The Evening Blues - 1-11-18



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Willie Mabon



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features Chicago blues piano player and singer Willie Mabon. Enjoy!



Willie Mabon - I Don't Know

“The Fourth Amendment wasn't written for people with nothing to hide any more than the First Amendment was written for people with nothing to say.”

-- Dave Krueger


News and Opinion


Click to see how your congressworm voted. 65 Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, voted in favor of dumping the 4th amendment again.

House Votes to Renew FISA, Bill Moves to Senate

After months of talking about various reforms, the House voted Thursday 256-164 to renew Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) with only limited changes, rejecting all serious restrictions on surveillance. ...

The bill still has to get through the Senate, which may not necessarily be an easy task. Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) both coming out against any long-term extension, and Sen. Paul has said he will filibuster any version of the bill that doesn’t include the major reform of requiring warrants to surveil Americans.

Putin: ‘Shrewd & mature N. Korean leader has won this round'

Trump to make a final decision on Iran nuclear deal, says Rex Tillerson

The fate of the nuclear deal with Iran will hang in the balance once more on Friday, when Donald Trump must decide whether to continue sanctions relief for Tehran or violate the 2015 agreement.

The secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, told reporters that Trump, who has repeatedly described it as the “worst deal ever”, would make a final decision on Thursday, after an afternoon meeting with his top foreign policy and national security officials, who all favour preserving the agreement.

European diplomats and US analysts predicted that Trump would continue to waive the sanctions that were suspended as part of the deal, while imposing new sanctions on other grounds, like human rights or missile development.

“There is more or less consensus that the president is going to once again decertify and continue to waive sanctions but at the same time slap new sanctions on Iran on non-nuclear issues,” said Ali Vaez, an Iran specialist at the International Crisis Group.

Vaez added: “The proponents of a more logical path have good arguments to make to the president but his decision is unpredictable. I think it depends on what he sees on Fox News that morning.”

UK, Germany and France urge US not to tear up Iran nuclear deal

Washington’s closest allies have sent a carefully timed warning to Donald Trump not to tear up the Iran nuclear deal, saying it is essential for international security, and no better alternative has been suggested by the White House.

At a meeting in Brussels attended by the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, the three EU signatories to the deal, insisted that Iran was respecting the agreement signed in 2015.

The display of resolve came before a decision by the US president, expected on Friday, on whether to continue to sign a waiver to prevent the reimposition of economic sanctions against Iran. Tehran has warned that any failure to sign the waiver would lead to the deal’s collapse, and the speedy restart of uranium enrichment.

The EU’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, said the deal, denounced by Trump as the worst ever made, had in reality “made the world safer and prevented a potential nuclear arms race in the region”.

She also said any doubts the EU harboured over Iran’s development of ballistic missiles, or its overall policy of interference across the Middle East, were separate from the nuclear deal – also known as the JCPOA.

Catalan separatists agree deal to re-elect Puigdemont

Catalonia's main separatist parties said Wednesday they have agreed to re-elect fugitive Carles Puigdemont as president of the region later this month, although how to make that legally possible is still up in the air. Puigdemont, who has been in Brussels since he was sacked in October over an attempt to secede from Spain, faces immediate arrest if he returns home. He wants the separatist majority in the new regional parliament to appoint him despite his absence.

The Catalan assembly's regulations are ambiguous about that possibility, but the anti-independence opposition says that a president can't govern from afar. ...

A spokesman with Puigdemont's Junts per Catalunya (Together for Catalonia) ticket said that the separatist politician secured the backing of the left-republican ERC party Tuesday evening in Brussels. The parties jointly hold 66 of the 135 seats in the regional chamber, and can add the support of four anti-establishment lawmakers. ...

Puigdemont boasted again on Wednesday that the three Catalan pro-independence parties had secured a majority despite some of their candidates campaigning from self-imposed exile or in jail while facing possible charges of rebellion. "The desire to be free from Madrid is rising, it is in the majority and it is lasting over time, despite the huge difficulties it faces," he wrote in an editorial published on the Politico news website. "That calls for attention and respect — neither of which have been offered by the Spanish government and the European Union."

Assange issued ‘Ecuadorian ID’ as UK rejects bid to grant him diplomatic status

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has allegedly been issued an Ecuadorian ID in a bid to end his 5-year confinement. The UK Foreign Office reportedly rejected a request from Quito to grant the whistleblower diplomatic status.

Assange’s ID was issued on December 21, Ecuadorian outlet El Universo reports, citing “reliable sources” and providing the civil registry number to check on the government website. The document number 1729926483, upon checking on the Internal Revenue Service, is indeed registered to one Julian Paul Assange.

In the meantime the Government of Ecuador “recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK,” a Foreign Office spokesperson told British media. “The UK did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter,” the FCO spokesman added.

Israel is now using Facebook posts to jail Palestinians

Abed al-Salam Jihad al-Masri was working on a construction site in Nazareth, Israel, when Israeli Police officers arrested him.

