The Evening Blues - 3-21-23


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

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Chicago blues guitarist Louis Myers. Enjoy!

Louis Myers ~ Top Of The Harp & Bluesy

"People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news."

-- A. J. Liebling

News and Opinion

Chris Hedges: The Lord of Chaos

... What is disturbing is that the architects of these debacles have never been held accountable and remain ensconced in power. They continue to promote permanent war, including the ongoing proxy war in Ukraine against Russia, as well as a future war against China. The politicians who lied to us — George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden to name but a few — extinguished millions of lives, including thousands of American lives, and left Iraq along with Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Libya and Yemen in chaos. They exaggerated or fabricated conclusions from intelligence reports to mislead the public. The big lie is taken from the playbook of totalitarian regimes.

The cheerleaders in the media for war — Thomas Friedman, David Remnick, Richard Cohen, George Packer, William Kristol, Peter Beinart, Bill Keller, Robert Kaplan, Anne Applebaum, Nicholas Kristof, Jonathan Chait, Fareed Zakaria, David Frum, Jeffrey Goldberg, David Brooks and Michael Ignatieff — were used to amplify the lies and discredit the handful of us, including Michael Moore, Robert Scheer and Phil Donahue, who opposed the war. These courtiers were often motivated more by careerism than idealism. They did not lose their megaphones or lucrative speaking fees and book contracts once the lies were exposed, as if their crazed diatribes did not matter. They served the centers of power and were rewarded for it. Many of these same pundits are pushing further escalation of the war in Ukraine, although most know as little about Ukraine or NATO’s provocative and unnecessary expansion to the borders of Russia as they did about Iraq. ...

The Iraq war cost at least $3 trillion and the 20 years of warfare in the Middle East cost a total of some $8 trillion. The occupation created Shi’ite and Sunni death squads, fueled horrific sectarian violence, gangs of kidnappers, mass killings and torture. It gave rise to al-Qaeda cells and spawned ISIS which at one point controlled a third of Iraq and Syria. ISIS carried out rape, enslavement and mass executions of Iraqi ethnic and religious minorities such as the Yazidis. It persecuted Chaldean Catholics and other Christians. This mayhem was accompanied by an orgy of killing by U.S. occupation forces, such as as the gang rape and murder of Abeer al-Janabi, a 14-year-old girl and her family by members of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne. The U.S. routinely engaged in the torture and execution of detained civilians, including at Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca. There is no accurate count of lives lost, estimates in Iraq alone range from hundreds of thousands to over a million. ...

Yes, Saddam Hussein was brutal and murderous, but in terms of a body count, we far outstripped his killings, including his genocidal campaigns against the Kurds. We destroyed Iraq as a unified country, devastated its modern infrastructure, wiped out its thriving and educated middle class, gave birth to rogue militias and installed a kleptocracy that uses the country’s oil revenues to enrich itself. Ordinary Iraqis are impoverished. Hundreds of Iraqis protesting in the streets against the kleptocracy have been gunned down by police. ...

A national reckoning with the military fiascos in the Middle East would expose the self-delusion of the ruling class. But this reckoning is not taking place. We are trying to wish the nightmares we perpetuated in the Middle East away, burying them in a collective amnesia.

War Made Easy: Norman Solomon on How Mainstream Media Helped Pave Way for U.S. Invasion of Iraq

Xi Jinping says China ready to ‘stand guard over world order’ on Moscow visit

Xi Jinping said China was ready with Russia “to stand guard over the world order based on international law” as he arrived for a state visit to Moscow that comes days after Vladimir Putin was made the subject of an arrest warrant by the international criminal court.

The Chinese leader is expected to position himself as a potential peacemaker in the Ukraine war during his two-day visit to Russia – his first state visit since Putin’s invasion. For his part, the Russian president will be hoping to project unity in the face of western isolation, as the US condemned Xi for providing “diplomatic cover” for Moscow to continue to commit further crimes in Ukraine. ...

In a further symbolic gesture of defiance, Russia’s investigative committee said on Monday that it had opened a criminal case against the ICC prosecutor and judges who issued the warrant.

During a media briefing on Monday, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin called on the ICC to avoid “politicisation and double standards”.

China-Russia meeting; deepening economic, energy and military cooperation

US 'FIRMLY OPPOSED' To Ceasefire In Ukraine, Concessions To Russia Are 'UNACCEPTABLE': NSC's Kirby

US Announces $350 Million Weapons Package for Ukraine

The US on Monday announced a new $350 million arms package for Ukraine that includes ammunition for the HIMARS rocket launchers, artillery rounds, and High-speed Anti-radiation missiles (HARMs).

