The Evening Blues - 12-11-19



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Wilbert Harrison

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features r&b singer and multi-instrumentalist Wilbert Harrison. Enjoy!

Wilbert Harrison - Kansas City

"The only way you can do that [decrease taxes, balance the budget, and increase military spending] is with mirrors."

-- John B. Anderson


News and Opinion

Congress to Vote on $22 Billion Defense Increase One Week After Trump Slashed Food Stamps

Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Congress’s Armed Services committees released a compromise bill on Monday that would authorize $738 billion in military spending in 2020, a $22 billion increase over 2019. If passed, the bill would formally establish President Donald Trump’s proposed “Space Force” as a sixth armed service and bring total annual Pentagon spending increases under Trump to more than $130 billion.

But Democrats on the left flank of the party argue that the compromise signs away important restrictions on Trump’s war-making powers included in the House version of the bill, where an amendment backed by progressives would have prohibited the Trump administration from using any funds to launch an unauthorized, offensive war against Iran.

The compromise also stripped out a measure long backed by California Democrat Ro Khanna that would have prohibited U.S. military support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen and one from New Jersey Democrat Tom Malinowski that would have banned the sale of air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In a joint statement, presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders and Khanna, who is Sanders’s campaign chair, called the National Defense Authorization Act “a bill of astonishing moral cowardice,” and said that Congress should not pass the compromise version.

“There is no pressing reason for Congress to shower Trump, his Saudi friends, and the Pentagon contractors of the military-industrial complex with this $738 billion taxpayer giveaway right now,” Sanders and Khanna said. “We owe it to the American people to go back to the drawing board.”


Sanders, Khanna Condemn Pentagon Authorization “Giveaway,” Urge Congress to Vote No

In response to the publication of the conference report for the National Defense Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 2020, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Representative Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) issued the following statement:

“Congress must vote against this disastrous Pentagon authorization—a bill of astonishing moral cowardice. Congress should have used this National Defense Authorization Act to stop our endless wars. Instead, this bill does nothing to rein in out-of-control military spending, prevent unconstitutional war against Iran, limit the poisoning of Americans’ drinking water, or end the obscenity of innocent children in Yemen being killed by U.S. bombs.

“In 2018, a groundswell of Americans came out to the ballot box to elect a Congress that would stand up to the brutal agenda of President Trump and the Republicans. The American people could not have imagined that this Congress would go on to craft legislation that adds tens of billions in new Pentagon spending—more than enough to fund tuition-free public college across America—while placing hardly any limits on this lawless administration.

“Voters would be appalled to know that instead of seizing the opportunity to end illegal U.S. participation in the horrific Saudi-led bombings of Yemen, Congress will continue to fund Trump’s unconstitutional war, which threatens to kill 24 million Yemenis facing starvation and disease. Americans will be furious to learn that Congress refused to protect Americans from being poisoned by toxic PFAS chemicals polluting their drinking water.

“Every member of Congress should vote against this measure. There is no pressing reason for Congress to shower Trump, his Saudi friends, and the Pentagon contractors of the military-industrial complex with this $738-billion taxpayer giveaway right now. We owe it to the American people to go back to the drawing board. Congress must say no.”

The Afghanistan war is more than a $1 trillion mistake. It's a travesty

The American people have known that the war in Afghanistan was a lost cause for quite some time. According to the Pew Research Center, Americans’ views of the war started to go south right around the end of 2011, until eventually a majority started seeing the writing on the wall about two years later. That’s why the Washington Post report this week on the so-called “Afghanistan Papers”, detailing how US officials “deliberately mislead the public” on the war’s progress, is almost sort of unremarkable. If the piece took away any shred of innocence left from this ghastly enterprise, it’s that perhaps some of us thought our leaders, while failing miserably at building a nation thousands of miles away, were at least acting in good faith. ...

But there’s one big question the Post report raises but does not address: why? Why did so many people – from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials – feel the need to lie about how the war in Afghanistan was going?

The easy answer is that there’s a long tradition in Washington, particularly among the foreign policy establishment, that self-reflection, taking responsibility and admitting failure is a big no-no. Heck, you can get convicted of lying to Congress about illegal arms sales, and cover up brutal atrocities and still get a job at the state department. Did you torture anyone? No problem. While DC’s culture of no culpability certainly plays a role in this case, the more compelling answer lies somewhere near the fact that once the American war machine kicks into gear, no amount of facts undermining its very existence is going to get in the way.

Indeed, the United States has so far doled out nearly one trillion dollars for the war in Afghanistan (the true cost of the war will be trillions more) and everyone’s on the take: from defense industry executives, lobbyists and US political campaign coffers to Afghan government officials and poppy farmers to anyone and anything in between. What’s more is that this military-industrial-congressional complex is largely insulated from public accountability, so what’s the incentive to change course? The Pentagon’s entire budget operates in much the same way: unprecedented amounts in unnecessary appropriations resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse. Yet Congress continues to throw more and more money at the defense department every year without ever requiring it to account for how it spends the money. In fact, the war in Afghanistan is small potatoes by comparison.

