The Evening Blues - 3-21-16



eb1pt12

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues + r&b songwriter, singer and piano player, Ray Charles. Enjoy!

Ray Charles + The Blues Brothers - Shake A Tail Feather

"Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns."

-- Kurt Vonnegut


News and Opinion

Obama's Seven Slaughters: It's a Disease, Not a Doctrine

Former Israeli prison guard Jeffrey Goldberg's "The Obama Doctrine" in The Atlantic presents President Barack Obama's view of his own foreign policy (with input from a few of his close subordinates). Obama views himself as a radical leader in military restraint, in brave resistance to war mongers, and in scaling back excessive fear mongering in U.S. culture.

The U.S. President who has overseen the highest Pentagon budget in history, created drone wars, launched wars against the will of Congress, dramatically expanded foreign arms sales and special operations and the arming of proxies, claimed to be "really good at killing people," and openly bragged about having bombed seven nations that are inhabited largely by dark-skinned Muslims, bolsters his "doctrine" by offering accurate antiwar assessments of Nixon, Reagan, and George W. Bush's wars. (He essentially admits to Reagan's October Surprise negotiations with Iran that sabotaged the 1980 U.S. elections.) Obama's and Goldberg's discussion of Obama's own wars does not display the same accuracy or wisdom.

The Goldberg / Obama portrait is shaped largely by the choice of what to include. The primary focus is on Obama's 2013 reversal of his plan to bomb Syria, with a minor emphasis on his negotiation of the Iran nuclear agreement. Much of his more militaristic behavior is completely ignored or brushed aside in passing reference. ...

The fact is that Barack Obama has slaughtered human beings with missiles and bombs in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia -- and every one of those places is worse off for it. He's passing his successor greater war-making powers than ever possessed by any previous member of the human species. The unquestioned assumptions of his doctrine look more like a disease. There's little an American president could do to make things better in the Middle East, he says, never stopping to consider the possibility of halting arms shipments, stopping the bombings, grounding the drones, ceasing the overthrows, dropping support for dictators, withdrawing troops, paying reparations, giving aid, shifting to green energy, and treating others with respectful cooperation. Those sorts of things just don't qualify as a doctrine in Washington, D.C.

Scott Shane on "Objective Troy: A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone"

The Fallacy of ‘Humanitarian’ War

Rajan Menon’s new book, The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention, launches a timely argument against a dominant argument lying behind so much of modern American foreign policy — “humanitarian intervention” or “liberal interventionism.”

We are, of course, well familiar with Republican and neocon readiness to go to war, but the reality is that many Democrat Party leaders have been no less seduced into a series of optional foreign military interventions, with increasingly disastrous consequences. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is today one of the leading exponents of the idea, but so are many of the advisors around President Barack Obama.

Menon offers powerful argumentation skewering the concept of “humanitarian intervention,” demonstrating how it operates often as little more than a subtler form of an imperial agenda. Naked imperial ambitions tend to be recognizable for what they are. But when those global ambitions are cloaked in the liberal language of our “right to protect” oppressed peoples, prevent humanitarian outrages, stop genocide, and to topple noxious dictators, then the true motives behind such operations become harder to recognize. ...

In short, the selective and opportunistic character of liberal interventionism ends up giving a bad name to liberalism. And it cruelly deceives many in the West who seek a more “liberal” foreign policy and yet who find that, in the end, they have only supported the projection of greater American geopolitical power — and usually at considerable human cost to the Iraqs, Afghanistans, Somalias, Libyas, and Columbias of the world.

Owning Up to Torture

In my role as a civilian contractor for the Department of Defense, I spent the first three months of 2004 torturing Iraqi prisoners. At the time, we were calling it enhanced interrogation, but that’s a phrase I don’t use anymore. Stress positions, slaps to the face and sleep deprivation were an outrage to the personal dignity of Iraqi prisoners. We humiliated and degraded them, and ourselves.

Ferdinand Ibabao, my close friend and fellow contractor and I spent the early months of 2004 implementing the country’s interrogation program, we struggled to contain the growing sense that we had shocked our consciences and stained our souls. Our interrogations used approved techniques. We filed paperwork, followed guidelines and obeyed the rules. But with every prisoner forced up against a wall, or made to stand naked in a cold cell, or prevented from falling asleep for significant periods of time, we felt less and less like decent men. And we felt less and less like Americans. ...

When Donald Trump and Ted Cruz suggested that waterboarding and other abhorrent interrogation tactics should not be considered illegal, I was tempted to exonerate myself. ... But I have no right to think that way. My behavior in Iraq forces me to confess that if I’d been asked to waterboard someone at Abu Ghraib in early 2004, I most likely would not have hesitated. I’d have crossed that line, too.

I would warn [other interrogators and intelligence professionals] about men like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. They’ll be told to cross lines by men who would never be asked to do it themselves, and they’ll cross those lines long before they consider anything like waterboarding. And I would warn them that once they do cross the line, those men will not be there to help them find their way back.

How politicians duck the blame for terrorism

The capture of Salah Abdeslam, thought to be the sole surviving planner of the Paris massacre, means that the media is focusing once again on the threat of terrorist attack by Islamic State. ... The reporting of the events in Brussels is in keeping with that after the January (Charlie Hebdo) and November Paris attacks and the Tunisian beach killings by Isis last year. For several days there is blanket coverage by the media as it allocates time and space far beyond what is needed to relate developments. But then the focus shifts abruptly elsewhere and Isis becomes yesterday’s story, treated as if the movement has ceased to exist or at least lost its capacity to affect our lives.

It is not as if Isis has stopped killing people in large numbers since the slaughter in Paris on 13 November; it is, rather, that it is not doing so in Europe. ... The outside world scarcely noticed these bloody events because they seem to be part of the natural order in Iraq and Syria. ...

There has always been a disconnect in the minds of people in Europe between the wars in Iraq and Syria and terrorist attacks against Europeans. This is in part because Baghdad and Damascus are exotic and frightening places, and pictures of the aftermath of bombings have been the norm since the US invasion of 2003. But there is a more insidious reason why Europeans do not sufficiently take on board the connection between the wars in the Middle East and the threat to their own security. Separating the two is much in the interests of Western political leaders, because it means that the public does not see that their disastrous policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and beyond created the conditions for the rise of Isis and for terrorist gangs such as that to which Salah Abdeslam belonged. ...

By taking up the cause of the Syrian and Libyan opposition and destroying the Syrian and Libyan states, France and Britain opened the door to Isis and should share in the blame for the rise of Isis and terrorism in Europe. ... After the capture of Salah Abdeslam there is talk of security lapses that had allowed him to evade arrest for so long, but this is largely irrelevant as terrorist attacks will go on as long as Isis remains a power. Once again, the wall-to-wall media coverage is allowing Western governments to escape responsibility for a far worse security failure, which is their own disastrous policies.

Obama Visits Cuba in Historic Trip, But Will U.S. Ever End Embargo & Give Back Guantanamo?

