Politics

 

Further Info and Links


“Capitalism has outlived its usefulness. It has brought about a system that takes necessities from the masses to give luxury to the classes. Call it what you may, call it democracy, or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all of God’s children.”
Martin Luther King


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.


8/14/18


NYTimes: Catholic Church Covered Up Sexual Abuse of More Than 1,000 Children in PA For Over 70 Years - Words fail.


Reuters: Boy, 11, Hacks Into Replica US Vote Website in 10 Minutes At Convention - All 35 children, ages 6 to 17, who tried, eventually hacked in. And neolibs are all in our face about the Russians.


8/9/18


Intercept: The Koch Bros. Commissioned A Survey of Americans and Found Most Like a $15 Minimum Wage, Free College and Universal Health Care


8/8/18


NYTimes: The Bad Boys Club - Too funny. Short, but read carefully.


8/7/18


Democracy-NOW: New Charlottesville Doc Exposes Neo-Nazi Leaders & Their Ties to the Military and Defense Contractors


8/6/18


The Onion: Trump Claims Eldest Son Would Probably Be Fine Doing 5 to 10 Years In Prison


7/31/18


New York Review: Flynn, Comey, and Mueller: What Trump Knew and When He Knew It


7/27/18


Democracy-NOW: Noam Chomsky On Mass Media Obsession with Russia & the Stories Not Being Covered in the Trump Era - Chomsky nails it. 5 paragraphs.


Democracy-NOW: Noam Chomsky on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Spectacular” Victory & Growing Split in Democratic Party - Summary: Democratic party is in the process of splitting in two groups:


Group 1 Party base: Unapologetic, clearly articulated, New-Deal style platform: Medicare for all, tuition-free public colleges, universities and trade schools, a Green New Deal, criminal justice reform, an end to the war on drugs, addressing the disparity in income and wealth, getting money out of politics. This message is addressed to working-class poor and the working middle class to whom these ideals are significant enough to get them to the polls. Hillary had all the money she needed, but lost because she did not inspire anyone new to go to the polls. No one thought she or Trump offered anything that would directly help them.


Group 2 Donor-oriented, managerial Clintonite Democratic party bosses (essentially middle-of-the-road Rethugs). They are in control and they aren’t letting go. They will eventually destroy this party.


For 40 years, ever since Reagan, the middle class has been in decline. Real wages now are about what they were in the 60’s. There has been a large increase in overall productivity in our economy. None of it went to the middle, or working class poor. “It’s gone into a very few, extremely overstuffed pockets.”


Bureau of Labor Statistics: Real Earnings Summary: “For Production and Non-Supervisory Employees” earnings fell 0.2% over the year ending June 2018. The only workers who suffered no loss in earnings were those who worked more hours.


Bureau of Labor Statistics: The Economics Daily: Consumer Price Index Up 2.8% For Year Ending May 2018.


Conclusion: Average real hourly earnings for most Americans continue the slow, 40-year slide begun during Reagan. There are plenty of jobs out there if you want to flip burgers or wait tables. Otherwise, they’re not hiring. This is why over half of 18 to 29 year-olds reject capitalism.


These people are ripe for the messages of Group 1 candidates. 


7/25/18


Black Agenda Report: Shaun King is “All In” With the FBI and CIA - “Intelligence agencies that tell galactic lies about non-existent Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction,” setting the stage for the extermination of millions, or whose top spies brazenly (and feloniously) lie to Congress about spying on the entirety of the U.S. population, become vectors of truth when they offer “assessments” -- but no proof, whatsoever -- that Russia “meddled” in the U.S. electoral process.”


...and btw, who also lied to Congress about the Gulf of Tonkin, who told Congress and the press thousands of lies during the Viet Nam War, who lied about their roles in the 1953 overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iran, and all of the democratically elected progressive governments of Central and South America, COINTELPRO, and thousands more.


7/23/18


New Yorker: AOC’s Historic Win and the Future of the Democratic Party - As per 2 separate surveys gathered by the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School: 51% of people ages 18 to 29 reject capitalism. 33% support socialism. 51% are “fearful of the future.” 78% of working Americans live paycheck to paycheck - meaning they have essentially no savings. Income inequality is growing and the middle class is falling behind.


