The Evening Blues - 3-14-19


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Percy Mayfield

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues singer and songwriter Percy Mayfield. Enjoy!

Percy Mayfield - The Big Question

"Frankly, our ancestors don't seem much to brag about. I mean, look at the state they left us in, with the wars, the broken planet. Clearly, they didn't care about what would happen to the people who came after them."

― Suzanne Collins

News and Opinion

The Senate just voted to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen

A bipartisan group of senators joined their House colleagues in voting to cut off U.S. military support in Yemen’s civil war, a rebuke of President Donald Trump and a challenge to his authority to deploy U.S. forces without going to Congress.

The legislation, which passed by a vote of 54 to 46, is also viewed by many as a direct reprimand of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for what U.S. intelligence agencies have reported was his role in overseeing the brutal slaughter of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Some opponents argue the Yemen war has nothing to do with Khashoggi, but proponents disagree. “This is a direct response to the Khashoggi killing,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), an original sponsor of the resolution, told reporters in the Capitol. “The Yemen war is Mohammed bin Salman’s baby. It’s his top priority in the region. By ending our participation with this war, we are making a clear statement that we don’t trust this regime anymore.”

The House has already passed a similar measure but the Senate version is a little different, so it has to pass that chamber again before it will be sent to President Trump who has vowed to veto it.

Senate Votes to End U.S. Support for Yemen War, But Republican Tricks Send Resolution Back to the House Yet Again

The Republican-led Senate voted for the second time to end the American role in Yemen’s war on Wednesday – a sign of continuing concern over the impact of the Saudi-led intervention and persistent frustration with the Trump administration’s close relationship with Saudi Arabia. ...

Under House and Senate rules, the resolution has enjoyed “privileged” status, meaning it can bypass a committee vote on its way to the floor. The resolution has been passed in different forms, first by the Senate in the last Congress, and by the House earlier this year. But it continues to be held up largely by Congressional Republicans’ procedural tricks.

Last year, to stop it from passing the House, Republicans quietly slipped language “de-privileging” the resolution into a measure advancing a bill about wolves – and succeeded in stopping it for the time being. And just before it passed the House last month, Congressional Republicans succeeded in attaching language about anti-Semitism – widely seen as a subtle dig at Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. Senate Republicans then used that language as an excuse to de-privilege that version before the Senate.

The version that passed the Senate Wednesday was an attempt to restart the process without tricks. The resolution must now be taken up again by House Democrats.

Trump Admin to World: Your Human Rights Record Doesn't Matter So Long As We Get Ours

President Donald Trump's State Department was remarkably candid in its annual human rights report. "The policy of this administration is to engage with other governments, regardless of their record, if doing so will further U.S. interests," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo writes in the preface to the report. The document, formally called the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2018, was released on Wednesday.

The admission caught the eyes of Amnesty International USA, which called it "astonishing to see this memorialized in black and white in the official human rights report issued by the U.S. government, a report that has long been viewed by world leaders as a weighty credible assessment on the records of countries around the world."

"This statement signals to world leaders including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Egypt's President Sisi that the U.S. doesn't care about human rights and will forgive or forget even the most atrocious human rights abuses," the organization said in a statement.

Tulsi Smashes CNN’s Pro War Horribleness

Colbert Smears Tulsi Gabbard To Her Face While Telling Zero Jokes

Hawaii Congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where instead of the light, jokey banter about politics and who she is as a person that Democratic presidential candidates normally encounter on late night comedy programs, the show’s host solemnly ran down a list of textbook beltway smears against Gabbard and made her defend them in front of his audience. Normally when a Democratic Party-aligned politician appears on such a show, you can expect jokes about how stupid Trump is and how badly they’re going to beat the Republicans, how they’re going to help ordinary Americans, and maybe some friendly back-and-forth about where they grew up or something. Colbert had no time to waste on such things, however, because this was not an interview with a normal Democratic Party-aligned politician: this was a politician who has been loudly and consistently criticizing US foreign policy.

After briefly asking his guest who she is and why she’s running for president, Colbert jumped right into it by immediately bringing up Syria and Assad, the primary line of attack employed against Gabbard by establishment propagandists in American mainstream media. ... How often do you see a guest appear on a network late night talk show and talk about the CIA arming terrorists in Syria and the fact that US military interventionism is completely disastrous? It just doesn’t happen. You can understand, then, why empire propagandist Stephen Colbert spent the rest of the interview informing his TV audience that Tulsi Gabbard is dangerous and poisonous. ...

