The Evening Blues - 10-25-21


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Lil Green

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues singer Lil Green. Enjoy!

Lil Green - Why Don't You Do Right

"The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion […] but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact; non-Westerners never do."

-- Samuel P. Huntington

News and Opinion

Cool “Afghanistan Withdrawal”, Bro

The US government is reportedly close to securing a deal with Pakistan that will ensure its ability to continue military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan, the nation where the Biden administration proudly “ended” a decades-long war.

“The Biden administration has told lawmakers that the US is nearing a formalized agreement with Pakistan for use of its airspace to conduct military and intelligence operations in Afghanistan, according to three sources familiar with the details of a classified briefing with members of Congress that took place on Friday morning,” reads a new report from CNN.

“The briefing comes as the White House is still trying to ensure that it can carry out counterterrorism operations against ISIS-K and other adversaries in Afghanistan now that there is no longer a US presence on the ground for the first time in two decades after the NATO withdrawal from the country,” the report reads.

So as has been obvious for months the US empire will still be retaining military control over a key geostrategic region adjacent to Iran and China, will still be enriching the military-industrial complex by raining explosives upon human beings on Afghan soil, and will still be continuing George W Bush’s “war on terror” scam. It just won’t come with the bad cosmetics of maintaining a ground troop presence.

After all the Biden administration’s proud self-fellating fanfare for “ending” this war, it turns out it was nothing more than a slight formatting adjustment.

Cool withdrawal, bro.

As we discussed after Biden took office, this is the modern model of US warfare; a de-emphasis on Bush-era Hulk Smash ground invasions in favor of drone warfare, missile strikes, starvation sanctions, proxy wars, staged coups, special ops, and cold war maneuverings. Constant footage of flag-draped coffins coming home during Bush’s wars caused a PR nightmare for the empire from which it still hasn’t fully recovered, but technological and strategic advancements has made such bad publicity largely a thing of the past. Troops deployed overseas are now far more likely to die by their own hand than by combat.

The goal of the empire is to be able to topple governments and dominate the globe without incurring a negative perception among the inhabitants of the US and its client states. It has been doing this with a combination of (A) shifting to more “light touch” interventionism which doesn’t garner as much negative attention as full-scale ground invasions and (B) a global perception management campaign of historically unprecedented scale and sophistication.

Ideally the imperialists want to be able to dominate the planet with economic sanctions and the occasional strategic drone strike combined with mass-scale psychological manipulation. It is not a coincidence that nations where they are unable to do these things at will are the nations we are most aggressively propagandized against.

The empire isn’t getting less tyrannical, it’s just getting better at public relations. The need for critical thinking and alternative perspectives has never been higher.

Time RUNNING OUT On Iran Nuclear Deal Agreement, Is Biden Admin INTENTIONALLY Dragging Its Feet?

US wants to help Taiwan participate ‘meaningfully’ in UN, as China prepares to mark key anniversary

Taiwanese and US officials have discussed how Taiwan can “meaningfully” participate at the United Nations just days before Chinese president Xi Jinping will give a speech to mark his country’s half century since accession to the global body.

Taiwan, using its formal name the Republic of China, held the Chinese seat at the UN until 25 October 1971, when it was voted out as representative of the country in favour of the People’s Republic of China, whose communist forces had won a civil war in 1949 and forced the republican government to flee to the island.

China says that Taiwan is one of its provinces, and so it has the sole right to represent Taiwan internationally. The democratically elected government in Taipei says only it has that right. In a statement late on Saturday, the US state department said US and Taiwanese officials had met virtually on Friday for a “discussion focused on supporting Taiwan’s ability to participate meaningfully at the UN”.

“US participants reiterated the US commitment to Taiwan’s meaningful participation at the World Health Organization and UN framework convention on climate change and discussed ways to highlight Taiwan’s ability to contribute to efforts on a wide range of issues,” it added. ...

On Sunday, China’s defence ministry said it had conducted its first joint patrols with Russian warships in the western Pacific. It said the exercise aimed to “further develop the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership in the new era, enhance the joint action capabilities of both parties and jointly maintain international and regional strategic stability”.

Free Julian Assange: Snowden, Varoufakis, Corbyn & Tariq Ali Speak Out Ahead of Extradition Hearing

Chief Justice of England & Wales, Who Blocked Lauri Love Extradition, Joins Bench for Assange Hearing

Ian Duncan Burnett, the most powerful judge in England and Wales, will join Lord Justice Timothy Holroyde on the bench next week for the two-day U.S. appeal in the extradition case of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange at the High Court in London, according to a spokesman at the Royal Courts of Justice.

Burnett, known as Baron Burnett of Maldon, was the High Court justice who on humanitarian grounds overturned a lower court ruling that British activist Lauri Love should be extradited to the United States. Burnett ruled in February 2018 that Love’s extradition would be “oppressive by reason of his physical and mental condition.” Burnett and Mr. Justice Duncan Ouseley said in their decision that, “We accept that the evidence shows that the fact of extradition would bring on severe depression, and that Mr. Love would probably be determined to commit suicide, here or in America.” ...

Holroyde is the High Court judge who on Aug. 11 reversed an earlier High Court order limiting the U.S. from appealing Assange’s medical issues. Holroyde was originally to sit with Dame Judith Farbey, according to the Ministry of Justice.

Israel Condemned for Designating Palestinian Human Rights Groups 'Terrorist Organizations'

Progressives on Friday denounced Israel for classifying six Palestinian human rights groups as "terrorist organizations," a move that effectively criminalizes them.

