HomeUncategorizedPIP and Open Thread August 29, 2016
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Good morning friends. Thanks for the open thread polarbear!

Life continues to run amuck for me so I’m still not here a lot and I still have a lot of emails to respond to. I do apologize and any issues,frustrations, etc I take full responsibility for.

Bernie Sanders to headline NY Working Families Party gala

Here is an expanded version of the third item from my “Albany Insider” column from Monday’s editions:

The state Working Families Party’s recent endorsement of Hillary Clinton hasn’t ended its love affair with her Democratic primary opponent, Bernie Sanders.

Sanders will headline the minor party’s Sept. 15 18th annual dinner in New York City. The Working Families Party had supported Sanders over Clinton and only endorsed her after the Vermont senator conceded the fight.

“Sen. Sanders sparked a grassroots revolution that engaged millions of activists and small donors in New York and across the country and changed the debate, reminding Americans what is best about our country – our values of justice, decency, and solidarity,” said Bill Lipton, state director of the New York Working Families Party.”

Sanders in a statement said he still intends to work with the leftist party moving forward.

“The political revolution was never about any one candidate or any one election,” the Vermont senator said. “For almost two decades, the Working Families Party has been leading the fight for economic, social, and racial justice, recruiting and electing candidates who commit to that vision, and then holding them accountable to the people, not the billionaires. It is an honor for me to join the New York WFP at their gala this year to celebrate 18 years of their work in New York state as we look forward to building our revolution together, this November and beyond.”



There are Bernie Sanders signs on the walls of Tim Canova’s field office here, where former staffers and volunteers from the Vermont senator’s presidential campaign now work the phones and prepare to knock doors in a heated congressional primary against former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

A whopping $3.8 million dollars worth of Berniecrat anger at Wasserman Schultz, who stepped down from her DNC post amid accusations she and top staffers had worked against Sanders in his primary challenge to Hillary Clinton, has flooded to Canova. That’s given the little-known law professor a shot at toppling the six-term congresswoman in Tuesday’s primary.

Sanders looms large in the race, but always out of frame. The senator himself never made it here, infuriating some supporters and raising doubts in the minds of others about his new efforts to help allied candidates.

Reflecting on the race as it comes to a close, Canova seems to wonder if Sanders’ help was more trouble than it’s worth. “Bernie is not on the ballot, and I think coming here might have presented certain liabilities anyway, so it might be a blessing that he never came,” Canova told NBC News.


I’m glad Tim figured out that Bernie’s contributions were helpful. I suspect Tim will lose, but hopefully it won’t be a blowout.

belle de jour

Understandable reaction. Canova is hurt, politely trying to save face at the confusion & humiliation of being courted, then stood-up. He’s probably going to lose because of it, too.


My sense following the events of the convention is that certain actions were demanded and that he was made aware, perhaps physically, that the consequences for honesty were extremely serious. Canova’s opponent could well have set some of the conditions.

belle de jour

Absolutely. No tin foil hat or melodrama needed here; I think it’s obvious deals and compromises were made and ‘reinforced,’ and that it was worse than anyone likes to believe or even imagine possible.

I get that people don’t like to think of this happening to Bernie or with Bernie. I get that it hurts to see and admit it has.

You work with authors, yes? If you imagine a narrative… in which the main heroic character has acted consistently, predictably and honorably throughout… and then you have the bizarre behavior and turn-around we’ve seen here, right before the end… with no clear explanation, and vague outside elements & forces merely referenced in a deus ex machina sort of cheap intervention… well, you get the picture what I would think as an editor and a reader.


Yes, precisely. His honor was turned against him so that it was made impossible for him to speak the truth. And what followed in the area where an endorsement was the ransom demanded became as a consequece the grotesque lie we all were staggered by.


I hope he doesn’t lose! But if he does — now he has name recognition, and she is damaged goods. If he keeps up his presence, then there’s another election in two years. OR if HC wins and appoints DWS to something, there’s an empty seat….

Bernie didn’t win his first couple of races, either, but he was persistent.


