The Evening Blues - 11-10-17



eb1pt12



The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Ray Charles



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features blues singer and pianist Ray Charles. Enjoy!



Ray Charles - Hit the Road Jack

“The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they’re an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They’ve got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying – lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else,” ranted the comedian whose routines were studied in graduate schools.

“But I’ll tell you what they don’t want,” Carlin continued. “They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago. You know what they want? Obedient workers – people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork but just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, reduced benefits, the end of overtime and the vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it. And, now, they’re coming for your Social Security. They want your fucking retirement money. They want it back, so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street. And you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all, sooner or later, because they own this fucking place. It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in the big club.“

-- George Carlin


News and Opinion


Here's the real bombshell revealed in Donna Brazile's book about the Dems

... What she showed was that money rules all else in the Democratic Party—the DNC was bankrupted, and Clinton's campaign was the highest bidder to hoard as much special interest money into the DNC's starving coffers. As a result, a progressive, anti-establishment candidate like Sanders had to fight more than a lack of name recognition, party leaders' endorsements, financial and staffing disadvantages in 2016: he basically was up against a DNC strangled by Clinton's money-soaked grip.

Does any objective person think the Clinton campaign, when given say on who the DNC communications chair would be during the primary, wouldn't try to ram through a communications director who benefited them immediately, thus helping them become the general election candidate?

And benefit they did: the DNC hired Luis Miranda, a veteran communications operative for establishment figures including John Kerry and President Obama. As WikiLeaks revealed, he worked overtime behind the scenes on behalf of DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz—Clinton's 2008 campaign co-chair—to plant hit pieces on Bernie Sanders in media outlets during the primary, which ultimately got him fired when Brazile cleaned house.

Does any objective person think the DNC wasn't making decisions—like, planting debates at dead zones like the Saturday night before Christmas, or having its chairwoman go on national television to falsely declare chairs were thrown by Sanders supporters at the Nevada State Convention with zero video evidence of such violence occurring—due to the fact that the DNC had handed over sizable control over finances, staffing, and messaging to Clinton-world in exchange for Hillary keeping the money flowing into the DNC?

If you don't, I've got a bridge to sell you.

One of The Owners (as described by the Prophet Carlin in one of his most famous Jeremiads) speaks:

Resort Tycoon Says He’s Ordered Dem Leaders To Adopt Pro-Billionaire Platform

In a recent interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle, timeshare tycoon and top Democratic party donor Stephen Cloobeck told the world that he was outraged at how Democrats have been treating the one percent, and that he has personally ordered Dem leaders to espouse a platform that is more warm and accommodating to the donor class. ...

Under no pressure whatsoever from the extremely sympathetic Ruhle, who made it clear in the beginning of the interview that she and Cloobeck are good friends, Cloobeck passionately stated that he had instructed Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and senior Democratic Senator Ron Wyden that if they ever so much as use the word “billionaire” again, he will withdraw financial support from the party.

And there you have it. Not enough attention is being paid to the fact that the American left has just been given a rare insider’s perspective on how the donor class uses their financial might to order US politicians to sabotage the progressive agenda and refuse to move an inch to the left. ... And make no mistake, this guy is the real deal. Cloobeck gave well over two million dollars to the Democratic party last year alone, including a million dollar donation to the Hillary Clinton super PAC Priorities USA.

So this is it, right here. This is how the rich screw you, America. A rigidly enforced two-party system with both wings completely beholden to a powerful plutocracy whose rule depends on keeping you poor. They’ll let you fight over abortion, racism, transgendered rights or gun control til you’re blue in the face, but the second anyone starts pointing to the fact that America is ruled by a class of millionaires and billionaires as completely as a monarchy is ruled by a king, they shut you up and shut you down.

So. Who do you think will determine the future of the Democratic Party? The Owners, Bernie Sanders or (cough, snort) the "little people?"

Bernie Sanders Explains His Plan to Fix a Broken Democratic Party

Following a massive wave of progressive victories in elections throughout the U.S. earlier this week, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) argued in a Politico op-ed on Friday that the Democratic Party must embrace "fundamental reforms" and "welcome into its ranks millions of working people and young people" if it is to build on this grassroots momentum and overcome the "unprecedented crisis" posed by the Trump administration.

Sanders' plea for systemic change within the party that has been decimated at nearly every level of government over the past eight years comes just ahead of the final meeting of the DNC's "Unity Reform Commission," a group formed in the aftermath of the 2016 Democratic primary with the stated goal of "ensur[ing] that inclusivity is upheld in all things that we do."

Some of the reforms Sanders says the commission "desperately" needs to consider during its December meeting if it is to have any hope of defeating Trump's "agenda of the billionaire class" include:

  • Reducing the power of superdelegates, which currently have "the power to control the nominating process and ignore the will of voters";
  • "Making voting easier, and not harder" by "ending the absurdity of closed primary systems" that lock out independent voters and fully embracing "universal and same-day voter registration";
  • Developing a process that makes it easier for working people and students to participate in the voting process in states that use caucuses "even if they are not physically able to attend a caucus"; and
  • "Fully appreciat[ing] Donna Brazile's revelations and understand the need for far more transparency in the financial and policy workings of the Democratic Party." Brazile, Sanders wrote, "exposed the rot."