Al-Masri, a 22-year-old geography major from Jenin who studies at An-Najah National University in the West Bank, did not have an arrest record. But on that day last August, he was handcuffed and sent to jail, he said, for exiting the Israeli military-occupied West Bank and entering Israel illegally.

While being interrogated by the police, al-Masri was asked to show an officer his Facebook profile, a controversial tactic that civil rights groups say has grown increasingly common in Israel and the West Bank. After looking at al-Masri’s Facebook, the government threw another charge at him: “incitement” on social media. He was then transferred to a military jail, and later sentenced to three months in prison.

“They accused me of posing a danger to the security of the Hebrew state and of incitement, of being a destroyer,” al-Masri said. “What does that mean? Basically, it’s code for terrorist.”

The charges stemmed from three Facebook posts, all of which were written before al-Masri’s arrest. One honored his “martyred” cousin, Izz al-Din Shahil al-Masri, a Hamas terrorist who carried out the 2001 bombing of a Sbarro pizza restaurant that killed 15 people. Another post expressed a young man’s frustrations and anger over Palestinians’ dwindling control of Jerusalem. A third showed a stock photograph of a handgun, and declared that some, unspecified, people learn respect only through violence.

US 'do not travel' advisory puts five Mexican states on same level as Syria

The US state department has warned Americans to completely avoid five Mexican states plagued by crime and drug cartel violence, putting the regions on the same level as war-zones such as Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan. In an advisory issued on Wednesday, the state department said “do not travel to” the border state of Tamaulipas, as well as the Pacific coast states of Sinaloa, Colima, Michoacán and Guerrero.

Sinaloa has seen spiraling violence since the 2016 arrest – and subsequent extradition to the US – of the former Sinaloa cartel boss Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán and battles over the spoils of his criminal empire. Guerrero has long suffered lawlessness, but became notorious for the disappearance of 43 students in 2014. It has turned especially violent as dozens of criminal groups battle for control of heroin production, and the US government warns that “armed groups operate independently of the government in many areas [and] maintain roadblocks and many use violence towards travellers”.

While Michoacán has a long history of drug cartel activities, the tiny coastal state of Colima has claimed the dubious title of Mexico’s murder capital as rival cartels are thought to be competing for control of the port of Manzanillo. Last year was Mexico’s most murderous year in memory, with the violence spreading to tourist destinations including Los Cabos and Acapulco, and the country’s government has shown little sign that it is getting the upper hand, despite an 11-year militarized crackdown on organized crime.

Walmart uses massive Trump tax gain to offer modest pay rise to workers

Walmart said on Thursday it would raise entry-level wages for hourly employees to $11 an hour as it benefits from the biggest overhaul of the US tax code in 30 years. The world’s largest retailer said the increase would take effect in February and that it would also expand maternity and parental leave benefits and offer a one-time cash bonus, based on length of service, of up to $1,000.

The pay increase and bonus will benefit more than 1 million US hourly workers, it said, but the pay increase remains far below the $15 an hour unions and pressure groups say is needed to make up for decades of low growth in retail wages. Walmart’s announcement follows companies like AT&T, Wells Fargo and Boeing, which have all promised more pay for workers after the Republican-controlled US Congress passed a tax bill last month that cut the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%.

As Erica Garner Is Mourned, Why Are Black Mothers in NYC Dying at 12 Times Rate of White Mothers?

Medicaid: Trump opens door for states to take away coverage from out-of-work Americans

Millions who rely on Medicaid, America’s biggest public health insurance program, could be required to have a job if they want to hold on to their coverage in the future. The Trump administration has unveiled a major policy shift that offers a path for states seeking to tie Medicaid eligibility to work requirements.

Seema Verma, head of the federal centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, said work and community involvement can make a positive difference to people’s health and lives. But the plan is likely to face strong political opposition and even legal challenges.

Medicaid is the nation’s largest public insurance program, providing health benefits to nearly 74 million Americans, chiefly low-income adults. Many recipients already have jobs that don’t provide health insurance and people are not legally required to hold a job to be on Medicaid. But states traditionally can seek federal waivers to test new ideas for the program.

The administration’s latest action seeks to allow states to apply the rules in such a way that would allow them to impose work requirements on “able-bodied” adults. Ten states, mostly conservative ones, have applied for waivers involving requirements for jobs or community involvement for most Medicaid recipients.

Private Prison Continues to Send ICE Detainees to Solitary Confinement for Refusing Voluntary Labor

Officials at a privately run Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in rural Georgia locked an immigrant detainee in solitary confinement last November as punishment for encouraging fellow detainees to stop working in a labor program that ICE says is strictly voluntary.

Shoaib Ahmed, a 24-year-old who immigrated to America to escape political persecution in Bangladesh, told The Intercept that the privately run detention center placed him in isolation for 10 days after an officer overheard him simply saying “no work tomorrow.” Ahmed said he was expressing frustration over the detention center — run by prison contractor CoreCivic — having delayed his weekly paycheck of $20 for work in the facility’s kitchen.

