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Scotty’s Big Con: Wisconsin’s Foxconn Deal Enriches Billionaires With Taxpayer Cash

  By Sam Pizzigati Common Dreams (8/28/17) Taiwanese billionaire Terry Gou every once in a while likes to think “outside the box.” Back in 2010, for instance, the giant electronics manufacturer that Gou runs — Foxconn — was facing what corporate flacks like to call a major “PR problem.” Working conditions inside Foxconn’s massive Chinese factories had become so incredibly stressful that workers were committing suicide in shockingly large numbers. They were leaping out factory windows to their deaths. And what did Gou’s Foxconn do to try to calm the worldwide outrage? The conventional corporate move would have been to dial back the…


Russia Monitor: Watch Him Do A Con Man’s Waltz With A Stone In His Shoe

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/31/17) Dear Fellow Readers, If you were going to write a spy thriller, what would be a good setting, how might you create tension, what are the ‘tricks of the trade’ for such a book? Let’s start with plausibility, you can stretch a reader’s imagination, but not launch so far past credulity that readers won’t bite. Trump-Russia: Putin and Russia stealing the U.S. election, that might be a bridge too far? Then again, The Manchurian Candidate didn’t lose us. A few years ago we might have viewed The Americans (FX Networks) as an…


Warning Against Complacency, Michael Moore Says Trump Could Win Again In 2020

  By Julia Conley Common Dreams (8/28/17) Activist and filmmaker Michael Moore is cautioning against complacency during President Donald Trump’s first term—warning progressives that the president’s historically low approval ratings don’t necessarily point to a Trump defeat in 2020. In an interview with Fast Company on Monday, Moore said he predicts Trump will win a second term if he runs for reelection. “I should say re-appointed, because we will have an even larger population that will vote against him in 2020,” he noted. “But he will win those electoral states as it stands now.” Moore predicted that Trump would win in 2016, despite poll…


Robert Reich: What Do Democrats Stand For?

  By Robert Reich RobertReich’s Blog (8/28/17) The Democratic Party can lead the country in a new direction, but will it? Millions of Americans who are politically engaged for the first time in their lives are crying out for a bold alternative to bigoted and destructive policies. But Democrats can’t just be anti-Trump or move to the middle. To be successful Democrats must address the forces that created Trump: The toxic combination of widening inequality and racism. The richest one percent now own more than the bottom 90 percent. Corporations and the rich are running our politics. The resulting economic…


Democratic Socialism In 5 Minutes Or Less

  By Dayton Martindale In These Times (8/24/17) dem·o·crat·ic so·cial·ism – noun The political philosophy of In These Times’ founders, who in their first editorial proclaimed: “Our overriding commitment is to democracy, to socialism as the means to its attainment, and to the inseparability of the two.” “Call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children.” —Martin Luther King, Jr. in a 1965 speech to the Negro American Labor Council So What Does That Actually Entail? Ask any two socialists and you’ll likely get different answers. Ask any…


Stay Alert For Shock Doctrine! With Enormous Harvey Damage, Naomi Klein Warns Against ‘Disaster Capitalism’ Redux

  By Julia Conley Common Dreams (8/28/17) As millions of Houston residents faced life-threatening flooding on Monday with the saturated remnants of Hurricane Harvey expected to bring even more heavy rains in the days ahead, journalist Naomi Klein warned against the notion, already being pushed by some on the right, that the disaster shouldn’t be “politicized.” “Now is exactly the time to talk about climate change, and all the other systemic injustices — from racial profiling to economic austerity — that turn disasters like Harvey into human catastrophes,” Klein wrote at The Intercept on Monday. In her piece, Klein warns that the absence of journalists, lawmakers,…


Grenade Launchers At The Mini Mart & Bayonets At The Playground: Trump Orders Resumption Of Military Supplies To Local Police