The arms are being sent to Ukraine via the Presidential Drawdown Authority, which allows President Biden to ship Kyiv weapons and equipment directly from Pentagon stockpiles. The funds are being pulled from the $45 billion aid bill Congress passed in December. ...

The new package comes after a Pentagon official told The New York Times that upcoming ammunition shipments were part of a “last ditch effort” to help Ukraine on the battlefield as Ukrainian forces are using artillery rounds at an unsustainable rate. According to the fact sheet, the US has pledged over 1.5 million 155mm artillery rounds to Ukraine.

Dutch Farmers Win Big In Anti-Climate Change Backlash!

French police step up crackdown on protests vs Macron’s imposition of pension cuts

France’s major ciites have seen a wave of protests since French President Macron announced his use of the anti-democratic article 49.3 to impose his government’s hated pension reform on Thursday. A wave of strikes is engulfing France’s major industries, including at refineries, airports, waste management facilities and railroads. Macron rammed through his reform bill over concerns over how a lost vote would impact European financial markets. The reform is viewed as critical by the French bourgeoisie as it will fund a massive €413 billion rearmament of the French military before 2030 and arms deliveries for the war in Ukraine, without increasing tax on the wealthiest sections of society. ...

Violent police repression Friday and Saturday night confirmed the PES’ warnings: the French ruling class has spent the last decade constructing a police state and normalizing state violence to violently crackdown on independent opposition to capitalist rule. So far at least 600 people have been arrested across Thursday, Friday, and Saturday’s protests. This includes Chloé Grace, a journalist from LeMediaTV who was arrested while covering Friday evening’s protest at the Place de la Concorde.

Macron and his fascistic interior minister Gérald Darmanin, have clearly instructed cops to crack down on protests with extreme violence. Footage captured by journalists on the ground show heavily-armed police suddenly and brutally assaulting peaceful, unarmed protesters. In every major city, cops with full body armor, gas, batons, riot shields and often assault rifles, have kettled protest groups before repeatedly charging and teargassing them.

After dispersing protests on Friday and Saturday, BRAV police motorcycle units scoured the streets of Paris for suspected protesters who had evaded initial arrests. Dozens of arrested protesters near the Place d’Italie on Saturday were lined up against a building with their hands on their heads. On Saturday night, water cannon were used again, while a canine police unit set dogs on protesters in Lyon. On Saturday, Paris police released an order that all unregistered gatherings in the city would be “dispersed.” When protesters began gathering at Place d’Italie for a protest called by the CGT (General Confederation of Labor) union’s Île-de-France regional organization, a police statement was released to the media stating, “Due to the presence of many thugs, the organizer calls for dispersal.” This illustrates the traitorous role of the union bureaucracy: when called upon by the state, the bureaucracy blames its supporters and excuses their violent repression by the police.

By the end of the night, police had arrested 67 people on Saturday in Paris and 187 across the country.

France EXPLODES Over Macron Pension Cuts

Emmanuel Macron survives no-confidence votes amid protests

The French government has survived two votes of no confidence but Emmanuel Macron continues to face protests and strikes over his decision to use executive powers to push through an unpopular rise in the pension age.

Although the prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, avoided having to instantly resign, the president remains under pressure to break his silence and shore up the government amid growing anger in the streets. Opposition politicians in parliament accused him of arrogance, denying democracy and failing to learn from the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) anti-government protest movement four years ago.

Government insiders, opposition politicians and observers have raised fears that France could experience another round of spontaneous, anti-government revolt in cities and small towns – not just over raising the pension age to 64, but also because of distrust in the political system, only a few years after the gilets jaunes movement shook Macron’s first term in office. ...

The first no-confidence motion, put forward by Charles de Courson, France’s longest-serving MP and a member of the small opposition centrist grouping Liot, was narrowly defeated – it fell short of the required absolute majority by only nine votes. A total of 278 MPs voted in favour. The motion won the support of politicians from the leftwing grouping, Nupes, as well as Marine Le Pen’s far right, independents and some MPs from the rightwing Les Républicains. ...

Under Macron’s changes, the minimum general retirement age will rise from 62 to 64, some public sector workers will lose privileges and there will be an accelerated increase in the number of years of work required to qualify for a full pension. But tensions are likely to continue on the street in the coming days, with a major day of strike action and protests planned for Thursday. Macron is under pressure to address the nation and clarify how he intends for the government to keep working, and whether there could be a reshuffle. Macron’s centrist grouping lost its absolute majority in elections last June, leaving the government in a weak position.

