The Evening Blues - 1-20-20



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Huey "Piano" Smith

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features New Orleans r&b piano player Huey "Piano" Smith. Enjoy!

Huey “Piano” Smith & the Clowns - Sea Cruise

“People tell me, 'Bill, let it go. The Kennedy assassination was years ago. It was just the assassination of a President and the hijacking of our government by a totalitarian regime - who cares? Just let it go.' I say, 'All right then. That whole Jesus thing? Let it go! It was 2,000 years ago! Who cares?'"

-- Bill Hicks


News and Opinion

Targeted killings via drone becoming 'normalised' – report

Targeted assassinations via drone strikes, such as the killing of Iran’s Qassem Suleimani, have become progressively normalised with the help of official secrecy, government propaganda and some uncritical press coverage, according to a report. In The Frame, published by pressure group Drone Wars, concludes that “an easy narrative for targeted killing” had been constructed by the UK and the US during the conflict with Islamic State, where several high-profile individuals were killed by drones and the existence of a British “kill list” emerged.

Chris Cole, the director of Drone Wars, said it helped reinforce the justifications for the US assassination of Suleimani, the leader of the Quds Force in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, earlier this month. “It is surely unarguable now that drones have enabled and normalised a culture of targeted killing which is eroding international law norms and making the world a more dangerous place,” Cole said. He argued the recent strike could usher in a violent “new era in drone warfare”.

The study, conducted before Suleimani was killed, examines drone strikes carried out between 2015 and 2018, including the lethal targeting of Briton Reyaad Khan by the RAF in September 2015, as well US strikes on Mohammed Emwazi the same year and two years later on Sally Jones. ...

International law around targeted killings is complex, but in theory they are only legitimate as acts of self-defence by a state, where the threat is imminent, meaning overwhelming and immediate. But the doctrine of imminence has been eroded over recent years, the report notes. In the case of Suleimani, an official in Iran’s government, the US said it had intelligence he was plotting further terror attacks against its citizens in the Middle East, but has not publicly released the information, which has been described as “razor thin” by sources who had seen it.

Donald Trump has said that legal justifications about the death of Suleimani “doesn’t really matter” because the Iranian commander was “the terrorist” and had a “horrible past”.

Video: Trump Had No Idea Who He's Bombing

Democrats Let Trump Off the Hook on Iran

For many of President Donald Trump’s 2016 voters in depressed communities in battleground states, “America First” meant spending less time on the world’s problems and more time on their own. As Trump loyalist Steve Bannon said the day after the assassination of the Iranian leader Qasem Suleimeni, “One of the central building blocks of why he [Trump] was elected president was to get out of these wars.” Trump has clearly betrayed that trust. Over the last three years he has spent most of his limited attention span indulging a childish master-of-the-universe obsession with picking fights around the world while his voters’ unattended domestic needs pile up.

Democrats scold and scorn Trump for his recklessness and ignorance. But as the Iranian crisis shows once again, the party’s leaders are not willing to challenge his claim that military might authorizes the United States (i.e., Trump, as president) to dictate and enforce the rules of behavior for the rest of the world. In effect, they are letting him slip off his own hook, and may well be helping him get re-elected. ...

With the exception of Senator Bernie Sanders, the most prominent Democrats running for president — Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar — along with the congressional leadership, agreed with Trump that Suleimeni deserved to be killed. Their complaints are about process. First, he didn’t inform Congress. So House Democrats passed a non-binding resolution telling Trump that in the future he should. Even if the Senate concurs, Trump has already make it clear he will ignore it.

The Democrats second objection is that the murder was risky because the timing wasn’t right. Typical was the response of Senator Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee: “I believe there was a threat, but the question of how imminent is still one I want answered.”

As one military source told a Reuters reporter, it all depends on how you define

“imminent.” ...

The administration’s subsequent farcical briefing of Congress demonstrated that it was naïve to the point of simplemindedness to expect Trump to provide any serious answers to the “imminence” question. As with the fake Gulf of Tonkin incident that justified the Vietnam War and the myth of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction that rationalized the invasion of Iraq, Americans’ will not know the truth in time for it to make any difference. And far too late to address suspicions that the murder of Soleimani was a wag-the-dog election year ploy.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in His Own Words

Trump tells GOP donors that Soleimani was 'saying bad things' before strike

President Trump told Republican donors Friday evening that Qassem Soleimani, the top Iranian general who was killed in a drone strike this month, was “saying bad things” about the U.S. before his death.

Trump offered a minute-by-minute recounting of the strike in Baghdad at a fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago estate, CNN reported Saturday, citing audio it obtained of his remarks. He told the high-dollar donors that Soleimani’s invectives against America helped lead to his decision to authorize his killing.

"How much of this shit do we have to listen to?" Trump was quoted as saying. "How much are we going to listen to?"

Iraq's Shia armed groups met over 'US aggression'

The leaders of major Shia armed groups in Iraq gathered in Iran's city of Qom earlier this month to coordinate efforts to expel the United States' troops in Iraq. Mohammad Mohie, spokesman of the Iran-backed Shia paramilitary group Kataib Hezbollah, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that the meeting held on January 13 aimed to coordinate future action among the armed groups.

"That meeting was very important to coordinate our actions, activities and the resistance for the next step," Mohie said.

"The Americans may stay in Iraq and challenge us, so we are coordinating amongst ourselves," he said, adding that populist Shia cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, who leads the Sairoon bloc in parliament and lives in Qom, had called the meeting. ...

"We responded to Muqtada al-Sadr's call… and one of the outcomes [of the meeting] is the protest which will take place in four to five days," said Mohie. "This is the beginning of the new era of coordination between Shia forces and resistance groups," he added.

Brazil’s far-right government backed terror plot against Venezuela, top newspaper reveals

Brazil’s far-right government helped support military attacks on Venezuela in hopes of inciting a coup and violently overthrowing the country’s leftist government. This plan was revealed by a major pro-government newspaper in Brazil. And yet the shocking story was not covered by any mainstream paper in the US or Europe. Outside a lone report by Venezuela’s state-backed teleSUR — which Washington-backed coup plotters are now trying to usurp – the story was completely ignored in Anglophone media. ...

On December 31, the Brazilian newspaper O Globo disclosed the putsch plans in an article titled “Attack on barracks by soldiers who took refuge in Brazil was part of larger plan against Maduro.” The subtitle added, “Deserters intended to initiate large-scale military uprising, but failed.” ...

With the support of neighboring right-wing countries, Venezuelan military defectors planned to launch three military uprisings against the Venezuelan government on or around Christmas Eve, according to O Globo. The official name of the operation was Trilogia (Trilogy). One attack targeted Venezuela’s Bolívar state on the southeastern border with Brazil; a second attack was planned as an amphibious invasion; and a third was to take place near Colombia’s border.

