The Evening Blues - 10-10-18



eb1pt12



The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Earl Bostic



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features r&b and jazz saxophonist Earl Bostic. Enjoy!



Earl Bostic - Cracked Ice

“One need only to admit that public tranquillity is in danger and any action finds a justification. All the horrors of the reign of terror were based only on solicitude for public tranquillity.”

-- Leo Tolstoy


News and Opinion


Worth a full read:

Future of Western Democracy Being Played Out in Brazil

Nothing less than the future of politics across the West – and across the Global South – is being played out in Brazil. Stripped to its essence, the Brazilian presidential elections represent a direct clash between democracy and an early 21st Century, neofascism, indeed between civilization and barbarism. Geopolitical and global economic reverberations will be immense. The Brazilian dilemma illuminates all the contradictions surrounding the Right populist offensive across the West, juxtaposed to the inexorable collapse of the Left. The stakes could not be higher.

Jair Bolsonaro, an outright supporter of Brazilian military dictatorships of last century, who has been normalized as the “extreme-right candidate,” won the first round of the presidential elections on Sunday with more than 49 million votes. That was 46 percent of the total, just shy of a majority needed for an outright win. This in itself is a jaw-dropping development. His opponent, Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party (PT), got only 31 million votes, or 29 percent of the total. He will now face Bolsonaro in a runoff on October 28. A Sisyphean task awaits Haddad: just to reach parity with Bolsonaro, he needs every single vote from those who supported the third and fourth-placed candidates, plus a substantial share of the almost 20 percent of votes considered null and void. ...

Bolsonaro is a symptom of a much larger disease. He has only reached this level, a head-to-head in the second round against Lula’s candidate Haddad, because of a sophisticated, rolling, multi-stage, judicial/congressional/business/media Hybrid War unleashed on Brazil. Way more complex than any color revolution, Hybrid War in Brazil featured a law-fare coup under cover of the Car Wash anti-corruption investigation. That led to the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff and Lula being thrown in jail on corruption charges with no hard evidence or smoking gun. In every poll Lula would win these elections hand down. The coup plotters managed to imprison him and prevent him from running. Lula’s right to run was highlighted by everyone from Pope Francis to the UN’s Human Rights Council, as well as Noam Chomsky. Yet in a delightful historical twist, the coup plotters’ scenario blew up in their faces as the front-runner to lead the country is not one of them, but a neofascist.

“One of them” would ideally be a faceless bureaucrat affiliated with the former social democrats, the PSDB, turned hardcore neoliberals addicted to posing as Center Left when they are the “acceptable” face of the neoliberal Right. Call them Brazilian Tony Blairs. Specific Brazilian contradictions, plus the advance of Right populism across the West, led to their downfall. Even Wall Street and the City of London (which endorsed Hybrid War on Brazil after it was unleashed by NSA spying of oil giant Petrobras) have started entertaining second thoughts on supporting Bolsonaro for president of a BRICS nation, which is a leader of the Global South, and until a few years ago, was on its way to becoming the fifth largest economy in the world.

It all hangs on the “vote transfer” mechanism from Lula to Haddad and the creation of a serious, multi-party Progressive Democratic Front on the second round to defeat the rising neofascism. They have less than three weeks to pull it off.

The Stunning Rise of Brazil’s Far Right and What It Shows About Western Democracies

Trump attacks Democrats as 'radical socialists' and scorns universal healthcare plan

Donald Trump put his name to an opinion article in USA Today published on Wednesday, in a rallying cry to voters ahead of the midterm elections and warning that a big Democratic win would bring America closer to socialism and “suffering, misery and decay”.

The president opened with a warning to senior citizens and all Americans of the dangers of a so-called universal healthcare system with guaranteed government health insurance for all. He went on to say Democrats were in favor of “open-border socialism” and raised the alarm about the country swinging to the left, particularly with the emergence of younger, progressive insurgents who have shaken up the liberal establishment this election cycle.

“The truth is that the centrist Democratic party is dead,” Trump wrote on Wednesday. “The new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America’s economy after Venezuela.” ... Trump’s article warned: “If Democrats win control of Congress this November, we will come dangerously closer to socialism in America. Government-run healthcare is just the beginning. Democrats are also pushing massive government control of education, private-sector businesses and other major sectors of the US economy.”

ACLU Fights Back as Trump Pushes 'Stealth Proposal' to Limit Public's Right to Protest Outside White House

As the Trump administration and the Republican-controlled Congress face mass protests in Washington, D.C. against their attacks on healthcare, immigrants, women, and the poor—as well as well as their support for white supremacists and men accused of sexual assault—civil liberties advocates are speaking out against an "unconstitutional" National Park Service (NPS) proposal that would severely limit Americans' ability to protest near the White House and on the National Mall.

With the Oct. 15 deadline for public comment on the proposed rule rapidly approaching, the D.C. branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has submitted its 33-page takedown of policy changes that the group warns would violate the First Amendment rights of demonstrators that have been affirmed by "court orders that have stood for decades."

In a blog post published Tuesday, the ACLU of D.C.'s legal co-director Arthur Spitzer noted President Donald Trump's "record of attacking the rights of protesters" and declared, "The heart of the matter is clear: President Trump might not like having protesters on his doorstep, but the First Amendment guarantees their right to be there."

Outlining the ACLU's critiques of the NPS "stealth" proposal, Spitzter highlighted three provisions that civil libertarians have found especially alarming:

  • Closing all but five feet of the 25-foot-wide White House sidewalk along Pennsylvania, which is "perhaps the most iconic public forum in America";
  • Amending existing rules about spontaneous demonstrations in a way that the ACLU warns would dramatically limit such protests; and
  • Charging demonstrators for "administrative, equipment, and monitoring costs" similar to the fees NPS imposes for "special events" like historical reenactments and festivals;

The National Mall, as NPS acknowledged in its August proposal, "is a preeminent national landscape that is home to the enduring symbols of our country including various trees and gardens that symbolize cultural and diplomatic exchanges and gifts from others nations" as well as "monuments, memorials, statues, and other commemorative works." While an NPS spokesman told the Washington Post in August that the idea for charging protesters fees for support and security "came out of just the sheer cost" of past demonstrations, the ACLU says that is no reason to treat demonstrators any differently than the 45 million non-demonstrators who visit the National Mall every year.

"Managing public lands for the benefit of the American people is what Congress funds the National Park Service to do. That includes demonstrators just as much as tourists or hikers," wrote Spizter. "While the park service may be strapped for funds, it cannot balance its budget on the backs of people seeking to exercise their constitutional rights."

Rashid Khalidi: Haley Put a Nice Face on Trump’s “Horrific” U.S. Policies

Sen. Rand Paul Pushes to Halt Saudi Arms Sales Over Journalist’s Disappearance

The latest fallout from the disappearance and presumptive murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi could see the Saudis losing their main source of arms. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) says he intends to force a vote on blocking further US arms sales to the Saudi kingdom.

Sen. Paul announced the plan on a local radio show, saying he hopes to force a vote in the Senate by the end of the week which would force a full halt to US arms shipments if there is “any indication” the Saudis are behind killing Khashoggi.

Funny or frightening? You decide:

Government Report: “An Entire Generation” of American Weapons Is Wide Open to Hackers

A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office brings both good and bad news. For governments around the would that might like to sabotage America’s military technology, the good news is that this would be all too easy to do: Testers at the Department of Defense “routinely found mission-critical cyber vulnerabilities in nearly all weapon systems that were under development” over a five-year period, the report said. For Americans, the bad news is that up until very recently, no one seemed to care enough to fix these security holes.

In 1991, the report noted, the U.S. National Research Council warned that “system disruptions will increase” as the use of computers and networks grows and as adversaries attack them. The Pentagon more or less ignored this and at least five subsequent warnings on the subject, according to the GAO, and hasn’t made a serious effort to safeguard the vast patchwork of software that controls planes, ships, missiles, and other advanced ordnance against hackers.

The sweeping report drew on nearly 30 years of published research, including recent assessments of the cybersecurity of specific weapon systems, as well as interviews with personnel from the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, and weapons-testing bodies. It covered a broad span of American weapons, examining systems at all of the service branches and in space.

The report found that “mission-critical cyber vulnerabilities” cropped up routinely during weapons development and that test teams “easily” took over real systems without detection “using relatively simple tools and techniques,” exploiting “basic issues such as poor password management and unencrypted communications.” Testers could also download and delete data, in one cases exfiltrating 100 gigabytes of material, and could tap into operators’ terminals, in one instance popping up computer dialogs asking the operators “to insert two quarters to continue.” But a malicious attacker could pull off much worse than jokes about quarters, warns the GAO: “In one case, the test team took control of the operators’ terminals. They could see, in real-time, what the operators were seeing on their screens and could manipulate the system.”

Posing as surrogates for, say, Russian or Chinese military hackers, testers sometimes found easy victories. “In some cases,” the GAO found, “simply scanning a system caused parts of the system to shut down,” while one “test team was able to guess an administrator password in nine seconds.” The testers found embarrassing, elementary screw-ups of the sort that would get a middle school computer lab administrator in trouble, to say nothing of someone safeguarding lethal weapon systems. For example, “multiple weapon systems used commercial or open source software, but did not change the default password when the software was installed, which allowed test teams to look up the password on the Internet.”

Guatemala's former vice-president jailed for 15 years on corruption charges

Guatemala’s former vice-president Roxana Baldetti has been jailed for more than 15 years on corruption charges linked to a multimillion-dollar fraud over a bogus scheme to clean up a contaminated lake, thanks to an investigation backed by the UN crime fighting force. Public prosecutors backed by the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (Cicig) uncovered a criminal network run by Baldetti which conspired to award an $18m government contract to an Israeli company for a clean-up potion that turned out to be sea water.

Tuesday’s verdict was hailed by anti-impunity campaigners battling to save the commission from expulsion by the current president who is fighting impeachment arising from multiple corruption allegations.

President Jimmy Morales argues that his decision to end the commission’s mandate next September was not personally motivated, and used a speech at the UN last month to claim Cicig was a threat to peace. Morales, who was elected in 2015 on an anti-corruption platform, is facing charges of illegal campaign financing and fraud thanks to investigations backed by Cicig. His brother, son and political party also face corruption charges.

The standoff between the beleaguered president and popular anti-impunity commission has escalated in recent months. Morales has blocked the Cicig chief, Iván Velásquez, from re-entering Guatemala in defiance of court orders ruling the ban unconstitutional.

The Long Night Has Fallen on the Supreme Court -- Thanks Largely to Democrats

Brett Kavanaugh took his seat on the far right of the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, but before the Court’s newest racist, pro-torture, corporate, patriarchal pig could don his new robes the Democratic National Committee was filling email boxes with appeals for funds to turn Republican victory into defeat in November. “The only way we'll be able to protect our rights is by regaining a Democratic majority in Congress,” writes Seema Nanda, the DNC’s chief executive officer. “If we don't, women's reproductive justice, affordable health care, and the future of our democracy will all be at risk.” The Democrats have been singing that same song for decades -- indeed, generations -- even as they passively allowed reactionary justices to become dominant on the High Court, their hard right rulings only slightly tempered by the “swing” votes of, first, Sandra Day O’Connor -- who is credited with rescuing “diversity,” the pale replacement for affirmative action, as a public policy option – and, later, Justice Anthony Kennedy , whose seat Kavanaugh now fills. Whenever the Democrats’ GOP-lite policies became indefensible, the party’s apologists would caution exasperated Black voters: “But what about the Supreme Court? You can’t allow the Republicans to decide the law of the land for the next 20 years!”

But their assurances that the Democratic Party would hold back the corporate legal juggernaut were always a sham. ... The Supreme Court was already a right-wing club when John Roberts was nominated in 2005. Twenty out of 42 Democrats voted to confirm the reactionary jurist. Two months later, right-winger Alito was confirmed after 19 Democrats joined 53 Republicans to halt a filibuster against his nomination by Senators Barack Obama and Harry Reid. Brett Kavanaugh represents an imminent threat to “women's reproductive justice, affordable health care, and the future of our democracy,” as DNC operative Seema Nanda put it,because the Democratic Party, as a body, collaborated in laying the groundwork for an ultra-right majority. And, when West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin made it clear he would vote to confirm Kavanaugh, the party’s honchos made it just as plain that he would not be punished.

Yet, the Democrats have the gall to continue playing the Supreme Court card, when it is already too late to reverse the damage they have helped to inflict. Make no mistake: the Democratic Party is a corporate party that will never create a real political crisis -- never shut down the Senate, which is within the power of a unified minority party – unless the interests of their masters, the Lords of Capital, are threatened. ... The Democrats are a fraudulent opposition, and totally shameless, moving from election to election, financed by an oligarchy whose interests both parties regard as paramount. They have no vision beyond endless austerity and war, the same agenda as the Republicans -- with a racial and ethic “diversity” twist. The long legal twilight time is over and deep darkness has now fallen on the U.S. Supreme Court, with the active and passive collaboration of the Democratic Party.

Who Says Supreme Court Justices Get Lifetime Tenure?

A good deal of the uproar over the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court stems from the expectation that he will remain there for three, perhaps even four decades. The Constitution, most people believe, mandates that judges be appointed to the bench for life, unless they commit a crime or other impeachable offense. As only one Supreme Court justice has ever been impeached—Samuel Chase in 1803—and none convicted, removal for cause is unlikely at best. Because it is assumed lifetime tenure is enshrined in Article III, any attempt to alter that arrangement would require an amendment, another unwieldy and improbable prospect.

But the Constitution enshrines no such thing, at least not overtly. That should be the inevitable conclusion, anyway, from jurists like Kavanaugh who subscribe to textualism: the theory that the law, including the Constitution, should be interpreted solely based on the plain meaning of its text, rather than taking into other considerations such as the authors’ intentions. And if that were the case, ending lifetime tenure on the court would be easier than people realize. ...

Article III, Section 1 says nothing about lifetime appointments, but rather reads only that judges “shall hold their offices during good behaviour.” If the Framers intended this to mean “for life,” why didn’t they say so? It would have been a simple matter to draft the sentence to make that intention clear. The question of intent gets thornier yet. As Scalia himself said in a speech explaining textualism, the philosophy to which both Thomas and Kavanaugh ascribe, “If you are a textualist, you don’t care about the intent, and I don’t care if the Framers of the U.S. Constitution had some secret meaning in mind when they adopted its words. I take the words as they were promulgated to the people of the United States, and what is the fairly understood meaning of those words.” The fairly understood meaning of the phrase “good behavior” is not “for life.”

It could just as easily be postulated that what the Framers had in mind was not that judges could remain on the bench until they fell over dead, but rather that, as long as they discharged their duties professionally, they could not be removed solely for their political views. ... The argument as to whether “good behavior” means “for life” is hardly academic. If one takes the textualist view of Article III that today’s roster of conservative justices hold so dear, establishing term limits for justices would not require a constitutional amendment, just an act of Congress.



the horse race



Michael Bloomberg rejoins Democratic party amid presidential run speculation

The former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg rejoined the Democratic party on Wednesday, going back to his political roots weeks before midterm elections and amid speculation that he might run for the White House in 2020.

Bloomberg, the billionaire founder and chief executive of the global media company Bloomberg LP, said in a post on social media he was re-registering as a Democrat, citing a potential constitutional crisis under the Republican president, Donald Trump, a fellow New York businessman. ...

Bloomberg, 76, was a longtime Democrat who became a Republican before running for mayor of the largest US city in 2001. He left the Republican party to become an independent in 2007 and served three terms as New York’s mayor, stepping down in 2013.

He has considered running for president in the past as an independent but never did.





the evening greens


What's Not in the Latest Terrifying IPCC Report? The "Much, Much, Much More Terrifying" New Research on Climate Tipping Points

If the latest warnings contained in Monday's report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—which included pronouncements that the world has less than twelve years to drastically alter course to avoid the worst impacts of human-caused global warming and that nothing less than keeping all fossil fuels in the ground is the solution to avoid future calamities—have you at all frightened or despondent, experts responding to the report have a potentially unwelcome message for your already over-burdened heart and mind: It's very likely even worse than you're being told.

After the report's publication there were headlines like: "We have 12 years to act on climate change before the world as we know it is lost. How much more urgent can it get?" and "Science pronounces its verdict: World to be doomed at 2°C, less dangerous at 1.5°C" and "A major new climate report slams the door on wishful thinking." But as Jamie Henn, co-founder and the program director for the international climate group 350.org, stated in a tweet on Tuesday, the "scariest thing about the IPCC Report" is the fact that "it's the watered down, consensus version. The latest science is much, much, much more terrifying." ...

According to Durwood Zaelke, founder of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, speaking to The Guardian in the wake of the latest IPCC report,  it "fails to focus on the weakest link in the climate chain: the self-reinforcing feedbacks which, if allowed to continue, will accelerate warming and risk cascading climate tipping points and runaway warming." In August, as Common Dreams reported, research published by Johan Rockström and his colleagues at the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden found that it is precisely these feedback loops and tipping points that should most frighten and concern humanity. While nascent and not conclusive in its findings—two of the reasons you won't find it referenced in the IPCC report—the study warned that humanity may be just 1°C away from creating a series of dynamic feedback loops that could push the world into a climate scenario not seen since the dawn of the Helocene Period, nearly 12,000 years ago.

Quoted in Tuesday's Guardian article about the dangers of ignoring potential tipping points, Nobel prize laureate Mario Molina, who shared the award for chemistry in 1995 for his work on ozone depletion, said: "The IPCC report demonstrates that it is still possible to keep the climate relatively safe, provided we muster an unprecedented level of cooperation, extraordinary speed and heroic scale of action. But even with its description of the increasing impacts that lie ahead, the IPCC understates a key risk: that self-reinforcing feedback loops could push the climate system into chaos before we have time to tame our energy system, and the other sources of climate pollution."

Valve Turners on Trial: Judge Acquits Three Climate Activists Who Shut Down Tar Sands Pipelines

Charges dropped against climate activists who tried to shut down pipelines

A Minnesota judge abruptly dismissed charges against three climate change activists during their trial on Tuesday, saying prosecutors had failed to prove that the protesters’ attempt to shut down two Enbridge Energy oil pipelines caused any damage. The Clearwater county district judge Robert Tiffany threw the case out after prosecutors rested their case and before the protesters could use their defense: that the threat of climate change from using crude oil drilled from Canadian tar sands was so imminent that the activists’ actions were not only morally right, but necessary.

The attorneys had long fought to use a “necessity defense” during the trial of the three Seattle-area residents, two of whom admitted turning the emergency shut-off valves on the northwest Minnesota pipelines in 2016 as part of a coordinated action in four states. Such a defense has been used by other activists protesting pipelines. ...

“I’m very relieved the state of Minnesota acknowledged that we did no damage and intended to do no damage,” the defendant Emily Johnston said. “I also admit that I am disappointed that we did not get to put on the trial that we hoped for.” ...

Climate change activists have increasingly turned to direct actions against oil and gas pipelines, with mixed legal success . Valve-turner cases in other states resulted in convictions that are under appeal. A Massachusetts judge in March cleared 13 gas pipeline protesters who used a necessity defense. While the cases generally have not set binding legal precedents, activists are hoping they help legitimize direct action as a tactic against climate change.

Hurricane Michael: 'truly historic' category 4 storm on track to hit Florida

Hurricane Michael has whipped up into a category 4 monster storm as it makes its final approach to the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday, on track for a catastrophic, record-breaking landfall mid-Wednesday as the region’s strongest storm in living memory, with gusts up to a deadly 165mph.

A category 4 storm has never made landfall in the panhandle before, and Michael’s vast size means the effects will be felt along the coast from New Orleans to Tampa Bay, and inland as far as the Carolinas. It is forecast to blow in with sustained winds of 145mph and still to be a hurricane by the time it reaches southern Georgia, with winds continuing over 75mph. A tornado watch is in effect for the region.

More than 500,000 people were either ordered or advised to evacuate as Michael, fueled by the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, closed in, packing sustained winds of 145mph and a life-threatening storm surge of up to 14ft.


Alaska initiative to protect wild salmon could kill off a massive open-pit mine

Alaska voters are considering a ballot measure that would make the state's already strong protections for salmon fisheries even stronger, and make new mining and oil exploration projects difficult — if not impossible. The measure, called Proposition 1, is intended to protect Alaska’s salmon runs, especially in Bristol Bay, the designated site of the massive proposed open-pit mine project, the Pebble Mine. The site contains some of the largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits in the world.

As things stand, the state has to prove that any big project would not impact healthy salmon waterways. If Prop 1 passes, the roles reverse, and the project would have to prove the habitat is not home to salmon at all, a drastic change to current regulation. "Salmon streams don't recover. That's the point of this ballot measure," said Morgan Jones, a third-generation fisherman supporting Prop 1 and opposing the Pebble Mine. "Once you dig up a salmon nest, it's gone. It's not like you can re-lay a place where salmon can spawn."

But the mining industry argues the measure goes too far and would force all mines to endure lengthy regulatory delays. ... But the pro-salmon campaign is being outspent 9 to 1, and mining proponents say they have good reason to spend more than $11 million on opposing Prop 1: They argue that the costs of the measure are impossible to predict, but it could effectively end mining and oil exploration in the state.



Also of Interest

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

Intercepted Live: Chicago Claps Back

Historian Howard Zinn Warned Us About the Supreme Court

Who Doesn’t Love Identity Politics?

AfD leader accused of echoing Hitler in article for German newspaper

Empire Loyalists Grieve Resignation Of Moderate Psychopath Nikki Haley

Canada: Trudeau on back foot as frustration builds over PM's climate strategy

Medicare Advantage Plans Shift Their Financial Risk To Doctors; Do Patients Win or Lose?

Your tax dollars at work:

Shocking images of starving children show reality of the war in Yemen


A Little Night Music


Earl Bostic - That's The Groovy Thing

Earl Bostic - Stompin At The Savoy

Earl Bostic & Bill Doggett - Bubbins Rock

Earl Bostic - Special Delivery Stomp

Earl Bostic - Rockin' and Reelin'

Earl Bostic - Blue Skies

Earl Bostic - Flamingo

Earl Bostic - No Name Jive, Southern Fried

Earl Bostic - Bugle Call Rag

Earl Bostic - Pink Panther

Earl Bostic - Cherokee



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Comments

Love Earl Bostic. Absolutely love him. Great jukebox records.

As for the politics of the day, I’m curious if anyone else is following the Chinese “spy chips” story. Maybe I’m too far down the rabbit hole, but I wonder if we’ll be hearing about how our voting machine had the evil Chinese chips and they worked with RUSSIARUSSIARUSSIA to overturn the election. Seems to me the road they’re likely to go down. Guess we’ll see.

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14 users have voted.

@Dr. John Carpenter Corporate CEOs may not like it, but not surprising if it happens. I watched a segment of TYT where Cenk U. pretty suggested that Trump, Putin, and Chinese colluded to send $180 million dollars of soy bean purchases toward Russia. This was after the Chinese put the cabosh on soy imports to China from the US. From what I remember, China was going to up the purchase of soy beans from current supplies much more than diverted import business to Russia.

If there is money to be made by the media, consultants, think tanks, PR pimps, arm dealers/makers, etc. I would very much expect it.

Also, from the clips of the debates, Hillary almost never mentioned Russia without mentioning China as the enemy also.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

to Hillary's emails that was disclosed in the IG report and testimony to congress. Then there's Feinstein's driver being a Chinese spy during the 20 years he drove for her.

Since China makes so much of the military's software wouldn't there be fears that they planted bugs in them? Just what does this country create anymore? Even the clothing for the military comes from China. As do Trump's MAGA hats.

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joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

Just what does this country create anymore?

the united states is the leading purveyor of violence.

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6 users have voted.

@snoopydawg Made in the USA, imported all over the world.

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joe shikspack's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

I wonder if we’ll be hearing about how our voting machine had the evil Chinese chips and they worked with RUSSIARUSSIARUSSIA to overturn the election.

i haven't been closely following the chinese chips story, but your scenario seems a likely outcome of yet another election that the democrats lose due to their refusal to represent the interests of average voters. the blame cannot be allowed to fall upon the upper class twits.

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Azazello's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter
Some are saying that Bloomberg is over-hyping it. The Chinese spy chip is attached to the motherboard and should be visible to anyone who looks for it. China has a very restrictive internet environment. It makes sense that machines intended for the Chinese domestic market would have such a chip. It's possible that some machines intended for Chinese use ended up in the US supply chain. That's what I've heard anyway.

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ggersh's picture

to brighten us up Etta James.....At Last

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“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

Hannah Arendt

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

man of the people or silver-tongued devil?

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ggersh's picture

@joe shikspack

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“Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.”

Hannah Arendt

divineorder's picture

As a low income college student I got a job in the USPS as an excepted appointment. Got a great appreciation for it as a consequence. Postal Workers have been under attack from Congress for some time. Were our looking for support earlier this week.

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

@divineorder The commercial carriers use the USPS to delivery many of their packages.

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Azazello's picture

@MrWebster
It used to be that there was no mail on Sunday. Nowadays, the USPS mailman may come on Sunday to deliver an Amazon package. The USPS is doing "the last mile" for some of these companies. Once at a Labor Day Picnic I asked a representative of the Letter-Carriers Union what they thought about this. He said that they were glad to get the work.

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joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

heh, perhaps one of those smarty-pants progressive dems can attach a rider to whatever legislation eventually emerges ending the franking privilege and forcing politicians to pay for their mailings out of pocket.

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Raggedy Ann's picture

That hurricane is really hammering the south. Everyone be careful down there - batten down the hatches and run away! The beauty of where I live is that we get no weather. That's also the downside. I shouldn't say no weather, but 300+ days of sunshine a year, well.....

Loving the tunes this afternoon - got me jamming in my office.

Have a beautiful evening, folks! Pleasantry

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

heh, where i live, we've been fortunate not to have any widespread truly dramatic weather for quite a while (knocks on wood). i hope all of the people in harm's way evacuate or find other ways to stay safe.

have a great evening!

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Azazello's picture

Bernie's all over the map with this one, but it seems like he's getting warmer.
Building A Global Democratic Movement to Counter Authoritarianism

In the United States, we pay a whole lot of attention to issues impacting the economy, healthcare, education, environment, criminal justice, immigration and, as we have recently seen, Supreme Court nominees. These are all enormously important issues.

With the exception of immediate and dramatic crises, however, foreign policy is not something that usually gets a whole lot of attention or debate. In fact, some political analysts have suggested that by and large we have a one-party foreign policy, where the basic elements of our approach are not often debated or challenged.

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9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

yep, i'd agree with you that sanders' rhetoric is evolving and improving. before the 2016 election, he virtually declined to discuss foreign policy, i'm pleased to see that he is discussing it now, though he's still far off of the mark in some ways. further evolution on his part would be welcome.

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Amanda Matthews's picture

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

joe shikspack's picture

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Amanda Matthews's picture

@joe shikspack

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1 user has voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

Amanda Matthews's picture

we’ll set a monetary limit on how much you have to have before you can run for public office.

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6 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

joe shikspack's picture

@Amanda Matthews

sounds like it's all hands on deck to keep the democrat party from moving left.

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4 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

the dangers/risks that can be associated with the Medicare Advantage 'managed care' system. This says it all (for me),

Rao works for WellMed, a physician-management company whose doctors treat more than 350,000 Medicare patients at primary care clinics in Florida and Texas. Instead of being reimbursed for each patient visit, WellMed gets a fixed monthly payment from private Medicare Advantage plans to cover virtually all of their members’ health needs, including drugs and physician, hospital, mental health and rehabilitation services.

If they can stay under budget, the physician companies profit. If not, they lose money.

Of course, the ACA gave rise to a system (in Traditional/FFS Medicare) almost as toxic--ACOs. The first question that I ask when we are seeking/referred to a physician--are you a member of an ACO. (Unfortunately, general office folks don't always know the answer to that. So, I request to speak to their insurance department, or office manager.) More about ACOs, later.

Gotta run, and get more weather updates. The other day, I posted about Hurricane Camille's damage in Alabama--and, how, although it initially made landfall in another state as a Cat 5 Hurricane, it destroyed thousands of homes, and a thousand businesses along Highway 90 (in Mobile). One coastal Holiday Inn not far from the Causeway has never been rebuilt--decades later, all that remains is the remnants of a twisted sign, and a few bricks. A super stark reminder of the power of these destructive natural forces.

Too busy now, but next week or later, will make the following quote into a signature line. This text comes from the body of a HuffPo article (that goes with the Grijalva photo that I posted yesterday). It was his opinion in 2012, following the SCOTUS' landmark ACA decision.

WASHINGTONRep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said Thursday that the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health care law means progressive lawmakers won’t be pushing for a single-payer option anymore, though the concept will live on in their minds.

The idea of a single-payer option, such as a Medicare-For-All approach to health care, will continue to be “a fundamental political point that we all support,” said Grijalva, co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. “But the reality of what just happened today probably puts the emphasis on making the law work as opposed to trying to get a new plan.”

IMO, if MFA activists are truly serious, they'll confront Dem lawmakers, and, demand that they (lawmakers) collectively commit to supporting 'one' MFA proposal. I believe that it is self-defeating to allow lawmakers to bandy about (at least) '7' MFA proposals--which include plans with varying degrees of privatization and/or 'managed care' elements, including creating a hybrid "Medicare Advantage" program out of the base Traditional (FFS) Medicare program. Again, (IMO) it simply provides them 'cover,' without making them accountable if they fail to support a true single payer plan.

Off my soapbox, for now . . .

Wink

Have a nice evening All! Getting ready to see if our area (in the path) has lost electricity. If anyone needs a links to determine outages, here you go,

https://poweroutage.us/

(Lost power one location; but, not the second. Both in Panhandle.)

Bye

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

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9 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)

divineorder's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

Margaret Flowers liked

IMO, if MFA activists are truly serious, they'll confront Dem lawmakers, and, demand that they (lawmakers) collectively commit to supporting 'one' MFA proposal. I believe that it is self-defeating to allow lawmakers to bandy about (at least) '7' MFA proposals--which include plans with varying degrees of privatization and/or 'managed care' elements, including creating a hybrid "Medicare Advantage" program out of the base Traditional (FFS) Medicare program. Again, (IMO) it simply provides them 'cover,' without making them accountable if they fail to support a true single payer plan.

Heh.

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5 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

heh, any plan that incentivizes a provider of services to do as little as possible seems kind of imprudent.

i agree, if mfa proponents are serious, they are going to have to (figuratively) hold a gun to the democrats' heads and make it clear that they are ready, willing and able to pull the (figurative) trigger.

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

This is what some insane people want to unleash. Only if they are under the blast when it happens.

Few more videos of nuclear blasts.

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

all the footage that i've seen of the hurricane hitting florida look pretty bad. i wonder how long the intensity of storms has to ramp up before the knuckle-dragging morons that govern us respond to the needs of the people rather than the needs of the oil and gas industries.

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lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  
and the Sultan of Brunei.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Brunei

The literal Kings of Fossil Fuel have to keep making a fortune so that they can continue to spend a fortune on U.S. weapons systems.

One hand washes the other — and the whole planet goes down the drain.

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joe shikspack's picture

@lotlizard

sounds about right.

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lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  
symbolic civil disobedience (turning a valve to shut down one pipeline) to “the Big Time” (commando raids and deep cyber to shut down entire oil and gas fields and take them out of production quasi-permanently) . . .

Just a fantasy, but is fossil fuel going to be stopped by anything less?

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divineorder's picture

Hey, Remember Margaret Flowers?

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7 users have voted.

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

divineorder's picture

@divineorder

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4 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

thanks for the link! yes, i do remember margaret flowers. i've had the pleasure of voting for her as well as attending some of her events.

i'll give it a listen later on.

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Bollox Ref's picture

Another oligarch to the rescue.... Caesar would admire his republican virtue.

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6 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

heh, i'm sure that our founding aristocrats would also be delighted that people like bloomberg are stepping up to steer the republic and preserve the state of limited democracy.

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3 users have voted.

Had a bio prof who said that a time will come when the existing social and economic problems will be eclipsed by "ecological disasters". But who listens to the Cassandra's of the world?

In reading about global warming in previous years, a number of scientists were warning when estimates for huge problems were later in the century that we may see those events much sooner as they looked at various feedback loops making stuff happen faster.

When God wants to destroy a people, it seems that the stories imply that God comes out of nowhere and lays waste. But that is not what happens. God simply allows a people to destroy itself through their actions and choices. "hey, I warned you...."

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joe shikspack's picture

@MrWebster

heh, makes you wonder if this god-thing sets his watch by the collapse of civilizations.

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3 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack

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2 users have voted.

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

Thanks for all the news you put together. Interesting to read about the Proposition to stop the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay. In 2011, divineorder and I went to a presentation and documentary film about the struggle about this proposed mine and the environmental damage it would cause. There was a talk and a documentary film about the area, the native inhabitants and how their way of life would be affected by this mine. There were several scenes and conversations by them."them."

I wrote a diary about it over at TOP.


...The Pebble Mine project is considered a "threat to jobs, water and a way of life."
"The Pebble deposit is a vast low grade deposit of gold and copper located in the headwaters of the Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers in Bristol Bay, Alaska. If built, Pebble would be one of the largest mines in the world. It would also cause incredible harm to the world's largest wild sockeye salmon fishery. The Pebble Limited Partnership(PLP) has not relased its final mine plans but cvompany executive have siad the Pebble mine complex, which would cover some 54.5 square miles based on the most recent PLP estimates, would procue between 2.5 and 10.78 billion tons of waste including acit and heavy metals that will have to be treated in perpetuity. Any release of this waste into the surgace or groundwater has the potential to damage Bistol Boy's salmon and rainbow trout populations and the people who depend on them.

The above was from a brochure brought by the group.

After the documentary, two women from one of the tribe that live in the area talked of their own lives and the impact this mine would have on the salmon fishing. They spoke of the traditional ways that are still followed during the salmon runs. It was a very interesting and moving presentation. At the end of the session those of us that wanted to wrote letters to our congressional representatives asking them to vote against the mine. Glad to see this is still not a done deal.

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

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

joe shikspack's picture

@jakkalbessie

i hope that the people of alaska are more than a match for the power of the mining industry. i really like sockeye salmon. Smile

but seriously, it would be nice to see the good guys win.

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enhydra lutris's picture

The future of Western Democracy is that we don't have one here, or many anywhere, and aren't likely to see a change in that regard.

Not to quibble, but if one serves as long as one does not "misbehave", then one conditionally serves in perpetuity, or until death, whichever comes first.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

Journalist: What do you think of Western civilization?
Gandhi: I think it would be a good idea.

well, western civilization was mediocre at best, so perhaps we shouldn't mourn its passing. perhaps something better will arise out of its ashes.

regarding the quibble, i think that the key to the argument that is being made about conservative textual interpretation is that the constitution does not indicate that appointments are for a lifetime. a reasonable textual interpretation might be that justices may serve for whatever period congress sets as long as they maintain good behavior.

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3 users have voted.