The Evening Blues - 6-19-19


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Nappy Brown

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features r&b singer Nappy Brown. Enjoy!

Nappy Brown - Well, Well, Well, Baby-La

“Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.”

-- Arnold Toynbee

News and Opinion

Worth a full read:

The Ugly View of Western Democracy

Standing back a little and surveying the events of the last couple of weeks, gives a bleak view of the current state of Western democracy. We have seen what appears to be the most unconvincing of false flags in the Gulf. I pointed out why it was improbable Iran would attack these particular ships. Since then we have had American military sources pointing to video evidence of a packed small Iranian boat allegedly removing a limpet mine from the ship the Iranians helped to rescue, which was somehow supposed to prove it was the Iranians who planted the alleged device. We also have had the Japanese owner specifically contradict the American account and say that the ship was hit by flying objects. ... There seems to be a remarkable disconnect between the widespread popular disdain at yet another fake western power casus belli in the Middle East, and the near universal complicity of the U.K. political and media class in promoting this transparent lie. ...

The second development ought to have been the biggest media story of the decade in the UK, if we had anything like a free and honest media. Mike Pompeo, U.S. secretary of state, made plain the Trump administration’s intent to prevent the election of Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister. Something else which revealed the truth of the way the political world now operates, and which again did not get nearly the media attention it deserves, was Matt Kennard’s stunning revelation of the way the Guardian has been taken over by the security services. I have been explaining for years that the Guardian has become the security services’ news outlet of choice, and it is very helpful to have documentation to prove it.

Finally, we have of course seen Home Secretary Sajid Javid sign the extradition warrant for Julian Assange to be sent to the United States for the “crime” of publishing truthful information about U.S. illegalities. ...

This brief review of current issues reveal that not only do Western governments lie and fake, they have really given up on trying to pretend that they do not. The abuse of power is naked and the propaganda is revealed by the lightest effort to brush away the veneer of democracy.

I find it hard to believe that I live in times where Assange suffers as he does for telling the truth, where a dedicated anti-racist like Corbyn is subjected to daily false accusations of racism and to U.S. and security service backed efforts to thwart his democratic prospects, where the most laughable false flag is paraded to move us towards war with Iran, and where there is no semblance of a genuinely independent media. But, starkly, that is where we are. This is not unrelated to the massive and fast-growing inequality of wealth; the erosion of freedom is the necessary precondition that allows the ultra-wealthy to loot the rest of us. It remains my hope there will eventually come a public reaction against the political classes as strong as the situation demands.

Mike Pompeo urges other countries to help protect tankers after Gulf attacks

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has called on other nations to help safeguard tanker traffic in the Persian Gulf following a spate of attacks on ships which Washington blames on Iran. On a visit to US Central Command headquarters, Pompeo said shipping security in the Gulf was not exclusively a US problem.

“You have China that depends enormously on energy transiting the Strait of Hormuz. You have South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, all of whom have an enormous interest in ensuring there’s freedom of navigation throughout this waterway,” the secretary of state said. “The United States is prepared to do its part, but every nation that has a deep interest in protecting that shipping lane so that energy can move around the world and support their economies needs to make sure they understand the real threat.” ...

The Trump administration is seeking to handle the Gulf crisis amid turmoil in its top ranks. The acting defence secretary, Patrick Shanahan, who Trump had nominated to take on the job official, resigned on Tuesday “to devote more time to his family”, according to a Trump tweet.

Trump Is Willing to Go to War with Iran Over Nukes, But Not Over Oil

President Donald Trump has warned Iran that he would be willing to go to war to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons, but would probably not launch a military conflict over oil. In an interview with Time published Tuesday morning, Trump tried to defuse tensions over last week’s attacks on oil tankers that the Pentagon has blamed on Tehran, calling them “very minor.”

Trump made the remarks on Monday, just hours after Iran had announced that its stockpiles of enriched uranium would exceed the limits agreed to under the 2015 nuclear deal by the end of the month — raising concerns that it could soon begin developing nuclear weapons. ...

