The Evening Blues - 6-3-20


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Leroy Carr

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features blues piano player, singer and songwriter Leroy Carr. Enjoy!

Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell - Midnight Hour Blues

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”

-- Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

News and Opinion

Much more at the link.

New York Police Are Attacking Protesters — They Know They Won’t Face Consequences

As thousands of protesters converged in Brooklyn on Monday evening, NYPD scanners picked up a bit of radio chatter that stood out even in the atmosphere of boiled-over police violence. After a police dispatcher noted protester movement near the 77th Precinct, a voice on the same channel replies clearly: “Shoot those motherfuckers.” Just as clear was the immediate response: “Don’t put that over the air.” The exchange, at 6:20 p.m., was captured via Broadcastify, one of many publicly accessible websites that allow users to listen in on police and other emergency radio channels nationwide. These sites have “skyrocketed to the top of the App Store” in the wake of George Floyd’s killing by police in Minneapolis, Vice reported this week. An NYPD spokesperson confirmed the radio exchange and told The Intercept that it is under internal review.

After days of increasingly violent repression of protests across the country, and after President Donald Trump called for protesters looting stores to be shot and Defense Secretary Mark Esper called U.S. cities a “battlespace” — the radio message was yet another indicator that police see protesters as enemies to combat rather than the citizens they are sworn to protect. But the chatter was also a sign of how emboldened police have become in calling for violence, and how little they seem to fear repercussions for violent attacks on civilians.

In New York City, as across the country, officers have responded to protests prompted by anger at police violence and lack of accountability with yet more violence and, mostly, no consequence. Over the last several days, NYPD officers have beaten protesters with nightsticks, ripped off masks to pepper-spray them at close range, driven their vehicles into crowds, and in at least one occasion pointed a gun at a group of demonstrators. These incidents, police critics say, represent a significant escalation while also being consistent with a long pattern of violence and lack of accountability by the country’s largest police department. The abuse has been enabled by laws that shield officers from accountability and by barriers to police oversight — as well as by city leaders who have long allowed police to operate with impunity.

“The disturbing videos and reports of the violent attacks by NYPD on protestors and the media, while traumatizing to watch, are all too familiar to us,” a group of New York City public defenders wrote in a statement on Tuesday. “They mirror the stories we hear every day of police acting with impunity, targeting, attacking, beating, lying, abusing, and disrespecting Black and brown people in the communities we serve in all five boroughs.” ...

The Civilian Complaint Review Board, New York’s independent office for investigating police abuses, has received 467 complaints since Friday, when the protests started, “and is committed to fully investigating them,” a board spokesperson told The Intercept. But the police department is investigating only six, according to Shea. The NYPD spokesperson did not answer questions about several instances of police violence and misconduct that were caught on video. A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office told The Intercept they are aware of the NYPD radio exchange, but declined to comment further or provide detail on any other ongoing investigation into police actions.

Congressworm tweets. So much for the Constitution and the rule of law.

Chris Hedges: The Treason of the Ruling Class

The ruling elites no longer have legitimacy. They have destroyed our capitalist democracy and replaced it with a mafia state. What the Roman philosopher Cicero called a commonwealth, a res publica, a “public thing” or the “property of a people,” has been transformed into an instrument of naked pillage and repression on behalf of a global corporate oligarchy. We are serfs ruled by obscenely rich, omnipotent masters who loot the U.S. Treasury, pay little or no taxes and have perverted the judiciary, the media and the legislative branches of government to strip us of civil liberties and give them the freedom to commit financial fraud and theft.

The loss of control over our system of rulership, the misuse of all democratic institutions, the electoral process and laws to funnel money upwards into to a handful of oligarchs while stripping us of power, ominously means that the ruling elites can no longer claim the right to have a monopoly on violence. Violence employed by police and security agencies such as the FBI, which have devolved into occupying forces, to protect the exclusive interests of a tiny, ruling criminal class exposes the fiction of the rule of law and the treason of the ruling elites.

“In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience,” Stokely Carmichael warned. And if your opponent is bereft of a conscience, then state violence is inevitably met with counter-violence. Tyranny takes the place of reform. The danger of widespread sectarian violence in America is now very real. ...

If the mafia state is not overthrown, then America will become a naked police state where any opposition, however tepid, will be met with draconian censorship or force. Police in cities around the country have already thwarted the reporting by dozens of journalists covering the protests through physical force, arrests, tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray. The huge social divides, largely built around race, will be used by the neo-fascists in power to divert a legitimate rage by a betrayed working class to set neighbor against neighbor. Neo-fascist “patriots” will be unleashed like attack dogs against people of color, Muslims, feminists, intellectuals, artists, the media and liberals. Dissent, even nonviolent dissent, will become treason. ...

