The Evening Blues - 5-24-19



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Mighty Joe Young


Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Chicago blues musician Mighty Joe Young. Enjoy!

Mighty Joe Young - Drivin' Wheel

“To say Congress is spending like drunken sailors is an insult to drunken sailors.”

-- Ronald Reagan


News and Opinion

Apparently, the Senate Armed Services Committee is mostly composed of drunken sailors.

Senate Committee Votes to Raise Defense Spending for Second Year in a Row to $750 Billion

The Senate Armed Services Committee advanced a major defense spending bill in a closed session this week, agreeing to the Trump administration’s $750 billion request and raising U.S. defense spending to levels not seen since the height of the Iraq War.

If it passes the House and Senate, the bill would authorize the second major defense spending increase in two years. Last year, despite initial objections to President Donald Trump’s proposed budget hikes, the House and Senate went far beyond what the administration had asked for, approving an almost $80 billion increase over its spending in fiscal year 2018 and bringing the total defense spending to $716 billion.

The Senate version of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act would raise military and other defense spending to levels not seen since 2009, when more than 180,000 troops were deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The Pentagon forecasts that in years to come, its budget requests will keep rising to levels not seen since the World War II.

In some areas, the Senate bill even exceeds what the Trump administration requested. According to a summary document provided by committee staff, the bill authorizes $10 billion for 94 F-35 Fighters — 16 more than the Pentagon asked for.

In a statement prepared for a press conference on Thursday, the Republican chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, James Inhofe, stressed that he believes $750 billion is the “minimum” budget needed as the U.S. moves toward major power competition.

2020 Democrats Urged to Support Slashing Annual Pentagon Budget By $200 Billion

In an effort to rein in the bloated military-industrial complex and free up funds for "programs that nurture human lives rather than take them away," a coalition of nearly two dozen progressive advocacy groups on Thursday launched a campaign urging 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to support cutting the Pentagon budget by at least $200 billion per year. Over the next decade, the "People Over Pentagon" agenda would make at least $2 trillion in spending available for essential domestic needs and ambitious programs like Medicare for All and a Green New Deal, said the coalition, which includes Win Without War, Public Citizen, 350.org, and other grassroots organizations.

"I've always found it remarkable that when it comes to war, fighter jets, and bombs, most politicians never ask how we'll pay for it, but when it comes to progressive policies like Medicare for All, some members of Congress pretend we can't afford to foot the bill," Heidi Hess, co-director of CREDO Action, said in a statement. ...

"Democrats, for good reason, vehemently oppose almost everything Trump proposes, but when he asks for a huge increase in military spending, there are almost no voices in dissent," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 presidential candidate who voted against the 2019 Pentagon budget, wrote for In These Times earlier this year.

Presidential hopefuls Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also voted against the 2019 military budget. ...

On Thursday, the coalition sent letters to all 26 Democratic presidential hopefuls, urging them to commit to the following three goals:

  • Pentagon spending should be reduced by at least $200 billion annually, freeing up $2 trillion or more over the next decade for domestic and human needs priorities;
  • The United States should never again go to war without congressional authorization, and Congress should not authorize military action without identifying revenue to pay for current and future costs, including taking care of injured veterans;
  • By adhering to our values and promoting international cooperation, we can prevent war, address the underlying causes of conflict and meet humanitarian imperatives.

"Pentagon spending has spiraled out of control," the letters read. "It is long past time to eliminate excess Pentagon spending and invest the savings in urgent domestic and human needs priorities—environmental protection, education, infrastructure, healthcare, and more—that will make the United States stronger and more just."

The new campaign to shift funds from the American war machine to domestic programs and international diplomatic efforts comes as the Trump administration continues to escalate tensions with Iran, heightening the chances of yet another devastating war of choice in the Middle East.

Trump confirms plan to send 1,500 additional troops to Middle East

The Trump administration notified Congress today that it plans to send about 1,500 additional troops to the Middle East amid heightened tensions with Iran, officials said.

Members of Congress were notified a day after a White House meeting to discuss Pentagon proposals to bolster the US force presence in the Middle East. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the troop plans have not yet been formally announced, the AP reported.

The forces would number “roughly” 1,500 and would deploy in the coming weeks “with their primary responsibilities and activities being defensive in nature,” according to a copy of the notification obtained by The Associated Press.

Their mission would include protecting US forces already in the region and ensuring freedom of navigation, the notification said. Earlier this week, officials said Pentagon planners had outlined plans that could have sent up to 10,000 military reinforcements to the region.

Exclusive: Julian Assange’s Attorney Decries Espionage Charges as “Grave Threat to Press Freedom”

The DOJ Just Charged Julian Assange Under the Espionage Act

The U.S. Department of Justice indicted Julian Assange under the Espionage Act Thursday in a serious escalation of the Trump administration’s war on the press. The 18-count indictment charges Assange with several crimes, namely unlawfully obtaining and disclosing national defense information. The charges revolve around Assange’s interaction with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who shared hundreds of thousands of classified documents with WikiLeaks in 2010 that offered unvarnished windows into the U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.

