The Evening Blues - 2-20-20



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Phillip Walker

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Texas blues singer and guitarist Phillip Walker. Enjoy!

Phillip Walker - I Can't Lose (With The Stuff That I Use)

"I get a headache when I hear supporters of this endless warfare complaining about the federal budget deficits. They're like arsonists complaining about the smell of smoke in the neighborhood."

-- Bob Herbert


News and Opinion

Democrats Want to End Endless Wars, With a Catch

After a year of on-and-off talks with Taliban leaders, the State Department is reportedly nearing the announcement of a deal that could schedule a U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Trump administration has not discussed the details publicly, but the goal is to stop the violence on the ground, create a political dialogue between the Taliban and the U.S.-backed Afghan government, and secure commitments that future Afghan leaders will not shelter the Islamic State and Al Qaeda-linked groups in the country.

But the withdrawal may not be as complete as it seems. According to a report in Time magazine, the deal contains several “secret annexes” — provisions never meant to become public — that would allow the U.S. to maintain a CIA presence and counterterrorism force of up to 8,600 troops in the country (down from 13,000 last year) and enable it to continue conducting targeted operations there.

President Donald Trump will likely herald any election-year deal with the Taliban as the fulfillment of his promise to end “endless wars.” Democrats will rightly point out that this doesn’t make the president, who has sent an additional 14,000 troops to the Middle East and brought the U.S. to the brink of war with Iran, a peacemaker. And they’re unlikely to accept the framing that he has meaningfully “ended” a war or “brought the troops home” if the U.S. presence in Afghanistan simply continues as a smaller force focused on counterterrorism.

But Democrats will also have to grapple with the uncomfortable fact that many of their 2020 contenders have practiced a similar sleight of hand in recent debates, pledging to stop America’s forever conflicts while supporting special forces activity that has been devastating for civilians. ...

[See article for details of Dem candidate positions. - js]

Candidates may be looking to use the terminology of ending wars without looking past military solutions altogether, Stephen Miles, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group Win Without War, told The Intercept. “What you see now is candidates trying to adopt and co-opt that terminology and that phrasing, without actually getting into the substance of what it means to finally, truly turn the page on the global war on terror,” Miles said. “Ending endless wars has never been about the specific number of troops deployed or troops in a given country. It’s about the post-9/11 mindset that says the way to deal with our problems is a military-first solution.”

Baghdad killings video projected onto UK parliament in support of Assange

Assange defence team: “The empire calls it espionage. We call it journalism”

More than 100 journalists from 23 countries attended a press conference in London yesterday to discuss the US extradition hearing for Julian Assange that opens Monday. Organised by the Foreign Press Association, the conference was addressed by WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, lawyer Jennifer Robinson and Australian MPs Andrew Wilkie and George Christensen.

Ten years ago, Hrafnsson recalled, Assange was an internationally celebrated journalist. WikiLeaks had worked with a core group of journalists from all over the world to release the documents known as Cablegate. “Those core values are being challenged in a court next week in the Julian Assange case.” Describing as “absurd” the US State Department’s claims that Assange is not a journalist, and WikiLeaks not a media organisation, Hrafnsson said, “Last night some of us…were at the Frontline Club watching the award presentation that Julian Assange received in 2011, the Walkley award…the Pulitzer prize of Australia. He received that award for the releases in 2010 and 2011. The same releases that are now being described as espionage.

“The empire calls it espionage. We call it journalism.”

Hrafnsson tackled the frame-up US indictments against Assange. He told journalists, “The lawyers acting on behalf of the United States will maintain that one of the indictments is about hacking. It is not. That label is propaganda… it has nothing to do with hacking. It is about lawful communication—communication between a source and a journalist.” Rejecting the baseless allegations of “heartbroken generals from the Pentagon” that WikiLeaks’ exposures had “endangered lives,” Hrafnsson replied, “I thought that was ironic from the person who we [had] just exposed as having run death squads in Afghanistan.”

“Now ten years have lapsed and there has not been a single recorded incident of physical harm coming to any individual as a result of the leaks of 2010 and 2011.”

