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In This Edition

Norman Solomon finds, "Young People Are Set To Make History With Bernie Sanders, And New Hampshire's Youth Movement Is Showing How."

Ralph Nader says, "It Should Be Easy To Defeat Trump, But Corporate Democrats Look Ready And Willing To Blow It."

Glen Ford examines, "Bloomberg Becoming Oligarch-In-Chief Of Democratic Party."

Jim Hightower wonders, "What Car Do Billionaires Ride In?"

William Rivers Pitt concludes, "The Iowa Caucus Has Choked Itself To Death At Last."

John Nichols concludes, "Anti-War Sentiment Fuels Sanders Surge."

James Donahue explores, "Agriculture 'Gag-Laws' Covering Up Factory Farm Horrors."

Michael Winship returns with a must read, "Donald Trump's State Of The Mighty Me."

David Suzuki declares, "More Federal Transit Money, E-buses Could Be Climate Lifesavers."

Randall Amster returns with, "Trump And Subservient GOP Expose Failure Of American Exceptionalism."

Juan Cole explains, "Top 3 Ways America Has Been Deeply Wounded By Supporting Israel Lobbyists Like Jared Kushner."

Extreme Court Head Justice John (the enforcer) Roberts wins this week's coveted, "Vidkun Quisling Award!"

Robert Reich explains, "The State Of The Dis-Union."

Jane Stillwater follows, "Immigration's Third Wave."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department The Onion reports, "CBS Inks Deal For 30-Episode Bloomberg Ad," but first Uncle Ernie sez, "Lying Donald Wins In Moscow Mitch's Kangaroo Court."

This week we spotlight the cartoons of Chip Bok, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Tom Tomorrow, Mandel Ngan, Tasos Katopodis, Justin Sullivan, Hans Johnson, Jane Stillwater, Jim Hightower, AFP, Shutterstock, Reuters, Flickr, AP, Getty Images, Black Agenda Report, You Tube, and Issues & Alibis.Org.

Plus we have all of your favorite Departments-

The Quotable Quote-
The Vidkun Quisling Award-
The Cartoon Corner-
To End On A Happy Note-
Have You Seen This-
Parting Shots-

Welcome one and all to "Uncle Ernie's Issues & Alibis."

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Lying Donald Wins In Moscow Mitch's Kangaroo Court
John Roberts goes along for the ride
By Ernest Stewart

"I do not believe that the House has met its burden of showing that the president's conduct, however flawed, warrants the extreme step of immediate removal from office." ~~~ Susan Collins ~ soon to be former Senator.

"Besides collecting new imagery, advances in how we process and analyse these data-even imagery that is decades old-are revolutionising how we understand the past, present, and future of the Arctic." ~~~ Dr. Jeffrey Kerby ~ Neukom Fellow at Dartmouth College

"At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the chief justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the chief justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution?" ~~~ Chief Justice John Roberts ~ reading aloud a question for the House managers asked by Senator Elizabeth Warren

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't you please, please help me
Help ~~~ The Beatles

I won't even talk about the Iowa disasters brought to you by Pete Buttigieg, Hilary Clinton and the DNC which worked just as it was designed to do to favor Pete and disfavor Bernie. As I've said before the "Fix" is in! And the "shadow" app saw to that!

Nor, will I talk about Lying Donalds SOTU speech, which was a lie and a bad joke, on so many levels except to say, I think Nancy is finally beginning to get it!

No, let's talk about instead, the Rethuglicans crowning King Donald the 1st! They got their wish for a king by letting Lying Donald off the hook for his crimes, which according to them can't be charged against the King! Oh, and that spinning noise that you maybe hearing is just the founding fathers spinning in their graves!

As I've said on many occasions there wasn't any doubt what the end result would be in the Senate with Moscow Mitch in charge, but I might add that every vote for Lying Donald is a vote for high treason and should be punished as such!

When it came to a vote only Willard (Mitt) Romney crossed party lines to vote with the Democrats on the first article of impeachment. He voted no on the second article and I have to agree with his reason as he argued that House Democrats had failed to exhaust their legal options for securing testimony and other evidence. Had the Democrats arrested all the people who failed to testify and forced them to testify under oath, under the penalty of law that they violated that would have been one thing, but they didn't so I don't blame Willard!

Surprisingly the "blue dog" Democrats didn't break ranks, other than that it went down just like I knew it would with Moscow Mitch's Kangaroo Court. For all the Rethulican traitors who voted not to impeach your name will go down in history as Lying Donald's puppet, hand-in-hand with the likes of Benedick Arnold!

In Other News

I see where the early arrival of spring in parts of the Arctic is driven by winter snow melting sooner than in previous decades and by rising temperatures, research suggests.

The findings, from a study of plants at coastal sites around the Arctic tundra, help scientists understand how the region is responding to a changing climate and how it may continue to adapt.

Researchers studied the timing of activity in seasonal vegetation, which acts as a barometer for the environment. Changes in the arrival of leaves and flowers-which cover much of the region, can reflect or influence shifts in the climate.

A team from the University of Edinburgh, and universities in Canada, the US, Denmark and Germany, gathered data on the greening and flowering of 14 plant species at four sites in Alaska, Canada and Greenland.

They sought to better understand which factors have the greatest influence on the timing of spring plants in the tundra-temperatures, snow melt or sea ice melt.

Variation in the timing of leaves and flowers appearing on plants between the sites was found to be linked to the timing of local snow melt and, to a lesser extent, temperatures.

Across the tundra, leaves and flowers were found to emerge as much as 20 days sooner compared with two decades ago. Within the same timeframe, spring temperatures warmed by 1 degree Celsius each decade on average, while loss of sea ice occurred around 20 days sooner across the different regions.

Overall snow melt, which advanced by about 10 days over two decades, had the greatest influence on the timing of spring.

The study, published in Global Change Biology, was funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council.

Dr. Isla Myers-Smith, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, who took part in the study, said: "In the extreme climate of the Arctic tundra, where summers are short, the melting of winter snows as well as warming temperatures are key drivers of the timing of spring. This will help us to understand how Arctic ecosystems are responding as the climate warms."

Sounds like good news to me, and with global warming we'll take what we can get. However, like I've said so many times before global warming creates winners and losers, so if the arctic wins, some other place will surely lose!

And Finally

Yes I get it, the Rethuglicans want a king, not a president, and as George Bush the dummer once said, "I don't give a goddamn. I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way. ... Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

And you may recall that George W. on September 5, 2005, announced that he would nominate Judge John Roberts for the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, to succeed William H. Rehnquist, who had died two days earlier. So is it any wonder that John sat by and did nothing to stop the three ring circus that was the Senate impeachment trial from happening the way that it did? You weren't surprised at all were you, and neither was I.

