We Have The Power To Make The Country Ungovernable. But We Do Not Have Much Time

We will do ourselves a great disservice if we underestimate this regime and where it is going.   By Chris Hedges Truthdig (2/5/17)   Donald Trump’s regime is rapidly reconfiguring the United States into an authoritarian state. All forms of dissent will soon be criminalized. Civil liberties will no longer exist. Corporate exploitation, through the abolition of regulations and laws, will be unimpeded. Global warming will accelerate. A repugnant nationalism, amplified by government propaganda, will promote bigotry and racism. Hate crimes will explode. New wars will be launched or expanded. And, as this happens, those Americans who remain passive will…


It Just Keeps Getting Weirder: Steve Bannon Believes The Apocalypse Is Coming And War Is Inevitable

War is coming, Bannon has warned. In fact, it’s already here.   By Paul Blumenthal & J.M. Rieger The Huffington Post (2/8/17) WASHINGTON ― In 2009, the historian David Kaiser, then a professor at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, got a call from a guy named Steve Bannon. Bannon wanted to interview Kaiser for a documentary he was making based on the work of the generational theorists William Strauss and Neil Howe. Kaiser, an expert on Strauss and Howe, didn’t know Bannon from Adam, but he agreed to participate. He went to the Washington headquarters of the…


A Border Agent Stopped And Asked ACLU Lawyer A Chilling Question

  By Hina Shamsi ACLU (2/7/17) Last week, I was flying home from a work trip and faced Customs and Border Protection questioning unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in over 25 years of travel into and out of this country, including more than 10 years of travel for my work as an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union and other rights groups. Compared to the hardship and suffering of the tens of thousands of people impacted by President Trump’s Muslim ban executive order, it was nothing. But it said something personal to me about the tenor of these dark…


Journalist Barrett Brown Is Out Of Prison – And Has Big Plans

Journalism, Activism, Hacktivism and a New Civic Platform   By Jeff Schechtman WhoWhatWhy (2/3/17) Barrett Brown thinks big. Brown was released from federal prison on November 29 after four years of incarceration for hacking the private intelligence firm Stratfor. The hack — for which the hacker group Anonymous took credit — revealed that Stratfor was one of many companies hired to spy on activist groups for US corporations. In his first interview since being released from a halfway house in Dallas, Brown tells WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman about his desire to pick up where Anonymous left off, and his ambitious plans…



Wednesday February 8, 2017

“If people institute wrong institutions, wrong institutions do not just produce wrong people, but wrong people who understand and accept mediocrity as an institution.” ― Ernest Agyemang Yeboah


Betsy DeVos’s Confirmation Is A Deep Betrayal Of Our Children. But There Is An Important Silver Lining

This perfect storm of voter outrage was the triumph of grassroots organizing. And that is worth celebrating – despite the outcome.   By Lucia Graves The Guardian (2/7/17) It wasn’t the outcome progressives were hoping for, but in forcing the vice-president to cast a historic tie-breaking vote to confirm Betsy DeVos, the resistance just netted its first cabinet battle victory. The fundamental outcome, of course, was unaltered. On Tuesday afternoon, DeVos was confirmed as education secretary in the closest vote yet for one of Donald Trump’s nominees. But to set the bar for victory at denying nominees confirmation is to…


Breaking Down The Wall Within Is The Key To Our Times

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it — always.” — Mahatma Gandhi   By Dennis Brault The Commoner Call (2/6/17) The Electoral College and Congress have spoken. The oath’s been given. Our Constitution is a harsh mistress and a very undemocratic one too boot. In fact, our system of government was designed to be rather anti-democratic right from the get go. James Madison wrote that the…


Deadly Radiation At Fukushima Spikes To Highest Levels Since 2011

(Commoner Call photo by Mark L. Taylor, 2016. Open source.) A gaping hole in a reactor containment vessel that has resulted in a drastic spike in radiation levels. By Whitney Webb True Activist (2/4/17) Nearly six years after the initial explosion caused a catastrophic meltdown at the Daiichi nuclear power plant in the Fukushima prefecture of Japan, the situation has suddenly taken a drastic turn for the worst. Last Thursday, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the company which owns and operates the now defunct power plant, announced that radiation inside the containment vessel of one of the plant’s failed reactors…


Fire Chief Recalls Fiery Oil Train Derailment: ‘I have never seen anything more terrifying’

(The Commoner Call photo by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.the commonercall.org )   (Editor’s Note: Keep in mind the oil train in this story is the same kind of trains we have rolling through the heart of many cities – like La Crosse, WI – and thousands of small towns and villages across the nation. Really, it is time to move to non-fossil fuel energy energy. From wellhead to car gas tank, oil is a growing disaster. – Mark L. Taylor)     By Jeff Klasen Bay Today (2/4/17) It’s been…


What Do We Do Now? Ralph Nader & Robert Reich Discuss The Future Of The Lesser-Of-Two-Evils Democratic Party

Can they show enough backbone?   Ralph Nader Radio Hour (2/4/17) Ralph welcomes former Labor Secretary and Chairman of Common Cause, Robert Reich, to talk about how to fight back in Donald Trump’s America.  And children’s studies scholar, Heidi Tilney Kramer, talks about her book Media Monsters: Militarism, Violence, and Cruelty in Children’s Culture. Corporate media molesters target children Heidi Tilney Kramer is a mom and independent scholar focusing on Critical Children’s Studies and U.S. Media. “Monsters Under the Bed: An Analysis of Torture Scenes in Three Pixar Films.”  Monsters Inc.  The Incredibles and Toy Story 3.  She lectures and teaches…


Five Must-Reads For Monday

Fear & Loathing In Trump’s Amerika By Andrew Solomon The New Yorker (2/3/17) It’s different being gay now than it was in, say, October. In October, the progress we’d made as a movement seemed relatively secure, and our view was set on how we might better secure our freedoms. Now whatever we’ve achieved feels fragile, and our energies are occupied with trying to prevent a slide backward. We have had to give up on the future in attempting to save the past. It was both unsurprising and traumatic to learn on Monday about a pending executive order that would take…


Anti-Trump Resistance Will Fail If We Don’t Ditch Establishment Democrats

We can’t succeed if we are tied to generations of timid, unpopular Democratic party leaders.   By Bhaska Sunkara The Guardian (1/31/17) If the last week has shown us anything, it’s that Donald Trump has power, but he doesn’t have much of a mandate yet. We need to keep it that way – and be wary of the bad political leadership and strategy that can help him build one. November’s election is a powerful reminder that the Clinton establishment’s mix of socially inclusive rhetoric and neoliberal economics is a weak response to xenophobic populism. An anti-Trump resistance movement must be…



Sunday – February 5 2017

“When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer ‘Present’ or ‘Not Guilty’.”  ― Theodore Roosevelt


So-Called President Throws Hissy Fit Over Federal Judge

  (The Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L.Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org ) ***** By Jessica Shulberg The Huffington Post (2/4/17) WASHINGTON ― The morning after a federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of a travel ban targeting seven Muslim-majority countries, President Donald Trump did what he often does when faced with a challenge: He launched a personal attack on Twitter at someone he saw as an opponent. Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned! 7:12 AM –…


CARTOON: Time To Steal From The Right’s Playbook. Call It The Herbal Tea Party

  (The Commoner Call & Lines of Resistance cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source anc freee to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )   By Rory Carroll The Guardian (2/1/17) They came with chants and songs, banners and flyers and a chicken costume, and felt it was working – that this and other grassroots protests were steeling Democratic resistance to Donald Trump. “We need to stand and fight. We are the majority. Let’s take our country back,” Mimi Fleischman told the crowd outside Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Los Angeles office on Tuesday afternoon. It was the latest anti-Trump gathering…


This Is Not The Time For Politics As Usual: Right-Wing Power Grab Gaining Steam In Executive Branch

“If you’re still trying to convince yourself that a 21st century coup is not underway, please, please snap out of it.” – Michael Moore.   By Diedre Fulton Common Dreams (1/31/17) President Donald Trump, chief strategist Steve Bannon, senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, and a select few others are consolidating significant power in the White House, observers warn—setting the stage for what some describe as a coup d’état. As evidence, many are pointing to the weekend’s news that former Breitbart News chair Bannon had been appointed to the National Security Council’s (NSC) “principals committee”—while the director of national intelligence as well…


Trump’s Supreme Court Pick, Gorsuch, Has Track Record Of Ruling Against Workers, Women & Regulation

  Democracy Now! (2/1/17) President Donald Trump has announced his pick for the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia: Judge Neil Gorsuch. He’s a member of the Federalist Society and is widely seen as conservative jurist. As a judge on the Tenth Circuit, Neil Gorsuch ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in the case deciding whether the company could refuse to provide birth control coverage to employees as required by Obamacare. Judge Gorsuch also has a long history of ruling against employees in cases involving federal race, sex, age, disability and political discrimination and retaliation claims. Senate…


People Power Works As Two Republicans Pledge To Vote ‘No’ On DeVos

By Diedre Fulton Common Dreams (2/1/17) Just one more Republican “no” vote is needed to derail the confirmation of education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos, after GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) announced Wednesday they would not support the billionaire in a full Senate vote. No Democrats or Independents are expected to vote for the wealthy philanthropist, who has come under fire for her negligible relevant experience for the post overseeing the nation’s K-12 public schools and higher education system. That means just three Republican defections could torpedo DeVos’ bid. (In the case of a tie, Vice President…


My Dad Predicted Trump In 1984 – It’s Not Orwell, He Warned, It’s Brave New World

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture.” –…


Take Heart: Activism Works

By Matthew Schauenber DPW County Chair Association (1/31/17) For everyone who DID something, small or big, your efforts have been successful. Because of you: 1. Federal hiring freeze is reversed for VA (Veteran Affairs). 2. Court order Partial stay of the immigration ban for those with valid visas. 3. Green card holders can get back in country. 4. Uber pledges $3M and immigration lawyers for its drivers after #DeleteUber trends on Twitter. 5. Obamacare (Affordable Care Act) enrollment ads are still going to air. 6. The ACLU raised 24M over the weekend (normally 3-4Mil/year). 7. HHS, EPA, USDA gag order…


Olbermann: On Behalf Of America, An Apology To The Rest Of The World

“Donald Trump has branded himself a traitor to everything this country has ever stood for. We have already acted against him in the streets and in the courts. We will remove him. We will welcome you again. We will even let you think again you are getting more from us even though history proves in generation after generation, with nationality after nationality, it is us who are getting everything from you.  “And until that day, we the citizens of the United States, beg your forgiveness.”   7-Minute Video



A Commoner Calls Warning About Both Mnuchin & Soros

Thank you for bringing out “The Commoner Call.” As for Trump, one of his worst cabinet picks is Steve Mnuchin. He not only is a typical Wall Street parasite, he is against bringing back FDR’s Glass-Steagall Act even though Trump claims he is for it. The left knows Mnuchin is bad but will not talk about how he works for like-minded Wall Street parasite George Soros. The right thinks he is good, but does not know he works for Soros. Linking these two will be the best way to stop his nomination. Dan Roche Prairie du Chien, WI


Confused? Frightened? Understand What Trump Is Doing In Just 75 Minutes

Understanding is power. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/2/17)     Krugman Says Democracy And Trump Can’t Coexist: ‘Either he or the republic will be gone soon’ –  w York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman believes there are only two ways Donald Trump’s presidency can end: Either with his resignation, or the death of democracy. In a tweet storm posted on Tuesday morning that analyzed the events of the past few days — such as the anti-immigration executive order that sparked chaos last weekend and the president’s continued assault on media outlets who don’t give him…


The Hate Report: He Was ‘preparing to fight a war on US soil’

  By Will Carless & Aaron Sankin Center for Investigative Reporting (11/17/17) (In this week’s Hate Report: Three white men have been charged with building bombs recently, the FBI’s much-awaited hate crime stats show an uptick, and a white supremacist campaign helped elect a black town board member.) Last month, Michael Christopher Estes planted an ammonium nitrate and fuel oil bomb packed with nails and bullets in the concourse at theAsheville Regional Airport in North Carolina. Estes openly admitted to authorities that he was “preparing to fight a war on U.S. soil.” Last week, prosecutors announced federal charges against Elijah Blankenship of Akron, Ohio, who…


ACTION BULLETIN: Coup Is At Hand As Government Is Collapsing

By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/31/17) A friend said over dinner Sunday evening that Donaald Trump was in way over his head; that he didn’t know what the hell he was doing and all the bungled immigration ban protests proved it. As in so many conversations about Trump this past year I demurred from the hoped for comfortable consensus: I am sure he and his advisers know exactly what they are doing. There is such a thing as planned chaos and that, I fear, is what is happening. In the Monday post of The Commoner Call the following…



Trial Balloon For A Coup? Analyzing The News Of The Past Couple Days

“It’s really time for [Trump] to put in his own security and intelligence community.” – Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway By Yonaton Zunger Medium.com (1/30/17) The theme of this morning’s news updates from Washington is additional clarity emerging, rather than meaningful changes in the field. But this clarity is enough to give us a sense of what we just saw happen, and why it happened the way it did. I’ll separate what’s below into the raw news reports and analysis; you may also find these two pieces from yesterday (heavily referenced below) to be useful. News Reports (1) Priebus made two…


No Picture

Thom Hartmann: Is America Experiencing A Fast Moving Coup?

By Thom Hartmann Big Picture (1/30/17) On tonight’s Big Picture, Thom talks to Attorney David Halperin and Alex Lawson of Social Security Works about Trump appointing Steve Bannon to the National Security Council, and reaction to Trump’s Muslim ban and protests across the country. Link to Story and 16-Minute Video


Arm Yourself: Shock Doctrine On VIDEO

From Vj Ultra Vimeo In THE SHOCK DOCTRINE, Naomi Klein explodes the myth that the global free market triumphed democratically. Exposing the thinking, the money trail and the puppet strings behind the world-changing crises and wars of the last four decades, The Shock Doctrine is the gripping story of how America’s “free market” policies have come to dominate the world– through the exploitation of disaster-shocked people and countries. At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq’s civil war, a new law is unveiled that would allow Shell and BP to claim the country’s vast oil reserves…. Immediately following September 11, the…


A Guy Oughta’ Ask Why In A Year Of Change GOP Didn’t Run Against Rep. Kind…

(The Commoner Call & Lines of Resistance cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org ) ***** By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/30/17) A fellow commoner forwarded Rep. Ron Kind’s latest fundraiser, posted above. The underlying assumption, I’m guessing, of the congress critter’s appeal is that he is such a stellar democrat not even the Trump wave could take him out. Of course the GOP did not even field a candidate in 2016. Nevertheless, folks are urged to pony up some bucks if they want to keep their wonderful congressman…


The Orwell Essay That’s Even More Pertinent Than ‘1984’ Right Now

Put down that fantasy sci-fi novel and pick up “Politics and the English Language.”   By Maxell Strachan Huffington Post (1/25/17) In the three days since Kellyanne Conway described White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” people around the country have been searching for ways to deal with the Trump administration’s continued willingness to deceive the American public. One place many have landed is back in 1984. Copies of George Orwell’s dystopian novel have been in high demand since Conway debuted her latest Orwellian turn of phrase. By Tuesday, the book had climbed all the…


Will Democratic Party Join The Patriotic Grassroots Resistance?

“As millions of people, including a large segment of the party’s base, mobilized for women’s marches across the United States (and beyond) in fierce opposition to Trump, many top Democrats skipped marching to attend a luxury donor retreat hosted by the political operative David Brock.”     By Daniel Jose Camacho The Guardian (1/27/17) Donald Trump has wasted no time rolling out several draconian measures affecting women’s reproductive rights and immigrants. There has been a flurry of nonsensical and dangerous statements, including attacks on journalists, denials of realities such as climate change and the promotion of outright lies. Meanwhile, there…


Getting To Know The Tyrant Who Will Kill You

(Editor’s Note: A commoner reader sent in the following but requested their name be withheld. – Mark L. Taylor) I’m currently reading a book by Tom Ambrose Mad, Bad, and Dangerous:  The Eccentricity of Tyrants. It is chilling, because there are so many parallels to our current situation.  You have to stop tyrants early, preferably before they get into office.  How do they sneak in?  They appeal to people’s simplistic and selfish interests.  They look like they’re on your side, but their method eventually turns into dissolving democratic procedures and safeguards.  People don’t wise up until it’s too late.  What are…


10 Films To Keep You Inspired & Marching Forward After The Women’s March

By Breena Kerr Yes! Magazine (1/27/17) In the days since his inauguration, Donald Trump has given women around the country—and the world—new motivation to fight for equality. After the Women’s March ended, which was estimated to be the largest peaceful demonstration in U.S. history, many were left wondering: Now what? If you’re reading this, we’re confident there will be more marches, calls to senators, and civic engagement in your future. But in between those and the normal business of living, it’s important to stay inspired. So we’ve compiled a list of films to do just that—inspire you, make you mad, and…


Monday Jan 30, 2017

“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”  – Morticia Addams, The Addams Family


Commoner Reclaims White House Web Page From Xenophobic Hate

The Commoner Call (1/30/170 In an expression of Trumpian arrogance, xenophobia and racism, the White House website abruptly removed the Spanish version of the White House website. But not to fear, a  Commoner Call reader sent the link below which was done by her son, George Conard, which not only restores the Spanish version of our White House website but also includes translations in eight other languages! What a wonderful act of citizen defiance, initiative and true national values. Thanks, George! Link to White House Translated   *****   Trump’s Sanctuary Cities Plan Is Straight Out Of Breitbart, Radical Right…


It’s Little Details That Betray The Great Defects Of A Man

Watch The Difference In How Trump & Obama Greet WW II Veteran & Former Republican Senator Bob Dole  By Walter Einenkel Daily Kos (1/23/17) Former Senator Bob Dole was instrumental in setting up the controversial phone call between president-elect Trump and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. Senator Bob Dole is a Republican. Senator Bob Dole is not beloved by Democrats. In April of 1945, a 22-year-old Bob Dole made an outrageous sacrifice for our country, losing the use of parts of his body. Now 93, Dole—wheelchair bound—was a special invitee to the inauguration “festivities.” Bob Dole’s wife, Elizabeth Dole was also a senator, in senior…