The Evening Blues - 2-27-20


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Big John Wrencher

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Chicago blues harmonica player Big John Wrencher. Enjoy!

Big John Wrencher - Back porch boogie

"Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it."

-- Hannah Arendt

News and Opinion

Netanyahu, Trump, and Kushner Named in 'War Crimes' Lawsuit Filed by Palestinians in US Court

A Washington attorney on Tuesday filed suit against U.S. President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, U.S. Ambassador David Friedman, White House advisor Jared Kushner, and others for their involvement in "the denationalization and dehumanization of the Palestinian population" in occupied Palestine.

The 175-page suit (pdf), filed on behalf of a group of Palestinians and Americans, claims that the actions of the defendants, most of whom are U.S. and Israeli officials, "have aided and abetted the commission of numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity."

Attorney Martin F. McMahon in the lawsuit describes a long strategy to disenfranchise the Palestinian people by using the levers of power in the federal government, state governments like New York, and groups like AIPAC to deaden criticism of the Israeli regime's treatment of the Palestinian people.

"If AIPAC was active during the colonial days," writes McMahon, "patriot Tom Payne would have been hanged for advocating independence for the colonies."

Americans should not find the actions of the Israeli government too alien, McMahon says, because the treatment of the Palestinians is analogous to the behavior of U.S. empire:

For most Americans, the concepts relied upon by the Palestinian Plaintiffs in this case (i.e. ethnic cleansing, genocide, denationalization, and dehumanization) are foreign concepts not part of normal American vernacular. However, these concepts are as American as apple pie. The indigenous American Indian population and the African slaves brought to America have been victimized by these identical war crimes. Each group has been subject to ethnic cleansing, genocide, expropriation of private property, confinement to reservations and ghettos, wholesale denial of their fundamental freedoms, subjected to a biased criminal justice system, and deemed to be irrelevant and disenfranchised members of American society.

McMahon has in the past sued other foreign governments and entities in federal court. In 2019, the lawyer brought a $1 billion suit against Israeli settlers and their American backers to the D.C. District Court. Earlier in February, McMahon filed suit against Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar on behalf of families killed by Haftar's militias.

'Watershed Moment': Joining Warren and Sanders, Centrist Democrats Klobuchar and Buttigieg Agree to #SkipAIPAC

Succumbing to grassroots pressure, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg both announced Wednesday that they would not attend the Israel lobby's meeting this year, making them the latest two Democratic presidential candidates to decline an invitation to address the conference.

Jewish-led group IfNotNow credited its #SkipAIPAC campaign—which it's leading with MoveOn, Indivisible, and the Working Families Party—as well as years of public pressure from defenders of Palestinians' human rights—with convincing Buttigieg and Klobuchar to skip the conference.

"This is a watershed moment and a major victory against the bigotry that AIPAC has legitimized for decades," said IfNotNow co-founder Dani Moscovitch. "Even moderates in the Democratic Party are now refusing to attend a conference by a right-wing lobby that allies with bigots just to shield the Israeli government from any consequences for denying the Palestinian people freedom and dignity."

"Because of grassroots pressure, the tide is turning," IfNotNow tweeted. ...

On Tuesday, seven IfNotNow members were arrested at former Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign headquarters in Philadelphia for holding a public action there. Biden and businessman Tom Steyer have not committed to skipping the AIPAC conference, and IfNotNow called former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is set to speak at the meeting, a "lost cause."

MoveOn said it was encouraged by the commitments of the four Democratic candidates.

"MoveOn members are excited that Democratic candidates are listening to the grassroots majority that supports peace and diplomacy over disastrous wars of choice," said senior political advisor Dan Kalik. "Thank you Senators Warren, Sanders, and Klobuchar, and Mayor Pete for standing by your values and choosing to #SkipAIPAC. No candidates should be pandering to AIPAC, which spent millions in an attempt to defeat the Iran Nuclear Deal and continues to give a platform to Islamophobes and bigots."

With a growing number of major political figures refusing to align with the anti-Palestinian rights lobby, IfNotNow is also focused on ending the U.S. government's support for the Israeli military's occupation.

"It is time to end the blank check and for our tax dollars to stop funding the Israeli occupation," said Moscovitch.

