The Evening Blues - 11-7-18



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Eddie C. Campbell



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features Chicago blues singer and guitarist Eddie C. Campbell. Enjoy!



Eddie C. Campbell - All Your Love

“There are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who do not.”

-- Robert Benchley


News and Opinion


The Midterm Results Gave Everybody Just Enough to Keep Fighting

As the ballots were being counted, it became clear that there would be little clarity by the end of the night. Democrats, on the back of historic turnout — the product of two years of post-Trump grassroots organizing — seized control of a House of Representatives that had been meticulously gerrymandered in order to assure that they would never be able to do just that. Democrats also made major gains in state capitals, winning governorships in Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Maine.

The liberal energy on the ground, when it wasn’t canceled out by GOP turnout, gave Democrats full control of state governments in Colorado, New York, Maine, New Mexico, and Illinois. In Minnesota, the state House flipped to blue, as did both the New Hampshire state House and Senate, while Democrats flipped at least 10 seats in the Texas statehouse. The New York win ushered in not just incoming state Sen. Julia Salazar, but also at least a dozen senators backed by the Working Families Party, putting an end to an era of “three men in a room” rule in Albany. ...

Yet President Donald Trump will be able to survey that landscape and claim vindication for his ratcheting up of racist rhetoric in the final weeks of campaigning. The failure to deliver a knockout blow to Trump will exacerbate tensions within the Democratic Party, torn between its progressive wing, which wants to lean into small-dollar donors and run as the only party free of corporate corruption, and its centrist wing, which argues that only with corporate money and an inoffensive platform can Democrats take power. ...

The narrowness of the Democrats’ House win — it was a blue wave, but no tsunami — leaves Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi little room to maneuver, and the conflicted nature of the results will put increasing pressure on her to step aside.

Democrats Take the House – What Now?

Democrats just won the House. Now they’re going to drown Trump in investigations.

President Trump declared himself the “magic man” on Tuesday night, hailing his own “big victory” after Republicans gained seats in the Senate despite losing control of the House of Representatives in the midterms. But while Trump was praising himself on Twitter, Democrats in the House were preparing to turn the second two years of his presidency into a legal nightmare.

By taking control of the House of Representatives, Democrats unlocked the power to launch fresh inquiries into every aspect of Trump’s presidency, including links to Russia, his businesses, his tax returns, payments to women, family separations at the border, and much, much more. Democrats have already logged a list of at least 64 subpoenas they would have sent if they’d been in charge of the House. ...

Democrats will take control of the House’s 21 committees in January, giving the chair of each panel considerable power to launch probes and issue subpoenas on just about any subject under the sun. While the exact rules vary between House committees, most allow the chair to personally authorize subpoenas. While many require the ranking member from the other party to be consulted or notified, several don’t even require that much, Congressional staffers told VICE News.

“House Democrats' posture toward the White House will become much more adversarial overnight,” said Jens David Ohlin, vice dean of Cornell Law School. “They will start asking for documents from the White House. And when they don’t get them, they’ll subpoena them. And they’ll be prepared to go to court.” Practically every single committee is likely to be prepping at least one, if not several, inquiries into Trump, his Cabinet or his businesses, former Congressional staffers said.


Georgia voters in key districts showed up to malfunctioning machines and hours-long waits

Hundreds of Georgia residents showed up to vote Tuesday morning, only to find hours-long waits and malfunctioning voter machines.

The problems, reported at polling stations in counties near Atlanta which have large black and Democrat populations, compounded the simmering political tensions surrounding the race for Georgia governor. Polls have shown Democrat Stacey Abrams, who would become the country’s first black female governor, in a virtual tie with Brian Kemp, a Trump Republican and current secretary of state, who’s in charge of election security. In recent weeks, Kemp has tried to stoke fears over voter fraud.

Voters showed up to at least three polling stations in Gwinnett County — the second largest county in the state, about 30 miles from Atlanta and 24 percent black — to discover that voting machines were not working properly. Instead, voters were provided with provisional ballots. The technical glitches were the source of widespread conspiracies about voter suppression, given the demographics of the county, and the county’s importance to securing either candidates’ victory.

“There’s a saying in Georgia: 'So goes Gwinnett County, so goes the governorship’,” Gabe Okoye, chairman of the Democratic Party in Gwinnett County, told VICE News. “I was told that some people were here for five hours before voting. That is completely unacceptable because some of them actually left and had to go to work.”

At another location in Fulton County, just five miles north of Atlanta, only three voting machines were reportedly functioning. The more than 300 people in line to vote were told the wait would be more than two and a half hours. A spokesperson for the county told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the situation was resolved as quickly as possible, and more voting machines were delivered.

Georgia Voters File Last-Minute Lawsuit to Stop Republican Brian Kemp From Counting Ballots in His Own Race

Accusing Georgia's Republican Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp of exploiting "the official powers of his office to interfere in the election to benefit himself and his party," a group of Georgia voters filed a last-minute lawsuit just before polls closed on Tuesday seeking to bar Kemp from overseeing the vote count in his own race against Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams.

"Kemp is a candidate for governor in Georgia. He is also the Secretary of State of Georgia, charged with fairly administering the state's elections," reads the suit, which was filed on behalf of five voters by the advocacy group Protect Democracy. "This violates a basic notion of fairness—that a man should not be a judge in his own matter—and it has had the predictable results."

