The Evening Blues - 12-3-20



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Johnnie Johnson

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues piano player Johnnie Johnson. Enjoy!

Johnnie Johnson - Johnnie's boogie

"Being part of the US-led liberal world order means that anyone, regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation, is free to serve the globe-spanning murder machine in any way they choose."

-- Caitlin Johnstone


News and Opinion

Humanity is waging war on nature, says UN secretary general

Humanity is facing a new war, unprecedented in history, the secretary general of the UN has warned, which is in danger of destroying our future before we have fully understood the risk. The stark message from António Guterres follows a year of global upheaval, with the coronavirus pandemic causing governments to shut down whole countries for months at a time, while wildfires, hurricanes and powerful storms have scarred the globe.

Guterres said: “Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back – and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. Biodiversity is collapsing. One million species are at risk of extinction. Ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes … Human activities are at the root of our descent toward chaos. But that means human action can help to solve it.”

He listed the human-inflicted wounds on the natural world: the spread of deserts; wetlands lost; forests cut down; oceans overfished and choked with plastic; dying coral reefs; air pollution killing 9 million people a year, more than the current pandemic; and the fact that 75% of new and emerging human infectious diseases have, like Covid-19, come from animals.

Though Guterres, like his two predecessors, has frequently spoken on the dangers of the climate crisis, this was his strongest language yet. The UN was founded 75 years ago at the end of the second world war to try to promote world peace after two devastating global conflicts. Guterres made a deliberate invocation of that original mission, applying it to the climate and biodiversity crises. ...

He said future generations would face ruin from our actions today. “This is an epic policy test. But ultimately this is a moral test … We cannot use [our] resources to lock in policies that burden [future generations] with a mountain of debt on a broken planet.”

An island of sanity:

Jacinda Ardern declares 'climate emergency' in New Zealand

New Zealand has declared a climate emergency and committed to a carbon-neutral government by 2025, in what the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, called 'one of the greatest challenges of our time'.

Speaking in parliament after its introduction, Ardern said the country must 'act with urgency'. Wednesday’s declaration also said the government would 'demonstrate what is possible to other sectors of the economy by reducing the government’s own emissions and becoming a carbon-neutral government by 2025'.

Iran approves new law hardening position on nuclear programme, halting UN inspections

Despite Trump Efforts to Foment War With Iran, Experts Say Biden Has Chance to Restore Needed Diplomacy

Progressive experts on US-Iranian relations on Wednesday urged caution—and expressed hope for renewed diplomatic efforts from the incoming Biden administration—following news that Iran's parliament voted to increase uranium enrichment just days after the nation's top nuclear scientist was gunned down in an assassination plot endorsed by President Donald Trump and which many believe was carried out by the Israeli government.

Iran's response to the November 27 murder of nuclear physicist Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh came on Tuesday in the form of a bill in the Majlis, or parliament, that would suspend United Nations inspections of the country's nuclear facilities and compel the government to increase uranium enrichment if Euoprean nations that signed the landmark 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) don't provide relief from deadly U.S.-led economic sanctions.

Iranian state media reported that 251 of 260 Majlis members voted to approve a draft of the bill, even as President Hassan Rouhani opposed the measure, believing it to be "harmful to the trend of diplomatic activities" in service of saving the JCPOA, commonly called the Iran nuclear deal. Under pressure from hardliners in the U.S. and Israel, President Donald Trump unilaterally abrogated the six-nation agreement in May 2018—even after certifying Tehran regime's compliance with its terms.

Rouhani's opposition to parliament's move is likely aimed at President-elect Joe Biden, who repeated his intention to re-engage Iran and rejoin the JCPOA in an interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman published Wednesday.

As it has periodically done over the past two decades, the U.S. intelligence community last year affirmed that Iran is not trying to build nuclear weapons and that Tehran remained in compliance with the JCPOA even after the U.S. reneged on the deal.

Faced with such inconvenient reality, neoconservatives and others hostile to Iran have resorted to either misinformation or shifting the goal posts regarding Tehran's intentions or military capabilities.

Now, say hawkish U.S. voices like Friedman, it's not about nuclear weapons, but rather long-range missiles and even its drones.

"Look," Biden told Friedman, "there's a lot of talk about precision missiles and all range of other things that are destabilizing the region. [But] the best way to achieve getting some stability in the region" involves dealing "with the nuclear program."

Biden's willingness to re-engage the Iranian regime and Rouhani's opposition to the Majlis bill were welcomed by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), whose policy director, Ryan Costello, on Wednesday condemned what he called the Trump administration's "outrageous and illegal actions" that he said are "aimed at closing the door on diplomacy" and making any Biden-era rapprochement more difficult.

Israel moves towards fourth election with dissolution vote

Israel’s parliament has passed a preliminary bill to dissolve itself, a move that threatens to break apart an already fractured coalition government and trigger a fourth election in less than two years.

Wednesday’s vote, which is not final and requires further readings, was largely seen as a gambit by Benny Gantz, the former head of the opposition who reluctantly joined Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition this year to assert his authority.

