The Evening Blues - 7-9-18


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features gospel singer and guitarist Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Enjoy!

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Rock Me

“I would not know how I am supposed to feel about many stories if not for the fact that the TV news personalities make sad faces for sad stories and happy faces for happy stories. ”
-- Dave Barry

News and Opinion

MSNBC Does Not Merely Permit Fabrications Against Democratic Party Critics. It Encourages and Rewards Them.

During the 2016 primary and general election campaigns, various MSNBC hosts were openly campaigning for Hillary Clinton. One of the network’s programs featured Malcolm Nance, whose background is quite sketchy but who is presented by the cable network (and now by NBC News) as an “intelligence expert” and former intelligence officer for the U.S. Navy. On August 20, 2016, weekend host Joy Reid asked Nance about the supposed “affinity” for Russia harbored by Jill Stein supporters. In response, Nance told MSNBC viewers: “Jill Stein has a show on Russia Today.”

... [S]ubsequently, a campaign was launched to urge MSNBC to correct the lie that MSNBC broadcast. ... To date – almost two years later – neither NBC News nor MSNBC, nor a single journalist who works for either one of those media outlets – has corrected this significant falsehood, despite obviously knowing that it was broadcast to their viewers. In other words, NBC News and MSNBC knows that it told its viewers something that was materially false, and yet refuses to correct it. Please, defenders of this network: tell me what that says about its integrity, about its real function, about whether it is a real news outlet. ...

This week I [Glenn Greenwald] traveled to Moscow to meet with Edward Snowden as well as to participate in a cyber-security conference, on a panel regarding “fake news” that included Alexei Venediktov, famous in Russia as a fierce critic of the Putin government in his position as editor-in-chief of “Ekcho Moskvy” radio station, along with Giovanni Zagni, the head of an Italian website dedicated to checking politicians’ statements who is working with Facebook to determine “Fake News.” (The Intercept paid for my travel and I was paid no fee for the trip). The panel was moderated by RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan, and it also included Sergey Nalobin, Acting Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Given the presence of harsh Putin critics on the panel, the discussion included severe criticisms of both the U.S. and Russian governments, their propensity to lie, and their desire to control the internet. ...

[I]n two tweets, [Nance] outright lied about me on purpose, telling his 420,000 Twitter followers that I am “an agent of Moscow” and am “deep in the Kremlin pocket.” He further lied by stating that I “helped Snowden defect” and that I “reports into [my] masters in Moscow.”

None of Nance’s statements here is opinion. These claims – especially that I am an “agent of Moscow” and “deep in the Kremlin pocket” – are intended to be factual statements: that I work for, and am paid by, Russia and the Kremlin, and that I aided Edward Snowden in “defecting” to Moscow. They are all outright lies. There is no other way to describe them. Thus far, his tweet has been re-tweeted by close to 5,000 people. After I noted that they were lies, Nance re-affirmed them and said how proud he was to have broadcast them. Nance knows that he is free to lie this way with impunity. That’s because he works for an organization – MSNBC – that masquerades as a news outlet but actively encourages its employees to lie this way about anyone who criticizes the Democratic Party.

Nation Horrified To Learn Child-Killing Death Merchants Have Racist Employee

Northrop Grumman, one of the largest weapons manufacturers on the planet, was trending on Twitter yesterday. People are furious at the war profiteering death merchants, and are demanding an immediate change in its behavior. Not because it is an immensely powerful corporation which uses its influence to promote the consumption of machinery that tears apart human bodies. Not because people were horrified by its reported $25.8 billion in revenue last year. Not because Northrop Grumman often spends more money lobbying Washington to advance its interests than any other publicly traded entity. Not because the corporation once gave one of its lobbyists a $500,000 bonus right before he left to become a congressional staffer responsible for shaping US military policy, a position to which he was appointed by a legislator who just so happened to be the recipient of large amounts of Northrop Grumman campaign cash.

No, the widespread outrage at Northrop Grumman was because the prolific lobbyists for an industry which facilitates the slaughter of innocent civilians every single day had hired a man who is a white supremacist.

