The Evening Blues - 9-17-20



eb1pt12


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Guy Davis

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features folk-blues musician Guy Davis. Enjoy!

Guy Davis - Going Down Slow

"Every news outlet and every journalist who is not speaking out for Assange with urgency and force is admitting they have no intention of ever challenging power in any meaningful way; they’re saying this trial poses no threat to them. They are admitting they are propagandists."

-- Caitlin Johnstone


News and Opinion

Bill Barr reportedly suggested bringing sedition charges against protesters

William Barr told prosecutors to explore aggressive charges against people arrested at recent demonstrations across the US, even suggesting bringing a rarely used sedition charge, reserved for those who have plotted a threat that posed imminent danger to government authority, according to multiple reports on Wednesday.

The move signals a doubling down on Barr’s aggressive approach to the protests. Barr told US attorneys from across the country during a conference call last week that they should seek to pursue federal charges against people who were arrested at demonstrations, even if state charges could also apply, the Wall Street Journal reported. ...

The attorney general suggested that prosecutors could even bring a rarely used sedition charge, which means a person plotted a threat that posed imminent danger to government authority, against protesters. With the first amendment protecting any general anti-government speech, bringing on a sedition charge would require proof that a person posed imminent danger.

Barr also suggested exploring charges against Seattle’s mayor, Jenny Durkan, for allowing the establishment of the city’s autonomous occupied protest zone, the New York Times reported.

ACLU Rebukes Barr for Urging Sedition Charges Against Protesters

Attorney General William Barr drew stinging rebuke from legal experts and civil liberties advocates including the ACLU Wednesday after he told federal prosecutors to more aggressively charge some protesters with crimes—including sedition, under certain circumstances. ...

"Treating protest as a form of sedition won't stand up in court, but that is clearly not the point here," Somil Trivedi, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project, said in an email to Common Dreams. "This is a tyrannical and un-American attempt to suppress demands for racial justice and an end to police violence. Independent and ethical prosecutors should reject this administration's authoritarian impulses." ...

Both Barr and President Donald Trump have (often falsely) blamed left-wing and anarchist protesters, including members of the Black Lives Matter movement and people who loosely identify under the Antifa umbrella, for most of the violence during the ongoing protests that began earlier this year after police and white supremacist killings of Black and Latinx people including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery

However, a study by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), which analyzed more than 7,750 Black Lives Matter demonstrations in all 50 states and Washington D.C. that occurred between May 26 and August 22, found that fully 93% of the protests were peaceful.  

Nevertheless, the president has called the Black Lives Matter movement—the latest iteration of the centuries-old Black struggle for equality and justice—"a symbol of hate."

Bad apples turn up in France:

Paris police prefect accused of Yellow Vest 'preventive arrests'

Armed civilian roadblocks in Oregon town fuel fears over vigilantism

As Oregon battles more than a dozen wildfires and rumors about looters and arsonists flare, the appearance of armed civilian checkpoints has sparked a fierce debate about vigilante activity and how law enforcement should respond. Residents of the unincorporated town of Corbett in Multnomah county met with law enforcement officials on Saturday evening, after several people complained of being subjected to illegal roadblocks the previous night.

Vigilante groups had sprung up on Friday afternoon, after the detonation of a firecracker led to a brushfire on private property that was quickly extinguished.

Civilian residents, some heavily armed, set up at least two roadblocks with cars and household chairs, according to residents and recordings obtained by the Guardian. Drivers who were stopped said they were asked to identify themselves and their connection to the town and claimed that on at least two occasions, police were on the scene and did not intervene in the illegal traffic stops. ...

Multnomah is the state’s most populous county, taking in the city of Portland and points east, including outer-metropolitan Gresham and several unincorporated communities near the entrance of the Columbia River Gorge, including Bridal Veil, Orient, and Corbett. Social media appeared to have played a central role in setting up the events in Corbett. Corbett’s main (and private) local Facebook group last week was consumed with rumors of “antifa” militants traveling up into the Columbia River Gorge to set fires and destroy the town.

[Lots more detail at the link. -js]

Daniel Ellsberg Warns U.S. Press Freedom Under Attack in WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Extradition Case

News Media Who Ignore The Assange Trial Are Admitting They Don’t Care About Journalism

To the extent that they report on the trial at all, mainstream news outlets have mostly limited their coverage to trivialities like trouble with courtroom audio equipment or postponement due to a coronavirus scare. No mainstream outlet has been covering this immensely important trial in-depth to anywhere near the extent that former UK ambassador Craig Murray has been doing every night, or explaining to their audience the significance of a precedent which will allow journalists all over the world to be extradited and jailed for exposing embarrassing truths about the US government.