The indictment alleges that Assange went beyond normal reporting techniques and effectively aided Manning in her alleged attempts to steal cables from Pentagon computer systems. “Assange was knowingly receiving such classified records from Manning for the purpose of publicly disclosing them on the WikiLeaks website,” the indictment reads.

The new charges come several weeks after British authorities hauled the WikiLeaks co-founder out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London in connection with an extradition request by Sweden for a previous sexual assault charge. At the time, U.S. authorities also filed an extradition request for Assange after U.S. prosecutors slapped him with conspiracy charges related to his interactions with Manning. Thursday’s indictments charge Assange with 17 additional charges.

“This is madness,” WikiLeaks tweeted in response to the indictment. “It is the end of national security journalism and the First Amendment.”

Daniel Ellsberg: Espionage Charges Against Assange Are Most Significant Attack on Press in Decades

New US charges against Julian Assange could spell decades behind bars

Julian Assange faces a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison in the US if convicted of all the charges against him.

WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson, labelled the new charges facing Assange as “the evil of lawlessness in its purest form”. He added: “With the indictment, the ‘leader of the free world’ dismisses the First Amendment - hailed as a model of press freedom around the world - and launches a blatant extraterritorial assault outside its border, attacking basic principles of democracy in Europe and the rest of the world.” ...

The new indictment, approved on Thursday by a grand jury in Virginia, detailed how Assange and WikiLeaks published troves of documents that they received from Chelsea Manning, then a US army intelligence analyst. ... Manning was convicted in 2013 under the Espionage Act for stealing classified records. She was released from a military prison in Kansas in May 2017 after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence. Barack Obama granted Manning clemency during his final days in office.

The former army private is currently also behind bars after she was returned to jail last week for refusing to cooperate with a grand jury that is presumed to relate to the Assange proceedings. This is the second time Manning has been jailed for contempt of court for defying a grand jury; in addition, she is now being fined $500 for every day she declines to testify.

Manning and her lawyers argue that her captivity amounts to an unwarranted punishment. Grand juries are designed to assist prosecutors in deciding whether or not to bring an indictment, not in preparing for trial, and it is unclear why she is still being detained even though Assange has now been charged. ... “It’s telling that the government appears to have already obtained this indictment before my contempt hearing last week,” she said. “This administration describes the press as the opposition party and an enemy of the people. Today, they use the law as a sword, and have shown their willingness to bring the full power of the state against the very institution intended to shield us from such excesses.”

Jeremy Scahill: New Indictment of Assange Is Part of a Broader War on Journalism & Whistleblowers

Democratic senator warns of threat to press freedom in new Assange charges

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) expressed concerns Thursday about Espionage Act charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, warning of a potential chilling effect on the First Amendment.

“This is not about Julian Assange. This is about the use of the Espionage Act to charge a recipient and publisher of classified information,” Wyden said in a statement. “I am extremely concerned about the precedent this may set and potential dangers to the work of journalists and the First Amendment.”


How Many Times Must Assange Be Proven Right Before People Start Listening?

And there it is. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged by the Trump administration’s Justice Department with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act, carrying a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison. Exactly as Assange and his defenders have been warning would happen for nearly a decade.

The indictment, like the one which preceded it last month with Assange’s arrest, is completely fraudulent, as it charges Assange with “crimes” that are indistinguishable from conventional journalistic practices. The charges are based on the same exact evidence which was available to the Obama administration, which as journalist Glenn Greenwald noted last year declined to prosecute Assange citing fear of destroying press freedoms. ...

One of the versions of the New York Timesreport on the new Assange indictment, which has since been edited out but has been preserved here in a quote by Slate, said that “officials would not engage with questions about how the actions they said were felonies by Mr. Assange differed from ordinary investigative journalism. Notably, The New York Times, among many other news organizations, obtained precisely the same archives of documents from WikiLeaks, without authorization from the government.”

Press freedom organizations have been condemning these new espionage charges in stark and unequivocal language. ... Also opposing the new indictment, far too late, have been popular pundits from mainstream liberal news outlets.

“The Espionage indictment of Assange for publishing is an extremely dangerous, frontal attack on the free press. Bad, bad, bad,” tweeted MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. “Today the Trump DOJ becomes the first administration to ever charge a publisher with *espionage* — an assertive, unprecedented legal crackdown on the traditional rights and protections for publishers,” tweeted MSNBC’s Ari Melber. ... One need only to look at the outraged “this is a horrible take” comments underneath these tweets to see that these condemnations are coming long after the propaganda they’ve helped advance against WikiLeaks has seeped well into the bloodstream. It’s impossible to tell the same group of people day after day that Assange is an evil Nazi Putin puppet rapist who smells bad and mistreats his cat, and then persuade them to respond to a depraved Trump administration agenda against that same person with an appropriate level of resistance.

