Trump Finds His Soul Mate

  (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org ) *****   “The President of the United States of America is an office which imposes a vast, consequential responsibility on the person who holds it to represent America’s values to the world. If those values are liberty, equality, freedom, the rule of law, and the Constitution, Trump is failing on every front. If they are the values of the thug, the tyrant, the bully, the circus freak third-world tinpot? “Then he’ll get his pledge pin any day now.” —…

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Migrant Children Detained In U.S. Facility Mocked By Mural Of Trump Quote About Evicting Tenants

  By Sebastian Murdock HuffPost (6/14/18) At a Texas facility holding nearly 1,500 migrant children, a mural of President Donald Trump with a quote about his past attempt to evict New York tenants greets the children detained there. On Wednesday, MSNBC reporter Jacob Soboroff joined other reporters in a tour of the Brownsville facility, which detains up to 1,500 boys, ages 10 to 17, who have been separated from their parents by the U.S. government. In the building ― an old Walmart ― administrators give children two hours of outdoor time, provide them with limited space within the facility and instruct them to go…


‘Nice’ People Always Make The Best Nazis

“You know who weren’t nice people? Resisters.” By Steadfast Slovak The Daily Kos (6/14/18) The best Nazis. I’ve been thinking a lot about Naomi Shulman’s quote, “Nice people made the best Nazis.”  The people who just wanted to get along, who looked the other way and ignored politics, “[t]hey were lovely people who turned their heads as their neighbors were dragged away.” And I’ve realized, sadly, reluctantly, that I’ve filled my life with people who would be great Nazis. The people that I love would have been great Nazis. And in this time of Trump, in this ugly period of…


Censorship: Editorial Cartoonist Critical Of Trump Fired From Pittsburgh Newspaper

  Rob Rogers had been with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for 25 years. By Lydia O’Connor HuffPost (6/14/18) A veteran editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was fired Thursday after he and the newspaper’s management clashed over some sketches critical of President Donald Trump. Rob Rogers, a Pulitzer Prize finalist who had been with the Post-Gazette for 25 years, announced his own ouster on Twitter. Earlier this month, he’d revealed that he was working through “unresolved” issues with the paper’s leaders over certain cartoons that they’d declined to publish. A broader push for less negative Trump coverage in the paper has been linked to John…


Oh, Screw You, Paul Ryan: Internet Rips ‘tone-deaf jackass’ Paul Ryan For Father’s Day Tweet About His Kids While He Stands By As Immigrant Families Are Torn Apart

By Bob Brigham The Raw Story (6/16/18) House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was soundly scolded on the internet after wishing “all of the dads” a happy Father’s Day as Republican President Donald Trump separates families at the border.  Speaker Ryan is a father of three children. “My life changed the day I became a father. Liza, Charlie, and Sam are my highest priority,” Ryan tweeted. “Wishing all of the dads out there a happy early Fathers Day.” The ensuing uproar was quick and passionate. As a father who clearly cares for his children, Speaker Ryan should think of the agony…


Keep ’em In The Dark: Advanced High School History Will No Longer Include Humankind’s Story Before 1450

  NPR (6/16/18) The Advanced Placement World History course will no longer include precolonial civilizations. Scott Simon talks to Amanda DoAmaral, a former AP World History teacher, about why she opposes the change. Link to Story and -Minute Audio (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


Russia Monitor: Trump Pal Manafort Follows 2,000 Innocent Children Into Jail

“I call this a concentration camp for kids because that’s exactly what it’s turning out to.” — Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, 6/15/18 MSNBC Live with Stephanie Rule   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/18/18) Dear Fellow Readers, There is an evil man who presumes to have powers above the law, he believes he can do whatever he wants without consequence, he believes he can punish as he sees fit. Yet somehow, be it DACA or anything related to his Wall – he presents himself as weak and incapable to change the ugly, punitive policies he enacts. ‘Your…