This dereliction of journalistic responsibility was damning enough back when the prosecution was trying to argue that Assange doesn’t have First Amendment protections because he was engaged in espionage and not journalistic behavior. But now that the prosecution has pivoted to arguing that it doesn’t matter that Assange is a journalist because the US government is allowed to imprison people for journalism, this dereliction of duty has become far more pronounced.

Murray writes the following in his latest update:

The prosecution’s line represented a radical departure from their earlier approach which was to claim that Julian Assange is not a journalist and to try and distinguish between his behaviour and that of newspapers. In the first three days of evidence, legal experts had stated that this gloss on the prosecution did not stand up to investigation of the actual charges in the indictment. Experts in journalism also testified that Assange’s relationship with Manning was not materially different from cultivation and encouragement by other journalists of official sources to leak.

By general consent, those first evidence days had gone badly for the prosecution. There was then a timeout for (ahem) suspected Covid among the prosecution team. The approach has now changed and on Tuesday a radically more aggressive approach was adopted by the prosecution asserting the right to prosecute all journalists and all media who publish classified information under the Espionage Act (1917).

The purpose of the earlier approach was plainly to reduce media support for Assange by differentiating him from other journalists. It had become obvious such an approach ran a real risk of failure, if it could be proved that Assange is a journalist, which line was going well for the defence. So now we have “any journalist can be prosecuted for publishing classified information” as the US government line. I strongly suspect that they have decided they do not have to mitigate against media reaction, as the media is paying no attention to this hearing anyway.

Murray’s subsequent breakdown of the prosecution’s arguments makes it clear that he was not over-selling this change in strategy. His notes on attorney for the prosecution James Lewis’ arguments contain lines as blatant as “There are Supreme Court judgements that make it clear that at times the government’s interest in national security must override the First Amendment” and “serial, continuing disclosure of secrets which harm the national interest cannot be justified. It therefore follows that journalists can be prosecuted” in arguing against witness testimony that Assange’s publishing behavior should be protected by the First Amendment.

“The United States Supreme Court has never held that a journalist cannot be prosecuted for publishing national defence information,” Murray reports Lewis argued.

So that’s the precedent the prosecution is setting now. No longer “We can extradite and imprison Assange because he isn’t a journalist”, but “We can extradite and imprison Assange because we’re allowed to extradite and imprison journalists.”

The argument that Assange isn’t a journalist has always been transparently false, whether made in the courtroom or in the court of public opinion. Publishing important information so that the public can understand what’s going on in their world is exactly the thing that journalism is. All WikiLeaks publications have included extensive written analyses of their contents, and its staff have received many esteemed awards for journalism.

But the fact that the prosecution is no longer even attempting to argue against the journalistic nature of the actions they are attempting to criminalize means they have ceased trying to pretend that they are not waging a war against worldwide press freedoms. Which means that all journalists and news media outlets have lost their last excuse for not condemning Assange’s persecution with great force and urgency.

Now that it is out in the open that the US government plans to prosecute any journalist anywhere in the world who it deems to have committed “disclosure of secrets which harm the national interest” (which in Assange’s case means exposing US war crimes), anyone on earth who actually plans on doing real journalism which holds real power to account is at risk. If someone isn’t using whatever platform they can to denounce Assange’s persecution, they are showing the world that they have no interest in ever doing real journalism which holds real power to account.

News reporters and news outlets are showing us what they are right at this moment. If they are not speaking out for Assange’s freedom right now they are telling you that his persecution poses no threat to them. They are telling you that they never plan on doing anything that might hold power to account with the light of truth. They are telling you that they will side with power every time. They are telling you they are propagandists.

The prosecution’s new line of argumentation should have drawn massive headlines from all the major news outlets who’ve been bloviating about the dangers posed by Trump’s war on the press with flamboyant preening and self-aggrandizement. Instead they are silent, because they do not care.

To quote Maya Angelou, when someone shows you who they are, believe them.

A Crisis Made in America: Yemen on Brink of Famine After U.S. Cuts Aid While Fueling War

Trump Confession He Was Ready to Assassinate Assad Condemned

In an apparent admission about a previous lie that alarmed anti-war advocates, President Donald Trump claimed in Tuesday television appearance that he wanted to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad—contradicting his past denial of the desire, which was first revealed in journalist Bob Woodward's 2018 book Fear.

