The Evening Blues - 6-5-20


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Hans Theessink

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Austrian blues and roots music singer Hans Theessink. Enjoy!

Hans Theessink & Blue Groove - Stormwarning

“A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.”

-- Mao Tse-tung

News and Opinion

What is the Goal of the Protests, and Which Tactics are Morally Justified and Strategically Wise?

As the nationwide protests over police brutality enter their second week following the horrific killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis Police, the debate over the moral justifiability and strategic wisdom of various tactics intensifies. ...

Numerous black political leaders — from Barack Obama to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar — have vehemently denounced the use of any type of violence or even property damage, as data shows that looting in particular has most hurt minority neighborhoods and minority-owned businesses. Meanwhile, self-identified white anarchists and other radical protest advocates insist that denunciations of such tactics are, at best, a distraction and, more accurately, an attempt to neuter or hijack the movement into something harmless, unthreatening and ultimately inconsequential: little more than the latest “Go Vote” messaging campaign for the Democratic Party. ...

To explore those questions — ones impossible to define let alone meaningfully engage in the destructively polarizing and reductionist cauldron of social media — are two very thoughtful guests with quite different perspectives: Chloé Valdary, a New-York-based writer and the founder of a start-up group devoted to teaching social and emotional learning to students 14 years and older, and Benjamin Dixon, the writer, activist and host of the Benjamin Dixon Show.

Movement to defund police gains 'unprecedented' support across US

The movement to defund the police is gaining significant support across America, including from elected leaders, as protests over the killing of George Floyd sweep the nation. For years, activists have pushed US cities and states to cut law enforcement budgets amid a dramatic rise in spending on police and prisons while funding for vital social services has shrunk or disappeared altogether.

Government officials have long dismissed the idea as a leftist fantasy, but the recent unrest and massive budget shortfalls from the Covid-19 crisis appear to have inspired more mainstream recognition of the central arguments behind defunding. “To see legislators who aren’t even necessarily on the left supporting at least a significant decrease in New York police department [NYPD] funding is really very encouraging,” Julia Salazar, a New York state senator and Democratic socialist, told the Guardian on Tuesday. “It feels a little bit surreal.”

Floyd’s death on camera in Minneapolis, advocates say, was a powerful demonstration that police reform efforts of the last half-decade have failed to stop racist policing and killings. Meanwhile, the striking visuals of enormous, militarized and at times violent police forces responding to peaceful protests have led some politicians to question whether police really need this much money and firepower.

Meanwhile, unemployment is surging amid the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, with housing and healthcare crises worsening. Many governments have been making painful cuts to services and expect to see tax revenue fall even further in the coming year. But police budgets have not been affected, and some mayors are even seeking to expand law enforcement funding. ...

Community groups advocating for defunding have put forward differing strategies, some merely opposing police budget increases, others advocating mass reductions, and some fighting for full defunding as a step toward abolishing police forces. Some initiatives are tied to the fight to close prisons. All are pushing for a reinvestment of those dollars in services.

Cops Using “Contact Tracing” For Covid To Track Protestors! w/Dylan Ratigan

Glenn Greenwald: Coronavirus, protests reveal society's authoritarian problem

Black and minority Americans more likely to get Covid-19, House panel hears

Black and minority Americans are more likely to be infected and die from Covid-19, because structural racism has left those populations with inferior health, housing and economic conditions, witnesses told a House subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

Even as protests against police violence roil the nation, the Covid-19 pandemic continues to infect or kill minority Americans at devastating rates – at least one independent report found black Americans dying at three times the rate of white Americans.

Witnesses speaking to a House of Representatives subcommittee on racial disparities said the Covid-19 pandemic called for a “truth and reconciliation” process and federal funding for minority health programs to counteract long-running health disparities.

“I have never been as scared for my patients as I have been the past few months,” New York City emergency department doctor Ushé Blackstock told the members of Congress. As the pandemic engulfed New York City and it became the world hotpot, she said her patient caseload shifted from a diverse group of New Yorkers to predominantly black Americans. ...

“Living in this country has essentially made black Americans sick,” said Blackstock. “Over the last three months we have witnessed a crisis layered upon a crisis,” she said. “This country desperately needs a truth and reconciliation process.”

Trump Threatens Protests with Troops, But Police Have Already Been Militarized — with Deadly Results

We Crunched the Numbers: Police — Not Protesters — Are Overwhelmingly Responsible for Attacking Journalists

We are witnessing a truly unprecedented attack on press freedom in the United States, with journalists are being systematically targeted while covering the nationwide protests over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. The scale of the attacks is so large, it can be hard to fathom. At the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, a project of Freedom of the Press Foundation and the Committee to Protect Journalists, we catalogued 150 press freedom violations in the United States in all of 2019. We are currently investigating 280 from just the last week.

