The Evening Blues - 2-23-21



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Joe Simon

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features soul singer Joe Simon. Enjoy!

Joe Simon - Farther on Down the Road

"The stupidity of men always invites the insolence of power."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson


News and Opinion

FBI Seized Congressional Cellphone Records Related to Capitol Attack

Within hours of the storming of the Capitol on January 6, the FBI began securing thousands of phone and electronic records connected to people at the scene of the rioting — including some related to members of Congress, raising potentially thorny legal questions. Using special emergency powers and other measures, the FBI has collected reams of private cellphone data and communications that go beyond the videos that rioters shared widely on social media, according to two sources with knowledge of the collection effort.

In the hours and days after the Capitol riot, the FBI relied in some cases on emergency orders that do not require court authorization in order to quickly secure actual communications from people who were identified at the crime scene. Investigators have also relied on data “dumps” from cellphone towers in the area to provide a map of who was there, allowing them to trace call records — but not content — from the phones.

The cellphone data includes many records from the members of Congress and staff members who were at the Capitol that day to certify President Joe Biden’s election victory. The FBI is “searching cell towers and phones pinging off cell sites in the area to determine visitors to the Capitol,” a recently retired senior FBI official told The Intercept. The data is also being used to map links between suspects, which include members of Congress, they also said. (Capitol Police are reportedly investigating whether lawmakers helped rioters gain access to the Capitol as several Democrats have alleged they did, though Republican officials deny this.)

The Justice Department has publicly said that its task force includes senior public corruption officials. That involvement “indicates a focus on public officials, i.e. Capitol Police and members of Congress,” the retired FBI official said. In recent years, the FBI has had to tread lightly in seeking any records of members of Congress due to protections under the Constitution’s speech or debate clause, which shields the legislative work of Congress from executive branch interference. The legal minefield grew out of a 2007 corruption case against former Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., when an appeals court ruled that the FBI had improperly seized material from his congressional office.

Myanmar protesters hold general strike

Protesters across Myanmar have held a general strike, taking to the streets across the country and shutting many businesses, in one of the largest nationwide shows of opposition to the military since it seized power three weeks ago.

Crowds assembled in Yangon, Naypyidaw, Mandalay and elsewhere on Monday, despite an apparent threat from the junta that it would again use deadly violence against demonstrators.

The protests appeared to pass peacefully, though in Naypyidaw reports on social media suggested that 200 people, including many young people, had been detained. If confirmed, this is likely the largest round up of protesters since the coup. Footage showed police chasing protesters on foot, while one man was shoved into the back of a police van.

Activists had called for mass demonstrations on Monday, a protest that has been referred to as the “five twos revolution”, a reference to the date, 22.2.2021. Protesters have compared the date to 8 August 1988 – or 8.8.88 – when pro-democracy demonstrations challenged military rule, but were brutally crushed by the army.

US COVID Death Toll Hits 500,000 as Rich Nations Hoard Vaccines, Leaving Poorer Nations Without Any

US coronavirus death toll passes 500,000 after devastating winter surge

More than 500,000 people have now died from Covid-19 in the US, just over a year after the country detected its first cases of a virus that has wrought almost unprecedented loss. Deaths breached half a million on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, bringing the total to 500,071 . More than 28 million people have also tested positive for coronavirus in the US.

Both numbers are the worst in the world and the pandemic has thrown a harsh spotlight on the country’s ability to cope with such a disaster, especially during the tumultuous tenure of Donald Trump, whose administration botched the government response.

In a primetime address on Monday night, Joe Biden spoke to the gravity of the milestone.

“As a nation, we can’t accept such a cruel fate,” the president said in a speech, which was followed by a moment of silence and candle lighting ceremony at the White House. “While we’ve been fighting this pandemic for so long, we have to resist becoming numb to the sorrow. We have to resist viewing each life as a statistic.”

After a devastating winter surge in cases, for the first time in months, the average number of daily new coronavirus cases in the US fell below 100,000 on 12 February. Even with the decrease in cases, the US is still experiencing 1,500 to 3,500 deaths a day and public health officials have warned recent progress could easily reverse.

One vaccine dose gives high protection from severe Covid, evidence shows

Real-world evidence from the Covid vaccination programmes in England and Scotland show that one dose of vaccine gives high protection against severe disease and admission to hospital – and protects against even mild disease with no symptoms in younger people.

The first real data from the mass vaccination programmes is promising, and although the results do not include evidence that they prevent transmission completely, there is data to show they are stopping some people becoming infected, which should slow the spread of coronavirus.

Three studies came to similarly positive conclusions about the protection offered by the vaccines – one in Scotland and two in England – although they were set up to look at the effects in different groups of people.