Woodward reported that not long after Assad used chemical weapons on Syrian civilians in April 2017, Trump told then-Defense Secretary James "Mad Dog" Mattis: "Let's fucking kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the fucking lot of them." After hanging up with the president, Mattis—who announced his resignation the following year—told a senior aide that "we're not going to do any of that. We're going to be much more measured."

Trump initially responded in September 2018 by denying the reporting. However, during a Tuesday "Fox & Friends" interview in which Trump took aim at Woodward's new book, Rage, the president said he wanted to order Assad's assassination but Mattis opposed it, then complained about his former Pentagon chief.

"I would have rather taken him out. I had him all set. Mattis didn't want to do it," Trump said Tuesday before quickly noting that earlier this year he ordered the assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani, which a top United Nations expert has deemed a violation of internatinal law.

Critics of Trump responded to the interview by not only pointing to it as yet another example of the president's seemingly endless dishonesty but also condemning his desire to issue an "illegal" and "reckless" order for the United States military to kill the Syrian leader—arguing that human rights abuses by Assad's government, however brutal, do not give Trump the authority to have him assassinated.

"How ironic that at the very time Trump is trying to position himself as someone making peace in the Middle East, he tells Fox News that he wanted to murder Syrian President Assad but was stopped by his then-Secretary of Defense Mattis," Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the peace group CodePink, told Common Dreams Wednesday.

Benjamin said that "it's ridiculous to say that Mattis stopped him," considering Trump is commander-in-chief. "Such a murder would have been an egregious violation of international law," she added. "But more importantly, this call to murder Assad, the leader of a sovereign nation, is a disgusting display of Trump's imperial hubris." ...

CBS News reported the Syrian Foreign Ministry responded to the interview in a statement Wednesday, calling Trump's comments confirmation "that the U.S. administration is a rogue and outlaw state, and is pursuing the same methods of terrorist organizations, with murder and assassination, without taking into account any legal, humanitarian, or moral controls or rules in order to achieve its interests in the region."

U.S. pushes arms sales surge to Taiwan, needling China

The United States plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems, including mines, cruise missiles and drones to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said, as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on China.

Pursuing seven sales at once is a rare departure from years of precedent in which U.S. military sales to the island were spaced out and carefully calibrated to minimize tensions with Beijing.

But the Trump administration has become more aggressive with China in 2020 and the sales would land as relations between Beijing and Washington are at their lowest point in decades over accusations of spying, a lingering trade war and disputes about the spread of the novel coronavirus.

At the same time Taiwan's desire to buy weapons increased after President Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected here in January and has made strengthening Taiwan's defenses a top priority.

Taiwan is China’s most sensitive territorial issue. Beijing says it is a Chinese province, and has denounced the Trump administration’s support for the island.

60% Of Businesses Close Permanently As Unemployment Numbers Remain Steadily High

Trump Touts Herd Immunity Approach to Covid That Experts Warn Would Kill Millions

Insisting during a town hall Tuesday night that Covid-19 will simply disappear on its own—echoing a baseless claim he also made in February, March, April, May, June, July, and August—President Donald Trump touted a so-called "herd immunity" approach to the pandemic that public health experts warn would lead to hundreds of millions of new coronavirus infections and millions of additional deaths.

"We're gonna be OK. And it is going away," Trump told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "And it's probably gonna go away now a lot faster with the vaccine. It would go away without the vaccine, George."

When Stephanopoulos replied that "many deaths" would result such a scenario, Trump said: "You'll develop like a herd mentality. It's gonna be herd developed, and that's gonna happen. That will all happen. But with a vaccine, I think it will go away very quickly. But I really believe we're rounding the corner, and I believe that strongly."

Trump's remarks came as Covid-19 continues to spread across the United States, with the nation averaging around 38,000 new cases per day over the past week. In total, the U.S. has recorded over 6.6 million positive coronavirus cases and at least 195,600 deaths, and it remains unclear when a safe and effective vaccine will be available to the public. ...

To reach "herd immunity" to the virus, experts say around 65% of the U.S. population—over 200 million people—would have to be infected. Given the current U.S. death rate from Covid-19, that number of cases would kill millions of people.

