The Evening Blues - 1-24-23



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Oscar Peterson

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. Enjoy!

Oscar Peterson & Count Basie - Slow Blues

"The reason people hate America is because they don't like being treated like garbage by arrogant, pompous, hypocritical, self-righteous, duplicitous, imperialist political and bureaucratic hacks."

-- Jacob G. Hornberger


News and Opinion

Thankfully we hadn't heard much from America's Biggest Pompous Ass for a while, but now that the slime ball is running for presidunce, he needs to grab some headlines ...

Mike Pompeo dismisses ‘faux outrage’ over murder of Jamal Khashoggi

The former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has dismissed the indignation prompted by the murder of Jamal Khashoggi as “faux outrage” – and cast doubt on whether the Washington Post columnist was a genuine journalist at all.

In his new book, Pompeo says that Khashoggi – who was killed by Saudi agents in Istanbul in 2018 – was not “a Saudi Arabian Bob Woodward martyred for bravely criticising the Saudi royal family”. Instead, Pompeo argues, Khashoggi was “an activist who had supported the losing team”. ...

Khashoggi’s widow told NBC that Pompeo should “shut up”.

In his memoir, Pompeo – a potential Republican presidential contender – introduces his description of the Khashoggi affair with a provocative turn of phrase, saying the Trump administration’s relationship with Saudi Arabia “made the media madder than a vegan in a slaughterhouse”. He calls the killing of Khashoggi “grotesque butchery … outrageous, unacceptable, horrific and despicable, evil, brutish and, of course, unlawful”.

But, he writes, the killing “wasn’t surprising – not to me, anyway. I’d seen enough of the Middle East to know that this kind of ruthlessness was all too routine in that part of the world”. Pompeo bemoans “faux outrage … fueled by the media”. Reporters, he says, “hammered the story extra hard because Khashoggi was a ‘journalist’. “To be clear, Khashoggi was a journalist to the extent that I and many other public figures are journalists. We sometimes get our writing published, but we also do other things. The media made Khashoggi out to be a Saudi Arabian Bob Woodward who was martyred for bravely criticising the Saudi royal family through his opinion articles in the Washington Post.

Isolating Zelensky. Collective West builds intervention force for west Ukraine

Ukraine deputy minister sacked for alleged theft of $400,000

Ukraine’s deputy infrastructure minister, Vasyl Lozinskyi, has been detained and dismissed from his post for allegedly stealing $400,000 (£320,000) intended for purchasing aid, including generators, according to Ukraine’s state anti-corruption detectives and prosecutors.

After the news emerged, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, vowed that the old ways of corruption would not return to Ukraine. “I want this to be clear: there will be no return to what used to be in the past, to the way various people close to state institutions or those who spent their entire lives chasing a chair [a state position] used to live,” said Zelenskiy in his nightly address on Sunday without specifically mentioning the case.

Lozinskyi is said to have colluded with contractors to inflate the price of generators and siphoned off part of the difference, according to Ukraine’s anti-corruption bodies. Other national and regional officials are also said to have been involved. Over summer, the Ukrainian government allocated 1.68bn hryvnia (approximately £36.7m) for goods and technology that would help provide alternative sources of energy, water and heat for its population during winter. ...

Before the war, corruption scandals were an almost daily feature of Ukrainian political life. The country was ranked 122 out of 180 by Transparency International in 2021, making it one of the world’s most corrupt countries. The EU has made anti-corruption reforms one of the key requirements for Ukraine gaining EU membership.

Russiagate FBI Agent CAUGHT In Bed With RUSSIANS

Former top FBI official accused of taking cash from Putin ally to investigate rival

A former top FBI counter-intelligence official conspired to commit money laundering offences and violated US sanctions by taking secret payments from the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to investigate a rival, federal prosecutors said in an indictment on Monday. Charles McGonigal, 54, was also arrested on charges relating to his alleged acceptance of a $225,000 cash payment from a former foreign security officer, when he was special agent in charge for counter-intelligence at the FBI’s New York office.

In the Deripaska-connected case, the five-count indictment unsealed in Manhattan was the latest in a string of charges against associates of the oligarch that suggest the US justice department views the matter as going beyond regular sanctions violations. In the cash payments case, federal prosecutors portrayed McGonigal as seeking to enrich himself and the former foreign service officer, who later served as an FBI source in a criminal investigation involving foreign political lobbying, over which McGonigal had supervisory authority.

“Russian oligarchs like Oleg Deripaska perform global malign influence on behalf of the Kremlin,” said Michael Driscoll, FBI assistant director in charge in New York. “Mr McGonigal and Mr Shestakov, both US citizens, acted on behalf of Deripaska and fraudulently used a US entity to obscure their activity.” ... According to charging papers, McGonigal violated US sanctions by agreeing in 2021, three years after he left the FBI’s New York office, to provide services to Deripaska. While at the FBI, McGonigal oversaw investigations into oligarchs including Deripaska, who was himself indicted last year for sanctions violations.

Prosecutors accuse Ohio Republicans of taking $60m in bribes as corruption trial opens

Federal prosecutors on the first day of a historic racketeering trial in Ohio alleged that top Republicans in the state accepted bribes from the power company FirstEnergy.

The trial, which is expected to last six weeks, is the latest utility scandal following cases in the last 10 years in Arizona, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida which experts say has led to higher bills for consumers, less green energy, and more CO2 emissions.

One of the defendants, the former Ohio house speaker Larry Householder, told reporters Monday morning as he waited for opening statements in the US district court in Cincinnati that he has done nothing wrong and expects “redemption”. Householder is charged with one count of racketeering, and if convicted, faces up to 20 years in prison.

Prosecutors allege that Householder and the four men indicted alongside him received over $60m in bribes from the Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy corporation and its subsidiaries. Prosecutors argue that in exchange, Householder and his co-conspirators passed HB-6, a bill that would have delivered $1.4bn in customer funded bailouts to two ailing nuclear plants controlled by the utility. Nuclear power has struggled to compete with comparatively cheap gas plants in recent years.

“Larry Householder sold the statehouse,” assistant US attorney Emily Glatfelter told jurors in the government’s opening statement. “He ripped off the people he was elected to serve and made backroom deals to exchange his power for money.” ... At the heart of the case are the over $60m from FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries that Householder and his four co-conspirators received via several “dark money” tax exempt entities, the most important of which was Generation Now.

Renomination of Gigi Sohn Gives Public Another Chance to Be Heard

This month President Joe Biden renominated the highly qualified Sohn, whose confirmation has now been stalled for a record-breaking amount of time. With a 50/50 split in the Senate, Democrats had failed to muster enough support for a vote in the face of strong opposition from deep-pocketed big media corporations like Comcast.

The FCC has been operating without a fifth member for well over a year, which has left it deadlocked with two Democratic and two Republican members. That’s great news for the telecom industry, which is enjoying the FCC’s inability to do things like restore net neutrality (which was implemented under Obama and repealed under Trump), ensure equal access to broadband, prevent further consolidation of big media, and crack down on wireless carriers’ abuse of private user location data.

Sohn’s renomination, and the record-breaking delay on her vote, have been met with virtual radio silence in news media. Only a small handful of newspapers and online news outlets have covered the nomination; FAIR could find no mentions on TV news in a search of the Nexis news database.

In one noteworthy exception, the Mercury News and East Bay Times editorial boards published an editorial (1/19/23) supporting Sohn’s nomination and declaring, “Enough is enough.” In addition to highlighting Sohn’s qualifications, the Silicon Valley-based editors pointed to “the importance of net neutrality” to the tech industry, which depends on “fair, open competition in the content market.”

A handful of smaller online publications like American Prospect, the Verge, TechDirt and ArsTechnica are the only non-right-wing outlets to consistently cover the battle over Sohn’s confirmation, despite its importance to every person in this country who watches TV, uses the internet or has a cell phone.

As we pointed out last year (6/15/22), while Fox News had made repeated attacks on Sohn, MSNBC—which has reported on several other blocked Biden nominees—had not mentioned her name on air once since her initial nomination. In the seven months since then, what passes for a left-leaning cable network has still failed to speak Sohn’s name. (MSNBC.com did publish one guest column about digital redlining—10/27/22—that advocated for Sohn’s confirmation to address the issue.) CNN has also been silent on Sohn, though a CNN Business article (CNN.com, 7/19/22) on net neutrality mentioned that “the Senate has yet to confirm Gigi Sohn, Biden’s nominee to fill the fifth and final seat on the commission.”

Cable news isn’t directly regulated by the FCC, whose purview is public, not private, communications infrastructure. But note: Fox News is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox Broadcasting Company; MSNBC is owned by telecom behemoth Comcast, which has been actively lobbying against Sohn (Ars Technica, 1/13/22); and CNN is now owned by fellow telecom giant AT&T.

Media conglomerates will always have armies of lobbyists to make their interests heard at the FCC; the public interest needs to overcome a media blockade to get its representative on the board.

Jeremy Scahill: Biden & Trump Scandals Point to Deeper Issues with Overclassification of Gov't Docs

Biden’s Secret Stash

There are two things I love about the mess our more or less senile president finds himself in as his hoard of classified documents comes to light in a rolling barrage of revelations. One is the mainstream media’s quite unbelievable faith in the American public’s stupidity. Does anything more persuasively measure the stupidity of these media?

Joe “My Corvette’s in the Garage” Biden howls with indignity when Donald Trump gets caught with classified files at Mar–a–Lago, his Florida estate. Then our serving president is discovered with his own stashes of secret documents here, there and everywhere. Oh, but it is very different, we read. Not at all the same, because Trump didn’t cooperate with the National Archives and the Justice Department, and Biden did.

As the man from Scranton now takes to saying, “I did nothing wrong. There’s no there there.” The New York Times, the other major dailies and the corporate broadcasters all report this with straight faces: The Trump case is one thing, Biden’s another.

So are we urged to think illegal possession of classified documents is not the issue. No need to consider this. It’s all about attitude. If you exhibit the right attitude when you are caught red-handed in a criminal act, you can stand there and claim innocence, insist that the garage where classified documents were found is locked because your Corvette is parked in it, and the media will go all the way for you.

They can’t be so stupid as to think their readers and viewers are so stupid, I’ve said to myself since CBS News opened the door onto this farrago of nonsense a couple of weeks ago. How wrong I have been. We have a 50–year record attesting to Joe Biden’s stupidity. We now know, if we didn’t already, that there is no limit to our mainstream media’s defense of his stupidity. ...

Whether or not Americans are aware of it, and my impression is few are, they are now face-to-face with the extent to which our government conducts its business in secret. This is the second thing I love about these matching messes over classified documents. A paradox here: It is illegal for a government official to possess classified documents without authorization, and it is perfectly normal to do so given the extent to which classified material forms the basis of U.S. policy — notably, but not only, its foreign policy.

The End Of The U.S. Dollar Is Here!

Look at how the 1% are doing right now, and tell me the system isn’t rigged

You may have forgotten by now, but there was a brief moment during the pandemic when hopes were raised for a new “roaring 20s”. The Yale sociology professor Nicholas Christakis predicted that as in the 1920s, after the 1918 Spanish flu, society would embrace indulgence, with a rise in “sexual licentiousness” as well as a “reverse of religiosity”. We were poised to emerge from lockdown randy and flush. We certainly weren’t supposed to plunge, as we have in Britain, right into political crises and strikes, have three prime ministers in as many months, and sit at home too skint to turn on the heating or socialise.

But a roaring 20s is actually happening, just not for most of us. According to Oxfam’s annual inequality report, released to coincide with the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, the richest 1% of people have captured nearly twice as much new wealth as the rest of the world combined since the pandemic. Their fortune soared by $26tn, increasing their share of new wealth from 50% to two-thirds.

The breakdown of these figures exposes how on a global basis, extreme wealth is accumulated not by innovating or increasing production, but by taking advantage of rising prices and exploiting labour. In this effort, wealthy people are enabled by lack of regulation and taxation. The result is a bonanza of plunder with no sheriff in town.

This has been happening for a while, but the pandemic accelerated the trend. Rich people benefited from everything – every positive intervention from the state and negative impact of the crisis somehow still ended up increasing their wealth. They benefited from rising costs by using them as an alibi to charge higher-than-inflation prices, then distributing the rewards as dividends instead of higher wages. Food and energy corporations made a killing, making $306bn in windfall profits in 2022, then distributing 84% to shareholders. ...

