The Evening Blues - 7-20-17


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Mickey Baker

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features jazz, blues and rock guitarist Mickey Baker. Enjoy!

Mickey Baker w/Coleman Hawkins Quintet - South Of France Blues

“Kakimi chertyami oni viigrali holodnuyu voinu?"
This translates roughly to: "How the hell did these people win the Cold War?”

-- Dave Barry

News and Opinion

Cameroonian Troops Tortured and Killed Prisoners at Base Used for U.S. Drone Surveillance

Troops in the West African nation of Cameroon have tortured prisoners at a remote military base that is also used by U.S. personnel and private contractors for drone surveillance and training missions.

As the U.S. military has fortified the Cameroonian site, known as Salak, and supported the elite local troops based there, the outpost has become the scene of illegal imprisonment, brutal torture, and even killings, according to a new investigation by The Intercept and the Goldsmiths, University of London-based research firm Forensic Architecture, based on extensive research by Amnesty International. Nearly 60 victims held at Salak described to Amnesty International how they were subjected to water torture, beaten with electric cables and boards, or tied and suspended with ropes, among other abuses.

No evidence has emerged that U.S. personnel were involved in torture, but photos and videos from Salak show U.S. soldiers and civilian contractors near the facilities where prisoners were held, and detainees testified to seeing and hearing Americans in uniform during their imprisonment.

“We can’t be 100 percent sure that Americans were aware of the torture,” said Ilaria Allegrozzi, Amnesty International’s lead researcher on a new report about abuses by Cameroonian forces. “But our evidence demonstrates that at Salak these practices occur in places that are accessible and can be visible to U.S. and other foreign personnel.”

Heh. If you were wondering how the mainstream press would spin Trump ending CIA funding of "Syrian rebels" i.e. al-Qaeda and ISIS, well, here's the Guardian's spin:

Donald Trump drops CIA programme in Syria 'in bid to improve Russia ties'

Donald Trump has decided to halt the CIA’s covert programme to equip and train moderate rebels fighting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, in a move likely to be welcomed by Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

The CIA programme began in 2013 as part of Barack Obama’s support for the overthrow of Assad but met with little success, two officials told Reuters. Some armed and trained rebels defected to Islamic State and other radical groups.

One of the officials was quoted as saying the US is not making a major concession, given Assad’s continued grip on power, but “it’s a signal to Putin that the administration wants to improve ties to Russia”.

Randy Newman writes comic song about Donald Trump's penis

Veteran songwriter Randy Newman has revealed he wrote a song about Donald Trump for his latest album – comparing the relative size of their penises.

... Newman said he decided to leave it off his forthcoming album, Dark Matter, because “I just didn’t want to add to the problem of how ugly the conversation we’re all having is.”

Dark Matter does, however, feature a song called Putin, a grand orchestral number that riffs on traditional Russian folk music and imagines the Russian president pondering war in the Mediterranean and glumly complaining about democracy:

An excellent article, worth a full read. Here's a teaser:

The Right’s Long War on Media

Never in modern American history has a president so frontally gone to war with the media as Donald Trump, whose speeches and tweet storms blast critical stories as “fake news” and mainstream news outlets as “the enemy of the American people.” “Get used to being stigmatized as ‘opposition,’” the head of media at Human Rights Watch warned reporters and editors shortly after the election. “[Trump’s] basic idea is simple: to delegitimize accountability journalism by framing it as partisan.” ...

Many of today’s righteous condemners of Trump fail to see that his attacks on the media are really the culmination of a relentless campaign over the past half century by conservatives to undercut institutions that stand in the way of their grab for power. Although presidential attacks on the news media date back to the earliest days of the Republic, the modern conservative war on mainstream media was launched on Nov. 13, 1969, when Vice President Spiro Agnew condemned TV news broadcasters for daring to subject one of President Nixon’s speeches on Vietnam policy to “instant analysis and querulous criticism” instead of allowing him the “right to communicate directly with the people who elected him.” ...

The public response strongly favored Agnew’s charges, making the network bosses sweat. White House speechwriter Patrick Buchanan reported happily that “where the Veep is scoring is with the center and right; he has become the acknowledged spokesman of the Middle American, the Robespierre of the Great Silent Majority.” In his speech, Agnew pointedly remarked that the big broadcasters enjoyed “a monopoly sanctioned and licensed by government,” raising the specter of federal sanctions against them. Walter Cronkite of CBS News called Agnew’s comments “as an implied threat to freedom of speech in this country.” ...

Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne recalls that Agnew’s “signal political achievement was igniting a campaign that endured for more than four decades painting the mainstream media as biased, liberal and elitist. . . . Rarely has a concerted political effort been more successful. Ever since, reporters, editors and producers have incessantly looked over their right shoulders, fearing they’d be assailed as secret carriers of the liberal virus.”

Donna Brazile Just Called Russians “The Communists”, And It Wasn’t An Accident

Twitter has largely been opting for mockery and ridicule in response to the above tweet, but I think that’s seriously in error; Brazile didn’t say this because she’s stupid. She is not stupid, and we need to stop looking at her that way. She is malicious. ...

When someone pointed out that Russia is not in fact communist, Brazile responded, “They no longer call themselves KGB either” and blocked him. The implication being, of course, that what we call Russia is actually still secretly the Soviet Union. The goal being, of course, to stoke the flames of vestigial Cold War xenophobia to advance her party’s neoconservative agenda of manufacturing support for escalations with a nuclear superpower. If you need people afraid of Russians, unite multiple generations in their irrational fear by using old red-baiting buzzwords to stir up old red-under-the-bed nightmares. This was Donna Brazile deliberately carrying out her role of helping to manipulate rank-and-file Democrats into the neoconservative fold.

We’ve been seeing more and more of this lately. Max Blumenthal released an important video last month documenting protesters showing up at anti-Trump rallies with hammer-and-sickle signs, implying that the government the president is accused-but-not-actually-accused of “colluding” with is communist, as in the USSR. The xenophobia is ramping up with the war machine, and Donna Brazile just tried to help kick it up a notch.

This is important to point out. We need to make a lot of noise when creeps like Brazile try to insert a mind virus this toxic into public consciousness, so that it will be met with skepticism and critical thinking rather than trust and acceptance. The way to inoculate people against propaganda’s influence is to shatter their trust in it.

The massacre of Mosul: 40,000 feared dead in battle to take back city from Isis as scale of civilian casualties revealed

More than 40,000 civilians were killed in the devastating battle to retake Mosul from Isis, according to intelligence reports revealed exclusively to The Independent – a death toll far higher than previous estimates. Residents of the besieged city were killed by Iraqi ground forces attempting to force out militants, as well as by air strikes and Isis fighters, according to Kurdish intelligence services.

Hoshyar Zebari, until recently a senior minister in Baghdad, told The Independent that many bodies “are still buried under the rubble”. “The level of human suffering is immense,” he said. ... Mr Zebari, a native of Mosul and top Kurdish official who has served as the Iraqi finance minister and prior to that foreign minister, emphasised in an exclusive interview that the unrelenting artillery bombardment by units of the Iraqi federal police, in practice a heavily armed military unit, had caused immense destruction and loss of life in west Mosul.

The figure given by Mr Zebari for the number of civilians killed in the nine-month siege is far higher than those previously reported, but the intelligence service of the Kurdistan Regional Government has a reputation for being extremely accurate and well-informed. ... Mr Zebari accuses the government in Baghdad, of which he was until recently a member, of not doing enough to relieve the suffering. “Sometimes you might think the government is indifferent to what has happened,” he said. He doubts if Christians, Yazidis, Kurds and other minorities, who have lived in and around Mosul for centuries, will be able to reconcile with the Sunni Arab majority whom they blame for killing and raping them. He says some form of federal solution for future governance would be best.

I wonder how much longer Turkey will remain a NATO "ally."

Turkey Leaks Secret Locations of U.S. Troops in Syria

In the latest display of Turkish anger at U.S. policy in Syria, the state news agency has divulged the locations of 10 U.S. military bases and outposts in northern Syria where the U.S. is leading an operation to destroy the so-called Islamic State in its self-styled capital of Raqqa.

The list published by the Anadolu news agency points to a U.S. presence from one end to the other of the Kurdish self-administration region—a distance of more than 200 miles. The Anadolu news agency even listed the number of U.S. troops in several locations and in two instances stipulated the presence of French special forces. ...

