The Evening Blues - 11-24-22


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Louis Jordan

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features sax player, singer and bandleader Louis Jordan. Enjoy!

Louis Jordan & his Tympany Five - Aint Nobody Here But Us Chickens

"Among the calamities of war may be numbered the diminution of the love of truth, by the falsehoods which interest dictates, and credulity encourages."

-- Samuel Johnson

News and Opinion

AP Editor Said She “Can’t Imagine” A US Intelligence Official Being Wrong

The Associated Press journalist who reported a US intelligence official’s false claim that Russia had launched missiles at Poland last week has been fired.

As we discussed previously, AP’s anonymously sourced report which said “A senior U.S. intelligence official says Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people” went viral because of the massive implications of direct hot warfare erupting between Russia and the NATO alliance. AP subsequently retracted its story as the mainstream political/media class came to accept that it was in fact a Ukrainian missile that had struck Poland.

AP’s firing of reporter James LaPorta looks at this time to be the end point of any accountability for the circulation of this extremely dangerous falsehood. AP spokesperson Lauren Easton says no disciplinary action will be taken against the editors who waved the bogus story through, and to this day the public has been kept in the dark about the identity of the US official who fed such extremely egregious misinformation/disinformation to the public through the mainstream press.

It is utterly inexcusable for AP to continue to protect the anonymity of a government official who fed them such a profoundly significant falsehood. This didn’t just affect AP staff, it affected the whole world; we deserve to know what happened and who was responsible, and AP has no business obstructing that knowledge from us.

LaPorta’s firing looks like this is yet another instance where the least powerful person involved in a debacle is being made to take the fall for it. A powerful intelligence official will suffer no consequences for feeding false information to the press — thereby ensuring that it will happen again — and no disciplinary action will be taken against LaPorta’s superiors, despite the absolute buffoonery that subsequent reporting has revealed on their part.

In an article titled “Associated Press reporter fired over erroneous story on Russian attack,” The Washington Post reports the following (emphasis added):

Internal AP communications viewed by The Post show some confusion and misunderstanding during the preparations of the erroneous report.

LaPorta shared the U.S. official’s tip in an electronic message around 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. An editor immediately asked if AP should issue an alert on his tip, “or would we need confirmation from another source and/or Poland?”

After further discussion, a second editor said she “would vote” for publishing an alert, adding, “I can’t imagine a U.S. intelligence official would be wrong on this.”

“I can’t imagine a US intelligence official would be wrong on this.”

Can you imagine not being able to imagine a US intelligence official being wrong? This would be an unacceptable position for any educated adult to hold, much less a journalist, still less an editor, and still less an editor of one of the most influential news agencies on earth.

These are the people who publish the news reports we read to find out what’s happening in the world. This is the baby-brained level of thinking these people are serving the public interest with.

Antiwar commentator Daniel Larison writes the following of the AP editor’s shocking quote:

Skepticism about official claims should always be the watchword for journalists and analysts. These are claims that need more scrutiny than usual rather than less. If you can’t imagine that an intelligence official could get something important wrong, whether by accident or on purpose, you are taking far too many things for granted that need to be questioned and checked out first.

Intelligence officials of many governments feed information to journalists and have done so practically ever since there was a popular press to feed information to, and that information certainly should not be trusted just because an official source hands it over. It is also always possible for intelligence officials to just get things wrong, whether it is because they are relying on faulty information or because they were too hasty in reaching conclusions about what they think they know.

Whether the AP’s source was feeding them a line or was simply mistaken, a claim as provocative and serious as this one should have been checked out much more thoroughly before it got anywhere near publication. The AP report in this case seems to have been a combination of a story that was “too good to check” and a culture of deference to official sources in which the editors didn’t feel compelled to make the effort to check.

Indeed, the only reason the press receive such explicit protections in the US Constitution is because they are supposed to hold the powerful to account. If the editors of a wildly influential news agency will just unquestioningly parrot whatever they are fed by government officials while simultaneously protecting those officials with anonymity, they are not holding the powerful to account, and are in fact not meaningfully different from state propagandists.

They are state propagandists. Which is probably why they are sipping lattes in the AP newsroom while Julian Assange languishes in prison.

As Jacobin’s Branko Marcetic observed, this is far from the first time AP has given the cover of anonymity to US government officials circulating bogus claims of potentially dangerous consequence, like the time it reported an official’s evidence-free assertion which later proved false that Iran had carried out an attack on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, or the time it let another one anonymously claim that “Iran may try to take advantage of America’s troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

So to recap —

  • Powerful government official who fed AP a false story: Zero accountability
  • AP editor who asked if a report should immediately be published upon receipt of the story: Zero accountability
  • Second AP editor who says she can’t imagine a U.S. intelligence official would be wrong:  Zero accountability
  • Journalist who wrote the story: Singular accountability
  • In a sane society, power and responsibility would go hand in hand. A disaster would be blamed on the most powerful people involved in its occurrence. In our society it’s generally the exact opposite, with the rank-and-file taking all of the responsibility and none of the power.

    Our rulers lie to us, propagandize us, endanger us, impoverish us, destroy journalism, start wars, kill our biosphere and make our world dark and confusing, and they suffer no consequences for it. We cannot allow them to continue holding all of the power and none of the responsibility. This is backwards and must end.

    Corp News PROTECTING Official Who Lied About Poland Bombing

    More money down the rat hole:

    US Announces $4.5 Billion in Direct Budgetary Aid for Ukraine

    Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced Tuesday an additional $4.5 billion in direct budgetary aid for the Ukrainian government.

    Yellen said that the new funds will bring total US budgetary aid for Ukraine to $13 billion, and more is coming as Ukraine expects the US to help pay for its massive budget deficit in 2023.

    The aid is being disbursed by the US through the World Bank. According to the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the funds will be sent to Ukraine in two tranches before the end of 2022.

    Big Missile Attack, Russia to Capture Marinka, as Russia Grinds Down Ukraine, Europe Crisis Deepens

    Ukraine to start evacuations in Kherson and Mykolaiv regions as winter sets in

    Ukraine is to evacuate civilians from recently liberated areas of the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions, amid fears that the damage to infrastructure caused by the war is too severe for people to endure the winter.

    Residents of the two southern regions, which were shelled regularly by Russian forces in the past months, have been advised to move to safer areas in the central and western parts of the country, said Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk.

    The government would provide transportation, accommodation and medical care, she added. The evacuations come just over a week after Ukraine retook the city of Kherson – which remains close to the frontline – and areas around it.

    The liberation marked a major battlefield gain, while the evacuations highlight the difficulties Ukraine is facing after heavy Russian shelling of its power infrastructure as winter sets in.

    How US Blackmails Other Countries – Explained By German Diplomat

    Kyiv demands apology after PM Orbán wears scarf showing parts of Ukraine as Hungarian

    Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán came under pressure to apologise after posting a video of himself at a football match wearing a scarf that depicted historical Hungary, including parts of Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

    Ukraine’s foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko said on Tuesday Kyiv would summon Hungary’s ambassador “who will be informed of the unacceptability of Viktor Orbán’s act”.

    “The promotion of revisionism ideas in Hungary does not contribute to the development of Ukrainian-Hungarian relations and does not comply with the principles of European policy,” Nikolenko wrote on Facebook. “We are waiting for an official apology from the Hungarian side and a refutation of the encroachments on the territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

    Ukrainian media showed images of Orbán meeting a Hungarian footballer wearing a scarf which the outlet Ukrainska Pravda reported depicted a map of “Greater Hungary” including territory that is now part of the neighbouring states of Ukraine, Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Croatia and Serbia.

    Ukraine’s security service raids Russian-backed monastery in Kyiv

    Ukraine’s SBU security service and police have raided a 1,000-year-old Orthodox Christian monastery in Kyiv as part of operations to counter suspected “subversive activities by Russian special services”. Located south of the city centre, the sprawling Kyiv Pechersk Lavra complex – or Kyiv Monastery of the Caves – is the headquarters of the Russian-backed wing of the Ukrainian Orthodox church that falls under the Moscow patriarchate, as well as being a Ukrainian cultural treasure and a Unesco World Heritage site.

    The Russian Orthodox church, whose head, Patriarch Kirill, has strongly supported Moscow’s military actions in Ukraine, condemned the raid as an “act of intimidation”.

    The SBU said in a statement: “These measures are being taken … as part of the systemic work of the SBU to counter the destructive activities of Russian special services in Ukraine.” It said the search was aimed at preventing the use of the cave monastery as “the centre of the Russian world” and carried out to look into suspicions “about the use of the premises … for sheltering sabotage and reconnaissance groups, foreign citizens, weapons storage”.

    The “Russian world” concept is at the centre of Vladimir Putin’s new foreign policy doctrine that aims to protect Russia’s language, culture and religion. It has been used by conservative ideologues to justify intervention abroad. The SBU did not give details about the outcome of Tuesday’s raid. Armed officers were seen carrying out ID checks and searching the bags of worshippers before letting them inside.

    Israeli Military Chief Tells US to Step Up Planning for Joint Attacks on Iran

    The head of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is pressing the US to step up planning for joint attacks against Iran, The Times of Israel reported on Tuesday.

    IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi arrived in the US on Sunday and has been holding talks with high-level officials. So far this week, he has met with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and CIA Director William Burns.

    “During the discussions, it was agreed that we are at a critical point in time that requires the acceleration of operational plans and cooperation against Iran and its terrorist proxies in the region,” Kohavi said.

    The Special Military Operation NOBODY Is Talking About

    Syrian Kurdish Militants Fire Rockets Into Turkey, Killing Three

    Turkey’s interior minister on Monday said that three people were killed after rockets hit the Turkish district of Karkamis, near the Syrian border, in an attack likely carried out by Kurdish militants.

    The rocket attack came a day after Turkey launched massive airstrikes in northern Iraq and Syria against Kurdish groups for their alleged role in a recent bombing in Istanbul. Dozens were reported killed in the strikes, including members of the US-backed Kurdish-led SDF.

    According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the SDF fired rockets into Karkamis on Monday from a Syrian border town. The group hasn’t taken credit for the attacks but did vow to take action in response to Turkey’s airstrikes.

    Biden’s decision to grant Saudi crown prince immunity is a profound mistake

    The Biden administration told a US judge last week that Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, should be granted immunity in a civil lawsuit over his role in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That decision effectively ends one of the last efforts to hold the prince accountable for Khashoggi’s assassination by a Saudi hit team inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.

    It is an act of weakness and political cowardice by Joe Biden’s administration, which staked its reputation on holding Khashoggi’s killers accountable and centering its foreign policy on human rights, rather than accommodating autocrats. Biden has done neither. Even worse, he has capitulated yet again to what he views as a realpolitik pressure to make nice with the 37-year-old prince who could well be Saudi Arabia’s king for decades. But Biden can’t seem to collect on that quid-pro-quo arrangement and claim a political victory, as Prince Mohammed has snubbed the US president at every opportunity.

    Cease and Desist Order Called 'Massive Victory' for US Amazon Workers

    Progressives in the United States welcomed news that a federal judge on Friday filed a nationwide cease and desist order against Amazon, which stipulates that the e-commerce giant must stop firing workers for organizing and otherwise impeding their participation in pro-union activities.

    The court order, filed in the Eastern District of New York by District Judge Diana Gujarati, instructs Amazon, the country's second-largest employer, to immediately stop "discharging employees because they engaged in protected concerted activity" and "in any like or related manner interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed to them by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act."

    Major Strike Looms as Largest Rail Union in US Rejects White House-Brokered Contract

    The largest railroad workers union in the United States announced Monday that its members voted to reject a contract negotiated with the help of the Biden White House, once again raising the prospect of a major strike or lockout as employees revolt over profitable rail giants' refusal to provide adequate paid sick leave.

    The Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD) said in a statement that just over 50% of its members voted to reject the proposed contract. Members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET)—the second-largest rail union in the U.S.—voted to ratify the contract, the union said Monday.

    If any of the rail unions decide to strike, the others have vowed to honor their picket lines. SMART-TD said a strike or lockout could begin as soon as December 9.

    "SMART-TD members with their votes have spoken, it's now back to the bargaining table for our operating craft members," said Jeremy Ferguson, the union's president. "This can all be settled through negotiations and without a strike. A settlement would be in the best interests of the workers, the railroads, shippers, and the American people."

    "The ball is now in the railroads' court. Let's see what they do. They can settle this at the bargaining table," Ferguson added. "But, the railroad executives who constantly complain about government interference and regularly bad-mouth regulators and Congress now want Congress to do the bargaining for them."

    The tentative contract agreement was reached in September after marathon negotiations between the Biden White House, rail unions, and rail company representatives.

    As the details of the proposed deal began reaching union members, it became increasingly clear that many were furious at how little the agreement would do to alter rail companies' punitive attendance system, under which workers can be penalized or fired for taking a day off to see the doctor.

    Oregon Governor Pardons 45,000 Marijuana Offenders in Bid to 'Right the Wrongs' of Failed Drug War

    Declaring her intent to "right the wrongs of a flawed, inequitable, and outdated criminal justice system," outgoing Democratic Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Monday pardoned tens of thousands of people convicted of simple marijuana offenses.

    Brown's pardon applies to people convicted at the state level of possessing an ounce (28 grams) or less of marijuana when they were at least 21 years old in pre-2016 cases, regardless of their immigration status. According to Brown's office, approximately 45,000 people will be impacted by the pardon and more than $14 million in fines and fees will be forgiven.

    "No one deserves to be forever saddled with the impacts of a conviction for simple possession of marijuana—a crime that is no longer on the books in Oregon," Brown said in a statement. "Oregonians should never face housing insecurity, employment barriers, and educational obstacles as a result of doing something that is now completely legal, and has been for years. My pardon will remove these hardships."

    "While Oregonians use marijuana at similar rates, Black and Latina/o/x people have been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted at disproportionate rates," said Brown. "We are a state, and a nation, of second chances... For the estimated 45,000 individuals who are receiving a pardon for prior state convictions of marijuana possession, this action will help relieve the collateral consequences arising from these convictions."

    Brown's move came six weeks after U.S. President Joe Biden announced pardons for people convicted of federal simple marijuana offenses with one major caveat—non-U.S. citizens are ineligible. Observers noted the difference between this and Brown's all-inclusive pardons, as well as the fact that the Oregon pardons are automatic, while people seeking federal forgiveness must apply.

    Amy Coney Barrett urged to step away from gay rights case because of faith affiliation

    Former members of Amy Coney Barrett’s secretive faith group, the People of Praise, are calling on the US supreme court justice to recuse herself from an upcoming case involving gay rights, saying Barrett’s continued affiliation with the Christian group means she has participated in discriminatory policies against LGBTQ+ people.

    The former members are part of a network of “survivors” of the controversial charismatic group who say Barrett’s “lifelong and continued” membership in the People of Praise make her too biased to fairly adjudicate an upcoming case that will decide whether private business owners have a right to decline services to potential clients based on their sexual orientation.

    They point to Barrett’s former role on the board of Trinity Schools Inc, a private group of Christian schools that is affiliated with the People of Praise and, in effect, barred children of same-sex parents from attending the school. A faculty guide published in 2015, the year Barrett joined the board, said “blatant sexual immorality” – which the guide said included “homosexual acts” – had “no place in the culture of Trinity Schools”. The discriminatory policies were in place before and after Barrett joined.

    The schools’ attitude, the former People of Praise members said, reflect the Christian group’s staunchly anti-gay beliefs and adherence to traditional family values, including – they say – expelling or ostracizing members of the People of Praise “community” who came out as gay later in life or their gay children.

    LA officer ‘violated policy’ by firing shots that killed teen in dressing room

    A Los Angeles police officer who killed a 14-year-old girl in a clothing store last December was found to have violated police department policy when he fired multiple shots during an incident at the store, including one that struck and killed the teen.

    This week’s findings by the city’s police commission concern a case that shocked Los Angeles. Valentina Orellana-Peralta was killed on 23 December 2021 while shopping with her mother at a North Hollywood Burlington Coat Factory. The police officer, William Dorsey Jones Jr, opened fire at a man suspected of assaulting customers in the store. One of the bullets he fired struck and killed the teen, who was in a dressing room with her mother.

    The killing of Orellana-Peralta drew widespread outrage and sparked protests and a lawsuit. It came in a particularly deadly year for civilians at the hands of the Los Angeles police – last year the LAPD killed more than double the number of civilians it did in 2020. Orellana-Peralta was one of five people killed by Los Angeles police in a nine-day period in 2021.

    Activists have argued that because city police officers face few consequences, they are emboldened to carelessly use lethal force in situations where it is not warranted. In the shooting that killed Orellana-Peralta, activists and observers had questioned why Jones fired on a suspect without trying to de-escalate the situation or assessing whether bystanders could be endangered.

    The police commission determined that Jones’ first shot was justified, but that the following two shots violated LAPD policy. The city police chief, Michel Moore, however, concluded that Jones was wrong to fire at all and that another officer in the same situation would not have thought deadly force was “objectively reasonable or necessary”. The commission said the responding officers and a supervising sergeant had also used improper tactics in confronting the suspect, Daniel Elena Lopez, who was killed in the incident.

    Wilko Johnson: Dr Feelgood guitarist and punk forebear dies aged 75

    Wilko Johnson, the guitarist for Dr Feelgood and a formative influence on the British punk movement, has died aged 75. A statement posted to his official social media accounts said he died at home on 21 November.

    Johnson was diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer in 2013 and elected not to receive chemotherapy. That year, he was told he had nine to 10 months left to live. Nevertheless, in 2014 he released the album Going Back Home, a collaboration with the Who’s Roger Daltrey. Later that year, doctors discovered that the cancer was a neuroendocrine tumour, a less aggressive and more treatable form of the disease, and Johnson announced that he was cancer-free following a major operation to remove a 3kg tumour. ...

    Johnson was born John Peter Wilkinson in Canvey Island, Essex, in 1947. He began playing guitar as a teenager, but his career began in earnest in 1971, when he formed Dr Feelgood with singer Lee Brilleaux, bass player John B Sparks, and drummer John Martin.

    The band went on to become mainstays of the British pub rock scene, and Johnson quickly became known for his distinctive style of guitar playing, which utilised fingerpicking in order to play riffs or solos while playing rhythm, as well as his flamboyant performances, which often featured him raising his guitar to his shoulders like a gun.

    Dr Feelgood’s intense, brutal take on R&B was a major influence on the British punk music that would emerge in the 70s and 80s. Johnson remained with Dr Feelgood for their first four albums, the latter three of which charted in the top 20 of the UK albums chart, before inter-band conflict led him to part ways with the group.

    the horse race

    US supreme court allows Congress to view Trump’s tax returns

    The US supreme court will allow a congressional committee to receive copies of Donald Trump’s tax returns, ending a three-year battle by the Democratic-led body to see the documents the former president has famously refused to release since his first White House bid.

    The court did not accompany its decision with any public comment, but it rejected Trump’s plea for an order that would have prevented the treasury department from giving six years of tax returns for Trump and some of his businesses to the House ways and means committee.

    The influential committee will continue to be led by a Democratic party chair, in this case Massachusetts congressman Richard Neal, until the new Congress is sworn in in January with the Republicans in the majority and therefore filling committee chairs, following the midterm elections.

    It was Trump’s second loss at the supreme court in as many months, and third this year.

    YouTube: It’s OK To Question Trump’s Election But NOT Biden’s?!?

    Mary Peltola, first Alaska Native in Congress, wins bid to retain seat

    Mary Peltola, a Democrat and the first Alaska Native to serve in Congress, has won her bid to retain the state’s sole seat in the House of Representatives. Peltola made history when she won a special election this summer to replace the Republican Don Young after his death. She is also the first woman to represent Alaska in Congress since it became a state in 1959.

    Peltola served out the remainder of Young’s term before facing a rematch with her previous challengers, Republicans Sarah Palin and Nick Begich III and Libertarian Chris Bye, for a full congressional term. On Wednesday, she once again prevailed in Alaska’s newly adopted ranked-choice voting system.

    “Now, I’m a real congressman for all Alaska,” she said. Young often referred to himself that way. Peltola has described his legacy as one of bipartisanship and building support for Alaskan interests in Congress.

    Campaigning as a moderate who is willing to work with candidates from both parties, Peltola ran on a “pro-fish, pro-family, pro-freedom” platform. After taking office, she hired Young’s former chief of staff – a lifelong Republican – to run her office.

    the evening greens

    Lakota Historian Nick Estes on Thanksgiving, Settler Colonialism & Continuing Indigenous Resistance

    US NRC Seeks Greatly Reduced Safety Regulations for 'Advanced' Nuclear Power Plants

    "Guinea Pig Nation: How the NRC's new licensing rules could turn communities into test beds for risky, experimental nuclear plants," is what physicist Dr. Edwin Lyman, Director of Nuclear Power Safety with the Union of Concerned Scientists, titled his presentation last week.

    The talk was about how the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is involved in a major change of its "rules" and "guidance" to reduce government regulations for what the nuclear industry calls "advanced" nuclear power plants.

    Already, Lyman said, at a "Night with the Experts" online session organized by the Nuclear Energy Information Service, the NRC has moved to allow nuclear power plants to be built in thickly populated areas. This "change in policy" was approved in a vote by NRC commissioners in July.

    For a more than a half-century, the NRC and its predecessor agency, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, sought to have nuclear power plants sited in areas of "low population density"—because of the threat of a major nuclear plant accident.

    But, said Lyman, who specializes in nuclear power safety, nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism, the NRC in a decision titled "Population-Related Siting Considerations for Advanced Reactors," substantially altered this policy.

    The lone NRC vote against the change came from Commissioner Jeffery Baran who in casting his 'no' vote wrote "Multiple, independent layers of protection against potential radiological exposure are necessary because we do not have perfect knowledge of new reactor technologies and their unique potential accident scenarios….Unlike light-water reactors, new advanced reactor designs do not have decades of operating experience; in many cases, the new designs have never been built or operated before." 

    He noted a NRC "criteria" document which declared that the agency "has a longstanding policy of siting nuclear reactors away from densely populated centers and preferring areas of low population density."

    But, said Baran, under the new policy, a "reactor could be sited within a town of 25,000 people and right next to a large city. For reactor designs that have not been deployed before and do not have operating experience, that approach may be insufficiently protective of public health and safety…And it would not maintain the key defense-in-depth principle of having prudent siting limitations regardless of the features of a particular reactor design—a principle that has been a bedrock of nuclear safety."

    That is just one of the many reductions proposed in safety standards.

    "The central issue," commented Lyman in an interview following his November 17th presentation, "is that the NRC is accepting on faith that these new reactors are going to be safer and wants to adjust its regulations accordingly, to make them less stringent—on faith."

    The key motivation, he said, behind the nuclear industry's push to significantly weaken safety standards is that the line of smaller nuclear power plants the nuclear industry is now pushing—including what it calls the "small modular nuclear reactor"—is that they are going to be "much more expensive" than the existing light-water nuclear power plants, the most common type of nuclear power plant which are large and are cooled by plain water. Thus, he said, these "advanced" nuclear plants would be more costly to operate than using energy alternatives, "certainly wind and solar."

    And the NRC is complying with the nuclear industry.

    It's a demonstration of one of the alternatives for the acronym for the NRC—Nuclear Rubberstamp Commission.

    And now, the important business of the Cop: blame shifting ...

    US receives stinging criticism at Cop27 despite China’s growing emissions

    The US, fresh from reversing its 30 years of opposition to a “loss and damage” fund for poorer countries suffering the worst impacts of the climate crisis, has signaled that its longstanding image as global climate villain should now be pinned on a new culprit: China.

    Following years of tumult in which the US refused to provide anything resembling compensation for climate damages, followed by Donald Trump’s removal of the US from the Paris climate agreement, there was a profound shift at the Cop27 UN talks in Egypt, with Joe Biden’s administration agreeing to the new loss and damage fund.

    The US also backed language in the new agreement, which finally concluded in the early hours of Sunday morning after an often fraught period of negotiations between governments, that would demand the phase-out of all unabated fossil fuels, only to be thwarted by major oil-producing nations such as Saudi Arabia and Russia.

    Despite these stances, the US continued to be the leading target of ire from climate activists who blame it for obstruction and for failing to reckon with its role as history’s largest ever emitter of planet-heating gases. On Friday, the US was given the unwanted title of “colossal fossil” by climate groups for supposedly failing to push through the loss and damage assistance at Cop27.

    The US delegation in Sharm el-Sheikh chafed at this image, with John Kerry, Biden’s climate envoy, using his closing remarks to shift the focus on to China, now the world’s largest emitter. Kerry said that “all nations have a stake in the choices China makes in this critical decade. The United States and China should be able to accelerate progress together, not only for our sake, but for future generations – and we are all hopeful that China will live up to its global responsibility.”

    California’s last nuclear power plant gets $1bn funding to extend life

    California’s last nuclear plant could get a new lease on life after the Biden administration announced the approval of up to $1.1bn in conditional funding on Monday. The grant funds may offer a path to keeping the ageing facility known as Diablo Canyon online beyond its scheduled shutdown in 2025.

    Tucked against picturesque bluffs along California’s central coast, the plant has faced a spate of controversies over the decades, for its impact on underwater ecosystems, the production of toxic waste and its proximity to earthquake fault lines. Its planned closure by 2025 seemed an all-but-certain step in California’s ambitious journey toward a greener future.

    But concerns over the state’s ability to generate enough green energy to fill the gap left by the plant’s closure grew as the deadline neared. The state is far from finding a reliable and climate-conscious replacement for the energy produced by the plant. The largest single-source provider in the state generates more than 8% of California’s electricity, enough to supply more than 3 million residents. California is facing steep energy challenges that are only expected to worsen as the climate crisis intensifies.

    It’s an issue being grappled with in states across the US. The nuclear power industry’s 92 reactors generate more than half of the country’s virtually carbon-free electricity, but about a dozen reactors have closed since 2013 in the face of competition from renewable energy and plants that burn plentiful natural gas.

    As part of its effort to fight the climate crisis, the Biden administration set aside these grant funds to keep struggling nuclear plants online.

    Also of Interest

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

    Scott Ritter: The Back Channel

    Ukraine - No Way To Peace Without Further War

    Ukraine - Lights Out, No Water And Soon No Heat

    Is the Collective West Going Soon to Be Hoist on the Zelensky Petard?

    Xi Jinping, Justin Trudeau and White Supremacist Ideology

    Musk’s Free Speech Moves On Twitter Have So Far Been Unimpressive

    Dutch Genuflect to US, Convict Russians for Downing MH17

    Polish President Andrzej Duda Doesn’t Want War With Russia, But He Doesn’t Want To Tell Polish Voters

    Craig Murray: Your Man in Saughton Jail Part 3

    Colombian government and ELN rebels begin new effort to end 60 years of war

    What happens when an oligarch takes on a prime minister? Look to Greece to find out

    Scottish independence: supreme court ‘no’ leaves Sturgeon looking for solutions

    Strike Wave Rocks Britain

    Brazil judge fines Bolsonaro allies millions after ‘bad faith’ election challenge

    Prosecution rests case early in Trump Organization tax fraud trial

    Audits — Hidden Until Now — Reveal Millions in Medicare Advantage Overcharges

    Ticketmaster Faces The Music

    ‘The ghost that haunts Monteverde’: how the climate crisis killed the golden toad

    What happens when humans meddle with nature?

    Unchecked deforestation destroying evidence of lost Amazon civilisation

    Steven Donziger: ‘Criminalize Ecocide’

    Media IGNORES New Dem Leader's HYPOCRISY On Election Denial

    PROOF “Call Of Duty” Is A US Military PSYOP

    GOP Alleges Biden Family Sought Business In 50 Countries

    A Little Night Music

    Louis Jordan - Saturday Night Fish Fry

    Louis Jordan - Blue Light Boogie Pts 1 & 2

    Louis Jordan - Beans And Cornbread

    Louis Jordan - Early In The Morning

    Louis Jordan & His Tympany Five-Deacon Jones

    Louis Jordan & his Tympany Five - Jumpin' At The Jubilee

    Louis Jordan & his Tympany Five - Choo Choo Ch’Boogie

    Louis Jordan - Somebody Done Hoodooed the Hoodoo Man

    Louis Jordan - Let The Good Times Roll

    11 users have voted.


    joe shikspack's picture

    heh, tonight i'm making up for the news we missed when the site was down. tomorrow, i'll post the music.

    i hope everybody's thanksgiving is going well - have a great evening!

    12 users have voted.

    @joe shikspack

    need a good dose for the failed murican dream wars

    Failed Drug War
    war on poverty?
    war on just about anything
    in the way of hegemony

    9 users have voted.
    joe shikspack's picture


    happy thanksgiving! plenty of ketchup for yer leftovers. Smile

    7 users have voted.

    @QMS you dont think they were trying to stop the flow of the drugs they were bringing in, do you?
    Dont you think it was marvelous the way they fertilized racism in the closet of America with crack babies and disparate sentencing for those who bought their products? Wasnt that a marvelous implementation of slavery in the interest of prison labor contractors? How can you not admire the serious effort made to cripple communities of color? Just the magnificent display of shutting down the factual Dark Alliance phenomenon was a high point in media evolution. Serious papers became fishwrap overnight. All of this falling in place after the overnight revolution that was the true Drug War. When every single coca producing and transshipping country had a change in management. Including ours.
    Drug lords ruled the earth at the beginning of the Bush/Reagan American dream. A nice start, but Pfizer showed em a thing or two.

    6 users have voted.
    snoopydawg's picture

    Thanks for the news today. I wasn’t expecting it. Does anyone believe that congress isn’t aware of how much corruption there is in Medicare advantage? How many years has this been going on?

    We just got done watching the buffalo parade. 6 of them just walked by the camp maybe 20 yards away. I was in the middle of cooking steaks outside. They stopped for awhile in the spot we were in last year. Beautiful animals.

    Hope y’all are having a good time.

    12 users have voted.

    Indifference to evil is more insidious than evil itself.
    - Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

    joe shikspack's picture


    heh, of course congress knows that medicare advantage is riddled with corruption - it's a reflection of how corrupt congress is and i'm sure that the take is good.

    glad to hear that your vacation has turned scenic. wave to the bison and give sam a scritch for me.

    9 users have voted.

    Glad you stuck around to bring us some blues with the news tonight. Enjoyed the music especiallly since I was having beans and cornbread! Several of the songs brought back memories of life down near the bayou.

    Nice quiet dinner with beans and cornbread along with a sweet potato. Supposed to get some snow tonight. We will see. Starting to watch the weather as I start planning for the trip heading south the Central Texas.

    Hope you all had a great holiday weekend!

    12 users have voted.

    Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

    This ain't no dress rehearsal!

    joe shikspack's picture


    well, i had a whole bunch of leftover news from the past few days, so it seemed a good time to post it all.

    i'm having my traditional post bird-day food coma about now and the music is going well with it, too. Smile

    i saw that new mexico and west texas are due for some snowstorms the next couple of days with a system that just sort of sticks around. if you're driving take care, it's my guess that neither of those states are well prepared for major snow storms.

    hope you're having a great thanksgiving!

    7 users have voted.
    dystopian's picture

    Hi all, Hey Joe, Hope everyone is having a good bird buzz goin'.

    This is old but if you haven't seen it, or in a while, still funny...

    Hope y'all had a good Thanksgiving!

    9 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


    heh, all is calm here in chez shikspack all bellies (except for perhaps the dog's bottomless pit) are satiated.

    thanks for the video and i hope you're having a great holiday!

    8 users have voted.

    10 users have voted.

    "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

    joe shikspack's picture

    @on the cusp

    yep, that thanksgiving was a touchstone for a generation. thanks for the video!

    i hope that you guys are having a good one!

    7 users have voted.

    @on the cusp

    another typical case of murican' of blind justice ..

    7 users have voted.

    Get Stuffed Day
    to all

    I know I did

    Thanks for the nuze
    such as it is
    happy dogs Everywhere

    8 users have voted.

    Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

    Explain Bldg #7. . .

    If you’ve ever wondered whether you would have complied in 1930’s Germany,
    Now you know. . .
    sign at protest march

    joe shikspack's picture

    @Tall Bald and Ugly

    glad to hear that you've had a good stuffing. have a great weekend!

    7 users have voted.
    snoopydawg's picture

    Larry Johnson writes about what the consequences of Russia targeting the electric systems in Ukraine is going to wrought. I’ve been without power a few times in this modern age and have felt cut off from the world. It’s going to be much worse for people there because…..

    We just went through being cut off from just this site and we know how lost we felt. Hopefully this will get us to a peace deal soon. Some are saying that Ukraine has lost over 100,000 troops or more and anyone still pushing for attacks should be charged with crimes against humanity. Ukraine has lost the war as has NATO. ENOUGH.

    12 users have voted.

    Indifference to evil is more insidious than evil itself.
    - Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel