Saturday, July 18, 2020

5 great tracks from Cat Power

Here are five great Cat Power videos.

1) "The Greatest"

As I noted in "5 songs to check out," Cat does an amazing live version of "The Greatest" on Jools Holland's show.  THE GREATEST is probably still my favorite Cat Power album.

2) "Lived In Bars"

That's another great song from Cat's THE GREATEST and that's also a video she made for the song.  She doesn't make a lot of videos that aren't just recordings of live performances.

3) "Maybe Not"

My third favorite Cat album is YOU ARE FREE.  "Maybe Not" is from FREE as is "I Don't Blame You" (I noted "I Don't Blame You" in the "5 songs to check out" post last time).

4) "Stay"

Cat covers Rihanna's "Stay" on her latest album WANDERER.  That is my second favorite Cat album.

5) "Wanderer/Exit"

That's also from WANDERER which is her most recent album.


Cat Power doing an NPR Tiny Desk Concert in 2019.

For more on music this week, please see Kat's posts:

  • Stevie Nicks, SOLID GOLD, Tina Turner, Madonna, Ray Parker Jr., Marilyn McCoo, Dionne Warwick, Shannon and Laura Branigan
  • Tina's remixed "What's Love Got To Do With It" drops Friday
  • Who's a singer I miss?

  • "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
    Friday, July 17, 2020.  This morning, we look at the race for the US presidency.

    Starting in the US with the presidential race.  Last Saturday, Howie Hawkins became the latest official candidate when he won the Green Party's presidential nomination.

    Of winning the nomination, his campaign notes:

    Today, Howie Hawkins was nominated by the Green Party of the United States for president of the United States. Hawkins has selected Angela Walker as his running mate as the vice presidential nominee.
    Hawkins thanked the Green Party for its support and said “Our campaign will reach out to the tens of millions of voters who are not represented by the two parties of the millionaires and billionaires, to the independent voters who have rejected both parties and to the ‘hold your nose’ voters who reluctantly vote for candidates they do not like, from political parties they do not trust.”
    Hawkins is a retired Teamster from Syracuse, NY with long experience in popular movements on civil rights, environmentalism and opposition to war and imperialism. He is joined by Vice Presidential candidate Angela Walker, a veteran working-class activist with decades of experience, starting from her youth, working for racial and economic justice in social movements, unions, and as an independent socialist candidate. Howie and Angela are running to put two workers in the White House at a time when workers are underpaid, mistreated and not provided the essentials needed for economic security.
    “The US is a bi-partisan failed state. We need real solutions to the life-or-death problems we face: Covid-19, racism, economic inequality, climate change and the new nuclear arms race,” said Hawkins. “The mishandling of the COVID pandemic has resulted in more than 135,000 deaths. The collapse of the economy has 47.2 percent of working-age people without work while the bi-partisans are bailing out their wealthy friends and families. The people are rising up against racism and police violence but Trump and Biden respond with violence. Neither party will confront the climate crisis but instead continue building fossil fuel infrastructure that heighten the crisis. And, the nuclear arms race is escalating while never-ending wars continue.”
    Hawkins/Walker are running on a platform that includes 
    • To address systemic racism, we call for democratic community control of the police, legal adult use of marijuana and  ending the war on drugs, and reparations for African Americans. As a down-payment on reparations, we call for a Marshall Plan for the cities – sustained federal investment in jobs, schools, homes and healthcare to rebuild the racially oppressed communities who suffer from generations of discrimination and exploitation.
    • For Covid-19, our campaign demands a federal test, trace, and isolate program and emergency protection of people’s incomes, employment, homes, and healthcare during the crisis. Pandemic policy should be based on science-based public health measures.
    • The Ecosocialist Green New Deal will create 30 million good-paying jobs so a federal jobs guarantee becomes the engine for getting out of the economic collapse. And, it puts in place policies consistent with climate science to transition to a clean, sustainable energy economy by 2030.
    • An Economic Bill of Rights that ends poverty and economic despair through a living wage job, an income above the poverty level, lifelong public education, comprehensive healthcare,affordable housing and a secure retirement. 
    • Improved Medicare for all with a community-based national health service is the path to providing high quality healthcare to everyone in the United States. This transforms healthcare from an approach designed to create profits for a few into one that  guarantees healthcare to everyone.
    Angela Walker, who ran for vice president with the Socialist Party in 2016, said “Voters are confronted with a choice of two unpopular candidates backed by capitalist parties who put the 1% first. We must break this cycle because most of us are not in a position of privilege to afford the so-called lesser evil.”
    Howie and Angela immediately challenged Trump and Biden to debates. Hawkins said “I am ready to debate Trump and Biden on these issues, but are they ready to debate me? Trump likes to attack socialists but does he have the courage to debate a real socialist? The Democratic and Republican owned Commission on Presidential Debates sounds like a government agency but is in fact a private corporation designed to keep their competition out.”
    The Green Party presently has ballot access in 25 states including D.C., and is in the process of seeking ballot access in all 50 states. The party is already qualified in states with over 300 Electoral College votes, enough to win the election.