Those in ICE custody often work for as little as $1 per day and cannot legally be compelled to work.

Ahmed’s account adds to a growing chorus of ICE detainees who allege that they have been forced to work in for-profit ICE facilities or else risk punishment with solitary confinement — a harsh form of captivity that, if prolonged, can amount to torture. Late last month, ICE detainees at a CoreCivic-run facility in California sued the private prison contractor, alleging that they had been threatened with solitary confinement if they did not work. ...

CoreCivic has said that its practices of segregating detainees in individual cells are humane and has disputed the term “solitary confinement,” arguing that its harsh connotation does not apply to the publicly traded firm’s practices. ... But over the course of two interviews with The Intercept over a fuzzy detention center phone line, Ahmed used rudimentary English to describe being subjected to the isolating conditions of solitary confinement as it is generally understood.



the horse race



The FBI Hand Behind Russia-gate

Russia-gate is becoming FBI-gate, thanks to the official release of unguarded text messages between loose-lipped FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and his garrulous girlfriend, FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Despite his former job as chief of the FBI’s counterintelligence section, Strzok had the naive notion that texting on FBI phones could not be traced. Strzok must have slept through “Security 101.” ... It would have been unfortunate enough for Strzok and Page to have their adolescent-sounding texts merely exposed, revealing the reckless abandon of star-crossed lovers hiding (they thought) secrets from cuckolded spouses, office colleagues, and the rest of us. However, for the never-Trump plotters in the FBI, the official release of just a fraction (375) of almost 10,000 messages does incalculably more damage than that.

We suddenly have documentary proof that key elements of the U.S. intelligence community were trying to short-circuit the U.S. democratic process. And that puts in a new and dark context the year-long promotion of Russia-gate. It now appears that it was not the Russians trying to rig the outcome of the U.S. election, but leading officials of the U.S. intelligence community, shadowy characters sometimes called the Deep State.

More of the Strzok-Page texting dialogue is expected to be released. And the Department of Justice Inspector General reportedly has additional damaging texts from others on the team that Special Counsel Robert Mueller selected to help him investigate Russia-gate. Besides forcing the removal of Strzok and Page, the text exposures also sounded the death knell for the career of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, in whose office some of the plotting took place and who has already announced his plans to retire soon.

But the main casualty is the FBI’s 18-month campaign to sabotage candidate-and-now-President Donald Trump by using the Obama administration’s Russia-gate intelligence “assessment,” electronic surveillance of dubious legality, and a salacious dossier that could never pass the smell test, while at the same time using equally dubious techniques to immunize Hillary Clinton and her closest advisers from crimes that include lying to the FBI and endangering secrets. Ironically, the Strzok-Page texts provide something that the Russia-gate investigation has been sorely lacking: first-hand evidence of both corrupt intent and action. After months of breathless searching for “evidence” of Russian-Trump collusion designed to put Trump in the White House, what now exists is actual evidence that senior officials of the Obama administration colluded to keep Trump out of the White House – proof of what old-time gumshoes used to call “means, motive and opportunity.”

Even more unfortunately for Russia-gate enthusiasts, the FBI lovers’ correspondence provides factual evidence exposing much of the made-up “Resistance” narrative – the contrived storyline that The New York Times and much of the rest of the U.S. mainstream media deemed fit to print with little skepticism and few if any caveats, a scenario about brilliantly devious Russians that not only lacks actual evidence – relying on unverified hearsay and rumor – but doesn’t make sense on its face.

Imran Awan Criminal Investigation Snares Debbie Wasserman Schultz





the evening greens


Federal Court Sanctions Lawyers for Defending Community’s Right to Say “No” to Frack Wastewater Injection Wells

Today, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania issued an order imposing sanctions on two attorneys defending a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance adopted by Grant Township, Pennsylvania. The Township has spent years fighting to stop frack wastewater injection wells from being sited in the community with assistance from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF).

Injection wells – which involve the high pressure underground dumping of millions of gallons of frack wastewater, which contains toxins, carcinogens, and other chemicals – cause earthquakes, can contaminate drinking water, and bring other environmental and public health impacts.

Today’s ruling comes as part of a lawsuit in which Pennsylvania General Energy, LLC (PGE) is suing Grant Township to overturn the Township’s ban on frack wastewater injection wells. (Pennsylvania General Energy Company, LLC v. Grant Township)

Not satisfied with suing the community and questioning its authority to protect the people and environment of Grant Township from injection wells, the company decided to punish its lawyers by seeking monetary sanctions against them.

“At a time when Americans more and more are looking to the courts for reason and justice, today we find neither, as corporate forces once again have been able to wield our institutions of government to punish those working to elevate the rights of communities over fossil fuel corporations,” stated CELDF’s Associate Director Mari Margil.

