The Evening Blues - 10-22-20



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: The Olympics

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features doo wop group The Olympics. Enjoy!

The Olympics - Good Lovin'

"Most of the polls are calling it for Biden and the Democrat leadership are so confident they are already vetting Republicans for cabinet positions. ...

We need to prepare ourselves emotionaly for the despair of a Trump win. And if Biden wins, a feeling of relief followed by massive disappointment and more of the same unending free-market hopelessness. Wealthy people aren't worried about Biden, that's all we need to know."

-- First Dog on the Moon


News and Opinion

U.S. weighs labeling leading human rights groups ‘anti-Semitic’

The Trump administration is considering declaring that several prominent international NGOs — including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam — are anti-Semitic and that governments should not support them, two people familiar with the issue said.

The proposed declaration could come from the State Department as soon as this week. If the declaration happens, it is likely to cause an uproar among civil society groups and might spur litigation. Critics of the possible move also worry it could lead other governments to further crack down on such groups. The groups named, meanwhile, deny any allegations that they are anti-Semitic.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pushing for the declaration, according to a congressional aide with contacts inside the State Department. Pompeo is eyeing a future presidential run and has taken a number of steps to gain favor with pro-Israel and evangelical voters who make up a key part of Trump’s electoral base. ...

The declaration is expected to take the form of a report from the office of Elan Carr, the U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. The report would mention organizations including Oxfam, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. It would declare that it is U.S. policy not to support such groups, including financially, and urge other governments to cease their support.

The report would cite such groups’ alleged or perceived support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which has targeted Israel over its construction of settlements on land Palestinians claim for a future state. It’s also expected to point to reports and press statements such groups have released about the impact of Israeli settlements, as well as their involvement or perceived support for a United Nations database of businesses that operate in disputed territories.

Trump administration alters and downplays human rights abuses in reports

The Trump administration has omitted or altered vital information about human rights – including torture, reproductive rights and persecution based on sexuality – from its annual assessments of human rights, a new report reveals.

The state department’s annual reports have long been relied upon by governments, judges and lawyers – as well as the United Nations – as a “gold standard” of objective information about the human rights situation in countries around the world. The US began compiling these reports in 1976.

The Asylum Research Centre conducted a line-by-line analysis and comparison between US state department human rights reports in the last year of the Obama administration and the first three years of the Trump administration.

The ARC focused on five countries with serious human rights abuses – Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Sudan – to conduct its analysis. It found that sections of the US reports were not consistent with the situation on the ground as documented by other reliable sources of information and had the effect of downplaying the seriousness of the human rights situations in these countries.

The principal changes related to women’s rights, civil and political rights, and issues relating to LGBTQ+ people.

Parents of 545 children still not found three years after Trump separation policy

Three years after Donald Trump ordered a crackdown on undocumented migrants crossing into the US, lawyers are still struggling to find the parents of 545 children separated from them under the “zero-tolerance” policy, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

In a court filing, the ACLU said that about two-thirds of the parents had been deported back to the country of origin in Central America, leaving their separated children behind. In the rush to carry out Trump’s orders, the locations of the parents were not recorded and three years later they still cannot be found.

The zero-tolerance policy was announced in April 2018. It was later revealed that the administration had begun family separation the previous year under a secret pilot program.

In total, 1,030 children were removed from their parents by the US government under that pilot scheme, of whom 485 children have had their parents found under a scheme imposed by federal judges. The ACLU and a team of lawyers have been tasked by the courts with finding all the parents.

Under the pilot scheme, about 66% of the parents separated from their children were deported back to Central America before the court order was imposed on the Trump administration to find them. The search for the parents, who are called “unreachable” in the court document, has been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.

How Bolivia fights fascism - It takes more than the ballot box

Google, working hard to turn the promise of AI into a dystopian hellscape of oppression:

Google AI Tech Will Be Used for Virtual Border Wall, CBP Contract Shows

After years of backlash over controversial government work, Google technology will be used to aid the Trump administration’s efforts to fortify the U.S.-Mexico border, according to documents related to a federal contract. In August, Customs and Border Protection accepted a proposal to use Google Cloud technology to facilitate the use of artificial intelligence deployed by the CBP Innovation Team, known as INVNT. Among other projects, INVNT is working on technologies for a new “virtual” wall along the southern border that combines surveillance towers and drones, blanketing an area with sensors to detect unauthorized entry into the country. ...