Among the results the suit cites is Kemp's evidence-free "investigation" of Georgia's Democratic Party over an alleged "hack" of voter registration files. The probe has been denounced as completely bogus and more befitting of a Banana Republic than a democracy. "There is not and never was any basis for Defendant Kemp to accuse the Democratic Party of Georgia of seeking to hack into the state's election systems," the suit declares. "Rather, Defendant Kemp used the resources of his office and the official Secretary of State website to make these accusations to deflect blame for his own failures to address flaws in the election system and to falsely harm his opponents."

In addition to his baseless investigation of his political opponents, Kemp also purged hundreds of thousands of registered voters from the rolls ahead of Tuesday's midterms, a move civil rights groups decried as a blatant attempt to suppress the vote ahead of a critical election.

Georgia: Stacey Abrams vows to keep fighting in tight governor's race

The outcome of a closely watched and bitterly contested governor’s race in Georgia hung in the balance in the early hours of Wednesday morning as the Democrat, Stacey Abrams, refused to concede the election and her Republican opponent, Brian Kemp, did not claim victory. Abrams, vying to become America’s first female African American governor, trailed Kemp by just under 100,000 votes out of more than 3.8m votes counted, and her campaign maintained there were still enough ballots left to count to take the race to a runoff election.

Kemp did not declare outright victory as Luke Bryan’s country song Chuggin’ Along blasted through the speakers. Rather, he avoided mentioning the specific results, saying: “We have votes to count but we have a very strong lead.” He added: “I’m confident victory is near” as he mentioned the math looked good for his side.

In a rousing speech at the Regency Ballroom in Atlanta, Abrams vowed to make sure “every vote is counted”. Her team said tens of thousands of absentee and provisional ballots could mean Kemp would not take the required 50% to claim victory outright. “Democracy only works when we work for it. When we fight for it. When we demand it,” Abrams said. “And apparently, today, when we stand in lines for hours to meet it at the ballot box.”


New York City voting is once again a disaster

Voting in New York once again appears to be a shitshow. As rain poured on and off all day, long lines, broken scanners, and apparent security concerns prompted some voters to reportedly abandon their ballots. Some fared even worse — one polling place in Brooklyn opened at least two hours late, according to the New York Daily News. The polls hadn’t even been open five hours before New York City Council Speaker Cory Johnson began publicly calling for the executive director of New York’s Board of Elections to resign.

“Voting should not be this difficult,” Johnson tweeted Tuesday. Johnson said the director, Michael Ryan, “had all year to prepare for this day. Bad weather and high turnout are no excuse when we have forecasts for both. Michael Ryan needs to resign and we need a full top to bottom review of what went wrong today.” ...

In Brooklyn, Borough President Eric Adams noted a number of polling places that had no functioning scanners or were down to just one due to malfunctions. By Adams’ early estimate, at least 22 Brooklyn locations experienced problems, according to the Daily News.

Mayor Bill de Blasio faced a comparatively accelerated 15-minute wait to cast his ballot in Park Slope. (Sen. Chuck Schumer’s wife wasn’t as lucky — he told the Daily News his wife waited an hour to vote.) “It's not working for people,” de Blasio told the Daily News after voting around 9:45 am. “How in the 21st century do you still have poll sites that don't open? That would not be accepted — if a school didn't open in the morning, people wouldn't accept it, right?”

New York is a blue state with a Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, but the state’s voting laws more closely mirror deep-red states. New York has no early voting or "no-excuse" mail-in ballots, and polls are only open for 15 hours. And unlike the 17 states that allow voters to do same-day registration, New York voters are required to register at least 25 days in advance. Moreover, Election Day is not a holiday, so people often have to take time off work. New York City is home to 8.6 million people, all of whom have to show up to a polling place in person between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. to vote, rules that critics say discourage or suppress voter turnout.

Some Texans had to wait so long to vote that they gave up. A lawsuit is giving them a second chance.

At least nine polling stations in a district near Houston may stay open later than planned Tuesday night because of problems earlier in the day, including long lines and malfunctioning machines, that kept some voters from casting their ballots.

The Texas Civil Rights Project filed a lawsuit against Harris County officials in the state Tuesday afternoon in hopes that a judge will force them to keep polling stations open an extra hour until 8 p.m. to accommodate voters. At least 16 polling stations in the district opened late, and when they did, some voters had to wait in line for hours due to technological problems. Many ultimately gave up because they had to go to work.

Harris County, with a population of approximately 4.6 million, is Texas’ most populous county. Though it’s typically been considered a purple area, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump there by more than 160,000 votes in 2016. The problems at polling stations in Harris County are particularly contentious given how close the Senate race is between incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. Polls have shown the two candidates in a virtual tie. The county is also notably diverse, especially compared to the rest of Texas: About 42 percent of the population are Latino or Hispanic, 31 percent are white and about 20 percent black. Texas, as a whole. is about 70 percent white.

Native Americans just made history in this Utah county

The Efficiency of Brazil’s Elections Is a Stark Contrast to Voter Suppression and Deliberate Chaos in the U.S.

The systemic, nationwide voting problems plaguing Tuesday night’s midterm elections in the United States appear all the more disgraceful — and deliberate — when compared to the two remarkably efficient national elections that were conducted in Brazil just last month. That a country poorer than the U.S., with a much shorter history of democracy, can hold such seamless, fair, participatory, and efficient elections proves that the opposite outcome in the U.S. — massive voter disenfranchisement, multi-hour voting lines, pervasive machine malfunctions, and elections that are not decided until weeks after the fact — are very easily avoided and thus likely intentional.

