The Evening Blues - 7-1-20


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Big Walter Horton

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Chicago blues harmonica player Big Walter Horton. Enjoy!

Jimmy & Walter - Easy

"Incompetence is the true crisis."

-- Albert Einstein

News and Opinion

Fauci says US death toll 'going to be very disturbing' and fears 100,000 daily cases

Dr Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert, has said the country could see 100,000 new coronavirus cases daily unless action is taken to reverse the epidemic. Appearing before the Senate health, education, labor and pensions committee on Tuesday, Fauci warned that the US is “going in the wrong direction” over handling the coronavirus, and said the death toll “is going to be very disturbing”.

He appeared a day after the White House insisted the outbreak had been reduced to “embers” but the principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Anne Schuchat, insisted: “This is really the beginning.” ...

Fauci said that without a more robust response, the daily number of cases could more than double. “I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around,” he said. Fauci said he could not provide an estimated death toll, but said: “It is going to be very disturbing, I guarantee you that.”

The stark warning came after Schuchat told the Journal of the American Medical Association: “What we hope is that we can take it seriously and slow the transmission. We have way too much virus across the country for that right now, so it’s very discouraging.”

She added that there was “a lot of wishful thinking around the country” that the pandemic would be over by the summer. “We are not even beginning to be over this,” Schuchat said. “There are a lot of worrisome factors about the last week or so."

Ed Yong on the "Disgraceful" U.S. Pandemic Response & How Medicare for All Could Have Saved Lives

The US Is Going Back Into Lockdown to Avoid a July 4th Coronavirus Surge

More than a month after they reopened, Arizona’s bars, gyms, movie theaters, and water parks were forced to close their doors again on Monday night as new coronavirus cases explode across the state. The closure order, which is in effect for 30 days, marks a significant about-face for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who lifted stay-at-home orders in mid-May, even earlier than White House guidelines suggested.

The state experienced a significant uptick in confirmed coronavirus infections over the last week, reporting more than 3,000 new infections in seven of the last ten days. On Monday Ducey, speaking to reporters, described the state’s coronavirus data as “brutal” — and warned the worst is yet to come.

Governors across the country have begun reinforcing shutdown measures as the pandemic rages out of control in many parts of the U.S. with more than 30 states reporting rising infection rates. Ahead of the July 4th holiday weekend, bars, beaches, and parks are being closed across the southern and western parts of the country.

New swine flu with pandemic potential identified by China researchers

Researchers in China have discovered a new type of swine flu that is capable of triggering a pandemic, according to a study in the US science journal PNAS, although experts said there is no imminent threat. Named G4, it is genetically descended from the H1N1 strain that caused a pandemic in 2009.

It possesses “all the essential hallmarks of being highly adapted to infect humans”, said the authors, scientists at Chinese universities and China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in the study published on Monday. ...

More than one in 10 swine workers in the new study had already been infected, according to antibody blood tests which showed exposure to the virus. The tests also showed that as many as 4.4% of the general population also appeared to have been exposed.

The virus has therefore already passed from animals to humans but there is no evidence yet that it can be passed from human to human – the scientists’ main worry.

Brazil's indigenous fear devastation from coronavirus

COVID-19 Means Good Times for the Pentagon

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Washington has initiated its largest spending binge in history. In the process, you might assume that the unparalleled spread of the disease would have led to a little rethinking when it came to all the trillions of dollars Congress has given the Pentagon in these years that have in no way made us safer from, or prepared us better to respond to, this predictable threat to American national security. As it happens, though, even if the rest of us remain in danger from the coronavirus, Congress has done a remarkably good job of vaccinating the Department of Defense and the weapons makers that rely on it financially.

There is, of course, a striking history here. Washington’s reflexive prioritizing of the interests of defense contractors has meant paying remarkably little attention to, and significantly underfunding, public health. Now, Americans are paying the price. With these health and economic crises playing out before our eyes and the government’s response to it so visibly incompetent and inadequate, you would expect Congress to begin reconsidering its strategic approach to making Americans safer. No such luck, however. Washington continues to operate just as it always has, filling the coffers of the Pentagon as though “national security” were nothing but a matter of war and more war.

