CARTOON: Guns Make Republicans Feel Safe Which Means Our Children Must Die

The center-left’s sins on this front are rooted in cowardice; the right’s, in quasi-religious conviction. By Eric Levitz New York Magazine (2/15/18) On Thursday morning, the president delivered a speech about gun violence without ever uttering the word gun. By the time Donald Trump began his remarks, America had suffered 18 school shootings in 44 days, and more than 300 mass shootings since the start of his presidency. But this broader context also went unmentioned. Instead, Trump focused his address narrowly on Wednesday’s massacre at a high-school in Parkland, Florida, and the need for “healing” in its wake. The president spoke of God…

Read More

Our Escalating War Against Our Children

    By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/19/18) Since its founding the citizens of the United States have been quite comfortable with the killing and mass slaughter of other peoples’ children. From the ongoing genocide of the Native American population through violence, disease and introduced addictions on to the wars of empire waged in Cuba, Mexico, the Philippines, Central America, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. We continue to kill other peoples’ children with the casual selective blindness of industrialized for-profit warfare in Iraq (where our mercenaries continue to operate) and Yemin (where we supply the Saudi military with cluster…


Want To Hear Real Truth On School Shootings? Forget The Traitorous Politicians & Listen To This Parkland Teen Tear Into Trump, Republicans & NRA

“We call BS!” By Andrea Germanos Common Dreams (2/17/18) Thousands gathered Saturday for a rally outside the federal courthouse, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.—about 25 miles away from the mass shooting Wednesday—where speakers including survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre gave powerful speeches for gun control. Among them was Stoneman Douglas student Emma Gonzalez, who slammed President Donald Trump, denounced the many politicians who receive donations from the powerful National Rifle Association of America (NRA), and called BS on those who “say that tougher gun laws do not decrease gun violence.” She began by saying that the “school bard, faculty…


School Shooters Love Wisconsin’s Bipartisan Congressional Accomplices

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/19/18) School and other mass shooters do not act alone. They are assisted by politicians on the take to the National Rifle Association. Through their indifference and coldly calculating, never satiated hunger for campaign cash and other benefits, these pols ignore the wishes of the majority of Americans to bring some legislative sanity to our gun cult. When the shooters begin their rampages they have been legislatively protected, coddled and assisted by those who are supposed to represent us. The National Rifle Association loves to splurge their cash — including donations from…


After Last Week’s Insanity We Need The Dalai Lama’s Guide To Happiness

  amillionsmilesmovie (10/8/13) This video looks at ‘Buddhism and Happiness’, as we ask are they a match made in heaven or something else? This eight minute epic reveals some incredible insights into human behaviour and values that impact our happiness, particularly in this materialistic Western life so many are living, or reaching for. The Dalai Lama’s talk is from his ‘the quest for happiness’ public talk in Adelaide during his ‘Beyond Religion’ tour in Australia. While we would have ideally used footage of Tibetan monks in this video, we were unable to and instead used footage from our recent trip…


Russia Monitor: A Growing Collusion Collision And The Question Of Treason

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (2/19/18) Dear Fellow Readers, Some Americans need Trumputin and Russpublican corruption to be as black & white as Saturday’s Russia 4-0 shutout of the U.S. hockey team at the Olympics. Now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has published the 2015/2016 year book for the Russian troll farm, at the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, we now have it in black & white. To be clear on just what happened we’ll put the events in context of Trump and associate denials to date. On Friday afternoon Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced the indictment  of 13…


America Is Under Attack & Trump Doesn’t Give A Damn

  By David Frum The Atlantic (2/18/18) As the rest of America mourns the victims of the Parkland, Florida, massacre, President Trump took to Twitter. Not for him the rituals of grief. He is too consumed by rage and resentment. He interrupted his holidaying schedule at Mar-a-Lago only briefly, for a visit to a hospital where some of the shooting victims were treated. He posed afterward for a grinning thumbs-up photo op. Pain at another’s heartbreak—that emotion is for losers, apparently. Having failed at one presidential duty, to speak for the nation at times of national tragedy, Trump resumed shirking an…


