The Evening Blues - 10-9-17


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Meade "Lux" Lewis

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features boogie woogie piano player Meade "Lux" Lewis. Enjoy!

Meade "Lux" Lewis (w/Big Joe Turner) - Roll Em

“American journalism (like the journalism of any other country) is predominantly paltry and worthless. Its pretensions are enormous, but its achievements are insignificant.”

-- H.L. Mencken

News and Opinion

There's an excellent interview with Chris Hedges at the World Socialist Website, here's a taste to get you started:

The elites “have no credibility left:” An interview with journalist Chris Hedges

David North: Chris, you worked for the New York Times. When was that, exactly?

Chris Hedges: From 1990 to 2005.

DN: Since you have some experience with that institution, what changes do you see? We’ve stressed that it has cultivated a constituency among the affluent upper-middle class.

CH: The New York Times consciously targets 30 million upper-middle class and affluent Americans. It is a national newspaper; only about 11 percent of its readership is in New York. It is very easy to see who the Times seeks to reach by looking at its special sections on Home, Style, Business or Travel. Here, articles explain the difficulty of maintaining, for example, a second house in the Hamptons. It can do good investigative work, although not often. It covers foreign affairs. But it reflects the thinking of the elites. ... The Times was always an elitist publication, but it wholly embraced the ideology of neo-conservatism and neoliberalism at a time of financial distress, when Abe Rosenthal was editor. He was the one who instituted the special sections that catered to the elite. And he imposed a de facto censorship to shut out critics of unfettered capitalism and imperialism, such as Noam Chomsky or Howard Zinn. He hounded out reporters like Sydney Schanberg, who challenged the real estate developers in New York, or Raymond Bonner, who reported the El Mozote massacre in El Salvador.

He had lunch every week, along with his publisher, with William F. Buckley. This pivot into the arms of the most retrograde forces of corporate capitalism and proponents of American imperialism, for a time, made the paper very profitable. Eventually, of course, the rise of the internet, the loss of classified ads, which accounted for about 40 percent of all newspaper revenue, crippled the Times as it has crippled all newspapers. Newsprint has lost the monopoly that once connected sellers with buyers. Newspapers are trapped in an old system of information they call “objectivity” and “balance,” formulae designed to cater to the powerful and the wealthy and obscure the truth. But like all Byzantine courts, the Times will go down clinging to its holy grail.

The intellectual gravitas of the paper — in particular the Book Review and the Week in Review — was obliterated by Bill Keller, himself a neocon, who, as a columnist, had been a cheerleader for the war in Iraq. He brought in figures like Sam Tanenhaus. At that point the paper embraced, without any dissent, the utopian ideology of neoliberalism and the primacy of corporate power as an inevitable form of human progress. The Times, along with business schools, economics departments at universities, and the pundits promoted by the corporate state, propagated the absurd idea that we would all be better off if we prostrated every sector of society before the dictates of the marketplace. It takes a unique kind of stupidity to believe this. You had students at Harvard Business School doing case studies of Enron and its brilliant business model, that is, until Enron collapsed and was exposed as a gigantic scam. This was never, really, in the end, about ideas. It was about unadulterated greed. It was pushed by the supposedly best educated among us, like Larry Summers, which exposes the lie that somehow our decline is due to deficient levels of education. It was due to a bankrupt and amoral elite, and the criminal financial institutions that make them rich.

'Like' 1984: Facebook says policing fake news could create Orwellian reality

UK Watchdog Ofcom clears al-Jazeera of antisemitism in exposé of Israeli official

Ofcom has cleared al-Jazeera of antisemitism and breaching impartiality rules over an undercover investigation that caught an Israeli embassy official plotting to “take down” British MPs regarded as hostile towards Israel.

The media regulator investigated the Qatar-based broadcaster after receiving complaints about The Lobby, a four-part documentary investigating the political influence of the Israeli embassy in Britain.

Clayton Swisher, the director of investigative journalism at al-Jazeera, said in a memo to staff that Ofcom had “fully and completely vindicated” the broadcaster.

The ruling comes as al-Jazeera battles for its future. A coalition of Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, have demanded that Qatar close the TV station as one of the conditions of lifting a blockade of the gas-rich kingdom. Israel also wants to close al-Jazeera’s offices, with the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing it of inciting violence.

Al-Jazeera aired The Lobby in January. The programme showed Shai Masot, an official in the Israeli embassy in London, saying he would “take down” MPs including Sir Alan Duncan, the Foreign Office minister who is an outspoken supporter of a Palestinian state.

“Human Flow”: World-Renowned Artist & Activist Ai Weiwei on His Epic New Documentary on Refugees

Moscow warns it may restrict U.S. media in Russia

Russia is within its rights to restrict the operations of U.S. media organizations in Russia in retaliation for what Moscow calls U.S. pressure on a Kremlin-backed TV station, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Sunday.

Russian officials have accused Washington of putting unwarranted pressure on the U.S. operations of RT, a Kremlin-funded broadcaster accused by some in Washington of interfering in domestic U.S. politics, which it denies.

The foreign ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said the full weight of the U.S. authorities was being brought to bear against RT’s operations in the United States, and that Moscow had the right to respond. ...

