The Evening Blues - 6-10-21


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Boozoo Chavis

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features zydeco accordian player Boozoo Chavis. Enjoy!

Boozoo Chavis - Paper in My Shoe

"It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence."

-- William James

News and Opinion

Associated Press 'yet to receive evidence' of Hamas presence in Gaza building

The Associated Press has not seen any evidence that the Palestinian movement Hamas used the building which housed its offices in Gaza before it was bombed by Israel last month.

AP issued a statement on Tuesday after Gilad Erdan, the Israeli envoy to the US and UN, visited the news agency's New York headquarters and posted photos on Twitter with the company's president Gary Pruitt.

Erdan said the meeting was meant to "explain to top executives that the building housing their Gaza operation was being used by Hamas terrorists trying to jam the Iron Dome," Israel's missile defence system.

But Lauren Easton, an AP spokesperson, said the Israeli government did not present proof to back the assertion.

"Israeli authorities maintain that the building housing our bureau was destroyed because of a Hamas presence that posed an urgent threat. We have yet to receive evidence to support these claims," Eaton told Middle East Eye in an email. "AP continues to call for the full release of any evidence the Israelis have so that the facts are public."

Blinken says 'hundreds' of US sanctions to remain on Iran

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that "hundreds" of US sanctions will remain on Iran even if the United States rejoins a nuclear accord. President Joe Biden's administration has been engaged in indirect talks with Iran about reversing former president Donald Trump's exit from the 2015 nuclear accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"I would anticipate that, even in the event of a return to compliance with the JCPOA, hundreds of sanctions remain in place, including sanctions imposed by the Trump administration," Blinken told a Senate hearing. "If they are not inconsistent with the JCPOA, they will remain unless and until Iran's behavior changes," he said.

The discussions in Vienna, brokered by European diplomats, have been locked in dispute on which sanctions to lift. But Iran has insisted on a removal of all sanctions -- while the Biden administration has insisted that some will remain if they were imposed over other concerns, including human rights and Iran's support for extremist movements.

U.S. Led 2020 Nuclear Weapons Spending; Now Biden Going “Full Steam Ahead” on Trump’s Nuclear Plans

Senate passes long-delayed China bill

The Senate passed sweeping legislation aimed at combating China's competitiveness on Tuesday, after Democrats agreed to punt the bill into June in the face of GOP slow-walking.

The 68-32 vote hands a victory to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who made the bill a top priority and was able to get it past several last-minute snags in a weeks-long debate that appeared ready to derail it multiple times.

The measure now goes to the House, where it faces uncertain prospects, as lawmakers there have offered their own measure. There’s talk of trying to drop part of it into an eventual infrastructure package.

UK Hypes China ‘Threat’ While Selling Country Billions in Military-Related Equipment

The U.K. government has authorized the sale of £2.6-billion worth of military and civilian equipment with potential military use to China in the past three years, government figures show. Last year saw a tripling in exports to China of “dual use” items defined as “civilian goods with a military purpose.” Some £1.6-billion worth were authorised in 2020, compared to £526-million in 2019.

The increase coincided with the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020. The exports have been approved while China is identified by the British government as “an increasing risk to U.K. interests” and “the biggest state-based threat to the U.K.’s economic security.” Most British exports were for “dual use” equipment but £53-million worth classified purely as “military” went to China over the three years 2018-20, including components for combat aircraft and military support aircraft.

Other items licensed for use by China included military communications equipment and technology for air defense systems. The U.K. has banned the sale of “lethal” military equipment to China since the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989. However, the British exports are likely to benefit China’s air force, which British ministers claim is a growing military threat.

Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said in March that “the likes of Russia and China have studied our strengths in the air and begun developing the capabilities to not only counter but surpass us.” Britain is also aiding China’s naval capacity. Ministers approved two export licences in 2019 for components for combat naval vessels that were identified as being for “end use by the [military] Navy.” ...

In addition to supporting the navy and air force, hundreds of licences have been approved by U.K. ministers for the sale of “information security equipment” and “imaging cameras” to China. ... Sam Walton, the chief executive of the Free Tibet campaign, said: “The Chinese government will use this military equipment to continue its repression in Tibet, to steal Tibetan homes and erase Tibetan culture. Selling such equipment is not how to stand up for human rights.” He added: “We have seen fine words from this government condemning the repression in Tibet, the Uyghur genocide and the destruction on democracy in Hong Kong. But their actions once again show their words to be worthless. Britain cannot condemn China’s jackboot whilst heeling that same boot.”

Emily Jashinsky: Trump Narrative DEBUNKED, Proof The Media Is BROKEN

Yet Another Media Tale -- Trump Tear-Gassed Protesters For a Church Photo Op --Collapses

For more than a year, it has been consecrated media fact that former President Donald Trump and his White House, on June 1 of last year, directed the U.S. Park Police to use tear gas against peaceful Lafayette Park protesters, all to enable a Trump photo-op in front of St. John's Church. That this happened was never presented as a possibility or likelihood but as indisputable truth. And it provoked weeks of unmitigated media outrage, presented as one of the most egregious assaults on the democratic order in decades. ...

