The Evening Blues - 7-31-20


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

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Texas blues guitarist Clarence Gatemouth Brown. Enjoy!

Clarence Gatemouth Brown - Midnight Hour

"Mainstream Democrats and Republicans are violent extremists whose murderous ideology has caused orders of magnitude more death and destruction than any government-designated “terrorist” group."

-- Caitlin Johnstone

News and Opinion

The Unemployment Crisis Is a True National Emergency

Our rulers did demonstrate a spasm of rationality with the passage of the CARES Act in March. It was partly a cash-grab by big business but did get lots of people a $1,200 check and provided an extra $600 per week in federal unemployment benefits on top of state benefits. Without these benefits, the 30 million people who lost their jobs in March and April would have already plummeted into the void ...

The GOP opening bid is to extend them but to cut the amount from $600 to $200. The reason, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin explained in the Oval Office, is to prevent malingering: “We’re going to make sure that we don’t pay people more money to stay home than go to work.” In addition, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that the Republican “red line” in negotiations is making it essentially impossible for employees to sue employers on the grounds that their workplace is failing to protect them from Covid-19. Furthermore, under the proposed new rules, employers and even the Trump Justice Department would find it easy to countersue workers for bringing a coronavirus lawsuit.

Rationally, of course, this makes no sense. For most of the unemployed, there aren’t any jobs to go back to, and won’t be until the pandemic is under control. If their unemployment benefits are cut, people without jobs will desperately cut back on spending, leading to more unemployment, which will lead to less spending, and so on. ... But beyond an emergency, it’s also politically inexplicable. Donald Trump and Republicans in general are presumably aware that there’s an election this November, and that they’ll do better if Americans aren’t dying in the street. Just their crass self-interest should lead them to throw as much money at everyone as fast as possible. But they’re not doing so. ...

Today conservative U.S. elites live their mental lives protected by an almost impenetrable carapace of wealth and power. None of the people they meet at fundraisers are about to be thrown into the street, so therefore no one is. There are no stories on Fox News about children experiencing brain damage from malnutrition, thus such children don’t exist. If anyone knows what to do about this, now’s definitely the time to speak up. U.S. politics have always been a matter of life and death for some Americans. But the waters are rising fast, and a lot more people are about to find out it’s a matter of life and death for them too.

More at the link.

Understanding American Elites Means Understanding Predators

American elites are not incompetent at what matters to them.

People constantly make ridiculous statements like, “The American government has been incompetent in its handling of Covid-19.”

Anyone who makes such a statement reveals that they do not understand how the US operates.

Fact: According the Princeton oligarchy study, almost the only thing that matters in what policies government pursues in the US is what elite factions want.

Fact: Covid-19 has made the rich in the US much, much richer. ...

If it was just incompetence, like for example, the favorite excuse of liberals, “Never assume malice when incompetence will explain something,” then they wouldn’t keep getting more and more money.

Somehow their “incompetence” just makes them richer. Even the financial crisis made the elites richer overall–the drop was a blip which allowed them to control more of the economy than before. ...

At the end of this, US elites will control a larger percentage of the US economy than before. They will be richer and more powerful. And if that means tens of millions of Americans are homeless and hungry, then that is a price US elites are willing for you to pay.

If you deserved better, you’d be rich. You aren’t, so you don’t.

Your lords and masters kill you for money. That’s their function.

Demands for Kushner to Resign Over 'Staggering' Level of 'Depravity' That Put Politics Before Public Health

In the wake of devastating new reporting by Vanity Fair, a chorus of voices Friday called for the immediate resignation of Jared Kushner, a top White House advisor and the son-in-law of President Donald Trump, for disastrous—and deadly—failures by the administration that appear to have put the political desires of the president above the public health needs of the American people.

The Vanity Fair article takes an exhaustive look at decisions made and actions taken by a secretive task force led by Kushner that was charged with implementing an "aggressive, coordinated national COVID-19 response"—including a federal testing regime that would help stem the spread of the virus. What the investigation uncovered, according to reporter Katherine Eban, was an ultimately "aborted plan" for a far-reaching national testing strategy and a deliberative process that "began not with public health experts but with bankers and billionaires."

