The Evening Blues - 8-4-20



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The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Earl Bostic

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features jazz and blues saxophone player Earl Bostic. Enjoy!

Earl Bostic - Flamingo

"America this is serious: if you re-elect Trump, you’ll be trapped in a fascist dystopian oligarchy which will keep robbing you of your rights and wellbeing for the benefit of the powerful and the wealthy.

And it gets even worse: these things will also be true if you elect Biden."

-- Caitlin Johnstone


News and Opinion

As Schools Reopen, Teachers, Parents, and Students Are Pushing Back

On Monday, in more than 25 states, thousands of parents, educators, students, and community members are participating in the National Day of Resistance, staging in-person and virtual actions to call for safe, well-funded, and racially just school reopening plans. The actions come in response to pressure from state governments and the White House to resume in-person learning so that kids can get back to the classroom and their parents back to work, but are also being tied to the ongoing pushback against school privatization from the Trump administration.

In New York City, parents, students, and teachers will be marching from their union headquarters down to the Department of Education. In Los Angeles, activists are organizing a car caravan, first outside the LA Chamber of Commerce and then around the Los Angeles Unified School District building. “We’re kicking it off at the LA Chamber because even during Covid, this is a time when a lot of corporations and Wall Street are making record-breaking profits,” explained Sylvana Uribe, a spokesperson for Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, a progressive group participating in the protest. In Philadelphia and Baltimore, teacher unions are calling on Comcast to improve the quality of its service and make it more affordable for families. In Phoenix, activists are planning to demonstrate outside their state capitol building, where educators can write letters to their elected officials about how they feel going back to school or, if they want, write their imagined obituaries.

Poll Reveals Surge of Fears Over In-Person Learning as Expert Warns School Reopenings in US 'Guaranteed' To Fail

As school districts across the country grapple with how to safely re-open in the coming weeks, the reality of Covid-19 spread has teachers, parents, and health experts warning of imminent danger just as new polling out Monday shows the U.S. public is having serious second thoughts about sending kids back to the classroom for in-person learning.

"This push to open schools is guaranteed to fail," Peter Hotez, a pediatrician and molecular virologist, and dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told The Atlantic. "The social-distancing expectations and mask requirements for the lower grades are unrealistic … In communities with high transmission, it's inevitable that Covid-19 will enter the schools. Within two weeks of opening schools in communities with high virus transmission, teachers will become ill. All it will take is for a single teacher to become hospitalized with COVID and everything will shut down."

A Gallup poll released Monday indicates just 36% of parents surveyed want full-time, in-person schooling—a 20% drop from a previous survey. ...

Interestingly, there remains an ideological divide among parents who feel comfortable sending their children to in-person schooling. Reporting on the Gallup poll, United Press International noted, "Politically, 42% of Democratic parents are 'very worried' about their child getting the coronavirus, while just 9% of Republican parents said the same. Conversely, 68% of Republican parents want their children in full-time, in-person schooling this fall, compared to 13% of Democratic parents."

The partisan divide among parents reflects the public debate among the nation's elected officials. Republican Vice President and head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force Mike Pence continues to push for in-person schooling, balks at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, and even visited a school in North Carolina last week with Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos where they both opted not to wear face coverings.

Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Andy Levin of Michigan sent a letter to Devos and CDC Director Robert Redfield questioning whether CDC guidelines for re-openings schools were influenced by pressure from President Donald Trump’s administration. ...

Widespread concern comes as data predicts inevitable Covid-19 spread in schools and communities that do open for in-person instruction and amid outbreaks in schools that have already re-opened. Schools are also struggling with staffing protocols related to Covid-19 in their communities. In one Georgia school district, for example, nearly 260 employees won't be present for the scheduled Aug. 12 re-opening because they have tested positive for or have potentially been exposed to Covid-19.

Public Health vs. Politics: White House Scrapped Nationwide COVID Testing Plan to Hurt Blue States

Trump criticizes Covid lockdowns and falsely claims US 'doing very well'

Donald Trump used his White House coronavirus press conference on Monday to repeat his opposition to lockdowns as a means of bringing the contagion under control, claiming falsely that under his leadership the US has done “as well as any nation”.

On a day that the US had surpassed 4.7m confirmed cases of infection – more than a quarter of the global total – Trump tried to deflect criticism of his administration’s handling of the pandemic on to other countries.

