The Evening Blues - 10-11-18



eb1pt12



The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Johnny Shines



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features delta bluesman Johnny Shines. Enjoy!



Johnny Shines - Ramblin'

"When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right."

-- Victor Hugo


News and Opinion


Trump campaign claims WikiLeaks not liable for releasing hacked emails

The Trump campaign argued in a legal filing that WikiLeaks could not be held liable for publishing emails that were stolen by Russian hackers ahead of the 2016 US election because the website was simply serving as a passive publishing platform on behalf of a third party, in the same way as Google or Facebook.

Questions about WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of hacked emails, which it allegedly obtained following a plot by Russian military intelligence to steal the emails from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic party, are at the heart of Robert Mueller’s criminal investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

The campaign also said in a legal filing that any alleged agreement between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks to publish the emails could not have been a “conspiracy” because WikiLeaks’ decision to release the stolen emails was not an illegal act. The court filing was written in response to a civil lawsuit brought against the Trump campaign by two of Hillary Clinton’s donors and a former employee of the Democratic party.

The Trump campaign’s surprising defence of WikiLeaks marks a stark departure from official US policy, which has condemned the website for frequently targeting the US government and for publishing thousands of classified documents about covert policies. ...

The filing also makes the case that, under the campaign’s first amendment right to free speech, it had the right to publish information – even if it was stolen – as long as it did not participate in the theft of the emails. The hacked materials were a matter of “significant public concern”, the filing said.

Chief Justice John Roberts Accused of ‘Cover Up’ for Sitting on Kavanaugh Misconduct Complaints

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has received over a dozen official judicial misconduct complaints leveled against U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Court Judge and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. So far he has not forwarded the complaints to a proper judicial panel. Now, some critics are calling foul and accusing Roberts of mounting a cover-up in favor of the controversial Supreme Court nominee.

Those official misconduct complaints were forwarded to Roberts by a fellow member of Kavanaugh’s court. While U.S. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland would traditionally have overseen those complaints, Garland chose to recuse himself on the matter, according to Buzzfeed News. In his stead, U.S. Circuit Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson fielded the multiple complaints against Kavanaugh. Judge Henderson dismissed many complaints filed against the Supreme Court nominee as “frivolous,” but found substantial merit in over a dozen of the complaints she reviewed.

According to the Washington Post, Henderson began forwarding the complaints she deemed valid onto Roberts. Henderson sent them to Roberts so that Kavanaugh’s fellow judges on the D.C. Circuit would not have to assess the serious and substantive issues raised against a colleague. ...

Roberts’ decision to sit on the complaints against Kavanaugh stands in stark contrast to how he handled a similar complaint–centered around allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment–filed against Kavanaugh’s mentor, now-former judge Alex Kozinski. In that case, Chief Justice Roberts forwarded the Kozinski complaint to another circuit the day after he received it. Thus, Roberts’ decision here raises some serious questions.

Demanding Kavanaugh Impeachment, Law Students Launch Nationwide Strike Against Illegitimate Justice

"We are in the middle of a national emergency," declared an open letter as students of at least a dozen U.S. law schools walked out of class on Wednesday afternoon to launch a three-day strike calling for the impeachment of recently confirmed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

"We cannot accept a system that empowers a man who repeatedly lied under oath and a judiciary review process that only performs a sham of an investigation into his misconduct," the letter continues, referencing allegations of perjury and sexual assault that have been levied against the newest member of the nation's highest court, and the "charade" of an FBI investigation conducted to address the assault claims, which Kavanaugh has denied.

"We do not recognize Kavanaugh as a legitimate member of the United States Supreme Court," the letter asserts, demanding that "anyone seeking to be elected to Congress in November commits to impeaching Kavanaugh to protect any semblance of rule of law and the people of our communities." ...

Law students have organized events for the strike, according to NLG, at Brooklyn Law School, Cardozo Law School, Duke Law School, Lewis & Clark Law School, New York University Law, Rutgers Law School, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, U.C. Hastings College of Law, University of North Carolina School of Law, University of Southern California School of Law, the Chicago-Kent College of Law, and University of Miami School of Law. ... Following the walkout on Wednesday, students are hosting events such as a letter-writing session at Brooklyn Law School on Thursday where students wrote messages to elected officials to demand that they move to impeach Kavanaugh.

Right-wing dark money backing Kavanaugh outspent the left-wing “smear campaign” by millions

When Brett Kavanaugh testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, he launched an attack on what he called the “millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups” spent fighting his nomination. And when Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins announced her support for Kavanaugh, she called out the “interest groups” that, she said, “have also spent an unprecedented amount of dark money opposing this nomination.”

