The Evening Blues - 3-17-16



eb1pt12

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Chicago harmonica player Billy Boy Arnold. Enjoy!

Billy Boy Arnold - I Wish You Would

"Fairness is what justice really is."

-- Potter Stewart


News and Opinion

This Landmark Merrick Garland Ruling May Make Liberals Cringe

Although Garland has been floated as a possible Supreme Court nominee before in 2010 (when then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan was, ultimately, nominated), relatively little is known about Garland's views on hot-button social issues, like abortion rights and gay marriage. However, Garland has had to rule on his fair share of controversial topics, and perhaps, Garland's most famous ruling was on Guantanamo Bay detainees.

While serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Garland often ruled in support of George W. Bush's Guantanamo Bay detainee policies and "showed great deference to President George W. Bush's indefinite detentions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba," the Washington Post noted in 2010. ...

Garland's most famous decision, though, in regards to Guantanamo Bay policies may be the 2003 ruling in Al Odah v. United States. In that case, Garland joined the majority opinion that Guantanamo Bay detainees were not entitled to habeas corpus, which effectively blocked them "from seeking relief in civilian courts," as Ian Millhiser at ThinkProgress noted.

[For a detailed analysis of Garland from 2010, check out this SCOTUSblog post. - js]

Merrick Garland: Where Does Supreme Court Pick Stand on Guantánamo, Death Penalty, Abortion?

More Than 12 Punished for Mistaken MSF Afghan Hospital Attack

Pentagon Bombshell: 'Avoidable Human Error' Caused Deadly Airstrike on Afghan Hospital

More than a dozen U.S. military personnel have been disciplined — but face no criminal charges — for mistakes that led to the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital that killed 42 people in Afghanistan last year, U.S. defense officials say.

The punishments, which have not been publicly announced, are largely administrative. But in some cases the actions, such as letters of reprimand, are tough enough to effectively end chances for further promotion. The military has previously said some personnel were suspended from their duties but has given no further details.

The disciplined include both officers and enlisted personnel, but officials said none are generals. ...

The hospital, run by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders in the northern city of Kunduz, was attacked by a U.S. Air Force special operations AC-130 gunship, one of the most lethal in the U.S. arsenal. Doctors Without Borders called the attack "relentless and brutal" and demanded an international investigation, but none has been undertaken.

Dictator wannabe graduates to full-fledged Dictator. Will any nation stand up to this bloodthirsty, racist, Manichean moron?

Erdogan claims fighting terrorism outweighs democracy in Turkey

"Democracy, freedom and the rule of law," have "absolutely no value any longer," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told local leaders in Ankara on Wednesday.

"Those who stand on our side in the fight against terrorism are our friend. Those on the opposite side, are our enemy," he said in the televised comments, according to DPA news agency.

[Holy crap! This jerk sounds just like Dubya! - js]

Turkey will employ "an iron fist against terrorism" and "fight Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants," Erdogan told a televised gathering of local district leaders in Ankara Wednesday.

The president also made critical remarks about the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), which has 80 seats in parliament. ...

Turkey is also working on widening the definition of a "terror crime" to cover those who use the media "to support or praise acts of violence," a senior official from the AKP said Wednesday. Erdogan said Monday that the country's anti-terrorism laws should be widened further.

The Kurdistan Freedom Hawks Claim They Bombed Ankara in Revenge for Turkey's Military Operations

The militant group Kurdistan Freedom Hawks (TAK) claimed responsibility on Thursday for a suicide bombing in the Turkish capital Ankara that killed 37 people at the weekend, and said it would attack security forces again. ...

In a statement posted online, the group described the latest car bombing on Sunday, at a crowded public transport hub, as revenge for security operations in the mainly Kurdish southeast that have been under way since July, in which hundreds of civilians, security forces, and militants have been killed.

TAK said it had not intended to kill civilians and was targeting security forces. It said a large number of civilians had been killed after police intervened, without explaining exactly how, and warned that further civilian deaths were "inevitable."

The group says it split off from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) — which was previously blamed by the government for the bombing — although experts who follow Kurdish militants say the groups retain ties. At least 40,000 people have been killed since the PKK began its fight for Kurdish autonomy in the southeast three decades ago and the Turkish government responded militarily.

Turkey tensions: Germany closes embassy, school after threats

Kurds to Declare Autonomous Region in Northern Syria

Officials with the Syrian Kurdish forces say they intend to declare a “democratic federal system” immediately in the territory they control across northern Syria, formalizing their de facto autonomy over a broad swathe of the Syrian side of the border with Turkey. The official announcement is scheduled for Thursday.

That likely won’t sit well with the major rebel factions in the ongoing Syrian Civil War, which have angrily rejected the notion of federalism in recent comments, envisioning a powerful, heavily-centralized state with themselves at the helm after the war.

Turkey, which attacks YPG forces intermittently, is also furious at the announcement, with their foreign ministry insisting they would never recognize Kurdish autonomy in the region.

Putin: Russia could redeploy forces in Syria within hours if needed

Russia could redeploy its forces in Syria “in a few hours”, Vladimir Putin has said, three days after his surprise announcement that the country’s military involvement in Syria’s civil war would be wound down.

“Of course, if required Russia will be ready in just a few hours to increase its forces in the region to a size that is adequate to meet the situation and use our full arsenal of options,” the Russian president said at a ceremony in the Kremlin to honour pilots who served in the five-and-a-half month mission.

“We don’t want to do that, military escalation is not our preferred route, and so we are hoping that all sides will show common sense and that both the authorities and the opposition will adhere to the peace process.”

Putin said on Monday that, despite the announced pullout, Moscow would keep active the airbase near the Syrian city of Latakia, from which it has run its bombing raids. He added on Thursday that the advanced S-400 missile defence system would be kept in Syria.

The Fuzzy Scope of the Forever War Needs Definition

As Charlie Savage points out in The New York Times [...] last week’s US airstrike in Somalia that killed 150 suspected al-Shabaab fighters highlights some serious questions raised by leaving the scope of this ongoing 15-year war so unclear. ...

A Pentagon spokesman told Savage that although the government has not deemed al-Shabaab to be an “associated force” in the war against al-Qaeda, the strike was nevertheless “authorized by the 2001 A.U.M.F.” — as were three previous strikes in Somalia last year. The strikes were covered, the Pentagon claims, because the United States has ground troops in Somalia advising Amisom — the African Union’s peacekeeping force there — and those troops faced a “continuing and imminent” threat from al-Shabaab fighters. The US sent those advisors both to help stabilize Somalia against al-Shabaab generally, and to help fight those within al-Shabaab who are believed to be affiliated with al-Qaeda. That al-Qaeda connection, even if secondary, brings it all under the AUMF’s authority, or so the administration’s theory goes.

