The Evening Blues - 7-17-19


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Willie Mabon

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Chicago blues piano player and singer Willie Mabon. Enjoy!

Willie Mabon - The Seventh Son

“Lindsey Graham is probably the closest Donald Trump will ever get to owning a dog.”

-- Jimmy Kimmel

News and Opinion

House orders Pentagon to review if it exposed Americans to weaponised ticks

The US House of Representatives has called for an investigation into whether the spread of Lyme disease had its roots in a Pentagon experiment in weaponising ticks. The House approved an amendment proposed by a Republican congressman from New Jersey, Chris Smith, instructing the defence department’s inspector general to conduct a review of whether the US “experimented with ticks and other insects regarding use as a biological weapon between the years of 1950 and 1975”.

The review would have to assess the scope of the experiment and “whether any ticks or insects used in such experiment were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design”. ...

Smith said the amendment was inspired by “a number of books and articles suggesting that significant research had been done at US government facilities including Fort Detrick, Maryland, and Plum Island, New York, to turn ticks and other insects into bioweapons”.

Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons, cites the Swiss-born discoverer of the Lyme pathogen, Willy Burgdorfer, as saying that the Lyme epidemic was a military experiment that had gone wrong. Burgdorfer, who died in 2014, worked as a bioweapons researcher for the US military and said he was tasked with breeding fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects, and infecting them with pathogens that cause human diseases.

Concern grows over oil tanker last seen off Iran

US officials suspect that a Panamanian-flagged oil tanker that stopped transmitting its location after straying into Iranian waters may have been hijacked by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Iran’s semi-official news agency ISNA said on Tuesday that the country’s navy came to the assistance of the Panamanian ship MT Riah after it had mechanical problems. “An international oil tanker was in trouble due to a technical fault in the Persian Gulf. After receiving a request for assistance, Iranian forces approached it and used a tugboat to pull it towards Iranian waters for the necessary repairs to be carried out,” ISNA said.

US intelligence is concerned that the ship could have become a victim of Iranian manoeuvres intended to put pressure on Washington to lift crippling economic sanctions as it travelled through the strait of Hormuz, a vital route for oil shipping.

The tracking report of the Panamanian ship MT Riah from showed the vessel began its journey near a port off the coast of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, on 5 July. It was then tracked near the coast of Ras al-Khaimah before changing course and travelling north towards Iranian waters, after which it stopped transmitting its signal on Sunday at about 4.30am local time (0100 BST). Its last known location was in Iranian territorial waters near Qeshm Island, where the Revolutionary Guards have a base.

Trump Reluctant to Punish Turkey Over S-400 Deal With Russia: 'It's Not Really Fair'

President Donald Trump on Tuesday lamented U.S. prohibition on selling billions of dollars worth of F-35 stealth fighter jets to Turkey following its purchase of S-400 missile defense system from Russia. ...

"We're working through it, we'll see what happens. But it's not really fair," Trump told reporters at a Cabinet meeting at the White House. Trump again appeared to blame his predecessor, Barack Obama, for failing to sell America's best alternative to the Russian S-400s -- Patriot missiles, made by Raytheon Co. He said Turkey was "forced to buy another missile system."

"Because of the fact that (Turkey) bought a Russian missile, we're not allowed to sell them billions of dollars' worth of aircraft. It's not a fair situation," Trump said, lamenting the jobs that would be lost.

Israel has almost as many religious restrictions as Iran, report says

When it comes to restrictions on religious freedom, Israel is in the company of countries like Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran, a new report says. ...

The report, published Monday by the Pew Research Center, tracks the rise of religious restrictions globally. Israel was one of the top 20 most religiously restrictive countries in the world, according to Pew.

It also has the fifth-highest level of “social hostilities related to religious norms,” and the sixth-highest level of “interreligious tension and violence” — a worse score than Syria. ...

Israel self-defines as a Jewish state. Its haredi Orthodox Chief Rabbinate controls all recognized marriage, divorce, burial and Jewish conversion in the country, which means that non-Orthodox weddings, divorces, funerals and conversions are not recognized by the state. The state likewise does not recognize intermarriages conducted in the country. Most cities do not run public transit on Shabbat.

Brazil must reveal investigations into journalist Glenn Greenwald, court says

Brazil’s top court has ordered the country’s justice ministry to reveal whether there are any investigations into the US journalist Glenn Greenwald, whose online news site has published material critical of Jair Bolsonaro’s administration.

The supreme court president, Dias Toffoli, on Monday ordered the justice minister Sergio Moro, the federal police, the attorney general’s office and the economy ministry to provide information on any investigations into Greenwald, following media reports that investigators are looking into his finances.