Their condemnations of the Supreme Court nomination process being increasingly politicized were accurate. Groups opposed to Kavanaugh did spend millions in an effort to keep him off the bench. But Kavanaugh and Collins ignored one fact: Organizations that supported the judge spent even more on the confirmation fight, watchdog groups found.

While little information is publicly available about digital advertising, a massive and ever-growing market, groups supporting Kavanaugh did spend at least $7.3 million on TV ads alone, said Douglas Keith, counsel at Brennan Center for Justice, which has tracked spending around Kavanaugh’s nomination. In contrast, organizations opposed to the now-justice spent at least $2.9 million in TV ads against him between June and early October.

“In terms of the totals that we’ve seen disclosed, we’ve seen a lot more spending on the conservative side,” said Anna Massoglia, who researches dark money at the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. “The side that was supporting Justice Kavanaugh was by far millions of dollars more.” ...

Kavanaugh may have already ascended to the nation’s highest court, but ads invoking his name are still running: On Tuesday, the Judicial Crisis Network announced it was starting a “six-figure TV and digital ad campaign” in support of Collins.

Here’s what Planned Parenthood plans to do about Kavanaugh

With federal protections for abortion potentially in greater jeopardy under a newly right-leaning Supreme Court, Planned Parenthood has unveiled a new strategy to expand and protect abortion access across the United States. The multimillion-dollar initiative comes just days after Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, a reliable conservative replacing frequent swing-vote Anthony Kennedy, and the second justice to ascend to the high court under Donald Trump. ...

The organization's three-part plan, called “Care For All”, will focus on abortion access, policy, and cultural and social stigma, and will include further investment in technology and telemedicine, as well as lobbying and campaign efforts. Planned Parenthood provides a range of services at about 600 locations, and abortion represents 3 percent of it, the group says. In terms of access, the global reproductive healthcare organization wants to build an “ironclad” network of states with bolstered resources to compensate for the areas in the U.S., mainly in the Midwest and the South, in which women have limited options. ...

“This network will leverage key states to serve as crucial access points particularly for the growing number of people who need to travel from out of state to ensure that no matter what happens that everyone in this country can access abortion,” said Rachel Sussman, national director of State Policy and Advocacy, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.” We are leaving no state behind.”

The second tier of the plan includes fighting back on policies that have already eroded a woman’s access to reproductive health care. ... Fighting the cultural stigma around abortion is the third leg of the new strategy. Kevin Griffis, Planned Parenthood's vp of communications, said the organization had restructured their communications teams in order to more effectively work with the TV industry and others to combat abortion stigma.

“How Fascism Works”: Jason Stanley On Trump, Bolsonaro and the Rise of Fascism Across the Globe

Hat tip for this podcast to divineorder, the good stuff starts around 18 minutes in:

Ever Wonder Who “They” Are? We Name Names And Explain How The Global Elites Operate

In 2017, eight men controlled half of the world’s wealth and 70% of the world controls 5% of the wealth. Global elites, the 1%, are consolidating their fortunes without regard for the remaining 99% or the welfare of the planet. It is important to understand how this small number of people control the world and who they are so that we know what we’re up against and whom to hold accountable. We speak with Peter Phillips, author of “Giants: The Global Power Elite,” about his decades of work tracking the power holders and what we do to create a more just and sustainable world.

As Demands for US Probe Into Alleged Murder of Khashoggi Grow, Trump Says Halting Saudi Arms Sales 'Very Tough Pill to Swallow'

Nine days after journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, President Trump has expressed only vague concern over reports that he had been murdered by a Saudi "hit team"—and late on Wednesday he all but took off the table the possibility of cutting off arms sales to the Saudis if they are found responsible for Khashoggi's likely death.

"We have jobs. We have a lot of things happening in this country. We have a country that's doing probably better economically than it's ever done before," Trump said in a Fox News interview. "A part of that is what we are doing with our defense systems and everybody is wanting them and, frankly, I think [ending arms sales] would be a very, very tough pill to swallow for our country."

The U.S. has sold more than $200 billion in weapons and military equipment to the Saudis in recent years, with Trump signing off on a $110 billion agreement weeks after taking office and the Obama administration offering the country $115 billion in arms sales. Since 2015, those sales have helped to fund Saudi Arabia's air war in Yemen, which has killed more than 16,000 civilians and left millions displaced and on the verge of famine.

Khashoggi's disappearance on October 2 has led many to call for the Trump administration to take action against the Saudis, who Turkish officials believe had the Washington Post columnist killed.

Is the U.S. Complicit in Saudi Journalist’s Disappearance?


China 'legalises' internment camps for million Uighurs

China’s far north-western region of Xinjiang has “legalised” internment camps where up to one million Muslims are being held. Amid sustained international criticism, Chinese authorities have revised legislation to allow the regional government to officially permit the use of “education and training centres” to incarcerate “people influenced by extremism”.