TransCanada’s New ‘Best-In-Class’ Gas Pipeline Blows Up In Fiery Blast Mere Six Months After Completion

  By Sharon Kellly DeSmog.blog (6/7/18) This morning [6/7/18], residents of Marshall County, West Virginia, awoke at 4:15 a.m. to a major natural gas rupture and explosion on TransCanada’s Leach XPress pipeline on Nixon Ridge — a quickly built pipeline only half a year old. The fire was visible for miles, local TV news reported. Police warned anyone who could see the flames to evacuate — and the Emergency Management Agency director of neighboring Ohio County said officials had received dozens of 911 calls from locals able to see the fire, which was extinguished roughly four hours later. The blast was so powerful that…


Suddenly Gun Shy: The NRA Dropped Lawmaker Ratings From Their Website, But They’re Not Saying Why

  By Hunter The Daily Kos (6/12/18) Over the weekend, reporters noticed an odd thing about the National Rifle Association’s website: The NRA “ratings” for lawmakers, giving them letter grades for their willingness to block new gun restrictions and weaken existing ones, had vanished without explanation. Was it a glitch, or something else? The nation’s largest domestic terrorism lobby is clamming up about the change, but the Washington Post’s Phillip Bump was able to pry the barest hint of information from an unnamed NRA staffer when he called for an explanation. “I think our enemies were using that,” he said. He…


UN Report On Extreme Poverty & Human Rights Abuses In U.S. Ignored By Mainstream Media

  By John M. Repp Common Dreams (6/15/18) Philip Alston is the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. He traveled to the United States last December to some of our most destitute communities such as Skid Row in LA, poor African American areas in the Alabama, impoverished coal communities in West Virginia and to Puerto Rico. He issued his report on June 1, 2018. It should be front page news. The report is a terrible indictment of our country and of the Trump Administration. Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel prize winning economist told The Guardian“This administration inherited a bad situation with…


Scott Walker’s Big-Dollar Donors Cash In On $3+ Billion In Tax Giveaways (On Your Tab)

  Wisconsin Democracy Campaign (6/13/18) Owners and employees from about two dozen companies that received corporate welfare from the state in 2017 have contributed more than $800,000 to Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign. These companies were among the 59 businesses that were awarded nearly $3 billion in economic development tax credits and loans last year by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The giveaways were made so the companies would either locate or expand their operations in the state. Most of the recipients, 50 of 59 (or 85 percent), were businesses already located in Wisconsin. Owners and employees of 25 companies, which…


The Biggest Winner Of U.S.–North Korea Summit: A Delighted China

  “I may be wrong, I mean I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey I was wrong.’ I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.” — Donald Trump ***** “It is truly remarkable how Donald Trump, being in such a strong negotiating position, has managed to get so little from the North Koreans.”  By Evan Osnos The New Yorker (6/13/18) “Honestly, I think he’s going to do these things,” President Trump told reporters in Singapore on Tuesday night, after signing a page of loose declarations with Kim Jong Un. “I may stand…


Forget Trump – A return To True Populism Is The Cure, Not The Disease

By Thomas Frank The Guardian (6/23/18) Why are the traditional parties of the left in the western world being defeated in so many places by outrageous blowhards of the right? The answer most often given is that rightwing politicians have discovered and embraced a diabolical form of super-politics known as “populism”. With its combination of magic words and evil deeds, this populism is breaking rules, beguiling voters and winning elections. Populism is a subject I know something about. In the 1980s I studied the angry American agrarians who, a century before, squared off against railroad monopolists. I became fascinated with the populist culture of the Roosevelt era,…


Rise Of The British Radical Racist Right Parallels What Is Happening In U.S.

By Owen Jones The Guardian (6/13/18) Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts were a menace. So were the Nazi sympathies of many British aristocrats in the 1930s. Today’s ascendant far right poses its own unique dangers, using familiar tropes that have been fuelled and legitimised by the political and media elite – and there is all too little appreciation of where Britain could be heading. Brexit, for the Tory right, was a national revolution: not simply a recalibration of Britain’s relationship with the EU but a blunt instrument to roll back progressive social norms. Those deemed to be critics or opponents were now enemies of the people, saboteurs, traitors,…


9 Religious Leaders Shackled, Abused & Held In Jail Overnight, After Praying In Protest Outside Supreme Court

  Democracy Now! (6/13/18) Nine religious leaders were arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court on Monday in Washington, D.C., after participating in a national day of action for the new Poor People’s Campaign. They were handcuffed for five hours and jailed overnight in cells with cockroaches before being brought into court in ankle irons. The religious leaders were among 100 people arrested in Washington, D.C., Monday [6/11] as part of the protests against poverty and racism. We speak with Rev. Liz Theoharis, who was one of the nine arrested Monday. Link to Story, Transcript and 7-Minute Video *****…


Trumputin Spins Words Into Weapons As The Press Unwittingly Helps Him Win The Linguistic War

From ‘spygate’ to ‘fake news’, Trump spins language to frame – and win – debates. And the press meekly acts as his marketing agency. By George Lakoff & Gil Duran The Guardian (6/13/18) Donald Trump has been a salesman for nearly half a century. He is now selling himself, his worldview and his self-serving views of the law and the truth. His principal tools are language and the media. By faithfully transmitting Trump’s words and ideas, the press helps him to attack, and thereby control, the press itself. Trump knows the press has a strong instinct to repeat his most outrageous…


The Persecution Of Alleged NSA Contractor Whistleblower Reality Winner

By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted (6/6/18) ONE YEAR AGO this month, the FBI arrested a decorated Air Force veteran and NSA contractor and charged her under the Espionage Act. This week: an Intercepted special on the case of alleged whistleblower Reality Winner. While Paul Manafort enjoyed the comforts of his Hamptons mansion on house arrest, Winner was denied bond, kept in a jail, and has been subjected to a public smear campaign by Jeff Sessions’s Justice Department. She was the first whistleblower charged under President Trump and her treatment is unprecedented. Former drone technician-turned-whistleblower Lisa Ling talks about the campaign to free Winner. Trevor…


Russia Monitor: Trump Calling Up His Army Of Trolls, Haters & Racists

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/14/18) Dear Fellow Readers, Good news – Caleb Frostman won the Wisconsin 1st state Senate district special election, winning a seat that had previously voted for Trump by a wide margin. Meanwhile it is clear the GOP is the party of Trump. Before we dive into the specifics, let’s consider why this is important. Trump believes he can get away with it — that Trump-Russia will not stick. He will achieve greatness and rake in the cash along the way – the greatest con in the history of American politics. Trump doesn’t have…


Senator: “Let Me Repeat… The US Helped Bomb A Doctors Without Borders Civilian Cholera Treatment Facility

By Jon Queally Common Dreams 96/12/18) After the international humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières on Monday announced that a newly constructed cholera treatment center in Yemen was bombed on Monday, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)—who has led the fight in the U.S. Senate to end the U.S. military’s key role in assisting Saudi Arabia’s assault on its war-torn and poverty-stricken neighbor—lashed out in disgust and anger on social media. Chris Murphy✔@ChrisMurphyCT The Yemen War is spiraling out of control. The Saudi/UAE/U.S. coalition bombed a Doctors Without Borders cholera treatment facility earlier today. Let me repeat that – the U.S helped…


If Democrats Want A Viable Party They Need To Stop The Corporate Rigging Of The Primaries

  By Heather Gautney The Guardian (6/11/18) Ask countless Bernie Sanders supporters, and they’ll tell you a big reason he lost the Democratic party primaries is simple: the process was rigged. In one state after another, the votes by party elites – so-called “superdelegates” – counted more than those of regular members. And arduous voting requirements meant that countless people who would have voted for Sanders were denied that right. If the Democrats want any hope of voting Trump out of the White House, it is urgent they fix this broken system before the next election. As a member of Sanders’ campaign, I’ll…


Why Fascism Is So Tempting — And How Your Data Could Power It

  TED Talk (6/8/18) In a profound talk about technology and power, author and historian Yuval Noah Harari explains the important difference between fascism and nationalism — and what the consolidation of our data means for the future of democracy. Appearing as a hologram live from Tel Aviv, Harari warns that the greatest danger that now faces liberal democracy is that the revolution in information technology will make dictatorships more efficient and capable of control. “The enemies of liberal democracy hack our feelings of fear and hate and vanity, and then use these feelings to polarize and destroy,” Harari says….


McCabe: Take Our State Government To The People

Wisconsin governor candidate Mike McCabe said today that, once elected, he will periodically take the governor’s office on the road, bringing cabinet secretaries and other agency officials with him to give people in urban and rural areas of the state alike greater access and more of a voice in state government. “People shouldn’t have to travel to the State Capitol to be heard and served by their state government. It should come to them,” McCabe said. “For many in our state, it’s not practical or affordable for them to take off work to make a trip to Madison, so they…


Trump Mind Virus: America’s Normalization Of The Grotesque

  By Gary Younge The Guardian (6/8/18) During the presidential election the Huffington Post’s US site carried the following editor’s note at the end of every story about the Republican nominee: “Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims – 1.6 billion members of an entire religion – from entering the US.” Shortly before 6am on that long election night – in between Trump’s winning Iowa and being declared the victor in Pennsylvania – the Washington bureau chief announced that the note would…


Bill Maher Has A Message For The Left: Forget The Culture, Grab The Government

  “Conservatives govern without shame and liberals shame without governing.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/12/18) I don’t always agree with Bill Maher’s often overly snarky tone but on Friday he delivered a much-needed dose of political reality to liberals. While, Mahrer noted, liberals score some victories getting Roseanne Barr’s program canceled for her racist tweets larger — far more significant battles are ignored. “I’m often surprised how often liberals I talk to think that we’re winning. We, who control nothing. Winning?” he asked. Instead of formulating and moving forward a platform of true progressive reform Maher nailed…


Yes, Trump Is A Monster, But — Really — What Does The Dem Establishment Offer America?

    By Paul Street CounterPunch (6/8/18) Yes, He’s Awful Much of what liberals say about Donald Trump and the chilling political moment the Trump presidency represents is true enough. Trump really is the arch-authoritarian malignant narcissist that liberals say he is.  Trump thinks he deserves to rule the nation like an absolute monarch or some ridiculous Banana Republic dictator.  He believes he’s above all the law, consistent with Louis XIV’s dictum L’etat, C’est Moi (“the state is me”). The notion that Trump can pardon himself from any crime really is the height of imperial arrogance. Trump really does value…


Bipartisan Boost To American ‘Forever’ War

By Renee Parsons Common Dreams (6/5/18) As the Forever AUMF 2018 (SJRes 59) (Authority for the Use of Military Force) continues to await action by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, one can only imagine the extent of the behind-the-scene efforts underway to sway those few wavering Senators who may be reluctant to go down in American history as voting to eliminate Congress’ sole, inviolate Constitutional authority ‘to declare war’. Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11.    The law would remove Congress from its statutory authority as it transfers “uninterrupted” authority on “the use of all necessary and appropriate force” to one individual, allowing…


No Rest Or Respite For Beleaguered Refugees Around The World

  Assignment/BBC World Service A new smuggling route has opened up on the edge of Europe. Every week hundreds of Syrians are risking their lives to leave the continent and return home. Nawal Al-Maghafi joins refugees on the migration route to discover why so many people are choosing life in a warzone over the safety of Europe. Link to 27- Minute Audio ***** Inside The Trial Of 3 Guatemalan Mothers Separated From Their Children By John Burnett NPR (6/8/18) Three young Guatemalan women went on trial this week at the red-rock federal courthouse in Alpine, Texas. It’s about 70 miles from…


Sy Hersh On All The Victims Of America’s War Culture

“Some will claim that I have attempted to exploit some dumb, out of service, overly talkative G.I.s. But few men are exposed to charges of murder… it is not a “naming names and telling all affair.” In fact, one of the strengths is that discriminating readers will know how much more I know — and did not tell. I’m convinced that to give the name and hometown of a G.I. who committed rape and murder that day, or one who beheaded an infant, would not further the aim of the book. It is an exposé, but not of the men…


Russia Monitor: Vladimir Cashes In Bigly On His Investment

“Today crystallizes precisely why Putin was so eager to see Trump elected. For Putin, this is return on his investment, and it’s safe to say that his investment has paid off beyond even his wildest dreams.” — Ned Price, a former CIA analyst and the National Security Council spokesman under then-President Barack Obama ***** “With his “no collusion” chant, Trump is like an embezzler who yells, “There was no murder”—and asserts that is the only relevant benchmark.” — Author David Corn writing for Mother Jones, June 2018     By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/11/18) Dear Fellow Readers, In…


You Can’t Say That. Oh, Yes I Can!

Philadelphia Eagles Player Malcolm Jenkins uses signs, not speech, in a powerful response to President Donald Trump Link To Story The rising tide of national protest and opposition has brought forth a lot of creative humor, satire and other forms of protest. Some of that is to be found on protest signs created by fellow citizens speaking truth to power. In our new original cartoon feature  — “You Can’t Say That! Oh, Yes I Can!” — The Commoner Call will feature some of that handheld wisdom. If you see a particularly good protest sign send it along for consideration. Pass this invitation to your…


Frontline — Purdue Pharma’s Aggressive Marketing Role In The Deadly Opioid Crisis

By Patrice Taddonio Frontline (5/30/18) Purdue Pharma had information suggesting that OxyContin was being abused as early as the year after its 1996 release, but kept marketing the long-acting drug as a less addictive type of prescription opioid, according to an internal Justice Department report obtained by New York Times reporter Barry Meier. Purdue Pharma executives had previously said in testimony before Congress that the company was unaware of mounting abuse of OxyContin until 2000 — a position the company still holds, according to the Times. In 2006, federal prosecutors recommended the indictment of three individual Purdue Pharma executives on felony charges that included conspiracy to defraud…


Mike McCabe Plan Outlines Way To Fund Critically Needed Addiction & Health Care For Wisconsin

  Mike McCabe for Governor Campaign Website (3/20/18) Wisconsin governor candidate Mike McCabe today fleshed out his position in favor of fully legalizing the possession and use of marijuana by detailing a plan to tax legal sales and use the new source of revenue to fund expanded treatment options for those struggling with opioid and methamphetamine addiction and make higher education more affordable. Even before announcing his candidacy on September 12, McCabe publicly supported legalization of industrial hemp production as well as medicinal and personal use of marijuana. “Current drug laws have proven ineffective, counterproductive and racially discriminatory. Those who…


How A Ragtag Group Of Socialist Filmmakers Produced One Of The Most Viral Campaign Ads Of 2018

  [Editor’s Note: There has long been a need for a cadre of innovative video and internet tech savvy progressives to counter the big money self-serving campaign consultants that turn so many democratic campaigns into desiccated cookie-cutter hack jobs. This story shows the power of Tech + Passion = Powerful Messaging. — Mark L. Taylor] By Zaid Jilani The Intercept (6/5/18) BRONX ACTIVIST AND community organizer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is challenging longtime New York Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in his primary on June 26. By all measures, the former Bernie Sanders organizeris an underdog, going up against the powerful chair of the House Democratic…


Above The Law: ‘Dear Leader’ Trump’s Authoritarian Movement Is Reaching An Inevitable Conclusion

