The Evening Blues - 10-29-20



eb1pt12


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

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features soul singer James Carr. Enjoy!

James Carr - The Dark End of the Street

“Now, your Honor, I have spoken about the war. I believed in it. I don’t know whether I was crazy or not. Sometimes I think perhaps I was. I approved of it; I joined in the general cry of madness and despair. I urged men to fight. I was safe because I was too old to go. I was like the rest. What did they do? Right or wrong, justifiable or unjustifiable -- which I need not discuss today -- it changed the world. For four long years the civilized world was engaged in killing men. Christian against Christian, barbarian uniting with Christians to kill Christians; anything to kill. It was taught in every school, aye in the Sunday schools. The little children played at war. The toddling children on the street. Do you suppose this world has ever been the same since? How long, your Honor, will it take for the world to get back the humane emotions that were slowly growing before the war? How long will it take the calloused hearts of men before the scars of hatred and cruelty shall be removed?

We read of killing one hundred thousand men in a day. We read about it and we rejoiced in it -- if it was the other fellows who were killed. We were fed on flesh and drank blood. Even down to the prattling babe. I need not tell you how many upright, honorable young boys have come into this court charged with murder, some saved and some sent to their death, boys who fought in this war and learned to place a cheap value on human life. You know it and I know it. These boys were brought up in it. The tales of death were in their homes, their playgrounds, their schools; they were in the newspapers that they read; it was a part of the common frenzy -- what was a life? It was nothing. It was the least sacred thing in existence and these boys were trained to this cruelty.”

-- Clarence Darrow


News and Opinion

In 'Extraordinary Step,' International Crisis Group Issues Report Warning of US Election Violence

Four months after calling on President Donald Trump to stop stoking the flames of civil unrest over racial injustice, the International Crisis Group again on Wednesday departed from its usual work of reporting on conflicts and war zones in developing nations, and issued its first-ever report on fears of violence surrounding the U.S. presidential election.

Robert Malley, president and CEO of the ICG, called the organization's report, advising U.S. and world leaders on how to avoid election-related unrest and violence in the wealthiest country in the world "an extraordinary step."


The report warns that "the ingredients for unrest are present" in the United States and puts the onus for that squarely at the feet of the president and his right-wing supporters.

"President Donald Trump's often incendiary rhetoric suggests he will more likely stoke than calm tensions," the report reads, warning that how other U.S. leaders respond to the potential violence could determine what happens next in the country.

"Beyond the implications for any Americans caught up in unrest, the election will be a harbinger of whether its institutions can guide the U.S. safely through a period of socio-political change," the ICG said. "If not, the world's most powerful country could face a period of growing instability and increasingly diminished credibility abroad."

The report calls for leaders in both the Democratic and Republican parties to make clear that a clean and free election is the top priority on both sides of the aisle.

As it stands, Democratic leaders in recent months have pushed for legislation to fund the U.S. Postal Service to make it possible for Americans to vote by mail as well as $3.6 billion in funding for state and local governments to administer elections safely.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), however, has dismissed those proposals as "an unserious liberal wishlist" while other GOP leaders have severely hampered voters' ability to cast their ballots in states including Texas and Alabama, suggesting election integrity is a pet cause of only one political party. 

Without bipartisan calls for a fair election in which all votes are tallied, the ICG suggests, the Republican Party will be offering tacit approval to the president's claims that Democrats have rigged the election if he loses.

"If events take an ugly turn, both domestic political and foreign leaders with easy access to Trump and his inner circles should tell them privately and publicly that they will have no support if they try to interfere with tabulation of results or, should they lose, the peaceful transfer of power," the ICG wrote.

While the U.S. has for decades branded itself as an international authority on free elections, the report asks foreign leaders to "press U.S. counterparts to respect democratic norms."

The report details Trump's refusal to condemn right-wing white supremacist groups like the Proud Boys, who MilitiaWatch and the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) identified in a study last week as having a "very high" potential for perpetrating violence after the election. The president publicly called on the group to "stand back and stand by" rather than telling them to "stand down" at the first presidential debate in September, the same event in which he called on his supporters to "watch" the polls.

The ICG warned that in the past, white supremacist and extremist groups "appear to have listened to [Trump's] words carefully":

In 2019, when the president tweeted out comments from right-wing pastor Robert Jeffress suggesting that Trump's impeachment and removal would cause a "Civil War-like fracture in this nation," the Oath Keepers militia responded with a commitment of sorts. "All he has to do is call us up," the organization posted on its account, adding, "We WILL answer the call."

In recent days, the president has encouraged right-wing ire against Michigan's Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who was the victim of a foiled kidnapping plot by a group known as the Wolverine Watchmen, several of whom were arrested earlier this month by the FBI. At recent rallies Trump's supporters have repurposed their "Lock Her Up!" chant, originally directed at Hillary Clinton in 2016, for Whitmer. At a rally in Lansing, Michigan on Tuesday, the president said of the kidnapping plot, "Maybe it was a problem, maybe it wasn't."

To avoid violence by the armed groups Trump has aligned himself with, the ICG said, U.S. officials must commit to "reinforcing the guardrails" protecting democracy.

"Domestic officials at every level of government, foreign leaders, traditional and social media, and civil society should be guided by the principle that the more that U.S. voters believe that they are participating in a clean and inclusive election, the less cause they will have to turn their frustrations against the system and each other," wrote the group. "Identifying and moving quickly to address legitimate causes of potential friction and grievance among voters should therefore be the top priority."

Election officials must counter voter intimidation efforts, while traditional and social media should "avoid providing a forum for candidates to declare themselves winners before the electoral process has played itself out, or for the sharing of pernicious disinformation."

The group also called for public statements by both Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, affirming in no uncertain terms that they will not interfere with vote tabulation and will accept the results of the election. Such statements, the ICG said, are the same "simple but effective measure that U.S. officials traditionally have encouraged in foreign states facing a parlous election."

