The Evening Blues - 7-17-18



eb1pt12



The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Sam Lay



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features blues musician Sam Lay. Enjoy!



Sam Lay - Maggie's Farm

"The arms race is a race between nuclear weapons and ourselves."

-- Martin Amis


News and Opinion


Peace Talk Between Nuclear Superpowers Offends America’s Assholes And Morons

In the days leading up to the Helsinki summit between leaders of Russia and the United States, an open letter titled “Common Ground: For Secure Elections and True National Security” was published and signed by experts, activists and scholars ranging from Noam Chomsky to Gloria Steinem to Daniel Ellsberg to Michael Moore. Part of the letter reads as follows:

“At the same time, the US and Russian governments show numerous signs of being on a collision course. Diplomacy has given way to hostility and reciprocal consular expulsions, along with dozens of near-miss military encounters in Syria and in skies above Europe. Both sides are plunging ahead with major new weapons-development programs. In contrast to prior eras, there is now an alarming lack of standard procedures to keep the armed forces of both countries in sufficient communication to prevent an escalation that could lead to conventional or even nuclear attack. These tensions are festering between two nations with large quantities of nuclear weapons on virtual hair-trigger alert; yet the current partisan fixations in Washington are ignoring the dangers to global stability and, ultimately, human survival.”

Though you’ll never hear American mass media talking about it on either MSNBC or Fox News because it doesn’t fit the narrative on either side, Trump has actually dangerously escalated cold war tensions with Russia far beyond anything his predecessor dared to do. From adopting a Nuclear Posture Review with greatly increased aggression toward Russia and blurring lines between when nuclear strikes are and are not appropriate, to facilitating the longstanding neoconservative agenda to arm Ukraine (a dangerously hawkish move which Obama adamantly refused to do), to repeatedly bombing the Syrian government and killing Russians in Syria as part of its illegal occupation of that country, to throwing out Russian diplomats on more than one occasion, to expanding NATO with the addition of Montenegro, to aggressive sanctions on Russian oligarchs and more, this administration has inflamed tensions along multiple fronts and increased the probability of something going disastrously, irrevocably wrong. ...

Opposing talks which could lead to de-escalations between the two countries who own almost all of the nuclear warheads in the world is inexcusable and unforgivable. I don’t care if you’re dumb enough to swallow the US intelligence community’s still completely unsubstantiated claims of Russian hacking. I don’t care if you think Trump is bought and owned by Vladimir Putin. Even if both of those things were true, there would still be no excuse for opposing peace talks in a dangerously escalating new cold war. None.

Communication and understanding in this situation is an objectively good thing. This meeting with Russia’s leader, which all US presidents have done for many decades, is an objectively good thing. If you have joined in the campaign to help shove the tide of opinion away from peace and toward nuclear holocaust, you are making yourself an enemy of humanity. You have become so warped and demented by your hatred of Donald Trump that it has made a part of you less human. ... Only assholes and morons oppose these peace talks. Get a fucking grip, you raving lunatics.

Well worth a full read:

Indictment of 12 Russians: Under the Shiny Wrapping, a Political Act

With great fanfare, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Friday released a 29-page indictment, a byproduct of the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Ostensibly, this indictment cemented the government’s case against the Russians and punched a hole in the arguments of those, like President Trump, who have been labeling Mueller’s investigation a “witch hunt.” This, of course, is precisely what Rosenstein and Mueller hoped to achieve through their carefully timed, and even more carefully scripted, indictment. ...

There is one major problem with the indictment, however: It doesn’t prove that which it asserts. True, it provides a compelling narrative that reads like a spy novel, and there is no doubt in my mind that many of the technical details related to the timing and functioning of the malware described within are accurate. But the leap of logic that takes the reader from the inner workings of the servers of the Democratic Party to the offices of Russian intelligence officers in Moscow is not backed up by anything that demonstrates how these connections were made.

That’s the point of an indictment, however—it doesn’t exist to provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, but rather to provide only enough information to demonstrate probable cause. No one would, or could, be convicted at trial from the information contained in the indictment alone. For that to happen, the government would have to produce the specific evidence linking the hacks to the named Russians, and provide details on how this evidence was collected, and by whom. In short, the government would have to be willing to reveal some of the most sensitive sources and methods of intelligence collection by the U.S. intelligence community and expose, and therefore ruin, the careers of those who collected this information. This is something the government has never been willing to do, and there is much doubt that if, for some odd reason, the Russians agreed to send one or more of these named intelligence officers to the United States to answer the indictment, this indictment would ever go to trial. It simply couldn’t survive the discovery to which any competent defense would subject the government’s assertions.

Robert Mueller knew this when he drafted the indictment, and Rob Rosenstein knew this when he presented it to the public. The assertions set forth in the indictment, while cloaked in the trappings of American justice, have nothing to do with actual justice or the rule of law; they cannot, and will never, be proved in a court of law. However, by releasing them in a manner that suggests that the government is willing to proceed to trial, a perception is created that implies that they can withstand the scrutiny necessary to prevail at trial.

And as we know, perception is its own reality.

