The Evening Blues - 1-18-18


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Gene Burks, Bobby Mitchell and Dorothy Williams

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features soul singer Gene Burks lesser known New Orleans artist Bobby Mitchell and Memphis soul singer Dorothy Williams. Enjoy!

Gene Burks - Monkey Man

"I have learned to hate all traitors, and there is no disease that I spit on more than treachery."

-- Aeschylus

News and Opinion

The march to create an unaccountable fascist dictatorship continues on. Thanks congressworms!

House Spending Bill Changes Law to Let Trump Administration Secretly Shift Intelligence Money

The House spending bill released Wednesday would allow President Donald Trump, or people under him, to secretly shift money to fund intelligence programs, a break with 70 years of governing tradition.

Since 1947, section 504 of the National Security Act has mandated that the administration inform Congress if it intends to shift money from one intelligence project to another, if the new project has not been authorized by Congress. That notification can be — and almost always is — done in secret, but it is at least a minimal check on executive power.

The spending bill currently under consideration, known as a continuing resolution, or CR, breaks with that tradition, allowing funds to “be obligated and expended notwithstanding section 504(a)(1) of the National Security Act of 1947.”

World's confidence in US leadership under Trump at new low, poll finds

Global confidence in US leadership has fallen to a new low, and the country now ranks below China in worldwide approval ratings, according to a new Gallup poll.

The survey of opinion in 134 countries showed a record collapse in approval for the US role in the world, from 48% under Obama to 30% after one year of Donald Trump – the lowest level Gallup has recorded since beginning its global leadership poll over a decade ago.

The result comes after a separate Gallup survey found that Trump reaches the first anniversary of his inauguration with the lowest average approval rating of any elected president in his first year. ...

The latest study confirms some of the worst fears of foreign policy analysts in the US and Europe that Trump’s “America first” approach, combined with his volatile and irascible personality, is weakening cohesion among western democracies in the face of a growing challenge from autocracies in Russia and China, and the rise of illiberal democracies and xenophobic nationalism inside Europe.

Germany is now seen as a global leader by many more people (41% of the sample), with China in second place on 31%. Russia has 27% approval for its global role according to the poll.

Olympic Détente Upends U.S. Strategy on North Korea

North and South Korea reached an agreement Wednesday for their athletes to march together under one flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics next month, a powerful gesture of reconciliation that further complicates President Trump’s strategy for dealing with the nuclear-armed regime of Kim Jong-un.

South Korea, the host of the games, said it hoped a partnership in sports could contribute to a political thaw after years of high tensions on the Korean Peninsula. It came even as the prospect of war over the North’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests has loomed large.

For the White House, however, the budding détente scrambles its strategy of pressuring the North, with sanctions and threats of military action, to give up its nuclear arsenal. This latest gesture of unity, the most dramatic in a decade, could add to fears in Washington that Pyongyang is making progress on a more far-reaching agenda.

White House officials warn that the ultimate goal of Mr. Kim is to evict American troops from the Korean Peninsula and to reunify the two Koreas under a single flag. They have cited that long-held goal to buttress their argument that Mr. Kim cannot be deterred peacefully as the Soviet Union was during the Cold War.

Tillerson Threatens Military Action Against North Korea

Following up on Tuesday’s statements from Vancouver that the US and allied nations want to ignore the North Korea diplomatic efforts with South Korea and pursue new sanctions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson piled on with a threat of US military action against North Korea.

Tillerson’s position doesn’t make a lot of sense with all factors considered, suggesting the US goal is negotiations, and that the US would respond to North Korea’s refusal to negotiate with military force against them.

In reality, North Korea has repeatedly suggested negotiations in recent weeks, and been rebuffed every single time by the US. Tillerson is clearly aware of this, as every time he’s suggested talks, he too has been condemned by other Trump Administration officials.

