The Evening Blues - 5-20-20



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Otis Spann

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Chicago blues piano player Otis Spann. Enjoy!

Otis Spann - Spann's Boogie Woogie

"It will never stop being fall-to-the-floor laughcry hilarious that the US has an evil idiot president who can’t form a coherent sentence and exacerbated a deadly pandemic, and the only answer has been a fake Russia scandal, a fake impeachment, and a candidate with holes in his brain."

-- Caitlin Johnstone


News and Opinion

Trouble in Pelosi paradise? Could it be that election year politics mean that congressworms have to do something for the voters?

Swing-District Democrats Link With Progressives to Back Paycheck Bill Pelosi Rejected

After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi excluded a plan to keep unemployment down by subsidizing firms to keep workers on payrolls from her relief package last week, dozens of progressives have banded together with 10 “front-line” Democrats from swing districts to introduce it as a standalone piece of legislation. The Paycheck Recovery Act, authored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., aims to make sure that paychecks are flowing from employers to workers during the coronavirus pandemic. ...

The stampede of front-liners toward Jayapal’s new bill, according to people involved in the negotiations, is driven by an intersection of policy and electoral concerns. The front-liners are concerned that Pelosi’s rejection of the paycheck bill, and her focus on unemployment, makes for poor politics, and they have complained that they are getting hammered at home by Republicans, who are dubbing Democrats the party of unemployment.

The alliance of swing-district Democrats and the progressive wing of the party represents a new threat to House Democratic leadership’s domination of the caucus. Because of the stark partisan divide in the House, Pelosi can’t rely on the few remaining moderate Republicans to push legislation over the top. Instead, leadership typically shapes legislation to appeal to the swing-district bloc of Democrats — there are 42 front-liners who the party considers in need of electoral protection — then bludgeons progressives into supporting it, arguing that whatever is being offered is better than nothing and promotes the necessary goal of maintaining the majority, without which progressives have no power at all. Efforts by progressives to organize enough no votes to extract leverage in negotiations over coronavirus relief have so far not come to fruition, but teaming with front-liners opens up a new potential strategy as the pandemic scrambles political calculations.

For years, Pelosi has insisted that if it were up to her, the party would go further left than it does, but that the imperatives of reelection require moderating legislation for the members she calls “majority makers.” But if those majority makers get out ahead of Pelosi, that rationale would evaporate, and the dictates of making and keeping a majority would militate in their direction.

Krystal and Saagar: Swing state Dems ally with populists in shot across bow at Pelosi

Oh, my. What has gotten into the 1%? It can't be conscience, these ruthless bastards have none. I wonder how they plan to jigger the system to screw us worse under the banner of "fairness?"

Covid-19 a 'wake-up call' to build fairer society, says billionaire JP Morgan boss

Jamie Dimon, the billionaire chief executive of JP Morgan, said Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic must serve as a “wake-up call” to build a fairer society. “It is my fervent hope that we use this crisis as a catalyst to rebuild an economy that creates and sustains opportunity for dramatically more people, especially those who have been left behind for too long,” he wrote in a memo issued ahead of his bank’s annual shareholder meeting.

“The last few months have laid bare the reality that, even before the pandemic hit, far too many people were living on the edge,” Dimon added.

This is not the first time that Dimon has criticized the system that built his $1.2bn fortune. Last year, when leftwing Vermont senator Bernie Sanders was leading in Democratic polls, he acknowledged the “flaws” in capitalism, but warned that socialism led to “stagnation, corruption and often worse”.

Dimon has been tipped as a possible treasury secretary should Joe Biden be successful in his presidential bid. Biden is also reportedly considering his former presidential rival Michael Bloomberg, the multi-billionaire founder of the Bloomberg news service, as a future head of the World Bank.

Fed Chairman Urges Congress To Bail Out PEOPLE! w/Dylan Ratigan

Poor New York City Neighborhoods Seeing Deaths From Covid at More Than Twice the Rate of Affluent Areas

New data from the New York City Health Department reveals a stark gap between the number of Covid-19 deaths in the city's poor neighborhoods and those in wealthier areas.

Low-income neighborhoods have experienced more than double the death rates seen in affluent parts of the city, Politico reported. 

The report follows last month's release of data showing that New York's black and Latinx residents have been dying of Covid-19 at about twice the rate of white New Yorkers. 

A section of the eastern Brooklyn neighborhood of Canarsie containing the massive housing complex Starrett City has the highest death rate in the city, with 76 out of the complex's 13,000 residents—or one out of every 165—having succumbed to Covid-19 as of Monday. 

The next-highest death rates have been recorded in the Queens neighborhoods of Far Rockaway and Flushing, with the Northeast Bronx also reporting high rates.

At least 1,241 New York City Housing Authority residents have died from the virus, and more than 7,800 cases have been confirmed in the city's public housing system, where about 400,000 New Yorkers live.

According to the Health Department, in ZIP codes where at least 30% of the population lives below the poverty line, 232 people for every 100,000 people have died. In more affluent neighborhoods where less than 10% of residents are in poverty, the rate of death is 100 for every 100,000 people.

"This virus is not hitting New Yorkers equitably," said Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot.

A map of the city's ZIP codes showed that some of the lowest infection and death rates have been in wealthy Lower Manhattan neighborhoods including Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Tribeca, and the Financial District. The only two ZIP codes in New York which have reported zero deaths so far are in the Financial District. ...

Based on data collected by cell phone analysis firms Teralytics and Descartes Labs and by two researchers at New York University, the Times showed that at least 30 to 40% of residents in some of the city's wealthiest neighborhoods left the city by May 1, making them less vulnerable to infection.

"We may all be in the same storm, but we're not all in the same boat," New York City Councilwoman Inez Barron, whose district includes Starrett City, told the Times.

29 House Democrats Demand Cuts to Pentagon Budget Amid Pandemic

A group of 29 House Democrats said Tuesday that the coronavirus pandemic shows the nation needs "more testing, not more bombs" as they demanded the leadership of the House Armed Services Committee cut Pentagon spending in this year's National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The Democrats' demand comes in a letter spearheaded by Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) co-chair Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). Among the other 27 signatories are the lawmakers making up the so-called "Squad"—Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.).

"Year after year, the Pentagon budget has inflated to historic levels while the vital needs of everyday people are left unmet," said Rep. Lee in a statement. "The Covid pandemic has laid bare how America has failed to make its budgets reflect the real needs of our everyday families. It's long past time that we address our bloated military budget and retarget resources towards policies and programs that matter the most for keeping us safe, healthy, and secure."

Authorizing less "defense" spending in the annual legislation would give more spending ability to contain Covid-19, the lawmakers wrote. From the letter:

In the last three years alone—during a time of relative peace—we have increased annual defense spending by more than $100 billion, almost 20 percent. This has occurred during a period without any military action authorized by this Congress. Right now, the coronavirus is our greatest adversary. It has killed more than 90,000 Americans, far surpassing the number of casualties during the Vietnam War. We must remain focused on combating the coronavirus and not on increasing military spending that already outpaces the next 10 closest nations combined (China, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, and Brazil). At some point, spending more than every other nation on Earth must be enough.

America needs a coronavirus cure, not more war. We need more testing, not more bombs. In order to reopen our nation in a data-driven, safe manner, we need to focus our spending efforts on the millions of additional coronavirus tests and tens of thousands of additional contract tracers we will need, as well as covering treatment costs, developing therapeutics, and distributing future vaccines.

The number of signatories indicates a potential stumbling block for the upcoming NDAA. The Hill reported:

In 2019, Republicans voted against the initial House version of the bill, meaning it had to pass on Democratic support alone. After a compromise version of the NDAA emerged from negotiations with the Republican-controlled Senate that led to the removal of several progressive priorities, House Republicans supported the measure and it easily passed despite a handful of progressives voting against it.

A statement from Lee and Pocan's office suggests the bloc of lawmakers is willing to be an obstacle. "Republicans withstanding, 19 Democrats would need to vote 'NO' this year for the bill to fail. 29 Democrats signed this letter."

Brazil confirms record daily rise in deaths and cases

Brazil has confirmed a record 17,408 cases in the last 24 hours and a record 1,179 deaths. The country now has 271,628 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 17,971 people have died. ...

Hospital officials say more than 85% of intensive care beds in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are full.

Brazil accounts for more cases than any other country in Latin America, which has seen 480,000-plus cases and 31,000 dead. Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has snubbed physical distancing rules and has called for gyms, hair salons and other businesses to reopen.

Trump Just Threatened to Withdraw from the WHO Unless ‘Major’ Changes Are Made

On the day that China pledged $2 billion to the World Health Organization and announced the country’s coronavirus vaccines would be freely available to all, U.S. President Donald Trump declared war on the global health authority, threatening to withdraw permanently unless “major” changes are made.

He just forgot to mention what those changes should be.

In a four-page letter addressed to WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus — and posted on the president’s Twitter account late Monday night — Trump excoriated the organization for what he sees as a series of failures to prevent the coronavirus from spreading globally and for an “alarming lack of independence” from China.

Trump, who suspended U.S. funding for the WHO last month, said that without “major substantive improvements" to the way the organization operates in the next 30 days, the U.S. would make the funding withdrawal permanent, and “reconsider our membership in the organization” altogether.

Trump, who called the WHO a “puppet of China” earlier on Monday, did not outline what changes he wants the WHO to make. ...

The attack on the WHO is also part of an escalating battle with China that some experts believe will end in a new Cold War between the two nations.

Erik Prince Sues The Intercept for Alleging Proposed Alliance With Russians

Erik Prince, founder of the global security firm Blackwater USA, is suing the investigative news site The Intercept for defamation over an April 13 article headlined “Erik Prince Offered Lethal Services to Sanctioned Russian Mercenary Firm Wagner,” his lawyer said on Tuesday.

