The Evening Blues - 3-5-21



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Little Milton Campbell

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues singer and guitarist Little Milton Campbell. Enjoy!

Little Milton - We're Gonna Make It

"Good government is known from bad government by this infallible test: that under the former the labouring people are well fed and well clothed, and under the latter, they are badly fed and badly clothed."

-- William Cobbett


News and Opinion

Trump & Biden’s Secret Bombing Wars

On February 25th, President Biden ordered U.S. air forces to drop seven 500-pound bombs on Iraqi forces in Syria, reportedly killing 22 people. The U.S. airstrike has predictably failed to halt rocket attacks on deeply unpopular U.S. bases in Iraq, which the Iraqi National Assembly passed a resolution to close over a year ago.

The Western media reported the U.S. airstrike as an isolated and exceptional incident, and there has been significant blowback from the U.S. public, Congress and the world community, condemning the strikes as illegal and a dangerous escalation of yet another Middle East conflict.

But unbeknownst to many Americans, the U.S. military and its allies are engaged in bombing and killing people in other countries on a daily basis. The U.S. and its allies have dropped more than 326,000 bombs and missiles on people in other countries since 2001 (see table below), including over 152,000 in Iraq and Syria.

That’s an average of 46 bombs and missiles per day, day in day out, year in year out, for nearly 20 years. In 2019, the last year for which we have fairly complete records, the average was 42 bombs and missiles per day, including 20 per day in Afghanistan alone.

So, if those seven 500-pound bombs were the only bombs the U.S. and its allies dropped on February 25th, it would have been an unusually quiet day for U.S. and allied air forces, and for their enemies and victims on the ground, compared to an average day in 2019 or most of the past 20 years. On the other hand, if the unrelenting U.S. air assault on countries across the Greater Middle East finally began to diminish over the past year, this bombing may have been an unusual spike in violence. But which of these was it, and how would we know?

We don’t know, because our government doesn’t want us to. From January 2004 until February 2020, the U.S. military kept track of how many bombs and missiles it dropped on Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, and published those figures in regular, monthly Airpower Summaries, which were readily available to journalists and the public. But in March 2020, the Trump administration abruptly stopped publishing U.S. Airpower Summaries, and the Biden administration has so far not published any either.

As with the human casualties and mass destruction that these hundreds of thousands of airstrikes cause, the U.S. and international media only report on a tiny fraction of them. Without regular U.S. Airpower Summaries, comprehensive databases of airstrikes in other war-zones and serious mortality studies in the countries involved, the American public and the world are left almost completely in the dark about the death and destruction our country’s leaders keep wreaking in our name. The disappearance of Airpower Summaries has made it impossible to get a clear picture of the current scale of U.S. airstrikes. ...

President Biden has foolishly tried to use airstrikes in Syria as “leverage” with Iran, instead of simply rejoining the Iran nuclear agreement as he promised during the election campaign. Biden is likewise trailing along in Trump’s footsteps by shrouding U.S. airstrikes in the secrecy that Trump used to obscure his failure to “end the endless wars.”

It is entirely possible that the highly publicized February 25th airstrikes, like Trump’s April 2017 missile strikes on Syria, were a diversion from much heavier, but largely unreported, U.S. bombing already under way elsewhere, in that case the frightful destruction of Mosul, Iraq’s former second city.

The only way that Biden can reassure the American public that he is not using Trump’s wall of secrecy to continue America’s devastating airwars, notably in Afghanistan, is to end this secrecy now, and resume the publication of complete and accurate U.S. Airpower Summaries.

Tulsi Gabbard calls out the US dirty war on Syria that Biden, aides admit to

Biden doubles down on “great power” conflict with China

In a speech delivered Wednesday by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and an accompanying national security strategy document, the Biden Administration has signaled the continuation, and escalation, of the Trump administration’s “great-power competition” with Russia and China. But to an extent even greater than its predecessor, the Biden administration is singling out China as the greatest US adversary and target for conflict. In his remarks on the interim strategy document, Blinken concluded, “Several countries present us with serious challenges, including Russia, Iran, North Korea … but the challenge posed by China is different. China is the only country with the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power” to “challenge” the United States.

Biden’s focus on the US conflict with China includes the explicit threat to wage war. “The United States will never hesitate to use force when required to defend our vital national interests,” the national security strategy document states. “We will ensure our armed forces are equipped to … defeat threats that emerge.”

The Trump administration’s realignment of US foreign policy toward conflict with China was widely viewed as its defining foreign policy stance. Trump’s “America first” nationalism—involving protectionism and mercantilist trade war policy, was inseparable from its orientation toward conflict with China. Likewise, the Biden administration has made clear that it will continue Trump’s trade war policies.

“Some of us previously argued for free trade agreements because we believed … those deals would shape the global economy in ways that we wanted,” Blinken said. “Our approach now will be different. We will fight for every American job and for the rights, protections and interests of all American workers.” Foreign Policy argued earlier this month that Biden’s foreign policy is a “Kinder, Gentler Spin on ‘America First.’” This comparison is facile at best; many of the new administration’s statements seem neither kinder nor gentler. “Wherever the rules for international security and the global economy are being written, America will be there and the interest of the American people will be front and center,” the Biden national security document states.

A central focus will be the attempt to recruit the American population into supporting this conflict. The document states that “We must also demonstrate clearly to the American people that leading the world isn’t an investment we make to feel good about ourselves. It’s how we ensure the American people are able to live in peace, security, and prosperity. It’s in our undeniable self-interest.

Media Ignores Jackson, Mississippi Missing Water For 2 WEEKS

Jackson, Mississippi In 3rd Week Without Water

Even before this much of the water was unsafe and probably lead poisoned. There are no high level talks between the State and the city (which is the State capital!)

American un-development continues. What is also striking is the complete incapability and unwillingness to handle problems. In the third week and the State and the City aren’t in high level talks? Meanwhile, this news has not gone national: there is no American effort to help Jackson, any more than there was a national effort of any significance to help Flint with its water problems.

This is no longer a society where you can count on the public infrastructure OR on society to help you. Congress is currently cutting Covid aid even more, not just from $2,000 to 1,400 but more and more means testing and based on 2019 incomes, so if you lost your job during the pandemic, you are shit out of luck. (It is also true that people will look back and say Trump gave more money, with a $1,200 check and a $600 one.)

The level of malign indifference displayed by elected officials and senior bureaucrats is mind-boggling. They do nothing to help, but make sure to keep funneling money to the rich people who own them.

