Tuesday, November 6, 2018

A CURE FOR OUR AILING DEMOCRACY?

If the national ID system were the key to getting your health care and medications, there’d be no need for “voter registration” and no ability for the GOP to purge voters.
(Thom Hartmann at Common Dreams.org)

EXCERPT:

"The GOP stepped up their voter suppression game in 1980 when Heritage Foundation, ALEC, and Moral Majority co-founder and Reagan campaigner Paul Weyrich famously said, “I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people; they never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections, quite candidly, goes up as the voting populace goes down.”

In that, he was following on an old Republican strategy of caging and polling-place intimidation, which earned William Rehnquist his rock-star status in the GOP back in the 1960s.

This is still the GOP game plan, although they’ve turned it into an art form."

* * * * *
Democrats cheat, but they're not very good at it.
HERE'S A SHORT LIST OF GOP TACTICS

The deception started long before Donald Trump.
(Thom Hartmann at Alternet.org)

EXCERPT:

"People are wondering out loud about the parallels between today’s Republican Party and organized crime, and whether “Teflon Don” Trump will remain unscathed through his many scandals, ranging from interactions with foreign oligarchs to killing tens of thousands of Americans by denying them healthcare to stepping up the destruction of our environment and public lands.  

History suggests – even if treason can be demonstrated – that, as long as he holds onto the Republican Party (and Fox News), he’ll survive it intact. And he won’t be the first Republican president to commit high crimes to get and stay in office.  

In fact, Eisenhower was the last legitimately elected Republican president we’ve had in this country."

Monday, November 5, 2018

SCUM VS. SCUM

A Talking Bag midterm special post!

Chris Hedges puts America's elections in perspective. Too much fucking perspective.

(Chris Hedges at TruthDig.com)

"Our system of legalized bribery is an equal-opportunity employer."
(Greg Palast.com)

BREAKING NEWS!

Republican gubernatorial nominee Brian Kemp made a hacking allegation against Democrats.
(AP News/Huffington Post.com)

"ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s online voter database morphed into a last-minute curveball in one of the nation’s hottest governor’s races, with Republican nominee Brian Kemp making a hacking allegation against Democrats just as reporting emerged of a gaping vulnerability in a system that Kemp controls as secretary of state.

Kemp’s office did not detail any nefarious acts by Democrats, offering no evidence for Sunday’s unusual action that effectively means the state’s chief elections officer began a probe of his partisan opposition days before an election.

Polls suggest Kemp and Democrat Stacey Abrams are locked in a tight race that even before Sunday had evolved into a bitter back-and-forth over voting rights and ballot security.

The state Democratic Party called Kemp’s accusation “a reckless and unethical ploy” and said he was using the FBI to support “false accusations.”

Kemp’s actions amount to “banana republic stuff” and are “perhaps the most outrageous example of election administration partisanship in the modern era,” wrote election law expert Richard Hasen in Slate."

* * * * *

(Richard L. Hasen at Slate.com)

"In perhaps the most outrageous example of election administration partisanship in the modern era, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who is running for governor while simultaneously in charge of the state’s elections, has accused the Democratic Party without evidence of hacking into the state’s voter database. He plastered a headline about it on the Secretary of State’s website, which thousands of voters use to get information about voting on election day.

It’s just the latest in a series of partisan moves by Kemp, who has held up more than 50,000 voter registrations for inconsistencies as small as a missing hyphen, fought rules to give voters a chance to prove their identities when their absentee ballot applications are rejected for a lack of a signature match, and been aggressive in prosecuting those who have done nothing more than try to help those in need of assistance in casting ballots.

But the latest appalling move by Kemp to publicly accuse the Democrats of hacking without evidence is even worse than that: Kemp has been one of the few state election officials to refuse help from the federal Department of Homeland Security to deter foreign and domestic hacking of voter registration databases. After computer scientists demonstrated the insecurity of the state’s voting system, he was sued for having perhaps the most vulnerable election system in the country. His office has been plausibly accused of destroying evidence, which would have helped to prove the vulnerabilities of the state election system."
IT WASN'T THE RUSSIANS!

