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!
This evening's music features possibly America's funkiest saxophone player, who played with James Brown in the 60's (and on many of his hits from that era) and P-Funk in the 70's, Maceo Parker. Enjoy!
Maceo Parker - Shake Everything You've Got
“Assassination is the extreme form of censorship."
-- George Bernard Shaw
News and Opinion
Obama's "New" Brennan Confirmation Strategy : Cave to Repubs, Tell Dems, "STFU and Vote!"
Do you wonder if Dems and Progressives will ever get tired enough of this crap to do something?
White House Tactic for C.I.A. Bid Holds Back Drone Memos
The White House is refusing to share fully with Congress the legal opinions that justify targeted killings, while maneuvering to make sure its stance does not do anything to endanger the confirmation of John O. Brennan as C.I.A. director.
Rather than agreeing to some Democratic senators’ demands for full access to the classified legal memos on the targeted killing program, Obama administration officials are negotiating with Republicans to provide more information on the lethal attack last year on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, according to three Congressional staff members.
The strategy is intended to produce a bipartisan majority vote for Mr. Brennan in the Senate Intelligence Committee without giving its members seven additional legal opinions on targeted killing sought by senators and while protecting what the White House views as the confidentiality of the Justice Department’s legal advice to the president. It would allow Mr. Brennan’s nomination to go to the Senate floor even if one or two Democrats vote no to protest the refusal to share more legal memos.
Can a President Use Drones Against Journalists?
In thinking about drones strikes and targeted killings, it can be instructive to picture them hitting people you know, either deliberately or as collateral damage. Doing so may not even be much of a stretch, nor should it be. (It’s already the case for people living in parts of Pakistan and Yemen.) Last week, I moderated a live chat on the ethics of drone warfare with Michael Walzer, the author of “Just and Unjust Wars”; Jeff McMahan, a professor of philosophy at Rutgers, who has also written about just-war theory; and The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, who is a master of the subject. The discussion took some interesting turns, touching on the idea of a secret committee that the President would be asked to check with before killing an American and the question of whether China would ever assert the right to call in a drone strike on a dissident living in San Francisco. After Walzer and McMahan suggested some criteria for strikes—criminality, risk of American lives—I asked them this:Doesn’t a journalist working abroad who is about to release classified information about a war crime—thus committing a crime—that will provoke retribution or a break with allies—endangering Americans—fit this definition of a target?
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham: Drone strikes have killed 4,700 people
A US senator has said an estimated 4,700 people, including some civilians, have been killed in bombing raids conducted under America’s secretive drone war, local media reported Wednesday.
The toll from hundreds of drone-launched missile strikes against suspected Al-Qaeda militants in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere has remained a mystery, as US officials refuse to publicly discuss any details of the covert campaign.
But Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch supporter of drone use, openly cited a number that exceeds some independent estimates of the toll.
“We’ve killed 4,700,” Graham was quoted as saying by the Easley Patch, a local website covering the small town of Easley in South Carolina.
“Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we’re at war, and we’ve taken out some very senior members of Al-Qaeda,” Graham reportedly told the Easley Rotary Club.
End Endless War and Stop Becoming “the Evil That We Deplore”
Congress waited six years to repeal the Tonkin Gulf Resolution after it opened the bloody floodgates for the Vietnam War in August 1964.
If that seems slow, consider the continuing failure of Congress to repeal the “war on terror” resolution—the Authorization for Use of Military Force—that sailed through, with just one dissenting vote, three days after 9/11.
Prior to casting the only “no” vote, Congresswoman Barbara Lee spoke on the House floor. “As we act,” she said, “let us not become the evil that we deplore.”
We have. That’s why, more than 11 years later, Lee’s prophetic one-minute speech is so painful to watch. The “war on terror” has inflicted carnage in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and elsewhere as a matter of routine. Targets change, but the assumed prerogative to kill with impunity remains.
Now, Rep. Lee has introduced H.R. 198, a measure to repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force. (This week, several thousand people have already used a RootsAction.org special webpage to email their Senators and House members about repealing that “authorization” for endless war.) Opposed to repeal, the Obama administration is pleased to keep claiming that the 137-month-old resolution justifies everything from on-the-ground troops in combat to drone strikes and kill lists to flagrant abrogation of civil liberties.
End the AUMF - Repeal the "War on Terror"
After more than 11 years the Authorization for Use of Military Force -- the congressional resolution that launched the "war on terror" -- has not been repealed.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee has introduced a bill (HR 198) to repeal it.
Three more states consider rebelling against Citizens United ruling
Resolutions condemning the Supreme Court’s controversial Citizens United ruling have been introduced to the state legislatures of North Carolina, West Virginia, and New Hampshire.