The Democratic Party, Sanders argues, "cannot remain an institution largely dominated by the wealthy and inside-the-Beltway consultants" if it is to defeat Trump's "reactionary agenda"—which includes massive tax breaks for the wealthy coupled with enormous cuts to life-saving social programs.

UK prosecutors reportedly destroyed crucial emails in Assange case



UK prosecutors admit destroying key emails in Julian Assange case

The Crown Prosecution Service is facing embarrassment after admitting it destroyed key emails relating to the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy fighting extradition. Email exchanges between the CPS and its Swedish counterparts over the high-profile case were deleted after the lawyer at the UK end retired in 2014. The destruction of potentially sensitive and revealing information comes ahead of a tribunal hearing in London next week.

Adding to the intrigue, it emerged the CPS lawyer involved had, unaccountably, advised the Swedes in 2010 or 2011 not to visit London to interview Assange. An interview at that time could have prevented the long-running embassy standoff.

The CPS, responding to questions from the Guardian, denied there were any legal implications of the data loss for an Assange case if it were to come to court in the future. Asked if the CPS had any idea what was destroyed, a spokesperson said: “We have no way of knowing the content of email accounts once they have been deleted.”

The CPS data destruction was disclosed in a freedom of information (FOI) case being pursued by the Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi. Maurizi, a reporter on La Repubblica who has covered WikiLeaks since 2009, has been pressing both the CPS and its Swedish counterpart for information relating to Assange and extradition. Unhappy over the limited material released so far, she is taking her case against the CPS to an information tribunal on Monday and Tuesday. “It is incredible to me these records about an ongoing and high-profile case have been destroyed. I think they have something to hide,” Maurizi said.

The FBI Blindly Hacked Computers in Russia, China, and Iran

During a hacking operation in which U.S. authorities broke into thousands of computers around the world to investigate child pornography, the FBI hacked a number of targets in Russia, China, and Iran, The Daily Beast has learned.

The news signals the bold future of policing on the so-called dark web, where investigators are increasingly deploying malware without first knowing which country their suspect is located in. Legal experts and commentators say the approach of blindly kicking down digital doors in countries not allied with the U.S. could lead to geopolitical fallout.

The FBI’s actions are “essentially opening the door for other countries to unilaterally hack devices located in the U.S. in the law-enforcement context,” Scarlet Kim, legal officer at U.K.-based activist group Privacy International, which has closely followed the FBI’s global hacking operation, told The Daily Beast.

Trump is ''absolutely in bed with'' the Saudis



Saudi Arabia orders citizens to leave Lebanon as tensions rise

Saudi Arabia has ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon immediately, escalating a regional standoff with Iran centred on the fragile state, which it claims is being run by Tehran’s proxy, Hezbollah. The move follows a week of bellicose rhetoric from the Sunni Arab powerhouse about its Shia rival, drawing strong support from Donald Trump and Israel, all three of whom insist Iran is forging strongholds across the region.

The standoff has taken tensions between Riyadh and Tehran to new levels and raised fears that decades of distrust and manoeuvrings between the two may be building towards a military confrontation, underwritten by the Trump administration and joined by Israel.

The Saudi order for its citizens to leave, also made by the kingdom’s allies in Bahrain and Kuwait, came after the country’s foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, said his government would treat Lebanon as a hostile state as long as Hezbollah was in the government. He described Hezbollah’s participation in government as an “act of war” against Saudi Arabia.

The Israeli intelligence minister, Yisrael Katz, said on Thursday he believed conditions were ripe for a diplomatic offensive against Iran and Hezbollah at the United Nations, where he said Israel would seek better enforcement of a 2006 ceasefire agreement that called on Hezbollah to disarm and stay away from its border.

Allegations of a pact, at least on a de facto level, between Saudi Arabia and Israel were given impetus after it was revealed that Israeli diplomats were asked to repeat talking points, almost identical to remarks made by Saudi leaders after Saturday’s resignation of the Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri, claiming Hezbollah had made his job impossible.

Lebanon believes Saudi holds Hariri, demands his return

Lebanon believes Saad al-Hariri is being held in Saudi Arabia, from where he resigned as Lebanese prime minister, two top government officials in Beirut said, amid a deepening crisis pushing Lebanon onto the frontlines of a power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

A third source, a senior politician close to Saudi-allied Hariri, said Saudi Arabia had ordered him to resign and put him under house arrest. A fourth source familiar with the situation said Saudi Arabia was controlling and limiting his movement.

In a televised statement indicating deep concern at Hariri’s situation, his Future Movement political party said his return home was necessary to uphold the Lebanese system, describing him as prime minister and a national leader.

Hariri’s resignation last Saturday, read out on television from Saudi Arabia, came as a shock even to his aides and further embroiled Beirut in a regional contest between Riyadh and Tehran.

Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman Consolidates Power & Purges Rivals Under “Anti-Corruption” Pretense



Saudi siege on Yemen: 'Hundreds will die within a week'

Hundreds of sick and elderly Yemenis "will die within the next week" unless Saudi Arabia lifts its blockade and allows urgently needed medical supplies into the country.

Doctors in the capital told Al Jazeera pharmacies across Sanaa that were already struggling with a critical shortage of specialist drugs, would be unable to treat cancer, diabetes and renal failure patients by the start of next week.

"We're running dangerously low on medical supplies and won't have anywhere near the necessary vials of pain-relief medication, insulin, and other specialist medicines for our patients," said Abdulrahman al-Ansi, a doctor at Sanaa's al-Mutawkil hospital. ...

Saudi Arabia, which has been at war with Yemen since 2015, tightened its air, land and sea blockade of the country on Sunday, after Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile towards the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Corker to hold hearing on president's nuclear weapons authority

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) announced Wednesday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would hold a hearing next week on “the executive’s authority to use nuclear weapons.”

“A number of members both on and off our committee have raised questions about the authorities of the legislative and executive branches with respect to war making, the use of nuclear weapons, and conducting foreign policy overall,” Corker said in a statement announcing the Nov. 14 hearing.

“This continues a series of hearings to examine these issues and will be the first time since 1976 that this committee or our House counterparts have looked specifically at the authority and process for using U.S. nuclear weapons,” he continued. “This discussion is long overdue, and we look forward to examining this critical issue.”

A debate over nuclear authority has reignited among lawmakers after President Trump warned in August that North Korea could face "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it continues to advance its nuclear program. A number of rank-and-file Democrats and Republicans have come forward saying Congress must authorize the use of nuclear weapons and a declaration of war should Trump want to strike North Korea.

Compromise defense bill would require Trump submit N. Korea strategy

The final version of the annual defense policy would require President Trump to submit his North Korea strategy to Congress.

“The conferees note that ... the United States should act to counter North Korea's continued development and testing of nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles,” House and Senate negotiators wrote in a conference report released Thursday. ...

The Senate-passed version of the National Defense Authorization Act would have required the Defense secretary to submit a North Korea strategy to Congress within 90 days after passage.

The House-passed version, meanwhile, only included a sense of Congress about the threat posed by North Korea.

The compromise bill released Thursday retains the strategy required in the Senate version, but now says it must come from the president instead of the Defense secretary.

Spanish Supreme Court frees Catalan parliament speaker on bail

A Spanish judge on Thursday freed on bail the Catalan parliament’s speaker and four lawmakers while authorities continue to investigate their roles in Catalonia’s banned independence drive.

The Supreme Court had summoned them to answer charges of rebellion after they enabled an Oct. 27 declaration of independence that prompted the Spanish government to dissolve the Catalan parliament and sack the regional administration.

Speaker Carme Forcadell will be transferred to the Alcala Meco prison outside Madrid and kept there until she pays 150,000-euro bail, court sources said. The four lawmakers must pay bail of 25,000 euros while a fifth was released without bail.

Judge Pablo Llarena wrote in Thursday’s ruling: “All the accused ... have expressed that either they renounce future political activity or, those that remain active, will in future renounce any actions outside the constitutional framework.” ...

After the ruling, Carles Puigdemont tweeted: “Carme Forcadell will spend the night in prison for allowing a democratic debate. For allowing speaking and voting! That’s Spanish democracy for you.”

Why aren't the streets full of protest about the Paradise Papers?

The street-level response to the Paradise Papers, the mighty follow-up punch to last year’s Panama Papers, has been curiously tepid. This is probably not what many activists, and the 100 media organizations involved in the leak, expected to happen. In striking contrast to the bombshell release of the Panama Papers in mid-2016 that immediately triggered a 10,000-person-strong protest in Iceland leading to the resignation of Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, the Paradise Papers have thus far made many headlines but no uprisings.

The world was different – arguably better – 18 months ago when commentators widely believed, as Rana Foroohar put it at the time in Time magazine: “the Panama Papers could lead to capitalism’s greatest crisis.” ... Then Brexit happened, alt-right nationalism surged and Donald Trump was elected president of the United States. In other words, the Panama Papers protests, and leftist activism more generally, were quickly overshadowed by a dramatic string of victories for the criminally rich who now figure prominently in the Paradise Papers. ...

The decreasing effectiveness of protest is a symptom of growing class segregation. The rich and powerful are not existentially threatened by protests in the street because our streets are not their streets. Sure, noisy mobs might force one or two tax evaders to take a less public role – perhaps even resign from office – but the fundamental economic injustice of our society is not corrected. ...

While street protest is losing its effectiveness, there is a force that could terrify these elites: the spectre of a ruthless and globally inescapable class justice. Unlike in the 99%’s world where youth languish for months and years in jail for allegedly stealing a backpack or $5 worth of candy or a bottle of water, in the world occupied by the 1% getting caught stealing millions from the public through tax evasion might be embarrassing but is rarely prosecuted. That must change.