Many at Guantanamo apparently not 'too dangerous' after all

In the last comprehensive review of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, the U.S. government decided nearly 50 were "too dangerous to transfer but not feasible for prosecution," leaving them in an open-ended legal limbo.

Now it seems many may not be so dangerous after all.

A review board that includes military and intelligence officials has been taking a hard look at these men and helping to steadily chip away at the list of indefinite detainees, who are a significant obstacle to President Barack Obama's push to shut down the detention center at the U.S. military base in Cuba.

The first 23 decisions announced by the Periodic Review Board as of this month have skewed heavily in favor of the prisoners. It has unanimously cleared 19 for release, and said four will continue to be held but will be re-evaluated again later. Some of the approved have already left Guantanamo while the rest are expected to depart over the summer.

Syria peace talks success may turn on willingness of Russia to pressure Assad

The Syrian opposition has vented its frustration at the delegation from the regime of Bashar al-Assad at the Geneva peace talks, accusing its leaders of procrastinating and avoiding any substantive dialogue in favour of arguing about procedures.

The anger suggests the success of the talks may turn on the willingness of Russia to put pressure on Assad, Syria’s president, to stop the talks ending in an early stalemate.

The US secretary of state, John Kerry, is travelling to Moscow this week to gauge the extent to which the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is willing, following his surprise decision last week to undertake a partial military withdrawal, to exert his leverage over the Assad regime.

On Sunday, Mohammed Alloush, the leader of the Syrian opposition delegation, said the Assad delegation was so far refusing to engage in detailed negotiations and instead continuing to starve Syrians into submission.

Pentagon: US Marines Heading to Iraq for Ground Combat

Weekend Death of Marine Fuels Escalation

In the wake of the death of a US Marine in northwestern Iraq in an ISIS rocket attack on Saturday, the Pentagon has announced they are in the process of deploying an undisclosed number of additional Marines to Iraq to take part in ground combat against ISIS.

While the escalation is being presented as a response to the rocket fire, which officials continue to insist was a “lucky shot,” officials are also being more straightforward in their intentions for these troops to take part in combat upon deployment, after months of claiming troops in combat were somehow “trainers.”

North Korea Fires Five More Projectiles in the Vague Direction of Japan

North Korea fired five short-range projectiles into the sea off its east coast on Monday, South Korea's military said, amid heightened tension over the isolated country's nuclear and rocket programs.

The unidentified projectiles were launched from south of the city of Hamhung and flew about 120 miles, landing in waters east of North Korea, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Seoul's Unification Ministry claimed on Monday that the North is capable of carrying out a fifth nuclear test at any point. ...

In recent weeks, North Korea has stepped up its bellicose rhetoric, threatening pre-emptive nuclear strikes against Washington and Seoul and firing short-range missiles and artillery into the sea.

An interesting read for the Lavrov writings mentioned, though to say that the author's characterization of them is tremendously biased would probably still be an understatement.

Putin’s long game has been revealed, and the omens are bad for Europe

While European leaders believe they are edging towards a solution to the refugee crisis after securing a deal with Turkey, another power watches closely from afar: Russia. ...

To get a glimpse into Vladimir Putin’s mind, it’s worth reading the recent writings of his foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. In a long article published this month by the Moscow-based magazine Russia in Global Affairs– translated here into English – Lavrov spells it out with clarity. What Russia wants is nothing short of fundamental change: a formal, treaty-based say on Europe’s political and security architecture. Until Russia gets that, goes the message, there will be no stability on the continent. The key sentence in the article is this: “During the last two centuries, any attempt to unite Europe without Russia and against it has inevitably led to grim tragedies.” ...

It’s fascinating to see how Lavrov references European history to bolster his claim that without Russia’s cooperation the continent can only be exposed to chaos. He points to Catherine the Great (whose chancellor once proudly said: “Not a single cannon in Europe can be fired without our consent”), the Napoleonic wars and the Crimean conflict of 1853-56. He presents a sweeping, paranoid version of history, in which “western” Europeans have, throughout the ages, conspired to victimise and humiliate Russia. ...

EU and Nato enlargement, he writes, were not about “smaller European countries” going from “subjugation to freedom”, but about simply changing “leadership”. The result: today, these countries “can’t take any significant decision without the green light from Washington or Brussels”. In this wild mix, EU institutions are equated to no less than Soviet totalitarianism.

Critics of Israel Boycott Warn of Harm to U.S. Corporate Interests

Lawmakers this week hosted business groups in a briefing that sought to reframe the movement to boycott Israeli-owned companies as a threat to the American economy.

At Tuesday’s briefing, organized by the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., opened the event by saying that since the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1985, trade between the countries has “multiplied tenfold to over $40 billion annually.”

The boycott movement would not only impact the Israeli economy, but also the U.S. economy and “should be confronted by all means,” he said.

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is a global campaign calling on Israel to end its occupation of internationally recognized Palestinian territory and restore full equality to its Arab and Palestinian citizens.

The BDS movement has faced a huge backlash from pro-Israel activists and Western governments. ... President Obama also signed legislation last month requiring the administration to compile reports on boycott efforts and make opposing them a “principle trade negotiating objective” of the United States.

This is an excellent article about yet another left-wing Latin American government under siege. It's a meaty article, here's an introduction to get you started:

Brazil Is Engulfed by Ruling Class Corruption — and a Dangerous Subversion of Democracy

Brazil’s extraordinary political upheaval shares some similarities with the Trump-led political chaos in the U.S.: a sui generis, out-of-control circus unleashing instability and some rather dark forces, with a positive ending almost impossible to imagine. The once-remote prospect of President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment now seems likely.

But one significant difference with the U.S. is that Brazil’s turmoil is not confined to one politician. The opposite is true, as Romero notes: “almost every corner of the political system [is] under the cloud of scandal.” That includes not only Rousseff’s moderately left-wing Workers Party, or PT — which is rife with serious corruption — but also the vast majority of the centrist and right-wing political and economic factions working to destroy PT, which are drowning in at least an equal amount of criminality. In other words, PT is indeed deeply corrupt and awash in criminal scandal, but so is virtually every political faction working to undermine it and vying to seize that party’s democratically obtained power.

In reporting on Brazil, Western media outlets have most prominently focused on the increasingly large street protests demanding the impeachment of Rousseff. They have typically depicted those protests in idealized, cartoon terms of adoration: as an inspiring, mass populist uprising against a corrupt regime. ... That narrative is, at best, a radical oversimplification of what is happening and, more often, crass propaganda designed to undermine a left-wing party long disliked by U.S. foreign policy elites. That depiction completely ignores the historical context of Brazil’s politics and, more importantly, several critical questions: Who is behind these protests, how representative are the protesters of the Brazilian population, and what is their actual agenda?