Same old fake: CNN re-uses debunked report for new ‘explosive’ meddling article

Sic Transit Gloria Mueller

Friday’s surprising report that Robert Mueller had successfully sought an extra week to prepare for his House testimony on Russiagate (now set for July 24) must have come as scary news to those of his fans who can put two and two together. Over the past few weeks, it has become clearer that each of the two frayed findings of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has now come apart at the seams. ...

As the truth seeps out, there will be plenty of crow to go around. To avoid eating it, the Democrats on the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, the stenographers who pass for journalists at the Times and Post, and the “Mueller team” will need all the time they can muster to come up with imaginative responses to two recent bombshell revelations from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Perhaps the most damning of the two came last Monday, when it was disclosed that, on July 1, Judge Dabney Friedrich ordered Mueller to stop pretending he had proof that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency’s supposed attempt to interfere via social media in the 2016 election. While the corporate media so far has largely ignored Judge Friedrich’s order, it may well have been enough to cause very cold feet for those attached to the strained Facebook fable. ...

Ten days is not a lot of time to conjure up ways to confront and explain Judge Friedrich’s injection of some unwelcome reality. Since the Democrats, the media, and Mueller himself all have strong incentive to “make the worst case appear the better” (one of the twin charges against Socrates), they need time to regroup and circle the wagons. The more so, since Mueller’s other twin charge — Russian hacking of the DNC — also has been shown, in a separate Court case, to be bereft of credible evidence.

No, the incomplete, redacted, second-hand “forensics” draft that former FBI Director James Comey decided to settle for from the Democratic National Committee-hired CrowdStrike firm does not qualify as credible evidence. Both new developments are likely to pose a strong challenge to Mueller. On the forensics, Mueller decided to settle for what his former colleague Comey decided to settle for from CrowdStrike, which was hired by the DNC despite it’s deeply flawed reputation and well known bias against Russia. In fact, the new facts — emerging, oddly, from theU.S. District Court,pose such a fundamental challenge to Mueller’s findings that no one should be surprised if Mueller’s testimony is postponed again.

Amazon's collaboration with ICE: "It is dangerous to immigrant communities"

'Racist tweets': House passes resolution condemning Trump's attack on congresswomen

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning Donald Trump’s incendiary remarks telling four congresswomen of color to “go back” to where they “came from” as racist.

The measure, which formally rebuked the president’s comments, was approved on a mostly partisan-line vote of 240 to 187.

Just four Republicans – representatives Will Hurd of Texas, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Fred Upton of Michigan, and Susan Brooks of Indiana, joined Democrats in approving the resolution. The Michigan representative Justin Amash, who recently left the Republican party and registered as an independent after calling for Trump’s impeachment, also voted for the measure.

Trump’s Racist Rhetoric is Deliberate – Will It Lead Us to Fascism?

HENRY GIROUX Well, my thought is that it’s really important to, sort of, bring together a range of things that Trump is doing, much of which is in that two-and-a-half-minute clip that you played. I mean, he’s exhibiting a toxic masculinity. He’s exhibiting an appeal to ultra-nationalism. He’s talking about the support for white nationalism. He’s, in a sense, exhibiting a notion of racism coupled with a notion of patriarchy that then suggests that any form of dissent is comparable to treason, and that people should leave the country. I mean, you know, you add this all up and it’s right—We’ve seen this before. This is right out of a fascist playbook. I mean, he’s a guy who really believes in performance. He’s a guy who believes that what he says can be justified simply because people might support him. It has nothing to do with questions of ethics, social responsibility, or common decency. He trades in viciousness and cruelty.

What you’re seeing here are all the elements of what I call a “war culture.” And that is a culture that’s become highly militarized by virtue of both its language and its politics. And at the heart of that culture is the discourse of racial cleansing, and social cleansing, and what I call a “logic of disposability.” There are people now in the United States, if they’re non-white, if they’re undocumented immigrants, if they’re people that Trump doesn’t particularly like because of the color of their skin or their ethnicity, then they don’t belong in the United States. I mean, this is a very dangerous discourse. And what’s even more dangerous is the fact that you have these Vichy Republicans who are supporting him. And you have members of the Democratic Party who can’t even rise to the occasion of using the word that we should be using, and the word is white supremacy.

That’s what this is about. It’s about coupling the misery and anxiety and the anger that many people feel in the United States, and diverting it into blaming others, which is all part of a larger discourse of disposability. And one that basically is about militarizing the society, invoking a war culture, and basically getting rid of people who don’t belong here. This is the discourse of state terrorism. Let’s be honest. This is not just simply harmless. You couple that language with the fear that it produces in the policy it creates, in the absolute accomplices who support him, and in the Congress who are shameful human beings. The Republican Party is shameful in terms of where it’s going. It’s a party of extremists. Couple that with the Democrats who don’t have the courage to name Trump for what he is— basically, a neofascist. And all of a sudden, we find ourselves at a point in history where it’s hard to believe that we’ve arrived here, given the history that we’ve experienced in the 1930s and the 1940s.