The study notes that given the United States' bloody history and widespread dissatisfaction in the president day over economic and racial injustice and inequality, "at some level, it should not be surprising that the United States now faces the specter of electoral violence."

The country is awash in firearms, has gun homicide levels unmatched by any other high-income country, and is home to a white supremacy movement that, as discussed below, is growing in virulence. Racial injustice, economic inequality and police brutality are chronic sources of tension, which periodically bubbles over into large-scale peaceful demonstrations and, sometimes, civil unrest.

Yemen on brink of losing entire generation of children to hunger, UN warns

Almost 100,000 children under the age of five are at risk of dying in Yemen as the country slides back into a hunger crisis.

An analysis by UN agencies says the coronavirus pandemic, economic problems and conflict have led to the highest levels of malnutrition ever recorded in parts of the country.

Serious malnutrition in southern Yemen has risen 10% this year, according to the study, but rose to 15% among under-fives.

“Yemen is on the brink of a catastrophic food security crisis. If the war doesn’t end now, we are nearing an irreversible situation and risk losing an entire generation of Yemen’s young children,” said Lise Grande, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for the country.

“Acute malnutrition among children is hitting the highest levels we have seen since the war started.”

New Airwars Report Details Deadly US Drone Strikes and Raids in Yemen Under Trump

Less than a week out from a monumentally consequential general election, the U.K.-based watchdog group Airwars on Wednesday released a report detailing how U.S. counterterrorism "operations in Yemen—already on the rise during the last two years of the Obama administration—significantly escalated" under President Donald Trump.

Researched and written by Mohammed al-Jumaily and Edward Ray, the report—entitled Eroding Transparency (pdf)—and an accompanying public database tally at least 230 declared or alleged U.S. military and CIA actions in Yemen since Trump took office, most which took place in 2017, the first year of his administration.

Among all U.S. actions in the country during Trump's presidency, 41 elicited allegations of civilian harm. Overall, the report says, "25 reported U.S. actions were assessed by Airwars to have likely resulted in civilian harm, reportedly leading to the deaths of between 86 and 154 civilians, including at least 28 children and 13 women."

In a series of tweets about the report, Airwars noted that Yemenis claim U.S. airstrikes and ground raids over the past four years have killed as many as 194 civilians.


In an interview for the report, Luke Hartig, former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council during the Obama administration, told Airwars that the observed surge in 2017—particularly the disastrous Yakla raid that January, the only Trump-era operation in Yemen for which the Pentagon has admitted civilian deaths—may be the result of a desire among military staff to increase U.S. actions in the region combining with the new administration's more permissive approach, which included loosening rules of engagement meant to protect civilians.

"Clearly, and this had been reported, before Trump took office there was a desire to do more from the military, and they put forward a general concept of operations to allow for a greater degree of advice and assistance to partners on the ground," Hartig said. "It seems what happened was that the Trump administration was keen to take the gloves off, as it were, to be what they perceived was tougher on terrorism, and this was one of the first ready-made concepts of operation available."

Spanish police arrest 21 in raids on Catalan separatists

Spanish police have arrested 21 people including key supporters of the former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont on suspicion of using public money to finance a failed push for independence and fund Puigdemont’s self-imposed exile in Belgium. In a series of raids carried out by hundreds of civil guard police in several parts of Catalonia, Puigdemont’s so-called chiefs of staff – most of them linked to the two major pro-independence parties – were among those arrested. Homes and businesses were also searched under what is being called Operation Volhov.

Police are also investigating links to Tsunami Democràtic,a grassroots organisation behind street violence that erupted last October after Catalan politicians received long jail sentences for their part in the illegal declaration of independence in 2017. ...

Puigdemont dismissed the raids as “another swipe from the oppressor” while the jailed ERC leader, Oriol Junqueras, condemned the “never-ending” repression of the independence movement.

Pandemic Poverty: The CARES Act Kept Millions from Going Hungry. Why Won't the Senate Renew It?

Trump claims he ‘ended’ the pandemic as cases surge

The deluge of early votes for Tuesday’s US presidential election has topped 70m – the equivalent of more than half of all votes cast in 2016 – as Donald Trump brazenly listed one of the highlights of his presidency as “ending the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Trump’s claim, delivered in a White House press release, came in a week that has seen days of record new infections, daily deaths running at almost 1,000 a day, and a 23% increase in cases.

As the US president prepared to return to the key battleground state of Florida for a rally in Tampa on Thursday, Trump and his campaign continued to pursue its tactic of minimising a pandemic that has claimed at least 226,000 lives and continues to rage in many parts of the country.

'We've Made Such Progress, It's Incredible,' Trump Lies as US Hits Record 500,000 Covid Cases in One Week

During a campaign rally in Omaha, Nebraska late Tuesday—his third crowded and largely maskless rally of the day—President Donald Trump characterized his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic as a success and claimed the United States is in "great shape" just as the nation reported a record 500,000 new Covid-19 cases over the past week.

"You notice the fake news now, right? All they talk about is Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, Covid, and we've made such progress, it's incredible," the president told his tightly packed audience as the virus continues to spread rapidly across the U.S., causing hospitalizations to rise in dozens of states and pushing the nation's death toll above 226,000.

Trump conceded that cases are on the rise in the Midwest but predicted, without a shred of supporting evidence, that "they'll go down" in two weeks.

The New York Times reported Tuesday that "on a per-capita basis, the Upper Midwest and Mountain West continue to face the worst of the latest surge. A field hospital at the Wisconsin state fairgrounds has started accepting patients. Idaho is averaging around 900 cases each day, up from about 260 in mid-September. Five percent of all North Dakotans have now tested positive for the virus, the highest rate of any state."


The president's flippant dismissal of the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases nationwide came just hours after the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a lengthy report detailing the Trump administration's purported first-term scientific accomplishments.

