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Death By Euphemism: Washington Post Can Identify The ‘Far Right’ In France– But When It Comes To The White House, It’s Merely ‘Conservative’

The CommonerCall.org   By Jim Lobe LobeLog.com (4/24/17) There are no major ideological differences between White House strategist Steve Bannon and French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. Yet it seems that the Washington Post considers them to be very different. According to the Post, Bannon and his backers are “conservatives.” Le Pen and her National Front, meanwhile, are “far right.” Of course, the whole notion that Bannon is “conservative” is ludicrous on its face. A typical “conservative” would not boast of being a “Leninist” who “want[s] to destroy the state [and] … bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of…


Bought & Paid For: Wisconsin State Supreme Court Legalizes Bribery Of The Courts

By Dennis Brault The Commoner Call (4/24/17) Yes, indeed, the Wisconsin Supreme Court just ruled that your First Amendment right to free speech would be impinged if you couldn’t bribe …err… support with cash, Wisconsin judges. This should come as no surprise, as our state supreme court is the most expensively purchased court in state history. They are, like so many politicians, nothing more than employees of the far right wing Ayn Randian corporate groups funding their campaigns. The free speech, which isn’t free if it costs money, argument can be fixed by amending the United State Constitution to state…


Duty To Warn: Group Of Mental Health Professionals Warn Trump’s State ‘Putting Country in Danger’

By Andera Germanos Common Dreams (4/21/17) A group of mental health professionals gathered at Yale University Thursday to discuss what they believe is their duty to warn the public of the “danger” posed by President Donald Trump. The “Duty to Warn” event was attended by roughly two dozen people and was organized Dr. Bandy Lee, assistant clinical professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, the CTPost writes. Lee called the mental health of the president “the elephant in the room,” and said: “Colleagues are concerned about the repercussions of speaking.” “We do believe that Donald Trump’s mental illness is putting the…


Edward Bernays: Engineering The Consent & Blind Obedience Needed For Empire

  The Empire Files (6/4/16) With thousands of advertisements seen by Americans everyday, and a corporate media that reinforces the needs of Empire, propaganda in the U.S. is more pervasive and effective than ever before. The manipulation of public opinion through suggestion can be traced back to the father of modern propaganda, Edward Bernays, who discovered that preying on the subconscious mind was the best way to sell products people don’t need, and wars people don’t want. To get a deeper understanding of how propaganda functions in today’s society, Abby Martin interviews Dr. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media Studies…


Chris Hedges: Understanding The Right Wing “Christian” Dominionist Movement

“Radical Christian dominionists have no religious legitimacy. They are manipulating Christianity, and millions of sincere believers, to build a frightening political mass movement with many similarities with other mass movements, from fascism to communism to the ethnic nationalists parties in the former Yugoslavia. It shares with these movements an inability to cope with ambiguity, doubt and uncertainty. It creates its own “truth.” It embraces a world of miracles and signs and removes followers from a rational, reality-based world. It condemns self-criticism and debate as apostasy. It places a premium on action and finds its final aesthetic in war and apocalyptic…


Here’s What Christian Dominionism Looks Like In Our Government

  By Brendan O’Conner Fusion.net (4/20/17) First thing in the morning on April 5, before a meeting chaired by Representative John Shimkus and another with the Solar Energy Industry Association, Energy Secretary Rick Perry headed to the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a copy of Perry’s schedule obtained by Fusion. There, Perry was scheduled to meet for an hour-long “Cabinet Member Bible Study.” The schedule does not list who attended that session, but Ralph Drollinger, a right-wing pastor with a long history of ties to Perry and other Trump Administration officials, claims on his web site to…


The Handmaid’s Tale TV Series Includes Scary Scene That Didn’t Appear In Margaret Atwood’s 1985 Novel

By Oriana Schwindt Vice News (4/13/17) Women, men, LGBTQ, black and white and shades of brown, a panoply of the marginalized, all march down the streets holding signs, chanting and shouting. They are met by helmeted police geared to face an army, bearing shields and guns made to take down tanks. It’s a scene that feels ever more familiar these days — until the police actually do fire on the crowd. Panicked protesters flee, sobbing, bleeding, dying. The scene is from Hulu’s original series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s best-selling 1985 novel of the same name, and though…


The Russia Monitor: Finding The Way Through The Forest, The Trees To Treason?