You can’t count on US or most State governments. They aren’t interested in the basic duties of governing, like making sure the power and water keep flowing; the dikes are built, the forests are managed and so on.

Rev. William Barber to Democrats: Overrule the Senate Parliamentarian & Pass the $15 Minimum Wage

'Stop Nickel and Diming the American People': Anger Grows as Senate Democrats Move to Deny Relief Checks to 17 Million

The decision by the Senate Democratic leadership and President Joe Biden—for no discernible reason—to tweak the emerging coronavirus relief bill in a way that would deny survival checks to around 12 million adults and five million children is drawing sustained blowback, with progressive House Democrats warning that the needless change could come with severe economic and political consequences.

"This is madness. People are struggling and we're fighting over how many people we want to EXCLUDE from the relief checks," Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), vice chair at large of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), wrote in a fiery Twitter thread on Thursday. "What about the family with several kids who made $160k but lost their job in 2020? Or the person who made 80k pre-pandemic but lives in a high-cost-of-living state like NJ or NY? We're going to cut them out?"

"Stop nickel and diming the American people and pass the checks. We've been listening to this debate for a month. Enough," the New Jersey Democrat added. "While you're quibbling over who you want to exclude, people are suffering. SEND THE CHECKS."

On Wednesday, as Common Dreams reported, Biden and the Senate Democratic leadership signed off on a plan advanced by a faction of conservative Democrats that would accelerate the phase-out of $1,400 direct payments proposed under the emerging $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

The new framework would completely deny payments to individuals who earned more than $80,000 in either 2019 or 2020, heads of household who earned more than $120,000, and joint filers who earned more than $160,000—a significantly quicker phase-out than the one proposed (pdf) by House Democrats. People can also qualify for checks based on 2021 income if their 2019 and 2020 incomes were too high.

Only individuals earning $75,000 or less, heads of household earning $112,500 or less, and joint filers earning $150,000 or less would receive full $1,400 checks under the new eligibility structure, plus $1,400 per child and adult dependent.

In an analysis released Wednesday, the non-partisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) estimated that 280 million people would receive a full or partial check under the new framework, compared to 297 million under the House structure.

"This is terrible politics and even worse policy," said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), the CPC whip. "Why would we take needed relief away from 17 million Americans? The era of austerity is over. We should be getting as much relief to as many people as possible."

In an appearance on MSNBC Thursday morning, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) echoed the frustrations of his fellow CPC members, noting that the approximately $13 billion in savings produced by the change would represent just 0.05% of the $1.9 trillion package.

Squad WON'T Force $15 Minimum Wage In Stimulus Bill


Heh, Sirota is absolutely correct, but what are the chances of getting a half dozen "progressive" congresspersons to get up on their hind legs and stand for something?

How To Stop The Manchin Presidency And Raise The Minimum Wage

For the last week, Americans paying attention to politics have learned an important truth: Joe Biden may live in the White House, but conservative Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is effectively president. This depressing reality can certainly be fixed, but only if progressive Democrats in Congress are willing to actually change the dynamic — and they have a rare opportunity to do that right now by using their power to raise the minimum wage. But so far, they aren’t choosing to use their power — which is a huge structural problem not just now, but also for the foreseeable future.

Some have argued that the way to fix this situation is by ending the filibuster, but that’s a catch-22: It is absolutely a necessary reform, but President Manchin is pledging to veto it. Even if Democrats were to eliminate the filibuster, they would still need Manchin’s stamp of approval for virtually all legislation, given the Senate’s current 50-50 split.

The way to fix this dynamic is for a decisive number of House Democrats or Democratic senators to make clear, line-in-the-sand demands, and demonstrate they will vote down Democratic legislation that does not honor those demands. And they must do this specifically on must-pass legislation for which Biden can find zero GOP votes. That is the way to force Biden to stop pretending he has no agency and instead motivate him to use the overwhelming power of the executive branch to press the conservative wing of the party to back down. It is also the way to get Manchin himself to negotiate — right now, he gets to operate with impunity because there is no counterforce.

The COVID relief bill provides progressives this game-changing opportunity, and in the process they can heroically deliver not on some unimportant issue or tangential agenda item — but instead on the crucial cause of delivering a desperately needed higher minimum wage to millions of Americans. The debate over the legislation also gives the public a way to see whether self-identified progressive heroes are as serious about actually using power as President Manchin is.

Harris breaks Senate tie to begin debate on coronavirus relief package

The Senate has approved the motion to begin debate on the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

Vice-President Kamala Harris was forced to cast the tie-breaking 51st vote on the measure, after the evenly divided Senate deadlocked 50-50 on whether to take up the bill. ...

After the bill is read, the Senate can begin the “vote-a-rama” on amendments to the package. Republicans are expected to introduce many amendments to delay a final vote on the bill.

Oren Cass: New Data Reveals Families Desperate For Cash Assistance To Help Rear Children

Corporate Lobby Calls Sharing Vaccine Recipe With World's Poor 'Misguided'

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednesday denounced as "outrageous" the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's opposition to a South Africa and India-led effort to temporarily waive certain intellectual property rights to allow for the production of generic versions of coronavirus vaccines that—while developed with huge injections of public funds—are controlled by pharmaceutical giants.

"Amid a global pandemic, major pharmaceutical companies are lobbying to protect billions in profits," Sanders (I-Vt.) said after the deep-pocketed Chamber of Commerce, the largest and most powerful corporate lobbying group in the U.S., dismissed the proposal to waive intellectual property rights—and thus enable countless people in poor nations to access life-saving shots—as "misguided" and "a distraction."

Echoing a demand of hundreds of civil society organizations in the U.S. and around the world, the Vermont senator called on the Biden administration to ignore big business lobbying and support the India-South Africa proposal to "waive vaccine-related IP rights at the [World Trade Organization] to rapidly expand supplies of vaccines."

Despite garnering support from more than 100 countries, the waiver push has run up against opposition from powerful nations such as the U.S., the U.K., and Canada, which have thwarted the will of a supermajority of WTO member nations in order to ensure that pharmaceutical corporations retain monopoly control over coronavirus vaccine technology.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the new director-general of the WTO, said in an interview with Reuters last month that it is "unconscionable" that people are dying due to continued lack of access to the coronavirus vaccine "when we have the technology" to ensure that everyone is inoculated.

"No one is safe until everyone is safe," she added. "Vaccine nationalism at this time just will not pay, because the variants are coming. If other countries are not immunized, it will just be a blowback."

