The Evening Blues - 10-21-16



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Eddie Taylor

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Chicago bluesman Eddie Taylor. Enjoy!

Eddie Taylor with the Aces - Wreck on the Highway

"To use a metaphor appropriate for the age, the big guns are being brought out to keep the unitary Presidency in Democrat hands. The term itself, in recent incarnation a (Dick) Cheneyism indicating the neo-royalist tendency to tamp-down every democratic tendency that might interfere with smooth operation of the heavily militarized corporate-state, indicates that something might be amiss in the land of the free. ...

The question not being asked by Democrats and their reluctant supporters on the wilting Left is why the entirety of officialdom supports Mrs. Clinton? ...

The delusion in evidence from the ‘vote for Hillary and then give her hell’ crowd is that there is any hell she could be given, other than not voting for her, that would matter? Given the basis of her ‘inside’ views in the tribal chatter of the rich and powerful, what would her response be to disapprobation from the self-neutered powerless other than to offer her ‘outside’ views? ...

Lest this remain unclear, Hillary Clinton’s differentiated views correspond to conflicting class interests. The Clinton’s policies reflect a veritable wish list of implausible corporate cliches like ‘self-regulation,’ ‘free-trade’ and ‘personal responsibility’ with regard to labor, the environment and social safety net programs. These policies make evident that ‘inside’ views correspond to intended policies and ‘outside’ views are to garner votes with bluster and bullshit."

-- Rob Urie


News and Opinion

As Election Day Nears, Military Hawks Circle to Promote New Wave of War

Though the hawkish stance of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has been too often ignored this election season, new reporting on Thursday highlights how her presumed win in November will likely usher in a more aggressive, bipartisan foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond.

"The Republicans and Democrats who make up the foreign policy elite are laying the groundwork for a more assertive American foreign policy via a flurry of reports shaped by officials who are likely to play senior roles in a potential Clinton White House," the Washington Post's White House correspondent Greg Jaffe reports.

One such study, published Wednesday by the Center for American Progress (CAP)—which is run by president Neera Tanden, policy director for Clinton's presidential campaign—recommends the next administration step up its "military engagement" amid a more "proactive and long-term approach to the Middle East."

This includes, among other things: building "on the Obama administration's campaign to defeat the Islamic State and Al Qaeda militarily by deepening multilateral cooperation with regional partners and taking steps to help create a regional security framework;" as well as being "prepared to use airpower to protect U.S. partners and civilians in certain parts of Syria."

The latter recommendation is seemingly a direct regurgitation of Clinton's repeated call for a "no-fly zone" in that region—one she reiterated during Wednesday's presidential debate.

affe also highlights an upcoming report by the Brookings Institution, due out in December, which has been produced by a "team of top former Clinton, Bush, and Obama administration officials," as well as one authored by a bipartisan group led by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on behalf of the Atlantic Council.

"Taken together," Jaffe reports, "the studies and reports call for more-aggressive American action to constrain Iran, rein in the chaos in the Middle East and check Russia in Europe. The studies, which reflect Clinton's stated views and the direction she is likely to take if she is elected, break most forcefully with Obama on Syria." 

"Virtually all these efforts," he continues, "call for stepped up military action to deter President Bashar al-Assad's regime and Russian forces in Syria."

Washington’s foreign policy elite breaks with Obama over Syrian bloodshed

There is one corner of Washington where Donald Trump’s scorched-earth presidential campaign is treated as a mere distraction and where bipartisanship reigns. In the rarefied world of the Washington foreign policy establishment, President Obama’s departure from the White House — and the possible return of a more conventional and hawkish Hillary Clinton — is being met with quiet relief.

This consensus is driven by a broad-based backlash against a president who has repeatedly stressed the dangers of overreach and the need for restraint, especially in the Middle East. “There’s a widespread perception that not being active enough or recognizing the limits of American power has costs,” said Philip Gordon, a senior foreign policy adviser to Obama until 2015. “So the normal swing is to be more interventionist.”


In other instances, the activity reflects alarm over Trump’s calls for the United States to pull back from its traditional role as a global guarantor of security.

“The American-led international order that has been prevalent since World War II is now under threat,” said Martin Indyk, who oversees a team of top former officials from the administrations of Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton assembled by the Brookings Institution. “The question is how to restore and renovate it.”

“The immediate thing is to do something to alleviate the horrors that are being visited on the population,” said former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who is leading a bipartisan and international team looking at U.S. strategy in the Middle East for the Atlantic Council.

[Heh, it is indeed curious what strikes a woman who participated in and described as "worth it" the death by deprivation of half a million brown children as a "horror that (is) being visited on (a) population." - js]

The Risks of Clinton’s Syrian ‘No-Fly Zone’

The most consequential statement by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Wednesday night’s debate was her pronouncement that a no-fly zone over Syria could “save lives and hasten the end of the conflict,” that a no-fly zone would provide “safe zones on the ground” was in “the best interests of the people on the ground in Syria” and would “help us with our fight against ISIS.”