  By Patrick Martin World Socialist Web Site (8/29/17) President Trump signed an executive order Monday morning reinstituting a federal program to supply military-grade weaponry and equipment to state and local police forces. The program had been suspended since May 2015 under an executive order signed by Barack Obama that Trump has now rescinded. The Obama administration was compelled to restrict, at least temporarily, the distribution of “surplus” military equipment after widespread public outrage following the deployment of armored vehicles and other military weaponry in Ferguson, Missouri, after mass protests that followed the August 2014 police murder of 18-year-old Michael…


As The Federal Probe Grinds On, Amateurs Search Dusty Archives For Trump Bombshells

  By Darren Samuelsohn Politico (8/20/17) Nearly 3,000 miles from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Washington offices, another investigation into President Donald Trump is underway. This one unfolds in the public libraries and coffee shops of San Francisco, where a self-employed 40-year-old named Geoff Andersen has worked since November for 16 hours a day, seven days a week, burning through nearly $45,000 in personal savings and donations from friends and family in pursuit of hidden truths about Trump’s rise to power. Andersen, a freelance Democratic opposition researcher who worked on President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign and is now between jobs, has downloaded…


“Commoner’ Writes: Wear That Cartoon!

  LOVE today’s cartoon!!!  Someone needs to make a bunch of these shirts and sell them. Sue Conard LaCrosse, WI Editor’s Reply: Thanks, Sue. All Commoner Call original cartoons are available for use by progressive groups for T-shirts, newsletters, posters and websites for free. – Mark L. Taylor.


The Long Game – Resistance, While Necessary, Is Merely Reactive. Progressives Need To Start Being Proactive

  By John Atcheson Common Dreams (8/24/17) Conservatives navigate using a polestar; Democrats steer by their hood ornament.  As a result, conservatives set the agenda, while Democrats respond to it.  Worse, conservatives shape polls, and Democrats are shaped by polls. Conservatives have been strategic.  Democrats have—at best—been tactical.  That’s been the story since Reagan. This explains why our country has drifted to the right; it explains why Democrats have gone from majorities in government at all levels in the 70’s, to barely holding onto a shrinking minority at any level. It explains why today’s Democrat is more conservative than yesterday’s…


Sanders & Warren: Will The Democratic Party Follow Them Leftward?

  By Lauren Gambino The Guardian (8/27/17) At Fellowship Chapel in west Detroit, Bernie Sanders delivered a thundering battle cry for the progressive movement before a crowd of nearly 2,000 people, squeezed into wooden pews and crowded into an overflowing room. The town hall had the feeling of a revival meeting led by Sanders, who preached with the same urgency the message he delivered repeatedly on the 2016 presidential campaign trail: the system is rigged against the American people. But in Detroit he punctured the bleak prophecy with a glimmer of hope. “What this whole debate is about is what constitutes human…


It’s Possible To Step Out Of Our Comfort Zone & Connect With The “Average” Trump Voter

www.frame4future.com By Scott Wittkopf Frame for the Future (8/24/17) There were quite a few comments on social media about yesterday’s blog (pointing out that progressives and Democrats have a largely unconscious “salient exemplar” bias that gets in the way of connecting with the average Trump voter) from progressives who adamantly disagreed with me.  I found it interesting that in disagreeing with me, they provided a stark example of their own bias (salient exemplar) – to the point of using metaphors to de-humanize all people who voted for Trump. Here are some examples (names omitted). Consider how these quotes reflect a bias which apply…


Russia Monitor: That Investigator Case Wall Is Filling Up Fast!

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/29/17) Dear Fellow Readers, Our prayers for the people of Houston and east Texas, the flooding is horrific. It was only two weeks ago we were saddened by the death of Heather Heyer and the violence in Charlottesville. Each news cycle feels like an assault. Trump-Russia was more in the news this week. The two main threads were the reports on Trump’s ongoing efforts to ‘call off the dogs’ of investigation into his Russia ties and the Trump Dossier is back in the news. Before I jump in, if you are reading this…


American ‘Just-Us’ – Attorney General Sessions Considers Making It Easier To Subpoena Journalists

