The Evening Blues - 11-20-19


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Pops Staples

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features gospel and blues singer Roebuck "Pops" Staples. Enjoy!

Pops Staples - Nobody's Fault But Mine

“Dictatorships usually exist primarily because of the internal power distribution in the home country. The population and society are too weak to cause the dictatorship serious problems, wealth and power are concentrated in too few hands. Although dictatorships may benefit from or be somewhat weakened by international actions, their continuation is dependent primarily on internal factors.”

-- Gene Sharp

News and Opinion

The "Resistance" is at it again:

Handing Trump 'Terrifying Authoritarian Surveillance Powers,' House Democrats Include Patriot Act Reauthorization in Funding Bill

Buried in a stopgap government funding resolution unveiled by House Democrats Monday is a provision that would reauthorize the notoriously abusive Patriot Act for three months, a move privacy advocates warned would ensure President Donald Trump's administration holds on to "terrifying authoritarian surveillance powers."

Evan Greer, deputy director of digital rights group Fight for the Future, highlighted the provision on Twitter shortly after House Democrats released the continuing resolution (pdf), which would temporarily avert a looming government shutdown by providing funding for federal agencies through December 20. A House vote on the measure is expected as early as Tuesday.

"Wow," said Greer. "House Democrats are ignoring civil liberties and including a three month straight re-authorization of the Patriot Act (with zero reform) in the continuing resolution."

"When the Patriot Act's surveillance authorities were initially enacted, they came with a 'sunset' clause to safeguard against the exact scenario where we had an authoritarian, racist, openly fascist president," Greer added. "And yet here we are and top Dems are still supporting reauthorization."

The provision, which appears on the second-to-last page of the funding measure, quickly drew outrage from advocacy groups and vows of opposition from a few House lawmakers.

"Yeah that's gonna be a no from me," tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

Hours later, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) echoed her colleague: "Yeah... no. Count me out."

While the Patriot Act provision received virtually no attention in the media—reporting on the continuing resolution in NPR, Politico, Roll Call, and CNBC did not mention it—advocacy groups ramped up calls for House Democrats to reverse course.

Pelosi doubles down on anti-Russia politics of impeachment inquiry

Interviewed on the “Face the Nation” television program Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reiterated the right-wing basis on which the Democrats are conducting their impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. Speaking on the eve of the second week of public hearings before the House Intelligence Committee, Pelosi once again defined as the sole issue in the Democrats’ case for impeachment the charge that Trump endangered US “national security” and strengthened Russia by withholding military aid from the right-wing nationalist government in Ukraine.

The claim is that Trump engaged in either “bribery” or abuse of power by subordinating support for the regime the US helped install in a fascist-led putsch in 2014 to his personal political interests. ...

The dominant factions of the US intelligence, military and foreign policy establishment consider the Ukrainian regime, which is locked in a war against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, a “front-line” state in the drive to isolate Russia and remove it as an obstacle to US hegemony in the Middle East and Eurasia. They are the driving force behind the Democrats’ effort to either remove Trump from power or force him to adopt a more aggressive policy against Russia.

In the interview, Pelosi said Trump’s posture toward Ukraine “undermines our national security.” Asked to assess the first week of public hearings, in which three currently serving State Department officials attacked Russia as a lawless and aggressive state and denounced the Trump administration’s maneuvers with Kiev, Pelosi said, “I think patriotism has had a good week.” Repeating the recurring charge that in considering Trump’s actions, “All roads lead to Putin,” she said: “Whether it’s giving them a stronger foothold in the Middle East by what [Trump] did with Turkey and Syria. Well, by what [he] did by withholding a grant—withholding aid to military assistance voted by Congress to Ukraine to the benefit of Putin… And with his disparaging remarks about NATO and questioning our commitment to NATO. That’s to Putin’s advantage.”

But even as she all but called Trump a traitor and Russian agent, she reiterated the Democrats’ readiness to collaborate with the White House in implementing a right-wing, anti-working class domestic agenda. Raising the hope of finding “common ground,” she said, “I thought maybe we could work on infrastructure. And I’m still hopeful. I thought we could [work] on reducing the cost of prescription drugs. And I’m still hopeful.” ...