Trump struck a different tone in the Time interview, downplaying the attacks and claiming the U.S. is no longer as reliant on Middle East pipelines as it once was. “Other places get such vast amounts of oil there,” Trump said. “We get very little. We have made tremendous progress in the last two and a half years in energy. And when the pipelines get built, we’re now an exporter of energy. So we’re not in the position that we used to be in the Middle East where … some people would say we were there for the oil.”

The pressure coming from the U.S. side in relation to nuclear weapons may ring hollow, however, given that Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018. That now puts Washington in the awkward position of urging Tehran to abide by the terms of the pact. “We continue to call on the Iranian regime not to obtain a nuclear weapon, to abide by their commitments to the international community,” a State Department spokesperson said Monday.

US Further Isolates Itself From Its Allies Over Iran Policy

Gulf of Oman: Unconvinced EU foreign ministers call for independent investigation after US claim Iran is behind tanker attack

EU foreign ministers remained unconvinced by US allegations that Iran was behind last week’s attack on two Gulf tankers, as they arrived at a meeting on Monday.

There was strong support among EU countries for an independent UN investigation and calls for more evidence – with the UK relatively isolated in its support the Trump administration’s line.

One foreign minister invoked the spectre of US misuse of intelligence over Iraq as a reason for scepticism, as representatives of the 28 countries arrived at the council meeting.

Greece and Cyprus call on EU to punish Turkey in drilling dispute

Greece and Cyprus have urged the European Union to take punitive measures against Turkey amid escalating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean over offshore energy reserves. As Ankara upped the ante by announcing it would expand exploration for potentially lucrative gas resources in the region, the Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, appealed to the EU “to unreservedly condemn the illegal actions of Turkey”.

The appeal came days after a state-of the-art Turkish drilling vessel, the Fatih, launched offshore operations in waters considered part of Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone despite warnings from western allies.

A statement released on Tuesday by Tsipras’s office following a telephone conversation between the Greek leader and Donald Tusk, the European council’s president, underscored the severity of a situation that is causing growing alarm among diplomats in Athens, Ankara and Nicosia. Raising the spectre of sanctions, it said: “The prime minister stressed that the European council should examine specific measures against those involved in these illegal activities if Turkey insists on violating international law.”

Nicosia also threatened to veto EU enlargement talks if the bloc failed to take action against Ankara.

Cyprus and Turkey have been increasingly at odds over natural gas deposits believed to lie deep in the seabed of the eastern Mediterranean. Last week, the government of the Cypriot president, Nicos Anastasiades , issued arrest warrants for the crew of the Fatih, accusing the ship of infringing on the island republic’s sovereign territory. Senior Turkish diplomats hit back, saying Greek Cypriots had not only “crossed the line” but were “playing with fire”.”

Guaido's party caught embezzling US ‘humanitarian aid’ cash

Boeing Out, Raytheon In: Shanahan Quits as Acting SecDef

In a sudden juggle of positions that came relatively out of nowhere, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Tuesday that he is withdrawing himself from consideration for the position. ... Shanahan had a long career at Boeing, rising to a vice president of the major US armsmaker before taking up with the Trump Administration as a Deputy Defense Secretary, and later Acting Defense Secretary.

Which is not to say that the politically powerful arms industry is losing the post, as it has been announced that Mark Esper, himself a former vice president for Raytheon, will be taking over the post. Esper was previously Secretary of the Army.

And while media reports emphasize Esper’s service in the military
in the 1990s, his rise to prominence came after, with Raytheon, where
he rose to vice president of government relations. He was also twice
named, in 2015 and 2016, as one of the most powerful corporate lobbyists in DC.

Ex-French president Sarkozy to stand trial for corruption, influence-peddling

Trump reportedly discussed firing Fed chair Jerome Powell over rate hikes

Donald Trump has reportedly discussed firing the Federal Reserve chairman, Jerome Powell, his latest move a series of unprecedented attacks on the central bank.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the Fed for gradually raising rates, which hovered close to record lows for years after the end of the recession. The Fed meets this week to discuss its next move.

According to a Bloomberg report, in recent days Trump has grown increasingly frustrated with Powell and talked privately with advisers about firing him. But it is not clear that he has the authority to do so, and Powell has said he intends to stay in the job.

Bloomberg said Trump was warned by advisers that firing Powell would be a disastrous move that would worry investors and undermine confidence in the Fed’s independence. On Sunday, Trump once again attacked Powell. In an interview with ABC he said: “I disagree with him entirely.

