The Evening Blues - 7-16-19



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Sonny Terry


Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Piedmont blues harmonica player Sonny Terry. Enjoy!

Sonny Terry Trio - Dangerous Woman

"Dictators long ago found that it is easier to unite people in common hatred than in common love."

-- Dagobert D. Runes


News and Opinion

The fascists in the White House

The tirades by President Donald Trump over the past three days have no precedent in the history of the US presidency. Trump, backed by a cabal of advisors in the White House, speaks openly as a fascist, demonizing people of different races and national origins, vilifying socialism, and declaring that those who oppose his administration’s policies are disloyal to the country and should leave it. ... Trump is playing with fire. He is placing the authority of the White House behind violent attacks on the model of the South Carolina church murders, the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre, and the attacks on mosques in Southern California. This is under conditions where one Trump supporter sent mail bombs last year to leading Democrats and media figures, and a Coast Guard officer, arrested on weapons charges, was found to have drawn up a death list that includes Ocasio-Cortez, one of Trump’s latest targets.

It is more than a matter of inciting violence against individual opponents. Trump’s campaign of vilification against the Democratic congresswomen has a clear political goal, which goes well beyond his 2020 reelection campaign or these four individuals. He is making an appeal to the most reactionary forces in American society, seeking to build a fascist movement in the United States. The president of the United States, speaking for significant sections of the ruling class, has declared that anyone opposing the foreign and domestic policy of the ruling class should be subject to prosecution, deportation or physical violence.

US presidents, particularly in the period of Cold War struggle between American imperialism and the Soviet Union, once sought to posture as leaders of the “Free World,” representing a country which long identified itself as being “a nation of immigrants.” Trump discards that pretense. His ideal America would be a brutal police state in which working people are deprived of all rights and the symbols of national “greatness” are a massive wall along the US-Mexico border and the Dow Jones Industrial Average—which he boasted Monday had hit a record 27,000. ...

Millions oppose this government and everything it stands for, but they are trapped in the framework of the corporate-controlled two-party system, in which the supposed alternative to Trump is a Democratic Party completely identified with Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus. ... The only concrete action proposed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is a resolution of disapproval that would condemn Trump’s language while citing President Ronald Reagan—whose right-wing government initiated the ongoing campaign of social counterrevolution and attacks on the working class in America—as a model of civility and tolerance.

On Contact: George Galloway on populism, racism and antisemitism

Trump Denounced for 'Incitement to Violence' Against Ilhan Omar After Latest Racist Attack on Congresswoman

Democrats in Congress condemned President Donald Trump Monday after he doubled down on his weekend attacks on progressive women of color in the House, this time focusing his racist comments on Rep. Ilhan Omar.

At the White House, Trump told reporters that the Minnesota Democrat "hates Jews," months after Omar was attacked for her criticism of the pro-Israel lobby's hold on lawmakers.

Trump also fabricated a claim that Omar had praised Al Qaeda and expressed pride in the group. ...

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) said he would soon force a vote on impeaching the president for "bigotry in policy," following Trump's comments. The congressman said on Twitter that he would call for the vote before representatives' August recess.

"Trump's racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and Islamophobia can no longer be tolerated or ignored," Green tweeted. "We must impeach."

As of Monday, 83 House Democrats support an impeachment inquiry against the president.


Fox News Has a Slightly Different Take on Trump’s Racist Rants

Donald Trump’s outrageous attacks on Democratic congresswomen of color have pulled the mainstream media back into an awkward dance around how to describe a racist president. Not Fox News. To hear that network’s analysts and guests tell it, it’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the other three members of the progressive “squad” who are the real bigots.

“We all know that AOC and this crowd are a bunch of communists,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on "Fox & Friends" Monday morning. “They hate Israel. They hate our own country.”

“They’re anti-Semitic,” he added seconds later, for good measure. “They’re anti-America.”

And Trump, an avid “Fox & Friends” fan, tweeted them out verbatim soon afterward to his 61.9 million followers. ...

Fox News and other Trump-friendly media organs have obsessively portrayed the freshman lawmakers of color as central figures in the culture war. Last week, Tucker Carlson made Omar the focus of not one but two monologues about how liberals should pipe down with the complaints of racism and acknowledge American generosity toward immigrants. “Nothing they say on the subject of race is sincere,” Carlson said last Wednesday. “It's all a hustle designed to get them what they want.”

Trump’s attacks on this group momentarily united Democratic factions around a common enemy. And mainstream media coverage — while largely using euphemisms for racism — overwhelmingly condemned them.

Watch Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib’s fiery response to Trump’s tirade

Even Trump’s Racist Attacks Can’t Seem To Unify Pelosi and “The Squad”

Democrats are unified in opposition to President Trump’s racist attacks on four female members of Congress. But what they decide to do about it could tear them apart. The four Congresswomen attacked by Trump held a press conference Monday to show they are done with trivial rebuttals. They want to impeach and they want to do it now. ...

The fiery response by Omar and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) stands in contrast to a response announced by Pelosi earlier in the day. Pelosi announced in a letter to her caucus that the House will vote this week on a resolution to rebuke for his tweets about the U.S. Congresswomen over the weekend that they should "go back" to their country of origin (though three of four were born in the U.S.) and continued Monday. ...

