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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…


Ralph Nader: Democratic Party Stumbling & Wheezing Into The Future With Same Old Tired Cast & Crew

  By Ralph Nader Common Dreams (11/23/17) Seeking to capitalize on the Republicans’ disarray, public cruelty and Trumpitis, the Democratic Party is gearing up for the Congressional elections of 2018. Alas, party leaders are likely to enlist the same old cast and crew. The Democratic National Committee and their state imitators are raising money from the same old big donors and PACs that are complicit in the Party’s chronic history of losing so many Congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative races—not to mention the White House. The large, embattled unions are preparing to spend millions on television ads and unimaginative get-out-the-vote…



A Thanksgiving Teaching Americans Need To Hear From The Dalai Lama

Since the brutal Chinese invasion and occupation of their homeland in 1950, Tibetan Buddhists have suffered deep persecution by the Chinese government and military. John Oliver travels to India to sit down with the Dalai Lama to discuss China, resistance to the brutal conditions in Tibet, the Dalai Lama-endorsed horse milk cure for alcoholism  and – of course – compassion. Always compassion. Be sure to watch it all the way to the end. Link to 19-Minute Video (Commoner Call photo by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


So CBS Didn’t Know There Was Something Up With Charlie Rose? They Should Have Watched Their Damn Show

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (11/23/17) Years ago, in a previous career as a journalist, I worked for a feisty underdog newspaper, The Albuquerque Tribune. We were the afternoon paper and with half the staff fought a scrappy daily battle against the larger, locally-owned and much larger circulation Albuquerque Journal. The dramatic implosion of television journalist Charlie Rose this past week in a tawdry sexual harassment and abuse scandal had me thinking about those days, especially when I saw how CBS News reacted to the whole disaster. Pretty much every news cycle brought fresh allegations, going back years,…


America Is About To Kill The Open Internet And Small Town America Will Pay The High Price

  By Lucy Rock The Guardian (11/21/17) It’s Saturday morning at a café near the museum in Winlock, Washington, and Michelle Conrow is eating brunch while surfing the internet on her laptop. What might seem a banal activity for many is a luxury for Michelle. The internet at her house just outside the town is primitive by today’s standards, with speeds similar to the dial-up days of the 1990s. It took three days to download Microsoft Office to her new computer. Many of the 1,300 residents in this rural area, which was once the US’s second largest egg producer, report…


Republican Rigged Tax Scheme Is Not Just A Scam, It Is A Treasonous Betrayal Of Our Shared Social Responsibility

      By Robert Reich robertreich.org (11/12/17) Selling the Trump-Republican tax plan should be awkward for an administration that has made patriotism its central theme. That’s because patriotism isn’t mostly about saluting the flag and standing during the national anthem. It’s about taking a fair share of the burden of keeping America going. But the tax plan gives American corporations a $2 trillion tax break, at a time when they’re enjoying record profits and stashing unprecedented amounts of cash in offshore tax shelters. And it gives America’s wealthiest citizens trillions more, when the richest 1 percent now hold a record 38.6 percent of the…


Russia Monitor: Will They Get To The President, Jared? We Sure As Hell Hope So

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/23/17) Dear Fellow Readers, “Do you think they’ll get the president?” – Kushner asked a friend, according to a person briefed on the conversation. I do. Kudos to Fresh Air this week. On Monday (11/20) the show ran How The Panama Papers Reveal Illicit Money Networks. Then on Tuesday (11/21) they aired Journalist Investigating Trump And Russia Says ‘Full Picture Is One Of Collusion’. In broad strokes these are the same story and are the key to Trump’s greatest risk with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation – his business longstanding and extensive, shadowy relationship with…


Bernie Sanders Throws His Support To Iron Worker Randy Bryce—Which Could Be Very Bad News For Paul Ryan

By Marc Daalder In These Times (11/20/17) Randy Bryce took the political world by storm this June when he released a stunning television ad announcing his campaign to unseat House Speaker Paul Ryan. Bryce is running for Ryan’s seat in Wisconsin’s southeastern 1st congressional district, which straddles Milwaukee’s metropolitan border. “I decided to run for office because not everybody’s seated at the table—and it’s time to make a bigger table,” Bryce says in the ad. “If somebody falls behind, we’re so much stronger if we carry them with us. That’s the way I was raised. We look out for each…


Do-It-Yourself ‘Ghost Guns’ Bypass Background Checks & Firearm Registration

  By Brian Mann NPR (11/21/17) When Kevin Neal went on a deadly shooting rampage last week in California, he was armed with at least two semi-automatic rifles, known as “ghost guns,” that he didn’t buy in a store or from a gun dealer, authorities say. “These arms are manufactured illegally, we believe, by him at his home,” said Tehama County assistant sheriff Phil Johnston, during a news conference on Nov. 15. Neal was banned from buying guns and reportedly had to surrender a firearm because of a court order. But it turns out there is a growing industry of companies that sell gun…


