Politics

C&L's Late Nite Music Club With Carleen & The Groovers

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 23:01

Looks like a good chunk of the country is in for a scorcher of the weekend. Hoping y'all find a place to beat the place. Maybe even a place to groove to some cool ol' beach funk like this one from '71 by Carleen & the Groovers.

What are you listening to tonight?


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Categories: Politics

Open thread for night owls. Serwer: 'What Americans do now will define us forever'

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 23:00

Adam Serwer at The Atlantic writes—What Americans Do Now Will Define Us ForeverIf multiracial democracy cannot be defended in America, it will not be defended elsewhere:

The conservative intelligentsia flocked to the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C., this week for the National Conservatism Conference, an opportunity for people who may never have punched a time clock to declare their eternal enmity toward elites and to attempt to offer contemporary conservative nationalism the intellectual framework that has so far proved elusive.

Ghost_Owl_2.jpg

Yoram Hazony, the Israeli scholar who organized the conference, explicitly rejected white nationalism, barring several well-known adherents from attending, my colleague Emma Green reported. But despite Hazony’s efforts, the insistence that “nationalism” is, at its core, about defending borders, eschewing military interventions, and promoting a shared American identity did not prevent attendees from explicitly declaring that American laws should favor white immigrants.

Some other attendees, such as National Review’s Rich Lowry, took pains to distance themselves from the president’s brand of nationalism. “We have to push back against Donald Trump when he does things to increase that breach between the right and African Americans,” Lowry said. But in the fall of 2017, when Trump attempted to silence black athletes protesting police brutality, Lowry praised his “gut-level political savvy,” writing, “This kind of thing is why he’s president.”

The conference stood solidly within the conservative intellectual tradition, as a retroactive attempt by the right-wing intelligentsia to provide cover for what the great mass of Republican voters actually want. Barry Goldwater did not break the Solid South in 1964 because the once Democratic voters of the Jim Crow states had suddenly become principled small-government libertarians; voters who backed Donald Trump in 2016 did not do so because they believed a nonracial civic nationalism had been eroded by liberal cosmopolitanism.

The consensus that American civic nationalism recognizes all citizens regardless of race, creed, color, or religion was already fragile before Trump took office. That principle has been lauded, with varying degrees of sincerity, by presidents from both parties, and in particular by the first black president, who reveled in reminding audiences that “in no other country in the world is my story even possible.” The nationalism that conservatives say they wish to build in fact already existed, but it was championed by a president whose persona was so deformed by right-wing caricature that they could not perceive it. Instead, they embraced the nationalism that emerged as a backlash to his very existence and all it represented. [...]

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BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2007Huzzah for Harry Reid:

The Brown Derby closed several years ago, but if I could lay my hands on that house-sized hat, I'd give it a tip for Harry Reid.

Let me start with the confessions.  First, I have not always held tight to my pom-poms.  More than once in the last six months, I've said some... not all that supportive things about Senator Reid and his ability to move things through the "collegial" axle grease of the Senate. A big part of this was frustration at seeing all that "first hundred hours" legislation come rocketing through the House, only to enter a Senatorial time warp. A bigger part of that was the failure to keep popping that same vetoed Iraq bill back onto Bush's desk until either sweet reason prevailed or Bush's fingers got too tired to scrawl his 'X.' The biggest reason of all was a deep personal need to see Mitch McConnell face down in the mud while Senator Reid does a Riverdance clog on his back (Oh, and Bill O? That there is one of them met-a-phors).

Forget that. My past criticisms arguably makes me little more than a fair weather friend, but I see a lot of blue skies today, and I see one tough senator standing out in the sunshine. I'm damned impressed with Senator Reid.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: SDNY unseals Cohen search warrant documents, and we find Trump all over the hush money deals. (Duh.) There’s an alternate theory about that, by the way. Hey, what is it with right-wing pedophilia projection? Will Epstein take even more big names under?