The Chamber of Commerce's public opposition to the IP waiver proposal came as powerful pharmaceutical industry groups in the U.S. are reportedly urging the Biden administration to punish countries for attempting to ramp up coronavirus vaccine production without the blessing of drug companies, which see coronavirus vaccine-making as a lucrative and potentially long-term business opportunity given the emergence of new strains of the deadly pathogen.

FBI Urged to Probe Corrupt Vaccine Favoritism by Florida's GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on Thursday accused the state's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of staging "red carpet vaccine distribution for donors" and called for the FBI to investigate the matter.

Citing her experience as a public defender, Fried, the state's highest-ranking elected Democrat, said, "The fact pattern is simply just to clear to avoid: give campaign contribution, big dollars, get special access to vaccines—ahead of seniors, ahead of our teachers, ahead of our farmworkers, and so many of our residents here in the state of Florida."

"If this isn't public corruption, I don't know what is," said Fried, whose office is also the state's consumer watchdog.

"I will not stand by and let our vaccines be used as political gain... to be auctioned to the highest bidder," she said.

Fried's call for an FBI probe followed reporting by the Miami Herald that nearly all those over 65 in the wealthy Key Largo community Ocean Reef Club received vaccines by mid-January.

The Herald noted Wednesday that Ocean Reef is "home to many wealthy donors to the Florida Republican Party and GOP candidates, including Gov. Ron DeSantis" and the "the only people from Key Largo who gave to DeSantis' political committee live in Ocean Reef," the outlet added.

Citing the Florida Division of Elections, the newspaper reported that 17 residents of the community had given DeSantis contributions of $5,000 each through December of 2020.

One of the Ocean Reef residents is former Republican Gov. of Illinois Bruce Rauner, who on Feb. 25 "increased his contribution and wrote a $250,000 check," according to the Herald.

In fact, "Since DeSantis started using the state's vaccine initiative to steer special pop-up vaccinations to select communities," the Herald reported, "his political committee has raised $2.7 million in the month of February alone, more than any other month since he first ran for governor in 2018, records show."

More evidence of DeSantis is playing politics with vaccine distribution came weeks earlier.

As the Orlando Sentinel reported Thursday:

The Herald report comes after weeks of controversy over whether the wealthy communities targeted by the DeSantis' vaccine "pods" were influenced by political considerations.

Three communities in Charlotte, Manatee, and Sarasota counties developed by Republican fundraiser Pat Neal were chosen by DeSantis for pop-up sites. Neal contributed $125,000 to DeSantis in 2018 and 2019.

Only two ZIP codes were eligible at the Manatee site, and County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh included herself and the development's CEO on a VIP list.

Those events prompted U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist (D-Fla.) to call for a Justice Department investigation.

In a letter to Acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson dated Feb. 21, Crist expressed concern about DeSantis "setting up 'pop-up' vaccination sites to deliver doses to select communities" and wrote that in "several cases, these sites seem to be targeted to wealthy communities with whom Governor DeSantis has clear political connections, allowing some to skip to the front of the line in counties with existing waitlists."

Iran and IAEA clear potential roadblock to talks with US on nuclear deal

A potential roadblock to talks between Iran and the US on the future of the nuclear deal has been cleared after the UN nuclear inspectorate said it had won Iran’s agreement to return to Tehran to hold focused talks on doubts over the veracity of the country’s previous declarations about its nuclear sites. ...

The agreement reached over the past 48 hours means European countries will not go ahead with plans to table a censure motion against Iran at an IAEA board meeting on Friday.

Iran had said it would in effect end its cooperation with the IAEA if the motion went ahead, which would have damaged hopes of starting informal talks between Iran and the US over how both sides could come back into compliance with the deal.

The French president, Emmanuel Macron, had warned his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, that the chances of reviving the nuclear deal would collapse without a clear gesture from Iran. In response to Iran’s offer to clarify its disclosures, Europe said it would hold off on its censure motion to give time for diplomacy.


'The police just shot': the terror inflicted on Myanmar's protesters

Early on Wednesday morning, the protests building in North Okkalapa, in Yangon, Myanmar, seemed peaceful. “I saw around three or four police officers along the road, but it was calm,” said Khin, who like all demonstrators the Guardian spoke to asked not to give her real name. Onlookers cheered as the crowds passed.

About 1,000 people, she estimated, had joined the march. Many had turned out in the hope that they would put pressure on police resources, and in forcing them to spread more thinly would protect demonstrators elsewhere in the city. After weeks of defiant mass protests opposing the military coup, the security forces were using increasing violence, including live ammunition, to break up rallies.

By evening, it was clear that the police and military response that day was the most deadly since the army seized power. In total, 38 people were killed by security forces, according to the UN special envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener.

The violence has prompted international outrage. UN human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, said the military “must stop murdering and jailing protesters” and the US state department said it was “appalled”. The UN security council is due to meet on Friday to discuss the crisis, though it is unlikely that China and Russia will agree to coordinated action.

The US government has always given Native Hawaiians a raw deal. It still does

Since the state of Hawaii reopened to visitors in October 2020, more than 650,000 people have flown to the islands. After arriving, some tourists are receiving vaccines before local residents, even though Pacific Islanders are disproportionately affected by Covid-19. Despite the influx, visitor numbers are still lower than usual, leaving the state’s economy – which is overly dependent on tourism and military dollars – in shambles. It’s the kind of colonial treatment that Native Hawaiians have endured since the Hawaiian Kingdom’s government was illegally overthrown in 1893 and the Hawaiian islands were unlawfully annexed by the United States in 1898.

The Biden administration is poised to settle this problem by federally recognizing a Native Hawaiian government in a similar process to that which it does American Indian tribes. Re-establishing a government-to-government relationship with the US has been praised as a way of protecting entitlements, programs and services for Native Hawaiians. At first glance, that may sound like a positive step. But federal recognition could be a final nail in the coffin for Hawaiian sovereignty. For that reason, it is steadfastly opposed by most Native Hawaiians and has earned the moniker “Fed Wreck”.

There’s history here. In 2014, the Department of the Interior proposed a rule to re-establish a government-to-government relationship with Native Hawaiians. Twenty public meetings followed in Hawai‘i and across Indian country to solicit feedback. According to one study, an overwhelming majority of Native Hawaiians – more than 95% – objected to the prospect of the US government recognizing a new Native Hawaiian government. As Ka‘iulani Lovell testified in Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i: “We don’t need to be recognized by you. We know who we are.” ...

