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Beach Bum Chris Christie: Coasting Along On The Public Dime Just Like The Rest Of The Oily Oligarchy

  By Abby Zimet Common Dreams (7/3/17) Talk about your profanely perfect metaphor: This hot and sunny weekend, big-time New Jersey cretin and governor Chris Christie closed down the state’s parks and beaches due to a budget stalemate. Then he hopped into his State Police helicopter and took his entire family to the 10-mile, now blissfully pristine Island Beach State Park, which thanks to the closing they had to themselves. All day, meanwhile, police posted at the park’s gates turned away the hot and frustrated peasants who pay Christie’s salary as a, lest we forget, so-called public servant. Later, the family and their friends hunkered…


A Wisconsin Republican Looks Back With Regret At Voter ID & Redistricting Fights

  By Topher Sanders ProPublica (7/3/17) Dale Schultz, a Republican, served in the Wisconsin Legislature for more than 30 years, from 1983 to 2015. His Senate district is located in south Wisconsin, much of it rural farmland. Schultz was considered a moderate, and so much of what happened in state politics near the end of his tenure dismayed him: partisan fights over the rights of unions, a gubernatorial recall election, and claims of partisan Republican gerrymandering that will now be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. And then there was the prolonged entanglement over voting rights in the state — who…


As Climate Threats Mount & EPA Chief Dithers, Experts Say No Time Left For Deceitful “Debate”

  By Julia Conley Common Dreams (7/3/17) As new and worrying evidence of global warming’s destructive impacts mount around the globe, climate experts are saying efforts by the Trump administration’s EPA chief to discredit decades of climate science research should be seen as a deceitful—and dangerous—tactic. Scott Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator who sued the agency more than a dozen times before President Donald Trump nominated him to lead it, “has expressed interest in the idea of formally challenging the scientific consensus that human activity is warming the planet” according to reports by the Washington Post. “What the American people deserve is a true,…


Grandson Of Former VP Henry A. Wallace On Standing Rock’s Fossil-Free Future & Looming Threat Of American Fascism

“Trump is that merger of government and corporate power.” Democracy Now! (7/4/17) As we continue to look at how the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is embracing renewable energy, we turn now to Scott Wallace and Ellen Dorsey of the Wallace Global Fund. The fund recently awarded the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe the inaugural Henry A. Wallace Award and a $1 million investment in renewable energy projects led by the tribe. The award is named after Scott Wallace’s grandfather Henry A. Wallace, who served as vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1941 to 1945. In 1944, Wallace published an iconic…


Biographer David Cay Johnson Says “Donald doesn’t know anything!”

 “It is all a fraud – his life.” Politics & Prose Bookstore (9/8/16) In his detailed account of Donald Trump’s astonishing political success, Johnston, an award-winning New York Times investigative journalist and currently a columnist for USA Today, looks closely at Trump’s business practices, his associates, and his family background. Johnston sheds light on many of Trump’s beliefs, delving into his father’s Ku Klux Klan involvement and into Trump’s own ties with organized crime, as well as laying out how Trump has actually managed real estate, run casinos, and experienced numerous bankruptcies even while amassing huge wealth. Link to 1-Hour…


Naomi Klein: The Worst Is Yet To Come With Trump, So We Must Be Ready For More Shock Politics

  Democracy Now! (6/30/17) Watch Part 2 of our conversation with best-selling author and Intercept senior correspondent Naomi Klein about her book, “No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need.” Link to 24-Minute Video Watch Part 1: No Is Not Enough: Best-Selling Author Naomi Klein on Challenging Trump’s Shock Doctrine Politics ***** Naomi Klein: How to Resist Trump’s Shock Doctrine “These tactics can be resisted.” By Naomi Klein The Intercept (6/13/17) Shock. It’s a word that has come up a lot since November— for obvious reasons. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about shock….