It is ultimately the ruling elites who will determine the mechanics of resistance. When they close every escape route, when they speak exclusively in the language of force, then the language of force becomes the only form of communication. Trump’s demand that states use the National Guard to crush the protests and threat to deploy the U.S. military in the streets of American cities only heightens the anger and frustration that led to the uprisings. ... The longer the ruling elites refuse to address the root causes behind these protests, the more they loot the treasury to enrich themselves and their fellow oligarchs, the more they engage in futile and absurd efforts to deflect blame, the more unrest will spread. The last desperate resort by the oligarchs to save themselves will be to stoke the fires of racialized violence between disenfranchised whites and disenfranchised people of color. This, I fear, is the next chapter in this saga. I saw this tactic used to deadly effect in the former Yugoslavia. These are dark times. They are about to get darker.

It looks like the protests have finally gotten somebody's attention.

Minnesota charges three more officers over George Floyd killing and elevates Chauvin murder charge

Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison has announced charges against three former police officers in the death of George Floyd, and increased the charge against the officer who kneeled on the man’s neck. ... Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder last week. On Wednesday, Ellison increased that charge to second-degree murder.

In a statement released by civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, the Floyd family said Ellison had informed them that “his office will continue to investigate and will upgrade the charges to first-degree murder if the evidence supports it”.

Ellison also announced charges of aiding and abetting murder against officers J Alexander Kueng, Tou Thao and Thomas Lane.

All four men were fired in the immediate aftermath of Floyd’s death, which was caught on video taken by a witness. Kueng, Thao and Lane were not arrested and were reported to have gone to ground.

Clergy teargassed by Washington police

Episcopal clergy linked to St John’s church in Washington DC were among the peaceful protesters violently swept out of the way by police so that Donald Trump could pose in front of the building on Monday evening, and they have condemned the US president’s behavior. The Christian leaders were teargassed along with protesters and journalists, some of whom were also shot with rubber bullets and punched by officers as they cleared a path to the church from the nearby White House.

“They turned holy ground into a battleground,” the Rev Gini Gerbasi said.

Gerbasi is the rector of nearby Saint John’s Episcopal church in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, a sister church of St John’s Lafayette that is better known as the Church of the Presidents because every one since James Madison has attended services there. ...

Gerbasi had brought 20 other priests and a group of laypeople, organized by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington to serve as a “peaceful presence in support of protesters”. They offered water and snacks to demonstrators denouncing racism and police brutality, and were armed with hand sanitizer to ward off coronavirus amid the heightened risk of such gatherings during the pandemic. The clergy were packing up before the new 7pm curfew in Washington began, when the police suddenly surged forward to clear the crowded space in front of the church. ...

Gerbasi and her companions fled, then saw on their phones images of the president and cohort striding across the space they had just been ousted from, to stand before the church as cameras rolled. “That’s what it was for, to clear that patio so that man could stand in front of that building with a Bible,” said Gerbasi. The White House tweeted a video showing Trump’s walk and pose and giving the thumbs up as he strode past a line of riot police, set to triumphal music.

Attorney General Barr Personally Ordered Police Assault on Peaceful DC Protesters, Report Says

Attorney General William Barr is facing demands to step down after the Washington Post reported Tuesday that the nation's top law enforcement official personally ordered police to beat back peaceful protesters gathered near the White House Monday evening to clear the path for President Donald Trump's walk to St. John's Episcopal Church.

Two anonymous federal law enforcement officials told the Post that "the decision had been made late Sunday or early Monday to extend the perimeter around Lafayette Square by one block." An unnamed Justice Department official said that Barr on Monday afternoon "went to survey the scene and found the perimeter had not been extended."

"The attorney general conferred with law enforcement officials on the ground, which the official said is captured in a video of the incident," the Post reported. "He conferred with them to check on the status and basically said: 'This needs to be done. Get it done,' the Justice Department official said."

National Guard soldiers and police proceeded to club peaceful protesters with batons and fire tear gas canisters into crowds as Trump delivered a speech on the nationwide uprising sparked by the killing of George Floyd. The New York Times reported Tuesday that Barr "had strolled to the edge of the police line to observe the crowd in the minutes before the tear-gassing began."

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) was the first Democratic member of Congress to demand Barr's resignation in the wake of the Post's reporting, which was confirmed by ABC News.

"The Attorney General is the top law enforcement officer in the country, the leader of an agency meant to protect Americans' constitutional rights," Beyer tweeted Tuesday. "Barr betrayed that mission by ordering the violent and systematic violation of peaceful protesters' rights. He should resign." ...