A new Native Hawaiian government would not receive a land-base, territorial jurisdiction, nor be eligible for land to be taken into trust. The only possible land back is the island Kaho‘olawe, bombed for 50 years by the US navy and with unexploded ordinance still stuck in the ground. In fact, federal recognition would have the effect of officially ceding authority to the US, for the first time ever, of over approximately 2m acres of national land stolen from the Hawaiian Kingdom and Native Hawaiians. ...

The thief returns to the scene of the crime asking for forgiveness but refusing to return what they stole.

GOP Bill That 'Does Nothing But Criminalize Peaceful Protest' Advances in Florida Legislature

Denouncing the advancement of House Bill 1 in the Florida legislature on Wednesday, the state's ACLU chapter warned that if signed into law, the undemocratic anti-protest bill pushed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis would "silence and criminalize" people who want to exercise their First Amendment rights to peacefully advocate for social change.

"This bill does nothing but criminalize peaceful protest, silence dissent, and inhibit Floridians from seeking to influence how our state leaders make decisions about our lives," Micah Kubic, executive director of the ACLU of Florida, said in response to the House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee's vote to pass HB1.

"We know the true nature of this bill and its origins," said Kubic. "We know that it is not about public safety, but about criminalizing peaceful protesters advocating for racial justice."

As Common Dreams reported earlier this year, progressives have been sounding the alarm that Republican lawmakers in multiple states are exploiting the deadly January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of then-President Donald Trump's supporters to push for anti-protest bills, which critics say have nothing to do with stemming the tide of far-right extremism and everything to do with suppressing left-wing dissent and quashing protests against police brutality, fossil fuel pipelines, and more.

In Florida, Trump ally DeSantis promoted HB1 and its companion bill, Senate Bill 484—punitive proposals that critics say are meant to repress Black Lives Matter and other social justice protests—on January 6, "the same day insurrectionists were storming the Capitol," as journalist Christopher Cook pointed out earlier this year in a critique of what he called the "righteous bipartisan weaponizing of this crisis."

As journalist Iliana Hagenah wrote at the time, DeSantis used the riots in Washington, D.C., attended by several neo-Confederates, as a pretext to "make taking down Confederate statues a felony" in Florida.

D.C. National Guard commander says Pentagon delayed deployment of troops to protect US Capitol on January 6

In the second joint hearing held by the Senate Rules and Homeland Security committees on the January 6 siege of the US Capitol by pro-Trump insurrectionists, D.C. National Guard Commander William Walker confirmed that senior leadership at the Department of Defense refused for hours to approve urgent requests from Walker and D.C. police to deploy National Guard troops to protect Congress from the mob.

In his opening statement, Walker said he asked Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy for approval to deploy National Guard troops at 1:49 p.m., but was not given the go-ahead until 5:08 p.m. Walker testified that the three hour and 19 minute delay left him “stunned and frustrated.”

He told the panel that he had “about 155” soldiers fully equipped and ready to deploy, and their dispatch to the Capitol could have “secured the perimeter” and “made a difference.”

Walker’s statements coincide with testimony given last week by D.C. Metro Police Chief Robert Contee and former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund. Both police chiefs testified that they were “stunned” at the lack of response from Pentagon officials when they pleaded for reinforcements, even as the Capitol was being overrun by far-right forces whom Trump had called on to halt congressional certification of the Electoral College vote.

“We Do This ’Til We Free Us”: Mariame Kaba on Abolishing Police, Prisons & Moving Toward Justice

US House passes most ambitious police reform effort in decades

The US House of Representatives passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the most ambitious police reform effort in decades, for the second time on Wednesday.

The sweeping legislation would ban chokeholds and “qualified immunity” for law enforcement and create national standards for policing in a bid to bolster accountability. Nine months after Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was killed by Minneapolis police, lawmakers voted to approve the reform measure named after him 220-212, along party lines. However, the only Republican who voted in favor said he did so in error, and has changed the official record to reflect his opposition.

The House had passed a version of the bill last year, but the Republican-controlled Senate never took it up. This time around, Democrats have the support of the White House and a slight edge in the Senate. But they will have to win over at least 10 Republican senators to overcome a filibuster and pass the measure – which is unlikely to happen.



the horse race



Rep. Mondaire Jones: Voting Rights Bill H.R. 1 Is of “Foundational Importance” to U.S. Democracy

An Absolutely Crucial Voting Reform Measure Just Passed the House. What’s Next?

On Wednesday night, the House of Representatives passed a sweeping package of voting rights and campaign finance reform that, if enacted, would reshape the structure of American politics, expanding the franchise and diminishing the power of wealthy interests. ...

H.R. 1, also known as the For the People Act, creates a national system of automatic voter registration, which is expected to bring millions of new voters to the ballot box, and cracks down on voter suppression tactics. Crucially, it mandates nonpartisan redistricting commissions in order to outlaw gerrymandering. Without passage of the legislation, Republicans are well positioned to retake the House of Representatives in 2022 without persuading a single voter to switch parties or turning out new voters, but simply by gerrymandering in the wake of the Trump administration’s rigged census. ...

The bill has strong support among Democrats in the Senate, support that is only growing stronger as Republicans unleash a wave of voter suppression laws — particularly in Arizona and Georgia, where Democrats will be defending new gains in the upcoming midterms. While Republicans across the country support the legislation, their elected representatives in Congress are dead set against it. That means passage requires busting or evading the filibuster.

Mitch McConnell May Not Finish Term According To New Report

Mitch McConnell Working With Kentucky Legislature on Senate Exit Strategy

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has compiled a short list of successors in his home state of Kentucky, preparing for the possibility that he does not serve out his full term, Kentucky Republicans tell The Intercept. The list is topped by his protégé, state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and also includes former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft, whose billionaire coal magnate husband is a major McConnell donor, as well as Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams, a formerMcConnell Scholar.

Under current law, the power to appoint McConnell’s replacement falls to Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear. But new legislation McConnell is pushing in the Kentucky General Assembly would strip the governor of that power and put it into the hands of the state GOP.

McConnell’s scramble to secure his legacy comes as his position in the party he effectively built from the ground up is increasingly shaky. McConnell’s denunciation of former President Donald Trump — even as it was accompanied by a vote of acquittal and a pledge to endorse the former president in 2024 if he is the GOP nominee — has brought on calls for his censure by party leaders across the state. A candidate running in McConnell’s mold would face an uphill climb through a primary in the new Republican Party — unless, that is, the candidate has the benefit of incumbency.

The 79-year-old McConnell has held his Senate seat since 1985 and handily won a seventh term last November.

