The Evening Blues - 5-15-17



eb1pt12



The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Eddie C. Campbell



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features Chicago blues singer and guitarist Eddie C. Campbell. Enjoy!



Eddie Campbell - All your love

“Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship…

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

-- Hermann Goering


News and Opinion


Ok guys, here's how you do it, you label any candidate who is a threat to the globalist, neoliberal, warmongering order a "Russian stooge," and then you goose your compliant media while suppressing all other media. As Goering pointed out, it works every time.

Russia's alleged interference in elections under spotlight at Prague summit

Security specialists from 27 countries including Britain and the US are meeting in Prague on Monday in what has been billed as the most concerted attempt yet to counter alleged Kremlin destabilisation measures aimed at undermining western elections.

The Czech interior ministry is hosting the five-day summit staged by Stratcom - Nato’s strategic communications arm – in an effort to persuade governments and the European Union to strengthen electoral processes amid rising concern over suspected interference by the Russian government under Vladimir Putin.

The event comes at a time of heightened sensitivity following Donald Trump’s sacking last week of the FBI director, James Comey, who had been overseeing an investigation into alleged links between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Elections are approaching in several European countries including Britain next month, Germany in September and the Czech Republic, which faces a parliamentary poll in October and a presidential election a few months later. Officials have voiced fears about the possibility of Russian-backed disruption.

“Western countries are taking this more seriously now because they can see it affects themselves and not just Ukraine and the Baltic states,” said Jakub Janda, of the Prague-based European Values thinktank, which is organising the conference along with other bodies including the British embassy.

TYT’s Cenk Uygur Smears TYT Journalist Michael Tracey On Air For Being Anti-Russiagate

On a recent TYT panel featuring four completely uncritical Russiagate conspiracy theorists furiously agreeing with each other that Donald Trump definitely colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election, Uygur went on a frantic, hyperventilating rant wherein he criticized those on the left who accuse Russiagate conspiracy theorists of participating in a frantic, hyperventilating fact-free McCarthyist feeding frenzy. Cenk then slammed the brakes on the discussion and went out of his way to communicate to his 3.3 million YouTube subscribers that one of his own journalists, TYT’s Michael Tracey, has “got blinders on” when it comes to Russia. Check it out in this quick clip here:

“The people saying — and I know them, they’re not stupid, they’re really really smart — but they’ve got blinders on,” Uygur said of critical thinkers who refuse to accept a complete lack of evidence as evidence. “Look I’ll tell you, one of them, you know him, Michael Tracey. I love the guy, and I hired him, right? Super smart guy, but he’s like this on Russia: I don’t see it! I don’t see it! I don’t see it!”

If you’ve got sixteen minutes to spare, check out what happened the last time Uygur tried to publicly challenge Tracey’s take on the Russiagate hysteria when he was actually in the room. Tracey dominated that panel like a silverback gorilla in mating season. Cenk kept having to stop the conversation and explain to the camera why his audience shouldn’t believe anything Tracey was saying, and then he’d get mauled some more. It was a four-person panel, but the entire thing was mostly Uygur getting spanked by Tracey while the other two watched and tried not to get any blood on them. Cenk was made a fool of in front of his audience, and he remembered it, and now he’s tagging Tracey back when he’s not there to smack him down.

And what can Tracey do? He’s very much in the down-power position here; he can’t go on a Twitter rant or make a TYT video explaining why his boss is an establishment tool and a moron. Whenever his truth telling is actively subverted by the man who hired him, he’s going to have to either suck it up or leave. Uygur abused a power imbalance, looked right at the camera, and told his massive audience that they shouldn’t trust Michael Tracey’s commentary on Russiagate when Tracey wasn’t there to defend himself. And it’s not okay. This is one of the many, many ways the establishment wedges honest journalists into the margins, which is why you now have to comb through the fringes of online alternative media in order to find any. It is a disgrace, and Uygur should be ashamed of himself.

The ‘Soft Coup’ of Russia-gate

Where is Stanley Kubrick when we need him? If he hadn’t died in 1999, he would be the perfect director to transform today’s hysteria over Russia into a theater-of-the-absurd movie reprising his Cold War classic, “Dr. Strangelove,” which savagely satirized the madness of nuclear brinksmanship and the crazed ideology behind it. ...

I realize that many Democrats, liberals and progressives hate Donald Trump so much that they believe that any pretext is justified in taking him down, even if that plays into the hands of the neoconservatives and other warmongers. Many people who detest Trump view Russia-gate as the most likely path to achieve Trump’s impeachment, so this desirable end justifies whatever means. Some people have told me that they even believe that it is the responsibility of the major news media, the law enforcement and intelligence communities, and members of Congress to engage in a “soft coup” against Trump – also known as a “constitutional coup” or “deep state coup” – for the “good of the country.” ...

There are obvious counter-arguments to this view, particularly that it makes something of a sham of American democracy. It also imposes on journalists a need to violate the ethical responsibility to provide objective reporting, not taking sides in political disputes. But The New York Times and The Washington Post, in particular, have made it clear that they view Trump as a clear and present danger to the American system and thus have cast aside any pretense of neutrality. The Times justifies its open hostility to the President as part of its duty to protect “the truth”; the Post has adopted a slogan aimed at Trump, “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” In other words, America’s two most influential political newspapers are effectively pushing for a “soft coup” under the guise of defending “democracy” and “truth.” ...

However, besides the risks to U.S. stability that would come from an Establishment-driven “soft coup,” there is the additional danger of ratcheting up tensions so high with nuclear-armed Russia that this extreme Russia-bashing takes on a life – or arguably many, many deaths – of its own. Which is why America now might need a piercing satire of today’s Russia-phobia or at least a revival of the Cold War classic, “Dr. Strangelove,” subtitled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”

North Korea says missile tested over weekend can carry nuclear warhead

North Korea claims the US mainland is now within range of its missiles after it successfully test-fired a new rocket it says is capable of carrying a “large-scale, heavy nuclear warhead”.

