The Evening Blues - 10-20-20


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Skip James

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features delta blues singer Skip James. Enjoy!

Skip James - Hard Times Killing Floor Blues

News and Opinion

Greenwald does a righteous victory lap:

Bolivians Return Evo Morales’s Party to Power One Year After a U.S.-Applauded Coup

In November 2019, Bolivia’s three-term President Evo Morales was forced under threat of police and military violence to flee to Mexico, just weeks after he was declared the winner of the October presidential election that would have sent him to his fourth term. Installed in his place was an unelected right-wing coup regime, led by self-declared “interim President” Jeanine Áñez, who promptly presided over a military massacre that killed dozens of Morales’s Indigenous supporters and then granted immunity to all the soldiers involved. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the time cheered the coup by citing subsequently debunked claims of election fraud by the Organization of American States, or OAS, and urging “a truly democratic process representative of the people’s will.”

But after the Áñez regime twice postponed scheduled elections this year, Bolivians went to the polls on Sunday. They delivered a resounding victory to presidential candidate Luis Arce, Morales’s former finance minister and the candidate from his Movement Toward Socialism, or MAS, Party. Although official results are still being counted, exit polls from reputable firms show Arce with a blowout victory — over 50 percent against a centrist former president and a far-right coup leader — and Áñez herself conceded that MAS has won: “We do not yet have an official count, but from the data we have, Mr. Arce and [MAS Vice Presidential candidate] Mr. Choquehuanca have won the election. I congratulate the winners and ask them to govern with Bolivia and democracy in mind.” ...

The West’s reaction to the 2019 Bolivian coup featured all of its classic propaganda tropes. Western officials, media outlets, and think tank writers invoked the standard Orwellian inversion of heralding a coup of any democratically elected leader they do not like as a “victory for democracy.” In this warped formula, it is not the U.S.-supported coup plotters but the overthrown democratically elected leader who is the “threat to democracy.” ...

But thanks to Sunday’s stunning rebuke in Bolivia, the standard tactics failed. Ever since Morales’s election victory almost exactly one year ago today, Bolivians never stopped marching, protesting, risking their liberty and their lives — even in the middle of a pandemic — to demand their rights of democracy and self-governance. Leading up to the election, the coup regime and right-wing factions in the military were menacingly vowing — in response to polls universally showing MAS likely to win — that they would do anything to prevent the return to power of Morales’s party. At least as of now, though, it looks as though the margin of victory delivered to MAS by the Bolivian people was so stunning, so decisive, that there are few options left for the retrograde forces — in Bolivia, Washington, and Brussels — which tried to destroy the country’s democracy.

"A Blow Against Neoliberalism": Socialist Wins Bolivia Election a Year After Coup Ousted Evo Morales

Bolivia election: Evo Morales's leftwing party celebrates stunning comeback

The official results of Sunday’s twice-postponed election had yet to be announced on Monday afternoon, but exit polls projected that Luis Arce, the candidate for Morales’s Movimiento al Socialismo (Mas), had secured more than 50% of the vote while his closest rival, the centrist former president Carlos Mesa, received about 30%.

Mesa conceded defeat on Monday lunchtime, telling supporters that a quick count showed a “very convincing and very clear” result. “There is a large gap between the first-placed candidate and us … and, as believers in democracy, it now falls to us … to recognise that there is a winner in this election,” Mesa said. ...

If confirmed, the victory would represent a sensational political fightback for Mas, which was left reeling last year when its leader was forced to flee the country after trying to secure an unprecedented fourth term as president. “It’s a return to the kind of mandate they had when Evo was first elected in 2005,” said Jim Shultz, the founder of the Bolivia-focused Democracy Centre.

For Áñez’s outgoing conservative interim government, which took power after Morales’s banishment, it was a stinging rebuke. “It tells us that the rightwing in Bolivia has no broad political support – not even close,” Shultz said. “The rightwing was given a chance to govern and proved that it is only interested in its own power and in itself and has contempt for the indigenous and poor of the country. They demonstrated that by pretending they had legitimacy that they didn’t, by overseeing real human rights abuses and impunity, and by being incompetent and corrupt in their governance. And people weren’t going to have it.”