David Cay Johnston: Trump is Determined to Provoke War to Draw Focus from Racist & Erratic Behavior

Turkey says could act in Syria unless U.S. withdraws support for Kurdish force

Turkey said on Wednesday it would not hesitate to take action in Syria’s Afrin district and other areas unless the United States withdrew support for a Kurdish-led force there, but Washington denied such plans and said “some people misspoke”.

Turkish President Erdogan has repeatedly warned of an imminent incursion in Afrin after Washington said it would help the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the Kurdish YPG militia, set up a new 30,000-strong border force. ...

The plan has infuriated Turkey, which considers the Syrian YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has fought an insurgency in southeast Turkey since 1984. The PKK is considered a terrorist group by the European Union, Turkey and the United States.

Deputy Prime Minister and Government Spokesman Bekir Bozdag told reporters after a Cabinet meeting the planned U.S.-backed force posed a threat to Turkey’s national security, territorial integrity and the safety of its citizens.

“We emphasized that such a step was very wrong,” he said. “Turkey has reached the limits of its patience. Nobody should expect Turkey to show more patience.”

Syria: US-Turkey tension escalates

Tensions Soar as Syria Decries Open-Ended US Military Presence 'Act of Aggression'

As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson laid out the Trump administration's plans for the "open-ended" presence of U.S. military in their country, the Syrian government of President Bashar Al-Assad on Thursday decried the ongoing presence of U.S. soldiers in the country as a form of "aggression" which would not be tolerated.

The Syrians voiced their objections to the U.S. military's continued activities inside its territory—with the number of American soldier's believed to be around 2,000—with a statement from the Foreign Ministry which stated that the "American military presence on Syrian land is illegitimate and represents a blatant breach of international law and an aggression against national sovereignty."

The statement emerged after Tillerson on Wednesday, at a forum hosted by the right-wing Hoover Institute at Stanford University, argued that removing U.S. forces from inside Syria would only serve to "restore" Assad's grip on the country and "provide Iran the opportunity to further strengthen its position in Syria."

Palestinian Ahed Tamimi to remain in jail during trial

An Israeli court has ruled to keep a prominent Palestinian teen activist and her mother in custody until the end of their trial. Ahed Tamimi, 16, was detained last month during an overnight raid on her home in the occupied West Bank village of Nabi Saleh after a video of the teen slapping and hitting Israeli soldiers went viral. Shortly before, her 15-year-old cousin was severely wounded after Israeli forces shot him point-blank in the face with a rubber bullet. Her mother, Nariman, and her 20-year-old cousin Nour were arrested soon after.

Earlier in January, Ahed was indicted on 12 charges, including alleged assault, "incitement" and past instances of stone-throwing. Nariman was also indicted on an assault charge and "incitement" for uploading the video on social media. Nour is charged with allegedly assaulting a soldier and interfering with a soldier's duties. However, she has since been released on bail.

Ahed's next hearing is on January 31, the day she turns 17. Nariman and Nour's next court session will be in February.

Dems Have 50 Votes To Save Net Neutrality In Senate!

New York City homeless shelter faces resistance from 'Billionaires’ Row'

A plan by New York mayor Bill de Blasio to house the city’s rising homeless population is facing opposition over a shelter that backs on to a super-luxury residential skyscraper on “Billionaires’ Row”.

According to the city’s department of homeless services, the former Park Savoy Hotel at 158 W 58th St in midtown Manhattan will house 150 homeless people. It is scheduled to open in March, and backs on to One57, a 75-storey skyscraper on 57th Street.

But the plan, part of a program to create 90 new shelters across all five New York boroughs that de Blasio says will be “in every kind of neighborhood”, is opposed by local residents who accuse the recently re-elected major of playing political games.

“I think de Blasio is trying to score points,” said Helen Caputi, who was walking her dog on the corner of 58th Street and 7th Avenue. “The people here are uppity, they don’t like it. I’m for helping the homeless people, but I think they could have placed the shelter elsewhere.”