While the plan itself devised by the team Kushner put together was characterized as "imperfect" but "a starting point," the most shocking revelations have to do with why the strategy, which members of the unit believed would head straight to Trump's desk and then be rolled out nationwide with large fanfare in early April, suddenly seemed to disappear—like "poof into thin air," said one participant in the effort.

As Eban reports:

the prospect of launching a large-scale national plan was losing favor, said one public health expert in frequent contact with the White House's official coronavirus task force.

Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner's team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. "The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy," said the expert.

That logic may have swayed Kushner. "It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out," the expert said.

On April 27, Trump stepped to a podium in the Rose Garden, flanked by members of his coronavirus task force and leaders of America’s big commercial testing laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, and finally announced a testing plan: It bore almost no resemblance to the one that had been forged in late March, and shifted the problem of diagnostic testing almost entirely to individual states.

While the veracity of such claims cannot be verified—and Kushner refused to answer a detailed set of questions or be interviewed by Vanity Fair—the implications of such a decision speak for themselves and drew immediate outrage and a demand for accountability.

"Imagine the administration had intel on an imminent terrorist attack that would kill over 100,000 people, and chose to do nothing because it was politically easier," tweeted Matt Duss, foreign policy advisor for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), on his personal account. "That's what we have here. We need to be talking about accountability. For all of it."

According to Duss, simply voting Trump out of office in November would not count as holding administration officials responsible for this kind of behavior.

"No, losing the election doesn't qualify as accountability," Duss said. "Over 100,000 Americans are dead because of these people's incompetence and viciousness. I know the idea of prosecuting the previous administration makes some uncomfortable. Time to start getting over that."

Trump's Vaccine Chief Picks His Own Former Employer—Where He Still Holds Millions Worth of Stock—for $2.1 Billion Deal

The White House on Friday awarded a record-breaking $2.1 billion contract for development of a Covid-19 vaccine, raising questions about a former pharmaceutical executive's involvement in the administration's decision.

The deal is for 100 million doses of a vaccine manufactured by Sanofi, a French drug maker, and its British partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

As Fortune reported:

The deal follows billions of dollars of U.S. commitments to other experimental vaccines—all still needing to show their effectiveness in testing—and may stoke concerns that other countries will be left behind. Vaccines are seen as the key to leading the world out of the pandemic that has killed about 675,000 people in a matter of months.

Dr. Moncef Slaoui, a former GSK executive, is head of the White House's Operation Warp Speed, the administration's program to develop and disburse an effective coronavirus vaccine. Slaoui's connection to his former company has been the focus of concern from advocacy groups and politicians skeptical of his claims of neutrality.

According to the New York Times:

Dr. Slaoui is not a federal employee, instead working under a $1 contract that exempts him from federal rules that would require him to list his outside positions, stock holdings and other potential conflicts. Dr. Slaoui said in an interview in May that he was determined to avoid any conflicts of interest, but that his GSK stock represented his retirement from 29 years at the company, and that he had told federal officials he would not take the job if he had to sell it.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) raised concerns over Slaoui's ties to GSK in May.

"It is a huge conflict of interest for the White House's new vaccine czar to own $10 million of stock in a company receiving government funding to develop a Covid-19 vaccine," Warren tweeted. "Dr. Slaoui should divest immediately."

As Common Dreams reported, the former executive's refusal to relinquish his shares in the company made the process of awarding a contract a "sham," in the words of former Office of Government Ethics director Walter Shaub.

"You can't have a contractor supervising government officials," said Shaub.

'We’ll take care of it' | Trump threatens to send National Guard to Portland

Federal agents show stronger force at Portland protests despite order to withdraw

Federal agents accused of behaving like an occupying army were expected to begin pulling out of central Portland, Oregon, on Thursday in an embarrassing climbdown by the White House. But on Wednesday night the forces that have been dubbed by some as “Trump’s troops” made it clear they did not intend to leave quietly.

The Department of Homeland Security paramilitaries guarding the federal courthouse in downtown Portland that has become the focus of protests fired teargas, projectiles and stun grenades into the early hours of Thursday morning against hundreds of demonstrators.

