Saturday Late Night Open Thread

Balloon Juice - 1 hour 24 min ago

You wish you were this cool:


Categories: Politics

Saturday open thread for night owls: Poor People's Campaign focuses on the ballot box

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 23:00

The Reverend Dr. William Barber II and Dr Liz Theoharis at The Guardian write—The war on poverty begins at the ballot box:

[...] The weight of poverty lies squarely on the shoulders of politicians who lack the will and political courage to truly eradicate poverty despite abundant resources to do so.

If we are to truly wage a war on poverty, we must start by mobilizing and registering poor and disenfranchised voters who have been left out of the process for far too long.

Earlier this year, the Poor People’s Campaign waged the most expansive wave of non-violent civil disobedience in history, calling attention to the systemic racism, poverty, militarism and ecological devastation plaguing the nation. We marched on state houses and Capitol Hill, risking arrest to lift up the voices of people directly affected by these issues.

Now, with the midterms in sight, we’re deepening our organizing efforts with an eye toward registering and mobilizing poor voters and building moral knowledge and political power in our communities from the bottom up. We plan on executing massive voter registration efforts in addition to a series of town halls aimed at highlighting the true face of poverty in the US. We believe by empowering often forgotten communities and driving those voters to the polls, the poor and disenfranchised can be a game changer in this election and the years to come.

The Poor People’s Campaign has built organizing committees in 40 states, including in every state of the former Confederacy, which will form the backbone of this next phase of our campaign. Those committees are composed of poor people, clergy and advocates who will recruit new leaders in each state to engage tens of thousands of poor and low-income people around the issues that affect their lives.[...]





On this date at Daily Kos in 2002Difficulties of urban warfare:

Military planners continue to shudder at the thought of a street-to-street battle in Baghdad.

The US is working on new small-unit tactics to counter the urban defender's natural advantages, but those new tactics are still not ready for primetime:

The Marines put some of their ideas to the test in a recent exercise on a shuttered Air Force base in southern California. In it, a battalion of 1,100 troops, backed by tanks and helicopters, tried to capture base housing from a simulated enemy force, played by 200 eager reservists. A hundred "extras" were hired from a temp agency to play civilian refugees. In taking the city, about 100 of the attackers were killed — about 10 percent losses, a huge number compared with recent American military deaths in single battles. Several helicopters also went down before the Marines captured the town, and more were killed as the defending forces began using truck bombs and other guerrilla activities, Sullivan said.

And remember that in an urban center, US air power means little. It is difficult to call in air strikes on roving bands of urban defenders. Helicopter gunships are vulnerable to rocket propelled grenades. And as Grozny taught us, defenders can just as easily fire from behind rubble as from standing buildings.

Once again, given the weakness of Bush's case against Hussein, are we really willing to risk hundreds, if not thousands, of US casualties?

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.”


Categories: Politics

C&L's Sat Nite Chiller Theater: D.O.A. (1949)

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 23:00
  D.O.A.  (1949)

[embed eid="31455" /]

"I want to report a murder."
"Who was murdered?"
"I was."

This is how D.O.A. opens, so it spoils nothing to tell you that this is the story of a CPA named Frank Bigelow (played by Edmond O'Brien) who is poisoned.

If, like me, you happened to see the 1988 remake of D.O.A., starring Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan) this one is...

How shall I put this charitably?



(This YouTube lists the movie as 1950; its release was actually 1949.)

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Categories: Politics

Passage Of Time Doesn't Erase Youthful Mistakes In The Criminal Justice System, Especially For People Of Color

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 21:30
Passage Of Time Doesn't Erase Youthful Mistakes In The Criminal Justice System, Especially For People Of Color

File 20180919 158222 ddfi12.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1

President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Eileen M. Ahlin, Pennsylvania State University

The accusation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, made by California professor Christine Blasey Ford, has been met with a variety of responses.