This impeachment is a sordid conflict over US imperialist policy between two right-wing, pro-war factions of the ruling class and the state. Dominant factions within the foreign policy and intelligence establishment consider Trump’s pullback from the belligerent anti-Russia policy of the Obama administration a threat to the global hegemonic aims of the United States, including its preparations for an all-out struggle, potentially including war, with China. All of the real attacks by Trump on democratic rights—the persecution and mass incarceration of immigrants, the defiance of congressional and judicial oversight and arrogation of quasi-dictatorial powers, the glorification of police violence and the encouragement of fascistic and racist forces—are excluded from the Democrats’ operation.

Glenn Greenwald: What impeachment is really all about

Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation

Swedish authorities have discontinued an investigation into a rape allegation against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, after a review of the evidence. The deputy chief prosecutor, Eva-Marie Persson, said the complainant’s evidence was deemed credible and reliable, but that after nearly a decade, witnesses’ memories had faded.

“After conducting a comprehensive assessment of what has emerged during the course of the preliminary investigation I then make the assessment that the evidence is not strong enough to form the basis for filing an indictment,” Persson said. An appeal against the decision could be made to the office of Sweden’s attorney general, she added.

Assange, who is battling extradition to the US, which accuses him of publishing secret documents related to his WikiLeaks work, has been facing potential charges in Sweden since 2010. The 48-year-old has denied all allegations against him. ...

Kristinn Hrafnsson, the WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, said: “Sweden has dropped its preliminary investigation into Mr Assange for the third time, after reopening it without any new evidence or information.

‘He’s been hung out to dry as a warning to others’ - Roger Waters on Assange’s case

Julian Assange appears in court via video link: Legal rights denied by judge

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange attended a procedural hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court in London via video link on Monday. He is required to appear before the court every 28 days in the run-up to US extradition hearings in February. Assange attended from a room in Belmarsh maximum security prison, where he is being held eight weeks after his one-year sentence for “absconding” bail expired on September 22.

Still visibly underweight, he spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth. His father, John Shipton, and WikiLeaks colleagues and supporters watched from the public gallery. A small protest took place outside. When District Judge Vanessa Baraitser, appointed by Chief Magistrate Lady Emma Arbuthnot, asked the prosecution and defence if they had anything to bring before the court, Assange’s lawyer Gareth Peirce explained that her legal team was working “extremely hard on this very challenging case.”

“However,” she continued, “the most important of the impediments that we are facing is Mr Assange’s ability to access what he needs to work on his own case. After months of battle he was provided with a computer, but it is not the sort of computer needed to work on the case.”

In an interview given to the PA news agency, a member of Assange’s legal team explained the computer is unlikely to have Internet access needed to carry out research. The denial of Assange’s legal right to access materials necessary to prepare his own defence—including a computer, case-related documents and members of his legal team—has been raised repeatedly and greeted with contempt by judicial authorities.

On Monday, Baraitser callously replied to Peirce, “as you are aware, I have no jurisdiction over the prison estate.’’ In other words, the British ruling class has no intention of providing even the appearance of a fair trial. Peirce’s comment about the inadequacy of Assange’s computer access is only the latest in a long list of judicial outrages against Assange’s legal and democratic rights.

Trump is systematically ending the viability of a future Palestinian state

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement on Monday – that the US will no longer consider Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories a violation of international law – is, in many ways, a near-perfect encapsulation of the Trump administration’s approach to Israel-Palestine. Couched in grotesque doublespeak, it claims to advance “the cause of peace” while signaling US approval of Israel’s brutal, perpetual military rule over the roughly 3 million Palestinians living in the West Bank. It is part and parcel of the Trump administration’s ongoing, concerted efforts to undermine international legal frameworks for addressing human rights violations (and not just in Israel-Palestine). And it is yet more proof, not that more was needed, that the Trump administration is actively pursuing a post-two-state-solution agenda.

Indeed, for an administration marked by erratic decision-making and sudden reversals, Trump’s has been thoroughly systematic when it comes to ending the viability of a future Palestinian state. This, of course, is no surprise. In a clear harbinger of what was to come, rightwing pro-Israel operatives close to Donald Trump – among them David Friedman, now US ambassador to Israel, and Jason Greenblatt, former special envoy to the Middle East – successfully removed support for a two-state solution from the 2016 Republican party’s platform.

Since its inauguration, the Trump administration has taken draconian measures against key Palestinian institutions, from shuttering the PLO office in Washington to slashing funding to UNRWA, the UN body that distributes vital aid to over 5 million Palestinian refugees across the Arab world. In 2018, the Trump administration moved the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (East Jerusalem, which Israel unilaterally annexed in 1967 and which the international community considers unlawfully occupied, was once intended as the capital of a future Palestinian state.) Last March, President Trump formally recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights – occupied by Israel in 1967 and, in violation of international law, unilaterally annexed in 1981. ...