The bill passed 61 to 54, with the potential for further legislation to formally dissolve the house as soon as next week, which would lead to an election in the spring. Gantz’s Blue and White party pushed through Wednesday’s bill with support from smaller opposition parties.

In a televised speech on Tuesday night, Gantz, who serves as defence minister, accused the country’s longest-serving leader of lying and sidelining his demands, in particular, a proposed budget.

“Netanyahu likes to compare us to the most progressive and successful countries in the world,” Gantz said. “Show me one other country where a prime minister sabotages his own country’s budget.” However, he added elections could be avoided if the prime minister agreed to the budget. He said: “Netanyahu, the burden of proof is on you.”

Joe Biden warning dashes UK hopes of early US trade deal

Britain’s hopes of securing an early trade deal with the US have been dashed by a warning from Joe Biden, the president-elect, that America will not sign a trade deal with anyone until the US has sorted out its competitiveness. Britain had been closing in on a trade deal with the administration of Donald Trump, a fierce opponent of the European Union, but Biden has said in a New York Times interview that his priorities will be to improve investment in US manufacturing and the protection of American workers.

“I’m not going to enter any new trade agreement with anybody until we have made major investments here at home and in our workers and in education,” he said.

Some supporters of Brexit had touted a US trade deal as one of the early benefits of leaving the EU and its customs union, although the economic value of such a deal had been questioned. Biden told the New York Times: “I want to make sure we’re going to fight like hell by investing in America first.” He named energy, biotech, advanced materials and artificial intelligence as areas ripe for large-scale government investment in research.

The remarks underline the extent to which leading Democrats have retreated from a wholesale embrace of globalisation, and insist US foreign policy must give greater priority to America’s domestic interests.

UK approves Pfizer/BioNTech Covid vaccine for rollout next week

The UK has become the first western country to license a vaccine against Covid, opening the way for mass immunisation with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to begin next week for those most at risk.

The vaccine has been authorised for emergency use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA), before decisions by the US and Europe. The MHRA was given power to approve the vaccine by the government under special regulations before 1 January, when it will become fully responsible for medicines authorisation in the UK after Brexit.

The first doses of the vaccine would arrive in the coming days, said the company. The UK has bought 40m doses of the vaccine, which has been shown to have 95% efficacy in its final trials. ...

The health secretary, Matt Hancock, said the first doses would be issued to the most vulnerable people. The UK would have 800,000 doses available next week, he said.

US breaks Covid-19 hospitalization and deaths records as ‘situation not close to getting better’

Jeff Stein: Stimulus Future Looks BLEAK As McConnell Stands In The Way

Critics Smell 'Economic Sabotage' as McConnell Unveils Covid Plan With $0 for Unemployment Boost, Direct Payments

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday began circulating a coronavirus relief proposal whose contents offer so little assistance to the tens of millions of jobless, hungry, and eviction-prone Americans that critics warned the Kentucky Republican is actively working to ensure the U.S. economy remains mired in deep recession as Biden administration takes charge next month.

Described as a "targeted" relief proposal, McConnell's plan is heavily geared toward providing corporations with immunity from coronavirus-related lawsuits; the offer includes a liability shield that Public Citizen's Remington Gregg described as "breathtakingly broad." The Kentucky Republican's plan also contains a 100% tax deduction for business meals.

Meanwhile, McConnell's proposed relief measure does not include a boost to federal unemployment insurance, instead calling for a mere one-month extension of existing programs and stricter requirements for applicants in the name of preventing "fraud." The Republican's proposal also omits another round of direct stimulus payments and aid to cash-strapped state and local governments.

"Leave it to Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump to propose a bill that creates tax write-offs for fancy lunches and gives the middle finger to working families and 20 million unemployed Americans," said Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.). "This is not a serious proposal, it is a slap in the face to people who need help."

In the months ahead of the November election and in the weeks since, analysts have cautioned that if McConnell maintains his stranglehold on the Senate, the Kentucky Republican could attempt to impose devastating economic austerity with the goal of undermining Biden's presidency and gaining GOP seats in 2022 and beyond. McConnell's new relief proposal only bolstered those concerns.

"McConnell is making it pretty clear that if Dems don't win the Georgia Senate races, he will cripple the American economy, hoping it will let the GOP win the midterm," tweeted journalist Jon Walker. ...

Ahead of the introduction of the bipartisan proposal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday sent a relief offer of their own to McConnell but declined to provide specifics.

"I'm not going to get in the details," Schumer said Tuesday. "It was a private proposal to help us move the ball forward."

With an estimated 12 million Americans set to lose unemployment benefits on the day after Christmas without action from Congress, a group of five senators—including Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Schumer—introduced legislation that would retroactively extend the lapsed $600-per-week federal boost to unemployment insurance through October 2021.

Pelosi's Stimulus Half The Size Of TRUMP'S.

ACLU Sues to Find Out How and Why Federal Agencies Are Accessing Americans' Cell Phone Location Data

After a series of news reports that have alarmed civil liberties advocates and progressive lawmakers, the ACLU sued on Wednesday to find out how and why federal agencies are buying access to bulk databases of Americans' cell phone location information and effectively bypassing the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement.

"We're suing to bring some much-needed transparency to these disturbing practices," Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, explains in a blog post about the new lawsuit. "Transparency is the first step to accountability."

As the complaint details, the legal group filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to force the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and two agencies it oversees, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), "to release records about their purchases of cell phone location data for immigration enforcement and other purposes."


Freed Wessler notes that "more than nine months after we submitted a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act, DHS, CBP, and ICE have yet to provide us with a single responsive record. DHS has even refused to provide its legal memorandum about these practices to U.S. senators who have requested it."

Earlier this year, Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) requested an inspector general investigation into CBP's warrantless use of commercial databases containing Americans' cell phone location information—including by paying nearly half a million dollars to the government contractor Venntel.

In a statement Wednesday, those same senators announced that DHS will launch the requested probe, with Wyden declaring that "the public deserves answers and accountability," and vowing that he "won't accept anything less than a thorough and swift inspector general investigation."

"Americans are increasingly concerned that they cannot travel, move, or go about their daily lives without being tracked. Information about where we are and where we have been is highly sensitive, and it's time for answers about exactly how the Department of Homeland Security is accessing this type of data," noted Markey. "The right to privacy must not become a thing of the past."

Google broke US law by firing workers behind protests, complaint says

Google violated US labor laws when it surveilled and terminated workers who organized employee protests, according to a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The complaint was filed on Wednesday following a year-long investigation launched by terminated employees who filed a petition with the board in 2019, after hundreds of Google employees carried out internal protests and public demonstrations against Google’s work with US Customs and Border Protection. This came after a huge walkout in 2018 over the company’s handling of sexual harassment allegations. The Communications Workers of America union helped author the workers’ charges.

The NLRB complaint absolved two fired employees of any wrongdoing and found Google repeatedly violated US labor law by using “terminations and intimidation in order to quell workplace activism”. It also found Google’s accessing of worker calendars and other internal documents constituted unlawful surveillance.

One of the fired workers, Laurence Berland, described the NLRB’s move as significant “at a time when we’re seeing the power of a handful of tech billionaires consolidate control over our lives and our society”. Berland was fired while organizing to expose and counter Google’s continuing efforts to work with the union-busting firm IRI Consultants.

'Bye-Bye, Betsy DeVos. You Won't Be Missed,' Says Sanders as Billionaire Education Secretary Attacks Push for Tuition-Free College

Sen. Bernie Sanders late Tuesday called Betsy DeVos "the worst education secretary in the history of America" and made abundantly clear that he's not mourning her imminent departure after the billionaire school privatization zealot lashed out at popular proposals to cancel student loan debt and make public colleges and universities tuition-free.

"What do you call a billionaire who registered a $40 million, 164-foot yacht in the Cayman Islands to avoid $2.4 million in U.S. taxes, while undermining public schools? The worst education secretary in the history of America," tweeted the Vermont senator, a leading proponent of student debt cancellation and tuition-free higher education. "Bye-bye, Betsy DeVos. You won't be missed."


In a speech at an Education Department financial aid conference on Tuesday, the outgoing education secretary dismissed as "government gift-giving" proposals to forgive crippling student loan debt and eliminate tuition for public colleges and universities.

"We've heard shrill calls to cancel, to forgive, to make it all free. Any innocuous label out there can't obfuscate what it really is: Wrong," said DeVos, who last year proposed handing the federal government's $1.6 trillion student loan portfolio over to a "stand-alone government corporation." Critics slammed the proposal as an attempt to prevent the next president from canceling any of the debt.

President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to forgive a portion of the student debt held by tens of millions of Americans and make public colleges and universities tuition-free for families with incomes below $125,000 a year. The former vice president has not yet announced his pick to succeed DeVos.

Neera Tanden Protected by The Establishment While She Deletes Tweets

Longtime Biden Adviser Lobbied on Behalf of Trump’s Corporate Tax Cut

A top adviser to President-elect Joe Biden, Cynthia Hogan, worked as a lead lobbyist for Apple as it helped push through President Donald Trump’s corporate tax cut, a giveaway that resulted in a massive windfall for the Cupertino, California-based tech giant.

Biden has resisted calls to bar registered lobbyists from his administration, a looser policy than employed by former President Barack Obama. The policy is a boon to his close adviser and sometimes lobbyist Steve Ricchetti, but also to Hogan, who converted her history of helping Biden write the Violence Against Women Act into a prime lobbying gig for the NFL as it came under fire for its handling of its own domestic violence scandal, when video of Ray Rice’s assault of his wife was published by TMZ.

The 2017 Republican tax law slashed the previous 35 percent corporate tax rate and passed a range of provisions that mostly benefited the wealthiest 1 percent. Apple stock quickly hit record highs and enriched shareholders, including 43 GOP lawmakers who championed the law while holding all sorts of individual stocks, a Center for Public Integrity analysis found. At the time, Apple had stashed at least $250 billion in profits overseas, more than any other American company. The tech giant also spent more than $7.4 million on government lobbying throughout 2017, a significant jump from previous years, disclosures showed.

