The Evening Blues - 8-22-19


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Gatemouth Moore

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues singer Gatemouth Moore. Enjoy!

Gatemouth Moore - Let's Go Back And Try One More Time

“The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”

-- James Madison

News and Opinion

Julian Assange’s father warns WikiLeaks’ publisher’s health is “declining rapidly” in Belmarsh Prison

In an interview on August 16 with 3CR, a Melbourne community radio station, Julian Assange’s father John Shipton stated that the WikiLeaks founder’s health is continuing to deteriorate in Britain’s maximum-security Belmarsh Prison. Shipton revealed that Assange had received a visit from his brother Gabriel several days earlier. “Julian is emaciated and not in tip-top order or health,” Shipton said. “He is suffering anxiety. He is still in fighting spirits, but his well-being is declining rapidly.” Shipton said there was a danger that “we will lose Julian” if action is not taken to end his incarceration. ...

Assange’s father outlined the draconian conditions in Belmarsh Prison, where Assange has been held since he was dragged from Ecuador’s London embassy by British police on April 11. ... Shipton explained that Assange was “in a cell 20 hours a day and has two social visits a month. Lawyers are allowed there other times. These social visits can be arbitrarily cancelled or reduced in time.”

He related that when he travelled from Australia to London two-and-a-half months ago, “we waited and were told that we couldn’t come” into the prison for a pre-arranged visit with Assange. “No reason was given,” Shipton said, except that “there were conflicting appointments made with prison doctors to come and see him. So, they use the visiting times to have his medical examiners examine him, which means that a social visit needs to be cancelled.”

Shipton, along with a WikiLeaks staff member and Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, returned the following week for another arranged visit. “We waited 46 minutes for Julian to arrive,” he said. The prison authorities claimed that they had “forgotten” to notify Assange of the visit, “so they had to go and find him and bring him down.” This resulted in the two-hour visit, which Assange is entitled to, being reduced to just one hour. “To travel all the way from Australia to see Julian and to get only an hour, it seems cruel to me,” Shipton said. Asked by Grech whether he thought this was the result of incompetence, or a deliberate attack on Assange’s rights, Shipton answered: “I’m told that often that is done with a well-known prisoner to assert authority over him and over his visitors.”

The Oligarchy’s Plans For Our Future Keep Getting Dumber

It’s rare to get a billionaire to share their grand plans for the future, which is weird because billionaires pretty much rule the world. Whenever they do, though, it’s always something incredibly sociopathic, like replacing all jobs with billionaire-owned automation/AI and giving people a Universal Basic Income set by the billionaire-owned government. Or loading all the humans onto rocket ships and sending them to live on Amazon Space Dildos.

Billionaire Elon Musk, who hates unions and wants to implant AI into human brains, has been continuing this trend of idiotic plutocratic futurology with a new campaign to detonate nuclear weapons on the planet Mars. This is not because Musk hates Mars, but because he wants to colonize it; the idea is to vaporize the red planet’s polar ice caps and throw carbon dioxide into the air to ultimately make the planet more habitable.

Scientists are voicing skepticism that such a plan could even work, before even opening up the “Just because you can doesn’t mean that you should” debate. Sending nuclear weapons into space for any reason whatsoever should receive an outright rejection from all of humanity, since getting nukes into earth’s orbit has been the wet dream of war machine engineers for decades and pretending they went to Mars would serve as an ideal cover story to circumvent international space treaties until it’s too late to prevent it.

Musk claims he wants to colonize Mars because a new dark age ensuing from a third world war appears “likely”, and he wants to ensure that there will be humans living off of the planet to re-populate it after we wipe ourselves out here. Rather than pouring wealth, brainpower and resources into pushing for a change in the status quo which has set the world’s nuclear-armed powers on a collision course for a world military confrontation that will destroy our biosphere, this billionaire has decided it’s better to nuke Mars so that a back bench of reserve humans can live on a desert space rock.

This is the class of people who are calling the shots in our world. These are the minds who are choosing our fate for us. I wouldn’t trust them to run a fucking gas station.

And Elon Musk is one of the saner billionaires.

US says anyone who 'touches' Iran tanker risks US sanctions

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says anyone who "touches," supports or allows an Iranian tanker carrying crude oil to dock risks U.S. sanctions.

He told reporters Tuesday that if an Iranian supertanker that left Gibraltar on Sunday again heads to Syria, "we'll take every action we can consistent with those sanctions to prevent that."

The Iranian vessel was detained for a month for allegedly attempting to violate European Union sanctions on Syria. Gibraltar authorities rejected U.S. attempts to seize the tanker.