The bottom line is that the Afghanistan Papers clearly show that a lot of people were killed, injured and subject to years, if not lifetimes, of psychological trauma and financial hardship because a bunch of men – yes, mostly men – in Washington didn’t want to admit publicly what they knew privately all along. If we don’t start holding these people to account – and it’s not just about Afghanistan – the DC foreign policy establishment will continue to act with impunity, meaning that it’s probably more likely than not that in 50 years there’ll be another batch of “papers” revealing once again that we’ve failed to learn obvious lessons from the past.

Gillibrand demands hearing following release of 'Afghanistan Papers'

Armed Services Committee member Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Monday called for the panel to hold a hearing to investigate U.S. strategy in the 18-year Afghanistan War following a damning report that senior U.S. officials knowingly lied to the public for years about the country's progress in the conflict.

“We all read today, the striking reporting by The Washington Post, suggesting that administration officials, potentially including military officials, have misled the American public about the war in Afghanistan. I am writing to request hearings to address these deeply concerning revelations about the Afghan war,” Gillibrand wrote in a letter to committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and ranking member Jack Reed (D-R.I.). ...

Gillibrand said in a statement on Monday that the papers “show that past administrations, and our civilian and military leaders, have misled the American public about their objectives in Afghanistan and the potential of reaching those objectives. This is absolutely unacceptable.” ...

“Given these costs in American lives and funds, it is deeply troubling to read a report of interviews with U.S. Government officials that appear to contradict the many assurances we have heard at committee hearings that the continuing war in Afghanistan has a coherent strategy and an end in sight,” Gillibrand wrote.

Human Rights Icon Aung San Suu Kyi Is in Court Defending Claims of Genocide in Myanmar

Almost 30 years ago, Aung San Suu Kyi was feted as a human rights defender, winning the Nobel Peace Prize. On Tuesday morning she walked into the International Court of Justice in The Hague to answer allegations of genocide conducted by Myanmar’s military. The Burmese leader led a delegation to the Dutch city to respond to a case filed by The Gambia last month alleging that Myanmar has breached its obligations under the UN Genocide Convention.

The African country asserts that the Myanmar military committed atrocities against the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State in 2016 and 2017, during a clearing operation that saw thousands of Rohingya killed and more than 700,000 flee to Bangladesh. ...

According to court documents, the ICJ’s panel of 17 judges will hear allegations that the clearances were “intended to destroy the Rohingya as a group, in whole or in part,” and that the military committed mass murder, rape, and set fire to Rohingya buildings “often with inhabitants locked inside.” But Aung San Suu Kyi, who is Myanmar’s State Counselor and de facto head of state, is expected to defend the military action and claim it was a legitimate counter-terrorism response to Rohingya militants.

'We're back': Alberto Fernández sworn in as Argentina shifts to the left

Argentina’s Peronist leader, Alberto Fernández, has been sworn in as president, marking a shift to the left for Latin America’s third-largest economy as the country fights rampant inflation, credit default fears and rising poverty.

The 60-year-old center-left politician took his presidential oath on Tuesday in front of cheering lawmakers, political leaders from the region and representatives from major trade partners including Brazil and the United States.

In an hour-long speech, he criticized rising rates of hunger and poverty and said the country needed to revive growth to escape from “virtual default” after a period of painful austerity under the outgoing conservative Mauricio Macri. ...

The rise of Fernández marks a return of Argentina’s powerful left-leaning Peronists, including the vice-president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, a rock-star populist politician who clashed with investors and farmers during her twin terms as president between 2007-2015.

The new administration is expected to usher in growth-focused policies after unpopular fiscal tightening, which critics warn could strain already depleted state coffers. ... Fernández picked Martín Guzmán, a young disciple of the Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitz, to head the economy ministry last week.

French women may be the biggest losers under Macron’s pension reform plan

Jeremy Corbyn faces Russiagate smear campaign before UK vote

Final scramble for votes in 'most important election in a generation'

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn are to embark on a final frantic 24 hours of campaigning as both teams insist the election remains closely fought and that polls giving the Conservatives a lead could be wrong. Both Labour and the Conservatives have branded Thursday’s vote the “most important in a generation” as the two sides have vastly different plans for Brexit and spending on public services. ...

The Conservatives are leading by anywhere between six and 15 points according to the polls, which could mean anything from a comfortable majority for Johnson to a hung parliament.

A detailed constituency-by-constituency poll published on Tuesday night predicted a Johnson majority, but much reduced compared with its previous set of results two weeks ago.

UK election: Labour faces Brexit Party challenge in northern heartland

The Democrats Handed Trump a Huge 2020 Policy Win Just After Moving to Impeach Him

On Tuesday morning, House Democrats unveiled their articles of impeachment against President Trump. Just one hour later, they handed him a key policy victory.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Democrats announced Tuesday that they’ve hammered out a deal to support the USMCA, a trade agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada that updates and revises NAFTA. If the deal passes Congress it’ll be Trump’s biggest policy victory since Republicans slashed corporate and personal tax rates two years ago — and could prove to be a huge political win for Trump, shoring up his populist bona fides for the 2020 election.