‘They Should Be In Jail’: How The Guardian and New York Times ‘Set Up’ Julian Assange

Award-winning journalist Mark Davis has exposed the extent to which The Guardian and New York Times betrayed Julian Assange in 2010, and have played a pivotal and consciously dishonest role in smearing him ever since.

Speaking at an event in Sydney, Australia 8th August 2019, Davis recalled how he’d closely followed Assange’s activities in the first half of that year in order to make a series of programmes on the WikiLeaks founder’s life for Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service — he ended up with so much material he was able to compile a documentary, ‘Inside WikiLeaks’.

In particular, Davis was granted intimate insight into the release of the Afghan War Logs — 90,000 US military incident and intelligence reports compiled January 2004 — December 2009. Provided to WikiLeaks by Chelsea Manning, the files offered damning and previously hidden evidence of war crimes perpetrated by Allied forces in the country, including a number of extrajudicial killings.

Publication was ostensibly to be a collaborative effort in which WikiLeaks and a number of mainstream media outlets, most prominently The Guardian and New York Times, would work in concert curating the files and preparing them for publication — The Guardian went to the extent of establishing a dedicated operations room, dubbed “the bunker”, in order to facilitate the project. ...

He explained that at no point in the bunker did he see Guardian journalists “express any concern whatsoever” about putting people’s lives at risk, although Assange did on several occasions. Moreover, the issue of exposing the identities of thousands of people — an inevitable and obvious consequence of publishing tens of thousands of sensitive documents — was “never taken seriously” by the reporters involved, he alleges.

Syrian journalist corrects the record on mainstream media’s absurd Idlib coverage

Taliban attacks down as Afghanistan ‘reduction in violence’ deal holds

A partial, week-long truce between the Taliban, American and Afghan forces held tenuously for a fourth day Tuesday, despite several insurgent attacks and the United States hitting Islamic State targets.

If the so-called “reduction in violence” continues, the U.S. and the Taliban are expected to sign a historic deal in Doha on Saturday that would see the Pentagon pull thousands of troops from Afghanistan after more than 18 years of war.

While the agreement doesn’t amount to a full ceasefire – the insurgents insist it only covers certain urban and military areas – the number of Taliban attacks has fallen dramatically.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, an Afghan security source said Taliban attacks had dropped from an average of 75 a day to about 15 since the truce began on February 22.

“Dead Bodies Everywhere”: Hindu Nationalist Violence Rocks Delhi as Trump Visits Modi in India

Anti-Muslim Violence in India Reaching Critical Levels as Homes and Businesses Burn and at Least 24 Dead

As anti-Muslim violence continued to roil the Indian city of Delhi Wednesday, observers from inside the country and around the world warned that the crisis is fast approaching a "pogrom" that could result in many people dying and displaced.

"India is a red-alert story every media outlet needs to be more focused on," tweeted TIME editor-at-large Anand Giridharadas.

The violence began Sunday, a day before U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in the country for a 36-hour trip where Prime Minister Narendra Modi feted the American leader with a massive rally in Ahmedabad. Hindu mobs attacked Muslims peacefully demonstrating against India's citizenship law, which, as Common Dreams reported, is targeted at stripping many of the country's Muslim immigrants of their right to apply for citizenship.

As Al Jazeera reported on Wednesday:

At least 24 people have been killed after India's capital was hit by the worst religious violence in decades, which was triggered after Muslims protesting against a discriminatory citizenship law were attacked.

Nearly 200 people have been injured during three days of violence in Muslim populated areas of northeast Delhi, with police accused of looking the other way as a mob went on the rampage, killing people and damaging properties, including mosques.

Indian news outlet Scroll.In reported that one of the victims of the violence was an 85-year-old woman trapped on the third floor of her family home after it was set on fire by a group of Hindu extremists.

The violence doesn't seem likely to abate anytime soon, police told residents.

"The police told one of the Muslims from my area that the mobs were going to get bigger and the police did not have the forces to contain them, so we should all leave for our safety," a man identified as Sohail Ismail told Scroll.In.

