The Evening Blues - 3-13-19



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Crying Sam Collins


Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features early blues singer and guitarist Crying Sam Collins. Enjoy!

Crying Sam Collins - Lonesome Road Blues

"When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown."

-- Stephen Jay Gould


News and Opinion

Pelosi Tacitly Admits That Russiagate Is Bullshit

In an interview with the Washington Post yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she opposed the impeachment of President Trump. This comes shortly before Mueller’s investigation into Trump-Russia collusion is expected to wrap up.

“I’m not for impeachment,” Pelosi told the Post. “This is news. I’m going to give you some news right now because I haven’t said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”


“If the evidence isn’t sufficient to win bipartisan support for this, putting the country through a failed impeachment isn’t a good idea,” said Congressman Adam Schiff told CNN yesterday. ...

Pelosi’s comments go completely against the narrative that mainstream Democrats have been selling America for over two years now, and this close to the Mueller report amount to a rejection of that narrative. Her statement is a tacit admission that she knows Russiagate is bullshit, has always been bullshit, and will continue to be bullshit. ... There will be no protest against Pelosi’s opposition to impeachment because those who would lead it know there will never be any evidence that could possibly lead to a bipartisan willingness in the Senate to remove him from office. ...

It is right and appropriate that those few voices on the left who’ve been sharply critical of Russiagate from the beginning are now taking some time to gloat at and mock its peddlers with increasing scorn. The centrists who chose to spend more than two years forcing everyone’s energy into this blatant psyop which escalated a cold war against a nuclear superpower were wrong, and the leftists who objected to it were right. Trump’s term is more than halfway over, and Russiagaters chose to suck all the oxygen out of the room for this brainless, fruitless, worthless endeavor instead of allowing space for progressive reform and for criticism of Trump’s actual pernicious policies from the left. And they did it on purpose. Mock the Russiagaters. Mock them ruthlessly, and never, ever let them forget the horrible thing that they did. Never stop making fun of them and reminding them how stupid and crazy they acted during this humiliating period of American history. And never stop using it as a weapon against them.

Twitter Execs Clueless Of Democrat’s Russian Bot Factory

Freshman Democrats and Nancy Pelosi aren’t exactly on the same page on impeaching Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stirred the hornet's nest of her party’s progressive wing this week when she set a new, seemingly higher bar for impeachment than many Democrats thought they’d voted for in November. ... But many voters coast to coast thought they were voting for impeachment when they supported Democrats’ historic gains in the midterms, especially after many sitting lawmakers and first-time candidates alike labeled Trump a criminal on the campaign trail.

Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), for his part, has twice forced the whole House to vote on his impeachment resolution — it garnered 58 votes in 2017 and 66 last year. And Green isn’t letting Democratic leaders derail his mission to boot Trump for being “unfit.” He contends Pelosi and other party leaders risk unleashing a flood of hate if they don’t aggressively stand up to Trump. That’s why he’s promising to force another impeachment vote at some point in this Congress. ...

But Green isn’t the only rabble-rouser in this Congress. Prominent members of the young, progressive freshman class are going full-tilt on impeachment, in part because that’s what they believe their constituents sent them to Washington to do. “Speaker Pelosi and all members of leadership have always encouraged us to represent our district, and this is something that was very important to my residents – still continues to be,” Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) told a gaggle of reporters in the Capitol on Tuesday. “So I’m going to move forward, obviously.”

Tlaib says her own resolution, yet to be released, is merely focused on setting up a formal process to investigate the president’s alleged wrongdoings, something she says all her fellow Democrats want. ... But times have drastically changed since the last time Democrats held the reigns of power, and many who’d championed impeachment when Republicans controlled the levers are now calling for a more pragmatic approach. ... That reality of being in the majority isn’t lost on many Democrats, and they’re wary of backlash when it matters in 2020.

Nicolas Maduro says he'd seek the help of Cuba, Russia, China & Iran in investigating "cyberattack"

Guaidó under investigation for 'sabotage' of power grid

Venezuela’s chief prosecutor has asked the country’s supreme court to open an investigation into opposition leader Juan Guaidó for alleged involvement in the “sabotage” of the country’s power grid. Tarek Saab announced the inquiry on Tuesday, a day after the embattled president, Nicolás Maduro, accused Donald Trump of masterminding a “demonic” plot with the country’s opposition to force him from power.

Guaidó – who most western governments now recognize as Venezuela’s legitimate interim leader – is already under investigation for allegedly fomenting violence, but authorities have not tried to detain him since he violated a travel ban and then returned home from a tour of Latin American countries.

Saab said the case against Guaidó also involves messages allegedly inciting people to robbery and looting during the crippling blackout which began on Thursday.

Maduro’s political foes and many specialists believe the nationwide blackout is the result of years of mismanagement, corruption and incompetence. But in a televised nationwide address on Monday night Maduro accused the White House of launching an imperialist “electromagnetic attack”. ... Maduro alleged the US had conducted the attack – in league with “puppets and clowns” from the Venezuelan opposition – to create “a state of despair, of widespread want and of conflict” that would justify a foreign intervention.

US treats blackouts in Venezuela and Puerto Rico rather differently

Senate to Vote Wednesday on Ending US Role in Yemen War


Months of battles in Congress to challenge the US war in Yemen under the War Powers Act is coming to a key moment, a vote in the Senate on Wednesday. The SJ Res 7 resolution is a clean version of the challenge, without any amendments yet attached. ...

A clean Senate resolution would still have to go back to the House, as well, to come up with a reconciled version. That’s likely to be a messy business, after trying to kill the bill by making it all about Israel. President Trump has threatened to veto the bill at any rate, but it is possible that there could be an override attempt, as the Yemen War is increasingly unpopular.

Contact information for Senators is available here.

Spain investigates possible CIA links to embassy break-in

Spanish intelligence officials believe at least two of the 10 attackers who broke into the North Korean embassy in Madrid last month, holding staff hostage and making off with computers, are linked to the CIA, according to a report in El País.

Police and Spain’s national intelligence centre (CNI) are investigating the unusual robbery, which took place on 22 February in the west of the capital.

The online newspaper El Confidencial, which broke the news of the raid, reported that the group of men tied up and threatened staff, fleeing only after a woman managed to free herself and raise the alarm.

On Wednesday, El País said Spanish investigators had studied CCTV footage of the intruders, questioned embassy staff and examined the cars used in the getaway. “Although most of the [attackers] were Korean, at least two of them have been identified by Spanish intelligence services as having links to the US CIA,” it said. The paper said the Spanish authorities had raised the matter with the CIA, which had denied involvement “but not in a very convincing manner”.

El País pointed out the robbery took place five days before Donald Trump’s second summit with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. It suggested the intruders could have been looking for information relating to Kim’s chief negotiator, Kim Hyok Chol, who served as ambassador to Spain before being expelled in September 2017.

