The Evening Blues - 10-15-18



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features The Mother of the Blues, Gertrude "Ma" Rainey. Enjoy!



Ma Rainey - "Ma" Rainey's Black Bottom

“And what sort of lives do these people, who pose as being moral, lead themselves? My dear fellow, you forget that we are in the native land of the hypocrite.”

-- Oscar Wilde


News and Opinion


The Washington Post, as it Shames Others, Continues to Pay and Publish Undisclosed Saudi Lobbyists and Other Regime Propagandists

In the wake of of the disappearance and likely murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, some of the most fervent and righteous voices demanding that others sever their ties with the Saudi regime have, understandably, come from his colleagues at that paper. “Why do you work for a murderer?,” asked the Post’s long-time Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt, addressing unnamed hypothetical Washington luminaries who continue to take money to do work for the despots in Riyadh, particularly Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, or “MbS” as he has been affectionately known in the western press.

Hiatt urged these hypothetical figures to engage in serious self-reflection: “Can I possibly work for such a regime, and still look at myself in the mirror each morning?” That, said Hiatt, “is the question that we, as a nation, must ask ourselves now.” But to find those for whom this question is directly relevant, Hiatt need not invoke his imagination or resort to hypotheticals. He can instead look to a place far more concrete and proximate: his own staff. Because it is there – on the roster of the Washington Post’s own columnists and Contributing Writers – that one can find, still, those who maintain among the closest links to the Saudi regime and have the longest and most shameful history of propagandizing on their behalf.

Carter Eskew is a former top-level adviser to Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign and a Founder and Managing Director of Glover Park Group which, according to the Post’s own reporting, is one of the Saudi regime’s largest lobbyists. Glover Park, says the Post, has “remained silent amid growing public outrage over reports that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate.” Indeed, as the New York Times reported this week, Eskew’s firm, “which was started by former Clinton administration officials,” is the second-most active lobbying firm for the Saudi regime, “being paid $150,000 a month.” In addition to his work as a Managing Director in one of the Saudi regime’s most devoted lobbying firms, Eskew is also a Contributing Opinion Writer at the Washington Post. His last column was published just three days ago, on October 12 – ten days after Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey, and the same day that Eskew’s editor, Hiatt, published his righteous column demanding to know how anyone with a conscience could maintain ties to the Saudi regime (raising a separate but equally important ethical quandary, Eskew’s last Post column was an attack on “Medicare for All,” even though Glover Park clients include corporations with direct financial interests in that debate, none of which was disclosed by the Post). ...

Even more awkward for the Post is that – with the possible exception of Tom Friedman – the most influential media figure who devoted himself to depicting MbS as a noble reformer was the Post’s star foreign affairs columnist, David Ignatius. Ignatius has built his career on cultivating an extremely close relationship to the CIA, whose agenda he typically parrots and rarely contradicts. It is not at all surprising that Ignatius would be a devoted propagandist to the Saudi regime, for decades one of that agency’s most cherished allies and partners. ... But in light of Khashoggi’s disappearance and the Post’s new posture toward the Saudis, it is two recent columns by Ignatius – touting MbS as an admirable reformer – that are now causing substantial embarrassment for the Post’s attempts to moralize on this issue. The first, published in April of 2017, was headlined “A Young Prince is Reimagining Saudi Arabia” and assured Post readers that MbS’s “reform plans appear to be moving ahead slowly but steadily.” The second one, from March of this year, is even worse, as reflected by its headlined: “Are Saudi Arabia’s reforms for real? A recent visit says yes.” ...

Then there is the even more uncomfortable fact that the Post’s owner, Jeff Bezos, played host to MbS during his star-making trip to the U.S. this spring, and was photographed laughing it up with the Saudi tyrant. ... Much has been made of the glaring and truly infuriating hypocrisy that so many western elites were perfectly happy doing all sorts of business with Saudi tyrants while they murdered Yemeni civilians and domestic dissidents en masse (with the direct help of numerous administrations from both parties, led by Trump’s predecessor), and only became outraged once one of the Saudis’ victims was someone with whom they empathized. And all of that is true enough. But the Washington Post’s particular righteous fury as expressed in words, while understandable in one sense, is very difficult to reconcile with their actual actions, including their ongoing relationship with numerous individuals who either work directly for the Saudi regime, financially benefit from propaganda and lobbying work performed on their behalf, or have a history of taking the lead in doing P.R. work for Saudi tyrants under the guise of journalism.

Chris Hedges: Corporate Totalitarianism: The End Game

Saudi Media Casts Khashoggi Disappearance as a Conspiracy, Claims Qatar Owns Washington Post

In Saudi Arabia, major media outlets have cast the disappearance and apparent murder of Saudi dissident and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a foreign conspiracy to denigrate the image of the kingdom. The media accounts, which come from outlets run with the backing of Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf monarchies, are spinning the coverage of Khashoggi’s disappearance as a plot by rival governments and political groups to hurt the kingdom — going so far as to make false claims about the Washington Post’s owners.

The English-language arm of the news channel Al Arabiya, for instance, claimed that reports of Khashoggi’s detention inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul were pushed by “media outlets affiliated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar” — the pan-Arab Islamist political movement and rival Persian Gulf monarchy, respectively. A subsequent story on Al Arabiya casts doubt that Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, is truly who she says she is, claiming that her Twitter profile shows that she follows “critics of Saudi Arabia.”

Al Arabiya is owned by the Saudi royal family and based in Dubai, one of the Gulf monarchies that has sided closely with Saudi Arabia amid the regional row with Qatar and others. It’s among a handful of other Saudi- and Gulf-controlled outlets — such as Al Riyadh Daily, Al-Hayat, and the Saudi Gazette — that toe their governments’ line, including frequently casting a conspiratorial light on critics of the governments’ human rights records. In recent months, as tensions have boiled over with Qatar, Saudi Arabia is increasingly scapegoating its Persian Gulf adversary. Recent news articles in Al Arabiya blamed Qatar for Saudi Arabia’s brutal war in Yemen against Houthi militia forces, a conflict that has killed over 15,000 people and brought at least 7 million to the brink of starvation.

With a public relations crisis erupting over Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in Khashoggi’s disappearance, these Gulf-linked outlets are kicking into overdrive to both deny any Saudi involvement and disparage Khashoggi.

'You Couldn't Make This Up': A Bunch of Mops, Cleaners, and Trash Bags Delivered to Saudi Consulate Ahead of Khashoggi Murder Probe

What does it say about the credibility of an investigation when a cleaning crew fully equipped with boxes of chemicals, mops, trash bags, and... milk arrives at the scene of the alleged crime right before the probe begins?