One exit poll suggested Arce had achieved a thumping victory, winning a majority in five of Bolivia’s nine departments. The poll said Arce secured more than 65% of the vote in La Paz, 63% in Cochabamba, 62% in Oruro and 51% in Potosí. ...

In Washington, a state department spokesperson said: “We are awaiting the official results, but President Trump and the United States look forward to working with whomever the Bolivians elect. We will continue to promote democracy, human rights and prosperity in Bolivia and throughout the region.”

Caitlin Johnstone: Bolivia Shows Why Imperialists Work To Keep Populations Propagandized

Bolivia has reversed the US-backed coup which saw its leftist president Evo Morales ousted from the lithium-rich nation after a landslide victory last year. Another landslide victory for a previous member of Morales’ cabinet named Luis Arce has restored power to the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party after a year of rule by the coup regime.

Contrary to what a recent Guardian headline asserts this was not a “stunning comeback” for MAS but a widely anticipated repudiation of the false claims that were spun by western narrative managers that Morales had rigged the election last year in a dictatorial assault upon democracy. Two landslide victories in as many years is neither “stunning” nor a “comeback”, it’s just the people decisively making their will known two times.

Bolivia is still not in the clear; the US-centralized empire still has plenty of other avenues of attack through which to sabotage the will of the Bolivian people, and we may be certain that we will see them rolled out in the coming years if that empire still stands. But people are right to celebrate the fact that its preferred and primary avenue of attack has been thwarted.

Which is a good illustration of why imperialists pour so much energy into using propaganda to manipulate what people think and do. If you can’t manipulate people into supporting your actions, they’ll just wind up undoing all your handiwork. A coup was undone yesterday in Bolivia, a coup was undone in Venezuela in 2002, and coups will continue to be undone every time the people have the power to enact their will and can’t be propagandized or brutalized away from using it.

Amid Trump Failure to Get Pandemic Under Control, Canada Extends Border Closure With US

Canadian officials are regarding the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. warily, as Public Safety Minister Bill Blair on Monday announced the country is extending its border restrictions for at least another month.

The restrictions had been set to expire on Wednesday, after an agreement with the U.S. to suspend nonessential travel between the two countries was forged in March, but now Americans will be largely unable to cross the northern border until at least Nov. 21.

The decision was made with public safety in Canada in mind, Blair said in a tweeted statement on Monday.

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have been steadily rising for over a month, with 8.2 million cases reported in the country so far. Several states bordering Canada have been identified as hotspots recently, including Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Montana.

Canada, which is currently facing a rise in infections, has confirmed fewer than 200,000 cases of Covid-19 since its first case in January, and 9,760 people have died of the disease. The country has also had a lower test positivity rate than its neighbor to the south. In the U.S., more than 219,000 people have died so far as President Donald Trump has sidelined public health experts, undermined early efforts by healthcare workers to confront the crisis, flouted and openly mocked guidance including social distancing and the use of face masks—even after testing positive for the disease himself earlier this month.

Trump's refusal to defer to public health officials regarding the pandemic has been echoed by some federal, state, and local officials, including Fargo, North Dakota City Commissioner Dave Piepkorn, who earlier this month claimed in a meeting about mask mandates that wearing face coverings does not prevent the transmission of Covid-19.

"I hope Canada keeps the border closed until 2025," tweeted Canadian television producer Emily Andras in response to Piepkorn's comments.

"We have committed to keeping Canadians safe and we keep extending the border closures because the United States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told The Start, a podcast produced in Winnipeg, last week. "We will continue to make sure that Canadians' safety is top of mind when we move forward."

Immigration lawyers have reported an uptick in the number of Americans inquiring about moving to Canada since the pandemic began in March. In July, Canadian attorney Mark Belanger told Global News that the number of inquiries he's received has tripled this year.

The president's actions unrelated to the pandemic has also been linked to a surge in the number of Americans wanting to leave the country, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA).

"In my life, I have never seen what I'm seeing," Segal told JTA.

Trump says Americans 'tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots' discuss Covid

Donald Trump has once again attacked his top public health expert, using a call with campaign staff on Monday to deride Anthony Fauci as “a disaster” and to claim “people are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots” discuss ways to combat the coronavirus.

