Let Us Pray: The Days Of Rightwing Evangelicals Swaying Politics Are Numbered

  By Daniel José Camacho The Guardian (12/15/17) A large majority of white evangelicals voted for Roy Moore – 80%, according to exit polls – in Alabama, in the deep south, in a solidly red state. And they lost. The results of Alabama’s Senate race are an omen for the future of white evangelical politics. White evangelicals, as a whole, are still flexing some political muscle. But their future outlook is of an embattled political bloc with extremist views and diminishing power to decide elections. Moore was a fundamentalist Christian hero. He was removed from office twicewhile serving as Alabama’s chief justice: first for refusing to…


Oil Giants’ $180 Billion Investment In Plastic Factories Feeds Global Waste

  By Matthew Taylor Th Guardian (12/26/17) The global plastic binge which is already causing widespread damage to oceans, habitats and food chains, is set to increase dramatically over the next 10 years after multibillion dollar investments in a new generation of plastics plants in the US. Fossil fuel companies are among those who have ploughed more than $180bn since 2010 into new “cracking” facilities that will produce the raw material for everyday plastics from packaging to bottles, trays and cartons. The new facilities – being built by corporations like Exxon Mobile Chemical and Shell Chemical – will help fuel…


At A Time Of GOP Tax Cut Giveaways & Cushy Taxpayer Benefits To Corporations Here’s A Call To Action From Thomas Jefferson

  “I hope we shall crush…in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” – Thomas Jefferson (1812) ***** As 500 Wealthiest Amass Another $1 Trillion In 2017, Calls For A ‘Strike Back’ Against Oligarchy By Julia Conley Common Dreams (12/27/17) As the gap between the world’s richest and poorest people has widened to an extreme not seen since the Gilded Age, the 500 wealthiest people have gotten $1 trillion richer in 2017, according to Bloomberg‘s Billionaires Index. The richest people in…


Secret Money: GOP Angles For More Secret Campaign Cash & Far, Far Less Disclosure

  By Arn Pearson Moyers & Company (12/7/17) Last week Senate Republicans passed a tax bill that hands massive tax breaks to corporations and the rich at the expense of low-income and middle-class Americans. Written behind closed doors with the help of 6,000 lobbyists and rammed through before anyone could read it, the bill offers Christmas presents for special interests, like eliminating a tax that private jet owners have fought the federal government over and tax breaks hedge-fund managers living in the Virgin Islands. And it sets the stage for a sweeping attack on the New Deal and Great Society reforms of the past…


Virginia’s New Socialist Lawmaker Calls Out Noodle Spine Dem Governor-Elect On Health Care

  By Zaid Jilani The Intercept (12/23/17) DEMOCRATS IN VIRGINIA and around the country rebuked Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam for softening on a campaign promise to push for Medicaid expansion in a recent interview with the Washington Post. Newly elected state Delegate Lee Carter, a Democratic Socialist, says enough is enough, warning that Northam may be alienating the Democrats who put him in office. Northam told the Washington Post last weekend that he will not try to force a vote on expanding Medicaid — an issue that was central to his campaign — in the legislature. Responding to criticisms, the governor-elect’s spokesperson told the Washington Post that Northam still wants to expand the…


Protesters Poised To Take Democracy To The Streets If Trump Fires Mueller

  By Chris Megerian The Los Angeles Times (12/24/17) WASHINGTON — Organizers have stashed bullhorns in apartments and offices near Manhattan’s Times Square. They’ve stockpiled hot chocolate mix and sleeping bags in Salt Lake City. And they’ve started arranging carpools in Houston. Across the country, activists are making plans, collecting supplies and raising money to swiftly launch hundreds of street protests if President Donald Trump fires Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel who has been investigating the Trump administration. “The last thing we want is to be caught unprepared,” said Elizabeth Beavers, a Washington-based policy manager for Indivisible, one of…


A Buddhist Thought For Christmas

“I believe that all suffering is caused by ignorance. People inflict pain on others in the selfish pursuit of their happiness or satisfaction. Yet true happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion and elimination of ignorance, selfishness, and greed.” — H.H. The Dalai Lama (Photo taken several days ago by Seth L. Taylor. Pai, Thailand, 2017) *****   Another Thought, This One From Carl Sagan – The Pale Blue Dot Once the Voyager 1 spacecraft had hurtled past Saturn astronomer Carl Sagan…


Labor Notes: Unless Workers Come Together, There’s A New Downward Trajectory For Labor

  By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (12/25/17) A brave new world for labor has been spinning up for years but the latest efforts to dismantle the New Deal have sent workers on a new trajectory. The concept of wage slave has been refurbished and sold as freedom to those who have no capital. Freedom to not pay union dues. Freedom to argue for a personal raise based on a piecework/merit mentality. Freedom to decide to not have health insurance. Freedom to invest by our ourselves in the stock market for our retirement. This is also the Freedom to be…


STOKED! Independent Journalist Alexei Wood & First J20 Defendants Found “Not Guilty” As 188 More Face Trial

  Democracy Now! (12/22/17) In a blow to the Trump administration’s efforts to silence dissent, the first trial of people arrested at Inauguration Day “Disrupt J20” protests ended Thursday [12/21] with all of the defendants found not guilty of all charges. Six people faced multiple felonies and 50 years in prison for just being in the area where anti-fascist and anti-capitalist protesters were marching. During the protest, police blockaded more than 200 people into a corner in a process known as “kettling” and carried out mass arrests of everyone nearby, including medics, legal observers and some journalists. This first case…


SLURS: Three Republican Lies About The Poor Being Used To Support Slashing US Safety Net

  By Michele Gillman The Conversation (12/13/17) Republicans continue to use long-debunked myths [lies] about the poor as they defend lower taxes for the rich and deep cuts to the social safety netto pay for them. In so doing, they are essentially expressing scorn for working class and low-income Americans. Sen. Chuck Grassley, for example, recently justified reducing the number of wealthy families exposed to the estate tax as a way to recognize “the people that are investing, as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it’s on booze or women or movies.” Similarly, Sen. Orrin Hatch raised concerns about funding certain entitlement…


Convicted Big Coal Killer Don Blankenship Running For Senate

  Counter Spin / Fairness & Accuracy In Media (12/22/17) Don Blankenship is the kind of guy who, when the mining company he runs is polluting the local water, will run a private pipeline over to the next town for his own home. And the kind of guy who, having been convicted with conspiring to break mine safety laws, leading to an explosion that killed 29 men [a total of 53 miners died in other Blankenship controlled mines with long records of safety violations], emerges from prison and announces a run for Senate. You might chuckle, but Blankenship’s confident recourse…


This May Explain The Congressional Republicans Cringe Inducing Obsequiousness To ‘Dear Leader’ Trump

By Dave Ferguson The Raw Story(12/22/17) Writer and expert on authoritarian regimes Sarah Kendzior appeared on MSNBC Thursday and blasted Republicans for their submissiveness to President Donald Trump. She and host Joy Reid discussed the bizarre turn-around of Sen. Lindsey Graham who went from calling Trump a “kook” to attacking the media for trying to “label the guy some kind of kook not fit to be president.” The uncomfortably effusive praise of Trump by Vice President Mike Pence and members of the cabinet, as well as an unctuous speech by long-serving Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) led Kendzior to speculate that Trump might even be blackmailing some…


Russia Monitor: From Smoke To Fire, Trump-Russia Inquiry Getting More & More Serious

By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (12/25/17) Dear Fellow Readers, As Donald Trump’s pal, Vladimir would say:   “счастливого Рождества!” (Merry Christmas!) It’s that time of year and even Donald Trump is in the Christmas spirit, telling his already obscenely rich Mar-a-Lago pals, “You all just got a lot richer.“ But apparently – despite the season –  it’s not all Merry for Trump; he still possesses his talent for lashing out: Trump Lashes Out at FBI Deputy Director McCabe After Report He Will Retire Soon. The spirit of Christmas includes his vile lies directed at FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who is  McCabe…



America’s Shame: Denied Asylum, Mexican Reporter Emilio Gutiérrez Faces Death If ICE Deports Him

  Democracy Now! (12/21/17) We look at the danger facing journalists in Mexico and how the U.S. has responded to one of them. This week, Mexican journalist Gumaro Pérez Aguinaldo was assassinated in the southern state of Veracruz, becoming at least the 12th journalist to be killed in Mexico so far this year. Reporters Without Borders says the killing puts Mexico alongside Syria as the most murderous country for journalists. In a broadcast exclusive jailhouse interview, we speak by phone with another Mexican journalist: Emilio Gutiérrez Soto, who is fighting his deportation to Mexico as he is being held in…


So What Is True Wealth And What Is The Essential Currency We Depend Upon?

Priceless: Romance Valley rainbow. “The fact that we price the commons with currency shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what real wealth s and how it is generated. “How, for example, do you price the consequences of having no breathable air, no drinkable water, or highly acidified oceans? What monetary value do you place on the last coral reef, the last breath of fresh air, the last pollinator, or the last stretch of rainforest? To cut to the quick, how do you price the value of the climate we evolved in — the precondition for all the prerequisites of life —…


‘The Post’ Puts Pentagon Papers Back On The Front Page

  On Point/WBUR (12/21/17) With guest host Tom Gjelten.  The new film “The Post,” with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, puts the Pentagon Papers back on the front page. The massive leak of government documents helped shed light on the Vietnam War, and the lies the government was telling about it. Among others, we’re talking to Leslie Gelb, a former Department of Defense official who will tell us exactly how leaker Daniel Ellsberg got away with the documents. We’re digging in and consider its impact on journalism, now. Clips From This Show: Key Pentagon Papers Figure Dispels ‘Baloney’ Myths — But…


Republican Hyena Tax Heist: Yes, America, There Is A Class War, And You Just Lost It

  (Editor’s Note: Time to get serious about organizing, folks, so we can grab back our stolen wealth from the rich! Remember: It is our childrens’ futures we are taking about. Grab it or lose it. Stand or crawl. – Mark L. Taylor) By Juan Cole Informed Consent (12/20/17) The Republican Party did not just overhaul the tax code and they did not cut “your” taxes. They engineered a coup against the middle and working classes and they threw enormous amounts of public money to private billionaires and multi-millionaires. Americans do not understand this sort of con game because mostly…


The Astounding Self-Serving Hypocrisy Of Paul Ryan

“But my favorite has to be Paul Ryan, who regularly proposes budgets that cut taxes on the rich and the corporations to the bone, while cutting any kind of support to the poor or middle class lest they be “coddled” to the point where they have no incentive to work. This is all done, by the way [Ryan claims], because the rich and corporations are the “engines” of growth and creators of jobs, while the poor and middle-class recipients of government favors like unemployment benefits are just lazy no-gooders who won’t get off their assess. “Ryan got where he is…


Wisconsin Fascist: Republican Challenger Calls For Murdering Paul Ryan With A Fascist Helicopter ‘death flight’ Just Like Political Killings During Pinochet Regime

Image tweeted by Paul Nehlen, who is challenging Rep. Paul Ryan in the Wisconsin first district Republican primary.   By Bob Brigham The Raw Story (12/20/17) An alt-right candidate running a primary challenge against House Speaker Paul Ryan has posted an image on Twitter showing the Republican congressman falling from a helicopter. The meme posted by Paul Nehlen (R-WI) refers to South American practice of dropping political opponents out of helicopters. “’Free Helicopter Rides’ refers to extrajudicial killings known as ‘death flights,’ in which military forces throw people from aircraft into large bodies of water. Online, the phrase is often used…


Thomas Frank: The Fury Around Donna Brazile’s New Book Is Symptomatic Of Our Broken Politics

  By Thomas Frank The Guardian (12/20/17) Donna Brazile has spent most of her life as a good soldier of the Democratic party, managing presidential campaigns, supporting the Clinton family, and (last year) stepping in to take over the Democratic National Committee after its chair was felled by scandal. But with the publication of her campaign memoir Hacks, this woman with a fondness for old-style cooking metaphors has finally succeeded in pissing off every last group on the country’s political spectrum. Supporters of Bernie Sanders were furious last year when a hacked email revealed that Brazile, then a popular CNN…


Russia Monitor: Putin’s All-Purpose Fool Tool

“He knows how to handle an asset and that’s what he’s doing with the president.” – Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper referring to Putin’s relationship with Trump. (CNN – 12/18/17)   By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (12/21/17) Dear Fellow Readers, COLLUSION! As NBC News reported Tuesday, soon after Trump became the Republican nominee senior FBI officials briefed him on counterintelligence. including a very specific warning that foreign adversaries “would probably try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign”. These briefings are common practice with presidential nominees. Candidates are encouraged to report such contacts: FBI Warned Trump In 2016 Russians…


Bipartisan Stupidity & Blindness Have Destroyed Whatever Democracy The US Ever Had

Our Clueless Leader By Dave Lindorff Counter Punch (12/15/17) Okay, somebody has to say this, so it might as well be me. The American political system exists as it is because of two reasons: 1) The majority of Republican voters are either incredibly ignorant or are simply incredibly selfish, and 2)  The majority of Democratic voters are so blinded by their fear of Republicans that they will vote for the most puerile, manipulative, deceitful, greedy and/or feckless candidates, as long as they are Democrats, and will re-elect them even after having been betrayed by them time and time again. There, I’ve…


Bombs In Our Backyard: US Military Waging Active Chemical Warfare Against Americans

  By Abrahm Lustgarten ProPublica (12/18/17) IT WAS A SECRET wartime project, with a code name and an urgent mission: develop a more powerful bomb, one that could be mass produced in time to fend off the German forces ravaging Europe. It was 1940. British chemists toiled with a tripod-shaped bond of nitrogen and oxygen molecules linked by carbon and hydrogen they referred to as “research department explosive” — a substance one and a half times as powerful as TNT, but so delicate it had to be mixed with beeswax to be stable and pliable enough to fit into warheads. Even then,…


Story Behind The Famous Pentagon Papers: The Story Of A Whistleblower & A Young Reporter

Secrets, Lies and Leaks. The Center For Investigative Reporting & PRX (5/21/17) In this episode of Reveal, we’re using the full hour to take a deep look at the leaking and publication of the Pentagon Papers. At the center of the episode are two guys who have a knack for being in the room when history gets made: Robert J. Rosenthal and Daniel Ellsberg. For Rosenthal, the Pentagon Papers came calling when he was at the beginning of his journalism career. When Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press in 1971, he was turning his back on a long career close…


Fundraiser: Duty To Protect Books About Trump For Congress

  GoFundMe We are a nonpartisan group of concerned mental health professionals who would like to give a copy of the NY Times best selling book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, to every Senator and House Representative to warn about the dangers of the current presidency and to offer solutions.  More than two dozen psychiatrists and other mental health experts offer their consensus view that Trump’s mental instability presents a clear and present danger to our nation and individual well-being.  The book costs $20.99. There are 100 Senators in the Senate and 435 Representatives in the House of Representatives. Therefore…


60 Environmental Protections On The Way Out Under Trump

  (Editor’s Note: What’s in a word? A lot. In fact a whole universe. Read the headline above. It is the original New York Times wording with one exception. I swapped out “Protections” for “Rules”. I have added the same below next to the word “regulations” and “rules”. Notice the different emotional reaction to reading the headline and the sentences below with the different wording. What you are experiencing is message framing. The right has high jacked the language where a good “protection” become a dreaded, pesky “regulation” or “rule” to be eliminated. Even the vaunted New York Times has…


As The Nation Speculates Whether Or Not Special Counsel Robert Mueller Will Be Fired By Trump, Activists Across The County Are Gearing Up For A Nationwide Response

#MarchForTruth On June 3rd, you joined tens of thousands of Americans across the country in the #MarchForTruth to demand urgency and transparency in the investigations into Russian election interference and ties to Donald Trump and his associates. Now, we could have a deepening Constitutional crisis on our hands. Will Donald Trump take action to stop the investigation? With indictments being handed down, it has been reported Donald Trump is considering firing the man investigating him and his inner circle, special counsel Robert Mueller. Various individuals in the President’s circle have suggested the investigation should end, and in recent days GOP attacks…


Absolutely Do NOT Watch This Video!

Michael Moore: The DNC Will Cost Us The Election In 2018 Unless You & Others Run For Office My friends, if we let the old guard, the party hacks of the Dem party call the shots next year, we are doomed. By Michael Moore Michael Moore’s Facebook Page (12/16/17) At the DNC, a Bernie supporter goes off on the corruption of the party hacks who… spent over $700 million on 5 consultants?! (Watch video below.) The DNC will cost us the election in 2018 unless you and others get out there and run for office on your own. I drove…


Charles Barkley’s Wake-up Call – And Deep Warning – To Democrats On Alabama Victory

By Richard Eskow OurFuture.org (12/14/17) Before he became one of the great basketball players of his time, Charles Barkley was a son of the Alabama soil.  He went home to help Doug Jones pull off his upset victory against Roy Moore in this week’s special Senate election. Here’s what he had to say on CNN after Jones was declared the winner: “This is a wake-up call for Democrats. Democrats, I told Mr. Jones this, and I love Doug, they’ve taken the black vote and the poor vote for granted for a long time. It’s time for them to get off their ass…


Are We Seeing A Sea Change Or A Rogue Wave?

By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (12/18/17) The latest chapter of resistance to Trumpism in particular, and society’s ills in general is the refreshingly feminist movement to “out” sexual harassment. This development is long overdue and parallels all other movements for social justice, whose progress often display a ratcheting quality of a couple steps forward, and a couple back. In many ways the latest round is built on the waves of social change going back to the original fights for emancipation and suffrage. The fact that feminists have reached public position and office, and are using those rostrums to speak…


Good Riddance To Paul Ryan – The Biggest Fake In American Politics

By Charles P. Pierce Esquire (12/14/17) Ring and run, you wretched cur. In what passes for a genuine scoop, Tim Alberta and Rachael Cade broke the news in Politico on Thursday that Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin, may well be hanging them up at the end of the 2018 midterms. Of course, Ryan—and various People Who Are Familiar With His Thinking—has a number of deeply pious, and unquestionably phony, reasons for his departure. “On a personal level, going home at the end of next year would allow Ryan, who turns 48 next month, to keep promises…


Paul Ryan’s Primary Challenger Pushes Ugly White Nationalist Ideology & Coded Nazi Language

  (Editor’s Note: While his ideology and racist language may be crude, don’t underestimate the potential impact of far right Paul Ryan primary challenger Paul Nehlen. In the 2016 election he produced a powerful campaign video and his campaign website is slick. Clearly he has a lot of money behind him – his or others. – Mark L. Taylor) By Christopher Mathias The HuffPost (12/16/17) HuffPost asked Paul Nehlen three times by email this week if he considers himself a white nationalist. Twice Nehlen dodged the question. The third time he didn’t respond. The Wisconsin Republican is running to replace House Speaker Paul…


The Weekly Hate Report: Uptick In Hate Crimes, A Nazi Style Guide & Wisconsin Congressional Candidate

  By Will Carless & Aaron Sankin Center for Investigative Journalism (12/15/17) In this week’s Hate Report: A swath of new hate crimes and hate-crime prosecutions across the country, a style guide for neo-Nazis and a white nationalist stumping for Roy Moore. After a relatively quiet couple of weeks, hate incidents returned with a vengeance in early December: • In Owasso, Oklahoma, a man accused of targeting the homeless community in a series of horrific attacks now also faces hate-crime charges. Jeremy Dean Thacker was charged with murder and nine related felonies after he allegedly ran victims over with his truck. The case…


Russia Monitor: What Will Donald Leave In America’s Stocking This Week?

“He (Trump) is so compromised with Russia that he is willing to outright lie for Putin because he is bought and paid for or he is completely disconnected from any sense of reality.” “hiredman”, writing on Saturday (12/16/17)for the Daily Kos By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (12/28/17) Dear Fellow Readers, It looks like we are in for a BIG week with Trump-Russia collusion. As reported Saturday in The Hill, the recurring story is that Trump is prepared to fire special counsel Robert Mueller as early as this upcoming week: Rumor Is Trump Could Fire Mueller Before Christmas. “Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said Friday…


Election Madness: The Ballot Is Never Enough

“Historically, government, whether in the hands of Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals, has failed its responsibilities, until forced to by direct action: sit-ins and Freedom Rides for the rights of black people, strikes and boycotts for the rights of workers, mutinies and desertions of soldiers in order to stop a war. Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.” – Howard Zinn, Election Madness (2008)


Thawing Of Arctic Permafrost Faster Than Ever, Climate Study Reports

  Associated Press (12/12/17) Permafrost in the Arctic is thawing faster than ever, according to a new US government report that also found Arctic seawater is warming and sea ice is melting at the fastest pace in 1,500 years. The annual report released on Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed slightly less warming in many measurements than a record hot 2016. But scientists remain concerned because the far northern region is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe and has reached a level of warming that’s unprecedented in modern times. “2017 continued to show us we…


‘Making America Stupid Again’: Outrage Over Forbidden 7 Words You Can’t Say At Trump’s CDC

  “It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”  ― George Orwell, 1984 By Jon Queally Common Dreams (12/16/17) Comedian George Carlin famously invented the seven words you cannot say on television, but it appears that it took Donald Trump becoming president to learn what seven words scientists and advisors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are no longer allowed to say or write in their official capacities. Government watchdogs, women’s health advocates, lawmakers, and scientists are up in arms on Saturday after it was reported that President Donald Trump’s CDC has created and distributed a list of seven “forbidden” words,…


SILENCE! Your Right To Protest Under Attack In D.C. Inaugural Day Protester Prosecutions

Medics, Observers & a Journalist Face 50 Years in Prison (Editor’s Note: Bullshit Alert! As was seen in various Occupy Wall Street protests, many black clad rioters have proven to be police agents provocateurs determined to undermine and smear peaceful protests. Here is one particularly brazen example. Why was a far right ‘journalist’ released by the police but a left wing journalist was charged? As was seen in the infamous decades long COINTELPRO action, the government is determined to destroy legitimate First Amendment citizen rights. – Mark L. Taylor) Democracy Now! (12/15/17) Final arguments are underway today[12/15] in Washington, D.C., in a…


CARTOON: How Rep. Ron Kind Chose To Observe Today’s 5th Anniversary Of The Sandy Hook Slaughter Of Innocent Children & Teachers

  Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (12/14/17) On Dec. 6 Wisconsin’s Democratic Rep. Ron Kind Voted For The National Rifle Association’s ‘Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017’, Which Overrides State & Local Protections From Handgun Violence. In many states, including Wisconsin, concealed carry gun permits are easier to get than a drivers license. Two states encourage mail-in orders for concealed carry gun permits from non-residents. Few states require permit holders to pass any kind of rigorous, real-world training and evaluation of gun handling skills and judgment. On December 6 Rep. Ron Kind joined his close pal republican Rep. Paul…