Moon of Alabama, worth a full read:

Who Ordered The CIA To Assault North Korea's Embassy In Spain?

Did John Bolton, President Trump's national security advisor, order an assault on the North Korean embassy in Spain to get an advantage in the nuclear talks? ...

The name Kim Hyok Chol sounds familiar. He recently was in the news when he led the North Korean delegation in the nuclear talks:

Kim Hyok Chol, a career diplomat from an elite North Korean family, made his international debut just a few weeks ago as Pyongyang’s new point man for nuclear negotiations. In the run-up to the Feb. 27-28 summit, he has been in talks with U.S. counterpart Stephen Biegun to lay the groundwork for the meeting, taking diplomats by surprise.

... [H]is appointment left a few people flipping through their files of cadres to find out more.

People knew little about Kim Hyok Chol. The Bloomberg portrait of him appeared on February 22, the same day the embassy in Madrid was raided. The failed summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un in Hanoi was on February 27-28. Kim Hyok Chol was a core person in the 'denuclearization' talks but little was known of him.

The embassy raid was no normal thievery. There were eight people in the embassy when it was raided at 3:00 PM local time. They were bound, bags were put over their heads and some were interrogated. The thieves left with computer hardware and the cellphones of the personnel. ... A U.S. raid of a foreign embassy in a third country is a diplomatic affront that will have consequences. The government in Madrid can not let this go by. Other important embassies in Spain - think China - will urge the Spanish government to take further steps to guarantee their security. ...

The Spanish services seem to suspect that the sole point was to get information on Kim Hyok Chol. That may well be though I suspect that an attempt to find North Korea's diplomatic encryption codes was part of the task. It is not unusual that a country will try to gain such information. What is very unusual is the brute force way in which this was done. Was this thought to intimidate North Korea? Whatever. I can only think of one person in Washington DC who disregards diplomacy enough to task the CIA with a military style raid on a foreign embassy in a third country. His name is John Bolton.

Why Ilhan Omar is a Dangerous Woman for the US

Washington was not expecting the arrival of Reps. Ilhan Omar or Rashida Tlaib. The nation’s capital has seen Arabs and Muslims before but they were not like these two new assertive and defiant members of Congress. The White House, under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, hosted Iftar dinners for Ramadan and invited a variety of Muslims (including of course the Israeli ambassador because he is wildly popular among the world’s Muslims), but they were of a different brand. The Bush administration even employed Muslim Arabs or Muslim-born Americans who preached Bush’s doctrine to anyone who would listen in the Middle East.

But those were different Arabs. They were the “non-threatening” Arabs who made Westerners feel comfortable in their racism and bigotry. ... But Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib are not those kinds of Muslim Arabs.

Acceptable and subservient Arabs are allowed to hold extremist views and to express hatred and hostility to Jewish people as long as they don’t offend Israel or Western governments. Anwar Sadat’s background as an anti-Semitic Nazi was never an issue for Israel or Western Zionists. In fact, Stuart Eizenstat, Jimmy Carter’s domestic policy advisor, downplays the Nazi sympathy of Sadat and attributes it dismissively to anti-British sentiments, in his recent book, “President Carter.” And when Mahmoud Abbas, the president of Palestine, agreed after the assassination of Yasser Arafat to serve Israeli occupation interests, his anti-Semitic past (his PhD dissertation in Moscow contained Holocaust denial) was also forgiven. The Saudi regime, the largest—by far—purveyor of anti-Semitic propaganda among Muslims in the last century is also forgiven.

It is not about anti-Semitism, as evidenced by Israeli alliances with evangelical Christians and European far-right groups. Zionists object to anti-Semitism—real or concocted as is the case with Omar—when there is criticism of Israel and calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions on Israel, or BDS. ... The endorsement of BDS by two members of Congress bestows official legitimacy on a movement that Israel has been desperately trying to paint as an anti-Semitic reincarnation of Nazim. But this has been the history of Israeli propaganda: all enemies of Israel, communists, Arab nationalists, Palestinian nationalists, rightists, leftists, have been labeled as anti-Semitic. Even the secular Arab nationalist leader, the late Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, was accused of anti-Semitism by Israel when none of his speeches ever contained an anti-Semitic word.

And now, the U.S. Congress, which sat silent about the wave of Islamophobia unleashed during and after the Trump campaign, suddenly sees the need to issue a proclamation against religious bigotry and racism. ... The Israeli lobby and the government want to send a clear message through the mistreatment and abuse of Ilhan Omar: that progressive members of Congress, especially if they are Muslim Arab women of color, won’t be allowed to express their views on Israel without mobilizing the entire AIPAC machinery in Congress against them. Ilhan Omar is indeed dangerous. She has broken taboos, along with her colleague Rashida Tlaib. She is dangerous to the hegemony imposed on the nation’s capital by the supporters of Israel (and evangelical Christian, not Jews, are now the most fanatical Zionists in U.S. politics). Because Omar is seen as dangerous, the abuse won’t end. It has just started.

MPs ignore May’s pleas and defeat her Brexit deal by 149 votes

Theresa May has suffered a second humiliating defeat on her Brexit deal, as MPs rejected the last-minute reassurances she won from the EU27 on Monday and voted it down by a crushing majority of 149. With just 17 days to go until the UK is due to leave the EU, MPs ignored the prime minister’s pleas to “get the deal done”, after the Democratic Unionist party (DUP) said it could not support the agreement.

The prime minister immediately gave a statement, saying she was “profoundly disappointed” that her deal had been rejected again. She said the government would table a motion, so that MPs can debate on Wednesday whether the UK should leave the EU without a deal on 29 March, and that she would offer her MPs a free vote on that decision. There will then be another vote on Thursday, on whether to request an extension to article 50.

But May insisted: “Voting against leaving without a deal, and for an extension, does not solve the problems we face. The EU will want to know what use we want to make of that extension. The house will have to answer that question.”

Jeremy Corbyn said Labour would now press for a softer Brexit. “I believe there is a majority in this house for the sort of sensible, credible and negotiable deal that Labour has set out. I look forward to parliament taking back control so that we can succeed where this government has so blatantly failed,” he said.

The former foreign secretary Boris Johnson said the vote should mark “the end of the road” for May’s deal.

Howard U prof: College scam exposes "deception" that wealthy succeed through hard work alone

It's not just corruption. Entrance into elite US colleges is rigged in every way

Shock horror! Wealthy Americans are using their money to buy their children places at elite colleges. An FBI investigation, appropriately named Operation Varsity Blues, has exposed a $25m cash-for-admissions scandal. Coaches were allegedly bribed to declare candidates as athletic recruits; test administrators to change their scores, or allow someone else to take the test for them. ... But here’s the thing: the whole system is “rigged” in favor of more affluent parents. It is true that the conversion of wealth into a desirable college seat was especially egregious in this case – to the extent that it was actually illegal. But there are countless ways that students are robbed of a “fair shot” if they are not lucky enough to be born to well-resourced, well-connected parents.

