The Evening Blues - 9-14-17



eb1pt12



The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Albert Washington



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features Cincinatti blues musician Albert Washington. Enjoy!



Albert Washington - Woman Love

“Humanism is the only - I would go so far as saying the final - resistance we have against the inhuman practices and injustices that disfigure human history.”

-- Edward Said


News and Opinion


Silence From #TheResistance As Senate Votes To Maintain Trump’s War Powers

Earlier today the US Senate voted by a nearly two-to-one margin to kill Senator Rand Paul’s amendment to sunset the 16 year-old Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) which has been used to justify disastrous US military interventionism in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. It can in theory be used to justify continued military expansionism in any nation purported to have a terrorist presence that could pose a threat to the United States, without further authorization by congress.

The Senate voted to continue violating the US Constitution by leaving that immense power in the hands of the executive branch today, which is of course headed by one Donald J Trump. And how much objection do you think has been raised to this by the coalition of establishment Democrats who call themselves “the resistance” to Trump’s administration? How much “resistance” do you think people like Neera Tanden, Joy Reid, Peter Daou, Keith Olbermann and the rest of the anti-Trump establishment loyalists are putting up to this vote ensuring that Trump maintains unrestricted war authority?

Go ahead and check right now; I’ve hyperlinked the aforementioned names to their respective Twitter accounts in the preceding paragraph for you. You’ll see them babbling about Russia, DACA, “Teflon Don” whatever the fuck that is, but you won’t see anything about the Senate’s vote to leave unbridled military force authorization in the hands of a president they assure us is a traitor, a madman, and a barely-closeted Nazi.

Anyone else seeing a bit of a plot hole here?

Senator Rand Paul on America's unlimited, unconstitutional wars



The Trump Administration Was Ordered to Disclose the Legal Basis for its Syria Strike. It Handed Over Squat.

After President Donald Trump launched a cruise missile strike against Syria in April, his administration struggled to justify the legal basis for the attack. For months, a watchdog group has hounded the Trump administration for its legal reasoning. Under court order, the government has finally produced documents that reveal little, if anything. ...

The day after the missile strike, an advocacy group called the Protect Democracy Project filed a request with multiple agencies for documents that outline the administration’s legal basis for the attack. After the Pentagon and State Department denied the group’s request for expedited processing, a judge ruled in July that there was a “compelling need” for the information to get out and ordered the administration to provide answers “as soon as practicable.”

In response, the administration on Friday released nearly 60 pages of responsive documents, none of which contain any legal reasoning beyond what appears in the White House’s public statements. The Protect Democracy Project has published the documents on its website. ...

Allison Murphy, a lawyer with Protect Democracy and former White House attorney for the Obama administration, told The Intercept that the release demonstrates how little the American people know about the strikes, and she urged Congress to step in and provide clarity.

“The founders gave Congress the power to declare war precisely because they wanted to ensure such a momentous decision was subject to public debate,” said Murphy. “This is why Congress must reassert its authority now and not wait until a dangerous decision is made with Congress and the American people left in the dark.”

McCain still pimping for war:

John McCain: North Korea must know price for aggression is 'extinction'

Sen. John McCain on Sunday called for the United States to step up its presence around North Korea and make clear to its leader, Kim Jong Un, that aggressive acts would lead to the annihilation of his country.

Washington needs to "make sure that Kim Jong Un knows that if he acts in an aggressive fashion, the price will be extinction," McCain said on CNN's "State of the Union."

The Arizona Republican called for a strategy on North Korea that involved increasing missile defense and other defensive capabilities in South Korea, doing more to pressure China, and considering the deployment of nuclear weapons to the Korean Peninsula. McCain's remarks came in his first nationally televised interview since being diagnosed with brain cancer in July.

North Korea threatens to sink Japan and turn US to 'ashes and darkness'

North Korea has threatened to sink Japan and said the US should be “beaten to death like a rabid dog” after the two countries spearheaded fresh UN security council sanctions in response to the regime’s recent nuclear test.

The Korea Asia-Pacific peace committee, which oversees North Korea’s relations with the outside world, described the UN security council, which passed a new round of sanctions on Monday, as a “tool of evil” in the pay of Washington, and called for it to be broken up.

It is the first time that Pyongyang has issued an explicit threat to Japan since it fired a medium-range ballistic missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido at the end of last month, triggering emergency sirens and mass text alerts.

“The four islands of the [Japanese] archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche,” the committee said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency. Juche is the ideology of self-reliance pioneered by Kim Il-sung, the country’s founder and grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jong-un.

“Japan is no longer needed to exist near us,” the committee added.

War in Yemen: Are Western weapons being used against civilians?



