The Evening Blues - 1-8-17


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Doctor Ross

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Detroit bluesman Doctor Ross. Enjoy!

Dr Ross - Doctor Ross's Boogie

"Our capitalist elites have used propaganda, money and the marginalizing of their critics to erase the first three of philosopher John Locke’s elements of the perfect state: liberty, equality and freedom. They exclusively empower the fourth, property. Liberty and freedom in the corporate state mean the liberty and freedom of corporations and the rich to exploit and pillage without government interference or regulatory oversight. And the single most important characteristic of government is its willingness to use force, at home and abroad, to protect the interests of the property classes. This abject surrender of the state to the rich is expressed at this moment in the United States in the new tax code and the dismantling of environmental regulations. This degradation of basic democratic ideals—evidenced when the Supreme Court refuses to curb wholesale government surveillance of the public or defines pouring unlimited dark money into political campaigns as a form of free speech and the right to petition the government—means the society defines itself by virtues that are dead. The longer this illusion is perpetuated, the more an enraged public turns to demagogues who promise a new utopia and then, once in power, accelerate the assault."

-- Chris Hedges

News and Opinion

Trump says he'd "absolutely" be open to talking to North Korean leader

North Korea agreed on Friday to hold official talks with South Korea next week, the first in more than two years, hours after Washington and Seoul delayed a military exercise amid a standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. Trump, answering questions from reporters at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, expressed a willingness to talk to Kim but not without preconditions.

"Absolutely, I would do that," Trump said. "I have no problem with that at all." ...

On Sunday, North Korea announced a list of five officials who will represent Pyongyang, a day after South Korea confirmed its representatives, the South's unification ministry said. The North's delegation will be led by Ri Son Gwon, head of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland that is usually tasked with dealing with South Korean affairs.

Pompeo: North Korea's talks with South Korea not likely to lead to any change on nuclear issue

CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Sunday expressed skepticism that upcoming talks between North Korea and South Korea will do anything to change Pyongyang's stance on their nuclear weapons.

“I hope that’s the case, but past history would indicate that this is a fake, this is not likely to lead to any true change in his strategic outlook, that is he would like to continue to maintain his nuclear capability, and that the president has said is unacceptable," Pompeo told CBS News's John Dickerson on "Face the Nation," referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

When it comes to the Iran protests, be careful who you put your trust in

The international media has a poor record in reporting protests and uprisings in the wider Middle East since 2011. These complex struggles were presented as simple battles between good and evil, like a scene out of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Surprise and anguish were expressed when the supposed dawning of freedom and democracy in Libya, Syria and Yemen instead produced savage civil wars while Egypt and Bahrain became strikingly more authoritarian and repressive than before. ...

The recollection of being so very wrong about the likely direction of the Arab Spring should make the foreign media warier in reporting the demonstrations in Iran; which started in the city of Mashad on 28 December and swiftly spread all over the country. The Iranian government claims that its security forces have suppressed the protests or they are fizzling out, but there is evidence of fresh outbreaks, though at a reduced level. The slogans shouted and the limited number of interviews with protesters suggest that they are motivated by poverty, unemployment, rising prices and reduced subsidies for food and fuel, combined with rage against the greed and corruption of the ruling elite.

Many commentators downplay the protests as unlikely to have a long-term effect on Iran, on the grounds that they have no leadership, organisation, plan or coherent set of demands. But journalists tend to overrate the need for such neat organisational structures in order to confront the state; they are frustrated by the absence of identifiable leaders and spokespeople whom they can quote and interview. Some compare the demonstrators negatively, in terms of size and potential impact, with the mass rallies and marches in Tehran in 2009. This may be true, but the absence of an organised structure also makes suppression more difficult for government security forces, who find it easier to arrest opponents who are properly labelled and identifiable.

On the contrary, I find the lack of organisation, unpredictability and geographically widespread nature of the outbreaks of unrest a persuasive sign that they are genuine and express widespread discontent. Had they really been organised by the CIA and Mossad using Saudi money, as alleged by the Iranian chief prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, journalists would probably be dealing with a slick PR operation producing graphic images of police brutality and injured protesters.

Hmmm... where else do the highlighted economic conditions exist? They seem so familiar...

Protests in Iran Took Many By Surprise — But Not Iranian Labor Activists

The outbreak and nature of the unrest have taken many analysts of Iranian politics by surprise. Rather than emerging from liberal Tehran, these protests appear to have originated in working-class conservative cities and towns that the Islamic Republic likes to depict as its core constituency. One group of people, however, has long expected such an outbreak of discontent from the economically disadvantaged people in these areas: Iranian labor activists.

