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 pianist Dave Brubeck who, sadly, just recently left the room. Enjoy!
The Dave Brubeck Quartet - St Louis Blues
“If there is one fact we really can prove, from the history that we really do know, it is that despotism can be a development, often a late development and very often indeed the end of societies that have been highly democratic. A despotism may almost be defined as a tired democracy. As fatigue falls on a community, the citizens are less inclined for that eternal vigilance which has truly been called the price of liberty; and they prefer to arm only one single sentinel to watch the city while they sleep.”
-- G.K. Chesterton
News and Opinion
#Durbinville Targets Key Democrat Senator Willing to Cut Social Programs
Organizers say Durbin's willingness to use fake "debt crisis" to cut programs for poor, sick, and elderly should be loudly challenged
Grassroots organizers in Illinois intent on protecting key social programs erected a 'Durbinville' encampment in downtown Chicago on Thursday to call out Democrat Senator Dick Durbin for what they see as the most brutal kind of betrayal.
With the goal of ending Durbin's continued willingness to offer up cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other social programs to Republicans in the name of "compromise" and under the guise of an invented debt crisis (known in Washington as the "fiscal cliff"), the organizers contend austerity is not the answer to the nation's financial problems.
Progressives hope the organizing in Chicago against Senator Durbin can be a model for how other states and cities can fight back against the push from Wall Street titans (and made possible by politicians and a pliant corporate media) to use a fabricated financial crisis to push through harsh cuts to public programs. ...
Durbin is a key figure in the ongoing budget negotiations, operating on behalf of the Obama administration in the Senate. Although Durbin and Obama continue to call for letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans expire in an effort to raise revenue, activists say the Democrats betray progressive values (not to mention sound economics) by insisting there must be $3-4 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade.
Organizers in Chicago argue that while voters decisively rejected GOP Congressman Paul Ryan’s plan for austerity on election day, Obama, Durbin and other powerful Democrats are betraying American voters by serving up a “Ryan-light” budget with deep cuts to programs that Americans hold dear, have paid for and desperately need.
In spite of America's lack of honor, Sioux reclaim their sacred Black Hills land
Still waiting for US to honor their treaties, the Great Sioux Nation raises $9m to purchase sacred site in Black Hills, SD
Though touted as a victory for tribes within the Oceti Sakowin, known as the Great Sioux Nation, many tribal members were opposed to the purchase of the stolen sacred lands, having to pay for something rightfully theirs. For them, the procurement of the Black Hills site is a melancholy reminder of the many US treaties that remain unfulfilled.
With a deadline of November 30, the tribal nation—which includes Lakota, Dakota and Nakota people—was able to raise the $9 million necessary to purchase the 1,942-acre parcel, known as Pe’ Sla, from Leonard and Margaret Reynolds, who canceled a public auction of the property earlier this year after tribal members expressed outrage, AP reports.
“I can tell you that Pe' Sla, the sacred land on behalf of the Oceti Sakowin, is secured," Rosebud Sioux Tribe Chairman Cyril “Whitey” Scott told the Indian Country Media Network, adding, "the $9 million was secured, Pe' Sla has been purchased.”
Many members of the Sioux tribes were opposed to paying for something that originally belonged to them. “It’s like someone stealing my car and I have to pay to get it back,” said Tom Poor Bear, the vice president of the Oglala Lakota Tribe in South Dakota.
Greek schools ‘fertile ground for neo-Nazis’
Schools in crisis-hit Greece are proving fertile ground for Golden Dawn, the neo-Nazi group suspected of orchestrating attacks on migrants whose popularity is on the rise, anti-racism activists warn.
Once a secretive group on the fringe of Greek politics, Golden Dawn picked up over 400,000 votes in a June election dominated by anti-austerity anger.
Capitalising on popular anger with the perceived decades-old corruption of mainstream parties, the group elected 18 lawmakers in the 300-seat Greek parliament and is now the party of choice for one in 10 Greeks, polls show. ...
Artemis Kalogyri, said it was a constant struggle to keep neo-Nazi arguments and behaviour outside the high school in the working class Athens district of Kallithea where she teaches literature.
“Teens are being recruited, particularly those from poor families, and receive a training in theory and paramilitary tactics so that Golden Dawn can pass on the flame,” Kalogyri told a recent anti-racist gathering.
“Most of these youths want to change the world. They see the far-right as the guarantor of Hellenism against the threat of dissolution in which migrants are involved. Most of them want to join the police or the army,” she said.
Michigan police pepper-spray, arrest protesters opposing ‘right to work’ law
Michigan State Police say they were forced to use pepper spray and arrest at least four protesters who were opposing right to work legislation at the Michigan Capitol on Thursday.
Michigan State Police Inspector Gene Adamczyk told the Detroit Free Press that a number of protesters tried to rush the state Senate floor. ...
After initially calling the union-busting right to work legislation “too decisive,” Republican Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday said that he would sign the bill if it came to his desk. The measure is expect to pass because Republicans control both the state Senate and state House. ...