In a statement released just ahead of the Post's report, Barr thanked the police and the National Guard for their "outstanding work" Monday night but did not mention his role in ordering the assault on demonstrators.

Australia raises concern over assault on news team at Washington DC protest

Australia has asked its embassy in Washington DC to register its concerns with the US government about an apparent police assault on an Australian cameraman during a protest outside the White House.

On Tuesday, officers used teargas, rubber bullets and flash-bangs to chase away peaceful demonstrators as Donald Trump addressed the press outside the White House.

Video footage from the scene showed the Channel 7 correspondent Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers broadcasting live on a street when riot police approached to clear the area, hitting Myers with a shield. The pair are then seen trying to leave the scene while another policeman swings at them with a baton.

The foreign minister, Marise Payne, said the Australian government would support Channel Seven, where the cameraman worked, should it wish to lodge its concerns over the incident in Washington with US authorities through the embassy there. “I want to get further advice on how we would go about registering Australia’s strong concerns with the responsible local authorities in Washington,” Payne told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. ...

Meanwhile, Germany’s government warned that journalists in the US should be protected and be able to do their jobs. The statement came after a correspondent for the country’s public broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, said he was shot at live on air while reporting in Minneapolis, the city in which Floyd was killed.

Remembering "Big Floyd": Houston Friends of George Floyd Describe Him as a "Man of Peace"

Veterans Call On National Guard Members to Refuse to Deploy Against Protesters

Over 300 veterans have signed onto an open letter encouraging members of the National Guard to respond to the "moral choice" in front of them by refusing orders to deploy against protesters in streets across the nation.

"We urge you to have the courage to do the right thing," the letter says. "Refuse activation orders."

Protests over the May 25 killing of unarmed black man George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers have spread around the country, leading to confrontations between demonstrators and heavily armed police.

The open letter was coordinated by About Face: Veterans Against the War, a group that describes itself as composed of "post-9/11 service members and veterans organizing to end a foreign policy of permanent war and the use of military weapons, tactics, and values in communities across the country." It was released the same day President Donald Trump threatened protesters with violence, tweeting that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

Referencing that tweet, the letter urges other veterans to remember that "it is your community members who fill the streets, while your Commander in Chief tweets about using you to murder people over something as insignificant as property damage."

The letter asks the Guard members to recall the military branch's "deadly legacy" including the 1970 Kent State shootings and also recognize that the consequences for obeying activation orders could be grave.

"We know the consequences you may face for disobeying orders. Many of us have faced them ourselves. And many of us live with the consequences of following orders we shouldn't have, and can tell you that the cost of moral injury is far greater."

Army veteran Brittany DeBarros of Veterans Against the War, who helped organize the letter, criticized Trump for his move Friday evening to hide in an underground bunker while protests broke out outside of the White House.

"It is asinine for a rich man hiding in a bunker to ask these troops, most of whom probably signed up to pay for access to college and healthcare, to take actions that will inevitably lead to more violence and haunt them for the rest of their lives," she said in a statement Tuesday. ...

According to the National Guard, as of Monday morning over 17,000 Guard members have been "activated for civil unrest" in 23 states and Washington, D.C.

Glenn Greenwald on US protests: Trump's push to deploy the military is 'threat' to democracy

'Abuse of power': global outrage grows after death of George Floyd

The EU’s top diplomat has described the death of George Floyd as an “abuse of power”, adding his voice to growing international unease over the US killing as well as Washington’s subsequent violent crackdown against protesters. “We here in Europe, like the people of the US, we are shocked and appalled by the death of George Floyd and I think that also societies must remain vigilant against the excess of use of force,” said Josep Borrell, the European body’s foreign policy chief.

“This is an abuse of power and this has to be denounced as we combat [it] in the States and everywhere. We support the right to peaceful protest and also we condemn violence and racism of any kind and, for sure, we call for a de-escalation of tensions,” said Borrell, who was previously Spain’s foreign minister. Borrell’s remarks in Brussels were some of the most forthright so far to come out of the 27-country bloc. However, they came the same day as the UK said people should be “allowed to protest peacefully”, while Germany and Australia announced they were looking into police attacks on the media at US demonstrations. ...

The leading United Nations human rights official said on Tuesday the US protests underscored police violence at a time when the coronavirus was already having a “devastating impact” on ethnic minorities worldwide. “This virus is exposing endemic inequalities that have too long been ignored. In the United States, protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd are highlighting not only police violence against people of colour, but also inequalities in health, education, employment and endemic racial discrimination,” Michelle Bachelet said. ...

When asked for his opinion of Trump’s call for military action against protesters, Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, paused for 21 seconds before saying: “We all watch in horror and consternation at what is going on the United States. It is time to pull people together.”