It is not my intention here to be dismissive of America’s ongoing, centuries-spanning struggle with the racism upon which the nation was built. Northrop Grumman systems engineer Michael Miselis is reported by ProPublica and FRONTLINE to be affiliated with the violent white supremacist Rise Above Movement and was reportedly seen attacking counter-protesters at two RAM gatherings last year, including Charlottesville. This is no minor thing. Neo-Nazis are evil and their ideology should be forcefully rejected.

That said, it is also true that employing a violent bigot probably ranks among the least detestable things that Northrop Grumman has ever done.

Prosecutors Drop All Remaining Charges Against Trump Inauguration Protesters After 'Epic Failure' to Prove Wrongdoing

More than three dozen defendants in the year-long #DisruptJ20 trial celebrated Friday evening after prosecutors dismissed all remaining charges against them, following a number of failures to prove the protesters were guilty of wrongdoing.

"The state failed at silencing dissent and today our movement is stronger than it was on #J20," tweeted Dylan Petrohilos, who was charged with conspiracy, rioting, and destruction due to his participation in planning to protest—even though he did not attend. "I'm proud of all my co-defendants, and everyone in the streets who resisted fascism and state violence."

The Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped charges against 38 people who were among the 234 arrested on January 20, 2017 at a protest against President Donald Trump's inauguration. Some of the charges had carried sentences of more than 60 years in prison. The government initially charged the protesters with felony rioting, but were able to secure only one guilty plea to the charge. Twenty pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges. ...

Prosecutors also came under scrutiny for relying on videos shot by the right-wing group Project Veritas to build their case—leading to a judge's ruling in the trial of 10 protesters in May, that the government had withheld evidence.

UK woman dies after being exposed to nerve agent novichok

A woman who was exposed to the nerve agent novichok in Amesbury, Wiltshire, has died in hospital. The Metropolitan police have launched a murder investigation after Dawn Sturgess, 44, from Durrington, died on Sunday after handling an item contaminated with the nerve agent on 30 June.

Her partner Charlie Rowley, 45, who was also taken ill after being exposed to the nerve agent, remains in a critical condition in hospital.

The investigation into the poisonings is being led by detectives from the Counter Terrorism Policing Network, and about 100 detectives are working alongside officers from Wiltshire police. Investigators are still trying to determine how the couple were exposed to the nerve agent after emergency services were called to a residential address in Amesbury eight days ago after Sturgess collapsed.

Brexit secretary David Davis resigns plunging Theresa May's government into crisis

David Davis has resigned as Brexit secretary, shattering the hard-won consensus around Theresa May’s Chequers deal and plunging her government into crisis. His resignation was swiftly followed by that of fellow Department for Exiting the EU ministers Steve Baker and Suella Braverman. It forces May to reshuffle her government, at the same time as trying to convince backbenchers to support her plan.

Davis sent a bluntly worded resignation letter to Theresa May, saying he would not be a “reluctant conscript” to her plan, which was “certainly not returning control of our laws in any real sense”. Davis has told friends he cannot live with the soft Brexit stance agreed between ministers on Friday, which proposes a “UK-EU free trade area”, governed by a “common rule book”.

Davis is said to have been “livid” about hostile briefing from senior figures in Downing Street about how Brexiters would be treated at Chequers – including suggestions they would be given the number of a local taxi firm if they chose to resign.

Theresa May will now have to confront furious pro-Brexit MPs in parliament on Monday, knowing she has lost the backing of one of the leavers’ champions in government. The prime minister is facing a growing backlash from the pro-Brexit wing of her party, with MPs warning they are prepared to trigger a leadership contest.

If at least 48 MPs send letters to Sir Graham Brady, chair of the powerful backbench 1922 committee, he would have to call a vote of no confidence – though many of May’s supporters in the parliamentary party believe she could win it.

ritish Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigns

May's plan 'sticks in the throat', says Boris Johnson as he resigns over Brexit

Boris Johnson has quit as foreign secretary claiming in his resignation letter that the UK was headed “for the status of a colony” if Theresa May’s soft Brexit plans were adopted. The leading Brexiter said that he tried to support the line agreed at Chequers on Friday but said that while the “government now has a song to sing” he could not manage to support the plan agreed.