Reckoning? Bill Clinton’s Sex Scandals Face Fresh Scrutiny In Post-Weinstein Era

  By Jane Clayson On Point/WBUR (11/20/17) We talk to Caitlin Flanagan of The Atlantic, Michael Warren of the Weekly Standard and Joe Klein of TIME Magazine about renewed attention on former President Bill Clinton’s sex scandals. Should he have resigned? Been removed from office? How is this conversation changing in the post-Weinstein era? Guests: Caitlin Flanagan, contributing editor at The Atlantic. (@CaitlinPacific) Joe Klein, political columnist, TIME magazine. (@JoeKleinTIME) Michael Warren, senior writer, The Weekly Standard. (@MichaelRWarren) Link to Story and 46-Minute Audio The Atlantic: Bill Clinton: A Reckoning — “It was a pattern of behavior; it included an alleged violent assault;…


Daily Stormer’s Lost Boy Andrew Anglin: The Making Of An All-American Nazi

  By Luke O’Brien The Atlantic (December 2017) On December 16, 2016, Tanya Gersh answered her phone and heard gunshots. Startled, she hung up. Gersh, a real-estate agent who lives in Whitefish, Montana, assumed it was a prank call. But the phone rang again. More gunshots. Again, she hung up. Another call. This time, she heard a man’s voice: “This is how we can keep the Holocaust alive,” he said. “We can bury you without touching you.” When Gersh put down the phone, her hands were shaking. She was one of only about 100 Jews in Whitefish and the surrounding Flathead…


A Commoner Writes: Anti-Trump Is Not Enough. We Need Solutions.

Some good articles [11/9]. But please give us more articles on how we analyze and organize to recover from years of disastrous neglect of our base (Let’s define and refine) and swing voters. Anti-Trump is not enough, except for our core liberal supporters. Peace, Dr. James R. Anderson ***** Editor Reply: Hey, Jim:  I’ll keep an eye peeled and please send along anything you find of interest.   Did you read the piece on the recent “Autopsy” of the Dems 2016 campaign? There is a good executive summary but I would urge you to read the entire 33-page report. It’s…


Once Again, Mike Pence Gets Tangled Up In Lies: This Time About Don Jr. & WikiLeaks

The Confessor By Sophia Tesfaye Salon (11/14/17) It’s time for another round of “Is Mike Pence actually as incompetent as he looks, or is he just a liar?” On Monday, the Atlantic’s Julia Ioffe published the details of a series of Twitter direct messages between WikiLeaks and Donald Trump Jr. during the presidential campaign. Despite a flat denial previously offered by then-vice presidential candidate Mike Pence, the direct message transcripts appear to show the president’s oldest son communicating with WikiLeaks between September 2016 and July 2017. So what did Mike Pence not know and when did he not know it? Are we to…


Orwellian: The Corporate Media’s Pathological Refusal To Report The Simple Truth About Trump’s Record Of Lies

“The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.” – George Orwell   By Reed Richardson Fairness & Accuracy in Media (11/16/17) It is a truism to say that everyone lies to someone. Since public officials entrusted with power in our democracy are no exception to this human trait—as historical research documents—it should be exceedingly acceptable to point out that all politicians, from your local city council right up to the White House, lie as well. The Framers afforded the press special constitutional protection in large part to ensure that such lies would not…


Republican Corporate Tax Cuts: A “heist” Or Way To Raise Wages?

  By David Brancaccio & Janet Nguyen Marketplace (11/17/17) A centerpiece of the planned GOP tax overhaul has been to lower the corporate tax rate, which Republicans have argued will push companies to invest more at home. Right now, the rate stands at 35 percent, with both the House and Senate calling for a reduced rate of 20 percent. The proposed tax plans would also allow companies to repatriate corporate profits at a one-time lower tax rate. Many corporations have used loopholes to avoid paying the 35 percent rate, such as keeping assets in tax havens abroad. But questions have arisen over whether companies…


With Roy Moore Conservatives Reap The Nasty Whirlwind Of Their War On The Media

  By Rosie Gray & McKay Coppins The Atlantic (11/17/17) All news is “fake news”—at least if you’re a diehard Roy Moore supporter. With sexual misconduct allegations continuing to mount against the Republican Senate candidate in Alabama, Moore has defied calls to drop out of the race by advancing an audacious conspiracy theory—that partisan fabulists in the mainstream media are working with his enemies in the political establishment to wage a nefarious smear campaign against him. Not long ago, such claims likely would have backfired. But in the Trump era, anti-press sentiment has reached a fever pitch on the right—something…


Trump May Be A Bumbling Fool In Most Ways But He Is Radically Distorting The Federal Judiciary

  By Tom Ashbrook On Point (11/15/17) President Trump is remaking the federal bench. Naming judges in record numbers. Some called unqualified. We dive in. The U.S. Supreme Court hears the tip-top cases, but federal appeals courts rule on many more. Thousands. They shape American life. And at that tier of the federal judiciary, President Donald Trump is pushing through appointees at a rate not seen in half a century. Deeply conservative, quite young appointees with lifetime appointments as judges. Some with deeply disputed qualifications. It may be his deepest stamp. This hour, On Point: The fast, deep Trump stamp…


Multi-Millionaire Party Owner & Hillary Donor Gives Dem Leadership Their Marching Orders

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (11/20/17) In case you missed it, Las Vegas multi-millionaire Democratic Party not-so-silent-owner Steve Cloobeck recently had a bit of a meltdown on MSNBC railing against the dangerous notion that the Democratic Party should represent the interests of all Americans and not just the incestuous Wall Street cheats, corporate con artists and hedge fund grifters, scammers and sociopaths he usually runs with. I know, I know, not a radical idea that a major political party should actually stand for the interests of the families, communities and small business people they say they represent….


Russia Monitor: So How Long Has The Trump-Russia Mutual Enchantment Gone On? A Lot Longer Than We Realized

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (11/20/17) Dear Fellow Readers, How long have we lived with Trump and the Trump-Russia story? We have lived with Trump for one year since the election. We have lived with Trump for two years if we consider when he announced his candidacy for the presidency. Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, what we’re seeing with special counsel Robert Mueller’s broader investigation to consider Trump’s business dealings with Russians takes us back ten years. Let’s open with that question, how long, and end with one attempt at an answer. Trump Has Us Deeply Divided…


‘Like Honey To A Bee’ – The Hidden History Of How Russia Has Played Trump Since His First Trip To Moscow In 1987

    By Luke Harding Politico (11/19/17) t was 1984 and General Vladimir Alexandrovich Kryuchkov had a problem. The general occupied one of the KGB’s most exalted posts. He was head of the First Chief Directorate, the prestigious KGB arm responsible for gathering foreign intelligence. Kryuchkov had begun his career with five years at the Soviet mission in Budapest under Ambassador Yuri Andropov. In 1967 Andropov became KGB chairman. Kryuchkov went to Moscow, took up a number of sensitive posts, and established a reputation as a devoted and hardworking officer. By 1984, Kryuchkov’s directorate in Moscow was bigger than ever…


War Of Cyber Mirrors: Inside Antifa Online Efforts To Out White Supremacists

An anonymous group of vigilantes works to identify racists, a legally gray tactic known as doxxing that comes with plenty of risk for all. By Decca Muldowney ProPublica (10/30/17) “Fallon” is not her real name. It’s a pseudonym she’s using because she wants to remain anonymous. She knows that can be an elusive goal, chiefly because of people not unlike her. When I first contacted Fallon, here is what she told me about herself: she’s in her mid-30s; she’s white; she has children; she works a 9-to-5 office job; and she lives in Ohio. She has a voice like a…


‘Say Goodbye to Local Media,’ As Trump FCC Opens Corporate Merger Floodgates

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has been widely criticized for moving forward with rollbacks of regulations aimed at protecting local media. (Photo: FCC/Flickr) By Jessica Corbett The Common Dreams (11/16/17) In “an awful new low” that elicited warnings about “a new wave of media consolidation,” the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday rolled back media ownership regulations under the guise of trying “to modernize its broadcast ownership rules & to help promote ownership diversity.” “Any pretense that this vote will help journalism or increase ownership diversity is cynical and offensive,” said Free Press president and CEO Craig Aaron, warning that the move will “lead…


Long Before Kaepernick, The ‘Syracuse 8’ Were Blackballed By Pro Football

  By Karen Given & Shira Springer Only A Game (11/17/17) They met in secret. Away from their white coaches and teammates. “We used to meet at midnight,” former Syracuse football player Dana Harrell says. “And we could have met earlier. But we used to meet at midnight, to lay out our thoughts and plans, just like the slaves. Harrell was one of nine college football players the international media would — incorrectly — call the “Syracuse 8.” It was the late 1960s — after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Bobby Kennedy. Dana and his…


Hey, Republicans, Your Silence Is Active Consent…

  While GOP Leaders May Want Roy Moore To Go Away, Rank-And-File Republicans Aren’t So Sure By Ariel Edwards-Levy The HuffPost (11/15/17) Republican supporters nationwide have yet to embrace calls by GOP leaders that party nominee Roy Moore end his Senate candidacy in Alabama, a HuffPost/YouGov pollshows, though support for him in the national survey is tepid, at best. By a 12-percentage-point margin, 39 percent to 27 percent, registered Republicans and independents who lean toward the party say Moore should not drop out of the race because of sexual assault and misconduct allegations against him. The rest of those polled said they were unsure…