The Evening Blues - 1-14-20



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Billy "The Kid" Emerson

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features r&b singer and songwriter Billy "The Kid" Emerson. Enjoy!

Billy ´The Kid´ Emerson - Do Yourself a Favor

"Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor."

-- Thomas Jefferson


News and Opinion

Scranton working class man of the people, my ass. In a party of decent people (who have not been paying attention to Biden for 40 years), this article would mean the death of Biden's campaign. Worth a full read.

Fact Check: Joe Biden Has Advocated Cutting Social Security for 40 Years

As early as 1984 and as recently as 2018, former Vice President Joe Biden called for cuts to Social Security in the name of saving the program and balancing the federal budget. Last week, Sen. Bernie Sanders highlighted Biden’s record on Social Security in prosecuting the case that Biden isn’t the most electable candidate. The issue could be raised again in Tuesday night’s debate.

After a Sanders campaign newsletter continued the attack on Biden’s Social Security record, the Biden campaign complained to fact-checkers at Politifact that his comments were being taken out of context. Placed in context, however, Biden’s record on Social Security is far worse than one offhand remark. Indeed, Biden has been advocating for cuts to Social Security for roughly 40 years.

And after a Republican wave swept Congress in 1994, Biden’s support for cutting Social Security, and his general advocacy for budget austerity, made him a leading combatant in the centrist-wing battle against the party’s retreating liberals in the 1980s and ’90s. ...


What Biden was expressing was a common sentiment among the centrist faction of the party in the 1980s and ’90s — the belief that old tax-and-spend liberals were out, and that a type of “New Democrat” was needed, one who understood the necessity of fiscal restraint. Cutting spending was the only way, he argued, to salvage what was left of the Great Society and New Deal. The mentality of Biden-style Democrats — that the best the party could do was play defense — was dominant for a generation; it’s now being fundamentally challenged not just in the presidential campaign but in congressional primaries across the country.

Biden himself, at least on his campaign website, now supports making Social Security more generous, not less. But that’s at odds with decades of his own advocacy, a record that could become a major political liability among voters concerned Biden will finally get his wish to trim back Social Security checks. Because about half of black seniors on Social Security rely on it as their primary means of support, any trimming of the program hits those beneficiaries particularly hard.

Crisis for Iran may present an opportunity for Washington

Donald Trump hailed footage of Tehran students refusing to walk over a US flag as “big progress”, but there is little sign his administration is prepared to offer more than verbal encouragement to what the US president called “wonderful Iranian protesters”. ...

The general revulsion that Iran’s rulers shot down a plane with 176 passengers and then attempted to lie to the world about it has triggered a crisis of legitimacy for the government on top of economic protests that have spread across the country since November. In another striking sign of the change in mood, a former anchor for Iranian state television said she would never return to the role, writing in an Instagram post: “Forgive me for the 13 years I told you lies.”

The dramatic crisis for Tehran may present an opportunity for Washington, but it is not clear the Trump administration is ready to seize it by adapting any of its own policies. In his triumphant tweet on Monday, Trump did not mention that Beheshti University, and by extension the students he was lionising, were subject to US sanctions as part of the US campaign of economic suffocation of the country. Or that those students or any other ordinary Iranians are prevented from visiting the US under Trump’s travel ban, a prohibition that has split many Iranian families. ...

NBC News reported on Monday that Trump had given preliminary assent to the assassination of Revolutionary Guard general Qassem Suleimani in June last year. That followed Iran’s downing of a US drone as Tehran lashed out against the US oil embargo and sought to disrupt the flow of oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. The assassination order, according to NBC, was urged on the president by administration hawks, secretary of state Mike Pompeo and then national security adviser, John Bolton, but Trump said he would only carry out an attack if the Iranians killed Americans. That threshold was crossed at the end of December when a US contractor was killed in a rocket attack on an Iraqi base by an Iranian-backed Shia militia.

The revelation further undermines administration claims that the killing of Suleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad was carried out to prevent imminent attacks on US embassies.

Trump no longer cares if Soleimani was imminent threat to US or not

After Days of Claiming Soleimani Posed "Imminent" Threat to US, Trump Finally Declares "It Doesn't Really Matter"

After NBC News reported that President Donald Trump approved the assassination of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani last June—undercutting administration claims that Soleimani was targeted for a drone strike because of an immediate threat—the president claimed his rationale for unilaterally killing a foreign leader was irrelevant if he deemed the assassination necessary.

Trump concluded several tweets about his impeachment, the 2020 presidential campaign, and other topics by reiterating his administration's claim that Soleimani posed an "imminent" threat to the U.S., but added that "it doesn’t really matter because of his horrible past."


"In one tweet, Trump is blowing apart his administration's rationale for killing Soleimani," tweeted Washington Post national intelligence reporter Shane Harris.