“I Thought We Were Going to Be Executed”: Police Held Family at Gunpoint After 4-Year-Old Took Doll

In Los Angeles, only people of color are sentenced to death

Los Angeles has sentenced more people to death than any other county in the US, and only people of color have received the death penalty under the region’s current prosecutor, a new report shows. LA county’s district attorney, Jackie Lacey, has won death sentences for a total of 22 defendants, all people of color, and eight of them were represented by lawyers with serious misconduct charges prior or after their cases, according to a new analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Lacey’s office has also continued to pursue death penalty trials this year despite the fact that California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, issued a moratorium on capital punishment, with an executive order officially halting executions in the state.

In addition to severe racial disparities and ethical concerns around legal representation, LA’s system is costing taxpayers millions of dollars in pursuit of a punishment the region’s voters and California leaders have rejected, activists said. ... The governor’s moratorium affects the 737 inmates currently awaiting execution in California, who will not be put to death while Newsom is in office. Lacey, however, is continuing to seek the death penalty, despite the fact that a majority of voters in LA county have twice voted in favor of death penalty repeal measures. ...

Failures of defense counsel are key contributors to wrongful convictions, but problems with California’s appellate system means these kinds of mistakes are often exposed decades later, the ACLU said. The last two California death row inmates who were exonerated gained their freedom roughly 25 years after conviction, and those delays could get worse, as the state has an expanding backlog of cases and appeals. All five people removed from death row after exoneration in the state were people of color.

Trump Threatens Mass Deportations of Undocumented Immigrants

In a series of tweets Monday night, President Donald Trump threatened mass deportations of undocumented immigrants, and said they could happen as soon as next week. The posts from Trump signaled that a shelved plan for raids in major cities, an idea challenged by former administration officials, could be back on.

“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” Trump tweeted. “They will be removed as fast as they come in.”

The Washington Post reported that Trump and his senior immigration adviser, Stephen Miller, “have been prodding Homeland Security officials to arrest and remove thousands of family members” whose cases have been expedited as a part of a plan called the “rocket docket.”

It was revealed in May that Trump had purged the Department of Homeland Security after then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and then-acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello were critical of a plan to carry out mass arrests of thousands of migrants in 10 major American cities. The plan, the Post reported at the time, was to target families. Nielsen and Vitiello’s objections at the time were over “logistical and operational” concerns, rather than ethical qualms. ...

The Associated Press reported Monday night, citing an anonymous administration official, that the arrests would target the “more than 1 million people who have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges but remain at large in the country.” It would seem, then, that Trump was tweeting about a plan that is actually in place and not on a whim, as he is wont to do.

Ocasio-Cortez Hits Back at Liz Cheney: 'What Do You Call Building Mass Camps of People Being Detained Without Trial?'

After Rep. Liz Cheney expressed outrage at her statement that President Donald Trump's administration is "running concentration camps on the southern border," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday asked the Wyoming Republican what term she would use to describe "mass camps of people being detained without trail."

The back and forth between Ocasio-Cortez and Cheney—the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney—came after the New York Democrat said during an Instagram livestream Monday night that "concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice" due to the Trump administration's mass detention of immigrants. ... Cheney's tweet sparked a flurry of reaction, including from Jewish commentators who expressed wholehearted agreement with Ocasio-Cortez's statement, which has been echoed by historians and other commentators.

Gun control advocate and Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg urged Cheney to "learn about what [her] father did to Iraq before commenting on genocide."

Whitney Webb on The Orwellian Digital News 'Trust'

How gerrymandering paved the way for the US's anti-abortion movement

Public opinion polls in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and elsewhere have all found that a majority of citizens in those places prefer to keep abortion legal. Yet Republican-controlled legislatures in each of those states have, in the past three months, passed laws that would outlaw abortion in most cases.

The customary reward in a democracy for violating the will of voters is ejection from office. But the legislators in question do not seem particularly worried about a comeuppance in the 2020 election, judging by the extremist quality of their legislating.

The legislators realize what a lot of voters still do not: in many places in the US today, the voters don’t choose the politicians. The politicians choose the voters.