It would do none of the above. A U.S. attempt to impose a no-fly zone in Syria would, as Secretary Clinton once cautioned a Goldman Sachs audience, “kill a lot of Syrians,” and, according to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Dunford, lead to a war with Russia. If the U.S. has not been invited into a country to establish a “no-fly zone” such an action is, in fact, an invasion, an act of war.

Our international relations are built upon lies to promote regime changes, the fantasy of a unipolar world ruled by America, and a blank check for the national security state.

Clinton Repackages Her Syrian ‘No-Fly’ Plan

While the major news media focused on Donald Trump’s agnostic response about whether he would respect the results of the Nov. 8 election, Hillary Clinton slipped in a little-noticed but important revision to her call for a “no-fly zone” in Syria, suggesting that it would be negotiated with Russia and Syria. ...

Whether the Syrian leadership and the Russian government would accept such a plan is doubtful, since it would amount to inviting the U.S. or NATO military to establish a beachhead inside Syria from which rebels, terrorists and other insurgents could operate beyond the reach of military retaliation.

The Syrians and the Russians are also well aware of the duplicity of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2011 when she led the effort to persuade the United Nations Security Council to authorize an emergency program to protect Libyan civilians around Benghazi from an offensive by the Libyan army seeking to root out Al Qaeda-connected terror groups.

Once the Security Council agreed (with Russia abstaining rather than vetoing the plan), U.S.-coordinated airstrikes decimated the Libyan government’s forces. Next, NATO military advisers began assisting the rebels on the ground, with the “humanitarian” mission quickly morphing into a “regime change” operation, with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi driven from power, captured, tortured and murdered.

After Gaddafi’s death on Oct. 20, 2011, Clinton exulted in a TV interview, “We came; we saw; he died.”

So, a President Clinton isn’t likely to get the benefit of the doubt again, especially since she has made clear that her desire is to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad suffer a fate similar to Gaddafi’s. Clinton’s open hostility toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom she’s compared to Hitler, also is not likely to make Russia eager for concessions.

‘Deep psychic need for an enemy and Putin is filling it’ – The Spectator Deputy Editor

Syria Threatens to Shoot Down Any Turkish Airplanes Entering Their Airspace

Syria’s military has responded to reports that Turkish warplanes killed 200 Kurdish fighters in northern Syria strikes with a statement condemning Turkey for “blatant aggression” and waning them against launching any further attacks inside Syrian airspace.

“Any attempt to once again breach Syrian airspace by Turkish warplanes will be dealt with and they will be brought down by all means available,” the statement from Syrian general command warned. The Syrian government has long complained of Turkey and other US coalition members violating their airspace, but this is the first explicit threat to do anything about it.

It could be shrewd timing on Syria’s part, as the Kurds are reeling following the huge Turkish airstrikes around Afrin, and the US, the normal go-to ally for Kurdish officials, is going out of its way to back Turkey on general terms. ... While Kurds have sparred with the Syrian government on occasion over specific areas, they haven’t been at overt war with them, meaning Syria’s willingness to stand up for them against Turkish attacks could be very welcome indeed.

Looks like the US, having cynically used the Kurds as prophylaxis to prevent the loss of US troops while prosecuting a war against ISIS will now discard them like a used condom.

US Reiterates ‘Very Strong’ Partnership With Turkey After Attack on Kurds

Overnight, Turkish warplanes entered Syria, attacking US-backed Kurdish forces. Turkey reported 200 Kurdish fighters killed, though the Kurds insisted the number was somewhat lower. Either way, the US response to an overt attack on their allies was tepid, to put it mildly.

While the State Department refused direct comment on the attacks and would only say they prefer to see the two groups both fighting against ISIS, Defense Secretary Ash Carter followed up on the attack by insisting that the US partnership with Turkey is “very strong.

With Turkey both a NATO member and hosting the US warplanes active in Syria, naturally the ability of the US to criticize them is limited, but Turkey appeared to have no such compunctions, with Deputy PM Numaan Kurtulmus declaring that Turkey is “displeased” with the US for its long-standing support for the Syrian Kurds.

Al-Nusra 'not priority', US State Dept says while terror group shells civilians in Syria

Russia Extends Aleppo Ceasefire, UN Mulls Evacuation

The Russian ceasefire in Aleppo, initially eight hours but since extended to 11, has now been extended through Saturday, insisting they want to support efforts to get civilians out of the Nusra Front-held eastern part of Aleppo. There were reports of skirmishes on the ground near one of the designated evacuation zones, but no Russian airstrikes.

The evacuations are slow going so far, with pro-rebel activists urging civilians not to leave, claiming the ceasefire is a Russian lie and that they’ll exterminate every civilian who tries to leave through the zones. The lack of formal UN involvement in the evacuation has also deterred many.

That may change, however, with UN humanitarian officials saying they’re planning a formal medical evacuation for wounded civilians on Friday, having received assurances that the ceasefire will last through that period. They did warn, however, that getting it organized that quickly will be difficult, and anything could still go wrong to stop it.

