The Evening Blues - 11-17-16



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Cookie And The Cupcakes

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Louisiana swamp pop musicians Cookie And The Cupcakes. Enjoy!

Cookie & The Cupcakes - Got You On My Mind

“The morning we all found out he was president, I just couldn’t believe it at first. And then I was so angry, because the idea of actually having him as our president enraged me. I couldn’t understand how a human being would vote for someone who I consider a monster. But after the anger settled, I began to think that this is now an opportunity for all the communities who have been targeted by his campaign – Latinos, Muslims, LGBTQ and people of color – to come together and unify.”

-- Ceci Bastida


News and Opinion

Cornel West: Goodbye, American neoliberalism. A new era is here

The neoliberal era in the United States ended with a neofascist bang. The political triumph of Donald Trump shattered the establishments in the Democratic and Republican parties – both wedded to the rule of Big Money and to the reign of meretricious politicians. ...

White working- and middle-class fellow citizens – out of anger and anguish – rejected the economic neglect of neoliberal policies and the self-righteous arrogance of elites. Yet these same citizens also supported a candidate who appeared to blame their social misery on minorities, and who alienated Mexican immigrants, Muslims, black people, Jews, gay people, women and China in the process. ...

What is to be done? First we must try to tell the truth and a condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak. For 40 years, neoliberals lived in a world of denial and indifference to the suffering of poor and working people and obsessed with the spectacle of success. Second we must bear witness to justice. We must ground our truth-telling in a willingness to suffer and sacrifice as we resist domination. Third we must remember courageous exemplars like Martin Luther King Jr, who provide moral and spiritual inspiration as we build multiracial alliances to combat poverty and xenophobia, Wall Street crimes and war crimes, global warming and police abuse – and to protect precious rights and liberties. ...

Rightwing attacks on Obama – and Trump-inspired racist hatred of him – have made it nearly impossible to hear the progressive critiques of Obama. The president has been reluctant to target black suffering – be it in overcrowded prisons, decrepit schools or declining workplaces. Yet, despite that, we get celebrations of the neoliberal status quo couched in racial symbolism and personal legacy. Meanwhile, poor and working class citizens of all colors have continued to suffer in relative silence.

As one whose great family and people survived and thrived through slavery, Jim Crow and lynching, Trump’s neofascist rhetoric and predictable authoritarian reign is just another ugly moment that calls forth the best of who we are and what we can do.

For us in these times, to even have hope is too abstract, too detached, too spectatorial. Instead we must be a hope, a participant and a force for good as we face this catastrophe.

McCain to Trump: Don’t You Dare Make Peace With Russia!

Sit down. This is going to shock you. (Not). We reported Monday on the telephone call between US president-elect Trump and Russian president Putin, where the current and future presidents discussed the need to set aside differences and look to more constructive future relations. With serious observers of this past year’s increasing tensions between US and Russia openly worrying about a nuclear war breaking out, with some 300,000 NATO troops placed on Russia’s border, with sanctions hurting average businesspersons on both sides, a normal person might look at the slight thaw in Cold War 2.0 as an early positive indicator of the end of the Obama Era.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) begs to differ.

In a blistering statement he released today responding to the Trump/Putin telephone call, Sen. McCain condemned any efforts by President-elect Trump to find common ground with Putin.

Writes McCain:

We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies, and attempted to undermine America’s elections.

Interesting that Republican McCain has taken to using the Hillary Clinton campaign line (the one that lost her the election) that somehow the Russians were manipulating the US electoral process. The claim was never backed up by facts and Hillary’s claim that some 17 US intelligence agencies agreed with her was shown to be a dangerous and foolish lie.

Assad: US could become Syria’s ‘natural ally’ if it fights terrorism & Trump sticks to promises

Hezbollah Parade Features US-Made Armored Vehicles, Raising Eyebrows

Hezbollah recently paraded their considerable arsenal of vehicles around publicly, and one of the sets of vehicles raised a number of questions: a collection of US-made M113 armored personnel carriers mounted with old Soviet ZPU-2 anti-aircraft weapons. ... It is unclear exactly where they got ahold of the US made M113s.

Some US officials suggested the age might be a clue, pointing to the long-collapsed Israel-backed Southern Lebanese Army (SLA). ... Others are theorizing that Hezbollah, active in Syria, might’ve captured them during a battle with al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front. ... ISIS is known to have captured some M113s in Iraq, so they conceivably might’ve initially smuggled some into Syria, but for Nusra to get them would require the vehicles to change hands at least a couple times before finding their way to Hezbollah.

Either way, that Hezbollah is openly using US vehicles is another public embarrassment, reflective of the US obsession with ever-growing arms exports leaving several regions so awash in US-made arms and vehicles that every side of every conceivable conflict has managed to get ahold of some.

Syrian Kurds Again Promise to Leave Manbij, Aiming to Placate Turkey

Occupied by the Kurdish YPG way back in August, the status of the city of Manbij has been a major source of tension with neighboring Turkey, which has warned that the Kurds aren’t allowed west of the Euphrates and have to abandon the city immediately.

The YPG reinforced the city, then promised to leave it, then insisted they were never there to begin with. Today, the YPG once again announced their intention to withdraw from the city, claiming they have ensured ISIS will never be able to return.

Iraqi Kurdistan President: Kurds Won’t Retreat From Any Areas Taken from ISIS

Early in the ISIS war, Kurdish Peshmerga forces advanced into the city of Kirkuk, after Iraqi military forces fled. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) insisted at the time that they believe Kirkuk was a Kurdish city that should be in their autonomous region.

Over the past week, the KRG’s Peshmerga forces have reportedly been marking a new border on the outskirts of Mosul, saying their involvement in the offensive is over. KRG President Massoud Barzani confirmed that the Kurdish forces will not “retreat” from any territory taking in the war. ...