'Impeach This President': Target of Racist Attacks, Rep. Ilhan Omar Vows to Hold Trump Accountable for His Crimes

Shortly after joining fellow members of "the Squad" at a press conference condemning President Donald Trump's racist attacks, Rep. Ilhan Omar said during an interview on MSNBC Monday night that she and her progressive colleagues will not allow the president's abusive and dangerous rhetoric to distract from efforts to hold him accountable and pursue a bold alternative agenda. ...

Omar, a Minnesota Democrat and Somali refugee, has been the target of some of the most vile abuse hurled by the president in recent days. As Common Dreams reported Monday, Trump told reporters on the White House lawn that Omar "hates Jews" and speaks "about how wonderful al-Qaeda is."

"He's called on us to go back and fight corruption and fight these countries that have worse leaders and inept leaders. Well, we are living in one," Omar said. "He is that president. He is corrupt. He is the worst president we've had. He is inept and we are going to call him out for it, and we're going to hold him accountable."

Omar went on to call for Trump's impeachment, saying he has "committed high crimes and misdemeanors."

"It's about time that we start the process and impeach this president," said Omar. "We are as members of Congress doing the work that will get us the country we all deserve, one that is truly functioning for all of us, one that sees and values every single person in it."

Saying Impeachment Can't Wait, Rep. Al Green Warns 'Blood of Somebody on Our Hands' If Trump Not Stopped

With the House Democratic leadership reportedly expected to use a procedural vote on Wednesday to sideline Rep. Al Green's articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, Green warned his colleagues that waiting any longer to remove the racist and corrupt president from office could have horrifying consequences.

"We cannot wait. As we wait, we risk having the blood of somebody on our hands—and it could be a member of Congress," said Green, who introduced his impeachment resolution shortly after the House voted Tuesday night to condemn Trump's racist attacks against Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass).

As Common Dreams reported Monday, observers warned Trump's Twitter attacks—which said the four congresswomen should "go back" to the countries "from which they came"—amounted to dangerous incitement to violence.

"President Donald Trump's racist comments that have legitimatized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color," Green said Tuesday night on the House floor. "Donald John Trump, by causing such harm to the society of the United States, is unfit to be president and warrants impeachment, trial and removal from office."

The four members of "the Squad" have received death threats since they were elected in 2018. Madihha Ahussain, special counsel for Muslim Advocates, warned in a statement Monday that Trump decision to single out Omar in remarks on the White House lawn was "a dangerous new low that will lead to more death threats... and a surge in bigotry against American Muslims."

Despite calls for Democrats to recognize the urgency of impeachment, Politico reported that House leaders on Wednesday "are likely to sideline Green's measure with their own procedural vote: moving either to table his articles and delay them or to bottle them up in the Judiciary Committee."

Asked if she supports Green's resolution, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) laughed and told reporters, "No I don't. Does that come as a surprise?"

“Do We Believe in Asylum? If We Do, We Need to Stop This Rule”: Trump Policy Upends Protections at U.S.-Mexico Border

This week, the Trump administration announced an unprecedented rule that would deny tens of thousands of asylum-seekers the chance to find refuge in the United States, imposing a bar to asylum for anybody who has passed through another country without applying for protection and being denied it there. The rule went into effect Tuesday, the day after it was announced, and set off an immediate storm of criticism and outcry. ...

The 58-page new rule is “so plainly illegal,” said Kerri Talbot, director of federal advocacy at the Immigration Hub, that attorneys expect it to be quickly blocked in the courts. That was the fate of the first “asylum ban,” issued last November, which would have eliminated asylum for anyone who applied after crossing the border between ports of entry, and which never went into effect.

But asylum-seekers and immigration advocates might be wary of relying on the courts to rein in the Trump administration’s anti-asylum animus, as the administration has successfully instituted a number of policies to outsource immigration enforcement to Mexico. The so-called Migrant Protection Protocols endanger asylum-seekers by forcing them to await the processing of their claims in Mexican border towns, and generally restrict access to asylum. Nonetheless, Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, promised, “This new rule is patently unlawful and we will sue swiftly.” ...

Tens of thousands of people a year would be impacted if the new ban were fully implemented. In 2017, there were nearly 120,000 defensive asylum applications (when someone claims asylum to try to prevent their being deported), many of them from people who had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border or presented at ports of entry. And that number doesn’t include many of the children who are already in the U.S. and can make affirmative asylum claims, who would also be affected by the ban. So far this fiscal year, Border Patrol has arrested 363,300 family members from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala — none of whom, under the new rule, would be eligible for asylum. ...