Two of these three planned attacks failed, as only one of the groups carried out the orders as planned.

Brazil-backed insurgents crossed into Venezuelan territory and, on December 22, attacked the 513 Selva Mariano Montilla infantry battalion in Venezuela’s Bolívar state, located roughly 230 kilometers from Brazil’s northern-most state Roraima, near the border of the two countries. A total of 16 Venezuelan military deserters participated in the attack on the Mariano Montilla barracks, killing a Venezuelan soldier and wounding another.

‘A Bunch of Dopes and Babies’: Inside the Meeting Where Trump Unloaded on Generals

The Washington Post on Friday published an excerpt from the book “A Very Stable Genius” — written by Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker — that’s scheduled to be published later this month. The excerpt revisits a tirade from July 20, 2017, when Trump met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff inside “The Tank,” a famous secure room in the Pentagon.

The room was full of high-profile U.S. leaders who have since left the Trump administration: then Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Joseph Dunford Jr., then deputy defense secretary Patrick Shanahan, Vice President Mike Pence, then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, then White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and then Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn. Leaders from every military branch were present as well.

Mattis reportedly tried to explain to Trump why NATO was important. To make a long story short: the president ultimately responded with insults against the U.S. military leaders in the room.

“You’re all losers,” Trump told them, according to the Post excerpt. “You don’t know how to win anymore.”

Trump’s tirade continued. He reportedly wondered aloud why the U.S. wasn’t getting paid off for having troops stationed in the Persian Gulf. “Where is the fucking oil?” he asked.

“I wouldn’t go to war with you people,” Trump later yelled, according to the excerpt from the book. “You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”

Paris protesters try to enter theatre attended by Macron

Paris transport set to return to normal as rail union suspends strike

Paris’s strike-hit public transport network is expected to return to near normal this week after the city’s main rail union voted to return to work. The decision to suspend industrial action from Monday follows six weeks of road and rail chaos since transport staff walked out in December as part of national protests over pension reforms.

The strikes – France’s longest in decades – brought traffic to a halt in parts of the capital as Parisians were forced into cars and on to motorbikes, scooters and cycles. On Saturday, seven out of 16 Paris metro lines were working normally. The capital’s public transport company, RATP, is expected to announce a further improvement for Monday’s services, although drivers on three lines have voted to remain on strike.

In a statement, Laurent Djebali, the secretary general of the Unsa-RATP union, said members needed to “get their breath back and recharge their batteries” after 45 days of industrial action, during which they have not been paid. The union reiterated its opposition to the government’s measures to introduce a universal points-based pension system instead of the 42 individual schemes that exist at the moment, which it said was unjust and a regression for workers’ rights. Unsa insisted it was not giving in but was calling for “another form of action”.

“The government must understand that the conviction and determination of RATP staff remains intact,” it said in the statement, which called on unions to “increase and generalise the movement in all the country’s companies. This is how we will push the government back and all win,” it wrote.

'This is not inevitable', says Oxfam about rising global inequality

IMF Head Gives 'Stark Message' of Looming Inequality-Fueled Global Financial Disaster

Increasing inequality and the climate crisis are pushing the world towards another financial disaster, the International Monetary Fund chief said Friday—a warning, according to one anti-poverty group, that should be taken seriously. IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva made the remarks in a speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, D.C.

A theme of "increasing uncertainty," some of which is driven by inequality, has already emerged from the new year, Georgieva said. The trend of rising inequality within countries, she said, "is reminiscent of the early part of the 20th century, when the twin forces of technology and integration led to the first Gilded Age, the Roaring Twenties, and, ultimately, financial disaster." Unlike the 1920s, however, the new decade is confronted with an urgent climate crisis.

"In the 2020s," said Georgieva "the financial sector will have to grapple with preventing the traditional type of crisis, and handle newer ones, including climate-related shocks. Think of how stranded assets can trigger unexpected loss. Some estimates suggest the potential costs of devaluing these assets range from $4 trillion to $20 trillion."

She also pointed to new IMF research showing rising inequality—which her institution has helped fuel by promoting neoliberal policies—is a predictor of coming a financial crisis. Staving off that threat includes increasing affordable and readily available access to financial services to address inequality, sustaining regulatory mechanisms, and ensuring more stability. Key to the latter point is addressing the climate crisis.

"The financial sector can play a crucial role in moving the world to net zero carbon emissions and reach the targets of the Paris Agreement," said Georgieva. "To get there, firms will need to better price climate change impacts in their loans." Institutions will also increase stability and help lessen inequality by boosting lending to smaller firms, she added.

Prof Richard Wolff: An economic crash is coming and it will be bad

An excellent piece worth a full read if how the game is rigged interests you:

Here’s How the Fake Unemployment Number Was Created to Subdue Anger Against Wall Street

On February 3, 2015, Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of the iconic 85-year old polling company, Gallup, penned an article for his company in which he called the reported unemployment number issued by the U.S. Government “The Big Lie.”

Wall Street On Parade has now discovered that a speech by former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and a statement made by the current Fed Chairman Jerome (Jay) Powell, support the view that today’s reported unemployment rate of 3.5 percent is statistically impossible based on a long-held economic model known as “Okun’s Law.”

Named after economist Arthur Okun, the economic law works like this according to a speech given by the Fed Chair Ben Bernanke in March 2012:

“Okun noted that, because of ongoing increases in the size of the labor force and in the level of productivity, real GDP growth close to the rate of growth of its potential is normally required just to hold the unemployment rate steady. To reduce the unemployment rate, therefore, the economy must grow at a pace above its potential. More specifically, according to currently accepted versions of Okun’s law, to achieve a 1 percentage point decline in the unemployment rate in the course of a year, real GDP must grow approximately 2 percentage points faster than the rate of growth of potential GDP over that period. So, for illustration, if the potential rate of GDP growth is 2 percent, Okun’s law says that GDP must grow at about a 4 percent rate for one year to achieve a 1 percentage point reduction in the rate of unemployment.”

Here’s the common sense version of Okun’s Law: when there is a financial crash and millions of workers are thrown out of their jobs and businesses shut down, it is going to take a significant increase in GDP to create new jobs for those workers plus create jobs for the new job entrants coming from high school and college graduates. But that never happened. From 2009, the year after the epic financial collapse on Wall Street, through 2018, U.S. GDP has grown at an average rate of 1.8 percent. That substandard rate has persisted despite three rounds of Quantitative Easing (QE) by the Federal Reserve; $29 trillion in secret revolving loans from the Fed to bail out Wall Street trading houses and their foreign derivative counterparties; vast amounts of federal government fiscal spending to stimulate the economy; and the massive tax cut [corporate welfare] of the Trump administration.

But somehow, magically, alongside a subpar growth rate of 1.8 percent, unemployment has shrunk from 9.6 percent in 2010 to 3.5 percent today.