Ergo, Chief Justice John (the enforcer) Roberts wins this week's Vidkun Quisling Award.

Keepin' On

If you think that what we do is important and would like to see us keep on, keeping on, please send us whatever you can, whenever you can, and we'll keep telling you the truth!


03-25-1955 ~ 02-04-2020
Thanks for the film and the plays!

12-09-1916 ~ 02-05-2020
Thanks for the film!

02-18-1946 ~ 02-05-2020
Thanks for the music!


We get by with a little help from our friends!
So please help us if you can-?


So how do you like Trump so far?
And more importantly, what are you planning on doing about it?

Until the next time, Peace!

(c) 2020 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. and like us when you do. Follow me on Twitter.

Young People Are Set To Make History With Bernie Sanders, And New Hampshire's Youth Movement Is Showing How
By Norman Solomon

Fifty-two years after young people changed history with the New Hampshire primary election, a new generation is ready to do it again -- this time by mobilizing behind Bernie Sanders.

During early 1968, thousands of young people volunteered in New Hampshire to help the insurgent presidential campaign of Democratic Sen. Eugene McCarthy -- who went on to stun the party establishment by winning 42 percent of the state's primary vote against President Lyndon Johnson's 49 percent. Three weeks later, Johnson announced that he would not run for re-election.

What propelled McCarthy and his young supporters into the snows of New Hampshire was their opposition to the war in Vietnam. Five decades later, in effect, what's propelling Bernie Sanders and his young supporters is the grim reality of class war in America.

The New Hampshire Youth Movement -- which its leadership calls "the largest youth power organization in the state" -- endorsed Sanders last week. NHYM could provide the margin of victory in New Hampshire's Feb. 11 primary.

The strategy has been methodical. "People involved with NHYM have been canvassing nonstop," the state director of the organization's field program, Dylan Carney, told me. "We've gathered over 9,500 pledge-to-vote cards from people aged 18 to 25 and will be working to get them voting for Bernie Sanders on Feb. 11th."

I asked Carney for his assessment of why polling nationwide shows young people prefer Sanders over every other Democratic contender by a lopsided margin.

"Sanders is a movement candidate -- who will be accountable to our generation," Carney replied. "He has proven that he is aligned with the version of the world that we want to create. And since before our generation was born, he was fighting the injustices that we are fighting today."

New Hampshire Youth Movement is a natural ally of the Bernie 2020 campaign, as the organization's website makes clear:

** "Scientists tell us that we have less than 10 years left to prevent irreversible damage from the climate crisis. Our ability to act on the climate crisis depends on who we elect to be our president. We need a president that is committed to passing a just and robust Green New Deal."

** "Everyone deserves access to quality healthcare regardless of their ability to pay. People across this country are drowning in medical debt just to receive the services they need to stay alive while pharmaceutical and insurance executives accrue unimaginable wealth. To address the healthcare crisis, we must elect a candidate who will fight for a Medicare for All system that includes everyone and eliminates private insurance companies."

** "Students and alumni are drowning in debt while private loan providers are making obscene amounts of money. Providing free college for all will be a massive investment in our work force and our economy. We can build a system that eliminates tuition and fees at all public colleges and all existing student debt if we turn out to vote for a candidate who will fight with us."

After living in New Hampshire for all of his 23 years, Dylan Carney is keenly aware that the state's margin of victory often hinges on a small number of votes. When he says that "we have the reach to turn out 10,000 young voters for Bernie Sanders," he quickly adds that Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in New Hampshire by only a few thousand votes in 2016 while the incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte was unseated by just 1,017 votes.

Young voters have the potential to make Bernie Sanders the winner of the New Hampshire primary -- and young voters across the country have the potential to make him president of the United States.

(c) 2020 Norman Solomon is co-founder of and founding director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include "War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death" and "Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America's Warfare State."

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
embrace after the Democratic Presidential Debate at the Fox Theatre July 30, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan.

It Should Be Easy To Defeat Trump, But Corporate Democrats Look Ready And Willing To Blow It
Trump should be the most defeatable president in history.
By Ralph Nader

It is remarkable how the Democratic Presidential candidates allow themselves to be pigeon-holed by the media as "moderate," "centrist," "extreme," "left-wing," and other abstract fact-deprived nomenclature.

It is also astonishing that the Democratic operatives have made something called "electability" a yardstick for deciding who to vote for in the primaries. This is particularly ironic considering the winner of the primary will be running against "crooked" self-enriching Donald and his brazen wrecking crew. Remember, Donald Trump was once considered unelectable.

Let's start with the labels. Why are overdue and overwhelmingly popular proposals put forward by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren labeled "extreme?" What is extreme is the greed and power of the plutocrats and Wall Street, not advocates cracking down on corporate crime and ending corporate welfare. There is nothing extreme about supporting a living wage, universal health insurance, or big infrastructure investments funded by reforming the tax system.

There is nothing radical about preventing the super-rich and giant corporations from using tax havens and other tax escapes. The proposals to close the tax loopholes and properly enforce the tax laws would collect trillions of dollars over a decade and fund necessary government spending for the benefit of the American people. Look at the Warren and Sanders proposals and see how they poll. Almost all have majority or overwhelming left/right support. What's so radical about tuition-free higher education? From New York's CCNY to University of California, after World War II, there was virtually no tuition. The same is true for many western European countries to this day.

What's so "radical" about de-bloating the vast waste and redundancy of the military budget that now takes over half of the operating federal budget? Or opposing endless criminal wars of aggression like destroying Iraq?

On the other hand, what is so "moderate" about not taking these positions, or taking campaign money from fat cats and super-PACs or maintaining military contractor's mega waste and crony capitalist handouts?

Why does Joe Biden's history of coddling banks and credit card companies rather than protecting consumers make him a "moderate" or "centrist?" It is time to poll those retrograde, corporatist positions. What about Biden's support of the Iraq war and other costly, brutal adventures of Empire? What about Biden's defense of the "Delaware" corporation laws that rig the power of corporate bosses against shareholders, whether they be individual, pension, or mutual funds?

As to the issue of "electability," that is just another name for the self-compromised Democratic Party's defeatism and cowardliness. How can Democrats question someone's "electability" when the opponent is the hateful lawbreaker Donald Trump?

Who wouldn't be as electable as a Democratic presidential nominee this year? The Democrats have the money and even now the advantage in the polls.

How hard should it be up against Trump's record of abuses, any one of which would have disqualified a person from even running for President a few years ago?