It would, however, be a mistake to view Pompeo’s announcement as a complete break with US policy precedent. Again, as with so much of what the Trump administration has done over the past several years, this, too, marks less a rupture with the status quo than its unmasking. While the US government has long considered Israeli construction of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories a violation of international law on paper, it has done little to hold Israel’s government meaningfully accountable in practice. ... Not a novelty of the Trump era, this kind of refusal to enforce the overwhelming international legal consensus on Israeli settlements has been a hallmark of US policy on Israel-Palestine. Pompeo’s announcement is, without doubt, a step beyond what previous administrations were willing to consider. But the difference between this decision and previous US decisions to disregard international law is a difference of degree, not kind. ...

Thanks not only to the Trump administration, but also to the consistent inaction on the part of previous US administrations and the empty, ineffectual statements of the European Union, Israeli leaders can be confident that – whatever steps they decide to take towards making an independent Palestine impossible – they will not face serious international consequences. Pompeo’s announcement is simply confirmation of what has long been clear to those paying attention.

Corporate News Repeats CIA Propaganda On Bolivian Coup

Bolivia clashes leave three dead as security forces break fuel blockade

At least three people have been killed and 22 injured after Bolivian police and military forces used armored vehicles and helicopters to unblock access to a major fuel plant that had been blockaded by supporters of former president Evo Morales. Smoke rose from burning tyres and a military helicopter was seen flying over the area near the the Senkata gas plant on Tuesday, after security forces ended the blockade which had cut off fuel supply to nearby La Paz. ...

In what it said was an attempt to restore calm, Bolivia’s congress, controlled by lawmakers from Morales’s Movement for Socialism (Mas), said on Tuesday it would cancel a contentious vote in the legislature that had been expected to reject Morales’s resignation. The vote would be suspended “to create and contribute to an environment conducive to dialogue and peace”, the legislative assembly said in a statement, citing instructions from the new senate head and Mas lawmaker, Mónica Eva Copa Murga.

A meeting ahead of the vote, originally planned for Tuesday evening, had been scheduled to discuss plans for a new election as well as the resignation of Morales, who is currently in Mexico, where he sought asylum. The Mas party holds a majority in the congress and could have voted to reject his resignation, potentially creating duelling claims on the country’s leadership and raising pressure on Áñez. ...

Juan Carlos Huarachi, the head of the powerful Bolivian Workers’ Center union and once a staunch Morales backer, called on lawmakers to find a resolution. “Our only priority is to bring peace to the country,” he told reporters.

Evo Morales Says 32-Year-Old Senator Is Bolivia’s Rightful President

A 32-year-old senator from Bolivia’s majority socialist party should be the nation’s president, ousted leader Evo Morales said in an interview.

Monica Eva Copa, from Morales’s MAS party, was elected leader by the Senate last week. Morales says that makes her the legal head of state, rather than Jeanine Anez, whose claim to be interim president has been recognized by the U.S. and Brazil. Anez and her backers have begun an aggressive remaking of the nation’s foreign policy to align it with the programs of conservative leaders such as Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and Chile’s Sebastian Pinera.

Anez “has no constitutional right” to occupy the office, Morales told Bloomberg News in Mexico City on Monday. “The people don’t recognize her, and that’s why there are so many demonstrations.” ...

Anez and her allies should be investigated for the deaths of protesters, which amount to “genocide” Morales said.

After Morales fled to Mexico, Anez declared herself Senate leader in a session of congress boycotted by Morales’s allies, who have a majority in both houses. Both Anez and Monica Eva Copa claim to be the Senate leader who, under the constitution, would become president when the regular president and vice president are absent. ...

Morales said he won’t take part in the upcoming elections, and would turn down the candidacy even if offered.

Bolivia coup: Lithium, natural gas, and leaked recordings showing help from US, Brazil, Colombia

Hong Kong Protesters Escaped a Besieged Campus by Crawling Through Underground Tunnels and Climbing Down Overpasses

More than 100 pro-democracy protesters made daring escapes from a Hong Kong university campus besieged by police Monday night, crawling through narrow underground tunnels or climbing from overpasses and fleeing on waiting motorbikes. ...