Although Turkey’s powerful president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, regularly vents his anger at the U.S., it is still highly unusual for a NATO ally to reveal details of a U.S. military deployment during active operations in a war zone. But the U.S. operation in Syria is in many respects an unusual case. Not only is the United States acting against the express wishes of NATO ally Turkey, which says its national security is directly endangered, it’s also operating without the permission of the Assad regime.

Rep Lee calls stripping war authorization repeal 'underhanded & undemocratic'

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) blasted Speaker Paul Ryan late Tuesday, saying the Wisconsin Republican "stripped" her Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) repeal amendment in the "dead of night."

Lee said in a tweet the move was "underhanded & undemocratic," adding that "the people deserve a debate!"

"Ryan stripped my 01 AUMF repeal amdt from DOD Approps in the dead of night. This is underhanded & undemocratic. The people deserve a debate!" Lee said.

"Ryan should be ashamed of himself for forcing Republicans to strip out my bipartisan AUMF amdt in the dead of night. What is he afraid of?"

Pentagon set to send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan

With the Pentagon poised to announce details of a troop increase for the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, the pending decision raises questions about the effect additional boots on the ground will have on the 16-year conflict. ...

For several weeks, defense officials led by Mr. Mattis have been assessing the progress of the Afghanistan war, determining what level of support — including a 3,000- to 5,000-troop increase — will be required to stabilize the country’s security forces. Government-led analysis and reviews by private sector analysts say upwards of 60 percent of Afghanistan is heavily influenced by or under the direct sway of the Taliban. Afghan troops, advised by U.S. and NATO forces, have suffered heavy casualties to maintain control over the 40 percent of the country ruled by the central government in Kabul.

The war in Afghanistan received little attention on the campaign trail last year, with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump focusing on the U.S.-led coalition to defeat the terrorist group known as ISIS or ISIL. But Washington refocused on Southwest Asia amid Taliban gains this spring and the increased Islamic State presence in the eastern half of Afghanistan.

“We are not winning in Afghanistan,” Mr. Mattis told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee last month.

How Far Will Trump Go to Kill the Iran Nuclear Deal?

Iran ‘will stand up’ to U.S., reciprocate for new sanctions, President Rouhani says

Iran’s president said Wednesday that his country will stand up to the United States and reciprocate for any new sanctions that Washington imposes on the Islamic republic.

Hassan Rouhani’s remarks came a day after the Trump administration announced new, non-nuclear sanctions on Iranians while at the same time warning Tehran that it would face consequences for breaching “the spirit” of the nuclear deal with world powers.

The new sanctions, perceived as the latest attempt to clamp down on Iran’s military financing, target 18 Iranian individuals and groups, ranging from an Iranian-based company accused of aiding the country’s drone program to a Turkey-based provider of naval equipment and a China-based network that helped secure electronics for Tehran.

If Washington, under any pretext, imposes new sanctions against Iran, “we will stand up to the United States,” Rouhani said, adding that the “great nation of Iran will have an appropriate answer” and that the Iranian parliament will also act.

Netanyahu Tells European Leaders Concern for Palestinian Rights Is “Crazy”

The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, was caught on tape on Wednesday urging four European leaders to help him undermine a provision of a European Union trade agreement that imposes an obligation on Israel to respect the rights of the millions of Palestinians it rules in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

In private remarks to the leaders of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia that were accidentally broadcast to members of the Israeli media outside the room, Netanyahu was overheard calling it “crazy” for the E.U. to insist that Israel honor Article 2 of an association agreement signed in 1995 which makes trade with the bloc conditional on Israel’s “respect for human rights and democratic principles.”

In recent years, Israel has destroyed hundreds of European-financed structures — including schools, playgrounds and solar panels — built to help Palestinians in the occupied territories. ...

After Netanyahu’s complaints were made public, the European Union’s delegation to Israel responded with a statement that it still expects his government to show “respect for international humanitarian law” and make progress towards a two-state solution.

Venezuela crises set to escalate as general strike begins

Venezuela is bracing for an escalation of the confrontation between the government and the opposition as the country awoke to near paralysis on Thursday at the beginning of a general strike.