What hangs in the balance, as the billionaires’ riches increase, is their ability to argue that it’s working for us too.

U.S. Middle Class Needs A Pay Cut! Says Canadian Deputy Prime Minister



the horse race



Biden Taps Corporate FRAUDSTER As Next Chief Of Staff

Four Oath Keepers convicted of seditious conspiracy

Four members of the Oath Keepers anti-government militia were convicted on Monday of seditious conspiracy relating to the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump, after the second major trial accusing far-right extremists of plotting to forcibly keep the former US president in power. ...

The convictions were another major victory for the Department of Justice, which is also trying to secure sedition verdicts against the former leader of the hard-right, violent, all-male nationalist group the Proud Boys and four associates. The trial against Enrique Tarrio and his lieutenants opened earlier this month in Washington DC and is expected to last several weeks.

They are some of the most serious cases brought so far in the sweeping investigation into the Capitol attack, which continues to grow two years after the riot. The justice department has brought nearly 1,000 cases and the tally increases by the week.

Dem CHALLENGES Sinema After DAVOS Humiliation



the evening greens


Watchdogs Warn House GOP Bill Would 'Lock in Another Century of Oil and Gas'

Climate watchdogs warned Monday that a bill House Republicans are expected to vote on this week is a thinly veiled effort to open more public lands and waters to planet-wrecking oil and gas drilling.

The Strategic Production Response Act, led by new House Energy and Commerce Committee chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), aims to curtail presidential authority to release oil from the United States' strategic reserve—something President Joe Biden did on a major scale last year in an attempt to curb gas prices.

But Joshua Axelrod, a senior advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) who focuses on public lands, noted in a blog post Monday that "despite its title, the bill neither responds to any existing problem nor advances any coherent or achievable energy policy."

"Under the guise of limiting the use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the Strategic Production Response Act appears, in fact, to be focused on establishing a federal oil and gas leasing mandate that eclipses all past efforts to hand over public lands and offshore areas to oil and gas companies," Axelrod wrote. "How? Under the proposed language, no non-emergency drawdown of the SPR can take place without the development of a plan from the Secretary of Energy and other relevant agency heads to 'lease for oil and gas production... [on lands and waters] by the same percentage' as the planned SPR drawdowns (up to 10%)."

"Put more clearly: If 1% of the SPR is to be drawn down, a plan to lease 1% of available public lands or offshore areas must first be developed," Axelrod added, cautioning that—if passed—the measure would "lock in another century of oil and gas."

France to take legal action over ‘nightmare’ plastic pellet spill

The French government is taking legal action over an “environmental nightmare” caused by waves of tiny plastic beads washing up on the coast of Brittany.

The white pellets the size of grains of rice, nicknamed “mermaids’ tears”, have been appearing on beaches in France and Spain for the last year. They are believed to have come from shipping containers lost in the Atlantic Ocean. ...

Jean-Michel Brard, the mayor of Pornic, said he had filed a legal complaint along with two other mayors from affected seaside resorts in the region. However, officials say it is impossible to identify the origin of the beads.

Christophe Béchu, the minister for ecological transition, said the pellets were an “environmental nightmare” and that the government would also be taking legal action “against x” [persons unknown]. “The state stands with the associations,” Béchu said.


Also of Interest

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

U.S. Officials Claim More 'Russiagate' Like Nonsense

Debt Ceiling Arm Wrestling Targets Ukraine Spending

Washington Ratchets Up Maritime Disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean

The Red Queen’s Race, Neoliberalism & Why Healthcare Is Being Privatized

How the US far right and progressives ended up agreeing on military spending cuts

Chris Hedges: The Plague of Social Isolation

Exotic green comet not seen since stone age returns to skies above Earth

The MOST MENTAL Thing Ever Said About Social Security!