Sunday morning’s launch of a mid- to long-range ballistic missile was overseen by the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, who accused the US of “browbeating” countries that “have no nukes”. He warned Washington not to misjudge the reality that the US mainland is in Pyongyang’s “sighting range for [a] strike”, the KCNA state news agency reported.

KCNA said the missile was a new ground-to-ground Hwasong-12 capable of carrying a large-size heavy nuclear warhead. Kim reportedly “hugged officials in the field of rocket research, saying that they worked hard to achieve a great thing”, it added. The missile was launched on an unusually high trajectory to avoid threatening the security of nearby countries. KCNA said it flew to an altitude of 1,312 miles (2,111 km) and travelled 490 miles before landing in the Sea of Japan, near Russia.

Most experts are sceptical of North Korean claims that it has missiles that can reach the US mainland, but analysts said the flight data suggested the rocket launched on Sunday could fly at least 2,800 miles if launched at a standard trajectory – putting the Pacific territory of Guam within range. “This is the longest-range missile North Korea has ever tested,” Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear expert at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in the US, told Agence France-Presse.

In Turkey, new demands to evict US forces from Incirlik Air Base

A prominent Turkish newspaper has demanded the eviction of U.S. troops and warplanes from Incirlik Air Base as fallout there worsens from the Trump administration's controversial move to arm a Kurdish militia fighting the Islamic State in neighboring Syria.

In a front-page editorial published Friday, the newspaper Sozcu called for Incirlik's complete closure. It's an unlikely outcome, military officials and observers say, but a clear sign of how dramatically relations have deteriorated between the NATO allies. ...

The editorial is noteworthy, too, because Sozcu's coverage has been deeply critical of the Turkish government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who expressed similar outrage when Washington's new arms deal with the YPG was announced last week and warned that supporting the Kurds would elicit blow-back. Erdogan is likely to vent his frustration to President Donald Trump when the two leaders meet this week at the White House.

Son of Hunger-Striking Palestinian Leader Marwan Barghouti: I Haven't Touched My Father in 15 Years



Dangerous Trifecta of Crises as Yemen Hit With Cholera Outbreak

As if things couldn't get worse for those living in the besieged nation of Yemen, a cholera outbreak has reportedly killed more than 50 people and spread to thousands more since late April, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed on Thursday.

The outbreak was first announced in October 2016 but the recent surge creates a dangerous trifecta of crises. Already facing widespread threats of famine and an ongoing war that has claimed the lives of 4,000 civilians, the Middle Eastern nation has very little infrastructure or capacity to deal with the highly-contagious disease.

As WHO noted in its press statement, "The uptick in cholera cases comes as Yemen's already weakened health system struggles under the weight of two years of conflict. Key infrastructure, including water and sanitation facilities, are collapsing, contributing to the spread of diarrhoeal disease."

According to the United Nation's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), less than half of Yemen's medical facilities are currently functional.

An excellent article worth a full read. Here's some of the intro:

Making Trump an Endless War President

The two top national security officials in the Trump administration – Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster – are trying to secure long-term U.S. ground and air combat roles in the three long-running wars in the greater Middle East – Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. ... But if this power play succeeds in one or more of the three, it could guarantee the extension of permanent U.S. ground combat in the greater Middle East for many years to come – and would represent a culmination of the “generational war” first announced by the George W. Bush administration. ...

It remains to be seen whether President Trump will approve the proposals that Mattis and McMaster have pushed in recent weeks. Judging from his position during the campaign and his recent remarks, Trump may well balk at the plans now being pushed by his advisers.

The plans for the three countries now being developed within the Trump administration encompass long-term stationing of troops, access to bases and the authority to wage war in these three countries. These are the primordial interests of the Pentagon and the U.S. military leadership, and they have pursued those interests more successfully in the Middle East (bureaucratically at least) than anywhere else on the globe. U.S. military officials aren’t talking about “permanent” stationing of troops and bases in these countries, referring instead to the “open-ended commitment” of troops. But they clearly want precisely that in all three.

Back to all Trump, all the time...

Trump relying on charisma to bridge old divides on first foreign trip

Donald Trump is embarking on a week of diplomacy and preparation for his first foreign trip as president, aimed at demonstrating that his personal charisma can override longstanding global divisions and conflicts of interest with old allies. ...

Starting on Friday, the president’s world tour is seeking to recast Trump as a world statesman at a time when the legitimacy of his election victory is under greater attack than ever following his dismissal of the FBI director, James Comey, who was overseeing an investigation into the Trump campaign’s links to Russia. ...

In describing Trump’s first foreign excursion – which takes in Saudi Arabia, Israel, the Vatican, Brussels and Sicily – national security adviser, HR McMaster outlined the ethos of the president’s approach to foreign affairs, modelled on the visit last month by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, to the president’s private club at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

“The president prioritizes building strong relationships, as you see here, every day with world leaders as a way to strengthen our alliances. And he’s been successful,” McMaster said. He laid out the agenda for Trump’s trip, which starts with visits to the ancient capitals of Islam, Judaism and Christianity and culminates in Nato and G7 summits at the end of the following week, describing it in almost messianic terms.

[Heh, then the General does his Trump impression, or is it a parody? - js]

“This trip is truly historic. No president has ever visited the homelands and holy sites of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths all on one trip,” McMaster said. “And what President Trump is seeking is to unite peoples of all faiths around a common vision of peace, progress, and prosperity.

Well, there is the fact that there was clear evidence of a crime (a burglary) in the Watergate episode, but there is no evidence available of crime(s) committed by Trump - but other than that, it's just like Watergate. It's a shame that Democracy Now is participating in this McCarthyite brewhaha.


Donald Trump is Deep into Watergate Territory Now: Former Congresswoman Who Probed Nixon Speaks Out



James Clapper on Trump: U.S. institutions are “under assault”

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper didn’t hold back his criticism of President Donald Trump Sunday, saying U.S. institutions are “under assault internally.” When CNN’s Jake Tapper asked, “Internally, from the president?” Clapper responded, “Exactly.” Clapper said that he believes that the system of checks and balances “is under assault and eroding.” ...

Clapper told CNN that he and Comey spoke about the one-on-one dinner in which Trump reportedly demanded Comey’s loyalty.

