The Real Midterms Winners: Gerrymandering, Voter Suppression & Lack Of Ballot Box Defense

“The GOP’s long game of gerrymandering districts and using the courts to undermine easy access to voting will continue to come into play as their message shrinks to its bigoted and maniacal base.” — Keeanga-Yahmatta Taylor ***** From In These Times (11/7/18) Rick Perlstein, historian and author of The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan The reporting of the election returns coming on Tuesday was surreally and tragically incomplete. We hung on every word in down-to-the-wire races. In Florida, the governor and Senate races were supposedly decided by something like 51,000 votes and 20,000 votes out…

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John Nichols: Tony Evers Won Running On The Tradition Of The Wisconsin Idea

Statue of Robert “Fightng Bob” La Follette in the State Capitol. By John Nichols The Capital Times (11/11/18) The explanation for why Tony Evers defeated Gov. Scott Walker in Tuesday’s election is not complicated. Evers sought the governorship as a champion of the Wisconsin Idea. This distinguished him from Walker, who in 2015 got caught trying to eliminate the state’s historic commitment to invest in higher education, research, science and public service. The roots of the Wisconsin Idea go back to the beginning of the 20th century, when then-Gov. Robert M. La Follette and University of Wisconsin President Charles Van…


Russia Monitor: With Dems Taking Over The House Someone Appears To Be Getting Pretty Nervous

“Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism. Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism. By saying “our interests first”…. we erase what a nation hold dearest…its Moral Values.” — French President Macron at Armistice celebration with Trump seated before him, Nov. 11, 2018.   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/12/18) Dear Fellow Readers, With a sigh of relief from the election results and opinions that there is a safe path for special counsel Mueller’s Trump-Russia corruption investigation, we can go forward. Trump took a few days off from his presumptive role as Secretary of State for Georgia, Florida and Arizona…


Bernie Opens Up About New Democrats In Congress & Taking On Trumpism

A conversation with the Vermont senator, who wants liberals to be able to “walk and chew gum at the same time” when it comes to the president. By Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone (11/ mid all the drama of the 2018 midterms, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders cruised to re-election Tuesday night, securing a third term in the Senate with an easy 66.1 percent of the vote. In a year in which longtime Senate incumbents on both sides of the aisle were either unseated or faced stiff challenges, Sanders continued a tradition dating back to his House days of winning too easily to make headlines….


Reforming The Message: Beto O’Rourke’s Biggest Blind Spot Cost Him Texas. Democrats, Take Note

  By Lawrence Lessing The Guardian (11/11/18) Yet just below the surface of these moderate gains hides a truth that the Democrats need to understand – and quickly. There is a clear model for victory going forward. It is not the model being promoted by the most active and vocal Democrats just now. According to the most progressive, the formula for a blue wave is for Democrats everywhere to become more bold and more progressive. The weakness of the party, this faction insists, is that it isn’t extreme enough. What would guarantee victory, these sorts say, is a stronger and more vibrant…


Neither Republicans Nor Democrats Are Up To The Massive Challenges We Face

By Sarah van Gelder HuffPost (11/8/18) The midterm elections are over. Women won historic gains in the House, which Democrats now appear to be on track to control. Voters in three red states ― Idaho, Nebraska and Utah ― approved expanding Medicaid, a repudiation of GOP efforts to discredit government run health care. And voters in Florida approved a measure giving ex-felons the right to vote ― one of the most significant expansions of voting rights in decades. The most expensive midterm election in U.S. history fired up people on all sides, including many young people who went all out to put…


Good News/Bad News: As Blue Wave Sweeps In More Corporate Democrats, Election Is A Serious Wake Up Call For Progressives

[Editor’s Note: There was something about the coding from the original source that prevented proper paragraph spacing. If this is hard to read you can link to the original below. — Mark L. Taylor] Movement For A People’s Party (11/7/18) Since 2016, energized progressives have sought to break the cycle that has seen power swing between establishment politicians in the Democratic and Republican parties for decades. After disappointing results in New Jersey and Virginia in 2017, the 2018 midterms offered another test of the progressive movement’s chief strategy for coming to power: taking over the Democratic Party. The results are…


OMG! Ex-Clinton Aide Mark Penn Declares Hillary Will Run Again In 2020

  [Editor’s Note: If this were to happen it would be Donald Trump’s express ticket to four more years. I’m sure he must be sacrificing small rodents atop some hidden White House basement altar to make it all come true. — Mark L. Taylor] By Morgan Gstalter The Hill (11/11/18) Mark Penn, a former adviser to the Clintons, believes Hillary Clinton will make another run for president in 2020. Penn, a frequent contributor to The Hill, co-wrote a Sunday op-ed for The Wall Street Journal with Andrew Stein, a former Democratic Manhattan borough president and president of the New York City Council. “True to her…


On Kristallnacht: A Lesson In What Happens When We Stop Looking Out For One Another

  By Abby Zimet Common Dreams (11/9/18) Today [11/9] marks the 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, or Night of Broken Glass, the 1938 pogrom against German Jews that ignited the Holocaust. The night and day of terror – Jews killed, synagogues burned,  business destroyed, over 30,000 Jews arrested and sent to concentration camps – marked a new stage in a Nazi extermination project that began, it’s vital to remember, not with The Final Solution but with slowly escalating hate-infused speech and actions aimed at making life so untenable for Jews they’d feel compelled to emigrate. “I remember my mother standing pale and crying…I remember her phoning…


Why It’s Completely Appropriate To Compare Trump’s America To 1930s Germany

A note to those who think it unfair to compare the Trump White House and the GOP to what happened in Germany 85 years ago. By Michael Winship Common Dreams (10/17/18 On the last full day of two weeks spent in this city, the requisite visit was paid to Checkpoint Charlie, the spot at the Berlin Wall where, from 1961 to 1989, allied forces and other foreigners crossed the uneasy border between East and West Berlin. (Germans had designated checkpoints of their own.) The wall once split this city in two with concrete and barbed wire, dividing people into those…


Just How Dangerous Is Brazil’s New Right Wing President Jair Bolsonaro?

“He basks in the comparison to Donald Trump; that is what he wants us all to think but I think in some ways he is far more dangerous and far more ideological than Donald Trump and I think his potential to cause harm to different social groups is far, far greater.” Today In Focus / The Guardian (10/31/18) For his 27 years in Brazil’s congress, Jair Bolsonaro was a mostly marginal figure who made occasional headlines with his extreme views on the LGBT community, minorities and women. But after one of the most vicious and divisive elections in the country’s history, Bolsonaro has emerged…



Dem Blue Ripple: Midterm Results ‘Not a bad night for Trump’ In A Nation Divided

While there was a Democratic “blue wave”, it was modest, in line with usual midterm shifts, particularly when one party is in charge of all the branches of government. Trump will celebrate this as a victory, which is not without merit. By Cas Mudde The Guardian (11/7/18) Many people have dubbed the midterm elections a referendum on Donald Trump. The president himself agreed, having toured the country extensively, crowding out rational messages by Republican candidates about the booming economy with a emotional message of nativism. Trump made the elections about him and his openly far-right agenda. That left little space for…


CITIZEN ALERT! GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos Threatens To Take Power Away From Tony Evers Before He Takes Office

  By Patrick Marley & Molly Beck Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (11/7/18) MADISON – Less than 24 hours after Tony Evers was elected governor, the Republican leader of the state Assembly threatened to take power away from him even before he is sworn in. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said Wednesday he would discuss whether to look at limiting Evers’ power with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau). FItzgerald is open the idea, according to an aide. “If there are areas where we could look and say, ‘Geez — have we made mistakes where we granted too much power to the executive,’ I’d…


Russia Monitor: Sessions Gets Sacked. Now What? Where Will You Be Friday At 5 PM?

  “It’s danger time.” — Former US Attorney Southern District New York Preet Bharara tweet (11/7/18).   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/8/18) Dear Fellow Readers, As a wise man once asked, “Now what?” Within hours of the dust settling on the mid-term elections we have: Attorney General Jeff Sessions Resigns At Trump’s Request. As expected, Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions III is out. “Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned on Wednesday at President Trump’s request, ending the tenure of a loyalist Trump had soured on shortly after Sessions took office in 2017 because the former senator from Alabama had recused himself…


Things Are Moving Fast Now: With Trump Moving On Mueller & Wisconsin Republicans Looking To Gut Powers Of The Governor It’s Time to Check Where We Are On The Trail To Tyranny

20 Lessons From The 20th Century On How To Survive Trump’s America “Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle.” By Timothy Snyder (11/21/16) This article first appeared as a post on the author’s Facebook page. Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are…


Know Who Hates You: A Short Video Guide To American White Supremacist Fascist Groups

  Think Progress (8/8/18) White supremacists in America are not a unified group, but a loose coalition of hate groups, each fringe and dangerous in their own way. In the year since the deadly violence on display at the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., different white nationalist, anti-immigrant, and general hate groups have demonstrated in cities across the country. The Nationalist Socialist Movement, Vanguard America, and League of the South held a “White Lives Matter” rally in Shelbyville, Tenn. in October. In July and again in August, hate groups Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys clashed with anti-hate…


Nine More Wisconsin Communities Voted To Amend The U.S. Constitution To Get Big Money Out Of Our Elections

That brings the total to 142 Wisconsin communities that have called to clean up our elections. Wisconsin United To Amend (11/7/18) Madison, WI (November 7, 2018) – On Tuesday, November 6th, Wisconsin residents in nine communities voted to amend the U.S. Constitution to clarify that only human beings should have inalienable human rights and money is not the same thing as free speech. All referenda passed with overwhelming majorities in three counties: Jackson (69%), Sauk (72%) and Wood (80%); the villages of Readstown (91%), Westfield (87%) and Weston (83%); and the towns of Kickapoo (85%), Rib Mountain (78%) and Vermont (86%). That brings the…


ProPublica Documentation Of Election Day Voting Problems

  Long Lines Test Voter Patience Across The Nation — Voters reported waits of an hour and longer on Election Day in areas ranging from the Gulf coasts of Texas and Florida to parts of Missouri and South Carolina, up to Chicago, rural central Pennsylvania and New York City. Polling places opening late, voting machine outages, understaffing and sheer volume caused some voters to abandon the lengthy lines before casting their ballots. In the Houston area, voters waited over half an hour for polls to open as staff struggled to get voting machinery online. Voters who were late for their jobs…


Leftist Democrats Prepared To Shake Up Party In The House

By Lauren Gambino The Guardian (11/6/18) If Democrats reclaim the House on Tuesday night, the progressives in their midst are planning for anything but politics as usual on Capitol Hill. Leaders of the House Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) have been laying the groundwork to transform what was described as a one-time “social club” and an “informal coalition” into a more powerful political force pushing the party to the left. “We’ve always had the largest membership within the Democratic caucus, but we kind of had skinny, weak arms,” said CPC chairman Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin. “We didn’t have the muscle to flex because we…


A Hallmark Of Fascism: Historical Amnesia To Preserve The Illusions Of A Nation’s Mythical Past

“Fascist policies repudiate any dark moments of a nation’s past. In early 2018, the Polish parliament passed a law making it illegal to suggest that Poland bore responsibility for any of the atrocities committed on its soul during the Nazi occupation of Poland, even the well-documented pogroms during this time. According to Radio Poland, “Article 55a, clause 1, of the draft law states that ‘whoever accuses, publicly and against the facts, the Polish nation, or the Polish state of being responsible or complicit in the Nazi crimes committed by the Third German Reich … or other crimes against peace and humanity, or war…


PODCAST: Chris Hedges — On Elections, ‘Christian Fascists’ And The Bipartisan Rot Within The American System

Intercepted (11/7/18) POLITICIANS LOVE TO tell us every election is the “most important of our lifetime.” With Donald Trump in power, it rings true for many voters. This week on Intercepted: Journalist Chris Hedges has spent the past 15 years trying to ring the alarm about the dangers of the U.S. political system and the impact of a corporate and financial coup d’etat that happened long ago. He talks about the growing power of “Christian fascists,” predicts a major financial crash, and offers ideas on how to fight back. In 1923, a year after Mussolini took power in Italy, one radical…


The Real Invasion Our Country Faces Is Not What Trump Incessantly Whines & Rails About

Reality doesn’t matter in the fact-free miasma inside Trump’s putrid pumpkin head – and fear, the most potent of weapons, does. By Abby Zimet Common Dreams (11/1/18) No, not these spent and sweet-faced kids asleep on a floor in God knows where, having trudged for days with their families and thousands of bedraggled others seeking safety and a better life. The invasion is the fascist clown spewing racist loathsome lies about them, most recently in that nauseating, neo-Nazi, George-Wallace-esque, “dog whistle of all dog whistles” nativist political commercial featuring immigrant cop killer Luis Bracomontes who, as the ad shrieks, “killed our people!…Democrats let him in our country!” –…


Allan Nairn: The U.S. Is Facing Incipient Domestic Fascism, But Rightist Revolution Can Be Stopped

  A fierce longtime critic of the Democratic Party and its support for war and neoliberal policies, but he is calling for the public to mobilize to elect Democrats in the midterm elections. Democracy Now! (11/1/18) The 2018 U.S. midterm elections mark a critical point in the era of President Donald Trump, as the potential Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives has unleashed a torrent of white supremacist vitriol in the run-up to November 6. In the past week alone, a militant Trump supporter was accused of mailing three pipe bombs to CNN and 12 bombs to people Trump frequently criticizes;…