Chinese authorities deny that the internment camps exist but say petty criminals are sent to vocational “training centres”. Former detainees say they were forced to denounce Islam and profess loyalty to the Communist party in what they describe as political indoctrination camps. “It’s a retrospective justification for the mass detainment of Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang,” said James Leibold, a scholar of Chinese ethnic policies at Melbourne’s La Trobe University. “It’s a new form of re-education that’s unprecedented and doesn’t really have a legal basis, and I see them scrambling to try to create a legal basis for this policy.”

The revisions, published on Tuesday, say government agencies at the county level and above “may establish occupational skills education and training centres, education transformation organisations and management departments to transform people influenced by extremism through education”. A new clause directs the centres to teach the Mandarin language and provide occupational and legal education, as well as “ideological education, psychological rehabilitation and behaviour correction”.

The original legislation announced in 2017 banned the wearing of veils, “extreme speech and behaviour” and the refusal to listen to public radio and television broadcasts.

Washington state's supreme court strikes down death penalty

A panel of judges on Thursday unanimously struck down the death penalty in Washington state, ruling that it violates the state constitution. The ruling makes Washington the latest state to do away with capital punishment, leaving 30 states in the United States that maintain the measure.

The court ordered that the eight people currently on death row in Washington should have their sentences converted to life in prison. Five justices on the state supreme court said the “death penalty is invalid because it is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner”.

“Given the manner in which it is imposed, the death penalty also fails to serve any legitimate penological goals,” the justices wrote. Four other justices on the bench, in a concurrence, wrote that while they agreed with the majority’s conclusions and invalidation of the death penalty, “additional state constitutional principles compel this result.”

The Trump Administration Carried Out Thousands More Family Separations Than Previously Acknowledged

More than a year after the Trump administration quietly began a program of separating migrant children from their families along the U.S.-Mexico border, the full number of people impacted remains unclear. According to a new report, however, the government’s own data indicates that the campaign was far more expansive — and far more destructive — than previously acknowledged.

Figures provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection detail the separation of 6,022 “family units” from April 19, 2018 to August 15, 2018, according to a report published by Amnesty International on Thursday. Noting that the term “family unit” has varying applications in the U.S. immigration enforcement world — sometimes referring to individuals in a family, and other times referring to family groups containing multiple people — Amnesty observes that even on the low end, the figure reflects the largest total ever disclosed by the border enforcement agency in the context of the family separation crisis.

Using available statistics from the last two years, Amnesty further reports that in 2017 and 2018, the Trump administration appears to have separated approximately 8,000 “family units” along the border. Even if half of the people referred to in that figure were parents, the remaining 4,000 children would dwarf the total number of kids commonly reported to have been impacted by the “zero tolerance” campaign — that total tends to hover between 2,500 to 3,000.

The numbers are admittedly murky, said Brian Griffey, the author of the Amnesty report. But that’s because the agency that provided them — CBP — refused to provide any clarification as to what, exactly, they reflected.



the horse race



Dianne Feinstein Finally Agrees to “Debate” Senate Challenger, While Ensuring Almost No One Watches It

Dianne Feinstein, the longtime California senator, has finally agreed to a share a stage with her Democratic opponent, state Sen. Kevin de León, in what will be her first appearance alongside a general election opponent in 18 years. But it certainly seems as though the front-runner has gone out of her way to make sure that as few people see the proceedings as humanly possible.

The event, sponsored by the Public Policy Institute of California, is set for Wednesday, October 17, at noon PDT. According to the Sacramento Bee, the discussion will be webcast by the policy institute. There’s no indication that any TV or radio outlet will be able to air it. The event is not yet listed on the institute’s events page, even though people who want to view it must register on its website. Every major media outlet in the state has offered to co-host a debate between the two Democrats before the November 6 election. Some representatives have even made personal appeals on Twitter to the candidates. Nevertheless, the debate will have no live TV component.

It will also not be a debate, but rather a “discussion.” The two candidates will share the same stage, but will not be allowed to engage with one another. ... Since the beginning of the campaign, de León has sought a game-changing event that would bring wider attention to the race. A “discussion” that takes places in the middle of the day and in the middle of the week — to be shown only on the web — may not do the trick.

Republican 'racist and bigoted' ads take aim at congressional candidates

Negative campaign advertisements are as familiar in US elections as door-knocking and yard signs. But as the 2018 midterm election campaign pulls into its homestretch, Republican attacks in two congressional races happening 3,000 miles apart have triggered alarm bells for targeting non-white candidates in an apparent effort to highlight their “otherness”.