Pelosi has not yet released the text of the resolution but described it as one that would obliquely criticize Trump by laying out a parallel, aspirational view of U.S. immigration policy. It is also expected to quote President Ronald Reagan’s farewell speech in which he said, “If we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost.”

It’s a classic Washington, D.C., inside baseball play on the House floor: Introduce a resolution that goes just far enough so everyone knows what it’s referencing, but not far enough to scare the other party away from supporting it. Then, essentially shame the opposing party into voting for it, thereby criticizing their party’s own president. The vote can later be used as political fodder to attack anyone who votes against it. ...

But the increasing number of rank-and-file Democrats are growing weary of these kinds of tactics. For some, Trump’s xenophobic comments only reinforce what they have long believed: Trump must be impeached, even if that path does not have the support of the majority of the caucus.

Trump's Racist Tweets Fan Hatred

Trump’s ‘blatantly illegal’ immigration rules end asylum protections

The Trump administration has announced new immigration rules ending asylum protections for almost all migrants who arrive at the US-Mexico border, in violation of both US and international law. According to the new rules, any asylum seekers who pass through another country before arriving at the southern border – including children traveling on their own – will not be eligible for asylum if they failed to apply first in their country of transit. They would only be eligible for US asylum if their application was turned down elsewhere.

The change would affect the vast majority of migrants arriving through Mexico. Most of those currently come from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, but an increasing number are from Haiti, Cuba and countries further afield in Africa and Asia. The new rules were placed on the federal register on Monday and due to take effect on Tuesday, though they will be immediately challenged in court for contraventions of the US refugee act and the UN refugee convention guaranteeing the right to seek asylum to those fleeing persecution from around the world. ...

The US Refugee Act of 1980 limits the right of asylum if the applicant can be sent back to a “safe third country”, but human rights advocates have pointed out that neither Mexico nor any Central American countries come close to meeting the act’s standards of a safe third country, “where the alien’s life or freedom would not be threatened”... “and where the alien would have access to a full an fair procedure for determining a claim to asylum”.

Furthermore, for a country to be considered “safe”, it would have to enter into a formal agreement with the US. In recent months, the US has sought to conclude safe third country agreements with Mexico and Guatemala, but Mexico rejected the initiative and the agreement in Guatemala was blocked on Sunday by that country’s constitutional court. The new rules published on Monday simply ignore the safe third country standard.

Pelosi Sides With Trump-Attacks AOC & Screws Immigrants

Before Being Hacked, Border Surveillance Firm Lobbied to Downplay Security and Privacy Concerns About Its Technology

Few people had ever heard of Perceptics, a Tennessee-based subcontractor that sells license plate readers to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, before last month, when news emerged that the company had been hacked and that sensitive data — including images of license plates and drivers — had been released on the dark web. The hack is just the sort of privacy breach that civil liberties advocates have long warned could come from massive government data collection, especially when it is contracted out to private firms. And it comes at a time when the CBP is under scrutiny for monitoring activists and journalists at the U.S.-Mexico border and airports.

Yet while photos of faces and license plates of some 100,000 U.S. drivers are now freely available online, the CEO of Perceptics, John Dalton, claimed in an email a few years ago that “CBP has none of the privacy concerns at the border that all agencies have inland.” Writing to one of his company’s lobbyists in 2013, Dalton suggested that the border agency offered Perceptics an opportunity to make greater use of license plate images, stating, “Data mining and looking at traffic patterns/abnormalities are strong analytics for CBP, and could be for others.” Dalton appeared to be referring to the CBP’s relatively unfettered powers of search and seizure within 100 miles of the border. In contrast, for agencies other than CBP, “there is much concern with ACLU state level lawsuits and elsewhere around privacy issues, so this is a live challenge,” he wrote.

Dalton’s email and other internal documents laying out Perceptics’ strategy to politically defend its products are among the data taken from the company by an anonymous hacker and analyzed by The Intercept. “Obviously, we don’t agree with the blanket assertion that there are no privacy concerns at the border,” said Nate Freed Wessler, of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. “The government position is that they have latitude to do whatever they want there, and we vigorously disagree with that.”

Wherever they are used, said Wessler, license plate readers, or LPRs, are concerning when the data they collect is retained and analyzed, providing a gold mine of location information as people go about their daily lives in their cars. “Especially for people who live in border communities, who live binational lives, it can really be sensitive information,” he said. And as the Perceptics hack shows, data that is retained is also vulnerable to unintended release or use, whether by hackers or unscrupulous government employees or contractors.

In early July, CBP suspended Perceptics from receiving any further contracts with the federal government, citing “evidence of conduct indicating a lack of business honesty or integrity.” The suspension apparently came because the company “had transferred copies of license-plate and traveler images onto its private network in violation of agency rules,” according to the Washington Post. A CBP official told the paper that Perceptics was trying to “refine its algorithms to match license plates with the faces of a car’s occupants, which the official said was outside of CBP’s sanctioned use.”

