The Evening Blues - 1-17-20



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Etta James

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues singer and force of nature, Etta James. Enjoy!

Etta James - Feel Like Breakin' Up Somebody's Home, I'd Rather Go Blind and Come To Mama

"Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness — and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling — their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability."

-- Arundhati Roy


News and Opinion

The World Must End Washington’s Illegal Economic War

The US is currently attacking one-third of the planet’s population with 8,000 economic sanctions, ongoing acts of war against 39 nations. The United States is relying more heavily on illegal unilateral coercive measures (also known as economic sanctions) in place of war or as part of its build-up to war. In fact, economic sanctions are an act of war that kills tens of thousands of people each year through financial strangulation. An economic blockade places a country under siege.

A recent example is the increase in economic measures being imposed against Iran, which many viewed as more acceptable than a military attack. ... The sanctions on Iran have been in place since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which made that country independent of the United States. Iran is not the only country being sanctioned by the United States. Samuel Moncada, the Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations, speaking to the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement of 120 nations on October 26, 2019, denounced the imposition of sanctions by the US, as “economic terrorism which affects a third of humanity with more than 8,000 measures in 39 countries.” The United States uses sanctions against countries that resist the US’ agenda. US sanctions are designed to kill by destroying an economy through denial of access to finance, causing hyperinflation and shortages and blocking basic necessities such as food and medicine. For example, sanctions are expected to cause the death of tens of thousands of Iranians by creating a severe shortage of critical medicines and medical equipment everywhere in Iran. ...

Sanctions hurt civilians, especially the most vulnerable – babies, children, the elderly and chronically ill – not governments. Their intent is to shrink the economy and cause chronic shortages and hyperinflation while ensuring a lack of access to finance to pay for essentials. The US then blames the targeted government claiming that corruption or socialism is the problem in an effort to turn the people against their government. This often backfires as people instead rally around the government, quiet their calls for democracy and work to develop a resistance economy. ...

With 39 countries targeted with sanctions, and other countries impacted because they cannot trade with those countries, nations are challenging the US’ dollar domination. Countries are seeking to conduct trade without the dollar and are no longer treating the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency while also avoiding Wall Street. The de-dollarization of the global economy is a boomerang effect that is hastening due to the abuse of sanctions and will seriously weaken the US economy. The combination of countries acting against US sanctions, and people’s movements pressuring the US government has the potential to end the abuse of sanctions. The EU has moved to blunt the impact of the sanctions against Iran by creating an alternative to the US-controlled SWIFT system for trade. This is spurring the end of the dollar as the reserve currency. Some officials in the EU have called for retaliatory sanctions against the US. ...

The indiscriminate, illegal and immoral use of sanctions is an act of war. Unless they are authorized by the United Nations, unilateral coercive measures are illegal. A critical objective of the peace and justice movement in the United States, working with allies around the world, must be to end this terrorist economic warfare. The US economy currently depends on financial hegemony and war. The slow, steady collapse of the dollarized economy means the 2020s will be the decade US domination comes to an end. The US must learn to be a cooperative member of the global community or risk this isolation and retaliation.

Iraq PM Backs Off Expelling US Troops

After repeated threats from President Trump to sanction Iraq, to seize its primary bank account, and cut all military aid, Iraqi PM Adel Abdul-Mahdi has backed away from calls to expel US troops from Iraq.

Iraq’s parliament voted 170-0 earlier this month on the ouster, though US officials have said they don’t intend to leave, and have denied actually being asked. Following the threats, Abdul-Mahdi now says he wants to leave the question up to the next government.

Iran's supreme leader says Trump is a 'clown' who will betray Iranians

Key Architect of 2003 Iraq War Is Now a Key Architect of Trump Iran Policy

David Wurmser was a longtime advocate of war with Iraq in the Bush administration. Eventually, he got what he wanted, and it was a total disaster. Now, Wurmser again has the ear of a president — this time, Donald Trump — and his sights are set firmly on Iran.

An influential neoconservative in President George W. Bush’s White House who became a significant force behind the push for war with Iraq in 2003, Wurmser has recently been serving as an informal adviser to the Trump administration, according to new reporting from Bloomberg News. In that capacity, Wurmser helped make the case for the recent drone strike that assassinated Iranian Gen. Qassim Suleimani.

Wurmser wrote several memos to then-national security adviser John Bolton in May and June of 2019. In the documents, according to Bloomberg, Wurmser argued that aggressive action by the U.S. — such as the killing of Suleimani — would, in Wurmser’s words, “rattle the delicate internal balance of forces and the control over them upon which the [Iranian] regime depends for stability and survival.”

The significance of this is two-fold. First, while it was already clear that the neoconservative movement has powerfully influenced the Trump administration, Wurmser’s role on Iran is further evidence of the sway that neoconservatism still holds on the U.S. right — despite the catastrophic invasion of Iraq and Trump’s disavowal of the war. Second, it demonstrates that neoconservatives such as Wurmser still cherish a peculiar theory about Iranian society. ...