The first comes from California’s 50th district, where Ammar Campa-Najjar is running as a Democrat for a seat currently occupied by the Republican Duncan Hunter. NBC’s Chuck Todd, a veteran political reporter and commentator called the spot “maybe the most shocking and outrageous political ad I’ve ever seen”, in a Meet The Press Daily segment. The ad zeroes in on Campa-Najjar’s heritage – his mother is Mexican American and his father is Palestinian – calling him a “Palestinian, Mexican, millennial Democrat” who is “working to infiltrate Congress” and a “security risk”.

The ad accuses Campa-Najjar of being supported by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood with no evidence, and despite the fact that Campa-Najjar is a Christian. “It’s just so interesting that we live in a world where Islamophobia even extends to non-Muslims,” Campa-Najjar told the Guardian. The rest of the ad is focused on trying to tie Campa-Najjar to his grandfather, Mohammed Najjar, who was a member of the Black September Organization which plotted the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre that killed 11 Israeli athletes and a German police officer. Campa-Najjar was born 16 years after his grandfather was killed by Israeli forces for his role in the attacks, but Hunter’s advert accused Campa-Najjar of changing his name to “hide his family’s ties to terrorism”.

'Definition of a Rigged System' as GOP Candidate for Georgia Governor Commits Massive Purge of Registered Voters

As Georgia's Democratic candidate for governor, Stacey Abrams, called for voters in her state to fight Republican efforts at voter suppression by showing up at polls in large numbers in next month's election, a national grassroots group reported Secretary of State Brian Kemp—also the GOP's gubernatorial candidate—to the Justice Department late Wednesday night for blatantly violating the Voting Rights Act in order to swing the upcoming election in his own favor.

The Democratic Coalition is among those that have expressed outrage over a massive voter purge in the state which has disproportionately affected black voters, just before residents prepare to choose between Abrams—who would be the country's first black female governor—and Kemp himself in the November 6 election. ...

An analysis by the Associated Press estimates that Kemp, whose office oversees the state's elections and voter registration, has purged 53,000 registrants from the rolls by exploiting a 2013 "exact match" rule that states voters' application forms must exactly match Georgia's existing state records for every resident. Seventy percent of those registrations now listed as "pending" as a result of the law, the AP found, belong to African-Americans. ...

On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Thursday, Abrams said she was "deeply worried" that many Georgia voters "will be disenfranchised in this election" — by the actions that Kemp has taken. ... The voter purge is just Kemp's latest attempt to disenfranchise voters in Georgia, Abrams added, noting that she led a lawsuit against him four years ago over the "exact match" law, forcing his to reinstate 33,000 canceled voter registrations. In August, as Common Dreams reported, the Randolph County Board of Elections rejected the state's proposal to close more than three-quarters of the majority-black county's polling places.





the evening greens


Monsanto: judge moves to allow new trial after $289m cancer verdict

A California judge has moved to grant the agrochemical company Monsanto a new trial after a landmark jury verdict found its herbicide had caused a man’s terminal cancer. Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a 46-year-old former groundskeeper, won a $289m award in August in a trial alleging that the popular Roundup weedkiller had made him sick and that Monsanto had failed to warn him of the risks.

Monsanto, now owned by Bayer, the German pharmaceutical company, immediately appealed the verdict, which included punitive damages and economic losses and also found that Monsanto had “acted with malice or oppression”. The San Francisco superior court judge Suzanne Bolanos cited the “insufficiency of the evidence to justify the award for punitive damages” in a tentative written ruling issued before a hearing on Wednesday. She is expected to make a final decision after attorneys submit additional arguments.

Monsanto sought to overturn the verdict and has continued to argue that it is safe to use glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide. Glyphosate-based products, including the Roundup and Ranger Pro brands, are now worth billions of dollars in revenues, approved for use on more than 100 crops, and registered in 130 countries. Timothy Litzenburg, one of the attorneys who represented Johnson in the trial, told the Guardian that regardless of the outcome, the original ruling would still have a long-term impact: “There’s been a loud and clear message.”

Keiser Report: Let’s Party! Planet’s Fate is Already Sealed

The biggest threat to Greenland’s glaciers lies deeper in the ocean than expected

This summer, a chunk of ice the size of lower Manhattan broke off of a glacier in Eastern Greenland. It contained 10 billion tons of ice, making the video of the event an insanely shareable capsule of climate change dread. But for NASA scientists, the spectacle created by these massive calving events is really just the final step in a far more worrisome — and less visible — process.

That's because glacial melt isn’t just the result of our planet’s warming air. The biggest threat to these glaciers’ continued existence resides deep below the water’s surface.

Unlike most other bodies of water, the ocean surrounding Greenland gets warmer with increasing depth. That’s because warm, salty currents from the Atlantic are heavier than fresh glacial water, so those currents end up on the bottom. And that’s what’s got scientists’ attention: our oceans absorb the heat trapped by greenhouse gases, so they’re getting warmer, and as they do, Greenland’s biggest, deepest glaciers are interacting with them — and melting at increasing speeds.

'Like an atomic bomb': Hurricane Michael leaves trail of devastation

A waning but still powerful Hurricane Michael was lashing the Carolinas on Thursday after one of the strongest storms ever to strike the United States claimed at least two lives and tore a trail of carnage through Florida and Georgia. Downgraded to a tropical storm, the cyclone that struck Florida’s Panhandle as a category 4 monster on Wednesday, with winds of 155mph, was dumping large quantities of rain on areas of South and North Carolina that are still recovering from the flooding of Hurricane Florence last month.

Daylight brought confirmation of Florida governor Rick Scott’s prediction that Michael, which inundated coastal towns with a storm surge of up to 14 feet from the Gulf of Mexico, would bring “unimaginable devastation”.

Television pictures showed that some residential waterfront communities had been obliterated. Street after street of houses and other buildings were ripped apart in Panama City, boats and warehouses in marinas were smashed into pieces, roofs were ripped from multiple structures in several other communities. Fallen trees and downed power lines were everywhere, with more than 900,000 homes and businesses without electricity in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and North and South Carolina, according to poweroutage.us.

“It looks like an atomic bomb had hit our city,” resident David Barnes told the Panama City News Herald. “Damage has been widespread.” In Mexico Beach, Florida, where Michael roared ashore at lunchtime on Wednesday with winds gusting to 175mph, there were reports that the small town of barely 1,000 was “just gone”.

Hurricane Michael Pummels Communities in Florida, a State Led by a Climate Change-Denying Governor



Also of Interest

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

Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, and the Rule of Pampered Princelings

Citizen-Led Truth Commission Seeks Justice For Survivors Of North Carolina Torture Flights

The Shaky Case That Russia Manipulated Social Media to Tip the 2016 Election

Don’t Call Nikki Haley a Moderate. She’s an Extremist on Israel, Iran, and Human Rights.

The Unusual Public Debate Arising From Cuba's Constitutional Reform

What Brazil’s Workers’ Party Needs to Do if It Hopes to Defeat Jair Bolsonaro’s Far-Right Coalition

WaPo Picks a Side in Maryland Race—the Side That’s Offering Billions to Amazon

This is the way world ends: will we soon see category 6 hurricanes?


A Little Night Music


Johnny Shines - Livin' In The White House

Johnny Shines - Till I Made My Tonsils Sore

Johnny Shines - Tennessee Woman Blues

Johnny Shines - Ain't Doin' No Good

Johnny Shines - Little Wolf

Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton - Evening Sun

Johnny Shines - I Don't Know

The Johnny Shines Blues Band - Hey, Hey

Johnny Shines Antones, Austin 1990 (starts around 11:00)



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Comments

WindDancer13's picture

There are a number of good suggestions in this article: Democrats, quit shooting yourselves in the foot

As a Republican, you might expect this to please me. It doesn't. I believe in a strong two-party system, and when one party is losing so spectacularly, it emboldens the other party to overreach and become a cartoon of itself, invoking awful things like -- I'm just spit-balling here -- child separation policies and trade wars.

Stop defending Hillary. Just stop it right now

There is no more useless, ineffective and boneheaded decision liberals have made since Trump won than defending -- to the death! -- Hillary Clinton.

For one, she was a terrible candidate; it's OK to admit that. For another, she polarized the country and half of us despise her. Pick a more strategic Joan of Arc. And lastly, she managed to lose to Donald Trump. And yet you want us to believe she still has important things to say?

Edit: As usual, I forget to say Thank You for the news and have to edit. So, Thank you for the news, Joe. Always an important part of my day.

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18 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

divineorder's picture

@WindDancer13
...

Hi WD13. Your comment reminded me of an organization I came across earlier today that calls for uniting conservatives and the left over the issue of political corruption.

I really can't vouch for them as just learned about them today but looks interesting.
Maybe joe or someone else knows of them?

https://represent.us/about/

Represent.US

We bring together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass powerful anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money, and fix our broken elections.

How We Win

RepresentUs members aren’t waiting for Congress to fix corruption – we’re doing it ourselves by passing Anti-Corruption Acts in cities and states across America.

Our members win because they work across the political spectrum to build power in their communities.

Conservatives and progressives worked together to pass America’s first citywide Anti-Corruption Act in Tallahassee, Florida in 2014, and in 2016, RepresentUs members passed the first statewide Act in South Dakota (learn more). Now, voters have passed more than 75 Anti-Corruption Acts and Resolutions across America.

