The Evening Blues - 1-26-21



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Buster Brown

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features r&b singer and harmonica player Buster Brown. Enjoy!

Buster Brown - Lost In A Dream

"The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present."

-- Niccolo Machiavelli


News and Opinion

Worth a full read:

Biden is Already Breaking Promises

It was inevitable that President Joe Biden would betray numerous of his campaign promises — and those that mattered most to wide-eyed voters who put him in office. The speed at which he and his people have revealed their treachery is nonetheless stunning. No, there will be no comprehensive stimulus plan until at least the spring, if then. No, relief checks are not “going out the door immediately,” and no, they will not be for the $2,000 to which Biden committed his administration. As to Biden’s health care reforms, one can hardly believe one’s eyes and ears. As Andrew Perez and Julia Rock reported in Jacobin last week, Biden’s plans are literally lifted from a letter health-insurance lobbyists recently sent Capitol Hill legislators. The promised public option is out the window. Health care “secure for all?” These people do have bridges they intend to sell you.

All this within a few days of Biden’s ascendancy. It’s not much different on the foreign policy side, so let’s draw the old lesson. You can have democracy at home or empire abroad, but you can’t have both. We will continue to suffer the latter under Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Those drawn into thinking the Biden regime would conduct America’s affairs abroad decently and humanely and in principled fashion will now discover they have been savagely sucker-punched. Those who understood from the outset that Biden’s people would go nowhere near the essential, determining questions of exceptionalism, universalism, and our consequent dedication to empire will be repelled but not surprised as the policy framework is revealed.

In this case, the moment of truth came even before Biden’s inauguration. His saccharine inauguration speech last Wednesday, with its Hallmark-card calls for unity, was quite secondary to the confirmation hearings the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held the previous day. In a matter of hours, Biden’s key national security people — Antony Blinken as secretary of state, Avril Haines as director of national intelligence, and Lloyd Austin as defense secretary — gave us a remarkably fulsome idea of what we are in for these next four years. Haines and Austin, neither of whose records are to be admired, are at bottom functionaries who were nominated and swiftly confirmed because they do what they are told and do not think too much—always a career-advancer in Washington.

It is instead Blinken, who is said to enjoy some kind of “mind-meld” with Biden, that we must consider carefully. (Such a meld must be odd terrain.) ...

One by one, Blinken’s senatorial interlocutors told him in so many words, “Son, this is what you need to say if you want our confirmation. We want you to endorse our commitment to aggression, to unlawful interventions, to ‘regime change’ ops, to merciless sanctions, and altogether to the empire. But you must make it look nice. Make it look thoughtful and complicated and considered.” I am convinced, having endured the entire C–Span recording, that what I watched was sheer ritual. Blinken won the Senate’s support and now succeeds the shockingly bovine Mike Pompeo at State. He will do so, however, with the élan and faux sophistication our nakedly bankrupt foreign policy now requires if the American pantomime is to be sustained another four years.

Krystal Ball: How I Will Judge The Biden Administration

Joe Biden says he is willing to adjust income thresholds for a fresh wave of stimulus payments in new relief package

President Joe Biden said on Monday he is open to adjusting the income thresholds for a fresh wave of stimulus checks for Americans, a key demand among some moderate senators reluctant to back his rescue package.

"There is legitimate reason for people to say, 'do you have the lines drawn the exact right way?' Biden said during a press conference. "Should it go to anybody making over x number of dollars? I'm open to negotiate those things."

Biden said he included more stimulus payments in his $1.9 trillion proposal because they drew support from Democrats and some Republicans last year. Former President Donald Trump demanded a higher stimulus payment amount in a frenzied last-minute push in December. ...

It's becoming more likely that renewed federal aid may not be approved for several more weeks. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that Congress should pass another government rescue package by the middle of March to avoid a lapse in unemployment benefits for millions of Americans.

Tulsi Gabbard: Domestic-Terrorism Bill Is ‘a Targeting of Almost Half of the Country’

Tulsi Gabbard, the former Democratic representative from Hawaii, on Friday expressed concern that a proposed measure to combat domestic terrorism could be used to undermine civil liberties.

Gabbard’s comments came during an appearance on Fox News Primetime when host Brian Kilmeade asked her if she was “surprised they’re pushing forward with this extra surveillance on would-be domestic terror.”

“It’s so dangerous as you guys have been talking about, this is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don’t have to guess about where this goes or how this ends,” Gabbard said.

She continued: “When you have people like former CIA Director John Brennan openly talking about how he’s spoken with or heard from appointees and nominees in the Biden administration who are already starting to look across our country for these types of movements similar to the insurgencies they’ve seen overseas, that in his words, he says make up this unholy alliance of religious extremists, racists, bigots, he lists a few others and at the end, even libertarians.”

She said her concern lies in how officials will define the characteristics they are searching for in potential threats.

Facebook's Trump Ban Shows Big Tech's Over Reach Of Power

Justice Department, FBI debate not charging some of the Capitol rioters

Federal law enforcement officials are privately debating whether they should decline to charge some of the individuals who stormed the U.S. Capitol this month — a politically loaded proposition but one alert to the practical concern that hundreds of such cases could swamp the local courthouse. ...