The U.S. government claims an intractable crisis, bemoaning, in the text of the new rule, “an extraordinary strain on the nation’s immigration system.” Yet, the country that hosts the most refugees in the world is Turkey, followed by Jordan, Lebanon, and Pakistan. Even Uganda hosts more refugees than the United States. Though the number of people arriving to the U.S. at its southern border has gone up in recent years, overall, fewer people are coming than in the early 2000s. The recent increase stems in large part from countries where the U.S. has played, and continues to play, a heavy hand in destabilization: whether through economic exploitation, military intervention, or as a driver of climate change.

“They Didn’t Do Their Job”: Eric Garner Family Outraged DOJ Won’t Prosecute His Death by Police

"Justice" American style:

NYPD Officer Won’t Face Federal Charges in Eric Garner’s Death

The Department of Justice isn’t going to bring charges against the New York City cop who's accused of choking and killing Eric Garner nearly five years ago to the day.

Federal prosecutors with the Eastern District of New York announced the decision in a press conference late Tuesday morning. U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said there wasn’t sufficient evidence to bring federal civil rights charges against the cop who allegedly placed Garner in a chokehold. In the end, Attorney General William Barr made the final call to not seek charges, according to USA Today. ...

Last year, the New York City Police Department criticized just how long the Justice Department was taking in deciding on whether to charge Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who allegedly strangled Garner in a chokehold in 2014 for allegedly selling loose cigarettes. The 43-year-old black man famously gasped “I can’t breathe” as he died. The phrase later became a rallying cry for the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

The New York City police department concluded its own disciplinary trial against Pantaleo in June, and the police department is expected to make a decision determining his future in the coming weeks. Pantaleo has been on paid desk duty for the past five years, and has even received a salary raise since Garner’s death, according to the New York Daily News.

None of the cops involved in Garner’s death have faced charges or formal discipline from their department.

All Democratic 2020 Frontrunners But Biden Denounce DOJ for Failing to Hold Officer Accountable In Eric Garner's Death

With the exception of Joe Biden, as of this writing on Tuesday all of the 2020 Democratic frontrunners had expressed support for Eric Garner's family and outrage over the Trump administration's decision not to prosecute the New York police officer accused of killing him in 2014.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who worked with Garner's daughter Erica on issues of social justice and police accountability before Garner's death in 2017, was the first major primary candidate to speak out about the Department of Justice's announcement. The decision, reportedly finalized by Attorney General William Barr, was "not just," tweeted Sanders, "and we will not have real justice for black Americans until there is serious reform of our racist criminal justice system."

The senator was followed by his colleagues, Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) in condemning the administration's decision not to charge Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who is accused of putting Garner in a fatal chokehold five years ago and who still serves in the NYPD. Sen. Cory Booker, Gov. Jay Inslee, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand were among the candidates who issued their own statements decrying what they called "unjust" and "an outrage."

John Paul Stevens, retired supreme court justice and leading liberal, dies aged 99

John Paul Stevens, the bow-tied, independent-thinking, Republican-nominated justice who unexpectedly emerged as the supreme court’s leading liberal, died Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after suffering a stroke Monday. He was 99.

During nearly 35 years on the court, Stevens stood for the freedom and dignity of individuals, be they students or immigrants or prisoners. He acted to limit the death penalty, squelch official prayer in schools, establish gay rights, promote racial equality and preserve legal abortion. He protected the rights of crime suspects and illegal immigrants facing deportation.

He influenced fellow justices to give foreign terrorism suspects held for years at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, naval base the right to plead for their release in US courts.

Stevens served more than twice the average tenure for a justice, and was only the second to mark his 90th birthday on the high court. From his appointment by Gerald Ford in 1975 through his retirement in June 2010, he shaped decisions that touched countless aspects of American life.

South Africa mourns musical icon Johnny Clegg

the horse race

Bernie and Biden Are Pumped to Beat Each Other Up Over Medicare for All

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are right where they want to be: fighting each other over Medicare for All. The former vice president and the Vermont senator sparred back and forth on the issue after Biden unveiled his health insurance plan on Monday, and both see a winning issue as the two septuagenarian lawmakers look to hit reset after a rough few weeks for their presidential campaigns. ...

With Biden’s launch of his beefed-up Obamacare plan — and a pointed swipe at the Medicare for All concept long championed by Sanders — they both got into the headlines and back in favorable territory, highlighting the core messages of their campaigns and a fundamental policy difference on an issue that ranks as the top concern for Americans in poll after poll. ...

Neither Harris nor Warren, who’ve both co-sponsored Sanders’ Medicare for All Senate bill, want the conversation to be focused on health insurance policy.