As Chesney told Savage, the airstrike in Somalia also raises a larger question of whether there are any meaningful limits in the Pentagon’s model for the use of force anywhere the US has stationed troops in any sort of role. ...

President Obama needs to carefully consider the consequences of handing over the Oval Office without clarifying how the United States defines the scope of its armed conflicts.

Evidence Mounts That U.S. Airstrike on ISIS in Libya Killed Serbian Diplomats

Despite Pentagon evasions, evidence is mounting that a U.S. airstrike against an ISIS training camp in Libya last month killed two Serbian diplomats who were being held at the site. ...

On February 19, the Pentagon announced it had conducted an airstrike on an ISIS training camp in a farmhouse near Sabratha. The principal target of the attack was Noureddine Chouchane, a Tunisian national described as a “senior facilitator” for ISIS in Libya and a prime suspect in two deadly attacks in Tunisia last year. The strike, which involved fighter jets and drones, was authorized by President Obama. At the time, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook characterized the attack as “very successful” and made no mention of any civilian casualties.

The day after the attack, Belgrade announced that Stankovic and Stepic had died in the bombing. ... The Pentagon immediately expressed doubt about his account. ... Belgrade backed up its account a few days later with the results of autopsies conducted in Serbia that concluded the types of injuries sustained by the two diplomats were consistent with a bombing. But the Pentagon continued to dispute the Serbian accounts. ...

The deaths of the Serbian hostages and the apparent shortfalls in U.S. military intelligence are similar to a CIA drone strike in Pakistan last year that killed two kidnapped foreign aid workers. Both cases involve the U.S. surveilling and bombing a target without apparently realizing Western hostages were being held at the site.

John Kerry: Isis is committing genocide in Syria and Iraq

John Kerry on Thursday declared that acts committed by Islamic State against Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria are genocide.

The US secretary of state did not say how such a declaration would affect US involvement in areas controlled by Isis.

“My purpose in appearing before you today is to assert that in my judgment, Daesh is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control including Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims,” Kerry said, using an Arabic acronym for the extremist group. “Daesh is genocidal by self-proclamation, by ideology and by actions, in what it says, in what believes and in what it does.” ...

Last month, the European parliament unanimously backed a resolution to label the atrocities as genocide. Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, and Republican candidate for president Ted Cruz have also said they consider the acts genocide.

Barack Obama has hesitated to make such a declaration, though he has spoken about the “brutal atrocities” committed against Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities.

The UN’s 1948 genocide convention compels nations that recognize genocide to prevent and punish those responsible. Intervention is not mandatory, rather it is how the declaration has been interpreted in the decades since it was enacted.

Speaking of genocide...

US senator to Saudis: Stop bombing civilians in Yemen

Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, asks why the US has stood by while the Saudi-led coalition of Arab air forces has pounded Yemen daily since March 26, 2015.

“It's hard for me to figure out what the US national security interests are inside the civil war in Yemen,” says Senator Murphy.

Fighting in Yemen involves local militias, separatist groups, a Saudi-backed political elite and a well-organized rebel force, known as the Houthis, which seized control of the country in early 2015. While the politics of the Yemen war are murky, the toll on Yemeni civilians is clear. ...

“It appears that our support for the Saudi-led bombing campaign is killing a lot of civilians,” says the senator. “It is leading to a humanitarian disaster, and strengthening the very groups that we say are our priority to defeat in the region.”

Murphy is one of very few politicians in Washington calling on the US to hold the Saudis to higher standards. “I mean, right now I'm, I think, the loudest voice here. There are a handful of members of the House who've raised similar objections and I've been talking to my colleagues both on the Republican and Democratic side as well.”

This is an excellent article by financial writer Ellen Brown who describes a plausible reason why France and the United States decided to murder Kaddaffi and destroy Libya - it was a threat to the economic stability of the banking system. There's too much here to fairly abstract, but here's a snippet to get you started:

Exposing the Libyan Agenda: a Closer Look at Hillary’s Emails

Before 2011, Libya had achieved economic independence, with its own water, its own food, its own oil, its own money, and its own state-owned bank. It had arisen under Qaddafi from one of the poorest of countries to the richest in Africa. Education and medical treatment were free; having a home was considered a human right; and Libyans participated in an original system of local democracy. The country boasted the world’s largest irrigation system, the Great Man-made River project, which brought water from the desert to the cities and coastal areas; and Qaddafi was embarking on a program to spread this model throughout Africa.

But that was before US-NATO forces bombed the irrigation system and wreaked havoc on the country. ... Qaddafi had done more than organize an African monetary coup. He had demonstrated that financial independence could be achieved. His greatest infrastructure project, the Great Man-made River, was turning arid regions into a breadbasket for Libya; and the $33 billion project was being funded interest-free without foreign debt, through Libya’s own state-owned bank.

That could explain why this critical piece of infrastructure was destroyed in 2011. NATO not only bombed the pipeline but finished off the project by bombing the factory producing the pipes necessary to repair it. Crippling a civilian irrigation system serving up to 70% of the population hardly looks like humanitarian intervention. Rather, as Canadian Professor Maximilian Forte put it in his heavily researched book Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa:

[T]he goal of US military intervention was to disrupt an emerging pattern of independence and a network of collaboration within Africa that would facilitate increased African self-reliance. This is at odds with the geostrategic and political economic ambitions of extra-continental European powers, namely the US.

New Bill Would Turn GOP’s Xenophobic Rhetoric About Refugees Into Law

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would reduce the already small number of refugees allowed into the United States, and effectively codify the bigotry of Donald Trump and other GOP candidates.

The Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act (H.R. 4731) proposed by Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, and Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.,  would impose new caps on refugee resettlement limits, discriminate on religious grounds, redefine the word “refugee,” and give local and state governments broad powers to refuse resettlement.

In ordinary circumstances, the question of how many refugees America accepts is made at the executive level. President Obama has set a target for accepting 100,000 refugees into the United States in fiscal year 2017. This bill however would effectively take the decision out of his hands by imposing a hard limit of 60,000 refugees in 2017, even as the world is dealing with the biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

US Marshals spent $10m on equipment for warrantless Stingray surveillance

Documents obtained by the ACLU show federal law enforcement agency bought hardware for airborne surveillance of Americans’ cellphones

The US Marshals Service spent more than $10m on secret, possibly airborne equipment and software for warrantless surveillance of Americans’ cellphones, documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have revealed.