Among those responses has been the idea that what happens when someone is young should not be held against them, especially if they’ve led a commendable life ever since.

read more

Categories: Politics

Nuts & Bolts: Inside a Democratic campaign—avoid these mistakes

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 21:15

Welcome back, Saturday Campaign D.I.Y.ers! For those who tune in, welcome to the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic campaign. Each week we discuss issues that help drive successful campaigns. If you’ve missed prior diaries, please visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide.

When this series first began, I ran a companion series “AARGH” about campaign mistakes. While we haven’t done an AARGH piece in a while, some of the advice within those diaries—about campaign mistakes—remains important and this week, we’re going to cover a few of the things that your small campaign needs to avoid in order to be successful.

Mistakes during a campaign will happen, but keeping them small or minimizing the damage they can do is important. No campaign is flawless—we are all humans. But making sure minor problems don’t become big ones? That is one of the big keys that make a good campaign different than a bad campaign.

Categories: Politics

A Great New Track by John Hiatt Refutes Its Own Title: "Over the Hill"

Little Green Footballs - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 20:51

From the new album 'The Eclipse Sessions,' available October 12: http://geni.us/jhtes?track=yt

Directed by Michael Kessler

Categories: Politics

Senate panel & lawyers for Dr. Ford tentatively agree she'll testify about Kavanaugh Thursday

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 20:41

The New York Times reports that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford will, tentatively, testify Thursday about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged attempt to rape her when they were teenagers:

The Senate Judiciary Committee and lawyers for the woman who has accused Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers reached a tentative agreement on Saturday for her to publicly testify on Thursday, an apparent breakthrough in halting negotiations.

After a brief call late on Saturday, the lawyers and aides to Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the Republican chairman of the Judiciary Committee, planned to talk again Sunday morning to continue negotiations over the conditions of the testimony, according to three people familiar with the call. Aides to Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s top Democrat, were also involved.

You can bet that the 12 white male senators that make up the entire Republican cohort on the Judiciary Committee have already planned how to undermine Dr. Ford with attacks on her character.

It is, as feminists have said for decades, a standard approach. 

In the wake of Anita Hill’s 1991 testimony that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her when she worked for him, Judith Lewis Herman wrote the book “Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror.” There she lays out what that standard approach is:

“In order to escape accountability for his crimes, the perpetrator does everything in his power to promote forgetting. Secrecy and silence are the perpetrator’s first line of defense. If secrecy fails, the perpetrator attacks the credibility of his victim. If he cannot silence her absolutely, he tries to make sure that no one listens. To this end, he marshals an impressive array of arguments, from the most blatant denial to the most sophisticated and elegant rationalization. After every atrocity one can expect to hear the same predictable apologies: it never happened; the victim lies; the victim exaggerates; the victim brought it upon herself; and in any case it is time to forget the past and move on. The more powerful the perpetrator, the greater is his prerogative to name and define reality, and the more completely his arguments prevail.”             

Categories: Politics

PSA: Debunking Social Media Rumors About Christine Blasey Ford – Open Thread

Balloon Juice - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 20:19

I just now had to debunk some garbage on Facebook and found this, which is very helpful. The New York Times gets it right sometimes. It debunks five rumors circulating on the right about Blasey Ford. There will be more, I suppose.

Claim: Dr. Blasey’s students left negative reviews on her RateMyProfessors.com profile, calling her “unprofessional” and citing her “dark” personality.
Verdict: False.

Claim: Judge Kavanaugh’s mother once ruled against Dr. Blasey’s parents in a foreclosure case.
Verdict: False.

Claim: Dr. Blasey made similar sexual assault accusations against Justice Neil Gorsuch during his nomination process.
Verdict: False.

Claim: Dr. Blasey is a major Democratic donor with a long history of left-wing activism.
Verdict: Mostly false.

Claim: Dr. Blasey’s brother worked at a law firm with ties to the Russia investigation.
Verdict: Misleading.

Also, from former Republican Bruce Bartlett:

And, since you’ve made it this far, Ric and Zooey helping me with the laundry this morning.

Categories: Politics

This week in science

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 20:00

In this post truth, alternate fact, quasi-reality America, ignorance and self-hyping nonsense has a real chance of paying off. Just check out this one example of an anti-science entrepreneur extraordinaire:

This is an echo chamber because, in due time, you only hear your beliefs repeated back at you and stop seeing what’s happening on the other side. Echo chambers for the pseudoscience crowd exist as well, though Mike Adams’ online bubble is so vast and self-sufficient, it warrants the term “ecosystem”.

Mike Adams, also known as The Health Ranger, is a fierce advocate of alternative medicine. He is anti-vaccination, anti-GMO, anti-medicine.

There is even an alternative search engine, harnessed not to the web as a whole using keywords, but to providing alternative articles when prompted by searches for legit news and science orgs. It’s an elaborate, impressive feat of webware engineering all designed to separate you from sound medical advice and your healthcare dollars. 

Focusing the conversation on the ethics of disseminating speech rather than the actual content of that speech is hugely useful for the far right for three reasons. Firstly, it allows them to paint themselves as the wronged party — the martyrs and victims. Secondly, it stops ...

  • PZ started with dissecting a mysterious egg sac a few days ago, and it has since turned into a sort of arachnid reality TV show: The Real Spiders of Minnesota. Spoiler alert: baby spiders are insatiable, murderous little cannibals.
  • Here’s yet another unexpected perk of climate change in the Arctic:

As temperatures rise in the Arctic, permafrost — permanently frozen ground — is defrosting at an alarming rate. But the permafrost isn't the only thing in the Arctic that's melting.

Exposed rock that was once covered in ice is dissolving, eaten away by acid. And the effects of this acid bath could have far-reaching impacts on global climate, according to a new study.

Categories: Politics

Grandpa Grassley Tweets Nonsense About Kavanaugh Accuser

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 20:00
Grandpa Grassley Tweets Nonsense About Kavanaugh Accuser

On one hand, I commend Chuck Grassley for clearly writing his own tweets and expressing his views without the use of an aide or a "tweet writer". It is refreshing to know that he is the one actually pecking out his tweets on a phone or laptop. That being said, sometimes I think he would benefit from a quick tutorial by an aide who can explain to him appropriate shorthand, what a DM is and how to actually write an effective tweet.

For example, here are his latest tweets about the hearing for Dr. Ford:

Is this meant to be a message TO Dr. Ford?

Was this supposed to be a DM (direct message) or a text message to Kavanaugh?

Categories: Politics

This week in the war on workers: Nope, the Republican tax scam isn't helping workers

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 18:55

Not that we needed much more evidence to show what a scam the Republican “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” was, but the evidence doesn’t care—it just keeps coming.

The $0.03 per hour (inflation-adjusted) bump in bonuses between the fourth quarter of 2018 [sic] and the second quarter of 2018 is very small and not necessarily attributable to the tax cuts rather than employer efforts to recruit workers in a continued low unemployment environment. [...]

The $0.03 increase in inflation-adjusted bonuses per hour over the last two quarters came as W-2 wages (defined as direct wages plus wages for paid leave and supplementary pay) actually fell $0.25 and overall compensation rose just $0.07. Looking over the last year we see a rise in bonuses of $0.09 per hour accounting for nearly all of the very small increase in W-2 wages of $0.12 while overall compensation did not grow at all.

So Republicans are looking for a do-over. But of course, they don’t want to do it over to make changes that benefit working people, they want to do it over to double down.

Categories: Politics

Spotlight on green news & views: Will Exxon ever be brought to justice? FL's 'Red Tide Rick'

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 18:00

This is the 573rd edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue). Here is the September 8 edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.


grasshopper Now you see it.

OceanDiver writes—The Daily Bucket - now you see it … “Saw this grasshopper yesterday late afternoon. I’ve seen others like it at this site, a dirt road by a field. They’ve either been parked on the ground or darting around looking like a butterfly — all colorful and flitty. This time it flitted its wings as if it was flying, but didn’t lift off. Not sure what that was about. But it gave me an opportunity to look at it more closely, and even identify it. It’s a Carolina grasshopper or locust, Dissosteira carolina. In spite of the name, this species is native to the whole US. These grasshoppers are quite large.

grasshopper Now you don’t.

They eat grasses mostly, and are not considered bad crop pests. Typical habitat is weedy disturbed sites. While resting on the ground with wings folded the grasshopper is nearly invisible, exactly the color of the ground, a mix of dirt and dried grass. Wings open, it exposes not just its dark brown hind wings margined yellow with a pretty pattern in the corners, but brilliant metallic blue highlights on its thorax and abdomen. Completely obscured by the forewings at rest.”

Desert Scientist writes—The Destruction of La Frontera: “I grew up along the border, La Frontera, and I spent over 50 years of my life there, living first in Arizona and then New Mexico, with occasional visits to southern Texas and California, as well as a number of forays into Mexico itself from the Mexican border states of Baja California Norte to Tamaulipas and further south. In some ways, although I was not born there, it is more my home than any place I have lived. Unfortunately it is being threatened by political maneuvering and drug wars and may never be the same. It was always a bit dangerous, but not as much so for many years as it has been in recent times. You have to go back to the days of Pancho Villa to get the same level of danger, at least from my impression. However I still love the area and its people and am very saddened by how immigrants, both legal and illegal, and the environment are now being treated.”

Categories: Politics

North Carolina's factory farms are harming state residents even when they're not underwater

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 17:00

It is at this point commonly understood that poor Americans suffer from industrial pollution at rates far higher than more wealthy Americans. The effect by which this happens is also well understood: heavy industry and "industrial"-scale farming is concentrated where the land is cheapest; places where the land is cheapest are commonly places in which poverty is high and job opportunities are low; a heavily polluting industrial site proposed in a more wealthy neighborhood would, even aside from land costs, be met with a flurry of lawsuits from neighbors more financially able to mount an effective opposition and with a flurry of new laws and regulations from wealthier towns and counties meant to either discourage construction or, at the least, require expensive mitigation efforts.

It stands to reason, then, that the massive North Carolina hog and poultry farms thrust into the spotlight after Hurricane Florence drowned a still-unknown of animals and flooded industrial-sized containment ponds of pig excrement would be located in the poorest (and least white) rural portions of the state. And a new study attempts to detail the effects of those industrial farms on surrounding Americans even when a hurricane isn't passing overhead.

The new study also found worse health outcomes in the hog counties than in the control—rates were higher for all-cause mortality, infant mortality, mortality from anemia, kidney disease, tuberculosis, as well as hospital admissions for low birth-weight infants. They also showed Group 2 rates for these conditions are significantly higher than national and state averages.

To control for overall racial health disparities in the US population, they identified zip codes in the control area that had similar racial, age, and income characteristics similar to those of Group 2, the most hog-intensive regions. Again, Group 2’s metrics generally came out worse than their hog-free peers. They also found a direct relationship between proximity and bad health outcomes—the closer you live to a big hog operation, the more likely you are to die or be hospitalized for kidney disease, have a low-birth-weight baby, and suffer from other maladies.

Communities suing the farms over health effects now have a bit more evidence to back their claims up; living near an industrial-sized hog or poultry farm doesn't just smell bad when the wind blows your way. It can be bad for your health.

Categories: Politics

Jason Johnson: If You Grab A Woman And Turn Up The Music, 'That Is A Problem'

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 17:00

Republican consultant Sarah Rumpf was trying to walk the party line, but you could tell her heart wasn't really in it.

Joy Reid asked her if she believed Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's accusation.

"I want to hear from her. There is something to be said for being able to hear someone speak in their own words," Rumpf said.

"Let's say she said exactly what is in the letter," Reid said. "Will you believe if she repeated exactly what is in her letter?"

"Until I see her and until I see her speak, being willing to speak under oath in front of the Senate Judiciary committee -- I think there is a reason we set our court system up this way - "

"It is not a court," Reid said.

Rumpf sain cases like Bill Cosby there were "multiple accusations."

"And there were investigations," Reid retorted.

This went on for a bit, then Jason Johnson jumped into the discussion.

read more

Categories: Politics

This Week In Space: Japan's asteroid success, Delta II goes home, and another weird space drive

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 16:46

BBC: Japan’s Hayabusa 2 sends probes to the surface of asteroid Ryugu

On Friday, Japan’s Hayabusa 2 probe moved closer to the asteroid Ryugu and released two small probes to the surface. The miniscule gravity of the 1 kilometer asteroid means that the two “rovers” won’t roll across the surface, but will “hop” from place to place on stubby legs. The landers are now taking measurements and images of the surface while the main probe snaps shots from only a few hundred meters above.

And the mission is far from over. Next week, Hayabusa will release another lander, called “Mascot” — a joint French and German device. And then three weeks later Hayabusa itself slowly land, collect samples, and lift off again. It will return these samples to Earth.

Japan previously visited a different asteroid with the original Hayabusa probe, but this is the first any nation has managed to land rovers onto an asteroid. This is really a showcase mission — four different vehicles, conducting four landings on an asteroid, maneuvering around in very low gravity, and sample return.

So far, Hayabusa 2 has been an amazing success. The probe will hang around Ryugu after collect samples until  December, then it will begin the flight back to Earth. Samples should be delivered in 2020.

Jaxa1.png Hayabusa hovering just 60 meters above Ryugu, the shadow of the probe is visible

Jaxa1.png JAXA simulation of the two rovers landing on Ryugu
Categories: Politics

You Did It! Now Let’s Go For More!

Balloon Juice - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 16:37

Woooo! $5k. I kept my word and threw in another 50.

Goal Thermometer

She’s a good candidate and WV deserves better.

Categories: Politics

Picks of the Week: Our favorite stories from the Daily Kos Community

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 16:30

What an ugly week this was. Stories of sexual assault (and disgusting denials of same) dominated our news cycle, as the fight to keep Brett Kavanaugh off the Supreme Court rages on. The diaries at Daily Kos were no different (well, except the denial part), and so many brave Community members came forward to assert that they, too, were survivors of sexual assault. 

As such, it’s no surprise that this week’s picks feature a lot of stories that might be hard to read, but that doesn’t make them any less essential to the discourse at hand. 

And to the survivors out there reading this, please remember: We believe you. It’s not your fault.

Categories: Politics

This week at progressive state blogs: VA could become offshore wind hub; Kavanaugh the zealot

Daily Kos - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 16:00

This week at progressive state blogs is designed specifically to focus attention on the writing and analysis of people focused on their home turf. Here is the September 15 editionInclusion of a blog post does not necessarily indicate my agreement with—or endorsement of—its contents.

lowkell at Blue Virginia writes—Landmark Report Charts a Course for Virginia to Become Industry Hub for Offshore Wind Within the Next Decade:

See below for a press release on a “new report released today by BVG Associates shows that Virginia’s key decisionmakers can help position the Commonwealth as a national leader in the growing U.S. offshore wind industry during the next decade.”

Blue Virginia blog

As the press release states, “By developing 2 GW of offshore wind during the next decade, Virginia can reduce its reliance on out-of-state electricity by 30%, create thousands of local jobs, and build healthier and safer communities across the state by eliminating 3 million tons of carbon pollution each year, the equivalent of removing 650,000 cars from the road.” Is this a no-brainer or what? Oh, by the way, developing Virginia’s massive offshore wind power resources – combined with energy efficiency improvements, preferably – means we don’t need any new fracked-gas pipelines or other fossil fuel infrastructure. Again, an absolute no-brainer…except for Dominion Energy and its bought-and-paid-for servants in the government of Virginia.

new report released today by BVG Associates shows that Virginia’s key decisionmakers can help position the Commonwealth as a national leader in the growing U.S. offshore wind industry during the next decade. The “Vision for Virginia Offshore Wind” report points to the Commonwealth’s unique infrastructure and geographical advantages as keys to developing 2 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind – enough to power 500,000 homes – by 2028. The report comes on the heels of recent legislation setting a statewide goal of building 5 GW of renewable energy by 2028.

Categories: Politics

College Football Open Thread

Balloon Juice - Sat, 09/22/2018 - 15:42

Have at it.

Categories: Politics