Building superintendents and doormen said the plan was already facing stiff opposition from wealthy neighbors. “It’s not going to be a good thing cause you’ve got the Marriott and Hyatt hotels right here,” said the super at an adjacent building. “So it looks like there’s going to be a war with de Blasio."

Government shutdown: Congress struggles to find solution as deadline nears

Budget negotiations in Congress remained stalled on Thursday as Donald Trump, preparing to mark his first anniversary in office, faced the prospect of the first government shutdown in four years. US lawmakers are racing toward a deadline to pass a spending bill or trigger the shutdown – which would freeze most government services and leave federal workers going unpaid.

With funding for the government due to expire at midnight on Friday, negotiations over the budget continued to struggle amid a dispute over spending priorities and immigration. ...

There has never been a government shutdown, which would cost the US an estimated $6.5bn a week and stifle economic progress, when one party has controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House.

“It’s Even Worse Than You Think”: David Cay Johnston on Trump’s First Year in Office

Trump Administration Tells Puerto Rico It’s Too Rich for Aid Money

Means testing has now come to disaster aid — and it only applies to Puerto Rico.

When Congress passed a $36.5 billion disaster relief bill to bolster rebuilding efforts in several wildfire and hurricane-damaged areas in October, it shortchanged Puerto Rico, giving it a $4.9 billion loan instead of the grant that other areas received. Now, it appears the debt- and hurricane-ravaged island won’t even get that money.

First reported in El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico’s daily newspaper, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Treasury Department informed the Puerto Rican government on January 9 that they will not disburse the loan through the Community Disaster Loans Program, after finding that Puerto Rico had a cash balance on December 29 of last year of $1.7 billion for ongoing operations. The letter also cited $6.875 billion scattered in various local government accounts. Since the loan was intended to fill in a gap in day-to-day funding, FEMA determined Puerto Rico does not need the money at this time. ...

There’s no question that the Puerto Rican government has lacked fiscal transparency. But the very fact that Puerto Rico must receive assistance as loans rather than grants, unlike any other entity receiving disaster assistance, is bad enough. That the island is being treated like a welfare recipient found to have too much money in its bank account takes it to another level. Among U.S. territories suffering from catastrophe, only Puerto Rico is being means-tested.

the horse race

Russia’s richest are staging a $1 trillion freakout

Russia’s richest have unleashed a swarm of lobbyists, consultants, and lawyers upon Washington, D.C., in recent months to help avert a looming threat to the estimated $1 trillion pile of riches they’ve stashed away outside Russia. The cause for the open checkbooks? A list of names. Or more accurately, a document with a cinematic nickname: “The Kremlin Report.”

The Treasury Department on Jan. 29 is set to publish a detailed report on the staggering wealth and business interests of Russian oligarchs and their family members, thanks to a once little-noticed provision tucked inside sanctions legislation that Congress forced U.S. President Donald Trump to sign with a veto-proof majority back in August.

“I’d refer to it as a name-and-shame list,” said Erich Ferrari, head of a Washington law firm specializing in sanctions. ...

The report won’t automatically trigger explicit penalties, but those who find their name in its pages have reason to fear they will become instantly radioactive in the elite upper reaches of Western financial institutions, effectively putting a big crimp in their extravagant lifestyles and limiting their ability to exploit their own astronomical wealth, experts said.

The stigma may be just the start of it. Being named by the report could indeed set the stage for further action, including real-life sanctions later on, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Democrat from Maryland and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told VICE News.

the evening greens

2017 was the hottest year on record without El Niño boost

2017 was the hottest year since global records began that was not given an additional boost by the natural climate cycle El Niño, according to new data. Even without an El Niño, the year was still exceptionally hot, being one of the top three ever recorded.

The three main global temperature records show the global surface temperature in 2017 was 1C above levels seen in pre-industrial times, with scientists certain that humanity’s fossil fuel-burning is to blame.

The data, published on Thursday, means the last three years have been the hottest trio ever seen, with 2017 ranking second or third depending on the small differences between the temperature records. Furthermore, 17 of the 18 hottest years recorded since 1850 have occurred since 2000.

