ALL ARTICLES

Not ‘Left-Wing Fantasy’ But ‘Mainstream & Really Popular’: Poll Shows Enormous Public Support For Higher Taxes On Rich

Billionaire breakdown ***** “Raising taxes on the wealthy isn’t just good policy. It’s also good politics.” By Jake Jonson Common Dreams (2/4/19) Likely 2020 contenders and progressive members of Congress have proposed a variety of plans in recent days to make the rich pay more in taxes and begin reversing soaring inequality—from a wealth tax to a 70 percent top marginal rate to a higher estate taxon the richest families—and a survey published on Monday found that such ideas are extremely popular among the American public. According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 76 percent of registered voters believe that the wealthiest Americans should pay more…


Democratic Presidential Candidates Say ‘No’ To Corporate PAC Money: But What Does That Really Mean?

    (Editor’ Note: Sounds good, but what does it really mean? — Mark L. Taylor] By Peter Overby Morning Edition / NPR (2/1/19) Several Democrats have already entered the 2020 presidential race, and they all have one thing in common. They’ve agreed not to accept money from corporate political action committees. Link to 3-Minute Audio (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


Joke’s On You, Suckers! Inside The Bizarre Bipartisan Pro-Corporate ‘Alfalfa’ Political Club

“The marriage of our law makers and corporate interest.” [Editor’s Note: This is both a Republican and Democratic corruption scene. The embodiment of all that is corrupt in American politics. Democrat John Kerry is the president of this rotten little cabal of thieves. Alfalfa Club? Talk about a bad seed! — Mark L. Taylor] The Young Turks (1/28/19) “It’s that time of year again: when the biggest of bigwigs don black tie garb and descend upon the Capital Hilton ballroom to bask in the collective glow of their stunning accomplishments — and consume lots of booze. It’s the 106th annual…



‘Shock Doctrine’ Author Naomi Klein Worries ‘What Next?’ If Trump Succeeds In Inventing A ‘National Emergency’

“What is to stop him from declaring emergencies again and again if this works?”   By Jon Queally Common Dreams (1/10/19) As a result of creating a fake crisis in order to appease his far-right base and achieve a policy goal that has majority public opposition, President Donald Trump continues to threaten to declare a “national emergency” as a way to commandeer military funds in order to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. But even as experts debate whether or not Trump has the authority to make such a declaration—and consensus that an immediate legal battle would ensue—author and activist Naomi Klein…


REPORT: ICE Brutalizing Protesting Detainees With Forced Nasal Feeding Torture

“Monstrosity.” The Young Turks (1/31/19) Immigrants have gone on hunger strikes over the past month to protest conditions inside detention facilities, prompting officials to force-feed six of them through plastic nasal tubes at a Texas location, The Associated Press has learned. More detainees are refusing food at the El Paso Processing Center than at any other ICE facility, and lawyers say some detainees are losing weight rapidly after not eating or drinking for more than 30 days. Detainees, a relative and an attorney told the AP that nearly 30 men in the El Paso, Texas ICE detention center, mostly from…


Some Prominent Democrats Join With Trump, Media, CIA & War Criminal Elliot Abrams To Overthrow Nicolás Maduro & Steal Venezuela’s Oil

    “We learn from history that we do not learn from history.” — Friedrich Hegel   By Jeremy Scahill The Intercept / Intercepted podcast(2/2/19) The Trump administration is openly engaging in a blatant effort to overthrow the government of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. It’s a campaign aimed at regime change, and it’s being publicly promoted as an opportunity to steal Venezuelan oil for the benefit of U.S. corporations. They’re not even pretending. But this is not some insane Twitter thought spewed by Trump after guzzling down gallons of Fox and Friends. It’s open imperialism, and it’s not just being…


Edward Bernays, Corporate Propaganda & Engineering Consent For Empire With Mark Crispin Miller

The most influential man of the 20th and 21st centuries… ***** [Editor’s Note: While few know his name, Edward Benays was nephew of Sigmund Freud and can arguably be tagged as the most influential person of the 2oth — and on into the 21st — century. His work on how to form, shape and direct public opinion through subtle framing of wants, desires, hates and loves created the field of corporate public relations and government propaganda. If you want to get a deep understanding of it do a YouTube search of the four-part BBC series “Century of the Self”. —…


Exotic Dancer Big Pharma ‘Executive’ Gave Lap Dance To Doctor In Drug Bribes Scheme, Witness Says

CBS News (1/30/19) The executives are charged with conspiring to pay doctors kickbacks in the form of fees for sham speaking events that were billed as opportunities for other physicians to learn about the drug, a highly addictive fentanyl spray. In reality, prosecutors say, the events were mainly social gatherings for doctors and their friends to enjoy a fancy meal. Boston —  A former pharmaceutical executive accused of joining in a scheme to bribe doctors into prescribing a powerful painkiller once gave a lap dance to a doctor the company was pressuring to get his patients on the drug, her onetime colleague said…


Israel’s New Military Commander In Chief: “We’ll Create A Deadlier Army!”

  (Editor’s Note: As if they need to kill even more. — Mark L. Taylor] The Real News (1/30/19) Eyal Weizman studied the philosophy that guides Aviv Kochavi, the officer who was just appointed commander of the Israeli military. It is a philosophy that objectifies Palestinians and ignores the human suffering caused by new Israeli technologies and tactics of repression. Link to 12-Minute Video


Dear FBI, I Would Like A Word With The Manager Regarding The Arrest Of My Dear Associate, Mr. Stone, Please

  By Alexandra Petri Washington Post (2/1/19) Dear FBI, I would like to complain about the service Roger Stone recently received. There were a lot of problems with the raid! First, we can all clearly see that Roger Stone is not only a white gentleman who owns numerous hats, but furthermore, is a cable news personality. How dare arresting officers burst unexpectedly into this man’s home with undue force, nearly as though he were a black man who had done nothing wrong? This is not the treatment for a Roger Stone. I believe (I do not have the guidelines in front of me) the arrest…


Russia Monitor: With The Arrest Of Roger Stone The Right Wing Has Their ‘MAGA Six’

“Trump is killing us.” — Agritek president Larry Kooiker ***** “There’s no intelligence to the way this is being done. The tariffs are designed to hurt China, but they are being paid by American companies.” — EBW president Cory Steeby ***** “I voted for him, and he’s the one who’s doing this. I thought he was going to do good things. He’s not hurting the people he needs to be hurting.” — 38-year old hurricane survivor Crystal Minton By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (2/4/19) Dear Fellow Readers, A deliberately careful view would say that many who voted for Trump wanted…


Heaping Helpings Of Democracy From Blue Jean Nation

    Blue Jean Nation (2/1/19) If ideas are what nourish a democracy, then Blue Jean Nation is a food pantry with fully stocked shelves. On our Seat of the Pants blog, there are close to 130 articles on every imaginable subject, from improving health care here at home and nationally to making college affordable. There is an article titled “The party of big government” (and it’s not the one you might think). Another is headlined “Our small politics” (about the need to think big). Back in August 2015, a commentary was posted on our blog explaining whyDonald Trump might very well become president. That was…


Bipartisan Ethical Conflict: Members Of House Committee Overseeing The Environment Have Millions Invested In Fossil Fuels

By Alex Kotch Sludge (1/30/19) The House Committee on Energy and Commerce oversees environmental protection, clean air, climate change, energy policy, and drinking water safety. But many of its members appear heavily conflicted: nearly half are personally invested in companies that produce, distribute, or facilitate the distribution of oil, gas, and coal—fossil fuels that are among the biggest threats to the health of the planet and the future of the human species. A Sludge analysis of financial documents has found that 22 of the 55 members of the 116th Congress’ Energy and Commerce Committee have disclosed investments in fossil fuel…


Doomsday Scenario Of Foreign Power Shutting Down Power System Or Natural Gas During A Future Polar Vortex

“The Russians and Chinese are in our networks and they can shut things down if they wish to.” — Rebecca Smith, Wall Street Journal energy reporter. By Bob Brigham The Raw Story (1/30/19) MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday showed video of a parking lot light pole “shivering” as a fatal polar vortex grips the upper midwest. “Now imagine — imagine the impact — if in these conditions somebody hostile to the United States decided to knock out the power and the heat on purpose, and they wouldn’t turn it back on,” Maddow said. Maddow reported on the World Threat Assessment…


GOP Greed Has ‘No Limit’ — As Millions Go Without Health Care, McConnell Estate Tax Repeal Would Siphon Off Billions To Walton & Koch Families

  “This legislation is insulting to those millions of Americans who are struggling, it is harmful to the fabric of our democracy, and it is blatantly bad policy that is intended only to please ultra-wealthy Republican donors.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (1/29/19) Just over a year after the GOP rammed through its $1.5 trillion tax plan—which has predictably rewarded the ultra-rich while doing virtually nothing for workers—Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his Republican colleagues were condemned for pushing yet another “blatant giveaway to their wealthy donors” by introducing a bill on Monday that would permanently repeal the estate tax. “Greed has no…


Wall Street Executives Make Their 2020 Preferences Known: “It Can’t Be Warren And It Can’t Be Sanders”

“Wall Street likes Biden, Booker, Harris, Gillibrand, and Beto. Guess who they hate? Sanders and Warren. All the rest is commentary.” By Jake Johnson Common Deams (1/28/19) The first 2020 Democratic presidential primary is still over a year away, but Wall Street executives are reportedly already freaking out about two likely progressive candidates: Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). “It can’t be Warren and it can’t be Sanders,” the CEO of a “giant bank” anonymously told Politico, which reported on Monday that Wall Street executives are “getting panicked” about the presidential prospects of the Senate’s two fiercest financial sector critics. Warren launched an exploratory committee…


New Dem Health Subcommittee Chair Has Taken More Big Pharma Cash Than Any Other Rep

When it comes to bills that address the issue of rising drug prices, Dem Rep. Eshoo has not been a supporter.  By Donald Shaw Sludge (1/25/19) The Democratic rep who will lead the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health in the new session of Congress has taken more money from the pharmaceuticals and health products industry over her career than any other member of the House. Rep. Anna Eshoo of California’s 18th Congressional District will chair the subcommittee after accepting more than $1.6 million in campaign contributions from PACs and individuals affiliated with pharmaceutical and health products companies over the course of…


Scott Walker’s Big Con Job: Foxconn Reconsidering Plans To Build LCD Production At Huge Racine County Facility

By James B. Nelson & Rick Romell Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (1/30/19) Foxconn Technology Group is reconsidering plans to make advanced liquid crystal display panels at its Racine County campus, Reuters reported on Wednesday. Foxconn “said it intends to hire mostly engineers and researchers rather than the manufacturing workforce the project originally promised,” the report says. The report is based on an interview with Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn Chief Executive Terry Gou. Woo’s remarks to Reuters marked the latest in a string of modifications by Foxconn – and for Wisconsin the most ominous – to its originally announced plans for a…


The American ‘Just-Us’ System Subjects Poor To Grinding Cycle Of Injustice & Hopelessness

  ‘I’m going to be paying it down until I die.’   Southern Poverty Law Center (1/25/19) The women incarcerated in Corinth, Mississippi, have a phrase for it: “sitting it out.” We have another name for it: “debtors’ prison.” Since the 1970s, the Supreme Court has been clear that it’s unconstitutional to jail people simply because they can’t afford to pay fines and fees. But in states across the South — and across the country — that’s exactly what cash-strapped municipalities are doing. Take Glenn Chastain. He owed $1,200 to the city of Corinth for expired vehicle tags. Because he missed a hearing, he…