[see article for description of how the unemployment numbers are cooked. - js]

What was this smoke and mirrors all about? Just imagine how much more public anger there would be against Wall Street’s fat cats and their bailout kingpins at the Federal Reserve if the media had reported the real unemployment rate along with the fact that Wall Street banks and their foreign derivative counterparties had received a secret $29 trillion bailout from the Fed, allowing them to pay billions in bonuses to their miscreant bosses, while average Americans’ lives and dreams were shattered.

TSA issues apology to Native American woman who had braids pulled by agent

The federal Transportation Security Administration has apologized to a Native American woman who said an agent at Minneapolis-St Paul international airport “pulled her braids” and said “giddy up!” when she took a flight from there this week.

“The agent said she needed to pat down my braids,” tweeted Tara Houska, an indigenous rights advocate and attorney. “She pulled them behind my shoulders, laughed and said ‘giddyup!’ as she snapped my braids like reins. My hair is part of my spirit. I am a Native woman. I am angry, humiliated. Your ‘fun’ hurt.”

Houska, who is Ojibwe, added: “When I informed the middle-aged blonde woman who had casually used her authority to dehumanize and disrespect me, she said, ‘Well it was just in fun, I’m sorry. Your hair is lovely.’

“That is NOT an apology and it is NOT OK.” ...

In a statement to the Guardian, the TSA said it had been “made aware of allegations made by a traveler about her screening experience at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport [on] Monday morning. “TSA officials investigated the incident and on Tuesday afternoon, TSA’s federal security director for Minnesota, Cliff Van Leuven, spoke with the traveler. He apologized for actions and a comment that were insensitive and made by a TSA officer to the traveler during the screening experience.”

National Archives sorry for blurring anti-Trump signs in Women's March photo

The US National Archives apologized on Saturday after it emerged that a photo of the Women’s March included in signage for an exhibition on women’s suffrage had been altered to blur anti-Trump signs.

“We made a mistake,” the Washington institution said in a statement.

“As the National Archives of the United States, we are and have always been completely committed to preserving our archival holdings without alteration.

“In an elevator lobby promotional display for our current exhibit on the 19th amendment, we obscured some words on protest signs in a photo of the 2017 Women’s March.

“This photo is not an archival record held by the National Archives, but one we licensed to use as a promotional graphic. Nonetheless, we were wrong to alter the image.

Is the Supreme Court Coming For Your Birth Control?

The Supreme Court will consider whether the Trump administration can let employers opt out of offering birth control coverage to workers on moral or religious grounds, the justices announced Friday.

The court will hear oral arguments for a challenge that consolidates two cases, Trump v. Pennsylvania and Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania. Both focus on a provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires employer-sponsored healthcare plans to cover contraception at no extra personal cost. While that provision has long been controversial, in 2017, the Trump administration released new rules that could dramatically curtail its scope, by letting employers avoid offering the coverage by claiming religious or moral objections.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey promptly sued over the rules. And last May, the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit sided with the states, issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction that blocked the rules from going into effect. ...

This isn’t the first time the Affordable Care Act’s so-called “contraceptive mandate” has reached the Supreme Court. In a famous 2014 case, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, the Supreme Court ruled that in forcing Hobby Lobby — a chain of for-profit arts and craft stores run by a religious family — to offer insurance coverage for birth control, the government had violated the corporation’s religious freedoms.

However, at the time, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh had not yet joined the bench. This case will mark the first time the conservative duo hears a challenge centered around the contraceptive mandate.



the horse race



The Sanders Campaign Researched Whether Warren Could Be Both Vice President and Treasury Secretary at Once

The presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders has researched the question of whether the same person can serve as both vice president and treasury secretary, according to three sources on the campaign. The person the Sanders campaign had in mind with the inquiry was Sen. Elizabeth Warren, his rival for the nomination and the bane of Wall Street over the last decade. The inquiry did not rise to the level of an official legal analysis undertaken by the campaign attorney.

The answer is yes: There is nothing in the Constitution that bars the vice president from also serving as treasury secretary. Sanders has made no final decisions on a potential running mate or cabinet officers, and did not direct the inquiry, nor was he involved in it, as he considers such questions premature and presumptuous. “No conversations are happening about any positions in a potential Sanders administration. Our campaign is focused on winning the nomination,” said campaign manager Faiz Shakir. The research into the question of Warren’s dual eligibility reflects the political affinity that has long existed between the two — an affinity that was dealt a setback over the past week, as the pair clashed over the contents of a year-old private conversation. The sources were not authorized to speak publicly about internal deliberations. “Not only have I not written a memo, I haven’t had any phone calls, emails, or communications about it,” said Brad Deutsch, the campaign’s lawyer.

Warren and Sanders have been allies since at least 2008, before she came to Washington to chair a panel with oversight of the Wall Street bailout. An author of books on the struggles of the middle class and an expert on bankruptcy law, she was invited by Sanders to a Vermont town hall, where the two talked about their shared agenda. Sanders was a strong supporter of her effort to create a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the wake of the financial crisis and privately lobbied President Barack Obama to name her the head of the new agency. Ideologically, Sanders and Warren are largely aligned when it comes to Wall Street, though Warren has concentrated more attention on bankers, meaning the two different skill sets could complement each other in the same administration. ...

Not long after meeting with Sanders at the end of 2018 to discuss her impending presidential run, Warren hosted an off-the-record dinner with a number of journalists, according to sources with knowledge of it. At the dinner, Warren was asked about her meeting with Sanders, and in the course of the discussion, she relayed that Sanders had warned that he didn’t believe a woman could beat Trump in 2020. Different reporters recalled the comments differently, a mirror image of the dispute between Warren and Sanders over exactly what Sanders said — with Warren saying that Sanders argued a woman couldn’t beat Trump, while Sanders said that he only said Trump would weaponize misogyny against a woman, not that it would work. (The Intercept was not at the dinner. Most politicians hold informal, off-record dinners or meetings with journalists, though it’s not something Sanders is known to do. Occasionally details from those meetings leak, but it’s rare.) ...

On Monday, Warren told The Intercept that her campaign did not intentionally plant the CNN story. That Warren told a number of journalists about the meeting a year ago adds context to that statement. If Warren had only told her closest advisers about the meeting, then it would be logical to assume that her campaign dictated the timing of the story, dropping it just ahead of a debate, and just weeks before the primary, to undercut Sanders. But since Warren told the story more broadly to a group of journalists, CNN’s sources could have come from outside the campaign. The revelation does not rule out the possibility that someone in her campaign was a source, but it opens up other possibilities, as well.

Top progressives back Sanders as skirmish with Warren rumbles on

In a move touted by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a “really big deal”, a key progressive member of Congress endorsed Bernie Sanders for president on Sunday, building on Ocasio-Cortez’s own endorsement and others. Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington, a co-chairman of the congressional progressive caucus, told the Washington Post she was endorsing Sanders because “he has a clarity on policy prescriptions that goes right to the heart of what working people need”.


