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Corporate Dems Beware!: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Trounces Powerful Wall Street Democrat Rep. Joe Crowley

  (Editor’s Note: Hey, how about a bold progressive like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announcing a run against 3rd Congressional District Ron “Wall Street” Kind in 2020? The landscape for corporate democrats is changing. — Mark L. Taylor) By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (6/27/18) Overcoming a flood of corporate money and New York’s powerful establishment machine with tireless grassroots organizing and an ambitious progressive agenda of Medicare for All, housing as a human right, and abolishing ICE, 28-year-old democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez toppled Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district on Tuesday in what is being hailed as the biggest political upset of 2018….


‘On Contact’ — Chris Hedges & Ralph Nader Get Real On What’s Happened To Our Government

  It’s been a well funded, brilliantly orchestrated 40-year long corporate coup d’etat.   In this “On Contact” interview consumer advocate and political activist Ralph Nader and journalist Chris Hedges outline the problem and Nader lays out a path of resistance that would only take one percent of citizens to become involved. Before one can reform a system however, that system must be thoroughly understood and seen with unblinking clarity.  You will find both in this fast moving discussion. Along the way Nader gives insight on what has gone amiss in the courts and American law schools and the true…


This Country Was Born In Incivility. Simply Being ‘Civil’ Won’t Save It Now

Neither will burying the truth under false equivalences between bad words and racism. By Charles P. Pierce Esquire (6/21/18) I was saying to a friend on Wednesday night that what was sustaining me in this time of trouble and woe was reading the works of my favorite uncivil Americans—Tom Paine, Mercy Otis Warren, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, late-period Mark Twain, a touch of Mencken here and there. Thus, I was able to read this incredible pile of piffle in The New York Times with comparative equanimity, which is to say without lighting my laptop on fire. Mr. Trump’s coarse discourse increasingly seems to…


Russia Monitor: Our Very Own Weasel Walker Makes Big Time Big Money In Russia Scandal

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/28/18) Dear Fellow Readers, We’re feeling challenged to write anything that isn’t about Justice Kennedy’s announcement that he will retire from the Supreme Court. Even though this has been anticipated for many months, it is still a shock given the timing. With nary a blink a hypocritical eye, Senate Majority Leader McConnell offered his assurance that the Senate would promptly vote on a Trump nominee this fall. And the response from Democrats? Do you find this tweet from Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) reassuring? Richard Blumenthal‏Verified account @SenBlumenthal FollowFollow @SenBlumenthal More Earth-shaking&gut-wrenching. Departure of Justice Kennedy…


Glenn Greenwald: Think You Got Nothin’ To Hide? Here’s Why Privacy Does Matter To You, Your Family & Community

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” — Rosa Luxemburg TED Talk (10/10/14) Glenn Greenwald was one of the first reporters to see — and write about — the Edward Snowden files, with their revelations about the United States’ extensive surveillance of private citizens. In this searing talk, Greenwald makes the case for why you need to care about privacy, even if you’re “not doing anything you need to hide.”


FDA Repays Big Pharma By Rushing Risky, Inefficient High-Dollar Drugs To Market

  By Caroline Chen ProPublica (6/26/18) Nuplazid, a drug for hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease, failed two clinical trials. In a third trial, under a revised standard for measuring its effect, it showed minimal benefit. Overall, more patients died or had serious side effects on Nuplazid than after receiving no treatment. Patients on Uloric, a gout drug, suffered more heart attacks, strokes and heart failure in two out of three trials than did their counterparts on standard or no medication. Nevertheless, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved both of these drugs — with a deadly aftermath. Uloric’s…


“The King” Director Eugene Jarecki: Elvis Presley’s Rise & Fall Is A Metaphor For America Today

  Our democracy has been hijacked by capitalism. Democracy Now! (6/25/18) To understand America in the age of Trump, prize-winning documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki says to look no further than the checkered history of Elvis Presley. Jarecki’s new documentary “The King” opens in New York City this week. It follows the filmmaker as he drives Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls Royce across the United States in an attempt to understand what has happened to America in the age of Trump. “The American dream … wasn’t for anybody if you weren’t a white man,” Jarecki said. “We got here because this nation…


Alicia Leinberger For The 96th Assembly — This Saturday, June 30

Let’s Get Together For Alicia’s 50th Birth Celebration & Celebrate Like It’s 1968 Then Send Her To The State Capitol To Work For Us In 2018! This Saturday, June 30 at the Rooted Spoon /219 South Main / Viroqua 7-10 p.m. Light snacks and cash bar.   (Authorized and paid for by Mark L. Taylor, Genoa, WI and not a campaign committee.)