The article claimed provocatively that “[a]ny business relationship between Prince and Wagner would, in effect, make the influential Trump administration adviser a subcontractor to the Russian military.”

The lawyer, Matthew L. Schwartz of Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, told RealClearInvestigations that Prince had “no choice but to defend himself” after having repeatedly “turned the other cheek as publications, The Intercept first among them, have smeared him.”

“This story was different,” the lawyer continued. “The Intercept accused Erik Prince of being a criminal and a traitor based on dishonest and biased anonymous sources that it made no effort to corroborate.”

Asked to respond, Rodrigo Brandão, The Intercept's director of communications, said "We will not comment until we are able to review any lawsuit."

Saagar Enjeti: Does latest Obamagate BOMBSHELL show conspiracy?

Grenell declassifies Susan Rice email sent on Inauguration Day

Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell declassified an email former national security adviser Susan Rice sent to herself on President Trump’s Inauguration Day about an Oval Office meeting in which the Russia investigation was discussed.

In the email, obtained by The Hill from the office of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Rice says then-FBI Director James Comey was worried about sharing classified information with the Trump team, considering incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn’s conversations with a Russian ambassador.

Most of the email was already declassified in February per another Republican Senate request. The newly declassified portion reflects Comey's response, in which he said he was proceeding "by the book" and that he was concerned Flynn was still in contact with the Russian ambassador, noting that their "level of communication is unusual."

When then-President Obama asked if the intelligence community should withhold information from Flynn, who was an incoming national security adviser, Comey responded, "Potentially." ...

The 2017 meeting described in Rice’s email included Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden as well as Justice Department and intelligence officials.

'Trump Death Clock' counts preventable US coronavirus deaths

Economists Warn 'Prolonged Depression Guaranteed' If GOP Refuse Federal Aid to State and Local Governments

The ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic on the U.S. economy will be devastating enough to send the country into a certain and "prolonged depression," economist Josh Bivens warned Tuesday, unless federal aid is delivered to state and local governments.

"State and local governments are currently forecast to be facing revenue shortfalls as large as $1 trillion over the coming years," Bivens wrote at the Economic Policy Institute blog. "If no help is forthcoming from the federal government to close these shortfalls, the result will be an economic disaster—one that is not confined to these governments."

In his analysis, Bivens looked at data from the Great Recession from the 2010s and the austerity policies from that time which, he explained, slowed that recovery.

"We need to learn from our past," tweeted economist Elise Gould. "Austerity was a huge drag on the recovery from the Great Recession. Let's not make the same mistake."

As Bivens explained:

The spending austerity in the 2010s was the entire reason why it took a full decade to return to pre-crisis unemployment rates following the onset of the Great Recession. It is why millions of Americans struggled—through no fault of their own—to find work and it is a key reason why wages for tens of millions of Americans barely kept pace with price inflation over this time, as labor markets remained too soft to give workers the bargaining power they needed to demand better-paying jobs.

The austerity "clearly delayed economic recovery for U.S. workers by years," said Bivens.

With similar cuts this time, a "prolonged depression is guaranteed," Bivens warned.

"The economy is currently approaching a knife edge in how recovery will proceed," wrote Bivens. "If the virus relents and effective public health measures are undertaken that allow a phased reopening of business, and if the federal government provides sufficient measures for relief and recovery during this crisis, then recovery could be rapid."

"But this confidence and demand will be savaged if policymakers allow state and local governments' spending to be hamstrung by the crisis," he continued. "These sub-national governments spend about $4 trillion every year in the economy, making them the second-largest source of spending outside of the federal government."

"If they are forced into crash-cutting," Bivens concluded, "the entire economy will suffer."

Tony Blair says reopen schools because of 'evidence'... Ha!

US economy risks 'permanent damage' from long lockdowns, Mnuchin warns

The US economy risks “permanent damage” if coronavirus lockdowns continue for months, the treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, has warned Congress. Mnuchin’s comments came in a joint appearance before the Senate banking committee with Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Appearing via video link, the pair offered a stark assessment of the fragile state of the economy and warned of worse to come. “I think the jobs numbers will be worse before they get better,” Mnuchin said, adding that the overall economy too was likely to weaken in the near term before starting to recover towards the end of the year. ...

The Fed has cut interest rates to zero and launched nine lending programs to support businesses, cities, states and financial markets. Mnuchin and Powell said more action would be needed.

The Democratic senator Sherrod Brown pressed Mnuchin on the White House’s push to rapidly reopen parts of the economy. “How many workers should give their lives to increase our [gross domestic product] by half a percent?” Brown asked Mnuchin. Mnuchin replied: “No workers should give their lives to do that, Mr Senator, and I think your characterization is unfair.” ...

Brown countered that “from what we know so far, it does not appear that this administration or the Federal Reserve are making workers their priority”.