“Trump is going to take the fact that there was a bipartisan deal to say his trade policy is working,” Jeff Hauser, a Democratic strategist with deep ties to the labor movement, told VICE News. Pelosi's "wrong on the substance and dangerously wrong on the politics.”

Pay no attention to the Democrat behind the curtain, this is not an impeachable offense.

US immigration officials bar doctors from giving flu shots to detained kids

US immigration authorities blocked doctors from giving flu vaccines to detained migrant children this week, a move that physicians say will lead to more deaths behind bars. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) refused to grant a group of doctors access to provide vaccines in San Diego on Monday despite at least three recent flu deaths of children in US immigration custody, aged two, six and 16, and growing concerns about health hazards and unsafe conditions for asylum seekers in detention.

Licensed physicians arrived at the Chula Vista border patrol station in San Ysidro prepared to operate a free flu clinic for the detained migrants, but CBP would not let them inside, claiming it was not “feasible” to provide the medical care.

“More people will die without the vaccine,” said Dr Hannah Janeway, an emergency medicine physician turned away by CBP. “There’s no doubt. They are being locked in cages in cold weather together, without any vaccination, in a year that is supposed to bring a horrible flu epidemic.”

Janeway, a Los Angeles-based doctor who also works with asylum seekers in Tijuana, said CBP had a moral obligation to provide vaccines: “Our government, who is creating these conditions and allowing them to persist, is basically saying some people’s lives are worth more than others, and it’s OK for children to die.”

For more than a month, a group of physicians has been urging the US to vaccinate migrants in custody, and in November they formally offered to set up a free pilot clinic. CBP, however, has rejected the proposal by arguing that there are logistical challenges and that because CBP operates short-term detention, a flu clinic is not feasible. ... Government records, however, have shown that children and adults have been held in CBP custody in crowded conditions for longer than 72 hours, and lawyers representing migrants in the region have reported clients being held for weeks with little explanation.

Cities Are Making It Illegal to Be Homeless

When cities make it illegal to live out of a car, the fines and punishments can end up pushing poor people even deeper into homelessness, according to a new report from the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty. Yet more and more cities keep passing laws restricting vehicle-dwelling. In the 13 years since the center began tracking the policies, 64 of these laws have been passed, a 213% increase, with 22 of them passed in the past two years alone, according to Tuesday’s report. That’s especially problematic since people in major cities across America are increasingly cramming their possessions into vans and RVs because they can’t afford to rent a real home.

And the restrictions on vehicle-dwelling are just one type of anti-homeless law passed among a sample group of 187 urban and rural cities in recent years, according to the law center. Overall, there’s been a marked increase in “anti-homeless” laws that ban sleeping outside or loitering in some way, too. Cities have even passed 36 new laws to ban panhandling since 2006, despite courts repeatedly declaring panhandling constitutionally protected speech. For people living in their cars — which, the report notes, can include families with children — such anti-homeless ordinances can result in steep fines, jail time, the towing of one’s vehicle, or license suspension. Those effects can be catastrophic for a person trying to eventually achieve permanent housing, as it can lead to a criminal record or eat away savings.

While homelessness nationwide has generally trended lower in the past decade, an increasing number of people have been living outdoors — particularly in major coastal cities — over the past two years, creating a drastic and visible poverty crisis in places like Seattle and Los Angeles. In part, that rise can be attributed to rising rents, stagnant wages, and a lack of federal investment in affordable housing programs, the report’s authors said.

Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren Team Up With House Progressives to Challenge Nancy Pelosi on Drug-Pricing Bill

Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have taken the side of the Congressional Progressive Caucus against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a dramatic fight over the details of a drug-pricing bill that has been a source of intra-caucus sparring all year. Pelosi is hoping to move quickly to a floor vote to satisfy a major 2018 campaign pledge that Democrats would work to lower drug prices. Progressives led by Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Mark Pocan, who are pushing for changes to the legislation, are standing firm, arguing the bill is far too modest and would do little if enacted — which, given the makeup of the Republican-majority Senate, it won’t be.

On Saturday, Warren tweeted, “@PramilaJayapal is right. Drug prices are crushing American families. A bill to fix this shouldn’t work for only some drugs or some people—it should help everyone afford lifesaving treatments.” The next day, Sanders retweeted a plea by the Progressive Caucus to get its “key improvements to take on pharma greed” into the bill.

The bill, H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, will not become law, whether Pelosi’s version passes or whether the stronger elements preferred by the Progressive Caucus are included. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will bury it with the other 400-odd pieces of legislation in his graveyard. But the importance of this House Democratic squabble goes well beyond a single bill. It will indicate whether the 98-member Progressive Caucus, which grew in size this year, is willing and able to fight for policies it believes in. How hard progressives push back against Pelosi will determine whether she will continue to ignore progressives as she pursues her policy framework, or whether she’ll have to respect and include them.