She cited a 1991 Russian law which, she said, stated that if a Russian media outlet is subject to restrictions in a foreign country, then Moscow has the right to impose proportionate restrictions on media outlets from that country operating inside Russia.

Interesting! It turns out that comic book fans are not big fans of the military industrial complex. Heh!

Marvel drops Northrop Grumman tie-in after Comic Con fan rebellion

The Marvel comic company dropped a partnership with the defense industry giant Northrop Grumman and canceled a launch event scheduled for New York Comic Con on Saturday, after plans for a special series featuring branded superheroes alongside the legendary Avengers characters met with fierce opposition.

Some fans had planned to protest at the Comic Con event, after Marvel announced via social media that it would launch the limited edition series at its booth at the Jacob K Javits Conference Center on the western side of Manhattan. On Saturday, many attendees welcomed the cancellations. ...

Marvel Entertainment had posted on Twitter on Friday that it was “joining forces” with Northrop Grumman, which makes stealth bombers and military drones, among other defense systems, and issuing a limited comic series.

Images circulated of a comic cover featuring Avengers heroes such as Captain America alongside a new, corporate-branded troupe of superheroes known as the Northrop Grumman Elite Nexus, or NGEN. Inside the comic would be a full-page advertisement for the defense contractor and, reportedly, job recruitment notices.

Uproar on social media was swift, with fans variously calling the tie-in disgusting, tone deaf, amoral and “propaganda for the military-industrial complex”. Marvel soon announced that the project had been cancelled.

Bob Corker: White House is 'adult day care center' and Trump may start WWIII

Donald Trump’s fractious relationship with the Republican establishment reached a bizarre new level on Sunday when Senator Bob Corker described the White House as an “adult day care center” and warned that the president risked setting the US “on the path to World War III”.

An extraordinary exchange between Trump and the chair of the Senate foreign relations committee began when Trump accused Corker, who is retiring, of “not having the guts” to run for re-election.

In response, Corker tweeted:

Trump also said that Corker had “begged” him for an endorsement for re-election. “He also wanted to be secretary of state, I said ‘NO THANKS’,” Trump tweeted. “He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran deal!”

In a statement to the Guardian, Corker’s chief of staff, Todd Womack, directly contradicted Trump. “The president called Sen Corker on Monday afternoon and asked him to reconsider his decision not to seek re-election and reaffirmed that he would have endorsed him, as he has said many times,” he said.

Trump on North Korea: 'Only one thing will work'

trump kim warheads

President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday that 25 years of agreements with North Korea have failed, "making fools" of US negotiators.

Then he added cryptically that "only one thing will work."

In a pair of tweets sent Saturday afternoon, Trump said that past agreements with North Korea have all been violated. ...

Asked by reporters later Saturday about the cryptic tweet, Trump would only say: "You'll figure that out pretty soon."

What They Won't Tell You About Catalonia, Spain

Catalonia's president to bring crisis to head in parliament

Spain’s worst political crisis in four decades is set to come to a head on Tuesday when the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, reveals his plans for independence as he addresses the regional parliament for the first time since the referendum that provoked the standoff with the Spanish government. Although Puigdemont had originally promised to make a unilateral declaration of independence within 48 hours of a victory for the secessionist campaign, he has so far held off doing so, calling instead for mediated negotiations with the Madrid government.

His appearance before parliament comes after the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, threatened to impose direct rule on Catalonia and a series of banks and businesses announced plans to relocate from the region amid the enduring uncertainty. Despite the growing national and international pressure, it is unclear whether Puigdemont will push ahead with a formal declaration of independence or choose a less drastic option in the hope of avoiding any further escalation of tensions with Madrid.

A Catalan government source dismissed suggestions that the president would opt for a merely symbolic recognition of independence, but refused to be drawn on what he might do. “We’re still on track. We’re here to do what we’re here to do and we will do it especially now that we know that people have voted in a referendum and the result is clear,” they said.

Rajoy has vowed to preserve national unity and shown himself willing to invoke article 155 of the Spanish constitution, which allows the central government to take control of an autonomous region if it “does not fulfil the obligations imposed upon it by the constitution or other laws, or acts in a way that is seriously prejudicial to the general interest of Spain”. Invoking the article, which has never been used, would provoke an angry response in Catalonia. Tempers in the region remain high following the Spanish police’s efforts to stop the referendum on 1 October.

70,000 gather in Cuba to remember Che Guevara on anniversary of his death

The Guardian has a good article with information from documents that were declassified during the recent lawsuit against the Bush torture designer doctors Mitchell and Jessen. Here's the intro to get you started:

There were twenty cells inside the prison, each a stand-alone concrete box. In sixteen, prisoners were shackled to a metal ring in the wall. In four, designed for sleep deprivation, they stood chained by the wrists to an overhead bar. Those in the regular cells had a plastic bucket; those in sleep deprivation wore diapers. When diapers weren’t available, guards crafted substitutes with duct tape, or prisoners were chained naked in their cells. The cellblock was unheated, pitch black day and night, with music blaring around the clock.