Shouldn't it be easy to run against a brazen, serial sexual predator, whose lawyers are keeping him from being deposed under oath in numerous tort law suits by his victims? This is a time when powerful corporate chieftains, legislators, and other influential people have been forced immediately out of their jobs once exposed for doing a fraction of what the "sexual predator in chief" has done. A late November 2019 CNN poll had 61% of women wanting Trump both impeached and removed from office.

Shouldn't it be easy to run against Trump's actions reflecting his bigotry, racism, and daily stream of lies and fabrications about situations that matter? Shouldn't Trump be held accountable for open incitement to violence, should he be convicted of flouting the Constitution and the rule of law?

What about Trump's deadly undermining of life-saving government agencies? Trump and his cronies shredded health and safety laws that kept poisons from the air, water, and food. American families don't want to breathe dirtier air and drink dirtier water. Trump is making America dread again.

What about the paltry, frozen federal minimum wage, stuck at $7.25 per hour? Workers make a pittance while Trump enriches himself and his cronies through tax cuts for the super-rich that he championed. Don't forget the money the Trump family has made from its own hotels attracting courtiers for favors. Recall that in 2016, Trump said that American workers were overpaid. Under Trump, manufacturing jobs have declined and his regime's attacks on worker rights have increased.

Both conservative and liberal voters get ripped off alike and bleed alike when Trump takes federal sheriffs off the corporate crime, fraud, and abuse beats. How hard is it to make a big issue of Trump's abandoning 'law and order' when it comes to the corporate crime wave and letting the big boys get away with so much that seems very unfair to voters.

Most voters do not want a megalomaniac who courts foreign dictators and offends allies. Last year, Trump pontificated: "I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as President." The American Revolution rejected King George III and his "King can do no wrong" doctrine. The conservative Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) ought to be worried about that Trumpian power grab.

Trump should be the most defeatable president in history. He is openly destroying the moral fiber of our society. In his business and political career Trump has regularly violated seven out of the Ten Commandments. Evangelicals take note!

Trump has continued the endless, illegal, brutal wars in several countries - wars that he pledged to end. He defies all Congressional subpoenas for witnesses and documents from committees that are investigating corruption, including his administration's regulatory responsibilities to America. His actions are harmful to all Americans and threaten the health insurance of over 20 million people. As documented in earlier columns, a billion dollars of taxpayer and consumer health care dollars are being stolen every day. Trump does nothing to stop this commercial robbery. He doesn't even give a "tweet" about this pillage.

Unfortunately, the entrenched corporate Democrats in Washington are just using the "electability" excuse to block the rising progressive presidential candidates who intend to upset the plutocratic applecarts and cushy fat-cat sinecures. The leadership of establishment Democrats has led to the loss of too many national and state elections to the worst Republican Party in the GOP's history. It is time for these Democrats to shape up or ship out.

(c) 2020 Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer, and author. His latest book is The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future. Other recent books include, The Seventeen Traditions: Lessons from an American Childhood, Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism: Build It Together to Win, and "Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us" (a novel).

Bloomberg Becoming Oligarch-In-Chief Of Democratic Party
By Glen Ford

If Sanders wins the nomination, Michael Bloomberg and his filthy rich brethren are already preparing to fund and erect an alternative structure of dependable corporate governance.

While the other Democratic presidential hopefuls slog it out on the ground, shaking hands and begging money, Michael Bloomberg, the world's 8th richest man, is deploying his $61.9 billion fortune to methodically buy his way to ownership of the Democratic Party. Bloomberg's $800,000 donation to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and state party organizations back in November bore fruit last week when the DNC dropped its rules requiring candidates to raise money from a minimum number of individual donors, plus reach a threshold in polling numbers, to qualify for the next televised debate, in Las Vegas. The decision was tailor-made for Bloomberg, the only candidate that does not accept outside donations. Instead, Bloomberg turns the golden spigot in the other direction, converting opponents and critics into boosters and allies -- a cash-cooptation strategy that made New York City a global Mecca for his fellow oligarchs, and for hyper-gentrification, during his three terms as mayor (two of them as a Republican).

Having saturated the airwaves of targeted states with advertising, the nation's most electorally-oriented oligarch should have no problem polling high enough to qualify for the next debate. With Biden stumbling into the basement in Iowa's app-struck (more likely, DNC/spook-struck) primary caucuses, Bloomberg is now the Great White Hope to beat back Bernie Sanders' and Elizabeth Warren's soak-the-rich hordes - a task unfit for the Black-averse small town mayor, Pete Buttigieg.

Bloomberg has authorized his 2,000-strong field staff -- the best that money can buy -- to double their spending in post-Iowa arenas. He has spent almost twice that much - around $200 million - on advertising, and tens of millions more in building a campaign infrastructure and buying endorsements from a host of Black political prostitutes, including Chicago Rep. Bobby Rush, Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser and San Francisco mayor London Breed. Indeed, Bloomberg's billions have bought him more mayoral endorsements in top 100 cities than any other candidate.

This is how you buy the Democrats, who are actually much more of a brand name than a political party. Bloomberg had already made a down payment on the Democratic franchise, having lavished $100 million in subsidizing Democrats during the 2018 congressional races. He says he's ready to throw $1 billion into the pot to "defeat Trump" in 2020, no matter who wins the Democratic nomination. But that's a bunch of crap. Bloomberg is flashing his billions, building his own infrastructure, and suborning the DNC in order to insure that his oligarchic class does not loose control of the only reliable half of the duopoly that remained after takeover by the hopelessly unreliable Trump.

The ruling class can't rule unless it controls a reliable governing party. That means defeating Bernie Sanders and coming to an "understanding" with Elizabeth Warren. Otherwise, Bloomberg has positioned himself and his filthy rich cohorts to create an alternative party structure to resist the popular tide against never-ending austerity and war, the only plan that the Lords of Capital have for the future of the nation and the world.

For more than 40 years, the Democrats could be relied upon to help herd the Black, brown and working class masses into a Race to the Bottom, where they would compete with the super-exploited peoples of what used to be called the Third World - the global toilers whose enforced precarity and desperation has birthed a demon-breed of billionaires. Bernie Sanders' campaign - and, to a lesser degree, Elizabeth Warren's "plans" - threaten to burst both the dams of austerity and the grotesquely bloated military budget bubble. With Sanders and Warren effectively running against the billionaires, Bloomberg has taken point position in defense of oligarchic rule. He has put his own money on the line, and is challenging his Midas-Touch peers to join him at the boardroom barricades. Their message is a perverse "No Pasaran" ("They shall not pass") to the poor and precarious - not this election year, not ever.