Brazil’s national elections are comparable in size to the U.S.’s. Although Brazil’s population is slightly less than the that of the U.S. — which is the world’s third-most populous country at roughly 325 million, while Brazil is in fifth place with roughly 210 million — Brazil has mandatory voting, a lower voting age (16), and automatic voter registration for citizens, which means vote totals are comparable. In Brazil’s October 28 run-off presidential election, roughly 110 million votes were cast, in the same range of last night’s U.S. vote total. Yet Brazil’s elections are plagued by virtually none of the problems that mar the credibility of U.S. elections year after year. On October 7, Brazil held the first round of its presidential elections, which, like in the U.S. midterms, also included electing an entirely new lower house of federal Congress and a portion of the federal Senate, as well as governorships and state house races in all 26 Brazilian states and the federal district.

Like all Brazilian elections, the October 7 national vote was held on Sunday, the day the fewest number of people have to work, ensuring maximum voter participation. Polling closed at 5 p.m. All of the votes were fully counted, and all the results fully known, by 8:30 p.m. that night. There were no lingering unknown outcomes, weeks of uncounted votes, widespread claims of voter disenfranchisement, multi-hour lines that spread around blocks, or obstacles to registering. The October 28 run-off, which elected Jair Bolsonaro as president and also decided the run-off races for governor in multiple states, was even smoother. ... Then, there’s the issue of voter participation. Voting is legally mandatory in Brazil: Every citizen over the age of 16 is automatically eligible to vote, and those over 18 are required to do so, facing a trivial fine for failing to do so (absent a valid justification). They are free to vote for “none of the candidates” or leave their ballot blank, but it is a legal duty. Still, in the last election, roughly 20 percent of voters violated that law and abstained from voting. But that means that 80 percent of the adult population voted — a far higher participation rate than any election in the U.S. ...

If Brazil — an extremely young democracy with far less wealth than the U.S. and intense political, economic, and social pathologies — can hold basically efficient, seamless, fast, vibrantly participatory, and smooth national elections on a massive scale, as it did twice last month, then so, obviously, could the U.S. The fact that the U.S. last night did not, and does not, do so suggests quite strongly that this “failure” is actually deliberate.

Chuck Todd Omits Bernie From Presidential Hopeful Segment

The West is Failing Julian Assange

Let’s start with the cat. You never would have thought one of these beloved felines would play a crucial role in the Julian Assange case, would you? And yet look at the latest press coverage. The mainstream media’s headlines weren’t about a man who has been confined to a tiny building in the heart of Europe for the last six years with no end insight, they were about orders from Quito to feed his cat. There you have a man who is at serious risk of being arrested by the UK authorities, extradited to the U.S. and prosecuted for his publications. A man who has been cut off from any human contact, with the exception of his lawyers, and whose health is seriously declining due to prolonged confinement without even an hour outdoors. Considering this framework, wasn’t there anything more serious to cover than the cat? ...

Having spent the last 3 years fighting in four jurisdictions – Sweden, the UK, Australia and the U.S. – to access the full documentation on the Assange and WikiLeaks case under FOIA, I have acquired a few documents which leave no doubt as to the role played by UK authorities in contributing to create the legal and diplomatic quagmire which is keeping Assange confined to the embassy. Why have the UK authorities done this? What special interest, if any, do they have in the Assange case? ... Documents reveal that the UK authorities referred to the Assange case as not an ordinary one from the very beginning. “Please do not think that the case is being dealt with as just another extradition request,” they wrote on January 13, 2011 to the Swedish prosecutors. A few months later, a UK official added: “I do not believe anything like this has ever happened, either in terms of speed or in the informal nature of the procedures. I suppose this case never ceases to amaze.” What is special about this case? And why did the UK authorities keep insisting on extradition at all costs? ...

There are two more suspicious elements: the fact that the UK authorities destroyed the emails regarding the Assange case, as they admitted in my litigation before the UK Tribunal, and the fact that they have always refused to provide me with any information as to whether they have communicated with the U.S. authorities on the Assange case, because they sustain that confirming or denying it would tip Assange off as to the existence or non of an extradition request from the U.S. ...

The risk of an editor or publisher being extradited for his publications should raise red flags and public debate in our democratic societies, yet we don’t see any debate at all. In the last six years that Assange has been languishing in the embassy, not a single major Western media has dared to say: we shouldn’t keep an individual confined with no end in sight. ... In these years, the Russian state-funded network RT has continued to cover the Assange case intensely. It isn’t hard to understand why Russia is so ecstatic about the Assange case. The case provides Russia with the evidence to affirm that while the West is always preaching freedom of the press and aggressive journalism, it in fact crushes journalists and journalistic sources who expose state abuse at the highest levels. Chelsea Manning spent seven years in prison, Edward Snowden was forced to leave his country and seek asylum in Russia, Julian Assange has spent the last six years confined to a tiny building and in seriously deteriorating health. It’s time to stop this persecution.

All MSM Pundits Are Whores For Power Like Hannity; He’s Just Honest About It

I just watched a CNN segment featuring Republican and Democratic panelists reacting with shock and astonishment over the news that Sean Hannity appeared on stage in support of President Trump during a campaign rally. That’s right, Sean Hannity is politically biased. I’ll wait for you to catch your breath. “It was completely inappropriate,” sputtered panelist Tara Setmeyer about the rally. “They’re living in another world over there. It was like a college homecoming. They’re talking about, you know, owning the libs, and how the faces of the left-wing media, what we’re going to look like on Wednesday morning.”