The crisis has rightly generated international outrage. Some have pushed a narrative — fueled by commonly used phrases like “journalists are being attacked by police and protesters alike” — that police and protesters are attacking journalists at relatively equal rates.

Our data shows this is incorrect. Police are responsible for the vast majority of assaults on journalists: over 80 percent. At the Tracker, we document violence against journalists from all perpetrators, whether it comes from the police, protesters, or bat-wielding racist vigilantes (yes, that really happened). And the data could not be more clear.

As you can see, out of the 180 assaults we are investigating, 149 of them have been by police. That’s almost 83 percent. (This number also does not include police arresting journalists, which have occurred at least another 45 times.) ... Even if you remove all the times police have purposefully fired on and seriously injured journalists with their extremely dangerous “crowd control” weapons, the police have physically assaulted journalists at a greater rate as well. Out of the 67 physical assaults, 42 have been by police. Further, some of the assaults from private citizens have not come from protesters either. For example, WHYY reporter Jon Ehrens was beaten up by what appears to be police-aligned white nationalists in Philadelphia.

D.C. Marches to Capitol Hill Demanding Action on Police Brutality

Trump intensifies campaign to brand domestic opposition as terrorism

The Trump administration is continuing its campaign for military intervention against the mass protests over police brutality that have swept the United States since the police killing of 46-year-old African American George Floyd on May 25. Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray held a press conference Thursday afternoon to voice lying claims that left-wing groups bent on violence had “hijacked” the protests, in an effort to manufacture a pretext for repression. Barr advocated the use of anti-terrorism units to apprehend “agitators” whom he accused of “hijacking” demonstrations. The branding of domestic political opposition as terrorism is aimed at delegitimizing and criminalizing all opposition to police violence and the policies of the oligarchy.

The level of lying in the Barr press conference would be admired by Nazi spokesman Josef Goebbels, the propaganda chief for Hitler’s “big lie.” Barr conjured up an invented world in which demonstrations involving millions of people in hundreds of cities, large, medium and small, are being manipulated by Antifa, an “organization” that has not a single identified member. He also claimed that “foreign actors” were intervening in the protests, adding the specter of a Russian, Chinese, Iranian or Al Qaeda role.

Antifa is little more than a label adopted by youth who protest against ultra-right and white supremacist provocations. As an organized group, it exists mainly in the fevered imaginations of FBI informers and agents—who likely comprise most of its “membership.” If Antifa did not exist (and it may not), Trump, Barr & Co. would be compelled to invent it, as a pretext for the mass repression that they are carrying out against the American working class. Barr advocated the use of existing Joint Terrorist Task Forces against the supposed Antifa threat. The JTTF unite federal and state police agents in a common effort, initially directed against the Islamic fundamentalists who carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City and Washington, but now to be turned against all left-wing opposition to the policies of the Trump administration and its collaborators at the state level.

FBI agents working through the JTTF will go out to question people about their political views, in gross violation of the First Amendment, and seek to criminalize their participation in protests. A Department of Homeland Security memorandum, obtained by Politico, cited the need for intelligence agents to be “vigilant in looking for any kind of emerging threat to the homeland,” while making the revealing admission that “some of the observed suspicious behaviors include constitutionally protected activities…”

Brooklyn Man Was Arrested for Curfew Violation. The FBI Interrogated Him About His Political Beliefs.

Joel Feingold was in his apartment in Brooklyn when he heard the sound of police beating protesters outside of his building Wednesday night. Having spent much of the week in the streets joining the waves of demonstrations against police brutality currently sweeping the nation, Feingold rushed outside. He was swiftly tossed to the ground by a senior New York City police officer in a white shirt, thrown in a police van, and placed under arrest along with four other individuals for having ostensibly violated a recently imposed curfew on New York City residents.

Feingold and the others were taken to the NYPD’s 78th Precinct, where they were told that they were being cited for violating the city’s 8 p.m. curfew. It was there, Feingold told The Intercept, that they were interrogated by the NYPD and the FBI about their political beliefs and their reasons for participating in the nationwide protests — subjects that should, under the Constitution and local NYPD rules, be off-limits from law enforcement inquiries following an alleged curfew violation.

After being processed and taken to a cell, Feingold said he and the three men he was locked up with were approached by two men in plainclothes. “One of them is from NYPD intelligence and the other is an FBI agent,” he said. Feingold said a third officer confirmed the affiliations of the two men as they were being discharged. The FBI agent’s line of questioning was clearly focused on his political views.

“We want to know who’s hijacking your movement and making it violent,” Feingold recalled the agent saying. “That is what he said verbatim.” ...