The Democrats underwent a less dramatic billionaire's takeover back in 2004, when the party's biggest donors, including George Soros, forced a halt to hundreds of millions in election year payouts to the various constituent organizations of the Democrats' Black, brown and working class base. The Black political class was especially hard hit, since most Black community organizations had decades before folded their independent political tents and become extensions of the Democratic Party. When the billionaires decided, through their "527" political funding outfits, to make the Democrats more directly answerable to the ruling class, the $200 million in election year payments to "traditional" constituent groups like those gathered under the umbrella of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, abruptly ceased. Virtually the whole "civil rights" establishment was plunged into chaotic disarray - longtime servants cut off from the master's budget, but still expected to tend to his political needs.

The Black Agenda Report's co-founders reported on the "crisis" in the pages of The Black Commentator. The late Black political scientist Dr. Ron Walters, writing for the aggrieved Black organizations, attempted to frame the issue in self-determinationist terms, arguing that the election-year subsidies should continue:

"The control of such resources outside of the black community is not consistent with fraternal relations, it is not consistent with a forward-looking and positive relationship as blacks become an ever larger share of the Democratic Party base, and it is not consistent with progressive politics as a definition of democratic practice. To call it what it is, the control of these resources is an extension of a colonial relationship that we have attributed to Republicans, but which Democrats have all too often, of late, been tempted to operationalize."
Needless to say, the billionaires won the argument, and the Black organizations ultimately accepted their new status as largely unpaid minions of a party controlled by white oligarchs - a hierarchical standing (or kneeling) they continue to loyally occupy.

The Lords of Capital are once again preparing to exert direct managerial control over the party whose mission is to discipline and contain the many centrifugal political currents that might rebel against the late-capitalist austerity order to demand the social democratic entitlements enjoyed by the populations of most other rich nations. The corporate Democratic establishment is determined to sabotage the Bernie Sanders campaign by hook or crook. However, if they fail to contain the rebellion and Sanders wins the nomination, Michael Bloomberg and his filthy rich brethren are already preparing to fund and erect an alternative structure of dependable corporate governance.

The split in the Democratic Party may come from the Left, in disgust and fury at the tsunami of dirty Democratic tricks that will descend on Sanders, but is at least as likely to come from the Right, with Bloomberg as the CEO of a new and more obedient incarnation of the Democratic Party.

(c) 2019 Glen Ford is the Black Agenda Report executive editor. He can be contacted at

What Car Do Billionaires Ride In?
By Jim Hightower

I'm guessing that being rich is a comfortable feeling - no money worries, you're set for life!

But is it possible that too rich can be too much, even discombobulating? Imagine being Mark Zuckerberg, whose social media monopoly, Facebook, put another $27.3-billion in his pocket last year. Forget fundamental questions about whether he (or anyone) is worthy of such an excessive haul of the world's wealth - how do you spend it? Mansions, yachts, jets, jewels, a Picasso painting, your personal island, and other trinkets barely dent your multibillionous windfall. And since the Trumpeteers drastically slashed your taxes, far less of your extraordinarily-good fortune is diverted to public need and America's common good.

Thus, the bulk of your booty goes to making you even richer! You buy out other corporations and advanced technologies, and you dump billions into Wall Street, artificially jacking up the price of stocks you own. Your wealth expands exponentially, inequality spreads, and the egalitarian ideals that hold our huge, diverse society together are stretched to the breaking point.

Interestingly, more and more ueber-rich individuals are comprehending the ultimate consequences of such extreme selfishness, so they're responding with extreme consumerism. Specifically, they've created a boom in the sale of maximum-security, James Bondish armored vehicles. Priced in the half-million-dollar range, these rolling fortresses can come with 700-horsepower engines, tailpipe-to-grille anti-blast protection, door handles that can electrocute intruders, roof-mounted gun turrets, and room for 10 fully-equipped bodyguards.

With names like Marauder and Black Shark, these armored beasts have become the preferred ride of gabillionaires - not to flaunt their fortunes, but to fend off the masses they've ripped off.

(c) 2020 Jim Hightower's latest book, "If The Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates," is available in a fully revised and updated paperback edition. Jim writes The Hightower Lowdown, a monthly newsletter chronicling the ongoing fights by America's ordinary people against rule by plutocratic elites. Sign up at

The Iowa Caucus Has Choked Itself To Death At Last
By William Rivers Pitt

"A Systemwide Disaster." "Meltdown." "Debacle." These are the headlines coming out of Iowa after the caucus on Monday night. Maybe it had to end this way for Iowa, a state that re-elects men like Chuck Grassley and Steve King with dreary consistency, and which has now seen disaster during its caucus for the third straight time.

A Vesuvian eruption of failure and disgrace to finally and forever end the unanswerable conundrum: Why does a diverse, technologically advanced nation of 327 million people allow a rural, farm-bound state with three million people, nearly all of them white, serve as the thresher for national presidential candidates every four years? And why does that decision have to happen via a chaotic, inaccessible-for-many system that remains confusing to even the most dedicated political wonks?

Answer: Because, well, see, tradition and the agrarian fantasy we cling to and, um, retail politics, right, that, plus Iowa is lovely in February, right? Right?

There is no good reason, and now there is no reason at all. An already cumbersome caucus system got slathered with confusing new voting "tiers," whose introduction apparently vapor-locked the higher functions of state and local election officials. Half the state of Iowa did the new-version caucus wrong, bollixing the second "tier" so thoroughly that the results are not simply late, again. The results are skewed, confused and screwed.

If you were watching cable news for results last night, you knew things were going bad when Steve Kornacki, MSNBC's normally frenetic stats guy, began gesticulating so wildly that he looked like some flightless, bespectacled waterfowl attempting to slip the surly bonds of Earth. I finally turned it off and went to bed before Kornacki's arms flew off, expecting greater clarity would arrive with the dawn. The sun is up, and none has been forthcoming.

The Iowa Caucus collapsed last night like a child's cardboard fort left out in the rain. There is, at this point, every reason to believe that no sure winner will emerge from this debacle, and whoever does claim victory will be standing on very shaky ground. Pete Buttigieg declared victory before midnight based on absolutely, positively nothing. "The whole system largely broke," stated an Iowa Democrat, as quoted by Politico reporter Elena Schneider. There is quite a lot of bullshit to endure during even a pristinely managed Iowa caucus - the weeks-long media frenzy before the vote, the tired explanations about tradition, the overhyped conclusion which comes after an inevitable delay - all for a crummy sack of 41 delegates. A candidate can take a deep breath in California and get 41 delegates. This is farce, and the stinging humiliation of this failure should finally and forever sound the death knell for Iowa's undeserved electoral pole position.

The ancient media cliche "Dems in disarray" does not even begin to encompass the totality of this debacle.