In England, the Siren study in healthcare workers under 65 found that one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reduced the risk of catching the virus by 70% – and 85% after the second dose. The healthcare workers were all tested for the virus every two weeks, so the study picked up asymptomatic infections as well as those who had symptoms. ...

The data also shows that people who have been vaccinated who catch the infection are much better protected against severe disease, hospitalisation and death.

Silence About GOP Senators’ Hypocrisy

A group of Republican senators are pressing President Biden’s Justice Department to investigate Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s mismanagement of nursing home policy during the pandemic — and conservative media outlets are excitedly touting those lawmakers’ plans to spotlight the issue at this week’s confirmation hearing for Biden’s attorney general nominee. Cuomo deserves the criticism. However, there is some serious hypocrisy at play here. Amid an outcry about nursing home deaths, these same Republican critics copied and pasted Cuomo’s infamous nursing home immunity law into their own legislation. ...

Early in 2020, a powerful health care industry group that delivered large donations to Cuomo’s political machine drafted legislative language to shield those executives from legal consequences if their cost-cutting, profit-maximizing decisions endangered nursing home residents’ lives. Cuomo slipped that language into New York’s state budget and then did not support repealing it when critics warned that removing a lawsuit deterrent to corporate misbehavior was jeopardizing lives. Instead, his administration withheld data about how many nursing home residents were dying under the immunity regime.

Despite the warnings about the immunity law’s effects in New York — which were later buttressed by a report from New York’s Attorney General — U.S. Senate Republicans lifted New York’s language and dropped it into their own legislation last year. Indeed, as The Daily Poster first reported, those Republican legislative proposals included word-for-word passages from Cuomo’s corporate immunity law. The specific New York legislative passages spliced into the GOP bill were the most egregious ones of all — they were the provisions that took liability shields given to frontline medical workers and expanded them to protect powerful corporate executives making the big decisions.

Five of the Republican senators who co-sponsored those bills — Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Tom Cotton, Thom Tillis and Marsha Blackburn — are now touting a letter they sent to Senate Democrats demanding a full probe of Cuomo’s nursing home scandal.

Keiser Report | China Overtakes the US (Yet Again)

Texas Republican hypocrisy over federal aid is nothing new – ask Flyin' Ted Cruz

Texas has been hit by a disaster of its own making and its Republican office holders expect the rest of the US to pay to clean up the mess. To quote Dana Bash of CNN questioning Michael McCaul, a veteran GOP congressman, on Sunday: “That’s kind of rich, don’t you think?” For all of their bravado and anti-government rhetoric, in the aftermath of calamities like last week’s deep freeze Lone Star Republicans make a habit of passing the plate. Their suffering is ours too.

But when the shoe is on the other foot, they begrudge kindness to others. Said differently, Ted Cruz is merely a grotesque illustration, not an exception. Take a walk down memory lane. In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy hammered New York and New Jersey. As the north-east reeled, Texas Republicans stood back, treating the region as if it were another country. As if the civil war had not ended.

After the turn of the year, Cruz, his fellow senator John Cornyn and 23 of two dozen Texas Republicans in the House gave a thumbs down to Sandy aid. Less reflexively hostile heads prevailed. The relief bill cleared Congress. But the GOP’s Texans had left their mark. ...

But Cruz in particular is nothing if not performative, ever Janus-faced. After Hurricane Harvey slammed Houston in 2017, he offered this explanation for his vote four years earlier: Sandy relief had become “a $50bn bill that was filled with unrelated pork”. Cruz also intoned: “What I said then and still believe now is that it’s not right for politicians to exploit a disaster when people are hurting to pay for their own political wishlist.”

Other than possibly Cruz’s long-suffering wife, it is unclear whether anyone believed Flyin’ Ted even then.

US minimum wage activists face their toughest foe: Democrat Joe Manchin

Hopes that the US will finally increase the federal minimum wage for the first time in nearly 12 years face a seemingly unlikely opponent: a Democrat senator from one of the poorest states in the union. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the state’s former governor and the Democrats’ most conservative senator, has long opposed his party’s progressive wing and is on record saying he does not support increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour, the first increase since 2009. “I’m supportive of basically having something that’s responsible and reasonable,” he told the Hill. He has advocated for a rise to $11.

None of this has found favor with some low-wage workers in a state where an estimated 278,734 West Virginians lived in poverty in 2019, 16% of the population and the sixth highest poverty rate in the US.