The full vid on youtube has great educational graphics, shows their strategy of working locally/state levels across the country was done with women vote, marriage equality and others finally led to a federal law being passed after all the local ones.

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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.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

i've heard about represent.us because it is something that larry lessig participated in and talked about a while ago. here is the wikipedia entry for them. i ran across this piece suggesting that lessig has "distanced himself" from them.

btw, if you are googling about them, you will probably run into prominent entities from a group called "influence watch" (probably intended to appear to be in the mold of sourcewatch (a creation of the center for media and democracy - and a valuable website chock-full of good info). influence watch is a project of the "capital research center" which is apparently a right-wing operation which features the ed meese (the pig that was reagan's attorney general) on its board of trustees along with a bunch of other right-wing turds.

influence watch's materials probably require extra scrutiny for an unpleasant bias.

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divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack

Wonder if his knows his name is still listed on the board?

Caitlin had talked about alliances with conservatives on issues. If true, looks like headway had been made, but really would have to look at the individual laws passed and proposed. Again, thanks for the info!
....
Really feel for all the earthlings impacted by the hurricane.

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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.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@divineorder

Becker, and a BFF of Meghan McCain--whom I don't care for, anymore than I did her Father.

I agree that Cupp made a few good points in her piece. But, in a nutshell, my impression is that she's a mainstream business conservative/corporatist neoliberal, who's jumped onto the anti-DT train along with Bill Kristol and George Will. (I figure that's why she recently got a new gig on CNN.)

IOW, she doesn't strike me as a 'reformer.' Unless you consider going back to the status quo, as one and the same. My impression is that Cupp's very upset because 'tradewise' the globalist New World Order has gone off track (under DT). (Full disclosure--I listened to a couple of her shows, out of curiosity. Wink )

Now, I would say that she's somewhat of a libertarian on social/identity politics/wedge issues; so, in that respect, she's probably similar to a corporatist Dem.

Hey, have a good one!

Blue Onyx

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

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"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)

WindDancer13's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

because I accept one part of what a person says or does, it does not mean that I have to accept the person as a whole or anything else that person may say or do. I even take my own thinking with a grain of salt. = )

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5 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@WindDancer13

I'd never heard of Cupp, even though, apparently, she's been on several networks over the past few years. So, I did a bit of checking out her background, and, listened to her new CNN show (a bit). It was during her conversation with other CNN talking heads, that I gleaned that she's one of McCain's BFF. (Her July wedding was secret/private/small, but, Cupp was in attendance.) Anyhoo, just threw it in the mix, as food for thought. It's sorta my habit--and, maybe a bad one--to check out the background of writers/talking heads, etc., who surface, if I know nothing about them.

Pleasantry

Blue Onyx

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

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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)

WindDancer13's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

before. She was on the Bill Maher show a couple of weeks ago (could be longer, I do not remember the date the episode was taped). She actually made some comments that sounded rather sane. I went and found it:

I have gotten some very nasty comments when I said that HRC would have done the same things as Trump, only quieter. Cupp got booed.

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4 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@WindDancer13 @WindDancer13

have to give Cupp credit for having the gumption to stand up to FSC-apologist Maher. Wink Also, kudos to her for not voting for either DT or FSC. Took some nerve to say it, considering the audience.

Blue Onyx

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

up
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)

WindDancer13's picture

@divineorder
need to take matters into their own hands, rather like they are doing with marijuana laws. While this organization is headed in the right direction (as far as I can tell so far), it is one more remove from where the responsibility for change belongs...to the people of each state, local communities and communes.

First step for any and all states is getting in governors that are beholden to the people of that state. Period.

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3 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

enhydra lutris's picture

@WindDancer13
party than a resurgent democratic party wing of the GOP. Every time one turns around there is Hillary and it's sick. If she weren't such an ogre, it would be pitiable, and yet they want her to be the face and voice of the party. They'll deserve everything that comes from that stupid choice.

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8 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 --

WindDancer13's picture

@enhydra lutris

I am thinking that it really would be interesting to have HRC win and put that whole "the President cannot be indicted" thing behind why K was nominated pass and then put to the test. = ) As K said, "What goes around, comes around."

But I really, really would prefer she retire to somewhere far, far away....maybe another galaxy would do.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

joe shikspack's picture

@WindDancer13

heh, shorter s.e. cupp: "wake up democrats, you're destroying the illusion that there's a dime's worth of difference between the two major parties! we can't continue to bamboozle the public if you guys continue being such obvious tools. we republicans need somebody to play against."

thanks for the link!

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WindDancer13's picture

@joe shikspack

It would save me hours of reading, kind of my c99 Cliff Notes. LOL

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4 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

joe shikspack's picture

@WindDancer13

i'll be happy to do it, but i fear that my cynicism may limit the utility of my interpretations to someone with actual hope that the system has the potential for reform over the relative short-term (say, perhaps for example, in time to respond to climate change). Smile

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WindDancer13's picture

@joe shikspack

to climate change. I like cynicism and sarcasm, but I have a huge place in my heart for irony.

Something that has been rattling around in my head for days: We already have a third party in the US. They are called Independents. For now, they are having to lean with one of the more established sides of the coin, but with enough of them in Congress, etc, they could eventually form an actual second party (the Dems will slide in next to the Rs where they belong, except of course any of them who are willing to cut the corporate purse strings) in the US while other third parties have a time to develop in local and state slots. So, for now, I think we need to get behind the Independents and encourage others to run as such. I thought about doing an essay on this but . . .well, time constraints.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

WindDancer13's picture

I have recommended here may times: Taylor Caldwell's 1976 Captains and the Kings.

Partial synopsis found here

In this work, Caldwell takes on the global power brokers. Running through the story line is a description of the way the international financiers and industrialists (all private consortiums owned by an elite of the world's richest families and persons) hijack governments around the globe; instigating wars and gaining control over the warring countries through manipulation of the enormous debts incurred during a war.

The book is available to borrow from Open Library

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9 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

@WindDancer13 @WindDancer13 "The Appeal".
I think I got it out of the free book bin at a community yard sale a couple of years ago, forgot I even had it.
A Mississippi jury award locals a punitive award in a wrongful death suit which claimed an industry poisoned their water.
The industry resembles a Koch industry, as does it's CEO. An appeal was filed.
The appellate court had a "liberal" swing vote judge.
Elections were occurring prior to filing and oral argument.
What's a billionaire to do?
The bulk of the book is devoted to super pacs, polling, real and dummy candidates, black mail, false ads, paid handlers, secret deals, publicity from set up stunts, diverting the problem of the issue on appeal to things liberals and conservatives fight over: guns, Bible, gay marriage, anything but the oligarch remaining rich.
The book is for breezy skimming until the final section: "The Opinion".
Every word of that needs to sink in.
Money and power not only corrupts judges, it makes killing poor and powerless people justifiable to those selected by the oligarchs.
With Kavanaugh just being sworn in, the circus, and the intent to seat a judge who will swing to vote however the oligarchy wishes, the book was prescient, a clear and concise description of the democracy we believe we have, and democracy we will never, ever be allowed to have without a revolution.
"The Appeal". John Grisham. Very short, quick read.

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WindDancer13's picture

@on the cusp

As soon as I finish this 14-book series I am currently reading (trying to do one last read of my library so I can get rid of tons of books to make it easier to move).

Now that they have K there, SCOTUS has already rammed through a bunch of rulings to make Rs ecstatic, and it has been less than a week *sigh*. At this rate, he can retire in six months as there won't be any more rights to overturn.

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5 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

Amanda Matthews's picture

Jamal Khashoggi ever stepped foot in the Saudi Embassy in the first place. If he had to hightail it to Turkey because he had upset MBS & Co., why did he think he could just walk in and receive the documents he wanted?

If we knew of a plot to capture the guy then yeah, we should have warned him. But I have s sneaking suspicion that he knew that anyway.

What did they do to the guy that it took 15 people to carry it off?

So bizarre. From every angle.

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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

@Amanda Matthews

why he walked of his own free will into a saudi embassy is a great question.

in my reading this week (i can't remember where i read this) i read that he had prior to going in asked around among friends whom he felt were in a position to know the intentions of the saudi leadership if it was safe to go into the embassy and apparently he was satisfied that mbs' vendetta against him was not a problem.

oops.

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snoopydawg's picture

The court filing was written in response to a civil lawsuit brought against the Trump campaign by two of Hillary Clinton’s donors and a former employee of the Democratic party

.

Do they have standing to sue? People who sued the DNC didn't have standing to sue the first time around. BTW. The contents of the emails still haven't been discussed by the media. They showed how Hillary and the DNC rigged the primary because she couldn't win on her own merits..

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

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

wow. that t-shirt thing is kinda mind-boggling. sometimes the stupid is just beyond prior imagination.

the standing question is a good one. i am guessing that trump's lawyers would have surely made some attempt to have the case thrown out for lack of standing, so it would be interesting to see more detail about the case. i would be interested to see what particular injury they were claiming and how it was that trump's actions precipitated their injury.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

with DT on Twitter. Too tired tonight to post the transcript of DT's famous quote, "Russia, if you're listening . . ." but, I'll try to get to it before the midterms. I have both the written transcript, and the video clip.

Got this RT to my account--from an American lefty who's teaching ESL in Thailand, Singapore, or somewhere over there! Biggrin --which is, I'm 'guessing,' a RT from one of DT fervent supporters. For a change, it happens to be correct.

Here's FSC's original Tweet, in case it didn't show up in Koenck's reply (above),

We're actually going to see a little bit cooler weather. It will be a relief, for sure.

Thanks for tonight's EB, Joe. Everyone have a nice evening!

Bye

Blue Onyx

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

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"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

wow, hillary really enjoys participating in the donald trump distractathon. maybe if the 2016 election could finally be over, teevee, newspapers and tweeters could all start talking about how awful trump's policies are and how they are harming people and the environment.

nah, that's too boring. bring on the rock 'em sock 'em robots! Smile

it's supposed to cool off here starting friday. i can't wait. i hope that you get some pleasant cool on you, too.

i hope that all is well after the storm. have a good one!

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enhydra lutris's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
snrk because none of them have a sense of humor.

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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 --

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@enhydra lutris @enhydra lutris

"accidentally on purpose," as they say.

Biggrin

Blue Onyx

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

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5 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)

snoopydawg's picture

@enhydra lutris

after she was told by congress to turn all of them into them. That she got away with it is just one more way she thought she was above the law.

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

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@snoopydawg

Charlie's (finally) beginning to realize the benefit of taking the Glucosamine supplements!

Pleasantry

Blue Onyx

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

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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)

enhydra lutris's picture

suit is hilarious. It is clearly right as to Wikileaks, regardless of who obtained the e-mails and how ("stolen by Russian hackers" includes two unproven assumptions.) The argument from "significant public concern" is a gas too. I'd really love to see this get litigated, publicly, but I doubt it will be.

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11 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

i'm hoping that we get to see more details of the suit as time goes on. i'm guessing that it should be pretty amusing.

have a good one!

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

that made me chuckle,

Biggrin

Blue Onyx

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

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"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)

typical

Dems are entitled to your vote

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joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

of course they are. how else are they going to steer the conversation away from the dems failure to do anything for the 99%?

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snoopydawg's picture

@gjohnsit

It’s not as if they have Jamal Kashoggi’s et al blood on their hands.

He's right though isn't he? Hillary not being president has nothing to do with Kashgoggi's death. I still don't understand why people are so upset about this one guy's death when a lot of Americans died today because they didn't have health insurance, lots of Yemen children died today because they starved to death, others died because someone dropped an American bomb on them or the countless other deaths that could have been prevented. Just don't get it.

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

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@snoopydawg

on the ME beat, which makes it likely a certain government Agency had taken a personal interest in him.

Those guys like to take care of their own.

Know what I mean?

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5 users have voted.

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

dervish's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger I wouldn't bet on MbS' survival for much more than a week or three, he's got no safe haven now, and he's become a liability to pretty much everyone I can think of. He'll be replaced for the greater glory of the Empire.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@dervish

to a nicer guy.

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3 users have voted.

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

dervish's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger

@mujtahidd

Word has it that he's an insider, and he has a long record of veracity.

If you click on the tweets, I believe that there's a translate function.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

OzoneTom's picture

@dervish
From your lips to Karma's ear.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@gjohnsit

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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 --

lotlizard's picture

Bavaria state election, October 14
34 % CSU – Christian Social Union; allies of chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU
19     Greens
12     SPD – Social Democrats
10     AfD – Alternative for Germany; right-wing populists
10     Free Voters of Bavaria
  5.5  FDP – Free Democrats, laissez-faire-economics party; “liberals” (European terminology)
  4     Left Party (winning no seats because below 5 percent cutoff)
  5.5  other small parties winning no seats
——
Source (FG Wahlen poll released Oct. 11):
http://www.wahlrecht.de/umfragen/landtage/index.htm

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@lotlizard
is epic.
Will anything replace them on the left?

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@gjohnsit
...newly naturalized immigrants.

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mimi's picture

@Pluto's Republic
Immigrants in Germany that have been granted asylum, or just the ones, who came to study and work in Germany regularly, don't get German citizenship as easily as immigrants to the US can become US citizens.

May be I am mistaken about what you tried to say. Who of the immigrants to Germany can vote?

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dervish's picture

@gjohnsit between CSU and the Greens. CSU might be the most leftward right-wing party in Europe, they're straight up neo-liberals, and have essentially stolen SPD's spot on the spectrum.

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2 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

lotlizard's picture

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/michelle-obama-george-w-bush-john-m...

German public TV news editors, are you paying attention? This is the kind of U.S. political trivia you like. And since you gave such prominent play to Bellingcat as a source:

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/skripals-bellingcat-gru-novichok-an...

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