Harris is in an especially tricky spot. She hasn’t laid out her own detailed policy vision on the issue, and has waffled all over the place on what exactly she means when she says she backs Medicare for All, twice having to walk back statements that her plan would indeed end private insurance, something Sanders admits freely even as he points out that people would be able to continue to see their own doctors under his proposal.

Warren doesn’t have the same problem Harris has — she’s fully embraced Sanders’ plan. But for the woman whose “I have a plan” mantra and the plans themselves have pushed her into the top tier of the 2020 field, this is one area where she’s deferring to Sanders.

Gabbard receives maximum possible donation from Twitter's CEO

Hawaiian congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has garnered little traction since she launched her presidential campaign. But the military veteran and staunch anti-interventionist is winning headlines today after campaign finance filings revealed a surprising donation: $5,600 from Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey.

Dorsey’s personal politics are somewhat oblique. He famously joined in protests in Ferguson, Missouri against the police killing of Mike Brown, appearing on stage with prominent protester DeRay McKesson wearing a Twitter-branded t-shirt reading “#StayWoke”. He also opposed a tax on wealthy San Francisco businesses that would help fund services for homeless people, and has drawn intense criticism for failing to crack down on white nationalists and other hate figures on Twitter.

Gabbard is one of the handful of Democratic candidates who supports breaking up big tech companies, a policy position that could actually be helpful to Dorsey personally. One of his companies, Twitter, competes with Facebook on social networking, while the other, Square, is a payments processor that likely does not want to see Facebook muscle into that space.

the evening greens

A Hotter Future That's Hard to Imagine': Super-Charged by Climate Crisis, New Study Warns of 'Killer Heat' Set to Overtake US

Without urgent international action to address runaway global heating, there will be almost no communities or regions in the contiguous United States unaffected as the number of lethally hot days each year—including those characterized as "off-the-charts" hot—doubles by mid-century and quadruples by the year 2100.

That is among the key findings of a new report and accompanying peer-reviewed study published in Environmental Research Communications, both by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), released Tuesday.

The new report—titled "Killer Heat in the United States: Climate Choices and the Future of Dangerously Hot Days" (pdf)—reveals that "the number of days per year when the heat index—or 'feels like' temperature—exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit would more than double from historical levels to an average of 36 across the country by midcentury and increase four-fold to an average of 54 by late century." In addition, the report shows that the average number of days per year in the U.S. with a heat index above 105 degrees Fahrenheit—currently averageing less than six days annually—would more than quadruple to 24 days by the year 2050 and increase eight-fold to 40 by the end of the century.

Kristina Dahl, senior climate scientist at UCS and co-author of the report, said in a statement that the analysis portrays "a hotter future that's hard to imagine" for people living today.

"Nearly everywhere, people will experience more days of dangerous heat even in the next few decades," Dahl explained. "By the end of the century, with no action to reduce global emissions, parts of Florida and Texas would experience the equivalent of at least five months per year on average when the 'feels like' temperature exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with most of these days even surpassing 105 degrees. On some days, conditions would be so extreme that they exceed the upper limit of the National Weather Service heat-index scale and a heat index would be incalculable. Such conditions could pose unprecedented health risks."

'An Insanely Bad Move': Experts Sound Alarm as Trump's Nuclear Safety Agency Weighs Rollback of Plant Inspections

After months of experts raising alarm over the nuclear power industry pressuring U.S. regulators to roll back safety policies, staffers at the federal agency that monitors reactors sparked concerns Tuesday with official recommendations that include scaling back required inspections to save money.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has spent months reviewing its enforcement policies—and, as part of that process, sought input from industry groups, as Common Dreams detailed in March. In response, the industry representatives requested shifting to more "self-assessments," limiting public disclosures for "lower-level" problems at plants, and easing the "burden of radiation-protection and emergency-preparedness inspections."

According to The Associated Press, which first reported on NRC staffers' suggestions:

The recommendations, made public Tuesday, include reducing the time and scope of some annual inspections at the nation's 90-plus nuclear power plants. Some other inspections would be cut from every two years to every three years.

Some of the staff's recommendations would require a vote by the commission, which has a majority of members appointed or reappointed by President Donald Trump, who has urged agencies to reduce regulatory requirements for industries.

The NRC document that outlines the recommendations reportedly acknowledges that staffers disagree about the inspection reductions but claims that cutting back "improves efficiency while still helping to ensure reasonable assurance of adequate protection to the public."

Union of Concerned Scientists nuclear power expert Edwin Lyman, however, charged that the suggestion to decrease federal oversight of nuclear power plants "completely ignores the cause-and-effect relationship between inspections and good performances."

Headline should be, "Service Contractor Rips Off National Park Service for millions of dollars after losing contract."