Thanks to gerrymandering, by which political insiders draw distorted legislative districts to ensure that one party will hold that district, the only elections many seated officials have to worry about are primary challenges from opponents more extreme than they are, creating a kind of ideological arms race that is producing increasingly distorted policy, analysts say. “There is a direct line between gerrymandering and extreme policy outcomes like these ‘heartbeat’ abortion bills,” said David Daley, the bestselling author of Ratf**ked: Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count. “And not only does gerrymandering create the circumstances that elect such extreme legislatures, but it makes it extraordinarily difficult for voters to get rid of them when they go too far.

the horse race

Biden Says Hey Dems Let’s Calm Down about the Whole Revolution Thing

At a June 17 forum on poverty and racism hosted by the Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C., nine Democratic candidates for the presidency fielded questions about how their campaigns have committed to prioritizing the needs of the poorest Americans. Their answers, which ranged from installing a universal basic income (Yang) to slashing the military budget by more than half (Williamson), highlighted the degree to which the Democratic Party has moved left over the last 45 years.

Nearly every candidate called for the radical transformation –– or total eradication –– of the political and financial institutions that have shaped the modern American economy. “Let us go forward with a new vision that transforms this country,” Sanders cried to applause.

Everyone, that is, except Joe Biden.

The former vice president and 76-year-old senator from Delaware hedged when answering questions about what cuts he’d propose making to the U.S. defense budget, how he’d build a political coalition in the American South, and how his administration would address rural flooding that has devastated dozens of towns across the country. At an event where at least half of candidates criticized Senate Majority Leader and Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell for his partisanship, Biden stopped short of identifying any people or institutions that he believes have shaped an economy where an estimated 40 million people live in poverty.

As has been his norm, Biden did not refer to the president by name, making thinly veiled comments instead about the “charlatans” who sow divisions between people of different ethnic and religious groups. Biden also appeared to take a swipe at the political language of his primary challengers who have called for a “revolution.”

“Folks, look, if you start off with the notion there’s nothing you can do” to work with Republicans, he said, “well, why don’t you all go home then, man?” Throwing a subtle jab at the left wing of the Democratic Party, Biden suggested starting “a real, physical revolution if you’re talking about it. Because we have to be able to change what we’re doing with our system.”

Straight to Wall Street Fundraiser After Leaving Poor People's Forum, Biden Tells Fat Cat Donors: 'You Guys Are Great'

Just hours after appearing at Monday's Poor Peoples Campaign event in Washington, D.C. and promising to work for the less fortunate, 2020 Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden went straight to a Wall Street fundraiser in New York City where he solicited donations from, among others, a pro-Trump billionaire. The fundraiser was held at the Manhattan penthouse apartment of investor Jim Chanos. According to CNBC reporting, Biden told wealthy attendees "you guys are great" and "you guys are incredibly important" before singing the praises of working class Americans.

Biden also "suggested" to the crowd that he had raised nearly $20 million already for his campaign, citing 360,000 donors that have contributed an average of $55, approximately $19.2 million.

At one point during the evening, CNBC reported, the former vice president asked supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis for help, but the plea didn't result in any benefit for the Democratic frontrunner. Catsimatidis told Biden he was set on Trump and, on Tuesday, tweeted that he and his family—major figures in New York Republican circles—were all in for the president.

Biden's appearance at Chanos's apartment came on the same day the former vice president took the stage in Washington to wax on his strategies to end poverty. But the former vice president's remarks concentrated mainly on his relationship with former president Barack Obama, The Washington Post reported, and his desire to work with the GOP—at one point leaning over moderator Joy Ann Reid to tell her that it was possible to "shame" Republicans into working with Democrats.

One Year After AOC, Tiffany Cabán Challenges Establishment in Outsider Bid to be Queens DA

Hawkish Democrat Rep. Eliot Engel Is Facing Two Primary Challengers

New York Rep. Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is facing two primary challengers whose newly launched campaigns feature a number of progressive policy priorities. Jamaal Bowman, a middle school principal and educator, and Andom Ghebreghiorgis, a special education teacher, have both narrowed in on Engel’s foreign policy, which is to the right of most Democrats, in their challenges to the 16-term representative. The race in New York’s 16th District is a top priority for Justice Democrats, the grassroots group that helped bring Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Congress; it is the second 2020 primary challenge the group has waded into so far. The group had several conversations with Ghebreghiorgis, a 33-year-old educator from Mount Vernon, New York, before deciding to endorse Bowman, who announced his campaign on Tuesday. Engel, who was first elected to represent New York’s 19th District in 1988, is out of touch with an increasingly diverse electorate, his critics say, pointing to the fact that the 16th District has a majority nonwhite, working-class population.