At around the same time Saudi King Salman insisted in a Monday morning phone call with U.S. President Donald Trump that his regime had nothing to do with the disappearance and alleged murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi—a denial Trump dutifully echoed to reporters while suggesting that perhaps "rogue killers" were behind the gruesome crime—video cameras captured a team of cleaners hauling several buckets of mops, two large cases of trash bags, Dixi cleaning solution, another carton of what appears to be bleach, and two cases of Pinar milk through the front door of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul.

The cleaning crew was seen entering the consulate shortly before Turkish investigators were set to arrive to carry out an "inspection" in search of additional evidence of who was behind the disappearance of Khashoggi, a frequent critic of the Saudi royal family.


If the Saudis were concerned about the optics of a well-prepared cleaning crew arriving on the scene of an alleged murder just moments before the start of an investigation that is being closely watched by the international community, they did not show it—the crew walked in the front entrance of the consulate in full view of Reuters and Associated Press cameras and journalists.

Independent reporter Borzou Daragahi joked in a tweet that "the way to preserve the integrity of a possible crime scene and bolster confidence in the investigation is to bring in a bunch of cleaners through the front door before the detectives arrive."

Saudi Arabia: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Saudi Arabia cannot believe it is getting this much blowback over an assassination

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wanted to be seen as a reformer, the man who transformed the repressive Saudi regime into a modern, outward-looking state. Yet the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, allegedly murdered by Saudi assassins on orders from the Kingdom, has decimated the image revamp. And with stock prices plummeting, threats of U.S. sanctions and Western businesses looking for distance, the blowback for Saudi Arabia could be devastating. ...

In an interview with “60 Minutes” broadcast Sunday, President Donald Trump warned of “severe punishment” if the Saudis were responsible for Khashoggi's reported death, while a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers last week raised the possibility of halting arms sales to the Kingdom pending an investigation.

Riyadh hit back Sunday, warning the U.S. that any sanctions would lead to swift and severe reprisals. In a op-ed published Sunday, Turki Aldakhil, general manager of the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news channel, warned Washington that any sanctions on Riyadh would “stab” the U.S. economy. Aldakhil said the regime would spike oil prices to $200 a barrel, let the Russian military establish a base in the city of Tabuk, and even push Saudi Arabia to forge closer ties with its enemy Iran. ...

Trump responded Monday, saying the King of Saudi Arabia “denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened” to Khashoggi. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was being dispatched to Saudi Arabia “to meet with King!” Trump added. Trump later told reporters it could have been “rogue killers” responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance. ...

Any decision to kill Khashoggi by the Saudis was likely a “miscalculation,” according to Dr. Sanam Vakil, a senior consulting research fellow in the Middle East and North Africa Programme at U.K.-based think tank Chatham House. “I don't think they expected such an international reaction, which says a lot about [Prince Mohammed’s] level of understanding of the red line in the international community,” Vakil told VICE News.

How much damage can Saudi Arabia do to the global economy?

Saudi Arabia enjoys a privileged position both in geopolitical and economic terms. It will have a powerful hand to play if tensions with the US and the west escalate and it follows through with Sunday’s warning of retaliation. Its vast oil reserves – it claims to have about 260bn barrels still to extract – afford the most obvious advantage. The kingdom is the world’s largest oil exporter, pumping or shipping about 7m barrels a day, and giving Riyadh huge clout in the global economy because it wields power to push up prices.

An editorial in Arab News by Turki Aldhakhil, the general manager of the official Saudi news channel, Al Arabiya, offers a hint of what could be in the offing. He said Riyadh was weighing up 30 measures designed to put pressure on the US if it were to impose sanctions over the disappearance and presumed murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside the country’s Istanbul consulate. These would include an oil production cut that could drive prices from around $80 (£60) a barrel to more than $400, more than double the all-time high of $147.27 reached in 2008. This would have profound consequences globally, not just because motorists would pay more at the petrol pump, but because it would force up the cost of all goods that travel by road.

Saudi Arabia also supports thousands of US jobs via its arms purchases. It is the world’s second-largest arms importer after India and 61% of those imports come from the US. It was the US’s biggest arms customer last year, signing $17.5bn worth of deals, a trend that looks set to continue after Donald Trump signed a $110bn defence agreement in Riyadh last year. The alliance stands to benefit US employers such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Electric and ExxonMobil. Some of the firms are reported to have expressed concern to Trump already about the impact that a freeze in Saudi-US relations might have. Riyadh could, for example, simply switch its purchases to other major arms exporters such as Russia and China.

Trump’s trip to the Arabian peninsula last year also yielded an agreement that the kingdom’s Public Investment Fund, which manages its vast oil wealth, would invest in US infrastructure programmes. The PIF is to stump up $20bn of a $40bn pot overseen by the global asset manager Blackstone. The fund, however, has yet to gather any serious momentum.


Angela Merkel’s 18-year reign could be coming to an end

The grand coalition government headed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel is once again on the brink of collapse after two of its three parties suffered brutal election losses in the state of Bavaria. The Christian Social Union dropped 10 points in Sunday’s vote to lose its overall majority for just the second time since taking power in the 1960s. Another one of Merkel’s coalition partners, the Social Democrats, also dropped to less than 10 percent of the vote — or half their former support — during the Bavarian state elections.

The results mean that the fragile coalition between the Christian Social Union, Social Democrats, and Merkel’s Christian Democrats now hangs in the balance and could face even more uncertainty later this month when voters go to the polls on Oct. 28 in central Hesse state, home to the financial hub Frankfurt. Opinion polls say Merkel’s ally Volker Bouffier will face an uphill battle to stay on as the state’s premier. German daily Die Welt has labeled the Hesse vote the “litmus test” for Merkel ahead of her party’s annual conference in December where she will be seeking re-election.

“Merkel's future could be decided in Hesse,” according to the newspaper, “because a loss there would imperil her re-election at the party congress.”


Lorde concert boycott: New Zealanders fined by Israel raise thousands for Gaza

Two New Zealand women who were ordered to pay damages by an Israeli court for their role in Lorde cancelling a Tel Aviv concert have raised the sum through donations – but plan to give the money to the Gaza Mental Health Foundation instead. Last week an Israeli court ruled Justine Sachs and Nadia Abu-Shanab of New Zealand must pay damages to Israeli teenagers Shoshana Steinbach, Ayelet Wertzel and Ahuva Frogel totalling more than NZ$18,000 ($11,700) for writing a letter urging Lorde to cancel her gig, which she did.