The USDA Wants to Kick Mixed-Status Immigrant Families out of Their Homes

Months after the Department of Housing and Urban Development proposed terminating federal housing assistance for “mixed-status” immigrant families, another agency is planning on doing the same thing. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is preparing to roll out an identical rule change for its Rural Housing Service, which manages over 415,000 units of subsidized low-income housing, sources close to the agency tell VICE News.

Like HUD, the agency plans to end eligibility for its program for families where one or more members are undocumented. Under the proposed rule change, families with members that do not have residency or citizenship documents would lose their homes.

The USDA’s program is one of several geared toward revitalizing rural communities and boosting residency in sparsely populated areas. It serves low-income families, many of whom are seniors or who have disabilities. Rural Housing Service also offers direct home loan programs, and subsidizes about 1,000 properties used to house farm laborers. HUD, by comparison, manages roughly 1.1 million units of public housing.

A regulatory impact analysis of HUD’s proposed rule change produced by the agency’s own employees show that the measure would displace 25,000 families — including up to 55,000 children — and cost the agency between $193 million and $227 million annually.

‘Hypersonic Missiles’ Aren’t Starting an Arms Race—Washington Is

“Fast, effective, precise and unstoppable — these are rare but highly desired characteristics on the modern battlefield.” That’s how the New York Times Magazine (6/19/19) described the hypersonic missiles being pursued by the United States, Russia, China and other countries in a nearly 5,000-word collaborative article that seriously misleads readers on who started and is currently driving the next phase of the global arms race. The Times article, “Hypersonic Missiles Are Unstoppable. And They’re Starting a New Global Arms Race,” opened with statements by Michael Griffin, the Pentagon’s undersecretary for research and engineering. Characterized as “an unabashed defender of American military and political supremacy” and the “chief evangelist for hypersonics,” Griffin brags about being an “unreconstructed Cold Warrior” and cites the US’s rapid development of the atomic bomb as a precedent for treating hypersonic missiles as the “highest technical priority”:

Following the usual alarmist formula used to sell military upgrades to the public, the Times then made the predictable pivot to uncritically transmitting false claims about the need to “act quickly” lest the US “fall behind” the Russian and Chinese menaces. ...

Analysts and experts not cited in the article have noted that the conventional narrative of US hypersonics lagging behind Russia and China’s is misleading, because the countries have different goals. Russia and China’s hypersonics program is focused on delivering nuclear warheads, which require much less precision and investment than US hypersonics, focused on the “much more difficult” task of delivering non-nuclear warheads (CNBC, 5/11/18). Other experts have argued that the conventional narrative is false, because the US is “still the leader” in hypersonic missiles, having researched them for over a decade, and has “done a lot more than Russia and China have,” while noting that Russian and Chinese hypersonic development is aimed at overcoming US missile defense systems near their borders to preserve their nuclear deterrent (Business Insider, 4/30/18).

As I’ve written earlier (FAIR.org, 5/17/19), nuclear strategists have long known that “missile defense” systems are actually offensive weapons designed to obtain a first-strike advantage by neutralizing retaliatory strikes. Yet the crucial context of Russia pursuing its hypersonics program as a cheaper and more rational strategy—as opposed to pointlessly competing with the US by creating its own missile-defense systems—and as a response to the US’s unilateral 2001 withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty limiting those systems, is buried near the end of the article, in the 43rd paragraph.

Instead, the Times preferred to ascribe agency and responsibility to mysterious forces and inanimate missiles manipulating the US both in its headline—it’s the missiles that are “starting a new global arms race,” not the government—and in its claim that “the rush” to possess hypersonic missiles has “pushed the United States into an arms race with Russia and China.”

Israeli PM compares EU’s Nuclear Deal efforts to Nazi Appeasement

Israel 'sues' European Union for trying to salvage Iran nuclear deal

An Israeli organisation has started a legal case in a bid to stop a mechanism set up by the EU designed to dodge US sanctions on Iran and salvage the nuclear deal. Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center, an NGO dedicated to representing victims of terrorism, will file on behalf of two families a lawsuit against the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom reported on Monday.

INSTEX, which was launched in January and became operational on 28 June, was set up by Germany, France and Britain to help Iran bypass sanctions.

The plaintiffs are all of Israeli and American origin who claim their relatives were victims of attacks funded by Iran. The families will file a lawsuit in the Court of Sessions in France, demanding all Iranian money and assets to be paid as compensation to the alleged victims of terror as part of the enforcement of the American courts' ruling.

The U.K. Ambassador's Horrifying Conclusion About the Iran Deal

Former British ambassador to the US Kim Darroch alleged in a diplomatic cable that Trump’s motivation in breaching the 2015 Iran nuclear deal was motivated by nothing more than spite, according to the Daily Mail, which saw the text.

In spring of 2018, then foreign secretary Boris Johnson came to Washington for extensive consultations with Trump and his team, attempting to convince them not to breach the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or Iran nuclear deal of 2015.

After Johnson went home empty-handed, Darroch wrote back to London that Trump was “set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism” and was reneging on the agreement mainly for “personality reasons,” that is because he could not stomach that the JCPOA had been Barack Obama’s project.