The six groups, most of which document human rights violations by Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), are Addameer, AlHaq, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International—Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees. ...

The well-known human rights groups "have received funding from E.U. member states, the United Nations, and other donors," The Guardian noted.

In response to Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz's decision, Diala Shamas, an attorney at the U.S.-based Center for Constitutional Rights, said that "after years of unsuccessful efforts to persuade, or bully, European and U.S. donors and allies to defund and discredit Palestinian human rights defenders, the Israeli government [gave] up and just criminalized them under Israeli law."

"This appalling and unjust decision is an attack by the Israeli government on the international human rights movement," Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said in a joint statement. "How the international community responds will be a true test of its resolve to protect human rights defenders. We are proud to work with our Palestinian partners and have been doing so for decades. They represent the best of global civil society. We stand with them in challenging this outrageous decision."

DETAILS: Bernie, Manchin's TENSE Standoff On Budget Bill

Pelosi ‘very confident’ Democrats will reach deal to salvage Biden agenda

House speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed confidence on Sunday that a deal between Democrats to salvage Joe Biden’s ambitious social agenda was “pretty much there”, paving the way for a possible vote in Congress later this week. Her upbeat words came as the president was meeting in Delaware with the Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer and Democratic holdout Joe Manchin to put the finishing touches on what has become a scaled-back package central to Biden’s Build Back Better initiative.

Manchin, of West Virginia, was one of two moderate Senate Democrats, along with Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, resisting the original $3.5tn cost of the social spending bill. Manchin had indicated he would be more comfortable with something closer to $1.5tn, and raised objections over Biden’s flagship clean power plan (CPP) that would have imposed emission controls on power companies.

“We will have something that will meet the president’s goals, I feel very confident about that,” Pelosi said on CNN’s State of the Union. “We’re almost certain [we have a deal], it’s just the language of it. It will not offend, shall we say, the concern that Senator Manchin had about the CPP. The point is to reach your goals, and the president’s goals of reaching the emissions, the pollution and all the rest … there are other ways to reach the goal.”

‘We need him to deliver’: Biden faces wrath of disappointed supporters

When Joe Biden huddled with a group of historians in March, the conversation revolved around thinking big like one of his predecessors, Franklin Roosevelt, architect of the New Deal. Biden, it seemed, wanted to join him in the first rank of transformational US presidents. Six months later, a very different gathering took place this week outside the White House gates. Five young climate activists, holding signs and sitting on folding chairs, began an indefinite hunger strike. It was a visceral expression of disgust at what they see as Biden’s willingness to think small and break his promises.

“Young people turned out in record numbers to elect him on his climate commitments,” said Nikayla Jefferson, 24, an activist helping the quietly determined hunger strikers on the edge of Lafayette Park. “But over this past month he’s almost given up. He’s not being a leader in this moment in the way that we need him to deliver.” A growing sense of betrayal is shared by campaigners for everything from gun rights to immigration reform, from racial justice to voting rights, who saw Democrats’ governing majority as a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Instead party infighting has put Biden’s agenda in jeopardy and could result in voter disillusionment in next year’s midterm elections.

The 46th president came into office promising to attack four crises – coronavirus, climate, economy and racial justice – but has seen his approval rating sink to 42% after colliding with some harsh political and economic realities. These include tepid jobs growth, labour strikes, rising inflation and petrol prices, logjams in the global supply chain, a record number of arrests at the US-Mexico border and a botched withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan that raised unexpected questions about his competence. ...

With his legislative agenda in limbo if not peril, Biden was this week forced to step in, host both factions at the White House and take a more aggressive role. This gave some Democrats fresh hope of a breakthrough but indicated that he will pare down the $3.5tn package in favor of a more modest proposal, threatening a clean electricity programme that was the centerpiece of his climate strategy. It also underlined concerns that Biden is yielding to corporate interests on fossil fuels, prescription drug prices and tax increases. Critics say he has become so consumed with the grind of policy sausage-making that he has lost sight of big picture issues dear to his supporters.

'It's Not Coming Out': Bernie Sanders Stands Firm on Medicare Expansion

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Saturday was quick to push back on reporting that two of the most popular provisions in President Joe Biden's Build Back Better plan—an expansion of Medicare benefits and guaranteed paid family leave—are poised to be dropped from the proposal due to objections from right-wing Democrats.

"It's not coming out," Sanders said of a measure that would expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing, and vision care for tens of millions of older Americans—a proposal he has pushed for years and which is supported by 84% of Americans including nearly nine in 10 Democratic voters.

Democratic Leaders Are Betting Progressives Will Fold

Over the past few days, Democrats dropped a pair of brutal news dumps indicating they intend to fully gut many of the progressive elements in President Joe Biden’s health care, climate, and anti-poverty reconciliation spending bill. Now, it’s up to progressive lawmakers to ensure the final Biden agenda bill doesn’t end up a hollowed-out shell that won’t meaningfully help anyone. Late on Friday, Politico reported that “Congressional Democrats are watering down — and may entirely drop — a plan to have the government directly negotiate some Medicare drug prices in order to help clinch a deal on their sweeping social spending package.” Yes, you read that right: In order to secure a deal with their own pharma-bankrolled party members, Democratic leaders are now insisting they need to water down or kill the drug pricing provisions that survey data show voters most want, and that the party has been promising those voters for 15 years.

