Knock, Knock, Knocking On Corrupt Capitalism’s Palace Doors

If you can squint past the smoke from the barricades, the commonalities start to stand out.  By Ben Ehrenreich The Nation (11/25/19) Something—someone—keeps knocking at the door. It’s cold out there and getting colder, but the people inside are cozy on the sofa with the TV on and a blanket on their laps. But there’s that knock again: at the front door now, then the side door, then the back. Maybe it’s the wind. Now there’s knocking at the windows and the roof and the walls of the house—who knew they were so thin? It’s hard to understand: How could so…

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‘So If You’re Poor, You’re Dead’? Watch These Brits Gasp When They Find Out The Deadly, Crippling Cost Of Corporate Run Medical Profiting In The US

“Brits can’t fathom the barbarity of America’s healthcare system.” By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams Britons in a video released Tuesday expressed incredulity and shock at the high cost of healthcare in the United States and thanked the United Kingdom’s publicly-funded and administered National Health Service for sparing the country’s people such exorbitant prices. “So if you’re poor, you’re dead,” one young woman tells the interviewer from Joe Politics after hearing an asthma inhaler in the for-profit U.S. system costs between $250 and $300. Two different men appear shocked when told Americans can be charged $2,500 for an ambulance ride. “For real?” one…



Cornel West: Now Is Not The Time For Timid Centrism

By Mark L. Taylor The commoner Call (12/5/19) Cornel West is one of the best teachers in America. In this short video he provides a serious assessment of the positive role American socialism has played in national progress and the march to equality. He shows how timid half-measures are exactly the wrong response to moments of challenge and crisis. Given the fevered fascist threat growing in our nation and worldwide, West’s assessment and prescription for political redemption is a serious message to hear, take in and boldly act upon. As West would acknowledge, the ultimate teacher for our moment of…


Russia Monitor: Not A Single Republican Witness Steps Forward To Defend The Indefensible Trump

  “… yes, you have bribery here.” — Prof. Pamela Karlan, House Judiciary Impeachment hearing (12/4/19) ***** “It is fundamental to the definition of our national political community that foreign citizens do not have a constitutional right to participate in, and thus may be excluded from, activities of democratic self-government.” — Prof. Pamela Karlan quoting Justice Kavanaugh, adding “so correct” ***** “Because this is an abuse that cuts to the heart of democracy, you need to ask yourselves, if you don’t impeach a president who has done what this president has done … then what you’re saying is, it’s fine…


Humanity Is Riding Delusion To Extinction

“I’m rooting for humanity, no doubt, but my own limited life experience has made me unlikely to bet on our species.” By Danny Sjursen Truthdig (12/3/19) Horses sporting gas masks. That, of all things, has been on my mind lately. Bear with me, now. Gaze at the ever-so-cockamamie photo. A horse, wearing a gas mask. Nothing so illustrates the rank absurdity and irrationality of the human condition. It was during World War I—which killed an unheard-of nine million soldiers in just four years—that the armies of Europe still employed horses in an age of machine guns, airplanes (eventually), tanks and poison gas attacks….


Manufacturing Consent: PBS 2020 Segment Finds Time To Feature Klobuchar, Sestak & Bullock—But Completely Ignores Bernie Sanders

‘He’s Just…Erased’ By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (12/3/19) A Monday night PBS NewsHour segment on the state of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary highlighted Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s new ad campaign in Iowa, the departure of marginal candidates Steve Bullock and Joe Sestak, a tender campaign moment with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden’s “No Malarkey” bus tour—but did not once even mention Sen. Bernie Sanders despite recent key endorsements and a surge in the polls. Sanders’ presidential campaign has repeatedly accused the corporate media of ignoring the senator from Vermont, a phenomenon Sanders supporters have dubbed the “Bernie blackout.” The PBS segment, led by NewsHour correspondent Yamiche…


The ‘most dangerous politician of my lifetime’ May Not Be Donald Trump

  By Robert Reich Raw Story (12/2/19) He’s maybe the most dangerous politician of my lifetime. He’s helped transform the Republican Party into a cult, worshiping at the altar of authoritarianism. He’s damaged our country in ways that may take a generation to undo. The politician I’m talking about, of course, is Mitch McConnell. Two goals for November 3, 2020: The first and most obvious is to get the worst president in history out of the White House. That’s necessary but not sufficient. We also have to flip the Senate and remove the worst Senate Majority Leader in history. Like…


Media Manipulation: How The Alt-Right Co-opted The ‘OK’ Hand Sign To Play Journalists

At some point, life begins to imitate their art, and what began as a media hoax takes on dangerously radical connotations. By Poppy Noor The Guardian (10/3/19) Another day, another seemingly harmless symbol you can’t use without appearing to be a purveyor of hate. The alt-right’s latest trophy is the OK hand sign, which was officially recognised as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League over the weekend. And on Tuesday, it was reported that a Universal Orlando Resort employee was fired after concerned parents found a photo of him making the hand sign on their six-year-old’s shoulder (their child is biracial and has autism)….


Resistance Radio: The Man Who Laughed At al-Qaeda

By Mike Thomson Assignment / BBC (11/28/19) Raed Fares, founder of Syria’s legendary Radio Fresh FM, was mowed down by unknown gunmen as he left his studios in rebel-held Idlib in November 2018. The death of the man who fought hatred with humour and laughed in the faces of President Assad, ISIS and al-Qaeda, sent shockwaves way beyond his troubled homeland. When ordered by Islamist extremists to stop broadcasting music he had replied with bird song and clucking chickens. On being told to take his female presenters off air, he put their voices through software to make them sound like…


Notably Quotable: “Five years from now, people will look back and say…”

“Five years from now, people will look back and say, what were you doing? You had a fever going on related to President Trump. The guy broke the law. He’s a traitor to the Constitution of the United States. You took an oath to the Constitution you’re going to disavow for him? Why are you doing that?” — Anthony Scaramucci, Former Trump official compares GOP to French collaborators who helped the Nazis ***** “American capital needs fresh meat to consume. The average American is now broke. They literally die in debt — which means they never earn, save, or own anything across…


Tomorrow: Climate Crisis Action To Let Rep. Ron Kind Know We Are Concerned!

You’ve probably received invitations from labor & environmental groups asking you to RSVP for local strikes globally on Friday. Whether you are in WI, MN or IA, PLEASE join us in La Crosse on Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. for any length of time at all (even 15 min.) in the Exchange Building (map) next to the Children’s Museum. The address is 205 5th Avenue S. (& Jay Street). Several of us youth and adults with signs will be in the lobby to greet people and to help them sign a letter to Rep. Ron Kind & a letter to Sen. Tammy…


Ohio Bill Orders Doctors To Do Impossible ‘reimplant ectopic pregnancy’ Procedure Or Face ‘abortion murder’ Charges

Ohio introduces one of the most extreme bills to date for a procedure that does not exist in medical science. By Jessica Glenza The Guardian (11/29/19) A bill to ban abortion introduced in the Ohio state legislature requires doctors to “reimplant an ectopic pregnancy” into a woman’s uterus – a procedure that does not exist in medical science – or face charges of “abortion murder”. This is the second time practising obstetricians and gynecologists have tried to tell the Ohio legislators that the idea is currently medically impossible. The move comes amid a wave of increasingly severe anti-abortion bills introduced across much of…


Brits Have No Idea: American Corporate Medical Wealth Enhancement Scheme Is Rolling Toward Britain To Make A Killing

  The very first thing on the chopping block is healthcare. Why? Because that, my friends, is where capitalism makes a killing. Literally and figuratively. [Editor’s Note: This is one of the best assessments of the inefficient and deadly corruption of the American medical corporate wealth enhancement scheme you will find. Spot on. — Mark L. Taylor] By Umair Haque Eudaimonia (11/28/19) Why — why on earth — would anyone want American style healthcare? You might be wondering why I even ask. After all, American healthcare is one of the modern world’s greatest and most epic failures. It’s such a failure, in…


Voting Machine Problems In Key Swing State Have Officials Panicked About Upcoming Election: ‘There are concerns for 2020’

    By Matthew Chapman Raw Story (11/30/19) On Saturday, The New York Times documented the problems officials in Northampton County, Pennsylvania experienced administering the 2019 uniform election with ExpressVoteXL voting machines — sparking a fresh round of worries about the integrity of the election infrastructure in a state that will be closely watched in 2020. “Vote totals in a Northampton County judge’s race showed one candidate, Abe Kassis, a Democrat, had just 164 votes out of 55,000 ballots across more than 100 precincts. Some machines reported zero votes for him. In a county with the ability to vote for a straight-party ticket,…


Democracy Incorporated & Inverted Totalitarianism

“The political role of corporate power, the corruption of the political and representative processes by the lobbying industry, the expansion of executive power at the expense of constitutional limitations, and the degradation of political dialogue promoted by the media are the basics of the system, not excrescences upon it. The system would remain in place even if the Democratic Party attained a majority; and should that circumstance arise, the system will set tight limits to unwelcome changes, as is foreshadowed in the timidity of current Democratic proposals for reform. In the last analysis the much-lauded stability and conservatism of the…


Without Dialing For Dollars Or Lobbyist Meetings, Ocasio-Cortez Raised More Money Than Any Other House Democrat In 3rd Quarter

“I haven’t picked up a phone once this year to dial for dollars, and I don’t meet with corporate lobbyists. That is the power of your grassroots support.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (11/27/19) Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised more money for reelection than any other House Democrat in the third quarter of 2019, an achievement the New York Democrat touted as a testament to the power of grassroots fundraising over schmoozing with corporate lobbyists and wealthy executives. The New York Post reported late Tuesday that Ocasio-Cortez raised $1.42 million between July 1 through September 30 for her 2020 reelection campaign, topping all House Democrats including…


Russia Monitor: The Similarities To 1930’s Germany Grow

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (12/2/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Picking up from where I began in the last edition: Trump pardoned three convicted US military war criminals and in the process did battle with his Sec. of the Navy Richard Spencer leading to Spencer’s resignation. There are a few follow-on angles that highlight the significance of this event. Chief Petty Officer and Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher was charged with more than a dozen criminal acts and convicted of one by a military court. While the charges are horrifying, it’s the follow-on actions by Trump that is more far-reaching…


Historian Timothy Snyder: Here’s How We Escape TrumpWorld, Where There’s “no future and no truth”

By Chauncey Devega Salon (11/23/19) There will come a time when Donald Trump is no longer president of the United States. The Democrats may defeat Trump in 2020, sending him back to one of his resort hotels to brood and plot further chaos. Trump could be impeached, convicted and forced from office, unlikely as that seems at this moment. A serious medical illness may mean that he is unable to fulfill his duties and is forced to resign. Because of his many scandals and likely illegal behavior, Trump could also choose to resign — if given assurances that Mike Pence, as the new…


Rep. Mark Pocan & Other Progressive Pols Meekly Fall In Line With Corporate Dems & GOP To Extend Mass Surveillance

  By Norman Solomon Reader Supported News Service (11/25/19) Last week, the Democratic leadership put an extension of the Patriot Act into a “continuing resolution” that averted a government shutdown. More than 95 percent of the Democrats in the House went along with it by voting for the resolution. Both co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Pramila Jayapal and Mark Pocan, voted yes. So did all 11 of the CPC’s vice chairs. It didn’t have to be that way. House progressives could have thrown a monkey wrench into the Orwellian machinery. Instead, the cave-in was another bow to normalizing the…


Arundhati Roy: It’s Hard To Communicate The Scale & Shape Of Narendra Modhi’s Take Over Of India

Democracy Now! (11/28/19) Human rights groups are condemning the Indian government for carrying out widespread torture, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and other crimes in Kashmir after the region’s special status was revoked in August. We speak to the acclaimed Indian author Arundhati Roy about the crackdown in Kashmir, rising authoritarianism in India and other issues. Link To Transcrpt And 40-Minute Video ***** Tulsi Gabbard Gives Glowing Welcome To India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi To Trump Event    By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/2/19) On September 16th of this year, Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HA) went out…


Intercepted Podcast — Ghosts Of Mossadegh: The Iran Cables, U.S. Empire & The Arc Of Mideast History

  By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted (11/20/19) AS U.S. SANCTIONS strangle Iran’s economy, anti-government protests are spreading. This week on Intercepted: Iranian-American author and analyst Hooman Majd discusses a century of history marked by intervention and threats from major world powers. Beginning with Britain, Russia, and Germany battling for control of Iran’s oil, Majd and Jeremy Scahill discuss the CIA coup against Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953, the Islamic revolution, and the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 and how Washington has repeatedly tried to bring down the government of the Islamic Republic. The Intercept’s investigative series The Iran Cables…


‘The Empire Files’ — Chris Hedges & Abby Martin: No Way Out Of Fascism Through Elections

“These people will kill us. And they will, in the end, carry out crimes of humanity that make what the Nazis and Stalinists did look like like child’s play. They are now pushing us toward the complete extinction of the human species.” [Editor’s Note: This is one of the best summaries of the bipartisan crisis and anomie super-charging the death cult of our corporate-serving society. A tough but necessary message for us all. — Mark L. Taylor] The Empire Files (11/27/9) Abby Martin sits down with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Chris Hedges to discuss the ignored reality behind Trump,…


Intercepted Podcast: CIA Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling’s Life As An “Unwanted Spy”

  By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted (11/27/19) HOUSE DEMOCRATS ARE pushing forward with their investigation into President Donald Trump’s abuse of power, sparked by an internal whistleblower complaint. This week on Intercepted: Jeffrey Sterling was indicted in 2010 on charges under the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking sensitive national security information to then-New York Times reporter James Risen. Sterling discusses his time as a CIA case officer and how his internal complaint about Operation Merlin, a half-baked CIA scheme that had tried to disrupt Iran’s nuclear weapons development, led to his firing. Sterling explains the discrimination suit he filed against the CIA and how there…


Whiny Boo-Hoo Billionaires: America’s Indulged Super-Wealthy Are Freaking Out About 2020

TURKEY ***** “There is something about the very wealthy, they don’t have enough people telling them that they are full of shit.” By Dominic Rushe The Guardian (11/16/19) The 1996 US election was all about the “soccer mom”; 2004 belonged to the “Nascar dads”; Donald Trump won the White House with a “basket of deplorables”. Every election cycle seems to have a key demographic said to define the race, and 2020 is no different. This is the campaign of the “beleaguered billionaire”. There’s a billionaire in the White House and two of the top Democratic rivals for Trump’s job, senators Bernie…


Revenge Of The Billionaires: How An Oligarchy Of The Morbidly Rich Can Take Down Democracy

This is a crisis point for our nation as real and critical as those we hit in 1776, 1861, and 1932. In each of those three cases—roughly four generations apart—the oligarchs lost the battle. This time they could win. By Thom Hartmann Independent Media Institute (11/22/19) The current issue of the Atlantic magazine founded itself in the years just before the Civil War, is ominously titled, “How to Stop a Civil War.” If we are, indeed, on the brink of a second Civil War, it’s already being waged as a “cold war,” with the occasional armed skirmish being provoked by the so-called…


Missing The Lead: Political Reporters Ignore The Story Of GOP’s Moral & Ethical Collapse

  By Daniel Froomkin Press Watch (11/25/19) After two weeks of gripping testimony that established Donald Trump’s flagrant abuse of power beyond any reasonable doubt, after an effectively uncontested accusation that Republican conspiracy theories about Ukraine advance a Russian agenda, and after the ostensibly “moderate” members of Trump’s party actually hardened their support for the president, there is precisely one huge, overarching news story that demands to be written: That the GOP has fully descended into lawlessness and lunacy. But our elite political reporters simply can’t bring themselves to say so. Over in the opinion sections, that message is so…


Russia Monitor: Through All The Grime & Criminal Behavior Of Trump Inc., The Duty Of The Citizen Stands Clear

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/29/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Happy Thanksgiving. May your Thanksgiving transcend politics. That said. Two stories leap out – Trump’s single most egregious authoritarian act and the polling picture one week after the House Intelligence Committee Impeachment hearings. How Bad Will Trump Be If A Second Term Or as the Seattle Times editorial board says, “Trump’s SEAL meddling weakens America”. In case you didn’t see the news, Trump pardoned a war criminal; Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher was found guilty by a jury of his peers for posing with the body of a…


Trump Biographer David Cay Johnston Issues A Warning And Important Message Of Hope About Engaged Citizenship

“I believe that if the Republicans do not open their eyes and face the reality in front of them, then the voters are going to do real damage to them. This will be the type of political damage the likes of which they’ve never seen before — or we’re going to discover that the United States is fully headed toward fascism.” By Chauncey Devega Salon (11/27/19) You have been closely observing and writing about Donald Trump for more than three decades. With the Ukraine scandal and these weeks of congressional hearings none of this should really be a surprise. Given…


Only Bernie Sanders’ Climate Policy Meets The Climate Emergency Challenge

By Naomi Klein & Sivan Kartha Boston Globe (11/25/19) As Bernie Sanders brings his plans for a Green New Deal to Iowa, one part is proving most resonant: the idea that, as our economy rapidly shifts to renewable energy, power companies should be publicly owned and controlled, and the biggest polluters should help underwrite the costs. Interestingly, this is the part of the Sanders plan, which builds on the resolution introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, that has received the most pushback from media commentators—who have been quick to dismiss public ownership over renewables as impractical and radical. Yet…


Despite Felony Criminal Record, Cody Wilson Is Back In The 3D-Printed ‘Ghost Gun’ Business

By Alain Stephens & Andew Weber The Trace (11/20/19) Cody Wilson, the self-described anarchist and figurehead of the 3D-printed gun movement, led investigators on an international manhunt last year before being arrested and charged with having sex with a minor. In August, he struck a deal with Travis County prosecutors, pleading guilty to a lesser charge of injury to a child, which is a felony. He received seven years of probation and is now a registered sex offender, banned from being within 500 feet of playgrounds, schools, and any other “child safety zone.” He can no longer carry a handgun in public, and under federal…


They Come For Us At Night: Inside China’s Hidden War On Uighurs

“My feet were shackled for one year, three months, and ten days.” By Isobel Yeung VICE News ( 6/29/19) You may or may not be aware that the Chinese Communist Party has been busy. Very busy. Over the past two years, an estimated 1 million Muslim Uighurs have been rounded up and placed in so-called “re-education camps.” It’s extremely difficult to report from the Uighur homeland of China’s northwestern Xinjiang region. Journalists are followed wherever they go and prevented from visiting certain places or speaking with locals. So we posed as tourists and snuck in wearing hidden cameras. Twice. What we witnessed was…


Right Wing Religion Round-Up: Ex-Trump Adviser Explains The ‘revolting’ Reason GOP Officials Keep Saying Trump Was Chosen By God

By Matthew Chapman Raw Story (11/26/19) On CNN Tuesday, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci broke down why Republicans like Energy Secretary Rick Perry and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley are suggesting that President Donald Trump was chosen by God. “They’re signaling to the president that they’re ultra-loyal to him,” said Scaramucci. “Remember, you’ve got to go 13 for 12 with the president. You can’t go 7 for 8, because then they’ll start tweeting about you all kinds of nonsense. They need to signal to him that they’re 100 percent or 130 percent loyal to him. But they’re also…


So-Called ‘Army Built To Fight Medicare For All’ Is Nothing More Than ‘Just Hired Guns Hired By Corporate Stooges’