“The trouble is that I have practiced the words over the weekend and find that they stick in the throat,” Johnson wrote. “Since I cannot in all conscience champion these proposals, I have sadly concluded that I must go.”

Johnson was the third minister to quit in 24 hours following the Chequers deal, although his resignation was announced by Downing Street at 3pm before the outgoing foreign secretary had a chance to complete his letter. ...

After the Chequers summit, it emerged that Johnson had referred to attempts to sell May’s Brexit plan as being akin to “polishing a turd”. As the flamboyant public face of the Vote Leave campaign, his departure will deepen the sense of crisis around May, and increase the chances that she could face a vote of no confidence.

Why Mexican Farmers Are Hopeful About López Obrador’s Win

The victory of Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his Morena party in Sunday’s Mexican elections has stunned international observers. ... Many observers have interpreted the results as a vote against rampant corruption; given the pervasive graft and influence-peddling in Mexico, López Obrador’s clean, austere reputation was certainly a factor for voters. But economic factors also motivated many voters, especially farmers. The majority of Mexicans have been left behind in a failing strategy to hitch the country’s fortunes to open trade with the United States under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

As one recent report summarized, “Poverty is worse than a quarter century ago, real wages are lower than in 1980, inequality is worsening, and Mexico ranks 18th of 20 Latin American countries in terms of income growth per person in 21st century.” It is hard to imagine worse outcomes in a country with privileged and historic access to the largest capital and consumer markets in the world—the U.S.

Among those rejoicing now over López Obrador’s victory are Mexico’s farmers, who have been largely abandoned by the government while unregulated imports of below-cost maize, wheat, pork, and other agricultural goods flooded Mexican markets under NAFTA. (See my report.) After the agreement took effect in 1994, maize farmers endured a 400-percent increase in imports of U.S. maize priced 19-percent below its costs of production, resulting in a punishing 66-percent drop in producer prices. Producers of other farm goods faced similar pressures, forcing many to become migrant workers in the strawberry fields of multinational growers or migrate to the U.S. without documentation.

Many placed their faith in López Obrador after he endorsed the Plan de Ayala 2.0, a radical platform put forward in early 2018 by a revitalized farmers’ movement. Echoing the platform, López Obrador on the campaign trail called for a return to self-sufficiency in maize and other basic food crops, a reduction in import dependence on the U.S., a shift away from chemical-intensive industrial agriculture and genetically modified crops toward more sustainable practices, and a decisive reorientation of government farm subsidies toward small and medium-scale producers. No wonder rural communities turned out in droves for Morena.

Why Killing Dodd-Frank Could Lead to the Next Crash

Ostensibly passed to address the causes of the 2008 crash, the Dodd-Frank Act has instead spent more than half a decade now as a hostage to a payola Congress, with both parties taking turns cutting it down and delaying its implementation. The latest indignity is S.2155, a.k.a. the “Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.” Supposedly designed to help some banks by reducing capital requirements and ending regular “stress tests,” the act is really more like helping ships steam faster by allowing them to ditch their lifeboats. ...

But why did this bill even pass? Only 50 Republicans backed the rollback, meaning even a few members of a dependably craven Republican caucus hesitated to pull the trigger. That means they needed one Democratic vote to pass this foul thing. They got 17. Why? What made this bill the weak link in the battle line against Trump’s agenda? ...

In recent years, however, lobbyists began to complain that the restrictions were hurting small regional banks. Currently, the rules apply to any bank with more than $50 billion in assets. The new bill raises that to $100 billion immediately, then, potentially, to $250 billion. If the carve-out goes to $250 billion in assets, roughly 99 percent of banks will be exempted from the Dodd-Frank safety provisions. So, yes, it helps out your local bank. And basically all the other banks too. Still, Republicans and Democrats alike successfully pitched the bill as helping small business – what Elizabeth Warren described as using community banks as a “human shield." ...