Greek Prime Minister on FRANCE 24: Iranian oil tanker 'not headed for Greece'

US warns Greece not to harbor Iranian tanker

An Iranian oil tanker that was held for six weeks in Gibraltar is thought to be heading for Greece, but has not yet officially requested permission to dock, Greek Maritime Minister Ioannis Plakiotakis said on Tuesday. ...

On Tuesday, the US warned Greece and other nations that it would view any assistance offered to the tanker as support for terrorism. "We have conveyed our strong position to the Greek government on the matter, as well as all ports in the Mediterranean that should be forewarned about facilitating this vessel," a US State Department official said. ...

After the tanker left Gibraltar on Sunday evening, the US issued a warrant to seize the vessel, which was rejected by the British territory's authorities. Gibraltar argued that US sanctions against Iran do not apply in the EU.

Iran gave a stark warning to the US on Monday over further attempts to seize the Iranian oil tanker that set sail on Sunday, after it spent six weeks detained in Gibraltar. "Iran has given necessary warnings to American officials through its official channels ... not to make such a mistake because it would have grave consequences," Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi told reporters.

US military drone shot down over Yemen

A US military MQ-9 drone has been shot down in Yemen’s Dhamar governate, south-east of the Houthi-controlled capital Sana’a, two US officials have said.

A Houthi military spokesman had earlier said that air defences had brought down a US drone.

The officials, speaking on Wednesday on condition of anonymity, said the drone was shot down late on Tuesday.

It is not the first time a US drone has been shot down in Yemen. In June, the US military said Houthi rebels had brought down a US government-operated drone with assistance from Iran.

Trump: US Role in Afghanistan Has Become ‘Ridiculous’ Police Force

Speaking on Afghanistan, President Trump remained non-committal on the peace plan being negotiated with the Taliban, continuing to say only that “we’ll see what happens.” He did, however, point toward clearly being inclined to end the war.

Trump says that after 18 years the US is “not really fighting” in
Afghanistan, but rather acting as a “ridiculous” police force, adding “we’re not supposed to be a police force.”

All indications are that the Afghan peace deal is all set to go, and Trump was briefed on the matter on Friday. Exactly what his position is, however, still isn’t entirely clear, as he both talks down the merits of staying but emphasizes his willingness to keep troops there.

Taliban Peace Talks Must Not Ignore CIA-Funded Afghan Militias, Report Says

After 18 years of war, and months of direct talks, the United States appears to be on the brink of reaching an unprecedented peace agreement with the Taliban that would bring about U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. A draft agreement was reached in March, and negotiators in Qatar have reportedly been ironing out the details ahead of a September 1 deadline — including exactly when U.S. troops will withdraw and when a permanent ceasefire between the parties will take effect. The U.S. is reportedly also seeking assurances from the Taliban that it won’t harbor foreign terror groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda and will engage in dialogue with the Afghan government after the U.S. military leaves.

It’s the closest the U.S. has come to a diplomatic breakthrough with the Taliban, and foreign policy scholars are cautiously optimistic that it could facilitate a U.S. exit. But a new report from the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute argues that the agreement won’t lead to real peace unless it addresses the elephant in the room: the fate of regional Afghan militias paid and directed by the CIA. “Militias that operate outside the control of the central state and the chain of command of its armed forces will undermine the process of state formation and the prospects for a sustainable peace,” the report reads.

It is unclear to what extent the fate of the militias has been discussed at all by the U.S. or Taliban negotiators. In July, Zalmay Khalilzad, the chief U.S. negotiator, mentioned the fate of militias while listing topics that needed to be encompassed by a general agreement. But the authors of the report note that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, once director of the CIA, has not. If the issue goes unaddressed, the report argues, it could lead to the breakdown of a ceasefire or agreement, which would in turn jeopardize Afghanistan’s future. ...

According to the report, the size and power of the CIA’s forces could pose a problem for the Afghan government after the peace talks. For the militias, integration into the regular armed forces could mean a significant pay cut and a loss of the privileged status that has allowed them to operate largely without transparency or legal accountability. “If cut loose by the CIA,” the report notes, “they may be reborn as private armies or ‘security guards’ in the service of powerful individuals, or operate autonomously to prey on civilians and commercial sources.”

Is Trump's deep fear and envy of Obama behind his plan to purchase Greenland?