“He was — my characterization — uneasy with it,” Clapper told Tapper, “both from the standpoint of the optic of compromising his independence and the independence of the FBI.”

What firing Comey means for the future of the FBI

[A] dramatic change in leadership could affect the bureau’s public image, influence its budget priorities, and slow or hamstring certain investigations at the 35,000-strong agency, former FBI and Department of Justice officials told VICE News. Many said Comey had overstepped his authority while handling the Hillary Clinton email scandal and behaved insubordinately to the attorney general, whom the director of the FBI reports to. Others saw Comey’s firing as the result of Trump’s anger over the Russia probe and think his departure could damage morale within the bureau.

“Trump’s priority is to shut down the investigation,” said William Yeomans, who spent 26 years at the DOJ, in positions including deputy assistant attorney general, chief of staff, and acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. “Whoever comes in will have the authority to re-adjust resources and to make decisions that can undermine the investigation. The FBI director has some authority to do that.” ...

Trump will get to nominate the next FBI director, and former Justice Department and law enforcement officials expect him to pick someone supportive of the White House agenda and the sweeping changes taking place at the DOJ under Attorney General Jeff Sessions. ...

For example, “you can backburn these things and not authorize pursuing what could turn out to be controversial leads,” Yeomans explained. “Normally, the director wouldn’t be too hands on in an investigation, except in ones like [the Russia investigation] that has such enormous political and constitutional ramifications,” he added.

Trump Expanding War From Syria to Afghanistan As Media Focuses on Comey



Trump's lawyers say he makes [almost] no money from Russia

President Trump attempted to put to rest concerns over his business ties to Russia with a letter released by his own lawyers Friday. The letter, signed by lawyers Sheri Dillon and William Nelson, said according to their analysis of Trump’s tax returns, Trump has no meaningful ties with Russia or Russian entities — “with a few exceptions.” Namely, those exceptions are a piece of property in Florida that Trump sold for $95 million to a Russian billionaire, and $12.2 million he made from a Miss Universe pageant in Moscow in 2013.

The Russian billionaire who bought Trump’s Florida property is Dmitry Rybolovlev, the AP reports, who made his fortune in potash, a mined mineral that is primarily used as fertilizer. Trump bought the 62,000 square foot property, the “Maison de L’Amitie,” for $41 million in 2005 and sold it to Rybolovelev in July 2008 for more than double what he paid. The sale was widely reported at the time, and Trump mentioned it on the campaign trail last summer.

The letter, which is dated March 8, emphasizes that Russians neither hold equity or debt investments in any entities held by Trump or The Trump Organization, but also acknowledged that it was likely that Russians “engaged in ordinary course sales of goods or services,” paying for things like “hotel rooms, rounds of golf, books or Trump-licensed products (e.g. ties, mattresses, wine, etc.).” The total sales of those products, the letter states, represent “immaterial” income for Trump and the entities he owns.

Leaked NSA Malware Is Helping Hijack Computers Around the World

In mid-April, an arsenal of powerful software tools apparently designed by the NSA to infect and control Windows computers was leaked by an entity known only as the “Shadow Brokers.” Not even a whole month later, the hypothetical threat that criminals would use the tools against the general public has become real, and tens of thousands of computers worldwide are now crippled by an unknown party demanding ransom. ...

According to experts tracking and analyzing the worm and its spread, this could be one of the worst-ever recorded attacks of its kind. The security researcher who tweets and blogs as MalwareTech told The Intercept, “I’ve never seen anything like this with ransomware,” and “the last worm of this degree I can remember is Conficker.” Conficker was a notorious Windows worm first spotted in 2008; it went on to infect over 9 million computers in nearly 200 countries.

Most importantly, unlike previous massively replicating computer worms and ransomware infections, today’s ongoing WannaCry attack appears to be based on an attack developed by the NSA, code-named ETERNALBLUE. The U.S. software weapon would have allowed the spy agency’s hackers to break into potentially millions of Windows computers by exploiting a flaw in how certain versions of Windows implemented a network protocol commonly used to share files and to print. Even though Microsoft fixed the ETERNALBLUE vulnerability in a March software update, the safety provided there relied on computer users keeping their systems current with the most recent updates. Clearly, as has always been the case, many people (including in government) are not installing updates. Before, there would have been some solace in knowing that only enemies of the NSA would have to fear having ETERNALBLUE used against them — but from the moment the agency lost control of its own exploit last summer, there’s been no such assurance. Today shows exactly what’s at stake when government hackers can’t keep their virtual weapons locked up. As security researcher Matthew Hickey, who tracked the leaked NSA tools last month, put it, “I am actually surprised that a weaponized malware of this nature didn’t spread sooner.”

Edward Snowden and others urge Trump to drop case against Assange

Edward Snowden and Noam Chomsky are among those calling on Donald Trump to drop the US government’s investigation into Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

The pair – along with more than 100 other activists, journalists and government workers – have signed an open letter to the president that calls prosecuting WikiLeaks “a threat to all free journalism”. The letter asks the Department of Justice to drop plans to charge Assange and other WikiLeaks staff members.

“If the DoJ is able to convict a publisher for its journalistic work, all free journalism can be criminalised,” says the open letter, released on Monday by the Courage Foundation, a trust that raises funds for the legal defenses of whistleblowers, including Snowden. The group launched a campaign in support of WikiLeaks last month. ...

In April, [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions was asked at a press conference in Texas whether it was a priority for the DoJ to arrest Assange “once and for all”. He said: “We are going to step up our effort, and already are stepping up our efforts on all leaks. This is a matter that’s gone beyond anything I’m aware of. We have professionals that have been in the security business of the United States for many years that are shocked by the number of leaks, and some of them are quite serious.”

He added: “So yes, it is a priority. We’ve already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail.”

Chelsea Manning to remain on active duty, receive health care after prison release

Pvt. Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier and convicted national security secret leaker, will remain an active-duty, unpaid soldier, eligible for health care and other benefits, following her scheduled release May 17 from military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, according to the Army. ...