Feingold’s account follows a story published by Univision on Thursday, which reported that individuals arrested by the NYPD in recent days have been questioned about their views on anti-fascism.

CrossTalk on the US | Class VS Race?

New US unemployment claims reached 1.9m last week despite rate of increase slowing

Another 1.9 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week as the total number of claims passed 42 million since the coronavirus pandemic hit the US.

The pace of layoffs has slowed dramatically from its peak of 6.6m at the start of April as states start to relax quarantine orders and last week was the ninth consecutive week of declines. But the scale of layoffs remains staggeringly high. In the worst week of the last recession “just” 665,000 people filed for unemployment.

Jason Reed, professor of finance at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, said the numbers may be coming down, but “this is unprecedented. The figures are so high that it’s hard to grasp the reality.”

On Friday the labor department will release May’s monthly jobs report. Economists are predicting unemployment will rise to close to 20% from 14.7% in April and some 8m more jobs will have been lost after a combined drop of 21.4m in March and April.

At 20% the official tally would mean one in five Americans in the workforce are now out of work. The layoffs have disproportionately hit African Americans, Latinos and those without a college education.

David Dayen: The real reason stock market is up while country burns

Amid Covid-19 and Nationwide Protests, America's Billionaires Got $79 Billion Richer Over the Last Week

An analysis released Thursday by the Institute for Policy Studies finds that the combined wealth of U.S. billionaires surged by $565 billion between March 18 and June 4—the same period in which 42.6 million Americans filed jobless claims.

Over just the past week, according to IPS, the collective net worth of America's billionaires rose $79 billion as mass layoffs caused by the coronavirus crisis continued across the country. The U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday that 1.9 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, meaning that nearly 25% of the U.S. workforce is now either receiving unemployment insurance or waiting for approval.

Chuck Collins, director of the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at IPS, said in a statement that "in a turbulent week in the life of the nation, these statistics remind us that we are more economically and racially divided than at any time in decades."

"Our moral, economic, and physical health as a society depends on building a post-pandemic economy that works for everyone, not just the billionaire class," said Collins. "Surging billionaire wealth juxtaposed with the suffering and plight of millions undermines the social solidarity required for us to recover together in the years ahead."

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, has seen his wealth grow more than any other billionaire in the U.S. since mid-March even as his employees continue to protest low wages and hazardous workplace conditions. On Monday, Amazon ended a $2-an-hour hazard pay increase for warehouse employees.

IPS listed the 14 U.S. billionaires who have seen the largest gains in wealth since March 18:

  • Jeff Bezos—up $36.2 billion
  • Mark Zuckerberg—up $30.1 billion
  • Elon Musk—up $14.1 billion
  • Sergey Brin—up $13.9 billion
  • Larry Page—up $13.7 billion
  • Steve Ballmer—up $13.3 billion
  • MacKenzie Bezos—up $12.6 billion
  • Michael Bloomberg—up $12.1 billion
  • Bill Gates—up $11.8 billion
  • Phil Knight—up $11.6 billion
  • Larry Ellison—up $8.5 billion
  • Warren Buffett—up $7.7 billion
  • Michael Dell—up $7.6 billion
  • Sheldon Adelson—up $6.1 billion

In a blog post on Thursday, Collins addressed criticism that the IPS analysis is "only capturing the recovery in billionaire wealth that plummeted in the proceeding weeks in late February and early March."

In a blog post on Thursday, Collins addressed criticism that the IPS analysis is "only capturing the recovery in billionaire wealth that plummeted in the proceeding weeks in late February and early March."

"It is true, the market has done better since then," wrote Collins. "But a large segment of the U.S. billionaire class is beating the market. And we stand by our analysis that it is newsworthy and meaningful that billionaire wealth is accelerating while others are experiencing job losses, declining savings, debilitating illness, and death."

Our System Is Corroded: Carol Anderson on Rampant Police Violence and Assault on Voting Rights

Vallejo police kill unarmed 22-year-old, who was on his knees with his hands up

Police in northern California fatally shot an unarmed 22-year-old who was on his knees with his hands up outside a Walgreens store while responding to a call of alleged looting, officials said. An officer in the city of Vallejo was inside his car when he shot Sean Monterrosa on Monday night amid local and national protests against police brutality. Police said an officer mistakenly believed Monterrosa had a gun, but later determined he had a hammer in his pocket.

The killing of Monterrosa, who was a San Francisco resident, has sparked intense outrage in the Bay Area, particularly in the city of Vallejo, a city with a long history of police violence and high-profile killings and excessive force complaints.