While many of us who have observed Trump have come to the same conclusion– that his Iran policy is driven more by a hope of outdoing Obama than of any rational grand strategy, we are not insiders. Darroch had many contacts inside the Trump White House and spoke of their fierce internal divisions. His formal conclusion, conveyed back to the prime minister, is not mere speculation or punditry, but the careful appraisal of a foreign policy insider with specific knowledge of Trump and his people.

Race to the Bottom is Imperial Plan

“The decline in US living standards and economic security is not a side effect of globalization – it is the intended effect of this global regime that is being imposed,” said BAR executive editor Glen Ford, at the Left Forum in New York City. “The capitalist imperial consensus is to destroy all impediments to the most profitable exploitation of labor and technology.” That’s why most new US employment consists of “shit jobs.”

Reformist District Attorney Larry Krasner Argues Pennsylvania Death Penalty Is Unconstitutional

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, who campaigned in 2017 as an unequivocal opponent of the death penalty, asked the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in a legal filing Monday night to declare the state’s death penalty system unconstitutional.

The death penalty as it stands “cannot survive the state Constitution’s ban on cruel punishments,” Krasner wrote in a brief he submitted to the state’s high court. He cited a study, conducted by his office, that revealed a startling 72 percent of Philadelphia death sentences were overturned during post-conviction review between 1978 and 2017, often due to ineffective legal representation. In a justice system rife with racial disparities, that 37 of the 45 people from Philadelphia currently on death row are black adds even more cause for concern, Krasner argued. ...

Since Krasner entered office, the Philadelphia district attorney’s office has stopped fighting appeals of death row inmates, citing ineligibility in court filings on the basis of inadequate representation or intellectual disability. But Monday’s filing is the first time the office has argued that the state’s system as a whole is unconstitutional. His data-based argument is just the latest step taken by elected officials in the state to draw attention to issues with the application of the death penalty. A bipartisan report from state lawmakers published last June showed that six people on Pennsylvania’s death row have been exonerated since 1972. Three have been executed.

Gov. Tom Wolf issued a moratorium on all Pennsylvania executions in 2015, calling the state’s death penalty system “flawed.” Pennsylvania is one of four states currently under a moratorium, including Colorado, California, and Oregon.



the horse race



Lots more detail in the article, worth a read if you're following the horserace. The evidence presented certainly calls into question Warren's credibility as a campaigner against corporate power and harms to the public.

Dow breast implant case spotlights Elizabeth Warren’s work helping big corporations navigate bankruptcies

When Dow Corning faced thousands of lawsuits in the 1990s from women saying they had become sick from the company’s silicone gel breast implants, its parent firm, Dow Chemical, turned to one of the country’s leading experts in corporate bankruptcies: Professor Elizabeth Warren. Warren, now a Democratic presidential candidate, has never publicly discussed her role in the case. Her campaign said that she was “a consultant to ensure adequate compensation for women who claimed injury” from the implants and that a $2.3 billion fund for the women was started “thanks in part to Elizabeth’s efforts.”

But participants on both sides of the matter say that description mischaracterizes Warren’s work, in which she advised a company intent on limiting payments to the women. “She was on the wrong side of the table,” said Sybil Goldrich, who co-founded a support group for women with implants and battled the companies for years. Goldrich said Dow Corning and its parent “used every trick in the book” to limit the size of payouts to women. The companies, she added, “were not easy to deal with at all.”

A person familiar with Warren’s role who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe litigation strategy said the future senator was part of a Dow defense team that had containing the company’s liability as a goal.

Warren, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts and former Ivy League law professor, is building a White House campaign on her long-standing image as an advocate for consumers and a fierce critic of corporations. ...

Warren declined an interview request. Her campaign in May released a 4,000-plus-word document listing cases and summaries of outside work after The Post and other news organizations requested them. Warren previously had released a shorter list, with just 13 cases, when she ran for the Senate in 2012. ... When she released the 13 cases during her 2012 campaign, the list didn’t include it. That work surfaced when the blog Legal Insurrection posted a court document from an unrelated case in which Warren said she’d served in an “advisory capacity” to Dow Chemical “in the early days of the Dow Corning bankruptcy.”

2020 Hopeful Julian Castro on Trump's Racism, Breaking Up ICE & Amazon Strikes

Biden Slams Medicare for All as He Releases Plan to Expand Obamacare

Joe Biden thinks the prescription to fix the current healthcare system is doubling current doses, not drastic surgery.

The former vice president laid out his plan to expand rather than replace Obamacare Monday morning, taking aim at the more far-reaching Medicare-for-All plan advocated by his 2020 opponents as he dug in on one of the defining policy disagreements of the 2020 Democratic primary.

The core of Biden’s plan is a proposal to create a government-run insurance policy as an option for people to choose over private insurance. That’s something most Democrats wanted to do when passing Obamacare in the first place, but failed to pass. The former vice president’s plan would also allow Medicare to directly negotiate prescription prices and allow drugs to be imported from abroad, both of which would drive down drug costs, as well as beef up tax credits to help poorer people afford insurance. The plan would cost approximately $750 billion, according to Biden’s advisers — a cost that would be paid for by rolling back some of President Trump’s tax cuts. ...

