Thursday, April 4, 2019

I got a feeling that the journey has just begun

Gorsuch is a monster and a sadist. "Neil Gorsuch Just Made Death Worse: In an appalling majority opinion, Gorsuch endorses pain-filled deaths for people subjected to capital punishment. [...] This week, Gorsuch wrote a majority opinion that was both shockingly cruel and entirely consistent with arch-conservative thought. The case is called Bucklew v. Precythe. Russell Bucklew is a convicted murderer whose depraved crimes are not in dispute. He was sentenced to death in Missouri. Missouri is a lethal injection state, but Bucklew has a rare medical condition that would cause him to be in extreme pain as the lethal drugs do their work. Bucklew appealed his sentence, arguing that the pain would be a violation of his Eighth Amendment protections, and asked for alternative methods of death that are not sanctioned under Missouri law. Gorsuch, writing for a 5-4 majority, denied his appeal. Gorsuch wrote: 'The Eighth Amendment forbids 'cruel and unusual' methods of capital punishment but does not guarantee a prisoner a painless death.' That's about the most heartless bastard thing I've read in a while, and I work on the internet. Everybody should notice the sleight of hand Gorsuch is playing at here. Saying the Eighth Amendment only forbids certain 'methods' of capital punishment presupposes that the Eighth Amendment allows capital punishment. That's no better than saying you can't drown a person, unless she's a witch. Gorsuch is demonstrably wrong. The Eighth Amendment makes no mention of death, painless or otherwise. It talks about cruelty. It contemplates unusual cruelty. Throwing me off the top of the Empire State Building would be almost entirely painless until I came to a sudden stop. It would still be cruel. It would still be unusual." Torturing people to death is cruel. The end.

"'New York Times' reports that Jewish donors shape Democrats' regressive position on Israel: This weekend the New York Times breaks one of the biggest taboos, describing the responsibility of Jewish donors for the Democratic Party's slavish support for Israel. Nathan Thrall's groundbreaking piece repeats a lot of data we've reported here and says in essence that it really is about the Benjamins, as Rep. Ilhan Omar said so famously. The donor class of the party is overwhelmingly Jewish, and Jews are still largely wed to Zionism — that's the nut. Though that party is breaking up. Thrall's labors are minimized by the New York Times with the headline 'The Battle Over B.D.S.,' but his message is that the progressive base has a highly-critical view of Israel that the leadership has refused to reflect, and that's about to change. We're inside the tent. The party is going to have to reflect pro-Palestinian positions. Ben Rhodes tells Thrall that the moment of overcoming the fear of the pro-Israel lobby (as the Cuba fear was overcome) is about to happen. The article is a thorough-going rebuke of every journalist and former official (Daniel Shapiro, former ambassador under Obama, for instance, as well as the Forward and the Times opinion writers) who says that money is not at the root, or very near the root, of Democratic Party support."

"How targeting Ilhan Omar instead of white supremacy furthered both anti-Semitism & Islamophobia: Last week, House Democrats passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and white supremacy. As Black women, Muslim and Jewish, we agree that anti-Black racism, anti-Semitism, sexism and Islamophobia must be condemned. [...] Yet condemnations of Islamophobia and white supremacy were only added to the resolution after it was initially introduced, with pressure from Black and progressive lawmakers. Given that, it was clear to many that the resolution did not come out of a sincere effort to put an end to real threats to Jews, but rather from an effort to target someone who is already a marked woman, Ilhan Omar, after her criticisms of the U.S.-Israel relationship were rebuked by lawmakers in both parties as anti-Semitic."

This Wisconsin poll shows Biden as being a bit more popular there than Sanders, but Klobuchar and Harris can't even get ahead of Trump. Mind, the methodology of the poll is a little weird, leaving out an awful lot of the Dem demographic, particularly those under 45.

"Georgia Lawmaker Proposes Requiring Permission for Viagra, Criminalizing Vasectomies: Rep. Dar'shun Kendrick's bill, a rebuke to HB 481, would also potentially make sex without a condom 'aggravated assault'"

"Twitter Blocks Account of Julian Assange's Mother: The Twitter account of Christine Assange, the mother of the arbitrarily detained founder of WikiLeaks, has been restricted, she told Consortium News on Tuesday. 'My Twitter account has been 'blocked due to 'unusual activity,' Ms. Assange wrote in a text message. Twitter, however, has provided her no reason for its action.

Apparently, "centrist" Democrats plan is to deluge the public with different plans containing the word "Medicare" so everyone will be utterly confused by what's going on. Interestingly, the Colorado Democrat responsible for this one got a whole article about him from Wendell Potter last February, called, "How to spot the health insurance industry's favorite Democrats. [...] My former colleagues undoubtedly were cheering when they heard Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) come to the defense of private health insurers and trash the idea of improving and expanding Medicare to cover all Americans, which several of the Democratic presidential contenders have endorsed. Bennet, who says he, too, is considering a run for the 2020 nomination, told Chuck Todd that Medicare for All 'seems like a bad opening offer.' He prefaced that by saying that, 'what the (other) Democrats are saying is, 'If you like your insurance, we're going to take it away from you,' from 180 million people that get their insurance from their employer and like it, where 20 million Americans who are on Medicare Advantage, and love it. [...] And to say that most people in employer-sponsored plans are happy with their coverage ignores this growing problem: because insurers and employers are shifting more of the cost of care to their workers every year in the form of higher deductibles, millions more of us are winding up in the ranks of the under-insured. They have coverage but many can't use it because of what they have to pay out of our own pockets before that coverage kicks in. The Commonwealth Fund just last week released a study that showed that 28 percent of people in employer-sponsored plans are now under-insured.

"New rift exposed as Democrats clash over minimum wage." Oh, I wouldn't say it's "new", the alt-center has obstructed progress for a long, long time.

"Kamala Harris skips AIPAC conference — but AIPAC comes to her!" So much for her pretence that she boycotted the conference.

Oh, cool, "Charlie says: I've been sitting on this for ages — but I'm now allowed to admit in public that THE LAUNDRY FILES has been optioned for TV by 42 (producers of Watership Down and Traitors (among other things). This has been grinding through the works for over a year. It's an option deal, meaning the production company are looking at writing a pitch and maybe a pilot script and seeing if they can get a network interested, so it's early days. It doesn't mean that a series has been commissioned or that anything is going to happen. (We've been here before, circa 2006-08, with an American outfit, and in the end nothing came of it.) However: it's a British production company, so anything that emerges this time round is likely to have a British feel to it, and they have a great track record."

RIP: Vonda N. McIntyre (1948-2019), author, founder of Clarion West, and enthusiastic fan. I think I first became aware of her when I read "Of Mist, and Grass, and Sand," but she quickly became a part of the world I lived in. I remember when I was out in Seattle being pleased to see how integrated she was in local fandom. She was diagnosed only two months ago with pancreatic cancer.

RIP: Izzy Young, "Leading figure in the world of American folk music who helped to launch the career of Bob Dylan," founder of Folklore Center in the Village. "Izzy Young, who has died aged 90, was a key figure in the New York folk scene in the heady days of the 1950s and 60s, when he helped to launch the careers of several major musicians, including Bob Dylan. Young became celebrated not as a performer but as an enthusiast, activist, writer and entrepreneur, always more eager to promote the music he loved than to make a profit. His shop Folklore Center in MacDougal Street, Greenwich Village, opened in 1957 and became a haven for fans and artists, who would stop here to meet, perform, or search for records, books and sheet music."

RIP: "Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar, Dead at 81: California Rocker first reported that Dale died Friday. His bassist Sam Bolle confirmed Dale's death to the Guardian. No cause of death was revealed, but the guitarist suffered from health issues in recent years. In 2010, Dale said he was battling rectal cancer, and in an interview that went viral, Dale said in 2015 that 'I can't stop touring because I will die' due to medical expenses stemming from cancer treatment, diabetes and renal failure. 'I have to raise $3,000 every month to pay for the medical supplies I need to stay alive, and that's on top of the insurance that I pay for,' Dale said at the time. 'Dick Dale was truly the King of Surf Guitar. Before the Beach Boys gave this new genre lyrics, Dick Dale was providing the instrumental soundtrack to the surfing experience. He influenced everybody!' Stevie Van Zandt said in a statement. (Strangely, I could not find the phrase "Del Tones" anywhere in the article.)

* * * * *

"Mayor Pete" Buttigieg is the flavor of the month, I don't think I'll be supporting him for president any time soon.

Nathan Robinson's "All About Pete: Only accept politicians who have proved they actually care about people other than themselves..." is a bit long but really worth the read — it's so scathing about a certain type of person that I actually wish I already disliked Buttigieg before I read this so I could enjoy seeing someone whose works I despise have his entrails laid out on the page like this. Alas, knowing almost nothing about him, I was merely dismayed at the unfolding image of someone who is exactly what I never want to see in the White House again.

(In a way, though, it says as much about our last two Democratic presidents, as well.)

If you know only one thing about Pete Buttigieg, it's that he's The Small-Town Mayor Who Is Making A Splash. If you know half a dozen things about Pete Buttigieg, it's that he's also young, gay, a Rhodes Scholar, an Arabic-speaking polyglot, and an Afghanistan veteran. If you know anything more than that about Pete Buttigieg, you probably live in South Bend, Indiana. This is a little strange: These are all facts about him, but they don't tell us much about what he believes or what he advocates. The nationwide attention to Buttigieg seems more to be due to 'the fact that he is a highly-credentialed Rust Belt mayor' rather than 'what he has actually said and done.' He's a gay millennial from Indiana, yes. But should he be President of the United States? When he is asked about what his actual policies are, Buttigieg has often been evasive. He has mentioned getting rid of the electoral college and expanding the Supreme Court, but his speech is often abstract.


But it's not fair to fully judge a person by a single comment in an interview. Pete Buttigieg has just published a campaign book, Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future, that gives a much fuller insight into the way he thinks about himself, his ideals, and his plans. It has been called the 'best political autobiography since Barack Obama,' revealing Buttigieg as a 'president in waiting.' Indeed, I recommend that anyone considering supporting Buttigieg read it from cover to cover. It is very personal, very well-written, and lays out a narrative that makes Buttigieg seem a natural and qualified candidate for the presidency

It also provides irrefutable evidence that no serious progressive should want Pete Buttigieg anywhere near national public office.


If you come out of Harvard without noticing that it's a deeply troubling place, you're oblivious. It is an inequality factory, a place that trains the world's A-students to rule over and ignore the working class. And yet, nowhere does Buttigieg seem to have even questioned the social role of an institution like Harvard. He tells us about his professors, his thesis on Graham Greene. He talks about how interesting it is that Facebook was in its infancy while he was there. But what about all the privilege? Even Ross Douthat finds the school's ruling class elitism disturbing! Buttigieg thought the place fitted him nicely.


Okay, pause for a moment. If you are Pete Buttigieg, at this point in your life you have the ability to take almost any job you want. These schools open doors, and you pick which one you go through. (Ask yourself: If I could do anything I wanted for a living, what would I do?) Pete Buttigieg looked inside himself and decided he belonged at... the world's most sinister and amoral management consulting company.

He also doesn't like Snowden and was "troubled" when Obama let Chelsea Manning out of prison. And there are other problems, too.

"Democratic Hopeful Pete Buttigieg Makes Faith 101 Misstep: If you don't understand that the Religious Right's conservatism does not stem from honest differences in faith, if you don't get that it's about particular structures of power, you badly misunderstand the situation, and you are not ready for prime time." Pete doesn't seem to get that, despite their absence from mass media, there already is a vibrant religious left.

And, at Jacobin, Liza Featherstone says, "Have You Heard? Pete Buttigieg Is Really Smart [...] It's oddly banal, the culture of smart. Like most of the detritus of 'smartness' culture, from Freakonomics to TED Talks to NPR, BOOTedgedge is politically underwhelming. What good ideas he has are shared by other candidates in the crowded field, some originating from politicians to his left, like Bernie Sanders. His bad ideas are hardly edgy, either: capitalism can be good while government regulation can be bad. [...] But the obsession with his kind of ostentatious intelligence is deeply unserious and anti-democratic. 'Smart' is not going to save us, and fetishizing its most conventional manifestations shores up bourgeois ideology and undermines the genuinely emancipatory politics of collective action. Bernie Sanders, instead of showing off his University of Chicago education, touts the power of the masses: 'Not Me, Us.' The cult of the Smart Dude leads us into just the opposite place, which is probably why some liberals like it so much."

* * * * *

Robert L. Borosage, "Centrists Are Using Calls for Civility to Silence the Left [...] 'We should not eat our own,' cautioned David Brock, which is rich coming from a professional hatchet man servicing both sides of the aisle at different points in his career. In reality, the ones doing the eating are primarily centrist pundits using high minded postures to skewer Bernie. Sanders has been assailed by a former Clinton staffer for using private planes while stumping for Hillary in 2016. He's been attacked for hiring David Sirota, a respected left-leaning journalist who got his start in Sanders's House office twenty years ago. (Sirota was raked over last week for supposedly hiding his conflict of interest while at The Guardian, a claim that turned out to be simply false). Tomasky presumptuously issued a 'personal plea' to Bernie to rein in his supporters, while saying nothing about the Clinton advisers publicly vowing to unleash their oppo research from 2016 on Sanders."

At Bloomberg, "Warren Buffett Hates It. AOC Is for It. A Beginner's Guide to Modern Monetary Theory: An overview of a once-fringe school of economic thought that's suddenly of the moment."

"How corporate America invented 'Christian America' to fight the New Deal: The 2016 annual meeting for the Organization of American Historians (OAH) will feature a session focusing upon the provocative book One Nation Under God by Princeton history professor Keven M. Kruse. In One Nation Under God, Kruse argues that the idea of the United States as a Christian nation does not find its origins with the founding of the United States or the writing of the Constitution. Rather, the notion of America as specifically consecrated by God to be a beacon for liberty was the work of corporate and religious figures opposed to New Deal statism and interference with free enterprise. The political conflict found in this concept of Christian libertarianism was modified by President Dwight Eisenhower who advocated a more civic religion of 'one nation under God' to which both liberals and conservatives might subscribe."

"The Christian Jail Monopoly: The Supreme Court recently ruled on two nearly identical cases involving prisoners and religion, and reached two different conclusions. In February, SCOTUS decided it was okay to execute a Muslim prisoner in Alabama without an imam present, as the prisoner had requested. In Alabama, only Christian ministers are allowed in the death chamber, and apparently that was okay with the SCOTUS. This week, SCOTUS stopped the execution of a Buddhist prisoner in Texas until the state provides a Buddhist clergyperson to be present during the procedure. Texas provides Christian and Muslim ministers for executions, but not Buddhist ones."

David Dayen, "Chuck Schumer Neglected To Name A Democratic Commissioner For The SEC. Now It'S Open Season For Wall Street, Bank Lawyers Crow: LAST SUMMER, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer failed to name a candidate for a minority position on the Securities and Exchange Commission, and now Wall Street lawyers are celebrating a virtual amnesty that they think could last the rest of Donald Trump's term. In a remarkably candid editorial, five partners with the D.C. law firm Debevoise & Plimpton have confidently predicted that the SEC will refrain from imposing financial penalties on corporations for securities violations 'for the remainder of the current presidential term.' This benefits the large trading and securities interests that employ Debevoise for legal defense work. The editorial amounts to Debevoise informing their clients that the coast is clear. The reason for the expected decrease in enforcement has to do with a fatal delay by Schumer to name a minority commissioner and the Trump administration's unprecedented exploitation of this mistake." If this was just a mistake on his part, he should be led away to the glue factory. If it wasn't — which is believable — he should be tarred and feathered.

Wendell Potter, "Democrats on the take: New DCCC Chair is a best friend of health insurers: Here's a headline you can bet my former colleagues in the health insurance business were thrilled to see last week: 'DCCC chief: Medicare for All price tag "a little scary."' That headline topped the lead story in the March 6 edition of The Hill, a newspaper widely read by Congressional staff and lobbyists and others in the influence-peddling business in Washington."

"Nobel secretary regrets Obama peace prize: Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to US President Barack Obama in 2009 failed to achieve what the committee hoped it would, its ex-secretary has said. Geir Lundestad told the AP news agency that the committee hoped the award would strengthen Mr Obama. Instead, the decision was met with criticism in the US. Many argued he had not had any impact worthy of the award." Also, Arafat apparently enjoyed Tom & Jerry.

Brian K. Bullock at Black Agenda Report, "A True Defense of Smiley and West: Two men with track records of advocacy and activism were kicked to the curb in favor of a man with practically no history of Black advocacy. Tavis Smiley and Cornel West faced tremendous criticism from large sectors of the African American population for daring to stick to their own political principles and attempting to hold Barack Obama, the U.S. empire's first Black head of state to account to said principles, in the grand tradition of Black activists, intellectuals and media. By attempting to remain true to their own political positions, and to positions most of their critics themselves held prior to the election of Obama, the two men, one a media personality, the other an academic and activist, fell from grace in elite black circles and in the popular opinion of the black masses.

Jonathan Pie gets serious about Brexit. He's actually not wrong, and this could just as easily be applied to some other national leaders we could name not so far from home.

"Millennials Are the Most Indebted Generation. They Can Thank Joe Biden: Joe Biden is trying to appeal to younger voters as he is expected to launch his bid for the presidency. However, for years, Biden made it his mission to block student debt forgiveness, leaving many young people facing a lifetime of debt."

"Inside Biden and Warren's Yearslong Feud: On a February morning in 2005 in a hearing room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Joe Biden confronted Elizabeth Warren over a subject they'd been feuding over for years: the country's bankruptcy laws. Biden, then a senator from Delaware, was one of the strongest backers of a bill meant to address the skyrocketing rate at which Americans were filing for bankruptcy. Warren, at the time a Harvard law professor, had been fighting to kill the same legislation for seven years. She had castigated Biden, accusing him of trying 'to sell out women' by pushing for earlier versions of the bill. Now, with the legislation nearing a vote, Biden publicly grappled with Warren face to face. Warren, Biden allowed, had made 'a very compelling and mildly demagogic argument' about why the bill would hurt people who needed to file for bankruptcy because of medical debt or credit card bills they couldn't pay. But Biden had what he called a 'philosophic question,' according to the Congressional Record's transcript of the hearing that day: Who was responsible? Were the rising number of people who filed for bankruptcy each year taking advantage of their creditors by trying to escape their debts? Or were credit card companies and other lenders taking advantage of an increasingly squeezed middle class?" It was the latter, and Biden made it even easier for them.

Matt Taibbi, "16 Years Later, How the Press That Sold the Iraq War Got Away With It; In an excerpt from his new book Hate Inc., Matt Taibbi looks back at how the media built new lies to cover their early ones.' [...] They had it backwards. Large portions of the public were skeptical from the start. Only reporters were dumb enough, or dishonest enough, to eat the bait about WMDs. Moreover, American reporters on their own volition rallied to the idea that Saddam was a Hitler-Satan whose 'exceptional' evil needed immediate extinguishing. [...] The WMD episode is remembered as a grotesque journalistic failure, one that led to disastrous war that spawned ISIS. But none of the press actors who sold the invasion seem sorry about the revolutionary new policies that error willed into being. They are specifically not regretful about helping create a continually-expanding Fortress America with bases everywhere that topples regimes left and right, with or without congressional or UN approval." Matt does note that Knight-Ridder was the one news organization that got the Iraq story right, but doesn't mention that there was a reason for this: They didn't have "access". Without the personalities whispering in their ears, they weren't fooled into thinking they had trusted sources. As I said 16 years ago, Saddam had never tested a nuclear device and had no delivery systems, as was well known. So when Tony Blair said that Saddam could hit us in 45 minutes, it was obviously ridiculous on its face. That he said it, and that the administration repeated it, was all the proof anyone ever needed that the whole case for invading Iraq was pure horse manure.

Adolph Reed in Common Dreams, "Vietnam to Venezuela: US Interventionism and the Failure of the Left: The modern U.S. empire has run roughshod over the interests and desires of foreign nations and their people for more than a century, but that history should call for pause as the bipartisan interventionist consensus gears up once again, this time in an effort to topple the legitimately elected government of Venezuela."

"The DCCC Is A Powerful Source Of Great Evil And Corruption Inside The Democratic Party [...] Two stories came out yesterday that we must get into: Ally Mutnick's for National Journal--House Democrats Move to Hobble Primary Challengers-- and Akela Lacy's for The Intercept-- House Democratic Leadership Warns It Will Cut Off Any Firms Who Challenge Incumbents. [...] The DCCC's move also creates a new niche business, paradoxically, opening the door for consultants who don't want to be under the thumb of the party. 'From here on out let's refer to the DCCC for what it is, the White Male Centrist Campaign Protection Committee (WMCCPC),' said Sean McElwee of Data for Progress. 'My e-mail is Any challenger looking for firms to work with them can feel free to reach out. There are plenty.'

"Elizabeth Warren Wants the Government to Make Prescription Drugs You Can Afford [...] On Tuesday, Massachusetts senator and likely 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren introduced a bill that would create a new office within the Department of Health and Human Service to manufacture generic drugs at lower costs. This is another way of saying she is trying to design a public drug manufacturer. 'HHS would manufacture or contract for the manufacture of generic drugs in cases in which no company is manufacturing a drug, when only one or two companies manufacture a drug and its price has spiked, when the drug is in shortage, or when a medicine listed as essential by the World Health Organization faces limited competition and high prices,' Warren explained in Washington Post op-ed touting the release of the bill. As David Dayen reports at The Intercept, the bill is seen as a complementary effort to legislation introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Ro Khanna last month, which would crack down on 'excessively priced' drugs by removing the drug manufacturer's patent protections and allowing competitors to manufacture generic versions. But because the generic market itself is broken and pushes up prices — 40 percent of generic drugs are made by a single company — Warren's plan would step in by having the government make generic drugs and sell them at a 'fair price.'"

I can't believe they're still whining about Bernie's taxes. No one ever cared about Bernie's taxes because his income is mostly public record and he's one of the poorest guys in Congress. In 2008, Hillary Clinton was still refusing to release her taxes until she was the nominee, and the only reason people were asking about them is that they wanted to see her taxes because she'd gotten so rich from capitalizing on her time in government. Bernie doesn't have that kind of history. In 2015 the question came up not because anyone cared about Sanders' taxes, but because he'd called for Clinton to release her speeches and she clearly didn't want to, so, knowing that Trump would not release his taxes, she said she'd release her speeches when everyone in the race released their taxes. It was clearly intended as a way to dodge accountability for herself, not because anyone, anywhere, thought there'd be anything interesting in Senator Sanders' taxes.

"White Nationalism's Deep American Roots: A long-overdue excavation of the book that Hitler called his 'bible,' and the man who wrote it [...] The concept of 'white genocide' — extinction under an onslaught of genetically or culturally inferior nonwhite interlopers — may indeed seem like a fringe conspiracy theory with an alien lineage, the province of neo-Nazis and their fellow travelers. In popular memory, it's a vestige of a racist ideology that the Greatest Generation did its best to scour from the Earth. History, though, tells a different story. King's recent question, posed in a New York Times interview, may be appalling: 'White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?' But it is apt. 'That language' has an American past in need of excavation. Without such an effort, we may fail to appreciate the tenacity of the dogma it expresses, and the difficulty of eradicating it. The president's rhetoric about 'shithole countries' and 'invasion' by immigrants invites dismissal as crude talk, but behind it lie ideas whose power should not be underestimated."

