A Fact-Free Sham Trial Perpetrated In The Dead Of Night’: McConnell’s Trump Cover-Up In Senate Begins

“If the president is so confident in his case, if Leader McConnell is so confident the president did nothing wrong, why don’t they want the case to be presented in broad daylight?” — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer By Jon Queally Common Dreams (1/21/20) As the U.S. Senate on Tuesday began debating the rules that will dictate the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump going forward, progressive groups continued their denunciation of the proposal put forth by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who they charge has set the stage for a legal process that will “amount to nothing more than a fact-free sham trial perpetrated…

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Russia Monitor: Dems Deliver Powerful Indictment Of Trump’s Many Offenses As GOP Whimpers “Hear No, See No”

“Not standing up to Trump’s abuses will write the history of our decline with our own hand.” — Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), one of seven Dem impeachment managers (1/22/20). By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (1/23/20) Dear Fellow Readers, We are right in the thick of it, Impeachment of Trump. I will offer a few quick observations. Kudos – the Dems are punching above their weight, working with a weak hand against the controlling heavy hand of Senate Leader Mitch McConnell and Trump and doing well. The wait-and-see approach of the GOP ‘moderates’ will come into direct conflict with the…


As Trump Goes On Trial, So Does The Conscience Of The Republican Party

  Can Republicans divorce themselves from a demagogue? The impeachment trial’s first day offers little hope. By David Smith The Guardian (1/22/20) A lone figure in a blue suit slipped quietly into the front row of the US Senate public gallery just before 3.30pm on Tuesday and gazed down at his former colleagues. Jeff Flake, the former Republican senator from Arizona, had returned to Washington to witness two trials. One was that of an impeached American president accused of strong-arming a foreign government for his own political ends. The other was a trial of the conscience of the Republican party. Perhaps Flake,…


If Worker Pay Had Kept Pace With Productivity Gains Since 1968, Today’s Minimum Wage Would Be $24 An Hour

In such a world, a full-time minimum wage worker would be earning $48,000 a year in the United States. By Dean Baker Center for Economic & Policy Research (1/21/20) If the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation since 1968, it would be close to $12 an hour today, more than 65 percent higher than the national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. While this would make a huge difference in the lives of many people earning close to the national minimum wage, it is actually a relatively unambitious target. Until 1968, the minimum wage not only kept pace with…


Supreme Court Could Rule That You Will Be Forced To Subsidize Private Religious Schools

By Nina Totenberg Morning Edition / NPR (1/22/20) The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a major case that could dramatically alter the line separating church and state. At issue is a Montana state constitutional amendment that bars direct and indirect taxpayer aid to religious institutions. Conservative religious groups and advocates of school choice are challenging the “no-aid” provision. They have long sought to invalidate state constitutional amendments that prohibit taxpayer funding from going to religious schools. Given that Montana is one of 38 states with a “no-aid” provision, the court’s eventual decision could have far-reaching consequences. The case…


Why Australia Is Burning

As firefighters battle climate collapse triggered bushfires, Australia’s conservative Prime Minister fights to protect coal corporations.   The Daily / The New York Times (1/13/20) Wildfires have devastated Australia, incinerating an area roughly the size of West Virginia and killing 24 people and as many as half a billion animals. Today, we explore the human and environmental costs of the disaster, its connection to climate change and why so many Australians are frustrated by Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s response. Link To 28-Minute Audio ***** Australian Wildfires Prove Denying Climate Change Won’t Save You From It The Real News (1/7/20) Climate…


‘Middle Class’ Biden Has A Real Corruption Record That Makes Him The Wrong Candidate To Go Up Against Crooked Trump

Nominating a candidate like Biden will make it far more difficult to defeat Trump. It will allow Trump to muddy the water, to once again pretend he is the one “draining the swamp”, running against Washington culture. By Zephyr Teachout The Guardian (1/20/20) But Biden has a big corruption problem and it makes him a weak candidate. I know it seems crazy, but a lot of the voters we need – independents and people who might stay home – will look at Biden and Trump and say: “They’re all dirty.” It looks like “Middle Class” Joe has perfected the art…


Brazil’s Charges Against ‘Intercept’ Journalist Glenn Greenwald Reek Of Authoritarianism

ByTrevor Timm The Guardian (1/22/20) In a shocking attack on press freedom, the Brazil’s rightwing government announced on Tuesday it was charging the journalist Glenn Greenwald with “cybercrimes” in relation to his reporting on the Bolsonaro administration and corruption within its ranks. Thankfully, as of now, Greenwald remains free; a federal judge must affirm the charges before he is officially indicted. But make no mistake: this move by the Brazilian government is an outrageous attempt to retaliate against a journalist who has reported critically on Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro; its justice minister, Sergio Moro; and their allies – and it reeks of…


In Historic Shift, Second Largest Physicians Group In US Has New Prescription: It’s Medicare For All

“Major changes are needed to a system that costs too much, leaves too many behind, and delivers too little.” By Jon Queally Common Dreams (1/21/22) The fight for Medicare for All received a two-handed boost from tens of thousands of doctors on Monday when the American College of Physicians—in a move described as a “seachange for the medical professions”—officially endorsed a single-payer system as among only one of two possible ways to improve the nation’s healthcare woes. Representing 159,000 doctors of internal medicine nationwide, the ACP is the largest medical specialty society and second-largest physician group in the country overall…


FLUSH! How Trump’s Toilet Politics Connect With Many Voters

  “Trump’s toilet politics are intimate, tangible, real, immediate and visceral for his cult members. They can flip a light switch and see that their new bulbs are not as bright or pleasing to the eye. Trumpists can look at the waste in their toilets and become frustrated that their excreta do not swirl down the bowl in as pleasing a way as previously. “In a world where they feel disempowered and confused by the complexities of social and political life in the 21st century, their Great Leader is offering them something tangible that they can both understand and control. As political…


George Orwell, 70 Years Later

By John Rodden History News Network (1/20/20) Seventy years ago this Tuesday [1/21], George Orwell, the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, died alone in a hospital sanitorium in London.  He had struggled for years with pulmonary tuberculosis, and his weak lungs hemorrhaged for the final time.  He was just 46, and just on the verge of fame, having published his great novel just seven months earlier in June 1949. Would the visionary author of Nineteen Eighty-Four—who always insisted on the full eighteen letters as his novel’s proper title, not the four screaming digits “1984”—have ever imagined that George Orwell might become the most…


Notably Quotable: “Has the FBI ever apologized to…”

“Has the FBI ever apologized to King’s family for wiretapping King, blackmailing him, and trying to get him to commit suicide?” — David Corn, ‘Sit This One Out’: FBI Slammed for Social Media Shoutout to Martin Luther King Jr. ***** “The evils of capitalism are as real as the evils of militarism and evils of racism.” — Martin Luther King, comments to Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) board on March 30, 1967. ***** “Let us do more than honor and remember Dr. King. Let us be faithful to his revolutionary spirit and his call for a ‘radical revolution of values.’” —…


Properly Addressing The Australian Bushfire Tragedy Begins With Your Dictionary

  ***** “Recognizing a problem doesn’t always bring a solution, but until we recognize that problem, there can be no solution.” — James Baldwin By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/20/20) The weeks long tragedy of uncontrollable wild bushfires racing across Australia leaving thousands of burned out homes and an estimated one billion dead animals in their fiery wake has given what many call a frightening glimpse into our future. While pretty much anyone outside the coal industry and the Republican party recognizes the obvious link between the fires and climate there is a very real problem in the way we refer to the human impact…


I Asked People Why They Don’t Vote, And This Is What They Told Me

People long to be heard and deserve fair representation. By Andrew Joseph Pegoda The Conversation (1/17/20) At least 40% to 90% of American voters stay home during elections, evidence that low voter turnout for both national and local elections is a serious problem throughout the United States. With the 2020 presidential election approaching, directives for people to “get out and vote” will be firing up again. Some people might be indifferent or simply not care, but many who forgo voting have legitimate reasons. Over the past decade, through my extensive research on civil rights and oppression, through my observations of social media comments and through my conversations with hundreds of…


FLUSHED! The Bizarre Truth About The Real Power Of Trump’s Odd Toilet Obsession

What sounds buffoonish forges a personal connection with his followers. By Chauncey Devega Salon (1/17/20) For Donald Trump, the personal certainly is the political. He has shown himself to be a malignant narcissist. He is an egomaniac. Trump’s personal obsessions drive most if not all of his behavior. He has no conception, care or concern for most other people. Trump’s personal and political brand is grievance-mongering and a false narrative of white victimhood. This won Donald Trump the White House and remains the bedrock of his political cult and popularity. Trump is obsessed with personal slights. As such, like a king,…


Scientists Say Hot Ocean ‘Blob’ Killed One Million Seabirds: ‘Scale Of This Failure Has No Precedent’

“This gives us some insight into the future.” By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (1/16/20) On the heels of new research showing that the world’s oceans are rapidly warming, scientists revealed Wednesday that a huge patch of hot water in the northeast Pacific Ocean dubbed “the blob” was to blame for killing about one million seabirds. The peer-reviewed study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, was conducted by a team of researchers at federal and state agencies, conservation groups, and universities. They tied the mass die-off to “the blob,” a marine heatwave that began forming in 2013 and grew more intense in 2015 because of the…


Truly Trumpian: In His Multiplying Lies, Joe Biden Sounds A Lot Like Trump

While Biden has promised a break from Trumpism, in Tuesday’s debate and beyond, the former vice president has shown an utter disregard for the truth. By  Branko Marcetic In These Times (1/15/20) One running theme of the bipartisan outrage at Donald Trump and his administration has been the constant stream of falsehoods emanating from the White House since he took office. Ever since Kellyanne Conway defended the Trump administration’s use of “alternative facts” following the president’s inauguration, nary a week has gone by without a string of stories criticizing the president for his lies and mischaracterizations. The New York Times made a mosaic comprised of them, news outlets keep a running…


Philanthropy May Occasionally Ease Some Of The Impacts Of Economic Injustice, But It Does Nothing To Address The Structural Problem

The Real Story / BBC (1/16/20) Many of the world’s rich and powerful will gather at the Swiss resort of Davos next week to discuss the future of the world, including how to make it a more equitable place. According to most estimates, the richest one percent of the world’s population owns more than half of its wealth. Overall, the rich have spent billions in projects ranging from healthcare, education and humanitarian assistance to scientific research and good governance. But critics say that in the United States, only a fifth of the money actually went to the poor. So, is…


Arsenic Levels At Bankrupt Chippewa County Frac Sand Mine 7 Times Higher Than State Cleanup Standards

  By Rich Kremer Wisconsin Public Radio (12/16/19) A state review of a potential frac sand mine reclamation project in Chippewa County has found high concentrations of arsenic and other heavy metals at the site and left the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources with “reasonable concern” groundwater contamination may have occurred. On Nov. 11, the DNR responded to a request from Chippewa County for a “technical review” of a plan to clean up ponds at a frac sand mining and processing facility owned by Superior Silica Sands in the Town of Auburn. Known as process water ponds, the basins allow muds that are washed from grains…


TODAY! Sign & Send Petition To Your Republican Senator: Read The G.A.O. Report On How Trump Broke The Law

  Daily Kos (1/17/20) As the Senate begins its impeachment trial, the General Accounting Office (G.A.O.)—a nonpartisan budget analyst—released a report that confirms Donald Trump’s withholding of foreign aid to the Ukraine was illegal. “Faithful execution of the law,” GAO says in its memo, “does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law. OMB withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA).” Even a delay in providing foreign aid is not allowed under the law. But while the nine-page report is accessible online, some Republican…


Fall From Grace: How Boeing Was Downed By False Economy Of Money-First Corporate Values

By Meghna Chakrabarti & Grace Tatter On Point / WBUR (1/14/20) Boeing used to have high safety standards. One recently revealed employee email said the company now has a “culture of ‘good enough.’” What will it take to turn Boeing around? Check out our past coverage of Boeing: ‘We’ve Made Mistakes’: Boeing Officials Face Lawmakers, Families On Capitol Hill Congress Takes Up FAA, Boeing And Aviation Oversight In Hearings U.S. Joins List Of Countries Grounding Boeing Planes After Ethiopian Airlines Crash Guests Lori Aratani, transportation reporter for the Washington Post covering airports and airlines. (@loriara) Cynthia Cole, a test and systems engineer…



A 2020 Reminder: 55% of US Women Between 18 & 54 Would Rather Live Under Socialism Than Capitalism

  By Jon Queally Common Dreams (1/19/20) As Democratic primary voters get ready to head to the polls beginning next month for the first votes of 2020, a reminder was issued Sunday that a majority of voting-age American women between the ages of 18 and 54—and just shy of half the people overall—would prefer living under under an economic system that more closely resembles the democratic socialist Nordic countries compared to the winner-takes-all capitalism that currently dominates in the United States. Not raving Marxists clamoring for a state-run economy or communists calling for the abolition of private property, but the…


A Commoner Writes: Thirty Pieces Of Silver

Truth reflects fact and reality. Lasting relationships depend on truth. Persons of faith should recognize truth as the cornerstone of their belief system. As children, we learned how important it is to be truthful. To know truth was reassuring, it provided security, and promoted trust. If truth or trust were absent, children suffered insecurity and anxiety. As adults, we live in a world that is not always what it seems. We avoid those with a loose connection to truth. We understand that liars are untrustworthy and dangerous. The statement “buyer beware” reflects this reality. We consciously avoid those who look…


The Bipartisan American War State: The Liars That Over & Over Send Our Children Off To Pointless War For Profit

“We have a government that is so easily dominated by psychopaths and sociopaths.” [Editor’s Note: This whole video is worth the time, but if nothing else, watch the opening video mash-up of the Republican and Democratic lies that have repeatedly thrown the nation into wars for corporate profits. The take-down of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent kow-towing to Trump’s war actions are revealing of the bipartisan evil we face. — Mark L. Taylor] The Real News (1/10/20) Two Iraq war veterans explain why Congress has failed to stop the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and say the United States…


The Members Of Congress Who Profit From Sending Our Children To War

In the Senate, nearly one-third of the members of the Defense Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee own stocks in top defense contractors.  By Donald Shaw & David Moore Sludge (1/13/20) It was shortly after midnight in Baghdad on Friday, Jan. 3, when a missile strike ordered by President Trump killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. When stock markets opened the next day, dozens of members of Congress saw bumps in their portfolios as their holdings in defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon increased in value on the possibility of war. Over the next three trading days, the leading defense industry…


This One Word Tells You Which Dem Candidates Are Parroting Insurance Industry Talking Points On Health Care

By Bob Brigham Raw Story (1/14/19) As Democrats prepare to debate health care reform during the last debate before the first votes, a former top insurance company executive warned about one key talking point that he helped the insurance companies push. Wendell Potter laid out his warning in a new op-ed for The New York Times. “There’s a dangerous talking point being repeated in the Democratic primary for president that could affect the survival of millions of people, and the finances of even more. This is partly my fault,” Potter admitted. “When the candidates discuss health care, you’re bound to hear some of…


Wisconsin Community Shows How Christian Evangelicals Worship Trump More Than Jesus

Large numbers of voters across rural Wisconsin flipped from supporting Obama to Trump – now the dividing lines over him are even deeper By Chris McGreal The Guardian (1/15/20) Pastor Franz Gerber is worried that so many members of his congregation appear to idolise Donald Trump more than they worship Jesus. The preacher at the Praise Chapel Community church was among those who voted for Trump in rural Forest county, Wisconsin, which swung heavily from Barack Obama to the Republican in 2016 and so helped deliver a state that put the president in the White House. Gerber now has some regrets about his vote…


Russia Monitor: The Mess Moves To The Republican-Controlled Senate

  “Russia if you’re listening…” — Candidate Trump publicly invites Russian election interference during 2016 campaign. ***** “It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it.“ — Trump saying he’d accept foreign election interference (6/19) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (1/16/20) Dear Fellow Readers, By the time you read this, the House will have voted to send Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for trial.  Meanwhile Trump-Russia never went away. Former special counsel Robert Mueller predicted as much when he testified before Congress in July 2019. When asked if Russia would again attack US elections…


Hope And Crisis On The ‘Tightrope’ Of Working-Class America

  By Meghna Chakrabarti & Stefano Kotsonis On Point / WBUR (1/14/20) One-quarter of Nick Kristof’s high school class died prematurely. The New York Times columnist went back to his hometown to find out why. Guests Sheryl WuDunn, business executive and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. (@WuDunn) Nick Kristof, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times. (@NickKristof) Their new book is “Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope.” In 1990, WuDunn and Kristof became the first married couple to receive a Pulitzer Prize for journalism, for their reporting on the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre. Diane Reynolds, ordained pastor and founder of the nonprofit Provoking Hope. She…


Chris Hedges: How Democracies Wither & Die

A Christianized fascism champions Trump as an agent of God while the traditional church refuses to denounce evangelical right-wing extremists as heretics and impostors. By Chris Hedges Truthdig (1/13/20) Leo Tolstoy wrote that happy families are all alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. So too with failed democracies. There is no one route to the dissolution of the open society, but the patterns are familiar, whether in ancient Athens, the Roman Republic or the collapse of the democracies in Italy and the Weimar Republic in Germany that led to fascism. The ills that beset Germany and Italy…



Ocasio-Cortez’s Revolt Against DCCC ‘Exactly What We Need’ Say Progressive Democrats

  By Jon Queally Common Dreams (1/13/20) For bucking a key arm of the Democratic Party establishment that has stood in the way of attracting and supporting progressive candidates, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) received applause over the weekend after she announced the launch of a new political action committee designed to directly challenge the power of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee by helping insurgent, left-leaning challengers like herself take on both Republican incumbents and centrist Democrats. “The rumors are true,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Saturday [1/11]. “Today we’re announcing the Courage to Change PAC—and we need your help.  We are pushing the…




Notably Quotable: “What’s needed is a people’s revolution and a radical …”

  “What’s needed is a people’s revolution and a radical insurgency that restores government to the governed. Nothing short of that will prevent future Trumps, or solve our very real problems.” — John Atcheson, Common Dreams Mourns Passing of Longtime Contributor and Climate Activist John Atcheson ***** “Only the privileged and the naive believe people’s achievements are purely the product of their own genius.” — Gary Younge, In these bleak times, imagine a world where you can thrive ***** “And the purveyors of propaganda want you to think that in order to be real, we’ve got to counterbalance everything. We have to…


Former GOP Strategist Rick Wilson Pens New Rules For Republicans Who Have Decided To Worship ‘Sniffles The Clown’ Trump As Their God

By Sarah K. Burris Raw Story (1/8/20) Former Republican Rick Wilson unleashed an epic rant against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) Wednesday night. As part of the mockery of the South Carolina Senator, Wilson outlined new rules for Republican officials to follow under the leadership of President Donald Trump, who he called “Sniffles The Clown.” “The assertion by Lindsay Graham that today’s bizarre performance by Sniffles The Clown was on par with ‘Tear Down This Wall’ is part of the Saddamification of the GOP,” said Wilson. “What are the new rules?” he asked. Never be the first guy to stop clapping…


The Dangerous Mental State & Shared Psychosis Of The ‘King Of Everything’

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/13/20) There has been a growing concern among the nation’s mental health professionals about the psychological state and fitness of Donald Trump in his role as president. His endless tweeting, lying, name calling, impulsivity, inconsistent policy statements and, most recently the assassination of an Iranian military leader, which has put the Middle East on edge and set the stage for serious military and diplomatic repercussions all underline the danger Trump’s mental state brings to the world. In the January 4 episode of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour, Nader does a two-part interview with…


How To (Maybe) Convict Trump In The U.S. Senate

“There must be witnesses in the Senate trial of Donald J. Trump.” By Michael Moore Rumble Podcast (1/6/20) Michael Moore lays out the case for how and why the Senate can convict and remove Donald Trump from office. It requires us demanding there be witnesses — there is no trial in a free country without witnesses. John Bolton holds the secret. YOU and this phone number can make it happen: 202-224-3121. Hear Mike’s urgent call to action on this episode of Rumble. Link To 41-Minute Audio  Call Wisconsin’s Senators: Sen. Tammy Baldwin: (202) 224-5653 Sen. Ron Johnson: (202) 224-5323 *****…


As 2020 Race Heats Up Ahead Of Primaries & Caucuses, Sanders Co-Chair Nina Turner Argues Biden ‘Has Repeatedly Betrayed Black Voters’

“I wish the media/political figures were as concerned [about] how Joe Biden’s bad judgement has hurt black people as they are [about] the horserace.” — Briahna Joy Gray, Sanders 2020 national press secretary. By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (1/12/20) Among the signals that the Democratic presidential race is heating up in the final few weeks before the first round of caucuses and primaries, a leader in Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign on Sunday published an op-ed detailing former Vice President Joe Biden’s record on racial issues and encouraging black voters to support Sanders. In an op-ed for The State—a newspaper based in South Carolina, which…