Some protesters turned out to proclaim victory over the paramilitaries sent to the city by the US president. The federal agents then drove the demonstrators back several blocks in a stronger use of force than other recent nights, and made more arrests.

The announcement by Oregon’s governor, Kate Brown, earlier on Wednesday that she had secured an agreement with the White House for most of the federal forces to withdraw from the courthouse, and for it to be guarded by state police instead, was greeted with a mix of glee and scepticism by the protesters.

Other demonstrators were sceptical that the federal agents would really leave after the head of US homeland security said they would remain in the area until they were sure the courthouse was protected. However, Brown said that was no more than an attempt by the White House to save face after what amounted to a defeat for Trump’s attempt to use federal forces for political ends. She told Oregon public radio “the plan is very, very clear” and that the federal agents “will be out of downtown Portland from Thursday”.

NYPD demonstrates its skill at fascist policing with the blessing of Democrat Mayor Bill DiBlasio.

Plainclothes NYC police grab protester and throw her into unmarked car

Shock and anger quickly spread online Tuesday as video posted on social media showed a group of armed men in street clothes snatching a young protester off the street and trundling her into an unmarked van during a peaceful demonstration against police violence in New York City. While the men refused to identify themselves at the scene of the kidnapping, the New York Police Department (NYPD) later identified them as members of the police force’s plainclothes Warrant Squad. ...

The NYPD played down the unconstitutional arrest, claiming the Warrant Squad routinely uses “unmarked vehicles to effectively locate wanted suspects.” But it is clear that the abduction of 18-year-old Nikki Stone was intended to send a signal to demonstrators, as well as the Trump administration, that the New York police are more than capable of cracking down on protests without direct federal intervention. Trump has repeatedly threatened to deploy federal forces to Democratic-controlled cities throughout the country, including New York, to suppress demonstrations that have continued since the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25. There have been reports of federal police in Detroit and other cities.

Nikki Stone is a homeless youth who has been participating in protests throughout the city. The authorities have justified her chilling arrest—which bystanders took to be a kidnapping—with allegations of vandalism, including spray painting the lenses of police cameras around City Hall Park. She was released from police custody early Wednesday and charged with several counts of graffiti painting and criminal mischief.

The city’s Democratic mayor, Bill de Blasio, responded to the arrest by upholding the “right” of non-uniformed, unidentified NYPD officers to grab peaceful protesters off the street, while mildly criticizing the timing of the arrest. “This is not Portland,” he said. “I want to emphasize what you see on that video are NYPD officers, federal agencies are not involved! I think it was the wrong time and place to effectuate that arrest. … I want to affirm very clearly, no one is allowed to damage police property. … If you damage property it will lead to consequences.”

Michael Brown shooting: officer will not be charged, top prosecutor says

The former police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, will not be charged over the killing – a dramatic decision that could reopen old wounds amid a renewed and intense national conversation about racial injustice and the police treatment of minorities.

St Louis county’s top prosecutor, Wesley Bell, made the announcement on Thursday, describing it as “one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do”. Bell said that his office conducted a five-month review of witness statements, forensic reports and other evidence before reaching the decision.

It was nearly six years ago that a grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot Brown, a Black 18-year-old. Civil rights leaders and Brown’s mother had hoped that Bell, the county’s first Black prosecutor, would reopen the case after he took office in January 2019.

“My heart breaks” for Michael’s parents, Bell said during a news conference. “I know this is not the result they were looking for and that their pain will continue forever.”

Bell continued: “The question for this office was a simple one. Could we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that when Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown he committed murder or manslaughter under Missouri law. After an independent and in-depth review of the evidence, we cannot prove that he did.”

But, he said, “our investigation does not exonerate Darren Wilson”.

Krystal and Saagar: Epstein Docs UNSEALED, Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, Dershowitz NAMED

Pompous Maximus mischaracterizes his military service. Democrats retain their credibility as warmongering assholes.

Democrats and Republicans take aim at Pompeo over US troop withdrawal from Germany

The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw nearly 12,000 troops from Germany has come under bipartisan attack in the Senate, amid warnings it would disrupt US alliances.