There were some denials of this narrative at the time, largely confined to right-wing media. ABC News mocked “hosts on Fox News, one of the president's preferred news media outlets, [who] have spent the days since the controversial photo op shifting defenses to fit the president's narrative.” Meanwhile, The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway — in an article retweeted by Trump as a "must read” — cited sources to assert that the entire media narrative was false because force was to clear the Park not to enable Trump's photo op but rather “because [protesters] had climbed on top of a structure in Lafayette Park that had been burned the prior night” and the Park Police decided to build a barrier to protect it. ...

All of this came crashing down on their heads on Wednesday afternoon. The independent Inspector General of the Interior Department, Mark Lee Greenblatt, issued his office's findings after a long investigation into “the actions of the U.S. Park Police (USPP) to disperse protesters in and around Lafayette Park in Washington, DC, on June 1, 2020.” Greenblatt has been around Washington for a long time, occupying numerous key positions in the Obama administration, including investigative counsel at the Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General and Assistant Inspector General for Investigations at Obama's Commerce Department. ...

The IG's conclusion could not be clearer: the media narrative was false from start to finish. Namely, he said, “the evidence did not support a finding that the [U.S. Park Police] cleared the park on June 1, 2020, so that then President Trump could enter the park.” Instead — exactly as Hemingway's widely-mocked-by-liberal-outlets article reported — “the evidence we reviewed showed that the USPP cleared the park to allow a contractor to safely install anti-scale fencing in response to destruction of Federal property and injury to officers that occurred on May 30 and May 31.” Crucially, “the evidence established that relevant USPP officials had made those decisions and had begun implementing the operational plan several hours before they knew of a potential Presidential visit to the park, which occurred later that day."

The detailed IG report elaborated on the timeline even more extensively. It was “on the morning of June 1” when “the Secret Service procured anti-scale fencing to establish a more secure perimeter around Lafayette Park that was to be delivered and installed that same day.” The agencies had “determined that it was necessary to clear protesters from the area in and around the park to enable the contractor’s employees to safely install the fence.” Indeed, “we found that by approximately 10 a.m. on June 1, the USPP had already begun developing a plan to clear protesters from the area to enable the contractor to safely install the anti-scale fence” — many hours before Trump decided to go. The clearing of the Park, said the IG Report, had nothing to do with Trump or his intended visit to the Church; in fact, those responsible for doing this did not have any knowledge of Trump's intentions.

Beyond that, planning for that operation began at least two days before Trump decided to visit the church. “The fencing contractor told us and emails we reviewed confirmed that on May 30, the assistant division chief of the Secret Service's Procurement Division discussed with the contractor how quickly the contractor could deliver anti-scale fencing to Lafayette Park,” the Report found. Plans for the fence were finalized at least the day prior to Trump's walk: “the fencing contractor's project manager told us that she learned on May 31 that the Secret Service had contacted the fencing contractor about an anti-scale fence.” And while Attorney General William Barr did visit the Park shortly before Trump's walk and saw what he viewed as unruly protesters, causing him to ask Park Police commanders whether they would still be there when Trump arrived, the order to clear the Park had been given well before that and was unrelated to Trump or to Barr: there is “no evidence that the Attorney General’s visit to Lafayette Park at 6:10 p.m. caused the USPP to alter its plans to clear the park.”

EU-UK talks on Northern Ireland appear close to collapse on eve of G7

Talks between the EU and the UK over Northern Ireland appear on the brink of collapse as London indicated it was still considering unilateral action to keep unhindered supplies flowing from Great Britain into the region.

The European commission vice-president, Maros Sefcovic, said patience was “wearing very, very thin” and described the relationship with the UK as “at a crossroads”.

Amid fears that the escalating crisis over Northern Ireland would develop into a trade war, David Frost, the Brexit minister, said there had been “no breakthroughs” over the Brexit checks but no “breakdowns” after a two-hour meeting with Sefcovic in London.

Late on Wednesday, Boris Johnson insisted that there was no crisis. ... Johnson’s optimism could face a challenge at the G7 meeting on Thursday, however, when Joe Biden will warn him and the EU not to “imperil” the Northern Ireland peace process.

Biden to Buy 500 Million Vaccine Doses for Other Countries, But Billions More Needed to End Pandemic

US agrees to buy 500m Pfizer vaccine doses to distribute to 100 countries

The US has reached an agreement with Pfizer to buy 500m doses of their coronavirus vaccine to distribute to nearly 100 countries around the world, as the centrepiece of Joe Biden’s initiative to help vaccinate the world against Covid-19, according to US reports.

Under to the scheme, which Biden is expected to announce in the UK on Thursday, the US would pay for the vaccines at cost price. The first 200m doses would be distributed this year, and the remaining 300m in the first half of next year. According to reports, the vaccines will be donated through Covax, the global initiative to help developing countries face the pandemic, and would go to 92 lower-income countries and the African Union.

The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal cited multiple unnamed sources familiar with the plan.

The global vaccine initiative is part of Biden’s broader strategy of restoring America’s global influence and soft power, which he believed has been eroded by Donald Trump’s four years in office and the increasingly assertive foreign policies of China and Russia.