The court found the two New Zealand women damaged the “artistic welfare” of the three Israeli teenagers, and perpetrated “damage to their good name as Israelis and Jews”. Sachs and Abu-Shanab said in the hours following the ruling they were inundated with offers of financial assistance from around the world, intended to help the two young women pay the fine.

But Sachs and Abu-Shanab have said they have no intention of doing so, and have been advised by legal experts there is little chance of Israel having the recourse to force them, because they were not in Israel when they penned the open letter and did not participate in the court case in any way. ... “We will not be paying the court-ordered amount,” Sachs, who is Israeli, and Abu-Shanab, a Palestinian, said in a statement. “Instead, we would like to redirect the support extended to us back to Palestinians in need of mental health support.”

Vatican Canonizes Salvadoran Archbishop Óscar Romero, Who Was Killed by a U.S.- backed Death Squad

Military Officials Aren’t Supposed to Associate With Hate Groups. So Why Are These Generals Speaking at Frank Gaffney’s Confab?

Over the past decade, the Center for Security Policy has emerged as one of the most notoriously bigoted and conspiratorial think tanks in Washington, D.C. Under its founder and president, Frank Gaffney, the organization regularly found itself in the news for promoting anti-Muslim conspiracies — including farcically paranoid ones. Yet, unlike similar organizations that remain on the political fringes, the Center for Security Policy is remarkably close to the halls of power — not just to President Donald Trump, for whom Gaffney was an informal adviser during the campaign, but also to the traditional power brokers of the defense establishment.

That closeness will be put on display in Virginia on October 17, when the Center for Security Policy will be co-hosting a symposium on “asymmetric threats.” Organized with the Institute for the Study of War, the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, and the government contractor CACI International (whose employees have been accused of detainee torture in Iraq), the confab includes scheduled speakers who are high-ranking officials in several branches of the military. The presence of those government officials is raising eyebrows.

“Frankly speaking, this is a hate group,” said James Zogby, president of the public policy research group the Arab American Institute, in reference to the Center for Security Policy. “Its activities have been documented for years and are well-known, but under this administration, it is making a comeback.”

In addition to Gaffney himself, the list of scheduled speakers includes a number of high-ranking active duty military officials. The anticipated participation of four active duty lieutenant generals — the Air Force’s VeraLinn “Dash” Jamieson and David. D. Thompson, Daniel J. O’Donohue of the Marine Corps, and Michael K. Nagata of the Army — at an event sponsored by Gaffney’s group might stand in contrast to the equal opportunity manuals issued by each of their respective service branches. ...

The Center For Security Policy’s recent history is littered with calls for religious discrimination; officials, right up through its executives, routinely stoke hate against Muslims. A 2010 CSP report described sharia, Muslim religious code, as “an alien legal system hostile to and in contravention of the U.S. Constitution,” and CSP Vice President Clare Lopez claimed in a 2013 speech that “when Muslims follow their doctrine, they become jihadists.” Gaffney, for his part, has explicitly called for the persecution of observant Muslims, saying in a 2011 interview that that those who follow Islamic religious code are practicing “an impermissible act of sedition, which has to be prosecuted under our Constitution.” ... CSP’s track record of promoting conspiracy theories and advocating various forms of discrimination against practicing Muslims appears to fall squarely within the military’s definitions of the sort of “extremist group” with which active duty member of the military are forbidden from associating.

Trump Admin. Hints It May Resume Family Separation at Border; ACLU Says “Public Outcry is Critical”

Cuomo calls for FBI and New York hate crime investigation into Proud Boys violence

The New York Police Department is looking for three “persons of interest” who were caught on camera beating people and shouting homophobic slurs following an appearance by Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes at the Metropolitan Republican Club Friday evening.

“The NYPD is fully investigating last night’s attack involving the Proud Boys. If you know anything, the NYPD wants your help,” New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said in a statement. “Hate is never welcome in NYC, and we will punish those responsible — whether they threw punches or incited violence — to the fullest extent of the law.”

McInnes’ appearance was met by crowds of anti-fascist protesters, who clashed with Proud Boys on the Upper East Side of Manhattan after the event. A couple dozen Proud Boys – many clad in their trademark black Fred Perry shirts and red MAGA hats —– roamed the streets after McInnes’ speech, picking fights with protesters, and at points chanting “I like beer” in an apparent reference to Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s defense against charges of binge-drinking and sexual assault. The Proud Boys were also seen pummeling one man while he was on the ground, calling him a “faggot.” In another video, they were heard bragging about kicking a “foreigner” in the head.

The NYPD was initially criticized for its handling of the incident, because only three people were arrested – all of whom were anti-fascist protesters.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement on Sunday that he’d asked the State Police hate crimes unit and the FBI to look into the brawl, which resulted in the arrest of three anti-racist protesters.

Chief justice asks federal appeals court judges to handle ethics complaints against Kavanaugh

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is reportedly referring ethics complaints brought against Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado. ...

Roberts reportedly made the request in a letter sent to the chief judge of the 10th Circuit, Timothy Tymkovich, who was also on the list of President Trump’s possible Supreme Court nominees, along with Kavanaugh and Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

According to the news service, Roberts received three complaints on Sept. 20, just days before Kavanaugh’s combative testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, in which he vehemently denied allegations of sexual assault brought by Christine Blasey Ford and other accusers.

Roberts reportedly made no action on the complaints, which eventually totaled 15, while Kavanaugh’s confirmation was pending.


Republicans join far-right figures at Montana anti-government event

At a conference in Whitefish, Montana, on Saturday Ammon Bundy, a leader of a group which occupied federal land in 2016, shared a stage with Republican politicians, campaigners against Indian treaty rights and other rightwing groups. The event, A New Code of the West, was hosted by The West is Our West, a group created in 2016 that has opposed environmentalism and federal land management. The conference attracted around 100 people from five western states.

Speakers addressed the issue of public lands, the administration of which by the federal government they see as constitutionally illegitimate, a belief at odds with most constitutional scholars and supreme court decisions. Speakers also evinced hostility to the news media and the federal government. Some expressed conspiratorial beliefs. ...

In a wide-ranging presentation, the Republican Washington state legislator Matt Shea connected the Council of American Islamic Relations to Hamas; said a mosque in Spokane was owned by the Muslim Brotherhood; characterized the grassroots progressive organization Indivisible as communist; and demanded the management of public lands be “transferred back to the states”. Shea once said journalists were “dirty, godless, hateful people”. ...