Clinging to Collusion: Why Evidence Will Probably Never Be Produced in the Indictments of ‘Russian Agents’

Friday’s indictments do not include any charges against Trump campaign members for allegedly colluding with the Russian government to carry out the hacks. That has been at the core of allegations swirling in U.S. media for two years. If the alleged co-conspirators “known” to the DOJ were on the Trump team, the indictments do not say. There is only a hint that “unknown” persons might be. In announcing the indictments at a press conference Friday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said: “The conspirators corresponded with several Americans during the course of the conspiracy through the internet. There’s no allegation in this indictment that the Americans knew they were corresponding with Russian intelligence officers.” ...

The lack of evidence that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia has never stopped Democrats and their media outlets from believing unnamed U.S. intelligence sources for two years about such collusion. “Collusion” is the title of a best-selling book about the supposed Trump-Russia conspiracy to steal the election, but such a charge is not to be found. The indictment excluding collusion also undermines the so-called Steele dossier, a work of opposition research paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign masquerading as an intelligence document because it was compiled by a former MI6 agent. The memos falsely claimed, it turns out, that Trump’s people started colluding with Russia years before he became a candidate.

But even after Friday’s indictments failed to charge anyone from Trump’s team, the Democratic media continued to insist there was collusion. A New York Times story, headlined, “Trump Invited the Russians to Hack Clinton. Were They Listening?,” said Russia may have absurdly responded to Trump’s call at 10:30 a.m. on July 27, 2016 to hack Clinton’s private email server because it was “on or about” that day that Russia allegedly first made an attempt to hack Clinton’s personal emails, according to the indictment, which makes no connection between the two events.

If Russia is indeed guilty of remotely hacking the emails it would have had no evident need of assistance from anyone on the Trump team, let alone a public call from Trump on national TV to commence the operation.

And as Twitter handle “Representative Press” pointed out: “Trump’s July 27, 2016 call to find the missing 30,000 emails could not be a ‘call to hack Clinton’s server’ because at that point it was no longer online. Long before Trump’s statement, Clinton had already turned over her email server to the U.S. Department of Justice.” Either the indictment was talking about different servers or it is being intentionally misleading when it says on or about July 27, 2016, the Conspirators attempted after hours to spearphish for the first time email accounts at a domain hosted by a third party provider and used by Clinton’s personal office.”

These American scholars say the real threat to the U.S. is Russophobia

President Trump set off a roar of outrage when he defied U.S. intelligence agencies to defend Vladimir Putin and Russia against allegations of meddling. Republican lawmakers joined Democrats to condemn the president's deference to Putin, but his conclusion that the U.S. and Russia are both to blame for the deteriorated relationship is not without defenders. Take, for example, two American foreign policy experts, Stephen F. Cohen and John Mearsheimer, who both say they agree with Trump on that point, whether you think that makes them Putin's patsy or not. And they're both afraid anti-Russia sentiment in the U.S. will tank Trump's efforts.

“I’ve seen these things from the inside. I've re-thought and re-thought how we got to the edge of war with Russia, where we haven't been since Cuba in 1962. And I have concluded, and I would be happy to debate my opponents… It is 95 percent our own doing,” Cohen said.

The War on Assange Is a War on Press Freedom

The failure on the part of establishment media to defend Julian Assange, who has been trapped in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, has been denied communication with the outside world since March and appears to be facing imminent expulsion and arrest, is astonishing. The extradition of the publisher—the maniacal goal of the U.S. government—would set a legal precedent that would criminalize any journalistic oversight or investigation of the corporate state. It would turn leaks and whistleblowing into treason. It would shroud in total secrecy the actions of the ruling global elites. If Assange is extradited to the United States and sentenced, The New York Times, The Washington Post and every other media organization, no matter how tepid their coverage of the corporate state, would be subject to the same draconian censorship. Under the precedent set, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court would enthusiastically uphold the arrest and imprisonment of any publisher, editor or reporter in the name of national security.

There are growing signs that the Ecuadorean government of Lenín Moreno is preparing to evict Assange and turn him over to British police. Moreno and his foreign minister, José Valencia, have confirmed they are in negotiations with the British government to “resolve” the fate of Assange. Moreno, who will visit Britain in a few weeks, calls Assange an “inherited problem” and “a stone in the shoe” and has referred to him as a “hacker.” It appears that under a Moreno government Assange is no longer welcome in Ecuador. His only hope now is safe passage to his native Australia or another country willing to give him asylum. ...

The persecution of Assange is part of a broad assault against anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist news organizations. The ruling elites, who refuse to accept responsibility for profound social inequality or the crimes of empire, have no ideological veneer left to justify their greed, ineptitude and pillage. Global capitalism and its ideological justification, neoliberalism, are discredited as forces for democracy and the equitable distribution of wealth. The corporate-controlled economic and political system is as hated by right-wing populists as it is by the rest of the population. This makes the critics of corporatism and imperialism—journalists, writers, dissidents and intellectuals already pushed to the margins of the media landscape—dangerous and it makes them prime targets. Assange is at the top of the list. ...

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled Friday that those seeking political asylum have the right to take refuge in embassies and diplomatic compounds. The court stated that governments are obliged to provide safe passage out of the country to those granted asylum. The ruling did not name Assange, but it was a powerful rebuke to the British government, which has refused to allow the WikiLeaks co-founder safe passage to the airport.