Leading biologist dampens his ‘smoking gun’ Covid lab leak theory

A Nobel prize-winning US biologist, who has been widely quoted describing a “smoking gun” to support the thesis that Covid-19 was genetically modified and escaped from a Wuhan lab, has said he overstated the case. David Baltimore, a distinguished biology professor, had become one of the most prominent figures cited by proponents of the so-called lab leak theory.

Originally quoted in an article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in May, and widely requoted since, Baltimore had appeared to suggest that a specific feature in Covid-19’s genome, known as the furin cleavage site, was the “smoking gun” to the theory the virus had been contained inside a laboratory and then escaped via a leak. “These features make a powerful challenge to the idea of a natural origin for Sars2,” he said at the time.

In recent days, however, Baltimore has told a fellow researcher, the scientific journal Nature and the LA Times that – while he had been quoted accurately in the bulletin – he should not have used the phrase “smoking gun” and was uncertain what the feature proved regarding the origins of the virus – natural or otherwise. In an email exchange with the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore conceded he had overstated the case and that he had an open mind on the matter. ...

“I believe that the question of whether the sequence was put in naturally or by molecular manipulation is very hard to determine but I wouldn’t rule out either origin.”

Given his considerable reputation, Baltimore’s dramatic “smoking gun” quote in early May had driven a lot of the recent resurgence of interest in the Wuhan lab leak theory in tandem with renewed reporting of unverified intelligence claims that three staff at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalised in November 2019 with symptoms consistent either with Covid-19 or seasonal flu.

‘Priorities’ | IRS & White House choose data leak over TAX EVASION

Republicans threaten to sink Biden’s G7-backed plan to fix global tax system

Joe Biden’s plans to overhaul the international tax system face mounting opposition from his Republican opposition who have called the proposals “crazy” and are threatening to block the historic deal’s passage in the US. The treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, has led the Biden administration’s attempts to broker a global agreement on how companies are taxed, which comes amid a wider push to reshape corporate taxation in the US.

Those efforts were rewarded over the weekend when the G7 group of wealthy nations backed a global minimum rate of at least 15% and agreed that countries should be able to tax some of the profits made by big companies based on the revenue they generate in that country, rather than where they are based for tax purposes.

But as Biden heads to London for the G7 summit, the US-led plan faces stiff opposition in Washington, where senior Republicans are lining up to kill the deal. The former Trump administration economic adviser Kevin Hassett told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday it “isn’t going to happen”.

With the 100-seat Senate evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, Biden will struggle to pass any changes to international tax treaties with bipartisan support and may be forced to try to pass a bill with only Democratic votes.

Krystal and Saagar: Top GOP Economist Says 'Poor, Minorites' NOT WORTH $15/hour

Schumer plans to force key votes to win over Democratic holdouts on filibuster

Top Democrats are preparing to make the case to impose new limits on the filibuster, in a move that could bring to a head six months of smoldering tensions over an expected Republican blockade of Joe Biden’s legislative agenda. The Senate had its first filibuster of this Congress last week, when Republicans used the tactical rule to block a bipartisan House-passed measure to create a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Capitol attack perpetrated a pro-Trump mob.

Even as a majority of senators voted in favor of the commission, the bill’s defeat at the hands of Republicans deploying the filibuster underscored the ease with which legislation can be blocked under current Senate rules that require a 60-vote margin in the 100-strong chamber.

Republicans at the same time last week delayed a bipartisan measure aimed at improving American competitiveness with China, also proving to Democrats that the party was more interested in denying legislative wins to Biden than advancing bills that they helped write. Now, in an attempt to demonstrate Republicans have all but turned the filibuster into a weapon to wage bad-faith politics, Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer is embarking on a strategy to force votes on some of Biden’s most high-profile measures. ...

But with Biden’s ambitious political agenda imperiled by expected Republican filibusters, Schumer has reached the point where he believes the only way to pass bills offered by Democrats is to escalate the fight, according to a source familiar with his thinking.

Rep. Jayapal OPPOSES Voting On Her Own Bill!

Fear and anger in Canada after Muslim family is killed

As thousands of people gathered outside Canada’s second-largest mosque in London, Ontario, Reina Persaud was watching her niece and other children chalking brightly-coloured hearts all over the road. The “pathway of hearts” was a tribute to the Afzaals, a local Muslim family, who every evening would take a walk around the neighbourhood, greeting neighbours and friends – and who were killed on Sunday in what police have described as a premeditated attack motivated by Islamophobia.

Members of three generations of the family died when a 20-year old man ploughed his pickup truck into them: Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, their daughter Yumna Afzaal, 15, Salman’s mother, Talat Afzaal, 74. The couple’s son, Fayez, nine, remains in the hospital.

On Tuesday night, crowds of mourners – including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the leaders of all of Canada’s political parties – attended the vigil to honour the victims and protest against hate.

Persaud, daughter of a Chinese-Filipino mother and an Indian father, said she was there because she had experienced racism in London all her life and so had all her patients – two of whom were crying in her office earlier in the day. “I’m scared for them,” she said. “I’m scared because they can’t be who they want to be out of fear.” ...