Minneapolis Police Union Defies Mayor’s Order To Be Less Violent & Continues “Warrior Training”

Minneapolis Police Union President: “I’ve Been Involved in Three Shootings Myself, and Not a One of Them Has Bothered Me”

In an interview in April, Lt. Bob Kroll, head of Minneapolis’s police union, said that he and a majority of the Minneapolis Police Officers’ Federation’s board have been involved in police shootings. Kroll said that he and the officers on the union’s board were not bothered by the shootings, comparing themselves favorably to other officers. “There’s been a big influx of PTSD,” Kroll said. “But I’ve been involved in three shootings myself, and not one of them has bothered me. Maybe I’m different.”

His comments underscore the rampant nature of police violence in the United States. The number of times police officers fire their weapons swamps the level of violence in most other countries, where authorities rely on nonlethal methods of coercion, persuasion, or control. Many police officers live with post-traumatic stress disorder induced by the violence associated with policing. But not Kroll’s crew, he said. “Out of the 10 board members, over half of them have been involved in armed encounters, and several of us multiple. We don’t seem to have problems,” he said. “Certainly getting shot at and shooting people takes a different toll, but if you’re in this job and you’ve seen too much blood and gore and dead people then you’ve signed up for the wrong job.” ...

On Tuesday afternoon, the Minnesota AFL-CIO called for Kroll’s resignation, blaming him for his role in “[enabling] violence and brutality to grow within police ranks.” Police forces across the country have been escalating violence against demonstrators; driving vehicles into crowds; firing rubber bullets, tear gas, and flash grenades at largely peaceful gatherings; and even killing a man in Louisville, Kentucky. ...

According to a 2015 Star Tribune report, Kroll clocked at least 20 internal affairs complaints during his three decades in the Minneapolis Police Department, “all but three of which were closed without discipline.” There have also been several lawsuits against Kroll, detailing a long history of allegations of bigoted comments, including one that accused him of using excessive force against an elderly couple during a no-knock raid and another that accused him of “beating, choking, and kicking” a biracial 15-year-old boy while “spewing racial slurs.”

“The big buzzword they had was deescalation,” Kroll said of police reform efforts. “You’re supposed to, you know, even if you’re lawful in using force, it could look bad and give a bad public perception.” Being trained not to use force is what’s causing officers stress, Kroll said. “Certainly cops, it’s not in their nature. So you’re training them to back away,” he said. “And it’s just not a natural — that’s where a lot of the stress does come from with the cops is not [having] the ability to grab somebody and say, no, step back or you’re going to jail and if need be, by force.”

White Supremacist Group Identity Evropa Posed as Antifa on Twitter and Called For Looting and Violence

A white supremacist group linked to deadly right-wing violence in Charlottesville in 2017 used a fake Twitter account to pose as “Antifa” and incite violence during the current wave of protests against police brutality.

Twitter announced Monday that it had suspended the account, which claimed to belong to a national “Antifa” organization, and revealed that the account was created by Identity Evropa.

“This account violated our platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts," Twitter said in a statement to the media. “We took action after the account sent a Tweet inciting violence and broke the Twitter Rules.”

The message was posted just hours after President Donald Trump and his administration blamed the protests on “Antifa,” a label applied to a loose collective of far-left anti-fascist groups and activists. The administration provided no evidence to back up its claim.

Armed, White Vigilantes Threatened BLM Protesters in Philly and Sent a Journalist to the Hospital

Dozens of white vigilantes armed with baseball bats, hammers, and other weapons roamed the streets of a Philadelphia neighborhood Monday night, shouting epithets at protesters and threatening violence. They sent at least one person to the hospital.

The group converged in Fishtown, a neighborhood in north Philadelphia, claiming they were protecting both its residents and the police. Video posted online shows the pro-cop demonstrators threatening Black Lives Matter protesters, challenging them to fights while holding baseball bats, and hurling homophobic slurs at them.

“A cop can’t defend himself so that’s why we’re here,” a man in a blue hoodie told Black Lives Matter protesters. “If anyone wants to throw shit at a cop, or pick on a cop, pick one of us the fuck out, and we’ll go around the corner and fight you.”

Later that night, members of the vigilante group reportedly attacked Jon Ehrens, a producer for local radio station WHYY who had been filming the demonstrations throughout the day. They bloodied his face and sent him to the hospital.

Demonstrators from the group claimed they had the blessing of the Philadelphia police, and pictures and videos on Instagram showed Philadelphia police officers posing for pictures with some of the men.