The ruling elites no longer have a counterargument to their critics. They have resorted to cruder forms of control. These include censorship, slander and character assassination (which in the case of Assange has sadly been successful), blacklisting, financial strangulation, intimidation, imprisonment under the Espionage Act and branding critics and dissidents as agents of a foreign power and purveyors of fake news. The corporate media amplifies these charges, which have no credibility but which become part of the common vernacular through constant repetition. The blacklisting, imprisonment and deportation of tens of thousands of people of conscience during the Red Scares of the 1920s and 1950s are back with a vengeance. It is a New McCarthyism.

Meet the Reporter Dragged from Trump-Putin Press Conference for Trying to Ask About Nuclear Treaty

Putin rejects UK's 'ungrounded accusations' over novichok poisoning

Vladimir Putin has accused Britain of making baseless allegations against Russia over the former Soviet spy and three other people poisoned, one fatally, with the novichok nerve agent in Salisbury. Asked in a Fox News interview about the British government’s assertion that Moscow was behind the novichok attack on the former spy Sergei Skripal, Putin said London had not provided any evidence to back up the claim.

“We would like to get documentary evidence but nobody gives it to us,” Putin, speaking through a translator, told the US network after a summit with Donald Trump in Finland.

“It’s the same thing with the accusations of meddling in the election process in America,” he added in reference to claims that Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election which was won by Trump.

Israel tries to pass controversial bill defining country as Jewish state

Israel Is Divided Over a Bill to Establish Jewish-Only Communities

The Israeli parliament is considering a bill that would legalize Jewish-only communities and codify the existing de facto segregation between the country’s Jewish and Muslim communities. It’s a move that, as The Guardian reports, has earned comparisons to South African apartheid. ...

The parties have argued over several issues—whether Arabic can be a national language, whether Jewish-only communities will be ruled by Jewish law, and now, a new clause, Section 7B, that says, “The state sees developing Jewish communities as a national value and will act to encourage, promote and establish them.” ...

Tamar Zandberg, a member of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, said that “The basic law that advanced today is not a basic law on nationality but a basic law of racism. This is a law that was born in sin and advanced through arm-twisting among the extremist and nationalist elements in the coalition.” Haaretz reports that another Knesset member, Dov Khenin, has called the bill “a model of undisguised racism, suited only to corrupt rulers who have lost all shame.”

The bill’s staunchest defenders include Netanyahu and members of his Likud Party. When Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, said that the bill would harm Israel’s international reputation, and “even be used as a weapon by our enemies,” Likud member Miki Zohar responded, “Unfortunately, President Rivlin has lost it,” and suggested the president had “forgotten his DNA.”

Rand Paul breaks with Republicans as he doubts Trump supreme court pick

Breaking with many Republican colleagues, the Kentucky senator Rand Paul has revealed his concern over Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace Anthony Kennedy on the supreme court.

Paul told Fox and Friends on Sunday he was worried Kavanaugh, a judge on the DC circuit court of appeals, could cancel out supreme court justice Neil Gorsuch’s vote on fourth amendment cases and allow the federal government to collect the phone records of millions of Americans.

Kavanaugh’s confirmation rests on a knife edge. Republicans hold a 51-49 advantage in the Senate. They need a simple majority or a tie broken by Vice-President Mike Pence to confirm Kavanaugh as Trump’s second supreme court pick, after Gorsuch.

With John McCain absent through illness and Democrats promising all-out opposition to a pick that could tilt the court to the conservatives for a generation, public attention has focused on three Democrats facing re-election in Republican states and two moderate GOP senators. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska are considered possible opponents of Kavanaugh, based on his position on abortion rights.

Georgia police filmed using a coin-toss app to decide on arrest

Heads: arrest, tails: release. For one driver in Georgia, a simple coin flip was the deciding factor in determining how she would be punished for driving above the speed limit.

In a video obtained by WXIA-TV Channel 11, bodycam footage from April showed the Roswell police officers Courtney Brown and Kristee Wilson questioning Sara Webb at a traffic stop after she drove past their police cruiser. When the two returned to their vehicle to process Webb’s license, Brown and Wilson told Webb they were going to use a “coin toss” app to determine their next course of action. “A [arrest] – head. R [release] – tail,” can be heard in the background followed by an electronic ding, signifying the flip.

Following the video’s release, the Roswell police department placed the two officers on administrative leave while prosecutors dropped all charges against Webb.

As Bezos Becomes Richest Man in Modern History, Amazon Workers Mark #PrimeDay With Strikes Against Low Pay and Brutal Conditions

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has just become the richest man in recorded history—surpassing $150 billion in net worth—thanks to his business model of subjecting employees to low wages, brutal working conditions, and scant benefits, and on Tuesday Amazon workers throughout Europe are marking "Prime Day" by walking off the job in massive numbers to call attention to their plight.

In addition to walkouts by an estimated 80 percent of the workers at Amazon's largest distribution center in Spain—nearly 1,800 workers—employees of the retailer are also reportedly launching strikes in Germany, France, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom to demand higher wages and denounce Amazon's union-busting efforts.

"The message is clear—while the online giant gets rich, it is saving money on the health of its workers," Stefanie Nutzenberger, spokesperson for the German services union Verdi, said in a statement.

Strikes against Amazon's notoriously appalling working conditions—which include forcing warehouse employees to skip bathroom breaks and urinate in bottles to meet the company's unrealistic performance expectations—come as Bezos is coming under growing pressure to address his treatment of employees. As Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) pointed out in his "CEOs vs. Workers" town hall Monday night—which Bezos declined to attend—the Amazon chief earns around $275 million each day while refusing to pay his workers enough to get by without food stamps.