[N]othing in the past 17 years seems to have made much of an impression on Wurmser; he still maintains a belief in his own skill at precisely calibrated global strategy. Nor has this past calamitous decade and a half prevented him from having the ear of the people who operate America’s killer drones. Notably, the article about Wurmser’s current accomplishments, by neoconservative Bloomberg journalist Eli Lake, does not mention any of Wurmser’s unfortunate history.

Germany confirms Trump made trade threat to Europe over Iran policy

The US threatened to impose 25% tariffs on cars to push Europeans to initiate proceedings against Iran for violating the nuclear deal, the German defence minister has confirmed.

“This threat exists,” said the German defence minister, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, at a press conference in London.

She was asked about an article in the Washington Post that claimed Trump had secretly warned France, Germany and the UK that the US would impose a “25% tariffs on European cars” if they did not activate the mechanism for the settlement of disputes (MRD) of the Iranian international nuclear agreement reached in Vienna in 2015. ...

The news will only confirm the view of the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, that Europe is failing to stand up to a high school bully. Zarif met the EU external affairs chief, Josep Borrell, to discuss the European decision to trigger the dispute mechanism, describing it as “a strategic mistake”.

Taliban offer to stand down fighters to restart peace talks with US

The Taliban have offered to stand down their fighters for several days, in an effort to restart peace negotiations with the US that were abruptly called off last year by Donald Trump. The proposal for a seven to 10-day halt in military operations was given to the US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad on Wednesday, AP reported. The US, which has been pushing for a ceasefire to pave the way for new talks, is still evaluating the insurgents’ offer, an American official said.

The offer was reportedly handed over in Qatar, which hosts a Taliban political delegation and has been the venue for many rounds of talks. The group’s top leadership is based in Pakistan and envoys have been shuttling back and forth between the countries.

Washington last year appeared to be edging closer to an agreement to end its longest war, after nearly two decades, and bring thousands of troops home. But after a spike in violence and the death of a US soldier in September, Trump announced on Twitter that he had called off negotiations. Two months later, on a Thanksgiving trip to troops stationed on the ground, he appeared to signal that his peace effort was back on, saying that the Taliban “want to make a deal”, but it would be conditional on a ceasefire.

A day later the militant group confirmed they were ready to restart talks. However, they have reportedly been concerned about agreeing to a ceasefire, for fear that it would sap fighters’ morale and potentially undermine their position on the battlefield if it proved hard to redeploy fighters.

Progressive judge to become Greece's first female president

Greece is poised to get its first female president after the country’s centre-right leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis took the unprecedented step of proposing a progressive female judge to assume the role of head of state. In a move loaded with symbolism for a nation more used to the divisiveness of bipartisan politics, the prime minister nominated 62-year-old Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

“The time has come for Greece to open up to the future,” he said in an unexpected televised address, emphasising that the choice embodied unity and progress.

The news of a cosmopolitan jurist being catapulted to the head of the republic caught many off guard – not least in Mitsotakis’ own New Democracy party. Her views have often run counter to the establishment.

But less than 24 hours later, opposition parties, in a display of rare accord, also backed the proposal on Thursday. Former premier Alexis Tsipras, describing his decision as an “act of responsibility”, announced Syriza MPs will vote in favour in a parliamentary ballot on 22 January . The centre-left Kinal likewise expressed support, giving Sakellaropoulou’s election the blessing of at least 266 deputies in the 300-seat parliament. The five–round vote requires an overwhelming majority of 200 to pass initially.

France strikes: "A large majority are looking to the government to come up with solutions"

Boris Johnson rejects Scottish government request for second independence referendum

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson rejected Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's demand for a second independence referendum in a brief official letter published today.

"The Scottish people voted decisively to keep our United Kingdom together, a result which both the Scottish and UK Governments committed to respect," the prime minister tweeted, attaching the official document.

Johnson reminded Sturgeon that she had made a personal promise that the 2014 Scottish independence referendum would be a "once in a generation" vote. ...

Sturgeon has argued that Britain's decision to leave the EU justifies holding another referendum on Scottish independence, given a majority of Scots voted against Brexit in 2016.

Ukraine Is Finally Investigating Something. It's Not at All What Trump Wanted.

On Thursday, Ukrainian authorities announced a pair of investigations, and neither are probes into Hunter Biden, which the Trump administration tried to bully them to do.

The first is an investigation into whether associates of Rudy Giuliani ran illegal surveillance on former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. That was triggered by the trove of documents from Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, which included a series of text messages from Trump donor Robert F. Hyde calling Yovanovitch a “bitch” and “suggesting that he had Ambassador Yovanovitch under physical surveillance in Kyiv and that ‘They are willing to help if we/you would like a price.’”