Administration officials have spent more than a week making various claims about the danger Soleimani posed, including that he was plotting to bomb U.S. embassies—a claim with Defense Secretary Mark Esper wouldn't confirm on record Sunday. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo openly mocked reports from Iraq's prime minister that Soleimani was in Baghdad at the time of his killing to discuss easing tensions with Saudi Arabia.

On social media, some observers wrote that Trump's phrasing of his tweet on Monday could be applied to many of his decisions and his treatment of the truth. "It doesn't really matter," tweeted MSNBC political analyst Richard Stengel. "He's not saying that just about Soleimani, but about the truth. Those who lie for Trump are then undercut by him."

Trump's "WMD" Scandal? Was the Charge of "Imminent" Soleimani Attack Just Made Up?

The Trump administration’s claims that it assassinated Gen. Qasem Soleimani because he posed an imminent threat to American lives and was coming to Baghdad to launch an immediate attack the US embassy there have fallen apart. Commentators are suggesting that the “imminent threat” argument is the equivalent for the Trump administration of the “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD) claim of the Bush administration in the run-up to the Iraq War. Trump himself and figures in his administration such as secretary of defense Mark Esper have repeatedly failed to provide any evidence of the imminence of any threat.

It is easy to demonize Soleimani in the US, since he certainly was an enemy of US interests in the Middle East for much of his career. But he does not appear to have killed or had killed any Americans at all in the past decade, and from 2015 because of the UN Security Council nuclear deal with Iran, Soleimani was not an adversary of the US in recent years. In fact, he was often a de facto ally and the US Air Force gave him air support at Tikrit and elsewhere in the campaign against ISIL (ISIS, Daesh). In fact, for a while there Soleimani was fighting ISIL and al-Qaeda-linked militias in Syria in tacit alliance with the Kurds supported by the United States at a time when Israel allied with an al-Qaeda affiliate in the Golan Heights.

Moreover, the entire narrative of the Trump administration was undermined by Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdelmahdi, who told Parliament on Jan. 5 when he asked its members to kick out the US military, that he had personally invited Soleimani to Baghdad as part of a back-channel set of negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Iran aimed at cooling down tensions between the two. Soleimani did not sneak into Iraq on a covert mission. He flew on a commercial jet and went through passport control with his diplomatic passport.

While an attempt was made to invade the US embassy on the Wednesday before Soleimani’s arrival, that was done by members of the Iraqi militia, the Kata’ib Hizbullah, who were angry that on December 30, the Trump administration bombed its bases in northern Iraq and killed some two dozen of its fighters. Trump blamed Kata’ib Hizbullah for a rocket attack on a base at Kirkuk that killed an American contractor. It is murky in open, unclassified sources whether Kata’ib Hizbullah actually fired those rockets. Nor is there any evidence in open sources that Soleimani ordered the Iraqi militia to so act. US intelligence may have signals intelligence to that effect, but since Soleimani is dead, they should share that at least with the Gang of Eight in Congress if they have it. For all we know, a foreign government hostile to the Iraqi Shiite militias and to Iran passed this allegation over to Trump as a false flag to manipulate him, and he swallowed the bait. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Israelis would all have a motivation to behave this way and their close military and intelligence ties with Washington would make them credible if they wanted to run such a scam on the naive and gullible Trump.

The assassination of Qassem Suleimani and the criminalization of US state policy

On Sunday, the New York Times published a detailed account, based on high-level sources within the US government, of the Trump administration’s decision to murder Iranian Gen. Qassem Suleimani on January 3, 2020. The Times report makes clear that, far from being a spur-of-the-minute decision by Trump, the murder of Suleimani had broad support within the executive branch and the intelligence agencies, which had planned this crime for the past 18 months. The account implicates former National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and CIA Director Gina Haspel in advocating and plotting the murder.

The Times report presents a picture of a criminal state, in which the most flagrant violations of the law are treated as routine. It is a testament to the degree to which US foreign policy has been criminalized after nearly two decades of the “war on terror.” This noramlization of illegality extends to the press. The tone of the Times report is that of an adventure story. There is not a hint of a critcial attitude toward the flagrantly criminal character of the actions it describes. The word "legal," or any variant of it, simply does not appear in the body of the text.

The article makes clear that the Trump administration’s motives for murdering Suleimani had nothing to do with a supposedly “imminent” threat, as claimed by White House officials. Rather, the United States wanted to retaliate against Suleimani for a series of US policy setbacks for which the American state held him responsible. ... Just days before he was killed, Suleimani met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah in Lebanon. Nasrallah warned him, according to the Times, “that the American news media was focusing on him and publishing his photograph.” The newspaper quotes Nasrallah as saying, “This was media and political preparation for his assassination.”