He cited Spain, Germany, France, Australia and Japan as countries experiencing “significant flare ups” as the virus surges again. In fact, while Australia and Japan are experiencing renewed surges, their total incidence of disease remains a fraction of the catastrophe now sweeping across the US.

In Germany, the total number of confirmed cases stands at 212,000, with fewer than 1,000 new cases per day. By comparison, new cases in the US are beginning to plateau but at an extremely high level of about 60,000 a day.

Focus is now switching to states in the heartlands of the country such as Tennessee, Oklahoma and Missouri, where the virus is spreading fast. Trump tried to assuage fears for those areas, saying: “I think you’ll find they are soon going to be very much under control.”

A global debt crisis is looming – how can we prevent it?

While the Covid-19 pandemic rages, more than 100 low- and middle-income countries will still have to pay a combined $130bn in debt service this year – around half of which is owed to private creditors. With much economic activity suspended and fiscal revenues in free fall, many countries will be forced to default. Others will cobble together scarce resources to pay creditors, cutting back on much-needed health and social expenditures. Still others will resort to additional borrowing, kicking the proverbial can down the road, seemingly easier now because of the flood of liquidity from central banks around the world. ...

This past March, the United Nations called for debt relief for the world’s least-developed countries. Several G20 countries and the International Monetary Fund have suspended debt service for the year, and have called upon private creditors to follow suit. Unsurprisingly, these calls have fallen on deaf ears. The newly formed Africa Private Creditor Working Group, for example, has already rejected the idea of modest but broad-based debt relief for poor countries. As a result, much, if not most, of the benefits of debt relief from official creditors will accrue to the private creditors who are unwilling to provide any debt relief.

The upshot is that taxpayers in creditor countries will once again end up bailing out excessive risk taking and imprudent lending by private actors. The only way to avoid this is to have a comprehensive debt standstill that includes private creditors. But without strong action from the countries in which debt contracts are written, private creditors are unlikely to accept such an arrangement. These governments therefore must invoke the doctrines of necessity and force majeure to enforce comprehensive standstills on debt service.

But standstills will not solve the systemic problem of excessive indebtedness. For that, we urgently need deep debt restructuring. History shows that for many countries, a restructuring that is too little, too late merely sets the stage for another crisis. And Argentina’s long struggle to restructure its debt in the face of recalcitrant, shortsighted, hard-headed, and hard-hearted private creditors has shown that collective-action clauses designed to facilitate restructuring are not as effective as had been hoped. ... In the long term, a predictable, rules-based debt-restructuring mechanism, modelled after the US municipal bankruptcy legislation (“Chapter 9”) is needed. That would be in keeping with the recommendations of the post-2008 UN Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System.

Homeland Security Seized $2 Billion in Cash From Travelers at U.S. Airports

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and other Department of Homeland Security agents seized more than $2 billion in cash from travelers in U.S. airports between 2000 and 2016, according to a new report by the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public interest law firm.

The institute's report is the first to comprehensively analyze the use of civil asset forfeiture by federal law enforcement in airports, where multiple news investigations have revealed horror stories of passengers having their money taken even though they weren't ever charged with a crime. ...

"The most common reason for airport currency seizures is a failure to report traveling internationally with $10,000 or more in cash or other currency, as required by federal law," Institute for Justice senior research analyst Jennifer McDonald said in a press release. "Such paperwork violations account for half of all currency seizures and over a quarter of the total value seized—more than half a billion dollars—most without a demonstrated connection to serious criminal activity." ...

Under civil asset forfeiture laws, law enforcement can seize property suspected of being connected to criminal activity, even if the owner is never charged with a crime. That includes cash, cars, and even houses. ...

A 2017 report by the Justice Department Office of Inspector General found that the DEA seized more than $4 billion in cash from people suspected of drug activity over the previous decade, but $3.2 billion of those seizures were never connected to any criminal charges. The majority of seizures occurred in airports, train stations, and bus terminals.

Krystal Ball: TrueAnon Host TARGETED By Trump DHS In Bid To Hunt ANTIFA Like Terrorists

Congress Put the Brakes on Cuba Relief to Protect Front-Line Democrat

Last week, several House Democrats quietly killed an attempt to roll back aspects of the Trump administration’s sanctions on Cuba, which have exacerbated the economic fallout of the pandemic and hit the country with severe food and medicine shortages — to protect a front-line Democrat. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., had proposed two Cuba-related amendments to the appropriations bill, aimed at alleviating the Trump administration’s efforts to strangle the country’s economy and returning to Obama-era policy. One of the measures would have prohibited officials from blocking food and medicine exports to Cuba, while the other amendment would have rolled back the Trump administration’s cap on the amount of money people in the U.S. can send their families in Cuba, called remittances.