While Manning’s court-martial conviction remains under appeal, she will remain a private in the Army, said Dave Foster, an Army spokesman. As an active duty soldier, Manning will continue to receive health care and have access to commissaries and military exchanges, but she will not be paid.

“Pvt. Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review,” Foster said.

The Army refused to disclose the other terms of Manning’s release, six years before her eligibility for parole, citing privacy concerns. She had been sentenced to 35 years for releasing hundreds of thousands of secret documents to WikiLeaks. Manning appeared at court martial in the uniform of an enlisted man.

Like all soldiers, Manning will be assigned to an Army post but it is unclear where and to whom she will report.

Who is Édouard Phillipe? Meet the new Prime Minister of France



Merkel's party wins German state election in rival's heartland

Angela Merkel’s conservatives have won a state election in their centre-left rival’s heartland, in a stinging blow to the challenger in September’s national vote. The western state of North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany’s most populous and has been led by the Social Democrats (SPD) for all but five years since 1966.

It is also the home state of Martin Schulz, the Social Democrat seeking to deny Merkel, the German chancellor, a fourth term in the election on 24 September. Schulz had been hoping for a boost after two previous state election defeats sapped his party’s momentum. Instead, Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) won 33% of the vote in the election for the state legislature, with the Social Democrats on 31.2%. SPD governor Hannelore Kraft’s coalition lost its majority as her junior partners, the Greens, won only 6.4%. The conservative challenger Armin Laschet, a deputy leader of Merkel’s party, was poised to replace Kraft.

Fate of LA's Public Schools Hangs in Balance in Major Trump-Era Election

A runoff election Tuesday in Los Angeles, California will determine the fate of public education in one of the nation's largest school districts, in a first major test of the influence of the Trump-era charter school industry.

Voters will head to the polls on May 16 to choose between charter school ally Nick Melvoin and current L.A. school board president Steve Zimmer in a race for District 4, and between charter school teacher Kelly Fitzpatrick-Gonez against public school advocate Imelda Padilla for a seat in District 6.

If the industry-supported candidates win, they will be able to "squash democratic control of public schools," wrote education historian Diane Ravitch on Sunday. That includes diverting public funds to corporate charter chains and entrepreneurs, widening the reach and power of an industry that has no system of public accountability and has been plagued by theft and fraud scandals.

The election will also serve as a microcosm of the Trump administration's vision for public schools nationwide, with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos having expressed her support for privatization throughout her confirmation hearings and previously compared the controversial issue of school choice to ride-sharing apps. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also referred to public schools as a "product."

"Unregulated charter schools and vouchers allow private groups to control taxpayer dollars and—in the worst cases—profit from them," Donald Cohen of the watchdog group In the Public Interest wrote at the Huffington Post last week. "But they also help fulfill a vision of society in which government is run like a business and people—and corporations—are customers."

Neuroscientist Carl Hart: We Need to Stop Jeff Sessions from Escalating the Racist War on Drugs



'We are a cautionary tale': Kansas feels the pain of massive Trump-style tax cuts

Last month, Donald Trump’s two key economic allies, treasury secretary Stephen Mnuchin and chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, unveiled the outline of Donald Trump’s much-trailed tax plan. The biggest tax cuts “in history” would slash taxes for business, simplify taxes for everyone else, and “pay for themselves” by stimulating economic growth, Trump’s fiscal duo claimed.

The plan’s similarity to the one that has left Kansas in crisis is “unbelievable”, according to Duane Goossen, the former Kansas secretary of administration. The economic spirit behind Trump’s plan is Arthur Laffer – the go-to guru of “supply-side economics” since the Reagan era, and one of the architects of Kansas governor Sam Brownback’s original tax plan. ...

When Brownback outlined his plan in 2012, he, too, said the tax cuts would pay for themselves. “He too said the tax cuts would benefit everybody, [that] they would be be ‘a shot of adrenaline to the heart’ of the Kansan economy,” said Goossen. Instead, Goossen claims, the money has gone to a small group of wealthy Kansans while the state’s budget has been left with a roughly $1bn shortfall. Its school system, once its crown jewel, has suffered year after year of cuts, and its savings are gone. The non-partisan Tax Policy Center calculates Trump’s tax plan would cost $6.2tn over the first decade. ...

The prop of the Brownback plan, as with Trump’s, was a huge cut to taxes paid by limited liability companies (LLCs) – and so-called “pass-through” businesses – which meant independent business owners would pay no state tax on the bulk, if not all, of their income. Those businesses would then go out and invest and create new jobs, or so the argument went. At the time, Kansas had around 190,000 LLCs. Now it has around 300,000, but so far they have not spurred a new hiring drive in the state. “There is no evidence whatsoever that suggests this plan worked,” said Goossen.



the horse race



Trump’s “voter fraud” czar pushed the lie that millions of undocumented people voted

Kris Kobach claimed to be the man behind President Donald Trump’s fixation on voter fraud, so it makes sense that Trump has appointed him vice chair of the new voter fraud commission established by executive order on Thursday. As part of Kobach’s role, the Kansas Secretary of State and immigration hard-liner will be investigating the president’s claim — widely disputed — that “millions of illegals” voted in the 2016 election.

The Presidential Commission on Election Integrity, to be led by Vice President Mike Pence, has a mission to “review policies and practices that enhance or undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of federal elections,” said Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in the Thursday press briefing.

Some consider the stated mission suspect. “President Trump is attempting to spread his own fake news about election integrity,” said Dale Ho, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project, in a statement. “It is telling that the president’s choice to co-lead the commission is none other than Kris Kobach, one of the worst offenders of voter suppression in the nation today.”





the evening greens


In reversal, Environmental Protection Agency clears path for mine in Alaska

The Environmental Protection Agency, under the direction of its climate-denying head, Scott Pruitt, has taken a first step toward opening up a region in Alaska to copper and gold mining that Obama-era regulators had sought to keep from being developed.