For a while, it appeared the whole mess could be laid at the feet of Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton's former campaign manager. Reports indicated Mook was the mastermind behind a phone app that election officials were supposed to use to report results. When the app failed spectacularly, virtually the entire political internet pounced on him. Mook vociferously denied having anything to do with the thing, and told everyone to go bother the Iowa Democratic Party.

Right or wrong (and it looks like wrong), here we have a notorious Hillary Clinton operative who stands accused of being at the center of a failed election that virtually every poll had Bernie Sanders winning handily. Given the old and recent history of animosity between the Clinton and Sanders camps, the conspiracy theories pretty much write themselves.

But wait, there's more! It now appears that none of the Iowa election officials running the election on the ground were actually trained to use the app. When they couldn't figure it out, they tried to call the proffered hotline to deliver caucus results, only to find themselves on permanent hold. Some officials attempted to hand-deliver caucus results directly to Iowa Democratic officials, only to be turned away with no explanation.

This all-encompassing failure of the new "tiered" voting system, app included, was folded into the caucus by the Iowa Democratic Party with the blessing of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Once again, there is old, bad blood between Sanders and the DNC, and this mess will only reinforce the justified sense that establishment Democrats, embodied by the DNC and its cohort of Clinton holdovers, are actively trying to run the Sanders campaign off the road.

For the DNC, this black eye is the very last thing they need. A change in the debate rules to allow newly arrived billionaire candidates to participate, after every candidate of color besides Andrew Yang was chased out of the race by the old rules, has sparked broad outrage.

Compounding this is a scandal at the top of the convention host committee that has cashiered its top two officials only six short months before the convention in Milwaukee. What promised to be a chaotic and possibly brokered convention now faces the same total calamity that subsumed the Iowa caucus on Monday night.

The Buttigieg campaign released Iowa numbers to underscore how well they performed, claiming they'd won, and the Sanders campaign did likewise, sharing numbers that showed Sanders at the top. In contrast, the Biden campaign is keeping its head down, likely thrilled that what may well have been a poor showing has been obscured by this mess. None of it matters, because any results have been tainted. "Train wreck" is too kind a euphemism.

The candidates have already headed to New Hampshire, whose standard-practice primary next week will hopefully come off with a measurable level of competence. Iowa officials are promising results at some point on Tuesday, but those results will likely be so muddled and corrupted as to be utterly meaningless.

Donald Trump won the Iowa Democratic caucus on Monday night. You don't have to wait for evidence of this. The State of the Union address is tonight, and if you think Trump won't be gloating even as he weaponizes this catastrophe - "These are the people you want running your health care?"- you have not been paying attention. Between this and his inevitable impeachment acquittal in the Senate tomorrow, the man will be positively bursting at the seams.

At this rate, Trump won't have to leave the White House to secure victory in November. "Dems in disarray" will do all the heavy lifting for him, and they will have no one but themselves to blame. The Iowa Caucus needed to be a showcase of Democratic competence, if only to justify its presence at the head of the line.

Instead, it was the most humiliating and dispiriting political event in modern election memory. The convention riot in 1968 was the fault of Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's skull-cracking cops, and 2000 belongs to the Supreme Court. This one is all Democrats, and the sting of it will not be subsiding anytime soon.

Thanks for nothing, Iowa.

(c) 2020 William Rivers Pitt is a senior editor and lead columnist at Truthout. He is also a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of three books: War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know, The Greatest Sedition Is Silence and House of Ill Repute: Reflections on War, Lies, and America's Ravaged Reputation. His fourth book, The Mass Destruction of Iraq: Why It Is Happening, and Who Is Responsible, co_written with Dahr Jamail, is available now on Amazon. He lives and works in New Hampshire.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks at a campaign stop at the State Historical Museum of Iowa on Monday in Des Moines, Iowa.

Anti-War Sentiment Fuels Sanders Surge
By John Nichols

CEDAR FALLS, IOWA - A roar of approval filled the packed ballroom on the University of Northern Iowa campus when Wisconsin Congressman Mark Pocan told a crowd of Bernie Sanders supporters that he would be barnstorming across eastern Iowa to deliver the message that, "Yes! We must stop endless wars!"

The applause was just as loud when Black Hawk County (Iowa) Supervisor Chris Schwartz reminded Saturday's gathering that, almost two decades ago, "It was Bernie Sanders who stood up to George Bush and said no to war."

The national media has moved on from discussing the prospect that President Donald Trump's decision to kill a key Iranian general had brought the Middle East to "the brink of war." But concerns about issues of war and peace - which briefly upended the national debate in early January - continue to influence the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. That's benefiting Sanders, especially in Iowa.

There's little question that the senator from Vermont is surging in the state that will hold the first caucuses of the 2020 cycle on Feb. 3. A fresh New York Times/Siena College poll positions Sanders in a clear front-place position in the state, with the support of 25% of those polled, versus 18% for former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 17% for former Vice President Joe Biden and 15% for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. That's a substantial improvement from the Des Moines Register/CNN poll in early January, which gave Sanders a narrow lead over the rest of the field.

You'll hear plenty of speculation about why Sanders is rising at the point when it matters most. But not enough attention has been paid by pundits at the national level to the resonance of the anti-war message that Sanders delivered in the first weeks of 2020. After the president ordered the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, when many Americans feared the country was careering toward another Middle East war, Sanders delivered an immediate and aggressive anti-war message. Recalling his opposition to past wars, Sanders declared, "I was right about Vietnam. I was right about Iraq. I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran. I apologize to no one."

He kept reinforcing that message in Iowa, New Hampshire and other states, where he incorporated a more detailed critique of "endless wars" into his stump speech - to such an extent that The Atlantic noted, "Bernie Sanders Has Something New to Talk About: The Iran crisis is giving him a chance to differentiate himself - just in time for the Iowa caucuses." He did the same in Washington, where he and U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, D-California, sponsored the "No War Against Iran Act."

"I firmly believe the reason Bernie has shot to the lead has everything to do with Iran. He was decisive on this. We co-introduced legislation the day after the strike to stop funding for the war. And then went across Iowa hitting the anti-war message," Khanna said. "Sanders hammered the anti-war message for weeks. He had the great line he started using: instead of spending $1.8 trillion on military budgets, why don't we use some of those resources to tackle climate change? People tuned in that he had blasted the defense budget."

Khanna, who has emerged as a leading anti-war voice in Congress and nationally, campaigned for Sanders in Iowa in early January. He says he was stopped by Democrats and independents who made a point of saying how important it was to them that Sanders was delivering a strong rebuke to endless wars.