A coalition of over 100 groups, including progressive organizations like Just Foreign Policy, Demand Progress, and CODEPINK, supported the amendments and called on Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern, chair of the House Rules Committee, to allow the measures to come to the floor. McGovern has been a vocal opponent of America’s policy on Cuba since he was in college. Just last year, McGovern railed against the economic blockade, calling it a failure. “Not only does it hurt the Cuban people, it hurts America too,” McGovern said. “There are lifesaving medicines that have been developed and produced in Cuba that are not available here because of our embargo.” McGovern also highlighted the amendments in a speech on the House floor.

According to McGovern spokesperson Matt Bonaccorsi, though the congressman would have approved the remittances measure, the parliamentarian had some issues with the amendment to stop enforcing restrictions on food and medicine exports. And just a few days later, Rush withdrew the amendments.

But advocates in a coalition of groups supporting the amendments say that some House Democrats in the Florida and New Jersey delegations, including Rep. Donna Shalala, along with aligned nonprofit groups, pressured lawmakers to withdraw the amendments out of concerns that they would affect Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell — one of 42 members the party considers in need of electoral protection. Mucarsel-Powell, who represents a large Cuban-American population, anticipates her race will be “one of the toughest” in the country. One House Democrat confirmed that there was pressure from others in the caucus to avoid a vote on these amendments.

Militarized BORTAC Border Patrol Raids & Ransacks Medical Camp on U.S. Border, Arrests 30 Migrants

Congress of millionaires robs the unemployed

The refusal of the US Congress to take action as supplemental federal unemployment benefits expired July 31 for as many as 30 million American workers demonstrates the social interests that drive the corporate-controlled political system in the United States. A Congress whose average member is a millionaire has not the slightest concern for the mass suffering the cutoff of benefits will inflict on the working class.

Tens of millions of workers and their families have already begun to experience the impact of this act of class savagery. Their weekly incomes will be cut by 60 to 90 percent, depending on the level of state unemployment benefits they may continue to receive. Nearly 20 million households will be unable to afford their monthly rent, under conditions where a limited moratorium on evictions was allowed to expire on the same day, Friday, July 31. Millions more will be unable to buy sufficient food, let alone afford health insurance and medical care under conditions of a nationwide COVID-19 pandemic. The cutoff of supplemental benefits is not the byproduct of “gridlock” in Washington or the unintended consequence of election-year conflicts between Democrats and the Trump administration, as the corporate media presents it. This is a deliberate policy.

For all their mutual mudslinging and displays of partisan ferocity, the Democratic and Republican parties and the Trump administration serve the same class interests and are pursuing the same goal. They aim to use the threat of poverty, hunger and homelessness to force millions of workers to return to work producing profits for the capitalist class, regardless of the spreading danger from the coronavirus pandemic. Appearing on Sunday television interview programs, after a three-hour negotiating session on Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (net worth $120 million), speaking for the Democrats, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (net worth $300 million), speaking for the Trump administration, agreed that the $600-a-week supplemental benefit would not be renewed in its previous form. ...

Pelosi tried to make a display of sympathy for the unemployed, criticizing the Republicans for subjecting jobless workers to a greater degree of scrutiny than businessmen who collected tens of millions of dollars in federal payments under the misnamed Paycheck Protection Program. But she embraced the suggestion of the second-ranking Democrat in the House, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who said last week that the supplemental benefit was negotiable, and that the Republican demand to reduce the weekly amount was “not a deal-breaker.” Pelosi suggested a sliding scale of payments, as proposed by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (Democrat from New York), in which “the amount of money that’s given as an enhancement for unemployment insurance should relate to the rate of unemployment. So, as that goes down, then you can consider something less than the $600…”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (net worth $22.5 million) has set August 7 as the effective deadline for the ongoing negotiations, the day the Senate will begin its August recess. The House and Senate could well begin their monthlong break—a period of lavishly-paid vacations far beyond the reach of most American workers—having either drastically cut benefits for the unemployed or failed to restore them at all.