Month by month, the cost of wasting so much money on weaponry and other military expenses grows higher, as defense contractor salaries continue to be fattened at taxpayer expense, while public health resources are robbed of financial support. Meanwhile, in Congress, both parties generally continue to defend excessive Pentagon budgets in the midst of a Covid-19-caused economic disaster of the first order. Such a business-as-usual approach means that the giant weapons makers will continue to take funds from agencies far better prepared to take the lead in addressing this crisis. ...

While Americans are overwhelmed by the pandemic, the Pentagon and its boosters are exploiting the emergency to feather their own nests. Far stronger protections against such behavior are needed and, of course, Congress should take back what rightfully belongs to it under the Constitution, including its ability to stop illegal wars and reclaim its power of the purse. It’s long past time for that body to cancel the blank check it’s given both the Pentagon and the White House. But don’t hold your breath.

Why The US Empire Works So Hard To Control The International Narrative About Russia

On a December 2010 episode of Fox News’ Freedom Watch, John Bolton and the show’s host Andrew Napolitano were debating about recent WikiLeaks publications, and naturally the subject of government secrecy came up.

“Now I want to make the case for secrecy in government when it comes to the conduct of national security affairs, and possibly for deception where that’s appropriate,” Bolton said. “You know Winston Churchill said during World War Two that in wartime truth is so important it should be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies.”

“Do you really believe that?” asked an incredulous Napolitano.

“Absolutely,” Bolton replied.

“You would lie in order to preserve the truth?” asked Napolitano.

“If I had to say something I knew was false to protect American national security, I would do it,” Bolton answered.

“Why do people in the government think that the laws of society or the rules don’t apply to them?” Napolitano asked.

“Because they are not dealing in the civil society we live in under the Constitution,” Bolton replied. “They are dealing in the anarchic environment internationally where different rules apply.”

“But you took an oath to uphold the Constitution, and the Constitution mandates certain openness and certain fairness,” Napolitano protested. “You’re willing to do away with that in order to attain a temporary military goal?”

“I think as Justice Jackson said in a famous decision, the Constitution is not a suicide pact,” Bolton said. “And I think defending the United States from foreign threats does require actions that in a normal business environment in the United States we would find unprofessional. I don’t make any apology for it.”

I am going to type a sequence of words that I have never typed before, and don’t expect to ever type again:

John Bolton is right.

Bolton is of course not right in his pathetic spin job on the use of lies to promote military agendas, which just looks like a feeble attempt to justify the psychopathic measures he himself took to deceive the world into consenting to the unforgivably evil invasion of Iraq. What he is right about is that conflicts between nations take place in an “anarchic environment internationally where different rules apply.”

Individual nations have governments with laws that are enforced by those governments. Since we do not have a single unified government for our planet (at least not yet), the interactions between those governments is largely anarchic, and not in a good way.

“International law”, in reality, only meaningfully exists to the extent that the international community is collectively willing to enforce it. In practice what this means is that only nations which have no influence over the dominant narratives in the international community are subject to “international law”.

This is why you will see leaders in African nations sentenced to prison by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes, but the USA can get away with actually sanctioning ICC personnel if they so much as talk about investigating American war crimes and suffer no consequences for it whatsoever. It is also why Noam Chomsky famously said that if the Nuremberg laws had continued to be applied with fairness and consistency, then every post-war US president would have been hanged.

And this is also why so much effort gets poured into controlling the dominant international narrative about nations like Russia which have resisted being absorbed into the US power alliance. If you have the influence and leverage to control what narratives the international community accepts as true about the behavior of a given targeted nation, then you can do things like manufacture international collaboration with aggressive economic sanctions of the sort Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is currently calling for in response to the the completely unsubstantiated narrative that Russia paid Taliban fighters bounties to kill occupying forces in Afghanistan.

In its ongoing slow-motion third world war against nations which refuse to be absorbed into the blob of the US power alliance, this tight empire-like cluster of allies stands everything to gain by doing whatever it takes to undermine and sabotage Russia in an attempt to shove it off the world stage and eliminate the role it plays in opposing that war. Advancing as many narratives as possible about Russia doing nefarious things on the world stage manufactures consent for international collaboration toward that end in the form of economic warfare, proxy conflicts, NATO expansionism and other measures, as well as facilitating a new arms race by killing the last of the US-Russia nuclear treaties and ensuring a continued imperial military presence in Afghanistan.