Watch Live: Sanders Hosts "CEOs vs. Workers" Town Hall to Take on "Extravagant" Executive Pay and Poverty Wages

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is hosting a live-streamed town hall Monday evening, where he, along with low-paid employees of corporate giants, will take on "the enormous disparity between the wealth of corporate executives and the wages and treatment of the companies' workers."

Watch live:

Workers on the panel are employed or were employed at well-known—and profitable—corporate giants: Amazon, Disney, McDonald's, American Airlines, and Walmart.

Immigrants say U.S. is using “tricks” to take their children at the border

A group of 54 detained immigrant parents begged to be reunited with their children and said U.S. officials used deception and trickery to remove them in the first place. "We were not prepared for the nightmare that we faced here,” the parents said in an open letter to the public obtained by CNN Sunday. “The United States government kidnapped our children with tricks and didn't give us the opportunity to say goodbye."

The group of immigrants detained in Port Isabel, Texas, detailed their suffering, a consequence of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy in which parents and kids are systematically separated at the border and detained apart for weeks and even months. While 57 of the youngest children were reunited last week, more than 2,500 children remain in government custody separated from their parents, according to the most recent figures from the Department of Health and Human Services.

"To the people of the United States, please help us. We are desperate parents,” they wrote in longhand on a yellow pad in Spanish.

Several immigrant parents say their children were taken from them in cruel ways, and many are concerned about the lasting trauma of separation. Other parents shared similar stories. Immigration authorities told Jose, a 27-year-old Honduran father, that they were taking his 3-year-old son to use the bathroom and then never brought him back. He didn’t see his son again for two months. “It was very hard, the hardest thing that's happened to me,” Jose said.

Ever Reyes Mejia, 30, also from Honduras, said officials took him out of the cell he was sharing with his 3-year-old son, who was sleeping at the time. That was the last time he saw him for two months. ... The parents at Port Isabel who penned the letter are likely still waiting to be assessed by the Department of Homeland Security and HHS. Some parents have only had one phone call with their children since they were separated, according to the letter. “The children cry, they don't recognize our voices, and they feel abandoned and unloved,” they wrote. “This makes us feel like we are dead.”



the horse race



MSNBC Ignored Ocasio-Cortez’s Campaign — but Its Parent Company Made a Late Donation to Her Opponent

The liberal-skewing cable news channel MSNBC missed the biggest left-wing congressional primary upset in a generation. The network failed to provide any news coverage of the populist progressive campaign of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez against entrenched moderate incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, in the party’s primary for a New York congressional seat.

Not everyone at Rockefeller Center, however, failed to see the writing on the wall. Just as Crowley scrambled amid late-campaign internal polls showing Ocasio-Cortez gaining ground, MSNBC’s parent company donated to the incumbent’s bid to save his seat.

NBC Universal donated $3,000 to Crowley through its political action committee just 13 days before the June 26 primary. The PAC donation was listed on Crowley’s second-quarter campaign disclosure, which was filed with the Federal Election Commission on Sunday evening. ...

The network’s top political talent expressed shock at the Ocasio-Cortez upset, suggesting that no one saw her victory coming. The corporate parent of MSNBC, however, maintained close ties to Crowley. Not only has the network routinely invited Crowley on as a guest and donated to his campaign in the past, but, as we previously reported, NBC Universal also retained Crowley’s brother John “Sean” Crowley as a lobbyist.





the evening greens


Ireland Set to Divest from Fossil Fuels, First Country in Global Climate Campaign

Ireland is on its way to becoming the first country to fully divest all public funds from fossil fuel companies after a key vote in its parliament on Thursday. It's a major milestone in an international push by environmental organizations to shut off the flow of investor cash into coal, oil and gas companies. ... Ireland's Fossil Fuel Divestment Bill still has to pass the upper house of parliament, but that is anticipated to happen without difficulty, Lindsay Meiman, a spokesperson for 350.org, said.

Ireland's plan, designed to help the country meets its Paris Climate Agreement commitments, would divest its Strategic Investment Fund of companies in which fossil fuel extraction or refinement that makes up 20 percent or more of the business. The $10.4 billion fund had approximately $371 million invested in fossil fuel companies last year, according to Reuters.

Zombie Coal Plants Show Why Trump's Emergency Plan Is No Cure-All

Yorktown, where Lord Cornwallis accepted General Washington's victory to end the American Revolution, would seem like an appropriate spot for a surrender in the war on coal. Instead, two outdated coal-fired power plants there, the Yorktown 1 and 2 units operated by Dominion Energy, are limping along in the Virginia heat. Inefficient, uncompetitive, and out of compliance with federal pollution standards, and long slated for retirement, the Yorktown boilers have been fired back up intermittently since last year under an emergency license granted by the Department of Energy using a rarely invoked authority of the Federal Power Act (FPA).

Energy Secretary Rick Perry granted that request by the regional grid operator, PJM Interconnection, because without Yorktown's supplies the local area faced possible blackouts or power rationing when the summer heat drove up demand. That would affect such places as Langley Air Force Base, William and Mary College, and 600,000 electric customers in and around Hampton Roads. At the moment, Yorktown is the only generating station in the country where power is being supplied by coal plants on an emergency basis to preserve the grid's reliability.

