Saturday, July 6, 2019

And behold a mighty city broken in the dust again

"Representative Gottheimer Asks Regulators to Deregulate Banks He's Invested In: At the behest of a big-bank trade group, Gottheimer rallied 16 of his fellow Democrats to join him in urging financial regulators to gut a provision of Dodd-Frank that protects insured depository institutions from risky trading. Big Wall Street banks are on a mission to reverse a section of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill that requires them to post collateral when making internal derivatives transactions among their affiliates and subsidiaries. Congressional Republicans have supported the banks' efforts for several years. Now a key House Democrat has taken up their cause." On almost every progressive or even Democratic initiative, you can find Gottheimer in there rallying to the GOP cause. He really needs to go.

"Planes Were In The Air To Strike Iran When Trump Called It Off." Amazingly, Trump was about to do the wrong thing that Pompeo and Bolton wanted him to do but at the last minute did the right thing. There is much speculation about why he did it, but I suspect that Trish Reagan and Tucker Carlson both, separately, saying on Fox that doing so would be a bad idea, had a strong impact on Trump, who seems to think Fox is speaking to him from God. But then he started obfuscating again — I dunno, maybe he thinks he's playing 13-dimensional chess or something.

Op-ed in the Guardian by Senator Bernie Sanders, "We must stop the US from going to war with Iran [...] I want to be clear on this: Iran pursues many bad policies. It violently represses its own population and supports extremist groups around the region. The same could be said of our longtime partner Saudi Arabia. We need to take a more even-handed approach to the Middle East, and not simply support one side against another in a regional conflict. The US is strong enough to deal with these issues diplomatically, working with allies around the world, and that is what we should be doing. We must not fight another unnecessary war."

Matt Taibbi says, "Elizabeth Warren's Rise Is a Plus for Issue Politics — And a Bad Sign for Billionaires: The press is choosing to view it in another light. That will only work for so long. [...] If Elizabeth Warren is rising in the polls, it's not because people are tired of Sanders. It's because they're pissed at Amazon and Facebook, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase, Dow-Dupont, Monsanto, Syngenta and countless other soulless, nationless, money-sucking companies — along with their overpaid, under-prosecuted, deviant scum executives who've had outsized influence with both parties for too long."

Sam Seder did a quickie interview with Bernie Sanders on The Majority Report.

Full interview: Bernie Sanders on Face the Nation

For some reason I don't seem to be able to find a handy YouTube video of the first night of the first Dem debate. I listened to it in the members section of The Majority Report* but not sure where else to find it that everyone can see. [Update: It's here.] I did find Democratic Debate 1: Night 2 on YouTube (but with so much introductory crap that I hope I copied that link from the actual start time of the debate). Consensus seems to be that Warren gave herself a boost on the first night, Booker committed to being in the Sanders/Warren lane (looking to be the VP pick?) and was doing well until he fumbled, De Blasio suddenly looked like he should be in the cabinet. Beto hurt himself, and no one seems to think Biden can win. Next night Biden embarrassed himself and Kamala Harris went after him like a prosecutor (although I think there were better lines of attack. And, wait a minute, didn't she go to school in Canada?) Buttigeig's damage control seemed to be good for anyone who doesn't read the news, but he repeated the "I don't want to help rich people go to college for free so let's make it harder for poor and middle class people just in case" story. Too bad we can't just vote Klobucher and Delany off the island. Yang still sounds like a libertoonian. Biden, Beto, and Buttigeig each dropped significantly in "electability" polling. Since the assumption of electability is all Biden's got, that doesn't bode well for him.

"Alabama Bars Sheriffs from Pocketing Food Funds: The Latest from State Legislatures: Alabama sheriffs can no longer personally pocket the funds meant to provide food to people in jail. A new law, sponsored by Republican Senator Arthur Orr and signed by Governor Kay Ivey, ends a rule that incentivized sheriffs to provide subpar meals and then keep leftover money. This longstanding practice drew renewed outrage in 2018, when an AL.com investigation by Conor Sheets revealed that Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin had pocketed $750,000 of jail food funds and bought a $740,000 beach house. Also in 2018, the Alabama Appleseed Center and the Southern Center for Human Rights went on the offensive, demanding that all sheriffs disclose how they use food funds; but many sheriffs refused."

How come rich Democratic donors never do this but a rich Republican did? "GOP donor gives $1 million to fight new Missouri abortion law, sues Secretary of State: A prolific GOP donor and Joplin businessman has contributed $1 million to fight a new Missouri law that criminalizes abortions after 8 weeks of pregnancy and has sued the Missouri Secretary of State for rejecting a referendum application that seeks to put the law before the voters in 2020." [...] 'While I am personally opposed to abortion, I do support a woman's right to choose, particularly in the case of rape or incest,' Humphreys said in a statement at the time. 'And I have to believe that the politicians in Jeff City that voted for this bill would themselves support their wives or daughters' right to choose if their loved ones were raped.'" That's right, a big Republican donor is fighting against a Republican abortion ban.

"Oregon Statehouse Shut Down After Lawmakers Team Up With Right-Wing Militias: Oregon's statehouse shut down for safety concerns on Saturday. But the threats weren't coming from anonymous trolls or foreign fighters—they were coming from the state's Republican senators, who have teamed up with right-wing militias to threaten violence over a climate change bill. Eleven of Oregon's Senate Republicans fled the state this week to avoid a vote on a bill that would cap greenhouse emissions. The group, believed to be hiding in Idaho, left the state senate with too few lawmakers to hold a vote. But the move is more than a legislative maneuver. The missing senators have partnered with right-wing paramilitary groups to threaten violence, should they be brought back to Oregon."

"Jewish Activists Are Protesting ICE Detention Centers Across The Country These young, progressive Jews are insisting that saying "Never again" to the Holocaust means speaking up about the government's treatment of migrants. [...] 'We have a responsibility as a people whose history included these kinds of atrocities to identify the signs and prevent them from happening,— said Rubin, a 25-year-old activist from Boston. 'If you've ever said, 'Never again,' or if you've ever wondered what you would have done if you were alive during the Holocaust, this is the time,— she added."

"California State University stashed $1.5 billion in reserves while hiking tuition, audit says: The California State University stashed away $1.5 billion in discretionary reserves while raising tuition and lobbying the Legislature for more funds, according to a report released Thursday by California State Auditor Elaine Howle. CSU put the money, which came primarily from student tuition, in outside accounts rather than in the state Treasury, the report said."

"Bernie to Student Loan Sharks: Drop Dead: Earlier today, Bernie Sanders and Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Pramila Jayapal announced a plan to completely cancel all $1.6 trillion of student debt. Funding for the program would come from a Wall Street speculation tax. 'If the American people bailed out Wall Street, now it is time for Wall Street to come to the aid of the middle class of this country,' Sanders said at a press conference. [...] In April, Sen. Elizabeth Warren introduced a plan that would cancel about 40 percent of outstanding student debt ($640 billion). Warren's plan is means-tested, meaning that those with higher incomes — specifically those with household incomes above $100,000 per year — would have less of their debt forgiven, and many would have none forgiven at all. Her plan also capped the amount of debt forgiveness any borrower could receive at $50,000, regardless of income. Critically, as Jacobin's Meagan Day pointed out at the time, Warren's plan 'fails to fully cast education as a social right and student debt as essentially illegitimate. [T]his leaves the plan politically vulnerable, because if some student debt is legitimate, then conservative interests will endeavor to broaden that category.'"

"Illinois approves legal weed, expunging criminal records for pot crimes: Illinois on Tuesday became the 11th state to legalize the sale and use of recreational marijuana for adults, a major victory for cannabis advocates who incorporated "social justice" initiatives into the measure. With Gov. J.B. Pritzker's signature, the new law is the first of its kind passed by a state legislature and signed by a governor. It capped off a legislative year in which legalization efforts sputtered in New York and New Jersey despite heavy pressure from proponents. Illinois, which has more than 12 million residents, is the second-most-populous state to permit recreational cannabis, behind California. Regulators will spend the next few months developing a system for taxing and testing cannabis and will launch sales Jan. 1. [...] Money raised by the new taxes would first be dedicated to expunging about 770,000 minor cannabis-related cases. Expungement has long been a goal of marijuana-legalization advocates, who argue the federal government's war on drugs disproportionately targeted minorities. Other states have similar provisions, usually added after the fact, but Illinois' law is the first to contain such a sweeping expungement provision from the start. Any tax money left over would be used to support drug treatment and enforcement programs, improve mental health counseling access and bolster the state's general fund."

"Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students: Ariella Russcol specializes in drama at the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Queens, New York, and the senior's performance on this April afternoon didn't disappoint. While the library is normally the quietest room in the school, her ear-piercing screams sounded more like a horror movie than study hall. But they weren't enough to set off a small microphone in the ceiling that was supposed to detect aggression. A few days later, at the Staples Pathways Academy in Westport, Connecticut, junior Sami D'Anna inadvertently triggered the same device with a less spooky sound — a coughing fit from a lingering chest cold. As she hacked and rasped, a message popped up on its web interface: 'StressedVoice detected.' 'There we go,' D'Anna said with amusement, looking at the screen. 'There's my coughs.'"

Robert Reich at Common Dreams, "Dems Cave on the Border: A week of disgusting images at the border that repulsed a nation ended with Trump getting more money to carry out the same abuses, without accountability. While attention has been focused on the Democratic debate—in which most contenders are pushing progressive policies—congressional Democrats have moved in the opposite direction. They caved on an emergency border supplemental appropriation that can now be used by Trump to make the border situation worse, not better. This is how it happened, folks. The House had been working on a $4.5 billion emergency border supplemental appropriation designed to respond to the inhumane conditions in migrant holding cells. The goal was to use the funds to improve standards for migrants, and include safeguards to prevent Trump from using the money to finance deportation raids or his border wall. But then Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans, along with a number of Senate Dems, came up with their own $4.6 billion bill containing none of the safeguards to limit the funding to emergency aid—even earmarking some of it to continue Trump's draconian immigration policies, including funding for ICE and funds that could be used for additional tent camps to warehouse more migrants. Chuck Schumer did nothing to keep the House safeguards in the Senate bill. Worse yet, when the Senate bill got to the House, Democratic centrists led by Josh Gottheimer organized enough votes to block the House from putting the safeguards back into the bill. Nancy Pelosi caved—accepting a bill her House majority had no hand in writing—and the House passed the Senate version, with 129 Democrats supporting it."

"What The Hell Is Nancy Pelosi Doing? House Democrats have lost their moral compass. [...] To sum up the week for House Democrats: no oversight of the rape allegation against the president, no protections for abused immigrant children, a hearing on tax cuts for millionaires and a request that Trump officials deregulate big banks. Democrats did pass a bill trying to guard voting systems from foreign intrusion. But at the moment, it appears the most serious threat to the party's electoral future is coming from inside the House."

"How Israeli spies are flooding Facebook and Twitter: Israel secretly operates a troll army of thousands, partly funded by a government department. The Ministry of Strategic Affairs is dedicated to a global 'war' against BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement for Palestinian rights. To conceal its involvement, the ministry has admitted to working through front groups that 'do not want to expose their connection with the state.'

No surprises here: "Major study suggests Medicaid work requirements are hurting people without really helping anybody: The first major study on the nation's first Medicaid work requirements finds that people fell off of the Medicaid rolls but didn't seem to find more work. Since Arkansas implemented the nation's first Medicaid work requirements last year, a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has found, Medicaid enrollment has fallen for working-age adults, the uninsured rate has been rising, and there has been little discernible effect on employment. The research appears to confirm some of the warnings from Medicaid advocates who opposed the Trump administration's approval of work requirements in Arkansas and other states. People are losing Medicaid coverage, often as a result of confusion rather than failure to meet the work requirements, but they aren't finding jobs and getting insurance that way. They are simply becoming uninsured."