Federal officials estimate that roughly 800 people surged into the building, though they caution that such numbers are imprecise, and the real figure could be 100 people or more in either direction.

Among those roughly 800 people, FBI agents and prosecutors have so far seen a broad mix of behavior — from people dressed for military battle, moving in formation, to wanton vandalism, to simply going with the crowd into the building.

Due to the wide variety of behavior, some federal officials have argued internally that those people who are known only to have committed unlawful entry — and were not engaged in violent, threatening or destructive behavior — should not be charged, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Other agents and prosecutors have pushed back against that suggestion, arguing that it is important to send a forceful message that the kind of political violence and mayhem on display Jan. 6 needs to be punished to the full extent of the law, so as to discourage similar conduct in the future.

Schumer promises quick but fair trial as Trump impeachment heads to Senate

The single article of impeachment against Donald Trump will on Monday evening be delivered to the Senate, where the Democratic majority leader, Chuck Schumer, is promising a quick but fair trial. In the week after 8 February, the former president will face his second impeachment trial, this time on a charge of inciting the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol building on 6 January.

“It will be a fair trial but it will move relatively quickly,” Schumer, from New York, told reporters on Sunday. The trial would not take up too much time, he said, because “we have so much else to do”.

Nancy Pelosi, the speaker, will walk the article from the House, through the Capitol and to the Senate at 7pm ET, marking the formal start of the impeachment trial. But there will be a two-week lull in proceedings, after Schumer and the Republican minority leader, Mitch McConnell, reached an agreement on Friday.“ During that period,” Schumer said, “the Senate will continue to do other business for the American people, such as cabinet nominations and the Covid relief bill, which would provide relief for millions of Americans who are suffering during this pandemic.”

The delay will give both legal teams two more weeks to prepare. Pelosi has named the House managers who will prosecute Trump, led by Jamie Raskin, a representative from Maryland who is also a professor of constitutional law. An attorney from South Carolina, Karl “Butch” Bowers, will lead Trump’s defense. Bowers’ most high-profile cases to date include defending a controversial Republican-backed transgender bathroom bill in North Carolina and representing a governor of his own state, Mark Sanford, when he faced impeachment.

Krystal and Saagar: Biden Has NO EXCUSES On Relief After McConnell Folds In Senate

Nina Turner Endorses #ForceTheVote!

US scientists working to upgrade Covid vaccines for variants, says Fauci

US scientists are preparing to upgrade Covid-19 vaccines to address variants of the coronavirus now circulating in the UK and South Africa, Dr Anthony Fauci said on Monday. At the same time, Moderna said that though its Covid vaccine worked against the variants, it was developing a new form to be used as a booster shot.

“We’re doing it today to be ahead of the curve should we need to,” Dr Tal Zaks, Moderna’s chief medical officer, told the New York Times. “I think of it as an insurance policy.

“I don’t know if we need it, and I hope we don’t.”

Fauci, the top US infectious disease expert who is advising Joe Biden, spoke to NBC and CBS on Monday morning, a day after the US Covid caseload passed 25m, with close to 420,000 deaths.

Fauci said the new variants of the coronavirus were not only more infectious but did not respond as well to monoclonal antibodies that have been used in treating Covid patients. He said he was especially concerned about the South African variant, which he described as “different and more ominous than the one in the UK”.

Inequality Virus: Pandemic Widens Wealth Gap for Women, People of Color as Billionaire Profits Soar

Susan Collins, Supporter of $1.5 Trillion in Tax Cuts for the Rich, Claims $1,400 Survival Checks Not 'Targeted' Enough

Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine complained during a call with Biden administration officials on Sunday that the $1,400 direct relief payments the president has proposed are not sufficiently "targeted," an argument that critics dismissed as absurd and cynical given her 2017 vote for tax cuts that disproportionately benefited wealthy Americans.

Politico reported late Sunday that Collins "pressed the Biden officials on why families making $300,000 would be eligible" for direct payments under Biden's $1.9 trillion relief plan and "urged a focus on lower-income workers."

"I was the first to raise that issue, but there seemed to be a lot of agreement... that those payments need to be more targeted," Collins told Politico in an interview following the Sunday call, which was joined by more than a dozen lawmakers from both parties.

If Biden models his direct payments plan after the House-passed CASH Act, only individuals with incomes of $75,000 or less per year and couples with a combined annual income of $150,000 or less would receive the full $1,400 check. The payments would begin phasing out for those with incomes above those thresholds; under the CASH Act, married couples with a combined annual income of $300,000 and two or more children would have been eligible for some money.

But according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, less than one percent of the benefits of the CASH Act would have gone to the top five percent of the income distribution. By contrast, 52% of the benefits of the $1.5 trillion tax bill that Collins happily voted for in 2017 went to the top five percent in 2020.

"Weird that Susan Collins didn't care so much about the 'rich people getting more than they need' issue when it was massive upper income tax cuts on the table," New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie tweeted sardonically. ...