David Sirota: Families UNABLE To Sue Nursing Home For Deaths Because Of Cuomo Corruption



the evening greens


Butterfly numbers plummeting in US west as climate crisis takes toll

The varied, and beautiful, butterfly species that dot the US west are being cut down by the climate crisis, new research has found, with rising temperatures helping cause a steep decline in butterfly numbers over the past 40 years.

There has been a 1.6% reduction in the total number of butterflies observed west of the Rocky Mountain range each year since 1977, researchers calculated, which amounts to a staggering loss of butterflies over the timespan of the study period. ...

The declines are winnowing away much-loved species such as the monarch butterfly, which is known for is spectacular mass migrations to California each year but has lost 99% of its population compared with 40 years ago. “With the monarch it seems we are on the verge of losing the migration, if not the species itself,” Matt Forister, biology professor at the University of Nevada and lead study author, said.

The research, published in Science, analyzed citizen-gathered sightings of butterflies in 72 locations spanning all of the western US states. In all, more than 450 butterfly species were included in the study.

Across all of these sightings, the researchers found an annual 1.6% drop in butterfly numbers in the west, which is consistent with the rate of decline of other insects found by researchers in different places around the world, fueling concerns of a deep crisis among the creatures that help supply much of our food, break down waste and form crucial foundations to the web of life.

Obscure Energy Treaty Blocking Climate Action

Last month, the German energy giant RWE announced it was suing the government of the Netherlands. The crime? Proposing to phase out coal from the country’s electricity mix. The company, which is Europe’s biggest emitter of carbon, is demanding €1.4bn in “compensation” from the country for loss of potential earnings because the Dutch government has banned the burning of coal for electricity from 2030.

If this sounds unreasonable, then you might be surprised to learn that this kind of legal action is perfectly normal – and likely to become far more commonplace in the coming years. RWE is suing under the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), a little-known international agreement signed without much public debate in 1994. The treaty binds more than 50 countries, and allows foreign investors in the energy sector to sue governments for decisions that might negatively impact their profits – including climate policies. Governments can be forced to pay huge sums in compensation if they lose an ECT case.

Investigate Europe has revealed that the EU, the U.K. and Switzerland could be forced to pay more than €345 billion in ECT lawsuits over climate action in the coming years. This amount, which is more than twice the EU’s annual budget, represents the total value of the fossil fuel infrastructure that is protected by the ECT, and was calculated using data gathered by Global Energy Monitor and Change of Oil International. With ECT-covered assets worth €141 billion (or more than €2,000 per citizen), the U.K. – which in 2019 became the first major economy to pass a net zero emissions law – is the country most vulnerable to future claims.

Biden’s energy department revives loan program to boost clean technology

As part of its clean-energy agenda, the Biden administration is reviving an energy department program that disbursed billions of dollars in loan guarantees to companies such as electric car maker Tesla and the failed solar company Solyndra, the energy secretary, Jennifer Granholm, says. The loan program helped launch the country’s first utility-scale wind and solar farms as part of the Obama administration’s efforts to create “green jobs” but largely went dormant under Donald Trump.

The program boosted Tesla’s efforts to become a behemoth in electric cars, but it stumbled with a major loan guarantee to Solyndra, the California solar company that failed soon after receiving federal money a decade ago, costing taxpayers more than $500m. Republicans and other critics cite Solyndra as an example of wasteful spending under Barack Obama’s stimulus program, and the loan guarantees have largely dried up in recent years. The energy department provided $12bn in guarantees for the Vogtle nuclear power station in Georgia, but few other loans were offered under Trump. ...

Granholm said up to $40bn in guarantees will be made available for a variety of clean-energy projects, including wind, solar and hydro power, advanced vehicles, geothermal and even nuclear. “It’s got to be clean. That’s it,” she said. “And when I say clean, you know, it’s technologies that are being researched in the lab,” like projects to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions, so-called green hydrogen fuel and other energy sources, she said.


Also of Interest

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

Purging Inconvenient Facts in Coverage of Biden’s ‘First’ Air Attacks

Biden's "Nothing Will Fundamentally Change" Promise Extends To His Foreign Policy

‘There’s no excuse for this’: thousands in Mississippi city still without water weeks after storms

Freedom Rider: The Minimal Minimum Wage

GOP Voting Rights Act Position Falls Apart in SCOTUS Arguments

Fear and Celebration of Substack Are Both Misplaced

Socialist Legislators Want to Impeach Cuomo for Abuses of Power

Californians on universal basic income paid off debt and got full-time jobs

Republicans used oil industry-backed study to criticize Deb Haaland

RIP Mark Schlefer, the Man Who Made FOIA Happen

Cenk: Jimmy Dore Is Correct About #ForceTheVote

Rising: 'Centrist' Third Party REVEALED To Be Funded ENTIRELY By Tobacco Exec


A Little Night Music

Little Milton Campbell - I'm Tired

Little Milton - If Crying Would Help Me

Little Milton - Walking The Backstreets And Crying

Little Milton - Feel So Bad

Little Milton Campbell - Somebody's Changin' My Sweet Babys Mind

Little Milton - Blind Man

Little Milton - The Blues Is My Companion

Little Milton Campbell - Many Rivers To Cross

Little Milton - My Dog and Me


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Comments

Don't tell me this is some kind of strategy. I might have fallen for that 12 years ago, "ah but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now." (Bob Dylan)

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21 users have voted.

NYCVG

joe shikspack's picture

@NYCVG

that just about says it all about the value of voting for democrats. they don't believe that americans are worth paying a living wage. in other words, they think the poor should just go die quietly somewhere.

i hope satan is saving them a warm spot by the fire.

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16 users have voted.

@joe shikspack @joe shikspack

[Dylan](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92cF_KCH7TU)

https://youtu.be/92cF_KCH7TU
I give up.

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4 users have voted.

NYCVG

joe shikspack's picture

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...I have ever seen.

I'm trying to recall a more horrifying convergence of evil thinking in my lifetime.

Almost all of it is coming from the United State.

There is decency taking place elsewhere, such as China and Russia delivering free vaccines to smaller, poorer countries throughout the world. (We are on a race against mutations and variants that will render our vaccines useless — if poor countries are left to produce them without vaccines.)

But we hear nothing in the US about decency, or the real threats against life on this planet.

Just an observation. I see nothing good coming from discussion.

Because we have been made unthinking and helpless to stop the United States and its explosion of its evil across the world.

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23 users have voted.