Listed among the White House's achievements was "decisive action" toward "ending coronavirus pandemic"—triumphant rhetoric that lawmakers and other observers denounced as "propaganda" aimed at boosting the president's image ahead of the November election.

GDP Shows Long Way To Go On Recovery As States Face MASSIVE Cash Crunch

GOP Lawmaker Leads Fight To Get His Industry A Government Bailout

Facing a tough reelection battle in a newly competitive district, Texas Republican Rep. Van Taylor has brandished his conservative bona fides by taking hardline stances against legislation to forgive some student debt and to provide assistance for renters facing eviction during the pandemic.

Taylor’s fiscal conservatism, however, has not extended to the real estate industry, which is not only his largest campaign donor but which he is personally invested in. Taylor, a real estate mogul, has pressured federal regulators to funnel cash to commercial real estate companies, and he has authored legislation that would create a bailout fund for his industry and direct the government to guarantee riskier commercial real estate loans.

In a press release, Taylor touted his legislation, which has been co-sponsored by an array of finance-friendly Democrats, as a way to provide “flexibility and support” for the commercial real estate sector, designed to “keep their doors open, drive their local economies, and support families across the country."

It could also provide direct support for Van Taylor. Federal disclosure records reviewed by The Daily Poster show that Taylor has invested in more than two dozen commercial real estate properties worth up to $10.7 million. Taylor has also accepted more than $200,000 in campaign contributions from the real estate industry this election cycle.

Taylor’s push for legislation that could preserve the value of his own investment holdings follows revelations that Republicans’ 2017 real estate tax breaks may have enriched a number of GOP lawmakers who sculpted that legislation.

Chris Hedges on Fascism, Civil Unrest, And The Police State

Anger at police role in mental health crises after Walter Wallace Jr killing

Protests continued in Philadelphia as more details emerged on Wednesday about the police killing of 27-year-old Walter Wallace after his family had called for medical assistance when he was having a mental health crisis. Civil rights campaigners fiercely questioned the way police departments handle people suffering a mental health problem, not just in relation to the shooting of Wallace but across the US.

After the killing, hundreds took to the streets of the Pennsylvania city chanting Wallace’s name and demanding racial justice and equality. On Tuesday, peaceful protests were followed by clashes with police and some vandalism. More than 90 people have been arrested and about 50 police officers were injured in confrontations with protesters and vandals, authorities say. Protests continued on Wednesday evening, ahead of a 9pm curfew. ...

Relatives described Wallace as suffering from a mental breakdown. However, their call for help, in which they requested an ambulance, not police, ended in a deadly confrontation with law enforcement after reports that the man had a knife. Relatives said on Wednesday that Wallace had bipolar disorder and was in the midst of a crisis when he was killed by police, reported CNN. ...

Reggie Shuford, the executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said Philadelphia was “overdue for a reckoning with the brazenly violent and abusive behavior in its police department” and that it has a “long history of brutality against city residents, particularly against Black Philadelphians”.

“In the days ahead, we expect full transparency from Commissioner Outlaw, the Kenney administration, and District Attorney Krasner’s office about this tragedy. While witnesses have stated that Mr Wallace was armed with a knife, video from the incident suggests that no one was in immediate danger when officers killed him,” he said in a statement. ... He called for cities around the US to divest in police and instead invest in mental health services that he said might have “prevented Mr Wallace’s killing”.

Trump aide Stephen Miller preparing second-term immigration blitz

The architect of Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policy, senior adviser Stephen Miller, is said to have a drawer full of executive orders ready to be signed in “shock and awe” style if Trump is re-elected. The former homeland security department chief of staff Miles Taylor said this wishlist was reserved for the second term because it included policies that were too unpopular for a president seeking re-election.

This comes as no surprise to those who have watched and worried as legal pathways to US immigration shut under Trump, and who wonder not just about four more years of him as president, but also about four more years with Miller at his side.

The 35-year-old has managed to keep his position as a senior adviser to the president after being exposed for having an affinity for white nationalism and becoming synonymous with unpopular Trump administration policies such as family separation – when thousands of children were taken away from their parents at the southern border to deter would-be migrants. Three years later, more than 500 kids are still yet to be reunited with their parents.

Jean Guerrero, the author of the Miller biography Hatemonger, told the Guardian: “There’s a number of things they have been cautious about because of the legal and political risks in the first term and I think that in a second term you would see Stephen Miller get much freer rein when it comes to his wishlist of items.”

Those items are expected to include attempting to eliminate birthright citizenship, making the US citizenship test more difficult to pass, ending the program which protects people from deportation when there is a crisis is their country (Temporary Protected Status) and slashing refugee admissions even further, to zero.

Krystal Ball: The One Truly Good Thing That A Trump Re-Elect Could Provide

If Biden wins what would the first 100 days of his presidency look like?

If Joe Biden wins the 2020 US election against Donald Trump next week, the new president-elect will face enormous pressures to implement a laundry list of priorities on a range of issues from foreign policy to the climate crisis, reversing many of the stark changes implemented by his predecessor. But Biden’s first and most pressing task for his first 100 days in the White House would be to roll out a new nationwide plan to fight the coronavirus crisis, which has claimed more than 220,000 lives in the US and infected millions – more than any other country in the world – as well as taking steps to fix the disastrous economic fallout. ...

By the time of the inauguration in January 2021, more than 350,000 Americans could have died from coronavirus, according to projections that assume current policies and trajectories are maintained. ... The Biden campaign has proposed a science-led plan that includes a national mask mandate (though local authorities would have the final word on implementation), expanding testing and contact tracing, taking steps to prevent surprise medical billing for Covid treatments, and greater federal financial assistance for struggling families. ...

Throughout his presidential campaign, Biden has shared a list with voters of what he would do if elected president, many items of which would directly reverse the work of the Trump administration. These include re-entering the Paris climate agreement, which the US is set to exit on 4 November, 24 hours after election day. He would also rejoin the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, in which Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of harsh economic sanctions. And he would also push for an extension of Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which Trump and his allies have repeatedly attempted to dismantle. There’s also a strong expectation that Congress would consider some kind of policing reform package following the summer’s mass protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, although it’s unclear if such proposals could ultimately survive the partisan gridlock and sausage making of the legislative process. ...