“The atmosphere was very good,” John “Bruce” Jessen told a CIA investigator in January 2003, two months after he interrogated a prisoner named Gul Rahman in the facility. “Nasty, but safe.” Jessen, one of the two contract psychologists who designed the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation techniques”, spent 10 days in the secret prison near Kabul, Afghanistan, in November 2002. Five days after he left, Rahman, naked from the waist down and shackled to the cold concrete floor, was discovered dead in his cell from hypothermia.

In August, Gul Rahman’s family and Mohamed Ben Soud and Suleiman Abdullah Salim, two surviving prisoners of the Afghan black site, reached an out-of-court settlement in their lawsuit against Jessen and James Mitchell seeking restitution for torture. By settling the suit, Mitchell and Jessen avoided a trial that would have brought into the full light of an American courtroom what happened in the prison codenamed Cobalt, and known simply as “the Darkness” to its prisoners.

But much of what the plaintiffs hoped would be aired before a jury can be found in 274 documents the CIA and Pentagon were forced to declassify and release during pre-trial discovery.

[See article for details of documents. - js]

Judge Denies Bail for Reality Winner, Accepting Prosecutor’s Dubious Allegations

On Thursday, a federal judge denied a second request for bail from Reality Winner, a former National Security Agency contractor accused of violating the Espionage Act, despite an admission from the federal prosecutor in charge of the case that the government relied on false information in Winner’s initial bail hearing.

In his decision denying bail, Judge Brian Epps did not acknowledge or reference the prosecutor’s false statements, despite the statement having been a principal reason the defense moved for the renewed hearing.

The fight over whether Winner should be released pending trial stemmed from her bail hearing shortly after she was indicted in June. Winner was initially denied bail partly on the basis of alleged jailhouse recordings that suggested she may have other classified documents that she wanted to make public.

Relying on the FBI’s descriptions of the calls, the prosecutor told the judge on June 9 that Winner discussed having multiple classified “documents” (plural) beyond the document she allegedly released. When the prosecutor finally did listen to the recording herself — after the judge had already denied bail — she admitted that Winner did not use the plural “documents” in the phone call, but only referred to one “document.”

With no evidence Winner was in possession of more documents, U.S. Attorney Jennifer Solari instead shifted focus during a bail hearing last week to Winner’s character, internet privacy habits, and political views, arguing that the young former NSA contractor had shown “nothing but contempt for our country and our security.” In his Thursday decision denying bail, Epps took many of the prosecution’s charges about Winner’s views at face value — portending a tough road ahead for Winner at trial — in making his case that she posed a security and flight risk.

Single Payer Opponents Say The Transition Process Would Be Too Difficult. But 10,000 People Do It Every Day.

Opponents of single payer health care frequently claim that such a system might be wonderful in theory, but getting there would be too disruptive. Many Americans, the argument goes, have private health insurance coverage and the transition to a government plan would be jarring.

“Half of America gets their health insurance coverage on the job,” American Hospital Association lobbyist and former Connecticut Democratic congressman Bruce Morrison told The Intercept last month. Single payer would replace coverage for some 150 million people, he noted. “If you just leaped to Medicare for All, you would totally disrupt the expectations of all those people. And that would not be a good idea.”

But roughly 10,000 Americans make that transition every single day. We call them seniors who are enrolling in Medicare for the first time.

The latest bill from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., would not “just leap” to Medicare for All, but would gradually lower the eligibility age until the full population is covered. So instead of 10,000 per day, several times that would become eligible in a rolling fashion.

So we asked some of those seniors who went through the transition what it was like. They described lower medical bills, great access and choice, and much less fighting with insurance companies for coverage.

Democrats Have Given Up on Private Health Care Markets — and for Good Reason

The Democratic party has fully mobilized multiple times this year in defense of the Affordable Care Act. But when it comes to the future of health care, the party has quietly given up on the idea of trying to make the ACA principle of regulated private insurance markets work. Instead, they see expanding public health insurance as the future.

Republicans have only themselves to blame.

The most visible sign of this shift from private to public was the release of Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare for all” bill. His measure garnered 16 co-sponsors, including every senator seen as a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, but it was by no means the only bill of its kind. ...

A big reason for this shift, which Democrats are unlikely to ever fully acknowledge, is how much the ACA has failed to live up to expectations. The relentless claims by Republicans that the ACA will pull the plug on grandma, or that it will explode, have allowed Democrats to redefine barely functioning as success. It has made it easy to forget, though, how great President Barack Obama’s team thought the law would turn out. ...

Some members of the Obama team honestly believed their new private insurance exchanges would be so popular with individuals and companies that they would rapidly expand to become the main way people get insurance. ... One of Obama’s top health care advisers, Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, even went so far as to predict that by 2025 fewer than 20 percent of workers would be getting traditional employer-sponsored coverage, because the exchanges would be humming with competition and low prices and crowding everything out.

[See the article for the dramatic details of the collapse brought on by the neoliberal, "free market" religious beliefs of the Obama faithful. - js]

The social and economic roots of the attack on democratic rights

A report published September 27 by the US Federal Reserve, the Survey of Consumer Finances, shows that the top 10 percent of Americans now own 77 percent of all wealth. The top 1 percent increased its share of wealth from 35.5 percent in 2013 to 38.5 in 2016. The share of the bottom 90 percent declined from 25 percent to 22.9 percent over the same period.