The fight between Biden and his more left-wing opponents isn’t just about policy. It’s also a deeper if more nebulous disagreement: Do Democrats looking for someone who can return the party to the Obama era, or do they want a more aggressively liberal candidate as their standard-bearer? The answer could define the primary and determine whether Biden wins the nomination.

Joe "Smilin' Death Toll" Biden wants to keep the blues alive in the wrong way.

'Not Acceptable': Analysis Estimates Biden Healthcare Plan Would Kill 125,000 People in First Decade Alone

After spending the past week sniping at Medicare for All with insurance industry talking points, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Monday unveiled a healthcare plan that one analyst said could cause the deaths of around 125,000 people over the first ten years by leaving millions of Americans uninsured.

Matt Bruenig, founder of the left-wing think tank People's Policy Project, pointed to Biden's claim that his plan will provide health insurance to 97 percent of Americans and calculated the death toll of leaving three percent of the U.S. population without coverage.

"Even if you suppose that Biden's estimate is right and the uninsurance rate does go to three percent, that still implies an enormous amount of unnecessary death caused by a lack of insurance," Bruenig said. "One commonly-used (e.g. by CAP) estimate states that one unnecessary death occurs annually for every 830 uninsured people. This means that during the first 10 years of Bidencare, over 125,000 unnecessary deaths will occur from uninsurance."



the evening greens

Amid China Trade Tensions, Pentagon Eyes Toxic Rare Earths Development in US

New reporting reveals that the Pentagon is eyeing the development of so-called "rare earths" in the U.S., a move that could make the country less reliant on industry-dominating China amid trade tensions between the two nations, and would bring steep environmental costs.

Reuters reported on the development last week, citing an Air Force-created document.

The Pentagon wants miners to describe plans to develop U.S. rare earths mines and processing facilities, and asked manufacturers to detail their needs for the minerals, according to the document, which is dated June 27.

Responses are required by July 31, a short time frame that underscores the Pentagon's urgency. The U.S. government's fiscal year ends in September.

"The overall goal is to secure and assure a viable, domestic supplier (of rare earths) for the long-term," the nine-page document says.

"The push," reported Reuters, "comes weeks after China threatened to curb exports to the United States of rare earths."

Rare earths—which are not actually rare—refer to a group of 17 elements including include yttrium, lanthanum, and cerium.  They are used in objects from military aircraft to smartphones. ...

p>It's not just a matter of digging them up from the earth, however, as Australia's ABC reported:

they're found inside other, non-rare-earth deposits. The materials that are dug up need to be broken down in order to isolate the rare earths.

One way to do this, [Gavin Mudd, associate professor in chemical and environmental engineering at RMIT University,] said, is through "hundreds and hundreds" of leaching cycles, which involves acid being used to separate minerals contained in rocks or sediment — an incredibly hazardous task for humans.

One rare earths mining town in northern China, Baotou—home to a large acid-mining tailings dam—has been dubbed "the worst place on earth," due to its levels of toxicity.

It's not clear that U.S. extraction and processing would fill the void. Wired reported last month, "The U.S. has a limited supply of rare earths, about 1 percent of the world's reserves, according to the Geologic Survey."

A small town's economy. Endangered caribou. Which do we protect?

British Columbia is rushing to put plans in place to manage the endangered woodland caribou before the Canadian federal government loses patience and invokes the most extreme protections across herd ranges, which would likely involve year-round blanket closures to the mountains to protect caribou habitat. Such mass closures would decimate the economies of neighboring small towns, like Revelstoke, that depend on those same mountains for tourism and resource extraction, like logging. This debate leaves residents with a troubling question: how much are they expected to sacrifice to save a dying species?

A recently released UN report reveals that the planet is on the brink of the sixth mass extinction. Caribou have long been a symbol of the north, once roaming in vast herds and numbering at least 40,000 in BC alone. Known as “grey ghosts” for their elusive nature, they are in danger of becoming literal ghosts: in May 2018, the federal government declared that the remaining southern mountain population of woodland caribou in the country’s western reaches faced an “imminent threat” to survival. The South Selkirk caribou herd that roamed the US border disappeared earlier this year, taking with it the last caribou from the lower 48. And many of the herds left in Canada have too few animals for a likely chance at long-term survival. ...

While those consequences are landing most heavily on the small towns asked to make the most immediate and biggest sacrifices, the benefits of landscape-level alteration extend far beyond: BC’s timber goes to construct urban buildings, the Columbia River’s dams to power US cities, Canada’s oil and gas to drive cars and heat homes, bucket-list tourism to beautiful places – elevating the question of saving Canada’s caribou to an international issue. ...

The immediate future for caribou remains hazy, with no public timeline for when BC has to deliver on a recovery agreement before the federal government invokes an emergency order under the Species at Risk Act. With Canada’s federal election in the fall, the handling of these animals – and the future of these communities – may take center stage or, more likely, will be used as nothing more than a political football.