    Howie joins Joseph Kishore (SEP candidate), Gloria La Riva (Party of Socialism and Liberation, Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian Party) as official nominees running for the US presidency.  Donald Trump is the presumed nominee for the Republican Party and Joe Biden is the presumed nominee for the Democratic Party but those are presumed nominations and not yet official ones.

    Kanye West is a rapper, a fashion designer, a social influencer and so much more.  He's also spending money to go for an independent presidential run.  Ben Jacobs (NEW YORK) reports:

    On July 4, Kanye West tweeted that he was running for president. It was treated as one of his typical grandiloquent pronouncements. The tweet sparked a lot of opinion pieces, cable news segments, and even a question in an Oval Office interview with Donald Trump. But most people brushed it off. In a follow-up interview with Forbes, West pledged, if elected, to run the White House like the nation of Wakanda from Black Panther. That remark seemed to reinforce the notion that this was just a lark. After all, West had previously compared himself to figures varying from God to Willy Wonka without attempting to establish the Kingdom of Heaven or manufacture an Everlasting Gobstopper.
    But this time may — at least for a moment — be different. According to multiple campaign professionals who spoke with Intelligencer, West took early steps last week toward getting his name on the ballot in Florida and other states as a third-party candidate running against Joe Biden and Donald Trump.
    On Wednesday, July 8, around the time West tweeted and deleted an image of a fetus at the six-month mark of gestation with the caption “these souls deserve to live,” I was connected with a source who had been approached to work for the rapper’s presidential campaign. The source, who asked not to be named, was a political operative who had experience in this kind of work. I was extremely skeptical — but after talking with this person and others, I was convinced that West (or someone close to him) was at least toying with a real-life plan to build a campaign operation.
    The source had been approached about going to Florida on West’s behalf to help gather the signatures needed to make the ballot in the state by the July 15 deadline. This person was offered $5,000 for the week’s work. In order to qualify for the ballot in the Sunshine State, West would need to gather 132,781 valid signatures from Florida voters in less than a week.

    Below is Kanye West's "The Glory" from his 2007 album GRADUATION (he samples Laura Nyro's "Save The Country").

    And what will the hapless U.S. voter be faced with come November? The incumbent, President Donald Trump, lives in a fantasy world of his own, declaring that the U.S. has overcome the coronavirus problem, even as tens of thousands of new cases are reported every day. As the U.S. seems to finally be facing its racism problem (please don’t expect any major legislation to address it; the will of the people is hardly forefront in the eyes of those they elect to represent them), Trump calls the Black Lives Matter movement ‘a symbol of hate’. He continues to proclaim how he has done whatever better than anyone has ever done it before, and that he knows more about whatever than anyone else. He apparently doesn’t even have a nodding acquaintance with reality, let alone an intimate relationship with it.
    And then there is Joe Biden, a man who has been around the Washington establishment for decades and is a charter member of it. An aging Zionist with a knack for misspeaking, it’s possible that Trump will annihilate him in the debates, simply because, unlike the president he served as vice-president under, he can barely speak.
    Barack Obama was forty-seven when he was inaugurated; Trump, to date, is the oldest person ever to become president, and Biden would take that crown from him should he be elected. Is there no one in the U.S. qualified to be president who isn’t an old white man? Howie Hawkins of the Green Party is sixty-seven, and Gloria La Riva, 65: mere children by comparison.
    A Biden presidency will bring in some changes, but some things will remain the same: hostility towards the government of Venezuela; restricted health care; carte blanche for Israel to steamroll over international law and human rights; Black lives not mattering in the U.S., and U.S. bombs dropping onto innocent people all over the world.
    When the U.S. citizenry recognizes the power it has at the ballot box, and rejects the candidates of the two major parties, real change will finally happen. However, it is not to be looked for in 2020.