Caracas, the capital, was littered with roadblocks of burning rubbish and tyres, and wires stretched from lamppost to lamppost to stop traffic, as opponents of the president, Nicolás Maduro, try to block his plan to consolidate power. Near Plaza Altamira, in the upscale eastern part of the city, young men manning the barricades turned away any cars that tried to pass, including a bus stamped with the logo of the government tax agency. “We are seeing empty streets and most shops closed,” said opposition leader Henrique Capriles while touring the city on foot.

Maduro has called for a vote on 30 July to elect a constituent assembly charged with rewriting the constitution. Opposition and human rights groups say the move is aimed at bypassing the National Assembly, which has been under opposition control since 2016, further consolidating the ruling Socialist party’s grip on power. Maduro argues a new constitution would promote dialogue in a country deeply polarised and crippled by widespread shortages of food, medicine and basic services, and unbridled violent crime.

More Trump Populism: Hiring a Bank Lawyer to Attack CFPB Bank Rules

President Trump and Republicans in Congress have broadcast their every intention to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The president’s budget attempted to defund it and leading Republicans have called for its director to be fired and replaced with a more Wall Street-compliant regulator. But much like the bulk of Trump’s agenda, that assault remains in the aspirational phase, and the agency continues to do its work. Earlier this month, the CFPB released a major new rule, flat-out barring financial institutions from using forced arbitration clauses in consumer contracts to stop class-action lawsuits.

Now, Trump has sent out his lead attack dog to overturn the arbitration rule — a former bank lawyer who has used the very tactic the CFPB wants to prevent. In May, President Trump hired [former Wells Fargo senior attorney Keith] Noreika to take over OCC, in an unusual arrangement where he would serve as a “special government employee,” retained to perform “temporary duties” for not more than 130 days, and exempt from most ethics rules or Senate confirmation.

His first high-profile move is to insert himself into the CFPB rule-making process, the bureaucratic equivalent of laying down in the street in front of the bus. Right before the CFPB released its final arbitration rule, Noreika charged in a letter that the rule could create “safety and soundness concerns.” On Monday, Noreika asked the CFPB to delay publishing the rule in the Federal Register until OCC could review it for safety and soundness concerns. Essentially, Noreika is saying that allowing consumers to band together to stop petty theft by banks threatens the ability of those banks to survive. The CFPB already sent the rule to the Federal Register, and called Noreika’s request “plainly frivolous.”

David Cay Johnston: Trump is "Appallingly Ignorant" on Healthcare & Puts Greed Above Human Lives

New Poll Shows Nation Moving Left on Healthcare, Embracing Medicare for All

In the face of "cruel" attempts by the Republican Party to strip health insurance from more than 30 million Americans with the goal of providing massive tax breaks to the wealthy, a new poll published on Thursday finds that a growing majority of the public is "shifting toward the political left" on healthcare and expressing support for a system that ensures coverage for all.

The poll, conducted by the Associated Press in partnership with the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, shows that 62 percent of public believes it is "the federal government's responsibility to make sure that all Americans have health care coverage."

As AP's Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Laurie Kellman note, this is a dramatic shift in popular attitudes over a very short period of time.

"As recently as March," they observe, "the AP-NORC poll had found Americans more ambivalent about the federal government's role, with a slim 52 percent majority saying health coverage is a federal responsibility, and 47 percent saying it is not."

Repeal-only healthcare bill would cost 32m people coverage, CBO says

A bill that would repeal major pieces of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without replacing it would increase the number of people without insurance by 32 million people over the next decade, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in an analysis on Wednesday.

Over the course of that decade, insurance premiums would double, the report said.

The analysis came as Donald Trump urged Republicans to move away from a plan to repeal the 2010 healthcare law with a delayed replacement, a move that he had previously supported and one that comes with considerable political risks.

David Cay Johnston: GOP Budget Redistributes Money to the Rich & Helps Make U.S. a "Police State"

Jeff Sessions Wants to Make “Legalized Theft” Great Again

Donald Trump's ["Justice"] Department revived a federal program on Wednesday that gives state and local law enforcement more power to seize property from people who haven’t been charged, let alone convicted, of a crime.

The practice — known as “civil asset forfeiture” — became widespread as part of the drug crackdown in the 1980s, after Congress passed a law in 1984 that allowed the Department of Justice to keep the property it seized. At the time, forfeiture was billed as a way to undermine the resources of large criminal enterprises, but law enforcement saw it as a way to underwrite their budgets, and have overwhelmingly gone after people without the means to challenge the seizures in court.