We. On a panel discussing how shocking and appalling it is for media figures to openly involve themselves in partisan political agendas, a CNN staff political commentator said “we” when referring to the “left-wing media” Trump and his sycophants like Hannity attack. Leaving aside the impressive feat of social engineering which has allowed a warmongering, Wall Street-coddling corporate propaganda firm like CNN to refer to itself as “left-wing”, it is worth noting that Setmeyer said this, and that she said it because the staff of both Fox and CNN are acutely aware of their respective partisan biases. Setmeyer is acknowledging that the bias is there, but essentially just arguing that it’s wrong to cross the line into blatantly acknowledging it. In effect, she is making the argument that it’s better for mass media firms to tacitly lie to their audiences by pretending to some extent that they are unbiased and impartial. ...

In reality, mass media pundits and reporters are hired by the billionaires who control the media based on their reliability in promoting a worldview which is beneficial to the status quo upon which those billionaires have built their plutocratic empires. If those pundits and reporters were straightforward about the fact that they are biased toward the imperial status quo because they know holding that bias is how they get and keep the best jobs, nobody would believe them when they tell us that we need to be afraid of a new Official Bad Guy or new group of people, or that it’s time for a new war, or that Julian Assange is bad and dangerous, or that it makes perfect sense to ignore third parties, or that America has a real government with real elections or what have you.

Impartiality has never existed in corporate media. The only reason some people pine for the days of yore when reporters were honest and spoke truth to power is because there was no internet back then, and narratives were therefore much easier to control by the media-owning class. Impartiality in the media is an imaginary unicorn believed in by children, so it’s actually to our benefit when these plutocratic cum dumpsters are honest about what they are. Hannity should be allowed to campaign for the plutocrat-owned president, MSNBC staff should be allowed to campaign for the plutocrat-owned Democrats, and Wolf Blitzer should have “BROUGHT TO YOU BY RAYTHEON” scrawled across his forehead in red lipstick.

Battle rages in Yemen's vital port as showdown looms

Instead of bringing calm to the besieged Yemeni city, calls for a ceasefire in Hodeidah have brought some of the worst violence the vital port has yet faced in the three-year war. Baseem al-Janani, who lives in the city, said: “The clashes are absolutely crazy right now. I have a headache from the shelling and bombing in the east. People are trapped in their houses for hours at a time because of shrapnel and gunfire. But their houses are not safe either.”

In the past few days, more than 100 airstrikes have hit civilian neighbourhoods – five times as many as in the whole of the first week of October, according to Save the Children staff in Hodeidah. One of their malnutrition clinics was attacked on Wednesday.

Pro-government militias are trying to seize as much ground as possible before fighting is supposed to stop at the end of November, when it is hoped UN-sponsored peace talks will restart in Sweden. Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates coalition-backed troops are inching closer to the city’s Houthi rebel-held centre from their current stalemate positions in the southern suburbs and at the airport in a three-pronged attack. On Wednesday, an Emirati-trained group known as the Giants, with the help of Apache attack helicopters, secured a key road leading to Hodeidah’s port. ...

Bhanu Bhatnagar, a spokesperson for Save the Children, said: “The hunger crisis in Yemen shows no sign of fading as long as the fighting persists. “Even those children who are on the road to recovery are falling back into life-threatening, extreme hunger because the heavy bombardment prevents them from reaching clinics to seek help, or because their families become displaced due to the fighting.”

The Saudis tried to rip out a security camera after Khashoggi murder, Turkish media says

Employees at the Saudi consulate in Turkey where journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered tampered with security camera footage in an attempt to cover up his death, according to a report from Turkish media out Tuesday.

Staff at the consulate allegedly tried to rip out a camera and also tamper with cameras at the security booth outside of the building, in the Turkish capital Istanbul. Turkish officials say Khashoggi was strangled and dismembered the moment he entered the building to get a document so he could marry his fiancée, who was waiting for him outside. Khashoggi’s body is still missing over a month after the murder. ...

The revelations about the cameras are the latest in a pile of mounting evidence that Saudi officials are attempting to cover up Khashoggi’s murder. The day that Khashoggi was scheduled to visit the consulate, Turkish staff were reportedly told to take the day off.

Kavanaugh set to be key vote in Missouri death penalty case

Hearing his first arguments in a death penalty case, supreme court Justice Brett Kavanaugh seemed open Tuesday to the arguments of a Missouri inmate who says his rare medical condition could result in severe pain if he is executed by lethal injection.

The court’s newest justice could hold the key vote in Russell Bucklew’s case. That’s because his eight colleagues split 4-4 earlier this year over whether to allow Bucklew’s execution to proceed. Justice Anthony Kennedy provided the fifth vote to spare Bucklew.

Bucklew, on death row for a 1996 murder, has said that a tumor in his throat is likely to burst during the lethal injection procedure, causing him to choke on his own blood. Among the questions Kavanaugh wanted answered was whether Bucklew will be lying flat during the execution, which Bucklew’s attorneys have said could be problematic. Traditionally, the lethal execution platforms are flat. Kavanaugh, who heard no death penalty cases in his 12 years as an appeals court judge, also asked about the limits on pain associated with an execution. The justice also aimed all his questions at the lawyer representing Missouri, the state authority that plans to execute Bucklew. This can be a sign at the supreme court that a justice is inclined to vote for the other side.

Trump steps up anti-immigrant campaign on eve of US election

On the eve of the US midterm election, the Trump administration went to the US Supreme Court seeking authority to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, under which some 800,000 young immigrants brought to the United States as children are allowed to work and go to school despite lacking legal status.