PETITION: States Need To Say No To Trump’s Voter Suppression Commission

  By Heidi Hess, Senior Campaign Manager CREDO Action from Working Assets (7/3/17) Donald Trump’s voter suppression commission is “laying the groundwork for voter suppression, plain & simple.”1 The commission has not even had its first meeting but its vice chair – one of the worst perpetrators of voter suppression in the country, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach – just made a dangerous, unprecedented demand to state election officials: give me your voter rolls, now.2 Election integrity advocates immediately raised alarms about Kobach’s massive data request. Our friends at the Brennan Center said the request could be used to “justify regressive…


Donald’s Rebranding Of America

Donnie bestows his unique brand to the presidency.   Corroding American Dignity On The Fourth Of July By David Remnick The New Yorker (July 10 & 17 Issue) More than three-quarters of a century after the delegates of the Second Continental Congress voted to quit the Kingdom of Great Britain and declared that “all men are created equal,” Frederick Douglass stepped up to the lectern at Corinthian Hall, in Rochester, New York, and, in an Independence Day address to the Ladies of the Rochester Every day, Trump wakes up and erodes the dignity of the Presidency a little more. He tells…


Neil Young Releases Resistance Anthem For Our Fourth Of July

Stand up for what you believe, Resist the powers that be. Preserve the land and seas For the Children of destiny.   By Mary Papenfuss The HuffPost (7/1/17) Just in time for the Fourth of July Canadian rocker Neil Young has released a surprise patriotic “resistance” anthem and music video, urging listeners to “stand up for what you believe, resist the powers that be.” The video for “Children of Destiny” (“preserve the land and save the seas for the children of destiny”) intersperses scenes of idyllic American summers with picnics, flags, fighter jets and Fourth of July parades with stunning photos…


GOP Fascism Update: Portland Republicans Turn To Thugs

“The Nazis no longer felt any restraint; with their gangs, they regularly broke up the election meetings of other parties. They shot one or two political opponents every day. In a Berlin suburb they even burned down the house of a Social Democrat family. The new Prussian regional minister (a Nazi: a certain Captain Goring) promulgated an incredible decree It ordered the police to intervene in any brawl on the side of the Nazis, without investigating the rights and wrongs of the matter, furthermore to shoot at the other side without prior warning. A little later an “auxiliary police force”…


Richard Clarke: Russia Invaded Our Country, And Won … And They Are Not Done

The Commonercall.org   By Sarah K. Burris The Raw Story (6/30/17) Richard Clarke is the former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counter-terrorism for the United States, so when he warns of President Donald Trump’s ignorance, he’s not kidding around. In his new book, Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes, he talks about Cassandra of Greek Mythology, who was blessed by the gods to see the future but cursed that no one would believe her. The first thing Maher asked him about was the election of 2018 and 2020. “They’ll be back,” Clarke warned. “The Russians will be back… What…


Russia Monitor: Now He’s Colluding With Fox News?!

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call. (7/3/17) Dear Fellow Readers, Why did Fox News start a week ago with their ‘collusion is not a crime’ slant? Maybe Trump’s vicious and unhinged Tweets are meant to keep all eyes on him while hoping for new news to change the narrative. If you can ignore carnival sideshow of Trump’s tantrums there is real news that deserves our attention. COLLUSION: Trump Campaign Colludes With The Russians? Two articles by Shane Harris of The Wall Street Journal this past week on the issue of collusion have grabbed a lot of attention. The Wall Street Journal…


Searching For The Lost Soul Of The Democratic Party

  By Bob Burnett Common Dream (7/1/17) Writing in Politico, Bruce Bartlett complains the Republican Party has lost its way because it has ceased to champion ideas; he says the GOP has become the Party that panders “to the lowest common denominator in American politics.” What Bartlett says is true, but the Democratic Party has also lost its way. Not because its ceased to champion ideas but rather because Democrats have forgotten who they are, they’ve lost touch with their soul. Bruce Bartlett is a historian who served in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush Administrations. His Politico article savages Trump: “He has instituted policies…


PodCast: Trump’s Travel Ban And The History Of Anti-Immigrant Movements In The U.S.

  By Kathleen Brewer Freak Out & Carry One (6/29/17) This week on Freak Out And Carry On, Ron Suskind and Heather Cox Richardson speak with Morris Vogel, president of the Tenement Museum, about the Supreme Court’s partial reinstatement of President Trump’s travel ban and the history of xenophobia in the United States, from the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s to Japanese internment during World War II. Excerpts Ron Suskind: My thoughts are many. First, I think of the phrase “a nation of immigrants.” I grew up with that. It was a thing of pride. For Cornelia, my wife, it was an…


Robert Reich: Don’t Let Trump’s Gutter Tweets Distract You From What’s Really Going On

By Robert Reich Robert Reich Facebook (7/2/17) Trump is using his “gutter” tweets this morning to try to distract you from these major stories of the week: 1) The latest version of Trumpcare stalled in the Senate. The details of the bill were even too much for Republicans to stomach. When Mitch McConnell finally released his version of the bill from behind closed doors, many Republicans balked at the deep cuts to Medicaid. Estimates released on Monday by the Congressional Budget Office that 22 million Americans would lose coverage under the proposal only furthered doubts. Rallies on Capitol Hill and…


Why? Trump Election Panel Demands Your Detailed Personal Voting Data

  By Jon Queally Common Dreams (6/29/17) Voting and civil rights advocates are ringing alarm bells on Thursday after it was learned that an election commission established by Donald Trump—one which critics feared from its inception would be used to suppress, not protect, voter access—had sent requests to all fifty states demanding personal and detailed information about voters. According to The Hill, a letter was sent from Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State in Kansas and vice chairman of Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, asking the states for “several pieces of information about voters, including their names, birthdays, the last four digits of…


The Ironworker Running To Unseat Paul Ryan Wants Single-Payer Health Care, $15 Minimum Wage

  By John Light Moyers & Company (6/28/17) A campaign ad went viral last week — something that, despite political consultants’ best efforts, doesn’t often happen. It begins with an elderly woman sitting in her living room in Wisconsin. As her middle-aged son listens, she describes her concern that she someday may not be able to pay for the drugs she needs to treat her multiple sclerosis. Her son, it turns out, is Randy Bryce, a first-time candidate for federal office. Bryce’s opponent in 2018 will be one of the Republican health care plans’ most prominent advocates, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. As…


Worker Notes: Bringing Democratic Representation & Independence To Unions

By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (7/3/17) For all of the positives in joining with peers to develop solidarity there are areas where unions fail to realize their potential. The bargaining table at times has three sides, where the institution of the union creates a place separate from the workers. This reality has led to the creation of an organization to support union members in making their unions better. The Association for Union Democracy  (AUD) was created to be a pro-labor, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the principles and practices of democratic trade unionism in the North American labor movement. AUD…


Urging Democrats To Go Bold, Warren Says ‘The Next Step Is Single Payer’

The Clock Is Running Out, Dems Time To Go Bold For All American Families By Julia Conley Common Dreams (6/27/17) Speaking to The Wall Street Journal, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is calling on Democrats to embrace a single-payer healthcare system in order to win back Congress and the White House in upcoming elections. Warren argued that simply blocking the Republican rollback of the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare, is not enough to distinguish Democrats from their GOP counterparts in the minds of voters. “President Obama tried to move us forward with health-care coverage,” Warren said, “by using a conservative model…


Killing Off Single Payer Effort By Dem Party Pols In California Is A Cautionary Tale For Progressives

  By Jim Kavanagh CounterPunch (6/27/17) Nothing better illustrates the political bankruptcy of the Democratic Party—for all progressive intents and purposes—than California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s announcement on Friday [6/23] afternoon that he was going to put a “hold” on the single-payer health care bill (SB 562) for the state, effectively killing its passage for at least the year. The Democratic Party finds itself in a bind in California. They hold the governorship and a supermajority in both houses of the legislature, so they can pass any bill they want. SB 562 had passed the Senate 23-14. There was…