The ultra-rich live in a different world but they are still stuck on our planet and activists must ensure that there is nowhere to hide. From this point forward, protesters must frighten the uber-rich with a sophisticated movement to establish a new binding global legal regime dedicated to prosecuting financial crimes against humanity.

The desperate inequality behind global tax dodging

Out of sight, a powerful industry has been developing since the 1980s in tax havens across the globe. By following the money, we can start to grasp the costs that these territories impose on the economies of other countries. ...

Most of the world’s equity wealth belongs to very wealthy people, so corporate tax avoidance only enriches a small group. And the taxes multinationals dodge have to be compensated for by higher taxes on lower-income households, making it harder for these people to save and accumulate wealth. In the absence of higher taxes, public spending has to fall. The revenue EU countries lose to tax havens represents the equivalent of about half of public spending on higher education. Tax havens, like climate change, are thus at the root of a massive intergenerational transfer of wealth, which enriches the old and impoverishes the young.

But there is an even more direct way in which tax havens increase inequality. On top of helping multinationals dodge taxes, offshore centres enable a number of ultra-wealthy individuals to hide their riches – from the taxman, business partners, spouses or judges. The equivalent of 10% of global GDP is held offshore by rich individuals in the form of bank deposits, equities, bonds​ and mutual fund shares, most of the time in the name of faceless shell corporations, foundations and trusts.



the horse race



Republican panic builds as Roy Moore defiant over sexual abuse allegations

The explosive allegations of sexual abuse against a minor that have been leveled against Roy Moore present the GOP leadership with a tricky political crisis. On Thursday evening, hours after the Washington Post reported allegations that he instigated improper sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl in 1979, when he was 32, Moore, who in less than five weeks is set to stand as Republican candidate in Alabama’s special US Senate election, appeared to be digging in for a fight.

In an indication of how the firebrand and former judge intends to handle the storm, he has begun fundraising on the back of it, accusing the Post, whose claims he denied, of a “vicious and nasty” attack. “The forces of evil are on the march,” he said before appealing for campaign donations.

But should he continue to doggedly refuse to step aside, as seems more than likely, the Republican leadership in the US senate could find itself in a bind as it seeks to hang on to the party’s slender majority. The Democrats, whose sails have been filled by resounding victories across the country on Tuesday, are only three seats away from regaining control of the chamber in next year’s midterm elections, and are already eyeing Arizona and Nevada as potential targets.

Should Moore’s travails cost the Republicans as reliable a seat as Alabama on 12 December, that could open up for the Democrats a credible path to the majority.

[Not that the Democrats would do anything useful with it... - js]





the evening greens


Bill McKibben on Future of the Paris Climate Accord & U.S. Role at COP 23 Climate Talks in Germany



Donald Trump cannot halt US climate progress, former Obama adviser says

Donald Trump could slow down US progress towards a lower carbon economy, but he will be unable to halt it because businesses and local governments have committed to a low-carbon path, a former climate negotiator for the US has said. Through measures such as slapping import tariffs on solar products, scrapping incentives to renewable energy and promoting coal power, the US president could try to alter the economics of pursuing low-carbon energy.

However, many American states, towns and businesses are moving to renewable energy as it is proving lower cost than conventional sources. The recent rise in the price of oil has underlined the volatility of fossil fuels.

Paul Bodnar, a lead US negotiator in the climate talks under former president Barack Obama, told the Guardian that Trump possessed “powerful instruments”, such as import tariffs and quotas, that could hamper the growth of low-carbon technology. “If he chooses, he could use them,” he said. But he warned this would be short-sighted, as China is forging ahead with low-carbon power and the US would risk losing any technological lead.

“It is clear the way the market is driving – towards lower carbon. It would be difficult for a Republican administration to take action that is clearly counter to the forces of the market,” he said. Coal, he said, was losing ground in the market, even without penalties on carbon output. “A huge percentage of US coal is just flat out uneconomic,” said Bodnar. “Ratepayers are being asked to pay more for incumbent industries. Questions are going to be asked about why that is. It would cost a lot to make coal great again.” He added: “The direction of travel [for businesses] has been set, and it is lower carbon. The only question is the pace at which that happens. And the pace is important because this is an urgent problem. Trump has the ability to slow that pace, but he cannot reverse it.”



Also of Interest

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

America's cruel way to punish poor debtors: take away their driver's license

Giving the Game Away

Hillary Clinton and the DNC: The fish rots from the head - reverberations in Montana

Astronomers discover a giant world – but is it a planet?


A Little Night Music


Ray Charles - Busted

Ray Charles - Hide ‘Nor Hair

Ray Charles - I Got a Woman

Ray Charles - Drown In My Own Tears

Ray Charles - Hard Times

Ray Charles + The Blues Brothers - Shake A Tail Feather

Ray Charles - Mess Around

Ray Charles - In The Evening (When The Sun Goes Down)

Ray Charles - Let's Go Get Stoned

Ray Charles - Sticks And Stones



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21 users have voted.