China backs U.N. call for justice in Yemen, U.S. and Saudis don't

China signaled on Wednesday it was willing to back an international inquiry into atrocities in Yemen, as demanded by the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, but Saudi Arabia and the United States said they did not support the idea.

For three years running U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra‘ad al-Hussein has asked the 47 countries in the U.N. Human Rights Council to set up an independent investigation into Yemen’s war, which has killed at least 10,000, destroyed the economy, led to a cholera epidemic and pushed millions to the brink of famine.

On Wednesday, the Netherlands and Canada unveiled a draft resolution to establish an international commission of inquiry (COI) to ensure that “perpetrators of violations and abuses, including those that may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, are held accountable”.

The three-page text was supported by many countries when diplomats met to discuss amendments.

“We agree with the actions, including the COI, to promote the political solving of the Yemen crisis,” a Chinese delegate told the meeting, which was boycotted by the Arab group of countries supporting a rival Saudi-led resolution.

"The Occupation of the American Mind": Documentary Looks at Israel's PR War in the United States



Chelsea Manning named visiting fellow at Harvard

Chelsea Manning will be joining Harvard University as a visiting fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, according to the school’s website. Manning will speak on issues of LGBTQ identity in the military, Institute of Politics Fellows co-chairs Emily Hall and Jason Ge wrote in an announcement posted Wednesday.

“We welcome the breadth of thought-provoking viewpoints on race, gender, politics and the media,” Bill Delahunt, IOP acting director, said in the announcement.

FCC’s New Diversity Chair Lobbied Against Net Neutrality and Services for Minority Communities

Federal Communications Commision Chairman Ajit Pai has selected Julia Johnson, president of a consulting firm called NetCommunications, to lead the Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment, a group Pai said he established to champion the voice of every American, “no matter their race, gender, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.” ...

Over the years, Johnson has used racial minorities as a cudgel to disingenuously lobby on behalf of industry. For instance, as The Intercept previously reported, a news website created by Johnson’s consulting firm, Politic365, worked aggressively to slam the idea of “net metering,” which allows homeowners to claim credit for the solar electricity they generate and send back to the utility grid. Politic365 published multiple pieces sharply criticizing the rule, claiming that the metering would somehow harm African-American consumers and would simply benefit “privileged” elites. Those claims directly contradict findings by independent analysts, especially those working in communities of color on renewable and green job initiatives. What’s more, while Politic365 led the anti-net metering effort, it did not disclose that Johnson was paid by the utility firms opposed to net metering, including FirstEnergy and NorthWestern Energy.

[See Julia Johnson in action below:]

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin requested government jet for European honeymoon

Secretary Steven Mnuchin requested use of a government jet to take him and his wife on their honeymoon in Scotland, France and Italy earlier this summer, sparking an “inquiry” by The Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General, sources tell ABC News.

Officials familiar with the matter say the highly unusual ask for a U.S. Air Force jet, which according to an Air Force spokesman could cost roughly $25,000 per hour to operate, was put in writing by the secretary's office but eventually deemed unnecessary after further consideration of by Treasury Department officials. ...

Mnuchin, an independently wealthy former Goldman Sachs banker, has already triggered a review of his travel for using government jet to travel to Louisville and Fort Knox, Kentucky last month. The inspector general is reviewing whether he improperly used that trip to catch a prime view of the solar eclipse with his wife, a Scottish actress and model named Louise Linton.

Mnuchin's office denied he took that trip to watch the eclipse and said he was there to attend meetings on tax reform, and the Treasury Department said the Mnuchins would reimburse the government for Linton’s travel costs.

An official within The Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General said that in addition to reviewing the Kentucky trip, it has started an official "inquiry" into Mnuchin's honeymoon travel request.

Trump says he's 'fairly close' to deal with Democrats to protect Dreamers

Donald Trump said on Thursday he was “fairly close” to a deal with Democrats to protect Dreamers, young undocumented migrants brought to the US as children.

Seeming to confirm the framework of the agreement described by Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi of the House on Wednesday night, Trump told reporters “We’re working on a plan for Daca” – Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca) program, which he cancelled last week.

He said the deal would include “massive border security. The wall will come later.”

Asked if he favored an amnesty for the nearly 800,000 young undocumented migrants with Daca status, which protects against deportation and gives access to work permits, Trump shouted back: “The word is Daca.” He said he had spoken to congressional Republican leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and they were both “on board”.

White House Rejects Supremacist Label: “No One Has Done More Than Trump to Prove White People Are Not Superior”

Upbraiding the ESPN anchor Jemele Hill for calling Donald Trump a “white supremacist,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said on Wednesday that “no one has done more than President Trump to prove that white people are not superior.”