Budget-Cutting Austerity Is Not Frugality, It Is Brutality. It Is Violence. It Is Domestic Terrorism By The Ruling Class

Detail from a poster for ‘Russell Brand: Messiah Complex,’ a live recording. By Russell Brand Russell Brand’s Facebook Page (6/16/17) Sometimes there is a news story that has a power that reaches beyond the material facts, even if those facts are in themselves potent. Hillsborough was one. The drowned Syrian toddler another. The discernible reality alludes to a deeper truth and invites us to consider the real meaning. Glenfell is such a story. The image of a burning tower is loaded with significance both modern and ancient. The facts, the deaths, the suffering are in themselves appalling yet the meaning…


Russia Monitor: Let The Country Burn Or Put Out The Fire?

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/29/17) Dear Fellow Readers, The health care legislative process in the Senate has mostly pushed Trump Russia collusion off the front page – rightfully so and more resistance is required as ‘it will be back’. Important Versus Urgent: Is That A Real Choice? One comment I see in the media is that Russian involvement in our election doesn’t deserve the attention it gets and it pushes other important issues out of the limelight. This is wrong given the potential seriousness of the issue – up to and including had we ‘known’ we might we…


More Than 100 Federal Agencies Fail To Report Hate Crimes To The FBI’s National Database

  By A.C. Thompson & Ken Schwencke ProPublica (6/22/17) In violation of a longstanding legal mandate, scores of federal law enforcement agencies are failing to submit statistics to the FBI’s national hate crimes database, ProPublica has learned. The lack of participation by federal law enforcement represents a significant and largely unknown flaw in the database, which is supposed to be the nation’s most comprehensive source of information on hate crimes. The database is maintained by the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, which uses it to tabulate the number of alleged hate crimes occurring around the nation each year. The FBI has identified…


Nordic Odin Religion Hijacked & Perverted By Violent American White Supremacists

By Will Carless Reveal / Center for Investigative Reporting (6/1/17) In February 2016, 15 months before he was accused of stabbing three people on a train in Portland, Oregon, and killing two, Jeremy Christian pledged to kill whoever was elected president of the United States: “I Hereby Solemnly swear to Die trying to Kill Hillary (Herself a filthy Murderess) Clinton and Donald Trump should they be elected to the post of President in my faire country on (sic) Vinland,” Christian wrote in a Facebook post. Then he pledged his threat to an ancient Nordic god, as well as Hindu and Egyptian…



Before We Can Challenge Entrenched Power We Need To Find The Right Language Of Resistance

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/29/17) The release of the republican senate Trumpcare bill was yet another stunning piece of sociopathic class warfare. In this case the result would be tens of millions of the most vulnerable losing their health coverage and nearly everyone else seeing their rates and annual deductibles go up and coverage go down. Meanwhile, senate republicans would hand the 400 richest families in America a $33 billion tax cut over ten years. What, many of my acquaintances ask, are they thinking? How could they? Don’t they realize the harm that would be done?…


Ron Paul Interviews Edward Snowden About Privacy And The Security State

  “Liberty is freedom from permission.” Ron Paul Liberty Report (6/20/17) In this wide-ranging exclusive interview, former intelligence analyst turned whistleblower Edward Snowden tells all. What to say to those who argue that they’ve got nothing to hide so nothing to fear from the intrusive ears of the state? Snowden is engagingly philosophical yet frank about his current position and where we are headed as a society. Check out the Freedom of the Press Foundation, where he is Board President: https://freedom.press/ Link to 34-Minute Video


Trump Impersonator Embodies The Truth Of The Man & The Nation

  By Jordan Kisner The Guardian (6/23/17) John Di Domenico looks nothing like Donald Trump: he’s 17 years younger, several inches shorter and a natural brunet, though lately he keeps his head shaved to make putting on the coppery wig easier, and his eyebrows bleached to match. Becoming Trump requires a full hour of hair and makeup. He tapes three large photographs of the president, one in profile and two straight-on, to any mirror he’s using, and then uses Ben Nye CoCo Tan foundation to turn his skin the requisite shade of atomic tangerine, dabs on wrinkles, lengthens his nose,…


Republican Trumpcare Bill Is Only About Massive Tax Breaks For The Wealthy

Elizabeth Warren Says Key Thing to Know About Trumpcare Bill: ‘This Is Blood Money’ Common Dreams (6/23/17) Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has now read the Republican bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and says that it contains “one flashing neon light after another” that signals who this piece of legislation is designed to serve: the very rich and the very powerful. “This is blood money,” the senator said both on the floor of the Senate on Thursday and in a video posted to social media. “They’re paying for tax cuts with American lives.” “Make no mistake:…


Georgia Loss Is Further Proof Democrats’ Path To Power Is Through Moving Left, Not Center

  By Theo Anderson In These Times (6/21/17) Republicans love to point to their success at the ballot box as proof of their vitality. A party that controls a majority of statehouses and the U.S. Congress, along with the Supreme Court and the presidency, must have the most popular ideas. Right? So the theory goes. And there was more evidence for it on Tuesday, as Republican Karen Handel beat Democrat Jon Ossoff in the special election for Georgia’s 6th District. For a party that’s so successful, though, the GOP sure doesn’t have much confidence in its policies. Hunkered down in…


Back At It Again: U.S. Tied To Torture In Network Of Secret Yemen Prisons

  Democracy Now! (6/22/17) Human Rights Watch and the Associated Press have just published explosive new reports on a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates and Yemeni forces. Dozens of people, including children, have been “arbitrarily detained, forcibly disappeared, tortured, and abused” in these prisons, according to Human Rights Watch. American forces reportedly participated in interrogations of detainees who were abused, a potential violation of international law. For more, we speak to Kristine Beckerle of Human Rights Watch. GUESTS: Kristine Beckerle Yemen and UAE researcher for Human Rights Watch. Link to Story and 10-Minute Video *****…


Face Of The State: D.C. Cops Used Jailhouse ‘Rape As Punishment’ After Inauguration Day Mass Arrests, ACLU Lawsuit Says

By Andy Pyke ThinkProgress (6/22/17) When black-clad marchers began smashing windows in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day, the city’s police force — reputedly the best in the country at upholding protesters’ rights during disruptive demonstrations — went nuclear. Officers quickly deployed pepper spray, tear gas, and crowd-control grenades of various types. The Metropolitan Police Department opted to “kettle” everyone on the streets nearby the initial anarchist-driven property destruction, something it does not, by reputation, make a habit of doing during protests. The mass round-up swept the “Antifa” rowdy types together with many peaceful protesters, journalists, and volunteer legal observers who turn out in bright…


Worker Notes: These Brave Workers Really Need(ed) A Union

By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (6/26/17) In 2010 attention of the world was riveted when 33 miners were trapped 2,300 feet underground in the Copiapó Chilean mining accident. The miners were trapped underground for 69 days and were only freed after an international rescue effort. The 2015 movie entitled “The 33”, available on DVD in local libraries, tells the story of what happened and how the incident impacted the miners, their families and communities. . A great deal has been written on this event and some may tell a slightly different story, but the movie depicts the site as a worn…


John Nichlols: This Union Ironworker Has A Plan To Beat Wall Street’s Favorite Congress Critter, Paul Ryan

By John Nicols The Nation (6/22/17) Randy Bryce thinks Paul Ryan is vulnerable to a challenge that offers voters a genuine, working-class alternative to the gold-plated speaker of the House. The union ironworker, who is challenging the most powerful Republican in Congress, is onto something. He recognizes that Ryan, a political careerist who had spent the better part of three decades as a Republican aide and congressman, represents southeastern Wisconsin’s first congressional district in name only. The speaker of the House is still officially identified as Paul Ryan, R-Janesville. But everyone who is paying attention knows that the congressman serves as Paul Ryan,…


Russia Monitor: Beyond Anyone’s Expectation – The Political Crime Of The Century

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/26/17) Dear Fellow Readers, The Political Crime Of The Century The Russians hacked the election, Valdimir Putin directed the effort and the intent was to help Donald Trump and damage Hillary Clinton. As reported previously, the intrusion worked beyond anyone’s expectations – most likey even Putin’s. I start with this because on Friday the Washington Post released a lengthy description of what transpired between August 2016 and January of 2017. There are two important narratives of this story: 1) the Obama administration was ineffectual in both stopping the interference and in retaliation for…


From Now On, Single Payer Health Care Must Be A Deal Breaking Litmus Test For Democrats

By Scott Galindez Reader Supported News (6/18/17) I am so tired of hearing people say they don’t support litmus tests. If you can’t judge candidates by their positions on issues, then how do you know who to vote for? Too many people supported George W. Bush because he was a “good Christian man.” George Will is a great guy at a baseball game, but I disagree with him on the issues, and it is those disagreements that will cause me to not vote for him. Healthcare is important to me, and if a candidate does not support single payer healthcare,…


Sen. Schumer: Don’t Provide Cover For Dem Sen. Manchin’s Attacks On Progressive Values & Clean Water

TheCommonerCall.org Josh Nelson, Deputy Political Director CREDO Action from Working Assets (6/24/17) Sen. Joe Manchin is one of the least-reliable members of the Senate Democratic caucus. He frequently sides with Trump and Republican extremists in opposition to progressive values like fighting for economic justice and defending women’s rights. As a longtime friend of the coal industry, Sen. Manchin is especially bad when it comes to fighting climate change and protecting the environment. Now, a dark money group run by a longtime operative of Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is running a TV ad praising Manchin for cozying up to Trump and…


PodCast: Is The Attorney General The President’s Lawyer Or America’s Lawyer?

  By Katherin Brewer Freak Out & Carry On Podcast (6/15/17) In Freak Out and Carry On, the new politics and history podcast from WBUR, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist Ron Suskind and Boston College historian Heather Cox Richardson speak with the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank about Jeff Sessions’ contentious Senate hearing and the historical tension that attorneys general, from Mitchell Palmer to Alberto Gonzalez, have faced. Do they serve the president or the American people? Excerpts: Heather Cox Richardson: It seemed to me that Sessions was performing for an audience of one and that was President Trump. And that says something really interesting about this…


Todd Rundgren’s ‘Tin Foil Hat’ Song A Timely Highlight

From Todd Rundgren’s new album “White Knight”, with back-up from 70’s peers Joe Walsh, Daryl Hall and Donald Fagen. The album includes a smooth Donald Trump parody “Tin Foil Hat”, co-written with Fagen, which Rolling Stone describes as a “a timely highlight”. He’s coming down the escalator With a girl from east of here He wants to make the country greater We’ve got nothing left to fear Because the man in the tin foil hat Is sitting on the throne tonight It kinda feels like coup de tat But it’s gonna be great, tremendous, amazing and all that ‘Cause the…


Iron Worker Randy Bryce Kicks Off Campaign To Unseat Paul ‘Lyin” Ryan With Kick Ass Ad

  By Jay Hayden Daily Kos (6/20/17) Randy Bryce is a U.S. Army veteran, cancer survivor, and union ironworker in southeast Wisconsin who’s ready to mount a serious challenge to House Speaker Paul Ryan for WI-01. Yesterday Bryce released a video announcing his candidacy and it is a grand slam. The video focuses on health care, featuring his own mother, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Real life, real families, real struggles. It is one of the best we’ve ever seen, and quite frankly it is a roadmap for Democrats nationwide. The Republican repeal of the Affordable Care Act remains deeply unpopular, with only 24 percent of American approving…