In 2014, the EPA increased environmental standards in southwestern Alaska’s Bristol Bay region under the Clean Water Act, invoking a seldom-used clause that prevented Pebble Limited Partnership, the mine’s developer, from applying for a permit to develop a mine there. The mine, in the headwaters of Bristol Bay — home to the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world — could decimate the fishing industry that thrives there, as well as the subsistence fishing of Native Alaskan tribes.

“Indigenous people have have been fighting this fight for over a decade,” Alannah Hurley of the United Tribes of Bristol Bay, a coalition tribes in southwest Alaska, told VICE News. “Our people have been here for thousands of years. We continue to live off the land, the way our ancestors lived.”

“We’re not willing to risk our way of life, our fishery for this mine,” Hurley continued. “It’s scientific fact that this mine could decimate our way of life.” ...

Though the EPA is now open to considering an application from Pebble Partnership, the mine is still a ways from approval. In a statement on the EPA’s website, Pruitt said that the agency “will not guarantee or prejudge a particular outcome, but will provide Pebble a fair process for their permit application and help steer EPA away from costly and time-consuming litigation.”

Climate change in the US: Tangier Island in Virginia is disappearing



Trump is deleting climate change, one site at a time

During inauguration day on 20 January, as Donald Trump was adding “American carnage” to the presidential lexicon, the new administration also took a hammer to official recognition that climate change exists and poses a threat to the US. One of the starkest alterations to the White House’s website following Trump’s assumption of office was the scrapping of an entire section on climate change, stuffed with graphs on renewable energy growth and pictures of Barack Obama gazing at shriveling glaciers, to be replaced by a perfunctory page entitled “An America first energy plan”.

In the more than 100 days since, the administration has largely opted for a chisel and scalpel approach to refashioning its online content, but the end result is much the same – mentions of climate change have been excised, buried or stripped of any importance. Federal government websites are being combed through to apply new verbiage. The state department’s office of global change, for example, has removed links to the Obama administration’s 2013 climate action report and mention of the latest UN meeting on climate change. Text relating to climate change and greenhouse gases has also been purged.

Immediately, the EPA’s climate change section disappeared, to be replaced by a static holding page. This page linked to a “snapshot” from 19 January that includes copious information on the basics of climate change, the amount of greenhouse gases emitted in the US, temperature data and how the EPA is helping tamp down emissions.

These changes have caused deep alarm among environmental groups and some scientists, who fear that tweaked online language may soon morph into reams of climate data being deleted. While the record-keeping rules of the EPA and other agencies demand that data is retained, there is little to stop the administration hiding it from public view, only to be obtained via freedom of information laws.

US Bank to Stop Funding Pipelines as Divestment Movement Expands Worldwide

As a nearly ten-days-long global mobilization calling for divestment from fossil fuels comes to an end, climate campaigners are celebrating a major victory stateside: U.S. Bank has announced that it will no longer finance fossil fuel pipeline construction.

The announcement came during the company's April shareholder meeting, reported MN350, a state arm of international climate justice group 350.org, on Monday.

As a result of the new policy, MN350 observes that the bank will no longer provide "project financing for the construction of oil or natural gas pipelines," and will also apply "enhanced due diligence processes" to oil and gas industry clients.

"U.S. Bank's new policy is an important step in protecting the environment and moving towards a fossil free future," said Wichahpi Otto, a MN350 volunteer, who attended the shareholder meeting in Nashville. "We applaud them for responding to the community and contributing to worldwide efforts to address climate change."



Also of Interest

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

Gorbachev Warns of Growing Danger

As Trump Cozies Up to Saudi Arabia, War With Iran Becomes More Likely

The Globalization of Misery

The Magic Liberal

Why the 'alt-left' will succeed where centrists fail

Mother’s Day in an ICE Detention Center


A Little Night Music


Eddie C. Campbell & Tip On In - Dream

Eddie C. Campbell - King of the Jungle

Eddie C. Campbell - Same Thing

Eddie C. Campbell - Early In The Morning

Eddie C. Campbell - Things That I Used To Do

Eddie C. Campbell - Cool Cool Mama

Eddie C. Campbell - Sister Taught Me Guitar

Eddie C. Campbell - Boomerang

Eddie C. Campbell and his All-stars - Tornado Alley Wheaton, MD. 1996



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Azazello's picture

Enough with the damn CT, the Russians aren't taking over the US and Donald Trump is not a Russian operative. Here's a more reasonable explanation:

Also, the working class has the blues, in case you hadn't noticed. There's a neat little GINI graph at the link.

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joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

i'm completely sick of russiagate. sadly, it's the big news of the day and i feel obligated to pay attention to psyops.

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11 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@joe shikspack
I had Neo Propaganda Radio on in the car. Morning Edition had a piece promoting vouchers and "school choice". They were gushing about privatization and praised Mike Fucking Pence for his work in the destruction of public education in Indiana. NPR makes me puke. Yeah, they're all about "diversity" but when it comes to economics they're 100% Right-wing Neoliberal. I gotta' change those buttons on the car radio.

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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

they're probably scared shirtless about congress cutting them out of the budget, so they're hedging their bets with their programming propaganda.

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11 users have voted.

an anti-Republican and pro-Democrat commentator. You can also make some money being an anti-Democrat and pro-Republican commentator. But, you'll make the least money being an anti-Republican and anti-Democrat commentator.

As far as Comey and Clapper, I wrote an essay today about that topic. https://caucus99percent.com/content/last-week-double-standards-obama-v-t...

Roughly, it's about how media reacted to Obama (by moving on quickly) versus how it reacts to similar behavior by Trump (by setting it's hair on fire day after day). And the partisan behavior of Democratic politicians, who have similar double standards.

That's all I can address from your thread this evening because I have to make dinner! But thank you as always for another great daily thread.

PS As I am typing, media is claiming that Trump disclosed highly secret intel to the Russians with whom he met last week.

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13 users have voted.

Please donate to caucus99percent.com.

joe shikspack's picture

@HenryAWallace

it appears to me that cenk is trying to hang on to the democrats in his audience that haven't jumped ship yet by suggesting that their views might be plausible, rather than educating them. or perhaps they're ineducable.

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smiley7's picture

Good evening, Joe,

I'm placing this here in the 'humor' category as it's beyond, beyond...