Lobbying disclosures show that Hogan was one of a team of Apple lobbyists who lobbied the House, Senate, and Treasury Department on “corporate tax reform,” “international tax reform and issues related to foreign regulatory actions,” as well as “issues related to state sales tax, mobile workforce, and taxation of digital goods.” The lobbying came throughout 2017, including during the third and fourth quarter of that year, as Trump’s tax cut was being finalized and passed. For all of 2017, Apple registered spending nearly $7 million lobbying Congress and the administration directly. In 2018, still under Hogan’s guidance, the company continued lobbying on “corporate tax reform” as the law’s regulations were being implemented, increasing their spending in the first quarter of that year to $2.14 million, the documents show.

Hogan has been one of Biden’s most loyal aides, serving as an adviser to the president-elect throughout his career in the Senate and the Obama administration, first joining his Senate Judiciary Committee staff in 1991. She left the public sector at the end of Obama’s first term and went on to spend several years in the corporate world. She’s one of a handful of Silicon Valley insiders, including former Facebook executives, involved in the transition. Hogan left Apple earlier this year to join Biden’s presidential campaign and helped select his running mate, as a member of the four-person vetting panel that ultimately picked Kamala Harris.

Possible HHS Pick Shielded Nursing Homes From Liability During COVID Outbreak

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has presided over one of the deadliest COVID outbreaks in the country — and new documents obtained by The Daily Poster detail how she helped nursing home lobbyists shield health care companies from coronavirus-related lawsuits.

Now, Raimondo — a former Wall Street executive — is reportedly being considered for the nation’s top health care policy job in the incoming Biden administration.

Politico reported last week that Raimondo, who made her name slashing state workers’ pensions, is one of the finalists to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President-elect Joe Biden. Raimondo was also previously considered for Treasury Secretary, according to the American Prospect.

As governor, Raimondo has slammed proposals to expand Medicare to cover everyone. Amid the pandemic in August, her administration approved health insurance companies’ steep premium increases that were criticized by the state’s Democratic attorney general as “unnecessary and ill-advised.” Health insurers have been raking in record profits, with fewer people seeking care because of the pandemic.

Raimondo has also pushed for Medicaid cuts that nursing home workers warned would result in unsafe staffing levels — and in April, she issued an executive order sought by health care industry lobbyists that shielded nursing homes from lawsuits when their business decisions injure or kill people. The order was later expanded to shield nursing homes, hospitals, and other health care providers.

Indian Farmers Lead Historic Strike & Protests Against Narendra Modi, Neoliberalism & Inequality

France: teargas grenade that killed woman 'may have been fired directly at her flat'

A report into the death of an 80-year-old woman hit by a teargas grenade during a gilets jaunes demonstration in 2018 has suggested the police officer fired directly at her apartment.

Zineb Redouane was closing the shutters of her fourth floor flat in central Marseille when she was struck by the canister. Ballistic experts say it would have been travelling at more than 97 km/h when it smashed into her chest and face, causing devastating injuries. Redouane died in hospital two years ago on Wednesday.

A subsequent French report cleared the police of any wrongdoing, concluding the incident had been an accident. However, an investigation by the NGO Disclose, using reconstructions carried out by Forensic Architecture, a research group based at the University of London, contradicts the official report and suggests the officer who fired the canister had targeted residential homes.

The victim’s daughter has now lodged a legal complaint against Christophe Castaner, the interior minister at the time of her mother’s death. ...

Yassine Bouzrou, lawyer for the Redouane family told the Guardian he believed the police officer had deliberately targeted the 80-year-old. “She was at the window talking to her daughter on the phone via the loudspeaker while the police were confronting Gilets Jaunes down below and being violent. I believe the officer fired the tear gas at her directly because he thought she was filming them,” Bouzrou said.



the horse race



Sidney Powell Tells Trump Voters NOT To Show Up In GA In NIGHTMARE Scenario For GOP

Trump backers, including Flynn, edge toward a call to 'suspend' Constitution to head off Biden taking office

Even as prominent Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, began to grudgingly acknowledge that Joe Biden will be the next president, a noisy grassroots movement devoted to keeping Donald Trump in office seemed to be edging closer to advocating seizing power in what would amount to a coup d’état.

The day after a group run by a local Ohio tea party leader took out a full-page ad in the Washington Times calling on Trump to declare martial law and have the military oversee a redo of the presidential election using only paper ballots — a call echoed in a tweet by Gen. Michael Flynn — a raucous “Stop the Steal” rally in suburban Atlanta urged Trump supporters to descend on the statehouse on Thursday and demand the resignations of Georgia’s governor and secretary of state. In a press release announcing the ad published Tuesday by We the People Convention, the group’s president, Tom Zawistowski, said, “We wanted to express our concerns to the President, to the legislators, courts and Congress that We the People will NOT cede our exclusive Constitutional right to elect our Representatives to judges, lawyers, courts, Governors, Secretary’s of State, Congress, corrupt election officials and local politicians, the corrupt media — or Leftist threats of violence!”