[Music to read by. -js]

Last Thursday Manchin reaffirmed his stance during a virtual meeting with members of the West Virginia Poor People’s Campaign (WVPPC), a group pushing for an increased minimum wage and other policy changes that would benefit the working class. That meeting was closed to the media but at an online press conference immediately afterward, participants said Manchin refused to budge. “He was kind of copping out,” said WVPPC member Brianna Griffith, a restaurant worker and whitewater rafting guide who, due to exemptions for tipped workers, only makes $2.62 an hour. ...

Despite Manchin’s insistence on an $11 minimum wage, according to MIT’s living wage calculator, even a $15 minimum wage would only provide a living wage for single West Virginians without children. For a West Virginia family with two working parents and two children, both parents would need to be making at least $20.14 an hour to make ends meet.

The Rev Dr William Barber, co-chair of the national Poor People’s Campaign, was in last week’s meeting and said Manchin agreed the current $7.25 minimum wage was “not enough”. But Barber said he was “amazed” Manchin could hear from people like Griffith and still oppose increasing the minimum wage to $15. “What he is suggesting would just further keep people in poverty and hurting,” he said.

Krystal and Saagar: Dems Accuse Neera Tanden Opponents Of SEXISM, RACISM. Ignore CORRUPTION

Neera Tanden confirmation seems unlikely after moderate Republicans oppose her

Neera Tanden, president of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, seemed unlikely to be confirmed as budget director in the Biden administration after Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, two moderate Republican senators, said they would not vote in her favour.

In a statement on Monday, Collins said Tanden was unfit to run the Office of Management and Budget, which plays a powerful role in overseeing federal finances and regulation. “Neera Tanden has neither the experience nor the temperament to lead this critical agency,” the Maine senator said. ...

With the Senate split 50-50, Manchin’s defection meant the administration already needed to persuade at least one moderate Republican to come on board. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, a possible vote for Tanden, has not yet indicated her intention. The White House is on tenterhooks with its efforts to fill cabinet posts.

Connecticut Lawmakers Want to Try Again to Make Prison Phone Calls Completely Free

Connecticut lawmakers are gearing up for their second attempt at passing a bill that would make prison phone and video calls free for incarcerated people and their loved ones.

A similar bill, introduced by state Rep. Josh Elliott, a progressive elected in 2016, and drafted by Worth Rises, a national nonprofit focused on ending the influence of commercial interests in the criminal justice system, advanced in 2019 and passed out of the state’s House Judiciary Committee. But around the same time, Securus Technologies, the national prison telecommunications corporation that Connecticut has contracted with since 2012, hired two lobbyists on a $40,000 retainer to fight the bill. Under direction from its parent company, Platinum Equity, Securus eventually backed off, but with two weeks left in the session and stonewalling from the state’s Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, it was too late.

Since that battle, Connecticut now boasts a new notorious title: It is now the most expensive state in the country for prison phone calls, after Arkansas renegotiated its rates. A 15-minute phone call between an incarcerated person in Connecticut and a family member costs nearly $5, at $0.21-$0.325 per minute. Rhode Island, its next-door neighbor for example, charges $0.029 per minute.

Advocates are feeling optimistic they have a better shot this time around and can make Connecticut the first state in the nation to eliminate the charges.

“There are very specific things that held up this bill in the past,” said Elliott, pointing to Securus’s lobbying in 2019, which required advocates to scramble at the end of the session. “That meant that we were chasing our tail a bit until Securus formally and publicly backed out of lobbying against our bill, recognizing what it looks like to be a contractor with the state while lobbying for their interests,” he said.

75-year-old protester files lawsuit against Buffalo

Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old protester who was pushed to the ground by officers during a demonstration against police brutality and racial injustice last year, filed a lawsuit on Monday against the city, its mayor and other officials. ...

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn announced last week that a grand jury voted to dismiss a case against police officers Robert McCabe and Aaron Torgalski over the incident. ... The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court, names the city of Buffalo, Mayor Byron Brown (D), McCabe, Torgalski, police officer John Losi, Buffalo Police Commissioner Byron Lockwood and Deputy Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.

The lawsuit slams a curfew that police were seeking to enforce the day of the incident was “unconstitutional and draconian” and “selectively enforced against peaceful protesters.” It also claims that police used “unlawful and unnecessary force” and that defendants violated Gugino’s constitutional rights, including his rights to the freedoms of speech and peaceful assembly.

Elijah McClain death: Colorado police had no legal basis to restrain man, report finds

Police officers in Aurora, Colorado, did not have a legal basis to stop, frisk and use a chokehold on Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old black man who died after being restrained by officers and paramedics in the Denver suburb in August 2019, an independent investigation has found.

