ALL ARTICLES

Daniel Ellsberg Reveals He Was A Nuclear War Planner, Warns Of Nuclear Winter & Global Starvation

  Democracy Now! (12/6/17) Could tension between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un bring us to the brink of nuclear war? As tensions ramp up, we discuss what nuclear war would look like with a former nuclear war planner and one of the world’s most famous whistleblowers—Daniel Ellsberg. In 1971, Ellsberg was a high-level defense analyst when he leaked a top-secret report on U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The New York Times and other publications, which came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. He played a key role in ending the Vietnam War. Few know Ellsberg was…



The 40th Anniversary Of The Death Of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington Is Time To Reflect On What True Political Reform Looks Like

  By Mark Kastel (12/7/17) Just like Bernie Sanders, at least for me, one of the preeminent and compelling attributes of Harold Washington was — his authenticity. His political speeches reflected his true beliefs. He was a reformer. He took on one of the most powerful political machines in the country, built by Chicago’s Richard J Daley, and beat them at their own game. I worked for Harold in his first campaign. My job, as a surrogate speaker, was to address exclusively black audiences on the city south and west sides. My sidekick, one of my best friends at the…


Russia Monitor: One By One, The Old Trump-Russia Defenses Tumble

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (12/7/17) Dear Fellow Readers, The Trump-Russia collusion story continues to grow and, how about that: There really were Russians involved all along! All the old Trumpian denials have crumbled: Claims of “no contact” is now old news as we are way, way past that. Assurances of “no collusion” is growing threadbare. Now we have Trump team, officials and lawyers promising that “nothing illegal” took place. Collusion Maybe, But Nothing Illegal … yet With the indictment of Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, the battle of words has shifted to what happens next. Opinions…


LABOR: Expendable – As The Gig Economy Grows Concerns About Worker Safety Grow

By Samantha Raphelson Here & Now/NPR (12/5/17) The family of a 19-year-old food delivery worker was not eligible for any kind of worker’s compensation last month after their son was struck and killed by a dump truck. Antawani Wright-Davis died in Massachusetts while delivering food as a bicyclist for DoorDash, an app that hires workers as independent contractors. With the rise of the so-called gig economy, workers’ advocates and some state departments of labor are raising concerns about full or part-time employees who are forced to sign agreements that free their employers from keeping them safe. Companies in the gig economy, including…


Time Again To Remember 20 Lessons From The 20th Century On How To Survive In Trump’s America

    (Editor’s Note: Periodically we post Timothy Snyder’s ’20 Lessons’ as a powerful reminder of how to survive the growing fascism of Trump’s America. With the passage of the Republican tax scam for the super wealthy next year we can expect gutting of Medicare, Social Security and other programs Americans depend upon. The need for organizing, action and lighting a fire under the ass of the corporate democrats will be greater than ever. Stay awake. Stay strong. Resist the bastards. – Mark L. Taylor) By Tim Snyder In These Times (10/21/17) This article first appeared as a post on…


Obtuse: How Our Half-Educated Tech Elite Delivered Us Into Such Social & Political Chaos

How could such smart people be so stupid? By John Naughton The Guardian (11/19/17) ne of the biggest puzzles about our current predicament with fake news and the weaponisation of social media is why the folks who built this technology are so taken aback by what has happened. Exhibit A is the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, whose political education I recently chronicled. But he’s not alone. In fact I’d say he is quite representative of many of the biggest movers and shakers in the tech world. We have a burgeoning genre of “OMG, what have we done?” angst coming from former…


Declining Property Values Highlight Need For Industrial Agriculture Reform

  By Kara O’Conner Morning Ad Clips (12/5/17) CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. — In November, the Wisconsin Department of Revenue lowered a Kewaunee County landowner’s property taxes because of proximity to a large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO). The Department of Revenue reviewed three years of data from home sales in the county, and found that on average, homes within a quarter mile of a large CAFO sold for 13 percent less than their assessed value, and homes between a quarter of a mile and one mile from a large CAFO sold for 8 percent less than their assessed value. The…


