Progressives Refuse To Back Down As DCCC Moves To Kneecap Primary Challengers Of Old Guard Wall Street Dems

“The party shouldn’t be in the business of protecting Dems in safe blue districts who have lost touch with their constituents.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams Progressives made clear they have no intention of backing down to the party establishment after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Friday threatened to cut off funds to firms and strategists that support primary challengers against incumbents. “The DCCC can do anything it wants to try to prevent the next generation of Democrats from taking power. They will not succeed,” Sean McElwee—co-founder of Data for Progress, which is recruiting progressives to oust conservative Democrats—said in a statement….

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Russia Monitor: Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani Says Mueller Report Was ‘better than I expected.’ So What Was He Expecting & Why All The Lies?

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (3/25/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Special counsel Robert Mueller submitted his report to Attorney General William Barr on Friday. On Sunday Barr made a public release of a summary of the special counsel’s findings. You can access Barr’s four-page document here. While there will be an ongoing debate of what was said and what it means, Trump and his followers are declaring victory, and while more information to come may make this less than the resounding victory being claimed, the first wave of headlines benefit Trump. Keep in mind, very few people have seen…


A ‘Mole Among Trolls’ Went Undercover At A Russian Online Troll Factory & Found Hundreds Of Russians Working As Paid Trolls In Rotating Shifts

  “Each worker has a quota to fill every day and every night. Because the factory works around the clock. It never stops. Not for a second.” Charles Maynes PRI’s The World (3/18/19) Slaying online trolls can be a lonely business. Just ask Russia’s Lyudmila Savchuk, who first exposed the story of Russia’s disinformation campaign back in 2014. The journalist and 33-year-old mother of two, Savchuk started noticing websites and social media accounts attacking local opposition activists in her hometown of Saint Petersburg with a frequency she hadn’t seen before. The posts were all too similar. The verbal assaults too…


Immigration Officials Snatch 9-Year-Old U.S. Citizen Heading To School, Hold Her For 2 Days

“I was scared. I was completely by myself,” says sobbing fourth-grader. By Mary Papenfuss HuffPost (3/23/19) A 9-year-old American citizen on her way to school was apprehended by U.S. immigration officials and detained for some 32 hours before she was released back to her family. Federal officials said later that the girl, who was carrying a U.S. passport card with her, gave “inconsistent information.” “I was scared. I didn’t have my mom or my brother. I was completely by myself,” Julia Isabel Amparo Medina told NBC-7 TV in San Diego. Medina, her 14-year-old brother and two friends were being driven to…


A Corporation Built On Immigrant Abuse & Anguish

There are reports of drug smuggling, suicides, and mixing asylum seekers with convicted criminals. By Richard N. Williams Sojourners Magazine (March 2019 Issue) AT 146 CCA ROAD in Lumpkin, Ga., sits the Stewart Detention Center, one of the nation’s largest immigrant holding facilities. It’s also a multimillion-dollar revenue-generating business. The nearly 2,000-bed facility, originally built as a medium-security prison, is owned and operated by CoreCivic (formerly known as the Corrections Corporation of America), the second largest private prison firm in the United States. Private detention centers, such as Stewart, are major sources of revenue for the private prison industry. CoreCivic is currently…


Long Before Bernie & AOC, Eugene V. Debs Was The Face Of American Socialism

  By Paul Buhle & Mari Jo Buhle The Guardian (3/2/19) Socialism is in vogue in America. Radical left politics, embodied by the likes of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is gaining traction among millennials who came of age during the Great Recession. And conservatives, in turn, have reverted to using decades-old Red Scare tactics in response. With the hype around a resurgent American left, it might feel like socialism is a newcomer to political discourse in the United States. But only if you don’t know your US history. Long before Bernie Sanders came along, there was Eugene Debs. It is impossible to understand the…


Anand Giridharadas: The College Bribery Scandal Is Just A Glimpse Of The Many Ways The Wealthy Rig Society To Their Benefit

When a scandal like this breaks, it’s really important for us to understand that we’ve gone from seeing 0 percent of a system to 0.003 percent of a system, right? There’s so much more here. This is a little biopsy of a world that we happen to get. Democracy Now! (3/15/19) As the fallout continues over the elite college admissions scandal that investigators nicknamed “Operation Varsity Blues,” we speak with journalist Anand Giridharadas, author of “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.” His book examines how the so-called elite class of America have worked the system to…


