The U.S. & Saud Family Have Been Getting Away With Murder For Years

  By Roqayah Chamseddine In These Times (10/16/18) March 2015 marked a decisive phase in what is now a more than three-year war in Yemen. Saudi Arabia, in coordination with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, initiated a military operation against Yemen’s capital of Sana’a in an effort to dislodge any fragment of Houthi presence while also fomenting a tide of psychological warfare that would signal the ruthless course of action to come. Yemen’s infrastructure was so thoroughly upended by coalition attacks that within a year and a half of the initial salvo, the local population was struck by the…

Read More

“Dark Money” Blows The Cover Off The Money Poisoning American Politics

This year, dark money spending on TV ads has increased 86% compared to the comparable point in the 2014 midterm elections. By David Moore Sludge (10/1/18) Shadowy election spending was hit with a spotlight as the “Dark Money” film held its nationwide premiere on PBS last night. In the documentary, sketching out the money flows between front groups earns the tension and narrative of a political thriller. Filmmaker Kimberly Reed follows journalist John S. Adams as he tracks dark money in Montana over three election cycles, from 2012 through 2016. “Dark Money” offers a detailed view of the dedicated work of…


Ex-Republican Strategist Steve Schmidt Goes After GOP For Their Vile Racism & Calls Out Dems For Being Too Wimpy Challenging The Hate

  By Cody Fenwick AlterNet (10/18/18) Fear continues to be the force President Donald Trump thinks will be key to maintaining his stranglehold on American political power. In the latest iteration of this tactic, he’s trying to whip up concern about a caravan of immigrants making its way from Honduras in an effort to seek asylum in the United States. In response to Trump’s baseless and dangerous fearmongering, former Republican Steve Schmidt, who used to serve on GOP presidential campaigns before Trump’s takeover of the party, laid out why the president’s reaction is so despicable. “This is the failure of…


Scott Walker Has A History Of Signing Plagiarized Corporate Friendly ALEC Bills

  By David Armiak PR Watch (10/19/18) Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who has advocated for and signed binding legislation lifted without attribution from the corporate lobby shop known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is now blaming his opponent, Tony Evers, for copying paragraphs in the Department of Public Instruction’s 213-page budget proposal from other sources and failing to properly attribute them. The story was first reported by Politico, which made no attempt to examine Walker’s history of signing copy-cat legislation. In the 2011-2012 session, Walker signed into law 19 bills or budget provisions with ALEC content. The Center for Media and Democracy…


COINTELPRO: Teaching High School Students About The FBI’s War On The Black Freedom Movement

  By Ursula Wolfe-Rocca The Zinn Education Project Student-selected and student-run current events discussions are a daily ingredient of my high school social studies classes. The first 20 minutes of every 90-minute class period, we read an excerpt from a recent newspaper article and discuss its significance. In the last few years, the discussions have been dominated by names that have piled up with sickening frequency: Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland. My students, mostly Asian American and white, live in Lake Oswego, one of the wealthiest cities in Oregon and a…


‘A Moment To Remember’ — When The US Abandoned Any Pretense Of Democracy For The Love Of ‘Our S.O.B.s”

“In December 1954, the NSC [National security Council] met in the White House to stake out a strategy that could tame the powerful nationalist forces of change sweeping the globe. Across Asia and Africa, a half-dozen European empires that had guaranteed global order for more than a century were giving way to new nation, many — as Washington saw it — susceptible to “communist subversion.” In Latin America , there were stirrings of leftist opposition to the region’s growing urban poverty and rural landlessness. To make it “absolutely clear we will not tolerate Communism anywhere in the Western Hemisphere.”influential Secretary…


Russia Monitor — Trump’s Response To Torture, Murder & Dismemberment: Sad!

  “The president is now inventing nonexistent domestic riots.” — Daniel Dale, Toronto Star reporter tweet (10/20/18) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (10/22/18) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump is a liar. His lies are now offered with no attachment to reality, they are getting bigger, more frequent and his GOP apologists either fully embrace or duck for cover. Other than our own sanity, there are few if any checks on Trump’s grandiosity. Classic fascism in which the leader portrays himself as the only solution to self-invented risks and fears, always from the dreaded ‘other’. Trump’s performance as president — we…


Historian Christopher Browning On The Trump Regime: We’re “close to the point of no return”

Scholar of the Nazi period explains why fake news may be a more powerful authoritarian tool than secret police. By Chauncey Devega Salon (10/18/18) History can teach us many lessons about Donald Trump and his rise to power. As shown by his deeds, words and policies, Trump is an authoritarian and a demagogue who has, so far, been restrained by America’s weakened democratic institutions and norms. Trump has repeatedly shown contempt for America’s cosmopolitan, pluralistic multiracial democracy. He and his supporters would smash that order and a create a new one based upon white racial authoritarianism (as well as naked plutocracy)…


Has The Dark Side Of American Conservatism Taken Over, Or Has Its Mask Simply Fallen Away?

By George Lakoff George Lakoff’s Facebook Page (10/14/18) Some lifelong Republicans are having sudden realizations about what conservatives really believe. Max Boot, who is leaving the Republican Party and wishes “ill fortune” on its candidates, writes: “It would be nice to think that Donald Trump is an anomaly who came out of nowhere to take over an otherwise sane and sober movement. But it just isn’t so. Upon closer examination, it’s obvious that the history of modern conservative is permeated with racism, extremism, conspiracy-mongering, isolationism and know-nothingism.” But conservative bigotry goes beyond racism. It extends to every aspect of social life….


‘The Trace’ — Tracking The Latest News On America’s Gun Epidemic

The Trace (10/18/18) Support for gun laws remains near a two-decade high despite a dip. And a sustained loss of advertising on a Fox News program shows the power of activist-led boycotts. Those stories and more, below. —Beatrix Lockwood, contributor Six in 10 Americans support stricter gun laws, a Gallup poll published Wednesday found. The share is down 6 percent since the month after the Parkland shooting but remains near a two-decade high. Among Democrats, support for tighter regulations is at 87 percent, compared to 31 percent of Republicans.  Did the NRA influence the government’s decision to put education funds toward guns? That’s the…


A Commoner Writes: Response To An Angry Plumber

I enjoyed reading the letter about the plumber from Worcester, MA. That plumber seems as willfully ignorant as “Joe the Plumber” from 2008 lore.Yes it is easy to blame Clinton for NAFTA but let us not forget that practically every Gingrich Republican in Congress for that NAFTA nonsense back in 1993. The anti-Nafta congressmen were mostly Democrats like IL Rep Lane Evans who represented the Moline area for over 20 years. My dad, who voted for Trump in the Wisconsin primary says similar things as that plumber. He too was a skilled blue-collar guy before he retired. In fact he…


American Police State Update: Undercover Cops Are Creating Fake Facebook Accounts To Track Protesters

  By Jon Schuppe NBC News (10/5/18) In the summer of 2015, as Memphis exploded with protests over the police killing of a 19-year-old man, activists began hearing on Facebook from someone called Bob Smith. The name was generic, and so was his profile picture: a Guy Fawkes mask, the symbol of anti-government dissent. Smith acted as if he supported the protesters, and, slowly, they let him into their online community. Over the next three years, dozens of them accepted his friend requests, allowing him to observe private discussions over marches, rallies and demonstrations. In public postings and private messages he…


I’m Not Sure We’re Ready For The Chaos That Will Follow The Midterms

  By Charles Pierce Esquire (10/15/18) Over the weekend, there were a couple of ominous, if overlooked, statements from Republican officials touching on the upcoming midterm elections. In a radio interview, National Security Adviser John Bolton sang the new administration* tune of how what we really should be watching as regards outside interference in our elections is what China is doing. From the Washington Free Beacon: “On Chinese election meddling, Bolton said the problem is serious. “We are very worried about the question of Chinese interference not just in individual elections, but more broadly trying to influence the American political discussion with…


MAD Magazine’s School Shooting Cartoon Feature Is A Poignant & Horrifying Commentary On America’s Tradition Of School Shooting

(Cartoon by Marc Palm / Mad Magazine, 2018.) This is shocking. It’s also very smart. By Ryan Britt Fatherly (10/5/18) Satire about school shootings might seem overwhelming in the face of so much tragedy, but a new powerful and artistic statement is calling out the complicity many Americans have about gun violence. But this razor-sharp indictment isn’t coming from Sacha Baron Cohen or even Stephen Colbert.Instead, the most affecting commentary on gun control you’ll see this month was just been published in Mad Magazine. In the latest issue of Mad Magazine (which is out on newsstands and in Barnes and Noble bookstores right now), there’s a brilliantly sad…


‘How Fascism Works’ Review: An Essential Read For A Nation Under Trump

  By Tom McCarthy The Guardian (10/15/18) One of the insidious ironies of fascist politics, the philosopher Jason Stanley writes in his arresting new book, is that talk of fascism itself becomes more difficult because it is made to seem outlandish. The normalization of the fascist myth “makes us able to tolerate what was once intolerable by making it seem as if this is the way things have always been”, Stanley writes. “By contrast the word ‘fascist’ has acquired a feeling of the extreme, like crying wolf.” “My family background has saddled me with difficult emotional baggage, but it also, crucially, prepared…


Does Money Make You Mean?

    TED Talk (12/20/13) It’s amazing what a rigged game of Monopoly can reveal. In this entertaining but sobering talk, social psychologist Paul Piff shares his research into how people behave when they feel wealthy. (Hint: badly.) But while the problem of inequality is a complex and daunting challenge, there’s good news too. Link to 16-Minute Video


Share Our Nation’s Collective Wealth With All Citizens? Hell, Yeah! Let’s Start Now – Here’s How

  By Sam Pizzigati OurFuture.org (10/2/18) By In the United States, back during the Great Depression, three simple words animated a grassroots upsurge that would help make this nation the world’s first mass middle-class society: Share the wealth! And the nation did. By the end of the 1960s, the top one percent’s share of America’s national income had dropped by more than half. The bottom 90 percent share, meanwhile, had jumped from half the nation’s total income to over two-thirds. Redistribution — via the tax code — drove this dramatic egalitarian shift, as high incomes faced high tax rates throughout the middle decades of…


Robert Reich: Containing The Trump Catastrophe

  By Robert Reich Robert Reich’s Website (10/8/18) Anyone still unsure of how (or even whether) they’ll vote in the midterms should consider this: All three branches of government are now under the control of one party, and that party is under the control of Donald J. Trump. With the addition of Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court is as firmly Republican as are the House and Senate. Kavanaugh was revealed as a fierce partisan – not only the legal advisor who helped Kenneth Starr prosecute Bill Clinton and almost certainly guided George W. Bush’s use of torture, but also a nominee…


Republican Senate Candidate Plays The Victim On His Repeated ACA Repeal Votes, Now That His Grandkid Is Sick

By Joan McCarter Daily Kos (10/15/18) When all else fails, Republicans resort to playing the victim because that’s the one thing that binds all conservatives—the deep conviction that they’re always being picked on. Watch it play out in this tearful video from Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) who’s upset that the man he’s challenging for Senate, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), is running an ad reminding voters that Barletta wants to take their health care away. Barletta has a grandson with cancer, which is a horrible thing to have to go through—something millions of families know from awful experience. Like Stacie Ritter of Manheim…


As ‘Gruesome’ New Details Of Khashoggi Murder Emerge, Obsequious Trump & Pompeo Obediently Bow & Grovel To Saudi Crown Prince

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (10/16/18) As “shocking and gruesome” new details surrounding Saudi Arabia’s alleged torture and assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi continued to trickle out on Tuesday—with anonymous Turkish officials telling the press that the prominent dissident was beaten, killed by lethal injection, and cut into pieces by the head autopsy doctor of the Saudi defense forces—U.S. President Donald Trump accepted wholesale Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s increasingly implausible claim that he had zero knowledge of what “took place” two weeks ago inside the kingdom’s Turkish consulate. “Just spoke with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any…


Trump’s Comments About Murdered Saudi Journalist Is Perfect Example Of Trump’s Tricks To Distract, Confuse, Lie & Get His Way

In just 20 seconds, Trump hit a trifecta of phrasing and logic he comes back to frequently. First, when an ally or someone he’s inclined to believe denies something, he defers to the denial. By Tamara Keith Morning Edition / NPR (10/16/18) Secretary of State Pompeo is in Riyadh to address the disappearance of a Saudi journalist. President Trump’s response to the disappearance illustrates how he responds to other difficult questions. Link to transcript and 3+-Minute Audio (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )  


A Commoner Writes: Blue Collar Guy Explains Trump’s Appeal To Many Workers

I was visited by a plumber repairing my heat registers. A typical blue collar guy with a full Boston accent. Intelligent, lucid and angry as hell. He brought up Trump I did not. It began by his explaining the crap pipes he has had to work with since NAFTA. In some detail he told a set of stories about how the pipes and boilers from China have ruined his business. He talked about how just removing a bolt or nut from a pipe ends up in broken pipe, destroyed threads and how boilers now give out so quickly. He talked…


For Trump The Disappearance Of Saudi Journalist Is Just A Matter Of Money, Not National Morality

“The job of the media is ultimately to inform the public about the world as it truly is. It would be a shame for the death of a member of the media to be used in service of obfuscation of the truth. The truth is the American government cares about business. The American government does not care about the murder of a journalist if caring about the murder of a journalist would significantly impede business. This has always been the calculation, and any journalist who wrote otherwise should now take some time to taste the bitterness of reality. If Jamal…


Bernie Addresses The Current Crisis Of The Spreading International Authoritarian Axis

“We must take the opportunity to reconceptualize a global order based on human solidarity. Based on the understanding that it is not based upon me against you or, the United States against China. But that we as a world especially, with the threat of climate change, are in it together. That in many ways we are going to survive together or go down by the kinds of conditions the authoritarians are trying to create. … Authoritarians seek power by promoting division and hatred. We will promote unity, inclusion and love.” Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delivered remarks at the Johns Hopkins…


A Lesson For Dems? Deep Red West Virginia District Trump Won By 49 Points Is About To Flip To Outspoken Progressive Dem Richard Ojeda

  By Igor Derysh Salon (10/13/18) West Virginia’s 3rd congressional district is among the most conservative in the nation, but a new poll shows Democrats are making this year’s race very competitive. The district had been represented by Rep. Evan Jenkins, a former Democrat himself, who vacated the seat to stage an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican Senate nomination. (State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey won the Republican primary, and will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin next month.) Now, two polls show split results in the race to replace Jenkins, which pits Democratic state Sen. Richard Ojeda, a retired Army officer, against Republican Carol Miller,…


Ralph Nader Addresses Conservative Audience On Eisenhower’s Prophetic Warning Of The Danger Of The Corrupt Military, Congressional, Industrial Complex

“The military, congressional, industrial empire complex — if not stopped — will destroy the United States of America.” — Ralph Nader The American Conservative (7/6/18) On June 21, 2018, The American Conservative hosted its annual crony capitalism conference at which Ralph Nader delivered a speech on the military industrial congressional complex titled “Eisenhower’s Warning: Prophetic and Presently Understated.” Nader is an author, consumer advocate, and former presidential candidate. He is one of America’s most effective social critics, and has emerged as a leading voice against the growing convergence of government and corporate interests. He is the author of Unstoppable: The…


Conservative Max Boot Comes Clean On ‘The Corrosion Of Conservatism’: Why He Left The GOP

  On Point / WBUR (10/11/18) Conservative luminary Max Boot explains why he left the Republican Party and is urging people to vote against the modern GOP. On the moment he decided to leave the Republican Party “That moment occurred the day after the last presidential election. I was somebody who was viscerally and instantly opposed to Donald Trump from the moment that he came down that escalator at Trump Tower attacking Mexicans as rapists and murderers. I couldn’t believe that you had a mainstream candidate who was talking like that, and I never imagined that he would win the…


American Gangbangers: Justifiable Anger Fuels Trump’s Hold On Power & Democrats Still Don’t Get It

“It feels like it is so tribal now. In years past you could go against people in your own party if they did something outrageous and now everything is just ‘my party, my color’ — it’s almost like the Crips and Bloods — same colors.” — Bill Maher, Real Time 33-Minute mark (10/12/18). By John Atcheson Common Dreams (10/12/18) Pundits, progressives and the press seem perplexed by Trumpism.  How can a narcissistic, fascist, incompetent conman—whose White House seems always on the verge of chaos; whose own appointees fear that he’ll do something so insane that they snatch papers off his desk;…


My Former Boss, John Kerry, Wants To Be President. Um, No Thanks.

Two-faced.   By John Kiriakou Reader Supported News (10/11/18) Former Secretary of State and Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry told Politico this week that he is considering a run for president in 2020. Kerry didn’t come out and declare himself a candidate, but he did say that he wants to be “a part of the future of the Democratic Party and of the country.” I say, “No thanks.” Kerry is exactly the kind of failed neoliberal politician who pushed the Democratic Party to the right, tried to out-Republican the Republicans on foreign policy and, in the end, gave us Donald…


Russia Monitor: Bloody Footprints In The Sands Of Saudi Arabia

  “Frequently people who go along a treasonous path do not know they are on a treasonous path until it is too late.” — John Brennan, former Director CIA, May 2017 By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (10/15/18) Dear Fellow Readers, In March 2017 House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) led the first committee to hold a public hearing on Trump-Russia corruption. Nunes has suffered repeated catastrophic failures while trying to quash and deflect any consideration of Trump-Russia, this was to be one of his most infamous failures. Nunes called then FBI Director James Comey as one of the…


‘Heroin(e)’ Film On Worsening Opioid Crisis Wins Emmy For Outstanding Short Documentary

  By Reveal Staff Reveal / Center for Investigative Reporting (10/2/18)  “Heroin(e),” the story of three women battling the opioid epidemic in West Virginia, has won an Emmy Award for outstanding short documentary. Directed by Elaine McMillion Sheldon and produced by Kerrin Sheldon, the film follows efforts to break the devastating cycle of drug abuse in Huntington, a city with an overdose rate 10 times the national average. The Netflix original documentary was co-produced by The Center for Investigative Reporting and Requisite Media. It was part of CIR’s Glassbreaker Films initiative, funded by the Helen Gurley Brown Foundation, which supported women in documentary filmmaking and investigative…


See Why Democrat Paul Buhr Is Right For The 96th District

  Vernon County Democratic Party (10/14/18) At a recent debate in Prairie du Chiend, Paul Buhr said what many of you may be thinking, “I imagine when you look at these two candidates you might wonder: ‘What’s the difference? There are two dairy farmers up here.’ ” If you’re wondering that, please take the time to watch the video of last night’s debate: https://facebook.com/GreatRiversNews1/videos/547028185767464/ We promise that you will see a HUGE difference between Paul and his bumbling opponent. Paul is: With us on the issues, from healthcare (he supports Tony Evers’ commitment to Badgercare for All!), to climate change (he…


Both Brazil And The US Find Democracy Is At A Dangerous Crossroads

By Jeffrey R. Rubin The Guardian (10/8/18) Voters in Brazil and the US face elections in the coming weeks whose outcomes will directly influence the future of democracy in the Americas. In Brazil, the candidate who captured 46% of the votes in Saturday’s first-round presidential elections, Jair Bolsonaro, is pro-torture and speaks in favor of military rule as a way to solve deep societal problems. Bolsonaro will face leftist Fernando Haddad, who gained 29.3% of the first-round votes, in final elections on 28 October. Like Trump, Bolsonaro follows the demagogues’ playbook and makes a sham out of previously respected norms, signaling his…


WATCH: Reporter Who Covers Trump Family Businesses Explains Just How Deep The President’s ‘criminal enterprise’ Goes

  By Noor Al-Sibai The Raw Story (10/8/18) A New Yorker reporter who covers the president’s many financial scandals revealed Monday how deep the “criminal enterprise” ran by Fred Trump went — and why Donald Trump could soon be in huge trouble. Although the New York Times‘s report analyzing decades and hundreds of thousands of documents of Trump family dealings uncovered massive tax fraud, “the story’s not over,” writer Adam Davidson told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. Though the Times acquired the mountain of data that led to the bombshell investigative article, its reporters “don’t have subpoena power” — but prosecutors do. “It’s not that they found one time…


What’s Not In The Latest Terrifying IPCC Report? The “Much, Much, Much More Terrifying” New Research On Climate Tipping Points

By Jon Queally Common Dreams (10/9/18) If the latest warnings contained in Monday’s report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)—which included pronouncements that the world has less than twelve years to drastically alter course to avoid the worst impacts of human-caused global warming and that nothing less than keeping all fossil fuels in the ground is the solution to avoid future calamities—have you at all frightened or despondent, experts responding to the report have a potentially unwelcome message for your already over-burdened heart and mind: It’s very likely even worse than you’re being told. After the report’s publication there were…


Ted Cruz OBLITERATED In ‘Tough As Texas?’ Attack Ad: Here’s A Lesson On How Dems Could Show Some Real Spine

It woudd be nice to say the dems produced this ad. They didn’t. The Young Turks (10/9/18) Senator Ted Cruz pretends to be tough, but he’s really a quivering lap dog. Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. As reported in the HuffPost: “A new ad from a political action committee called Fire Ted Cruz slams the senator and former Republican presidential candidate for his re-election campaign slogan, ‘Tough as Texas.’ The ad, directed by Richard Linklater, features the actor Sonny Carl Davis in character as the Texan he portrayed in Linklater’s 2011 film,…


As Misogynist, Homophobic Bolsonaro Advances To Run-Off In Brazil’s Election, Critics Fear ‘Genuine Fascist’ Takeover

“It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of the far-right wave that engulfed all of Brazil last night. But even more amazing is how far off the polls were.” — Glenn Greenwald tweet from his home in Brazil. By Julia Conley Common Dreams (10/8/18) Anti-fascist Brazilians expressed horror late Sunday as they watched the misogynist, racist former military officer Jair Bolsonaro advance toward a likely victory in the country’s presidential race, days after hundreds of thousands of women and allies protested his extremist agenda. Shocking journalists and poll-takers by unexpectedly winning 46 percent of the vote in the general election’s first round, Bolsonaro now heads to a…


The Case For Giving Every American A Share Of A Public Wealth Fund

  By Jim Pugh In These Times (9/28/18) In late August, the People’s Policy Project, a left-wing think tank run by economist and writer Matt Bruenig, released a proposal for the creation of a social wealth fund in the United States. Dubbed the American Solidarity Fund, the idea behind the proposal is to establish a pool of shared, public wealth that would be invested in the same way that private wealth is. Under this plan, every American adult would own a single “share” of the fund, and while no single person would be able to withdraw their share, they would receive…


Russia Monitor: Putin’s Apprentice & The Cast Of Russpublican Extras

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (10/11/18) Dear Fellow Readers, The news media is doing a much better job of connecting the dots with Trump-Russia corruption. This is of course with the benefit of how much more is known. There are also so many good Trump-Russia books that have been written including one of the more recent, ‘The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy’ by Pulitzer Prize winning author Greg Miller. Miller sets out to tell the story of the “political crime of the century” by relating all and connecting all that is known. The style…


Southern Poverty Law Center: ‘They served their time. Their voices could make a huge difference.’

  Southern Poverty Law Center (10/5/18) Lorena Barnum Sabbs was just 11 years old when she was arrested. She was trying to integrate the local movie theater in Americus, Georgia. But when the group of 30 girls refused to leave the balcony, police arrested them and drove them almost an hour away to the Leesburg Stockade. They slept on the cells’ cement floors. They were threatened. A snake was thrown into their cells. Some were held as long as 45 days. Their parents didn’t know where they were until a local dogcatcher spread the word. No one could get them…