Donald Trump has postponed his state visit to Denmark after the country’s prime minister failed to leap at his proposal to buy Greenland. Mette Frederiksen had showed no interest in the “large real estate deal”, despite Trump’s tweeted promise – complete with helpful illustrative mock-up – that he would not dump a big gold tower on the foreshore. As a result, he (again) tweeted that he would be rescheduling their meeting for another time. But was the bid a red herring? David Frum, author of Trumpocracy and a former speechwriter for George W Bush, thinks so. The president’s real reason for cancelling? Barack Obama was due to visit the country two weeks later. “Trump was terrified of the contrast between the reception that former president Obama would get, and that he would get,” Frum said on Radio 4’s Today programme. “He began looking around for an excuse as to why he couldn’t go to Denmark – Greenland became it.” Could this possibly be true? Trump’s intense pettiness is well-established, but if Frum is right – well, what a colossal waste of everyone’s time.

Long-time ambition: US made previous bids to snap up Greenland

Trump raises pressure on Federal Reserve to cut interest rates

Donald Trump has stepped up the pressure on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates with his most personal attack yet on Jerome Powell, the man he handpicked to run the US central bank.

Trump has been using his Twitter account in recent days to fend off accusations from the Democrats that the US is heading for a recession. He has also insisted that the world’s biggest economy would be doing even better but for Powell’s mistakes.

US deficit to increase by $800bn more than expected

It’s another headache for Trump as concerns continue to grow over the economy, with serious fears about a looming recession.

The non-partisan CBO said the deficit will soar by $800bn more than expected over 10 years. According to CNBC the US budget deficit “is expected to hit $960 billion in 2019, and average a whopping $1.2 trillion per year between 2020 and 2029.”

How U.S. Border Patrol policy weaponizes the Sonoran Desert

Border Patrol Won’t Give the Flu Vaccine to Detained Kids

Immigration authorities have no plans to vaccinate children and families detained in Border Patrol stations — even after several children detained in these facilities died of the flu — CNBC reports.

Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees Border Patrol processing stations, told CNBC it typically doesn’t vaccinate the people detained in its facilities.

“In general, due to the short-term nature of CBP holding and the complexities of operating vaccination programs, neither CBP nor its medical contractors administer vaccinations to those in our custody,” an agency spokesperson told CNBC. A CBP spokesperson told VICE News that the agency refers detainees who need vaccines “to the local health system.” ...
In August, doctors at Harvard and Johns Hopkins called for an investigation into CBP’s health care practices after six children died in the agency’s custody, three of whom died from the flu. Flu deaths, they wrote in a letter, “are fairly rare events for children living in the United States.”

US to remove limit on how long immigrant children can be detained

The Trump administration announced on Wednesday a plan to eliminate a federal court agreement and replace it with a regulation that would allow the government to indefinitely detain migrant children with their parents. By replacing the agreement, known as the Flores settlement, the government could dramatically expand family detention and increase how long children are held in custody. The government would also have more power to determine the standards of care for children and families in custody.

The Trump administration has prioritized ending the decades-old Flores agreement, which says the government must hold children in the least restrictive setting and release them as quickly as possible, generally after 20 days in detention. A legal team representing migrant children is also allowed to monitor the government’s detention practices under the terms of the settlement.

Homeland security officials told reporters there was no longer a need for court involvement and they plan to adopt regulations that reflect the Flores agreement in the final rule, which is set to be published on Friday. The rule would go into effect 60 days later, if it does not face the expected legal challenges. ...

A lawyer for the migrant children in the Flores case, Holly Cooper, said the legal team would file a response to the Trump administration rule after it is formally published. “Because the federal government is publishing a final rule on the heel of multiple findings of violations of the Flores settlement agreement it is incumbent on us to protect those interests,” Cooper said.

As part of the Flores agreement, a federal appeals panel found last week that detained children should get edible food, clean water, soap and toothpaste after the government argued hygiene products did not need to be provided. It was also a team of Flores attorneys who raised the alarm about dire conditions for migrant children at border processing facilities in June.

Idaho has been forced to change signage on children’s buses after angry drivers began following vehicles full of migrant children.

According to the Idaho Statesman: “The Community Council of Idaho plans to remove and conceal signage on buses they use to transport local children of farmworkers and Head Start participants, after repeated experiences of harassment from motorists across the state, including the Treasure Valley.”

The buses are used to transport children to the Community Council, where they can take part in non-profit programs. The vehicles are labelled “Migrant and Seasonal Head Start”, and staff say drivers are harassing the buses because they “assume that migrant means undocumented”.

“Migrant doesn’t necessarily mean ‘illegal,’” Alvarez told the Statesman. “Migrant means people move in search of work, which is what our program is. We have people who might move from East Idaho to Caldwell because of the work that they’re in.”