Beyond surveillance: what could happen if Apple loses to the FBI

An Apple loss in the San Bernardino encryption case risks creating a world in which we can no longer trust the gadgets that track how we drive, when we’re home and whether the door is locked

“We already have a hard enough time trusting our technology and understand what it’s doing,” says Ashkan Soltani, an engineer by trade, who worked on regulation for the Federal Trade Commission with a brief stint at the White House. “What the government is asking Apple to do in some way is to further undermine that.”

Consumers rationally enough gave up this agency when they allowed Microsoft to push automatic Windows updates or Apple to upload a U2 album onto every iPhone. The Apple case will decide if that power stops with a digital product’s maker, or if it can extend to the federal government. Washington, though it would never say it this way, effectively wants Apple to make its programmers agents of the state in its San Bernardino investigation. ...

As the government acknowledges, courts operate on precedent. So if the FBI wins this time, it means it is more likely to win the next.

This year, a favorable ruling could decide whether laptop cameras can be conscripted as spies or smartphones become permanent homing beacons.

In a year or two, the same ruling may have set laid the groundwork for whether your car becomes your police van or your home becomes your holding cell.

Black Americans and encryption: the stakes are higher than Apple v FBI

When the FBI branded Martin Luther King Jr a “dangerous” threat to national security and began tapping his phones, it was part of a long history of spying on black activists in the United States. But the government surveillance of black bodies has never been limited to activists – in fact, according to the FBI; you only had to be black.

In the current fight between Apple and the FBI, black perspectives are largely invisible, yet black communities stand to lose big if the FBI wins. A federal judge in California is set to rule on Tuesday whether the FBI will be granted a request compelling Apple to unlock the iPhone of a San Bernardino shooter.

While seemingly about protecting national security – the same rationale used to justify 20th century surveillance of MLK, the Black Panther Party and others – this case is about much more. It could establish a legal precedent used to suppress the growing movement for black lives that is deposing public officials and disrupting the daily assault on black people in cities across the country. ...

Like its predecessors, the democratic movement for black lives has been met by anti-democratic state surveillance and anti-black police violence. New “smart” policing methods are being used by modern-day gumshoes who, fueled by the false rhetoric of black criminality, experiment with high-tech tools to the detriment of black democratic engagement. ...

Reports have surfaced that the Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the movement for black lives since the initial uprisings in Ferguson. We know that police are watching the tweets we write, the Facebook event pages we set up, and the demonstrations we organize in the streets. If we are arrested, our phones will be confiscated. Whether or not police can look into our phones, whether or not they need a warrant, is being tested in court. This is not a vision of some distant dystopic future, this is happening right now. This is why the FBI case against Apple, is also against us.

For black communities and others pushed to the margins of political and economic power – democratic engagement and the exercise of our human and civil rights in a digital age demands the ability to encrypt our communications.

Why Were a NYC Mayoral Adviser & a 74-Year-Old Activist Jailed Overnight for Filming an Arrest?

Mysterious, Powerful Lobbying Group Won’t Even Say Who It’s Lobbying For

The Commercial Energy Working Group (CEWG) is one of the many lobbying organizations in Washington. They make recommendations to federal agencies and try to sway lawmakers on policies. They engage in the basic political work of making the government friendlier to business.

There’s only one problem: who the Commercial Energy Working Group actually represents is a secret.

This violates federal lobbying and ethics laws, according to Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum, who has urged the House and Senate to investigate the matter. ...

The CEWG is variously described as “a diverse group of commercial firms in the energy industry,” or “energy producers, marketers, and utilities,” or “some of the largest users of energy derivatives in the United States and globally.” But they never specifically name their members.

A member of the CEWG even sits on the Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which maintains federal oversight of derivatives. Ron Oppenheimer, an associate member of the advisory committee, is listed as a “Representative” of CEWG. ... When Slocum asked Oppenheimer to disclose the membership of CEWG at a public meeting of the CFTC advisory committee last month, he refused.

Wall Street's Pile of Unwanted Treasuries Exposes Market Cracks

The world’s biggest bond dealers are getting saddled with Treasuries they can’t seem to easily get rid of, adding to evidence of cracks in the $13.3 trillion market for U.S. government debt.

The 22 primary dealers held more Treasuries last month than any time in the last two years, Federal Reserve Bank of New York data show. While at first glance that may suggest a bullish stance, the surge in holdings is more likely the result of investors including central banks dumping the debt on the firms, said JPMorgan Chase & Co. strategist Jay Barry. Foreign official accounts sold a net $105 billion of the securities in December and January, an unprecedented liquidation, Treasury Department data show.

Strategists say there are signs that the buildup of Treasuries held by dealers is having a ripple effect, mucking up the plumbing of the financial system. While the holdings show they did their job by soaking up the supply from central banks raising cash to support their currencies, it’s adding to questions about the resilience of the world’s most important market. The Treasury Department is already looking into whether the market isn’t operating as smoothly as it should.

“This was a lot of dealers doing what they are supposed to do -- provide liquidity,” said Scott Buchta, head of fixed-income strategy at Brean Capital LLC in New York. “But the liquidity providers right now are getting the short end of the stick. It’s harder for dealers to offload these securities because the market depth just isn’t there.”

House Republicans Propose Steep Cuts to Essential Health Care Programs

The proposed changes to the health care system are profound–repealing the Affordable Care Act, block-granting the Medicaid program, and partially privatizing the Medicare program through premium support. Under premium support proposals, the federal government would give Medicare beneficiaries a subsidy to purchase private health insurance.

Critics of premium support caution that privatizing Medicare would significantly increase costs for beneficiaries and weaken the Medicare program. The subsidy made available to people with Medicare purchase insurance may not keep up with the cost of coverage. ...

In addition to privatizing Medicare the budget would also consolidate Medicare Parts A and B and leave in place the sequester cuts instituted in 2011, which reduced payments to Medicare providers.



the horse race



Hillary Has an NSA Problem

What the DoJ decides to do with email-gate is ultimately a question of politics as much as justice. Ms. Clinton’s recent statement on her potential prosecution, “it’s not going to happen,” then refusing to address the question at all in a recent debate, led to speculation about a backroom deal with the White House to shield Ms. Clinton from prosecution as long as Mr. Obama is in the Oval Office. After mid-January, however, all bets would be off. In that case, winning the White House herself could be an urgent matter of avoiding prosecution for Ms. Clinton.

That said, if the DoJ declines to prosecute after the Bureau recommends doing so, a leak-fest of a kind not seen in Washington, D.C., since Watergate should be anticipated. The FBI would be angry that its exhaustive investigation was thwarted by dirty deals between Democrats. In that case, a great deal of Clintonian dirty laundry could wind up in the hands of the press, habitual mainstream media covering for the Clintons notwithstanding, perhaps having a major impact on the presidential race this year.

The FBI isn’t the only powerful federal agency that Hillary Clinton needs to worry about as she plots her path to the White House between scandals and leaks. ...