Collins' objection to the $1,400 relief checks came as the Biden administration continued its effort to attract GOP support for a relief package that many Republicans have already dismissed as too expensive, even though the $1.9 trillion in spending the president has proposed is well below what experts say is necessary to reverse the ongoing economic collapse.

The concerns raised by Collins and other Republicans bolster progressives' case that the Biden team's outreach to the GOP is futile and potentially "dangerous," given that compromise with Republicans would inevitably weaken a package that is already inadequate.

Instead of wasting precious time seeking Republican support, progressive advocacy groups and analysts have argued that the White House and the Democrat-controlled Congress should use all available paths—from the budget reconciliation process to abolishing the 60-vote filibuster—to pass relief legislation without the minority party.

California extends eviction moratorium to June as Covid-19 devastates state

California leaders have reached an agreement to extend the state’s eviction moratorium through the end of June in an effort to stave off an expected surge in housing displacement as Covid continues to spread.

The plan, agreed on by top legislative leaders and the governor, extends until 30 June a state law scheduled to expire next Monday that prevents landlords from evicting tenants who could not pay their rent between March and August because of the coronavirus pandemic and those who have been able to pay at least 25% of their rent.

It would also use federal money to pay off up to 80% of some tenants’ unpaid rent. “It’s one thing to get protections, and it’s another to be able to pay your rent when it is due,” the governor, Gavin Newsom, said during a press conference on Monday.

Low-income renters within 50% of area median income (AMI) who have a strong payback background will be prioritized for the relief program, Newsom said. Rental subsidies would be paid to landlords who agree to forgive 20% of their unpaid rental debts or would cover 25% of late payments for landlords that don’t wish to participate.

Janet Yellen confirmed as treasury secretary

Janet Yellen has been confirmed as the first woman to head the US Treasury.

The former chair of the Federal Reserve and noted economist was approved by the Senate on an 84-15 vote. She sailed through a congressional hearing last week and had already been unanimously approved by the Senate finance committee and backed by all living former treasury secretaries. ...

“We need to make sure that people aren’t going hungry in America, that they can put food on the table, that they’re not losing their homes and ending up out on the street because of evictions,” Yellen said. “We really need to address those forms of suffering, and I think we shouldn’t compromise on it.”

Texas Encourages Court to Endorse Risky, Medically Unnecessary Abortion Procedure

The morning after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals convened to consider whether Texas should be allowed to ban the safest and most common method of abortion used later in pregnancy. If the court agrees with Texas, it would be endorsing a previability abortion ban in direct conflict with decades of precedent.

At issue is the dilation and evacuation method of abortion, known as D&E, which is considered the safest and most effective method of termination during the second trimester of pregnancy. The procedure involves dilation of the cervix, then the removal of the fetus and products of conception, typically with medical instruments, followed by vacuum suction. D&E is used in nearly all later-term procedures in the U.S., which account for a small percentage of all abortions: In 2016, roughly 5.4 percent of abortions occurred after 16 weeks.

Nonetheless, D&E has come under fire from anti-abortion activists and lawmakers who have dubbed it “dismemberment abortion” (a term that has no basis in medicine) because the process causes disarticulation when the fetus hits the cervix. In order to provide more “humane” treatment to a previable fetus, Texas decided to ban D&E and make it a criminal offense to provide the procedure unless a doctor can first cause fetal demise.

The problem is that there is no meaningful way to ensure fetal death before an abortion is performed, and the methods to do so can be risky. In other words, advocates for reproductive rights say, Texas is seeking to ban a universally medically accepted procedure in favor of a law that would force doctors to experiment on women.



the horse race



Inspector General Launches Probe Into Whether DOJ Officials Tried to Overturn Presidential Election

An internal government watchdog is launching an investigation to determine if any former or current officials in the U.S. Department of Justice tried to reverse the outcome of last November's presidential election.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced on Monday that the probe will examine whether any DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt" to overturn President Joe Biden's electoral victory. The Justice Department's inspector general will look into allegations regarding the conduct of former and current department officials but will not investigate other government officials, The Associated Press reported.

The probe comes after the New York Times reported last Friday that Jeffrey Clark, a former acting assistant attorney general, had spoken with then-President Donald Trump about a plan to oust then-Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, invalidate the results of the presidential contest in Georgia, and falsely attribute Trump's losses elsewhere to widespread voter fraud in a last-ditch effort to stop Congress from certifying Biden's win.

According to the Times, Trump did not follow through with Clark's scheme because senior members of the DOJ threatened to resign en masse should Trump fire Rosen.

SCOTUS Tosses Emoluments Lawsuits Targeting Trump

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dismissed lawsuits related to whether former President Donald Trump illegally profited from his presidency in violation of the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clauses, eliciting swift condemnation from political commentators, ethics experts, and other Trump critics who have long demanded accountability.

"It's beyond clear that presidents should not be able to profit from their title or office. But instead of saying so, SCOTUS took the easy way out and ran out the clock," said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and chair of the Subcommittee on Government Operations.


When Trump took office in 2017, he infamously refused to divest from his business empire and charged his adult sons—Don Jr. and Eric—and CFO Allen Weisselberg with overseeing the Trump Organization, which has been called "a rat's nest of hundreds of ambiguous limited liability companies."