A Montana state legislator, Kerry White, appeared on a panel featuring Dan Happel, who uses his radio show, Connecting the Dots, to promote the “Agenda 21” conspiracy theory, which holds that the United Nations environmental initiative is a tool to establish world government. White claimed increased wildfires in the west were caused by reduced forestry, not climate change.

The Montana Human Rights Network (MHRN) characterized the conference as a platform for “anti-government extremism and anti-Indian bigotry”. It helped organize a protest a mile from the conference venue, in a park in downtown Whitefish. Around 300 people attended.

Ford wants Detroit's school money to build itself a nice building.

Ford demands millions from taxpayers to rehab icon of Detroit's blight

For three decades, the 18-story, beaux arts Michigan Central Station sat vacant on downtown Detroit’s edge, a hulking, decaying symbol of the economic struggles in the city around it. Today, as greater downtown rebounds, it’s one of the last vestiges of an era the city is trying to put behind it. But that’s likely to change. In May, the Dearborn-based automaker Ford announced plans to spend $740m on a new 1.2m sq ft autonomous vehicle campus of which a rehab of the 105-year-old train station is the centerpiece. One problem: it wants taxpayers to cover $239m of the $740m price tag.

The public would do so with a package of tax incentives pulling money from the city, state, county and local schools. On Tuesday, the Detroit city council will consider $103m in incentives that would come from the city, and, ahead of the vote, Ford is insisting the project isn’t financially feasible without public assistance.

[Oh looky, Ford is to become Detroit's biggest welfare queen! - js]

However, there’s debate over whether a city that emerged from bankruptcy just three years ago and only has $169m in its unassigned fund balance should approve a lucrative tax deal for a multinational corporation with nearly $17bn on hand. The council president pro tem, Mary Sheffield, called parts of the package “excessive”, while a range of residents and community groups are vocally opposed. “In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have these incentives at all, but that’s not our political reality in Detroit,” said Linda Campbell of Equitable Detroit, a group pushing for a stronger community benefits agreement for the deal. She called the $10m community benefits agreement Ford is offering “meager”.



the horse race



An interesting article, worth a full read:

Nearly Every Member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Still Takes Corporate PAC Money

In April, the Congressional Progressive Caucus announced that it was going to be drawing a line: Its political action committee would no longer accept corporate campaign donations. “If we are going to end the influence of corporations and special interests in government, we have to start by not relying on their support,” said caucus co-chair Mark Pocan, D-Wis. “Only by being fully independent of their financial influence can we prioritize people over corporations.”

The development was largely ignored by the press, but for those who heard about it, the move raised an immediate question: Wait, the Congressional Progressive Caucus was taking corporate money?

Yes, it was. And not only did the Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC accept corporate contributions until recently, but also, almost all of its 78 members — including Pocan — still take corporate money individually, even as their caucus shuns it. Just four caucus members who will be returning to the House next session have pledged to decline corporate funds: Reps. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash.; Ro Khanna, D-Calif.; Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii; and David Cicilline, D-R.I. That number, however, is about to balloon to as many as 40 or more, as a wave of successful progressive insurgents — including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jahana Hayes, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar — are poised to join the House of Representatives.

The new push to go cold turkey on corporate cash is creating tension within the caucus, as progressive members take offense at the implication that their votes might be influenced by big money. “People feel like you’re saying that they are bought and sold — and some are, but many aren’t,” Jayapal told The Intercept. “It’s not like everybody who takes corporate PAC money is bad or only does what the corporations want. … But that’s not what this is about. It’s about re-establishing trust with voters, changing the system, working from multiple angles.”

But while the voting records of Congressional Progressive Caucus members are better on democracy reform issues compared with those outside the caucus, that might be setting the bar too low. Aaron Scherb, the legislative affairs director for the watchdog group Common Cause, told The Intercept that 17 of the 28 members of Congress who earned perfect scores on his organization’s “Democracy Scorecard“ are in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. But there are 78 representatives in the caucus, meaning that nearly 4 in 5 caucus members actually failed to earn a perfect score.

Elizabeth Warren Reveals DNA Evidence of Native American Ancestry, Confronting Trump

In a direct reply to President Donald Trump’s taunts, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., revealed on Monday that a DNA test provides compelling evidence that she does, in fact, have Native American ancestry. Warren announced the test results in a highly produced biographical video that looks like the opening salvo in a campaign against Trump for the presidency, which the Massachusetts senator said last month she would “take a hard look at” pursuing after her likely re-election in November. ...

Warren is [...] shown getting the test results from Carlos Bustamante, a professor of biomedical data science, genetics, and biology at Stanford University, who has advised the genetic testing services Ancestry.com and 23andMe, as well as the PBS series “Finding Your Roots.”

“The president likes to call my mom a liar,” Warren tells Bustamante. “What do the facts say?”

“The facts suggest that you absolutely have a Native American ancestor in your pedigree,” Bustamante replies.

“In the senator’s genome,” Bustamante explains to the video crew, “we did find five segments of Native American ancestry with very high confidence, where we believe the error rate is less than 1 in a 1,000.”

A copy of the full report from Bustamante’s lab, posted online by the Boston Globe, makes it clear that the “identity of the sample donor, Elizabeth Warren, was not known to the analyst during the time the work was performed.”

As news of the test results spread on Monday, Warren also reminded Trump of his promise at a rally on July 5 that he would donate $1 million to a charity of her choice if she took a DNA test that supported her claim to Native American ancestry. When a reporter tried to ask Trump on Monday if he would now make the donation, the president cut him off and denied ever making such a promise, even though he made it just three months ago, during a televised rally.

Elizabeth Warren's DNA release proves it: she's running for president

More conclusively than it tells us anything about her genetic heritage, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s neatly choreographed release of her own DNA analysis makes one thing abundantly clear: she’s running for the White House in 2020.

That’s the primary takeaway from political pundits in the wake of a slick, five minute campaign video, in which the firebrand liberal from Massachusetts openly discussed her family background, specifically her Native American ancestry. Technically it was released by her Senate campaign against the Republican Geoff Diehl, but it’s clear it has nothing to do with that race, which Warren is expected to win handily.

Instead, the release was a direct rebuke to Donald Trump, who has made a habit of mocking her claims of Native American ancestry by referring to her by the racist monicker “Pocahontas”. Warren’s move is a clear gambit to get out in front of a controversy that has dogged her political career and could be a big stumbling block in the future.

