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As Party Leaders Dither, Corporate Dem Runs To Fox News To Smear Rep. Ilhan Omar

The Young Turks (4/12/19) “Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) ripped his Democratic colleague Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) for her “offensive” comments about 9/11 during an appearance on Fox News today. “Let’s be very clear about this, this is insensitive and it’s offensive,” Rose told Fox News anchor Dana Perino this afternoon. “On 9/11 radical terrorists attacked us. New York City lost thousands of people. My district, Staten Island and South Brooklyn, lost hundreds of cops, firemen, first responders, more than any other district in America.” The comments Rose condemned were made by Omar during an event for the Council on American-Islamic…


Author David Wallace-Wells: ‘Why climate change is gravely worse than feared’

  ITV News (2/19/19) According to American author David Wallace-Wells, there is a jarring gap between academic research and how climate change is represented in the media. His new book, worryingly titled, ‘The Uninhabitable Earth’ is a warning that simply more can and must be done. In a wide-ranging interview with ITV News Science Editor Tom Clarke, Wallace-Wells describes how he became a “quasi-activist” during his research; how an alarmist approach can be effective; the damning failure of the Paris Agreement and how China could play a key role in reducing global warming. Link to 23-Minute Video


Goliath: How Monopolies Came To Be

  BBC (4/9/19) Political economist, academic and journalist Will Hutton traces the history of monopolies and public attitudes towards them. Coming at the subject with an open mind full of strongly held beliefs — some of which are in opposition to each other — he considers the great ironies and tensions at the heart of the modern monopoly. The last 200 years have been dominated by two schools of thought on how the economy functions. One, originating from Adam Smith, focuses on competition. The other, conscious of how Smith’s brand of liberalism leads to rapid concentration of wealth, takes its…


The Story Behind Roberto Duterte: Blood, Brutality & Power In The Philppines

  Narcissistic political power violence & charisma. Frontline Dispatch / PBS (3/21/19) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte makes his own rules. His war on drugs has led to the deaths of thousands of alleged drug users and dealers. His violent rhetoric and rape jokes have shocked people around the world. Yet he’s hugely popular. Reporter Aurora Almendral delves into what made him the leader he is today. Her investigation starts in his hometown in the Philippines. Link to 33-Minute Audio  


How Far-Right Thugs Evade Charges As Domestic Terrorists

The people marching with tiki torches don’t end up being viewed as domestic terrorists.   By Luke Barnes ThinkProgress (3/23/19) Christopher Hasson’s alleged intentions were clear from the start. Hasson, 49, a Coast Guard lieutenant, was arrested by federal agents in late February on gun and drug charges. But the guns alone weren’t the reason prosecutors were concerned. Instead, they were troubled by the fact that Hasson had allegedly amassed an arsenal in preparation for a lone wolf attack inspired by the far right, and had compiled an alleged hit list of prominent Democrats and journalists, which included CNN’s Don Lemon, Sen….


Wall Street LOVES Socialism … For Bankers – But Not For Ordinary Americans

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon decries socialism. Unless of course it’s the banks wanting government bailouts! By Robert Reich The Guardian (4/8/19) In his annual letter to shareholders, distributed last week, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took aim at socialism, warning it would be “a disaster for our country,” because it produces “stagnation, corruption and often worse.” Dimon should know. He was at the helm when JPMorgan received a $25bn socialist-like bailout in 2008, after it and other Wall Street banks almost tanked because of their reckless loans. Dimon subsequently agreed to pay the government $13bn to settle charges that the bank overstated the quality of mortgages…


Spare Us The Whiny Self-Serving Excuses, Kirstjen Nielsen. You Were The Worst

The former homeland security secretary deployed the cynically calculated skills of a careerist technocrat in the cause of Trump’s inhumanity. By Richard Wolffe The Guardian (4/8/19) Of all the charlatans, sycophants and moral sellouts surrounding Donald Trump, no one comes close to Kirstjen Nielsen. Not Steve Bannon, the neo-fascist strategist who glued a thin veneer of ideology on top of the particle board flakes that fill the cranium of a bankrupt property developer. Not Paul Manafort, the ostrich jacket-loving former campaign chairman now serving seven years for being a liar and fraud after servicing a motley crew of tyrants. The Department…


