Roaming Charges: High Nunes on Capitol Hill

American Farm House, Svensen, Oregon. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair.

+ As the House holds hearings to impeach Trump for “abuse of power,” Pelosi just rushed through an extension of the Patriot Act, giving that very same president vast, unchecked powers to spy on American citizens. This makes sense only in Washington…

+ It’s deflating to see “the Squad” (and every other Democrat) voting for this travesty…

+ We’ve never had a “democratically-elected” president. But we might have a democratically-impeached one. Since members of congress are elected by popular vote, impeachment is actually a more democratic process than the way we elect presidents, which is, I suppose, why it’s so rarely used. The right talks about impeachment as being a “coup.” In fact, our presidential elections more closely resemble coups of the electoral college, where two of the last three presidents have been put into power despite losing the “democratic” vote.

+ Gordon Problem #1: the fidgety Sondland is looking shiftier than Adam Schiff.

+ Sondland: “Everyone was in the loop.” But Gordon is now in Trump’s noose.

+ Sondland is running out of fingers to finger other people with…

+ Like Trump, Sondland has an ass and a business to save…his own.

+ Sondland wants to make people feel good about spending $300 a night to sleep in his hotels again…

+  “Mr. Giuliani’s requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelensky,” Sondland said. “Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the President of the United States.”

+ How much is a pound of Giuliani going for on the roadkill meat market this morning?

+ Trump: Talk to Rudy.

Bolton to everyone who’d talked to Rudy: Better call the lawyer.

+ Sondland: I gave a million dollars to Trump and all I got in return was lunch with Rudy Giuliani and a damn subpoena.

+ “What triggered my memory was someone’s reference to A$AP Rocky, which I believe was the primary purpose of the phone call,” Sondland said, describing why he now remembers call with Trump.

+ What did A$AP Rocky know and when did he know it?

+ Sondland says he adopted a mode “Trump speak,” meaning a barrage of four-letter words. It’s how the “hospitality men” communicate with each other…

+ Sondland demonstrating how far the iPhone was from his ear during his Kiev lunch call with Trump is the Rosemary Woods phone stretch of UkraineScam.

+ Imagine how far from his ear Sondland would have held his phone if Trump had put Screamin’ Jim Jordan on the line?

+ State Department analyst David Holmes, who eavesdropped on the Trump / Sondland call: “Ambassador Sondland further told the President that Sweden ‘should have released him [A$AP Rocky] on your word,’ but that ‘you can tell the Kardashians you tried.’”

+ Let’s check the scoreboard at Drudge Report to see how the morning session is going down on what used to be considered the far right…

+ Hmmm. Not encouraging.

+ Sondland: “Zelinsky had to announce the investigations. He didn’t actually have to do them.” In fact, it was probably better that he didn’t do any investigations, given what Rudy, Rick Perry, Bob Livingstone and Pete Sessions were up to there.

+ Rudy Giuliani’s 31-year-old son, Andrew, has been working in the White House since since March 2017. A former senior White House official plainly called it “a nepotism job.”

+ Andrew was last seen in 1994, making weird Nazi-like gestures during Rudy’s confirmation as mayor. (Yes, that Michael Mukasey giving the oath.)

+ The closed captioning of the Impeachment Hearings has been rendering “Giuliani” as “Ghouliani” all morning.

+ When the party from Burisma was checking into his hotel, Sondland didn’t know that two of the guests were Bidens?

+ The bumbling Devin Nunes tried to get Sondland to say he didn’t know anything about military aid being frozen before the Trump-Zelenskiy July 25 phone call. Sondland said he found out about the military aid suspension on July 18.

+ Nunes is one of the most comical characters in Trump’s cabinet of curiosities. He is, after all, the man who has sued a cow, or at least its Twitter account. Nunes, who undistinguished career languished in the backwaters of Republican caucus until the arrival of Trump, has alway seemed desperate for the approval of all the most grotesque people.