Our Great Lakes Feeling The Burn From Growing Effects Of Deadly Climate Chaos

  By Dan Kraker MPR (3/21/19) People living around the Great Lakes can expect to see more harmful algae blooms, warmer water temperatures and declining ice cover, more huge rain storms flushing runoff from farm fields and parking lots, and more coastal erosion and beach closures. That’s the assessment of a new study commissioned by an environmental advocacy group analyzing the impacts of climate change on the world’s largest supply of fresh water. Taking decisive steps to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change could have profound impacts on the health of the Great Lakes. Many…


Review / ‘Kushner, Inc’ — Jared, Ivanka Trump And The Rise & Rule Of The American Kakistocracy

If nothing else, Kushner, Inc reinforces the well-founded conviction that we are governed by a kakistocracy, from the president on down. By Lloyd Green Guardian (3/24/19) Like Donald Trump, Americans are displeased with Jared Kushner, the president’s squeaky sounding son-in-law. As the reality that Kushner received his White House security clearance the same way he got into Harvard sinks in – “Daddy” pulled some very expensive strings – his popularity will not be rebounding anytime soon. Vicky Ward’s book is subtitled: “Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.” It is a damning depiction of the Kushner clan and “Javanka”. Kushner, Inc is an amalgam…


On The 16th Anniversary Of Disastrous Iraq War, Matt Taibbi Asks ‘Where Were The Reporters?

In this March 23rd episode of The Zero Hour Richard ‘RJ’ Eskow and Rolling Stone journalist and book author Matt Tiabbi mark the 16th anniversary of the disastrous Cheney/Bush Iraq by reviewing the many mistakes, errors and missed opportunities and close cooperation of most of the American media in leading the nation to war and the Middle East to multiple senseless tragedies. Link to 34-Minute Video ****** 16 Years Later, How The Press That Sold The Iraq War Got Away With It How the media built new lies to cover their early ones. By Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone (3/22/19) Sixteen…


Notably Quotable: “The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth.”

  “The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys the commonwealth – that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community – and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means.” ― Wendell Berry ***** “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” ― Eric Hoffer, The Temper of Our Time ***** “In October 1964 in the state of Mississippi, the civil rights movement suffered fifteen killings, four woundings, thirty-seven churches bombed or burned, and…


Beto Bunk: Reinventing Beto: How A GOP Accessory Became A Top Democratic Contender for 2020

There’s a good reason why O’Rourke declines to call himself “progressive.” He isn’t. His alliances and sensibilities are bedrock corporate. By Norman Solomon Common Dreams (3/21/19) To understand Beto O’Rourke as a candidate, it’s vital to go beneath the surface of his political backstory. News watchers are already well aware of the former Texas congressman’s good looks, charisma, youthful energy and fundraising prowess. But most remain unaware of an inconvenient truth that could undermine the O’Rourke campaign among the people who matter most—the ones who’ll be voting to choose the Democratic presidential nominee next year. O’Rourke is hardly eager for…


‘A perfect platform’: Internet’s Abyss Has Becomes A Far-Right Breeding Pit

Studies, time and again, have shown the algorithms employed by YouTube and Facebook push conspiracy theories and far-right propaganda into the feeds of users. By Christopher Knaus The Guardian (3/18/19) No depth goes unplumbed on the far-right forum 8chan. Its threads reveal a seething, toxic mass of rabid antisemitism, neo-Nazism, Islamophobia, gratuitous violence, coded inside jokes and conspiratorial ravings published by anonymous users. Nothing has changed in the days after the Australian alleged gunman Brenton Tarrant, 28, came to 8chan boasting of the imminent massacre in Christchurch. Posts have since praised Tarrant as a “hero” and called for copycat attacks, or, alternatively, denounced…


Neo-Nazi Hipsters Group ‘Identity Evropa’ Exposed In Discord Chat Leak

  By Chris Schiano & Freddy Martinez Unicorn Riot (3/6/19) Newly leaked chat logs from the alt-right group Identity Evropa show a continuing dynamic of racism and fascism, despite ongoing attempts to reform their public image following the deadly 2017 ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville. Since the violence in Charlottesville turned much of society against the alt-right, Identity Evropa (IE for short) has changed their strategy, focusing on presenting clean “optics” to the exclusion of most other considerations. The group today tries to present itself as entirely nonviolent, with its public appearances carefully groomed by its young leader, Patrick Casey, a…



A Group Of Wisconsin Physicians Speak: What Is Medicare For All — And Why Is It Essential