Beloved Yosemite landmarks' original names restored after trademark dispute

Some of Yosemite’s most well-known and beloved attractions will get their original names back, following a settlement in an intellectual property dispute that briefly changed the monikers of the national park’s hotels and landmarks. The name change came about in a legal battle with Delaware North, a company that lost a $2bn bid to run concessions for the California park’s hotels, restaurants and outdoor activities. After Yosemite awarded a contract to Aramark, the park service learned that Delaware North had applied for trademarks for the names when it prepared to open bids.

The National Park Service announced on Monday that it had reached a settlement with Delaware North that “involves the transfer of trademarks and service marks at issue in the lawsuit from Delaware North to Aramark”. Under the park’s contract with Aramark, those trademarks and service marks will transfer back at no cost to the National Park Service at the end of Aramark’s contract.

As part of the settlement, Aramark will pay $8.16m and the US government will pay $3.84m to Delaware North for the names, logos and branded content, a Yosemite National Park spokesman, Scott Gediman, told the Los Angeles Times.

Also of Interest

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

The Homelessness Crisis Is Getting So Bad That Cities Are Now Building Their Own Camps

To Attack Julian Assange, CNN Twists Embassy Surveillance Records That Were First Covered By Spanish Newspaper

Consortium News Target of a Malware Attack as Twitter Takes Down Assange Support Group’s Account

The Guardian publishes, then censors Jewish open letter defending smeared pro-Corbyn Labour MP Chris Williamson

How Israeli-Designed Drones Became Russia’s Eyes in the Sky for Defending Bashar al-Assad

Merger Mania: The Military-Industrial Complex on Steroids

'Contempt, ridicule, disgrace, and disrepute': full text of Trump impeachment articles

Appeals Court Delivers 'Tremendous Blow to Federal Workers' With Decision to Uphold Trump's Anti-Union Executive Orders

How Morgan Harper’s Ohio Primary Challenge Explains the House Democratic Meltdown

A Little Night Music

Willie Mabon - Come On Baby

Willie Mabon - Late Again

Willie Mabon - WOW I Feel So Good

Willie Mabon - Got To Have Some

Willie Mabon - Light Up Your Lamp

Willie Mabon - Too Hot To Handle

Willie Mabon - Rosetta, Rosetta

Willie Mabon - Worry Blues

Willie Mabon - Cruisin'

Willie Mabon - Say Man

Willie Mabon - I Don't Know

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joe shikspack's picture

i won't be around until much later. i'm off to catch elvis costello and the imposters tonight.

have a good one!

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OLinda's picture

@joe shikspack

Hi Joe, have fun! Thought I better say hello before everyone forgets me. I do read and tip but haven't commented in awhile.

So, hello to all Bluesters!

Speaking of hot days - - yes, it has been in the 90s or 80s here for a few weeks. Supposed to be 98 tomorrow. Sad

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

orlbucfan's picture

@OLinda Hope you are well and not flooded out in Houston. Drop by the TPW site. LD and the rest of us would love to read you. His site is alive and very well. Rec'd!!

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Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

joe shikspack's picture


good to see you! i hope the heat misery passes soon for all of us. it is ludicrously humid here, so even when the temperature drops at night into the 70's it's still not fit for man nor beast outside.

have a good one!

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detroitmechworks's picture

This entire news cycle is people fighting about who said what about who and whether who said what meant what who said it meant and not what the person that said it meant something else was what the person who said it actually meant.

Read it a few times, it does make sense...

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

joe shikspack's picture


yep, they are doing a great job of reducing the public discourse to schoolyard taunts. looks pretty much like they want you to tune out.

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what a shame

The increased use of drones by Iran and its allies for surveillance and attacks across the Middle East is raising alarms in Washington.
The United States believes that Iran-linked militia in Iraq have recently increased their surveillance of American troops and bases in the country by using off-the-shelf, commercially available drones, U.S. officials say.

The disclosure comes at a time of heightened tensions with Iran and underscores the many ways in which Tehran and the forces it backs are increasingly relying on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in places like Yemen, Syria, the Strait of Hormuz and Iraq.

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joe shikspack's picture


what, they u.s. thought that they could have a monopoly on the use of drones? feh!

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Justice Stevens. A Republican antitrust attorney nominated to the SCOTUS by Republican President Ford, Stevens became one of the most left justices ever to sit on that bench, similar to former Republican AG of California and Vice Presidential Candidate, Earl Warren (later, unfortunately, of the Warren Commission, nominated by Eisenhower).

Idolatry of public figures bothers me, but I so admire Justice Stevens. I don't even have words for how I feel about him. I'm even sorry now that I never wrote him a fan letter and I've never written one to anyone!