The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, fended off insistent questions in the Senate on Thursday, and in so doing, falsely claimed to have fought along the East German border when he was stationed there as an army lieutenant in the late 1980s. There was no fighting in Germany during the cold war.

The Pentagon has insisted the withdrawal was ordered as part as an overall strategic repositioning of US forces abroad, but Donald Trump made clear that he saw it as punishment of Germany for not spending enough on defence. Pompeo said that the state department had been part of the discussion about the redeployment, which involves 6,400 soldiers being brought to the US and another 5,500 being placed elsewhere in Europe, mostly Belgium and Italy.

Questioning Pompeo at a hearing of the Senate foreign relations committee, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen said: “The only country that has publicly supported the removal of US troops from Germany today has been Russia.”

US economy suffers worst quarter since the second world war as GDP shrinks by 32.9%

The US economy shrank by an annual rate of 32.9% between April and June, its sharpest contraction since the second world war, government figures revealed on Thursday, as more signs emerged of the coronavirus pandemic’s heavy toll on the country’s economy. The record-setting quarterly fall in economic growth compared to the same time last year came as another 1.43 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, a second week of rises after a four-month decline.

The annualized figure is the largest drop in quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) – the broadest measure of the economy – since records began in 1945. Economists expect the rate to improve sharply later this year but the outlook has been clouded by the recent rise in infections across the US. ...

US GDP shrank 8.4% in the worst quarter of 2008, the height of the last recession, according to Credit Suisse. The previous record came in 1958 when economic growth fell 10% during the Eisenhower recession.

Krystal and Saagar: Trump FOLDS In Bailout Negotiations, Senate Leaves Town, MILLIONS Face Eviction

GOP Condemned for 'Playing With the Lives of 30 Million People' as Economic Recovery Sputters and Benefits Expire

On May 11, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters that he had "not yet felt the urgency" of passing another Covid-19 relief package despite skyrocketing unemployment claims and warnings of a prolonged economic recession.

Now, more than two months later, persistent inaction by the Republican-controlled Senate has pushed 30 million Americans to the brink of a steep financial cliff as federally enhanced unemployment benefits are set to lapse in just 24 hours barring a last-minute deal in Congress that appears all but impossible.

In recent weeks, McConnell justified delaying passage of another stimulus bill on the grounds that state reopenings could jumpstart the U.S. economy, rendering another relief package unnecessary.

But that prediction has not borne out; Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned Wednesday that the "pace of recovery looks like it has slowed."

"There's probably going to be a long tail where a large number of people are struggling to get back to work," Powell said as coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continue to surge across the nation, forcing states to pause their nascent reopenings.

On Thursday, the Commerce Department announced that the U.S. economy shrank at a record-shattering 32.9% annual rate last quarter. New Labor Department numbers also out Thursday showed that 1.43 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total number of people in the U.S. who are either receiving unemployment insurance (UI) or waiting for approval to more than 33 million.

"The policy response to this should be clear," Josh Bivens, research director at the Economic Policy Institute, wrote in a blog post Thursday. "Congress and the president need to restore the extra $600 in unemployment insurance so long as the job market remains damaged, and needs to provide large-scale, flexible aid to state and local governments to keep the coming revenue shortfalls facing these governments from translating into spending cuts and austerity."

Economist Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, called the new Commerce Department numbers the "ugliest GDP report any of us have ever seen."

"Really sorry for yelling at you at 8:46 am," Bernstein added in an all-caps tweet, "but vital, enhanced UI benefits expire tomorrow because congressional Republicans failed to extend them. 'Malpractice' is far too weak a word for this epic, cruel failure."

It remains to be seen whether the ominous new economic figures will spur congressional negotiators to reach a deal to prevent the federal unemployment lifeline from lapsing for at least a week, causing a massive drop in income for tens of millions of people.

"We are nowhere close to a deal," White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Wednesday after leaving a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). ...

After refusing to put forth his own plan for months and blocking House Democrats' proposal to extend the $600-per-week unemployment payments through January of next year, McConnell on Wednesday attempted to blame Pelosi for the coming lapse in benefits—a narrative Democrats immediately rejected.