In the days leading up to the strike, CIA Director Gina Haspel advocated for the murder, according to the Times, arguing that “the consequences of not striking General Suleimani were more dangerous than waiting.” ... Among the most revealing elements of the report is the following sentence: “He [Trump] told some associates that he wanted to preserve the support of Republican hawks in the Senate in the coming impeachment trial.” In other words, if the Times’ account is true, domestic political calculations played a significant role in this crime. Assassination violates the US Constitution and US law, as well as international law.

Ex-Bush official: OPCW's Syria cover-up recalls Iraq war lies

GOP Debate on Impeachment Witnesses Intensifies as Pelosi Prepares to Send Articles to Senate

Trump to drop labeling China a currency manipulator, report says

The Trump administration is preparing to drop charges that China has been unfairly manipulating its currency as the two economic superpowers move closer to a trade deal.

The decision to drop the designation, first reported by Fox Business News, comes ahead of the announcement of a trade deal between the two sides, expected on Wednesday. The trade dispute has rocked US manufacturing and caused an economic slowdown in China.

The treasury department is expected to release its currency report on Monday afternoon, its first public analysis since the US labeled Beijing a “currency manipulator” last August.

That designation, the first the US had made against China since 1994, escalated the long-running trade dispute between the two countries with Beijing accusing the US of “deliberately destroying international order” and undermining world stability.

In Oakland, empty houses outnumber unhoused people 4 to 1

'Heat islands': racist housing policies in US linked to deadly heatwave exposure

Deadly urban heatwaves disproportionately affect underserved neighbourhoods because of the legacy of racist housing policies which have denied African Americans home ownership and basic public services, a landmark new study has found.

Extreme heat kills hundreds of people in the US every year – more than any other hazardous weather event, including hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Heatwaves have been occurring more frequently since the mid-20th century, and are expected to become more common, more severe and longer-lasting due to the climate crisis.

However, exposure to extreme heat is unequal: temperatures in different neighborhoods within the same city can vary by 20F. It is mostly lower-income households and communities of color who live in these urban “heat islands” which have historically had fewer green spaces and tree canopy, and more concrete and pavements and thus are less equipped to cope with the mounting effects of global heating.

This new study reveals how current temperature disparities echo the legacy of past racially motivated town planning. Urban neighborhoods denied municipal services and support for home ownership during the mid-20th century are now the hottest areas in 94% of the 108 cities analysed by researchers at Portland State University and the Science Museum of Virginia.

“This systematic pattern suggests a woefully negligent planning system that hyper-privileges richer and whiter communities,” said Vivek Shandas, professor of urban studies and planning at Portland State University who authors the paper. The study, published today in the journal Climate, is the first to examine the link between historical housing policies to disproportionate exposure to current deadly heatwaves.



the horse race



What was that noise? Did a gauntlet just drop?

Ocasio-Cortez's Revolt Against DCCC 'Exactly What We Need' Say Progressive Democrats

For bucking a key arm of the Democratic Party establishment that has stood in the way of attracting and supporting progressive candidates, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) received applause over the weekend after she announced the launch of a new political action committee designed to directly challenge the power of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee by helping insurgent, left-leaning challengers like herself take on both Republican incumbents and centrist Democrats.

"The rumors are true," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Saturday. "Today we're announcing the Courage to Change PAC—and we need your help. We are pushing the envelope in D.C. by rewarding those who reject lobbyist money, fight for working families, and welcome newcomers." ...

HuffPost's Daniel Marans, the first to report on the new PAC, noted:

Ocasio-Cortez is taking steps to mount an independent political operation capable of rivaling the establishment party organs with which she has jousted. The mere creation of a PAC to support other candidates - an entity commonly known as a "leadership PAC" - is typically the type of endeavor limited to members of party leadership or other seasoned members of Congress.

The PAC expands her reach in more tangible ways as well. A PAC allows her to contribute a larger figure to candidates than she otherwise would be able to give. Candidates can give only up to $2,000 a year from their own campaign to another candidate per election cycle, but PACs can contribute up to $5,000 per election cycle. Since the primary and the general elections are considered separate cycles, she can transfer $10,000 to a candidate from the start of a primary to the close of a general election.

The move by the first-term congresswoman, a project rumored to be underway for months, is a bold challenge to the DCCC which angered many progressive lawmakers and activists when it announced last year a blacklist effort against campaign consulting firms and others who worked against its preferred candidates.  In addition to launching the new PAC, Ocasio-Cortez is also withholding her annual $250,000 dues to the DCCC and explained why in a Friday afternoon tweet:


In an interview with Fox News, Ocasio-Cortez further defended her decision by saying, "I don't see the sense in giving a quarter-million dollars to an organization that has clearly told people like me that we're not welcome." ...

The Washington Post reported Sunday afternoon that Courage to Change had raised more than $150,000 after approximately 24 hours of fundraising, money that would go directly to help progressive House candidates in the 2020 primaries and general election.