Police blocked all exits from the campus Sunday in an attempt to clear an occupation by pro-democracy protesters, and met fierce resistance from activists. Police called on those inside to give themselves up, but as the protesters face potential criminal charges of rioting, which carries a maximum 10-year-sentence, many have tried to flee the blockade instead. ...

About 600 of those who were unable to escape surrendered to police overnight, according to authorities. About 200 were released because they were under 18 — although they could face charges in the future — and the remaining 400 were placed under arrest.

That left about 100 protesters still holed up inside PolyU Tuesday, as a large police presence remained outside. On Tuesday, in her first public remarks since the PolyU crisis began over the weekend, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam called for a peaceful resolution, saying that she hoped the last stand of the protesters would play out without further violence. ...

Pro-democracy protesters began their occupation of the university last week as part of a wider push for a citywide strike and class boycott, using it as a base to launch actions including a blockade of the nearby entrance to a key cross-harbor motorway tunnel. Police responded with an operation Sunday to clear the campus, sealing all routes in and out, and violent clashes erupted, with protesters using Molotov cocktails, catapults, and bows and arrows, and police firing rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons.

Johnson, Corbyn face off in first election debate

Heh, the U.S. electoral clown show has serious competition:

Election debate: Johnson and Corbyn clash over NHS future

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn have clashed over which of them is best placed to safeguard the NHS if they win the general election, with the Labour leader accusing the prime minister of being ready to sell it off to US corporations. In a testy live debate on ITV, during which the prime minister repeatedly returned to the claim that he would “get Brexit done”, both men lavished praise on the NHS, but Corbyn said Johnson would put it up for sale.

Throughout the debate, Johnson continually tried to bring the focus back to Brexit, on which Corbyn repeatedly declined to say how he would campaign in a second EU referendum, while the Labour leader attacked the prime minister over the NHS and public services.

At one point, the audience openly laughed at Johnson when he agreed that the truth mattered in the election. The Conservatives came under fire during the debate when it rebranded its CCHQ Twitter account as “factcheckUK” and used it to pump out a series of pro-Tory messages. ...

Afterwards, senior Tory and Labour figures did battle in the spin room over who won the debate, claiming the audience was laughing loudest at their political opponents.

Officials Decry Trump’s Pressure on Ukraine to Probe Bidens

The Moment The Impeachment Hearing Unraveled

The Trump-Loving 'Patriot' Who Threatened to Kill Ilhan Omar Is Facing 10 Years in Prison

A self-described “patriot” pleaded guilty Monday to threatening to shoot U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, in the “fucking skull.”

Patrick Carlineo, 55, could face up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines after pleading guilty to the threat-related charges in a Rochester, New York, court Monday, according to the Associated Press. Carlineo was arrested in April on allegations that he called the Democrat’s offices in March, called the Minnesota congresswoman a terrorist, and finally threatened to put a “bullet in her fucking skull.” He then spelled his name and offered his contact information to the office. ...

Carlineo’s attorney told the Associated Press, however, that he never actually intended to harm Omar and never made plans to do so.

Instead, Carlineo told investigators that he loved President Donald Trump, hated Muslims, and considered himself a patriot, according to a criminal complaint. He believed Omar was working for Hamas and that her election was illegitimate.

Ilhan Omar pleads for compassion for man who threatened her life

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has a message for the judge who will decide the fate of the man who threatened to kill her: she wants restorative justice. ... In a letter to Judge Frank Geraci, who will decide on the case, Omar pleaded for compassion for Carlineo. ...

“As someone who fled a war zone, I know how destabilizing acts of political violence can be. That his threat of violence relied on hateful stereotypes about my faith only made it more dangerous … It was a threat against an entire religion, at a time of rising hate crime against religious minorities in our country,” she said.

Noting that those who commit acts of violence have often been victims of alienation and neglect themselves, Omar said that compassion, not retribution, might be the only way to rehabilitate him:

“We must ask: who are we as a nation if we respond to acts of political retribution with retribution ourselves? The answer to hate is not more hate; it is compassion,” she wrote.

Omar suggested that community integration and social services would serve Carlineo better than a long prison sentence or a hefty fine. If convicted, his alleged crime could carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

2 Epstein Guards Admit They Didn't Check on Him. They Were Allegedly Shopping and Napping.

Two federal prison officers tasked with guarding Jeffrey Epstein the night he hanged himself were charged Tuesday with falsely claiming they’d checked on inmates — when, instead, they allegedly spent much of the night doing some online shopping and, apparently, napping.