And as much the proxy war put Canova on the map, it also put him in a box. Constantly asked about and compared to Sanders, it’s made it harder for Canova to distinguish himself.

“I think for a long time people just counted us out because they looked at what happened in March and said, well Bernie lost badly, 2-1, how could Canova ever win? Because Canova of course is just a mini-Bernie—It’s a ridiculous caricature,” he said.

“Bernie ran a lousy campaign in Florida,” Canova said. “Bernie had his problems with certain constituencies that I don’t have problems with.”

Our Revolution supportes Canova, but he was not one of the five candidates Sanders spotlighted when he launched the group last week.

“We have left him hanging,” former Our Revolution staffer Claire Sandberg told Democracy Now of Canova. “We legally couldn’t coordinate with Canova, couldn’t return his calls, couldn’t mobilize thousands of Bernie supporters locally in Miami or across the country to participate in his field operation, because we couldn’t talk to him.”


I wonder what good that Bernie’s list will do if the new setup of Our Revolution won’t allow it to be used effectively. Could OR rescind their status if such inhibitions are in place?


Good question! If OR cannot “legally” co-ordinate with candidates, can’t even “talk” to the candidates they like, how effective can they be??



Longtime Hillary Clinton confidante Neera Tanden in a new podcast commends Bernie Sanders for the issues he raised during his campaign but notes his attacks on the Democratic presidential nominee were harmful.

“I actually have to say, I think he brought a lot of really important issues to the floor, but Senator Sanders was prosecuting a much tougher character attack” than Barack Obama did in 2008, Tanden said during Politico’s “Off Message” podcast.
“He did do significant damage to Hillary’s negatives.”

During the primary season, the Vermont senator often attacked the eventual Democratic nominee on the campaign trail — at points, questioning her judgment.

“I mean, he drove a lot of those negatives, and the truth of it, I mean, just to be candid — or honest about it, I think getting those kinds of attacks from another Democrat or another liberal or another progressive is much tougher for Hillary,” said Tanden, who is the president of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress.


HC thanked Bernie for the vigorous debate. I wish he would have said more about her judgement in specifics other than the Iraq War. The problem is the debate format doesn’t lend itself to do that.

One of Bernie’s weaknesses as a primary candidate (to me) was not pointing out the negatives of Clinton’s judgement as SoS, and needing to be more nuanced. Clinton is good at debates, but she can be outfoxed as I saw John Edwards best her many times in 2007 (for the 2008 campaign). However, both Edwards and Clinton were lawyers, so they are accustomed to using nuance for their debate styles.

Bernie is good at the big picture, which is why he caught the attention of 13 million voters and probably more than that with rallies.

To me, this is whining by the Clinton surrogates.


He was so very restrained! And only addressed issues, and completely avoided her Clinton Foundation conflicts of interest and the emails! As you said, @polarbear4, while her campaign and the DNC was smearing him completely. @Benny, I agree with you. They’re a bunch of whiners, and they’re unwilling to see that HC’s problems as a candidate are entirely created by herself.


Neera Tanden…watching her looking as bored as she could possibly be during the Dem party platform hearings was very painful, now she’s still bashing Sanders and trying to set him up as a scapegoat, grrrrrrrr.

She battles Bernie bros and bashes Shailene Woodley, all in support of team #imwithher

the 45-year-old Massachusetts native is more than that: She’s Clinton’s edgy public alter ego, whose stiletto-elbowed Twitter presence is said to closely echo the candidate’s own caustic private musings.



Bernie Sanders is ready to help Democrats take control of the Senate.

The senator from Vermont is preparing a post-Labor Day blitz of campaign activity, according to three sources briefed on his plans, offering what Democratic leaders hope will be a late-in-the-race boost from the liberal icon to the party’s slate of Senate candidates.

In addition to attending campaign rallies, Sanders is also expected to raise money for individual candidates — including through the use of his vaunted list of small donors, according to one source close to the senator.

That list turned Sanders into a financial juggernaut during his underdog presidential campaign and has been of considerable interest to Democratic strategists, who think it could be a major source of money in down-ballot races.

Sanders’ effort will be the first time since his presidential run ended almost two months ago that he has helped Democrats as they try to win a majority in the Senate.

And unlike previous political forays, when the senator sent fundraising pitches on behalf of ideologically aligned candidates, this burst of activity is also expected to include more centrist Senate candidates locked in tight races against Republican opponents.


I hope someone in New England can go to the Labor Day rally in NH. I think he’s stumping for Maggie Hassan, who needs help. She’s barely ahead.

Cora Regina

I haven’t had much time for politics lately. The past few days I’ve been petsitting for my parents, which rapidly went from visiting once a day to living here temporarily when their cat began rapidly declining after about a week or so of what we though was some stomach upset. It was significant even over the few hours between when they left and when I stopped in, so I called her vet and he came by the next morning. Blood tests came back on Friday showing what I had expected, kidney failure.

They left on Wednesday, and on Saturday I stroked her fur and talked her through dying. They won’t be back until around midnight tonight. We got her almost 15 years ago, and watching her just crash like she did was agonizing. She was shy but very sweet, and I still cry when I think about it. I don’t doubt I’ll cry even more come this Saturday, when we lay her to rest.

This is on top of an avalanche of sick cats. One of mine had a few weeks ago, my senior cat has what I suspect is a kidney infection (she’s on antibiotics and happily her blood work came back showing that apart from an elevated white count, everything was fine), and the third began throwing up blood on Friday morning. The vet looked at her and thought it was a minor irritation from something that she ate and would pass, but she did it again Sunday morning. Her behavior is otherwise pretty normal, but she hasn’t been eating.

So, to the vet we go this afternoon. My regular vet, who does house calls, is out of town so I have to take her to the backup. They don’t do payment plans and don’t give a shit how that impacts you, so I also have to figure out where I’m going to come up with a few hundred extra dollars at least. I’ve already spent $1000. The cat in question does NOT travel well and is very shy and easily frightened, so dragging her into a vet’s office is going to be traumatic. But I can’t wait two weeks on this.

I’m exhausted, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I haven’t been sleeping, I haven’t been eating well. I don’t know how much more of this I’m going to be able to take before I have a nervous breakdown on par with the massive one I had four years ago. My therapist is also picking now to go out of town. Naturally.

No politics for a while, I have enough on my plate right now and don’t need to be upset about anything else. I’ve already been subjected to ads from Her Heinous, desperately playing up the terrors of Trump and the fact that he curses, because that’s literally all she has to run on.


I’m sorry to hear about the pets. Hope everything sorts itself out.


Condolences on the loss of your four legged friend. Often I find myself more upset at these kinds of things than the general horrible news of the day. Hoping you get some rest soon! Ive certainly learned the importance of it, and what happens when you go without. Avoiding politics is certainly one way to keep the blood pressure down.

belle de jour

You did the hardest responsibility we have about loving a friend, then having the privilege to stay with them as they let go, Cora. I know it mattered to her, and am sorry you’re feeling alone with even more to do. Sending you best thoughts and thanks for how much you’ve looked after others, hoping you can stay strong looking after yourself, too.


I’m so sorry, Cora. Being with our furbabies, or our people, as they are sick and dying is so hard, and it’s so important to let them know how much we love them.

And vet bills add up fast. I know — I’m still paying off the credit card I used to use only for veterinary and medical bills. I wish you all the best, with your animals, with nursing them through this, with saying goodbye, with your parents, with the bills, and with the hurricane of emotions hitting you right now.


That sounds really tough Cora! No nervous breakdowns! Know that so many other people are hanging on for dear life and I hope that the latest trip to the vet’s went better than you thought it might.

This election is really dragging the whole country down. I hear there’s a light at the end of the tunnel… 😉

All the Best!!


Sanders to keep E-mail List of donors for Supporting Senate Candidates

From the International Business Times:

“Anybody who has given to Bernie in 2016 can be rest assured that [their] info won’t be turned over to the DSCC or any other arm of the Democratic Party,” the unidentified source told Roll Call.

This adds to the Roll Call item LD posted earlier.

I am relieved that he didn’t turn over that list. Sometimes though, I think the DNC has him on a medium length leash, especially when something gets leaked.



AMY GOODMAN: Earlier this month, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders strongly denounced the impeachment of Brazil’s democratically elected president. In a statement posted on his Senate website, Sanders laid out his position as, quote, “calling on the United States to take a definitive stand against efforts to remove Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff from office,” unquote. He added, “To many Brazilians and observers the controversial impeachment process more closely resembles a coup d’état.” So talk about the timing of Bernie Sanders’ statement, the content of his statement. And then, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, have they weighed in, and also President Obama?

GLENN GREENWALD: So, it’s been fascinating to watch, because originally the perception of this process was shaped by Brazil’s domestic media, which is an oligarchic media. They’re owned by a tiny number of extremely rich families, all of whom are united against the Workers’ Party and in favor of impeachment. Reporters Without Borders, the global media group, said that these media organizations were not acting as journalists; they were agitating against democracy in pursuit of the interests of their owners. And so, the perception originally was that this was the people rising up against a corrupt government. But as more people started looking at what was happening in Brazil, as more international journalists who aren’t beholden to these domestic interests started reporting on it, international opinion started radically changing. Just this weekend, Le Monde, the largest and most influential paper in France, one of the most influential in the world, denounced impeachment. They said if it’s not a coup, it’s a farce. You have international transparency groups, as you referenced earlier, denouncing it; the Organization of American States, members of the European Parliament, the British Parliament, and now Senator Sanders. So you see this growing awareness of what’s actually taking place in Brazil, this attack on democracy.

I do think it’s a little disturbing because, unfortunately, throughout the campaign that he ran, foreign policy was a very, you could say, ignored, but certainly deprioritized, part of Bernie Sanders’ challenge to Hillary Clinton. Even though her foreign policy needed so many objections and questions and attacks, he seemed to have very little interest in it. Now that he’s done, he’s willing, I guess, to be a little bit freer about commenting on foreign policy. And so it’s kind of a case of better late than never, but I wish that statement had been issued a lot earlier.

The United States government has been remarkably silent about what’s taking place in Brazil, for the obvious reason that they got caught in the 1960s having participated in and helping to plan the coup against the left-wing, democratically elected government. After vehemently denying for years that they were involved, documents surfaced showing that they were critical participants in that coup and in also supporting the military dictatorship that followed. And so, Brazilians are very sensitive about whatever role the United States might be playing in their internal affairs. And so, the president and the State Department have been very kind of muted about what it is they’re willing to say. But the United States government, for decades, has always preferred right-wing governments to left-wing governments in Latin America. They’ve certainly proven that over and over. As I said earlier, the right-wing faction that is now taking power in Brasília wants to become subservient again to the United States. And so I think it stands to reason that President Obama, Hillary Clinton and the rest of the State Department and Pentagon, to the extent they care, are pretty happy about the developments that have taken place here in Brazil, in terms of a government that wasn’t elected but that is much more favorable to American interests.

belle de jour

Even though her foreign policy needed so many objections and questions and attacks, he seemed to have very little interest in it. Now that he’s done, he’s willing, I guess, to be a little bit freer about commenting on foreign policy. And so it’s kind of a case of better late than never, but I wish that statement had been issued a lot earlier.”

Agreed! It was not the place or time to drop the ball criticizing Hillary, since her foreign policy stance is one of the scariest things about her; it will continue to haunt us all now, and it will compromise domestic policy as well.

Of course it is all (and has always been) connected. Yet there was almost radio silence during the campaign.

The biggest concern my sibling would argue during the campaign was Bernie’s seeming lack of foreign policy interest or experience. At the time, I argued back that domestic problems are so immediate and urgent that he must feel the need to concentrate on them first… and that his humane, reasonable approach would be the best platform upon which he could build experience and policy in international shares, later. Yet now I see that sibbie was correct – just in a different way than I took those comments to mean, at the time.


I think the Clinton campaign probably would have complained that he was attacking her too hard, as we’ve seen one of her aides is saying about him as it is. Sheesh! They would have made him pay for it one way or another — but I wonder if it would have gotten him the nomination?

My tendency is to think not… the DNC and MSM were pulling out all the stops to make sure that wouldn’t happen.

belle de jour

“…but I wonder if it would have gotten him the nomination?”

I am utterly distraught that we will never know.

But, yes – I happen to think it would have been more effective to go full-tilt against the lot of them, and to have offered an entire package of obvious dissent, aimed at all areas. Not to be maudlin, but I think it’s tragic he didn’t – and I do think it may have cost him the nomination, and that now he’s been neutered and co-opted with little to show for that act of deference, and that it has sealed the fate for any options the rest of may have regarding this election.


I think The Powers That Be would have lined up against him no matter what, frankly. The crap they pulled in our California primary — and I’d never heard anything about election integrity being compromised here before — including AP announcing her victory the day before the election? I still don’t understand how they got away with that, and why there wasn’t an enormous hue and cry. California could have made the difference for Bernie.

But I think they would have done whatever they deemed necessary to ensure HC’s “win.” The good thing is that we now know what kind of numbers we have. We aren’t alone. Bernie did that for us, bless him, and he’s not giving up now, either.


I’m not sure Americans are ready for a non-neocon FP.
Many of my Bernie-supporting friends and most of my Clinton-supporting friends still buy in to the “liberal interventionist” view.

belle de jour

I’m sorry to say I think you’re right. There was a lot of groundwork & explanation that needed to be done so that many people could see and understand the very idea itself (step 1)… before they could then understand the benefits and ramifications of such a change (step 2)… and then proceed to clearly see a Bernie-esque alternative emphasis as both practical and potentially more powerful than what they knew before (step 3).



Rank-and-file House Republicans are dreading voting on a huge spending deal in the lame-duck session — but they may have no choice.

Funding for the federal government dries up at the end of September, forcing Congress to move a stopgap spending bill just weeks before the Nov. 8 presidential election.

Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are pushing to extend government funding into early 2017, wary of a massive bipartisan spending deal in the lame-duck. But GOP leaders and House Democrats are already laying the groundwork for a short-term continuing resolution, or CR, that will set up a vote on a catch-all spending bill right before the holidays.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Democrats are sure to press their election-year priorities in the CR, including funding to fight the Zika virus and measures on water safety and gun control. Defense hawks want billions more in funding for the military. And President Obama is refusing to give up on a getting his 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal through Congress as part of the end-of-year package.

It all puts Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in a familiar pickle.

“All signs point to a lame-duck unless Republican leaders take the initiative to support their rank and file who desperately want to avoid it,” said Dan Holler, a spokesman for Heritage Action for America, a conservative outside group that’s been tracking the funding fight.



Huma Abedin on Monday announced that she is separating from her husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.).

“After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband,” Abedin, a top aide to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, said in a statement.

“Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy.”
Abedin’s statement comes after a report Sunday said that her husband had apparently sent a woman a photo of his crotch with his toddler son in the background.

belle de jour

Word to the wise: the sexting snap of his erection – taken whilst laying in bed, next to his little child – are impossible to un-see; avoid bleach by avoiding any links to the NYPost today.

Sometimes, the ubiquity and permanence of the internet make you fear for others.


That’s really creepy.

You think he would have learned by now….




Maybe so. Or incredibly, unblinkingly stupid?

You gotta wonder…. Definitely no more political career for him.



AMY GOODMAN: So, we’ve talked a lot about Hillary Clinton, and she did get a lot of negative attention this past week over these—the revelations of the Associated Press, but not as much as she would have, because of all that Donald Trump has been saying and tweeting and representing. Glenn Greenwald, what are your comments on Hillary Clinton’s opponent, Donald Trump?

GLENN GREENWALD: I mean, Donald Trump is—I mean, the tactic of the Democratic Party in the last 25 years—they know that ever since they became the party of sort of corporatism and Wall Street, they don’t inspire anybody, so their tactic is to say the Republican Party is the epitome of evil. Even when they have conventional nominees like Mitt Romney or John McCain, they demonize them and say they’re this unparalleled threat to democracy. In this election, just by coincidence, it happens to be true.