Krystal and Rachel: No Deal In Sight And Trump ABSENT As 30 Million Go Hungry

Trump's Millionaire Treasury Secretary Uses Debunked GOP Talking Point to Justify Slashing $600 Unemployment Boost

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Sunday recycled a debunked right-wing talking point to justify the GOP's proposal to cut by more than half the $600-per-week federal boost in unemployment benefits that expired at the end of last week, depriving around 30 million Americans of a key economic lifeline as joblessness remains at historic levels.

In an appearance on ABC's "This Week," Mnuchin claimed "there's no question" that the $600 weekly boost in unemployment insurance (UI) created a disincentive to work.

When host Martha Raddatz pointed to a recent Yale study that found "no evidence that more generous benefits disincentivized work," Mnuchin responded, "I went to Yale, I agree on certain things, I don't always agree."

As a counterpoint, the Treasury Secretary cited a "Chicago study"—apparently referring to May research from the University of Chicago showing that under the $600-per-week boost, 68% of unemployed workers who were eligible for UI could have received benefits that exceeded their previous work income. That study, however, did not examine whether the benefits created a disincentive for the unemployed to seek work.

"There are cases where people are overpaid," said Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker whose net worth is estimated to be around $400 million.

The $600 weekly payment amounts to around what a worker would earn working 40 hours per week at a $15-an-hour wage. The fact that some workers earned more under the enhanced unemployment benefits than they did from their jobs makes the case for raising wages, not cutting benefits, progressives have argued.

Senate Republicans have proposed cutting the $600 weekly boost to $200—a $1,600 monthly benefit cut for tens of millions of people.

In response to Mnuchin's remarks, Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) tweeted that "inflicting suffering on tens of millions of Americans by cutting unemployment benefits because of an anecdotal 'some cases' argument that has been refuted again and again by studies of actual data is a stupid way to make policy."

Sanders Rips Trump for 'Obscene' Boasting Over Stock Market as 30 Million Americans Face Financial Doom

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday slammed President Donald Trump for bragging on Twitter about the booming stock market just days after Republican inaction allowed the $600-per-week boost in unemployment benefits to expire, slashing the incomes of nearly 30 million Americans as the economy remains mired in deep recession.

"One hundred fifty thousand coronavirus deaths, 30 million without an unemployment lifeline, five million newly uninsured, 14 million children going hungry," Sanders tweeted. "But Trump is too busy playing golf and boasting about the stock market. Obscene."

In a tweet Monday morning, Trump hailed the "record high Nasdaq" and warned "it would all come crashing down, including your Jobs, Stocks, and 401k's, if Sleepy Joe [Biden] ever became president."

The president didn't mention that the jobless rate under his leadership is already at historic highs—last week marked the 19th consecutive week that "unemployment claims have been more than twice the worst week of the Great Recession," according to the Economic Policy Institute. ...

Trump's tweet came as the prospect of a deal between Democratic negotiators and the White House to extend the enhanced unemployment benefits at any level appeared as slim as ever.

The Washington Post reported that with relief talks at an impasse, "the Trump administration is looking at options for unilateral actions it can take to try to address some of the economic fallout caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic."

"It's not clear what steps the administration could take without the help of Congress on issues such as lapsed enhanced unemployment benefits or the expired moratorium on evictions," the Post noted.

Many congressional Republicans, meanwhile, have shown little interest in extending the boosted unemployment benefits even as coronavirus cases continue to surge and tens of millions of Americans struggle to afford food and rent.

The American Prospect's David Dayen argued Monday that the GOP's lack of urgency in the middle of worsening public health and economic crises stems from the fact that Republicans already secured the bailout they really wanted in March, when Congress approved a $4.5 trillion "slush fund" for big corporations.

"The suffering on Wall Street has been lifted," Dayen wrote. "On the day that expanded unemployment benefits expired last Friday, the stock market rose. It's back up again today. As we know, this is the cause of an ironclad vow from the Federal Reserve to do whatever it takes to protect asset prices, and a $4.5 trillion money cannon facilitated by Congress to back up the promise."

"The corporate bailout was the rescue Republicans wanted," Dayen added. "It was valuable to them and they were willing to give up a lot to get it. Democrats secured some pretty good terms but they were all temporary, and now they've mostly expired. The Fed money cannon, you will note, has not."

Keiser Report | Summer solutions | The Gutenberg Galaxy and Cyber Renaissance

Prosecutor says Trump investigation is broader than hush-money payoffs

A New York prosecutor trying to access Donald Trump’s tax returns told a judge on Monday that he was justified in demanding them, citing public reports of “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization”.