At the conclusion of his trip Tuesday, Trump praised what he called Modi's devotion to a pluralistic society, a perception at odds with the experiences of religious minorities in the country under Modi's rule.

Outrage as Jair Bolsonaro appears to endorse Brazil anti-democracy protests

Jair Bolsonaro’s apparent endorsement of protests designed to cow Brazil’s democratic institutions has sparked outrage across the political spectrum with one lawmaker warning of a return to the dark days of dictatorship if the demonstrations are not opposed.

Hardcore supporters of Brazil’s far-right president are planning nationwide protests on 15 March and have been flooding social media with propaganda videos and fliers attacking members of Congress – and even proposing a return to military rule under Bolsonaro.

One advert for the #SomosTodosBolsonaro (We’re all Bolsonaro) rallies urges Bolsonaristas to pile pressure on lawmakers by attending what it calls “Fuck You Day”.

Bolsonaro, a notorious admirer of authoritarian rulers such as the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, appeared to sanction the protests this week, sharing one such video with friends and associates on his personal WhatsApp account. ...

Bolsonaro’s promotion of the anti-democratic mobilization – which some suspect is designed to undermine or intimidate Congress ahead of a potential attempt to impeach him – sparked fury in a country that only emerged from two decades of dictatorship in 1985.

Trump campaign sues New York Times for libel over Russia story

Donald Trump’s re-election campaign said on Wednesday it had filed a libel suit against the New York Times accusing the newspaper of intentionally publishing a false opinion article related to Russian interference in the 2016 US election.

In an escalation of the Republican president’s long-running battle with the news media, campaign officials said the lawsuit was being filed in New York state supreme court, the state’s trial-level court. A statement from the campaign said the aim of the litigation was to “hold the news organization accountable for intentionally publishing false statements against President Trump’s campaign”.

The lawsuit relates to a 27 March 2019, opinion article written by Max Frankel, who served as executive editor of the Times from 1986 to 1994. ...

The opinion piece was headlined, “The Real Trump-Russia Quid Pro Quo” with a subhead adding, “The campaign and the Kremlin had an overarching deal: help beat Hillary Clinton for a new pro-Russian foreign policy.” ...

In the opinion piece, Frankel stated, “Collusion – or a lack of it – turns out to have been the rhetorical trap that ensnared President Trump’s pursuers.” Frankel added: “There was no need for detailed electoral collusion between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin’s oligarchy because they had an overarching deal: the quid of help in the campaign against Hillary Clinton for the quo of a new pro-Russian foreign policy, starting with relief from the Obama administration’s burdensome economic sanctions. The Trumpites knew about the quid and held out the prospect of the quo.”

Keiser Report: Billionaires re-gifting Some of the Fed’s free money

Fed’s Stress Tests on Banks Should Have Factored in a Pandemic

Each year the Federal Reserve comes up with a hypothetical, severely adverse economic scenario against which it evaluates the ability of Wall Street’s mega banks to weather the storm. Called “stress tests,” this year’s severely adverse scenario features a severe global recession, unemployment of 10 percent, elevated stress in corporate debt markets and commercial real estate, along with a bank’s major counterparty defaulting if it has significant derivatives trading exposures. The stress test results are typically disclosed in June by the Fed with an immediate announcement by the banks (that get the green light from the Fed) about how many billions of dollars they plan to spend on stock buybacks and dividend increases to artificially boost their share prices.

What the Federal Reserve has not planned for in its stress test is a global recession (which was looking entirely likely prior to the coronavirus outbreak) on top of a massive supply chain disruption because of a spreading virus that shuts down factories, making it impossible to supply finished goods. What the Federal Reserve has also not tested in its stress tests is a retrenchment on spending by consumers because they are afraid to go on vacation or to malls or movie theaters or other public venues. In the U.S., consumer spending represents two-thirds of GDP.

We have long said that the Fed’s stress tests were nothing more than an illusion. (See related articles below.) Now the chickens are coming home to roost. The mega banks on Wall Street and their insurance company derivative counterparties continued to bleed out capital yesterday, with most down 8 to 10 percent over the two-day period. And that’s just on the possibility that the coronavirus will continue to spread.