Iraq: Army forces clash with IS group in Kirkuk as troops advance on Mosul

Isis attacks Kirkuk as concerns mount over fate of civilians in Mosul

Islamic State militants have launched a commando raid on the Iraqi city of Kirkuk in an apparent attempt to distract Iraqi and Kurdish forces converging on the group’s stronghold of Mosul.

The attack was repelled by local security forces, who said six of the militants had been killed in the operation.

Isis claimed responsibility for the assault on its news agency service, Aamaq.

“Security forces, the peshmerga and the counter-terrorism forces have established complete control over the security situation in Kirkuk,” Najmeddine Karim, the city’s governor, said. “Daesh [Isis] sleeper cells carried out attacks against security sites and headquarters this morning in Kirkuk.”

Kirkuk, 146 miles (236km) north of Baghdad, is an oil-rich town that has emerged as a potential source of tension in a post-Isis Iraq.

Russian warships pass through Channel watched by Royal Navy

Royal Navy vessels are monitoring Russian warships as they pass through the Channel potentially bringing supplies to the bombing campaign against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, promised this week that the Russian fleet would be marked “every inch of the way”. No 10 confirmed that the Russian vessels, including the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, were being shadowed by the navy as they headed towards the eastern Mediterranean via the Dover Strait. The ships are expected to leave British territorial waters later on Friday. ...

According to a senior Nato diplomat quoted by Reuters, the Russian ships were likely to pass from the Channel towards Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean, heading for the Syrian coast. The source said the warships were carrying fighter bombers expected to join the attack on Aleppo.

The diplomat said: “They are deploying all of the northern fleet and much of the Baltic fleet in the largest surface deployment since the end of the cold war. This is not a friendly port call. In two weeks, we will see a crescendo of air attacks on Aleppo as part of Russia’s strategy to declare victory there.”

Russia’s defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, said in September that the Admiral Kuznetsov and other ships would be joining a taskforce in the Mediterranean.

Has Duterte really ditched the US for Beijing's embrace?

The Philippines’ president, Rodrigo Duterte, jetted into Beijing this week telling journalists “only China can help us” – and help it did.

The 71-year-old populist was set to return from his four-day state visit on Friday having secured a reported $13.5bn (£11bn) in deals and a lucrative new alliance with the Asian giant.

“It has the potential to be [a turning point in Philippine history],” one Manila broadsheet said of Duterte’s “pivot to China” after he delighted an audience of Communist party grandees in the Great Hall of the People by declaring his “separation” from the United States and new allegiance to Beijing. ...

“He still could change his words in the future,” said Shi Yinhong, an international relations professor and government adviser from China’s Renmin University
. “Now he is in Beijing and he is speaking words to a Chinese audience … But after Beijing he will be in Tokyo. I think what he will say in Tokyo will naturally be somewhat different from what he said in Beijing. Philippines-American relations have been damaged, of course. But still, this is only the beginning. In the future nothing is certain.”

In Washington, officials share the view that the unpredictable Philippine leader could easily pivot back to the US if he believes it better serves his interests.

“There is no question that Duterte is … trying to play the well-worn game of playing us off against the Chinese,” one official told Reuters. ...

While Duterte has vowed to end joint maritime patrols in the South China Sea and called for US special forces to leave the southern island of Mindanao, no concrete steps appear to have been taken to realise them.

Trove of Stolen Data Is Said to Include Top-Secret U.S. Hacking Tools

Investigators pursuing what they believe to be the largest case of mishandling classified documents in United States history have found that the huge trove of stolen documents in the possession of a National Security Agency contractor included top-secret N.S.A. hacking tools that two months ago were offered for sale on the internet.

They have been hunting for electronic clues that could link those cybertools — computer code posted online for auction by an anonymous group calling itself the Shadow Brokers — to the home computers of the contractor, Harold T. Martin III, who was arrested in late August on charges of theft of government property and mishandling of classified information.

But so far, the investigators have been frustrated in their attempt to prove that Mr. Martin deliberately leaked or sold the hacking tools to the Shadow Brokers or, alternatively, that someone hacked into his computer or otherwise took them without his knowledge. While they have found some forensic clues that he might be the source, the evidence is not conclusive, according to a dozen officials who have been involved in or have been briefed on the investigation.

NSA contractor stole 50,000 gigs of data over 20 years, prosecutors say

Government prosecutors intend to file charges under the Espionage Act against a former NSA contractor who was arrested in August and charged with stealing a massive trove of top-secret intelligence documents.

In court papers filed Thursday [embedded at the link - js], the government said Navy veteran Harold T. Martin III stole 50,000 gigabytes of data over the course of two decades, which far exceeds the number of documents Edward Snowden took from the NSA and leaked to journalists. (One gigabyte can store about 10,000 pages.) ...

Martin was arrested in August and charged with unlawful removal of classified documents after hacking tools were offered for sale over the internet by a group calling itself Shadow Brokers. The hacking tools, used to hack into foreign governments, were among the classified technical records FBI agents found in Martin’s possession. But they have not yet been able to link Martin to Shadow Brokers, according to the New York Times. ...