White nationalists pervade law enforcement. Fighting far right violence means continuing our fight for police accountability

White nationalists pervade law enforcement. There is a long history of the military, police and other authorities supporting, protecting or even being members of white supremacy groups. But it’s not just history. It was revealed last week that a black man in Michigan came upon KKK materials and Confederate flags in plain view while being shown a home for sale – the home of a police officer on the force for more than 20 years who shot and killed a black man in 2009 without consequence.

It’s a widespread pattern. As early as 2006, the FBI flagged it. Another FBI report in 2015, not covered nearly enough, indicated that “domestic terrorism investigations focused on militia extremists, white supremacist extremists, and sovereign citizen extremists often have identified active links to law enforcement officers”. (And that’s the FBI, which has its own history of white supremacy affinity groups.)

White nationalists connect through online networks and offline groups, and openly share tactics for infiltrating and influencing police departments, border patrol, the FBI and the military. That was the case for a Virginia police officer – assigned to a high school – who was revealed to be a longtime white nationalist and served as a recruiter for Identity Evropa, one of the groups behind the Charlottesville hate rallies and violence. He was not shy about his cover. In chat messages, he “discussed ways to downplay appearances of racism, while still promoting white nationalism”.

Another thing many of those like him are not shy about: stoking and celebrating violence, and promoting hateful misinformation and rhetoric. The Plain View Project tracked publicly posted social media material from more than 3,500 confirmed current and retired law enforcement officers, and found that “about 1 in 5 of the current officers, and 2 in 5 of the retired officers, made public posts or comments ... displaying bias, applauding violence, scoffing at due process or using dehumanizing language”. The Center for Investigative Reporting was able to identify almost 400 current and retired law enforcement officials who were members of private Facebook “Confederate, anti-Islam, misogynistic or anti-government militia” groups. ...

In truth, would the level of violence committed by law enforcement in communities of color, and at the border, even be possible if racial hatred weren’t part and parcel of police culture? White nationalists in law enforcement and in many roles in government, such as prosecutors, are dangerous because they routinely abuse their power to attack and debilitate communities of color, including harassment and coercion, financial exploitation, acts of sexual and racially-targeted violence and mass incarceration – all officially sanctioned, and all celebrated as part of the larger white nationalist agenda.

the horse race

Bernie Sanders announces plan to double union membership if elected

Bernie Sanders has released plans to double union membership in the US during his first term in office as he campaigns to secure the Democratic presidential candidacy. Sanders’ plan is an expansion of the Workplace Democracy Act, previously championed by the Vermont senator, and would also restore workers’ rights to collectively bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions. ...

Sanders first introduced a Workplace Democracy Act bill to Congress in 1992. His most recent version of the bill, co-introduced with the Wisconsin representative Mark Pocan, received 61 co-sponsors in the House and 16 co-sponsors in the Senate, including the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates and senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker.

The latest, expanded version of the plan includes granting federal workers the right to strike, prohibiting corporations from requiring workers to attend anti-union captive audience meetings and denying federal contracts to employers who pay poverty wages, outsource jobs overseas, engage in union busting practices such as hiring scabs or pay executives over 150 times more than average workers, and a just transition to Medicare for All.

“Bernie will require that resulting healthcare savings from union-negotiated plans result in wage increases and additional benefits for workers during the transition to Medicare for All,” the plan notes.

Corporations would also be required to honor pre-existing union contracts after mergers, and be banned from hiring permanent replacements for workers on strike.

Sanders Campaign Hits Back After WaPo Describes Pro-Labor Proposal as Change to Medicare for All Plan

Sen. Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign on Wednesday emphatically pushed back against a Washington Post story that reported the senator made a "change" to his Medicare for All plan due to criticism from organized labor, a charge one Sanders adviser described as "bullshit."

The Post story came hours after Sanders unveiled his comprehensive labor platform, which includes a clause that states: "Unions will still be able to negotiate for and provide wrap-around services and other coverage not duplicative of the benefits established under Medicare for All."

The Post characterized the sentence—which was plucked out of a section in Sanders's labor platform titled "A fair transition to Medicare for All"—as a "departure" and a "seeming acknowledgment of a role for private coverage by a campaign that has railed against others for not taking a hard-enough stance against such plans."