This week has not been one of America’s finest hours. On Monday President Donald Trump Tweeted that the “Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.” And while offering no sympathy to the families of the more than 2700 people who have died from the virus around the globe, Trump threw in that the “Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” The stock market, as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average, fell 1,031.61 points on Monday when the President issued his Tweet, and dropped another 879 points the following day.

Is Gmail hiding Bernie’s emails to you? How inbox filtering may impact democracy

Pete Buttigieg is leading at 63%. Andrew Yang came in second at 46%. And Elizabeth Warren looks like she’s in trouble with 0%. These aren’t poll numbers for the US 2020 Democratic presidential contest. Instead, they reflect which candidates were able to consistently land in Gmail’s primary inbox in a simple test.

The Markup set up a new Gmail account to find out how the company filters political emails from candidates, thinktanks, advocacy groups and nonprofits. We found that few of the emails we’d signed up to receive – 11% – made it to the primary inbox, the first one a user sees when opening Gmail and the one the company says is “for the mail you really, really want”.

Half of all emails landed in a tab called “promotions”, which Gmail says is for “deals, offers and other marketing emails”. Gmail sent another 40% to spam. ...

Gmail enables the tabs by default, but they can be disabled. Wattie declined to say whether most users keep the tabs, but an email deliverability firm said about 34% of respondents to a 2016 survey said they use them. The tabs also serve another purpose: ad inventory. While Gmail does not sell ads in the primary inbox, advertisers can pay for top placement in the social and promotions tabs in free accounts.

Some fear that, as a result, Gmail has the same conflict of interest that exists on social networks: if the platforms make it too easy to reach people for nothing, no one will buy ads.

“Pence is Not a Medical Expert”: Is the Trump Admin Ready to Stop a U.S. Coronavirus Pandemic?

Trump Reportedly Trying to Siphon $37 Million From Heating Assistance for the Poor to Fund Coronavirus Response

Critics are denouncing it as an unconscionable attack on the nation's poor after reporting revealed President Donald Trump has floated plans to shift $37 million away from a federal program that provides heating assistance for low-income families to help fund the White House's response to the growing coronavirus threat.

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman reported Tuesday that the White House informed congressional Democrats that it wants to transfer "$37 million to emergency funding for the coronavirus response from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, which funds heating for poor families."

"Because if we have to prevent the spread of an infectious disease, we might as well take the opportunity to make some poor families freeze," Waldman tweeted, deriding the administration's proposal.

House Democrats, according to the Post, view the LIHEAP cut as a non-starter that could further delay the federal government's response to the coronavirus outbreak. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday that the virus could spread rapidly across the U.S. and urged Americans to prepare for "significant disruption in their daily lives."

"After dithering for weeks as the coronavirus spread around the world, the Trump administration has now decided to pay for its belated response by cutting funding for heating assistance for low-income families," Evan Hollander, a spokesman for House Appropriations Committee Democrats, told the Post. ...

As Common Dreams reported Tuesday, the Trump administration's $2.5 billion emergency request to Congress called for $1.25 billion in new money and proposed using over $530 million in unspent Ebola response money to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

Democratic leaders slammed the request as woefully inadequate and said Trump is at least partially to blame for the federal government's lack of preparedness and slow response to the deadly virus.

It Took 120 Years But the U.S. Just Made Lynching a Federal Hate Crime

It’s taken 120 years, but the U.S. government has finally made lynching a federal crime.

On Wednesday, the House passed the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act, named for the black teen who was lynched in Mississippi in 1955, with 410 members voting in favor and four voting against. Three black senators — Democrats Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, plus Republican Tim Scott — pushed their version of the bill through the Senate in December, which means the historic legislation is now headed to President Donald Trump’s desk.

The four House lawmakers who opposed the legislation Wednesday are Republicans Louie Gohmert of Texas, Ted Yoho of Florida, and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, and Independent Justin Amash of Michigan.

Five other members of Congress initially voted against the bill and then changed their vote to support it, according to CNN reporter Haley Byrd: Republican Reps. Paul Gosar, Chip Roy, Andy Bigs, Ralph Norman, and Steve King.