“And lack of health insurance is the leading cause of personal bankruptcy, a uniquely American problem.” [Editor’s Note: This column does an excellent job of concisely laying out the case for Medicare 4 All and the broken reality of the costly and ineffective corporate medical system. Forward on to your contacts. — Mark L. Taylor] By Steven Weis MD The La Crosse Tribune (3/17/19) In 2009, before Obamacare, a Harvard study estimated that 45,000 Americans died annually because they didn’t have health insurance. Obamacare has shrunk the ranks of the uninsured from 50 million then to less than 29 million…


A Retiring La Crosse Physician Is Now Turning His Attention To The Healing Of Our Politics

“A cherished memory from medical school was the day that I held in my hands a just newly born little girl as she took her first breath. I was blown away by that experience and to this day remain convinced that she was born to thrive.” [Editor’s Note: On Wednesday Mark Neumann MD sent the following letter out to his colleagues at Gundersen Health System announcing his retirement and plans to become involved in the political work of bringing health care to the many in need.  In addition to his work at Gundersen, he began his medical career providing healthcare…


David Hogg: Putting Kids, Communities & Our Nation’s Future Over The Selfish Interests Of The NRA

Parkland, Florida school shooting survivor David Hogg. Make sure the young people in your life hear this amazingly courageous and eloquent teen speak out about gun violence, white power and the need to bring about a humane society. Westminster Town Hall Forum / MPR (3/19/19) David Hogg is a survivor of the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He is among twenty Parkland students who founded Never Again MSD, a gun control advocacy group, and he is a founding member of March for Our Lives, one of the largest youth-led movements in the world….


‘Terrible News’: US Supreme Court Rules For Indefinite Detention Of Immigrants

Should the court rule that undocumented immigrants lack these basic liberties, what’s to stop the government from torturing them, executing them, or keeping them imprisoned forever? [Editor’s Note: Be clear and understand, whenever the rights of a minority are compromised and trammeled it is just a matter of time — and one emergency decree — before the rights you assume are also endangered. — Mark L. Taylor] By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams (3/19/19) A Supreme Court ruling Tuesday stating undocumented immigrants with criminal records can be detained indefinitely by U.S. authorities at any time after an initial arrest—even years later—generated outrage…


Russia Monitor: Mini-Series Featuring Really Bad Actors Acting In Concert

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (3/21/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump-Russia is more a mini-series than a movie. The landscape is too broad, too many characters, too many plot twists… Flynn to Kian to Erik Prince to Dmitriev to Russian Bank to Putin – When A Cast of Bad Actors Becomes a Conspiracy. And national betrayal Weedy but damning with mercenary former Blackwater founder, unofficial Trump campaign adviser and brother to Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Erik Prince as a more central Trump-Russia conspirator. One of the lesser-known persons implicated through special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation is the former…


BOUGHT! With Help Of Democrats, Regulators Move To Gut ‘Last Line Of Defense’ Against Wall Street Gambling

Get ready to shell out for more Wall Street bailouts! By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (3/20/19) In a move policy analysts and progressives warned could drastically increase the risk of another financial collapse, two Democratic regulators appointed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) joined their GOP colleagues in pushing the Federal Reserve to weaken safeguards that limit Wall Street’s dangerous gambling. “At issue is the supplementary leverage rule, which was adopted in the aftermath of the 2008 collapse as a last line of defense against financial excess,” HuffPost‘s Zach Carter reported Tuesday. “Four out of five top officials at the Commodity Futures…


History They Don’t Want You To Know! From Dumping Henry Wallace To Blocking Bernie: How The Democratic Party Often Betrayed The Working Class

  Wallace was one of the most popular public figures in America during the 1930s. The Real News Network (3/20/19) (A replay of a TRNN interview from June 2016) Peter Kuznick, co-author of The Untold History of the United States, spoke to Paul Jay about the significance of the vice presidency of Henry Wallace, who served in the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, in the context of the Bernie Sanders campaign. “[The historian] Arthur Schlesinger talked about him being the greatest secretary of agriculture in American history,” said Peter Kuznick. “He turned the agricultural economy around. In 1932, the farm…


This Sunday, March 24 — Local Democratic Socialists Meet In La Crosse

There will be a meeting of Democratic Socialists of America members, and those interested in the group. Sunday March 24th / 6 p.m. La Crosse Food Co-op community room (upstairs) There will be a carpool leaving from the Viroqua Food Co-op at 5:15. Hope to see you there, and spread the word! ***** Social Democratic Nations Rank Happiest On Global Index (Again). US Ranking Falls (Again) Out-sized corporate power and wealth inequality were named as reasons for Americans’ chronic unhappiness in the UN’s annual report. By Julia Conley Common Dreams (3/20/19) The social democracy of Finland was once again ranked…