The Sanders campaign immediately and strongly rejected that description, saying the senator's Medicare for All plan has not changed and does not leave the door open for private insurance. "Bernie's Medicare for All bill was introduced in April and hasn't changed," tweeted Warren Gunnels, a senior adviser to Sanders. Josh Orton, Sanders's national policy director, said the Post story "is factually wrong throughout." ...

Sanders's labor platform states that "if Medicare for All is signed into law, companies with union negotiated healthcare plans would be required to enter into new contract negotiations overseen by the National Labor Relations Board."

"Under this plan," the document continues, "all company savings that result from reduced healthcare contributions from Medicare for All will accrue equitably to workers in the form of increased wages or other benefits."

Vox's Tara Golshan described the line as an effort to address "concern about Medicare for All" from some in the labor movement who have expressed fears that Sanders's plan would nullify unions' hard-won bargaining gains. David Sirota, Sanders' speechwriter, called Vox's characterization "fair and accurate."

Gunnels said the provision in Sanders's labor platform requiring that company healthcare savings from Medicare for All go toward increasing workers' wages and other benefits does not represent a "departure" from Sanders' Medicare for All plan, as the Post reporting alleged. "We've said from day one that any savings employers gain from Medicare for All must be passed on to union workers in the form of higher wages and benefits," Gunnels tweeted. "We know that because Bernie wrote the damn bill."

Warren Apologizes to Native Americans; Sanders Backs Rescinding Medals for Wounded Knee Massacre

Corporate Media Filled With Nameless Voices Attacking Progressive Democrats

The Democratic Party establishment wants you to know that they’re not afraid of primary challenges from the Justice Democrats—a progressive political action committee that runs progressive candidates who reject campaign funding from the ultra-rich and corporations. But when the establishment Democrats tell you they aren’t afraid, they often aren’t brave enough to let reporters quote them by name.

These anonymous sources are rarely as insulting as the one quoted by Fox NewsBrooke Singman: “No one is afraid of those [Justice Democrat] nerds. They don’t have the ability to primary anyone.” But as FAIR contributor Adam Johnson and Justice Democrats communications director Waleed Shahid observed, other anonymous sources are not very different in content, because corporate media are generally granting anonymity to sources in the Democratic establishment looking to run opposition talking points against progressive lawmakers and organizations.

For example, The Hill (7/11/19) carried an anonymous response to Saikat Chakrabarti, then Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, after he tweeted that centrists in the Blue Dog and New Democrat caucuses were “the new Southern Democrats” because they voted to fund Trump’s border concentration camps: “You can be someone who does not personally harbor ill will towards a race, but through your actions still enable a racist system,” Chakrabarti said. A Hill source identified as “a senior Democratic aide associated with the Blue Dog Coalition” retorted:

Let’s not forget the fact that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff called a group of members racist. This is a group of members led by an immigrant woman of color, and this group includes several other people of color, including two black men who actually experienced the segregated South.

Why grant anonymity to a partisan source making an inaccurate attack — unless giving cover for a non-returnable attack on a progressive political figure was the point?

Another anonymous source in The Hill (7/12/19) branded Ocasio-Cortez as “a puppet” of “elitist white liberals,” in a report on Justice Democrats’ plans to primary incumbent Democrats belonging to the Congressional Black Caucus:

She’s only a woman of color when it’s convenient. None of the things she’s fought for aligned with communities of color and her group is funded only by elitist white liberals; she’s a puppet.

The nameless aide went on to say, “It’s offensive that these elitist white liberals feel like they can undermine the foundation of our party.”

To be fair, The Hill also included an anonymous source from the Justice Democrats,  briefly denying these allegations as “absurd and more about protecting incumbency over democracy.”

The Hill didn’t offer any justification for including these statements without attribution. It also didn’t question the assertion that  “elitist white liberals” were the puppetmasters of Justice Democrats, an organization whose goals include getting “everyday, working people into Congress”—like former bartender Ocasio-Cortez, who does, in fact, regularly advocate for communities of color.

2020 Candidates Address Historical Trauma, Missing Indigenous Women & More at Native American Forum

Inslee Drops Out of 2020 Race

After Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced Wednesday night that he is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, climate campaigners expressed gratitude for his visionary environmental agenda and his efforts to elevate the planetary emergency to the center of the Democratic primary contest.

"We'll miss you in this race, Jay Inslee," tweeted Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement, the youth-led climate group that Inslee cited as a key inspiration behind his campaign. ...