The documents are heavily redacted, but they show that the Marshals Service purchased more than $10m in hardware and software from Harris Corporation, the manufacturer of the cellphone snooping device known as a Stingray, between 2009 and 2014. ...

Documents released earlier in March by the Electronic Frontier Foundation following a similar freedom of information request revealed that the FBI has also been mounting the devices in aircraft, with no overarching policy or guidelines to their use by agents.

It is unclear, according to Nate Wessler, a staff attorney at the ACLU, how much of the $10m in Harris Corporation equipment the agency purchase is being aircraft mounted. ... For Wessler, the privacy implications for bystanders of airborne Stingray use is “by definition greater, because when you’re flying around with one of these devices it can cover a pretty wide geographic area.”

How the FBI's assault on security provoked a backlash

The FBI’s underhand attempt to get a judge to order Apple to make iPhones less secure is largely backfiring. The Obama administration is now taking heat from all sides in the debate over whether they can force Apple to open a backdoor in its encryption – despite there being no law that requires it. ...

What really is at stake is the future of internet security, and whether the government can force tech companies to become arms of the state.

The outpouring of legal support that Apple received in the San Bernardino case is almost unprecedented, with over 40 separate “friend of the court” briefs filed by a variety of actors, including the major tech companies, law professors, civil liberties groups, Black Lives Matter activists, iPhone security experts and even the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression.

Congress, which normally showers FBI director Jim Comey with praise, greeted him with an unexpected bipartisan grilling when he appeared before the House judiciary committee to discuss the issue earlier this month.

But it’s not just Congress that’s pushing back against the idea that the government should get backdoor access to consumer devices: a New York court has already strongly ruled against the justice department’s argument in a similar case. As the New York Times reported on Monday: “Many in the [Obama] administration have begun to suspect that the FBI and the Justice Department may have made a major strategic error by pushing the case into the public consciousness.”

Former White House Official Says NSA Could Have Cracked Apple-FBI iPhone Already

Former White House official and counterterrorism expert Richard Clarke said Monday in an interview on NPR's Morning Edition that he believes that if the FBI asked, the National Security Agency “would have solved this problem” of opening the encrypted iPhone of the San Bernardino, California,  shooter.

“Every expert I know believes the NSA could crack this phone,” Clarke says. “[The FBI and the Department of Justice] want the precedent that the government can compel a computer device manufacturer to allow [them] in.”

U.K. Parliament Debates “Snoopers’ Charter”

The British government's controversial attempt to pass sweeping new surveillance powers was debated in Parliament for the first time Tuesday, with opposition politicians raising privacy concerns and calling for significant changes to the plans.

If passed into law in its current form, it would mandate a data retention regime unprecedented in any Western democracy, forcing internet companies to store records showing every website visited by every person in the U.K. for a period of 12 months. The bill also codifies powers that would allow British security agencies to conduct large-scale hacks of computer networks, and it will also hand spies the power to secretly monitor journalists and their sources, as The Intercept has previously reported.

During Tuesday’s debate in Parliament, the government’s home secretary, Theresa May, defended the proposed law, stating that it was “world-leading legislation” necessary to combat terrorism threats. However, Labour, Liberal Democrat, and Scottish National Party representatives criticized the bill and vowed not to support it unless it is rewritten in several areas. ...

As expected, members of Parliament have voted in favor of the surveillance bill. It was approved by 281 votes to 15 and will now move to the next stage of parliamentary scrutiny — known as the “committee stage” — during which the legislation will be debated in detail and various amendments proposed.

Brazilian President Rousseff Is Bringing Back Lula as She Fights Impeachment and He Fights Arrest

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has accepted an offer to become the chief of staff for his former protégé, the current president Dilma Rousseff.

The move is a high stakes political gamble designed to help Rousseff fight back against impeachment proceedings currently in congress that were boosted by massive anti-government protests last Sunday.

Becoming a member of the government will also provide Lula with short-term protection from possible prosecution over corruption allegations currently in Brazilian courts. ...

The formal impeachment process, that began in congress in December, had appeared to be stalling until politicians noted the size of anti-government protests that brought millions onto the streets around the country on Sunday. Rousseff is deeply unpopular because of Brazil's struggling economy that shrank by 4 percent last year.

Sources within the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, the ruling coalition's biggest partner, told Reuters this week that the protests prompted members to favor moving ahead with the impeachment process. Congress is expected to begin the election of a special commission to judge the case later this week.

Brazil corruption scandal: Mass protest after ex-president Lula named chief of staff

Release of tapped phone calls between Lula and Rousseff sparks mass protests in Brazil

Lula was appointed cabinet chief in a controversial move that Rousseff said would strengthen her government, but which critics argued was an attempt to shield the former president, who is under investigation for corruption and money-laundering, from prosecution.

Under Brazilian law, government ministers can be tried only in the “privileged forum” of the supreme court. Opposition activists believe any trial in Brazil’s highest court is likely to progress much more slowly than in the federal court.

Investigation into Bundy Militia Mouthpiece LaVoy Finicum's killing raises questions of FBI cover-up

An official investigation into the fatal shooting of Oregon militia leader LaVoy Finicum has raised questions about whether federal agents lied about their actions and removed bullet casings from the scene, adding to accusations that the FBI engaged in a cover-up.

Evidence that FBI agents failed to disclose that they had fired shots at Finicum and queries about whether critical evidence was removed comes from the local Deschutes County sheriff’s office investigation, lending credence to claims previously dismissed as conspiracy theories. ...

Further bolstering theories of evidence removal, law enforcement sources told the Oregonian this week that they had seen an FBI video that showed an agent appear to bend over twice and pick up something near where the two shots likely occurred. ...

Sheriff Shane Nelson of Deschutes County, who led the investigation into the shooting in nearby Harney County, revealed last week that Oregon state troopers fired six shots and that the FBI on scene fired two shots “as Mr Finicum exited the truck”.

But, Nelson told reporters, after the incident, FBI operators “did not disclose their shots to our investigators nor did they disclose specific actions they took after the shooting” – a “failure” now under investigation by the US inspector general.

New police documents reveal that the sheriff’s office also repeatedly asked state troopers whether they saw bullet casings on the ground and if they witnessed anyone removing them – raising questions about whether the FBI may have actively eliminated evidence that would prove they fired shots.