According to a report published on Monday, “body worn camera audio, limited video and … interviews with the officers tell two contrasting stories. The officers’ statements on the scene and in subsequent recorded interviews suggest a violent and relentless struggle.” The report added: “The limited video, and the audio from the body worn cameras, reveal Mr McClain surrounded by officers, all larger than he, crying out in pain, apologizing, explaining himself and pleading with the officers.” ...

He was held down for 15 minutes, then given 500mg of ketamine, a sedative. He suffered cardiac arrest and was declared brain dead on 27 August. He died three days later. The report released on Monday found that paramedics failed to properly examine McClain before injecting him with a dose based on a “grossly inaccurate” estimation of his weight.

Body camera footage showed officer Nathan Woodyard making first contact with McClain, telling him, “I have a right to stop you because you’re being suspicious.” Video showed Woodyear grabbing McClain within 10 seconds of exiting his patrol car. ...

In a presentation of the report, Jonathan Smith, the executive director of the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs who led the investigation, said under case law, officers must have “reasonable, objective grounds” to justify an investigatory stop. Their reasoning – that he was acting suspicious by wearing a mask and waving his arms, and that he was in an area with a high crime rate – did not hold water, first in that it was not an area of high crime but also in that wearing a mask is not enough be linked to criminal activity.

Fired Worker At Center Of Amazon Lawsuit On How He’s Taking Fight To Bezos



the horse race



Hidden Russiagate docs expose more misconduct, evidentiary holes: ex-investigator

Hey, this is a step forward. At least they are not blaming russians.

Democrats lost Texas because of Covid and Republican voter drive, report finds

Get-out-the-vote efforts hampered by the coronavirus pandemic and an 11th-hour voter registration surge for well-funded Republicans thwarted ambitions of a blue wave in Texas during the 2020 election, according to a new postmortem that state Democrats shared with the Guardian. “The majority of Texans, if they were in the ballot box, would vote for Democrats. The problem is that Republicans have a higher likelihood of turning out,” said Hudson Cavanagh, the Texas Democratic party’s data science director who authored the post-election report.

Texas generated outsized buzz last year, as a spike in early voting made much of the nation wonder whether its 38 electoral college votes were finally up for grabs. Yet former president Donald Trump still triumphed by more than a five-point margin – a much closer presidential contest than any other in recent years, but one that reinforced Republicans as the state’s dominant party.

Now, Democrats are blaming last fall’s defeat mostly on programmatic difficulties, which allowed Republicans to best them in get-out-the-vote operations. “Texas is still the next frontier,” said Abhi Rahman, the communications director for Texas Democrats. ...

Amid the public health crisis, Texas Democrats decided against knocking on doors for face-to-face voter engagement, because “even one life lost is too many”, Cavanagh said. Republicans, on the other hand, connected with eligible voters in-person, a clear advantage in one of the few states where residents still cannot register to vote online. In the last months leading up to the election, a gargantuan push by Republicans to register new voters wiped out the gradual advantage Democrats had been honing for years, especially given that almost all of those new Republican registrations turned into net votes.

Krystal Ball: Texas And The Siren Song Of Low Taxes, Cheap Goods



the evening greens


'No Safe Amount': Environmentalists Sound Alarm Over Texas Refineries' Release of Hundreds of Thousands of Pounds of Pollutants During Storm

Texas oil refineries released hundreds of thousands of pounds of pollutants including benzene, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide into the air as they scrambled to shut down during last week's deadly winter storm, Reuters reported Sunday.

Winter storm Uri, which killed dozens of people and cut off power to over four million Texans at its peak, also disrupted supplies needed to keep the state's refineries and petrochemical plants operating. As they shut down, refineries flared—or burned off—gases in order to prevent damage to their processing units.

According to the Texas Commission on Environment Quality, the five largest refiners emitted nearly 337,000 pounds of pollutants in this manner.

ExxonMobil's Baytown Olefins plant in Baytown released 68,000 tons of carbon monoxide and nearly a ton of benzene in what it called a "safe utilization of the flare system."

Critics noted, however, that benzene is harmful to bone marrow, red blood cells, and the immune system.

"There is no safe amount of benzene for human exposure," Sharon Wilson, a researcher at the advocacy group Earthworks, told Reuters.

Motiva's Port Arthur refinery released 118,100 pounds of pollutants into the air between February 15 and February 18. This was triple the amount of excess emissions the plant reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the entire year of 2019.

Valero's refinery in Port Arthur flared 78,000 pounds of pollutants over 24 hours beginning February 15, while Marathon Petroleum's Galveston Bay refinery released 14,255 pounds in less than five hours that same day.

Hilton Kelly, who lives in Port Arthur, told Reuters that there were "six or seven flares going at one time."