Inslee's decision to leave the race comes just before the Democratic National Committee is set to vote on whether to host a 2020 presidential debate focused specifically on the climate crisis—an idea Inslee persistently advocated alongside grassroots climate activists.

the evening greens

Jair Bolsonaro claims without evidence that NGOs are setting fires in Amazon rainforest

The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, has accused environmental groups of setting fires in the Amazon as he tries to deflect growing international criticism of his failure to protect the world’s biggest rainforest. A surge of fires in several Amazonian states this month followed reports that farmers were feeling emboldened to clear land for crop fields and cattle ranches because the new Brazilian government was keen to open up the region to economic activity. Brazil has had more than 72,000 fire outbreaks so far this year, an 84% increase on the same period in 2018, according to the country’s National Institute for Space Research. More than half of them were in the Amazon. ...

An international outcry has prompted Norway and Germany to halt donations to Brazil’s Amazon fund, which supports many environmental NGOs as well as government agencies. There have also been calls for Europe to block a trade deal with Brazil and other South American nations.

Bolsonaro suggested the fires were started by environmental NGOs to embarrass his government. “On the question of burning in the Amazon, which in my opinion may have been initiated by NGOs because they lost money, what is the intention? To bring problems to Brazil,” the president told a steel industry congress in Brasilia. He made a similar allegation earlier in the day when he suggested groups had gone out with cameras and started fires so they could film them. Asked whether he had evidence, or whether he could name the NGOs involved, Bolsonaro said there were no written records and it was just his feeling.

The Amazon is burning and Brazilians are blaming President Bolsonaro, Bolsonaro blames NGOs

Good news?

Microplastics in water not harmful to humans, says WHO report

Microplastics are increasingly found in drinking water, but there is no evidence so far that this poses a risk to humans, according to a new assessment by the World Health Organization. However, the United Nations body warned against complacency because more research is needed to fully understand how plastic spreads into the environment and works its way through human bodies.

There is no universally agreed definition of microplastics but they are generally considered to be smaller than half a millimetre across. ...

Counterintuitively, the report said larger microplastics (those bigger than 150 micrometres – about the diameter of a hair) are of least concern because they pass straight through the human body. Smaller particles could potentially pass through the walls of digestive tracts and get stuck, but researchers believe they are unlikely to accumulate in harmful quantities. Not enough is known about the tiniest nanoplastics (those less than 1 micrometre) to be sure of their impact.

“Based on the limited evidence available, chemicals and microbial pathogens associated with microplastics in drinking water pose a low concern for human health. Although there is insufficient information to draw firm conclusions on the toxicity of nanoparticles, no reliable information suggests it is a concern,” the conclusion stated.

Leaked audio: Oil and gas lobby relishes role in criminalizing pipe protests

US Set to Blow Other Countries Away With 'Staggering' Scale of New Oil and Gas Production

A new analysis reveals that the United States is expected to be the main contributor to a "looming carbon time bomb."

Released Tuesday by human and environmental rights group Global Witness, the report (pdf) shows how the U.S. is on track to dwarf other nations' shares of new oil and gas production over the next decade. In fact, says the analysis, 61 percent of all new global production is likely to come from the United States.

"The scale of new production forecast from the U.S. is staggering," said Murray Worthy, senior campaigner at Global Witness, in a statement. "No other country comes even close."

The projected scenario, which relies on data from industry analysts Rystad Energy, reveals the country is on a path to ramp up oil and gas production by 25 percent—even in the face of the climate crisis, which has triggered global protests and demands for bold legislative action.

Over the 2020-2029 period, seven of 10 biggest new oil and gas producers are expected to be U.S. states, with Texas projected to produce more than a quarter of all this new production.

Along with Texas, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Oklahoma together would account for 75 percent of all U.S. production over the time frame.

Also of Interest

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

R.I.P. Dodd-Frank: Wall Street Is Unleashed — Again

Amid Recession Warnings, Trump Reportedly Considering More Tax Cuts for Rich and Corporations

Israel pushing Palestinians to leave Gaza

How Bernie Sanders Won Over Young Native American Voters

The Parkland Survivors Have a Plan to Stop Gun Violence

Anti-China Cult Gets U.S. Government Money - Runs Large Pro-Trump Ad Campaign

Revealed: emails raise ethical questions over Trump official's role in gas project

23 Days Into Train Blockade Protest, Kentucky Coal Miners Demand Stolen Wages With Support of Progressives Nationwide

Sixth Installment of Jay Inslee's Climate Plan Champions Regenerative Farming and Massive Investment in Rural America

Naomi Klein: Why the Democratic National Committee Must Change the Rules and Hold a Climate Debate

‘The Next Flint,’ and America’s Problem with Lead in Its Water

New species of stegosaurus uncovered in Moroccan dig

'I am the Chosen One': with boasts and insults, Trump sets new benchmark for incoherence