"Stay Alive, Stay at Home, Organize”: Rev. Barber Sets June 20 for Poor People's Digital March on DC

Strikes erupt as US essential workers demand protection amid pandemic

Wildcat strikes, walkouts and protests over working conditions have erupted across the US throughout the coronavirus pandemic as “essential” workers have demanded better pay and safer working conditions. Labor leaders are hoping the protests can lead to permanent change. ...

Working conditions, low pay and lack of safety protections have triggered protests throughout the pandemic as workers across various industries, including food service, meat processing, retail, manufacturing, transportation and healthcare have come together to protest about issues, many of which were apparent before the coronavirus.

“There are no federal mandates or requirements to implement the social distancing guidance or anything else. It’s only guidance and employers can choose to implement them or not,” said Deborah Berkowitz, director of worker safety and health for the National Employment Law Project. “And that is why, in an unprecedented way, they are walking out to bring public attention to the fact that their companies are not protecting their safety and health.” ...

[See article at link for extensive listing of worker actions. -js]

Sharon Block, executive director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, said it was too early to tell if these worker actions around the US will have a lasting impact.

“These walkouts show that essential workers don’t want to be treated any more as if they were disposable. They are demanding a voice in how their companies respond to the pandemic. Having a voice is a life-and-death matter now more than ever,” said Block. “Success will be a matter of whether consumers and policymakers will be inspired by these workers’ courage.”



the horse race



Federal Court Rules NY Primary Must Go Forward With Sanders, Yang, and Others on Ballot

A federal court on Tuesday rejected an appeal by the New York Board of Elections and ruled the state's Democratic presidential primary must take place on June 23 as scheduled, a decision that supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang celebrated as a win for democracy.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld District Court Judge Analisa Torres' May 5 ruling that ordered New York to restore Sanders, Yang, and other Democratic presidential candidates to the ballot after state election officials voted to remove them last month.

Yang and seven other New York residents sued the state Board of Elections over the decision on April 28.

"The removal of presidential contenders from the primary ballot not only deprived those candidates of the chance to garner votes for the Democratic Party's nomination," Torres wrote, "it deprived Democratic voters of the opportunity to elect delegates who could push their point of view in that forum."

Douglas Kellner, co-chair of the New York Board of Elections, said in a statement after Tuesday's ruling that there are no plans to file an appeal with the Supreme Court.

Progressives Slam Oil-Soaked Steny Hoyer for Backing Joe Kennedy III Over Green New Deal Champion Ed Markey

Progressives and climate activists expressed frustration with Democratic Party leadership after Politico reported Tuesday that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer would be holding a virtual fundraiser for Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Ed Markey in the 2020 Massachusetts Democratic primary.

Markey, who cosponsored the Green New Deal with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), has the support of youth climate group the Sunrise Movement, which cited Hoyer's affiliation with Big Oil in a scathing statement on the fundraiser to Common Dreams.

"Steny Hoyer has received millions from oil and gas PACs and bundlers over his career, he's the number two highest recipient of fossil fueled electric utilities this cycle, and he recently tried to jam a Big Oil handout into the coronavirus relief packaged passed by Democrats in the House," said Sunrise's political director Evan Weber. "Given all that, it's no wonder that he'd prefer that the co-author of the Green New Deal doesn't win his re-election campaign."


As Common Dreams reported, Hoyer's ultimately unsuccessful advocacy for a fossil fuel bailout in the HEROES Act passed by Congress on May 15 earned the Maryland Democrat harsh criticism from his primary challenger, progressive Mckayla Wilkes.

"This is just one example of Congressman Hoyer's failure to approach the climate crisis with the urgency it requires," Wilkes said.

Journalist Kate Aronoff said on Twitter that while the move by Hoyer could be about political spats and party discipline, Hoyer's reliance on fossil fuel and utility industry donors can't be ignored as he raises money for the candidate trying to oust one of the Senate's biggest champions of the Green New Deal.

"I think generally this kind of stuff comes down to dumb turf wars and trying to discipline anyone who steps out of line," said Aronoff, "but it's also worth noting that electric utilities are some of Steny Hoyer's biggest donors."

On Tuesday, Wilkes told Common Dreams that Hoyer hosting a fundraiser for Kennedy flies in the face of over a year's worth of threats and blacklists by Democratic leadership against progressive challengers to incumbents in both the House and the Senate

"House Democratic Leadership has worked for over a year to disadvantage progressive primary challengers through the DCCC Blacklist," said Wilkes. "Now, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is fundraising for a primary challenge against sitting U.S. Senator Ed Markey, the co-sponsor of the Green New Deal."

"The hypocrisy makes it crystal-clear," she continued. "Hoyer does not actually have a problem with primary challengers, he has a problem with progressives."

Sunrise Movement's Weber echoed those remarks, referring to House Democratic leadership's backing of "Trump's favorite Democrat" Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) against primary challenger attorney Jessica Cisneros in the Lone Star State's primary on March 3.