The practice has become so widespread that in 2014, law enforcement officers took more property from American citizens than all home and office burglaries combined. ...

On Wednesday, the Justice Department reopened a specific loophole that allows state and local police to sidestep state laws through a practice known as adoptive forfeitures. The loophole allows state and local law enforcement to continue to pillage the property of citizens even in the face of local bans on the practice, as long as they refer the case to federal agencies after they seize property. They get to keep up to 80 percent of what they take, and can use it for their own budgets. The feds take a 20 percent cut of the loot.

the horse race

Citing Recusal, Trump Says He Wouldn’t Have Hired Sessions

President Trump said on Wednesday that he never would have appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions had he known Mr. Sessions would recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation that has dogged his presidency, calling the decision “very unfair to the president.”

In a remarkable public break with one of his earliest political supporters, Mr. Trump complained that Mr. Sessions’s decision ultimately led to the appointment of a special counsel that should not have happened. “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Mr. Trump said.

In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times, the president also accused James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director he fired in May, of trying to leverage a dossier of compromising material to keep his job. Mr. Trump criticized both the acting F.B.I. director who has been filling in since Mr. Comey’s dismissal and the deputy attorney general who recommended it. And he took on Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel now leading the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election.

Mr. Trump said Mr. Mueller was running an office rife with conflicts of interest and warned investigators against delving into matters too far afield from Russia. Mr. Trump never said he would order the Justice Department to fire Mr. Mueller, nor would he outline circumstances under which he might do so. But he left open the possibility as he expressed deep grievance over an investigation that has taken a political toll in the six months since he took office.

Jeff Sessions says he'll keep job 'as long as appropriate' despite Trump's criticism

The US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said on Thursday that he would continue in his job “as long as that is appropriate”, despite Donald Trump’s barrage of criticism of him.

Trump had told the New York Times in an interview published late Wednesday he regretted giving Sessions the job after Sessions recused himself from matters relating to investigations into links with the Trump campaign and Russia. ...

Trump also harshly criticized two of Sessions’ deputies, both leading law enforcement officials who also took the podium at a press conference Thursday morning after facing headlines focused on the president’s very personal and very public criticism. ...

Asked how he could continue to serve without the confidence of the president, Sessions said: “We’re serving right now.

“We wholeheartedly join in the priorities of President Trump,” he said, adding later, “I am totally confident that we can continue to run this office in an efficient way.”

Exxon fined $2m for violating Russia sanctions while Rex Tillerson was CEO

ExxonMobil showed “reckless disregard” in violating Russian sanctions while Rex Tillerson was the oil company’s CEO, the treasury department said on Thursday.

The treasury fined Exxon $2m for violating sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Russian entities in 2014 over Russia’s annexation of Crimea. And it said the company’s “senior-most executives” were aware of the sanctions when two of its subsidiaries signed deals with the Russian oil magnate Igor Sechin. Sechin is the chairman of the Russian oil giant Rosneft and is on a US blacklist that bars Americans from doing business with him.

In a statement, Exxon countered that it had done nothing wrong and complained that the fine was “fundamentally unfair”. The state department declined to comment on Tillerson’s role, referring all questions to Exxon.

the evening greens

In Victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Court Finds That Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline Violated the Law

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe won a significant victory today in its fight to protect the Tribe’s drinking water and ancestral lands from the Dakota Access pipeline. A federal judge ruled that the federal permits authorizing the pipeline to cross the Missouri River just upstream of the Standing Rock reservation, which were hastily issued by the Trump administration just days after the inauguration, violated the law in certain critical respects. In a 91-page decision, Judge James Boasberg wrote, “the Court agrees that [the Corps] did not adequately consider the impacts of an oil spill on fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial.”

The Court did not determine whether pipeline operations should be shut off and has requested additional briefing on the subject and a status conference next week.

Lawsuit aims to force EPA to crack down on air polluters in Texas

Campaign groups are suing the Environmental Protection Agency in a bid to force it to clamp down on industrial air pollution in Texas. Lawsuits filed in Washington DC on Thursday allege that the federal regulator is allowing the nation’s leading oil- and gas-producing state to get away with issuing weak and opaque permits that do little or nothing to halt excessive emissions.

