The Evening Blues - 7-9-19



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Roy Lee Johnson


Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features singer, songwriter and guitarist Roy Lee Johnson who performed in bands with last night's feature Piano Red and recent feature Robert Ward. Enjoy!

Roy Lee Johnson - Boogaloo Number 3

"I don’t see why we have to let a country go Marxist just because its people are irresponsible."

-- Henry Kissinger


News and Opinion

Alas, no prosecution of CIA spooks or US administrations ...

Italian court jails 24 over South American Operation Condor

An Italian court has sentenced 24 people to life in prison for their involvement in Operation Condor, in which the dictatorships of six South American countries conspired to kidnap and assassinate political opponents in each other’s territories.

The trial, the first of its kind in Europe, began in 2015 and focused on the responsibility of senior officials in the military dictatorships of Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Argentina for the killing and disappearance of 43 people including 23 Italian citizens. Those sentenced on Monday included Francisco Morales Bermúdez, who was president of Peru from 1975 to 1980, Juan Carlos Blanco, a former foreign minister in Uruguay, Pedro Espinoza Bravo, a former deputy intelligence chief in Chile, and Jorge Néstor Fernández Troccoli, a Uruguayan former naval intelligence officer.

Exactly how many people died as a result of the conspiracy is unknown, but prosecutors in South America and Italy provided evidence that at least 100 leftwing activists were killed in Argentina, including 45 Uruguayans, 22 Chileans, 15 Paraguayans and 13 Bolivians. “Operation Condor spared no one,” said Francesca Lessa, a research fellow at Oxford University’s Latin American Centre. “Refugees and asylum seekers were especially targeted, while children – illegally detained with their parents – had their biological identity stolen and replaced by that of adoptive families.” ...

The crimes took place in the 1970s and 1980s. “Many of the perpetrators were growing old and may never be brought to justice,” said Jorge Ithurburu, a lawyer for 24 Marzo, a Rome-based NGO. “The more time passed the more the witnesses of those atrocious crimes aged or died.” ...

Last April, a newly declassified CIA document showed that European intelligence agencies sought advice from South America’s 1970s dictatorships on how to combat leftwing “subversion”. “Representatives of West German, French and British intelligence services had visited the Condor organization secretariat in Buenos Aires during the month of September 1977 in order to discuss methods for establishment of an anti-subversion organization similar to Condor,” the document stated.

Interestingly enough, The Guardian doesn't see fit to mention that Operation Condor was backed by Uncle Sam.

From Wikipedia:

"Operation Condor was a United States–backed campaign of political repression and state terror involving intelligence operations and assassination of opponents, officially and formally implemented in November 1975 by the right-wing dictatorships of the Southern Cone of South America.

The program, nominally intended to eradicate communist or Soviet influence and ideas, was created to suppress active or potential opposition movements against the participating governments' neoliberal economic policies, which sought to reverse the economic policies of the previous era. ...

The United States government provided planning, coordinating, training on torture, technical support and supplied military aid to the Juntas during the Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, and the Reagan administrations. Such support was frequently routed through the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)."

Also, the numbers of victims in The Guardian's coverage seems quite small without any explanation of the discrepancy. From the same Wikipedia entry:

"Due to its clandestine nature, the precise number of deaths directly attributable to Operation Condor is highly disputed. Some estimates are that at least 60,000 deaths can be attributed to Condor, roughly 30,000 of these in Argentina, and the so-called "Archives of Terror" list 50,000 killed, 30,000 disappeared and 400,000 imprisoned."

"Pretty Please" - Trump Asked Iran To Allow Him To Bomb It

On June 20 Iran shot down a U.S. spy drone. U.S. President Trump decided not to retaliate. The White House and the media claimed that Trump had ordered a strike on Iran but pulled it back at the last minute. We said that this was likely bullshit. ...

Elijah Magnier reported that Trump had asked Iran to allow him to strike back, but was rebuffed:

According to well-informed sources, Iran rejected a proposal by US intelligence – made via a third party – that Trump be allowed to bomb one, two or three clear objectives, to be chosen by Iran, so that both countries could appear to come out as winners and Trump could save face. Iran categorically rejected the offer and sent its reply: even an attack against an empty sandy beach in Iran would trigger a missile launch against US objectives in the Gulf.

An Iranian general yesterday confirmed Magnier's take (also here):

A senior Iranian general has revealed that Washington, through diplomatic channels, recently asked Tehran to allow it to conduct a small-scale operation in the Iranian airspace in order to save its face following the IRGC’s shoot-down of a US spy drone.

Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali, the Head of Iran’s Civil Defence Organization, said Iran vehemently rejected the US request, saying that it will respond to any act of aggression.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran responded that it views any operation as a war and will give a crushing response to it. You may initiate a war but this is Iran which will finish it,” he said Sunday.

The idea that the U.S. would ask Iran to allow it to bomb some targets without hitting back sounds crazy.

Dear Mr. Rouhani,

could you please name me three targets in your country that I am allowed to bomb?

It is urgent as I need to look tough on Iran.

Pretty please!

Donald Trump

“This Is Not a Surprise”: U.S. Sanctions and Saber Rattling Led to Iran’s Renewed Uranium Enrichment

Bolton Demands Iran Abandon Non-Existent Nuclear Arms Program

US officials are continuing to express demands that Iran get rid of its nuclear weapons program. This is a long-standing demand, and Iran is well aware of it. The problem is Iran doesn’t have such a program, and has repeatedly disavowed ever having a program in the future.

They might as well not bother to have spent the last 16 years disavowing
arms, with hawkish John Bolton clearly acting like it never happened,
saying the US is determined to “increase the pressure on the Iranian regime until it abandons its nuclear weapons program.”

Iran’s Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami reiterated on Monday that Iran will never pursue a nuclear weapon, and that the whole world knows that. The general asked why the world keeps sanctions Iran over the nuclear issue when it clearly isn’t a real issue.

An interesting discussion worth a watch:

Iran and the Global Order

House Rules Committee to Consider Amendment to Defund Yemen War

The House Rules Committee is planning a Tuesday afternoon session to consider Amendment 339. The amendment is intended to be part of the annual military spending bill, the NDAA, and would forbid all funding for US involvement in the Saudi War in Yemen. ...

The House Rules Committee is not going to decide if the amendment is included in the NDAA. Rather, it would simply allow a floor vote in the House on whether to add the amendment to the NDAA. There is a push to get more co-sponsors for the amendment, and if the committee allows the floor vote, it’s very likely to pass.

The Congressional switchboard is 202-225-3121. Before the Tuesday committee hearing, callers should call and express support for more Representatives co-sponsoring 339, known as the Khanna-Schiff amendment.

Donald Trump: we will no longer deal with the British ambassador

Donald Trump has launched a scathing attack on Theresa May and said the US would no longer deal with the British ambassador to Washington after the diplomat’s frank assessments of the president as “inept” and “dysfunctional” were leaked to the Mail on Sunday.

In a sign of the damage to the US-UK relationship, Trump hit out at Sir Kim Darroch for a second day in a row, threatening to cut ties over the memos that described him as “radiating insecurity”.

The US president also said May and her representatives had made a “mess” over Brexit, contrary to his advice. Just weeks ago, he praised the prime minister in person on his state visit to the UK, saying she had done a “very good job”.

Trump launched a tirade against Darroch, saying: “I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well thought of within the U.S. We will no longer deal with him. The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new Prime Minister. While I thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent State Visit last month, it was the Queen who I was most impressed with!” ...

His latest statement creates a dilemma for the new prime minister, likely to be Boris Johnson, who will have to decide whether to replace Darroch and risk looking as if he has been bullied into the action by Trump. However, keeping him in post risks further damage to the UK’s diplomatic relations with one of its closest international allies.

Despite Death Threats, Glenn Greenwald Speaks Out About Exposing Large Corruption Scandal in Brazil

Bolsonaro minister who jailed Lula takes leave after leaks cast doubt on impartiality

Brazil’s justice minister, Sérgio Moro, has been granted a leave of absence following a slew of damaging leaks that have cast serious doubts over his impartiality as a judge in a sweeping graft scandal. Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s far-right president, approved the break, from 15-19 July, for Moro to “deal with personal matters”, according to an official government document published on Monday.

The ministry said Moro will be on holiday, but analysts speculated Moro’s job was threatened following leaked cellphone chats which showed that as a judge, he guided prosecutors in the investigation which led to the imprisonment of powerful businessmen and politicians including the former Workers’ party president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

The leaks, published since 9 June by the Intercept with some of Brazil’s major media outlets, have unleashed a political storm. “It’s not common for ministers to take leave of absence,” said Jairo Nicolau, a professor of political science at Rio’s Getulio Vargas Foundation, a business school. “Moro’s situation is getting more and more difficult.”

During a grilling in congress, Moro refused to comment on a report that federal police had asked a finance ministry money laundering unit to investigate the American journalist Glenn Greenwald, the co-founder of the Intercept. On Monday, Brazil’s federal court of accounts said it would give the unit 24-hours to explain the supposed investigation which it called “persecution and abuse of power, to intimidate the journalist” and a waste of public money.

Deutsche Bank mass-firings first domino in global downturn?

Trump hopes to escalate a tariff war — with a currency war

President Donald Trump has called on the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve to weaken the U.S. dollar, arguing that American exports are being hurt by other countries’ efforts to devalue their own currencies.

But some are warning that the president’s efforts could negatively impact GDP growth in the short-term, and start a currency war that could backfire in an even stronger dollar.

“Historically, however, attempts to weaken the dollar have met with mixed success and there are good reasons to believe that any intervention now would fail,” Capital Economics wrote in a note July 8.

Over the past few weeks, Trump has accused China and Europe of manipulating their currencies by easing monetary policy and weakening their currencies. On July 3, Trump tweeted that countries abroad have been “playing [a] big currency manipulation game and pumping money into their system in order to compete with [the] USA.”

Trump argues that a stronger dollar is hurting U.S. exports by making them more expensive for buyers abroad — damaging the administration’s efforts to reduce the trade deficit.

Mueller Repeatedly Contradicts Himself & Undermines Russiagate

ICE Has Been Mining DMV Databases Using Facial Recognition for Years

Tens of millions of U.S. citizens have had their faces scanned by the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) without their knowledge or consent, according to new documents collected by researchers at Georgetown Law.

Shared with the Washington Post and the New York Times, the documents reveal that between 2014 and 2017, the agencies mined the databases of the Department of Motor Vehicles in states across the country, sometimes with as little as an emailed request to a DMV employee.

The records show how facial recognition technology has already become an integral part of daily law enforcement activity in the U.S. is being used to track down suspects in low-level crimes like cashing a stolen check and petty theft.

The use of this unofficial surveillance infrastructure has never been authorized by Congress or any state legislature, and advocates say running facial recognition searches against databases of millions of law-abiding citizens is a serious breach of privacy. “This is a scandal,” Harrison Rudolph, a researcher at Georgetown Law, told the New York Times. “States have never passed laws authorizing ICE to dive into driver’s license databases using facial recognition to look for folks."

Migrant children held in Texas facility need access to doctors, says attorney

Hundreds of children at a migrant detention center in Texas are being held in “inhumane” conditions that amount to an “emergency public health crisis” and should be allowed immediate access to doctors, according to an attorney who gained rare access to the facility. Elora Mukherjee, the director of Columbia Law School’s immigrant rights clinic, was one of six attorneys to visit the detention center in Clint as part of ongoing litigation about an agreement that states unaccompanied children can’t be held in US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities for more than 72 hours.

The team found that children had no adequate access to medical care, had no basic sanitation, were exposed to extreme cold and did not have adequate access to drinking water or food. “I’ve been visiting children detained in federal immigration custody for 12 years,” Mukherjee told the Guardian. “I have never seen anything like this before. I have never seen, smelled, had to bear witness to such degrading and inhumane conditions.”

The UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet on Monday said she was “appalled” at the conditions. “As a paediatrician, but also as a mother and a former head of state, I am deeply shocked that children are forced to sleep on the floor in overcrowded facilities, without access to adequate healthcare or food, and with poor sanitation conditions,” the statement quoted Bachelet as saying.

Two weeks ago, the attorneys met with 60 children between the ages of five months and 17 years to interview them about the conditions in the facility, which is holding 350 children. Some had bodily fluids including breast milk, urine and mucus stained on their clothes and many were wearing the same clothes they had crossed the border in, days or weeks earlier. In the past, Mukherjee said she would raise concerns about conditions with the lead counsel in the case, who would then pursue a remedy. This time, however, the conditions were so shocking the attorneys were compelled to approach the media. “We were extremely concerned that more children might die if we didn’t go public,” she said.

Smithsonian Seeking Child Migrants' Drawings of Horrific Detention to Document 'History as It Unfolds'

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History requested drawings made by recently released migrant children, it was reported Monday—the same day that the United Nations human rights chief said she was "appalled" at the conditions faced by migrants in U.S. custody.

CNN reported Monday on the institution's request for the drawings.

"The museum has a long commitment to telling the complex and complicated history of the United States and to documenting that history as it unfolds," the museum said in a statement to CNN. Indeed, the Smithsonian's mission says it seeks to "explore the infinite richness and complexity of American history" and "help people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future."


The drawings in question were made by two 10-year-olds and one 11-year-old, and were shared with media last week by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The children made them while at the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, Texas, after being released from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing center.

Conditions inside Border Patrol detention centers in Texas—including deprivation of prompt medical attention and lack of basic hygiene supplies—have already been sharply criticized in first-hand accounts from the Department of Homeland Security's Inspector General, Democratic lawmakers, lawyers, medical professionals, and even border agents.

The drawings captured the horrors on another level, showing the detained children's experiences through their own eyes.

"The fact that the drawings are so realistic and horrific gives us a view into what these children have experienced," Dr. Colleen Kraft, immediate past president of the AAP, told CNN.

Pelosi Says Trump Seeks to ‘Make America White Again’ in Census

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Donald Trump’s administration Monday of wanting to “make America white again” with its plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

“You know his hat? ‘Make America white again.’ They want to make sure that people, certain people, are counted,” Pelosi said at a press conference on election security. “It’s really disgraceful and it’s not what our founders had in mind.”

Pelosi said the goal of the Trump administration is “self-evident” to have “a chilling effect” so certain populations will not respond to the census. ...

Democrats are also seeking to enforce subpoenas for information on the census. The House Oversight and Reform Committee voted last month to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for withholding documents. Pelosi said in a letter to Democratic colleagues Monday that the full House would “be moving forward soon” on the matter.



the horse race



A longish article, but a great refresher on the warmongering of Joe Biden. Here are some excerpts:

Joe Biden Didn’t Just Vote for the Iraq Invasion—He Helped Lead the March to War

To say the now-Democratic frontrunner voted for the Iraq War doesn't fully describe his role in what has come to be widely acknowledged as the most disastrous foreign policy decision of the 21st century. A review of the historical record shows Biden didn't just vote for the war—he was a leading Democratic voice in its favor, and played an important role in persuading the public of its necessity and, more broadly, laying the groundwork for Bush's invasion. In the wake of September 11th, Biden stood as a leading Democratic voice on foreign policy, chairing the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee. As President Bush attempted to sell the U.S. public on the war, Biden became one of the administration’s steadfast allies in this cause, backing claims about the supposed threat posed by Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and insisting on the necessity of removing him from power.

Biden did attempt to placate Democrats by criticizing Bush on procedural grounds while largely affirming his case for war, even as he painted himself as an opponent of Bush and the war in front of liberal audiences. In the months leading up to and following the invasion, Biden would make repeated, contradictory statements about his position on the issue, eventually casting himself as an unrepentant backer of the war effort just as the public and his own party began to sour on it. ...

In November 2002, just a little over a year following the World Trade Center attacks, Biden faced re-election amidst a political climate in which the Bush administration had incited nationalist sentiment over the issue of terrorism. In October 2001, Biden had been criticized in Delaware newspapers for comments that were perceived as potentially weak, warning that the United States could be seen as a “high-tech bully” if it failed to put boots on the ground in Afghanistan and instead relied on a protracted bombing campaign to oust the Taliban. Consequently, Biden, then deemed by the New Republic to be the Democratic Party’s “de facto spokesman on the war against terrorism,” quickly became a close ally of the Bush administration in its prosecution of that war. The White House installed a special secure phone line to Biden’s home, and he and three other members of Congress met privately with Bush in October 2001 to come up with a positive public relations message for the war in Afghanistan. ...

It was [...] in July 2002 that Biden carried out one of his most consequential actions in the lead-up to the Iraq War, when he held several days of congressional hearings about the then-potential invasion. ... The same month, the Houston Chronicle reported, based on interviews with anonymous officials, that a number of senior military officials, including members of the joint chiefs of staff, were in disagreement with the White House’s drive for war with Iraq, and believed that Hussein posed no immediate threat to the United States. The day before the hearings, Scott Ritter, the former chief weapons inspector at the UN, cautioned that it was far from “inevitable” that Iraq had restarted its weapons program, and warned that “Biden's open embrace of regime removal in Baghdad” threatened to make the hearings “devolve into a political cover” for Congress to authorize Bush’s war.

Yet as Stephen Zunes reported for The Progressive in April 2019, none of these views were aired at Biden’s hearings, which opened with Biden stating that WMDs “must be dislodged from Saddam, or Saddam must be dislodged from power,” and that “if we wait for the danger from Saddam to become clear, it could be too late.” Ritter himself was never invited to testify. Neither were other experts critical of the Bush narrative on Iraq, including Rolf Ekéus, the former executive chairman of the United Nations Special Commission, the inspection regime set up after the Gulf War to deal with WMDs, and former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans Von Sponeck, who complained that he was “very agitated by the deliberate distortions and misrepresentations” that made it “look to the average person in the U.S. as if Iraq is a threat to their security.” According to Biden, Bush later thanked him for the hearings.

Kamala Harris Called Young People “Stupid” in 2015

If there’s one thing Sen. Kamala Harris learned from her time as the chief prosecutor of San Francisco and attorney general of California, it’s that young people don’t know what they’re doing, a video of Harris speaking in 2015 shows. During a keynote address at a symposium hosted by the Ford Foundation, the then–California attorney general — now Democratic candidate for president — laid out her vision for a crime recidivism reduction initiative in Los Angeles.

The program, modeled on a similar initiative that Harris launched in San Francisco, would provide social services to young people 18 to 24 who were convicted of nonviolent felonies.

Why that population?

People that age are “stupid,” Harris told the audience.

“What’s the other thing we know about this population? And it’s a specific phase of life. And remember, age is more than a chronological fact. What else do we know about this population, 18 through 24? They are stupid,” Harris said, to wide laughs from the audience.

Keiser Report: Promising Nothing to Fundamentally Change

California congressman Eric Swalwell withdraws from 2020 presidential race

California congressman Eric Swalwell has withdrawn from the 2020 presidential race, ending his longshot candidacy for the Democratic Party’s nomination to instead focus on his re-election to the House of Representatives. ...

In a written message on his 2020 campaign website, Swalwell said “polling and fundraising numbers weren’t what we had hoped for and I no longer see a path forward to the nomination”.

Ross Perot: billionaire who ran for president dies aged 89

Ross Perot, an eccentric Texan billionaire who lived a picaresque life and twice ran for president as an independent, has died. He was 89.

Among Republicans, historians and followers of US politics the world over, debate will forever rage about whether Perot cost George HW Bush the presidency in 1992, when he took 19% of the vote and Bill Clinton won the White House. ...

Debate will also continue about whether Perot prefigured or paved the way for the rise of Donald Trump. Another billionaire populist, Trump first flirted with a run for the presidency in 2000, seeking the nomination of the Reform party, which Perot founded after his first campaign and led in his second.



the evening greens

It's a jobs program! Get ready for future opportunities in the hand-pollination industry.

USDA Indefinitely Suspends Honey Bee Tracking Survey as States Get Approval to Use Bee-Killing Pesticide

On the heels of the EPA's June approval of a bee-killing pesticide, the White House said it would stop collecting data on declining honey bee populations—potentially making it impossible to analyze the effects of the chemical and the administration's other anti-science policies on the pollinators. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) cited budget cuts when it said Saturday that it would indefinitely suspend data collection for its Honey Bee Colonies report, which has been compiled every year since 2015. The report helps scientists and farmers to assess the decline of honey bees, which are responsible for pollinating one in every three bites of food taken by humans.

The number of honey bee hives in the U.S. dropped from about six million in 1947 to just 2.4 million in 2008, with 2018 being the worst year on record for hive loss. Beekeepers reported last year that 40 percent of honey bee hives had collapsed, due to a combination of factors including the use of pesticides.

Scientists say continuously monitoring the health of honey bee hives in vital to understanding why and how they are in decline. "The value of all these surveys is its continuous use over time so you can compare trend lines," Dennis vanEngelsdorp, an entomologist at the University of Maryland, told CNN.

"We need some sort of thermometer to be able to determine, at a big scale, are we actually helping to turn around hive loses, to turn around pollinator declines," Mace Vaughan of the Pollinator Conservation Program at Xerces Society told the outlet. "Understanding what's going on with honey bees is incredibly important to having a sense of what's impacting pollinators in general."

The decision to suspend the data collection came just a few weeks after the administration approved the so-called "emergency" use of the bee-killing pesticide sulfoxaflor on nearly 14 million acres. The pesticide, sold under the brand names Closer and Transform, was banned in 2015 after a lawsuit by beekeepers and farmers, but the administration used a loophole in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, granting an exemption to 11 states for four to six years.


'Protesters as terrorists': growing number of states turn anti-pipeline activism into a crime

From the Standing Rock camps in North Dakota to tree-sits in Texas, activists have attempted to stop pipeline construction with massive shows of civil disobedience. Now they could be forced to change those tactics, or face heavy penalties under a wave of new anti-protest laws that civil liberties advocates say violate the first amendment. Conservative lawmakers have put forward laws criminalizing protests that disrupt the construction and operation of pipelines in at least 18 states since 2017.

  • Seven states have passed laws that ratchet up the penalties for activists protesting or even planning protests of oil and gas pipelines and other “critical infrastructure”

  • At least six more states are considering such laws

  • In each case, misdemeanors are elevated to felonies, and criminal and civil punishments are escalated drastically

  • The ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights have mounted challenges against such laws in Louisiana and South Dakota.

The laws purport to only criminalize violence and property damage in service of pipeline safety, but critics say their greater intent appears to be to deter nonviolent civil disobedience by framing it as potentially violent in itself. The bills have mostly found fertile legislative ground in places where gas and oil companies already wield significant political and economic power and where anti-fossil fuel protests have been especially successful. But watchdogs say there’s every reason to believe more of these types of laws will be passed, and that they will chill activism otherwise protected by the first amendment.

Canada civil liberties group says gov't spied on activists

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association has released thousands of pages of redacted documents that purportedly show the Canadian Security Intelligence Service illegally monitored groups opposing a pipeline project.

The association said Monday the agency gathered information on environmental and indigenous activists and then shared the data with the National Energy Board and major oil industry players. The activists were fighting to stop the since canceled Northern Gateway Pipelines which would have moved bitumen from Alberta to British Columbia.

Civil liberties association lawyer Meghan McDermott said the spying activity was "in violation of the law" and discouraged "people from expressing their own opinions."

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez move to declare climate crisis official emergency

A group of US lawmakers including the 2020 Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders are proposing to declare the climate crisis an official emergency – a significant recognition of the threat taken after considerable pressure from environment groups. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic congresswoman from New York, and Earl Blumenauer, a Democratic congressman from Oregon, plan to introduce the same resolution in the House on Tuesday, their offices confirmed.

A Sanders spokesperson said: “President Trump has routinely declared phony national emergencies to advance his deeply unpopular agenda, like selling Saudi Arabia bombs that Congress had blocked.

“On the existential threat of climate change, Trump insists on calling it a hoax. Senator Sanders is proud to partner with his House colleagues to challenge this absurdity and have Congress declare what we all know: we are facing a climate emergency that requires a massive and immediate federal mobilization.”

Climate activists have been calling for the declaration, as data shows nations are not on track to limit the dangerous heating of the planet significantly enough. The UN has warned the world is experiencing one climate disaster every week. A new analysis from the economic firm Rhodium Group today finds the US might achieve less than half of the percentage of pollution reductions it promised other countries in an international agreement.

Ahead of Trump 'Utter Fantasy' Speech on Environmental Record, DC Flooding Sparks Warnings on Danger of Climate Inaction

Flooding in Washington, D.C. on Monday prompted calls for climate action as well as renewed scorn for the Trump administration's abysmal environmental record.


The heavy rains came the morning President Donald Trump gave an afternoon speech in which he boasted of supposed environmental accomplishments. "Is this a joke?" said Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists. "It's like an arsonist talking about how valuable his work is to the fire department."

The National Weather Service has a flood warning in place for the District of Columbia until 6pm, and earlier in the day some spots in the metro area saw over three inches of rain fall in an hour. Flash flooding in the area triggered commuter train stoppages, flight delays, washed-out roads, flooding at Metro stations, and even pools of water in the White House basement. 

"This is not the 'usual' flooding," the National Weather Service said in a tweet.


Ahead of Trump's address, green groups on Monday panned the expected content of the White House speech as "utter fantasy" and an "attempt to greenhouse gaslight the public" on the president's "record of dirtier air and dirtier water."


Also of Interest

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

Dogs of War Howl for Blood in Iran While Americans Cheer US Bombers on July 4th

War, Memory and Gettysburg

Pompeo launches commission to study human rights role

I've Seen for Myself How Sanctions Only Hurt the Poor

Deutsche Bank Throws in the Towel, Announces Restructuring into Bad Bank/Good Bank, Firing of 18,000

Meet the JPMorgan Whale that Ate Deutsche Bank’s Stock Trading Business

Corporate Team of Rivals: Harris Now in Top Tier with Biden to Prevent a Progressive Nominee

Socialists on Chicago City Council Fight for Affordable Housing, Immigrant Rights

Read the Unsealed Sex Trafficking Charges Against Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein

Otis Williams: 'The Temptations didn't love themselves'


A Little Night Music

Roy Lee Johnson - Busybody

Roy Lee Johnson - Stanback Headache Powder

Roy Lee Johnson - Cheer up, daddy's coming home

Roy Lee Johnson - Black Pepper Make You Sneeze

Roy Lee Johnson - I've Got A Feeling

Roy Lee Johnson ?– It's All Over

Roy Lee Johnson - My Best Just Ain't Good Enough

Roy Lee Johnson - Too Many Tears

Roy Lee Johnson - Guitar Man

Roy Lee Johnson - Mister Moonlight

Roy Lee Johnson - When A Guitar Play The Blues

Roy Buchanan - When A Guitar Plays The Blues


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Comments

Shahryar's picture

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/seth-rich-conspiracyland_n_5d249169e4b0cf...

The previously unreported role of Russian intelligence in creating and fostering one of the most insidious conspiracy theories to arise out of the 2016 election is disclosed

and

Russian intelligence agents secretly planted a fake report claiming that Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was gunned down by a squad of assassins working for Hillary Clinton

etc.

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12 users have voted.

@Shahryar https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/07/report-russian-intel-started...

So what took them so long and why now? (And does that line of questioning lead to a private island owned by a billionaire and stocked with underaged sex slaves?)

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9 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

@Shahryar @Shahryar
I don't care who writes it. If it's on that site it's bullshit in my book.

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6 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

snoopydawg's picture

@Shahryar

who was used to launch the official opening of Russia Gate when he wrote about the Steele dossier that was planted on him by Fusion GPS, Bruce Ohr or some one in the FBI or Brennan.. my memory of Russia Gate facts is running low on space. BTW. Isakoff is a member of the council on foreign relations. Quell surprise huh?

I'm wondering if there is a bigger story that is being covered up because it's a doozy. First we get Epstein's arrest after all these years and now a new Russia Gate propaganda article. I'm seeing others wondering this too. Stay tuned.

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11 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

@Shahryar

well that settles it! pfffftttt!

color me skeptical.

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6 users have voted.

Man, horrid news about the pesticides. We have been sorta bee keepers for a number of years. First year we extracted honey, but after that just decided to let the bees have their honey and focus more on giving them an environment to thrive. First year so successful we have several swarms. But maybe the hive was too over crowded as it thinned out too much. But next year a swarm found it.

The first swarm I saw I swear the honey bees formed themselves into a double helix.

I first was a bit leery of getting a hive. Hey, what if they sting me? Well, I would stand in front of the "hive porch" shirtless and having a cold one. They never bothered me. Just went about their business. Of course, going into the hived really pisses them off.

A expert from the local university said in Northern India no bees, so farmers have to hand pollinate the sunflowers.

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13 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@MrWebster

i strongly suspect that in a decade or less, there are going to be a lot of americans hand pollinating crops. the chemical industry's profits come first.

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10 users have voted.
mimi's picture

is Hillary Clinton's alter ego. May be I just can't think.

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13 users have voted.

TTTT (too tired to talk)

@mimi @mimi and you are not the only one noticing it. She’s Hillary but younger and with a fuller IdPol bingo card.

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11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@mimi

she's the hillary clinton that has pissed off fewer people. i'm sure that harris has sworn fealty to all of the same people that clinton has.

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8 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

Here's Paul Craig Roberts: Obama: Front Man for Washington’s Imperialism
If you watch much Jimmy Dore, you've seen Ron Placone.
Here's a segment from one of his YouTube shows that may interest Bluesters:

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12 users have voted.

@Azazello Thanks. I will watch it shortly.

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3 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

heh, roberts certainly has obama's number. i have some doubts about his assertion that trump came into office with the goal of asserting the independence of the executive branch from the puppetmasters that ran obama's administration. i suspect that trump's only real goal was to burnish his image, inflate his ego and super-size his cash flow.

glad that tim duffy is getting some promotional attention from the media again. he's done some really good work with the music maker relief foundation.

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6 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@joe shikspack
get an appreciation for the Blues.
This guy came up in my YouTube feed.
Here's his take on the world's most famous bluegrass tune:

This one is good too. It's a lesson.

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4 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

My cucumbers are only hit and miss on pollination so I begun doing them by hand.
I have yet to see any bees this year. Couldn't be nothing to do with the gmo crops I'm sure.
This spring, which was very wet, I ventured into one of the local fields with a shovel. In ten tries I couldn't find anything alive. It's all sterile except at the microscopic level which I'm sure is depleted.

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13 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

joe shikspack's picture

@Pricknick

yeah, we are short on bees here, too. this year is actually better than last year. i've seen a half dozen honeybees and a bunch of bumble bees. fortunately we are doing well on the butterfly front. ms shikspack's years of devoted planting for pollinators has paid off in a bumper crop of butterflies this year. all-in-all though, the numbers compared to even a decade ago are paltry at best.

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11 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

What the hell is a 5 month old baby doing in there in the first place? This baby wasn't an unaccompanied minor so unless its mother is in there with her it was separated from her parents. This is why the bill congress passed is so abhorrent. It put no control on what Trump can or cannot do with the $4.6 billion. The democratic blue dawgs are being called child abusers or worse. Schumer just let Mitch control what would be in the bill. I can't imagine being in the camps knowing that the government doesn't give a rat's ass about you or what happens to you.

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11 users have voted.

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

Shahryar's picture

@snoopydawg
So it's like she didn't do it! Like when Obama did all his evil deeds but didn't make the decision lightly so the poor guy gets a pass.

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10 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@Shahryar

Congress had to leave for their 4th plans and taking time to fight the bill would possibly make them miss their plane.

Now the budget fight is coming up soon and congress needs to make headway on it before they take off for their 6 weeks summer vacation. Surely those kids in the camps can just wait til they come back. BTW. When's the last time you had 6 weeks for vacation? Most people are lucky if they get 6 days off a year now. Or 6 hours.

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11 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

@snoopydawg

well yeah, but nancy is going to fight all that with pithy statements like, "trump is trying to make america white again."

i'm sure that will stop the atrocities being carried out in our name with nancy's new 4.6 billion dollar bonus for the child abusers.

excuse me while i go grind my teeth.

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8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

Hopefully the judge that is over the Flynn case will wake up and see that the Mueller report was based on no evidence and just made plain up period.

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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

@snoopydawg

i hope that his piece gets broad circulation, though i suspect that it will mostly circulate in republican supporting media.

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8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

someone brought up the Russia Gate topic and couldn't believe how many people think it's just propaganda. Consortium news was mentioned and the echo chamber all agreed that it's sad that it's no longer a good website. I will read an essay there that spells out in detail debunking Russia Gate and in the comments there is always one person who calls the author nuts and other names for writing it. I think the last one was the one Aaron wrote that you posted here last week. It's simply amazing how people will read something full of facts and just shrug it off.

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8 users have voted.

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

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8 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

what a maroon. i hope that he gets blessed with a job cleaning up hog lagoons.

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8 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

@joe shikspack
I would personally enjoy hearing that he has an aneurysm trying to take a shit.
Crude but honest.

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7 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

snoopydawg's picture

@gjohnsit

Of course your work doesn't hurt you asswipe! You've spent your days sitting behind a desk while others have had physically exhausting jobs like building things for you and cleaning up after your crap. I second Joe's wish. Cleaning up hog lagoons is the best thing that could happen to him. What a Moran.

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8 users have voted.

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

and watched the Honduran piece reported by Max Blummenthal (I think) that was posted here yesterday. That was such good reporting, once again, a journalist who is putting his life on the line to show us what is happening . Those people know exactly what is going on and they know their lives are in danger just for speaking out. The people that were interviewed said things like; "Juan Hernandez steals elections, he gases people he has the people dying of hunger, he has us suffering, he has us in catastrophe, they have robbed everything, he is hurting the poor people and supporting the billionaires, this is a cruel and corrupt dictatorship".

Given those circumstances, it is no wonder those people are leaving their country and running north to the border.

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11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@randtntx

over at the grayzone's youtube channel there are also some interviews with manuel zelaya, the hondouran president that hillary sponsored a coup against in our name. if you haven't seen them, it's also worth checking them out.

the term "foreign policy" does not accurately describe american actions around the globe. we need a new terminology, perhaps starting with renaming the state department, "the department of neoliberal dictatorship dissemination and self-determination extermination."

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9 users have voted.

@joe shikspack I will check that out. I met someone from Honduras the other day, It breaks your heart to know what we've done to those people.

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6 users have voted.
karl pearson's picture

In the 1992 presidential election, I had several co-workers and friends who were enthusiastic Ross Perot supporters. They were sick of the traditional politics in Washington and were looking for something different, so they decided to roll the die with Perot. At that time, neither the Repubs nor the Dems paid any attention to the rumblings in the country and moved full speed ahead in the same old direction for the next several decades. Now the Washington politicians have to deal with Ross Perot's legacy every day.

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7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@karl pearson

and now both major parties manipulate elections such that they needn't bother paying attention to the electorate.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@karl pearson

Perot warned us about NAFTA. Would it have been better if Clinton had lost? Hmm..

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11 users have voted.

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

firing 18,000 people? Guess I should start hand-pollinating some more edible plants. Where are the bees when you need them? Oh right, we fired them as well.
Thanks for the EB as always.

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11 users have voted.