“I find no satisfaction in saying ‘I told you so’ to those who for 9 years have scorned us for warning this moment would come,” tweeted WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson. “I care for journalism. If you share my feeling you take a stand NOW. Either you are a worthless coward or you defend Assange, WikiLeaks and Journalism.” Indeed, WikiLeaks staff and their supporters have been warning of this for many years, only to be dismissed as paranoid conspiracy theorists and rape apologists by smearers who insisted Assange was merely avoiding rape charges by taking asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London back in 2012. There are many tweets by the WikiLeaks Twitter account warning that the US is trying to charge Assange under the Espionage Act all the way back in 2010, and they’ve been warning about it over and over again ever since, but nobody’s listened. ...

Assange has been warning for years that this was coming. He’s been unequivocal about the fact that he was perfectly willing to participate in the Swedish investigation from the beginning and was only taking asylum with Ecuador due to fear of extradition and political prosecution in the US, which Ecuador explicitly stated were its reasons for granting him asylum. He was absolutely correct. He’s been correct the entire time. History has vindicated him. He was right and his critics were wrong.

We are also already seeing Assange vindicated in his warnings of what his prosecution would mean for the free press. He hasn’t even been extradited yet and we’re already seeing a greatly escalated war on journalism being implemented, with new developments in just the last few days like a San Francisco journalist now being charged with conspiracy for receiving internal documents from the San Francisco Police Department, and a prominent French journalist being summoned by police for reporting on corruption in the Macron government.

The Europe Report: UK PM’s resignation brings Brexit wariness

Theresa May announces she will resign on 7 June

Theresa May has bowed to intense pressure from her own party and named 7 June as the day she will step aside as Conservative leader, drawing her turbulent three-year premiership to a close.

Speaking in Downing Street, May said it had been “the honour of my life” to serve as Britain’s second female prime minister. Her voice breaking, she said she would leave “with no ill will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love”.

The prime minister listed a series of what she said were her government’s achievements, including tackling the deficit, reducing unemployment and boosting funding for mental health. But she admitted: “It is and will always remain a matter of deep regret to me that I have not been able to deliver Brexit.” ...

The prime minister will remain in Downing Street, to shoulder the blame for what are expected to be dire results for her party from Thursday’s European elections – and to host Donald Trump when he visits. The 1922 Committee will set out the terms of a leadership contest, to kick off on 10 June, which is expected to last perhaps six weeks.

Global markets rocked as US-China trade and tech rift deepens

The deepening trade and technology war between the US and China has sent global stock markets sharply lower and prompted a warning from the IMF of the increasing risks to the global economy. Shares fell sharply in Asia, Europe and North America on a day that saw investors alarmed by the intensifying war of words between Washington and Beijing, poor news on the American economy, and political chaos in Britain.

Hours after the Japanese conglomerate Panasonic joined the list of companies cutting its ties with the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, the US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Thursday accused Huawei’s chief executive of lying when he said the company had no links to China’s communist government.

In a marked toughening of its rhetoric, China demanded that Donald Trump’s administration change course, while the country’s charge d’affairs in London said the UK could suffer “substantial” loss of investment if Huawei were banned from involvement in Britain’s 5G network. ...

Wall Street’s Dow Jones industrial average closed down 286 points, or 1.1%, with the mood not helped by a snapshot of US business activity dropping to its lowest level in three years. Both France’s CAC index and the German DAX lost about 1.7% of their value.

The IMF used a blog co-authored by its chief economist, Gita Gopinath, to express its concerns. “US-China trade tensions have negatively affected consumers as well as many producers in both countries. The tariffs have reduced trade between the US and China, but the bilateral trade deficit remains broadly unchanged,” the IMF said. “While the impact on global growth is relatively modest at this time, the latest escalation could significantly dent business and financial market sentiment, disrupt global supply chains, and jeopardise the projected recovery in global growth in 2019.”


Trump orders intel agencies to cooperate with Barr probe into 'spying' on 2016 campaign

President Trump has ordered U.S. intelligence officials to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr's investigation into "surveillance activities" directed at the president's 2016 campaign, the White House said Thursday. Trump also gave Barr "full and complete authority" to declassify information related to the investigation, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

The notice comes as Barr is conducting a review of what he has described as "spying" on members of the Trump campaign during the investigation into Russian interference. Sanders said Trump had directed the intelligence community to "quickly and fully" cooperate with the investigation at Barr's own request. ...

The Justice Department inspector general has already been reviewing whether the FBI followed applicable rules in applying for a warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, a probe Barr expects to be completed in May or June. ...

Trump has previously sought to declassify and release materials from the Russia investigation, including the application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to surveil Page, but backed off after U.S. allies objected.

ACLU and Planned Parenthood file lawsuit against Alabama abortion ban

Civil rights groups have filed a lawsuit to stop Alabama from implementing a law making abortion a crime at any stage of pregnancy. The lawsuit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood Federation of America on behalf of Alabama abortion providers, seeks to block the near-total abortion ban before it can take effect. ...