These percentages show a transfer of trillions of dollars from the working class to the rich and affluent in just three years.

The bottom three quarters of the population, some 240 million people, now own less than 10 percent of the wealth. That is, if the United States were a 10-storey apartment building with 100 people, the richest person would be living on the top four floors, the nine next wealthiest people on the next four floors, fifteen on the second floor, and 75 people cramped at the bottom level.

The Federal Reserve data demonstrates, in empirical terms, profound changes in social relations that affect hundreds of millions of people, touching all aspects of political, cultural and intellectual life. The US is an oligarchy in which the government, trade unions, media, universities, and major political parties are instruments used by the ruling class to manipulate the population, mask its own wealth, and crush social opposition from below.

Trump demands Congress fund border wall as price for keeping Dreamers

The Trump administration on Sunday issued a list of hardline immigration demands, including funding for a wall on the Mexico border and a crackdown on admittance of children from Central America, as its first move in negotiations for a deal to allow young undocumented migrants known as Dreamers to stay in the US legally.

Democrats rejected the list as “immoral” and “far beyond what is reasonable”, setting up a likely showdown in Congress. On Monday Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat from New Mexico and chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said if Republicans and the White House refused to back off, Democrats led by the CHC were prepared to derail legislation.

“They are not going to have Democrats to get them over the finish line on anything they need,” she said on a conference call with reporters, adding: “We’ll use every leverage point we have at our disposal to protect these Dreamers.” Dreamers and groups who advocate for them also reacted with horror. Christian Ramirez, director of the Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC), said the decision to use Dreamers as a “bargaining chip” was “shameful”.

The list of principles also called for withholding federal grants for “sanctuary cities” and limiting legal immigration by issuing fewer family-based green cards to spouses and the minor children of US citizens and lawful permanent residents. It also demanded the creation of a points-based system for migrants to gain entry to the US.

the evening greens

Top Snyder aide: Governor knew about Legionnaires' in Flint earlier than he claimed

Gov. Rick Snyder knew about Flint-area outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease in December 2015, the month before he said he found out, according to testimony Friday from one of his top aides.

Harvey Hollins III, Snyder's point man for the state's response to the Flint water crisis, revealed the information in a Flint courtroom. Hollins said he told Snyder in a phone call in December 2015, which contradicts what Snyder has said previously: that he first learned of instances of Legionnaires' disease in Flint in January 2016.

“As soon as I became aware of it, we held a press conference the next day,” Snyder said in a March 2016 interview before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that was played in court.

The news conference was held on Jan. 13, 2016. ...

U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Flint Township, said in a statement that Hollins' testimony "raises concerning questions about the governor’s statements that need to be answered." He said he has asked the Oversight and Government Reform committee to look into the conflicting statements immediately.

'The war on coal is over': EPA boss to roll back Obama's clean power rules

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday that he would sign a new rule overriding the Clean Power Plan, an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

“The war on coal is over,” EPA administrator Scott Pruitt declared in the coal mining state of Kentucky, at an event with one of the state’s US senators, the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell.

For Pruitt, getting rid of the Clean Power Plan will mark the culmination of a long fight he began as the elected attorney general of Oklahoma. Pruitt was among about two dozen attorney generals who sued to stop Barack Obama’s push to limit carbon emissions.

Closely tied to the oil and gas industry in his home state, Pruitt rejects the consensus of scientists that emissions from burning fossil fuels are the primary driver of global climate change. ..

In his order on Tuesday, Pruitt is expected to declare that the Obama-era rule exceeded federal law by setting emissions standards that power plants could not reasonably meet.

Northern California wildfires force mass evacuations: 'Trees were on fire like torches'

Wildfires whipped by powerful winds swept through northern California’s wine region early on Monday, sending residents on a headlong flight to safety through smoke and flames as homes burned. Mandatory evacuations were ordered in counties north of San Francisco Bay and elsewhere after blazes broke out late on Sunday.

“It was an inferno like you’ve never seen before,” said Marian Williams, who caravanned with neighbors through flames before dawn as one of the wildfires reached the vineyards and ridges at her small Sonoma County town of Kenwood. Williams could feel the heat of her fire through the car as she fled. “Trees were on fire like torches,” she said.

With so many fires, residents of Sonoma County struggled to figure out what roads to take, finding downed trees or flames blocking some routes. Fires also burned just to the east in the Napa County wine country as well as in Yuba, Butte and Nevada counties all north of the state capital. Cal Fire tweeted that as many as 8,000 homes were threatened in Nevada County, which lies on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. Smoke was thick in San Francisco, 60 miles (96km) south of the Sonoma County fire.