"It's just shocking to me that what's so obvious to explain Bernie's rise is being missed by the media," Khanna said. "Of course for Bernie, taking that anti-war position was just pure principle. It was so instinctive for him that we needed to issue a statement opposing the assassination and reintroducing legislation to block the funding. He didn't need a committee. His bold action stemmed from a lifetime of commitment to these issues. And Iowa voters saw this."

That's not an uncommon assessment.

"His anti-war position is important to a lot of people. It's important to me," said Whitman Cler, a student who was volunteering for Sanders at the University of Northern Iowa event on Saturday.

Schwartz, who serves as Iowa's state director of Americans for Democratic Action in addition to his work as a local elected official, argued, "This country is sick of endless wars, and I think that's especially true in Iowa. So, yes, of course people are noticing that Bernie is talking about this. Iowa has always had an anti-war streak. There's a long history of peace activism - of voting for anti-war candidates."

The state's caucuses gave a significant boost to George McGovern's anti-war bid in 1972, and to a number of other anti-war candidates along the way. Perhaps most famously, Iowa was the place where Barack Obama gained traction as a Democratic contender in 2007 and 2008 by emphasizing the fact that he had spoken out against going to war with Iraq in 2002 - when other leading Democrats had backed the war.

Schwartz said he caucused for Obama in 2008 because of the fact that he had opposed the rush to war. And it is one of the reasons why he will caucus for Sanders this year.

"Sanders has credibility as an anti-war candidate. He opposed the Iraq War," Schwartz said. "People know that, and it matters to them, just as it matters that he is now speaking out against war with Iran."

Khanna thinks that's the key. "Anti-war is not just good substance," he said. "It's winning politics."

(c) 2020 John Nichols writes about politics for The Capitol Times. His book on protests and politics, Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street, is published by Nation Books. Follow John Nichols on Twitter @NicholsUprising.

Agriculture "Gag-Laws" Covering Up Factory Farm Horrors
By James Donahue

After getting caught with their pants down by investigative reporters posing as workers on corporate-owned factory farms, big business interests are striking back. Legislators in at least nine states have caved to corporate pressure and passed laws making it illegal to take entry-level jobs to document the food safety and animal welfare abuses that are going on.

Since the concept of "factory farms" has swept the nation, undercover investigations, mostly by food safety and animal rights activists, have led to massive meat recalls, the shut-down of several slaughterhouses and disclosures of cruel animal handling practices. The source of this movement is reportedly the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) which is providing legal representation for the corporations that own and operate these massive farming operations.

To date, nine states have adopted laws making it illegal to enter these farms under false pretenses, to photograph, or report such abuses without permission from the owners of the farms. Those states are Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, Wyoming and North Carolina.

According to a report by Truthout, other states including New Hampshire, and Nebraska were considering similar gag-laws. Consumer and animal welfare activists successfully blocked such laws from passing in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York and Tennessee.

But the pressure is on. The idea is to hide from public view the way America's food is being mass produced. And it isn't the way many of us that grew up on family-owned farms remember.

I grew up on such a farm. That was a time when families could make a good living on farms no larger than 160-acres. Dairy farmers with herds of 10 to 20 cows milked the animals by hand. All of the animals were treated well and on some farms, they were given names by the family members who fed and cared for them.

We worked our fields with tractors just large enough to pull a two-bottom plow. It took us a day or two just to get a 40-acre field prepared for planting. A good yield of wheat was about 30 bushes of seed from an acre of land.

Things have changed in a big way since I left the farm. During my years on various Michigan newspapers, I never forgot the farm life and watched with interest as the small family farms got bought up by the more prosperous area farmers. Farms got larger and larger in size. And these new farm operators, forced by tighter pricing, reduced profits and rising operating costs, eventually turned farming into a highly mechanized business. Only the best and most aggressive operators survived.

They bought more and more land, expanded the farms into hundreds if not thousands of acres, tore down fences, cut down trees, bulldozed over the little ponds, and farmed with massive machines capable of plowing, conditioning and planting hundreds of acres in a single afternoon. Instead of knowing the joy of working with the land, these "modern farmers" turned to giant tractors with air-conditioned cabs, built-in radio systems, and they used chemicals that killed bugs and weeds. The chemicals were often applied by crop dusters flying over the fields, getting the job done in a few swipes.

Eventually these farms were snatched up by the corporate farming operators. Instead of having a few animals in the barn, they introduced the feedlots where they kept thousands of animals. They fed them chemicals designed to make them grow quickly, and antibiotics to keep them healthy in such a closed environment. This then, is a description of the factory farm.

My wife and I were born and raised in a rural farming area of Michigan and when we retired, our hope was to buy a small home with a few acres of land on which to garden and live out the golden years of our lives. But the stench of these factory farms was so terrible, there was literally no place to live that folks in that area weren't suffering from the noxious smells. Living downwind from a 2,000 head beef farm is bad enough, but we had similar farms keeping hogs, chickens and dairy cows. We retreated to the Upper Peninsula of the state where the soil is rocky and the seasons too short to attract industrial farming.

Imagine the cruelty of keeping an animal locked in a constrictive cage where it barely has room to move, and feeding it chemicals to make it grow fat in a short time before it is butchered and sent to our grocery store meat counters. People who can do this share no love for the animals or for nature. The waste from these farms gets in the water supply, and works its way into local streams and eventually the Great Lakes.

The process of killing and butchering these animals is done on an assembly line, with no regard for the suffering of the creature. And careless practices have brought about the spread of such terrible bugs as salmonella, listeria and E-coli. The exposure of such practices has linked these diseases to the crass new era of farming.

(c) 2020 James L. Donahue is a retired newspaper reporter, editor and columnist with more than 40 years of experience in professional writing. He is the published author of five books, all dealing with Michigan history, and several magazine articles.

Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi rips a copy of US President Donald
Trumps speech after he delivered the State of the Union address at the US Capitol
in Washington, DC, on February 4, 2020.

Donald Trump's State Of The Mighty Me
A speech not worth the paper Nancy Pelosi tore apart.
By Michael Winship

As Dear Leader wound up his State of the Union, and Nancy Pelosi tore its pages in quarters as she stood behind him, I had the same reaction that many colleagues out in the Twitter universe had. We all instantly recalled George W. Bush's words at the end of Donald Trump's inaugural address in 2017: "Well, that was some weird shit."

Except that Trump's speech wasn't just weird, it was some Nuremberg shit, too, the rhetoric and Republican hysteria in the hall all too reminiscent of those terrifying days of the 1930s when Adolph Hitler harangued adoring crowds, the whole spotlighted production designed for Leni Riefenstahl's cameras, with the intimidation dial turned up to 11.