There was already considerable tension between Iraq and the KRG before the ISIS war, and the new territorial disputes are likely to add a lot to the tension, setting the stage for an increasingly likely war of secession when the current ISIS war wraps up.

Hillary, the gift that keeps on giving...

100 people feared drowned as boat capsizes off Libya

About 100 people are feared drowned in the Mediterranean after a migrant dinghy capsized off Libya, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has said, after 27 survivors were rescued from the boat.

“The 27 men now on board the Argos were on board a boat carrying 130 people. They are the only survivors. This tragedy is just unbearable,” MSF said in a tweet. ...

Departures from Libya are continuing unabated despite worsening weather in the Mediterranean, and more than 3,200 people have been rescued from crowded and unseaworthy dinghies since Saturday.

The latest tragedy raises the death toll from migrant boats sinking to more than 340 people this week.

#NeverTrump Neocons Try to Make Peace With “Unfit” President

Neoconservatives spent months attacking Donald Trump, arguing that he has been insufficiently supportive of overseas military intervention. But the news that he is considering a former Bush administration superhawk to lead the State Department is persuading some that Trump is willing to give war a chance.

It is heavily rumored that former Bush U.N. Ambassador John Bolton — a man who has been a vocal advocate of attacking Iran — may be picked as Trump’s nominee to head the State Department. Bolton was critical of some of Trump’s remarks earlier in the campaign, but later came to his side.

Some of Trump’s loyal supporters reacted to the rumor with outrage. ...


Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who supported Trump as part of his pledge to support the GOP nominee, wrote an opinion piece on Rare headlined “Will Donald Trump betray voters by hiring John Bolton?” that “one of the things I occasionally liked about the President-elect was his opposition to the Iraq war and regime change.” But, Paul wrote, “At a time when Americans thirst for change and new thinking, Bolton is an old hand at failed foreign policy. The man is a menace.”

Specifically, Paul wrote, “we should resist any would-be leader who wants to bomb now and think later.” ...

Warhawks are increasingly trying to find a way into his administration — and just like the lobbyists who are already staffing his transition team, his campaign promises may give way to the Republican establishment.

Donald Trump Picks Classic Establishment Figure to Lead Intelligence Transition

Just hours after Donald Trump took the stage on election night to deliver his acceptance speech, critics warned that the inexperienced new leader would inject a previously unknown level of instability into the world of U.S. intelligence and security.

That remains a strong possibility, especially after Mike Rogers, the hawkish former chair of the House Intelligence oversight committee, and Matthew Freedman, who had been in charge of the planning for the National Security Council, left the transition team on Monday in what NBC described as a “Stalinesque purge.”

But the national security establishment has one hope left: Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, remains in charge of intelligence hiring, and his record harkens back to a GOP establishment focused on powerful espionage and influence on the world stage. He’s reportedly favored to be the new director of National Intelligence, replacing James Clapper.

In other words, there’s still a chance the spies will be just fine.

Burgess’s 38-year military career has reassured some former spies and intelligence experts that the administration might not devolve into amateur-led chaos. ...

Burgess served as the director of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Southern Command, at a time when torture at Guantanamo Bay was well underway. When the Senate Armed Services Committee questioned him in 2004 concerning torture at Abu Ghraib, he insisted he had no previous knowledge of complaints about abuses there.

iPhones Secretly Send Call History To Apple, Security Firm Says

Russian digital forensics firm Elcomsoft has found that Apple’s mobile devices automatically send a user’s call history to the company’s servers if iCloud is enabled — but the data gets uploaded in many instances without user choice or notification.

“You only need to have iCloud itself enabled” for the data to be sent, said Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft.

The logs surreptitiously uploaded to Apple contain a list of all calls made and received on an iOS device, complete with phone numbers, dates and times, and duration. They also include missed and bypassed calls. Elcomsoft said Apple retains the data in a user’s iCloud account for up to four months, providing a boon to law enforcement who may not be able to obtain the data either from the user’s carrier, who may retain the data for only a short period, or from the user’s device, if it’s encrypted with an unbreakable passcode. ...

It’s not just regular call logs that get sent to Apple’s servers. FaceTime, which is used to make audio and video calls on iOS devices, also syncs call history to iCloud automatically, according to Elcomsoft. The company believes syncing of both regular calls and FaceTime call logs goes back to at least iOS 8.2, which Apple released in March 2015.

And beginning with Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 10, incoming missed calls that are made through third-party VoIP applications like Skype, WhatsApp, and Viber, and that use Apple CallKit to make the calls, also get logged to the cloud, Katalov said.

Because Apple possesses the keys to unlock iCloud accounts, U.S. law enforcement agencies can obtain direct access to the logs with a court order.

Obama meets Merkel in Berlin to discuss TTIP and Russia in wake of Trump win

Barack Obama will meet Angela Merkel in Berlin to talk about Russian sanctions, the fight against Islamic State and the future of the EU-US trade agreement in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election victory. ...

On Thursday, two working meetings are to be held, in which the leaders will discuss the treatment of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, the situation in Ukraine, climate change and the future of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the German government said.

In a joint op-ed published on the eve of the president’s visit in the German weekly Wirtschafts Woche, the leaders appealed on behalf of TTIP, the future of which is in doubt after Trump’s election success and protests across Europe, saying “there will not be a return to a world before globalisation”.

On Friday, they will be joined by the British prime minister, Theresa May, the French president, François Hollande, the Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, and Spain’s Mariano Rajoy.

The history of a special relationship

Obama passes baton to Merkel

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election victory, the Obama visit [to Merkel] has been declared a symbolic passing of the baton.