Also of Interest

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

New CNN Assange Smear Piece Is Amazingly Dishonest, Even For CNN

Democrats Fought Hard for An Extra Hour With Mueller. How Much Does It Matter?

Christine Lagarde will have to confront Berlin if she’s to save the euro

As Trump Sows Discord, Chief of Staff Mulvaney Reportedly Focused on 'Building Empire for the Right Wing'

Tiffany Cabán’s Volunteer Army Faces a New Challenge: The Recount

Charlottesville white supremacist gets second life sentence, plus 419 years

DSA “Socialism” Conference Features US-Funded Regime Change Activists

Why Does WaPo See Black as an ‘Identity’—but Not Multi-Millionaire?

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro Will Support Repeal of Controversial Law Stripping Larry Krasner of Authority

Money Laundering Scandal Forces Puerto Rico’s Governor to Cut His Vacation Short — Just in Time for Another Scandal


A Little Night Music

Sonny Terry - Harmonica Hop

Sonny Terry - Fast Freight Blues

Sonny Terry - Ida Mae

Woody Guthrie, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Sonny Terry - Railroad Bill

Blind Boy Fuller & Sonny Terry - Bye Bye Baby

Blind Boy Fuller & Sonny Terry - Somebody's Been Talkin'

Sonny Terry - This Woman is Killin' Me

Sonny Terry - Changed The Lock On My Door

Pete Seeger, Sonny Terry and Jerry Silverman - Mule Skinner Blues

Lightnin' Hopkins & Sonny Terry - Lightnin' Stroke

Sonny Terry - The Doop


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20 users have voted.

Comments

Vote if you are so inclined... warren is winning, of course.
https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2019/7/16/1872163/-Daily-Kos-Democratic-p...

The two tweets below are supposed to be embeds, but they aren't acting like it. They're both worth a click.

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13 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@dkmich

thanks for the link. looks like kos has worked out a way to fix that nasty progressive glitch in his straw poll.

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7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@dkmich

and that you told them to vote more than once. In fact as many times as you can so they can freep the poll. Just in case you're interested...

But we are still getting clicks from the kids to see what we're up to.

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3 users have voted.

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

@snoopydawg

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2 users have voted.

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

The Aspie Corner's picture

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10 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

thanks for the information. hopefully, trump's people will get laughed out of court.

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5 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

which Americans may have forgotten or never heard about in the first place.

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theo_van_Gogh_%28film_director%29

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@lotlizard

i remember those murders, but i haven't thought of them in a while. pretty ugly stuff.

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7 users have voted.

I had to go to the doctor today for 3 separate issues.

First I rolled my eyes so far up inside my head that they popped right out of the sockets. Took 3 hours to have them reattached. They're kind of loose though because now my eyes roll around like a chameleon.

Secondly I have an acute pinched nerve in my neck from shaking my head constantly. He gave me a strap that goes around my head that I can attach to a bar and hang from it until it relieves the neck pain. I can't say that it's working or not but I am a half inch taller ala Barney Fife.

Thirdly my forehead has a permanent lump from too many facepalms. He said I look like a Klingon. Nice bedside manner, huh.

He asked me what my vocation is theorizing this may have something to do with my recent maladies. I told him I'm a blog admin. He shook his head and said "Ah, Administrators Syndrome, it's new, but it's definitely a thing".

He said "there is no cure, good luck, take two of whatever and don't call me in the morning".

I only bring this up in case any of those symptoms sneak up on you.

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21 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@JtC
one time for each symptom. I bet he finds a solution.
Wacko
oh my, I love your humor.

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8 users have voted.

TTTT (too tired to talk)

joe shikspack's picture

@JtC

sounds like you've got a highly refined kind of blues tonight. Smile

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6 users have voted.
GreatLakeSailor's picture

@JtC

Growing up my Dad would tell us "I knew a guy" warnings or bits of wisdom. When we rolled our eyes he would say, "I knew a guy that rolled his eyes so far he could see the back of his head."

(Another: Telling us to go to bed when we were tired and yawning, my Dad told us, "I knew a guy that yawned so wide he bit his head clean off." Of course we didn't believe him because his teeth would be pointing the wrong way - which we argued diligently but still ended up in bed.)

(reminds me that I miss my Dad and that I enjoy sharing him with everyone.)

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16 users have voted.

Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

lotlizard's picture

@GreatLakeSailor  
good dads are a rarer occurrence than they ought to be, and their value severely underrated.

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7 users have voted.
GreatLakeSailor's picture

@lotlizard

Mom, Dad, one cousin, six kids and Gramma.

MyDad1965.jpg

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12 users have voted.

Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

lotlizard's picture

@GreatLakeSailor

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5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@JtC

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5 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 --

snoopydawg's picture

This has got to hurt..

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10 users have voted.

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

snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

Eating their own? Is Hoyer protecting Trump?

Anyone notice that Graham brought up Israel before the USA? "They hate Israel. They hate America." In 2015 Graham was sure singing a different tune about Trump. He said that he was not qualified to be president and other things. What happened, Lindsay?