Buck v. Bell: SCOTUS Case That Led to Forced Sterilization of 70,000 & Inspired the Nazis

Jamar Clark case: prosecutor will not use grand jury to charge police officers

A prosecutor said on Wednesday that he will not use a grand jury to determine whether two Minneapolis police officers should be charged in a black man’s November shooting death, saying it was a difficult decision but one that will bring more accountability to the process.

Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman said he will make the charging decision himself in the death of Jamar Clark. He also said he will no longer use grand juries to consider future police shooting cases in the county – noting that grand juries have been used there for more than 40 years in such cases, resulting in no indictments of officers.

“The accountability and transparency limitations of a grand jury are too high a hurdle to overcome,” Freeman said. He did not say when he would make his decision in the Clark case, but had previously hoped for the end of March.

Community activists viewed the move by Freeman as a victory and credited pressure from protesters.



the horse race



It looks like the establishment has had quite enough and wants to wrap the cloak of inevitability around clinton's shoulders to keep people from getting excited about sanders' chances and dampen turnout to keep him from winning western states by broad margins.

Hat tip divineorder:

Obama Privately Tells Donors That Time Is Coming to Unite Behind Hillary Clinton

In unusually candid remarks, President Obama privately told a group of Democratic donors last Friday that Senator Bernie Sanders is nearing the point where his campaign against Hillary Clinton will come to an end, and that the party must soon come together to back her.

Mr. Obama acknowledged that Mrs. Clinton is perceived to have weaknesses as a candidate, and that some Democrats did not view her as authentic. ...

Mr. Obama chose his words carefully, and did not explicitly call on Mr. Sanders to depart the race, according to those in the room. Still, those in attendance said in interviews that they took his comments as a signal to Mr. Sanders that perpetuating his campaign, which is now an uphill climb, could only help the Republicans recapture the White House.

Mr. Obama’s message came at a critical juncture for Mr. Sanders, who had just upset Mrs. Clinton in the Michigan primary and has been trying to convince Democrats that his campaign is not over, despite Mrs. Clinton’s formidable lead in the delegate tally.

Mr. Obama has been careful in public to avoid disparaging Mr. Sanders, given his deeper history and relationship with Mrs. Clinton. Mr. Obama also does not want to alienate the liberal voters who have flocked to Mr. Sanders.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fascist candidate of all?

Hillary’s Double-Standard on Protests

Hillary Clinton has excoriated Donald Trump for failing to stop a supporter from roughing up a protester during a speech, saying “This kind of behavior is repugnant. We set the tone for our campaigns — we should encourage respect, not violence.” Yet, in 2011, she did nothing to stop security personnel from brutalizing a 71-year-old veteran who stood silently with his back to her during a speech.

The protester, Ray McGovern, a retired Army officer and CIA analyst, was wearing a black “Veterans for Peace” T-shirt, when he was set upon within sight of Secretary of State Clinton, who ironically was delivering a speech about the importance of foreign leaders respecting dissent. The assault on McGovern left him bruised and bloodied but it didn’t cause Clinton to pause as she coolly continued on, not missing a beat.

The Feb. 15, 2011 incident at George Washington University in Washington prompted an email from Clinton’s personal adviser Sidney Blumenthal who noted that “something bad happened” and suggested that Clinton have someone reach out and apologize to McGovern. Clinton, however, chose not to do so, although criminal charges against McGovern were dropped.

Subsequently, McGovern was placed on the State Department’s “Be On the Look-out” or BOLO alert list, instructing police to “USE CAUTION, stop” and question him and also contact the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Command Center.

Sanders Path to Victory Blocked by Media and Party Elites

Which One Is Wall Street's Candidate?

Over the weekend, NBC News posed the question Who Does Wall Street Want to Be President? Short version: anyone but Trump. One guy, Asher Edelman, who spent 30 year on Wall Street buying and selling distressed companies, even backs Bernie-- but he runs a New York art gallery now. He emphasized that Bernie's economic program would bring tremendous buying power to working families and that he's "the only person out there who I think is talking at all about fiscal stimulation and banking rules that will get the banks to begin to generate lending again, as opposed to speculation." He's an outlier, of course and who Wall Street really wants is Hillary, the Culture of Corruption candidate. - See more at: http://downwithtyranny.blogspot.com/2016/03/which-one-is-wall-streets-ca...

At the nexus of politics and and money-- the place where Wall Street, K Street and Capitol Hill converge-- it's all about the Benjamins. And everyone understand the concept of "follow the money." The Finance Sector has given Hillary more money than anyone who has ever served in Congress (minus 2-term President Barack Obama). So far the Finance Sector has given her $40,988,045 and it is increasing so rapidly that she could well catch up to the $68 million they've given Obama after 7 years in the White House!

So It Begins: Donald Trump Releases Aggressive Attack Ad Against Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump is turning his sights on Hillary Clinton, just a day after the frontrunners won big victories in several states, solidifying the path to their parties' respective nominations.

Trump posted an aggressive attack ad on his Instagram account this morning, criticizing Clinton on foreign policy, an area she's tried to stake her campaign on as a former secretary of state.

The ad shows clips of Russian President Vladimir Putin tackling an opponent in Judo and an Islamic State militant pointing a gun at the camera, raising the issue of the threats America faces. "The Democrats have the perfect answer..." the ad says before cutting to a clip of Clinton barking like a dog.

Proof That The New York Times Isn’t Feeling the Bern

The New York Times seems to have inadvertently exposed its own political bias with a quiet, retroactive edit of an article originally headlined “Bernie Sanders Scored Victories for Years Via Legislative Side Doors.” The piece was published on Monday, March 14, 2016, a day before polls opened in five crucial Democratic primary states.

Written by congressional reporter Jennifer Steinhauer, the article reflects on the Senator’s strategy for legislative accomplishments over the past 25 years?—?often passing new measures by attaching them to larger bills.

By Monday afternoon?—?once many people, including Sanders himself, had already shared the article widely on social media and other sites?—?the Times evidently rewrote rather significant portions of the article. (No mention has been made anywhere that the article was retroactively altered.) Several new paragraphs were injected, while other wording was subtly changed to shift the praiseful tone of the article to one of shrugging ambivalence toward Sanders’s accomplishments.



the evening greens

Lawmaker: Michigan governor responsible for Flint crisis

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is responsible for lead contamination in Flint, Michigan's water supply, and would likely face criminal charges if he were running a business, a Democratic lawmaker said Thursday. ...

Snyder told the panel at a contentious hearing that the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality repeatedly gave him assurances that water from the Flint River was safe, when in reality it had dangerous levels of lead. ...