Such colossal expectations are not entirely without foundation. In the aftermath of the US result, Merkel acknowledged Trump’s triumph with the conditionality usually applied to diplomacy with Russia or China. She offered cooperation on the basis of values such as “democracy, freedom, respect for the rule of law and the dignity of humankind – independent of origin, skin colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political views.”

In a joint op-ed published in Wirtschaftswoche on the eve of the visit, Obama and Merkel vowed: “There won’t be a return to a world before globalisation. Germans and Americans have to seize the opportunity to shape globalisation according to their values and ideas. We owe it to our businesses and our citizens – the whole global community, even – to broaden and deepen our cooperation.”

During Europe’s refugee crisis, Merkel has pursued a course emphasising universal values rather than pure national interests. And while the policy decisions required by that course have come at the cost of the resurgence of a new rightwing populist movement – manifested by painful defeats in a string of state elections – Germany’s political landscape remains more stable than that in Britain or France. ...

At the start of the year, Germany’s defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, vowed to reverse years of declining military spending, and observers believe the country is now seriously committed to meeting the target of 2% of GDP spending recommended for Nato members. ... But the German public’s appetite for military intervention remains low, as Obama discovered when it held back Nato and EU ambitions in Libya in 2011, and after the Ghouta chemical attack in 2013, when Merkel said her country would not get involved in a military campaign in Syria.

How Obama’s Legacy Lost the Elections for Hillary

If there’s one certainty that emerged in the 2016 elections, it was that Hillary Clinton’s unexpected defeat stemmed from her loss of four so-called “Rust Belt” states: Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, which had previously been Democratic strongholds, and Ohio, a swing state that had twice supported Barack Obama.

The 64 Electoral College votes of those states, most of which hadn’t even been considered battlegrounds, put Donald Trump over the top. Trump’s numbers, it is now clear, were produced by a combination of an enthusiastic turnout of the Republican base, his picking up significant numbers of traditionally Democratic voters, and large numbers of Democrats staying home.

But this wasn’t a defeat by default. On the economic issues that motivate many of these voters, Trump had a message: The economic recovery was a mirage, people were hurt by the Democrats’ policies, and they had more pain to look forward to should the Democrats retain control of the White House.

The problem for Clinton was that the opportunistic message of this demagogue rang true to the middle class and working class voters in these states, even if the messenger himself was quite flawed.

True, these working class voters going over to Trump or boycotting the polls were mainly white. But then these were the same people that placed their faith in Obama in 2008, when they favored him by large margin over John McCain. And they stuck with him in 2012, though his margins of victory were for the most part narrower.

By 2016, however, they’d had enough, and they would no longer buy the Democrats’ blaming George W. Bush for the continuing stagnation of the economy. Clinton bore the brunt of their backlash, since she made the strategic mistake of running on Obama’s legacy — which, to the voters, was one of failing to deliver the economic relief and return to prosperity that he had promised eight years earlier, when he took over a country falling into a deep recession from Bush.

Sanders & Clinton Supporters Debate the Path Forward for the Democratic Party Under Trump Presidency

Federal Reserve hints at interest rate hike in December

The Federal Reserve could raise US interest rates “relatively soon” if economic data keeps pointing to an improving labor market and rising inflation, Fed chair Janet Yellen said on Thursday in a clear hint the central bank could hike next month.

Yellen said Fed policymakers at their meeting earlier in November judged that the case for a rate hike had strengthened. ...

Yellen did not mention the election in her prepared remarks. Other Fed officials in recent days have said a major change in fiscal policy could force them to shift gears if, for example, inflation begins to accelerate. But they also said they need to wait and see what the new administration proposes and what gets approved by the Republican-controlled Congress.

As it stands, Yellen said the current federal funds rate of between 0.25 and 0.5% is boosting economic activity, and that the country has “a bit more room to run” before inflation becomes much of a concern.

Michael Hudson on the Orwellian Turn in Contemporary Economics

Wall Street Democrats Proved Yesterday That They Still Don’t Get It

After a humiliating election loss just eight days earlier, the Wall Street Democrats in the U.S. Senate laid the groundwork for another humiliating defeat in the midterms in 2018 by electing Senator Chuck Schumer to be the Senate Minority Leader.

Schumer is considered the poster boy for Wall Street — as their mouthpiece for lax regulation and a reliable Senate confirmation vote for Wall Street cronies to lead regulatory agencies. Over the past five years, Schumer has raised over $25.8 million for his campaign committee and Leadership PAC with the leading donors being security and investments firms and their outside law firms, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Schumer’s top ten largest donors over his entire political career include seven major Wall Street banks: Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, UBS and the now defunct Bear Stearns. Also in the top ten are two law firms that regularly represent Wall Street firms when they are charged with fraud: Paul Weiss and Sullivan and Cromwell.

The Democrats’ head-in-the-sand vote yesterday came despite progressive activists staging a sit-in in Schumer’s office on Monday to demand that he step aside and allow the Senate Minority Leader post to go to Senator Bernie Sanders – now widely seen across America as the true leader of the Democratic Party. ...

As part of the Democratic caucus vote yesterday, Sanders was elected as “Outreach” chair. True progressives in the party may see this as more smoke and mirrors from an entrenched establishment in Washington who want to keep the millions of dollars flowing into their campaign coffers from Wall Street while delivering lip service to the poor and middle class who are being economically crushed by the unstoppable income and wealth flowing to the top one percent. ...

Can we still count on Sanders to make his fiery speeches from the Senate floor when people like Jack Lew are served up for Treasury Secretary? Or will Sanders, like so many before him, be socialized to silence by his peers in the Senate with harsh whispers in his ear that he is hurting the party.