Government prosecutors have suggested that Martin was disgruntled. An initial review of the documents he allegedly stole turned up a letter from 2007 addressed to government employees with whom Martin worked. He referred to them as “clowns” and was critical of government security measures. ...

Martin’s attorneys, James Wyda and Deborah Boardman, both federal public defenders, said in a statement earlier this month after Martin was arrested that their client “loves his family and his country. There is no evidence that he intended to betray his country.”

WikiLeaks: Citigroup Exec Gave Obama Recommendation of Hillary for State, Eric Holder for DOJ

If there is any truth to the allegation that Russia is behind the hacking of emails being released by WikiLeaks, then the American public owes Russia a huge debt of gratitude. At a time when the American people are sharply focused on how the leader of the free world is chosen, WikiLeaks is giving us an unprecedented, historical opportunity to understand how corporate money in politics has corrupted everything we believe in as a democracy.

This week, for example, emails from WikiLeaks show that President Obama, using the email address of bobama@ameritech.net, was communicating directly with Michael Froman of Citigroup in 2008, who fed Obama lists of recommended appointments to his cabinet. In an email from Froman dated October 6, 2008, with Froman using his Citigroup email address of fromanm@citi.com, Hillary Clinton shows up on Froman’s list for Secretary of State or head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In a separate list attached to the email, Eric Holder was recommended for U.S. Attorney General at the Department of Justice or as White House Counsel. (See the email and the attachments here.)  In less than a month after Obama’s election as President on November 4, 2008, Obama had nominated Clinton to be his Secretary of State and Holder as his Attorney General. Despite the unprecedented corruption rooted out on Wall Street by regulators, Holder failed to prosecute any of Wall Street’s top executives for the crimes that led to the greatest financial crash since the Great Depression.

Froman had served as Chief of Staff to Robert Rubin when Rubin was Secretary of the Treasury in the Bill Clinton administration. ... Froman followed Rubin to Citigroup where he served as Chief Operating Officer of Citi Alternative Investments and later as Managing Director of Citi Infrastructure Investors, a unit of Citi Alternative Investments. The latter is the division that blew up the bank in the same month that Obama was elected President. Froman had been a major bundler for Obama, raising funds that USA Today placed at $200,000 to $500,000. ...

Early in Obama’s first term, Froman was appointed as Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economic Affairs. Today, Froman is U.S. Trade Representative and the man behind the highly controversial and highly secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Senators Want to Know: Who's Actually Being Held Accountable at Wells Fargo?

When Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf stepped down last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said it wasn't "real accountability" given the scope of the financial institution's fake-account scandal

Now, Warren and her colleague Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) are doubling down on that accusation, saying the recent fallout has merely raised "additional questions...about who is being held accountable at Wells Fargo."

In a letter (pdf) sent Thursday to the bank's new board chairman Stephen Sanger, Warren and Menendez demand answers to those questions. They inquire not only about Stumpf's compensation—pay, bonuses, and stock holdings—but also about his replacement, Wells Fargo insider Tim Sloan. 

Noting Sloan's long tenure with the company (as others did in the wake of his appointment), the senators write: "It is difficult to believe that he had no knowledge of or bears no responsibility for the actions of thousands of Wells Fargo employees creating fake accounts under his and other top executives' watch."

Debate Moderators Under the Spell of Deficit-Obsessed Billionaire Pete Peterson

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, an organization that is virtually unknown outside of Washington, was nonetheless cited in four different questions during this year’s presidential and vice-presidential debates.

Moderators Elaine Quijano and Chris Wallace, seemingly unable to string together an intelligent thought about domestic policy on their own, outsourced their questions to a cabal of self-styled serious grown-ups who believe that advocating for cutting Social Security and Medicare makes them look like paragons of virtue. ...

The scaremongering about the debt masks an ideological agenda to stop any federal programs that commit the mortal sin of helping people, because the country sits on the precipice of becoming a Weimar Germany hyperinflation failed state. If rolling back those programs means preventing tax increases on rich people like Pete Peterson and his progeny, all the better.

Back on planet Earth, inflation hasn’t hit the Federal Reserve’s skinny 2 percent target in four years, and the real scandal is that America is blowing a huge opportunity to borrow at historically low interest rates and fulfill public needs. Experts across the political spectrum agree that the deficit is not a problem right now.

But, like a Halloween shop trying to come up with variations on the “sexy cat” costume, Peterson continues to dress up his efforts with different names and formats, seeking to energize a massive grassroots push for impoverishing the elderly.



the horse race



This is an excellent piece, long but worth the tome:

Why should we trust you? Hillary's big problem with young black Americans

You always know an election is near in the US when Democrats and Republicans start to discuss the plight of black Americans.

Most of the time, little is said about the high levels of poverty in black communities. Ditto with unemployment. Before the eruption of the Black Lives Matter movement, almost nothing was ever said about police violence. Until recently these issues were simply facts of life, so omnipresent that racial inequality passes for the norm for both Republicans and Democrats.

Two years ago, Republican leader Paul Ryan described the higher rates of black unemployment as attributable to a “tailspin of culture”. On the other side of the political spectrum, both Barack Obama and Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, have respectively blamed an absence of “role models” and “parenting” for violence in black neighborhoods. In effect, both parties have long been saying that what is needed is personal transformation – not the reform of ways that wealth and resources are distributed in our country.