Cummings said the governor should have done more to push back against state experts. The committee has obtained documents "showing that people all around the governor were sounding the alarms, but he either ignored them or didn't hear them," Cummings said, citing emails showing that Snyder's top legal adviser warned in October 2014 that Flint should "get back on the Detroit (water) system" as soon as possible "before this thing gets too far out of control."

The warning came a year before Snyder says he became aware of the lead contamination on Oct. 1, 2015.

'Lying Through His Lead-Free Teeth': Gov. Snyder Berated on Capitol Hill

Republican Governor Rick Snyder was in the hot seat during the second of this week's congressional hearings about Flint's water crisis and sparks flew as he continued to deflect blame.

Two sitting representatives even went so far as to publicly call for Snyder's resignation.

Democratic Representative Matt Cartwright from Pennsylvania had some of the strongest words for the Michigan governor. "I've had about enough of your false contrition and false apologies," Cartwright said pointedly to Snyder. "Pretty soon, we will have men who strike their wives, saying 'I'm sorry dear, but there were failures at all levels.'"

He added, "People who put dollars above people do not belong in government. You need to resign." ...


"This is a national disgrace and a national scandal," said Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York, joining in the condemnation of the governor's actions. "The truth is you dragged your feet because you didn’t want to take responsibility... Even when you did know [about the high lead levels], you did nothing."

Maloney read from a series of damning emails in which the governor considered declaring a state of emergency in the autumn but delayed taking action because he felt doing so would acknowledge the state's responsibility for the crisis.

"Your delay sickened an untold number of additional people," Maloney concluded.

Flint blame game: former EPA manager says state officials at fault for water crisis

The Environmental Protection Agency manager who resigned over the Flint poisoned water scandal has blamed state officials for the disaster during an acrimonious congressional inquiry.

Susan Hedman, who was the regional EPA head for Flint, told the hearing she resigned due to “false allegations” in the media that she had failed to react to the crisis and sidelined Miguel del Toral, an EPA official who wrote a memo warning of the dangerous situation in Flint.

In a bad-tempered evidence session, she was directly accused of doing “nothing” to get the children of Flint out of harm’s way. But she insisted that state officials had failed to act on her agency’s urgent concerns. ...

Some of the most pointed criticism during the House oversight committee hearing was aimed at Hedman, with committee chairman and vocal EPA critic Jason Chaffetz saying: “You still don’t get it. You screwed up and you messed up people’s lives.”

Chaffetz unveiled an internal EPA memo from an official in September 2015 that read: “Perhaps (Hedman) already knows all this, but I’m not so sure Flint is the community we want to go out on a limb for.”

Marc Edwards, the Virginia Tech scientist who was called in by residents to belatedly expose the lead poisoning, said Hedman’s response was “unacceptable and criminal”. ... Edwards said the EPA has helped create a “climate where anything goes” across the US. He claimed that water tests are being routinely “cheated” across the nation, as revealed by the Guardian.

Governor Snyder Bypasses Accountability; Forces Taxpayers to Foot the Bill for his Personal Defense

Today, Progress Michigan is calling on Governor Rick Snyder to pay his own legal bills and will submit thousands of signatures to the State Administrative Board demanding that taxpayers do not have to foot the bill for Snyder’s legal defense. Governor Snyder’s office is using an exemption, not previously used in Michigan history, that gives Governor Snyder the ability to approve contracts with no oversight.

“It’s odd that the man who did nothing when Flint residents were crying out for help can all of a sudden move heaven and earth to find the money for his own personal defense,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “It appears that Snyder used his control of a board that is meant to regulate spending to pass a rule relieving him of checks and balances on spending and contracts. The loophole the administration is citing appears to allow Snyder to unlimited millions of taxpayer dollars with no oversight. The State Administrative Board should not only condemn the contracts before them to pay for Snyder’s personal legal bills, but should immediately pass a resolution changing the loophole that allows such egregious actions by a state officer whom no longer has the trust of the people.”

High levels of lead found in Mississippi capital's water likened to Flint crisis

Startlingly elevated levels of lead were found in the water in Mississippi’s capital in June, but a warning was not issued by government officials until January, the Guardian has learned – a contamination that bears some resemblance to the crisis in Flint, Michigan.

As with Flint, the problem in Jackson appears to be related to inadequate corrosion control, and the months of delay in state action raises shades of Flint, something that Michigan governor Rick Snyder will testify on before a congressional committee on Thursday.

An astonishing 22% of homes in Jackson, Mississippi, exceeded the federal “action” lead level of 15 parts per billion, according to government tests done in June. Compare that with Flint, where researchers from Virginia Tech sampled hundreds of homes as residents begged for help and found 16.7% of homes exceeded the federal “action” lead level, though the sampling methodology may be different in the two cases.

But Mississippi officials did not notify the city of Jackson of the results until January, and it was not until February that the state issued a warning for pregnant women and small children. A sampling of 101 homes in January and February this year showed 11% of homes above the federal lead limit – a number that is still worrisome, under federal regulations.


Also of Interest

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

What Will Define The Next Phase Of The Sanders Campaign?

Were Changes to NYT Sanders Article ‘Stealth Editing’? - NYT Public Editor responds

‘Plan B’ for Bernie Sanders supporters? Jill Stein and the Green Party

NSA dismissed Clinton request for ‘secure’ BlackBerry

Obama-Nominated Koch Fronted Regulatory Hit Woman Edges Closer to Seat on SEC

'Netanyahu: Palestinians Rejected Israel's Secret Offer'

Why America's Minority Doctor Problem Begins in the Third Grade

Revenge of the Simple: How George W. Bush Gave Rise to Trump


A Little Night Music

Billy Boy Arnold - My Little Machine

Billy Boy Arnold - I Ain't Got You

Billy Boy Arnold - Love Me Baby

Billy Boy Arnold - Rockin Itis

Billy Boy Arnold - 99 Lbs

Billy Boy Arnold - Whiskey, Beer and Reefer

Billy Boy Arnold - Shake Your Hips


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22 users have voted.

Comments

Raggedy Ann's picture

I usually cannot access the Evening Blues from my iPad, so am saying a big HELLO! from my work computer, as I sign off for the day.

Have a beautiful evening, everyone!

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10 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

joe shikspack's picture

have a great evening!

i hope that tonight the ipad works for you tonight. is it just eb that won't work or does the c99 site itself not work on your ipad?

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4 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

Checked the weather your way this am, noticed it is still cool. Missing NM and our exercise classes in Santa Fe... and of course the chile !