“The imperial stage of this presidency has well and truly begun.”  By Jack Holmes Esquire (6/4/18) While you were enjoying the second weekend of summer, the president and his allies were waging a sustained campaign to suggest the law does not apply to him. Things kicked off with the (probable) leak of a letter Trump’s legal team sent to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, published by The New York Times, in which we learned that Trump essentially has unlimited power and authority—you know, like a king. The letter suggested that: Trump cannot, by virtue of being president, obstruct justice. Trump can “terminate…


Watch: Facility Staff Call Police As U.S. Senator Attempts To Examine Conditions Of Detention Center For Immigrant Children

  “Children should never be ripped from their families and held in secretive detention centers.” [Editor’s Note: There is powerful symbolism in the fact that this nation has been reduced to imprisoning poor immigrant children fleeing violence in an old Walmart with blacked out windows. The image says it all of what America has become. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore) was quoted on MSNBC saying up to 1,000 children are locked up in the facility. And as the second story linked below shows, such brutality is already being turned against citizens. That is the way of tyranny. Resist … while you…


CNN’s Jake Tapper Fact Checks Trump’s Lies About The Philadelphia Eagles

  By Rebecca Shapiro CNN (6/5/18) CNN host Jake Tapper issued a strong defense of the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday and said President Donald Trump had lied and made false suggestions about the Super Bowl champions. Tapper, a huge Eagles fan and was in the stands for the team’s Super Bowl win, discussed Trump disinviting the team to the White House and canceling the celebration meant to honor the players on Monday, the day before the event. Most of the Eagles players had already said they would not visit the White House, with several citing their view that Trump seeks to divide the…


Seymour Hersh On CIA Spies, State Secrets, And The Stories He Doesn’t Tell

“The capacity to do stupid fucking things in America is just fucking scary.”  By Elon Green Columian Journalism Review (6/4/18) When a reporter has covered 50 years of American foreign policy disasters, the last great untold story may be his own. That, more or less, is the premise behind a new memoir by Seymour Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been revealing secrets and atrocities—and often secret atrocities—to great acclaim since he exposed the My Lai Massacre in 1969. Hersh’s book, economically titled Reporter, is focused on the work. “I don’t want anybody reporting about my private life,” he once said, and Hersh abides…


God Help Us: The Legislative Assault By Christian Nationalists To Reshape America & Our Lives

  By David Taylor The Guardian (6/4/18) The emboldened religious right has unleashed a wave of legislation across the United States since Donald Trump became president, as part of an organised bid to impose hardline Christian values across American society. A playbook known as Project Blitz, developed by a collection of Christian groups, has provided state politicians with a set of off-the-shelf pro-Christian “model bills”. Some legislation uses verbatim language from the “model bills’” created by a group called the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation (CPCF), set up by a former Republican congressman which has a stated aim to “protect religious freedom, preserve…


Naomi Klein: 4,645 Deaths In Puerto Rico From Hurricane Maria Were “State-Sponsored Mass Killing”

  Democracy Now! (6/6/18) We look at Puerto Rico as it continues to recover from Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island last September. Researchers at Harvard recently revealed the death toll from Hurricane Maria may be a staggering 70 times higher than the official count. The official death toll still stands at 64, but the new study estimates a death toll of at least 4,645, with some projections topping 5,700. The Harvard study found that “interruption of medical care was the primary cause of sustained high mortality rates in the months after the hurricane, a finding consistent with the widely…


Trump’s MS-13 Fear Mongering Actually Empowers Deadly Gang

  By Lulu Garcia-Navarro NPR (6/3/18) David Kennedy, a criminal justice professor at John Jay College, tells NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro what we know about the international criminal gang MS-13 compared with President Trump’s statements. This past week at a rally in Nashville, President Trump returned to one of his favorite themes, the dangers of MS-13. And the crowd was ready for it – chanting a word the president has used to describe the street gang. … Read the Rest, Transcript and 3+-Minute Audio