Bernie, Biden, and Warren Are Finally Fighting Over Something Real

The race took a bitter turn over the weekend over the 2003 vote to authorize war in Iraq: Former Vice President Joe Biden voted for it, and Sen. Bernie Sanders was against. Biden’s campaign accused Sanders of misrepresenting then-Senator Biden’s vote to authorize the war, arguing it didn’t equate to support for the war. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, stumping on Biden’s behalf, said those who voted for the 2003 authorization did so thinking President George W. Bush and his administration would exhaust diplomatic options before launching any offensive in Iraq. ...

Kerry said the Iran situation highlights the need for Biden, the only candidate with the experience to be commander-in-chief. He said attacks Sanders has deployed at debates and on the campaign trail against Biden for supporting the Iraq War are disingenuous, even if trusting Bush was a bad idea. ... A clip of Kerry saying something similar to NBC News went viral over the weekend, causing an uproar among pundits and potential voters suspicious of Kerry’s claims. Sanders, who was representing Vermont in the House of Representatives at the time and voted against the authorization, said it was a “weak defense” of Kerry’s preferred 2020 candidate.

“We knew they were lying, we knew that they were altering intelligence information. You don't have to be a genius to figure that out,” Sanders told reporters on Sunday after a campaign stop in Iowa City. “When you had an administration that was itching to go to war — they were itching, everybody knew that — you don't give them the authority; you vote no. That's what I did.”

Perhaps because polls are so close, the knives are out. Kerry and Biden’s other surrogates tried pumping some life into his campaign by blaming Sanders for Clinton’s loss to Trump last time. Both Biden’s and Warren’s campaigns are implying the Vermont Independent is too divisive and that his last primary run contributed to a Democratic loss to Trump in 2016. On Monday, CNN reported that Bernie told Warren at a meeting between the campaigns in 2018 he didn’t think a woman could win, a claim Sanders denied.

After a campaign stop in Davenport, Iowa, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Missouri Congressman who has endorsed Biden, told a supporter he thinks Sanders was to blame for turning his supporters against Clinton and worries that could happen again this year. Rep. Ami Bera, a California Congressman and Biden supporter, told attendees that other candidates could cost Democrats their majority in Congress.



Krystal Ball: Warren lies again. Dismantling her vicious attack

Warren says Sanders told her no woman could beat Trump in 2020

Elizabeth Warren has said Bernie Sanders told her during a private meeting that he did not believe a woman could beat Donald Trump in 2020, a version of events that Sanders had earlier dismissed as “ludicrous” and a fabrication spread by members of her staff who “weren’t in the room”.

In a statement issued on Monday evening, Warren offered her recollections of their conversation, a one-on-one discussion which took place in Washington at the end of 2018. “Among the topics that came up was what would happen if Democrats nominated a female candidate,” Warren said in a statement Monday evening, detailing her account of the discussion. “I thought a woman could win; he disagreed. I have no interest in discussing this private meeting any further because Bernie and I have far more in common than our differences on punditry.”

The rift comes at a pivotal moment for both presidential candidates, just three weeks before voting begins in Iowa and a day before Tuesday’s Democratic debate, in Des Moines. At the debate, the candidates will almost certainly be asked to clarify their different interpretations of the meeting, dealing a final blow to a months-long truce forged between the leading progressive hopefuls.

Sanders has denied the story, reported by CNN on Monday.

In a statement, Sanders said it would be “ludicrous to believe” that he would have made such a comment and accused members of Warren’s staff, who weren’t present for the one-on-one conversation, of “lying about what happened”.

“What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could,” he said.

Rising: Panel debates should Bernie confront Warren at the debate

Warren Says 'No Interest' in Discussing It Further After Dropping Bombshell Accusation of Sexism on Sanders

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Monday night that she has "no interest in discussing this private meeting any further," but after making an explosive charge against her 2020 Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders that stated desire is clearly not going to matter very much—and critics of how Warren levied the accusation suggested that could likely be the point.

In a statement issued by her campaign's communication manager Kristen Orthman, Warren claimed that in a private 2018 conversation Sanders "disagreed" with her that a woman candidate could beat President Donald Trump in the 2020 general election—a difference of opinion she characterized as having something to do with "punditry." ...

For longtime political observers of Sanders, Warren's characterization of the private discussion seemed incompatible with how Sanders conducts himself and what he's been saying publicly about women in general and female politicians in particular for decades:


Offering his perspective, the Washington Post's campaign reporter Dave Weigel responded to Warren's statement by remarking, "There are Rashomon vibes to this Warren/Sanders meeting but it would be weird if a frank conversation didn't get into mysogyny and how Trump would use it. Sanders's statement hints at that. It's just a ways from that to 'a woman can't win.'"


