George Orwell & Why The Time To Stop Trump Is NOW!

“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” — George Orwell By David Goldfischer History News Network (5/21/19) As evidence of Hitler’s intentions crystalized in the 1930’s, many politicians who recognized the danger continued to vote against vital defense expenditures. George Orwell, reflecting on that and other cases of “ignoring facts which are obvious and unalterable,” concluded: “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” Until Germany invaded Poland in 1939, there was room for wishful thinking regarding Hitler’s plans. Current defenders of the American Republic, by contrast, confront the “obvious and…

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The Republican Tax Lie: While Reaping $21 Billion Windfall From Trump Tax Cuts, AT&T Hiked Executive Pay While Slashing 23,000 Jobs

Members of the Communications Workers of America demonstrate outside of an AT&T building. (Photo: Communications Workers of America) By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (5/14/19) AT&T promised to create thousands of new jobs as President Donald Trump’s tax legislation moved through Congress in 2017—but the telecom giant has done precisely the opposite since the bill became law, while raking in over $20 billion in extra profits. That’s according to an analysis published Monday by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which found that AT&T has slashed 23,328 jobs since Congress passed Trump’s tax bill in 2017, including nearly 6,000 in the first quarter of 2019…


Author Arundhati Roy: A U.S. Attack on Iran Would Be “Biggest Mistake It Has Ever Made”

Over these last few years, given the wars it has waged and the international treaties it has arbitrarily reneged on, the U.S. government perfectly fits its own definition of a rogue state.  Democracy Now! (5/13/19) [Editor’s Note: Author Arundhati Roy reads a portion of her recent Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture, titled: “A Place for Literature.” — Mark L. Taylor] As the ice caps melt, as oceans heat up and water tables plunge, as we rip through the delicate web of interdependence that sustains life on earth, as our formidable intelligence leads us to breach the boundaries between humans and…


Just Another Now Routine Story About A Good Samaritan Getting Arrested For Aiding A Sick Migrant

  Truly, in Trump’s nasty America, no good deed goes unpunished.    By Samantha Grasso Splinter (5/10/19) The Trump administration is doing everything in its power to hurt immigrants, both citizens and undocumented, leaving even the most well-intentioned of volunteers at risk for retribution. One of those Good Samaritans, Teresa Todd, was arrested in February when she attempted to aid a Salvadoran family fleeing gang violence, the New York Times reported on Friday. Todd, the city attorney of Marfa, TX, and the county attorney of Jeff Davis County, was driving home when a young man flagged her down off the side of the highway to…


Life, Fate & Active Collaborators

“And it was not merely tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, but hundreds of millions of people who were the obedient witnesses of this slaughter of the innocent. Nor were they merely obedient witnesses: when ordered to, they gave their support to this slaughter, voting in favour of it amid a hubbub of voices. There was something unexpected in their degree of obedience… The extreme violence of the totalitarian social systems proved able to paralyse the human spirit throughout whole continents.”  — Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate (1960)


Looking For Some Hope & Inspiration? Check Out Netflix Film ‘Knock Down The House’

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/16/19) I just finished watching the movie “Knock Down The House” on the 2018 House races of several courageous progressive women, including Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. The movie is on Netflix. It is a great and inspiring movie with wonderful insights on mounting races against corrupt, entitled, entrenched incumbents. While AOC is the main focus of the movie the other women and their supporters are just as inspiring. I strongly encourage you to watch and study what these brave women did. I guarantee you will have tears of joy and inspiration in the last…


Russia Monitor: Autocratic Eroticism Leads Trump To Orbanism

“You have been great with respect to Christian communities. You have really put a block up and we appreciate that very much. [He’s] respected all over Europe. Probably like me, [he’s] a little bit controversial but that’s OK. He’s a tough man but he’s done the right thing on immigration.” — Trump to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and assembled press at the White House (5/13/19) ***** ‘Ukraine if you’re listening.’ — Rudi Giuliani’s message to Ukraine with his announced and cancelled trip. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (5/16/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump met autocratic Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor…


A Guide To Every Known Investigation Of The NRA

  Here are the facts about all eight active inquiries into the gun rights group. By Daniel Nass The Trace (5/13/19) The National Rifle Association is caught up in a rapidly expanding tangle of investigations — six launched in the first five months of 2019 alone. Investigators in Congress are probing the gun group’s ties to Kremlin-linked Russians and to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, as well as several potential campaign finance violations exposed by The Trace, while the New York Attorney General and the Senate Finance Committee are scrutinizing its nonprofit status. Because it’s challenging to keep track of these probes, we’ve rounded…


Biden’s Climate Adviser Earned $1 Million From Natural Gas Company

By Alex Kotch Sludge (5/10/19) News broke on Friday morning that Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden is crafting a “middle ground” climate policy that will seek to restore Obama-era environmental protections, focusing on rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, increasing fuel efficiency, boosting natural gas, and deploying carbon-capture technology. But there’s already a potential conflict of interest: Former Obama adviser Heather Zichal, who recently occupied a lucrative seat on the board of the Texas-based liquified natural gas (LNG) company Cheniere Energy, is now an “informal adviser” on climate change policy to the Biden campaign. The company has profited in recent years as the U.S. has increased…


Arsonists Torched Highlander’s Main Office. But You Can’t Burn Down An Idea

(Facebook photo) By Gary Stevensn In These Times (5/6/19) The main office building of the historic Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tenn., burned to the ground March 29. Later that day, white supremacist graffiti was found in the parking lot. Thankfully, no one was harmed in the fire. But as one of countless organizers and activists who have passed through this center for popular education, I felt its loss deeply. Founded in 1932, Highlander (originally called the Highlander Folk School) connected democratic education with labor, community organizing and civic engagement. It was a meeting place and training grounds for generations of labor,…


A Commoner Writes: Show Support For Compassionate Health Care At The Syttende Mai Parade In Westby, Saturday

Today I learned of a family whose child swallowed dramamine tablets, and when they called the poison control center for advice, they were told that they should take their daughter to the Emergency Room directly. They still had a $1200 bill from an earlier emergency room visit that they did not know how there were going to be able pay. So they purchased some activated charcoal, gave it to their little girl and then waited in the emergency room parking lot without going in until the danger for seizures had passed. This story is so wrong. We need single payer health…


Happy News! Leaked NRA Documents Reveal Gun Group Drowning In Legal Fees

By Sebastian Murdock The HuffPost (5/11/19) A week before former National Rifle Association President Oliver North said he would not seek reelection after a failed attempt to oust CEO Wayne LaPierre, he warned the group that extraordinary legal fees threaten the future of the NRA. A series of documents posted anonymously online and verified by both The Daily Beast and The Wall Street Journal show the inner machinations of a group plagued by deep financial troubles to the tune of $24 million. In a letter North and NRA official Richard Childress sent to top NRA officials last month, North said he…


Whiny Libtard Article Misses The Good News. SAD!

The important thing that this whiny article completely ignores is that American billionaires and corporations are enjoying the biggest tax cuts they have ever had amidst the highest profits they have ever scammed. Sure, kids have it tough in America, but damnit we have a tiny band of entitled super rich to support and engorge.  Downer libtard pity party articles like this take the giddiness away from all the good news about our oligarchy. Sad! Kids In America Are Missing School Because They Can’t Afford Soap, Toothpaste & Tampons By Liza Ramrayka The HuffPost (5/9/19) The locked metal cabinet doesn’t look…


Georgia’s Six-Week Abortion Ban Reveals The Intentional Cruelty Of The Anti-Choice Movement

  By Moira Donegan The Guardian (5/9/19) The anti-choice movement has taken a sadistic turn in Georgia, where a new abortion ban, called HB 481, has just been signed by Governor Brian Kemp. Signed into law this Tuesday and due to take effect in 2020, the bill effectively bans abortion outright, declares fetuses to be persons with full legal rights and protections, and imposes prison sentences for women found guilty of aborting or attempting to abort their pregnancies. The bill is misleadingly termed a “heartbeat” bill, and it bans abortions at any stage of pregnancy after the detection of “embryonic or…


Should 11-Year-Old Girls Have To Bear Their Rapists’ Babies? Ohio Republican Legislator Say Yes

The efforts to deny even the most vulnerable victims of sex crimes the right not to bear their rapists’ babies are real. [Editor’s Note: The article also notes republican efforts to make many forms of birth control illegal. And meanwhile republicans do everything to deny children and families the health care, schools and other support young families need. Pro Life? Bullshit.– Mark L. Taylor] By Eric Zorn Chicago Tribune (5/9/19) An 11-year-old rape victim in northwestern Ohio is pregnant, according to news reports, and a highly restrictive state law on abortion signed last month says a girl in her position must carry…


Big Money Lobbyists Working To Defeat Medicare For All Host Congressional Staffers At Cushy Resort

The group spent as much as $560 per congressional aide for transportation, food, and lodging. [Editor’s Note: Now keep in mind, these congressional staffers — and the reps they work for — all get excellent taxpayer-paid health care for their families paid for by citizens who too often don’t have health care or many with horrible policies. Why, we must ask these congressional freeloaders, are their children more precious than ours? The thought of people like this being involved in health care policy is revolting. Time to revolt. — Mark L. Taylor] By Lee Fang The Intercept (5/10/19) AT A LUXURY RESORT just outside…


Everywhere War: The American Threat To Iran, Venezuela, Women & The Constitution

  By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted (5/8/19) JOHN BOLTON THREATENS Iran with “unrelenting force” as Benjamin Netanyahu unleashes a new assault on Gaza. This week on Intercepted: As the U.S. moves a strike group and bombers near Iran, The Intercept’s Murtaza Hussain discusses Trump’s motley crew of regime-change warriors, what war with Iran would look like, and the strategy behind the economic sanctions. At nearly 88 years old, former Sen. Mike Gravel may be the oldest candidate for president, but he also has the dankest social media memes. Gravel discusses his insurgent run for the Democratic nomination led by his campaign volunteers…


Russia Monitor: And The Judicial Mugging Goes On

“…But he is a state-of-the-art autocrat; he understands that he need not resort to the truncheon or the midnight knock at the door. His assault on civil society arrives in the guise of legalisms subverting the institutions that might challenge his authority.” — Franklin Foer, Viktor Orban’s War On Intellect By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (5/13/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Legal mugging. Politics with Trump in the White House, as with a global plethora of autocrats, is like a daily mugging of law and order … and us. Our checks and balances are dependent on some regard for oath of office and…


“Trump, Inc.” Podcast: What We’ve Learned From Trump’s Tax Transcripts

“You don’t lose this much money unless you are a really bad businessman.” By  Andrea Bernstein Trump, Inc. Podcast / ProPublica (5/10/19) President Donald Trump has refused to release his tax returns. He has sued his former accountants and Deutsche Bank to keep them from releasing his returns after they were subpoenaed to do so. And his treasury secretary has refused to provide the returns to Congress. But bit by bit, The New York Times’ Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner have been gathering returns and tax data from Trump’s earlier years. In the latest installment, they show how Trump claimed over a…


Southwest Wisconsin Towns Stripped Of Say-So In Installation Of Cell Phone Towers

Cell tower just off Hwy. 35 between Viroqua and Westby, in Vernon County. [Editor’s Note: The full story details the devastating impact cell towers have on the property values of adjacent land owners. — Mark L. Taylor] By Gillian Pomplin Crawford County Independent (5/10/19) SOUTHWEST WISCONSIN – Local residents in Vernon and Richland counties are asking some hard questions about the company Bug Tussel’s plans to install dozens of cell phone towers in the two counties in 2019. Residents in the Richland County, Town of Bloom, near West Lima, say that through Vernon Telephone Cooperative they already have great, affordable, internet…


Joe Biden Is A Retread Of Hillary Clinton Of 2020 – And It Won’t End Well This Time Either

His is the vaguest and most centrist of battle cries: let’s go back to, you know, “all those good things”.  By Arwa Mahdawi The Guardian (4/26/19) Joe Biden wants to make America straight again. “America’s coming back like we used to be,” the former vice-president told reporters in Delaware on Thursday, shortly after he released a video officially announcing his 2020 campaign. “Ethical, straight, telling the truth … All those good things.” It was unfortunate phrasing, but what else would you expect from a man whose foot always seems to be hovering somewhere near his mouth? Gaffes are part of Biden’s brand and,…


THIS WEEK: Climate Crisis Community Events

Green New Deal Town Hall Tuesday / May 14 / 6:30-8:30 p.m. Viroqua at the American Legion 6:30-8:30 p.m. ***** “Solving the Climate Challenge” By Bob Lindmeier Sunday / May 19, 2019 / 3:00– 5:00 p.m. Richland Center Senior Community Center / 1050 N. Orange Street Bob is the Chief Meteorologist at WKOW-TV in Madison and has been presenting the weather at the station for the past 40 years. Bob uses his many years of experience as an atmospheric scientist who has closely followed the issue of climate change to offer education on: How humans are causing climate change The many impacts from climate…


A Commoner Writes: A Big Part Of The Venezuela Story Is Being Missed

  Weird that no one in the media — either the mainstream or the left  — ever mentions the rather obvious involvement of the Bush Administration in the earlier failed coup against Hugo Chavez. The CIA apparently supplied a plane to fly Chavez out of the country, and when the coup leaders went too far  (among other things, disbanding the Venezuelan Supreme Court) and the coup  failed, the coup leader was allowed to fly to Jeb Bush’s Florida. This was a bit suspicious since  Chavez himself had been denied travel to the US due to his own involvement in a…


American Gauntlet: Trumputin’s Real 2020 Running Mates Are Racism & WAR!

Most likely we are entering the most terrifying and trying time in our nation’s history. We need politicians and activists ready to withstand the whirlwind. The stakes could not be higher. [Editor’s Note: If you read nothing else from this article check out the last seven paragraphs of this story to learn how Trump could well win 2020. Would the dems be up to handling such developments? Beware and forewarned. — Mark L. Taylor] By Harvey Wasserman Reader Supported News (4/25/19) So the Mueller Report confirms that the Russians intervened to elect their money launderer of choice. What else is…


‘Presidential Endorsement Of Murder’: Trump Pardon Of US Soldier Who Tortured, Killed Iraqi Prisoner Spurs Outrage

President Trump has granted former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna a full pardon for his charge of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone. Behanna is pictured in Iraq in 2008, shortly before he murdered an Iraqi prisoner. (Image: Facebook) ***** [Editor’s Note: Trump is telegraphing a clear message of what to expect here at home should he lose the 2020 election and decides not to leave office. The growth of right wing militias is a clear and growing danger. The tactics and cruelty empires exercise to subjugate foreign populations is eventually always exercised at home to quel dissent. — Mark…


Outside The Law: American Election System In Hands Of Secretive Corporations

Weak state or federal guidance leaves many cybersecurity companies doing whatever they want. The Guardian (4/23/19) Maryland congressman Jamie Raskin is a newcomer to the cause of reforming America’s vote-counting machines, welcomed through baptism by fire. In 2015, Maryland’s main election system vendor was bought by a parent company with ties to a Russian oligarch. The state’s election officials did not know about the purchase until July 2018, when the FBI notified them of the potential conflict. The FBI investigated and did not find any evidence of tampering or sharing of voter data. But the incident was a giant red flag as to the…


Just Another Day In The United States Of Amnesia: March For Our Lives Demands End To ‘Generation Lockdown’ Following Latest School Shooting

  As of Tuesday, the 116th mass shooting of 2019 (and counting). Since 1999 228,000 American students have been exposed to gun violence and 234 schools have been attacked. [Editor’s Note: Over the past three years the above Commoner Call cartoon has frequently run with stories about the latest mass shooting. It’s depressing to think how often we have run it … and will be running it in the future. The nation and our children are held hostage to the gun cult industry and the bloody NRA. — Mark L. Taylor] By Andrea Germanos Common Dreams (5/8/19) March For Our Lives,…


Backbiting, Betrayal & Blackmail: The Backstory To Blustery NRA’s Fall Into Chaos

The association stands at one of the gravest moments of peril in its nearly 150 year history — presenting a rare opportunity for the gun lobby’s opponents to kick it while it’s down. By Tim Dickinson & Andy Kroll Rolling Stone (5/3/19) Chaos broke out at the NRA’s annual convention in Indianapolis last week. The gun group’s figurehead president, Oliver North, backed by its longtime PR firm Ackerman McQueen, allegedly tried to oust the NRA’s powerful CEO, Wayne LaPierre. But LaPierre hit back —  forcing North to step down, while winning unanimous reelection by the NRA board. “a small group of NRA executives, contractors and vendors has extracted hundreds…


With Govt. Not Doing Its Job, Who Stands In The Way Of Artificial Intel Dystopia? These Google Activists

  By Veena Dubal The Guardian (5/3/19) The most pressing moral, political and social issues of our time converge in and at Google. As the largest and most successful “big data” company, Google has the unfettered power not just to shape – but to declare (in the words of Shoshana Zuboff) – our futures. The data that the company harvests, sells and uses to create automation systems literally determine our life chances: how we are interpreted and understood by police and military technologies, our credit scores, our access to healthcare, our professional reputations, how much we pay for goods and services, and our ability to obtain work. Unlike…


Native American Communist Topples Incumbent Council President In Ashland

facebook.com/WhitebirdWard6/ “By admitting I’m a communist, I cast a beacon for those who oppose me, but also for those who agree with me.” By Earchiel Johnson People’s World (5/7/19) ASHLAND, Wisc. – The Democratic party primaries have been heating up across the nation over the last year, with progressive Dems like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez of New York elected to Congress and an array of Democratic primary presidential candidates all pushing progressive causes. Local elections have also taken place that deserve special note. One of the more interesting of these happened last month in Ashland, Wisc. where a Native American,…


Russia Monitor: Working Hard At Becoming The ‘Self-Impeachable’ President

“The special counsel’s finding is clear. Case closed. Case closed. This ought to be good news for everyone, but my Democratic colleagues seem to be publicly working through the five stages of grief. First stage is denial.” — Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) ***** ‘By early Tuesday evening, more than 720 former federal prosecutors who worked in Democratic and Republican administrations had signed a letter asserting that President Trump would have been charged with obstructing justice based on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings — if Trump were not the president.” — Matt Zapostosky for The Washington Post ***** “…10…


Billion Dollar Loser: NYT Report On Trump’s Taxes & Massive Losses May Prompt Fraud Investigation

  “He’s a con artist. A criminal. A fraud.” Democracy Now! (5/8/19) We look at a major exposé from The New York Times, which obtained tax information on Donald Trump that shows his businesses lost $1.17 billion from 1985 to 1994. While Trump continues to refuse to release his tax returns, printouts from his official IRS tax transcripts for a 10 year period ending in 1994 show that in multiple years during that stretch, Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual taxpayer in the country and paid no federal income taxes for eight of the 10 years. “Almost…


Trump Administration Now Turning To The Courts To Kill Off Healthcare For Many Millions

Death of the ACA would impact virtually the entire country – both people with health insurance and people without it. By Mark Gruenberg People’s World (5/6/19) NEW ORLEANS —The GOP couldn’t kill the entire Affordable Care Act when they controlled Congress, though they tried at least 62 times. They can’t completely kill it by dismantling it administratively piece by piece. So now the Trump administration wants the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, one of the most conservative courts in the country, to kill the ACA for them. In a brief filed before the judges on April…


Notably Quotable: “When plunder becomes a way of life…”

  “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.” — Frederic Bastait ***** “We cannot, we simply cannot, have a presidency that is run as if it were a king or dictator.” — House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) ***** “Of course, to stay, you must be seen as on his team, so you make further compromises. You use his language, praise his leadership, tout his commitment to values. And then…


Bill Barr Dances Away From House Judiciary Hearing — Will The Dems Let Him Hide?

“William Barr is now a blank-eyed, soulless myrmidon in the service of a half-mad, criminal presidency*, and there is no coming back from that. Once, history would remember him as a garden-variety Republican power lawyer who specialized in bailing out Republican presidencies from their own difficulties, like the Iran-Contra scandals. Now, he’s just a hack in a city in which the undergrowth is full of them.” — Charles P. Pierce, William Barr Is a Flunky in Service to a Crooked Presidency* (5/1/19) ***** No one is fooled about what’s going on. Barr is scared. By Amanda Marcotte Salon (5/2/19) Attorney…


Despite International Law Which Would Make It Illegal, Pompeo Claims US Attack On Venezuela “Would Be Lawful”

“Attacking [Venezuela] for any reason,” warned one legal expert, “would violate the most fundamental of all international law.” By Jon Queally Common Dreams (5/5/19) After U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday morning that President Donald Trump has a “full range of options” when it comes to possible next moves against Venezuela, anti-war critics are wondering what the Democrats in Congress are prepared to do in order to curtail the administration’s ongoing threat of using military force to overthrow the government of President Nicolas Maduro – an effort international legal experts say would be a violation of international law. “We…


Palo Alto Man Hailed As A Hero For Spray Painting ‘Yemen’ In Blood-Red Letters At War Contractor Lockheed Martin’s Office

(Photo by Bryce Druzin) By Mohit Priyadarshi The Inquisitr (5/4/19) Bryce Druzin, a Palo Alto resident who has been following America’s involvement in Yemen’s civil war over the past few years, could not take it any longer. Dismayed by President Trump’s vetoing of bipartisan legislation to end U.S. involvement in the Yemen war, Druzin took it upon himself to do something about it. According to San Jose Inside, 34-year-old Druzin spray-painted the word “Yemen” in blood-red letters over Lockheed Martin’s office sign, as a means to protest against the defense contractor’s weapon sales to Saudi Arabia. Lockheed Martin has profited massively from the…


Dear, God, What Have We Done To Be Plagued With Meghan McCain?

Expertise is not the currency of television infotainment. By Jacob Bacharach Truthdig (5/3/19) I cannot bring myself to hate Meghan McCain. What would be the point? She is the natural endpoint of a giddily vacuous celebrity culture, a sort-of famous person who plays a sort-of famous person on TV. She frequently says stupid and hateful things, but they always seem uncalculated, and she is endlessly surprised to find that people disagree with her. (One suspects that the household staff never did, and now that she’s wandered off the compound and into public life, she can’t quite seem to grasp that…


Half Measures Won’t Do: If We Want To Save The Planet We Need To Go All The Way

Our measuring stick is not politics; it is physics, and the urgent demands of justice for all on the frontlines of climate disaster. By Varshini Prakash The Guardian (5/2/19) When Beto O’Rourke launched his presidential campaign, I was impressed. On multiple occasions, including as recently as April, O’Rourke backed calls to effectively zero out all domestic emissions of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change by 2030, and said we’re screwed if we aim for anything less. On Monday, he shifted the goalposts back. He released a detailed climate plan, his first policy proposal of his campaign. There’s a lot to like. He…


David Wallace-Wells: Earth At 2° Hotter Will Be Horrific. Now Here’s What 4° Will Look Like

  Think Big (3/14/19) This is what the world will be like if we do not act on climate change. The best-case scenario of climate change is that world gets just 2°C hotter, which scientists call the “threshold of catastrophe”. Why is that the good news? Because if humans don’t change course now, the planet is on a trajectory to reach 4°C at the end of this century, which would bring $600 trillion in global climate damages, double the warfare, and a refugee crisis 100x worse than the Syrian exodus. David Wallace-Wells explains what would happen at an 8°C and…