Wilson said that the flaring "could have been prevented" by winterizing the refineries.

"We need someone in the Texas legislature to file a bill requiring the oil and gas industry to thoroughly winterize all their equipment," Wilson told Earther. "The bill probably won't pass in Texas, but that will create some more scrutiny about it."

Earther reports that between February 11 and February 18, there were 174 so-called "emissions events" from fossil fuel facilities in Texas, compared to between 37 and 46 such events in weeks before the storm.

In addition to the previously mentioned pollutants, chemicals released from Texas facilities include over 6,500 pounds of the carcinogen isoprene from a Shell plant in Deer Park near Houston, as well as an indeterminate amount of methane, which is 84 times more harmful to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide over the short term.

Wilson told Earther that "in Texas we don't count methane" in pollution reports.

The release of large amounts of dangerous pollutants during Uri stands in stark contrast with claims by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott that alternative energy sources such as solar and wind are responsible for Uri's deadly power outages and that the Green New Deal would be a "deadly deal" for the United States.


Also of Interest

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

How Wall Street Kills Grandma

Will Biden Finally Bring Troops Home from Afghanistan?

Biden readies his first major penalties on Russia

Biden Administration Rejects China’s Calls for Better Relations

Guardian Columnist’s Firing Over Israel Joke Highlights Paper’s Rightward Drift

Juan Cole on the Clearest Example of Israeli Apartheid Yet

Andrew Cuomo and the Lincoln Project were media-created debacles. What now?

Deathbed Confession: FBI and NYPD Responsible for Malcolm X Assassination

Time for Jeep to stop using Cherokee as a vehicle name, tribe's chief says

Police drop charge against black man arrested for walking home in Texas snowstorm

Facebook 'refriends' Australia after changes to media laws

Rising: Slate Podcaster SUSPENDED For Defending NYT Reporter Who Used Racial Slur In Context


A Little Night Music

Joe Simon - Power of Love

Joe Simon - Your Time To Cry

Joe Simon - Nine Pound Steel

Joe Simon - Trouble In My Home

Joe Simon - Let's Do It Over

Joe Simon - I Got A Whole Lot Of Lovin'

Joe Simon - Bring It On Home To Me

Joe Simon - Yours Love

Joe Simon - My Adorable One

Joe Simon - The Chokin' Kind

Joe Simon - It's All Over


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Comments

ggersh's picture

As it got up to 46 degrees today, the great melt has started.

how is it we as a people let the few(elites/pols) govern over the many
especially when they could give 2 shits about us?

Stay safe everyone!

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9 users have voted.

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

Søren Kierkegaard

NO MORE WAR

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

it hit 50 degrees here. i slept late and by the time i got outside, i could see my porch stairs. woohoo! it's supposed to be warm again tomorrow, so with any luck i won't have to shovel the ice that didn't melt today off of the walk. (yay!)

how is it we as a people let the few(elites/pols) govern over the many
especially when they could give 2 shits about us?

heh, i think that we're down to 1 shit and zero fucks.

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6 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

...news by thoughtful people, but the news can always be illuminating. Especially when curated by your hand, Joe.

Once they got the American people to accept political paralysis as a legitimate form of government (an easy set-up using a polarized two-party system) it became a simple matter to control the choices the People were offered. This is the First Principle of Oligarchy Rule.

Today's news highlights how political polarization is used to hide the real danger in a two-party democracy — the absence of positive options for the People

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15 users have voted.
US capitalism has run into same problems that put Germany on the road to war in 1914. For Germany it was a question of ‘organizing’ Europe. For the United States it is a question of ‘organizing’ the world. — Leon Trotsky
joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

heh, one of the things that i've been musing about lately is whether our system will respond by providing more parties. i wouldn't be surprised to see the oligarchs pitch in to create yet another party in order to pretend to respond to the demands of the people.

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7 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  
in certain niche markets?

Like RC Cola in the South… Or “♫ Dr Pepper, so misunderstood…”

There were decades when NYC had an influential 3rd and 4th party (the Liberal and Conservative parties). For example, in the Sixties there was an election where Mayor John Lindsay won a second term, appearing on both the Republican and Liberal ballot lines against a run-of-the-mill corrupt urban-machine Democrat.

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@lotlizard

i was thinking that we might be offered a trump-led party, or alternatively if he is allowed to remain in possession of the republican party, a rump party of republicans who can't stand trump.

i also figured that the oligarchs might want to preempt the left and create its own slightly further left than the democrats maybe led by a billionaire like tom steyer.

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6 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@joe shikspack

....would not be fooled for a second by a fake party.

But I do concede that their charismatic leaders can bamboozle the People repeatedly.

