The Evening Blues - 10-11-17



eb1pt12



The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Jimmy Reed



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Jimmy Reed. Enjoy!



Jimmy Reed - There'll Be A Day

"Fascism is nothing but capitalist reaction."

-- Leon Trotsky


News and Opinion


Donald Trump tweet attacks NBC News, suggesting a challenge to 'their license'

Donald Trump ramped up his war with the news media on Wednesday morning, suggesting that it might be appropriate to challenge the license of NBC News in response to what he claimed was its “fake news”.


The spat between Trump – who worked for NBC for 14 years as the host of The Apprentice – and the network’s news arm has been swirling ever since NBC’s report on the strained relationship between Trump and the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. It appears that Trump’s most recent outburst was triggered by a report that Trump requested a tenfold increase in the US nuclear arsenal, a report Trump called “made up” and “pure fiction”.

NBC News attributed that report to three unnamed officials “who were in the room”.

Trump followed up the tweet by remarking to reporters in the Oval Office: “It is frankly disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write.”

As is often the case, the implications of Trump’s tweet are unclear.

Here's an extract from the NBC report that aroused the Orange Menace's ire:

Trump Wanted Tenfold Increase in Nuclear Arsenal, Surprising Military

President Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest-ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room.

Trump’s comments, the officials said, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve.

According to the officials present, Trump’s advisers, among them the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, were surprised. Officials briefly explained the legal and practical impediments to a nuclear buildup and how the current military posture is stronger than it was at the height of the buildup. In interviews, they told NBC News that no such expansion is planned.

The July 20 meeting was described as a lengthy and sometimes tense review of worldwide U.S. forces and operations. It was soon after the meeting broke up that officials who remained behind heard Tillerson say that Trump is a “moron.”

With Bomber Flyover, Trump Denounced for 'Trying to Provoke War' With North Korea

Amid the latest signs of escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, President Donald Trump was blasted on Wednesday for ordering B-1 bombers to fly over the Korean peninsula—a move critics characterized as a dangerous but intentional provocation.

According to John Dean, former White House counsel to President Nixon, Trump "thinks he'll be admired for killing millions... so he's trying to provoke war to not be the aggressor."


A statement from the U.S. military said the display, which included missile drills over the waters east and west of the peninsula, was the first nighttime exercise conducted between the U.S. Air Force, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force, and Republic of Korea air force units.

It came hours after President Donald Trump met with his top military advisors to discuss "a range of options to respond to any form of North Korean aggression or, if necessary, to prevent North Korea from threatening the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons," and weeks after Kim Jong Un's regime—following ominous threats by Trump—warned of its "right to shoot down the U.S. bombers even when they are not yet inside the airspace border of our country.

Trump to announce broad Iran strategy this week: White House

U.S. President Donald Trump will make an announcement this week on an “overall Iran strategy,” including whether to decertify the international deal curbing Tehran’s nuclear program, the White House said on Tuesday.

“He’ll make that later this week,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters when asked about the certification decision and the administration’s broader strategy on Iran.

Trump, who has called the 2015 pact agreed between Iran and six world powers an “embarrassment,” is expected to announce that he will decertify the deal ahead of an Oct. 15 deadline, a senior administration official said last week.

Trump is also expected to designate Iran’s most powerful security force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp, as a terrorist organization as part of a new Iran strategy.

U.S. Believes Hezbollah Determined to Develop Attack Capability Inside U.S.

The United States believes that Hezbollah is determined to give itself an option to carry out attacks inside the United States, Nicholas J. Rasmussen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said on Tuesday.

"It is our assessment that Hezbollah is determined to give itself a potential homeland option as a critical component of its terrorism playbook," Rasmussen said during a briefing.

Rasmussen noted that before September 11, 2001 Hezbollah was responsible for more American deaths than any other foreign terrorism group.

Rasmussen announced a multimillion dollar reward for tips leading to the arrest of two Hezbollah officials.

Catalonia crisis: A declaration of independence or political statement?



Catalan leader signs document declaring independence from Spain

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont and other regional politicians signed a document declaring Catalonia’s independence from Spain, but it was unclear if the document would have any legal value.

“Catalonia restores today its full sovereignty,” says the document, called “declaration of the representatives of Catalonia.” ...

Puigdemont told the assembly earlier that the effects of the declaration would be suspended to allow time for talks to reach a negotiated solution to the standoff over the northeastern region.