“When confronted by the police, he dropped to his knees and surrendered, and they fired at him,” said Melissa Nold, a Vallejo civil rights attorney representing Monterrosa’s family. “He wasn’t doing anything to warrant it. They shot him from inside their car. What opportunity did they give him to survive that situation? … It’s egregiously bad.” ...

The last person killed by Vallejo police was Willie McCoy, a 20-year-old who had been sleeping in his car in February 2019 when six officers fired 55 bullets in 3.5 seconds. One of the six officers who killed McCoy, a rising rapper in the Bay Area, had previously killed an unarmed man who was fleeing on his bike. Another Vallejo officer killed three men in a five-month period and was subsequently promoted.

Another Black Man Died in Police Custody in March While Saying ‘I Can't Breathe’

On March 3, Manuel Ellis, a 33-year-old black man, died less than an hour after being handcuffed by police in Tacoma, Washington. On Wednesday night, a medical examiner’s report declared his death a homicide as a result of oxygen deprivation and the physical restraint that was used on him,

His last words, according to the report, were: “I can’t breathe.” ...

The report from the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office said that Ellis died from respiratory arrest, hypoxia, and physical restraint, listing methamphetamine intoxication and heart disease as a contributing factor.

An investigation into the death of Ellis is still on-going and all the details of what happened when he was arrested have not been released. The four policemen involved in his arrest — two white, one black, one Asian — were not wearing body cams. ... The final report into the incident is still pending, but the police department didn't find any violations of policy in the arrest, and the four officers involved have since returned to work.

the horse race

A Progressive Challenger Was Attacked for Calling to Defund the Police. She Won Anyway.

Calls to defund the police have become a focal point of nationwide protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, with local politicians from New York City to Los Angeles weighing new budget cuts to their police departments. While some critics dismiss the idea as politically untenable, a city council election in Washington, D.C., this week offers lessons on how politicians can succeed while pushing bold positions on policing.

Janeese Lewis George, a 32-year-old democratic socialist, decisively won an election in D.C.’s Ward 4 — the northernmost part of the city — despite facing weeks of attacks from her opponent that she was too radical on policing. She ousted the moderate incumbent, a protege of D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, by a margin of 55-43 percent as of Thursday afternoon.

Lewis George, a Ward 4 native, ran on a platform of expanding affordable housing, creating higher-paying jobs, fighting money in politics, and supporting criminal justice reform. She also campaigned on demilitarizing the police and reallocating portions of the Metropolitan Police Department’s budget toward social services and violence prevention initiatives — a position that drew the ire of backers of her opponent, Brandon Todd. ...

Lewis George notably had the backing of not just DSA and WFP, but labor unions like the Washington Teachers Union, Unite Here Local 25, and SEIU Local 500. Black Lives Matter DC and Sanctuary DMV also backed Lewis George — their first political endorsements ever. “We do not take making endorsements lightly,” April Goggans, an organizer with Black Lives Matter DC said in November. “Janeese[‘s] policy and budget priorities around public safety, policing, and addressing intra-community violence are informed by values and principles that not only align with ours but will result in real safety.”

Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Jamaal Bowman's Progressive Primary Challenge Against Longtime Rep. Eliot Engel

Praising Jamaal Bowman as a "profound community leader," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed the former middle school principal's progressive challenge to longtime Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel on Wednesday evening, saying Bowman would help usher in a new era of people-focused leadership in Washington.

"This moment requires renewed and revitalized leadership across the country AND at the ballot box," said Ocasio-Cortez as tens of thousands of Americans marched for racial justice in cities across the country—facing militarized police forces at many protests.

The congresswoman shared a campaign video from Bowman in which he talked about the coronavirus pandemic's disproportionate effects on his community in New York's 16th congressional district, which encompasses the northern Bronx and lower Westchester County including the largely black and Latino city of Mt. Vernon.

"The virus hit our cities the hardest," Bowman said in the video. "Thousands die every day, most of them black and Latino. People are losing their jobs and can't pay rent while Congress bails out corporations. We need leaders who understand what we're going through."

"Jamaal has dedicated the last decade of his life serving his community as a school principal and community servant," Ocasio-Cortez wrote. "Not only is Jamaal a profound community leader, but I believe he'd make a fantastic colleague in the United States House of Representatives."

Bowman is running on a platform similar to Ocasio-Cortez's when she won the primary for New York's 14th district against longtime Rep. Joe Crowley. Bowman's key campaign issues include fighting for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and a New Housing Deal which would invest in fair housing standards and in ending homelessness.

Like Crowley was before 2018, Engel is one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress and counts pro-business interests among his top contributors. Engel is also a favored candidate of anti-Palestinian rights groups, while Bowman has called for "progressive foreign policy" and "honest conversations about our government's role in enabling the continued occupation of the Palestinian people."