The legal filings cite allegedly lax pollution control permits for five plants and refineries, four near Houston and one near Dallas. “EPA knows that Texas issues unenforceable permits with illegal loopholes that render useless some of the most basic pollution control requirements of federal and state law,” Gabriel Clark-Leach, an attorney for one of the plaintiffs, the Environmental Integrity Project, said in a statement. “EPA’s unwillingness to object to faulty state permits deprives the public of health protections guaranteed by the law.” ...

Environmental groups are stepping up their pressure at a time when there is widespread skepticism about the agency’s willingness and ability to carry out its mission given the Trump administration’s desire to slash its budget and the intention of the EPA’s industry-friendly head, Scott Pruitt, to roll back numerous regulations.

Son of Cecil the lion killed by trophy hunter

A son of Cecil the lion has been killed by trophy hunters in Zimbabwe, meeting the same fate as his father whose death in 2015 caused a global outcry.

Xanda was six years old and had fathered a number of cubs himself. He was shot on 7 July just outside the Hwange National Park, not far from where Cecil died, but news of the death only became public on Thursday.

The trophy hunt was organised by Zimbabwean private hunter Richard Cooke but his clients, who may have paid tens of thousands of dollars, have not been revealed. Xanda was wearing a GPS tracking collar, fitted by scientists led by Andrew Loveridge at Oxford University, who have studied the Hwange lions for many years.

“Xanda was one of these gorgeous Kalahari lions, with a big mane, big body, beautiful condition - a very, very lovely animal,” Loveridge told the Guardian. “Personally, I think it is sad that anyone wants to shoot a lion, but there are people who will pay money to do that.”

Also of Interest

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

In Defense of Caitlin Johnstone

Neoconservatism Is An Omnicidal Death Cult, And It Must Be Stopped

How Trump Defines the Future

Crossing National Public Radio (NPR) Off My List for Health Care Coverage

No water for poor people: the nine Americans who risked jail to seek justice

A Little Night Music

Mickey Baker - After Hours Swing

Mickey Baker - Spinnin' Rock Boogie

Mickey Baker - Shake It Up

Mickey and Sylvia - Love Is Strange

Mickey Baker - Roll 'Em Sam

Mickey & Sylvia - Dearest

Mickey and Sylvia - What Would I Do

Mickey & Sylvia - Sylvia´s Blues

Mickey & Sylvia - Can't Get You On The Phone

Young Jessie w/Mickey Baker - Hit Git & Split

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joe shikspack's picture

i will be scarce around here tonight. i will catch up as time and visiting family allow.

have a great evening, all!

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enhydra lutris's picture

family and have a good evening. Thanks for the Mickey Baker, who, in my brain has the last name "andSylvia" - heh. It is interesting to be thinking of him as an individual, But South of France Blues put that to rest.

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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 --

Seems Pentagon and CIA were feuding in Syria and even had their supported groups fighting against each other. The CIA was more focused on regime change through terror groups, while the Pentagon really wanted to take it to ISIS. In this context, the Pentagon is now ascendant in Syria. They look to be supporting the Kurds big time in invading Raqqa. They want to really achieve a military victory over ISIS. And they don't want their Kurd allies having to fight Al Queda offshoots after that. Looks to me like ISIS will be done gone as any sort of organized military threat in short order. They will revert to being a clandestine terrorist group.

Have to wonder how this is playing out in the backrooms of the deep state. As Greenwald pointed out, regime change in Syria has been thee biggest project of the CIA for the last 5-7 years.

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enhydra lutris's picture

military is better at recruiting more terrorists than eliminating them.

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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 --

Pluto's Republic's picture

Netanyahu was overheard calling it “crazy” for the E.U. to insist that trade with Israel is conditional on Israel’s “respect for human rights and democratic principles” toward the millions of Palestinians it rules in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Netanyahu complained that the European Union is the only association of countries in the world that puts conditions on relations with Israel.

“We have a special relationship with China, and they don’t care,” he added. “I mean, they don’t care about the political issues.”

Americans have better manners. They've been programmed for decades never to mention the systematic criminal abuse of Palestinians. Every member in the US congress gets an all-expense-paid vacation to Israel, where they are taught how to think and vote. For example:

Today is a busy, busy, busy news day. But that one snagged me. It's about time I paid more attention to forbidden topics.