“I will see you tomorrow at the state Capitol,” attorney and Trump ally L. Lin Wood told the crowd who had gathered to hear him and former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell speak in Alpharetta, Ga., on Wednesday. “Stay mad as hell! We’re not going to take it anymore!” ...

The ad published by We the People Convention in Tuesday’s Washington Times highlights some of the extreme executive measures used by Abraham Lincoln at the start of the Civil War and suggests that Trump must take similarly drastic actions, arguing that “today, the current threat to the United States by the international and domestic socialist/communist left is much more serious than anything Lincoln or our nation has faced in its history — including the civil war.”

Later on, the letter returns to the divide over the election results and cites recent reports of record gun sales in the U.S., stating that, “without a fair vote, we fear, with good reason, the threat of a shooting civil war is imminent.” ...

Around the same time, the White House released a 46-minute video of what Trump called “maybe the most important speech I’ve ever made,” in which he rehashed all his unproven or disproven theories about election fraud. He did not, however, echo the call for martial law. He has said he will leave office on Jan. 20 if he is the loser after all the “legal” votes have been counted.



the evening greens


It's worth a click to see the photos in this article:

Photography campaign shows the grim aftermath of logging in Canada's fragile forests

When TJ Watt first stood at the base of a towering western red cedar on Canada’s Pacific coast, the ancient giant was surrounded by thick moss and ferns, and the sounds of a vibrant forest ecosystem.

When he returned a few months later, all that remained was a massive stump, set against a landscape that was unrecognizable. “To come back and see a place that was so magnificent and complex just completely and utterly destroyed is just gut-wrenching,” he said.

Watt’s photographs of the forest – and the grim aftermath of logging – are now the centrepiece of a campaign by the Ancient Forest Alliance to capture the impact of clearcutting old growth trees in British Columbia. Despite recent efforts by the province to protect these fragile forests, conservationists say far more is needed to prevent the collapse of ecosystems.

Watt has photographed clearcuts in the province for more than a decade with the AFA, but said the “graveyard of stumps” in the Caycuse watershed remains a jarring sight.

“We’re in the midst of a global climate environmental crisis yet here in Canada, a first world country, we’re allowing the destruction of some of the most highly endangered old growth forests on the planet,” he said. “A lot of people are shocked that that’s still happening here. It’s not illegal. The government sanctions it.”

'Dead-End for Climate': Coalition Denounces Senate Bill to Fund Nuclear Industry Bailout

A coalition of over 100 groups on Tuesday told U.S. senators that nuclear power is a false solution to the climate crisis as they urged lawmakers to reject proposed legislation that would "put short-sighted economic interests ahead of human lives, racial justice, the health of our environment, and safe drinking water."

The measure in question is the American Nuclear Infrastructure Act of 2020. Introduced in November by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) along with Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), the legislation seeks to "eestablish United States global leadership in nuclear energy, revitalize domestic nuclear energy supply chain infrastructure, support the licensing of advanced nuclear technologies, and improve the regulation of nuclear energy, and for other purposes."

The proposed legislation, S. 4897, advanced at a Senate Environment and Public Works hearing Wednesday.

According to Mitch Jones, policy director at Food & Water Watch, "This bill misdirects our investment away from technologies that will speed the deployment of renewables and into an industry that is already being propped up by rate-payer subsidies"

"Instead of propping up the nuclear energy industry," Jones continued, "Congress should be driving the transition to truly renewable energy.”

Food & Water Watch is among the signatories to the new letter that outlines the groups' opposition to S. 4897, including that it fails to address multiple long-standing problems with nuclear technology and stands to worsen already existing crises.

The letter cites as one example the mandate for the establishment of a national uranium reserve, which means more uranium mining. But the groups say the legislation would not require mitigation of the environmental harms of uranium mining, and, while "the bill does restrict procurement of uranium for the reserve from mines that are not located on Indigenous peoples' lands, it does not prohibit mining on those lands entirely."

"Neither does the bill prohibit procurement of uranium for the reserve quota from mines and mills that impact other environmental justice communities," the letter says.

The letter further notes that there are already 15,000 abandoned uranium mines—a situation the groups declare a "national crisis"—and while legislation includes $1 billion for cleanup on Indigenous land, that amount doesn't adequately match the scale of the problem.

"We need to invest in a transition to efficient, renewable, clean energy technologies that can scale up as rapidly as possible, as affordably as possible, to reduce emissions as aggressively as possible. Nuclear energy does not meet any of these criteria," the letter adds, pointing to the fact that there have been dozens of canceled or shelved new nuclear reactors over the past several decades.

The groups also said the legislation's "provisions to curtail environmental and licensing reviews are short-sighted, reducing up-front costs while short-circuiting democratic protections against nuclear safety and environmental impacts. "

The directive for the Treasury to give an economic lifeline to reactors also came in for criticism, as taxpayers could be "fleeced to pay uneconomical subsidies when cheaper alternatives and more strategic investments are available."