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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

i see that our elected congressworms are doing what they do best, play stupid games about very important things.

it's not like there's anything else that they could do.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Here's what Nancy said and why she got in trouble.

BTW. AP had an article stating that Kambama took money from the law firm that represented Epstein. Someone wrote a diary with the exact words and got banned for it. Guess the AP has become a right wing website now. ??

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11 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

Trump became the Republican Presidential nominee, then the Republican President, while Lindsay's own run barely made a ripple.

Party trumps country, principle and, indeed everything but individual self-interest.

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1 user has voted.

Joe thanks as usual for all the news. Some of it is so sickening and hard to wrap your head around. Feeling a lot like JtC and wish we could find a cure!

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14 users have voted.

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

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

@jakkalbessie
the Doc recommended I look away from the internet from time to time, try to get my mind on something else.

I think heck yeah, that sounds like a good idea. I need to get away from the "Look at the squirrel" distractions that pop out at you on just about every political website.

Sooo, I look away, staring mindlessly out the window and guess what. A squirrel runs by and distracts my mindless drift. [Eye roll] [head shake] [facepalm] Sheesh!

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11 users have voted.

@JtC would help.
Speak to the doctor about it.

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4 users have voted.

@on the cusp
any squirrels on the label?

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4 users have voted.

@JtC long defeated and some mountain associated with Noah's Ark and Armenia. And that mountain is now in Turkey, no big deal to Muslims, so Christian Armenians just stare at it while they sip brandy.
Absolutely works for me for "squirrels".

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5 users have voted.

@on the cusp

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3 users have voted.

@JtC of Mt. Ararat, maybe the picture of the little chip of wood some Armenian monk brought down from the mountain that Armenians believe is from Noah's Ark.
While the tech guy does his thing, I will be sipping brandy.
Oh, tech guy got a bottle, he did say it was absolutely the best booze he had ever, ever drank.
People, it is Ararat 10 year vintage brandy (actually cognac, but the French will not allow that label), and it is the Best in the World, according to the experts.
I am in no position to argue.

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4 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@JtC
No work on Sundays on C99p. We need the day off anyhow to keep up with all the reading. And of course concerning squirrels on the window sills. Heh, easy peasy cure for that too.

We have squirrels on our patio on purpose, because my sister just loves watching them nibbeling on peanuts (and because the nickname of her dead daughter was the name for a squirrel in portuguese).

Put some peanuts somewhere away from your window sill. The squirrels are gone for good and you will be cured. Sure thing. Wink

Seriously, if social media thingies would be a public utitlity, you had Sundays off. Let's fight for that.

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3 users have voted.

TTTT (too tired to talk)

joe shikspack's picture

@jakkalbessie

yep, the news is pretty grim these days. sorry about that. i reckon we're all doing what we can to make the news better.

have a great evening!

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5 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

on repealing Part D drug rebates. Here's what one so-called expert claims was the impetus for that decision,

Phew! That was close. We were already concerned about narrowing formularies--so, higher Part D premiums were definitely not something we were looking forward to.

Now, we've got to hope that corporatist/conservadems will not continue to push this idea. (The one who worries me the most is Amy Klobuchar. Not all of her RX solutions/ideas, but, a couple of them.) IMO, she's one of the most toxic of the DP candidates--she comes across as soooooooooooooooo reasonable. And, of course, that's just a front for being a flat-out conservadem. Gotta hand it to her--she's got her schtick down pat! Biggrin

Hey, about the Bruenig piece--won't argue about how many people 3% would represent, but, not sure that I want this Dude to 'have a say' regarding my healthcare options. Found an interview with Vox where he said,


"I don’t have any ideological preference. I don’t think one is more just than the other. It’s just a technical question of what is the more efficient way to do this."

For cryin' out loud, ideological question? It's a bit more than that--at least, to the tens and tens of millions of current Original/Traditional Medicare beneficiaries who are not participating in a 'managed care' medical system.

Even more amazing, even though he admitted that 'he's not an expert on that level,'--he's an attorney--Bruenig indicated that GB's managed care aspect might be compelling--since "providers may be less likely to overutilize health care, because there’s less incentive than you would have in a fee-for-service system to just charge and charge and charge and perform unnecessary care."

WFH?

Speaking for myself, I don't want to be drug into a system that is set up to try and find ways to deny me healthcare. I want one--which I currently have--that allows me to receive excellent healthcare--without having to put up with a so-called managed care 'gatekeeper' who's 'counting beans' (so to speak) instead of seeing to it that I (and all Medicare beneficiaries) receive the very best 'necessary' medical care, that's available.

I want 'budget hawks' to stay away from Traditional Medicare. Currently, there is no set budget. Beneficiaries enrolled in Original Medicare (not MA) are not denied healthcare because of budgetary shortfalls, etc. Personally, I like it that way.

(Not to say Bruenig doesn't have any good ideas regarding funding social programs--but, think he needs to stay in that lane, since he freely admits that he doesn't know much about healthcare policy.)

Not to beat a dead horse, but all we have to do is 'improve and expand' our Original Medicare program. Dismantling the current system is absolutely unnecessary, not to mention, counterproductive.