Stephen Miller’s Uncle: Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Comments Demonize Asylum Seekers & Stir Racist Hatred

  [Editor’s Note: In the German death camps they referred to Jewish collaborators as ‘kapos’. Stephen Miller is made of the same rotted material. — Mark L. Taylor] Democracy Now! (4/9/19) As his administration intensifies anti-immigrant policies at the border, President Trump has reportedly put adviser Stephen Miller in charge of the administration’s immigration policy. The Wall Street Journal reports Miller has backed the reinstatement of Trump’s family separation policy and has been pushing officials at the Homeland Security and Justice Departments to “get in line” with a more hard-line immigration approach. This news comes as Trump told the Republican…


A Top Progressive Consulting Firm Is Doing PR Work For An Israeli Spy Corporation

By Alex Kane The Intercept (4/5/19) A PROMINENT POLITICAL communications shop that works on Democratic campaigns, employs Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaign alums, and boasts of its role in the fight for gun control and LGBT equality is representing an Israeli firm notorious for selling powerful surveillance technology to authoritarian governments around the world. NSO Group, which is facing multiple lawsuits charging that its technology was used to spy on journalists and dissidents, hired SKDKnickerbocker to help with media inquiries as the spy firm tries to turn around its marred image. The hiring, which was first reported by FastCompany, is the latest example of how SKDKnickerbocker…


Dithering: Barack Obama Is Stuck In The Past Of The Old Democratic Party

Obama and the centrist Democrats he backs are something like the old “Rockefeller Republicans” of the 70s and early 80s. They didn’t realize how out of step with the times they were until it was too late. By Bhaskar Sunkara The Guardian (4/8/19) Barack Obama is worried about the Democratic party. This weekend, he told a crowd at an Obama Foundation event in Berlin that the party is becoming a “circular firing squad” targeting those “straying from purity” on certain issues. Leading figures around the party have indeed moved to the left since he left office two years ago. Thanks in…


Not Only Was America Not Christian But Founders Invented A Pagan Goddess Upon Which To Found The Government

Salvation for sale in the Walmart checkout line…   By Thom Hartman (4/4/19) Despite popular misconceptions from right wing media, America, the United States was not founded as a Christian nation. America has roots in the deism of the founding fathers, atheism of the enlightenment. The Founding fathers even went so far as to create an American God (Far before Neil Gaiman). The Goddess Columbia was the creation of the founding fathers who thought the nation should have their own goddess to protect the young nation. This doesn’t sound very christian does it? 8+-Minute Video “Cannons Of Christianity” by Phil…


Trump’s ‘truly bizarre’ Visit To George Washington’s Mount Vernon

The 45th president — no student of history — marveled at the first president’s failure to name his historic compound after himself. By Eliana Johson & Daniel Lippman Politico (4/10/19) President Donald Trump had some advice for George Washington. During a guided tour of Mount Vernon last April with French president Emmanuel Macron, Trump learned that Washington was one of the major real-estate speculators of his era. So, he couldn’t understand why America’s first president didn’t name his historic Virginia compound or any of the other property he acquired after himself. “If he was smart, he would’ve put his name…


Russia Monitor: Trump’s Man In The Just-Us Department Keeping The Boss Happy

  “I don’t trust Barr, I trust Mueller.” — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (4/10/19) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/11/19) Dear Fellow Readers, “He is not the attorney general of Donald Trump. He is the attorney general of the United States;” was the remainder of Pelosi’s statement. Our last edition opened with ‘depends on the day’ with regard to Trump’s fights against releasing the Mueller report or releasing his taxes. The answer today is ‘both’; the news is overwhelmingly about more pronouncements from Trump’s Attorney General Barr. Barr has already offered a non-summary summary, exonerating Trump while burying the lede,…


US Government’s Refusal To Confirm Or Deny It Put American Journalist On Drone Kill List Called ‘Chilling’

“The government seeks to shield itself from all inquiry into the process by which it acts as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner.” By Julia Conley Common Dreams (4/2/19) Lawyers for an American journalist who believes he was placed on the government’s infamous “kill list” warned Tuesday that the rights of all U.S. citizens are at stake if the country’s drone assassination program is allowed to continue. The organization’s comments came as part of a response to the U.S. government’s attempt to dismiss a lawsuit regarding its use of the list. Reprieve is representing Bilal Abdul Kareem, a journalist and U.S….