"It's pretty hypocritical for House leadership to make such a fuss about challenging incumbents in their chamber, and to go as far as to handicapping someone like Jessica Cisneros challenging pro-oil Democrat Henry Cuellar, but then go out of their way to back someone trying to oust the Democrats' most senior leader on climate in the Senate," said Weber. "What gives?"

Hoyer is being joined at the event with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a Congressional Progressive Caucus vice chair, and Reps. Anthony Brown (D-Md.) and David Trone (D-Md.). The presence of Raskin irked healthcare advocate Timothy Faust, who tweeted it was a sign that "members of the CPC are throwing Ed Markey under the bus."

"This isn't like kneecapping Sanders—Markey is hardly a socialist; a senator who typifies the 'acceptable' kind of progressive to the Dem Party," said Faust. "They just are willing to take any opportunity to squish anyone left of center."



the evening greens


Lockdowns trigger dramatic fall in global carbon emissions

Carbon dioxide emissions have fallen dramatically since lockdowns were imposed around the world due to the coronavirus crisis, research has shown. Daily emissions of the greenhouse gas plunged 17% by early April compared with 2019 levels, according to the first definitive study of global carbon output this year.

The findings show the world has experienced the sharpest drop in carbon output since records began, with large sections of the global economy brought to a near standstill. When the lockdown was at its most stringent, in some countries emissions fell by just over a quarter (26%) on average. In the UK, the decline was about 31%, while in Australia emissions fell 28.3% for a period during April.

“This is a really big fall, but at the same time, 83% of global emissions are left, which shows how difficult it is to reduce emissions with changes in behaviour,” said Corinne Le Quéré, a professor of climate change at the University of East Anglia, and lead author of the study published journal Nature Climate Change. “And it is not desirable – this is not the way to tackle climate change.” ...

The experience of the crisis so far has shown that changes in behaviour by individuals – such as not flying, working from home and driving less – can only go part of the way needed to cut emissions, as even the lockdown measures left the bulk of emission sources intact, she said, adding that bigger shifts are needed to the way people produce and use energy.

“Just behavioural change is not enough,” she said. “We need structural changes [to the economy and industry]. But if we take this opportunity to put structural changes in place, we have now seen what it is possible to achieve.”

JPMorgan Chase Faces Investor Revolt Over Financing Climate Destruction

Activist and shareholder frustrations with JPMorgan Chase's funding of global climate catastrophe were on full display Tuesday during the multinational investment bank's virtual Annual General Meeting.

In a clear signal of support for reforming the lending practices of the world's largest private bank to ensure a habitable future planet, 49.6% of shareholders voted in favor of a resolution that asked JPMorgan to craft a plan to better align its operations with the Paris climate agreement's goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Welcoming that vote in a statement Tuesday, Sierra Club campaigner Ben Cushing declared that "the days when Chase could quietly funnel money into the fossil fuel industry without the public taking notice are over."

"The pressure Chase faced on climate at today's meeting and the votes showing unprecedented support for climate accountability are proof that the movement to push Chase and other big banks to clean up their act on climate is only gaining momentum and power," Cushing said. "This is only the beginning, and we'll continue to demand meaningful changes to align Chase's investments with a climate-safe future."

The development was also celebrated by Danielle Fugere, president of the nonprofit shareholder advocacy group As You Sow. "Shareholders today sent the message that it is past time for Chase to catch up with its peers, implement a strategy to decarbonize and de-risk its lending portfolio, and help build a more secure future for all," she said.

Since the landmark Paris accord was adopted in late 2015, JPMorgan has provided over a quarter of a trillion dollars in fossil fuel financing. That has made the bank a top target of climate activists—including Stop the Money Pipeline, a campaign launched in January by a coalition of advocacy groups to pressure banks, insurers, and asset managers to cut ties with planet-wrecking companies.


Also of Interest

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

In Its Zeal to Blame China for Coronavirus, the Trump Administration Is Thwarting Investigations Into the Pandemic’s Origins

China Updates its ‘Art of (Hybrid) War’

Taxpayers Are on the Hook for 98 Percent of the Fed’s $6.98 Trillion Balance Sheet

'A true emergency:' Covid-19 pushes homeless crisis in San Francisco's Tenderloin to the brink

Wisconsin is starting to resemble a failed state

Think Trump and Republicans Wouldn't Try to Cancel an Election? Look at What GOP in Georgia Just Pulled Off

Joe Rogan Leaving Youtube For Spotify & $100 million

UK gov caught running secret “Venezuela Restructuring Unit”

Krystal and Saagar: Matt Lauer Calls Out Ronan Farrow, Biden melts down when asked about Tara Reade

Krystal Ball: How cable news BRAINWASHED liberals into abandoning their values

Rev. Barber: Corporate COVID bailouts a moral failure of all involved

Krystal and Saagar: Media nepotism on display, CNN’s Cuomo won't ask Cuomo about nursing home deaths