There’s no question that black voters will support Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in large numbers, but the real question is whether they will actually come out and vote for her. ...

The discourse of “super predators” was not an unfortunate misstatement; it was a racist, political calculation intended to publicly demonstrate a lack of sympathy for black people and support for a regime of punishment and retribution.

Clinton and the Democratic party of the 1990s played a pivotal role in helping to shift the discussion away from “systemic racism”, as it had been in the 1960s and 1970s, back to a focus on the culture and family structure of African Americans as the root of black inequality. Bill Clinton and his political partner, Hillary, were not passive observers of an ideological attack that posited crime and punishment over government assistance and public welfare; they, in the 1990s context, were its architects. ...

Black millennials who have taken up the cause of Black Lives Matter have already endured teargas, live ammunition, dogs, false arrest, military tanks, police beatings, fees, fines, prison time, jail, surveillance, infiltration and harassment. All with a black president at the helm. Under such circumstances, it is a remarkably hollow argument to insist that a vote for Clinton is a vote to be able to continue to organize.

The insistence that things will simply get worse under Trump as the motivation to vote for Clinton is to gloss over, if not ignore, the deep and profound ways that young people are already suffering. Yes, life can always get worse, but this narrow fixation ignores the more pressing question: how do things get better?

Green Party's Jill Stein on "Donald Trump's Psychosis and Hillary Clinton's Distortions"

Trump loyalists plan own exit poll amid claims of 'rigged' election

Donald Trump loyalists will attempt to conduct their own crowd-funded exit polling on election day, ostensibly due to fears that electronic voting machines in certain areas may have been “rigged”, the Guardian has learned.

But the effort, led by Trump’s notorious informal adviser Roger Stone, will focus on 600 different precincts in nine Democrat-leaning cities with large minority populations, a tactic branded highly irregular by experts, who suggested that organizers could potentially use the polling as a way to intimidate voters.

Stone told the Guardian that around 1,300 volunteers from the controversial Citizens for Trump grassroots coalition would conduct exit polling in Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Milwaukee, Fort Lauderdale, Charlotte, Richmond and Fayetteville – all locations in pivotal swing states.

Media organizations and political campaigns conduct exit polling for all major elections, but David Paleologos – a polling expert and director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center – said effective exit polling was done in bellwether precincts, not in areas likely to be dominated by a particular political party.

What would happen if Donald Trump refused to concede this election?

Donald Trump’s refusal to say whether he would accept the outcome of next month’s US presidential election if he were to lose is unprecedented and chilling, legal experts have said.

But although the failure by a major party nominee to concede defeat on election night would throw American democracy into uncharted territory, from a legal standpoint, it would hardly make a difference, experts from across the political spectrum said.

“Frankly, under our system, it is irrelevant whether the loser concedes or not,” said James Bopp, the conservative constitutional lawyer. “The vote of the electoral college is conclusive.”

Chris Hedges vs. Eddie Glaude: Should Progressives Vote for Hillary Clinton or Jill Stein?


Disabled and disenfranchised

As many as 34 million Americans with disabilities could head to the polls in November, even as advocates say problems with access remain widespread. People with developmental and mental disabilities can face an especially tough time at the polls — assuming they’re allowed to vote at all.

According to the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, an organization that looks at voting rights for people with mental disabilities across the country, all but 11 states have laws on the books that can restrict voting for people with mental disabilities. At particular issue are people placed under guardianship (known in some states as “conservatorship”) since advocates say guardianship orders rarely have anything to do with whether a person is competent enough to vote.

Disability rights advocates argue these restrictions run contra to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which says that “reasonable” accommodations must be made so that a person can engage with the democratic process.

“We are the last demographic within the U.S. where you can take away our right to vote because of our identity,” said Michelle Bishop, a disability voting rights specialist who works for the National Disability Rights Network, an advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. “It’s horrifying that this is happening. The idea that you can’t make a decision on who to vote for is a basic misunderstanding of what it means to be disabled.”

A court appoints a guardian to manage someone else’s affairs usually when a judge determines that the person is hampered in making their own decisions or in communicating a decision. Having a disability doesn’t necessarily equate needing a guardian, but adult Americans can and are placed under guardianship for a multitude of reasons, from being unable to manage finances to needing help with medical issues.



the evening greens


Documentary film-makers face decades in prison for taping oil pipeline protests

The controversial prosecutions of Deia Schlosberg and Lindsey Grayzel are moving forward after a judge in North Dakota rejected “riot” charges filed against Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman for her high-profile reporting at the Dakota Access pipeline protests.

But authorities in other parts of North Dakota and in Washington state have continued to target other film-makers over their recent reporting on similar demonstrations, raising concerns that the lesser-known journalists are not getting the same kind of public support and national attention.


Grayzel, an independent film-maker from Portland, Oregon, was also arrested and jailed on 11 October while filming at a separate pipeline protest in Skagit County, Washington. She and her cinematographer, Carl Davis, had their footage and equipment seized and were kept behind bars for a day.