David Axelrod, a top adviser in Barack Obama’s campaigns and administration, called the ad “extraordinary” and said it meant Warren was “100% running,” for president in 2020. The New York Times political correspondent Jonathan Martin said on Twitter: “It’s not ‘I’m running’, it’s ‘I’m running and won’t be swift-boated’,” referring to the discredited ads questioning John Kerry’s military service that ran during the 2004 presidential election. “Swift-boating” subsequently entered the American political lexicon as a term for a campaign of disingenuous or false attacks on a candidate’s background.

What’s also clear is that Democrats like Warren are still stress-testing strategies for challenging Trump’s signature blend of post-truth and personal insult-based politics.

How Fascism Works review: a vital read for a nation under Trump

The young presidency of Donald Trump has produced an impressive new popular literature on fascism, from Cass Sunstein’s Can it Happen Here? to Madeleine Albright’s Fascism: A Warning, to Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt’s How Democracies Die. Any reader for whom that previous sentence anticipates a debate – honestly, do Trump’s offences of pettiness and corruption warrant such historico-political alarm? – might do well to open [“The Politics of Us and Them” by Jason] Stanley, who reassures us that it is OK to use the F-word, even when applied to regimes that do not appear to seek to mobilize populations for world domination.

Fascist politics – which evoke a mythic past, which rely on a sense of unreality and victimhood, and which use the cloak of “law and order” to hide corruption and attack scapegoats – can be used to flexible ends, writes Stanley, a professor of philosophy at Yale whose previous book was an analysis of propaganda. What if a regime, for example, used a dismal us-versus-them divide in national politics to destroy faith in institutions capable of containing its power – elections, an independent judiciary, the public forum – thereby eliminating checks on its own self-enriching schemes? “Publicizing false charges of corruption while engaging in corrupt practices is typical of fascist politics, and anti-corruption campaigns are frequently at the heart of fascist political movements,” Stanley writes, helpfully, without once mentioning “Drain the swamp”.

What if the regime used the same divisive politics to build popular support for a tax system that preserves wealth for the most privileged while creating no new opportunities for everyone else? Would that warrant the term “fascism”? “Since I am an American,” writes Stanley, “I must note that one goal appears to be to use fascist tactics hypocritically, waving the banner of nationalism in front of middle-and working-class white people in order to funnel the state’s spoils into the hands of oligarchs.” ...

The book provides a fascinating breakdown of the fascist ideology, nimbly interweaving examples from Germany, Italy and Hungary, from Rwanda and Myanmar to Serbia and, yes, the US. As he proceeds through his framework of the broadest features of his subject, Stanley includes smaller observations that may for some readers land bracingly close to home.





the evening greens


'It'll change back': Trump says climate change not a hoax, but denies lasting impact

Donald Trump has reiterated his doubts about climate change, suggesting that the climate could “change back again,” and that climate scientists are politically motivated. The US president has long questioned man-made global warming. In an interview with CBS programme 60 Minutes that aired Sunday night, he said that he no longer believes climate change is a hoax, as he tweeted in 2012.

“I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a hoax. I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s manmade. I will say this: I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs.”

The White House has previously declined to clarify Trump’s position. He tweeted in 2017 during a cold snap that “perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming.”

'I leave the car at home': how free buses are revolutionising one French city

One month after the French channel port of Dunkirk introduced free public transport for all, a small revolution is taking place. ... One month ago, Dunkirk – with a metropolitan population of 200,000 – became the largest city in Europe to offer free public transport. There are no trams, trolleybuses or local commuter trains, but the hop-on-hop-off buses are accessible and free – requiring no tickets, passes or cards – for all passengers, even visitors . ...

One month on, the Dunkirk mayor, Patrice Vergriete, who promised free public transport in his 2014 election campaign, says the project has been an overwhelming success, with a 50% increase in passenger numbers on some routes, and up to 85% on others. ...

Money, he says, is the obvious inconvenience. Before the buses were free, fares raised around 10% of the network’s €47m (£41.6m) annual running costs. A further 60% was funded by the versement transport, a French public transport levy on companies and public bodies with more than 11 employees, and 30% came from the local authority. Vergriete says a rise in the company transport tax has made up the fare shortfall – meaning no rise in taxes for local households.

Bus routes have been extended, with special lanes and city centre priority introduced. The fleet has been expanded from 100 to 140 buses, including new greener vehicles which run on natural gas. “The increase in passengers since it went free has surprised us; now we have to keep them. We’re trying to make people look at buses differently. We have put the bus back into people’s head as a means of transport, and it has changed attitudes. “Before, when they paid, it was a service and they were customers. They may have been only contributing 10% of the cost of running the service but they thought it was theirs. Now it’s a public service they look at it differently. They say ‘bonjour’ to the driver, they talk to each other. We are changing perceptions and transforming the city with more vivre ensemble. We are reinventing the public space.

“Before the bus was for those who had no choice: the young, the old, the poor who don’t have cars. Now it’s for everyone.”

Trouble brewing: climate change to cause 'dramatic' beer shortages

Trouble is brewing for the world’s beer drinkers, with climate change set to cause “dramatic” price spikes and supply shortages, according to new research. Extreme heatwaves and droughts will increasingly damage the global barley crop, meaning a common ingredient of the world’s favourite alcoholic beverage will become scarcer. Key brewing nations are forecast to be among the worst hit, including Belgium, the Czech Republic and Ireland.

The researchers said that compared with life-threatening impacts of global warming such as the floods and storms faced by millions, a beer shortage may seem relatively unimportant. But they said it would affect the quality of life of many people.

[Will this spur Justice Rapey "I like beer" McPerjurer to take climate change seriously? - js]

The research, published in the journal Nature Plants, used climate models to examine the impact of extreme weather on barley yields over the next 80 years. The team then used economic models to estimate the impact on beer supply and price in different nations. If carbon emissions are not curbed, the analysis found that beer consumption will fall by about a third in Ireland, Belgium and the Czech Republic. In the UK, a quarter fewer pints would be sunk, with 14% fewer bottles being opened in the US.

In China, now the world’s biggest beer consumer, consumption is forecast to fall by 9%. In Australia, just 7% fewer cold ones would be downed, partly because it is one of few places where climate change may make barley growing easier in some regions. Globally, the cut would be 16%.



Also of Interest

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

'All art is political': behind America's most ambitious public art project ever

The Art of No Mideast Deal

Seed, Pesticide, and Banking Monopolies — Not Immigrants — Are Destroying Farm Country. An Iowa Insurgent Hopes That Message Can Dethrone Steve King.

Max Boot Is Very Sorry for Backing the GOP and the Iraq Invasion. Why Is He Being Praised for This?