  Press Freedom Tracker (8/4/17) Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on August 4 that the Department of Justice was “reviewing our policies affecting media subpoenas” as part of a broader crackdown on unauthorized leaks of information to the press. Sessions suggested news organizations had endangered people’s lives by publishing stories based on leaked information, though he did not provide any evidence for this claim. “We respect the important role that the press plays, and we’ll give them respect, but it is not unlimited,” he said at the press briefing. “They cannot place lives at risk with impunity. We must balance the press’s role…


“Sieg Fail!” – Why Are Strutting Nazis Are So Afraid Of These Clowns? (Because They Are Effective)

The Scary CCC: Anti-Nazi demonstrators in Knoxville, Tennessee called themselves Coup Clutz Clowns. (redletterchristians.org)   By Sarah Freeman-Woolpert Waging Nonviolence (8/25/17) Trolls chanted in the streets the day of a planned neo-Nazi rally in the small ski town of Whitefish, Montana earlier this year. But they were not the trolls that residents had been expecting — namely, white supremacists from around the country, who had been harassing the town’s Jewish community with death threats. These trolls wore bright blue wigs and brandished signs that read “Trolls Against Trolls” and “Fascists Fear Fun,” cheerfully lining the route where the neo-Nazi march…


Warning From A WW II Veteran: In 1939, I Didn’t Hear War Coming. Now It’s Thundering Approach Can’t Be Ignored

The 1933 burning of the Reichstagg was the tipping point to the Nazis taking full reign of the German government. A lot of evidence suggests that the Polish communist convicted of the arson was a patsy and the Nazis themselves torched the building to trigger a crisis justifying suspension of normal civic rules and protections.   By Harry Leslie Smith The Guardian (8/14/17) A chill of remembrance has come over me during this August month. It feels as if the 2017 summer breeze is being scattered by the winds of war blowing from across our world towards Britain, just like…


Warnings About Slippery Slope Of Censoring Nazi Websites Fulfilled As Germany Shutters Left Wing Anti-Capitalist Website

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (8/25/17) In a move critics characterized as a dangerous threat to freedom of expression, the German government announced on Friday its decision to shut down a left-wing website it claims has links to violence that broke out during the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany last month. “This is what advocates of censorship are spawning,” said The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald in response to Germany’s decision. “Those who advocate state censorship today are its defenseless targets tomorrow.” – Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept Greenwald has sharply criticized those who have, in the aftermath of right-wing violence, advocated the censorship of right-wing views—a position he argues creates a…


Want Affordble, Universal Health Care? Then Change The Debate & Redefine Solution

  By Scott Galindez Reader Supported News (8/26/17) One of my heroes, Paul Wellstone, used to say: “In the last analysis, politics is not predictions and politics is not observations. Politics is what we do. Politics is what we do, politics is what we create, by what we work for, by what we hope for and what we dare to imagine.” Imagine a country where you go to the doctor, he treats you, and the bill gets paid for by your tax dollars. We can create that world if we lead! It is time to stop worrying about labels. It…


In Latest ‘Giveaway To Freeloading Corporate Polluters,’ Interior Sec. Zinke Calls For Carving Up National Monuments

Devil’s Tower National Monument in Wyoming was designated as the first national monument by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1906.   By Julia Conley Common Dreams (8/24/17) Environmental groups denounced the Interior Department’s recommendation to President Donald Trump on Thursday that he reduce the size of some of the country’s national monuments. While a number of outlets framed the story by reporting that Secretary Ryan Zinke was recommending against the elimination any monuments, a two-page summary (pdf) released by the Interior Department made clear his position that some of the country’s protected lands are too large. Trump ordered Zinke to review 27 monuments in April, declaring that President Barack…


More Of Your Tax Dollars Down The Crapper: Secret Service Ponied Up $7,100 Renting Luxury Porta Potties For Trump’s Bedminster Trip

  By Jessica Estepa USA Today (8/24/17) The financial strains on the Secret Service under the Trump administration are now well-known. And you can add luxury portable restrooms to their mounting bills. The agency spent thousands of dollars to rent the restrooms during the president’s August “working vacation” at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., according to a review of purchase orders flagged by the progressive PAC American Bridge and verified by USA TODAY. The agency also spent $13,500 of your money on golf cart rentals for yet another Trump vacation. The agency signed a contract with Imperial Restrooms to provide trailers on Aug. 3. That contract was updated a…


