FEATURE

‘Let’s Expand Employee Ownership’ — Bernie Sanders Backs Plan To Give Workers Power Over Corporate Decisions

  “Employee-owned companies will not provide starvation wages to workers and huge compensation packages to CEOs. They will not allow for unsafe working conditions.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (5/28/19) Decrying an economic status quo that “produces huge CEO bonuses while millions are paid starvation wages,” Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday backed a pair of policies aimed at reducing soaring inequality by giving workers more power over corporate decision-making. According to the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein—who first reported on Sanders’s plans—the Vermont senator is developing a proposal that would force large companies to “regularly contribute a portion of their stocks to a fund controlled…

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SUCKERED! Study Proves Trump Tax Cuts Led To Virtually No Wage Growth & More Proof They Were ‘Designed To Put A Big Windfall In Oligarch Pockets’

“It’s done nothing to raise wages and flown right into corporate execs’ pockets.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (5/29/19) Despite lofty promises from President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that went into effect last year have done little—if anything—to raise workers’ wages, boost economic growth, or spur business investment. That’s according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), which appeared to vindicate warnings from progressive critics that the GOP tax cuts were little more than a scam designed to put more money in the pockets of wealthy Americans. In its 23-page report (pdf), the independent…


Why Did Deutsche Bank Keep Lending Billions To Donald Trump, Even After He Stiffed Them?

    Like Trump, Deutsche Bank has been scrutinized for its dealings in Russia. ProPublica / WNYC (5/22/19) Whispers of money laundering have swirled around Donald Trump’s businesses for years. One of his casinos, for example, was fined $10 million for not trying hard enough to prevent such machinations. Investors with shady financial histories sometimes popped up in his foreign ventures. And on Sunday, The New York Times reported that anti-money-laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank internally flagged multiple transactions by Trump companies as suspicious. (A spokesperson for the Trump Organization called the article “absolute nonsense.”) The remarkably troubled recent history of Deutsche Bank,…


Author Annie Jacobsen: Inside The CIA’s World Of Secret Wars In Our Name

No longer interested in peace. Preparing for the next war. [Editor’s Note: This is an essential interview for all American citizens to watch, to learn what is being done in our name and how the architecture for corporate forever wars is being welded into place. A sobering account of national insecurity. — Mark L. Taylor] Commonwealth Club (5/22/19) Annie Jacobsen is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and investigative journalist whose work revolves around government secrets. She has published books on a range of topics, including what really goes on inside Area 51; Operation Paperclip, which brought Nazi scientists to America; and…


Author Bhaskar Sunkara Answers The Question: Why Socialism?

Real News Network (5/17/19) Most people know capitalism is unjust. Jacobin founder Bhaskar Sunkara says he wrote The Socialist Manifesto to lay out an alternative. Link to 13-Minute Video ***** Part 2: What Would US Socialism Look Like?  Real News Network (5/17/19) Bhaskar Sunkara, founder of Jacobin and author of The Socialist Manifesto, explains what socialism could actually look like in the United States. Link to 16-Minute Video


The Republican Tax Lie: While Reaping $21 Billion Windfall From Trump Tax Cuts, AT&T Hiked Executive Pay While Slashing 23,000 Jobs

Members of the Communications Workers of America demonstrate outside of an AT&T building. (Photo: Communications Workers of America) By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (5/14/19) AT&T promised to create thousands of new jobs as President Donald Trump’s tax legislation moved through Congress in 2017—but the telecom giant has done precisely the opposite since the bill became law, while raking in over $20 billion in extra profits. That’s according to an analysis published Monday by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which found that AT&T has slashed 23,328 jobs since Congress passed Trump’s tax bill in 2017, including nearly 6,000 in the first quarter of 2019…


Southwest Wisconsin Towns Stripped Of Say-So In Installation Of Cell Phone Towers

Cell tower just off Hwy. 35 between Viroqua and Westby, in Vernon County. [Editor’s Note: The full story details the devastating impact cell towers have on the property values of adjacent land owners. — Mark L. Taylor] By Gillian Pomplin Crawford County Independent (5/10/19) SOUTHWEST WISCONSIN – Local residents in Vernon and Richland counties are asking some hard questions about the company Bug Tussel’s plans to install dozens of cell phone towers in the two counties in 2019. Residents in the Richland County, Town of Bloom, near West Lima, say that through Vernon Telephone Cooperative they already have great, affordable, internet…


Joe Biden Is A Retread Of Hillary Clinton Of 2020 – And It Won’t End Well This Time Either

His is the vaguest and most centrist of battle cries: let’s go back to, you know, “all those good things”.  By Arwa Mahdawi The Guardian (4/26/19) Joe Biden wants to make America straight again. “America’s coming back like we used to be,” the former vice-president told reporters in Delaware on Thursday, shortly after he released a video officially announcing his 2020 campaign. “Ethical, straight, telling the truth … All those good things.” It was unfortunate phrasing, but what else would you expect from a man whose foot always seems to be hovering somewhere near his mouth? Gaffes are part of Biden’s brand and,…


Outside The Law: American Election System In Hands Of Secretive Corporations

Weak state or federal guidance leaves many cybersecurity companies doing whatever they want. The Guardian (4/23/19) Maryland congressman Jamie Raskin is a newcomer to the cause of reforming America’s vote-counting machines, welcomed through baptism by fire. In 2015, Maryland’s main election system vendor was bought by a parent company with ties to a Russian oligarch. The state’s election officials did not know about the purchase until July 2018, when the FBI notified them of the potential conflict. The FBI investigated and did not find any evidence of tampering or sharing of voter data. But the incident was a giant red flag as to the…


Just Who Is Mayor Pete Buttigieg?

***** Neoliberal Buttigieg Is The Democrats’ Flavor Of The Month. Just Don’t Ask What He Stands For He’s a classic “empty suit”, a package without contents. He stands for nothing except his own advancement.  By Nathan Robinson The Guardian (4/16/19) For being the mayor of the fourth-largest city in Indiana, Pete Buttigieg has been shockingly successful in carving out a national political profile. Buttigieg has only just formally announced that he is running for president, but already he is placing near the top of some polls, and being given cover stories in national magazines, touted as a “wonder boy” and the “Democrats’ heartland hope”….


Thank The GOP Tax Scam For This: Amazon — And 56 Other Corporations On The Dole — Swiped Your Tax Dollars

They claim to hate socialism if it means Medicare for All, but they sure as hell love socialism when it’s welfare for them. By Leo Gerard Common Dreams (4/19/19) Yeah, yeah, yeah, Bernie Sanders, castigator of the one percent, is a millionaire now. So are Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. Big whoop. There’s a crucial difference between these candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination and the super wealthy – particularly 60 gigantic, massively profitable U.S. corporations. The candidates faithfully pay federal taxes. The corporations don’t. That’s right. Sixty profitable corporations paid no federal taxes in 2018, twice the number that typically paid…


Inciting Hatred Is Trump’s 2020 Game Plan

  By John Nichols The Nation (4/19/19) Donald Trump is not an electoral mastermind. He is something far more dangerous: a persistent political grifter who is desperately, shamelessly determined to maintain his grip on the presidency that he assumed after losing the 2016 popular vote by almost 3 million ballots. Trump’s desperation will intensify as the 2020 election approaches. He will turn with increasing frequency to the playbook of racism and xenophobia that he has employed from the moment four years ago when he crept from reality TV onto the Republican debate stage. Trump confirmed his intentions in mid-April, when he began…


War Dept. Spending Set To Hit Near-Record Levels, While ‘Establishment Says We Can’t Afford’ Programs To Help Citizens

“Very few in Congress are questioning how the U.S. can afford to spend $7.5 trillion on the military.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (4/19/19) Pentagon spending is on track to grow significantly for the fifth consecutive year, but “very few in Congress are questioning” how the U.S. can afford it. That’s according to the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein and Aaron Gregg, who reported Thursday that “the United States is expected to spend more on its military in 2020 than at any point since World War II, except for a handful of years at the height of the Iraq War.” In his 2020 budget…


Alarm Grows As Study Shows How Microplastics Are Blown To Even The Most Remote Areas Of The Globe

  By Damian Carrington The Guardian (4/15/19) Microplastic is raining down on even remote mountaintops, a new study has revealed, with winds having the capacity to carry the pollution “anywhere and everywhere”. The scientists were astounded by the quantities of microplastic falling from the sky in a supposedly pristine place such as the French stretch of the Pyrenees mountains. Researchers are now finding microplastics everywhere they look; in rivers, the deepest oceans and soils around the world. Other recent studies have found microplastics in farmland soils near Shanghai, China, in the Galápagos Islands, a Unesco world heritage site, and in rivers in the Czech Republic. Humans and other…


History They Really Don’t Want You To Know: Gore Vidal Gives A Powerful Run-Down On The Origin Of The National Security State

  The United States of Amnesia. Gore Vidal speaks to the National Press Club on March 18, 1998 on the evolution of the brutal American National Security State. It is significant that Wikileaks Julian Assange was clutching a copy of “History Of The National Security State”, a collection of interviews with journalist Paul Jay of the Real News network, as he was roughly hauled out of the Ecudoran embassy in London by a squad of police. He was as insightful — humorous — and as he was prescient. Link to 47-Minute Video


As Sanders Campaign Gains Steam, Corporate Democrats Reportedly ‘Growing Increasingly Nervous’

“Being loathed and feared by the rich is a big reason why Bernie is so appealing, and Democrats who don’t understand this by now will never get it.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (4/16/19) Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign is rapidly gaining momentum early in the primary fight, and corporate Democrats are reportedly starting to get nervous. The New York Times reported Tuesday that political operative David Brock has discussed launching “an anti-Sanders campaign” with other Democratic strategists and “believes it should commence ‘sooner rather than later.’” “[T]he Bernie question comes up in every fundraising meeting I do,” Brock said. In a fundraising letter…


How Wide Is Bernie Sanders’ Appeal? This Cheering Fox News Audience Provides A Clue

Bernie drew cheers from the audience when he spoke about healthcare, revealing just how popular his policies are. By Bhaskar Sunkara The Guardian (4/16/19) Bernie Sanders was supposed to be deep behind enemy lines on Monday night. He was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for a live town hall, hosted by Fox News, a network “not everyone thought [he] should come on”. It was a resounding success, and a reminder that Bernie, not Trump, can actually rally together a majority of Americans. The Fox News moderators Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum didn’t figure that out at first. Early on Baier asked those in…


The Story Of Jesus & The Roman Empire Shows What Happens When Dissidents Become Enemies Of The State

For those who truly study the life and teachings of Jesus, the resounding theme is one of outright resistance to war, materialism and empire. By John Rutherford The Rutherford Center (4/16/19) “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell When exposing a crime is treated as committing a crime, you are being ruled by criminals. In the current governmental climate, where laws that run counter to the dictates of the Constitution are made in secret, passed without debate, and upheld by secret courts that operate behind closed doors, obeying one’s conscience and…


William Barr’s Been Accused Of A Presidential Cover-up Before

“If you want a presidential cover-up, Barr is your guy.” By Greg Walters Vice News (4/17/19) WASHINGTON — Weeks before former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger’s criminal trial over his role in the 1980’s Iran-Contra scandal, then-Attorney General William Barr dropped a bomb on the prosecution. “People in the Iran-Contra affair have been treated very unfairly,” Barr told USA Today in December 1992, blasting the charges as illegitimate. “People in this Iran-Contra matter have been prosecuted for the kind of conduct that would not have been considered criminal or prosecutable by the Justice Department.” Weinberger faced charges of lying to Congress,…


Change The Narrative: How A Swiss Group Is Marginalizing Hateful Rightwing Populists

“The [far right] populists don’t know what’s hit them, and they really don’t know how to deal with it.” By Jon Henley The Guardian (4/7/19) How do you beat rightwing populists? With pink socks, viral videos, condoms – and an iron determination not to let them decide what matters. That’s how Operation Libero are doing it anyway. As advancing nationalist parties prepare to meet in Milan on Monday to forge an alliance in the run-up to May’s European elections, anti-populist activists in Switzerland may have some lessons on halting – even reversing – the seemingly unstoppable rise of rightwing populists. “It’s about…


Wall Street LOVES Socialism … For Bankers – But Not For Ordinary Americans

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon decries socialism. Unless of course it’s the banks wanting government bailouts! By Robert Reich The Guardian (4/8/19) In his annual letter to shareholders, distributed last week, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon took aim at socialism, warning it would be “a disaster for our country,” because it produces “stagnation, corruption and often worse.” Dimon should know. He was at the helm when JPMorgan received a $25bn socialist-like bailout in 2008, after it and other Wall Street banks almost tanked because of their reckless loans. Dimon subsequently agreed to pay the government $13bn to settle charges that the bank overstated the quality of mortgages…


Free To Kill: Libertarian Dogma Boeing Exploited Has Killed Hundreds & Torched Company’s Reputation

Boeing is one of the US’s top 10 corporate lobbyists, contributing to Democrats and Republicans alike. By Will Hutton The Guardian (4/7/19) America First nationalism, indulgent free market economics, Republican libertarianism and a political system in hock to corporate lobbying has just contributed to killing 356 innocent people. The more we know about the crashes of Boeing 737 Max 8 planes in Indonesia and Ethiopia – after anti-stalling devices locked both aircraft into unrecoverable nose-dives – the more shocking the story becomes. The Federal Aviation Authority has an enviable technical reputation, but over the past decade it has suffered from successive budget cuts and…


Wellstone Legacy ‘goes dormant’ After Family Ousted In Democratic Feud

“I think they’ve forgotten that Paul Wellstone worked hard for downtrodden folks everywhere.” By David Siders Politico (5/13/18) In the Democratic Party’s reckoning following the election of Donald Trump, an unlikely feud has erupted inside an organization at the heart of the progressive movement. Earlier this year, the board of directors of Wellstone Action — an influential training group formed after Paul Wellstone’s death — dumbfounded Minnesota Democrats when it voted the late senator’s sons off the governing board. The ouster came after the sons, Mark and David Wellstone, raised concerns about overspending in areas of the organization’s budget — and…


CHRONIC INFECTION! New DCCC Chair Rep. Cheri Bustos Is The Best Pal Of Insurance Big Money

How health insurance cash creates misinformation on Medicare For All. [Editor’ Note: For godsake, don’t waste a tarnished penny on the DCCC. Find and support positive progressive candidates and groups, especially those taking on infected corporate dems like Rep. Cheri Bustos or, closer to home, Rep. Ron Kind, and, of course anyone running against republicans. — Mark L. Taylor] By Wendell Potter Tarbell (3/15/19) Here’s a headline you can bet my former colleagues in the health insurance business were thrilled to see last week: “DCCC chief: Medicare for All price tag ‘a little scary.’” That headline topped the lead story…


Economic Update — Failing Capitalism’s Rescue By Fascism, Brutish Nationalism & Corporate Welfare

Fascism is used by the wealthy to save the corrupt & broken system that made them wealthy and to get rid of the critics. [Editor’s Note: Professor Wolff puts the chaos of  the Trump administration in context, revealing the metastasizing fascist order and strategy at work in the nation. – Mark L. Taylor] Economic Update / Democracy at Work (3/25/19) On this week’s show Prof. Wolff presents an in-depth analysis of fascism as massive government intervention to protect and save a crashing capitalism. We focus on today’s examples, historical parallels (in Germany and Italy), and how “strong men” leaders push…


We Have Spent $32 Million Per Hour On War Since 2001

The U.S. military is escalating a shadowy network of “anti-terror” operations all across the world — in at least 76 nations, or 40 percent of countries on the planet. The Mind Unleashed (3/25/19) This March marked the 16th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. In 2003, President George W. Bush and his advisers based their case for war on the idea that Saddam Hussein, then dictator of Iraq, possessed weapons of mass destruction — weapons that have never been found. Nevertheless, all these years later, Bush’s “Global War on Terror” continues — in Iraq and in many other countries. It’s a good…


Has “Cover-Up General” William Barr Struck Again?

History shows that when a Republican president is in serious legal trouble, Bill Barr is the go-to guy. By Thom Hartmann National Memo / Independent Media Institute (3/25/19) Back in 1992, the last time Bill Barr was U.S. attorney general, iconic New York Timeswriter William Safire referred to him as “Coverup-General Barr” because of his role in burying evidence of then-President George H.W. Bush’s involvement in “Iraqgate” and “Iron-Contra.” General Barr has struck again—this time, in similar fashion, burying Mueller’s report and cherry-picking fragments of sentences from it to justify Trump’s behavior. In his letter, he notes that Robert Mueller “leaves it to the…



Long Before Bernie & AOC, Eugene V. Debs Was The Face Of American Socialism

  By Paul Buhle & Mari Jo Buhle The Guardian (3/2/19) Socialism is in vogue in America. Radical left politics, embodied by the likes of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is gaining traction among millennials who came of age during the Great Recession. And conservatives, in turn, have reverted to using decades-old Red Scare tactics in response. With the hype around a resurgent American left, it might feel like socialism is a newcomer to political discourse in the United States. But only if you don’t know your US history. Long before Bernie Sanders came along, there was Eugene Debs. It is impossible to understand the…



Socialism In America? Let’s Cut To The Chase

“This country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.” – The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.” – Noam Chomsky By Mark Ash Reader Supported News (3/10/19) “This country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.” – The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.” – Noam Chomsky You are going…


Joe Rogan Interview With Rep. Tulsi Gabbard On War, Power & The Future Of The Nation

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (3/11/19) Here is a great Joe Rogan interview with democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard. The opening conversation on the never-ending war state is very thoughtful. Gabbard did two tours of duty in Iraq and has seen up close the human cost of our immoral bipartisan-supported wars for both our troops and the innocents we choose to maim, kill and torture. Her insights on the stain of bipartisan self-indulgent corruption and cynicism in congress is straight up and no-holds barred. No wonder she is sidelined by Republicans and corporate dems alike. We need to…


The Big Obstacle For Bernie Isn’t DNC “Rigging” – It’s Media Trashing

  [Editor’s Note: Norman Soloman may be a tad optimistic about the dem party and Bernie, but he is spot on regarding the media. A CNN panel this past weekend was blatantly biased against Sanders. –Mark L.Taylor] By Norman Solomon Reader Supported News (3/4/19) Some people are attached to the idea that the Democratic National Committee will “rig” the presidential nomination against Bernie Sanders. The meme encourages the belief that the Bernie 2020 campaign is futile because of powerful corporate Democrats. But such fatalism should be discarded. As Frederick Douglass said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and…


Make No Mistake, Corporate ‘Third Way’ Dems Like Rep. Ron Kind Could Get Trump Re-elected in 2020

The New ‘Democracy’ PAC and other dem corporate-backed groups want us to learn all the wrong lessons from 2016. By Joel Bleifuss In These Times (2/25/19) In 1992, Bill Clinton was elected president with the help of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), the powerhouse of centrist Democrats of which he had been president. The DLC shut down in 2011, but this creature of the Third Way did not slither into the sunset. Rather, it shed its skin and emerged in 2017 as New Democracy,a political action committee. New Democracy is coiled to strike in 2020. Its advisory board includes declared presidential candidate…


Eyewitness To A War Criminal: The Torturous Career Of Trump’s Man In Venezuela Elliot Abrams

    The face of American policy in Latin America. By Dennis J Bernstein Reader Supported News (3/3/19) Through the 1980s, I wrote extensively about the impact of US policies in Central America, particularly in El Salvador and Guatemala, which included the training and funding of brutal dictators, corrupt politicians, and paramilitary death squads — iron-fisted rulers who ravaged and tortured their people, and murdered tens of thousands of those who tried to resist — teachers, farmers, campesinos union people, priests and nuns and church workers, and generally speaking the very poorest of the poor. In El Salvador, US-supported neo-Nazis…


A Dark Humored Word (Or Two) — Our Nation Brought To You By Billionaires

    “The revolution will not be sponsored.” By Anand Giridharadas (12/17/18) Gratitude is my task tonight. I’m here to thank our sponsors. Not of this show. I’m here to thank America’s sponsors. Because what was supposed to be a republic by, for, and of the people is increasingly a nation brought to you by billionaires. And when billionaires are in charge of our schools, our politics, our arts, our news, and our public conversation, it’s important to keep them happy by thanking them for ruling us. Link to 7-Minute Video ***** Anand Giridharadas — A letter To All Who Have Lost…


So How’s Your Tax Refund, Trumpsters? Thanks To GOP Tax Scam, Big Banks Pocketed An Extra $28 Billion Of Our Money Last Year

Sucker By Jon Queally Common Dreams (2/21/19) While headlines continue to proliferate about average Americans discovering they will not receive the tax return they were expecting—and in many cases, depending on—new federal date released Thursday showed that major U.S. banks earned an extra $28 billion in profits last year thanks to the tax scam bill passed by the Republican Party and signed by President Donald Trump at the end of 2017. As was said by critics of the new tax law at the time, the rich and corporations were given an “early Christmas gift” when the bill was signed, but according to new…


‘Terrifying’: Rapid Loss Of Biodiversity Placing Global Food Supplies At Risk Of ‘Irreversible Collapse’

“This should be at the top of every news bulletin and every government’s agenda around the world.” By Julia Conley Common Dreams (2/22/19) A groundbreaking report by the United Nations highlighting the rapid, widespread loss of many of the world’s plant and animal species should be on the front page of every newspaper in the world, argued climate action and food access advocates on Friday. The global grassroots organization Slow Food was among the groups that called for far greater attention by world leaders to the “debilitating” loss of biodiversity and the disastrous effects the decline is having on food…


The Real Threat To The Green New Deal—And The Planet—Comes From Corporate-Owned Neoliberal Democrats

A party that responds to a challenge of this magnitude with stratagems, political calculations, cynicism, and half measures will not inspire voters; one that leads us toward a literal salvation, will. By John Atcheson Common Dreams (2/16/19) Predictably, Trump came out against the Green New Deal with a bombastic – and ill-informed – rant in a campaign style rally in El Paso. Here’s what he had to say: “I really don’t like their policy of taking away your car, of taking away your airplane rights, of ‘let’s hop a train to California,’ of you’re not allowed to own cows anymore!” Meanwhile,…


Trump & Republicans Provide Comfy Socialism For The Rich & Brutish Capitalism For The Rest Of Us

    By Robert Reich RoberReich.com (2/11/19) “America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone else is treated to harsh capitalism. In the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty much describes the $21bn saved by the nation’s largest banks last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives. On the other hand, more than 4,000 lower-level bank employees got a…