Throughout his presidency, as special interest groups and foreign officials frequented his properties—especially the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.—Trump faced allegations from competitors, lawmakers, and advocacy groups that he was violating the emoluments clauses (pdf).

The emoluments lawsuits in question were filed by the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia as well as hotels and restaurant in New York City and Washington, D.C. that "found themselves in the unenviable position of having to compete with businesses owned by the president of the United States."

Less than a week after Trump's presidency ended, the Supreme Court tossed Trump's challenge to lower court rulings that had allowed the lawsuits to proceed, ordered those rulings thrown out, and directed a pair of appeals courts to dismiss the suits as moot because Trump is no longer in office.

Dominion Voting Systems sues Giuliani for $1.3bn over baseless election claims

Dominion Voting Systems, the voting equipment manufacturer at the centre of baseless election fraud conspiracy theories pushed by Donald Trump and his allies, has sued the former president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani in a $1.3bn defamation lawsuit. The 107-page complaint, filed in federal court on Monday, accuses the former New York City mayor of having “manufactured and disseminated” a conspiracy theory related to the company’s voting machines.

“Dominion’s founder and employees have been harassed and received death threats, and Dominion has suffered unprecedented and irreparable harm,” the lawsuit states.

The company point to more than 50 statements by Giuliani about Dominion which it describes as defamatory. This includes remarks made at a 6 January rally in Washington before an insurrection on the US Capitol, appearances on Fox Business as well as social media posts. “Dominion brings this action to set the record straight, to vindicate the company’s rights under civil law, to recover compensatory and punitive damages, and to stand up for itself, its employees, and the electoral process,” the complaint states.

Giuliani is the second Trump loyalist to face litigation from the company after pushing baseless claims of election fraud. The attorney Sidney Powell, who launched a series of failed lawsuits and pushed wild claims about election integrity, has also been sued for $1.3bn by Dominion.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former Trump press secretary, runs for Arkansas governor

Sarah Sanders, the former White House press secretary, has launched a campaign for Arkansas governor, releasing a pre-recorded message laden with Trumpist rhetoric and touting her widely criticized record in the former administration.

Sanders, 38, is the daughter of Mike Huckabee, the former Republican Arkansas governor who served in the role for more than a decade and launched two failed presidential bids. She served for almost two years as White House press secretary, a tenure characterised by lies, mistruths and attacks on the press.

Interviewed by the former special counsel Robert Mueller, Sanders admitted to making unfounded claims about support for the firing of the former FBI director James Comey, which she later described as “a slip of the tongue” in “the heat of the moment”.



the evening greens


Officials hail 'encouraging' number of north Atlantic right whale births

Wildlife officials in Florida have reported an “encouraging” number of sightings of critically endangered North Atlantic right whales off the south-eastern US, including at least 14 new calves, three born to first-time mothers.

The total count of winter sightings of the species has reached 65, the Florida state fish and wildlife conservation commission reported in its latest bulletin on Thursday. ...

But Jane Davenport, the group’s senior attorney, warned that right whales had been experiencing an “unusual mortality event” since 2017, with 32 confirmed deaths in US and Canadian waters as well as 14 serious or non-survivable injuries.

“While these births are an encouraging sign, the continued threats underscore that we still have to redouble our efforts to protect these vulnerable babies and their mothers,” Davenport said.

“Right whales face a daily gauntlet of fishing ropes and speeding vessels, which together have caused the deaths of more than 200 right whales in the last decade alone. We’re killing right whales far faster than they can reproduce. Unless we move quickly to abate these threats, we’re running out of time to save the species from extinction.”

Groups Launch Grassroots Campaign Urging Senators to Reject Tom 'Mr. Monsanto' Vilsack for USDA Chief

Calling Tom Vilsack "Mr. Monsanto," a coalition of progressive groups launched a new campaign Monday to urge senators to vote against President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The effort from Food & Water Watch, Progressive Democrats of America, RootsAction.org, and The Zero Hour points to Vilsack's time both as Agriculture Secretary under the Obama administration—and his record since then—as evidence Vilsack would elevate corporate interests over those of everyday people, climate-friendly policies, and a more just agricultural system.

"Tom Vilsack has made a career of catering to the whims of corporate agriculture giants—some of whom he has gone to work for—while failing to fight for struggling family farmers at every turn," Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said in a statement.

Two broad problems underscore why Vilsack should not be allowed to reprise the role of Agriculture chief, according to the campaign:

Tom Vilsack is in the pocket of "Big Ag." As Agriculture Secretary he repeatedly capitulated to corporate interests over the needs of workers and small farmers. Vilsack ushered through a spineless GMO labeling standard rubber stamped by Big Ag, and sped-up the approval process for genetically modified crops. He allowed the meat industry to further monopolize—squeezing out small farmers—and scaled back oversight of poultry processing plants, permitting them to effectively self-regulate and thereby endangering food and worker safety. Immediately after leaving his post at the USDA in 2016, Vilsack became CEO of one the largest U.S. dairy lobbies.

