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.
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Tonight's music features Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup whose songs helped launch the career of that Elvis guy.
Arthur Crudup - That's All Right
"With 300 million possible entrants in the race, how did we end up with two guys who would both refuse to bring a single case against a Wall Street bank during a period of epic corruption? How did we end up with two guys who refuse to repeal the carried-interest tax break? How did we end with two guys who supported a vast program of bailouts with virtually no conditions attached to them? Citigroup has had so many people running policy in the Obama White House, they should open a branch in the Roosevelt Room. It's not as bad as it would be in a Romney presidency, but it comes close."
-- Matt Taibbi
News and Opinion
Striking Greeks Retake Streets: 'No to Troika's Austerity!'
As a general strike took hold across Greece on Wednesday, tens of thousands gathered in central Athens and marched on parliament as the conservative-led coalition government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras receives its first taste of large-scale popular unrest in response to its push for deeper austerity cuts designed to satisfy EU and IMF lenders.
The people, mostly union workers, shouted "We won't submit to the troika!" and "EU, IMF Out!" ...
The general strike was called by the country's biggest private sector unions, the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) and the union of civil servants (ADEDY). Backing the day of demonstrations were members of the KKE communist party and the leftist coalition of SYRIZA.
The rally marched past Athens' central Syntagma square to parliament to protest where specific ire was focused on a new plan to cut nearly $15 billion from wages, pensions and welfare benefits.
University of California settles pepper spray suit for $1 million
University officials in California have agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit over a pepper-spraying incident last year that came to symbolize law enforcement aggression against anti-Wall Street protesters, attorneys said on Wednesday. ...
Under the terms of the settlement filed in court on Wednesday, each of the 21 students and recent graduates from the campus who sued University of California regents over the November 2011 incident will get $30,000 and a personal apology from UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi.
U.S. income gap between rich, poor hits new high
The U.S. poverty rate leveled off last year for the first time since the Great Recession, but the halting recovery deepened the financial pain for middle-class families and pushed to a new high the income gap between the country's richest and poorest citizens.
The number and share of people living in poverty was essentially unchanged from 2010 levels. That ended four straight years of increases, though not in California, where the rate rose to a 16-year high, the Census Bureau said Wednesday.
There was no relief for the average American: The median household income, after adjusting for inflation, dropped 1.5% in 2011 from the previous year to $50,054. That is now 8.1% lower than in 2007, when the recession began late that year.
The biggest hit fell on the middle- and lower-income groups, while upper-end households saw their incomes essentially unchanged.
Gloomy Prognosis: US Has Set Fuse for Prolonged Afghan Civil War
With all foreign troops due to leave Afghanistan just two years from now, the news out of the Central Asian nation is becoming increasingly gloomy.
Adding to the pessimism is a just-released report by one of the most astute observers of the U.S. war, Gilles Dorronsoro, an Afghanistan expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP), who, among other things, predicts that the regime in Kabul “will most probably collapse in a few years” given current trends.
“Political fragmentation, whether in the form of militias or the establishment of sanctuaries in the north, is laying the ground work for a long civil war” that is likely to be fueled by competition among regional powers, according to his report, which also joined the call by a growing number of experts for Washington to open negotiations with the Taliban as soon as possible.
Gary Johnson Files Anti-Trust Lawsuit Against Commission on Presidential Debates, DNC, RNC
In an unexpected, and– some commentators have said– unprecedented legal maneuver, the Gary Johnson campaign is suing the Commission on Presidential Debates, the Democratic National Committee, and the Republican National Committee on anti-trust grounds, alleging that the three private organizations have conspired in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act to limit competition, causing material injury to the American electorate and the Gary Johnson campaign.
The Commission on Presidential Debates is a private, non-profit organization founded in 1987 by the Republican and Democratic parties. Part of the Johnson campaign’s argument is that the Libertarian Party ticket will be on the November ballot in forty-seven states, enough to conceivably secure the 270 electoral college votes necessary to win the presidential election. The campaign accuses the CPD and the two national party committees of illegal collusion to exclude it from the presidential debates.
Bacon shortage ‘unavoidable’ as record drought raises feed costs
Record droughts in the US and Russia are threatening to curtail the world’s bacon supply, farmers in the US and Europe are warning.