Additional problems are that S. 4897 would contribute to nuclear weapons proliferation "by commercializing technologies for higher-grade enrichment and plutonium processing" and amplify nuclear disaster risks.

The "Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has adopted regulations making it optional—not required—to address verified vulnerabilities to flooding and earthquakes," the groups wrote, and accused the commission of having "canceled hundreds of required, scheduled safety inspections, security drills, and emergency preparedness exercises, for up to two years."


Also of Interest

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

Recently Pardoned Flynn Shares Call for Trump to Declare Martial Law and Make Military Oversee New Election

Blinken’s Appointment Reassures Israel that Little Will Change Under Biden

Israel’s Mossad has spent years on a propaganda campaign aimed at convincing the world Iran possessed a nuclear weapons program – and legitimizing its assassinations of Iranian academics

When an Official Enemy Is Assassinated, Corporate Media Roll Out the Pretexts

Iran's Parliament Is Helping Joe Biden To Rejoin The Nuclear Deal

Eisenhower's Ghost Haunts Biden's Foreign Policy Team

Senator Menendez: “3.3 Million Small Businesses Have Closed” and “1.1 Million Local and State Employees Have Lost their Jobs” as a Result of Pandemic

One in Six Covid-19 Deaths in Vermont Came From a Single Nursing Home

New Data Show Income of Top 0.1% Soared 345% While That of Bottom 90% Stagnated Over Past 40 Years

Hitting Back at Manchin, AOC Rejects Notion That Only 'Begging Corporate CEOs for Money' Counts as 'Serious' Politics

Tourists flock to Four Seasons Total Landscaping after Giuliani debacle

Caitlin Johnstone: Obama Is An Asshole, And Other Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Barack Obama criticizes 'Defund the Police' slogan but faces backlash

New mystery metal monolith appears on a California mountaintop

Keiser Report | No Cure for a Gold Craze

BIDEN'S Media Propagandists -- Ruling Class Hides Behind Diversity.

Saagar Enjeti: Liberal Journo Tries To CANCEL Ro Khanna For Going On Fox News To SLAM Endless War

Republicans ALREADY Line Up Behind Trump 2024

Rising: Ga Senator CAUGHT In LIE Around MILLIONS In Suspicious Stock Trading

Rising: Bill Clinton's CLOSEST AIDE Says He Visited Epstein Island In 2003

Rising: McConnell WEEPS Over Retiring Senator, Leaves Millions In Cold On Stimulus


A Little Night Music

Johnnie Johnson - Blues Shuffle

Chuck Berry and Johnnie Johnson - House of Blue Lights

Johnnie Johnson - Movin' Out

Johnnie Johnson - Everyday I Have The Blues

Johnnie Johnson - Kansas City

Eric Clapton, Johnnie Johnson, and Chuck Leavell - Mean Old World

Johnnie Johnson - Honky Tonk Train Blues

Johnnie Johnson & Eric Clapton - Blues #572

Johnnie Johnson & Keith Richards - Key To The Highway

Johnnie Johnson & Eric Clapton - Creek Mud


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Comments

snoopydawg's picture

Kudos to Tulsi for saying this. It’s more to the point than what republicans are saying about Neera. I watched Jimmy’s old video on how he met Neera back when he was doing live audiences. I miss the laughter, but Steph's giggling is cute. .

Just so you know, Joe I do read everything you post in the EBs. Thanks!

ETA

This is making the rounds. Congress was 1 vote short at keeping this from happening. Might be in the thread.

Sorry I don’t like hogging the comments.

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16 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

heh, i'm glad to see tulsi joining the chorus of progressives making substantive complaints about tanden. the republican complaint that i've seen (i think from john cornyn) boils down to "she tweeted mean things about me." that said, i'll be happy to see the republican votes against tanden, even if it's for a silly reason.

have a great evening!

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13 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

.us to more wars and berated a few of his picks.

The Obama article is spot on isn’t it? More people are waking up and seeing what he really is. Finally. But how can you miss it when he’s sneering at the left?

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13 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

Better.

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15 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

i'd say that it's just perfect, though i suspect that a lot of bipartisan senators would be quite happy with a few more endless wars and more money for their donors.

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11 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@joe shikspack

you mean ‘from’ their doners. The dependance of Congress people on donors/owners to legislate, execute and judge is shameful. Take the influence and excess of money out of politics, especially campaigning, and set a reasonable and congruent limit for all parties. I think that would go a long way toward making things more real. Oh well ...

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8 users have voted.

@snoopydawg defeat even one of Biden's worst picks

IF we can......then my choice to be voted off the island is Neera. Good job, Tulsi.

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8 users have voted.

NYCVG

ggersh's picture

Unity in sinking Neera Tanden is a beginning, maybe we can unite also in destroying the empire

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14 users have voted.

In the "Age of Trickle Down" why does most money go to billionaires?