2017 also saw extreme weather events strike across the world, from hurricanes in the US and Caribbean to heatwaves in Australia and devastating floods in Asia. Many of these events have been shown to have been made much more likely by the heat resulting from global warming. ...

The three global temperature records are compiled by the UK’s Met Office and Nasa and Noaa in the United States. The Met Office said the average temperature in 2017 was 0.99C above that seen from 1850-1900, despite the Pacific Ocean moving into its cooler La Niña phase.

Also of Interest

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

Christian Hate Group That Pushed “Bathroom Bills” Is Taking Anti-Transgender Fight to Prisons

Trump’s escalating threats to Iran risk destabilising the Middle East

The boss, the boyfriend and the FBI: the Italian woman in the eye of the Trump-Russia inquiry

Complex engineering and metal-work discovered beneath ancient Greek 'pyramid'

A Little Night Music

Gene Burks - You Got It

Gene Burks - Shirley Jean

Bobby Mitchell - Don't Mess With My Woman

Bobby Mitchell - Well I Done Got Over It

Bobby Mitchell - 4X11=44

Bobby Mitchell - I Would Like To Know

Bobby Mitchell - Try Rock 'n' Roll

Dorothy Williams - The Well's Gone Dry

Dorothy Williams - Watchdog

19 users have voted.


Meteor Man's picture

I Binged the story from the intercept about shifting intelligence funds without notice and the only hit was The Intercept article. This seems like an effing big deal that the media and Dems should jump all over. Not gonna hold my breath.

Here's the link again:

14 users have voted.

"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

orlbucfan's picture

@Meteor Man Only difference is it's out in the open. Rec'd!!

6 users have voted.

I have argued since Trump's election...gaining control over the military-industrial [corporate] complex is everything this nation needs to fix.
---Patrick Lawrence

joe shikspack's picture

@Meteor Man

well, i suppose that the mainstream media don't think that anybody who isn't a "terrorist" cares about representative government actually being accountable. so, naturally, they wouldn't want to run a story about another chip away at the people's right to participate in governance that's not a done deal. wouldn't want to bother your congressworm or senator about it, wouldja?

4 users have voted.
mimi's picture

here or on TOP with the title: "Not in my Neighborhood" (features Baltimore). I planned to drive through Baltimore with the book and looking at all the streets that it talks about.

De Blasio will experience that it ain't easy to influence the 'rich people's will' and not easy to fool the 'not so rich people's minds'. Winning hearts seems to be completely out of question.

Good Night.


For the White House, however, the budding détente scrambles its strategy of pressuring the North, with sanctions and threats of military action, to give up its nuclear arsenal. This latest gesture of unity, the most dramatic in a decade, could add to fears in Washington that Pyongyang is making progress on a more far-reaching agenda.

White House officials warn that the ultimate goal of Mr. Kim is to evict American troops from the Korean Peninsula and to reunify the two Koreas under a single flag. They have cited that long-held goal to buttress their argument that Mr. Kim cannot be deterred peacefully as the Soviet Union was during the Cold War.

Strange that the White House is scared that two parts of a divided country want to make peace with each other. What a THREAT! How come they weren't as scared of the two Germanies when they grabbed the chance to shake hands across the wall, before they happily took it down ?

The world upside down. /s

11 users have voted.
orlbucfan's picture

@mimi contagious. Then what are the FRightwingnuts and war junkies going to do?

5 users have voted.

I have argued since Trump's election...gaining control over the military-industrial [corporate] complex is everything this nation needs to fix.
---Patrick Lawrence

joe shikspack's picture


heh, gosh, if peace breaks out on the korean penninsula and the u.s. is shown the door, why the u.s. empire would have to start pretending that south korea is syria or something and it can just invade any old time it feels like.

3 users have voted.