The lawsuit argues that the ban blatantly violates the supreme court’s landmark ruling legalizing abortion in the Roe v Wade case – which supporters of the legislation have acknowledged is the case. Their hope is to get to the high court and get that ruling overturned. ...

Both sides expect the legislation to be blocked by lower courts, which must follow supreme court precedents. The complaint was filed on Friday in US federal court for the middle district of Alabama. It asks for an order declaring the ban unconstitutional and blocking it from being enforced.

Women’s Health Protection Act Would Stop State Attacks on Abortion Access

Standing outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning, congressional lawmakers announced the introduction of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which pushes back against the flood of abortion restrictions and outright bans on access that have been moving at a record pace through state legislatures. The bill “enshrines” in federal law “a woman’s right to receive abortion services and a provider’s right to perform abortion,” said Rep. Judy Chu, a lead sponsor of the bill. “Our bill finally puts a stop to the state-based attacks that anti-abortion advocates have been trying to use to undermine or even reverse Roe.”

The bill, which has been introduced before, would block states from placing any medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion care — from medically-inaccurate informed consent requirements to gestational bans. “It prohibits any non-medical restrictions on our bodies — that means no heartbeat bills, no requirements that clinic doors be a certain width, no waiting periods or unnecessary ultrasounds. It means no abortion bans,” Chu said. And it affirms “our rights to our bodies, our rights to make our own medical decisions, and our rights to choose what is best for us and our families.”

Reintroduction of the bill, which already has 169 sponsors in the House, comes at a critical moment as state lawmakers have shifted their strategy around abortion. They’re seemingly abandoning the longtime tactic of chipping away at the right to end a pregnancy — by enacting needless restrictions that make access difficult, if not impossible — and instead pushing for an all-out ban on access.



the horse race



This is something that Sanders is doing right:

Bernie’s Campaign Is Showing Solidarity with Striking Workers Like No Other 2020 Candidate

McDonald’s workers striking across the country Thursday have several demands, including raising their minimum wage to $15 minimum. And one of the policy’s biggest proponents, 2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, emailed his supporters to rally people to the picket lines. It’s not uncommon for members of the 2020 Democratic field to show up to picket lines or tweet out their support to striking workers. But Bernie is taking labor solidarity to a new level by tapping into his campaign’s massive listservs to mobilize support for striking workers. It’s an extraordinary and possibly unprecedented move, according to labor historians and union organizers.

The Vermont senator's presidential campaign sent geo-targeted emails Tuesday to supporters in or around 10 cities throughout the U.S. to support striking McDonald’s workers, according to the campaign. Employees at the fast-food chain are staging one-day walkouts and other work actions to fight for a $15 minimum wage, union rights, and workplaces free of sexual harassment. “Bernie Sanders is joining in solidarity with McDonald’s workers in Dallas, and you can do the same right here in Iowa,” reads one of the emails. “Showing up at a picket line for striking workers is an incredible act of solidarity to show that you support their fight for a better life.” The emails then include an address where picketers are gathering as well as an RSVP link. ...

“This definitely sets a new bar for politicians who want to earn labor's support. We've seen Democratic politicians join workers at high-profile protests and on picket lines for years, especially during election seasons, but those appearances have sometimes felt very transactional in nature,” said Ethan Miller, a longtime union organizer and secretary-treasurer of the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union, IFPTE Local 70, which organizes workers at nonprofits in Washington, D.C.

It remains to be seen how many people will show up, and it’s impossible to tally how many supporters show up as a result of Bernie’s email. His campaign said the idea is to not only gather support for Bernie in his quest for the White House but to build a mass network of progressive-minded activists throughout the U.S. “We're building the largest volunteer army in the nation not just to win the Democratic nomination, but also to mobilize people to show up in key fights where people's lives and livelihoods are on the line," Claire Sandberg, Bernie 2020 National Organizing Director, said in a statement to VICE News. “We are proud to uphold Bernie’s commitment to workers, and we will continue to activate our supporters and urge them to join picket lines across the country to support the fight for a strong labor movement."

Under Fire From Progressives, DCCC Chair Backs Out of Fundraiser for Anti-Choice Democrat Dan Lipinski

After facing intense backlash from progressives for planning to star at a fundraiser for an anti-choice Democrat amid a wave of Republican attacks on abortion rights, DCCC chair Cheri Bustos announced late Wednesday that she has decided to back out of the high-dollar event.

"I'm proud to have a 100 percent pro-choice voting record and I'm deeply alarmed by the rapidly escalating attacks on women's access to reproductive care in several states," Bustos, a congresswoman from Illinois, said in a statement announcing her withdrawal from the fundraiser for Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), who is facing a progressive primary challenge from Marie Newman.