Control of the Senate is crucial for a Biden presidency. Without it, much of his agenda is all but certain to stay in limbo. ... With or without Democratic control of the Senate, however, the first days of a Biden administration are also likely to see a flurry of executive actions addressing urgent foreign policy issues and undoing actions of the Trump administration. By inauguration day there will be just over two weeks left before the expiration of the New Start treaty, the only arms control agreement to survive the Trump era. If Moscow is willing (and the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has suggested it is), the treaty can be extended for up to five years by an exchange of diplomatic notes.

Senior Democrats also say Biden will move immediately to restore US membership of the World Health Organization (WHO) and resume financial contributions, announce the US is rejoining the Paris climate agreement, and reverse the Trump administration’s travel bans for travelers from Muslim countries.



the horse race



Pelosi Challenger Shahid Buttar Calls Out Speaker For Stimulus Failures


"Drop Your Ballot Off": Supreme Court Rulings on Mailed Ballots Sow Doubt on Which Votes Will Count

Soapbox: No government of a democracy worthy of the respect of its citizens fails to count all of their votes.

Pennsylvania Republicans fail to get three-day ballot extension overturned

The US supreme court has rejected a last-minute plea from Pennsylvania Republicans to overturn a three-day extension of the absentee ballot deadline, a hugely consequential ruling in one of the most closely-watched swing states in the presidential election.

The state usually requires ballots to arrive by 8pm on election night in order to count. But last month, the Pennsylvania supreme court extended that deadline by three days for ballots postmarked by election day, a move likely to allow thousands of late-arriving ballots to count.

Pennsylvania Republicans asked the US supreme court to halt that ruling pending appeal, but it declined to do so last week, deadlocking 4-4 and offering no explanation for its decision. The Pennsylvania Republican party then asked the court to expedite the case, which the court again declined to do on Wednesday.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who formally joined the court this week, did not participate in the case because the case needed to be resolved quickly and she did not have time to review the briefings in the case, the supreme court’s public information office said in a statement.

Despite Wednesday’s ruling, three of the court’s conservative justices – Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas – signaled the court may still consider the case after the election. The Pennsylvania supreme court’s ruling “likely violates the federal constitution”, Alito wrote for the three, and its decision “could lead to serious post-election problems”. Pennsylvania’s top election official also instructed counties to segregate ballots that arrived after 8pm on election day from ones that arrived before.


Michael Moore: Why I Still Think Trump Could Win

Top Federal Election Official Corrects Trump: 'Counting Ballots—All of 'Em—Is the Appropriate, Proper, and Very Legal Way to Determine Who Won'

Countering President Donald Trump's false suggestion Tuesday that tallying votes after Election Day is unlawful, a top official at the U.S. Federal Election Commission said that in fact "counting ballots—all of 'em—is the appropriate, proper, and very legal way to determine who won."

"An election is not a reality show with a big reveal at the end," Ellen Weintraub, an election attorney and a Democratic commissioner at the FEC, tweeted in response to Trump's insistence that a winner be officially declared on the night of November 3.

"All we get on Election Night are projections from TV networks," Weintraub noted. "We never have official results on Election Night."


Trump's comments Tuesday came amid growing fears that the president could attempt to take advantage of slower-than-usual vote counting—which is expected due to the unprecedented surge in mail-in voting amid the pandemic—to falsely declare victory on Election Night and dismiss as illegitimate legally submitted ballots counted after November 3.

Those concerns were intensified by Trump-nominated Justice Brett Kavanaugh's falsehood-riddled concurring opinion in the Supreme Court's late Monday ruling that barred the battleground state of Wisconsin from extending its absentee ballot deadline. The decision means that ballots received by Wisconsin officials after Election Day cannot be counted, even if they are postmarked by November 3.

In his opinion, Kavanaugh declared that absentee ballots arriving after Election Day—which is allowed in more than a dozen states—could "flip the results of the election." But as Justice Elena Kagan noted in her dissent (pdf), "there are no results to 'flip' until all valid votes are counted."

"And nothing could be more 'suspicio[us]' or 'improp[er]' than refusing to tally votes once the clock strikes 12 on Election Night," Kagan added. "To suggest otherwise, especially in these fractious times, is to disserve the electoral process."

Slate's Mark Joseph Stern warned late Tuesday that "by deploying so many falsehoods in his 18-page opinion, Kavanaugh sent a signal to lower court judges: Uphold voter suppression at all costs, even if you have to ignore or contort the factual record to do it."

"Trump's dozens of hackish judicial nominees will hear this message loud and clear," Stern wrote. "At least one member of the Supreme Court is willing to construct a fantasy world that is utterly detached from our grim reality of mass disenfranchisement. If we cannot trust the justices to tell the truth now, why should we believe them if they decide the election next week?"

WEIRD Kamala Harris Interview!

Rep. Don Bacon Used Taxpayer Expense Account to Pay Campaign Consultant

Congressman Don Bacon, R-Neb., used his congressional expense account to pay his campaign strategist, a move that may raise ethics concerns over the use of taxpayer funds.

Bacon’s congressional office made two payments this year using government funds totaling $52,518 to “Double Bogey Strategies,” a limited liability company registered in Alexandria, Virginia, and owned by David Watts, the campaign strategist advising Bacon’s reelection effort.

The expense payments to Watts’s company included $20,371 for “printing & reproduction” and $32,147 for “advertisements.” Watts also owns Double Eagle Strategies, a campaign consulting firm retained by Bacon since 2017.

House ethics rules and federal law prohibit the use of congressional government funds on communication advisers and campaign advisers, as well as for any campaign-related purposes. While Watts may have been doing work for the congressional office, using the same consultant for the campaign and the congressional office is unusual.