Why Democracy Now sucks

Doomsday Clock ticks ever closer to midnight amid Ukraine war, other crises


A Little Night Music

Oscar Peterson - Boogie Blues Etude

Oscar Peterson Trio - Georgia On My Mind

Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson - Just One of Those Things

Oscar Peterson - Sweet Georgia Brown

Oscar Peterson - Summertime

Oscar Peterson & Milt Jackson - Work Song

Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass & Ray Brown - Caravan

Oscar Peterson & Clark Terry - Mumbles

Oscar Peterson Trio - C Jam Blues


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Comments

I wonder if any Democrats will have the intestinal fortitude to sign onto it?

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/3828504-hawley-introduces-pelosi-act...

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has introduced a bill that would ban members of Congress from trading and owning stocks, using the name of his legislation to take a jab at Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Hawley on Tuesday introduced the Pelosi Act — or the Preventing Elected Leaders from Owning Securities and Investments Act — renewing a legislative push to curtail stock trading by lawmakers that has failed over the last few years.

“Members of Congress and their spouses shouldn’t be using their position to get rich on the stock market,” Hawley tweeted in announcing his bill.

The GOP senator previously introduced legislation last year seeking to ban lawmakers and their spouses from holding stocks or making new transactions while in office.

The Hill has reached out to Pelosi’s office for comment.

Members of both parties signaled interest in legislation barring stock trades after then-Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who at the time was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, unloaded stocks at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The Securities and Exchange Commission recently closed a probe of his trading activities without taking action.

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@humphrey LOL

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NYCVG

joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

i love it!

i have to give hawley points for that one.

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@joe shikspack

I did enjoy the consortium news link in todays essay.

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So what happens when those Jan6th insurrectionists go off to prison for nothing but the extreme crime of walking into the capitol building. Maybe out of sight, out of mind but...what if they become radicalized into serious violence. What if they develop and organize into real extremists while in prison instead of just being random dumbshits.

I think for the most part the media and democrats exaggerated right wing violence. Even in Portland they could barely fill up one quarter of a rural high school gym during their gatherings. AntiFa was way more violent. But as these guys get out of prison will they just go home 50 lbs lighter and happy for male prison companionship or will they be out to get real payback with a real violent organized movement.

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joe shikspack's picture

@MrWebster

well, i would imagine that different people will react differently, but i would guess that some of these folks will emerge from prison chastened and worried about putting their lives back together. i would guess that others will emerge from prison hardened, angrier and with greater resolve.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@MrWebster

remember, they didn't just walk in, they broke in as in forced their way in, in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying the election, 2 Groups in particular are definitely not well meaning innocents, the Oath Keepers and the Proud boys. The Oath Keepers are all LEOs or ex-LEOs who believe that they are, in the end, the only law and final arbiters of same, they re well armed and willing to use both the threat and the actuality of violence. They showed up at Ferguson in full battle gear, "to keep the peace", for example.

The Proud boys are simply thugs, they began as something of a fight club/militia, and attack anybody and everybody they disagree with as often a they can, and have been known to club and stab demonstrators and others.

be well and have a good one

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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 --

Not much good news tonight but the music sure made reading more palatable! As a person living on a fixed income, the future does look pretty bad for me but even worse for the younger generations and those with a huge debt load.

Do have my home, paid for and am looking at suggestions that have been mentioned in other posts here at C99. Hope you have a great evening.

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7 users have voted.

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

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

joe shikspack's picture

@jakkalbessie

sorry about the news, glad you liked the blues. Smile

yeah, like you, i suspect that my colas are not going to keep up with the cost of living if the greedy bastards that are jacking up the prices of everything because they can get away with it continue their spree indefinitely. on the other hand, there will likely be a serious backlash if they continue too much longer. i guess we'll see.

have a great evening!

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snoopydawg's picture

hideous legislation that harms us in so many ways when they have a tiny majority, but when democrats have it they are absolutely helpless to do anything that helps us. They can gut social security, harm the environment, cut taxes on the rich, ect even though democrats hold the senate and Biden is president.

And how were the Ohio republicans doing anything different than what federal congress members do when they take bribes from lobbyists, but use the money for their reelection campaigns? More than 10 members of congress were found to have done insider trading after they got briefed on the upcoming Covid scam, but every one of them got away with it.

The dude who sat in Pelosi’s chair and put a foot on her desk might get life in prison for it. There is more evidence coming out that shows that the FBI was involved in the capital riots and that they helped open the doors to the capital and then just watched as people strolled into it. The 1/6 investigation was controlled by democrats and they only showed the videos that made people look guilty as hell, whilst not showing any that might have exonerated them. Then we have Hunter Biden looking as guilty as get out on numerous occasions and yet he’s still walking free. Edwards was right about 2 justice systems in America.

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Rhett Butler contemptuously reminded Southern secession hot heads “There’s not a cannon factory in the whole South.”

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

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

when democrats have it they are absolutely helpless

ah, snoopy, pity the poor democrats. the republicans get to play the wolf, while the democrats have to humiliate themselves by dressing up in sheep's clothing.

Edwards was right about 2 justice systems in America.

i bet the democrats are still mad at edwards about letting that one slip out.

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@snoopydawg is when people describe that piece of furniture as "Pelosi's chair and desk".

That's OUR chair and she's a temporary employee. WE don't owe her anything, not even respect.

Respect is earned.

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The first video in the evening lineup tonight is a Must Not Miss from Alex and Alexander. They cover all the controversial sides of what's going on in Ukraine right now. Thank you for providing it.

The Two Alexes discuss the resignations and firings of many significant members of Zelensky's government in a realistic and nuanced manner and then they explain the various narratives that may be in play.

One view, mine initially, was that the end is near and rats, sinking ships, blah blah.

It may also be true that the US is tired of Zelensky and looking to replace his people with their own. After which it may be Das vidanya, Volodymyr.

The Media's explanation is that The Purge is all an objection to corruption. How hilarious----what else was Ukraine about but massive corruption, A/K//A money laundering.

Two guys named Alex also question, as we have been doing here, the constant yammering about Tanks Tanks and more Tanks. They went on to speculate that the tanks were not for Ukraine at all but for Poland as a part of the Partition Agreement that has been in the works for a while. They also confirm that no amount of tanks can save the eastern portion of Ukraine. The Donbas is and will remain, Russian.

If you are saying wtf---some pundits believe that the War in Ukraine is almost over and Poland is where all the firepower will stay in case Ukraine fights the Partition.

I like that these two guys can be humble. They termed their maybe this maybe that discussion a "Thought Experiment."

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11 users have voted.

NYCVG

@NYCVG

the west has fed -elensky so much that he is fat with self importance
what do you expect from a clown? sorry, but I don't see the humor

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@NYCVG

i appreciate the two alex's coverage of ukraine, it, along with that of yves at naked cap and b at moa, is thoughtful, incisive, is attuned to historical precedents and keeps up with the pace of events. they seem to be doing a great job of drinking from the firehose of internet reportage and filtering the information.

have a great evening!

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situation in Ukraine.

He refutes the narrative of the Western propaganda machine.

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snoopydawg's picture

Betting that he believes Russia blew up their own pipelines too. See the replies.

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10 users have voted.

Rhett Butler contemptuously reminded Southern secession hot heads “There’s not a cannon factory in the whole South.”

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

ggersh's picture

in the South of Ukraine.

On the very day that the doomsday clock hits the 90 second mark, amerikka
decides to send 30 M1Abram tanks to Ukraine and the Admiral Gorkov with
Zircon missiles heads toward the american coastline.

What could possibly go wrong? Rhetorical

Buckle up people who knows what comes next

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Why is it amerika's the only country in the world who
has a military that's based on a profit motive.

@ggersh

with the future of human civilization
how stupid is that?
maybe they have more dollars than scents?
if the US MIC is that desperate to risk our future
with some ego ploy, we are going to be fucked
any adults in the room? tell the kids to sit down

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10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

maybe they better rethink 90 seconds and consider moving it up a bit more.

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9 users have voted.

So far, no regrets. This complex is quite a bit older than the other. Older appliances, older fixtures (I've remembered why I liked the elongated), fewer outlets. My wife was pretty depressed as we were getting settled but last evening the sunset sky changed her mind. Tonight was better.