+ As Trump’s chief defender, Nunes has been a failure. It hasn’t even been compelling as absurdist theater. Most conspiracy theories seduce people as puzzles that fit together, piece after piece. But Nunes is too dull and dim-witted to weave an alternate narrative. Instead he throws out names, bracketed in ominous scare quotes, that are meaningless to the uninitiated: Chalupa, the Ohrs (Nellie and Bruce), the lovers (Peter and Lisa), CrowdStrike, Simpson, Steele. You’d need an Enigma Machine (or Sean Hannity) to make sense of any of it.

+ Since 2016, the Republican National Congressional Campaign Committee, the entity charged with getting Republicans elected to Congress, has paid $160,000 for the services of Crowdstrike, the very firm that Nunes and Trump alleged was behind the Ukrainian-led plot to help Hillary Clinton get elected and blame it on Russia.

+ Still you must admit that Nunes was looking mighty sharp his Bugsy Siegal gangster pinstripes.

+ Did he borrow it from Roger Stone?

+ Sondland says Pence knew all about the plot, because he told him about it on a flight to Poland. But was Mother there to explain it to him…?

+ When Sondland worked out a deal with local government to acquire some land for a hotel, he insisted that he be referred to as a “pillar of the community” in the press release the city of Portland put out….

+ Would the Democrats be holding impeachment hearings if the quid pro quo was: Unless, you give us dirt on the Bidens, we’re going start launching drone strikes on Russian nationalists in Crimea and Donbass?

+ Sondland has gulped water during his testimony more times than Marco Rubio doing a response to the State of the Union…

+ Sondland: “I’m not going to characterize whether I believed or didn’t believe Trump. I was just trying to relay what he said on the phone.”

+ Sondland’s “Continuum of Insidiousness” is almost as good of a band name as “The Gordon Problem.”

+ Gordon who? Trump leaving the WH this morning: “I don’t know him very well. I have not spoken to him much. This is not a man I know well. He seems like a nice guy though.”

+ Trump seemed to have a clearer recollection in October, but an eroding memory is a prerequisite for this administration…

+ When you lose Ken Starr…Starr on Fox News “so much of what we just heard supports a key article of impeachment: obstruction.”

+ Unlike Trump there are real bookshelves in Sondland’s mansion, stuffed with the complete works of Ayn Rand.

+ The most amusing question of the day: Jim Jordan asks Sondland, the man who shelled out $1 million to Trump inaugural and got an ambassadorship in return, if he knows what quid pro quo means.

+ If Rudy been unavailable to “fight corruption” in Ukraine, I wonder if he would have recommended that Trump send his former business partner, Bernard Kerik?

+ In response to Sondland’s testimony, Trump covered the Ramones…

+ Since they refuse to interrogate Fiona Hill on her militaristic foreign policy views (to the right of Bolton), the GOP should probably just stop asking her questions altogether. It’s beginning to look like an S&M video, as they get lashed for each timorous query they put forward.

+ Hill’s very smart and runs circles around these morons on both sides. Her monograph on Putin (Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin) is a very sophisticated hit job and worth a read, even if it’s something a slog compared Masha Gessen’s more accessible biography. I’m captivated by her accent, which still breathes of the coal region of northern England. It must have been how DH Lawrence’s steely mother sounded.

+ You can get a taste of Hill’s Putin book in this piece (Putin: the One-Man Show the West Doesn’t Understand) she wrote for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists back in 2016.

+ We interrupt the hearings for an important correction from GQ  magazine…

As someone noted: “Thank you for your cervix.”

+ CSPAN CALLER: “Howdy. I just want to apologize first & foremost for all the morons on the calls earlier, especially from Alabama. Secondly, I just want to say impeach the fucker. Have a great day!”

CSPAN HOST: “Thanks, Monty in Florida. That’s it for phone calls right now.”

+ After 11 tedious hours of impeachment hearings, the Democrats decided to hold a debate in Atlanta. Stimulants were required…

+ Biden’s claim that as president he could bring about a Democratic senate falls flat when you look at the historic loss of senate and House seats the Democrats in the 8 years of Obama and Biden, when he was largely in charge of political operations in the White House…

+ It’s a real blunder from a dramatic point of view to have Gabbard and Harris placed on opposite sides of the stage instead of next to each other…

+ Why does Klobocop (2%) rate the second question of the night?