    One of Robert Fatinia's issues is the fate of the Palestinians.  Gloria La Riva issued the following statement

    Gloria La Riva Condemns Israeli Annexation Plan Calls for Solidarity with Palestinian People and End to U.S. Aid to Israel

    Gloria protests former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at protest in San Francisco.

    I strongly condemn Israel’s planned annexation of much of the West Bank and I demand an end to U.S.aid to the state of Israel. I also call for an immediate end to the annual gift of $3.8 billion in military aid to Israel, an highly militarized state, the only one in the Middle East that possesses nuclear weapons. The U.S. government also provides Israel with billions more in loan guarantees and assistance.
    In the midst of a deadly pandemic, tens of millions of people have lost jobs, housing, health care and more. While severely cutting food stamps at a time of rapidly growing hunger, the Trump administration is sending billions to fund the brutal occupation and repression of the oppressed Palestinian people.
    Trump, while promoting the worst neo-Nazi, racist and anti-Semitic elements, simultaneously pretends that his support for Israel is based on sympathy with Jewish people! Through the backing of Israel’s annexation of Syrian land in the Golan Heights, the moving of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and the so- called “Deal of the Century,” the Trump administration had given a green light to Israel to seize much of the West Bank. The worldwide uprising against racism, however, caused the administration to block Israel – at least temporarily – from annexing 30% or more of the West Bank.
    As despicable as Trump and his cohorts are, it would be wrong to see the support for Israel and its anti-Palestinian apartheid system as just a Republican project. In fact, going back to the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and the driving out of most of the Palestinian population, the Democratic Party has been the main supporter of vast military, economic and diplomatic support for Israel.
    Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate for President supported every form of aid to Israel in his 36 years as a U.S. Senator and eight years as vice-president.
    Neither the Democrat nor Republican leaders’ support for Israel has anything to do with sympathy for Jewish people. They view Israel as a vital extension of U.S. military power in a key strategic region of the world. Israel’s wars against Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian people were also proxy wars against countries and movements viewed as enemies by Washington.
    My campaign, the La Riva for President 2020 Campaign, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation, we express our full solidarity with the people of Palestine, and the various ongoing movements to bring mass attention to their struggle for emancipation, such as the international call for BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions). My campaign calls for no annexation and supports true self-determination for the Palestinian people including the right of return to their stolen homeland for all Palestinian refugees.”

    Ballot access is a huge issue in any election.  Kanye is attempting to get ballot access currently.  Joseph Kishore has been before the courts arguing for ballot access in Michigan.  Jo Jorgesen noted the issue of ballot access yesterday:

    RICHMOND, Va., July 16, 2020 —  U.S. District Court Judge John A. Gibney, Jr. for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled on Wednesday to ease the signature requirement for “third-party” presidential candidates, in light of the difficulty of petitioning presented by the COVID-19 pandemic along with other constraints imposed by local and state governments.
    Judge Gibney granted a 50-percent reduction in the signature requirement. Parties must now collect 2500, rather than 5000, signatures by August 21 in order to have their presidential candidate placed on the Nov. 3 ballot in Virginia.
    Virginia’s Phase 3 guidelines for social distancing strongly encourage people to “maintain six feet of physical distance when outside of home.”
    “While Libertarians are grateful for the reduction, we continue to feel it is unreasonable to insist on in-person signature requirements during a pandemic,” said Libertarian Party (LP) of Virginia Chair Nick Dunbar. “We will continue to work with the Virginia Board of Elections and the State Assembly to develop a contactless ballot-qualification method.”
    Dunbar noted that the 50-percent reduction granted by Judge Gibney is less generous than was the 65-percent reduction granted to a Republican U.S. Senate candidate earlier this year.
    Despite the difficulty, Dunbar expects Libertarians to meet the new requirement and place Dr. Jo Jorgensen, the Libertarian candidate for president, on the ballot.
    “This is an important step toward ensuring that more than five million voters in Virginia can vote their conscience this fall,” said Dr. Jorgensen, who advocates a far smaller government; much lower taxes; competitive, low-cost health care; and an end to U.S. involvement in foreign wars.
    On Monday, Dunbar presented testimony, along with representatives for the Constitution and Green Parties, regarding the obstacles to petitioning they faced this season and the resultant projections of signatures they expect to collect, based on past petitioning efforts.
    Almost two dozen alternative-party voters, practicing social distancing and wearing masks, watched the testimony as Judge Gibney considered pro and con arguments. He cited First Amendment rights and other considerations in support of lessening the requirement for this election cycle.

    Still on ballot access, Alan Gilman (WSWS) reports:

    On Wednesday. the Socialist Equality Party’s candidates for United States president and vice-president, Joseph Kishore and Norissa Santa Cruz, filed a set of legal documents responding comprehensively to the arguments made by California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom and Secretary of State Alex Padilla.
    The SEP’s lawsuit was filed on June 30 in federal court in California against Newsom and Padilla, challenging the state’s continued enforcement of a requirement that candidates gather 200,000 physical signatures between April and August in order to gain access to the November statewide ballot.
    The lawsuit argues that this requirement is “effectively impossible” to meet “in light of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and the state’s countermeasures to it.”
    The SEP candidates, who are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, argue that had their supporters attempted to publicly petition to obtain signatures for ballot access, they would have severely jeopardized not only their own health and lives, but those of the public as well.
    The SEP candidates are arguing that since California refuses to provide any practical way for them to participate in the elections, in violation of their democratic and constitutional rights, the judge should order their names placed directly onto the November ballot.
    On July 12, the California attorney general’s office, which represents Newsom and Padilla, filed its opposition to the SEP candidates’ request.

    Getting media attention can be almost as hard as getting ballot access if you're not part of the corporate duopoly system.  Jo Jorgesen spoke last week with THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER's TALKING PREPS about sports and politics during the pandemic.

    Also noting the pandemic is Joseph Kishore who Tweeted.

    Toledo autoworkers demand immediate shutdown of production, as #coronavirus cases spiral out of control. "Everyone in there has been exposed... We are informing each other on Facebook. We are doing it ourselves" because the UAW is doing nothing.

    On the coronavirus, KURDISTAN 24 reports:

    On Thursday, the Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Health announced 151 new coronavirus infections, 118 recoveries, and 11 fatalities over the previous 24 hours.
    In its daily COVID-19 statement, the ministry reported that 138 individuals have been quarantined in the same period of time, making a total of 1,721 now in quarantine in 24 different locations in the region, the statement also added that 1,729 tests have been conducted in the same period.
    According to the most recent government data released to the public, 151 of these tests came back positive, 108 in Sulaimani province, 24 in Erbil, 13 in Halabja, and 6 in Dohuk.
    The health ministry statement also pointed out that 118 patients had recovered over the past day and that the total number of coronavirus infections in the autonomous region so far has reached 10,265.
    At the same time, the Iraqi government’s High National Health and Safety Committee in Baghdad announced earlier on Thursday that it was lifting some of current pandemic restrictions across the country, including allowing airports to reopen on July 23.
    Also on Thursday, the federal Ministry of Health and Environment reported that there were currently 28,000 actives cases of the highly-infectious disease across the nation as well as 2,000 new infections and 90 deaths in the past day.