We’ve been here before – in an economy that feels shakier than suspiciously swollen stock market numbers would indicate. Either Trump is an economic genius, or we’re in for a correction soon. Who feels like taking off the life jacket?

As the Yield Curve Flattens, Threatens to Invert, the Fed Discards it as Recession Indicator

The yield curve is formed by Treasury yields of different maturities: normally, the two-year yield is quite a bit lower than the 10-year yield. Over the last several decades, each time the yield curve “inverted” – when the two-year yield ended up higher than the 10-year yield – a recession followed. The last time, the Financial Crisis followed.

So this has become a popular recession indicator that has cropped up a lot in the discussions of various Fed governors since last year. Today, the two-year yield closed at 2.55% and the 10-year yield at 2.84%. The spread between them was just 29 basis points, the lowest since before the Financial Crisis. ...

There has been a lot of handwringing about this being an indicator that the next recession is nearing and that the Fed should back off with its rate hikes. But this Fed is getting seriously hawkish: In the minutes today, it revealed that instead of thinking about backing off with its rate hikes, it’s throwing out the flattening yield curve.

Trump administration says it cannot reunify families it separated by court deadline

The Trump administration isn’t going to make the deadline for getting migrant kids under 5 back together with their parents.

Officials with Health and Human Services in a court filing late Thursday said they need an extension to the court-imposed Tuesday deadline to reunite 101 children under the age of 5 with the parents they were taken from at the border. A federal court last week said the government must reunite kids under 5 with their parents by July 10, and kids over 5 by July 26. The government has separated nearly 3,000 total kids from their parents under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of criminally prosecuting anyone who crosses the border illegally, which started in early May.

HHS said its process of confirming someone is a parent with no dangerous criminal history is complicated because of inconsistent government records, lengthy background checks, and trouble tracking down parents who have already been paroled. The agencies responsible for separated kids and parents — HHS and Department of Homeland Security, respectively — do not uniformly document which child belongs to which parent. ...

Officials at HHS and DHS are working to DNA-test every child and parent who the government may have separated in order to quickly confirm that they are in fact related. So far officials have identified 49 parents in federal custody with children under 5 and are working to confirm more. ...

In addition to an extension, the government is asking the judge to exclude from the order parents who have already been deported, saying reuniting those families outside the U.S. by the court’s deadline is not feasible.

CIA-Linked Military Contractor Used Arizona “Black Site” to Secretly Jail Dozens of Migrant Children

'Are they going to shoot me?': Statue of Liberty ​climber on her anti-Trump protest

The grainy aerial images of a woman clinging to the skirts of the Statue of Liberty were beaming live around the world for hours on Independence Day, as police tried to talk her down from her protest against Trump immigration policies. But what was going through the woman’s mind as she huddled against the green metal folds of the statue’s robes, 30 meters above the ground, was: “Are they going to shoot me?” ...

Okoumou had wanted to climb as high as she could – even up to the famous torch that Liberty holds aloft – if that had been possible, she said. “I had thought, ‘It’s the Statue of Liberty, it’s the Fourth of July and there are children in cages, we are doing a protest but I want to send an even stronger message and this is the perfect day for it.’ All of those elements together were necessary to give me the courage,” she said. ...

Okoumou explained she had been huddling against the green metal folds of the statue’s robes to stay out of the sight line of the police officer pursuing her, while also trying not to be blown off the slippery structure by circling media and law enforcement helicopters. ...

The police officer standing at the top of a ladder introduced himself as Brian, she said. “I said ‘Don’t come up.’ He said ‘I care about you.’ I said, ‘No, you don’t, you could shoot me the way you shot Claudia Gomez and killed the trans woman,’” she said, referring to Gomez, a 20-year-old Guatemalan woman shot by the border patrol in Texas last month, and Roxana Hernández, from Honduras, who died in Ice custody in May after reportedly spending five days in a form of chilled detention dubbed the ice box.

Okoumou said she feared she would be shot or tranquilized, and shouted to the officer that “my life doesn’t matter to me now, what matters to me is that in a democracy we are holding children in cages”.