Trump's State of the Union wasn't in a stadium filled with tens of thousands of Nazis, but it was similarly camera-ready, fueled by craziness as it took advantage of every reality show trick he learned during his years posing as an ersatz billionaire on The Apprentice.

As Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig point out in their bestseller, A Very Stable Genius, Trump cares "more about putting on a show than about the more mundane task of governing." He's terrifyingly good at the razzle-dazzle, vectoring in on the good old lowest common denominator that television made so famous - although he's not as interested in what will least offend as he is in whatever will most stir up his frightened, angry base.

Example: Presidents have been using the yearly address to headline heroes since 1982, when Ronald Reagan pointed to the presence in the gallery of government employee Lenny Skutnik, who had rescued a plane crash survivor from the frigid waters of the Potomac. It quickly became a way for the commander-in-chief to associate himself with heroes and others whose life experiences illustrated key points in the State of the Union.

These attempts to include a little human interest or have some glory rub off on the chief executive have sometimes been heavy on the hokum but largely harmless and often even touching. Tuesday night, though, Trump took what has been a fairly benign tradition and turned it into a game as cynical and manipulative as that old TV show Queen for a Day, on which housewives won prizes for whomever had the most poignant and/or tragic life's story.

There was Retired Brigadier General Charles McGee, 100 years old, one of the last of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, fresh from the Super Bowl coin flip on Sunday, his presence moving for sure but part of the Trump effort to peel away African American voters from the Democrats. He was there with his great-grandson who Trump says wants to be part of his mighty Space Force. Phasers on stun!

There, too, were Stephanie and Janiyah Davis from Philadelphia, Pa., a single mom and her fourth-grader who had hoped to get a tax credit scholarship for private school. Trump announced he was awarding it to her because "no parent should be forced to send their child to a failing government school"-"government school" now the conservative buzz words for public education, a hard-won system essential to democracy but which the hard right is determined to destroy as they continue their push to dumb down the populace even further.

There was the Iraqi war widow and the brother of a man shot by an undocumented immigrant-Trump would never ever mention that in truth, the immigrant crime rate is lower than the general population's. There was the staged reunion of a military family-live and in person! And of course, the horrifying image of Melania Trump wrapping the presidential medal freedom around the neck of talk show host Rush Limbaugh, the purveyor of decades of vitriolic hatred against any and all minorities.

No one deserves cancer, but, "It's impossible to find a topic on which Limbaugh hasn't been odious," Mark Sumner writes at Daily Kos. "On which he hasn't been intentionally hurtful. On which he hasn't been cruel, spiteful, and deceitful. It's difficult to find a single admirable quality in the man, either on the air or off." And so, the perfect choice for an honor from a dishonorable Trump.

The speech itself was aswarm with Limbaugh-style lies, mendacity being the currency of choice at the White House and within the Republican Party-"chock-full of stretched facts and dubious figures," as per The Washington Post. "Many of these claims have been fact-checked repeatedly, yet the president persists in using them."

The Post cites 31 statements, pointing in detail to his false claims about the economy, his brags about unemployment rates for minorities and the disabled, his claims that no one-no one!-has done better than he.

"Trump never seems to remember - or prefers to forget - that Obama took office during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression," the paper reports, and Associated Press notes, "Trump never quite managed to achieve the liftoff he promised during the 2016 election. Instead, gains have largely followed along the same lines of an expansion that started more than a decade ago under Obama."

Nothing about climate change. Lies about criminal justice reform, trade, energy independence, immigration and that damned wall, guns, health care! "We will always protect patients with preexisting conditions," he declared, even though his administration supports a current court case that would completely repeal the Affordable Care Act.

: And so forth and so on, ad nauseum. A celebration not of the State of the Union but the State of the Mighty Me. Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy said, "Working Americans struggle to make ends meet, vulnerable neighborhoods pay the price of a changing climate, desperate patients crowd source medical bills and communities of color battle systemic and overt racism, yet this President chooses self-adoration over solutions."

The problem is that this weird Nuremberg shit is working. If you're not paying attention, chances are it sounds great, and if you're someone living in white fear or more focused on just getting by, you simply may not care or even notice that Donald Trump is systematically eviscerating every branch of government, every law, every regulation, any semblance of moral behavior.

The fat cats don't seem to mind either, looking the other way from Trump's ignorant, corrupt and contemptible behavior as long as the cash register keeps ringing and the fuel's topped off on their private escape jets to New Zealand.

Donald Trump reigns over an ugly Cloud Cuckoo Land of his own making, much of it only existing in his addled brain. He calls it The Great American Comeback, but while Republicans collapsed from the vapors as Speaker Pelosi ripped apart pages of The Gospel According to Donald, he rips apart the Constitution and tears asunder the families of immigrants, families of the poor and helpless.

Some comeback. Better to rephrase that sentiment, better to implore our nation to Come Back, America, to return us to a place where we can try to uphold decency and the rule of law, where we can organize and vote, where we can endeavor to restore the values of a democratic republic. Because it's almost too late.

(c) 2020 Michael Winship is the Schumann Senior Writing Fellow for Common Dreams. Previously, he was the Emmy Award-winning senior writer of Moyers & Company and, a past senior writing fellow at the policy and advocacy group Demos and former president of the Writers Guild of America East. Follow him on twitter:@MichaelWinship

Canadian technology can produce high-quality electric buses (and good jobs) now.

More Federal Transit Money, E-buses Could Be Climate Lifesavers
By David Suzuki

If we're going to tackle the climate crisis, we have to reduce transportation emissions. Good public transit - fast, reliable, affordable - can help by weaning us off of gasoline-burning automobiles.

Especially important to address the climate crisis is transit that runs on electricity, which could be subways, light rail or trolley and battery-powered buses.

Subways are only practical in population-dense cities such as Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Light rail is great in many settings. Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Kitchener-Waterloo have light rail, and Toronto is building a crosstown system that will massively benefit the city, especially in neighbourhoods not currently well-served by rapid transit. But one vehicle is often overlooked: the all-electric bus.

E-buses have many virtues. They can be built quickly - no small thing during the escalating climate emergency.

Bus electrification is part of an overall move to electrify most of our economy. David Suzuki Foundation policy analyst Tom Green's 2019 report, "Zeroing in on Emissions," says we need to "electrify just about everything." He writes, "Multiple research projects have concluded that electrifying as much as possible will be a pillar of Canada's decarbonization effort."

Transportation is the second-largest source of Canadian greenhouse gases, eclipsed only by the oil and gas sector. In 2017 (the year with the most recent data), transportation in Canada accounted for a staggering 174 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent; oil and gas development contributed 195 million tonnes.