Documents show that Google’s technology for CBP will be used in conjunction with work done by Anduril Industries, a controversial defense technology startup founded by Palmer Luckey. The brash 28-year-old executive — also the founder of Oculus VR, acquired by Facebook for over $2 billion in 2014 — is an open supporter of and fundraiser for hard-line conservative politics; he has been one of the most vocal critics of Google’s decision to drop its military contract. Anduril operates sentry towers along the U.S.-Mexico border that are used by CBP for surveillance and apprehension of people entering the country, streamlining the process of putting migrants in DHS custody.

CBP’s Autonomous Surveillance Towers program calls for automated surveillance operations “24 hours per day, 365 days per year” to help the agency “identify items of interest, such as people or vehicles.” The program has been touted as a “true force multiplier for CBP, enabling Border Patrol agents to remain focused on their interdiction mission rather than operating surveillance systems.”

It’s unclear how exactly CBP plans to use Google Cloud in conjunction with Anduril or for any of the “mission needs” alluded to in the contract document. Google spokesperson Jane Khodos declined to comment on or discuss the contract. CBP, Anduril, and Thundercat Technology did not return requests for comment. However, Google does advertise powerful cloud-based image recognition technology through its Vision AI product, which can rapidly detect and categorize people and objects in an image or video file — an obvious boon for a government agency planning to string human-spotting surveillance towers across a vast border region.

Matt Taibbi CALLS OUT Media Hypocrisy Of Hunter Biden Emails vs. Steele Dossier

California appears to be winning fight against Covid-19. How long will it last?

After a brutal summer of increased infection and overburdened hospitals, California is having a moment of respite in coronavirus transmission as much of the nation and the world experiences yet another rise in cases. But experts and public health officials warned Californians to practice caution.

California saw just eight new cases per 100,000 people on Tuesday, while the US as a whole reported more than double that at 18 cases per 100,000. Disneyland is on a path to reopening, albeit not for a few weeks at the earliest and at a very limited capacity. Hospitalization rates have declined. The test positivity rate is down to 2.6% over a 14-day period, “some of the lowest test positivity that we’ve seen across the state”, said Dr Mark Ghaly, California’s secretary of health and human services. ...

California was the first state to order residents to shelter in place when the pandemic emerged in the country in early spring. The state avoided a surge in cases like the one New York experienced, and its death rate remained relatively low. Its government, led by Gavin Newsom, was touted across the country for its forceful leadership.

But restrictions started easing in May, and as the weather warmed, residents in some counties flooded back to beaches, bars, restaurants, fitness rooms and salons. By 4 July, the state registered an average of about 6,000 to 7,000 new cases each day. “We made a terrible mistake like so many other places in the United States did when we opened up too quickly in May and continued to let them be open in June and that led to the horrific time we had in July and August,” said John Swartzberg, a professor emeritus of infectious diseases at the University of California, Berkeley. “I think California learned from that mistake.” ...

Experts predict a fall surge will come, he warned, and that Californians cannot allow themselves to become lax in their efforts. “This is what all the epidemiologists, scientists, anyone who followed our history or data from the Spanish flu pandemic anticipated moving into the colder season,” Newsom said. “That’s why we are being very sober and, forgive me, stubborn, about some industries in the state that I know are eager to get guidelines [on reopening].”

WaPo Reporter Jeff Stein: Stimulus Falters As ‘Permanent Economic Scarring’ Deepens Nationwide

Trump Officials Weigh Deep Funding Cuts to Covid-19 Relief, Newborn Screenings in Democrat-Led Cities

Documents obtained by Politico reveal that the Trump White House is weighing millions of dollars in federal funding cuts to Covid-19 relief, newborn screenings, and other crucial healthcare programs in Democrat-led cities, a move critics decried as politically motivated "retribution" that could have a devastating impact on poor and sick Americans amid the ongoing pandemic.