'They're Doing Us Like They Did New Orleans': Anger at Trump Inaction as Hurricane Michael Leaves Millions Without Power and Basic Needs


A Little Night Music


Ma Rainey and her Georgia Band - Band-New Bo-Weavil Blues

Ma Rainey - Jealous Hearted Blues

Ma Rainey - Hear Me Talking to You

Ma Rainey and her Georgia Band - Booze And Blues

Ma Rainey and her Georgia Band - Jelly Bean Blues

Ma Rainey and her Georgia Band - Countin' The Blues

Ma Rainey - Ma Rainey's Mystery Record

Ma Rainey - Chain Gang Blues

Ma Rainey and her Georgia Band - Down In The Basement

Ma Rainey - Oh Papa Blues



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Comments

WindDancer13's picture

but it is really awfully good and important. I listened while working on a project as there isn't really anything in the way of visuals.

Shorter: We may not have to worry about climate change.

Ha! Don't have to edit: Thank you, Joe!

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8 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

chomsky's talk was excellent, thanks! he is more hopeful about the prospect of civilizational survival than i am, but i guess trying to force systemic change gives us something to do while we wait. Smile

"The wheel is turning and you can't slow down,
You can't let go and you can't hold on,
You can't go back and you can't stand still,
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will."

-- Robert Hunter

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WindDancer13's picture

@joe shikspack

for renewal after listening to Chris Hedges. = )

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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

Azazello's picture

Evening all,
I haven't seen this yet, but I'm sure it's good. Maybe Jimmy will bring out Chris' lighter side, he has way of doing that.
I wouldn't be surprised if this turns out to be Part 1.

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divineorder's picture

@Azazello Hedges did smile and laugh more than we had ever seen him do before.

Dore read quite a bit of his cv. What an amazing career.

Jimmy elicited some great personal history stories from Chris and a discussion of corporate capitalism and neoliberalism.

Part that was touching was the back story about his leaving the NYT after 15 years, and the moral decision he made when they tried to muzzle his vocal opposition to the Iraq War.

Leading the moral life...

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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.

Azazello's picture

@divineorder
I'm sure there will be a Part 2, maybe even a Part 3.

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9 users have voted.

@Azazello Can't wait until the rest of it gets uploaded.
Also, Hedges gives a definition of neoliberalism that any of can use to promote a reasoned discussion with hard core Dems or Repubs.
The ideology in support of the 1%, in context and function, explained in a way that anybody could use it.

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Azazello's picture

@on the cusp
Neoliberalism - A political ideology based on "free market" economics. Neoliberals support deregulation, privatization, tax cuts and austerity.

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joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

thanks!

that sneaky jimmy dore doesn't post anything for a week and then, bam 3 new videos, one posted after i put the eb to bed. go figure. Smile

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divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack

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8 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.

Azazello's picture

@joe shikspack

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divineorder's picture

Hello bluesters.

Glad jb and I had winterized the Global Warmer II last week because it got quite cold last night. Don't want stinkin' frozen pipes no mo.

More good news, some early snow for this time of year.

###

Hey joe in addition to your excellent excerpts here's an interesting Al J video which they are calling exclusive. Seems they had some breaking news after Turkish teams finally entered the Saudi embassy. Guess they sent in their version of a CSI team and they found some blood or some such even after 13 days, and this is being shared by the Attorney Gens office?

After news of more Saudi killing of civilians in Yemen calls to action:

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14 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

i just started preparing the camper for winter, too. i got it off of my version of the global heater in the backyard, ran a bunch of the pink antifreeze stuff into it and put some blocks under it to stabilize it. i've still got to get a cover over it, but i've probably got another couple of weeks before there's any chance of snow and/or ice.

i'm delighted to see that a lot more people are paying attention to saudi war crimes in yemen. i hope that something happens soon before people start perishing in the millions.

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snoopydawg's picture

@divineorder

I thought they said that they have audio and video tapes? So have they made up their minds to what their story is then? Guess whoever it was that was making threats that unless they released him unharmed will .... ?

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

I remember Matt Stoller back in 2012 wrote a scathing rebuke of Obama's first term. He was called every name under the sun. David Sirota also had similar issues.

The progressive case against Obama
Bottom line: The president is complicit in creating an increasingly unequal — and unjust — society
https://www.salon.com/2012/10/27/the_progressive_case_against_obama/

On Twitter he is reporting from an FTC hearing called "Trump FTC officials are boring but not subtle. This #ftchearings is titled an "FTC-Global Antitrust Institute Event" at the Antonin Scalia Law School, which is of course financed by Google, Amazon, U.S. Chamber, etc."
https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1051837391336554496

He goes through the background of the panelists and it is mostly academics with side jobs working for corporations. Amazing stuff...but here is what he says:

I'm tweeting about the #FTCHearings. This may seem insider-y, but these boring lawyers and corrupt industrial organizational economists are the people who actually organize corporate power. The FTC agenda for the next few days is to say nice boring things about Google/FB/Amazon.

Reminded me of what Thom Hartmann said about society being divided up into three segments like Medieval times. The rich who are the rulers. A professional class (these academics) who run the society for the rich. And the rest of us.

And forget about breaking up FB as some have suggested.

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divineorder's picture

@MrWebster

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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.

snoopydawg's picture

@divineorder

The kos kids used to like Assange until he started exposing the person behind the mask. How many other people have they discarded after they too said something about him? And what's with their disdain for Shaun King? Boy a lot of good people were driven off their site for one reason or another. Jessyln Raddich? What was her crime?

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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

@MrWebster

stoller has done some really good work and, even though he seems to have pretty mainstream politics, he's far too left for any roomful of regular democrats.

heh. establishment technocrats. they are the scum of the earth. i loved the way that terry gilliam portrayed them in "baron von munchausen."

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snoopydawg's picture

They come with some heavy strings attached. Draconian as his mum states.

LEAKED: Here Are the Demands Ecuador Has Given Julian Assange in Order to End His Isolation

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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

well, if the restrictions posted by the gateway pundit correctly reflect the "freedoms" that assange is being offered, well, i guess they pretty much look like what you would expect from a bunch of fascists who want to crush assange but still have talking points ("see... we offered him access to the internet and visitors") when called out for their heinous behavior.

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divineorder's picture

We only have 10 years to save ourselves from climate change

So then you read where the planet is melting, dire results expected soon, and you just shrug and file it away with all the other terrible things you’ll worry about when you get a chance. That’s understandable. But it presumes a luxury we don’t have — time. Again, this report says the world has 10 years in which to save itself — and we’ll spend at least two of those under Trump.