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Don’t Feed The Trolls — How To Effectively Combat America’s Homegrown Nazis Movement

By Kazu Haga Waging Nonviolence (8/22/17) Nazism and white supremacy are forms of violence. Let’s start there. The constitution does not protect violence, and I’m happy to see that the California chapter of the ACLU has taken a stand against protecting the “free speech” of hate groups. But with or without marching permits, it is clear that public displays of hatred are a growing trend in the United States. And as much as I don’t want to give these groups more attention, it is also clear that simply ignoring them is not going to make them go away. So what do we…


Russ Feingold: Trump’s Disavowal Rings Hollow – How The Republican Party Quietly Does The Bidding Of White Supremacists

The lesson from Charlottesville is not how dangerous the neo-Nazis are. It is the unmasking of the Republican party leadership.  By Russ Feingold The Guardian (8/19/17) It takes approximately 30 seconds to send a tweet. A half hour to draft and release a statement. And the shelf life of both is only marginally longer. We should not commend Republican party elected officials who claim outrage on social media at Trump’s remarks, often without daring to mention his name. The phony claimed outrage becomes dangerous if it convinces anyone that there is a distinction between Trump’s abhorrent comments and the Republican…


Russia Montior: Will Mueller Investigation Eclipse Trump Sooner Or Later?

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/24/17) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump is like a total eclipse regularly elbowing aside all other news as all media is drawn like moths to his billowing fires. Trump rallies the faithful in Arizona and spins on and on about neo-Nazis, threatens shutting down government, rants about fake news, a pardon for Sheriff Joe Arpaio and on and on … and on. Meanwhile, Special Counsel Mueller continues quietly doing his work undistracted. Trump Resignation Game-Ender? That said, Keith Olbermann, on Tuesday’s The Resistance, gets credit for pulling together important clues behind more obscure headlines to come to an…


As Trump Raged In Phoenix, Sanders & Conyers Offered Vision For A Better Nation

By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (8/23/17) While much of the nation looked on in horror as President Donald Trump delivered a speech ripped “out of a psychopathology textbook” on Tuesday night in Arizona, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) headlined a town hall-style event in Detroit, Michigan on racial and economic justice that served as a marked contrast to Trump’s “unhinged” performance. Before Sanders approached the podium, Rev. Wendell Anthony of the Detroit Fellowship Chapel Church delivered a remarkable introduction that was quickly spread on social media. Sanders is “trying to take down the tributes to racism and division” while also “trying to…


Misinforming & Manipulating The Majority: A Deliberate Strategy Of Right-Wing Libertarians

  By Mark Karlin Truthout (7/9/17) When and how were the seeds sown for the modern far-right’s takeover of American politics? Nancy MacLean reveals the deep and troubling roots of this secretive political establishment — and its decades-long plan to change the rules of democratic governance — in her new book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. Get your copy by making a donation to Truthout now! Many individuals who follow politics and journalists think that the right-wing playbook began with the Koch brothers. However, in her groundbreaking book, Nancy MacLean traces their political strategy…


Dick Gregory In His Own Words: Remembering The Pioneering Comedian & Civil Rights Activist

  Democracy Now! (8/21/17) In a special broadcast today, we remember legendary comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, who passed away on Saturday in Washington, D.C. at the age of 84. Gregory became one of the most popular comedians in the country, paving the way for generations of African-American comedians. On Sunday Chris Rock wrote on Instagram, “We lost a king. They’ll never be another. Read his books. Look him up you won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately the America that produced Dick Gregory still exists.” Dick Gregory was the first African-American comedian to sit on the couch of The Tonight…


A Divided Country Is Exactly What Trump Wants, Needs & Intentionally Causes To Happen