The Ticking Money Time Bomb: Not A Matter Of If, But When

  By Shawn Hattingh PortSide (2/17/18) n early January 2018, capitalists across the globe were celebrating the fact that the Dow Jones had rallied by 45% since the election of Donald Trump. Likewise, brokers were beaming in Sandton when the Johannesburg Stock Exchange hit a high of 61,475 points (up a staggering 300% compared to early 2009 when at one point it sat at 18,465 points). Yet beneath all the exuberance, danger signs abound—including signs that stock, bond and debt markets are experiencing bubbles, which will burst at some point. The danger derives from the reactions of the ruling classes and…


How Undiluted Dishonest I.C.E. Propaganda Makes Its Way Onto Your Local News

  On the Media (2/16/18) This week, the Senate failed to pass a bipartisan immigration bill that would have put up funding for President Trump’s wall and extended protections for the so-called ‘Dreamers,’ beneficiaries of an Obama-era program offering temporary residency to undocumented immigrants brought to the US as kids. Meanwhile, the threat of deportation remains a fact of daily life for undocumented Americans, especially since the Trump administration beefed up Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations last year. But the public has been left largely in the dark about who is being rounded up, because much of the press has…


The Hate Report: Was The Florida School Shooting Suspect Alt-Right?

By Aaron Sankin & Will Carless RevealNews.org (2/16/18) In this week’s roundup: lots of confusion over whether the Florida school shooter was a white supremacist, the argument for being friends with racists and more. This issue of The Hate Report begins with a deep, world-weary sigh. On Thursday, news broke that Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old suspect in the Florida school shooting, had trained with a white supremacist militia called the Republic of Florida. By the end of the day, the story began to fall apart. Here’s what we know: An anonymous user on the anarchic far-right message board 4chan posted a message…


VOTE TUESDAY: Tim Burns For State Supreme Court

    Our Wisconsin Revolution (2/15/18) Greetings, Next Tuesday’s February 20th Primary election in Wisconsin is the first test of the reason we started this organization: we need an organization that is fighting for Bernie’s platform and is actually of, by, and for “We the People.” We need to #TakeBackWI Do you have a plan to vote next Tuesday in the Spring Primary Election? Last year, OWR members voted overwhelmingly to endorse Tim Burns for State Supreme Court. There may also be other primaries in your area. Please go to https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/ (note: please copy and paste into your browser for it to work) to see if…


CARTOON: Whitewashing US Imperialism: How Textbooks Get History Wrong & Dupe Students

  By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca Zinn Education Project (2/10/18) Recently, with the possibility of Special Counsel Robert Mueller III subpoenaing President Trump in the headlines, I found myself discussing the Russian hacking allegations with my U.S. History class. Having just finished our Cold War unit, my students were much less concerned about Russia tampering with U.S. elections than they were about the historical amnesia regarding the past meddling of the U.S. government. Max said: “Why is the media making such a big deal about this? What the Russians are accused of is nothing compared to what the U.S. did in Cuba.” Sarah…


America Defeated By Russia In 2016 Cyberwar And We’re Going To Hold A Parade?

Defeat is hard to face; but every delay in facing the hard facts makes matters worse. By Timothy Snyder The Guardian (2/12/18) Trump’s fantasy of a military parade and Trump’s choice to release or block congressional memos about the Russia investigation were the two big stories of last week. At first glance, they have nothing to do with one another. In fact, they are part of the same story: a grand cover-up of American defeat. In the past, the United States has organized grand military parades: but always after a victory in war, and always as a way of welcoming…


Russia Monitor: Russpublican Party Complicit In Trump-Russia Betrayal

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (2/15/18) Dear Fellow Readers, There is maturity to reporting on Trump-Russia corruption. With maturity comes breadth – it’s not just Trump-Russia corruption, the entire Republican party and leadership is now clearly and heavily implicated: Republican Party Leaders Conceal Russian Efforts to Undermine Government. Elliott Cohen, writing for Buzzflash at Truthout, offers that Russia is doing to the U.S. what it has done to Ukraine and other former Soviet states. “In fact, there are signs that Russia has implemented the strategy of “financing people in our governments to undo our governments,” not merely in Ukraine…


Urging Peace Talks, Open Letter From Taliban Asks American People To Recognize Total Failure Of 16-Year War

  By Andrea Germanos Common Dreams (2/14/18) Two and half weeks after President Donald Trump rejected the idea of peace talks with Taliban, the militant group published an open letter to the American people urging them to pressure their government to end the occupation of Afghanistan, now in its 17th year, and engage in peace talks. The letter, published on the group’s website, denounces the Bush administration’s justification for launching the invasion, as well as the Trump administration, which “again ordered the perpetuation of the same illegitimate occupation and war against the Afghan people.” “No matter what title or justification is presented by…


What A War With North Korea Would Look like

Crazy American warmonger. Vox (2/8/18) Five experts discuss what a war on the Korean peninsula would look like, how close we are to conflict, and the terrifying consequences. Read about the implications of war with North Korea on Vox.com: http://bit.ly/2nNK2ei With tensions between the US and North Korea escalating, we asked a group of experts including Senator Tammy Duckworth, about the likelihood and consequences of reigniting war on the Korean Peninsula. International sanctions have put pressure on the North Korean regime, but they have yet to capitulate to US demands to unilaterally disarm their nuclear armaments program. The Trump administration…


‘Some May Freeze To Death’: Sanders Confronts Mulvaney Over Trump Budget That Would Kill ‘Tens Of Thousands’

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (2/13/18) Just 24 hours after denouncing President Donald Trump’s newly-unveiled budget as “morally bankrupt,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took full advantage of his chance to grill Trump budget chief Mick Mulvaney directly during a Senate hearing on Tuesday, calling the White House’s 2019 blueprint “the budget of the Koch brothers” and arguing thousands would die if the plan became law. Highlighting the Trump budget’s call for repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Act), Sanders askedMulvaney to explain “the morality of a budget which supports tax breaks for billionaires, throws 32 million people off of the…


Introducing ‘Trump, Inc.,’ A New Weekly Podcast On The Many Mysteries Of Our President’s Businesses

  There is a mystery here. By Eric Umansky & Andrea Bernstein ProPublica (2/7/18) A couple of months ago, a few of us from ProPublica and WNYC sat together in a conference room and started scribbling on a whiteboard. We were brainstorming all the possible paths to investigate around President Donald Trump and his family businesses. It looked like Carrie Mathison’s wall. There’s so much that’s still unknown. We don’t know if the president is taking money from his businesses, or what deals are happening, or who his partners are, who’s providing the financing. It goes on and on. There’s no way to determine…


Farm To Neighbors: When Denouncing White Supremacy Is Deemed Brave, The Bar Is Too Low

  By Abby Zimet Common Grounds (2/12/18) Talk about a sorry sign of the times. A family farm in Centreville, Virginia has caused an incongruous uproar after proclaiming on their roadside sign not the arrival of sweet corn, baby goats, hanging baskets or their renowned Fall Festival but the evidently inflammatory sentiment, “Resist White Supremacy.” The community-minded denizens of Cox Farms have been here before: They have flown rainbow flags, declared Black Lives Matter, and posted “We love our Muslim neighbors,” “You belong. Stay strong” and  “Fight ignorance not immigrants” on their signs. Reportedly facing some confusion in response to their most recent, “Rise and…


Valentine’s Day In The United States: At Least 17 Reported Dead In Florida School Shooting

(Editor’s Note: The above Commoner Call cartoon runs after the well publicized mass shootings. We could actually run the cartoon pretty much every day, gven there is a mass shooting somewhere in the United States nearly every day. If you hear any RepublicaNRA or pro-NRA Dem politicians talking about “thoughts and prayers” today, call ’em up and tell the hypocrite to go to hell. They are completely responsible for yesterday’s shooting. — Mark L. Taylor) By Nina Golgowski, Sebastian Murdock & Carla Herreria The HuffPost (2/14/18) At least 17 people are reportedly dead and 15 injured after a shooter opened fire…


State Dem Lawmakers Chummy With Lobbyists At Secretive Democrats’ Closed-Door Policy Retreat

  By Itai Vardi The HuffPost (2/12/18) When Democratic legislators gathered in a hotel in Portland, Maine, for a two-day policy conference last August, they were joined by a host of corporate interests who have good reason to want in on those conversations. The meeting of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the party arm responsible for supporting state legislative candidates, was closed to the press and billed as an off-the-record event, but HuffPost has exclusively obtained a copy of the agenda, which shows the members of the DLCC’s finance council. The finance council includes companies, trade groups, labor unions and public interest organizations, who…


The President As Demagogue — Speech, Action And The Big Parade Build-up To ‘The Moment’

  “The “moment” Trump seems to be striving for cannot arrive and serve his purposes unless he builds toward it with his speech. He is creating conditions now to support further action later…” By Bob Bauer Lawfare (2/9/18) We are constantly confronted with the question of how seriously to take the president’s words. By one interpretation, not so much: His verbal excesses and outrages should not be confused with action. This is the variant of the old counsel “watch what we do, not what we say.” President Trump said he would revisit the libel laws but didn’t; he did not file…


A Call For Peace

  By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (2/12/18) The militarization of our country has reached a boiling point. WE must turn down the flame. The propaganda for war overseas has overwhelmed logic and reason. Both sides of the aisle have increased the world’s largest defense budget by $70 billion more, than the $700 billion we had already planned to spend. This is more than the right wing wanna-be dictator asked for, And more than the rest of the world combined. So who’s the most dangerous? We are modernizing the nuclear forces instead of scrapping them. Even our beloved Bernie voted…


Why Domestic Abusers Thrive In Trump’s White House

  By Jessica Valenti The Guardian (2/9/18) It’s no secret that Trump respects men who keep women in their place: “You have to treat ’em like shit.” Perhaps that’s why top White House staffer Rob Porter got a hero’s goodbye this week, even as a picture of his ex-wife’s battered face was splashed across the news. Porter, accused of assaulting both of his ex-wives and a former girlfriend, gave his resignation but “was not pressured to do so”, according to press secretary Sarah Sanders. In fact, Sanders lauded Porter as having the full confidence of the president and Gen John Kelly, and took…


‘Directorate S’ — Steve Coll On The CIA & America’s Failed Secret Wars In Afghanistan & Pakistan

    Democracy Now! (2/8/18) The U.S. is intensifying its air war in Afghanistan as U.S. Central Command has announced it is shifting military resources from Iraq and Syria back to Afghanistan, where the United States has been fighting for over 16 years in the longest war in U.S. history. U.S. Air Force Major General James Hecker recently said Afghanistan has “become CENTCOM’s main effort.” The news comes after a particularly bloody period in Afghanistan. Despite the spiraling violence, President Trump recently ruled out negotiations with the Taliban during a meeting of members of the United Nations Security Council. We…


No Republican Love For Poor & Middle Class This Valentine’s Day

  By Josh Hoxie Other Words (2/7/18) Love is in the air. Or so the marketers want us to believe, as Valentine’s Day ads sweep the nation into a frenzy of buying flowers, greeting cards, and confections to communicate our affection. Washington is less forthcoming with the adoration, especially for working people. You’re probably tired of hearing about the tax plan passed by Congress late last year. If not, just wait for the media barrage coming your way from the Republican donor class, which is guaranteed to make the Super Bowl Tide ads look like child’s play. In case you…


Russia Monitor: A Looooong Line Of Dominoes

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (2/12/18) Dear Fellow Readers, There are two threads that warrant attention for this edition of the Russia Monitor. There is a flurry of mixed news related to:  1) The court of public opinion or possible prosecution routes forward for Trump-Russia corruption, which we’ll come to second. We’ll begin with 2) a more complex story showing how challenging it is to prove Trump-Russia corruption specifics. Life would be easier if there was a group photo taken at Donnie Trump Jr.’s June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians holding up a hand-written, signed agreement saying…


Drug War And A Phantom $500 Million: Pentagon Watchdog Calls Out Two Commands For Financial Malfeasance

  By Nick Turse TomDispatch (2/8/18) 2017 was a year of investigations for US Africa Command (AFRICOM). There was the investigation of the two-star commander of US Army Africa who allegedly sent racy texts to an enlisted man’s wife. There was the investigation into the alleged killing of a Special Forces soldier by Navy SEALs in Mali. There was the inquiry into reports of torture and killings on a remote base in Cameroon that was also used by American forces. There was the investigation of an alleged massacre of civilians by American special operators in Somalia. And don’t forget the inquiry into the killing of four…


Death By Gig Economy Is A Warning To All American Workers

New York City professional ‘black car’ driver was pushed to suicide by grinding economic pressures of unfair competition from Uber and Lyft services.   “It is too late for me so who is next? Maybe you and yours? Everyone needs to fix this now.” (Editor’s Note: This is the final (2/5) Facebook post by New York City ‘black car’ driver Douglas Schfiter, who within hours of posting the commentary committed suicide in front of New York City Hall. The challenges of corporate abuse and political corruption he describes is not just true for taxi and livery drivers in the age…


How Rich Are The Filthy Rich? If Only You Knew

  By Gil B. Manzon Jr. The Conversation (2/5/18) “If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets.” Actor and comedian Chris Rock made this astute statement during a 2014 interview with New York magazine, referring to the yawning gap between rich and poor. In so doing, he stumbled upon a key challenge in the study of inequality. What’s the best way to measure it? Most inequality studies have focused on income – measures of which are widely available. However, being rich is not about a single year of earnings but rather about the accumulation of wealth…


Calif. Police Accused Of ‘Collusion’ With Neo-Nazis After Release Of Court Documents

  By Julia Conely Common Dreams (2/9/18) Defense lawyers for anti-racism activists who staged a counter-protest at a white supremacist rally in California in 2016 say that state police demonstrated sympathy for the neo-Nazis who organized the event and worked with them to arrest the counter-demonstrators. Documents related to the court case of three anti-fascist activists, who were charged with felonies for attempting to disrupt the Traditionalist Workers Party’s (TWP) rally, show that a California Highway Patrol (CHP) investigator assured a white supremacist that he would protect his anonymity and told another he was being seen as a victim in…


Paul Ryan Makes A HUUUUUUGE Mistake: Now Here’s How To Make It Stick

  By Scott Wittkopf Frame4Future,.com (2/5/18) On Friday [2/2], Paul Ryan made a huuuge mistake in messaging and framing – a rarity. While he’s been called out on it so much that #crumbs trended on twitter, this gaffe opens the door for progressives and Democrats to make it stick. In doing so, people’s perception (frame) of the economy could change significantly – and help win elections in November. Most people have seen the story that went viral over the weekend. Paul Ryan tweeted the following, in support of the recently passed GOP tax scam: “A secretary at a public high school…


Gig Economy: NYC Taxi Driver Kills Himself On Steps Of City Hall After Condemning Uber & Politicians For Financial Ruin

Democracy Now! (2/7/18) New York City taxi drivers held a vigil on Tuesday to honor livery car driver Douglas Schifter, who killed himself in front of City Hall Monday morning after writing a long Facebook post condemning local politicians and Wall Street-backed apps like Uber for pushing him into financial ruin. He wrote, “I worked 100-120 consecutive hours almost every week for the past fourteen plus years. When the industry started in 1981, I averaged 40-50 hours. I cannot survive any longer with working 120 hours! I am not a Slave and I refuse to be one. … There seems…


A Contrarian View: Bernie And The Empire

    By Nick Pemberton CounterPunch (1/31/18) The au courant merch for the 2020 Presidential election begins and ends with the “Hindsight Is 2020” Bernie t-shirts. The implication of the shirt is that Bernie should have been elected in 2016. With clear hindsight, that being the 20/20 vision, we will anoint The Chosen One in 2020. Whenever I see this shirt I am reminded of T.I. rapping “Hindsight 20/20, future not as clear.” Bernie has officially started to gather his team to discuss running in 2020, with all signs pointing to him doing so. The fact that he has already…


Donald Trump Cracks The Seal On Talk Of Treason

  By Rick Wilson The Daily Beast (2/6/18) You may have noticed by now, but I’m not one to pull any punches on DonaldTrump. As a conservative, I see him as a statist abomination, a plump, be-wattled authoritarian-wannabe man-baby with the intellectual horsepower of a toaster oven. One thing we’ve learned in the last two years is that no legal, moral, or cultural strictures bind Trump and that he is immune to the better angels of human nature. The moral event horizon around him consumes the good in anyone who becomes one of his vassals. There is no better version of Trump, ever. He can only degrade and destroy everything he touches, but…


Chris Hedges On The Nobility & Sacredness Of Rebellion Against The Dystopian State

“Resistance to radical evil is the pinnacle to human existence.” – Chris Hedges By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/8/18) There is no better guide to the modern corporate state than writer and former New York Times war correspondent and Middle East bureau chief Chris Hedges. His various books – including “American Fascists”, “Death of the Liberal Class”  and “Wages of Rebellion” – deftly dissect the condition American society is in and how we got there and where – barring some form of popular uprising he doesn’t see happening any time soon – the country will wind up. Hedges is…


Russia Monitor: Our Future Hinges On Three Important Questions For Our Future…

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (2/8/18) Dear Fellow Readers, Are we all on board with getting to the bottom of what happened during our 2016 election? Is everybody as cooperative as Trump when he says he’s “looking forward” to meeting with Special Counsel Mueller? Is there more to learn with Russian influence in our election or with Trump-Russia corruption? Do we face any risk of interference in our 2018 elections? Three questions for the nation: 1) Do we risk interference in the 2018 elections? 2) Is there more to learn about the 2016 elections 3) Are we all…


After Flushing Away $850 Billion To $1 Trillion Failed Afghanistan War Continues, 16 Years & Counting

  On Point/WBUR (2/1/18) America’s war in Afghanistan has been raging for 16 years, and a new spate of violence could deal a blow to peace prospects there. Is there any way to win or get out? Highlight From This Show: ‘We’ve lost the war of the story in Afghanistan, and we can’t recover.’ “America has been at war in Afghanistan for 16 years – and the situation on the ground is a chaotic, deadly mess. Just in this week, a string of brazen insurgent attacks killed more than a hundred people. The Afghan capital is a war zone. Western aid groups are…


Nazi GOP Candidate For Congress In Illinois Has Wisconsin Connections

An old campaign photo of Arthur Jones from his race for Milwaukee mayor.   By Lois Beckett The Guardian (2/4/18) A neo-Nazi Holocaust denier is set to become the Republican nominee for a congressional seat in Illinois, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Sunday. The prospective candidate, Art Jones, is not a steadfast supporter of the Republican president. Ten months ago, in remarks filmed at a neo-Nazi retreat in Kentucky, he ranted about how Donald Trump had “surrounded himself with hordes of Jews including a Jew in his own family, that punk named Jared Kushner”. “I’m sorry I voted for the son of a…


Resisting The Resistance: Anti-Liberal Rage Brews In California’s Right Wing

  By Sam Levine The Guardian (2/7/18) In California’s Central Valley an unexpected item is popping up for sale in souvenir stores: Confederate flags. There’s a growing market for the hate symbol. “There’s been an atmosphere of comfort for folks that were holding these very extreme conservative views,” said Angel Garcia, an activist in Tulare County, an agricultural region where Confederate imagery has become commonplace in immigrant communities. While California is seen as the national leader of the liberal resistance to Donald Trump, it has also become increasingly polarized, with wars between the right and the left breaking out across the region, from…