I fear when tiny, frail Ginsburg goes, we shall never again see a leftist justice nominated by a Democratic President, much less two nominated by Republican Presidents.

No words for my sadness.

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joe shikspack's picture


yep, he was a respectable justice. that's a lot more than i can say for most of the current court. i was sad to see him leave the court and i'm sad to hear that he has left the room.

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Azazello's picture

I happened to catch the last half of The Neoliberal Hour on PBS last night.
After about 20 min. of Venezuela regime-change propaganda, they had Raúl Grijalva on to talk about first Puerto Rican corruption and then "going back".
I thought he did pretty good.

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It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture


thanks for the vid. i thought that grijalva did an excellent job.

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snoopydawg's picture

And boy does she stick the ending. And here's a thought. Maybe if companies hadn't moved all their businesses off shore we wouldn't have to import so much crap from China and other countries. Just a thought.

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“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

orlbucfan's picture

@snoopydawg They are fighting a long term economic war, have total contempt for western culture and figure they will win. However, they have idiotic greedballs like everywhere else which could be their demise.

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Inner and Outer Space: the Final Frontiers.

enhydra lutris's picture


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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 but I always laugh my ass off at this country blaming China for "stealing our technology" when we offshored it to them so they could manufacture it but weren't supposed to, you know, figure it out for themselves. And yes to those pesky trade deficits caused by said offshoring. God, almost enough to make one think America really is just plain stupid....

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Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

snoopydawg's picture


I was thinking that same thing while I was watching this. It does seem like a no brainer doesn't it?

God, almost enough to make one think America really is just plain stupid....

Nah..I'm already thinking that. And remember that Trump ran on keeping companies from leaving the country and laying people off, but it's still happening and even more are leaving because of the tariffs. I thought he was just trying to crash the economy for Wall Street..

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“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

@lizzyh7 @orlbucfan After watching and trying to get a handle about why at least Trump is going after China, two things were apparenet. China has what in American used to be called an industrial policy. And they act and invest in those policies looking toward the long term.

America's industrial policy is profit at any cost. American industrial policy does not recognize the interest of the nationa state as does Chinese industrial policy. Its goal is to maximize profit in a short window for the capitalist class.

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joe shikspack's picture


excellent piece, thanks!

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enhydra lutris's picture

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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

thanks! i did. Smile

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snoopydawg's picture

There is an all out concerted effort to smear Assange in the news lately isn't there? First Isakoff posted his drivel about Russia spreading the conspiracy theory about Seth Rich's death. Then CNN totally makes up a story about Assange remaking the Ecuadorian embassy into Election Meddling Headquarters and this was after unity 4 Assange was censored by Twitter. It's like the PTB are wanting people's permission to slowly assassinate Julian Assange. Oh yeah. Consortium news has an cyber attack just when they were going live with their new program.

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“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

Pelosi from the very start was aiming for the party to once again marginalize and push out any progressive insurgency. Pelosi doesn't care about party unity (so long as she and cronies get -relected) but rather those who benefit from and control the party.

But it seems her attempt to knee cap the squad and by extension other progressives back fired as she went very public with it. Particularily as about 100 or so reps also voted aganst Trump's immigration funding bill which really sent this whole thing into orbit.

Pelosi is too full of her power to understand anything but her power. When Trump joined the events he of course came in with his typical political idiot savant moves which seemed to make the democrats look poorly.

Nancy's stunt with the reading of her resolution into the Congressional Record was also stupid as it showed that the democrats are still living in the shadow of Hillary who tried to beat Trump on culture war fights and nothing substantial otherwise. It seems the gopers are much better at culture war fights than the democrats.

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joe shikspack's picture


the neoliberal establishment (which includes pelosi and trump) are scared shitless that this progressive socialist stuff will spread. that's why "the squad" is getting attacked from all sides. bernie sanders will get much the same treatment if he somehow manages to become the nominee.

the degree to which the pressure is ramping up is a good measure of the fear with which the establishment views this movement.

you or i or many folks here may view the squad, sanders and other reformers as kind of weak tea when it comes to the radical change that is needed, but as far as the establishment goes, they find it an existential threat.

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travelerxxx's picture

Hope we get a report on the Elvis Costello show tomorrow!

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Dawn's Meta's picture

Trump's daily forced or unforced errors, unpeople like Mulvaney are taking down agencies, regulations, oversight, and anything good the government of the people has done for us. We need to keep our eyes on the agencies and regulatory bodies, what pieces are being moved or re-moved and who's playing.

Have to comment on your first story: it tucks in well with EL's essay - Poisoning a Generation

I have very mixed feelings on this as far as the spread of disease-carrying ticks and other insects. I can't in good faith regard the world wide phenomenon as starting from one point on the planet.