Trump’s lawyers last month said the grand jury subpoena for the tax returns was issued in bad faith and amounted to harassment of the president. The Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus Vance, is seeking eight years of the Republican president’s personal and corporate tax records, but has disclosed little about what prompted him to request the records, other than part of the investigation relates to payoffs to women to silence them about alleged affairs with Trump in the past.

In a court filing on Monday, though, attorneys for Vance said Trump’s arguments that the subpoena was too broad stemmed from “the false premise” that the investigation was limited to so-called “hush-money” payments. “This Court is already aware that this assertion is fatally undermined by undisputed information in the public record,” Vance’s lawyers wrote.

They said that information confirms the validity of a subpoena seeking evidence related to potentially improper financial transactions by a variety of individuals and entities over a period of years. They said public reporting demonstrates that at the time the subpoena was issued “there were public allegations of possible criminal activity at Plaintiff’s New York County-based Trump Organization dating back over a decade.”

They added: “These reports describe transactions involving individual and corporate actors based in New York County, but whose conduct at times extended beyond New York’s borders. This possible criminal activity occurred within the applicable statutes of limitations, particularly if the transactions involved a continuing pattern of conduct.” The lawyers urged Judge Victor Marrero to swiftly reject Trump’s arguments, saying the baseless claims were threatening the investigation. Marrero, who ruled against Trump last year, has scheduled arguments to be fully submitted by mid-August.



the horse race



Trump Proclaims Nevada Has Made It 'Impossible' for GOP to Win by Expanding Voting Rights During Pandemic

In a Monday morning tweet attacking Nevada's proposed expansion of mail-in voting as "an illegal late night coup," President Donald Trump once again openly admitted that increasing access to the ballot amid the Covid-19 pandemic poses a dire threat to the Republican Party's ability to win elections.

"Nevada's clubhouse governor made it impossible for Republicans to win the state," Trump wrote, referring to the Nevada State Senate's passage Sunday of legislation that would send every active registered voter a mail-in ballot ahead of the November elections. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill.

"Post Office could never handle the Traffic of Mail-In Votes without preparation," continued Trump, whose administration, critics warn, is currently attempting to sabotage and undermine the U.S. Postal Service.

"Using Covid to steal the state," the president added. "See you in Court!"

As Common Dreams reported in May, the Republican National Committee and right-wing advocacy groups are spending millions on lawsuits combating state efforts to expand mail-in ballot access as a safe alternative to in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's incredible that the president of the United States keeps openly saying that the only way that he and his political allies can keep their grip on power is by making it harder for large swaths of the population to vote," said Robert Maguire, research director at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Trump's tweet Monday was just his latest baseless attack on vote-by-mail expansion, which the president has repeatedly claimed—without evidence—will lead to a surge in voter fraud and cost him the presidential race.

Contradicting the narrative pushed by the president and the GOP, Nevada's Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske told state lawmakers last week that her office is not aware of any voter fraud from the state's June primary, which was conducted largely by mail.

William McCurdy II, chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party, said in a statement Sunday that Trump's "protestations against mail-in voting represent an utterly hypocritical attempt to deny Nevadans the same rights" he and members of his administration have exercised repeatedly in past elections.

"Trump and his allies have always been motivated by partisanship, even at the expense of American lives," said McCurdy. "That he would threaten Nevada Democrats' work to protect voting access through a crisis of his own making is both despicable and par for the course. But Democrats will not be intimidated. We stand with Nevadans and will do the necessary work to ensure every eligible voter can participate easily and safely in what will surely be the most important election in a lifetime."

Ryan Grim BREAKS DOWN Major Progressive Races. Is The Squad In Trouble?



the evening greens


With big rallies cancelled, young climate activists are adapting election tactics

For young climate activists in the US, staying home because of the pandemic does not mean staying silent, with plans gathering pace across the country to make their voices heard in November’s elections. It has been nearly a year since an estimated 6 million people across the world joined the youth-led global climate strikes on 20 September. ...

In the 10 months since the historic protests, the Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged the US, making meeting and organizing in-person hazardous. Climate strikes, including a major three-day mass protest that was planned for Earth Day 2020 in April, have been cancelled.

But networks of youth climate activists have been regrouping, with a new focus on election campaigning with phone banks, social media and friend-to-friend organizing, according to interviews with organizers. ... Youth voter turnout during the 2016 elections was disappointing with just 46% of eligible voters aged 18 to 29 going out to vote, compared to 70% of the oldest voters, 70 and over.