I try not to link to Robert Reich much, but this is right: "Democrats once represented the working class. Not any more: Bill Clinton and Barack Obama helped shift power away from the people towards corporations. It was this that created an opening for Donald Trump."

I don't pay enough attention to Alterman these days to know if and when he completely lost his mind, but anyone who can write, "Sanders turned so negative toward Clinton that it hurt her in the general election," either has serious emotional problems or has let that money from CAP really turn his head. Sanders was "so negative" against her that he almost actually campaigned against her, but anyone who's seen a primary campaign before should have been disappointed by the lack of Clinton blood in the water. (Unless you count her self-inflicted wounds.) Further, he says, "Even though he campaigned for her after he lost the nomination, roughly 12 percent of Sanders's supporters switched to Trump, and enough of the rest supported Jill Stein's kamikaze candidacy that it helped tip key states to Trump." Alterman apparently believes that in other primaries, fewer than 12% of supporters of the nominee's opponents defect - maybe even 0%! - but of course, 12% is a pretty low number.

"No fantasy, no future: Great interview with sci-fi writer Kim Stanley Robinson by @willmenaker, @jamie_elizabeth & @spaceprole."

Photos Of The Political Organization — Black Panther Party: Yuri Kochiyama, Japanese member of the Black Panther Party. In 1960, Kochiyama and her husband Bill moved to Harlem in New York City & joined the Harlem Parents Committee. She became acquainted with Malcolm X and was a member of his OAAU, following his departure from the Nation of Islam. She was present at his assassination on Feb. 21, 1965, at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, and held him in her arms as he lay dying."

I saw this too late to include in the mention of Hal Blaine's death last time, but Mark Evanier found a neat little video montage of some of the hits he'd played on, and man, there were a lot of them - and this is by no means all of them. There were a few I hadn't realized he'd been on, too. He wasn't just in my music since I was a kid, he was in my mom's music, too.

"A woman in the men's room: when will the art world recognise the real artist behind Duchamp's Fountain?: Evidence suggests the famous urinal Fountain, attributed to Marcel Duchamp, was actually created by Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. Why haven't we heard of her, asks Siri Hustvedt."

"Vienna's Unpredictable Vegetable Orchestra" - playing with produce.

Little did I know that, in homage to the Beach Boys, The Flintstones featured The Fantastic Baggies (P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri) performing the awfully familiar-sounding "Surfin' Craze."

That free Joe Bonamassa album sounds pretty good.

The Everly Brothers live, "On the Wings of a Nightingale"


  1. He's also a Naval intelligence officer. Wonder what Naval intelligence is doing in Afghanistan. Perhaps dispatching Navy Seals teams to assassinate local officials? Overseeing poppy fields?

  2. Check the paragraph that starts about White Nationalists and switches to health insurance in the middle. It looks as though a section was dropped out.

    1. Thanks, it went with the Wendell Potter link and I got lost pasting it in somehow. I really should do shorter posts but I keep having Kells Syndrome.

  3. Neil Gorsuch is a piece of work. His argument in opposing deference to an agency's interpretation of regulations that it wrote unless the interpretation is clearly unreasonable is that judges will protect the vulnerable better. But he's best known for his "frozen trucker" ruling where he ruled against a trucker who, after becoming numb waiting for hours for a tow to show up when the brakes had locked because of the subzero weather, finally disconnected the trailer and drove the cab to safety. He's another mediocre pampered boy who likes to bully the powerless.

  4. I took one look at Mayor Pete and crossed off "American Emmanuel Macron" on my 2020 bingo card