Saagar Enjeti: Here's The REAL Reason Trump's Losing, Despite Media's Lies



the evening greens


Trump to gut protections in Alaska’s Tongass forest, the ‘lungs of the country’

The Trump administration has announced it will lift protections in Alaska’s Tongass national forest, permitting logging in the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest.

Experts call the Tongass the “lungs of the country” and one of nation’s last remaining bulwarks against climate change. Located on the southern coast of Alaska, it is made up of centuries-old western cedar, hemlock and Sitka spruce trees, and is home to immense biodiversity, including the largest-known concentration of bald eagles.

“It’s ironic that this administration is trying to tout this president’s environmental record when [Trump is] unwinding environmental safeguards all over the place,” said Ken Rait, project director of the Pew Charitable Trust, who two decades ago helped win the protections that Donald Trump is now undoing. “And lifting protections on the Tongass, the nation’s flagship forest, is about the most egregious of all of them.”

The administration’s decision ignores overwhelming public support for keeping protections in place on the Tongass, including resolutions from six south-east Alaska tribes and six south-east Alaska city councils against lifting protections. Of the public comments solicited on the plan, 96% were in favor of keeping protections in places. Tribes also petitioned the government to protect customary cultural use areas of the Tongass. “All other avenues to protect our homelands have been exhausted, to little avail,” they wrote in their petition.

The Tongass has been safeguarded since 2001 by a “roadless rule”, which prohibits road construction, road reconstruction and timber harvesting in designated areas of national forests. ... Tourism has soared, and the forest support some of the last productive wild salmon runs in the world, and a billion-dollar commercial fishing industry. A 2019 scientific analysis showed that the Tongass absorbs more carbon than any other national forest, on a level with the world’s most dense terrestrial carbon sinks in South America.

'We don't have time to lose': plans for coral ark to help save the world's reefs

A Noah’s ark-like plan to house hundreds of the world’s most at-risk coral species at a publicly accessible bank next to the Great Barrier Reef could prove an important part of long-term coral conservation, marine biologists say. The Living Coral Biobank, labelled a “coral ark” by its proponents, would serve as a technologically advanced facility where 800 different types of hard corals would be kept and bred, in the event live samples are needed to revive populations wiped out in nature in the future.

Inspired by Norway’s global seed vault, and with architecture influenced by mushroom coral, the bank will also include a function space, research labs, and serve as an aquarium-like tourist attraction for Port Douglas in far north Queensland, a gateway to the adjacent Great Barrier Reef. If built, members of the public would be able to see corals from around the world as they are conserved in tightly controlled settings – and have a chance to observe corals’ night time glow.

The facility would be the physical base for the larger Biobank project, a worldwide network of aquariums – both commercial and in residential homes – aimed at coordinating the preservation of diverse coral samples in the event global populations suffer further from misuse and bleaching. Great Barrier Reef Legacy, the non-profit group behind the Biobank, will begin gathering corals for conservation next week, when the first of its diving teams takes samples of about 20 different species of corals from around the reef to be temporarily housed in the Cairns marina.

The project has already secured about $4.8m in partnership agreements, including an allotment of land for the bank in Port Douglas, sustainable architectural plans from global firm Contreras Earl, and the backing of Australia’s Climate Council. The Biobank director and marine biologist, Dr Dean Miller, told Guardian Australia he hopes the facility will be built and house 800 coral species by 2025. He said the project will need the support of “an Elon Musk or a Richard Branson” if its facility is to be built, but that the Biobank network can “survive like Uber” – relying on public and personal aquariums instead of its own physical infrastructure – until its base can be built.

'Grotesquely Fitting' Say Climate Campaigners as Trump Mulls Pro-Fracking Executive Order Ahead of Election

Climate campaigners and journalists called out President Donald Trump after the Wall Street Journal revealed late Tuesday—just a week before Election Day—that he is considering a last-minute executive order to promote fracking as an apparent ploy to win over undecided voters in battleground states such as Pennsylvania.

Trump is weighing an order "mandating an economic analysis" of hydraulic fracturing, as the oil and gas extraction process is also called, according to the Journal. Unnamed officials told the newspaper that the work would be spearheaded by the U.S. Energy and Interior departments with input from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and Treasury Department.

The measure "would ask government agencies to perform an analysis of fracking's impact on the economy and trade and the consequences if the oil-and-gas extraction technique was banned," the Journal reported. "It also would order those agencies to evaluate what more they can do to expand its use, possibly through land management or support of developing technology."

Food & Water Action policy director Mitch Jones responded in a statement Wednesday declaring that "this order is just one more desperate attempt by this White House to make fracking into a winning campaign issue. There is no doubt that fracking poisons our air and water, and that drilling is driving us towards climate crisis. There is something grotesquely fitting that an administration that has sacrificed climate action for the sake of the fossil fuel industry thinks fracking is a winner."

"The truth is that the fracking industry is in collapse. Fracking has never been the economic engine that its backers have claimed it to be, and any attempts to resuscitate it are only delaying the inevitable," Jones continued. "Debt-ridden drilling companies have laid off thousands of workers while CEOs make off with millions in profits."


Also of Interest

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

US Commander: Troops Can Be Sent to Defend Senkaku Islands

Canadians increasingly open to welcoming immigrants and refugees – study

How the Trump Campaign Edited Video of Biden to Create a Fake Gaffe

Residential Evictions Bearing Down on Many Tenants

Warning of the 'Many Trumps... in Waiting,' Ocasio-Cortez Says Democrats 'Have to Be Better'

Opening the CIA’s Vault

Bellingcat smears OPCW whistleblower, journalists with false letter, farcical claims

Caitlin Johnstone: Biden Will NOT Be Soft On China; He’ll Continue Trump’s Aggressions

'Bankrolling Extinction': Report Shows Big Banks Lent Over $2.6 Trillion to Fund Global Biodiversity Destruction in 2019

Krystal and Saagar: FINAL National Polls Roll In, Is It 2016 Or 2012 Again?