“Ukraine’s position is to not interfere in the domestic affairs of the United States,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs said in a statement. “However, the published records contain a fact of possible violation of the legislation of Ukraine and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which protects the rights of a diplomat on the territory of another country. Ukraine cannot ignore such illegal activities on its territory.”

The second investigation is into the purported Russian hack of Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company where Hunter Biden served on the board.

“They Must Conduct a Full and Fair Trial”: Senators Sworn in for Historic Trump Impeachment Trial

Impeachment trial opens as watchdog says Trump broke law on Ukraine

As the Senate opened an impeachment trial in which Donald Trump will stand charged with abusing the power of his office, the president was hit with new allegations of wrongdoing by an agency within Trump’s own administration.

The Government Accountability Office released a finding on Thursday morning that the suspension last year of military aid for Ukraine at Trump’s direction violated laws governing the disbursement of congressionally appropriated funds.

Trump caused the law to be broken, the agency found. The White House did not immediately respond to the allegation of criminality. ...

Despite his declaration last month that he could not be an “impartial juror” in the case, McConnell vowed on Wednesday night that each senator would weigh the case against Trump with care. “We’ll pledge to rise above the petty factionalism and do justice for our institutions, for our states and for the nation,” McConnell said.

But McConnell was back in his partisan foxhole on Thursday morning, vowing that the Senate would check the “runaway passions” of the House and indicating that he would continue to press for a trial limited in scope. “Now they want the Senate to redo their homework and rerun the investigation,” McConnell said. “It’s not what this process will be going forward.

“The House’s hour is over. The Senate’s time is at hand.”

The Hill's Editor-in-Chief: Will Hunter Biden be called to the stand?

New York Fed Considering Becoming Sugar Daddy to Hedge Funds as their Distress Grows

It’s apparently not enough of a billionaire subsidy for the U.S. Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service to give a monster tax break to hedge fund titans by allowing them to pay Federal taxes on the basis of “carried interest,” meaning that they have a special loophole to pay a lower tax rate than many school teachers, nurses and plumbers. Now, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Reserve is actually considering opening its super-cheap repo loan money spigot to hedge funds. It doesn’t get any crazier than this.

Morphing from a central bank mandated to set monetary policy on the basis of maximum employment and stable prices, to the lender-of-last-resort to the criminally-charged trading houses on Wall Street and now, potentially, to the insider-trading/Big Short hedge funds, the New York Fed has totally lost its way if not its mind. (Unless, as many suspect, the New York Fed is simply the poorly-disguised money puppet of the one percent.)

The talk of a hedge fund bailout comes at a time when multiple hedge funds and illiquid mutual funds have locked their gates, preventing investors from getting back their money. It also comes after a year of giant net withdrawals from hedge funds. Equally noteworthy, in the past two years over 1200 hedge funds have shut down according to Hedge Fund Research.

According to a report at eVestment which tracks hedge fund flows, investors pulled $29.37 billion from hedge funds in the third quarter of last year, bringing the total net outflows through the third quarter to an eyebrow-raising $76.86 billion. eVestment subsequently reported that another $6.20 billion was pulled in October, bringing the year-to-date total to $83.06 billion.

Missouri could jail librarians for lending 'age-inappropriate' books

A Missouri bill intended to bar libraries in the US state from stocking “age-inappropriate sexual material” for children has been described by critics as “a shockingly transparent attempt to legalise book banning” that could land librarians who refuse to comply with it in jail.

Under the parental oversight of public libraries bill, which has been proposed by Missouri Republican Ben Baker, panels of parents would be elected to evaluate whether books are appropriate for children. Public hearings would then be held by the boards to ask for suggestions of potentially inappropriate books, with public libraries that allow minors access to such titles to have their funding stripped. Librarians who refuse to comply could be fined and imprisoned for up to one year.

“The main thing is, I want to be able to take my kids to a library and make sure they’re in a safe environment, and that they’re not gonna be exposed to something that is objectionable material,” Baker told a local news station. “Unfortunately, there are some libraries in the state of Missouri that have done this. And that’s a problem.”

Titles including Sherman Alexie’s award-winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five and Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak, a young adult novel about the rape of a teenager, have all come under fire in Missouri over the last decade.

Interpretation Crisis at the Border Leads to Deportation of Mayan-Language Speakers Seeking Refuge

US agents aid in Guatemalan crackdown on hundreds of migrants headed north

Guatemalan police accompanied by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have swept up hundreds of migrants, returning them to the Honduran border and in effect dashing their plans to travel together in a “caravan” to the United States.

Other, smaller groups traveled on in dribs and drabs in a movement involving several thousand people but very different from previous caravans.