Ukrainian prosecutors find no evidence against Hunter Biden

An audit of thousands of old case files by Ukrainian prosecutors found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Hunter Biden, the former prosecutor general, who had launched the audit, told Reuters. Ruslan Ryaboshapka was in the spotlight last year as the man who would decide whether to launch an investigation into former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter, in what became a key issue in the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy described Ryaboshapka as “100 percent my person” on a call in July 2019 in which Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate Biden, the man who became his main rival in the 2020 presidential race.

After taking office, Ryaboshapka in October announced an audit of old cases he inherited, including those related to the energy company Burisma, of which Hunter Biden was a board member between 2014-2019. The audit was intended to probe whether cases Ryaboshapka had inherited from his predecessors had been handled properly, given the reputation of the prosecution service as being riddled with corruption and influence-peddling.

the evening greens

Court overturns EPA approval of popular herbicide made by Monsanto

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broke the law in approving agricultural weedkilling products sold by Bayer and two other chemical giants, ignoring clear evidence that the new herbicides would cause widespread damage to crops, a federal court ruled on Wednesday.

The decision by the US court of appeals for the ninth circuit invalidates the registrations for dicamba-based herbicides made by Monsanto, which is owned by Bayer AG, BASF and Corteva Agrisciences that are designed to be sprayed on genetically engineered soybeans and cotton. The court order effectively makes it illegal for farmers to continue to use the dicamba herbicides this summer as they tend to millions of acres of crops.

In a stinging rebuke, the court said it had no choice but to cancel the EPA’s approval of the herbicides because the agency had strayed so far from its duty to properly assess the dangers presented by the “new use” of dicamba.

“The EPA made multiple errors in granting the conditional registrations,” the court said.

The petition seeking to overturn the EPA’s approval was brought by the National Family Farm Coalition, Center for Food Safety, Center for Biological Diversity and Pesticide Action Network North America.

Trump orders agencies cut environment reviews, citing 'economic emergency'

The Trump administration continued to weaken core environmental protections in the US by announcing a pair of policies to cut reviews for large infrastructure projects and downplay the health benefits of rules to curb pollution. Both changes could disproportionately hurt communities of color, which are far more likely to live with pollution because of decades of environmental racism. They come after a week of nationwide protests over police killings of black Americans.

The proposals could also make it easier for the government to ignore the climate crisis in making decisions. One of the policies came as an executive order from Donald Trump instructing agencies to use emergency authorities to bypass bedrock environmental laws and speed federal approvals for highways and oil and gas pipelines. The order said it is meant to accelerate the recovery from the “dramatic downturn” in the economy and high unemployment from the Covid-19 pandemic. ...

Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency chief, Andrew Wheeler, on Thursday also proposed new guidelines for how the agency weighs the costs that a regulation places on an industry and its customers versus the health benefits it provides to the public. The proposal applies to rules under the Clean Air Act. Wheeler said the agency intends to complete similar proposals for water, land and chemical rules within the next three years.

The agency typically takes into account all the benefits of a regulation, even if they are unintentional. For example, a rule targeting mercury from coal plants also reduced particle pollution, as well as carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to the climate crisis. In deciding whether the rule was necessary, the agency tallied all the benefits of each reduction and stacked them up against the costs the industry would incur. Wheeler said the agency will still calculate and consider those co-benefits but will not use them to justify future regulations.

Miles Keogh, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies – which represents state and local air regulators – said that as described by Wheeler, “the rule cuts out the most important factor to consider when the agency is trying to decide whether an action protecting public health is worth it, which is public health. “It’s like trying to decide whether to quit smoking based only on the price of a pack of cigarettes.”

2020 World environment day marked by bushfires, locusts, global pandemic

DNC Panel Pushes Biden to Back $16 Trillion Plan to Fight Climate Crisis

A DNC panel composed of progressive environmentalists and several allies of Sen. Bernie Sanders is urging presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to commit to spending up to $16 trillion over the next decade to combat the climate crisis and put the U.S. on track for near-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

On Thursday, the 12-member DNC Council on the Environment and Climate Crisis unveiled a 14-page (pdf) Democratic Party platform recommendation calling for "urgent action on the climate and environmental emergencies" that centers the needs of frontline communities and ensures a just transition away from fossil fuels.

"Our platform provides a blueprint for ambitious action to fight the climate crisis and advance climate and environmental justice," Michelle Deatrick, chair of the DNC Climate Council, said in a statement. "There's dwindling time for us to act before devastating damage to our planet, country and people is inevitable and irreversible."