Wisconsin judge orders 200,000 voters be purged in blow to Democrats

A Wisconsin judge has ruled that state election officials need to purge 200,000 people from state voter rolls immediately. Last month there was public uproar when a Wisconsin judge sided with a conservative advocacy group and ordered Wisconsin election officials to quickly remove hundreds of thousands of people from the state’s voter registration lists that it believed had changed addresses. Wisconsin election officials, however, appealed the ruling and declined to move forward with the purge while the case was in court.

Now, the Ozaukee county circuit judge Paul Malloy fined the Wisconsin elections commission and its three Democratic commissioners on Monday for refusing to move ahead with the purge.

Malloy’s order is the latest salvo in a closely watched fight over the removals in a state Donald Trump won by just under 23,000 votes, and could impact how other states like Georgia react to the same issue. Civil groups said the purge was an obvious attempt to make it more difficult for students and minority populations – who tend to favor Democrats – to vote.



the evening greens


'5 Hiroshima Bombs of Heat, Every Second': The World's Oceans Absorbed Record-Level Heat Last Year

The world's oceans absorbed a record amount of heat last year, according to a new study bearing more bad news for the planet. How much is a “record amount”?

“It’s about 5 Hiroshima bombs of heat, every second, day and night, 365 days a year,” said John Abraham, an engineering professor specializing in thermal sciences at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and co-author of the study out Monday from an international group of scientists.

It's a stark assessment of ocean temperatures, the best measure for how much the world has heated. Another way to describe how much heat humans are pumping into the oceans from greenhouse gas emissions: Give every person on the planet 100 hair dryers and have them aim them at all at the oceans, 24 hours a day, all year, according to Abraham. ...

The group’s research provides incontrovertible evidence that the planet is heating up — and quickly. In the last 40 years, the world’s oceans have already warmed by about 1 degree Fahrenheit at the surface. From 1987 to 2019, oceans warmed four and a half times faster than they did between 1955 and 1986. ...

The oceans absorb 90 percent of all the heat that humans are adding into the atmosphere, making ocean warming a more accurate way to measure how hot the world’s getting than air temperature. Air temperature might be hot one year and cooler the next, but water is more dense than air and takes longer to heat and cool. It provides a more stable measurement of how much the Earth is warming.

US listed climate activist group as ‘extremists’ alongside mass killers

A group of US environmental activists engaged in non-violent civil disobedience targeting the oil industry have been listed in internal Department of Homeland Security documents as “extremists” and some of its members listed alongside white nationalists and mass killers, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.

The group have been dubbed the Valve Turners, after closing the valves on pipelines in four states carrying crude oil from Canada’s tar sands on 11 October 2016 which accounted for about 15% of US daily consumption. It was described as the largest coordinated action of its kind and for a few hours the oil stopped flowing. The five climate activists, members of Climate Direct Action, cut their way through fencing and turned the valves. The activists notified the energy companies whose pipelines were being disrupted and posted videos of their protest online and waited patiently to be arrested.

They have since been dubbed the “Valve Turners”, profiled in the New York Times magazine and featured in a recent documentary titled The Reluctant Radical. Their trials have also tested the willingness of courts to allow climate activists to make use of the necessity defense – the idea that a criminal action is justified if it helps to prevent greater future harm – as part of a legal strategy.

But the group’s actions attracted the attention of the DHS. In a recent intelligence bulletin evaluating domestic terrorism threats between 2018 and 2020, the department included the Valve Turners and described the group as “suspected environmental rights extremists”. The document also listed two of the group’s members alongside violent white supremacists and other extremists who have engaged in mass killings, including the man behind the racist 2015 slaying of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina.

Putting Extinction Rebellion on extremist list 'completely wrong', says Keir Starmer

Keir Starmer, the Labour leadership frontrunner, has branded a decision by police to include Extinction Rebellion on a list of extreme ideologies as “completely wrong and counterproductive”. The shadow Brexit secretary and former chief prosecutor in England and Wales joined police chiefs in denouncing the move – revealed in the Guardian on Friday – to put XR’s beliefs on the list of ideologies that warrant reporting someone to the Prevent programme, which seeks to stop terror attacks.

His condemnation came after the home secretary, Priti Patel, defended the decision, saying it was important to look at “a range of security risks”. While accepting that XR was not a terrorist organisation, Patel told LBC radio that such an assessment had to be “based in terms of risk to the public, security risks, security threats”. ...

Starmer’s position was backed by Nick Thomas-Symonds, the shadow security minister, who called the decision “incomprehensible”. He said: “Climate change is a real and present danger that requires an immediate policy response; this decision further calls into question the effectiveness of the Prevent programme, of which Labour has long argued for an independent review.

Sex machine: prolific Galápagos tortoise saves his species

The Galápagos National Park has announced it is ending a captive breeding program for giant Española tortoises, after one tortoise produced more than 800 offspring, helping save the species. When the breeding program began, just 15 representatives of the species Chelonoidis hoodensis remained in the wild on the island of Española. Twelve were female and three were male.