'Stakes Higher Than They Appear' as Progressive Caucus Battles Pelosi Over Drug-Pricing Bill in House

A brewing standoff between the progressive and moderate wings of the majority Democratic party in the U.S. House of Representatives over a drug pricing bill is exposing a power struggle within the caucus and could preview larger ideological battles ahead. That's according to reporting Monday from The Intercept's Ryan Grim and The American Prospect's David Dayen on the potential for a blowout fight between the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her moderate allies on a drug pricing bill, H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.

According to Grim and Dayen, the CPC is interested in possibly using the caucus' power in the Rules Committee to block the bill over centrist Democrats' refusal to bend on the bill—a strategy reminiscent of the behavior of the GOP Freedom Caucus, which built itself into a force on the House floor due to ideological rigidity and a willingness to use procedure as a weapon. ...

The CPC began whipping members against the bill on Friday after it was gutted by Pelosi's office, setting up Tuesday's showdown. ... Grim and Dayen wrote on Monday that the CPC's decision could have ramifications on how the House decides on policy in the next year and beyond. "It's not hyperbole to call the fight a potential bend point in the history of the Democratic Party, with stakes much higher than they appear," they wrote.

In comment to The Hill, a Pelosi aide sent a veiled warning to the CPC and expressed confidence that the moderates would win the day. "Representatives Pocan and Jayapal are gravely misreading the situation if they try to stand in the way of the overwhelming hunger for HR3 within the House Democratic Caucus and among progressive Members," said the aide. "The Lower Drug Costs Now Act will pass next week." House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), however, told Politico he was "certainly" concerned progressives would stymie the bill.



the horse race



Pelosi must go, dissecting Pete Buttigieg

Who Invited Michael Bloomberg to the Primary?

Michael Bloomberg, New York’s diminutive, billionaire ex-mayor, is running for president—a project with which he has publicly and privately flirted for years. With Joe Biden’s underfunded and uninspiring campaign flagging in early primary states and the prospect of even Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., winning the nomination too much to bear, the ever-skittish establishment wing of the Democratic Party has reportedly recruited Bloomberg to enter the race. ...

To be fair, Bloomberg is not actually running in Iowa or in any of the first three primaries. His campaign so far has consisted of a giant $30 million ad buy with no discernible focus, although it’s safe to say that the campaign’s objective is to have a strong showing on so-called Super Tuesday in March, when voters from more than a dozen states—from giants like California, Texas and Virginia to minor prizes like Arkansas and Oklahoma—will cast their ballots. His late entry means he has yet to appear in many statewide polls, but he is viewed unfavorably by a plurality of the Democratic electorate. The one issue on which he has any popular credibility is gun control, which proved a loser for the younger, handsomer, cussier, now-ex-candidate Beto O’Rourke. In the bitingly dispassionate words of the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg seems “uniquely ill-equipped to break into the mix.” So what is he doing here? ...

In all likelihood, there is nothing more to his run than ego and the kind of bland stupidity that convinces itself it is genius as soon as it acquires enough assets. Bloomberg believes his own story: up by the bootstraps from a working-class childhood to the stratosphere of global wealth and financial influence, a figure whose name is virtually synonymous with a whole industry, a shark and an entrepreneur, a three-term mayor who presided over the sparkling reinvention of New York City, never mind that that reinvention involved converting giant swaths of the island of Manhattan into decommercialized landing strips for absentee millionaire condo owners and storeless streetscapes of bank branches and glassed-in lobbies. He has wanted this for a long time, and who will tell him no? Bloomberg believes he can win. ...

I absolutely cannot wait to watch him get his ass kicked.

Billionaire Presidential Hopeful Mike Bloomberg Addresses Press at COP25 But Won’t Take Questions

Biden signals to aides that he would serve only a single term

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s top advisers and prominent Democrats outside the Biden campaign have recently revived a long-running debate whether Biden should publicly pledge to serve only one term, with Biden himself signaling to aides that he would serve only a single term.

While the option of making a public pledge remains available, Biden has for now settled on an alternative strategy: quietly indicating that he will almost certainly not run for a second term while declining to make a promise that he and his advisers fear could turn him into a lame duck and sap him of his political capital.

According to four people who regularly talk to Biden, all of whom asked for anonymity to discuss internal campaign matters, it is virtually inconceivable that he will run for reelection in 2024, when he would be the first octogenarian president. "If Biden is elected,” a prominent adviser to the campaign said, “he’s going to be 82 years old in four years and he won’t be running for reelection.”

The adviser argued that public acknowledgment of that reality could help Biden mollify younger voters, especially on the left, who are unexcited by his candidacy and fear that his nomination would serve as an eight-year roadblock to the next generation of Democrats. By signaling that he will serve just one term and choosing a running mate and Cabinet that is young and diverse, Biden could offer himself to the Democratic primary electorate as the candidate best suited to defeat Trump as well as the candidate who can usher into power the party’s fresh faces.