“Our grassroots movement shocked the country last year with AOC’s upset victory and we are prepared to do it again in New York’s 16th District,” Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats, said in a statement. “It’s time to usher in a new generation of progressive leadership into the Democratic Party.”

“My opponent has been in office for over 30 years,” Bowman said in his campaign’s launch video. “Over those 30 years, my opponent voted for an unjust war in Iraq, deregulating Wall Street, school privatization, and building more prisons. While the very few at the top continue to build their wealth and power, the majority of us continue to struggle.”

Engel is a member of the New Democrat Coalition, the Wall Street-friendly wing of the party, and less than 1 percent of his total fundraising throughout the 2017-2018 cycle came from small-dollar donors. According to, his campaign received more than $150,000 from “pro-Israel” political action committees and individuals combined. Bowman and Ghebreghiorgis, meanwhile, are refusing all corporate PAC and lobbyist money.

The 30-year representative, who initially opposed the Iran nuclear deal — he now supports it — and withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, has foreign policy positions that are further to the right of the majority of Democrats, particularly when it comes to Israel. He also joined the recent pile-on against his colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., demanding that she apologize for her comments on the country’s political alliance with Israel, which he characterized as a “vile, anti-Semitic slur.”

Mike Gravel Smashes War Machine With Facts

the evening greens

Scientists shocked by Arctic permafrost thawing 70 years sooner than predicted

Permafrost at outposts in the Canadian Arctic is thawing 70 years earlier than predicted, an expedition has discovered, in the latest sign that the global climate crisis is accelerating even faster than scientists had feared. A team from the University of Alaska Fairbanks said they were astounded by how quickly a succession of unusually hot summers had destabilised the upper layers of giant subterranean ice blocks that had been frozen solid for millennia.

“What we saw was amazing,” Vladimir Romanovsky, a professor of geophysics at the university, told Reuters. “It’s an indication that the climate is now warmer than at any time in the last 5,000 or more years.“ ...

The paper was based on data Romanovsky and his colleagues had been analysing since their last expedition to the area in 2016. The team used a modified propeller plane to visit exceptionally remote sites, including an abandoned cold war-era radar base more than 300km from the nearest human settlement. Diving through a lucky break in the clouds, Romanovsky and his colleagues said they were confronted with a landscape that was unrecognisable from the pristine Arctic terrain they had encountered during initial visits a decade or so earlier.

The vista had dissolved into an undulating sea of hummocks – waist-high depressions and ponds known as thermokarst. Vegetation, once sparse, had begun to flourish in the shelter provided from the constant wind. ... “It’s a canary in the coalmine,” said Louise Farquharson, a postdoctoral researcher and co-author of the study. “It’s very likely that this phenomenon is affecting a much more extensive region and that’s what we’re going to look at next.“

Trudeau approves contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau has once again approved a hotly contested proposal to expand the crude oil pipeline it bought last year, providing hope for a depressed energy industry but angering environmental and Indigenous groups which have fiercely opposed the project. Construction on the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is planned to start this year, Trudeau told a news conference on Tuesday. A senior government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said earlier that Ottawa expected legal challenges to the approval.

The project would triple Trans Mountain’s capacity to carry 890,000 barrels a day from Alberta’s oil sands to British Columbia’s Pacific Coast, alleviate congestion on existing pipelines and diversify exports away from the US.

Trudeau, who faces a close election scheduled for October, has been under pressure from both western Canadian politicians who accuse him of doing too little for the struggling oil industry, and from environmental groups that fear spills.

