FEATURE

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…

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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…


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…


The End Of Ice: Journalist Dahr Jamail On The Climate Disruption Crisis From The Melting Himalayas To Insect Extinction

“The future that we’ve all thought was going to be so much further down the line, or 2100, and catastrophic, it’s already happening now.” Democracy Now! (2/12/19) A new report finds at least a third of the Himalayan ice cap will melt by the end of the century due to climate change, even if the world’s most ambitious environmental reforms are implemented. The report, released by the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment earlier this month, is the culmination of half a decade’s work by over 200 scientists, with an Things are happening. They’re accelerating. And it’s very, very clear where we…


Cry Me A River: While The Top 1% Cash In, Trump Voters Lose It Over Dramatic Hike In Taxes

“People are going to be very, very happy. They’re going to get tremendous, tremendous tax cuts and tax relief and that’s what this country needs.” — Donald Trump (12/2/17) The Young Turks (2/5/19) “Multiple supporters of President Donald Trump over the past couple of weeks have taken to Twitter to air their grievances about the president’s signature tax cut plan. Even though the 2017 GOP tax cut is leading to spiking federal deficits thanks to its generous benefits to corporations, many middle-class Americans are winding up having to pay more because the bill eliminated multiple deductions used by middle-class families…


Time For Bravery: Dear Democrats, On Health Care & Climate Change Stop Substituting The So-Called “Possible” For What’s Morally Necessary

    By John Atcheson Common Dreams (2/3/19) In a recent column in the New York Times, David Leonhardt cites a Kaiser survey on Medicare for all, and concludes that supporting it would be an “unforced error” for Democrats. Sherrod Brown, a genuine progressive, made the same observation. Richard Eskow, writing in Common Dreams last week shows why Kaisers’ survey is flawed. But there is a bigger flaw embedded in Leonhardt’s and Brown’s assumption—specifically, the entire notion that Democrats should only run on things that poll well. This perspective is shared by the party’s leadership, by most of the media, and virtually all of the political consultants and contributors….


Not ‘Left-Wing Fantasy’ But ‘Mainstream & Really Popular’: Poll Shows Enormous Public Support For Higher Taxes On Rich

Billionaire breakdown ***** “Raising taxes on the wealthy isn’t just good policy. It’s also good politics.” By Jake Jonson Common Dreams (2/4/19) Likely 2020 contenders and progressive members of Congress have proposed a variety of plans in recent days to make the rich pay more in taxes and begin reversing soaring inequality—from a wealth tax to a 70 percent top marginal rate to a higher estate taxon the richest families—and a survey published on Monday found that such ideas are extremely popular among the American public. According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, 76 percent of registered voters believe that the wealthiest Americans should pay more…


Edward Bernays, Corporate Propaganda & Engineering Consent For Empire With Mark Crispin Miller

The most influential man of the 20th and 21st centuries… ***** [Editor’s Note: While few know his name, Edward Benays was nephew of Sigmund Freud and can arguably be tagged as the most influential person of the 2oth — and on into the 21st — century. His work on how to form, shape and direct public opinion through subtle framing of wants, desires, hates and loves created the field of corporate public relations and government propaganda. If you want to get a deep understanding of it do a YouTube search of the four-part BBC series “Century of the Self”. —…


Wall Street Executives Make Their 2020 Preferences Known: “It Can’t Be Warren And It Can’t Be Sanders”

“Wall Street likes Biden, Booker, Harris, Gillibrand, and Beto. Guess who they hate? Sanders and Warren. All the rest is commentary.” By Jake Johnson Common Deams (1/28/19) The first 2020 Democratic presidential primary is still over a year away, but Wall Street executives are reportedly already freaking out about two likely progressive candidates: Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). “It can’t be Warren and it can’t be Sanders,” the CEO of a “giant bank” anonymously told Politico, which reported on Monday that Wall Street executives are “getting panicked” about the presidential prospects of the Senate’s two fiercest financial sector critics. Warren launched an exploratory committee…


It’s Really Quite Simple: Two Questions To Quickly Sift The Growing Gaggle Of Dem Presidential Candidates

By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (1/24/19) The large and growing field of Democratic candidates for President offer a wide range of personal histories, beliefs, and issues to run on. This is good for the country. There seems to me to be a very simple way to narrow the field quickly. My two simple, straightforward questions to each and every one: Do you support single payer health care for all instead of any plan based on insurance, and do you see that the enormity of the climate crisis requires a massive federal response? All other issues are really quite dependent on these…


The Climate Crisis: We Already Have What We Need To Begin The Transition To Sustainability Now

  We need to grow inward and find value in what we have been ignoring. By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (1/21/19) Combating climate change will definitely mean changing some of our regular activities. We need to start making different choices. Our society has been based on carving up a new frontier, draining the resources and moving on to virgin territory. That era of outward growth is over. We need to grow inward and find value in what we have been ignoring. A new sustainable society needs to be fashioned from where we are and what we have been wasting….


These 2020 Dem Hopefuls Are Begging On Wall Street. Don’t Be Fooled By Their Fake Progressive Veneer

The American ruling class has a nice hustle going with elections.  By Bhaskar Sunkara The Guardian (1/15/19) It’s a framing that’s been everywhere over the past two years: the Resistance v Donald Trump. By some definitions that “resistance” even includes people like Mitt Romney and George W Bush. By almost all definitions it encompasses mainstream Democrats, such as the likely presidential hopefuls Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Kirsten Gillibrand. In their rhetoric and policy advocacy, this trio has been steadily moving to the left to keep pace with a leftward-moving Democratic party. Booker, Harris and Gillibrand know that voters demand action and are more supportive than ever of…


Investigative Reporter James Risen Describes His Long Fight To Report On Government Secrets At The New York Times

Cheney/Bush & Obama officials and New York Times editors conspired to suppress the information that was eventually released by Edward Snowden a decade later. By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted (1/5/19) Investigative journalist James Risen fought hard to get classified information published at The New York Times, where editors were quite willing to cooperate with the government. In this video, Intercepted host Jeremy Scahill speaks to Risen about his yearslong battle with the Department of Justice — spanning both the Bush and the Obama administrations — as well as his struggles with his own editors at the New York Times. Link to…


What We Need To Learn From The Fall Of The Roman Republic

“There’s a complacency that comes about from living in an old republic because it’s hard to imagine what seems impossible.” On Point / WPR (1/11/19) The fall of the Roman empire has fascinated history buffs and close students of power for centuries. The Fall of the Roman republic, however, may cast more light on our age. To walk around the federal part of Washington, D.C., is to attain constant glimpses of ancient Rome. The physical seat of all three branches of government — the White House, the Supreme Court building, the U.S. Capitol — and the National Archives all draw inspiration…


Christian Bale Credits Satan For Inspiration On How Best To Play Dick Cheney In ‘Vice’

By Ethan Sacks NBC News (1/7/19) It’s a good thing for Christian Bale that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association was voting, and not Republicans. The Welsh-born thespian won the Golden Globe for best actor in a motion picture – musical or comedy for his portrayal of former Vice President Dick Cheney in “Vice” and in accepting the award, he made clear where he stands on the real-life subject. “Thank you to Satan for giving me inspiration on how to play this role,” said Bale, 44. … Read the Rest and 1-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open…


Veteran NBC Reporter Rips Pro-War Posture Of Corporate Media In Scathing Resignation Letter

  By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (1/3/19) In a biting resignation letter published in full by CNN on Wednesday, longtime NBC News reporter, commentator, and military analyst William “Bill” Arkin blasted the corporate media network for embracing U.S. “national security leaders and generals” while “ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one county in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous.” Reflecting on his past couple of decades working with the network—in addition to writing books and columns for major newspapers and serving as as military adviser to…


Perversion Of Justice: The Shocking Story Of Trump’s Sec. Of Labor’s History Of Shielding A Serial Pedophile & Sexual Abuser

  [Editor’s Note: It is also important to remember millionaire Jeffrey Epstein counted both Bill Clinton and Donald Trump as his pals. — Mark L. Taylor] Democracy Now! (1/4/119) We look at the unbelievable story of multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who for years orchestrated a sex trafficking network of hundreds of underage girls and is accused of regularly molesting children as young as 13 at his Florida mansion. But the serial sex offender received a shockingly lenient sentence for his crimes: 13 months in county jail, with many of his days spent at his Palm Beach office with regular visitors. This was…


Democratic Establishment & Corporations Look To Crush Progressive Push On Medicare For All

Progressives say they’re more concerned about courting voters than winning over big business. By Adan Cancryn Politico (12/10/18) The united front that helped Democrats save Obamacare just a year ago is falling apart over single-payer health care. Deep-pocketed hospital, insurance and other lobbies are plotting to crush progressives’ hopes of expanding the government’s role in health care once they take control of the House. The private-sector interests, backed in some cases by key Obama administration and Hillary Clinton campaign alumni, are now focused on beating back another prospective health care overhaul, including plans that would allow people under 65 to…


Trapping Students & Society In A System Of Debt & The Corporate ‘Discipline Culture’

“Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, the can’t afford time to think. Tuition fee increases are a ‘disciplinary technique,’ and, by the time students graduate, they are not only loaded with debt, but have also internalized the “discipline culture. This makes them efficient components of the consumer economy.” — Quote from a 2011 news report in the Ottawa Citizen, which paraphrased statements Chomsky made during a lecture at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. ***** The Crushing Burden Of Long-Term Student Debt…


“The War At Home”: 1979 Film On Anti-Vietnam War Protests In Madison, WI Hits Theaters With Timely Relevance

“This is Hometown. America in revolt … not to be missed.” — Variety Democracy Now! (12/28/18) The War at Home, a landmark documentary about antiwar protests in the 1960s and ’70s in Madison, Wisconsin, has just been re-released nationwide. In an extended interview, we revisit the film with co-director Glenn Silber, two-time Academy Award nominee, and discuss why he argues now is an important time to revisit the responsibility to stand up and say no to war. “I think the Dow demonstration, at least in Madison, and probably elsewhere, is one of the most important demonstrations ever, because what was it?…