“Stories like this shatter people’s utopian image of what Canada is,” said Javeed Sukhera, a psychiatrist and chair of the London police board. “Denialism of racism in Canada is pathological. But how many more people have to die before politicians do something?”

New York Senate Confirms Pro-Cop District Attorney to Highest Court

The New York Senate voted Tuesday to confirm Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nominee, Madeline Singas, giving the Nassau County district attorney a spot on the Court of Appeals and entrenching the bench’s conservative stronghold. Singas, a prosecutor who opposed bail reform and declined to prosecute police officers who viciously beat a Black man, will now serve a 14-year term as one of seven judges on New York’s highest court. Singas joins six other justices — including Judge Anthony Cannataro, whom the Senate also confirmed Tuesday — who have all been nominated by Cuomo. In addition to a potential impeachment trial against Cuomo over sexual assault allegations and underreported Covid-19 nursing home deaths, Singas will now have the power to adjudicate some of the most vital criminal justice reform cases in a state with an incarceration rate four times that of Canada and where Black and Latino residents are disproportionately put behind bars.

Some progressives have seen Cuomo’s decision to nominate Singas as a calculated political choice. Along with the Senate, the Court of Appeals would rule in Cuomo’s impeachment trial if the state legislature votes to impeach him, and Singas appears to have a connection to the governor. Singas has called the chief judge of the Court of Appeals, Janet DiFiore, a “friend” and “mentor.” DiFiore, meanwhile, has been an ally to Cuomo for years: The governor appointed DiFiore to two gubernatorial positions before nominating her as chief judge and requested in February that Attorney General Letitia James work with DiFiore to find a lawyer to investigate Cuomo’s sexual assault allegations. (James declined.)

Andrew Cuomo’s office strongly denied the claims that Cuomo nominated Singas for his own political gain. “She came from a list from a judicial screening committee that found her qualified and the merits of her qualifications were vetted and ultimately approved by the state senate,” spokesperson Rich Azzopardi said in an email to The Intercept. “That’s the process and if you want to print dumb conspiracies from ill informed members of the advocacy industrial complex that’s up to you.”

Singas has a history of fighting progressive criminal justice reforms as Nassau County DA, most notably when she led the charge against the state’s 2019 bail and discovery reform laws, some of the most progressive in the country. The sweeping legislation, which went into effect in 2020, eliminated cash bail for most nonviolent offenses and allowed defense attorneys to access and review the prosecution’s evidence without having to submit a written request. The reforms aimed to level the playing field for defense attorneys and for defendants unable to afford to pay bail.

the horse race

VA Gov Race Shows How Suburban Libs DESTROYED Dem Party

Rev. William Barber: Manchin ABANDONED West Virginia

the evening greens

Owner cancels Keystone XL pipeline months after Biden revoked permit

A $9bn oil pipeline that became a symbol of the rising political clout of climate advocates and a flashpoint in US-Canada relations was officially canceled on Wednesday. Keystone XL, which was proposed in 2008 to bring oil from Canada’s western tar sands to US refiners, was halted by owner TC Energy after Joe Biden this year revoked a key permit needed for a US stretch of the 1,200-mile project.

North American oil pipelines, including Dakota Access and Enbridge Line 3, have faced steady opposition from environmental groups, which are concerned about spills and want to slow any expansion of oil production. ...

The Keystone XL pipeline was expected to carry 830,000 barrels per day of Alberta oil sands crude to Nebraska, but the project was delayed for the past 12 years due to opposition from US landowners, Native American tribes and environmentalists.

Congressional progressives are talking big again. Set your watches, a cave is coming.

'No Climate, No Deal': Progressives in Congress Warn Biden Against Cutting Green Energy From Infrastructure Package

Progressive members of Congress on Wednesday signaled they would be willing to withhold their votes from any infrastructure package that skimps on climate action after one of President Joe Biden's top advisers suggested that key green energy proposals could be excluded from an eventual bill.

"An infrastructure package that goes light on climate and clean energy should not count on every Democratic vote," Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), a Green New Deal supporter, tweeted in response to National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy's suggestion Tuesday that climate policies proposed in Biden's original American Jobs Plan — such as a clean electricity standard — could be left on the cutting room floor as the president seeks a compromise deal with a bipartisan group of senators.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the lead House sponsor of the Green New Deal resolution, echoed Heinrich, declaring, "[Republican Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell and the Koch brothers are not worth setting the planet on fire for."

"I know some Dems may disagree with me," Ocasio-Cortez added in an apparent jab at Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), a member of the bipartisan group that Biden turned to after cutting off infrastructure negotiations with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) on Tuesday.

As CNBC reported earlier this week, a dark money group backed by billionaire oil mogul Charles Koch is lobbying Manchin to oppose much of the Democratic agenda, including a sweeping bill to protect and expand voting rights.