Solicitor General Noel Francisco asked the Supreme Court to throw out three lower court rulings that have blocked Trump from shutting down DACA since he first issued the order, in September 2017, giving six months’ notice of its termination. He claimed that the original executive order issued by President Barack Obama was without legal authority, and that it was “plainly within DHS’s [the Department of Homeland Security's] authority to set the nation’s immigration enforcement priorities and to end the discretionary DACA policy.”

Francisco asked the Supreme Court to bypass the intermediate level of federal appeals courts and intervene immediately to overturn judicial orders by three different federal district courts, in California, New York and the District of Columbia. The unusually aggressive procedural move seemed to be determined by the proximity of Election Day, to allow Trump and Republican candidates to boast of yet another action against immigrants just as tens of millions of voters are going to the polls.

The district court judges have told the administration to continue handling applications by DACA recipients to renew their status while the litigation over the program makes it way up through the federal courts. This would allow most DACA recipients to continue working or going to school. The Trump administration wants to make this impossible, and allow DACA protection to expire while the case is still before the courts.

If the ultra-right majority on the Supreme Court agrees to take up the case—including Trump’s two nominees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh—it would be decided by next June.

Gen. Dunford: US Troops Won’t Deny Immigrants Entry to US

Speaking at Duke University on the thousands of ground troops sent to the US border with Mexico, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford insisted that there are no plans for the troops to ever come in contact with the migrant caravan.

Dunford says the troops, which could number as many as 15,000 according to the administration, are merely there to support the Homeland Security operation, and aren’t intended to carry out any missions on their own.

Pipe bomb suspect held without bail after first court appearance

Pipe bombs suspect Cesar Sayoc was ordered to be held without bail on Tuesday by a federal judge in New York. Sayoc made his first court appearance on Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan following his transfer from Florida, where he was arrested last month. ...

Prosecutors told a judge that Sayoc, reportedly a rabid supporter of Trump and white nationalism, presents a flight risk and is a serious danger to the public. They requested that he be held in custody and the judge agreed. Sayoc faces nearly 50 years in prison if convicted.





the evening greens


Saving Planet With 'Green New Deal' Proves Popular as Climate Hawks Celebrate Midterm Victories

Advocates for taking rapid action to avoid an increasingly likely human-caused climate catastrophe celebrated as candidates across the country who have campaigned on a implementing a Green New Deal and fighting to phase out fossil fuels that have driven global warming won their midterm races on Tuesday while Democrats recaptured the U.S. House of Representatives. ...

"We need public officials who refuse to be bought and paid for by Big Oil and can stand up for groundbreaking climate policy like a Green New Deal," declared 350 Action executive director May Boeve. "Candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Deb Haaland, and Ilhan Omar ran on platforms supporting a phase out of fossil fuels and toward 100 percent renewable energy, and won."

"We may never be able to outspend oil and gas executives, so it's our job to build a political movement large enough that our voices drown out their dirty money," Boeve added. "It's time to say 'no' to fossil fuel money and invest in renewable energy solutions that put millions to work in family-supporting union jobs."

Although the contingent of Green New Deal supporters in the House could have been bigger—Randy Bryce lost his race in Wisconsin and Kevin de León, who was behind California's historic 100 percent renewable energy bill, failed to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein—some other advocates for climate action were able to win their races on Tuesday. Scientist and clean energy entrepreneur Sean Casten, who campaigned on the line that he "has dedicated his life to fighting climate change," unseated Republican incumbent Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois' historically red 6th District in the Chicago suburbs. As 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben noted on Twitter late Tuesday, Casten "is going to be one of the most climate-savvy folks in Congress right from the get-go."

Environmental attorney Mike Levin of California—who, like Casten, was endorsed by the Climate Hawks Vote political action committee—is expected to win in the San Diego area district previously held by retiring Republican Rep. Darrell Issa.

Big Oil Spends Tens of Millions to Successfully Kill Washington's Plan to Drastically Curb Planet-Killing Carbon Emissions

A groundbreaking proposal in Washington state that would have ushered in the nation's first carbon fee is projected to fail after Big Oil spent record sums to defeat it. As of Wednesday morning, the Secretary of State is reporting the proposal losing 56 percent to 44 percent.

Despite the expected loss, noted author and climate activist Bill McKibben gave props to the Yes campaign, tweeting, "Big Oil had to break every spending record in Washington to narrowly beat this carbon tax. All respect!"

Initiative 1631, backed by a broad range of supporters from the Nature Conservancy to Microsoft to the Suquamish Tribe, has been described as "a chance to tackle climate change head on" and "a possible harbinger of greater state and regional action to come."

If successful, the measure would have created a carbon emissions fee of $15 per metric ton of carbon, with the amount increaing $2 annually until the state's greenhouse gas reduction goals are met. Those revenues would have funded a kind of Green New Deal, being used for renewable energy infrastructure, protecting water quality, and investing in local communities.  The New York Times editorial board recently wrote that passage of 1631 could have provide "a template, or at least valuable lessons, for other states to follow; and (let's dream for a moment) it might even encourage Congress to take action on a national program."



Also of Interest

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

Intercepted: Chris Hedges on Elections, “Christian Fascists,” and the Rot Within the American System

Pittsburgh in the Jewish Press: Solidarity or Bothsidesism

Trump Appealed to the Very Worst in America. Too Often, It Worked

Progressives Win on Medicaid Expansion, Public Education, and Voting Rights Through Ballot Initiatives


A Little Night Music


Eddie C.Campbell - My Last Affair

Eddie C. Campbell - I'm In Love With You Baby

Eddie C. Campbell - Skin Tight

Eddie C. Campbell - Sister Taught Me Guitar

Eddie C. Campbell - Moonwalk / Soup Bone

Eddie C. Campbell - She's Nineteen Years Old

Eddie C. Campbell - King of the Jungle

Eddie Campbell - Voodoo

Eddie C. Campbell - Easy Baby



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Raggedy Ann's picture

Well, we'll see if the dims have any courage now that they have the House. I'm not holding my breath. They have no muscle memory to lead.