Tom Vilsack also has an egregious record on matters of civil rights. At the end of his tenure as USDA secretary, Vilsack proudly claimed to have presided over a "New Era for Civil Rights at the USDA," but—according to the numerous civil rights groups and associations of Black farmers angered by his recent nomination—the truth was quite the opposite. An extensive two-year investigation by The Counter revealed that Vilsack's USDA misrepresented data to minimize persisting disparities and discrimination against Black farmers to deceptively portray its civil rights record in a positive light.

"America needs an Agriculture Secretary that will finally prioritize sustainable family farming and national food security over corporate profits," said Hauter. "Tom Vilsack has proven not to be the leader we need."

The campaign is calling on people to email their senators and flood their offices with calls on Thursday, January 28.


Also of Interest

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

Amnesty Calls on Biden to Close Guantánamo and End Military Commissions 'Once and For All'

New Documents Suggest J. Edgar Hoover Was Involved in Fred Hampton’s Murder

The Political Immortality of Billionaires

Signals of retreat on the $2,000 checks echo Democrats’ disastrous surrender on the public option in 2009

Mitch McConnell 'plays the long game' to retain some power as it slips away

Trump's second impeachment trial: the key players

Members of Congress Reportedly Facing Death Threats Ahead of Trump Impeachment Trial

"The 'I'm Rubber You're Glue' Defense to Treachery": Hawley Files Ethics Complaint Against Dems Who Filed One Against Him

Budget Chair Sanders Dares GOP to Criticize Him for Using Reconciliation to 'Protect Ordinary People, Not Just the Rich'

Biden Administration Removes Trump Allies from U.S.-Funded News Outlets

Biden Urged to Fire Entire Postal Service Board for Complicity in 'Devastating Arson' by Trump and DeJoy

French Court Hears Case Against Chemical Corporations Over Agent Orange Use in Vietnam

Democracy Now: Biden Is Reversing Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Acts. Will He Repair Harm from Deportations Under Obama?

Jimmy Dore: Facebook Bans Left Party Without Explanation

Saagar Enjeti: Biden SCREW UP Of $2k Checks Shows He’s No FDR

Humanist Report's Mike Figueredo: How Right-Wing Dems HIJACK The Party And Block Progress

Rising: Twitter’s New Fact-Checking Feature Is A DISASTER All Around


A Little Night Music

Buster Brown - Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby

Buster Brown - Doctor Brown, Sincerely

Buster Brown - The Presence Of You

Buster Brown - Crawlin' King Snake

Buster Brown - Broadway On Fire

Buster Brown - Sugar Babe

Buster Brown - Two Women

Buster Brown - John Henry

Buster Brown - The Madison Shuffle

Buster Brown - Fannie Mae


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19 users have voted.

Comments

QMS's picture

somebodies dog didn't die after being hit
by a snow plow, somewhere in Wisconsin

FCS is there nothing better to report here?

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7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

smoke 'em if you got 'em.

if you find good news of interest to folks here, post it.

have a great evening!

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8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

So, the Supremes are already proving their value to the right to nobody's suprise and ditto Biden, hah! Wonder it big tech will have the cojones to ban Tulsi.

Also not remotely surprising - jedgar's involvement in Fred Hampton's murder and the absolute corruption of the Feebs and everybody else involved in the murde and the cover-up.

be well and have a good one

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12 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

heh, yep, a lot of unsurprising news today.

Wonder it big tech will have the cojones to ban Tulsi.

sure they do. they don't even have to outright ban her, they can just set up their algorithms to ignore her.

have a great evening!

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5 users have voted.

@joe shikspack
That's what Liberals didn't get. it wasn't about supporting Trump. It was about the power to silence anyone.

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5 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

enhydra lutris's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

following is more diverse than I at first thought, but I suspect that the silly valley crew still sees cutting him off as pretty low cost. I wonder how they perceive the probable cost of shutting down Tulsi.

be well and have a good one

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6 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

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11 users have voted.

People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

what a surprise, a giant corporation is using its resources to destroy competitors and create a monopoly in the news market.

i'm guessing that the democrats will like this consolidation.

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9 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  
demonstrates loyalty to them and willingness to exercise his or her enormous monopoly power on their behalf by, for example, banning their most prominent and powerful opponent (even if that person does happen to be the POTUS / C-in-C / “leader of the Free World™”)…

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9 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

Capital, Scotus says Trump emoulments no problemo, but D's impeach tRump, Dementia Joe backtracks on $2k survival check, Covid kills a few thousand more, homeless encampments everywhere etc.etc. yet so many rag on Jimmy Dore for fighting for M4A for the average guy/gal and trying to see the left and right maybe engage, like WTF.

On an end of empire note GME causing quite the rift

https://www.reddit.com/r/wallstreetbets/comments/l0hhqg/gme_thread_the_w...

The FED is buying everything, this can't end well

https://wallstreetonparade.com/

Thanks for the blues n news Joe! Today we got 6 inches of the white powdery stuff, still short somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 inches seasonally and it's been above normal temp wise.

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13 users have voted.

Irony at it's finest, buying stocks breaks WS!