As I explained in this column in January, one of the most controversial of Ms. Clinton’s emails released by the State Department under judicial order was one sent on June 8, 2011, to the Secretary of State by Sidney Blumenthal, Ms. Clinton’s unsavory friend and confidant who was running a private intelligence service for Ms. Clinton. This email contains an amazingly detailed assessment of events in Sudan, specifically a coup being plotted by top generals in that war-torn country. Mr. Blumenthal’s information came from a top-ranking source with direct access to Sudan’s top military and intelligence officials, and recounted a high-level meeting that had taken place only 24 hours before.

To anybody familiar with intelligence reporting, this unmistakably signals intelligence, termed SIGINT in the trade. In other words, Mr. Blumenthal, a private citizen who had enjoyed no access to U.S. intelligence for over a decade when he sent that email, somehow got hold of SIGINT about the Sudanese leadership and managed to send it, via open, unclassified email, to his friend Ms. Clinton only one day later.

NSA officials were appalled by the State Department’s release of this email, since it bore all the hallmarks of Agency reporting. ... Currently serving NSA officials have told me they have no doubt that Mr. Blumenthal’s information came from their reports. “It’s word-for-word, verbatim copying,” one of them explained. “In one case, an entire paragraph was lifted from an NSA report” that was classified Top Secret / Special Intelligence.

Hillary Clinton Lets Scandal-Plagued Corporation Throw Her a Fund-raiser, for Some Stupid Reason

Theranos is a unicorn that may soon be sent to the glue factory. The biotech start-up was once the toast of Silicon Valley. ... In recent days, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that the company’s lab in Newark, California, was in violation of five federal regulations, thereby posing “immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety."

Next week, Chelsea Clinton will join Holmes at Theranos’s Palo Alto headquarters to help raise money for her mother’s campaign. ... One of Clinton’s primary liabilities in her race against Bernie Sanders is the perception that she is overly friendly with corrupt corporate interests. So it's pretty bizarre that she has decided to have a (reportedly) corrupt corporation host her next big fund-raiser. And it’s only one of several unforced errors the campaign has made since last Friday.

AIPAC Rejects Sanders Offer to Speak via Video, as Romney and Gingrich Did in 2012

Bernie Sanders confirmed on Friday that he will not attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington next week, and his campaign revealed that the candidate’s offer to address the gathering by video link was turned down by the organizers. ...

The pro-Israel group has not yet replied to a request from The Intercept to explain why it would not allow Sanders to address the conference on video, but did allow both Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich to do so during the 2012 presidential campaign.

Sanders Campaign Could Win In Spite of Corporate Media Spin

Bernie Sanders: Clinton 'creamed us' in south but west coast will be better

Bernie Sanders on Sunday admitted he had been “creamed” in many southern states by his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, but said Democrats were “not going to win those states in the general election”. ...

Sanders said his campaign had a good path forward even though “the deep south” was “not a strong area for us”, and pointed out that in Illinois and Missouri the campaigns nearly split the delegates available despite Clinton winning the states. ...

“As we head to the west coast, which is probably the most progressive part of America, I think as you go forward you’re going to see us doing better and better.”

“Those people are not going to be voting for establishment politics. They want real change.”

He added: “Hillary Clinton has moved over the last 10 months to the positions I’ve been advocating for the last 20 or 30 years. Our history in politics is very different and I think the people of this country deserve to know that.”



the evening greens

Amid Water Crisis, Suspicious Flint City Hall Break-in Declared 'Inside Job'

An unsolved December break-in to the Flint City Hall office where files on the water crisis were being stored was "definitely an inside job," the city's police chief has told local media.

That statement raised more than a few eyebrows as Flint officials are currently being investigated for their role in the ongoing lead poisoning crisis. Three months after the burglary, there are still no suspects, and officials have only confirmed that a television has gone missing, though documents were reportedly strewn throughout the office.

The city's new police chief Tim Johnson told the Flint Journal on Friday that the circumstances are too suspicious for the break-in to have been random.

"It was definitely an inside job. The power cord [to the TV] wasn't even taken. The average drug user knows that you'd need the power cord to be able to pawn it," he said. "It was somebody that had knowledge of those documents that really wanted to keep them out of the right hands, out of the hands of someone who was going to tell the real story of what's going on with Flint water."

Flint Residents: "We Need a Public Health Disaster Declaration from President Obama"

Flint's best hope for justice? The streets

The Flint water crisis hearings were an exercise in blame, but there was little solace for those poisoned by lead

If there is to be justice for the people of Flint, it will not be found inside the halls of Congress. It will come from where it always does: the street. In Thursday’s hearings on the poisonings, residents sat in the audience of the hearing room looking to their coiffed representatives for answers, for redress of grievous harm. ...

For the EPA, it was the state. For Michigan, it was the stark budget. For the former mayor, it was the emergency manager. For the Republicans it was President Obama’s EPA. For the Democrats, it was the Republican governor, his omnipotent managers. For all of them it was the cameras. It was the Colosseum. And for the residents of Flint, it was the Ides of March – the community got it in the back. ...

None of this squabbling helps the people of Flint. I met with five families who had driven 17 hours by car to make it [to] the nation’s capital. They wanted to attend the congressional hearings in the People’s House. Amid the long polished halls, the stately wooden doors, the monuments engraved with thunderous inscriptions they were hoping against all odds to find justice – and hope – here.

Such are the whims of extremity, because the notion that their dreams are dead, their futures stunted, their expectations curt is too hard. Too final. Too cruel. It takes a lot for a mother to abandon hope. But if a solution is to be found, it won’t be here. It is in their own hands.

'Red Alert': Great Barrier Reef Severe Bleaching Raised To Highest Threat Level

According to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, recent underwater surveys have detected "substantial levels of coral mortality" in remote far north areas of the reef, due in part to higher-than-average sea surface temperatures. The Authority on Sunday raised its bleaching threat level to three—the highest level in its response plan, indicating "severe regional bleaching."

And on Monday, World Wildlife Fund-Australia released underwater images taken of bleached corals around Lizard Island, showing "large sections of coral drained of all color and fighting for survival," as a spokesperson put it. 

"As the IPCC has stated, coral bleaching is the most widespread and conspicuous impact of climate change," said the WWF's Richard Leck. "We can turn this around. The Reef can recover but we must speed up the shift to clean, renewable energy and we must build reef resilience by reducing runoff pollution from farms and land clearing." ...

Australian environment minister Greg Hunt was criticized Sunday for "sidestepping" the central role of climate change and heat stress as the cause of the bleaching, the Guardian reported

Instead, he highlighted the role of El Niño and omitted any mention of fossil fuels.

In a statement debunking the El Niño "red herring," Australia's independent Climate Council echoed that charge, flatly declaring that coral bleaching "would not occur without the influence of climate change." The burning of coal is directly linked to the devastation of the Great Barrier Reef, added the organization's chief councilor, Tim Flannery.

Rare sea otter sighting offers sign of a resurgence, scientists hope

A rare sighting of a sea otter swimming just off southern California has scientists hoping it is a sign of a resurgence for creatures that were once hunted to near extinction.

The Orange County Register reported on Saturday that two employees of the Crystal Cove Alliance spotted the sea otter last week near Laguna Beach.


Also of Interest

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

Drone Warfare’s Ethical Dilemmas Are Focus of Film “Eye in the Sky”

Nobel Prize Economist Says American Inequality Didn’t Just Happen. It Was Created.

Forbes Yanks a Negative Article on JPMorgan While the Bank Pays for Content

The Democrat Establishment Plan for a Three-Front Anti-Trump, Republican-Splitting, Anti-Left Campaign

Petition: Open an investigation into Hillary Clinton for voter fraud.

Obama Hints Sanders Should Leave the Race. Why?

Clinton Campaign Boosted By More Rumors And Dishonest Attacks Against Sanders

Election 2016: They Don’t Own Your Vote

Sanders Says 'Never' to Nuclear Power, Clinton Claims US Needs It

Censoring Palestinian Maps

Che Guevara's son on Obama in Cuba


A Little Night Music

Ray Charles - Lonely Avenue

Ray Charles - Mess Around

Ray Charles - Losing Hand

Ray Charles - Hit The Road Jack

Ray Charles & w/Aretha Franklin - Georgia On My Mind & It Takes Two to Tango

Ray Charles - Let's Go Get Stoned

Ray Charles - Newport Jazz Festival 1960


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CNN: Bernie Sanders wins Democrats Abroad primary

Bernie Sanders has won the Democrats Abroad presidential primary, defeating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 69% to 31%, the organization announced Monday.

Sanders received 23,779 votes from American Democrats living in more than 170 countries. Clinton received 10,689 votes. He picked up an additional nine delegates, compared to four for Clinton.

The contest marks the Vermont senator's 10th win so far this campaign season ...

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

Martha Pearce-Smith's picture

That makes this Progressive Abroad damn happy!

YahooClappingYahooClapping

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First Nations News

joe shikspack's picture

good news, thanks!

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detroitmechworks's picture

ONCE AGAIN that the "combat Trainers" were only there to observe?
How many times is the media going to accept that complete bullshit story without challenging it?
When a lie is repeated that many times...

Of course the reporter who asked the question would immediately lose access...
The problem is that the Media and the Politicians think they're on the same side.

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22 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

heh, i had a good laugh when they were parsing about what the definition of "boots on the ground" was. last i heard was that it wasn't boots until a whole battalion was in theater. what a bunch of prevaricating weasels!

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10 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

From here out, all Combat Boots have been redesignated "Combat Foot Covering, Pair"

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5 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

i figured that they would just start sending their troops out in running shoes if the boots thing exploded on them.

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5 users have voted.
Bisbonian's picture

Over at the GOS, a couple months ago. I opined that "Boots on the Ground" meant that there were boots, and they were on the ground. Nobody was buying that, though.

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6 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

We need people with the big perspective, the moral framework, not those parsing words like attorneys. "boots on the ground" " the meaning of is" "properly processed"

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4 users have voted.
darkmatter's picture

...there are many philosophers today who are indistinguishable from word-parsing attorneys. The analytic tradition locked itself inside a neat little box and went to sleep. You will find a more powerful moral vision from artists these days, in my view. People who still know how to say f. u. to authority.

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3 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

heh, philosophers are just as corruptible as lawyers. heck, most of the philosophy majors that i knew in college either became lawyers or went into the religion business.

what we need are decent people. getting a decent person into office is darned hard to do.

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3 users have voted.
Lisa Lockwood's picture

There's little an American president could do to make things better in the Middle East, he says, never stopping to consider the possibility of halting arms shipments, stopping the bombings, grounding the drones, ceasing the overthrows, dropping support for dictators, withdrawing troops, paying reparations, giving aid, shifting to green energy, and treating others with respectful cooperation. Those sorts of things just don't qualify as a doctrine in Washington, D.C. - See more at: http://caucus99percent.com/content/evening-blues-3-21-16#sthash.fzoUlbrM...

Pretty much sums up how I feel about the 'hope' and 'change' Presidency.

Now I remember why I always liked you so much Wink

Also, I have a question/suggestion about this here place that I'm feeling so darned good about.
Any chance that in the future, we could have 'sections' or topics headers for posting and discussion, like the old fashioned newspapers?
Like, 'Elections', US Policy, The World, Music, Breaking News, Open Thread, Science, Art and Poetry, Critters etc.. where blog posts having to do with those topics could be housed indexed?

Would make it easier for this old girl to navigate, is all.

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5 users have voted.

"When the powerless are shut out of the media, we will make the media irrelevant" ~Anonymous~

snoopydawg's picture

That the US's foreign policy is creating blowback. They just don't care because the goal of these wars (invasions and bombings) isn't to win.
The purposes of these actions has always been to let the corporations steal other country's resources. Smedley Butler told us that he spent 33 years in the military being muscle for hire for the corporations.
And they are also to transfer wealth from our taxes to the defense contractors.
And of course the banks get rich because they fund both sides of the conflicts.
The goal isn't to get rid of the terrorists. Hell, we've been arming, training and funding them since at least the 80's when they created Al Quada.
And after we fought against them during the Iraq war, we are now fighting besides the same group in Syria.
It's a circular clusterfuck in the Middle East. And it's going as planned.
Last evening I wrote about how the military killed the Iraqi troops returning from Kuwait. They bombed them for a couple of hours.
But there have been miles long convoys of ISIS's trucks taking oil to Turkey and bringing back supplies from there. Obama said that he didn't want to bomb them because he didn't want to cause civilians causalities.
Putin started bombing them and Obama finally was shamed in to bombing them too.
The military has dropped over 15,000 bombs since the Syrian war started, yet ISIS continues to grow.

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6 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

thanks!

Any chance that in the future, we could have 'sections' or topics headers for posting and discussion, like the old fashioned newspapers?
Like, 'Elections', US Policy, The World, Music, Breaking News, Open Thread, Science, Art and Poetry, Critters etc.. where blog posts having to do with those topics could be housed indexed?

the site folks are going to have to hash out how to do that, whether it's through tags (which is an appealing option, but it means that we will have to get people to practice good tagging to make it effective) or tabs or something else. anything beyond the tag search means changing the site architecture and it has lots of implications for how people interact with the content. we want to make whatever adjustments we make in a way that doesn't "silo" content so that only small groups of people ever get exposed to some issues or content.

anyway, changes along those lines are coming and planning is happening now.

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Lisa Lockwood's picture

and the quick responses to make this place as user friendly as possible. You founders/admins/work horses have my gratitude!
If C99 needs any help with moderation, admin stuff in future, I would be happy to volunteer. I spent 5 years moderating a sports forum (high school and collegiate wrestling) on AOL that had several thousand raucous members, back in the olden days when AOL was pretty much all there was on the t00bs for the masses.

Anyways, gracias!

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1 user has voted.