"These policies center environmental justice for frontline and vulnerable communities, urgent climate action, and worker empowerment," said Deatrick, who served as Michigan co-chair for Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign. "These platform recommendations would be the most ambitious policies addressing the climate crisis ever adopted by the Democratic Party."

The committee is calling for the immediate development of "a national climate and environment action plan through 2050, informed by the vision and aspirations of the Green New Deal and aligned with these aggressive, necessary emissions and energy generation goals."

The panel specifically urges Biden and the DNC to adopt a platform that supports:

  • Transitioning the U.S. to 100% renewable energy in electricity, transportation, and buildings by 2030;
  • Permanently banning fracking nationwide;
  • Rescinding the Trump administration's rollbacks of environmental regulations;
  • Establishing a Just Transition Task Force to support the workers and communities that are disproportionately affected by the climate crisis;
  • Ending federal funding for fossil fuel projects at home and overseas;
  • Banning crude oil exports; and
  • Ensuring "massive investments" in clean infrastructure projects to create millions of jobs.

"These recommendations result from diverse expertise and experience of its contributors, and they can help shape the policies of the new administration to address the environmental and climate action needed to create a sustainable nation," said Peggy Shepard, a member of the panel and executive director of advocacy group WE ACT for Environmental Justice. "This moment requires us to increase our resilience and commitment to dismantling the systemic, racial, social justice, and income inequalities that plague this country."

The committee said it now plans to push for the full adoption of its policy recommendations at the Democratic National Convention in August.

"We urge the DNC to adopt our recommendations, and will be campaigning hard to ensure they do," said Deatrick. "Now more than ever, the Democratic Party must show it is serious about doing the hard work of combating the climate crisis."

The platform recommended by the DNC panel is far more ambitious than the $2 trillion climate plan Biden put forth during the 2020 Democratic primary, and environmentalists have been pushing the former vice president to move closer to Sanders' sweeping Green New Deal proposal.

Deatrick told Politico that a bold climate platform is both necessary for the planet and good politics for Biden and the Democratic Party, given that the climate crisis is "one of the top two issues for Democrats and a lot of independents."

"Trump's going to call Biden a lefty no matter what, right?" said Deatrick. "So let's energize our base, let's energize the middle. Let's do what's right because the planet is at stake."

Also of Interest

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

How Protests Over George Floyd’s Killing Exposed Trump as a Lame-Duck Authoritarian

What We Know About the Federal Officers Bill Barr Sent Into D.C.’s Protests

The armed white men who terrorized Philadelphia’s Black Lives Matter supporters

White House Forced to Retract Claim Viral Videos Prove Antifa Is Plotting Violence

'Listen to the oppressed': protesters stay the course as cities ease curfews

New York Times says Tom Cotton's opinion piece did not meet editorial standards

Who Gets to Be Violent and Why?

Confederate statue to be removed from Virginia's Monument Avenue

Smartphone Cameras Are The Windows Into Society’s Soul

BlackRock Is Bailing Out Its ETFs with Fed Money and Taxpayers Eating Losses; It’s Also the Sole Manager for $335 Billion of Federal Employees’ Retirement Funds

WOLA: Media’s ‘Left’ Source for Pro-Coup Propaganda in Venezuela

U.S. States Just Lost Pipeline Veto Rights And That’s A Big Deal For Oil

Inside the George Floyd protests in New York: 'We are not the problem'

Democracy Now: Police Pepper-Spray Black Filmmaker in Face at Peaceful Protest & Medics Help Him Survive

Jimmy Dore: Homicidal Cops Caught On Police Radio

Jimmy Dore: Maniac NYPD Chief “Couldn’t Be Prouder” Of Brutal Cops

Jimmy Dore: Pat Robertson Turns On Trump Over Protests!

Jimmy Dore: Cops Arrest Store Owners Who Flagged Them Down For Help!?!?

Kyle Kulinski says Trump actions so bad he may vote Biden

Krystal and Saagar REACT: Is this Joe Biden's 'deplorables' moment?

Krystal and Saagar REACT: Horrific video shows police SHOVE elderly man to ground

John Nichols: Keith Ellison explains why policing isn't just a black problem, it's American problem

A Little Night Music

Hans Theessink - Slidin' Delta

Hans Theessink - Maybelline

Hans Theessink - Lazy, Long Hot Summer's Day

Hans Theessink Band - Behind The Sun

Hans Theessink & The Valentinos - Call Me

Hans Theessink - A Hundred And Ten In The Shade

Hans Theessink & Knud Møller - Mercury Blues

Hans Theessink & Terry Evans - Pouring Water On A Drowning Man

Hans Theessink & Terry Evans - Down in Mississippi

Hans Theessink & Knud Møller - Tears Are Rolling

Hans Theessink - Minibelle

Hans Theessink and Band - Jesus On The Mainline

17 users have voted.


snoopydawg's picture


10 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,"


was giving a speech at the time the bolt hit?