In 1900, when Rep. George Henry White, then the country’s only black congressman, first proposed the bill, racist violence and lynchings of African Americans were rampant, particularly in the South. Over 4,000 lynchings of African Americans occurred in 12 Southern states between 1877 and 1950, according to the Equal Justice Initiative.

Emails Show Rep. Henry Cuellar Provided Extensive Favors to Border Security Lobbyists

Rep. Henry Cuellar, a conservative Texas Democrat, has used his perch in Congress to push for funds for private prisons, drone surveillance, and increased border security enforcement. The lawmaker has defended his record as part of his duty as a border lawmaker focused on national security, but emails show Cuellar acting at the behest of well-connected lobbyists for a government contractor.

Perceptics, a company that sells cameras that scan license plates, has frequently tapped Cuellar for favors since at least 2011, including a push to edge out a competing vendor, using its team of lobbyists and campaign contributions to curry favor with his office.

The close relationship with the lawmaker was revealed through emails that were published online last summer after Perceptics was targeted by an anonymous hacker. Colin Strother, a spokesperson for Cuellar, declined to discuss the emails and accused The Intercept of “an agenda and a bias.” Perceptics declined to comment.

The emails show the lawmaker’s name mentioned dozens of times as an ally Perceptics could use to sponsor legislation or write official letters on the company’s behalf. Lobbyists and executives at the firm referenced him as Perceptics’s “friendly congressman” and “our Cuellar firepower.”

the horse race

Krystal and Saagar: Superdelegates admit flagrant plan to take the nomination from Bernie

Dispelling Russia-gate: "Bernie Edition" with Aaron Mate

Our Revolution, Accused of Dark-Money Spending for Sanders, Took Only Six Donations Over $5,000 in 2019, None Larger than $25,000

Rival presidential candidates have been attacking Sen. Bernie Sanders over the advocacy groups boosting his campaign, accusing the Democratic frontrunner of taking untraceable dark money and contributions from super PACs and from the nonprofit he founded in 2016, Our Revolution.

The problem with the charge: It’s not dark money, and it’s not big, either.

The issue arose most recently during the Nevada debate, when Sen. Elizabeth Warren said that everyone onstage besides her and Sen. Amy Klobuchar had taken money from super PACs, which can take in and spend money for candidates with fewer restrictions than a campaign. Her statement cast shade on Sanders, and seemed to raise questions whether the political spending is at odds with the Vermont senator’s rejection of money in politics. Warren didn’t mention names, but Pete Buttigieg tweeted about the “nine dark money groups” that make up a coalition called People Power for Bernie and include Our Revolution, the youth-led climate group Sunrise Movement, and a super PAC affiliated with the National Nurses union. Our Revolution in particular has received scrutiny because it is a 501(c)(4), which allows it to accept large donations without disclosing its donors, unlike super PACs.

In response to an Intercept inquiry, Our Revolution provided information on its donors, which is not yet public, saying that in 2019, it only received a total of six donations over $5,000. Last year, the average individual contribution to Our Revolution was $17.73, with 99.99 percent of its donations coming in under $5,000, according to the group. The six big contributions totaled $78,289.53 last year, or roughly 4 percent of its revenue. The biggest contribution was around $25,000. Our Revolution, from all sources, took in $1.87 million in 2019, and the bulk of that was spent on state and local races or other organizing campaigns separate from the Sanders presidential run. ...

Warren, a longtime critic of super PACs, recently reversed her position on the issue, saying the fact that only the “two women” in the race didn’t have super PAC support was “just not right.” A super PAC backing Warren, called Persist PAC, filed with the FEC last week. Kitchen Table Conversations, a super PAC supporting Klobuchar, also filed its paperwork last Friday.

Matt Taibbi: Is Bernie making a mistake on Russiagate?

'We Are Not That Stupid': Rev. Al Sharpton Says Black Voters Won't Be Fooled by Red-Baiting Attacks on Sanders

Rev. Al Sharpton said Wednesday that black voters in South Carolina, which holds its Democratic presidential primary on Saturday, will not be deceived by red-baiting attacks on Sen. Bernie Sanders because "we've been down that road before."

"The civil rights movement always was targeted by those that would use the Red Scare," Sharpton said at the South Carolina Ministers' Breakfast in North Charleston as he introduced the Vermont senator.