Minneapolis public school board votes to terminate its contract with police

Minneapolis public schools are terminating their contract with the city’s police department following the death of George Floyd. The city’s public school board unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday night that will end the district’s contract with the Minneapolis police department to use officers to provide school security. The Minneapolis superintendent said he would begin work on an alternative plan to keep the district’s more than 35,000 students safe in the coming school year.

“We cannot continue to be in partnership with an organization that has the culture of violence and racism that the Minneapolis police department has historically demonstrated,” Nelson Inz, one of the school board members, said. “We have to stand in solidarity with our black students.” ...

The Minneapolis teachers union had endorsed the change, calling for the city’s schools to “cut all financial ties” with the police department, and to invest in additional mental health support for students instead.

Michael Hudson: Fed’s $10 Trillion Defends Assets of the Rich

David Sirota scores again, with an excellent challenge to the complicit Democrat morons to act in behalf of the american people. The Democrat morons will probably do nothing useful, but it is good for the people to know that they could.

Worth a full read.

10 Things Dems Could Do Right Now -- If They Actually Wanted To Stop Trump’s Power Grab

Donald Trump yesterday deployed federal police to attack peaceful protesters, all to stage a photo op of himself threatening to militarily invade his own country. In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer issued a press release, and promised no real action to do anything, days after House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer declared that the U.S. House won’t have any floor votes for another month.

Democrats would have you believe they are victims and have no power in this situation -- which is, in a word, horseshit. And not just run-of-the-mill horseshit we’ve all gotten used to -- this is especially dangerous horseshit, because we need them to actually use the power they currently have to oppose what’s going on. Right now.

They do have real power. The party controls one chamber of Congress that Trump needs to finance his power grab. They also fully control 15 state legislatures and have partial control of another 13 state legislatures. And they control nearly half the nation’s governorships, and most major cities’ mayoralties -- the former of which has authority over the national guard, and the latter of which run the police forces that are committing acts of violence in our streets.

That’s a lot of power to actually do something right now.

So...exactly what can they do? Here are ten kinds of things -- and many of them can be done unilaterally by House Democrats, by states and by cities, and they can be done immediately, not at some unspecified time in the distant future:

1. For the love of God, stop trying to give Trump more police power.

In the lead up to the protests, Democratic congressional leaders had been pushing to fortify Trump’s police powers. Yes, that’s right: They have repeatedly -- and at times stealthily -- worked with Republicans to try to reauthorize the Patriot Act in a way that would strengthen Trump’s warrantless surveillance power. Boosted by groups like Demand Progress, progressive Democratic lawmakers have thankfully helped temporarily stop the reauthorization for now -- but Pelosi has been actively trying to revive the legislation. Giving Trump more police power as he promises to violently crush protests is insane. Stop. Just stop.

2. Do not pass a Pentagon spending bill that would fund Trump’s military invasion of American cities.

During the Iraq War, Democratic lawmakers gave speeches demanding an end to the conflict, and then turned around and cast votes to pass appropriations bills that funded the war. Now we face the prospect of Democratic lawmakers issuing press releases telling Donald Trump to not militarily invade America, and then potentially turning right around and voting for the spending bills to fund that invasion. That would be absolutely unacceptable. House Democrats can halt the annual Pentagon appropriations bill, and write various restrictions into it preventing any resources from being used by the president to deploy troops into American cities, without the explicit consent of Congress. They can also amend the Insurrection Act. In 2006, Congress expanded that statute, which Trump would rely on to domestically deploy the military. Congress can now go the other way and reform that law in ways that reduce Trump’s ability to start a civil war in the United States. 

[Click link above for more good ideas. -js]

Pelosi's faux resistance, Bernie MISSING IN ACTION from protests

the horse race

Clamoring for Mic at Black Lives Matter Event, Rep. Eliot Engel Admits "If I Didn't Have a Primary I Wouldn't Care"

Progressives called on Rep. Eliot Engel to end his re-election bid after a viral video Tuesday afternoon showed the 16-term congressman saying he only wanted to speak to his constituents about the racial justice protests happening all over the country because he has a primary challenger this year.

The congressman made the comments during a rare appearance in the Bronx at a press conference regarding the protest movement that has spread across the country in the past week. Engel has drawn criticism during the election for living full-time in Maryland while representing New York's 16th district, which includes the northern Bronx and southern Westchester County, and for not returning to the district during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, who led the event, told Engel there wouldn't be time for him to give an unplanned address to the crowd because of the number of elected officials who showed up.

"If I didn't have a primary I wouldn't care," Engel said.

New York Times reporter Shane Goldmacher called the video "a hot-mic moment for the ages."

