The Evening Blues - 6-24-22


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features New Orleans blues/funk/bebop band The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Enjoy!

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Ain't Nothin' but a Party

“It is confidence in the men and women who administer the judicial system that is the true backbone of the rule of law. Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by today's decision [in Bush v. Gore]. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's Presidential election, the identity of the loser is pellucidly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.”

-- John Paul Stevens

News and Opinion

Worth reading in full at the link:

Dark Money Went In, Supreme Court Rulings Are Coming Out

The barrage of devastating, precedent-setting Supreme Court rulings that could drop any day now may have many Americans wondering how we arrived at such a dark moment. The answer is simple, even if it is rarely discussed in corporate media: It lies in a giant pile of anonymous cash that was deployed to buy Supreme Court seats, help determine justices’ caseload, and shape their decisions. A secretive, well-financed dark money network helped build the Supreme Court’s radical conservative supermajority and has also been bankrolling many of the politicians and organizations involved in the most controversial cases now before the court. That includes the cases that could invalidate federal abortion rights and prevent the federal government from combating climate change.

The public will almost certainly never know the identities of the ultra-wealthy individuals and interests who paid to stack this court and influence its decisions, but much of the credit should go to a man named Leonard Leo and his cadre of conservative activists. The co-chairman of the Federalist Society, the conservative lawyers group in Washington, Leo is best known for serving as President Donald Trump’s top judicial adviser. Leo, an anti-abortion zealot, helped select Trump’s Supreme Court picks while simultaneously leading a dark money network that boosted their confirmations with TV ads and contributions to conservative groups that promoted the judges.

Leo’s dark money network has also funded Republican state attorneys general and conservative nonprofits that are backing and even directly arguing some of the most contentious cases before the high court right now. It is in these cases that the Supreme Court is widely expected to issue rulings that will end federal protections for abortion rights; strip environmental regulators of their ability to regulate carbon emissions; dismantle the high court precedent requiring police officers to inform people of their rights to remain silent and to an attorney when they’re being detained; and strike down blue-state restrictions on carrying concealed firearms. ...

The playbook is now straightforward: Leo’s dark-money network installs right-wing judges, then Republican attorneys general boosted by Leo’s network bring cases and amicus briefs, while other groups funded by the same network file their own briefs — all to create the appearance of broad-based support for extremist rulings.

[Much more detail at the link. -js]

US supreme court overturns abortion rights, upending Roe v Wade

The supreme court has ruled there is no constitutional right to abortion in the United States, upending a precedent set nearly 50 years ago in the landmark Roe v Wade case – a rare reversal of long-settled law that will fracture the foundations of modern reproductive rights in America.

The court’s ruling came in the pivotal case Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which the last abortion clinic in Mississippi opposed the state’s efforts to ban abortion after 15 weeks and overturn Roe in the process.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” said the majority opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito and joined by four other conservative justices. “The constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” it said.

Separately, Chief Justice John Roberts said he would have upheld Mississippi’s law, but not overruled Roe altogether. ...

The reversal of the 1973 opinion will again allow individual US states to ban abortion. At least 26 states are expected to do so immediately or as soon as practicable. ...

The ripple effects of the decision could also herald greater restrictions in other areas of private life, with ramifications for gay marriage, sex and possibly even birth control. Justice Clarence Thomas, in a separate concurring opinion, explicitly encouraged fellow justices to “reconsider all of this court’s” cases that establish rights to contraception, gay marriage and sex.

SCOTUS Overturns ROE V WADE, Ending 50 Years Of Federal Abortion Protections

Radical Supreme Court Guts State Gun Laws & Right to Remain Silent Under Arrest

In 'Dangerous Decision,' Supreme Court Guts Protection of Miranda Rights

Legal experts warned law enforcement agencies will have "zero incentive" to ensure that a person being arrested is read their Miranda rights after the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday handed down a ruling the ACLU characterized as a "dangerous" assault on long-established protections.

Ruling in the case of Vega vs. Tekoh, the majority decided that people cannot sue an officer under Section 1983, a key federal civil rights enforcement law, for not informing them of their right to remain silent and other protections under the Miranda statute.

To protect people's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, officers are required to inform suspects of their rights as soon as they are taken into custody.

While those rights are still intact, University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck told CNN, the 6-3 ruling effectively guts the law.

"Today's ruling doesn't get rid of the Miranda right," Vladeck said. "But it does make it far harder to enforce. Under this ruling, the only remedy for a violation of Miranda is to suppress statements obtained from a suspect who's not properly advised of his right to remain silent. But if the case never goes to trial, or if the government never seeks to use the statement, or if the statement is admitted notwithstanding the Miranda violation, there's no remedy at all for the government's misconduct."

The ACLU, which filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff in the case, Terence Tekoh, said the ruling "further widens the gap between the guarantees found in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and the people's ability to hold government officials accountable for violating them."

"The warnings mandated by the Supreme Court in Miranda have been part of the fabric of law enforcement interactions with the public for more than 60 years," said Brett Max Kaufman, a senior staff attorney for the group. "We fought for the Supreme Court to recognize these rights, and we'll keep fighting to make sure our country lives up to the Constitution’s guarantees."

The case stemmed from the arrest of Tekoh in 2014, when he was accused of sexually assaulting a patient at a hospital in Los Angeles County.

Lawyers for Carlos Vega, the sheriff's deputy who arrested Tekoh, said the plaintiff was not "in custody" when he was questioned and that Tekoh gave a voluntary statement. Vega did not give Tekoh a Miranda warning but his confession was nonetheless used as evidence during his trial, in which a jury ultimately found him not guilty.

Tekoh then sued Vega for violating his rights and accused the deputy of coercing the confession out of him.

Writing for the majority, Justice Samuel Alito said that "a violation of Miranda does not necessarily constitute a violation of the Constitution, and therefore such a violation does not constitute 'the deprivation of [a] right... secured by the Constitution' that would authorize a civil rights suit against a police officer."

Justice Elena Kagan wrote a dissent on behalf of the three liberal justices, arguing that the ruling "strips individuals of the ability to seek a remedy for violations of the right recognized in Miranda."

"The majority here, as elsewhere, injures the right by denying the remedy," Kagan wrote.

The ruling comes two weeks after the Supreme Court handed down another 6-3 decision weakening Americans' ability to challenge law enforcement officers who violate their constitutional rights.

In Egbert v. Boule, the right-wing majority ruled against a man who wanted to sue a U.S. Border Patrol agent who entered his property without a warrant and used excessive force.

Referring to another decision handed down Thursday regarding the right to carry firearms and an expected ruling that would overturn Roe v. Wade, Democratic strategist Sawyer Hackett said under the current Supreme Court, "you can carry a concealed gun in public without a permit but if you get an abortion you can be arrested and jailed without Miranda rights."

Under the ruling, said Partners for Justice founder Emily Galvin-Almanza, "ordinary people are disempowered, government impunity grows."

Galvin-Almanza urged Americans to "call your state reps and ask them to enshrine Miranda rights in state law."

Advocates for adding justices to the Supreme Court, as Congress has done a number of times throughout U.S. history, said the ruling in Vega v. Tekoh offered another reason to expand the court.

"We cannot allow this overtly political court to stand in the way of our safety," said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) "Expand the court."

Live: Biden vows to protect women’s rights after Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Rights Advocates Decry 'Very Frightening' Court Ruling Upholding Anti-BDS Law

A federal court ruling allowing Arkansas to penalize government contractors that support boycotts of the Israeli government was decried as "dangerous" and a threat to First Amendment rights on Wednesday, as civil liberties defenders vowed to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an Arkansas law does not violate Americans' constitutional rights by requiring state contractors with contracts of $1,000 or more to reduce their fees by 20% if they refuse to sign a pledge saying they won't support the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement (BDS).

The law was previously found to be unconstitutional by a panel of three judges who sit on the court, but Judge Jonathan Kobes wrote in the majority opinion that "economic decisions that discriminate against Israel... are not inherently expressive and do not implicate the First Amendment."

The BDS movement aims to end international support for Israel's oppressive policies targeting Palestinians and pressure the country to comply with international law, which prohibits its occupation of Palestine.

Palestinian civil society organizations have led the call for supporters of human rights to boycott Israeli companies and businesses in order to pressure the government to end its oppression.

The Arkansas Times, a progressive magazine, sued the state over the law in 2018, saying it was unconstitutional. The Little Rock-based outlet refused to sign the state's pledge as it sought an advertising contract from a public university.

The Times is being represented by the ACLU, where senior staff attorney Brian Hauss on Thursday expressed hope that when the group files an appeal, "the Supreme Court will set things right and reaffirm the nation's historic commitment to providing robust protection to political boycotts."

While the case centers around The Times' pursuit of a government contract, said filmmaker Julia Bacha, the ruling has "huge implications for free speech in America."

Alan Leveritt, publisher of The Times, wrote in a New York Times op-ed last year that "states are trading their citizens' First Amendment rights for what looks like unconditional support for a foreign government."

Leveritt agreed Thursday that the high court should review the ruling, saying that the decision "that politically-motivated consumer boycotts are not protected by the First Amendment misreads Supreme Court precedent and departs from this nation's longstanding traditions."

"It ignores the fact that this country was founded on a boycott of British goods and that boycotts have been a fundamental part of American political discourse ever since," said Leveritt.

Arkansas officials' goal of banning businesses and individuals from working with the state is "a ridiculous government overreach that has nothing to do with Arkansas," the publisher added, noting that the ruling could damage The Times financially. "In our particular case it requires The Arkansas Times to take a political position in return for advertising. We don't do that... The good news is that we have received tremendous support from our readers to the point that we now have over 3,000 paid online subscribers, which has done much to cushion the financial impact of this law."

The nation's largest Muslim civil rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said the ruling "tacitly endorsed a Palestine-exception to the First Amendment" and noted that several federal courts have blocked anti-BDS laws like Arkansas's 2017 measure.

"By ruling against The Arkansas Times, the Eight Circuit has broken with nearly every other court that has reviewed and struck down these unconstitutional, un-American anti-boycott laws," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, national deputy director of CAIR. "We hope The Arkansas Times fights this ruling, which endangers the free speech rights of every American."

At least one judge on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals dissented from the majority opinion. Judge Jane Kelly wrote that the Arkansas law "seeks not only to avoid contracting with companies that refuse to do business with Israel [but also] to avoid contracting with anyone who supports or promotes such activity."

"One could imagine a company posting anti-Israel signs, donating to causes that promote a boycott of Israel, encouraging others to boycott Israel, or even publicly criticizing the act with the intent to 'limit commercial relations with Israel' as a general matter," she added. "And any of that conduct would arguably fall within the prohibition."

Abed Ayoub, legal director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), told Al Jazeera that the 8th Circuit handed down "a very un-American ruling and position."

"This will flip the First Amendment on its head. It's shocking to see we're living in a time where our courts are deteriorating our rights and abilities to express ourselves," he said. "This is not just about boycotts. This is opening the door to strip away First Amendment rights of all Americans."

"It's very frightening," Ayoub added.

EU, Ukraine and Moldova; Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic

Mainstream propaganda organs like The Guardian are making admissions:

Fighting entering ‘fearsome climax’ in key regions, says Ukraine

The battle for two key cities in eastern Ukraine is edging towards “a fearsome climax”, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has said, as the war in Ukraine enters its fourth month on Friday.

Russia’s efforts to capture Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk – the two remaining cities under Ukrainian control in Luhansk – have turned into a bloody war of attrition, with both sides inflicting heavy casualties. Moscow, over the last two weeks, has managed to make steady gains.

“The fighting is entering a sort of fearsome climax”, said Oleksiy Arestovych in an interview late on Wednesday.

Serhiy Haidai, the governor of the Luhansk region, one of two in the eastern Donbas, said on Thursday morning that Russian forces had been successful in their advances. He added that enemy forces had captured Loskutivka, a settlement to the south of Lysychansk, which threatened to isolate Ukrainian troops.

“In order to avoid encirclement, our command could order that the troops retreat to new positions,” Haidai said in a post on Telegram. The Russian state news agency, Tass, cited Russian-backed separatists saying Lysychansk was surrounded and cut off from supplies after Russia captured a road linking the city to Ukrainian-held territories.

Lithuania Says Prepared for Russian Retaliation Over Kaliningrad Embargo, Doesn’t Expect Military Action

Lithuania’s president on Wednesday said the Baltic nation is prepared for Russian retaliation over its decision to block the transit of sanctioned goods to Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave sandwiched in between Lithuania and Poland.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda told Reuters that Vilnius is ready for “unfriendly steps” such as Russia cutting the Baltic nation from a shared power grid, but doesn’t expect a military response. ...

Also on Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the EU and Lithuania have been notified of Moscow’s objection to the embargo on Kaliningrad and that if the policy isn’t changed, any retaliation would be “practical” and would go beyond diplomatic measures.

People Don’t Think Hard Enough About What Nuclear War Is And What It Would Mean

There’s a John Mearsheimer video clip from 2016 that’s going viral on Twitter right now, as old John Mearsheimer clips tend to do in the year 2022 when his predictions that western actions would lead to the destruction of Ukraine are coming horrifyingly true.

In response to a question about what the worst US foreign policy disaster has been, Mearsheimer agreed with a fellow panelist that at that moment Iraq looked like the worst, but said he believed US policy on Ukraine would prove much worse in coming years. He spoke of the fact that Russia has thousands of nuclear weapons, and that it’s entirely possible those weapons will be used if Russia feels threatened.

“Because the Cold War is in the distant past, most people, especially younger people, haven’t thought a lot about nuclear weapons and nuclear deterrence, and they tend to be quite cavalier in their comments about nuclear weapons, and this makes me very nervous,” Mearsheimer said.

It makes me nervous too. Especially when we’ve got a steadily escalating proxy war which the standoff in Lithuania could easily see spin out into a direct hot war between Russia and NATO powers, and when we hear the UK’s top army general telling troops to prepare for World War Three.

Most of what I see in public discourse about escalating aggressions between the US power alliance and Russia reflects the cavalier attitude Mearsheimer spoke of in 2016, as do my own interactions with people online. Most of what I’m seeing in the behavior of NATO powers indicates this cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons as well. People, from the rank-and-file public to the upper echelons of empire management, don’t seem to be thinking very hard about what nuclear war is and what it would mean.

As Mearsheimer said, this does seem to be because we’re so removed now from the days when everyone was acutely aware that the missiles could start flying at any time.

It just doesn’t sit well with people’s understanding of the world that it could all end through the same nuclear armageddon scenario their grandparents used to worry about. If two men were holding guns to each other’s heads it would be experienced as very dangerous at first, but after a while if nobody pulled the trigger the emotional tension would begin to diminish. If years went by and the men got older it would diminish even further. If they got so old they couldn’t hold the guns anymore and had their children take over for them, and then their children’s children years later, the emotional experience of the standoff would be all but forgotten.

But the guns never got any less deadly. The fact that nuclear war hasn’t happened yet means only that: that it hasn’t happened yet. Things that have never happened before happen all the time. There didn’t used to be nuclear weapons, now there are. Earth is currently a habitable planet, one day soon it may not be.

We came within a hair’s breadth of wiping ourselves out during the last cold war, not just once but many times. Any amount of nuclear brinkmanship opens up the possibility of nuclear war erupting in ways that are too hard to anticipate and plan for, because there are too many small moving parts, too many ways a nuke could be detonated as a result of technical malfunction, miscommunication, miscalculation and/or misunderstanding. The further things escalate between the world’s two nuclear superpowers, the greater the likelihood of this happening.

And of course the powerful have every reason to encourage this way of thinking to continue. If a critical mass of the population really understood that their lives are being threatened with nuclear war for no other reason than the US empire’s willingness to risk everything to secure planetary hegemony, they would immediately become hard to deal with. Empire managers plan on not just engaging in nuclear brinkmanship but also making things much harder on the public financially in their long-term agendas against Russia and China, and the only way everyone plays along with this is if they are kept from understanding what’s being done to them.

This is why the media have been acting so strange in recent years. Agendas are being rolled out which no sane person would consent to if they fully understood them, so their consent needs to be manufactured with massive amounts of propaganda. It’s also why internet censorship has taken a high priority during that same period of time: can’t have people using their newfound information-sharing capability to interfere in the narrative manipulations of the empire.

We’re being sedated into a propaganda-induced coma while immensely powerful people play profoundly dangerous games with our lives. It is in our interest to find a way to awaken as soon as possible.

After Horrific Earthquake, US Pushed to Return Billions It 'Stole Like Crooks' From Afghans

After a massive earthquake killed more than 1,000 people and leveled entire villages in southeast Afghanistan, the Biden administration on Wednesday faced fresh calls to return the roughly $7 billion in central bank assets it seized from the war-torn and impoverished nation as it attempts to recover from the catastrophe.

"Aid organizations have long cited the frozen assets as well as the sanctions regime as insurmountable barriers to ensuring Afghans receive basic needs and emergency aid," tweeted the advocacy group Afghans for a Better Tomorrow. "[President Joe Biden] should move quickly and decisively at this critical moment; time is of the essence."

The earthquake added to the already horrific humanitarian crisis facing ordinary Afghans, tens of millions of whom are facing acute hunger as the nation's economy—strangled by U.S. and European sanctions and other punitive measures—verges on total collapse. The United Nations has warned that 97% of the Afghan population could be plunged into poverty this year.

Clare Daly, a socialist member of the European Parliament, demanded Wednesday that Biden administration officials "give back the billions they stole like crooks from the Afghan people."

Those funds, Daly wrote on Twitter, are "needed now more than ever to address the devastation."

Earlier this year, the Biden administration announced a ploy to permanently seize $7 billion in Afghan central bank assets that it froze after the Taliban retook power last August. The administration said it would split the assets between an ill-defined fund to assist ordinary Afghans and family members of 9/11 victims.

The New York Times reported earlier this month that "at least six major groups of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks have struck a tentative deal to divide about $3.5 billion in Afghan central bank assets they are trying to seize to pay off legal claims against the Taliban."

In a letter to the editor of the Washington Post earlier this week, Kelly Campbell of 9/11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows—a group that opposes the Biden administration's seizure of Afghan assets—wrote that "just because we don't like the Taliban doesn't make our collective punishment of Afghan women, children, and the entire population of ordinary Afghans an acceptable policy."

"In addition to withholding aid funds, the administration froze billions of dollars in Afghan central bank funds, crippling the country's economy," Campbell added. "If we care about Afghan people, including Afghan women, the United States must release Afghan central bank funds to get the economy on its feet and ensure that aid money is flowing to prevent immediate disaster and, ultimately, a failed state."

In response to Wednesday's earthquake, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the Biden administration is "deeply saddened to see the devastating earthquake that took the lives of at least 1,000 people in Afghanistan"—but gave no indication that it is considering returning the country's seized assets.

"President Biden is monitoring developments and has directed USAID and other federal government partners to assess U.S. response options to help those most affected," said Sullivan.

Pope Francis orders online release of second world war-era ‘Jewish’ files

Pope Francis has ordered the online publication of 170 volumes of files relating to Jewish people from the recently opened Pope Pius XII archives, amid renewed debate about the legacy of the second world war-era pope. The archive of 2,700 cases “gathers the requests for help sent to Pope Pius XII by Jewish people … after the beginning of Nazi and fascist persecution”, said the Vatican’s secretary for relations with states, Paul Richard Gallagher, in a statement.

Although the documents have been available for consultation by scholars since March 2020, Pope Francis requested they be accessible to everyone, said the statement. Putting the archive online “will allow the descendants of those who asked for help to find traces of their loved ones from any part of the world”, it said. ...

One recent book citing the archives, The Pope at War by the Pulitzer prizewinning historian David Kertzer, suggests the people the Vatican was most concerned about saving were Jews who had converted to Catholicism, the offspring of Catholic-Jewish mixed marriages, or those otherwise related to Catholics. Kertzer says Pius was reluctant to intervene on behalf of Jews, or make public denunciations of Nazi atrocities to avoid antagonising Adolf Hitler or Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

In an article for the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Gallagher said the files contained requests for help but without much information on outcomes.

Biden Appoints Enemy Of Social Security To Social Security Advisory Board

Biden’s proposed federal tax cut on gas could cost dearly in the future

America’s hard-pressed drivers may be about to receive a holiday. On Wednesday Joe Biden called on Congress to suspend the federal tax on gas and diesel until September as the country struggles with soaraway costs at the pump. But experts warned the tax holiday is unlikely to have a major impact on prices and will probably further harm the US’s already battered roads and bridges. If the tax cut even gets passed.

Blaming Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for the surge in gas prices Biden proposed cutting the 18-cents-a-gallon federal taxes on fuel until September and called on states to cut their gas taxes too. “Together, these actions could help drop the price at the pump by up to $1 a gallon or more. It doesn’t reduce all the pain, but it will be a big help,” said Biden.

The tax cut’s first obstacle may be its last. The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, called the plan an “ineffective stunt” and other critics in his own party may join Republicans in blocking any cut. But with prices still soaring and midterm elections looming the administration is increasingly looking for ways to spare the public from prices at the pump, currently averaging at just under $5 a gallon.

The non-partisan Tax Foundation called the plan a “uniquely ill-suited policy for addressing rising prices”. Pointing out that the money from the tax is the primary funding source for highway construction and its suspension could cost $10bn in funding. “Anything that could help the price at the pump is good, but it’ll come at a significant cost to the federal government that supposedly uses that money for the highway fund to maintain highways,” said Mark Finley, fellow in energy and global oil at the center for energy studies at Rice University.

According to Ed Hirs at the University of Houston’s department of economics, Biden’s actions, including a stern letter to refiners to produce more gasoline and diesel, will not keep the average price at the pump from reaching $6 by September. ... Put plainly, there’s little the administration can do. “We’ve reached a point where supplies of gasoline, diesel and crude oil are below our five-year averages, so it appears we’ve been exporting as much as we can,” said Hirs. “As long as the conflict, really between the US and Russia, persists, the EU nations will be additional buyers. So the fellow in London looking to fill his car, and the woman in France, are competing with someone on I-95.”

Fed Chair Powell ADMITS His Goal Is To Throw People OUT OF WORK: Ryan Grim

the evening greens

Appetite for frogs’ legs in France and Belgium ‘driving species to extinction’

A voracious appetite for frogs’ legs among the French and Belgians is driving species in Indonesia, Turkey and Albania to the brink of extinction, according to a report.

Europe imports as many as 200 million mostly wild frogs every year, contributing to a serious depletion of native species abroad. Scientists estimate that the Anatolian water frog could be extinct in Turkey by 2032, because of over-exploitation while other species such as the Albanian water frog are now threatened.

Export quotas for Indonesia’s Javan frog have also been withdrawn in a move that conservationists suspect may be as a result of population depletion. Dr Sandra Altherr, the co-founder of the conservation charity Pro Wildlife, which co-authored the report said: “In Indonesia, as now also in Turkey and Albania, large frog species are dwindling in the wild, one after the other, causing a fatal domino effect for species conservation.”

“If the plundering for the European market continues, it’s highly likely that we will see more serious declines of wild frog populations and, potentially, extinctions in the next decade.”

The last nuclear plant in California – and the unexpected quest to save it

California’s last nuclear plant was nearing the end of its life.

Tucked against picturesque bluffs along California’s central coast, the aging facility known as Diablo Canyon began operating in 1985. It was designed for a different era, with analog knobs and systems that no longer comply with the state’s environmental standards. The plant has faced controversies over its impact on underwater ecosystems, the production of toxic waste and its proximity to earthquake fault lines – and its planned closure by 2025 seemed an all-but-certain step in California’s ambitious journey toward a greener future. But with just three years to go, the fate of Diablo Canyon now looks less assured.

California is facing steep energy challenges that are only expected to worsen as the climate crisis intensifies. The plant still provides roughly 9% of the state’s energy – the largest single source of electricity and enough to supply more than 3 million residents. The state is still far from finding a reliable and climate-friendly replacement, and concerns are rising that it will fall back on fossil fuels to fill the gap.

Now, decades-old discussions about whether the plant should continue to play a role in California’s renewable energy transition are being rehashed. A diverse league of advocates – including energy officials, scientists, California’s governor Gavin Newsom, and even the musician Grimes – are pushing for renewed life for Diablo Canyon. Critics, meanwhile, say keeping the plant open would only be a step backward.

Also of Interest

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

Putin Says Russia Will Redirect Exports to BRICS Nations

Lithuania’s Step Too Far — Blockade of Kaliningrad Draws No Support from US, UK, EU, NATO, as Russia Prepares “Practical Steps”, “No Diplomacy”

Two Big Errors About Russia

As Right-Wing Majority Shows Its Face, Confidence in Supreme Court Hits All-Time Low

Failures Of Democracy & The Original Intellectual Fascist

Food additive or carcinogen? The growing list of chemicals banned by EU but used in US

Spain Demands EU Withdraw From Energy Treaty That Undermines Climate Action

News Host Tries To Bait Labor Leader Into Promoting Violence

ABORTION Now Up To The STATES; What's Next?: Ryan & Emily

A Little Night Music

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Voodoo

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Old School

Dirty Dozen Brass Band - My Feet Can't Fail Me Now

Dirty Dozen Brass Band - I'll Fly Away

Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Do It Fluid

Widespread Panic with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band Dozen - Taildragger

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Blue Monk/Stormy Monday

Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Bongo Beep

Dirty Dozen Brass Band - I Used To Love You (But It's All Over Now)

Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Mardi Gras In New Orleans

Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Take Me to the River: LIVE

12 users have voted.


karl pearson's picture

Lithuania's current population is 2.66 million. It has lost over 1 million people in the last 30 years and is projected by the UN to lose more than a million by the end of this century. I doubt that Russia feels threatened by a country that may just disappear in front of its eyes.

7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@karl pearson

i'm sure that russia doesn't feel threatened, but i'm also sure that they are pissed off by a pissant state that refuses to abide by its agreements. one of the key conditions of lithuania's departure during the breakup of the soviet union was that it would permit passage of rail and goods from russia to russia, i.e. kaliningrad through its territory in perpetuity. they signed treaties to that effect.

i would imagine that russia has some means of punishing them for their insolence.

8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Next he’s coming for same sex marriage and reproductive rights. This internally ugly man should also strike down Loving, but since it would affect him he won’t.


Shitlib scolds are out in force:

It’s the usual “blame the Democrats” mentality.  
News flash — it’s not the Democrats in Congress that are at fault here — it’s US.  All of the left-liberal voters who failed to support our party in election cycle after election cycle, starting in 2000.  All of us who let the Republicans take over every level of government and rewrite the rulebook in their favor.  All those folks who shouted “never Hillary” in 2016 and encouraged five million former Obama voters not to vote for her.  
Griping about what Pelosi did for a photo op doesn’t change this — it’s on US!   If we had been supporting our party this day never would have come.  

It’s already started.

This after she and Clyburn and Hoyer worked so hard to get anti abortion/pro gun Cueller elected over the progressive candidate who was for women’s right to choose and anti gun. Can you say hypocrites? Sure you can.
Always a day late and short of a fcking mirror!

From the BDS decision:

"economic decisions that discriminate against Israel... are not inherently expressive and do not implicate the First Amendment."

I wonder how he’d rule if it was against Russia?

"This will flip the First Amendment on its head. It's shocking to see we're living in a time where our courts are deteriorating our rights and abilities to express ourselves," he said. "This is not just about boycotts. This is opening the door to strip away First Amendment rights of all Americans."

Citizens United already did that and I don’t see how it was related to free speech, but of course democrats just gave lip service to being upset. I wonder how they feel about Israel controlling our rights?

But with all the horrible decisions coming from the court it proves to me that I was right about democrats wanting these things to happen and it’s why they rolled over for McConnell and his masters on who gets appointed. Democrats had plenty of quivers of arrows to keep Kavanaugh and Barrett off the court, but didn’t use them and we can thank Biden for Thomas. Gah what a week.

10 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture


heh, the dems are singing "god bless 'murka" cause jeebus finally gave them just what they want - an issue to fundraise off of. and they will. remorselessly.

the tidal wave of begging emails has started coming in. it's a shame that i can't burn emails in my fireplace like the old mailers.

9 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture


fashion somehow find the energy to engage in fatuous theatrics while their followers castigate others for their utter failures, time and time and time again to act or even try to act.

be well

4 users have voted.

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

snoopydawg's picture

Loving isn’t on the chopping block for Thomas.

There’s that hypocrisy again.

7 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture


i guess there are some vagaries in originalism. snort.

6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Strange though isn’t it?

Ahh well it’s the weekend and it’s nice and cool here. I got the key fobs fixed and extra batteries just in case. The other fob that started the car didn’t even have a battery in it. Yeah color me confused about it. I’ll head out after the 4th and hopefully this time things will go well.

Hope you have a great weekend and thanks for the news. Such as it’s been.

Heh…Durham was just the last cleaner in a long line of cleaners for the deep state. Way back in 2005 Comey investigated the Clinton foundation for illegal crap and lo and behold he found nothing wrong just like Fitzpatrick couldn’t find any crimes to prosecute for spygate and the outing of CIA agent Plame nor Mueller for Russiagate… it’s been the same players investigating the same criminals and everyone lives happily ever after whilst millions of people are serving decades for low level crimes. 'Murica..ain’t it great?

6 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture


yep, i suppose when enough people catch on, they will stop with the pretense and take out the iron fist. for our own good, doncha know?

“The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”

-- Frank Zappa

5 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

of cleaners for sure.

2 users have voted.

blaring from every open door as you stroll down Bourbon Street. Ironically, you are treated to a spectacle if there is a funeral procession. I have seen one.
So, your music offered up tonight brings back magic moments of music, food, and traveler pals who have long since passed.
The Supreme Court is as I dreaded.
We are stuck with them, have no federal governmental branches interested in passing laws to overturn those rulings.
The joke at my house is that when we run out of milk, need to rush to the store for laundry detergent before they close, forgot to return a phone call..anything..the response is, "we are f'cked!"
Well, my house will share that with all of you, in re Supreme Court opinions.
We are f'cked!

6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

heh, the court, it is an amusing thing.

there is nothing in the constitution that describes the court fully. there is no description of the numbers of justices.

the democrats since at least roosevelt have been thinking that they might just add a bunch of justices to dilute the morons.

but, you know, they are never going to appoint somebody like you or me who would really make some changes. so, i was thinking, rather than an abort the court movement, how about a supreme court with zero justices? Smile

6 users have voted.

@joe shikspack lol!
Have a great evening, joe.
It is down to maybr 98 deg. on my front porch. A gentle, but cool breeze. I will embrace it while it lasts, which i likely 12 hours or so.
It is a hot sumbitch here.

2 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@on the cusp

be well

4 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

heh, truly one of the great songs of the era.

thanks! and have a great weekend.

3 users have voted.

@enhydra lutris that expresses my sentiments, and that of my Dear One PERFECTLY!!!

4 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

to expectations, as are the Dems. It's a bit hard to say which is worse. Sorry Frank, it can and did happen here. Need I say that the clock is ticking?

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

M. Savio

Is it time yet ?


be well

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 --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

it's half past time.

4 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@enhydra lutris

It appears that every corner of government is rotted. When you were most active in protesting, the connections and power came from direct interaction with your contemporaries.

I think elements of social media have diluted the possibilities of meaningful activism because of the lack of direct face-to-face contact. It’s more dependent on the strike of a keyboard than the personal and impassioned encouragement of an activist like Silvio. It must feel especially defeating to you who was right in the heart of fighting for change at a time the possibility was more real.

7 users have voted.

Collins, Manchin suggest they were misled by Kavanaugh and Gorsuch on Roe v. Wade

Conservative SCOTUS nominees have been lying to the Senate on the question of Roe v. Wade since 1991. That would include Thomas, Roberts, Alito, Kavanaugh, and Gorsuch. Only a fool would deny that.

6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


as my grandmother used to say, "they are dumb like foxes."

6 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack

As for us folks who ain’t in the insiders’ Big Club,

Rodent ears and possum is all we get

5 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture


Nielsen was no more like the real Swamp Fox than John Wayne was like Genghis Khan. (Francis Marion was small, slight and dark, of Huguenot French ancestry, and never wore any kind of a tail on his close-fitting leather cap.) But Hollywood thinks heroes have to look "heroic".

5 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.