The difference between this illegal scheme and the legal ways in which money buys access is one of degree, not of kind. ... Take legacy preferences, for example. This boosts the admissions chances of the children of alumni; and for obvious reasons the alumni of elite colleges tend to be pretty affluent, especially if they marry each other. (They are also disproportionately white). The acceptance rate for legacy applicants at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Georgetown and Stanford is between two and three times higher than the general admission rate. ... Or how about donor preferences? Rather than bribing coaches, the wealthiest parents can just bribe – sorry, donate to – the college directly. In 2017, the Washington Post reported on the special treatment given to “VIP applicants” via an annual “watch list”. Applicants whose parents were big donors would have notes on their files reading “$500k. Must be on WL” (wait list). Even better, these donations are tax free!

As a general rule, the bigger the money the bigger the effect on admissions chances. ... Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was accepted into Harvard shortly after his father donated $2.5m. An official at Kushner’s high school said there was “no way anybody in the administrative office of the school thought he would, on the merits, get into Harvard. His GPA did not warrant it, his SAT scores did not warrant it.” ...

So hats off to FBI special agent Bonavolonta and his team for exposing the corruption admissions. But it is in fact simply the most visible sign of a much deeper problem with college admissions. Elite colleges are serving to reinforce class inequality, rather than reduce it. The opaque, complex, unfair admissions process is a big part of the problem. From an equality perspective, it is not just Singer and his clients who are at fault: it’s the system as a whole.


Kamala Harris Celebrates Her Role in the Mortgage Crisis Settlement. The Reality Is Quite Different.

Pretty much every major Democratic official involved in responding to the foreclosure crisis during the Obama years did an unforgivably terrible job. That’s how we wound up with 10 million families losing their homes, an unprecedented disaster that touched every corner of America and triggered the populist backlash we’re living through today. There isn’t a particular individual to single out and blame for the party’s failure, and that’s not what this story is doing. Kamala Harris’s role in the affair was no more or less tragic than anyone else’s. But now that she’s running for president, Harris is not only eliding responsibility for her part in the failure, but claiming it as an outright success. That claim doesn’t withstand a moment’s scrutiny.

“We went after the five biggest banks in the United States. We won $20 billion together,” Harris said in her initial campaign address in Oakland, California. She has highlighted the settlement for years as an example of her record of taking on powerful interests. Harris is referring to the national mortgage settlement, a massive deal made with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Ally Bank (formerly known as GMAC) in 2012, when she served as California attorney general. And that settlement is best understood as a second bank bailout, protecting legally exposed mortgage fraudsters while doing little to prevent evictions. In fact, more families lost their homes as a result of transactions facilitated by the national mortgage settlement than those who got a sustainable loan modification to save them.

Equating a toothless settlement with a sufficient penalty for criminal fraud sets a meager baseline for what constitutes punishment, virtually ensuring subsequent crimes.

Heh, the pot calls the kettle black on live teevee:

MSM clash: CNN chief slams Fox as propaganda

Mexican officials are extorting thousands of dollars from migrants applying for asylum

The “psycho-terror,” as Andreina calls it, started as soon as she stepped off the plane here in February and showed her Venezuelan passport. Mexican immigration officials separated her and the other Venezuelans from the line and pulled them into a room in the airport, one by one. “They started to verbally attack me, to tell me that they were going to send me back to Venezuela. And then they said to my face, ‘How much money did you bring?’” said Andreina, 42, who is using her middle name to protect her safety.

Andreina opened her wallet — she had $400 to get her from Venezuela to the U.S. Immigration officials took it all. One agent told her “Good luck, get out of here,” and then directed her to a line of taxis that would take her to the bridge linking Reynosa to McAllen, Texas, where she wanted to ask for asylum.

Corruption and organized crime have long been a part of daily life along the Mexican side of the border. But corruption has become even more brazen over the past year, as Mexican immigration officials and organized crime are preying on migrants, charging them thousands for the privilege of simply waiting in line in Mexico to claim asylum in the U.S. The strict limitations on asylum seekers enacted under the Trump administration has turned the process into a lucrative business for corrupt Mexican officials and cartels.

The Trump administration has adopted several strategies to dissuade would-be asylum seekers from entering the U.S. from Mexico, to little effect. With so many asylum seekers arriving, Border Patrol now admits only a few migrants a day, if that, at ports of entry — a policy known as metering. Soon after that practice began across the southern border last summer, Mexican immigration officials began charging migrants up to $3,500 to access certain ports of entry and add their name to a waitlist of asylum seekers.

Across broad swaths of the U.S.-Mexico border, applying for asylum has become a matter of not only of waiting but also of paying bribes to corrupt officials — many of whom are suspected of working in concert with organized crime.

Ocasio-Cortez Grills Wells Fargo CEO Over Profiting From 'Caging of Children' and Pipeline Disasters

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Ocasio (D-NY) proved once again her verbal interrogation skills on Tuesday as she grilled Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan over the financial giant's dubious investments and won applause for holding his feet to the fire. The freshman congresswoman questioned bank CEO Timothy Sloan about two issues for which corporations are rarely directly held accountable—the bank's financing of human rights abuses as well as environmental disasters.

On the issue of Wells Fargo's relationship with the private prison industry and the Trump administration's child detention policy, Ocasio-Cortez asked sharply: "Mr. Sloan, why was the bank involved in the caging of children?"


The congresswoman refused to accept Sloan's claim that despite Wells Fargo's financing and debt-financing of GEO Group and CoreCivic, "we weren't directly involved in that," before moving on to the bank's investments in fossil fuel-extracting companies which have worsened the climate crisis, trampled human rights, and endangered the country's drinking water supply.


Two of Trump’s banks just got subpoenaed for records

The New York Attorney General has sent subpoenas to a pair of banks seeking records about multiple Trump Organization projects, marking the latest real-world impact of Michael Cohen’s blockbuster Congressional testimony, The New York Times reported late Monday.

One of the banks involved has long been Trump’s most important lender for years, a firm that maintained ties with Trump long after other major Wall Street firms labeled him a credit risk: Germany’s Deutsche Bank.

A person briefed on the subpoenas told the Times that Cohen’s testimony to Congress in late February was the spur. The president’s former fixer said the Trump Organization had misrepresented the size of Trump’s fortune in statements to financial firms, inflating the value of his assets in order to reduce his insurance premiums or obtain loans. Those actions could add up to crimes, depending on the details, legal experts have told VICE News.

The New York AG investigation is civil in nature, rather than criminal, the Times said, adding that the full scope of the probe is not yet clear.



the horse race



New York prosecutors just indicted Paul Manafort on new charges

Paul Manafort barely had time to let his latest prison sentence sink in before news broke that he's facing yet more legal trouble. This time the threat is from prosecutors in New York, who charged him with multiple felony counts relating to financial fraud.