"There will be no end to the troubles of States, or of Humanity itself, until Philosophers become Kings in this world — or until those we now call kings and rulers truly become Philosophers." — Plato
joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

it appears that the greedy behaviors are ultimately self-defeating. if the poor of the world become a giant mutation incubator, it will eventually backfire on wealthy countries. if the vaccine makers think that it will offer them more opportunities to profit from boosters and new vaccines, they may wind up killing off the mass market for their products.

we are both a fascinating and disgusting species.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@joe shikspack

...has been explaining the presence of so many ufo's, lately — in their new openness about such matters:

we are both a fascinating and disgusting species.

They clearly want no direct contact. Perhaps they want to see for themselves that there is no way we are ever leaving this solar system.

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10 users have voted.

"There will be no end to the troubles of States, or of Humanity itself, until Philosophers become Kings in this world — or until those we now call kings and rulers truly become Philosophers." — Plato
joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

don't blame them.

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5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@Pluto's Republic

“Capital does not participate where no profit can be made. Humanity is not quoted on the stock exchange.”

~~  Wilhelm Liebknecht

be well and have a good one

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8 users have voted.

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

ggersh's picture

https://www.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/lyinke/democratic_senator...

Stay safe everyone, have a great weekend!

EDIT: My guess is this might be why they need 25K troops to guard DC, YMMV

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Joementia says to protesters no looting, just peaceful protests or IOW's

"I can excuse extrajudical murder, but property damage is a step too far."

NO MORE WAR

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

wow, that sinema jerk really puts on a show.

yeah, a while ago i got some emails from the green party with some warnings about what was in hr. 1. back then it didn't look like it had a prayer of passing, so i put them to the side.

i'll have to see if i can dig them up .

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

...discussing domestic politics. It's a waste of everyone's time.

You will be wearing masks and fighting infections for the next six years.

The horror behind all of this is US Foreign Policy.

This is what will destroy your lives, and all life.

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17 users have voted.

"There will be no end to the troubles of States, or of Humanity itself, until Philosophers become Kings in this world — or until those we now call kings and rulers truly become Philosophers." — Plato

@Pluto's Republic of our members, (Sadly, I cannot recall who it was. Please speak up if you see this) Amazon delivered my copy of "The Ministry of Truth" yesterday.

I'm deep into it, holding the hefty book----543 pages--- every chance I get to read.

It says on the cover it is a novel but it is very scholarly andas I'm reading it,
I'm feeling it as non-fiction. That's how much documentation there is. It is set in the year 2041. Yeah, not that far away.

It is stunning. Convincing. frightening. sad. All at once.

Chin's up, I guess. We are still alive and breathing and who knows how long that will be for.

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NYCVG

shaharazade's picture

@NYCVG @NYCVG boycott Amazon. Dag you can get books from other scources and Amazon is the monkeys paw.

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joe shikspack's picture

@shaharazade

good to see you!

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shaharazade's picture

@joe shikspack love you Joe. Glad to be back. Hope i don't irratate everyone. Actually you guys could use another contrary pissed off voice. Thanks for your work. Hey Joe you rock.

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joe shikspack's picture

@shaharazade

re: contrary, pissed off voices - the more the merrier. Smile

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Creosote.'s picture

@NYCVG
Plenty of other vendors there for both new and used books, US and often UK sellers mostly.
Book conditions honestly described.

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Dawn's Meta's picture

@Creosote.

In 2005, BookFinder.com was acquired by AbeBooks,[5] which itself was purchased by Amazon.com on August 1, 2008.[6][7]

Alibris is from California and has a good presence in the UK. Blackwells is a UK source for new books as well.

Bonne chance.

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7 users have voted.

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

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

Creosote.'s picture

@Dawn's Meta
BF appeared to be such a good site -- but of course the connection is obvious when you see it loaded with 'deals' from A-monopoly.
Yet even Alibris has added a lot of unneeded complexity.
Pluto's Republic has made the true diagnosis in all of this.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic

You have dropped enough hints for it. Please soon.

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10 users have voted.

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

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

lately i've been thinking that we ought to start a campaign to rename the country, "the united states of dystopia." catchy and accurate, no?

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dystopian's picture

@joe shikspack If you can pull that off Joe, I got just the name for badge number 001. Wink

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10 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

@Pluto's Republic Wendy's essay tonight.

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9 users have voted.

NYCVG

Raggedy Ann's picture

Happy Friday! I hope you all enjoy the weekend in spite of our failing empire. I no longer fear death.

Enjoy the evening! Pleasantry

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The UFO’s are coming to unify us.

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

happy friday and have a great weekend!

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Kyrsten Sinema MOCKS Poor with Chocolate Cake and Thumbs Down Voting AGAINST $15 Minimum Wage

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joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

heh, now there's a person who needs to be primaried. her vote ought to be a gift to any democrat that wanted to challenge her.

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snoopydawg's picture

Why would anyone feel the need to do that knowing how much the vote hurt people is beyond comprehension.

She has fallen far since then hasn’t she?

AOC next year?

She's a walking advert for the corruption of the US political system, evidently, and she'll never live down such an act of petulant hubris

3BC465B6-C117-414F-B1C2-C50A66FD8C05.png

So 8 democrats had to vote against giving people a living wage instead of just enough to make sure it didn’t pass just to send a message from Biden, Schumer, Pelosi and every democrat in both houses.

Gawd awful woman!

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18 users have voted.

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

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

@snoopydawg both involved in Bernie Bashing from Biden.

One got to her goal---Sinema and one (apparently) didn't.

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15 users have voted.

NYCVG

snoopydawg's picture

@NYCVG

further.

Thanks.

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4 users have voted.

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

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

@snoopydawg a poison missile aimed at crimping Bernie's Budget Management.

She failed.

Krysten OTOH did a lot of damage to Bernie, all of us and herself. Success!

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4 users have voted.

NYCVG

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

heh, if i were to respond to sinema's gesture by raising my middle finger, would it be sexist of her to criticize me?

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snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Maybe we should ask John McCain?

Mosking

Last time. I just found it.

Speaking of oil leaks anyone know much about them?

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7 users have voted.

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

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

@snoopydawg

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snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

Yeah just like McCain doing it. Boy she’s getting it on the Twit.

She told a reporter that it’s misogynistic to question her act today just like it is for what women wear. Speak for yourself babe.

But HEY! Why is Harris talking to Bibi and not Biden? She has been talking to quite a few leaders by herself which shouts out that she is acting president. You see the Biden-Harris presidency a lot. I don’t remember a Obama-Biden presidency. Does anyone? Biden said that he would give a press conference by the end of March. Oh yippee ki-ai I cain't wait. Must be looking for a new combo of meds. Snicker.
Mosking

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14 users have voted.