Then in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, youth movements began building campaigns and gaining visibility, with climate change growing as a key issue, driven in part by the burgeoning Sunrise Movement, which was founded in 2017. ...

In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in May, the Sunrise Movement has also made efforts to streamline its focus toward racism and police brutality, encouraging members to attend protests and speak out about the intersection of racial justice and climate activism. The organization recently started its #WideAwake campaign, encouraging local activists to protest outside the homes of elected officials. On Juneteenth, a local Sunrise chapter coordinated such a protest outside the home of Senator McConnell, demanding justice for Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed in her home by police in Louisville, Kentucky.

As Biden Embraces More Ambitious Climate Plan, Fossil Fuel Execs Donating to Trump 'With Greater Zeal' Than 2016

With presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden's climate platform becoming increasingly ambitious thanks to nonstop grassroots pressure, fossil fuel executives and lobbyists are pouring money into the coffers of President Donald Trump's reelection campaign in the hopes of keeping an outspoken and dedicated ally of dirty energy in the White House.

The Houston Chronicle reported Monday that oil and gas executives "are writing checks to President Donald Trump with greater zeal than they did four years ago, as Biden campaigns on a climate plan that seeks to eliminate carbon emissions by mid-century."

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Trump's reelection campaign has thus far raised over $936,000 from the oil and gas industry—more than three times the $265,000 the industry has donated to Biden as of July 21. By contrast, the Chronicle noted, Trump only narrowly led Hillary Clinton in fossil fuel industry donations during the 2016 campaign cycle.

"As the incumbent, Trump might seem a surer bet for companies than he was as a political outsider four years ago," the Chronicle reported. "At the same time, Biden's recent climate stance is very different from Clinton's, who as secretary of state had promoted the U.S. fracking industry overseas—Biden has sworn off donations from the oil and gas sector, though through loopholes executives are still giving."

Trump, for his part, is openly courting the oil and gas industry by warning that a Biden presidency would spell disaster for the fossil fuel sector, which has been hammered by the coronavirus pandemic.

"If these far-left politicians ever get into power, they will demolish not only your industry but the entire U.S. economy," Trump said at the site of an active oil rig in Midland, Texas last week. The president went on to falsely claim that Biden supports a total ban on fracking. (Biden only supports banning fracking on public lands.)

"No fracking, no drilling, no oil," Trump said of the former vice president's position.

While Biden's refusal to commit to the Green New Deal and a complete fracking ban has drawn the ire of environmentalists and advocacy groups, the former vice president's release last month of a $2 trillion green energy plan was celebrated as an encouraging step in the right direction.

California: thousands under evacuation order as fire rages east of Los Angeles

Thousands of people in California were under evacuation order after a wildfire in mountains east of Los Angeles exploded in size and forced crews to battle flames in triple-digit heat. The Apple fire in Riverside county has consumed more than 41 sq miles (about 80 sq km) of dry brush and timber since it broke out on Friday, according to the California department of forestry and fire protection. The blaze is the largest in southern California so far this year.

As of Monday morning, it was 5% contained. The cause was under investigation.

Officials allowed flames to run up the side of Mount San Gorgonio, an 11,000ft (3,350m) peak, because it was not safe to let crews work in such steep, rugged terrain, said Lisa Cox, a spokeswoman for the US Forest Service.


Also of Interest

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

American and Sending Your Children Back To School In September? Bad Idea

Why Housing Is a Human Right

Homeowners Beware: Mortgage Servicers Still Can’t or Won’t Shoot Straight

In a pandemic, billionaires are richer than ever. Why aren't they giving more?

Trump: US Should Get ‘Very Substantial’ Portion of TikTok Sale Price

The Fed Has Secreted Away the Transactions of Three of Its Emergency Lending Programs

When Henry Wallace Warned of ‘American Fascism’

Statue of white woman holding hatchet and scalps sparks backlash in New England

Regime Change The Media: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Another 'Russian Hacker' Story Debunks Itself

Democracy Now: Israeli phone spyware used in arrest of Morroccan journalist Omar Radi

Kyle Kulinski: Previewing The Hellish Future Of MSNBC In The Biden Era

Krystal Ball: Mitch McConnell FREAKS About Kris Kobach Costing GOP Their Majority

Krystal and Rachel: Does Nikki Haley DEBT Fearmongering Show DIRE Future For GOP Post Trump?