But that could happen at many more if the Trump administration gets its way and invokes the FPA and another law, the Defense Production Act, to keep old coal and nuclear plants in operation on grounds that closing them would present a national security emergency. As the seasonal heat arrived in Virginia this year and these units coughed back into action, Yorktown turned out to be a poor exemplar for national policy. Running these old coal plants on standby in case the grid gets overloaded creates extra pollution, costs extra money, and introduces extra risk of failure. ...

In late May, PJM asked for the first Yorktown unit to fire up, and then the second. Each spun up in turn for several hours, then churned along generating as much as 146 megawatts of power at full steam. The pollution, too, climbed along with power output. Each unit at full power put out more than 130 tons of carbon dioxide an hour, hundreds to thousands of pounds of sulfur dioxide an hour, various forms of smog and soot, and smaller but still harmful levels of lead and mercury, among other pollutants.

The Trump administration has been trying, at the request of politically connected coal and utility companies, to ram through emergency supports for coal-fired plants ever since it came into office. It had been clear for a long time that market pressures and environmental controls had been pushing utilities to shut down the worst coal plants. Dominion Power was no exception. It announced in 2012 that it would close Yorktown rather than invest in new pollution controls on mercury, a toxic pollutant that causes brain damage, developmental disorders and other ailments. Built six decades ago, Yorktown 1 and 2 are older than average and have operated many years longer than expected, becoming less and less competitive in the face of cleaner, cheaper natural gas and renewables. Only when demand spikes during extreme weather are they able to meet market prices, and the amount of their capacity actually dispatched to the grid shrank from 47 percent in 2007 to 10 percent in 2017, according to an outside market analysis presented to government regulators.



Also of Interest

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

US Media is Losing Its Mind Over Trump-Putin Press Conference

‘It Is Really Crucial That People Stand Up for What They Believe In’

Brett Kavanaugh Repeatedly Ruled in Favor of the Security State, Most Recently for the CIA — and Against Me

Immigration Story Missing Context of Hunger and Freedom

Ray McGovern: Strzok Hoisted on His Own Petard


A Little Night Music


Sam Lay - Rock Me Baby / King Bee

Sam Lay - Mean Mistreater

Sam Lay - I Got Two Women

Sam Lay - Folsom Prison Blues

Sam Lay - Gonna Boogie

Sam Lay - Katie Mae, Short Haired Woman, Mojo Hand

Sam Lay Band - Baby How Long

Sam Lay Blues Band - Asked Her For Water

Sam Lay Band - Walkin' Thru The Park

Sam Lay and Billy Branch Chicago Blues Fest 2012 - Lovelight



Share
up
21 users have voted.

Comments

detroitmechworks's picture

but on youtube, whenever you click on the home icon while watching a video in order to get back to the home screen, the link instead goes to a live video of Obama giving a Speech In South Africa.

7/17/2018 Just so I remember this and don't think I've gone CRAZY when people tell me it never happened.

Edit: Just realized that the major internet hosts are doing what the networks used to do whenever the local dictator wanted to address the peons.

Yeah, It's a crazy time to be alive and a great time to be a writer.

up
15 users have voted.

I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Azazello's picture

@detroitmechworks
YouTube has done this before. There are actually two icons up there side by side. Clicking the red button on the left gets you to regular YouTube, clicking the word "YouTube" to the right of that gets the Obama lecture.

up
16 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@detroitmechworks

heh, youtube has been acting flaky for me lately, but i think that it may be the adblocker that i use that is making it weird. so far, no president-for-life wannabes have taken over my feed. Smile

have a great evening!

up
12 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack speech news disturbed me:

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/obama-make-rare-high-prof...

Two hundred young Africans are in Johannesburg for a five-day workshop to boost their leadership skills. Chosen from nearly 10,000 applications, the participants come from 44 countries, said Bernadette Meehan, the Obama Foundation's executive director of international relations.

The average age of the participants is 31 and they come from the private sector, government and civil society, she said. They are working in Africa in the fields of public health, food security, girls' education, female empowerment, the LGBT movement, human rights, peacemaking, conflict resolution, renewable energy and entrepreneurship.

The Obama Foundation plans to launch similar youth leadership programs in Asia, Europe and Latin America

Ah great, now they are creating a network of potential African supporters for neolib economic policies?

up
5 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

The good news. People don't give a sheet about the whole Russian hysteria bullshit. From David Sirota tweet:

Gallup recently did a poll of what Americans say is the most important problem facing the country. One finding: the percentage of Americans saying “Situation with Russia” is the most important problem is literally too small to represent with a number.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/1675/most-important-problem.aspx

The bad news. The mass media and political elites and activists have a common take on the Putin/Trump meeting. They are wrapped in the same bubble of overt hostility and unhinged conspiracy theories toward the Russian people and willing to call any American who disagrees a traitor--and they mean it.

It is these elites who will make the decisions about war and peace--not the people. The path is clearly toward war and not peace. As Caitlin wrote in her piece (thanks for link), they are the enemies of humanity.

up
18 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@MrWebster

yeah, it's not terribly surprising that the people who tuned out american politics years ago because it had little to do with their day-to-day existence aren't really paying much attention to the political scandal du jour.

on the other hand, it's total catnip for the late night comedians, so maybe the propaganda will work its way into mainstream consciousness after all.

seth meyers seems to have swallowed the propaganda hook, line and sinker:

up
13 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  
The concerted agitation against Trump — incited by a “propaganda junta” led by billionaires, corporate media, and spy-and-lie professionals from the “intelligence community” — brings to mind a populist elected leader of another country whom the CIA set out to destroy through orchestrated uproar, culminating in a coup:

Trump as Salvador Allende.