Trying to make it look to the audience as though Gabbard is in some way loyal to Assad has been a high-priority agenda of the mainstream media ever since she announced her presidential candidacy. We saw it in her recent appearance on The View, where John McCain’s sociopathic daughter called her an “Assad apologist” and demanded that Gabbard call Assad an enemy of the United States. We saw it in her recent CNN town hall, where a consultant who worked on Obama’s 2008 campaign was presented as an ordinary audience member to help CNN’s Dana Bash paint Gabbard’s skepticism of intelligence reports about an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government as something that is weird and suspicious, instead of the only sane position in a post-Iraq invasion world. We saw it in her appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe last month, where the entire panel piled on her in outrage that she wouldn’t call Assad an enemy of the United States. It’s such a common propaganda talking point that the New York Times‘ Bari Weiss famously made a laughingstock of herself by repeating it as self-evident truth on The Joe Rogan Experience without having the faintest clue what specific facts it was meant to refer to, just because she’d heard establishment pundits saying it so much. ...

This interview was easily Colbert’s most blatant establishment rim job I’ve ever seen, surpassing even the time he corrected his own audience when they cheered at James Comey’s firing to explain to them that Comey is a good guy now and they’re meant to like him. Colbert’s show is blatant propaganda for human livestock, and the fact that this is what American “comedy” shows look like now is nauseating.

Armed Services chair plots move 'to kill' Trump's plan for low-yield nuke

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Tuesday he plans to try to block funding for President Trump’s low-yield nuclear weapon program as part of this year’s defense policy bill. “I would like to kill the low-yield nuclear weapon, I don’t think it’s a good idea, and we’re going to try to do that,” Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) said at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference. ...

Smith has opposed Trump’s efforts to build a so-called low yield nuclear warhead since it was first announced as part of the administration’s Nuclear Policy Review last year, but his comments Tuesday were his clearest yet about his plans now that he is chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

The administration started production on the first unit of the warheads, dubbed W76-2s, in January. Trump’s budget blueprint for fiscal 2020, released Monday, “completes development and production of the W76-2 warhead.” ...

Smith has also questioned the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. On Tuesday, he said he was not sure if the best way to reduce the number of U.S. nuclear weapons is the get rid of a leg of the triad or reduce the number of warheads in each leg. The triad refers to the three means of delivering nuclear weapons. Smith said his talk on the nuclear arsenal has “freaked out” some of his congressional colleagues and the Pentagon. That’s because of, he said, “the mere fact that I don’t want to spend as much money as is humanly possible on what they want.”

Regime Change Via Sanctions? U.S. Uses International Finance System to Strangle Venezuelan Economy

Bolsonaro paramilitary ties in spotlight after photo with murder suspect

Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, is facing growing calls to explain his family’s alleged links to the heavily armed and notoriously violent paramilitary gangs that control large swaths of Rio de Janeiro. Questions over possible connections between the Bolsonaros and Rio’s so-called “militias” were swirling even before the former army captain took office in January – so much so that revellers at this year’s carnival penned a song satirising the president’s supposed criminal ties.

But those concerns intensified this week when a photograph emerged in which a grinning Jair Bolsonaro appears with his arm around one of the two men arrested on Tuesday for the 2018 assassination of the Rio councillor Marielle Franco.

Police also confirmed that one of Bolsonaro’s sons had dated the daughter of the other murder suspect, Ronnie Lessa, and that Lessa lived in the same beachside compound where Brazil’s president lived until moving to the capital following his election last year. ...

Bolsonaro has played down the image’s significance, claiming he has taken thousands of such photographs with police officials. “I don’t remember this bloke,” Bolsonaro said on Wednesday when questioned about the alleged hitman who lived across the street. Brazil’s president also tried to justify previous statements of support he has made for such vigilante groups which emerged in the early 2000s and were seen by some as a lesser evil to Rio’s drug gangs. “Back then people applauded [them],” Bolsonaro told Brazilian reporters.

MPs reject no-deal Brexit by majority of 43 in second vote

MPs have inflicted two more defeats on Theresa May, rejecting the idea of Britain leaving the EU without a deal and clearing the way for Brexit to be delayed. After the prime minister’s deal was heavily voted down for a second time on Tuesday, she announced a government motion ruling out a no-deal Brexit on 29 March – overturning her longstanding policy of refusing to rule it out.

May promised MPs a free vote, but the motion was carefully worded, with the final sentence stating that, “leaving without a deal remains the default in UK and EU law unless this house and the EU ratify an agreement”. However, MPs voted by 312 to 308 to support a backbench amendment which struck out that last phrase so as to rule out a no-deal exit altogether.

