Five Great Reads For Thursday

Compromise Doesn’t Work With Our Political Opponents. When Will We Learn?

By Chelsea E. Manning
The Guardian (1/25/17)

…The one simple lesson to draw from President Obama’s legacy: do not start off with a compromise. They won’t meet you in the middle. Instead, what we need is an unapologetic progressive leader.

We need someone who is unafraid to be criticized, since you will inevitably be criticized. We need someone willing to face all of the vitriol, hatred and dogged determination of those opposed to us. Our opponents will not support us nor will they stop thwarting the march toward a just system that gives people a fighting chance to live. Our lives are at risk – especially for immigrants, Muslim people and black people.

We need to stop asking them to give us our rights. We need to stop hoping that our systems will right themselves. We need to actually take the reins of government and fix our institutions. We need to save lives by making change at every level. Read the Rest



WTH? Chickenheart Senate Dems Want To Pick Their Battles With Trump. Their Base Wants All-Out War

Senators get that progressives want a fight, but they want to be ‘pragmatic” with fascism. Even Warren & Brown cave.


(Editor’s Note: Oh, how true to form: Senate Dems completely miss the reality of what is happening in the country. Earth to Senate Dems: Fascists don’t negotiate. More Democratic party political malpractice. – MLT)


By Jennifer Bendery
Huffington Post (1/24/17)

WASHINGTON ― Shortly after the November election, a close associate of Dr. Ben Carson conceded the famed pediatric neurosurgeon turned Republican presidential candidate wasn’t right for a position in Donald Trump’s Cabinet since he had no experience running a federal agency.

Weeks later, Trump nominated Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and Carson accepted.

Democrats were both befuddled and appalled at what seemed to be a cavalier decision to hand the keys of an agency with 8,300 employees and a $47 billion budget to someone with no apparent qualifications. And, for a while, the Carson nomination appeared to be fairly solid turf for them to put up a fight. But as the confirmation proceedings played out, something remarkable happened Tuesday. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), two of the most liberal members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee ― which has primary jurisdiction over HUD ― supported Carson’s nomination. … Read the Rest


With Help From Friendly Dems, Trump Torture Supporter Pompeo Confirmed For CIA Chief


(Editor’s Note: If justice is ever served and war crimes trials are held, let us hope these dems join the Rethugs in the witness cage. – Mark L. Taylor)


By Nadia Prupis
Common Dreams (1/24/17)

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) has been confirmed as CIA director, after 14 Democrats fell in line with almost all Senate Republicans Monday night.

Pompeo, who has hinted that he is open to reauthorizing torture and mass surveillance, will lead the intelligence agency under President Donald Trump.

The Democrats who voted to confirm Pompeo were John Donnelly of Indiana, Dianne Feinstein of California, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, Brian Schatz of Hawaii, Chuck Schumer of New York, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mark Warner of Virginia, and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

The lone dissenting Republican was Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

View the complete roll call here. …

Read the Rest


We Are Mourning … But We Are Marching And Organizing For Democracy & The Earth 

By Bob Fitrakis & Harvey Wasserman
Solartopia (7/22/16)

For democracy and our natural planet.

We have clear direction on both issues.

This weekend’s massive, powerful women’s and other marches rocking the nation have dwarfed the turnout for Friday’s illegitimate inauguration.

With them we must demand—-and WIN—-a voting system that actually reflects the will of the people, and an energy supply that comes in harmony with our Mother Earth.

For democracy: we must have universal automatic voter registration, transparent voter registration rolls, a four-day national holiday for voting, elimination of all electronic voting machines, universal hand-counted paper ballots, automatic recounts at no charge to the candidates, an end to the Electoral College, a halt to gerrymandering and a ban on corporate money in our political campaigns.

It’s a towering agenda.  But without it, we have no structural power.  It’s the essential key to the one thing that can ultimately reverse a disease like this Trump presidency—-real electoral democracy.

For our Earth: Energy is the key.  Our survival on this planet demands a ban on all fossil and nuclear fuels, and an organic economy based on 100% renewables.  The Solartopian transition is well underway in Germany, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Iceland, at least parts of China and elsewhere.  Far more Americans now work in green energy production and efficiency than for King CONG—-coal, oil, nukes and gas (

The economic and technological momentum is with us. … Read the Rest




Orwell, Hitler And Trump

By Robert Kuttner
Huffington Post (1/22.17)

Last week, I reached for my Philip Roth ― his splendid novel, The Plot Against America. This week, I reached for my George Orwell.

In 1946, as Europe was digging out from the ruin of World War II – a genuine case of mass carnage as opposed to Donald Trump’s fantasy carnage – Orwell wrote the classic essay on the seductions of propaganda, “Politics and the English Language.”

Much of the essay, widely assigned in English classes, warns how stale writing leads to sloppy thinking. But the most original part is Orwell’s evisceration of propaganda.

Combined with his great novel 1984, written in 1949 as a dystopian warning about the way totalitarian practice becomes internalized in totalitarian thinking, these two great works gave us the adjective, Orwellian.

In 1984, we learned the official slogans of the Party: “War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength,” only slight parodies of communism and Nazism.

“Freedom is Slavery” was not far from the infamous greeting at the gates of Auschwitz, Arbeit Macht Frei.

And Ignorance is Strength seems to be Donald Trump’s credo and operating premise — ignorance for both himself and his public.

Orwell’s target was the prettified euphemism, used mostly by extreme leftwing and rightwing parties and governments. If people could be persuaded to accept the re-framing, they might well alter their conception of reality. … Read the Rest