The officers, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, are facing multiple charges, including counts of conspiracy and making false records, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced. They’re the first people to be charged from a criminal investigation into Epstein’s death, and may spend years in prison. ...

Noel and Thomas were the only officers assigned to the Special Housing Unit from about midnight to 8 a.m. on August 10, the morning Epstein died, according to the indictment. During that time, they were supposed to check on the inmates at 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. as part of institution-wide “round,” as well as take a round of the Special Housing Unit every 30 minutes.

They did not, according to the indictment. Instead, they allegedly sat at the corrections officers’ desk — just about 15 feet away from Epstein’s cell — moved around the common area, and used the computers. Noel searched for furniture sales, while Thomas looked up motorcycle sales and sports news, according to the indictment. For about two hours, they also sat without moving at their desks — as if they were asleep, investigators say.

the horse race

'What Momentum Looks Like': Sanders Becomes Fastest Presidential Candidate in History to Reach 4 Million Individual Donations

Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign announced Tuesday morning that it reached four million individual contributions faster than any presidential candidate in history, a milestone the campaign touted as evidence that the Vermont senator is surging with less than 80 days to go before the Iowa caucuses.

"This is what momentum looks like," Faiz Shakir, Sanders' campaign manager, said in a statement.

"Working class Americans across the country are chipping in $3, $18, $27, or whatever they can to help elect Bernie Sanders," Shakir added, "because they know he is the only candidate who will fight for them and take on corporate greed and corruption."

The Sanders campaign said it did not reach four million individual contributions in 2016 until after the New Hampshire primary in February.

Will Bernie Sanders seize on breakout moment in Debate Night 5

'Disqualifying': Buttigieg Faces Backlash for Praising Right-Wing Tea Party Movement in Resurfaced 2010 Video

South Bend, Indiana Mayor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is facing backlash over a resurfaced video from 2010 in which he offered words of praise for the right-wing Tea Party movement and expressed a desire to find common ground.

During an October 2010 forum in Indiana hosted by the Tea Party-affiliated group Citizens for Common Sense, Buttigieg—then a candidate for Indiana state treasurer—told the audience that "there's some, especially in my party, who think the Tea Party's a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party."

"But there are many others who believe that the Tea Party's motivated by real concerns about the direction of our government, and the responses of our government to citizens," Buttigieg said. "And above all a frustration with business as usual. That is what motivated me to run. And so while we may come from often very different perspectives, I believe we might find that we have a lot in common."


Buttigieg's remarks went viral Monday night after self-described progressive activist Ryan Knight and others posted a clip of the 2010 speech on Twitter.

"Here's Pete Buttigieg speaking at a Tea Party event during Obama's presidency and praising them for their concerns about the 'direction' of the country," Knight tweeted. "The Tea Party is the racist movement that rose up after Obama was elected. This video is disqualifying." ...

Sean Savett, rapid response communications director for the Buttigieg presidential campaign, pushed back Monday night against criticism of the South Bend mayor's remarks. "Pete's comments in this video are nearly identical to what President Obama said about the Tea Party's concerns three weeks later," Savett tweeted. "They're also similar to what [former] Vice President [Joe] Biden said earlier that year."

On Eve of NBC-Hosted Debate, Sanders, Warren, Harris, and Booker Join Call for Network to Allow Outside Probe of Sexual Violence

Expressing concern that the Democratic Party has not clearly aligned itself with survivors rather than corporate entities which protect and enable people accused of abuse, four presidential candidates on Monday called on NBC and its parent company Comcast to commit to an independent investigation into the network's "toxic culture"—including reports of sexual violence—before Wednesday's Democratic primary debate.

Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) demanded of Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez that the party's leadership pressure NBC into opening a thorough probe into "the toxic culture that enabled abusers and silenced survivors."

"Donald Trump has been credibly accused of sexual harassment and sexual abuse by dozens of women," the senators wrote. "We, as a party, have to offer voters a clear and unquestionable difference come November when it comes to these important issues. We cannot do that when we prop up and support companies that have systematically covered up numerous incidents of sexual violence with no accountability or changes of leadership."

