The Evening Blues - 6-25-19



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Robert Parker


Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features New Orleans r&b singer and songwriter Robert Parker. Enjoy!

Robert Parker - Hip Huggin

“Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda.”

-- Kofi Annan


News and Opinion

Burning Down the Future

The hulk of Grenfell Tower, its charred sides covered by sheets of white plastic, stands as a mute and ominous testament to the disposability of the poor and the primacy of corporate profit. On June 14, 2017, a fire leaped up the sides of the 24-story building, clad in highly flammable siding, leaving 72 dead and 70 injured. Almost 100 families were left homeless. It was Britain’s worst residential fire since World War II. Those burned to death, including children, would not have died if builders had used costlier cladding that was incombustible and if the British government had protected the public from corporate predators. Grenfell is the face of the new order. It is an order in which you and I do not count.

The lead contractor for a refurbishment of Grenfell Tower that began in 2015—a refurbishment focused largely on cosmetic appearances to make the public housing building blend with more expensive high-rise apartments nearby—was aware of the danger of installing cheap cladding. ... The primacy of profit, as it always does in the neoliberal order, took precedence over human life. The combustible cladding that turned Grenfell Tower into a 24-story funeral pyre is banned in countries such as Germany and is not permitted on buildings in the United States over 40 feet tall. Grenfell Tower was over 200 feet tall. Corporations in Britain, as in the United States, have pushed through legislation to abolish oversight and allow themselves to ignore safety standards and “self-regulate.” It does not appear, amazingly, that the flammable cladding violated any of London’s diminished fire codes. Boris Johnson as the mayor of London slashed the city’s fire service budget and presided over the closure of 10 fire stations and the removal of 27 fire engines. When the fire broke out it took over half an hour to get a high-ladder truck to the blaze. The ladder could only reach the 10th floor and was not able, 30 minutes into the blaze, to get above the flames to extinguish fire racing up the building. ...

It did not take long for the right wing to begin to belittle the victims, derisively calling Grenfell “Falafel Tower” and claiming that many inside were undocumented immigrants and should never have been in Britain. The anti-immigrant sentiment, fueled by deindustrialization, draconian cuts to social services in the name of austerity, the capture of political power by a corporate elite and falling living standards among the white working class, mirrors the toxic political climate in the United States. Fifty-two percent of British voters in the summer of 2016 chose to exit the European Union, the British equivalent of building a wall to keep immigrants out. The fanning of virulent racism and Islamophobia have been convenient weapons in the hands of the elites, who seek to deflect attention from the assault they are carrying out against the entire working class and the working poor, regardless of color or ethnicity. ... [Prime Minister] Theresa May said we will give an amnesty to anybody who was here illegally that was in Grenfell Tower. That sends a signal to people around the country that those people in that tower were here illegally. This has become a mantra repeated around the country.” ...

A divided population is more easily controlled. It turns its venom on itself. The march of corporate totalitarianism intends to transform all of us into serfs regardless of our religious beliefs or ethnicity. It skillfully manufactures scapegoats—immigrants, Muslims, black people and others of color, dissidents, the poor—so the rising fury of a betrayed population will vent against a demonized target. This disease is as far advanced in Britain, which looks set to get the Trump-like Boris Johnson as prime minister, as it is in the United States. It is spawned by the same ideology, neoliberalism, and the same corporate forces that have seized political and economic power and orchestrated social inequality. These forces are, to us and to the ecosystem that we depend on for life, forces of death. The Grenfell fire is a harbinger of a day when greed will rule, human life will be cheap and the rule of law will be meaningless. Those who lost friends and family in the fire, or who witnessed the disaster, know a truth about corporate power that the rest of us must quickly learn.

Punitive fines threaten whistleblower Chelsea Manning with bankruptcy

Last Thursday, lawyers for the courageous whistleblower Chelsea Manning issued a legal challenge to punitive fines that were imposed upon her by a federal district court judge last month. Her legal team has warned that the unprecedented financial penalties threaten her with imminent bankruptcy. ... In a ruling last month, Judge Anthony Trenga not only ordered that Manning be held in jail until she agreed to testify before the grand jury, he also imposed fines against her of $500 per day, beginning after one month’s imprisonment. The daily penalty will rise to $1,000 after she has been jailed for two months.

The sanctions came into effect on June 15, meaning that Manning has already been fined $5,000. Her official Twitter page, which is operated by her legal team and closest supporters, reported on June 20 that Manning had lost her apartment. A subsequent Tweet stated: “She can pay the $500 daily fines for 11 days before she is flat broke.” In other words, if the fines are enforced, Manning will effectively be bankrupt this week. ...

