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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…

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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…


John Nichols: If Democrats Go Timid & Pull Their Punches, Trump Will Knock Them Out

  By John Nichols The Nation (6/3/19) Who said: “Socialism is a scare word (the corporate special-interest lobbies) have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years. Socialism is what they called public power. Socialism is what they called social security. Socialism is what they called farm price supports. Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance. Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations. Socialism is their name for anything that helps all the people…”? Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders? Who said: “We are rightly proud of the high standards of medical care…


A Progressive’s Handy Guide To Deciphering The Doublespeak Of Corporate Democrat ‘Centrists’

“Privatization” — Theft of public resources. By Richard Eskow Independent Media Insitute (1/6/20) “Purity test”? “Pragmatic progressive”? “Free stuff”? What are these politicians talking about? If you’re confused, you’re not alone. Certain words and phrases are routinely used by “centrist” political candidates. By design, these terms are imprecise, emotionally charged, and often self-contradicting. In fact, the word “centrist” is just such a term, since polling shows that the economic viewpoint of these candidates—especially regarding health care, Social Security, education and other social programs—is often well to the right of the general public. Pete Buttigieg’s recent use of the term “purity test”…


Russia Monitor: Branded By The Distinction Forever: ‘Impeached’

“This president is impeached for life, regardless of any gamesmanship on the part of Mitch McConnell. He will be impeached forever.” — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’ (1/12/20) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (1/13/20) Dear Fellow Readers, Three things we know. Trump is impeached, “impeached for life”, as Pelosi says. Trump lies, about everything. Our elections are not fair or safe. Because I also like the headline… PELOSI TO TRUMP: YOU ARE IMPEACHED FOREVER (AND YOUR TWEETS ARE CRAZY) As the sub-head says, she did not hold back: “The Speaker of the House did…


Australia’s Burning Forests: A Sign We’ve Slid Far Beyond A Global Climate Crisis Tipping Point

“Nobody saw it coming this soon. It’s likely the forests won’t be coming back as we know them.” By Bob Berwyn Inside Climate News (1/8/20) As extreme wildfires burn across large swaths of Australia, scientists say we’re witnessing how global warming can push forest ecosystems past a point of no return. Some of those forests won’t recover in today’s warmer climate, scientists say. They expect the same in other regions scarred by flames in recent years; in semi-arid areas like parts of the American West, the Mediterranean Basin and Australia, some post-fire forest landscapes will shift to brush or grassland. There’s evidence that…


Ronan Farrow’s Take On Interrogating The Truth In A Justice System Geared For The Wealthy

  PBS News Hour / Brief But Spectacular (1/9/20) For investigative reporter Ronan Farrow, the ability to produce a story hinges upon the courage of his interview subjects. But the chance an abuse survivor has to exact justice is tied to the wealth and stature of those they accuse, and we need the transparency and accountability journalism demands to expose this imbalance. Farrow shares his Brief But Spectacular take on interrogating the truth. Link To 4+-Minute Video


‘Guardian’ Journalist Owen Jones On Toxic Politics & Becoming A Target Of Far Right Abuse 

  By Anushka Asthana Today In Focus / The Guardian (1/7/20) Last August the Guardian columnist Owen Jones suffered a horrendous attack as he was out in London celebrating his birthday. In December three men admitted to the charge of affray. Next week a judge will decide whether one of the men, James Healy, was motivated by Jones’s sexuality. Jones is convinced it will not be the last time he is attacked, and that is because he has become accustomed to being a target in person and online. In the past year he’s been repeatedly taunted in the street, including with homophobic abuse….


How Presidents Wage War Without Congress

By Lulu Garcia-Navarro Morning Edition / NPR (1/12/19) The Constitution limits the president’s power to wage war but presidents have gotten around that and Congress has only rarely asserted itself successfully. Lulu Garcia-Navarro: Last week, the House of Representatives voted to require President Trump to seek congressional approval before taking further military action against Iran. The measure now goes to the Senate, where its fate is less certain. And President Trump is not expected to sign anything that restricts his authority, which raises the question, what are the limits to a president’s power to make war? We posed that question…


War Is A Racket: If You Know A Young Person Thinking Of Enlisting, Buy Them This Book. It Might Save Their Life & The Lives Of Others

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify…


War Twins: Biden/Buttigieg Duo Exemplify How Corporatism And ‘The Madness Of Militarism’ Go Together

The equivalents, one might say, of happy-face stickers on corpses. By Norman Solomon Common Dreams (1/7/20) There’s nothing like an illegal and utterly reckless U.S. act of war to illuminate the political character of presidential candidates. In the days since the assassination of Iran’s top military official, two of the highest-polling Democratic contenders have displayed the kind of moral cowardice that got the United States into—and kept it in —horrific wars from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq. Eager to hedge their bets, Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg have offered merely tactical critiques of President Trump’s decision to kill Qassim Suleimani….


Wisconsin Voter Purge: Every City Ranked

By Scott Anderson Patch.com (12/19/19) MILWAUKEE, WI — The fate of 230,000 registered voters in Wisconsin is up for grabs as two groups engage in a legal fight to either keep them on the state’s voter rolls, or kick them off. Earlier this month, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty filed a lawsuit in Ozaukee County Circuit Court, claiming the Wisconsin Election Commission would violate state election laws if they failed remove residents from state voter rolls if residents fail to update their information within 30 days of moving. On Friday, Ozaukee County Circuit Court judge Paul Malloy issued an order…


Republican Family Secrets: Deceased Strategist’s Daughter Makes Vote-Blocking Files Public That GOP Wanted Sealed

Hofeller files have led to bombshell developments in two major legal battles in the political world. By Hansi Lo Wong NPR (1/5/20) More than a year after his death, a cache of computer files saved on the hard drives of Thomas Hofeller, a prominent Republican redistricting strategist, is becoming public. Republican state lawmakers in North Carolina fought in court to keep copies of these maps, spreadsheets and other documents from entering the public record. But some files have already come to light in recent months through court filings and news reports. They have been cited as evidence of gerrymandering that…


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‘Literally And Politically Flammable’ — Naomi Klein On Risk Of Eco-Fascism

  By Alexander C. Kaufman HuffPost (1/5/19) California burned. The Amazon burned. Greenland burned. Siberia burned. Indonesia burned. Australia’s ongoing fires look hellish. Now, last year’s global inferno looks to Naomi Klein, the author and intellectual godmother of the Green New Deal movement, like a lit fuse to a fascist future. “We’re in a moment where we are literally flammable,” Klein, whose latest book “On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal” was published in September, said on a recent afternoon. “But we are also politically flammable.” In 2019, some factions of the global far-right that gained power in…