    Jean-Yves Le Drian is visiting Iraq.  AP notes, "France''s foreign minister warned of the persistent threat from the Islamic State group in a visit to Iraq on Thursday, his first official trip outside the European Union since the coronavirus pandemic erupted.  Jean-Yves Le Drian met with his Iraqi counterpart, Fuad Hussein, in Baghdad; the two discussed a broad range of subjects, from IS prisoners of French origin held in Iraqi jails, to the continuing threat posed by IS militants and France''s ongoing investment projects in the country. "  FAMAGUSTA GAZETTE adds, "During his visit, Le Drian and his accompanying delegation met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi in the Green Zone in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, where the two sides discussed the bilateral relations and issues of common concern, according to a statement issued by al-Kadhimi’s media office."

    We'll close with this documentary PBS' FRONTLINE is carrying.

    The following sites updated:

    Friday, July 17, 2020

    5 songs to check out

    This is brand spanking new.  Tina Turner's remixed "What's Love Got To Do With It."

    Kygo did the remix.

    Second?  Sam Smith's "Fix You Live."

    They note:

    'Fix You (Live)' out now: Listen to Sam Smith’s Complete Collection here: Directed by: Luke Halls Studio Lyrics: When you try your best but you don't succeed 
    When you get what you want but not what you need 
    When you feel so tired but you can't sleep 
    Stuck in reverse 
     When the tears come streaming down your face 
    'Cause you lose something you can't replace 
    When you love someone but it goes to waste 
    What could be worse? 
     Lights will guide you home 
    And ignite your bones 
    And I will try to fix you 
     But high up above or down below 
    When you are too in love to let it show 
    Oh but if you never try you'll never know 
    Just what you're worth 
     Lights will guide you home 
    And ignite your bones 
    And I will try to fix you 
    When tears stream down your face 
    When you lose something that you cannot replace 
    Oh and tears stream down your face 
    And I 
    When tears stream down your face 
    I promise you I will learn my mistakes 
    When tears stream down your face 
    And I 
    Lights will guide you home 
    And ignite your bones 
    And I will try to fix you 

     Follow Sam Smith: #SamSmith #FixYou Music video by Sam Smith performing Fix You (Live). © 2020 Universal Music Operations Limited


    I love Jools Holland's show.  I love Cat Power.  I love Cat anytime she's on Jools -- for example, she does an amazing performance of "The Greatest."  But this go round, I want to note "I Don't Blame You."

    Fourth?  Amy Winehouse performing "Valerie" live and acoustic.


    Harry Style's "Watermelon Sugar."

    "Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
    Thursday, July 16, 2020.  The media and the ones who refuse to hold them accountable are the clear danger to democracy.

    Starting with US politics, former US House Rep and 2008 Green Party presidential nominee Cynthia McKinney Tweets:

    So, let me get this straight: I'm clean as a whistle, do my job, represent my constituents, and get kicked out of Congress; my colleague, Joe Biden, is corrupt as heck, brags about it, and gets promoted to the White House! What's wrong with that picture??

    She's linking to Ben Shreckinger's POLITICO report from earlier this year:

    n 2005, Joe Biden’s brother bought an acre of land with excellent ocean views on a remote island in the Caribbean for $150,000. He divided it into three parcels, and the next year a lobbyist close to the Delaware senator bought one of the parcels for what had been the cost of the entire property. Later, the lobbyist gave Biden’s brother a mortgage loan on the remaining parcels.
    The Virgin Islands land deal, reported here for the first time, furthers a pattern in which members of the Biden family have engaged in financial dealings with people with an interest in influencing the former vice president.
    In this case, a Biden staffer left the Senate in the early ’90s to become a lobbyist. Both before and after the land transaction, his clients benefited from Biden’s support and appropriations requests. A firm the lobbyist co-founded — which features a testimonial from Biden praising his “emotional investment” in his work on its website — specializes in federal contracts for niche law enforcement and national security programs for which Biden long advocated. 
    After the land deal, Joe Biden vacationed elsewhere on the tiny island, which once protected a nearby submarine base before it became a tropical getaway, on at least three occasions.