The news was excellently timed for Sanders, 78, whose viability as a standard-bearer for the modern Democratic party, which has sought to highlight its youth and diversity in the age of Donald Trump, was challenged this week around a skirmish with fellow candidate Elizabeth Warren. Campaigning separately in Iowa at the weekend, both candidates sought to dismiss the perception of friction between them following the presidential debate in Iowa, when a CNN microphone caught Warren telling Sanders he made her out to be a liar on national television. ...

Any doubts about Sanders’ support in the progressive wing of the party that may have been raised by the debate contretemps were forcefully rebutted by the Jayapal endorsement. The other chair of the progressive caucus, Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, endorsed Sanders last week and will be chairing his campaign in the state.

Former health care exec backs up Bernie: It's our current system that's bankrupting us

Trump's Racist Demagoguery Only Works, Says Sanders, Because Too Many Americans Feel Establishment Has 'Failed Them'

In an interview with the New York Times for the newspaper's 2020 Democratic presidential candidate endorsement, Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about how President Donald Trump has weaponized racism to appeal to many Americans who sense that the political and media establishments have abandoned them in 2016 to win support.

After Sanders spoke at length about Trump's efforts to "divide the American people up" and "demonize" undocumented immigrants, Times editorial board member Brent Staples asked Sanders why he thinks the president has the support of more than 40% of the public and questioned the senator's assertion that political and economic inequality—not just Trump—must be defeated.

"What about [divisiveness] is that Trump is a symptom of a widespread problem?" asked Staples. "I mean, how do you address that? The problem exists whether Trump is president or not is what I'm saying."

"How did Trump become president?" Sanders said. "I think it speaks to something that I talk about a lot and that is the fact that...tens and tens of millions of Americans feel that the political establishment, Republican and Democrat, have failed them. Maybe the New York Times has failed them, too."

Watch:


In a video the Times released containing an abridged version of the exchange, Sanders describes how Trump exploited the state of despair many Americans have fallen into over recent decades to convince voters that undocumented immigrants were to blame for unemployment, drug addiction, and economic struggles in many U.S. communities.

"When that condition arises, whether it was the 1930s in Germany, then people are susceptible to the blame game," said Sanders. "To say that it is the undocumented people in this country who are the cause of all of our problems, and if we just throw 10 million people out of the country, you're going to have a good job, and you're going to have good health care, and you have good education, that's all we got to do... Trump didn't invent demagoguery. It's an age-old weapon used by demagogues... And you take the despair and the anger and the frustration that people are feeling and you say, 'That's the cause of your problem.'" ...

On social media, some observers noted, despite those statistics, the Times editorial board appeared incredulous at Sanders's explanation.

"Bernie Sanders teaches Demagoguery and Fascism 101 to a very skeptical New York Times editorial board," wrote Columbia University neuroscience professor Ken Miller. "The looks of disdain as Bernie simply and lucidly explains are priceless." ...

Sanders's full comments on offering voters an alternative to Trump and the political establishment were left out of the Times's video:

Now, I think, you raised the question, let me take it a step further. You haven't asked me, I suppose it's somewhere on your list, why I think I'm the strongest candidate to beat Trump... And that is that there is a hard-core support for Trump, which I'm not going to be able to get through. You're right. It is racist. It is sexist. I run into that. It's hard to believe the attitude toward women in some parts of the country. You really would have a hard time to believe it. We're back into the 18th century in some these places. It is homophobic. It is anti-immigrant. Do I think I'm going to win those people over? Nah, no way. But do I think we can get a sliver? I can't tell you how much, 3%, 5%, 8%, of people who voted for Trump because he said, "I am a different type of Republican. I'm not going to cut Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security. I'm going to have trade policies that work for workers. We're not going to be shutting down plants in America."

"Do I think we can win some of those people? Yeah, I do," Sanders added. "And I think we're going to win because we are going to run a campaign of energy and excitement, which speaks to truths in people's lives, which the political establishment does not often talk about."

Kerry Lies about Biden’s Iraq War Support

Biden and Bernie clash over doctored video claim

Biden calls for Sanders to disown ‘doctored’ video on Social Security

Joe Biden has called for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign to “disown” what he calls “doctored video” that some Sanders supporters say shows the former vice-president endorsing Republican calls to cut Social Security and Medicare. “There’s a little doctored video going around … put out by one of Bernie’s people,” Biden told supporters on Saturday in Indianola, Iowa, referring to a 2018 speech in which Biden discussed then House speaker Paul Ryan saying rising deficit demanded action on the popular entitlement programs.

“I’m looking for his campaign to come forward and disown it,” Biden continued, pointing to his 2020 campaign proposals designed to shore up Social Security. “But they haven’t done it yet.”

The video in question, circulated on Twitter by a top Sanders adviser, does not appear to be altered. But the short clip omits Biden’s larger argument over how Ryan handled the 2017 tax cuts and subsequent budget debates. A separate Sanders’ adviser included a transcript of Biden’s remarks in the video clip in a separate campaign newsletter. He added other, more extended video, of Biden as a US senator in 1995 and presidential candidate in 2007 explaining his support for a more austere federal budget, including putting Social Security and Medicare “on the table”.

Responding to Biden’s remarks, Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir said: “Joe Biden should be honest with voters and stop trying to doctor his own public record of consistently and repeatedly trying to cut Social Security. “The facts are very clear: Biden not only pushed to cut Social Security – he is on tape proudly bragging about it on multiple occasions,” Shakir said in a statement.

“The vice-president must stop dodging questions about his record, and start explaining why he has so aggressively pushed to slash one of the most significant and successful social programs in American history, which millions of Americans rely on for survival.”



the evening greens


'Our Planet Is Seriously Burning and the Adults Keep Letting Us Down': Ninth Circuit Throws Out Youth Climate Case

In a ruling taken as a devastating blow for climate campaigners worldwide, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in the United States on Friday afternoon threw out a lawsuit brought by 21 youth plaintiffs who accused the U.S. government of failing its constitutional mandate by refusing to act urgently and responsibly to address the existential threat of human-caused global warming.

The case at issue, Juliana vs. United States, has been seen as a potential landmark case not just domestically but across the globe and while the three-member panel of the 9th Circuit—notably seen as one of the country's most liberal-minded circuit courts—agreed with the plaintiff's argument that the U.S. government has operated as a barrier to climate action it concluded the courts were not the appropriate avenue for their complaint.

In the 2-1 majority ruling, written by Circuit Court Judge Andrew Hurwitz, he stated that while the panel was convinced by the narrative set forth in the lawsuit—agreeing the climate crisis has brought the world close to the "eve of destruction" and that "the government's contribution to climate change is not simply a result of inaction"—it ultimately and "reluctantly concluded that the plaintiffs' case must be made to the political branches or to the electorate at large."