According to the Sparrow Project, Manning’s lawyers will argue in future hearings over the financial penalties that she will be unable to pay the fines, because they are far greater than her current or potential net worth. They will also note that “it is unheard of for an individual to be hit with such heavy fines, particularly where the underlying matter involves no financial misconduct.” Manning’s legal team will reportedly also argue that the fines, along with her imprisonment, are unlawful, because they will not coerce her to cooperate with the grand jury process. Under existing anti-democratic legislation, fines and terms of imprisonment can only be imposed if there is a reasonable prospect that they will force a witness to testify. If there is not, they are deemed a punitive form of illegitimate punishment.

In response to a motion by Manning’s legal team earlier this month for sanctions against her to be reconsidered, the US Justice Department stated on June 14 that “Manning’s testimony remains relevant and essential to an ongoing, investigation into charges or targets that are not included in the superseding indictment.” The “superseding indictment” contains the publicly unveiled charges against Assange. The response raises the prospect that the US is seeking to impose even further charges against Assange, other than those it has already revealed. Further counts against Assange could potentially carry a sentence of the death penalty. US authorities would have an interest in concealing such charges, to get around provisions banning extraditions from the UK on charges with a maximum sentence of capital punishment.

The response is also a warning that the US government may be preparing a broader legal assault on WikiLeaks, and those alleged to have assisted it, both in the United States and internationally. The possibility that the Justice Department is preparing additional indictments targeting WikiLeaks collaborators was indicated by a report in the Associated Press on June 16. It revealed that US investigators had received permission from the Ecuadorian government to question Ola Bini, a Swedish programmer and personal friend of Assange, who was arrested on April 11 by the Ecuadorian regime of Lenin Moreno. Bini was held for almost two months without charge or any evidence that he had committed a crime. He was released from prison last week but remains under investigation. US officials will reportedly seek to interrogate him in Quito this Thursday. Bini has stated that he has never been a member of WikiLeaks.

As Trump Imposes New Sanctions, Iran Says U.S. Has “Permanently Closed Path to Diplomacy”

Trump: I do not need congressional approval to strike Iran

President Trump told Hill.TV in an exclusive interview Monday that he does not need congressional approval to strike Iran. When asked if he believes he has the authority to initiate military action against Iran without first going to Congress, Trump said, "I do."

"But we’ve been keeping Congress abreast of what we’re doing ... and I think it’s something they appreciate," he said in an exclusive interview outside the Oval Office. "I do like keeping them abreast, but I don’t have to do it legally."

"We were pretty close to maybe making a decision to strike. Then I decided not to do it. Nobody went out, by the way. I was going to make that decision by a certain time, and I decided not to do it because it wasn’t really proportional," Trump added.

The president disputed Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) assertion that he would need congressional approval for any “hostilities” against Iran. "I disagree," he said. "Most people seem to disagree."

"They have ideas. They’re intelligent people. They'll come up with some thoughts," Trump said, referring to lawmakers. "I actually learned a couple of things the other day when we had our meeting with Congress."

Donald Trump orders fresh sanctions against Iran's Ali Khamenei

Donald Trump has ordered new sanctions against Iran’s supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, and other officials including eight Revolutionary Guard commanders in the latest step of an escalating pressure campaign.

Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, will also face fresh sanctions in a few days, US officials said. He negotiated the 2015 nuclear deal with the US and other major powers, and has spearheaded Iranian diplomacy since.

Signing an executive order in the Oval Office, Trump called the increased sanctions “hard-hitting”, saying they would deny the supreme leader, his office and and those closely affiliated with him access to key financial resources. “These measures represent a strong and proportionate response to Iran’s increasingly provocative actions,” Trump said. ...

Standing alongside Trump, the treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said the measures would freeze billions of dollars in Iranian assets. But analysts said their impact on an already heavily-sanctioned country would be limited.

Iran says new US sanctions mean 'permanent closure' of diplomacy

Escalating "Crisis of His Administration's Making," Trump Imposes New Sanctions Against Iran

After President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order imposing new economic sanctions against Iran, critics denounced the punitive measures as a dangerous intensification of the same "maximum pressure" strategy that pushed the U.S. to the brink of war in the first place.

"Sanctions are what got us into this mess, more sanctions will not get us out of it," Jamal Abdi, president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), said in a statement. ... While Trump suggested on Monday that he is open to negotiations with Iran, Abdi said the president's new sanctions seem "intended to trample on any hopes for talks."