"Let's get a few things clear: This is happening because when House Democrats passed an extension 10 weeks ago Senate Republicans said they needed a 'pause,'" tweeted Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.). "Then they didn't do a single thing until it was too late. Then they introduced a bill that is terrible, stupid, and unworkable. Even the Republicans hate their own bill, there is nearly universal agreement that it is bad policy."

"The Republicans are playing with the lives of 30 million people," Beyer added, "not to mention the recovery of the entire U.S. economy."

California landlords are locking out struggling tenants. A 'tsunami of evictions' may be next

Some California tenants have faced increasingly aggressive eviction efforts over the last month, despite emergency protections meant to preserve people’s housing during the coronavirus pandemic. And although advocates have urged state officials to strengthen the rules, key renters’ protections are set to expire without new state plans in place.

The result, experts say, could be catastrophic.

Amid rising coronavirus infections and a worsening economic crisis, hundreds of thousands of renters are now at risk of becoming homeless in California, potentially exacerbating the state’s dire housing crisis. In addition, advocates fear the lack of protections will embolden some landlords to resort to hostile methods to get their renters out, at a time when many Californians have nowhere to go. With so many families facing huge rent debt, advocates are urging the state to act. The only viable solution, some activists say, is rent relief – a move that elected officials have so far resisted.

“When talking about the scale of eviction and mass displacement, it’s pretty unimaginable,” said Ananya Roy, director of the Institute on Inequality and Democracy at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The state, she said, was headed towards even more dire conditions than the shanty towns or “Hoovervilles” of the 1930s. “This will be worse than the Great Depression.” ...

Experts are now predicting a “tsunami of evictions”. UCLA researchers have estimated that 495,000 households are at risk of eviction in Los Angeles county. In Silicon Valley, one of the wealthiest regions in the world, 43,000 households are at high risk of eviction, and even if just 10% of them end up homeless, that could triple the region’s unhoused population, one recent report estimated. “We were in a crisis before. Now we are in a catastrophe,” said Trinidad Ruiz, an LA Tenants Union (LATU) organizer.

Neglected, Sacrificed: Over 65 During the Pandemic

Covid-19 is devastating on older persons. The numbers are staggering, more than 80 percent of the fatalities due to coronavirus in the U.S. and East Asia occurred among adults aged 65 and over. In Europe and Australia, the figures are even higher, 94 and 97 percent of the deaths were people aged 60 and over. However, when contagions spread, older people were denied access to beds and ventilators, despite being the most vulnerable group.

Human rights experts were alarmed by the decisions made around the use of scarce medical resources in hospitals and intensive care units, discriminating solely based on age. Despite being helpless and most at risk, older persons were not prioritized; they were de facto sacrificed, denied treatment and emergency support. “Older people have the same rights to life and heath as everyone else. Difficult decisions around life-saving medical care must respect the human rights and dignity of all,” stated the UN secretary-general, deeply concerned about events during the pandemic.

About half of the coronavirus casualties in high income countries were in care homes, though this is an underestimation because originally official death tolls did not include those who had died outside hospitals without a Covid-19 test done. Most countries reported insufficient protective equipment and testing in care homes for both residents and care workers. Thousands were infected of coronavirus in nursing homes, and while some staff heroically worked in dangerous conditions, others did not. Staff absenteeism added to real horror stories. ...

In the U.S., more than 38,000 older persons have died in residences because of Covid-19 and many families have filed lawsuits against nursing homes for wrongful death and gross negligence. ... In the U.S., nursing homes and long-term care operators have been lobbying state and federal legislators across the U.S. to pass laws giving them broad immunity, denying responsibility for conditions inside care homes during Covid-19. Nineteen states have recently enacted laws or gubernatorial executive orders granting nursing homes protection from civil liability in connection with Covid-19. Nobody is responsible for the suffering of thousands of older persons who died alone in care homes.

Coronavirus deaths climb in US as new cases appear to plateau

While deaths from the coronavirus in the US are growing, some public health experts are noting a second surge of confirmed cases now appears to be leveling off into a plateau.

Over the past week, the average number of deaths a day in the US has climbed more than 25%, from 843 to 1,057. Florida on Thursday reported 253 more deaths, setting its third straight single-day record. The number of confirmed infections nationwide has topped 4.4m.