Off my soapbox! Biggrin

Hey, gotta get back to Excel. Got two more projects when I finish with this one, but, at least one of them (setting up a 'chat room') will be fun. Smile

It's super hot--and HUMID--so, just hunkering down inside, trying to avoid going out any more than necessary. (Of course, with a Pup, that's not exactly easy to do!)

Everyone have a nice evening. Stay cool.

PleasantryMollie

“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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10 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

glad to hear that your part d premiums aren't going to rise.

I don't want to be drug into a system that is set up to try and find ways to deny me healthcare.

heh, that seems to be the point of the whole insurance industry.

when it comes down to it, if you are in a privatized system, the incentive of the system is to suppress costs (i.e. deny you care) in order to give money to the shareholders. in a public system, the incentives (given the current government) are to suppress costs (i.e. deny you care) in order to give their 1% buddies tax breaks and other forms of graft.

heh, the heat here today was just nasty with high humidity. i hope that we all get a break in the weather soon.

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8 users have voted.
karl pearson's picture

A little history regarding Mick Mulvaney, before he came to D.C. as a U.S. Congressman in 2010. Mulvaney was a founding member of the Freedom Caucus and likes to pretend he's a libertarian, but he knows what government money can do for one's business. From Wiki:

Mulvaney's involvement in the now-defunct Edenmoor real estate development in Lancaster County, South Carolina became a campaign issue, with Mulvaney's opponents alleging that he misled the Lancaster County council and taxpayers to provide $30 million in public funding for the real estate development and that once the public funds had been approved, Mulvaney sold his interest in the development to a third party at a $7 million profit.[25][26] Mulvaney denied the allegations and said that the project's failure was due to Democratic economic policies.[25] He defeated Spratt, who had held the seat since 1983, with 55% of the vote.[27]
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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@karl pearson

yep, mulvaney is a real piece of work and clearly a guy with his own agenda making the most of his position to advance his ideological druthers.

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5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

Good old News, not so much, but it will help ya to get the blues iff'n ya don't have them. heh. Wink

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5 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

i don't think that i've ever heard the construction "good old news." it is reliable, it has certainly been around long enough to be old ... it's just that "good" thing that i guess it needs to work on. Smile

have a great evening!

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3 users have voted.
Bisbonian's picture

when it comes down to it, if you are in a privatized system, the incentive of the system is to suppress costs (i.e. deny you care) in order to give money to the shareholders. in a public system, the incentives (given the current government) are to suppress costs (i.e. deny you care) in order to give their 1% buddies tax breaks and other forms of graft.

I think I said those same exact words, driving my father back from the hospital last week (he is back in, tonight, as Medicare is refusing him a pacemaker, and his heart is objecting.

Choose your poison, I guess.

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11 users have voted.

"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

snoopydawg's picture

@Bisbonian

and his insurance company thinking that their profits are more important than he is. Hopefully this will turn out okay for you.

Azazello has been talking about the movie you two were in. I watched it today and I think I saw him, but didn't know what scenes you were in? Any where I would recognize you? Bet it was fun to take part in it.

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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

@Bisbonian

i'm so sorry to hear about medicare's intransigence about doing right by your dad. i hope that medicare changes its mind and your dad comes out of this okay.

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6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Bisbonian

definitely covered by Original/Traditional Medicare. See below.

Does Medicare cover pacemakers?

Medicare considers pacemakers to be “prosthetic” equipment – that is, devices needed to replace a body function or part.

If your doctor determines that a pacemaker is medically necessary, and he or she accepts Medicare assignment, in most cases you’ll pay 20% of the Medicare-approved costs for the pacemaker, and a copayment or coinsurance amount for the surgery to implant it.

Your Medicare Part A and/or Part B deductible typically applies, so you generally need to pay the deductible amount before Medicare covers any part of the pacemaker costs. You can read more about Medicare coverage of prosthetic devices.

I would appeal.

OTOH, is he's enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, it could be a dicier proposition. Not that it wouldn't be worth it to fight a denial of coverage.

I have twice contested an insurance ruling--talking about employer-sponsored self-insured group health insurance plan, though, not Medicare.

Anyhoo, both times, I got the coverage I sought.

All I did was write/type a letter stating my case--offering to substantiate with appropriate documentation, as needed--and, mailed it requesting a signature and return receipt (there was a 30-day appeal period, so, a little CYA going on Smile ) - and they accommodated my requests to go to out-of-network physicians/specialists, but, only be charged in-network cost, including co-pays. My request was granted, and, expeditiously, I must say. (It was for an orthopedic surgeon, so, time was of the essence.)

The other time, a somewhat different matter. I contested being charged at higher out-of-network rates/co-pays, since I had every reason to believe that the medical service being rendered was also in-network, since the in-network attending physician sent me to have the test done, right next door in the same medical facility. I was actually surprised when I won that appeal. Biggrin

My point being--it's always worth a try!

Ok

Of course, in your Dad's case, it might be a matter of needing a second opinion, if the denial is medically-based. Hopefully, that won't present a problem.

Best of luck to you, and, especially, to your Dad.

PleasantryMollie

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4 users have voted.

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