Vow to Ban Fracking, All New Fossil Fuel Projects

Bernie Sanders won praise from environmental groups after releasing a climate platform that calls for a complete ban on fracking, a moratorium on all new fossil fuel infrastructure, an end to oil exports, and a Green New Deal. "Climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet," the Vermont senator and 2020 contender wrote on the climate page of his website, which was unveiled this week.

If elected president, Sanders said, his administration will work to:

  • Pass a Green New Deal to save American families money and generate millions of jobs by transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels to 100 percent energy efficiency and sustainable energy. A Green New Deal will protect workers and the communities in which they live to ensure a transition to family-sustaining wage, union jobs.
  • Invest in infrastructure and programs to protect the frontline communities most vulnerable to extreme climate impacts like wildfires, sea level rise, drought, floods, and extreme weather like hurricanes.
  • Reduce carbon pollution emissions from our transportation system by building out high-speed passenger rail, electric vehicles, and public transit.
  • Ban fracking and new fossil fuel infrastructure and keep oil, gas, and coal in the ground by banning fossil fuel leases on public lands.
  • End exports of coal, natural gas, and crude oil.

Sanders' climate platform comes just days after fellow 2020 hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) vowed that her administration would ban fossil fuel drilling offshore and on public lands on day one.

New Bombshell Flint Documentary Exposes Government Crimes

New Report Highlights Need for Clean Energy Transition That Doesn't Rely on Dirty Mining

A new study highlights the importance of ensuring that the global transition to 100 percent clean power—which scientists say is necessary to avert climate catastrophe—doesn't rely on dirty mining for metals used in renewable energy and storage technologies. The report, entitled Responsible Minerals Sourcing for Renewable Energy (pdf), was prepared by the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) for Earthworks, as part of the U.S. nonprofit's new "Making Clean Energy Clean, Just & Equitable" initiative. It was released Wednesday.

"As we scale up clean energy technologies in pursuit of our necessarily ambitious climate goals, we must protect community health, water, human rights, and the environment," said Payal Sampat, director of Earthworks' Mining Program. "We have an opportunity, if we act now," Sampat added, "to ensure that our emerging clean energy economy is truly clean—as well as just and equitable—and not dependent on dirty mining."

The report offers an assessment of projected demand for metals often used in electric vehicles (EV), lithium-ion batteries, wind turbines, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, and other renewable energy infrastructure. The report also details the potential to decrease demand for certain minerals through efficiency and recycling, and identifies "hotspots" around the world "where opportunities to reduce demand and influence responsible sourcing initiatives will be most needed." ...

Of all the metals studied, copper, lithium, silver, and rare earths present the biggest challenges for substitution, efficiency, and recycling, for a variety of reasons.

As the report explains:

Copper is used in all technologies, and is difficult to substitute, as it is used for its high electrical conductivity. Lithium is challenging to substitute as it is used in the dominant battery technologies, as well as technologies predicted to be important in future, and currently only has limited recycling from batteries. Silver is used in 95 percent of PV panels, and while the industry is continuously increasing its efficiency in material use, it is not currently recycled and is technologically difficult to do so. Similarly, the rare earths neodymium and dysprosium are not currently recycled, and substitution is possible but currently nearly all EVs use this technology.

Given the challenges for those particular minerals as well as the broad environmental and human costs of current mining practices, ISF research director Sven Teske emphasized the need to prioritize improving extraction processes along with transformative climate policies. "The responsible materials transition," said Teske, "will need to be scaled up just as ambitiously as the 100 percent renewable energy transition."

A Message From the Future With Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

More than 400 arrested at Extinction Rebellion protests in London

There have been more than 400 arrests linked to the Extinction Rebellion protests across London and reports suggest the capital’s cells are rapidly filling up.

The Metropolitan police would not release up-to-date figures on cell capacity, but data from two years ago showed they had 799 cells available across London. With cuts to policing budgets, this number is likely to have fallen, so reports that cell space is under pressure are credible.

Extinction Rebellion protesters, activists and legal observers have told Guardian reporters some of those arrested are being taken to police stations outside London, with several saying demonstrators are being taken to Luton, while others mentioned Brighton and Essex. ...

However, despite the volume of arrests, anecdotal evidence from those on the ground suggests the police are approaching the protests with a distinctly lighter touch. One legal observer said the diminishing capacity might be a reason why police were arresting people so slowly. “The other thing is that if they come in and do a mass arrest, they might lose public support,” she added.


