Of All The Things About Enabling Trumpcare Republicans, Never, Ever Forget This…

“Lawmakers are exempt. Despite all of their rhetoric about the supposed failings of Obamacare, House Republicans inserted a provision on Tuesday that “exempts members of Congress and their staff from their latest healthcare plan,” Vox reported, meaning they will be able to opt out of the new amendment that charges more for people with pre-existing conditions.” – From “‘God Have Mercy on Your Souls’: GOP Passes Cruel, Destructive Trumpcare Bill”, Common Dreams (5/4/17)  


History Will Remember These 217 House Republicans For Their Casual Inhumanity

  Wormy By John Nichols The Nation (5/5/17) North Carolina Congressman Ted Budd cast an indefensible vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with legislation that is so awful that Budd’s fellow Republicans were caught scheming to exempt themselves and their staffs from the measure’s draconian provisions. But Budd got one thing right. “I’ll take around 2,000 votes this Congress. Most of them will be forgotten,” the Republican congressman said as the vote approached. “This is not one of those votes.” Good. The vote by 217 House Republicans to gut the Affordable Care Act (while 20 of their colleagues…


How Paul Ryan’s Muse Ayn Rand Helped Turn The U.S. Into A Juvenile, Mean Spirited Nation

  By Bruce E. Levine AlterNet (12/10/14) “Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society….To justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil.” — Gore Vidal, 1961   Only rarely in U.S. history do writers transform us to become a more caring or less caring nation. In the 1850s, Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) was a strong force in making the United States a more humane nation, one that would…


Worker Notes: Standing Together & Organizing For Deserved Wages

By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (5/8/17) The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about unions is wages. The non-union, merit-based system says that each deserves wages based on some type of objective metric. This system requires confidentiality (you do not want employees comparing their individual deals) and rewards those who find ways to play the system, though not necessarily fairly. A major flaw in this system is that most jobs do not have a clear metric for comparison. Teachers for example have been singled out for some type of merit pay. How do you rate the work…


Eric Trump Said Russian Funding Fueled Family Golf Ventures, Writer Claims

The CommonerCall.org   By Martin Pengelly The Guardian (5/7/17) Eric Trump said three years ago the Trump Organization had “all the funding we need out of Russia” for its golf course projects, according to an author recounting the story of a 2014 meeting with Donald Trump and his son. The author also said Donald Trump “sort of tossed off that he had access to $100m”. The comments prompted widespread interest in the media and online. Two congressional committees and the FBI are investigating alleged ties between Trump campaign aides and Russian agents during the 2016 presidential election. US intelligence agencies…


Ready To Fight? Koch Brothers Plan For Hostile Takeover Of Our Constitution

  By Rep. Chris Taylor (D-WI) PRWatch (3/24/17) After the 2010 tea party takeover of Wisconsin, it became clear that the real force behind policymaking in Wisconsin is not the voters, but the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the most powerful right-wing policy-making machine in the country. A ménage a trois of powerful corporations, state legislators, and right-wing think tanks, ALEC pushes out model legislation that promotes corporate hegemony. I know because I am a Wisconsin legislator, and a member of ALEC. For the last six years, the ALEC agenda has rolled through Republican state houses – including mine –…


George Lakoff: Don’t Fall Into An Opponent’s Language Trap

  By George Lakoff George Lakoff.com (2/18/17) Journalists are bravely standing up to Trump’s attacks on the free press, as they should. Yet one way in which they’re expressing their solidarity and resistance shows how little most journalists know about political framing and messaging. Case in point: Trump has labeled journalists as “enemies.” So, journalists have responded by labeling themselves “#NotTheEnemy.” This hashtag is currently trending on Twitter, which is unfortunate. Adopting this slogan is a big mistake that helps Trump. Anyone who has read my books or taken my classes at Berkeley will immediately understand why. For those new…


Thomas Frank: The Midwest Is Longing For Populism. Can Democrats Offer Genuine Reform In 2018?

  By Thomas Frank The Guardian (4/27/17) The tragedy of the 2016 election is connected closely, at least for me, to the larger tragedy of the industrial Midwest. It was in the ruined industrial city of Cleveland that the Republican Party came together in convention last July, and it was the deindustrialized, addiction-harrowed precincts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin that switched sides in November and delivered Donald Trump to the Oval Office. I am a Midwesterner too, and I like to think I share the values and outlook of that part of the country. I have spent many of…


Beware, It’s ‘inevitable’ Trump Will Stage His Own ‘Reichstag Fire’ To Salvage his Presidency

The 1933 burning of the German Reichstag was used as the pretext for Hitler suspending civil liberties, cracking down on the Communist Party and other opposition parties and groups which then led to the consolidation of power by the Nazis and the unspooling horrors of WW II. While a mentally troubled Polish communist was convicted and executed for the fire, there is strong evidence that the Nazis were the ones who set the fire. Such emergency situations are part of the blueprint for all authoritarians. (National Archives and records Administration/Wikimedia Commons)   By Sarah K. Burris The Raw Story (5/1/17)…


The Bee All And End All: One-Third Of The Food We Eat Depends Upon Rapidly Declining Bee Populations

    BBC (4/4/17) Bees pollinate and can detect bombs and compose music. What would we do without them? The world owes a debt of gratitude to this hard working but under-appreciated insect. One third of the food we eat would not be available without bees, meaning our lives would be unimaginably different without them. Bee populations are dropping by up to 80% in some countries and the consequences are potentially catastrophic. The use of neonics pesticides in farming has been one of the main causes in the decline in bee numbers and now the farming world is having to…


The Russian Monitor – Things Are About To Get Interesting

  By DanPeak The Commoner Call (5/4/17) Dear Fellow Readers, “I believe the time has come to bring that investigation and the other investigations of this matter to an end. One year of Watergate is enough!” – Richard Nixon’s 1974 State of the Union Address. And one week later the US House of Representatives authorized the Judiciary Committee to investigate impeachment charges against Nixon. Over at MSNBC Rachel Maddow predicts, “Things Are About to Get Really Interesting.”  By the time you are reading this we may have more to chew on. As I type FBI Director James Comey is speaking…


Man-Child In Gilded Crib Betrays His Supporters While Bumbling America’s Destiny

“How is it Trump seems to care the least for the very folks who voted for him? Not a day passes that he doesn’t betray some of them. “And instead of bombing another country, how about building our own with better bridges, railroads, highways and airports, how about tending to those who need jobs and homes, how about health care that really gets the job done? “Then we might finally achieve the transformative moment when even Donald Trump at last becomes president for real. But don’t hold your breath. It is foolish to expect anything like this from a man-child…


Empire Files: The Hidden Purging of Millions Of Voters

  Empire Files (4/25/17) With all the discussion of the contentious 2016 election, the most shocking fact is often ignored: that millions of people had their votes stolen through malicious, means. The Republican Party is currently working to purge millions more voters leading up to the 2018 election. To explain this major attack on our supposed democratic process, Abby Martin interviews investigative reporter Greg Palast, who has done the most extensive work uncovering this massive disenfranchisement campaign. Link to Story and 27-Minute Video


The Nazi I Knew: Still Spewing His Sewage Of Hate

An old campaign photo of Arthur Jones from his race for Milwaukee mayor. By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/1/17) When I was in my freshman year at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, back in 1970, there was a fiery, oddball upperclassman, named Art Jones. He was a tall, gangly kid with limp dirty blonde hair and a nervous energy that made him fidgety and a fast walker and a faster talker. While looking a bit like Ichabod Crane loping across campus he didn’t particularly stand out from other kids on campus except for one thing: he was…


Worker Notes: Rural America Needs The Support And Organizing Skills Of Labor Unions

Learning and Fighting For Your Rights By Tom Crofton The Commoner Call (5/1/17) Collective bargaining is the device that allows workers to join together to improve the return from the investment of their labor. Most anti-union efforts are intentional attempts to splinter worker solidarity to allow a stratification of wages and benefits for the benefit of the employer. By paying off a few lead workers well and treating the rest as replaceable commodities allows employers to set up hierarchies and create systems of secrecy and top-down authority that discourages worker innovation in exchange for short-term paper profits.  As a 40+ year…


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 )