In chaotic scenes, the government then rescinded its promise of a free vote; and whipped its MPs to vote against the amended motion. Several cabinet ministers who have warned about the risks of a no-deal Brexit, including Philip Hammond and Amber Rudd, appeared to abstain, but the government still lost the vote, by 321 votes to 278 – a majority of 43.

The prime minister responded with a defiant statement, insisting a no-deal Brexit could only be avoided by agreeing a deal, or cancelling Brexit. She said she would bring forward a motion on Thursday on delaying Brexit which would “set out the fundamental choice facing this house”.

If MPs agreed a deal, she said the government would request a “short, technical extension” to article 50. Without an agreed deal, she said there would be a “much longer extension” that would require the UK to take part in European parliament elections, adding: “I do not think that would be the right outcome.”

Where does the power lie in the UK parliament?

MPs vote by majority of 210 to extend article 50 and delay Brexit

MPs have voted to extend Brexit beyond 29 March by backing a government motion forced on Theresa May by the Commons. The motion, which May was forced to agree to if her own Brexit plan was defeated again, as it was on Tuesday, decrees that the government will seek agreement with the EU for an extension to article 50 beyond that date. It was passed by 412 votes to 202.

The motion says that if a Brexit plan is agreed by 20 March then this would be a brief, technical extension until 30 June – if not, it says, it would probably involve a longer period, and the UK taking part in upcoming European elections.

Earlier, MPs narrowly passed up a chance to seize control of the Brexit process through a series of indicative votes in the Commons next week, also resoundingly rejecting the idea of a second referendum in the first time they have been asked to vote on the issue.

On a dramatic third consecutive day of Brexit votes, centred on a government motion on whether the departure deadline should be extended, MPs rejected a cross-party amendment seeking to make the Commons central to the process by 312 votes to 314.

Brex-what? Episode 3: What exactly is the backstop again?

Trudeau scandal: PM's party blocks ex-attorney general from testifying again

Justin Trudeau’s Liberal party has come under fire for preventing the former attorney general from testifying again to parliament, further intensifying a political crisis that has engulfed the Canadian prime minister and his government.

The Liberal-dominated justice committee convened an emergency meeting on Wednesday to determine if they should hear further testimony from Jody Wilson-Raybould over allegations that senior officials tried to interfere with the prosecution of an engineering firm accused of bribery. Conservative and New Democratic members had called on Wilson-Raybould to return to the committee. But less than 30 minutes into the emergency meeting, a Liberal member called for a vote amid shouts of disapproval from opposition members. ...

Opposition members will try once more to recall Wilson-Raybould on 19 March, but that vote is also likely to fail, given Liberal control of the committee.

Facebook under criminal investigation over data sharing with tech firms

Facebook is under criminal investigation by federal prosecutors examining its data-sharing deals with other major technology companies, according to the New York Times.

A New York grand jury has subpoenaed records from “at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices”, the Times reported, citing two unnamed sources. The two companies are among more than 150, including Amazon, Apple and Microsoft, that have entered into partnerships with Facebook for access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users, according to the report. ...

Facebook gave companies including Netflix, Spotify, Microsoft, Sony and Amazon the ability to access user data long after it had stopped sharing data with most third-parties, the Times revealed. At the time, the company strongly disputed that these data partnerships violated users’ privacy or the company’s 2012 settlement with the FTC.

US uses vast license plate database to track undocumented immigrants

More than 80 law enforcement agencies in the US have agreed to share with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) license plate information that supports its arrests and deportation efforts, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which obtained a trove of internal agency records.

The documents acquired by the ACLU show that Ice obtained access to a database with license plate information collected in dozens of counties across the United States – data that helped the agency to track people’s locations in real time. Emails revealed that police have also informally given driver information to immigration officers requesting those details in communications that the ACLU said appeared to violate local laws and Ice’s own privacy rules.

The files, which the ACLU obtained through a records request, have raised fresh concerns about Ice’s monitoring of immigrants and the way local police aid the Trump administration’s deportation agenda.

“It’s a huge invasion of privacy,” Vasudha Talla, an ACLU staff attorney, told the Guardian. “Location surveillance and location data can really paint such an intimate portrait of someone’s life, down to what they do minute by minute.”

Keiser Report: Negative Rates Are Coming

“There Are Innocent People on Death Row” — Citing Wrongful Convictions, California Governor Halts Executions

In a historic executive order signed Wednesday morning, California Gov. Gavin Newsom imposed a moratorium on executions and ordered the death chamber at San Quentin Prison — unused following a $853,000 renovation a decade ago — closed. “We are, as I speak — as I speak — shutting down, removing the equipment in the death chamber at San Quentin,” Newsom said at a press conference at the state capitol in Sacramento.