"When the powerless are shut out of the media, we will make the media irrelevant" ~Anonymous~

enhydra lutris's picture

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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 --

hester's picture

Re: Ray Charles When I was 12 years old i had each and every one of his albums. He was performing at Carnegie Hall and I took a train (about 40 minutes) into NYC alone and sat in the balcony, alone. He was singling w the Raylettes then. I was the only white girl in the balcony but was standing on the chair dancing, like 1/2 the balcony audience. It was a wonderful time.

When my kids were in elementary school, I took them to another Ray Charles concert, outdoors near Hartford, CT. We had a great time there too. One of the all time greatest!

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21 users have voted.

Don't believe everything you think.

joe shikspack's picture

yes, this is exactly like an open thread. Smile

i'm glad to hear that you have had excellent taste in music for a long time and are passing it on to your kids.

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7 users have voted.
PastorAgnostic's picture

A frayed knot, in udder words?

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

while you're knot looking a comment could enter the fray and open the thread.

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4 users have voted.
Alison Wunderland's picture

knox berry nice to farm comments like this.

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4 users have voted.
PastorAgnostic's picture

Goose, blue, straw, black, and ras.

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thrownstone's picture

in Hartford at the Bushnell(?) Auditorium in '62. He had the Raylettes and a whole orchestra. I had no idea...

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1 user has voted.

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” Voltaire

NCTim's picture

I took my kids to see Ray Charles *2. They are 23 & 36 now. Whenever they want to trump a music conversation they can always play the Ray Charles card.

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2 users have voted.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

triv33's picture

From The Intercept tonight:
Edward Snowden and The Wire’s David Simon Talk Surveillance and Its Limits on Twitter

According to Snowden’s disclosures, some NSA surveillance programs specifically target disposable phone use. If it’s switched on only briefly, or turned off in close proximity to another phone activated at the same time, that user is marked for special scrutiny.

This type of tactic could be helpful to track down “corner guys” who can’t afford to buy new burners for every call, Simon argued—ostensibly suggesting that the lower level ISIS affiliates might hold onto their phones for a few days, helping investigators catch up and keep them in their sights.

But Snowden says—aside from the fact that transnational terrorists can usually get hold of a plethora of discardable cellphones—that isn’t the point of the program. NSA metadata surveillance is designed to target the next Osama bin Laden—not the “corner guy.”

And no matter how much stuff they scoop up, it doesn’t really work all that well for sniffing out terrorists. The NSA’s mass surveillance programs have done little, if anything, to foil any major terrorist attacks—a fact that a White House review panel member conceded to in 2013. It “never worked,” Snowden wrote.

It's a short piece, but fun.

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21 users have voted.

I shave my legs with Occam's Razor~

I read an article by an intelligence professional years ago, and a phrase stuck with me. "If you are trying to find a needle in a haystack, don't start by making the haystack bigger."

Unfortunately, the U.S. government is doing exactly that with mass surveillance and a "terrorist watch list" that has over a million records.

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18 users have voted.

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

triv33's picture

And using the data for.....?

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9 users have voted.

I shave my legs with Occam's Razor~

detroitmechworks's picture

That need feeding.

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6 users have voted.

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

snoopydawg's picture

Against some one who is pissing them off. Like leaders of protest groups.
Just my opinion.
But there's a reason why they are collecting all our communications.

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4 users have voted.

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

snoopydawg's picture

Against some one who is pissing them off. Like leaders of protest groups.
Just my opinion.
But there's a reason why they are collecting all our communications.

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1 user has 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

thanks for the story. i wonder why "it doesn't work," doesn't seem to trump, "we gotta try."

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5 users have voted.
triv33's picture

that it's because that's not all they're using that data for, but what do I know?Heh!

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6 users have voted.

I shave my legs with Occam's Razor~

joe shikspack's picture

i guess those are classified and compartmented.

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3 users have voted.
mimi's picture

The colour of skin is one thing, the colour of ideology is another.”

Could be said about a lot of people...

Thanks for Ray Charles, your quote and all the meaty stories, which I haven't read yet. I was thinking about eating a more vegetarian diet these days, but I am a hopeless meat-lover. I guess I have to get a tablet, so that I can read in my bed at night.

Have a good evening.

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14 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

i thought that che's son was pretty sharp and had a good outlook on the issues. must have good genes. Smile

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8 users have voted.
NWIA's picture

What is anyone's best guess about this scandal actually erupting prior to the convention?

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14 users have voted.
Jazzenterprises's picture

that if any indictments occur, it will be in early May, so yes, before the convention.

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11 users have voted.

Progressive to the bone.

shaharazade's picture

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7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

considering the obama doj's extreme bias against prosecuting members of the political, military and financial elites for their crimes, my guess is that we aren't going to see this erupt (unless there are serious leaks) unless clinton loses and a rethug takes the presidency.

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6 users have voted.
Jazzenterprises's picture

is two-fer, and is Monday inspired. Thanks as always Joe, you're the man!

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11 users have voted.

Progressive to the bone.

joe shikspack's picture

thanks!

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7 users have voted.
IdealistCynic's picture

k_IsvE111A

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3 users have voted.
Martha Pearce-Smith's picture

Trump, elephant, toupee.jpg
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17 users have voted.

Please help the Resilience Resource Library grow by adding your links.

First Nations News

joe shikspack's picture

that's pretty good, i like it. thanks!

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5 users have voted.

Why Utah Mormons' distaste for Trump could turn a red state reluctantly blue

A new Deseret News/KSL poll found Trump would lose to Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in Utah...

This is something new. Utah hasn't voted for a Democratic candidate for president in a general election since President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. According to the poll, Hillary might edge out Trump 38 to 36 percent in Utah. BERNIE would clobber Trump 48 percent to 37 percent.

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13 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

sounds good. i guess we'll know something more about utah tomorrow night.

"I see the gentleman from Utah
Our friendly Beehive State
How can we help you, Utah?
How can we make you great?"

"Well, we got to irrigate our deserts
We've got to get some things to grow
And we got to tell this country about Utah
'Cause nobody seems to know"

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4 users have voted.
Shahryar's picture

http://variety.com/2016/biz/news/george-clooney-amal-hillary-clinton-fun...

George Clooney and his wife, Amal, will host a series of fundraisers next month for Hillary Clinton, with the campaign launching a contest in which winners can meet the candidate and the couple at the Clooneys’ home.

and ugh...

The Los Angeles event will be on April 16, according to a source, with tickets priced at $33,400 per person for the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

it shouldn't be much of a surprise since Clooney famously stomped off from dinner in Las Vegas when his host criticized Obama.

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detroitmechworks's picture

Ever. I will take Adam West's Opinion over his any day...

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11 users have voted.

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

Shahryar's picture

the dark versions are reflective of our eternal war society.

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10 users have voted.
dlxtele's picture

Val Kilmer was the worst Batman IMO. I like Val in supporting roles always have. However, when he is called upon to carry a movie he just does not have the acting chops.

I am for Hillary and if George is too that is cool with me. No need to denigrate his work just for his political choices; I mean it's not like he is backing Cruz or a fricking Libertarian candidate. I chose Hillary after looking over Bernie and her's position's and deciding she was the best.

Brent

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1 user has voted.
NCTim's picture

The church is on fire.

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1 user has voted.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

joe shikspack's picture

i guess that clinton is the candidate of the jet set, dahhhhhhling.

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5 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

Aren't exactly enthused about the extensions to his house either. Having passed through Sonning a few times, I can understand why the villagers aren't enamored by all the fuss.

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3 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

snoopydawg's picture

Will give them more opportunities to meet with the refugees fleeing from countries that Hillary helped destroy.
There was an article about them meeting the refugees on hupo today.

There is a new poster at TOP that kept saying that Bernie needs to drop out of the race because Hillary is running out of money.
Poor gal, she might have to loan some of her easily earned money to her campaign. And did she ever pay of her debts from the last one?

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6 users have voted.

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

thanatokephaloides's picture

At Tuesday’s briefing, organized by the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus, Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., opened the event by saying that since the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement was signed in 1985, trade between the countries has “multiplied tenfold to over $40 billion annually.”

The boycott movement would not only impact the Israeli economy, but also the U.S. economy and “should be confronted by all means,” he said.

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement is a global campaign calling on Israel to end its occupation of internationally recognized Palestinian territory and restore full equality to its Arab and Palestinian citizens.

I live in the 5th Congressional District of Colorado. Old Dougie Lamborn is, unfortunately, my NON-Representative in the House of Representatives.

I can count on him to oppose any and all good, noble, or worthy ideas in favor of mandatory conformancy, fundamentalistic Dominionism, and continuous war. He recently sent me an email bragging about how some fundi rightwing organization gave him an award for "Supporting the Family" and stating that he deserved that award because, in part, he "opposed relaxation of marijuana prohibition".

He's a fucking dick.

The problem is that here in CO-5, we actually have a right-wing populace, as bad as or worse than central Alabama or Mississippi. I'm actually related to te last Democrat to be elected as an El Paso County Commissioner (James Z. McCullough, 1940 election, IIRC). GOTV and other traditional remedies would more likely hurt me than help me.

Sigh.

Sad

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7 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

i feel your pain, so to speak. my misrepresentative is a conservadem who'd like the government to surveil us all 24/7/365.

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7 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

my misrepresentative is a conservadem who'd like the government to surveil us all 24/7/365.

Gak! In some ways I'm better off with an honest, genuine Rethuglinazi than you with an imitation one!

Conservadems, whether in office or just voting..... like that woman I saw on the news: "I don't want a revolution, I just want a President!" (Flagrantly obvious Clinton supporter)

Amen, amen, I say unto you and all: Gak!!

Wink

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5 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

rezolution's picture

At my first look, I saw what you wrote as

"...that woman I saw on the news said "I don't want a revolution, I just want to be President."

and I thought hahaa, look at that, she does tell the truth occasionally.

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3 users have voted.

progdog's picture

*schemes and plots*

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5 users have voted.

prog - weirdo | dog - woof

joe shikspack's picture

bwahahaha?

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4 users have voted.
progdog's picture

Are our machinations blue? Wink

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3 users have voted.

prog - weirdo | dog - woof

joe shikspack's picture

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6 users have voted.
progdog's picture

It's pretty awesome here!

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4 users have voted.

prog - weirdo | dog - woof

thanatokephaloides's picture

At c99p are our machinations blue?

Well, the machine itself certainly is!

Smile

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3 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

progdog's picture

It's blue because we're just that fast!

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3 users have voted.

prog - weirdo | dog - woof

The old devils are at it again...

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5 users have voted.

It's true right now like it was back then. The old devils are at it again. When I say devil you know who I mean these animals in the dark malicious politicians with nefarious schemes charlatans and crooked cops. - 'Old Devils' William Elliot Whitmore

joe shikspack's picture

if it's not the old devils, some new devil will take over.

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6 users have voted.

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3 users have voted.

It's true right now like it was back then. The old devils are at it again. When I say devil you know who I mean these animals in the dark malicious politicians with nefarious schemes charlatans and crooked cops. - 'Old Devils' William Elliot Whitmore

enhydra lutris's picture

Black Americans and encryption: the stakes are higher than Apple v FBI - See more at: http://caucus99percent.com/content/evening-blues-3-21-16#sthash.MPV7pRFe...

is so simple and obvious for anybody who has ever been in any mass movement against the forces of repression, that my mind is again boggled thinking back to when Kos declared such concerns to be issues of privelege and the priveleged. How can one resist if spying and tracking of all cadres and members is 24/7? What lunacy fails to recognize this?

I cannot help but laugh at the latest sorry-assed attack on the BDS, and naturally I cannot help but celebrate this item

Rare sea otter sighting offers sign of a resurgence, scientists hope

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7 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 --

Bisbonian's picture

not a longer commute to find food.

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5 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

joe shikspack's picture

i was thinking of you when i read that article about the sea otter sighting.

yeah, kos has said some pretty goofy stuff sometimes. that bit about privacy concerns being motivated by white privilege is probably one of the dumbest things that has ever tumbled out of his keyboard.

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5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

who see everything in white and black. And that makes good clicks.

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5 users have voted.

I see so much coverage about who is to blame and will Snyder resign but very little about what this means for the people of Flint. Lead poisoning isn't just a stomach. It can result in irreversible brain damage linked to long-term intellectual deficits. Children poisoned by lead will have trouble academically, so they will have trouble getting a job, so they will have trouble earning money and benefits. Lead poisoning is a ticket to a life in poverty and all of the horrible things that go along with it.

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9 users have voted.
PastorAgnostic's picture

But their skin has this melatonin tone, ya know what I mean? Like, aren't they like 3/5's of a real person?
Our constipation says that, and I gots a copy with the 2nd amendment highlighted!

What a horrible event, a long term torture aimed at the innocent.

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3 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

you'd think that there would be rich soil for an enterprising reporter to dig in there. perhaps it's just a matter that it will take some time before serious symptoms show up in large numbers of kids.

i guess after the clown show for the cameras is over in washington and the courts decide who is to blame and who is to pay, then perhaps it will be time for the teevee to show the poisoned kids.

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3 users have voted.
NCTim's picture

Brazil The United States Is Engulfed by Ruling Class Corruption — and a Dangerous Subversion of Democracy.

Thanks for the compendium.

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6 users have voted.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

joe shikspack's picture

or was it, brazil is engulfed in us ruling class corruption and covert subversion?

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4 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

/s

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3 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.