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

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

shaharazade's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg Don't think Joe has jack shit to do with anything going down.He is like in the movie A Boy and His Dog. 'Get another Michael out of the warehouse and wipe the smile off his face' In other words a robot the powers that be installed. Politcs suck and are at this point totally absurd. Who believes any of this shit?

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joe shikspack's picture

aaron mate just dropped it a couple of hours after i put the eb to bed. i thought it was worth entering into the record:

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shaharazade's picture

@joe shikspack This guy is right. However flinging in Tulsi Gabberd is just absurd. I understand this dude but gimmie a break with the stupid political bs. Tulsi is freaking creepy she is a vet. Who paraded around in her camos and also is kinda creepy with her religious shit. So I'm leery about this. It's true. However it seems to be a Tulsi ad. Gimmie a break how stupid do you think we are. What a farce. Moral intergity my ass.

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@shaharazade

heh. in these times i guess it is just amazing any time that any political being evinces the appearance of morality. it's probably hard to resist holding it up and shining a light on it since it happens so infrequently.

aaron mate seems to be a genuinely decent guy who has an agenda and for a brief and shining moment i guess tulsi gabbard played into it.

it's up to us not to be fooled by any political creature who is temporarily acting right, including the related new creatures.

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shaharazade's picture

@joe shikspack Tulsi could be great.i I have no idea about any oolitcian these days. They all seem to be bent or weaseles. I votwd fo Byden to vote that fucker out. So now iI feel we got to vote this latest fucker out.

I do not understand the animosity here against AOC and The Squad Seems to me we should vote in more so called progressives.Then again I seem to be totally disolustioned with politics.

I'll always vote but expect it won't make a damn bit of difference. It's rigged in all ways.A duopoly indeed.

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6 users have voted.

@shaharazade And the rest of the Squad's record.

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joe shikspack's picture

@shaharazade

well, personally, i think that tulsi is a mixed bag. there are certainly things that i don't really like about her record and in general, i prefer that military people not hold political power.

on the other hand, she has been on the right side of a few important issues and she has the gumption to stand her ground when attacked for it. she is smart and can think on her feet - and i respect that.

as for aoc and the squad, i think that a lot of folks here are a bit disappointed in her and her comrades for failing to stand up to the party leadership and wield the power they have for the things that they ran on. i don't know if you caught it, but recently there was a big dust-up between a faction of progressives and aoc and the house progressives. the faction with the vocal leadership of jimmy dore and others was pushing aoc/squad to withhold their votes for nancy pelosi in her bid for the speakership in trade for getting medicare for all to the floor of the house for a vote. aoc demurred and there was bad blood with (in my view completely unjustified) accusations of "violence" and "misogyny" coming from aoc when she was pressed.

if you want to see the carnage, check out the hashtag #forcethevote on twitter.

i don't have any animus towards aoc or the squad, i generally think that it's good that they have been elected, even if they don't ever seem to accomplish much. they do get progressive ideas out there in front of the people and perhaps over time (hopefully before it's too late) they will reach a tipping point where they feel able to exercise their power for the people.

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joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

i think kyle should have started off with, "you had just one job, and you fucked it up!"

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Lookout's picture

Thanks for the blues and the news!

Caity suggests the issue is a lack of awareness.

A lack of awareness is the source of all our major problems, whether we’re talking about war, poverty, ecocide, corruption, exploitation, authoritarianism, prejudice, or even much smaller-scale problems like abusive family dynamics or the psychological suffering of the individual.

If there were sufficiently widespread and penetrating awareness of the contributing factors in any of these problems, these problems would cease to exist. All you’d have left would be the odd natural disaster and the inevitability of sickness and death, which would also become far less problematic with the introduction of more awareness.

I tend to think it is the propaganda machine poisoning peoples minds, but what do I know...
I also like Caity's notes from the edge of the narrative matrix...
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/03/03/imperialism-is-capitalisms-life-...

Hope you all have a great weekend!

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11 users have voted.

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

dystopian's picture

@Lookout why they took the education out of school, the PTB see it is a feature not a bug.

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7 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

snoopydawg's picture

@dystopian

10932623-E2EC-47D2-8146-F2A6943493CB.jpeg
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14 users have voted.

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

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

joe shikspack's picture

@Lookout

caity's probably right about that, but to adapt an observation from upton sinclair, it's difficult for that awareness to penetrate when so many people's sense of satisfaction, stability and comfort depend upon that awareness not penetrating.

have a great weekend!

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Creosote.'s picture

@joe shikspack
closely followed, running in parallel with, or surrounded by conformity.

Opposite subject: I want to ask if people have heard from gulfgal. I haven't been reading the site as closely as I could and hope she is doing well.

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There is wall to wall coverage of this coup yet when something similar occurred in Bolivia it was met with plaudits from the US, OAS and the EU.

BTW there are regional elections in Bolivia this weekend.

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joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

i call it selective humanitarianism.

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dystopian's picture

Hi Joe, and all! Hope all are well!

Little Milton was a great player, and singer. The perfect note, every time. Great vibrato.

Birds, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians, all collapsing before our eyes. Canaries in the coal mine, right out in the open, easy to see, study and count. I have been involved in bio surveys for half a century. Like all that have, the free-fall of collapse is obvious.

Hard to believe that as a teen one day in San Pedro (e.g. Los Angeles) I saw many tens of thousands of Monarchs covering a dozen Eucalyptus trees at Pt. Fermin Park. And there are not that many left now. Of the Western Monarch of course, as far as we know.

Hope it's all good! Play it safe!

Thanks for the great sounds Joe!

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13 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

joe shikspack's picture

@dystopian

if you like little milton's guitar playing, keep an eye out for the early records he did on a st. louis label, bobbin records. there's some really great guitar playing on some of those sides.

the decline in monarchs on the east coast is pretty dramatic, too. a few years ago was the worst when i only saw on individual all summer. the numbers have risen into the low double digits here in the past couple of years, but that is miniscule compared to what we used to see a even a couple of decades ago.

have a good weekend!

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Azazello's picture

Arizona's own Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is in the news of late.
The first thing to know about the Senator is how to pronounce her name.
It is not KER-sten, where the first syllable rhymes with her,
but rather KEER-sten, where the first syllable is sounded as here or deer.
True, she is the very bluest of blue-dogs, a full-on right-winger, BUT, according to her Wikipedia,

Sinema is the first openly bisexual and the second openly LGBT woman (after Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin) to be elected to the House of Representatives and to the Senate in 2013 and 2019, respectively.[2] She also was the first woman elected to the Senate from Arizona

So there's that.
The CIA is woke.