IBM CEO Personally Offers Company’s Services to Donald Trump

IBM is ready to make money from the Trump administration. ...

In a letter obtained by CNBC, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty personally congratulated the president-elect and stated, “I know that you are committed to help America’s economy grow in ways that are good for all of its people.” She then laid out six separate ways in which IBM’s business could dovetail with Trump’s national agenda — including information services available to the most erratic, dangerous presidency in American history. Those services included a “cognitive computing system” for the Department of Veterans Affairs, artificial intelligence for infrastructure, and “data analytics, data center consolidation, and the use of cloud technologies” to cut government costs.

One of the items on Roomette’s list doesn’t involve IBM (and companies like it) exchanging services with the government for money. Instead, IBM (and companies like it) would get the money in exchange for nothing.

The current statutory tax rate for U.S.-based multinational corporations is 35 percent on profits earned anywhere in the world. ... Donald Trump’s official economic plan calls for the $2.4 trillion to be taxed at a special, one-time rate of 10 percent. Then the statutory rate going forward would be lowered from 35 percent to 15 percent. ... In her letter, Rometty calls the current tax system “outdated and punitive” and said Trump’s plan will “free up capital that companies of all sizes can reinvest in their U.S. operations, training and education programs for their employees, and research and development programs.”

This is exactly the kind of claim made by U.S. corporations when lobbying for a previous tax holiday in 2004. After that corporate bonanza, U.S.-based multinationals actually cut jobs and decreased spending on research and development. ... Instead corporations used the money for stock buybacks and to pay executives more. ... IBM, in fact, was one of the main beneficiaries of the 2004 bill.

Is Paul Ryan's Dream of Gutting Medicare About to Come True?

Trump's transition site says administration will 'modernize Medicare'—code for Ryan-style death by privatization

Is Paul Ryan's years-long dream of gutting Medicare about to come true?

With Republicans set to control both houses of Congress and the White House, Ryan (R-Wis.), who will serve another term as House speaker, "senses his moment," as Salon observes

The Donald Trump transition website states that the administration will "modernize Medicare"—a euphemism, according to Jonathan Cohn and Jeffrey Young at the Huffington Post, that corresponds exactly to what Ryan has in mind.

Speaking Thursday on Fox News's "Special Report," Ryan said, "Medicare is going broke, Medicare is going to have price controls because of Obamacare," adding, "You have to deal with those issues if you are going to repeal and replace Obamacare. Medicare has serious problems [because of] Obamacare."

Those statements are false, Michael Hiltzik writes at the Los Angeles Times:

Medicare faces fiscal problems, but it's not going broke, and according to both the Medicare trustees and the Congressional Budget Office, the Affordable Care Act [also known as Obamacare] has in fact alleviated those problems rather than caused them. The trustees reported in 2010 that passage of Obamacare had postponed the projected exhaustion date of the Medicare trust fund by 12 years—to 2029 from 2017. Projections of Medicare spending growth have consistently come down, year after year, at least in part due to changes in the program imposed through Obamacare.

The program's fiscal situation would be "substantially improved," the trustees said, because the ACA instituted new cost controls and provided new tax revenues for the program. Both those features would disappear if the GOP repeals the ACA, as is its intention.

Simply put, economist Dean Baker writes, Ryan's plan "will require seniors to deal with insurance companies who will profit by denying them care."

California Senate President on How His State Prepares to Challenge Trump from Climate to Immigration

California prepares to push back on Trump's promise to deport millions

If the incoming Trump administration makes good on its campaign promises about mass deportations, California will have a giant target on its back.

The state – the fifth largest economy in the world – is home to close to 3 million undocumented immigrants, almost a quarter of the national total. That, in turn, suggests a looming showdown between the Trump administration and local political leaders, almost all of whom see immigrants as a vital part of Californian life and the state’s powerhouse economy, and are determined to do whatever they can to protect them. ...

Los Angeles is one of a growing number of cities – along with San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and New York – that have publicly declared their intention to keep local police away from immigration enforcement, even if the Trump administration follows through on its threat to cut federal funding in retaliation.

Mayor Garcetti has promised to help immigrants in other ways, too – including directing his legal staff to keep filing legal briefs in defense of the immigrant community, and encouraging eligible candidates to apply for citizenship through an education program run through Los Angeles’ public libraries.

Many California cities have created so-called safe zones in their schools that prevent federal immigration officials from entering except under extraordinary circumstances. State legislators, meanwhile, plan on re-examining confidentiality rules to make it as difficult as possible for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to gain access to driver’s license records, school and medical records.

Officer charged in Philando Castile shooting

It was a case that gripped the nation. A police officer in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota pulled over Philando Castile on July 6 and fired seven shots after the 32-year-old black man reached for his waistband. Then, the world watched him bleed on Facebook Live.

Castile later died at a hospital.

The St. Anthony police officer responsible, Jeronimo Yanez, was charged with second-degree manslaughter on Wednesday. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.

“It is my conclusion that the use of deadly force by Officer Yanez was not justified and that sufficient facts exist to prove this to be true,” said Ramsey County attorney John J. Choi.

Sanders Adviser Larry Cohen: Trump Adviser Steve Bannon is Enemy of the People, Protector of Hate

Major Trump Backer Cites Internment Camps to Defend 'Muslim Registry'

A supporter of President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday cited the United States' use of internment camps for Japanese-Americans during World War II as a "precedent" for Trump's rumored "Muslim registry."

Carl Higbie, a spokesperson for the pro-Trump Great America PAC, defended the proposed registry to Fox News's Megyn Kelly, who had quoted a counter-argument that the American government does not catalog people based on religion.

"Yeah, well, we have in the past. We've done it based on race, we've done it based on religion, we've done it based on region," Higbie said, later adding, "We did it during World War II with Japanese." ...