Magistrate Judge Susan Baxter earlier found that the Township’s prohibition on injection wells violated the corporation’s constitutional rights. The case is scheduled for a jury trial in May, at which PGE will seek hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Township, claiming that it suffered harm because the company has been prevented from dumping frack waste in a residential area next to the Township’s sole source of drinking water.

NYC Sues Big Oil Companies Over Climate Change & Divests $5B From Fossil Fuel Firms

As New York City Declares War on the Oil Industry, the Politically Impossible Suddenly Seems Possible

Five years ago, when 350.org helped kick off the global fossil fuel divestment movement, one of the slogans the team came up with was “We > Fossil Fuels.” The T-shirts and stickers were nice, but I have to admit that I never really felt it. Bigger than fossil fuels? With their bottomless budgets? Their endless capacity to blanket the airwaves and bankroll political parties? The slogan always made me kind of sad.

Well, yesterday in New York City, listening to Mayor Bill de Blasio announce that the city had just filed a lawsuit against five oil majors and intended to divest $5 billion from fossil fuel companies, I actually felt it. After being outgunned by the power and wealth of this industry for so many years, the balance of power seemed to physically tilt. It’s still not equal — not by a long shot — but something big changed nonetheless. Regular humans may not be more powerful than the fossil fuel companies now — but we might be soon.

Within minutes of de Blasio’s announcement going public, activists in London started tweeting at their mayor to step up in equally bold fashion. And while the press conference was still streaming live, several of us started to get emails from city councillors in other cities around the world, promising to initiate a similar process in their communities. Such is the power of an action emanating from a center as symbolically important as New York City: What felt politically impossible yesterday suddenly seems possible, and the dominos start instantly falling. ...

As that threat becomes more credible, with more players taking New York City’s lead, the investor case for dumping these stocks as overly high risk will be strengthened, thereby lending a potent new tool to the fossil fuel divestment movement. A virtuous cycle. Oh, and the more we are able to hit the industry in the pocketbook, the less likely costly new drilling and pipeline projects will be to go ahead, no matter how many precious national parks and pristine coastlines the Trump administration attempts to desecrate. If the economics don’t make sense, the drilling simply won’t advance. ...

Yesterday was a big, good day for the planet – and we needed one of those.

Citi Says Trump and War Could Help Drive Oil to $80 a barrel

This year may be anything but staid for the oil market as Citigroup Inc. predicts wildcards including war, Middle East tensions, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un driving crude toward $80 a barrel.

After prices were boosted by OPEC’s output curbs in 2017, the U.S. President has shifted the focus to geopolitical risks, with his pursuit of sanctions on Iran and North Korea potentially having significant consequences, the bank said. That’s in addition to political disturbances in some OPEC members like Iraq and Libya that could see crude supplies decline, boosting oil to levels between $70-$80, it said in a Jan. 9 report.

“Many of these uncertainties have significant consequences for commodities,” Citigroup analysts including Ed Morse wrote in the report titled Wildcards for 2018: Trump looms large along with systemic risks. “It is not a surprise that our list of potential wildcard events in the year ahead retains a focus on the United States.” ... The most wide-ranging systemic risk to commodities this year could be President Trump disturbing the political world order, Citigroup said.



Also of Interest

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

Billionaire Tom Steyer and the Wealthy Trump Resistance Grifters

California in revolt: how the progressive state plans to foil the Trump agenda

North Korea Is Walking Back War — And Pundits Are Strangely Disappointed

Israel air strikes and missile barrage designed to show it is still a player in Syria as Assad nears victory

These are the Palestinian children Israel killed in 2017

We laugh at Russian propaganda. But Hollywood history is just as fake

If Democrats Want the Support of Millennials, They Should Cut Ties with the Fossil Fuel Industry


A Little Night Music


Willie Mabon - It's A Shame

Willie Mabon - It keeps raining

Willie Mabon - Got To Let You Go

Willie Mabon - I'm the Fixer

Willie Mabon - Too Hot To Handle

Willie Mabon - Some More

Willie Mabon - No Big Thing

Big Willie Mabon - Bogey Man

Willie Mabon - Somebody Gotta Pay

Willie Mabon - Why Did It Happen To Me

Willie Mabon - Say Man



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19 users have voted.

Comments

Lookout's picture

...and the other day I asked you if russia-gate would ever die - maybe the newsconsortium piece provides the answer.

N. Korea out playing the Don is not a bad outcome either.

NYC divesting from fossil fuels is a good sign also.

Green energy makes sense...

The right-wing claim (advanced by Trump over the last two years) that policies to fight global warming and protect the environment are bad for jobs and working-class incomes and security is false. The opposite is the case.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/climate-denial-will-kill-us/

We need to look for some silver linings. Thanks for stories and music Joe!

Occupational-Hazards_1024-850x1028.jpg

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14 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

divineorder's picture

@Lookout

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5 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@Lookout

i think that i have a better answer for you about russiarussiarussia ever dying. it can never die in a world where critical thinking skills are sufficiently rare.

have a great evening!

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7 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

@joe shikspack

Officer: Do you have an ID?
Bubba: An IDee about what?

