Sen. Vinehout Announces For Governor: “We Build From The Bottom Up, Not From The Top Down”

Kathleen Vinehout: College Professor, Dairy Farmer, State Senator. Running for Governor to put People First. Kathleen Vinehout (9/25/17) Just a few minutes ago in Black River Falls I announced my candidacy for Governor. It was an honor to be joined by so many supporters for this celebration.   If you haven’t seen our announcement video, click here to view it on our new website and share with your friends and neighbors.   I am running for Governor to turn the state’s priorities upside down.   I am running for Governor to put people first. At the center of state policy….


Sen. John McCain Gives A Classy Interview On 60 Minutes

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (9/28/17) Any progressive worth his subscription to The Nation knows there are (at least) two John McCains. There is the American war hero McCain who endured five years of imprisonment, torture and solitary confinement in North Vietnam, refusing an early release ahead of other comrades based upon his father’s rank and connections. Then there was the John McCain of the bipartisan 1989 Keating Five corruption scandal. Then there was the presidential candidate John McCain who publicly rebuked a supporter’s racist comments about Barack Obama in the midst of a heated campaign. There…


How To Build An Autocracy

  By David Frum The Atlantic (March 2017 issue) It’s 2021, and President Donald trump will shortly be sworn in for his second term. The 45th president has visibly aged over the past four years. He rests heavily on his daughter Ivanka’s arm during his infrequent public appearances. Fortunately for him, he did not need to campaign hard for reelection. His has been a popular presidency: Big tax cuts, big spending, and big deficits have worked their familiar expansive magic. Wages have grown strongly in the Trump years, especially for men without a college degree, even if rising inflation is beginning…


Street Fght: A New Wave Of Homegrown Nazi Violence Rattles The Nation

The Center For Investigative Reporting (9/23/17) Since Donald Trump’s inauguration, Americans have increasingly turned to the streets to share opinions about the president and his policies. These tensions reached a boiling point last month as violent confrontations rocked Charlottesville, Virginia. There were more clashes weeks later in Berkeley, California, when members of the anti-fascist movement, or antifa, attacked several right-wing activists. A team of our reporters was on the ground covering the event – literally on the ground, in host Al Letson’s case: Witnessing one such attack, he dove on top of a far-right activist to shield him from blows. Who,…


Chris Hedges: Dis-remembering History Perpetuates Abuse Today

  By Chris Hedges TruthDig (9/24/17) Historians, like journalists, are in the business of manipulating facts. Some use facts to tell truths, however unpleasant. But many more omit, highlight and at times distort them in ways that sustain national myths and buttress dominant narratives. The failure by most of the United States’ popular historians and the press to tell stories of oppression and the struggles against it, especially by women, people of color, the working class and the poor, has contributed to the sickening triumphalism and chauvinism that are poisoning our society. The historian James W. Loewen, in his book Lies…


Russia Monitor: A Busy, Busy Week

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/28/17) Dear Fellow Readers, So much has happened in the last few days. It’s news, not complicated new connections so I’ll use headlines and let you decide where you’d like to know more. I’ll simply stick to the high notes, just know there is much more. Let’s start with a milestone. Early on the question was often posed, “where’s the evidence of collusion?”. Well that’s why you investigate, you don’t investigate without suspicion, we are, on our better days, a country of laws. Complex investigations take time. Watergate took years, Whitewater took even…


A Commoner Writes: Authoritarianism & The Fraud Of Imposed Currency

  Obama did not sell out – he simply is going along with the colonial model of capital oppression by means of authoritarianism and  imposed currency. [Collecting His Pay! After Failing To Prosecute Bankers, Obama Cashes In With Wall $400k Street Speeches 9/21/17] The “establishment” of private property during the colonial time period that continues to this day is not understood well by present day ‘capitalists’. They neither understand or consider that destruction of community self-reliance, self-sufficiency was the aim of and the use of imposed capital systems on otherwise communal people. http://cas2.umkc.edu/econ/economics/faculty/Forstater/papers/Forstater2005/RiPE%20Forstater.pdf To not acknowledge the role of capital as a…


Could Two Petulant, Sniping Tween Boys REALLY Hold The Fate Of The World In Their Teensy, Weensy Hands?

  By Tom H. Hastings Nation of Change (9/22/17) First Donald Trump, inexplicably in the ill-fitting role of the President of the United States of America, threatens to go totally criminal, to “totally destroy” North Korea. This violates international laws to which past US presidents have signed and far better US Senates have ratified. Killing civilians. Shooting rockets into cities. Committing genocide. All totally immoral and illegal. Then the Spoiled Brat Ruler of North Korea responds: ‘I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.’ How, how on God’s green Earth could humankind have permitted us to be in…


CNN On Sunday Anthem Protests: ‘If President Trump thought he could divide the NFL, he was wrong’

  By David Ferguson The Raw Story (9/24/17) CNN media critic and “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter said on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s controversial remarks from an Alabama rally on Sunday have only served to galvanize the world of professional sports against him. “I was talking to an NFL source this afternoon,” said Stelter, “who said, ‘If President Trump thought he could divide the NFL, he was wrong.” Sunday has seen players and team owners linking arms in support and solidarity to protest U.S. police brutality. “It’s the opposite of what Trump was talking about on Friday night,” Stelter said. Watch the video,…


Con Job: Bipartisan Congress Lavishes Military Contractors With $700bn While Whining That Healthcare For Your Family Is A Luxury We Can’t Afford

  By Trevor Timm The Guardian (9/20/17) When Bernie Sanders released his much anticipated healthcare plan last week, countless pundits and members of Congress asked why the government should pass such a bill given its potential cost. Now that Congress on the verge of sending a record-setting $700bn Pentagon spending bill to Trump’s desk, you can bet those deficit scolds will be nowhere to be found. [Editor’s Note: When black operations, veterans programs and intel operations are taken into account, the US actually spends more than $1 trillion on war each year. – Mark L. Taylor] On Monday evening, the Senate passed – in…


Media Outlets That Scolded Sanders Over Deficits Uniformly Silent On Massive $700B War Dept. Handout

  (Editor’s Note: Now keep in mind, when black ops, intel and veterans services are added, the US is burning over a $1 trillion a year for the War Department. – Mark L. Taylor) By Adam Johnson Fairness & Accuracy in Media (9/21/17) Where did all the concern over deficits go? After two years of the media lamenting, worrying and feigning outrage over the cost of Bernie Sanders’ two big-budget items—free college and single-payer healthcare—the same outlets are uniformly silent, days after the largest military budget increase in history. Monday, the Senate voted to increase military spending by a whopping $81 billion, from $619 billion to $700…


As Bernie Prepared Medicare Bill, Insurance Lobbyists Shoveled Cash To Quisling Senate Democrats

  By David Sirota & Lydia O’Neal Nation of Change (9/20/17) As Bernie Sanders worked to finalize his Medicare-for-All Act of 2017, corporate lobbyists representing the traditional opponents of single-payer health care – including the nation’s major private insurers and drug companies – poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into Senate Democrats’ fundraising accounts. Now, many of those lawmakers have refused to sign on to the Medicare bill. Sanders has faced questions about whether or not the bill would garner solid support among Senate Democrats. So far, 16 Senate Democrats have said they will sponsor the legislation – which the insurance industry slammed after he announced it. A new study from campaign…


Flat Tire: Sportsmen & Bikers Feel The Crazed Tyranny Of Scott Walker’s One Party Rule

Before we found ourselves under the tyranny of Scott Walker and his GOP Hoods one party rule over this state, sportsmen and women used to have a say in our hunting, fishing and other recreational regulations. Not anymore, Walker and the Hoods know better than you what’s good for your sport. And they don’t think you should have any say in how your sport is regulated: Due to provisions inserted into the 2017-’19 state budget, hunters in Wisconsin are no longer required to place a carcass tag on deer or turkeys they kill. In addition, waterfowl hunters no longer need…


Russia Monitor: As The Facts Pile Up, A Question For All – Which Side Are You On?

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/25/17) Dear Fellow Readers, Which Side Are You On? I don’t want to just pick a side, I want us to address real political issues that can make a difference in our lives. I want civility and respect in politics. I want us to make wise decisions that benefit the health and well-being of all of us. I don’t want elections to be all about the money. I want a democratic process based on fair voting. But instead this has been the weekend of Trump’s focus on professional athletes. Stephen Curry and LeBron James…


Tom Crofton: History Past And Present

  “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (9/25/17) The current PBS series “The Vietnam War” by Ken Burns has been made in an effort to present a wide range of historical fact and opinion in an intentionally neutral voice. It’s visual elements are quite stunning, as we have come to expect from Ken Burns, and the statements of its participants provide a chance for viewers to see many sides of the conflict. Unfortunately, the use of a neutral voice leaves open the possibility that the obvious mistakes…


What We Do & Don’t Know About Facebook’s New Political Ad Transparency Initiative

  By Julia Angwin ProPublica (9/22/17) On Thursday, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg announced several steps to make political ads on the world’s largest social network more transparent. The changes follow Facebook’s acknowledgment earlier this month that $100,000 worth of political ads were placed during the 2016 election cycle by “inauthentic accounts” linked to Russia. The changes also follow ProPublica’s launch of a crowdsourcing effort earlier this month to collect political advertising from Facebook. Our goal was to ensure that political ads on Facebook, which until now have largely avoided scrutiny, receive the same level of fact-checking by journalists, advocacy groups and political opponents as…


Smothering Dissent: Google Intensifies Censorship Crackdown Of Left-Wing Websites

By Andre Damon World Socialist Website (9/19/17) Google has intensified its censorship of left-wing, progressive and anti-war websites, cutting the search traffic of 13 leading news outlets by 55 percent since April. On August 2, the World Socialist Web Site reported that changes to Google’s search algorithm had led the search traffic of these sites to drop by 45 percent, according to figures by the search analysis service SEMRush. In the ensuing six weeks, the search traffic of every one of these sites, without exception, has plunged further, leading the total search traffic for the sites to fall by an additional nine…


ALERT! Cooperative Members — “One Member – One Vote” And The Very Concept Of Cooperative Is At RISK!

Coop Members, Your Right To “One Member – One Vote” is at RISK! Ask Sen. Kathleen Vinehout ‘WHY?’ Call Sen. Vinehout and ask her why she is still a cosponsor of Assembly Bill 353, A cooperative-destroying piece of legislation, that removes the historic coop principle of “one member-one vote” and replaces it with one where the number of votes a member gets is based on how much product the member buys. CALL Vinehout   (608) 287-9883   ASK her WHY   From Assembly Bill 353: “This bill allows a cooperative holding company and its cooperative subsidiaries to base members’ voting…


George Lakoff: The Mass Marketing & Normalizing Of Hate

Spokesman By George Lakoff George Lakoff’s Website (/18/17) I have been asked what hate speech is. It is not exactly hard to detect. Hate speech defames, belittles, or dehumanizes a class of people on the basis of certain inherent properties — typically race, ethnicity, gender, or religion. The most dangerous form of hate speech comes from the government itself when the President excuses racist violence and supports the oppressive use of governmental force. Hate speech attributes to that class of people certain highly negative qualities taken to be inherent in members of the class. Typical examples are immorality, intellectual inferiority,…


‘Medicare for all’ Would Be A Lot Cheaper Than You Might Think

  By Gerald Friedman The Conversation (9/19 Public support for single-payer health care has been rising in recent months amid failed Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. That’s perhaps why Sen. Bernie Sanders on September 13 introduced a new version of his single-payer plan with the support of 16 Democratic colleagues, a sharp rise from 2013 when none signed on to a similar proposal. It would not only expand Medicare to all Americans but make it more comprehensive by covering more services like mental health, dental care and vision, all without copayments or deductibles. But Sanders’s plan would come at a steep price: likely more than…


Daily Dose: What Is Healthcare Really About? It’s About Freedom Over Fear

  By Scott Wittkopf Frame4Future.com (9/19/17) Take a look at every email you get from your Democratic representatives about the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act. More importantly, look beyond the issue, beyond the fundraising “ask”, and look at the words and ideas. Here’s an example at one I received recently – they all use the same language: “ALERT: MILLIONS will lose coverage… I’ll put it bluntly: Senate Republicans are CLOSER than ever before to repealing the Affordable Care Act.  The newest plan — supported by Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan — would leave millions of Americans without…


How Republicans’ Latest Effort To Repeal Obamacare Would Devastate Millions

  By Simon Haeder The Conversationn (9/19/17) At the end of July, the nation held its collective breath as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) looked poised to achieve his most formidable parliamentary accomplishment: the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act. But Republican hopes were dashed by one of their own, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who cast the deciding vote that appeared to decisively derail the multi-year effort. McCain called to return to “regular order,” to work through committees, to bring in and listen to experts, to be open and transparent, and perhaps most importantly, to at least listen to both parties….


Trump Health Secretary Tom “Whatever” Price Thinks Medicaid Is Wasteful, But Not Lavish Private Flights

    By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (9/20/17) Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price once remarked that “tough choices” must be made to reduce “waste” in government spending. Apparently, in Price’s mind, frequent and lavish private flights don’t qualify as wasteful spending, but programs that provide life-saving healthcare to millions of Americans do. According to a Politico report Tuesday, Price “last week took private jets on five separate flights for official business, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars more than commercial travel.” Based on sample flight rates, the cost for Price to fly commercial would have been somewhere between…


Russia Monitor: Parsing The Fetid Pieces Of Trumpworld

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/21/17) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump. Russia. Collusion. Start working on the definition of ‘collusion’, and be ready for political hair-splitting because we are that close. You decide which of these events make the stronger case but let’s consider frmer Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s status and the sale of ads to Russia by Facebook supporting the Trump campaign. Talking Points Memo reporter Allegra Kirtland writes on How The FISA Order Against Manafort Could Spell Big Trouble For Trumpworld TPM has done a good job of bringing together two important breaking news stories from…


True Freedom Is Choosing Our Lawmakers

  By Dennis Brault The Commoner Call (9/21/17) I would like to thank Dale Schulz, former republican State Senator, who addressed the Vernon County board on the reasons we need Fair Map redistricting reform. I would also like to thank the 386 Vernon County residents who signed the Fair Maps petition and those who gathered signatures for it. Your voices were heard. One September 19th the Vernon County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the Fair Maps resolution, becoming the 29th county to do so. This sent the message to Madison that we want Fair Map redistricting reform legislation passed before…


Worker Notes: Unions, American Exceptionalism, White Supremacy, And The Well-Trod Road To Hell

  By Tom Crofton CounterPunch (9/13/17) A case can be made that the most direct path to prosperity for working families as a whole is one that has a collective basis creating benchmark standards for wages, conditions, and benefits; where energy otherwise spent on infighting and backstabbing among workers over compensation is harnessed into a common effort. The concept of creating a floor beneath which no one can go is at the heart of union organizing. The energy released from successful agreement to cooperate can go beyond worker compensation and build emotional solidarity among workers.  It can be used to…


Former Sierra Club Leader Carl Pope With A Creative & Hopeful Message On Climate Breakdown

  West Minster Town Hall Forum (9/19/17) Carl Pope is the former executive director and chairman of the Sierra Club and a veteran leader in the environmental movement. He is now a senior climate advisor to former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and the principal advisor at Inside Straight Strategies, where he focuses on the links between sustainability and economic development. A graduate of Harvard College, he is the author of three books, including Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet, which he co-authored with Michael Bloomberg. He was a founder of the BlueGreen Alliance…


Collecting His Pay! After Failing To Prosecute Bankers, Obama Cashes In With Wall $400k Street Speeches

    By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (9/18/17) Less than a year has passed since he departed from the White House, and former President Barack Obama has already joined the “well trod and well paid” Wall Street speaking circuit, a decision many argued will negatively impact the Democratic Party’s credibility as it attempts to fashion a message around taking on corporate monopolies, tackling income inequality, and loosening the insurance industry’s control over the American healthcare system. According to a Bloomberg report published Monday, Obama has in the last month delivered two speeches to massive financial firms—Northern Trust Corp and the Carlyle Group—for around $400,000 a pop, and…


Facebook Enabled Advertisers To Reach ‘Jew Haters’

  By  Julia Angwin, Madeleine Varner & Ariana Tobin ProPublica (9/14/17) Want to market Nazi memorabilia, or recruit marchers for a far-right rally? Facebook’s self-service ad-buying platform had the right audience for you. Until this week, when we asked Facebook about it, the world’s largest social network enabled advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of almost 2,300 people who expressed interest in the topics of “Jew hater,” “How to burn jews,” or, “History of ‘why jews ruin the world.’” To test if these ad categories were real, we paid $30 to target those groups with three “promoted posts” — in…


Is Internet Freedom A Tool For Democracy Or Mind-Numbing Distracting Tool For Authoritarians?

www.thecommonercall.org   By Elizabeth Stoycheff & Eric C. Nesbit The Conversation (7/20/17) The irony of internet freedom was on full display shortly after midnight July 16 in Turkey when President Erdogan used FaceTime and independent TV news to call for public resistance against the military coup that aimed to depose him. In response, thousands of citizens took to the streets and aided the government in beating back the coup. The military plotters had taken over state TV. In this digital age they apparently didn’t realize television was no longer sufficient to ensure control over the message. This story may appear like a triumphant example of the internet…


Dark Diagnosis & Scary Prognosis: Donald Trump Is A “sociopath” And “a very sick individual”

    By Chauncey Devega Salon (9/12/17) The president of the United States is a global celebrity whose every action is endlessly commented upon and dissected for meaning by the news media, foreign powers (both friends and foes alike) and the public. In the age of television and now the internet, there are hundreds of thousands of hours of video and audio footage of every president widely available. There are also rumors and leaks from within the White House and other branches of government that can help paint a picture of a given president’s moods, desires, thoughts and other behavior….


Russia Monitor: From Natural Disaster To National Disaster

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (9/18/7) Dear Fellow Readers, Irma missed Miami but slammed the Keys. The neighbors were happy but it’s hard to feel good about any of it. Miami is mostly back to normal though a few houses in this part of Miami are still without power. No air conditioning reminded me of the ‘good ole days’ – I’m not really sure what that is or was, but we didn’t have air conditioning then either. As I get ready to head from Miami back to the real world I’ll offer a quick update and stick with…


Demand Your Right To Vote In ‘Fair Map’ Elections

Give your Vernon County board supervisor a call. Tell him/her to vote for the nonpartisan Fair Maps resolution on September 19. Find your county board supervisor– link below: http://www.vernoncounty.org/BOS/index.htm   And while you’re making calls, dial up Lee Nerison (608) 266-3534 Lee needs to hear from you. Tell Lee to sign on as a cosponsor for AB44 and help make nonpartisan, Fair Maps elections a possibility. Tell Lee Fair Maps preserve the sanctity of “one person—one vote.” Tell Lee you’re grateful for his support of nonpartisan redistricting reform for Fair Map elections!   Cheeseheads of all political stripes agree, it’s…


Daily Dose: Why Are Trump’s Lies So Effective – And Democratic Efforts To Counter Them So Ineffective?

www.frame4future.com By Scott Wittkopf Frame4Future.com (9/12/17) The fact checkers have been all over Donald Trump since before he officially announced his candidacy. The New York Times even has an entire online page that documents every “outright lie” he told since taking the oath of office. According to Politifact, nearly 60% of Trump’s statements fact-checked by the media organization have been some level of false. Contrary to what some media commentators have suggested, Trump does not lie because he thinks people are stupid. He lies because he knows that it will strengthen his message. He also knows that his opponents are currently incapable of providing an effective counter to…


Hoo-Ray! National Security Head Issues Bold New Anti-Leak Plan, Which Quickly Leaks

  By Abbey Zimet Common Dreams (9/14/17) Fed up with the “staggering” number of leaks from an uncommonly fractured White House, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has issued a sweeping new call for government-wide training to prevent unauthorized disclosure of both classified and some unclassified information – disclosure, he declared, that “causes harm to our Nation and shakes the confidence of the American people.” With Trump’s White House marked by impressively persistent leaks at every level, McMaster upped the ante by aiming at leakers not just within intelligence agencies but in every department. Requesting “Provision of Training on Unauthorized Disclosures,” he argued,…



Buzz Kill: Climate Change Threatens Coffee-Pollinating Bees

  By Marlene Cimons Nexus Media (9/11/17) The best coffee grows in the mountains, where it is cool. It needs low temperatures to thrive, which is why growers often put shade trees in their fields. But the mountains are getting hotter. And the higher you go, the less room there is to grow coffee. This is one reason scientists predict coffee will suffer in a changing climate. New research suggests the fate of coffee may be worse than previously thought. Earlier projections underestimated the effects of climate change, specifically in Latin America, and failed to consider the consequences for coffee-pollinating bees, according…


The Thankless Task Of Being Michael Moore: Liberals Have Completely Misread Trump By Dismissing Him As An Idiot

By Jessica Pressler Vulture (9/6/17) You’d think that by now They would have stopped giving Michael Moore such a hard time. Everything he portended in Roger & Me, his 1989 film about the impact of the closing of General Motors plants on his hometown of Flint, Michigan, and everything he has been banging on about for 30 years since — outsourcing, automation, corporate hegemony, moral and political corruption, elite apathy and greed, the decimation of the middle class, angry white people, the fear and loathing of the far right — all of it has come home to roost, in the form of a very…


Chris Hedges: As The Seas Rise, Ask Not For Whom The Bell Tolls

  By Chris Hedges TruthDig (9/10/17) How many times will we rebuild Florida’s cities, Houston, coastal New Jersey, New Orleans and other population centers ravaged by storms lethally intensified by global warming? At what point, surveying the devastation and knowing more is inevitable, will we walk away, leaving behind vast coastal dead zones? Will we retreat even further into magical thinkingto cope with the fury we have unleashed from the natural world? Or will we respond rationally and radically alter our relationship to this earth that gives us life? Civilizations over the past 6,000 years have unfailingly squandered their futures through…


Lawmakers Should Never Choose Their Voters

Call Lee Nerison (608) 266-3534 Have you made your call to Rep. Lee Nerison yet? He needs to hear from you. Tell Lee to sign on as a cosponsor for AB44 and help make nonpartisan, Fair Maps elections a possibility. Tell Lee Fair Maps preserve the sanctity of “one person—one vote.” Cheeseheads of all political strips agree, it’s time for Fair Maps! Call Jen Shilling (800)385-3385. Tell Jen to sign on as a cosponsor for SB13. Tell Jen Fair Maps help ensure our freedom to choose our representatives. Tell them you support nonpartisan redistricting reform for fair map elections! And…