+ Why can’t Warren just say it, loud and proud: “Let’s wage class war!”

+ Biden already blinking out on his first question.

+ According to most polls, Medicare for All is incredibly popular across the spectrum, but every question about it assumes that it will somehow repel Democratic voters…

+ Obama, whose name is now invoked against Medicare for All, has become the Dr. No of the Democratic Party..

+ Mayor Petebot is the first AI candidate (but the system software still has a few kinks to be ironed out)…

+ Klobocop: “I raised $17,000 from ex-boyfriends.” That sounds like extortion to me…

+ Mayor Pete, the Heartland candidate without a heart…

+ Beware the candidate (Biden) who says, “We must restore the soul of the country.”

+ Amy Klobocop, the no free (school) lunch candidate…

+ Tulsi savaged the “Bush-Clinton-Trump” foreign policy. What about Obama?

+ Rachel Maddow trying to Trump-shame Bernie over chants of “lock him up” is really pathetic…

+ One thing the country doesn’t need: another Rhodes Scholar president.

+ Sounds like Biden and Harris are eager to replace Trump’s trade war with China with a hot one…

+ Biden conveniently fails to mention that the Saudis, who he now claims to despise, starting killing Yemeni children under his watch…

+ The Democrats, even Bernie (“I’m pro-Israel, but…”), on foreign policy give me a migraine. Has Elizabeth Warren ever taken a foreign policy position to the left of

+ Americans have learned a lot of Latin in the last month (quid pro quo), but I think they’ll draw the line on Mayor SmartyPete, who never misses an opportunity to Latinize a word, when the English equivalent would do just fine…

+ Biden on domestic violence: “We have to keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it.” (Will someone do a safety check on Jill?)

+ Not one question on Bolivia and no one has brought up the coup on their own, which is probably a good thing, given the bellicose nature of the other questions and answers on foreign policy.

+ Booker: “Biden actually said this week that he wouldn’t legalize marijuana. I thought he must’ve been high when he said it.”

+ Biden: “I come out of the black community.” Biden was apparently the first black VP and we didn’t even realize it.

+ Spock the Vulcan showed more emotion than Mayor Pete the Droid…

+ Tulsi Gabbard was torched for her performance at the debate, but for the wrong reasons. Gabbard’s planned demolition of Mayor Pete was most welcome. And she has nothing to apologize for in being willing to meet with Bashar al-Assad or any other world leader. My problem is that Gabbard was the one candidate who might have condemned the Bolivian coup, a covert regime change war she claims to oppose. But she continues to remain strangely silent on a crisis that is playing out in real time. It’s a shame and a blown opportunity.

+ The Democrats can’t decide whether they want to “fight” or “bring people together.”

+ Like Trump, Biden demands a loyalty oath, all of the other candidates must kneel before the unblemished legacy of Barack Obama.

+ Biden was given a righteous flogging for claiming that he’d been endorsed by “the only black woman elected to the US Senate,” (a reference to Carole Moseley-Braun) with Kamala Harris standing near him with a look of disbelief on her face. But surely there’s just a little bit of karmic justice for Biden rendering Harris into the Invisible Black Woman Senator on the stage. I’m sure it sparked a few laughs back in Oakland.

+ These debates just aren’t the same without Marianne Williamson.

Come back, Marianne
Back to where it began
So we can cry and laugh at them all again…

+ Dumbest question of the night (there were a lot of them) was asked of Warren: “Would you use taxpayers dollars to tear down Trump’s wall?” Why? When Mexican teenagers would do it just for fun?

+ Biden, a Brivet Gen. in the Drug Wars, vowed to block the legalization of marijuana because it’s a “gateway drug,” a notion about as antiquated as Tulsi Gabbard’s belief in “conversion therapy” for gays. Biden’s science may be fake, but he just assured that marijuana will become a gateway to Sanders in the primaries…

+ Biden’s best moment as a Senator (and perhaps the moral high point of his entire life) was his vote and speech against the first Gulf War, a vote that he was excoriated for by liberal outfits like the Atlantic, which persists in claiming it was a “good war.” Chastized, Biden learned his political lesson and plunged headfirst into hawking the Iraq War, which he now claims he was against from the start even though he was still defending it six months after shock and awe.