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4 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

divineorder's picture

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1 user has voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

gulfgal98's picture

My best friend insists on doing this dinner for a dozen of us every year. I have tried to help her out with the cost and/or the cooking but she will have none of it. I am bringing the dessert, a drunken pistachio almond rum cake and hubby got us some Bass ale.

Thank you for doing this every week day, Joe! Good

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13 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." Sun Tzu

"Propaganda is one hell of a drug." Abby Martin

"politicians are cowards." Mike Gravel

Raggedy Ann's picture

Would you be willing to share that recipe? Sounds yummy and I imbibe from time to time. ;o)

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5 users have voted.

Women are human beings, not prey.
(I forgot where I read it although it might have been in The Intercept)

kharma's picture

and also it would complement the Bass. Sweet and beer, yum.

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1 user has voted.

There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties.. This...is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.--John Adams

joe shikspack's picture

mmmm... dessert sounds delicious!

have a great time!

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3 users have voted.

The night the Rolling Stones fired Donald Trump

“Keith pulls out his knife and slams it on the table and says, ‘What the hell do I have you for?
Do I have to go over there and fire him myself? One of us is leaving the building – either him, or us.’”

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8 users have voted.

Solidarity

joe shikspack's picture

that's quite a story. way to go keef!

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5 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

Here's a cool outtake:

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3 users have voted.

Definitely worth a listen.

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3 users have voted.

Solidarity

detroitmechworks's picture

who ever suggests we need to vote for a Democrat because of the Supreme Court, EVER again.
That one is a Sun Revolves Around The Earth quality argument.

Anybody who makes it is now considered a Brain dead Zombie by me.

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12 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

joe shikspack's picture

well put.

and the people who say those sorts of things are patting themselves on the back because obama made an in their face political play by nominating another conservative to the court - and they're all happy that "at least he's not as bad as scalia."

"better than scalia" is a pretty damned low bar in my opinion.

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8 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

I wouldn't go quite that far.

There are lots of folks out there who actually still believe that HRC could get a new Supreme Court Justice confirmed where Barack Obama could not. They are mis-informed, but far from brain-dead zombies.

These don't need resurrection, but merely education. A task I myself face nearly every day.

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1 user has voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

stevej's picture

Re the SCOTUS pick - we tend to get so wrapped up in the left/right thing that we forget the authoritarian/live-and-let-live thing. I think we all know where Obama stands is on the latter.

Garland is a horrible choice and Obama wants him to get the gig. No eleventy dimensional chess here -what we see is what we get imo.

A small silver lining - it blows one of the two standard arguments for electing crappy Dems out the water.

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15 users have voted.

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” -Voltaire

snoopydawg's picture

This isn't a bluff as people on Kos are saying. This is who he wants and we have to again put our hopes on the GOP to block his nominee. Just look at his SEC pick that Joe linked to.
She's basically a Koch brother in a woman's body.
As I have said before, his term can't be over soon enough before he causes more damage.
The only way he can top the damage of the TPP is to go after social security.

His pushing for Hillary isn't surprising. He's followed the Clinton's economic agenda by putting the same economic people in his cabinet that were in the Clinton's cabinet.

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8 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

The only way he can top the damage of the TPP is to go after social security.

he's gone after ss before and i'm pretty sure that he's going to take another run at it before he exits stage right.

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6 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

I should have written AGAIN.
But there's a diary at the other place that states that the democrats are the most left then they have been in years.
And there is a bunch of bobble heads saying, YUP.
Seriously, I don't get there way of thinking. I never have. I saw who he was after he voted for the FISA bill that he promised to filibuster.
And for years people were saying he was playing fucking chess and " Obama has this".

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5 users have voted.

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

stevej's picture

How can anyone even respond to that level of idiocy?

On a related note there is now a front page piece at the same place pushing the argument that Garland is a good lefty.

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3 users have voted.

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” -Voltaire

joe shikspack's picture

there is now a front page piece at the same place pushing the argument that Garland is a good lefty.

that's just delusional.

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3 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

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3 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

thanatokephaloides's picture

But there's a diary at the other place that states that the democrats are the most left then they have been in years.
And there is a bunch of bobble heads saying, YUP.

I read that bad acid trip myself.

I've actually caught its author, Ian Reifowitz, in some "revisionist history" in that Diary. He claimed that LBJ got us into Viet Nam. (In fact, Ike Eisenhower and JFK did.)

And he bases nearly everything on Obama's getting "healthcare reform" passed, despite the fact that the "Affordable" Care Act really doesn't qualify for that label at all.

A serious case of "down the rabbit hole".

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2 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

joe shikspack's picture

of course this is the guy that obama wants. he's been on obama's short list before. if you look at the article link i posted to scotusblog, it goes to an article written back in 2010 - the last time obama was considering nominating him.

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4 users have voted.
stevej's picture

Obama likes Republicans. His most admired POTUS is Reagan, his go to columnist is David Brooks. This is who Obama is.

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3 users have voted.

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” -Voltaire

Big Al's picture

Makes me wonder how Clinton supporters are going to use that argument against Trump. She would probably up Obama's ante and raise him Satan. "I nominate Satan to the Supreme Court". And the Conservadems go, yea, do do do do do do do.

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9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

i don't want to have to see clinton's pick for scotus. satan would probably be an upgrade from hillary's pick.

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4 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

... but just could not beat the bought out pols and big Ag, could we?

Wonder why?

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5 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

mimi's picture

now that he behind doors tells people to unite behind Hillary Clinton, I am certainly not doing it. Who does he think he is to tell people what they should do politically? /s

Will come back later. All your foreign policy article selections are an amazing gift to us. I am so glad the EB is "our daily anchor" to hold on to. Thanks.

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9 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

on ANYTHING is beyond me.

He's proven to be a very slick and very charming liar. Hillary is essentially the same person, minus the charm and slickness.

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7 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

mimi's picture

whom to fight and whom to support and for what and for what not?

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6 users have voted.
mimi's picture

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3 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

now that he behind doors tells people to unite behind Hillary Clinton

heh, you now what happens behind closed doors...

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5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

Blush

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3 users have voted.
dkmich's picture

Feels like home....

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7 users have voted.

"Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

*donate to c99 *like us on Facebook *follow us on Twitter

joe shikspack's picture

yep, it does.

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2 users have voted.

Between never giving up for Bernie in our outrage over the Hill and Bill tricks........how do we make it through each day!
We must never lose sight of what is most important now and that is the health o!f this planet

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6 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

joe shikspack's picture

thanks for dropping by. the blues are great medicine to ease the feelings of oppression.

thanks for keeping your eye on the ball.

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3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

I read this article yesterday about how far back the Clintons have been involved in Honduras even before the coup. It's a long article but half way down in it, it tells the true story of why Clinton deregulated the banks.
Citi bank had already broken the rules that Glass Steagel was supposed to stop. Instead of bringing charges against them, the federal reserve told them that they had 2 years to find legislation to allow them to continue. As the article goes on, it states that the legislation for breaking up GS was written even before Citi Bank broke the law.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/14/right-out-in-plain-sight-dona-hil...

There's another article from counter punch titled the Clintons have been in bed with the banks for 24 years. It shows how the banks funded the Clinton's careers and what the Clintons did for the banks.
And these two people are going to be back in the White House.
Crap.

Here is the link to the other article. Both are great reads.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/26/the-clintons-and-wall-street-24-y...

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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

detroitmechworks's picture

They're Two Corporations which have taken human form in an attempt to fool the public.

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5 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

joe shikspack's picture

and have had mutually rewarding intercourse with the banksters.

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7 users have voted.
Jazzenterprises's picture

while I hose-off the orange slime from that other place...

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5 users have voted.

Progressive to the bone.

joe shikspack's picture

cool band, thanks!

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4 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

From one of your links:

Some of the biggest hubs of Sanders support are in major cities in the western United States, including Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, Oakland, and Tucson.

The next phase of the Sanders campaign ? We go local. Bernie will hold a rally in Tucson tomorrow night, I'll go. Polls show him losing AZ. I don't care. I believe in electoral politics, as a defense against absolute despair. Keep hope alive and all that. Without hope we die. I'll volunteer with the Grijalva campaign, like I always do. I'll just keep slogging, and keep believing, until we win. We'll need a new, younger Bernie, of course, to head the ticket, but as long as I'm alive, I'll help keep the Movement alive.

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10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

thanks for keeping the faith even when the light gets dim. when they close the door on the electoral process, we will find another way.

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9 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

Glad you are getting to hear Bernie, and support RA.

For me, just seeing pics and vids (I don't watch TV, shot it decades ago) that great old man humping it around the country and getting the positive response from huge crowds is gratifying after so many years of disappointments.

But what you are doing is also critical. Keeping the faith, taking action.

I'll volunteer with the Grijalva campaign, like I always do. I'll just keep slogging, and keep believing, until we win. We'll need a new, younger Bernie, of course, to head the ticket, but as long as I'm alive, I'll help keep the Movement alive.

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7 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Bisbonian's picture

helping the official campaign staff. You might see her running around handing out voting info for each county in Arizona. I will be playing banjo elsewhere...previous commitment. Might run into you at the end of the rally, though.

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3 users have voted.

"I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” —Malcolm X

divineorder's picture

Very interesting Public Editor response in your links of interest, citing Matt Tabibbi even. Jakkalbessie has several cool relatives who are NYT addicts, and I mean serious addicts. Wonder if they saw that?

Frankly, I have been a bit surprised that BO had Bernie to the Whitehouse as many times as he refused to meet with the Progressive Caucus and otherwise pissed on progressives. Guess he wanted to be linked to Bernie's star with the young? Who knows.

The attack on public retiree benefits continues. Our teacher retiree health benefit is separate from state workers, was never fully funded, and we have always had to go back to the bienny leg in TX to get it extended. We fought hard last session when the state was flush to get the billions needed to keep it going and won , but now we have another fight ahead...

Meanwhile, in the private sector, the billionaire class continues its grim destruction..

Am sure HRC has a plan to take care of all those who will lose there healthcare? /s

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9 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

it seems pretty rotten that after a lifetime of work you have to struggle to get your representatives to honor your earned benefits. i'd love to see somebody with deep pockets institute a lawsuit against them for wage theft.

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7 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

.... just testing commenting.

Carry on.

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4 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

hey, it worked!

we can hear you in the back.

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5 users have voted.
Crider's picture

Evening, folks.

I came across a site I haven't seen before, called Middle East Eye. All of the content seems to be written by stringers, and the language is English or French, so I really can't figure out who is behind it. But it is interesting. There's an interview with 'Salih Muslim Mohammed, the co-leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the largest Kurdish party in Syria'. He was saying it wasn't meant to be a new autonomous zone, but the beginning of a new Syria made up of decentralized federations. Or something like that. We shall see where it takes them, if Turkey continues to attack them — and if they will join together with the Iraqi Kurds to form a real nation which would be great for them.

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

i've found it to be a pretty good site and i've occasionally posted items from it in the eb.

here's part of what wikipedia says about it:

The Middle East Eye (MEE) is an online news portal covering events in the Middle East and which has been cited by major media publications. The MEE website describes the organization as an independently funded online news organization founded in February 2014 which aims to be the primary portal of Middle East news.[1] The MEE editor is David Hearst, the former chief foreign leader writer for the British daily The Guardian.[2] MEE is wholly owned by M.E.E. Ltd, a UK company that employs about 20 full-time staff in its London offices and also has a network of freelance journalists. The sole director of M.E.E. Ltd is Jamal Bassasso who was a former director of planning and human resources at Al Jazeera.[3] David Hearst has said that his staff came from varied backgrounds saying that “some were activists but this doesn't effect their professional journalism”. Hearst confirmed that MEE is not linked to any government or movement.

Middle East Eye has been used as a reference in several well known news websites such as BBC News,[4] The Huffington Post,[5] The Guardian[6] and The New York Times.[7]

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4 users have voted.
Crider's picture

That's some heavy lifting. Good for them!

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3 users have voted.
piranha's picture

the less likely am I going to want to to fall in line. And there is actually no real reason to push this much, since the Rs are too busy with their own steaming pile of garbage to even pay enough attention to Clinton as yet.

As to the "bombshell" from the Pentagon, an actual bombshell would be if for once somebody actually were to be charged criminally. But oh, wow, look, some people have been demoted! 42 innocent people lost their lives, but nobody is even gonna lose their job. Gosh, what draconic punishment. And frankly, I don't even believe the explanation; the hit was too precisely on the GPS coordinates MSF had given the US government. I am not a CT nut, but how the hell do they explain that? Guess we get to wait even longer to see the "redacted" report, 5 months was apparently not long enough to whitewash it all. The CENTCOM clown said "No nation does more than the United States to avoid civilian casualties" -- I could name many nations who do more -- those who don't engage in wars of aggression, for example.