US supreme court dismisses challenge to Trump travel ban

The supreme court on Tuesday dismissed one of two cases over Donald Trump’s ban on visitors from mostly Muslim countries, suggesting it will step away from the controversy for now.

The court got rid of a case that originated in Maryland and involves a ban that has now expired and been replaced by a new version.

But the justices took no action on a separate case from Hawaii. That dispute concerns both the travel ban and a separate ban on refugees, which does not expire until 24 October.

Mexico warns that abandoning Nafta could end broader cooperation with US

Mexico’s foreign minister has warned that terminating Nafta could bring relations with the US to a breaking point, raising the prospect that bilateral cooperation against drug trafficking and illegal migration could be adversely affected by Donald Trump’s bellicose trade rhetoric.

The threat from the foreign minister, Luis Videgaray, came as Donald Trump once again threatened to tear up the three-country trade treaty between the US, Canada and Mexico ahead of a fourth round of Nafta negotiations.

Mexico and the US work closely on issues such as border security, combatting drug cartels and efforts to stop migrants reaching the US border, but relations between the two neighbors have grown increasingly tense since Trump launched his election campaign on a wave of anti-Mexican sentiment.

Weeks After Hurricane, Puerto Rico Lacks Water, Working Hospitals, Electricity & Considers Solar



Puerto Rico: US officials privately acknowledge serious food shortage

Federal officials privately admit there is a massive shortage of meals in Puerto Rico three weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Officials at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) say that the government and its partners are only providing 200,000 meals a day to meet the needs of more than 2 million people. That is a daily shortfall of between 1.8m and 5.8m meals. “We are 1.8 million meals short,” said one senior Fema official. “That is why we need the urgency. And it’s not going away. We’re doing this much today, but it has to be sustained over several months.”

The scale of the food crisis dwarfs the more widely publicized challenges of restoring power and communications. More than a third of Puerto Ricans are still struggling to live without drinking water. However, Fema provides no details on food deliveries, keeping its public statements to the most general terms. On its website, Fema says it has provided “millions of meals and millions of liters of water”.

Conditions on Puerto Rico remain dire; just 16% of islanders having access to electricity. While commercial flights have resumed, and most gas stations have reopened, much of the island’s economy remains at a standstill. Less than 400 miles of the island’s 5,000 miles of road are open to traffic. Many residents are voting with their feet and leaving their homes behind. The population of the island of Vieques has declined from around 9,000 to little more than 6,000, according to relief workers.

US police killings undercounted by half, study using Guardian data finds

Over half of all police killings in 2015 were wrongly classified as not having been the result of interactions with officers, a new Harvard study based on Guardian data has found. The finding is just the latest to show government databases seriously undercounting the number of people killed by police.

“Right now the data quality is bad and unacceptable,” said lead researcher Justin Feldman. “To effectively address the problem of law enforcement-related deaths, the public needs better data about who is being killed, where, and under what circumstances.”

Feldman used data from the Guardian’s 2015 investigation into police killings, The Counted, and compared it with data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). That dataset, which is kept by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was found to have misclassified 55.2% of all police killings, with the errors occurring disproportionately in low-income jurisdictions.

NVSS data has been collected since the late 1800s and today is responsible for, among other things, aggregating all annual US deaths. In 1949, the report added a category to capture “legal intervention” as a cause of death along with classifications like cancer, heart disease and accidents. Typically these determinations are made by local medical examiners and coroners, reported on death certificates, and submitted to the CDC.

Researchers found the accuracy varied wildly by state, with just 17.6% misclassification in Washington, but a startling 100% in Oklahoma.

ICE Detainee Sent to Solitary Confinement for Encouraging Protest of “Voluntary” Low-Wage Labor

In June, officials at a privately run Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in rural Georgia sentenced an immigrant detainee to a month in solitary confinement to punish him for encouraging fellow detainees to stop working in protest of low wages at the facility. Three days after the detainee shouted “no work, no pay” in a facility kitchen, according to ICE records, “the detainee was found guilty of encouraging others to participate in a work stoppage and was sentenced to 30 days of disciplinary segregation.”

Immigrants confined in ICE facilities often work for only $1 per day, but the immigration agency’s guidelines state that all such work must be voluntary. Earlier this year, a federal judge cleared the way for a class-action lawsuit originally brought by nine ICE detainees alleging that ICE contractor the GEO Group had profited off forced labor in violation of federal anti-slavery laws.

In the case of the Georgia facility, ICE’s records obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request simply list “work stoppage” as the reason for using solitary confinement to punish the immigrant detainee, who is originally from Haiti. ...

Azadeh Shahshahani, an attorney with the Atlanta-based social justice group Project South, who has extensively criticized conditions at Stewart, said in an email that this is not the first hint of forced work at the privately run facility.

“This is extremely disturbing,” Shahshahani said. “We keep hearing from ICE and the prison corporation that the program is ‘voluntary.’ We have always questioned how a labor program in a corporate prison setting for sub-minimum wages could be truly voluntary. In the past, we had documented at least one instance where detained immigrants who did not want to work were threatened with being put in the hole.”



the horse race



New Jersey Teachers Union Backs Pro-Trump Candidate, Warning Democrats Not to Take Educators for Granted

In an otherwise predictable New Jersey election season, the state’s largest public sector union has come out behind a Trump-supporting Republican facing an incumbent Democrat. The New Jersey Education Association, which is New Jersey’s top political spender, is backing Republican Fran Grenier against Steve Sweeney, the Democratic state Senate president and New Jersey’s second most-powerful elected official. The controversial endorsement has angered liberal allies, but the union remains unapologetic in its message: Democrats cannot take teachers for granted.

It’s a contentious move, but one that is unlikely to change the ultimate outcome of the election. Democrats are expected to control all three branches of government after November, a major turning point for the Garden State. After seven years under Republican Gov. Chris Christie — a man boasting an impressively low 15 percent approval rating — a majority of voters are expected to cast their ballot for Phil Murphy, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate running against the GOP’s Kim Guadagno. And with a state legislature that’s also expected to remain blue, progressives have been eagerly anticipating their chance to start reversing the policies of Christie’s tenure.

That explains why the NJEA has decided to spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in what’s shaping up to be the most expensive legislative race in state history to try to unseat Sweeney: The union feels the top Democrat has betrayed it one too many times.





the evening greens


EPA chief is using MAGA math to justify repealing Clean Power Plan

EPA chief Scott Pruitt is using MAGA math to recalculate the social cost of greenhouse gas pollution, as a way to justify the repeal of the Clean Power Plan. Following the Trump administration’s America First ethos, Pruitt’s “alternate analysis” drastically lowers the previous government estimate — because he’s only calculating for costs to the U.S. The government panel assembled in 2009 to figure the social cost of carbon calculated for global effects and put the cost of climate damage by 2020 at about $50 per metric ton of carbon. Pruitt’s analysis effectively slashes that figure to between $1 and $6 per metric ton, according to think tank Resources for the Future.

That figure comes from a complex set of calculations, taking into account public health factors, the costs of extreme weather events and a rising sea level, among other factors. ... The social cost of carbon allows policymakers to weigh the value of policies aimed at curbing climate change — the estimate was used, for instance, to justify the Clean Power Plan as cost-effective — but if there’s a lower cost-benefit for solutions to climate change, policymakers are less likely to see the value in those policies. It’s been used by the federal government to in more than 150 proposed and final regulatory measures, on everything from land-use decisions to standards for vehicle fuel efficiency to appliances’ efficiency standards, according to Resources for the Future.

As Deadly Wildfires Rage in California, a Look at How Global Warming Fuels Decades of Forest Fires



California's Wildfires Rip Through Wine Country and Into Suburbia

The first thing to know about California wine country’s wildfires is that there is nothing rural, or remote about them. “This was a wildfire in a city,” Santa Rosa Mayor Chris Coursey told NPR Tuesday morning, describing how it roared across the hills and into his city’s streets.

He was not exaggerating. In Santa Rosa, a mostly suburban town of roughly 175,000 people, the aftermath litters the landscape. Destruction is largely hidden behind carefully-zoned blocks of neighborhood developments and outdoor shopping malls cluttered with high-end storefronts and coffee shops, but the permeating scent of a never-ending campfire lingers, growing acrid with odors of melting metal, home cleaning chemicals, and electricity wires as you draw nearer to the scene. ...

Back on San Miguel Road, a young father in a yellow and black Wu-Tang T-shirt stood in his front yard, idly spraying water from a hose. His home remained standing, unaffected save for some charred mulch near his front-door walkway. Across the street, his neighbor’s house was charred black, the fence half standing, palm trees blown out. ... That’s not the case just a few miles in any given direction, where policemen block off roads so firemen can work in 24-hour shifts to contain more than a dozen wildfires that have killed at least 17, and destroyed more than 1,500 buildings across a combined 115,000 acres of land.

Emergency officials say a mixture of heat, dry air, and strong winds transformed the sudden wildfires into an all-consuming blaze that quickly ripped through parts of the countryside and into city and suburban areas. After a cool, windless Tuesday that afforded emergency crews an opportunity to make up some ground, Sonoma County officials warn that a warmer, windier Wednesday could bring fresh troubles.

Trump’s pro-coal agenda is a blow for clean air efforts at Texas' Big Bend park

Big Bend national park is Texas at its most cinematic, with soaring, jagged forest peaks looming over vast desert lowlands, at once haughty and humble, prickly and pretty. It is also among the most remote places in the state. Even from Alpine, the town of 6,000 that is the main gateway to the park, it is more than an hour’s drive to one of the entrances.

So far from anywhere, it might seem an unlikely location to be scarred by air pollution. Yet for decades its stunning vistas have been compromised by poor air quality that Texas, working with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is supposed to address.

But environmental advocates fear that the Trump administration’s pro-coal agenda will derail the prospects of improvement, at least in the short term. Tuesday’s announcement that the EPA plans to abandon the 2015 Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions came less than two weeks after the agency revealed a revised plan to combat regional haze in Texas and Oklahoma that critics say will do little to cut pollution. ...

The National Park Service and EPA carried out a study in 1999 to understand what causes haze in Big Bend, which is worse in the warmer months. It found that sulphate particles formed from sulphur dioxide sources such as coal power plants and refineries were a key cause. Researchers discovered that substantial amounts of sulphate particulates came not only from Texas and Mexico, but the distant eastern US. When air flows from the east, production in America’s coal heartlands has an effect on Big Bend’s scenery.



Also of Interest

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

Intercepted Podcast: The White Stuff

The Osage Indian Murder Mystery

Stop the Unconstitutional War in Yemen

Puerto Rico Relief Bill Cancels $16 Billion in Debt — But Not for Puerto Rico

Did Trump Break the Law by Telling NFL Owners to Fire Players?

As Texas Prepares to Kill Robert Pruett, He Leaves Behind a Literary Indictment of Us All


A Little Night Music


Jimmy Reed - I'm gonna help you

Jimmy Reed - I Got The Blues

Jimmy Reed - You're Something Else

Jimmy Reed - The judge should know

Jimmy Reed - Baby What You Want Me To Do

Jimmy Reed - Signals of Love

Jimmy Reed - I'm Mr Luck

Jimmy Reed - High and Lonesome

Jimmy Reed - Little Rain

Jimmy Reed - Down In Virgina

Jimmy Reed - Baby, Whats Wrong



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19 users have voted.

Comments

Raggedy Ann's picture

Well, things are ramping up, aren't they? Threatening NBC, threatening North Korea, threatening Iran - we're doomed as a country, perhaps as a planet. Who cares about global warming when you're just going to nuke everyone - that will bring about the ultimate global warming.

We better enjoy life as much as we can. I'm trying to stay optimistic in this sea of negativity! I think we are fast approaching the eleventh hour in Herr Drumpf's america. Can they keep his finger off the trigger? Will Tillerson stay? Will Kelly stay? Will they tackle him when necessary? There's a job for you!

Have a beautiful evening, folks! Pleasantry

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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

@Raggedy Ann

yep, that trump is great at sabre-rattling, isn't he?

he is a dog that likes the sound of his own bark.

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12 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

Evening all,
I wonder how this is going to work out.
House of Saud bows to House of Putin

What a difference a year – an eternity in geopolitics – makes. No one could see this coming; the ideological matrix of all strands of Salafi-jihadi terror – which Russia fights no holds barred, from ISIS/Daesh to the Caucasus Emirate – beating a path to the Kremlin and about to embrace Russia as a strategic ally.

The House of Saud was horrified by Russia’s successful campaign to prevent regime change in Syria. Moscow was solidifying its alliance with Tehran. Hawks in the Obama administration were imposing on Saudi Arabia a strategy of keeping oil prices down to hurt the Russian economy.

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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

it's hard to tell whether the saudis overtures to putin are an attempt at applying leverage on the us or a recognition that the empire is sinking and it's time to make some new friends. either way, the saudis are in a bad position.

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10 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@joe shikspack
as far as I'm concerned. The Russians are nowhere near the evil-doers that the Saudis are, I think Bandar bin Sultan ought to be shot, but neither one of them seems likely to leave it in the ground and that makes both of them enemies of life on the planet.

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6 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

Fun. Tried to comment last night but something intervened.

Alpine is one gateway to Big Bend, but our favorite is the White Buffalo Bar in the Historic Gage Hotel in tiny Marathon, TX. That air quality study has been going on for years and will be sorry if there is further bad.

Heh.

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11 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, dinner was great, hard cider was consumed and the cake was chocolatey good! the granddogs had a great time, too.

wow, that tweet is kind of odd. what is that anyway? some sort of patriotic homoerotic locker room bonding ritual? not that there's anything wrong with that, if that's what the houston astros are into. Smile

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5 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack

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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.

divineorder's picture

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11 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

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6 users have voted.
karl pearson's picture

I wonder if Pres. Trump is aware that he is inadvertently helping to repair the damaged reputation of Richard Nixon, one of the most loathed presidents in history. The action below occurred on May 26, 1972.

An historic agreement setting limits to the nuclear arsenals of the two super-Powers was signed by Mr Nixon and Mr Brezhnev last night - the most vital of the US-Soviet pacts that have flowed from the American President's visit to Moscow.
The pact on missiles is the first direct step taken by the two giants to slow down this side of the nuclear arms race after over a quarter of a century of confrontation in the cold war.

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11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@karl pearson

heh, nixon also created the epa that trump is working to destroy.

nixon may have been a crook and a jerk, but he was neither stupid nor suicidal. it's a shame that his successors are so awful as to make him look less horrid than he was.

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11 users have voted.
The Aspie Corner's picture

@karl pearson So that's not all that surprising.

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eyo's picture

Still fifteen miles or so south, but now I can hear the helicopters, bunch of traffic earlier. Saw a fresh crew from Cloverdale CalFire heading out about an hour ago. Seems the fighters are keeping it in check, sort of. It is still windy and due to pick up overnight, after dark. Haven't heard from friends on Pine Mountain today, I'm sure they are nervous as hell with a bird's eye view of the far off disaster. It's a dizasstah! thanks jimmy dore and the big water people.

https://twitter.com/hashtag/pocketfire

I live in Cloverdale, right smack at the end of Asti Road. I hope you guys never ever ever see it in a fire video, okay? Okay.

Thanks
good luck

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16 users have voted.

On a blog.

joe shikspack's picture

@eyo

glad to hear that you are still doing ok and out of immediate danger. please stay safe!

i'm sure that we are all thinking of you guys out there and hoping for the best.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

for keeping up posted on the status of the fire, and your situation. The photos I'm seeing are heartbreaking--I'm not sure that I can remember a worse, or more out-of-control fire in such a heavily populated area.

Got to know a couple of BLM (Burea Of Land Management) firefighters, called smokejumpers, when we lived in Alaska. They're a different breed, alright--I don't know how they do what they do.

Anyhoo, I hope they manage to protect all of you, and stop these fires soon.

Stay safe.

Mollie

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4 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)

Deja's picture

@eyo
Get out! Holy cow. This is so horrible. I'm so sorry! Please be careful.

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4 users have voted.

"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

eyo's picture

@Deja thanks I am okay, we are safe in Cloverdale. My neighbors insist on taking me if evac orders come. It is still dark, I can see stars and the moon, and I can smell smoke.

Before I crashed out yesterday a ginormous 747 flew over, I call it the super-tanker. It is just like a war around here, I have stress disorder my mind is already gone. Anyway, that thing dropped a lake-full of borate on the fire and then flew home to bed too. BAM! Nothing burns where that stuff drops. There is video on twitter and probably everywhere, quite dramatic. I love that effing jet. Go super-tanker! What is saving us now I think is calm, blessed calm. It is not windy, no big gusts. Geyserville is still under voluntary evac order. Sunrise will be ridiculously colorful.

good luck

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2 users have voted.

On a blog.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

sashay by, and say 'hi' before I walk 'the B.' (Love the cooler weather, but miss the longer daylight hours.)

Good news--only damage was to moorings; so, no big deal. We're particularly relieved, since I'll be helping a couple of Mr M's cousins care for one of our favorite, and few remaining, Aunts who was released today. IOW, I didn't need something else to worry about. Wink

As I've checked out the 2018 Part D plans, I've found out a couple more tidbits about Medigap plans, which I'll pass along next week. For the heck of it, I also checked out a handful of Medicare Advantage plans, and have to say--I'd pull my hair out if I had to deal with all the rigmarole that's involved in analyzing/selecting a new MA plan every year. Yikes!

Thanks for tonight's EB, Joe. Hope you enjoyed your visit with your kids and Granddogs!

Everyone have a nice evening!

Bye

Mollie


"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures--they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive."--Gilda Radner

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

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13 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

glad to hear that your storm damage was minimal!

the dinner with the kids and granddogs was great. i'll be hanging with the granddogs next week sometime for a little while, so i'll see if they feel like having pictures taken and put them up for you. B)

give my regards to the b.

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6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

shots, if they're in the mood to put up with it. Wink I say that, because I've had 'dawgs' who were total 'hams,' and others who hated having pictures taken--almost as much as I do.

Mollie

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4 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

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10 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.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@divineorder

I don't agree with any cuts to our social safety net. But, the PtB haven't given up on striking a Grand Bargain. Chuck and Nancy allude to it when they call for 'offsets' to tax reform. (They can't be talking about nonmandatory spending, since it's sequestered.)

IMO, the corporatist MSM hasn't suddenly turned populist. They were very supportive of the very similar Bowles-Simpson cuts. Their sole (but unspoken) opposition to what Mick Mulvaney has presented is that it doesn't include 'Old Age' Social Security and Medicare, like the Bowles-Simpson proposal does.

Remember, that was one of the two main principles that Romney attacked when he gave his March 2016 speech: (1) DT's opposition to globalism/free trade, and (2) his refusal to proposal major across-the-board cuts to Social Security and Medicare. (Aside from his obvious personal character flaws, etc.)

I expect that the only budget which has a chance of passing will be one which includes the reformulation of 'Old Age' Social Security and Medicare benefits--basically, transforming them into means-tested programs.

Dash 1

Honestly, I think we're absolutely cooked.

Mollie

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3 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)

Sad to see the quality of air in the park will deteriorate because this is an amazing place and with clear skies the views are amazing!

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8 users have voted.

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

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

joe shikspack's picture

@jakkalbessie

big bend, being in the middle of nowhere would seem to be a great spot for night sky viewing, due to the lack of light pollution, but coal smoke haze is sure not helpful for that.

with any luck, the economics of energy, which favor renewables will counter what the evil clowns in the executive branch and their ringmasters in heavy industry are trying to accomplish.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

don't the other countries that are part of the deal have something to say about any military options? And if so, what could Trump do about it.

Aren't all the wars in the Middle East unconstitutional? The original aumf dealt with the countries involved in the 9/11 attacks and none of the countries Obama declared his own personal war on were not part of it. It shouldn't matter if Obama had claimed that he was going after Al Qaida. Not after he armed, funded, trained and had our military working with them in Syria. This should nullify the claim that they are our enemies. Technically, at least.
And then there's the little line in the oath he swore...."I will defend this country from enemies foreign and domestic". I think that the banks can be considered as domestic enemies, but that's just me.

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5 users have voted.

good grief

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

don't the other countries that are part of the deal have something to say about any military options? And if so, what could Trump do about it.

well, trump can pull the us out of the agreement presuming that congress will not stop him. however, the other signatories to the agreement will likely continue to honor the agreement. the us has certain leverage on some of the signatories (i'm particularly thinking about european allies and britain) through potential economic sanctions - but, using that leverage would likely drive a wedge between the us and its most important allies. consider that much of europe is smarting from the economic damage caused to them from the russian sanctions that the us has applied.

as far as military engagements, i would rather imagine that russia and china are going to be dead set against something like that and will pull out all of the stops to prevent such an eventuality. with the iaea stepping up and insisting that iran is in full compliance with the treaty, trump is going to have to do some fancy talking to drum up international assent for military actions.

Aren't all the wars in the Middle East unconstitutional?

a (poor in my view) case can be made that the afghan war is constitutional. the rest of them are not. congress has not declared war and the aumf does not arguably apply to any other of the wars the us is engaged in.

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

to start sanctioning us. We've been the bully in the sandbox long enough. This seems to be a good time for them to break away from us if Trump is not going to honor deals our country made.
I doubt many would join in with us and nuke North Korea.

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8 users have voted.

good grief

enhydra lutris's picture

are all about the fires, which is a welcome relief from all the Trump stuff. I keep waiting, however, for somebody to figure out that the winds driving these fires come from weather systems that arrive via Russia and link this all to Putin.

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5 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 --