Jennifer Robinson focussed on the significance of WikiLeaks’ exposures for which Assange was being prosecuted, pointing to the criminalisation of national security journalism: “We’re talking about Collateral Murder, evidence of war crimes; we’re talking about the Afghan and Iraq war logs, which showed the true costs of America’s wars; human rights abuses; we’re talking about Cablegate… Amnesty international said that it sparked the Arab Spring.”

WikiLeaks documents had been cited in numerous human rights cases across the world, Robinson said. “They are a remarkable resource for those of us seeking to hold governments to account for abuses against their citizens and other. They are the publications for which Julian Assange now sits in a high security prison and faces 175 years in the US.”

Press Misreporting Assange Pardon Offer From Trump

Chelsea Manning's lawyers renew call to release her from jail

Lawyers acting for Chelsea Manning, the former US army intelligence analyst who leaked hundreds of thousands of secret documents to WikiLeaks, have renewed efforts to secure her release after almost a year of incarceration.

The former soldier’s attorney, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, has lodged a motion with a federal court in the eastern district of Virginia calling for her to be set free more than 11 months after she was detained.

Manning is being held at the Alexandria detention center after she refused to testify before a federal grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. ...

In the motion for release, Meltzer-Cohen decries Manning’s prolonged incarceration as a form of unlawful “punitive sanction” on the grounds that it is serving no purpose because the inmate will never be coerced into testifying.

Turkey edges towards direct conflict with Russian-backed Syria

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday a military operation by his forces to push back a Syrian government offensive against rebels in northwest Syria was now “a matter of time” after talks with Russia failed to halt the assault.

Turkish troops have already massed inside the Idlib region and more were heading to the border area, bringing NATO member Turkey and Russian-backed Syria close to the brink of direct confrontation.

The Kremlin, which has supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s push with air strikes, said a clash between Turkish and Syrian forces would be a “worst-case scenario” and Russia would work to prevent the situation from worsening. ...

An opposition military source told Reuters that 15,000 Turkish soldiers were now in northwest Syria after numerous convoys had poured into the territory in recent days.

“You can’t imagine the scale of Turkish reinforcements, half of Reyhanli is now full of Turkish commandoes ready to enter Syria,” he said, referring to a Turkish border town. “They are readying their forces for zero hour, operations are expected to start any time.”

Thousands of Foreign ISIS Fighters in Syria Will Go on Trial Starting in March

Thousands of foreign Islamic State fighters currently held in northeastern Syria will be put on trial by a new court system as early as March, a senior Kurdish official told VICE News. The foreign fighters, who flocked to northern Syria from more than 50 countries to fight for the Islamic State group, have largely been blocked from returning to their countries of origin since the defeat of ISIS in March 2019, and have been held in prisons by Kurdish forces ever since. ...

Abdul Karim Omar, co-chair of the Foreign Relations Commission in North Syria, told VICE that trials of the men and women held in the camps will be conducted in conjunction with their countries of origin. “In the beginning ,we requested from the international community that each state take back their respective citizens, to put them through their own courts,” Omar told VICE News. “Regrettably, these calls fell on deaf ears.”

Many of the countries they originate from have refused to repatriate the fighters, leaving the suspects to languish in squalid and cramped conditions. The hope is to conduct these trials in partnership with origin countries, which include France, Belgium, the United States, and Norway.

Healthcare Providers at Iran's Top Cancer Hospital Say Crippling Trump Sanctions Are Affecting Patients

The economic sanctions that the Trump administration has imposed on Iran since ditching the 2015 nuclear deal are adversely affecting patients at the Middle Eastern country's top cancer hospital, healthcare providers told FRANCE 24 in a report published Wednesday.

Medical staff at the Cancer Institute in the Imam Khomeini Hospital Complex "are struggling to provide healthcare amid shortages and spiraling drug prices" tied to U.S. President Donald Trump's so-called "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran, according to FRANCE 24.

"We are facing some problems during operations," said one surgeon at the hospital in Tehran, the Iranian capital. "I don't know really if the target of the sanctions are the politicians or our patients. We are dealing with cancer here and cancer doesn't stop, so we cannot stop."

"We don't have enough of some types of drugs and we have to import them. It becomes very expensive for our patients. They have to pay in dollars or euros," said Wida Shehri, head nurse at the Cancer Institute's chemotherapy unit. ...