A Little Night Music

Earl Bostic - Up There in Orbit

Earl Bostic - C Jam Blues

Earl Bostic - Cherokee

Earl Bostic - Cracked Ice

Cousin Joe with Earl Bostic Orchestra - Make Me Strong As Samson

Earl Bostic - Night Train

Earl Bostic w/ Bill Jones - Too Fine For Crying

Earl Bostic - Feeling Cool

Earl Bostic - Disc Jockey's Nightmare


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Comments

enhydra lutris's picture

haker tale fail was a gas. If only there wee one mainstream media power to widely broadcast all of these propaganda fail demonstrations.

Thanks for the Bostic too, lots of classics. Just gotta toss in one more Ray Noble tune he did

be well and have a good one.

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9 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 --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

heh, the mainstream propaganda outlets seem never to tire of inventing russian hacker stories to hyperventilate about. you'd think that they'd get better at making them up, but no, we get mediocre propaganda 24/7.

thanks for the tune! i can never hear that tune without thinking of danny gatton and the innumerable times i heard him play it, every time different and interesting.

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7 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack

be well and have a good one.

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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 --

wendy davis's picture

ugly and terrifying. RT has much more coverage besides this latest:

‘Catastrophe’: Lebanese PM pleads for help as 70+ confirmed dead & thousands injured in Beirut blasts, 4 Aug, 2020, RT.com

may their families find some measure of comfort one day...

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16 users have voted.
usefewersyllables's picture

@wendy davis
a warehouse with 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer that somehow got detonated, cause unknown.

The Texas City disaster in 1947 was 2,200 tons, and leveled the entire city, killing >500 and breaking windows in Galveston 10 miles away.

Apparently, the fertilizer was cargo on a ship which experienced difficulties, was abandoned in port by its owners, unloaded into the warehouse, and then essentially forgotten about for some period of time. If it really was 2,750 tons, that was one *ungodly* huge explosion.

We shall see if that turns out to be true. If it was, expect the death toll to rise dramatically. What a freakin' tragedy.

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11 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

joe shikspack's picture

@wendy davis

accident? hmmm...

doubt it.

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4 users have voted.

@joe shikspack This was a commercial port that had no linkage to Hezbollah. Thus no need for Israel to hit it. It was truly just the result of what a lousy government with no safety concerns can do.

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5 users have voted.
Granma's picture

Someone recently suggested using open threads to report on new homeless in our local area.
On a previously bare piece of land near light rail station today, I saw homeless tents, at least two dozen. Between the street and the light rail tracks in the few blocks, I saw another dozen or more tents strung out. And another 10-15 on empty pieces of land near the freeway entrance. Since I was driving, it was difficult to do a good count. I'm being conservative in my estimate of numbers. These are all new tents and tarp setups on previously empty grassy places. I think many people are already losing their housing. I cannot imagine what it is going to be like in coming months.

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10 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Granma

i've noticed a small uptick in the number of vehicles that it looks like are being lived in in my area. i haven't seen any tent encampments here yet.

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6 users have voted.
Granma's picture

When people realize that the election is not going to make things better for them. The oligarchy must be insane. They don't want to help cities and states. That will mean layoffs of employees, including police when they can't pay them. Covid is out of control. Police and military do not have some magic immunity to the virus. I wonder who it is they think is going to protect them and their precious properties.

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9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Granma

how the filthy rich intend to protect themselves when it hits the fan. do they comfort themselves with jay gould's claim that he could hire half of the working class to shoot the other half.

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8 users have voted.
Granma's picture

@joe shikspack I think good if they are taken by surprise. Jay Gould is probably too full of himself.

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7 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

50% of people living there are unemployed and we’re putting brutal sanctions on them still. Hospitals are turning people away because they are overwhelmed.

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13 users have voted.

“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

wow, that is quite a blast! that should help in our oligarchs plans for the utter destruction of lebanon.

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8 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

Watching this one makes me feel like I can feel it going off and hearing it too. Yeah I think the death toll is going to be much higher.

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6 users have voted.

“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

the guardian is reporting 78 current deaths and 4000 injuries, with hospitals too damaged to provide care.