The person that the Republican Party has nominated, on a personal level, is extraordinarily unstable and vindictive and dangerous and narcissistic, in a way that you really wouldn’t trust him to occupy any minor political office, let alone command the military of the United States and the entire executive branch. The rhetoric that he’s been embracing over the past 18 months is extraordinarily frightening, because, even if he loses, he is emboldening extremist nationalism, racism, all kinds of bigotry. He’s giving license for its expression. He is serving as a galvanizing force for these very dangerous elements, not just in the American political culture, but in Europe and elsewhere throughout the right. And it’s just unthinkable to allow him anywhere near the White House, given the things that he wants to do, from deporting 11 million people to barring all Muslims from entering the country, and so many of the other things that he’s said. Even though he’s so unstable you don’t know if he would do any of them, the instability itself is so risky.

And so, this has become the real problem, is he is such a kind of dangerous presence on the American landscape that a lot of people have become afraid of doing their jobs and scrutinizing his opponent. And I think that that also is quite dangerous, even though I understand the motives behind it.

belle de jour

“…he is such a kind of dangerous presence on the American landscape that a lot of people have become afraid of doing their jobs and scrutinizing his opponent.”

Again, agree with Glenn Greenwald. Again, this was a tragedy in timing – especially when we had the very real chance at a sane alternative to them both.

Don midwest

TPP is treason

This is a new line of protest against TPP which would work for both the right and the left

Framing Votes for TPP as the Surrender of National Sovereignty (i.e., Treason)

Why the Proponents of TPP Are Traitors

There are two reasons: First, they consciously seek to weaken the national defense. And second, the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system is a surrender of national sovereignty.

Don midwest

How many people do cops kill in a year?

Incredibly, President Obama’s Justice Department is scrambling to devise a method for tracking how many civilians American cops kill each year, and under what circumstances, years after private citizens and then news organizations started using public information online to do just that.

Think about it: In the midst of a heated national conversation about policing and police violence, one largely fueled by civilians’ cellphone videos, no one knows if officers are killing more or fewer people than 10 or 20 years ago, because no one was keeping score then.

Every one of the 20,000 or so local police forces in America (again, no one seems to know the exact number) is effectively its own fiefdom — with badges, guns and vast discretion. That allowed many departments, especially smaller ones, to serve as de facto instruments of racial control, revenue generation or, like in Ferguson, both.

Eyes are finally opening to the truth about policing: Slowly but surely, damaging old blind spots are disappearing

Don midwest

Thom Hartmann today on how Republicans have killed Obama’s recovery

Mentioned an article from an economic policy institute about how in earlier recoveries, including Reagan, Bush 1, Bush 2, govnt spending went up. This time it went down – austerity. They didn’t want Obama to get credit for recovery.

Heard on radio and don’t have the link off hand.

This is the kind of stuff that democrats could raise over and over again. But it seems that they want the confusion so that they can continue to support the oligarchy.

Kinda like how the Clinton crap hides issues. Didn’t realize that without the Republican bashing of Clintions, they might not have been able to screw the New Deal.


Yes, they want to continue to support the oligarchcy, and the austerity as well, the Wall Street policy that is so essentially what we have now that no one comments on it by name.

Don midwest

Women: Know Your Limits! Harry Enfield – BBC comedy

An important public service announcement brought to you by the comedy legend Harry Enfield and his Chums. From BBC.

This is funny but how much is the Hill campaign betting on the historic oppression of women which continues with the repubs, to be enough to win the day?

the drip, drip becomes expected and not acted above

i have no love lost for the Clinton’s, actually could say I hate them. But David Cay Johnston has tweeted about how much, much worse the Bush and Trump foundations are. An entire corrupt system to launder money ……



Whole families found their way to the ships of the British, who accepted everyone and pledged no one would be given back to their “owners.” Adult men were trained to create a regiment called the Colonial Marines, who participated in many of the most important battles, including the August 1814 raid on Washington.

Then on the night of September 13, 1814, the British bombarded Fort McHenry. Key, seeing the fort’s flag the next morning, was inspired to write the lyrics for “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

So when Key penned “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,” he was taking great satisfaction in the death of slaves who’d freed themselves. His perspective may have been affected by the fact he owned several slaves himself.

With that in mind, think again about the next two lines: “And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave / O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

The reality is that there were human beings fighting for freedom with incredible bravery during the War of 1812. However, “The Star-Spangled Banner” glorifies America’s “triumph” over them — and then turns that reality completely upside down, transforming their killers into the courageous freedom fighters.

After the U.S. and the British signed a peace treaty at the end of 1814, the U.S. government demanded the return of American “property,” which by that point numbered about 6,000 people. The British refused. Most of the 6,000 eventually settled in Canada, with some going to Trinidad, where their descendants are still known as “Merikins.”


Wow… I didn’t know that part of our history, or read that verse before.

I did know the melody comes from an 18th century British drinking song. I used to sing it at the opening home football games at the high school where I taught. I’m glad I didn’t know this then.


Colin Kaepernick has interview and expounds on his comment.

Colin Kaepernick on his anthem protest, the police, the election, and much, much more: “This is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice”

-Q: What are you trying to accomplish? What’s the goal?

-KAEPERNICK: I mean, ultimately it’s to bring awareness and make people realize what’s really going on in this country. There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust, people aren’t being held accountable for, and that’s something that needs to change.

That’s something that–this country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now.

“This comment is not part of the block quote but I couldn’t edit it. I admire him for not ducking the issue”



Joshua Eaton

Aug. 25 2016, 12:56 p.m.

In February 2004, U.S. troops brought a man named Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badry to Abu Ghraib in Iraq and assigned him serial number US9IZ-157911CI. The prison was about to become international news, but the prisoner would remain largely unknown for the next decade.

At the time the man was brought in, Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba was finalizing his report on allegations of abuse at Abu Ghraib’s Hard Site — a prison building used to house detainees singled out for their alleged violence or their perceived intelligence value. Just weeks later, the first pictures of detainee abuse were published on CBS News and in the New Yorker.

Today, detainee US9IZ-157911CI is better known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State. His presence at Abu Ghraib, a fact not previously made public, provides yet another possible key to the enigmatic leader’s biography and may shed new light on the role U.S. detention facilities played in the rise of the Islamic State.

Experts have long known that Baghdadi spent time in U.S. custody during the occupation of Iraq. Previous reports suggested he was at Camp Bucca, a sprawling detention facility in southern Iraq. But the U.S. Army confirmed to The Intercept that Baghdadi spent most of his time in U.S. custody at the notorious Abu Ghraib.

belle de jour

All that time and money and plotting and scheming chez Pentagon… when they could walk down the street in D.C., and ask the next local social worker they see what they reckon the effects of systematic, continued abuse and torture might mean for the future of a victim.



belle de jour

Thanks for the PIP reminder, polarbear. I’m trying not to dread finding out something objectionable about them (i.e., anything akin to the Greens’ VP candidate comments, lol), but this is definitely my next personal project for further investigation and hopefulness. It would certainly be a relief to wholeheartedly put all that energy behind a truly new and revolutionary prospect that brings together all sorts of elements and strengths.


Sounds good!


From a couple of years ago, but well worth watching, John Oliver on income inequality:


Unhappy voters


The number of voters who cannot bring themselves to voice a favorable opinion of either major party nominee is unlike anything witnessed in past elections according to new analysis from the Monmouth University Poll. Nearly no voters have a positive opinion of both Clinton and Trump while one-third do not have a favorable view of either candidate. These results are unusual.

In the current poll, 34% of voters have a favorable opinion of Clinton and 51% have an unfavorable view of her. Even fewer (26%) have a favorable opinion of Trump and 57% have an unfavorable view of him. When these results are combined, though, only 2% have a favorable opinion of both candidates, while 35% do not have a favorable opinion of either nominee.

The number of voters who cannot bring themselves to voice a positive opinion of either presidential nominee is more than three times higher than in any other election in recent memory.

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