Comments

divineorder's picture

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18 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder
heh, one of these days, as capitalist accumulation proceeds, just wanting food, clothing and shelter will make you an extremist.

after all, it's their world and we're living in it. we are only profit accessories.

have a great weekend, you extremist you!

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10 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack Having met the accused a couple of times had to laugh out loud.

There's a pattern of these accusation maybe from some Kochster field manual or PR helpline?

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6 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

it might be a kochster thing, but it certainly has a history. j edgar's fbi was quite adept at throwing around exaggerated labels for activists.

heck, it might go back to the beginning of the us, with adams and the federalists ramming through of the alien and sedition acts and (in the wake of the xyz affair) the persecution of jeffersonians as a traitorous french revolutionist party.

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7 users have voted.
Meteor Man's picture

From this month's Harvard Law Review:

In addition to emphasizing the need for Congress to act on criminal justice reform legislation, Obama cited the importance of efforts to reduce gun violence, address the opioid epidemic, reform how forensic science is used, improve data collection in the criminal justice context, make better use of technology in law enforcement and restore the right to vote for people who have been disenfranchised as a result of felony convictions.

Is that a great list or what?

He concluded by observing: “How we treat those who have made mistakes speaks to who we are as a society and is a statement about our values – about our dedication to fairness, equality, and justice, and about how to protect our families and communities from harm, heal after loss and trauma, and lift back up those among us who have earned a chance at redemption.”

It is a sad commentary, then, that Obama did not do more while president to enact systemic criminal justice reform, leaving around 2.2 million people behind bars in the United States at the time he left office.

More here:

https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2017/nov/7/obama-publishes-commenta...

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17 users have voted.

Cali Kush: a bowl a day keeps the doctor away.

snoopydawg's picture

@Meteor Man

I'm with the author on this. If these things are important, then why didn't Barry do anything when he had the chance.

I hope that no one paid to listen to this hypocrite speak about the rule of law in this country. If I would have been there, I'd have been on the floor laughing my .....
Gawd!

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11 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

joe shikspack's picture

@Meteor Man

obama always talked a good game, but his actions rarely lived up to his rhetoric. i guess we shouldn't expect that to change.

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10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

on Trump. It starts with talking about how Hillary and the DNC hid the fact that they funded the dossier and how this should have gone away after she lost the election. The reason why it didn't was because the FBI and others (Clapper) used it for geopolitical purposes.

The author is wondering if the Deep State is trying to throw Hillary under the bus. I'm not sure if this is what is happening, but I'd love to see this family of criminals finally meeting justice.
Highly recommend reading this article.

Is Hillary Just the “Fall Guy” for the Intel Agencies and their Moneybag Bosses?

For nearly a year, Hillary Clinton failed to admit that her campaign and the Democratic National Committee had provided funding for the notorious dossier that alleged Trump colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election. Then, two weeks ago, the Washington Post published a blockbuster article that proved that Clinton had been misleading the public about her Campaign’s role in producing the report. Here’s a snippet from the article in the Post:

“The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.”

Clearly, Clinton did not want the American people to know the real origins of the dossier for fear that they would dismiss its findings as politically-motivated and unreliable. So they lied, and by lying, they helped to fuel the anti-Russia hysteria that’s swept across the country sabotaging any chance for rapprochement between the two nuclear-armed superpowers.

Here's where it switches to the FBI

Clearly, Clinton did not want the American people to know the real origins of the dossier for fear that they would dismiss its findings as politically-motivated and unreliable. So they lied, and by lying, they helped to fuel the anti-Russia hysteria that’s swept across the country sabotaging any chance for rapprochement between the two nuclear-armed superpowers.

That’s not a question that can be easily answered, but I suspect it has less to do with Hillary’s presidential ambitions than it does with the way her campaign found common cause with powerful members of the intelligence community who wanted to use the hacking narrative to pursue their own geopolitical strategy of isolating, punishing and demonizing Russia. “Russian meddling” became the perfect rallying cry for the CIA’s broader information operation (IO) that was designed to poison public opinion against “Russian aggression” and to reign in Trump’s plans to normalize relations with Moscow. The fact that the CIA had essentially extracted a credible narrative from sections of the notorious dossier, left Hillary with no other option except to play-along even after the votes had been counted. As a result, Clinton became the “fall guy” in a darker, deep-state propaganda campaign for which she is only partially responsible. Here’s a little background from Joe Lauria’s “must read” article “The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate”:

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14 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

divineorder's picture

@snoopydawg conditions

No wonder establishment Dems are falling over themselves to help out. /s

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9 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

excellent article, thanks!

i guess the ultimate question is whether this job is a political hit, a military/business hit or both.

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10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Counterpunch has always had good articles, especially Paul Street. I'm upset that they use FB for commenting though. I've logged off that rat infested shit hole. I wish they had gone with discuss.