But based on a seven-day rolling average compiled by the Associated Press, daily cases of the coronavirus in the US fell from 67,317 on July 22 to 65,266 on Wednesday, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University. That is a decline of about 3%, though still a very high level of infection.

Scientists aren’t celebrating and warn the trend is driven by four big, hard-hit places – Arizona, California, Florida and Texas – and that cases are now rising in close to 30 states in all, with the outbreak’s center of gravity now seemingly shifting from sunbelt states toward the midwest.

Some experts also wonder whether the apparent caseload improvements will endure. Nor is it clear when – or if – deaths might start coming down, as they are a lagging indicator that could keep rising even while new cases level off or fall.

Dr. Robert Gallo on Vaccines, Plus the Democrats' Campaign Strategy | Useful Idiots

Herman Cain Dies of Coronavirus

Former presidential candidate and businessman Herman Cain has died at the age of 74 after a monthlong battle with the coronavirus, according to his website.

Cain, a former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2012, attended President Donald Trump’s much-criticized Tulsa, Oklahoma rally on June 20, which drew about 6,000 people. A co-chair for the group Black Voices for Trump, Cain sent out a tweet that day with an image of himself surrounded by a bunch of people not wearing masks (including himself).

the horse race

Trump backpedals on delaying election but persists in objecting to mail-in votes

the evening greens

With Dirty Energy Sector Crashing, Nearly 70 Groups Urge Fed to Stop Buying Up Wasteful Fossil Fuel Industry Debt

A coalition of nearly 70 advocacy organizations is demanding that the Federal Reserve immediately stop using its emergency Covid-19 lending facilities to buy up fossil fuel debt, warning that rescuing the faltering oil and gas industry is both a bad investment of public money and disastrous for the climate.

The Federal Reserve Board's "decision to use public funds to subsidize the fossil fuel sector exposes the nation to significant financial losses, both due to sunk costs in failed projects and the fallout from lawsuits over environmental catastrophe," wrote 69 environmental, religious, and economic justice organizations in a letter (pdf) to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday.

"The board should not be purchasing the debts of firms that accelerate climate change by expanding fossil fuels, create real risks of local environmental catastrophe, and threaten the lands of Indigenous people," the letter reads. "The board's investment in these firms means the public now also shares a part of these risks."

The groups point to a July 17 report by the non-partisan think tank InfluenceMap showing that the Fed has purchased around $748 million in fossil fuel industry bonds since the launch of its sprawling bailout effort in May.

"The Fed has previously warned of the financial risks of fossil fuels, as well as the monetary damages associated with environmental catastrophe," Collin Rees, senior campaigner at Oil Change International, said in a statement. "But the Fed is now investing public dollars in the debt of the same companies it warned others about."

"Instead of intensifying risks to financial stability by supporting the fossil fuel sector," said Rees, "the Fed needs to reduce systemic risk during this health and economic crisis and stop boosting the industry driving climate devastation."

Air pollution remains worst in US communities of color despite progress

Wealthy white Americans are still getting to breathe cleaner air than lower-income communities of color, despite significant nationwide reductions in pollution since the 1980s, according to a new study. Fine particle pollution – which is 2.5 micrometers or smaller – has fallen an average of about 70% since 1981. But air pollution is not equally distributed around America.

In general, the gap between communities with the cleanest and dirtiest air has narrowed. Still, the already disadvantaged parts of the US continue to have the worst air. The most polluted census tracts in 1981 remained the most polluted in 2016, according to the peer-reviewed research in the journal Science.

Southern California in particular struggles with dirtier air from highways, fossil fuel operations and industrial facilities.