Anne Frank's family tried escaping to US but thwarted by 'bureaucracy'

The family of the diarist Anne Frank twice tried to obtain US immigration visas but were thwarted by red tape, according to a new report published 76 years after they were forced into hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam. The report, issued by the Anne Frank House and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, details the challenges faced by Jewish families looking to escape the anti-semitic Nazi grip on Europe and negotiate anti-refugee sentiment then building in the United States.

Gertjan Broek, a researcher at the Anne Frank House, and Rebecca Erbelding from the USHMM wrote in their report that Otto Frank, Anne’s father, began seeking ways to escape to the US as early as 1938. At the time, the US had no specific refugee policy, but enforced quotas based on national origin. The Franks were never officially denied visas, the report concludes, but their applications were rendered useless by “bureaucracy, war and time.” One application was lost in a German bombardment of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in 1940. The family then faced difficulty obtaining new sets of papers and certificates under a regime that was systematically rendering Jews effectively stateless.

At the same time, the US public recorded increasingly negative attitude toward refugees. A May 1938 public opinion poll found that 67% of Americans surveyed said they wanted to keep German, Austrian and “other political refugees” out of the United States. By 1941, 71% of those polled said they believed the Nazis had established a US network of spies and saboteurs. Franklin Roosevelt warned of “spying under compulsion”, and the government acted accordingly, banning applicants with relatives in German-occupied countries.

the horse race

White House close to refusing interview with Russia investigation

Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani has warned Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, that the White House is close to refusing to grant an interview with the president.

Giuliani took the increasingly belligerent tone of the White House up a notch on Sunday when he called the Russian investigation the “most corrupt I’ve ever seen”. Speaking on This Week on ABC News, he accused the special counsel of assembling a team of investigators around him that included “very, very severe partisans working on an investigation that should have been done by people who are politically neutral”.

Asked whether they had made a decision on whether or not Trump should participate in an interview with the inquiry, he replied: “We have not determined he will not sit down with Mueller, but we are close to that.”

Paul Manafort Being Prosecuted For Regular Corruption

the evening greens

DuPont’s Museum of Disastrous Chemistry Continues to Spread Its Poison

Covered with storage tanks, smoke stacks, and holding pools, the old Chambers Works manufacturing site in southern New Jersey is an eyesore. ... Since 1892, when DuPont chose this site to house its smokeless gunpowder operations, Chambers Works has been ground zero for some of the world’s most environmentally devastating commercial enterprises. Now mostly abandoned, the roughly 2-square-mile area could serve as a museum of disastrous chemistry. Leaded gasoline; cancer-causing dyes; Kevlar, a synthetic fiber found to cause cancer in rats; Freon, a refrigerant that ate a hole in the ozone layer; neoprene, the production of which gives off a carcinogenic gas; refined uranium for atomic weapons; and PFOA, which now pollutes drinking water around the plant — and around the planet — are among the 1,200 chemical products DuPont made and stored at what was its largest manufacturing complex.

[T]he town of Carneys Point, where Chambers Works is located, sued DuPont in 2016 and then refiled the suit against both companies [including DuPont's successor, Chemours] in 2017, claiming that they hadn’t provided enough money to cover the cost of remediating the massively contaminated property. And in May, Carneys Point filed another suit over the site, this one against the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, claiming that the state agency left the town’s residents out of discussions with DuPont and Chemours about how much money they needed to provide to clean up Chambers Works.

During its 123 years on the site, DuPont released some 107 million pounds of hazardous waste into the soil, air, and water, according to an environmental analysis completed in 2016. After six months of reviewing hundreds of thousands of documents and using a computer program widely employed by regulators and the military to estimate cleanup costs, Jeffrey Andrilenas, the consultant Carneys Point hired to assess the environmental contamination, calculated it would cost more than $1 billion to remediate the site.