Also of Interest

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

Wealth Inequality Is Higher Than Ever

Political Support Growing to Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Wall Street Debt

The Sanitizing of Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks

Meet Kim Yo-jong, the sister who is the brains behind Kim Jong-un's image

The GOP Donor Class Is a Pack of Ungrateful Brats

Our Restless Earth: photography competition winners 2017 – in pictures

A Little Night Music

Meade "Lux" Lewis - Blues' Whistle

Meade Lux Lewis, Pete Johnson, Albert Ammons - Boogie Woogie Prayer

Meade Lux Lewis - Melancholy Blues

Meade Lux Lewis - Honky Tonk Train Blues

Meade Lux Lewis - Solitude

Meade Lux Lewis (w/Big Joe Turner) - Low Down Dog

Meade "Lux" Lewis - Six Wheel Chaser

Meade Lux Lewis - Mr. Freddie Blues

Meade Lux Lewis w/Charlie Christian, Edmond Hall & Israel Crosby - Jammin' In Four

Meade Lux Lewis - Fast Boogie

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riverlover's picture

A small house, but still.

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Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

joe shikspack's picture


so sorry to hear about your friend's loss. a lot of wealth has been transferred back to the banksters through repossessions during the great recession which our elected officials couldn't be bothered to help the regular folks through. i hope that they are able to land on their feet.

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Arrow's picture

Evening Joe

I feel another big rant coming on. But, I'll restrain myself.
Let's just say that 'Coretta and the kids' sold Martin out to big business (King Center)for the money and at the expense of Joe Lowery and the SCLC. I know because I worked with some of the reverends way back in the day. That Intercept article is no surprise.

As always, a fine EB to nite. Thanks Joe.

Gee.... I've been particularly angry the past few days.

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I want a Pony!

joe shikspack's picture


how are things down there where things circle the drain in the opposite direction?

yep, the "repurposing" through historical revision is kind of par for the course, i guess. you can get angry about it, but it happens to pretty much everybody who has the misfortune to die. our lives are all just fodder for the chosen narratives of our successors.

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Azazello's picture

The lead-off piece from Chris Hedges was outstanding!
Russian coverage of Vegas massacre: "There are psychos everywhere."

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It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture


yep, i think that is probably one of the best interviews of hedges that i have seen in a long time. it covers a lot more ground than most of his speeches do and the interviewer actually challenges hedges (politely) about some of his gloomier prognostications. it's definitely worth a read.

heh, thanks for the russian coverage, it's pretty interesting in both form and content. i wonder to what extent it reflects how russians actually think of americans.

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mimi's picture

(edit some typos)
point out again to an
article in the Guardian - 'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia, which I commented about here.

I liked it a lot. And of course, as an unexpected side-effect of me reading that article, I just started to think about what got me so addicted to the Evening Blues... Smile .

I boycott facebook since ever, and had started to read twitter only the last two to three years or so and only haphazardly, I nevertheless had read first Dailykos way back on from 2004/5 and now the caucus99percent from 2015 on pretty religiously every day.

So, the question I just asked myself a couple of minutes ago, was: "hat is it that makes me addicted to c99p and the EB? What is the "reward mechanism" for which I have to crave, if I understand the Guardian article correctly.

I got the answer.

I get a kick out of realizing that you have included in your EB some articles I had already read hours before and found very good, I feel somewhat - proud - of myself. The fact that I still look up if my comments got a thunbs up and if not causes me to feel insecure about what I said, is not that great. Sad Darn cravings, huh?

Sigh. Awful. But the article is really good. Yeah, I liked the interview of Chris Hedges by David North too keepinga lot.

I think we should be grateful to have all those links getting served to us by you good people and rather than to get depressed, be aware that something good is coming out of here.

So, I told myself that it's not too bad keeping on to going on to be a little addicted to the EB. Smile

Thanks and a good night.

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joe shikspack's picture


heh. good observations.

back when i had my blues show on the radio, people would call me up at the studio and make requests for music. there were a few musicians that would call me up from time to time asking me to play things that were kind of rarities that were in my collection or things that i had played that they wanted to record off the air so that they could learn them. but, i realized after a while that all but a very few requests were made by people asking me to play music that they owned and could play anytime that they wanted - usually it was requests for blues rock stuff that i was loath to play because everybody had already heard that stuff a million times and you can hear the rolling stones or eric clapton, etc. on other stations a lot.

what i came to realize was that they were really asking me to confirm that their taste in music was good by playing the stuff they like, rather than helping them understand the history of the music or be exposed to artists that they had never heard before that they might like and want to explore further.

going by part of your comment above, i am guessing that one of the reasons that you are "addicted" to the eb, is that it functions as a yardstick for you. if you have already read many of the linked articles in a day, you consider yourself well-informed - and probably justifiably pat yourself on the back. Smile

on those occasions when you find a cool article like the one that you brought here tonight that is not in the eb, you can justifiably pat yourself on the back, too.

i like to think of the eb as a group effort to some degree and i deeply appreciate people bringing interesting articles to the comments for others to read.

i don't see it as competitive in any way, though you can make a game out of just about anything, which is what i would suggest you are doing with your comparison of your day's reading vs. mine - not that there's anything wrong with that. i'm just saying that i see the eb as cooperative rather than competitive.

so, i'll stop rambling now. thanks for the article!

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mimi's picture

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mimi's picture

@joe shikspack
am delighted when I see you posting articles I had read and also found very good. The other thing I like are your quotes. They hit perfectly sometimes to the day's events.