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4 users have voted.
US capitalism has run into same problems that put Germany on the road to war in 1914. For Germany it was a question of ‘organizing’ Europe. For the United States it is a question of ‘organizing’ the world. — Leon Trotsky
snoopydawg's picture

The warmup.

The main event.

Heh he must have heard me cuz I’ve been saying just that. As have millions of my fellow citizens.

Remember that outrage when Trump locked kids in cages and then he opened up tent city detention center in Texas in the summer. I’ve been seeing quite a lot of pretzelized thinking skills being used to make it okay for Biden to do it.

Psaki says that Joe isn’t putting them in cages and it’s different from what Trump did. Too bad that whomever (whoever? help) did the video cut it off so soon. It’s okay if they link to the whole video. Sometimes it’s just a setup.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.

I swear to gawd that if we undressed Blinken we’d find Mike Pompeo underneath.

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12 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

heh, good for sirota. he's been doing good work at the daily poster.

has the wapo really thought through their demand that venezuela be overthrown on the basis of their environmental record? i mean, if that's the criteria, it would seem that brazil would be a much more important target in that neighborhood and have they noticed perhaps how significant the greenhouse gas emissions are in their own glass house in the good ol us of a?

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

about Manchin's being such a dickhead and playing hard ball on everything. Or perhaps AOC, Schumer, Biden, Pelosi, hell ANY of them. The pussyhat gang. It’s such a f’cking game to so many people.

Barber said he was “amazed” Manchin could hear from people like Griffith and still oppose increasing the minimum wage to $15. “What he is suggesting would just further keep people in poverty and hurting,

Most of them are more upset with Manchi blocking Neera for 'sexist and racist' reasons then they are with him blocking the filibuster and now the wage increase. How do they not know her history? Oh yeah...Rachel Moscow. never mind.

Lots of news tonight. It’s so obvious to me to see what’s happening and I’m wondering why I didn’t see it sooner nor can I pinpoint when it started. Reagan and Tina Thatcher?

It is now the most expensive state in the country for prison phone calls, after Arkansas renegotiated its rates.

Really thought I’d be dead before this nightmare happened, but like climate change it just keeps accelerating faster.

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10 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

but carter was the one who introduced neoliberal policies.

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9 users have voted.

@joe shikspack
did to the spirit and practice of the New Deal was more than Ike, Nixon, and Ford accomplished but were still at the level of chinks in the edifice and probably not even as big as Taft-Hartley. The seniority system in the House and Democrats controlling it kept New Dealers in charge. Until -- 1994. So, I'd place Clinton as numero uno in the destruction of goo-goo.

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Marie

a fair point. clinton presided over the first really destructive acts, however his predecessors provided the direction, the intellectual underpinnings and in some cases the actual policies (nafta for example) of destruction.

i am quite pleased to let clinton shoulder a vast share of the blame if you insist. Smile

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8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

I was still playing hard during his tenure and all I remember is that he did raise taxes and Iraq war 1 and the highway of death massacre. But I didn’t learn of that till the 2nd Shrub went back in. Guess I can use Google.

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6 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

@snoopydawg
During the 2000 campaign, GWB did say that if he had the opportunity he would finish the job in Iraq.

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3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Marie

Clinton gets a lot of credit for the downward slide. NAFTA, Glass steagal, welfare reform less the welfare queen accusations, the Iraq sanctions that were worth it. What else. There’s more.

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8 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

@snoopydawg
commodity futures 'modernization' were two more biggies. Let's not forget the Defense of Marriage Act. (All the 'wokies' have the Clintons on a pedestal even as they've been two of the least 'woke' politicians for decades.)

Of course much of that would have been far more difficult if not for Clinton's fecklessness and the 1994 midterms cleaning out the House of the remaining old guard New Dealers.

A reminder, NAFTA was a Bush-GOP proposal that was shot down by the House. Bush's other biggie was a reduction in the capital gains tax that was going nowhere. Should have voted for Bush and might not have gotten either of those.

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8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Marie

It’s just like what just happened with Trump. Reagan pissed me off so much by his neglecting the aids epidemic and I thought Clinton/Gore walked over water because they mentioned it after Reagan ignored it most of his tenure. Clinton came in and was younger and more lucid than Reagan/Bush and then repeat the process with Shrub/Cheney who once again pissed me off, Bush couldn’t talk right and then Obama rode in on his white steed and was coherent and had such a nice family don’t you think and both he and Clinton did more damage than the previous Shrubs did. The more effective evil both of them.

Did you notice that the mood of the country changed and there was less tension in the air once Biden was sworn in? The media must have burned miles of rubber stopping their cars and doing a 180 and start covering Biden with kid gloves. It was so noticeable that I noticed. Screechhhh.