The Trace: Threats, Mass Shootings, Political Betrayal & Electoral Paralysis

The Trace (4/9/19) A South Carolina Republican was threatened online for not advancing a permitless carry bill. State Representative Peter McCoy said police were monitoring his home after a threatening Facebook comment was posted on a local gun rights page. It read: “Totally sucks that one guy has that much control. Maybe we should shoot him?” The comment has since been removed by the page administrators, who say that they do not advocate “even the hint of a threat of violence.” Meanwhile, in Texas: A gun rights activist agitating for the passage of a permitless carry bill turned up at the home of the GOP state House…


‘Losing Earth’ Explores How Oil Industry Played Politics With The Planet’s Fate

‘Losing Earth’ Explores How Oil Industry Played Politics With The Planet’s Fate. By Terry Gross Fresh Air / WHYY (4/8/19) Climate change is often thought of as a partisan issue in the United States, but New York Times journalist Nathaniel Rich says that wasn’t always the case. Rich says that from 1979 until 1989, climate change was viewed as a bipartisan problem — then the the oil industry “descended and bared its fangs” and everything changed. In his new book, Losing Earth, Rich writes that in the late 1980s, the American Petroleum Institute began paying scientists to write op-eds questioning climate science. He describes the…


Progressive Campaign Consultants Sidestep DCCC And Create ‘The Blacklist’

“I won’t hesitate to work with progressive candidates challenging incumbent Democrats who are out of touch with their constituents. If that means getting blacklisted by the DCCC, then so be it.” By Emily Kopp Roll Call (4/5/19) Campaign consultants who face being frozen out tens of millions of dollars in contracts with the Democratic Party’s congressional arm are pushing back. A new website called “The DCCC Blacklist” launched in response to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s newly stated policy that it will not grant contracts to pollsters, strategists and communications specialists working with primary challengers. The Justice Democrats launched the site to create…


“Corporate Homicide” — Ralph Nader Demands Boeing Recall Jets After Ethiopia Crash Kills His Niece

“Passengers first.” — Ralph Nader Democracy Now! (4/5/19) A wrongful death case was filed against Boeing on the same day that a preliminary investigation into last month’s Ethiopian Airlines crash revealed damning details about the aircraft manufacturer and raised new questions about whether it gave pilots proper instructions for navigating new software. The findings were released Thursday in Ethiopia, based on the analysis of a team of 18 investigators, less than a month after the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash killed all 157 people on board. The report found similarities in the technical issues experienced by pilots on both the…


Free To Kill: Libertarian Dogma Boeing Exploited Has Killed Hundreds & Torched Company’s Reputation

Boeing is one of the US’s top 10 corporate lobbyists, contributing to Democrats and Republicans alike. By Will Hutton The Guardian (4/7/19) America First nationalism, indulgent free market economics, Republican libertarianism and a political system in hock to corporate lobbying has just contributed to killing 356 innocent people. The more we know about the crashes of Boeing 737 Max 8 planes in Indonesia and Ethiopia – after anti-stalling devices locked both aircraft into unrecoverable nose-dives – the more shocking the story becomes. The Federal Aviation Authority has an enviable technical reputation, but over the past decade it has suffered from successive budget cuts and…


Pelosi Accused Of Deploying Most Dishonest Corporate Argument Against Medicare For All

  The Speaker was also slammed for echoing insurance industry talking points against single-payer. By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (4/6/19) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi came under fire from single-payer proponents Thursday after she deployed what one healthcare policy expert described as “probably the most dishonest argument in the entire Medicare for All debate.” In an interview with the Washington Post, the Democratic leader said she is “agnostic” on Medicare for All and claimed, “A lot of people love having their employer-based insurance and the Affordable Care Act gave them better benefits.” Matt Bruenig, founder of the left-wing think tank People’s Policy Project, argued in a blog…


Wellstone Legacy ‘goes dormant’ After Family Ousted In Democratic Feud

“I think they’ve forgotten that Paul Wellstone worked hard for downtrodden folks everywhere.” By David Siders Politico (5/13/18) In the Democratic Party’s reckoning following the election of Donald Trump, an unlikely feud has erupted inside an organization at the heart of the progressive movement. Earlier this year, the board of directors of Wellstone Action — an influential training group formed after Paul Wellstone’s death — dumbfounded Minnesota Democrats when it voted the late senator’s sons off the governing board. The ouster came after the sons, Mark and David Wellstone, raised concerns about overspending in areas of the organization’s budget — and…


American Dystopia: Muzzling Of Dissent In The Surveillance State, The Illusion Of Choice & Freedom

    Intercepted Podcast (4/3/19) A new series from The Intercept, “The Threat Within,” takes a deep dive into examining federal terrorism prosecutions in the United States since 9/11. This week on Intercepted: The Intercept’s Alice Speri discusses her investigation into the FBI’s creation of the term “black identity extremist” and explains why this label is so dangerous. Science fiction author Cory Doctorow walks us through the dystopian, yet highly plausible, futures in his new book “Radicalized.” Doctorow also breaks down the newly passed European Copyright Directive and its implications for the internet as we know it. Plus, Katie Alice Greer…


From Nixon To Trump, AG William Barr Has A Long, Shady History Of Covering Up Republican Crimes

  [Editor’s Note: Learn the interesting back story on how nincompoop Dan Quayle became vice president and William Barr’s role in the insurance policy for H.W. Bush. Lots of troubling history here. — Mark L. Taylor] The Thom Hartman Show (4/5/19) William Barr, Donald Trump’s attorney general has recently hidden the Mueller Report resulting in widespread criticism. But it turns out Republican Attorney Generals, like Bill Barr, have a long history of covering up republican crimes, from Nixon to Trump. Historian Lamar Waldron joins the program to expose the history of corrupt Republican politicians, conspiracies and cover-ups. Link to 21-Minute…


Russia Monitor: Trump’s ‘short circuit’ Expert Working Hard To Cover Whatever It Is Trump Wants Hidden

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/8/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Which is the bigger fight: Trump against releasing his taxes, Trump against releasing the Mueller report that he said we should all see, or Trump against release of his grades and test scores? Seems like the best answer is what day is it? With Trumpian assaults from all sides and every  angle, any single story can easily get lost. As an example, it isn’t just that Trump is facilitating a Saudi nuclear program, we now know the first Saudi nuclear reactor will likely come online this year. Is there…


Here’s The Real Trump-Russia Hoax

The public record is undeniable: Trump campaign people communicated with Russians during the campaign numerous times.  By David Corn Mother Jones (3/29/19) There has been much crowing from Trumpsters on the right and Russiagate skeptics on the left about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. That is, the three-and-a-half-page letter Attorney General Bill Barr sent to Congress summarizing Mueller’s work. (The report itself remains secret and is reportedly over 300 pages.) Pointing to Barr’s citation of a single, partial sentence from the report (“[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government…


Censorship: ‘Courthouse News’ Yanks Article For Its Fair & Accurate Coverage Of 9/11 Lawsuit

A rare deviation from the media’s dogmatic denigration of any person who questions the government account of 9/11. By Ted Walter Architects & Engineers For 9/11 Truth (3/28/19) If you had to pick one example to best encapsulate the mainstream media bias and censorship that have contributed significantly to suppressing the truth about 9/11 for nearly two decades, it would have to be the extraordinary actions of Courthouse News Service earlier this week. The first extraordinary action came on March 26, 2019, when Courthouse News published the article “FBI Accused of Omitting Evidence From 9/11 Report,” which — to the astonishment of many —…


Max Blumenthal’s “The Management Of Savagery” Explores The American Role In Rise Of Global Extremism

Amazon Review: The Rise Of International Jihad & Western Ultra-nationalism In the Management of Savagery, Max Blumenthal excavates the real story behind America’s dealings with the world and shows how the extremist forces that now threaten peace across the globe are the inevitable flowering of America’s imperial designs. Washington’s secret funding of the mujahedin provoked the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. With guns and money, the United States has ever since sustained the extremists, including Osama Bin Laden, who have become its enemies. The Pentagon has trained and armed jihadist elements in Afghanistan, Syria, and Libya; it has launched military interventions…


Notably Quotable: “Stop trying to navigate systems of power…”

“Stop trying to navigate systems of power and start building your own party.” — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ***** “A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.” – Noam Chomsky ***** “This country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.” – The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ***** “Everyone believes in the atrocities of the enemy and disbelieves in those of his own side, without ever bothering to examine the evidence.” — George Orwell, “Looking Back on the Spanish War” ***** “In these…


CHRONIC INFECTION! New DCCC Chair Rep. Cheri Bustos Is The Best Pal Of Insurance Big Money

How health insurance cash creates misinformation on Medicare For All. [Editor’ Note: For godsake, don’t waste a tarnished penny on the DCCC. Find and support positive progressive candidates and groups, especially those taking on infected corporate dems like Rep. Cheri Bustos or, closer to home, Rep. Ron Kind, and, of course anyone running against republicans. — Mark L. Taylor] By Wendell Potter Tarbell (3/15/19) Here’s a headline you can bet my former colleagues in the health insurance business were thrilled to see last week: “DCCC chief: Medicare for All price tag ‘a little scary.’” That headline topped the lead story…


Why Is The Govt. Allowing Drug Research We Pay For To Be Monopolized By Corporations For Their Private Profit?

We paid for it. They price gouge & profit from it. By Ryan Cooper The Week (3/28/19) How do we eradicate HIV/AIDS? One route is a vaccine, but so far that has proved a very difficult research problem. There is an ongoing clinical trial of one promising treatment in South Africa, but unlike the smallpox or polio vaccines, it appears to provide only moderate protection. Another is “pre-exposure prophylaxis,” or PrEP — drugs which prevent HIV infection if taken every day. One such treatment called emtricitabine/tenofovir (better known by its brand name Truvada) works very well for this, cutting the risk of…


Insys Therapeutics Pushed Costly Opioid With Bribes, Lies & Lap Dance Prosecutors Say

By Gabrielle Emanuel All Things Considered / NPR (4/1/19) Two months ago, Paul Lara saw a letter from his doctor to his insurance company. He recalls looking at the bottom of the page, next to the doctor’s signature, “It says: Does this patient have cancer? He marked yes.” Only one problem: Paul Lara has never had cancer. After decades as a commercial fisherman in Texas, Lara was badly injured on the job. In 2013, his doctor prescribed a high dose of an opioid called Subsys for Lara’s back and neck pain. The fentanyl-based spray can be up to 100 times…


Where 2020 Dems Stand On Medicare For All

  By Max Greenwood The Hill (3/28/19) Health care was always likely to weigh heavily on the race for the White House. On Monday, the prominence of that issue became even more certain. The Trump administration’s decision this week to support the complete invalidation of the Affordable Care Act gave Democratic presidential hopefuls a new opening to pitch health care proposals of their own. And while a handful of candidates has backed the Medicare for All plan popularized by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), many have put their own spin on the proposal or outlined different approaches entirely. Here’s where the Democratic candidates…


‘Commander In Cheat’ — How Trump Cheated A Teenage Boy To ‘Win’ A Golf Championship

Commander In Cheat (What a sad little man.) By Ryan Bort Rolling Stone (4/2/19) Last month, Golf.com reported that President Trump’s 2018 club championship at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, may not have been totally legitimate. Though a plaque at the club lists the president as the victor, the championship was actually won by a hedge fund manager named Ted Virtue. Trump didn’t even compete in the event, but when he ran into Virtue at the club on a later date, he challenged him to an impromptu nine-hole match for the right to the title. Virtue couldn’t…