France requisitions refinery workers as energy strikes continue

Israeli minister condemned for claiming ‘no such thing’ as a Palestinian people

An Israeli minister has claimed there is “no such thing” as a Palestinian people as Israel’s new coalition government, its most hardline ever, ploughed ahead with a part of its plan to overhaul the judiciary. ...

The development came a day after an Israeli and Palestinian delegation at a meeting in Egypt, mediated by Egyptian, Jordanian and US officials, pledged to take steps to lower tensions roiling the region ahead of a sensitive holiday season. It reflected the limited influence the Biden administration appears to have over Israel’s far-right government and raised questions about attempts to lower tensions, both inside Israel and with the Palestinians.

As the negotiators were issuing a joint communique, the Israeli finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, delivered a speech in Paris saying the notion of a Palestinian people was artificial. “There is no such thing as a Palestinian nation. There is no Palestinian history. There is no Palestinian language,” he said in France late on Sunday. He spoke at a lectern draped with what appeared to be a map of Israel that included the occupied West Bank and parts of Jordan.

The Palestinian prime minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, said Smotrich’s remarks were “conclusive evidence of the extremist, racist Zionist ideology that governs the parties of the current Israeli government”.

First Republic’s shares crash more than 46% after downgraded credit rating

Shares in troubled First Republic Bank crashed more than 46% on Monday, after reports the San Francisco-based bank may need to raise more funds despite a $30bn (£24bn) rescue last week.

As the growing banking crisis spread into a new week, the credit rating of the regional bank was downgraded deeper into junk status by S&P Global. The agency said that the bank, which caters to wealthy clients, probably faced “high liquidity stress with substantial outflows”.

US officials are studying how to temporarily expand the protection offered to banking customers by Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) to include all deposits, going beyond the current $250,000 cap, Bloomberg reported on Monday night.

Like the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a large proportion of First Republic’s customers hold more than the $250,000 amount guaranteed by federal insurance. However, the move may face political roadblocks. Hardline Republicans in the House of Representatives on Monday vowed to oppose any cover extension.

The Republican House Freedom Caucus said in a statement: “Any universal guarantee on all bank deposits, whether implicit or explicit, enshrines a dangerous precedent that simply encourages future irresponsible behavior to be paid for by those not involved who followed the rules.”

Howard Schultz ends third stint as Starbucks CEO early

Starbucks’ chief executive, Howard Schultz, is ending his third stint as head of the coffee chain early as he faces growing scrutiny over the company’s labor practices.

The company announced on Monday that Schultz had stepped down as interim chief executive, nearly two weeks earlier than expected. The new CEO, Lax Narasimhan, was slated to take over on 1 April.

“As I turn Starbucks over to you now, know that you have my utmost confidence, trust and love,” Schultz said in a public letter on Monday. “You are all the future of Starbucks. The world needs Starbucks – and Starbucks needs all of you.”

Schultz started his third term as CEO last April upon the retirement of the then CEO, Kevin Johnson. Schultz served as CEO of the company twice before, from 1986 to 2000 and 2008 to 2017, overseeing huge growth for the company. Schultz said last year that this would be his last time as CEO.

Over the last few years, Schultz has developed a reputation for being a resolute force against growing unionization efforts seen at locations across the company. Schultz has argued that Starbucks can manage its relationship with its employees without a union. The company has been accused of multiple anti-union tactics over the last year, including wrongfully firing employees and intimidation. Earlier this month, Schultz agreed to appear in front of a key Senate labor committee on 29 March after the committee nearly voted to subpoena him for testimony.

US maternal mortality is more than 10 times higher than in Australia. Why?

America is in a maternal health crisis. According to new CDC data released this week, the rate of maternal mortality – defined as deaths during pregnancy or within 42 days of giving birth – rose by 40% in 2021. At a rate of 33 deaths for every 100,000 live births, 1,205 women died of maternal causes that year. That rate was more than twice as high for Black women, whose maternal mortality rate was 70 deaths for every 100,000 live births. The latest federal compilation of data from reviews of maternal deaths suggests that 84% were preventable.

Experts believe that 2021’s spike in maternal mortality can be attributed at least partly to the Covid-19 pandemic, though it’s not clear exactly how. ... But even before Covid-19, America has long been an outlier in maternal deaths, with dramatically higher rates of women dying in or as a result of childbirth than in peer nations. America has 10 or more times the rate of pregnancy-related death in Australia, Austria, Israel, Japan and Spain. ...