+ Here’s a glimpse of the real the Biden, when the mask slides off to reveal the cruel Uncle Joe beneath, telling an immigration activist in South Carolina who criticized deportations under Obama to vote for Trump …

+ Biden is eager to “cross the aisle” to work with McConnell and Lindsey Graham but has zero tolerance for immigration activists who point out obvious truths about the cruelty of Obama’s deportation policy…

+ BREAKING NEWS:  The Washington Post just discovered that Barack Obama is a really a conservative! (I wonder how long they were working on that story…15 years?) I’m not bragging, but some of us reached that conclusion the moment the young senator-elect picked Joe Lieberman to be his mentor in the Senate. When Alex and I reported this, we got an irate call from Obama’s press secretary about 5 minutes after the story went online, trying to persuade us that Lieberman had picked Obama…as if that scenario made it any better.

+ Lieberman was last spotted working for an Israeli military contractor, but with Netanyahu under indictment and another Israeli election looming it wouldn’t surprise me if he makes a move to become the next prime minister…

+ Kamala Harris dropping out may be the only way for her to remind people that she was running for president.

+ Mayor Pete lurches farther to the right every day: “Instead of providing free college tuition for the children of millionaires and billionaires, I will open doors of opportunity for Americans who choose not to go to college with massive investments in apprenticeships, workforce training, and lifelong learning programs.”

+ Check out this action at a Mayor Pete organizers meeting. And they smeared Marianne Williamson as a cult leader….

+ Forever Wars Update: the US has now spent $6.4 trillion on wars in the Middle East and Asia since 2001, according to a new study from the Watson Institute.

+ According to a report in The Independent, Mike Pompeo Maximus is considering resigning as Secretary of State and running for US senate in Kansas because his association with Trump is “hurting his reputation.” Reputation for what?

+ It’s probably too late to hit the button on that ejector seat, since Sondland’s testimony puts Pompeo at the center of the UkraineScam. He may need a pardon from his grifting partner.

+ Pompeo’s defense? “I was too busy plotting a coup in Bolivia to understand what Rudy was doing in Ukraine…”

+ Eduardo Galeano: “Most wars or military coups or invasions are done in the name of democracy against democracy.”

+ Since 1825 Bolivia has had 84 presidents with 38, installed by means of coup d’états.

+ The debate over the debate over Bolivia‘s “irregular” election on October 20 ignores the fact that the result was exactly what was predicted in pre-election polling: a narrow first-round victory for Evo Morales.

+ The person who now proclaims herself Interim President of Bolivia has long history of posting racist Tweets, including calling Evo Morales “a poor Indian” and denouncing indigenous New Year celebrations as “satanic” rituals, saying “nobody can replace God.” After the coup, she wiped these from her Twitter feed. They’ve now been resurrected.

+ Those of you whose Spanish is better than mine (all of you, I presume) will find these audio tapes of the Bolivian coup plot extremely revealing, and implicating Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and, yes, Bob Menendez…

+ Like so many before them, the Bolivian coup plotters were trained in that dark art at the School for the Americas

+ The Trump administration is carrying out its cruel plan to deport adults from El Salvador and Honduras who are at the southern border seeking asylum in the US and send them to … Guatemala.

+ There will be no prison time for Matthew Bowen, the Border Patrol officer who deliberately ran over a Guatemalan man with his truck. Bownen’s the same officer whose text messages slimed people crossing the border “mindless savages” and “subhuman.” He took a last-minute plea deal before going to trial. Instead, the magistrate in the case sentenced Bowen to three years supervised release.

+ The Pentagon claimed this week that Iran missile system is “unrivaled in the Middle East.” Did they consult with Israel on this conclusion? Israel has at least 90 (and perhaps as many as 400) nuclear weapons, many of them loaded on Jericho II missiles with a range of 4,500 kilometers.

+ The strongest predictor of whether or not someone has access to clean and safe water in the United States is race

+ New coal plant construction in China is as large as the entire EU coal industry. In other words, thanks to Chinese construction, if coal were entirely and immediately eliminated in Europe, the net effect on global coal use would be…zero.

