Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Summer Harvest

Balloon Juice - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 04:14

What would we do for entertainment / information on a Sunday morning, if not for the ever-reliable Ozark Hillbilly?

Nothing much, just a few summer harvest pics.

At top: Early Harvest: This was probably our first good morning’s pickings. L to R, French Gold and French Emerite beans from Renee’s Garden, Bumblebee and Yellow Pear from Baker Creek and cherry from the local MFA, A Wood’s Famous Brimmer and an Amana Orange tomatoes from Baker Creek, and some Dar and Miniature White Cucumbers also from Baker Creek.

The beans are always good producers, the FG especially so, and mighty tasty too. I have put up app 35 pints, plus we have some frozen and have given away maybe a dozen gallon bags stuffed full. All from 1 of each seed packets. The miniature Whites were by far the most productive of the 2 cukes and both were very sweet tasting even if they got excessively large.

Tomatoes of many colors: L to R in the basket, Bumblebee, cherry, Green Zebra, Amish Paste peaking through, Amana Orange. In front: Woods Famous Brimmer and Pink Brandywine. All from Baker Creek except for the Cherry.

The Bumblebee are some of my most reliable producers, more savory than sweet, very crack resistant and wilt tolerant. I will still be picking a few of them long after all the others are gone. For the 2nd year in a row my Green Zebras had problems with blossom end rot and the plants succumbed to the wilt early on.

The Amish Paste are always good producers with plenty of large, meaty, paste tomatoes perfect for salsa and sauce. Amana Oranges… sigh… BC is no longer carrying them and this might be the last year I grow the most beautiful tomato on the planet. I am going to try and save some seeds but cross pollination is unavoidable. The Woods Brimmers, What can I say? Wow. Talk about productive, 3 plants, maybe a hundred maters so far and they are no where near done yet. These are medium to large beefsteak types with lots of good meaty flavor.

Eggplants: L to R: Diamond, Rosita, Mitoyo, and Rosa Bianca. I’ve been doing battle with the flea beetles and barely keeping up. the plants are stressed and I would say is the reason for lack of productiveness among my eggplants. With this harvest I made a killer Eggplant Parmesan that I am still feasting on a week later. I have more of each coming and with the next bunch I think I’ll just fry them like Mama did.

Sliced: This is a Mushroom Basket tomato from Baker Creek. Very beautiful and the flavor was good but the plant did not fare well at all, wilt and blossom end rot.

I fell behind with the wilt this year and was never able to catch up. Surprisingly, I have not picked a single horn worm and have had no HW damage. I don’t think that has ever happened to me before.

Day Glow Lily, just because it’s a nice pic.

I think we got the very last daylily bloom of the season yesterday — if I remember my planting chart correctly, an Apricot Sparkles. (You can’t tell from the photos, but the flowers actually do ‘sparkle’ in sunlight, as though they’ve been dusted with the finest glitter.)

We’re getting a steady trickle of ripe tomatoes here, augmented now by occasional purchases from our favorite local farmstand. Most important for my future plans, with only 20 plants instead of 30+, I’ve been making progress on tearing up and redoing the various long-neglected raised planters and flower beds… Murphy the Trickster God willing, there will be something to look forward to next spring besides the endless cleanup! Already put in a bulb order for this fall, mostly for the little early ‘naturalizers’ — crocus, chionodoxa, muscari — to see how they do, tucked in among the existing daffodils and ‘naturalized’ in the semi-shaded side yard.

What’s going on in your garden(s), this week?

Categories: Politics

New Music From Battles: "Titanium 2 Step" Ft. Sal Principato

Little Green Footballs - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 00:47

‘Titanium 2 Step (feat. Sal Principato)’ is taken from Battles’ new album ‘Juice B Crypts’, available October 18 on WARP | https://bttls.com

Video directed and created by Masanobu Hiraoka

Pre-Order ‘Juice B Crypts’ Vinyl, CD, Digital:
Battles Store - https://battles.ffm.to/juicebcrypts.oyd/battles
WARP Store - https://battles.ffm.to/juicebcrypts.oyd/warp
Bleep - https://battles.ffm.to/juicebcrypts.oyd/bleep
Amazon - https://battles.ffm.to/juicebcrypts.oyd/amazonstore
iTunes - https://battles.ffm.to/juicebcrypts.oyd/itunes

Pre-Save ‘Juice B Crypts’ to your streaming collection:
Spotify - https://battles.ffm.to/juicebcrypts-pre-sp.oyd
Apple Music - https://battles.ffm.to/juicebcrypts-pre-ap
Deezer - https://battles.ffm.to/juicebcrypts.oyd/deezer


Categories: Politics

Floriduh! Woman: Concealed Carry Edition

Balloon Juice - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 23:09

I don’t think this is allowed even with a valid Florida Concealed Weapons License!

Take it away WNDU!

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (AP) – Officials say a Florida woman who pulled a small alligator from her yoga pants during a traffic stop and illegally possessed numerous other wild animals has been sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to four charges.

Florida prosecutors say a Charlotte County sheriff’s deputy stopped a pickup truck in May after it ran a stop sign. The driver, 22-year-old driver Michael Clemons, told the deputy he and his 25-year-old passenger, Ariel Machan-Le Quire, were collecting frogs and snakes under an overpass. He gave the deputy permission to search bags in the truck.

When the deputy found 41 3-stripe turtles in a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” backpack, he asked if Machan-Le Quire had anything else. She pulled the 1-foot gator from her pants.

Officials say the Clemons case is pending.

I hope she was at least using a holster!

Open thread!

Categories: Politics

C&L's Saturday Comedy Club Live At The Apollo

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 23:01

Happy Saturday! And a bonus clip, the classic "Cake or Death" from Eddie Izzard's "Dress to Kill"

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Open thread below...

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Categories: Politics

Saturday open thread for night owls: Jewish constituents turn out in support of Rep. Rashida Tlaib

Daily Kos - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 23:00

Jake Johnson at Common Dreams writes—'We Will Have Her Back': Jewish Constituents Rally Behind Rashida Tlaib Amid Trump Attacks:

Dozens of Rep. Rashida Tlaib's Jewish constituents rallied in Detroit Friday evening during Shabbat to show solidarity with their congresswoman as she faces attacks from President Donald Trump over her refusal to visit Israel under the Netanyahu government's restrictive conditions.


Beth Miller, government affairs manager for Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) Action, which organized the event, applauded Tlaib's courage and said it is "heartbreaking that Rashida had to spend this evening with us instead of her beloved family."

"And it's enraging that the Israeli government would hold a member of Congress's family hostage unless she agrees to censor herself," said Miller. "For as long as it's existed, the Israeli government has forced these kinds of heart wrenching and impossible choices on Palestinians. It's time for all of us to insist our elected officials hold Israel accountable."

Tlaib, who attended the rally Friday night, fought back tears as she thanked her constituents for their support.

"I can't wait to show my grandmother how I was supported by all of you—it would bring her so much joy," said Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman ever elected to Congress. "Thank you for hearing me, thank you for seeing me, thank you for loving me. And thank you for allowing me to be not just your congresswoman, but also a granddaughter of a grandmother living under occupation." [...]



“Pick a leader who will not only bail out banks and airlines, but also families from losing their homes -- or jobs due to their companies moving to other countries. Pick a leader who will fund schools, not limit spending on education and allow libraries to close. Pick a leader who chooses diplomacy over war. An honest broker in foreign relations. A leader with integrity, one who says what they mean, keeps their word and does not lie to their people. Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist.” 
               ~~Suzy KassemRise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem, 2011




At Daily Kos on this date in 2013—GOP senator howls about the 'environmental jihad':

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson may not be up for re-election until 2016, but he is not letting a League of Conservation Voters ad against him go without a bout of whining—and fundraising:

“The League of Conservation voters is not an organization with a balanced approach to a cleaner environment,” states the email from the Johnson campaign. “They are an extreme left group on an environmental jihad.”

The email, which also solicited donations from supporters, denounced what Johnson said was an “unholy alliance” between LCV and the Obama campaign that gives the green group “unlimited resources and campaign expertise.”

Ah, yes, the "extreme" "unholy" "jihad" of the League of Conservation Voters, with their ads filled with facts about severe weather's cost in human life and property damage, Johnson's big donations from oil and gas, his votes in favor of continuing pollution, and his general record of climate change denial. Those scoundrels. Send Ron Johnson money, so he can "respond to their attack ads with the truth." Is he implying that he actually doesn't deny the reality of climate change, or is that the truth of ... him being a giant climate change denier, but with an explanation of how he's proud of his position because capitalism?

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.”

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Categories: Politics

Jay-Z's partnership with the NFL spurs debate over whether it's an opportunity or a sellout

Daily Kos - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 22:30

Thursday Jay-Z and National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell held a news conference announcing a deal with the league in which the hip-hop mogul’s company will handle the NFL’s entertainment events with a purported nod toward enhancing a message of social justice. This is a coup for Goodell and the league, which has been under fire from both sides of the political spectrum over the NFL’s reaction to Colin Kaepernick’s protest of racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. Trump and conservatives have used the anthem protests as a wedge issue for the culture war in order to stoke white resentment among the Republican base, with the resulting firestorms leading many of those making money decisions in the sports industry to scurry away from either covering, discussing, or wanting to involve themselves in political discussions. ESPN’s Dan Le Batard recently defied the network’s edict of “no politics” by calling out Trump’s racism, and called ESPN’s reluctance to cover those issues directly “cowardly.”

Even as the anthem protests have become more widespread, with Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. women’s national team during the World Cup and Race Imboden at the Pan American Games, Kaepernick has remained unsigned to any NFL team since 2017, and other players have been frozen out and found it difficult to work in the league for their support of the protests. Over these past years of controversy, celebrities have offered differing degrees of solidarity with Kaepernick, usually by refusing to be a part of NFL events. Both Rihanna and Cardi B reportedly turned down an offer to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show because of the appearance of supporting the NFL after its treatment of Kaepernick. In public performances and some of his music, Jay-Z has in the past turned down offers to perform with the NFL and publicly supported the stance taken by Kapernick, calling him “an iconic figure.” For Beyoncé’s and Jay-Z’s 2018 track “Apeshit,” Jay-Z called out the NFL with this: “Once I said no to the Super Bowl: You need me, I don’t need you. Every night we in the end zone. Tell the NFL we in stadiums too.” 

But that support only seems to go so far. Jay-Z’s decision to partner with the NFL has faced intense blowback from critics who believe collaboration with the league allows the powers that be to sidestep Kaepernick’s protest, and the NFL will use Jay-Z as an imprimatur to shut down any criticism of how the NFL handles the intersection of politics and sport, especially if team owners enforce edicts which silence players. For his part, Jay-Z claims “we’re past the point of kneeling” and his deal with the NFL is about “action.”

Categories: Politics

Nuts & Bolts: Inside a Democratic campaign—rethinking our county organizations

Daily Kos - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 21:00

It’s another Saturday, so for those who tune in, welcome to a diary discussing the Nuts & Bolts of a Democratic Campaign. If you’ve missed out, you can catch up anytime: Just visit our group or follow Nuts & Bolts Guide. Every week I try to tackle issues I’ve been asked about, and with the help of other campaign workers and notes, we tackle subjects about how to improve and build better campaigns.

All over the country, Democratic county and district organizing has a tendency to revert to the same thing: monthly meetings where mostly elderly individuals get together over coffee and complain about Republicans. The meetings can be cathartic and remind people that other registered Democratic Party members live near them, but the structure provides very little in the way of helping candidates, motivating young people, or building opportunities for new members to come in and see an opportunity to be effective.

In light of this, county and district organizations have started to look at entirely new ways to build party infrastructure for the future. How do they do it? Diversify. Want to know more? Let’s talk about it.

Categories: Politics

Elie Mystal Gets Serious About Greenland ... But Not How You Think

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 20:57

Last week it was reported that Donald Trump asked if it was possible for the United States to buy Greenland. No, this was not an article by The Onion. The Danish government was not keen on the idea, basically telling the world that Greenland was not for sale.

MSNBC had a panel on to discuss this issue and it went off track in a great way -- segueing a great suggestion for the Danish government to actually bring Trump into a discussion on climate change.

REINES: People who need the United States, whether it's NATO or just for the sake of structure and stability. And then there are people who benefit from our chaos. This is not the 100-yard dash. Putin does not need to beat Trump... he just needs to trip Trump out of the gate. That's much easier. And as much as we joke about it, that's what we're seeing, the notion of chaos, which Trump thinks helps him domestically and I could probably make an argument that it does, it does not help the United States internationally. He's also aware that internationally Greenland has zero electoral votes and the world has zero electoral votes, so what does he care?

GURA: We'll do a show from there.

MYSTAL: He'll care when it melts.

GURA: He'll care when it melts. Get that in. We're having some fun, here, but make this point.

read more

Categories: Politics

Fox’s Pete Hegseth Getting Married At Trump Golf Club

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 20:00
Fox’s Pete Hegseth Getting Married At Trump Golf Club

Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth tied the knot yesterday with his third wife and current baby mama, Jennifer Rauchet, a Fox Nation producer. And what better place for a hypocritical serial adulterer to marry than a Trump golf club?

According to The Daily Beast, the marriage was at “a property owned by the president and his family business, specifically the Trump National Golf Club Colts Neck in New Jersey.” The pair shared rehearsal photos in “Make Weddings Great Again” hats.

read more

Categories: Politics

I’ve Been A Terrible Blog Host

Balloon Juice - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 19:53

I have been busy in meat space doing people things. Here is a video of Seth’s kittens to make up for my absence:

Also, this has been a great summer for birds. I went to the fern today to take a picture of you all, and the third bird harvest had already been completed and they were gone! Grand total of 11 birbs hatched on the front porch this summer. Not bad.

Categories: Politics

Orville and Wilbur Update

Balloon Juice - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 18:58

Apparently the cat bleg for Orville and Wilbur was successful. Here are the details from Robin:

HUGE thanks to you and the Balloon Juice community, Adam! My daughter and I just dropped Orv and Willy off with Jenny and her daughter-in-law. We met up in St. Louis and the boys are Topeka bound!

Reid, you did it!

You guys housed my cats!!!

They’re Kansas kitties now.

Seriously, thank you so much.

I cannot thank you enough!


I’m not sure if the adopter is a commenter or a lurker, but hopefully they’ll sound of in the comments and let us know how things are going.

Here are the pictures Robin sent across.

Open thread!

Categories: Politics

CEO pay is a scandal—or anyway, it should be—this week in the war on workers

Daily Kos - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 18:55

Since 1978, CEO pay has grown 1,007.5% by one measure and a mere 940.3% by another measure, the Economic Policy Institute reports. Average workers? Their pay has gone up just 11.9%. That’s not all, either. The increase in CEO pay has dramatically outstripped the increase for other very high earners, which is positively modest at 339.2%.

The numbers start to seem a little more manageable if you drill down to more recent years, but the inequality is still striking:

CEO compensation has grown 52.6% in the recovery since 2009 using the options-exercised measure and 29.4% using the options-granted measure. In contrast, the typical workers in these large firms saw their annual compensation grow by just 5.3% over the recovery and actually fall by 0.2% between 2017 and 2018.

EPI also finds in the data an indication that no, CEOs aren’t magical unicorns who are worth all that money on their own unique merit: “CEOs of large firms earned 5.4 times that of the average top 0.1% earner in 2017, up from 4.4 times in 2007. This is yet another indicator that CEO pay is more likely based on CEOs’ power to set their own pay, not on a market for talent.”

Categories: Politics

Kentucky School District Complies With Mandatory 'In God We Trust' Displays With Framed Dollar Bills

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 18:30
Kentucky School District Complies With Mandatory 'In God We Trust' Displays With Framed Dollar Bills

Earlier this year, Kentucky Republicans crafted a new law requiring all public schools to prominently display the text "In God We Trust," part of the ongoing effort by Republicans to require everyone believe what they believe or face legal retribution. Schools have been complying, of course.

But in Lexington, Fayette County Public Schools have engaged in a bit of malicious compliance. Rather than using ever-limited school funds to order custom In God We Trust signs or tasking students to come up with the legally required artwork, the district looked at the requirements and came up with the cheapest and most efficient solution: they printed out the enlarged reverse side of $1 dollar bills, which feature the motto prominently (along with the weird pyramid eye that makes us look like nutcases).

"Like every school district in the Commonwealth, Fayette County Public Schools has complied with the requirements of the new law to display the national motto in our schools. All schools in our district have been provided a framed version of an enlarged copy of a $1 dollar bill to display in a prominent location," Fayette County Superintendent Manny Caulk told WKYT.

read more

Categories: Politics

Trump swore to watch the Portland Proud Boy rally, and counter-protesters delivered quite the show

Daily Kos - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 18:18

While the nation watched, multiple law enforcement agencies descended on Portland for a scheduled rally heavily championed by an InfoWars alum and member of the right-wing extremist Proud Boys group — and subsequent counterprotest— on Saturday. Though the rally’s message was steeped in hate, the flavor of the counterprotest was one of peace and joy, and pure Portland.


Arrests were made before noon, of course, with CNN reporting that police had already seized weapons, including bear spray. While the wannabe Nazis seemed to stick to black clothing and red MAGA hats, counter-protesters has no such uniform, with many taking a far different approach.

Despite the Southern Poverty Law Center’s designation of the Proud Boys as a hate group, Donald Trump, of course, branded those protesting the rally as the potential terrorists, without acknowledging the actual bad deeds committed by the far-right.

Just for you, dear reader, is a brief sampling of those supposed terrorists who so frighten the current White House occupant.


Clowntifa! The “Joey” in question is likely Joey Gibson, a Patriot Prayer leader who turned himself in to Portland Police Friday afternoon on felony rioting charges stemming from violence during the group’s May Day presence. Gibson was out on bail early enough to get a good night’s rest ahead of Saturday’s events.


That’s right, the Banana Bloc not only brought their own music, they held a limbo deathmatch.


White Flour for everyone (except those who live gluten-free lifestyles, of course)!


Dance like nobody’s watching … or maybe like a bunch of bigots are.


The Proud Boys and their friends clearly hoped for violence, but they got dancing unicorns instead.

That’s not to say the hate mongers didn’t have their own “dancing.”


Is it no surprise folks prefer the Banana Bloc?


All jokes aside, things did get heated every so often. 


Okay. All jokes aside for real. There were conflicts.


The much-feared event was “officially” over by 12:45 p.m., according to a lengthy interview CNN should not have granted to Enrique Tarrio, a self-identified Proud Boy chairman. But with thousands in attendance, it was always going to take some time for the streets to clear.

Some counter-protesters didn’t seem to be in a hurry, like these dudes.


Remember, though: This “rally” was created on the spiderweb-thin premise of exposing “Antifa” as supposed terrorists. Nailed it!


Between the bananas, clowns, unicorns, and fighting Corgis, we can only hope the stable genius liked what he saw.


After the official event ended, the Proud Boys and other rally attendees had largely fled the area, but some, along with counter-protesters, maintained their presence on Portland streets, leading to “sporadic” skirmishes with each other and with law enforcement. 


You can follow local and ongoing coverage of events after the rally and counter-protest at The Oregonian.

Categories: Politics

Spotlight on Green News & Views: It was the hottest July ever in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, ​​​2019

Daily Kos - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 18:00

This is the 611th edition of the Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue). Here is the August 10 edition. Inclusion of a story in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.


FishOutofWater writes—July was the hottest month ever measured at 1.2 C above preindustrial: Dangerously near 1.5 C Limit: “July was the hottest month since global temperature measurements began, averaging 1.22 Celsius (degrees) above the preindustrial background period of 1850 to 1900. Temperatures are closing in on the IPCC target of 1.5 Celsius at which a series of natural processes, such as the loss of summer sea ice and collapse of Siberian permafrost, will begin to amplify the temperature increases. Ominously, Berkeley Earth found that July 2019 was 2.20 degrees (1.22 Celsius) warmer than the 1850 to 1900 average, which is often used as the baseline for preindustrial temperatures.  www.washingtonpost.com/... July’s weather has come as a bit of a shock to climate scientists because temperature peaks in the past have been the result of strong El Niño events which are exceptionally warm because heat stored in the tropical Pacific ocean is released to the atmosphere. The previous warmest month was in August 2016 at the end of a very strong El Niño event. There was a weak El Niño this winter and spring that has already faded to neutral, an event that wouldn’t be expected to cause record summer heat in the northern hemisphere. However, global sea ice extent dropped to a record low in late April and has remained at record low levels through mid-August. This has reduced the reflection of light and heat back to space by ice, adding heat to the polar oceans and seas.” 

Mystic54 writes—Feeling Out of Sorts? All Inhabitants Of Earth Are Feeling The Stress Of An Impending Event: “Are you feeling a little out of sorts lately? Family and work conflicts seem to have increased? Are you more stressed and agitated than usual? You are not alone. In his papers on Morphic Field and Morphic Resonance, Harvard and Cambridge biologist Rupert Sheldrake, PhD presents a modestly accepted theory of an interconnectedness of planetary organisms. A sort of collective unconscious that is impacted by world events and thus reacts on some level. This reinforces some of the earlier work of scientist James Lovelock and his assertions that our planet itself is a living organism which he named Gaia. These assumptions, if correct, could account for some of the collective agitation being experienced around the world right now. The earth has never been a calm place for very long. Human caused turmoil, along with natural disasters, have always been with us, yet there are technological reasons that make this time in history different.”

marsanges writes—The Daily Bucket - The Rain Plain: “Hallo all! Here, in the Netherlands, summer is gradually waning. We had this weekend a little summer stormlet, with announced wind at 7 bf. This was an opportunity to go out into the National Park I’m living next door to, the National Park Zuid-Kennemerland. I wanted to go because way out in it, there grows a flower, which flowers specifically in August, and which is rare and special and which has been adopted as local symbol by people round this town. [...] The background is, I’m living in the coastal dunes of the Netherlands Coast, at the southern end of the North Sea, about as in the middle of our european metropolis as one can be. So the land is in large parts an assembly of cities and agroindustrial production space, but they protect their enclaves of remaining semi natural areas pretty well. They serve as recreational parks of course. The main parts of the most populous provinces of Holland lie at or below sea level and consist to a large part of land reclaimed from the sea, but they are protected by this dune belt, which is completely similar to dune belts in other continents, for instance in the Carolinas. Imagine, in the Carolina’s they would fill in the coastal lagoons and turn them into land: until the barrier islands simply become the outer end of the landmass. That is in principle what has happened here. So, our dune belt is about six kilometers wide, and forms the backbone of the National Park. Through it runs the national bicycle highway connecting one end of the country to the other, which is obviously where I started the walk.”

Categories: Politics

Open Thread: Moscow Mitch / Massacre Mitch

Balloon Juice - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 15:55

(Mike Luckovich via GoComics.com)

Adam K. Raymond, in NYMag“How ‘Moscow Mitch’ Is Helping Democrats”:

Wednesday marks two weeks since the KDP began selling its line of Moscow Mitch merch, headlined by a red T-shirt with the slogan “Just say nyet to Moscow Mitch.” In that time, the party, which is also selling beer koozies, shot glasses, and Cossack-style hats, has brought in $500,000 on 13,526 unique sales. Each of those is a donation to the KDP, and more than 90 percent have come from people like Weedon who have never before given to the state party.

“We knew he was underwater, but this really gave us an indication of how angry the people are,” said Nicole Erwin, communications director for the KDP. She added that the Moscow Mitch items are the largest merch campaign the party has ever done. “It blows everything else out of the water,” she said.

Erwin traced the idea for the Moscow Mitch merch back to Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony last month. The former special counsel warned of the Russian government’s continued “efforts to interfere in our election,” and McConnell, who had infamously stopped the Obama administration from making a bipartisan condemnation of Russian election interference in 2016, responded by blocking two pieces of election-security legislation in the Senate…

“We felt like the KDP was in a really unique position to hold the Senate majority leader accountable,” Erwin said. “We’ve really seen the sales take off, and we feel like it’s largely because we have this warning that we need to do something to ramp up election security. And even though bipartisan election security has been proposed, Mitch McConnell refuses to take a stand.”…

(Jeff Danziger via GoComics.com)
Categories: Politics

AM Joy Guest: NFL Got Their 'Black Shield' In Jay-Z

Crooks and Liars - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 15:38

A lot of people have A LOT to say about this business deal Jay-Z made with the NFL, announced this week. Jay-Z and his his entertainment company, ROC Nation, is now partnering with the football league (that has blackballed Colin Kaepernick) to, “advise on selecting artists for major NFL performances like the Super Bowl.” The deal allegedly encompasses more, though. According to Vox:

While the deal effectively gives Jay-Z a major role in developing one of the most-watched concerts in the country, it also includes a social justice partnership between the rapper and the NFL. Roc Nation, the NFL adds, will play an important role in the NFL’s recently launched “Inspire Change” initiative, a collaboration between the NFL and the Players Coalition, a group of NFL players seeking to advance social and racial justice. The initiative focuses on three causes in particular: “education and economic advancement; police and community relations; and criminal justice reform.”