The Liberal government previously approved the expansion in 2016 but that decision was overturned last year after a court ruled the government had not adequately consulted Indigenous groups. The approval was widely expected as the government spent C$4.5 billion ($3.4bn) to buy the 66-year-old pipeline from Kinder Morgan Canada Ltd last year to ensure that the expansion proceeded. Western Canada’s oil production has expanded faster than pipeline capacity, causing a glut of crude to build up and pressure on Canadian prices.

Even If All US Drilling and Fracking Halts Today, Warns New Report, 'Flood of Toxic Waste Streams' Will Grow for Decades

For more than three decades, the U.S. government has mismanaged toxic oil and gas waste containing carcinogens, heavy metals, and radioactive materials, according to a new Earthworks report—and with the country on track to continue drilling and fracking for fossil fuels, the advocacy group warns of growing threats to the planet and public health.

"Even if we stop all new drilling and fracking immediately, the flood of toxic waste streams will continue to grow for decades," Melissa Troutman, the report's lead author, said in a statement Tuesday. "In spite of industry claims of innovation, the risks from oil and gas waste are getting worse, not better."

Building on a 2015 Earthworks analysis, Still Wasting Away (pdf) details congressional and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions as well as industry lobbying related to the federal rules for liquid and solid waste from fossil fuel development. "Despite over 30 years of research about the toxic impacts of the industry's waste, it is far from being handled properly," the report says. "There is little consistency in tracking, testing, and monitoring requirements for oil and gas waste in the United States."

"At all stages of the oil and gas waste management process," the report explains, "toxins can enter the environment accidentally (spills, leaks, waste truck rollovers, and illegal dumping) or legally under current state and federal law (road spreading, discharge to rivers, landfill leaching)." Demonstrating the scope of the threat that such waste poses to human health, the report notes that "an estimated 17.6 million Americans live within a mile of oil and gas development, including half of the population in West Virginia and almost a quarter of the population in Ohio." ...

As Earthworks senior policy counsel Aaron Mintzes put it, "Industry lobbyists secured a 'special' designation for oil and gas wastes that exempt it from our national hazardous waste safeguards." Mintzes added that "oil and gas waste is indeed 'special,' it is especially toxic, but that means it should require more oversight, not less." In 2016, Earthworks and other environmental organizations filed a federal lawsuit against the EPA in a bid to force the agency to more strictly manage fossil fuel waste under the RCRA, and the EPA agreed to a consent decree that required the agency to review and consider revising its rules. In April, the EPA announced that it wasn't making any changes and that it would allow states to continue spearheading regulation.

Boaty McBoatface Just Made a Big Scientific Discovery

Boaty McBoatface just made a scientific discovery about climate change and sea-level rise. The submarine that the internet named in 2016 had a super successful first mission down in Antarctica mapping deep ocean currents. Traveling to depths of 2.5 miles below the surface, Boaty took a journey of over 100 miles through underwater mountain ranges deep below the Southern Ocean. And the study from the mission, published Monday, is a game-changer for future climate models as it's helped scientists realize a link between stronger winds in the Antarctic and higher sea temperatures. ...

The study produced from Boaty’s data will inform future climate models, which up until now didn’t take into account the deep ocean currents that are contributing to warming waters in the depths of the Southern Ocean around Antarctica.

Winds have gotten stronger over Antarctica due to a hole in the ozone layer above the southern continent and higher levels of greenhouse gases that have contributed to warming. Those winds are making the waters in the Southern Ocean more turbulent, causing warmer water from closer to the surface to mix with colder, denser water at greater depths. The warming of that water in the deeps is a significant contributor to sea level rise. As it heats, water expands, and as it expands, sea levels get higher.

Teflon Toxin Safety Level Should Be 700 Times Lower Than Current EPA Guideline

New data suggests that the safety threshold for PFOA in drinking water should be as low as .1 parts per trillion, according to the nation’s top toxicologist. Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, cited the figure, which is 700 times lower than the safety level set by the Environmental Protection Agency, at a conference on PFAS at Northeastern University last week.

While PFOA has already been tied to kidney and testicular cancer, among other diseases, recent research linking PFOA exposure to pancreatic cancer is the basis for the lower number cited by Birnbaum. The research was done by the National Toxicology Program, which is a division of the NIEHS.