Listen Up & Believe What He Says: Trump Threatens Violence Against Enemies

“A society becomes totalitarian when its structure becomes flagrantly artificial: that is, when its ruling class has lost its function but succeeds in clinging to power by force or fraud.” — George Orwell, The Prevention of Literature   The Young Turks (3/14/19) “President Trump issued a bizarre, indirect warning Monday that his supporters could get “tough” on his political enemies at a “certain point,” in a clip of a Breitbart interview spotted Thursday by The Toronto Star. “You know, the left plays a tougher game, it’s very funny,” the president told Breibart’s Matthew Boyle. “I actually think that the people on the…


The Rapid Decline Of The Natural World Is A Crisis Even Bigger Than Climate Chaos

Animal populations have declined by 60 percent since 1970, driven by human actions, according to a recent World Wildlife Fund study. By John Vidal HuffPost (3/15/19) Nature is in freefall and the planet’s support systems are so stretched that we face widespread species extinctions and mass human migration unless urgent action is taken. That’s the warning hundreds of scientists are preparing to give, and it’s stark. The last year has seen a slew of brutal and terrifying warnings about the threat climate change poses to life. Far less talked about but just as dangerous, if not more so, is the…


Aldo Leopold On The Penalty Of The ‘Ecological Education’

“One of the penalities of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community and believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.” — Aldo Leopold, “A Sand County Almanac” (1949).


On Contact: Climate Emergency With ‘End Of Ice’ Author Dahr Jamail

  Chris Hedges On Contact (2/23/19) The glaciers in Alaska alone are losing an estimated 75 billion tons of ice every year. The oceans, which absorb over 90 percent of the excess heat trapped by greenhouses gases in the atmosphere, are warming and acidifying, melting the polar ice caps and resulting in rising sea levels and oxygen-starved ocean dead zones. We await a 50-gigaton burp, or “pulse,” of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost beneath the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, which will release about 2/3 of the total carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere since the beginning of the industrial era….


Venezuela Coup Leader’s Oil Plans Revealed: Guaidó Hopes To Privatize State-Controlled Industry

  By Ben Norton The Grayzone (3/14/19) The international news agency Reuters has confirmed that Venezuela’s US-appointed coup leader Juan Guaidó and his right-wing economic advisers drafted a plan to privatize the country’s petroleum industry and open up the oil-rich South American country to foreign corporations. This privatization scheme will be difficult to implement, however, given the Venezuelan government still remains under the control of its elected leftist president, Nicolás Maduro, and the coup attempt led by the Donald Trump administration has thus far failed. The Grayzone reported on the opposition’s moves to try to privatize Venezuela’s oil industry immediately after the coup attempt began nearly…


Russia Monitor: Just How Many Will Have To Suffer?

  “I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. It’s certainly a terrible thing.” — Trump when asked “whether white nationalists were a growing threat”. ***** “Time and time again, this president has embraced and emboldened white supremacists — and instead of condemning racist terrorists, he covers for them. “This isn’t normal or acceptable. We have to be better than this.” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweet in response to Trump. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (3/18/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump is not normal, not acceptable. There are things Trump refuses to…


How Russian-Style Kleptocracy Is Infiltrating America

When the U.S.S.R. collapsed, Washington bet on the global spread of democratic capitalist values—and lost. While everyone else was heralding an emergent globalist world that would take on the best values of America, Palmer had glimpsed the dire risk of the opposite: that the values of the kleptocrats would become America’s own. This grim vision is now nearing fruition. By Franklin Foer The Atlantic (March 2020 Issue) For two years, in the early 1990s, Richard Palmer served as the CIA station chief in the United States’ Moscow embassy. The events unfolding around him—the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the rise…


The Big Cheat: Brutal Lesson For Children Of Middle & Working Classes

  By Leo Gerard OurFuture.org (3/14/19) The children of working stiffs learned a brutal lesson this week as federal prosecutors criminally charged rich people with buying admission to elite universities for their less-than-stellar children. The lesson is that no matter how hard you work, no matter how smart or talented you are, a dumb, lazy rich kid is going to beat you. It’s crucial that everyone who is not a wealthy movie star, hedge fund executive, or corporate CEO – that is, 99 percent of all Americans – see this college admissions scandal for what it really is: a microcosm…


Right At Home! The Ever Eternal Marie Antoinette Stages A Comeback On Capitol Hill