Extinction seemed imminent. But included in the captive breeding program was Diego, an enterprising male on loan from the San Diego Zoo. His inclusion turned out to be pivotal. The breeding program produced 2,000 tortoises, 40% of which were thanks to Diego, who is now more than 100 years old. ...

Officials said the success of the program was also thanks to the eradication of non-native species and the cultivation of cactus on which the tortoises rely.


Also of Interest

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

Chris Hedges: How Democracies Die

Trump is a Criminal, But the Democrats Belong to the Same Mafia

Establishment Pundits Go Nuts Over New Russian Hacking Conspiracy

Documentary Released Today Sheds New Light on Ukrainegate

AOC Is Actually Serious About Building Progressive Power

Citing Dark Money Fears, Coalition Raises Alarm Over 'Zombie' FEC During Pivotal 2020 Elections

Warren Goes Rovian by Signal Boosting and Fundraising Off a Poorly Sourced Politico Hit Piece

Are the Fed’s Repo Loans Being Repaid by Wall Street’s Trading Houses or Just Rolled Over and Over?

California's wildfire risk keeps getting worse. Now a decade of blackouts lie ahead

'Saving Life on Earth' for Just $100 Billion: New Roadmap Shows How US Can Address Global Extinction Crisis

Scientists use stem cells from frogs to build first living robots

Stardust older than the Earth and sun found in Australian meteorite

Keiser Report: Capitalism Without Capital

Saagar Enjeti: NYT punishes Bernie for his 'thoughtcrime'

Rising: Who will win and lose at tonight's debate?

Rising: Rural Iowa Dem reveals which 2020 presidential candidate is winning farm country

Rising: NH Journalist Paul Steinhauser predicts voters won't care about Bernie-Warren spat

Rising:Is Pelosi kneecapping Bernie with impeachment?


A Little Night Music

Billy "The Kid" Emerson - The Pleasure Is All Mine

Billy "The Kid" Emerson - Somebody Show Me

Billy "The Kid" Emerson - I'm Not Going Home

Billy "The Kid" Emerson - I Never Get Enough

Billy "The Kid" Emerson - No Greater Love

Billy "The Kid" Emerson - Every Woman I Know (Crazy Bout An Automobile)

Billy "The Kid" Emerson - Little Fine Healthy Thing

Billy "The Kid" Emerson - Hot Spring Water

Billy "The Kid" Emerson - Move Baby Move

Billy "The Kid" Emerson - Red Hot


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22 users have voted.

Comments

RantingRooster's picture

I swear, this is the most ridiculous thing to balance the federal budget or even create a "surplus", which, neither are good for the vast majority in this country. To equate the federal budget to a household budget, as many in congress like to do, is fundamentally flawed thinking, and economically wrong.

Can we now drone murder ByeDon yet? He's a bad man right? According to the stable genius, that's all that's need for murdering someone, declaring they are a bad man, so, launch away... (dark snark) We don't need no stinking constitution...

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14 users have voted.

Fuck Israel

joe shikspack's picture

@RantingRooster

yep, biden and the pete peterson grand bargaineers are not the sharpest tools in the shed. unfortunately, their view has prevailed and done a lot of damage to the real economy in the last decades. i hope that, as in the progressive era, average people will start paying attention to economics and recognize the scam that they are being presented with.

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8 users have voted.
RantingRooster's picture

@joe shikspack or Danny Downer, but I don't have any hope what so ever the "American Electorate" will ever wake up. They're too busy taking selfies...while the world burns

Drinks

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3 users have voted.

Fuck Israel

Azazello's picture

This might be worth checking out.
Tulsi talks IRAN with Guests Stephen Kinzer & Dennis Kucinich

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18 users have voted.

@Azazello
Prolly better than the msm debate debacle.
Thanks Az!

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8 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

thanks! will give it a listen.

have a good one!

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4 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

https://www.alternet.org/2020/01/off-duty-secret-service-agent-kills-a-d...

The dog’s owner, who was not identified by name, told the New York Daily News, “She scared a cop who was walking home. He shot her, and she’s dead.”

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11 users have voted.

trump will be amerika's last president

What if the impeachment of tRumpolini is meant
to destroy the D party, makes sense doesn't it?

elections = tptb excuse for sayin ameriKa is a
democracy

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

wow, an unrestrained dog on a leash. incredible.

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5 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@ggersh

The most frightening thing on the street is, or should be, a coward with a gun. They're afraid of everything, and they only know one response: shoot to kill.

EVERY officer or agent who uses the "fear defense" should be cashiered immediately without a pension, and forbidden to work in any capacity that requires them to carry a gun, ever again.

We have FAR too many goddamn dirty rotten cowards hiding behind guns in this country.