Always before, the hinge points of American history have somehow managed to find the people the times demanded: citizen soldiers at the founding, Union patriots at the unraveling, tough-minded strivers during depression and global war, American dreamers in the freedom years. But seldom before has the nation seemed as exhausted and fractured as it does now.

So the question of the moment is: What will this new hinge point bring out of us? The answer will come at the ballot box over the next two years. And the whole world waits with us to find out what we are. Are we truly the ignorance, incoherence and chaos of the moment, or are we the sense of purpose and can-do that have always before defined America at its crossroads?

If we say it’s the latter, then we should feel ashamed, chastised by our history. Because if that history tells us anything, it tells us this:

America doesn’t shrug.

Read more here: https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/leonard-pitts-jr/a...

Hey Leonard, they got to give us some candidates worth voting for.

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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.

snoopydawg's picture

@divineorder

in the jet stream and depositing it on Arctic ice fields making it melt faster. I'll try to find the article on this.

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snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

Polar jet circulation changes bring Sahara dust to Arctic, increasing temperatures, melting ice

Research scientists at NYU Abu Dhabi, along with other global researchers, have identified a new mechanism by which warm dust travels from the Sahara Desert to the Arctic Circle, which has been proven to affect rising temperatures and ice melt in Greenland.

Their findings highlight the role that the polar jet and associated atmospheric circulation plays in the transport of mineral dust from the Sahara desert to the Arctic across eastern side of the North Atlantic Ocean.

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

Azazello's picture

@divineorder
UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Azazello

they can tread water and go without it because that's what the future has in store for millions of us. People are going to starve because it will be too hot for crops to grow. It's beyond mind boggling that after this report was released that it not being discussed except on alternative websites.

I'm hoping that the oil companies that sat on this information will be sued out of existence. Wasn't it chevron that knew that burning fossil fuels was going to lead to warming the planet back in the 70's?

People are calling what's coming genocidal and the author of this article thinks that might be the point.

Why catastrophic climate change might be genocidal

My friends, catastrophic climate change is not a problem for fascists — it is a solution. History’s most perfect, lethal, and efficient one means of genocide, ever, period. Who needs to build a camp or a gas chamber when the flood and hurricane will do the dirty work for free? Please don’t mistake this for conspiracism: climate change accords perfectly with the foundational fascist belief that only the strong should survive, and the weak — the dirty, the impure, the foul — should perish. That is why neo-fascists do not lift a finger to stop climate change — but do everything they can to in fact accelerate it, and prevent every effort to reverse or mitigate it.

The people who are thinking that they can ride out the effects of climate change in their bunkers aren't being smart. Unless they are planning on living in them forever. Even if 70% of the world population is gone how long will it take for the planet to cool down? So what's it going to take for people to start taking this seriously? The article you posted said that we will see even more wars. They will be wars for water which is already more important than oil. Instead of the Trump administration doing anything about it he is defanging the EPA and every legislation put in place to combat it. The insanity of this.

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

divineorder's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

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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

even disasters of biblical proportions will not dent the media-addled consciousness of a huge number of americans. we are fighting a war of consciousness. the politicians are just bit actors.

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WindDancer13's picture

[Will this spur Justice Rapey "I like beer" McPerjurer to take climate change seriously? - js]

But, he may find some real tears to cry.
Kavanaugh cry.jpg

I was going to help him out and paint some tears on his face, but nah, I will leave him to his dry sobs.

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11 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

snoopydawg's picture

I thought Trump appreciated him for exposing Hillary? Oh yeah. Assange released some CIA files. Well then he should take it up with Comey and Schiff. He was willing to not release them, but they didn't want him telling congress who gave him Hillary's emails that showed how she rigged the primary.

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joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

I thought Trump appreciated him for exposing Hillary?

well sure. but trump's gratitude generally has limited duration and/or intensity.

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smiley7's picture

Thanks for the news and blues.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@smiley7
in solitude/quiet last week. Pleasantry

In case we are on the road this weekend, wanted to let you know that I've already found out (even though I've not had ample time to carefully go over the 2019 Part D plans) that two of the ones that we would be considering, have dropped a lot of drugs. One dropped 133; the other dropped a whopping 1481!

Dagnabbit! I was hoping that I'd get out of the grueling chore of going over all of the 2019 plans, for a change--but, guess not!

Bad

Expected, due to Part D 'rule' changes, that some name brand RX's would be dropped from plans (due to new generics coming on the market), but, this is ridiculous.

Have a great week!

Blue Onyx

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

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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)

smiley7's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
Mother's new formulary to nursing facility, although, no one seemed to care that i did; been having a time with Mom's situation recently and i'm having to return to Chapel Hill in two weeks for Lung ventilation and perfusion tests, looking for blood clots; frankly, i'm worn out by health care and fighting anxiety as well.

Just hold on, right, better days on the horizon.

Glad you and Mr M escaped the hurricane and are home safe and sound. Have a good and peaceful evening.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@smiley7

are in store for you and your Mom!

Hope your tests yield good results/news. Take good care of yourself.

Blue Onyx

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

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6 users have voted.

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

divineorder's picture

@smiley7 it is exhausting. More power to you, all the best.

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6 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

@smiley7

well, perhaps trump will get credit for reviving the protest song genre by the time he's done screwing the world as u.s. prezzydunce.

hope you're doing well!

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

too. I cringe when I hear such language. Here's from CNN's State of the Union with Jake Tapper,

Sanders - So, in my view -- and the last poll that I saw on this, Jake, suggests that 70 percent of the American people understand that Medicare is a good program, and it should be expanded to all people.

That would be fine if his proposal did that--meaning expanding the original FFS/Traditional Medicare program, adding prescription drugs and additional coverage equivalent to Medigap Plan F. But, it doesn't!

As the chart from KFF that Azazello provided, indicates (below), both Sanders' & Conyers' (now Ellison's) MFA bills would dismantle all the current federal health programs, including Medicare (except the VA System, and Indian Health Services).

Sanders' MFA Replaces Traditional and MFA Program.JPG

The two most left columns refer to Sanders' and Conyers'/Ellisons' plans, respectively. The 'Title' of the column by plan was cut off since it's a several page chart. Sorry!

IOW, as I've always advocated for--just expand our current (original) Traditional Medicare (as I described above). Can even add vision and dental, if desired.

But, no need to 'reinvent the wheel.' Last time that was done, we wound up with the toxic boondoggle known as 'the ACA.' Whew!

