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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Hey! Good Evening!
Tonight's music features Roosevelt"Booba" Barnes a delta bluesman and nightclub owner.
Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes - Heart Broken Man
"War is the health of the state."
-- Randolph Bourne
News and Opinion
Do you hear what I hear? Sounds like shoes dropping in the distance...
Turkey responds to Syrian mortar attack, calls on NATO for backupRemember the good old days when the Bill of Rights was still in the Constitution?
Dramatic developments are occurring in regards to the crisis and Civil War in Syria.
Earlier today, neighboring Turkey had said that mortars from Syria, which killed a mother and three children within Turkey, according to multiple reports. The situation has prompted a possible international crisis, as Turkey is a NATO member. ...
Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement that Turkey has shelled selected targets in Syria. ...
The Turkish foreign minister has issued a formal complaint to the United Nations and its secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the need for an emergency meeting of NATO members, the statement said. ...
If the U.S. was looking for an international legal justification for intervening in Syria, it may have just found one.
Obama Appeals Court Appointees Extend Obama's Unconstitutional Indefinite Detention Authority
A federal appeals court has extended a temporary stay of a district court judge's order barring the government from using an indefinite detention provision in a defense bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama late last year.
A three-judge motions panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit issued the order Tuesday afternoon, indicating they saw flaws with the scope and rationale for U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Forrest's original order blocking the disputed provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011.
"We conclude that the public interest weighs in favor of granting the government's motion for a stay," Appeals Court Judges Denny Chin, Raymond Lohier and Christopher Droney wrote in a three-page order that also expedited the appeal.
DHS Fusion Centers fail to provide 'virtually any useful intelligence'
One of the nation’s biggest domestic counterterrorism programs has failed to provide virtually any useful intelligence, according to Congressional investigators.
Their scathing report (PDF download), to be released Wednesday, looked at problems in regional intelligence-gathering offices known as “fusion centers” that are financed by the Department of Homeland Security and created jointly with state and local law enforcement agencies. ...
The investigators reviewed 610 reports produced by the centers over 13 months in 2009 and 2010. Of these, the report said, 188 were never published for use within the Homeland Security Department or other intelligence agencies. Hundreds of draft reports sat for months, awaiting review by homeland security officials, making much of their information obsolete. And some of the reports appeared to be based on previously published information or facts that had long since been reported through the Federal Bureau of Investigation. ...
The investigators also discovered that federal officials cannot account for as much as $1.4 billion in taxpayer money earmarked for fusion centers and that some of the centers listed on paper by the Homeland Security Department do not even exist.
US women may stage hunger strike in Pakistan in anti-drones protest
Not content with a planned march into one of Pakistan's most dangerous regions, a group of middle-aged American women are considering mounting a hunger strike outside the US embassy in Islamabad as part a campaign against CIA drone attacks in the country.
Thirty-five activists from Code Pink, a US anti-war group, have gathered in the Pakistani capital this week as they prepare for an unprecedented march and political rally in South Waziristan, one of the semi-autonomous tribal areas on the Afghan border, which is a hotbed of Taliban militancy. ...
"We are going because we are challenging the Pakistani government to allow us to go to a place that has been off limits but needs to be seen. And if they try to stop us, it will be clear they do not want the world to see what is going on there." ...
The group includes Mary Ann Wright, a former US diplomat and army colonel who condemned her country's covert drone campaign as Barack Obama's "personal execution device", in reference to the US president's weekly meeting at which he is reported to choose targets for missile strikes.
More Than 2 Million Workers Strike in Indonesia
More than 2 million factory workers went on a one-day strike across Indonesia on Wednesday to demand better benefits and protest the hiring of contract workers, union officials said.
The workers want an increase in the minimum wage, health insurance and social security for all employees and a revision of government policies that allow companies to hire temporary workers without benefits, said Yoris Raweyai, chairman of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers' Union.
"We warn the government that we can do worse to the country's economy if they continue ignoring our three main demands," said Said Iqbal, a protest organizer from the Indonesian Workers' Assembly.
Indonesia's Constitutional Court ruled in January that hiring contract laborers is unconstitutional and violates workers' rights.
Debate Commission's Own Hot Topic
Tomorrow, when the curtain rises on the first of three head-to-head debates between President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney, it is Romney who will have the most to gain or lose in what could be some fiery exchanges, most experts agree.