With New York's primary election coming up on June 23, Engel's remaining challenger is educator Jamaal Bowman, a progressive who has won endorsements from Justice Democrats and the Working Families Party by pledging to fight for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and "jobs and education, not bombs and incarceration."

On Monday, a second challenger, Andom Ghebreghiorgis, suspended his campaign and threw his support behind Bowman. An early poll taken last fall by Data for Progress showed 29% of respondents backing Engel versus 10% who said they would support Bowman—"a relatively slim lead for such an entrenched incumbent," wrote Akela Lacy at The Intercept. The survey also showed half of registered Democrats in the 16th district "were not sure how to describe Engel's political viewpoint."

the evening greens

Energy firms urged to mothball coal plants as cost of solar tumbles

Building new solar power projects would generate cheaper electricity than running most of the world’s existing coal power plants, according to a global renewable energy report.

New figures have revealed that more than half of the world’s coal plants could be undercut by the falling cost of new large-scale solar projects, which are now more than 80% cheaper to build than in 2010.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) has found that up to 1,200 gigawatts of the world’s existing coal capacity could cost more to run than the cost of new utility-scale solar plants.

If energy companies replaced only their most expensive coal plants with new solar power projects or onshore wind farms, totalling 500 GW globally, they could save up to $23bn (£18bn) every year and wipe out 5% of last year’s total global carbon emissions, according to Irena.

This global renewable energy boom would also stimulate $940bn in investment, or the equivalent of 1% of global GDP, as the world emerges from the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis.

In 'Targeted Strike' Against Environmental and Racial Justice, Trump EPA Curbs State Power to Reject Fossil Fuel Projects

With the nation focused on the coronavirus pandemic and protests against U.S. police brutality that have sprung up across the globe, the Trump administration continues to quietly attack federal policies that protect public health and the environment to limit the legal burdens faced by planet-wrecking fossil fuel companies.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday announced a final rule (pdf) about the Clean Water Act Section 401 certification process for energy infrastructure projects. The rule, first proposed in August 2019, sets a one-year deadline for permitting decisions and restricts the scope of what state and tribal officials can consider.

"Donald Trump and his administration are nothing if not vindictive, spiteful, and capricious," Food & Water Action executive director Wenonah Hauter said in a statement Tuesday. "This new rule from the EPA, which seeks to undermine a bedrock environmental law and hamstring the rights of states to protect communities from water contamination and climate change, is just the latest example."

The Trump administration has completed 66 rollbacks of climate and environmental policies and is pursuing 34 more, which brings the first term total so far to 100, according to a New York Times analysis updated on May 20. The greatest number of completed and in progress rollbacks relate to air pollution and emissions; 11 are about water.

Critics slammed the president and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, for curbing states' power to protect residents and the planet by rejecting dirty energy projects—and for making yet another assault on national environmental safeguards in the midst of multiple global crises.

The administration's new rule, Hauter declared, "is a direct response to repeated actions by concerned local communities and responsible state officials in New York and elsewhere to reject dangerous fossil fuel projects that have no business being built where they're not wanted."

"Like so much of what Trump is pursuing now, this is a targeted strike against environmental justice and racial justice," she said. "It's a fact that people of color and low-income communities are disproportionately impacted by the air pollution, water contamination, and climate chaos produced by fossil fuel projects."

"As we're seeing so clearly now across society," Hauter added, "this president and this administration are at war with justice and well-being—particularly for the communities that lack these fundamentals the most."

Also of Interest

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

We Are Watching The Story Of America Crash Headlong Into The Reality Of America

A Short History of U.S. Law Enforcement Infiltrating Protests

Trump’s Threats to Antifa Are an Affront to Black Agency and a Risk to All Protest

Trump’s Message of Unity: “Vicious Dogs,” “Ominous Weapons,” “Heavily Armed Soldiers”

Trump Calls Up Military For 'Law And Order' Campaign Stunt

Coup d’état in Washington: Trump declares war on the Constitution

Nationwide Uprising Against Failed State

To Provide Safety and Solidarity, DC Residents Open Doors to Protesting Teens Cornered by Police Crackdown

After Trump's Authoritarian 'Law and Order' Speech, Military Helicopters Descend Low Over DC to Intimidate Protesters

Militarization Has Fostered a Police Culture That Sets Up Protesters as ‘The Enemy’

FBI Asks for Evidence of Individuals Inciting Violence During Protests, People Respond With Videos of Police Violence

Five things to know about Trump's legal power under the Insurrection Act

‘Stigmatized, segregated, forgotten’: Colombia’s poor being evicted despite lockdowns