We haven’t been shown any hard evidence for Russians paying bounties in Afghanistan, and we almost certainly never will be. This doesn’t matter as far as the imperial propagandists are concerned; they know they don’t need actual facts to get this story believed, they just need narrative control. All the propagandists need to do is say over and over again that Russia paid bounties to kill the troops in Afghanistan in an increasingly assertive and authoritative tone, and after awhile people will start assuming it’s true, just because the propagandists have been doing this.

They’ll add new pieces of data to the narrative, none of which will constitute hard proof of their claims, but after enough “bombshell” stories reported in an assertive and ominous tone of voice, people will start assuming it’s a proven fact that Russia paid those bounties. Narrative managers will be able to simply wave their hands at a disparate, unverified cloud of information and proclaim that it is a mountain of evidence and that anyone doubting all this proof must be a kook. (This by the way is a textbook Gish gallop fallacy, where a bunch of individually weak arguments are presented to give the illusion of a single strong case.)

This is all because “international law” only exists in practical terms to the extent that governments around the world agree to pretend it exists. As long as US-centralized empire is able to control the prevailing narrative about what Russia is doing, that empire will be able to continue to use the pretext of “international law” as a bludgeon against its enemies. That’s all we’re really seeing here.

Saagar Enjeti: Intel FALLS APART on Russian bounties as neocons, Biden want MORE WAR in Afghanistan

J Street Is Facing New Pressure to Back Conditioning Aid to Israel

More than 1,000 former and current members of J Street U, the youth wing of the liberal, pro-Israel organization J Street, are calling on the group’s leadership to get behind a legislative effort to condition funding of the state of Israel if it goes forward with illegally annexing Palestinian territory, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has threatened to do. The J Street U members, along with former staff, have signed on to a letter to the group’s leadership which describes the response to Israel’s impending annexation as “a decisive test for the progressive movement.” The alumni who signed the letter include 28 former J Street U staffers, over a dozen rabbis and rabbinical students, former Obama White House staffers, and congressional and campaign staffers. ...

Netanyahu has said he would begin to annex one third of the already occupied West Bank as early as Wednesday of this week — a move that would be in line with President Donald Trump’s one-sided plan for the region. The threat drew pushback in Congress in the form of a letter signed last week by 191 Democrats, expressing opposition to annexation but promising no specific consequences. A subsequent letter, spearheaded by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., pushes further, saying that lawmakers should “pursue legislation that conditions the $3.8 billion in U.S. military funding to Israel to ensure that U.S. taxpayers are not supporting annexation in any way.” Ocasio-Cortez won a resounding reelection victory in her Democratic primary last week, just as New York Rep. Eliot Engel, chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, lost decisively to principal Jamaal Bowman, despite millions spent by pro-Israel big-money groups.

On Monday, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee tweeted its opposition to the letter Ocasio-Cortez was circulating, which had also been signed by Reps. Rashida Tlaib, Betty McCollum, and Pramila Jayapal. By Tuesday morning, Reps. Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Raul Grijalva, André Carson, Nydia Velázquez, Bobby Rush, Jesús “Chuy” Garcia, and Danny Davis had signed on, as had Sen. Bernie Sanders, Politico reported.

Tlaib, in a statement, said Israel’s planned annexation would “formalize an apartheid system” funded by U.S. tax dollars. “The implementation of that system would mean our tax dollars — instead of being used to fund health care or replace lead water pipes — would be used to perpetuate and entrench human rights violations in Palestine, including limitations on freedom of movement, further expansion of illegal land theft, home demolitions, and cutting off access to critical resources like clean water. We are coming together as progressive lawmakers today to clearly say: enough is enough.”

Though just 13 members of Congress have so far signed the letter, compared to the 191 who expressed opposition to annexation, there could potentially be many more willing to come forward.

Bernie, AOC pick BIG FIGHT with Biden, Dems over Israel aid, annexation

YouTube bans David Duke and other US far-right users

YouTube has banned some of the video site’s most notorious far-right users, including former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, “alt-right” figurehead Richard Spencer and libertarian “race realist” Stefan Molyneux, joining a wave of social media sites taking action against hate speech. The company says the bans were handed down due to the creators’ repeated violation of YouTube’s policies against claiming that protected groups are “inferior”.

“We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube, and terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those policies,” a YouTube spokesperson said. “After updating our guidelines to better address supremacist content, we saw a 5x spike in video removals and have terminated over 25,000 channels for violating our hate speech policies.”

In all, the company terminated six channels: the three personal accounts, as well as Spencer’s Radix organisation, and two channels belonging to far-right publication American Renaissance.

After long insisting that channels that preached white supremacy were within the rules provided they didn’t directly call for violence, YouTube began rewriting its guidelines in 2019. In June of that year, the company changed its hate speech policy to specifically prohibit “alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status”.

General Strike During Pandemic! IWW Labor Organizer Interview!

Hundreds of Occupy City Hall protesters demand NYPD cut budget by $1bn

As city officials prepare to vote to a budget for the 2021 fiscal year, protesters have been camping outside of City Hall in lower Manhattan for just over a week, demanding that the New York City council reduce the $5.7bn New York police department budget by $1bn. After weeks of protests and collective outrage over police killings of black people, including Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, hundreds of New Yorkers have flocked to City Hall Park, covering ground day and night, to echo the demand to defund the city’s police.

The occupation began last Tuesday, ahead of the city’s 1 July budget deadline, when a group of about 100 protesters parked themselves outside City Hall. In just a week, the protest has grown dramatically in size and also changed in strategy – with some activists now saying they will continue to camp out at the park past the budget deadline. ...

City council is expected to vote on a budget before midnight on Tuesday, and the current plan reportedly on the table has been criticized by protesters and progressive city council members alike as not going far enough. Mayor Bill de Blasio has backed a plan to reduce the city budget by $1bn – but around half of those cuts are accomplished by reallocating school safety officers from the police to the department of education, according to the New York Times.

In light of Tuesday’s budget decision, the future of Occupy City Hall remains unclear. “Hopefully we win,” says Lykes, “but we know that our efforts are not won even if they do reduce the budget.” Celina Trowell, an organizer with VOCAL New York, described the mayor’s proposed budget as “moving [money] from one system of oppression to another”. She added, “That’s not enough, and that’s not what we’re asking for.”

the horse race

Joe Biden Says Leave Washington and Columbus Statues Alone

Former Vice President Joe Biden drew a sharp line between which statues of racists he thinks should come down and which shouldn’t on Tuesday, arguing that Confederate leaders should go but others who are honored for reasons other than their racism should be left up — including Christopher Columbus.

Biden said statues of Confederate leaders “who strongly supported secession and the maintenance of slavery and going to war to do it… belong in museums, they don't belong in public places.”

But in his first question-and-answer session with reporters in months following a speech in Wilmington, Del. on Tuesday, Biden said he opposed the removal of other statues of figures like founding fathers Thomas Jefferson and George Washington — both of whom owned slaves — as well as explorer Christopher Columbus, who committed atrocities against Native Americans.

“I think there's an obligation that the government protect those monuments, because they're different,” he said. “They may have things in the past that are now, and then, distasteful, but… taking down toppling Christopher Columbus statue, or a George Washington statue, et cetera, I think that is something that the government has an opportunity and responsibility to protect.” ...

Biden said private institutions can do whatever they want, like Princeton University’s decision to drop former President Woodrow Wilson’s name from their graduate school for his racist views. And he said that he preferred that officials take down Confederate statues rather than see them torn down by protestors — though he expressed sympathy to those who took extralegal actions to bring down the statues.

Jamaal Bowman on NY Primary Upset, Rent Strikes, Police Brutality & Opposing West Bank Annexation

'A Very Strong Run,' But Booker Falls Short to Establishment-Backed McGrath in Kentucky Primary

With the final vote tally of last week's election announced Tuesday, progressive insurgent Charles Booker came up short in Kentucky's Democratic Senate primary to establishment darling Amy McGrath after a late rush of support which made the race much closer than expected proved not enough to secure victory.

"McGrath's campaign collapsed just a bit too late for Booker," tweeted The Intercept's Ryan Grim. "Her well-funded mail operation made the difference."

While Booker, a state representative, took a brief lead in votes last week, McGrath's campaign pulled ahead Tuesday as the final mail-in ballots were counted.

McGrath, a former fighter pilot whose campaign has relied on messaging around her commitment to President Donald Trump's agenda, was an early favorite after an ad in which she bragged about her combat missions and bombing campaigns. She raised over $41 million for her run and will face Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in the fall.

McConnell is currently polling more than 20 points ahead of McGrath in the state's general election.

Saagar and Ryan Grim: How Schumer RIGGED Kentucky, Colorado primary against progressives

Court reinstates Wisconsin voting restrictions in victory for Republicans

A federal appeals court reinstated significant voting restrictions in Wisconsin on Monday, handing Republicans a victory just months before the November election in one of the country’s most important battleground states. The ruling reinstates a Republican-backed law that allows local election officials to offer only two weeks of early voting before election day. ...

Wisconsin Republicans also sought to extend the amount of time someone had to live in a district in order to vote there, saying it should be 28 days and not 10. The court also upheld strict Republican-backed limits on faxing or emailing ballots.

Judge Frank Easterbrook wrote that the voting restrictions were acceptable because Republicans who controlled the legislature were not discriminating against voters based on race, but based on their political affiliation. He relied on a 2019 US supreme court ruling concluding that partisan manipulation of electoral districts was acceptable.

“The changes were made because of politics,” he wrote. “This record does not support a conclusion that the legislators who voted for the contested statutes cared about race; they cared about voters’ political preferences.” He added that Democratic lawmakers could retake control of the legislature and change the laws they objected to in the future.

The decision could lead to severe efforts to change electoral rules for political gain, said Barry Burden, director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “This is an amazing conclusion that opens the doors to all kinds of partisan manipulation of election practices,” Burden said. “It completely ignores the possibility that the party in charge might be able to alter the rules to keep itself in power, thus removing the ability of the opposing party to change the laws in the other direction.”

the evening greens

How do you deal with 9m tonnes of suffocating seaweed?

The Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, first detected by Nasa observation satellites in 2011 and now known to be the world’s largest bloom of seaweed, stretches for 5,500 miles (8,850km) from the Gulf of Mexico to the western coast of Africa. Millions of tonnes of floating Sargassum seaweed in coastal waters smother fragile seagrass habitats, suffocate coral reefs and harm fisheries. And once washed ashore on Mexican and Caribbean beaches, this foul-smelling, rotting seaweed goes on to devastate the tourist industry, prevent turtles from nesting and damage coastal ecosystems, while releasing hydrogen sulphide and other toxic gases as it decomposes.

Seaweed blooms are exacerbated by fertilisers washing into the ocean, as well as by warming sea temperatures. “Sargassum blooms on the Atlantic gyre [tidal current] have got much worse in recent years partly due to increasing intensive agriculture discharging fertiliser into the sea via rivers such as the Mississippi and Amazon,” says Prof Mike Allen, of the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory. “Fertiliser makes the seaweed grow faster and this influx of biomass just shouldn’t be there in that abundance – it’s out of control.” In May this year, 8.7m tonnes of Sargassum were observed across the Atlantic.

Allen is part of a research team led by the universities of Exeter and Bath that believes it may have found a way to transform this environmental mess into a golden economic opportunity – by developing a cheap and simple way to pre-process seaweed on an industrial scale before converting it into high-quality, low-cost sustainable fertiliser, fuels and chemicals. “It’s free and there’s so much of it, so it makes sense to convert it into useful products,” says Allen. “But converting marine biomass like seaweed usually requires removing it from salt water, washing it in fresh water and drying it. That’s very expensive, so we needed to find a method that would be both economically and environmentally viable.”

His team has devised an initial “fractionation” or separation process that provides “a crucial missing step towards creating a true salt-based marine biorefinery” by using acidic and alkaline catalysts to break down the salty seaweed. The sugars produced can be used to feed a yeast that produces a palm oil substitute, while the remaining seaweed biomass is then ready to be subjected to extremely high temperature and pressure in a process called hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL), and split into different products. The resulting liquid bio-oil can be processed further into fuel and an aqueous, nutrient-rich fertiliser precursor, while heavy metals that are potentially recyclable are separated into a solid char, and carbon dioxide can be captured.

Nuclear Waste Dumped in the Ocean by Japan!

Democrats say they have a bold climate plan – but Republicans have other plans

House Democrats on Tuesday released an ambitious and wide-ranging climate crisis plan on par with what scientists say the world will have to do to avert catastrophic warming. But the US government remains far from ready to seriously tackle the problem, and the action plan will be fodder for election-year attacks from Republicans who will frame it as economy-killing and a grab-bag of Democratic social policies. ...

The two parties have long been locked in a culture war over how to address the escalating emergency, even as two-thirds of Americans think the government should do more on climate and a majority support a range of actions. Political observers see a blue wave in November – where Democrats regain the Senate and the White House – as the only shot at significant climate legislation any time soon. Even with a controlling interest in government, substantial policies would probably be hamstrung by moderates and lawmakers from states that depend on the fossil fuel industry. ...

Sarah Hunt, a conservative who works in clean energy policy and co-founded the non-partisan Rainey Center, said the plan “gives little reason to hope we will have a serious discussion about climate legislation in the near future”.

“The Democratic plan does not set the table for meaningful bipartisan conversation leading to actionable legislation. This table is not even in a restaurant congressional Republicans will enter,” she said, because it includes issues like support for labor unions and electoral reform that could benefit Democrats.

'Genocidal Negligence': New Democratic Climate Action Plan Criticized as Woefully Inadequate

"This is not an emergency response."

That is how Laura Berry, director of research and policy at the Climate Mobilization (TCM), responded to reporting on a congressional "action plan" for the planetary emergency from the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, which the panel and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) unveiled Tuesday.

The climate roadmap features hundreds of policy proposals under 12 key pillars. Specifically, the 538-page plan calls for selling only zero-emissions vehicles by 2035, net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by 2040, and net-zero U.S. emissions economy-wide by no later than 2050.

As part of the efforts to meet those goals, the committee calls on Congress to "ensure new jobs in the clean energy economy are high-quality, good-paying jobs by strengthening workers' rights to organize a union and ensuring federal spending only supports projects that meet high-road labor standards."

The plan, as the Washington Post reported, "also backs placing a price on carbon emissions, imposing tougher methane limits, and boosting energy efficiency in buildings. Solar and wind tax credits would be extended through 2025, and the tax credit for electric vehicles would be expanded."

Despite longstanding cost and safety concerns related to nuclear power, Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), the committee's chair, told the Post that "where we landed is: if we're going to get to our net-zero goal as soon as possible, then nuclear needs to remain part of the equation."

The roadmap acknowledges the disproportionate impact of the climate crisis on people of color and "environmental justice communities." Castor told the New York Times that "there is an awakening across the country to systemic racism, and this is a report that at its center, at its core, focuses on those communities."

Reactions to the plan ranged from enthusiasm and cautious optimism to sharp criticism that the roadmap was too little, too late. As writer Neal Romanek put it in a Monday night tweet: "Net zero by 2050 means 'we'll let our kids figure it out'. It's genocidal negligence."

Berry of TCM also blasted the plan's emissions goals, citing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on 1.5ºC, which warned in October 2018 of the need for "rapid, far-reaching, and unprecedented" changes to life as we know it.

"The Select Committee on the Climate Crisis had the opportunity to put forth a comprehensive plan to protect Americans from climate devastation, but the solutions proposed to fail to meet the challenge of the existential planetary crisis we face," Berry said. "Collectively, the proposals in the plan would only cut greenhouse gas emissions by 37% by 2030, and 88% by 2050, and are wholly inadequate to prevent the risk of catastrophic climate disruption."

Food & Water Action (FWA) policy director Mitch Jones agreed in a statement Tuesday, warning that "the paltry 'net-zero' goals put forth by the committee would allow for continued use of dirty fossil fuels, and would rely on achieving emissions reductions from unproven, industry-backed 'carbon capture' technologies and market-based accounting tricks."