The maternal mortality rate in America is likely to get worse before it gets better. The dramatic increase in deaths in 2021 was the third consecutive year that the rate rose – the trend is only going in one direction. And the 2021 data was collected before the US supreme court’s June 2022 Dobbs decision, which reversed Roe v Wade and led to the enforcement of laws across dozens of states that forbid or delay medically necessary abortions. This means that pregnant women are getting sicker, and waiting longer for care; it also means that many doctors are now frightened of the legal repercussions they will face for intervening to save pregnant women’s lives. More bodies will accumulate; more lives will be cut short; more women will be lost to the cruelty, indifference, scarcity and fear that now pervades our medical system.

But the logic of the anti-choice movement and the Dobbs regime poses not just a logistical hazard to women’s health, but also a moral one. After all, the anti-abortion laws that are now in effect in a majority of states are wildly antagonistic towards pregnant women. They pose pregnancy and childbirth as punishment; they treat the pregnant patient as a person whose pain is deserved, a just consequence of recklessness or immorality.

It’s not hard to imagine how the logic of these bills might seep into the broader culture, creating social, professional and, yes, medical environments where pregnancy is treated as a moral failing, and pregnant women are regarded with open contempt. After all, how else do you describe a country that has made giving birth extraordinarily dangerous – and now is forcing more and more women to do it?

Idaho hospital will stop delivering babies as doctors flee state due to abortion ban

An Idaho hospital has planned to stop delivering babies, with the medical center’s managers citing increasing criminalization of physicians and the inability to retain pediatricians as major reasons.

Bonner General Health, the only hospital in Sandpoint, Idaho, announced on Friday that it would no longer provide labor, delivery and a host of other obstetrical services.

The more than 9,000 residents of Sandpoint are now forced to drive 46 miles for the nearest labor and delivery care, the Idaho Statesman reported.

In a statement, the hospital’s leadership said that the decision to eliminate the obstetrics unit stemmed from the “political climate” in Idaho.

“Highly respected, talented physicians are leaving. Recruiting replacements will be extraordinarily difficult,” hospital officials said in a press release. “We have made every effort to avoid eliminating these services,” the hospital’s board president, Ford Elsaesser, added in the statement.

How close to death must a woman be to get an abortion in Tennessee?

Months after the implementation of the most stringent abortion ban in the country, conservative lawmakers in Tennessee have publicly acknowledged that the state’s ban poses grave risks to the lives of women.

Now a political debate over how to change the law is centered on questions that would have been considered unthinkable before last June’s reversal of Roe v Wade: like how close to death a woman must be before a doctor may legally treat her if it means terminating her pregnancy, and whether women should be forced to carry embryos with fatal anomalies to term.

Will Brewer, the powerful lobbyist of Tennessee Right to Life, a Christian anti-abortion group that wrote the current ban, has been accused of waging a campaign of intimidation against lawmakers who he has said are seeking to “weaken” the law. In public testimony and private meetings, Brewer has said women should only be offered terminations if they are facing acute emergencies – such as when they enter an emergency room “bleeding out” – and suggested some complications can “work themselves out” without medical intervention. ...

The fractious political fights shows how radically the battle lines over abortion have shifted since the US supreme court’s decision last June to reverse Roe v Wade, which in effect allowed every state to determine its own rules. In Tennessee, one of 13 states where abortion is currently banned, a “trigger law” came into effect that had been passed in 2019 in the event that Roe was ever overturned. The law states that any doctor who performs an abortion is committing a felony, and must defend themselves in court in order to prove the procedure was done to save the life of the pregnant patient.

the horse race

Trump hails prospect of testimony from ex-Cohen adviser in hush money case

Donald Trump has cheered the news that a former adviser to Michael Cohen will testify before a Manhattan grand jury investigating the ex-president’s alleged role in a hush money payment to the adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Robert J Costello, a one-time legal adviser to former Trump attorney Cohen, was scheduled to appear before the grand jury on Monday and expected to give testimony “attacking the credibility of Cohen’s statements”, the Associated Press reported. ...

Costello, who has represented the Trump confidants Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani, offered to represent Cohen in 2018 as he faced charges related to the Daniels payment. The pair discussed the case, the New York Times reported, but the relationship soured after Cohen began to criticize and implicate Trump.

The AP reported that Costello recently contacted a Trump lawyer, claiming he had information that contradicted Cohen’s account and could prove exculpatory for Trump. The lawyer brought it to the attention of the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, who last week subpoenaed Costello’s law firm for records and invited him to testify.

Chris Rock To Democrats: YOU ARE STUPID, Arresting Trump Will Only Make Him MORE POPULAR

Republicans tried to delay release of US hostages to sabotage Carter, ex-aide claims

A former Texas governor met Middle Eastern leaders in 1980 to convince Iran to delay releasing American hostages as part of a Republican effort to sabotage Jimmy Carter’s re-election campaign, according to a news report. The New York Times reported on Sunday that John Connally, who served as Texas’s Democratic governor from 1963 to 1969 and ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980, traveled to a number of countries in the summer leading up to the 1980 election.