The charges were announced in an emailed press release by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance moments after a judge in Washington, D.C., sentenced Manafort for a completely separate series of crimes.

If convicted over the charges brought in New York State, Manafort could not be saved by a pardon from his former boss, President Trump, because state crimes are immune from presidential pardon. ...

The 16 new criminal counts relate to real estate transactions in New York. The Manhattan District Attorney accused Manafort of lying to take out mortgage loans during a period stretching from roughly 2015 to early 2017.

As Joe Biden Hints at Presidential Run, Andrew Cockburn Looks at His “Disastrous Legislative Legacy”



the evening greens

'Monumental step backwards' – the $1bn gas pipeline project dividing New York

A battle is erupting over a proposed gas pipeline on the doorstep of New York City, with environmental groups claiming the project is unnecessary and would lock in planet-warming emissions for decades to come. Energy company Williams, based in Oklahoma, plans to build a 23-mile-long underwater pipeline through New York’s lower bay to bring fracked gas from Pennsylvania to New York. The $1bn project would link existing infrastructure in New Jersey, to the Rockaways in the New York borough of Queens.

Pipeline proponents argue the project is needed to allow thousands more New Yorkers to switch from oil to gas for their heating but environmental groups are marshaling a growing protest movement to pressure Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor, to block the development.

“This pipeline would incentivize reliance on gas, which is way more carbon-intensive than renewables,” said Robert Wood, a campaigner at 350.org, a climate advocacy group. ... A draft of a study commissioned by 350.org disputes many of the assertions made by Williams and National Grid, the utility that will be the sole customer for the gas. According to the analysis, New York is already well on its way to eliminating the dirtiest types of oil, a carbon-heavy fuel, for heating and the state’s power operators are forecasting a drop in electricity use due to efficiency improvements.

Measures such as installing heat pumps, replacing old boilers, expansion of renewable energy and planned improvements to building energy efficiency should be “ramped up before considering construction of costly and potentially risky infrastructure like a massive pipeline in the New York harbor”, concluded the analysis, conducted by Suzanne Mattei, a consultant and former regional director of the New York department of environmental conservation.

Environmentalists also fret that the pipeline’s construction could stir up toxins from the harbor’s seabed and potentially harm vulnerable marine life such as humpback whales, which have made a comeback to the New York area in recent years.

Green New Deal Tour Aims to Make 2020 a National Referendum on Visionary Energy and Economic Transformation

The youth activists leading the Sunrise Movement are expanding the scope of a planned nationwide tour into a wider initiative to ensure the Green New Deal is a major focus of the 2020 election.

The Road to a Green New Deal tour will now include more than 100 town hall meetings in cities and towns across the country. Organizers like Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Parkash will not only educate communities about the wide-ranging climate action and jobs proposal, but also give Americans an opportunity to hear from their neighbors how the Green New Deal would change their lives for the better.


The momentum gathered at the town halls will ideally help to "transform the 2020 election into a referendum on climate action," the Sunrise Movement wrote in a call to action to its supporters. "We put the Green New Deal on the map by taking action in Washington, D.C.," Prakash told the Huffington Post. "But we know the fight will be won or lost in the hearts and minds of the American people and the resolve we show to making the Green New Deal a reality. That's what this tour is about."

In addition to the smaller town halls, which the group is urging Americans to sign up to host in their own communities, the organization is planning major events in cities including Boston; Los Angeles; the heart of coal country in Richmond, Kentucky; and Paradise, California, the town that was decimated last year by the state's historically destructive wildfires.

'Almost certain extinction': 1,200 species under severe threat across world

More than 1,200 species globally face threats to their survival in more than 90% of their habitat and “will almost certainly face extinction” without conservation intervention, according to new research. Scientists working with Australia’s University of Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society have mapped threats faced by 5,457 species of birds, mammals and amphibians to determine which parts of a species’ habitat range are most affected by known drivers of biodiversity loss. ...

The new research, published in PLOS Biology, maps “hotspots” where species are most affected by threats such as agriculture, urbanisation, night lighting, roads, rail, waterways and population density, and “coolspots” that provide refuge from these threats. The team looked only at threats that were known to affect a species within its habitat range and found that for the majority of wildlife studied, intrusions were “extensive” across most habitat, “severely limiting the area within which species can survive”.

They said most concerning was their finding that 1,237 species – nearly a quarter of the animals assessed – were affected by threats across more than 90% of their distribution. ... Two major threats they had not mapped were diseases affecting amphibians and climate change, which threatens all species. Human impacts were found on species across 84% of the earth’s terrestrial surface.


Also of Interest

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

Intercepted podcast: The American Machine: Police Torture to Drone Assassinations

BirthStrikers: meet the women who refuse to have children until climate change ends

What’s New About Fake News?

Fascism by Another Name

Netanyahu is right: Israel is a nation with no interest in equality

The Conflict of Our Time: US Imperialism vs the Rule of Law

A Venezuela Union Leader’s Analysis of Crisis


A Little Night Music

Crying Sam Collins - Hesitation Blues

Crying Sam Collins - Yellow Dog Blues

Crying Sam Collins - Pork Chop Blues

Sam Collins - Devil in the Lions Den

Crying Sam Collins - My Road Is Rough And Rocky

Crying Sam Collins - Loving Lady Blues

Jim Foster (Sam Collins) - Jail House Blues

Crying Sam Collins - Slow Mama Slow

Crying Sam Collins - Riverside Blues

Crying Sam Collins - Lead Me All The Way

Crying Sam Collins - New Salty Dog

Crying Sam Collins - Midnight Special Blues


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snoopydawg's picture

There will be no protest against Pelosi’s opposition to impeachment because those who would lead it know there will never be any evidence that could possibly lead to a bipartisan willingness in the Senate to remove him from office. ...

This depends on who Glenn is thinking of. Lots of people on DK are very upset that Nancy has taken impeachment off the table again. Others are hanging on to her words, "not yet." They think that the democrats are just going to make sure that they have enough evidence to support impeachment and for the country to demand it. This starts with the democrats speaking with lots of the same people that Mueller has already spoken with.

We know that there are plenty of things that Trump could be charged for doing and plenty of other things that should he is doing that should be stopped. His involvement in Venezuela for one and then his crimes against the environment just to name two things. But Nancy isn't interested in doing anything about them either. Whoever said that her job is to protect the status quo nailed it.

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12 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

heh, for all those who have worked so hard to foment russiagate, "the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

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9 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

...for her intellectual honesty. It's been ugly for many. I get her response:

The centrists who chose to spend more than two years forcing everyone’s energy into this blatant psyop which escalated a cold war against a nuclear superpower were wrong, and the leftists who objected to it were right. Trump’s term is more than halfway over, and Russiagaters chose to suck all the oxygen out of the room for this brainless, fruitless, worthless endeavor instead of allowing space for progressive reform and for criticism of Trump’s actual pernicious policies from the left. And they did it on purpose.