The three pieces of symbolic legislation — SJR 109 in North Carolina, HR 9 in West Virginia, and HR 7 in New Hampshire — all call on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to reverse the 2010 decision and limit money in politics. ...
The North Carolina and West Virginia resolutions were both filed on Tuesday. The New Hampshire resolution was filed in January.
More than 350 cities and 11 states have called on Congress to overturn the ruling, according to the advocacy group Public Citizen. Prominent Democrats such as President Barack Obama and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have also called for the ruling to be overturned with a constitutional amendment.
Activists say Congress most hostile to environment it’s been in 40 years
The last Congress was the most hostile to environmental causes in 40 years, the League of Conservation Voters said on Wednesday in its annual report card on members’ voting patterns.
The findings follow dozens of votes in the House to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority, defund climate science education, weaken drinking water standards, open up the Arctic for drilling, remove protections for endangered sea turtles and fast-track theKeystone XL pipeline project, among other issues.
The House of Representatives, controlled by Republicans and taking its lead from Tea Party conservatives, hit a new low of 42% on the group’s rating system.
The Senate, where Democrats cling to a slim majority, did better with a 56% score.
But in a conference call with reporters, the League was scathing about voting patterns in the House, accusing Republicans of systematically blocking action on climate change or other environmental concerns, even during last year’s extreme storms and record drought.
“The best that can be said about this session of the 112th Congress is that it’s over,” the group’s president, Gene Karpinski, said on the conference call.
Estonia launches national car-charging networkBig crooks get special deals from Obama's Department of Justice:
165 charging points around the country will use direct current to charge cars in less than 30 minutes
Estonia’s reputation as one of the most wired-up countries in Europe has been boosted further with the opening of what is being billed as the world’s first nationwide electric car charging network.
The sparsely populated Baltic state with a population of just 1.3 million hopes the 165 “fast chargers” will overcome the “chicken and egg” problem facing the take-up of electric cars worldwide.
The network of charging points, which was opened officially on Wednesday but has been running for several months, uses direct current (DC) to charge cars in less than 30 minutes, rather than the alternating current (AC) technology used by most of the UK’s more than 3,000 points which can take up eight hours to recharge a car’s battery.
There are believed to be around 650 electric cars in Estonia, more than 500 of which were Mitsubishi i-MiEVs given to social workers by the government in 2011.
Justice Department deal reduces BP's Deepwater Horizon fine by $3.4bn
The case was set to be the costliest to date for BP, which has already spent billions on cleanup costs, and settling thousands of claims arising from the 2010 disaster.
But the oil company got a break when the Justice Department agreed not to hold BP accountable for 800,000 barrels of oil which were captured at the site of the broken well.
District judge Carl Barbier, who is hearing the case in New Orleans, accepted the agreement on Tuesday night. "The 'collected oil' … never came into contact with any ambient sea water, and was not released to the environment in any way," he said in the ruling.
The deal reduces BP's potential exposure to the civil trial from $21bn to $17.6bn.
Tell Obama: Reject Keystone XL & Stop Golfing With Big Oil!
On the same weekend that 40,000 people gathered on the Mall in Washington to protest construction of the Keystone Pipeline -- to its critics, a monument to carbon-based folly -- President Obama was golfing in Florida with a pair of Texans who are key oil, gas and pipeline players. ...
But on his first “guys weekend" away since he was reelected, the president chose to spend his free time with Jim Crane and Milton Carroll, leading figures in the Texas oil and gas industry, along with other men who run companies that deal in the same kinds of carbon-based services that Keystone would enlarge. They hit the links at the Floridian Yacht and Golf Club, which is owned by Crane and located on the Treasure Coast in Palm City, Fla.
Blog Posts of Interest
Here are diaries and selected blog posts of interest on DailyKos and other blogs.What's Happenin'
Nick Turse: Kill Anything That Moves (podcast)
A Little Night Music
Maceo Parker - Cold Sweat
Maceo Parker - Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On"
Maceo Parker - Pass The Peas
Maceo Parker - Uptown Up
Maceo Parker - Advanced Funk
Maceo Parker - Blow Your Brains Out
Maceo Parker - Gimme Some More
Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis - Roots Revisited - Germany 1991
James Brown - Get On The Good Foot
James Brown - Say It Loud
James Brown - Sex Machine
Parliament Funkadelic - Standing On the Verge of Gettin' It On
Maceo Parker - Blues For Shorty Bill
It's National Pie Day!
The election is over, it's a new year and it's time to work on real change in new ways... and it's National Pie Day. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to tell you a little more about our new site and to start getting people signed up.
Come on over and sign up so that we can send you announcements about the site, the launch, and information about participating in our public beta testing.
Why is National Pie Day the perfect opportunity to tell you more about us? Well you'll see why very soon. So what are you waiting for?! Head on over now and be one of the first!