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3 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

OLinda's picture

Re: Walmart uses massive Trump tax gain to offer modest pay rise to workers

CNN Money

Sam's Club shut down multiple locations on Thursday, and some employees and customers say it did so without warning.

Walmart (WMT), which owns Sam's Club, did not respond to numerous requests for comment.

Workers and customers learned about the store closures on the same day Walmart drew praise from the White House for raising pay and giving out worker bonuses because of the new lower corporate tax rate.

It's not clear how many stores have closed. Local news outlets across the country -- including from Houston, Syracuse, Baton Rouge and Dallas -- reported the closures happened without notice. Some reported that bewildered employees showed up to work to find out they no longer had a job.

(To qualify for the $1000 bonus, you need to have worked for Walmart for 20 years. Other employees do get bonuses, lesser amounts based on years of service.)

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9 users have voted.

- - - -
If you don't like the Mafia, why don't you join it and change it from the inside?

divineorder's picture

@OLinda @Lookout

In the post partisan age....

From various links TX Wind Power sources produce more power than coal. TX also encompasses efforts that combined make the area a national and world leader in Wind, who (especially me the cynical native Texan) would ever have thought it possible? It’s the economics, they say, maybe not so much about doing the right thing like ?

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8 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@OLinda

wow, 53 stores! that's a lot of closures/employees without jobs.

clever use of the news cycle for management to hide their bad news.

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5 users have voted.
OLinda's picture

Sounds like good news. Very confusing though. Saw some comments that with Ecuadorian citizenship he would be safe (diplomatic ammunity) while traveling in a car to the airport, in flight, etc. Sounded so promising, but now I'm not sure. Assange has not commented (tweeted anything). His comments would be the only way I would understand what is happening.

The U.N. has ruled in Julian's favor. You would think some international pressure could be applied on the UK. Guess everyone, including UK, is too afraid of the big bad USA.

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11 users have voted.

- - - -
If you don't like the Mafia, why don't you join it and change it from the inside?

QMS's picture

@OLinda the solution to U*S diplomacy fail would be to back down and let Assange go on with his life. Why is sharing the truth a crime these days?

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5 users have voted.
OLinda's picture

for the news and blues. Hope all is well. Are you feeling better?

Another pretty day here. Feels too good. We've had a so-far fairly mild winter, even with some days and nights in single digits. Much less snow that last year. That can be corrected at any time, however! Probably get dumped on all at once! Smile

Today is one of those days you can get away with a t-shirt, but oh, maybe might be a leetle more comfortable with a light sweater.

Happy Thursday, Bluesters!

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5 users have voted.

- - - -
If you don't like the Mafia, why don't you join it and change it from the inside?

joe shikspack's picture

@OLinda

i have (crosses fingers) pretty much gotten rid of the bug that was bothering me. i still have a little remaining congestion, but i'm mostly back up to speed. on the other hand, i have retained the habit of sleeping late, which seems pretty good to me. Smile

the weather has relented here for a couple of days, it's supposed to get up to 60 degrees tomorrow and then over the weekend we are supposed to transition to another cold snap for several days. i'm enjoying it while i can.

i hope that you are well, warm and happy out there in mile high.

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4 users have voted.
Citizen Of Earth's picture

Just when you think President Douchebag couldn't get any worse, he calls Haiti and African nations "SHITHOLE NATIONS" (verbatim quote). And he says it out loud in the Oval Office in front of reporters.

Wolfie's panel on CNN is calling POTUS an outright racist. We are in uncharted waters here folks.

Now I want the people who called my Trump avatar 'over the top' to apologize. Hahahahhahahaha.

PS #ShitHole is trending on The Twitter.

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10 users have voted.

Donnie The #ShitHole Douchebag. Fake President. Real Asshole.

QMS's picture

@Citizen Of Earth trick is to ignore the perpetrated hype. Bigger fires to extinguish.

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Citizen Of Earth

heh, here in maryland we had us a governator (formerly hizzoner the mayor of baltimore for an eternity) named william donald schaefer.

as he was walking into the state house legislative chamber to give his annual state of the state address, he leaned over into the aisle where many of the legislators from the eastern shore of maryland were sitting and asked (paraphrasing from memory), "how's everything on the shithouse side of the state?" it was, of course, supposed to be a joke, but anger over the remark lingered on for decades. at one point it got so bad that folks from the eastern shore showed up in the capitol (annapolis) on their tractors, towing outhouses behind them and circling the statehouse and governor's mansion.

#shithole might have legs, it could be trump's "ketchup is a vegetable" moment.

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

today in the house. Is anyone surprised by this? Yeah let's work hard to get the democrats back in charge of congress. They will fix everything that the republicans have been doing. Sure they will.

How far will the republicans take a case if it shows that the FBI during the Obama administration worked too interfere with the election and to make sure that the Clinton investigation went nowhere? Isn't that what Nixon did?