Andrea Rodgers, a senior attorney at Our Children's Trust, the nonprofit backing the youth who filed the lawsuit, described the decision as an "unprecedented and contrary to American principles of justice."

The Juliana case began in 2015, when a group of young people-aged 11 to 22-years-old at the time-sued the U.S. government for violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property by enacting policies that contributed to the climate crisis. Kelsey Juliana, the 23-year-old named as lead plaintiff in the case, said Friday: "This isn't over. Prepare for a petition for review en banc to the 9th circuit as we refuse to do anything but move forward and ultimately win. Courts do have an obligation to address issues of constitutional, existential crisis, like climate change." Juliana asked supporters and allies, to "stay hopeful, stay with us, stay tuned," and "stay in power." ...

"What is remarkable about this decision, and what will land it in legal textbooks for decades to come, is that the 9th Circuit recognizes the grave realities of the climate crisis and the government's role in causing climate harms, but immediately abdicates the court's own responsibility to address and remedy those harms," said Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), in response.

Muffet said the panel's conclusion that the courts have no role to play in addressing the legitimate grievance of the plaintiffs flies in the face of the entire purpose of judicial review. "For centuries, and emphatically," Muffett said, "that has been the definition of the role of courts: when plaintiffs are suffering harms to fundamental rights at the hands of other branches of government, addressing those wrongs and protecting plaintiffs' rights is the essential and inescapable domain of the federal courts." ...

Citing the "blistering" dissenting opinion of District Court Judge Josephine Staton, Kimmell warned that "we live in a time where the government has failed to act—in large part due to fossil fuel industry’s outsized influence—despite overwhelming scientific evidence that delaying action will only lock in more severe climate impacts."

In her dissent, Staton disagreed strongly with the conclusion of her panel colleagues.

"It is as if an asteroid were barreling toward Earth and the government decided to shut down our only defenses. Seeking to quash this suit, the government bluntly insists that it has the absolute and unreviewable power to destroy the Nation," Staton wrote. "My colleagues throw up their hands, concluding that this case presents nothing fit for the Judiciary."

Ozone Layer Recovery Is Being Undermined by Pollution From U.S. Companies

The global response to the “ozone hole,” as it came to be known in the 1970s, has long been held up as a model for environmental problem-solving — and the hope that we might yet be able to fix the climate crisis. After scientists realized that chemicals used for cooling and in aerosol sprays were causing the Earth’s protective ozone layer to thin, threatening to cause vast increases in cancers and other diseases, countries around the world came together to fix it. Even the companies that made and sold the chemical culprits — chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs — participated in the Montreal Protocol, the international treaty that began phasing them out in 1989. Since then, the ozone layer has partially recovered.

The international commitment to eliminating ozone-depleting chemicals has held so firm that in 2018, when some Chinese factories were discovered to be using a substance banned by the treaty known as CFC-11, they were met with condemnation from the U.S. and other countries. Erik Solheim, head of the United Nations Environment Program, which oversees the Montreal Protocol, called the release of the ozone-depleting substance “nothing short of an environment crime which demands decisive action.” China quickly addressed the problem.

Yet evidence has recently emerged that U.S. companies are also releasing ozone-depleting chemicals. While the ozone layer is rebounding overall, scientists have observed decreasing levels of the gas in certain areas. Chemicals used for everything from fracking to cooling appear to be the culprits, according to comments the nonprofit Environmental Investigation Agency submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency in December. The chemical pollution, some of which is coming from the U.S., EPA records show, has already delayed progress on the ozone layer. The resulting setback appears to be worse in highly populated southern latitudes, where it could cause the most damage. Continued emissions of the chemicals could delay the healing of the ozone layer by up to 30 years, according to a 2017 article published in Nature Communications.

Despite the threat, the EPA has not considered impacts on ozone in initial phases of its assessment of 14 chemicals with ozone-depleting potential now being conducted under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

The Philly Oil Refinery That Exploded Was Already Leaking Tons of a Toxic Chemical That Causes Leukemia and Infertility

The enormous explosion at the East Coast’s largest refinery last June spewed tons of corrosive chemicals into the air, but a new investigation has found that the Philadelphia facility was previously leaking dangerously high levels of a carcinogen into the surrounding, predominantly black neighborhood.

The explosion destroyed the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery and was powerful enough to launch a 38,000-pound hunk of debris over the Schuylkill River. But even before the plant blew, it was leaking more than 21 times the legal limit of benzene, a chemical that smells sweet and causes leukemia, infertility, and blood and immune system disorders, according to a new report from NBC News, E&E News, and the Investigative Reporting Workshop, a nonprofit newsroom based at American University. ...

The investigation found readings from an air-quality monitoring device on the border of the refinery were off the charts in the lead up to the explosion. And afterward, the benzene levels stayed high even after the explosion: Weeks after the plant blew up, a monitor across an expressway from schools and hundreds of homes was still picking up high levels of the chemical. ...

No one was killed in the explosion, which was caused by a faulty pipe. But the flames that burned for more than a day sent more than 5,000 pounds of hydrofluoric acid, a super-corrosive chemical that can make your heart stop if you inhale it, into the air around the refinery. ...

In addition to the sky-high levels of benzene the investigation identified, the facility was leaking other chemicals into the surrounding neighborhood for years. It was in violation of the Clean Air Act for nine of the last 12 quarters that it was operating. It settled over those repeated violations with the city of Philadelphia in 2015 for more than $650,000. And even a $175 million bailout from the Trump administration in 2018 couldn’t save the refinery from bankruptcy.

Huge dust storms in Australia hit central New South Wales

Damaging winds produced by thunderstorms across central New South Wales have whipped up dust storms that turned daytime into night in some towns. The Bureau of Meteorology issued a series of severe thunderstorm warnings on Sunday evening for inland NSW with the associated winds generating massive dust clouds.

Videos posted to social media showed dust storms descending on Dubbo and nearby towns that were so thick they blocked out the sun. ...


Rain and hail also lashed Victoria, sparking almost 1500 calls for assistance with more severe weather on the way as bushfires continue. The State Emergency Service received 1453 calls for assistance since Sunday morning, more than 1000 of them for building damage.

Many towns on the NSW mid-north coast and the northern rivers regions received between 100mm and 180mm from 9am to 10.30pm on Sunday. ...

Downpours over the past few days have provided relief for parts of drought-stricken NSW and helped firefighters slow the spread of bushfires and build containment lines before increased fire danger mid-week.


Also of Interest

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

French Popular Uprising: Revolution or Frozen Conflict?