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Categories: Politics

An Outstanding Solo Performance: Foxtails Brigade, "Last Still Standing"

Little Green Footballs - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 22:41

This is an original song from our 2016 self-titled Foxtails Brigade album. I wanted to show you the solo version.

If you like this and are in the Bay Area next week, I'll be playing this and a bunch of other solo stuff like it on Wednesday, April 11th at Bottom of the Hill. You should come.

Ticket are available now at:
https://bit.ly/2GYrlQE

For more jamzz:
www.FoxtailsBrigade.com

To support Foxtails Brigade:
www.Patreon.com/FoxtailsBrigade

Categories: Politics

What kind of idiot believes we didn't land on the moon?

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 22:30

There are some people in this country who just try to undermine everything good about our society, and they are the fundamental reason we can’t have nice things. This group is usually made up of many people called Republicans, but in truth it goes much deeper than that. As much as people can get into “America: Love it or leave it” exceptionalism, listening to shitty Lee Greenwood music while drinking Michelob from a Stars and Stripes beer koozie, there is a separate category of assholes who feel the need to question and doubt every aspect of information for … reasons.

Skepticism and critical thought are good things. They’re necessary in a world with businesses and conmen that’ll rob people blind if given the chance. But when the reasons for doubting the obvious become ideological, whether politically, religiously, or dogmatically, things go off the rails into cuckoo crazy town.

The Apollo program is considered by many to be one of the greatest accomplishments in human history, and a mark of greatness for the United States as a country, as proof of what people can achieve through science and government (i.e., don’t let conservatives know it was done through socialism). However, it is a popular myth that the moon missions were overwhelmingly popular and had broad support from the public. Even during the 1960s, a majority of Americans did not believe the Apollo program was worth the cost, with the exception of polling done in 1969 around the time of the moon landing. In 1979, 10 years after the landing in the Sea of Tranquility, only 47% of the public felt it had been worth it. When it comes to government funding for the space program, there is a weird coalition of liberals who feel every dollar spent to get “Whitey on the Moon” is a dollar not being used for social programs and conservatives who think of it as money that needs to be sent back to the 1% as tax cuts.

But beyond just opposition, there is a sort of person who takes a look at the image above and just wants to shit on it to feel special. It’s the sort of person who watches two airplanes loaded with jet fuel crash into buildings, then sees those buildings burn for hours and crumble on live television, and then thinks, “The sheeple will probably think that’s the way it actually happened.” Or the kind of guy who hates the first black president so much, his fat ass accuses him of not being a “real” American. Or a TV network that hates Democrats so much, it tortures a murder victim’s family with a (Russian-induced) conspiracy theory to get views and clicks from the trash in its audience.

So I thought it might be interesting to look at the dumbest conspiracy theories, and what drives people to think, for example, that we never put men on the moon. Millions of people, with their own eyes, watched NASA launch rockets toward the moon. We have pictures and video documenting the journeys. The astronauts even brought back moon rocks. And yet there are still idiots who think the whole thing was directed by Stanley Kubrick on a soundstage in Nevada.

Categories: Politics

Plagiarist Monica Crowley Gets Top Job At Treasury Dept

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 22:00
Plagiarist Monica Crowley Gets Top Job At Treasury Dept

Donald Trump isn’t letting a little thing like plagiarism prevent him from appointing Monica Crowley to be assistant secretary of the Treasury for public affairs, a position that does not require Senate confirmation.

You may recall that Crowley had been slated to become a deputy national security adviser to Trump at the start of his administration. However, she decided to “pursue other opportunities” before she started the job but after more than 50 instances of plagiarism were found in her last book and even more in her Ph.D. dissertation.

Of course, the plagiarism was no barrier for regular appearances on Fox News where she was treated as a serious analyst and, of course, Trump supporter.

In an opinion column for The Washington Post last month, Professor Daniel W. Drezner wrote about her appointment to the Treasury Department in April:

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Categories: Politics

Racial Resentment Is Down Since 2016

Kevin Drum - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 20:31

Recent polling on race relations is pretty grim reading. Ever since Ferguson, both blacks and whites have agreed that race relations in America are getting worse. No matter how you ask the question, you get the same result.