"Promise you citizenz
as god is my witness...


11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


heh, an omen, perhaps?

or is it time for cloris leachman to make ovaltine?

6 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

current and future demonstrations needs to agree upon set, uniform ritual answers to provide in response the PD, JTTF, and FBI interrogations as to their politics. They should just say: "I am employed by the Pope of Evil and have nothing further to say." If everybody stuck to that asserted allegiance, I suspect that they would quickly become thoroughly frustrated. Either that or treat them as if they are delusional and begin interrogating them as to these delusions they are having and whether they are sexual in nature. Perhaps there could be a way to do both.

Thanks for the Evening Blues.

be well and have a good one.

10 users have voted.

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

@enhydra lutris

that Arlo sang about the draft

If everybody stuck to that asserted allegiance, I suspect that they would quickly become thoroughly frustrated

which would be fun to confuse the authorities
as to their actual role in the proceedings Wink

9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

heh. perhaps they ought to say, "now listen, this is no way to run a lodge meeting!"

"where are your water buffalo hats? and while we can dispense with the secret handshake, please repeat the secret password!"

8 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

A couple more articles that may be of interest.
Sirota on the po-po in New York: NEWS: Police Reform Stalled In NY As Cash Flowed to Cuomo & Dem Leaders
Jake Bittle at The Baffler: The Un-Election Year
That's all I got, have a nice weekend.

8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


that sirota is right on top of an awful lot of stuff.

In all, police unions and associations have delivered more than $7 million to current New York state elected officials, according to campaign finance data from the National Institute on Money In Politics. That includes $600,000 to Cuomo during his gubernatorial campaigns.

heh, obama. you got to wonder just whose demands he is talking about here:

Obama counseled that in order to “make this moment the turning point for real change” protestors would have to “elect government officials who are responsive to our demands.”

9 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

@joe shikspack Did we not vote for him because he said he would bring change, but lied: And did he suggest this might be the time, from Martha's Vineyard?

Obama counseled that in order to “make this moment the turning point for real change”

It should be against the law for Obama to suggest we hope for change. The mofo had the pulpit, the chance, and the power, got it by promising change, and F'd the whole country pandering to Wall St., and the MIC.

Decided to be a hero to Wall St. instead of the people, he can F right off now.

14 users have voted.

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

snoopydawg's picture

The cops are already militarized to the gills and there are enough of them to control the peace. But only if they stop ramping up the violence just because they can get away with doing it. If looting breaks out then send them in to deal with it professionally. I do wonder though if the 2A folks know that there are 9 more amendments that also need protecting.

10 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,"


as to why people think about the military
being so costly?

Most don't. Most are programmed to not think.
If people are allowed to perceive beyond allowable ideas
there is some controlled meme awaiting.

9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


heh, if you listen to that raving, drooling, knuckle-dragging moron for long enough, you will hear him say, "is that how we run a republic? no sir, it is not! and you do not want a country that goes there. and that is precisely where the nation is headed, and we need for all of our leadership to understand that. and if secretary esper doesn't get it, doesn't understand that the oath is to protect ourselves from threats both foreign and domestic, by god get the hell out of the pentagon and let somebody lead who gets it! because that is the oath that he took, that i took and that the people of this country demand of our leadership in this moment because we are on fire. "

see that? that was an audio fnord.

the oath is not to protect "ourselves."

the oath is to protect the constitution.

it is a very different thing. it requires a very different set of actions than mr. hair on fire recommends.

12 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack
a permanent part of the lexicon. 10 stars!

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

@enhydra lutris

<tips hat>

have a great weekend!

5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

One thing I like to do is when goobers like this say that "they didn’t join the military and protect your freedoms just to see people act like...." I ask them why they haven’t noticed that whilst they were playing in the sandbox that congress took them away from us. People are freaking out about a NYC judge canceling habeas corpus for now so I’ve been tweeting the ACLU"s statement on Obama’s 2012 NDAA that already canceled it.

We had the 3rd driest spring on record after having the 2nd wettest spring last year. It’s fire season here already. And we keep getting strong winds that don’t help. Hopefully the storm will happen this weekend. Have a good one yourself.

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


sometimes i like to ask those goobers exactly which freedoms of the freedoms granted by the constitution they fought to protect and why the right to demand redress for grievances isn't among them.

it's been raining buckets here on and off since last night, which is kind of fine because it is cooling things off nicely. it's down in the high sixties now. yay!

have a great weekend!

5 users have voted.
dystopian's picture

Great player JS! Very cool stuff. Love that horn on the first tune. Too cool.