NO MORE WAR

ovals49's picture

@ggersh

As of December 31, 2020, there was $20.98 trillion in marketable U.S. Treasury securities outstanding. According to the Fed’s H.4.1 for January 20, 2021, the Fed owns $4.74 trillion of those or 22.6 percent.

(my bold)
Thanks for the link!

All this exposure at public expense in order to cover the big banks’ derivatives market? Again????

WTF!

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10 users have voted.

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” – Albert Einstein

ggersh's picture

@ovals49 It all started way back when in 1987 and it hasn't stopped since. The repealing of Glass/Steagall only let the banks go batshit crazy w/derivatives

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9 users have voted.

Irony at it's finest, buying stocks breaks WS!

NO MORE WAR

lotlizard's picture

@ggersh  
The whole philosophical justification for giving “market mechanisms” free play was supposed to be their efficiency in determining the correct price for things.

It seems that’s not happening, so it’s just price-fixing with a side of corruption (some players have better access to inside information than others, allowing them get wind of price movements in advance).

https://www.qwant.com/?q=market%20mechanism%20price%20determination

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7 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

@lotlizard since the repeal of Glass/Steagall. When it truly jumped the shark was in 09 when they just said fuck it you can price any asset at whatever price you want. It's a wonder Gold isn't at $20k if not higher but then again WS controls the "paper markit" for it.

https://capital2risk.wordpress.com/suspension-of-fasb-157-mark-to-market/

Suspension of FASB 157 Mark to Market Accounting

On 4/02/09, FASB suspended FASB 157, which required the banks to use mark to market accounting to value their assets. FASB is supposed to be an independent agency, regulating the accounting standards. Congress, put pressure on FASB to suspend the mark to market accounting in order to prop up the banks. This prevented the banks from admitting they are insolvent.

FASB has still not reinstated mark to market accounting. The banks are still carrying these toxic assets on their balance sheets at their original value, not the true fair value, based current market prices. If the banks were required to state the true value of these assets, many would be insolvent. This extend and pretend policy the government is promoting, is propping up these insolvent banks.

The bottom line is, the balance sheet’s of these banks are being propped up by the government, through the suspension of FASB 157. There is no transparency in the balance sheets of these banks. The government is failing to address the true magnitude of this banking crisis. Then again, the FDIC is bankrupt and doesn’t have the money to solve this problem.

up
5 users have voted.

Irony at it's finest, buying stocks breaks WS!

NO MORE WAR

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

wow, look at that. a bunch of speculators losing wads of money due to the irrational exuberance of a bunch of other speculators. go figure.

meanwhile the fed bankers backstop their cronies, no matter what the cost (to somebody else). quelle surprise!

have a great evening!

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10 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  
That’s been right out in the open ever since the case of Long Term Capital Management in 1998.

https://www.qwant.com/?q=Long%20term%20capital%20management%201998%20bai...

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6 users have voted.

There looks to be some good executive orders, but people will mostly remember the lack of a relief check in 2022 midterms.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

according to Twitter gossip. It’s the DHS' connection to them where we are locking up immigrants and keeping kids in cages still and in a new tent facility in Texas. New boss looking a lot like the old boss.
And some of the others don’t really have any punch behind them. It’s more like, "we’ll do this and that, but only if congress wants to fund them."

Still...
I’m trying to keep an open mind.

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5 users have voted.

People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo.

@snoopydawg Did not really go into the EO but would not surprise me if just weak sauce to applease elites.

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6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

The elite have been happy as pigs in mud over Trump locking up all the immigrants. It’s done wonders for their profits. Biden doesn’t want to upset that.

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4 users have voted.

People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo.

joe shikspack's picture

@MrWebster

heh, the executive orders mostly seem to be about restoring obama's ruling patterns.

my guess is that biden is blowing it big time by failing to keep his promise about the checks and failing to show any gumption in getting something done for the little guy. if he keeps this up the dems are going down hard in the next cycle.

this would be a great time to launch a third party with populist cred.

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10 users have voted.

@joe shikspack
Dems think if they can ban Trump from running they will have no effective opponent in 2024. What they don't realize is that an economic upheaval always throws up an effective opponent. Even nutso Shikelgruber would just have been another right wing loon if it hadn't been for bushel basket inflation and massive unemployment.

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6 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

lotlizard's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

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4 users have voted.

@lotlizard
Huey long vs J. Biden or K. Harris

Kind of like Edwards v the Grand Dragon.

I think I'd go with Huey.

But no Romney. I had Mormon neighbors across the street in Virginia. They gave me a Book of Mormon. Anyone who can believe that is totally divorced from reality. And while you could say something similar about most if not all religions, the Mormon beliefs are farther out than most.

EDIT:
I envisioned another Ross Perot or a smarter Donald Trump. Maybe from Hollywood (like Reagan!) so he would be better at playing a role than Trump (and would remember his lines!).

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4 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

snoopydawg's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

Heh I get that daily on my morning walk. Plus I live in the state run by them. Even if the MC didn't have a seat at the table, the legislature is full of them that know what to do anyway.

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4 users have voted.

People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo.

