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 Missourians, who were a talented group that became the house band at the Cotton Club as well as Cab Calloway's band.
The Missourians - Ozark Mountain Blues
“We cannot suffer with the poor when we are unwilling to confront those persons and systems that cause poverty. We cannot set the captives free when we do not want to confront those who carry the keys. We cannot profess our solidarity with those who are oppressed when we are unwilling to confront the oppressor. Compassion without confrontation fades quickly to fruitless sentimental commiseration.”
-- Henri J. M. Nouwen, Donald P. McNeill + Douglas A. Morrison
News and Opinion
Rep.-elect Grayson: Democrats should concede nothing in budget deal
Florida Rep.-elect Alan Grayson (D) on Wednesday night said that Democrats should not concede anything in a grand bargain with Republicans.
“Why talk about caving at all? The Democrats won the election,” he told Current TV host Eliot Spitzer. ...
Grayson insisted Democrats should not accept any budget deal that lowers taxes for the wealthy or cuts Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.“If we go back to the principle that a dollar is a dollar and just because you’re rich, and you get it through capital gains, doesn’t mean you get some sort of special tax break. ... If we go back to the sense that a dollar is a dollar, they’re all green, let’s tax them equally, that itself will go substantially to reduce the deficit. That tax break alone is over $100 billion a year.”
Obama-Boehner 2011 Near-Deal Blueprint for New Debt Talks
The blueprint for a deal to avoid a fiscal nightmare early next year may be found in the failed debt negotiations between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner in mid-2011.
Part of their talks on a $4 trillion deficit-cutting plan included a gradual increase in the Medicare eligibility age to 67 and an alternative yardstick for calculating inflation that would reduce annual Social Security cost-of-living adjustments.
Democratic-leaning interest groups including the AFL-CIO are mobilizing to oppose any cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Still, Obama could use this as a starting point to strike a multitrillion-dollar deal on debt reduction with Republicans, said William Daley, a former White House chief of staff who was at the center of the 2011 negotiations.
“It’s logical that that’s where you’d go back to, the points where there was either agreement or close to an agreement and try to begin there,” he said. The president and Boehner were “80 to 85 percent of the way there” on a debt reduction plan during negotiations to raise the U.S. debt limit in 2011, he said.
Boehner and Obama had settled on the contours of an agreement that included revenue increases, spending cuts and changes to lower the long-term costs of entitlement programs. Before the talks collapsed, Boehner was willing to accept $800 billion in revenue increases and Obama was ready to settle for $1.2 trillion.
New York rations gasoline as electric outages mount
New York announced gasoline rationing Thursday to address a fuel crisis sparked by superstorm Sandy, as tens of thousands more people lost electricity and officials prepared to deploy emergency mobile homes.
Echoing 1970s energy shortages, America’s biggest city and financial capital was to restrict sales starting at 6:00 am (1100 GMT) Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced. He did not say when the measure would end. ...
In the wider New York urban area, as many as 38 percent of stations are out of order, US Department of Energy figures showed.
Petraeus resigns abruptly as CIA Director due to problem with his zipper
CIA Director David Petraeus resigned his post effective immediately in a letter given to President Barack Obama on Friday, citing an unspecified extramarital affair.
“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgement by engaging in an extramarital affair,” he wrote in a CIA memo obtained by NBC News. “Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation.”
Bahrain revokes 31 opposition activists' citizenship
Bahrain's government has revoked the citizenship of 31 opposition activists for "undermining state security". ...
Last week, the government banned all public gatherings and rallies.
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Al Khalifah said "repeated abuse" of the rights to freedom of speech and expression could no longer be accepted.
However, the UN said the restrictions "could aggravate the situation in the country" and urged the government "to lift them without delay". ...
The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) and the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) expressed their "grave concern" at the citizenship move, saying in a joint statement that the authorities had not provided any evidence.
"It is apparent that the action taken by the Bahraini authorities to revoke the citizenships of 31 individuals is intended to punish them for expressing peaceful dissent and thereby intimidate others from exercising their right to freedom of expression," the statement added.
Bank of France warns of recessionThe crisis in
The French economy suffered two setbacks on Friday when the central bank warned of a slight recession and official data said that industrial output fell sharply in September.
France is heading for a slight recession at the end of the year, the Bank of France forecast.
In another gloomy announcement, the statistics institute INSEE reported that industrial output fell by 2.7 percent in September after a jump of 1.9 percent in August and that industrialists were planning further reductions of investment.
The central bank estimated that total output would shrink by 0.1 percent in the last quarter, after an estimated setback of about the same amount in the third quarter.
In the previous three quarters gross domestic product was flat.