Politico reported late Tuesday that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has "identified federal grants covering... nearly 200 health programs that could be in line for cuts as part of a sweeping government-wide directive the administration is advancing during the final weeks of the presidential campaign and amid an intensifying pandemic Trump has downplayed." ...

According to Politico:

HHS compiled the list with input from at least 12 agencies it oversees. The list includes 185 programs that touch on everything from Trump's own initiative to end HIV transmission by the end of the decade to the opioid crisis and research into lung diseases. The list also includes funding for other programs, like $423,000 for universal hearing screenings for newborns in the District of Columbia, housing for people in addiction recovery in Seattle, and services providing nutrition and mental health counseling to elderly New Yorkers.

The administration's decision to target funding for life-saving health programs stems from a September 2 memorandum in which President Donald Trump ordered federal agencies to review "funding to state and local government recipients" that the White House has condemned for not quashing racial justice protests.

Last month, as Common Dreams reported, the Department of Justice designated New York City, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon as "anarchist jurisdictions" that could lose federal grant money amid a pandemic that has taken an enormous toll on state and local budgets.


Media Owned by Wealthy Are Quick to Tell You Wealth Taxes Are a Bad Idea

The coronavirus pandemic has greatly increased wealth inequality in the United States, a key issue in the upcoming presidential election. Polls are currently looking good for the Democrats, many of whom have been murmuring about—or even demanding—a new wealth tax. Recent surveys show the idea is overwhelmingly popular with the electorate, with voters in 11 polled states more than three times as likely to support than oppose a candidate backing a tax on the assets of the wealthy.

America’s super-rich (who have seen their fortunes surge since the beginning of lockdown) are getting nervous. Last week CNBC (10/14/20) reported that wealthy families are desperately trying to change ownership status of their assets — passing them down to their rich kids — before year’s end, in case of sweeping Biden tax reforms that could lose them millions.

And corporate media—whose owners are overwhelmingly from the class that would be paying a wealth tax—are returning to throw cold water on the idea, after successfully sidelining the candidates who most enthusiastically promoted taxing the wealthy during the Democratic primaries this year.

The primaries put the notion of a wealth tax on the political table, with a number of high-profile candidates, including Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, proposing one. While the idea was popular with the public (polls show it was strongly supported, with even half of Republican voters backing it), it was not popular with corporate media pundits, who rejected it as a “bad,” “foolhardy” (CNN, 2/17/19) or “terrible” idea (Washington Examiner, 2/15/20), “bad for workers” (Reason, 1/28/20) and an “administrative nightmare” (Time, 1/30/19).

A CNN opinion piece (11/27/19) warned that it would be just plain “wrong” to claim that a wealth tax is a serious solution, based as it is on “voodoo incantations,” and instead suggested a tax cut to address inequality. Fox News (12/31/19) went even further, attacking the idea as a misguided “fantasy,” before presenting its own dream of any wealth tax being found unconstitutional (which, to be fair, the current Supreme Court might well do—particularly with the addition of Amy Coney Barrett).

But at least the pool of interchangeable think tankers and rent-a-pundits pretended to believe inequality is a real problem that they want to fix. Before the great crash of 2008, corporate media were cheerleaders of inequality, the standard line being that it is nothing to worry about, or even a good thing for society (Extra!, 9–10/07).

The press have now moved one step along, claiming they really do want to solve the inequality issue, only directly addressing it through redistribution won’t work. Thus a CNN op-ed (11/19/19) argued: “Rising income inequality is indeed a problem for economic growth. But taxing wealth could exacerbate the problem, not fix it.” The authors, two staffers at the right-wing Illinois Policy Institute, claimed that seizing assets from “the world’s best allocators of capital” would stifle innovation and inevitably hurt workers.

There has been a limited amount of positive coverage of any potential wealth tax. The New York Times (4/21/20), for instance, claimed a one-off Covid-19 solidarity assessment on the wealthy would “help prove that we are all in this together.” But this was a break from the normal negativity that claimed it would be too hard to implement (New York Times, 11/15/19) or simply unconstitutional and dishonest (New York Times, 1/24/20).