Destroying The Press: A Mysterious Company Bought LA Weekly And Just Gutted Its Staff

  By Lydia O’Connor The HuffPost (11/30/17) Free press advocates and LA Weekly staffers are demanding that the mysterious company that bought the news organization and gutted most of its staff reveal its identity. Semanal LLC, the secretive buyer that formed for the sole purpose of purchasing LA Weekly last month, closed on the sale Wednesday and promptly laid off nine of the 13 members of the alternative weekly’s editorial staff, sending shock waves across an industry already rattled by unexpected reductions and closures. On Thursday, the Society of Professional Journalists condemned Semanal’s continued anonymity. “In an era of rampant misinformation and…


SPLC To Homeland Security Committee: Focus on domestic terrorism from the radical right

  Southern Poverty Law Center (11/30/17) SPLC President Richard Cohen testified Thursday [11/30] before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security about the need to focus on domestic terrorism from the radical right. Cohen delivered the following oral remarks to the committee chaired by U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, in addition to written testimony. Thank you, Chairman McCaul, and thank you, Ranking Member Thompson. Members of the committee, it’s an honor to be here today. Charlottesville truly was a wake-up call for our country. It was a reminder that the oldest form of terrorism our country has ever known is still with…


Many Of The Lifelong Wounds Of US Mass Shooting Gun Cult Are Unseen

  When The Scars Of A Mass Shooting Aren’t Left By Bullets By Anna Almendrala & Erin Schumaker The HuffPost (11/22/17) Sherrie Lawson was in a meeting when she heard the gunshots. Because she was on a Navy installation where firearms were heavily restricted, Lawson assumed the loud bangs were the sound of people dropping tables or chairs. Less than a minute later, when more shots rang out, she and her colleagues realized something was wrong. People ran by, shouting about a shooter on the grounds. Lawson joined the crowd and they ran, trying to get away from the sounds of gunfire. Soon…


Here Is The Current List Of The Trump Sex Allegations

  By Lucia Graves & Sam Morris The Guardian (11/29/17) A growing list of powerful men have faced serious consequences for sexual misconduct allegations but the most powerful one of all has faced none. Instead Donald Trump’s official position, as his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders recently clarified in a White House press briefing, is that the 20 women accusing him of assault and harassment are lying. Trump has also suggested some were not attractive enough for him to want to sexually assault. As the conversation around sexual conduct continues to evolve, and new abusers are revealed, here are the cases against the president. … Read…


The Most Important Privacy Case To Come Before The Supreme Court In A Generation

  By Trevor Timm The Guardian (11/30/17) If you care about privacy, whether it’s online or on your smartphone, the coming weeks will define the scope of privacy rights for Americans for the next decade or more. Two issues – whether the police can track on our cellphone location 24/7 without a warrant, and the potential to curtail some of the NSA’s most controversial powers to spying on Americans – will be decided by Congress and the US supreme court, and it’s hard to overstate their significance. On Wednesday, the US supreme court heard a landmark cellphone privacy case called United…


Bernie Sanders Takes His “Protecting Working Families” Tour On The Road

By Common Dreams Staff Common Dreams (12/2/17) Bernie Sanders whipped up a crowd of 1,300 people in Dayton, Ohio on Saturday, voicing strong opposition to the tax bill that U.S. Senate Republicans passed 10 hours earlier, in a near campaign-style rally, the Dayton Daily News reported. Sanders is on a 3-day, four city “Protecting Working Families” tour with MoveOn.org and the “Not One Penny” coalition. “This legislation goes well beyond taxes,” Sanders wrote in an email that was sent to supporters last Monday. “Mark my words. If passed, the Republicans will then rediscover the ‘deficit crisis,’ and push aggressively for massive cuts in Social Security,…