But the organization sponsoring the verbal wrangles has been taking its own share of incoming. The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), which has been organizing the events since 1988, has lost three of the debates' 10 original corporate sponsors in recent days: Philips Electronics, British advertising firm BBH New York, and the YWCA.
The reason? While the CPD maintains it is nonpartisan, its work "may appear to support bi-partisan politics," a Phillips company spokesman said in a statement to Politico. "We respect all points of view and, as a result, want to ensure that Philips doesn’t provide even the slightest appearance of supporting partisan politics." ...
Indeed, the CPD's history indicates that third-party candidates were looked on with disfavor from the beginning. During the three presidential campaigns prior to 1988, the nonpartisan League of Women Voters hosted the debates. But in 1987, the Democratic and Republican parties got together and created the commission, a bipartisan organization that the party chairmen said would strengthen the role of political parties in the election process. The League responded that the new system ceded all control over aspects of the debates to the major party candidates and would "perpetrate a fraud on the American voter."
The Obama TARP fiasco Romney can’t use
If the dynamics of the presidential campaign were different, a book called Bailout by Neil Barofsky would be getting a lot more attention. Barofsky left a post in late 2008 as a top federal financial fraud prosecutor in New York to become the special inspector general overseeing the $700 billion TARP bailout program. He’s written a Mr. Smith-Goes-to-Washington-like account of how even after TARP was turned over to a Democratic administration - in fact more so after the Democrats took over - TARP money was dispensed and TARP rules were written almost completely for the benefit of the bankers who drove America into a ditch.
For example, there’s Barofsky’s blow-by-blow description of how the rules written by the Obama administration for its much-heralded $50 billion program to help homeowners whose mortgages were underwater were so tilted in favor of the banks and against homeowners actually being able to get relief that only $1.4 billion of the $50 billion was dispensed, with few homeowners getting any help. And Barofsky is not writing about compromises the Obama administration had to make with banker-sympathetic Republicans in Congress; this is all about internal decisions that unfailingly seemed to put the needs and mindset of Wall Street above those of Main Street consumers.
A presidential campaign that wanted to call out the Obama administration for being too friendly to Wall Street and the banks at the expense of Main Street would be using Bailout as the cheat sheet that keeps on giving. But with the Romney campaign’s attack coming from the opposite direction - that the president and his team have killed the economy by shackling Wall Street - and with Romney on record in favor of allowing the mortgage crisis to “bottom out” with no government intervention, the former Massachusetts governor and his team have no use for Bailout.
US Business groups want US government to punish Ecuador for pursuing justice against Chevron/Texaco's polluting
“Major U.S. business groups are stepping up pressure on President Barack Obama's administration to suspend longtime trade benefits for Ecuador, citing the Andean country's mistreatment of Chevron Corp as proof of a deteriorating investment climate”, Reuters said September 26.
The alleged mistreatment is "Ecuador's pursing of justice for victims of pollution caused by the activities of oil corporation Texaco (now part of Chevron) in the country. In February last year, an Ecuadorian court ordered Chevron to pay damages for the pollution. Reuters said a court ruling in August raised the total amount to be paid to US$19 billion
The case was filed on behalf of about 30,000 peasants, farmers, and indigenous Ecuadorians who have suffered from the pollution. Nearly 20 billion gallons of polluted water, oil and toxic waste was released into the ecosystem between 1972 and 1990 by Texaco in eastern Ecuador.
The pollution has caused thousands of deaths, cancers, birth defects, large-scale environmental damage and huge economic loss.
Chemical fingerprint of gas links fracking to polluted wells in Pennsylvania
Methane in two Pennsylvania water wells has a chemical fingerprint that links it to natural gas produced by hydraulic fracturing, evidence that such drilling can pollute drinking water.
The data, collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are significant because the composition of the gas --its isotopic signature -- falls into a range Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (COG) had identified as that of the Marcellus Shale, which it tapped through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
“The EPA data falls squarely in the Marcellus space” established by Cabot’s scientists, said Rob Jackson, an environmental scientist at Duke University. That evidence backs up his findings linking gas drilling and water problems in the town of Dimock, applying the very methodology that Cabot established to try to debunk it, he said.
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
Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes - Scratch My Back
Roosevelt Booba Barnes - Love Like I Wanna
Roosevelt Booba Barnes - I'm going back home" & "Bluebird
Roosevelt Barnes - Ain't Goin' To Worry About Tomorrow
Roosevelt 'Booba' Barnes - Blind Man + I pity the fool
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