From a cost standpoint we will be saving just under $1k a month. As it turned out about a week to go we decided to donate the high-mid-range pieces to Habitat. They gave us the joy over the last 40-50 years but it was well past time to let them go. We had planned to put them in storage just in case but why? Yeah, they might have been worth a couple of k but the trouble and cost didin't make sense. So we had the movers take them to Habitat and explained that Habitat would put the proceeds to good use in helping people who can't afford a home. I believe the mgr of the moving company wrote off the delivery charge as an addition to the donation.

We were paying it forward. Feels good.

Screwed up my back. Still worth it.

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9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@exindy

glad to hear that (aside from your back) your move went well and you're satisfied with your new place and saving money to boot. seems like a pretty good deal all around.

take care and have a great evening!

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6 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

Peterson was really one of the greatest. A lot of classics tonight, especially liked that variation of Sweet Georgia Brown with both Ray Brown and Neils Pederson on Bass. C Jam, of course, but also that version of Work Song with Milt Jackson. Oscar and Milt really worked well together. I don't remember when it was, but the first time I heard anything by the Very Tall Band I was hooked, ran right out and found a copy of the Blue Note recording, they just worked so well together.

be well and have a good one.

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7 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

yep, peterson had incredible chops and worked with really talented folks.

the first thing i heard of his was boogie blues etude, which seems to me to be pound for pound one of the greatest solo workouts i've ever heard.

thanks for the tune!

have a great evening!

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5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack

some music critic saying pretty much the same thing. You can see the guitarist and bassist, who are familiar with peterson, listening and trying to sort out just what they should do next.

be well and have a good one

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6 users have voted.

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

Such benevolence with other peoples property.

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/us-grants-license-trinidad-tobag...

WASHINGTON/HOUSTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department has granted a license to Trinidad and Tobago to develop a major gas field located in Venezuelan territorial waters, a senior Biden administration official said on Tuesday, marking a further easing of some sanctions on Venezuela.

The license, issued at Trinidad's request and intended to enhance Caribbean regional energy security, means the island nation can resume doing business related to the Dragon gas field with Venezuela's heavily sanctioned state-run oil company PDVSA, the senior U.S. official told Reuters.

Speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, the official said that "the Maduro regime will not be permitted to receive any cash payments from this project" and that all remaining U.S. sanctions would be unchanged and still be enforced.

"This decision is the result of extensive diplomacy between Vice President Kamala Harris and Caribbean leaders, who have made it clear that granting this specific license would help ensure their energy security and decrease the region's reliance on energy resources from other countries, including Russia," the official said.

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Even with Washington's granting of Trinidad's request, it could take years of investment and development to bring Venezuelan gas to Trinidad and boost LNG to Europe, experts say.

In addition, with no payments authorized to Venezuela, it could be difficult for Trinidad to craft a deal with Caracas.

"At the request of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, the United States Department of the Treasury issued a specific license to enable Trinidad and Tobago to develop the Dragon gas field," the senior administration official said.

But, the official added, "the United States' policy towards Venezuela has not changed,

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9 users have voted.

@humphrey

perhaps the administers of US policy have misinterpreted the Monroe doctrine
and the continental south and islands still believe the US protects them?
Perhaps a puppet can be bought at the market but an island nation or a
country have no need to kowtow to these ignominious sanctions.

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6 users have voted.

willing to listen.

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@humphrey

it's kind of funny that zelensky thinks that he has anything to tell u.s. financiers about how to profit from war.

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6 users have voted.

@joe shikspack

I can't wait for the big bucks bastards to cut this clown's strings.
It's almost as bad as watching Biden molesting innocents.

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7 users have voted.
The Liberal Moonbat's picture

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4 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

To paraphrase Jodie Foster: Human is not something to aspire to, it's something to get away from.

The republic of prosecution: South Korea’s national security state unleashes attacks on labor and peace activists
K.J. Noh Jan 24

Progressive South Korean citizens have been watching with impending dread the deepening threats of political repression since the former prosecutor Yoon Suk Yeol assumed the South Korean presidency. On Wednesday, January 18, the Yoon administration took off its gloves.

Early Wednesday morning, the South Korean NIS (National Intelligence Service), the successor to South Korea’s secret police (KCIA), unleashed a frenzy of shock-and-awe raids against peace groups, civil society organizations, and labor unions, including the KCTU (Korean Confederation of Trade Unions), and KCTU-affiliated unions...

Simultaneous raids were also conducted on the KHMWU (Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union), and the KMWU (Korean Metal Workers’ Union). Union officers, organizers, anti-war activists, were swept up in these raids and private homes were also raided. Stunned union representatives called these actions “unprecedented,” “excessive,” and “a plan to suppress the labor movement.”

Raids were also conducted by the NIS against the ”Sewol Ferry peace shelter.” The Sewol Ho was a ferry that capsized on April 16, 2014, drowning 304 passengers, mostly working-class youth on a field trip to the resort island of Jeju.

https://mronline.org/2023/01/24/the-republic-of-prosecution-south-koreas...

KJ Noh also has a brilliant comprehensive critique of the US "rules based order" at MR Online from January 12.

On the other hand, the Republic of Prosecution, not through any fault of its author, suffers from the inability to describe South Korea's current descent into a dictatorship, in a relatively short article without missing some critical observations. Therefore, a factual article, like the Republic of Prosecution above, necessarily leaves out many current events, and possibly leaves an impression that maybe things in South Korea aren't that bad. Republic of Prosecution, shouldn't leave the impression that South Korea is a functioning republic. It isn't. It has the outward trappings still, elections, a National Assembly, an elected president, etc. But it isn't a functioning republic.

Members of the opposition party, including its leader, Lee Jae-myung, the former Democratic Party presidential candidate and elected leader of the Democratic Party (Minjoodang) are being investigated and prosecuted by the current president, and the gang of corrupt thugs loyal to him in the Public Prosecutors Office. As many as 150 prosecutors and investigators have been appointed with one mission to put Lee Jae-myung in prison. Members of the press who dare to criticize President Yoon or his administration, are subjected to criminal libel prosecution. The actual administration of the National Police Agency has been assigned to the Ministry of Interior and Public Safety as it was before under the dictatorships, without legislative authority.

The reference to "prosecution" in the article's title represents the arbitrary power base of the current authoritarian and despotic regime. This arbitrary rule began during the prior administrations and arose from a seemingly endless series of corruption scandals that needed to be covered up and manipulated by senior attorneys in the prosecution service. Virtually all of the most powerful government ministries and departments have been placed under the control of presidential appointees, drawn from the so called "Yoon clique" (Yoon hekwan) of former prosecutors loyal to him. Due to a constitutional defect, most of the appointments are not subject to confirmation by the National Assembly. The former prosecutors appointed to these positions by Yoon generally have no experience in the administration of the ministry or department they have been assigned to control. This has led to readily perceived incompetence of the administration and its policies by domestic observers.

Many of the opponents of the administration are slandered in the press, with false stories planted by the prosecution offices to destroy their reputations before trial and prepare the public and sitting judges with the script for political persecution. Witnesses under the taint of prosecution or conviction themselves are coerced into implicating opposition politicians in their crimes. The judiciary has been subjected to unlawful investigations by Yoon's clique in the past and is therefore intimidated. If a suitable corruption frame concocted by the prosecutors is unworkable, the tactics of anti-communist witch hunting are applied. So the National Intelligence Service is employed. This tact has been taken by Yoon against former directors and agency heads of the previous Moon administration. Former president Moon is reasonably believed to be the ultimate target of these investigations and political prosecutions. So it isn't just labor unions and peace activists subjected to the police state tactics of the despotic Yoon administration, it is potential political opposition or dissent of any kind within the context of the nominally republican form of government. Yoon is commonly referred to as a thug or mob leader in independent media, and his policies and practices are regarded as "revenge politics," bent on retaliation against any person who has a grievance or complaint against him, his corrupt family members, or the corporate elites and corrupt journalists and attorneys who support him.

Siegfried Hecker has a good piece over at 38North.org on why Yoon's threat to have South Korea produce its own nuclear weapons is a very bad idea. I don't agree with his views on Russia expressed elsewhere, but his analysis of this situation is informative.

https://www.38north.org/2023/01/the-disastrous-downsides-of-south-korea-...

Thanks JS for this very interesting open thread.

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4 users have voted.