Politico further reported on Saturday that Democrats may also axe their plan to add dental, hearing, and vision benefits to Medicare, and may fully eliminate their already watered-down proposal to guarantee U.S. workers have paid family and medical leave. The news follows reports that the Biden White House is ready to remove its clean electricity program from the reconciliation package in order to appease Democrats’ coal baron senator, Joe Manchin of West Virginia. None of these developments should come as a surprise — thanks to all the leeway progressives have provided to their conservative Democratic colleagues and their corporate masters. ...

Last month ... the Washington Post described the “five planks of the CPC’s economic priorities — which are climate, housing, expanding health-care access, lowering drug prices and immigration.” The CPC Whip, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, similarly said in July: “We’ve said, you know, we’ve got the five priorities — investing in the care economy, addressing the climate crisis, obviously addressing things like immigration and expanding health care so that more people are covered.” None of those statements tells anyone a whole lot. And when you drill into the actual details of the CPC’s economic priorities, as noted in caucus materials, and compare it to the news coming out of Washington, their promised agenda appears to be very much on the chopping block.

Nevertheless, last week, Jayapal heaped praise on Biden after a recent White House meeting. “The president is the inspirer, he is the closer, he is the convincer, the mediator in chief,” she said, adding: “He really is doing a phenomenal job.” While corporate Democrats have successfully whittled the reconciliation bill down from a topline number of $6 trillion down to $4 trillion, then to $3.5 trillion, and all the way down to $2 trillion, Jayapal has remained confident that her caucus’ priorities would make it into the final reconciliation bill. Just a few days ago, Jayapal told NPR she was “really proud that our five priorities are largely going to stay in here.” ... When all of these developments are taken together, the reality becomes clear. Democratic leaders clearly expect progressives to once again fold without a peep when they inevitably cast a gutted reconciliation bill as the only realistic measure they are able to pass.

Rep. Ro Khanna Slams Conservative Democrats for Holding Back Build Back Better Plan

West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

West Virginians were joined by economists and economic justice campaigners at a virtual press conference hosted by the Poor People's Campaign on Friday where they condemned Sen. Joe Manchin's refusal to back the Democratic Party's far-reaching Build Back Better Act, pointing out how people across his home state stand to benefit from the legislation—and suffer if the senator succeeds in tanking the proposal.

While President Joe Biden and the majority of Democrats in Congress—as well as voters across the country—aim to pass a $3.5 trillion 10-year investment including a long-term extension of the child tax credit that's sent hundreds of dollars per month to families with children, tuition-free community college, universal pre-kindergarten, and other social supports, Manchin has proposed a smaller package that the Poor People's Campaign said will offer a fraction of the help to West Virginians that's included in Biden's plan.

The Poor People's Campaign decried "the immorality of Manchin’s proposal, which hurts the same people that the Biden plan helps." ...

Kaylen Marie Barker, a West Virginian who has experienced generational poverty despite having a master's degree, also spoke at the press conference about tuition-free community college, which the president said Thursday night had been dropped from the proposal after Manchin "and one other person" in the Senate said they would not support it.

"Investment in higher education like free community college would be invaluable to the people in West Virginia," said Barker. "We have nine community colleges across the state that would empower workers to provide better for their families and surrounding communities."

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," she added. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Supreme Court Leaves Texas Abortion Ban in Place

Although the U.S. Supreme Court once again refused to block a restrictive Texas abortion ban on Friday, the justices agreed to hear arguments against the recently enacted law on an accelerated timeline—a development welcomed by defenders of reproductive rights.

The high court is now set to hear a pair of challenges to the Lone Star State's Senate Bill 8—United States v. Texas, filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, and Whole Woman's Health v. Jackson, filed by healthcare providers and abortion funds—on November 1.

Supreme Court doubles down to shield abusive police officers from misconduct lawsuits

In 1871, the Reconstruction Congress enacted, and President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law, Title 42 of the United States Code, Section 1983, known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, to enforce the due-process and equal-protection guarantees embodied in the recently ratified Fourteenth Amendment, which for the first time extended federally guaranteed rights to all people within the jurisdiction of a state. On Monday, October 18, the Supreme Court issued unsigned unanimous orders summarily dismissing two Section 1983 police brutality suits that had been deemed worthy of trial in the Court of Appeals. These rulings demonstrate that all of the justices on the current Supreme Court support the judge-made doctrine of “qualified immunity” that shields local law enforcement officers from facing trials on all but the most egregious excessive force and other misconduct claims.

Section 1983 of the Federal Civil Rights Act, in two unambiguous sentences, provides that any person acting pursuant to local governmental authority who deprives another person of a constitutional right can be sued in federal court for money damages. Police officers who use excessive force violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable seizures, thus triggering Section 1983 liability. The Seventh Amendment, a provision of the 1791 Bill of Rights, guarantees the “the right of trial by jury shall be preserved” for civil lawsuits in federal court.

In short, reading Section 1983 and the Seventh Amendment together dictates that any person who alleges a constitutional injury such as excessive force caused by a public officer is entitled by the Bill of Rights to present that case to a jury made up of members from the community. However, in a series of decisions over the last sixty years the Supreme Court has manufactured a doctrine labeled “qualified immunity,” fashioning a Catch-22 that allows reactionary pro-government judges from the trial court level to the Supreme Court itself to arbitrarily toss cases before they can be presented to a jury.

There is nothing in the text of Section 1983 or the Bill of Rights that supports qualified immunity. To the contrary, blocking access to juries violates the Seventh Amendment. ...

There is a direct link behind the perpetuation and expansion of qualified immunity in the Supreme Court and the persistence of brazen police misconduct that has been documented time and again on video recordings.

‘Striketober’ is showing workers’ rising power – but will it lead to lasting change?

US labor unions have been on the defensive for decades but this October there has been a surprising burst of worker militancy and strikes as workers have gone on the offensive to demand more. Experts are predicting more actions to come but whether “Striketober” can lead to permanent change remains an open question. ...

Many frontline workers – after working so hard and risking their lives during the pandemic – say they deserve substantial raises along with lots of gratitude. With this in mind and with myriad employers complaining of a labor shortage, many workers believe it’s an opportune time to demand more and go on strike. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a strongly pro-union president in the White House and there’s more public support for unions than in decades.

But some corporations are acting as if nothing has changed and they can continue corporate America’s decades-long practice of squeezing workers and demanding concessions, even after corporate profits have soared. ...

Robert Bruno, a labor relations professor at the University of Illinois, said workers have built up a lot of grievances and anger during the pandemic, after years of seeing scant improvement in pay and benefits. Bruno pointed to a big reason for the growing worker frustration: “You can definitely see that American capitalism has reigned supreme over workers, and as a result, the incentive for companies is to continue to do what’s been working for them. It’s likely that an arrogance sets in where companies think that’s going to last for ever, and maybe they don’t read the times properly.”

the horse race

Democrats Already Blame Russia For 2022 Losses!

the evening greens

Lethal ‘forever chemicals’ taint our food, water and even blood. The EPA is stalling

This week the EPA announced a new roadmap to research, restrict, and remediate PFAS – a group of industrial “forever chemicals” that have been linked to cancer and are found in our food, water, and even our blood. President Biden is requesting $10bn in the infrastructure bill to address PFAS. But this new attention still falls short of what’s required to confront an unprecedented crisis that affects the health of the entire United States and countless people across the world.

Today, toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are everywhere we’ve thought to look for them. As engineered, these synthetic chemicals glide through air and water with ease, evade all natural processes of decay, and inflict debilitating injuries even at exceedingly low levels of exposure. The petrochemical industry has its fingerprints all over the ubiquity of PFAS, yet that very ubiquity is now being used as an excuse against doing anything about it. PFAS are becoming too toxic to fail.

The EPA’s hyped national PFAS testing strategy bemoans how “impossible” it is for the EPA “to expeditiously understand, let alone address, the risks these substances may pose to human health and the environment.” Overwhelmed by rampant PFAS contamination, the EPA is asking the petrochemical industry to study these chemicals one by one in the hopes of eventually building enough data to regulate them. Yes, one by one. The timeline proposed will take another century (or two) to make its way through the entire family of PFAS, which now number in the thousands.

The manifold ways that PFAS makes a mockery of our regulation of toxins cannot be the end of our ability to prosecute petrochemical malfeasance. Rather, this should be the start to fixing everything that went wrong. The companies behind PFAS knew about its toxicity for decades, but that knowledge was hidden in corporate archives and subject to shamefully lax government oversight. ...

And now American Chemistry Council lobbyists and defense attorneys for the petrochemical industry are hard at work nominating PFAS contamination to the welcoming committee of a brave new world of total contamination. It’s a planetary future they cast as inevitable, surprisingly democratic, and without any liable author. According to their victim-blaming PR campaign, anyone who has worn a Gore-Tex rain jacket or thrown away a McDonalds wrapper is just as guilty as the companies that illegally hid the toxicity of PFAS while spewing millions of pounds of this poison into our lives.

'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

In what wildlife defenders called "the biggest news so far for wolf protection in the United States in 2021," a Wisconsin court on Friday sided with conservation groups and canceled this year's wolf trophy hunt season just 15 days before it was set to begin.

In an oral bench ruling expected to be appealed, Dane County Circuit Judge Jacob Frost issued a temporary injunction halting the hunting season—which would have started on November 6—by reducing a 300-wolf kill quota to zero until the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) complies with its own rules, Wisconsin Public Radio reports.

"I'm not overruling the wolf hunt law. In fact, I'm saying it has to be enforced as it was written and intended," Frost explained, adding that DNR "is currently not following the law" or the state constitution.

"[DNR's] decisions are built on a faulty basis, meaning they can't stand, either," the judge added. "DNR needs to stop it. They need to actually comply with the law."

Paul Collins, Wisconsin state director for Animal Wellness Action, said in a statement that "the court brought sanity and balance to the wolf debate in Wisconsin by requiring DNR to follow the constitution and stop taking unlawful actions related to wolf management, including its reckless approach to the planned November wolf hunt."

"Zealots hell-bent on eliminating wolves invited this legal action," he added.

Michelle Lute, who has a doctorate in wolf management and is the national carnivore conservation manager for the advocacy group Project Coyote, said that "we are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy."

"The DNR violated the constitution and... the wolf slaughter scheduled to start in November would result in catastrophic and irreparable harm," she added.

Last month, Ojibwe tribes and environmental groups sued Wisconsin seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the state from holding November's hunt.

According to the Associated Press:

Among other things, the coalition argued that the season is illegal because the Department of Natural Resources hasn't updated its regulations setting up season parameters and has been relying on an emergency rule put in place shortly after then-Gov. Scott Walker signed a law in 2012 authorizing annual seasons.

Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa President John Johnson explained in a court declaration that "the Ojibwe that hunt, fish, and gather; we take and give back. We are supposed to be looking out for the next seven generations."

"I try to do that by teaching my grandsons to just take what they need to survive," he added. "When we know it is wrong to hunt, we do not hunt. We take a step back and assess the damage. We determine how we can help so we can have the animals, the plants, the fish, for our future."

Last month, organizations representing nearly 200 tribes signed a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland urging her to restore Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections to wolves nationwide, a move the groups said would "allow for the Biden administration to not only show its commitment to Indian Country, but [also] correct a wrong birthed by the previous administration."

During the final weeks of the Trump administration in January, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted gray wolves from the ESA after 45 years of protection, despite warnings from Indigenous leaders and other conservation experts. According to a July study, Wisconsin lost as much as a third of its gray wolf population following the move.

"The delisting of the gray wolf without tribal consultation is a stain that we are certain you don't want to preserve under your leadership," the groups wrote to Haaland.

Gussie Lord, an attorney at EarthJustice—which represents tribal nations in separate legal challenge set to be argued in federal court next week—said in a statement Friday that while "we applaud today's well-crafted decision... we also understand that it may not be the last word on this issue in the Wisconsin court system."

“We intend to pursue every opportunity to protect the Ojibwe tribes and the Wisconsin wolf population," she added.

Climate change: Italian beekeepers' heavy losses in Sicily

Powerful storm hits California amid warnings of ‘potentially historic rain’

A powerful storm has roared ashore in California, flooding highways, toppling trees and causing mud flows in areas burned bare by recent fires.

After months of drought, the darkened clouds collecting over the state this weekend were a welcome sight to some. But rather than the much-needed drizzle residents and officials hoped could end a disastrous fire season and dampen dried landscapes, the state got a deluge. Some areas are forecast to see more than 10in (25cm) of rain and thousands across the state have lost power. ...

Drenching rain and strong winds accompanied the arrival of an “atmospheric river” – a long and wide plume of moisture pulled in from the Pacific Ocean that was predicted to move south over the next few days. The weather service’s Sacramento office warned of “potentially historic rain”.

Forecasters predict the record-breaking rainfall and strong winds will continue into Tuesday, wreaking havoc across the northern part of the state, especially in areas close to where fires burned over the last two years.

Also of Interest

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

Michigan state officials continue cover-up and whitewashing of three-year lead water contamination crisis in Benton Harbor

We Are Ruled By Apes With PR Firms: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Israel Resumes Practicing Attacks on Iran

How Biden's Too-Clever-By-Half Iran Strategy Failed

Russia Will Allow Israel to Attack Syria With Impunity

Half a Million South Korean Workers Walk Off Jobs in General Strike

The Fed Is Subsidizing the Money Market Funds Operated by Larry Fink’s BlackRock as BlackRock Manages a Big Part of Jerome Powell’s Wealth

Fed BANS Stock Trading, CONGRESS Should Be Next

Welcome to the Emergency Room. A Wall Street Honcho Will Decide Your Treatment.

Self-Proclaimed Pro-Climate Corporations Have Been Giving Thousands to Manchin and Sinema

TV Reports on Manchin and Sinema Leave Out Their Financial Conflicts

How Manchin Just Positioned China to Dominate Green Energy in the 21st Century

Biden in No Position to Lecture World on Global Warming

‘Finally doing right’: Democrats’ big bill offers Sanders chance to deliver

Unhappy with prices, ranchers look to build own meat plants

INFLATION Fuels Biden COLLAPSE As Plurality Fear Recession

Krystal Ball: "Modern day Sharecroppers" Shortages SPREAD As Port Truckers FORCED to Work for Free

Obama Fundraising To Ruin Chicago

A Little Night Music

Lil Green - 99 Blues

Lil Green - Let's Be Friends

Lil Green - Knockin' Myself Out

Lil Green - My Mellow Man

Lil Green - Cherry Tree Blues

Lil Green - No Baby, Nobody But You

Lil Green - Keep Your Hand On Your Heart

Lil Green I Gotta Have It

Lil Green - Romance In The Dark

16 users have voted.


Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Saturday that the expansion of Medicare to include dental, hearing and vision coverage is staying in the human infrastructure bill despite doubts from President Biden.

Biden said Thursday during a CNN town hall that it would be a “reach” for the spending bill to include the Medicare expansion due to opposition from moderate Democrats Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Krysten Sinema (Ariz.).

Washington — President Biden met with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin in Delaware on Sunday as Democrats look to broker an agreement on the president's social spending plan, a person familiar with the gathering confirmed to CBS News.

A White House official said Mr. Biden hosted the two at his home for breakfast. Asked Monday about the discussion with Manchin, the president told reporters that there are "some things to work out but it went well," and said he hopes to have a deal on the sweeping package before he leaves for Europe on Thursday for summits in Rome and Glasgow, Scotland.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Monday shut down one of Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders's (I-Vt.) biggest priorities, expanding Medicare, which Manchin warned would undermine the solvency of the broader program.

Sanders insisted in a tweet Saturday that his proposal to expand Medicare to cover dental, hearing and vision must be included in a budget reconciliation package that is likely to come in well below the $3.5 trillion price tag Democratic leaders initially envisioned.

But Manchin on Monday threw cold water on Sanders’s push to expand Medicare, warning the program faces insolvency in 2026.

It seems quite obvious to me who Biden is backing.

Edited to add:

Biden is behind the closed door.

13 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


it looks like the setup that i've been expecting all along. there's a lot of pressure to get "something" done, especially on climate before biden trots off to glasgow. the bill is or will be completely hollowed out before the vote, with none of the progressive priorities really met and perhaps there will be a figleaf "agreement" on addressing climate in a bill to be written later (which manchin will also probably sink) - and progressives will be pressured to pass it and pretend that it does something useful.

i wonder if bernie has enough piss and vinegar left in him to put his foot down.

13 users have voted.

@joe shikspack Now if he will follow through?

Tweets from Bernie and his chief of staff.

11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


if bernie can stand up to his good friend joementia. it looks like at this point if bernie wants to get anything worth a damn, he's going to have to play the long game - kill both bills and organize especially in west virginia and arizona.

10 users have voted.

@joe shikspack Bernie seems to be irreparably hobbled.

Time to look to ourselves for how to navigate what comes next.

3 users have voted.


dystopian's picture

Hi Joe, Hi all!

I think it is backwards that you get to sell something toxic until I prove it is. I think you should have to prove your shat non-toxic before you sell it and fill us with it. The sugar/tobacco/chemical not to mention BigPharma industry models show the obvious failure of the money first method. I think we should be able to sue BigChem for putting this shat in our bodies. They trespassed violating my personal space and sanctity. They polluted me with toxic waste, endocrin disrupters, etc. ad. infinitum. In what was otherwise a pristine specimen I assure you! Wink

Have good ones all!

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


I think we should be able to sue BigChem for putting this shat in our bodies.

i want to see the chemical industry criminally prosecuted for violating the bodily sovereignty of hundreds of millions of people.

i wonder what it looks like when a corporation gets the death penalty.

10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

by the intelligence agencies. I’ve seen hints at it before and this article goes in depth on one guy who told Trump supporters to go into the capital, but has remained in arrested since. I think they were involved with it because it was known for over a month that people were talking about doing it and yet the coppers were totally unprepared for them. Plus they were infiltrated in the proud boys and oath keepers just like they are usually embedded with most groups right or left.

Students of FBI history should quickly absorb the lesson that infiltrating Feds are like roaches: whenever you spot one, it is guaranteed there are dozens others nearby. Feds simply never, ever, operate alone. This is how you end up with at least 12 FBI informants in a tiny “right-wing” Michigan militia plot from October 2020 (that’s just informants, not even agents), 15 informants in the “right-wing” 2016 Malheur plot, dozens in the 2014 Bundy Ranch affair — including six FBI undercover agents posing as fake documentarians shooting a fake documentary — and the list goes on.

Guess who appeared with Epps? None other than John Sullivan the black man who was involved in the BLM protests and video'd Ashli Babbitt's death. Well now that’s a pretty big coincidence don’t you think? Long article that reaches a damning conclusion. And once again Garland is in the thick of it.

ICYMI watch it 1st with the sound off and then hear the commentary about it.

then listen to the commentary on it. More videos from the capital came out. Remember every person was allowed to peacefully exit the capital without arrest or summons. Weird huh?

DK has a story about a few ‘insurrectionists' whistleblowers who say that they communicated with a few republicans about doing the insurrection. UN-named for now of course. giggle…

We are out of quarantine. Yay! My legs have felt like they had the flu and walking sure felt GOOD. It rained but so what? Sam ran and ran and ran.

12 users have voted.

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

joe shikspack's picture


heh, it seems like an awful lot of people were stirring the pot. rolling stone has an article out, which i'll excerpt in tomorrow's eb, that quotes some of the rally organizers saying that they had extensive contacts with a bunch of congresspersons and white house staffers.

glad to hear that you and sam are free to roam again. i hope sam's feeling great and having a good time. dispense a scritch for me, please. Smile

10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

I find it interesting that it’s just coming out 10 months after the ordeal. You’d think it would have right after it happened. If it was fed controlled I hope the truth comes out soon. No one should be sitting in solitary for an enabled crime.

Scritch delivered. Now maybe her toys won’t be scattered around the house anymore. She was so bored she just kept bringing me one after another this weekend. There are over 30 of them. I get up in the night and trip over 10 of them. But she actually did pretty good for a puppy.

Did you hear that the west is getting lots of rain? SF and area got slammed with over 12 inches in some parts.. we’ve had 3 solid storms and snow up high. It’s still coming all week. Good start.

10 users have voted.

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

I knew John Wick would be a successful revenge drama when the revenge was for the killing of his
beagle from his dead SO. I mean really, other than children who else is more vulnerable than
than a beagle. Given the revelations of funding for useless sadistic experiments on beagles,
I hope finally Fauci is finally forced out. I shutter to think that I followed his message
on going maskless, and how many people may have unnecessarily got infected.

8 users have voted.

@MrWebster @MrWebster

Some of the gory details can be found here. (quite sickening)so I won't quote.

6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


heh, there comes a point where fauci's propensity to lie about issues large and small makes him an impediment to public health. it's probably half-past time for him to step down.

9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture


and held to account for puppy torture. I wholeheartedly agree with him.

Hope this doesn’t violate the terms by just linking it.

7 users have voted.

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

CB's picture

BEIJING, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed a conference marking the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the People's Republic of China's lawful seat in the United Nations (UN) on Monday.

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758

Voting situation in the UN general assembly with respect to resolution 2758 (1971) recognizing the People's Republic of China as "the only legitimate representative of China".[5]
Green = In favor, Red = Against, Blue = Abstention, Yellow = Non-voting, Grey = Non-UN-members or dependencies.

9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


thanks for the link.

have a great evening!

5 users have voted.

7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


you would sort of expect that they might go to the saudis for oil, since back in the day they were bankrolled by them. but then again iran is a neighbor that they probably need good relations with.

5 users have voted.

@humphrey is now "surplus to requirements" as the Brits might put it.

1 user has voted.


10 users have voted.
zed2's picture

Bernie is doing his best to hide the real story. I hope he and TRIPS and the WTO scam gets exposed and somebody with some balls gets elected Senator in Vermont.

He's preventing any action on both the healthcare and the drug profiteering issue. He's working for the other side, secretly.

This is not how an opposition gets things done.

This is. (below) You can read the story in the New York Times archives. And see it in the film Fire in the Blood. They are the real heroes.

Political Liars who hide huge crimes are not heroes.

4 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


hmmm. i would agree that sanders is somewhat short on gumption, but it seems to me that the claim that sanders is "secretly working for the other side" requires some explanation complete with evidence. i'm not saying that it couldn't be true, but i've not seen any sort of conclusive evidence of it.

10 users have voted.
zed2's picture

Taiwan kicks ass.. A number of years ago the KMT were working on building their own nukes. They have a sacred right to defend themselves against the PRC.,if they are attacked, (only)

Right now they are more DEMOCRATIC (remember that word? friends?) than the US of today.

There are at least four Chinas.

3 users have voted.

@zed2 Seems like news to me.

3 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture


news to me

There are at least three china china china and five or more russia russia russia russia russia out there.
Just watch msm for your news and modern rithmatic.

8 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.


4 users have voted.
zed2's picture

Fitch on Obama, the slumlord's attorney.

This is a must read if somebody wants to know why the Democrats nominated Barack Obama. His skill in sweet talking poor people out of their homes. A skill which they will need during the Build Back better redevelopment campaign which will destroy a LOT of affordable housing and perhaps millions will have nothing to move into and no hope of finding any as their old rent stabilized apartment buildings and homes are torn down, because they use natural gas heat. Which the neoliberals want to sell off overseas. Its going to be a huge betrayal of the core Democratic voter base who have been deceived by pros, real pros. The loss will be a huge financial loss for the people being pushed out that they will never be able to recover from. Housing is just too expensive for them onvce they go. They will have to move away too. There just isnt any housing in cities they can afford.

This will hit poor people like a ton of bricks when it happens. Say goodbye to yur family and friends, and buy a car, or go without food and a job. Buses dont cut it in America.

6 users have voted.
zed2's picture

Be self sufficient. And then some.

Why do people think we were there?

2 users have voted.

is not new, but just more obvious, and more restricting.
In 1988, I went to an er for severe chest pains. I could NOT get medical attention until I wrote a check for $750/ (At that time, I was uninsurable due to pre-existing conditions from long past, getting the all's clear in 1981.) It was determined later I had a very mild heart attack. Good thing it was mild.
In 2018, I got bitten by a poisonous snake. I had insurance every which way but loose.
Instead of giving me an anti-venom, they monitored my bp for several hours to see if I was going to have a stroke. Seems the anti-venom cost $45,000. If they had given it to me, and the insurance carrier says I didn't need it, I would have gotten that bill.
Damned if you do...

9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp

with Reagan and then HMO's and it’s just gotten worse every year since. People like to say that Canadians bitch about waiting for testing for weeks but Jimmy points out on an older show that Americans have to wait till they spend 10,000 on deductibles till their insurance kicks in so most don’t get help until things are really bad. Another scam by insurance companies getting people to fork out vast amounts of their own money instead of them having to pay.

I’m old enough to remember going to any doctor I wanted and only pay $20 and then knew that insurance would pick up the rest. I remember when my boss told me about HMO and thought he misinterpreted what he heard. Nope. Gahds they’ve rigged everything against us now.

7 users have voted.

It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

@snoopydawg assured me that they were keeping me from paying a horrific bill, wanted thanks and appreciation. Not for my health care, but for saving me money.
They wanted me to think of them as heroes and saviors of my money, not health. You could stretch that out to "my life", since a copperhead bite can kill people, especially at my age.
Is that nuts? Or am I nuts?
I want financial advice from financial advisors, medical advice from drs., but I am just a royal bitch, I guess. Or, I didn't give the appearance of having $45,000 to spare. I have not had plastic surgery, so I guess that was the tell.

4 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

heh, in my area, rather than demanding a check, they make you sign a form that says you are responsible for anything that your insurance doesn't cover. always makes you wonder how good your insurance is when you go in.

6 users have voted.

@joe shikspack conditions that went from birth to age 30. Insurance companies have long memories (tentacles.)I was due for court that morning, had on a suit. Everyone else in the er was sort of off the street or fresh out of bed. When I wrote the check, I literally fell to my knees. The nurse/bitch just stood behind her desk until I wrote the check before she called in an orderly. I wrote the damn check.
Since women do not have real heart attacks, and are really emotional, I got the ekg when the 2 male patients finished with the machine.
The first question they asked was if I was having issues with my husband or boyfriend. I was able to introduce them to husband, who was holding my hand at that time. I thought he was going to start a fight.
I appreciate health care workers, but give them absolutely no benefit of the doubt.

5 users have voted.

@on the cusp In Spain or Mexico that same anti-venom would be like $35.

For real, I remember some comparison from a few years ago. It is beyond my energy/interest level to hunt down the source...

6 users have voted.

@BORG_US_BORG I can so easily believe it. No need to source.
The insidious part that makes this personal history even more insidious is that the damn $45,000 jab was NOT the protocol. IV anti-bacterial meds was. The snake is nasty, first priority, poisonous, but that is strictly secondary. They didn't give me antibiotics because they were focused on my bp. I guess in hopes of giving it to make money. The antibiotics I needed were not given until a couple of days later. I guess there is little profit in antibiotics, tons of profit in the anti-venom, and an incentive not to use it until those numbers match the insurance chart. They were reading the chart in the room, even showed it to me. The explanation I got was about the fucking chart, not what might happen to me.
4 other patients in the er had snake bites. It was a year of copperheads everywhere.
The patients were all having a hard time, as I was.
Morphine, then fentanyl, and I was in so much pain, the bp still rose. But not high enough for Big Pharma.The drs. told me I was lucky that I didn't get to the anti-venom level, never mentioned antibiotics.

6 users have voted.

@BORG_US_BORG A relative in Texas was nailed by a rattlesnake in their driveway several years ago. They were in the hospital for a little over a week and required 2 or 3 bags of antivenom. The bill was north of $125K. Insurance did pay most--cadillac sort paid for by their work.

Around the same time (same year, a few months later), a friend's college-age son was hit by a cobra in India, just walking down a dirt road in the dark. Similar amount of antivenom,longer hospital stay of ten or so days. Total bill around $100.

Great system we've got here, eh?

6 users have voted.
zed2's picture

And make lots of money for companies like Halliburton and standard oil. The entire Bush Administration was oil industry people. Was Afghanistan all about the energy in Afghanistan? Maybe?

Its a sobering thought.

This Youtube channel has a visual feast of content on the embattled, ancient country.

Hope they manage to get out of the hands of the Taliban someday. They deserve better.

0 users have voted.
zed2's picture

he American people sem to put up with almost anything.

I suppose its rich people are made of money, living here in Paradise as we do we must pay at least four times what everybody else does on drugs, maybe more.

The poorest countries get a much better deal. ut only for a few years at a time. The default is full price, it seems like we in the US pay the most by far of any country on every drug. The rights to us have already been sold.

This is because of our corrupt politics. See this film.

This film won an important film festival award.:

Those who didn't die, they must thank God.

This highway robbery has to stop.

Pray for it to end, if you pray. This global theft or global grab's intent is to take away peoples lives to pad the pockets of the very few. Its destroying the planet.

Its draining humanity of its life blood.

0 users have voted.
zed2's picture

that wants to use trade deals top put an end to democracy insofar that it actually might ever be able to reverse any of the huge theft-changes they have made, for example using the WTO TRIPS and GATS as excuses. Its the biggest theft ever in he history of the world and its going to devastate the economic health of the American people losing their jobs and homes and futures.

But they are totally getting away with it now and seem to have control over Washington when their huge scam really should have been brought to heel (ugh) a long time ago. How can we let them lie to us endlessly and hijack this once great country and party, to prevent it becoming what it should be. Thats why we're seeing the global grab. They were afraid that it would actually become a democracy, and they couldnt allow that.

Quinn Slobodian's "Globalists" book is really illuminating.

Neoliberalism is a coup against democracy. The campaign against democracy has the intel communities hands all over it. It seems obvious to me.

If they want job security they should rthink their alleences and imagine the huge risk they are putting all of us in. We cant go on like this.

The scheme they are involved in doesn't help the poor in any way. (They claim the theft from us is supposed to help the poor, but it actually helps the richest thieves. Its a continuation of the crimes of the British Empire. We should disengage with the UK and its sordid orbit, and crooked financial networks , City of London, etc.)

I would not be surprised if they were responsible for 9-11?

Their global grab is a theft of humanity's lives and futures.

Its going to royally screw our own people. Especially our young people. They cant let these crooks do this and get away with it.

Their karma is going to catch up with them and our whole country will be held responsible for their crimes which are extensive. And expensive. Poor people have worked very hard to get their lives better and every ten years of so the crooked oligarchy steals everything from them. This has to end.

That is happening all around the world.

Oligarchy is not the benevolent force the crooked globalists are trying to make it out to be.

(Actual)Democracy (when it exists- we dont have it here now, thanks tio the crooked trade deals we have the worst situations, or close to it in many areas. Thats because the system is rigged and that being hidden shamelessly.) Democracy works, A people can and should decide for themselves, but the shameless manipulation of everything cannot be there lying to all of us. which is why they are trying so hard to steal and prevent truth. With their trade deals from hell.

0 users have voted.
zed2's picture

That way the obligation lasts as long as the baby lives. Not just the parents death. Lots of people were getting away with being born and when their parents died the debt died with them.

The future seems likely to be debt slavery for most people.

Thats why they never abolished it. Just slavery based on race.

0 users have voted.
zed2's picture

Ive been hearing for quite some time (decades) that Afghanistan is sitting on lots of energy of its own. As well as many other resources that could be exploited by whomever controls them.

Energy costs hard currency. They have to generate income to get power. This is what the foreign countries' special interests motives (like the US energy interests) have been hoping to exploit there.

Its similar to Iraq and Iran in that respect.

Even cellphones take electricity. All the important Afghans probably use cell phones. electricity for lighting, refrigeration, heating, etc. Right now many Afghanis use wood as their main source of energy. Right now Afghanistan doesnt have lots of forests. Largely due to use of wood for fire+heating+cooking. Deforestation is going to get much worse if they cannot access electricity.

0 users have voted.