By that time Ronald Reagan had secured the Republican nomination, and the re-election campaign of his Democratic rival Carter was struggling in the midst of the crisis that resulted from more than 50 Americans being taken hostage from the US embassy in Tehran. In an interview with the Times, a then protege to Connally named Ben Barnes said he was with Connally as he met leaders in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. Connally was there to deliver a message, the Times reported:

“Don’t release the hostages before the election. Mr Reagan will win and give you a better deal.”

Carter, who had ordered a failed attempt to rescue the hostages in April 1980, lost the election amid criticism of his handling of the Iran crisis and a stagnating economy. The hostages were eventually released on 20 January 1981, the day Reagan took office. ...

Barnes – a Democrat who served as lieutenant governor of Texas and was vice-chair of John Kerry’s 2004 election campaign – told the Times that on returning from the Middle East, Connally reported to the chairman of Reagan’s campaign, William J Casey.

the evening greens

World can still avoid worst of climate collapse with genuine change, IPCC says

Avoiding the worst ravages of climate breakdown is still possible, and there are “multiple, feasible and effective options” for doing so, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said. Hoesung Lee, chair of the body, which is made up of the world’s leading climate scientists, made clear that – despite the widespread damage already being caused by extreme weather, and the looming threat of potentially catastrophic changes – the future was still humanity’s to shape.

“[The IPCC reports] clearly show that humanity has the knowhow and the technology to tackle human-induced climate change. But not only that. They show that we have the capacity to build a much more prosperous, inclusive and equitable society in this process. “Tackling climate change is a hard, complex and enduring challenge for generations. We, the scientific community, spell out the facts of disheartening reality, but we also point to the prospects of hope through concerted, genuine and global transformational change.”

Aditi Mukherji, one of the 93 authors of the “synthesis report”, the final section that draws together the key findings, said: “Almost half the world’s population lives in regions that are highly vulnerable to climate change. In the last decade, deaths from floods, droughts and storms were 15 times higher in highly vulnerable regions.”

This positive framing of a report that makes mostly very grim reading was a deliberate counterblast to the many voices that have said the world has little chance of limiting global heating to 1.5C above preindustrial levels, the threshold beyond which many of the impacts of the crisis will rapidly become irreversible.

Also of Interest

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

20 Years Later, the Stain of Corporate Media's Role in Promoting Iraq War Remains

IRAQ 20 YEARS: Sam Husseini — The Lies, and Lies About the Lies, About the Invasion

Geopolitical Rumblings Leave U.S. Behind

Turkey’s Opposition Leads in the Polls. Would They Move the Country Closer to the West?

US Provided Unprecedented Intelligence to India During Border Clash With Chinese Troops in 2022

IRAQ 20 YEARS: Iraq Invasion, AUKUS Blasted in Rousing Sydney Rally

Empire-Funded Think Tanks Are Not Valid Sources: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Patrick Lawrence: Trump & the Stormy Deep State

'The Fight Continues' in France as Macron Government Survives No-Confidence Vote

Document Shows Regulators Knew Of SVB Risk Five Years Ago

I am the “US-based Kremlin intermediary” that tried to help Tucker Carlson book an interview with Putin

‘Ukraine is a false justification’: America’s destructive new rush for natural gas

AOC Now Recruiting Students For The Military!

East Palestine Now Being Blamed On RUSSIA! Not Kidding.

Iraq: the crime of the century, 20 years on

Congressional left and right unite to end Syria occupation

A Little Night Music

Louis Myers - Give me a drink

Louis Myers & The Aces - L. M. Blues

Louis Myers ~ Short Haired Woman

Louis Myers - Southbound Blues

Louis Myers – That’s All Right

Louis Myers ~ Bottom Of The Harp

Louis Myers & The Aces - Just Whaling

Louis Myers ~ Tell My Story Movin'

Louis Myers with the Aces - Blues With A Feeling

Louis Myers - Stop Breaking Down

15 users have voted.


A toast to friendship.

12 users have voted.
The Liberal Moonbat's picture


9 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed Man is declared mentally ill for describing colors.

Yes Virginia, there is a Global Banking Conspiracy!

@humphrey Thank you!

5 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture


heh, good stuff there.

i'm looking forward to seeing what comes out of the putin/xi jinping meetings. presumably there will be economic deals the more cement the relationship, but what will be really interesting is how russia and china approach dethroning the u.s. as a hegemon - no doubt the u.s. will continue to assist that process. as alexander mercouris and alex christofourou noted in the video upstairs, the u.s. keeps walking right into the traps that china is setting for it and comes out looking terrible to the rest of the world.