“This makes Biden a good transition figure,” the adviser said. “I’d love to have an election this year for the next generation of leaders, but if I have to wait four years [in order to] to get rid of Trump, I'm willing to do it.”

Krystal Ball: Young voters utter rejection of Pete, embrace of Bernie

Saagar Enjeti: Yang qualifies for debate, changes politics forever



the evening greens


Exxon Just Won That Big Climate Change Lawsuit in New York

Exxon Mobil just got off scot-free in New York State’s high-profile lawsuit, which alleged that the company lied to its investors about climate change.

New York state prosecutors tried to prove that Exxon misled investors by keeping two different sets of books — one for investors and another private — that detailed how the company was accounting for the costs of future climate change regulations that could affect the company’s bottom line. The state didn’t have to prove that the company had intentionally misled investors, but it did need to prove that the company’s misstatements had a material impact on investors.

In his 55-page ruling, Judge Barry Ostrager said the prosecution wasn’t able to provide any evidence of material impact. “The office of the Attorney General failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that ExxonMobil made any material misstatements or omissions about its practices and procedures that misled any reasonable investor,” Ostrager wrote. ...

Now that the New York case has wrapped up, it’s Massachusetts’ turn to take a shot at Exxon. The state attorney general there filed suit against the company in October. The allegations in that case are more broad: that the company not only deceived investors, but consumers as well, into thinking Exxon’s products were safe for the climate.

More at the link:

Revealed: water company and city officials knew about Flint poison risk

Executives at one of the world’s largest utilities companies knew that families in Flint, Michigan, might be at risk of being poisoned by lead in their tap water months before the city publicly admitted the problem, according to internal company emails. Email exchanges in February 2015 between executives at Veolia and a city contractor show some senior employees were aware that lead from the city’s pipes could be leaching into drinking water. They argued that city officials should be told to change Flint’s water supply to protect residents.

But the company never made that recommendation public. At the time, Veolia was exploring other lucrative contracts with the city.

Flint began struggling with foul tasting, discolored water after switching to the Flint River as its supply in April 2014. Test results soon showed elevated levels of carcinogens. The water was corrosive, so it was releasing lead from pipes. The city found extraordinarily high lead levels in one resident’s water in February 2015, but residents were not made aware of the extent of the problem until September 2015.

Five years later, the people of Flint continue to demand accountability for the water crisis, which exposed residents to high levels of lead, a potent neurotoxin. Children and infants who consumed the water are likely to suffer lifelong learning disabilities. Flint residents are still advised to either drink bottled water or filter it from the tap.

The emails, reviewed by the Guardian and MLive in a joint investigation, came to light in a lawsuit filed by the Michigan attorney general in the Genesee county circuit court. The lawsuit accused Veolia of “professional negligence, negligence, public nuisance, unjust enrichment and fraud”. The attorney general alleged Veolia gave Flint bad advice, and did not help it to prevent its lead crisis by pushing harder for safeguards against corrosion or a switch to a different water supply. The court dismissed nearly all of the claims against Veolia last month, citing mainly procedural reasons. One claim remains, for unjust enrichment.

“The Most Extreme Fires We’ve Ever Seen”: Record Climate-Fueled Wildfires Engulf Australia in Smoke

Trudeau will fuel the fires of our climate crisis if he approves Canada's mega mine

This week, the Canadian government is in Madrid telling the world that climate action is its No 1 priority. When they get home, Justin Trudeau’s newly re-elected government will decide whether to throw more fuel on the fires of climate change by giving the go-ahead to construction of the largest open-pit oil sands mine in Canadian history. Approving Teck Resources’ Frontier mine would effectively signal Canada’s abandonment of its international climate goals. The mega mine would operate until 2067, adding a whopping 6 megatonnes of climate pollution every year. That’s on top of the increasing amount of carbon that Canada’s petroleum producers are already pumping out every year.

The Teck mega mine would be on Dene and Cree territory, close to Indigenous communities. The area is home to one of the last free-roaming herds of wood bison, it’s along the migration route for the only wild population of endangered whooping cranes, and is just 30km from the boundary of Wood Buffalo national park – a Unesco world heritage site because of its cultural importance and biodiversity.

Alberta’s oil sands produce one of the dirtiest oils on the planet, and they are the fastest-growing source of carbon emissions in Canada. The industry is expanding rapidly and is already responsible for more carbon pollution than all of Quebec. Oil and gas is now the largest climate polluter in the country, exceeding all greenhouse gases from transportation. Even without Teck Frontier, there are 131 megatonnes per year in approved tar sands projects just waiting for companies to begin construction. No wonder the industry is on track to take up 53% of Canada’s emissions budget within the next 10 years.

Less than two months ago, two-thirds of Canadians voted for parties vowing to do more to fight climate change. Trudeau promised during the campaign to introduce legally binding targets for Canada to reach net zero emissions by 2050. But all the current national climate policies, including a carbon tax and coal phase-out, would be overwhelmed by this carbon juggernaut and Canada would radically fail to meet its climate commitments.



Also of Interest

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

The Most Significant Afghanistan Papers Revelation Is How Difficult They Were To Make Public

How the Global North’s Left Media Helped Pave the Way for Bolivia’s Right-Wing Coup

Socialism is as American as apple pie. Yes, really

In 2000, Pete Buttigieg Wrote an Essay Praising Bernie Sanders. What, Exactly, Did He Admire?

Ray McGovern: Barr Blasts Inspector General For Whitewashing FBI

Congress Held a Hearing on the Fed’s Bailout of the Repo Market: Here’s Why You Haven’t Heard About It

Greenland's ice sheet melting seven times faster than in 1990s

New England Fishing Communities Being Destroyed by 'Climate Shocks': Study

Krystal and Saagar: Impeachment or no, the truth about Hunter will come out

Rising: Could Warren and Pete knock each other out?

Rising: Pete's McKinsey clients revealed, Biden's one-term pledge?

Rising: Does Warren still even have a path to the nomination?


A Little Night Music

Wilbert Harrison - Don't Drop It

Wilbert Harrison - Let's Stick Together

Wilbert Harrison - You're Still My Baby

Wilbert Harrison - Off To Work Again

Wilbert Harrison - Florida Special

Wilbert Harrison - Near to You

Wilbert Harrison - Coming down with love

Wilbert Harrison - After Graduation

Wilbert Harrison - Broke

Wilbert Harrison - Say It Again

Wilbert Harrison - Let's Get a Thing Going


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Comments

No shit sherlock. You had to become a congress critter to figure that one out? BTW, you are a senior US official. Lying is the nature of government, in case you missed that image in the mirror.

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May we be united and strong -- laurel

joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

heh, well, they say that all's fair in love and war.

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Azazello's picture

Some good news for the Southwest - Trump barred from building border wall with military funds
More on the Afghan papers - Our Lying Military, Our Lying Government
Here's Jimmy Dore's take:

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joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

glad to see that a court stepped up and attempted to rein in trump's border wall idiocy.

great dore piece. i think that the proper response to the afghanistan papers is ridicule of the government, media and military.

have a great evening!

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Raggedy Ann's picture

So many have got their underwear in a knot over the Afghanistan papers - as if we didn't know this was the truth all along. Oh, here, let me feign indignation!

I'm lucky I don't work for Amazon or I'd be fired. I let my boss know he doesn't have what it takes to be a boss. I'm the deep state of a university - the person in his position changes but I don't, but he doesn't get it. I can make or break him. He doesn't get it. Do I sound like Comey? This is fun! Just kidding.....

Have a great Wednesday evening, everyone! Pleasantry

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“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-- Arundhati Roy

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

heh, we all know that the government and military are lying sacks of shit. but we can't seem to stop funding them. hell, we can't stop the lying liars in the government from steadily increasing the enormous amounts of money that we are taxed to give the lying liars in the military every damned year.

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ggersh's picture

is that these places shouldn't be burning, they're
normally moist, wet, they're the greenest parts of
Australia and they're just drying out.

Unfortunately my wife and son are about to depart
to Australia to see family

TPTB are killing the planet

PEOPLE NEED TO WAKE UP!

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trump will be amerika's last president

What if the impeachment of tRumpolini is meant
to destroy the D party, makes sense doesn't it?

elections = tptb excuse for sayin ameriKa is a
democracy

joe shikspack's picture

@ggersh

well, there are a couple years maybe left to stop tptb. if whatever we collectively do to stop them doesn't work, there are two things left to do - find a comfortable place to "enjoy" the coming mass die-off and/or make sure that tptb pay a price.

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snoopydawg's picture

People were saying it was the military that was arresting people, but when they walk like a duck...
Hey Pelosi does this raise your blood pressure at all?

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

@snoopydawg Yup! And could it be connected to this?

https://twitter.com/ashoncrawley/status/1067463245487853568

We know she "belongs there" when she embraces Bush the Lesser & disses....

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joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

heh, you gotta wonder what's in those little candies that dubya hands out.

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Bollox Ref's picture

After the debacle of yesterday (refusing to look at a picture of sick child, and taking the phone of the reporter), De Piffle refused to go live on national teevee, and dived into a fridge.

The man is an utter twat. All bluster and spittle, and runs scared of unscripted meetings with either the press or public. He's little more than a puppet for the big money that sponsors the scary crew that once was the Conservative and Unionist Party. Even ex-PM, John Major (Con) has advised people to not vote for this sad man-child.

Hopefully, tactical voting in various constituencies will result in Bozo the Clown suffering tomorrow.

This is what some of the locals thing of him (me included):

(Edited)

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

well, i guess we shall know soon whether the people of the uk were able to rid themselves of "that filthy piece of toerag." Smile

if corbyn wins, i can't wait to see the headlines from the uk's usual suspects.

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Bollox Ref's picture

@joe shikspack

But a hung parliament will scupper Johnson the sock replacement.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

@Bollox Ref BBC keeps mentioning that Corbyn is very unpopular because he is a socialist, that Labor voters might vote against him now & later com back once he is replaced after the election.Difficult to trust BBC...so wondering : Is he unpopular? If so, is it because he is a socialist? or some other reason? For example, media's relelentless attacks on him.

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Bollox Ref's picture

@Funkygal

are owned by billionaires. Various papers are partial, not impartial, and most are very much against anything that smacks of 'socialism' (see 'raised taxes').

The performance of the national broadcaster, the BBC has been very dubious this time around. Laura Kuenssberg, the 'political editor of BBC News' has been caught out in recent days, spouting whatever a Tory 'source' told her.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Funkygal

Is he unpopular?

well, he did manage to become the leader of a very large political party.

that party, like america's democrats has an infestation of neoliberals (the tony bliar segment of the party) that make a lot of noise but whose time (like the clintons) is over.

corbyn is popular despite a serious propaganda campaign against him. the question is whether he is popular enough.

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janis b's picture

@Bollox Ref @Bollox Ref

on the mid-day news, it sounded like a real reach for Corbyn to form a government, that is, if Johnson doesn't have a majority.

This is the report I heard on the radio if you're interested ...
https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018726587/el...

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Bollox Ref's picture

@janis b

but if people vote tactically within constituencies, that might deny The Awful Johnson a useful majority.

We can only hope.

I'm not keen on Corbyn, but I really don't like Brexit.

Listening to Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan on the radio today made me smile at least.

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Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

janis b's picture

@Bollox Ref

from what I understand neither candidate is ideal, although Johnson is a nightmare. From the interview it sounds like the population are quite conflicted because neither Corbyn or Johnson are trusted.

I hope as well, the people vote tactically to further a better outcome.

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@janis b
It's years of coordinated synchronized smears.
Fortunately I don't think the kids care.

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joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

yep, the saudis can do no wrong.

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lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  
When is Congress and the media going to look into Saudigate and Israelgate? That’s the real Marlboro country, that’s where all the treason really is.

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snoopydawg's picture

Yesterday I commented on how two people could hear the same thing but come out with a different interpretation of it. The same thing is happening with Graham today. I always thought if people heard the truth about Russia Gate and everything connected to it that a lightbulb would go off in their heads and they would see how they fell for propaganda. Sadly it is not going to happen. Barr too was on TV last night talking about the report and people just said he was lying. Horowitz himself has said that the FBI did some bad things. The response? "Vlad got to him and of course he had to say that." Massive sigh.

ETA... after reading McGovern I can see why people remain skeptical. They're being fed propaganda BS!

Mazzetti goes on to express doubt “that Mr. Durham will exhume any information that will fundamentally change the understanding of what happened in 2016.”

This is too funny...

All of the media dweebs that said the Steele dossier wasn't why the FBI got their FISA warrants

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

Yesterday I commented on how two people could hear the same thing but come out with a different interpretation of it. The same thing is happening with Graham today.

i think of this as the fallout that comes from americans that are attuned to different media networks (fox, msdnc, etc.) not just having different ideologies, but also different facts.

americans have been trained by the media to reject out of hand anything said by someone from "the other team" that doesn't comport with what they feel is good for their team.

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snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

I'm sure that this will surprise no one.

Cheney warns US against Middle East pullout as even Washington Post digs up proof his War on Terror was ‘UNWINNABLE’

Why? Russia of course.

Cheney warned a rapt Dubai audience that “American disengagement” from the Middle East would play right into the hands of Iran and Russia, serving up “power voids” on a silver platter to any US rival willing to take the initiative. “Russia is always on standby to fill power voids,” he insisted on Monday, framing the Trump administration's move to wind down its military presence in northeastern Syria as a national embarrassment sure to set the stage for a resurgence of the Evil Empire coupled with a nuclear Iran.

Look in the mirror, Dick!

Citing “some deeply malign forces at work in the broader Middle East, as well as disturbing influences from outside,” Cheney warned an audience that included Dubai's Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum that “inaction can carry even greater risk than action.”

Yeah that inaction will keep us from letting corporations get the resources before someone else does. China has been in the Middle East for awhile, but they do it the old fashioned way. They make deals for them. Instead we spend money that should stay here and lots of lives for them.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

a phone rang in the secret briefcase. it seems that doubt was beginning to sweep the empire about its endless wars.

and darth was launched to stoke the fires once more.

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Another Western human rights darling falls from grace. The tradition continues.

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joe shikspack's picture

@Funkygal

heh, looks like she was more of an humanitarian when she was being oppressed.

as abe lincoln might have said:

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.

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Back in 2008, I did fall for him calling for regulations. Until I learnt about his record later.

http://monthlyreview.org/2012/04/01/sado-monetarism/
The Federal Reserve’s fight against wages can be intense. In 1979, shortly after taking the reins at the Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker announced new operating procedures and a determination to hold inflation in check. At first, many powerful people doubted whether Volcker would be willing to follow through with his plans, which were sure to create enormous casualties. A front-page story in the Wall Street Journal, “Monetary Medicine: Fed’s ‘Cure’ is Likely to Hurt in Short Run by Depressing Economy, Analysts Say,” expressed this sentiment. The paper noted, “Among those who are skeptical that the Fed will really stick to an aggregate target is Alan Greenspan…who questions whether, if unemployment begins to climb significantly, monetary authorities will have the fortitude to ‘stick to the new policy.’”7

Around this time, and possibly in response to the article, Volcker invited the editor of the paper’s editorial page, his deputy, and the features editor to a lunch at the New York branch bank of the Federal Reserve. Volcker asked his guests, “When there’s blood all over the floor, will you guys still support me?” The deputy editor responded affirmatively, later proudly recollecting, “There was blood indeed, as overextended Latin borrowers and American farmers were caught out by a return to a sound dollar. But we held fast.”8

Volcker’s militaristic analogy (expressed privately to the staff of the Wall Street Journal) let the cat out of the bag. The effort to tame inflation was, in reality, mostly a class war. In fact, Volcker himself had intended to spill blood. He expressed his intentions in another way:

[Volcker] carried in his pocket a little card on which he kept track of the latest wage settlements by major labor unions. From time to time, he called various people around the country and took soundings on the status of current contract negotiations. What is the UAW asking for? What does organized labor think? Volcker wanted wages to fall, the faster the better. In crude terms, the Fed was determined to break labor.9

Volcker tightened the money supply to such an extreme degree that the United States experienced what was then the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Volcker only let up when the collateral damage became too great. Mexico, which owed a great deal of money to U.S. banks, seemed to be on the brink of bankruptcy, thereby threatening the U.S. banking system. Citibank was effectively bankrupt.

And, he thus helped usher in St. Ronnie Raygun. Also vaguely remember Chomsky mentioning that the capitalist class actually demanded that Carter appoint Paul Adolph(yes that's his middle name) Volcker as FED chair

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joe shikspack's picture

@Funkygal

i won't miss him.

if you are interested in a broader view of what volcker did and why, william greider's "secrets of the temple: how the federal reserve runs the country," is an eye-opener.

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Benny's picture

Makes the debates almost null and void.

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One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will. To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.--Tennyson

joe shikspack's picture

@Benny

i guess in political terms having to hand out millions of dollars to purchase the affections of political "allies" is a lot like the story about the parents who had a kid so obnoxious that they had to hang a pork chop around his neck to get the dog to play with him. Smile

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in charge of this war in Afghanistan admit, as they did in this report, that they didn't really know who the enemy was, they didn't really know how to effectively fight this (unknown) enemy, they didn't know the overall strategy for winning this "conflict", and that they allowed this situation to go on for 18 years, it strikes me as odd. Eighteen years is a rather long time to be so thoroughly confused about something that has such terrible consequences. Yet they continue to piddle around as if they were characters out of Alice in Wonderland.

American taxpayers might ask why our smart leaders are doing this. Especially since there is another piece of legislation in the making that will spend another $738 billion in very much the same way. Perhaps we will come to the realization that it is a very big boondoggle at our expense. Follow-the-money, as usual.

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joe shikspack's picture

@randtntx

yep, a trillion here a trillion there... pretty soon you're talking about real money. Smile

money we got. accountability is something that is exceedingly scarce. it would be nice if we could get some of that.

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@joe shikspack just some honest accounting would be nice. Thanks for the jam-packed awesome selections these past several days, much appreciated.

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dystopian's picture

Great tunes JS! I love that original Kansas City. Great little lead guitar solo, it was awesome, especially for the time. Quintessential R & B. That 'Work Together/Stick Together' is really neat too. Big Canned Heat fan, their Work Together cover was the cat's meow.

I think we should get everyone to call Bloomberg, New York Netanyahoo.

Thanks for the great music!

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We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

joe shikspack's picture

@dystopian

i dunno, how do you feel about "Vanity B.?"

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went to YouTube
tunes tonight.
Roy Orbison recorded songs backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, of all things!
"In Dreams" was wonderful. I lack the skills to get it from there to here, which in my world of tech guy and assistants, is known as job security, but all of you can find it easily.
Thank you for your round up of news. As always. Even when the news is bad.

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lotlizard's picture

A bit of history without all the lies and gaslighting and attempts to blame Russia by the campaign managers who failed.

Also:
Facing climate crisis, we’re all being urged now to trust “Science.” But how trustworthy is the “Science” establishment when scientists’ careers are routinely terminated for incidental political reasons totally unrelated to the quality and integrity of their work?

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jun/13/tim-hunt-hung-out-to-dry...

And don’t even ask what progressives think of DNA discoverer and Nobel prize winner James Watson now, since he went off the reservation with some of his views on genetics and evolution.

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