Praying and singing songs, the group of 300 migrants – adults, teens and young children – had set out from a shelter in Entre Rios under rainy skies before dawn and walked about six hours before stopping in the town of Morales to eat and rest. There they were challenged by police, loaded on to buses and returned to the border to register under rules governing freedom of travel between Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Guatemalan police officers said the United States paid for the buses.

The action essentially dissolved what had been the largest and most cohesive group that left the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula on Wednesday in response to a call for the first migrant caravan in many months. Guatemala’s tactics mirrored those employed last year by Mexico to discourage and break up caravans on its territory following intense pressure from Washington.



the horse race



Glenn Greenwald on Warren vs Sanders, Russiagate, & Bolsonaro | Useful Idiots

Sanders climbs, now tied with Biden among registered voters: Reuters poll

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has been steadily climbing in popularity this year and is now tied with former Vice President Joe Biden for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination among registered voters, according to a Reuters/Ipsos national poll.

The online poll, released Thursday, shows that 20% of registered Democrats and independents said they would back Sanders over 11 other candidates to run in the general election against President Donald Trump, an increase of 2 percentage points from a similar poll that ran last week.

Another 19% supported Biden, 12% said they would vote for Senator Elizabeth Warren, 9% backed former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and 6% said they would support Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Sanders and Bloomberg have increased their level of support in each of the last three Reuters/Ipsos polls starting in mid-December, while support for Biden, Warren and Buttigieg has remained flat.

Progressive Destroys CNN’s Garbage Bernie/Warren Reporting


Krystal Ball: The polls are in, Warren's ploy backfires spectacularly

Pete Buttigieg’s Campaign Used Notoriously Low-Paying Gig-Work Platform for Polling

The presidential campaign of former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg spent $20,000 over the summer hiring gig workers through the platform Amazon Mechanical Turk, or MTurk, one of the most controversial actors in the gig-working space. Studies have found gig workers at the company are paid far below minimum wage, even though many on the platform work full-time.

The Buttigieg campaign contracted with MTurk for “polling” in August and September, according to Federal Election Commission records. MTurk allows a job requester to post the type of task they want completed and a price they’ll pay for it (the site allows payments as low as 1 cent). It is unclear from the FEC records how much the campaign paid per survey. A campaign spokesperson said they took steps to ensure participants were paid above the minimum wage for surveys that lasted 2-3 minutes, but would not specify how much the participants were paid. 

The campaign’s use of an exploitative platform like MTurk is in sharp contrast with the way Buttigieg has cast himself as a pro-worker candidate. He has been outspoken about the need for labor protections for those in the gig economy, whom companies often misclassify as independent contractors rather than employees in order to skirt labor protections. He has proposed several measures that would achieve better labor standards for gig workers, including a $15 minimum wage, cracking down on payroll fraud that lists gig workers as independent contractors, and ending right-to-work laws.

This past weekend, at a culinary union’s town hall in Las Vegas, Buttigieg told the audience, “If you’re a gig worker, as far as I’m concerned, you’re doing a gig, you’re working. And if you’re working, that makes you a worker, and if you’re a worker, you deserve protections. We are going to make sure gig workers have the chance to organize and unionize, too.” In August, Buttigieg joined gig workers to rally outside of Uber’s headquarters in support of a California law that aimed to crack down on exploitation.

But workers on MTurk are not considered employees by the company, which is owned by Amazon, and do not have any labor or wage protections, nor do they have the freedom to join a union. Workers there tried to form a union in 2014 and Amazon, which collects a 20 percent fee per “worker reward,” squashed the effort.


Florida Republicans win latest attempt to restrict voting rights of ex-felons

With Florida’s primary election quickly approaching, the state’s supreme court ruled it was constitutional to place restrictions on up to 1.4 million former felons who regained the right to vote in the state last year.

Thursday’s advisory opinion lends legal support to a Republican measure that requires Floridians with felony convictions in their past to repay all fines, fees and obligations ordered as part of their sentence to the state before they can cast a ballot. If it remains in place, this could disenfranchise an estimated 80% of the newly enfranchised Floridians who had won the right to vote through Amendment 4, a constitutional amendment that passed with majority support in 2018.

The opinion is a blow to voting rights advocates and a win for Republicans who imposed restrictions on one of the most significant expansions of the right to vote in a generation. If carried out, this could affect the outcome of the upcoming presidential election since Florida is a politically competitive state where just a few thousand people can swing an election.



the evening greens


YouTube’s Algorithm Keeps Suggesting Users Watch Climate Change Misinformation

If you search for “climate change” on YouTube, one of the videos you will be recommended to watch is “What do scientists say?” which will tell you that there is “no evidence that CO2 emissions are the dominant factor in climate change.” Not only is this false, but the video being promoted by YouTube’s recommendation algorithm is also being monetized by the company with ads from Greenpeace.