Joe Biden is not proposing any specific wealth tax. The former vice president even began his campaign explicitly reassuring wealthy donors that “nothing would fundamentally change” under his presidency. “I need you very badly,” he told them. Yet even with Sanders and Warren defeated, America’s rich are worrying that a President Biden would be swayed by progressive forces in his party.

As a result, the concept has again become a talking point for the media in recent weeks. And like last time, the tone is overwhelmingly hostile. Thus, a wealth tax simply “won’t work” (Daily Telegraph, 10/6/20), creates “false expectations” (Toronto Sun, 9/22/20) or might cost more to administer than it would bring in (Spectator, 10/8/20). “A wealth tax is not a solution for income inequality,” insists Forbes (9/29/20), a magazine most noted for its glorification of billionaires, claiming it is a “policy driven by spite” against the rich, and would somehow “make everyone—rich and poor—worse off.”

Perhaps CNBC (10/6/20) went with the most galaxy-brained line of attack. Biden’s plans categorize anyone in the top 1.8% of income (making $400,000+ annually) as “wealthy.” But those poor souls earning just $400,000 per year “aren’t exactly living large,” CNBC insisted, finding “experts” willing to claim that that sort of annual income only provided a “relatively middle-class lifestyle” in much of the country. Why, they might only be able to afford three “modest” family vacations per year.

CNBC (9/23/20) also recently sat down with JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, uncritically parroting his line that any wealth tax would be “extremely complicated” and “almost impossible,” an interview that was picked up and amplified across the media (e.g., The Hill, 9/23/20; New York Post, 9/23/20; MSN, 9/23/20; Forbes, 9/23/20). Wow, who would have thought that a billionaire investment banker would oppose a wealth tax! Under even a modest tax hike like Warren’s, Dimon would stand to lose out on tens of millions of dollars annually. Yet this massive, unmissable conflict of interest was not even presented as a problem in these articles, let alone seen as a reason to dismiss his opinion. Rather, he was presented as a neutral expert offering legitimate criticism, rather than a biased actor with a huge amount of skin in the game. In much the same way as reporting that billionaires don’t like socialism is treated as front-page news (FAIR.org, 2/3/20), the super-wealthy being against wealth taxes is apparently also newsworthy.

Ultimately, a wealth tax as modest as some Democrats are proposing would affect precious few Americans, but still generate trillions of dollars of revenue from people who have largely been increasing their fortunes throughout the pandemic. That so much of the media are so dead set against the idea suggests whose interests they really serve.

Republican senator 'personally benefited from tax change he sought'

Ron Johnson, the senator from Wisconsin who has led the Republican campaign in the Senate of making unfounded claims about Joe Biden’s son Hunter, is facing a host of questions about his own ethics, including whether he personally benefited from a change in tax law that he sought in 2017.

A letter sent by Johnson to the Senate ethics committee in May has revealed the senator began the process of selling a company he partly owned in February 2018, just months after he insisted the Trump administration change a portion of the tax law in a way that ultimately benefited the sale.

The issue has become a focus of the Congressional Integrity Project, a Democratic watchdog group that is seeking to expose allegations of corruption within the Republican ranks. At the center of claims made by the watchdog group are allegations that Johnson may have sought out a change in the Trump administration’s 2017 tax bill to enrich himself personally. ...

In a new report, the Congressional Integrity Project – which does not release the names of its funders – also suggests that Johnson’s adult children have benefited from his public role. [See full article for much greater detail. -js]

Donald Trump paid nearly $200,000 in taxes to China, report claims

Donald Trump maintains a bank account in China where he pursued licensing deals for years, according to a report that could undermine the president’s election campaign claim that he is tough on Beijing. Tax records reviewed by the New York Times showed a previously unreported bank account in China controlled by Trump International Hotels Management. The account paid $188,561 in taxes in China between 2013 and 2015 in connection to potential licensing deals, according the newspaper.

Earlier reporting by the Times showed he paid just $750 in US taxes in 2016 and 2017.

The recent tax records also showed Trump invested at least $192,000 in five companies charged with pursuing business deals in China. Those companies claimed $97,400 in business expenses, including payments as recently as 2018, the Times reported.