Dunderhead: Rewiring The Dull, Primitive, Slumbering, Antiscientific Democratic Party Brain With George Lakoff

By Melissa Batchelor Warnke San Francisco Magazine (12/1/17) “Democrats are basically science deniers,” George Lakoff says. “They’re denying the truth discovered in neuroscience and cognitive science.” Harsh words, coming from a lifelong liberal Democrat. But the famed UC Berkeley cognitive linguist thinks his party desperately needs a wake-up call. If they’d listened to him, he says, Donald Trump would not be president. As the election approached, Lakoff was looking forward to retirement. He’d been a professor at Berkeley for the better part of 50 years; he’d published countless peer-reviewed papers; he’d written or coauthored a dozen books. And he’d made a mark…


Russia Monitor: Putin’s Revenge – Tantamount To War

“He’s a man obsessed with TV.” (Sound like someone else we know?) (Editor’s Note: Russia Monitor columnist Dan Peak is taking a few days off. In the meantime, I strongly encourage all readers wondering just how the Trump-Russia mess came to be to watch these two PBS Frontline specials whic help to put things in a meaningful context. _ Mark L. Taylor) FRONTLINE tells the inside story of how Vladimir Putin came to see the United States as an enemy — and the critical backstory – the motive – of why he decided to target an American election. PBS Frontline:…


Trump’s Big Mac Binges & Brutal Screaming Fits Revealed In Former Aides’ New Book

  By Jon Swaine The Guardian (12/3/17) Donald Trump’s preferred order at McDonald’s has been revealed as a waistband-busting meal containing alarming amounts of fat and salt. During campaign stops at the fast food restaurant the president would ask for two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fishes and a chocolate milkshake, according to a insider’s account of his presidential bid. Trump’s order amounts to 2,420 calories, according to McDonald’s nutritional data. US authorities generally advise men to consume about 2,500 calories per day. His chosen meal also contains 112g of fat, which is 172% of Trump’s recommended daily allowance, as well as 3,470mg…


Psychiatrists Warn About Trump’s Deteriorating Mental State

The New York Times (11/30/17) To the Editor: I am the editor of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.” We represent a much larger number of concerned mental health professionals who have come forward to warn against the president’s psychological instability and the dangers it poses. We now number in the thousands. We are currently witnessing more than his usual state of instability — in fact, a pattern of decompensation: increasing loss of touch with reality, marked signs of volatility and unpredictable behavior, and an attraction to violence as a means…


Going From Pump To Plug: How Much Money Can Electric Vehicles Save Drivers?

    By Union of Concerned Scientists EcoWatch (12/1/17) What would you do with an extra $770 a year? Buy a new laptop? Pay off debt? The Union of Concerned Scientists analyzed how much money many drivers could save by switching from a gasoline-powered car to an electric vehicle. We analyzed the cost of refueling electric and gasoline vehicles in each of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. In every city, there is a rate plan that would save the average EV owner on fuel costs, with a median savings of more than $770 per year. EVs are becoming more affordable to purchase,…


ACTION ALERT: GOP Senator Heller Has Stage 4 Cancer Victim Booted From Town Hall For Having The Temerity To Ask About Health Care

She had been warned to keep quiet by Heller’s “goons” before the town hall began. By Tom Boggioni The Raw Story (12/3/17) Republican Senator Dean Heller (NV) had his security officials remove a stage 4 cancer victim from a town hall after she tried to question him about the future of the Affordable Care Act. In video posted to Twitter by Battle Born Progress, Laura Packard can be seen addressing the GOP senator about the implications of the Senate’s tax plan on healthcare only to have two men accost her and remove her from the room. Writing on Twitter, Packard said…


Support Great Journalism & Get A Copy Of ‘All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception & The Spirit Of I.F. Stone’

