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!
This evenings music features The Harlem Hamfats which included the McCoy brothers, Papa Charlie and Kansas Joe feature the last two nights. Enjoy!
Harlem Hamfats - Weed Smoker's Dream
“A rather vicious cycle has been at work for years. Reduced taxes on the rich leave them with more money to influence politicians and politics. Their influence wins them further tax reductions, which gives them still more money to put to political use. When the loss of tax revenue from the rich worsens already strained government budgets, the rich press politicians to cut public services and government jobs and not even debate a return to the higher taxes the rich used to pay. So it goes – from Washington, to Wisconsin, to New York City.”
-- Richard Wolff
Obama to Republicans: Raise taxes on rich or no fiscal cliff deal
US President Barack Obama warned Republicans Tuesday there would be no deal on averting a potentially disastrous fiscal crisis without them caving in to his demand to raise tax rates on the rich.
But in an interview with Bloomberg TV, Obama offered a hint of wiggle room, declining to state that the top income tax rate must go up and permanently remain at the 39.6 percent level seen under the Clinton administration.
“We have the potential of getting a deal done,” Obama said, adding that Republican proposals to close loopholes and cap deductions would not produce sufficient revenue to make a serious cut in the deficit.
“We’re going to have to see the rates on the top two percent go up and we’re not going to be able to get a deal without it,” Obama said.
Debt “fixers’” 6 biggest lies
New York magazine calls it a “Mass Movement for Millionaires.” The New York Times’ Paul Krugman sums up the idea: “Hey, sacrifice is for the little people.”
The Campaign to Fix the Debt is a huge, and growing, coalition of powerful CEOs, politicians and policy makers on a mission to lower taxes for the rich and cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid under the cover of concern about the national debt. The group was spawned in July 2012 by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, architects of a misguided deficit reduction scheme in Washington back in 2010. By now, the “fixers” have collected a war chest of $43 million. Private equity billionaire Peter G. Peterson, longtime enemy of the social safety net, is a major supporter.
This new Wall Street movement, which includes Republicans and plenty of Democrats, is hitting the airwaves, hosting roundtables, gathering at lavish fundraising fêtes, hiring public relations experts, and traveling around the country to push their agenda. They aim to seize the moment of the so-called “fiscal cliff” debate to pressure President Obama to concede to House Republicans and continue the Bush income tax cuts for the rich while shredding the social safety net. The group includes Goldman Sachs’ Lloyd Blankfein, JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon, Honeywell’s David Cote, Aetna’s Mark Bertolini, Delta Airlines’ Richard Anderson, Boeing’s W. James McNerney, and over 100 other influential business honchos and their supporters. ...
These CEOs talk about shared sacrifice, but it seems that they don’t intend to share anything but your retirement money with their wealthy friends.
Elizabeth Warren Said to Head to Senate Banking Committee
U.S. Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard University law professor and critic of Wall Street, is poised to join the Senate Banking Committee after she’s sworn into office in January.
Two Democratic aides briefed on the matter said Senate leaders intend to assign Warren to the Banking Committee, although a final decision on committee assignments won't be made until the new session of Congress convenes.
The aides asked not to be named because assignments aren't yet official.
Warren, 63, had been floated as a likely candidate for the committee seat, which would give her a role in writing banking legislation including revisions to the Dodd-Frank Act. The financial services industry and Warren have had a combative relationship since her calls for the creation of a consumer protection bureau.
Obamacare architect leaves White House for pharmaceutical industry reward
When the legislation that became known as "Obamacare" was first drafted, the key legislator was the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, whose committee took the lead in drafting the legislation. As Baucus himself repeatedly boasted, the architect of that legislation was Elizabeth Folwer, his chief health policy counsel; indeed, as Marcy Wheeler discovered, it was Fowler who actually drafted it. As Politico put it at the time: "If you drew an organizational chart of major players in the Senate health care negotiations, Fowler would be the chief operating officer." ...
Fowler is once again passing through the deeply corrupting revolving door as she leaves the Obama administration to return to the loving and lucrative arms of the private health care industry:Elizabeth Fowler is leaving the White House for a senior-level position leading 'global health policy' at Johnson & Johnson's government affairs and policy group."...
It's difficult to find someone who embodies the sleazy, anti-democratic, corporatist revolving door that greases Washington as shamelessly and purely as Liz Fowler.