"President Biden and Senate Dems should take a step back and ask themselves if playing patty-cake with GOP senators is really worth the dismantling of people's voting rights, setting the planet on fire, allowing massive corporations and the wealthy to not pay their fair share of taxes, etc.," said Ocasio-Cortez, who has backed progressive calls for $10 trillion in infrastructure and climate spending over the next decade.

With such slim congressional majorities, Democrats can't afford many defections if they hope to pass an infrastructure and climate package amid unanimous Republican opposition. In the Senate, they can't lose a single vote.

"No climate, no deal," Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) tweeted Wednesday.

Despite the GOP's repeated failure to propose a viable alternative to Biden's American Jobs Plan, the president plans to continue his push for a bipartisan deal by negotiating with a group of 20 senators led by Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Manchin.

The bipartisan group is reportedly working on a $900 billion infrastructure framework, less than half of the roughly $2.2 trillion in spending Biden called for in his opening offer. It's unclear how much of the funding under the bipartisan framework would go toward electrical vehicle development, the retrofitting of homes and commercial buildings, clean energy investments, and other priorities Biden included in his initial package.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), a member of the bipartisan group, told reporters Wednesday that the 20 senators do not intend to include tax hikes on corporations or the rich in their proposal—a likely non-starter for progressives and the White House. Romney confirmed that Republicans would not accept tax increases as part of any infrastructure deal.

Biden's decision to shift his attention to the bipartisan group came days after dozens of activists with the youth-led Sunrise Movement rallied at the White House—and at one point blockaded the entrance—to demonstrate their opposition to any watered-down infrastructure deal with the GOP.

After new data showed that atmospheric carbon dioxide reached its highest level in over four million years during the month of May, Sunrise executive director Varshini Prakash warned in a statement Tuesday that "Biden will either pass a historic infrastructure package with climate at its core, or he will have to look us in the eyes and tell us why he failed to do everything possible to stop the climate crisis while he had the power to do so."

"Anything less than a robust jobs and climate package is a death sentence for our generation," said Prakash. "Whether it's Capito or Romney, it should come as no surprise that the GOP wants to strip climate from the infrastructure package because he is literally working with a party of climate deniers. We can't wait for them to come around to the science on this and we will continue to fight until he delivers on the climate mandate he promised us."

Krystal Ball: How Corp Dems LIED to you about the existential climate crisis

Telegraph fire burns more than 80,000 acres to become 10th largest in Arizona history

Firefighters in Arizona worked through the night battling the Telegraph fire, a wildfire that started east of Phoenix on Friday and has burned more than 80,800 acres (33,000 hectares). Officials said on Wednesday the fire was 21% contained, but straddled two counties, had forced thousands of evacuations in rural towns, and closed almost every major highway out of the area.

The fire – now the 10th largest in state history – is believed to be human-caused, but the flames have been fueled by dry, windy conditions and temperatures reaching into the 90s and 100s. ...

“Even our own fire equipment is starting fires,” said Dean McAlister, a fire information officer, during his Tuesday night briefing. “The blades and the tracks of the [heavy equipment] sparking against the fuels have actually created some fires along the fire line.” He cautioned residents to avoid the area for safety reasons and to ensure additional vehicles would not accidentally add new flare-ups.

Colorado records first litter of gray wolf pups since 1940s

Colorado has its first litter of gray wolf pups since the 1940s, state wildlife officials said on Wednesday. A state biologist and district wildlife manager both spotted the litter of at least three wolf pups over the weekend with their parents, two adult wolves known to live in the state. Most wolf litters have four to six pups, so there could be more.

The discovery comes after Colorado voters narrowly approved a ballot measure last year that requires the state to reintroduce the animal on public lands in the western part of the state by the end of 2023.

Gray wolves lost their federal protected status as an endangered species earlier this year. But they remain protected at the state level, and hunting the animals in Colorado is illegal. Penalties for violations include fines, jail time and a loss of hunting license privileges. ...

Gray wolves were hunted, trapped and poisoned into extermination in Colorado in the 1940s.

Officials last year confirmed the presence of a small pack of wolves in north-western Colorado after a number of sightings since 2019. The animals were believed to have come down from Wyoming’s Yellowstone national park.

Also of Interest

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

The United Mine Workers Strike at Warrior Met Coal

‘This is a revolution’: the faces of Colombia’s protests

Infamous Israeli home thief is federally-charged Long Island, NY financial fraudster

Expanding Biolab Complex in Berkeley Has Residents Worried

U.S. Southwest, Already Parched, Sees ‘Virtual Water’ Drain Abroad

Tulsa: ‘A Cover-Up Happens Because the Powers That Be Are Implicated’

Salmon face extinction throughout the US west. Blame these four dams

Texas Republican Louie Gohmert asks: can we fix the moon’s orbit to fight climate change?

Maine Lawmakers Pass Landmark Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill

Krystal and Saagar: Secret Docs REVEAL Billionaires Paid NOTHING In Taxes

Briahna Joy Gray: MSM IGNORES How Toxic Pelosi Is To Dem Brand

Saagar Enjeti REVEALS How China BOUGHT Bush, Clinton, And Biden Family

Krystal and Saagar BEAT NYT, Become Top Political Podcast IN THE USA

Underwater cables arouse interest of world powers

Ryan Grim now wants progressives to force the vote

Matt Taibbi DEFENDS Glenn Greenwald Against Critics

Ryan and Emily DEBATE: Is The U.S. Just As BAD As Hamas And Taliban?