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3 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

snoopydawg's picture

Across the United States, many jurisdictions use this cruel method to coerce payment from people who owe fines and fees to the state. State and local governments do this in large part to balance their books in the face of dwindling tax revenues, heedless of the fact that it makes it much more difficult for the working poor to get to the jobs they need to pay off their debts.

Here are other problems that we peons face because rich people don't think that they should have to pay taxes on their millions. I doubt that they ever stop to think how this is affecting the poor, elderly and disabled people in this country. They just stay in their wealthy bubbles and see if they can buy better or prettier things than their friends.

More people not being able to drive to a job is going to see more people who will have to rely on social programs. Good time for congress to cut funding for them, isn't it?
Plus the less people working and paying taxes on their wages, the worse the deficits get.
I'm horrible at math, but even I can see how bad an idea this is.
I wonder how many Lexus, Mercedes and other luxury cars get pulled over for broken taillights?

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13 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

divineorder's picture

@snoopydawg ...

up
13 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

snoopydawg's picture

@divineorder

you can find out what people are by how they treat their vulnerable citizens. Or something like this.
This tax crap is a blatant attempt to transfer our wealth to people who have enough already. Why can't people live on a million dollars and enjoy their lives instead of working 80 hours a week to make more? What's the point of having money if you don't have time to enjoy the things it buys you?

We know how under funded the social programs are and if this tax cut passes, they know that people will die, but they don't care anymore for us than they do for people in other countries who live where they want the resources.

The opioid epidemic is bad. Thousands are dying from it. But even more thousands are dying because they don't have insurance, but I don't see the media talking about this.

The debt prison pipeline is getting longer and the school prison pipelines are starting earlier. What used to get kids detention after school are now getting them prison cells.
And still we aren't doing anything to stop what is happening to us.
No I don't have any ideas for how we do this more than anyone else.

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6 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

Meteor Man's picture

@snoopydawg

Juvenile crime rates are plummeting, and the number of Americans in juvenile detention has dropped. One report shows the juvenile incarceration rate dropped 41 percent between 1995 and 2010.

But school discipline policies are moving in the opposite direction: out-of-school suspensions have increased about 10 percent since 2000. They have more than doubled since the 1970s. Black students are three times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white students, according to the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, and research in Texas found students who have been suspended are more likely to be held back a grade and drop out of school entirely.

http://www.justicepolicy.org/mobile/news/8775

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6 users have voted.

Cali Kush: a bowl a day keeps the doctor away.

snoopydawg's picture

@Meteor Man

schools or when teachers started arming themselves. Nope. Not in Utah. Many people say that if a teacher has a concealed carry permit they want their kids in their classes.

Cops had to learn to handcuff kids above their elbows because they don't make kiddie sized ones. In what world should any cop feel the need to handcuff anyone below the age of 10?

Gawd!! The direction this country is moving is already unrecognizable to me. What is it going to be like in another decade?

On the subject of gun violence. There was an article about Christian fundamentalist preachers getting together to discuss what happened in the Texas church.
Some commentators said that they conceal carry and if someone had been armed at the church, the killings would have been stopped earlier.
Then a few wrote that it took a good guy with a gun to stop the bad guy. They said this shows how that statement is true.
Finally someone wrote that yeah the good guy stopped the bad guy, but not before 26 people had been killed.

See why I dreaded moving back here? Sigh

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3 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

Pricknick's picture

No. I'm not leaving.
I'm just throwing a middle finger while accepting I'm irrelevant in the current political apparatus.
George was my hero.
Thanks as usual joe.

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10 users have voted.

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

divineorder's picture

@Pricknick Not be able to say! See how much better life is now? /s

Smile

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7 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

@divineorder

Hard to believe that even Carlin's old fart jokes are still hilarious... the man was a comedic genius!

Thanks for posting that!

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

joe shikspack's picture

@Pricknick

glad to hear that you're hanging around. i don't know how he did it, but george managed to get away with telling uncomfortable truths in a very public way. i guess it's good to be funny.

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9 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

Probably get one on some kind of sh#t list but .....

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9 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

Probably get one on some kind of sh#t list but ...

well, at least somebody pays attention. Smile

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9 users have voted.
GreatLakeSailor's picture

@joe shikspack

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2 users have voted.

The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% have agreed to it.

GreatLakeSailor's picture

@divineorder

To raise money World Beyond War is selling tee shirts, etc., until Monday.
https://teespring.com/stores/worldbeyondwar
I like this one:

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11 users have voted.

The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% have agreed to it.

divineorder's picture

@GreatLakeSailor thanks for the heads up!

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5 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

@divineorder

I cheated and signed, being a neighbour and all...

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

GreatLakeSailor's picture

Good Senator Baldwin,

I saw an interview recently in which one of the owners of the Democratic Party, Stephen Cloobeck, forbade his bribees from uttering the word billionaire. I assume you're not going to utter the word billionaire, but I thought I'd give you the chance to prove me wrong.

Your reply, or lack thereof, will be interesting.
GLS

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11 users have voted.