The two were filming activist Ken Ward attempting to shut down the Trans Mountain pipeline, and they now face 30 years in prison for a felony burglary charge, a felony “criminal sabotage” charge and a misdemeanor trespass offense. There were a series of pipeline protests across the US on 11 October.

Free-speech advocates said that both cases are unusual and troubling given that prosecutors have admitted that the defendants were acting as film-makers and are still pursuing aggressive felony cases.

Actress Shailene Woodley Reveals She Was Strip-Searched After Her Arrest Protesting Dakota Pipeline

Emergency order for Flint water crisis should have come sooner, EPA admits

The Environmental Protection Agency should have issued an emergency order to address the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, seven months before it eventually decided to take action, according to a report from the agency’s inspector general.

The EPA’s office of inspector general on Thursday said the agency had the authority and “sufficient information” to act far sooner than it did to address vast lead contamination in the city.

“These situations should generate a greater sense of urgency,” said Arthur Elkins, the inspector general, in a statement. “Federal law provides the EPA with emergency authority to intervene when the safety of drinking water is compromised. Employees must be knowledgeable, trained and ready to act when such a public health threat looms.”

Flint’s water became contaminated with lead in April 2014, when a state-appointed emergency manager decided to switch the city’s water source to a local river. The state’s environmental agency failed to require the city to use corrosion control to prevent lead from leaching off water pipes and flowing into households.

By June 2015, the report said, the EPA’s midwest office was aware that Flint had not been using corrosion control inhibitors, and that the city had exceeded the federal threshold for lead to prompt remedial action. That month, an employee produced an interim memo that identified “major public health concerns in the city of Flint”, according to the report.

Instead of issuing an emergency order, the EPA’s midwest office concluded it was legally precluded from taking action because of the state’s activities to address the lead concerns.

That was incorrect, the report said.

'Last Gasp of Dying Industry': Nuclear Experts Decry First New US Reactor in 20 Years

The first new nuclear reactor in the United States in 20 years went live on Wednesday in Tennessee, in what at least one nuclear expert is calling the "last gasp of a dying industry."

The Watts Bar 2 reactor, which began construction decades ago but faltered, only picking up again in the last four years, is now producing electricity for 650,000 homes and businesses, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

At $4.7 billion, the project is "arguably one of the most expensive, most over-budget, oldest reactors to be started in human history," Friends of the Earth senior strategic adviser Damon Moglen told Common Dreams on Thursday. "It's a testament to the failure of the nuclear industry, rather than the resurgence."

"It's the last gasp of the nuclear industry trying to prove they are still alive in the sense of opening new reactors," Moglen said. "There is just absolutely no justification for the stunning sums of money and time and energy poured into this reactor" instead of renewable, cost-competitive energy.


Also of Interest

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

Hard-Line Prosecutors Face Rejection From Voters in Elections Across the U.S.

Chile's young independents lead quiet revolution against politics-as-usual

Shailene Woodley: The Truth About My Arrest

Russia Is Preparing For War

Tesla’s been hailed as the future of the car industry. So why are some investors paying millions to bet against it?

Hillary Clinton v Donald Trump at the Al Smith dinner: the best (and worst) jokes


A Little Night Music

Eddie Taylor - Bad Boy

Eddie Taylor - Stop Breaking Down

Floyd Jones & Eddie Taylor - Rising Wind + Dark Road

Eddie Taylor - Don't Knock At My Door

Eddie & Vera Taylor - All Your Lovin' + I Found Out

Eddie Taylor - I'm Gonna Love You

Eddie Taylor - I'm Sittin' Here Thinkin'

Eddie Taylor - Train Fare Home

Eddie Taylor - Live @ Greenville, MS - 1972



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joe shikspack's picture

that's quite a rant, indeed.

have a great evening!

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Excellent. Making sure all the right people ( lesser of 2 evils voters I know) are aware of it.

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shaharazade's picture

Not just amusing but the truth. A great rant. Hairballs come in blue and red so step right up and pick your poison. Either way get your red hot fascistic candidate. Look at these people. Do you want either one of them near the levers of power? No way. What a false reality the major players be they red or blue have created. Like the truth is binary or intelligence is artificially generated by machines that go ping. Anyway gjohnsit thanks for the rant. I approve of this rant even though I'm just a not so innocent bystander at this point.

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snoopydawg's picture

Can Maddow sink any lower?
Remember when she first appeared on Keith's show and blasted everything that the Bush administration was doing and then she went silent when Obama started doing the exact same things.
Now as she shills for Hillary, I do not recognize the person she was when she was on Air America.
Shove it Rachel! I'd say that Keith would be embarrassed for you, but he's fallen down the same rabbit hole.

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

Lily O Lady's picture

up, you just won't be yourself. Wink

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"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

mimi's picture

Stein is the only thing I would do, if I could or would votes at all. I know it won't help, but at least one could say to oneself that one voted according to one's conscience. What a terrible condition to be in.

Nothing else to say. The US doesn't look and doesn't feel and doesn't act like a Democracy with Justice for all. Good Night.