  By Howard Fineman The HuffPost (8/16/17) WASHINGTON — Let’s be clear about what President Donald Trump was up to Tuesday during his press conference in Trump Tower, and what his longer-range plan is for surviving, if not prospering, in the White House for at least four years. Speaking publicly in the family fortress in the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, he wasn’t trying to convince anyone of the facts. There could be no dispute about them if you saw, say, the Vice video of hideous neo-Nazis, KKK members, generic white supremacists and rancid anti-Semites in the streets carrying torches and chanting “Jews…


The Fascist Brand Of Socialism: Hostility To Capitalism Plus Extreme Racism Equals Politics Of Hate

  By Jason Wilson The Guardian (8/20/17) The groups that marched through Charlottesville last weekend with clubs, shields and cans of mace were clearly drawn from the most extreme and violent end of America’s far right. But key elements of the ideology of at least some of them echo themes that have animated populist groups across the political spectrum, including on the left. In their chants and placards, the marchers were explicitly fascist, racist and antisemitic. One of their number is accused of murdering a leftwing activist with his car and injuring many more. They came prepared to do violence…


‘Slippery Slope To Dictatorship’: Majority Of GOP Would Back Trump Postponing 2020 Elections

  By Julia Conely Common Dreams (8/10/17) Identifying it as part of the “slippery slope to dictatorship,” critics are pointing to a new poll as evidence that Trump’s base would likely support him even if he were to propose postponing the 2020 elections. Sixty-eight percent of voters polled by two researchers believed the president’s repeated claims that widespread “voter fraud” cost him the popular vote in the 2016 election, and 52 percent said they would support postponing the 2020 election in order to make sure only “legal” citizens cast ballots. Fifty-six percent answered that they would support the measure if Trump and…


Mike McCabe: Ignoring Citizenship Education Both Betrays The Founders & Places Nation At Risk

  By Mike McCabe Blue Jean Nation (8/21/17) If you take the long view of history, our school system has strayed far from its roots. What today are called public schools originally were known as common schools. Central to the mission of common schools was making democracy possible. In 1779 Thomas Jefferson proposed providing basic education to the masses. Civic literacy was at the heart of Jefferson’s plan. He emphasized the study of history as a means of cultivating moral and civic virtues and enabling the masses to know and exercise their rights and duties. To Jefferson, schooling’s purpose was…


Could The Dem Party ‘Better Deal’ Platform Be A ‘First Glimmering’ Of Needed Change?

  By Thomas Frank The Guardian (8/10/17) At the end of July, the leadership of the Democratic party bestirred themselves from their comfortable Washington haunts and paid a visit to a small town in Virginia, where they assumed a populist guise and announced before the cameras of the world that they were regular folks just like you. The occasion for this performance was the launch of a Democratic party manifesto that bears the uninspiring name, A Better Deal. Its purpose, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer wrote in the New York Times, was to “show the country that we’re the party on the…


White Supremacism Is The Republican Brand

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (8/21/17) It has been encouraging to see a few prominent republicans condemn Donald Trump’s “Many sides. Many sides” defense of white supremacists and Nazis in the wake of the Charlottesville attacks. Utah republican Sen. Orrin Hatch spoke out forcefully about the Nazi torch lit display on a tweeted message: “Their tiki torches may be fueled by citronella but their ideas are fueled by hate, and have no place in civil society. We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged…


It’s Class , Not Race: Protesters Should Follow Bernie’s Lead

  By Juan Cole Informed Comment (8/14/17) Steve Bannon ran, and is still likely pulling the strings at, Breitbart, the “Stormfront” in a business suit with a skinny tie. Bannon once characterized it as enabling what he called the “alt right,” by which he meant a slightly more presentable version of the skinheads, KKK, bikers, Neo-Nazis and other far right fringe supremacist groups that might appeal to today’s youth, including the educated. Breitbart has been wildly successful, since conspiracy theories, race resentment, Islamophobia, misogyny and other base emotions have a visceral appeal. I would argue that the success of the…


Be VERY Careful What You Ask For: People Cheer Companies Kicking Nazis Off The Internet. But Who’s Next?