In the meantime, wealthy élites insure that their children—through expensive educations and countless other privileges—retain their status. Colossal resentment is the result, and Trump, with his preternatural skills as a TV-trained populist demagogue on the right, was able to build a movement on it...I do think we are in a crisis of late-stage capitalism, where people are working sixty, eighty hours a week and they can’t feed their families,” she said. “There is a lot that is economically dystopic in this country. So that’s why people are open to change.”


New Yorker: Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Kansas - Another crowd, this time over 4,000.


7/22/18


NBC News: Sanders’ Wing of the Party Terrifies Moderate Dems. Here’s How They Plan to Stop It - An invitation only event, sponsored by a multi-million dollar real estate developer. They might as well be Rethugs.


Quote: "I think we need a debate within the party," Delaware Gov. Jack Markell added. "Frankly, it would have been better to start the conversation earlier."


Well, Sanders attempted to start that conversation at the 2016 Dem convention when Clinton promised him that if he would endorse her, some of his suggestions would be included in the final platform. Lie, and Here. Sanders found it “inexplicable”. After Sanders gave his support, the Dem platform committee refused to support a carbon tax or any climate change proposal, and refused to support single-payer, and instead supported fracking, TPP, Israeli occupation. They only grudgingly and after much debate finally did support a minimum wage, but refused to index it to inflation.


This is just one of many examples of the duplicity of these so-called ‘middle-of-the-road’ neocons outlined in this article.


7/21/18


NYTimes: There Is A Revolution On the Left. Democrats Are Bracing. - The revolution has begun.


7/20/18


KCUR: Bernie Sanders Packs the House in Kansas City Rally for Brent Welder - “Several thousand” stood shoulder-to-shoulder in a 100+ degree conference room that had to be modified on the fly to accommodate the crowd. They came to see not only Bernie but also Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. There is a building progressive backlash in the state after Gov. Brownback and the rest of the Rethugs have plundered the state budget for the benefit of the the Koch Bros. and the very rich.


7/19/18


CNN: Israel Passes ‘Nation State’ Bill With No Mention of Equality or Minority Rights


7/18/18


Reuters: Alabama Republican Who Spurned Trump in 2016 Wins Run-off Over Trump Supporter


7/15/18


Truthdig: Farmers Hit Hard by Trade, Immigration, Biofuel Policies


7/13/18


NYTimes: 12 Russian Agents Indicted in Mueller Investigation - Other than naming names, there is no new information in this indictment that was not already revealed in the assessment of the Director of National Intelligence on 1/6/17. It’s a great step, but I sure hope Mueller has more up his sleeve.


7/12/18


Intercept: Andrew Cuomo’s Biggest Donors Rake in Millions From ICE - If you know someone who votes in NY, call them up and ask them who they are voting for.


Democracy-NOW: “The Old Order is Disappearing”: How Progressive Grassroots Movements Are Sweeping the UK & US - “...there is a sweeping grassroots movement which is finally taking the Democratic Party by the lapels and shaking it and saying, “Hey, guys, sticking with neoliberalism, sticking with policies which were scarcely distinguishable from those of the Republicans, is not going to cut it...”


Black Agenda Report: California Leads the Way in Resistance to the Rule of Bankers - Public banks can be a cornerstone issue for progressives because they can be used to resist investment in pipelines, private prisons, immigrant detention centers, a host of environmentally devastating projects for profit, etc. This could be a way for public money to be used for the public good rather than pampering the super-rich.


7/9/18


Democracy-NOW: From CIA-Backed Wars to Cartel Violence: Inside the Roots of the Refugee Crisis in Central America


7/6/18


Intercept: Why is Nancy Pelosi So Afraid of Socialism?


7/2/18


CNN: Americans Want to Keep Rove v. Wade, Poll Finds Ahead of Supreme Court Nomination - 63% of Americans believe in choice.


UK Guardian: Michael Cohen Hints at Flipping and Says ‘First Loyalty is to Family, Not Trump’ - If Cohen flips, then Roger Stone flips. At that point it’s a smorgasbord for Mueller. Will he pounce? We can only hope. Poor Rudi, what a dupe.


6/30/18


Intercept: There’s An Easy Answer to Why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Won: Socialism - Excellent article, well worth the read. She did not win because the district is turning from white to latino. She won because her platform is about mobilizing against climate change, government funded higher education, Improved Medicare For All, a Peace Economy, etc. She clearly and boldly articulates a holistic, progressive message - without the use of euphemisms to skip over the hard parts that might offend corporate contributors.


This is in direct contrast with the establishment Democrats such as Clinton, Warren, Harris, Booker, ad nauseam, who talk about all of the above in terms of ‘candy and ponies,’ but throw $Trillions at defense supply corporations without batting an eye. And it is why voters do not turn out to support them, and why Republicans now control the House, Senate, Executive Branch and the Supreme Court.


6/27/18


Democracy-NOW: 28 Year Old Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wins Primary, Backing Medicare for All & Abolishing ICE


6/26/18


Reuters: Tip of the Spear: How Burma’s Shock Troops Expelled the Rohingya - See entries of 5/10, 2/23, and 2/8.


Democracy-NOW: Michael Bennet on Concussions & Brain Issues in the NFL - 280+ players in the NFL suffered concussions in 2017. Neck and brain injuries are occurring in football at all ages. Time for football to go.


6/22/18


Reuters: In the Age of Trump, Evangelicals Are America’s Biggest Pimp’s Base


6/21/18


Democracy-NOW: GEO Group & Private Prisons Stand to Profit As Trump Pushes Indefinite Family Detention


UK Independent: Time Cover Shows Trump Looking Down on Migrant Toddler


6/20/18


Reuters: US Withdrawal Leaves Vacuum at UN Human Rights Council - The US now has zero credibility. Trump will soon have us aligned with all the dictators and despots in the world against all of the countries that should be our allies.


Democracy-NOW: Sy Hersh: Henry Kissinger Must “Count Burned and Maimed Cambodian & Vietnamese Babies” In His Sleep - Kissinger’s mass murders essentially set the stage for future wars in the middle east. Hillary eagerly sought the advice and endorsement of Kissinger, and Kissinger and the Clintons are still great buddies. It’s pretty clear why cheeto-head now sits in the oval office.


6/14/18


Salon: Cut Trump Supporters Off: The Horror of Migrant Kids Taken From Their Parents Demands Personal Action


6/12/18


Slate: Trump’s Deal With Kim Jong-UN is a Con Job, And You’re the Mark


6/9/18


Newsweek: DNC Rule Change May Block Bernie Sanders From Running as a Democrat in 2020 - Actually it’s much broader than that. It’s the culmination of a long process. By creating rules that preclude other parties from local ballot access; to stealing presidential debates from the League of Women Voters; to being owned by the same (now) 4 corporations that control 95% of all public media; to stealing the nominating process, and Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here,  from candidates most likely to win elections, and Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here; the democrapic party joins the rethugs in silencing any dissenting voices. Both parties are simply servants of capital and empire. The people have no voice.


6/4/18


UK Guardian: Far-Right Group Brawls With Antifascist Protestors in Portland - The parallels with Brown Shirts and Communists is unavoidable. Portland seems to be a hotbed for this type of activity, and Here. See entry of 8/16/17 for more detail.


NBC News: Trump Declares ‘Absolute Right’ to Pardon Himself - This is a ridiculous story and instead of using it to create turmoil, the national media should be using it to ridicule Trump for his complete stupidity. Instead it participates in this silly charade, and apparently is just as stupid.


There are no circumstances under which Trump would ever have the opportunity to pardon himself. Why? Under US law and court precedent, a sitting president cannot be indicted. The most Mueller can do is write a report to Congress and name Trump as an un-indicted co-conspirator, just as the Watergate Commission did with Nixon. At that point Congress has 2 options: 1. impeach and try him, and then remove him from office - in which case Mike Pence would become (probably a more damaging) president, or 2. do nothing. Only after the completion of option 1 could he be charged/prosecuted, but just like Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon, Pence would probably do the same for Trump.


But the national media and both parties want to keep us focused on guns, gays, abortion and Donald Trump’s latest tweets so they don’t have to engage in a serious way with the problems of global warming, perpetual war and its costs, the ever-widening wealth gap, increasing poverty, lack of affordable health care, unaffordable post-secondary education, crumbling infrastructure, etc. And apparently brain dead viewers just lap it all up. Pathetic!


6/2/18


Juan Cole: War Crimes: Israeli Snipers Kill Palestinian Nurse, Injure 100 At Gaza March of Return


Intercept: Whatever You Think of the Trump-Russia Investigation, Whistleblower Reality Winner Deserves Your Support - Winner stole one document and turned it over to the Intercept on 6/5/17, also see NYTimes article of the same day. That document revealed for the first time that Russia’s GRU had initiated a phishing scheme aimed at people who worked as some state voting offices. No evidence of hacking was ever revealed. There is nothing in this leaked document that was not already made public on 1/6/17 by the Director Of National Intelligence. For this she has been held in prison, without a trial, for over a year now - current trial date: October, 2018. She could remain in jail for 10 years for actions that many people agree were heroic. And yet she has been virtually forgotten by the corporate press both left and right.


By way of contrast, the case of Gen. David Petraeus provides an example of the hypocrisy and dual standards that the powerful hold over the rest of us. Petraeus, according to his indictment, gave to the woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair eight books containing “classified information regarding the identities of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities and mechanisms, diplomatic discussions, quotes and deliberative discussions from high-level National Security Council meetings … and [his personal] discussions with the president of the United States.”

Much of this was Top Secret, and some was SCI (Sensitive Compartmented Information) higher than Top Secret – and he admitted in his plea to lying to the FBI about his leaks, knowing that doing so was a crime in itself.” Winner on the other hand gave away nothing above the Classified level, and never lied about her role. Petraeus was given a slap on the wrist, no jail time, and is now a professor at CUNY, on the board of directors of Wall St. investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and is a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.


5/31/18


Democracy-NOW: John Bolton Names Professional Islamophobe as Chief of National Security Staff - Straight from the Center for Security Policy, named by Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim extremist group.


Socialist Alternative: Cynthia Nixon Challenges Establishment Democrats in NY State


5/30/18


Black Agenda Report: Why Our Green Parties Haven’t Taken Off - It’s perfectly OK for Democrats and Republicans to be politically unclear to their voting base...Base voters of the ruling class parties are only there to turn out election day and go home...Democrats and Republicans are granted ballot and media access by default...


In the Democratic and Republican parties there is no transmission belt between the wishes of voters, or even of campaign workers, and the policies enacted by the party’s candidates once they win office.


Democrats and Republicans will welcome you to make phone calls, to canvass and the like, but there’s no mechanism to translate your views into policy. They are not internally small d democratic organizations...


they use mass media to tell their followers what to think. If you’re a Democrat you watch MSNBC or CNN to find out what you think, and if you’re a Republican you watch Fox News or one of the Sinclair Broadcasting channels for your marching instructions...


a sustainable Green Party has to be built on a dues-based membership, with all officers directly responsible to the members who pay those dues...


The Green Party is also entirely correct in its consistent opposition to empire, to gentrification, destroying and despoiling the environment, and to an entire range of disastrous neoliberal policies which neither Democrats nor Republicans can denounce because their parties are ultimately controlled by their ruling class funders.


5/26/18


Slate: Outrage Grows as Horror of Policy to Split Children and Parents at Border Becomes Clear


5/25/18


The Hill: Christie Blocks Release of Correspondence With Kushner Companies


5/23/18


Reuters: Teacher Defeats Rising Republican Star in Kentucky’s State House Race - Mitch McConnell’s boy got whipped.


5/22/18


ACLU: ACLU Obtains Documents Showing Widespread Abuse of Child Immigrants in US Custody - Trump? Nope. Obama. Watch only what they do


Democracy-NOW: Pompeo Threatens Iran With Strongest Sanctions in History, Speeding the March to War - Insane. Despite the fact that 10 straight IEA reports have certified that Iran is living up to the treaty, and that all of the W. European nations want peace and trade with Iran, Trump pushes for war. This is all about John Bolton, Saudi Arabia, and the other nations in the region that want the US to fight their battles with Iran for them. The war corporations would like nothing better than - just like Iraq - 13 more years of war and the ‘austerity’ and the neo-liberal policies that could be rationalized in its support. If the American people remain complacent, and thus complicit, that is just what we’re going to get.


5/20/18


Intercept: Gaza: “The World’s Largest Concentration Camp”


5/18/18


UK Independent: UN Launches War Crimes Investigation Into Israeli Forces Shooting of Protestors


Democracy-NOW: Trump’s EPA Doesn’t Want You to Know Chemicals in Teflon Are Poisoning Waterways and Firefighters


Houston Chronicle: Teen Suspect in Santa Fe Shooting Promoted ‘Born to Kill’ German Nationalist Symbols on Facebook - Another possible white supremacist CWD.


5/17/18


Black Agenda Report: Deafening Democratic Silence on Gaza is Because They Own It Too


Democracy-NOW: Trump’s Pick to Replace Rex Tillerson As Sec. of State, John Bolton, Scores His First Major Mistake - Trump almost had his first big foreign policy success. But then...Release the Hounds!! Somebody cue Curly, Moe and Rudi!! They’re on next.


5/16/18


Democracy-NOW: A Wake-Up Call for the Democratic Leadership. 4 Candidates With Socialist Platforms Defeat Establishment Incumbents in PA Primaries


Democracy-NOW: Norman Finkelstein: Outrage Over Israeli Massacre Show Power of Non-Violent Palestinian Resistance - Palestinians have the right to break free of their “unlivable cage.”


NYTimes: In Rebuke of Trump, Tillerson Says Lies Are A Threat to Democracy - Republicans are about to off-load Trump. Remember where you heard it first. ;-)


But really the hypocrisy here is mind-boggling. Tillerson worked practically his whole life for Exxon and headed it for 11 years. Exxon’s own scientists were well aware of the problems that burning hydrocarbons would cause for humans ever since at least 1968, and Here, Here, Here, when it would have been relatively easy to stem those effects. Instead, the leaders of the company chose to hide that information and even fund junk science, and Here, to make the public feel there was some sort of scientific doubt about it, planted disinformation in the press - in terms of harmful results to the human race probably the worst lie that any corporation has ever perpetrated, and Here. Now Tillerson is talking about a “crisis of ethics and integrity,” public officials pushing ‘alternative realities,’ and ‘going wobbly on the truth.’ Amazing.


5/15/18


Socialist Alternative: Tax Amazon Movement Wins in Seattle - “On May 14, the Seattle City Council passed a historic tax on Amazon and other big corporations to fund permanently affordable, publicly owned housing. The driving force behind this victory was the strength of our #TaxAmazon movement. Under the leadership of housing activists, Socialist Alternative, Democratic Socialists of America and Councilmember Kshama Sawant, our movement put this issue on the table last fall when we occupied City Hall overnight and brought our fight into the November City Council budget hearings.”


5/14/18


Salon: Historian Benjamin Carter Hett: Trump’s “Cultivation of Dishonesty” Strongly Reminiscent of Nazis - By now it’s almost a cliche, but there are disturbing parallels. See entry of 8/16/17.


Democracy-NOW: Gaza: Israeli Soldiers Kill 50+ Non-Violent Palestinian Protestors As US Opens Jerusalem Embassy - 70 killed since May 30, 9,000 injured.


5/13/18


Truthdig: Chris Hedges: Killing Gaza


5/12/14


Salon: Angry Young White Men, The “Incel Rebellion” and An Age of Reaction - ““The anger of the middle-class white Americans is real,” he continues, but its aim “is misdirected not towards those who are the cause of their misery but against those who are just below them on the economic ladder.”


5/11/18


New Yorker: The Hard-Left Candidate Taking on the Democratic Establishment in SW Pennsylvania - “Here in this tiny race is the larger, existential battle over the future of the Democratic Party that is taking place across the country.”


UK Guardian: Black Activist Jailed For His Facebook Posts Speaks Out About Secret FBI Surveillance - He was identified under the FBI’s pseudo-secret ‘Black Identity Movement’ designation, and Here. He was arrested and incarcerated for 5 months. He lost his home and job. From the article: “The government’s own crime data has largely undermined the notion of a growing threat from a “black identity extremist” [BIE] movement, a term invented by law enforcement. In addition to an overall decline in police deaths, most individuals who shoot and kill officers are white men, and white supremacists have been responsible for nearly 75% of deadly extremist attacks since 2001.”


That’s what I call CWDs, and Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, Here, and Here.


5/10/18


McClatchy: “Tricked By the Devil” They Backed Trump. Now His Foreign Labor Cuts May Ruin Them.


Frontline: As Obama Eased Burma Sanctions, Some Saw Warnings of Massacre


5/9/18


UK Guardian: Israel Order Human Rights Watch Representative to Leave


5/8/18


NYTimes: Trump Abandons Iran Nuclear Deal He Long Scorned and Democracy-NOW - What an idiot! He’s alienated the US from our most important allies and opened the door for Iran to continue R&D on a nuclear bomb, which he incorrectly says would not have been prevented by the treaty. But hey, we live in Fox News/Trump-land. Down is Up.


Quick review: There are 190 signatory states to the 1968 Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. There are nine  countries in the world that possess nuclear weapons. 5 of those countries have signed that treaty (USA, Russia, UK, France, China). 4 of those countries have not (Israel, N. Korea, India, Pakistan), and now Trump has encouraged an additional nation to develop the bomb.


So basically Trump’s latest foreign policy actions have done nothing to lessen the possibility of nuclear war. Now that N. Korea has the bomb and a means of delivery, they want to sit down and talk. That was their goal in the first place. And now Trump has increased the potential for another non-signatory nation.


Intercept: A Pro-Choice Woman Runs Against a Forced-Birth Man in Dem Primary, but Women’s Groups Are Silent - Planned Parenthood (Cecil Richards), NARAL (Ilyse Hogue), EMILY’s List, Ultra-Violet Action are nothing more than front groups for the DNC (Tom Perez, Neera Tanden) and take their orders from the Democrapic elite (Pelosi, Steny Hoyer). See ya! Wouldn’t wanna be ya!


5/6/18


Reuters: Trump Lawyer Giuliani Does Not Rule Out Payments Were Made to Other Women - Again, you can’t make this stuff up. Hilarious!


5/5/18


Happy Karl Marx Day on his 200th Birthday!!

Quartz: Capitalism Is Unfolding Exactly As Karl Marx Predicted - Karl Marx was right: The motivating force of capitalism is the exploitation of labor, whose unpaid work is the source of profit. The employer can claim rights to profit mainly through property rights enforced by the capitalist state. Without government intervention/regulation, wealth, in a capitalistic system, tends to concentrate towards the top creating greater and greater disparity between the classes.


Socialist Alternative: Karl Marx’s Theory of Class Struggle: The Working Class and Revolution


5/4/18


UK Guardian: Trump Set to Benefit as Qatar Buys $6.5 M Apartment in New York Tower


Salon: Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani: A Pair of Aging New York Goons Plot Their Last Heist - Hilarious article. As I mentioned back on 4/19, this is really going to fun to watch, and it’s just getting started. Also today, Trump said that Giuliani will be getting his facts straight any day now. I don’t think this partnership or this presidency is going to last much longer, so enjoy it while you can.


5/2/18


UK Guardian: Pope Francis on Chile Sexual Abuse Scandal: ‘I Was Part of the Problem’ - Just another stalling attempt on the part of the church.


5/1/18


Intercept: New Bipartisan Bill Could Give Any President the Power to Imprison US Citizens In Military Detention Forever - ...based on evidence that is “too sensitive to reveal.” Actually under the 2011 - 2014 AUMF, and Here, HereHere, the president already had that power, but good to remind us all. We live in a corporate controlled police state that records every phone call, email, Skype, tweet, Facebook post, online comment, credit card charge, every visit to your lawyer, doctor, dentist, even veterinarian, and stores it all for later use, and Here.


And the person most responsible for it was Obama, backed by such corporatists as Clinton and Kaine, and Here. And now look who has that power.


Reuters: “Teacher’s Spring” Forcing Lawmakers to Find Money for Schools


BAR: Cory Booker Blames Black America for Trump, But Has Only Himself to Blame - “What the Democratic Party is incapable of realizing is that the longer it fails to acknowledge its own shortcomings, the weaker and less popular it becomes.” Now where have you heard that before?


4/30/18


Intercept: Whether America Can Afford a Job Guarantee Program is Not Up For Debate - We’re already spending the money it would take to do so. But we’re giving it all to large corporations, who then just use it for stock buybacks and executive salary/bonuses, and Here, and Here. This article is a great compilation of the facts to support that statement. A job guarantee program is absurdly popular, and all demoCraps should be running on it, but they are too addicted to corporate donations to even give it a try. It has always been a part of the Green Party platform.


McClatchy: Here’s How Much the Republican Party Pays to Meet At Trump’s Resort In Miami


Reuters: Democrats Lose Ground with Millennials - Because the same leadership that created the disaster of 2016 are still in charge.


Voter-GA: Audit Reveals SOS Cover-Up in Elections Data Destruction


4/27/18


New Republic: Scott Pruitt Is Forced to Confront Reality


4/26/18


Green Party: Jill Stein Breaks Silence, Completing Handover of Document to Senate Committee - “The information provided includes documents regarding my 2015 visit to Russia to speak at RT‘s 10th anniversary conference on media and international relations, an extension of my trip to the UN climate conference in Paris, where I also spoke with international leaders and activists. The materials include records of the campaign’s payment for my trip to Russia as well as longstanding Green Party policy objectives of promoting dialogue and diplomacy as essential alternatives to war, nuclear confrontation and climate catastrophe...


Concerns about foreign interference should not distract us from interference in plain sight originating from within our own borders. That includes the actions of the Democratic National Committee, which biased its party’s own primaries, effectively disenfranchising millions of Bernie Sanders’ voters; corporate media that gave Donald Trump billions in extra free airtime because he was “damn good” for network profits, in the words of CBS’ CEO; or voter suppression schemes like voter ID laws, Interstate Crosscheck and felon disenfranchisement that systematically deny millions of Americans their constitutional right to vote.”


Why is all this happening? Because the Craps and the Thugs are worried over the popularity of a strong 3rd party.


BAR: Democrats Prepare to Pimp The Left Again in 2018 and 2020 - Interesting viewpoint from a former Democrat grass-roots, get-out-the-vote activist. The article is short, a 5-min read at most and deserves a full reading, but here are a couple of choice excerpts:


Typically the decision makers, whether they are Democratic honchos or nominal non-profits are the kind of petit bourgeois folks who prefer to spend the money on media rather than local meetings and mobilizations, as some of the best connected among them get commissions or other rake-offs on media buys, and media will be the overwhelming portion of their “electoral organizing” budgets...


The aim of political campaigns and their affiliated non-partisan voter registration and education projects is to get that big base vote out, and to let people go home to be spectators again after the election. Democratic party honchos allow, even encourage activists to make promises about ongoing mobilizations after election day to enforce “accountability” to the grassroots, promises which Democrat higher-ups know perfectly well will not be kept. The activists have no organizational resources to fund ongoing grassroots mobilizations, and the Democratic party has no machinery whatsoever to translate the wishes of its base voters or the grassroots activists who mobilize them into policy...


Tens of thousands of grassroots activists stumped for Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008 hoping they’d see single payer health care enacted. The campaign’s official body, Obama For America was to hold a series of electronically linked local meetings across the country following the new president’s inauguration. But when many of the OFA meetings trended toward demanding Medicare For All, subsequent meetings were called off, and OFA was mothballed.


Despite whatever grassroots Democrat activists do, their party’s top shot callers remain war mongering corporate shills, the servants of finance capital, big real estate, Big Ag, Big Pharma, the entertainment industry, military contractors and the deep state.” End excerpts.


Medicare-For-All? An end to lawless drone killings and perpetual, expanding war? Big bank regulation? Neither the (demo)Craps nor the (re)Thugs will ever do any of that.


Intercept: Secretly Taped Audio Reveals Democratic Leadership Pressuring Progressives to Leave the Race and Democracy-NOW and The Hill - The same tactic that put Cheeto-head in the White House has now become standard practice in the Crap party, and Here, Here. They haven’t learned a damn thing.


Reuters: White House Doctor Ronny Jackson Withdraws From VA Nomination - This was the doc who recently reported to the world that Cheeto-head was in top-notch physical shape.


4/25/18


NYTimes: A Lynching Memorial is Opening. The Country Has Never Seen Anything Like It.


4/24/18


Intercept: Dear Saudi Crown Prince Supporters: Your Hero May Allow Women to Drive, But He’s Also A War Criminal


UK Guardian: Hillary Clinton Unleashed Foul-Mouthed Tirade in Trump Debate Prep Session - Yet another book trying to unravel why Hillary lost, but carefully avoiding the actual reason: too many terrible advisers - that still run the party. This article does point up one item of interest: They should have listened a little closer to what Bill Clinton was telling them throughout the campaign.


In the end, they blame it on everything except themselves: It was Comey. It was Trump. It was Sanders. It was Putin. It was Assange. It was “deplorables.” It was sexism. It was TV news. No, it was just a completely dysfunctional campaign in which neither Hillary nor her inside-the-beltway ‘advisers’ could ever answer the most basic question...and she was just an awful candidate, from which the Democratic party seems to have drawn no lessons whatsoever, and seems determined to continue repeating the same mistakes, using the same ‘advisers.’


4/23/18


Democracy-NOW: Israeli Snipers Kill 4 More Unarmed Palestinian At Gaza Border, Including 15 Year Old Boy


4/20/18


Intercept: The DNC’s Lawsuit Against Wikileaks Poses a Serious Threat to Press Freedom


4/19/18


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


4/18/18


Socialist Alternative: Tax Amazon! Affordable Housing Alliance and Socialist Alternative Bring Housing Fight to Tech Giant’s Doorstep - Net income last year: $3 Billion. Tax Bill: $0 and a $789 Million tax refund


4/17/18


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.


4/16/18


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


4/12/18


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


4/11/18


BAR: The DemoCrap “Deep State” Takeover and the Moribund State of American Politics - “Democrats make gun violence in America the primary midterm election issue because the passage of single payer healthcare, a scale back of the military budget, or a reduction in poverty are not issues that the Wall Street-owned, CIA Democrats want to touch. The system of imperialism is swallowing itself.”


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.


4/10/18


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


4/9/18


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



4/5/18


Broadly: Restricting abortion Access is Class Warfare


4/4/18


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.


4/3/18


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.


3/30/18


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


3/29/18


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.”


3/28/18


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


3/26/18


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


Socialist Alternative: Amazon Paid $0 in Taxes in 2017 - This was on profits of $5.6 Billion. With Trump’s new tax law Amazon will receive a $789 Million tax refund. Jeff Bezos makes more money in one minute than the average yearly salary of his warehouse works.


3/23/18


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


3/18/18


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


3/17/18


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


3/15/18


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


3/14/18


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.


3/13/18


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


3/12/18


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.


3/11/18


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?”


3/9/18


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


3/8/18


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


3/7/18


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.


3/6/18


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


3/5/18


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


3/2/18


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


3/1/18


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


2/28/18


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.


2/26/18


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


2/25/18


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. …”


2/24/18


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


2/23/18


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.


2/22/18


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.”


2/21/18


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


2/20/18


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.


2/19/18


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.


2/17/18


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


2/16/18


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.


2/10/18


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


2/9/18


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.


2/8/18


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.


2/5/18


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


2/2/18


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


2/1/18


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?


1/31/18


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


1/29/18


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...


1/26/18


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?


1/25/18


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.


1/23/18


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.


1/22/18


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’.?.


1/21/18


Truth Dig: Poll Debunks ‘Bernie Bros’ Phenomenon


1/19/18


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.


1/18/18


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


1/17/18


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


NPR: Poll: Americans Have Little Confidence in Political Institutions



1/12/18


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.



1/11/18


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.


1/10/18


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


1/9/18


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.


1/8/18


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


1/7/18


New Yorker: The Increasing Unfitness of Donald Trump


1/5/18


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


1/4/18


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


1/3/18


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.


1/2/18


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


1/1/18


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