David Dayen at The American Prospect, "The Democrats' Retirement Debacle—and Ted Cruz's Last-Minute Save: The House resoundingly passed a retirement bill that could be dangerous for workers. It's been blocked in the Senate because of an unrelated perk Cruz wants to give to homeschooling families. House Democratic leaders are frustrated. They thought America would thrill to the bills they're passing that have no chance of making it into law so long as Republicans control the Senate, and Donald Trump the White House. Why they thought that is beyond my comprehension—minority-party agendas hardly ever drive political discussion—but they're desperate to turn attention to a policy agenda rather than oversight of the president (another mistake, in my view). 'I'm spending a lot of time on the issues that my district sent me here to work on,' Representative Ben McAdams, a Blue Dog from Utah, told The Washington Post. 'But it doesn't break through. People understand controversy more than they understand retirement reform, you know?' McAdams should hope that people don't start to understand retirement reform, because then they'd know that the House, by an overwhelming 417-3 margin, passed a retirement reform bill last month that potentially exposes millions of workers to unscrupulous salespeople peddling high-cost annuities through their 401(k) plans. There's evidence to suggest that the bill is the reason that Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal has slow-walked oversight of the Trump administration, including collection of the president's tax returns. If Neal plays relatively nice with the White House, Trump might sign his bill, which helps out the annuity providers that are among Neal's biggest donors.

"Mayor Pete Is Really Screwing Up In His Day Job: On Sunday, a white South Bend police officer named Ryan O'Neil shot and killed 54-year old Eric Logan, a black man. O'Neil, who told investigators he was responding to a break-in, alleges that Logan was carrying a knife and refused to put it down, and that he was forced to shoot and kill Logan when he stepped towards the officer. O'Neil wasn't wearing a body cam during the incident. And as HuffPost reported earlier this week, court documents showed that fellow officers have alleged that O'Neil has made racist comments in the past. The incident is a window to how Buttigieg would handle criminal justice reform and police brutality at a national level. So far, according to an account in the Washington Post, it appears that he hasn't passed the test. According to the Post, Buttigieg gave a press conference about the killing while Logan's family waited in the next room. While the Post says they did have a brief conversation, the family 'grew frustrated with Buttigieg's inability to provide information and his lack of compassion,' and the meeting ended. '[Buttigieg] ain't done nothing,' Logan's mother told the Post. 'He ain't recognize me as the mother of nothing. He didn't say nothing to me.'"

"What Is Joe Biden Hiding About What He's Hiding From the New York Times?: On Wednesday, the New York Times published the culmination of a three-month-long project in which it asked 21 Democratic primary candidates the same 18 questions. According to the Times' own description of the project, every single candidate invited to participate in the Q&A sessions did so, except for one: former Vice President and current Democratic primary front-runner Joe Biden. [...] So what is Biden doing if he's not running around the country campaigning at a pace so frenetic that he can't find a single pocket of time over the course of months for the New York Times? Speaking to wealthy donors about the simpler times when he could still be friendly with avowed racists, for one. But even that only takes up so much time."

Biden was explaining his ability to work across the aisle with people he disagreed with — and cited some nasty segregationists as proof. This might have been interesting if he were working with segregationists to eliminate taxes on Social Security benefits or to lower the retirement age (fat chance), but no, he was working with segregationists to preserve segregation. He's just that kinda guy.

He also manages to give away the store when he works with Republicans, as mentioned before. Another piece of Ryan Grim's work on the suicide Democrats, "Joe Biden Says He Can Work With The Senate. The Last Time He Tried, Mitch Mcconnell Picked His Pockets Badly.: AS THE YEAR 2012 wound down, Democrats hopefully eyed what looked to be one of the last opportunities for genuine legislative progress in a divided government. The party had just stomped Republican Mitt Romney at the polls in a post-Occupy campaign that centered on economic inequality. Democrats picked up two seats in the Senate, expanding their majority to 53 and adding Elizabeth Warren to their ranks. Though Democrats won more House votes nationwide and picked up a net of eight seats, Republicans held onto the newly gerrymandered lower chamber. The hope was tied to the expiration of the tax cuts passed under George W. Bush. Republicans, despite losing the popular vote and only taking the White House in 2000 by a 5-4 Supreme Court decision, moved swiftly to pass an enormous tax cut tilted heavily toward the rich. To do so, they used a parliamentary procedure that could get around the filibuster in the Senate, known as budget reconciliation. The cost of doing so, however, is that policy enacted through reconciliation must expire in 10 years' time. By the time the legislation was set to expire in 2010, the tea party wave had shaken up Congress. The Obama White House urged Senate Democrats to extend the tax cuts, arguing both that they had a difficult political hand, and also that extending them in an unstable economic environment was good policy. White House economic adviser Larry Summers told a private meeting of Finance Committee Democrats that allowing the tax cuts to expire would 'tank the economy,' according to a Senate aide at the time. [...] The Senate agreed to a two-year expansion at the end of 2010, but only after Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., delivered his viral, eight-hour old-fashioned filibuster on the Senate floor to draw attention to the fiscal giveaway. The extension meant that the tax cuts were now expiring in 2012, and in order to repeal all of them — to go over what the media began calling the 'fiscal cliff' — all Congress had to do was nothing. That, Harry Reid told me in an interview for my new book, was precisely his plan. 'I wanted to go over the cliff,' said Reid, the Senate majority leader at the time. 'I thought that would have been the best thing to do because the conversation would not have been about raising taxes, which it became, it would have been about lowering taxes.' In other words, let all the rates go up, and then bargain with Republicans to reduce taxes just for the middle class and the poor. Then-Minority Leader Mitch McConnell similarly knew the difficult position going over the cliff would put him in, and in preliminary talks with Reid, he agreed to let rates on people making more than $250,000 per year go back up, if to slightly lower levels to pre-Bush. (McConnell aides would later say that McConnell had not firmly conceded anything, and that negotiations weren't finalized.) [...] In desperation, McConnell reached out directly to Biden, calling him on the phone and explaining that Reid was refusing to be reasonable. Over the course of the day, McConnell and Biden struck a deal. 'Biden gave Republicans everything they wanted in exchange for fixing the fiscal cliff problem,' the GOP operative recalled."

Also, "Joe Biden Bragged About Getting Republicans To Raise Taxes In 2012. It Was Actually A Disaster For Democrats.: IT DIDN'T TAKE long for the political classes to decide that the biggest loser in part two of the first Democratic primary debate was former Vice President Joe Biden. California Sen. Kamala Harris ripped Biden for bragging about maintaining relationships with segregationists, leading Biden to bizarrely defend the right of local governments to pursue segregation as a policy. And the moderators raised his vote for the Iraq War while in the Senate. The most unlikely Biden callout, though, came in the form of a recent history lesson by longshot candidate Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet. Bennet turned one of Biden's own talking points back on him by pointing out the former vice president's revisionist version of when he was taken to the cleaners by Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. Biden attempted to defend his acumen for negotiating with Republicans during Thursday night's debate by citing his ability in late 2012 to convince McConnell to raise taxes. The problem for Biden was that multiple people on stage had witnessed Biden's effort, and it was an utter catastrophe for Democrats. [...] 'I got Mitch McConnell to raise taxes $600 billion!' Biden said. Bennet wasn't having it. 'The deal that he talked about with Mitch McConnell was a complete victory for the tea party,' Bennet said. 'That was a great deal for Mitch McConnell. It was a terrible deal for Americans.'"

"Warren emerges as potential compromise nominee: Centrists who once said the senator would lead the party to ruin are coming around to her as an alternative to Bernie Sanders." There are different ways to look at this. One is that the centrists will abandon Warren once she takes enough of Bernie's support to weaken him sufficiently. The other is that Bernie has been making room for Warren from the left. Of course, both of these things can be true.

Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone, "Elizabeth Warren's Rise Is a Plus for Issue Politics — And a Bad Sign for Billionaires: The press is choosing to view it in another light. That will only work for so long. Back in 2009, I called for Elizabeth Warren to run for president. I may have been the first media figure to do so. This was early in the Obama presidency, when he was beginning to renege on some of his progressive campaign promises (closing Gitmo, drug re-importation, etc.), but more importantly already showing an unwillingness to take on Wall Street after the crash. Warren, a rare high-finance literate among national politicians, seemed like the person needed to lead an economic reform effort after the crash.

"How Third Way Democrats Could Get Trump Re-elected: The New Democracy PAC and other centrist groups want you to learn all the wrong lessons from 2016. [...] Just as there is nothing 'progressive' about PPI, there is nothing 'new' about the ideas advanced by New Democracy. Like the Republican Party, New Democracy is death on single-payer healthcare, which the group's website explains 'would force working Americans to give up their doctors, and raise the threat of rationing care.' Back in 2010, PPI wonks ensured that the White House not push for a 'public option'—a government-run nonprofit insurance option—in Obamacare. New Democracy's stated goal in 2020 is to expand 'the party's appeal across Middle America and make Democrats competitive.' Pragmatic radicals like Marshall advocate doing so not by 'tear[ing] up existing trade agreements' but by building a 'knowledge economy' that is 'shaped largely by American ingenuity and technological prowess'—a vision crafted for corporate America under the guise of aiding downwardly mobile white working people who, according to the New Democracy fairy tale, were abandoned by Democrats in 2016. Not so. The abandonment dates to the 1990s, when the DLC, PPI and Bill Clinton championed free trade policies that destroyed the livelihoods of working people of all races, including many of Hillary Clinton's 'deplorables.'"

The anti-Bernie talking points are going around again (such as here), so let's go back to 2016 when Katie Halper explained how, no, Bernie didn't "dismiss" identity politics. "Bernie Sanders Nailed It On Identity Politics and Inequality, and the Media Completely Missed the Point: For over a year, critics within and around the established wing of the Democratic Party have painted Bernie Sanders as a misogynistic, racist, heteronormative, cis, male, pseudo-anti-establishment, actually-totally establishment politician motivated by a humongous ego and a desire to thwart progress and the election of the first female president in US history. And then there were the less moderate critics. [...] And as we saw in a recent episode of anti-Sanders outrage, this narrative is still extant. On Sunday November 20, during a talk at Berklee College in Boston, Sanders said something nuanced about race, ethnicity, gender and class, and the same media that supported Clinton during the campaign distorted his remarks to fit this narrative."

Right-wing talking-point alert: I was following a thread on Bernie's debt-forgiveness plan and saw someone arguing that in Germany, which offers free college and reputedly excellent universal health coverage, everyone pays 50% of their income in taxes. This is not an uncommon error but this person actually linked an article (that part is unusual) that he apparently believed supported this point. This is the article he linked. As you can see, it does not say that there is a universal tax rate of 50%. It says there is a "tax wedge" of 50%, which is something else entirely. A quick google reveals: "The first €9,169 (or €18,338 for married couples submitting a combined return) earned each year is tax free. Any amount after that is subject to income tax. Income tax in Germany is progressive: first, income tax rates start at 14%, then they rise incrementally to 42%; last, very high income levels are taxed at 45%." In other words, you can conceivably be paying no more in income tax than 14% on all income over the first €9,169. However, there are other interesting taxes I've never heard of in the US or UK context. Imagine my surprise: "In addition to income tax, everyone has to pay solidarity tax, which is capped at 5.5% of your income tax. Finally, if you are a member of a registered church in Germany, you will also have to pay a church tax of 8 or 9% of your income, depending on which federal state you live in." I did enjoy this little exercise, which made a refreshing change from having to explain that, no, a top marginal rate of 90% does not mean that if you make ten dollars, the government only lets you keep a dollar.

Katie Halper, "Sydney Ember's Secret Sources: NYT reporter hides corporate ties of Sanders critics she highlights. New York Times reporter Sydney Ember has a problem with Bernie Sanders—which may be why the paper has her cover him. Ember is supposed to write reported articles, not op-eds, but she consistently paints a negative picture of Sanders' temperament, history, policies and/or political prospects in the over two dozen pieces she's done on him. This makes sense, given the New York Times' documented anti-Sanders bias, which can be found among both editors and reporters alike.

Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report, "The Ruling Class Will Not Tolerate the Sanders-Led Assault on Austerity: The Ruling Class Will Not Tolerate the Sanders-Led Assault on Austerity. The whole point of the austerity project is to disempower workers and concentrate wealth at the top. The rulers will kill to keep that dream alive."

RIP: "Gary Duncan, Quicksilver Messenger Service Guitarist, Dead at 72: Influential San Francisco psychedelic rock band among Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list [...] Quicksilver Messenger Service bassist David Freiberg confirmed Duncan's death to Rolling Stone. Duncan's widow, Shelley Duncan Haslouer, said that Duncan had a 'severe fall and hit his head' last week. Duncan suffered a seizure as a result of the fall and went on life support for a few days before his death in Woodland, California. 'I've always thought of Gary as the engine of the original four-piece group,' Freiberg told Rolling Stone. 'He kind of taught me by osmosis, as I was a folkie 12-string guitar finger-picker, how to become a part of the machine. I felt he was always underrated as a guitarist. His solos with QMS were some of the finest ever. He was an amazingly talented musician — one of the best.'"

Seth Harp at The Intercept, "I'm A Journalist But I Didn't Fully Realize The Terrible Power Of U.S. Border Officials Until They Violated My Rights And Privacy [...] It was around 4 p.m. when Moncivias finally finished up and informed me, anticlimactically, that I was free to go. I couldn't wait to get outside because the detention area was freezing. No wonder Spanish-speaking migrants call CBP detention la hielera — the icebox. I took my phone and laptop and silently packed up my luggage, which still lay disemboweled on the desk, underwear and all. Pomeroy was gone by this time. As I was walking out, I said to Moncivias and Villarreal, 'It's funny, of all the countries I've been to, the border guards have never treated me worse than here, in the one country I'm a citizen of, in the town where I was born.' 'Welcome back to the USA,' Moncivias said."

"How a Young Joe Biden Turned Liberals Against Integration: Forty years ago, the Senate supported school busing— until a 32-year-old changed his mind. [...] Ed Brooke, a Massachusetts Republican, was the first black senator ever to be popularly elected; Joe Biden was a freshman Democratic senator from Delaware. By 1975, both had compiled liberal voting records. But that year, Biden sided with conservatives and sponsored a major anti-busing amendment. The fierce debate that followed not only fractured the Senate's bloc of liberals, it also signified a more wide-ranging political phenomenon: As white voters around the country —especially in the North — objected to sweeping desegregation plans then coming into practice, liberal leaders retreated from robust integration policies.

"Apple's Scary Buying Power And The Woman Who Named It: Last month, the Supreme Court opened the door for Apple to lose a lot of money. It decided in Apple vs Pepper — the rare court case that sounds like a deathmatch between fruits and vegetables — that Apple could be held liable for how it runs its App Store. Apple typically takes a 30% cut from every app and service sold there, and Robert Pepper, the lead plaintiff for a class action, claims the company's anti-competitive practices are hurting consumers like him. In handing down this decision, Justice Brett Kavanaugh broke with his conservative colleagues and joined the liberals. Delivering the majority opinion for the court, Kavanaugh wrote that Apple can be sued by its customers "on a monopoly theory." That's pretty standard: when a company, facing little competition, uses its market position to raise the prices of its products, it can be in violation of laws aimed at promoting competition and the well-being of consumers. But Kavanaugh went further. He said Apple could also be sued by app developers, most of whom are forced to fork over a big percentage of their potential revenue, "on a monopsony theory." Over the last couple years, this obscure economic term — monopsony — has popped up in courtrooms, newspapers, magazines, academic journals, and the halls of government. [...] Released in 1933, Robinson's book, The Economics of Imperfect Competition, took aim at the notion that markets were perfectly competitive. Competition, economists believe, ensures prosperity. It's what makes goods and services affordable. It's what drives innovation and economic growth. And by giving us options to quit crummy jobs and get new ones at competing firms, it's supposed to provide a crucial channel for getting a raise. The question Robinson sought to answer was: what happens when markets aren't really competitive?"

From Law Works, The Investigation: A Search For The Truth In Ten Acts" - Theatrical reading of the (abridged) Mueller Report by John Lithgow, Kevin Kline, Anette Bening, Ben McKenzie, Alfre Woodard, Alyssa Milano, Zachary Quinto, Joel Grey, and others.

Quicksilver Messenger Service, "Pride of Man"

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