"This climate proposal inexplicably and inexcusably fails to call for a halt to the extraction of fossil fuels. It is simply not an adequate attempt to deal with the crisis we actually face," Jones said. "We must take the necessary first steps: a ban on fracking, a ban on exports and imports of fossil fuels, and an immediate halt to new fossil fuel infrastructure buildout. Anything that does not seek to immediately curtail and then eliminate the production of fossil fuels is weak sauce."

Jones detailed some specific concerns with elements of the roadmap as well as activists' demands:

It is alarming to see carbon taxes included as part of the Democrats' proposed solution. This is no time or place for regressive policies that have already proven to be colossal failures. Fossil fuel corporations embrace these phony pricing schemes because they know that these policies only entrench their existence.

The plan also endorses the use of biogas and factory farm manure digesters, which prop up unsustainable and dangerous agricultural practices that are contributing to the climate crisis. A bold, sensible climate plan would seek to end our use of fossil fuels and place a moratorium on polluting factory farms; this plan would do the opposite.

A bold climate plan must call for a ban on fracking and all new fossil fuel infrastructure, and a swift and just transition to 100% clean, renewable energy across all sectors of the economy. We have no time left to prop up false solutions that cannot meet the demands of the current crisis. The Democrats must do better—much better.

Friends of the Earth also said the plan does not go far enough, tweeting: "We cannot continue our dependence on fossil fuels."

Also of Interest

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

Time To Derail Nuclear Treaty Talks?

A North Carolina City Bans Protests, Protecting Confederate Monument

Attacking the Very Foundations' of Church-State Separation, SCOTUS Delivers 'Seismic Shock' Ruling on Religious Schools

Has the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan Been Outsourced to Wall Street’s Law Firms?

Killer Lines, Killer Cops, and Trump's Vote-Heist Dress Rehearsal

For Politico, ‘Objectivity’ Means Asking Only Arms Industry Sources About an Arms Industry Endorsement

Freedom Rider: Democrats Move Right and Towards Defeat

Jimmy Dore: Biden Babbling About Leg Hair and Roaches!

Daniel Marans: How Justice Democrats, progressives DEFEATED establishment in NY

Saagar and Ryan Grim: Never Trump GRIFTING Lincoln project CAUGHT paying themselves millions

A Little Night Music

Big Walter Horton - All Because Of You

Johnny Young & Big Walter Horton - Stockyard blues

Big Walter Horton - Big Walter's boogie

Big Walter Horton - Careless Love

Big Walter Horton - Sugar Mama

Big Walter Horton - Shake You Money Maker

Big Walter Horton - Walter's Jump

Big Walter Horton - Gonna Bring It On Home

Willie Dixon & Walter "Shakey" Horton - My Babe!

Big Walter Horton - Rockin' My Boogie

Big Walter Horton - Two Old Maids

19 users have voted.


ggersh's picture

Einstein is correct again

13 users have voted.

“Awesome! I always wondered what it was like to live during the times of the Civil War, Spanish Flu, Great Depression, Civil Rights Movement, Watergate, & the Dust Bowl. Not all at once mind you, but ya know, ‘beggars/choosers” and all.”

joe shikspack's picture


ignorance, incompetence or outright hostility to human decency - it's what's happening.

have a great evening!

6 users have voted.

Thanks as usual for the blues. We are moving into the 4th of July and have just gotten notice we need to stay inside and shelter in place as much as possible because our numbers are going off the charts and we have almost filled the emergency rooms. The powers that be have shut down the parks in the Austin area, cancelled fireworks and tried to rein things back in.

They had decided shut the bars down last weekend and pull back on the number of people who are allowed in a restaurant at one time. Of course out Lt.Governor is disagreeing with all numbers and how serious things are. We will see what happens here in Texas as this weekend unfolds. And also, welcome to Hurricane Season which began July 1-November 1!

Have a great 4th for you and your family!

14 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

joe shikspack's picture


good to hear from you!

i'm glad to hear that your state has finally gotten a clue and is backtracking on its incautious opening plan. my state (maryland) seems to be doing reasonably well, all things considered (republican governor) and my area, at least seems to have mostly sane people who wear masks and distance in public places for the most part. i guess we'll see how things go.

i hope that you are well and happy and set up to stay that way. take care!