“If you look at the data, pancreatic tumors are present at very, very low concentrations from PFOA,” Birnbaum told the audience at the conference. “If you use the pancreatic tumors in the rats in the NTP study to calculate what would really be a virtually safe dose, you’re getting down at about .1 ppt. Well, that’s really low. And that’s only for one PFAS.” Birnbaum suggested that regulators might ultimately issue one drinking water standard for the entire class, which contains thousands of compounds.

About the EPA’s current water standard, Birnbaum said, “Many of us would think that is not health protective.”

Also of Interest

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

Leaders May Fall But US Maintains Tyrannies

Report: US Planning “Massive” Airstrike On An Iranian Facility

Trump Fires Shanahan. Pompeo For Sec Def? Bolton To State?

Pentagon sends sniper rifles and $250 million in other military gear to Ukraine

Venezuela receives second shipment of Red Cross aid

Can Donald Trump Hold Off an Economic Crash Until the Election?

Still No Minimum Wage Bill – Not Because Of Trump Or McTurtle – Because Of Pelosi And Hoyer And Their Blue Dogs

The Question NBC’s Debate Moderators Should Ask Elizabeth Warren on #MedicareForAll

Previewing the Democratic Debates: Every Flavor of NBC, Trusting Corporate Media on Climate

The Battle Between West Virginia Teachers and Republicans Is About to Get Ugly

Unicorn Riot Outed a White Nationalist in the National Guard. But They’re Not Kicking Him Out.

Fourth suspect identified in unsolved 1965 Selma murder of James Reeb

New York State Is About to Pass Its Own Green New Deal

Gay Hell: the Michigan town renamed to troll Donald Trump

A Little Night Music

Nappy Brown - Don't Be Angry

Nappy Brown - It's Really You

Nappy Brown - That Man

Nappy Brown - Goody Goody Gum Drop, Bye Bye Baby

Nappy Brown - Little By Little

Nappy Brown - I'm In The Mood

Nappy Brown and the Bad Boys - It's All Yours, Because I Love You

Nappy Brown - Land I Love

Nappy Brown And The Gibralters – My Baby Knows

Nappy Brown - Love Locks

Nappy Brown - Skidy Woe

18 users have voted.


Raggedy Ann's picture

WHEW! That sentence took a few tries - my fingers went to wrong keys - what's up with that?? Must be tired - end of my day.

Thanks for the news and bluez, joe - always keeping us on our collective toes! My biggest fear is war with Iran. Yet, it may be the only way to nail our empire crash coffin. We're living in a time of crap-shoot government.

Beautiful days here - at least that keeps me sane.

Have a wonderful evening, everyone! Pleasantry

7 users have voted.

“The trouble [with injustice] is that once you see it, you can’t unsee it. And once you’ve seen it, keeping quiet, saying nothing, becomes as political an act as speaking out. There is no innocence. Either way, you’re accountable.”
-- Arundhati Roy

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

heh, i know how you feel. sometimes my fingers stray on the keys and the damnedest things get typed.

war with iran would be seriously bad - and some really evil people want it in the worst way, ironically some of those evil bastards want it so that their jeeeezusss will come back.

5 users have voted.

That's all I have to say today.

8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


well, that's a pretty good thing to say.

have a great evening!

5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

“Folks, look, if you start off with the notion there’s nothing you can do” to work with Republicans, he said, “well, why don’t you all go home then, man?” Throwing a subtle jab at the left wing of the Democratic Party, Biden suggested starting “a real, physical revolution if you’re talking about it. Because we have to be able to change what we’re doing with our system.”

He knows damn well that they refused to work with Obama and that McConnell delayed his picks for federal judges. And now McConnell is not allowing any of the houses bills to come up for a vote. He is sitting on 100 bills that the house has passed. But Joe says that if he wins that it will be all rosey between the parties. He just said some nice things about a horrible racist who "never called me boy."

Biden either doesn't want to win or he is telling everyone that he would work with the republicans to gut what's left of our social safety net.

BTW.. did you see that enough democrats voted against rolling back legislation to keep the government from spying on us? Boy I'm glad that the Resistance is working so hard against Trump aren't you?

11 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture


biden is either utterly clueless, or he is a supremely calculating bastard (too clever by half?) who is saying all of the things that obama said to get elected by the establishment. unfortunately for biden, he has a record that is going to haunt him as long as he runs.