President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said that Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State.

The information Trump relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said.

The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said that Trump’s decision to do so risks cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and National Security Agency.

“This is code-word information,” said a U.S. official familiar with the matter, using terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”

snip

www.washingtonpost.com/...


i enjoyed your essay of yesterday, thank you.

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15 users have voted.
Shockwave's picture

@smiley7 This is big. He did it to brag but he did it. He is like a nutcase with a loaded gun.

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7 users have voted.

The political revolution continues

joe shikspack's picture

@smiley7

thanks for the heads up. now i know what what i'll be hearing incessantly for several news cycles.

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smiley7's picture

@joe shikspack
flabbergasted isn't big enough; need a new word.

Heh,
Did you see this, maybe write about it and i missed: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2017/apr/03/the-destru...

Dismiss the Trump part of this; appears to me from a cursory read that private corporations supplant intel organizations in ability to invade privacy and propagandize.

Remember the subliminal messages placed in movies encouraging thirst for a coke and popcorn?

Today's social media?

Think i'll explore this; maybe write about the real war that engages us.

Have a good evening.

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12 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@smiley7

i saw that article a while ago on the guardian site and started slogging through it out of curiosity, but found that there was just so much wrong there, that i didn't even want to bother with it. i think it or another, very similar article was the subject of an essay here (not mine).

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9 users have voted.
smiley7's picture

@joe shikspack
revealing diary about the 'queen' raised the blood pressure; more important that we press on the best we can against insane odds.

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7 users have voted.

@smiley7

Its editors seem to be getting a lot of their "Treasonous Trump" stories from these mysterious fellows. I suppose the opinions of such nameless "IC insiders" might represent a kind of Gospel for the paper's more credulous readers... but something a bit more substantial would be more than welcome, for a change.

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13 users have voted.

native

smiley7's picture

@native
i'll vote for or subscribe to the medium or person that brings it to us.

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9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@native

heh, well wapo does have an inside track to the cia.

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10 users have voted.

@joe shikspack

It's pretty obvious they're up to their same old tricks. And they've sure got a lot of nerve calling Trump a traitor.

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native

Pluto's Republic's picture

@smiley7

…what the President said in the privacy of his office?

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3 users have voted.
The Aspie Corner's picture

This should make any sane person cringe.

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11 users have voted.

@The Aspie Corner I've seen a few articles on that. We are TV Nation though, if it's on TV it must be true, right?

Sigh... We are doomed.

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@lizzyh7

and if it's not on TV, it never even happened.

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native

joe shikspack's picture

@The Aspie Corner

wow, it's looking more and more like idiocracy every day. where are my damned electrolytes?

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9 users have voted.

with climate change smacking them literally in the face in Virginia, nope, man can't do nothing about it. Seeing shit like that makes it damned hard to feel much of any pity for these people. And I'm quite sure they will DEMAND loudly to be relocated when their island is gone. I know, one must not wish them that but man, they make it real hard.

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10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@lizzyh7

gawd's gonna save 'em, no doubt about it. heh, they'll probably fish out the crabs, so there'll be no point in being on the island anyway.

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7 users have voted.
detroitmechworks's picture

Now the allegation is that Russia was given classified info.

Speculation on what that data is has been rather amazing. Of course, nobody knows exactly what that data is... Because of the wonderful world of "anonymous sources."

I find it even more appropriate that the song I want to use has been banned in the US on the Youtube... (Was gonna do Don Henley, Dirty Laundry...)

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11 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

joe shikspack's picture

@detroitmechworks

my guess is that it will turn out to be something utterly unremarkable.

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9 users have voted.

@detroitmechworks @detroitmechworks

Dirty Laundry was banned on Youtube? This probably shouldn't surprise me... Stuff disappears every day - but now they don't let you see that a video was taken or tell you why, just show a note up top of your mix saying that one or more videos has been removed.

Youtube's days are numbered, dunno why there isn't more of a push to move the content and users somewhere better. As with everything else, if we just stay put and stay quiet, they keep censoring/otherwise abusing their base right up until it drops off. Anything corporate will do that, not just corporate parties.

Edited for typoed letter.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

are once again in the XM Radio lineup. Personally, I'm unimpressed. But, for those who might be interested, here's his video announcement,

What's amusing is that he doesn't know the current channel. He says Channel 167, which was the 'progressive' channel back in the days of Air America. Heck, I quit listening to the channel several years ago, but I'm at least aware that 'progressive' talkers moved to Channel 127, several years ago. Whew!

I liked Cenk quite a bit until he went on a rant against FSC on C-Span's Washington Journal--then, when asked immediately following his rant, said "of course he'd vote for her, if the choice came down to say, Ted Cruz." (paraphrased)

I may clip the video, and post it, sometime--we almost felt as though we were suffering from 'whiplash' after watching his performance.

Wink

Hey, gotta run 'the B' out before darkness falls. BTW, his new 'potion' of meds seems to be helping him--which is a big relief to us. At one point, we really thought that he was just weeks, or months, away from having to be euthanized (his condition is not one easily corrected by surgery). Of course, his exercise/movement is very restricted--but, at least, he's still around.

Biggrin

Everyone have a nice evening--and stay cool!

Bye

Mollie


"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

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11 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

i have little desire to listen to cenk these days, there are so many better commentators that need an audience.

i'm delighted to hear that the b is doing well and responding to the drugs. give him a scritch for me.

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12 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

Mollie


"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

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5 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@Unabashed Liberal Thanks, Mollie!
Glad your doggie is better. Upon my return, I find my hound dog is acting odd. I hope to get her to the vet Friday. I just lost my basset a couple of months ago. I am at the point their deaths are so hurtful, I may just avoid rescuing another one. I just can't take it anymore.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@on the cusp @on the cusp @on the cusp

your loss. We've never had a Basset, but Mr M grew up with a Basset in his neighborhood (a couple of blocks over), and still talks about 'Fritz.' Apparently, my MIL always tossed Fritz a couple of pancakes out the back/kitchen door on Sundays. It was a sad day for all of them, when one day, he quit showing up. It's been our experience that hounds, and hound-mixes, have very mellow and sweet personalities. (My Brother had Beagle who was a sweetheart. The only problem was 'containing' him--even in a fenced yard.)