Also of Interest

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

Yanis Varoufakis: First They Came for Assange

Debunking The “Assange Is A Russian Agent” Smears

The Shocking Parallels Between 1919 and 2019

Festering Brexit

The Mueller report’s biggest revelations about Trump

'Exhausted' polar bear found 700km from home in Russian village

Most ancient type of molecule in universe detected in space


A Little Night Music

Archie Bell & The Drells - Wrap It Up

Archie Bell & The Drells - Do The Hand Jive

Archie Bell & The Drells - Dog Eat Dog

Archie Bell & The Drells - Who's Loving You

Archie Bell And The Drells - There's Gonna Be A Showdown

Archie Bell & The Drells - I Can't Stop Dancing

Archie Bell & The Drells - Love Will Rain On You

Archie Bell & The Drells - Here I Go Again

Archie Bell & The Drells - Mama Didn't Teach Me That Way

Archie Bell & The Drells - I've Been Trying

Archie Bell & The Drells - One Night Affair

Archie Bell & The Drells - Jammin' In Houston


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Comments

MarilynW's picture

Thanks Joe for this exceptional rundown.
Today my fave was the link about the exhausted polar bear who appeared in a small village hundreds of miles away from his habitat. What did the villagers do?

They fed him fish. Then they relocated him back to his natural habitat.

I also like the interpretation of the Mueller Report.

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joe shikspack's picture

@MarilynW

great to see you!

i was a little surprised and gratified that people took care of the polar bear and helped it find its way home. it seems like the stories that i run across for the evening greens are frequently either really good, heartwarming stories about people doing their best, or really bad stories about destructive morons.

the mueller report seems to be like a rorschach test where everybody reads exactly what they want into it. it will be interesting to see if any of the report's actual shortcomings (like a shocking lack of serious evidence of russian hacking the dnc, for example) ever make it into the media's chattering points.

have a great evening!

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detroitmechworks's picture

The "Retainers". Same number of syllables, same starting two letters, and really shows what "The Resistance" is all about. They are the establishment's Loyal Retainers, who will attack anyone they are ordered to, and see nothing they are not supposed to see.

Hell, just give em matching uniforms, maybe little hats and to worship a wicked witch and... oh wait...

/snark

Overall doing pretty good recently. 12 more days on the arm... driving me crazy because I feel like I'm ready, but know that I have to wait just a LITTLE longer. Makes me happy to know that I got through it. A bit worse for wear, but I got through it. Now on to the dentists...

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

joe shikspack's picture

@detroitmechworks

retainers is good. on the other hand, i just call them mushrooms. (kept in the dark and fed a lot of horseshit)

glad to hear that you're healing up and raring to go, ready to leap back into the things you love with renewed energy. keep at it!

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lotlizard's picture

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/who-are-the-real-terrorists-in-the-mid...

In sum, as we compare the two military organizations, one must conclude, ultimately, that CENTCOM is at least as terrorist as the IRGC. Maybe more.

No doubt many critics will label this assessment “treasonous.” I call it “ethically consistent.”

Let history be the judge.

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joe shikspack's picture

@lotlizard

if iran wants to go for the title, it's got an uphill slog. for years the u.s. has been widely recognized as mlk put it as, "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world."

it would be sad, but not altogether unexpected, to see someone accused of treason for stating what is true and obvious.

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GreatLakeSailor's picture

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10 users have voted.

Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

joe shikspack's picture

@GreatLakeSailor

thanks! i love that guy's rants. all of them that i have seen have been remarkably on target.

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GreatLakeSailor's picture

@joe shikspack

Kinda irks me that he refers to right wing populists as populists leaving no room for left wing populism in his vocabulary.

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6 users have voted.

Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

dystopian's picture

Archie Bell and the Drells were great, loved their sound. Tighten up! I loved it, at 12 or 13 years old, surely my folks thought something was wrong with me...

It is not a surprise the MSM propagandists and Oreobamas of the world, the corrupt sellouts that knowingly mislead the people, call the principled, purists. As though it is a bad thing. I hate to break it to them, but when it comes to matters of right and wrong for society, there is only one pure way. Shame on them, and a pox on their family.