In remarks that emphasized racial disparities and the risk of executing innocent people, Newsom described his decision as the culmination of “a 40-year journey” that began when he was just a child. His grandfather introduced him to Pete Pianezzi, who came close to receiving the death penalty in 1940 after being set up by the mob. Pianezzi was eventually pardoned in 1981, at the age of 79. But wrongful convictions remain a profound danger. “You had someone just last year that was released from death row after serving 26 years in San Quentin,” he said, referring to the case of Vicente Benavides, exonerated in April 2018.

Newsom’s order leaves intact the sentences of all 737 condemned people in the state, the largest death row in the country. It also does nothing to stop prosecutors from seeking new death sentences, something California district attorneys have proven eager to do. In this sense, Newsom’s announcement merely formalizes the status quo in a state whose death penalty system has come to be defined by disarray — and where no executions have been carried out in more than 13 years.

Nevertheless, the governor’s language against the death penalty was passionate and unambiguous, suggesting that he could take more decisive action in the future. He explained that he felt no choice but to act now upon being confronted with the question of whether he would continue the efforts of the previous administration to adopt a viable lethal injection protocol. “I would be lying if I said I could support that,” he said. In addition, he said, there are 25 people on death row who have exhausted their appeals, raising the possibility that he would have to oversee their executions, something he would be unwilling to do.

Newsom’s move comes just a few years after California actually voted to hasten executions in the state.

the horse race

Another pretty-faced pol with a gift for platitudes and a nebulous platform throws hat into ring...

Beto O'Rourke confirms he's running for president

The Democratic rising star Beto O’Rourke is jumping into the race for president, he told a Texas TV station in a text message Wednesday.

The Democrat, who has publicly mulled a run for months, confirmed his plans in a text to KTSM of El Paso, where he served as a US representative. ...

He plans to formally announce his campaign for the presidential nomination Thursday, according to KTSM.

What does Beto actually believe? It’s tough to say

Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman who came within three percentage points of beating Sen. Ted Cruz in a dramatically publicized midterm Senate race, is running for president. In announcing his candidacy, O’Rourke said he is going to run a “positive” campaign. “I just don’t get turned on by being against,” he told Vanity Fair in a profile that amounted to a campaign announcement. “I really get excited to be for. That’s what moves me.”

But what exactly is Beto O’Rourke for?

It’s a question that is not easy to answer from a three-term Democratic legislator, who ran a 2018 Senate campaign as ubiquitous as it was vague on the details. ... O’Rourke is known for his good looks, charisma, and record-breaking fundraising numbers, but it’s difficult to say where he stands on some of the key issues that matter to Democratic primary voters. “I don’t know. I’m just, as you may have seen and heard over the course of the campaign, I’m not big on labels,” O’Rourke said in December when asked if he identified as a progressive. “I don’t get all fired up about party or classifying or defining people based on a label or a group. I’m for everyone.” ...

O’Rourke has one of the more conservative voting records of any recent Democratic member of the House. He voted in line with Trump 30 percent of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight, compared to 17 percent for the average Democrat. In all three terms he served in Congress, O’Rourke was more conservative than at least 76 percent of House Democrats.

Despite positioning himself as a progressive when it comes to immigration and climate change, O’Rourke has supported GOP bills that bolstered the fossil-fuel industry and watered down hiring requirements for border patrol agents. He also broke his 2018 campaign promise to not accept oil and gas money, and he voted to table articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump. He also voted to make it easier to seek the death penalty against people who attempt murder on first responders.

O’Rourke never joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus during his three terms in Congress and instead was a member of the New Democratic Caucus, which is far more aligned with centrist Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Impeaching Trump: Pelosi Says It’s “Not Worth It,” But Progressive Democrats Push Ahead

Julián Castro: the US should launch a Marshall plan in Central America

The US should launch a 21st-century Marshall plan in Central America to help stricken countries combat gangs and poverty to stem the flow of undocumented immigrants to America’s southern border, the Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro has proposed.

Castro, a former mayor of the Texas city of San Antonio and cabinet member under Barack Obama, is calling for the US to emulate Harry Truman’s 1948 aid program that helped western Europe recover from the ravages of the second world war. In a modern echo, the US would inject resources and knowhow into the struggling societies of Central America as a humane alternative to Donald Trump’s proposed wall.

In an interview with the Guardian, Castro said that his proposal for a new Marshall plan would stand in contrast to the cruelty of Trump’s immigration crackdown. “Extending a hand of friendship, of opportunity to countries in our hemisphere – this approach is much more in keeping with our values,” he said. “This is a mutually beneficial way to engage Central Americans, not a slap in the face like the wall.”