"While Congressman Lipinski and I do not agree on women's reproductive healthcare," said Bustos, "this does not change how I will work as DCCC chair to protect our big tent Democratic caucus." Bustos's decision to drop out of the planned $1,000-per-person fundraiser for Lipinski comes as Republicans are racing to overturn Roe v. Wade with state-level attacks on abortion rights in Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, and elsewhere.

Speaking to the New York Times, Lipinski said he doesn't blame Bustos for backing out of the event and complained that "there are people in the party who are not tolerant" of his anti-choice views.



the evening greens

Climate marches: tens of thousands back in the streets across globe

'What Could Be More Important?': World Leaders, Media Ignore Biodiversity Report Detailing Mass Extinction Event Now Underway

Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species—but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.

Deutsche Welle reported Thursday that partially because the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released its report on what it called nature's "unprecedented" decline on the same day that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had their first child, news reports on the study's grave implications were few and far between.


Deutsche Welle's report was mirrored by revelations in a Media Matters report published earlier this week which showed that ABC News devoted more time to covering the royal baby's birth in the week after the child was born than it had to stories about the climate crisis in all of 2018—even as organizers like 16-year-old Greta Thunberg led worldwide climate strikes. ...

Scientists have published more than 20,000 articles in 45 languages on the subject of biodiversity loss in recent years, Deutsche Welle reported.

Without the media reporting on and lawmakers expressing the urgency of the biodiversity crisis, the public has found little reason to become interested in the issue. The same day most news outlets devoted their coverage to the royal baby, Google searches for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle outnumbered those for biodiversity by 14 and 31 to one, respectively.

Botswana lifts ban on elephant hunting, sparking outrage

Worth a full read, these new (ALEC backed) anti-first amendment laws are a travesty.

Pipeline Opponents Strike Back Against Anti-Protest Laws

Opponents of oil and gas pipelines in three states are fighting back against new anti-protest laws aimed at suppressing fossil fuel industry dissent. Two lawsuits in Louisiana and South Dakota, and a promised suit in Texas, are the first signs of a concerted pushback against a nationwide, industry-led effort to halt the most confrontational arm of the climate movement. Since Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, at least 17 states have introduced laws that create new penalties for pipeline protesters.

It began in Oklahoma in May 2017. Gov. Mary Fallin quietly signed a law that made it a felony to trespass on property considered “critical infrastructure.” Perhaps even more egregious was language stating that any organization “found to be a conspirator” in the trespass would face fines of up to $1 million. With the Dakota Access pipeline fight at Standing Rock only recently winding down, and activists promising new protests against Oklahoma’s Diamond pipeline, it was clear what this was about. “Critical infrastructure” was defined to include oil and gas pipelines. ...

Louisiana and South Dakota will be the first to test the constitutional waters. A total of 19 anti-pipeline activists and organizations have signed on as plaintiffs in two lawsuits arguing that the states’ anti-protest laws are unconstitutionally vague and violate the First Amendment. The Louisiana law was drafted by Tyler Gray, president and general counsel of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, and was introduced in the midst of construction of the 162-mile Bayou Bridge oil pipeline, which runs through 700 bodies of water. Arrests began just over a week after it went into effect on August 1 of last year, eliminating any question about its purpose. More than a dozen pipeline opponents have been charged under the law, providing the first real test in the nation of critical infrastructure laws’ utility. ...

The remote swampland on which Anne White Hat allegedly trespassed is co-owned by more than 100 landowners — passed down, undivided, to a growing diaspora of family members for generations. Normally, if a company wants to build a pipeline on private property, it either negotiates permission from the landowner or obtains eminent domain in court. The Bayou Bridge Pipeline Company, or BBP, which is owned by Dakota Access parent corporation Energy Transfer, didn’t bother to do either and began construction without the legally required permissions. In response, landowner Peter Aaslestad sought an injunction against BBP on July 26, 2018.

A handful of owners who opposed BBP’s actions gave permission for pipeline protesters to access their land — and alerted the local St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Department. White Hat, a 51-year-old Lakota grant writer and herbalist who lives in New Orleans, says she arrived on September 3 to the contested land, which was now under construction, with no intention of being arrested. Fifty others joined her to oppose the operation, she said. On September 18, as she was boarding a boat bound for the bayou to monitor construction for violations, White Hat was arrested and charged with two felonies under the new law, for trespassing two weeks before. She paid a $21,000 bond to get out of jail.

It’s unclear whether White Hat’s felony charges will stick. Louisiana has four years to decide whether to pursue the charges, which together carry a maximum of 10 years’ prison time. ... For now, she has joined two other pipeline opponents, an independent journalist, six landowners, and three environmental justice organizations in suing Louisiana’s attorney general, district attorney, and the sheriff of St. Martin Parish. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by the Center for Constitutional Rights, argues that the law is “so vague, overly broad, and sweeping in scope that people in the state cannot be sure of where in the vicinity of Louisiana’s vast 125,000-mile network of pipelines they can legally be present, who decides where they can be present, or what conduct is prohibited.”