'Why Is He Trying So Hard to Keep It a Secret?' Postal Service Sued Over Refusal to Release DeJoy Calendar

Government watchdog group American Oversight filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service on Tuesday over its refusal to turn over Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's calendar in response to a Freedom of Information request, stonewalling that the nonpartisan organization said could indicate the USPS chief has something to hide.

"Who has Postmaster General DeJoy been meeting with and why is he trying so hard to keep it a secret?" said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight, said in a statement. "DeJoy is supervising the delivery of everything from mail-in ballots to medications right now, and the public is entitled to see how he's spending his time and who has been influencing his decisions."

The lawsuit, filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeks an order compelling the Postal Service to release DeJoy's calendar, which is stored on a government computer.

In response to the Postal Service's claim that DeJoy's calendar was "created for his personal use" and "not intended to be an official record of his schedule," American Oversight said the "postmaster general's calendar is composed of agency records" and thus subject to FOIA requests.

As HuffPost's Roque Planas reported last week, "the USPS doesn't have to make rock-solid legal arguments to withhold DeJoy's calendar, or any of the other records critics want to see, ahead of the election."

"November 3 is less than two months away," Planas noted. "FOIA allows for a weekslong administrative process to resolve disputes and appeals. Lawsuits often take years to settle. Documents like DeJoy's calendar, which might shed light on the agency's politicization, will likely stay out of the public eye until well after Election Day has passed."

American Oversight's filing comes two weeks after the House Oversight Committee subpoenaed DeJoy for a number of documents, including his "complete, unredacted calendar from June 15, 2020 to the present." The deadline for DeJoy to comply with the panel's subpoena is noon Wednesday.

Activists Help ICE Detainee Avoid Deportation Following Alleged Sterilization Procedure at Georgia Facility

Immigrant rights advocates Wednesday praised efforts that helped a woman detained in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility temporarily avoid deportation, potentially paving the way for her to corroborate evidence that she and other women at an ICE detention center received unwarranted procedures including hysterectomies while in custody, and allowing her to continue her legal fight against deportation.

"We just got Pauline off the plane," Mijente, a Latinx advocacy group tweeted Wednesday afternoon, referring to a commercial flight Pauline Binam had been on, presumably to be deported.

Binam, who is Black, is originally from Cameroon and has lived in the United States since she was two years old. According to reporting from Democracy Now!, she has been detained at the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia for three years. Last fall, according to a document shared by Mijente, Binam went to a gynecologist at the facility for a dilation and curettage (D&C) procedure, often used to remove tissue from a woman's uterus, but ended up having a salpingectomy, a procedure that removes one or both fallopian tubes, without her consent. ...

In related news, ProPublica and the Texas Tribune reported Monday that ICE had deported a detainee who was "a crucial witness in an ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual assault and harassment at an El Paso immigrant detention center." The 35-year-old woman was detained Texas facility, and alleged a "pattern and practice" of abuse there including sexual assault, and that some assaults happened in surveillance camera blind spots.

"The short history of DHS has been filled with violence, fear-stoking, and a lack of oversight. Dismantle it," the ACLU tweeted Wednesday, renewing its call to break up the Department of Homeland Security, of which ICE is a part.

Amnesty International joined the ACLU in demanding action.

"Unfortunately, the United States has a history of forced sterilization, including of Indigenous women, Black women and other women of color, incarcerated women, and intersex people," the group said in a statement Wednesday. "In addition to a violation of a person's rights to health and safety and sexual and reproductive rights, forced sterilization can constitute a crime against humanity under international law. No one should be sterilized without their full consent, and people should be not be detained for seeking asylum."

Nancy Pelosi demands investigation into hysterectomy claims at Ice centre

The top congressional Democrat, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, has joined mounting calls for an investigation into an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) detention centre in Georgia accused of sending migrant women held there to have hysterectomies without their full consent.

Pelosi branded the substance of allegations presented by a whistleblowing nurse “a staggering abuse of human rights”. ...

“The DHS [Department of Homeland Security] inspector general must immediately investigate the allegations detailed in this complaint.”

The nurse, Dawn Wooten and four lawyers representing clients at the centre are claiming that immigrant women are routinely sent to a gynecologist who has left them bruised and performed unnecessary procedures, including hysterectomies, according to a report by NBC News.



the horse race



BIDEN's Sluggish Outreach To Voters! "Feel-Good" Campaign Stories FAIL!

Republican memo warns US Senate ‘at risk’ of falling into Democratic control

A memo by Senate Republicans’ campaign arm has admitted that control of the upper chamber is “at risk” and that Democrats could win the Senate in November’s elections. The September 2020 political update from the National Republican Senatorial Committee summarizes the state of the race of 10 states with Senate races around the country and how the outcome of each could factor into whether Republicans or Democrats control the chamber in January.

The memo, obtained by the Guardian, has been circulating among political operatives, donors and interested parties. It comes just shy of 50 days before the November 2020 elections. ...

Democrats need to pick up three or four seats to take control of the Senate. The fact that the NRSC memo categorizes seven Senate races as ones that simply can’t be lost or deserve serious attention suggests that it’s possible, but not certain that Democrats can take control of the Senate.

Krystal Ball: Obsession With "Biden Republicans" Could DOOM Democrats



the evening greens


Indigenous Activists Arrested and Held Incommunicado Following Border Wall Protest

Two Indigenous women who were arrested by federal agents while attempting to block border wall construction in southern Arizona last week say they were chained and held incommunicado by the government without access to a phone call or lawyer for nearly 24 hours.

Nellie Jo David and Amber Ortega visited the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument early Wednesday morning to pray at Quitobaquito Springs, a desert oasis that has become a flashpoint in the Trump administration’s ongoing effort to bulldoze its way through protected lands and stand up new sections of border wall. In order to mix concrete for the wall, government contractors have tapped into a desert aquifer that feeds into the springs, draining the only source of fresh water for miles around and slowly killing a sacred and ancient site of deep spiritual significance for the Tohono O’odham and Hia Ced O’odham people; David and Ortega are both Tohono O’odham and Hia Ced O’odham. ...

With the 2020 presidential election nearing, the Trump administration has seized on federal lands in southern Arizona as a means to run up the total number of new border wall miles completed before voters head to the polls. In keeping with that goal, the Department of Homeland Security has focused its efforts on the state’s wildlife refuges, wilderness areas, and national monuments, using the post-9/11 Real ID Act to waive scores of federal laws designed to protect sensitive environmental and cultural spaces like Organ Pipe’s Quitobaquito Springs. ...

In southern Arizona, David and Ortega have been leading voices challenging the Organ Pipe project, drawing national attention to the existential danger it poses to Quitobaquito Springs. In November, on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the pair rallied hundreds of people on Organ Pipe to oppose border wall expansion. Native resistance to the border wall has escalated and extended beyond Arizona in recent weeks, with members of the Kumeyaay Nation also blocking construction equipment and access roads in the Laguna Mountains of Southern California. Both David and Ortega said that while they anticipated an increase in heavy construction near Quitobaquito last week, their decision to take direct action was not preplanned. ...

David managed to get inside the bucket of one of the machines, where she took a seat and refused to move. Across the road, Ortega attempted to block a second vehicle from digging into the earth. Eventually, Border Patrol agents and park rangers arrived at the scene. “There were so many,” David said. Around the same time, outside media started to show up. In a video from the scene, Ortega can be heard imploring the men to leave. “This is O’odham land,” she said. “This is a sacred area. You do not have permission to be here.” ... Ortega, who was on the other side of the road, said the words and actions of law enforcement felt contradictory. “They said that I had permission to leave, but they wouldn’t let me leave,” she said. The presence of so many men with guns near the springs left her shaken. “There was so many I couldn’t even count,” Ortega said. “It was really intimidating, and I was trying to explain that they were on sacred land, and it was not OK for them to be there in the way that they were with their weapons, and how violent it was, and how disrespectful it was to our people, to our land.”

Birds 'falling out of the sky' in mass die-off in south-western US

Thousands of migrating birds have inexplicably died in south-western US in what ornithologists have described as a national tragedy that is likely to be related to the climate crisis.

Flycatchers, swallows and warblers are among the species “falling out of the sky” as part of a mass die-off across New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arizona and farther north into Nebraska, with growing concerns there could be hundreds of thousands dead already, said Martha Desmond, a professor in the biology department at New Mexico State University (NMSU). Many carcasses have little remaining fat reserves or muscle mass, with some appearing to have nose-dived into the ground mid-flight. ...

Long-distance migrants flying south from tundra landscapes in Alaska and Canada pass over America’s south-west to reach winter grounds in Central and South America. During this migration it is crucial they land every few days to refuel before continuing their journey.

Historic wildfires across the western states of the US could mean they had to re-route their migration away from resource-rich coastal areas and move inland over the Chihuahuan desert, where food and water are scarce, essentially meaning they starved to death. “They’re literally just feathers and bones,” Allison Salas, a graduate student at NMSU who has been collecting carcasses, wrote in a Twitter thread about the die-off. “Almost as if they have been flying until they just couldn’t fly any more.”

Are Apocalyptic Wildfires The NEW NORMAL


Also of Interest

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

A Progressive Prosecutor Faces Off With Portland’s Aggressive Police

ASSANGE HEARING DAY SEVEN— Ellsberg and Goetz Refute Informants Were Harmed and That Assange Was First to Release Their Names

'The difference is QAnon': how a conspiratorial hate campaign upended California politics

Capitalism, Assange, And More Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

New York judge blasts U.S. prosecutors' conduct in Iran sanctions case

Our land was taken. But we still hold the knowledge of how to stop mega-fires

Keiser Report | Pushing Plastic, Holding Junk Bonds

Grijalva Pushes BAN On Corporate Lobbyists In Biden Admin

SHOCK Poll Shows Lindsey Graham TIED With Dem Opponent


A Little Night Music

Guy Davis - That's No Way To Get Along

Guy Davis - Loneliest Road That I Know

Guy Davis - Shaky Pudding

Guy Davis - Black Coffee

Guy Davis - Watch Over Me

Guy Davis - Walk On

Guy Davis - Statesboro Blues

Guy Davis - Maggie Campbell Blues

Guy Davis, Anne Harris, Marcella Simien - Gumbo, Grits & Gravy

Guy Davis - We All Need More Kindness In This World


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joe shikspack's picture

@gjohnsit

yep, i feel sorry for her. she is getting suckered into voting against her interests and she will have her heart broken yet again.

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6 users have voted.

get mostly everything right. Trump is utterly worthless and Biden is not significantly different. "It's all a con," says Saagar about Biden courting repubs.

nevertheless, I have set my dvr to record Biden's Town Hall on CNN tonight. I plan to watch it as my nausea level allows.

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11 users have voted.

NYCVG

joe shikspack's picture

@NYCVG

heh, i think that while biden is looking to con republican voters, they are more his kind of people than democrats, which is why he feels more comfortable pitching to them.

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7 users have voted.

with a rockin' band!

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@irishking

that's an interesting arrangement of the old st. louis jimmy oden song. it reminds me more than a little bit of this percy mayfield classic.

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@joe shikspack

thx

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

townhall at 7:00 pm EST this evening.

I'm 'guessing' it could be modeled upon our own Mayor's decision to have a 'drive-in or drive-thru' 4th Of July celebration--he was all over Cable News Channels, including CNN, at the time. (our firework display was one of the few, and by far the biggest, Fourth Celebration in the state of TN, since most were cancelled due to COVID)

That's sort of cool. He's no slouch--we're really quite lucky to have him. Good He also made us proud during the tornado that ravaged an unincorporated community in our county this summer (when he was also interviewed extensively on Cable TV) Hey, gotta look for every silver lining you can find, anymore! Biggrin

BTW, heard Sanders on with Wolf, pushing the same meme that Carville's been pushing since June or July--that Orange Man can't win, so, 'we' cannot accept election results (if it appears DT wins).*

IOW, he's joining Republican Dan Coates--who, apparently, calls for a Commission. So, now we'll start having elections by Commission decree?

Yikes!

Here's an excerpt from Coates' Op-Ed:

President Donald Trump's former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats called on Congress to create an independent commission to oversee the 2020 election and denounced efforts to undermine Americans' confidence in the legitimacy of U.S. elections in a New York Times op-ed Thursday.

As the head of the U.S. intelligence community until August 2019, Coats repeatedly warned that Russia, China and Iran were working aggressively to interfere in the U.S. election. In his op-ed, Coats said "democracy’s enemies, foreign and domestic," were working to chip away at its foundation.

*I only bring this up, because this is exactly what DT is accused of by Dems and MSM. Pot calling kettle black? Smile

Of course, the reality is, both sides are gearing up for court fights. That's bad enough. But, when a country begins the practice of having a "Commission" decide elections--it's time for us to leave. (We haven't decided, but, probably won't even bother to obtain an absentee ballot. To what end?)

Truthfully, we are literally 'praying' that travel bans will be lifted. We'll risk contracting COVID in a heartbeat, if it'll get us outta here!

Hey, gotta run and get ready for the big Debate.

Everyone have a nice evening. Stay safe; be well.