Speaking to the Guardian in Austin, Texas, Castro said that his investment program would be focused on the so-called northern triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras that have provided the bulk of undocumented immigrants seeking to enter the US illegally in recent years. But he added there would also be attention given to Mexico and other emerging economies such as Brazil. ... Castro has yet to put flesh on the bones of his Marshall plan, which he said will be developed over the course of this year with the aim to produce a detailed blueprint before the first Democratic poll – the Iowa caucuses on 3 February 2020. Among the elements still to be worked out is the cost, though he said investment would be “bigger than we’ve ever done”.

the evening greens

US official reveals Atlantic drilling plan while hailing Trump’s ability to distract public

A top US official told a group of fossil fuel industry leaders that the Trump administration will soon issue a proposal making large portions of the Atlantic available for oil and gas development, and said that it is easier to work on such priorities because Donald Trump is skilled at sowing “absolutely thrilling” distractions, according to records of a meeting obtained by the Guardian.

Joe Balash, the assistant secretary for land and minerals management, was speaking to companies in the oil exploration business at a meeting of the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, or IAGC, last month.

“One of the things that I have found absolutely thrilling in working for this administration,” said Balash, “is the president has a knack for keeping the attention of the media and the public focused somewhere else while we do all the work that needs to be done on behalf of the American people.”

In its drive to boost domestic fossil fuel production, the Trump administration has spearheaded an effort in recent years to open undeveloped federal waters to oil and gas drilling, despite fierce opposition from coastal residents, politicians and environmental groups. In 2018 it issued a draft of its plan, and in the coming weeks, the interior department is planning to officially propose a five-year program for oil and gas leasing in federally controlled coastal waters, up to 200 nautical miles and more from the shoreline.

Already the Trump administration is moving to permit a handful of private companies to start using seismic surveys in the Atlantic, a controversial practice in which air guns shoot loud blasts into ocean waters to identify oil deposits. Some scientific studies suggest that seismic surveys can harm or potentially kill marine creatures, including dolphins, whales, fish and zooplankton. The seismic surveys could commence as early as this year, in coastal waters anywhere from Cape May, New Jersey, to Cape Canaveral, Florida, but first they require final approval from the interior department.

Sharp rise in Arctic temperatures now inevitable – UN

Sharp and potentially devastating temperature rises of 3C to 5C in the Arctic are now inevitable even if the world succeeds in cutting greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris agreement, research has found. Winter temperatures at the north pole are likely to rise by at least 3C above pre-industrial levels by mid-century, and there could be further rises to between 5C and 9C above the recent average for the region, according to the UN.

Such changes would result in rapidly melting ice and permafrost, leading to sea level rises and potentially to even more destructive levels of warming. Scientists fear Arctic heating could trigger a climate “tipping point” as melting permafrost releases the powerful greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere, which in turn could create a runaway warming effect.

“What happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic,” said Joyce Msuya, the acting executive director of UN Environment. “We have the science. Now more urgent climate action is needed to steer away from tipping points that could be even worse for our planet than we first thought.” The findings, presented at the UN Environment assembly in Nairobi on Wednesday, give a stark picture of one of the planet’s most sensitive regions and one that is key to the fate of the world’s climate. ...

If melting permafrost triggers a tipping point, the likely results would be global temperature rises well in excess of the 2C set as the limit of safety under the Paris agreement. Nearly half of Arctic permafrost could be lost even if global carbon emissions are held within the Paris agreement limits, according to the UN study. Even if all carbon emissions were to be halted immediately, the Arctic region would still warm by more than 5C by the century’s end, compared with the baseline average from 1986 to 2005, according to the study from UN Environment.

With 'Ecological Foundations of Society' at Risk, Warns UN, Hope Resides in Urgent Global Action

A comprehensive United Nations report released on Wednesday found that while global human health is under dire threat from the climate crisis and industrial pollution, there is still a window for bold and urgent action if world leaders would but seize it.

The United Nations Environment Programme's Sixth Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6), described as the most rigorous climate assessment released by the international body in the last five years, warned that continued inaction from policy-makers could result in millions of premature deaths from air pollution and other factors throughout Asia, the Middle East, and Africa by mid-century.

The report also highlighted rapidly increasing rates of species extinction. "At present," the authors note, "42 percent of terrestrial invertebrates, 34 percent of freshwater invertebrates, and 25 percent of marine invertebrates are considered at risk of extinction."

