Hate Report: The Year Of Hate In America

  By Aaron Sankin & Will Carless Reveal News (12/22/17)   Hate in America has always existed. But, for decades, its most obvious and blatant forms largely laid dormant. Now, with reports of hate crimes on the rise, neo-Nazis proudly marching on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, and the president serving as inspiration for some of them, the country seems to be at an inflection point. How did we get here? The most important reporting about hate in America attempted to answer this question. It looked at the people driving the movement and the institutions that abetted it, whether tacitly or explicitly. These stories…


Hey, Dems: Your ‘Trump, Bad. Send Cash’ Pitch Is Not Enough

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/1/18) In a Thursday [12/28] Morning Edition interview with National Public Radio’s David Greene, Jess O’Connell, CEO of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), addressed concerns that the party coffers are down to about $6 million while the Republican National Committee has banked some $40 million. Greene asked about that money gap and how much of an obstacle that is for the dems running strong in 2018 mid-term elections. Acknowledging the money issue was real, O’Connell gave an upbeat assessment of the “Democratic ecosphere”, pointing to recent election results in Virginia and Alabama. Putting…


Message For The New Year: This Is How To Be Your Own Light In The Dark Age Of Trump

  (Editor’s Note: This warning was written right after last year’s election. The author, Sarah Kendzior, is an authority on totalitarian regimes. Now, one year into the Trump era, much of what she warned about last November is true and accelerating. Her advice to each of us is central to maintaining our personal integrity and freedom. As tough as 2017 was, 2018 promises to be an even bigger challenge. This is an important read for the New Year and the years to come. – Mark L. Taylor)  By Sarah Kendzior, Flyover Country Correspondent The Correspondent (11/18/16) My fellow Americans, I…


How’s This For A New Years Resolution? The Democratic Party Is Yours. Take It

This and unionizing your workplace are good new year’s resolutions, if you don’t have one already. By Hamilton Noah Splinter News (12/29/17) Are you discouraged by our national political nightmare? Looking for a project for the new year? Great: Your local Democratic Party, which may not be worth a damn today, is just waiting for you to revive it. Do you live in “red” America? Are you surrounded by Trump voters? Have you spent the past year asking yourself what dark stroke of fate has plunged you into this nightmarish world, making you question whether your friends and neighbors are…


New Year’s Reality Update For Trump Voters: You Bought It, Now You Got It

    By Robert Reich Robert Reich’s Blog (12/30/17) Almost one year in, it’s time for another update for Trump voters on his election promises: 1. He told you he’d cut your taxes, and that the super-rich like him would pay more. You bought it. But his new tax law does the opposite. By 2027, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, the richest 1 percent will have got 83 percent of the tax cut and the richest 0.1 percent, 60 percent of it. But more than half of all Americans — 53 percent — will pay more in taxes. As Trump told…


DEA Operation Played Hidden Role In Disappearance Of Five Innocent Mexicans

  The agency knew why the victims were kidnapped in 2010 by the Zetas drug cartel from a Holiday Inn in Mexico, but it did nothing to investigate or help. By Ginger Thompson ProPublica (12/21/17) At about 2 a.m. on April 21, 2010, a convoy of gunmen working for the Zetas drug cartel, one of the most violent drug trafficking organizations in the world, rolled into Monterrey, Mexico, a wealthy, bustling city considered that country’s commercial capital. With brazen efficiency, they set up roadblocks at all major thoroughfares, then sent a convoy of sport utility vehicles downtown, encircling a Holiday…


Russia Monitor: On To 2018 … And Continued Trump-Russia Investigation

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (1/1/17) Dear Fellow Readers, Happy New Year! Out with 2017, in with 2018 – and in spite of Trump’s lawyers’ assurances, the Trump-Russia investigation continues. Maybe in spite of… There are a lot of Trump apologists. We’ll end with questions of the Republican grand Faustian bargain, but first, let’s take a look at some of the anti-Mueller (Special Counsel Robert Mueller) push back. Where better to start than with the Clyde Crashcup of the Republicans, a character so partisan that even his own party doesn’t understand his actions – Rep. David Nunes (R-CA;…


Lee Camp On ‘Redacted Tonight’ – What’s Not Being Reported About About NPR

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (1/1/18) In the eyes of many – especially on the left – National Public Radio has a shiny halo. Unfortunately, the truth falls short of cozy liberal assumptions. Redacted Tonight host Lee Camp gives a rollicking good rundown on NPR’s ties to corporate power and how those corporations bask in the “good guy” glow of being associated with NPR. The network has softened and developed a sizeable dose of  jello in its spine over the past ten years. While there will be the occasional tough interview and every once in a great,…


FBI Affidavit Details Ex-Sheriff David Clarke’s Intimidation Of Fellow Airline Passenger

  By Mary Papenfuss HuffPost (12/30/17) Former Sheriff David Clarke abused his authority when he ordered the mistreatment and intimidation of a fellow passenger on a flight to Milwaukee in January, according to a newly revealed FBI search warrant affidavit, because Clarke assumed the man was showing disrespect toward the right-wing Donald Trump booster. The affidavit, which had requested a search of Clarke’s private email account, was revealed as part of a filing in U.S. District Court in Wisconsin on Thursday. It’s unclear if it indicates continued interest by the FBI or just details information from months earlier. In May, federal prosecutors informed Clarke’s attorney that they weren’t going…


“The Rape Of Recy Taylor”: How Rosa Parks Helped A Courageous Sharecropper Report Her Assault & Seek Justice

  Democracy Now! (12/20/17) A new film [The Rape Of Recy Taylor] looks at the 1944 gang rape of Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother and sharecropper. Following the rape, she refused to be silenced and spoke up with help from the NAACP’s chief rape investigator Rosa Parks. When Parks went to interview Taylor, the local sheriff kept driving by the house and eventually burst in, threatening Parks with arrest if she didn’t leave town. Parks left and then launched the Alabama Committee for Equal Justice for Mrs. Recy Taylor, triggering a movement to seek justice 11 years before Parks…


Bernie: We Need Tax Reform That Benefits Middle-Class Families, Not The Rich 1%

By Sen. Bernie Sanders Reader Supported News (12/28/17) The Republicans are so desperate to spin their disastrous tax plan that they have resorted to taking comments I recently made completely out of context. Let me set the record straight. The Trump-Republican tax plan is one of the worst pieces of legislation in the modern history of our country. At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, 83 percent of the tax benefits in that bill go to the top 1 percent at the end of 10 years and 60 percent of the benefits go to the top one-tenth of…


Facebook In Yer’ Face: Social Media Giant Taking On Bigger & More Active Role In Political Campaigns

“They’re too cozy with power.”  By Lauren Etter, Vernon Silver & Sarah Frier Bloomberg (12/21/17) Under fire for Facebook Inc.’s role as a platform for political propaganda, co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has punched back, saying his mission is above partisanship. “We hope to give all people a voice and create a platform for all ideas,” Zuckerberg wrote in September after President Donald Trump accused Facebook of bias. Zuckerberg’s social network is a politically agnostic tool for its more than 2 billion users, he has said. But Facebook, it turns out, is no bystander in global politics. What he hasn’t said is that his company actively…


Russia Monitor: Perfecting The Art Of Taking Down A Government Without A Shot

  (Editor’s Note: Dan Peak is taking a few days off so we will have a bit of a different format in his absence. The excellent article below from The New Republic provides much needed context to the impact of the Trump-Russia investigation. – Mark L. Taylor) Weaken From Within By Hannes Grassegger & Mikael Krogerus The New Republic (December 2017) Let us review, if only in brief, some of the facts as they are presently understood. Two years ago, a shadowy company based in Russia called the Internet Research Agency began buying Facebook ads in bulk. An estimated 11.4 million people across the…


New Documentary Reveals Major Coverup & Corruption In Las Vegas Police Department, Before And After The Mass Shooting

  By Liz Posner AlterNet (12/25/17) Unanswered questions still surround the mass shooting in Las Vegas on October 1 this year. Days after shooter Stephen Paddock killed 59 people and injured over 500, confusing details emerged. Journalists sparred with police at press conferences, grappling for missing details. The security guard who discovered Paddock in his hotel room with 24 guns and was shot by Paddock later disappeared, only to reemerge as a guest on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. To shed light on this confusion, a new film, “What Happened in Vegas,” explores the role of the Las Vegas Police Department after the mass…


A Bad Deal: Swapping Out Democracy For A State Of Perpetual American Fear

‘Scairdy Cat Nation By Ray Suarez NPR (12/17/17) Historian Elaine Tyler May says that ever since the Cold War, fear has crept into American life and created apathy toward democracy. During that time, the government and media gave Americans constant warning about nuclear war and communism — adults were encouraged to build shelters, children practiced hiding under their desks to prepare for a possible nuclear attack. “Basically, the message was the bomb could drop at any time,” she says. “Each person was responsible for their own safety. There’s really nothing the government or the leaders of the country can do…


Right-Wing Preacher Tells Followers Christians Must ‘Remove Every Leftist’ From Office Because ‘The Nazis Are On The March’

  (Editor’s Note: One would hope that democratic party honchos have an understanding of the true nature of the far right movement in this country and will enact the kind truly progressive policies into the party agenda that are called for to counter right wing hate and fear. So far the signs are not too positive. – Mark L. Taylor) By Kyle Mantyla Right Wing Watch (12/15/17) Right-wing preacher Lance Wallnau streamed a video on Periscope last night in which he called on conservative Christians to mobilize for the 2018 elections in order to “literally remove every leftist from a position of…


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,…