To me all the music aside from some classics out of the sixties and seventies is new to me. I can't even keep up listening to them, let alone talk about them. It makes me aware about the "cultural isolation" I find myself in in relation to your American readers. I like it a lot to be here. The only place I feel I could be a dummy and not feel too bad about it. Thanks for that! Wink

BTW all hat tips need to go to Lotlizard. She pointed to the Guardian article I was commenting on.

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It is really smokey.


And busy.

Fire rages, ash falls

At midday, it's raining ash in Healdsburg. There are large, uncontained fires to the north, south, and east. The massive blaze that started in Napa County and roared over the ridges overnight is consuming large areas of Santa Rosa, almost to Windsor's southern border. In North County, a fire that started this morning on the ridges to the east above Geyserville casts a shadow over the area. West County is choking on the wind-driven smoke.
Our newspaper offices have no internet or telephone so we are reporting from our smartphones, but we are safe. God speed, Sonoma County.

Just talked to my friend up on Pine Mountain, they have been without power since the big wind last night. It took out a few trees, their farm garden, and a big section of their sheep barn roof, huge rafters and all. They had no idea about the fires except for the smoke, it is bad. She was glad to hear me read that article to her because she has a story deadline and no power to send it. It is her boss reporting from a smart phone with no internet, so ... she thinks she's okay for now. Veggies tomorrow, whatever is left from the storm they are distributing if possible.

A lot of people from Santa Rosa are up here now, the freeway is or was closed south of Healdsburg, I met two people from Laytonville stuck here with two flat tires and some killer bud.

The hot water heater in the house where I rent a room over the garage broke Saturday night, been going without hot water, now no water at all. The people downstairs turned it off and left to go stay elsewhere? I don't know. The landlord doesn't answer, no plumbers were available today, no stores open in Santa Rosa. He can't get here anyway it's a state of friggin' emergency. Maybe tomorrow.

At least I know who I can count on now, neighbors across the street totally have my back, invited me to evacuate with them if the worst happens. Her mom's house in Bennett Valley burned down (they just emptied it for sale, downsizing), his mom's apartment is okay but she is staying with them until everything is out down there in Santa Rosa. Whew.

good luck!

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snoopydawg's picture


I saw pictures of it and was amazed by how big the flames were and how many homes have been destroyed. 1,500 by this morning and I'm sure that the numbers have gone up.
Were the winds the Santa Ana winds or do those only effect Southern California? I heard that another fire has started down by LA. This has been a horrible year for wildfires. I wonder if they had more people fighting them or if they have enough. It doesn't seem so.

Hopefully your air won't get too bad. Ours was when there were fires here, California, Idaho and Montana.
Stay safe.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

enhydra lutris's picture

from Baja and only impact SoCal.

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

@snoopydawg they are named after Mt. Diablo, another beauty. Head for the coast, that is my neighbor's plan. They are pretty pretty prepared. Biggrin I don't even have one dollar cash until the check comes, I hope the check still comes tomorrow, you know what I mean? sheesh. "Second Coming: Things fall apart, the center cannot hold." Indeed. Where has all the money gone? Not to fire protection, that's for sure. Evacuate and let it burn, the new normal.

It’s the worst month possible for a fire to have started in the Golden State. October is the end of California’s dry season and the most vulnerable time for wildfires to spread. The culprit for this particular wildfire is a weather phenomenon called the “Diablo winds” in Northern California, after Mt. Diablo in the eastern Bay Area. (The same phenomenon is called the “Santa Ana winds” in Southern California, after Mt. Santa Ana.)

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joe shikspack's picture


sorry to hear about the hardships. please stay safe!

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Unabashed Liberal's picture


that you're being impacted by this tragedy. Glad to hear that you've got some 'homies' who'll have your back, in case the situation gets even more dire.

Hope you're able to get in touch with your landlord, so that you can get your water turned on/fixed soon. I've not been as plugged into the news lately, so it was after things got critical there, before I realize what was happening.

Please let us hear how things are going, if you can manage to keep a connection.

Take care, and stay safe!


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

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

Fences For Fido Screenshot.png

Fences For Fido

When a dog is unchained, a transformation begins.

It starts with what we call “zoomies:” The running, jumping, exuberant joy our Fidos display once unchained – many for the first time in years.

Meet 'Cupcake' - FFF's 1000th Zoomy!

Thank You 'Fences For Fido' Volunteers - You Are All Saints! Give rose

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

@Unabashed Liberal thanks, Sunday was supposed to be my "day off" from news, overloaded. I was just casually sweeping around the grounds in the morning, the smoke was still south. I thought the backyard neighbor was moving his grow at 4am because the landlord was due. But he was racing down to SR to help evac the 55+ mobile home community that burned down, couldn't make it through the closures. He was really upset, kept saying "nobody's coming!" over and over like he just couldn't believe it. Shocked. They are fully prepped too, ready to help. It's just the main house people who appear idiotic.

The mom's house in Bennet Valley might have survived, I hope so. The RE agent actually lived across the street and had to evac Sunday a.m.. It has been weeks trying to empty it for cleaning and sale. omg the LP collection in the basement, jaw>floor is all I can say, it was supposed to have been moved to a climate controlled storage space, don't know if they made it. The sound system is across the street in storage, BIG floor speakers, almost as big as me. Smile To say there was a lot of "stuff" is not even close. There was even a Tiny House nearly finished in the back yard. Add nightmare of the insurance kind, if it burned. Assisted living options just got a lot smaller, suddenly.