The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% have agreed to it.

divineorder's picture

@GreatLakeSailor

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7 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@GreatLakeSailor

you might mention that when it comes to votes, there aren't that many millionaires and billionaires compared to the rest of us.

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9 users have voted.
GreatLakeSailor's picture

@joe shikspack

While beltway bribees practice one dollar one vote, the elections that put you in the beltway, at least at this point, are still one person one vote. And there's more of us unwashed types than millionaires & billionaires.

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7 users have voted.

The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% have agreed to it.

divineorder's picture

Excellent blues vids trying to guard my data usage.

But tonight, had to. Just had to.

Thanks for the Ray, and esp that clip from BluesBros. Those were the days, mah frin.

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8 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

i have always felt that ray charles had one of the most expressive voices in the blues. he kind of defines "great blues voice" for me.

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8 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@joe shikspack
It's a certain sound to the male African-American voice. It was in the churches and the fields all along but Ray Charles recordings brought it to mainstream culture. And took it around world. Other examples of this voice come to mind; Toots Hibbert, Sam Cooke etc. Then there are the Great White Hopes. The Brits were always looking for the white Ray Charles, cf. Steve Winwood and Van Morrison, but they just didn't have it. It's like Muddy said ...

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

ray charles had a lot of it. Smile

so did this guy:

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6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

Charles--thanks for featuring him this evening. Like DO, I normally have to be pretty careful about my data usage, but, I'll make an exception for him!

Biggrin

We delayed our departure until the weekend, because we had to get a legal document executed here (which also pertains to our business matters on the Gulf Coast). BTW, I called a neighbor down there--I was right, in that the accusations against Moore are widely being dismissed as a political hit job, partly because of the timing. (And, I would imagine because of his staunch conservative Christian views.)

At any rate, my 'guess' is that Moore may still win--if (and that may be a 'big if') the evangelical Christian Community decides to stand by him. I say that because few Republicans in the state will vote for a Democrat--they generally consider them to be worse than lepers. And I mean literally! (To some extent, our little hamlet is an exception, since it was an artist colony and/or so-called intellectual conclave before it became a resort area. Of course, a major exception to that crowd are small business owners, which my neighbor is.)

Hey, on a brighter topic--got a couple more 'numbers trivia.' May as well go into the weekend on a lighthearted note.

How many weeks of military training do Swiss men have to undergo when they reach the age of 20?

Answer: 15

What percentage of motorbike accidents happen on the weekend?

Answer: 50 percent

And my favorite, since I loved the movie (The Edge) that Bart The Bear starred in with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin,

Bears are the highest-paid of animal actors. What can they usually earn per day?

Answer: $20,000 per day

We're going to be dealing with intense business issues next week, so may be a bit spotty, but will catch up with you Guys as much as possible.

Everyone have a nice and safe weekend!

Bye

Mollie


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

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

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.

That visible happiness puts smiles on the faces of our volunteers and most importantly, on the faces of our client families who through this process being to connect with their pets in a more meaningful way.

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

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

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6 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

heh, my favorite lunatic christian rationalization for roy moore's behavior:

Alabama state official defends Roy Moore, citing Joseph and Mary

An Alabama state official on Thursday dismissed a Washington Post report alleging that GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore had initiated a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl decades ago, saying there was an age gap between the biblical Joseph and Mary. The Post also alleged that Moore had pursued three others when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his early 30s.

“Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus,” Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler told The Washington Examiner. “There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”

i guess if roy moore turns out to be a bigamist, he's covered 'cuz solomon had a thousand wives. Smile

heh, i guess we all need to get bear suits and take acting lessons.

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4 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

(to be charitable). Wink I know a little something about scripture--the story of Joseph and Mary, as told in the King James Bible, had no semblance to the story told by the accusers. Whew!

There are pockets down there where it's like you landed on a different planet. Of course, there're a few spots--like where we are--that have a handful of sane people. Oddly, we've found that if/when you find someone on the left, they're mostly like us--very much left of the corporatist Democratic Party. (IOW, radicals or socialists.) Otherwise, they're mostly raving right-wingers. Go figure.

Regarding Bart--he was born in the Baltimore Zoo, and adopted by Doug Zeus when he weighed just a few ounces. He grew to weigh 1500 lbs, and stood 9'6" tall. He claimed that Bart truly loved acting, which is sorta cool. He suffered from cancer, and was euthanized in Utah [in 2000] at the age of 23. He really was a good actor.

Mollie

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3 users have voted.

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

snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Gawd did, so that explanation goes out the window. If the people who are going to vote for Roy voted for Trump, then this shows that the religious principles they say that they hold are proven to be bogus claptrap.
They have the same integrity as the people who consider themselves progressives as in anti war progressives, but found a way around them so that they could vote for Hillary and stay quiet when Obama became Bush the second.

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5 users have voted.

I’m betting billionaires taste like chicken. More research required…
Someone should put together a new cookbook with this in mind.

divineorder's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

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4 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@divineorder @divineorder

Barlett's comments regarding entitlement cuts,

Bruce Bartlett‏@BruceBartlett

Prediction--the second the tax cut is signed, OMB will issue new projections showing the deficit is far worse than imagined. Bond market & Pete Peterson-funded groups will demand that entitlements be slashed.
5:18 AM - 10 Nov 2017

I agree. Bartlett, of course, is a fiscal hawk. And Pete Peterson is much more closely connected to the Dem Establishment, than to Repubs. WJC is more or less the 'regular' keynote speaking at his annual shindigs.

Regarding this Cohn statement,

Cohn: Look, the president on the economic front laid out three core principles. Number one was reg reform, number two was taxes and number three was infrastructure. We're working our way methodically through reg reform, taxes and infrastructure. I think when he gets done with those, I think welfare is going to come up. That's our near-term economic agenda right now.

It's not totally clear to me who the 'we' is, when he speaks of 'our' economic agenda. We've got the two Goldman Sachs Bobbsey Twins--Cohn and Mnuchin--a Democrat and a Republican, who head DT's National Economic Team.

I say this because according to DT's Budget Director, former US Representative Mick Mulvaney, the reason that Social Security and Medicare are not in the Administration's proposed budget (that doesn't mean that the House or Senate hasn't included cuts in their proposals), is because DT says they're off limits, since he campaigned on sparing those two programs from cuts.

(Whether this is sincere, or simply contrived to give him cover, guess we'll know, in time. But, Mulvaney does consistently defend not cutting these two programs [on the Sunday shows] because of the campaign promise.)

Now, since both the Goldman Sachs dudes and Mulvaney (not to mention bipartisan corporatists) are chafing at the bit to slash entitlements, I'm bracing myself for some action, eventually.

My 'guess' is that it wouldn't come before the 2018 midterms. But, it might before the 2020 election, if DT either looks like a definite loser, or, he's not planning to run again (which I think will likely happen, if he's not thrown out first).

BTW, I think it was Steven D who posted several of Pelosi's Tweets--always decrying the proposed tax reform plan because it isn't 'revenue neutral.' Anytime I hear any politician make that point, I take it as a dog whistle to the One Percent that they are about slashing entitlement programs.

Bottom line, I'm not sure what we can do to stop the march to destroying our social safety net. From what I'm seeing, there are more than enough lawmakers in the Leadership of both Parties who would enthusiastically strike a 'Grand Bargain,' if they have the opportunity. The ol' "hold hands, and jump together" meme comes to mind.

Help

Thanks for keeping up with this topic on Twitter. When things calm down, I'm going to start following my feed more closely. There's so much info to be gained though that medium.

Hey, you and JB have a great weekend!

Pleasantry

Mollie

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5 users have voted.

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

SnappleBC's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

Pelosi's Tweets--always decrying the proposed tax reform plan because it isn't 'revenue neutral.'

So then naturally, her next few sentences would go on to decry the horrid costs of our global wars for hegemony, right? I mean, if you don't have enough revenue going right to the most obvious and largest source of waste seems self-evident. Tell me again, how many trillion they lost in accounting?

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2 users have voted.

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

enhydra lutris's picture

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3 users have voted.

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

WoodsDweller's picture

I stopped by 538 to see if there was any polling.

9 Key Questions

The five most recent public pollsters to survey the race — all before Thursday’s allegations — found, on average, Moore ahead of his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, 48 percent to 42 percent. That sounds like a pretty decent lead until you realize that President Trump won Alabama by 28 points in 2016.

So, 6 points.

[Lisa] Murkowski, who famously won a write-in victory of her own, has already said that she’s in touch with [Luther] Strange about this very thing. Should Moore stay in the race — as he has said he will — and Strange jumps in, the Republican vote could split.

There are past political scandals that involved underage or teenage victims, though most came before the highly polarized political environment of the past 10 years and most candidates dropped out of the race before election day.
...
One paper from researchers who looked at senators running for re-election from 1974 to 2008 estimated that scandals involving immoral behavior cost the scandal-plagued candidate 6.5 percentage points and raised his opponent’s vote share 6.5 points, for a net change of 13 points. We don’t know if the Alabama race will move that much, but any penalty approaching that size would be more than enough to significantly darken Moore’s prospects of winning this Senate seat.

So ... maybe. Or maybe not. They may have to hold an election to find out.

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5 users have voted.

The lesser evil is still evil. Vote your conscience, not your fear.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@WoodsDweller

will suppress Moore's vote, and, possibly, by quite a bit.

My thinking is that IF the evangelical wing of the Alabama Republican Party stays with Moore--think I heard that Falwell's already voiced his support--there's still at least a 'chance' that he could pull out a win.

In no way did I mean to imply that it would be a 'blowout.' But, the fact remains, many Alabama residents truly despise Democrats. A lot of them literally 'spit out' the word liberal. So, I don't believe that many Republicans will change over to the Dem ticket; they'll just sit out the election, and the Dem'll win by default. (IMO)

But, I've been wrong before! Wink

Mollie


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

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

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4 users have voted.

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