@snoopydawg
I'd expect a lot more in Utah. Smile

Unfortunately, when we all wouldn't convert, they shunned us. I didn't care but my little girl played with their little girl. I told my daughter that she could do whatever she wanted but no one was going to tell me what church to join. My father said he was born Catholic and would die Catholic (and he did). My wife and my mother also would not change, nor did I expect them too.
Neighbors told my daughter it wasn't enough for her to convert. It had to be the whole family.
The losers were the two little girls, mine and there's. At least mine had some playmates. There's had none. By their choice.

EDIT:
Mom was born Catholic and switched back and forth. As my sister discerned, "She always attended the closest Christian Church. She wasn't doctrinaire." My wife was born Presbyterian and always Protestant. Although we renewed our vows in a Catholic church. The priest didn't like it but told me that was doing it as a special favor to one of our neighbors. She was from Belize and attended mass twice a day! Every day! She wanted us married in a Catholic church so that "my dear friends will be really married".
Didn't matter to me and my wife really wanted a 30 year ceremony. Didn't matter to me.
Our middle grandson was married in North Carolina. In NC you marry yourselves. Just getting the license is being married (not in Illinois, there is a big sign saying "WARNING: YOU ARE NOT MARRIED") In NC for $20 more, the clerk will give you a short ceremony in front of the courthouse. She did it in front of a pretty flowering bush. it was a nice day. Great ceremony! They exchanged vows and we all went to Olive Garden for the nuptial dinner. I gave the opening toast and picked up the tab, as befits the Capo di Famiglia.
The bride's Mom and step-father had come in for the wedding too. The tab was only about $200. I tipped the waitress $40 and she was astounded. "No one ever gave me this much before! Sir, I think you made a mistake!" 20% I was worried I was too cheap!

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3 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

snoopydawg's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

We were raised catholic in Utah, but it wasn’t bad for me. My friends and I joked about our religions and went to each other’s churches just to see. They loved catholic aerobics. lol..

My brother hated them coming to our door and everything about it, so it was quite a shock when he decided to join with them. Mom cried when he told her they were getting married and she begged my brother not to do it. The wife was there too. But he went ahead and did it and now I call him my brother the bishop.

Many 8 year old girls went through what your daughter did. It’s called choose the right ceremony when they get their rings with CTR on it. Then they go home and break up with all their non Mormon friends. It’s quite heartbreaking.

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0 users have voted.

People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo.

Azazello's picture

It snowed here this morning though you'd hardly know it now.
Here are three longish articles that made me think.
This one covers some of the same things Taibbi wrote about in Hate Inc.
There has been a major change in the media.
Slouching Toward Post-Journalism
Is The American Conservative an Anti-War rag now ?
The Blob is Addicted to Overseas Interventions
Some sociology: The New National American Elite
S'posed to get cold tonight, maybe get down to 32, for the first time this winter.
Got lasagna in the oven, later.

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13 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

thanks for the links!

i think that you're probably correct about the american conservative. i've been sampling it now from time to time for a few years and it appears to be increasingly anti-war. i suspect that it may be part of an intentional realignment of republicans that paleoconservatives and right-populists appear to be trying to engineer.

thanks for the lind piece, i found it pretty accurate and mildly amusing.

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8 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

What do you mean Joementia is not keeping his promises. I thought we could trust our elected officials! What a disappointment for those that voted for him.

Enjoy the evening! Pleasantry

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9 users have voted.

The UFO’s are coming to unify us.

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

heh, biden is just a disappointment whether you voted for him or not (i sure as hell didn't).

after a week in office, he is on track to be a failed president in a failed state.

if only that newly-placed fdr portrait in the offal office could speak up and spit out the rage that biden associating his plans and actions with fdr would engender.

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8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

How will they decide where to cut it off? $75,000 made last year doesn’t mean anything for this money because people have lost their jobs and could use the money. Even people who make twice that might not be making it now.

McConnell just threatened democrats big time. He said that if they ever get rid of the filibuster he’d slow congress down to a crawl. Gee. Who knew that the minority party had that power? Democrats never use it. Funny that. So basically McConnell, Manchin and Siminnema whatever are in charge of policy for Biden. By the way Bernie voted for 2 more heinous war mongers today. Neera should be coming up soon. I’m betting that he will bat 1,000.

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8 users have voted.

People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo.

snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

Schumer had lots of ways to force McConnell into doing his job, but he never took them. Instead he helped him appoint unqualified right wing judges to the courts that will be able to roll back good legislation. Biden still hasn’t done anything about Yemen. Pot is still illegal but who actually thought he’d legalize it? No $2,000 checks on day 5? Maybe we’ll get em in April. At least some of it.

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5 users have voted.

People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo.

@snoopydawg
Income limitation means that I won;t get any because I took money from my IRA to pay down my mortgage. About 80% of my SS is taxable for the reason also.

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3 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

i think that you can be sure that biden will negotiate away anything that might be of any use to americans trying to keep their fiscal heads above water. there has never in my lifetime been a democrat elite that didn't welcome a republican intervention to give them cover for screwing the working class.

heh, mcconnell was going to do that anyway. and regardless of how much the idiot democrat jackasses cede to him, he will do it to get more.

but the democrats love the kabuki. otherwise they would never have run a ludicrously incompetent clown like amy mcgrath against mcconnell.