Chomsky is right about the Dems (importantly also the MSM) handing Trump and the Republicans the best gift they could have. What bumbling idiots, on a fool's errand if there ever was one. Major Danny Sjursen I think at Anti-war said the same thing https://original.antiwar.com/danny_sjursen/2019/04/08/america-and-russia...

The resistance's silence on Assange speaks volumes, as it does on Venez., the West Bank, etc., unfortunately ad. infinitum. What they are actually most resistant to is any change whatsoever to the bipartisan accepted status quo.

Resistance to change is a defining character of a conservative. Let us not forget what Andy Griffith said as Matlock to the jury on TV: "To prove you have a mind you have to be able to change it."

Thanks for the great tunes...

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9 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

OLinda's picture

@dystopian

Would you explain what Oreobamas are? Thank you.

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3 users have voted.

- - - -
If you don't like the Mafia, why don't you join it and change it from the inside?

joe shikspack's picture

@OLinda

a curiosity indeed. if we are going where it seems, i prefer the black agenda report's terminology, "black misleadership class." it identifies the behavior, while still calling out alignment with and servitude (often for some sort of consideration) to the white power structure.

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5 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

@OLinda Actually I never used the term before, sometimes things just pop out when I write. I followed the word with a sorta definition, as quoted subject line above. Obama is a great example. He presented himself as one thing, and inside was completely different. Like an Oreo.

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2 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

OLinda's picture

@dystopian

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1 user has voted.

- - - -
If you don't like the Mafia, why don't you join it and change it from the inside?

joe shikspack's picture

@dystopian

heh, the "purity" argument really kind of amuses me. when i was coming up it was considered a necessary skill to be able to compromise, wisdom to know what not to compromise and an awful thing to be a sellout. obama is not that much younger than i am, i'm surprised that he can use that rhetorical device without shame.

heh, i have faith in the dems. they will massively screw up everything and make laughingstocks of themselves before the election.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

The timing of the report was fortunate for Trump, with Congress not in session and Washington winding down for Easter.

Guess it could have been worse. It could have been released tomorrow instead.

I sure wish I understood Brexit better. You may have already answered this question, but why did people want to leave in the first place? Was it a bad deal for the people?

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6 users have voted.

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

@snoopydawg

and what the links in the article to may help:

https://theintercept.com/2016/06/25/brexit-is-only-the-latest-proof-of-t...

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8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Le Frog

Now my question is how will Brexit fix the economy and make it fair for everyone? Or will it?
Ray Pensador has a great Twitter thread on neoliberalism. Didn't he blog on DK once upon a time?

He's basically saying what Glenn did regarding Brexit. Worth a read.

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10 users have voted.

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

@snoopydawg

Brexit myself. It's really messy; there is no plan in place and I wonder if the EU won't pull the trigger and take ownership of acting upon Brexit since, one could argue, that the British government is dragging its feet.

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5 users have voted.
GreatLakeSailor's picture

@snoopydawg

I browsed his twit feed - is he a Russia-gater? That doesn't square with his clear-eyed view on other subjects unless I'm misinterpreting his twits.

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3 users have voted.

Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

i think that the article that le frog pointed to is quite excellent.

to me brexit is yet another reaction to neoliberal austerity, much like other movements of working class people.

i think that what the elites in the uk intend to get out of it is a bit more murky, as there is considerable division among them. this appears to me to be reflected in the inability of elite institutions to function.

in the u.s. (at least to current) when the elites decide on something they want, their lackeys in government jump to it. (see gilens and page) their agenda is well enough settled that their lackeys have no trouble understanding their instructions.

my guess is that in the uk, brexit divides the elites too closely such that they are sending out conflicting instructions to their lackeys who are then unable to do their masters bidding.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Off topic, but someone pointed out that Trump didn't use executive privilege to stop the Mueller investigation like Obama did with Holder in many of his actions. Like the fast and furious debacle.

This guy thinks that Mueller has given democrats enough information to impeach him. I seriously doubt that Pelosi has any intention of doing that. Trump is fulfilling many people from both parties dreams. Think that if democrats get both houses again they will raise taxes? Smile

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3 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 suspect that a lot of democrats are right there with hassan on impeachment. i think that if they try it, they will screw it up in a big way. i think that they will make a lot of noise about obstruction, but they would be fools to try to impeach trump for it. now, there are lots of other things that they could have him dead to rights on, war crimes, assorted violations of international law, emoluments clause violations, etc. - but of course those are issues that are off the table.

interesting to compare and contrast hassan's article with greenwald's latest which i'll extract in tomorrow's eb:

Robert Mueller Did Not Merely Reject the Trump-Russia Conspiracy Theories. He Obliterated Them.