How many people are going to believe that Russia had nothing to do with the election if it's announced? When this crap started the media would write a definitive headline such as Russia hacked into 23 states election machines. But inside the article it would say that Russia attempted to hack the machines.
Today I read a comment on ToP that said something about the 23 voting machines that Russia hacked and changed votes. That's not the only website I read this type of comment on. Everyone that played along with this has twisted people's minds into believing this. Clapper, Obama and others have stated that there was no evidence that happened. A congress member read the VIPS conclusion that the DNC computers were not hacked and the information showed that the emails were leaked. Anyone think that Rachel will give a mea culpa and admit that she had been telling people things that were false? Anyone? Yeah, me neither.

Finally some good news. The DNC fraud lawsuit is going forward with the Becks as the attorneys.

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15 users have voted.

Trump has demonstrated the emperor is naked and there is an all out war on the American people by its government

snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

You must have forgotten to mention the warning given by the Australians to the FBI well before the Steele Dossier came to their attention and the fact that the FBI already had started the investigation of Trump campaign dodgyness well before it’s appearance. Maybe the stuff they were finding independent of the dossier gave them reason enough to want to protect us from Trump.

This type of thinking came out after the NYT ran its article on how the FBI decided to get their FISA warrant on Trump. It was written so that the FBI could have a different reason for the warrant, but the facts of why they got it was already known to many journalists and people who have been following this. Every time disinformation comes out, the kos kids write 4-6 diaries about it which furthers the lies that have been pushed since the DNC and Hillary's campaign created it.

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7 users have voted.

Trump has demonstrated the emperor is naked and there is an all out war on the American people by its government

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

on the 702 fisa bill, 65 dems and 191 republicans voted for it. 45 republicans voted against it, so the dems gave the spooks just enough votes to pass it and make it look all shiny and bipartisany.

even though the reps voted for the bill in significantly larger numbers, my guess is that if the balance of dems and reps changed in the house, the dem establishment would just whip the vote count harder to make sure that the deep state gets what it wants. so my guess is that your larger point that little will change if the dems regain a majority, is probably quite true.

How far will the republicans take a case if it shows that the FBI during the Obama administration worked too interfere with the election and to make sure that the Clinton investigation went nowhere?

that's an excellent question. what might be an even more interesting question is what happens when about half of the population believes that trump is a russian patsy and the other half believes that obama and clinton used the fbi and other clandestine agencies to throw the election.

i guess a lot of it depends on who wins the information war and gets the media wurlitzer on their side. the victor will then write the history, is my assumption. (see: kennedy assassination, warren commission)

glad to hear that the becks and their clients prevailed upon appeal and the dnc will be back in court to answer for its crimes.

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

The article I read earlier showed the opposite. Oh well, you're right. The Washington Generals looked like they might win a game, but oh so close.

The Russian damage has already been done. There is already so much information that has been debunked, but people are still quoting things that they heard about a year ago. This is why propaganda works and is so dangerous. War with Russia? Sure, they deserve it because they interfered with our elections. And France, U.K., brexit....

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4 users have voted.

Trump has demonstrated the emperor is naked and there is an all out war on the American people by its government

Centaurea's picture

@snoopydawg
@joe shikspack

To clarify, on Weds. the Court of Appeals issued a procedural order, ruling in favor of the plaintiffs (the Bernie supporters) on a jurisdictional matter.

The effect of this order is that the plaintiffs can proceed with their appeal of the District Court's order dismissing the lawsuit.

The appellate court has not yet ruled on the merits of the appeal.

In fact, nothing substantive has been done so far in this lawsuit. It's all been procedural, including the District Court's dismissal.

If you're thinking "this sure is a lot of procedural stuff", yep, that's pretty standard, especially in federal court. Since this is complex litigation, involving a class action, if the Becks win their appeal and the case continues in the District Court, we'll undoubtedly see a lot more procedural activity. The lawsuit could literally go on for years.

To use a sports analogy, it's kind of like watching a golf tournament on TV. Lengthy stretches of boredom interspersed with moments of excitement. (Apologies to the golfing fans reading this.)

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

Raggedy Ann's picture

Even our rethuglican congresscritter voted nay on the 4th amendment, but our illustrious demorat congresscritter voted yea - and she's running for governor. Sigh.

Just popping in to say hey! Getting ready to call it a day and head home for r&r!

Have a beautiful evening, folks! Pleasantry

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

have a great evening!

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From a Glenn tweet today:

"Oh, and finally: it seems rather odd, to put that mildly, to simultaneously insist that Trump is a traitorous agent or enslaved tool of an adversarial foreign power to whom he reports back, and then vote to give Trump extremely invasive, largely unchecked domestic spying power."

Tracey

Dem Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, two of the most vociferous "Russiagate" proponents, just voted to vest Trump with enormous surveillance powers. Maybe a host of one of the cable TV shows they appear on multiple times per week could ask about that paradox.

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@MrWebster

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divineorder's picture

@MrWebster

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

Great catch!