The revelation comes in a report from Avaaz, a non-profit rights group, which claims that YouTube is promoting climate change misinformation to millions of users while making money from that content by selling ads to organizations like Save the Children and the World Wildlife Fund. The bombshell report comes despite repeated claims by the company that it is making big efforts to eradicate the problem of misinformation about climate change being promoted on its platform.

To compile its research, Avaaz conducted a series of YouTube searches in English on three climate topics — ”climate change” global warming and “climate manipulation.” They collected the top results and queried YouTube APIs asking for the top related videos from these search results, which are the videos that appear in the ‘Up Next’ feature and the suggestions bar.

The end result was a cache of 5,537 videos with the following results:

  • For the search term “global warming,” 16% of the top 100 related videos included under the up-next feature had misinformation about climate change.
  • For the related videos recommended to users who searched “climate change” this number equals 8% and rises to 21% for the search term “climate manipulation.”
  • The climate misinformation videos Avaaz reviewed had 21.1 million views collectively.
  • Ads for some of the world’s most trusted brands were found on climate misinformation videos including household names like Samsung, L’Oréal, Decathlon, Danone, Warner Bros, and Carrefour.
  • One in five ads found were from green or ethical brands including Greenpeace, WWF, and Save the Children.

4 Years Seeking Justice: Daughter of Slain Indigenous Environmental Leader Berta Cáceres Speaks Out

Huge ‘hot blob’ in Pacific Ocean killed nearly a million seabirds

A million seabirds died in less than a year as a result of a giant “blob” of hot ocean, according to new research. A study released by the University of Washington found the birds, called common murres, probably died of starvation between the summer of 2015 and the spring of 2016.

Most dead seabirds never wash ashore, so while 62,000 dead or dying murres were found along the coasts of Alaska, Washington, Oregon and California, researchers estimate the total number is closer to 1 million. ...

The blob stems from a years-long severe marine heatwave, believed to be caused by an anticyclone weather system that first appeared in 2013. The weather phenomenon known as El Niño accelerated the warming temperatures beginning in 2015 and, by 2016, the rising heat resulted in water temperatures nearly 11F (6C) above average.

Heat maps at the time showed a huge red blob growing, spanning more than 380,000 sq miles (1m sq km). That’s nearly 1.5 times the size of Texas or four times the size of New Zealand.

The study found that the murres mostly likely starved to death. The seabird must eat half its body weight to survive, but food grew scarce amid intense competition from other creatures. Warming ocean waters gave fish such as salmon and halibut a metabolism boost, causing a fight for survival over the limited supply of smaller fish. Researchers also uncovered other effects, including a vast bloom of harmful algae along the US west coast that cost fisheries millions of dollars in revenue. Other animals also died off, including sea lions, tufted puffins and baleen whales.

Rains that Just Started Falling on Australia's Fires Are a ‘Double-Edged Sword’

Thunderstorms are pounding fire-ravaged Australia with lots of rain, which, on its surface, sounds great. But it’s unclear just how much of a positive the rain will be. Parts of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria — the two states that have seen the worst of the bushfires — have already gotten up to two inches of rain. Some of the places that have seen the worst of the fires, like NSW’s Snowy Valley and south coast as well as Victoria’s East Gippsland and north-east, have gotten more than half an inch of rain, according to The Guardian.

But so far, the storms haven’t really put the fires out and have even sparked new blazes with lightning. The storms also create new dangers. Heavy rains mean a huge risk of flash flooding and landslides — the massive fires have scorched out vegetation that would normally soak up some of the rain. ... Multiple minor flash floods have already been reported in Victoria, including parts of the city of Melbourne. Landslides, meanwhile, pose a particularly dangerous threat. ...

The destruction has been mind-boggling: At least 27 people dead, more than 1 billion animals killed, more than 15 million acres burned, and 2,000 homes destroyed. If nothing else, the rain provides a bit of rest from battling that destruction.


Also of Interest

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

Iran Tensions Showed How Much More Work an Effective U.S. Anti-War Movement Needs to Do

How Israel tortures Palestinians

Surveillance court adviser says FBI's changes don't go far enough to fix problems

The Authoritarian Dreamscape of the New Wild West

Study Shows Being Rich Buys 9 Extra Years of 'Healthy' Living in US and UK

IMF Head Gives 'Stark Message' of Looming Inequality-Fueled Global Financial Disaster

A Campaign Finance Rule Makes Life Much Harder for Working-Class Challengers

Freedom Rider: Solidarity with Moms 4 Housing

Australian bushfires from the air: before and after images show scale of devastation

Ancient fossil 'may prove scorpion was first land-dwelling animal'

Jimmy Dore: Meghan McCain Twists Liz Warren Like Pretzel

'Believe women' is being cheapened to score political points. That will backfire

Jimmy Dore: Audio Confirms Warren’s Attack On Bernie As Predicted!