American plutocrats are adept at stealing elections, without outside interference.

Facebook Said 80,000 Russian Posts Were Buried in 33 Trillion Facebook Offerings Over Two-Year Period Further Undermining NYT’s Case 
(Gareth Porter at Consortium News.com)

EXCERPT:

"...And now, according to the further research, the odds that Americans saw any of these IRA [Russian] ads—let alone were influenced by them—are even more astronomical. In his Oct. 2017 testimony, Stretch said that from 2015 to 2017, “Americans using Facebook were exposed to, or ‘served,’ a total of over 33 trillion stories in their News Feeds.”

To put the 33 trillion figure over two years in perspective, the 80,000 Russian-origin Facebook posts represented just .0000000024 of total Facebook content in that time.

Shane and Mazzetti did not report the 33 trillion number even though The New York Times’ own coverage of that 2017 Stretch testimony explicitly stated, “Facebook cautioned that the Russia-linked posts represented a minuscule amount of content compared with the billions of posts that flow through users’ News Feeds everyday.”

The Times‘ touting of the bogus 126 million out 137 million voters, while not reporting the 33 trillion figure, should vie in the annals of journalism as one of the most spectacularly misleading uses of statistics of all time."

Sunday, November 4, 2018

RIGGING THE VOTE

Underhand Republican tactics – gerrymandering, voter suppression, more – underpin a vice-like grip on power
(Ian Samuel at The Guardian.com)

"The American right is in the midst of a formidable project: installing permanent minority rule, guaranteeing control of the government even as the number of actual human beings who support their political program dwindles.

Voter suppression is one, but only one, loathsome tactic in this effort, which goes far beyond just winning one election. Minority rule is the result of interlocking and mutually reinforcing strategies which must be understood together to understand the full picture of what the American right wants to achieve."
RALPH NADER RADIO HOUR

A bowl of fresh fruit, a cup of black coffee, and a healthy dose of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour is a great way to start the day!

(Ralph Nader Radio Hour)
November 3, 2018

"Ralph welcomes journalist and author, Anand Giridharadas to talk about his book, “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World,” which argues that rich “do-gooders” don’t really want to change the system that made them rich."

(Ralph Nader Radio Hour)
October 27, 2018

"Ralph talks to Democratic Congressman, Jamie Raskin, about what issues the Dems have to run on to take over the House. And editor of Ballot Access News, Richard Winger, explains how the two major parties conspire to keep third parties off the ballot. Plus, listener questions!"

Friday, November 2, 2018

LEE CAMP'S COMEDY COMMENTARY

(Joe Lauria interviews Lee Camp on Consortium News Radio)

"Comedian Lee Camp joins Consortium News Radio for Episode 4, discussing the state of America’s wars, prisons and media, as well as his new comedy special to be released on mid-term U.S. Election Day, November 6, 2018."

* * * * *

(RT Show)

"With reality now seeming like a Shakespearean comedy, perhaps only comedy can truly bring truth to the people. DC-born comedian Lee Camp and a talented cast do just that with RT America’s first comedy show - Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp. This is not your grandparents’ satire program. Every week Redacted Tonight will provide comedy news with a punch. This weekly satire show tackles all the real news stories the mainstream media failed to mention and provides new angles on the ones they do."

(Podcast)

With Lee Camp and Eleanor Goldfield.

Censored stories, sensible solutions and common ground movements to fight and build.

And sometimes other stuff too.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

AMUSING OURSELVES TO DEATH

This wonderful book published in 1985 by Neil Postman, analyzes the detrimental effects of television on meaningful public discourse. News as entertainment has only become worse since then. As a society we have become screen-obsessed zombies, distracted slaves to the corporate state.

Postman's argument that Huxley's, rather than Orwell's, dystopian vision more accurately describes our own is both compelling and meritorious. The state need not repress and oppress a terrorized society, if we willingly abrogate our liberties by passively absorbing pleasant distractions, rather than participating legitimately in our democracy. Sadly, more for us all than for the late Dr. Postman, I consider his refutation of "1984" as an American nightmare OBE (overcome by events).

(Richard Heffner interview with Neil Postman
 on The Open Mind
YouTube.com)

* * * * *

"Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985) is a book by educator Neil Postman. The book's origins lay in a talk Postman gave to the Frankfurt Book Fair in 1984. He was participating in a panel on George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and the contemporary world. In the introduction to his book, Postman said that the contemporary world was better reflected by Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, whose public was oppressed by their addiction to amusement, than by Orwell's work, where they were oppressed by state control...
-Wilipedia.org"

* * * * *

"Television has conditioned us to tolerate visually entertaining material measured out in spoonfuls of time, to the detriment of rational public discourse and reasoned public affairs. In this eloquent, persuasive book, Neil Postman alerts us to the real and present dangers of this state of affairs, and offers compelling suggestions as to how to withstand the media onslaught. Before we hand over politics, education, religion, and journalism to the show business demands of the television age, we must recognize the ways in which the media shape our lives and the ways we can, in turn, shape them to serve out highest goals...
- Goodreads.com"

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

ON CONTACT WITH CHRIS HEDGES

Another great, too brief interview by Chris Hedges.

(Glen Ford talks with Chris Hedges)

"Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report, talks to Chris Hedges about the history of affirmative action, reparations, and the con of diversity in America."
GLENN GREENWALD

(The Intercept.com)

"LAST NIGHT WAS emotional and moving in so many ways and it occurred, of all places, at an outdoor Roger Waters stadium concert in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: four days before this large, beautiful and struggling country, out of desperation, fear and anger, is likely to elect a genuinely menacing monster, and empower his movement in ways that were unthinkable until very recently."
DA MOCHERY

(Greg Palst at Truthout.org)

"Last year, Brian Kemp, Georgia’s secretary of state canceled the registrations of over half a million Georgians because they left the state or moved to another county. Except they didn’t. The nation’s top experts in address location reviewed Kemp’s list of purged voters — and returned the names and addresses of 340,134 who never moved at all.

John Lenser, CEO of CohereOne of San Rafael, California, led the team analyzing the purge list. He concluded, “340,000 of those voters remained at their original address. They should have never been removed from the voter registration rolls.”

This is the story of the mass exodus from Georgia that never happened, and the mass purge of voters by Kemp, GOP candidate for governor, through methods guaranteed to disproportionately take away the vote from the young, the poor and voters of color."

Thursday, October 25, 2018

THE LAND OF MAKE BELIEVE

The powers that be are worried their propaganda is not adequately misinforming the masses, so they're stepping up media censorship.

(Max Blumenthal & Jeb Sprague at Consortiumnews.com)

"At a Berlin security conference, hardline neocon Jamie Fly appeared to claim some credit for the recent coordinated purge of alternative media, report Max Blumenthal and Jeb Sprague."

CASHING IN ON CORPSES 101

(Tom Dispatch.com)

"In a conflict with no end in sight that is now not only the longest in American history but more than four times as long as World War II, the “finest fighting force that the world has ever known” hasn’t been able to discover a hint of victory anywhere. And that’s something that could be said as well of the rest of its war on terror across the Greater Middle East and ever-expanding regions of Africa. Today, TomDispatch regular retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel William Astore suggests that no great military stays at war for 17 years unless it is, in some sense, victorious. As a result, in his latest post, he explores just where, in our increasingly upside-down American world, evidence of such triumph might be found."

Why American Leaders Persist in Waging Losing Wars
Hint: They’re Winning in Other Ways
By William J. Astore
(see above link)

"As America enters the 18th year of its war in Afghanistan and its 16th in Iraq, the war on terror continues in Yemen, Syria, and parts of Africa, including Libya, Niger, and Somalia. Meanwhile, the Trump administration threatens yet more war, this time with Iran. (And given these last years, just how do you imagine that’s likely to turn out?) Honestly, isn’t it time Americans gave a little more thought to why their leaders persist in waging losing wars across significant parts of the planet?  So consider the rest of this piece my attempt to do just that."

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

BURN 'EM IF YOU GOT 'EM

(Democracy Now.org)

"During Tuesday’s debate, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams defended her actions in 1992 when she helped burn the Georgia state flag, which at the time contained a prominent Confederate battle flag. In a victory for civil rights advocates, the flag was later changed. We speak to Leah Wright Rigueur, professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University."

GREG PALAST EXPOSES VOTER FRAUD

(Democracy Now.org)

"A new investigation has found Georgia secretary of state and Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp has overseen the removal of more than 340,000 current Georgia residents from voting rolls. We speak with Greg Palast, a journalist who has been investigating Brian Kemp and voter suppression in Georgia. He has joined a lawsuit against Kemp over the purge."


(Caitlin Johnstone.com)

"As I predicted long ago, “Mueller isn’t going to find anything in 2017 that these vast, sprawling networks wouldn’t have found in 2016. He’s not going to find anything by ‘following the money’ that couldn’t be found infinitely more efficaciously via Orwellian espionage. The factions within the intelligence community that were working to sabotage the incoming administration last year would have leaked proof of collusion if they’d had it. They did not have it then, and they do not have it now. Mueller will continue finding evidence of corruption throughout his investigation, since corruption is to DC insiders as water is to fish, but he will not find evidence of collusion to win the 2016 election that will lead to Trump’s impeachment. It will not happen.” This has remained as true in 2018 as it did in 2017, and it will remain true forever."

JIMMY DORE: RUSSIAGATE REPORT

(YouTube.com)

Published on Oct 23, 2018
"As Mueller winds down his investigation, the media is warning that there won't be any evidence of Russian Collusion, and worse, we'll probably never even see the report."

Monday, October 22, 2018

SINGLE PAYER SAVES LIVES AND MONEY

(Ralph Nader Radio Hour)

"Michael Lighty, Policy Director for National Nurses United, makes the case for Medicare For All and points out the gap between the Democratic “base” and its “donors.” Plus Ralph tells us about his new book, “To The Ramparts: How Bush and Obama Paved the Way For the Trump Presidency and How It’s Not Too Late to Change Course.” Plus, listener questions!"

* * * * *

(YouTube.com)

Published on Oct 1, 2018
"Ralph Nader discusses his book, "To The Ramparts", at Politics and Prose on 9/23/18."


GROSSLY OFFENSIVE PLUTOCRATS (GOP)

(William Rivers Pitt at Truthout.org)

EXCERPT:

"One could spend a bag of lifetimes parsing the collected failures of the individuals featured in the painting – yes, even Honest Abraham Lincoln, who had unfriendly newspaper editors arrested by the score – but I choose to stick to three of the presidents I have personally endured.

The administrations and legacies of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush combine to tell a long, sorry tale of corruption, greed, brazen lies, abused power and religious fundamentalism gone wild that, in whole and in part, put us where we are today."

THOM HARTMANN

(Truthdig.com)

EXCERPT:

"Ever since the election of Ronald Reagan, Republicans have been working overtime to kneecap institutions that support the American middle class. And, as any working-class family can tell you, the GOP has had some substantial successes, particularly in shifting both income and political power away from voters and toward billionaires and transnational corporations.

In July of 2015, discussing SCOTUS’s 5 to 4 conservative vote on Citizens United, President Jimmy Carter told me: “It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery…” He added: “[W]e’ve just seen a complete subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors…”

Thursday, October 18, 2018

JIMMY DORE

This three-part Chris Hedges interview on YouTube was amusing, interesting, enlightening and frightening. Well worth your time.

(Chris Hedges on The Jimmy Dore Show)

(Chris Hedges on The Jimmy Dore Show)

(Chris Hedges on The Jimmy Dore Show)


TWO FACED OR...
ONE FACE THAT'S TWICE AS BAD?

"Mitch McConnell wants to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to pay for Republicans' massive giveaway to the rich and large corporations," said Sen. Bernie Sanders. "Enough!"
(Jake Johnson at Common Dreams.org)

"Openly confirming that it has been the GOP's plan all along to ram through deficit-exploding tax cuts for the rich and then gut crucial safety net programs to pay for the difference, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday falsely blamed America's soaring deficit on "entitlements"—the scare word Republicans use in place of Medicare and Social Security—and said these programs must be cut to bring federal spending under control."

DISTRACTING BULL USING A RED CAPER

(Gareth Porter at Consortiumnews.com)

"The idea promoted by the NYT’s Shane & Mazzetti that the Russian government seriously threatened to determine the 2016 election does not hold up when the larger social media context is examined more closely, reports Gareth Porter."

* * * * *

"In their long recapitulation of the case that Russia subverted the 2016 election, Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti of The New York Times painted a picture of highly effective Russian government exploitation of social media for that purpose. Shane and Mazzetti asserted that “anti-Clinton, pro-Trump messages shared with millions of voters by Russia could have made the difference” in the election.

“What we now know with certainty: The Russians carried out a landmark intervention that will be examined for decades to come,” they write elsewhere in the 10,000-word article.

But an investigation of the data they cite to show that the Russian campaigns on Facebook and Twitter were highly effective reveals a gross betrayal of journalistic responsibility. Shane and Mazzetti have constructed a case that is fundamentally false and misleading with statistics that exaggerate the real effectiveness of social media efforts by orders of magnitude."

_____________________________

(Peter Collins at Consortiumnews.com)

(YouTube.com)

"Gareth Porter discusses with radio host Peter B. Collins his Consortium News article exposing exaggerated claims of Russian skulduggery on Facebook in 2016."

GOD BUBBLE

(Greta Christina at Alternet.org)

"Here are nine questions you shouldn’t ask atheists. I’m going to answer them, just this once, and then I’ll explain why you shouldn’t be asking them, and why so many atheists will get ticked off if you do."

MAX BUTT

Corporate media has for decades given megaphones to spokesmodels serving the U.S. oligarchs. Examples abound, in fact finding an alternative is all but impossible. I try to highlight the efforts of those dedicated to speaking truth to both power and the powerless here at Talkingbag.

Despite being horrifically wrong about virtually everything, these scions and sycophants are provided megaphones to amplify their flawed and disastrous rhetoric. The list of misinformers is endless, Boot is just another turd currently floating in the Main Stream punch bowl.

(Peter Maass at The Intercept.com)

"It’s easy to understand why a penitent like Boot appeals to liberals and other members of the Trump resistance. He ratifies their sense of having been correct from the start, and his confession is enunciated in perfect sound bites, with just the right dose of abasement. Boot is an irresistible spectacle — the sinner with tears running down his cheeks dropping to his knees at the altar of all that is good, proclaiming that he has seen the light and wants to join the army of righteousness. But here’s the thing: Boot is only half-apologizing. And because he’s been wrong so many times and with so many ill consequences, he should be provided with nothing more than a polite handshake as he’s led out of the sanctuary of politics, forever.

CorrosionOfConservatism_9781631495670-1539285151 Photo: Courtesy of Liveright Publishing
WHEN I SAY wrong, I mean Guinness World Records wrong. In his first book, “Out of Order,” Boot argued that the Supreme Court erred when it ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that school segregation violated the Constitution (“I am not proud of ‘Out of Order,’” he now says); he was a key proponent of the invasion of Iraq (“Once we have deposed Saddam, we can impose an American-led, international regency in Baghdad, to go along with the one in Kabul,” he proclaimed in 2001); he thought John Bolton was treated unfairly when Democrats opposed his 2005 nomination for ambassador to the United Nations (“He seems like a good choice to help drain the U.N. cesspool of corrupt bureaucrats and self-serving tyrants”); he thought Ahmed Chalabi was “the most unfairly maligned man on the planet” long after the Iraqi exile’s dissembling was apparent to everyone except the staff of Commentary magazine; and as Boot notes in his mea culpa, he totally failed to notice the dark side of the GOP. “It’s amazing how little you can see when your eyes are closed,” he squeaks."

Monday, October 15, 2018

RALPH IS THE SOLUTION, NOT THE PROBLEM

Unrepentant about the 2000 race, Nader argues that Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton “enabled” Donald Trump
(Andrew O'Hehir at Alternet.org)

"Gore lost to Bush in that fateful election, Nader says, for what he calls “the following sine qua non reasons.” (He hasn’t practiced law for quite a while, but must have been the kind of lawyer you hate seeing on the other side.)

He lost because they stole it from him in Florida and blocked him 5-4, in Scalia's Supreme Court, from an ongoing Florida Supreme Court recount. It would have come out in his favor. He also knows he lost his home state of Tennessee, which is really not often done. He was a senator and a representative [from that state]. He lost for a lot of other reasons: He didn't come out authentic during the debates. Everybody thought he was going to totally plow George W. Bush under, but each time he came out, you didn't know which Al Gore you would get. ... In one debate, he and George Bush agreed over 23 times during the debate: "I agree with him!" He didn't run a very good campaign.

Now, I believe everyone has a right to run for election in this country. I don't think any of my critics would keep me from doing that. The real problem is that they're looking for scapegoats. The Green Party is an easy scapegoat because I got 97,000 votes [in Florida], and there were 537 votes, before the recount, that separated Bush and Gore. But what they don't point out is that 300,000 Democrats in Florida voted for George W. Bush. Or that the Secretary of State and Bush's brother, Jeb Bush, who was the governor, engaged in a lot of shenanigans, including disqualifying people whose name sounded like ex-felons -- thousands of them, not just a few crazy ballots.

So there were a lot of sine qua nons, and what I tell people is, “You're giving the Green Party delusions of grandeur.” They are responsible for the Electoral College, which put [the decisive result] in Florida, because Gore won the popular vote nationwide. They're responsible for the 5-4 Scalia Supreme Court. They are responsible for 300,000 Democrats in Florida voting for George W. Bush. They're responsible for Tennessee. And how about sunspots? Why don't you add sunspots, right?"

NAOMI KLEIN

(The Intercept.com)

"How exactly do you rationalize being lifted up by an intricate latticework of familial and social supports (tutors, prep schools, connections at the best universities, entry-level executive jobs, capital to play with), and then setting about shredding the meager safety net available to those without your good luck? How do you convince yourself that, despite having been handed so much, you are not just right but righteous in attacking the “handouts” received by single mothers working two jobs? How, when you know your own family fortune has benefited from enormous government subsidies (cheap housing loans for the Trumps, oil subsidies for the Kochs and Scaifes, direct weapons contracts for the Olins) do you begrudge paying the same tax rate as your employees?"

Sunday, October 14, 2018

CHRIS HEDGES ON PIRATE TV

(YouTube.com)

"Published on Oct 9, 2018
Pirate TV welcomes back Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges for the 6th time. In his current book, America: The Farewell Tour, Hedges, takes a close look at the array of pathologies that have arisen out of a profound malaise of hopelessness as the society disintegrates due to the "slow moving [corporate] Coup d'état" instituted by the ruling classes in the '70s in reaction to the activist movements and reforms of the '60s. This disintegration has resulted in an epidemic of diseases of despair and a civil society that has ceased to function. Hedges asserts that the opioid crisis, the rise of magical thinking, the celebration of sadism, and a host of other ills are the physical manifestations of a society ravaged by corporate pillage and a failed democracy. Join Hedges for a sobering discussion of the changing landscape of our country—and a poignant cry from communities across America that seeks to jolt us out of complacency while there is still time.

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and former foreign correspondent for fifteen years for The New York Times where he served as the Middle East Bureau Chief and Balkan Bureau Chief. He previously worked overseas for The Dallas Morning News, The Christian Science Monitor, and NPR. He writes a weekly column for the online magazine Truthdig out of Los Angeles and is host of the Emmy Award­–winning RT America show “On Contact.” He is the author of the bestsellers American Fascists, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt, and was a National Book Critics Circle finalist for War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.

Thanks to Town Hall Seattle, Seattle University & Third Place Books
Recorded 10/8/18"

Thursday, October 11, 2018

TWO FACE

Hypocrisy reigns supreme in our nation's Capital. Too bad it isn't a capital offense.

Mitch McConnell famously said his single biggest goal was for Barack Obama "to be a one-term president."
(Mark Sumner at Alternet.org)

"The Associated Press is reporting that Mitch McConnell has a warning for Democrats—if you win, leave the president alone.

McConnell: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

Wednesday, October 10, 2018


(October 7, 2018)

"Author Virginia Eubanks explains to Chris Hedges how the goals of Victorian-era poorhouses have evolved with 21st century high-tech to exert control and surveillance of needy, poor, and homeless people. Eubanks is an associate professor of political science at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor."

(September 30, 2018)

"Chris Hedges interviews former combat veteran and US Army officer Spenser Rapone about bravery and morality. The second lieutenant was given an “other than honorable” discharge June 18 after an army investigation determined that he “went online to promote a socialist revolution and disparage high-ranking officers,” and thereby engaged in “conduct unbecoming an officer.”

(Ralph Nader Radio Hour)
October 6, 2018

"Ralph and Lisa Graves, former general counsel for judicial nominations under Democrat Patrick Leahy, tick off a long list of reasons why Brett Kavanaugh should not be elevated to the Supreme Court. And Dr. John Geyman returns to discuss his new book “Trumpcare: Lies, Broken Promises, How It Is Failing, and What Should Be Done.”

(Ralph Nader Radio Hour)
September 15, 2018

"Ralph welcomes Jeffrey Clements, founder of “American Promise,” an organization that seeks to write a 28th Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. He is also author of the book, “Corporations Are Not People: Reclaiming Democracy From Big Money & Global Corporations.” Plus: Listener Questions!"

The media wants you to think Russia is a threat to our "democracy." The real problem is our home grown corruption, our long history of voter suppression, manipulation, and theft. The U.S.A. doesn't pass its own world-wide standards for a functioning democracy.

Stealing thousands of votes is ignored while we chase the phantom of someone voting twice. 


* * * * * *

(Greg Palast.com)

"A team of database experts, statisticians, lawyers and investigators working with the Palast Investigative Fund discovered — and Indiana now admits — that these thousands of voters were cancelled in violation of a June 2018 federal court order that barred the state from using the notorious Interstate Crosscheck purge list sent to state officials by Kris Kobach, Secretary of State of Kansas."

(Greg Palast.com)

"It’s no coincidence that Georgia’s Purge’n General is also running for Governor: The Republican candidate is fighting a dead-even race against Stacey Abrams, Democratic House Minority Leader. Abrams, if she wins, would become the first Black woman governor in US history.

Suspiciously, Kemp sent no notice to these citizens after he took away their voting rights. If they show up to vote on November 6, they’re out of luck — and so is Georgia’s democracy."
COURTING DISASTER

(Bill Blum at TruthDig.com)

"One of the dominant myths of our political culture holds that the courts are nonpartisan. As Chief Justice John Roberts declared by way of an analogy to the role of baseball umpires in his 2005 confirmation hearing, the “job” of judges “is to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.”

Cute, but not so."

(Jacob Sugarman at TruthDig.com)

"These are the facts. The Senate majority, which the Republican Party currently holds with 51 seats, presently represents 44 percent of the country’s population. Following Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation, four of the Supreme Court’s nine justices have been appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote. Two of those justices attended the same D.C.-area prep school.

If the United States government faces a legitimacy crisis, it’s one that has been building for 18 years, if not longer than that. In 2000’s Bush v. Gore decision, five conservative justices determined that Florida could not conduct a recount of its heavily disputed election results—a decision that effectively handed the presidency to the Republican candidate. “Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year’s Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear,” John Paul Stevens, who was appointed by Gerald Ford, wrote in his dissent. “It is the Nation’s confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.”

The naked politicization of the judiciary did not escape historian Howard Zinn. In 2005, after another former member of the Federalist Society, John Roberts, became the 17th chief justice of the United States, the activist and professor issued a warning to progressives about the power of the high court—one they might be wise to revisit on the heels of Kavanaugh’s ascension.

BRETT KAVANAUGH ALSO LIED ABOUT HIS RULINGS ON THE ENVIRONMENT
(Sharon Lerner at The Intercept.com)

"President Donald Trump has also acknowledged Kavanaugh’s pro-industry bias, touting it as qualifying him for the nation’s highest court. In a July email to industry stakeholders, the president wrote that “Kavanaugh helped kill President Obama’s most destructive new environmental rules” and that he had “overruled federal regulators 75 times on cases involving clean air, consumer protections, net neutrality and other issues.”

Among Kavanaugh’s many opinions that haven’t pleased environmentalists is one that struck down an EPA rule limiting air pollution that crosses state lines. The Supreme Court ultimately upheld the rule, which the EPA estimated would prevent up to 34,000 premature deaths each year. In a case over whether coal companies can dump waste into streams, Kavanaugh dissented from the other justices and sided with the companies. And in a decision from last year, Kavanaugh ruled that the EPA exceeded its authority when it tried to regulate HFCs, climate pollutants that are used in refrigeration and air conditioning.


With several big cases heading to the Supreme Court and the Senate barreling toward a vote on Kavanaugh, environmentalists are alarmed by his record. For only the second time in the past 25 years, NRDC came out against the nomination of a Supreme Court nominee, telling Sen. Chuck Grassley and Dianne Feinstein that Kavanaugh’s nomination “poses a unique threat to the principles and public resources we defend.”

Howard Zinn: Don’t Despair about the Supreme Court
(Howard Zinn at The Progressive.org)

“It would be naive to depend on the Supreme Court to defend the rights of poor people, women, people of color, dissenters of all kinds,” he wrote. “Those rights only come alive when citizens organize, protest, demonstrate, strike, boycott, rebel, and violate the law in order to uphold justice.”

Thursday, October 4, 2018

US + THEM

(Aidan O'Brien at Counter Punch.org)

"This attempt to understand the weak or vulnerable “other” motivates Waters’ support of the Palestinians today. In fact, “empathy” forces him to open up to Russia. In his RT interview, he tells us that during his concerts–in response to the anti-Russian psy-ops which distorts the West today–he asks his audience: “do you know that Russia sacrificed twenty million of its people, so that you can be free of Nazism?”

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Roger Waters at RT






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(full list below)

SEP 14, 2017
Pink Floyd Founder Roger Waters: BDS is One of “Most Admirable” Displays of Resistance in the World

SEP 14, 2017
“The Occupation of the American Mind”: Documentary Looks at Israel’s PR War in the United States

SEP 14, 2017
Roger Waters Criticizes Senate Bill Criminalizing BDS & Radiohead’s Recent Concert in Tel Aviv

JAN 22, 2016
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Launches “Campaign to Close Guantánamo” for Obama’s Last Year in Office

DEC 30, 2009
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters Speaks Out in Support of Gaza Freedom March, Blasts Israeli-Egyptian “Siege” of Gaza
WE PAY - THEY TAKE

(Cory Doctorow at BoingBoing.net)

"Tax Reform 2.0 was rammed through the House at the literal exact same moment that everyone in America was watching Brett Kavanaugh caper and gibber for the US Senate.

It's a tax gift of $3.1 trillion over ten years, with the major beneficiaries being those with more than $3.9 million in annual income."

(CNBC.com)

"This is all borrowed money that will go to corporations and high-income earners," said Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, the senior Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee. The new legislation "is another reckless tax cut for the wealthy that leaves behind average, hardworking families."

While the new law slashed the corporate tax rate permanently from 35 percent to 21 percent, its tax cuts for individuals and the millions of U.S. "pass-through" businesses expire in eight years. The "pass-through" businesses funnel their income to owners and other individuals, who then pay personal income tax on those earnings, not the corporate rate. They are allowed under the new law to deduct 20 percent of the first $315,000 of their earnings."

In Destroying Social Security, GOP Has No Plans for Elderly Americans
(Barbara G. Ellis at Truthout.org)

"For decades, congressional Republicans have been rigorously supported by Republican presidents like George W. Bush and Donald Trump in vain attempts to steal the trillions from the “lock-box” of the self-sustaining Social Security Trust Fund. In 2017, it stood at $2.9 trillion, an astronomical sum that could easily cover those tax-cut bills today."