America’s New Normal: We Have Sprinted Across The Threshold To Fascism

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/25/18) Even by Donald Trump’s bottom-scraping standards, the past week has been a head-spinning, heartbreaking gut punch to the nation. As Trump, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions II and White House resident Hitler Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels look-a-like Stephen Miller ramped up the federal child kidnapping and imprisonment scheme any doubts about what we are facing should have gone up like an out-of-control dumpster fire. In case you haven’t noticed, we have spun far, far beyond the run-of-the-mill Republican vs Democrat, conservative vs liberal, right vs left paradigm of usual American…


America’s Newest Dystopian Horror: Warehousing Children In An Old Walmart

The irony is horrific on many levels By Emily Peck The HuffPost (6/22/18) When the news broke last week that migrant children from Central America are being housed in an old Walmart in Brownsville, Texas, it was just the latest indication that the U.S. is fast turning into some kind of dystopian hellscape. Walmart has long been a symbol of some of the most dehumanizing and ruthless inclinations of American capitalism. The multibillion-dollar retailer relies on a low-wage workforce to peddle cheap goods to many people who are just getting by. Walmart’s recently made an effort to both improve conditions for…


Our Own Senator Clueless: Ron Johnson Brutally Rationalizes Family Separations While Flanked By Photos Of Him With His Family

  By David Edwards The Raw Story (6/24/18) Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (R) on Sunday rationalized the separations of immigrant families by blaming former President Barack Obama’s administration. During an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper pointed out to Johnson that experts have said that Obama’s deferred action program for undocumented immigrants is not responsible for a rise in immigration. Instead, Tapper pointed to a rise in violence in Central America. Johnson replied from what appeared to be a home office, where he was flanked by a photograph of what appeared to be a white family —…


Legendary Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh: Media Today Must Cover Yemen & Trump Policy, Not Get Distracted by Tweets

  Democracy Now! (6/20/18) “Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News,” President Trump tweeted last week, in his latest attack on the nation’s press. A week earlier, federal prosecutors revealed they had secretly captured years’ worth of phone and email data from journalist Ali Watkins, who broke several high-profile stories related to the Senate Intelligence Committee. A former top aide on the committee, James Wolfe, has been charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with the press. Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders recently dropped the United States to number 45 in its annual ranking of press freedom. When the group…


How Can America Possibly Call Itself A Christian Nation As It Treats Children Like This?

  By Michael Curry The Guardian (6/23/18) The screams of children being taken from their mothers and fathers at our border, under our flag, haunts the nation. Across political and religious divides, the nation – and the world – is aghast and Americans are refusing complicity in all the ways they can. Millions of people are crying, protesting and praying in our houses of worship and in the public square. In a moment of national shame, huge swaths of people are acting in love. The families making treacherous and often dangerous journeys to seek refuge in the US are desperate….


Trumpenstein Isn’t THE Problem, He’s The Creation Of The Republican Far Right

  By William Boardman Reader Supported News (6/24/18) The speed of America’s moral descent under Donald Trump is breathtaking. In a matter of months we’ve gone from a nation that stood for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to a nation that tears children from their parents and puts them in cages. – Paul Krugman, New York Times column, June 21, 2018 Economist Paul Krugman is a smart Princeton professor who won a Nobel Prize, and most of what he says in this column is heartfelt, decent, and humane. His argument is relatively simple: since there is no present immigration crisis,…


Russia Monitor: Rushing Russians Here, There & Everywhere

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/25/18) Dear Fellow Readers, In spite of all Trump’s distractions, Trump-Russia and the risk to Trump has not gone away, in fact it’s the opposite. One byproduct or his Trump-Russia exposure is the frequency of times he tweets “witch hunt”; like the number of lies he tells, both are on the increase. Though not without impact as public opinion of special counsel Robert Mueller continues to erode. Trump-Russia and the corruption of the 2016 election has not gone away, in fact it’s clear it wasn’t even the first use of the Russian game…


Researchers Stunned By Sudden Die-Off Of Africa’s Ancient Baobab Trees

    Agence France-Presse (6/11/18) Some of Africa’s oldest and biggest baobab trees — a few dating all the way back to the ancient Greeks — have abruptly died, wholly or in part, in the past decade, researchers said Monday. The trees, aged between 1,100 and 2,500 years and some as wide as a bus is long, may have fallen victim to climate change, the team speculated. “We report that nine of the 13 oldest… individuals have died, or at least their oldest parts/stems have collapsed and died, over the past 12 years,” they wrote in the scientific journal Nature…


Bruce Springsteen Slams Trump’s Blasphemous Border Child Kidnap Program

  American rock musician and working class bard Bruce Springsteen has been playing to sold-out crowds on Broadway for the past eight months. Given the brutal ICE and Border Patrol child kidnapping program along the southwest border, Springsteen went off script last Tuesday to send out a message to America. The singer suggests ‘senior’ government figures blasphemed by suggesting they had some kind of moral — even Biblical — duty to break up families:   “I never believed that people come to my shows, or rock shows to be told anything. But I do believe that they come to be…


A Brief Fascist History Of “I Don’t Care” Slogan On Melania Trump’s Coat

  By Giovanni Tiso Overland (6/22/18) This article was sparked by the jacket that Melania Trump wore as she travelled to a detention camp for migrant children, but my intent isn’t to argue that she or her staff chose that jacket in order to send a coded message to the president’s far-right followers. It is, rather, to highlight some of the historical echoes of that phrase – ‘I don’t care’. The echoes of which someone ought to have been aware, especially in an administration that includes – to put it mildly – several far-right sympathisers. And also to show that the…


Ralph Nader Asks Former First Ladies: Why No “Heartfelt Concern For Tens Of Thousands Of Children Killed Or Seriously Maimed” By Their Husbands’ Wars?

A little harsh truth… By Andrea Germanos Common Dreams (6/22/18) Noted consumer advocate and author Ralph Nader on Friday offered a sharp retort to Laura Bush and Michelle Obama in response to the former first ladies levied criticism at the Trump administration’s cruel immigration policy that separated immigrant children from their families. “Would be nice if Laura Bush and Michelle Obama had expressed similar heartfelt concern for the tens of thousands of children killed or seriously maimed by the wars of their husbands in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere,” he tweeted. As it’s signed “-R,” it was written by Nader himself, rather than his…


‘Womp, Womp’ — You Think Things Are Bad? Steel Yourself As Former Trump Aide Reveals All

  As practised and professional a liar as he is, in that moment Corey Lewandowski was the most honest man in America. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/21/18) Sometimes there is moment, a single glimpse, a small flash of reality that slices through mountains of reports and hours of media, and reveals more insight than weeks of punditry. It may be an unguarded flash in a politician’s eye, a shift in posture at a critical moment, a small gesture, a reflexive, unguarded retort, a certain tone of voice that suddenly embodies the core truth of a person or…


Let’s Get Honest With Our Language, Folks: What Is Happening To Immigrant Children Is Not ‘Separation’ — It Is Governmental Kidnapping

  “Trump’s statement that immigrants will ‘infest our country’ probably sounds better in the original German.” — Conservative journalist Bill Kristol.   By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (6/21/18) What we have seen in the southwest this week is not a law enforcement “separation”; it is government child abuse and kidnapping, which is in step with the oily history and brutal traditions of all totalitarian regimes. Wake up folks, if you think this couldn’t happen to your own families you are living a dream. In fact, this is already part of the story of what this nation has done…


There Is No Excuse: The Immorality Of Authoritarian Order Followers

Authoritarian Fool Tool [Editor’s Note: In light of recent government child kidnappings in the southwest a Commoner Call reader forwarded this short video . I don’t agree with the speaker’s view on socialism (there is such a thing as democratic socialism) but I do find most of this comments on the immorality of the ‘just following orders’ defense to be insightful. Every ICE and Border Patrol officer needs to understand that their personal involvement in the child kidnappings makes them complicit in the crimes and mars them with guilt and shame. There was no honor in what they have done….


The Government Has No Plan For Reuniting Kidnapped Immigrant Children With Their Parents

  By Jonathan Blitzer The New Yorker (6/18/18) A few days ago, Emily Kephart, a program coördinator at an immigrant-rights group called Kids in Need of Defense, set out to try to find a six-year-old Guatemalan girl who had been separated from her father after arriving in the United States, in May. The pair had been split up as a consequence of the Trump Administration’s zero-tolerance policy at the border, which calls for the criminal prosecution of all migrants, including asylum seekers, who cross the border without turning themselves in to officials at so-called ports of entry. Now the father was in…


Most Journalists Missed The Significance & Threat Of The Rise Of Mussolini & Hitler

Warning: Reports on the rise of fascism in Europe were not the American media’s finest hour. By John Broich The Conversation (12/11/16) How to report on a fascist? How to cover the rise of a political leader who’s left a paper trail of anti-constitutionalism, racism and the encouragement of violence? Does the press take the position that its subject acts outside the norms of society? Or does it take the position that someone who wins a fair election is by definition “normal,” because his leadership reflects the will of the people? These are the questions that confronted the U.S. press…


Are Some Evangelicals Having A Much-Needed “Come-To-Jesus” Awakening?

“Last week in Dallas, the Southern Baptists held their annual convention, and they invited Mike Spence to speak. This is nothing new for evangelical groups. Both President Obama, and President George W Bush spoke before such gatherings during their terms. But, when speaking to these kinds of gatherings, politicians, and especially high level elected politicians tend to minimize any political references, focusing instead on their own faith, what it has meant to their lives, and how it guides them in their governing. “Not Mike Pence, the black hole of sycophants. Pence is well known as the worst kind of evangelical,…


Russia Monitor: The Monster Conservatives Have Warned About (He’s One Of Their Own)

“What’s most significant is this: The Trump administration immigration officials have become exactly the kind of monsters that conservatism has always warned against. This illustrates something crucial about this administration. It is not populated by conservatives. It is populated by anti-liberal trolls. There’s a difference.” — David Brooks writing for New York Times (6/19/18)   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/21/18) Dear Fellow Readers, The party of Trump – ‘Ready, Fire, Aim’. What single word would you choose – cruelty? As we are pulling this together the breaking news is about Trump’s willingness to sign an executive order ending family…


Larry Lessing: Our Democracy No Longer Represents The People. Here’s How We Fix It

TED Talk (10/20/15) Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig makes the case that our democracy has become corrupt with money, leading to inequality that means only 0.02% of the United States population actually determines who’s in power. Lessig says that this fundamental breakdown of the democratic system must be fixed before we will ever be able to address major challenges like climate change, social security, and student debt. This is not the most important problem, it’s just the first problem. Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, former director of the Edmond J….


The Company We Keep: 6 Dictators Who Also Divided Children From Parents

[Editor’s Note: We also need to acknowledge that the United States has stolen children from their families during the slave trade and through the racist Government Indian School system, which was often assisted by churches. I would also add to Cole’s list of cruelty the American-backed Pinochet regime in Chile, which began with a CIA-backed coup on 9/11 … 1973. — Mark L. Taylor] By Juan Cole Informed Consent (6/18/18) Separating children from their parents, as Trump, Sessions and their myrmidons are doing, is monstrous and has been characteristic of the biggest dictators of the modern era. Here are a…


DNC To Ban Fossil Fuel Company Donations

  By Lorraine Chow EcoWatch (6/13/18) The Democratic National Committee (DNC) voted unanimously over the weekend to no longer accept campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies, Huffington Post reported. The proposal was reportedly introduced by Christine Pelosi, a member of the DNC and the daughter of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi. “Climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels represents an existential threat to civilization,” the text states, “and Democrats committed in our 2016 Platform to curbing the effects of climate change, protecting America’s natural resources, and ensuring the quality of our air, water, and land for current and future generations.” The resolution cites President Obama’s…


A ‘Commoner’ Writes: Don’t Repeat You-Know-Who

For a long time now, one thought has gnawed at me regarding media coverage of the present administration.  George Lakoff, Professor of Cognitive Science, helped  me a great deal with an article he wrote. “When you repeat Trump, you help Trump”, he writes.  That is why Trump has chosen tweets  to reach the masses.  Every time he tweets something, no matter how outrageous, we obsess over those words.  Through them, he controls the cable news panels, the newspapers, and all of us.  We do exactly what he intends: We spread his message of divide and conquer. What Dr.Lakoff said bears…


Trump Finds His Soul Mate

  (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org ) *****   “The President of the United States of America is an office which imposes a vast, consequential responsibility on the person who holds it to represent America’s values to the world. If those values are liberty, equality, freedom, the rule of law, and the Constitution, Trump is failing on every front. If they are the values of the thug, the tyrant, the bully, the circus freak third-world tinpot? “Then he’ll get his pledge pin any day now.” —…


Migrant Children Detained In U.S. Facility Mocked By Mural Of Trump Quote About Evicting Tenants

  By Sebastian Murdock HuffPost (6/14/18) At a Texas facility holding nearly 1,500 migrant children, a mural of President Donald Trump with a quote about his past attempt to evict New York tenants greets the children detained there. On Wednesday, MSNBC reporter Jacob Soboroff joined other reporters in a tour of the Brownsville facility, which detains up to 1,500 boys, ages 10 to 17, who have been separated from their parents by the U.S. government. In the building ― an old Walmart ― administrators give children two hours of outdoor time, provide them with limited space within the facility and instruct them to go…


‘Nice’ People Always Make The Best Nazis

“You know who weren’t nice people? Resisters.” By Steadfast Slovak The Daily Kos (6/14/18) The best Nazis. I’ve been thinking a lot about Naomi Shulman’s quote, “Nice people made the best Nazis.”  The people who just wanted to get along, who looked the other way and ignored politics, “[t]hey were lovely people who turned their heads as their neighbors were dragged away.” And I’ve realized, sadly, reluctantly, that I’ve filled my life with people who would be great Nazis. The people that I love would have been great Nazis. And in this time of Trump, in this ugly period of…


Censorship: Editorial Cartoonist Critical Of Trump Fired From Pittsburgh Newspaper

  Rob Rogers had been with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for 25 years. By Lydia O’Connor HuffPost (6/14/18) A veteran editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was fired Thursday after he and the newspaper’s management clashed over some sketches critical of President Donald Trump. Rob Rogers, a Pulitzer Prize finalist who had been with the Post-Gazette for 25 years, announced his own ouster on Twitter. Earlier this month, he’d revealed that he was working through “unresolved” issues with the paper’s leaders over certain cartoons that they’d declined to publish. A broader push for less negative Trump coverage in the paper has been linked to John…


Oh, Screw You, Paul Ryan: Internet Rips ‘tone-deaf jackass’ Paul Ryan For Father’s Day Tweet About His Kids While He Stands By As Immigrant Families Are Torn Apart

By Bob Brigham The Raw Story (6/16/18) House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) was soundly scolded on the internet after wishing “all of the dads” a happy Father’s Day as Republican President Donald Trump separates families at the border.  Speaker Ryan is a father of three children. “My life changed the day I became a father. Liza, Charlie, and Sam are my highest priority,” Ryan tweeted. “Wishing all of the dads out there a happy early Fathers Day.” The ensuing uproar was quick and passionate. As a father who clearly cares for his children, Speaker Ryan should think of the agony…


Keep ’em In The Dark: Advanced High School History Will No Longer Include Humankind’s Story Before 1450

  NPR (6/16/18) The Advanced Placement World History course will no longer include precolonial civilizations. Scott Simon talks to Amanda DoAmaral, a former AP World History teacher, about why she opposes the change. Link to Story and -Minute Audio (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


Russia Monitor: Trump Pal Manafort Follows 2,000 Innocent Children Into Jail

“I call this a concentration camp for kids because that’s exactly what it’s turning out to.” — Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele, 6/15/18 MSNBC Live with Stephanie Rule   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/18/18) Dear Fellow Readers, There is an evil man who presumes to have powers above the law, he believes he can do whatever he wants without consequence, he believes he can punish as he sees fit. Yet somehow, be it DACA or anything related to his Wall – he presents himself as weak and incapable to change the ugly, punitive policies he enacts. ‘Your…


TransCanada’s New ‘Best-In-Class’ Gas Pipeline Blows Up In Fiery Blast Mere Six Months After Completion

  By Sharon Kellly DeSmog.blog (6/7/18) This morning [6/7/18], residents of Marshall County, West Virginia, awoke at 4:15 a.m. to a major natural gas rupture and explosion on TransCanada’s Leach XPress pipeline on Nixon Ridge — a quickly built pipeline only half a year old. The fire was visible for miles, local TV news reported. Police warned anyone who could see the flames to evacuate — and the Emergency Management Agency director of neighboring Ohio County said officials had received dozens of 911 calls from locals able to see the fire, which was extinguished roughly four hours later. The blast was so powerful that…


Suddenly Gun Shy: The NRA Dropped Lawmaker Ratings From Their Website, But They’re Not Saying Why

  By Hunter The Daily Kos (6/12/18) Over the weekend, reporters noticed an odd thing about the National Rifle Association’s website: The NRA “ratings” for lawmakers, giving them letter grades for their willingness to block new gun restrictions and weaken existing ones, had vanished without explanation. Was it a glitch, or something else? The nation’s largest domestic terrorism lobby is clamming up about the change, but the Washington Post’s Phillip Bump was able to pry the barest hint of information from an unnamed NRA staffer when he called for an explanation. “I think our enemies were using that,” he said. He…


UN Report On Extreme Poverty & Human Rights Abuses In U.S. Ignored By Mainstream Media

  By John M. Repp Common Dreams (6/15/18) Philip Alston is the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights. He traveled to the United States last December to some of our most destitute communities such as Skid Row in LA, poor African American areas in the Alabama, impoverished coal communities in West Virginia and to Puerto Rico. He issued his report on June 1, 2018. It should be front page news. The report is a terrible indictment of our country and of the Trump Administration. Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel prize winning economist told The Guardian“This administration inherited a bad situation with…