    Empathy Educates Tweets:

    A Biden-Trump Election Is a Loss for Our Democracy Corporations and billionaires dominate our political economy through a system of legalized corruption—They purchase the allegiance of politicians and ensure legislation is supported by pro-corporate judges

    The Tweets goes to Kenneth Peres' article:

    A Biden-Trump Election is a Win-Win for Wall Street

    On the Republican side, the plutocrats are comfortable with Trump. The problem was the Democratic side of the ledger.  The plutocrats did not like Warren, but they hated Sanders. Their goal was to defeat Sanders at any cost and to select a Democratic candidate on which they could depend.  Buttigieg rose and then fell. Bloomberg spent a lot of money, rose and then fell. Biden was really their last chance. A Biden-Trump election was the plutocrats’ dream scenario.
    Biden Is A Product and Supporter of the Plutocracy. Biden has been and continues to be a willing participant in the system of legalized corruption. He has always relied on donations from Wall Street and the billionaire donor class and he has returned the favor by supporting policies that aide Wall Street to the detriment of Main Street. (See this article for a detailed analysis of Biden and his relationship to Wall Street and billionaires).
    • Biden Relies on Wall Street and Billionaires. Wall Street has always supported Biden. According to the Center for Responsive Politics the entire finance capital sector (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) has been the largest business sector contributor to Biden’s various senatorial and his 1988 and 2008 presidential campaigns.  Between 1990-2007, this sector invested $6.87 million in Biden. And that support has continued for his 2020 presidential campaign. The finance capital sector’s investment in Biden is just behind its investment in Trump and much greater than its investment in any other Democratic candidate. In terms of small donors, Biden has raised $25.3 million or 37% of total funding from small donors – much less than Sanders.
    According to the Center on Responsive Politics, the Financial Sector as a whole (Finance, Insurance and Real Estate) has invested $47.2 million in the 2020 presidential election so far. Of this total, $10.3 million or 22% has gone to Trump; $10.1 million or 21% has gone to Biden and just $2.8 million or 6% has gone to Sanders. And it is clear that Biden is due for a massive increase in funding following Super Tuesday. These figures are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg and will soon explode; after all, the Financial Sector invested $338 million in the 2016 presidential election.
    Biden also relies on billionaires. According to an updated Forbes article as of January 2020, sixty-six billionaires have given to Biden’s campaign. Most of these billionaires are from the financial capital sector. Also, expect Biden to pick up the backing of the 94 billionaires who previously supported Buttigieg and Klobuchar – the two candidates who suspended their campaigns and endorsed Biden immediately before Super Tuesday. In addition, there is a Super Pac that supports Biden called “Unite the Country.” Super PACs can legally spend unlimited amounts of money and can buy ads to support or oppose particular candidates. They are not supposed to be controlled by or tied directly to campaigns. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Unite the Country spent $8.9 million as of March 5, 2020. The finance/insurance/real estate sector accounted for $5 million or 56% of the total raised by this PAC. All these figures will increase substantially in the near future
    • While Biden speaks of change – He literally promised Wall Street and billionaire donors that “nothing will fundamentally change… if I win this nomination, I won’t let you down. I promise you.” In his first campaign speech delivered to a largely union crowd in Pittsburgh, Biden stated “Let me say this simply and clearly, and I mean this: The country wasn’t built by Wall Street bankers, CEOs and hedge fund managers. It was built by you. It was built by the great American middle class.” In an interview, Biden stated, “It’s high time we helped Main Street.” His website is full of plans to increase taxes on the wealthy, enhance Social Security, expand government social services and get tough on Wall Street.
    All these statements and plans sound very progressive.  But based on past policies and current statements, it is apparent that Wall Street does not have to worry much about Biden actually delivering on his anti-Wall Street rhetoric. As detailed in a previous article, Biden has supported and often led the fight for legislation that further consolidated the financial industry, eliminated laws that had curbed Wall Street’s penchant for excessive speculation, and increased protections for banks while eroding protections for consumers. And he supported trade deals that benefitted Wall Street and other big corporations while eliminating 4 million U.S. jobs primarily held by union manufacturing workers. Conversely, he is culpable for the failure to pass legislation that would have helped strengthen unions and protect the rights of consumers.
    And Biden even admitted all of this when he gave a wink and a nod to Wall Street and the billionaires at an elite fundraiser in NY City last year. Biden stated “The truth of the matter is, you all, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done. We can disagree in the margins, but the truth of the matter is it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change…I need you very badly. I hope if I win this nomination, I won’t let you down. I promise you.”