8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

he and they share pretty much the same ideology and agenda.

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 --

Unabashed Liberal's picture

in segments, this evening--sorta a "Good News, Bad News" thing. Biggrin

Saw this short piece on my cell phone. Not a bad idea, IMO. Hopefully, it will alleviate the monotony and loneliness for little fellas who are relegated to living in dog shelters for long periods of time.

Here you go,

“The happy hour is a very manageable, bite-sized thing to do. This is a great way to spend time with a dog and get them out of the shelter.” via @ABC

— Justine Davie (@Justine) June 19, 2019


From ABC News,

Now you can check out a dog for happy hour
ABC News - Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The sun is shining, the windows are down and the wind is blowing in the face of one happy pup.

A 5-year-old shelter mutt named Honey is on what the Humane Rescue Alliance in Washington, D.C. calls a canine “happy hour.”

Instead of foster owners taking home shelter dogs for long periods of time, volunteers can check them out for just a few hours at a time.

“The goal of the program is to reduce stress in shelter dogs and sustain their stay here until their family comes along to adopt them,” said Jenna Billeter, director of foster and volunteer resources at the Humane Rescue Alliance.

Unless something goes off the rails, will catch up with you Guys after din-din, with the 'bad news.' Smile (insurance-related)

Hey, Everyone have a nice evening--stay dry, and cool!


“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
~~Roger Caras

8 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

that sounds like a pretty cool idea. there are lots of folks who love dogs, but don't have the time or space to give a dog a full time home who would be delighted to take one to a park and hang out with it for an afternoon.

thunderstorms moving in here, maybe i'll see you later.

7 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

evidence of lack" or something like that. That the "working" (heh) press parrots this outlandishly ludicrous shit, if pretty conclusive evidence that they are part of a propaganda/narrative control team or cabal, because they cannot all be that irredeemably stupid.

Have a good one.

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

perhaps it was something like, absence of evidence isn't evidence of abstinence? Smile

8 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@joe shikspack
with a perfect one-liner.

4 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack
to steal that.

3 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 --

Unabashed Liberal's picture

also moving in here, around midnight.

Right now, my mind is too tired and addled to tackle Medigap, but, will share a Chart which shows the 'penetration' of Medicare Advantage (MA) by state.

(which may be hard, if not impossible, to read--sorry!)

#2 - Medicare Advantage Pentration Chart - By State_2.JPG

Heck, this is almost useless--I'll give it another shot, tomorrow. (IOW, I'll see if I can resize it--although, I doubt I can.)

Anyhoo, my point was going to be that after looking at map, and thinking about it, suppose it might be more difficult than I had imagined to advocate for a 'pure' FFS Traditional Medicare program. IOW, looks like "the horse has already left the barn," regarding 'managed care.'

Dash 1Oh, well . . .

See you Guys, tomorrow.


5 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

snoopydawg's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

Is there an article that shows what it's saying?

4 users have voted.

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

Unabashed Liberal's picture


'where' I found this chart.

Maybe, Kaiser Health News? If not today, I'll check by tomorrow, and see if it's one of their illustrations. (many of the ones I post, are from their website)

Have a good one!


“Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.
~~Roger Caras

3 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

mimi's picture

at the beginning of the EB is a piece of beauty. And the article selection is the most dark box of a treasure.

I am half through reading, and was just miffed again, why Whitney Webb on The Orwellian Digital News 'Trust' is talking so fast that a dummy foreigner like me has difficulties to follow her. And I just was miffed too that the African-American couple that has been assaulted by the Arizona cops sounded as if they were under 'tranquillizer' medication. Probably they were. Who wouldn't need those, had any of us been in the same situation they have been in.

And Joe Biden, well, since I observed how he used his own son's military service' survival in the Iraq war and not a word about his son's death from cancer later on, I can't help but doubt and dislike him. May be I am just a emotionally challenged mom of a military son, who survived the invasion of Iraq and Fallujah and Tikrit? Fuck the wars.

If you continue like that, Joe, I will be a week behind in trying to catch up reading. Can you take a break or is that 'immoral' and an assault on your integrity?

Thanks for your work. Honestly amazing to watch you working.
Give rose

4 users have voted.