+ Not April Fools Day as far as I can tell…the screenwriter of “Harriet” says that a studio executive wanted Julia Roberts to play the role of Harriet Tubman, saying “it was so long ago, no one is going to notice.”

+ Rep. Conaway: Any retaliation?

Sondland: Many. Our properties picketed and boycotted.

Conaway: [Rep. Earl] Blumenaur has called for boycott. I assume he assumes that’ll harm you. He intended to harm you and your business. Demonstrations?

Sondland: Going on as we speak.

+ The casting of Julia Roberts as Harriet Tubman was a stretch, even by Hollywood standards. But if Gordon Sondland’s overpriced hotel empire collapses because of the boycott, he could always audition for the role of Uncle Fester in the next Addams Family reboot…

+ Experts on political physiognomy, however, suggest that Uncle Fester’s eyes more closely resemble Adam Schiff’s…

+ When told he was described in the NSC as “the Gordon problem”, Sondland quipped: “That’s what my wife calls me. Maybe they’re talking.”

+ Is Trump still planning on reading the transcript of his phone call during a fireside chat? Is it a natural gas fireplace? Perhaps Hunter Biden could advise…

+ Based on testimony at the Roger Stone trial, the House is now investigating whether Trump perjured himself in his interrogatory with Robert Mueller. Trump will blame his lawyers. “Hell, I didn’t write the answers to Mueller’s questions, they did.” Which is almost certainly true…

+ As I understand the Stone verdict, he was convicted for lying to Congress about contacts with Wikileaks that he, in fact, never had. There’s some strange justice that the master of dirty tricks would finally go down for something so trivial and absurd, rap-sheet inflation.

+ I wonder how that Nixon tattoo is going to play in federal prison?

+ A new trove of emails show that San Diego billionaire Doug Manchester, President Trump’s nominee for ambassador to the Bahamas, was asked by the RNC to donate half a million dollars as his confirmation in the Senate hung in the balance.

+ Looking for a Few Good Sadists

+ Imagine the fracas that would break out in Trumpland if Mayor Butter&Eggs (or Warren conceivably) narrowly wins the electoral college, but manages to lose the popular vote because of underperforming with black & Hispanic voters in states like NY and California. Would the Electoral College be retroactively abolished? Worth it?

+ So apparently the new “Alt Right” is “steeped” in anti-semitism, while the old “alt right” was what? Merely infused with it…?

+ Apparently the world’s super-rich are spooked and desperate for “old-fashioned” security to protect their accumulated riches. Isn’t this the very service that Mayor Pete’s offering them?

+ You don’t have to extort anyone for dirt on the Bidens, it just oozes up naturally, as a kind of public service announcement

+ In Hunter’s defense, who hasn’t impregnated a woman in Arkansas, then denied it?

+ I see that #JesusistheSonofGod is trending on Twitter this morning. That must mean that the paternity test came back and the Galilean’s father wasn’t Hunter Biden, after all.

+ The eye-patch has become one of the symbols of the anti-government protests in Chile. Why? Because so many protesters have been shot in the eye by tear gas canisters and “rubber” bullets fired by security forces.

+ The Democrats, not the Republicans, have always been the biggest threat to Single Payer…

+ Solitary confinement has become increasingly common in schools across the country. Here’s a harrowing account of how it is used in Chicago. “Please someone respond to me. … I’m sorry I ripped the paper. I overreacted. Please just let me out. Is anyone out there?” -A child, locked in a room, alone, at school.

+ New Jersey’s decision to eliminate cash bail has resulted in fewer people being arrested for low-level crimes, fewer people in jail, and an increase in defendants set free without conditions such as ankle-bracelet monitoring.

+ “Since 2004, more than 1,800 local print outlets have shuttered in the United States, and at least 200 counties have no newspaper at all.”

+ Trump at a cabinet meeting this week on freedom of the press: “These people are sick. They’re sick. The press really, in this country, is dangerous. We don’t have freedom of the press in this country. We have the opposite. We have a very corrupt media. And I hope they can get their act straight now.” (I know I feel sick. What about you, Sy?)