A Little Night Music

Gatemouth Moore - I'm Going Way Back Home

Gatemouth Moore - They Can't Do This To You

Gatemouth Moore - Boogie Woogie Papa

Gatemouth Moore - Beale Street Ain't Beale Street No More

Gatemouth Moore - Cryin' And Singin' The Blues

Gatemouth Moore - Love Doctor Blues

Gatemouth Moore - Highway 61 Blues

Gatemouth Moore - Everybody Has Their Turn

Gatemouth Moore - I Ain't Mad at You Pretty Baby

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k9disc's picture

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

joe shikspack's picture


thanks for the tip! it's fixed now.

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Azazello's picture

This photo cracks me up. It's from a PRI radio story.
What do you wanna' bet this chalice was about half full of gin 3 minutes before the photo was taken.

I always thought this guy was an asshole: Twitter
How can you not love Tulsi ?

Here's one for joe:

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We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

joe shikspack's picture


heh, the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true ...

wow, armando is really plumbing the depths these days, the poor fellow has to kiss neera tanden's ass to get his paycheck apparently. i guess he lost that other brain cell.

thanks for the interview!

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Azazello's picture

@joe shikspack @joe shikspack
He's looking over at his aides saying, "Do we give her more ? She drank that whole damn thing." Did you catch Crosby's speech at about the 9 minute mark ?

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We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

joe shikspack's picture


it's a pretty good reminder that there was a consciousness back then of the changes that needed to occur amongst the politically and economically unenfranchised, i.e., the vast majority of us that don't get to vote on whether there will be a gas station on every corner.

his statement getting on prime time teevee, though, is to my memory pretty unique for the time.

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Who made that up and why? If Trump is afraid of Obama, he's the first Republican (other than McCain and Romney) to fear Obama. McConnell and the rest of the Republicans sure didn't fear him. Who was the first to suss out Trump's terror of Obama and what exactly does Trump have to fear from Obama?

I'm tired of all this piecemeal hostility to other nations. I vote we go to the UN and announce that we will be screwing with all other nations--and not just the shithole nations, either. So, Norway, Canada, Lichtenstein and all the rest of you, watch your respective asses, especially if your population is predominantly brown or black No more Mr. Nice Guy!

Isn't it a great relief to know that breathing, eating and drinking plastics is not dangerous to humans? We know that because someone told us and heaven knows, no one ever lies to us.

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joe shikspack's picture


fear doesn't seem appropriate, but then again it's david frum's opinion. i think that trump loathes obama and the fact that obama was in the white house before him probably makes his flesh crawl when he thinks about it.

wait a week, trump will be calling himself the king of greenland.

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snoopydawg's picture

Twitter to tell people to vote blue or else, but subtly not vote for Bernie. This call came from the CAA which is an agency that represents celebs and went after Tulsi after she left the DNC to support Bernie.

I don't know I think this is pretty funny. Good grief it's just a cartoon show. Lighten up.

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snoopydawg's picture


Here's the email

Hammed dropped! From: Darnell Strom Sent: Monday, February 29, 2016 3:13 PM To: Tulsi Gabbard ( Cc: Michael Kives

Subject: Disappointed Representative Gabbard, We were very disappointed to hear that you would resign your position with the DNC so you could endorse Bernie Sanders, a man who has never been a Democrat before. When we met over dinner a couple of years ago I was so impressed by your intellect, your passion, and commitment to getting things done on behalf of the American people. For you to endorse a man who has spent almost 40 years in public office with very few accomplishments, doesn't fall in line with what we previously thought of you. Hillary Clinton will be our party's nominee and you standing on ceremony to support the sinking Bernie Sanders ship is disrespectful to Hillary Clinton. A woman who has spent the vast majority of her life in public service and working on behalf of women, families, and the underserved. You have called both myself and Michael Kives before about helping your campaign raise money, we no longer trust your judgement so will not be raising money for your campaign. Darnell Strom & Michael Kives

lol..Bernie should stop voting with democrats and switch to voting with republicans just to get people to wake the hell up. I think Bernie has accomplished more things that helps Americans than Hillary did that hurt those very women and children she is supposed to have been protecting. How kicking poor people off welfare helped them is beyond me. Millions went into deeper poverty thanks to her and Bill. Crime bill.. long list.

Tulsi showed poor judgment then when she supported Bernie after she saw how the primary was rigged against him? I think that should have earned her more respect, but maybe that's just me.