The letter was coordinated by women's advocacy group UltraViolet, which has for weeks demanded an outside investigation into NBC leadership's alleged cover-up of longtime anchor Matt Lauer's sexual misconduct and other credible claims of the company's toxic culture.

the evening greens

Nearly all America's endangered species will struggle to adapt to climate crisis

The climate crisis is poised to deliver a severe blow to America’s most threatened animals, with a new study finding that almost every species considered endangered is vulnerable in some way to global heating. Of the 459 animal species listed as endangered by the US government, researchers found that all but one, or 99.8%, have characteristics that will make it difficult for them to adapt to rising temperatures.

An array of threats faces these species. The California condor, once close to being completely wiped out, faces increased risk of contamination in hotter conditions. Key deer, found only in the Florida Keys, face losing habitat to the rising seas. Whole classes of animals including amphibians, mollusks and arthropods are sensitive to the greatest number of climate-related threats, such as changes in water quality, shifting seasons and harmful invasive species that move in as temperatures climb.

Mammals, such as the north Atlantic right whale and Florida panther, also face increased hardships, albeit on fewer fronts than amphibians, mollusks and arthropods.

Despite the overwhelming peril faced by America’s endangered species due to the climate crisis, the report, published in Nature Climate Change, found a patchy response from the US government. Federal agencies consider just 64% of endangered species to be threatened by the climate crisis, while just 18% of listed species have protection plans in place.

Regardless of Party, Poll Shows 66% of Key Early State Voters Support 'Ending Production of Fossil Fuels'

Two-thirds of likely voters in the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina support "ending the production of fossil fuels," according to a survey released Tuesday by Greenpeace.

The poll also found that of the voters who favor ending fossil fuel production, 50 percent support ceasing production "immediately." Fifty-five percent of early primary state voters, regardless of party affiliation, support a government jobs guarantee for those displaced by the transition to a fossil fuel-free economy, according to the survey.

"We already know that climate change is a key issue for voters in this race," Greenpeace USA climate campaigner Jack Shapiro said in a statement on the poll, which was conducted by Civis Analytics on behalf of Greenpeace.

"These results show that there is public support for a steadfast leader who is willing to take on the fossil fuel industry—so candidates shouldn't be afraid to put forth progressive policies," said Shapiro. "Voters expect the next president to listen to what the science demands, and say yes to a Green New Deal and no to fossil fuels."

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is the only 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to call for a moratorium on all new oil and gas projects as part of his sweeping climate agenda, which includes a Green New Deal.

Climate Groups Applaud Newsom's Temporary Fracking Ban in California, But Say Other 'Critical Next Steps' Still Needed

Anti-fracking advocates were cautiously optimistic Tuesday after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a moratorium on fracking in the state and new steps to mitigate the disastrous public health effects that extractive industries have on communities. ...

Newsom announced that, along with the fracking lease moratorium, the state would also commission an independent audit of regulators tasked with overseeing the oil and gas industries and would have federal scientists conduct third-party reviews of all drilling lease requests going forward.

The state will also strengthen protections for communities near oil and gas wells.

"These are necessary steps to strengthen oversight of oil and gas extraction as we phase out our dependence on fossil fuels and focus on clean energy sources," Newsom said.

The governor's response to years of anti-fracking campaigning in California shows "that the future of climate leadership means saying 'no' to the fossil fuel industry's dreams of endless expansion," said Stephen Kretzmann, executive director at Oil Change International.

"As the world's fifth-largest economy and home to substantial fossil fuel extraction, California has a responsibility to model a just transition away from fossil fuels in line with the scale of action needed to address our climate crisis," Kretzmann said. "Phasing out existing extraction that's too close to communities, stopping all new permits that expand drilling, and investing adequate resources to ensure nobody is left behind in the transition to a renewable economy are critical next steps."

Oil Change International and other groups emphasized, however, that a full ban on fracking is needed.

"Since Governor Newsom took office, thousands of new drilling permits have been issued," said Alexandra Nagy, California state director for Food and Water Action. "We urge Governor Newsom to immediately institute a complete ban on fracking, stop issuing new drilling permits—which have been increasing under his administration—and use his executive authority to protect communities across the state now."

While Tuesday's announcement certainly represents progress, said Nagy, "much more should be done to address oil and gas issues in California."