“Working people in Iran have been dreaming of a better life for four decades, but today ordinary people often have to work two or three jobs simply to survive,” says Mehdi Kouhestaninejad, a longtime Iranian trade unionist now living in Canada, who is active in the international solidarity movement for workers’ rights in Iran. “Many people inside and outside Iran may be shocked by what is going on, but trade unionists have been warning for the past 10 years that there will be an uprising against the ruling class and their kleptocracy.”

Unlike the 2009 Green Movement, which was largely a product of the educated, urban Tehrani middle class, the recent protests in Iran appear to reflect the anger of the country’s working-class masses. As Iranians grapple with high inflation, unemployment, and economic corruption, the burden of these problems has fallen most heavily on young people who lack the political connections to survive, let alone raise their standard of living. ...

The recent demonstrations represent the biggest public challenge to the Islamic Republic’s rule since the Green Movement. But it’s unclear what the future trajectory of these protests in Iran will be. Unlike the Green Movement, those who have taken to the streets in recent days have not won the backing of prominent members of the ruling establishment, nor have any identifiable leaders emerged.

According to the Iranian Interior Ministry, 90 percent of those detained across the country in recent days are under 25 years old – members of a generation that grew up under international sanctions and has little memory of the relative openness of the Islamic Republic under reformist President Mohammad Khatami. The apparent dissatisfaction of these working-class demonstrators stands as a significant challenge to the regime’s authority, given its proclaimed status as a defender of Iran’s conservative masses.

Think Tank-Addicted Media Turn to Regime Change Enthusiasts for Iran Protest Commentary

Since the outbreak of mass demonstrations and unrest in Iran last week, US media have mostly busied themselves with the question of not if we should “do something,” but what, exactly, that something should be. As usual, it’s simply taken for granted the United States has a divine right to intervene in the affairs of Iran, under the vague blanket of “human rights” and “democracy promotion.” (The rare exception, such as an op-ed by ex-Obama official Philip Gordon — New York Times, 12/30/17 — still accepted the premise of regime change: “I, too, want to see the government in Tehran weakened, moderated or even removed.”) With this axiom firmly established in Very Serious foreign policy circles, the next question becomes the nature, degree and scope of the “something” being done.

Leading the pack in the “do something” insta-consensus was the right-wing pro-Israel think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), which has overwhelmed the narrative. In the past five days, FDD has had op-eds in influential US outlets like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Post and Politico, and has been quoted in a dozen more. Its punditry was marked by cynical “support” for Iranian protesters, demagoguing of the Iranian “regime” and disgust with the Obama-era Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran deal. ...

FDD op-eds and quotes followed a similar formula: express outrage on behalf of the protesters, applaud Trump for his hypocritical defense of the right to protest, and push for increased sanctions against Iran—often while taking a swipe at the hated Iran deal.

FDD’s pro-Iranian people posture was rarely accompanied by an explanation of their ideological project. The outfit—funded by big-name pro-Israel billionaires like casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus (who’s said that “Iran is the devil”) and Wall Street speculator Paul Singer—are  largely presented as bespectacled academics calling balls and strikes without a particular agenda beyond their self-proclaimed “defense of democracies.” (The name ought to provoke some skepticism, given the group’s eagerness to enlist the hereditary dictatorship Saudi Arabia in its anti-Iranian crusade — LobeLog, 2/26/16.)

Glenn Greenwald on Iran Protests: Trump Tweets “Time for Change” While Backing Dictators Worldwide

While Pundits Condemn Iran, Honduran Police Kill Street Demonstrators

As the usual crowd of neo-conservative regime-changers, liberal humanitarian interventionists, and Israel lobbyists join President Trump in backing anti-government street demonstrations in Iran, their collective silence has been deafening regarding the killing of at least 30 people in Honduras by police, after protests against alleged fraud in that country’s recent presidential election.

Do you smell a double standard? You should—and hardly for the first time.

The op-ed pages of major U.S. newspapers weren’t filled with columns demanding a tough response last July when Saudi authorities executed four Shia Muslim men for participating in protests against security forces who run a police state much tighter than Iran’s. The victims—like other pro-democracy demonstrators who have been condemned to death—were reportedly convicted on the basis of confessions produced through torture. Nor did many columnists and think-tank pundits complain when security forces in Bahrain killed five protesters last May amid what Human Rights First called a “ferocious crackdown against opposition human rights leaders.” The same tough Sunni monarchy crushed huge street protests in 2011 with the help of Saudi troops.