Though DuPont and Chemours have removed some of the contamination in recent decades, the analysis concluded that, at the current rate, it would take another 1,600 years to fully clean up Chambers Works. Even if every possible effort were made, completely ridding the site of the pollution left by DuPont and Chemours would take a minimum of 300 years, according to Andrilenas, who described that as “the rosy picture.” Having evaluated more than 3,000 industrial sites around the world in his 36-year career, Andrilenas called Chambers Works “one of the most contaminated sites I’ve ever seen.” New Jersey law requires owners or operators of industrial properties to clean them up or give the state’s Department of Environmental Protection the money necessary to do so before they sell the sites or merge with another company. Yet that didn’t happen when DuPont transferred ownership of the site to its spinoff company, Chemours, and then went on to merge with Dow. ...

Documents referred to in the suit and reviewed by The Intercept show that representatives of Chemours put forward a plan in December 2017 to spend $54 million on cleaning up the site, less than 5 percent of what Carneys Point says is necessary. And while the town wants the contamination entirely removed, one of the plans mentioned in emails between the DEP and Chemours would leave some 100 million pounds of hazardous waste on the site, according to Andrilenas.

Scott Pruitt is gone, but his legacy at the EPA will last for years

In the last 18 months, the Trump administration has attempted to cancel or roll back more than 70 environmental rules. And as EPA administrator, Pruitt made a major contribution to this anti-regulation agenda. From Day One, he launched an attack on climate science and policy that included scrubbing public information on climate change from agency websites and stopping implementation of the Clean Power Plan, a flagship policy to limit emissions from coal-fired power plants. Pruitt also enthusiastically backed President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.

But he was just getting started: Pruitt took on the Clean Water rule, tried to lower fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles, removed a prohibition on toxic water discharge from power plants, and missed the deadline for implementing smog-fighting ozone limits. He also overturned a ban on the carcinogenic pesticide chlorpyrifos. ...

Still, the most lasting blow to the EPA could simply be Pruitt’s campaign to defund and destaff the agency’s programs. In the 2019 budget proposal, he suggested the agency take a 23 percent budget cut and pushed to kill programs — including ones aimed at cleaning up the Great Lakes and preventing children’s exposure to lead — in an attempt to make up for a $2.5 billion funding gap.

With the number of employees now down to the lowest level in 30 years, the EPA is also increasingly incapable of enforcing the laws that remain. Because the agency needs to catch and fine perpetrators to fund cleanup, reducing its workforce is a significant blow. The EPA is already issuing fewer citations and fines; it ordered just $1.6 billion in fines last year, one-fifth of the amount in 2016.

As World Busts Heat Records, Study Warns Global Warming Could Be Twice as Bad Climate Models Project

As millions of people across the globe face extreme heat advisories, with temperatures even soaring beyond 90 degrees in Siberia last week, a recent study published in the British journal Nature Geoscience warns long-term global warming—and thus sea level rise—could be twice as bad as climate models project.

Study co-author Katrin Meissner of University of New South Wales, Australia remarked that "while climate model projections seem to be trustworthy when considering relatively small changes over the next decades, it is worrisome that these models likely underestimate climate change under higher emission scenarios, such as a 'business as usual' scenario, and especially over longer time scales."

A team of 59 researchers from 17 countries assessed previous warm periods over the past 3.5 million years and found that during each of the three intervals analyzed, the rate of warming was much slower compared with the changes seen today—which are driven by burning fossil fuels that release heat-trapping greenhouse gases. As Meissner put it, "In terms of rate of change, we are in uncharted waters."

The analysis focused on periods when global temperatures were 0.5-2°C above the 19th century pre-industrial temperatures, or the upper warming limit set by the Paris agreement. "Two degrees can seem very benign when you see it on paper," Meissner told the Guardian, "but the consequences are quite bad and ecosystems change dramatically.

Researchers found that warming of 1–2°C has caused land and ocean ecosystems as well as climate zones to shift toward the poles or to higher altitudes, and while they concluded that "there is a low risk of runaway greenhouse gas feedbacks for global warming of no more than 2°C," they warned that "substantial regional environmental impacts can occur" under such conditions.