“Its actual aim,” the suit continues, “is to chill, and harshly punish, speech and expression in opposition to pipeline projects.”

Manila-Ottawa 'Trash talk': Take your garbage or we'll DUMP it in your waters


Also of Interest

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

A trail of toxicity: the US military bases making people sick

A promise unfulfilled: water pipeline stops short for Sioux reservation

Why Trump's Huawei Ban Is Unlikely To Persist

The Pathology of John Bolton

The U.S. Stands to Lose Much More Than a War With Iran

Austria’s crisis is a lesson for Europe: far-right parties are unfit to govern

Last known US slave ship found in Alabama


A Little Night Music

Mighty Joe Young - That's All Right

Mighty Joe Young - Teasing The Blues

Mighty Joe Young - Baby, Please

Mighty Joe Young - Why, Baby

Mighty Joe Young - Empty Arms

Mighty Joe Young - Big Talk

Mighty Joe Young - Voo Doo Dust

Mighty Joe Young - I Want A Love

Mighty Joe Young - Hey Baby

Mighty Joe Young & His Orch. - Suffering soul

Mighty Joe Young - Hard Times (Follow Me)

Mighty Joe Young - Lookin' For You

Mighty Joe Young - Rome Wasn't Built In A Day


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Comments

dkmich's picture

Avenatti, Wohl and the Krassensteins Prove Political Media Is a Hucksters’ Paradise
In the Trump era of cartoon politics, the world’s biggest jackasses have an easy highway to fame and fortune

MATT TAIBBI

"The press supposedly learned its lesson after Trump won, adopting a “Democracy Dies in Darkness” mantle of intellectual gravity. Then they turned around and immediately began falling for the same con.

Avenatti became an instant celebrity after he filed a lawsuit seeking to void the non-disclosure agreement between Trump and Daniels, in which she received a $130,000 payoff to be quiet about what she would later call “the least impressive sex I ever had.”

In that, Avenatti had something cable television wanted more than anyone ever wanted anything: details about the president’s “smaller than average” tackle and Daniels’ tale of “getting fucked by a guy with Yeti pubes and a dick like the mushroom character in Mario Kart.”

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/avenatti-wohl-krasse...

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12 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

Anja Geitz's picture

@dkmich

by their dick pics?

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7 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

joe shikspack's picture

@Anja Geitz

heh, i guess that means that we'll soon hear teevee talking heads telling us that candidate x has the kind of dick that people like to have a beer with. Smile

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6 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@joe shikspack

Preferences for beer worthy candidates might be in the eye of the beholder (or in Trump's case, fingers). Shok

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3 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

mimi's picture

@Anja Geitz
in the FAQ or in JtC's drawer. Or was that on TOP, because we are all dicks now, or what is going on?

I want equality rights. So, let's vote for candidate y according to the size of some lovely bossoms he likes to cuddle meddle with.

Sigh. Time to get another nap.

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3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@dkmich

lol. Remember when people were saying that he should run against Trump? Why? Because he was being mean to him on TV and because he was helping Stormy Daniels expose her affair with the Donald.

I am so glad that Ed and Brian Krassenstein were banned from Twitter. Occasionally I like to read the responses to Trump's tweets, but those two were always there first clogging up the thread. Now if the others that do this would be told to knock it off. Why people think that others want to hear from them constantly is beyond me. Post one reply and be done instead of 10 or more. Wish Twitter would ban gifies too because my computer is so old they slow it down.

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5 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

@dkmich

taibbi is right on target, as usual. welcome to the nation of incompetence.

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7 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

Looking forward to the long weekend. The news is overwhelming. I understand why the American people "check out." I'm checking out for the next three days.

Have an enjoyable weekend, everyone! Pleasantry

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9 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 news-reduced, 33% larger, new and improved weekend!

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3 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

"I've always found it remarkable that when it comes to war, fighter jets, and bombs, most politicians never ask how we'll pay for it, but when it comes to progressive policies like Medicare for All, some members of Congress pretend we can't afford to foot the bill," Heidi Hess, co-director of CREDO Action, said in a statement. ..

Yeah, funny about that, eh? Frankly I find it a bit "remarkable" that all we are hearing is crickets from the "Trump is evil" coalition of Hillary supporter as the Dems sign off on his $700 billion proposal of more carnal butchering.

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13 users have voted.

If we surrendered to earth's intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

joe shikspack's picture

@Anja Geitz

lordy, if we cut the military, who is going to protect us from russky meddlers? i guess we'll just have to close a bunch of schools and hospitals.

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5 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

welcome to amerika, even with a visa you're fucked

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/05/18/596290/Iran-US-Masoud-Soleiman...

Top Iranian stem cell scientist Dr. Masoud Soleimani has been behind bars in the United States without trial for the past seven months.