    You could write that at COMMON DREAMS . . . in March.  Not now.  As Betty noted in "COMMON DREAMS is a joke -- and a dirty one at that:"

    I went to their embarrassing website tonight.  It was hate Trump -- story after story.

    When you've got nothing to offer, nothing to inspire, all you can sell is 'hate the enemy.'

    They don't hold Joe Biden accountable, they don't try to push him to the left.  They just offer story after story attacking Donald Trump -- for what he said, for what he didn't say, for what his daughter did, for what some family member says . . .

    They're like an obsessed ex.  It's frightening.

    They should be leading us to a better world, focusing on our needs, preparing us for what to fight for should Joe Biden win and giving us the strength to press on should we end up with another term of Donald but instead they just do the work of the Democratic Party -- whore.

    They're a joke.

    She's exactly right.  And it's true of BUZZFLASH as well.  They don't exist for any real reason except to promote whatever the leaders in the Democratic Party wants.  They're too scared to be independent, they're too scared to leave the echo chamber.  Yet they present themselves as brave new media.

    How 'independent' is independent media?

    Years ago, Ava and I noted that DEMOCRACY NOW! expanded to two hours a day for a week -- one week to cover the Democratic Party's convention and one week to cover the Republican Party's convention.  Ten hours of coverage a week for one and then ten hours of coverage for another.  And what did DEMOCRACY NOW! do for the Green Party convention that year?

    A headline.

    A single headline was enough to cover the Green Party national convention.

    And we noted then, shame on the members of the Green Party who don't call Amy Goodman out, who don't pressure her to give real coverage, equal coverage to their party.

    Well, that was many years ago.  And things have only gotten worse.

    Saturday (see "Howie Hawkins declared Green Party presidential nominee as US military convoy attacked in Iraq."), the Green Party's national convention concluded with Howie Hawkins receiving the party's presidential nomination.

    This year, not even a headline.  

    And Amy Goodman's supposed to be the queen of independent media?  She's more like the matron in the toilet.  

    Again, Greens have allowed this to happen.  Shame on you.  You need to be objecting.  We've noted Howie's video this week but let's note it one more time.

    Howie's objecting to the corporate media.  Why can't his supporters object to what's supposed to be independent media?

    The corporate media has largely ignored the Green Party's convention as well.  We noted that on Saturday night and it's still true.  (POLITICO would be the main exception.)  

    When you let so-called independent media get away with this nonsense, then don't complain when corporate media cuts back on their coverage as well.

    Shame on you all.  Get off your ass, if you're a Green or anyone who believes in fair journalism, and start calling out the likes of Amy Goodman.  

    When Goodman shuts out the Green Party convention, she doesn't just shut out their candidates, she also shuts out their ideas.  This year, some Democrats are promoting the Green New Deal.  Howie was promoting a version of it back in 2010.  

    Ten years later, some Democrats in office are supporting it.  

    Imagine how much larger that number would be if the media had been addressing the deal when the Green Party was first proposing it.  

    Independent media could play a significant role in bettering our world but it instead whores for the Democratic Party.  Instead of addressing what's needed or what we could have, they throw all their resources into demonizing whichever Republican is the target.

    Joe Biden is a center-right, War Hawk corporatist.  And that's the challenger to Donald Trump?  That's the difference?

    Only in a landscape where the media has abdicated their role.

