A May Day Call: When Corporations Don’t Take Precautions To Avert Workplace Deaths Executives Must Go To Prison

  By Leo Gerard, President of United Steel Workers AlterNet (4/24/17) Every 12 days, a member of my union, the United Steelworkers (USW), or one of their non-union co-workers, is killed on the job. Every 12 days. And it’s been that way for years. These are horrible deaths. Workers are crushed by massive machinery. They drown in vats of chemicals. They’re poisoned by toxic gas, burned by molten metal. The company pays a meaningless fine. Nothing changes. And another worker is killed 11 days later. Of course, it’s not just members of the USW. Nationally, at all workplaces, one employee…


SOLD! Obama’s $400,000 Wall Street Speech Is Completely In Character

  By Zach Carter HuffPost ((4/27/17) The rumors are true: Former President Barack Obama will receive $400,000 to speak at a health care conference organized by the Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald. It should not be a surprise. This unseemly and unnecessary cash-in fits a pattern of bad behavior involving the financial sector, one that spans Obama’s entire presidency. That governing failure convinced millions of his onetime supporters that the president and his party were not, in fact, playing for their team, and helped pave the way for President Donald Trump. Obama’s Wall Street payday will confirm for many what…


The Russia Monitor: The Time Of The Lying Liars

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (5/1/17) Dear Fellow Readers, Here’s where we find ourselves. “In the ‘Golden Age of Lying’; Now is the Time to be a Liar. Hasan Minhaj offered the above statement as part of his remarks at the 2017 White House Correspondent’s Dinner this past weekend. He also offered that people trust Trump, they don’t trust the media. The fact is, as Politico points out in What the Press Still Doesn’t Get About Trump, the media does not understand Trump or how to deal with him. I’ll wheel us back within the guardrails of focus…


Yikes! New Behind-The-Scenes Book Brutalizes The Ego-Driven Incompetence Of Clinton Campaign That Gave Us Trump

  By Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone (4/21/17) There is a critical scene in Shattered, the new behind-the-scenes campaign diary by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, in which staffers in the Hillary Clinton campaign begin to bicker with one another. At the end of Chapter One, which is entirely about that campaign’s exhausting and fruitless search for a plausible explanation for why Hillary was running, writers Allen and Parnes talk about the infighting problem. “All of the jockeying might have been all right, but for a root problem that confounded everyone on the campaign and outside it,” they wrote. “Hillary had been…


Obama’s $400K Cash-In Illustrates The Fundamental, Fatal Flaw Of The Democratic Party

  By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (4/26/17) OMG, the democrats are just bound and determined to remain ineffectual, irrelevant and teeth-grindingly tone deaf while slavishy devoted to the corporate forces grinding what’s left of America into dust. Even in the face of the existential threat of Donald Trump, congressional republicans and the corporate state coup, former president Barack Obama just can’t resist trotting off to Wall Street to snag his own MOAB (Mother of All Paybacks) by collecting $400,000 for a single speech for the investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald. Sure, Obama is known for a silver tongue, but…


John Oliver Blows Up The Delusion That Ivanka & Jared Can Save Us From The Incompetence Of Trump

“The apple does not fall far from the orange.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (4/27/17) John Oliver and his Last Week Tonight team broke through the mainstream fantasy that America – and the world – can depend upon Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner to provide any kind of moderating, reasonable influence on Donald Trump’s impulsivity or casual cruelty. As Oliver noted, if knowing these two children of unearned wealth, privilege and  power have helped you sleep at night you better stay awake. Oliver includes a montage of TV talking heads talking sagely about the graceful, moderating influence…


American Blood Lust On The Boil

  By Dennis Brault The Commoner Call America’s blood lust is boiling. If Trump keeps dropping big bombs and holding press conferences showing his tough authoritarian side, his favorability ratings will top 50% within the next few weeks. Ask yourself if their propaganda is working? Do you believe Assad gassed innocent civilians? If you do, based on what evidence? Do you believe that Trump now loves NATO and dislikes Putin? Again, based on what evidence? Is all this bombing and tough war talk just another distraction from the fact that we have no evidence that Assad gassed people? A distraction from…


The Russian Monitor: Sure Looks, Smells And Seems To Be Unfolding As A Cover-up

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/27/17) Dear Fellow Readers, As the news becomes more confusing by the day, the actual story line becomes clearer. Whatever the veracity of the allegations we are now experiencing Keith Obermann says one thing is becoming clear, It Sure Looks Like a Russian Cover-Up. As Olbermann points out, Nixon was forced to resign because of the cover-up, not the Watergate break-in. Olbermann cites Carl Bernstein of Watergate investigation fame to note, “the cover-up itself might be impeachable”. With a circle of people firing guns into the center of the circle, someone is going to…


Death By Euphemism: Washington Post Can Identify The ‘Far Right’ In France– But When It Comes To The White House, It’s Merely ‘Conservative’

The CommonerCall.org   By Jim Lobe LobeLog.com (4/24/17) There are no major ideological differences between White House strategist Steve Bannon and French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen. Yet it seems that the Washington Post considers them to be very different. According to the Post, Bannon and his backers are “conservatives.” Le Pen and her National Front, meanwhile, are “far right.” Of course, the whole notion that Bannon is “conservative” is ludicrous on its face. A typical “conservative” would not boast of being a “Leninist” who “want[s] to destroy the state [and] … bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of…


Bought & Paid For: Wisconsin State Supreme Court Legalizes Bribery Of The Courts

By Dennis Brault The Commoner Call (4/24/17) Yes, indeed, the Wisconsin Supreme Court just ruled that your First Amendment right to free speech would be impinged if you couldn’t bribe …err… support with cash, Wisconsin judges. This should come as no surprise, as our state supreme court is the most expensively purchased court in state history. They are, like so many politicians, nothing more than employees of the far right wing Ayn Randian corporate groups funding their campaigns. The free speech, which isn’t free if it costs money, argument can be fixed by amending the United State Constitution to state…


Duty To Warn: Group Of Mental Health Professionals Warn Trump’s State ‘Putting Country in Danger’

By Andera Germanos Common Dreams (4/21/17) A group of mental health professionals gathered at Yale University Thursday to discuss what they believe is their duty to warn the public of the “danger” posed by President Donald Trump. The “Duty to Warn” event was attended by roughly two dozen people and was organized Dr. Bandy Lee, assistant clinical professor in the Yale Department of Psychiatry, the CTPost writes. Lee called the mental health of the president “the elephant in the room,” and said: “Colleagues are concerned about the repercussions of speaking.” “We do believe that Donald Trump’s mental illness is putting the…


Edward Bernays: Engineering The Consent & Blind Obedience Needed For Empire

  The Empire Files (6/4/16) With thousands of advertisements seen by Americans everyday, and a corporate media that reinforces the needs of Empire, propaganda in the U.S. is more pervasive and effective than ever before. The manipulation of public opinion through suggestion can be traced back to the father of modern propaganda, Edward Bernays, who discovered that preying on the subconscious mind was the best way to sell products people don’t need, and wars people don’t want. To get a deeper understanding of how propaganda functions in today’s society, Abby Martin interviews Dr. Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media Studies…


Chris Hedges: Understanding The Right Wing “Christian” Dominionist Movement

“Radical Christian dominionists have no religious legitimacy. They are manipulating Christianity, and millions of sincere believers, to build a frightening political mass movement with many similarities with other mass movements, from fascism to communism to the ethnic nationalists parties in the former Yugoslavia. It shares with these movements an inability to cope with ambiguity, doubt and uncertainty. It creates its own “truth.” It embraces a world of miracles and signs and removes followers from a rational, reality-based world. It condemns self-criticism and debate as apostasy. It places a premium on action and finds its final aesthetic in war and apocalyptic…


Here’s What Christian Dominionism Looks Like In Our Government

  By Brendan O’Conner Fusion.net (4/20/17) First thing in the morning on April 5, before a meeting chaired by Representative John Shimkus and another with the Solar Energy Industry Association, Energy Secretary Rick Perry headed to the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a copy of Perry’s schedule obtained by Fusion. There, Perry was scheduled to meet for an hour-long “Cabinet Member Bible Study.” The schedule does not list who attended that session, but Ralph Drollinger, a right-wing pastor with a long history of ties to Perry and other Trump Administration officials, claims on his web site to…


The Handmaid’s Tale TV Series Includes Scary Scene That Didn’t Appear In Margaret Atwood’s 1985 Novel

By Oriana Schwindt Vice News (4/13/17) Women, men, LGBTQ, black and white and shades of brown, a panoply of the marginalized, all march down the streets holding signs, chanting and shouting. They are met by helmeted police geared to face an army, bearing shields and guns made to take down tanks. It’s a scene that feels ever more familiar these days — until the police actually do fire on the crowd. Panicked protesters flee, sobbing, bleeding, dying. The scene is from Hulu’s original series “The Handmaid’s Tale,” an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s best-selling 1985 novel of the same name, and though…


The Russia Monitor: Finding The Way Through The Forest, The Trees To Treason?

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/24/17) Dear Fellow Readers, With a free-ranging flurry of news items the past few days, it’s a good time to reconcile forest and trees. The first link I’ll use is Trump And Russia, The Never-Ending Story, from The Economist and the single best round-up I’ve seen to date even, though it’s a few weeks old. Whispers of treason is the forest; Sean Spicer and GOP distortions are the trees. Trump has spent his first 100 days with a daily run through the china shop smashing as much as possible to distract. Every day…


Worker Notes: The Mass Strike Is Calling Us

TheCommonerCall.org   By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (4/24/17) In the spirit of non-violent change, workers of all-colored-collars are remembering they have the power to make statements by denying their services for a day. May 1st has always been a day to remember the sacrifices of those who went before us to fight for better working conditions, pay, and benefits. Events are being planned to go beyond immediate worker issues to confront the anti-labor, anti-woman, anti-immigrant policies of the Trump/Pence regime. The labor movement in America has its dark and light sides, both of which will explored in the Commoner…


On The NYT Op-Ed Page Climate Denial, Racism & Pro-Torture Don’t Make You Cringe – But Single-Payer Does

TheCommonerCall.org By Adam Johnson Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (4/20/17) The New York Times is the most influential newspaper in the English-language world, not just because of its reach and leadership status within the industry, but because it defines the boundaries of acceptable debate. Being in the New York Times is a legitimizing event, one that cements ideas as not fringe, “other,” or in the realm of the dreaded, career-ending “conspiracy theory.” So it understandably upset many liberals when the Times decided to bestow upon hard-right Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Bret Stephens the ultimate stamp of Acceptable…


AUDIO: A Must-Listen Survivor’s Guide To Tyranny

  By Christopher Lydon Open Source/ WBUR (3/28/17) Yale historian Timothy Snyder has 20 pills he wants us to take, and keep taking, perhaps to save our country. The stark premise that he laid out for us a month ago is that the real project of Donald Trump and Company is “regime change.” When they mock the legal restraints of “so-called judges” and call journalism “the opposition,” we should understand that they’re test-marketing their contempt for the rule of law and the constitutional protection of critical freedom. So Tim Snyder has written out his pocket-size get-real manual, called: On Tyranny,…


Your Tax Money At Work: Site Logs How Much Are You Paying For Donny’s Weekends Playing Golf & Scarfing Up Chocolate Cake At Mar-a-Lago

Ka-CHING!! A new website – “Is Trump At Mar-a-Lago”– keeps overstretched taxpayers up-to-date on how much money they are forking over for Trump’s almost weekly runs to his super luxury Florida retreat. While regular Americans are working, taking on extra shifts or an extra job while often struggling to make the rent, trying to pay health insurance premiums for their kids or pinching pennies to pay for gas money to get to work, Melania is sunning herself by the pool while the “Bloviating Orange Child” is playing yet another round of golf (my God, does the man have nothing else…


The Russian Monitor: From Tame To … WOWSER!!

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/20/17) Dear Fellow Reader, There are two points I’d like to share. I’ll start with the tame; it’s simple and not so controversial. I’ll save the fireworks for the second point. We begin with Sunday in The New York Times, Mike Conaway Emerges From Relative Obscurity To Lead House Russia Inquiry David Nunes stepped down as co-chair of the House Intelligence investigation into election influence by Russia. You might remember Nunes running circles around Washington DC to receive and deliver and report on classified information that might benefit President Trump. His replacement is Mike…


The Deep State: Our System Of Persistent Mediocrity & Synthetic Bogeymen

“All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources, and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state is in a class by itself: sheer quantity can achieve a quality all its own. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it possesses menacing aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures — Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya; its manifest incapacity to anticipate, avert, or appropriately respond to the greatest financial crash since the Great Depression;…


Really Now, Who Among Us Has Not Misplaced An Aircraft Carrier?

By Charles Pierce Esquire (4/19/17) The newest scene in our national tragicomedy. OK, somebody needs to explain how these things happen. From the NYT: “The problem was, the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the four other warships in its strike force were at that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean, 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula. White House officials said on Tuesday they were relying on guidance from the Defense Department. Officials there described a glitch-ridden sequence of events, from a premature announcement of…


While The Poor Lose Basic Benefits Upper Middle Class Whites Benefit From ‘White Socialism’

  By Chris Ladd Forbes (3/13/17) Election 2016 has prompted a wave of head-scratching on the left. Counties Trump won by staggering margins will be among the hardest hit by the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Millions of white voters who supported Donald Trump stand to lose their access to health coverage because of their vote. Individual profiles of Trump voters feed this baffling narrative. A Washington Post story described the experience of Clyde Graham, a long-unemployed coal worker who depends on the ACA for access to health care. He voted for Trump knowing it might cost him his health…


EGG-zactly!

Donald Trump Hosts The Most Terrific White House Easter Egg Hunt Ever!   (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free to use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


The Russia Monitor: No I Didn’t … Um, Yes I Did!

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/17/17) Dear Fellow Readers, I want to start with two quotes from Paul Manafort. Now remember, Paul Manafort was Donald Trump’s campaign manger at the time the initial story of secret payments from the Ukrainian government to Manafort broke in August 2016. To be fair, the first quote is from Richard Hibey, Manafort’s lawyer, “(Mr. Manafort had not received) any such cash payments”. That quote comes from a New York Times article “Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief”, one of a series for which the New York Times…


Trumpster Brown Shirts Stirring: “You’ve been warned”

By calebfox The Daily Kos (4/14/17) So late this afternoon the phone rang at my office — the Hamilton County Democratic Party in Cincinnati OH.   The caller asks for me by name.  I’m the Executive Director so usually its me answering the phone. He quickly rattles his name off and says he represents the Citizens for Trump Foundation.  He tells me “we have been monitoring your social media accounts and you have been posting many things critical of Donald Trump.”     I say yea.  Do you have any idea who you just called? What I took from that call yesterday is…


New Book Makes The Case That FBI Obstructed Justice In Boston Bombing Investigation

By James Henery WhoWhatWhy (4/14/17) For almost four years, WhoWhatWhy has been a lone voice casting doubt on the FBI’s official narrative of the Boston marathon bombing. Now, investigative journalist and Boston-based ABC news producer Michele McPhee has raised many of the same questions we’ve been asking since two explosions and the subsequent manhunt traumatized New England’s largest metropolitan area. In her new book, Maximum Harm: The Tsarnaev Brothers, the FBI, and the Road to the Marathon Bombing, McPhee adds weight to WhoWhatWhy’s skepticism that the feds have fully disclosed  their dealings with the Tsarnaevs prior to the 2013 bombing….



‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ – Futuristic Dystopian Literature & Movies Provide The Story Line For The Present

  By Tom Ashbrook OnPoint (4/3/17) Dystopian fiction is having a heyday. We’ll look at the dystopian plots and perils that publishers love right now. Check out the new fiction coming from publishers these days and it may scare you to pieces. Not horror scare exactly, but dystopia. Dystopian fiction is all over the place now. Books of the future gone horribly wrong. A new civil war in America.  Crazy microbes on the loose. The planet a mess. Democracy done.  Insane inequality. Killer drones all over. Walls and fences and people fleeing Earth if they can. Great. This hour On…


Time To Chose, Guys: Are You A Trump Man Or A Decent Man?

By Laurie Penny The Guardian (4/10/17) If women can’t win, everyone loses. That, at least, is the conclusion of several new studies into how gender attitudes are changing. One team of academics from Wharton, looking into how men and women negotiate, observed that since Donald Trump’s election there had been a marked “increase in men acting more aggressively toward women”. In lab sessions, young men were more inclined than previously to fight young women for a small amount of money that had to be split between them – and the net result was that everyone went home poorer. This sounds…


The Russian Monitor: You Know You Are In Trouble When…

By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/13/17) Dear Fellow Readers, While Trump touts his armada heading to the Korean peninsula and Brian Williams reverentially described the majesty of cruise missiles the Russian collaboration story continues to bear fruit even if not from Page 1. You Know You Are In Trouble When Sean Spicer Starts to Downplay Your Role I do this in advance of highlighting a major development. Here’s a scorecard from the folks at Mother Jonesjust to remind us of some of the players and statements made to date. I do this in advance of highlighting a major development: Spicer…


Walker’s Plan To Cancel State DNR Magazine Enrages Citizens

  By Chris D’Angelo The Huffington Post (4/10/17) WASHINGTON — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) plans to do away with a nearly century-old, state-run nature magazine, sparking outrage among critics who see it as part of an ongoing anti-environment agenda. Walker’s 2017-2019 budget, which he unveiled in February, calls for suspending publication of Wisconsin Natural Resources next year. The magazine, a product of the state Department of Natural Resources, has kept Wisconsinites informed about hunting and fishing opportunities, species conservation, environmental issues and much more since 1919. The Walker administration argues it doesn’t fit the department’s core mission. “While the magazine has a…


Speaking Of War Criminals: While Syria May Well Have Used Poison Gas, Banned US Cluster Bombs Murder & Maim Children In Yemen

TheCommonerCall.org In Your Name And On Your Dime Brasscheck TV (4/11/17) Apparently, chaos in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria is not enough. The US is arming Saudi Arabia which is attacking civilian areas…with cluster bombs. A weapon so heinous it’s banned by 116 countries. Here are the countries that still use cluster bombs and will not sign the international treaty to ban them: North Korea Israel Russia Iran China Saudi Arabia The United States Why is our country on a list of scumbag governments like this? Link to 2+-Minute Video


Chris Hedges: Ripping The Lid Off Pandora’s Box Of War

“Where is the outrage about the deaths of the thousands of other children, including those we killed recently in Mosul when a March 17 coalition airstrike took the lives of as many as 200 civilians? …Why do we lament these deaths yet bar Syrian war refugees from entering the United States?” By Chris Hedges Truthdig (4/7/17) War opens a Pandora’s box of evils that once unleashed are beyond anyone’s control. The invasion of Afghanistan set out to defeat al-Qaida, and nearly 16 years later, we are embroiled in a losing fight with the Taliban. We believed we could invade Iraq…


The Russia Monitor: Don’t Be Distracted By Those Flashy Missiles. Time To Stay Focused On Trump’s Russia Tracks

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/10/17) Dear Fellow Readers, I think we can all agree this was an unusual week. In case you missed it, here’s a good summary by Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live: “I just had an amazing week, folks… Gorsuch was confirmed, the media is saying nice things, and no one is talking about Russia. Wow, what a difference those 50 Tomahawk missiles can make.” The video does not disappoint, link HERE. Notice Baldwin/Trump has nothing to say about the summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping – nothing of substance was…


Clueless: The Democratic Party Still Doesn’t Get It

  By Scott Galindez Reader Supported News (4/8/17) Before I get going, this is not a case for a third party. I still believe we have a system that is rigged for the two largest parties and other efforts are a waste of time and energy. I believe the route to power in America is through either the Democratic or the Republican party. That being said, I do understand the principled arguments for a third party. I understand my friends and political allies who believe the Democratic Party doesn’t represent their views. The Democratic Party often disappoints me as well….


This 1940 FDR Letter To Democratic Party Is Just As Relevant Today

  The Commoner Call (4/11/17) In the election of 1940 the corporate forces within the Democratic party objected to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s decision to pick his progressive Agriculture Secretary Henry Wallace as his vice presidential running mate. Then as now, the forces of high finance and big banking wanted to yank the party away from defending the commoners. Wall Street really didn’t want to see Wallace – the Bernie Sanders of his day – on the ticket. Then as now, top democratic party operatives were more interested in money, power and ego than the legitimate needs of the people….


RESIST! The White House Wouldn’t Post Trump Staffers’ Financial Disclosures. So ProPublica Did.

  By Ariana Tobin & Derek Kravitz at ProPublica Common Dreams (4/3/17) In a remarkable Friday night news dump, the Trump administration made dozens of White House staffers’ financial disclosure forms available. But they did it with an extra dose of opacity. These are important disclosures from the people who have the president’s ear and shape national policy. They lay out all sorts of details, including information on ownership of stocks, real estate and companies, and make possible conflicts of interest public. But the White House required a separate request for each staffer’s disclosure. And they didn’t give the names of…


Russia Monitor: The Trump Push Back Ramps Up

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (4/5/17) Dear Fellow Readers, The pushback has started in earnest. After a few miss-steps the Trump cabal is honing it’s message that Trump was surveilled. The target is Susan Rice, a familiar GOP target. Susan Rice, Ex-Obama Adviser, Is Back in Political Cross Hairs Over Surveillance. Push Back Playbook One thing about Dems – they are incapable of a unified message and in instances like these I am happy for that. Take a look at the names and the damning comments from the GOP leadership – Graham, Cotton, Rand Paul – shameful; shameful to them…