Ryan and Emily DEBATE: Is The U.S. Just As BAD As Hamas And Taliban?

A Little Night Music

Boozoo Chavis - Dog Hill

Boozoo Chavis - Crying Waltz

Boozoo Chavis - Susy-Q

Boozoo Chavis - Driftin' Blues

Boozoo Chavis - What You Gonna Do

Boozoo Chavis - Keep Your Dress Tail Down

Boozoo Chavis - Motor Dude Special

Boozoo Chavis - Boozoo's Breakdown

Boozoo Chavis - Went to New Orleans

Boozoo Chavis - Dance All Night

18 users have voted.


You all seem to hang on Krystal's words.


We cannot all agree. I will give Krystal and Saagar another try. There is a bigger world than NYC.

7 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture


heh, i don't agree with krystal (and certainly not saagar) all of the time. they are about as close to mainstream news commentary as i can stomach. but on the other hand, krystal is right on target sometimes and i appreciate a lot of their guests (greenwald, taibbi, bjgray, sirota) most of the time.

also, i don't put stuff into the eb all the time because i agree with it, i put it there for people to read and think about. sometimes i have a reaction to some of the stuff that i post and i'll put in an editorial note if i think that it's worth a close, full read or on the other hand, if i think that it's b.s.

so anyway, i won't be offended if you don't care for krystal's point of view. if you think that she's said something out of line, feel free to post about it.

have a great evening!

15 users have voted.

@joe shikspack @joe shikspack @joe shikspack Is it too much to ask that all commentators speak authoritatively about subjects they are familiar with and issue disclaimers when they are on shaky ground?

Krystal holding forth about NYC politics makes as much sense as my discussing quantum theory.

To her credit, when the spiel that irritated me so much ended, Krystal looked uncertain and a bit disheveled, and admitted, she was not even certain who she would vote for.

We are all better off talking and writing about what we know

And----I love the Zydeco selections.

5 users have voted.


The Liberal Moonbat's picture

The Onion appears to be playing far nicer than it ought to with, of all things, Critical Race Theory:

Perhaps my father is right and I've grown "hypersensitized to the hypersensitized", but considering what happened to MAD Magazine in its final few issues (and the inexplicable links to at least a few known IdiotPo cesspools The Onion's had at the top of its page for a long time now), this feels too much like a prelude to nothing good.

8 users have voted.

We live in a society in which "we live in a society" is now considered a subversive and vaguely-threatening statement.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

joe shikspack's picture

@The Liberal Moonbat

heh, i don't know if you are making too much of it, but somebody sure is.

my take is that humans in groups are stupid, the larger the group the greater the likelihood of a massive outbreak of stupidity. certain problems like racism are probably intractable to the point that when anybody tries to figure out a way to define and understand the problem with an eye towards mitigation great conflagrations of stupidity are the predictable result.

divide and conquer has worked too well.

11 users have voted.
The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@joe shikspack Racism was being solved. It was DYING up until a few years ago. These things take a long time, and the policy and mentality being pursued since the 1950s onward was WORKING - Post-Racial America was REAL and GROWING, and it led, as we all know, to the Occupy movement, which was why they've been working so hard to burn all the hard-earned miracles of not only the last 50 years, but the last 300, to the ground while having the gall to call it "progressive". The narrative of the last 8 years has been a lie. Don't give in to the Despair Agenda. Don't let them snatch Defeat from the jaws of Victory.

Bigotry is taught, not natural, and while there are still kinks to work out, I was seeing the next steps myself before the 2014 NewTruth Counterrevoluton dragged us all in the dead-opposite direction. Group identity itself is the problem - so that much you're certainly right about, and it isn't even new knowledge. We need to foster a society that judges and nurtures people as the unique individuals we all are, and actively discourages groupthink (so no more of this "team sports" mentality, for one thing, or the literal fascism they teach in the military - if Germany can have a functional military/police force that teaches soldiers to place conscience before following orders, then so can everyone else). This is not difficult; we know most of what we need to know already. Obviously we need to wrest control of society back from the oligarchs and ochlocrats first, but IT CAN BE, AND WAS BEING, DONE.

4 users have voted.

We live in a society in which "we live in a society" is now considered a subversive and vaguely-threatening statement.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

mimi's picture

needs to get a brain mri with orbits to get an answer to his question and a better vision, ahem...

Thank you as always for your work on the EB.

Have a good one.

7 users have voted.

Please get along with each other. We have only one planet. Do not destroy what we have. Do not kill anyone and do not kill yourself. Nature doesn't care about what you think.

enhydra lutris's picture

a perfect straight face, and is as follows:

"We do not have the technology at the present moment, though it might perhaps be dne with prayer. However, you will need to consult with the ecclesiastical community regarding that, not me.

be well and have a good one.