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7 users have voted.

@joe shikspack

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3 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

joe shikspack's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

not to mention that she was chuckie the shoom's new best friend and recipient of endless campaign money.

the dems didn't want to beat mcconnell.

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4 users have voted.
travelerxxx's picture

Imagine the outcry if we'd seen this a few months ago...

Justice Department, FBI debate not charging some of the Minneapolis rioters

Federal law enforcement officials are privately debating whether they should decline to charge some of the individuals who protested the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis this month — a politically loaded proposition but one alert to the practical concern that hundreds of such cases could swamp the local courthouse. ...

Fox, OAN, and Newmax would still be screaming bloody murder over it.

Had those attacking the Capitol been waving BLM banners rather than Trump campaign pennants, they'd have needed to bring in fire hoses to wash away the blood. And they're worried about courthouse space? Courthouse space? Had those who took over the Capitol been minorities, they'd rent aircraft hangars if they needed more room. No problem.

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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@travelerxxx

i couldn't agree more.

have a great evening!

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4 users have voted.

@travelerxxx
If it had been BLM they would be treated like royalty as in Minneapolis and Kenosha.

Oh! Right! It made sense to burn down Kenosha Wisconsin because of what a Minneapolis Minnesota cop did last year.

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1 user has voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Leon Black (Drexel Burham from the Milken era alumnus) admits to having paid Jeffrey Epstein $158 million.

Recommend Leon Black and the American Tradition of Impunity at TNR by Jacob Silverman (not familiar with his work but this one is good).

...
What exactly did Black get from Jeffrey Epstein? According to the investigation by law firm Dechert LLP, Black “believed, and witnesses generally agreed, that Epstein provided advice that conferred more than $1 billion and as much as $2 billion or more” in tax benefits, the Journal reported. It’s hard to believe, even if you haven’t followed the Epstein saga, that one person’s financial advice could be worth so much. And yet this is the story told by other billionaires, such as Les Wexner, who gave Epstein control over his entire fortune and gifted him the most expensive house in Manhattan; or Bill Gates, for whom Epstein consulted on charitable contributions. Somehow Epstein, whom some victims said they never saw work, was capable of giving preternaturally good, spectacularly valuable financial advice that, in turn, earned him enough money to finance decades of sexual violence. But of course, Epstein’s friends and clients were ignorant—shocked, absolutely shocked—about the dark underbelly of his lifestyle.
...

Allegedly a $158 million that saved Black $1-$2 billion in taxes. With all the high powered tax mitigation pros in US financial centers, what the hell made Epstein so much better? I still don't buy this, but what he was really paid for continues to elude me.

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10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Marie

some day. Maxwell can fill in some of the blanks if she gets a good deal, but I doubt people want her talking much.

Lobbyists work congress that way too. Spend a few hundred million and get back billions in savings. Btw all congress critters that played with the stock market after being briefed on Covid have been cleared of all charges. Nice huh? Insider trading is supposed to be a no no and yet almost every congress member is a millionaire once over. Pelosi 100 times over.

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9 users have voted.

People are going to be sick for the rest of their lives and the people responsible will pay no price.

Sam killed Mr. Hanky Santa Poo.

@snoopydawg - she was just his high society contact and former girlfriend.

A journalist will have to dig deep and far and wide to come up with the full story. I suspect he was running a number of scams (deals) and that were relatively independent of each other. This one differs from others in a couple of ways, the "client" was female and not Jewish. Israel, Judaism, and the art world are common themes among the known billionaires he bilked even as Epstein himself left no evidence of being religious or an art connoisseur (he had dreadful taste).

Les Wexner, Glenn Dubin, and Leon Black all know far more than they've revealed. (And doubt any of those three were aware of or participated in Epstein's sexual perversions.) Ronald Lauder may also be part of the picture. Ace Greenberg (now deceased) and James Cayne, the Bear Sterns honchos, likely also figure into the financial angle.

Did he collect wealthy men or the secrets of wealthy men?

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Marie

yep, i saw that rising had a piece up about this today. it's hard to imagine epstein's advice being worth hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.

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6 users have voted.

on the assassination of a Black Panther is awesome, joe.
I wish every potential juror from coast to coast, from misdemeanors to Federal Capital murder cases, would read it, let it sink in.
If you start with police academy, usually a 6 weeks course here in Texas, the officers are taught to make their case. They are not taught to bring safety and peace to the public, or tell the whole truth. They are financially incentivized to arrest more, ticket more, convict more. Forfeiture of assets is a goal, just to add to the constabulary criminality. (To the victors goes the spoils.)
Oh, the tunes were great, so thanks for the blues.
Stay COVID free!

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7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

it's sad but unsurprising how long it took for the evidence of high-level law enforcement criminality to come out - and of course there are still redactions in the material (and jeebus only knows how much more documentation has been stashed away or destroyed).

it would be great if more jurors were aware of just how crooked the representatives of state power are and approached their representations of fact with a very critical eye.

glad you dug the tunes, have a great evening!

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4 users have voted.