Rudy Giuliani faces questions after compromising scene in new Borat film

The reputation of Rudy Giuliani could be set for a further blow with the release of highly embarrassing footage in Sacha Baron Cohen’s follow-up to Borat. In the film, released on Friday, the former New York mayor and current personal attorney to Donald Trump is seen reaching into his trousers and apparently touching his genitals while reclining on a bed in the presence of the actor playing Borat’s daughter, who is posing as a TV journalist.

Following an obsequious interview for a fake conservative news programme, the pair retreat at her suggestion for a drink to the bedroom of a hotel suite, which is rigged with concealed cameras.

After she removes his microphone, Giuliani, 76, can be seen lying back on the bed, fiddling with his untucked shirt and reaching into his trousers. They are then interrupted by Borat who runs in and says: “She’s 15. She’s too old for you.”

Word of the incident first emerged on 7 July, when Giuliani called New York police to report the intrusion of an unusually dressed man.

“This guy comes running in, wearing a crazy, what I would say was a pink transgender outfit,” Giuliani told the New York Post. “It was a pink bikini, with lace, underneath a translucent mesh top, it looked absurd. He had the beard, bare legs, and wasn’t what I would call distractingly attractive.

“This person comes in yelling and screaming, and I thought this must be a scam or a shakedown, so I reported it to the police. He then ran away,” Giuliani said. The police found no crime had been committed. Giuliani continued: “I only later realised it must have been Sacha Baron Cohen. I thought about all the people he previously fooled and I felt good about myself because he didn’t get me.”

Viewers may be less convinced that Baron Cohen, reprising his role as the bumbling reporter Borat Sagdiyev, and Maria Bakalova, who plays his daughter, Tutar, had no success.



the horse race



Biden's Response To Progressives: GOP Cabinet Choices!

Russia and Iran obtained US voter data in bid to sow unrest before election, FBI warns

Russia and Iran have obtained some US voting registration information and are attempting to sow unrest in the upcoming election, the government’s national intelligence director said in a rare news conference Wednesday night.

“We have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails, designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest and damage President Trump,” said John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence.

The FBI director, Chris Wray, also spoke, saying the US will impose costs on any foreign countries interfering in the 2020 US election. ...

Democrats immediately took issue with Ratcliffe’s emphasis that Iran was sowing disinformation to harm Trump, characterizing the intelligence director as a “partisan hack”. Ratcliffe is a former Republican congressman and Democrats have been critical of his choice to selectively declassify documents to help Trump. ...

The news conference was held as Democratic voters in at least four battleground states, including Florida and Pennsylvania, have received threatening emails, falsely claiming to be from the far-right group Proud Boys, that warned “we will come after you” if the recipients didn’t vote for Trump.

Krystal Ball: Bernie’s DIRE WARNING For Establishment Dems

Bernie Sanders Exclusive: My 100 Day Plan To Hold Biden ACCOUNTABLE



the evening greens


Dust Bowl 2.0? Rising Great Plains dust levels stir concerns

Earlier this month, a storm front swept across the Great Plains of the United States, plowing up a wall of dust that could be seen from space, stretching from eastern Colorado into Nebraska and Kansas. It was a scene straight from the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, when farmers regularly saw soil stripped from their fields and whipped up into choking blizzards of dust.

Better get used to it. According to a new study, dust storms on the Great Plains have become more common and more intense in the past 20 years, because of more frequent droughts in the region and an expansion of croplands. “Our results suggest a tipping point is approaching, where the conditions of the 1930s could return,” says Gannet Haller, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Utah who led the study. ...

The findings, reported on 12 October in Geophysical Research Letters, show that across large parts of the Great Plains, levels of wind-blown dust have doubled over the past 20 years. One clue that agriculture is responsible is that the dust levels tend to peak during spring and fall—planting and harvesting seasons, Hallar notes. Experts have blamed the original Dust Bowl events on a combination of climate and agricultural drivers. Beginning in the 1920s, croplands across the Great Plains expanded massively—thanks in large part to mechanized farming and easy plowing. That was followed by an extended drought during the ’30s that included record-breaking heat waves in 1934 and 1936.