The president spoke one day after CBS’s 60 Minutes aired an interview with Fauci, in which the 79-year-old said he was “absolutely not” surprised Trump recently contracted the coronavirus himself, because he was holding crowded events with minimal social distancing and use of masks in the days before he developed symptoms.

Fauci also told CBS the White House had been controlling his media appearances.

“I certainly have not been allowed to go on many, many, many shows that have asked for me,” he said, adding that restrictions had been inconsistent.

On the campaign call, Trump said: “Every time he goes on television, there’s always a bomb, but there’s a bigger bomb if you fire him.”

1,000+ CDC Officials Condemn Trump's Disastrous Pandemic Response, 'Silencing' of Agency

More than 1,000 current and former officers of "an elite disease fighting program" at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have signed an open letter denouncing President Donald Trump and the federal government's disastrous response to the Covid-19 pandemic and demanding that the prestigious public health agency be allowed to resume its crucial role in protecting the health of the nation's people.

"The absence of national leadership on Covid-19 is unprecedented and dangerous," wrote 1,044 physicians, nurses, scientists, and other health professionals who once were or now are Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officers at the CDC.

Hundreds of retired and active EIS officers, sometimes called "disease detectives," have signed the letter to publicly share their "concern about the ominous politicization and silencing of the nation's health protection agency during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic."

"It doesn't take 1,000 EIS officers to see that the Trump administration has made a catastrophic mess of its pandemic response," said Carl Bergstrom, a biology professor at the University of Washington, on social media. But when they do, he added, "the people in charge damn well better pay attention."

"Bravo!" tweeted Dr. Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority at the Department of Health and Human Services, in response to the letter.

As Common Dreams reported earlier this month, Bright publicly announced his resignation from the National Institute of Health on October 7 in a scathing statement condemning Trump's deadly ineptitude.

Twitter removes false coronavirus tweet by Trump's favourite health adviser

Twitter has removed a tweet by Scott Atlas, a controversial scientist who has Donald Trump’s ear, in which he wrongly stated that masks fail to protect against coronavirus.

The Washington Post, meanwhile, reported that Atlas has scattered discord inside the White House, so infuriating Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator, that she complained to Vice-President Mike Pence, calling for Atlas to be removed. The Post reported that at one meeting in the Oval Office, Atlas placed himself behind the Resolute Desk after Trump had left the room. The scientist, a senior fellow from Stanford’s conservative Hoover Institution, denied the account.

On Sunday, Twitter took down the tweet in which Atlas said: “Masks work? NO.” The company said the post violated its policy on Covid-19 misinformation that prohibits “sharing false or misleading content which could lead to harm”. In a stream of posts, Atlas falsely claimed that several US states and other countries had taken up widespread use of masks without evidence of any positive effect. He also incorrectly said that there were “many harms” to the practice.

'Killer' cells in Ebola immunity study could help Covid research

Immunity from the deadly Ebola virus could last years after the infection, the world’s longest study of survivors by British and Guinean scientists has concluded in findings that could have implications for Covid immunity research. The findings are the result of the world’s longest and most comprehensive study of survivors from the devastating west African outbreak between 2013 and 2016. They could help the understanding of the body’s immune response to Covid and other zoonotic diseases.

A recent study suggested antibodies for Covid may only last two months, leading to speculation that immunity to the virus may not be long-lived and those who have recovered would be at risk of reinfection. The team of scientists in Guinea found that some Ebola survivors there showed no antibodies three months after the infection even though they would have to mount a strong response to fight such a lethal virus.

But they did have the capacity to fight a possible reinfection with backup “killer” T cells, a type of white blood cell that triggers the immune response and B cells that memorises the specific battle plan for a pathogen and rapidly secrete antibodies when reactivated, according to the findings published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal.

The current post-Covid tests are for antibodies only and do not measure for T or B cells.

“Just because antibodies cannot be detected, does not necessarily mean that someone has not acquired immunity from their infection,” said the report’s lead author, Miles Carroll, a professor at the University of Oxford and deputy director of the national infection service at Public Health England in Porton Down, Wiltshire.