9 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture


that louis gohmert, what a pip! Smile

6 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

Thanks for the news and blues. Another rainy gray day...not complaining mind you. Our western friends are high and dry. The garden and I prefer gray and wet.

I featured the full 2.5 hour interview which is now being cut into more digestible segments.
This story illustrate the capture of the (ill) health system by big pharma. (11 min)

Biden and G7 pushing for China (and Russia) Conflict. What arrogant assholes we are.
Edit to add:
This makes my point...I've cued it to the best 5 min but the whole 9 min clip is good.

Best enjoy the evening and let those things beyond our control play out as they will. Have a good one!

11 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout I feel your frustration about Ivermectin.

it is similar to the zeal with whcih I try to get everyone I know to take Vitamin D everyday. Amount according to weight, age, doctors orders.

My self-control snapped a few weeks ago when my visiting daughter tells me that she gets enough sunlight.

My voice became the same one I used when her safety was in jeopardy as a child and I raised my finger and pointed it as I pushed a bottle of Vitamin D into her handbag. "Do Not Argue" I ordered as I looked straight into her eyes.

Sometimes we have done all we can and will just have to let the issue go. It is a tough lesson.

8 users have voted.


joe shikspack's picture


we've been having occasional downpours and thunderstorms for the past couple of days and it looks like they are going to be hanging around until next week at least here. ms shikspack's plants are ecstatic about all of the rain. i'm just glad that we're getting it early in the tomato growth cycle as this much rain later on would mean lots of split tomatoes.

thanks for the vids, especially the george galloway vid. great stuff.

have a good evening!

6 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

also for the James quote, far less wordy than my hitherto favorite quote on the subject from Bertrand Russell:

"I wish to propose a doctrine ... which may, I fear, appear wholly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing that it is true."

As for the overstated case regarding the Covid "leak" from Wuhan I posted a comment in Lookout's May 30 column, comment 533995, that said, in part:"

The receptor isn't, as I understand it too ultra rare and even occurs in some CoV, just not 2B type CoV: --

Absent in other group 2B CoVs, the four additional amino acids (PRRA) form the classic RXXR motif cleaved by many serine proteases when added to the conserved R found at the SARS-CoV-2 S1 cleavage site (PRRAR) 10. Notably, furin cleavage sites have been observed in other virulent pathogens like HIV, avian influenza strains (H5 and H7) as well as Ebola 11. In fact, furin cleavage sites are found in a number of other CoV family members including MERS-CoV, HKU1-Cov, and OC43-CoV12,13; given the range of disease associated with these CoV strains, the furin cleavage site does not necessarily predetermine virulence. However, given its absence in other group 2B CoVs and the major differences in disease compared to SARS-CoV, a better understanding of the role of the furin cleavage site during SARS-CoV-2 infection is needed.

Another paper: alleges

Furin cleavage sites occurred independently for multiple times in the evolution of the coronavirus family, supporting the natural occurring hypothesis of SARS-CoV-2.

and has a downloadable graphic indicating at least 9 prior cases where the site evolved in CoV family members. they then insert their conclusion early:

Here, we analyzed the sequences of coronaviruses and found furin sites occurred independently for multiple times during evolution. This exhibits natural occurrence of furin cleavage site in SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is highly possible. Thus, the insertion of furin cleavage site into SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is not necessarily a result of manual work.

of particulaar note:

Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 is the only virus in subgenus Sarbecovirus having this feature, while even its closest relatives, bat coronavirus RaTG13 (sequence identity 97.7%) and pangolin coronaviruses (92.9%–90.7%), do not have furin site. However, in Hibecovirus, the sister clade of Sarbecovirus, a Hipposideros bat coronavirus collected in 2013 at Zhejiang Province in China has furin site at S1/S2. Interestingly, the other member in Hibecovirus lacks such site, similar to the situation of SARS-CoV-2 and its close relatives.

there is a very interesting graphic here:

and one more
Furin cleavage sites also occur in other genera of coronavirus

Our mapping results showed furin cleavage sites are widely present in the whole coronavirus family (Fig. 5). For spike S1/S2, furin recognition motif is universal in Gammacoronavirus, and also occurs in two clades of Alphacorovanvirus: feline coronavirus and relatives, and Chevrier's field mouse coronavirus. For spike S2′, furin recognition motif occurs in several independent clades, covering all the three genera. Notably, in the two human coronaviruses in Alphacoronavirus causing common cold, HCoV NL63 has furin cleavage site at spike S2′, while the HCoV 229E (protein sequence identity 63.8%) lacks such feature.

In short, there is ample evidence that the cleavage site isn't that rare, not even in corona virii, so it isn't so radically unlikely to have occurred naturally.

be well and have

7 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

thanks for all of the info. i haven't really gotten that far into the weeds of this particular argument yet.

i am still kind of stuck on a tangent that glenn greenwald pointed out a while ago, which is whether it is such a great idea for us to have scientists creating extra-deadly designer viri in their labs. whether the current virus leaked from wuhan's lab or not, there are two important facts. the u.s. was funding gain of function research there and leaks can and do happen.

it seems like as good a time as any for the science community to have an ethical discussion.