Pentagon reporter parrots significant, inflammatory government claims without an iota of skepticism or balanceThe pentagon boys are cooking up a bright future for mankind, global surveillance and domination from space. Naturally, such technologies will only be used for good, since America is Double Plus Good:
Barbara Starr, CNN's Pentagon reporter (more accurately known as: the Pentagon's reporter at CNN), has an exciting exclusive today. Exclusively relying upon "three senior officials" in the Obama administration (all anonymous, needless to say), she claims that "two Iranian Su-25 fighter jets fired on an unarmed US Air Force Predator drone in the Persian Gulf last week," while "the drone was in international airspace east of Kuwait . . . engaged in routine maritime surveillance." The drone was not hit, but, says CNN, "the incident raises fresh concerns within the Obama administration about Iranian military aggression in crucial Gulf oil shipping lanes."
The CNN report on this incident is revealing indeed. Every paragraph - literally - contains nothing but mindless summaries of the claims of US government officials. There is not an iota of skepticism about any of the assertions, including how this incident happened, what the drone was doing at the time, or where it took place. It is pure US government press release - literally; I defy anyone to identify any differences if the US government had issued its own press release directly rather than issuing it masquerading as a leaked CNN report.
Most notably, CNN does not even bother with the pretense of trying to include the claims of the Iranian government about what happened. There is no indication that the self-described news outlet even made an effort to contact Tehran to obtain their rendition of these events or even confirmation that it occurred. It simply regurgitates the accusations of anonymous US officials that Iran, with no provocation, out of the blue decided to shoot at a US drone in international airspace. (Although CNN does not mention it, last December Iran shot down a US drone which, it claims (and the US does not deny) was in Iranian air space).
That CNN's prime mission is to serve the US government is hardly news. But given the magnitude of these kinds of accusations - their obvious ability, if not intent, to bolster animosity on the part of the US public toward Iran and heighten tensions between the two nations - shouldn't CNN at least pretend to be a bit more skeptical and even-handed about how it is reporting these claims? Anonymous Bush officials claim Saddam is reconstituting his nuclear program; anonymous Obama officials claim Iran illegally shot at a US drone for no reason.
Beyond Bayonets and Battleships: Space Warfare and the Future of U.S. Global Power
Although U.S. plans for space warfare remain highly classified, it is possible to assemble the pieces of this aerospace puzzle by trolling the Pentagon’s websites, and finding many of the key components in technical descriptions at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). As early as 2020, the Pentagon hopes to patrol the entire globe ceaselessly, relentlessly via a triple canopy space shield reaching from stratosphere to exosphere, driven by drones armed with agile missiles, linked by a resilient modular satellite system, monitored through a telescopic panopticon, and operated by robotic controls.
Worst Case Climate Projections Likely
Global warming "likely to be on the high side of current projections," according to analysis from National Center for Atmospheric Research scientists
The worst case projections for global warming may be the most likely, according to an analysis from scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
The NASA-funded research by NCAR scientists John Fasullo and Kevin Trenberth was published Thursday in the journal Science.
Fasullo and Trenberth analyzed how 16 leading climate models reproduce observed relative humidity, a major influence on global temperatures, focusing on the subtropics.
"There is a striking relationship between how well climate models simulate relative humidity in key areas and how much warming they show in response to increasing carbon dioxide," said Fasullo. "Given how fundamental these processes are to clouds and the overall global climate, our findings indicate that warming is likely to be on the high side of current projections."
Collapse of Maya civilization tied to drought
A long catastrophic drought led to the collapse of Maya culture, a new study said Thursday, confirming a controversial hypothesis linking its demise to climate change.
The study, published in Friday’s issue of the journal “Science,” involved an international team of researchers.
“The rise and fall of Mayan civilization is an example of a sophisticated civilization failing to adapt successfully to climate change,” said James Baldini of Britain’s Durham University.
“Periods of high rainfall increased the productivity of Maya agricultural systems and led to a population boom and resource overexploitation.”
The progressively drier climate that followed led to the depletion of resources, which in turn sparked political destabilization and war, he noted in a statement.
Then, “after years of hardship, a nearly century-long drought from 1020 sealed the fate of the Classic Maya,” Baldini added.
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 Missourians - Market Street Stomp
Cab Calloway - Nobody's Sweetheart
Cab Calloway - The Viper's Drag
The Missourians - Prohibition Blues
The Missourians - Swingin' Dem Cats
The Missourians - Stoppin' The Traffic
The Missourians - Scotty Blues
The Missourians - You'll Cry For Me, But I'll Be Gone
The Missourians - I've Got Someone
The Missourians - Missouri Moan
The Missourians - 400 Hop
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