But recent studies are showing how climate change is drying out the region. Greenhouse gases are making heat waves like those in the 1930s far more likely, according to a study published in May in Nature Climate Change. And in an April study in Science, researchers suggested much of the western United States is on the brink of a prolonged megadrought that could outrank anything in more than 1000 years. “We really are at the point where droughts could again be as bad as in the 1930s,” says Kasey Bolles, an expert on the Dust Bowl at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and a co-author on the Science study.

Merkley Unveils Pioneering Bills to Make Financial Institutions 'Stop Bankrolling Climate Catastrophe'

Green groups applauded Sen. Jeff Merkley on Wednesday for introducing a pioneering pair of bills that aim to "protect the long-term health and well-being of the American people and their economy from the catastrophic effects of climate chaos" by preventing banks and international financial institutions from financing fossil fuels. ...

The Protecting America's Economy from the Carbon Bubble Act of 2020 (pdf) "would help safeguard the economy by prohibiting financial companies from making new investments in fossil fuels," according to his office. The Sustainable International Financial Institutions Act of 2020 (pdf) "would elevate that priority to the international stage by ensuring that the United States uses its voice and vote in international financial institutions to divest from fossil fuel investments." ...

According to a report released in March by climate advocacy groups, 35 global banks have collectively poured more than $2.7 trillion into the fossil fuel industry since the Paris climate agreement was finalized in late 2015. The four top spots were all held by U.S. institutions: JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America.

"Sen. Merkley's new divestment bills are exactly the sort of real climate leadership we need from our elected officials and regulators," said David Turnbull of Oil Change International (OCI). "If banks won't stop funding climate devastation, our government must force their hand, and Sen. Merkley's bills would force the action we need."


Also of Interest

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

Intercepted podcast - Part Six: The Looting of the Nation

Twitter Surveillance Startup Targets Communities of Color for Police

The Guardian’s Silence Let UK Trample on Assange’s Rights in Effective Darkness

Nagorno-Karabakh: What's at Stake in the Conflict Between Armenia & Azerbaijan?

Europe Gears Up for Another Military Intervention in Libya

October Covid Update

The Fed Did a Lot of Talking Yesterday about a Big Bank Failure: Should We Worry?

South Carolina Could Reject a Record Number of Absentee Ballots

Revealed: ex-members of Amy Coney Barrett faith group tell of trauma and sexual abuse

At least 10 bodies found during search for Tulsa Race Massacre victims

Cat and mouse on the high seas: on the trail of China's vast squid fleet

Will There Be a Second Dust Bowl? And What Happened to the Topsoil From the First One?

If Trump wins everyone is going to have a lot of feelings including us. Be prepared

Scientists reveal how diabolical ironclad beetle can bear huge weights

Keiser Report | A New Bretton Woods with China as #1 Power


A Little Night Music

The Olympics - Mine Exclusively

The Olympics - Well

The Olympics - Hully Gully

The Olympics - Secret Agents

The Olympics - Western Movies

The Olympics - The Bounce

The Olympics - Dance by the Light of the Moon

Olympics - I Wanna Dance With The Teacher

The Olympics - Peanut Butter

The Olympics - Big Boy Pete


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Comments

ggersh's picture

the news not so much ;-(

In the meantime Putin hammers the tRump

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/64261

"The values of mutual assistance, service and self-sacrifice proved to be most important. This also applies to the responsibility, composure and honesty of the authorities, their readiness to meet the demand of society and at the same time provide a clear-cut and well-substantiated explanation of the logic and consistency of the adopted measures so as not to allow fear to subdue and divide society but, on the contrary, to imbue it with confidence that together we will overcome all trials no matter how difficult they may be.

"The struggle against the coronavirus threat has shown that only a viable state can act effectively in a crisis..."

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/10/silly-season.html#comments

Without mentioning its name, Putin in his speech pinned the tail on the donkey regarding TrumpCo's pandemic failure:

"The values of mutual assistance, service and self-sacrifice proved to be most important. This also applies to the responsibility, composure and honesty of the authorities, their readiness to meet the demand of society and at the same time provide a clear-cut and well-substantiated explanation of the logic and consistency of the adopted measures so as not to allow fear to subdue and divide society but, on the contrary, to imbue it with confidence that together we will overcome all trials no matter how difficult they may be.