“We have to take this evil deadly seriously.” By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (11/25/19) This so-called ‘Army Built to Fight Medicare for All’ is just hired guns hired by corporate stooges. But doctors, nurses, and activists from across the country fight for Medicare for All because it’s right.” That’s how Adam Gaffney, president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), responded Monday to a Politico report about how top health industry lobbies “have joined forces to take down socialized medicine.” From patients and doctors to politicians and their staffers, many Medicare for All advocates reiterated their commitment to radically transforming the U.S. healthcare system in…


Honest Crooks? Why Are Drug Prices Rising So Much? Pharma Exec Admits ‘No Other Rationale’ But Profit-Making

“The industry executive said the quiet part out loud,” said one outside expert in response. “Price-gouging is central to the industry business model.” By Andrea Germanos Common Dreams (11/28/19) Corporations’ quest for profits is what “is driving up drug prices and nothing more.” That’s according to Dennis Bourdette, M.D., chair of neurology in the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine, who co-authored a study published Monday that sought to find out companies’ rationale for the escalating prices on medications for patients with multiple sclerosis. Prices for those drugs, an accompanying press release notes, have jumped up by 10% to 15%…


Notably Quotable: “About six in 10 Americans say they are at least “somewhat worried” about …”

“About six in 10 Americans say they are at least “somewhat worried” about global warming and 23 percent say they are “very worried,” according to a survey conducted by Yale and George Mason universities in March and April.” —  Agence France (11/26/19),  Climate crisis anxiety churns up psychological storm in America ***** “Who to call when the police are murderers? — Hong Kong protest graffiti ***** “When the last man who remembers the horrors of the last great war dies, the next great war becomes inevitable.”  — Arnold Toynbee ***** “I gave to many people, before this, before two months ago,…


Dem Gov. Evers Signs ALEC & Oil Industry Dream Bill To Chill Dissent & Criminalize Peaceful Protest

Peaceful protestors can now be charged with a felony punishable by up to six years in prison and a $10,000 fine. By  David Armiak Center For Media And Democracy (11/22/19) Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) signed a bill into law Wednesday designed to criminalize and chill environmental protests, despite widespread opposition from local and national environmental and social justice groups, as well as some of Wisconsin’s federally recognized tribes. In a press release, the Governor echoed oil and gas industry talking points, which the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) revealed earlier, saying, “Today, I signed Assembly Bill 426, which aims to ensure…


Trump’s Journey From Russian Useful Idiot To Working Asset And The Worldwide Attack On Democracy

“Trump has done an enormous service to Russia.” [Editor’s Note: This important interview provides a deep understanding of the Russian role of the rapidly morphing worldwide fascist revolution, including here in the United States. — Mark L. Taylor] By Jeff Schechtman WhoWhatWhy. (11/22/19) In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, MSNBC counterterrorism analyst and bestselling author Malcolm Nance talks in detail about how Donald Trump has, in his view, betrayed the nation as an asset in a Russian plot to place a Kremlin-friendly US president in power. Nance argues that the effort to seduce Trump began as far back as the late 1970s. He…


The Darling Of The Corrupt Corporate Donor Class: Pete Buttigieg Showed In Debate Why They Love Him

His statements, like his affect, seemed to have been designed by an algorithm to make no commitments and risk no offense. By Moira Donegan The Guardian (11/21/19) On Wednesday afternoon, the Biden campaign made a mistake: they prematurely sent out an email meant for later in the evening, after the Democratic presidential debate. “I’m leaving the fifth Democratic debate now,” the email opened, referring to an event that had not yet begun. “I hope I made you proud.” The email alluded to potential attacks on Warren, with the pointed line, “We need more than plans.” Those attacks from Biden never materialized….


Facts Are Not Enough: Dems Need To Emotionally Frame The Widespread Corruption Revealed In Trump Impeachment Hearings

“He did the same thing to my taxes, he did it to education, he will do the same thing to health care. Take whatever adjective you want — betrayer, corruptor, thief — bring it back to the issues that matter.” [Editor’s Note: Remember Donald Trump’s campaign brag that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and get away with it? Well, it was one of the few times he was telling the the truth. And despite all the gritty crime and grimy details revealed in the recent impeachment hearings, he can get away with that too, unless the Democrats provide…