Day after day. Great music and you've introduced me to do many artists I'd never heard before. Spent this morning starting to pull together our very unimpressive tax return documents for '17, and seeing once again what erratic weather has done to our farm (soybeans toast), and wondering when exactly America is gonna wake up. Too late, I'm betting. But also today researched Kimbal Musk's Square Root initiative. Hoping some big minds will lead the way. We in rural areas will survive and even thrive when the shit hits the fan. But I'd hate to be living n NYC.

13 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


oh damn, not taxes again. geez i hate them. all that work and i wonder what sort of awful weapon the pentagon death cult will be getting this year thanks to my contributions?

heh, the good news is that all of us don't have to wake up. just enough of us have to. that said, it doesn't seem like we're even close yet.

hmmm, i wonder if i could stick a shipping container in my backyard without my neighbors forming a committee. nah, probably not. not even if i painted it pretty colors.

5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

aggression" and Tillerson pretty much says "yeah and we have to keep it up or the sitting, official government will stand". Wow.

So Jimmy D thiks the GOP base will hold them to account for supporting net neutrality repeal. Why do I doubt that?

9 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

yeah, i keep wondering how long it is going to take the un to get around to noticing that the u.s. is breaking all sorts of international laws by invading syria. feh!

yeah, i kinda thought that jimmy was being a little overly optimistic there about net neutrality in the senate as well.

4 users have voted.
OLinda's picture

"2017 was the hottest year on record without El Niño boost"

Sure is true here in the Denver area. i have not had to shovel snow once this year. The very few snows we've had have been light, not even a couple inches, and melted off quickly. Very unusual to not have a couple, or probably more, heavier snows by mid-January. There is a 4-8" snowstorm forecast for Sunday, but that's a few days off and weather forecasting has not been that accurate. We'll see. Definitely overdue though.

It was 7 degrees overnight again recently, however. And, then today is gorgeous and tomorrow is supposed to be 65 F!

Hope all is well with everybody! Happy Thursday!

7 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


it's supposed to warm up here for the next few days, too. in spite of some really awfully cold weather over the last month, my guess is that on average, this has been a quite mild winter here, too. we have definitely been short on snow as well. we've only gotten a few dustings of the stuff this winter. i suppose that i shouldn't complain. Smile

have a great evening!

3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

No reason was given for doing that unless it was an attempt at her candidacy. How hard would it be for someone to call their friend at any company that can censor someone? It's unconstitutional for our government to censor us, but it's perfectly legal for a private entity to do it. We're seeing this on the alternative websites that don't color inside the lines.

Transgender activist Chelsea Manning’s Senate video listed as ‘inappropriate’ by YouTube

YouTube declined to comment on why the video is marked as age restricted when approached by PinkNews.


h/t wotb

7 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

@snoopydawg Now, "shithole" would be perfectly ok.
BTW, I agree Erik will get his righteous money and we will never know for sure.

4 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


it's pretty obvious that google needs to be turned into a public utility. there also needs to be a public utility version of youtube as well, for non-profits, public communication and other similar uses. it's inappropriate for a corporation to be able to have the effect of censoring political communications between candidates and the public.

9 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

Good evening all, or night, as the case may be.
Jimmy Dore just dropped this interview with Aaron Maté of TRNN.

7 users have voted.
Not Henry Kissinger's picture

White House officials warn that the ultimate goal of Mr. Kim is to evict American troops from the Korean Peninsula and to reunify the two Koreas under a single flag.

Doesn't the US want to peacefully resolve this nearly seventy year cold war relic of a conflict so we can bring our troops home?

The upsidedownism of Imperial logic never fails to astound me.

9 users have voted.

The drama of the deep state in full factional meltdown makes Mario Puzo look like a dime store hack.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger
again during the height of Olympic fervor. They marched together, cheered on each other's athletes, etc. It took a lot of bashing from the US Prezidunce and Crass Media to break up that alliance.

Are we going to see a repeat of that circus, or will the Koreans be stronger and smarter this time?

4 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.