"The strategy of maximum pressure is not designed to induce negotiations," said Abdi, "but rather to push Iran away from the negotiating table while triggering further Iranian provocations that could serve as a pretext for war."

"After coming within 10 minutes of military strikes on Iran that could very well have triggered an all out regional conflagration, Trump should have fired Bolton and Pompeo on the spot," Abdi added. "Instead, he is staying the course and driving us further towards the brink of a completely avoidable crisis of his administration's making."

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi explains why Palestinians oppose US Middle East plan

Hong Kong citizens prepare to leave

Elisa Wong had always thought she would move away from Hong Kong when her seven-year-old daughter reached university age. But the recent political crisis has prompted her to reach for an application form to emigrate to Australia now. ...

Hong Kong has been rocked by its biggest political crisis in decades in the past two weeks – millions have thronged to the streets in downtown business districts to protest a proposed law allowing for the the extradition of suspects to mainland China, where the Communist Party-controlled court system has a conviction rate as high as 99%.

Many Hong Kong people were considering leaving before the recent political turmoil because of exorbitant property prices, high cost of living and notoriously intensive education regime. But the crisis which emanated from the controversial bill has stiffened the resolve of those like Wong to make serious plans to emigrate.

According to a survey conducted in December 2018 and published in January by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 34% of Hong Kong adults would emigrate if they had the chance. Among this group, 16.2% have already made plans to move. Those who wanted to leave were disproportionately young and well educated: 51% were between the ages of 18 and 30 and 47.9% had college degrees.

Among those inclined to emigrate, three of the top five reasons for leaving were political: 25.7% said there were “too many political disputes and discord”, 17.4% blamed the lack of democracy and their dissatisfaction with the political system and 14.9% were dissatisfied with the Chinese government. Other factors were “crowded living conditions” (25.7%) and high property prices (17.4%).

Tories warn of government collapse if Boris Johnson pursues no-deal Brexit

Conservatives stepped up warnings on Monday that a Boris Johnson premiership could lead to the collapse of the government if the leadership frontrunner attempts to pursue no deal.

One former Tory minister said he believed there were many more Tory MPs who would be prepared to take that step than those who would publicly admit it. “I do think at least 10 would vote to bring down the government if the government was taking us into no deal,” the MP said.

“Politicians don’t like to admit that they take this view in public, they like to hedge their bets a bit, but that has been my view for a long time.”

Tobias Ellwood, the defence minister, said he believed at least a dozen Conservative MPs could be forced into voting against the government.

Asked if the Conservatives who felt so strongly against no deal had the numbers, Ellwood told the BBC: “I believe that absolutely is the case. I think a dozen or so members of parliament would be on our side, would be voting against supporting a no deal and that would include ministers as well as backbenchers.”

All eyes on Erdogan after opposition's historic win in Istanbul

The last partygoers went home as the sun came up. Across Istanbul on Sunday night, hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters danced in the streets waving Turkish flags and brandishing glasses of beer and raki after their candidate for mayor delivered the most serious blow to the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in his political career. As municipal workers cleaned up on Monday morning, however, the front pages of Turkey’s pro-government newspapers downplayed the unprecedented success of the Republican People’s party (CHP) mayor-elect, Ekrem Imamoglu.

While the opposition nurses a collective hangover, attention is turning to what the president’s next move will be. Imamoglu ended 25 years of Islamist party dominance in the rerun for control of Turkey’s biggest city and economic centre, which accounted for 31% of GDP in 2017. The result has serious financial implications for the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) and its patronage networks, and will amplify the sense among the opposition and within Erdogan’s party that the president’s power is starting to wane. ...

Nicholas Danforth, a senior visiting fellow at the Washington-based German Marshall Fund thinktank, said: “Erdogan is adept at being conciliatory when necessary and cracking down on dissent when necessary. To date, he has maintained power by using both of those methods effectively. Last night’s result is something new, making it hard to tell what the president will do next to reverse the momentum that is building against him.”

Senators Want to Put a Price Tag on Your Data to Protect You Against Big Tech

Imagine knowing how much your personal data is worth to Big Tech. Or how little. That’s the idea behind legislation set to be rolled out Monday that would require large tech companies like Facebook and Google to put a price tag on the information they collect from users. Such data — app usage, locations, relationship statuses, and more — comprise the core of tech platforms’ highly lucrative and largely opaque business models.

The proposed bill would give users a peek under the hood. And tech critics say that could be a crucial step toward holding Silicon Valley giants accountable for data breaches that have grown increasingly common in recent years. “The consumer protection and privacy laws in the U.S. require you to prove harm,” said David Carroll, an associate professor of media design at The New School. “But it's really hard to say that money was stolen from you, because you can't put a price tag on data — even though Wall Street and investors and VCs put a price tag on data. The law just doesn't seem to yet.”