Sanders and five other Democratic presidential hopefuls attended the event, which was hosted by the National Action Network.

"They accused Dr. King of being a communist," Sharpton said. "Every major leader in the 60s they tried to call socialist or communist. Whatever you decide to do on Saturday, do not go by those that use the 'socialist' tag to try to separate us from what we need to do for this country... And we are not that stupid to allow you to tell us who is what."

"Those of us that had to fight for the right to vote need to use that vote in a fair way, fair to those that fought for it," added Sharpton, pointing to Sanders' involvement in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. "One of them that came south to fight for that and was arrested was the senator from the state of Vermont, Senator Bernie Sanders."

Krystal Ball: The Establishment starts to bend the knee to Bernie

Jimmy Dore: Was Debate Audience Rigged For Bloomberg?

Bernie Sanders Can’t Win (by as Much) Unless Youth Vote Surges (Like It Recently Has)

“The first thing is to raise hell,” said labor organizer Mary Harris “Mother” Jones. “That’s always the first thing to do when you’re faced with an injustice and you feel powerless.” That’s not exactly the advice of Kevin Drum, who blogs at the website that bears the name of Mother Jones. His guidance is more along the lines of: Be moderate, because that’s the only way to be electable.

Drum offered this insight in a recent post headlined “New Survey Suggests Bernie Can Win Only With Enormous Youth Turnout” (2/25/20). It summarizes a new paper (“Candidate Ideology and Vote Choice in the 2020 US Presidential Election,” 2/25/20) by David Broockman and Joshua Kalla, political scientists at Berkeley and Yale, respectively, which—to start with—does not say that Bernie Sanders can win only with enormous youth turnout.

What the paper actually reported was that in a survey of potential voters, Sanders beat Trump by 4.3 percentage points—the same victory margin that Joe Biden got, 0.2 points more than Michael Bloomberg’s margin, 2.4 more than Pete Buttigieg and 3.2 more than Elizabeth Warren. Sanders did well in the survey, the political scientists found, because Sanders strikingly increased the number of young people who said they would turn out to vote for him, among both Democrats and independents. However, when they adjusted the demographics of respondents to match the turnout in 2016—that is, when Hillary Clinton was the Democratic nominee—and assumed that Democrats who said they won’t vote if Sanders isn’t the nominee will actually end up voting for whoever the Democratic nominee is, then Sanders’ victory margin went down to 0.5 percentage points—compared to 4.4 points for Bloomberg, 2.5 for Buttigieg, 1.1 for Biden and -1.6—a loss—for Warren.

Note that even when you assume that Sanders supporters won’t vote as much as they say they will, and will vote when they say they won’t, Sanders still wins—contrary to Mother Jones‘ headline. He just doesn’t win by as much as some other candidates. (Note: Polling is not voting—no one actually knows who will win an election until it happens. But polling remains the best means we have of predicting results.)

But for Drum, the point of the paper is that Sanders’ electoral advantage involves young people voting more than usual, and that’s not going to happen: “I long ago became cynical about promises of getting young people to vote in larger numbers than usual,” he writes. As the post’s graph notes: “To believe Sanders is as electable as the moderate candidates, his nomination must increase youth turnout by 30% over 2016.” Asserts the blogger: “Every four years, for as long as I can remember, I’ve heard promises that this is the year we’ll finally get young people to turn out for us. But they never do.”

Except, of course, when they do. The graph that accompanies the post shows that youth turnout increased from 34.5% in 2000 to 45% in 2004—which works out to a jump of, huh, 30%. And according to the US Census Bureau (4/23/19), writing about midterm turnout: “Among 18- to 29-year-olds, voter turnout went from 20% in 2014 to 36% in 2018, the largest percentage point increase for any age group—a 79% jump.” So maybe it is possible for young people to change their voting patterns, sometimes?

But really, the biggest problem with Drum’s column is the assumption that in late February 2020, there’s still time to trade in for a more electable model, like clicking from a navy to a burgundy sweater while shopping online. The reality is that stopping Sanders at this point means dismantling a well-organized, enthusiastic mass movement—probably by March 3, at which point 38% of the delegates will have been awarded. It’s hard to see how this happens without a savage ad attack, backed by Bloomberg’s billions, hoping to drive up the negatives of the Democrats’ most popular candidate.