Top Trump adviser and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said last week that the incoming administration is drafting plans for a database that would require immigrants and visitors from countries where extremist groups are active to register with the government.

Muslim-Hating Conspiracy Theorist Frank Gaffney May (or May Not) Be Advising Trump’s Transition Team

After the Wall Street Journal and New York Times both reported yesterday that Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, is advising the Trump transition team, Gaffney denied it this afternoon.

Gaffney told Politico that “I had not been contacted by anyone from the team.” ... Trump spokesman Jason Miller also denied that Gaffney was advising the transition team in any way in an appearance today on MSNBC.

Neither the Wall Street Journal nor the New York Times have corrected their stories.

If Gaffney is a Trump advisor, it’s an extremely bad sign. Every society has people like Gaffney, but in healthy, functioning democracies they live quietly in their parents’ basements, free to play with action figures and construct intricate fantasy worlds without hurting anyone else.



the evening greens


Major U.S. corporations urge Trump to keep Paris climate deal in place

If President-elect Donald Trump wants to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate deal, he’ll face an unlikely foe: corporate America. More than 300 companies and major investors signed a letter urging Trump to roll back his campaign promises and leave low-emissions policies in place.

In the joint letter sent from Marrakesh, Morocco, where the fine points of implementing the Paris Climate Agreement are being hammered out, major American companies like Gap, General Mills, Intel, and Monsanto wrote to “re-affirm our deep commitment to addressing climate change through the implementation of the historic Paris Climate Agreement.” ...

Corporate America, which has been preparing for the business disruption that will be caused by climate change, could become a significant hurdle for Trump. Signers of the letter include some of the world’s biggest food conglomerates including Mondelez International, Kellogg Company, and Mars Inc. Notably absent are representatives of the oil, gas, coal and automotive industries.

Climate change a Chinese hoax? Beijing gives Donald Trump a lesson in history

Trump, who is the first self-declared climate change denier to lead one of the world’s top emitters, has dismissed global warming as “very expensive … bullshit” and claimed the concept “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”.

But speaking at UN climate talks in Marrakech on Wednesday, China’s vice foreign minister, Liu Zhenmin, pointed out that it was in fact the billionaire’s Republican predecessors who launched climate negotiations almost three decades ago.

“If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s,” Liu was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. ...

With the American commitment to fighting climate change suddenly in doubt, activists have urged Beijing to continue leading the international effort.

“Not only is climate change no Chinese hoax, but Chinese seriousness may be our best hope,” Deborah Seligsohn, an expert in environmental governance from the University of California at San Diego, argued in an article on the China Dialogue environmental website.

Trump's other wall: is his Irish resort a sign he believes in climate change?

Long before he set his sights on Mexico, Donald Trump had his eyes on a different wall. He wanted to build one on the Irish coast of County Clare – a 13ft high structure erected to protect his luxury golf resort, the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel, from increasingly volatile storms and rising sea levels.

While the president-elect announced a climate-change skeptic as the leader of the Environmental Protection Agency transition team, this move to protect his investment suggests Trump recognizes the effects of a changing climate.

This summer, the Irish Times reported that planning authorities at An Bord Pleanála rejected an application to designate the wall a “strategic infrastructure development”, further delaying the construction of the planned 200,000-ton structure that would span 2.8km (1.74 miles) of the dunes. But Trump’s Irish firm, TIGL Ireland Enterprises, is relodging an application with the local county council and warned that without the wall, the “viability of the entire resort and its potential closure” would be in question.

His son, Eric Trump, visited the course this summer, a property he says his family loves and invested upwards of $50m to $60m in. He recalled first seeing the course in 2014 when “20 or 30 metres of dunes” had already been eroded. A few more heavy storms, and he worried their redesigned, luxury course might be lost completely. ...

There have been other measures taken to try to protect the course, none of which have worked. In 2001, owners of the original golf course tried to implement sand trap fencing, a “soft” erosion protection measure, but it was washed away by a storm within weeks. A 2014 report warned that erosion was a natural part of the dunes’ dynamic system and that “construction of physical barriers” could lead to “beach starvation and increased rates of erosion”. ...

Trump tried to build the wall once before but failed. ... The local county council halted the construction and Trump’s wall was thwarted by the tiny, narrow-mouthed whorl snail, which lives in the dunes. The snail, around since the ice age but now endangered, is protected in Ireland, and binding conditions in the original planning permission demand regular monitoring to ensure activities on the golf course do not endanger it. The snail has become a mascot for those opposing the wall, with organizations such as Friends of the Irish Environment, Save the Waves and local surfer associations backing a #NatureTrumpsWalls campaign. More than 100,000 people have signed an online petition to “Stop Trump’s Irish Wall”.


Also of Interest

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

The Skeletons in Keith Ellison’s Display Case

'Business-As-Usual' Climate Scenario Will Cost World Economy $12 Trillion: UN

Maryland’s Fracking Ban Goes Up Against Corporate Democrats

Here comes Obama, a day late and a dollar short, proposing a plan that he can't implement, wouldn't have proposed while he was able to promote it and now puts it out there to point to as part of his "environmental legacy." What a miserable, gibbering poseur:

Under Shadow of Trump, Lame Duck Obama Unveils Bold Climate Plan

Another Two Myths About Clinton’s Defeat in Election 2016 Debunked

The NSA’s Spy Hub in New York, Hidden in Plain Sight

A semi-comprehensive list of actions Donald Trump plans to take on his first day as President

Steve Bannon Made Breitbart a Space for Pro-Israel Writers and Anti-Semitic Readers