Sponsored by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), the new bill would also mandate that large tech companies disclose the types of data they collect and give users the option to delete them. ...

The Senate proposal mimics certain aspects of the California Consumer Privacy Act that is set to go into effect next year. That state-level statute not only requires companies to disclose what information they hoover up but also gives users the opportunity to opt out of such data collection for a fee up to the value of said data.

300 Migrant Kids Removed From Filthy, Crowded Texas Border Patrol Station

More than 300 migrant children have been transferred out of a Texas Border Patrol station after reports describing filthy, overcrowded conditions there emerged last week, according to the Associated Press.

It’s not immediately clear where the children have been sent.

The Last Abortion Clinic in Missouri Could Be Closed By the End of the Week

The Missouri health department declined to renew Planned Parenthood of St. Louis’ license to perform abortions last Friday. On Monday, Judge Michael Seltzer instructed the clinic to appeal the ruling to the Administrative Hearing Commission, meaning Planned Parenthood effectively has until Friday to make its case.

If the clinic is forced to close, Missouri would become the first state since 1973, when Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide, to be without an abortion provider.

RIP Dave Bartholomew.

Dave Bartholomew, Songwriter and Fats Domino Collaborator, Dead at 100

Dave Bartholomew, the New Orleans musician, Fats Domino collaborator and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who co-wrote the R&B classic “Ain’t That a Shame,” has died at the age of 100. ...

A trumpeter, bandleader, producer and arranger who worked with artists like Domino, Lloyd Price, Smiley Lewis and Shirley & Lee, the Louisiana-born Bartholomew had a lasting impact on both the music of New Orleans and R&B of the Fifties, which in turn inspired the rock music that emerged in the early Sixties.

His 14-year partnership with Domino, which began in 1949 when the two co-wrote and recorded Domino’s career-launching hit “The Fat Man,” yielded R&B gems like “I’m in Love Again,” “I’m Walkin’,” “Valley of Tears,” “My Girl Josephine,” “Whole Lotta Loving” and the classic “Ain’t That a Shame,” which would later be covered by artists like Cheap Trick, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and more. ...

An inductee into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Bartholomew penned hits like Chuck Berry’s Number One novelty hit “My Ding-A-Ling,” “Blue Monday” (popularized by Domino and covered by Dr. John, Buddy Holly and others) and “One Night,” a Smiley Lewis hit that Elvis Presley recorded as part of his 1968 comeback special. Bartholomew also produced Lloyd Price’s 1952 hit “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” and co-wrote “Witchcraft,” a hit for the Spiders that Presley covered in 1963.



the horse race



Bernie Sanders unveils plan to eliminate $1.6tn in student loan debt

Bernie Sanders on Monday introduced legislation to eliminate the entire $1.6tn in student loan debt owed by 45 million Americans. The Vermont senator announced the move as he vies for the Democratic presidential nomination in a primary contest marked by sweeping economic proposals.

This initiative builds on Sanders’ previous higher education plan, and would make two- and four-year public colleges and universities tuition-free and debt-free. The plan would cost $2.2tn over the next decade, a figure Sanders proposes to pay through a tax on Wall Street.

“This is truly a revolutionary proposal which accomplishes three major goals,” Sanders said in Washington on Monday. “In a highly competitive global economy, it makes certain that all Americans, regardless of income, can get the college education or job training they need to secure decent-paying jobs by making public colleges, universities and trade schools tuition-free and debt-free.”

Sanders was joined in his new effort by congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Pramila Jayapal, who have introduced parallel legislation in the House.

Jonathan Kozol: Joe Biden Didn’t Just Praise Segregationists. He Also Spent Years Fighting Busing

New Report Details the 15 House Democrats That Should Face Progressive Challengers

As progressive candidates continue to announce their intentions to oust corporate Democrats, a new report names 15 House Democrats to unseat in primary challenges. Published Monday by the left-leaning group RootsAction, the new report is entitled Bad Blues: Some of the House Democrats Who Deserve to Be 'Primaried.'

The list, the report notes, "is by no means exhaustive—only illustrative."

"There may well be a Democratic member of Congress near you not included here who serves corporate interests more than majority interests, or has simply grown tired or complacent in the never-ending struggles for social, racial, and economic justice as well as environmental sanity and peace," the report notes. "Perhaps you live in a district where voters are ready to be inspired by a progressive primary candidate because the Democrat in Congress is not up to the job."

Among the well-known names on the list: Rep. Eliot Engel of New York. He's already facing two progressive challengers: educators Jamaal Bowman and Andom Ghebreghiorgis. ... Another primary-worthy House Democrat on the list: Illinois's anti-choice Dan Lipinski. ... Also named in the report is Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), who's facing a challenge from progressive Mckayla Wilkes.

The other dozen House Dems named in the report as deserving a primary challenge are Cheri Bustos (Ill.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Jim Costa (Calif.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Josh Gottheimer (N.J.). Jim Himes (Conn.), Derek Kilmer (Wash.), Gregory Meeks (N.Y.), Brad Schneider (Ill.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), David Scott (Ga.), and Juan Vargas (Calif.).

Democrat O'Rourke proposes 'war tax' on affluent U.S. families without military members

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday proposed taxing affluent American families who do not have members in the U.S. military as a way to fund healthcare for veterans.

The former congressman from Texas unveiled a plan for military veterans that includes a "war tax," in which taxpayers who earn over $200,000 a year would pay $1,000 in a new tax for each war embarked on by the United States.

O'Rourke, who did not serve in the military but sat on the House of Representatives Armed Services and Veterans' Affairs committees, said the tax would be levied on households without current members of the U.S. military or military veterans. He did not specify what types of war, or the scale and origins of the wars, on which the tax would be levied.

The money raised from the war tax would be deposited into a newly created Veterans Health Care Trust Fund, which would be created at the start of each new war and be used to support veterans' healthcare, disability and other medical needs when they return from conflict, O'Rourke said.

The proposal was part of a broader plan by O'Rourke, who has struggled to gain traction in opinion polls among Democratic contenders, to improve services for military veterans. He also urged an end to "wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," and reinvestment of the savings in veterans programs.



the evening greens

The Everglades Is on Fire

A massive wildfire has consumed more than 17,000 acres of the Everglades in less than 24 hours, the Florida Forest Service told VICE News.

Officials believe lightning started the blaze Sunday evening in west-central Broward County. Since then, the flames spread quickly: As of 4 p.m. on Monday afternoon, an area of 17,000 acres was burning — and had been 0% contained.


Brush fires happen regularly in the Everglades — one blaze, just a few months ago in December, burned over at least 2,300 acres. But the Sawgrass fire is already particularly large. Another huge fire in the Everglades National Park in 2008 burned over 40,000 acres.

[Here's the latest report I could find before posting. -js]
Everglades Fire Covers Nearly 50 Miles

A massive fire in the Florida Everglades has burned nearly 50 miles of brush and grasslands since it started on Sunday. ...

No homes or populated areas were threatened by the blaze, burning in a 165,000 acre conservation area in Broward County.

The Forest Service reported the blaze was 30% contained as of Tuesday morning, but Scott Peterich, a wildfire mitigation specialist for the Florida Forest Service, said there are no active efforts to extinguish it. “It’s just too massive," he explained. "It's miles and miles of fire."

Jay Inslee Just Dropped the Most Ambitious Climate Plan From a Presidential Candidate. Here’s Who It Targets.

Jay Inslee, a 2020 presidential hopeful, released an expansive plan on Monday that attempts to capture and rein in the full range of what’s propping up the fossil-fuel economy, from big banks, to lax drilling laws, to federal subsidies. The Washington governor is the first candidate to call — and plan explicitly — for phasing out fossil fuel production writ large in the United States, through both legislative and executive actions to ban fracking and to prohibit fossil fuel leases on public lands, among other sweeping changes. The plan also explores possibilities for restricting drilling on nonpublic lands, such as instituting mandatory buffers between drilling operations and populated areas like schools, homes, and hospitals. Inslee’s “Freedom From Fossil Fuels” plan looks to take on the leadership of fossil fuel companies directly and account for their role in climate and environmental crises, in part by establishing an Office of Environmental Justice within the Department of Justice. “The Inslee Administration will ensure that polluters pay for their actions, and will not hesitate to prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” the plan states.

Identifying who those polluters are, and just how much they have to lose, inspired Dario Kenner, a visiting fellow at Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K., to create the Polluter Elite database. Kenner said his goal for the database is to demonstrate how “these people are blocking you and your grandchildren from having a future. … Do they get to continue profiting and dominating our politics and our chances of survival, or do we stop them?” Kenner looked at the total emissions for the most carbon-intensive companies based in the U.S. and U.K. — the fossil fuel producers outlined in the Carbon Majors Report on industrial emissions — and then examined those corporations’ annual reports and regulatory filings to work out how much of those emissions various shareholders owned in 2015. Stacked up against most people, the results are stunning.

The average U.S. resident — a shaky category amid rising inequality — emitted about 16 metric tons of carbon dioxide that year, which is high by global standards even among wealthy nations. Annual per capita emissions that year in the U.K. were just around 6 metric tons. ... Accounting for his $145 million worth of shares in Exxon Mobil circa 2015, then-CEO Rex Tillerson was responsible for 52,442 metric tons over the same time period — well over 3,200 times that of the average American. The database is the first of its kind to attempt to map out the personal emissions share of the world’s worst polluters. A study released by Oxfam during the Paris climate talks found that the richest 10 percent of people in the world are responsible for half of consumption-based carbon emissions, while the poorest 50 percent of people account for just 10 percent. But around the same time, Kenner wanted to more deeply understand who precisely some of the worst offenders were. For that, he wanted a picture that included those individuals’ responsibility for the production of fossil fuels, not just where it gets ignited downstream — a figure he calls investment emissions. Because of differences in regulatory reporting requirements, he wasn’t able to get data for carbon-intensive firms that are privately held, such as Koch Industries. The database’s release coincides with the release of his book, “Carbon Inequality: The Role of the Richest in Climate Change.”

Oregon Republicans Backed By Right-Wing Militias Flee State to Stall Vote on Historic Climate Bill

Let’s Check In on Those Oregon Republicans Who Fled the Capital, Shall We?

Oregon police have spent five days, to no avail, searching for the 11 Republican state senators who fled the capital rather than vote on climate change legislation.

In the meantime, the outlaw lawmakers have gained some fans: Right-wing militias have vowed to protect them, and a "militia threat" forced the Senate to remain closed Saturday, according to Carol Currie, spokeswoman for Senate President Peter Courtney. The GoFundMe the senators set up to help them pay fines over their absence has also nearly reached its goal of $50,000.

Democratic Gov. Kate Brown ordered the state police to round up the absent GOP lawmakers after they skipped out on a Thursday vote to pass a bill designed to reduce climate-heating greenhouse gas emissions. Without quorum, Democrats couldn’t pass the legislation, and the Republicans would rather voters decide in a statewide referendum. The Republican senators reportedly fled to Idaho, where they’re evading the Oregon cops. One said he’d fight police if they try to bring him back to the capitol in Salem.

"Send bachelors and come heavily armed," Sen. Brian Boquist told local media. “I don't think you're going to see us anytime soon,” state Sen. Herman Baertschinger, the Senate Minority Leader, told local outlet KATU2 over the weekend.

The Oregon branch of the Three Percenters has promised to provide security and armed escorts for the GOP lawmakers. The group claims to combat what they see as constitutional overreach by the government. ... Another armed right-wing group, the Oathkeepers, threatened violence against Gov. Brown on Thursday. “Gov. Brown, you want a civil war, because this is how you get a civil war,” the group posted to its public Facebook page.


Also of Interest

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

Russia warns of repeat of 1962 Cuban missile crisis

No War With Iran, for Now – but Mike Pompeo and John Bolton Still Really, Really Want One

Trump Seeks 'Coalition Of The Willing' Against Iran

Russia has evidence that US drone downed by Iran in the Persian Gulf did violate Iran’s airspace

CIA Seeking More Impunity

Joe Biden Says He Can Work With the Senate. The Last Time He Tried, Mitch McConnell Picked His Pockets Badly.

If Facebook or Google create their own currency, they can control our lives

Former Shale Gas CEO Says Fracking Revolution Has Been ‘A Disaster’ For Drillers, Investors

We Have to Finance a Global Green New Deal — or Face the Consequences

Mars rover's large methane discovery excites scientists

Dave Bartholomew: a giant who taught the world to rock'n'roll


A Little Night Music

Robert Parker - Barefootin'

Robert Parker - Yak Yak Yak

Robert Parker - Walkin'

Robert Parker - Soul Sister

Robert Parker - Twistin' Out In Space

Robert Parker - Tip Toe

Robert Parker - Holdin' Out

Robert Parker - All Nite Long

Robert Parker - Get Ta Steppin'


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JekyllnHyde's picture

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14 users have voted.

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

joe shikspack's picture

@JekyllnHyde

yep, that biden is really plugged into the base and what it wants. he knows just what to say to cool their ardor for change.

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9 users have voted.
mimi's picture

and learn from it.

Good night from Germany.

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13 users have voted.

TTTT (too tired to talk)

joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

thanks for reading! have a great evening.

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6 users have voted.
The Aspie Corner's picture

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5 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.

Shahryar's picture

@The Aspie Corner

"I have spent many years researching this and similar questions and I have yet to find one crime that Stalin committed."

so....

I found this interesting

https://www.scribd.com/document/108748289/Refutation-of-Professor-Grover...

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4 users have voted.
The Aspie Corner's picture

@Shahryar Personally, I'm sick of seeing actual socialists being blamed for Nazi crimes. I'd love to see a tabulation of the 'Murican Empire's crimes, but that's bloody unlikely.

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4 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.

joe shikspack's picture

@The Aspie Corner

trotsky and stalin are both still dead. history has been written and rewritten (multiple times) and truth is where you find it.

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8 users have voted.

I'm sick and tired of these right wing-nut terrorists getting free passes.

The Bundy debacle disgusted me from end to end. If actual (Native) Americans or Blacks, or Latinos had overtaken a National Wildlife Refuge by force and destroyed the sites and artifacts, they all would have been dead by dawn. Look at MOVE...

The Republicans don't believe in the law or rule of law. They disregard or break it at every profitable opportunity. The militias protecting them are exhibiting treasonous acts and are threatening (un-civil) war. They should be treated accordingly....and last I heard threatening a city, state or federal emloyees is indeed a Federal Crime...

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12 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@BORG_US_BORG They suck massively, but:

TREASON: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.
(U.S. Constitution)

Even threatening to start a civil war doesn't really qualify absent very special circumstances, though it could well be a crime all the same.

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8 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@BORG_US_BORG

it is interesting to see which "radicals" get a free pass and which ones are brutally repressed by the government. it should be a teachable moment for average americans.

this might be an excellent time for oregon's attorney general to peruse the statutes at hir disposal to bring charges against those who have threatened the state with violence to undermine the orderly running of the political process.

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11 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

example of but one of the things the hashtag Resistance should have been doing all along, and the way they could've stopped Trumps judges, for example. They never have because they'd rather go alone and often are in agreement, but like to pretend to be "liberal" by being vocal.

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11 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

oh my, the very thought of doing something like that surely gives dems the frantic dithers. why, they are the party of responsible adults!

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7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Jeffrey Epstein had sex with up to 20 underage girls, but his lawyers 'leaned' on federal prosecutors to make a plea bargain with him for prostitution with a 17 year old and he was only sentenced to 18 months in a very nice federal prison. Not only that, but he was allowed to leave every day so he could go to work. He got out in 13 months for good behavior.

The girls were never told about the plea deal and they wanted his conviction overturned.. yeah good luck with that. So why did he get such a sweet deal? Might have been because he promised not to name names such as the Clinton duo, possibly Trump and other high flalutan people who were above the law. SMDH!

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14 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, epstein certainly made a mockery of the justice system. i'm surprised that he got any time at all and the charges weren't dropped on a convenient technicality.

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8 users have voted.
GreyWolf's picture

@snoopydawg

.

.

Katie-V-Trump.jpg

(just for the record)

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9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@GreyWolf

and they called reagan "the teflon president."

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8 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

Fuck fuckitty fuck!!!......

The U.K. and its Clown Prince.

Fuck!!!

A boorish, lazy, mendacious oaf is set to become PM of what purports to be a serious country, thanks to a bunch of superannuated bigots and nutters, known as the members of the Conservative and Unionist Party.

Ye gods!

(Edited)

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9 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

apparently, in the uk anybody can grow up to be pm.

i am pretty impressed with the appearance of physical diversity that the people running the trump clone machine have managed to create.

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7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Lots of Trump clones popping up aren't there? Yee gawd's and little fishes. Boris is not the person I would have thought could grow up to be PM. Oh well after May how bad could he be?

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7 users have voted.

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

GreyWolf's picture

(In case this wasn't already featured)

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@GreyWolf

thanks! i hadn't seen this before.

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2 users have voted.
GreyWolf's picture

@joe shikspack

.

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6 users have voted.
GreyWolf's picture

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6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

(recently) outgoing President--Jose Murica.

Sorry for not using the correct accented 'e' in Jose--my character grid/key pad doesn't function, for some reason.

8 reasons why we'll miss Jose Mujica, Uruguay's maverick president

Posted Monday 2 March 2015 14:40 by Evan Bartlett in people - indy 100

After five years in power, the man described as the "world's most humble president" has stepped down from office in Uruguay.

In a ceremony yesterday, Jose "Pepe" Mujica, who leaves with approval ratings of nearly 70 per cent, handed over his presidential sash to Tabare Vazquez.

Here are eight reasons why he'll be missed:

1. He donated 90 per cent of his salary to charity

Mujica wasn't known as the world's humblest president for nothing. The former president shunned the luxurious lifestyle and was usually seen in casual clothes for official ceremonies and rarely, if ever, wore a tie.

By donating 90 per cent of his salary to charity, his income was roughly equal to the average wage in Uruguay - $775 (£485) a month.

2. And lived on a farm

3. He drives a 1987 blue VW Beetle

etc, etc

Ending with this,

8. And all that, after being shot six times and being put in jail for 14 years for opposing the country's former dictatorship


"I've no doubt that had I not lived through that I would not be who I am today. Prison, solitary confinement had a huge influence on me. I had to find an inner strength. I couldn't even read a book for seven, eight years - imagine that!"

#1 Uruguayan Prez.JPG

So depressing, when you compare what we have in the US (compared to this man). Don't remember if I've mentioned it, but, running across his biography was one reason that I'm taking a second look at this country.

Hope folks will take a minute to check it out. Lots of neat photos, with brief blurbs, or summaries.

He is truly amazing.


~ ~ ~ ~ ~

News Flash: Mueller's going to testify, soon.

Hope I can get enough work down on the spreadsheets, so I'll be able to listen to debates, and, catch Mueller's testimony. Not sure if it's tomorrow, but, thought they said something about Wednesday.

Hot and humid here--hope it's better in your neck-of-the-woods, Joe. I'll try to double-check those VAT percentages late this week, or early next week, once I've finished helping Mr M.

Thanks for tonight's EB, Joe. Have a nice evening, Everyone!

ByePleasantryMollie

“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
~~Roger Caras

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6 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

i remember reading about murica when he was first elected, but since then he has kind of dropped off of my radar, i guess because there's not a lot of news from uruguay that gets included in international press outlets unless there's some sort of major trouble. it sounds like an interesting country worth investigating, i'll be very interested to hear the results of your research.

hot and humid here, too. it just crossed into the upper 70's a half an hour ago and it's supposed to hit the mid 90's again tomorrow. yuk!

happy spreadsheeting - have a great evening!

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7 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

gladly share what info I can glean from my reading, etc. Eventually, I'll make a few calls to the Embassy, etc., to verify some of the info I'm gathering. (I'll be adding the 'International Calling' package the first week of July, on my monthly renewal date.)

It's my impression that it's a country that's somewhat 'overlooked' by potential US expats. Actually, it has an ex-pat community--but, it's small--just as the country is quite small. I'm getting ready to gear up a Twitter account devoted to Uruguay. And, once I'm not so ignorant about the place, I'll try and join an online Ex-Pat Community, in hopes of garnering more info 'from the front lines.'

As you probably know, there was a military coup there in the 70's (?). Lasted about 12-14 years, IIRC. It doesn't concern me, 'cause it's my impression that it's one reason that the country's government is left-leaning, today. Think about it--there are probably--well, don't know the number--but, you know, lots of people alive that remember that era--and, living under right-wing oppression and terror. Might be one reason they appear to be so adamant about their freedoms. And, quite progressive, at that.

Our 'hope' is that Uruguay can be, at least, a 'seasonal' residence, if nothing else.

PleasantryMollie

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4 users have voted.

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

GreatLakeSailor's picture

Ron Kind, democrap, Wisconsin

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4 users have voted.

Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

joe shikspack's picture

@GreatLakeSailor

yep, i can think of a lot of them to add to the list. it's good of them to think of hoyer, but clearly pelosi needs to go, too. my congressman and both of my senators need to go as well, though a lot of people might think of them as small potatoes, god do they annoy me.

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5 users have voted.

with Jonathan Kozol was really good. I bet he is heartbroken to see that shmuck flat out lying and not being held to account by the media. Kozol was always huge and amazing advocate for the kids.

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@randtntx

yep, he was an excellent education advocate and his comments about biden were right on the money.

have a great evening!

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4 users have voted.

@joe shikspack as well, thanks as always for the EB.

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4 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@randtntx
Period. Period. Period.

( I refer to the quotes of Biden, which are showen in the Kozol Interview of Joe's excepts)

I had no idea he had so many racist bones in his body.

I became just very uncomfortable of how he used his own son's military service to promote himself politically. And could never explain it to others, because I had no clips and could not find the one, who made me so uncomfortable,

This was new to me. And Biden revealed himself quite clearly.

Too many periods in his response to the question of the journalist, who asked him about apologizing.

So one of those periods should be used to put a period to his presidential campaign.

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3 users have voted.

TTTT (too tired to talk)