To hope that when the dust clears, they’ll be able to put the pieces of the Democratic coalition back together behind a “moderate” candidate without seriously depressing voter turnout—to me, that seems like far more of a fantasy than to believe that young people will turn out in greater numbers for Bernie Sanders than they did for Hillary Clinton.

Study indicates non-voters may stay home because they view the system as rigged

the evening greens

Ocasio-Cortez Reads Full Green New Deal Resolution on House Floor to Help Improve GOP Comprehension

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to the House floor Wednesday to call out some of her Republican colleagues for failing to read the Green New Deal resolution she introduced over a year ago—and then read the entire 14-page proposal into the public record.

Introduced by Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in February 2019, the Green New Deal resolution (H.Res. 109/S.Res. 59) is now backed by over a hundred members of Congress across both chambers. None of them are Republicans.

In her floor speech, Ocasio-Cortez also noted that moderators of Tuesday night's Democratic presidential primary debate in South Carolina failed to ask about the climate crisis. The congresswoman has endorsed the current frontrunner in the race, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is an original co-sponsor of the Green New Deal resolution and has put forth a related plan for his 2020 platform.

Alaska’s Marine Ecosystem Is Changing ‘Decades Too Early’ Due to Climate Crisis

The climate crisis is accelerating the rate of change in Alaska‘s marine ecosystem far faster than scientists had previously thought, causing possibly irreversible changes, according to new research, as Newsweek reported.

The new study from the University of Alaska Fairbanks shows that the climate crisis has warmed waters, changing ecosystems and crippling sea ice growth. The researchers told Alaska Public Media that now is the perfect time to study Alaskan waters before warmer temperatures become the new normal. ...

The study published in the journal Nature Climate Change said that 2017 showed signs of “a sudden and dramatic shift,” according to the International Business Times. ...

While the study focused on 2017, temperatures over the last two years suggest a lasting change is in the works.

“Many changes persisted in 2018 and even into 2019, suggesting that 2017 was not a passing oddity of brief consequence to social-ecological systems, but a sign of what is to come,” according to the study, as Newsweek reported.

Human disturbance increasing cannibalism among polar bears

Cases of polar bears killing and eating each other are on the rise in the Arctic as melting ice and human activity erode their habitat, according to a Russian expert.

“Cases of cannibalism among polar bears are a long-established fact, but we’re worried that such cases used to be found rarely while now they are recorded quite often,” said Ilya Mordvintsev, a polar bear expert, quoted by Interfax news agency.

Mordvintsev, a senior researcher at Moscow’s Severtsov Institute of Problems of Ecology and Evolution, added: “We state that cannibalism in polar bears is increasing.” Speaking at a presentation in St Petersburg, Mordvintsev suggested that the behaviour could be due to lack of food. “In some seasons there is not enough food and large males attack females with cubs.”

The rise in cases could also be due partly to more people working in the Arctic and reporting such behaviour, he said. “Now we get information not only from scientists but also from the growing number of oil workers and defence ministry employees.”

This winter the area from the Gulf of Ob to the Barents Sea, where polar bears used to hunt, is now a busy route for ships carrying LNG (liquefied natural gas), Mordvintsev said. “The Gulf of Ob was always a hunting ground for the polar bear. Now it has broken ice all year round,” he said, linking this change to active gas extraction on the huge Yamal peninsula bordering the Gulf of Ob, and the launch of an Arctic LNG plant.

Also of Interest

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

Intercepted podcast: Bernie Sanders’s Fight Against Trump, the GOP, the Democratic Establishment, and Corporate Media

How Bernie Sanders' fight for Amazon warehouse workers is winning California voters

Vanderbilt oligarch heir Anderson Cooper worked at CIA in college

Bernie Sanders and the Military Industrial Complex

Mike Bloomberg’s campaign is polluting the internet

Debunking The Smear That Assange Recklessly Published Unredacted Documents

The British Kangaroo Court Proceedings Against Julian Assange


Julian Assange asks to sit with lawyers for extradition case

With help from US media allies, Nicaragua’s coup-mongers are aiming for Western hearts and minds

Jimmy Dore: Here’s How Bloomberg Loses To Trump

Jimmy Dore: Bloomberg’s Red-Baiting Of Bernie Validated By Bernie

Saagar Enjeti: ABC News reveals corporate control by silencing socialist journalist

Rising: Texas Dems Executive Director discusses superdelegates

David Pakman: Is this the most likely contested convention scenario?