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14 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

ggersh's picture

@TheOtherMaven ameriKa is full of cowards, would love to see the tables turned and see how tough they really are once you take their gun from them, my guess would be not so much.

up
4 users have voted.

trump will be amerika's last president

What if the impeachment of tRumpolini is meant
to destroy the D party, makes sense doesn't it?

elections = tptb excuse for sayin ameriKa is a
democracy

ggersh's picture

https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-scott-mor...

This is an Australian Prime Minister out of time and often out of place. The handshaking seems less assured and forced. The breezy confidence seems to be in evidence in a lower register. Locals in fire-affected communities in New South Wales and Victoria have heckled him. (His response at the time was that he was “not surprised people are feeling very raw.”)

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13 users have voted.

trump will be amerika's last president

What if the impeachment of tRumpolini is meant
to destroy the D party, makes sense doesn't it?

elections = tptb excuse for sayin ameriKa is a
democracy

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

i wonder if scomo is invested in a rope factory.

“The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”

-- Vladimir Ilich Lenin

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7 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

@joe shikspack

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6 users have voted.

trump will be amerika's last president

What if the impeachment of tRumpolini is meant
to destroy the D party, makes sense doesn't it?

elections = tptb excuse for sayin ameriKa is a
democracy

Kerry takes the low road lying for Biden. Twisting the truth is an establishment game. I like AOC telling the DCCC to shove their dues. Progressives scare the shinola out of the lot. Ha!

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15 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

yep, i guess kerry wanted to remind us of what a despicable jackass he is.

i'm glad to see that aoc is using her time in the limelight industriously. while i generally think of it as a fool's errand to try to take over the democrat party, i sure enjoy watching the horror of the corporate warriors at the advances of the progressives.

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7 users have voted.

from the Onion...

MORE FROM THE ONION

Boeing Rebrands 737 Max With Flame Decals To Attract Risk-Taking Badasses With A Death Wish

Congress Clears Boeing Of All Wrongdoing After Being Appointed Very Special Junior Pilots

Boeing CEO Admits Company Made Mistake By Including Automatic Self-Destruct Function On All 737 Max Planes

https://www.theonion.com/boeing-scrambling-after-new-ceo-catches-fire-du...

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15 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

heh, if boeing doesn't get it together soon, it will only be able to sell its planes to the military.

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5 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

Truthdig this morning and emailed it to my husband. He’s convinced that things were OK until Trump came along. Hedges shows the history of failed democracies, making it clear that the US is not exceptional.

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17 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

joe shikspack's picture

@Lily O Lady

trump may be the most vile and vulgar man to run the u.s. - but the u.s. has circled the drain before.

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6 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

@joe shikspack

wondering if it’s just more jobs leaving the country or the US finally going down the drain.

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2 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

Bollox Ref's picture

No imminent threat + extra judicial killing = rogue state. All good as far as he's concerned.

American Excrementalism.

(Edited)

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14 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

enhydra lutris's picture

@Bollox Ref

American Excrementalism.

Gracias.

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10 users have voted.

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

Bollox Ref's picture

@enhydra lutris

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5 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

american excrementalism, no shit! Smile

america fuck yeah!

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8 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

@joe shikspack

had qualms about stuff.

Il nostro capo, not so much.

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5 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

Lily O Lady's picture

@Bollox Ref

engaged in ruthless murder while tearing up when hearing about harm to children.

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1 user has voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

snoopydawg's picture

Well way to go Joe. Reporting on things that ByeDone did decades ago just to tear him down. This is the most important election evah cuz Trump is such a bad man. /s. But the same article was posted elsewhere today and boy did the cranks come out.

"Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor."

Amen to that. One thing people don't talk about enough is how there is an environmental war on the poor. Rich people build their refineries and other plants in areas where poor people live. You won't see a petcho plant or a dump at the end of a rich areas cul de sac now will you?

And how much would it have cost that rich guy to let the women continue to live in his years empty house? Eat the rich needs to make a comeback.

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12 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

aw, poor joe. 40 years of attacking the 99% and now he has a sad because somebody has the nerve to point out his record? feh!

Eat the rich needs to make a comeback.

tastier rich people is what we need. Smile

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8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

DNC and DSCC are anti-progressive, anti-democratic, oilgarchic little fiefdoms that have needed to be put out to pasture for a long time now. More power to her.

Have a good one.

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12 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

refusing to pay the democrat corporation its graft is pretty much a declaration of war. i can't wait to see where this goes, i'm stocking up on popcorn.

have a good one!

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6 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

Drama to the max in the dimwit party. I have to hand it to AOC - she was underestimated by the leadership. She's starting her own PAC to help people like her get elected since the DNC will not allow anyone to support/work for progressive campaigns. I think I got that right.... LOL! and as QMS pointed out - she told them to shove their $250,000 dues. You go girl!