“It’s grossly unfair that Ms. Hill sought to portray Donald Trump as an upholder of white supremacy, when everything he says or does directly undermines that whole concept,” Sanders said. “Anyone who thinks that Donald Trump is on some mission to make white people look good hasn’t been paying attention.”



the horse race



Hillary Says Women Who Voted Against Her Caved To Pressure From Fathers, Husbands

Hillary Clinton has an explanation for why women — white women, in particular — voted against her last November: they caved in to pressure from their husbands, fathers, boyfriends and male bosses.

Clinton made the excuse during an interview with NPR’s Rachel Martin during a promotional tour of her book, “What Happened.”

In the interview, Clinton was asked why, given that she was the first female presidential candidate, she fared worse than expected among female voters.

In typical Clinton fashion, she deflected the blame, suggesting that women who voted against her were somehow manipulated by men in their lives. She also claimed that “sexism” from supporters of Bernie Sanders might have played a part in her poor showing among female voters.

Glenn Greenwald weighs in with an excellent post:

The Clinton Book Tour Is Largely Ignoring the Vital Role of Endless War in the 2016 Election Result

To pitch her book, Hillary Clinton is sitting down this week for a series of media interviews, mostly with supportive TV personalities, such as Rachel Maddow, to discuss her views of “What Happened,” the book’s title. Calls for Clinton to be quiet and disappear are misguided for all sorts of reasons, including the fact that she is a very smart, informed, and articulate politician, which means her interviews — especially when she’s liberated from programmed campaign mode — are illuminating about how she, and her fellow establishment Democrats who have driven the party into a ditch, really think.

An hourlong interview she sat for with Vox’s Ezra Klein is particularly worthwhile. ... Despite being illuminating, Klein’s discussion with Clinton contains a glaring though quite common omission: There is not a word about the role of foreign policy and endless war during the entire hour. While some of this may be attributable to Klein’s perfectly valid journalistic focus on domestic policies, such as health care, a huge factor in Clinton’s political career and how she is perceived — as a senator and especially as secretary of state — is her advocacy of multiple wars and other military actions, many, if not all, of which were rather disastrous, rendering it quite strange to spend an hour discussing why she lost without so much as mentioning any of that.

This is not so much a critique of Klein’s specific interview (which, again, is worthwhile) as it is reflective of the broader Democratic Party desire to pretend that the foreign wars it has repeatedly prosecuted, and the endless killing of innocent people for which it is responsible, do not exist. Part of that is the discomfort of cognitive dissonance: the Democratic branding and self-glorification as enemies of privilege, racism, and violence are directly in conflict with the party’s long-standing eagerness to ignore, or even actively support, policies which kill large numbers of innocent people from Pakistan, Libya, and Somalia to Yemen, Iraq, and Gaza, but which receive scant attention because of the nationality, ethnicity, poverty, distance, and general invisibility of their victims.

But a major part of this minimization is a misperception of the domestic political importance of these policies. From the beginning of his candidacy through the general election, Donald Trump rhetorically positioned himself as a vehement opponent of endless war, inveighing against both parties when doing so.

Though there is now a revisionist effort underway to falsely depict those who pointed this out as being gullible believers in Trump’s dovish and antiwar credentials, the reality is that most of us who warned of the efficacy of Trump’s antiwar campaign theme made explicitly clear that there was no reason to believe Trump would actually be dovish if he were elected. Indeed, from Trump’s history of endorsing the wars he was denouncing to his calls for greater and more savage bombing to his desire to nullify the Iran deal, there was ample reasons to doubt that he would usher in dovishness of any kind. But the point was that Trump’s antiwar posturing was politically potent approach because of how unpopular endless war and militarism have become.





the evening greens


U.S. Air Force Is Spraying 6 Million Acres With Chemicals in Response to Harvey

Amid statewide efforts to clean up the aftermath left by the historic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, the Pentagon announced last week that it had dispatched C-130H Sprayers from the Air Force Reserve's 910th Airlift Wing in order to "assist with recovery efforts in eastern Texas." However, these "recovery efforts" have little to do with rebuilding damaged structures or with the resettlement of evacuees. Instead, they are set to spray chemicals in order to help "control pest insect populations," which they allege pose a "health risk to rescue workers and residents of Houston."

The Pentagon has requested that the planes treat more than 6 million acres throughout the Houston area. The Air Force noted that the current effort is "expected to significantly surpass previous [spraying] missions in scope," specifically the spraying campaigns that followed Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

While the Pentagon has framed its efforts to "assist" as seeking to eliminate a potential human health risk, the particular chemical it is using to control insect populations is likely to do more harm than good. According to the Air Force, the mosquito control protocol involves spraying the "Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved and regulated material, Naled," which the Air Force insists will not be used in amounts large enough to "cause any concern for human health."

However, the insecticide Naled, manufactured and sold by a strategic partner of Monsanto, is currently banned in the European Union due to the "unacceptable risk" it presents to human health.

Naled is a known neurotoxin in animals and humans, as it inhibits acetylcholinesterase—an enzyme essential to nerve function and communication—and has even been known to have caused paralysis. Mounting scientific evidence, including a recent Harvard study, has also pointed to Naled's responsibility for the mass die-off of North American bees. Just one day of Naled spraying in South Carolina killed more than 2.5 million bees last year.

Red list: ash trees and antelopes on the brink of extinction

Native ash trees, abundant across North America, are on the brink of extinction as an invasive beetle ravages forests, according to the new red list of threatened species from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The list now includes more than 25,000 species at risk of extinction and the scientists warn that species, such as the American ashes and five African antelopes, that were thought to be safe, are now disappearing faster than they can be counted.

The new red list declares the Christmas Island Pipistrelle bat extinct, but also reports that conservation efforts have improved the prospects for snow leopards and the Rodrigues flying fox from Mauritius.

In July, scientists reported that a “biological annihilation” of wildlife in recent decades means a sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history is under way and is more severe than previously feared. Half of all animals on the planet have been lost in the past 40 years, due to the destruction of wild areas, hunting and pollution as the human population grows.

Trump and Republicans can’t even agree how to handle disasters

Since President Trump took office, he’s slashed environmental regulations and proposed a budget that would cut funding to agencies on the front lines of disaster relief. At the same time, some Republicans in Congress are mobilizing to secure funding for disaster relief before disasters happen.

Last week, Congress passed a $15 billion disaster relief program to aid those affected by the back-to-back hurricanes which struck Florida and Texas. But some Republicans, fearing that federal spending could get out of hand, are fighting the funding. Those Republicans, like South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford, want disaster funding built into the budget. He argues that certain types of disasters have become predictable.

But even as Republicans in Congress look to secure funding for disaster relief — even those claiming to act in service of “fiscal responsibility” — Trump has been slashing budgets at the agencies that prepare for and predict disasters and rolling back the environmental regulations that help mitigate the fallout of natural disasters.

The budget the Trump administration put forward in March, for example, cuts emergency relief from the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies by about 9 percent and asks that states and the private sector step up to make up the difference, according to the Washington Post. The proposed budget would also eliminate $667 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s budget — which was $13.9 billion in 2016 — and request that states match 25 percent of the FEMA money they get. Trump’s budget also cuts funding by 17 percent to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the federal organization responsible for monitoring and predicting hurricanes.

“Trump’s budget proposal was so drastic that when it came out, you saw lots of Republicans saying it was basically dead on arrival,” Ana Unruh Cohen, the Director of Government Affairs at the National Resources Defence Council, told VICE News. “A lot of those concerns were for places like NOAA and FEMA — places that are seen as critical to public safety.”



Also of Interest

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

America’s Fragile Future

The financial system is still blinking red. We need reform more than ever

'Quite backwards': Chinese tourists gawk at impoverished North Koreans

NSA Broke the Encryption on File-Sharing Apps Kazaa and eDonkey

294 more Snowden documents released at The Intercept

The Russian Hacking Story Continues to Unravel

Ancient Indian text contains earliest zero symbol


A Little Night Music


Albert Washington - Tellin' All Your Friends

Albert Washington - Betty Jane

Albert Washington - Doggin' Me Around

Albert Washington - Wings of a dove

Albert Washington - Bring It On Up

Albert Washington - You're Messing Up My Mind

Albert Washington - I'm The Man

Albert Washington - Turn On the Bright Lights

Albert Washington - One More Chance

Albert Washington - You Gonna Miss Me

Albert Washington - Ramble

Albert Washington - Having a Good Time

Albert Washington - Lonely Mountain



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Comments

Meteor Man's picture

But nobody is as good at propaganda as Putin! Fox news does not do propaganda! Fake news! America uses drones to promote Democracy and Freedoms!

Does America have a mind to Occupy?

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15 users have voted.

Cali Kush: a bowl a day keeps the doctor away.

QMS's picture

@Meteor Man although collective insanity seems pretty well tended by the propaganda machine...

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5 users have voted.

“Free speech means the right to shout 'theatre' in a crowded fire.”
― Abbie Hoffman

joe shikspack's picture

@Meteor Man

they say if you don't mind, it don't matter.

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enhydra lutris's picture

Harried and hurried reporter phoning in story:
"OK, main head - War in Yemen: OUR Western weapons being used against civilians" -
bureau dude hears - "War in Yemen: ARE Western weapons being used against civilians?" and sets the type.

So Huston suffers greatly because it was built without forethought or intelligent planning. Ergo we hit them with a neurotoxin that could, among other things, dumb them down. Next they rebuild with even less planning and forethought ...
Could this start a vicious cycle?

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

@enhydra lutris

to the end of a vicious cycle, the way things are going.

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native

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

i guess there's a tradition in american journalism of asking stupid, rhetorical questions in headlines.

i don't know about houston, but somebody has clearly been spraying the texas legislature and governor's office repeatedly. Smile

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5 users have voted.

Some want Hillary just to go away. I used to, but not anymore. The more disunity she can cause, the better. Progressives need to understand that the democrats will stab them in the back every which way they can. The longer she gets PR on her book tour, the more people will realize the truth of Thomas Franks stating that the Clinton/Obama wing of the party hates the Left and progressives. Yes HATES. The more Hillary opens her yap, the more progressives understand that the democratic party is indeed the graveyard of progressive politics.

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@MrWebster And let Her hang Herself. It's already well known that the more people hear Her, the less they like Her. But seriously, how can someone still take Her seriously as a feminist icon when she's out there claiming that women who didn't vote for Her were kowtowing to the men in their lives? In time, I fully expect she'll make equivalent statements about LGBTs, POC and any other group the Democrats are trying to identity politic to. Let Her keep talking and force the Democrats to either be "With Her" or own up to the monster they created.

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16 users have voted.

@Dr. John Carpenter Strange comment. In a way, Hillary combined identity with class. She clearly thinks the deplorables are lower class men and their beaten female consorts. It is the rich female version of Mitt Rommey giving you the skinny on gender relations among the white lower classes.

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@MrWebster If we were in a news cycle where the MSM had any interest, I wonder if this would be Her 47% moment? Of course, some people said the "basket of deplorables" comment was, so who knows? I think she's just going to keep digging lower, which is ok with me. These seemingly unfiltered opinions may be the first time in her public life she's telling the truth with regards to what she actually thinks. LOL.

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joe shikspack's picture

@MrWebster

heh, i hate the whining, but, as you point out it may serve a useful purpose. Smile

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snoopydawg's picture

he was diagnosed with brain cancer? We've seen how it effected his affect and cognitive abilities when he was questioning Comey. Whose to say if the cancer or the treatment he received isn't still causing problems? Just the fact that this did affect him before and his threat to NK should be ringing some alarm bells somewhere.

The irony of his saying that North Korea will be wiped off the earth if it continues to try to defend itself from our country, yet when it comes to stopping war crimes and genocide in Yemen, our country doesn't seem to have a problem with this.
Saudi Arabia threatened to withhold funding from the UN if it tries to investigate war crimes in Yemen. I think that's a poor reason to not do it anyway. But there was a reason for why it was built in this country. We have always had total control over what it was allowed to do.

Let's get this straight. It's okay to put sanctions on North Korea which never hurts the people in power, only the population, but it's not okay to tell the Saudis to allow supplies into Yemen so that the millions of people who are on the brink of starvation can live?
There are too damned problems with this scenario.

Oh this is rich:

Hillary Clinton has an explanation for why women — white women, in particular — voted against her last November: they caved in to pressure from their husbands, fathers, boyfriends and male bosses.

Do her supporters agree with this? That women are so weak minded that they can't withstand pressure from males in their lives?

Jeebus, this should be tattooed on her supporters who agree with her. I'm absolutely gobsmacked that she said that.

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a longtime oligarch eugenics plan is already well underway

earth is the insane asylum for the universe

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

apparently, the founding generation had a soft spot for senile rich people. that's why they put a lower limit on age for membership in the federal millionaire's club but not an upper limit.

what clinton said is not really any more outrageous than what other aging bourgeois feminists were saying during the campaign:

“We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it’s done,” Ms. Albright said of the broader fight for women’s equality. “It’s not done. There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”

Mrs. Clinton, 68, laughed, slowly clapped and took a large sip of her beverage. ...

Ms. Steinem, 81, one of the most famous spokeswomen of the feminist movement, took the sentiment a step further on Friday in an interview with the talk show host Bill Maher. Explaining that women tend to become more active in politics as they become older, she suggested that younger women were backing Mr. Sanders just so they could meet young men.

“When you’re young, you’re thinking: ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,’ ” Ms. Steinem said.

Realizing that this was potentially offensive, Mr. Maher recoiled. “Oh. Now if I said that, ‘They’re for Bernie because that’s where the boys are,’ you’d swat me.”

But Ms. Steinem laughed it off, replying, “How well do you know me?”

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@snoopydawg
And crawling into bed with the Neocons was an absolutely stupid thing to do, politically speaking. One of her numerous unforced errors. Not to mention being utterly immoral as well. But she's awfully good at raking in scads of money, so there is that.

McCain has always been a half-crazed warmonger -- with or without a brain tumor. I don't see how he could get much worse.

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native

You know, I claim to be a jaded cynic, but then I find myself still getting pissed at McResistance's total silence on ending AUFM, which would be an actual example of resisting. And, like your article says, I'm sure the Keiths and Rachels and TOPs of the world will let it pass uncommented upon, as will their followers. Meanwhile, a handful of pols coattail on an incremental health care bill everyone knows is going nowhere anyway and are practically breaking their arms patting themselves on the back (and asking us to open our wallets and purses to show our gratitude.) The neo-liberals of the world think people like me are just full of blind anger based in nothing*, but it's shit like this that makes me see red every time, no matter how cynical and jaded I think I've gotten.

*aside from sexism, racism, etc., obviously. /s

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Big Al's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter And a big problem that has to be dealt with on the so called left.

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divineorder's picture

@Big Al @Big Al they had covered the previous attempted push back by Lee in the summer. Then I looked at their Twitter.

Heh. The Dems are war mongers, pure and simple.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

my guess is that since this action was spearheaded by rand paul, commondreams will not cover it - despite the fact that he is supporting a position that commondreams has espoused.

i don't agree with rand paul on an awful lot of things, but when he's right on a very important issue it seems stupid to ignore it and fail to make common cause.

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@joe shikspack Yeah, Rand Paul can jump in a lake as far as I'm concerned, but it's embarrassing to have to give him props for being right on this issue and see the so called left "keeping their power dry" or whatever they're calling it these days. But when someone is right, they're right. I'm going to support someone on the right side of an issue, if only for that specific issue, even if they're the "wrong" party. To do otherwise is that cutting off one's nose to spite one's face progressives keep being accused of doing.

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@Dr. John Carpenter speech and that I agree with him on his position. I also told him I don't agree with him on much but when you're right, you're right. Get over this red team/blue team bullshit.

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joe shikspack's picture

@Dr. John Carpenter

sometimes what pisses me off is just the nerve of these people using terminology like "the resistance" or "our revolution" to describe milque-toast, half-assed, warmed-over movements that would wet themselves in fear if ever confronted with the real thing.

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snoopydawg's picture

It’s a joke! The only rational explanation for the FBI’s behavior, is that they’ve been told to “stand down” so they don’t unwittingly expose the truth about what’s really going on, that the whole Russia hacking fiction is a complete and utter fraud, and that the DNC, the CIA and the media are all having a good laugh at the expense of the clueless American people.

This is from the counterpunch article that says that the Russian interference with the election is falling apart.
We know that the FBI never even saw the DNC computers, let alone looked into them. There is all kinds of problems with this claim and yet now that Trump is president, he hasn't told the agencies that are under his control to look into this. Or told the NSA "show me the proof"

The fact that he hasn't done anything to prove that Russia didn't put him in office, seems to me that he's playing along with this farce. But what would he gain from allowing this? Color me confused.

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7 users have voted.

a longtime oligarch eugenics plan is already well underway

earth is the insane asylum for the universe

joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

perhaps he's enjoying the publicity. they say that the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

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@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

simply prefers to keep everyone confused. That he employs confusion as a deliberate tactic.

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native

TheOtherMaven's picture

@native
and Trump appears to be a past master of it. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ObfuscatingStupidity

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

posted in another essay. Thought I'd post an excerpt here, but, first, will link to my comment in another thread. I am really concerned that there are so many 'definitions' of Medicare. Especially, Medicare For All. Of course, this is to the advantage of lawmakers, since it can serve to give them 'cover' as they espouse their support for various bills.

At my last count, there are already '4' new health care proposals being offered by Dems, going into the 2018 election cycles. We're going to be caught up in taking care of pressing business--in preparation for Mr M's retirement--for the next week or two; but, when we get back, I'm planning to post excerpts about all four of them for comparison/discussion.

Here's part of the point that I was trying to make earlier,

More importantly, I'm trying to convey to folks that his proposal is not 'Medicare' as we know it. That it's not simply 'opening up' the 60's era program that many of us are currently enrolled in.

IMO, this is a difference, with a distinction.

Personally, I don't agree with using the term MFA as a 'marketing tool.' The term 'Medicare' has a definite meaning to most folks enrolled in the program, and, arguably, even to those folks who haven't aged into it yet. After all, we all have/had parents and grandparents.

Wink

Anyhoo, it's my belief that if someone proposes to radically upend, or, in this case, flat-out replace a 50-plus year old program, they have the responsibility to be forthright about their intention to do so.

True, most of us follow the political machinations in D.C. closely enough to realize that lawmakers and/or activists may (and often do) use this term differently.

But, I'd bet that more than 90% of Americans, wouldn't have a clue that it doesn't mean--literally--just opening up our current Medicare program to allow Americans of all ages to enroll.

The reason that I've brought up this topic is that I'm hearing discussions on Cable TV which are far less than forthcoming. I was blown away by one such interview last night. The implication was that Bernie's bill was simply 'expanding' the current Medicare program. It is, or should be clear to anyone who read the Executive Summary, etc., that this is not the case.

Whereas it's perfectly fine to propose a new system built from scratch to replace all of our current federal and state health care systems, and try to sell the idea--IMO, it's only right to do so in a transparent and forthright manner.

(I'll post the transcript and video when we get back. Gotta bug out soon, and I'd rather be around, in case there's discussion of the interview.)

Here's an excerpt from DO's link, New Republic,

Both Scher and Sanger-Katz point out that the Kaiser poll shows that support for single-payer is malleable, dropping by around a third if people are told that the plan would give the government too much control over health care, eliminate or replace Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, or require a tax hike. The ads about higher taxes and a government takeover are a given.

As Chait notes, the most risk-averse voters will likely be the 155 million people who are on employer-provided insurance. Then there are the seniors who already have Medicare and may be vulnerable to messaging that suggests a socialist takeover of the health care system will endanger their coverage.

I disagree with Chait on both his last points.

Today, employee-sponsored health insurance is tiered--been so for about a decade. Chait probably still has a platinum plan, but chances are that the majority of folks in his, and most other organizations and/or workplaces, have more of a bronze-like plan--therefore, they'd likely be happy to consider a single-payer proposal. Of course, he's right--there are some folks who still have excellent group health coverage. And they may be quite resistant to change.

Whoah! What in the world is Chait talking about--seniors worried about socialism in medicine! Had a chuckle over that one.

Pleasantry

Seriously, the concern would not be that, IMO. It would be that the over 60 million folks (according to Tom Price) who are already enrolled in Medicare, are mostly satisfied with their coverage. Obviously, there's some variance there, too. IIRC, just under a fifth of Medicare enrollees have no supplemental coverage; hard to imagine that they wouldn't like a change.

OTOH, just as Mr M and I would ask about the cost of a house or a car that we were considering buying, we'd want to know what any 'new' insurance coverage would cost us--in taxes, or in premiums. Today, we know exactly to the last penny, what our annual premiums/costs are.

So, any sponsors of a Medicare 'replacement plan' who wants us to sign on, will need to cough up some pretty concrete figures regarding the total annual OOP costs, including premiums, or taxes. (Several of the plans being proposed, will have monthly premiums.)

Hey, bet that Dem lawmakers are hoping that there aren't too many folks like us out there!

Biggrin

Thanks for tonight's EB, Joe. A little early, Everyone have a nice evening, and weekend!

Bye

Mollie


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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

to a certain extent, i think that this round of "single-payer fever" will be loud and raucous, but ultimately end in a stalemate. i expect a lot of stuff to be thrown onto the table, lots of devils and details will emanate from the media coverage (only some of which might be accurate) and chicken little will go on his "the sky is falling american tour."

it's worth paying attention to the proposals, though, because they will likely become fodder for some future bipartisan plan to screw us all unless all of the third way, dlc, pete peterson democrats can be dispatched in one fell swoop.

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divineorder's picture

Heh. Sadly, may be talking the 'keep the government out of my medicare' seniors. Probably not that many of those though.

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

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

it only takes a few of those, "keep your dirty gummint hands offa my medicare" folks to make a lot of noise. Smile

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smiley7's picture

Mollie and other C99ers are shining a light on new Medicare bills. i wrote a vetting diary yesterday outlining the pros of traditional Medicare and said at the bottom of the diary that my thoughts were predicated on everyone using "Traditional Medicare"

Now, i've learned that's not the plan, Damn. Imho, "Traditional Medicare" is the way to go for now as growing a program in existence is far easier than building a new one.

It's frustrating, this battle for healthcare, especially with politicos playing politics and being tied to the corporate store.

Oh well, onward, the battle forever rages.

Thanks for the News and Blues.

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joe shikspack's picture

@smiley7

i would imagine that as mollie notes, the definition of "medicare" is going to get very slippery quite rapidly, to the point that nobody can keep track of what their interlocutors are talking about. the politicians will probably like it that way.

i haven't read the 189 page bill that sanders submitted, but some of his descriptions of the medicare that he'd like to see (one with no co-pays or out of pocket expenses that covers everything, including dental care) seemed quite appealing. i doubt that such a wonderful thing would emerge from the legislative sausage grinder resembling that description, though.

good to see you. hope all is well.

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divineorder's picture

@smiley7 essay.

We were able to retire at the ripe young age of 55 with a piss poor little teacher pension from TX which also included a health care benefit. Then after 60 one of us had cancer and were given a 60% chance of surviving. Tranfusions,aceties drains, the costs were big stuff. 6.5 hour surgery plus 8 day hospital stay which cost $130,000. We had to cough up thousands ourselves . We looked forward to Medicare then discovered that it only covered a portion. However our teacher retiree benefit kicked in to help out when the other of us had a hospital stay as well.

Now the state is screwing with the funding for the health benefit and if we had to depend on trad Medicare alone we could easily be in the shit quite soon.

So the distinction is quite important. Glad you clocked in on Medicare.

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

smiley7's picture

@divineorder @divineorder @divineorder

since 2009, although the ACA did strengthen the Medicare program financially, many needed tweaks were left on the table.

I have plan f "Traditional Medicare" and with the exception of rising Medigap premiums and not approving drugs i presently need, it has served me well. Not so with my landlord's wife as Medicare recently refused Proton therapy for her breast cancer although the special radiation was what her doctor's recommended. Consequently, she's endured two surgeries as the first surgery didn't get it all.

From anecdotes of friends who chose the managed care programs, their coverage is lacking in many ways, tied to certain doctors and hospitals, for instance. I suppose that they choose those managed plans for lower monthly premiums with higher deductibles, but as we know, one trip to a specialist or an expensive test and the out of pocket costs can skyrocket, quickly.

Drugs have become my financial problem as i take several very expensive ones, daily. I do hope in future to get into drug trials for meds not approved by Medicare at two special clinics i have appointments with in October.

Great to see you, too!

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divineorder's picture

@smiley7 Beginning next January the Tx legislature is forcing us back into Medicare Advantage group coverage. As a matter of principal we got out of the default sign up for MA that we first had been veal penned for by the State. Now our current coverage option is no longer funded. We will see what the new MA group coverage does.

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

divineorder's picture

"The Occupation of the American Mind": Documentary Looks at Israel's PR War in the United States"

As a recovering academic DN coverage and the documentary were outstanding critique of US based media . what a breath of fresh air.

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

divineorder's picture

@divineorder

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

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

roger waters appears in a couple of other segments.

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MarilynW's picture

WH presser to threaten people and to suggest people be fired is beyond the pale. Huckabee-Sanders is getting very authoritarian.

I enjoyed the Borowitz story! Trump is not a good example of white supremacy.

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joe shikspack's picture

@MarilynW

i'm afraid that authoritarianism sells, so to speak. it's what trump's base craves and it means that more eruptions from the press room bully pulpit are inevitable.

welcome to the age of loud and wrong.

on the other hand, humor like borowitz' is the perfect antidote to authoritarianism.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

that I'm trying to nitpick for no good reason. It's really not my intention.

Like Smiley, Mr M and I chose to go with Traditional Medicare and Plan F, which means that other than paying our two monthly premiums (apiece), we should have no OOP expenses as long as the medical services that we receive are approved by Medicare. (IOW, they aren't experimental, etc.)

Now, that excludes prescription drugs, which as Smiley just pointed out, can be outrageously expensive. We got walloped for almost 5 months last Sept-Jan, while Mr M was still on his employer-sponsored plan. Got more to say about the Part D plans, but will have to wait until another time. Tonight have to prepare for a meeting tomorrow.

Anyhoo, from looking at the 'financing' options of this plan (Bernie's), under Option 1, it appears that there would be a considerable cost shift from families to individuals, and couples without children--that includes empty nesters, childless couples, and, of course, younger couples who have yet to start their families.

As everyone knows, today, Medicare is set up on a strictly 'individual' basis--regarding one's subsidy amount, and monthly premium. The system today, even varies by members in the same family. For instance, I left Mr M's employer-sponsored insurance just a few months before him, but in a different plan year, so my base Medicare premium is actually less than his monthly premium.

Looking at Option 1, I'm all but certain that monthly premiums would have to rise for most seniors, assuming that they don't have children who are still considered dependents. When the ACA was written, the federal income tax laws were 'reformed' to include first dollar Social Security benefits when determining such things as health insurance subsidies in the ACA Exchanges. There's no reason to believe that the guidelines for UM (Universal Medicare) wouldn't follow the same template, if/when Traditional Medicare becomes a 'Universal Medicare Program' to include families.

It's early, yet. Hopefully, we'll be able to get more answers as to how much of a tab folks will be stuck with. Frankly, I can't imagine that it will be more generous than the current subsidy. But, hopefully, I'm wrong.

Wink

Mollie

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)