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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.  

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Hey! Good Evening!

Tonight's music features sax player Big Jay McNeely. Enjoy!

Big Jay McNeely - Blow Your Brains Out

“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.”

  -- Plutarch

News and Opinion

Fiscal Cliff Debate: Austerity One Way or Austerity Another Way

Must-read article by Robert Kuttner:
Obama's Fiscal Politics: Snatching Defeat out of the Jaws of Victory

When it comes to the fiscal cliff, the president is in a superb tactical position. Why is he making concessions before he has to?

Yesterday, the White House put out the word that the president was willing to be “flexible” on the question of tax rates for the very top bracket. Specifically, that means the president will accept the Republican idea of getting some of the needed revenue by closing loopholes rather than increasing rates.

The leak of the softening of the Obama bargaining position was first reported by Erskine Bowles—why does he keep turning up like a bad penny?—after meetings with insiders at the White House, and confirmed by administration officials.

This stance is bad policy and dumb tactically. ...

Obama has the Republicans in a superb tactical position. If Congress does nothing, rates rise January 1 for everyone. The Senate has already passed legislation keeping the current rates for the bottom 98 percent. All the Republican House has do to is concur, as Obama has requested. If they don’t, taxes rise for everyone. Why blur that bright line? ...

And it gets worse. The president softened his position at a meeting with corporate CEOs, who have formed the $60 million campaign called “Fix the Debt” to lobby for a deal that cuts Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid but preserves as many of their tax breaks as possible. Every one of these people is in the top bracket.

They are posing as representatives of the public interest, but this is about self-interest.

Robert Reich: Don't listen to Wall Street — taxing the rich is good for the economy

Most New Jobs Don't Require College Education

Quantico Psychiatrist: Military's Mistreatment of Pfc. Manning 'Unprecedented'

The government psychiatrist charged with evaluating Pfc. Bradley Manning during his early detention at the military brig at Quantico told the judge at a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday that his recommendations for the Manning's treatment were repeatedly ignored by the Marine guard unit responsible for him.

Captain William Hoctor, a military forensic psychiatrist with 24 years of experience, testified that he'd never had his advice so studiously ignored by his colleagues and that inmates he performed similar duties for at the Guantanamo detention facility for foreign terror suspects were treated better and with more urgency than Pfc. Manning.

"I had been a senior medical officer for 24 years at the time, and I had never experienced anything like this. It was clear to me they had made up their mind on a certain cause of action, and my recommendations had no impact," Hoctor said.

Julian Assange on WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, Cypherpunks, Surveillance State

Veteran abandoned in Oakland jail with a ruptured spleen, lawsuit claims

A war veteran who claims he was falsely arrested, beaten, and almost died due to neglect in an Oakland prison has launched legal action against the jail, claiming his pleas for help were ignored.

Kayvan Sabeghi, 33, was arrested during an Occupy rally in Oakland, California, in November last year. Video footage shows him being beaten with batons and he suffered a lacerated spleen which his attorney Dan Siegel says almost killed him after he was left without treatment for 18 hours in prison.

Siegel estimated damages in the case will be upwards of $1m but said his main aim was to change the practices at the jail. “The greater concern that he has is that there be some changes at the jail. It’s a big problem that the county has privatised health services in a public jail and that the company that’s doing it is more concerned about making money than providing quality care.”

A private company, Corizon, is hired by the prison authorities to take care of the medical needs of prisoners at Glenn Dyer. Corizon is named as one of the defendants in the suit, along with the county of Alameda, Sheriff Gregory Ahern and an officer at the county sheriff’s office.

Central Park 5: New Film On How Police Abuse, Media Frenzy Led to Jailing Innocent Teens

Anti-drone protesters knocked off course by broad restraining order

Ever since the F16 fighters were replaced by Reaper drones at Hancock Air National Guard base in upstate New York three years ago, peace activists have engaged in regular anti-drone protests outside the facility. In that time they have learned what to expect: holding banners at a site across the road is tolerated; close proximity or blocking gates risks arrest for trespass or disorderly conduct, a fine, or at the most, a few uncomfortable nights in a cell.

But now, in what appears to be a significant escalation by base authorities, the activists have been subjected to what they describe as an "absurd" restraining order which they say breaches their constitutional right to protest.

The order was issued by a judge [PDF] following the arrest of 17 protesters accused of blocking all three base entrances to traffic last month. It bans them specifically from approaching the home, school or workplace of Colonel Earl A Evans, a commander at the base. Failure to comply is a felony, punishable by up to seven years in jail. ...

The arrested protesters, three of whom spoke to the Guardian, said they had never heard of Evans, had never met him and did not know what he looked like. He is the mission support group commander of the 174th fighter wing group, according to court documents.