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4 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@joe shikspack

They have lots of links to videos and the devastation is off the charts. Watching the video in my first comment I was wondering what happened to the cars seen on the freeway. Hopefully this link works.

https://twitter.com/BNONews/status/1290690953347563521

In another video there are bodies that look to have been stripped of their clothes. And in other news states got hit with 78 tornadoes and there is lots of damage from them. 2.2 million people lost their power on the east coast.

You safe, Joe? Lots of misery happening everywhere. I was just talking about this with a friend today. Utah seems like a pretty good place to live. A few earthquakes, but no bad weather events really.

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5 users have voted.

“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

surprisingly enough, it is a beautiful day here today and yesterday wasn't bad, either.

we have had occasional downpours and i keep getting those emergency notifications about flood watches, etc. but aside from some small tree droppings, we have been doing quite well here and it would be hard to tell that anything out of the ordinary weatherwise is going on. i'll keep my fingers crossed, though. the weatherman is predicting thundershowers from tonight on through friday night.

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1 user has voted.
Azazello's picture

Here's Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:
I Was Wrong: Congress Isn’t Cowardly; It’s Evil!

There Are No Systems
A letter-to-the-editor from my local paper:

This is the first time that I can remember that this coming Presidential election is not about voting for a person, Joe Biden or Donald Trump. Rather this election is about what form of government we want. The clear choice we have is: Do we want to be governed by Socialism or Capitalism? Be sure YOU vote on November 3, 2020.

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8 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

if trump was truly serious about withdrawing from afghanistan, he'd force congress to declare war while confining the troops to their barracks until congress coughs up the money to transport them home.

that's a pretty funny letter to the editor. i wonder how it is we are able to vote for socialism? if it were on the ballot, it might be worth a vote.

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11 users have voted.
WoodsDweller's picture

Yes, that's actually a thing. (video for reference, not worth watching the whole thing)

Because Biden can pronounce "Yosemite" (on a good day)

And Biden can drink water with one hand!

And that's how low the bar is set in this election.

To be fair, Trump isn't much of a national park guy. He's more of a "rake the forest" guy.

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13 users have voted.

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Albert Bartlett
"A species that is hurtling toward extinction has no business promoting slow incremental change." -- Caitlin Johnstone

snoopydawg's picture

@WoodsDweller

He used to give Obama crap for reading off it, but Trump doesn’t even try to sound normal doing it. The Yo-Semites? What’s that? Maybe this squirrel that does A-Yo is a Semites?

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10 users have voted.

“You know me. Do I look like a radical socialist with a soft spot for rioters? Really?” - Joe Biden 8/31/2020

WoodsDweller's picture

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg
on a Discord group with talking animals, I actually posted the one you just did. Here's a classic: "Alan".

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8 users have voted.

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Albert Bartlett
"A species that is hurtling toward extinction has no business promoting slow incremental change." -- Caitlin Johnstone

joe shikspack's picture

@WoodsDweller

i can't wait until people start making up slogans to go with the "settle" campaign.

here's my contribution:

"bad tasting, smaller portions!"

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7 users have voted.

@WoodsDweller Ignorant man, adored by so many.
Education is overrated. Daddy's $ is all you need.

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6 users have voted.

I feel I’m seeing more “Joe Biden is moving to the left” type of stories, of which that is one, that are very short on details. But the big thing of that story, that big oil etc. are donating more to Trump, well, it didn’t exactly say they’re not donating to Biden either. And so what? I feel along with the Joe going left is this kayfabe Idea that TBTP aren’t happy with Biden so he’s really on our side. Yeah, right. Sorry, I don’t believe it for a minute. Big money still is hedging their bets and neither candidate is doing anything to really piss them off.

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11 users have voted.

The only way Joe Biden is “going to be like FDR” is that he will die in office and leave a shitty vice president as a replacement.

joe shikspack's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

yep, this is the time of year to see which outlets are in the pocket of the dems. common dreams, democracy now, the nation and a bunch of others over the years have demonstrated that they will support the corporate duopoly in print. i assume that they do it because their donors demand it.

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9 users have voted.

I will appear in court with my lawsuit in the morning via zoom. I figure at least one person will have an internet interruption or bad sound. The 30 minute hearing will go on for over an hour.
Oh, well.
Great round up, as is your way.
We are a third world country that shows a big penis facade.
We individuals just need to feed our fellow humans that pass by.
Dad did.
Mom did.
I do.
I will, always.

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5 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

i hope that your morning zoom went well.

we are a failed state with a bloated military establishment. you say big penis facade, i say banana republic. Smile

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2 users have voted.