13 users have voted.

He seems to be following the marching orders that he previously got from Bibi.

9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


well, it appears to me that he is probably going to be successful at the sabotage. the key to it is to win the narrative war and be able to blame the u.s. failure to live up to the terms of the treaty on iran.

10 users have voted.

Background: The judge presides in district court in 3 counties. Mine is one of them, although I take cases in all 3 counties. The District Attorney, Lee Hon, is planning to run against the judge who is up for re-election this year. The defense attorney, Mike Davis, staunchly defends the judge due to the judge being a lifelong pal of Davis' girlfriend. I will be testifying in a state bar grievance trial against Davis in September. He is facing 4 separate complaints, may lose his license. Finally.

9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

wow, that's an intense little legal community you've got there. i guess at least it isn't boring. Smile

have a great evening!

5 users have voted.

@joe shikspack DA Hon was investigating Davis for practicing without a license during a 6 months state bar suspension. Since I was the one who filed that complaint, Hon became my New Best Friend.
BUT, when Davis' girlfriend was a sitting district judge, and I filed a complaint that led to her resigning, Hon was likely investigating me for imagined crimes. She was very close to him while on the bench.
It might be great to hire an out of town attorney, but you need local counsel to give you the lay of the land.
I hope to retire in 2 or 3 years, kick all of this to the curb.

10 users have voted.

Lake Mead’s water level reached a historic low late Wednesday, according to federal officials.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation data show the lake dipped below the previous record to reach 1,071.56 feet about 11 p.m. The lowest the lake level reached Thursday morning was 1,071.48 feet about 6 a.m.

The record comes as Lake Mead is nearing its first federally declared water shortage, a result of a two-decade drought that has strained the Colorado River. Water from the river serves 40 million people in seven states and Mexico.

“This is something that has been anticipated for a while, with respect to climate change and the impacts it would have on our water supply in the long term,” said Kristen Averyt, a UNLV research professor specializing in climate resilience and urban sustainability.

Averyt, who also serves as Nevada’s climate policy coordinator, said the state should be prepared for more extreme conditions moving forward, but she remains optimistic about the future.

As of Monday, the country’s largest reservoir was just 36 percent full. The lake is the source of about 90 percent of Southern Nevada’s water.

Aaron said the water level is expected to continue declining until November.

Runoff from snowpack in the Rocky Mountains is essentially over already, Aaron has said. Typically, the runoff season lasts from April until July, she said.

9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


i bet putin stole all of the snow. Smile

8 users have voted.

Boris Johnson has described US President Joe Biden as a "breath of fresh air" after they met for the first time on the eve of the G7 summit in Cornwall.

"There's so much that they want to do together with us, from security, NATO, to climate change," Mr Johnson said.

He also said there was "complete harmony" with Mr Biden over Northern Ireland.

If you look closely it appears that Jill changed her shoes for the photo op.

wait there is more!

America’s First Lady Jill Biden wore a jacket with the word Love stamped on the back when she and her husband, Joe Biden, met British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife, Carrie, on the afternoon of this Thursday.

When Jill Biden was asked about her jacket, the first lady told reporters: “I think we are bringing love from America.”

“This is a world conference and we are trying to bring unity around the world (…) And I think it is necessary at this time, that people feel a sense of unity of all countries and have a sense of hope after this year of pandemic ”.

7 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

Hey Joe, How ya doin'? Hope its all good your way. I had to attend to biz last night and didn't have a chance to say thanks for the Sonny Terry. Man he was awesome. Amazing. His style with the vocalaise was incredible. What a great blower he was. Cuts to the bone.

Glad Gomer Gohmert clarumfied that, cause I was on hold with the Ministry of Mining to talk with someone there about changing our orbit... its not us, its our orbit, we'll fix it.

My heart cries for the Salmon in the west. They are in big big trouble. We just keep doing it too. Denial until it is too late is an area of special expertise here.

I don't have the money of those rich men, but I pay more taxes than they do.

10 users have voted.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
both - Albert Einstein

joe shikspack's picture


things are going alright up here. it cooled down into the 60's tonight and i am totally comfortable. Smile

i think you should get back on with the ministry of mining and see if we could do something to get gohmert out of our orbit. i'm tired of sharing an orbit with him.

yeah, it's funny. we pay more taxes than the rich people do, but they own more of america than us. how does that work?

enjoy the music and have a great evening!

8 users have voted.

@joe shikspack unfortunately, they are not anomalies here in Texas.

7 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

run by BAYER - that's Bayer AG, as in IG Farben; Bayer was one of 4 companies merged to create IG Farben, and one of the 4 survivors of the post war break up. The whole idea of an "IG Farben Biolab (tm)" does not sit well.

be well and have a good one

8 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 --

I doubt that they will be sending congratulations.

8 users have voted.

@humphrey I hope the disputed ballots go in his favor!
I am just thrilled for Peruvians, and dread what our Monroe Doctrine CIA enforcers will do to that wonderful country.

5 users have voted.

@humphrey @on the cusp latest news.

100% counted.

4 users have voted.


@NYCVG Great news!

2 users have voted.