Facebook Warrant Targeting Student Journalists in Puerto Rico Prompts Fears of Political Surveillance

The Murder Of Qassem Soleimani Will Deter No One

The US and Iran’s Perpetual Almost-war Is Unsustainable

Tennessee governor seeks to amend law honouring leader of Ku Klux Klan

One city's reparations program that could offer a blueprint for the nation

California Is About to Start Housing Homeless People in Old FEMA Trailers

Extinction Rebellion listed as 'key threat' by counter-terror police

The Playbook For Poisoning The Earth

'Pete Takes Money From Fossil Fuel Billionaires': Climate Activists Disrupt Buttigieg Rally in New Hampshire

Biden Accidentally Makes Case for Medicare for All by Admitting Employers Can Take Away Your Insurance—Even If You Like It

'The Facts Are Very Clear': Sanders Team Hits Back After Biden Claims Social Security Video Was 'Doctored'

'This Is Why No One Trusts the Media': MSNBC Slammed for Featuring 'Body Language Expert' Who Calls Sanders a Liar

Jimmy Dore: Bernie & Schumer Vote Against Trumps NAFTA 2.0

Jimmy Dore: Chelsea Clinton Got $9 Million Job From Hillary’s Friend

Jimmy Dore: The Real Reason Trump Bombed Soleimani Revealed

Rising: Michael Moore predicts Warren's feud will result in Trump's re-election

Rising: Cenk Uygur updates on campaign, how I will call out corporate politicians in Washington

Jimmy Dore: Warren’s “Selfie” Gimmick Is A Cringe Fest


A Little Night Music

Huey “Piano” Smith & the Clowns - Don’t You Just Know It

Huey “Piano” Smith & the Clowns - Beatnik Blues

Huey “Piano” Smith & the Clowns - We Like Birdland

Huey “Piano” Smith & the Clowns - Don’t You Know Yockomo

Huey “Piano” Smith & the Clowns - For Cryin' Out Loud

Huey Piano Smith & the Clowns - Walking Down the Street

Huey Piano Smith & the Clowns - I Think You're Jiving Me

Huey Piano Smith & the Clowns - High Blood Pressure

Huey Piano Smith & the Clowns - Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu


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Comments

Lily O Lady's picture

chuckling over the forest camo space force uniforms. My husband suggested black, but I think that’s too gestapo. Anyway, I nominate all the billionaire geniuses to fly off into space and leave us in peace.

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15 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

i think that they ought to have hollywood designers make the space force uniform. after all, they've had years of design experience. Smile

sending the billionaires off into space is too carbon intensive. how about we just send them all to a remote island somewhere?

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11 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@joe shikspack

Maybe, here.

With apologies to the Chinese Uighurs.

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@janis b

though i was thinking that antarctica might also make a nice spot.

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4 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@joe shikspack

but that would be a little too close for comfort ; )

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4 users have voted.

I feel more informed even without following all the available links.

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14 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@humphrey

...of corporate-derived news for any length of time, and pay attention, you will soon become one of better-informed people in this nation. Or so they say.

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14 users have voted.

Let us be the one online community that is guided by fact and reality.
Let us raise no false hopes nor suffer from delusions, ourselves.
joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

heh, you're welcome. mondays are usually more crammed than other days since i am catching up from the weekend.

happy reading and have a great evening!

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9 users have voted.

answered...
not soon enough according to the war pigs

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14 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

yep, i would imagine that iran, having refused to take the bait from the u.s., saudi and israel for decades now has been driving our war hawks absolutely nuts.

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11 users have voted.
mimi's picture

stable sick person you can't get rid of? Isn't that telling enough about your governmental system? Where is the storm of the Bastille?

Good Evening and thank you for still doing your job every evening here. That is even more amazing than the Americans being unable to say good-riddance to an angry shouting garden gnome.

Nothing to see here, move on. May be I come back when the stable sicko has checked himself in to the ward for stable geniuses. A sicko meets his genius. That will be THE deal.

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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

Where is the storm of the Bastille?

heh, why storm the bastille when you've got an army of morons tearing it apart from the inside?

we should not let a perfectly good crisis go to waste.

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12 users have voted.

President Trump told Republican donors Friday evening that Qassem Soleimani, the top Iranian general who was killed in a drone strike this month, was “saying bad things” about the U.S. before his death.

After all his twitter account is so prim and proper. LOL

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14 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

isn't it amusing how the rationale for assassinating soleimani seems to change with the audience it is pitched to?

it's like the administration doesn't get it that different audiences get to compare notes.

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13 users have voted.

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22 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@humphrey

...recently. She's coming up with some very pointed insights. I was even compelled to include her in my sigline.

She's the first representative in Congress with the nerve and clarity to clearly state the truth: There IS no Left in the United States political system. There never has been. An uncompromised Left has never been allowed to form a political party in the US. There is not even a Left coalition or voter's block to check elections when necessary. Certainly there's a Left majority that has been hiding out there in the forest. Silent non-participants bearing witness since the nation began. A few of them are here.

Bernie is the rare politician who can bring them out to vote any time he wants to, and he knows that. But someone else must step up to lead them. That's something Bernie cannot, and will not do. He can, however, lead the entire country as it is currently structured. Just like an authentic President would do.

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19 users have voted.

Let us be the one online community that is guided by fact and reality.
Let us raise no false hopes nor suffer from delusions, ourselves.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@Pluto's Republic

after the immigration tussle with the Blue Dogs last Summer, her messaging has been far more Progressive and consistent.

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10 users have voted.

Bernie 2020: Hey, you didn't think this would be easy, did you?

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

...if you hadn't pointed it out.

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7 users have voted.

Let us be the one online community that is guided by fact and reality.
Let us raise no false hopes nor suffer from delusions, ourselves.
joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

it's good of her to put that out there that there is no party of the left. i hope one day when she is feeling particularly courageous, she will explain why there is no party of the left. martin luther king day would be an excellent day to do so.

“Here's an interesting form of murder we came up with: assassination. You know what's interesting about assassination? Well, not only does it change those popularity polls in a big fucking hurry, but it's also interesting to notice who it is we assassinate. Did you ever notice who it is? Stop to think who it is we kill? It's always people who've told us to live together in harmony and try to love one another. Jesus, Gandhi, Lincoln, John Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, John Lennon, they all said, "Try to live together peacefully." BAM! Right in the fucking head. Apparently we're not ready for that.”

-- George Carlin

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15 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@joe shikspack

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11 users have voted.

but you solved the problem for me, joe.
Thanks so much!

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15 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

glad to be of service. Smile

have a great evening!

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8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

normalized? The current medial care system is bankrupting the nation? Democrats let Trup (again) on Iran damn near everything? Unemployment numbers are phony? Well, ...
Don't ya just know it; ah, ha, ha, hah!

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17 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

yep, sorry that i seem to paint the same picture most nights.

perhaps some night i will make up a bunch of stories so that i can paint a better picture.

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12 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack
notice how well the music fit.