Judge Strikes Down Trump Effort to Slash Food Stamps for 700,000 Americans

A federal judge in Washington, D.C. late Sunday struck down the Trump administration's proposed changes to the SNAP benefits program, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of people from losing badly-needed federal food assistance.

U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell issued a scathing ruling, denouncing President Donald Trump and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who she said have been "icily silent about how many [adults] would have been denied SNAP benefits had the changes sought ... been in effect while the pandemic rapidly spread across the country."

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who was among more than a dozen state attorneys general who joined the District of Columbia in suing the administration over the changes, called Howell's ruling "a major victory for common sense and basic human decency in our nation."

The USDA proposed the changes months before the coronavirus pandemic began. They were initially set to go into effect in April, but Howell issued an injunction in March, as the president declared a state of emergency, ordering the administration to delay the changes. Perdue later appealed Howell's order, potentially allowing the new rules to go into effect despite a pandemic that has left millions unemployed.

Under existing SNAP benefits rules, states are able to waive work requirements for SNAP benefits for areas with unemployment rates as low as 2.5%. Perdue and Trump moved to tighten the criteria for waiving the requirements by raising the minimum rate to 6%.

The change could have left nearly 700,000 people without the benefit, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

Tamar Haspel, a Post food policy columnist, tweeted that the proposal, and the administration's attempt to ensure it could go into effect during the public health and economic crisis, was in the running for Trump's "Vilest Policy Ever."

Wall Street climbs into the Bidenmobile:

Goldman Sachs: Benefits of 'Blue Wave' and $2.5 Trillion Stimulus Outweigh Wall Street Concerns Over Tax Hike on the Rich

Contrary to President Donald Trump's claim that a win by Joe Biden in November would spell economic catastrophe, a Goldman Sachs analyst told the bank's clients Monday that a so-called "blue wave" of Democratic victories next month would likely provide a substantial boost to the U.S. economy by making possible "substantially more fiscal support" in the form of Covid-19 relief, infrastructure spending, and climate legislation.

While predictably characterizing Biden's proposed tax hikes on corporations and the rich as "negative," Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius wrote that the supposed downsides of the tax increases would be outweighed by "the boost to growth from fiscal stimulus."

Hatzius predicted a Democratic coronavirus stimulus package next year—should the party win control of the Senate and the presidency—would likely total around $2.5 trillion, significantly bigger than the $1.8 trillion package the White House is currently pushing to the dismay of many Senate Republicans.

"We expect that spending would increase the most under a Democratic sweep of the House, Senate, and White House," Hatzius wrote. "This would likely include a stimulus package in Q1 [of 2021], followed by infrastructure and climate legislation. In this scenario, we would expect legislation expanding health and other benefits, financed by tax increases, to pass in Q3." ...

Moody's Analytics, an economic research firm, has estimated that a Biden presidency would likely create 7.4 million more jobs than another four years of Trump.

"The economic outlook is strongest under the scenario in which Biden and the Democrats sweep Congress and fully adopt their economic agenda," Moody's Analytics economists Mark Zandi and Bernard Yaros wrote last month. "Trump has proposed much less expansive support to the economy from tax and spending policies."

US supreme court to decide on Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' asylum policy

The US supreme court on Monday agreed to decide the legality of one of Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies that has forced tens of thousands to wait in Mexico rather than entering the US, while their asylum claims are processed. More than 60,000 asylum seekers were returned under the “Remain in Mexico” program. In late February, the US justice department estimated that 25,000 were still waiting in Mexico for hearings in US court. Those hearings were suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Migrants, many of them children, have faced violence and homelessness while awaiting court dates. Human rights groups have documented cases of kidnappings, rapes and assaults.

Immigration advocacy groups and 11 individual asylum seekers who fled violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and were returned to Mexico after entering the US filed suit to challenge the legality of the policy. In a statement on Monday, Judy Rabinovitz, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which is challenging the policy, called the policy “illegal and depraved”.

“The courts have repeatedly ruled against it, and the supreme court should as well,” she said.

As is typical, the court did not comment in announcing it would hear the case. Because the court’s calendar is full through the end of the year, the justices will not hear the case until 2021. If Joe Biden were to win the presidential election on 3 November and rescind the policy, the case would become largely moot.

the horse race

"A Fire That Has Spread Across the Country": Jelani Cobb on Voter Suppression in the 2020 Election

US supreme court denies Republican bid to limit Pennsylvania mail-in-voting

The supreme court is allowing Pennsylvania to count ballots received up to three days after the election, in a consequential ruling that will likely mean thousands more votes are counted in one of the most critical swing states in the election. The court on Monday rejected a Republican plea to pause a September ruling from Pennsylvania’s state supreme court that allowed ballots to be counted as long as they are postmarked by election day and received up to three days later.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s three liberal justices in the ruling, producing a 4-4 deadlock. The even split means that the state supreme court’s ruling stands.

The ruling is a win for Democrats, who sought the extension in state court, and a loss for Republicans, who had asked the US supreme court to intervene. Nearly 900,000 voters in Pennsylvania have already returned their ballots, according to state data collected by Michael McDonald, a professor at the University of Florida.

The justices made the ruling after an emergency request from Pennsylvania Republicans and, as is customary in similar cases, offered no explanation for their decision. Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas all said they would have granted the Republican request.

Presidential Nominee of the Green Party -- WHY VOTE GREEN?

Los Angeles ballots damaged after suspected arson attack on official drop box

A fire inside an official election drop box in Los Angeles county has damaged voters’ ballots and is under investigation for arson, officials said.

The blaze Sunday night in the city of Baldwin Park appeared to be intentional, according to authorities, though the cause and the extent of the destruction were still under investigation. The fire required firefighters to spray water into the box to extinguish the flames, likely causing significant damage. Video from the scene showed dozens of wet and burnt ballots.

“The arson of an official ballot drop box … has all the signs of an attempt to disenfranchise voters and call into question the security of our elections,” Hilda L Solis, LA county supervisor, said in a statement, adding that the county has asked the state attorney general and FBI to investigate.

The LA county registrar’s office, which oversees the elections in the state’s largest county, has not responded to questions about how many ballots were affected, but said officials had last collected ballots from the site at 10am on Saturday. The fire was reported around 8pm on Sunday, and the damaged drop box location has since remained closed.

The presidential debate commission has adopted rules to mute microphones

When Trump and Biden face off on Thursday for a final televised debate, each candidate will have their microphones cut off while the other is delivering responses to questions.

During the 90-min debate, each candidate will have two minutes of uninterrupted time to respond to questions before they move on to open debate.

Krystal Ball: STUNNING New Report Reveals How Trump's Fake Populism Killed Him In Wisconsin

Trump's hopes fade in Wisconsin as 'greatest economy' boast unravels

Coarse, cruel, chaotic. Donald Trump has been called a lot of things. Even some of his supporters have had a hard time embracing the darker aspects of his personality. Until recently they have, however, trusted the president on one one vital issue: the economy. But with just 16 days to go until the election, there are clear signs that Trump’s claims to have created the “greatest economy we’ve ever had in the history of our country” are unravelling.

Perhaps nowhere is that more worrying for Trump than in Wisconsin. ... Until February, Trump could have confidently boasted that he had made good on his promises. Unemployment had fallen to record lows in the state, manufacturing was coming back – albeit at the same, snail-paced crawl that it had under Obama. The headline figures looked good. Then came the coronavirus – a disease that is now ravaging the state and has, in its wake, exposed the fault lines beneath those headline figures.

The virus and the economy now seem to have morphed into some hideous hybrid, and the fragile recovery that followed the first peak in infections is now being threatened by new spikes in infections. Last week Wisconsin reported 3,747 cases in one day, its highest level since the outbreak, and more than California’s daily average, a state with six times Wisconsin’s 5.8 million population. “The economy is always big. It’s just this year it is so intertwined with the pandemic that is hard to separate them,” said Mark Graul, a Republican strategist who ran George W Bush’s re-election race in Wisconsin in 2004. ...

A recent CNN poll found Trump and his rival, former vice-president Joe Biden, tied among registered voters at 49% apiece on who would handle the economy better. Back in May, 54% of registered voters said Trump would handle the economy better, compared with 42% for Biden. Graul expects a close race. Trump beat Clinton in Wisconsin by just 0.77% in 2016. The polls currently have Biden ahead by a clear 6.5% in the state, but in a year that feels like no other anything can happen between now and 3 November.

the evening greens

'An Appalling Environmental Crime': Japan to Dump Radioactive Fukushima Water Into Pacific Ocean

Nearly a decade after the 2011 Fukushima disaster, Japanese media reported Friday that the government has decided to release more than one million tonnes of treated radioactive water currently being stored at the nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, despite fierce opposition from fishermen and environmental advocates.

Nuclear energy policy expert Paul Dorfman called the Japanese government's plan "an appalling environmental crime."

While a formal announcement is expected to be made later this month, Japanese government officials have been considering this course of action for months.

Reuters noted that "the decision is expected to rankle neighboring countries like South Korea, which has already stepped up radiation tests of food from Japan, and further devastate the fishing industry in Fukushima that has battled against such a move for years."

"I have a lot of compassion for the fishermen and other people who are making their living in the Fukushima Prefecture and around it who fear for their income at the moment this will take place," Jan Haverkamp, a senior expert on nuclear energy policy at Greenpeace, told Al Jazeera on Saturday.

According to Al Jazeera, South Korea "still bans imports of seafood from the Fukushima region and has expressed concern" about Japan's plans to release radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean.

"The economic reality for these fishermen is real," said Michael Penn, president of the Shingetsu News Agency. "You can expect that their businesses will be damaged by [the perception of health risks] whether [the seafood] is safe or not safe."

Tomohiko Taniguchi—a former business journalist, past special adviser to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and now a professor at Keio University—claimed that it is "a vast amount of treated water, no longer contaminated." According to Taniguchi, "the only remaining radioactive material is tritium," which he argued is a harmless substance that can be found naturally in water.

Haverkamp argued that there remains "a lot of uncertainty about the effects of tritium."

"The moment that I hear the word 'treated' being used instead of 'contaminated,'" he retorted, "I can't think differently than this is a kind of newspeak."

When asked why the Japanese government has decided to release the wastewater into the Pacific Ocean despite having other options, Taniguchi responded that "it is the easiest way."

Given the lingering uncertainties about the effects of radioactive wastewater on human and environmental health, Haverkamp advocated for adhering to the precautionary principle, which he claimed "is not a problem at all," since it is possible to store the water for a longer period of time while "continuing to search for better ways to treat this water... before it is released into, for instance, the ocean."

How farming is drying up Arizona's water supplies

Big oil's answer to melting Arctic: cooling the ground so it can keep drilling

The oil company ConocoPhillips had a problem. It wanted to pump 160,000 more barrels of oil each day from a new project on Alaska’s North Slope. But the fossil fuels it and others produce are leading to global heating, and the Arctic is melting. The firm’s drilling infrastructure could be at risk atop thawing and unstable permafrost.

A recent environmental review of the project describes the company’s solution: cooling devices that will chill the ground beneath its structures, insulating them from the effects of the climate crisis.

The oil development that is fueling climate change continues to expand in the far north, with companies moving into new areas even as they are paying for special measures to protect equipment from the dangers of thawing permafrost and increasing rainfall – both expected outcomes as Arctic temperatures rise three times as fast as those elsewhere. Countries from Norway to Russia are advancing new Arctic oil developments. But under Donald Trump’s administration, Alaska has emerged as a hotbed of Arctic oil extraction, with big projects moving forward and millions of acres proposed to be opened to leasing.

The administration recently finalized its plan to open a piece of the Arctic national wildlife refuge to the oil industry. And drilling is expanding at an Indiana-sized region next door: the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, which, despite its name, also contains treasured subsistence areas for locals. Critics of Arctic oil expansion argue that while companies can use technology to temporarily and locally dampen climate disruptions, the region’s indigenous residents cannot. And even some who support oil development in the region argue that the Trump administration’s plans go too far.

[More detail at the link. -js]

Union Organizer Explains Why Green New Deal Is A Political Winner With Labor

French dairy giant accused of polluting country's famous rivers for years

France’s largest dairy company has repeatedly polluted the country’s rivers over the past decade, according to a new report by French media organisation Disclose.

During a year-long investigation into dairy giant Lactalis, Disclose found that 38 of the company’s production sites in France had breached environmental regulations. In many cases, according to the report, this involved the release into rivers of milk-related derivatives – which can be deadly to aquatic life in large volumes – or byproducts from wastewater treatment plants. The report contains evidence of several instances that it says resulted in the death of fish. Among the rivers allegedly affected are some of the country’s most famous, such as the Loire, in the area around Saint-Florent-le-Vieil. Others include the Véronne in the Auvergne region; the Seiche, which flows through Brittany; and the Isère at the gates of the Vercors natural park.

“The information we have been able to gather reveals a huge environmental pollution scandal,” claimed co-editor-in-chief of Disclose Geoffrey Livolsi, who led the investigation. “The frequency of the pollution, and the number of industrial sites concerned, raises serious questions about the group’s ability to follow environmental regulations.

“At some sites, we found that Lactalis had also ignored the administration’s warnings by not initiating the required compliance work – leaving procedures for several years, exceeding its effluent discharge permits and polluting waterways,” he claimed.

During the investigation, the activities of 60 of the company’s 70 or so production sites were examined. Of these, more than half appeared to have failed to comply with the regulations of the country’s environmental code at some point between 2010 and today – with many cases of non-compliance occurring in the last couple of years, the report claims.

Also of Interest

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

Intercepted podcast - Part Four: “You Think Our Country’s So Innocent?”

Cornel West: 'George Floyd's public lynching pulled the cover off who we really are'

Chris Hedges: The Politics of Cultural Despair

How Does a Nation Best Deal With a Leader Who Intentionally Kills Its Citizens?

“Fiscal Cliffication” Continues as the Election Looms

DNI Says Hunter Biden Emails Are Not ‘Russian Disinformation’

Bolivia Has Won. Will Trump Win Too?

Bolivian Socialists Sweep To Power

US Senate elections: the key races that will determine power in Washington

Amid US Sanctions, Venezuelan Oil Tanker at Risk of Spilling 1.3 Million Barrels and Devastating Caribbean Ecosystems

Ryan Grim: Socialist Candidate Wins BIG In Bolivia

Kyle Kulinski: Trump ‘Drunk On Fox News’ And Headed To The Defeat

A Little Night Music

Skip James - I'm So Glad

Skip James - Drunken Spree

Skip James - Cypress Grove Blues

Skip James - Look Down The Road

Skip James - All Night Long

Skip James - Special Rider Blues

Skip James - Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning

Skip James - Crow Jane

Skip James - Everybody's Leaving Here

Skip James - Illinois Blues

14 users have voted.


mimi's picture

and may show what can be done elsewhere, if one wanted to. I hope at least.

I have to read the EB tomorrow my time, but I go away with the bit I caught. Vote Green Howie Hawkins. Only morally acceptable vote, it seems. And yes sure, I would heat up my refrigerators ice with my hair dryer too for the fridge continue cooling. Makes sense. Wink

Thanks for the EB. Have a good remainder of the day. Good Night.

PS: Skip James play and singing pulled my heart, even more so as this recording was done in Germany in 1967, the year that turned everything upside down. Had I just had heard about it way back in 1967. Sigh.

11 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture


i hope that bolivia's return to democracy is completed and the bigoted, racist coup plotters leave la paz with their tails between their legs. i guess we'll see what happens.

have a good evening!

7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

7 users have voted.

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

QMS's picture


there are many other things going down as well
peanuts for profit Wink

8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


i guess tradition can't really hold a candle to corporate power when it goes on an acquisition binge.

have a good evening!

5 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

Here's one more on Bolivia, from Jacobin: Evo Morales’s Party’s Massive Victory Is a Rebuke to US Elites Who Hailed the Coup
Here's that STUNNING New Report Krystal Ball is talking about above,
it's long but well worth reading: The Verge
Have a nice night.

9 users have voted.

We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

joe shikspack's picture


thanks for the links!

i can't wait to see what biden/harris decide to do to screw over bolivia if there is a peaceful transfer of power (in both bolivia and the u.s.), assuming that pompous maximus doesn't steal the launch codes.

it's a shame that scott walker, donald trump and foxconn can't be brought before a panel of inquiry for their shameless fraud.

have a great evening!

8 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@joe shikspack
and on fire, HERE, talking about Rolling Stone magazine's endorsement of Biden. Good stuff.

5 users have voted.

We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

enhydra lutris's picture

companies know damn well that cooling isn't magic, it is simply a transfer of heat away from the area being cooled to somewhere else nearby. All you do is move heat around, usually to the air, and they know that too, though they might plan on warming some permafrost outside of the drilling zone, but they're still gong to be warming the larger local area.

WE have a fake election of our own, so I guess the declaration that Bolivia's was fake will have to wait until January or something. Tsk, tsk.

There might be some good news, however, and on the covid front at that. California will be independently testing whatever the CDC decides to approve, so we'll get a hopefully unbiased opinion on whatever pharma rushed through.

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

@enhydra lutris

heh, with any luck our fake candidates will be too busy with their own fake election to mess with bolivia for a while.

glad to hear that california is going to do independent testing. perhaps we could get new zealand to test it, too?

5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack

3 users have voted.

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

Bollox Ref's picture

Just got a large dump of snow:

The Evening Blues indeed.

It's too early for this kind of thing (mutter, mutter....)

5 users have voted.

from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

wow, that's pretty early for a snow delivery!

sorry that you have to break out the chains and the shovel so soon.

have a good evening!

4 users have voted.
WoodsDweller's picture

In case anyone cares, AOC has created a Twitch channel and will be streaming Among Us in 8 minutes. 182,000 people watching live ATM.

EDIT: 280,000 viewers and counting. AOC had this idea yesterday and got this put together in just a few hours. Ilhan Omar is supposed to join as well.
Compare that to some old dude putting together a super spreader event of 5,000 people in two weeks.

EDIT: 315,000 viewers. She plays with keyboard and mouse. She has my vote for President.

EDIT: 352,000 viewers. 43 minutes into stream and trying to iron out audio issues. Just like a real streamer.

EDIT: 367,000 viewers. She's pink with a green sprout hat. Because you needed to know that.

EDIT: 407,000 viewers. She got imposter first round.

EDIT: 425,000 viewers. She's gotten away with two murders so far.

EDIT: 434,000 viewers. She's ejected.

EDIT: 393,000 viewers. Chat thinks orange man is sus.

EDIT: 402,000 viewers. Someone in chat says "Can we not make the chat political?"

7 users have voted.

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Albert Bartlett
"A species that is hurtling toward extinction has no business promoting slow incremental change." -- Caitlin Johnstone

joe shikspack's picture


thanks for the link, have a good one!

2 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

it's pretty good:

8 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

Good evening all,

That Skip James was awesome. What a player. What a singer. A pioneer amongst pioneers. That Dm open tuning is interesting. His finger picking is great, clean and fast, incredible. Sounds like Al 'Blind Owl' (Canned Heat) was channeling Skip James with that vocal style. Very cool.

There is a gold rush for water in ancient water tables. We're draining them fast as we can get to them. Nestle is getting the surface water tied up. And the pumping radioactive frack waste near the rest. I can't believe what they are doing in Wilcox AZ, great vid. The Wilcox Playa, which I think was renamed recently to Lake Cochise or somesuch, is a great birding spot. The Chiracahuas just south are out of this world amazing. Cave Creek Canyon is one of my favorite spots there.

Great to see Evo Morales' vindication in Bolivia!

thanks for the great sounds!

4 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


yeah, i saw that french teevee report on unregulated agricultural water table theft in arizona and it reminded me of what's going on in california. they are having the same problems with groundwater loss and subsidence. it's probably going on in other places out west that i haven't heard about yet, too. big ag has a lot to answer for, but it probably won't have to until after it's too late.

heh, you might find this guy's guitar style interesting, too:

3 users have voted.

The Chris Hedges article was a great read. I was contemplating looking at some real property for investment purposes, but I think I will pass. I would rather leave this world sort of solvent than hopelessly screwed by a failed real estate speculation.
Many thanks to you for rounding up reading material that keeps me better behaved, as well as better informed.
I have eye surgery in the morning, a court hearing in the afternoon. How's that for an action packed day?

3 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

i think that i have found video of hedges delivering the remarks you read, which i'll post tomorrow.

good luck with your eye surgery and your court date. take care!

2 users have voted.