Also of Interest

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

The OAS Lied to the Public About the Bolivian Election and Coup

Donald Trump has dragged America's global reputation to an all-time low

Fascists R Us: Trump and Pompeo Deny That Israeli Squatting on Palestinian Land Is Illegal

In Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskiy Must Tread Carefully or May End up Facing Another Maidan Uprising

How local 'fake news' websites spread 'conservative propaganda' in the US

Tortured by CIA and Detained at Gitmo Without Trial, Ahmed Rabbani Gives Haunting Review of 'The Report'—a New Film He'll Likely Never See

Now That Assange Is Safely Locked Up, Sweden Drops Its “Investigation”

Record Inequality and Corporate Profits Are What Media Call a ‘Strong Economy’

Man sues Burger King for cooking vegan burger and meat on same grill

A Little Night Music

Pops Staples - Somebody Was Watching

The Staple Singers - I'll Take You There

The Staple Singers - Color Me Higher

The Band w/The Staples - The Weight

Pops Staples & The Staple Singers - This May Be The Last Time

Pops Staples - Hope In A Hopeless World

The Staple Singers - Boogie For The Blues

Pops Staples - No News Is Good News

Pops Staples - World In Motion

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Raggedy Ann's picture

Here's a great video from The Canary about the 10 times Corbyn won the debate.

Here's the video from the event Mark from Queens attended last night in NYC. 2 hours but worth every minute!

Have a beautiful evening, folks! Pleasantry

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"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

thanks for the canary video. it sounds like corbyn made strong points that should resonate with a lot of folks in the debate with the tory clown.

have a great evening!

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Dawn's Meta's picture

@Raggedy Ann I do wonder if not offering the NHS for sale to American corporations, i.e. privatization of the National Healthcare System would be consistent with the EU positions, should the referendum be held and the remainers win.

That's been one of the big beefs among let's leave in several EU member countries: setting labor practices within a country; setting environmental regulations (fight Monsanto/Bayer); fighting corporate takeover of public services and institutions; oh, and austerity.

These are the big ticket items for Greece, Spain, France and others in the EU.

I do like Corbyn's roadmap to a referendum though.

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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.

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

Sean Savett, rapid response communications director for the Buttigieg presidential campaign, pushed back Monday night against criticism of the South Bend mayor's remarks. "Pete's comments in this video are nearly identical to what President Obama said about the Tea Party's concerns three weeks later," Savett tweeted. "They're also similar to what [former] Vice President [Joe] Biden said earlier that year."

Savett says that like it's a good thing.

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The current working assumption appears to be that our Shroedinger's Cat system is still alive. But what if we all suspect it's not, and the real problem is we just can't bring ourselves to open the box?

joe shikspack's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

heh, yep, if you're going to set your moral compass by the actions of obama and biden, you're setting the bar too low for any decent american.

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mimi's picture

Tonight's silly thought though I think is special.

Listening to the piece of 'Pops Staples - Nobody's Fault But Mine', I imagined all of the sudden the whole US Congress and Senate would sing that song. I just couldn't get this idea out of my head. Well, as you can see, I am tired and will now catch some sleep to be awake enough to follow the debate early morning my time.

I also started to watch the video Mark posted about the event in NYC Propaganda Panel at Community Church of NYC on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. It is long and I got 1/3 through
and thought it worth to go back to it later.

Thanks for the EB. Speaking of changing times twice a year from ST to DST in Germany together with conversing with people from HI to NZ and every place in between is definitely very bad for my health.


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“Trauma is not what happens to you.
Trauma is what happens inside you,
as a result of what happens to you.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

joe shikspack's picture


your silly thought is certainly a compelling one. my silly thought is hillary clinton singing it. ouch, i bet that would leave a mark. Smile

i don't know how you manage to live in so many time zones. i have gradually changed my schedule so that most often i don't fall asleep before the west coast folks take a crack at commenting in the eb. it kind of works for me because as the song goes, i like to sleep late in the morning. have a good one!

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snoopydawg's picture

Congress just ticked off China by supporting the Hong Kong protestors. Good luck getting the trade deals back on track.

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"It is remarkable that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process."

Hillary: "I'd be president today if Comey, Bernie, Bros and Putin hadn't stolen it from me."

Pricknick's picture

at the thought that many people believe that china can't live without exports to and from america.
It will hurt them but it will not slow them down much. Common americans are in for a rude awakening when the cost increase to replace imports from china hits. Then there are exports.
We will all pay for the inability of farmers to find a large market externally. Bailouts galore. On top of that, there is serious consideration to increasing the amount of corn ethanol allowed in motor vehicle gas.
When do we start win-winning?