I am just trying to survive each day hour by hour, that is all. Grateful for the luckiness, thanks universe. A therapist once said to me, "It's all a disorder" when I balked at a diagnosis. Indeed it is.

and quiet
would be nice
in chaos

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karl pearson's picture

I will never forget the RNC campaign ad against U.S. Congressmen Harold Ford, when Ford ran against Corker for the 2006 U.S. Senate race in Tennessee. Ford was running ahead in some of the polls and political pundits thought this ad helped Corker win, since Ford is African-American. Corker won by less than 3% points.

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joe shikspack's picture

@karl pearson

harold ford. now there's a blast from the past!

if he wasnt' such a neoliberal jackass, perhaps he might have been able to distinguish himself from the republican (anti-union pig, corker) in the minds of working people who might have tipped the vote to him and ignored the stupid ads.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

comment--excellent Hedges interview! Of course, he's long been one of my favorites. I just wish that he'd run for President!


Got a couple of thoughts to post, so I'll just put 'em out as bullet points of a sort.

¶ Here's Orin Hatch's statement regarding the CHIP bill that he just steered through the Senate Finance Committee. I'm posting it in response to the claim by some folks that millions of children will no longer have health insurance through CHIP. Hint--I wouldn't bank on what comedians say, regarding health care policy!


Orin Hatch:

“Today’s advancement of the KIDS Act is an important step toward ensuring the children and families who rely on CHIP do not see a lapse in health coverage,” Hatch said. “Extending funding for CHIP has been a top priority of this committee, and I am pleased to see the Committee advance this policy today. I will continue to work with Ranking Member Wyden and my colleagues to further advance this bill in a fiscally responsible manner to provide certainty for this critical, bipartisan program.”

Ron Wyden:

“Today the Finance Committee has taken an important and decisive step towards extending funding for CHIP,” Wyden said. “Congress must get a CHIP bill to the president’s desk as soon as possible – every day that goes by without action means more harmful consequences for families and states. I look forward to working with Chairman Hatch and members on both sides of the aisle to get CHIP across the finish line for kids and their families.”

The Keeping Kids’ Insurance Dependable and Secure (KIDS) Act would:

1) Extend CHIP funding through fiscal year (FY) 2022;

2) Maintain federal matching rate at current statutory levels through FY 2019, change to 11.5 percent for FY 2020, and return to a traditional CHIP matching rate for fiscal years 2021 and 2022; and

3) Create protections and flexibility under the maintenance-of-effort provision.

[Edited to include numbers.]

I'll try to keep my eyes peeled regarding the final passage and signing of this legislation. It is one of the truly bipartisan efforts, so I can't imagine that DT will refuse to sign it.

¶ I'm a bit pushed this evening, because we're traveling South tomorrow. No damage to residence, but possibly to another structure on our property.

But, I have to push back on the claim by Jon Walker that Dems are dropping a market solution to health care. See below, from the Senate HELP Committee, Ranking Member's News--that would be 'Miss Patty.'


NEW—Murray to Republican Leaders: Drop Trumpcare, Return to Regular Order, & Allow Bipartisan HELP Negotiations to Continue

Murray: “I am still at the table ready to finish the promising work Chairman Alexander and I were able to do, and I think that can happen quickly as soon as Republican leaders allow it . . .”

Please check out the rest of the commentary.


Murray Continues Push to Restart Bipartisan Health Care Negotiations: “Ready to Keep Working”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, issued the following statement echoing Senator John McCain's call for regular order and bipartisanship on health care and urged resumed bipartisan negotiations on stabilizing health care markets and protecting families from higher premiums. "I agree with Senator McCain that the right way to get things done in the Senate-especially on an issue as i… Continue Reading

Hey, gotta run 'the B' out, because I'm dodging intermittent rain. Thanks for the excellent compilation of news and blues, Joe!

Everyone have a nice evening!


[Edited: Corrected syntax. Added emoticon.]


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

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

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

snoopydawg's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

I can't imagine that DT will refuse to sign it.

He's a big enough douche bag and not might sign it just for shits and giggles. This helps the less fortunate and he doesn't seem to care much about them.

This is the one issue that should show his supporters that he doesn't care about anyone who isn't in his class. If people can't get upset about children dying from lack of health insurance, there is no hope for them. These types of people are pro birth only. After that, kids should pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get a job. If they don't have boots, they need to apply themselves harder. Right?

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@snoopydawg @karl pearson @karl pearson @snoopydawg

that it's just a matter of timing--remember, those clowns 'stay on break' all the time. IOW, they've been racing against the clock to get it out of Committee. There was never an intention not to reauthorize the bill--that I've heard of. (If they do, guess I'll have a lot of crow to eat!) Wink

You may recall that Hatch is one of the original co-sponsors. IOW, this bill was Ted Kennedy's and Hatch's brainchild. They were very good friends. Heck, we watched Kennedy's funeral (taped by C-Span), and Hatch pretty much broke down as he delivered an eulogy. I'm next to certain that he has no intention of nixing this program.