ACLU: Feinstein’s ‘indefinite detention’ ban may expand military role on U.S. soil
An amendment to the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that bans the indefinite detention of American citizens and lawful permanent residents appears to be an improvement over last year’s bill, but according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) it could also do some harm.
That’s because in addressing a fundamental concern civil liberties groups had with the 2011 NDAA, the language of Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) amendment — which passed Thursday by a vote of 67 to 29 — fails to also cover non-citizens and other immigrants. In doing so, ACLU senior legislative counsel Chris Anders told Raw Story that the amendment could actually establish a bad precedent because it does not explicitly ban the military from operating on U.S. soil.
“The military can’t legally operate within the United States that way,” Anders said. “The Feinstein amendment may imply that the military has the right to act within the United States. There’s been a longstanding principle that the Constitution applies to all persons in the United States. We don’t divide up who gets rights by citizenship status. Nobody gets thrown under the bus in terms of due process in the United States.”
The real problem, Anders explained, is that “nobody really knows” what this bill will do and how it will be interpreted, which is why both advocates and opponents of indefinite detention, like Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rand Paul (R-KY), voted for it. The confusion arises in a loophole Feinstein wrote into the amendment giving the military the right to detain Americans in the event that Congress authorizes such action.
WikiLeaks suspect’s lawyer: Manning’s treatment ‘blemish’ on nation’s history
David Coombs, the civilian lawyer representing Bradley Manning at his court martial for supplying WikiLeaks with a trove of US state secrets, has described the soldier’s treatment in solitary confinement at Quantico marine base as criminal and a blot on the nation’s history.
Making rare comments outside the courtroom, Coombs addressed an audience of Bradley Manning supporters in a Unitarian church in Washington on Monday night and lashed out at the military hierarchy for allowing the intelligence analyst to be subjected to nine months of harsh suicide prevention regime against the advice of doctors. “Brad’s treatment at Quantico will forever be etched into our nation’s history as a disgraceful moment in time,” he said.
“Not only was it stupid and counter-productive, it was criminal. An entire group of individuals, who I have no doubt were honourable, chose to turn a blind eye to how he was being treated … They cared about something more: the media impact.”
Coombs made his criticism in his first and what will probably his only speech in a civilian setting since he became Manning’s lawyer two years ago. He explained to the audience that he has consciously avoided all public engagements and interviews with the press partly on Manning’s instructions and partly because the soldier “deserved an attorney entirely focused on the courtroom”.
Decade of US 'War on Terror' Yields More 'Terrorism'
After more than eleven years of the US waging wars abroad in the name of "fighting terrorism" a new report released Tuesday shows that the number of global terror attacks has dramatically increased during the post-9/11 era, not decreased.
The new Global Terrorism Index (GTI) found that while the US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere generated huge spikes in terrorist activity and civilian deaths in those countries, it is North America which has been most insulated from the growth in violence.
Clocktower Occupation at Cooper Union Enters Second Day
At noon on December 3, 12 students from New York’s Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art entered the top floor of their school’s Foundation Building, slid wooden barricades across the doors, and released a communique announcing their occupation to the public. Calling themselves Students for a Free Cooper Union, the occupiers took direct action in protest of the school administration’s decision to begin charging tuition to students of the historically tuition-free university. While a "Day Of Action," featuring presentations, performances and public educational events, unfolded outside the building, students inside threw their bodies against the barricade as maintenance crews attempted to drill through the blockaded entrance.
“It was definitely a really scary moment for us,” said occupier and Cooper Union senior Victoria Sobel in a phone interview later that afternoon. “Our bodies were literally pressed against the doors. It took about a half hour of yelling back and forth—‘Get off the door!’, ‘We’re not gonna get off the door! Stop drilling, you’re gonna hurt us!’—before they stopped, but we were prepared to do that. That’s the length we were willing to go to.”
Today, all 12 students are still barricaded inside. They insist that they will continue holding their space until their demands are met or they are forcibly removed. ...
“We want to tell people that now is the time to affirm that education is a right,” Sobel continued. “Recently, a lot of my peers and my generation feel like this is a battle that has been lost, because of the rapid development of the student loan bubble, tuition expansion programs and the globalization of education. But it really is not too late to take it back, to reclaim it, and to realize that we are the right people, at the right place, at the right time, to take this back.”