Best of luck at the vet with your other fur baby. I hope the news is good!

Mollie


"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

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7 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

@Unabashed Liberal

Does Cenk have the channels mixed, or does he simply not fit with the progressives?

I hope that your dog continues to improve and sets records for miraculously recovering bounding good health. You're never ready to part with them, but dealing with health concerns in a vulnerable pet who can't even 'tell you where it hurts' is... difficult. (Can't think of a properly descriptive term, so going with gross understatement.) Best of luck, at any rate!

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Ellen North

the best wishes sent Mister B's way!

For sure, the advances in veterinary medicine since Mr M and I married are truly awesome. Our first Springer lived to be 17-1/2 years old, before she passed in 2006. Remarkably, she had no chronic health conditions until she developed Addison's disease at the age of 16-1/2--a tough old coot, if I've ever seen one! Wink

Regarding Cenk, I was just being a bit snarky. It was no big deal, really--I suppose once Cenk left XM Radio, he didn't keep up with the radio channels.

(The left channel name changed to 'Progress Radio,' and moved from CH 167 to CH 127.)

Have a good one!

Mollie


“I believe in the redemptive powers of a dog’s love. It is in recognition of each dog’s potential to lift the human spirit--and therefore, to change society for the better--that I fight to make sure every street dog has its day.”
--Stasha Wong, Secretary, Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)

The SOSD Fantastic Four

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0 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

I just returned from a trip to Bulgaria, Serbia, and Romania.
It was pretty tough talking to a young bartender in Serbia about the bombing incident in Belgrade. On the other hand, he said he realized American citizens were not their government, a fact we Americans do not always acknowledge. He said there was no hate in his heart, and those of his generation have accepted it and empires will be empires, until they fall. Every single guide, every single person I engaged with referred to America as an empire.
There were times when I wanted to pass as a Canadian.
They believe Trump is going to be the one who drops us in the grease.

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joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

glad to hear that you're back safe and sound. i think that it's probably good that people in other countries recognize that the us is an empire and i'm relieved to hear that your citizenship wasn't held against you.

i'd agree with them about trump being the one to drop us in the grease, except it seems pretty clear that trump is less in charge than is expected. i think that if he causes serious change, it will be because he seems incapable of putting a friendly face on the horrible things that the government does like obama did.

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8 users have voted.

@joe shikspack I agree with your assessment of Trump vs. O when it comes to the "straight face" and the "adult lecture".
Before I left, someone on this site mentioned to me in a comment that Romania was having serious riot issues.
Here is the story: After communism, the politicians who were democratically elected went hog wild with bribes, pay to play shit. People started noticing it, started protesting it. The government response was to write a bill, setting a date when moving forward, any pol who got caught being bribed would be subject to prison. It also made the past graft just "the past. We must move forward." Sounds like O, huh? He showed the world that attitude works. So, all the poor ass pols that got shitty rich in office were going to be fully absolved, and not have to pay any of the millions they received, and the vote was to happen at 1 a.m.
2 MILLION people showed up at the public square in front of parliament.
The pols wouldn't even get out of their cars.
No vote.
The guide said in his country's history, when you cross the line, the people come out in droves, and that is positively the only way to stop them.
They govern as self-serving as the mass of people will tolerate. They are afraid of those people in the square.
He had lived in the US, knew if we tried something like that, the police and national guard might very well open fire here.

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8 users have voted.
dervish's picture

@on the cusp were at Occupy Wall Street? It's a tactic that works.

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4 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

mimi's picture

@joe shikspack @joe shikspack
that the US is an empire. And the next generation of Germans, you know, former West Germany raised kid and former East German raised kids end up marrying each other and guess what happens? They seem to think that the social policies of former East Germany wasn't that bad, and their parents (my generation) shake their heads and don't know what to think anymore.

Russian occupied communist East Germany being "not so bad"? Apparently your understanding of what is authoritarian, fascist, right-wing, left-wing is all dependent on where you was during the times of the cold war, what you personally experienced locally in your neighborhoods.

There was a comment by On the Cusp about his trip to Romania. Romanian wwII history Is very interesting to study (I haven't). But I remember my father talking about losing his arm in Romania during the Allied bombing in wwII, he went from there as POW into Russian camps near Moscow (where he met my godfather, who survived barely with 1/4 of a lung) and the prisoners were helped by Romanian civilians, who handed food for the German POW prisoners into wagons of the trains that brought the German POW to the Russian POW camps. So I think this experience and the Romanina history is consistent with what ON the Cusp has observed on his last trip.

I remember my father never being anti-Americans, but also never hating the Russian. (He used to say that the Russian is a soul of a Mensch, when he isn't drunk) We all ducked and kept our heads down under the cold war in Berlin. Later on, after the war, our family had lots of people in East Germany, West Germany and West Berlin and many of those family members fled from the Russian Eastern front during the end of the wwII near the Polish/German border towards the US occupational zones in Bavaria after the end of wwII (an aunt of mine had a one year long ordeal to flee through several East European countries with three young kids)

May be that is one reason of why one may not be so concerned about elderly Germans falling for propaganda of either side, US or Russia, at least I hope so.

Merkel I think will never do, she is stoic and intelligent. Her refugee political stance I think is based on her memories from her parent generation's experiences. That's why many would still vote for her, who won't vote though for her party.

That being said, I doubt that German politicians on either side won't duck their heads and try to survive the onslaught of cold war anti-Russian propaganda spilling into Germany today. Not that much courage present yet, and so far people who speak up have not convinced lots of Germans.

edited for clarity.

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dervish's picture

@mimi on vacation, throughout eastern Europe in the 1980s. They were quite difficult to approach, wary of foreigners, and terrified of discussing politics. Contrast those fearful, timid people with the Westis, who were very friendly, not in the least bit timid, and would talk politics until your ears fell off.

"Not so bad", indeed.

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5 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@on the cusp @on the cusp

Mollie


"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

[Edited: Removed redundant signature line.]

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4 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

snoopydawg's picture

On the Russian propaganda bull. There's a diary on DK about this. The diarist is stating that all this focus on Russia interfering with the election isn't going to help people who are struggling with their bills and other issues. Boy did he get slammed big time. Another diarist wrote a diary trying to defend him on not just that one but the one the person wrote right before the election and stated that he was nervous about Hillary winning the election. His concern was the Brexit vote and how people are tired of the corporate elites strangle hold on our government. And that people are angry about being left behind during the last 8 years when most people who were treading water found that the water just kept getting deeper. And of course there was another person who had to write a follow up diary saying that Russia interfering with the election IS a big deal because.........!!!!'
And again, Why the hell does no one say anything about Israel interfering with our elections? Anybody?
I too am waiting for the evidence. Good lord, what are people going to do when this crap goes away?

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12 users have voted.

What do I think about the Obama Presidency? I think it would have been a good idea.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

i guess they aren't interested in hearing how the content of people's wallets motivates their political actions over at orange state when they are deep in the depths of experiencing a joseph mccarthy orgasm.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack Smile

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7 users have voted.

What do I think about the Obama Presidency? I think it would have been a good idea.

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

um, glad to be of service? Smile

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lotlizard's picture

@snoopydawg https://consortiumnews.com/2017/04/20/why-not-a-probe-of-israel-gate/

From The Nation in 2016:
Standing ovations for Donald Trump at AIPAC

And then there’s the way Congress holds special joint sessions just so Netanyahu can put on a show:

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=netanyahu+standing+ovations&t=ffsb&ia=images

From Democracy Now in 2011:
“Netanyahu is the main obstacle to peace”: CodePink activist disrupts Israeli PM speech to Congress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech was warmly received by Democrats and Republicans in Congress on Tuesday. According to ABC News, he received 29 standing ovations during his address—four more than President Obama received during his State of the Union address earlier in the year. However, there was at least one dissenting voice inside the halls of Congress on Tuesday. Rae Abileah, a Jewish-American activist of Israeli descent with the peace group CodePink, disrupted Netanyahu’s speech. Standing in the congressional gallery, she yelled, “No more occupation! Stop Israel war crimes! Equal rights for Palestinians! Occupation is indefensible!” As she screamed, members in the audience tackled her to the ground, and undercover security forces later dragged her outside. She was taken to George Washington University Hospital where she was treated for neck and shoulder injuries. At the hospital, police arrested Abileah and charged her with disorderly conduct for disrupting Congress. Her protest came as part of a week-long series of actions organized by CodePink called Move Over AIPAC. We speak to Abileah about why she used nonviolent civil disobedience to disrupt Netanyahu’s speech. [includes rush transcript]

Our politicians ignoring the 99% but dancing to Israel’s tune — who’s resisting that? Anyone besides CodePink? Does the (Hillary-led?) “Resistance” have anything to say about that?

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7 users have voted.

Here it is:

Alternate headline: Unknown "official" makes unverifiable claim based on unavailable evidence.

And without any sense of hyperbole and exaggeration, that headline accurately describes every "revelation". Trump today was hit by the claim that he gave away state secrets to Lavrov. Yup, un-named officials made unverified claims based on unavailable witnesses to a news organization. Not once has a leaker been named or their sources known or evidence presented.

Clapper claimed the Putin scored a victory because of dissension we have over the election and Trump. Same old Cold War and even German Nazi propaganda. All of social problems in a country is due to some external enemy: blame Communist or Jewish interference and backing. Hoover and others believed the Soviets behind the Civil Rights movement. The ultimate goal is to squash dissent.

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@MrWebster

that's a great alt headline. ever so useful and all-purpose.

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3 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@MrWebster That’s the standard “Pffft, conspiracy theory” put-down, isn’t it?

Yet nowadays from mainstream media (or in Germany, “quality media”) we do indeed get a steady diet of:

Unknown “official” makes unverifiable extraordinary claim based on unavailable evidence of any sort, extraordinary or otherwise.

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mimi's picture

if I understand the Democracy NOW clip with Elizabeth Holtzmann , it sounds like it is the President, who has all the knowledge and power to have a taping system installed or not in the WH.

Is it possible for the CIA or FBI to have a taping system inside the WH without the President being aware of it due to the fact they would have other technologies to day available that would make it possible compared to the times of the watergate affair?

Naive question? I simply don't know such things. The WH Press Conferences seem to be a joke. As is the colluding with "hostile foreign governments" by Trump. The whole thing feels like a masterfully composition of a symphony of lies produced by those within the US that are most interested to keep their super power military role all over the world. Of course we little countries and nations all over Europe and ME are scared of the mighty US military.

Isn't it possible that Trump is not capable to understand what is going on within his WH and just understands it in hindsight and then has to contradict himself? Basically asking if Trump in contrast to Nixon is not covering up, like Nixon did, but that Trumps compulsive and incompetent reactions are used by the MIC?

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mimi's picture

@mimi
than a good war. So, I guess the MIC is making sure, we get one, and the MIC makes sure Trump gets that and complies.

Wow. I hope Germany will not participate with its soldiers in that whole assholery.

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4 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

as far as i know, it is legal for the president to install a taping system and use it in the white house. naturally, there are some purposes that the material that the system creates which would be illegal, for example, blackmail. but to create an historical record, it is probably legal.

whether the fbi or cia can install listening devices would depend on whether there is a warrant issued. i believe that the 4th amendment still applies. Smile

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mimi's picture

@joe shikspack
'secure in your persons, house and papers' ... so the White House is the house of the President, in which he is secure for his term of 4 years ...

okey, dokey, ja, ja ....
pssst ... Secret

Smile

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@mimi

It's also public property, and therefore belonging to The People.

We've got to remember and begin to enforce this: nothing 'belongs to the government' in the sense that whoever happens to be in office can do as s/he wills with it as s/he pleases, against the public interest. It all belongs to the public, as a commons - as does the government, existing to protect that public interest - itself.

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2 users have voted.