Mexican pyramid has two more inside, scientists discover

Bob Dylan tells Nobel prize committee he will not go to Sweden for ceremony

Bad sex award 2016: the contenders in quotes


A Little Night Music

Cookie And The Cupcakes - Close Up The Backdoor

Cookie & the Cupcakes - Betty & Dupree

Cookie and the Cupcakes - I cried

Cookie And The Cupcakes - Shake 'Em Up

Cookie and the Cupcakes - Mathilda

Cookie and the Cupcakes - Sea Of Love

Cookie and The Cupcakes - Honey Hush

Cookie and The Cupcakes - I Almost Lost My Mind by Cookie

Cookie and the Cupcakes - All My Lovin’ Baby

Cookie and The Cupcakes - Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Cookie and The Cupcakes - I've Been So Lonely

Cookie and The Cupcakes - Married Life

Cookie and the Cupcakes - Mathilda finally came back

Cookie and the Cupcakes - Blue bayou shuffle

Cookie And The Cupcakes - I'm Twisted



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Pricknick's picture

Millions will be spent building a wall to protect a golf course.
Millions and billions more, as in gallons of water, will be wasted on golf courses worldwide including areas of drought.
Our priorities are in a blender.

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

joe shikspack's picture

we are not a species of sensible or compassionate creatures.

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bondibox's picture

I don't usually pimp my own articles within this domain but I have updated one I wrote recently, with extra creepy Clinton satanic circle stuff under the tildes (~). Be warned, graphic and not for the faint of heart.

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F the F'n D's

snoopydawg's picture

And if even a small part of it is true I don't understand why the people involved in this haven't been arrested. The pictures in that article were of babies and toddlers. How sick is that? I couldn't finish reading it.
Again, why haven't people been arrested if this information is available for us to read?
The Clintons, Trump and many other government officials knew that Jeff Epstein was a pedophile yet they went to his parties in DC and flew on his jet that had bedrooms for having sex with underaged girls.
The agency that investigated him took their damn time doing it allowing more girls to be raped.
He got a plea agreement when he was finally changed. 13 months in prison and 18 months probation if he didn't name certain people (like the Clintons?)
A teacher is SF was sentenced to 20-30 years in prison, but could have gotten life for having sex with a 13 year old.
But Epstein and the people that flew with him or went to his home to have sex either got off lightly or weren't even charged.
That is what power gets people. A pass on the crimes they committed.
And that is why I want the Clinton foundation looked into and if laws were broken I want them to pay the full price for breaking them.
I don't care if it brings down governments in this country or others, or puts congress members in prison.
How many poor people are spending decades in prison because of the arcane drug laws?
I will read your essay, bondibox
Both Clintons and Huma Abedin flew with him to his private island many times.

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

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

joe shikspack's picture

not sure of what to make of all that, but it is a curiosity.

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divineorder's picture

Hey interesting segment you featured about how Obama failures contributed to Clinton's loss.

Still have a friend on FB putting up posters about what a wonderful President Obama was, no scandals or affairs. She also supported Clinton. Would love to have her read this but slim chance she would. Claims to be for peace but the droning of civilians and US citizens, well guess that's not the same. Meh. Depressing.

Sharing a photo-- I always feel better when I remember the amazing experiences we have had with wildlife. Still deciding whether to go back again next year and brave all the uncertainty of potential African nations collapsing, etc. as well as attacks on airports... We will see.

IMG_3866 (800x533).jpg Leopard begins to doze while soaking up early morning sun on a winter's day in Kruger National Park, South Africa, June, 2016.

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

snoopydawg's picture

Obama administration. I posted a link to it in last nights EBs
I don't know what type of website The federalist is but this article nails what happened during Obama's terms and what's going to happen again when Trump becomes president.
The same thing that happened when Bush was president.

Thanks to Donald Trump, investigative journalism just went from totally unnecessary to vital. During Obama’s presidency, there was no need to investigate anything, mainly because there was nothing whatsoever to investigate. The Obama administration, after all, was completely “scandal free”:

http://thefederalist.com/2016/11/11/donald-trump-just-made-10-things-cool/
I hope that people read this.

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

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

divineorder's picture

on #4 Obama Admin FBI rounded up peace activists early on, and then the amalgum that Occupy was full of peace protestors .... so wouldn't put much faith in this report. But that's just a first take .

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

joe shikspack's picture

it seems that there are some people who just cannot believe that obama has made a mistake in his life or done anything worthy of criticism. go figure.

nice leopard shot! i hope that next year it's safe for you guys to go to kruger if you want to.

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divineorder's picture

where fly into to go to Zambia, and Zambia itself, that have hunger and corrupt governments just like South Africa and growing number of desperate people that make it a harder decision than it was several years ago.

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

Lookout's picture

by Jimmy Dore. The upside to the T-rump cabinet (11 min)

I find Jimmy to be speaking truth to power. Wonder when they will bribe or shoot him? Honest media is essential to democracy...that's why we don't have real democracy. We have a corporate oligarchy. It is still the media of mass distraction. Thanks Joe for your promotion of the best of the media!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

joe shikspack's picture

glad to see dore skewering msdnc and calling out the institutional racism of the system.

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Shockwave's picture

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The political revolution continues

divineorder's picture

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

MarilynW's picture

the White House grounds. What a sight.

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divineorder's picture

TPM provides a list of Congresspersons who have responded and no, and then ways to ferret out what their position is.

From a comment on the TPM post:

ottnott
marby:

Keep this information coming - but it needs to reach beyond the TPM audience.

But, dammit, if we and TPM keep calling it Medicare phaseout, or Medicare privatization, or if we call Ryan's plan a replacement, we will become part of the problem.

We need to use the language for our advantage.

Ryan is KILLING MEDICARE.