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7 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

@snoopydawg
Trump was exhausting, the Trumpsters were exhausting, the Russiagaters were exhausting, and those suffering from TDS were exhausting. Who knew that all that was needed to turn off all that noise was a half-brain dead, septuagenarian POTUS.

The Clintons' drama and Bush/Cheney shenanigans (aided and abetted by right wing talk radio and TV) were also exhausting. No drama Obama was a relief from the prior sixteen years.

I was using "woke" in the ID politics and cultural sense. It's bizarre to me because awareness evolves as information becomes available and social changes emerge, along with the need to toss out all the garbage we are all fed, and has nothing to do with being asleep and suddenly awake. Perhaps I internalized MLK Jr's words, "they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." too completely. It never occurred to me that Tanden was other than a standard issue US white person with bad character. No different from Thatcher or Hillary who are no different from Reagan or Nixon.

It was easy for liberals/Democrats to welcome Clinton after twelve years of Reagan/Bush and the only Carter for four years interrupted the GOP streak of the eight years before that. What they (I) couldn't see was that the DLC had changed the party. (Okay, the only candidate I favored that year was Tom Harkin; so, on some level I did get it.) I knew that Clinton wasn't good but I honestly didn't know how bad he was. The last POTUS that had an agenda "for the people" and accomplished that was LBJ. Foreign policy that wasn't his thing is what tripped him up big time. (For me Sanders echoed that major shortcoming. Not that any of the alternatives were any better and most were worse. Recall that on FP Goldwater was worse the LBJ and Nixon no better.) All we seem to get are egomaniacs that want to BE POTUS. Sickening.

You're going far too easy on the Bushes, but domestically they did or attempted to do nothing different from Republicans since 1933 and nothing different from post-WWII Republicans on FP. Clinton and Obama might as well have been Republicans because there was no policy break from Reagan through Trump. (Carter did get the deregulation ball rolling, but on other domestic issues he governed like a Democrat. Where he screwed up was on FP. He had one of the best SoS, but instead listened to that Brzezenski ass.)

Change, for the better for most people, doesn't appear to be near. Our world would have to be rocked much harder and for longer than the all the relatively minor disasters we've been experiencing.

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snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

I was in high school during Carter’s reign and I didn’t pay attention to politics except for knowing who was president. The only other time before Clinton was during the Vietnam war and wore a POW bracelet. I’m sure you remember them. It wasn’t just a Utah thing was it? lol then what a dweep.

Well how was I supposed to know I was being lied to? Oy I know I’m being hounded with propaganda, but it’s getting harder to recognize it because it’s so overwhelming. To me anyway. Sigh.

Damn....

you say it's about saving lives, but think of the cruelty to corporations that are using their productive capacity for profit who would be forced by defense production to give up their profitable enterprises, retool and make products for uncle sugar where the profit margins will be scrutinized.

That’s harsh. No matter how cynical I am I just can’t keep up. I also keep forgetting that they don’t care what happens to us.

Query I don’t know how to frame.

Over 500k people die every year from the 3 big killers and Covid has killed that same number in a year.

??

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

i remember those pow bracelets. they were pretty popular in my high school mostly among the girls.

Over 500k people die every year from the 3 big killers and Covid has killed that same number in a year.

you think maybe covid is trying to horn in on their market? was there a dip in big three killer deaths this year?

sorry, i'm not sure what you were trying to ask.

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snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Just as I was typing my comment one went off and I answered my question for me. It was a why question and I realized I wasn’t being cynical enough again. Heh.

Well how was I supposed to know I was being lied to.

That was about the supplies being sent to China. Should make sense now. I don’t remember seeing the ad so maybe it was on the Twit. So Trump’s campaign just let them lie to us?

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4 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

well, i think that you have to look at it in context as part of the tidal wave of information that washed over americans at that time. i'd guess that trump refuted it, hence the fact checks.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@snoopydawg

At the very beginning of the Pandemic. Of course it was a lie.

That was about the supplies being sent to China. Should make sense now. I don’t remember seeing the ad so maybe it was on the Twit. So Trump’s campaign just let them lie to us?

According to my notes:

During this period, China exported 240 billion masks — one of the products that boosted China’s export dominance in 2020. Except for the masks that were distributed to the Chinese people (masks that actually protected the wearer from viral infections) — China produced and exported 40 masks per person to the world. Mask shipments were worth 340 billion yuan (which accounted for 2% of total Chinese exports).

China certainly didn't need to buy any masks from the US. The US should have bought the same good masks that the Chinese used to help stop Covid-19 in China. The US should have provided those masks to the Americans people and protected them from Covid-19 infections and fatalities.

China provided masks for free to Italy, Spain, Iran, and other countries that were hit hard by the virus. Just as they are providing vaccines to poor nations, which the US and Europe refuse to do. They offer to send cash, instead. COVAX needs rich countries to share their vaccines, not their cash. Only Russia and China are donating vaccines. If poor countries are not vaccinated in a timely fashion, they will produce the deadly mutations that will infect the West all over again.

The world is still wide-eyed over the fact that Americans were stuck with home made masks that didn't work — or they were forced to buy cheap fake masks from unregulated parts of Asia.

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US capitalism has run into same problems that put Germany on the road to war in 1914. For Germany it was a question of ‘organizing’ Europe. For the United States it is a question of ‘organizing’ the world. — Leon Trotsky

@snoopydawg
Wouldn't have worn one if I had.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Marie

with propaganda. They were designed to play on emotions and get people to care that John McCain was Mia...okay not him, but my point stands.

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3 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

@snoopydawg
of the war in January 1973 and the subsequent release of the POWs during the next couple of months? (If McCain was ever listed as MIA, it wasn't long before he was listed as a POW.)

(As Nixon harbored a plan to break the Paris Peace Accords and renew an effort to "win" that war, N. Vietnam wouldn't have been unreasonable to delay the release of the POWs until the US was completely out of the country which didn't happen until April 1975.)

Could those bracelets have been part of the MIA scam?

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snoopydawg's picture

Thread

Biden should send everyone a high quality mask or a voucher for them if that floats their boats. But remember way back when this first started and democrats were saying that Trump should be doing it? Yeah what happened to that. Krystal said that Biden still hasn’t used the defense production act yet. I remember lots of yada yada about that too. And again his supporters have to find ways to be okay with it because they gave Trump so much crap for not doing it.

I’m calling Psaki Jen Huckleberry because I see no difference between her and the Hucklebee spawn. She sure seems to be doing a lot of defending Biden’s actions instead of promoting them. Hard job. I give her 2 years.

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7 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

Biden should send everyone a high quality mask or a voucher for them ... Krystal said that Biden still hasn’t used the defense production act yet.

oh my, you mean the free market hasn't ramped up to supply this need? isn't the invisible hand extra busy making masks?

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snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

and elsewhere at the start of the epidemic? Seems like I remember some outrage over that and what was Jared's role in it? Btw wasn’t he supposed to go to jail after Trump left? And Miller? Guess they’re all going to skate like all the others before them.

But it’s not so much about production as in saving lives. All those things that Trump wouldn’t do but now Biden won’t do either. Guess I’ll have to stop being surprised by the hypocrisy. lol.

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5 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

well, here are a couple of fact check links for you:

https://www.factcheck.org/2020/04/factchecking-ad-about-donating-our-mas...

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/apr/02/facebook-posts/yes-us-...

you say it's about saving lives, but think of the cruelty to corporations that are using their productive capacity for profit who would be forced by defense production to give up their profitable enterprises, retool and make products for uncle sugar where the profit margins will be scrutinized.

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mimi's picture

video. It is breaking my heart, I guess that means my heart is not stoned enough yet.

Thanks for all you do. May the stone hearts melt like your ice on your porch.

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joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

glad you enjoyed my insertion of musical commentary into the midst of an otherwise fairly depressing news item.

have a great evening!

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I loved the music. Makes me remember where I was, what I was doing when that was playing on am radio.
The McClain death news, and prison phone calls for high prices really brings it home to me.
I got a plumber to come in the morning to at least get me some cold water. I can heat it on the stove if I needed. I will not have my home in order for days, or weeks.
And I just don't care, life is too short to worry about details.

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joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

glad to hear that you're making do and getting along.

yeah, the news about police brutality victims just keeps on coming. grand juries seem to be the death of accountability in many of these cases. it's long past time to get rid of grand juries.

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snoopydawg's picture

If you are concerned that Biden just reopened the detention center that Trump did a few years ago don’t be. You just need to learn the history lesson on why those kids are put into detention centers in the first place. We’re seeing more kids coming because of Biden’s softer approach to enforcement.

These issues will surely test the president in the months and years to come. But suggesting that this is at all akin to what Trump did with children on the border — or that the media is soft-pedaling what the Biden administration is doing — just doesn’t add up.

Gag me now.

Bad

Funny you’d think letting people know about Biden’s softer approach...would be why you wrote about it so why put it behind paywall? Does not compute.

I can’t because anyone would write that article and wonder how they keep their dignity.

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5 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle