Welcome! "The Evening Blues" is a casual community diary (published Monday - Friday, 8:00 PM Eastern) where we hang out, share and talk about news, music, photography and other things of interest to the community.
Just about anything goes, but attacks and pie fights are not welcome here. This is a community diary and a friendly, peaceful, supportive place for people to interact.
Everyone who wants to join in peaceful interaction is very welcome here.
Hey! Good Evening!
Tonight's music features the first of three nights of the McCoy brothers, tonight will feature Papa Charlie McCoy, tomorrow night will feature Kansas Joe McCoy and Wednesday will feature the Harlem Hamfats, which both brothers participated in.
Papa Charlie McCoy - Candy Man Blues
“If you're in trouble, or hurt or need - go to the poor people. They're the only ones that'll help - the only ones.”
-- John Steinbeck
News and Opinion
Ex-Spy Alleges Bush White House Sought to Discredit Critic
A former senior C.I.A. official says that officials in the Bush White House sought damaging personal information on a prominent American critic of the Iraq war in order to discredit him.
Glenn L. Carle, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was a top counterterrorism official during the administration of President George W. Bush, said the White House at least twice asked intelligence officials to gather sensitive information on Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who writes an influential blog that criticized the war.
In an interview, Mr. Carle said his supervisor at the National Intelligence Council told him in 2005 that White House officials wanted âto getâ Professor Cole, and made clear that he wanted Mr. Carle to collect information about him, an effort Mr. Carle rebuffed. Months later, Mr. Carle said, he confronted a C.I.A. official after learning of another attempt to collect information about Professor Cole. Mr. Carle said he contended at the time that such actions would have been unlawful.
It is not clear whether the White House received any damaging material about Professor Cole or whether the C.I.A. or other intelligence agencies ever provided any information or spied on him. Mr. Carle said that a memorandum written by his supervisor included derogatory details about Professor Cole, but that it may have been deleted before reaching the White House. Mr. Carle also said he did not know the origins of that information or who at the White House had requested it.
New Mexican president sworn in amid violent protests
Protesters clashed with police outside the Mexican Congress in Mexico City on Saturday, as the country’s new president, Enrique Pena Nieto, took the oath of office.
Hundreds of demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails, firecrackers and rocks at security forces, who responded by using tear gas to disperse the crowd. ...
The president-elect has took over at midnight in a symbolic ceremony after campaigning as the new face of the PRI, repentant and restructured after the party was voted out of the presidency in 2000. The PRI had ruled for 71 years with a mix of populist handouts, graft and rigged elections.
Drones: Despite Problems, A Push to Expand Domestic Use
Are unmanned aircraft, known to have difficulty avoiding collisions, safe to use in America’s crowded airspace? And would their widespread use for surveillance result in unconstitutional invasions of privacy?
Experts say neither question has been answered satisfactorily. Yet the federal government is rushing to open America’s skies to tens of thousands of the drones – pushed to do so by a law championed by manufacturers of the unmanned aircraft.
The drone makers have sought congressional help to speed their entry into a domestic market valued in the billions. The 60-member House of Representatives’ “drone caucus” _ officially, the House Unmanned Systems Caucus - has helped push that agenda. And over the last four years, caucus members have drawn nearly $8 million in drone-related campaign contributions, an investigation by Hearst Newspapers and the Center for Responsive Politics shows.
The Federal Aviation Administration has been flooded with applications from police departments, universities and private corporations, all seeking to use drones that range from devices the size of a hummingbird to full-sized aircraft like those used by the U.S. military to target al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan and elsewhere.
How Close Is Rupert Murdoch to Owning the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune?
In October, the L.A. Times revealed that Murdoch had his eye on acquiring both the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune from the Tribune Co . As the Tribune Co. emerges from bankruptcy, Murdoch’s News Corp. executives held talks with the company’s debt holders about acquiring the major papers.
So what’s the Federal Communications Commission to do?
Apparently, propose an order that weakens the exact rule that would have stood in the way of Murdoch’s desired acquisition. ... Two weeks ago, FCC sources leaked that the chairman, Julius Genachowski, sent around an order that would weaken this rule. This would allow one company to own a major daily newspaper, two TV stations and up to eight radio stations in one city.
Genachowski’s proposal is nearly identical to proposals FreePress fought against in 2003 and 2007. Barack Obama and Joe Biden were among the senators who blasted the FCC for their attempts at media consolidation. According to Stearns, Genachowski is Obama’s old law school friend, which “makes this all the more strange.” Although Obama has continuously spoken out against weakening of media ownership rules, even promising a push for media diversity during his 2008 campaign, he has remained silent on the FCC’s current proposal.
Progressive media claims they'll be 'tougher' on Obama now
Once you vow unconditional, permanent loyalty to a politician and a party - once you demonstrate that you will support them no matter what they do - why would you possibly expect that they will do anything but ignore you? A rational politician, by definition, pays attention to those whose support is conditional and uncertain, not to those who loudly proclaim that it is a solemn duty to support that politician and his party under all circumstances. That's just the basic rules governing how power works, of negotiations and politics: those who eagerly renounce all their leverage make themselves inconsequential and impotent.