Beautiful day today! Almost 60! Snow Thursday - you gotta laugh!

Have a lovely evening, everyone! Pleasantry

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11 users have voted.

“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-- Arundhati Roy

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

what i'm interested to see is if other progressives have the nerve to join aoc in repudiating their democrat dues graft. my guess is that the vast majority of the so-called progressives are too chickenshit to join aoc.

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6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

wonderful and happy and properous New Year to you and yours! And, all of C99, of course.

Happy New Year 2020 (2).JPG

We've both been ill, and, at times, in a flat-out tizzy due to several situations--including having to dredge up a new computer at the last minute, since our Windows 7 'expires' (for all intents and purposes) at Midnight. But, in spite of everything, we've managed to make a fair number of advances relating to relocating, so, we're pretty excited about that.

Anyhoo, wanted to get in here, and say 'hi,' and, thank you and JtC for keeping this ship afloat (including, all the hard work), since I didn't make it in here for our Anniversary. Also, would like to add 'my thanks to EL'--without a doubt, the most dedicated and productive 'Mod' I've ever seen. Wink And, thanks to all the wonderful diarists/essayists, commenters, and, lurkers.

I'm hoping to catch back up with you Guys later. For now, I'm pushed to get our laptop replacement up and running. Probably won't get it hooked up to all the peripherals this evening, but, need to at least make sure we're not completely cut off from being able to conduct banking, and bill paying activities.

Looking forward to the impeachment proceedings next week. Still think McConnell 'might' have some sort of agreement with Pelosi, since he's all but dismissed calling 'the Bidens.' BTW, may try to catch some of the Dem Party debate. My money's on Warren and Bernie having already kissed and made up--we'll see.

It's been unseasonably warm everywhere we've been, lately. Needless to say, I much more enjoy considerably colder temps; but, for the most part, I'm relieved about not having to worry about snow/ice, when traveling.

Everyone have a nice evening. Stay dry!

(we thought we'd need a boat to navigate the yard a couple days ago, which was nothing, compared to the damaging winds that blew through the other day)

Bye Pleasantry

Mollie

I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive.
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

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8 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

great to see you! and a happy and prosperous new year to you and mr. m, too.

sorry to hear about your illnesses, i hope that you guys are back to normal now and feeling good.

i am guessing that pelosi probably wouldn't have decided to send up the articles unless she was pretty certain that there were enough republican votes to guarantee some sort of process, rather than the summary dismissal that mcconnell had in mind.

i guess we'll see.

have a good one and safe travels!

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5 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

Happy New Year to you and Mr.M, and Katie.

That's her, right, on one of the better weathered days?

I hope gentle breezes carry you smoothly through your transition and follow you forever xox

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2 users have voted.

Well, at least in that place on my nose where a cancer was removed.
I think I have "something" going on with my upper lip.
Bad, it might be cancer.
Good, a surgery will remove both cancer and upper lip wrinkles!
I admit that I was a reluctant fan of AOC.
I just didn't believe what msm told me about her.
I have turned the corner.
I now consider her the real deal.
Thanks, joe, for all you do.

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11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

yay! glad to hear that it's not mr. cancer! i hope that he stays away.

yep, i have been cautious (and still am) about aoc. i think that her heart is in the right place and she has remarkable political instincts for someone so young and inexperienced. refusing to be grifted by her party is a big deal.

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5 users have voted.

@joe shikspack I am hopeful she is what she purports to be, but I still want more proof.
While I am up, I am having dessert. Ice cream. I am not a chocolate fan. I am a white chocolate fan. I know, I know white chocolate is NOT chocolate, but let us get past that, and on to the product.
I live in a town of 700 people. We have one grocery store.
For "reasons", I glimpsed at the ice cream, found Magnum brand, expensive stuff, vanilla ice cream with white chocolate. New product!
It is from Belgium.
I am sitting here, eating some Belgian ice cream in my favorite flavors, in Coldspring, Texas.
That does not solve world problems, or achieve world peace, but it is just damn amazing!

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Warren says Bernie gave her a smallpox blanket

LMAO. This makes as much sense as him saying she couldn't win.

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9 users have voted.

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

janis b's picture

@snoopydawg

Bernie is the only one that makes any sense to me. My first thought (beside the obvious) was that he reminded me of the people I’ve known, family and friends, or acquaintances that were consistently themselves.

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Oh look at those grave men all decked out in military equipment to remove women and children from a house. You stupid A holes! Imagine those women as your wife or mother. The slave patrols ride again. This really pisses me off.

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9 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

i guess it's shocking but not surprising to see the cruelty of the system in action.

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6 users have voted.

@snoopydawg More Goddamn dirty rotten cowards hiding behind guns like TheOtherMaven pointed out above. And speaking of cowards reminds of the drone assassinations carried out by our leaders.

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6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

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8 users have voted.

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