Krystal and Saagar Dissect: The Left says Josh Hawley is a fake populist

Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix


A Little Night Music

Otis Spann - Nobody Knows My Trouble, Cold Cold Feeling

Otis Spann - Sometimes I Wonder

Otis Spann - Spann's Stomp

Otis Spann - Vicksburg Blues

Otis Spann - T99, Love

Otis Spann - No More Doggin'

Otis Spann - Hungry Country Girl

Otis Spann – I'm In Love With You Baby

Otis Spann - Five Spot


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Comments

20200520_143540.jpg
When I moved here in 1986, everything you see was nothing, or gravel driveway, no grass, no plants.
It took me many years, but I hauled dirt one wheel barrow at a time from back acreage to get some top soil, and often dug up trees or flowering bushes from the forest, then transplanted in my yard.
Not anymore pruned or groomed, but hell, how cool is it to look at a 50 foot tree you stuck in the dirt when it was 4 inches high? The gorgeous flowering bush that is now 10 ft high, a spread of 20 ft, attracting hummingbirds, bees, butterflies?
My niece said, "Aunt Sissie, this is like a botanical garden!"
This is why I can LITERALLY walk all over my yard naked and nobody 50 feet away notices! Lol!
I just let it go, let it grow, let the next owner of this house worry about it.
Joe, as always, I thank you so.

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20 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

wow, that looks pretty lush and green. your efforts have certainly paid off.

have a great evening!

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11 users have voted.

@joe shikspack It is as lush anywhere around my home.
My horses reached over my fence and ate roses, their favorite, and most anything else they could reach.
I planted away from their reach.
What can kill a horse really quickly? Throat obstruction. Horses do not cough in the usual sense.
What is their favorite treat?
Roses and the thorns on the bush.
How did I call my dogs?
Yell, "Special treat!"
How did I call my horses 12 acres away?
Clap my hands two times, yell, "Love you!"
That was the yard my dogs lived in, and that my horses molested.
I still see them and hear them in the video in my head.

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9 users have voted.

@joe shikspack @joe shikspack appear, but I thought wrong! I am a tech goober. It is what it is, I am who I am! Anyway, it is all lush, green, untended, flowering, and all of it my doing. The smells of the flowers...the wind chimes...
It is like living in a jungle.
Birds, bees, butterflies...
Also, lizards, snakes, fire ants, armadillos, opossums, skunks, and wild hogs that have come within 100 yards of my home.
I give armadillos a by.
Can't think of anything cuter than a baby armadillo, which showed up at my office back yard.
Edit: a baby opossum did, too.
I fed them! When they got of an age, I trapped them, set them out in the Sam Houston National Forest.
I keep a trap/cage at my office.

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8 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

@on the cusp

we played in, once in a while, way back when, in London. Lots of foliage for hiding purposes.

And ginger beer all round at the end.

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8 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

@Bollox Ref is knocking around my front porch right now.
I just flipped on the porch light, scared the critter away, whatever it was.
I mean the critter no harm, but will go to bed shortly, do not need that knocking sound.
Although, I can sleep through a hurricane.

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4 users have voted.

@Bollox Ref as I planted and basically let nature run its' course.
The gardens I saw there had such a different look than the structured ones here.
Ours are very anal retentive looking.

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

going to get re-elected unless they do something for the people who are unemployed. It’s great to see some democrats standing up to Pelosi after she has strung them along for months. Hopefully they have teeth. But now it’s the GOP and Trump who is going to screw them because they don’t want to extend unemployment past the current time period. And especially because of how many people haven’t even received the benefits they are owed.

This article is very long, but it’s because of how many states haven’t been able to get people signed up.

https://prospect.org/api/amp/coronavirus/the-journey-of-the-jobless/

Unemployment benefits helps the country not go into a deeper recession than its already in so you’d think could would do everything it could to not see it happen. You’d think.

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"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

i keep wondering if pelosi thinks that if she helps make sure that people are miserable that it will help the dems in the coming election or if she just thinks that there will be no repercussions for her failures.

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Azazello's picture

Here's some stuff to watch, in anybody needs more stuff to watch.
The Duran highlights leaked audio of Biden pressuring Poroshenko over Shokin and Burisma.

Here's the other half of Dore & Ratigan from yesterday:

Have a nice night.

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12 users have voted.

@Azazello

biden is not up to his ass in the ukraine experiment?
I for one do not.

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13 users have voted.

May we be united and strong -- laurel

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

thanks for the videos!

it will be interesting to see what sort of traction the biden/kerry/poroschenko conversations get in u.s. media. it certainly seems the sort of thing that could stop a campaign in its tracks.

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8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

The Sanders campaign, seeking unity, has asked surrogates to refrain from attacking Biden, the Washington Post reports.

From the Post:

The Vermont senator’s campaign has told some supporters picked to represent him this year to sign agreements barring attacks on other candidates or party leaders, combative confrontations on social media or talking to reporters without approval.