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

joe shikspack's picture


china has been up there on the list of the mic for quite a while, but other stupid wars that they have gotten mired in have kept them from it. obama tried to "pivot to asia," i.e. get our war on with china, but just couldn't focus on it. so he settled for insulting putin and ramping up a nazi brushfire in ukraine.

don't worry, one of these days the mic will get the wars they've always dreamed of.

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snoopydawg's picture

Reuters blames Trump for what happened on Obama's watch

But still worth asking why this is still happening. So many reports on how changed the kids are when they are reunited with their parents. I couldn't go to daytime summer camp because I got home sick. I can't imagine what it's like for both the kids and their parents during their separation.

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"It is remarkable that a sitting president would express less than complete confidence in the American democracy’s electoral process."

Hillary: "I'd be president today if Comey, Bernie, Bros and Putin hadn't stolen it from me."

joe shikspack's picture


well that's a big oops. of course they could do a little more investigative reporting on the refugees that are currently being barred from a safe, secure, dignified life by the trump administration.

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Azazello's picture

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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 --

@Azazello I bow to the greatness of his defense attorneys, and to his bravery and his actions!
That actually teared me up, Azazello!

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joe shikspack's picture


excellent! thanks for the report!

i hope that warren will escape jail time for his misdemeanor charge.

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enhydra lutris's picture

provide funding for historically black colleges and universities, provoking an oh so concerned Pelosi to say

“It is profoundly disappointing and deeply shameful that the Senate GOP has yet again turned their back on America’s young people and these historic institutions,”

even while she and her Dem accomplices were turning their back on the entire citizenry of the country and the Constitution itself. Talk about misdirection.

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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

isn't it amazing how much print that these buffoons can elicit just by pointing their fingers at each other?

what a waste of time and attention.

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Shahryar's picture

as soon as she started talking with his question I bristled. Now why is Amy Klobuchar the 2nd to be asked something?

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joe shikspack's picture


unfortunately i can't seem to get a livestream that doesn't hose my browser, but i guess i'll see clips tonight or tomorrow.

i'm sure that now that liz has capitulated to the clintonite billionaire class and all but promised not to give more than lip service to medicare for all, she will get lots of exposure time to sell the product.

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Shahryar's picture

as of 20 after


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Shahryar's picture

and since Tulsi rebutted her well they had to go back to Harris...

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appreciate the news and blues.

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joe shikspack's picture


have a great evening!

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and thanks, so much for doing this, joe shikspack.
As regards that border guy that got a not guilty.
I cannot stress enough that a "not guilty" verdict is as rare as a lightning strike up your ass. In 33 years, I have only gotten about 30.
I am pretty much packed for my trip to Guatemala for the Thanksgiving holiday.
I will sit on my terrace at the Barceló Hotel in Guatemala City. Wifi will connect. I will be drinking Gallo beer, having a damn blast for 3 days.
Hope your holiday will be pleasant and downright joyous.

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joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

hmmm... odd juxtaposition of rarities there. i mean, i'm kinda glad about the rarity of lightning strikes up the wazoo, but not so much about well-deserved not guilty verdicts. Smile

have a great time in guatemala!

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@joe shikspack are as rare as lightning stricking.......
Even the famous and current Texas Death Row guy who got an execution stay last week...
It is like some anomaly that anyone receives a "not guilty" verdict from a jury. The jurors are from the State, of the State, depend of the State, and all prosecutors are representatives for the State, and defense attorneys are there for the accused.
Tough, depressing, arduous task to fight all this.
I stopped doing court appointed defense 20 years ago, and if anyone wants to hire me, ok. That said, certain judges with certain cases will call me, ask if I will take the cases, assure me I will have my bill ok'ed.
Like, animal abuse. I am known for raising animals. I have spent years doing pro bono work for Houston Humane Society.
Or something with racial aspects.
I will accept those cases.
And I want to go to Guatemala and not think about ANY of this for 3 or 4 days.

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mimi's picture

about the not guilty verdict ...

451: Unavailable due to legal reasons

We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time. For any issues, contact or call 800-695-4492.

Boy, should I waste my money on an 800-695-4492 call? What a shitty union I must be part of.

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“Trauma is not what happens to you.
Trauma is what happens inside you,
as a result of what happens to you.”
— Dr. Gabor Maté

joe shikspack's picture


here's an alternative article that you should be able to access. your eu government is trying to protect you from rapacious american surveillance capitalists. probably a good thing.

Arizona activist who gave migrant humanitarian aid acquitted in second trial

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