Without "urgent action at an unprecedented scale," the report said, the "ecological foundations of society" are at risk of collapse.

Joyeeta Gupta and Paul Ekins, co-chairs of the GEO-6 process, said in a statement that all the technology, policy ideas, and money needed to bring about ambitious global changes already exist. "What is currently lacking is the political will to implement policies and technologies at a sufficient speed and scale," they said.

After Last Version Blocked, Iowa's New Ag-Gag Bill 'Gives Middle Finger to Free Speech, Consumer Protection, Food Safety, and Animal Welfare'

Iowa's GOP-controlled legislature on Tuesday rushed through a new legally questionable bill that critics say "aims to criminalize whistleblowing on factory farms and other agricultural facilities"—just two months after a federal court struck down a similar 2012 law as unconstitutional. "Without undercover investigations, there are no effective watchdogs protecting animals from egregious cruelty," Mercy For Animals president Leah Garcés told Common Dreams. "Consumers have a right to know how their food is produced and how animals at factory farms are mistreated."

The legislation would create a new crime called "agricultural production facility trespass," enabling state law enforcement to charge someone with a misdemeanor if they use "deception" to gain access to a facility "with the intent to cause physical or economic harm or other injury to the agricultural production facility's operations, agricultural animals, crop, owner, personnel, equipment, building, premises, business interest, or customer."

While a spokesperson for Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds confirmed to the Des Moines Register that she intends to sign the measure into law, legal advocacy groups are already gearing up to challenge it in court. As the newspaper reported:

Daniel Zeno, policy director for the ACLU of Iowa, said the latest measure, like the last one, will not meet constitutional muster. He said Iowa law already prohibits illegal trespassing on private property including agriculture facilities. He also said people are already prohibited from causing physical harm to buildings and livestock. Zeno also pointed out that there are existing regulations on biosecurity measures.

"They're going after speech," he said of lawmakers who support the legislation.

The push to send the new bill to the governor came after Senior Judge James Gritzner of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa ruled in January that the state's lawyers had failed to prove that the initial ag-gag law's prohibitions on speech "are actually necessary to protect perceived harms to property and biosecurity."

The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), which led the coalition challenging the previous law's constitutionality, noted in a blog post last week, "Iowa has appealed the district court's decision—though given the ample precedent finding ag-gag laws to be unconstitutional, their odds of success seem slim." An ALDF spokesperson told The Associated Press the group is prepared to file another lawsuit targeting the new bill.

Also of Interest

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

‘What Is Terrorism?’ NYT Asks—but Offers No Answers

VIPS: Mueller’s Forensics-Free Findings

It’s the Green New Deal or Else

Beto O’Rourke Is Running for President and It All Started With Weed

Fracking 2.0 Was a Financial Disaster, Will Fracking 3.0 Be Different?

The Climate Solution Right Under Our Feet

New Hampshire Town Passes Game-Changing Climate Ordinance

A Little Night Music

Percy Mayfield - Jack You Ain't Nowhere

Percy Mayfield - Stranger In My Own Home Town

Percy Mayfield - River's Invitation

Percy Mayfield - I Reached For A Tear

Percy Mayfield - P. M. Blues

Percy Mayfield - Long As You're Mine

Percy Mayfield - The Hunt Is On

Percy Mayfield - My Love

Percy Mayfield - Louisiana

Percy Mayfield - Freeway

Percy Mayfield - Walking on a Tightrope

14 users have voted.


Don't have much to post today, except that America has jumped the shark, which I have posted before.

I do have an earworm, though. Can't imagine why.

7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


eve nin, was she anais' sister? Smile

heh, your earworm gave me two...

5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack

5 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

my earworms apparently respond more to names than places. Smile

3 users have voted.
JekyllnHyde's picture

Markos decided to cast his ballot in this poll. He was confronted by a poll taker outside the polling precinct. Bernie is leading 64% to 14%. lol

After another rout for Bernie Sanders, Markos was last seen shouting, "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!" The man is losing control over his kingdom.

13 users have voted.

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

Wally's picture

@JekyllnHyde @JekyllnHyde

It's a good thing that Markos fixed the glitches that he claimed allowed Berners to vote twice.


12 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture



I'm beyond surprised that Beta has more votes than Warren. Good lord, don't they look at people's histories over there anymore? As I said in the Beta essay Obama derided Beta for his voting with republicans more than even Manchin. Or they were closely tied.

DoV writes about how bad blacks have been treated here and yet she thinks Kambama is the best choice for president. I just don't get them anymore. How can people change so much in such a short time?