Activitists Concerned Canadian Tar Sands Oils May Be Routed through Vermont to Maine
Vermont environmentalists say corrosive tar sands could be routed through their state to the Maine coast if a new application by Canadian oil giant Enbridge is approved.
Enbridge Oil applied to the Canadian National Energy Board on Nov. 30 to reverse the flow of oil between Ontario and Quebec in an attempt to find a route to export tar sands oil from the Canadian west to the east coast — from where it can export to Europe and other markets, according to 350 Vermont.
Environmentalists believe the application signals preparations by Enbridge to route tar sands through Vermont to the Maine coast, prompting groups in the US and Canada, including Environmental Defence, Greenpeace Canada and the Natural Resources Defense Council, to urge the Canadian government and the U.S. State Department to review the full scope of the proposal.
"With this application, the evidence becomes overwhelming that oil companies Enbridge and Exxon-Mobil subsidiary Portland Pipe Line Corporation are planning to send tar sands through eastern Canada and northern New England," states a 350 Vermont release.
“Clearly there are efforts underway to bring dirty, dangerous tar sands to Vermont’s door. Vermonters—and Vermont leaders—are committed to an efficient, renewable energy future," Johanna Miller, Energy Program Director for Vermont Natural Resources Council, told 350 Vermont. "This increasingly imminent plan to move tar sands through Vermont’s majestic Northeast Kingdom to the Maine coast undermines every effort Vermont has made to combat climate change and chart a new, clean energy course."
Koch Carbon Kings a Driving Force Behind the U.N.Deadlock in Doha
A new report by the International Forum on Globalization details the role of the David and Charles Koch in undermining international talks to address the rapidly escalating problem of climate change. As the United Nations meets in Doha, Qatar this week, the goal is to create a framework in which the governments of the world make internationally binding commitments to cut carbon emissions fast enough to keep climate change within the agreed threshold of 2C.
But the real decision makers are not the climate negotiators, but politicians in capitals around the world including Washington, DC. The report, Faces Behind a Global Crisis: U.S. Carbon Billionaires and the U.N, Climate Deadlock, details how Charles and David Koch’s undue influence over United States climate policy has paralyzed American policy makers and stymied the United Nations climate talks.
Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index recently ranked the Carbon Kings' net worth ($80.2B) as greater than that of the world’s wealthiest man, Carlos Slim ($71.8B), and the Kochs are using that money to kill any chance of United States climate legislation and convince America that "energy independence" is more important than cooking the planet. The report explains how the Kochs’ campaign contributions, lobbying legislators, funding climate denialists, attacking clean air laws, and stopping the shift in subsidies from fossil fuels has helped to halt any serious progress on climate policy in the United States. The result is a deadlock in addressing the global climate crisis.
RIP Dave Brubeck
Dave Brubeck, a jazz musician who attained pop-star acclaim with recordings such as "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk," died Wednesday morning at Norwalk Hospital, in Norwalk, Conn., said his longtime manager-producer-conductor Russell Gloyd.
Brubeck was one day short of his 92nd birthday. He died of heart failure, en route to "a regular treatment with his cardiologist,” said Gloyd.
Throughout his career, Brubeck defied conventions long imposed on jazz musicians. The tricky meters he played in “Take Five” and other works transcended standard conceptions of swing rhythm. ...
As a humanist, he was at the forefront of integration, playing black jazz clubs throughout the deep South in the ’50s, a point of pride for him.
Blue Rondo A La Turk - Dave Brubeck
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
The Harlem Hamfats - Don't Start No Stuff
Rosetta Howard & the Harlem Hamfats - The Candy Man
Harlem Hamfats - Oh! Red
Harlem Hamfats with Frankie 'halfpint' Jaxon - Wet It
Lil Johnson - Let's get drunk and truck
[I couldn't find the Harlem Hamfats version of this on youtube, I think that the song was written by Tampa Red originally.]
The Harlem Hamfats - We Gonna Pitch A Boogie Woogie
Harlem Hamfats - My Garbage Man
Joel Shaw & his Orchestra - The Call of the Freaks
The Rhythm Kings - Call of the Freaks
Rosetta Howard and the Harlem Hamfats - Rosetta Blues
The Harlem Hamfats - Little girl
The Harlem Hamfats - Empty Bed Blues
The Harlem Hamfats - I'm in so much trouble
Johnny Temple w/Harlem Hamfats - Hoodoo Women
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