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…


Sportsmen & Environmentalists Send A Strong Message To State GOP: ‘Business as usual is not working!’

Great news from last night’s [4/10] Wisconsin Conservation Congress. We want to thank everyone for their incredible efforts to draft these resolutions, cast them almost  a year ago on the county level, getting them passed, going to statewide meetings to get them on State ballot, turning folks out and getting them passed overwhelmingly by counties. Here are some of the results. 1) The rail safety measure passed with the fifth highest vote total across the State, who was number one and two? 2) The two measures regarding the oversight of high capacity wells; informing residents of any new high capacity…


Shell, Dow Hid Cancer-Causing Chemical In Pesticides, Contaminating Drinking Water For Millions

TheCommonerCall.org By Environmental Working Group (4/11/17) For decades, Shell and Dow hid a highly potent cancer-causing chemical in two widely used pesticides, contaminating drinking water for millions of people in California and beyond, according to lawsuits detailed in a new report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The chemical 1,2,3-trichloropropane or TCP, was formerly an unwanted and ineffective byproduct in Dow’s Telone and Shell’s D-D pesticides. Internal documents uncovered in lawsuits filed by communities in California’s San Joaquin Valley show that the companies saved millions of dollars a year by not properly disposing of TCP, a chemical a Dow scientist…


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


Who Knew? A Weak & Paranoid President Rapidly Results In A Weak & Paranoid Govt.

    By Richard Wolffe The Guardian (4/6/17) In Donald Trump’s Washington, the first casualty is truth. His dishonesty seeps across the city until it poisons what’s left of anyone’s reputation. Congressional leaders, administration officials, ethics lawyers, America’s moral leadership: it has taken less than three months to undermine them all. Take the case of the hapless Andrew Bowen, a grasping Republican foreign policy blowhard who should be entering a bumper job market. Bowen has a couple of thinktank gigs and a column at the august Arab News, where he committed the cardinal sin of praising Hillary Clinton. There he…


Thursday / April 13, 2017

A politician is a hog grateful to whoever is rattling the stick inside the swill bucket. It is time to take the swill bucket away.”  ―Mike Lofgren, The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government, 2016. (p.270)  


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…


Observers Warn That Syria Attack Is Trump’s “Wag The Dog” Moment

  By Lauren McCauley Common Dreams (4/7/17) With tanking approval ratings, a failed attempt at producing healthcare legislation, and a swirling investigation into possible collusion with Russia, President Donald Trump’s first hundred days were looking pretty bleak. It was against this backdrop that the president late Thursday took unilateral and illegal military action against the Syrian government in alleged retaliation for Tuesday’s chemical weapons attack against Syrian civilians, though no proof was presented to confirm reports that President Bashar al-Assad had ordered the deadly strike. Now, as many foreign governments, U.S. lawmakers, and the corporate media are lining up in…


Trump Owns Stock In The Company That Makes The Tomahawk Missiles He Launched At Syria

  By Bill Palmer The Palmer Report (4/6/17) Donald Trump’s financial entanglements have been the focus of consistent controversy since he took office. He claimed he was putting his assets in a “blind trust” which was later revealed not to be one (source: Chicago Tribune). He’s also been accused of using his office to enrich his hotels. But we’ve now reached the phase where Trump has ordered military action which has given direct financial benefit to a company that he owns stock in. It appears the Tomahawks were not the ideal choice of weaponry for the Syria attack. Last night…


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…


Citizens Mobilize After “Massive” Manure Spill At Emerald Sky Dairy

  Emerald Clean Water For All (4/8/17) Clean up from a “massive” manure spill is still going on one week after an anonymous tip led County and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff to Emerald Sky Dairy in Emerald, WI. [Emerald City is a commuter bedroom community of the Twin Cities. – Commoner Call Ed.] The tip indicated there had been a spill of “tens of thousands of gallons of manure water” that had not been reported to DNR officials as required by the dairy’s permits with State and local entities.  No time line was given as to when…


Starve The Public & Fatten Corporate For-Profits: The Schools Betsy DeVos Wants To Choose For Parents

Corporations and religious groups are are lining up to cash in on public schools for private profit and to promote ideological and religious agendas at taxpayer expense. Children with learning, developmental challenges or behavioral problems need not apply. They will be left in the public school systems.   By Jeff Bryant Common Dreams (4/6/17) U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos finally found a public school she could visit where there wouldn’t be protests. It’s on a military base, safely inside the compound of Ft. Bragg in North Carolina. As a local news outlet reports, DeVos used her appearance at Kimberly…


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….


New School Principal Resigns After Student Journalists Investigate Her Credentials

TheCommonerCall.org   By Nina Goigowski The Huffington Post (4/5/17) An intrepid team of high school journalism students in Kansas is receiving nationwide recognition after an investigative piece questioning their incoming principal’s qualifications led to her abrupt resignation this week. Amy Robertson, who had been hired in March and planned to undertake the leading role at Pittsburg High School in July, resigned from the top position on Tuesday, the school district announced. The news came four days after the school’s student-run paper, the Booster Redux, ran a front-page story that questioned Robertson’s background. The report said the students typically file a story…


It’s Baldwin To Baldwin As ‘O’Reilly’ & ‘Trump’ Do A Little Boy Talk About Sexual Harassment ‘On ‘SNL’

Baldwin x 2 on Saturday Night Live.   By Mary Papenfuss The Huffington Post (4/9/17) Alec Baldwin faced himself on “Saturday Night Live,” but it wasn’t so very hard to do because he was playing two brothers from another mother: Bill O’Reilly and Donald Trump. When those guys get together, can the topic of sex harassment be very far away? Baldwin’s O’Reilly discovers during the skit that one of his reporters isn’t on the scene — and no longer works for Fox News — prompting O’Reilly to ask: “Did she get the check?” … Read the Rest and 5+-minute Video…


Despite The PR, Ivanka Is No Conscience Of Trumpland. Her Hands Are Stained As Well

TheCommonerCall.org By Jill Abramson The Guardian (4/6/17) You can’t have it both ways, Ivanka, especially now that you have new, embossed White House stationery with an official title, assistant to the president. Drop the wink, wink, nod, nod pretence that you and Jared Kushner are “moderating influences” – where is the moderation? Kushner, who holds the same nebulous but all powerful White House job, has huge influence derived from having married a Trump. Like him, your loyalty is unquestioned. Everyone knows you are your father’s most intimate adviser, in business and, no doubt, politics, too. The two of you bring…


Monday / April 10, 2017

“The best propaganda is that which, as it were, works invisibly, penetrates the whole of life without the public having any knowledge of the propagandistic initiative.” – Joseph Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany.


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…


Media Failure: Tepid Self-Censored Questions By Career Questioners

By Ralph Nader The Nader Page (4/3/17) I’ve always been intrigued by the major questions not asked by reporters at press conferences, not asked by legislators at public hearings or even the questions citizens at town meetings don’t ask public officials. It’s not that they do not know about or could not easily become informed enough about a given issue and ask substantive questions. It’s just that so many taboos are packed into these questioners’ ideological mindset, career goals or concern with what other people over them might think. Maybe it is a culturally-rooted fear of challenging entrenched power brokers….


Donald Trump Kicks Off Sexual Assault Awareness Month By Defending Bill O’Reilly

  By Paige Lavender The Huffington Post (4/5/17) President Donald Trump said he doesn’t think Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who has been accused of sexual harassment by several women, did anything wrong. In an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, Trump defended O’Reilly after the Times reported that O’Reilly or Fox News paid five women a total of about $13 million to settle claims of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior over the years. “I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” Trump said on Wednesday. “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally, I think he shouldn’t…


New Questions As War Profiteering ‘Christian’ Mercenary Erik Prince Re-emerges In Trump/Russia Storyline

  By Lauren McCauley Common Dreams (4/4/17) The scandal surrounding President Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia thickened a bit Monday after the Washington Post reported that “notorious mercenary” Erik Prince took part in a clandestine meeting with a confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin “as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication” between Moscow and the White House. U.S., European, and Arab officials confirmed to the Post that the United Arab Emirates brokered the January 11 tête-à-tête between the unidentified Russian and Prince, brother of Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos who founded the…


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…


Tony Evers: An Election Night Thank You & A Call For Us All To Defend & Support Public Education

  I’m grateful for tonight’s [4/4] results. First, I just want to thank my wife Kathy, my family, my supporters and everyone who came out to vote today. I’ve received enormous support in this campaign, and it has been truly heartwarming. I also want to acknowledge Dr. Holtz—stepping into the arena isn’t always easy. But I think that when you talk about the issues that really matter to folks, they show up and vote. I believe the real winners tonight are Wisconsin’s 860,000 public school kids. The little girl in Altoona who loves playing her clarinet, the fourth grader in Greenfield…


Progressive Working Families Party Won BIG In Milwaukee Education Races

  We won BIG in Milwaukee school board elections! All of our Wisconsin Working Families Party-endorsed candidates won and we now have a pro-public education majority school board! Dr. Tony Baez for the Milwaukee Board of School Directors Annie Woodward for the Milwaukee Board of School Directors Larry Miller for the Milwaukee Board of School Directors Tony Evers for Superintendent of Public Instruction of Wisconsin Today’s election results are an act of resistance to the dangerous troika of Donald Trump, Scott Walker, and Betsy DeVos. Without Wisconsin Working Families, corporate interests and privatizers could have succeeded in tipping the balance…


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…


Spring Break Americans In Mexico Chanting ‘build the wall’? Um, No … Beware Bogus News

The CommonerCall.org   By Rory Carroll the Guardian (4/5/16) It was an eye-popping story which lit up the internet: American college kids running wild in Mexico by braying “build the wall” to affronted Mexicans. The party hordes who filled Cancún’s bars and beaches for spring break last month were apparently mixing tequila with Donald Trump Kool-Aid and insulting their hosts. A Peruvian vacationer blew the whistle in a Facebook post, recounting how a group of Americans chanted the slogan during a cruise. The story ricocheted around blogs and news sites illustrated with images of bare-chested, bikini-clad bacchanals around the Yucatan…


Wednesday – April 6, 2017

“The law,in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” – Anatole France


CARTOON: 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…


Why We Can’t Depend Upon The FBI To Tell Us Everything On The Question Of Trump’s Russia Connections

  By Russ Baker, C. Collins & Jonathan Z. Larsen WhoWhatWhy (3/27/17) The Federal Bureau of Investigation cannot tell us what we need to know about Donald Trump’s contacts with Russia. Why? Because doing so would jeopardize a long-running, ultra-sensitive operation targeting mobsters tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin — and to Trump. But the Feds’ stonewalling risks something far more dangerous: Failing to resolve a crisis of trust in America’s president. WhoWhatWhy provides the details of a two-month investigation in this 6,500-word exposé. Why is this president’s unusual enthusiasm for the Russian leader, and Russia in general, not already…


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…


Watch: Bernie Sanders Talks ‘Dark Money’ With Journalist Jane Mayer, Who Literally Wrote The Book On It

  Common Dreams Staff (3/30/17) Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday sat down with investigative journalist Jane Mayer to discuss the threat that secretive and undisclosed campaign financing—exemplified by the outsized influence of powerful billionaires like Charles and David Koch—continues to have on U.S. democracy and what should be done to push back. Mayer—author of the 2016 best-seller Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right—recently wrote a feature for The New Yorker in which she detailed the significant role the deep pockets, and bizarre far-right politics, of billionaire Robert Mercer played in President…