8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Or is that donkey and elephant?


I wonder if the elk will move back to the golf course after they were just relocated?

March came roaring in…..
April showers…..
Always look at the bright side….

10 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

joe shikspack's picture


yeah, it's funny that the democrats have decided to go after trump over the stormy daniels brewhaha. even if the georgia prosecutor does decide to go forward with prosecuting him for a serious crime that they have pretty good evidence for, the stormy daniels fiasco will undoubtedly dominate the press coverage (because what news outlet can pass up the opportunity to talk about porn stars and presidents) and make trump's accusations about witch hunts look plausible.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture


How much election interference do you think can be justly assigned to the Democrats, the Obama White House, the Obama Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation after the Dems’ email was leaked in July 2016 and, with the eager cooperation of the press, all of these constituencies launched a relentless and very public campaign of disinformation, in many cases involving abuse of office, to smear Trump as some kind of Kremlin puppet?

Especially when we have the smoking gun with Brennan going to Obama and telling him that Hillary is going to make up accusations against Trump that he was in bed with Putin to keep her from winning the election? As Lawrence says she got help to do it from Obama’s administration and his/her party’s intelligence agencies and their media mouthpieces. I wonder if anyone can put a monetary value on that? And what started it? Just Trump saying that Russia shouldn’t be our enemy.

Lawrence tells the things that Trump is saying now.

“President Biden has brought us closer to World War III than we have ever been,” Trump asserts. “Every day this proxy battle in Ukraine continues, we risk global war. We must be absolutely clear that our objective is to immediately have a total cessation of hostilities. We need peace without delay.

We have to finish the process of fundamentally revaluing NATO’s purpose and NATO’s mission. Our foreign policy establishment keeps trying to pull the world into conflict with a nuclear-armed Russia based on the lie that Russia represents our greatest threat.

The greatest threat to Western civilization today is not Russia. It’s probably more than anything else ourselves.”

Shitlibs are reminding themselves that we were lied to about the Iraq war and how we should never blindly trust the government when it says that we need to go to war against….but look at what the evidence actually shows. And yet almost every one of them have blindly accepted that Russia started the Ukraine war unprovoked and illegally. That there are Nazis in Ukraine and that they have been slaughtering people in the Donbas is just Russian propaganda except that most corporate media was writing about it for the previous 8 years. And even congress passed a law that they couldn’t fund them until they rescinded it.

You’d think that if they read this essay they would at least question whether they have again been lied to, but instead they think that consortium news has become a Russian propaganda site and it’s not the only one that has. SMDH!

The same set of rules for people who have classified information at their dwellings is being treated just like campaign finance abuses. Trump had some that has been verified as being locked up and secured and his house was raided while Biden’s and Pence's dwellings were not even though theirs was not as secured.

11 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Voting is like driving with a toy steering wheel.

joe shikspack's picture


reminds me of this carl sagan quote:

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

-- Carl Sagan

9 users have voted.
mimi's picture

Who digs deeper, Trump, Daniels, or the deep state

good lord, how not to get ga-ga reading the stormy EBs? And that while German TV News is running in the background-

Good night from my woods, lots of stormy discussion about woods around here too. Our forests are dying. Can't wait til I am too.

8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


heh, stormy is just a side show for partisans. the news that matters is not on teevee or in the papers.

have a great evening!

7 users have voted.

The bad news from France is so discouraging.

Macron survives 2 votes of no confidence. No amount of gilets jaunes marchers or the streets of France filled with protesters and burning fires, Nothing seems able to dislodge the oligarchy in France.

What chance do we have here?

8 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture


i wouldn't be so quick to call it over in france just yet. macron has won a battle but may have lost the war.

according to the polls reported in the media, somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of the french public is opposed to what macron is doing and how he has chosen to do it. there are still people in the streets and on strike.

as i see it, there is a lot of creative ferment and the people are more or less united in france. seems like good things might yet happen.

10 users have voted.

@joe shikspack not slowed down.

@joe shikspack

And there is this.

One way to understand the current crisis in France is to know that the country has never had a lame-duck president. Emmanuel Macron is the first head of state to win reelection since the country barred serving three consecutive terms in 2008. In 2027, he’s out.

Not having to face the voters again can imply a kind of political incapacity, and that is where Macron found himself last week, as his bill to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 appeared uncertain of passing the country’s splintered National Assembly. Spirited and disruptive demonstrators around the country protested the measure. The left-wing alliance refused to work with him; far-right leader Marine Le Pen promised to undo the law if elected president in four years. Even Macron’s natural allies, the right-wing Republicains, were abandoning ship—despite supporting a similar proposal during last year’s elections. What was Macron’s favor worth? Not much, apparently.