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4 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 --

Azazello's picture

Here's some more on the "booming economy" propaganda campaign, from Joseph Stiglitz: The Truth About the Trump Economy
Blowback from our Ukrainian proxies: The lost boys of Ukraine: How the war abroad beckoned American white supremacists
Word of the Day: reactionaries
From my Compact Oxford: reactionary - adjective - opposing political or social progress or reform
noun - a person holding reactionary views
There are no "centrist" Dems, there are no "moderate" Dems, they are reactionaries.

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16 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

@Azazello

there are so many potholes? Nearly the only paving the do around here is to build HOT toll lanes. We serfs are consigned to travel crumbling roads.

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14 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"

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Azazello

We must get these definitions straight. Learn them and use them correctly. The forces of Babble have been unleashed against us for too long, successfully repressing us. First the mind-control operatives, then the Intelligence services, and now the tech giants have opposed our vision and muted our message. They have forced the nation into war after war and corralled a swathe of us behind invisible fences to create a poverty class that would intimidate us. And indoctrinate us into acute anxiety about the scarcity of the resources and nutrients and non-contaminated air and water that we need to keep us alive. In the richest nation in the world, no less.

The meanings of important words are continuously altered. Such a clever weapon to use against us.

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14 users have voted.

Let us be the one online community that is guided by fact and reality.
Let us raise no false hopes nor suffer from delusions, ourselves.
joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

thanks for the links! stiglitz does a great job of debunking the notion that the economy is strong and tells an important truth:

Trump may be a good president for the top 1% – and especially for the top 0.1% – but he has not been good for everyone else. If fully implemented, the 2017 tax cut will result in tax increases for most households in the second, third, and fourth income quintiles.

he fails, though, to tell this truth in context. the fact is that trump is merely continuing a trend and a policy program that has been in place since the 70's enacted under both republican and democratic regimes with the complicity of republicans and democrats in the legislature, judiciary and regulatory bureaucracies.

i would submit that what sets trump apart is the fact that he doesn't appear to give a damn if the public knows that he is screwing them - and perhaps enjoys the fact that they know.

the ukraine blowback article looks good - it's similar to a bunch of other articles that i've read recently about the spread of trained neo-nazi fighters from the conflict, though it appears to be much more richly detailed.

thanks again!

i like your word for the day. maybe tomorrow we can move on to one of my favorites: "kakistocracy."

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13 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

https://medium.com/@pamho/war-of-the-worlds-the-new-class-7d121bc83688

I have been following the links in it and I'm still watching the video at the end of it. Let me know what you think.

i would submit that what sets trump apart is the fact that he doesn't appear to give a damn if the public knows that he is screwing them - and perhaps enjoys the fact that they know.

The thing is that Trump supporters don't think he is screwing them. They love their tax cuts and they love how their 401k's are doing. I've seen people telling them that their cuts are going to expire soon, but they don't care. Plus Trump stuck it to China even though he didn't really. Lots of farmers have gone bankrupt because of his trade war and of course he did that big bad thing 'socialism' by bailing out the big farmers. Even those who aren't Americans.

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11 users have voted.

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

@snoopydawg A must see!
Thanks for bringing it to our attention, snoop.

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

the article is not unlike others that i've read, i haven't had a chance to watch the video yet.

my first impression is that the article oversimplifies the competing interests in the u.s. economy. surely there are more than 2 factions at work and the interactions of powerful actors are quite complex.

what to me seems worth paying attention to is that all of these powerful actors have general interests in common and they are all amoral crooks.

“You show me a capitalist, and I'll show you a bloodsucker”

-- Malcolm X

i think that the most interesting part of the article is when it gets down to discussing the non-viability of the unipolar world model. i think that this is dead on correct. when it is described as dangerous in that it could provoke a remarkably unpleasant reaction measured perhaps in megatons, it seems to get to the heart of the problem with the shortsightedness of u.s. political, economic and military strategy.

anyway, i'll check out the video a bit later. thanks!

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10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Yeah giving up on a unipolar world is good news for humanity.

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5 users have voted.

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

snoopydawg's picture

Something that cheered me up on this gloomy news day. Week..month..years.

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11 users have voted.

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

Lily O Lady's picture

@snoopydawg

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9 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"

Pluto's Republic's picture

@snoopydawg

Sent to earth to evolve humans, then civilize them.

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11 users have voted.

Let us be the one online community that is guided by fact and reality.
Let us raise no false hopes nor suffer from delusions, ourselves.
joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

heh, never underestimate huskies. they are some of the most smart, capable, energetic and intrepid dogs that i have ever had.

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10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Cops wearing military uniforms should scare every damn one of us. But it's not just on the streets we're seeing it. Cop and FBI type shows have every person wearing them too and it's to get people okay with it. I watch a lot of British crime dramas and cops don't even have guns and when they do they don't go aggressively into people's homes with them drawn. Can you say brainwashing? Sure you can.

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18 users have voted.

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

@snoopydawg

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@humphrey

Oaky doaky then. lol I thought he said he could put a sock on his gun. Awe isn't that nice that he wants to keep his gun warm?

Hey I'm old enough to remember when we had an assault weapons ban. I don't want to see people getting their guns taken away, but I do think some type of regulation for certain ones isn't too extreme. I've heard that shooting animals with assault weapons is bad for the meat so why do people need one? Defense? From whom?

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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

@snoopydawg

I've heard that shooting animals with assault weapons is bad for the meat so why do people need one?

It might meet the daily nutritional requirements of lead and or iron. (Just kidding)

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9 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@snoopydawg  
a while back, and as they say nowadays, the tweet went viral.

https://lite.qwant.com/?q=30+50+feral+hogs&client=opensearch

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

but this is a much larger problem with very powerful actors - the real estate industry, the banks and crooked governments that collude to drive up the prices of housing.

it's time to make housing a human right.

there are a bunch of businesspeople who are so lacking in talent and imagination that they cannot figure out how to make something that people want (or even provide financing for it) and sell it to them at a reasonable profit. instead these idiot businesspeople focus on controlling markets for existential necessities, driving up the prices as high as they can and leaning on the government to support prices as people suffer and die because they cannot afford the prices these rentiers set on survival needs.

fuck 'em.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

The article I posted in my other comment to you touces on the last part of your comment.
But yeah..fuck 'em!

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4 users have voted.

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

snoopydawg's picture

Mud huts? Just wow, Joy. I'm sure that there is a word for that type of thinking. There is more tweets in this thread.

The article on this

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13 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

has joy ann reid ever heard of a country called pakistan?

what a maroon.

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9 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  
We women of color, we haz it.

https://lite.qwant.com/?q=monopoly+jail+free+card&t=images

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7 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

Great news! Commander Bone Spurs won't go to war with our Generals!

Nice to know the TSA has a place for racists at MSP airport. What a disgusting story.