It’s getting a bit Chile in here . . .

up
9 users have voted.
mimi's picture

Trump Corrects His Quote, Says Misspoke on Russian Meddling

“The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t, or why it wouldn’t be Russia” instead of “why it would,” Trump said, in a rare admission of error by the bombastic U.S. leader. His comment came — amid rising rebuke by his own party — about 27 hours after his original, widely reported statement, which he made at a Monday summit in Helsinki standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place,” Trump said Tuesday. But he added, as he usually does, “It could be other people also. A lot of people out there. There was no collusion at all.”

So who fools and manipulates Trump, the intelligence community, or the mainstream media?
Oh well with such an intelligent media, why bother asking the question.

up
14 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

that was a pretty amusing piece. what i found pretty funny was that there was a lot of bloviation about punishing russia and nothing about hardening our voting infrastructure.

it's all too obvious what this is really about.

up
14 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

was fairly counted as would letting people off work with pay so they could afford to stand in line for hours to vote because there aren't enough voting machines. Or in heavy democratic districts the democrats could make sure that there were enough machines so that people didn't have to be in line for up to 8-10 hours. Oh better yet. Get as many people as possible to start voting by mail and do away with all the ways that make voting so damn difficult!

up
15 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

WoodsDweller's picture

@snoopydawg
with free postage and paper ballots. Automatic voter registration with opt-out.
It isn't hard. Oregon already does it. Colorado does vote by mail.
Everything else is some sort of voter suppression technique.

up
11 users have voted.

I like this world. It's not perfect, but everything I love is in it.

QMS's picture

@WoodsDweller equals one vote is rapidly being replaced with one dollar equals one vote. Soon enough we will be chipped and electronically counted, depending on available Amazon algorithms.

up
11 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

snoopydawg's picture

@QMS

except for possibly at the local levels. But it has been made obvious that no matter who people elect to positions at the federal level they will never do anything that goes against the wishes of their donors. Or maybe their masters is a better word? Not when there are so powerful people and secret organizations who are really running this country.

We are encouraged countless times to call, email or write to our congress members to please pass or don't pass legislation that we don't want passed, but it doesn't work. People have posted the video that shows that even if 90% of us wants something from congress they do not listen to us. One article I read stated that in 20 years people have contacted congress over 20,000 times and congress has not changed their votes even once.

On the democrats side of voting the primary is decided not by the number of votes, but by how the superdelegates vote. And DWS admitted to the country that "they can go into smoke filled rooms and decide who the candidate will be."

Who was it that said that "if voting changed anything then they would make it illegal."? Mark Twain?

up
8 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

lotlizard's picture

@snoopydawg  
which is why the first TARP bill, “a three-page absurdity pulled straight from a Beavis and Butt-Head episode,” was voted down in the House by both Dems and GOP across the board.

Didn’t matter what constituents thought — a few days later, spooked by predictions of financial doomsday, Congress reversed itself and caved to Hank Paulson.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/secrets-and-lies-of-...

THEY LIED TO PASS THE BAILOUT

Today what few remember about the bailouts is that we had to approve them. It wasn’t like Paulson could just go out and unilaterally commit trillions of public dollars to rescue Goldman Sachs and Citigroup from their own stupidity and bad management (although the government ended up doing just that, later on). Much as with a declaration of war, a similarly extreme and expensive commitment of public resources, Paulson needed at least a film of congressional approval. And much like the Iraq War resolution, which was only secured after George W. Bush ludicrously warned that Saddam was planning to send drones to spray poison over New York City, the bailouts were pushed through Congress with a series of threats and promises that ranged from the merely ridiculous to the outright deceptive. At one meeting to discuss the original bailout bill – at 11 a.m. on September 18th, 2008 – Paulson actually told members of Congress that $5.5 trillion in wealth would disappear by 2 p.m. that day unless the government took immediate action, and that the world economy would collapse “within 24 hours.”

To be fair, Paulson started out by trying to tell the truth in his own ham-headed, narcissistic way. His first TARP proposal was a three-page absurdity pulled straight from a Beavis and Butt-Head episode – it was basically Paulson saying, “Can you, like, give me some money?” Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, remembers a call with Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke. “We need $700 billion,” they told Brown, “and we need it in three days.” What’s more, the plan stipulated, Paulson could spend the money however he pleased, without review “by any court of law or any administrative agency.”

The White House and leaders of both parties actually agreed to this preposterous document, but it died in the House when 95 Democrats lined up against it. For an all-too-rare moment during the Bush administration, something resembling sanity prevailed in Washington.

So Paulson came up with a more convincing lie. On paper, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was simple: Treasury would buy $700 billion of troubled mortgages from the banks and then modify them to help struggling homeowners. Section 109 of the act, in fact, specifically empowered the Treasury secretary to “facilitate loan modifications to prevent avoidable foreclosures.” With that promise on the table, wary Democrats finally approved the bailout on October 3rd, 2008. “That provision,” says Barofsky, “is what got the bill passed.”