Democratic lawmakers and unions, however, claimed that the bill would lower wages and reduce benefits for workers.
“Gov. Snyder campaigned on a promise of unity, but instead he’s ushering in an era of divisiveness across Michigan by launching an attack against working families,” U.S. Representative Gary Peters said in a statement on Thursday. “By trying to jam this through a lame duck session, Gov. Snyder is trying to prevent voters from seeing how he is dividing Michigan instead of working to ensure the future of our state during this fragile recovery.”
ALEC-inspired, Union-busting Bill Narrowly Passes in Michigan as Koch Group Cheers
Today in Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder and his GOP controlled lame-duck legislature pulled a fast one, introducing and then ramming through the House and the Senate so-called "right to work" legislation. The bill was introduced at 11 a.m., passed the House at 5 p.m. by a narrow margin and the Senate at around 6:00 p.m. When the process is complete and the bill is signed, Michigan will become the 24th right to work state.
people in the Michigan CapitolWhy the rush? The GOP majority felt it might not have the votes once the newly elected legislature was seated in January. The bill is designed so it cannot be repealed by popular referendum.
The Capitol was chaotic today as police peppersprayed protesters and locked down the building, forcing Democrats to seek a court order to get the doors open again. "It's not only anti-worker, its anti-democratic," Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero told MSNBC. ...
Standing tall behind the measure was David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity group, the non-profit organization that bankrolled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's efforts to strip the state's public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights. ... The crowing began early this morning. "Michigan passage of right-to-work legislation will be the shot heard around the world for workplace freedom. A victory over forced unionization in a union stronghold like Michigan would be an unprecedented win on par with Wisconsin that would pave the way for right to work in states across our nation," said Scott Hagerstrom, Michigan director of AFP in a statement.
Nobody In Congress Dares To Close The Trillion Dollar Loophole That Apple, Google And Microsoft Use To Reduce TaxesCheck this article out, there's lots here:
One recurring theme of the fiscal cliff debate is the desire to close certain loopholes in the tax code.
Still, almost nobody in Washington has brought up closing one of the most significant loopholes – the Subpart F corporate tax loophole, which was detailed in a Senate report released in late September. ...
The investigation explains that, to exploit the loophole, a company will "sell" their intellectual property rights to a foreign, controlled company in a tax shelter.
That controlled foreign company gains the profits from domestic and international sales without the burden of American taxation, since the income is considered passive.
The multinational will then occasionally repatriate some of the income through permissible short term loans between the controlled foreign company and the American corporation.
Meanwhile, the main multinational uses the foreign-held corporation as a tax-free bank account.
NYT exposes how corporations have been ripping off state and local governments for billions of dollars
A Times investigation has examined and tallied thousands of local incentives granted nationwide and has found that states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies. The beneficiaries come from virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains.
The cost of the awards is certainly far higher. A full accounting, The Times discovered, is not possible because the incentives are granted by thousands of government agencies and officials, and many do not know the value of all their awards. Nor do they know if the money was worth it because they rarely track how many jobs are created. Even where officials do track incentives, they acknowledge that it is impossible to know whether the jobs would have been created without the aid.
“How can you even talk about rationalizing what you’re doing when you don’t even know what you’re doing?” said Timothy J. Bartik, a senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo, Mich.
The Times analyzed more than 150,000 awards and created a searchable database of incentive spending. The survey was supplemented by interviews with more than 100 officials in government and business organizations as well as corporate executives and consultants.
A portrait arises of mayors and governors who are desperate to create jobs, outmatched by multinational corporations and short on tools to fact-check what companies tell them. Many of the officials said they feared that companies would move jobs overseas if they did not get subsidies in the United States.
Over the years, corporations have increasingly exploited that fear, creating a high-stakes bazaar where they pit local officials against one another to get the most lucrative packages. States compete with other states, cities compete with surrounding suburbs, and even small towns have entered the race with the goal of defeating their neighbors.
Debbie Stabenow is another gigantic flaming pustulent asshole
Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said that cuts to the food stamp program beyond the $4 billion over 10 years included in a Senate-passed farm bill "are something I am willing to talk about." A farm bill passed by the House Agriculture Committee would include $16 billion in cuts over the same amount of time.
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 Dave Brubeck Quartet & Jimmy Rushing - Blues in the dark
Dave Brubeck & Wynton Marsalis - Blues for Newport
Remembering Dave Brubeck with Take Five
B.B King - Jamming with Brubeck
The Dave Brubeck Trio & Gerry Mulligan - Basin Street Blues
Dave Brubeck clip from the film Piano Blues
Dave Brubeck - Hometown blues
Dave Brubeck - Everybody's Jumpin'
Dave Brubeck Quartet - Castilian Blues
B.B. King Ft. Dave Brubeck - The Thrill Is Gone
Dave Brubeck - Travelling Blues
Dave Brubeck: Points on Jazz: III. Blues
Dave Brubeck - Osaka 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