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6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

As for the overarching maximalist conspiracy – that Trump and/or members of his family and campaign were controlled by or working for the Russian government – Mueller concluded that this belief simply lacked the evidence necessary to prosecute anyone for it:

Some people think that Russia has something over Mueller now and that's why he ended his investigation so suddenly.

In sum, Democrats and their supporters had the exact prosecutor they all agreed was the embodiment of competence and integrity in Robert Mueller.

Unfortunately the Russia interfered with the election is still going to be believed by too many people. As we have discussed here many times most of the ads were placed after the election was over which means that if Russia did that then they only spent $40,000 to interfere. Plus people believe that Russia hacked the DNC computers because Mueller indicted 12 Russians who have ties to Vlad. The Russian interference story has brought us censorship and the new government connected website guards like NewsGuard and the Integrity Initiative and others. Plus the sanctions on them and ramped up hostilities towards Russia. The Skripals story is still believed even though it's obvious that the nerve agent wasn't on his hands from the doorknob. But yeah Glenn did a great job putting everything together. It's funny how some people agree with him and others look at the report and still think Trump is guilty.

“The investigation did not identify evidence that any U.S. persons knowingly or intentionally coordinated with the IRA’s interference operation”

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6 users have voted.

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

snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Bernie is also saying that congress needs to continue looking into whether Trump obstructed justice. Guess we can thank Obama for letting it be legal for our government to spread propaganda.

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6 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

yep, i've been describing the mueller report as a rorschach test. it seems like everybody sees what want to see in it.

perhaps it's like the bible, you can find a moral justification for any action in it, apparently.

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7 users have voted.

She needs to stay out of it. Telling the UK that the US won't negotiate a trade deal unless they deliver the right kind of Brexit smacks of the very same foreign intervention on domestic politics that Democrats decry every day with "Russia! Russia! Russia!" The UK government offered a plebiscite and promised to follow through on the decision. The people voted to leave the EU and their decision needs to be respected, even if those of us on the other side of the pond don't agree.

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10 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

@psychodrew
She’s the boss of everyone! Pleasantry

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5 users have voted.

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

@Raggedy Ann I have been lying low. I am very close to tenure and don't want to screw it up.

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10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@psychodrew

good luck with your promotion and tenure review!

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6 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

@psychodrew
Lol

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3 users have voted.

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

Lily O Lady's picture

@psychodrew

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7 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"

joe shikspack's picture

@psychodrew

good to see you!

heh, you see what pelosi is doing is playing america's indispensable role of telling other people what to do. that's what america is for! we know what's good for everybody.

don't mess with us, though.

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6 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

What a newsy day! The infamous Mueller Report. Any blue faces out there? No need to hold your breath any longer! Plenty of red faces on the dimorat side! What a bunch of chumps! Maddow? Bad They’re gonna beat this poor dead horse until the stench is unbearable.

I enjoyed the video that Naomi Klein and Molly Crabapple produced and posted on The Intercept, and which joe also posted. Democracy Now! Interviewed the filmmakers and the writer, Avi Lewis. I was glad I caught the show. The Chomsky interview was a bonus.

I miss do asking me how much rain we got yesterday. 40/100. A good April shower!

Have a lovely spring evening, folks! Pleasantry

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7 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

yep, it was a big day under the beltway bigtop. both the red and blue clowns were out in force. the honking was just about deafening.

wow, that was good rainfall for your part of the world!

have a great evening!

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3 users have voted.

@Raggedy Ann glad to hear the rain report. Keeping up with weather via reports but on the ground is much better! Still in central Texas but will come your way at some point but probably not before June. Sister and I have train trip to Michigan where she is from in early may but will be in touch!

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4 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

"Guy Shrubsole, author of the book in which the figures are revealed, Who Owns England?"

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3 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.

joe shikspack's picture

@UntimelyRippd

heh, perhaps, but the name is all wrong. maybe something like jacob marley would be more like it.

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3 users have voted.

@joe shikspack
listed in the book ...

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2 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.