My state went completely blue with only one contested - our southern representative slot is still being counted. The dim is 2,000 votes behind, but there are 8,000 absentee ballots in a blue county, so we'll see. If the dim wins, we will be completely blue in representation. Now, we'll see about that courage issue, again.

The only bummer is that Ben Ray Lujan also won his district, so he goes back to being chair of DCCC, which we know is not in the "people's" favor. But realistically are any of them in our favor? Time will tell in this go 'round.

Beautiful day here in the SW. Snow expected Monday, lol. You never know what's going to happen with the weather around here!

Have a beautiful evening, folks! Pleasantry

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9 users have voted.

"If there is not justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government." Emiliano Zapata

WindDancer13's picture

@Raggedy Ann

if you didn't like the weather, just drive over to the next zip code. It was sure to be different.

Maybe the Dems will say "Look at all these progressives who won. Maybe we can learn something?" Is that an oxymoron?

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6 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

Raggedy Ann's picture

@WindDancer13
I believe you’re on to something!

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4 users have voted.

"If there is not justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government." Emiliano Zapata

zoebear's picture

@WindDancer13

Still, there's always other team sports we can watch.

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3 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

Well, we'll see if the dims have any courage now that they have the House.

my guess is that going forward the current leadership and their camp-follower corpo-dems will get all bipartisany and emphasize how well they can work with the republicans. 'cuz, you know, that's what the voters want them to do when they're not screaming about the donald's tax returns and russiarussiarussia.

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Raggedy Ann's picture

@joe shikspack
to my fear, joe. Sigh.....

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"If there is not justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government." Emiliano Zapata

divineorder's picture

Hey js! The irony!

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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.

WindDancer13's picture

@divineorder

Divine justice is over worked today, so the concession took the pressure off.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

divineorder's picture

@WindDancer13

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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.

WindDancer13's picture

@divineorder

as it reminds me of the Patriot Act, so I was very happy to see it go. Should I mention that it was a really stupid name to begin with...it has no pizzazz.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

@divineorder
that the military is inclined to resist becoming part of the CiC's personality cult.

On the other hand, it's always disquieting when the military is inclined to resist civilian authority. Especially in a country where the military is increasingly populated by apocalypse-pushing religious lunatics.

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joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

i am delighted that scott walker was defeated and conceded (finally). he's a turd.

wapo says:

Tuesday, younger, energetic Democrats, particularly in the “blue” urban areas around Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin in Madison, turned out in large numbers to finally tip the balance against his traditional support in the red Milwaukee suburbs and Green Bay, according to Arnold Shober, an associate professor of government at Lawrence University. There were an estimated 6,000 more voters around Madison than in the previous governor’s race, he said.

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@joe shikspack
Dane county turnout was up 40,000 over 2014. I haven't been able to find a number for Madison in 2014, but this year they were just under 50% of all Dane County votes. The Madison share of the 40K bump must have been somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000. Madison's total was about 8K less than the current record of 154K, set in 2016. (Note that overall turnout in WI was down in 2016, due to HRC's failure both to energize the African American vote, and to enable it in the aftermath of Walker's Jim Crow voter suppression law.)

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WindDancer13's picture

Kind of a follow-up to the Intercept article at the top of the EB (thanks, Joe):

Currently, I am working on several graphics. One is a representation of how American people have slipped into almost total black and white thinking. Shades of gray are almost gone which in graphics is a very bad thing, but even more so in thought processes.

Another way to look at what happened yesterday (and will probably be ongoing during recounts and lawsuits):

The New Face of Power Is Taking Shape

But when it comes to representation, Democratic Party leaders are finally starting to look like its voters.

Of the 29 districts flipped, so far, from Republican to Democratic control, 17 of them were flipped by women candidates, including Lauren Underwood of Illinois, a first-time candidate and African-American woman who’d beat six white men to win her primary race and defeated Randy Hultgren in the general; in Kansas, Sharice Davids, a lesbian former MMA fighter who unseated Republican Kevin Yoder, will become — along with New Mexico’s Deb Haaland — one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress. Ayanna Pressley will become the first black woman to serve in Congress from Massachusetts; Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan will become the first two Muslim women to head to the House, Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia (and likely Gina Ortiz-jones) will become the first Latinas to represent Texas in Congress.

In Georgia’s Sixth District, where Jon Ossoff failed to win special election in 2017, Democrat Lucy McBath (an African-American gun-control advocate whom the political media did not treat seriously going into this election season) appears poised to pull out a victory. In Michigan, every statewide office up for grabs went to Democratic women: attorney general, secretary of State, senator, governor. It’s not just the women who are altering our models for who might run, win, and lead this country: In upstate New York, Antonio Delgado beat John Faso, becoming his district’s first non-white representative, after a race in which Republicans portrayed Delgado as a “big-city rapper;” and Texas Republican Pete Sessions, a long-serving member of Congress (and a key mastermind of the GOP’s 2010 takeover of the House), was defeated by former NFL player turned civil-rights attorney Colin Allred. In Colorado, home of the baker whose refusal to make cakes for gay weddings was the basis of a Supreme Court case, Jared Polis was elected the nation’s first openly gay governor.