Krystal and Saagar: 'Anonymous' REVEALED As Low Level Official Who LIED On CNN


A Little Night Music

James Carr - Pouring Water On A Drowning Man

James Carr - These Ain't Raindrops

James Carr - You got my mind Messed Up

James Carr - Everybody Needs Somebody

James Carr - Only Fools Run Away

James Carr - Let It Happen

James Carr - Ring Of Fire

James Carr - Lover's Competition

James Carr - Talk Talk


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Pluto's Republic's picture

 

Glenn Greenwald Resigns From The Intercept After Editors Refuse To Publish Biden Criticism

The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald resigned from the outlet on Thursday, after 'editors censored an article I wrote this week, refusing to publish it unless I remove all sections critical of Joe Biden, the candidate vehemently supported by all Intercept editors involved in this effort at suppression.

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Greenwald:

The censored article, based on recently revealed emails and witness testimony, raised critical questions about Biden’s conduct. Not content to simply prevent publication of this article at the media outlet I co-founded, these Intercept editors also demanded that I refrain from exercising a separate contractual right to publish this article with any other publication.

I had no objection to their disagreement with my views of what this Biden evidence shows: as a last-ditch attempt to avoid being censored, I encouraged them to air their disagreements with me by writing their own articles that critique my perspectives and letting readers decide who is right, the way any confident and healthy media outlet would. But modern media outlets do not air dissent; they quash it. So censorship of my article, rather than engagement with it, was the path these Biden-supporting editors chose.

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The story is told mostly in Tweets.
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:: Reality Winner ::

There will be consequences. That score is nowhere near settled. Too little, too late.

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Lookout's picture

@Pluto's Republic

Lee Fang should have done the same but maybe he couldn't afford it financially.

To save his career, Fang had to craft a public apology for “insensitivity to the lived experience of others.” According to one friend of his, it’s been communicated to Fang that his continued employment at The Intercept is contingent upon avoiding comments that may upset colleagues. Lacy to her credit publicly thanked Fang for his statement and expressed willingness to have a conversation; unfortunately, the throng of Intercept co-workers who piled on her initial accusation did not join her in this.

https://redstate.com/elizabeth-vaughn/2020/06/14/young-black-man-asks-wh...

The Intercept has gone down hill since their inception. Became obvious when they hired Russiagater Risen.

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14 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

i think greenwald has made a good decision. the intercept has been going downhill for a while; i think the inflection point was probably either the hiring of betsy reed and/or james risen.

i look forward to reading greenwald unfiltered and will probably subscribe to his substack outlet in the near future.

i also look forward to hearing more about the behind-the-scenes pressures on writers at the intercept. i think that will be of great interest.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@joe shikspack

...over at substack. I'm glad that event sticks in his craw as much as it does mine:

The most egregious, but by no means only, example of exploiting my name to evade responsibility was the Reality Winner debacle. As The New York Times recently reported, that was a story in which I had no involvement whatsoever. While based in Brazil, I was never asked to work on the documents which Winner sent to our New York newsroom with no request that any specific journalist work on them. I did not even learn of the existence of that document until very shortly prior to its publication. The person who oversaw, edited and controlled that story was Betsy Reed, which was how it should be given the magnitude and complexity of that reporting and her position as editor-in-chief.

It was Intercept editors who pressured the story’s reporters to quickly send those documents for authentication to the government — because they was eager to prove to mainstream media outlets and prominent liberals that The Intercept was willing to get on board the Russiagate train. They wanted to counter-act the perception, created by my articles expressing skepticism about the central claims of that scandal, that The Intercept had stepped out of line on a story of high importance to U.S. liberalism and even the left. That craving — to secure the approval of the very mainstream media outlets we set out to counteract — was the root cause for the speed and recklessness with which that document from Winner was handled.

But The Intercept, to this very day, has refused to provide any public accounting of what happened in the Reality Winner story: to explain who the editors were who made mistakes and why any of it happened. As the New York Times article makes clear, that refusal persists to this very day notwithstanding vocal demands from myself, Scahill, Laura Poitras and others that The Intercept, as an institution that demands transparency from others, has the obligation to provide it for itself.

The reason for this silence and this cover-up is obvious: accounting to the public about what happened with the Reality Winner story would reveal who the actual editors are who are responsible for that deeply embarrassing newsroom failure, and that would negate their ability to continue to hide behind me and let the public continue to assume that I was the person at fault for a reporting process from which I was completely excluded from the start. That is just one example illustrating the frustrating dilemma of having a newsroom exploit my name, work and credibility when it is convenient to do so, while increasingly denying me any opportunity to influence its journalistic mission and editorial direction, all while pursuing an editorial mission completely anathema to what I believe.

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Lookout's picture

@gjohnsit
5 min

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9 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

that's pretty good. i'm glad to see that people are picking up on the power of counting.

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5 users have voted.
Dawn's Meta's picture

or read.

This is a pretty good take on things:

It didn't show, so I'll try just the link:
https://theanalysis.news/uncategorized/juice-media-take-down-of-qanon-we...

Night time here, and time for bed. Lots of rain this month (68.8mm so far) and the petite riviere has risen. Our Tekel, Teddy, swam out to a stick and wouldn't let go last week. It pulled him under, and he still held on. He ended up in a current he couldn't swim against. But we talked him to shore just down around a boulder. But now he's afraid to chase sticks thrown in the water.

We'll keep working with him to regain courage. Trying the grounding (h/t Lookout) by wading in with Teddy every day. I swear my arthritic pain is better. Well, we all need courage too.

Thanks for everything, especially the music. Take care everyone. We are now officially on lock down. "Confinement" as it is called here.

We looked at a mattress tonight as ours has given up. Now we find out that confinement means stores closed to in person customers. We can order by phone, and take deliveries. We pity the bakeries and butcher shops.