Then again, being free from electoral politics can also liberate a man to make unpopular decisions, which is exactly what Macron did next. His own party, Renaissance, does not have a majority in the assembly, so he directed Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne to ram the bill through without a vote last Friday, under a Gaullist loophole known as 49.3. The pension reform, which bumps up the age to receive social security from 62 to 64, is opposed by almost 3 in 4 French people. But now, barring court intervention, it is law.

And yet things hardly seem settled. French labor unions have staged a series of strikes and peaceful demonstrations since January, but the tone of last weekend’s protests—mostly, cops cracking heads during small standoffs in major cities—felt a little more ominous. Targeted strikes by workers at oil refineries and trash haulers in cities are beginning to have an effect, with some drivers waiting as long as an hour to fill up, and black plastic icebergs of garbage blocking sidewalks around Paris. On Thursday, another national mobilization is scheduled, even as the government says it will force workers back on the job. Already, the French are bracing for a repeat of 2018’s “yellow vest” movement, a violent, leaderless series of protests that rocked French cities in 2018.

10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


my personal feeling is that macron has crossed a line that should not have been traversed with his anti-democratic 49.3 loophole. i think that he's broken the public trust in a democratic system and that cannot be fixed so easily.

8 users have voted.

@joe shikspack

6 users have voted.

@joe shikspack that you are right!

3 users have voted.



Nothing seems able to dislodge the oligarchy in France.

What chance do we have here?

"Aux armes, citoyens!"

But, seeing as you're in NYC and the only ones with arms are gangbangers and politician's security details, that might not be feasible...

5 users have voted.

- Japan PM in Kyiv -

Xi's trip coincides with a surprise visit to Kyiv by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who visited Bucha, a town where Russian forces were accused of committing atrocities during their occupation last year.

"Our talks with Mr. Kishida were quite productive," Zelensky said in his evening address.

"I also heard a very concrete willingness of Japan to work together with us to even more actively mobilise the world for international order, to protect against aggression, to protect against Russian terror," he said.

Zelensky confirmed on Tuesday he would participate in the G7 summit via video link.

And the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday it had reached an agreement with Ukraine on a four-year loan package worth around $15.6 billion -- intended to support European Union accession talks and reconstruction in the conflict-hit country.

9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


well, there's certainly a lot of money floating around in ukraine these days and it would seem that the head of the national bank would be well-positioned to tear himself off a piece.

7 users have voted.


Yes, he's no doubt much more comfortable commiserating about false flag atrocities in Ukraine than having to deal with the real ones that Japanese bureaucrats, politicians, medical establishment have been committing on their own people:

5 users have voted.

@humphrey the West does and says is counter programming against the emerging multipolar world forming before our eyes.

"Xi Jinping will spend 3 days in Moscow" elicits Zelensky and Xi will meet. LOL


Maybe on Zoom. If anything.

6 users have voted.


As if the on going drills aren't enough there is this.

(Bloomberg) -- South Korea plans to hold its “largest-ever” live-fire drills with the US in a move certain to anger North Korea, which has ramped up its provocations to new levels in response to recent military exercises.

The joint drills, which will involve mobilizing high-tech military equipment, are planned for June as part of a program to mark the 70th anniversary of the alliance between South Korea and the US, South Korea’s defense ministry said in a statement Wednesday.

“The program is designed to showcase the ability of the two nations to materialize peace through strength via action, amid stern security situations arising from North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats,” the statement said.

South Korea and the US this week are winding down one of their largest joint training drills in years. North Korea has responded with threats to turn the Pacific Ocean into a firing range and shot off weapons that included a missile designed to strike the US with a nuclear bomb, new missiles to hit US military bases in South Korea and a test of a mock nuclear warhead affixed to a missile.

The joint drills had been scaled down or halted under former President Donald Trump, who was hoping the move would facilitate his nuclear negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Those talks led to no concrete steps to wind down Kim’s nuclear arsenal, which only grew larger as the talks sputtered.

8 users have voted.
soryang's picture

@humphrey Just Yoon Seok-yeol. The people are not behind him at all. He has proven himself to be entirely incompetent. Ironically, I think it's his diplomatic blunder with Japan, which even people inside his own party, reflected undue haste, and poor results that will spell the end of his party and administration as it is known today. South Korea's economy is in freefall, and provocative military events which could result in military conflict at any time, are simmering under the surface while the spectacle of his debasing and humiliating behavior toward Japan is accelerating his unpopularity and public resistance to his administration.

I noticed the New Yorker ran some piece on the misogyny - feminism culture war in South Korea the other day. This is last year's political issue. It's been superceded by Yoon's terrible performance in office. Seems like they're trying to bring Yoon's ilbe (misogynist) young male voters that put him in office back into the fold. I guess Yoon shouldn't have driven Lee Jun-seok, the young political leader of the PPP out of the party. I'm sure worsening economic conditions, and the prospect of war aren't looking too good to young South Korean men right now. Many of them probably haven't done their compulsory military service yet. Then there is just simple human pride to watch your country's leader grovel and scrape before the former imperial master who yield's nothing in return for Yoon's preemptive concessions.

7 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

are stuck with him.


The next legislative elections in South Korea are scheduled to be held on 10 April 2024. That is a long time from now.

5 users have voted.
soryang's picture

@humphrey Let's say that's the likely prospect. We'll have to see what the future holds.

Yoon has burned a lot of bridges, and broken a lot of laws, people want him out now. Any further screw ups, for example trial and imprisonment of Lee Jae-myung on fabricated bribery charges, which investigation is underway right now could be a trigger. Lee's alleged co-conspirators are being tried now. I know Yoon is committed to hanging on to power forever basically, because if he doesn't he's going to prison, along with his wife, mother in law, dozens of prosecutors and a few other attorneys and politicians.

This so called diplomacy with Japan and the US is a way to run away from his domestic problems by being bathed in the false light of fawning western media. It's obvious that he has some fixation on Japan which could be his undoing. The foreign minister and the presidential office have just been brazenly lying about what occurred at the summit.

I think he'll become more dictatorial as time goes by, and pursue wilder military moves with the US in an attempt to dominate a South Korea public that doesn't support him. He'll probably increasingly resort to national security laws to stop the demonstrations that make no secret of wanting him out. We'll see how big those get, and whether the younger demonstrators become more militant, like they were in the eighties. A lot of politicians are afraid of Yoon and won't publicly oppose him.

I've been reading more Eastern governmental theory, and form may be more important than substance in triggering an event that will bring Yoon down. So what will he screw up next? I read the State Department report on human rights in South Korea, it was superficial, but it tried to incriminate Lee Jae-myung who hasn't even been tried yet, when they brought him up in the corruption section of the report.

Let's say Yoon makes it to the next general election in 2024. At this point it looks like his party may break up.

4 users have voted.

語必忠信 行必正直

TheOtherMaven's picture

There's another major stink over in Reddit (specifically in r/lordoftherings) about the casting issues in Amazon's Rings of Power show. The source post was a clickbait Newsweek article that doesn't mention Rings of Power but does reference other recent Race Liftings. As always, it quickly got very ugly, with axes ground on all possible sides. (I wound up blocking two more people for nasty attitudes.)

In the past week or so, several discussions involving the "race question" have gotten deleted by the moderators because they overheated to the point of boiling over. I expect this one to follow suit, but not sure how long it will take the mods to get around to it.

Some of the arguments were really, really stupid, like the twit who tried to claim that "Queen Regent" was a real and accurate title for (Tar-)Miriel of Numenor (one of the inexplicably Race Lifted characters, by the way). She's regent for her incapacitated father, and should properly have been titled "Princess Regent" (as per George III's heir, the eventual George IV, who was "Prince Regent" while his father was non compos mentis). The title of "Queen regent" has only ever historically been used for a deceased king's wife who was appointed regent for the minority of the heir - which is the complete opposite of the Numenorean situation. The argument turned into a screaming match and I blocked the twit.

I'm afraid I do get massively irritated, as an American with a passing familiarity with the British caste/class system, when my compatriots - and it's always them, citizens of other countries know better - demonstrate complete ignorance of same. If it isn't things like the "Queen regent" blunder, it's misuse of titles, particularly knighthood (always "Sir [firstname]" or "Sir [first and lastname]", never "Sir [lastname]"), or attributing titles to people who don't have them (Terry Pratchett was knighted - as a Knight Bachelor, the usual recognition for outstanding creative merit; but JRR Tolkien was not).

The same twit was busily working up a head of steam over "white supremacists" and "alt-righties" getting their jollies from (their misinterpretations of) Tolkien's world, while also trying to claim that he didn't lay the blame on Tolkien's writing, but this and that and the other thing Tolkien wrote "encouraged" the kooks and yada yada yada - till he sounded almost like your bog-standard book-banner on the rampage. I called him on it and got royally flamed for my trouble. That was another good reason to block him, should have done it several messages previously.

As I said, it's not a big deal compared to the major shenanigans going on, but it really, really bugs me, so I felt the need to vent about it.

4 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.