  By Jessica Shulberg The HuffPost (8/18/17) WASHINGTON ― The Daily Stormer, a website started by a neo-Nazi, has promoted racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and misogynistic content since it was founded in 2013. But this week, after a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, several tech companies effectively kicked the site off the internet. Some of the companies that stopped doing business with The Daily Stormer argued that the website violated their terms of service by inciting violence, which major internet companies prohibit. But a CEO at of one of those firms sent an email to staffers on Wednesday that frankly…


White Supremicist Hate As A Family Affair: Stonewall Jackson’s Great-Great-Grandsons Call For Removal Of Confederate Monuments

  Democracy Now! (8/17/17) As President Trump faces growing outrage over his response to the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, we bring you an exclusive: an interview with the great-great-grandsons of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. At least 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy can be found in public spaces across the country. But now a number of the monuments are coming down. Calls for the removal of the statues are even coming from the descendants of the leaders of the Confederacy. We speak with two of the great-great-grandsons of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson. Jack and Warren Christian have just…


Russia Monitor: This Will Not End Quietly

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (8/21/17) Dear Fellow Readers, Charlottesville, Boston, New York, Bannon’s resignation, business and arts councils ended – Trump should not be our president. Some have predicted he will resign, including “Art of the Deal” author Tony Schwartz. That would be great, the sooner the better. Even though his legislative agenda is compromised his administration continues to do damage daily across many fronts. Personally, I don’t think he will go quietly – his nature is to double-down and attack; he is doing all of that and will do more, much more. Michael Moore predicted Trump as…


National Parks Put A Ban On Bottled Water To Ease Pollution. Trump Just Sided With The Lobby That Fought It.

  By Darryl Fears The Washington Post (6/17/17) The Trump administration has ended a six-year-old ban on selling bottled water at some national parks that was aimed at easing plastic pollution and the huge amount of waste being recycled. In a statement that closely tracked the arguments of a campaign by the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) in opposition to the ban, the National Park Service said the 2011 action under the Obama administration “removed the healthiest beverage choice at a variety of parks while still allowing sales of bottled sweetened drinks.” The move follows a review of the policy “in close consultation…


30-Year EPA Veteran Writes Farewell Letter, Warns Of Environmental Catastrophe Under Pruitt

  By Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility EcoWatch (8/2/17) A 30-year U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) senior official left federal service Tuesday convinced that her agency is being steered in a disastrously wrong direction, according to her farewell message posted by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). She is an eyewitness to the wreckage wreaked by Administrator Scott Pruitt and his cadre of political appointees. Elizabeth “Betsy” Southerland has a Ph.D. in environmental science and engineering and has worked in both the private sector and state government. At EPA, she served in both the water and Superfund programs as a senior executive, managing first…


Shades Of Things To Come To All Of Us: Despite Low Crime Rates, Miami Police Expand Their Use Of Military Vehicles & Weaponry

‘Scairdy Cat Nation By Matthew MacEgan World Socialist Web Site (8/11/17) An investigative report appearing in a Miami newspaper, the New Times, provides details about the Miami-Dade Police Department’s expanded use of military-grade equipment vehicles on an everyday basis. The MDPD announced Monday that they will begin “randomly” sending out their “rapid deployment force” to various county buildings, as well as public transit stops. In Monday’s press release, MDPD stated, “In keeping with our ongoing homeland security initiatives, the Miami-Dade Police Department (MDPD) today begins its Rapid Deployment Force (RDF) as an enhanced security presence to deter threats to critical infrastructure sites…


Naomi Klein: War May Be The Next Big Venture On Trump’s Menu

  By Adria Vasil NOW Toronto (8/18/17 Breaking down the shell game behind U.S. politics is activist journalist Naomi Klein’s specialty. In her latest book, No Is Not Enough: Resisting The New Shock Politics And Winning The World We Need, Klein warns, six months into Donald Trump’s dizzying presidency, not to take our eyes off the kleptocracy-in-the-making behind the reality freak show in Washington. Namely, the corporate CEOs, billionaires and bankers busily using the cover of endless crises in American politics to launch a coup of their own against the welfare state. What we’re seeing from the Corbyn and Sanders camps…