That the government brought Nazi scientists over via Operation Paper Clip and other protected transfers of "assets" is not a question anymore, imho. The 'Devil's Chessboard' takes at least a cut at this naming names and who.

That the government, CDC, MIC and USDA and others were/are involved in bioweapons exploration, accidents and purposeful experiments, doesn't stretch my imagination.

That there has not been sincere efforts to determine what is going on with people afflicted with Fatiguing Illnesses, Central Nervous System Diseases, Disabilities and Illnesses, Immune System Diseases, Disabilities and Illnesses is evidenced by the number of people complaining about the medical system and their doctors' indifference or fear of sanction.

Pioneering Treating Doctor's Review

That the Infectious Disease Society of America has campaigned against testing that works is clear to me. (Can cite papers how certain definitive antibody band were willfully struck from tests).

The Tuskegee Experiments of Syphilis-infected black men, was a precursor to the current experiment with another group of Spirochetes:

The question has been raised, what is tertiary syphilis without the spirochetal bacterium Treponema pallidum? Similarly one ought to ask, what is chronic Lyme disease without the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi?

What is being promoted as the "standard of care" for chronic Lyme disease is medical neglect, a vast de facto and unintended Tuskegee experiment, whose hapless subjects are your constituents

From Dr. Liegner's testimony to the State Assembly of New York in Albany.
He never gave up.

The CDC itself now estimates 300,000 new cases L. Borreliosis per year. It is rarely diagnosed quickly, so the growing number of those with a potential or immediate dysfuntion, is huge.

I did know a rich cowboy from the Feather Canyon/Chico/Sierra areas, who had a lab certified set of tests showing L. Borreliosis antibodies that made his test strips almost black with positive results. He started having "MS" symptoms in the late 1960s in California, especially lower trunk and legs as he was usually horseback riding through brush and ended up pulling many ticks off.

This anecdote does call into question timelines for the West Coast and the numbers of people with similar diseases as those from the East Coast especially the cluster around coastal Connecticut and Long Island.

The answer may be both/and/or. People with robust immune systems seem to be able to fend off at least some of these infections. While others get so ill they are disabled immediately. There is an incredible range of reactions and ability to handle what's happening.

Many people maybe infected in the same way Epstein-Barr is prevalent in populations, but only some have active illness. The Ice Man was found to have spirochetes similar to Bb, as well as Native Americans, and the rodents they lived with.

Having looked at this and published regarding this set of tick infections and living with it for many years we speculate more broadly. Since WWll we have been exposed to chemicals in water, air, food, home atmosphere and pollution and have no idea how all these things play with each other in our collective and individual immune systems.

Again we can only speculate based on the common experiences of so many doctors and patients. Those on the West Coast are similar to the cowboy's story.

Many now are launched on their own personal explorations of how to live a more normal life, as they are getting so much push back from insurance groups and doctor's self regulated associations and therefore their own doctors.

My personal conclusion is that there may have been or maybe likely that there is weaponized Borreliosis out there especially in Lyme, Connecticut. Too much in the timeline says this must have happened.

The spread of Syphilis once it was carried from the "New World" back to Italy, is incredibly fast.

The first well-recorded European outbreak of what is now known as syphilis occurred in 1495 among French troops besieging Naples, Italy.[1] It may have been transmitted to the French via Spanish mercenaries serving King Charles of France in that siege.[17] From this centre, the disease swept across Europe. As Jared Diamond describes it, "[W]hen syphilis was first definitely recorded in Europe in 1495, its pustules often covered the body from the head to the knees, caused flesh to fall from people's faces, and led to death within a few months." The disease then was much more lethal than it is today.[22] The epidemiology of this first syphilis epidemic shows that the disease was either new or a mutated form of an earlier disease.

The well presented and complicated possible routes of Syphilis infections in Europe are in this Wiki article:
History of Syphilis

But there are other variants in other vectors, far, far away, which have made people sick in varying degrees. With the politicization of diseases especially the types of long term illnesses we now see, it is difficult to find the truth, real sources and paths of these diseases.

This is an extremely short and narrow review of the complex struggle over L. Borreliosis (Bb Borrelia burgdorferi). We have libraries of papers and articles in files, that will never see the light of day. While we can write when appropriate with knowledge, in the end don't want to be defined by one of the infections we carry.

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

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snoopydawg's picture

@Dawn's Meta

Mulvaney and others in Trump's cabinet are doing so many dastardly deeds behind closed door and no one is paying attention to them. And this started right after he was elected when during his first 100 days the GOP were rolling back or blocking Obama's last minute out the door progressive legislation. Gee if he had only done them earlier when they were guaranteed to pass... but then.

I hope you essay your comment so more eyes see it.

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“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

Dawn's Meta's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

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

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