As Sanders Campaign Gains Steam, Corporate Democrats Reportedly ‘Growing Increasingly Nervous’

“Being loathed and feared by the rich is a big reason why Bernie is so appealing, and Democrats who don’t understand this by now will never get it.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (4/16/19) Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign is rapidly gaining momentum early in the primary fight, and corporate Democrats are reportedly starting to get nervous. The New York Times reported Tuesday that political operative David Brock has discussed launching “an anti-Sanders campaign” with other Democratic strategists and “believes it should commence ‘sooner rather than later.’” “[T]he Bernie question comes up in every fundraising meeting I do,” Brock said. In a fundraising letter…

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How Wide Is Bernie Sanders’ Appeal? This Cheering Fox News Audience Provides A Clue

Bernie drew cheers from the audience when he spoke about healthcare, revealing just how popular his policies are. By Bhaskar Sunkara The Guardian (4/16/19) Bernie Sanders was supposed to be deep behind enemy lines on Monday night. He was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for a live town hall, hosted by Fox News, a network “not everyone thought [he] should come on”. It was a resounding success, and a reminder that Bernie, not Trump, can actually rally together a majority of Americans. The Fox News moderators Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum didn’t figure that out at first. Early on Baier asked those in…


A Significant, Ignored Far Right Domestic Terror Attack: ‘Why the Highlander Attack Matters’

The attackers left their mark on the parking lot by spray-painting a symbol derived from the fascist Romanian Iron Guard during the 1930s that is commonly used by white supremacists. By Robin D.G. Kelley & Makani Themba The Nation (4/12/19) News of the March 29 arson attack on the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee, shocked and angered progressives across the country. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the blaze destroyed Highlander’s main office building, along with valuable organizational records and historic documents that had not been archived at the University of Wisconsin and other repositories. Yet, for the many familiar…


11 Year-Old Targeted By The Souless Grinding Bureaucratic Gears Of The Hate State

  By Abby Zimet Common Dreams (4/13/19) Unimaginably, the lows keep going lower. In Texas, Laura Maradiaga-Alvarado, an 11-year-old girl who fled death threats in El Salvador with her terrified family, may now be deported alone thanks to an immigration court’s administrative error, an evil narcissist’s pointless government shutdown, and the prevailing cruelty of his inept regime. Laura, her 15-year-old sister Adamaris, and her mother Dora arrived at the U.S. southern border in October; gang members had begun kidnapping and killing their family members after one relative witnessed a murder and testified in court, and one member of MS-13 had threatened to…


The Story Of Jesus & The Roman Empire Shows What Happens When Dissidents Become Enemies Of The State

For those who truly study the life and teachings of Jesus, the resounding theme is one of outright resistance to war, materialism and empire. By John Rutherford The Rutherford Center (4/16/19) “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are being ruled by criminals. In the current governmental climate, where laws that run counter to the dictates of the Constitution are made in secret, passed without debate, and upheld by secret courts that operate behind closed doors, obeying one’s conscience and…


Protest Repression: Big Oil Warps Legislatures To Redefine Criminality

Is it “criminal” for an industry to drive the global climate crisis in order to reap profits? Or is it “criminal” to (literally) get in the way? By Sarah Lazare & Simon Davis-Cohen In These Times (4/16/19) Researchers concluded in January that humanity has a hope, a 64 percent chance, of keeping the temperature rise below the international target of 1.5 degrees Celsius—if the phaseout of fossil fuel infrastructure begins now and every car, plane and power plant in existence gets replaced by a zero-carbon alternative at the end of its life span. “We are basically saying we can’t build anything…


Russia Monitor: And The Curtain Rises On The Barr Cover-up

  Do You Trust Barr? Mueller’s team conducted the investigation. Mueller’s team wrote the report including summaries. Mueller’s responsibility is to report to Congress. Barr interjected to offer a non-summary summary of the Mueller report feeding a Trump claim of ‘Exoneration!’ Barr fed Trump his second talking point by claiming there was “spying”. Barr coordinated with White House lawyers while stonewalling Congress so that a Trump legal team ‘rebuttal’ will be released at the same time as Barr’s redacted version of the Mueller report. Barr will hold a press conference, possibly before anyone has read his redacted edition. Barr’s history leading…


William Barr’s Been Accused Of A Presidential Cover-up Before

“If you want a presidential cover-up, Barr is your guy.” By Greg Walters Vice News (4/17/19) WASHINGTON — Weeks before former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger’s criminal trial over his role in the 1980’s Iran-Contra scandal, then-Attorney General William Barr dropped a bomb on the prosecution. “People in the Iran-Contra affair have been treated very unfairly,” Barr told USA Today in December 1992, blasting the charges as illegitimate. “People in this Iran-Contra matter have been prosecuted for the kind of conduct that would not have been considered criminal or prosecutable by the Justice Department.” Weinberger faced charges of lying to Congress,…


Only Rebellion Will Prevent An Ecological Apocalypse

The time for excuses is over. The struggle to overthrow our life-denying system has begun. By George Monbiot The Guardian (4/15/19) Had we put as much effort into preventing environmental catastrophe as we’ve spent on making excuses for inaction, we would have solved it by now. Everywhere I look, I see people engaged in furious attempts to fend off the moral challenge it presents. The commonest current excuse is this: “I bet those protesters have phones/go on holiday/wear leather shoes.” In other words, we won’t listen to anyone who is not living naked in a barrel, subsisting only on murky water….


The Story Of The ‘Librarian of Auschwitz’

PRI’s The World (4/15/19) A book by Antonio Iturbe tells the extraordinary story of a 14-year-old girl at Auschwitz who’s given a responsibility by her fellow prisoners there: She’s entrusted to look after a small library of books smuggled into the concentration camp. The girl’s name is Dita Kraus, and she turns 90 this year. The BBC’s Rebecca Jones has the story. Link to 5-minute Audio


Notably Quotable: “Being honest may not get you a lot of friends…”

“Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones.” — John Lennon ***** “Since 2001, every American taxpayer has spent almost $24,000 on the wars — equal to the average down payment on a house, a new Honda Accord, or a year at a public university.” — Mind Unleashed, We Have Spent $32 Million Per Hour on War Since 2001, (3/25/19) ***** “So long as the fundamental structures of the economy remain unchanged, state action will disproportionately benefit capitalist interests at the expense of everything else.” —   “The ABCs of Socialism”…


A New Role For Democratic Centrists: Helping The Left Win To Stop Trump

Democratic centrists need to accept that the Donkey’s moving in a new direction now; fighting it by demonizing the left just makes the calamitous prospect of a second Trump term more likely. By Ed Kilgore Intelligencer (3/5/19) Democratic centrists — or you can call them New Democrats or moderates or “pragmatic progressives” or whatever label you choose — have had quite an impressive run in national politics. They have won seven consecutive Democratic presidential nominations (or perhaps eight, depending on how you classify Michael Dukakis), and then went on to win the popular vote in six of those general elections….


They Are Such A Good Investment: Top Hospital Lobbyist Predicts Pelosi Will Block Vote On Medicare For All

Medicare for All opponents have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Pelosi and House Corporate Democratic leaders. By Andrew Perez Maplight & Alex Kotch Sludge (4/12/19) A top hospital lobbyist told a room of health care executives this week not to worry about “Medicare for All” and suggested that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) won’t let the idea come up for a vote during the current Congress. Tom Nickels, the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) executive vice president for government relations, spoke at the organization’s annual conference on Monday, a day before Pelosi addressed the same Washington, D.C. ballroom. Although…


On This Tax Day Remember, While You Paid Your Taxes For The Common Good, These Mega Corporations Betrayed The Nation By Paying Nothing

Smile, Suckers, As The Rich Get Richer. By Kathryn Kranhold The Center for Public Integrity (4/11/19) Taxpayers are scrambling to make last-minute payments due to the Internal Revenue Service in just four days, but many of the country’s largest publicly-held corporations are doing better: They’ve reported they owe absolutely nothing on the billions of dollars in profits they earned last year. At least 60 companies reported that their 2018 federal tax rates amounted to effectively zero, or even less than zero, on income earned on U.S. operations, according to an analysis released today by the Washington, D.C.-based think tank, the Institute…


Assange’s Indictment Is Trump’s Next Step In His War On Our Free Press

  By Trevor Timm The Guardian (4/13/19) The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is so disliked in journalism and political circles that many reporters and liberal politicians were publicly cheering on Thursday when the Trump administration released an indictment of Assange, which was related to his interactions with the whistleblower Chelsea Manning in the months leading up to the publication of Pentagon and state department cables in 2010. Please do not fall for this trap. It is exactly what the Trump administration is hoping for, as the Department of Justice (DoJ) moves forward with its next dangerous step in its war on journalism…


Change The Narrative: How A Swiss Group Is Marginalizing Hateful Rightwing Populists

“The [far right] populists don’t know what’s hit them, and they really don’t know how to deal with it.” By Jon Henley The Guardian (4/7/19) How do you beat rightwing populists? With pink socks, viral videos, condoms – and an iron determination not to let them decide what matters. That’s how Operation Libero are doing it anyway. As advancing nationalist parties prepare to meet in Milan on Monday to forge an alliance in the run-up to May’s European elections, anti-populist activists in Switzerland may have some lessons on halting – even reversing – the seemingly unstoppable rise of rightwing populists. “It’s about…


A New Approach: Bitter Bipartisanship Has Become Toxic…Can We Save Ourselves?

[Editor’s Note: Check out those poll stats for democrats. — Mark L. Taylor] By Scott Wittkopf Frame4future (4/11/19) A recent New York Times Opinion article (“No Hate Left Behind”, March 13,2019) reaffirmed something that has been concerning me for months. In particular, the op-ed discusses a survey conducted by very respected political scientists. Their findings resonated with something that I have been writing, discussing, and raising red flags about to Democrats and progressives for a long time. This passage discusses attitudes of political partisans towards people from the opposite party as them, as expressed in the survey: “Kalmoe and Mason (the researchers)…found that nearly…


Russia Monitor: Trump’s Unapologetic & Supine Protector Does His Job, As Promised

  “They’re going to try to hide the report as much as possible,” he tells me. “They’re going to claim executive privilege, and we’ll have to challenge all that. And we’ll win eventually. We’ll get it all out.” — House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler speaking about the Mueller report. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/15/19) Dear Fellow Readers, We’ll start with a positive story of congressional effort to get us the full Mueller report as we await release; this from a Commoner Call reader: Jerry Nadler Won’t Stop Until the Full Mueller Report is Out. House Judiciary Committee chairman…


As Party Leaders Dither, Corporate Dem Runs To Fox News To Smear Rep. Ilhan Omar

The Young Turks (4/12/19) “Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) ripped his Democratic colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for her “offensive” comments about 9/11 during an appearance on Fox News today. “Let’s be very clear about this, this is insensitive and it’s offensive,” Rose told Fox News anchor Dana Perino this afternoon. “On 9/11 radical terrorists attacked us. New York City lost thousands of people. My district, Staten Island and South Brooklyn, lost hundreds of cops, firemen, first responders, more than any other district in America.” The comments Rose condemned were made by Omar during an event for the Council on American-Islamic…


Author David Wallace-Wells: ‘Why climate change is gravely worse than feared’

  ITV News (2/19/19) According to American author David Wallace-Wells, there is a jarring gap between academic research and how climate change is represented in the media. His new book, worryingly titled, ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’ is a warning that simply more can and must be done. In a wide-ranging interview with ITV News Science Editor Tom Clarke, Wallace-Wells describes how he became a “quasi-activist” during his research; how an alarmist approach can be effective; the damning failure of the Paris Agreement and how China could play a key role in reducing global warming. Link to 23-Minute Video


Goliath: How Monopolies Came To Be

  BBC (4/9/19) Political economist, academic and journalist Will Hutton traces the history of monopolies and public attitudes towards them. Coming at the subject with an open mind full of strongly held beliefs — some of which are in opposition to each other — he considers the great ironies and tensions at the heart of the modern monopoly. The last 200 years have been dominated by two schools of thought on how the economy functions. One, originating from Adam Smith, focuses on competition. The other, conscious of how Smith’s brand of liberalism leads to rapid concentration of wealth, takes its…


The Story Behind Roberto Duterte: Blood, Brutality & Power In The Philppines

  Narcissistic political power violence & charisma. Frontline Dispatch / PBS (3/21/19) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte makes his own rules. His war on drugs has led to the deaths of thousands of alleged drug users and dealers. His violent rhetoric and rape jokes have shocked people around the world. Yet he’s hugely popular. Reporter Aurora Almendral delves into what made him the leader he is today. Her investigation starts in his hometown in the Philippines. Link to 33-Minute Audio  


How Far-Right Thugs Evade Charges As Domestic Terrorists

The people marching with tiki torches don’t end up being viewed as domestic terrorists.   By Luke Barnes ThinkProgress (3/23/19) Christopher Hasson’s alleged intentions were clear from the start. Hasson, 49, a Coast Guard lieutenant, was arrested by federal agents in late February on gun and drug charges. But the guns alone weren’t the reason prosecutors were concerned. Instead, they were troubled by the fact that Hasson had allegedly amassed an arsenal in preparation for a lone wolf attack inspired by the far right, and had compiled an alleged hit list of prominent Democrats and journalists, which included CNN’s Don Lemon, Sen….


Wall Street LOVES Socialism … For Bankers – But Not For Ordinary Americans

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon decries socialism. Unless of course it’s the banks wanting government bailouts! By Robert Reich The Guardian (4/8/19) In his annual letter to shareholders, distributed last week, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took aim at socialism, warning it would be “a disaster for our country,” because it produces “stagnation, corruption and often worse.” Dimon should know. He was at the helm when JPMorgan received a $25bn socialist-like bailout in 2008, after it and other Wall Street banks almost tanked because of their reckless loans. Dimon subsequently agreed to pay the government $13bn to settle charges that the bank overstated the quality of mortgages…


Spare Us The Whiny Self-Serving Excuses, Kirstjen Nielsen. You Were The Worst

The former homeland security secretary deployed the cynically calculated skills of a careerist technocrat in the cause of Trump’s inhumanity. By Richard Wolffe The Guardian (4/8/19) Of all the charlatans, sycophants and moral sellouts surrounding Donald Trump, no one comes close to Kirstjen Nielsen. Not Steve Bannon, the neo-fascist strategist who glued a thin veneer of ideology on top of the particle board flakes that fill the cranium of a bankrupt property developer. Not Paul Manafort, the ostrich jacket-loving former campaign chairman now serving seven years for being a liar and fraud after servicing a motley crew of tyrants. The Department…


Stephen Miller’s Uncle: Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Comments Demonize Asylum Seekers & Stir Racist Hatred

  [Editor’s Note: In the German death camps they referred to Jewish collaborators as ‘kapos’. Stephen Miller is made of the same rotted material. — Mark L. Taylor] Democracy Now! (4/9/19) As his administration intensifies anti-immigrant policies at the border, President Trump has reportedly put adviser Stephen Miller in charge of the administration’s immigration policy. The Wall Street Journal reports Miller has backed the reinstatement of Trump’s family separation policy and has been pushing officials at the Homeland Security and Justice Departments to “get in line” with a more hard-line immigration approach. This news comes as Trump told the Republican…


A Top Progressive Consulting Firm Is Doing PR Work For An Israeli Spy Corporation

By Alex Kane The Intercept (4/5/19) A PROMINENT POLITICAL communications shop that works on Democratic campaigns, employs Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaign alums, and boasts of its role in the fight for gun control and LGBT equality is representing an Israeli firm notorious for selling powerful surveillance technology to authoritarian governments around the world. NSO Group, which is facing multiple lawsuits charging that its technology was used to spy on journalists and dissidents, hired SKDKnickerbocker to help with media inquiries as the spy firm tries to turn around its marred image. The hiring, which was first reported by FastCompany, is the latest example of how SKDKnickerbocker…


Dithering: Barack Obama Is Stuck In The Past Of The Old Democratic Party

Obama and the centrist Democrats he backs are something like the old “Rockefeller Republicans” of the 70s and early 80s. They didn’t realize how out of step with the times they were until it was too late. By Bhaskar Sunkara The Guardian (4/8/19) Barack Obama is worried about the Democratic party. This weekend, he told a crowd at an Obama Foundation event in Berlin that the party is becoming a “circular firing squad” targeting those “straying from purity” on certain issues. Leading figures around the party have indeed moved to the left since he left office two years ago. Thanks in…


Not Only Was America Not Christian But Founders Invented A Pagan Goddess Upon Which To Found The Government

Salvation for sale in the Walmart checkout line…   By Thom Hartman (4/4/19) Despite popular misconceptions from right wing media, America, the United States was not founded as a Christian nation. America has roots in the deism of the founding fathers, atheism of the enlightenment. The Founding fathers even went so far as to create an American God (Far before Neil Gaiman). The Goddess Columbia was the creation of the founding fathers who thought the nation should have their own goddess to protect the young nation. This doesn’t sound very christian does it? 8+-Minute Video “Cannons Of Christianity” by Phil…


Trump’s ‘truly bizarre’ Visit To George Washington’s Mount Vernon

The 45th president — no student of history — marveled at the first president’s failure to name his historic compound after himself. By Eliana Johson & Daniel Lippman Politico (4/10/19) President Donald Trump had some advice for George Washington. During a guided tour of Mount Vernon last April with French president Emmanuel Macron, Trump learned that Washington was one of the major real-estate speculators of his era. So, he couldn’t understand why America’s first president didn’t name his historic Virginia compound or any of the other property he acquired after himself. “If he was smart, he would’ve put his name…


Russia Monitor: Trump’s Man In The Just-Us Department Keeping The Boss Happy

  “I don’t trust Barr, I trust Mueller.” — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (4/10/19) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/11/19) Dear Fellow Readers, “He is not the attorney general of Donald Trump. He is the attorney general of the United States;” was the remainder of Pelosi’s statement. Our last edition opened with ‘depends on the day’ with regard to Trump’s fights against releasing the Mueller report or releasing his taxes. The answer today is ‘both’; the news is overwhelmingly about more pronouncements from Trump’s Attorney General Barr. Barr has already offered a non-summary summary, exonerating Trump while burying the lede,…


US Government’s Refusal To Confirm Or Deny It Put American Journalist On Drone Kill List Called ‘Chilling’

“The government seeks to shield itself from all inquiry into the process by which it acts as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner.” By Julia Conley Common Dreams (4/2/19) Lawyers for an American journalist who believes he was placed on the government’s infamous “kill list” warned Tuesday that the rights of all U.S. citizens are at stake if the country’s drone assassination program is allowed to continue. The organization’s comments came as part of a response to the U.S. government’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit regarding its use of the list. Reprieve is representing Bilal Abdul Kareem, a journalist and U.S….


The Trace: Threats, Mass Shootings, Political Betrayal & Electoral Paralysis

The Trace (4/9/19) A South Carolina Republican was threatened online for not advancing a permitless carry bill. State Representative Peter McCoy said police were monitoring his home after a threatening Facebook comment was posted on a local gun rights page. It read: “Totally sucks that one guy has that much control. Maybe we should shoot him?” The comment has since been removed by the page administrators, who say that they do not advocate “even the hint of a threat of violence.” Meanwhile, in Texas: A gun rights activist agitating for the passage of a permitless carry bill turned up at the home of the GOP state House…


‘Losing Earth’ Explores How Oil Industry Played Politics With The Planet’s Fate

‘Losing Earth’ Explores How Oil Industry Played Politics With The Planet’s Fate. By Terry Gross Fresh Air / WHYY (4/8/19) Climate change is often thought of as a partisan issue in the United States, but New York Times journalist Nathaniel Rich says that wasn’t always the case. Rich says that from 1979 until 1989, climate change was viewed as a bipartisan problem — then the the oil industry “descended and bared its fangs” and everything changed. In his new book, Losing Earth, Rich writes that in the late 1980s, the American Petroleum Institute began paying scientists to write op-eds questioning climate science. He describes the…


Progressive Campaign Consultants Sidestep DCCC And Create ‘The Blacklist’

“I won’t hesitate to work with progressive candidates challenging incumbent Democrats who are out of touch with their constituents. If that means getting blacklisted by the DCCC, then so be it.” By Emily Kopp Roll Call (4/5/19) Campaign consultants who face being frozen out tens of millions of dollars in contracts with the Democratic Party’s congressional arm are pushing back. A new website called “The DCCC Blacklist” launched in response to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s newly stated policy that it will not grant contracts to pollsters, strategists and communications specialists working with primary challengers. The Justice Democrats launched the site to create…


“Corporate Homicide” — Ralph Nader Demands Boeing Recall Jets After Ethiopia Crash Kills His Niece

“Passengers first.” — Ralph Nader Democracy Now! (4/5/19) A wrongful death case was filed against Boeing on the same day that a preliminary investigation into last month’s Ethiopian Airlines crash revealed damning details about the aircraft manufacturer and raised new questions about whether it gave pilots proper instructions for navigating new software. The findings were released Thursday in Ethiopia, based on the analysis of a team of 18 investigators, less than a month after the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash killed all 157 people on board. The report found similarities in the technical issues experienced by pilots on both the…


Free To Kill: Libertarian Dogma Boeing Exploited Has Killed Hundreds & Torched Company’s Reputation

Boeing is one of the US’s top 10 corporate lobbyists, contributing to Democrats and Republicans alike. By Will Hutton The Guardian (4/7/19) America First nationalism, indulgent free market economics, Republican libertarianism and a political system in hock to corporate lobbying has just contributed to killing 356 innocent people. The more we know about the crashes of Boeing 737 Max 8 planes in Indonesia and Ethiopia – after anti-stalling devices locked both aircraft into unrecoverable nose-dives – the more shocking the story becomes. The Federal Aviation Authority has an enviable technical reputation, but over the past decade it has suffered from successive budget cuts and…


Pelosi Accused Of Deploying Most Dishonest Corporate Argument Against Medicare For All

  The Speaker was also slammed for echoing insurance industry talking points against single-payer. By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (4/6/19) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came under fire from single-payer proponents Thursday after she deployed what one healthcare policy expert described as “probably the most dishonest argument in the entire Medicare for All debate.” In an interview with the Washington Post, the Democratic leader said she is “agnostic” on Medicare for All and claimed, “A lot of people love having their employer-based insurance and the Affordable Care Act gave them better benefits.” Matt Bruenig, founder of the left-wing think tank People’s Policy Project, argued in a blog…


Wellstone Legacy ‘goes dormant’ After Family Ousted In Democratic Feud

“I think they’ve forgotten that Paul Wellstone worked hard for downtrodden folks everywhere.” By David Siders Politico (5/13/18) In the Democratic Party’s reckoning following the election of Donald Trump, an unlikely feud has erupted inside an organization at the heart of the progressive movement. Earlier this year, the board of directors of Wellstone Action — an influential training group formed after Paul Wellstone’s death — dumbfounded Minnesota Democrats when it voted the late senator’s sons off the governing board. The ouster came after the sons, Mark and David Wellstone, raised concerns about overspending in areas of the organization’s budget — and…


American Dystopia: Muzzling Of Dissent In The Surveillance State, The Illusion Of Choice & Freedom

    Intercepted Podcast (4/3/19) A new series from The Intercept, “The Threat Within,” takes a deep dive into examining federal terrorism prosecutions in the United States since 9/11. This week on Intercepted: The Intercept’s Alice Speri discusses her investigation into the FBI’s creation of the term “black identity extremist” and explains why this label is so dangerous. Science fiction author Cory Doctorow walks us through the dystopian, yet highly plausible, futures in his new book “Radicalized.” Doctorow also breaks down the newly passed European Copyright Directive and its implications for the internet as we know it. Plus, Katie Alice Greer…