Republican Strategist Rick Wilson Provides No-Holds Barred Insight On The Trump White House & Straight-Up Advice To Democrats

  [Editor’s Note: This interview with form Bush campaign adviser Rick Wilson is an insightful, challenging and at times funny no-holds-barred assessment of the existential risk of the Trump administration and those who enable his destructive behavior. He also provides some spot-on assessment of the democratic party weak-kneed political malpractice. — Mark L. Taylor] Commonwealth Club (11/1/18) Rick Wilson is a seasoned Republican political strategist and self-proclaimed infamous negative ad maker. His regular column with The Daily Beast is a must-read in the political community, and he’s widely published in The Washington Post, Politico and The Hill. In Everything Trump…



HuffPost Interview With DNC Chair Tom Perez Lays Bare What Is So Absolutely Maddening About The Democrats

Should we ever get a guarantee of decent health care for all the first surgery for a pre-existing condition is to do a ‘brave heart’ transplant on the democratic party. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (11/5/18) There are some things unequivocally obvious. You know, like ice is cold, the sun rises in the east, a dropped ball will respond to gravity, limburger cheese stinks and Donald J. Trump is a racist. Despite the growing body count and Trump’s overt and covert wink-winking, racist dog-whistling and compassionate heart for all things fascist you won’t hear such obvious truth from…


Did Scott Walker & Donald Trump Deal Away The Wisconsin Governor’s Race For Foxconn?

The costs include taxpayer subsidies to the company totalling more than $4.5 billion, the largest subsidy for a foreign corporation in American history.  By Don Kaufman The New Yorker (11/3/18) In September of 2017, Governor Scott Walker, Republican of Wisconsin, signed a contract that would make his state the home of the first U.S. factory of Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer. The company, which is based in Taiwan and makes products for Apple, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, among others, would build a 21.5-million-square-foot manufacturing campus, invest up to ten billion dollars in Wisconsin, and hire as many as…


WATCH FOR FREE: Documentary ‘Rigged’ Exposes GOP’s 10-Year Effort To Sabotage Democracy By Undermining Your Voting Rights

  By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (11/2/18) As the GOP’s attacks on voting rights continue across the United States—from Georgiato North Dakota and Kansas—and a massive coalition of progressive groups has formed to break the hold that powerful corporate and wealthy interests have on American democratic institutions, the recently released documentary Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook aims to reveal, “in chilling detail, the dark genius behind the ten-year Republican strategy to reverse the rising demographic tide of minority voters.” Filmed during the 2016 election, Rigged was released just ahead of 2018’s highly anticipated midterm elections. The documentary sheds light on strategic efforts by members of the Republican Party at all…


Trump Will Get Worse: It’s All A Demagogue Can Do To Survive

  By Laura McGann & Stavros Agorakis Vox (11/2/18) President Donald Trump’s closing argument for the 2018 midterm elections represents a dangerous escalation of demagogic rhetoric. If it works, things are only going to get worse. During his presidential campaign, Trump shocked the media and half of the country by declaring Mexicans rapists and outlining an isolationist vision for America. He also covertly sent an “us versus them” message cloaked in the rhetoric of jobs and the economy. “It used to be the cars were made in Flint and you couldn’t drink the water in Mexico. Now the cars are made in…


Russia Monitor: No Excuses This Election, Folks! It’s Up To Us

  “This time, our eyes are wide open.” — Dana Milbank, “We Have No Excuses”, Washington Post (11/2/18) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/5/18) Dear Fellow Readers, Will there be new Trump-Russia subpoenas brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office after next week? Let’s come back to this. Mid-term elections are Tuesday. In advance Dana Milbank offers a view of how we got here and what we now know about Trump. We’re well past a point two years ago when “many Americans held their noses and voted for Donald Trump”. Milbank offers his own litany of Trump actions but it’s…


Landmark Youth Climate Suit Moves Ahead As Supreme Court Spurns Trump Admin. Request To Halt It

“The youth of our nation won an important decision.” By Andrea Germanos Common Dreams (11/3/18) The nation’s top court on Friday turned down the Trump administration’s latest attempt to put the brakes on a landmark lawsuit brought by a group of young people who charge that the federal government has violated their constitutional rights by actively causing climate instability. “The youth of our nation won an important decision,” said Julia Olson, executive director and chief legal counsel of Our Children’s Trust and co-counsel for the youth plaintiffs. She said the finding by the U.S. Supreme Court “shows even the most powerful…


Part 3: 9/11 Unmasked — The Day Of Magical Physics

  For the official story of what happened to the three World Trade Center Towers to be true, the laws of physics would have had to have been suspended. By John Shuck Progressive Spirit / KBOO.fm (9/18/18) In Part 3 of my four-part series on the work of the 9/11 Consensus Panel, I speak with David Chandler about the physics behind the collapse of the three World Trade Center Towers on September 11th, 2001. Why do the buildings look like they came down in controlled demolition by carefully placed explosives? “Because,” says David, “That is what happened.” He says, “I tell…


Stay Focused: Whatever Happens November 6th We’ll Still Live In A Country Where…

The Fire This Time Will Keep Burning Long After The Polls Close. [Editor’s Note: Let’s hope there are good results with tomorrow’s elections but understand, the real work begins the day after. The work to blunt the Trump fascism and reform the democratic party has just begun. The stakes couldn’t be higher. This is a long, long game, folks. — Mark L. Taylor] By William Boardman Reader Supported News (11/3/18) Perhaps enough Americans in enough numbers in enough places have woken up to the wildfires consuming our country. Perhaps these woke Americans will throw some water on the fires in…


After Win By Brazilian Fascist Jair Bolsonaro, World’s Capitalists Salivate Over ‘New Investment Opportunities’

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (10/29/18) As Brazilian women, the LGBTQ community, workers, and people of color reacted with horror to the election of fascist Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency on Sunday after a campaign dripping in bigotry and militarism, Western corporate interests and the business press could hardly contain their glee over the victory of the hard-right former paratrooper who has promised to further pry open Brazilian markets to foreign investment, slash corporate taxes, and privatize the nation’s public services. While highlighting Bolsonaro’s “homophobic, racist, and misogynist statements,” the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) gushed that his win over Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad “could…


The Pogrom In Pittsburgh: Darkness In America, Light In A Synagogue

  By Josh Healey Common Dreams (10/29/18) CD editor’s note: A version of the following was first composed as a post to Facebook on Saturday, October 27, 2018, in the immediate wake of the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It has been slightly updated and edited for publication here today. I went to synagogue last night. Because it was Friday night, which meant it was Shabbat, which meant my 2-year-old son Ezra was juiced to go to what he calls the “puppet show with funny songs!” Once a month on Friday nights, our local synagogue Kehilla here…


‘Trump’s Reichstag Fire’: Ex-GOP Operative Steve Schmidt Explains Why Republicans Have ‘blood on their hands’

Burning of the German Reichstag parliamentary building provided Hitler with the justification to seize power. By Noor Al-Sibai The Raw Story (10/29/18) In a fiery interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, former GOP operative Steve Schmidt compared last week’s right-wing terror attacks to the rise of Adolf Hitler and explained the Republicans’ role in the rising tide of white supremacist violence. Schmidt noted that the “sick” and “evil” people who shot black people in a grocery store, mailed pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and CNN and killed multiple Jewish people in a synagogue in the last week were radicalized by Fox…


Russia Monitor: Georgia On Someone’s Mind?

  “In Georgia’s upcoming gubernatorial election, popular confidence is threatened not only by the undeniable racial discrimination of the past and the serious questions that the federal courts have raised about the security of Georgia’s voting machines, but also because you are now overseeing the election in which you are a candidate.” — Former President Jimmy Carter calls on GOP Georgia gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp to step down as Georgia Secretary of State By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/1/18) Dear Fellow Readers, Within a week we will know the results of the mid-term election and whether we have any…


Could This Become Your Neighbor? Living On The Front Lines Of Wisconsin’s Silica Sand Mines

Frac Sand mine, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin.   By Christine Yellowthunder Fractracker Alliance (10/29/18) Most people living in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa have increased their knowledge over the past six years regarding the fracking destruction occurring across the country.  The horror of fracking damages to life and land remain in the minds of most people who live near the massive land destruction from silica sand mining for what the unconventional oil and gas industry lovingly calls “proppant”. Very often, we in the Midwest wonder if the rest of the country knows that this specialized form of silica sand mining destroys…


Free Audiobook: Chris Hedges ‘Unspeakable’

  Amazon Review The War on Terror is a profitable crusade against convenient enemies. “Muslim rage” is an understandable response to US state terror. Rising oligarchy in America has made democracy a sham and turned the electoral process into an increasingly absurd circus. Police violence against minorities is part of a systematic effort to crush social discontent. Proliferating violence against women’s health clinics is part of the war on women’s bodies. Freedom of speech is an illusion, with government agencies and corporate media dictating acceptable boundaries of public discourse. America’s only hope is a revolution to create genuine structures of…