The move, which carried a threat of being removed as a delegate, has the effect of blunting one of the most powerful if divisive tools of Sanders’s movement — its unrestrained online presence and tendency to stoke controversy through other media, which has at times spiraled into abuse of his opponents, perceived and real.

“Refrain from making negative statements about other candidates, party leaders, Campaigns, Campaign staffers, supporters, news organizations or journalists. This Campaign is about the issues and finding solutions to America’s problems,” said the social media policy sent to some delegates. “Our job is to differentiate the senator from his opponents on the issues — not through personal attacks.”

“Do your best to avoid online arguments or confrontations,” the policy said. “If engaging in an adversarial conversation, be respectful when addressing opposing viewpoints or commenting on the opposition.”

The agreements angered some Sanders delegates, and the campaign is now working with delegates to adjust its demands.

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13 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

wow, the preparations for the coronation are pretty extensive.

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8 users have voted.
TheOtherMaven's picture

@joe shikspack

You burned your bridges when you started telling people Biden could beat Trump. Now we aren't going to listen to you any longer.

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7 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven by signing onto the Russiagate nonsense? When any thinking person could see that it was a load of crap and had no difficulty sorting out the factual how and why Clinton lost to Trump. His '16 campaign was timely even if the optimal time for Medicare for All was way back in 1968-1980.

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7 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

Is our betters worrywarting about the pitchfork scenario?

Not that I believe a word he says.

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11 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

my guess is that these comments were crafted by some expensive pr consultant to soften his image and foam the runway for dimon's move into treasury.

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11 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

@joe shikspack

to move into...

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10 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

well, he's been trying to move the treasury into his personal bank account for years, so if he and his fellow looters from wall street fail, then he will want to pursue an inside strategy.

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8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

You wondered, perhaps rhetorically, how they're play this:

“It is my fervent hope that we use this crisis as a catalyst to rebuild an economy that creates and sustains opportunity for dramatically more people, especially those who have been left behind for too long,”

? opportunity for more people = more jobs = more job creators get more money. Where oh where shall we find it? Cut FICA taxes, social security, and other expenditures that don't create jobs or wealth for job creators.

be well and have a good one

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10 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

sadly, that's an entirely plausible scenario - and probably one that biden would happily buy into.

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7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

He wasn’t my candidate, but taking back the White House is that important. Four more years of Trump will replace what remains of our democracy with unchecked rule by kleptocrats, fascists, religious fanatics, gun nuts, and know-nothings. The environment? Education? Public health? The rights of voters, workers, immigrants, people of color, and yes, women? Forget them. And not just for the next four years: A Trump victory will lock down the courts for decades. I cannot believe that a rational person can grasp the disaster that is Donald Trump and withhold their support from Biden because of Tara Reade.

I would say this even if I had no problems with Reade’s account—after all, Biden will be running against Trump, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by 25 women and has confessed to “grab[bing] them by the pussy” on tape. (I’ll leave it to others to explain why the writer E. Jean Carroll’s claim last summer that Trump raped her in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s was a one-day story, while Reade has been all over the news for weeks.)

Maybe I missed the trials that decided that Trump was found guilty of all 25 charges against him. The presumption of innocence has flown the coup in both sides. Trump is guilty and Biden is not. True is a known liar and yet people are taking his word that he said that.

I don’t know if Biden did the deed or not, but it sure seems like Tara has shown more proof that something did happen because lots of people were told about it at the time and through the years. My biggest problem with this is the utter hypocrisy of the democrats who decided that all women must be believed. Until Tara came along.
Again if democrats thought he was as dangerous as they say he was then they’d quit voting for his agendas and Schumer would do everything he could to block McConnell from appointing the judges. Instead he has fast tracked them more than once and some democrats have voted for them. Then there’s Pelosi’s weak impeachment farce.
Source

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10 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

i can't imagine why "none of the above" is not the right choice here.

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9 users have voted.

@snoopydawg
Trump does need to insist on keeping the workers at the pork processing plants safe since he had determined that Bacon is a matter of National Security (or at least is essential).

The Dems counter-offer is mind-bending though.

A_Modest_Proposal_1729_Cover.jpg

Too many Dems seem to be willing to abandon every ethic to get rid of Trump. It was appalling enough that one of them claimed s/he would be willing to let Biden rape their daughter. As an Independent voter this is not the sort of party platform I want to support.

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13 users have voted.

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg has anyone made a “Biden Voter Excuse” Bingo card yet? It could have spaces like “fewer rape allegations than Trump”, “restore democracy”, “The Courts”, “minorities”, “Russia”, etc. Could be useful as we get closer to November and it becomes harder to pretend Biden has some virtue he’s going to restore to the White House.

One thing I am noticing is that as the excuses become more hysterical, I’m also seeing more undermining their own case by also pointing out Biden’s flaws. I mean, what a ringing endorsement by starting out stating he wasn’t your guy to begin with, but... This person doesn’t go into it as deep as I’ve seen but she also doesn’t attribute anything positive to him specifically. She just goes into the “generic Democrat” laundry list, things which I don’t think are a given.

I think it’s obvious that we’re going to see more of this sort of self-serving proclamation as a way for angst ridden libs to absolve themselves any guilt for voting for someone who is a sexual predator, among other things. As more dirt paints Biden more Trump like, it will at least be fun watching libs stick their heads in the sand and desperately try not to look like hypocrites.

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14 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@ScienceTeacher
@Dr. John Carpenter

Yeah it’s always the one with the least power that is the one in the wrong. I wonder just what it will take for Israel to go too far for us to stop their genocide in Palestine. This is Bibi’s end game in my opinion.

Does this mean I get the I and P on the bingo card?

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11 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

snoopydawg's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

As more dirt paints Biden more Trump like, it will at least be fun watching libs stick their heads in the sand and desperately try not to look like hypocrites.

Biden wasn’t my 1, 2, 3 or 4th choice, but now I realize that he is the best person to go against Trump. WTF? The woman who wrote the article describes all the bad things Trump is doing which is true, however the democrats are right there with him, but for some reason no one isn’t aware of how they voted. Pull your heads out. Read other sources and quit watching mainstream news.

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10 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

How you doing old buddy? How's the analog/digital transfers going? Been listening to a lot of George Strait the last couple of days.

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10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@JtC

it's going reasonably well, i'm staying busy. i've been slowly getting into the record collection. some of it is in pretty good condition, but some of it is kinda lamentable, like my copy of the live adventures of mike bloomfield and al kooper which i copied to digital yesterday is a visit to crackle city.

i am trying out some different noise reduction plugins, but so far i haven't found a really good one yet. sound forge has a newer set of mastering features (which include some vinyl restoration tools) in a new version that look promising which i will try out when i have some time over the weekend maybe.

i've been running across stuff in my collection that i haven't listened to in decades, though, and it's been fun.

i ran across this one today:

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7 users have voted.

@joe shikspack
hadn't heard that like forever.

Lots of noise reduction plugins out there, some pop and crackle specific if I remember right. It's been so long I don't think I can make a recommendation though. Soundforge sounds like a good choice. Let me know how it works out.

Are you still averaging one album per day? Transferring the obscure stuff first?

I gotta listen to that Desert Rose again, maybe even venture into the youtube desert to see what other DS is there.

Thanks, my brother.

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@JtC

most days i get an album done, unless i've got a bunch of chores backed up. but the most obscure stuff will have to wait until i have better noise reduction, since most of those albums are both old and got played a bunch over the years, so they're worn.

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4 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@JtC
Long time no interact.
I like quite a few George Strait tunes.
This one is sort of topical:

I love the guitar in this one:

And this one too, of course:

How goes it with you ?

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5 users have voted.

@Azazello
no shit man, it's been too long. Getting hot out there yet.

I'm going to see your George Strait hehs, and raise you two hehs with these:

Heh!!

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7 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@JtC
We've had triple digits already. It's a hunnerd'n ten in Gila Bend.

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6 users have voted.

@JtC @JtC oops

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7 users have voted.

@on the cusp
in Tennessee, none in Texas though.

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6 users have voted.

@on the cusp .Friday nights were the nights we trolled for the Saturday night dates!
Our cowboy boots were under the bottoms of Wrangler jeans.
It took special effort to see them.
I wore a pair of cowboy boots on some trip to Prague, Budapest, and Vienna in early winter.
People flipped out about them, wanted to know where I got them, the brand...
I just wore them for comfort and because it was cold.
Texas exes are evil.
Just ask my brother's ex-wives!

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6 users have voted.

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6 users have voted.

@Marie

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10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Marie

nothing will change during Biden’s Administration. Gee I’m pretty sure that he actually told us that already. How people can’t see that we are given two horrible choices here. I want to know why Obama gets a pass for backing the Saudis in Yemen. As he does for Libya. But I did read today that Gaddafi was a very bad man until the people rose up.

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10 users have voted.

"I will be the best, the best, you know, you know the thing!”
- Joe Biden

@snoopydawg are both horrible. The same was true in 2012 and 2016 but not quite as crystal clear to most.

1992 - three horrible choices. That's definitely the one vote I regret.

Lesser evil was fully operational 1976 through 1988, but tough to know how much less evil it would have been in operation.

How often in US history has there been a non-horrible option? 1788, 1792, 1824, 1828 (Q was the most qualified evah candidate), 1860, 1864, 1912, 1932-44. Nixon was so horrible that anyone else was automatically non-horrible, but by 1968 HHH was no longer the decent man he'd once been but McGovern was always decent.

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Marie

it's sad, yet completely predictable.

i don't foresee a decent u.s. foreign policy emerging unless there is a (real) revolution and the good guys win.

so, not likely.

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9 users have voted.

My Mom's first look at a computer monitor was to ask me if I could find some pictures of Steve McQueen.
I did, and I found this.
Mom was always attracted to bad ass men. Well, me, too.

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5 users have voted.