And how can they not see that with so many people running that it's about the DNC making sure that no one wins the first round and then the super delegates come into play. Maybe it's because they don't accept that the primary was rigged and that DWS admitted to it and that they put new rules in place just so it can be rigged again! Every person I've talked to about this is thinking that the plan this time is for the DNC not to have a clear winner and that way they can just catapult Herheinous in and it's Trump Hillary part two and Trump gets 4 more years.

11 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


i wonder how long it will take kos to close the poll to voters that are not registered kossacks. Smile

sanders is up to 82% right now.

9 users have voted.

Soooooooo Americans mostly believe that Donald Trump is a crook committing crimes in office and before, but for Nancy Pelosi, impeachment is not worth it? WTF. She should be doing everything to try to dislodge his ass from the presidency. Is her big strategy to gamble on the election, to get cover from voters to do the job of getting rid of Trump? The 2020 election is not a sure thing for Democrats by far (at least at this point) in my opinion.

10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Le Frog

it just looks like nancy is continuing in the long tradition of democrats that don't want to rock the boat of the status quo, pretending to be "the responsible party."

one can only assume that democrats neither care about the law nor about the demands of their base for process. or perhaps, there is just an agreement between the parties not to prosecute each others crimes.

10 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack

there is just an agreement between the parties not to prosecute each others crimes.

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 --

mimi's picture

that I have some gold fillings in my mouth, which my uncle put in there when I was fourteen. It seems to have been a smart move by my parents to let my uncle fill all those cavities with gold. It's always a good idea to have a dentist in your family.

The only disadvantage is when I open my mouth today at a dentist's practice, they get all exited and wants to bill me five times as much as I should pay, because they all want to match my uncles work and put some more gold in my mouth.

What do you think, should I do that? Just to have a little retirement money carrying around safely? I think I will tell my son to ask for all my teeth when I die and dig them up for his old age retirement funds.

And all my silver I digged into my yard at an undisclosed location will be worth much than all my money in the bank accounts, those bankers want to steal from me.

The Keiser Report is always a treat, just that I have to listen three times to to get half of it. That's still better than getting all of the bs that the bankers throw at us.

Did you smell the gold standard in the air? That air doesn't stink, does it?

The real gold deal is the one to have it in your heart. Look who is digging for it in his pockets ... dig that.

Good night. So long and thanks for all the fish.
Thank you, friends of the EB.

PS would appreciate some comments on the Keiser Report today to explain to me what he meant.

9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


well, then. here's some of my thoughts.

gold is a very useful metal. it is a good for filling teeth, it is an excellent conductor of electricity, it does not react with oxygen (rust/tarnish) and some people find it quite pretty all by itself.

there are folks that swear by it as a store of value (sometimes called goldbugs)

there was a time when gold was the primary standard of value for money. this was less than useful for a number of reasons, probably first among them that growth of the economy was linked to the amount of gold that was discovered, mined and processed. then, some devious goldsmiths found that they could get people to accept certificates for gold that they held in a secure reserve - and further that they could get away with providing certificates for more gold than they actually had, because people generally didn't demand to cash it in all at once. so, this insight eventually led to fractional reserve banking.

what i think is that the value of gold as we understand it today is a relative value. an ounce of gold is something that today has a value around 1300 u.s. dollars (give or take a little). in a few months it might be different. possibly radically different (assuming that you are the sort of person who would take umbrage at losing, say 50 or 100 dollars in value over a few months or who would feel delighted at gaining that amount.)

the reason for the relative value is about mass hypnosis.

gold, it can be said has some intrinsic value. the dollar is a piece of durable paper with some nice printing on it - with virtually no intrinsic value.

there is no particularly good reason why a lump of gold should be worth a thousand hamburgers.

it's about mass hypnosis.

ok, so on to max keiser.

max is aware that the global economy as we know it is a scam. it is controlled by central banks (a prime mover in the hypnosis business) and they are allowed to create money out of thin air - in a similar way to how the devious goldsmiths created gold certificates out of thin air.

not only are they allowed to create money out of thin air - they are allowed to charge people and governments for the use of their imaginary money.

max keiser believes that the banks are creating money at a rate that is out of proportion to the actual value of the economy. apparently, a lot of other people do because they feel that they will pay more hypnotic dollars for lumps of hypnotic gold than they would some time ago. n.b. - the relevant part of the chart is from 1968-present when the price of gold was allowed to float on the market.

i don't want to get into bitcoin because i only have a very basic understanding of how it works.

anyway, that's some of what i think about it.