Our Infrastructure Is Being Built for a Climate That’s Already Gone

Cornel West Smacks Down Chris Wallace’s Loaded B.S. Question On Looting

Driver Runs Over Cop & DeBlasio’s Double Standard

Cop To Woman: We’re Gonna Beat The F**k Out Of You”. w/Dylan Ratigan

Krystal and Saagar: SHOCK POLLS show overwhelming support for protestors, military deployment

Krystal and Saagar DEBATE looting


A Little Night Music

Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell - Hustler's Blues

Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell - Longing For My Sugar

Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell - Bobo Stomp

Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell - Carried Water For The Elephant

Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell - Good Woman Blues

Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell - Papa's On The Housetop

Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell - The Depression Blues

Leroy Carr, Scrapper Blackwell & Bobby Phillips - The Stuff Is Here

Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell - How Long Has That Evening Train Been Gone

Leroy Carr - Blues Before Sunrise

17 users have voted.


ggersh's picture

From the Captain of the Chicago Blackhawks. Ya I get the issue with "Blackhawks" but that's not the point, here is a Canadian hockey player who gets whats going on in the world today

7 users have voted.

this time it's different

empty suit on Kapernick

"“Kapernick needs to think about the pain he’s causing military families."

joe shikspack's picture


that's a pretty thoughtful and reasonable response. i guess if hockey players and some of their fans get it, that's progress. thanks!

6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

(the wendy davis version Smile ) for posting this heart-wrenching video at the Café several years ago. It is mesmerizing, in a very tragic way, of course.

It definitely did a great deal to enlighten me as to the true magnitude of violence directed at minorities--especially, African Americans--by the very officers who're sworn to protect them.

Please take a moment to watch it. (every time I watch it, I have to watch it several more times)

HELL YOU TALMBOUT-Janelle Monáe, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur, George 2.0

Names Invoked,

Walter Scott
Jerame Reid
Phillip White
Eric Garner
Trayvon Martin
Sean Bell
Freddie Gray
Aiyana Jones
Sandra Bland
Kimani Gray
John Crawford
Michael Brown
Miriam Carey
Sharonda Singleton
Emmett Till
Tommy Yancy
Jordan Baker
Amadou Diallo


Note - Name to be added,

George Floyd

Hell You Talmbout, Wikipedia

Hey, that piece about Rep Engel didn't surprise me in the least. (not to say there aren't a 'handful' of exceptions. But, IMO, the situation is pretty much in keeping with what I mentioned last evening. It was just yesterday, before we decided to blackout hard news, we started hearing Dems and their political shills showing up on CNN and MSDNC--talking about turning this tragedy into a GOTV/registration exercise. Couldn't even let the Floyd family bury their Brother/Father, before exhibiting such tasteless behavior. Pathetic.

So happy to hear that the other cops will be charged, and, that the initial charge has been upgraded. What the heck was with '3rd degree murder?' for cryin' out loud.

Today, we're mostly listening to classical music. Decided to listen for about three hours to 'news' shows (such as they are). But, I'm leaving my news feed alone. Mr M is, too, except for financial news. Gonna take this news break to see if I can get answers regarding various Dem proposals (Public Option/MFA) - won't hold my breath that I'll get any replies. But, if I should, you'll be the first to know about it!

Gotta run, and place an online order. Mr M's taking Kaity Rambo out today, but, since we're having some pretty dicey thunderstorms, need to get some stuff ordered, soon, in case we lose electricity. (On a loaner laptop with a very weak battery.)

Everyone have a nice evening. Stay safe, and be well.

Bye Pleasantry


[Edited: Added boldface]

"Those who choose the lesser of evil, tend very fast to forget they have chosen the evil."
~~Hannah Arendt, Philosopher

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.”
~~Gilda Radner, Comedienne

7 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

thanks for the video.

heh, the shills can't help themselves. it's just what they do. keeping busy helps them to not think about the fact that they and the people they are shilling for are a big part of the problem.

i'm glad that the powers that be are getting the message that they are putting a lot at risk if they let any of these four murderers off the hook. the whole world is indeed watching.

5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Heh.. they are making a show for it.

The Karen's of the country are busy during the protests.

I’d love to hear what Saagar thinks about this...

Megan being her usual Karen self...
Plus I wonder what Saagar thinks about the second tweet here.

Saagar is being very obtuse about what the protests are about. This is the second day that he just focused on the looting and not the police violence even after Krystal told him that and he wasn’t asking the right questions. Bringing up the time that the national guard was sent to break up the white supremists (?) after Board v Brown couldn’t have been further off the mark.


Im glad to see that you grabbed the Hedges article. Boy if that ain’t spot on huh?

8 users have voted.