No choir. So sad. Some of the best music I've ever been a part of.

France really had to take ahold of this. Our second wave is much worse than the first round. Worried about workmen in and around our house. But in many ways just one step up from the tents. So we have to do at least a few things to move in. The workers may be told they can't come. It happened the last time in about March/April. So tent living under a tile roof.

Bon courage everyone. Et bonne chance.

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12 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

joe shikspack's picture

@Dawn's Meta

heh, thanks for posting that link. i saw that the other night late and meant to post it here. it's just awesome:

sorry to hear that the second wave has struck your area and that you have to face confinement again. i fear that we may be a couple of weeks behind you, but heading for the same situation. so far, my area is doing pretty well but with the weather turning things could definitely change.

take care and stay safe!

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Lookout's picture

Thanks as always for the music and news. Looks like Zeta already made it up your way. Quite a ride here over night.

In case anyone else is interested in grounding that dawn's meta mentioned,
here's the 3 min trailer

entire documentary here

Have a good evening all. Turning cool here. A lovely fall weekend ahead.

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8 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Dawn's Meta's picture

@Lookout unshod doggie is so dang full of piss and vinegar. I wade in with Teddy and immediately although my feet are really cold, the rest of me warms up. Later, I seem to have more energy. Just checking this out. Free is a good price. The stream is beautiful with Fall colors, mostly yellows and browns, but lovely. This plan gets us out weather or not.

I'll keep you posted.

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9 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Lookout

I want to know more. I shall immerse myself, asap.

Meanwhile, I remain immersed in journals and studies. They are often filled with truths but scientists never dare utter them. Such is their praxis.

But I do. I would appreciate it if everyone I know and love immediately begin taking 5,000 IU of Vitamin D daily until further notice. Seriously. Just do it. This is not a high dose.

And go barefoot.

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@Pluto's Republic

for real man
would add vita C
and zinc lozenges
with the vita D

Stein is cool btw

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@QMS

...50 mg. of zinc daily, just to play it safe.

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Lookout's picture

@Pluto's Republic

not that it will help prevent COVID, but because many folks are deficient.

I've been down the rabbit hole of iodine lately for COVID
https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/27355/20200918/iodine-solution-kil...
https://today.uconn.edu/2020/06/uconn-health-researchers-find-simple-ora...

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Lookout

...of dispensing with the virus. The lack of supplementary information in the public realm where officials pretend to fight the pandemic can only be regarded as a gift to predatory capitalism. I wonder what they will do when the vaccines fail to materialize?

Magnesium is low in most of my own preventive formulas. Working on that. I mention vitamin D3, not because of Covid-19, however. It has unusual anti-aging properties that go back to the days of photosynthesis. Until recently, science has not been measuring deficiencies of specific nutrients in sick and dying bodies. Patterns are emerging. I'm with you on iodine. Ran across a nasal spray that acts as a virucide in nasal passages for 12+ hours. Should be in everyone's medicine cabinet. But, no studies for that purpose, etc.

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joe shikspack's picture

@Lookout

yep, zeta showed up. it has been raining fairly constantly since the wee hours of this morning with the heaviest rain midday through early afternoon. it's supposed to keep on raining until the levee breaks tomorrow midday.

earworms:

i hope all is well, have a great evening!

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ggersh's picture

https://www.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/jkjbr1/jill_stein_assange...

Jill Stein: Assange is in solitary. Snowden's in exile. Corbyn's suspended by his own party. Now Glenn Greenwald's been censored by The Intercept. There's a war on truth-tellers & you could be next. "First they came for Assange and I said nothing..."

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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

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

for years "liberals" have been moving incrementally further and further right. apparently they have now picked up the fascist tendencies of the right, too and continuously attack the remnants of the left.

it's getting pretty ugly out there.

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no censoring would be sensible.

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NYCVG

Azazello's picture

Evening all,
Here's a good video, just came up.
It's Aaron Maté interviewing Katrina vanden Heuvel about Stephen Cohen.
And Russia.

Here's Medea Benjamin: Ending Regime Change – in Bolivia and the World
This is good, Capitalism is Double-Billing Us: We Pay From Our Wallets Only to be Robbed of Our Futurebut again, he's talking about capitalism this, capitalism that.
To me, "capitalism" is like "identity",
I really don't know what these words mean anymore.

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10 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

thanks for the vid and the links.

heh, i read cook's article a few days ago over at consortium, he makes great points.

so, to your quibble, what do you propose as a shorthand (preferably a single word, maybe at most two) descriptor for the collection of business, banking, political, oligarchic forces combined with a transparently enforced social order that cook refers to as "capitalism?"

i don't have a problem with a better term if you've got one, but having to type all of that (and whatever i left out) would be a burden both for writers and readers.

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Azazello's picture

@joe shikspack
But once you say "capitalism" you're locked in to the same old argument.
If capitalism, then alternatives to capitalism, then systems and -isms,
all of which require arguments about definitions and examples.
We could try substitution. For capitalism maybe neoliberalism,
oligarchy or just human greed.
I don't know, I'm still thinking about it.

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6 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

i agree with you that perhaps "capitalism" is not the best word, but it is one that when you write it, most readers have a recognition of the complex of interrelated concepts that you mean.

so i don't know what a better word is, i look forward to your discovery of one. Smile

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Azazello

be well and have a good one

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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

"kleptocratic atavism ... "

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5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack

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5 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 --

snoopydawg's picture

"How long, your Honor, will it take for the world to get back the humane emotions that were slowly growing before the war? How long will it take the calloused hearts of men before the scars of hatred and cruelty shall be removed?"

The bloodlust here has always been a problem for me starting with the Vietnam war, but it seemed to get worse after 9/11. And it’s branching out to the cops and others in authority.

"It was the least sacred thing in existence and these boys were trained to this cruelty.”

Breaking the human psychic to get people to kill another person just because of where they live. The dichotomy in the Syrian 'war' drives me nuts. One day Al Qaida is our enemy, the next our ally in overthrowing Assad, but no one talks about how AQ is funded by our good friends the Saudis and their good friends. How would troops react if they knew that our government could have protected their lives and their friend’s lives by telling the Saudis to back off?

Common Dreams has an article on Yemen and how many people Trump’s bombs have killed. Mostly women and children. It might have mentioned Obama’s role in getting us involved there, but I don’t remember much coverage of Yemen during Obama’s tenure. I also read how we provided the Taliban with air support. Umm...didn’t we start out against the Taliban 20 years ago?

Mike Lee says that Trump is like the angel Maroni who usually hangs around on top of Mormon temples. Boy the people here are not happy with Mike for saying that. Left the link in today’s OT.

I haven’t gotten to the news yet..busy busy.

ETA

Ahh I see you covered it. Alrighty then...

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9 users have voted.

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

Twitter is like a game of telephone

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

yep, when i read the darrow quote the other night it seemed to tie together a lot of different threads that i was reading all pointing to the decline of the culture, the popular dehumanization of "others," leading to splitting into opposing (perhaps armed) factions.

have a great evening!

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snoopydawg's picture

Hearse...funeral...dead people...election? So far no film.

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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

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

that hearse might come in handy to haul away trumps many covid superspreader victims.

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snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

There was a funeral today with quite a big crowd and only half were wearing masks. Lots of hugging and people touching their faces for those that did. Old folks, heavy folks and even kids and they were the ones not wearing them. Another large funeral with Hispanics who wore masks.

Our numbers are skyrocketing including 10 deaths 2 days in a row. I’m sure larger states would love to have our numbers, but it’s where it’s hitting. Still seeing lots of people not wearing them properly or at all.

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6 users have voted.

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

Twitter is like a game of telephone

@joe shikspack Trump chokes on his bile when he loses.

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enhydra lutris's picture

for Greenwald. As you note, the Intercept has been getting more and more iffy every day for some time now.

Interesting fact; The US has a Healthcare System (Az will just love the news). As I type, the idiot box is blathering on and on about some Ransomeware attacks on said Healthcare System. I wonder why they don't advertise its exitence?

be well and have a good one.

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9 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 --

snoopydawg's picture

@enhydra lutris

I first saw articles about this last week and now it’s happening. Why would they warn us little folks when we can’t do anything about it? Just warn the hospitals. This cynicism is getting old, but then we’ve been hit with so much propaganda it’s no wonder.

This is cute.

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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

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

i guess if there's a successful ransomware attack on the healthcare system it'll be another thing that can be blamed on obama:

The ACA’s Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) provisions created tens of billions of dollars in incentives for healthcare providers to implement federally approved IT systems. These systems, known widely as electronic health records (EHRs), were key to healthcare reform and created the strongest platform to date for digital health innovation.

While EHRs faced significant barriers to adoption, namely resistance from physicians trained for years to document patients using pen and paper, they came with the promise of faster and more efficient care. For those not swayed by financial incentives and the improvement of patient care, the government baked in penalties for noncompliance.

Obamacare’s incentive scheme was strikingly effective. Today, 96 percent of hospitals across the country have adopted EHRs. In 2009, before the ACA had been passed, only 12 percent of hospitals had adopted them, reporting up-front cost and maintenance expense, uncertain return on investment and inconsistent IT systems as the biggest barriers to adoption.

Despite their rapid EHR adoption, healthcare providers have faced challenges along the way. Many EHR systems are not interoperable, preventing patients from seamlessly transitioning between different facilities and departments. Furthermore, security is a concern; 113 million individuals were affected by EHR breaches in 2015. Nonetheless, these challenges opened the door for a thriving ecosystem owing its existence to the ACA and President Obama: healthcare IT entrepreneurs.

FBI warns ransomware assault threatens US health care system

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91,530 new Covid cases (before adjustments). Deaths 1,047. So, still not "just going away."

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joe shikspack's picture

@Marie

you've got to wonder if all this record breaking is what trump calls "winning."

i'm tired of "winning."

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@joe shikspack but he's met an opponent that is immune to all his bs rhetoric. FL appears to be gone and he can't close the deal in several red states.

This is interesting and may play well -- particularly since I'd provisionally written off Ossoff's chances even against the not well regarded Perdue --

Surprising to me, Georgia is close to flipping.

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I watched "Inherit the Wind" when I was a child. After that, Perry Mason on TV. After that, I decided to become a lawyer.
Make the Judge squirm, make the jurors cry. Darrow. An amazing man.
I am a Greenwald admirer. Maybe it is the lawyer thing. I am not happy with his treatment of Assange, but I am happy he cut The Intercept loose. Now, we may find him trending toward a defense of Assange. I can dream.
Take good care, joe!

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joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

every time i've heard greenwald speak about assange he has been supportive, i think he gets blamed for the intercepts' position as he points out in his essay about his resignation:

Numerous other episodes were also contributing causes to my decision to leave: the Reality Winner cover-up; the decision to hang Lee Fang out to dry and even force him to apologize when a colleague tried to destroy his reputation by publicly, baselessly and repeatedly branding him a racist; its refusal to report on the daily proceedings of the Assange extradition hearing because the freelance reporter doing an outstanding job was politically distasteful; its utter lack of editorial standards when it comes to viewpoints or reporting that flatter the beliefs of its liberal base (The Intercept published some of the most credulous and false affirmations of maximalist Russiagate madness, and, horrifyingly, took the lead in falsely branding the Hunter Biden archive as “Russian disinformation” by mindlessly and uncritically citing — of all things — a letter by former CIA officials that contained this baseless insinuation).

i suspect that now that he's his own man, so to speak, he will be more voluble about what is going on with assange.

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7 users have voted.

for Trump rallies:

You can catch Covid-19
Hypothermia in NE
and:

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Marie

crazy.

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6 users have voted.