Rising: Rep. Ro Khanna reacts to Bernie/Warren feud

Rising: Bernie's Iowa State Director gives reality check: Voters don't care about political gossip

Saagar Enjeti: Screw unity, Bernie is weak for not attacking Warren

Krystal and Saagar call out NYT for covering up for Joe Biden

Rising: Bernie Up, Warren down in post debate polls

Rising: Obama breaks Andrew Yang's heart


A Little Night Music

Etta James - The Wallflower (Roll With Me Henry)

Etta James - Tears Of Joy

Etta James - Something's Got A Hold On Me

Etta James - Tell Mama

Etta James - Ball And Chain

Taj Mahal & Etta James - Mockingbird

Etta James - You Can Leave Your Hat On

Etta James - Willow Weep For Me

Etta James - The Sky Is Crying

John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers - Rock Me Baby (w/ Etta James)

John Lee Hooker, Carlos Santana and Etta James


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Comments

Etta, Carlos and John Lee
Whee doggies!

With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness — and our ability to tell our own stories.

Thanks Joe.

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8 users have voted.

Let's try to help each other
find a better way.

joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

yep, culture is the way that ideas and solidarity are transmitted best.

have a great weekend!

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9 users have voted.
JekyllnHyde's picture

I found this posted a couple of weeks ago on Reddit's Way of The Bern. It has information on all 50 states and DC. Pass it along and share it with friends, family, co-workers, and acquaintances. By the way, today is the first day of voting. Early Voting has started in Minnesota.

The 2020 Campaign is finally underway.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VnORrzUBV7tcBIqSHx_6iONGILtYYAE7ZXuK...

This 113-page document contains information on voting deadlines, voter registration, early voting, vote-by-mail information for each state. This information has been pulled directly from materials provided by state elections officials, so should be accurate. However, if you find any errors or if you have any questions, please email info@berniesanders.com
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1VnORrzUBV7tcBIqSHx_6iONGILtYYAE7ZXuK...

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13 users have voted.

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

joe shikspack's picture

@JekyllnHyde

thanks for the info, have a great weekend!

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

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11 users have voted.

“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

the mainstream media are spinning for all they're worth. i doubt that they will change peoples minds though. somebody should inform them that people who sanders' message appeals to are the kind of people who have already realized that the mainstream media (and mainstream politicians) have nothing of value to tell them.

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12 users have voted.

@snoopydawg from social media and to auto-ban the URLs of all offending messengers. Yes, AI technology exists to scower the web of all unwanted messages, when and if they choose to use it. If a tree isn't heard to crash, the forrest never grew there.

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2 users have voted.

Really enjoyed the blues and helped lift the spirits from all the ugliness that has come across the screen since the debate on Tuesday. Don't see how this will play out for the greater good of the progressives.

We are having some much needed rain here in Central Texas. Does a good job of keeping me inside to get some of those chores done! Hope all have a great weekend and see you back next week Joe! Enjoy whatever is coming your way!

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8 users have voted.

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

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

joe shikspack's picture

@jakkalbessie

it's probably too early to get a good read on this, but i think that as long as sanders sticks to his guns, he will be fine. i think that progressives should just write warren off as a loss at this point.

progressives have seen mainstream politicians and the corporate media collude for decades to kneecap progressive candidates, so this latest debacle should be no surprise. the attacks on progressives are only going to get worse from here on out. it's going to be up to progressives to use their voices wherever possible to counteract the corporatistas.

when i went out to get dinner tonight at the rib shack, i saw that the roads had been pre-treated with brine, so i guess the snow reports are probably correct. whoever it is that decides when to brine the roads has not been wrong since they started doing it.

i like a good winter snow, so, hopefully it will be a delightful weekend and a good time to take the granddog for a nice walk in the woods.

have a good one!

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Just say what you're trying to get people to believe.

Ugh this woman!

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11 users have voted.

“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

who knew that partial socialism was not a panacea for all of capitalist society's ills?

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10 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@snoopydawg

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6 users have voted.
I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for Enlightened Men — if they ran for public office — but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.
— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
lotlizard's picture

@snoopydawg  
https://www.politico.eu/article/sweden-bombings-grenade-attacks-violent-...

It’s not all racism (or other “isms”). The shift towards right-wing populism in Europe has a lot to do with the problems caused by some of the recently-arrived people’s actual behavior.

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Azazello's picture

I'm reading Brian Wilson's memoir. It's a good read.

... But our Stonesiest song ever was probably "Marcella," which is on Carl and the Passions-So Tough. ... Just before and after the two-minute mark, you can hear the Stones, or at least my version of them.

Have a nice weekend.

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6 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

hmmm... you know, the bit roughly between 1:58 and 2:00, i can see the stones influence. once they get into the slide part, it sounds more like george harrison to me.

anyway, thanks for the tune and have a great weekend!