Obama's SCOTUS pick -- no surprise. Garland was on his shortlist before, and yes, I believe that's the sort of person Obama really wants on the court. It also happens to be quite the brilliant move. I don't like a lot of Obama's policies, but he's a very smart man, and he's presented the Rs with a real dilemma in Garland. An actual liberal nominee would be rejected out of hand, and as of last week all Rs had closed ranks about not holding hearings. Yet now there are clear signs the ranks are breaking. Garland might well be the best they can hope for -- do they really want to gamble on whoever wins the election? That is not likely going to be a Republican. Even if it were Trump, who can trust that he'll pick somebody more conservative? Certainly neither Bernie nor Hillary would. So, confirm the moderatenow, or there'll be hell to pay if the next Dem President comes in with a Senate majority. The chance of that is statistically higher than anything more conducive to R interests (538 has a good article on it).

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

the dem establishment is pushing now in order to suppress enthusiasm and turnout for sanders. we have just hit a turning point in the electoral map. the states coming up are more likely to go for sanders and the best path to a clinton victory is to suppress turnout. (how republican!)

the 5 month delay in making a half-assed pentagon report was to give time for america's low-information citizenry to forget what happened at kunduz and avoid a repeat of all of the media noise that attended the incident when it happened. welcome to the memory hole!

of course they're never going to tell you the truth or hold anybody accountable. this is obama's administration. civil democracy is a thing of the past.

i disagree with you about the wisdom of obama's choice of nominee. the thing is, the point of this exercise should not be to get the nominee that is most minimally acceptable to decent people in place, just to have a place holder. nor is it to score political points on the republicans. frankly a year or two with 8 justices without adding yet another conservative jackass seems like a good thing to me.

in my view, there are a couple of scenarios. in the first, we are looking at a likely match up this election between two unpleasant choices, a narcissistic, fascist wannabe bully-boy vs. a bloodthirsty war criminal. but, their nominees will have to get through congress, too. anything that comes through that process is going to be unsavory at best, but probably not much different from what obama has proposed in the long run.

in the second scenario (my preference obviously) sanders wins, and the ballgame changes. sanders puts forward an actually decent nominee and we (the revolution) ram them down the senate's throat. imagine if their phones are ringing off the hook, their fax machines are constantly running out of paper, their offices are full of more mail than their staffers can wade through, people are in front of congress, occupying their offices and sitting on their lawns - demanding they vote for sanders' nominee. (this is how i propose we make things happen until a better congress can be elected) - they are going to get cowed if we have the numbers.

so, if we wait, we have the possibility of a much better outcome and the other possibility is largely more of the same. i'm going with let's wait.
my $.02

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6 users have voted.
piranha's picture

I didn't say "wisdom". Just that he sure knows how to put Republicans between a rock and a hard place. It's game theory -- which alas also says that Bernie won't win, and that Clinton will get to pick her own candidate at some point anyway -- or, if the Rs don't agree to a hearing, either will pick their own since Obama can withdraw Garland. I wonder whether Obama has spoken with both (or one) candidate about this. Garland isn't really worse than Kagan, so he would already be a considerable shift left from Scalia. I don't think that Obama is picking a placeholder, he's picking somebody he wants on the court. Garland was on a previous shortlist, in 2010 I believe. I think getting somebody decent on the court as soon as possible is important. There are many cases that would not benefit from the 4:4 split. I dislike this idea that the sitting President should not choose his own pick -- that's Republican malarkey. Do you think for one second they'd wait if it were their turn?

We don't know at all whom Trump would pick. His latest pronouncement was that he'd pick somebody as close to Scalia as possible, but I think he's pandering. Yes, he'd also have to have Senate coat tails, but if he actually wins, he might have them. Also, Dems can never be trusted to stick together, so even if Trump doesn't have 60 votes, some "moderate" Dem will probably cave. If Trump moves back left to where he once was, his pick might not be as disastrous as Cruz's would be -- because yeah, that would be a Scalia clone.

A Cruz Presidency is what scares me most.

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1 user has voted.

Utah is getting unprecedented attention from presidential candidates. Kasich and Trump will be here tomorrow, Cruz on Saturday.

BERNIE WILL BE IN SALT LAKE CITY TOMORROW

Friday, March 18 12:30 pm.
A Future to Believe In Rally in Salt Lake City
The Garden Place at This is the Place Heritage Park
2601 Sunnyside Ave S Salt Lake City UT 84108

Bernie Sanders to Make Campaign Stop in Utah on Friday

Bernie Sanders will hold a town hall meeting at This is the Place Heritage Park at 3:30 pm on Friday. The campaign says RSVP's for public wishing to attend event are strongly encouraged. You can RSVP for the town hall at this link.

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3 users have voted.

"We've done the impossible, and that makes us mighty."

janis b's picture

I watched the Part 1 of Buck v. Bell (on Eugenics in America), and then I watched Part 2. And now I’m gladly taking a break of fresh air to prepare a nutritious dinner while listening to good music. I hope the indigestion I felt from listening to the truth about American eugenics, and its barbaric ways that inspired the nazis, settles before I sit down to dinner. Everyone, everywhere should watch this and wonder. It reveals so much about the destructiveness of fear of the other and anti-immigration policies from the very early 1900s on ... as well as the misinformed state of science and medicine at the time.

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2 users have voted.
thurayya's picture

Great post! Thx a gazillion.

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1 user has voted.
thurayya's picture

Great post! Thx a gazillion.

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1 user has voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

It looks like the fuzzy war just went total. With bases, units, lilly pads, depots, detachments and details scattered all over the globe, it appears that anybody we wish to target, anywhere whatsoever
simply needs to be declared to be a continuing and immanent threat and we're good to go. The only thing preventing enourmous abuse would appear to be "trust me", which nobody in their right mind should. "The intelligence indicated"... is about as reliable as a tarot deck in the hands of a pathological liar.

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1 user has 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 --

gendjinn's picture

Climate change is my #1 issue. So is Wealth Inequality. They are both my #1 issue. And Institutional Racism. They are all my #1 issue.

Green Parties are great rallying points for fighting climate change. But if you look at what happened in Ireland and what is happening in Germany, a single issue party like the Greens can be subverted by the neoliberals. The GP in Ireland was wiped out in 2011 due to this.

The destruction of the environment, our climate, our planet and the sixth great extinction are a direct consequence of the wealth generating system we've created. Turning that around requires defeating Wall Street, the Fortune 500 and the MIIC.

Class transcends all of the wedge issues - race, gender, orientation. Even on the greatest of them all - abortion - we are now a majority pro-choice country. Class frames the issue clearly and unambiguously. We've been losing the war since 1981. It's time to be clear about who the enemy is and how we defeat them.

The future of the planet is literally on the line.

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1 user has voted.