+ White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham (who has yet to hold a press briefing) claims Obama aides left “you will fail” notes in offices for Trump aides: “We came into the WH, I’ll tell you something. Every office was filled with Obama books and we had notes left behind that said ‘you will fail,’ ‘you aren’t going to make it’.” This recycles a story the Bushies told about the Clinton WH. But there would have been some poetic justice if they’d all peed in one of the offices…

+ Russia, if you’re listening, can you find the missing post-it notes?

+ Can you spell Emoluments? (I hope so, because I can’t.) The Secret Service paid Trump’s business $1,900 A DAY for his first 5 months in office, as agents followed Trump to his own courses.

+  Were you at all curious as to how how Ouday Trump’s book hit Number 1 on the NYT bestseller list? It turns out the RNC spent $100,000 on a bulk order for “Triggered”….

+ BooksAMillion is owned by Joel Anderson, who shares the top floor of Trump Tower with Il Douche. It was named the worst company in the US to work for in 2014.

+ How in the hell is it possible for US policy on Israeli settlements to get any “softer” than it already is, which is far more flaccid than the ability of any political Viagra to stiffen?

+ Meanwhile, over in the UK Tory candidates are running on forced labor camps–they’re for them…

+ After nine years of harassment, Swedish authorities have, for the second time, dropped all charges and ended its investigation of sexual abuse allegations against Julian Assange. But the charges served their purpose to discredit Assange and ensnare him in a trap laid by British and US intelligence agencies…

+ Instead of issuing this perfunctory apology for the stop-and-risk policy that terrorized so many New Yorkers under his regime, Michael Bloomberg could have simply opened up his fat wallet and refunded his victims’ bail: “I can’t change history, but today, I want you to know I realize I was wrong – and I am sorry. If you were wrongly stopped by police, I apologize. If you felt harassed or disrespected by the police, I apologize.”

+ “The woman told reporters that after she and Epstein left the plane’s bedroom, ‘When I chose a seat on the jet, Jeffrey told me that his good friend, Bill Clinton, always chose to sit there.”

+ Rural Texas is facing a critical shortage of doctors and health care workers. Two decades ago, 14 of the state’s 254 counties had no doctor. Today, that number has jumped to 33. More than 20 other counties have just one doctor.

+ The sanctity of property rights begins only where the wall ends

+ 5,050: the number of Palestinians currently held in Israeli prisons, many of them under the specious and extra-legal classification of “administrative detention.”

+ When it comes to deportations, Trump’s tried hard to dethrone him, but Obama’s still The Champ

+ Trump’s Irish golf course in Doonbeg lost $1.7 million last year, which was a slightly better performance than 2017. But Trump still needed to inject $900,000 of his own money to keep the place afloat. He’s now put $45 million into this one course, all in cash, and its never made a profit.

+ Just in straight from the couch at Fox & Friends:

Steve Doocy: You said we know the name of the whistleblower, but we have no idea.

Donald Trump: I don’t believe you.

Brian Kilmeade: OK.

Doocy: We’ve seen names online but we have no verification.

Trump: You don’t need verification.

If some FoxNew taxonomist out there can ever determine from their field markings (or perhaps scat) which is Kilmeade and which is Doocy would you let me know?

+ Trump Lied for You Sins, which is why he’s more popular than Jesus in Jesus’ own circles.

+ Here’s a photo montage of the Velvet Revolution, which erupted in Prague, 30 years ago this month…

+ Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt accused the “coastal states” of harboring a “hatred of fossil fuels.” Guilty as charged…

+ The leak in the Keystone pipeline contamination 10 times as much land in North Dakota as originally reported…

+ By 2040, global carbon emissions will be more be more than twice as much as would be compatible with two degrees of warming and more than four times as much as would get us to 1.5 degrees.

+ The problem with the Paris Accords is that the alleged “limits” on carbon emissions were more like New Year’s resolutions or dietary aspirations, easily broken with no consequences …. except for the planet.