Thanks for the news, joe.

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The political system is what it is because the People are who they are. — Plato
lotlizard's picture

@Pluto's Republic  
Hard to take them seriously when their principles appear to have such a huge Israel-related escape clause.

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Glad to see somebody stick up for Johntone.
My cataract surgery was painless.
My eye is blurry, will see what tomorrow brings in the way of vision clarity, and post surgical pain.
I have someone to drive me where I need to go this weekend.
Enjoy your family.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp
I'd like to take a wee bit of credit for this type of surgery.
I worked for Dr. Andrew Lyle who was a brilliant ophthalmologist who specialized in cataract surgery. He was constantly improving his technique and he traveled the country giving lectures on how to do it. He and I spent hours going over the videos he took during surgery and making sure that they turned out right when he presented them during his lectures.
We worked with cutting edge video equipment at the time, which pales in comparison to what is available today.
He was the first surgeon to do no stitch cataract surgery and this is what most surgeons do today.

This was at the start of my career in ophthalmology and I ended it with working with a group of retinal specialist who were pioneers in their fields.
They created so many techniques to save people's vision when most doctors thought it was hopeless. Including keeping people whose eyes were afflicted by a virus that was usually in people who had AIDS.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

@snoopydawg I knew you were both brilliant AND a saint!
Mann Eye Institute in Houston is where I went and Dr. Michael Mann is the first dr. to use laser cataract removal in the US.
It is truly "all that".
The surgery went off really well.

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." ---- William Casey, CIA Director, 1981

snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp it's just absolutely stunning how much change there has been in ophthalmology since I had to leave the field.
Looks like the only change in cataract surgery is the use of lasers.

Digital fundus (retinal) cameras sure made my easier because I didn't have to spend hours in the darkroom developing and printing the films. The doctors could see the test results immediately and no longer had to wait for me to do the darkroom work.

This was a fascinating career and even more so because I trained myself for it. Sigh. I'd give anything to be able to go back to work.

That's great that your surgeon was the first in Texas to use laser for surgery. Did he use video equipment and film your surgery? We used to give our patients a copy if they wanted it.

Good luck tomorrow and hopefully you will have a great result from your surgery. Patients used to tell us how vibrant colors were after their surgery. Most people lose their vision slowly and don't realize the changes.

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp I looked to see if Andy was still at the eye institute and saw that the little girl I once knew was the first woman in the USA to use a laser for cataract surgery.
She was 3 years old when I left the clinic.
Small world. Your doctor and this woman doctor being the first people to use a laser for cataract surgery.
6 degrees of separation for us?

0 users have voted.

Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

snoopydawg's picture

The return of McCarthy era propaganda has almost come full circle.

While reading the article about the CFPB, I finally understand why TPTB wanted Trump over Hillary. There was no way that Hillary would have appointed people to cabinet positions who want to destroy those departments.
Every person who is in charge of their departments have a record of being against what they do and stand for.
Imagine the uproar if Hillary had appointed these types of people. The left would finally lose all hope that there is any difference between the two parties.
The continuing wars don't matter since Hillary was running on creating a no fly zone over Syria which would need to have 70,000 troops in Syria. This is what she told the bank CEOs at one of her paid speeches. Why would a bank CEO want to know the details about the Syrian war? You know why. Profits.

Anyone think I'm wrong about this, feel free to tell me that I'm all wet Smile

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Azazello's picture

and we're almost there.
[video: width:500 height:300]

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We wanted decent healthcare, a living wage and free college.
The Democrats gave us Biden and war instead.

The guts it takes to be asked to be 2nd Source. Be the First Choice. Third will be fatal, or nearly so, avoid that like a communicable disease. Those experienced, only have pity.

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Fighting for democratic principles,... well, since forever

Everyone knows: You banish what you most fear, as a child. Making iit irrelevant is adulthood.

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Fighting for democratic principles,... well, since forever

divineorder's picture

jakkalbessie just found this sickening piece of news....

We have visited that refuge, really sad to learn this.
Bernie Sanders has promoted the Public Option as a next step, but this is not a good idea according to this interesting piece:

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

divineorder's picture


0 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.