NCTim's picture

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0 users have voted.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche -

snoopydawg's picture

There's too much information for me to remember in it, but I liked this paragraph

"Goldberg writes as unquestioned fact that "Assad's army had murdered more than 1,400 civilians with Sarin gas" many paragraphs prior to stating that one of Obama's reasons for reversing course on bombing Syria was the CIA's warning that this claim was "not a slam dunk." Goldberg writes that "the strong sentiment inside the Obama administration was that Assad had earned dire punishment." Thus a proposal to drop 500-pound bombs all over Syria, killing countless people, is made respectable in Washington by depicting it as revenge, and nowhere does Goldberg mention oil pipelines, a Russian rivalry, the overthrow of Assad as a step toward Iranian overthrow, or other factors actually at work for which the dubious chemical weapons claims served as an excuse to bomb.

Of course, not bombing was the right thing to do, and Obama deserves praise for it, while Hillary Clinton's publicly stated belief that this was the wrong decision, and John Kerry's continued private advocacy for bombing, are reprehensible"

It takes him to task for all the murdering of innocent civilians from bombs dropped by drones. And that weapons sales have gone way up during his administration. And we know that the Clintons and their foundation got close to a billion dollars from governments after Hillary's state department sold those countries weapons.

Those weapons that were sold to Saudi Arabia are killing people in Yemen. They have bombed close to 100 hospitals and the US and its allies haven't said jack shit about it being a war crime. But why would they? The military members that bombed the DWOB hospital in Afghanistan were basically given a slap on the wrist.

Hillary is on record speaking out against the BDS of Israel and of course the corporations are going to also if it gets in the way of their profits.

Anyone listen to her speech today at the AIPAC event? It was disturbing and disgusting.
I will include a link from common dreams about it. Hillary will protect Israel from any hint at committing war crimes.
Dear Dog, I don't want her or Bill back in the White House. Imagine what more damage that they will do.

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4 users have voted.

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

snoopydawg's picture

Palestinian and human rights advocates were aghast over remarks made by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convention on Monday, saying the her speech represented "everything that is bad" with U.S. imperialism and policy in the Middle East.

During the address, Clinton vowed to take the U.S.-Israel relationship to "the next level"—a level which seemingly includes more war and imperialism, few, if any, rights for Palestinians, and definitely no economic boycotts of Israel.

"Has even one single Clinton supporter denounced the disgusting speech she gave today?"
—Glenn GreenwaldStriking a hawkish tone, Clinton warned the powerful lobby group against rival candidates who want to "outsource Middle East security to dictators" and "cede the mantle of leadership for global peace and security," and instead vowed even more "security and intelligence cooperation."

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/03/21/critics-aghast-disgusting-sp...

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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

mimi's picture

New Clinton emails show how Google collaborated with US State Department to try to oust Assad

A few weeks back I suggested that former State Department staffer Jared Cohen, now head of Google Jigsaw (formerly Google Ideas) might be abusing his position at the company to stealthily act as an agent for his former government bosses.

While the story got a decent amount of play on political Twitter, it was pretty much ignored inside the tech industry. After all, it sounds like a conspiracy theory. A former state department official acting essentially as a secret agent inside the world’s most powerful tech company, to turn it into a private arm of the US intelligence services? Please.
....
Newly released Hillary Clinton emails, published on Wikileaks, show that Jared Cohen, head of Google Jigsaw, has been acting as a secret agent for the state department, turning the world’s most powerful tech company into a private arm of the US intelligence services.

From: Jared Cohen [mailto Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 1:21 PM To: Burns, William J; Sullivan, Jacob J; alec.ross
Subject: Syria
Deputy Secretary Burns, Jake, Alec,
Please keep close hold, but my team is planning to launch a tool on Sunday that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from.
....
Given how hard it is to get information into Syria right now, we are partnering with Al-Jazeera who will take primary ownership over the tool we have built, track the data, verify it, and broadcast it back into Syria. I've attached a few visuals that show what the tool will look like. Please keep this very close hold and let me know if there is anything eke you think we need to account for or think about before we launch. We believe this can have an important impact. Thanks,

A secret government spy using Google data and resources to build spying tools to help the US State Department encourage regime change in Syria.

Pretty cool!

Pretty hot? The guy is just some thirtyfive years old. A baby. And already rotten.

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

thanks very much for that!

wikileaks has posted some interesting stuff about eric schmidt's relationship with the state department, too.

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2 users have voted.
mawnjilla's picture

They had the 5 remaining candidates do interviews back to back. I didn't watch Cruz or Kasich. Hillary got soft balls, Trump got soft balls, Bernie got red baiting and leading questions about Israel, and about not attending AIPAC today... are they really trying to paint the Jew as an anti-Semite? That's what it seemed like to me. Anderson Cooper asked him 4 times in a row whether he would invite Raoul Castro to the WH...it was pretty comical. He did get Bernie to say it, and I'm sure Anderson got a tingle up his leg, but Bernie skillfully pivoted to bashing our imperialist American exceptionalism, and pointed out that we invite authoritarian dictators to the WH all the time, so yes, relations should be fully normalized with Cuba. Bernie also refused to suck up to Israel, and pointed out that Palestine needed a seat at the table when it comes to a two state solution, and that Israel's settlements and brutal bombings of schools and hospitals were unacceptable. I thought he nailed it. What do you guys think about Bernie's foreign policy?

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bern baby bern disco inberno

joe shikspack's picture

regarding bernie's foreign policy, i laid out what i think here:

Bernie Needs Your Help

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The following is excerpted from prepared remarks for a speech that Sanders gave elsewhere (just where is unclear):

I was invited along with other presidential candidates to be at the AIPAC conference in Washington, but obviously I could not make it because we are here.

The issues that AIPAC is dealing with are very important issues and I wanted to give the same speech here as I would have given if we were at that conference.

. . .

I am here to tell the American people that, if elected president, I will work tirelessly to advance the cause of peace as a partner and as a friend to Israel.

But to be successful, we have also got to be a friend not only to Israel, but to the Palestinian people, where in Gaza unemployment today is 44 percent and we have there a poverty rate which is almost as high.

So when we talk about Israel and Palestinian areas, it is important to understand that today there is a whole lot of among Palestinians and that cannot be ignored. You can’t have good policy that results in peace if you ignore one side.

. . .

[P]eace also means security for every Palestinian. It means achieving self-determination, civil rights, and economic well-being for the Palestinian people.

Peace will mean ending what amounts to the occupation of Palestinian territory, establishing mutually agreed upon borders, and pulling back settlements in the West Bank, just as Israel did in Gaza –once considered an unthinkable move on Israel’s part.

https://berniesanders.com/sanders-outlines-middle-east-policy/

There's lots more about the wider MENA
situation.

And the link now has a video at the bottom to the speech he actually gave.

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Only connect. - E.M. Forster

janis b's picture

That Vonnegut quote is both visually and sonically disturbing. I also associated "flags and well-oiled guns" with the disturbing state of too much of the conversation elsewhere.

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joe shikspack's picture

mr. vonnegut was not a big fan of war and as a writer he was fully capable of registering his disgust with potent imagery.

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gendjinn's picture

Making the case that the lesser of two evils has already gotten us to a place of evil.

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