Bye Pleasantry

Mollie

"The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation."
~~Matt Taibbi, The American Press Is Destroying Itself, June 12, 2020

"I know, I know. All passion; no street smarts."
~~Captain West, 1992 Rob Reiner/Aaron Sorkin Movie, A Few Good Men

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.”
~~Will Rogers, Actor & Social Commentator (1856-1950)

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

townhalls--by any candidate or Party.

Just wanted to make that clear.

Who knows? Joe may be coherent this evening. For sure, it will be interesting to watch/listen to. (not sure if we can stream it, so, probably will listen on radio)

BTW, found the transcript from his vaccine distribution remarks yesterday. Word salad, mostly. Will post a blurb later. (SD mentioned that she saw on Twitter that his comments were staged with various reporters--dunno for sure, but, it wouldn't surprise me.)

Oh, was listening to Wolf this afternoon, and, found out that Olivia Troye (she has disparaging video out today--which I haven't heard) is part of an anti-Trump Group.

Not the Lincoln Project. It's called REPAIR (for Republican Political Alliance for Integrity and Reform). Troye is one of scores of former Administration officials who plan to come out for or endorse Joe in the next several weeks. (The founder of the Group was interviewed by Wolf--he's one of the people that recently endorsed Biden.) That's context that I found missing from anything I've read today, FWIW.

Have a good one.

Mollie

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7 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

let me know how that townhall goes. i can't bear to listen to biden.

heh, it sounds like the various parties to this election can't wait to get down and dirty and fight it out. i guess it's all peachy til the shooting starts.

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7 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

@joe shikspack @joe shikspack

Just ended! (lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes, approximately)

Actually, it was more of a soft-ball "conversation" with Anderson Cooper. Then, about every 15-20 minutes, they took a question from an attendee. (heavy number of teachers--wonder if they corralled an union to dredge up this 100-vehicle crowd? Smile )

BTW, HHJ mentioned picking up with a Police Commission where he and 'O' left off--remember, the Commission headed by Police Chief Charles Ramsey, formerly of DC and Philadelphia. That would be the Chief Ramsey whose Police Department garnered the highest dollar awards given to protesters due to police brutality. Somehow, the crack Dem Party Base activists never even seemed to question that selection. At any rate, doubt that exactly warmed the hearts of many of his AA supporters.

Will wait until I can get a transcript, and, post a couple excerpts tomorrow or next week.

Biden mostly pandered to the AA Community, and, even, tried to appeal to working class voters (as he characterized them). Could be wrong, but, doubt it bowled over very many of them. He came across about like DT's ridiculous use of terms like "the Blacks" or "the Hispanics." IOW, very clumsy.

As a side note - Chris Cuomo is already trying to either dispute or defuse the fact that Olivia Troye is a Never-Trumper. Perhaps Cuomo should start listening to his own Cable Channels' previous shows. As I said, I heard Wolf interview 'the founder' of the Anti-Trump Group that she belongs to, just several hours ago. Believe me, I have an absolute heyday with the CNN transcripts--they often set their own traps for me!

Biggrin

Mollie

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7 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Azazello's picture

Are there really people who think like this?

From my local paper: Letter: Jill Biden's ex-husband accuses her of affair with Joe
Debt-to-Distribution (And, no Caitlin, this is not "just capitalism following its natural and inevitable course".): Private equity owners pile on leverage to pay themselves dividends
Jimmy Dore goes off:

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7 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

i guess if that's not some sort of shutterstock photo, there may be at least one person who really thinks that way. i hope she consults her poodle, it's probably the brains of the outfit.

hmmm, perhaps it is the foreseeable outcome of unregulated (or poorly regulated) capitalism. or perhaps crony capitalism as practiced in a gangster/oligarch state.

on the other hand, who is to say what capitalism is? it's not like it's a system with rules and stuff. (said tongue-in-cheek in a friendly way)

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9 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@joe shikspack
That whole first paragraph was so typical, so sophomoric. Notice the tone, sort of smug.
It's "capitalism" that's to blame and if you can't see that, well ...
In her defense, she's young. She's probably never known anything else but neoliberalism and so identifies that with capitalism. Or maybe she's read Marx and can show where he predicted private equity somewhere in Kapital, Volume 1.
It ain't that simple.

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5 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

caitlin appears to have found a convenient shorthand for the framework of perverse incentives reinforced by political power (which in turn reinforces the framework of perverse incentives, rinse repeat) to brutalize other people and steal the product of their labor.

perhaps you would prefer to call the self-reinforcing framework of perverse incentives and political power something that caitlin does not. perhaps you would want to emphasize the responsibility of the individuals who respond to the perverse incentives with vigor and the politicians that grift off of the system. maybe you would like to call it "bastardism."

or perhaps you are uncomfortable with isms entirely. but there is a thing out there that is in need of an identity so that people oppressed by this thing can respond appropriately to it.

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9 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@joe shikspack
I get triggered when I see the word "system", but it's more than that.
I'm looking for a new way to think about the age-old problem.
It seems that all societies resolve themselves into the Many and the Few.
This has been true since long before Marx and Dickens wrote about industrialization in England. You might call it the human condition.
Why are we wedded to this 20th century conceptual framework ?
All this talk about "systems" and "-isms", for a hundred years or more, where has it gotten us ?
Maybe we can look at it afresh, come up with a better way of talking about it.

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5 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

I'm looking for a new way to think about the age-old problem.

i salute you. (seriously)

It seems that all societies resolve themselves into the Many and the Few.
This has been true since long before Marx and Dickens wrote about industrialization in England. You might call it the human condition.
Why are we wedded to this 20th century conceptual framework ?
All this talk about "systems" and "-isms", for a hundred years or more, where has it gotten us ?

ok, let me offer this locution that came to me a while ago, which eschews the use of the word system.

america (its society, culture, economy and polity) is a machine for making a very few people very rich and, hence very powerful.

ok, so it occurs to me that if we could figure out which functions of the machine relate to choosing a very few to be elevated and use their power to maintain their station while brutalizing and hornswaggling the wretched masses, we'd be on the road to repair.

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7 users have voted.
Granma's picture

@Azazello I know one. "Biden is Grandfatherly." And stopped speaking to me when I didn't promise to vote for him. She is normal otherwise.

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9 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

@Granma

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5 users have voted.

It didn't have to be this way.

Granma's picture

@Azazello I think it is supposed to start raining overnight. The fire people said it won't put the fire out, but will reduce its activity and the high humidity helps them. They are making progress, and have been getting more help in, both equipment and people. They focused hard on the areas closest to where people live first, but want to preserve the wilderness areas too. I hope that is not TMI.

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7 users have voted.

If even Bernie sanders won't listen to the Constitution, why bother?

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8 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

joe shikspack's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

heh, as some famous guy said, the constitution is just a damned piece of paper.

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7 users have voted.
Granma's picture

West coast fires? Our air quality is down to 221 this afternoon. Hurray for that.

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6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Granma

we had clouds and some occasional rain today, so the air here seems to be more clear. i guess we'll see what color the sky is the next time the sun comes out.

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3 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

I don't know how much more of this I can take...

8:00 pm. #BobcatFire - Flames are seen dangerously close to Mount Wilson Observatory (via camera feeds). It’s not clear whether it’s a backfire set by the defense crew or the fire itself.

Mount-Wilson-Observatory 9-17 8pm.jpg
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5 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

joe shikspack's picture

@Anja Geitz

i am thinking cooling thoughts and crossing my fingers. i know it's not much but i reckon it's the best i can do.

i hope everything works out well and that you are doing ok.

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4 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@joe shikspack

I appreciate the thoughts. It's just so difficult. Almost two weeks of being on edge, and just when I thought we'd turned a corner, we get this.

My heart is heavy tonight.

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7 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Granma's picture

@Anja Geitz for the Bobcat fire. The fire was not set by firemen. They say it is threatening all the values on Mt. Wilson. I am positive they are fighting hard up there tonight. They want to save the observatory as much as you want them too.

This is stressing you too much. I suggest you watch their evening community meetings, either live or the recorded version later. And let it go the rest of the time. You are ready if you have to leave. So you have done your part. It calmed me a lot to watch the community meeting conducted by the fire officials. They are so competent, calm. They tell you what they have been doing, what they plan to do next. It made me feel that things were under control. They don't just have plan A and B. They have plans C D and E also.

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7 users have voted.
Anja Geitz's picture

@Granma

following twitter is definitely stressing me out. That said, I'll turn the computer off for the night and pray Mt. Wilson is still there in the morning:

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6 users have voted.

There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Anja Geitz

the best for you and your furbabies. Glad you're very well-prepared for pretty much any contingency.

Stay safe, and take good care. Pleasantry

Mollie

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4 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.