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Trump has demonstrated the emperor is naked and there is an all out war on the American people by its government

snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

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Trump has demonstrated the emperor is naked and there is an all out war on the American people by its government

@snoopydawg

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joe shikspack's picture

@MrWebster

well, that dose should take care of any irony deficiency this week.

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divineorder's picture

Recently you mentioned a visit form Mr. Sore Throat. After reading a review of the literature I have concluded that having a connected visit from Mr. Bronchitis exacerbated by Mr. Acid Reflux wreaking havoc on my system. Not that much fun. Top that with the usual maintenance boogie on a hundred year old place, up on the roof evaluating for roof leaks, inside plumbing leaks, etc at our old cabin.

Heh. I was planning to post about the Mexican travel warnings , but heh no surprise, saw you already did! Smile

For me one of the most interesting things in the article was about possibly NAFTA negotiation kabuki. This is a link from your featured article:

We have traveled a fair bit in Mexico mostly in the 70’s and 80’s, before branching out further afield on the planet. A caver rafter Vietnam Vet then Presidential helicopter pilot in DC who is a friend in Austin was shot in Mexico in the 90’s while on a rafting trip on the river between Mexico and Guatemala I think

Otherwise we have many TX friends who have traveled in Mexico for years with no problems whatsoever.

In 2005, the summer we retired from teaching some colleagues invited us to join them at an historic old town where they had rented a several room house. Just to prove to ourselves that it was still possible to travel even with our piss poor TX teacher pensions we took a bus from San Antonio 18 hours to the the interesting San Miguel de Allende. From there a Mexican friend and her US husband came down and with a vehicle and drove us up to Mexico City, got us homestays with the family, and took us to wonderful museums, pyramids, cave, and Tasco the silver mining town. Good stuff, but her brother, a pilot, had amazing amount of security features on his home and he shared that he drove all the way to the airport to get fuel for his car to lessen the chance of kidnapping for ransom. Ahem.

Then a couple of years after we retired , think it was 2006, we got some gps coordinates from a travel forum we connected with online and some recent route condition info from a wonderful Mexican Techie in Los Mochis that we emailed with back and forth.

Jb’s parents had taken the Copper Canyon Train years back and after their tales the canyons always had held and allure . We did a great deal of research online after a friend from Boulder who leads extreme hiking trips into the canyon that he thought it might be possible to drive . We but could find little other info from trip reports etc, but the guy from Los Mochis had actually done it on a mountain bicycle! He said that [sadly] recent gold mining had brought about improved roads. We tried on possible leg but due to recent rains the clay road became impassable, in fact we were able to do a good deed and help pull a Mexican worker’s truck back up and out of a downward turn.

But still, on the suggestions of some guy on the internets [tells you a lot about us huh] we drove the Global Warmer, our truck with slide in camper down into the Barancas del Cobre from the mountains with snow on the ground up in Creel down and out to the coast. Surprisingly There are several small old mining towns down in the Canyons. We stopped at a classy Restuarant in one to have a bite and try to get some recent road condition info. Our young waiter spoke his native Spanish (I guess, he may have been indigeounous as there is still a quasi independent tribe living down in the canyons. We spoke Spanglish. We think he told us he had heard that the road was still passable. He said the bus ! no longer traveled it because it had been hijacked and some of the passengers had had their throats cut. Oh. Okay. Ahem.

Our new online friend had advised us that after we left the canyon bottom town of Urique not to stop until we got out to the coast, even for the police! Ahem.

Took us 9 hours straight barely stopping to pee, and we really wanted to stop along the way to enjoy and explore but did not, at one point even passing a police pickup truck near the end going the opposite direction ... We didn’t hesitate but drove on, no eye contact as I learned in the Army Reserve, but saying a few Hail Marys as we carried on.

Over the years since then we have read many stories about the growing violence in Mexico, and have been greatly saddened by it. We watched The Bridge, based on a Swedish / Danish collaboration by the same name. And gulped numerous times.

However should also say that as I write this we have friends from Utah that we met on that 2006 trip, who are making their way back down the Pacific coast for several months, just as they have every year since we first met them in 2006. Also, the musician/writer son in his 30’s of friends is traveling down to southern Mexico from Arizona playing gigs and surfing. Pretty sure neither of them know about these warnings yet.

Whew. Sorry for the long comment. Got carried away with the memories!

The violence is real or course, but in addition to that the Trump Admin hanky panky with NAFTA is probably quite real as well?

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

i hope that you're feeling ok and that your chores are going well.

i saw the travel warnings for mexico and thought that there might be a few folks that would be interested in them. it seems to me that things will never get much better in mexico until we stop the war on drugs. our demand for their black market products has made a mess of things as has the u.s. government's pressure to stop the supply in their country.

thanks for the travel memories!

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divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack as far as it goes. But seriously what does not obtain is the extreme violence-- beheadings, dismemeberment, mass hangings. How can one account for that?