Antoinette toasts to Wilbur Ross at the House Oversight Committee hearing. “My fabulosity and philosophy are eternal!” By Marie Antoinette Inequality.org (3/14/19) She’s back — in all her out-of-touch glory. More than 225 years after losing her head to a guillotine, Marie Antoinette has made a grand re-entrance into the halls of power. With her reattached head holding up a frothy mound of white curls, she descended on Capitol Hill on March 14 to attend a House Oversight Committee hearing. The star witness: billionaire Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Ross is just one of numerous Trump administration officials who’ve distinguished themselves with…


U.S. Gun Makers Send Weapons South Causing More Migrants To Flee North

The State Department export process allows far too many guns to be sold into areas where they might be used to harm civilians or supply criminals. By Alex Yablon The Trace (3/8/19) When Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández was re-elected in November 2017, in a vote that outside monitors described as tainted by fraud, protesters around the country took to the streets. Hernández’s first term had been marked by violent crime and corruption; many voters wanted change. In the ensuing days, military police opened fire on the demonstrators, killing more than 30 people and wounding hundreds. Photos published in the Miami Herald showed officers shooting…


Community Ownership: It Takes A Village To Save A British Pub

  All the pubs local community groups have purchased in the past seven years are still in operation. By Frank Langfitt Morning Edition / NPR (3/14/19) The Packhorse pub sits in the tiny village of South Stoke in the west of England amid rolling hills dotted with sheep. For more than a century and a half, it played a crucial role in the village and marked milestones in the lives of local families. Gerard Coles, who was born half a mile from the pub and now brews cider nearby, started coming to the Packhorse when he was 15 and underage, sometimes with…


How Trump Embraces Cruelty, Undermines America, Attacks Truth & The Ability To Think

What Michael Cohen said about Donald Trump not voluntarily leaving the presidency is bone-chilling. It is also not surprising to me. Bu Chauncey Devega Salon (3/11/19) Last weekend, Donald Trump delivered a big speech at the annual CPAC political carnival. It was the longest and perhaps the most memorable of his entire political career. It was also a delusional, nightmarish monologue, full of lies and violent images, manifestly the work of someone who lives in his own reality. Trump’s audience at CPAC, and around the country, was enthralled. This is one of the most prominent attributes of a political cult:…



‘There Is No Meritocracy’ — College Admissions Scandal Exposes Systemic Rot Benefiting Freeloading Wealthy Progressives Say

A wake-up call for people who have fallen for the lie the wealthy earned what they have stolen from working families. By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams (3/13/19) The most far-reaching college admissions plot ever prosecuted, revealed on Tuesday by federal investigators, provides a window into how wealth and power operate in American society, progressives say. The scheme involved getting the children of wealthy people into the colleges of their dreams, often by manipulating sports scholarships, disability allowances on tests, and by inflating resumes. Per Democracy Now!, “50 people were arrested, including 13 college coaches, for taking part in a scheme where wealthy parents…


Political Cruelty, Racial Hostility Roil US High Schools, Study Finds

A racist photo posted by two high school students depicting a black classmate surrounded by KKK hoods. (The Raw Story) By Alex Dobuzinskis Reuters (3/13/19) Political grudges and racial animosity have divided students at U.S. high schools and President Donald Trump has exacerbated the problem with his rhetoric, a study released on Wednesday showed. Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) surveyed 505 high school principals for the study. More than 60 percent of them reported some of their students had made derogatory remarks about immigrants. More broadly, more than 80 percent of principals said some of…


The CDC Says Gun Injuries Are On The Rise. But There Are Big Problems With Its Data.

  “unstable and potentially unreliable” By Sean Campbell, Daniel Nass & Mai Nguyen The Trace (10/4/19) For journalists, researchers and the general public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention serves as an authoritative source of information about Americans’ health, including estimates of how many people are killed or injured by guns. The agency’s most recent figures include a worrying uptick: Between 2015 and 2016, the number of Americans nonfatally injured by a firearm jumped by 37 percent, rising from about 85,000 to more than 116,000. It was the largest single-year increase recorded in more than 15 years. But the gun…


Demolishing Erik Prince: One TV Interview Shows Just How To Deal With Trump’s Gang Of Nincompoops

Mehdi Hasan of Al Jazeera English took Trump pal Erik Prince apart in two minutes. American media: Watch and learn By Bob Cesca Salon (3/12/19) “He can’t keep getting away with it!” was one of the lines from “Breaking Bad” in which Aaron Paul’s award-winning acting talents were on full soul-crushing display. In the climactic scene from season five, episode 12, Paul’s Jesse Pinkman cries out in mid-nervous breakdown over the fact that Bryan Cranston’s Walter White indeed keeps getting away with one murderously bad decision after another. Somehow, Donald Trump and his crew of mostly incompetent co-conspirators seemingly keep getting away…