"The struggle against the coronavirus threat has shown that only a viable state can act effectively in a crisis..." [My Emphasis]

Yes, it didn't begin with Trump, but he sure did accelerate the process of making the domestic part of the Outlaw US Empire dysfunctional, which for me makes this "silly season" even worse than usual.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2020 18:43 utc | 71

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Buy a Bible don't read it and you'll be a Catholic
Buy a Bible read only what suits you and you'll be an Evangelical
Buy a Bible read it fully, analyze it, reason it and you will be
an Atheist

@ggersh

For the benefit of the people.
Too bad the trumpenbiden teams don't learn from it.
Putin for presnet 2020.

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9 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@QMS

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3 users have voted.

@mimi

Are riding above the moon.

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6 users have voted.

@QMS

Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions happen every 20 years. The last one took place on May 28, 2000. The next one after 2020 will come on October 31, 2040.

https://earthsky.org/tonight

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ggersh's picture

@QMS they certainly don't fear us enough, something has to change
fast, real fast or Mother Nature won't continue to be so motherly.

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9 users have voted.

Buy a Bible don't read it and you'll be a Catholic
Buy a Bible read only what suits you and you'll be an Evangelical
Buy a Bible read it fully, analyze it, reason it and you will be
an Atheist

Azazello's picture

@ggersh
From Pepe Escobar via The Saker: Iron Curtain still separates Russia and the EU

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9 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

ggersh's picture

@Azazello the empire is in deep decline. "you don't negotiate w/monkeys"

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8 users have voted.

Buy a Bible don't read it and you'll be a Catholic
Buy a Bible read only what suits you and you'll be an Evangelical
Buy a Bible read it fully, analyze it, reason it and you will be
an Atheist

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

yep, the u.s. is a failing state and it is evident to all of the players on the stage.

i wonder when the quiet, sideline conversations about what to do with the u.s. will start erupting in public.

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7 users have voted.
mimi's picture

I admit sometimes I am glad I can see German TV channels here, like for example Phoenix. (heh, I am proud that I managed to set up my TV to view also American, French, Aljazeera TV. and many more foreign channels too)

I just saw an excellent documentary called 'Web of Lies' or Labyrinth der Lügen - Trump and the fake news makers. A film made by Michael Kirk and Mike Wiser. I wished those of you,who can understand German to watch it, if you can find it and might be available to you.

Under US President Donald Trump, conspiracy myths from the once remote fringes of society could find their way into the center of the White House in Washington.

"Labyrinth of Lies" shows the role played by the dangerous alliance between conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, long-time Trump employee Roger Stone and the US President. They pull the cord in the fight for truth and lies.

The documentary is based on interviews with Roger Stone, former employees of Alex Jones' right-wing populist website "InfoWars", political insiders, people who have fallen victim to conspiracy myths and fake news, and experts who have analyzed the spread of misinformation.

It shows how conspiracy myths are used as tools of manipulation and how they made it into the highest levels of American politics.

Ok, many thanks for the EB. Read tomorrow. Should I watch this strange debate which is going on tonight? Or better sleep in?.

Have a good evening and alwayx thanks for your kind responses, I learn now to achieving equanimity one word and minute at a time. Smile

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joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

against my better judgement, i think that i may listen to the debate in the background tonight just to see if trump gets muzzled by the moderators. if you are expecting anything other than a degenerate spectacle with some flaming train wrecks, it's probably best not to watch.

have a great evening!

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4 users have voted.
Shahryar's picture

I was probably the perfect age when Big Boy Pete came out.

since all the candidates are awful I find music preferable.

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joe shikspack's picture

@Shahryar

the olympics are certainly in my top 5 vocal groups list, i only wish they recorded more.

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

When Ratcliffe blamed Iran for the proud boy’s email I thought people would finally wake up to the Russian farce, but no they’re doubling down on it.

Thanks for the news and blues, Joe!

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10 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

We’re going to have a fight between who’s election interference is bigger and better.

Those who have swallowed every aspect of Russia Gate can see through the Iran propaganda, but not the Russian propaganda. How does that work in their minds? Maybe it has something to do with their believing that Obama was the greatest president in their lifetime? And that Hillary and Biden would be great presidents too? Most Bernie supporters saw through it from the git go.

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7 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

@snoopydawg Only highly skilled deprogramming will restore their sanity.

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5 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@snoopydawg

the US Establishment will be quietly rigging the general election for whoever it is that they really want to win.

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4 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

i think that the russia farce will have to pried from some of these moron's cold, dead fingers.

it is the professional liberals' equivalent of the right-wing gun-fondlers' second-amendment fetish.

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6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

He sounds like he did back during the Shrubs tenure. Interesting how he did sports commentary all through Obama’s.

He starts out saying that David Corn is his good friend. Corn wrote the 1st article on the Steele dossier in case you didn’t know. McCain slipped it to him. TDS grabs another pod person.

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7 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

Bollox Ref's picture

How is Bernard Sanders going to hold Biden accountable, should Biden win?

Talk about spitting in the wind. He might want to spend more time with the grandkids.

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11 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

my guess is that sanders can't push biden left without leaving the dem party and fomenting a real revolution.

which, of course, is not going to happen. so, perhaps sanders will get a lot of people worked up in order to tinker around the edges some more.

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7 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

in a while, brings back memories. So Bernie has a 100 day plan, is that like a 5 year plan that simply blows up far, far faster, or what? Somehow Jimmy's warning to the left rings far more likely than Bernie's to the Dems.

So bank failures and a dust bowl, do ya think Abe Guthrie is up for following in his grandfather's footsteps. Will this decade's Okies be able to abide by the facts that 1) the UFW exists? and 2) It's full of Hispanics? Will they head back home after they've see East L.A.?

And Libya again? The author mentions the Romans and the punic wars, but they aren't really a precedent for NATO and now Europe, their cultural and spiritual predecessors are the Vandals, who didn't invade Carthage until around 600 years after the Punic Wars ended.

Ah well, lotsa echoes. So it goes.

be well and have a good one.

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8 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

well, i am sorta interested to see what sanders comes up with. if he and his usual suspects in congress put on a full-court press in the first hundred days, i would imagine that internecine warfare might break out in the dem ranks. if i thought that they were really going to challenge power, i'd lay in stocks of popcorn, but i'm used to progressives being big-talking disappointments.

i would imagine that this decade's okies will come not only from the midwest but also from california - and anywhere else that big ag has erected its tents. big ag is an extractive industry and if they fail to utterly destroy an area they and their mighty checkbooks have invaded it will be due to some fortuitous circumstance.

have a great evening!

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9 users have voted.

My eye surgery went well. I can see out of my right eye now!
And the court ruling swung way to my side.
And today, I very clearly read your articles.
And they are a treasure, daily.
You go, my man!
The tamp down of free speech and the redefinition of the first amendment are my heart, my soul, my profession.
Oh, well, see you in the gulag!
If I have one biscuit, you have 1/2.
Deal?

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7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

heh:

have a bright, bright sunshiney day!

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4 users have voted.

...but nothing to play it on.

Need to remedy that - my vinyl is feeling neglected.

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4 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Blue Republic

well, it seems that you're in luck. vinyl has made a strong comeback and the dark days when you'd go into an electronics store and if you were lucky they'd have one turntable and one cartridge are over. the used market for them is pretty strong, too.

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4 users have voted.
travelerxxx's picture

@joe shikspack

Maybe I even read it in an EB, but vinyl sales have now eclipsed that of CDs.

Makes me wish I still had my old Zenith Roto-Sound console. Last I knew, it was somewhere in Oregon, still going - albeit with a modern turntable and preamp. That thing had about 30 tubes.

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2 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@travelerxxx

heh, the last time i went into the high-end audio store to gawk (everything there is nine prices) it looked like tube amplifiers are making a comeback, too. they had a bunch of different brands of them running from $2k to stratospheric. they sound pretty good, though.

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2 users have voted.