Stop the Killing; Stop the Starving; Stop the Lying

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop! 
 

State Dept. rescinds prestigious award after discovering that the recipient is no fan of Trump

Finnish investigative journalist Jessikka Aro has made a very courageous career reporting on Russia’s propaganda apparatus for years, including the online “troll factories” that Americans learned all about at the close of the 2016 election cycle. Aro has been attacked and slandered with great force by the very machine she has exposed. She has received death threats, been slandered as a drug addict, and had her personal records exposed online.

Letter to editor: Time Change

On March 4, the European Union voted to abolish the twice-yearly clock change – i.e. no more daylight saving time. Similar discussions are occurring in Utah, Michigan, Florida, New England, etc. - but not in Indiana where, once again, our leaders have disallowed the discussion of our time zone situation. They simply ignored SB 542 until the time for talk ran out. This means that students will continue to travel at risk in morning darkness.

This Is Very Good News

It’s hard these days not to focus on what’s stupid, corrupt and/or depressing. In fact, I find it hard to avoid news that gives me heartburn.

Nevertheless, there are also nuggets of hopefulness available, as I was reminded when I came across this announcement from the Knight Foundation.

Trumping The Constitution

I’m not one of those old people who is always looking back in time through rose-colored glasses–“remembering” that families were closer, people were friendlier, children were seen and not heard, etc. etc. Those memories are highly suspect, if not deliberately dishonest.

That said, I do miss the Republican Party of my younger days. It’s true that it always had a right-wing fringe, but before that fringe took control and ran reasonable people out, the GOP I worked for was filled with admirable, public-spirited men and women.

Venezuela Coverage Takes Us Back to Golden Age of Lying About Latin America

I was sitting in my apartment in Caracas, Venezuela, reading the online edition of Time magazine (5/19/16), which carried a report that there was not even something as basic as aspirin to be found anywhere in Venezuela: “Basic medicines like aspirin are nowhere to be found.”

US Media Ignore—and Applaud—Economic War on Venezuela

The US media chorus supporting a US overthrow of the Venezuelan government has for years pointed to the country’s economic crisis as a justification for regime change, while whitewashing the ways in which the US has strangled the Venezuelan economy  (FAIR.org3/22/18).

New research suggests a dangerous climate tipping point - and we're nearly there already

America woke up on Monday to new, and dire, climate news: A new scientific study suggests that we have been vastly underestimating the climate feedback loop caused by reduced cloud cover in a warming world. Clouds, being reflective, reflect sunlight that would otherwise warm the planet; as temperatures and carbon dioxide increase, cloud cover decreases.

Journalism Declines And Scandals Rise

I know I harp a lot on the importance of accurate, credible journalism–especially at the local level, but it is really, really important.

Believe it or not, the ongoing scandals in Virginia, which have embroiled the top three state officeholders, are illustrations of what happens when local coverage goes missing.

As Amanda Marcotte observed in Salon, 

REMODELING LIBERAL ARTS IN THE PUBLIC UNIVERSITY

In the recent book, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America, Nancy MacLean traces the intellectual development of the libertarian right and its connection with the Koch Brothers and state programs to promote an ideologically-driven policy agenda.  She argues that many of the libertarian right’s policy proposals would be opposed if public discourse and majoritarian democracy prevailed.

The Age of Environmental Breakdown: We Need the Green New Deal Now!

Laurie Laybourn-Langton, Lesley Rankin and Darren Baxter Februhe at the Institute for Public Policy Research in Britain are warning in a new study as frantically as they can that “the extent, severity, pace and closing window of opportunity to avoid potentially catastrophic outcomes has led many scientists to conclude that we have entered a new era of rapid environmental change.

DID BILLIONAIRES PAY OFF REPUBLICANS FOR PASSING THE TRUMP TAX BILL?

A Center for Public Integrity analysis suggests the timing of big donations may be more than a coincidence.

 

This story was published in partnership with Mother Jones.

Klobuchar, Enzi, Leahy Introduce Major Legislation to Lift Cuba Trade Embargo

The Freedom to Export to Cuba Act would pave the way for new economic opportunities for American businesses and farmers by boosting U.S. exports and allowing Cubans greater access to American goods

‘Venezuela’: Media’s One-Word Rebuttal to the Threat of Socialism

Socialism—whatever that means—is in vogue right now. A recent Gallup poll (8/13/18) found that a majority of millennials view socialism favorably, preferring it to capitalism. Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in the United States, while new leftist Rep.

Robert Reich: The state of our disunion is a grotesque imbalance that undermines American democracy

Donald Trump says his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening will be about “unification”. But Trump discussing the state of the union is like pyromaniac discussing lighter fluids.

Ice in the north, fire in the south: Climate change is here, and so are the deadly extremes

Across much of the central and eastern United States, people are waking up on Wednesday to extreme cold. Extreme cold. Minneapolis is gripped in iron cold approaching 30 degrees below zero, and temperatures in Chicago are lower than they are for most of the Arctic Circle as the polar vortex, the counterclockwise low-pressure system that usually spins around the North Pole, detaches and swings across the upper Midwest.

Virginia Study Finds Increased School Bullying In Areas That Voted For Trump

After the 2016 presidential election, teachers across the country reported they were seeing increased name-calling and bullying in their classrooms. Now, research shows that those stories — at least in one state — are confirmed by student surveys. 

‘It’s infuriating’: Trump-voting parents turn on the president over lax EPA rules

Trump voters in Indiana fear the administration’s drive to weaken restrictions is hurting children with cancer.

President Donald Trump may be losing support in at least one county that he won during the 2016 presidential election — and it’s all because of his administration’s anti-environmental agenda.

audi Arabia has used its vast wealth to outsource its war in Yemen. It has hired thousands of Sudanese, many of them children, to fight.

Led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudis say they are battling to rescue Yemen from a hostile faction backed by Iran. But to do it, the Saudis have used their vast oil wealth to outsource the war, mainly by hiring what Sudanese soldiers say are tens of thousands of desperate survivors of the conflict in Darfur to fight, many of them children.

Popular Mexican Beer Switches to 100% Biodegradable 6-Pack Rings to Save Wildlife and Environment

A major beer company will be replacing traditional plastic 6-pack rings with biodegradable rings that are not harmful to wildlife and the environment. Good News Network reports Corona will be testing the new 100% plastic-free 6-pack rings in Mexico at the beginning of 2019. If successful, the company hopes to expand its product, and its use, to the U.K. 

True story: The Republican tax cut made me richer and left working Americans with crumbs

Most of the bill’s $1.9 trillion in tax cuts targeted corporations and wealthy Americans such as me, leaving little more than crumbs for most working Americans

The E.P.A. proposed new rules for assessing pollution that would make it easier for power plants to release mercury and other toxic substances. Friday, December 28, 2018 1:05 PM EST

The long-term impact of President Trump’s new proposal would be significant: It would weaken the ability of the E.P.A. to impose new regulations in the future by adjusting the way the agency measures the benefits of curbing pollutants, giving less weight to the potential health gains.

New Lawsuit Over Trump Muslim Ban

December 18, 2018, New York – Yesterday evening, a group of Yemeni-Americans filed a federal lawsuit over the State Department’s refusal to issue their spouses and children visas that had already been approved prior to the Muslim Ban­­. The suit alleges that U.S. Embassy officials approved the plaintiffs’ visas, only to reverse that decision months later, unlawfully applying the Trump administration’s Muslim Ban to revoke previously approved visas – something that the ban does not permit.

Foreign policy: The elephant in the room

An undercurrent in the 2016 election was growing opposition to an activist United States economic/political/military role in the world.

An empire in decline

A New Cold War: STOP IT NOW

The Cold War provided the narrative, rationale, and justification for the largest waste of resources (and millions of human beings) in human history. It was based on a mythology of an aggressive Soviet Union. The Cold War was used to legitimize domestic repression (the FBI) and international subversion and interventionism (the CIA).  One does not have to be a fan of the former Soviet Union to understand how its demonization served US imperialism. 

WaPo: Trump Needs to Destroy Venezuela to Save It

Tamara Taraciuk Broner of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Johns Hopkins professor Kathleen Page took to the pages of the Washington Post (11/26/18) to whitewash Donald Trump’s successful efforts to make Venezuela’s economic crisis much worse.

Trump Hates the American Public — Here's How He Reveals His Disdain

Donald Trump hates you. But don't take it personally, he hates me, too -- and all of us who constitute The Public. The billionaire's antipathy is not directed at us as individuals, but as users of publicly provided services -- such as schools, parks, health care, buses, collective bargaining, libraries and environmental protections. From his privileged perspective, all of that is welfare, nothing but an expensive waste that puts burdensome taxes and annoying regulatory constraints on the entrepreneurial creative class, i.e., him.

'One of the Biggest Fraud Cases Ever': Trump Biographer David Cay Johnston Uncovers Rudy Giuliani's Alleged Role In Massive $10 Billion Theft

The complaint is aimed at uncovering the full details of Russian money flowing to various Trump projects using so-called anonymous wealth companies. 

by David Cay Johnston/DC Report

A human rights organization has asked Dutch prosecutors to open a criminal investigation into multi-billion dollar money laundering schemes that they say were aided by Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and his old law firm.

Rigging the vote: how the American right is on the way to permanent minority rule

Ian Samuel  - 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.

For the Complete Article

'Trump Is Applying a Match to Kindling': Conservative Writer Explains Why There's No Equivalence Between Democrats' and Republicans' 'Incivility'

From Cody Fenwick, AlterNet, 10/28/2018

[...]

He [Max Boot] added: "Extremism has been present in America for a long time. But Trump is applying a match to the kindling."

[Conservative, ex-Republican Max ]Boot argued that he does not appreciate forms of what he sees as "incivility" on left-leaning activists — protests of administration officials at restaurants, for example, or comparing Trump to Hitler.

And yet in his view, none of that is comparable to Trump's misdeeds:

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