So dire is the situation that a world shortage of pork and bacon is “unavoidable” next year, according to Britain’s National Pig Association. And in the US farmers predict pork prices will hit new highs in 2013 as farmers cut back on production due to soaring feed costs. ...
In the US the cost of bringing home the bacon has almost doubled since 2006, according to economist Steve Meyer at Paragon Economics, and an adviser to the National Pork Producers Council. Consumption is falling as less pork is produced and prices rise, down from 50.8lbs per person per year in 2007 to a predicted 44.16lbs in 2013.
Climate change slowing down world economy, ‘most savage impact is hunger and poverty’
Climate change caused by global warming is slowing down world economic output by 1.6 percent a year and will lead to a doubling of costs in the next two decades, a major new report said.
The DARA and Climate Vulnerable Forum report, which was commissioned by 20 governments and is due to be presented on Wednesday in New York, paints a grim picture of the economic fallout of climate change. ...
Key findings include estimates that carbon-intensive economies and associated climate change are responsible for five million deaths a year, nearly all of them due to air pollution.
Direct Action Continues: Tar Sands Activists Thwart Pipeline Progress - Second day of nonviolent direct action by Tar Sands Blockade in Texas brings TransCanada's work to a stand-still
Activists in Texas with Tar Sands Blockade have continued their second day of nonviolent resistance to TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline by chaining themselves to the company's equipment.
8 activists continue their tree sit-in begun Monday near Winnsboro,Texas to stop TransCanada's massive tree cutting machinery from bulldozing a path for the tar sands pipeline and are prepared to stay as long as necessary to stop the pipeline, they say. ...
“The risk of inaction is far greater than the risk of taking action – even risky action like this,” adds Ron Seifert, a Tar Sands Blockade spokesperson. “We are committed to undertaking a campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience to stop construction of Keystone XL, and Tar Sands Blockade will continue to protect the Winnsboro tree village. It is a symbol of all the homes and families crudely threatened by this tar sands pipeline. Sometimes, one must simply stand one’s ground in the face of eminent threats like those posed by this dangerous pipeline in order protect the health and safety of their families, loved ones, and that of their neighbors.”
TransCanada Turns Sadistic in Texas: Keystone XL Protestors Tased and Pepper Sprayed
Here's the story from this morning, as it's been emerging from a flurry of emails and tweets:A plain-clothes police officer was among the aggressive officers to implement torture tactics. He put [Benjamin] Franklin in a chokehold cutting off his breathing, and bent him over backwards in an attempt to make him pass out. Franklin reports difficulty swallowing because of bruises sustained to his esophagus.
The most physically aggressive was the ranking officer, a Lieutenant with the Wood County Sheriff Department under the observation of TransCanada employees. He twisted and contorted the tube that [Shannon] Bebe and Franklin had locked their arms into, cutting off circulation to their hands and cutting abrasions into their hands and forearms. ...
After the pepper spray didn't work the police again conferred with TransCanada employees before sending someone back to the police car to bring a taser. Franklin and Bebe were each tased for one second. Then Franklin was tased for 5 entire seconds. He described the pain as immense and almost physically unbearable.
Afterwards, John, the senior TransCanada supervisor openly congratulated the aggressive Sheriffs Department Lieutenant on a "job well done." To which the Lieutenant replied: "if this happens again we'll just skip to using pepper spray and tasing in the first 10 minutes."
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
Arthur Crudup - My Baby Left Me
Arthur Crudup - Born into the Blues
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup - Mean Ol' Frisco Blues
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup - Rock me Mama
Arthur Crudup (Elmer James) - Gonna Find My Baby
Arthur Big Boy Crudup - My Mama Don't Allow
Arthur Crudup & Sons - Greyhound Bus
Arthur Crudup - Who's Been Foolin' You
Arthur Crudup - Standing At My Window
Arthur Crudup - I'm gonna dig myself a hole
Arthur Crudup - So glad you're mine
Arthur Crudup - If I get lucky
Arthur Crudup - She's got no hair
We are ready for some serious change. We are ready to take up the tools of a free and analytic press to peacefully undermine the stranglehold of the kleptocrats on our battered democracy. We are ready to expose and publicize their greed, lies and illegal machinations and hold their enablers in government and the media to account. Are you in?
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
~ Margaret Mead