FRANCE 24 noted that "while Iran produces 95 percent of its drugs, the country has to import ingredients that are difficult to access under the sanctions." Mahmoud Zadeh, the hospital's director of oncology, said that "exporters want to sell us the drugs."

"The problem is payment," said Zadeh. "We don't have ways to transfer money between bank accounts. I think around 50 percent of our patients have been affected by the sanctions."

After US terrorist war and sanctions, Nicaragua fights for justice at international court

UK to close door to non-English speakers and unskilled workers

Britain is to close its borders to unskilled workers and those who can’t speak English as part of a fundamental overhaul of immigration laws that will end the era of cheap EU labour in factories, warehouses, hotels and restaurants.

Unveiling its Australian-style points system on Wednesday, the government will say it is grasping a unique opportunity to take “full control” of British borders “for the first time in decades” and eliminate the “distortion” caused by EU freedom of movement.

But industry leaders immediately accused the government of an assault on the economy warning of “disastrous” consequences with job losses and closures in factories and the high street.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats also condemned the plans while Unison, which represents health workers said they “spell absolute disaster for the care sector”.

Scottish Government Decries "Devastating" Effect Post-Brexit Border Policy Will Have on Economy

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon condemned the United Kingdom's new post-Brexit border policy after it was released Wednesday, saying new rules barring people designated as "unskilled" and those who don't speak English will devastate a number of Scotland's industries and worsen the country's depopulation crisis.

The newly-unveiled "points system" dictating who can migrate to the U.K. spurred officials to reiterate their calls for a separate Scottish visa system which immigrants could use just for Scotland, which employs many people from overseas in its tourism, fishing, and healthcare industries.

"It is impossible to overstate how devastating this U.K. government policy will be for Scotland's economy," tweeted Sturgeon, who also called for a new referendum on Scottish independence after the Conservative government won the general election in December. "Getting power over migration in Scottish Parliament is now a necessity for our future prosperity."

Kshama Sawant wants to tax Amazon so people can afford to live in Seattle. Can she pull it off?

Just a few months after going head-to-head with an Amazon-backed rival to claim her third term on the Seattle city council, Kshama Sawant has proposed a new tax on the trillion dollar giant and other large Seattle businesses, which she says will “stop at nothing” to try to defeat progressive proposals like this one.

The proposal, which was unveiled last week, would involve a 1.7% payroll tax on the top 3% of companies (based on their payroll) operating out of the city. Sawant estimates the tax will impact about 825 companies, each with about $7m or more in annual payroll. All non-profit organizations, public employers and grocery stores would be exempt. “On the whole what we have achieved is exactly what we want to achieve, which is that it’s a truly progressive tax, meaning it falls only on the very very largest corporations,” Sawant told the Guardian.

Amazon has a long-history of tax management. It paid just 1.2% in federal income tax last year – a three-year high for the company – and has angered some critics with its tax policies.

In Seattle the new tax is expected to raise $300m each year. In a city that has the fourth highest rate of unsheltered homeless in the US, according to a 2019 federal report, 75% of the money from the tax would go toward building thousands of affordable, publicly owned homes. The rest of the funds would go toward converting homes that use oil or gas to clean electric energy.

Sawant, a member of the Socialist Alternative party and former tech worker, introduced a similar tax on big businesses in 2018. The Head Tax proposal would have implemented a per-employee tax on corporations making more than $20m each year. Although the nine-member council initially unanimously approved it, after Amazon, Starbucks and other locally based companies contributed financially to a campaign to kill it, called No Tax on Jobs, all but two council members voted for repeal (Sawant and Democratic council member Teresa Mosqueda voted for the tax).

'Barbaric': 8 Million Americans Have Been Forced to Start Crowdfunding Campaigns to Cover Medical Costs, Survey Shows

An estimated eight million people in the U.S. have started a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for their own or a member of their household's healthcare costs, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The poll, which was conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, also found that in addition to the millions who have launched crowdfunding efforts for themselves or a member of their household, at least 12 million more Americans have started crowdfunding efforts for someone else.

Fifty million Americans have donated to such fundraising efforts, the survey showed.

"As annual out-of-pocket costs continue to rise, more Americans are struggling to pay their medical bills, and millions are turning to their social networks and crowdfunding sites to fund medical treatments and pay medical bills," Mollie Hertel, senior research scientist at NORC, said in a statement. "Although about a quarter of Americans report having sponsored or donated to a campaign, this share is likely to increase in the face of rising premiums and out-of-pocket costs."