Heroic Civil Servant Stands Tall Against White House Security Crisis

By Amy Russo The HuffPost (4/21/19) Tricia Newbold, a White House security specialist turned whistleblower, spoke out in her first televised interview since coming forward to raise major concerns over the Trump administration’s allegedly lax handling of security clearances. “The protection of national security is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue; it’s an American issue, and we as security professionals owe it to make all our recommendations in the best interest of national security,” she said to NBC’s Peter Alexander in an interview that aired Tuesday. On Monday, the House oversight committee revealed that Newbold had approached Congress…


Here’s Something They Don’t Want You To Know! When Socialism Was Tried In America It Was A Huge Success, Right Here In Wisconsin!

For much of the 20th century, Milwaukee was run by socialists—and Time magazine called it “one of the best-run cities in the U.S.” [Editor’s Note: If you want a good overview introduction to the rich and promising role of socialism in America, check out Nation Columnist John Nichols’ 2015 book “The “S” Word: A Short History Of An American Tradition”. A tradition that goes back to the American Revolution and includes Karl Marx fan boy Abraham Lincoln. As is so often the case, the republicans don’t know their American history from their next dose of Faux News bilge. — Mark L. Taylor]…


Economic Update — Failing Capitalism’s Rescue By Fascism, Brutish Nationalism & Corporate Welfare

Fascism is used by the wealthy to save the corrupt & broken system that made them wealthy and to get rid of the critics. [Editor’s Note: Professor Wolff puts the chaos of  the Trump administration in context, revealing the metastasizing fascist order and strategy at work in the nation. – Mark L. Taylor] Economic Update / Democracy at Work (3/25/19) On this week’s show Prof. Wolff presents an in-depth analysis of fascism as massive government intervention to protect and save a crashing capitalism. We focus on today’s examples, historical parallels (in Germany and Italy), and how “strong men” leaders push…


Russia Monitor: All Thumb Drives & Swirling Trumpian Threats To National Security

  “America’s justice system is built upon one thing — truth.” — Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates Washington Post opinion. ***** “You might say that’s all okay. You might say that’s just what you need to do to win, but I don’t think it’s okay. I think it’s immoral. I think it’s unethical. I think it’s unpatriotic. And yes, I think it’s corrupt and evidence of collusion.” — House Intelligence Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA). ***** Just asked (Sen.; R-SC) Lindsey Graham if he wants to see the full, unredacted Mueller report and he said NO. He said he trusts…


OMG, What A Laff! Teeny Bopper Right Wing Conspiracy Nerd In LOTS Of Trouble

  The Young Turks (4/2/19) “The FBI appears to have an active criminal probe into hoaxer Jacob Wohl‘s private intel agency Surefire Intelligence. The Young Turks journalist Ken Klippenstein recently filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for documents pertaining to Surefire Intelligence. The FBI, however, declined to provide those records, and the excuse used by the law enforcement agency to justify their denial suggests a criminal probe is currently underway. “The FBI can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the specific records you seek as mere acknowledgment of such existence would trigger harm to the interests protected…


Wrong Man For The Times: ‘That Guy’ Joe Biden Isn’t The Answer

Biden is the Democrats’ answer to the hunger to “make America great again,” dressed up in liberal clothes. By Rebecca Traister New York Magazine (3/29/19) It’s still three months before the first Democratic debate, nearly a year before Super Tuesday, and he hasn’t even declared yet, but poll after presidential poll continues to show 76-year-old former vice-president Joe Biden leading an enormous, diverse, and talented Democratic field. It’s almost poetically appropriate. Biden carries himself with the confidence of a winner, despite not having won, or even come close to winning, either of the previous presidential primaries he’s entered. He is the…


Tulsi vs The Corporate Media Machine

  Tulsi vs The Machine (3/31/19) While the mainstream media attempts to discredit her, independent media defends Tulsi’s message of anti-interventionism. Link to 5+-Minute Video