Also of Interest

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

Federal Agents at Protests Lead To Renewed Calls to Dismantle Homeland Security

Boeing CEO Confident in Military Spending No Matter Who Wins November Election

Bolivians Join Mass Marches Against Election Delay by Right-Wing Coup Government

Lawmakers Warn 'Onerous' New USPS Loan Terms Imposed by Mnuchin 'Could Accelerate Demise of Postal Service'

The Real Deep State Power Grab: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

A Little Night Music

Clarence Gatemouth Brown - St. Louis Blues

Clarence Gatemouth Brown - Gate's Salty Blues

Clarence Gatemouth Brown - Better Off With The Blues

Roy Clark & Clarence Gatemouth Brown - Take The A Train

Clarence Gatemouth Brown - Sometimes I Slip

Clarence Gatemouth Brown - Honky-Tonk

Clarence Gatemouth Brown - Okie Dokie Stomp

Clarence Gatemouth Brown - Boogie Uproar

Albert Collins & Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown - Frosty

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown - Live Jazzfestival Bern (1994)

17 users have voted.


My family was evicted once when I was around 13-ish. I can't remember if a person from Sheriff's office was there. If some cop is required, evictions could take a long time to happen there are so many. How are landlords going to replace tenants when nobody has a job? Better to negotiate lowered rent instead? I would look for empty houses, break in, and squat. There must some squatter's handbook somewhere.

God abandoned fire and brim stone when She/He wanted to destroy some nation or people. Nope, I think God's tactic is to say "here you dumb shits, kill yourselves off with your own stupidity, greed, and vanity". Although if I had to go, I won't mind a quick transformation into a pillar of salt the old fashioned way. Funeral expenses would be minimal.

8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


typically, evictions are attended by (armed) sheriffs who deal with recalcitrant tenants. if things get really ugly, the swat team is called in.

on the other hand, there have been successful community actions where the authorities are blocked from evicting people for a time.

i think that landlords generally feel that having tenants puts wear and tear on a property and given the choice of having tenants paying less than enough income to pay the landlord's debt burden or kicking them out and having no income (or wear and tear) - they will choose the latter.

heh, lots of luck with that pillar of salt thing. (pun intended)

6 users have voted.

Met Roy Clark in St. Pete many moons ago
at the St. Pete Yacht club. Charming fellow.
Also, used to hang out with Gatemouth
at a tiny dive bar in New Orleans, a short
trolly ride down Carrollton to the levee.
Good times.

5 users have voted.


Cooter Brown's

Can't believe it is still there 40 years on

a sampling of their menu...

slap yo' mama good!

5 users have voted.


Perhaps Gatemouth and Cooter are related?

Check out the Coonass special!

6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


if there is a person named cooter brown, but the name itself is kind of a folk legend.

6 users have voted.

@joe shikspack

explains why the name cooter brown
not known why gatemouth brown would have
inhabited the place, but I like frothy stories
the barmaid, my neighbor, introduced us

thanks js

4 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture


thanks, have a great weekend!

5 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

and then turn your back on those who believed in you and now say that people are whining too much about how hard government is...

Rest of comment not suitable for the public.

8 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

joe shikspack's picture


yes, yes, it is young people who don't vote that are to blame for all of america's ills. it's certainly not war criminal former presidents who were bought and paid for by wall street and couldn't bestir themselves to prosecute a massive fraud committed by wall street on their watch.

eat my shorts, obama.

10 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg
It is not on youtube?
Oops audio file podcast. Sorry. Never mind.

1 user has voted.
mimi's picture

already in 2008 at Bethesda-Chevy Chase Highschool in 2008. It was then and there I gave up on the Obamas. I can't link to the page anymore. Not available in my country anymore.

2 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

I tried to find a version of this story other than the U.K. newspaper The Sun, whose Bild-Zeitung-like sensationalist presentation non-verbally / subliminally tends to play up the “Ooh, look at the scary Black man, this is why people even in gated communities need to have guns in the house” angle.

No can do. The Florida newspapers and TV stations at the top of search results all block access and throw up that “We value our readers in the EU” b.s. box.

They should just come out and say, “We’re blocking all of your broke-ass European ilk because bringing our advertisers’ data collection into line with the EU’s data privacy law would cost us money.”

4 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

always fun.

Thought I'd just emphasize this headline (and the article) for the record: 7/31 - Coronavirus deaths climb in US as new cases appear to plateau. That implies, that as of now, the death rate is climbing, not falling.

be well and have a good one

Have a great weekend.

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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 --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

heh, i think that would also indicate that the "case mortality rate" that trump was trying to confuse the issue with is also rising.

have a great weekend!

3 users have voted.