"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

joe shikspack's picture


wow, karen is really busy trying to silence people, as if that's going to work. go ahead and stomp your widdle feet, karen.

saagar is being kind of annoying lately. i have been tempted to email him some pointed questions. perhaps i'll fish around for his email address.

hedges is, as usual, depressingly on target.

4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

and in the comments on his YouTube channel. He’s getting beyond annoying to me. I had to pause the video of his ranting for the second day after Krystal told him that he wasn’t asking the right questions. "I agree with you that......, BUT.....
Yesterday Krystal said it’s surprising that he has been calling for a populist uprising and then when it happens he wants the military to shut it down. Duh! They talked about how cops were sending in undercover cops to start shit up and yet he just forgets about it and just blames the protesters? Obtuse a bit?

4 users have voted.

"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

joe shikspack's picture


well, he is a conservative, after all. there are articles of faith, like law and order and that economic protest actions are off-limits.

5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture


IDd, as has the business she owns and runs, so I suspect that there might be repercussions, even though it is Huntington Beach, CA.

5 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 --

snoopydawg's picture

@enhydra lutris

She is free to think what she wants about things, but that is all she gets. I don’t understand how she ties the protests to Soros, but many people on the right think that he is their boogeyman on many issues. This might have come from Trump at one time.

3 users have voted.

"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

Azazello's picture

Good evening all,
Dore is live again this afternoon. He had Chris Hedges on talking about the article linked above. I haven't listened to Paul Jay's interview with Michael Hudson yet but now I know where Jay went after TRNN.
I'm roasting a chicken right now. We don't use the oven in the summer so I'm roasting it outside on the Weber kettle. When I went out to start the fire I looked at the thermometer in the lid of the kettle. Damn thing said 165 before I even lit a fire, just from sitting in the sun. I wonder if I could roast a chicken without any charcoal at all.

9 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

turkeys, pork loins and sometimes hams on the Weber kettle. Love the way they come out. Enjoy yours.

be well and 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


92 here today. i just got another bag of hardwood charcoal for barbecuing this summer, i'd hate to run out and have to run the oven.

you might be able to form some tin foil into a solar oven and slow roast your chicken if it's that hot in the sun. Smile

have a great dinner!

5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

too, of course.

Just had to throw these in the pot:

be well and have a good one.

5 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

heh, i saw one of those onion posts and thought it was a lot better than the article i was reading. then i found some more. it saved a lot of space. Smile

thanks for the tunes, have a great evening!

3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

How bout Larry?

I’m curious if he just explained to them that he had to get up early and could they please stop so he could get some sleep before he started ranting at them? Honey and vinegar.

4 users have voted.

"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

joe shikspack's picture


larry seems too informal. how about, "captain america fuck yeah!?"

5 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture


"This media could not be played" for me, any guess why?

4 users have voted.

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

snoopydawg's picture

@enhydra lutris

I have encountered this a few times too, but they do play on Twitter. I wonder if it’s some type of copyright problem? I’ve never seen them not play there. Did it play for you there?

3 users have voted.

"It seems to me that the problem is that group party interests, in this case, are placed above the interests of the entire society and the interests of people,"

enhydra lutris's picture

a new, private, window and they worked fine, so I guess that is the solution, egardless of the cause.

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 --

enhydra lutris's picture


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 --

lotlizard's picture

by John Ridley, a black man, with the provocative thesis that Condi Rice and Colin Powell’s leadership in a crisis were an under-appreciated pinnacle of black power and achievement that slipped by unnoticed after police shot a black suspect and rioting broke out:

And, in the comments to a column by Steve Sailer, debate over anti-haole (= anti-white) racism in Hawaii, and over Hawaii’s having failed to become an East-West-blend high-tech tiger economy, suggesting that the culture or the people there are somehow backward:

Further observations on racism in Hawaii by someone who seems like a well-traveled mind and soul:

3 users have voted.
mimi's picture

the other two links don't show up.

Don't want to be too impolite, but that hobo essay is to me a no-go essay. Hawaii has racism, but more importantly it has a terrible, and an awful capitalist elite that produces and causes of what the Hobo author seems to understand to be racism. The capitalist elite is not represented by native Hawaiians. What is so difficult to understand about that? And what so difficult to see it?

Sorry. Not what I have seen and not what my son has lived through during his fifteen years on HI. And the islands are very different. No mention about that either. Big Island is a case on its own, imo.

I am a bit tense, sorry, and should now stop reading and talking.

4 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture


the other two links don't show up.

Anyone else having a problem with those links, I wonder?

2 users have voted.
mimi's picture


I will read a little later again and may have a better comment than just a rant.

1 user has voted.
mimi's picture

anymore. Thanks, nevertheless.

1 user has voted.