But within days of passage, the Fed and the Treasury unilaterally decided to abandon the planned purchase of toxic assets in favor of direct injections of billions in cash into companies like Goldman and Citigroup. Overnight, Section 109 was unceremoniously ditched, and what was pitched as a bailout of both banks and homeowners instantly became a bank-only operation – marking the first in a long series of moves in which bailout officials either casually ignored or openly defied their own promises with regard to TARP.

up
10 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

@QMS

vote. So many ways to distopia.

up
3 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

LeChienHarry's picture

@WoodsDweller

up
2 users have voted.

You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again you did not know. ~ William Wiberforce

If you can donate, please! POP Money is available for bank-to-bank transfers. Email JtC to make a monthly donation.

mimi's picture

@joe shikspack @joe shikspack
over wet noodles. Aaawww ...that video is heart-breaking.
Frigging Weichnudel

up
4 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

It's impossible to talk to people about this because the propaganda is just too powerful.
I thought both of those pieces by Joe Lauria were good. Look at that quote from James Fallows in this one.

Conscious tool. Useful idiot. Those are the choices, though both are possibly true, so that the main question is the proportions … never before have I seen an American president consistently, repeatedly, publicly, and shockingly advance the interests of another country over those of his own government and people.

Exactly which Russian interests have been advanced over those of the American people ?
I don't get it.
Here's more on the Novichok B.S. from Moon of Alabama: The Magic Of Novichok

up
17 users have voted.

@Azazello My two almost fully converted friends have been rather quiet about my anxiety today. I know some of the lies are getting through and making them question how Trump's "treason" cannot be true. Damned scary.

up
11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

it is probably a good time to take notes about the mockingbirds in the media. it seems that there is a very large flock.

that was a pretty amusing piece from moon of alabama, some of the comments had great snark, too.

up
13 users have voted.
QMS's picture

The handlers of the media story-line are having a bit of trouble reconciling their homogenized message just now. Caught between a diversion and an agenda, their asses are bare. Exposed for this short moment in history when thinking people can see the wool being pulled over their rational thoughts.

Squirm you malicious m'fucks.

up
14 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

it appears that the media wurlitzer is relying on ubiquity and volume. they don't seem too concerned with the logical failures of their narratives.

up
12 users have voted.
QMS's picture

@joe shikspack no longer allow programing to influence thought. Blew up the TV bout 23 years ago. Kinda funny watching from afar, in a dark humor sorta way.

up
12 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

snoopydawg's picture

Putin has enough power over Trump that he is able to get him to do things that will harm the country and put Russia's interests before ours? That Brennan can state that Trump is committing treason without being laughed off the airwaves and Twitter just shows how powerful propaganda is. Everyone in my family believes that and they are old enough to remember the terror of the McCarthy days.

Plus it's absolutely disgusting how many people are saying that Trump and Vlad are gay lovers. What purpose does that accusation serve? That Putin's hold over Trump wouldn't have happened if they weren't homosexuals? Or something else? I first saw the homophobic graphics on DK which shouldn't have surprised me, but it did.

Azazello posted this outstanding article which has the following in it.

I had thought such ugly anti-gay sentiment had disappeared from liberal society, but apparently it’s fine in Resistance circles to stigmatize your enemies as butt-humping queers in order to render them more repulsive in the eyes of your sophisticated, liberal audience. I did a little research, and it appears this “Hitler on Hitler” porno The Times produced is just the latest in a rather long line of Trump on Putin “homo” jokes, which are perfectly harmless when told by liberals, but when told by conservatives are homophobic hate crimes.

I hope to never see the homophobic graphics on this site even again. It's not the least bit funny.

up
16 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

it is a head-shaker. people that i would have credited with better sense seem to have bought the narrative hook, line and sinker. presumably they can't wait for president pence to take up the office of our shiny, new "christian" nation.

up
13 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@snoopydawg  
is that two men together is disgusting.

up
7 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

Great article by Caitlin. Thanks for the link. She is spot on. I just commented in another essay that Rand Paul did a great job of pushing back on Blitzer’s agenda. Blitzer tried every trick in the book to put words in his mouth but Paul held his own. I’m no fan if Herr Drumpf, but I’m less of a fan of nuclear war.

There are actually quite a few good articles being written these days pushing back on the deep state. I also listened to a great podcast where Ralph Nader had Seymore Hersch on - very informative.

Been getting a bit of rain these days - hope it keeps up. The desert is greening up.

Have a beautiful evening, folks! Pleasantry

up
17 users have voted.

"If there is not justice for the people, let there be no peace for the government." Emiliano Zapata

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

there are plenty of good articles being written these days, i sure hope that they start getting more circulation.

glad to hear that you're getting some rain and that the desert is blooming.

have a great evening!

up
12 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

I wrote just last week that Bezos was worth $142 billion so that means that he has made $8 billion on less than a week. Bernie says that Bezos makes $245 million every day. But he refuses to help the homeless that his company has helped create by paying a small head tax on each of his workers so Seattle can start doing something about the homeless situation. If no one person should be allowed to have $142 billion then they shouldn't be allowed to have $150 billion either. Not while there is so much poverty in this country!

BTW. Did you read that Buffet just gave $3.4 billion to charity? Ayup. This is a very generous gift don't ya think? Sadly no. The money went to the Gate's foundation which is as much a charity foundation as the Clinton's foundation.

Rich people have taken a pledge to give most of their money to charity when they die. Sounds good in theory, but none of the money is going to be going to charities that actually help people. This is just one more way for them to get around the death taxes their survivors will have to pay. No surprise that this is legal.