National Archives altering images. Good, but not as good as when a Clinton hard drive disappeared.

Have a good one!

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8 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

joe shikspack's picture

@dystopian

in a way i'm kinda glad that trump and the military elite don't get along. i hope that they won't do him any favors.

anyway, have a great evening!

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6 users have voted.
janis b's picture

The Bill Hicks quote is priceless, and so is the song …


Now old man rhythm is in my shoes it's no use sitting here singing the blues
so be my guest you got nothing to lose won't you let me take you on a sea cruise
ooowee ooowee baby, ooowee ooowee baby
ooowee ooowee baby won't you let me take you on a sea cruise

Now, for the not-so-entertaining blues, which seem to require more and more good musical interludes. Thanks joe.

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9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@janis b

well, the good news is that huey piano smith made a great deal of happy, fun, tap your toes or stomp your feet, good time music. Smile

have a good one!

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5 users have voted.
janis b's picture

And, does one even exist?

From your environmental news ...

The case at issue, Juliana vs. United States, has been seen as a potential landmark case not just domestically but across the globe and while the three-member panel of the 9th Circuit—notably seen as one of the country's most liberal-minded circuit courts—agreed with the plaintiff's argument that the U.S. government has operated as a barrier to climate action it concluded the courts were not the appropriate avenue for their complaint.

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7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@janis b

like 2 of the justices want to avoid responsibility for this hot potato by calling it a political question.

it's a good reminder that the court system as we know it are courts of law, not courts of justice. justice is entirely incidental to the process.

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8 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@joe shikspack

they were related.

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6 users have voted.

@joe shikspack I am not always privy to the "agenda".
I am just aware there is an "agenda".

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7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

in my view, the (u.s.) courts are ultimately political institutions - and the same people who drive the legislative and executive politics also drive the judicial politics. as the interests of the masters of the universe (so to speak) and the rest of us continue to diverge through economic and social inequality, no amount of mumbo jumbo about "originalism" or whatever obfuscation of the month the federalist society has decided upon will be able to restore the credibility of the courts as a neutral arbiter.

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10 users have voted.

@joe shikspack Trickle Down injustice has been perfected in all courts, Federal, State, to County, to Municipal, to Justice of the Peace.
I wanted to keep working another 10 years, but am seriously considering stopping the blood letting maybe 6 or 7 years.
I should play the lottery, end the misery sooner if I get lucky.

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6 users have voted.

@on the cusp @on the cusp
For those that haven't heard of the case that is the epitome of the reality of the "Justice" system read this first (emphasis mine).
"Critics have also complained that the presiding judge—District Judge Jean Boyd—gave a much harsher sentence to another 16-year-old intoxicated driver 10 years earlier. In February 2004, Boyd sentenced Eric Bradlee Miller, who stole a truck and killed a 19 year old father,[34] to 20 years telling him, "the court is aware you had a sad childhood ... I hope you will take advantage of the services [offered by the Texas Youth Commission] and turn your life around."[35] Miller had killed one victim, not four, and had a much lower blood alcohol level (0.11% compared to Couch's 0.24%) but was from a much poorer family.[35][36]

"Ethan Anthony Couch is an American who at age 16 killed four people while driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs on June 15, 2013, in Burleson, Texas....

Approximately an hour after the beer theft, Couch was driving his father's truck at 70 miles per hour (110 km/h) on rural, two-lane Burleson-Retta Road where motorist Breanna Mitchell's sport utility vehicle (SUV) had stalled. Hollie Boyles and her daughter Shelby, who lived nearby, had come out to help her, as had passing youth minister Brian Jennings. Couch's truck swerved off the road and into Mitchell's SUV, then crashed into Jennings' parked car, which in turn hit an oncoming Volkswagen Beetle. The truck then flipped over and struck a tree. Mitchell, Jennings, and both Boyles were killed, while Couch and his seven teenage passengers (none wearing seat belts) survived (although one was paralyzed), as did the two children in Jennings' car and the two people in the Volkswagen.[19]

Three hours after the incident, Couch, 16, had a blood alcohol content of 0.24%, three times the legal limit for adult drivers (21+ years old) in Texas,[8] and he also tested positive for marijuana and Valium.[6] "

G. Dick Miller, a psychologist hired as an expert by the defense, testified in court that the teen was a product of "affluenza" and was unable to link his actions with consequences because of his parents teaching him that wealth buys privilege. It was initially reported that, as part of his sentencing, their son would be sent for teen substance abuse and mental health rehabilitation to Newport Academy, an upscale residential treatment center in Newport Beach, California with costs upwards of $450,000 annually.[22][23] The facility offers a 90-day treatment program that includes horseback riding, mixed martial arts, massage and cookery, interpretive dance therapy, a swimming pool, basketball and six acres of land.[24]

Following a court hearing closed to the public, Judge Boyd instead sentenced Couch to an unspecified lock-down rehabilitation facility at his parents expense; the time Couch would have to stay there was also unspecified. Couch was ordered to stay away from drugs, alcohol, and driving. A hearing on April 11, 2014, revealed that on February 19, 2014, Couch had begun treatment "at the North Texas State Hospital, a state-owned in-patient mental health facility" in Vernon, Texas. Although the daily rate for the treatment facility is $715, Couch's parents were ordered to pay $1,170 per month for his stay there, based on the state's sliding-scale payment schedule. The amount ordered is the maximum allowed on the payment schedule. Couch's parents promised in court to pay the requested fee for their son's treatment.[25]

At least one relative of the crash victims complained of the lightness of Couch's sentence and that Couch had expressed no remorse.[26][27] "

"One psychologist who disagreed with Couch's sentence—Dr. Suniya S. Luthar, who specializes in "the costs of affluence in suburban communities"—maintains that research shows feelings of entitlement among affluent youth are a social problem, and that "we are setting a double standard for the rich and poor." Luthar asked, "What is the likelihood if this was an African-American, inner-city kid that grew up in a violent neighborhood to a single mother who is addicted to crack and he was caught two or three times ... what is the likelihood that the judge would excuse his behavior and let him off because of how he was raised?"[31]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethan_Couch

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@aliasalias This one got attention because of the brand new word for excusing a rich person's criminal behavior.

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lotlizard's picture

only the most principled people in politics, plus a few writers for alternative media — a minority even there — bothered to question it.

Al-Awlaki was a U.S. citizen, unattached to any foreign government or military. He simply made videos and podcasts. He was judged deserving of the death penalty by the Obama White House because reportedly some people would go off to join Islamic militias and terrorist groups after listening to his rants.

Freak out when under Trump the country takes another lurch down a slippery slope, if you must.

But remember that all these slippery slopes were sold to us by Bush the Younger as “emergency measures” and then cemented in place by Nobel laureate Obama as the new normal.

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@lotlizard exactly!

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@lotlizard

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