Ken Klippenstein: How Bloomberg staffers really feel about the campaign

Rising looks at Joe Biden's lack of campaigning in Super Tuesday states

Rising: Will Bernie beat Warren in her home state?

A Little Night Music

Joe Carter with Big John Wrencher - You're The One

Big John Wrencher - Ha-Ha Baby

Big John Wrencher - Conductor Blues

Big John Wrencher(One Arm John) - Take A Little Walk With Me

Joe Carter & Big John Wrencher - Honey Bee

Robert NightHawk & Big John Wrencher - Blues Before Sunrise

Big John Wrencher & Eddie Taylor - Lonesome In My Cabin, How Many More Years

Big John Wrencher - Memphis To Maxwell

Big John Wrencher - Lucille

14 users have voted.


Wally's picture

10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


yes, i think that it is part of the new normal. all wars come home and the tactics employed on foreign populations are inevitably deployed at home. propaganda has always been a tool of warfare, but its use in the "information age" has become far more intense.

most folks (i suspect) do not recognize that they are living through an information war and are daily subjected to attacks large and small.

8 users have voted.

your Arendt quote reminds one
of the super silly spokes person
working for bush the younger

forget his name (not unusual)
think his nickname was shit head
or some such
looked like the pillsbury doughboy

in all his power and glory
stated facts don't matter
we make our own reality

thanks shit head for clarifying
this to the citizens of vague
understanding Wink

12 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

GreatLakeSailor's picture


13 users have voted.

Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

in the aforementioned analogy.
Thanks sailor for preserving your memory chips.
Lost mine in a late night game of Blackjack.
Rovian realities as talking points.


12 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

joe shikspack's picture


heh, it's a quote that i have pondered quite often.

In a 2004 article appearing in the New York Times Magazine, Ron Suskind wrote:

The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' [...] 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do'.

the aide was karl rove.

12 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

The robbery will be televised.


The judge is biased in the rigged trial on Assange.

Assange's supporters know it and are thoroughly disgusted as am I.

"Enemies foreign and domestic?


Who feels safe with Pence in charge of this? The guy who is supposed to be in charge of pharma is an ex head of a drug company and told congress that even though tax money is going to be used to create a vaccine he won't guarantee that it will be affordable for all of lowly peons. Great.

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

joe shikspack's picture


heh, there's a part of me that hopes that should the democrat national corporation attempt to perform the thievery, bernie's millions of activists let the brigands know in no uncertain terms that there will be a price to pay.

9 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

Here's a little RussiaRussia mashup from The Duran:

That's all I got, have a nice night.

11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


pretty good mashup, thanks! i can't believe that this stuff has caught on with the public to the extent that it has.

have a good evening!

7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture


If you're down about the news then this will put a smile on your face and a chuckle in your belly. I can't stop watching it.

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


it's important to keep the lower classes separated by narrow interest divisions. allowing that large of a group to form around common ground would indeed be risky for the masters of the universe.

6 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture


really slow to catch onto what that good boy is here on earth to do. He’s a terrific playmate, not a servant.

7 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"

snoopydawg's picture

@Lily O Lady

.he opened the fridge and then he pulled it out from the wall. I haven't laughed this hard in some time. Dawgs. How would we live without them? But the wheelchair with the music...

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

Lily O Lady's picture


4 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"

enhydra lutris's picture

striving for irrelevancy. I guess it's finally about time.

7 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

heh, they've been irrelevant for a long time. it's just that the public's perceptions of their irrelevance are finally catching up with the reality.

have a great evening!

5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

keybord button at the number '4'. A little bit of oil will fix it. No problem. ... Sigh.

1 user has voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

to close for a month. The governor of Hokkaido prefecture has declared a state of emergency, asking people not to go out.

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"