  By Janine Jackson, Jim Naureckas & Deborah Thomas Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (12/2/17) FAIR has kept fundraising at bay with only occasional pleas for help this year. Now the bank account is low and showing serious signs of stress. So FAIR is now officially launching its year-end fundraising campaign with a much-needed $50,000 goal. It’s been a tough year of beating back supposed “news” that distracts from the concrete concerns in our lives. With healthcare and Social Security under attack, EPA rules purged, voting rights eliminated, these real news stories, and more, need telling. FAIR breaks it down in our…


Brutal Slave Trade Sweeps Up Migrants In North Africa

  On Point/WBUR (11/29/17) Slaves on the auction block in 2017 in North Africa. We’re joined by CNN reporters who helped expose it in Libya, and a New Yorker writer who’s also chronicled migrant exploitation. Guests: Nima Elbagir, senior international correspondent for CNN. (@NimaCNN) Raja Razek, CNN journalist. (@rajarazek) Ben Taub, staff writer for the New Yorker. (@BenTaub91) Link to 47-Minute Audio and 6+-Minute Video ***** People For Sale: Where Lives Are Auctioned Off For $400 CNN “‘Eight hundred,’ says the auctioneer. ‘900 … 1,000 … 1,100 …’ Sold. For 1,200 Libyan dinars — the equivalent of $800. Not a used…


If Trump Wants Nuclear War, Virtually No One Can Stop Him

By Dennis Jett The Conversation (11/21/17) The general in charge of America’s nuclear arsenal, John Hyten, recently said he would resist carrying out an illegal order from the president to use those weapons. His comments echoed the ones made a few days earlier by one of his predecessors, retired Air Force Gen. Robert Kehler. At a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Nov. 14, Kehler asserted that nuclear operations officers would refuse to implement an unlawful order. While the generals are no doubt military men of integrity, my four decades of experience as a diplomat and scholar of American foreign policy suggest there is…


“The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” Is Essential For Understanding Trump & Our Times

    By Andrew Spitznas Patheos (10/1/17) Like a bulging medical file for a chronically hospitalized ICU patient, every week sees new additions to the folders of evidence for Donald Trump’s diseased mind and his mental unfitness for the presidency.  This past week, in the “History of Present Illness” section, it was his lack of empathy and blame shifting for the abominable response to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.  For “Past Medical History,” it was the unearthed recording of a conversation with trashmaster Howard Stern, wherein Trump appallingly described his neglect and disgust towards an elderly man bleeding on Mar-A-Lago’s floor.  (Just as…


Listen Up, Folks: Pussy Riot’s Warning About Donald Trump For The U.S. Resistance

The Last Word/MSNBC (11/7/17) Nadya Tolokonnikova from the Russian punk music and protest group Pussy Riot joins MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell to discuss the similarities and differences between President Trump and Vladimir Putin and to share her advice for the American resistance. [The courageous Tolokonnikova was one of two band members that was imprisoned for two years for protesting Putin’s totalitarian rule.] Link to 8+-Minute Video


Russia Monitor: The Winds Are Shifting Across Trumpenstan

  “Remember, we have elections coming up next year. The uniform view of US intelligence is unambiguous, and if you don’t view it as an existential threat then you’re willing, I think, to sacrifice democracy.” – Steven Harper, Moyers & Company By Dan Peaks The Commoner Call (12/1/17) Dear Fellow Readers, The good news – virtually every Trump-Russia collusion poll you can find reports two-thirds of Americans believe this is serious and want a full investigation. If we assume a good part of the remaining one-third are Trump voters who still give Trump overwhelming support, who else might see democracy-at-risk…


The Humane & Affordable Luxury Of Socialized Medicine

  By Megan Day Jacobin Magazine The standard case for a single-payer health insurance system is pretty well known. Anyone can get care without courting financial ruin. Monumental personal decisions, like when to have a child or whether to leave or take a job, no longer hinge on the whims of an employer or the dysfunctions of the private insurance market. Surprise hospital bills, endless phone calls with insurance companies, juggling premiums, copays, and deductibles — all will be things of the past. The case against single-payer often boils down to a single word: rationing. When critics peddle scare stories about Canadian or…