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mimi

joe shikspack's picture

i agree with everything that you said. have a great evening!

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Azazello's picture

are going to have blood on their hands when Hillary "Cackling Death" Clinton is elected. That includes Rachel Maddow, Joan Walsh and Katha Pollitt at The Nation, the editors of Mother Jones and everybody at the Daily Kos. There's been all this bullshit talk about Hillary's "plan" for this and her "plan" for that but none of her supposed "plans" can be enacted without Congress. The only thing she can do as President, without Congress, is start and escalate wars. And when she does all of these assholes will be responsible. Will they still pretend to be morally superior, will they still be so smug ?

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We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

joe shikspack's picture

i have not doubt that they will all smugly (is that a word?) pronounce that hillary is a great humanitarian and that they fully support every genocidal, bloodthirsty, bombing that she orders.

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Shahryar's picture

I need some technical help. I can't insert pictures. When I try to insert the open thread jpg (for example) I click on it and nothing happens. Nothing. When I try to upload a picture by clicking "upload" I don't even get the "browse" box. This has only been for the last few weeks. Before that I had no problem.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Thanks.

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joe shikspack's picture

i'll pass this on to jtc.

in the meantime though, as a workaround, you could open up one of your old open threads (use edit) and copy the embed code for the graphic from there and paste it into your new essay. (you might also open up a text document and save the code there for later use to save steps.

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I tried the uploader and had no problems. No one else has complained about it either, which leads me to believe that there's something going on on your end. Is there another computer that you can try, that may narrow it down as an issue on your device.

Joe gave you excellent advice above, just copy and paste the first line of code in your last OT.

Let us know what happens.

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Shahryar's picture

I seem to remember shaz had the problem and I didn't. Now it's reversed. Hers works fine. So what I'm doing on the OTs is write them on my computer, complete with youtube links and something like [insert photo of Nash as a hoodlum]. Then I email the file to her, with all the photos I want to use, start an OT on her computer so I can upload those photos to the caucus, add them to the essay, then copy it all, email to myself, close her window without saving, plug it all into my computer.

Of course if we could remember our passwords I could just do it all on her computer and I wouldn't have to do those email steps.

If it helps to trouble shoot this, I'm using a Televideo 386 running MS-DOS.

No, not really....this laptop uses Windows XP. Really!

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divineorder's picture

Swiss friends camping with us out west just now were noting that in the Flagstaff public library some emails with photos open automatically with the text while others do not.
You had a great question and even jtc had no real useful suggestion for you. Seems such a shame that you have to jump through so many hoops to post.
Was explaining to my Swiss friends how I could post photos to Facebook and Travelpod with no extra work but could not post the same ones to my favorite political blog without several extra steps.

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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.

mimi's picture

and what are supposedly glitches are the consequences of allowing those who develop and sell and profit from the code they write, are uncontrolled and unregulated. They like it when people get frustrated and have all the time update, switch, buy new software and have no clue what happens in their gadgets and computers. This is not a helpful technology anymore for the people.
Call me a pessimist.

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mimi

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

joe shikspack's picture

indeed it has been. i can't get the embed code for this tweet from the site, but here's a link to a podesta email about jane sanders begging bernie not to endorse clinton: https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/22901#efmAA4ACHAD8AFO

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"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

shaharazade's picture

tell the truth or really stand up for anything that would make a real difference? Big Al has major credibility in my book. He saw what this was/is about and continues to tell it like it is. Bernie included. Face it people none of these parties, blue or red, local, state and national mean a damn thing. It's us 'we the people' against the machine. The global machine that knows no party, no nation state, no human rights, and needs to be stopped and taken down.

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divineorder's picture

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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.

OLinda's picture

The email is written confusingly. They are saying Jane called the Gov. of Vermont and begged him not to endorse Clinton. Not that she begged Bernie not to endorse Clinton. Jane denies.

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- - - -
If you don't like the Mafia, why don't you join it and change it from the inside?

joe shikspack's picture

thanks! i didn't pick that up when i read it. no wonder the wikileaks tweet saying that she begged bernie not to endorse disappeared.

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joe shikspack's picture

interesting:

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shaharazade's picture

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

snoopydawg's picture

I miss them during the weekend.

And good lord, if Obama and Hillary and the rest of the merry men who say that we've got to fight Al Quada were serious about it then they would stop f'cking arming and funding them just because they want their help overthrowing Assad for Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries that wants the Syrian resources.
I am unable to post anything from this article, but please read it.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/10/05/did-i-say-that-state-department-o...
Even our troops know that arming them is going to come back and bite us on the ass. Again
"Syria must be destroyed to strengthen Washington's grip on the Middle East and assert control over its resources"Period.
Just like every damned war we've ever fought since 1776.

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

joe shikspack's picture

that is a good article worth reading. here's a teaser:

The United States is on the wrong side in the Syrian war. The U.S. is on the side of al Qaida, the terrorist organization that killed 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. Jabhat al Nusra, which is the name of al Qaida’s branch in Syria, is the most powerful and effective militia currently fighting against the Syrian government. Al Nusra is not comprised of “moderates” that are fighting for democracy, civil liberties or human rights. They are Islamic extremists that want to remove the secular government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad and replace it with an Islamic caliphate that will ruthlessly enforce Sharia law. The bulk of al Nusra’s foot-soldiers are not Syrian nationals, but foreign-born militants recruited by the various Intelligence agencies (US, Turkish, Saudi and Qatar) from around the world. A large portion of these fighters have been armed, trained and funded by these same intel agencies. Whether al Nusra gets its marching orders directly from Langley, Riyadh or Ankara, is a matter of considerable debate, (I, personally, don’t think they do) but it is also completely irrelevant. What’s more important is that these terrorist organizations are mainly the invention of the western intel agencies that use jihadists to advance their own geopolitical agendas in places like Afghanistan, Kosovo, Chechnya, Libya, Somalia etc. Absent state support, these gangs of cutthroats would likely wither and vanish in a matter of months. Instead, they have grown into a small but lethal global army capable of ousting sovereign regimes and destabilizing entire regions.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

"No news is good news!," which I guess about says it for me this evening.

Pleasantry

Hey, thanks for tonight's edition of News & Blues--especially appreciate a couple of the "Horse Race" pieces. Frankly, I would like to see exit polls reinstated, and have been somewhat suspicious of them being pretty much phased out in recent years. (Not that I'd trust an effort run by Roger Stone--talk about a piece of work!)

Have to admit that I'm somewhat amused by the feigned (?) panic of many of the Washington Elites, who've encouraged identity politics for decades--when they thought it played to their advantage. Especially, as it appears to have backfired on many of the Dem lawmakers, who've stood down regarding any meaningful gun control legislation--in an effort to give cover to their fellow Dem lawmakers in conservative/red states. Now, they appear to be petrified that a DT win might result in massive protests by an armed citizenry, post election. (To be clear, in no way am I condoning, or wishing for 'violent' protests.) Hopefully, though, our nation's Elites will think of this the next time they stand down, instead of standing up against the NRA.

Hey, hope Everyone has a nice and safe weekend!

Bye

Mollie


“I believe in the redemptive powers of a dog’s love. It is in recognition of each dog’s potential to lift the human spirit and therefore– to change society for the better, that I fight to make sure every street dog has its day.”
--Stasha Wong, Secretary, Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)

The SOSD Fantastic Four

Available For Adoption, Save Our Street Dogs, SOSD

Taro
Taro, SOSD

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

joe shikspack's picture

i see that the demise of exit polling is part of a pattern of actions that started with the adoption of voting machines without effective audit trails. looking at the patterns leads one to the reasonable conclusion that there have been concerted efforts to create a faith-based voting system.

heh, the powers that be created the trump phenomenon, just like they created the tea party. i hope that we can educate the angry masses about who is really the source of their misery so that when they finally run riot they do it in appropriate places.

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snoopydawg's picture

and how they didn't match up with the vote tallies.
It shows that Hillary stole the election from Bernie which we knew and that the DNC admitted in one of the lawsuits against them.
http://alexanderhiggins.com/stanford-berkley-study-1-77-billion-chance-h...
I can't find the article I read that showed that either the DNC or Hillary's campaign were the ones that changed people's party affiliation or kicked them off the voting rolls.
I'll keep looking for it.
Just the fact that the DNC admitted that it did everything it could to make Hillary the nominee should make the election invalid.

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

informed C99P member in regards to the Dem primary election results.

Recently, I heard Independent Presidential candidate Evan McMullin (from Utah, as you know) on XM Radio. He appears to be a 'No Labeler' in philosophy, if not in actual commitment/membership. This factoid is often conveniently left out when Cable News 'talking heads' analyze the race in your state, in an effort to make FSC look even better (by diminishing the fact that the Republican vote is being split).

Good to see you!

Pleasantry

Mollie


“I believe in the redemptive powers of a dog’s love. It is in recognition of each dog’s potential to lift the human spirit and therefore– to change society for the better, that I fight to make sure every street dog has its day.”
--Stasha Wong, Secretary, Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

on Podesta email about Jane Sanders. (I am truly sorry that Bernie didn't listen to her--Jane's instincts were correct, IMO.)

Mollie


“I believe in the redemptive powers of a dog’s love. It is in recognition of each dog’s potential to lift the human spirit and therefore– to change society for the better, that I fight to make sure every street dog has its day.”
--Stasha Wong, Secretary, Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

joe shikspack's picture

here's one to file under, "i'm shocked, shocked i tell you."

Clinton Emails Reveal Direct US Sabotage Of Venezuela

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divineorder's picture

Appreciate it!

Hugs from Valley of the Gods, Mexican Hat, UT.

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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.

Pricknick's picture

"I said, war, good god, now, what is it good for? Absolutely, nothing".
Edwin Starr was a prophet.

Now, war is good for profits.

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

divineorder's picture

Thanks for the snippet on debate moderator questions. Didn't watch any of the debates but interesting to see how Pete P influenced the questions. Have a good weekend!

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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.