As the Oeschger Center for Climate Change Research (OCCR)—which partly funded the workshop for the analysis—explained, these ecosystem and climate zone shifts could ramp up permafrost thaw, which "may release additional carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere, driving additional warming."

Also of Interest

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

A ‘Reckless’ Fracking Company, Poisoned Springs, and a Family Forced to Buy Water at Walmart

Inside the fearful Bedouin village that could decide fate of Palestinian state

Brazil: Lula supporters hope release is near after weekend of legal drama

On July 4th As American Evil Comes Home

Chris Hedges: The Con of Diversity

Fifty billboards: an art project hopes to provoke debate across America

A Little Night Music

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Strange Things Happening Every Day

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - That's All

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Tell Him You Saw Me

Sister Rosetta Tharpe w/Sam Price - Teach Me To Be Right

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Four or Five Times

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - God Don't Like It

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - This Train

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Sit Down

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - My Lord And I

Sister Rosetta Tharpe w/Marie Knight - Up Above My Head I Hear Music In The Air

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Lonesome Road

15 users have voted.


snoopydawg's picture

But why did this bill even pass? Only 50 Republicans backed the rollback, meaning even a few members of a dependably craven Republican caucus hesitated to pull the trigger. That means they needed one Democratic vote to pass this foul thing. They got 17. Why? What made this bill the weak link in the battle line against Trump’s agenda? ...

This reminds me of when one of the blue dawg democrats was upset because he didn't get the chance to vote for the tax cuts and said that republicans should have let the democrats vote for it because then they would have had 70 votes, not just the 51 they got to pass it.

And the hits just keep on coming ....


9 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

joe shikspack's picture


yep, that's some #resistance they've got going there. it's hard to believe that so many people are taken in by them.

4 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

I've got some stuff to add tonight.
Caity J at Medium: This Is What Modern War Propaganda Looks Like
A book review from The Saker: Losing Military Supremacy by Andrei Martyanov
And this, from Russian MSM. Last week I linked a piece by The Saker about the two factions of the Russian elite: Putin's people, the Eurasian Sovereignists, and his opposition, the European Integrationists. In this clip from a talk show, you see how TV is being used in this struggle. They titled it Slavic Inferiority Complex? Why Do Some Russian Politicians Bend Over Backwards for Westerners?

8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture


The videos, curiously, are being shared enthusiastically by many Republicans and pro-Israel hawks, who aren’t traditionally the sort of crowd you see rallying to support the civil rights of Muslims. What’s up with that?

I'm seeing many people believing that they are protesting out of the blue because they finally have had enough.

6 users have voted.

America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

joe shikspack's picture


i liked this from caity's article:

Whenever you see the sudden emergence of an attractive media campaign that is sympathetic to the plight of civilians in a resource-rich nation unaligned with the western empire, you are seeing propaganda.

there are probably a bunch of related rules that one could come up with, like, whenever you hear an american diplomat or executive branch politician describing "humanitarian concerns" in another country, it is in order to stir up a war.

i don't have any relevant background to assess the state of the u.s. military, but the saker's assessment sounds pretty reasonable. thanks for the article.

7 users have voted.
JekyllnHyde's picture

It all points towards another election. And soon.

11 users have voted.

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

joe shikspack's picture


heh, lately i've been wondering how it is that so many clowns seem to have managed to be running whole countries. after pondering it a bit, though, i usually come to the conclusion that it might be worse if they were competent.

6 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack
any of us have any freedoms left is government incompetence. I've never seen anything to contradict that hypothesis.

6 users have voted.

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

detroitmechworks's picture

Every day that goes by I am more and more convinced that I'm following the right path in my life. It's not much, but it's enough, and that's more than many have.

Thanks for summing up the horribleness of the world in an easy place. Feels a bit like the dream mailman who bundles all the garbage mail into one big separate pile.

4 users have voted.

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

joe shikspack's picture


glad to hear that things are going well for you - and um, glad to be of service. Smile

3 users have voted.
The Aspie Corner's picture

5 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

joe shikspack's picture

@The Aspie Corner

is it me, or are these stories becoming more common and frequent?

3 users have voted.