From Ghion Journal: “White Privilege” and “Black Lives Matter”: Examples of How Black Activism Failed
Have a nice weekend.

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It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

heh, yep, keeerstin worked really hard to get into the news, i guess. with that chocolate let-them-eat-cake she brought to the senate and then the weird coquettish curtsy-thumbs down move.

i think she was just jealous of all the attention that joe manchin was getting.

hey, you wanna run for senate? Smile

have a great weekend!

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snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

The bootlickers stopped long enough to notice her bringing in the cake before she voted against the peasants, but it was for her staff not to send any message.

The Smeera/Herheinous saga explained.

But it does demonstrate that the incestuous Clinton branch of the Democratic Party has lost virtually all respect among people who are actually in office.

The battle would no longer be between progressives and Clinton, et al., but rather between progressives and the Obama-Biden coalition if it weren’t for one person: West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin.

Regardless of a worst case scenario, Manchin is still a political liability for Biden. According to data from FiveThirtyEight, Manchin supported President Trump’s agenda most out of all sitting Democratic Senators who served during that period. He supported Trump’s immigration agenda, which Biden stands in stark contrast to, and voted to confirm most of his cabinet and judicial appointees.

He’s just an obscure centrist with no serious political outlook at all.

So this is the guy who’s apparently more powerful than the president of the United States, a deeply unpopular middle-of-the-road Washington ghoul who is also a member of the president’s party but apparently shares little in common. This is the outcome of Neera Tanden’s failed nomination.

Yes, she’s awful and shouldn’t have that position. Yes, people should dunk on her on Twitter over this, because she definitely deserves it. But it just shows how much undeserved power Joe Manchin has in the current composition of the Senate.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/517232-biden-democrats-tanden-manchin/

I wonder how much of that is true? Surly there is someone who has more power than the Manch? Or is he also admitting that McConnell had more power than Obama?

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9 users have voted.

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

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

there are plenty of people who have at least just as much power as manchin. it's just that manchin is the only one of them willing to use the power.

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snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Manchin’s the only one who has gotten permission to be the McConnell this term. Bernie of course could say hell no he won’t vote for it unless wages are raised. Warren. Hell wouldn’t it be funny if Harris decided that her presidency wasn’t going to start off with screwing the peasants? Yeah I’m high. But there has got to be someone who can put him in line? He has more power than Schumer? Biden? Okay scratch him. It’d be Harris.

Look at who grew up.

31FD5E4C-09E9-4673-B627-3B5FA0BDA54A.jpeg

Sam is a gawky teenager who might have just skipped the terrible twosomes. So far at least she has. But it’s hard to believe that just 2 months ago she was just a bundle of fur. Yesterday she got to look at cars with me.

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10 users have voted.

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

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

that sam looks like a fine companion, deserving of a scritch. Smile

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enhydra lutris's picture

great tunes. Thanks. Thanks for the news too, I guess.

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 --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

have a great weekend!

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enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack @joe shikspack

I forgot to report, left delt, where injection was, got seriously sore, but that is so far the only side effect of the second covid shot 16 hours later. My wife and I may be a bit more tired than normal, but we've really been pushing it the past two weeks, so that is not conclusive.

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9 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

one of the kids had some soreness from the first shot and was pretty wiped out the evening of his second shot, low-grade fever and mild discomfort which passed by morning. my daughter had no side effects from the first shot, still waiting for the second one.

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say we all gang up in the courtroom as though nothing is going on, virus-wise. Every Judge around the state can decide what they want, like masks, distance, or zoom. Anyone can show good cause why they should zoom in, except jurors. Jurors, the most innocent and non-involved people in the process, must show up.
I just got that memo late this afternoon.
I will come up with good cause to zoom in. Should be a doozy. Like, I am not suicidal, etc...
Hope everyone is ok, and enjoying the music joe brung us!

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9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

wow, that's bad news for jurors!

every jury room that i've been in has been small and not all that well ventilated. the jury rooms in the courthouse in downtown baltimore are older and have windows at least. the jury rooms in my county are claustrophobic and have no windows.

glad i'm not in texas!

i hope that you're able to work out satisfactory arrangements.

have a great weekend!

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6 users have voted.

@joe shikspack that this, but they are R's.
Take good care of you and yours, Mister.
I shall do the same here.

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snoopydawg's picture

The noive of him to post that after today’s vote.

But then Biden’s not involved. It’s going to be fun to watch how long Biden can go before he does a press conference. Democrats are making sure that people know that if Biden croaks suddenly Kamala is ready and WILLING of course to step up and into the oval.

I’m trying to get a pool going on how long Biden will be president. Should I do an essay for it? I think it’d be fun.

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11 users have voted.

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

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

@snoopydawg hi, that's my bet on the dead pool. Reagan served two brain-dead terms, why not Biden? The miracles of modern medicine still apply to some humanoids.

I uploaded this here when I was still unable to suspend my disbelief. Now I can use it to illustrate my grouchy thoughts, continuing on. Thank you.

joekamala.jpg
President Christopher Pike

I'm pretty sure it was you in the comments wayback that day I wrote "Run Joe Run!", thinking how hysterical his campaign would be. And it was, until the end. FUCK

Eternal clinton pandemic continuity disaster crisis criminal murder fraud etc., too much winning. Disease of the body politic. Good luck.

Peace and Love

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6 users have voted.

I've got a question for all about the Commondreams "Stop nickel and diming.." article above where it is stated:

"This is madness. People are struggling and we're fighting over how many people we want to EXCLUDE from the relief checks," Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), vice chair at large of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), wrote in a fiery Twitter thread on Thursday. "What about the family with several kids who made $160k but lost their job in 2020? Or the person who made 80k pre-pandemic but lives in a high-cost-of-living state like NJ or NY? We're going to cut them out?"

For a loong time, we've known that the IRS could do our taxes for us and send a bill or refund, especially for us "little" people. *But*, thanks to lobbying from Turbotax and others we have to waste time and money doing it ourselves. So if the IRS has the info, they could means test and base the stimulus amount on 2020 earnings instead of 2019. I'm of course not for means testing anyone except the filthy rich, but am I missing something here?

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joe shikspack's picture

@peachcreek

i think that it's mostly a matter of time, though i see that with all of the democrat footdragging the difference becomes smaller.

if we have to wait for the irs to process people's 2020 taxes, that means that a lot of people won't get their check until the summer - and of course the checks were needed months ago.

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