And now, amid serious accusations that the recent presidential elections in Honduras were stolen, where are the voices condemning the killing of protesters there by heavily armed military police? ...

Bottom line: In Iran, U.S. economic sanctions are contributing to the misery that drives protesters to the streets. In Honduras, by contrast, U.S. military aid supports many of the security forces that are killing protesters much closer to home. Yet most pundits with a national platform in the U.S. media ignore Honduras while insisting that Washington must denounce the Iranian government for its crackdown on dissidents. Go figure.

Speaking of media double standards, have you heard about this in the U.S. mainstream press?

‘Bibi go home!’ Thousands take to the streets in Tel Aviv demanding Netanyahu resign

Students Await Judgment in Suit Over Fordham University Banning of Pro-Palestine Club

A court convened Wednesday afternoon to hear the case of students at Fordham University who are suing the school, which had denied them the ability to form an official student club in December 2016. The petitioning students, Ahmad Awad, Sofia Dadap, Sapphira Lurie, and Julie Norris, who are represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal, had tried to form a club on one of the most contentious political issues on campus: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The fight over forming a Students for Justice in Palestine chapter had dragged on for more than two years. Students had applied to establish SJP at the Lincoln Center Campus in November 2015, but administrators had resisted from the beginning. The students were asking the court to uphold Fordham’s own policies and mission, and to reinstate the United Student Government’s vote in support of establishing the chapter. ...

Much of the debate around admitting the club has focused on SJP’s support for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, a nonviolent global campaign to pressure Israel to end its abuses of Palestinians’ rights, which has been met with controversy by Israeli political leaders and pro-Israel figures in the U.S. The fight over BDS has become a national one; state-level legislative bodies, Congress, civil rights groups, and, of course, pro-Israel advocacy groups are all heavily involved. But in no place does the fight seem to be as heated as on college campuses.

On Wednesday, the court broke without rendering a judgment, and it’s unclear when one will come. ...

“College campuses are where people are supposed to be exposed to new ideas,” said Rashid Khalidi, a Palestinian-American professor and co-director of the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University. “There is absolutely no reason why the policies of a country that is engaged in the longest occupation in modern history, which is entirely dependent on the support of the United States, should not be discussed openly and critically in the United States.”

Child Jailed Under Illegal Israeli Occupation-Ahed Tamimi

Israel Is the Aggressor

On Monday, military prosecutors filed charges against Ahed Tamimi, the 16-year-old girl from Nabi Saleh in the West Bank, and against her mother, Nariman Tamimi. Ahed is charged with five counts of assaulting security forces and with incitement. Her mother is accused of photographing two incidents and incitement on social media. Also indicted was a cousin, Nur Tamimi, who took part in the incident. It seems the military prosecutors went out of their way to prepare a substantial case against Ahed, who – since her arrest and the publishing of the video that went viral – has become a new heroine of the Palestinian struggle. ...

In the video, Ahed is seen slapping soldiers and trying to kick them, while they contain the girls’ violence and, commendably, don’t strike or detain them. ... In stark contrast to the soldiers in the video, who did everything they could to block the tragic inertia of the occupation and the automatic cycle of violence, Israel seems bent on playing the villain in the Tamimi tragedy, dropping any pretense of trying to change the outcome.

Military prosecutors are determined to turn a few slaps by an adolescent who was born and grew up in an occupation into “aggravated assault.” They are using Tamimi to placate a vengeful public and send a deterrent message to young Palestinian men and women so they don’t dare rise up against the occupation.

Chuck Schumer Says No To Single Payer Healthcare

China to move millions of people from homes in anti-poverty drive

Xiao Ercha lives in a tumbledown shanty beside a pigsty, thousands of kilometres and a world away from the awe-inspiring skyscrapers of Beijing and Shanghai. Tatty mosquito nets hang from the bamboo poles propping up its cracked asbestos roof; kittens and chickens scuttle across the shack’s earthen floor. Xiao shakes his head when asked to name the leader of his nation, the second largest economy on earth. “Xi Jinping who?” the 57-year-old farmer replies. “I recognise his face from the television - but I don’t know his name.”