We have a government in DC, of the MIC by SV for WS

NO MORE WAR

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

heh, i'm not sure that the republicans are interested in taking down the empire, but they might join the progressives in shooting down stupid, corporate-dem policy, making it difficult for biden to be the corporate whore that we know he is.

i guess we'll see, frankly, i don't think that dem progressives have the intestinal fortitude to buck the party, but i suppose that they could get frisky.

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11 users have voted.
mimi's picture

all the rest is awkward, backward, coward and downward.

I go outward.

Can't take it any more.

Thanks anyway. I don't hear the people sing. You go onward.

Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes
Will you join in our crusade?
Who will be strong and stand with me?
Beyond the barricade
Is there a world you long to see?
Then join in the fight
That will give you the right to be free
Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes
Will you give all you can give
So that our banner may advance
Some will fall and some will live
Will…

PS: Like Snoopy said,just that I read all the headlines of the EB and then may be 1/3 of the articles in full, before my head is knocked down over the keyboard. All I know is that you produce with the EB the best news and music archives there are for us and for free. Thanks for ever.

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10 users have voted.

"heh, as they say, if you don't dig the blues, you got a hole in your soul" - JS

joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

i am gratified that people get something out of what i do here. i hope that one day, there will be a better world and the news that i post will be easier to read.

have a good evening!

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11 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

Will Herr Drumpf pull off a coup d'etat? Things will be getting interesting in the coming weeks. Get the popcorn - or get MORE popcorn!

Enjoy the evening! Pleasantry

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12 users have voted.

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." E.M.Foster

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

i don't think that trump has it in him to actually manage a real coup. it's too much like work for a guy like him, and he has never done a day's work in his life.

there are people around trump and among his supporters and followers who would love to have the excuse that a coup would provide to enact their fantasies - and they do present a real danger to society should they erupt, but they don't appear to have the sort of organization that it would take to do more than hurt a lot of people. the state will continue.

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8 users have voted.

@Raggedy Ann
the coup, it's safe to say that it will be as successful as the Trump backed Guaido coup. They don't even seem to grasp the requisite elements for a coup.

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10 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

great edition of the Evening Blues. Thought I'd throw this little dity into the bucket

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 --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

nice tune!

have a great evening!

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6 users have voted.

bankruptcies coming

A growing number of junk-rated corporations including Delta Air Lines Inc. and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. are losing money even before they pay interest and other necessary expenses like taxes.

They’re covering those costs with cash they still have and with more borrowing in the bond and loan markets, where investors are willing to bet that companies will recover relatively fast after Covid-19 vaccines arrive.

In the latest quarter, the number of junk-rated corporations that borrow in U.S. dollars and lost money before paying interest and other required expenses, known as having negative Ebitda, reached an eye-popping 47, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence analysis. That’s nearly double the level in the second quarter, out of a universe of about 600 borrowers.

These companies are doing worse than many other zombies, or corporations that have losses after covering interest expenses. In this case, the businesses are losing money even before servicing their debt. If they don’t turn themselves around, some could be part of another wave of bankruptcies next year.
...
The 47 companies in the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Corporate High Yield Bond index that posted negative adjusted Ebitda for the 12 months ended in September compares with just 26 in the second quarter. And they reflect only a portion of the firms currently burning cash, given that the analysis excludes most companies that aren’t public and corporations in the financial sector. By other, more stringent definitions, such as subtracting expenses including interest and capital expenditure from Ebitda, even more firms are turning in a less-than-zero performance.

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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

heh, i suppose the only real question is, are these corporations too big to fail?

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6 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@gjohnsit

EBITDA is essentially net income (or earnings) with interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization added back. EBITDA can be used to analyze and compare profitability among companies and industries, as it eliminates the effects of financing and capital expenditures.

Depreciation and amortization do not require cash, they are methods of allocating past, sunk cost, expenditures to the current periods. To some extent they are arbitrary.

Taxes on corporate financial statements may or may not require cash and they may or may not be real liabilities. Think about your own taxes. If you had a loss before tax, would you owe any tax? The generally accepted principles of accounting for taxes do not, as a rule, reflect taxes paid or payable without a lot of further analysis. They also depend on things like taxing jurisdictions, past history and management's tax management strategies.

That leaves interest. Assuming it is bona-fide interest on bona-fide debt to third parties two otherwise identical companies have different earnings after interest if one issues stock to build a new faility and the other borrows against existing assets for the same purpose. It is considered to be the result of a "financing decision"

So for certain purposes, like comparing how well two similar companies are doing or how well they are run or how likely they are to be able to cover the interest that will be due if they are the target of a leveraged buyout, and other investment oriented decisions, EBITDA is a useful tool. However, without a look at their balance sheet, bankruptcy may not be that likely. In today's world a good assumption is that it is a very real risk, but some companies have cash reserves and marketable assets sufficient that they can run in the red for ages, especially if potential investors like them. Look at Amazon's early years, for example. There are companies out there with as much as 8 or 9 billion in cash and cash equivalents. Granted, I doubt any of them are on the article's hit-list, but the biggest immediate impact of negative EBITDA is that their junk bonds will be really cheap and have really high effective interest rates, again, depending upon their balance sheets.

be well and have a good one

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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

People are really pissed at Obama after reading his book.