Moreover, even though they lost their Tuesday races by tight margins, Gillum and O’Rourke — along with incoming New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Abrams, who appears poised to challenge the Georgia results for a runoff — became national stars this season; these are the candidates of the Democratic Party’s future. They are young, they are progressive, and they do not look like candidates of America’s past. This is part of the story of Tuesday: explosively successful — and in some cases, just short of successful, in districts and states that have long been inhospitable to Democrats — efforts by new kinds of candidates to forge new kinds of paths toward political power.

For even more what the results actually look like, check out All the Good News From the Midterm Elections

Additional thoughts:

With the Dems in charge of the House, committee leadership will change. This can make a huge difference in the direction of policies.

With more Dems in governorships and state legislatures, the rights of citizens will be more closely protected.

More diversity will in and of itself bring change.

I have not yet had a chance to take a good look at the changes in state attorney generals, but what I have seen so far looks promising.

Ballot propositions were voted in overwhelmingly for progressive measures.

You can bet that in private Trump is NOT taking a victory lap.

Shades of gray: You do not lock your thinking into either/or. And if you are not happy with the results, then YOU take action. People often forget that elections are not the end of all action. There is always more to be done if you really want change.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

joe shikspack's picture

@WindDancer13

Currently, I am working on several graphics. One is a representation of how American people have slipped into almost total black and white thinking. Shades of gray are almost gone which in graphics is a very bad thing, but even more so in thought processes.

heh, sadly, a largish portion of the american public is incapable of critical thinking and mostly relies on magical thinking to shape its opinions.

heh, if the democrats are starting to "look like america," as they used to put it, it's because the republican firewall that wants the government to look like the pasty-faced white people they favor, is failing at its job.

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WindDancer13's picture

@joe shikspack

I used to blame a lot of things on critical thinking not being taught in current elementary education any more. I taught in at the college level, but by then it is usually too late plus the way it is taught is convoluted (in other words, not to be seriously undertaken by most).

However, I have since realized that older people do not have that excuse for the most part as critical thinking was often built into the curriculum back whenever. So now, I am going to have to go with the thought that the unused portion of elder generations' minds, the part that is usually used for critical thinking, has been calcified from lack of exercise.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

lotlizard's picture

@WindDancer13  
Critical thinking means questioning the narratives you’re handed, from whatever side.

Can’t have that.

When it comes to attacking anyone who questions approved narratives, people on the Left can be every bit as dogmatic and self-righteous as people on the religious Right.

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WindDancer13's picture

@lotlizard

And do I HAVE to wear the tinfoil hat? It musses my hair, ya'know.

I was very lucky in some of my schooling. In the 9th-10th grades, I attended a Catholic school at a time when the nuns were much more liberal than most religious are today. The nun who taught my Religion class opened our minds to critical thinking and questioning. I often think of her and appreciate the way she taught.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

lotlizard's picture

@WindDancer13  
had me and some other people over for dinner at his place.

This was a guy who had been involved in the peace movement since the 1950s — a very controversial thing at the start of the Cold War, since it meant arguing for a neutral Germany and against NATO membership and German rearmament — and in all sorts of environmental and anti-nuclear groups.

Someone asked him how he had come to be such an activist and catalyst on so many different fronts.

“Well, I was 12 years old when the war ended,” he said. “You couldn’t have found a more model Hitler Youth than I was. I really believed.

“Over the next eighteen months I discovered it had all been a lie. I learned a very important lesson that has stayed with me and made me who I am. It’s this: that everyone around you, all the authority figures in your life, everyone you respect — teachers, professors, government officials, clergy, celebrities, media — can agree on something, and it can still be wrong. It could be because they’re all in cahoots, or have a comfortable life they want to hang on to, or are just afraid. Anyway, you can never believe something just because that’s what authority says. What is it they don’t want you to see? What is it you’re not allowed to ask? You always have to do the work, be digging around, questioning, cross-checking, verifying, finding out for yourself as much as you can, and passing it on to as many people as you can.”

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WindDancer13's picture

@lotlizard

Those who questioned it were persecuted, not because the idea of the earth revolving around the sun was non-scientific, but because it went against church teachings, the authoritarian entity of the time.

So add to your fine list of how to verify information the prospect of not being believed and/or persecuted (cf. Assange, Snowden).

The man you met may have very well have built this picture of himself to protect his ego from other issues (e.g., his fears or even cowardice of the time overwhelming reality). So, to him what he told you was real. We see a lot of this nowadays. It is extremely dangerous.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

WindDancer13's picture

Every notification can have the same effect on the human brain as a slot machine or an addictive drug. Author and organizational consultant Simon Sinek explains that the "reward" of a new notification triggers the release of dopamine into the body. This means that a phone addiction may actually be a dopamine addiction. Dopamine is known to be the "feel good" chemical and is highly addictive.
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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

@WindDancer13
"maybe it's from her".

of course, it never is.

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WindDancer13's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Currently, I have a phone with no bells and whistles. All it does is put through calls from people trying to sell me something or lately texts from GotV. I am very happy with my little phone. = )

Meanwhile HE never calls either.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

joe shikspack's picture

@WindDancer13

“If you believe that your thoughts originate inside your brain, do you also believe that television shows are made inside your television set?”