The Clinton's foundation is a huge scam, IMO. Most of the money goes towards traveling on private jets, expensive hotels and meals plus salaries. I looked at the website to see what the foundation actually does. It reads like stereo instructions. "We provide women with the opportunity to learn skills so they can start their own businesses." Not "we donate money to under privileged women so they can start their own businesses.

Bring back the FDR era tax rates!

up
14 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

the dollar value of bezos' fortune is largely fictions of banksters, stock markets and the financial press. it's not like he has $150 billion dollars (or tangible assets) in a vault somewhere.

at best, measures of bezos' wealth are useful for comparative purposes, wealth is largely a function of mass hypnosis.

up
12 users have voted.
WoodsDweller's picture

@snoopydawg
Bezos didn't have $8 billion in taxable income last week, he had $8 billion in unrealized capital gains, which could as easily vanish the next day.
Income tax isn't enough, you need a wealth tax. That might require a Constitutional amendment, though maybe property tax is enough of a legal precedent.
Close loopholes for tax exempt and deferred legal entities, aggressively tax high income, at the end of every year tax wealth (You have more than $100 million? Sell that land, sell that stock, send the money in). Have a 100% inheritance tax above some generous exclusion, like $10 million per heir. Send the rest in.
None of this affects anyone except the 10,000 or so richest people who might have to make do with only a couple of palaces. The horror!

up
13 users have voted.

I like this world. It's not perfect, but everything I love is in it.

QMS's picture

@WoodsDweller never enough. control of it all. sharing is shearing for these golden sheep. Spiritually bankrupt. Excess with drown in the end.

up
10 users have voted.

Listen to your higher mind.

snoopydawg's picture

@WoodsDweller

In addition to your plan after a certain amount of money is acquired that's it. No one needs more than one yacht, jet or a home in multiple countries. You can only live in one at a time.

Not only close the tax loopholes, rescind tax breaks and subsidies that companies receive. Anyone who is caught putting their money in offshore accounts they should have to pay back taxes for the years they did it.

Next go after the way banks and others use high speed trading to have an advantage that the little people don't. Plenty of ways to stop the obscene amount of money people are hoarding.

up
7 users have voted.

Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

lotlizard's picture

@snoopydawg
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jul/12/nevis-how-the-worlds-most-s...

up
7 users have voted.

She died five days ago, heart failure. Ray is wheeling around by himself now. They tore down his camp yesterday, move along or be arrested. Local, County, and even State pigs now come to move along the dispossessed. The Democrat's Value system in Sonoma County writ large. Put that on your ballot and watch what happens to your community. Unity for the soft bloated middle, feed the rich and fuck the poors! Take a shelter bed in hell or just die granny die!
Homeless advocates allege human rights abuses in Sonoma County

Housing officials and homeless care providers said they are struggling to offer support to the county’s homeless population, which totals nearly 3,000, about 2,000 of which remain unsheltered. Many of those people have been on the move since the city began sweeping several longstanding encampments last year.

The goal of that enforcement effort is to address the needs of homeless residents and “mitigate impacts to surrounding communities,” according to a city fact sheet.

Homeless Action representatives are urging the county’s Human Rights Commission to take up their claims in a meeting next Tuesday. A resolution they authored, set for consideration on the commission’s agenda, claims local governments have failed to establish “pragmatic solutions for homelessness.”

I don't give a shit

I don't give a shit like you don't give a shit
We're a match made in hell it's plain to see
I don't give a shit about you
You don't give a shit about me

Nobody ever said I was a gentleman
Nobody ever said I wasn't mean
Nobody ever said that I was right in the head
Nobody ever said I flied clean

Nobody ever said I was pretty
Nobody ever said I was sweet
Some have remarked my bite is worse than my bark
Nobody ever said I was discrete

I don't give a shit like you don't give a shit
We're a match made in hell it's plain to see
I don't give a shit about you
You don't give a shit about me

I remember on our first date
You told me that I was just the bait
For your old girlfriend and she came walking in
I don't think we ever even ate

Nobody ever said we was compatible
Nobody ever said we is meant to be
No one ever suggested we should in any way be connected
In the biblical or platonically

I don't give a shit like you don't give a shit
We're a match made in hell it's plain to see
I don't give a shit about you
You don't give a shit about me

I remember that night in Nacogdoches
You tied me up and threw my keys away
I was too drunk to drive and I was glad to be alive
But I had you arrested anyway

I remember that night in Amarillo
You went upside my head with a frying pan
I was laid up for days in hydrocodone haze
My forehead read Made in Japan

I don't give shit like you don't give a shit
We're a match made in hell it's plain to see
I don't give a shit about you
You don't give a shit about me me me me me me me me

I don't give a shit like you don't give a shit
We're a match made in hell it's plain to see
I don't give a shit about you
Shit you do, I don't give a shit about me ha ha ha

I don't give a shit about you
You don't give a shit about me
But baby you're the one for me

I actually do kinda like it
I do kinda like it
ha ha


no wonder

up
3 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

@eyo

up
4 users have voted.

@lotlizard thanks, I was looking up how to spell Hydrocodone and that wiki picture was right there. I like molecules.
Happy Wake and Bake Wednesday! lol

Tetrahydrocannabinol

Anandamide
"bliss delight"

peace

up
5 users have voted.