10 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@joe shikspack
lord have mercy, thank you so much for all the work you put into your reply. I feel like hypnotized now. Wink

I have to think a lot about what you said. I always thought that hynothis should be outlawed and not allowed to be used by medical doctors also called witch doctors in some regions of the world (pretty accurate label used by the indiginous peoples) and I should study methods to wake people up out of hypnothis and get de-brainwashed. Some people don't survive the procedure of being de-hypnothized. I don't want to be one of them.

I think this subject is worth an essay in itself written by you and discussed with those C99p friends, who are hypnothized, openly. What do you think about writing one?

Thank you again for this comment and response. It is just mind-boggling what can be learned here on C99p.

Kudos !!!

5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

that could've been condensed to very little. "Beto=New Dem = William Jefferson Ronald Reagan Clinton=Conservadem with charm." Actually, everything after "Clinton" is unnecessary and even naming Clinton borders on redundant.

And ... who the hell is Julian Castro and how did he even sneak into Obama's cabinet and why the hell doesn't he have Beto's job?

Yeah, we did it, the war in Yemen is over, oh wait, do I smell a conference committee and a regular order conference bill yet to come before the veto? Oh drat!

If Hillary == Reagan in a Pantsuit, then Beto == Hillary in exactly what?

12 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, i think of beto as an attempt at creating another obama.

i don't know much about castro, it will be interesting to see what happens when he turns some of his rhetoric into proposals on paper.

well, the war in yemen would be over if congress could actually override a presidential veto. but it is excellent posturing and perhaps, in a way, even getting such a resolution this far may seem a victory. too bad about all those dead yemenis.

If Hillary == Reagan in a Pantsuit, then Beto == Hillary in exactly what?

an obama mask?

6 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack

an obama mask

4 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 --

dystopian's picture

What a great voice Percy Mayfield had. Good stuff JS! Freeway had neat pix in the vid.

At least the Senate got 54 to 46... now comes the veto.

Tulsi rocks. She handles herself so well under fire. Like Ilhan and Alexandria, I am thrilled to see it. I can't believe when Colbert said re the power vacuum if we do not play the world's police: but what about Russia China? He might as well flourished with a Boo! Holy shit Stephen. Did Kissenger give him that? What a MIC propagandist shill.

Good to see some with a still working minds in the military understand low-yield does not equate to low damage in nuclear. An idiotic idea to start with. Er, nukular.

Trudeau sold out to the tar sands people... too bad. I had hopes for him. His mom hung with the Stones. The cool didn't rub off.

Great to see someone looking at private data selling at Fbook.

If you thought Texas had sent its worst politicians to Washington, they have lots more where those came from... Now they want to send Bait-o. Launches out of the gate baiting wtih Bernie progressive buzzwords he never in his life has used, and certainly did not
during the prior year campaigning in Texas. The one where he lost to the blobfish Ted oozin' Cruz.

have a goodun'

9 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


great voice, incredible songwriter. music doesn't get much better.

Tulsi rocks. She handles herself so well under fire.

it's a good thing, too. 'cause that's pretty much all she's going to get from the msm. they are doing their part to defeat her quickly for the warmongering 1%.

If you thought Texas had sent its worst politicians to Washington, they have lots more where those came from...

heh, everytime i think that texas has scraped the bottom of the barrel... up from the primordial ooze comes yet another horrible creature.

molly ivins and the austin music scene are not compensation enough.

7 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

to say 'hi,' and thanks for tonight's EB.

I'm plumb tuckered out, so will just leave you Guys with a couple of Tweets. For sure, I have no use for Beto, but, he does have a cool dog. (Quite a spread in Vanity Fair. Wonder how he rated it? Hmmmmmmmm . . .)

Here's a closeup shot of his handsome furbaby,

When I see a piece like this, I wonder if the pol really thinks that the article--even one sprinkled with appealing dog photos--will garner him an appreciable number of votes. If he's right, and it does--well, that's just scary. Wacko

Last week Mr M saw, and spoke to a couple with an adult Golden. He judged the man to be as tall as my Father was (6' 7"). I think he said that the dog was 75 or 80 lbs, according to the woman. Anyhoo, Mr M was blown away more by the length and height of the fella, than size/weight. (Don't remember if it was male or female.) He said the dog reared up, and put his/her paws on the man's shoulders--that's pretty high, if he's right about the Dude's height. Whew!

Temps have greatly moderated. I'm not certain, but, think the rain leaves the area by someone tomorrow. Hope so. It's been so nice to have several 'dry' days, after so much rain and flooding.

Everyone have a nice evening!

[Edited: Reposted Tweet with the dog, Artemis.]


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.

The obstacle is the path.
~~Zen Proverb

7 users have voted.

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