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

i think that anywhere that there is impunity and a struggle for power, the gloves come off and you see the worst of human depravity come out. i can't tell you how many times i've read stories about american servicemen pissing on corpses, desecrating things that people hold sacred, massacring civilians, torturing people in ways that span the most gruesome physical pain infliction to the most horrible psychological tortures - and i wonder what in the world caused somebody who grew up in a relatively comfortable "civilized" country like the u.s. to think that any of these things would be acceptable. think about it, wealthy, well-heeled, well-educated, elite individuals spent a considerable amount of time making up the rules for how americans could "legally" torture people. the fucking vice president of the united states described it on national teevee saying that we "have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will."

sorry, i started ranting there.

so, what i'd say to your question is, it's everywhere if you really consider it.

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@joe shikspack thanks, I was going to make a separate post about torture being a byproduct of capitalism but this thread seems appropriate. I'm glad I read last night's EB to the end, good morning Smile heh.

Nothing shuts me up like suicide, I am 5150 24/7 and there is no 911, if you know what I mean. Every day I feel lucky to be alive, the local headlines are murder. We are still a disaster happening in California. C99 is always up in the zeitgeist, it is a curse to notice everything to be so aware, that's what I think. West county meltdown near me, but Jerry has nine billion reasons to smile, apparently it will get rainier. That's billion with a B.
West county is where SnoopyDawg loves camping if I recall correctly. Used to be paradise, now it is Netflix material.
Jan 10:Driver crashes, shoots himself in the head near Valley Ford
Jan 11: Petaluma man arrested on suspicion of aiding in wife's suicide in Bodega Bay

Clement is suspected of fastening the rope to the tree and tying knots in the rope, officials said.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Crum said Bales did not have a terminal illness. But she was in chronic pain and had recently come off opioid medication. It was not clear whether her pain was caused by withdrawal from her pain medication.

Crum said it is illegal to assist in another’s suicide attempt, though California law does allow for medically assisted suicide. In October 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed the End of Life Option Act, which allows terminally ill people to request life-ending medication.

When you are trying to encourage a person to keep going, please don't say "Hang in there." It means something completely different to a tortured mind. Thanks.

"If budgets are statements of value..." The Ds will build abattoirs in space, for profit. That will be the next science non-fiction.
---
The house across the street sits empty, it is either for sale or rent, unlisted. Only white people come and look at it, as far as I can tell. I watched two deputy sheriffs do their little tyrant act while serving eviction notice on the Mexicans who kept it lively around here. Now it is dead, just like everything else. Everything becomes dead one day, but we don't have to torture it. I am not part of that cellular group of organisms, it is dis-eased.

Best road trip I ever took was car camping from here south to the middle of Baja California, they gave exactly the same advice when we picked up our visas, "don't stop on the highway" but they also said "don't drive at night" because that is when the highway gets really wild. One evening we were caught out, flipped a coin at sunset, heads we camped on the highway. It was the best night in the desert I ever had, omg the sky, the nocturnal wildlife, I was ecstatic. Then, around 3am awakened by a dump truck full of drunk guys in the back singing their asses off, weaving all over the road in the dark with the lights off, gunfire in the air. Fear and ecstasy in Baja. lol I am lucky to be alive.

over and out

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divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack cannot forget that man’s inhumanity to man continues apace!

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2 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack cannot forget that man’s inhumanity to man continues apace!

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2 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

QMS's picture

major investors are divesting oil holdings and the industry analysts warn the cost of crude is going to sky rocket. Can't rape the speculators no more, so go for the consumers instead. Profits are king.

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QMS's picture

@QMS from the dark side

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QMS's picture

@QMS @ 3:32 if you listen very carefully

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joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

there are an awful lot of industry folks who are praying for the price per barrel to head upwards, especially the fracker people who don't break even until prices hit about $100/barrel.

i presume that hopefulness may account for some of the predictions - along with the need to replace some of the lost investment capital to keep the game going.

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QMS's picture

@joe shikspack whoring mother earth for another oil buck. How did they come to own our future anyway? I vehemently disagree with that agenda. Think fracking their balance sheets makes more sense.

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joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

How did they come to own our future anyway?

my best guess is that it started somewhere in the late 1600's to early 1700's with the birth of industrial capitalism. a bunch of the smartest people of the time worked out what they needed to do in order to subjugate vast populations and make them wealth-producing slaves. and they have managed to keep the game going for hundreds of years.

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mimi's picture

today, but then... may be just kabuki? I need to unscrew something in my head to make it loose, as to make it working a little more smoothly..

Ok, one thing is straight and great and that's the quote. Finally I can say something to the
'I have nothing to hide" folks.

Thanks for everything, especially the quote.I managed to read again til 3am in the morning to the 12th, which is unhealthy.

Good night for you.

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joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

heh, i try to post some things that smell like progress when i find them. i don't really just troll the internet for the most awful sounding news that i can find. Smile

glad that you liked the quote. have a great night's sleep!

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enhydra lutris's picture

Willie Mabon.

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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 --