As for DT, we watched every one of the (14 ?) Republican debates. Don't recall a word being said about CHIP, one way, or the other. Frankly, I doubt DT even knows what it is--but, it would be a 'win' for him to sign it. (And he could use one!)

I'm watching--if either someone blocks it, or DT refuses to sign it, then it's time to get out the pitchforks.

Frankly, the conversation came across as Dem Party/DNC propaganda to me--especially, Maher's comments.

BTW, I'm getting rather concerned that Dems plan to insist on entitlement cuts, because every time I hear Pelosi and Schumer, lately, they are insisting that there be 'offsets' to tax cuts. Sounds as though they're going to push for a Grand Bargain--or, no deal.

Dash 1

I haven't forgotten that it was 'O' and the Dems who tried mightily for 8 years to slash our social safety net. (And succeeded, to some extent, if you recall.) Mr M and I will have 50,000 to 60,000 dollars less in benefits due to the cut to Social Security that passed with majority Dem votes (Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015).

IIRC, they passed it end of year, and it went into effect 30 April 2016. And the useless AARP supported it, as did all the corporatist Dem apparatchiks! What freaked us out was not only that they nixed those benefits, but the short time frame set for it to become effective.

Congress recently passed a budget bill that included some important changes to a popular couples Social Security claiming strategy. This strategy, file and suspend with a restricted application for spousal benefits, can add $60,000 or more to overall benefits collected by a couple. Congress deemed this a loophole in the rules and an unintended windfall and this opportunity will go away six months after the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 becomes law, which should happen on April 30, 2016.

We're just thanking our lucky stars that we've made it into the Medicare program before the age was raised, etc.

[Edited: Corrected date - 30 April 2016, not 1 April 2016]


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

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

regarding chip - i saw (don't know if i included in eb) an article which detailed the various states reserves of chip funding. as i remember it, there were only a few (my fallible memory is 9) states that the funding was to run out almost immediately, most states had a few months of funding available and some had more than a few months funds. beyond that, even the states that are due to run out will undoubtedly be able to shuffle funding around on an emergency basis if they are assured that they will recoup the money when congress gets its poop together.

i agree with you about walker's article. i think that he is being far more optimistic than is warranted. most democrats are neoliberal turds who would like to take in tons of money from the health, insurance and pharma industries to maintain a huge, expensive, stupid system of subsidies (like obamacare) rather than do the right and practical thing.

most democrats don't give a flying f@ck at a rolling doughnut about the (lower class) people who will be screwed while they drag their feet and hoover up the graft.

give my regards to the b. have a good one!

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snoopydawg's picture

This does go back to what Bill did to the working, middle and poor classes when he passed nafta, welfare reform, the crime bill that effected so many other programs.,
On top of that, the democrats followed him into selling us out and then Obama toppled whatever was left standing.

The video that Big Al posted in his essay on Hillary summed up the foreign policies of the democrats who are doing the same things that republicans have been doing. I'm just dumbfounded by the number of people who can't see the democrats, Hillary and Obama for who they really are. Obama got away with his legacy because he baffled people with his charming character which was as phony as Hillary's accents.

I have been wondering what your avatar is, but can't figure it out. Spill...

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

joe shikspack's picture


heh. well, the avatar is my alter ego, grumpus macangry.

you can get a better look at him in this video that i made years ago:

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snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

You nailed everything about how he sold us out. Or as Cornel Wast said:

Obama is a black mascot for Wall Street, and now he is going around to collect his fees for selling us out.

The could of been president has set us back at least two decades economically. He added on to the misery that Bill afflicted on the poor and middle classes.
Yep. It's gone over people's heads that Reagan has an airport named after him after he destroyed the air traffic controllers.

My sigline can also be about how Trump too is looking forward since he has no intention to hold Obama and Hillary accountable for their war crimes and for Bill and Hillary's foundation stealing the billions of Haiti's reconstruction money and enriching their friends pockets.


I have the picture that can be the model for Obama's Mt. Rushmore's bust.


Can you post a transcript of this video?

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

SnappleBC's picture

@joe shikspack

And as noted above... sad.

"What do I think of the Obama Presidency? I think it would've been a good idea."

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A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

snoopydawg's picture

game with us? As Chris stated, it's as phony as Saddam's WMDs but people bought that much quicker. This has been going on for close to two years now. And why aren't the people who are buying into putting the blame on Obama? He was president when this happened and he was well aware of it happening. If this would have happened during Bush's tenure, democrats would be asking him why he didn't stop it from happening.
Oh well, they have forgotten that Obama said that there is no evidence that Russia interfered with the election or they are ignoring that he said that because it doesn't fit their agenda of believing that this was the only reason why Hillary lost the election to the worst candidate ever to run for president. Think about it. She lost to Donald F Trump! Mosking

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

joe shikspack's picture


i think that they are going to play it all the way to wwiii.

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enhydra lutris's picture

posting it. No surprises, but supporting data and details hammering home what we already knew. It is a great answer to all those who are amazed when one doesn't trust the Times or the New Dems, if only because it comes from a "respectable source" and not some radical kook like myself.

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