Further Info and Links

How Democrats Put Trump in the White House - This is a case where parody is the best way to the truth. Hilarious and well worth the 7 minute watch.

Portia Bulgher is Pissed! And we need to Listen! - I only listened to the first 5 minutes or so, but it was priceless.

Sourcewatch: Citizens for Self-Governance - This is the Koch Bros./ALEC funded group that is trying to stage, through its “Convention of States” project, a Constitutional convention in order to severely restrict federal power. It’s basically a “states rights” group, although it uses the phrase “local control”, that wants to get rid of child-labor and worker protections and eliminate the federal agency - such as EPA, Interior Dept., etc. - authority. If they can get Koch surrogate politicians in 34 states to call for a convention, and then get 38 states to ratify whatever resolutions they come up with, they can effectively re-write the Constitution.

Obama Deported More (By Far) Than Any Other President

Trump’s Cabinet and Actions

Jill Stein FAQ

Dr. Margaret Flowers: The Democrats want to create the appearance of a divide between themselves and the Republicans because that gives the voters something to fight about and keeps voters distracted. In fact, the two corporate parties work very well together to create illusions that distract the masses and allow the parties to continue to move their corporate agenda forward within the parameters of their limited differences. I do not want to maintain that illusion. That is why I support the Green Party.

Popular Resistance: Electoral politics has become nothing more than a periodic horse race between corporate candidates chosen through a rigged system.

Edward Snowden: “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, but I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon, and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”

The Thundering Failure of the Democrats - Originally written in May of 2015, this very short article still speaks directly to the point that Dems just don’t get. Spot on. If we don’t hold the psychopaths from both parties to account, then we are totally complicit and just as guilty.

Albert Einstein Institute: 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action

EFF Border Search Pocket Guide - How to protect your personal data at the border.


CNBC: Rudy Giuliani is Joining President Trump’s Personal Legal Team - Another headline that sounds like The Onion. Every reputable law firm in DC has turned him down, so his last resort is Rudi. This will be hilarious to watch. You can’t make this stuff up.

Hollywood Reporter: Natalie Portman Decides Against Israel Honor


ABC News: Barbara Bush Dies At Age 92 - This is the same person who made comments that Hurricane Katrina refugees stuck living in the Astrodome were underprivileged anyway, so this was working very well for them, and not wanting to waste her beautiful mind worrying about courageous US soldiers sent to Iraq by her son coming home in body bags. Meanwhile the entire corporate owned media engages in never ending, embarrassingly maudlin praise for what a ‘classy lady’ she was. This nation worships only money and the rich, no matter what religion it professes to be. 

AL Reporter: How Has Trump Deceived You? Let’s Count the Ways - An intrepid reporter in the heart of Trump country calls it right. “I can only give you the facts. I can’t comprehend them for you.”

Broadly: Black Mothers Share the Devastating Impact of Racism in Maternal Health Care - The US has the 4th highest infant mortality rate in the developed world, after Mexico, Turkey, and Chile.


Democracy-NOW: Gaza: Palestinians Continue Protests for Third Straight Week - The death toll now stands at 34.


Social Security Works: 233 Politicians Just Voted to Steal Social Security Trust Fund


Center for Medicare Advocacy: Letter to Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell Regarding Balanced Budget Amendment - Again without any discussion or negotiation, Thugs are trying to push the Koch agenda to gut Social Security, Medicare and all safety net programs in the US.

CNN: How Paul Ryan Lost and Donald Trump Won in the Fight For the Future of the GOP - So far Ryan is the 40th Rethuglican member of the House to announce that he won’t seek reelection. There are 237 Thugs, 192 Craps and 6 vacancies. My math says that’s 435 seats. 218 is a majority. Therefore it appears that the Craps can take over if they can flip (218 - 192) 26 seats without losing any of their own. Given the current mood in the country, a half-way decent Crap leadership should be able to do that standing on their head. The problem is, it’s the same Crap leadership that managed to give the Presidency to Cheeto-head, so probably not going to happen.


Mother Jones: How Trump Turned Tax Day Into a Giveaway for the 1% - Short article with some great charts and graphs. Now all Paul Ryan can talk about is “the urgent need for entitlement reform.” How much is $1.3 Trillion? Enough to pay for all college tuition for every American student...twice. But even the Craps deemed that “un-realistic.” How much would it cost to switch to Medicare-For-All? Actually the question is: What would we do with the money we would save?

Vox: One Paragraph That Explains Just How Bad Trumpworld’s Legal Trouble Has Gotten

Frontline: Trump’s Takeover


NYTimes: CBO: Federal Budget Deficit Projected to Top $1 Trillion in 2020 - This comes as no surprise to those that read this web site. But now the CBO has put its official stamp on that projection. I don’t want any Rethuglican to ever, ever talk to me about the US deficit or ‘how we gonna pay for it.’ Ever. As a result of their lack of oversight of the banking industry, they and the Democraps together gave the banks $700 Billion in 2008 so they could pay their executives fat bonuses, and Here, and Here. None of that went to help struggling homeowners. We hand over more than $700 Billion per year to fat cat defense contractors, and Here. The Rethugs just passed what will be a $1.5 Trillion budget busting tax bill, 50% of which goes to the top 1% and 30% goes to the top 0.1% - this year and 85% after ten years. All of that was after Bush’s original $500 Billion tax cuts for the wealthy. I don’t want any of them to ever mention the deficit ever again, ever.

Democracy-NOW: Glenn Greenwald on Israel’s Murder of Gaza Protestors, Reporter


Broadly: Restricting abortion Access is Class Warfare


Democracy-NOW: MLK’s Fight Against Racism, Militarism & Capitalism In His Final 3 Years

B’tselem: Why Israeli Soldiers Must Refuse to Fire At Unarmed Palestinian Protestors - “I was just following orders.” Is something we’ve heard before.

Intercept: Right-Wing Media Look At Parkland Student Activists And See A Reason to Gut Public Education in Favor of Charter Schools

McClatchy: 14 States’ Voting Machines Are Highly Vulnerable. How’d That Happen? - “Five states — Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina – rely on them entirely, even though paper-based alternatives cost a fraction as much.” An effort was made to do this in Georgia this year, but the legislative session ended before any action was taken. I guess GA will be RED for another 4 years.


Human Rights Watch: Israel: Gaza Killings Unlawful, Calculated - Senators Warren, Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Corey Booker are all silent. Only Bernie Sanders speaks out.

Sinclair Broadcast Group: Chilling Video - This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.


Intercept: Israel Opens Fire on Palestinian Protesters in Gaza and Democracy-NOW

Think Progress: The FBI is Using Its “Black Identity Extremists” Report to Crack Down on Activists


Black Agenda Report: Gun Debate A Narrow Opportunity for Democrats, A Wide One For The Left - During mid-term elections, what will Democrats campaigns emphasize? Since they are just as guilty as Rethugs for:  the housing crisis, the lack of health care options for poor Americans, the lack of serious bank regulation, no mention of free college tuition and debt forgiveness, forcing school privatization, Obama’s multi-trillion upgrade of the nuclear arsenal, deploying neo-nazis to engineer a coup in the Ukraine, condemning Trump for threatening to nuke N. Korea, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, opening a vast network of drone bases across the African continent, not even talking about poverty in two generations, the FBI’s 2014 criteria for identifying “Black Identity Extremists”, and Here.

The Dems can’t use any of those issues to differentiate themselves from Rethugs, since they are just as complicit in them all. So what’s left? Gun Control. But they must be careful “to keep the public anger high, but the discussion shallow, limited and a-historical.”

You won’t hear Rachel Maddow or anybody on CNN or TedTalks explain what Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz and Gerald Horne will tell you, that the “well regulated militia” the Second Amendment referred to was the universally armed white male population, deployed to murder and steal land from Native Americans and police the enslaved Africans.”


CNN: An Unheard-of Problem: The President Can’t Find a Lawyer


CNN: Officers Muted Body Cameras in Stephon Clark Shooting. Why? - “The executed him.”


McClatchy: Washington Plans to Curb Gun Violence, With NRA’s Permission


NYTimes: Facebook’s Role In Data Misuse Sets Off Storms On Two Continents


Popular Resistance: How to Build A Progressive Movement in a Polarized Country - by George Lakey


Democracy-NOW: Enough! A Million Students Walk Out of Schools to Demand Action on Guns in Historic Day of Action


The Atlantic: Hillary Clinton’s Trickle-Down America - Hillary now likes to say, “I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic and moving forward.” Turns out they are also the places with the highest income inequality, and they depend on a politically powerless underclass.


The Nation: The Koch Brothers Get Their Very Own Secretary of State - “Drain The Swamp”???

Onion: Gina Haspel Recalls Having to Torture More Prisoners Than Male Colleagues Just To Prove Herself


Democracy-NOW: Overthrow: 100 Years of US Meddling & Regime Change, From Iran, to Nicaragua, to Cuba - The ex-CIA head recently laughingly admitted to meddling in elections of countries around the world. See entry of 1/11/18.


Swiss Info: Centre-Left Parties Dominate Switzerland’s Largest Cities - Zurich goes Green, as the party gains worldwide popularity.

Truthdig: The Empty Piety of the American Press - “Policy issues accounted for only 10 percent of the media coverage during the 2016 presidential race. News reports concentrated on the latest polls, scandals, publicity stunts, campaign tactics and strategy as well as Trump’s bombastic remarks, according to a report issued by the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University.”

“Journalism will remain burlesque.”

Where is the flood of stories about families being evicted or losing their homes because of foreclosures and bank repossessions? Where are the stories about the banks and lending agencies that prey on recent college graduates burdened with crippling loans and unable to find work? Where are the stories about families going into bankruptcy because they cannot pay medical bills and the soaring premiums of for-profit health care? Where are the stories about the despair that drives middle-aged white men to suicide and millions of Americans into the deadly embrace of opioid addiction? Where are the stories on the cruelty of mass incarceration, the collapse of our court system and the reign of terror by police in marginal communities? Where are the investigative pieces on the fraud and the tax boycott that have been legalized for Wall Street, the poisoning of the ecosystem by the fossil fuel and animal agriculture industries? Why is climate change a forbidden subject, even as extreme weather devastates the nation and much of the rest of the planet? Why are the atrocities we commit or abet in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen ignored? Why are the war crimes carried out by Israel against the Palestinians erased from news coverage?”


AJC: Catholic Church Tries to Gut Childhood Sex Abuse Bill - Interesting from a religion that tells its members to confess everything.


Democracy-NOW: On International Women’s Day, Women Declare: Emancipation Comes Through the Rejection of Capitalism


Intercept: As Democrats Shift Left on Palestine, 2020 Contender Kamala Harris Gives Stealth Address to AIPAC

AJC: Georgia Moves to Replace Hackable Electronic Voting Machines - I’ve been hammering this issue for at least 8 years, I’m glad the people are finally waking up. The current proposal does not specifically require paper ballots, but that’s what is required, and I think we’ll get there.

Democracy-NOW: “We Won!”: Teachers End Historic Strike in West Virginia with 5% Pay Raise for All State Workers

Intercept: Illinois Democratic Party Chair Attacks Progressive Dem Candidates - This is typical for the current Democrapic party which is in the process of destroying itself from within, and Here.


Council on Foreign Relations: Modern Slavery: Its Root Causes and the Human Toll


Matt Taibbi: The New Blacklist - Are you against the war in Iraq? Then you are an “Unwitting Idiot Tool of Putin.” Believe the Green Party, or maybe Bernie Sanders has some good ideas? Again UITP. Do you believe anything other than that Hillary Clinton was the perfect Democratic candidate? Then you are under Putin’s spell. #Russiagate has become the cudgel with which the leaders of the Democratic Party use to either discredit dissent, or bash wavering Democrats back in line. No progressive voice is allowed in this debate. Either you strictly adhere to the Democratic Party talking points or you are a gullible UITP. It’s just a way to close down any repudiation of the status quo.

Also a great short narrative of how we got from a lightly regarded, “race-baiting game show host who was running for office as a publicity stunt” two years ago, to the man who knocked off the candidate that all of the polls agreed was sure to win the presidency.

AP: Judge, Police Help Oust Trump Hotels From Panama Property


Democracy-NOW: Mother of Accused NSA Leaker Reality Winner: My Daughter Wasn’t Read Her Miranda Rights

Intercept: Instead of Taking on Gun Control, Democrats are Teaming With Republicans for a Stealth Attack on Wall St. Reform

Black Alliance For Peace: Hundreds of Thousands To Protest if Trump Has His $22 Million Parade


Intercept: The Powerful Global Spy Alliance You Never Knew Existed - First there was Prism. Then there was XKEYSCORE. Then there was the admission by the NSA that they had been using a perceived loophole in the FISA Amendments Act to surveil anybody they wanted to, with or without a warrant, whether or not they were in contact with foreigners, or suspected of any crime - despite James Clapper’s repeated lies to Congress to the contrary and Here, Here, Here, Here. Then there was Medusa - which facilitated the capture the equivalent of 1 million average sized emails every minute. Then there was Palantir to sort and search all of this data. And now there is this Global Spy Alliance article. Every phone call, text message, email, Snap Chat, Skype call, Facebook post, online comment, credit card purchase is saved and stored either in the enormous data store in Utah and Here which holds yottabtes of data (a yottabyte is one trillion terabytes), and costs about $40 million/year to maintain, or on multiple servers from multiple cooperating countries around the world. All this plus voice and facial recognitions systems have removed almost every smidgen of privacy from our lives - despite the guarantees of the 4th Amendment.

Also see entry of 1/11/18 below.

NYTimes: The Real Risks of Trump’s Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

NYTimes: Trump’s Chaos Theory for the Oval Office is Taking Its Toll


BAR: Good Panther, Bad Panther

Salon: What Did Donald Trump Know About Stolen WikiLeaks Emails? - Robert Mueller is beginning to ask questions along this line.

Personally I think the most productive line of questioning for Mueller would be to find out if Trump has ever encouraged Russian oligarchs (or any other rich gangsters worldwide) to launder their money through his real estate holdings. He has a long history of this type of activity, and Here, Here, Here, Here, Here. That would be a very quick way for Cheeto-head to land in jail. But what do I know.

NYTimes: Kushner’s Family Business Received Loans After White House Meetings - Trump and family are openly and blatantly milking the office of President to increase their wealth, unlike any other President in modern times.


Intercept: Israel Extracts “Confession” From Badly Wounded Cousin of Ahed Tamimi, Jailed Protest Icon


Truthdig: Chris Hedges: Guns and Liberty - Excerpts: “American vigilantes are the shock troops of capitalism...Mass shootings—ones that leave four or more people wounded or dead—now occur in the United States, on average, at the pace of one or more per day.

If the ruling elites feared an armed uprising, a draconian form of gun control would instantly be law. As jobs and manufacturing are shipped overseas, communities crumble, despair grips much of the country and chronic poverty plagues American families, the gun seems to be the last tangible relic of a free and mythic America. It offers the illusion of power, protection and freedom. This is why the powerless will not give it up.

The Second Amendment, as Dunbar-Ortiz makes clear in her book, was never about protecting individual freedom. It was about codifying white vigilante violence into law.

“The elephant in the room in these debates has long been what the armed militias of the Second Amendment were to be used for,” Dunbar-Ortiz writes. “The kind of militias and gun rights of the Second Amendment had long existed in the colonies and were expected to continue fulfilling two primary roles in the United States: destroying Native communities in the armed march to possess the continent, and brutally subjugating the enslaved African population. …”


Alternet: Top 10 Signs the US Is The Most Corrupt Nation in the World


AP: Burma Bulldozes What is Left of Rohingya Muslim Villages - This is a true human rights tragedy in plain view for the whole world to see. Essentially the purpose is so the repressive military regime can continue to treat all of its citizens as virtual slaves. Seen entry of 2/8/18.

Democracy-NOW: did a Russian Troll Farm’s Inflammatory Posts Really Sway the 2016 Election? - Most interesting excerpt:

I remember listening to an interview with Michelle Alexander, the wonderful African-American activist, a few weeks before the election, and how painful it seemed for her to talk about the election and how she said that she was going to have a really difficult time voting for Hillary Clinton, and she wasn’t going to say unequivocally that she was going to vote for Hillary. And I was listening to that interview, and I thought, “Oh, my god, she is going to lose. She is so clearly going to lose, right?” And she was not going to lose because Russians were telling young African Americans to stay home. She was going to lose, in part, because there were very good reasons for young African Americans and old African Americans to stay home, because there was a very visceral memory of her position on prison reform and welfare reform and the incredibly racist rhetoric around her in the 1990s. And she hadn’t addressed it in any kind of convincing way. And to trivialize that tragic rift by saying that the Russians did it is just a huge disservice to our political conversation.”

It wasn’t the Russians. It was the Neera Tandens and the John Podestas at the top of the Democratic party that not only did not address these types of issues, but decided to sabotage the candidate that would have cruised to victory over Cheeto-head.

Also, the follow-on interview “Russiagate Has Become a Conspiracy Trap Obscuring How Trump is Damaging the Nation” is well worth reading, as is the original article on which it is based, which contains one of my favorite quotes, referring to the so-called “intelligence” leaks/evidence behind the Russia conspiracy theory: “The context, sequence, and timing of the leaks is determined by people unknown to the public, which is expected to accept anonymous stories on faith.”

AP: Criticism Mounts That Trump Jr. Is Pushing Ethics Boundaries By Making a Foreign Policy Speech While Promoting Trump Business in India

Reuters: NRA Honors FCC Chair With Rifle For Repealing ‘Net Neutrality’ - Note: This is Not the Onion.


In These Times: While Democrats Call for Gun Control at Home, They Push Deadly Arms Deals Abroad

Intercept: The NCAA Says Student-Athletes Shouldn’t Be Paid Because the 13th Amendment Allows Unpaid Prison Labor - The 13th is the one that freed the slaves. So essentially the NCAA is saying that big-time college athletics are the prison/farm and the athletes are the slaves. They said this in court. Wonder why we only saw this in The Intercept.

Matt Taibbi: #Russiagate Skeptics Take a Beating - Excerpt: “This is what's made me nervous about #Russiagate from the very beginning, i.e. that reporters have been asked continually to accept major assumptions on faith, when a) the visible facts suggest a wide range of possibilities, and b) the authorities have not exactly been beacons of rectitude in their dealings with reporters, either historically or in this particular case.”

NPR Fresh Air: How a Russian Troll Factory Waged An Aggressive Campaign to Disrupt the US Election - It might have been aggressive, but it just wasn’t very effective. To think that Facebook entries like “we are looking for friendship because we're fighting for the same reasons. Actually, we are open for your thoughts and offers.” or a Bernie coloring book that says “The coloring is something that suits for all people”, are going to control any American’s thinking on an election is obviously ludicrous.

Other quotes from this interview give a flavor of what was really going on...

the Russians were wielding a firehose of information during the campaign. But a campaign is a hurricane.”

“there was a whole lot of stuff coming from the Russians, but there was a whole lot more stuff coming from Americans, a very polarized, very divided American public.”

“The CIA, in particular, has a long and colorful history of intervening in other people's elections and, indeed, in some cases going much farther - certainly much farther than the Russians went in 2016 in countries like Guatemala, Iran, Brazil.”

“The CIA, between the '40s and the '60s, intervened repeatedly in Italian elections trying to prevent the election of the communists to power...we were delivering suitcases full of money to a hotel in Rome in one instance a CIA retiree described. So they did - many of the things the Russians did in 2016, the U.S. has done historically using the, you know, whatever technology was available at the time.”

“But we have certainly put our thumb on the scales in elections once in Russia, trying to prevent the election of a communist in 1996 who was leading in the polls against Boris Yeltsin. And so we, you know, we intervened in a significant way to help Yeltsin's re-election. In both Iraq and Afghanistan, where, of course, we were and are at war, we're pretty heavy-handed in showing our preference and working to get particular candidates elected in both those countries as well.”

In other words, much ado about nothing...in order to prevent anyone from taking a serious look at how the DNC’s interference in its own nomination process effectively put Trump in the White House.

Black Agenda Report: Get Me Outa Wakanda - “The only Wakandans who matter are royalty, the women take orders from men, the king & his rival work with CIA. Despite the pretty faces Black Panther is enemy propaganda from Disney/Marvel studios whose other movies equate teachers unions with the mafia.”


Common Dreams: ‘Cowardly’: With Students Present, Florida GOP Votes Down Motion to Consider Assault Rifle Ban


New Yorker: The Fundamental Uncertainty of Mueller’s Russia Indictments - A very short and amusing summary of exactly what we know and don’t know about ‘Russian meddling.’ Most of it will probably remain unknown forever, but most Americans are convinced they know anyway. It goes without saying that American media has made this issue much larger than it needs to be.


Democracy-NOW: Parkland High School Survivor Emma Gonzalez’s Powerful Speech Demanding Gun Control - Amazing!

USA Today: Donald Trump Jr. Visits India, Mixing Business and US Foreign Policy - Selling ultra-luxe apartments in a country where most people earn less than $2,000 per year. But according to the brochure, buying one will get you a meeting with the son of and advisor to the President of the USA later in the week.

Intercept: Dennis Kucinich Vows to End All Oil and Gas Drilling in Ohio If Elected Goveror and Then Take the Industry to Court - He’s the boy who saved Cleveland. It’s not Kucinich’s proposals that are unrealistic, it’s the alternatives that are unrealistic. Kucinich was the only member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who kept the pledge not to vote for any Obamacare bill that did not include a Public Option. MoveOn then picketed his campaign headquarters for doing so. The rest of the members took the pledge, collected contributions for that action, then broke the pledge and kept the money.


Robert Reich: The Meaning of America and Democracy-NOW: - A great article on America this President’s day. It deserves to be read in full. The idealism of being an American... “spawned a patriotism that once required all of us take on a fair share of the burdens of keeping America going – paying taxes in full rather than seeking loopholes or squirreling money away in foreign tax shelters, serving in the armed forces or volunteering in our communities rather than relying on others to do the work...The idea of a common good was once widely understood and accepted in America. After all, the U.S. Constitution was designed for “We the people” seeking to “promote the general welfare” – not for “me the narcissist seeking as much wealth and power as possible.”

NYTimes: To Stir Discord in 2016, Russians Turned Most Often to Facebook


Matt Taibbi: If We Want Kids to Stop Killing, The Adults Have to Stop Too - “Giant militarized countries breed violent populations.”

NYTimes: 13 Named in Russia Indictment by Special Counsel in First Charges on 2016 Election Interference - Finally, something. Hopefully Mueller can get to the bottom of this and soon. This particular indictment of hopefully more to come, does not charge any American citizens, and it does not allege that the Russian operation changed the outcome of the election.


Truthdig: Journalist Warns About Ex-Intelligence Officials in Media - A very short article with some great links.


NYTimes: US Spies, Seeking to Retrieve Cyberweapons, Paid Russian Peddling Trump Secrets - Last April, a hacker person/group calling itself Shadow Brokers stole the most important code used by the NSA to hack into foreign governments. Turnabout is fair play, eh? Then in September, in a caper worthy of the Keystone Kops, the NSA and CIA found themselves involved in a ridiculous sting to get the code back from a Russian 3rd party. In the end, they gave away $100,000, and got nothing to show for it - and they will probably have to recreate the lost code from scratch.


Open Markets Institute: Does a Voting Machine Oligopoly Open the Door to Mass Hacking?

Reuters: Massacre in Burma - Viewer discretion is advised. This is the article for which 2 Reuters reporters are facing 14 years in prison. Most of Burma is currently enslaved and almost every product that is exported has a slave component. Rohingya Muslims face the worst abuse, and Here, Here, Here, Here. Despite ongoing human rights abuses, and Here, Here, and intimidation of the press, and Here, Here, throughout the country, both Rethug and Democrap US administrations routinely give them a clean bill of health, and Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, in order to facilitate world wide Capitalism and keep those profits rolling.


Chris Hedges: The Bankruptcy of the American Left - Synopsis: Global, corporate capitalism exploits identity politics and multiculturalism to fragment the working class. By encouraging sectionalism and the division of blacks, the LGBT community, women, etc. the Democratic party has played right into their hands. In other words, both parties keep us focused on guns, gays and abortion in order to take our minds off the perpetual war, tremendous inequalities in the world, environmental degradation, malnutrition, inadequate health care, etc. This keeps the various groups weak and allows the corporate class to carry on perpetual war, class warfare, and destruction of the commons in the name of profit.

Democracy-NOW: As Paul Ryan Touts a Secretary’s $1.50 per Week Raise, Koch Bros Reap $1.4 Billion From GOP Tax Plan - Secretary’s raise is temporary. Koch’s is permanent. This plan will drastically increase inequality and expand loopholes for corporations and the rich.

The Nation: Millennials Are Keeping Unions Alive


Portland Press Herald: Ranked-Choice Voters Submit Signatures for ‘People’s Vote’ Ballot Initiative - Ranked-choice voting eliminates the problem of constantly being forced to vote the lesser of two evils, which is what got us Donald Trump. But of course it’s the last thing Rs and Ds want, since that is what maintains their chokehold on American voters.

BDS: BDS Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize


BAR: How Donald Trump Rode in on “Dark Money” - It wasn’t the Russians. It was Wall St., the “vultures of financial speculation.” “There is no such thing as resistance that is not loudly and consistently anti-war.

Onion: FBI Warns Republican Memo Could Undermine Faith in Massive, Unaccountable Government Secret Agencies - Wait, what?


Intercept: In A Major Free Speech Victory, A Federal Court Strikes Down A Law That Punishes Supporters of Israel Boycott

Reuters: Israel Rejects UN Report on Companies Linked to Settlements


Reuters: Poll: Only 2% of US Adults Report Bonuses, Raises As A Result of Trump Tax Law - “About 58 percent of U.S. adults surveyed said that large U.S. corporations or wealthy Americans stand to benefit most from the tax legislation. Just 13 percent said the middle class will benefit the most, the poll showed.” 36% of adults believe in UFOs, so...


Politico: Trump Leaves Door Open to TPP - Just one more campaign promise that he has broken.

Others: said he would drain the swamp, but loaded his entire administration with billionaires, Goldman Sachs execs and industry lobbyists...said he would never allow politicians to touch Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security...said middle class would get the major benefits of the tax cuts...said he would protect women, but supports cuts to Planned Parenthood...what else?


Democracy-NOW: MLK’s Radical Final Years: Civil Rights Leader was Isolated After Taking on Capitalism and Vietnam War - King used to say that he was never so afraid for his life and his family as he was after he moved to Chicago.

AJC: Federal Tax Overhaul Could Mean Massive State Tax Hike for Georgians - And GA is not the only state where this will be true. Trump/Rethug voters: “D’oh!!” But the really funny part about this to me is that it didn’t just dawn on GA Republican politicians that this would be a surprise result of the new tax law. They knew it all along but didn’t want to mention it until AFTER it was signed into law.


Intercept: Candidates Who Signed Up to Battle Donald Trump Must Get Past the Democratic Party First - “The Democratic and Republican parties are commercial enterprises and they’re very much interested in their own survival,” (Dem. Rep. Stephen) Lynch said. “The money race is probably more important to them than the issues race in some cases.”

The Intercept asked Lynch if the commercialization he referred to was for the benefit of the officials working in and around elections. “How much of the focus on fundraising,” we asked, “has to do with pumping money into this ecosystem of consultants and everybody else?”

“That’s what I mean,”  Lynch said. “It’s a commercial enterprise.”

“On the most basic level, it involves candidates being asked to pull out their smartphones, scroll through their contacts lists, and add up the amount of money their contacts could raise or contribute to their campaigns. If the candidates’ contacts aren’t good for at least $250,000, or in some cases much more, they fail the test, and party support goes elsewhere.”

Progressive, inspiring candidates don’t stand a chance in this environment, which is why the Democratic party is dying a slow death. The people who pull the strings within the party (the DCCC, Emily’s List, End Citizens United) don’t want to lose their control. It’s all about how much money you can raise. Issues are a distant second.

Democracy is dead.

Capitalism killed it.

Citizens United was the final nail in its coffin.


Politics: Schumer’s Shutdown Performance Sparks Unrest in His Ranks

Bloomberg: Facebook Says Social Media Isn’t Always Healthy for Democracy - ...says it will ‘try to do better’.?.


Truth Dig: Poll Debunks ‘Bernie Bros’ Phenomenon


Democracy-NOW: Democratic Party Faces Reckoning For Purging Sanders Supporters

Intercept: Forget About Siri and Alexa - When It Comes to Voice Identification, The NSA Reigns Supreme - ...listening to your every word. Currently being used, not just to record and transcribe private conversations, but to automatically identify the speakers. The major purpose is not to catch bad guys, it’s to identify and then locate whistleblowers...track journalists, unmask sources, and discourage anonymous tips. It’s now a $5 Billion per year business, with R&D performed completely on the taxpayer’s dime.

It still amazes me that the American people quietly acquiesce to all of this simply because of one very tragic, and very poorly explained event.

Always the eyes watching you and the voice enveloping you. Asleep or awake, working or eating, indoors or out of doors, in the bath or in bed -- no escape. Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimeters inside your skull.”

1984 - George Orwell

Politico: NSA Deleted Surveillance Data It Pledged to Preserve - EFF is suing to get evidence of illegal wiretapping. NSA: “Oops! We accidentally deleted it.” The same tactic worked well in avoiding any prosecution for torture.


McClatchy: FBI Investigating Whether Russia Funneled Cash to NRA to Aid Trump

EFF: Open Letter On Congress’s Vote to Extend NSA Spying

Reuters: US to Dismiss Charges Against 129 People In Trump Inaugural Protests

Black Agenda Report: US Supreme Court About to Pass the 21st Century Dred Scott Decision


Black Agenda Report: Ajamu Baraka: Why We Must Protect the World from the United States

NPR: Poll: Americans Have Little Confidence in Political Institutions


Thomas Reuters: Let’s Kill the Business of of Slavery - Synopsis: Whether it’s food, clothing, jewelry, cell phones, and many if not most consumer goods, slavery has infected the worldwide supply chains somewhere. Everyday, men, women and children around in the world are forced to work non-stop in life threatening conditions for less than subsistence wages. Over 40 million people are enslaved, 70% in forced labor, 30% in sex trafficking, in a $150 Billion per year ‘industry.’ This article does have ways this can be combated. As always spreading the information to as many people as possible is the number one strategy.


Intercept: With Help From Nancy Pelosi, House Gives Trump Administration Broad Latitude to Spy on Americans - Not even the Communist E. German Stasi had the powers to spy on its citizens that our NSA/CIA/FBI have, all courtesy of 9/11 and a totally compliant press.

Reuters: House Passes NSA Spying Bill After Trump Tweets Cause Confusion - This extends for 6 years the warrantless, un-Constitutional, universal wiretapping program that Edward Snowden blew the whistle on in 2013, and that former US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied about repeatedly to Congress, and Here, Here, Here, Here. The NSA’s Prism program is currently obtaining, storing and listening to up to one billion phone calls, emails, faxes, text messages, tweets, etc. per day, and Here. Even if all they have is a human voice, they can identify that person, the phone he was using and exactly where they were when the made the communication. They then illegally share that data with thousands of corporations around the world. In addition, NSA programs XKEYSCORE, and Palantir allow it to sort through all of this data quickly and use it as they see fit with no oversight.

The clandestine organizations (NSA, FBI and CIA) overthrew the democratically elected, secular government of  Iran in the 1950s, which ultimately led to their current anti-US, dictatorial regime. They lied about the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964, costing almost 60,000 US casualties and untold suffering in SE Asia from the effects of Agent Orange. They overthrew most of the democratically elected governments of Central and South America, under every president from Johnson to Reagan. In the 1970‘s they provided intelligence and military assistance to the murderous Argentine regime during their ‘Dirty War,’ although the USA refuses to release secret documents that would better clarify its involvement. They aided in the overthrow of the democratically elected government in Chile, replacing it with the brutal Pinochet dictatorship.

They infiltrated MLK’s inner circle, denounced him and attempted to convince him to commit suicide. They infiltrated/disrupted numerous feminist, environmental, anti-war, and civil rights groups during the 60’s. They disrupted and eventually overthrew the duly elected government of Nicaragua in the 1980s. With help from the bulk of the news outlets in the country, they aided George Bush & Dick Cheney  convince the world that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, leading to still ongoing, countless millions of deaths. In each and every one of these operations, they have consistently lied before during and after their involvments. Each and every one of these operations has caused untold thousands, if not millions, of innocent deaths - all in the name of Capitalism.

None of this was about law enforcement. It was all about control.

Common Dreams: Taking Short Break From Denouncing Trump Authoritarianism, House Dems Join GOP to ‘Violate the Privacy Rights of Everyone in the United States’ and NY Times- Again, the Dems could have stopped this, but 55 of them joined the Rethugs. No Difference.


UK Guardian: Paul Krugman Got the Working Class Wrong. That Blunder Had Consequences - To be fair, the DNC and the entire Democratic leadership, and by the way, MSNBC and Rachel Maddow all made the exact same mistake. This is the reason we should be looking for accountability, instead of looking for the still yet to be proven Trump-Russian Collusion.

Working people getting their fundamental interests wrong by voting for conservatives is the bedrock of our civic order; it is the foundation on which all else rests.”

Black Agenda Report: Donkey In a Hole: Don’t Expect Democrats to Change Much in 2018 - Democratic fundraisers in Martha’s Vinyard, the Hamptions, Wall Street billionaires...Elizabeth Warren says candidates shouldn’t “grovel on Wall Street,” but then she, Kamala Harris, Joseph Biden, Corey Booker, Tim Ryan, Kirsten Gillibrand, Terry McAuliffe, John Delaney all grovel on Wall Street. They’ll never get it. Too many great quotes in this one to try to list. Well worth the 10 minute read. BAR gets it!

Democracy-NOW: As ICC Considers Probing Israel for War Crimes, US Moves to Defund UN Palestine Refugee Agency


Intercept: Oprah Winfrey for President: Have We All Gone Bonkers? - Great reasons why some folks should think this over just a little bit. The celebrity culture - which is essentially the worship of money - is destroying our country.


Truth-Out: Israel’s New Blacklist of BDS-Supporting Groups Sparks Outrage


New Yorker: The Increasing Unfitness of Donald Trump


Vice: Trump’s First Year: More Bombs, More Boots, More Casualties - Same as Bush. Same as Obama. No Difference.

Vox: The Psychiatrist Who Briefed Congress on Trump’s Mental State: This is “An Emergency”

UK Guardian: Once More, Iceland Has Shown It Is the Best Place In the World to Be a Female


Mint Press: Ahed Tamini Stood Up to Israel While the Rest of the World Bows


NY Mag: Donald Trump Did Not Want to Be President - An inside look at all of the back-stabbing in the Trump campaign and White House, which turns out to be quite funny. The Trumps are the first couple since the Kennedys to have separate bedrooms in the White House. By 6:30 pm every evening Trump is in bed with his Big Mac watching 3 TVs, tweeting and talking on the phone.


Democracy-NOW: Glenn Greenwald on Trump-Russia Probe: Be Skeptical of Spy Agencies With a History of Lying and Deceit - Greenwald: “If you look at how our political media works, the part of the political media that is partisan, the way that the right-wing media really grew was during the Clinton years, when people like Rush Limbaugh and the Drudge Report and, ultimately, Fox News fed on scandal after scandal after scandal, of Whitewater and Vince Foster, and then, ultimately, the Ken Starr investigation. And then you had the Fox News growing even more during the Obama years with all kinds of fake scandals.

And what you see now is large parts of the media—MSNBC and lots of liberal websites—growing exponentially by constantly not talking about Trump’s dangerous foreign policy or his rollback of regulations or his ignoring of climate—the things that actually matter—but this obsession on the Russia scandal. And they’re getting great benefits from it. And so, that’s what happens, is we have this Balkanized media that feeds the audiences whatever it is that they want to hear, without any journalistic standards. And so the incentive is to constantly inflate and exaggerate and make it as sensationalistic as possible. And people are eating it up, to the profit of these media outlets.”

Washington Post: Meet Roy Moore’s Jewish Attorney. He Contributed to, Worked for, and Voted for His Friend Doug Jones


Democracy-NOW: Duty to Warn: Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess the “Dangerous Case” of President Trump - Sen. Lindsey Graham, 2016: “I’m not going to try to get into the mind of Donald Trump, because I don’t think there’s a whole lot of space there. I think he’s a kook. I think he’s crazy. I think he’s unfit for office.”

Black Agenda Report: America’s Embarassment - Trump is a repugnant, boorish embarrassment and should have been gone on Jan. 22. But so far he hasn’t bombed 7 Muslim countries (Obama - the Nobel Peace Prize president), he hasn’t destroyed a major social safety net program (Clinton), and he hasn’t ruthlessly expanded the massive surveillance of American people (Bush and Obama).

Politics 2nd Half 2017