Ryan's is TAKING MEDICARE AWAY FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN PAYING FOR IT FOR DECADES

Ryan's plan is FAKE MEDICARE

Ryan's plan GIVES INSURANCE COMPANIES 20 CENTS OF EVERY MEDICARE DOLLAR TO DO THE JOB MEDICARE HAS BEEN DOING WITH 5 CENTS.

Ryan's plan LETS INSURANCE COMPANY EXECUTIVES EARN BIG BONUSES BY DENYING CARE TO YOU.

Ryan's plan LETS INSURANCE COMPANIES GAMBLE YOUR MEDICARE FUNDS ON WALL STREET.

Ryan's plan LETS INSURANCE COMPANY LAWYERS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SENIORS WITH FINE PRINT THEY CAN'T EVEN READ.

You get the idea, but I will repeat it anyway: RYAN IS KILLING MEDICARE.

And I am shouting, because I care.

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joe shikspack's picture

my rep is on the right side of something. woohoo!

i guess that thing about broken clocks being right twice a day applies here.

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Insurer-friendly marketplace, uncontrolled premium hikes, all risk of premium hikes falls on the insured. Obamacare.

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snoopydawg's picture

How many of them have said that Putin needs to be removed because of his aggressiveness of invading countries?
I haven't heard of any invasions by Putin unless they are talking about Crimea. Hasn't Russia had a base there for decades?
I'm pretty sure that if another country did that type of thing to the USA our government wouldn't lift a finger to protect their bases.
McCain, the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to military interventions. Him and his sidekick Lindsay.
Obama and Kerry have said that no country should have to accept bombs from another country. I'm if that isn't the definition of hubris I don't know what is
But of course they were talking about Israel.

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

Humans must not submit to policing by machine.

joe shikspack's picture

i couldn't agree more. sometimes i wonder if after the cameras turn off they bust out laughing.

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I guess we have to feel relieved that the crazy "Let's kill all the Muslims" crowd seems to be in the ascendancy above the "Let's go toe-to-toe with the Russians" crowd. How sick is that?

Thanks, Joe, for collecting the day's craziness. We're better off being informed as painful as it is.

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divineorder's picture

that have to contain Russia. Heh.

What a country!

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joe shikspack's picture

it's just mind-blowing and not a little depressing that we can't seem to do something about it.

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divineorder's picture

Heh.

http://gizmodo.com/edward-snowden-is-a-fucking-idiot-1789039598

Edward Snowden Is a Fucking Idiot
Matt Novak
Today 10:16am

Filed to: edward snowden
163.3K
933
28

Today, Edward Snowden is wrong about almost everything. Yes, he’s a patriot, and yes, I believe that what he did in 2013 to reveal dangerous elements of our surveillance state was important and commendable. But Snowden is completely oblivious to the challenges that we face as we move into the year 2017—a perilous fucking time for our country, to say the least.

On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of attending the Real Future Fair in Oakland, which featured some amazing speakers like Mae Jemison, the first American woman of color in space. It was a fascinating conference, but there was one speaker that made me incredibly frustrated: Edward Snowden, who joined us in Oakland via teleconference robot from Russia. And I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s promoting an idiotic worldview that’s completely devoid of answers for how to effectively combat the threat that Donald Trump and his neo-fascist goons pose to our democracy.

What got me so riled up about Snowden’s talk? He firmly believes that technology is more important than policy as a way to protect our liberties. Snowden contends that he held this belief when Obama was in office and he still believes this today, as Donald Trump is just two months away from entering the White House. But it doesn’t make him right, no matter who’s in office.

“If you want to build a better future, you’re going to have to do it yourself. Politics will take us only so far. And if history is any guide, they are the least effective means of seeing change we want to see,” Snowden said on stage in Oakland from Russia, completely oblivious to how history might actually be used as a guide.

Snowden spoke about how important it is for individuals to act in the name of liberty. He continually downplayed the role of policy in enacting change and trotted out some libertarian garbage about laws being far less important than the encryption of electronic devices for the protection of freedoms around the world.

“Law is simply letters on a page,” Snowden said. It’s a phrase that’s still ringing in my ears, as a shockingly obtuse rejection of civilized society and how real change happens in the world.

How do we advance the cause of liberty around the world? Encrypt your devices, according to Snowden. Okay, now what? Well, Snowden’s tapped out of ideas if you get beyond “use Signal.” The closest he got to advocating for anything involving policy change was when he told people they could donate to the Freedom of the Press Foundation which, it should probably be noted, he currently works for.
SNIP

Reply 933 replies

Quite an interesting article even if the title is sht. Even more interesting were the rebuttals in defense of Snowden in the comments:

optimus_rhyme
Matt Novak
11/17/16 10:37am

“Imagine if advocates of human rights held this same worldview fifty years ago. What would the American civil rights movement have looked like in the 1950s and 60s if you didn’t believe changes in policy mattered?”

But its not the 1950's or the 1960's, hes not saying policy change doesn’t matter. Hes saying taking control of technology right now matters more...and it does. Technology can make sweeping changes that effect more lives much much faster then policies can. And as time goes by its influence will only grow and grow. This election has been cold hard evidence of that.

“I subscribe to the belief that the lesser of two evils is still less evil.”

His entire point is that there is more then 2 options, you don’t even have to choose between lesser evils....by instantly dismissing them and saying this.... don’t you prove his point?
131
Reply

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that he could write for the FP of TOP. A little over-the-top.

Snowden is right. You don't sit around and jaw about enacting policy at the federal level when you've been designated as part of the resistance. You figure out which tools are the most useful, and Snowden is right about the power of technology as a tool of resistance.