Neither his home or school address is known to the defendants or detailed in the order, which names his place of work as 6001 East Molloy Road in Dewitt, New York – the military base. They are also banned from all forms of communication with Evans, including by email.

Anwar Al-Awlaki had been in US custody twice before his assassination

US-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, killed in a US drone attack in Yemen last year, had been in US custody at least twice in prior years but was released, a human rights group said.

Judicial Watch, an accountability watchdog group, said it had learned this through Freedom of Information lawsuits it filed with the US government.

It said documents from the US embassy in Yemen, for instance, indicate Awlaqi was held for at least eight months between late 2006 and mid 2007. But the documents do not say how long he was held or why he was he was freed.

Back in October 2002, Awlaqi was detained at New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on a warrant for passport fraud, a felony that can be punished with up to 10 years in jail. ...

In yet another incident, months before Awlaqi was killed in September 2011, the embassy in Yemen was instructed to send Awlaqi a letter urging him to come to the embassy to pick up an important document but not tell him what it was.

In fact, it was simply a revocation of his passport, Judicial Watch said.

Hostess asks judge to approve additional $1.8 million in executive bonuses

Texas-based Hostess Brands Inc. asked a judge on Wednesday to approve an additional $1.9 million in executive bonuses, according to The Associated Press, saying the money is needed to keep top managers on as the company sells off all its assets.

The now-defunct company, which rakes in more than $2.5 billion in annual sales, closed its doors earlier this month amid a strike by its unionized workers who refused to accept wage cuts. Despite still-heavy sales, the company declared bankruptcy twice in recent years as its revenues gradually fell. Many critics blamed the company’s net loss of $1.1 billion in FY 2012 on its failure to diversify into more healthy snacks.

Holy conflict of interest, Batman!
Sec. of State Hopeful Susan Rice Reportedly Holds 600k Stake in Keystone XL Decision

The shoulders on which the Keystone Pipeline XL decision may fall happens to have a half-million dollar stake in the game. Secretary of State hopeful and current U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Susan E. Rice reportedly owns between $300,000 and $600,000 of TransCanada stock. ...

According to full disclosure reports, Rice—the potential arbiter of this grant—reportedly has a third of her significant net worth tied up in oil producers, pipeline operators, and related energy industries.

In addition to the half a million invested in Transcanada, Rice has between $1,250,000 to $1,500,000 of assets in Enbridge Oil which, Scott Dodd writing for OnEarth notes, "spilled more than a million gallons of toxic bitumen into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010—the largest inland oil spill in U.S. history."

Will Your Home Flood?

Sea level analysis website - track sea rise by zipcode

Pastafarians demand equal access to Pennsylvania courthouse holiday display

Pastafarians on Wednesday urged Chester County commissioners in Pennsylvania to include the Flying Spaghetti Monster in the holiday display at the county’s courthouse.

“Good morning commissioners, it is my honor to address you today,” Evangelical Pastafarian Tracy McPherson told the commissioners at a meeting. “Last December as I drove through West Chester, I was pleased to see holiday displays in front of the courthouse. Prominently displayed were the Jewish menorah and the Christian nativity display depicting the birth of Christ. These symbols represent the meaning of the holiday season for two religious communities in our area. I could not help but feel that the display was incomplete, as there was no acknowledgement of my religion present.”

The quasi-religion and its pasta-deity were spawned in 2005, when Bobby Henderson mocked the Kansas Board of Education in an open letter for allowing the teaching of Intelligent Design, a variation of creationism, in public schools. The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has since grown into a full-blown movement, boasting millions of members.

Blog Posts of Interest

Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.
What's Happenin'

Oliver Stones Untold History of the United States S01E01 - World War II

Any Signs of Life at Doha Climate Talks?

Apps that protect you from police brutality

Obama Calls on Citizens to Ask Congress to Slit Their Throats

Has Warren Buffett lost his mind? Dimon for Treasury Sec?

On The Lands of the Navajo, Ancient Ruins, and Our Own Civilization's Imminent Collapse

A Little Night Music

Big Jay McNeely - There Is Something On Your Mind

Big Jay McNeely and Detroit Gary Wiggins - 3D

Big Jay McNeely & The Big Four - Big Fat Mama

Big Jay McNeely - Deacon In Minor

Big Jay McNeely - Pretty Girls Everywhere

Big Jay McNeely - Sad, Sad World

Big Jay McNeely - The Squat

Big Jay McNeely - Funky Bug

Big Jay McNeely with the Ray Collins Hot Club - Insect Ball

Big Jay McNeely - Everybody Loves Somebody

Big Jay McNeely - Minnie

Big Jay McNeely - Peter Gunn Theme

Big Jay Mc Neely - K & H Boogie


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

mood ring 1

Originally posted to DFH writers group on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 05:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Team DFH.


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