+ The EPA has asked the Anaconda Chamber of Commerce to stop selling $2 souvenir baggies of slag mining waste contaminated with arsenic and lead. Now, if only they would stop green lighting mines that create such waste…

+ Credit where credit is due. As demand for coal hits a new low, it seems that Trump is winning the war on coal much more decisively than Obama, whose skirmishes tended to advance and retreat.

+ Australia is on fire and the smoke plumes are crossing the Pacific

+ The deforestation rate in Brazil is the highest its been in more than a decade. But it still trails Russia

+ The climate consequence of deforestation are 626% worse than previously thought…

+ A new report by the Wildlife Trusts suggests half of all insects may have been extirpated since 1970 as a result of the destruction of habitat, climate change and heavy use of pesticides. The report said 40% of the 1 million known species of insect are now facing extinction.

+ Wild bison are shedding their genetic diversity across many of the isolated herds overseen by the U.S. government, weakening future resilience against disease and climate events in the shadow of human encroachment.

+ A rhino is killed every 10 hours in Africa.

+ If all hunters thought of deer as their brothers and sisters would they kill more or less?

+ Elk researchers in Hells Canyon began poking through wolf excrement and discovered the digested remains of 181…grasshoppers. What, no sheep? I’m disappointed, gang. We sent you out there for livestock control. Get busy!

+ Meanwhile, two packs of wolves have now shown up right here on Our Little Mountain (AKA, Mount Hood)…

Photo: Defenders of Wildlife.

+ Instead of shipping it to Indian Country, nuclear waste should be stored in casks in the backyards of the corporate executives and government officials who created it…

+ Marie Yonacovitch walks into a DC jazz club to hear the great Cuban trumpet-player Arturo Sandoval…

+ New book… “If I Hit You” by Charles Barkley, Foreword by OJ Simpson…

+ We were rocked by the news this week of the death of another longtime CounterPunch writer, David Underhill, whose regular dispatches from Mobile gave us a taste of what it was like to be an environmentalist and political activist in the Deep South. His friend and colleague Glenn Wilson wrote a fine account of his sprawling life as a journalist and activist in the New American Journal, where David served as associate editor.

+ Musicologist Ted Gioia, author Music: a Subversive History: “Music has a more powerful impact on our body and biochemistry than other art forms—it’s almost more like a physiological force than a cultural artifact.

+ And the science seems to be backing Gioia up with one study suggesting that listening to 78 minutes of music a day improves mental health. (Advisory note: It may take twice that amount of listening to survive January’s impeachment trial and political campaigns.)

+ Trump Koan of the Week (On Gay Marriage): “It’s like in golf. A lot of people – I don’t want this to sound trivial – but a lot of people are switching to these really long putters, very unattractive. It’s weird. You see these great players with these really long putters, because they can’t sink three-footers anymore. And, I hate it. I am a traditionalist. I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist.”

Don’t Let Them Tell You What to Do, They’ll Make a Fool of You…

Booked Up
What I’m reading this week…

Cold Warriors: Writers Who Waged the Literary Cold War
Duncan White
(Custom House)

We Fight Fascists: The 43 Group and Their Forgotten Battle for Post-War Britain
Daniel Sonabend

Red Coast: Radicalism and Anti-Radicalism in Southwest Washington
Aaron Goings, Brian Barnes and Roger Snider
(OSU Press)

Sound Grammar
What I’m listening to this week…

Iowa Dream
Arthur Russell

No Other
Gene Clark

Waiting Game
Terri Lynne Carrington & Social Science
(Motéma Music)

Images in the Stream
What I’m streaming this week…

Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove
Director: Joe Nick Patoski
(2018) Amazon Prime

East of Ipswich
Director: Tristram Powell / Michael Palin
(1987) You Tube

Bob Dylan: the Neverending Narrative, 1990-2006
Director: Chrome Dreams
(2011) Amazon Prime

Suffering with Clenched Teeth

Eduardo Galeano: “The human murder by poverty in Latin America is secret: every year, without making a sound, three Hiroshima bombs explode over communities that have become accustomed to suffering with clenched teeth.”

Jeffrey St. Clair is editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is An Orgy of Thieves: Neoliberalism and Its Discontents (with Alexander Cockburn). He can be reached at: or on Twitter @JeffreyStClair3