Mock the Russiagaters. Mock them ruthlessly, and never, ever let them forget the horrible thing that they did. Never stop making fun of them and reminding them how stupid and crazy they acted during this humiliating period of American history. And never stop using it as a weapon against them.

What they did, in fact, is criminal. It will be swept away as quickly as possible. However, endlessly mockery could keep it on the table, which may lead to the investigation and prosecution of the criminals in the Intelligence agencies and the DOJ and at the State Department (along with their sub-contractors, in particular CrowdStrike) who concocted this dangerous and destructive scheme — in the final months of the Obama administration and throughout the Trump administration.

That works for me.

If this should undermine our current system of government, which has been subverted to the will of the Deep State, what more could anyone ask for?

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21 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
QMS's picture

@Pluto's Republic
HA. Ask for indeed. Honesty, integrity, truth, justice, fairness, equality, peace, prosperity.
Instead, without asking for it we get lies, distortion, distractions, poverty, war, surveillance, incarceration, inequality and debt.

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11 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Pluto's Republic's picture

@QMS

...for whatever reason, continuously align themselves with with the powers that betray them. Voting from the very worst part of their natures and blinding themselves to the evils that they support with their tax dollars.

Lucky for them this isn't really a meritocracy, for what would they deserve? Instead there are respectful people with intellect and decency, who have a clear understanding of those human rights that are denied to Americans. They recognize the terrible brainwashing Americans have endured — and are willing to fight on their behalf to restore their dignity and restore their ability to recognize that which is in the best interest of the people and the nation, and recognize those things that are depraved and drags their lives down into misery.

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8 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
QMS's picture

@Pluto's Republic
In american's imagined contract with laws, justice, & etc. with their governmental agencies. It's just that we have been hoodwinked so many times now, fairness no longer seems like a tangible right.

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5 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

heh, some years ago, i thought that certain neocon hawks in the early stages of the neocon ascendancy were going to get whiplash from the sudden change of direction from fulminating about iran and screaming that it needed to be bombed because iranians are all terrorists to calmly explaining to anyone who would listen that there is such a thing as a moderate iranian.

later, i thought for sure that there would be hell to pay for lying us into a war with iraq...

now, of course, it seems that there should be an accountability for the russiagate smear. but there won't be a public accounting unless the progressives get their shit together and heckle these bastards ruthlessly. the media will not do its job, nor will the late night comedians who have made so much hay out of the breathless reporting of every false lead.

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12 users have voted.
mimi's picture

I got a little enervated about all those discussions involving racism. So, I thought, I search for some brainy quotes about racism and pretend to say something interesting.

But darn, all the quotes about racism in the brainy quotes, I found completely non-sensical.

Racist, everyone is, everyone denies it, everyone doesn't want to be called it, everyone is upset about it. So, why does it make it sense to discuss racism? It doesn't.

What's race got to do with it?

Nothing. Get over it. Too tired for bullshitting any further tonight.
Good Night.

PS. Can you imagine that Macron wants to privatize more than fifty percent of France's airports? Is he nuts or what?

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9 users have voted.

TTTT (too tired to talk)

joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

So, why does it make it sense to discuss racism? It doesn't.

the larger societal discussion of racism is remarkably unproductive if you expect it to bring the effects of racism to an end anytime soon. and i think that mitigating the effects of racism is probably the best we can do.

words are not going to make something as deeply ingrained as racism go away. but, they can set a standard of acceptable social behavior, which if applied rigorously might open the space for people to lay down their arms so to speak.

maybe. dunno.

Can you imagine that Macron wants to privatize more than fifty percent of France's airports?

i'm shocked that he doesn't want to privatize all of them at once.

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9 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@joe shikspack
than not fight back with words at all.

It's just that nobody has 'laid down their arms in my neighborhood' so to speak. And I feel so defeated that I raise my white flag and surrender.

I never considered giving up without a fight, but now I do. How often can you kill a dead horse?

I admit that those who talk have done something good. At least some people talk and make noise. In that sense I don't consider those who do as useless or fake.

Keep on going on talking. For what it's worth.

Thanks for your patience and willingness to help.

up
4 users have voted.

TTTT (too tired to talk)

JekyllnHyde's picture

Don't believe me?

up
16 users have voted.

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

Deja's picture

@JekyllnHyde
The video that pic came from made me want to kick him in his crotch, repeatedly. Her husband was right there, but was a little busy, being officially sworn in, iirc.

I'm wondering if she would have been labeled an overly sensitive uppity bitch, had she turned around and gouged out his eyeballs with her thumbnails. Probably so, since she didn't scream NOOOO, 1000 times, on camera, from multiple angles. After all, we women have been mansplained to "understand" that saying NO once doesn't constitute actually meaning we want it to stop, despite never asking to be touched in the first place. Grrrr!

That creepy bastard needs to drop dead, and take Killary with him, straight to hell already.

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14 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Deja

Here is a Twitter thread that has almost 20 videos of Biden's roaming hands. The minute he declares he is running they will be everywhere. It's not subtle either. The families see what he does and they are uncomfortable. Why someone hasn't gone up to him and told him to keep his hands off their wives and daughters I don't understand.

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16 users have voted.

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

Deja's picture

@snoopydawg
It might be in your linked feed, but I don't want to see it all again. Jeff Sessions looked pissed too. Literally swatted the toothy grinning creeper's hand away from a little girl, and guided her away from him. I've seen a YouTube compilation of lots and lots videos, of mostly folks lining up for photos, and it's sickening. It makes me want to physically harm him, and wish death on him, so I shall pass, but thank you. Wink

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9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@JekyllnHyde

yuck!

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8 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@# @joe shikspack

Blue Onyx

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

up
6 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

mimi's picture

@JekyllnHyde
so he must be winning, cause you know two hands have a stronger grip than one.

Yuck. Had no idea he was that slimy. Makes me to shout, raise your hands or else ...

up
4 users have voted.

TTTT (too tired to talk)

lotlizard's picture

@mimi  
— or shoulder massage — or whatever the heck he thought he was doing —

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=bush+merkel+shoulder+massage&ia=videos

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2 users have voted.
mimi's picture

Ethipian Airliner Boeing 737 Max be analyzed?
Germany says will not analyse Ethiopian Airlines black box

Ethiopian Airlines to send plane's black boxes to Europe

Germany says it can't analyze black box from Ethiopia's Boeing jet crash

There is some super secret software in it, nobody is allowed to know about it.... ha, how funny ... not.

I am in a good mood tonight. Beee

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10 users have voted.

TTTT (too tired to talk)

QMS's picture

@mimi @mimi
the design of the crashing planes is wrong. boeing put bigger engines on their new planes to compete with airbus. changed the flight characteristics of the plane. installed an automatic compensator which they 'forgot' to tell the pilots. turns out the automatic compensator could not be disengaged, even when pilots took manual control. boeing is going to pay big time for this 'rush to market'. in the world only the FAA (US) won't ground them. bad for bizniz ya' know.

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13 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

Azazello's picture

@QMS
Pilots were already reporting it even before the second crash.

Key points:
Two pilots separately reported to NASA that they suspected automated controls in their Boeing 737 MAX planes were faulty.
Both planes suddenly tilted mid-flight but were quickly corrected.
North American carriers have continued to fly the 737 MAX, despite groundings elsewhere.

abc.net.au
And:

The short version of the story is that Boeing had implemented a new “safety” feature that operated even when its plane was being flown manually, that if it went into a stall, it would lower the nose suddenly to pick airspeed and fly normally again. However, Boeing didn’t tell its buyers or even the FAA about this new goodie. It wasn’t in pilot training or even the manuals. But even worse, this new control could force the nose down so far that it would be impossible not to crash the plane. And no, I am not making this up. From the Wall Street Journal:
Boeing Co. withheld information about potential hazards associated with a new flight-control feature suspected of playing a role in last month’s fatal Lion Air jet crash, according to safety experts involved in the investigation, as well as midlevel FAA officials and airline pilots.
The automated stall-prevention system on Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 models—intended to help cockpit crews avoid mistakenly raising a plane’s nose dangerously high—under unusual conditions can push it down unexpectedly and so strongly that flight crews can’t pull it back up. Such a scenario, Boeing told airlines in a world-wide safety bulletin roughly a week after the accident, can result in a steep dive or crash—even if pilots are manually flying the jetliner and don’t expect flight-control computers to kick in.

Boeing Crapification: Second 737 Max Plane Within Five Months Crashes Just After Takeoff

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16 users have voted.

@Azazello software patches.

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6 users have voted.

dfarrah

snoopydawg's picture

@QMS

the government shutdown. Yep. Because Trump shut down the government Boeing couldn't work with the FAA to fix the problem. I first found out about this from a Rachel tweet. I would think that if lives were at stake then the FAA would have been an essential part of government and people would show up for work. Hey. They did, they just didn't get paid for doing it.

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13 users have voted.

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

QMS's picture

@snoopydawg
But, NO F'ING WAY is this to be blamed on FAA. The blame is on Boeing. PERIOD. The fact that the USTRUMPGOVT won't hold businesses accountable is the the issue. GOVT for business, by business is about oligachy, not accountability.
Drown us in a shallow bathtub.
Diminishing profits is the new sin.
In the church of capitalism.

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12 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

snoopydawg's picture

@QMS

I'm wondering if there is one organization that actually looks out for us? Just read how the FDA allows companies that make medical devices to hide the problems that their devices cause. A medical stapler burns bleeding blood vessels before it staples them. One guy had surgery for something and the stapler didn't work and he lost so much blood it damaged his brain. He is now paralyzed and doesn't remember how to talk. Doctors look at websites that doctors report problems on and find no problems with the devices they are using.

ETA this: The FDA was allowing companies to hide the problems with their devices and that is why doctors were not finding any problems with devices. The companies would settle lawsuits and made people sign non disclosure agreements and then the companies got to just continue letting doctors use their devices not knowing that there were problems with them

.

After they raised hell about it the FDA changed the way things work. If a device has many problems the company can now hide hundreds of problems with it in one report. So doctors are still not getting the information that they need to decide on whether to use things.

In 2007 when dawg food was contaminated with melamine the FDA knew about it for over 6 months before they issued the recalls. Thousands of dawgs died in the meantime. Why? $$$$ of course.

Rachel did a show once on the DEA in one country and the agents in charge of watching a drug cartel were caught doing drugs that the cartel gave them. Anyone else remember that? The agents were snorting cocaine off people's bodies.

Back to the planes I saw that most people were blaming the accountants for the Boeing problem instead of the engineers because they were trying to keep up with airbus planes. But yeah I don't think it's the shutdown that caused the problems. My $.05

Kinda left some important stuff out.

up
12 users have voted.

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

QMS's picture

@snoopydawg
was supposed to help us out. Liz Warren got the chair, but turns out congress left it a toothless agency. So we still get non-stop solicitor calls, payday lenders, contracts written in Martian diablog, & etc. The planes will not be scrutinized by federal regulatory bureaus because the appointed heads of the feds are industry insiders. Just wait till one of those zombie planes lands on some bigwig's lap. Then, maybe, the FAA will say it requires a commission to appoint a panel to make a study into unverified claims.
Or some such.

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7 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

travelerxxx's picture

@snoopydawg

I would think that if lives were at stake then the FAA would have been an essential part of government and people would show up for work.

Yeah, I can vouch for the fact that they were working. They made a point of coming around to our remote little helicopter base during the shutdown. It seemed kind of like a "show the flag" visit. But, yeah, those folks were on the job. We interacted with the FAA people as in usual times. It was all completely normal.

This sounds like a Boeing problem all the way. Except, of course, for the dead passengers and crews, and their grieving families.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@travelerxxx

The airports would have been shut down if the FAA wasn't still working.

Anyone hear that Trump refused to let people like janitors, cafeteria workers and other people who worked for third party companies that worked during the shutdown to receive back pay? This is beyond cruel. The companies that get the contracts of course receive big bucks, but then they only pay people minimum wage.

This happened after Katrina when companies got no bid contracts to rebuild things and then they subcontracted their work out to subcontractors who then hired people for shit wages. But not many people from New Orleans who had lost their jobs of course.

This country is beyond sick. $$$$ is all anyone cares about.

up
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

@QMS still isn't the black box info.

When you think about it, of course a company is going to design a black box that no one can access. So now, the pilots can be blamed. (and people are already blaming the pilots).

up
5 users have voted.

dfarrah

QMS's picture

@dfarrah
pilots have described the nose down attitude problem over-riding the manual controls in several cases. This is a manufacturer's defect.

up
6 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

@QMS The issue appears to be the software, as you pointed out, but this problem was identified without the black box from this particular crash.

Yes, I know pilots complained about aircraft control prior to the crash (and I think even before the 1st crash).

Do we disagree that some are trying to blame the pilots? I've already heard people on the news question the skills and training of the pilots, implying that since no crashes have happened in the US, the foreign countries must have had deficient pilots and/or training.

And I agree that Boeing is very likely to be at fault.

I find it amusing that Trump and the FAA didn't want to ground the planes immediately, as if consumers weren't going to effectively ground them anyway by not flying on them. Free markets at work!

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5 users have voted.

dfarrah

Deja's picture

@dfarrah
I found the Amazon cargo plane going down very suspicious. Local news, and it actually happened locally for me, claimed there was no contact with air traffic control prior to nose diving into extremely shallow, muddy marsh. Remote, yes. Too far away from anything? I don't know. Sounds unbelievable to me for that to be the case, imo.

Now that they finally found the boxes, the local news has begun saying it "might" have gone down due to turbulence. I looked up in time to see a blip of a very bad quality video. It looked like it almost hit nose first.

Some time back, someone on NPR suggested that the cargo could have been poorly secured, and could have caused the nosedive. Others have suggested it was a software issue that the pilots were ignorant of knowing how to use.

It could also be a software issue that was used exactly as it was designed. Just sayin'.

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7 users have voted.
travelerxxx's picture

@Deja

Yes, the Atlas Air Flight 3591 crash. This was another Boeing, a Boeing 767-375 and happened less than three weeks ago on approach to Houston's Bush Intercontinental. The other two recent 767 accidents occurred shortly after take off, while this one was on approach. What I remember about all three of these recent accidents was that all of them suddenly went into steep dives.

Of course, there may be no connection. The Atlas Air aircraft was far from new.

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5 users have voted.

@QMS heavier engines changed the center of gravity of the plane frame, hence the software changes. The particular plane frame had been in use for decades.

It sounds like a new plane frame should have been designed for the new engines. I would like to see the minutes of the meetings where the decision was made to forgo redesign of the frame...anyone want to bet that engineers brought this up and were ignored by management? (just like the o rings in the space shuttle)

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11 users have voted.

dfarrah

OzoneTom's picture

@dfarrah
That would cost money, disappointing shareholders and endangering bonuses.

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3 users have voted.

@OzoneTom for any and all related info to destroy.

See how Boeing got all nicie-poo about the grounding to pretend they are cooperating. Yeah, they're shredding and deleting and destroying as much as they can now.

FBI needs to raid all of those offices/homes yesterday.

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2 users have voted.

dfarrah

Azazello's picture

I don't have much to add, just this:

up
11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

thanks for the vid, glad to see that lee camp is calling out the propaganda in an amusing way.

have a great evening!

up
9 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

isn't up to much, given Auntie Nancy's words.

All those saps (see DailyKult), living and breathing 'Russiagate' for the last two years..... Oh the humanity!!

Happy Fitzmas all over again.

Also, too, you'll notice that despite being a 'Very Strong Country', the U.S. is always a 'Too Divided Country', when it comes to bringing leadership to account.

(Edited)

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14 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

Deja's picture

@Bollox Ref
That's not exactly my word for her, but it reminded me of this, which cracks me up.

(Translation of the word "kampong" is village -- my coworker looked it up for us.)

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10 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

@Deja

who always 'knows best'.

up
7 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

well, i guess it keeps the kultists off the streets. Smile

up
8 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

@joe shikspack

up
8 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

dystopian's picture

Crying Sam Collins is great. Love that original Hesitation Blues that Jorma and Jack did as Hot Tuna. I loved their versions, bunch of good live ones on youtube, saw them once, amazing. Midnight special too... Crying Sam got covered a bit, which shows what an influence he was.

I'm not for impeachment, said the leader of the Resistance. Interesting in this case Nancy is against dividing the country, but establishment dems dividing with ID politics is fine.

"Guaidó under investigation for 'sabotage' of power grid"... If I was Maduro he'd be under arrest already. So glad to see action being taken. More faster please.

Wow I am shocked, a break-in at a foreign embassy is CIA linked? Just the computers stolen. Whooda thunk? And we could not deny involvement "in a very convincing manner". What does that mean? Maybe the CIA guys were looking about nervously while saying they didn't know anything about it?

As for the college entrance scandal, I think we can be fairly sure the more money the parents paid, they dumber THEY were.

Who is more full of it CNN or FOX? This could take a while to crunch... Two shit shows flinging poo. Gadzooks! Can we get their talking heads together for a debate and cage
matches or something.

So the Manhattan D.A. will prosecute Manafort for lying on loan apps, whilst whatever Wall St. does, or was on Weiners laptop, nothing to see ... and justice for all.

Have a good one!

up
15 users have voted.

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 saw hot tuna a bunch of times, both acoustic and electric shows. they were the second loudest electric act i have ever had ring my ears. (loudest was the blue oyster cult) i always liked their version of the hesitation blues.

Wow I am shocked, a break-in at a foreign embassy is CIA linked?

you would think that the nsa could provide them everything they need. all they have to do is break into fort meade.

As for the college entrance scandal, I think we can be fairly sure the more money the parents paid, they dumber THEY were.

my first thought was, "they couldn't find an elite school that needed a new wing on its library?"

Who is more full of it CNN or FOX?

msdnc is in close competition.

So the Manhattan D.A. will prosecute Manafort for lying on loan apps, whilst whatever Wall St. does, or was on Weiners laptop

justice is so fickle!

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9 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

@joe shikspack Something about Jorma and Jack grabbed me at Surrealistic Pillow and never left. They did an hour plus of each acoustic and electric when I saw them, at a club on Sunset in Hwood. Funny about them being loud, I would never have guessed. BOC was loud, and way up there one tour in particular, maybe 75 or so. I am a fairly strict "black and white" period BOC dude. Once that color hit the album covers they were going commerical. For me loudest was probably the Who, second maybe Black Sabbath. Uriah Heep gave them a run for the money in a small theatre in 72 though. My friend that went to every show because he had dough said Slade was the loudest band he ever heard. I wasn't there, thankfully. Zeppelin was loud too.

up
3 users have voted.

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

lotlizard's picture

@dystopian  

up
3 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

...added colorful details to court intrigue. Thanks fo covering that, Joe. I hadn't run across it before.

Consensus now is that the CIA raided the North Korean Embassy in Spain five days before the Hanoi Summit, in order to gain intel on the new Leader of the North Korean Delegation at the Summit. Who happened to be the NK Ambassador to Spain. The CIA made off with all of the embassy's phones and computers, which makes perfect sense if the object is to decrypt the pile of diplomatic messages the US regularly intercepts from that embassy. Gives the US a leg up on those negotiations, I suppose. Or, kills them altogether.

On the other hand, that would mean that Kim was aware of this going into Hanoi. Which would have told him that all future negotiations with the US would be in bad faith. He would be a dead man the moment he denuclearized.

Now we understand why the meeting ended abruptly. Seems it was Kim who walked away. A commentor at MOA:

Since this assault on the North Korean delegation in Spain took place about 5 days before the Hanoi summit between US and North Korea, there you have why the summit failed, and why the North Koreans got up from the table and did not even [take] lunch with the Americans, who had prepared the agape in advance....

Interesting that North Korea chose to show up in Hanoi at all. Or the US did, for that matter.

As for Spain... "Beer me, little vassal."

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15 users have voted.

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
Deja's picture

@Pluto's Republic
I wonder if Trump was convinced that this would be a good idea, or if he was surprised with it. If the latter, is that something he'd be told about before, or after, the meeting.

Ain't no way in hell the ding dong could think of it himself, imo.

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Pluto's Republic

the fact that the break-in would cause kim to walk away lends credence to moa's hypothesis that bolton was the prime mover behind it.

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11 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

to copy and paste an excerpt from Bernie's MFA Bill (Jayapal's reads almost identically, since they used his Bill as their model, according to reporting) that I posted at EL's morning OT. Another evening, plan to post the blurb from the funding section--which reinforces the fact that his proposed MFA system is NOT the existing Traditional Medicare program, just expanded to include other cohorts of beneficiaries. What are these people/lawmakers thinking? Do they actually believe that no one reads this stuff? Go figure.

Crazy

Here you go,

Pages 61-62. IMO, this statement is a 'tell' that the our current Medicare system--established in July 1965--will cease to exist, in spite of some of the purposefully confusing rhetoric used by Dem pols.

TITLE IX—-ADDITIONAL CONFORMING AMENDMENTS.

901. RELATIONSHIP TO EXISTING FEDERAL HEALTH PROGRAMS. 16(a) MEDICARE, MEDICAID, AND STATE CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM(SCHIP).

18(1) IN GENERAL.

-—Notwithstanding any other 19 provision of law, subject to paragraphs (2) and 20(3)— 21(A) no benefits shall be available under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act for any item or service furnished, beginning on or after the effective date of benefits under section 1106(a);

EDIT: Title XVIII 'is' the Original 1965 Medicare program. So, in spite of the rhetoric, this line proclaims definitively that the EXISTING Original/Traditional Medicare program 'ends' when the "Universal Medicare" program goes into effect.

Therefore, don't let any pol or lawmaker tell you that they're expanding the existing program. They're not. At least, not any of the MFA Bills that have been profferred, to date.

Gag! It's being reported on Hardball (MSBNC) that Beto's going to announce his run, tomorrow. If it's true, expect that he could very well be the Dem Party nominee--Mr "New Dem."
Guess it would be par for the course, all things considered. From much of what I've observed, there have been few lessons learned from 2016. And, until that happens--history will almost certainly repeat itself. (IMO)

Oh, and I think I heard that ol' Uncle Joe may actually jump in. Yikes! is all I can say to that.

Biggrin

All that aside, Everyone have a nice evening, and enjoy the Spring-like weather if it comes your way!

PleasantryByeBlue Onyx

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

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

Blue Onyx

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

up
12 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

thanks for the info! have you written or tweeted to sanders or jayapal asking them to explain the discrepancy?

their answer would be interesting for lots of folks.

heh, it will be interesting to see how beto does in this fairly large pool. my guess is that he won't make a top-tier candidate level splash. biden will probably make a big splash, but my guess is that he will start making gaffes pretty quickly.

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8 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack @joe shikspack

but, haven't ruled it out. I'm contemplating whether or not I'm willing to put up with all the 'abuse' that I'd likely receive. Smile Sadly, 'facts' don't always faze a lot of folks.

Seriously, I'm almost certain that Bernie's camp wouldn't answer. Now, I don't know enough about Jayapal's general comportment, or personality to make a judgment about her. So, maybe I'll give it a shot. She has certainly set herself up for someone to confront her, in light of the DN interview, and her strong statements about her MFA bill simply expanding the "existing" Medicare program. If I get up the nerve, I'll post the Tweet, here.

Which reminds me, regarding my "Traditional MFA" Twitter Account, I recently lost my follower (on that account) who had the most prolific following--she had almost 4600. She was an ol' Buddy from Corrente, and an excellent writer. Definitely, a true radical. Since I have next to no following, it was super helpful when she re-Tweeted stuff, etc. More importantly, because of the value of her voice, and the information/insights that I (and others) gained following/reading her, I hope she'll soon be reinstated. She was followed by quite a number of 'big names,' such as CounterPunch. Apparently, she's appealed the decision. She wasn't told 'why' she was suspended. Guess I need to log in, soon, and see if she's had any luck. Hope so! (I've put Twitter on the back burner for some time now, but, need to get back in the game.)

I agree that Biden will probably land with a thud, relatively soon outta the gate.

But, not so sure about Beto. I sure as heck 'hope' he doesn't get the nomination. But, considering the Base of the Party (I'm referring to the DKos crowd and their ilk), I don't have a lot of faith that they will 'catch on' to him and/or his neoliberal views. But, maybe I'm wrong. In this case, truly hope so. Wink Chances are that you're a much better judge than I, regarding electoral politics.

Have a good one!

[Edited: 'faze' not 'phase' - what was I thinking? Biggrin ]

Blue Onyx

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

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
~~Cicero

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

up
10 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

one way to perhaps introduce your information into the twittersphere and limit the personal abuse might be to tweet it as a question to an expert or activist. ralph nader might answer you, there are probably groups on twitter that support social security, etc. that you could pose it as a question to as well.

just a thought.

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7 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

so I'll think on it.

I'm pretty certain that it's all a matter of 'branding' and/or selling the product. As a matter of fact, I had a video (on a now defunct laptop) of Bernie admitting this to Dana Bash (I 'think') on "State Of The Union," when she filled in for Jake Tapper one Sunday (during the 2016 election cycle, IIRC). If it wasn't on his Sunday show, it was on his Daily program (3:00 CST).

Bash asked him point blank, and, followed up, when he first dodged the question. He had no choice but to admit that the name of the decades-old, popular program was used in his MFA Bill because the American People are comfortable with that program, and would be accepting of a new system, if it was tied (in name) to what was familiar to them. Not too long ago, I searched for about 30 minutes to try to turn up the interview. (but, didn't locate it) If I had more time--and it would take a LONG time, since I have no clue what month it was--I might could turn up the transcript from CNN's transcript website. Unfortunately, I don't have that much extra time on my hands, anymore.

I'll have to give it some thought, in order to come up with a non-contentious (yet pointed) way to address the issue. Then, just cross my fingers, I suppose. Wink

(If I do it, I'll let you know.)

Blue Onyx

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

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Shahryar's picture

well of course I have, but this is recent b---s---.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-facetime-call-speech_n_5c...

if you don't want to bother, here's the summary. Hillary was giving a speech to a group of rich yuppies (typical for HER)

Clinton was speaking at the launch of Vote Mama, a political action committee that supports Democratic candidates with young children

when her cellphone rang and wow! what a coincidence! It was her grandkids! amazing! Of course you can hear an aide (who knew what was planned) comment about grandchildren seconds before Hillary says "yep, it's my grandchildren".

Oh, they all laughed their rich yuppie laughs!! How heart-warming!

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joe shikspack's picture

@Shahryar

The crowd ate up the exchange

it was obviously a crowd that came to dine and left its critical thinking skills at home.

i wonder how much clinton had to pay the kids.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@Shahryar please check your message box...

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"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

enhydra lutris's picture

getting proof that Trump colluded with Russia to steal Hillary's crown. It'll all come out in the Mueller report, just wait and see.
/s

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9 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 --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

heh, no doubt. have a good one!

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smiley7's picture

Having to wait for political pressure to do the 'right thing' is okay with the MSN pundits; as if it's ... what, a crap shoot?

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