Back in October last year, Soleimani, a professor and biomedical researcher at the Tarbiat Modares University (TMU) in Tehran, was arrested by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) upon his arrival in the US.

According to his Atlanta attorney, Leonard Franco, he has since been held behind bars in a jail in Atlanta without bond.

Soleimani had been invited by the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota for leading a research program there, but he was secretly indicted by the FBI, which also canceled his research visa. Neither the FBI nor the US prosecutors have so far officially commented on his detention.

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10 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." William Casey, CIA Director 1st staff meeting, 1981

the small orange one governs for his wallet and his base

snoopydawg's picture

@ggersh

She came here to go to school, met someone who got her involved with the NRA and next thing you know she has been accused of being a Russian spy and thrown into prison while Americans cheered. I'm tired of being so thoroughly disgusted with people who have lost their minds over Hillary's loss.

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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

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

the fbi's story better be extraordinary with bulletproof evidence when it comes out in court. but it probably won't be. they are mostly good at framing people with intellectual and emotional challenges for awful crimes that the fbi has pushed them to do and provided the means for.

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6 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@joe shikspack

because defense in court is too expensive, time-consuming, and risky and/or impossible.

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4 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

The Aspie Corner's picture

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9 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

Azazello's picture

@The Aspie Corner
thanks for posting it.

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@The Aspie Corner

jimmy does an excellent job in that video. i wish that every american would watch it.

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@The Aspie Corner

I love how he made it look like Media just wouldn't quit and kept popping up. And then she finally got carried out while she was still talking. Incredible woman.

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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

And here's Tulsi on it

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9 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

this should be an interesting time. this issue should make it easy to sort out who is with the fascists.

i suggest that people keep score. there will be a test later.

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5 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

Bummer, Vicky's not welcome in Russia: Victoria Nuland, US midwife to Maidan-2014, denied visa to Russia
More from RT: Is US protecting Al-Qaeda group in Syria ? (Spoiler alert: the answer is yes.)

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7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Azazello

Maybe they should have allowed her in and then arrested her for her role in Ukraine. Ha.

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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

@Azazello

heh, glad to see the kaganate of nulands is not going to be distributing their cookies in russia.

the enemy of my enemy is my friend. void where prohibited by law. not available in all outlets. batteries not included. some restrictions apply.

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4 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

It discusses the desire for power by evangelical Christians. This relates to my essay “It Isn’t Men Against Women; It’s Theocracy Against Democracy.” Sorry I don’t have links, but I can’t do that on my tablet. Maybe you can, but I can’t.

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5 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Lily O Lady

here's the link:

Gaslighters of God

i could poop a better, more moral president than donald trump. if the evangelicals want to associate themselves and their beliefs with him, they get what they deserve.

hopefully, too much of what the evangelicals deserve won't get on the rest of us.

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Lily O Lady

Gawd is a war criminal IMO if he had any hand in getting Trump elected. I can't understand what any religious person sees in Trump that is good. A 3 time divorced adulterous which is my belief that gawd frowns upon. His crimes against humanity and nature and everything else that he is doing is not something that the gawd of my opinion would approve of.

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5 users have voted.

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

Lily O Lady's picture

@snoopydawg

they see Trump as god’s choice? It’s simple; they’re nuts! Absolutely looney. The live in a bubble of ignorance of their own creation and think god is responsible for that, too.

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3 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"

snoopydawg's picture

The pentagon is claiming that Iran is doing all kinds of nefarious things and they are still targeting our troops. Want to see the evidence? Tuff..they don't have to show you any stinking evidence.

Iran's Leadership "At Highest Level" Ordered Attacks On Pipeline, Tankers: Pentagon

The Pentagon says "the leadership of Iran at the highest level" ordered a spate of disruptive attacks over the past two weeks including attacks on an Aramco Saudi oil pipeline and pumping facilities, the recent sabotage of four tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, as well as a May 19 lone rocket attack on the US embassy in Baghdad's protected Green Zone.

However, the Pentagon statements issued by Adm. Michael Gilday, director of the Joint Staff, on Friday offered absolutely nothing in terms of hard proof. That still didn't stop the war rhetoric from continuing: "Even more troubling: We have had multiple credible reports that Iranian proxy groups intend to attack U.S. personnel in the Middle East," Gilday said.

The military analysis site, Task & Purpose in a follow-up pressed the Pentagon to cite some level of evidence that Iran did indeed order attacks "at the highest levels." The response was issued as follows:

"The Iranians said they were going to close the Strait of Hormuz," Gilday said. "The Iranians struck those tankers. The Iranians struck the pipeline facility in Saudi Arabia through their proxies in Yemen. We know they're tied directly to those proxies. We know they're tied directly to the proxies in Iraq that launched the rocket."

So there! We said it and that is what people should believe! Speaking of proxies. How come we don't care when it's our "proxies' that kill our troops? When both the CIA and the pentagon are arming terrorists and then they fight each other's there are our troops in the middle.

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8 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

the pentagon - source of divine revelation.