That is about to change. For Xiao, who was born and raised in this tiny mountaintop hamlet near China’s southwestern borders with Myanmar and Laos, is one of millions of impoverished Chinese citizens being relocated as part of an ambitious and politically-charged push to “eradicate” extreme poverty in the world’s most populous nation. Over the next three years Xi Jinping’s anti-poverty crusade - which the Communist party leader has declared one of the key themes of his second five-year term - will see millions of marginalised rural dwellers resettled in new, government-subsidised homes.

Some are being moved to distant urban housing estates, others just to slightly less remote or unforgiving rural locations. Other poverty-fighting tactics – including loans, promoting tourism and “pairing” impoverished families with local officials whose careers are tied to their plight – are also being used. By 2020, Beijing hopes to have helped 30 million people rise above its official poverty line of about 70p a day while simultaneously reinforcing the already considerable authority of Xi, now seen as China’s most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong.

China’s breathtaking economic ascent has helped hundreds of millions lift themselves from poverty since the 1980s but in 2016 at least 5.7% of its rural population still lived in poverty, according to a recent UN report, with that number rising to as much as 10% in some western regions and 12% among some ethnic minorities. ... The current wave of anti-poverty relocations - a total 9.81 million people are set to be moved between 2016 and 2020 - are taking place across virtually the whole country, in 22 provinces. However, China’s western fringes, which still lag behind the prosperous east coast, are a particular focus.

Trump is kicking out 200,000 Salvadorans who’ve lived here legally for decades

The Trump administration announced Monday it will cancel the temporary residency permits for over 200,000 immigrants from El Salvador, many of whom have been living in the U.S. for decades. The move, one of the most significant steps in the Trump’s administration’s year-long efforts to drastically curb immigration, gives them 18 months to either leave the country or face deportation.

The Salvadoran immigrants entered the United States following earthquakes in 2001, and were allowed to stay after being awarded Temporary Protected Status, or TPS — a program that’s come under fire during Trump’s presidency. Their TPS designation is now set to expire on Sept. 9, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement released Monday.

The department cast the 18-month window as both a chance to allow immigrants to organize an orderly departure — and also a chance for Congress to pass a law granting the Salvadorans a more permanent status. ...

Critics of Trump’s policy have warned that those being sent back from the United States face danger returning to El Salvador, a country where gang violence has made the murder rate 15 times what it is in the United States.

the horse race

Billionaire Tom Steyer wants to get Trump impeached—and he’s spending at least $40 million to get it done

Billionaire and Democrat Tom Steyer, the biggest donor in American politics in 2014 and 2016, announced on Monday that he would be making a run at that title again in 2018.

Steyer told a crowd of reporters and supporters in Washington that he would spend $30 million in youth turnout across 10 states through his NextGen group for the 2018 midterms and expected to spend an additional $20 million-plus on his “Need to Impeach” campaign that is attempted to mobilize support behind deposing Trump (on top of the $20 million already spent).

“We are doubling down on our 'Need to Impeach' campaign,” said Steyer, who has already spent $20 million on commercials since the first one aired in October. “He has committed at least eight impeachable offenses, by my count.” ...

Steyer’s continuing impeachment campaign will likely dismay Democratic leaders who believe focusing on impeachment will alienate voters that would be more convinced by policy arguments.

Jared Kushner's company under renewed scrutiny over Chinese and Israeli deals

Jared Kushner’s business dealings are under renewed scrutiny amid reports that the US’s top financial watchdog is looking into an investment-for-visa program run by the Kushner family’s real estate company and questions have been raised about his business dealings in Israel.

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal confirmed that the real estate empire run by the family of Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law had received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requesting information.

Separately, the Kushner real estate company has reportedly entered into business relationships with Israeli financial institutions since Jared Kushner sought to establish himself as the administration’s Middle East peace broker.

According to the New York Times Kushner’s company received an investment nearing $30m from Menora Mivtachim, one of Israel’s largest insurers, in the spring of 2017, shortly before the president and his son-in-law visited the country. According to the report, the funds were directed into a Maryland development.
Kushner, who has been charged with brokering peace between Israel and Palestine, has taken out at least four loans from Bank Hapoalim, Israel’s largest bank and currently under a US Department of Justice criminal investigation.

the evening greens

Great Barrier Reef: rising temperatures turning green sea turtles female

Rising temperatures are turning almost all green sea turtles in a Great Barrier Reef population female, new research has found. The scientific paper warned the skewed ratio could threaten the population’s future. Sea turtles are among species with temperature dependent sex-determination and the proportion of female hatchlings increases when nests are in warmer sands.

Tuesday’s paper, from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California State University and Worldwide Fund for Nature Australia, is published in Current Biology. It examined two genetically distinct populations of turtles on the reef, finding the northern group of about 200,000 animals was overwhelmingly female. While the southern population was 65%-69% female, females in the northern group accounted for 99.1% of juveniles, 99.8% of subadults and 86.8% of adults.

“Combining our results with temperature data show that the northern GBR green turtle rookeries have been producing primarily females for more than two decades and that the complete feminisation of this population is possible in the near future,” the paper said.The temperature at which the turtles will produce male or female hatchlings is heritable, the paper said, but tipped to produce 100% male or 100% female hatchlings within a range of just a few degrees.

“Furthermore, extreme incubation temperatures not only produce female-only hatchlings but also cause high mortality of developing clutches,” it said. “With warming global temperatures and most sea turtle populations naturally producing offspring above the pivotal temperature, it is clear that climate change poses a serious threat to the persistence of these populations.”

Because We're "Out of Time," Activists Storm Washington State Capitol to Launch "Climate Countdown"

Demanding "bold action" from lawmakers in Washington state on Monday, activists and indigenous leaders rang in the start of the 2018 legislative session Monday with the launch of an initiative to urgently tackle the climate crisis.

"On the Peninsula, we're already seeing signs of a future we won't be able to live with—winter floods, summer droughts, wildfires, coastal devastation, acidifying seas, poisonous algal blooms," said Ed Chadd, a member of Olympic Climate Action. "If we don't act now, our orcas and salmon are goners...and then we will be. Climate change is not going to wait for us to get our act together."

The aims of the "Climate Countdown" initiative are two-fold, climate groups said in a statement: to prevent any new fossil fuel infrastructure in the state and to pass legislation ensuring the state's energy is 100 percent powered by renewables by 2028. ...

The day's event, which saw hundreds gathered at the capitol in Olympia, marks just the first of what the activists say will be "60 days for bold climate action" to coincide with the full legislative session. Each day over the next two months are set to include actions aimed at holding lawmakers' feet to the fire. ...

"Washington state should be leading on climate," added Emily Johnston of 350 Seattle. "But we aren't, and we're flat out of time. We're showing up in Olympia today to demand that the legislature acknowledge not just the reality but the unthinkable urgency of climate change. Nothing they ever do will be as consequential as what they do now."

Corporate Media 'Failed' to Connect 2017's Extreme Weather to Climate Crisis: Study

Despite the fact that 2017 saw a flurry of devastating and "record-shattering" hurricanes, enormously destructive wildfires, and extreme droughts, a new report by Public Citizen published on Friday concludes that major American media outlets "largely failed" to connect these weather events to the broader global climate crisis.

Titled "Carbon Omission: How the U.S. Media Underreported Climate Change in 2017" (pdf) and written by Public Citizen's climate program director David Arkush, the analysis takes an in-depth look at the 2017 weather coverage of more than a dozen prominent newspapers and television networks, from the New York Times to the Denver Post to the Fox News Network. ...

While coverage of hurricanes, wildfires, and other major weather events frequently dominated newspaper headlines and television segments in 2017, the "proportion of pieces that mentioned climate change in climate-relevant contexts was decidely low," Arkush writes—even though scientific research has frequently demonstrated the link between climate change and extreme weather.

After scouring news coverage through LexisNexis and conducting "a separate targeted search of major outlets," Arkush discovered that:

  • "Pieces on record heat were most likely to mention climate change, and even there the rate was just 33 percent";
  • "Pieces on record or historic drought mentioned climate 24 percent of the time";
  • News articles on "historic rainfall" mentioned climate a mere 10 percent of the time";
  • Articles on "record or historic wildfires or floods mentioned climate just nine percent of the time";
  • Just eight percent of stories discussing growing mosquito populations mentioned climate  change, including 12 percent of pieces from major outlets";
  • Despite the historic nature of 2017's hurricane season, only "four percent of pieces discussing Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, or Nate made the connection to climate change"; and
  • "Just nine percent of stories mentioning climate change also mentioned mitigation or solutions."

Extreme weather throughout the U.S. and across the globe over the past several months led one analyst to call 2017 "the year climate change began to spin out of control," but the media's failure to "connect the dots on evidence right in front of our faces" has left many consumers of U.S. news uninformed about the link between climate change and these disastrous events, Arkush argues.

Also of Interest

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

ACLU Says New Jersey Prisons’ Banning of “The New Jim Crow” Is Unconstitutional

Puigdemont or not? Catalan independence camp has to choose

Chris Hedges: Corpses of Souls

Why the Progressive Movement Should Think Longer Term

A Little Night Music

Dr. Ross - Turkey Leg Woman

Dr Isaiah Ross & His Jump & Jive Boys - Country Clown

Doctor Ross - Jivin Blues

Doctor Ross - Cannonball

Dr Ross - Call The Doctor

Doctor Ross - I'd Rather Be An Old Womans Baby Than A Young Girl's Slave

Doctor Ross - Bad Whiskey, Bad Women

Dr. Isaiah Ross - Feel So Good

Doctor Ross - My Bebop Gal

Dr Ross - My Black Name Is Ringing

Doctor Ross - Boogie Disease

18 users have voted.


Meteor Man's picture

Good evening joe and bluesers!

I hate to argue with John Locke or Chris Hedges, but the three great political ideas are Liberty, Equality and Justice, as explained by Mortimer Adler in this post:

Liberty and Freedom are variations of the same idea and of the three ideas Justice is the primary political ideal.

That's why the protest slogan of No justice, no peace! is so powerful.

The double standard for protests in Iran and Honduras goes back to Jeane Kilpatrick's specious distinction between authoritarian and totalitarian dictators:

Authoritarian regimes she argued, like Iran and Nicaragua, though they obviously did not meet our preferred standards of democratization, were fundamentally just harsh, but traditional, governments of countries which had known no other type of government and were perhaps not yet ready for democracy.


Totalitarian regimes, on the other hand, as the name implies, seek to totally reinvent and control every aspect of society. This requires them to so violate the existing institutions as to render the society nearly incapable of evolving into a democracy.

Kilpatrick was arguing that right wing dictators like The Shah of Iran and Pinochet were good dictators and left wing totalitarian dictators were bad.

16 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

joe shikspack's picture

@Meteor Man

heh, that jeanne kirkpatrick was a swell gal. rationalizations like that sure point out why the gipper liked her so much. Smile

have a great evening!

6 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

right around 2:30 - 3:00 or so. It was basically a caveat to the Kushner investigation, noting that most SEC investigations end in "consent decrees", whereby the accused formally denies any wrongdoing and formally agrees to never do it again. Then, the accused, out of the goodness of its heart, makes a tax deductible contribution (not a fine, no way) to the SEC to help defray the cost of the investigation and proceedings.

Long gone, like a turkey through the corn ...

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 --

Azazello's picture

@enhydra lutris

5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

3 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

that's a problem for the sec, the folks that they allegedly regulate are the ones that own the government. it must be pretty hard to come up with an even minimally convincing action that suggests that they are doing their job.

have a great evening!

9 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

video will open some eyes! Wink

Seriously, it's been an open secret for some time that the Dem Leadership has no intention of supporting, much less passing, single-payer legislation. That is, unless it's a toxic bill that destroys Traditional Medicare by turning it into a managed care insurance plan--like the Kaine-Bennett proposal called Medicare-X, which is very similar, if not the same as the Wyden-Bennett Bill, which was later recycled, and called the Wyden-Ryan Bill. That concerns us, considerably.

The PtB would kill two birds with one stone--save the ACA Health Exchange, while they reduce Traditional Medicare to a private managed care plan, like Medicare Advantage. Maybe, after one more election cycle, the Dem Base will catch on, and realize that the issue is the equivalent of 'abortion' for social conservatives. (IMO, conservative leaders have no desire to totally eliminate access to abortions--it's too lucrative for them to keep it as an issue and/or rallying cry.) If Dems were serious about implementing a single-payer system, they wouldn't be breaking their necks 'to save the ACA.'

IMO, our best bet is to elect an 'Independent.' Unfortunately, at this time, it appears that the only politician considering an Independent run is the very toxic Ohio Governor, John Kasich. (If we weren't already planning to leave CONUS, we would, if he were ever elected. Whew--don't even want to think about it!)

Hey, hope the next time I catch up with you Guys, we'll know what 'the B's' situation is. He's going to have (at least) a couple of days of tests--one alone will take 8 hours. Fingers crossed!

Gotta run and quickly help Mr M pack; then, watch the big playoff game. All I can say is,



Thanks for tonight's EB, Joe. Our weather's moderated, hope it has for everyone. Everyone have a nice evening!

Update: To share a somewhat heartening anecdote, just heard that the University Of Georgia marching band showed up wearing a silver arm band this evening. Apparently, Alabama's 'Million Dollar Band' lost one of it's members to cancer earlier today. (As a former grammar, high school and college band member, I can appreciate that kind expression of sympathy and solidarity.)


Give roseto the 'Georgia Redcoat Marching Band!'


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."--Lao Tzu
11 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

heh, i wonder how long it will take the dem base to figure out that schumer and his ilk are ready to liquidate the surplus population.

oh well.

hey, since you asked, i have a picture of the black dog when she went out shopping for clothes with the kid:

indy shops for clothes

good luck to the b! i hope that everything turns out really well. give him a scritch for me.

10 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

photo shows her face, especially her eyes, even better than the other one. Tell her she looks real good in yellow! Biggrin

From what I can make out from the photo, she's got what I call a 'fan tail,' like our beloved terrier-mix Murphee had. Hope she gets a big smooch for behaving so well--she practically posed for that photo!

Thanks for the best wishes for 'the B.' We're very concerned, but trying our best to be positive.


6 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

indy has what i call a table clearing tail. she is still an excitable dog, and when her tail gets going it can clear a low table pretty well. she is a wonderful, well tempered, active dog. i always look forward to the dogs coming over to visit.

6 users have voted.

@Unabashed Liberal The dems and republicans are two factions that work for the oligarchs

Are we going to get the politics we need to avoid being another failed empire?

Electing another billionaire entertainer because she made one good speech is not enough.

"Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire" by Morris Berman published in 2006. The empire is going down and there is no way to stop it.

THE OMINOUS TITLE, Dark Ages America will very likely be incomprehensible to most of my fellow Americans, especially to those who reelected George W. Bush in 2004. Indeed, for the majority, there appears to be little doubt that America is at the zenith of its military power, capable of shaking up the world as it sees fit and charged with the mission of bringing the light of democracy to the darkest corners of the globe. Does it make sense, they will undoubtedly ask, to talk of a new Dark Age, when American power extends so far and wide?

The complete introduction is on line. Here are the 4 major topics

The Triumph of Religion over Reason

The Breakdown of Education and Critical Thinking

Legalization of Torture

Marginalization of the United States on the World Stage

Dark Ages America - Introduction

7 users have voted.
Mark from Queens's picture

and the as-always brilliant Chris Hedges piece on the current American dystopia I just wonder how much more the people of this country are willing to lie to themselves about this illusion of freedom.

Just finished Taibbi's book on the murder of Eric Garner. Sobering, sad and angering. So glad he spent time telling a gripping and warm story about who Garner was as a person, which always gets left out if not flat out villainized by the RW hate machine. Every bit of the Justice system and law enforcement agencies are rancid with corruption and racism, is my reaffirmed conclusion.

I just looked at a bank statement from a few months ago and the monthly interest earned was, get this: 9 fucking cents! On a decent chunk of change.
While these greedhead scumbags wreck the world economy, pay out exorbitant bonuses, solidify their positions by buying up the real estate market, live in multiple mansions?

Something's gotta give soon. Or are we just frogs not realizing the warm water of gadgets and gizmos we're distracted by is on its way to boiling. Tell you one thing, it ain't gonna happen if people are expecting to be "informed" by mainstream media.

10 users have voted.

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:


- Kurt Vonnegut

joe shikspack's picture

@Mark from Queens

heh, i guess the establishment doesn't want anybody pointing out the obvious about the vast inequalities in the u.s. and how they play out in society. as if people can't figure out for themselves that they're getting screwed.

9 cents! too bad there's no such thing as penny candy anymore. these artificially low interest rates really hurt middle class retirees, who used to be able to have a supplemental income from their nest egg's interest.

yep, too bad most frogs just aren't paying much attention.

7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Oh Lordy I read this today and laughed and laughed and...

Remember how many times we were told that there wasn't any pay to play with Hillary and her foundation? "There is absolutely no proof of that!" Oh but there is mon Cher. And there's Bill in the vicinity of the SOS once again. This IS the reason why she had a private email server. Chelsea needed to know where mom was so she knew where to send dad. Huma admitted that during one of her depositions.

The play:

Hillary Helps a Bank—and Then It Funnels Millions to the Clintons

The Swiss bank UBS is one of the biggest, most powerful financial institutions in the world. As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton intervened to help it out with the IRS. And after that, the Swiss bank paid Bill Clinton $1.5 million for speaking gigs.

“A few weeks after Hillary Clinton was sworn in as secretary of state in early 2009, she was summoned to Geneva by her Swiss counterpart to discuss an urgent matter. The Internal Revenue Service was suing UBS AG to get the identities of Americans with secret accounts,” the newspaper reports. “If the case proceeded, Switzerland’s largest bank would face an impossible choice: Violate Swiss secrecy laws by handing over the names, or refuse and face criminal charges in U.S. federal court. Within months, Mrs. Clinton announced a tentative legal settlement—an unusual intervention by the top U.S. diplomat. UBS ultimately turned over information on 4,450 accounts, a fraction of the 52,000 sought by the IRS.”

The pay:

“Total donations by UBS to the Clinton Foundation grew from less than $60,000 through 2008 to a cumulative total of about $600,000 by the end of 2014, according to the foundation and the bank,”


7 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture



sadly, it seems like no matter how many times the clintons get caught red handed taking the graft, there never seem to be consequences.

i'd be delighted to see their streak come to an end.

7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

The FBI is going to reopen their investigation into her foundation and her emails after congress found out that the original wording in Comey's statement was changed and that it would not have absolved her use of it. Grossly negligent was how it was written before Strozk changed it. Plus they are looking at Lynch and her meeting with Bill on the tarmac and...

BTW, the Clintons forgot to declare all the income they received during her tenure. They had to refile their taxes after that tidbit was found out. I'm not expecting anything to come from the investigations, but... who knows?

7 users have voted.

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

Lookout's picture

Whatta world? Thanks for the music and the news joe.

Caught a piece from Ed Schultz w/ Max Blumenthal about the 60 min (and US) vilification of RT last night... (8 min)

Max had a great line in this 5 min piece with text

...the Palestinian Authority has openly stated that it will no longer work with the U.S. as a mediator in the peace process. This is a major development. Nabil Shaath, the PA negotiator, has said that he has reached out to Russia and China, and asked them to take the lead. Russia and China, if they do take the lead, will be much more honest brokers, especially under the leadership of China's Xi, than the United States. But the U.S. will seek to intervene and interrupt any attempt at negotiations. It's something that they're doing also on the Korean peninsula as the north and south attempt to initiate bilateral talks.

So, we're really seeing the U.S. be exposed as a destabilizing force around the world.

Once again...we're number one!

I hope your weather has moderated. We've warmed, but they are calling for another round of cold weather next week. Stay warm all...

7 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture


thanks for the vids! it will be interesting to see what happens if the palestinians stick to their refusal to negotiate with the u.s.

i'm wondering if it just might lead to a sort of global brewhaha as israel refuses to negotiate without the u.s. and other countries tire of the whole circus.

our weather is supposed to improve. it's warming up a little, but we had raina and ice today, which will hopefully melt off tomorrow and stay gone for a few days.

i hope that you stay warm and comfortable.

7 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

Dore just dropped a new one about RT. I haven't seen it yet. YouTube (37 min.)

5 users have voted.
hecate's picture

Some yeehaw out in Kansas went and verbalized the true impetus behind Confederate General Sheets' renewed jihad on the reefer: “What you really need to do is go back in the ’30s, when they outlawed all types of drugs in Kansas and across the United States. What was the reason why they did that? One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African Americans, they were basically users, and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs, just because of their character AR-180109012.jpgmakeup, their genetics and that."

When comes those AI devices that will burble forth the thoughts that are in people's heads, Sheets will be sounding straight out of Anslinger: “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”

Why is it that people chundering about genetics always themselves look like some hideous Dr. Moreau pile-up? This Kansas mutant appears to be a grisly lab-failure involving an attempt to cross a human with a potato.

9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


oh geez. beauregard musta gone to one of those showings of reefer madness in college and didn't understand why everybody in the audience was laughing.

wow, that guy from kansas is quite a knuckle-dragger.

7 users have voted.
earthling1's picture

I'll never eat another potato again. Ugh, can't get that out of my head.
I'll probably never dance again either.

4 users have voted.
hecate's picture

the sad potato, that is green and malformed. You heave him into the cabinet, and by the time you remember he's in there, he has gone soft and grey and mushy, is wholly collapsing, the stench foul enough to fell an ox.

Dancing is Negrified, and must be avoided at all costs. As Sheets will tell you, it is through dancing and the reefer that the pale frail wildwood flowers are white-slaved into preversion.

5 users have voted.
earthling1's picture

With regard to the leaderless protests in Iran, who knew the 99%s learned Farsi and all moved to Tehran?
It all looks like Occupy Wall Street in sandals. People are sick of the Oligarchy worldwide.
Thanks for the EB.

4 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


it seems that things are pretty much the same all over.

have a good one!

3 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture



2 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)