-- Warren Ellis

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WindDancer13's picture

@joe shikspack

I am still searching for a brain.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

ghosting the peace talks

High-level talks between the United States and North Korea have been postponed, the State Department announced Wednesday without giving a specific reason for the decision.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been scheduled to meet with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol in New York on Thursday. The meeting was billed as preparation for a planned second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

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WindDancer13's picture

@gjohnsit

Meanwhile, I read an article recently that said we should give Trump credit where it is due. South and North Korea have come to an agreement and have asked the US to butt out, and so far they have. In other words, Trump gets credit for not screwing that up yet.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

heh, trump better hurry up and deal with kim, before south korea decides that maybe they don't really need the blessing of uncle sugar to sign a peace deal that ends the war.

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mimi's picture

a 'Magic Man'. From my limited experience with 'magic men' in Africa they are either Sorcerers or Healers and everybody adores and fears them at the same time, because you never know when the 'Magic Man's curses destroys you or when his magic heals you. So they are also excellent business men, because you pay to be protected from other magic men's curses and you pay to be healed once you got cursed. So, it's a win-win situation. Usually they die a natural death as no other magic man can heal the other magic man, and their power just vanishes into nothingness.

I think Trump is right about himself.

Thank You for the EB as always. Hopefully you got enogh sleep. Good Night from Germany.

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joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

personally, i think that trump is kind of a magic man. he's got the reverse midas touch, where everything that he touches turns to shit.

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With all the other weirdness going on, I completely forgot about that.

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snoopydawg's picture

@UntimelyRippd

She was one of the ones that I thought was very scary. I'd have to look for what it was that bothered me about her though. But then none of them were people I'd like to see in congress.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@UntimelyRippd

i haven't seen a list that anybody has put together, but the cia dem. jesse colvin (actually an army ranger, but he made the list anyway) running in the congressional district over from me lost to the incumbent white nationalist andy harris.

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(hat tip to me, for John Candy reference)
I don't know what the hell Quartz is, or how it ended up being fed to me in my browser, but this was actually interesting, in a weird sort of way. Apparently, a libertarian D.C. think tank has abandoned the true faith (hat tip to quartz for Liberty Leading the People, one of the most exquisite works of art in the Western canon).

Yet the libertarian think tank Niskanen Center in Washington, DC, argues the moderate middle is the future. Niskanen president Jerry Taylor wrote in an Oct. 29 essay that he is dropping the libertarian banner the center has shared with the likes of the more conservative Cato Institute. In a 3,595-word farewell to the libertarian world, he says libertarianism, and ideology itself, is a dead end. “I have abandoned that libertarian project…because I have come to abandon ideology,” writes Taylor, who invites readers to flee the “clean and well-lit prison of one idea.”

The future of American politics, he argues, is principled compromise, even if the present couldn’t seem further away. ”I think we’re living in a world in which moderation has virtually disappeared,” he says in an interview with Quartz. “And how’s that working out? I’m skating to where the puck is going to be.”

(hat tip to Taylor for quoting Wayne Gretzky.)

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joe shikspack's picture

@UntimelyRippd

interesting indeed.

"principled compromise" is an interesting turn of phrase for someone who claims to be "abandoning ideology."

ideology - noun - a system of ideas and ideals, especially one that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.

heh, it seems that ideology is the basket wherein one's principles are stored. if one abandons ideology, how does one make a "principled" compromise?

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@joe shikspack
the thing is, i too have lately been wanting to renounce ideology, without renouncing principles, which is one of the reasons this particular story attracted more than passing interest from me.

i think that ideology has come to mean something else nowadays -- that ideology has come to mean an irrational rejection of truths that violate the presumptions of one's ideology. i was at a talk recently in which we were presented with an interesting mathematical result -- one that explicitly provided a policy prescription. the next piece of the puzzle, we were told, was to somehow cajole the suppliers of this particular economic good, who operated under the conditions of a "market", to provide the production mix that the mathematics suggested. "But why," I asked, "screw with the goddamned markets in the first place? That isn't science, that's ideology!"

perhaps we can say that ideology represents some sort of an "ideal" -- something towards which to strive, something to prefer, as long as it makes sense to do so.

i don't know.

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joe shikspack's picture

@UntimelyRippd

well, if you want my $.02 ...

i think that most people reverse-engineer their adherence to ideology in order to justify their druthers or to implement/enforce a particular moral code. ironically, the way that i see this used, far from irrationally rejecting truths, is to force others to accept "truths" that they feel have an irrational basis.

for example, i think that a lot of people have claimed to be delighted by the architecture of state's rights because somebody told them that it would make ending abortion or some other desired policy outcome more easily achieved. i bet there aren't a dozen americans that actually give a damn about state's rights absent a particular policy outcome preference.

so, anyway, i don't think that one should abandon ideology, rather, one should adjust their ideology appropriately in the face of new understandings of facts, truths and significant likelihoods.

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@joe shikspack
It was coined by a friend of his -- I haven't been able to track it down to the original, only a different usage by some Italian economist/philosopher.

Anyway, Epistemological Alchemy is the mysterious ineffable process by which one's Interests are transformed into one's Principles.

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WindDancer13's picture

A GofundMe for Mueller?

Btw, does this mean that the middle class can kiss that 10% tax reduction away?

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

@WindDancer13
to turn this car around and go straight back home.

One of my coworkers, not originally of this country, was expressing befuddlement today at the discovery that various of our benefits are now going to be taxed as income. "I thought Trump was cutting taxes for everybody!" I should note, this is not a stupid person talking, just a comically naive one.

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WindDancer13's picture

@UntimelyRippd

Some people would call that double taxation, but not our government. Btw, too lazy to look....where in the Constitution does it say We the People have to provide payment (wages/salary/perks) to Congress critters or the president?

I hope that turn was not too quick, but the two sentences were linked in my mind.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

enhydra lutris's picture

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