On the surface, what's the problem, right? Sounds great! Jay-Z has a long resumé of social justice AND entertainment work to make sure Black musicians and artists are represented fairly, and he can say he's advancing causes important to the Black community. That was certainly the viewpoint of Michael Eric Dyson yesterday on CNN, where he made fiery arguments against those calling Jay-Z a sell-out.

read more

Categories: Politics

'Gag' rule blocking federal funds for abortion referrals will go forward pending litigation outcome

Daily Kos - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 15:14

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday turned down Planned Parenthood’s request that it reverse its July decision allowing the Trump regime’s implementation of a gag rule against making abortion referrals to its healthcare patients until lawsuits against the rule works its way through the courts. Officials at Planned Parenthood had said beforehand that if the court stuck with its previous decision, they would end the organization’s participation in the Title X Family Planning Program.

By the time the gag rule goes into effect on Monday, a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman said, a decision will have been made on whether the organization will opt out of accepting Title X grant money to reimburse it for the many reproductive-related services it provides to women without the financial means to pay for these themselves. Planned Parenthood covers about 40% of the nation’s Title X clients.

In addition to the 400 or so Planned Parenthood affiliates, several thousand smaller clinic networks and some states that accept Title X money are also at risk. A few blue states have said they will opt out of the program as long as the gag rule is in place. But most states have not, and many have budget constraints as well as right-wing-dominated legislatures that make it unlikely state money will be used to substitute for Title X funds in most of the nation. 

The half-century-old Title X is the only federal grant program focused entirely on providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and associated preventive health services. Alice Miranda Ollstein reports:

“Trump’s administration is trying to force us to keep information from our patients," said Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood's acting president. "The gag rule is unethical, dangerous, and we will not subject our patients to it. We are considering all of our options.”

Categories: Politics

Saturday midday open thread: U.S. issues warrant to seize Iranian tanker; raising money for 2020

Daily Kos - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 15:00

What’s coming on Sunday Kos:

  • If Trump really cared about Jews, he'd resign and just go away, by Ian Reifowitz
  • The Republican Party is laying the foundation for minority rule, by Egberto Willies 
  • All white men who own property and have a certain level of income are created equal, by Mark E Andersen
  • The only response anyone should ever give to the question: 'How do we pay for it?', by David Akadjian
  • Trump and his cohorts just don't understand what America truly is, by Frank Vyan Walton
  • When will the media finally admit that the Trump economy hasn't been so 'great'? by Sher Watts Spooner
  • Why are Trump's political donors so ashamed to be publicly known? by Laurence Lewis
  • D.C. media's dirty little secret: It has no idea what's happening inside Trump's White House, by Eric Boehlert
  • 1619. The 400th anniversary of the real founding of America, by Denise Oliver Velez

CDC health and climate scientist files whistleblower complaint: He’s George Luber, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and one of the leading experts on the effects of the climate crisis. He said he filed the move Friday to gain whistleblower protection because of what he said was retaliation for not keeping his lips zipped about the Trump regime’s continuing efforts to end climate research.

NYT looks at how Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg became leaders in the 2020 money race.

Turbines on Wyoming wind farm to be replaced with machines that are much more efficient: Over 45 years, and especially in the past 20, wind turbine technology has advanced markedly, with bigger and more efficient machines dominating the market. In the early 1980s, the average commercial turbine, of which there weren’t very many, had a tiny capacity of 75 kilowatts. Now the largest commercial turbines have a capacity of 9.5 megawatts. And some companies are talking about future offshore turbines of 20 megawatts. In Wyoming’s case, the Portland, Oregon-based PacifiCorp plans to replace 68 600-kilowatt wind turbines at the Foote Creek I wind farm with 13 2- and 4-megawatt turbines having the same total capacity of 41 megawatts, enough to provide electricity to 19,500 homes. “Just imagine buying a new cellphone today versus in ’98,” PacifiCorp spokesman Spencer Hall said, referring to when the wind farm’s first turbines were installed. “It’s becoming a thing where we can’t even get labor on some of them, there are so many projects going on.” Of all the states, Wyoming has the most wind resource potential even though it now generates the vast amount of its electricity with coal.



U.S. has issued a warrant to seize the Iranian tanker ordered released by a judge in Gibraltar: The oil tanker—Grace 1—was seized by the British Royal Navy last month off the coast of the overseas territory held by the British since 1713. The justification was suspicion that the tanker was violating European Union sanctions on oil shipments to Syria. The seizure spurred Iran to seize a British tanker, the Stena Impero, in Straits of Hormuz, a relatively narrow passage out of the Persian Gulf through which about a fifth of the world’s petroleum travels. The U.S. move is certain to worsen tensions between Tehran and Washington. Since the Trump regime withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement and reimposed economic sanctions on Iran, those tensions have risen. In response to the sanctions, Iran has openly breached two provisions of the agreement that the Islamic Republic had agreed to in exchange for removing sanctions. 

Amazon’s creepy army of “FC Ambassadors” rushed to defend Jeff Bezos on Twitter Wednesday. That’s “FC” for “fulfillment centers”: 

This isn’t the first time these accounts have attracted attention. Earlier this year, the accounts descended on Twitter with coordinated anti-union talking points. The FC Ambassador program made its debut last August and also seemed to coordinate talking points about how great it was to work at Amazon. The program backfired most recently after a Twitter thread of FC ambassadors went viral, with many people saying the tweets were dark or dystopian (others raised doubts about their legitimacy).

New “low-yield” tactical nukes are being produced and all will be delivered by September to U.S. Trident submarines: Critics say the W76-2 warhead could make nuclear war more likely at a time when the U.S., Russia, and China are all upgrading their nuclear arsenals, tensions between India and Pakistan are growing, the North Koreans are launching ever-better ballistic missiles that some experts believe could be capable of carrying nukes, and there is talk of transferring nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia that could lead to nuclear weapons being built there as a counterpose to Iran, which is capable of building a nuclear warhead but hasn’t done so.  

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

Sex workers and the Reverend: Trump's hateful immigration raids create unlikely allies

Daily Kos - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 14:26

Donald Trump isn’t exactly known for uniting Americans, but at least one Portland, Oregon partnership wouldn’t exist without him, or his vile policies: A pair of exotic dancers are working with a United Church of Christ pastor to raise money for the hundreds of children whose parents were rounded up in ICE’s latest raids in Mississippi.

Dawn McCall, who dances at a popular vegan strip club (which is possibly the most Portlandia thing ever), has teamed up with Rev. Adam Ericksen, whose church marquee messages of love have made him a viral celebrity. Using the hashtag #OurKids, the Oregonian reports that the pair is working to raise funds for the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance.

McCall and a team of fellow sex-industry workers will hold charity events the next two Saturdays at Casa Diablo, known for its meatless food menu and policy of prohibiting performers from wearing animal products on stage.

Ericksen, meanwhile, has asked the congregants at his Clackamas United Church of Christ in Milwaukie and other faith communities in the Portland area to pitch in financially.

McCall, who is no stranger to activism, through her “altruistic stripper company,” Team Blue, first met Ericksen when he gained well-deserved fame for his church sign. Despite being an atheist, she donated to his church to support his efforts. The idea to help the temporary orphans in Mississippi came from a colleague, who was compelled to do something, anything, for the children, many of whom came home from their first day of school to find their parents in ICE custody.

(A) former co-worker, who is also an artist, asked (McCall) what they could do to help these immigrant children.

The co-worker, Lauren Seeley, created an image for t-shirts and postcards now available online.

When Rev. Ericksen got wind of the effort, it was a no-brainer for him to join in.

“Christianity is about trying to help those on the margins of society — that’s where God goes,” Ericksen said. “Anyone who goes to people who need to be loved, I want to be on their team.”

The dancers’ #OurKids fundraiser is now featured on the pastor’s famous marquee and the church’s homepage.

EricksenandMcCallSelfieOurKids.jpeg This selfie is great

In addition to selling Seeley’s art and the fundraising events at Casa Diablo, McCall and her colleagues are also accepting cold, hard cash. 

In the video posted on Thursday to launch the initiative, both McCall and Ericksen each address the “strange bedfellows” aspect of their collaboration — and then they run right over it.

McCall: “As an atheist, I know it seems super weird that strippers would do anything with a church for any reason. However, this is Portland, and we keep it weird. 

[...] Preacherman here, Pastor Adam, and I … both felt pretty devastated over what was happening to these kids in Mississippi, so we decided to link up ...”

Ericksen: ”Because at the end of the day, we are all saints, and we are all sinners, and the children in Mississippi are our children, too.”

All the same, McCall offered the Oregonian one last message for those still surprised by her partnership with Ericksen.

“We hustle for those who right now can’t hustle for themselves,” she said.

That’s a life mantra for all of us — and a quote that would look great on any church marquee.

The Daily Kos Community has raised almost $190,000 for the children and families targeted by last week’s ICE raids. Can you chip in $3 or more and help us reach $200,000? 

Categories: Politics