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/24/17) Dear Fellow Readers, With a free-ranging flurry of news items the past few days, it’s a good time to reconcile forest and trees. The first link I’ll use is Trump And Russia, The Never-Ending Story, from The Economist and the single best round-up I’ve seen to date even, though it’s a few weeks old. Whispers of treason is the forest; Sean Spicer and GOP distortions are the trees. Trump has spent his first 100 days with a daily run through the china shop smashing as much as possible to distract. Every day…


Worker Notes: The Mass Strike Is Calling Us

TheCommonerCall.org   By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (4/24/17) In the spirit of non-violent change, workers of all-colored-collars are remembering they have the power to make statements by denying their services for a day. May 1st has always been a day to remember the sacrifices of those who went before us to fight for better working conditions, pay, and benefits. Events are being planned to go beyond immediate worker issues to confront the anti-labor, anti-woman, anti-immigrant policies of the Trump/Pence regime. The labor movement in America has its dark and light sides, both of which will explored in the Commoner…


On The NYT Op-Ed Page Climate Denial, Racism & Pro-Torture Don’t Make You Cringe – But Single-Payer Does

TheCommonerCall.org By Adam Johnson Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (4/20/17) The New York Times is the most influential newspaper in the English-language world, not just because of its reach and leadership status within the industry, but because it defines the boundaries of acceptable debate. Being in the New York Times is a legitimizing event, one that cements ideas as not fringe, “other,” or in the realm of the dreaded, career-ending “conspiracy theory.” So it understandably upset many liberals when the Times decided to bestow upon hard-right Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens the ultimate stamp of Acceptable…


AUDIO: A Must-Listen Survivor’s Guide To Tyranny

  By Christopher Lydon Open Source/ WBUR (3/28/17) Yale historian Timothy Snyder has 20 pills he wants us to take, and keep taking, perhaps to save our country. The stark premise that he laid out for us a month ago is that the real project of Donald Trump and Company is “regime change.” When they mock the legal restraints of “so-called judges” and call journalism “the opposition,” we should understand that they’re test-marketing their contempt for the rule of law and the constitutional protection of critical freedom. So Tim Snyder has written out his pocket-size get-real manual, called: On Tyranny,…


Your Tax Money At Work: Site Logs How Much Are You Paying For Donny’s Weekends Playing Golf & Scarfing Up Chocolate Cake At Mar-a-Lago

Ka-CHING!! A new website – “Is Trump At Mar-a-Lago”– keeps overstretched taxpayers up-to-date on how much money they are forking over for Trump’s almost weekly runs to his super luxury Florida retreat. While regular Americans are working, taking on extra shifts or an extra job while often struggling to make the rent, trying to pay health insurance premiums for their kids or pinching pennies to pay for gas money to get to work, Melania is sunning herself by the pool while the “Bloviating Orange Child” is playing yet another round of golf (my God, does the man have nothing else…


The Russian Monitor: From Tame To … WOWSER!!

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/20/17) Dear Fellow Reader, There are two points I’d like to share. I’ll start with the tame; it’s simple and not so controversial. I’ll save the fireworks for the second point. We begin with Sunday in The New York Times, Mike Conaway Emerges From Relative Obscurity To Lead House Russia Inquiry David Nunes stepped down as co-chair of the House Intelligence investigation into election influence by Russia. You might remember Nunes running circles around Washington DC to receive and deliver and report on classified information that might benefit President Trump. His replacement is Mike…


The Deep State: Our System Of Persistent Mediocrity & Synthetic Bogeymen

“All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources, and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state is in a class by itself: sheer quantity can achieve a quality all its own. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it possesses menacing aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures — Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya; its manifest incapacity to anticipate, avert, or appropriately respond to the greatest financial crash since the Great Depression;…


Really Now, Who Among Us Has Not Misplaced An Aircraft Carrier?

By Charles Pierce Esquire (4/19/17) The newest scene in our national tragicomedy. OK, somebody needs to explain how these things happen. From the NYT: “The problem was, the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the four other warships in its strike force were at that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean, 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula. White House officials said on Tuesday they were relying on guidance from the Defense Department. Officials there described a glitch-ridden sequence of events, from a premature announcement of…


While The Poor Lose Basic Benefits Upper Middle Class Whites Benefit From ‘White Socialism’

  By Chris Ladd Forbes (3/13/17) Election 2016 has prompted a wave of head-scratching on the left. Counties Trump won by staggering margins will be among the hardest hit by the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Millions of white voters who supported Donald Trump stand to lose their access to health coverage because of their vote. Individual profiles of Trump voters feed this baffling narrative. A Washington Post story described the experience of Clyde Graham, a long-unemployed coal worker who depends on the ACA for access to health care. He voted for Trump knowing it might cost him his health…


EGG-zactly!

Donald Trump Hosts The Most Terrific White House Easter Egg Hunt Ever!   (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


The Russia Monitor: No I Didn’t … Um, Yes I Did!

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/17/17) Dear Fellow Readers, I want to start with two quotes from Paul Manafort. Now remember, Paul Manafort was Donald Trump’s campaign manger at the time the initial story of secret payments from the Ukrainian government to Manafort broke in August 2016. To be fair, the first quote is from Richard Hibey, Manafort’s lawyer, “(Mr. Manafort had not received) any such cash payments”. That quote comes from a New York Times article “Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief”, one of a series for which the New York Times…


Trumpster Brown Shirts Stirring: “You’ve been warned”

By calebfox The Daily Kos (4/14/17) So late this afternoon the phone rang at my office — the Hamilton County Democratic Party in Cincinnati OH.   The caller asks for me by name.  I’m the Executive Director so usually its me answering the phone. He quickly rattles his name off and says he represents the Citizens for Trump Foundation.  He tells me “we have been monitoring your social media accounts and you have been posting many things critical of Donald Trump.”     I say yea.  Do you have any idea who you just called? What I took from that call yesterday is…


New Book Makes The Case That FBI Obstructed Justice In Boston Bombing Investigation

By James Henery WhoWhatWhy (4/14/17) For almost four years, WhoWhatWhy has been a lone voice casting doubt on the FBI’s official narrative of the Boston marathon bombing. Now, investigative journalist and Boston-based ABC news producer Michele McPhee has raised many of the same questions we’ve been asking since two explosions and the subsequent manhunt traumatized New England’s largest metropolitan area. In her new book, Maximum Harm: The Tsarnaev Brothers, the FBI, and the Road to the Marathon Bombing, McPhee adds weight to WhoWhatWhy’s skepticism that the feds have fully disclosed  their dealings with the Tsarnaevs prior to the 2013 bombing….



‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ – Futuristic Dystopian Literature & Movies Provide The Story Line For The Present

  By Tom Ashbrook OnPoint (4/3/17) Dystopian fiction is having a heyday. We’ll look at the dystopian plots and perils that publishers love right now. Check out the new fiction coming from publishers these days and it may scare you to pieces. Not horror scare exactly, but dystopia. Dystopian fiction is all over the place now. Books of the future gone horribly wrong. A new civil war in America.  Crazy microbes on the loose. The planet a mess. Democracy done.  Insane inequality. Killer drones all over. Walls and fences and people fleeing Earth if they can. Great. This hour On…


Time To Chose, Guys: Are You A Trump Man Or A Decent Man?

By Laurie Penny The Guardian (4/10/17) If women can’t win, everyone loses. That, at least, is the conclusion of several new studies into how gender attitudes are changing. One team of academics from Wharton, looking into how men and women negotiate, observed that since Donald Trump’s election there had been a marked “increase in men acting more aggressively toward women”. In lab sessions, young men were more inclined than previously to fight young women for a small amount of money that had to be split between them – and the net result was that everyone went home poorer. This sounds…


The Russian Monitor: You Know You Are In Trouble When…

By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/13/17) Dear Fellow Readers, While Trump touts his armada heading to the Korean peninsula and Brian Williams reverentially described the majesty of cruise missiles the Russian collaboration story continues to bear fruit even if not from Page 1. You Know You Are In Trouble When Sean Spicer Starts to Downplay Your Role I do this in advance of highlighting a major development. Here’s a scorecard from the folks at Mother Jonesjust to remind us of some of the players and statements made to date. I do this in advance of highlighting a major development: Spicer…


Walker’s Plan To Cancel State DNR Magazine Enrages Citizens

  By Chris D’Angelo The Huffington Post (4/10/17) WASHINGTON — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) plans to do away with a nearly century-old, state-run nature magazine, sparking outrage among critics who see it as part of an ongoing anti-environment agenda. Walker’s 2017-2019 budget, which he unveiled in February, calls for suspending publication of Wisconsin Natural Resources next year. The magazine, a product of the state Department of Natural Resources, has kept Wisconsinites informed about hunting and fishing opportunities, species conservation, environmental issues and much more since 1919. The Walker administration argues it doesn’t fit the department’s core mission. “While the magazine has a…


Speaking Of War Criminals: While Syria May Well Have Used Poison Gas, Banned US Cluster Bombs Murder & Maim Children In Yemen

TheCommonerCall.org In Your Name And On Your Dime Brasscheck TV (4/11/17) Apparently, chaos in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria is not enough. The US is arming Saudi Arabia which is attacking civilian areas…with cluster bombs. A weapon so heinous it’s banned by 116 countries. Here are the countries that still use cluster bombs and will not sign the international treaty to ban them: North Korea Israel Russia Iran China Saudi Arabia The United States Why is our country on a list of scumbag governments like this? Link to 2+-Minute Video


Chris Hedges: Ripping The Lid Off Pandora’s Box Of War

“Where is the outrage about the deaths of the thousands of other children, including those we killed recently in Mosul when a March 17 coalition airstrike took the lives of as many as 200 civilians? …Why do we lament these deaths yet bar Syrian war refugees from entering the United States?” By Chris Hedges Truthdig (4/7/17) War opens a Pandora’s box of evils that once unleashed are beyond anyone’s control. The invasion of Afghanistan set out to defeat al-Qaida, and nearly 16 years later, we are embroiled in a losing fight with the Taliban. We believed we could invade Iraq…


The Russia Monitor: Don’t Be Distracted By Those Flashy Missiles. Time To Stay Focused On Trump’s Russia Tracks

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/10/17) Dear Fellow Readers, I think we can all agree this was an unusual week. In case you missed it, here’s a good summary by Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live: “I just had an amazing week, folks… Gorsuch was confirmed, the media is saying nice things, and no one is talking about Russia. Wow, what a difference those 50 Tomahawk missiles can make.” The video does not disappoint, link HERE. Notice Baldwin/Trump has nothing to say about the summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping – nothing of substance was…


Clueless: The Democratic Party Still Doesn’t Get It

  By Scott Galindez Reader Supported News (4/8/17) Before I get going, this is not a case for a third party. I still believe we have a system that is rigged for the two largest parties and other efforts are a waste of time and energy. I believe the route to power in America is through either the Democratic or the Republican party. That being said, I do understand the principled arguments for a third party. I understand my friends and political allies who believe the Democratic Party doesn’t represent their views. The Democratic Party often disappoints me as well….


This 1940 FDR Letter To Democratic Party Is Just As Relevant Today

  The Commoner Call (4/11/17) In the election of 1940 the corporate forces within the Democratic party objected to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s decision to pick his progressive Agriculture Secretary Henry Wallace as his vice presidential running mate. Then as now, the forces of high finance and big banking wanted to yank the party away from defending the commoners. Wall Street really didn’t want to see Wallace – the Bernie Sanders of his day – on the ticket. Then as now, top democratic party operatives were more interested in money, power and ego than the legitimate needs of the people….


RESIST! The White House Wouldn’t Post Trump Staffers’ Financial Disclosures. So ProPublica Did.

  By Ariana Tobin & Derek Kravitz at ProPublica Common Dreams (4/3/17) In a remarkable Friday night news dump, the Trump administration made dozens of White House staffers’ financial disclosure forms available. But they did it with an extra dose of opacity. These are important disclosures from the people who have the president’s ear and shape national policy. They lay out all sorts of details, including information on ownership of stocks, real estate and companies, and make possible conflicts of interest public. But the White House required a separate request for each staffer’s disclosure. And they didn’t give the names of…


Russia Monitor: The Trump Push Back Ramps Up

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/5/17) Dear Fellow Readers, The pushback has started in earnest. After a few miss-steps the Trump cabal is honing it’s message that Trump was surveilled. The target is Susan Rice, a familiar GOP target. Susan Rice, Ex-Obama Adviser, Is Back in Political Cross Hairs Over Surveillance. Push Back Playbook One thing about Dems – they are incapable of a unified message and in instances like these I am happy for that. Take a look at the names and the damning comments from the GOP leadership – Graham, Cotton, Rand Paul – shameful; shameful to them…


The Deep State And The Diversionary Puppet Show Of Our Political System

“Washington is the most important node of the Deep State, but it is not the only one. Invisible threads of money and ambition connect the town to other nodes. One is Wall Street, which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary puppet show. Should the politicians forget their lines and threaten the status quo, Wall Street floods the town with cash and lawyers to help the hired hands remember their own best interests. It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and…


Can Border Agents Search Your Electronic Devices? It’s Complicated

  By Esha Bandari & Nathan Freed Wessler ACLU (3/14/17) We’ve been getting a lot of questions about when border agents can legally conduct searches of travelers’ electronic devices at international airports and other ports of entry. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t simple. The government has long claimed that Fourth Amendment protections prohibiting warrantless searches don’t apply at the border. The ACLU takes issue with this position generally, especially when it comes to electronic devices like smartphones and laptops. Our smartphones store detailed accounts of our conversations, professional lives, whereabouts, and web-browsing habits. They paint a far more detailed picture of…


An Alternative Obituary For David Rockefeller

  By Erik Wallenberg The Jacobin (3/31/17) As a child growing up in a mansion on 54th Street in Manhattan, David Rockefeller remembered roller-skating with his siblings down Fifth Avenue trailed by a limousine in case they got tired. Rockefeller and his family, which included billionaires and politicians at all levels of government, spent a lifetime ensconced in this kind of luxury. At the time of his death on March 20, Forbes estimated that the 101-year-old Rockefeller’s investments in real estate, share of family trusts, and other holdings stood at $3.3 billion. The obituaries and tributes waxed nostalgic, giving us…


Ron Kind One Of Only 5 Dem Reps Supporting Killing Hibernating Bear Cubs & Wolf Pups In Their Dens On Federal Refuges In Alaska

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (4/3/17) Wisconsin progressives are use to nominally democratic Rep. Ron Kind aligning himself with the most venal and corrupt Wall Street interests. His participation in Wall Street funded groups like the Third Way puts him in the role of butler and pool boy to the powerful. Despite this, the congress critter manages to keep a wholesome, sunny reputation in Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District, with most voters having no idea Ron is aligned with corporate interests that would like to take a chainsaw to well earned benefits programs like Social Security and Medicare….


Russia Monitor: Time To Follow The Trail Of Dead Russians And One Bumbling Congress Critter

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/3/170 Dear Fellow Readers, We have reached a more mature point in the development of the Trump campaign collusion with Russia. There are a lot of pins on the evidence board but it would be nice to develop the broader framework and make sense out of the display. The best way to start might be based on the best quote from the last few days… “Follow The Trail of Dead Russians”: Clinton Watts, a national security expert testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee pointed out that several Russians linked to the investigation have died…


Holocaust Survivor Has Message For ICE Head: “History is not on your side!”

  Young Turks (3/29/17) “During an immigration forum in Sacramento, California Tuesday, a holocaust survivor had some strong words for Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan. According to CBS Sacramento, the man explained to Homan and Jones that as a boy in Poland he was “hauled off” for nothing more than simply being Jewish. “For no other reason, I was picked up and separated from my family, who was exterminated in Auschwitz,” he said. “And I am a survivor of Auschwitz and Dachau.” He said that he spent five years in concentration…


The New Revolutionaries Are Winning: The Real Radicals Are Not To Be Found Among The Leftists

“Ever since the first ziggurats rose in ancient Babylonia, the so-called forces of order, stability, and tradition have feared a revolt from below. Beginning with Edmund Burke and Joseph de Maistre after the French Revolution, a whole library of political literature, some classical liberal, some conservative, some reactionary, has emphasized this theme. The title  of Ortega y Gasset’s most famous work, The Revolt of the Masses, tells us something about its mental atmosphere, a Freudian fear of defilement by the great unwashed. “But in our globalized postmodern America, what if this whole vision of order, stability, and who threatens those…


16th Richest Family In America: The Family Making Billions From The Opioid Epidemic

  Brasscheck TV (4/1/17) Deaths by opioid overdose have surpassed AIDS deaths at the peak of that epidemic. There’s one family that’s made billions from this disaster. The US news media has done a good job of keeping their names out of the news. But Brasscheck is not a member of the mainstream news media. Meet the Sackler family… Richard Sackler, 71, moves among elite circles of scientists, researchers, and investors and rarely speaks at public events. Even photographs of him are difficult to find. The Sackler family, in general, has avoided public discussion of OxyContin or the drug’s role…