6 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

More from Margaret Kimberley.

Russia, Afghanistan, and the Big Lie

14 users have voted.
RantingRooster's picture

@Azazello that is LMAO funny. I'm glad I just swallowed my sip of coffee, surly it would have been all over my keyboard and monitor.

I learned a lesson the other day, never, ever post anything, even if it support religion, on a religious post. OMG.


15 users have voted.

"Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance;" - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

enhydra lutris's picture


be well and have a good one.

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


thanks for the article. kimberley makes some great points about russian hostilities with jihadists over the years making cooperation of any sort wildly unlikely.

but, of course, that won't persuade any of the die-hard rachel madcows out there.

9 users have voted.
RantingRooster's picture

I really dig Walter's way of bending the notes. That's some real blues! I'm not a big harmonica fan, (guitar) but when it's done right, it is amazing, and Walter bends it like no other.

The world is on fire and all the Democrats can offer is, Joe "Keep Christopher Columbus", you dog face pony soldier, Biden, as the preemptive democratic nominee, up against Mr. Tiny Hands Hitler, to be president?

OMG we're saved...

Obama's mentor and Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser...

"They", have been openly warning us for years... Crazy

9 users have voted.

"Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance;" - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

joe shikspack's picture


the world is on fire and the democrats kinda like it that way. it's good for business.

zbiggy was a realist. what he doesn't say is that he knows that the enhanced means of manipulation will be used because the state is already using all of the means at its disposal to manipulate the public as it is.

have a great evening!

9 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

Caitlin column to me earlier today when I realized another implication.

“Now I want to make the case for secrecy in government when it comes to the conduct of national security affairs, and possibly for deception where that’s appropriate,” Bolton said. “You know Winston Churchill said during World War Two that in wartime truth is so important it should be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies.”

You keep shit secret from your enemies, not your allies. You deceive your enemies, not your allies. Our government keeps us in the dark and feeds us an endless stream of lies, hence it sees us as the enemy. They now admit it.

thanks for the EB.

be well and have a good one.

15 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, good observation. i've often thought of it as the relationship between a parasite and its host. those in government and those outside of it each see themselves as the host, though.

10 users have voted.

I meant to write something fairly serious about the state of the US and the world, but TLOML is doing his impression of Pat Boone's rendition of "Smoke on the Water".
I think my office will be operational Friday.
TLOML has been instrumental in saving my sanity, although we do sit on my front porch, and he pulls up his pants to his armpits, a la Clint Eastwood, and screams at all vehicles passing by the house.
I will not complain. I did a phone court hearing buck ass naked this week, so we all do what we do, COVID, passion, and he sat nearby, thought I did a great job.
Take good care, my friend.

4 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@on the cusp

3 users have voted.

@lotlizard but pronounce "naked" in proper East Texas log hauler-speak.
I got the ruling I wanted.

3 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

One day I asked aloud, amidst the dark confusion
I asked, where could be found the answer to our problems?
And then out of the dark, a voice was saying, listen
Listen to your heart — we are all wise within — and

Only you, only you can change the way you are
And only you can find your morning star
Through the day while you’re working
Do your hands feel like clay?
In the night when you’re loving
Do you give your love away
Or save it for a rainy day?

Only you, only you can change the way you feel
And only you can beat the karmic wheel
Through the day when you’re thinking
Do you know who you are?
In the night while you’re dreaming
Do you know where you are?
Is your home a distant star?!

Keep your head wide open
Do not fall for the same old things that you did before
This world’s cold religions, they’ll lead you anywhere
But the secret door on your second floor

This time around, you’ve got to see from the highest mountain
And then you’ll find you’ve got to feel like the depths of the sea
All light and sound is perpetual motion
If you understand then one day you’ll be free
Free as a dove

And: wilderness, experienced as psychedelic?
The skeleton gets up and walks (The Sun magazine)

3 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

5 users have voted.

“Awesome! I always wondered what it was like to live during the times of the Civil War, Spanish Flu, Great Depression, Civil Rights Movement, Watergate, & the Dust Bowl. Not all at once mind you, but ya know, ‘beggars/choosers” and all.”