Watch, If You Can, The Tortured Face Of What America Has Become

Screen shot of hysterical toddler Grethshell during a television ‘visit’ with her mother Sindy, a Honduran immigrant separated from her young daughter by U.S. border police. ***** “This type of prolonged exposure to serious stress—known as toxic stress—can carry lifelong consequences for children.”   – American Academy of Pediatrics   [Editor’s Note: All this child abuse is being done in our name, on our dime and thus — as citizens — we all bear moral responsibility for such ongoing brutal travesties to immigrant children and their families. Indeed, young Grethshell is the face of what America has become. — Mark L. Taylor]…


As Mainstream Media Falls Into Line With Trump Aggression Toward Venezuela Journalist Allan Nairn Tells The Rest Of The Story

As U.S. Moves To Oust Maduro, Is Invading Venezuela Next? Allan Nairn On Trump’s Attempted Coup Democracy Now! (1/30/19) The United States is continuing to ratchet up pressure on the Venezuelan government in an attempt to topple President Nicolás Maduro. On Tuesday, the State Department announced it is giving control of Venezuela’s U.S. bank accounts to opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who declared himself to be president last week. Meanwhile, the U.S. has also refused to rule out a military invasion of Venezuela. We spend the hour with prize-winning investigative journalist Allan Nairn. Link to Story, Transcript and 16-Minute Video *****…


Inside America’s Meddling Machine: The US Funded Group Interfering In Elections Around the Globe

  By Max Blumenthal Grayzone Project (8/20/18) On June 13, 2018 the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy presented its 2018 Democracy Award to a collection of Korean activists who aim to topple the communist government of North Korea. The event was timed to coincide with President Donald Trump’s peace summit in Singapore with Kim Jong-Un. The ceremony appeared to be the opening shot of a massive public relations effort aimed at stifling normalized relations with North Korea. I covered the ceremony because these organizations are doing precisely what Congress accuses Russia-funded media outlets and troll farms of doing in the United…


Empty Words & Emptier Action: Majority Of Congressional Democrats Support GOP Climate Crisis Deniers

The Democrats are afraid to treat climate change as the crisis it is. We must make them afraid not to. By Branko Marcetic Jacobian (1/28/19) Imagine for a second that the scientific community has just told the world in no uncertain terms there is a meteor headed to Earth that will almost certainly wipe out most, if not all, life on the planet. One of the major political parties in the US is skeptical. They cast aspersions on the scientists, call the whole thing a hoax, repeat meteor-denying propaganda even as the enormous space rock becomes more visible in the…


“Where’s My Roy Cohn?”: Film Explores The Twisted Roots Of How Joseph McCarthy’s Ex-Aide Mentored Trump & Roger Stone

Donald Trump is a kind of delayed re-emergence of this dirty pool transactional type of politics that now really is verging onto a type of fascism.  Democracy Now! (1/28/19) Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone, who was arrested on Friday, and Donald Trump share a unique history: Both were heavily influenced by the infamous attorney Roy Cohn, who served as a chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare in the 1950s and would later become a leading mob attorney. Cohn represented Trump for years and once claimed he considered Trump to be his best friend. Cohn is…


A Commoner Writes: Media Mum On Any Questions Regarding Corporate Line On Decommissioned Genoa Nuke Plant

  It’s always amazing to me how reporters can take company press releases that have been massaged and sterilized to reduce concerns about a viable risk to human and environmental health and reduce that threat to the equivalent of eating a hot dog: “No foul, no risk, but we are required to report.” From the Monday (1/28) La Crosse Tribune: Report: Source of radioactive groundwater located; no contamination of drinking water, Mississippi River. I wonder how the people of Genoa feel? The workers at the plant? Were there any real questions to people outside the self-interested PR department of Dairyland Power…


Are Corporate Dems Quietly Sticking A Shiv In Medicare For All Behind Closed Doors?

Here’s A Simple Question To Ask Your Congress Critter: Why don’t ALL citizens have health care at least as good as that enjoyed by you members of congress and your families on our tax money? Really, next time you get a chance — be it a democrat or republican — ask them that question and let us know what they tell you. ***** Rep. Ron Kind studiously avoiding the issue of Medicare4All and HR 676 at the 2018 Third Congressional District Convention, despite the signs and bright red “Medicare 4 All” buttons dotting the convention all. He said not a…


A Message To Davos Oligarchs: Act As If Our House Is On Fire. Because It Is.

(Image: World Economic Forum)   By Greta Thunberg Common Dreams (1/25/19) The following is a slightly edited version of remarks delivered by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg to attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Friday, January 25, 2018. Our house is on fire. I am here to say, our house is on fire. According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), we are less than 12 years away from not being able to undo our mistakes. In that time, unprecedented changes in all aspects of society need to have taken place, including a reduction of our CO2…


Warren Forces Issue Of Massive Economic Injustice Into 2020 Debate With ‘Ultra-Millionaire Tax’

  By Julia Conley Common Dreams (1/24/19) Weeks into a national conversation over the possibility of taxing the wealthiest Americans at far higher rates in order to correct severe income inequality in the U.S., Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) made clear that the issue will be addressed in the 2020 presidential election, unveiling a plan to tax assets over $50 million. Two economists who are advising Warren, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman of University of California at Berkeley, announced to the Washington Post that the senator is proposing an annual tax of two percent for assets over $50 million, as well as a three percent…


At Cushy Oligarch Gala With Ex-Bush Official, Obama Brags Up Oil Production & Implores Wall Street To Thank Him For Making Them So Much Money

  By Ben Norton Gray Zone (11/30/19) Barack Obama urged bankers to thank him for helping make them so much money during his tenure as president. He also boasted of turning the US into the world’s largest oil producer, while surrounded by wealthy Republicans in tuxedos. Obama made these appeals for elite adulation at a lavish gala hosted by former Secretary of State James Baker. His comments came just a few hours after he met with former Republican President George H. W. Bush at his home in Texas. If there was any single event that captured Obama’s centrist, neoliberal capitalist…


Glenn Greenwald On The Dramatic Scandal Swallowing The New Bolsonaro Presidency

  By Glenn Greenwald The Intercept (1/24/19) A DRAMATIC, MULTI-LEVEL AND INCREASINGLY DARK scandal has been engulfing the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro for the last month. It began just weeks after his stunning November victory but before he was inaugurated on January 1, and has completely paralyzed his presidency. The scandal most centrally involves President Bolsonaro’s eldest son, Flavio, who has long been a State Deputy from Rio de Janeiro but was just elected to the Federal Senate with a massive vote total in the last election. The scandal began with the discovery of highly suspicious payments into and out…


Russia Monitor: Turn Over The Stone & Watch The Crawlies

  “Ray Harding, then chairman of New York’s Liberal Party, once told me in the late 1990s, “The only two people who believe Roger Stone’s bullshit are Roger Stone and that fucking moron Trump.”” — GOP strategist and never-Trumper Rick Wilson. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (1/28/19) Dear Fellow Readers, The other competing quote for the cycle is, “FBI, WARRANT! OPEN THE DOOR!” The quote came Esquire magazine: “…the FBI busted into his (Roger Stone) Fort Lauderdale, Florida, home in a predawn raid, arresting him on seven counts including “obstruction of an official proceeding, making false statements, and witness tampering.” The…


NY Times’ Reporter Covered For Dem Architects Of A “false flag” Election Campaign In Alabama

  By Dan Cohen Grayzone Project (1/23/19) In September 2017, New York Times national security reporter Scott Shane attended an off-the-record event in Washington, DC held by American Engagement Technologies, a data firm run by Obama administration veteran Mikey Dickerson. Shane was not there simply as an observer – he was invited to speak on his supposed subject of expertise: “Soviet and Russian disinformation.” It was at that meeting where Shane learned of “Project Birmingham,” an online disinformation campaign waged against voters in the 2017 Alabama senate race between Republican Roy Moore and its eventual winner, Democrat Doug Jones. The…


Tom Crofton: Time To Draw The Best From The Past And Forge A New Vision For The Future

A new understanding, organically grown from the best of our American values that makes peace with our past errors, and joins the rest of world in being stewards of our planet is needed now. By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (1/28/19) The era of new frontiers to claim for an expanding American Manifest Destiny are long over. We live in a time where the exploitation of the eco-system is blowing back in a climate crisis teetering past the tipping points of repair. The Military Industrial Complex we were so clearly warned about 50 years ago has run amok, and placed…


Advisory Panel Head Says FDA Inaction On Opioid Crisis ‘Borders On Criminal’

  By Mary Papenfuss HuffPost (1/26/19) The head of a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on opioids has accused the federal agency of looking out for pharmaceutical company income at the tragic cost of public lives, saying the behavior “borders on the criminal.” “As I sit and listen to them in meetings, all I can think about is the clock ticking and how many people are dying every moment that they’re not doing anything,” Dr. Raeford Brown told The Guardian earlier this week. “The lack of insight that continues to be exhibited by the agency is in many ways…


Trump’s Presidency: The View From Canada Reveals Two Possible Ways Trump Stays In Office & Even Wins A Second Term

How the 25th Amendment and the democrats could grease the way to a second Trump term. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/28/19) A recent broadcast of the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) news show Fifth Estate with host Bob McKeown gives a view of the American political crisis much like someone witnessing a domestic squabble in the next-door neighbor’s kitchen. It is a good summary of the past two years but the last three minutes should give us all pause. McKeown explores the issue of the 25th Amendment by which members of the cabinet can remove a president if…


Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Panics The Sacred Cash Cows & Rattles Potemkin Politicians

Corporate Dems Tell AOC To Sit Down, Zip The Lip & Learn From The Real ‘Experts’… A group of GOP House members booed her on the floor, to which she replied, “Don’t hate me cause you ain’t me, fellas.” By Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone (1/22/19) One of the first things you learn covering American politicians is that they’re not terribly bright. The notion that Hill denizens are brilliant 4-D chess players is pure myth, the product of too many press hagiographies of the Game Change variety and too many Hollywood fantasies like House of Cards and West Wing. The average American politician would lose at…


SIN: 26 Billionaires Own as Much Wealth As The World’s Poorest 3.8 Billion People Combined

“Inequality is not inevitable, it’s a political choice.”  By Laura Paddison HuffPost (1/21/19) The gap between rich and poor is fracturing society, poisoning politics and fueling public anger, according to a new report from anti-poverty nonprofit Oxfam, which found that last year just 26 people owned the same amount of wealth as the poorest 3.8 billion people. This figure is down from 43 the year before. The Public Good or Private Wealth? report, published Sunday, found that the wealth of billionaires has increased by $900 billion in the last year, or $2.5 billion a day. This bonanza has not been felt by…


The Ruling Class Phoney Crusade To Save The World – Without Changing A Thing That Leads To Injustice

  By Anand Giridharadas The Guardian (1/22/19) A successful society is a progress machine. It takes in the raw material of innovations and produces broad human advancement. America’s machine is broken. The same could be said of others around the world. And now many of the people who broke the progress machine are trying to sell us their services as repairmen. When the fruits of change have fallen on the US in recent decades, the very fortunate have basketed almost all of them. For instance, the average pretax income of the top 10th of Americans has doubled since 1980, that of…


Teachings From A Political Prisoner: The Crisis Of The Interregnum

“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” ― Antonio Gramsci (1881-1937), Prison Notebooks. Italian neo-Marxist theorist and politician. Eventually imprisoned by Mussolini. ***** From Wikipedia: The Prison Notebooks (Italian: Quaderni del carcere [kwaˈdɛrni del ˈkartʃere]) were a series of essays written by the Italian neo-Marxist Antonio Gramsci. Gramsci was imprisoned by the Italian Fascist regime in 1926. The notebooks were written between 1929 and 1935, when Gramsci was released from prison on grounds of ill-health. He died in April 1937. He wrote more than 30 notebooks and 3,000 pages of history and…