Journalist Explains How Panama Papers Opened Up The World’s Illicit Money Networks

  Fresh Air/NPR (11/20/17) Reporter Jake Bernstein helped break the story of the Panama Papers, the leaked documents that detail the offshore tax havens of the super rich. His new book is Secrecy World. TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. Before Donald Trump was elected president, some of his business partners on Trump-branded hotels and condos and the Miss Universe pageant were oligarchs from Russia and former Soviet bloc countries who kept a lot of their money hidden in the secret world of shell companies. Those business partnerships are the subject of the final chapter of my…


Think It Can’t Happen Here? It Already Did On February 20, 1939

American Nazis at Madison Square Garden rally in 1939.   By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (11/30/17) Throughout the 1930’s and right up to the outbreak of war in Europe there was a vigorous American Nazi Bund movement that was especially active in upper Midwest states, like Wisconsin. In February of 1939 20,000 American Nazis gathered in New York City’s Madison Square garden for a rally that no doubt warmed the olive pit-sized heart of Adolf Hitler. The event was staged with all the theatrical pomp and dramatic ceremony of  a Munich rally. Take a few minutes to watch…


American Leaders Should Read Their Official Climate Science Report

  By John Abraham The Guardian (11/27/17) The United States Global Change Research Program recently released a report on the science of climate change and its causes. The report is available for anyone to read; it was prepared by top scientists, and it gives an overview of the most up to date science. If you want to understand climate change and a single document that summarizes what we know, this is your chance. This report is complete, readily understandable, and accessible. It discusses what we know, how we know it, how confident we are, and how likely certain events are to happen if…


A ‘Commoner’ Writes: Thursday Billboards For Mike McCabe & Progressive Values

I have been reading George Lakoff [“Don’t Think of an Elephant] recently. His ideas influence mine with regard to how we human social animals share our thoughts through the structures of our language. One prominent takeaway from my reading is that our work for expanding a progressive agenda of caring and concern for our neighbors is immense. We depend upon good governance to structure caring and concern for neighbors.  Good governance depends upon good elected officials to serve in good government. That’s why I work for Mike McCabe to be elected as our next governor in Wisconsin. Please come and…


With Roy Moore, Republicans Fully Embrace & Own The Ugliest Political Poster Boy, Ever

  “He totally denies it. He said it didn’t happen.” – Donald J. Trump Oh, okay, Don… By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (11/27/17) There is a very real chance that an accused multiple child sex offender is going to be elected to the United States Senate on a Republican ticket. A man, who, in his 30’s was banned from the local mall because of his reported predatory hitting on teenage sales girls. The behavior by the young assistant district attorney – who, obviously, should have known better – was so troubling it freaked out the community. With a…


As Republicans Scramble To Hand Massive Tax Cuts To Their Billionaire Owners, States Notify Parents Of 9 Million Children They Will Lose Their Health Insurance Unless Congress Acts

  Republicans At Work: Forget The Kids, It’s Time To Hand Out Huge Tax Cuts For Billionaires! By Colby Itkowitz & Sandhya Somashekhar The Washington Post (11/24/17) fficials in nearly a dozen states are preparing to notify families that a crucial health insurance program for low-income children is running out of money for the first time since its creation two decades ago, putting coverage for many at risk by the end of the year. Congress missed a Sept. 30 deadline to extend funding for CHIP, as the Children’s Health Insurance Program is known. Nearly 9 million youngsters and 370,000 pregnant…


Worse Than You Thought: New Report Details ’13 Terrible Things’ About Senate GOP Tax Scam

Americans for Tax Fairness warns that the bill gives most of the tax cuts to the richest 1%, makes 82 million middle-class families pay more in taxes, and endangers funding for public services. Common Dreams Staff (11/21/17) Amid mounting efforts to block the Republican Party’s latest attempts to cut taxes for the nation’s corporations and wealthiest families, a new report out Tuesday details 13 “terrible things” about the most recent GOP tax bill put forth in the U.S. Senate. The analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF)—a campaign of more than 425 national, state, and local groups that advocate for progressive tax…


See The Hidden White House Visitor Records Trump Doesn’t Want Americans To See

  By Derek Kravitz, Leora Smith & Al Shaw ProPublica (11/21/17) The Trump White House tried to block public access to visitor logs of five federal offices working directly for the president even though they were subject to public disclosure through the Freedom of Information Act. Property of the People, a Washington-based transparency group, successfully sued the administration to release the data and provided the documents to ProPublica. You can search them below. Related: Koch Lobbyists and Opus Dei — Who’s Dropping in on Trump Budget Czar Mick Mulvaney? | About the data | Download the data If you have information about these meetings, or who attended them, contact us…


Russia Monitor: Lies Wrapped Within Fibs, Dressed Up As Coincidence & Gift Wrapped As Denials

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/27/17) “Everything the Trump campaign told you about the connections between Trump and Russia was a lie.”  – Steven Harper, Moyers & Company Dear Fellow Readers, Lies, all lies. NPR reports Putin says, “those aren’t Russian forces in Crimea”. Trump says, “There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.” Trump-Russia. Maybe a good analogy is a complex paint-by-numbers that is presented one cell at a time. For the longest time the exercise is filling in seemingly random blotches of color. With persistence there is a good idea…


Loose & Stupid Lips: What Trump Really Told Russian Ambassador Kislyak After Comey Was Canned & How He Harmed Nation

By Howard Blum Vanity Fair (11/22/17) On a dark night at the tail end of last winter, just a month after the inauguration of the new American president, an evening when only a sickle moon hung in the Levantine sky, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 helicopters flew low across Jordan and then, staying under the radar, veered north toward the twisting ribbon of shadows that was the Euphrates River. On board, waiting with a professional stillness as they headed into the hostile heart of Syria, were Sayeret Matkal commandos, the Jewish state’s elite counterterrorism force, along with members of the technological…


EMERGENCY! Seven Things You Can Do Right Now To Save Our Open Internet

  By Mary Alice Crim Common Dreams (11/22/17) According to reports, the FCC will vote on Dec. 14 to destroy Net Neutrality and allow for online discrimination. Time to hit play on Wake Up Everybody, a song covered by John Legend and the Roots, and sing along: “Wake up everybody no more sleepin’ in bed … the world won’t get no better if we just let it be. The world won’t get no better. We gotta change it yeah, just you and me.” After you’re finished singing, hit the phones and prepare to get in the streets. It’s time to get loud…


History They Don’t Want You To Know: Historian Peter Kuznick On American Exceptionalism & US Imperialism

Reality Asserts Itself (10/15/17) On Reality Asserts Itself with Paul Jay, Prof. Peter Kuznick, historian and co-author with Oliver Stone of The Untold History of The United States, looks at the ideas that Americans use to justify conquest and empire. Link to 17-Minute Video To Watch The Entire 4-Part Interview With Peter Kuznick Link HERE.


Pesticide Drift – Why Monsanto’s Dicamba Is So Damaging & Dangerous

    By John R. Platt Nation of Change (11/18/17) Drift kills. Earlier this month the Environmental Protection Agency announced that the pesticide dicamba – a weed killer sprayed on genetically modified, pesticide-resistant soybean and cotton crops – had drifted away from application sites and caused damage to more than 3.6 million acres of soybean crops in 25 states. It was the latest blow against the use of dicamba, which was recently banned in Arkansas and Missouri after complaints from hundreds of farmers. The pesticide, which is manufactured by Monsanto, BASF and other companies, has also been linked to increased rates of cancer in humans exposed to…