DOJ Mysteriously Quits Monsanto Antitrust Investigation
There's an age-old tradition in Washington of making unpopular announcements when no one's listeningâlike, you know, the days leading up to Thanksgiving. That's when the Obama administration sneaked a tasty dish to the genetically modified seed/pesticide industry.
This treat involves the unceremonious end of the Department of Justice's antitrust investigation into possible anticompetitive practices in the US seed market, which it had begun in January 2010. It's not hard to see why DOJ would take a look. For the the crops that cover the bulk of US farmland like corn, soy, and cotton, the seed trade is essentially dominated by five companies: Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer, and Dow. And a single company, Monsanto, supplies nearly all genetically modified traits now so commonly used in those crops, which it licenses to its rivals for sale in their own seeds.
What's harder to figure out is why the DOJ ended the investigation without taking any actionâand did so with a near-complete lack of public information. The DOJ didn't even see fit to mark the investigation's end with a press release. News of it emerged from a brief item Monsanto itself issued the Friday before Thanksgiving, declaring it had "received written notification" from the DOJ antitrust division that it had ended its investigation "without taking any enforcement action." ...
In 2010, University of Illinois researcher Michael Gray surveyed farmers in seven agriculture-intensive counties of Illinois. He asked them if they had access to high-quality corn seeds that weren't genetically modified to contain Monsanto's Bt insecticide trait. In all seven counties, at least 32 percent of farmers said "no." In one county, 46.6 percent of farmers reporting having no access to high-quality non-Bt seed. For them, apparently, they had little choice but to pay Monsanto's high prices for Bt seeds, whether they needed them or not.
Katrina, All Over Again
Hurricane Sandy, if you are poor, is the Katrina of the North. It has exposed the nation's fragile, dilapidated and shoddy infrastructure, one that crumbles under minimal stress. It has highlighted the inability of utility companies, as well as state and federal agencies, to cope with the looming environmental disasters that because of the climate crisis will soon come in wave after wave. But, most important, it illustrates the depraved mentality of an oligarchic and corporate elite that, as conditions worsen, retreats into self-contained gated communities, guts basic services and abandons the wider population.
Sheepshead Bay, along with Coney Island, the Rockaways, parts of Staten Island and long stretches of the New Jersey coast, is obliterated. Stores, their merchandise destroyed by the water, are boarded up and closed. Rows of derelict cars, with the tires and license plates removed and the windows smashed, line the streets. Food distribution centers, most of them set up by volunteers from Occupy Sandy Recovery, hastily close before dark every day because of the danger of looting and robbery. And storm victims who remain in their damaged homes, often without heat, electricity or running water, clutch knives against the threat of gangs that prowl at night through the wreckage.
This storm amid freakish weather patterns such storms will become routine resulted in at least $71.3 billion in property damage in New York and New Jersey. Many of the 305,000 houses in New York destroyed by Sandy will never be rebuilt. New York City says it will have to spend $800 million just to repair its roads. And that is only the start. The next hurricane season will most likely descend on the Eastern Seaboard with even greater destructive fury. A couple of more hurricanes like this one and whole sections of the coast will become uninhabitable.
This is the new America. It is an America where economic and environmental catastrophes converge to trigger systems breakdown and collapse. It is an America divided between corporate predators and their prey. It is an America that, as things unravel, increasingly sacrifices its own.
NYC Threatens Imminent Eviction Of 24/7 Sandy Relief Hub
The community-run network of support for food, volunteering, supplies, clothing, and human services is an essential part of the New York City recovery efforts, and the mayor’s office wants to shut it down immediately. The mayor’s office is calling upon local police forces to “clear all outdoor sites” effective immediately. We are calling on all New Yorkers to advocate on behalf of these community run hubs that provide essential services to those whom the city and federal government, and support agencies, have under-served, neglected, or abandoned.
ACTION ALERT: Support the community hub at 489 Midland Ave
—Come to 489 Midland Ave Staten Island, NY 10306 to stand in support
—Volunteers requested to help move the hub to 100% private property
—Demand the Mayor’s office end community hub eviction and instead support hubs with space and equipment
—Public Advocate’s office: (212) 669-7250 9am-5pm
Blog Posts of Interest
Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.What's Happenin'
A Little Night Music
Tampa Kid (Papa Charlie McCoy) - Baby Please Don't Go
Papa Charlie McCoy - Baltimore Blues
Papa Charlie McCoy - Motherless And Fatherless Blues
Papa Charlie McCoy - That Lonesome Road Took My Baby
Tampa Kid (Papa Charlie McCoy) - Keep On Trying
Papa Charlie McCoy - Your Valves Need Grinding
Papa Charlie McCoy - Last Time Blues
Remember when progressive debate was about our values and not about a "progressive" candidate? Remember when progressive websites championed progressive values and didn't tell progressives to shut up about values so that "progressive" candidates can get elected?
Come to where the debate is not constrained by oaths of fealty to persons or parties.
Come to where the pie is served in a variety of flavors.
"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum." ~ Noam Chomsky