Monsanto/Bayer will probably not take the Dicamba decision sitting down. Probably be a DDT thing where it is still dumped by the tons all over the rest of the world. The stuff never should have been approved. I think that big lawsuit they lost over the drift was the first step. Let's hope the dominoes keep falling on those poisoning our environment.

Thanks again for the great music!

Have a goodun!

11 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture


i figure you're right about monsanto/bayer not taking this dicamba decision sitting down. they have lawyers and a boatload of money, i assume that they will fight it all the way up to the highest court that will countenance their pleas. i sure hope that they lose at the end of the process, though.

have a great weekend!

7 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

post, once we have a little din-din.

Not sure I entirely understood your point (at gj's essay).

But, my own experiences were so stark and jarring, I doubt that I can ever be swayed into thinking that violence is a path I could, or, would take. (Which is not to say that I don't understand 'why' some folks might be inclined to do so. That's two different things, IMO.)

I do think that the brutality and violence demonstrated by cops and state police during some marches and demonstrations (in AL--can't speak to other locales) helped change the minds of even some of the most entrenched white racists.

IOW, I think it "made them see themselves," so to speak. Or, you could say that it held up a mirror to their own vile behaviors.

(maybe that's what you're saying, I wasn't sure)

Of course, a fair number of white activists/protestors (speaking of AL) came from the various faith communities--IMO, a major factor influencing their mindset.

My Father never had to be hospitalized, but, he took more than few severe blows, and suffered some major lacerations. Still, he taught my Brother and I that we could not allow ourselves to become what we loathe or despise, by using the same tactics as our oppressors.

Heh, "to each, their own." My views were shaped by my own experiences, naturally. And, everyone's were/are different. So, fully understand that my takeaway from the 60's era is not shared by all.

Will get that chart posted.


(Apologize in advance for typos, etc.)

Bye Pleasantry


“Revolution is not a one time event.”
~~Audre Lorde

5 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

Or, you could say that it held up a mirror to their own vile behaviors.

(maybe that's what you're saying, I wasn't sure)

that's what i meant.

society is composed of lots of different kinds of folks. in the subset of people that makes up white enfranchised culture, persuasion may require different things.

some people are motivated by the mirror and don't care to see themselves as the sort that would visit brutality on others. some folks are indifferent to the suffering of others, but intensely concerned with their own well-being - those folks are more susceptible to changing their behaviors out of fear that oppressed people's rebellion may deprive them of something that they want. that's what the second part of my comment was addressed to.

i do not choose violence myself, but looking at the dynamics of social change, i can see that it is very as effective when used by oppressors and sometimes violence or the threat of it by the oppressed is a powerful motivator for change.

my $.02

6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack

some folks are indifferent to the suffering of others, but intensely concerned with their own well-being - those folks are more susceptible to changing their behaviors out of fear that oppressed people's rebellion may deprive them of something that they want.

IMO, that's a relatively apt description of most politicians on both sides of the isle. (especially, the corporatist leaderships of the two legacy parties) But, I have to wonder - will they actually change their behaviors? Or, will they just 'promise' there will be change, if elected.

I must acknowledge that this is a different era, and, a different kind of struggle. Hopefully, George Floyd's death won't be in vain--like so many others were. Anyhoo, sending beau coup positive karma in the direction of all those people who are willing to put everything on the line (protesting), to effect the changes we must have, and, to bring about justice for Mr Floyd's family.

Hope I didn't sound short--didn't mean to. Had a bit of a 'bad hair' day, or two. And, been pushing myself a bit too hard, lately, so feel a bit more frazzled than normal.

BTW, I must admit that my views on this topic are rather ingrained, but, I'm doing my best to keep an open mind, and learn. Smile

Since it's so late, will post the Medigap Chart next week. Think folks will find it interesting and informative--it compares the 'cost sharing' of beneficiaries enrolled in MA versus Medigap policies. (for the cost of hospital stays)

Have a nice weekend! Pleasantry


3 users have voted.

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

travelerxxx's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

... will post the Medigap Chart next week. Think folks will find it interesting and informative--it compares the 'cost sharing' of beneficiaries enrolled in MA versus Medigap policies. (for the cost of hospital stays)

Great news. Been waiting for that.

3 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture


what you're looking for. Got quite a few more, on my own laptop. This is one I ran across at Kaiser Health News just the other day.

Have a nice weekend. Stay safe, and well.


“Revolution is not a one time event.”
~~Audre Lorde

2 users have voted.

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

lotlizard's picture

Owner Lana Fernandez Negrete talks about the looting of the Santa Monica Music Center …

Insurance doesn’t cover it, so she’s set up a GoFundMe …

3 users have voted.