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15 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

it's a little late in the game, but it's good to see that more folks are beginning to see obama for the tool of the 1% that he is.

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11 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

This is a good thing: Barr taps Durham as special counsel, pushing probe into Biden era
I coulda' told 'em this: There’s No Such Thing as “the Latino Vote”
This was in yesterday's EB: When People Look Within The System For Solutions To The System

The US political system is not designed to be moved to the left. It is not designed to facilitate a revolution. It is not designed to reflect the general will of the public in any way. The US political system is designed to keep the public placid and obedient while the imperialists run the empire. Nothing else is allowed. Nothing else will ever be allowed.

Dammit Caitlin, there are no systems !
There is no system. Nobody designed it. It evolved.

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8 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello
thanks for the links!

heh, the system if you will, is under constant invention by a committee while it is running at breakneck speed. it is also under constant discovery by those that it is running over, who frantically try to articulate the appearance, behavior, magnitude, location and direction of the thing that is running over them in order to warn others.

the only thing that is more likely than death and taxes is that the rich will get richer and the rest will get screwed to varying degrees.

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10 users have voted.
janis b's picture

Johnnie Johnson and Chuck Berry - amazing piano and guitar duet. Johnson and Clapton are not bad either.

I hope that Ardern’s address on climate emergency translates into critically meaningful service and substance to the most needy. Yes, we must do our utmost to save the climate, but equally important, at least in my mind, is caring for those immediately in need.

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7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@janis b

heh, perhaps looking on from my perch in a failed state, nz may appear better than it is. however, it seems that if a current national government might be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, so to speak, i'd suspect that nz might do it and might even have the will to do it.

i hope that they get it together.

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7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

California is burning again. Strong winds in s California and people are evacuating. Damn. Just saw that the drought in western states is getting worse. Very much worse.

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8 users have voted.

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

Twitter is like a game of telephone

janis b's picture

@joe shikspack

there is more possibility here of walking and chewing gum at the same time. After all, we're a small and more intimate population. Cheers to all of us everywhere.

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8 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

Establishment to progressives: “Happy Trails 2020” …

♫   Sad betrayals for you
Until we vote again
Sad betrayals for you
Here’s Biden until then…

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7 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

@lotlizard

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5 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

lotlizard's picture

City Trees: A Historical Geography from the Renaissance through the Nineteenth Century — he was a geography prof at the U. of Edinboro in Pennsylvania.

https://www.upress.virginia.edu/title/1354

Also, over at “Way of the Bern” on Reddit, user “cloudy_skies547” continues fighting the good fight. I otherwise don’t do Reddit at all, but do find it worthwhile to look in on that one user’s contributions every few days.

https://www.reddit.com/user/cloudy_skies547/comments/

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5 users have voted.

I watched his hands, was gobsmacked his fingernails were so long, and that he played with hands so low and flat over the keys.
But, hey! He had great technique!

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4 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

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11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@lotlizard

that's quite excellent, thanks!

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2 users have voted.

Hey joe, thanks for The Evening Blues there is nothing like it anywhere else. Thanks a lot.

Guess I needed an ass mask, not a pie hole cover to avoid catching any sickness. Oh well shrug. My lungs ache and the air outside continues to be shite, so they never really recovered since I don't know when. From wildfires to stove smoke to controlled burns, I am dead dog tired again. December 21 can't arrive soon enough. Return of the light, and some heat too, and maybe a little walk with fresh air outside. HOPE

"energy, biotech, advanced materials and artificial intelligence" is the America Biden wants to put first. I am, so screwed. Looked up my income level to see where I could afford to live in these United States. Had to go per capita, 'cause median still too high. The ear worm I got from that search has burrowed so deep all I hear is constant cow bell now. Donk donk donk, Mississippi Queen! You know what I mean. I'd be Puerto Rico if I could fly, but have no papers please. No RealID for the TSA to track and trace. "This is America", isn't it.

So not looking forward to Pfizer's double-tap "vaccine", waiting to see how many "patients" end up sicker or in the morgue. Of course Obama would take it, he can afford to take anything any time and still survive, because he is very very very ugly and rich, just like Trump. BIGLY $$$ TAKERS

The Greens in DE are now a party of war. WTF?

good luck

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8 users have voted.

@eyo

reminds me of the the chambers bros.

time is come today

hope your cold gets better!

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7 users have voted.

@QMS thanks, that is a great recording and very apropos of my situation. Aieeeeee! Ahhhh! Clock spins in reverse.

Regarding cold recovery, I cannot recommend meadowsweet tea enough. It is the cat's pajamas for clearing out the old junk, making room for the new junk.

peace and love

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@eyo

i hope that you feel better soon.

heh, i did an experiment a little while back trying to figure out what is the most recognizable song intro, that requires the least time to recognize. ms shikspack kindly agreed to be my guinea pig - and mississippi queen won. it only took one beat of the cowbell for her to recognize it having not heard it for ages.

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3 users have voted.