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joe shikspack's picture


heh, the scolds are just getting started. there's plenty of wailing and gnashing of teeth to come. peak idiocy is a long ways away, enjoy the calm.

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@snoopydawg @snoopydawg others to join in supporting Sen Bernie Sanders, right? Of course not, he just thinks the 'anybody but Bernie (and Tulsi)' is a cinch.
Just like Hillary's campaign that cheated all over the Country but still couldn't beat the Cheeto Head Reality Tv persona, a person with an even lower approval rating than HER.

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snoopydawg's picture

Democratic national committee rejects mounting calls for climate crisis debate


Members cited concerns over changing party rules and opening the door for a flood of single-issue events

Following a lengthy and impassioned discussion on Thursday morning, a committee rejected the resolution that would have allowed for a party-sponsored climate debate in a 17-to-8 vote. One committee member said the DNC was treading on “dangerous ground” to consider changing party rules to allow for the climate debate, while others cited concerns about opening the door for a flood of single-issue events.

After the vote, dozens of members of the youth climate activist group Sunrise Movement briefly disrupted the meeting with chants, signs and song, asking DNC officials, “Which side are you on?”

Later in the day, the committee member Christine Pelosi submitted another amendment that would have allowed for a climate debate, along with other issue-specific debates tied to the party platform. That, too, was summarily defeated. Pelosi and other climate advocates have vowed to bring the issue to the full DNC meeting floor on Saturday.

Who was that one committee member who said that? Symonne Sanders, ByeDone's campaign person. Twitter is abuzz over her saying that. But how many others issues have people been begging the DNC to address? None that I know of, but not doing one on the most pressing issue on people's mind is just so in your face. Alrighty then we should just stay with Warren's make the military green deal.

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joe shikspack's picture



because they know that the centrist candidates that they prefer are incapable of providing a decent response to climate change that will not offend the dem's large donor class. the big donors know that the gravy train is over if a policy program that can mitigate climate change is implemented.

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snoopydawg's picture

It talks about how the recession is already happening because of the downturn of selling cars, RVs and the trucking companies going out of business. This crash is being manufactured just like previous ones were, but it's happening now so Trump can take the blame. This isn't the first time I've read that. The economy was meant to crash during his tenure all along. But then the economy usually crashes during a republican presidency.'s almost like they were planned...

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joe shikspack's picture


imagine that! the bipartisan's program of enormous tax cuts, wealth transfer upwards, knee capping the regulatory structure, failure to police conflicts of interest of the regulators and spending like a drunken sailor on wars and military gee-gaws - might again lead to an economic crash.

go figure.

and brandon smith acts like it's a conspiracy by the media against trump? seriously?

it's a conspiracy of the 1% against us. brandon smith is participating in the 1% bamboozlement program by misdirecting attention from the real crooks.

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snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Financial stuff goes over my head so I don't know what I read is true or not. Someone posted it on moon of Alabama and that's why I read it. Are we headed to a recession though or not?

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joe shikspack's picture


Are we headed to a recession though or not?

<prognosticator 3000>


</prognosticator 3000>

but i can't tell you when. Smile

but seriously, we are long overdue for a cyclical downturn, but the economy has been goosed to give the appearance of prosperity by the fed's free money for rich people policy quantitative easing and loose money policy which have goosed stock prices. corporate stock buybacks (enhanced by the overabundance of cheap credit) have also ratcheted up stock prices.

my opinion is that the fundamentals of the market do not justify the high values of the stock market. market prices are a bubble that will at some point burst.

a further problem is that after the last major crash, the big wall street banks were not adequately regulated to prevent the recurrence of the events of 2007/08. further, the derivatives market was not addressed either which leaves the economy vulnerable to catastrophic failure.

so, if the captive government and regulatory structure is not freed from the clutches of the vampire squid and forced to impose order in behalf of the 99%, it is only a matter of time before the house of cards falls and the 1% scarf up all the valuables again.

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GreatLakeSailor's picture

...the twitter machine is reporting that GOS fired armando for crude twits directed at Nina Turner. Thread about it here:
and this:

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Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor.

joe shikspack's picture


heh, so armando got fired. probably not so much for what he said, but for the way he said it.

i wonder how many other kossacks will wig out like armando did over the coming months. if bernie does well, maybe even markos will flame out in a blaze of stupidity.

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GreatLakeSailor's picture

@joe shikspack

Not sure it was even for how he said it but more for how many people noticed how he said it.

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Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor.

joe shikspack's picture


heh, something analogous to the unseen tree falling in the forest, that applies to twitter? Smile

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