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8 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@joe shikspack
Their groove is their groove. Everybody loves it but it's hard to reproduce.
Remember this one ?

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6 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

i certainly do. i still like it despite what john mccain did to it.

this was my favorite beach boys tune back in the day, though:

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9 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@joe shikspack
but I think this was Brian's masterpiece:

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8 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

Pluto's Republic's picture

I hope everyone has a chance to read it.

There is nothing that is more connected to the economic experiences we are going to have later this year.

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The US is currently attacking one-third of the planet’s population with 8,000 economic sanctions, ongoing acts of war against 39 nations. The United States is relying more heavily on illegal unilateral coercive measures (also known as economic sanctions) in place of war or as part of its build-up to war. In fact, economic sanctions are an act of war that kills tens of thousands of people each year through financial strangulation. An economic blockade places a country under siege.

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There is a very good reason to keep Black Agenda Report with your favorite bookmarks. There's an intelligence there, and a deep wisdom forged by their American experience. Black Agenda Report is one of the few places you can tune in to the conscience that informs the moral compass of the Left Movement throughout the world. The US is a recent pop-up culture, and the People can only access the deep mandate of the Left by absorbing a global perspective. Perhaps this explains why they are kept so chronically uninformed and isolated, and why they can be so easily terrorized by phantom demons, like Putin.

From the nation's beginning, the Authentic Left has been beaten and crushed in the US. It is treated like a terrorist threat. The Authentic Left — which struggles to lift the rights of humanity (society) above the tyranny of ruling individuals who are corrupted by money and power — has never been given a place at the American political table. (Slavery and the ongoing US genocide at that time set that prohibition in stone.) Instead, the US oligarchy (the powerful monied class) seats 'leftist imposters' and operatives at the table — so-called 'progressive' and 'far-left' politicians — who are coddled, lavished with grants and attention, and programmed to betray the Authentic Left and help them bury their aspirations in the dirt of free elections. They are proud participants in the US 'democratic' process.

The United States uses sanctions as economic terrorism against countries that resist the US’ agenda. US sanctions are designed to kill by destroying an economy through denial of access to finance. The victims of economic terrorism are civilians, especially the most vulnerable – babies, children, the elderly and chronically ill – not governments. For example, new US sanctions on Iran are expected to cause the death of tens of thousands of Iranians by creating a severe shortage of critical medicines and medical equipment.

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US sanctions always fail, of course. The only thing we have to show for them is the United States' widespread murder of indigenous populations throughout the world — which the American People absolutely refuse to stop and continue to fund, without protest. Black Agenda Report never fails to light a fire with issues like these, for me. The fire casts a rare light that could show People a way out of their isolation.

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13 users have voted.
I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for Enlightened Men — if they ran for public office — but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.
— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic

up against the armed government response to an uprising. The PTB that love putting sanctions on people know damn well that they kill people and it's just as effective as killing them physically. Less mess, but less profits for the defense companies. If it could I'd love to see it happen here. We are being as sanctioned (okay almost) as other countries and yet people still believe that we are the greatest country in the world. And that they are free.

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6 users have voted.

“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

bar has been on my weekly reading list for a long, long time. it never fails to post articles worth thinking about. i can't recommend them highly enough.

i think at this point, the world may have more access to the tools to stop the u.s. bullying of other nations than americans do. we have the broken tools of demockery, but they have access to the source of real power - money. they can band together and stop using our brand of cabbage. once the dollar is no longer the world's reserve currency, the so-called "soft power" of the u.s. is defeated.

at that point, the portion of the .1% that intend to remain invested in the u.s. and its dollar economy will have to decide whether they want to allow the neocon/war hawk coalition to rapidly devalue the currency by printing money to support hard power exercises to maintain global dominance.

my guess is that in the shorter term, barring a revolution, this is how the u.s. soft power bullying will have to end. as the old saying goes, "the masters tools will never dismantle the master's house. they may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change."

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6 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@joe shikspack

I don't expect the American people to rise up as a fighting force. That whole notion is a straw man. I'm actually against that tactic.

My point is that there IS no opposition. Not a meaningful peep out of the people. This was the Neocon-inspired plan that came out of the Vietnam War, where they were using America's young as canon fodder. When Nixon ended the draft, the moral compass of the American people was neutered forever. Except for Cindy Sheenan. No politician will touch that issue. There is simply no need.

once the dollar is no longer the world's reserve currency, the so-called "soft power" of the u.s. is defeated.

Exactly so. And here we are.

at that point, the portion of the .1% that intend to remain invested in the u.s. and its dollar economy will have to decide whether they want to allow the neocon/war hawk coalition to rapidly devalue the currency by printing money to support hard power exercises to maintain global dominance.

I wish that were really an option. You know. I wish there would actually be space for a decision about anything to be made. But if the US prints money, with the size of its current debt, the purchasing power of the dollar will drop to zero. We're talking about a couple of days, here.

They know that. They won't print because it would wipe them out personally. The Neocon wars will be over in a matter of days. Foreign bases will close. We have no reserves to cover that cost. That's why we are forced to shut down government now and then. No reserves. No one will be buying Treasuries from the US (lending money to a nation without reserves).

But that will be the least of our problems at that point. I think we should be having that discussion. Getting people prepared.

Just a thought for a Friday night.

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8 users have voted.
I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for Enlightened Men — if they ran for public office — but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.
— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic

I have been reading some articles on this but most go over my head because they are too complicated. If you have the time to write I have the time to read.

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5 users have voted.

“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

i think that many of the nations that are pretty sick of the bullying and are thinking about putting a stop to it are waiting to see what happens in the upcoming u.s. election. trump has wielded sanctions profligately and also rubbed other nations' noses in it - which is the unpardonable sin. i suspect that if trump is reelected we will see a slow-moving global revolt that will end u.s. soft power in due course.

if biden wins, i think that we will see a walking back of sanctions on our allies and attempts to put out fires everywhere else.

if sanders wins, its hard to tell what might happen. i could see him walking back sanctions on both allies and places that the u.s. is currently pushing regime change - though it will be a real struggle with the legislature.

the real challenge for a president that follows trump is the enormous damage that trump has done to u.s. credibility. his failure to honor treaties that were negotiated by his predecessor calls into question any future treaty that they u.s. might want to engage in.

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5 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  
Mr. “Look forward, not backward,” Obama wiped his behind with that treaty.

Just a reminder that it didn’t start with Trump.

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4 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@lotlizard

oh hell, if you want to look back, the u.s. government made lots of treaties with native americans and damned few of them have been honored.

i think, though, that the way that trump broke the jcpoa signals to every smaller nation especially those without nukes that don't care to be the u.s.' bitch, that no treaty is worth the paper its written on once an administration leaves office.

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6 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  
where the U.S. pledged to respect Hawaii’s sovereignty and independence in perpetuity.

(Gilligan Cut to annexation.)

Putin wasn’t wrong when he said the U.S. is “agreement-incapable” (i.e. incapable of negotiating any kind of agreement that it can actually be relied on to adhere to even when political winds change).

As they taught us in freshman-year Poli Sci, not having to follow rules, not even one’s own, is the very definition of having power. The principle is, if you are not free to break the rules, then the rules themselves and in particular those who oversee and enforce them have power — not you.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@joe shikspack

...is at that stage where we pay foreign mercenaries to fight our wars — al Qaeda and ISIS. So, intellectually, we know the end is near.

(Our "wars" being Israel's foreign policy, which is the same as the religious philosophy of the Saudi's — to exterminate all Shiites in the Middle East. We satisfy the Saudi's desires because they back the US Dollar and make global hegemony possible through Petrodollar recycling. We satisfy Israel's desires because the US rogue government (State, DOD, etc.) and the President are operated by Israel. It is they who command the quest for Empire. It is they who have positioned themselves to control Empire, once the American Shabbos Goy win it for them.)

May this filthy cartel die forever, and soon.

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7 users have voted.
I do not know if the people of the United States would vote for Enlightened Men — if they ran for public office — but there can be no doubt that such men do not run.
— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
dystopian's picture

I love Etta's voice. What a great singer. Past world class. Next level amazing.

Sanctions are economic war, which is war. Which is evil. Those EU countries bending over like that for the threat... sad to see, again. Same with Iraq not kicking us out.

Been too busy with work this week. And like JB said, RAIN in central Texas! We were bone dry and nearing grim.

Hope you get a couple pretty snow days!

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4 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

joe shikspack's picture

@dystopian

i hope that iraq has started to create its own bank to hold the 1's and 0's it gets from its oil exports. surely they now understand that their sovereignty depends on it. i wonder what it will take for the eu to grow a spine.

glad to hear that you are going to get needed rain.

have a great weekend!

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4 users have voted.

The JP told opposing counsel that back in the 60's, when he was a Texas highway patrol officer, that my car, license plate SIS, and my brother's car, SOLONG, were a thing of legend. They never caught us.
The Beach Boys song we ran down the road at 160 mph ahead of the cops was Good Vibrations.

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7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

heh, glad to hear that you have more than a bit of the rebel in you. also glad to hear that you survived it. Smile

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6 users have voted.

@joe shikspack My parents specially rigged up our cars to outrun "the man". My plates were SIS. My brothers plates were SOLONG. Cops, Texas Highway Patrol, locals... they never caught either of us.
My Mustang topped at 159, my brother's Dodge topped at 170 and they could not catch us.
The Justice of the Peace I appeared before this week was a patrolman talking about my youthful stuff. He ruled in my favor.

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5 users have voted.