One thing I saw in the past few days that was a bit chilling:

During the constant parade on Fox of Trump administration wannabes, some former spy/military guy came on with the purpose of spouting war-crazy John McCain's attack on Trump's intention not to go to war with the Russians. This guy on Fox was waxing eloquent about how evil Russia was, but then pivoted in case he might still have a chance with Donald. He said he could respect Trump's outreach to Russia but that Russia had to give us something in return before we could be friends. So what was it? The return of Crimea to Ukraine? A willingness to have Assad sit down? Maybe an admission that they had hacked poor Podesta?

Nope.

"Give us Edward Snowden. We want him."

Freaky.

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divineorder's picture

agree with Snowden. I thought it was great that the commenters had thoughtful responses to the piece some getting the same points as you.

Thought about Snowden when I read joe's excerpt on Apple data collection then went to Google News to get the latest he was up to and found this title.

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joe shikspack's picture

novak seems to have a childish belief that the sort of policy that citizens are shown is the policy that governs covert organizations. snowden's revelations demonstrate that the covert community has slipped the bonds of policy, that the covert community is not a benevolent and moral culture that is willing to be constrained by civilian oversight.

what a maroon.

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divineorder's picture

his 'conventional wisdom' fly.

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

OLinda's picture

and the Cupcakes. Great name, great sound. Thanks, joe!

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

joe shikspack's picture

glad you like them. have a great evening!

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Crider's picture

Such a quiet, semi uneventful day. Obama is out of town saying silly things to the Germans, Trump isn't slipping on any bananas. Prime Minister Abe of Japan met with him and said afterward, "I have great confidence in Trump." And there were no music star deaths today.

[edit: We Don't Need That Fascist Groove Thing]

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MarilynW's picture

and had a secret discussion. He wasn't briefed before the meeting (he knows everything already). Did he brief the State Department after the discussion?

No one seems to find this outrageous. Is the USA getting outrageous overload?

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of Clinton, Inc., it lost what little credibility it ever had with me.

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MarilynW's picture

In a BBC interview, a young woman, said "this is all we have" and explained that's why she voted for Trump. He promised coal miners and their families that he would revitalize coal. Even as ill-informed as he is, he must be aware of the numbers on US coal.

The US Energy Information Administration's figures

Highlights for 2015:

In 2015, U.S. coal production dropped 10.3% year-over-year to below 900 million short tons, the lowest annual production level since 1986.

Production in the Western Region, representing 56.6% of total U.S. coal production in 2015, totaled 507.4 million short tons (MMst), 6.5% lower than 2014.

In 2015, the productivity capacity of U.S. coal mines decreased for the fourth year in a row to 1,165 MMst, a decline of 6.3% from the 2014 levels.

The average number of employees at U.S. coal mines decreased 12.0% to 65,971 employees, the lowest on record since EIA began collecting data in 1978.

U.S. coal consumption of 798 MMst in 2015 was 13.1% lower from the 2014 levels. The electric power sector consumed about 92.5% of the total U.S. coal consumption in 2014.

Average sales price of coal from U.S. mines was $31.83 per short ton in 2015, 8.6% lower than the prior year.
Total U.S. coal stocks ended at 238.8 MMst, 20.6% higher than at the same time in 2014. Electric power coal stocks increased from 151.8 MMst at the end of 2014 to 195.9 MMst at the end of 2015, the highest year-ending stocks on record.

Good news for climate change but bad news for West Virginia. Instead of offering them an alternative, he lied to them.

Thanks again Joe, for tonights menu!

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Shockwave's picture

He will burn the Reichstag.

Of course he will not burn down the Capitol. Instead he will come up with a very basic false flag operation that will target undocumenteds or Muslims or environmental activists when he bails out of the Paris accord and forces through the DAPL. It will be something that justifies the use of force.

Somebody has to get inside the mind of this new Grey Eminence/Cheney/Goebbels

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The political revolution continues

QMS's picture

Used to love me some swamp pop. Coon ass crooning. Ha! Picking up on the information bottle neck going through the filters of the foggers. Don't buy it though. Seems folks are either shocked, numb or mad. Getting hard to raise a smile anymore. Keep fighting! Cheers

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divineorder's picture

and always thought it was one word 'coonass' said real quick lol ! Cross border music was awesome back in the day!

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

QMS's picture

Tried to type it one word "coonass", but I got spell check. You know what I'm talking about? Yeah, you right. Lafayette, Morgan City, Houma, Golden Meadow, Grand Isle... heydays in the 70's and early 80's.
For those north of I-10 "coonass" refers to a Cajun, self described. Reason is a Cajun will eat anything but a coons ass, or so I was told. I'm a "damn yankee", meaning a yankee that didn't leave. Ha!

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divineorder's picture

Boogie Kings. Later, it was to the Texas Pelican to see Gee Gee Shin.

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

QMS's picture

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Solidarity forever

QMS's picture

Gautier = Goutyah
like Theriot = tereoy
or pecan = p'cahn
local lingo Smile

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smiley7's picture

How do we say this?

History made famous
in the bowels of towers

glittering with elevators where up means down

and sheep herders flock to the bar

the con...way.

Step up to shearing moments

get in faces

do it again, after betrayal

Pin the mountain high for what it is.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

....will be floating around out there.

The mental fear. I really had no idea it was so monumental. The last time I saw it was on 9/11 and it really surprised me then.

At least we don't have another clueless Afghanistan to pointlessly destroy in our fear frenzy. The stalker is inside the house.

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"There will be no end to the troubles of States, or of Humanity itself, until Philosophers become Kings in this world — or until those we now call kings and rulers truly become Philosophers." — Plato
Pluto's Republic's picture

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"There will be no end to the troubles of States, or of Humanity itself, until Philosophers become Kings in this world — or until those we now call kings and rulers truly become Philosophers." — Plato