But this tells us nothing about actual racial attitudes, which are notoriously tricky to measure. However, there’s a question on the biannual General Social Survey that I’ve long thought was one of the best indicators of racist attitudes: “Are racial differences due to lack of will?” This, I think, is a fairly nonthreatening way to ask about the widespread belief among some whites that blacks (and other minority groups) should quit complaining and just work harder. The responses jump around from year to year, so I’ve chosen just a few key dates in the chart below to make the trend clearer:

Among white Republicans in the pre-Obama years, the number who felt that the biggest problem among blacks was lack of willpower (LOW) was pretty steady at around 50 percent. But when Obama was elected president, LOW suddenly shot up by ten points. The mere fact of having a black man in the White House was enough to trigger feelings of racial resentment.

This faded out a bit over the next six years, but in 2016 LOW was still five points higher than it had been before Obama was elected. This is one of the things that helped Donald Trump get elected.

But look what’s happened since. With Obama gone, LOW plummeted 11 points. It’s now precisely where it would be if it had followed the pre-Obama trendline for another ten years.

This suggests that racial resentment among white Republicans has been on a steady downward trend for more than 20 years, interrupted only by the election of Barack Obama. But with Obama now out of the picture, racial resentment is way down from 2016, which means that Donald Trump has far less raw racial material to work with than he did four years ago. This doesn’t mean that Democrats can go hog-wild in the wokeness sweepstakes, but it does mean that Trump’s increasingly vitriolic racism is probably having less of an effect than we fear.

The most likely outcome of all this is that Trump will feel like he needs to go further and further to get the same response he did in 2016, and that will eventually force him to go too far. Maybe it already has. Even his fellow Republicans seem to understand the danger here, which is why they asked him to back down on the “Send her back!” chants. Trump’s base may love it, but there are a whole lot more people who are repulsed by it.

Categories: Politics

Cheers and Jeers: Rum and resistance FRIDAY!

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 19:30

From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Late Night Snark: Racist-in-Chief Edition

"Trump has spent the week reeling off a series of unhinged tweets and tirades defending his racist attack on four Democratic congresswomen of color, in which he told them to 'go back and help fix the totally-broken and crime-infested places from which they came.' Of course, they're Americans—three of them were born here and the fourth is a refugee and naturalized citizen. So, [Trump], if their country is broken and crime-infested, that's on you."

---Seth Meyers

HobbyLobbyTrumpSucks.jpg And ye shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

"This morning he wrote, 'Those tweets were not racist. I don’t have a racist bone in my body.' Here's the thing. We're not worried about your bones being racist, we're worried about your brain and your mouth being racist. "

---Jimmy Kimmel

"If Trump strikes you as a little racist, you do not know the meaning of the word little."

---Stephen Colbert

"Our government now describes asylum not as an internationally recognized right, but as a 'discretionary benefit,' which is bullshit. A 'discretionary benefit' is free make-up samples at Sephora."

---Samantha Bee

And 10 years ago this week:

"To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the moon landing, the astronauts from Apollo 11 visited the White House. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were allowed to set foot inside the White House while Michael Collins was forced to drive around in circles outside."

—Conan O'Brien

C’mon down and splash. The kiddie pool’s filled with Tang and tonight we’re bobbing for chunks of freeze-dried ice cream. Your west coast-friendly edition of Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Categories: Politics

Trump Praises NC Rallygoers: 'Incredible Patriots'

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 19:12
 'Incredible Patriots'

Just as I predicted, Trump couldn't last a day with the bogus "I didn't like it" nonsense he was spewing about that North Carolina rally chant. During one of the ubiquitous "pool spray" press opportunities in the Oval Office, he made it quite clear to reporters that he was just fine with the fascism on display.

The question was whether he would take the tweet back where he said the four Congresswomen could go back to where they came from, and his answer made it perfectly clear that he not only wouldn't take it back, he believed it with all of his heart and further, those North Carolina folks were well within their rights to take up the fascist mantle and run with it.

Rep. Ilhan Omar doesn't hate our country, and she has apologized for the way she expressed her frustration with the Israeli government, but that didn't stop Trump from droning his lies about that anyway.

Additionally, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez did not call America garbage, but was referring to policies she disagreed with. However, he spewed on her too.

"Those people in North Carolina, that stadium was packed. it was a record crowd. I could have filled it ten times as you know," he continued.

Praising the rallygoers who had chanted "Send her back," he said, "Those are incredible people. Those are incredible patriots."

"She's lucky to be where she is, let me tell you. The things that she has said are a disgrace to our country," he concluded.

Categories: Politics

Let's Prepare For Wilbur Ross Getting Fired

Crooks and Liars - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 19:11
Let's Prepare For Wilbur Ross Getting Fired

Thursday July 17, House votes to hold AG Barr and Commerce Secretary Ross in contempt of Congress over census citizenship question  Vox

I'm no Judge Napolitano, who predicted the exact day a Trump underling was forced out. Judge Napolitano: Alex Acosta Will Be Gone By Friday.   But I think Ross will be gone soon, and I want the media and congress to learn from all the previous firing and resignations and prepare to bust Ross in upcoming press conferences, interviews and congressional hearings. 

Back in the olden days bloggers pointed out how the media failed to strategically and tactically deal with Bush's manipulation of the press in the run up to the war in Iraq. In that fine tradition I'm going to offer some advice to them AND to the congress members. These suggestions are ALSO for the politically aware and media-savvy people reading this. 

The media and congress are so busy covering new atrocities they don't have time to see the patterns and use them to expose the White House's tricks and turn them back on them.

It has been observed and reported that Trump demands his underlings follow his protocol for denying, lying and attacking.

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Categories: Politics

Cartoon: Interview with a racist bone

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 17:50

Deplatforming works, but not for ratings apparently.

Categories: Politics

Voting Rights Roundup: Trump caved on census, but redistricting fight looms over citizenship data

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 17:09
Leading Off

2020 Census: In a major victory for democracy and the rule of law last week, Donald Trump capitulated and agreed that there will be no citizenship question on the 2020 census, and a federal court permanently blocked him from adding one. Instead, Trump directed the Census Bureau to match existing administrative records with future census responses to determine citizenship status, something the Bureau had already planned on doing.​

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​However, Trump issued an executive order directing officials to produce suitable data for redistricting so that states that want to can draw new district lines based on the number of adult citizens instead of the total population, as has long been standard practice. Trump's directive lays bare the fact that the pretextual justification his administration had repeatedly told the courts—that the citizenship question was needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act—was an outright lie.

Relatedly, House Democrats voted on Wednesday to hold Commerce Secretary WIlbur Ross and Attorney General Bill Barr in contempt of Congress for their efforts to stonewall congressional oversight by refusing to turn over documents related to their attempt to add the question to the census—documents that likely would have revealed the GOP's real motives.

Trump's executive order also confirms what the recently disclosed files of deceased GOP redistricting consultant Thomas Hofeller also revealed: Their real reason for wanting citizenship data was to allow Republicans to abandon traditional redistricting practices and instead rely only on adult citizens. As Hofeller's archives made explicit, this effort was born out of a plan to deprive Democrats and Latinos of their rightful levels of representation.

The battle over citizenship data is still far from over, but opponents of Trump's efforts to weaponize the census still won a critical victory, thanks in no small part to the administration's own incompetence. Without the question on the census itself, immigrants should have less reason to be intimidated about truthfully answering the census, which could help mitigate the climate of fear Trump deliberately created by pushing to add his question in the first place.

Furthermore, there's now also a chance to stop the Census Bureau from releasing citizenship data suitable for redistricting, and Democratic presidential candidates swiftly vowed to do just that. In addition, further litigation seeking to stop the release of the data or block its use over potential inaccuracies seems all but certain.

Categories: Politics

Hate group founder John Tanton is dead but his anti-immigrant policies live on in the Trump admin

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 16:44

White nationalist John Tanton is dead, but the hateful organizations he founded live on like racist zombies. Once called the “most influential unknown man in America,” immigrant rights advocacy group America’s Voice notes, Tanton, an ophthalmologist by training and a racist by heart, founded the Center for Immigration Studies and the Federation for American Immigration Reform, two anti-immigrant hate groups whose ideology, through the Trump administration, has now become official immigration policy.

“Trump action items like ending DACA and curtailing both legal and undocumented immigration have been on FAIR and CIS’ wish list for years,” America’s Voice continued, and while Tanton’s reach into the White House was new, his festering in the background was not. Tanton’s groups championed then-Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III’s successful effort to derail a comprehensive immigration reform package in 2007, with another Tanton group, NumbersUSA, awarding him a “Defender of the Rule of Law” award. 

Staffers from Tanton’s groups have frequently been invited by anti-immigrant members of Congress to testify at their hearings, because “Center for Immigration Studies” sounds pretty innocuous, right? Except CIS has distributed writings from anti-Semites and Holocaust-deniers, one of whom called Jewish people “truly subversive,” “manipulative,” and “evil.” Tanton himself said that “I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that,” immigration historian Carly Goodman writes. 

Media has been complicit in spreading Tanton’s messages, because even through today, immigration reports commonly quote officials from CIS and FAIR as if they offer a legitimate stance on policy, in large part because they don’t throw around outright racist slurs like Trump, and their “neutral names” really do fool many. “This has allowed these groups to shift the terms of the debate far to the right,” Goodman also said. “Without proper context, readers and viewers don’t understand how outside the mainstream these groups’ views really are.”

Outside of the mainstream indeed, but it’s now the wretched stance of the federal government. Ron Vitiello, who served as Trump’s acting Customs and Border Protection acting deputy commissioner, Border Patrol chief, and acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, attended a FAIR event in his official capacity, while L. Francis Cissna, ousted from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for not being fringy enough, attended a CIS event in his official capacity.

Tanton is dead, but as immigration reported Tina Vasquez tweeted, “his legacy lives on. So much of what the Tanton groups advocated for has come to fruition under Trump, and many leaders of anti-immigrant hate groups now hold positions in federal immigration agencies.” With Stephen Miller there, they’ll continue to have an open ear in the White House. Remember the next election isn’t just about defeating one man, it’s also about pulling the rot out by the root.

Categories: Politics

EPA refuses to ban pesticide proven to cause brain damage in children

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 16:35

A court ruling requiring that the EPA make a decision on banning pesticides that cause brain damage in children ended this week in the worst possible way, as EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler overrode the recommendation of the—now gutted—EPA scientific advisory board and announced that the EPA will not move to ban chlorpyrifos. The decision represents a big win for the chemical industry, and a major demonstration of how, in the Trump White House, lobbyists beat scientists every time.

As The New York Times reports, this action follows the agency’s recent refusal to ban asbestos, despite the recommendation of the agency’s experts, and despite knowing that the fibrous mineral is the leading cause of mesothelioma. That action led to multiple, still-ongoing lawsuits in an attempt to force the EPA to act. 

But the chlorpyrifos decision on Thursday was actually the end result of a series of lawsuits that were kicked off in 2017. The Obama administration had announced a ban on chlorpyrifos in 2015 after initial reports showed that it causes brain damage in children. But the ban had not gone into effect when Trump took office. Scott Pruitt immediately reversed the announcement when he took control of the EPA in 2017 and decided the agency would simply … not decide. It would allow the pesticides to stay on the market by simply not making a decision.

That generated a series of lawsuits, which eventually resulted in a ruling that the EPA had to make a decision on the child-threatening pesticide. And then, after stretching it out to the last moment, Wheeler did decide—to allow the pesticide to remain on the market. Taken together, the pesticide and asbestos nonactions show that, under Donald Trump and coal lobbyist Wheeler, even the most blatantly obvious cases of public harm aren’t enough to generate any restrictions that might cause some industry to lose a dollar.

And the means by which Wheeler made his “decision” show that, from the very beginning, officials under Trump have planted the seeds to destroy any effective regulation and provide free rein to every industry. Or, at least, to every industry that can pay for it.

Categories: Politics

Susan Collins is going to be very disappointed about this

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 15:50

Sen. Susan Collins, the Maine Republican, told 60 Minutes that a grassroots funding drive for her eventual Democratic opponent was "classic quid pro quo" and bribery. "I think that if our politics has come to the point where people are trying to buy votes and buy positions, then we are in a very sad place."

That same Susan Collins just uploaded a bunch of stock videos for those "unaffiliated" Super PACs to use for ads that are totally not coordinated with her campaign but are totally in support of her campaign. So, yes, the woman who freaked out over Ady Barkan's CrowdPAC trying to buy the election and the flood of out of state money is ... inviting PACs to flood the state with out of state money to buy the election.

So American Bridge PAC (our side) accepted the invitation. The result is fabulous.

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Let's make sure she stays disappointed. Please give $1 to help Democrats in each of these crucial Senate races, but especially the one in Maine!

Categories: Politics

Merkel, Trudeau condemn Trump's racist attacks on members of Congress

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 15:37

Donald Trump’s racist tirades against four elected Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives and his ongoing nativist appeals to his base of supporters are not meeting resistance from members of the Republican Party. People who are not Republicans, however, are condemning the vile rhetoric spewing from the Oval Office and at Trump campaign rallies.

In addition to Democrats, including those running to replace Trump in 2020, condemnation of Trump’s racist spewing has come from leaders of countries that are nominally still U.S. allies, despite all the administration continues to do to encourage them to give up on us.

Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, was asked about Trump’s attacks on Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, whom he suggested should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Merkel did not hesitate in her answer. “Yes. Yes. I distance myself from this decidedly and feel solidarity with the women who were attacked," she said at a press conference in Berlin, according to her translated remarks. She also said, “People of very different nationalities have contributed to the strength of the American people, so these are ... comments that very much run counter to this firm impression that I have. This is something that contradicts the strength of America.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed the unacceptability of the comments, saying, “I think the comments made were hurtful, wrong and completely unacceptable. I want everyone in Canada to know these comments are completely unacceptable and should not be allowed or encouraged in Canada.”

Categories: Politics

A Game of Tankers: Multiple ships seized as situation in Middle East edges toward conflict

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 15:09

The BBC is reporting that forces of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard have followed through on threats to seize a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. The Stena Impero has apparently been taken over by the Iranian forces, directed away from its destination in Saudi Arabia, and is currently bound for Iran with 23 crew still aboard.

This follows an incident on July 4 in which British Marines boarded and detained a tanker near Gibraltar after suspecting it of breaching EU sanctions by carrying Iranian oil to Syria. That ship, the Grace 1, is still being held under U.K. control. 

Since the capture of the Grace 1, Iranian forces have tried, and failed, to board another U.K. tanker. But the Stena Impero was taken in international waters on Friday, apparently by parties aboard small speedboats. 

It also appears that Iran has captured the Panamanian-flagged tanker Riah, after initially claiming the ship was halted in their waters because of mechanical issues.

This situation is developing rapidly, and comes on the heels of a series of clashes between the U.S. amphibious landing ship Boxer and smaller Iranian craft, that included several close passes from helicopters and ended with the apparent shooting down of an Iranian drone. Tensions in the region remain very high, and the possibility of a military strike on Iran from the U.S., the U.K., or both would appear to be increasing.

Categories: Politics

Huge crowds of supporters welcome Rep. Ilhan Omar home to Minnesota

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 15:07

It’s been a long week for Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar—first, she was told by the president to “go back” to her home country of Somalia rather than criticize his policies, and then she faced chants of “send her back” from the crowd at one of Trump’s rallies.  Still, none of that seemed to dampen her spirits as she returned home to Minnesota on Thursday. A crowd of nearly 100 supporters greeted her with chants of “welcome home, Ilhan” in a touching display of solidarity.

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Categories: Politics

Midday open thread: 29 World Heritage sites added; as coal fades, Wyoming faces economic trouble

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 15:05

Today’s comic by Mark Fiore is 'R' is for Racist: 

ScreenShot2019-07-19at6.03.37am.png

What’s coming up on Sunday Kos: 

  • The alt-right has a plan to win 2020, and it involves YOU—so listen up, by Chris Reeves 
  • #CowardTrump can't disavow racist 'send her back' chant a day later. When it counted he said nothing, by Ian Reifowitz 
  • Ignore conservatives' advice on how to pick the Democratic nominee, by Sher Watts Spooner 
  • It took a lot more than a small step to land on the moon, by Mark E Andersen 
  • We must stop Trump from winning with the race card. It starts with the traditional media, by Egberto Willies 
  • 'Mapping Resistance': Activism past and present and the New York Young Lords, by Denise Oliver Velez 
  • Why you can't be nice to neo-Nazis or their enablers in the GOP, by Frank Vyan Walton 
  • How the press rewards GOP cowardice in the age of Trump, by Eric Boehlert

UNESCO inscribes 29 new properties as World Heritage Sites: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adds World Heritage properties based on those that are “unique in some respect as a geographically and historically identifiable place having special cultural or physical significance (such as an ancient ruin or historical structure, building, city, complex, desert, forest, island, lake, monument, mountain, or wilderness area). It may signify a remarkable accomplishment of humanity, and serve as evidence of our intellectual history on the planet.” Among the additions this week: the archaeological ruins of Liangzhu City in the Yangtze River Basin on the southeastern coast of China; Bagan, a site on the Ayeyarwady River on the central plain of Myanmar that includes a broad range of Buddhist art and architecture, including temples, stupas, and frescoes dating from the 11th–13th centuries CE; a megalithic jar site in Xiengkhuang in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, featuring 2,100 tubular-shaped stone jars used for funerary rituals in the Iron Age dating from 500 BCE to 500 CE; eight scattered U.S. properties displaying the 20th century architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, including Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, and the Herbert and Katherine Jacobs House in Madison, Wisconsin.

Wanna know how Elon Musk plans to install a computer in your brain?

MIDDAY TWEET

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 Appalachian fracking operation not going so well financially: Leaders of EQT, the nation’s largest independent producer of natural gas, don’t agree with each other on how to proceed. EQT acquired Rice Energy, a major Appalachian fracker, but Toby and Derek Rice convinced shareholders last week that they, not EQT’s team, can manage the company better. Since 2010, EQT has lost $8 billion, which is pretty good evidence that new leadership was needed. The Rices said they can lower production costs using expensive new technology that so far has been commercially unproven. EQT’s former CEO, Steve Schlotterbeck thinks this approach won’t do what its adherents claim for it. Not too long ago, he called the natural gas fracking industry “an unmitigated disaster for any buy-and-hold investor.” He said the industry is “self-destructing from the success of the shale gas technologies [...] They continue to believe that volume growth is necessary for them to be successful, although we now have several years of data that demonstrates the opposite.” 

• How A 10-Year-Old-Boy Helped Apollo 11 Return To Earth.

Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 would lift pay for 33.5 million workersThat’s a fifth of the entire U.S. workforce. On Thursday, with just three Republicans in favor, and six Democrats opposed, the House of Representatives voted to raise the federal minimum to $15 an hour from the paltry $7.25 set a decade ago. A full-time worker earns a gross annual income of $15,000 at the current rate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who never sees a piece of Democratic legislation he can’t shelve, said there won’t be a Senate vote on the House bill because the higher hourly wage “would kill jobs and depress the economy.” That’s BS, as noted in a number of studies. 

Wyoming, the nation’s largest coal-producing state, faces a tough economic future: As Mark Sumner wrote on Wednesday about a new report, many communities, regions, and entire states are facing big financial troubles as the coal industry continues its nationwide decline. One of those is Wyoming, which, at 580,000 people, is the least populated state. Nearly 40% of U.S. coal is mined in Wyoming, which has been the leading coal-producing state for 33 years. The industry had 5,535 employees as of the end of 2018. from coal extraction, taxes pulled in more than $1 billion in revenue for state and local governments in Wyoming last year:

The diminishing value of coal draws ominous parallels to the subprime mortgage bubble that precipitated the Great Recession of 2008. But the coal free-fall is likely to be even worse than the housing market crash, because houses always retained some value, while coal mines could end up worthless if investors see costs that outstrip potential income, said energy analyst Clark Williams-Derry of the Sightline Institute, a sustainability think tank.

With mines likely to close, Wyoming is entering a new and untested paradigm for coal — reclamation without production. Typically, mines clean up their mess as they go; if they don’t, then the state can shut down operations until they do. But once a company goes broke and the mine shuts down, the only funds for cleanup are reclamation bonds, which critics say are inadequate in Wyoming.[...]

Meanwhile, coal’s collapse is delivering a one-two punch of unemployment and unpaid taxes to Campbell County, where more than one-third of all coal in the U.S. is mined from the Powder River Basin. The Blackjewel bankruptcy put nearly 600 miners out of work, and the county may never get $37 million in taxes owed by the company, which was run by Appalachian coal executive Jeff Hoops. This is partly because of the county’s lenient approach to collecting back taxes.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: SDNY unseals Cohen search warrant documents, and we find Trump all over the hush money deals. (Duh.) There’s an alternate theory about that, by the way. Hey, what is it with right-wing pedophilia projection? Will Epstein take even more big names under? x Embedded Content

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Categories: Politics

Friday Cat Blogging – 19 July 2019

Kevin Drum - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 15:00

Here is Hopper soaking up the midday sun and waiting for me to finish up the catblogging pictures so I can rub her tummy. It’s always a good day for a tummy rub.

Categories: Politics

Trump administration may delay abortion gag rule, but no one knows what in the hell is going on

Daily Kos - Fri, 07/19/2019 - 14:47

After announcing Monday that it would immediately slap an abortion gag rule on family planning clinics receiving federal funds, the Trump administration appears to be backing off slightly. The rule prevents those providers from referring patients to abortion services. The announcement came soon after a friendly federal court lifted an injunction against the policy and before a scheduled meeting between providers and the administration to discuss the policy implementation.

Following that meeting, the administration is now considering delaying enforcement, according to The Washington Post, "amid widespread confusion among clinics about the changes."

On Thursday, Department of Health and Human Services official Diane Foley told more than 200 leaders in the 90-group network of providers receiving federal funding that "she wanted to give them 60 days to comply with the rules and that federal lawyers were reviewing the idea, according to three participants in the closed meeting and others who were told afterward." That threw even more confusion and chaos into the situation, with clinics that receive federal funds not knowing what to do right now to be in compliance.

Immediately following the apparently premature message from the administration on Monday, several reproductive care providers said they would either stop accepting federal funding or withdraw from the Title X program, under which services are provided to about 4 million low-income women and girls annually. Those include Planned Parenthood, the largest grantee under Title X. One state governor, Democrat J.B. Pritzker in Illinois, announced Thursday that the state would give up the $2.4 million it receives in federal funding and provide the services from state funds. "Under my administration, Illinois will always stand with women and protect their fundamental right to choose," he said. That was before the apparent potential delay was announced by Foley. The grant recipients say they have received no formal instruction from the administration on how to comply with the new rules, one of the reasons Foley said she wanted to delay implementation.

Yet again, the administration is demonstrating that it doesn't know what in the hell it is doing or how in fact to run a government. That millions of people's lives and health care hang in the balance is of little importance to Trump or to most of the people he's brought into government.

Categories: Politics

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