    We need a better world but we also need a better media.  I seriously wonder if there's a chance for this world.  How do we survive climate change and these never-ending wars (which do impact climate change, let's stop pretending all these bombings have no effect on our ecozone) when the most 'radical' action we can imagine is voting for a used up hack like Joe Biden?

    Ajamu Baraka, the Green Party's 2016 vice presidential candidate, Tweeted the following:

    The democrats are doing all they can to prevent agreement that would end the 19 year Afghanistan war. What is the difference on issue of war & peace between Democrats & Trump? Answer: democrats might be worst. Make peace a campaign issue. Support Black Alliance for Peace.
    6:52 PM · Jul 14, 2020

    The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) has determined climate change and the interlocking issues of war, militarism, and the now-normalized and still illegal U.S. interventionism pose the greatest threats to humanity.
    That is why we have launched a campaign demanding all 2020 candidates for local, state and federal offices in the United States take a position on U.S. interventionism (read our official statement).
    BAP’s goal has always been to educate people on the connection between U.S. foreign interventions and the domestic war on African people and other oppressed groups (see No Compromise, No Retreat: Defeat the War Against African/Black People in the U.S. and Abroad).
    In 2019, the Trump administration announced “Operation Relentless Pursuit,” a program that claims to support local "crime fighting" efforts by injecting federal funding for a “surge” of new hires and equipment, as well as coordination of federal agents at the local level.
    Of the seven targeted U.S. cities, four are predominantly African:
    1. Baltimore (62.8% African)
    2. Cleveland (50.41% African)
    3. Detroit (79.12% African)
    4. Memphis (63.9% African)
    The Nixon-era "War on Drugs” actually was a war on Africans, since it was an aspect of the state's counter-insurgency effort against the Black Liberation Movement. Trump's Operation Relentless Pursuit is an initiative in the same vein, being the latest version of the ongoing war against the African working class.
    Operation Relentless Pursuit is the logical extension of the U.S. Department of Defense’s 1033 program, which is primarily responsible for transferring more than $4 billion in military-grade equipment to local police forces over a 15-year span. Along with “Deadly Exchange”—whereby Israeli Defense Forces train local U.S. police executives—these three programs represent the core elements of the U.S. national security state's repressive strategy to contain the resistance of oppressed communities and peoples in the United States.

    Jimmy Dore addressed the issue of Democrats working with Republicans to destroy peace.

    Jimmy Dore: Hey, what did Congressional Democrats do this week?  Well, they prevented Trump from withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.  What did Congressional Democrats do last week?  They increased Trump's military spending.  What gets bipartisan support in Washington, DC?  Endless war.

    The lack of independence in the media -- All Things Media Big and Small -- is why Robert Draper and THE NEW YORK TIMES believe they can get away this morning with whoring passed off as journalism:

    In August 2018, in the course of researching a book on the lead-up to the Iraq war, I went to see Powell at the office in Alexandria, Va., that he has maintained since leaving the Bush administration in early 2005. Powell, who is now 83, is as proud and blunt-speaking as he was during his career in public service. Over the course of our two hourlong conversations, he made clear that he was all too aware of the lonely turf he was destined to occupy in history.
    It was not the turf that anyone, least of all Powell himself, would have imagined for him in 2001. He entered the Bush administration as a four-star general of immense popularity and political influence. He left it four years later, discarded by Bush in favor of a more like-minded chief diplomat, Condoleezza Rice. He mournfully predicted to others that his obituary’s first paragraph would include his authorship of the U.N. speech.

    Draper, it's hard for me to understand everything you're trying to say when you're speaking at the same time you're juggling Colin's balls in your mouth.

    Colin lied.  To the UN, to the world.  It's a little late for you to start pretending otherwise and no one should believe your lies about Colin being misled.  He knew what he was doing.  He exploded at one point that he wasn't going to say that "s**t" because he knew it was a lie.

    Ava and I covered this nonsense in 2005, see our "TV Review: Barbara and Colin remake The Way We Were."  Along comes Draper hoping everyone's forgotten reality.

    I'm so sick of this garbage and this media environment -- big and small -- that allows the lies not just to be told once but to be retold over and over.

    The following sites updated: