Friday, August 31, 2018

LOOTING THE TREASURY
Jake Johnson / Common Dreams

"President Trump pushed through a tax scam that gave unprecedented handouts to billionaires and corporations—but believes it's too expensive to pay hardworking federal workers a reasonable wage."
(Common Dreams.org)

"Suddenly expressing deep concern for "fiscal sustainability" just months after signing a tax bill that is expected to add $1.9 trillion to the national debt over the next ten years, President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he is canceling pay raises for nearly 1.8 million federal workers because he claims "federal agency budgets cannot sustain such increases."

"What an insulting way to mark Labor Day." 
—Rep. Barbara Lee

The president's abrupt move—which comes less than a week after a federal court struck down his attempt to undermine federal workers' right to bargain collectively—was met with widespread condemnation by progressive lawmakers and labor activists, who argued that the $25 billion Trump claimed the pay raises would cost is a drop in the bucket compared to the GOP's enormous gifts to the rich."

* * * * * * * 

"Trump wants to send another kiss to the rich—unilaterally, without any approval from Congress. He ignores the law, governs for the top one percent, and doesn't give a hoot about the rest of us."
(Common Dreams.org)

"Hours after he launched yet another "direct attack" on workers by canceling a modest pay raise for around two million federal employees, President Donald Trump told Bloomberg on Thursday that he is considering a regressive and possibly illegal plan to use his executive power to hand the rich another $100 billion in tax cuts by indexing capital gains to inflation.

"Trump himself has pocketed millions over the years grifting off of taxpayers, but now he wants to make it harder for workers to get ahead."
—Sen. Bernie Sanders"

There are a lot of people that love it and some people that don't," Trump said of the plan, which would disproportionately reward the top 0.01 percent of Americans. "But I'm thinking about it very strongly."
COMMENTARY BY PAUL JAY

(The Real News.com)

"The ruling elites are creating a world where the majority of people suffer the consequences of the climate crisis and massive unemployment while the super-rich use artificial intelligence to save themselves – a commentary by TRNN’s Senior Editor"
LEE CAMP DISCUSSES "EMPIRE FILES"

(Redacted Tonight)

"Lee Camp speaks with Mike Prysner, a US Veteran, anti-imperialist, and producer of ‘Empire Files’ with Abby Martin on teleSUR. Then, he shows why media reporting on the death of John McCain are, in a word, wrong."

HYPERBOLIC HYPE

The Russian hacking of our 2016 election story never passes the sniff test. The case is ludicrously flimsy. Realty Winner is going to jail for leaking what might be the only actual evidence, and the problem might be that she unintentionally proved that it doesn't show anything.

(The Real News.com)

"AARON MATE: And I want to give you an indication of why I’m skeptical that this was Russian military intelligence aside from the fact that the analyst who wrote this report, it’s just their judgment, not even confirmed information as the, again, the document specifies. But so, in their attempts to impersonate this company, this voting company, VR Systems, the hackers wrote these fake emails from VR Systems in their attempts to falsely portray themselves as VR Systems as vr.systems@gmail.com. So, you’d think if the Russian military intelligence was trying to impersonate VR Systems, they’d be a bit more sophisticated in trying to steal, trying to mask their email address in an actual @vrsystems.com domain instead of @gmail.com, which is a pretty big give-away that these are not sophisticated hackers."

(Consortiumnews.com)

"The narrative about Russian cyberattacks on American election infrastructure is a self-interested abuse of power by DHS based on distortion of evidence, writes Gareth Porter.

#

The narrative of Russian intelligence attacking state and local election boards and threatening the integrity of U.S. elections has achieved near-universal acceptance by media and political elites.  And now it has been accepted by the Trump administration’s intelligence chief, Dan Coats, as well. 

But the real story behind that narrative, recounted here for the first time, reveals that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created and nurtured an account that was grossly and deliberately deceptive. 

DHS compiled an intelligence report suggesting hackers linked to the Russian government could have targeted voter-related websites in many states and then leaked a sensational story of Russian attacks on those sites without the qualifications that would have revealed a different story. When state election officials began asking questions, they discovered that the DHS claims were false and, in at least one case, laughable."

* * * * * * 

U.S. elections are rigged from the inside, the two major parties conspire to marginalize non-conformists in a myriad ways. We have more to fear from our own career politicians and their corporate puppet masters than from foreign agents.

Check out yesterday's update at WWW.GREGPALAST.COM:


"...if you’re near Wichita on Friday, join me and Women for Kansas at the Orpheum Theater, 8pm, for the film — and a plan of counter-attack to stop Kris Kobach’s latest “purge by postcard” operation. On the basis of Kobach’s phony accused “fraudulent voter” list, 27 states, almost all GOP-controlled, have already removed 1,067,046 voters – not counting Brian Kemp’s latest purge-frenzy."

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

EXSANGUINATION?

(Slash Dot.org)

"A vicious species of tick originating from Eastern Asia has invaded the U.S. and is rapidly sweeping the Eastern Seaboard, state and federal officials warn. The tick, the Asian longhorned tick (or Haemaphysalis longicornis), has the potential to transmit an assortment of nasty diseases to humans, including an emerging virus that kills up to 30 percent of victims. So far, the tick hasn't been found carrying any diseases in the U.S. It currently poses the largest threat to livestock, pets, and wild animals; the ticks can attack en masse and drain young animals of blood so quickly that they die -- an execution method called exsanguination."

(Arstechnica.com)

"...Just stepping foot in the paddock, the owner and health investigators were inundated with thirsty ticks that instantly began clawing up their pant legs. DNA analysis ultimately determined that the ticks were H. longicornis. Investigators found only one male out of 1,058 ticks collected.

To fight back the swarms, the owner doused the sheep in a wash of the insecticide permethrin. By November, it was cleared of ticks, and population levels in the vegetation around the paddock seemed to be dying down, although that was likely due to several nights of below-freezing temperatures.

In April, New Jersey’s Department of Agriculture confirmed that the population had successfully overwintered in the state, suggesting that it has now become established there."

* * * * * * 
News concerning corporate privatization blood sucking...and other TICK news!

(The Big Picture)

"Holland Cooke discusses the possibility of privatizing the US Postal Service with Postal Workers Union President Mark Dimondstein and Boom Bust host Bart Chilton. Then, Holland speaks with Dr Joe Alton about the dangers of Lyme disease, and the tendency of doctors to miss the diagnosis."
PROPAGANDA HAS GONE MAINSTREAM

[Grandpa is posting a rather rambling tirade that scratches the surface regarding the tsunami of misinformation and information suppression that we suffer under in this country.]

Voices of reason and/or descent are being suppressed. Main Stream Media serves oligarchs not the general populace. The networks and cable stations are corporate-state run propaganda machines. Stop watching TV occasionally, you'll find the less you watch the better informed you will be. Seek alternative media and weigh the information, decide for yourself what makes sense, don't let overpaid chuckleheads tell you what is news and what it means.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos buys The Washington Post, and it just happens to publish an anonymous list intended to silence voices of descent, voices that speak out against corrupt politics and the corporate state.

(The Intercept.com)

The U.S. has a very long history of destroying countries that do not submit to U.S. Corporate Hegemony. There is a very long history in this country of distorting the truth and manufacturing consent for crimes that serve corporate interests, even though those crimes include death and suffering. Lee Camp provides a brief "How To" if you want to coup. 

(Redacted Tonight)

"Lee Camp gives a “how-to” on creating a US-backed government coup. John F. O'Donnell reports on three Trump Mar-a-Lago cronies sweeping power over the Department of Veterans Affairs without oversight. Republicans have found a new source of funding for paid family leave: your social security benefits. This and more on Redacted Tonight."

And now it seems that U.S. sanctions, used to punish countries that don't bend the knee to hegemony, also crush home grown dissenting voices:

(Mediaroots.org)

Here are samples from The Empire Files (http://theempirefiles.tv/):

(YouTube.com)

"Published on Dec 13, 2017
On October 5, 2017, police opened fire on unarmed farmers in Tumaco, Colombia. Eight were killed, with dozens more shot. The massacre was part of a crackdown on coca farmers in the "War On Drugs" despite an agreement for crop substitution--and amidst new threats from Trump, ordering the government to use more force or face consequences. 

The Empire Files goes on-the-ground to investigate the massacre, interviewing witnesses and casualties. Abby Martin visits recently-destroyed farms, uses hidden cameras to confront soldiers about the operations, and explores the context of such a killing less than a year after the historic peace deal ending the country's 53-year civil war."

The Hidden Purging of Millions of Voters
(YouTube.com)

"Published on Apr 25, 2017
With all the discussion of the contentious 2016 election, the most shocking fact is often ignored: that millions of people had their votes stolen through malicious, means. The Republican Party is currently working to purge millions more voters leading up to the 2018 election. 

To explain this major attack on our supposed democratic process, Abby Martin interviews investigative reporter Greg Palast, who has done the most extensive work uncovering this massive disenfranchisement campaign."

(YouTube.com)

"Published on Mar 22, 2016
Despite a concerted effort by the U.S. Empire to snuff out the ideology, a 2016 poll found young Americans have a much more favorable view of socialism than capitalism.

Though he died 133 years ago, the analysis put forward by one of the world’s most influential thinkers, Karl Marx, remains extremely relevant today. The Empire’s recent rigged presidential election has been disrupted by the support of an avowed socialist, Bernie Sanders, by millions of voters. 

To find out why Marx’s popularity has stood the test of time, Abby Martin interviews renowned Marxist economist Richard Wolff, Professor Emeritus of Economics at UMass - Amherst, and visiting professor at the New School in New York. 

Prof. Wolff gives an introduction suited for both beginners and seasoned Marxists, with comprehensive explanations of key tenets of Marxism including dialectical and historical materialism, surplus value, crises of overproduction, capitalism's internal contradictions, and more."

(YouTube.com)

"Published on Dec 22, 2015
On this week’s episode of The Empire Files, Abby Martin interviews American political figure Ralph Nader about the 2016 presidential race—from the “Brown Shirt” Trump movement to “corporate criminal” Hillary Clinton—and the reality of who has power in America. 

Known for his widely-popular presidential run in 2000, he also ran presidential campaigns against corporate power in 1996, 2004 and 2008. 

A consumer advocate since the 1950’s, his work against auto industry giants forced the creation of mandated safety measures that saved millions of lives from for-profit auto production. His contributions span disability rights to exposing corporate pollution."

And finally...

(Lee Camp.com)

Monday, August 27, 2018

THE PRINCE OF DEATH MERCHANTS

(The Real News.com)

"Former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince is now lobbying to deploy mercenaries instead of the US military in order to bring the 17-year war in Afghanistan to an end. We discuss the proposal with Antony Loewenstein, author of “Disaster Capitalism.”



FROM THE T-BAG ARCHIVE

AMERICA'S MODERN CRUSADE
(Talkingbag March 2017)

Sunday, August 26, 2018


The U.S. propaganda machine is the most pervasive and successful perpetration of mass control the world has ever seen. Print is mostly pulp fiction and we are surrounded by boob tube screens.

* * * * * *

(Paul Street at Truthdig.com)

"The dominant U.S. commercial and corporate media are a means of mass consent-manufacturing indoctrination, diversion and dumbing down on behalf of the nation’s intertwined corporate, financial, imperial and professional-class “elites.” Merging the dystopian visions of Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Neal Postman and Phillip K. Dick, they are a bastion of power-serving propaganda and deadening twaddle that work across hundreds of broadcast channels and through countless print and internet outlets to keep the U.S. citizenry allegiant and subordinated to big capital, the professional and managerial “elite” and the U.S. imperial state."
GRAND THEFT AUTOCRATS

(Ralph Nader Radio Hour)

"History professor, Jack Luzkow, explains the many ways the super-rich are robbing the rest of us. And Ralph asks Constitutional law professor, Corey Brettschneider if the Constitution is capable of stopping Donald Trump."

* * * * * 

(On Contact with Chris Hedges)

"Nomi Prins, journalist and author of ‘Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World’, talks to Chris Hedges about how central bankers “overstepped their traditional mandates by directing the flow of epic sums of fabricated money without any checks and balances.”

Saturday, August 25, 2018

SINGLE PAYER MAKES SENSE, SAVES TRILLIONS

(Truthout.org)

"As its progressive wing and a groundswell of new and energetic candidates continues to move the Democratic Party to the left, a new Reuters poll out Thursday shows that support for a key plank of this insurgency — Medicare for All — has hit an all-time high with 70 percent of all Americans now in favor of a such program, including nearly 85 percent of Democrats and a full 52 percent of Republicans.

With such levels of popularity, as an accompanying article exploring some of the tensions within the party makes clear, Democratic leaders are being told they ignore the push for Medicare for All at their own peril."

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

AN ADULT CONVERSATION


"Ralph spends the whole hour with Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author, Chris Hedges, discussing his book “America: The Farewell Tour.”



"Nick Brana, founder and executive director of Movement for a People’s Party, talks with journalist Chris Hedges about the US’ two political party system, the need for third and fourth parties, and his experience campaigning for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election."

* * * * *


"Nomi Prins, journalist and author of ‘Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World’, talks to Chris Hedges about how central bankers “overstepped their traditional mandates by directing the flow of epic sums of fabricated money without any checks and balances.”
(book)


* * * * * 

(Dahr Jamail at Truthout.org)

"Whether or not humans go extinct remains to be seen, but there is no denying that sustaining 7.6 billion humans while we are forcing the extinction of between 150-200 other species each day and have pushed Earth’s climate out of its natural state is very much in question. I’ve spoken to prestigious scientists both on and off the record who believe that sooner rather than later, global population will be reduced to around 1 billion humans.

Whichever scenario runs its course, we are all facing massive loss in the future. It is only then can we decide what is truly important in our lives, and how to comport ourselves as we go through our days."
DOWN THE HOLE

(Carl Boggs at Counter Punch.org)

"The monotonously endless anti-Russia crusade serves a number of political agendas for Democrats and the Washington power structure.  It rationalizes Hillary Clinton’s stunning defeat, delegitimizes and weakens the Trump presidency, sets momentum for impeachment, and helps drive up Pentagon (and intelligence) spending.  Often forgotten is a yet another, deeper factor: Russia has long been targeted as an intolerable obstacle to U.S. Eurasian supremacy, years before the Trump phenomenon was on the horizon."
MYTHICAL DEMOCRACY

(Paul Street at Truthdig.com)

"While we’ve never seen anything on Trump’s psychotic scale, the problem of U.S. presidential deception goes way back in American history."

* * * * 

How Come We Don’t Investigate Americans For Rigging the Election?
&
For Whom the Bell Tolls – John Brennan, it Tolls for Thee
(Opensociet.org)

* * * * 

(Lee Camp at Truthdig.com)
TRUMPSPEARE

(Jason Hirthler at Counter Punch.org)


"The hypocrisy and racism of American elites seems to have a depthless quality to it. The vast congeries of hysterical elitists hyperventilating over the phantom collusions of Donald Trump can now add a Shakespearean scholar to their sordid ranks. Trump has lately been limned–and slimed–in a book by Stephen Greenblatt, eminent scholar of the Bard, Cogan University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University, General Editor of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, and The Norton Shakespeare. The Harvard luminary uncloaks his bourgeois liberalism in a freshly minted historical analysis, “Tyrant”, a sterling meditation on, you guessed it, tyrants in Shakespeare, of which there is no shortage.

What mars the narrative is Greenblatt’s tireless need to parallel the Bard’s historically ravenous seekers of power with the Pagliacci figure of Donald Trump. Rather than focus on comparing Trump to Sir John Falstaff, Shakespeare’s memorable fool from Henry the Fourth, Greenblatt gets serious. He leaves no page unturned in his overweening campaign to recast the president as a figure of terrible ambition rather than as a court jester in royal lineaments. As one Amazon reviewer wrote, “Greenblatt’s a smart man, but this is a book that sacrifices Shakespeare (and the nuanced personal and political insights of his work) to the pursuit of Trump.”