Honestly, don't understand the rationale for this (type of selling point). Think about the backlash against the ACA. What on earth will happen if/when approximately 2/3's of the 60 million seniors--those currently enrolled in Traditional/Original/FFS Medicare, not managed care like MA--find out there's been a bait and switch, and they're enrolled in a managed care plan with Global Budgeting? (Instead of one that pays for needed health care services, open-ended--which doesn't reward physicians for withholding care.)

Now, it may not be a problem for the 1/3 of seniors who're already in a managed care plan like Medicare Advantage. Can't speak for them. But, as for me and mine, we would like to see our current Traditional Medicare expanded (as I outlined above). What's not to like?

Biggrin

Hey, thanks for tonight's EB, Joe. I have to disagree somewhat with one aspect of the CD story--regarding 'dropping the ball' on restoring electricity. (Read earlier today that 85 percent has been restored. Not bad, considering it looks like a war zone.) But, more to the point, before Michael made landfall, as we left both Escambia County Florida, and two counties in Alabama Panhandle--traveling Interstates 65 and 40 back to TN--we passed convoy, after convoy of electrical power companies--heading South. Now, it's plausible that some of them were blocked from actually getting into the worst hit areas, by road conditions. But, to my knowledge, clearing state roads would be more in the bailiwick of the local/state government, not the Feds/FEMA.

Hey, thanks for tonight's excellent compilation of News & Blues. Going get nippy here this evening. Yay!

Biggrin

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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8 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)

smiley7's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
A managed care plan would have been a death knell to me; especially, given the rare comorbidities i have. Must fight to keep Traditional Medicare in place, as you say, it works.

Recall around 2000, an investigative story about the VA demonstrated how efficiently it worked in delivering care; but Bush and company got their hands on it and down hill it went, fast.

My daughter-in-law's having trouble in Tenn with an ACA plan refusing to pay for needed CT scan cancer screening. Kids are already paying off same test of last year.

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6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@smiley7

and improve' the base Traditional/Original/FFS Medicare program. By all means, throw in dental, vision, and hearing. And, of course--all prescription drugs from both Medicare Parts B and D.

My best to your DIL. Hope she has favorable resolution, regarding getting tests covered/reimbursed. So unfair, and cruel.

(Not to mention, when the ACA first came online, out of curiosity, we priced the policies. They weren't cheap!)

Blue Onyx

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

up
6 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

thanks for sharing the medicare info!

well, of course the dems are spinning. after all, they work for the same people that the republicans do, so what winds up in their legislation will probably be more like something that obama would propose than something a sane and caring individual would consider.

glad to hear that so many people have had a restoration of their electrical power, i hope that things are going better than what i've been reading suggests.

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3 users have voted.
ggersh's picture

for his pocket and base which consists of
maybe 20% of population, yep fascism is here.

A friend of Bibi and MbS, whodda thunk

https://theintercept.com/2018/03/21/jared-kushner-saudi-crown-prince-moh...

In late October, Jared Kushner made an unannounced trip to Riyadh, catching some intelligence officials off guard. “The two princes are said to have stayed up until nearly 4 a.m. several nights, swapping stories and planning strategy,” the Washington Post’s David Ignatius reported at the time.

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7 users have voted.

In 2008 $27tril was created outta air, where did it go
not for infrastructure, not for schools, not for student
debt, not for universal healthcare, 8 mil foreclosed on.
Nope it went to those that committed the massive fraud

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

'The White House will be adorned by a downright moron'

There's a delightful exercise in the imagination of how H. L. Mencken, the iconic iconoclast of the early 20th century, would have viewed the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. ... One of Mencken's quotes widely circulated since the Trump upset is from a column he wrote 96 years ago predicting that, "On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

The moron observation was the last line of a column that appeared July 26, 1920, in the Baltimore Evening Sun, a newspaper Mencken helped found, excoriating both candidates for president in the campaign of that year: Republican Warren G. Harding and the Democrat James M. Cox, both politicians from Ohio, where Harding served as a U.S. Senator and Cox as governor. ...

Mencken's denunciation of Harding's 1921 inaugural speech as "the worst English I have ever encountered" could easily apply to the evidence of an unhinged mind manifest in Mr. Trump's Twitter twaddle: "It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean-soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm (I was about to write abscess!) of pish, and crawls insanely up the topmost pinnacle of posh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash." As always, Mencken declared Harding's comments were directed at "a great horde of stoneheads gathered around a stand … the sort of audience that the speaker has been used to all of his life, to wit, an audience of small town yokels, of low political serfs, or morons scarcely able to understand a word of more than two syllables, and wholly unable to pursue a logical idea for more than two centimeters."

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9 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

Corporate totalitarianism? Who would've imagined. I thought it couldn't happen here.

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4 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

corporate totalitarianism? it's been inevitable ever since scotus made corporations people back in 1886.

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5 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

will fall long before the end of humans.

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7 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

joe shikspack's picture

@Pricknick

yep, at least we'll have schadenfreude to keep us entertained when the planet becomes inhospitable to human habitation.

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4 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

@joe shikspack
Im waiting for the house of cards to fall.
No rapture for me.

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5 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

joe shikspack's picture

@Pricknick

i think that the house of cards has already fallen. i mean seriously, we are a culture in decline. the thing is, the truth of it is not widely admitted.

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7 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

Cass Sunstein and Madeleine Albright?

What makes me wary is —

— this very strong gut feeling I have —

— that any danger of fascism comes from people like them

— Cass (Mr. “Cognitive Infiltration” and Master of “Nudging”) Sunstein and Madeleine (Six million? Half a million? “We think it is worth it”) Albright —

— every bit as much as it comes from Trump.

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lotlizard's picture

Nationwide, if federal election were next Sunday
26.5 % CDU – Christian Democrats; chancellor Angela Merkel’s party
18        AfD – Alternative for Germany; right-wing populists
17        Greens
15        SPD – Social Democrats
10.5     Left Party
  9.5     FDP – Free Democrats, laissez-faire-economics party; “liberals” (European terminology)
  3.5     other parties (each below 5 percent cutoff, winning no seats)
——
Source (INSA poll released Oct. 16):
http://www.wahlrecht.de/umfragen/index.htm

Note that if this were an actual election result, a three-party coalition would be necessary — no two-party coalition would have a majority. The currently ruling CDU-SPD “grand coalition” would only have 41.5 percent.

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mark. Hedges talks about the Narcissim of Minor Differences and how the MSM and the 1% use it to divide left and right.
We have been manipulated into constantly focusing on how evil the other side is in order to prevent the 99% from uniting to throw the Corporate SOBs out of office.

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chuck utzman

You can blame me. I did not vote for Her Heinous.