The survey found that 60% of Americans believe the government—not charities, family members, or friends—has a "great deal or a lot of responsibility" to provide "help when medical care is unaffordable."

2019 was worst year for US rural hospital closures in a decade, report finds

Hospital closures in rural areas of the US hit their highest point in the past decade last year, with 19 rural hospitals shutting down, according to a new report. The number of rural hospital closures slowed somewhat during 2016 and 2017 but there has since been an uptick, with 34 facilities shuttering in the past 24 months, the analysis by the Chartis Center for Rural Health found.

Since 2010, 120 rural hospitals have closed, with states in the south faring worst, with Texas, Tennessee and Oklahoma leading the way. The analysis found that hospitals located in states that have not adopted the expansion of Medicaid – a public insurance program that provides health coverage to low-income families and individuals – have a lower average operating margin, putting them at greater risk of closing.

Using a model that shows risk factors for hospitals, the report found that 453 rural hospitals across the US are vulnerable to closure. Being in a state that has accepted expanded Medicaid help decreases the likelihood of closure by 62% on average, according to the analysis.



the horse race



Bernie Sanders & Elizabeth Warren Lead the Charge Against Michael Bloomberg in Heated Nevada Debate

Bloomberg Said Young People Support Bernie Because They're Dumb

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a surprising theory about why young people love Sen. Bernie Sanders: They’re morons. In a wide-ranging interview one month after President Donald Trump won the 2016 election, Bloomberg said Sanders would have won that race if he had gotten the Democratic nomination in large part because young people have no idea what they’re doing.

“I don’t mean to knock young people — I wish I was one again — but young people listened to [Bernie Sanders] and they said, ‘Yeah, Democratic: That’s good. Socialism: Yeah, that’s that social media stuff,’” Bloomberg opined. “Because our kids no longer learn civics in school they longer study Western history, they no longer read Western literature.”

“We are trying to change and dumb down the system and if you don't know what happened in the past you're going to have to relive it,” he continued.

The comments were delivered in December 2016 in front of a college audience at Oxford University’s Saïd School of Business. The school posted the entire discussion on YouTube.

Burn of the night?


Ryan Grim: Did Warren just clear the path for Bernie?


'Contempt' Shown by Bloomberg for Recipients of Social Security Indicates Billionaire Would Seek to Cut Benefits if Elected President, Say Critics

If billionaire Michael Bloomberg is elected president, one of the first things he'll do is cut Social Security benefits.

That's according to advocacy group Social Security Works, citing reporting from the American Prospect's David Dayen and Alexander Sammon quoting years of the former New York City mayor's hostility to the program.

"Over and over again, Michael Bloomberg shows contempt for Social Security and its beneficiaries," the group tweeted. "If he wins the presidency, striking a 'grand bargain' with Mitch McConnell to cut our earned benefits is likely to be among his top priorities."


Ultimately, said Sammon, Bloomberg's history on Social Security and benefits in general give President Donald Trump an easy line of attack in the general election.

"He's criticized Trump for proposing cuts to Medicaid/Medicare/Social Security, and pledged without detail to expand services," Sammon said of Bloomberg. "But that pledge belies a decade of calls to cut the programs, raise the eligibility age, etc."


Briahna Joy Gray: Debate reaction, how we see a contested convention

Bloomberg’s Rising Polls Show The Power Of Billionaire Narrative Control

Back in November Mike Bloomberg was polling at four percent nationally and had the highest disapproval rating of any potential Democratic presidential candidate, and understandably so; the man has a uniquely horrible record and no redeeming traits to speak of.

Now, after spending $400 million in broadcast, radio and cable ads, $42 million on Facebook ads, $36 million on Google ads, and an unknown fortune on other shady manipulations, a national Quinnipiac poll released last week put him at 15 percent nationally in the Democratic primary. This week national polls released by NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist and Zogby put him at 19 and 20 percent, respectively.

You can argue against the validity of polls all you like, and surely none of them are pristine representations of public opinion. But there’s no denying that these numbers have gone way up, and there’s no denying that now, approvingly or not, everyone’s talking about Michael Bloomberg.

Late night talk show hosts are doing bits about the prevalence of Bloomberg ads. People are making satirical videos spoofing them. I’ve seen parents complaining that their kids recite lines from his ads at the dinner table. It’s a story in itself. It’s saturating social consciousness. It’s very much a thing.

“Nothing remotely like what Mike Bloomberg is doing has ever been seen in US politics – nothing in the same universe,” journalist Glenn Greenwald recently tweeted. “And the threat and danger it (and he) poses to US democracy is equally without comparison.”

Greenwald is of course correct. But while Bloomberg is doing something that is without precedent, his campaign is also highlighting problems with the system which have existed for ages. And in my opinion it would be an unfortunate waste if his campaign came and went without these problems getting more attention than they currently are.

Mike Bloomberg is not the first plutocrat to use his wealth to manipulate a US election, and he is not the first plutocrat to use his wealth to manipulate public perception. He’s just the first to do it so brazenly and ham-fistedly. The fact that it is both possible and easy for a billionaire to throw a vast fortune at an electoral race and drastically influence its direction tells us everything we need to know about the illusory nature of US democracy. And now it’s right out in the open.

As long as a small elite group are able to manipulate the way people think and vote, then you don’t have democracy, you have oligarchy. If that small elite group happens to be much wealthier than everyone else, then it’s a specific kind of oligarchy known as plutocracy. You can watch this video and this video for some general information on the ways US plutocrats exert control over the political system, and you can read this fascinating thread here for more specific information on how Bloomberg has been stifling opposition and manipulating endorsements out of political figures using his unparallelled spending power.

This has been happening all the time, for generations, and not just with US elections but with Americans’ perception of what’s going on in their world as well. Whether it’s running ads, buying up media outlets, funding think tanks or incentivizing politicians to regurgitate the desired lines, billionaires are constantly using their wealth to shore up narrative control, because they understand that whoever controls the narrative controls the world. ...

The billionaire class has to buy up narrative control because there is nothing about plutocracy that is sane or healthy; people would never knowingly consent to it unless they were manipulated into doing so. Because power is relative, and because money is power in a plutocracy, plutocrats are naturally incentivized to maintain a system where everyone else is kept as poor as possible so that they can have as much relative power as possible. A glance at what the Sanders campaign has been able to accomplish just with small-dollar donations and grassroots support gives you some insight into why these plutocrats want people working long, exhausting hours with as little spare income as possible.

Nobody would ever knowingly consent to being kept poor and busy just so some billionaires can live as modern-day kings, so they need to be propagandized into it via narrative manipulation.

Buttigieg Caught Fabricating African American Support AGAIN!



the evening greens


New train blockade piles pressure on Trudeau in Wet'suwet'en pipeline fight

Demonstrators opposed to a Canadian gas pipelinehave blockaded another railway line in the west of the country, adding to pressure on Justin Trudeau to solve a two-week protest. Freight traffic in eastern Canada has already been stopped for days after campaigners blockaded a main line in Ontario. Protesters across the country have taken up the cause of the Wet’suwet’en indigenous people who are seeking to stop the C$6.6bn (US$4.98bn) Coastal GasLink gas pipeline project in British Columbia.

On Wednesday, a group of about 20 people blocked a Canadian National Railway Co rail line near Edmonton, the capital of the western province of Alberta. “They’re on the CN property, and we’re working with the CN police to resolve it,” a local police spokesman, Barry Maron, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. ...

Trudeau, who insists his government will not use force against the protesters, toughened his language on Wednesday, calling the disruptions unacceptable.

Oil and gas firms 'have had far worse climate impact than thought'

The oil and gas industry has had a far worse impact on the climate than previously believed, according to a study indicating that human emissions of fossil methane have been underestimated by up to 40%. ... Methane has a greenhouse effect that is about 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period and is responsible for at least 25% of global heating, according to the UN Environment Programme.

In the past two centuries, the amount of methane in the atmosphere has more than doubled, though there has long been uncertainty about whether the source was biological – from agriculture, livestock or landfills – or from fossil fuels. There were also doubts about what share of fossil methane was naturally released and what share was from industry. Earlier estimates were based on intermittent, bottom-up monitoring of oil and gas companies and comparisons with geological evidence from the end of the Pleistocene epoch, about 11,600 years ago. ...

The findings, published in Nature, suggest the share of naturally released fossil methane has been overestimated by “an order of magnitude”, which means that human activities are 25-40% more responsible for fossil methane in the atmosphere than thought. This strengthens suspicions that fossil fuel companies are not fully accounting for their impact on the climate, particularly with regard to methane – a colourless, odourless gas that many plants routinely vent into the atmosphere.

An earlier study revealed methane emissions from US oil and gas plants were 60% higher than reported to the Environmental Protection Agency. Accidents are also underreported. A single blowout at a natural gas well in Ohio in 2018 discharged more methane over three weeks than the oil and gas industries of France, Norway and the Netherlands released in an entire year. At the time, the company said it was unsure of the size of the leak. The immense scale was only revealed a year later when scientists analysed satellite data provided by the European Space Agency. Fracking also appears to have worsened the problem. Atmospheric methane had started to flatten off at the turn of the century, but rose again after a surge in fracking activity in the US and elsewhere.

Red-state Utah embraces plan to tackle climate crisis in surprising shift

In a move to protect its ski slopes and growing economy, Utah – one of the reddest states in the nation – has just created a long-term plan to address the climate crisis. And in a surprising turnaround, some of the state’s conservative leaders are welcoming it. ... At the request of the Republican-dominated state legislature, a University of Utah economic thinktank produced the plan to reduce emissions affecting both the local air quality and the global climate.

Project lead Thomas Holst, an energy analyst, never expected to be at the helm of an effort like this. A few years ago, the Utah legislature passed a resolution urging the EPA to “cease its carbon dioxide reduction policies, programs, and regulations until climate data and global warming science are substantiated”. But now the perspectives of some state lawmakers – and of Holst, who spent most of his career in the oil and gas industry – have shifted.

“The economist Adam Smith talked about an invisible hand that guides the economy, and in this particular case, the cost of renewable energy, whether it’s wind or solar, has gone down so rapidly and made itself so market efficient versus fossil fuels, that there is a change, and the change can’t be ignored,” Holst said. “So now is the opportunity for a state like Utah which is rich in both renewables as well as fossil fuels to embrace that change and get out ahead of it.” ...

Utah’s per capita carbon emissions are higher than most states, in part because it’s nearly twice as reliant on coal, but utilities serving Utah customers plan to close many of their coal power plants by 2030, converting to wind, solar, natural gas, and possibly hydrogen. Republican state lawmaker Melissa Garff Ballard has an ambitious plan to make Utah a source of hydrogen power serving the western US. Among the Utah Roadmap’s top priorities is to reduce CO2 emissions by half over the next decade – a challenge for a state with a growing population. The plan suggests focusing on energy-efficient buildings and clean transportation options. It recommends expanding Utah’s network of charging stations, incentivizing the purchase of electric vehicles, and involving auto dealers in strategies to increase the zero-emissions vehicle supply.


Also of Interest

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

Australian MPs visit Julian Assange at Belmarsh Prison

The Law Says Chelsea Manning Must Be Freed From Prison

Nouriel Roubini: The white swan harbingers of global economic crisis are already here

Keiser Report: Noche Triste, Año Triste, Década Triste

Paul Krugman Returns to Perpetuating the Big Lie for Wall Street

The West Displays Its Insecurity Complex

Cenk Uygur: Warren won the debate but Bernie won the nomination

Krystal Ball: In the debate tired attacks on Bernie fall flat

Intercepted podcast: Mike Bloomberg Ran Stasi-Style Police and Surveillance Operations Against Muslim Americans

'I like theater, dining and chasing women': Mike Bloomberg in his own words

Bloomberg surrogate was PR guru for Brazil’s extreme-right leader Bolsonaro

Krystal & Saagar: Bloomberg eviscerated on live television

Rising: Is Bloomberg's campaign over?

Saagar Enjeti: Dems reveal plan to steal the nomination from Bernie

"Momentary forgetfulness"? Why Amy Klobuchar's flub on Mexico's president matters

Rising: Who will win Nevada?

Krystal debates Warren surrogate on super delegates

Black business owner responds to Mayor Pete's fake endorsement

Ancient fish dinners chart Sahara’s shift from savannah to desert


A Little Night Music

Phillip Walker - Louisiana Walk

Phillip Walker - Hello My Darling

Phillip Walker - El Paso Blues

Phillip Walker - Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

Phillip Walker - The Blues And My Guitar

Phillip Walker - The Bottom Of The Top, It's All In Your Mind

Phillip Walker - Think

Phillip Walker - Strange Things Happening

Phillip Walker - Breakin up somebodys home

Phillip Walker & George Harmonica Smith - Mississippi River Blues

Phillip Walker - You're So Fine

Phillip Walker - Playing In The Park


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Comments

I wish we saw her in front of the camera more often.

Otherwise I'm just kinda basking in the glow of Bloomberg's implosion last night.
Hope Joe and everyone else has been enjoying the aroma of roasted billionaire in the morning.

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17 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

@konondrum
of the $400 million burned up by bloomberg for nothing.

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14 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@konondrum

yes, i have always thought that bjg was a particularly articulate and interesting person for sanders to have as a surrogate. if i remember correctly, she published a bunch of interesting articles in the intercept well before she joined the campaign.

heh, i expected bloomberg to draw some fire from the other candidates in the race, but, wow! i'm guessing that bloomie still doesn't know what hit him.

i guess he had such a hard time finding a good moment to brag about from the debate that his media team had to manufacture one:


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9 users have voted.

@joe shikspack Holy crap! I figured that kind of stuff would be relegated to his Instagram Meme brigade. That is a seriously bad look for him. Is he going for Ben Stein? "Bueller.... Bueller?". Yeah, we get it. You're an old rich dude completely lacking in personal charm.

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@konondrum

it's a blue check account, and if you click on his name it takes you to his twitter feed. the same video appeared on instagram according to a live feed i read in the guardian today.

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

weren't going to be allowed and yet here's Bloomberg doing his own fake video. Jack is getting lots of flack for allowing that. But then I'm sure he got lots of money from his pal Bloomberg. Money always rewrites the rules.

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6 users have voted.

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

@snoopydawg And I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone run with it. This is literal propaganda. Showing us events that didn't happen. But it's a "joke". It's just a meme, lol.

It will be interesting to see if he tries similar things if he has other terrible news cycles. Something to watch for.

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5 users have voted.

credit where credit is due

The Communications Workers of America, a labor union with 700,000 members, called on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this week to cut off support to the seven House Democrats who "betrayed working people" by voting against a pro-labor bill that passed the House earlier this month.

"I urge the DCCC to no longer provide services for any incumbent House members who turn their back on working people."
—Christopher Shelton, CWA

The Democrats who voted against the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act—which would eliminate state-level "right-to-work" laws and expand workers' bargaining rights—are Reps. Henry Cuellar (Texas), Stephanie Murphy (Fla.), Lucy McBath (Ga.), Kendra Horn (Okla.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Joe Cunningham (S.C.), and Ben McAdams (Utah.).

"They must be denied the support of the Democratic Party for refusing to stand with working Americans," CWA president Christopher Shelton wrote to DCCC chair Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) in a letter (pdf) dated Feb. 18. "I urge the DCCC to no longer provide services for any incumbent House members who turn their back on working people."

"We have no tolerance for anti-worker electeds," CWA tweeted Thursday.

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joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

hmmm... some neoliberal dem forgot to mollify some union leadership. they better get obama to come by and model some comfortable shoes and meaningless rhetoric.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

are crowdfunding their medical needs will vote for Bernie or Trump? Bernie is the best bet to stop that while Trump is going to make it worse for them.

The best thing Utah can do to protect its ski industry is to fill the great salt lake up with water again. This is why northern Utah gets the best type of snow and the amounts it gets. The lake is at its lowest level in decades and if it this keeps up we will have dust storms instead of snow storms. The joke is the Buffalo can walk off the island now. But Utah has been doing some good things on this, but then wants to open up more areas for drilling. Including close to the national parks and monuments. Doh.

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10 users have voted.

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

i guess you've got to wonder if some rethug can smarmily suggest that running a crowdfunding campaign is "uniquely american," and crowded arenas clap for it like someone has just given a demonstration of pulling oneself up by their bootstraps.

yeah, utah doesn't seem to be able to decide if it wants to make money or continue breathing.

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8 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

GreatLakeSailor's picture

@Azazello

...there is a rose emoji. C99 code doesn't handle emojis in the blockquote text of the tweet. Delete it and it posts. Clear as mud? (Emoji will show in tweet pulled directly from the twit machine and display.)

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8 users have voted.

Compensated Spokes Model for Big Poor & Big Peace.

Azazello's picture

@GreatLakeSailor
I'll try to remember that.

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5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@GreatLakeSailor

But the tweet won't embed. I had 4 of them last night and I couldn't see any emojis but still got the error message.

The emojis were in the original tweet, but not in the copy. Any hints?

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5 users have voted.

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

Wally's picture

@snoopydawg

Sometimes there an odd icon or code for it. You have to figure out where it sits and delete it if you can.

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2 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

if you comb through the code gobbledegook carefully, you will find tiny little rectangles amongst the text (i often find them around line breaks). they are often really hard to see, but, nine times out of ten (for me at least) they are the culprit when i've deleted all of the emoji icons.

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

No little widgets or emojis in the tweets. It looks like just plain text. I saw in the original tweet that there were emojis but they didn't show up in the text. I've had this problem before and asked for help and someone else was able to post it no problem. And didn't have to remove anything.

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3 users have voted.

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

Wally's picture

@snoopydawg

I'll see if I can figure it out. I can't promise I'll be any more successful than you. I'll be online until 10 pm et tonight or I'll look at it manana morning.

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3 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@GreatLakeSailor

in his attempt to buy the nomination from Sanders is actually working for Trump?

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8 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

@janis b
it appears Bloomy is clearing the way for her heinous to swoop in and save the day, thus running against Herr Drumpf again. If that happens, revolution must happen or we, as a society, are toast.

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6 users have voted.

“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

@Azazello

thanks for the links and especially the tweet! i hope that it gets reposted all over the web and becomes more unavoidable than a mike bloomberg ad. Smile

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9 users have voted.
janis b's picture

Of all the great blues, I Can’t Lose by Phillip Walker, could be Bernie’s theme song ; ).

Ryan Grim’s analysis of Warren is excellent. Thanks heaps for that, as well as everything else I haven’t listened to or read.

A Kiwi Blues musician, Leaving The Country

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@janis b

thanks for the tune. here are some american bluesers:

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5 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@joe shikspack

unless you're maybe Russian. I love the bluesiness of this guitarist ...

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3 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@janis b

it's with the contribution of American musicians.

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3 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@janis b

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2 users have voted.
janis b's picture

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1 user has voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

Well, that was fun for everyone but Bloomy. He has a sad. But if AE is correct (as he has stated in his essay), Bloomy, along with the superdelegates, is making way for her heinous to swoop down and save the day and run against Herr Drumpf. If that doesn't get a revolution going, with or without Bernie, nothing ever will.

Rain coming this weekend. We're headed to our favorite hot spring soaking spot for the weekend. Can't wait to get away from it all.

Have a good one, folks, and don't stress out too much about Nevada! Pleasantry

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8 users have voted.

“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

janis b's picture

@Raggedy Ann

It's been absent for way too long!

I can't wrap my head around the thought that the strategy is to make a place for Clinton, four years later and wiser. I guess we'll see how this outrageous game goes.

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4 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

@janis b
is affecting our real lives, which they are proving to our faces that they don't care about. This is about them. Bernie is so right when he says not me, us!

How will it all play out? We're soon to find out.

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6 users have voted.

“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, i think that if we wind up with hillary vs. trump again something is going to break.

a good soak sounds pretty nice, have a good one!

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Moderate Democrats” are moderate in the same way the “moderate rebels” in Syria are moderate.

In a sane world we’d regard people who promote endless war with the same revulsion as child rapists and serial killers.

Bamm! The orange blob had a laugh about Assange yesterday. I tweeted it for everyone to see how the "most progressive blog" was laughing at what was happening to Assange. It got lots of retweets...oops. But I'm thoroughly disgusted with them. And lots of cheers for Stone's sentence today even though he wasn't charged with anything to do with Russia Gate!

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10 users have voted.

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

TheOtherMaven's picture

@snoopydawg

Medium tries to coerce visitors into signing up.

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3 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

snoopydawg's picture

@TheOtherMaven

I got the link from her tweet on it and she frequently does that.

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2 users have voted.

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

enhydra lutris's picture

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0 users have voted.

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