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6 users have voted.

@snoopydawg thanks, I wish the Pentagon would be converted to something beautiful one day that would be fine with me.
I wonder what you think about "the resistance" in this oilprice.com article, with quotes from some other talking heads. Quoting their timeline paragraphs, and their conclusion, but not the details. Too bigly:
On The Cusp Of War: Why Iran Won’t Fold

Khamenei was confident that “there was not going to be any war” between the US and Iran, and thus the confrontation would not be “a military one”. Khamenei stressed that “there will not be a military confrontation as neither Iran nor the US seeks war because the Americans know that the war will not be beneficial for them”. Under these circumstances, Iran would continue its surge relying on proxies — “the resistance” — as the main instrument for confronting all foes. “The resistance is Iran’s only absolute choice,” he emphasized. “The Iranian nation’s definite option will be resistance in the face of the US, and in this confrontation, the US would be forced into a retreat,”
...
The first confirmed attack took place on May 6, 2019, in the Saudi Arabian port of Yanbu on the Red Sea. A number of powerful explosions rocked the port area and heavy black smoke billowed. Reportedly, an unmanned, remotely-controlled bomb-boat hit an oil loading pier, setting it and nearby facilities aflame. There were also unconfirmed reports that Yanbu was struck by rockets fired from the Red Sea.
...
On May 8, 2019, a small cargo ship carrying about 6,000 gallons of diesel, 300 tires and 120 vehicles burst into flames in the Sharjah Port in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). All 13 crewmembers were rescued but the ship was completely destroyed. Arson or sabotage were suspected because explosions were heard, and the fire started at three spots almost simultaneously and spread rapidly.
...
On May 12, 2019, four or five tankers were hit by underwater and/or near-waterline explosions near the port of Fujairah in the UAE. Fujairah is the distribution end of the key oil and natural gas pipeline-corridor aimed to alleviate the need for tankers to use the Strait of Hormuz. Two Saudi tankers suffered “heavy structural damage” in the attack. Additional strikes were launched against oil tanks in the main tank farm, but these were blocked by the protective facilities so that the damage was minimal or negligible. The expert assessment is that the attacks were carried out by highly-trained and well-equipped frogmen who most likely arrived from the Iranian side of the Gulf. The attackers were trained and equipped by members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC: Pasdaran) Special Forces — particularly the Sepah Navy Special Force — an independent Takavar unit of the IRGC Navy based on the Greater Farur Island in the Persian Gulf — and the Imam Hossein [Marines] Brigade based in Bandar Abbas.
...
In the early morning hours of May 14, 2019, seven “suicide” bomb-drones — most likely the Iranian Qasef-1 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) — struck two oil pumping stations in Dawadmi and Afeef, west of Riyadh. Fire broke out and put the stations out of order. Reconnaissance UAVs broadcast images of the strike to the Sanaa area. The drones were controlled from IRGC-controlled facilities at the Sanaa Air Base in Yemen. (Unconfirmed reports suggested that the UAVs were launched from the ABS airport in north-western, Yemen closer to the Saudi border.)

Indeed, also on May 14, 2019, the Houthi forces fired a Badr-1 ballistic missile at an Aramco oil refinery in Saudi Arabia’s Jizan Province. The next day, Al-Mayadeen broadcast an extensive report about recent Houthi strategic strikes against Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and insisted that the number of such attacks was larger than publicly admitted. “We have received special information showing that the Yemeni forces in Sanaa have launched over 10 undeclared military operations against vital targets in the depth of Saudi Arabia,” Al-Mayadeen said.
...
Ultimately, and even if for only a short time, Iran and its proxies were able to shut down completely the oil exports of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States from non-Strait of Hormuz venues. With the viable Iranian threat to shipping via the Strait of Hormuz undisputed, Tehran had proven its point: Iran could shut down the export of oil from the entire Arabian Peninsula.

Tehran’s overall approach is based on the “war on oil” doctrine adopted in the Summer of 2005. Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, then the Expediency Council Chairman and Iran’s most influential strategist, articulated the importance of a national oil war strategy. He called for a comprehensive war plan — a “Big Bang” strategy — which would drastically alter the strategic posture in the Middle East and the global confrontation with the US-led West, by depriving the West of stable oil supplies. The “war on oil” was adopted as the national strategy by then Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad.

The strategy is still valid.

death by proxy
No Blood For Oil
PEACE

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5 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

Mighty Joe was a mighty great guitarist. HT for the Zappa. Wink

Between charging Julian and the anti-protest laws, I guess laws are just words on paper. First Amendment was nice while it lasted.

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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

yep, mighty joe was an excellent chicago blues musician who was sadly under recorded. perhaps one day some gig recordings will find their way out of closets and become available.

yep. the first amendment has been under attack since the founding of the nation, but with the advent of the national security state and the complete capture of governance by the 1% and their corporations, its future is doubtful.

have a great weekend!

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4 users have voted.