Emissions-reduction benefits of e-buses are considerable. Even in provinces like Alberta, where power is generated mostly by burning fossil fuels, electric buses stack up well against diesel. Clean Energy Canada, a think tank at Simon Fraser University, says, "When plugged into Edmonton's grid, a battery-electric bus is expected to emit 38% to 44% less CO2 than a diesel equivalent - and as the electricity gets cleaner, so will the buses." A 2019 David Suzuki Foundation report, "Shifting Gears," states, "Electrification of buses would further reduce the GHG impacts of transit use."

E-bus production can also strengthen Canada's clean tech sector and create jobs. Our country has a number of companies that produce vehicles for domestic and international markets. New federal funding could give these businesses - including Quebec-based Nova Bus and Winnipeg's New Flyer Industries - an additional boost.

There could even be benefits for national unity. The buses could support manufacturers and transit riders throughout the country, demonstrate Ottawa's commitment to ensuring all regions reach their potential and advertise the message, "This clean-air transit service supported by the Government of Canada."

It's something the federal government should consider seriously as it prepares this year's federal budget.

During the election, the Liberals - who formed a minority government - pledged to make transit funding permanent (as opposed to occasional) and said this money would increase by $3 billion annually. They also said that, starting in a few years, transit investments would be for buses and rail that don't emit carbon.

The prime minister's mandate letter to Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna tasked her with fulfilling these promises: "Make the federal commitment to fund public transit permanent and rise with the cost of construction over time. Ensure that new federal investments in public transit are used to support zero-emission buses and rail systems starting in 2023."

These are good policies, and we need to ensure they're implemented - even enhanced - quickly. Scientists tell us we must reduce emissions dramatically within the decade.

To capture these opportunities and prevent electric bus manufacturing from going to the U.S., the government needs to act fast. Clean Energy Canada argues, "Canada is home to multiple North-America-leading e-bus manufacturers that, as the world moves to electrify transit, are well-positioned to capitalize - provided transit authorities and policy makers seize the opportunity."

Some cities have already purchased e-buses, but the numbers are relatively small. Toronto just bought 60 (out of a total fleet of some 2,000 buses) and Edmonton recently ordered 40 (out of about 1,000). These are good steps, but new federal money could turbocharge them.

Ottawa plans to fund zero-emission vehicles beginning in 2023. This means the feds could pay for diesel-burning buses for another three years. In a climate crisis, that doesn't make sense.

Canadian technology can produce high-quality electric buses (and good jobs) now. In the upcoming federal budget, let's make cleaner, healthier public transportation a priority.

(c) 2020 Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co_founder of the David Suzuki Foundation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill
after returning from the White House on January 02, 2019 in Washington, D.C.

Trump And Subservient GOP Expose Failure Of American Exceptionalism
Another nail in the coffin of a fractured system that still sits on an idealized pedestal.
By Randall Amster

The impeachment trial was never going to produce a conviction, of course, but it could have at least served to shore up even a few of the nominal pillars of democracy yet intact. Decades of erosion by chief executives, packed courts, congressional (in)action, and general malfeasance have weakened protective mechanisms in areas from voting and campaign finance to government transparency and individual rights. Now, with the short-circuited process and inevitable outcome of the impeachment hearing, there is another nail in the coffin of a fractured system that still sits on an idealized pedestal.

American exceptionalism, when it's considered at all, is mostly viewed in the context of foreign policies: intervening in the affairs of others and holding the world to standards from which we are somehow exempt. This principle asserts the view that the U.S., as the primary global hegemon (militarily, if not culturally, or economically), has a sacred responsibility to take action deemed necessary to protect and promote our interests and support causes in which we believe. In practice, this looks like geographical incursions, political manipulations, and rights deprivations when larger concerns make such expedient.

There is, however, another version of American exceptionalism that applies more internally. Under this construct, the national identity becomes entirely bound up with bedrock beliefs in the idyllic virtues of democracy, justice, freedom, and associated "blessings of liberty." Parallel to the international variety, this aspect holds up a national image that silences dissent when invoked but isn't met in actual practice. In this guise, the mantle of patriotism can be claimed by those working actively against the higher ideals.

These themes have come to light in the course of the impeachment proceedings, particularly in the proffered defense which asserted, in essence, that as a constitutional matter a President simply cannot be convicted and removed. The rationale is that, unlike life-tenured federal judges (eight of whom have been removed from office in history), a President must stand for election every four years. This means that there's another mechanism for removing elected officials, namely the democratic process. In other words, the sanctity of the Constitution and electoral processes mitigate against congressional removal.

Despite its implicit valorization of American ideals, the radical standard set by this argument could serve to further cement the "imperial presidency" that has been steadily expanding over the decades. George W. Bush, for example, took the practice of issuing "signing statements" (executed in conjunction with approving legislative acts) to new heights of presidential fiat. In these statements, Bush would routinely render objections or even outright exemptions to the bills being signed, operating in some respects like a line-item veto of statutory provisions deemed inconvenient or antithetical to the President's agenda.

The trend toward expanding executive powers has been well documented, but the arguments advanced in the impeachment trial threaten to take it to a more dangerous level. Commentators have lamented the implications of acquitting on the grounds argued, noting that it could effectively immunize nearly any presidential conduct in the service of getting reelected. The permutations of this would grant sitting presidents the right to do almost anything deemed necessary to maintain their power, with no prospect of real oversight-except apparently that of "the people" in our exceptionalist democratic mythos. (Of course, presidents aren't directly elected by popular vote, so even this vaunted mechanism is tenuous.)

The underlying basis of impeachment acquittal could confer a veritable executive carte blanche, and in the process weaken the foundering "checks and balances" in the system. This surfacing is critical, further rendering unmistakable the extant gap between American values and our actual politics. Perhaps in an ironic twist, the exposure of illusory principles to fractious daylight will prompt multitudes to demand change. Until then, we're left with the spectacle of democratic veneration amidst the specter of tyranny.

(c) 2020 Randall Amster J.D., Ph.D., is Director of the Program on Justice and Peace at Georgetown University. Among his most recent books are Anarchism Today (Praeger, 2012) and the co-edited volume "Building Cultures of Peace: Transdisciplinary Voices of Hope and Action" (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009) and the co-edited volume Exploring the Power of Nonviolence: Peace, Politics, and Practice (Syracuse University Press, 2013).

The Quotable Quote-

"Yes, we become stronger when men and women, young and old, gay and straight, native-born and immigrant fight together to create the kind of country we all know we can become."
~~~ Bernie Sanders

Embassy dedication ceremony.

Top 3 Ways America Has Been Deeply Wounded By Supporting Israel Lobbyists Like Jared Kushner
The ongoing human rights catastrophe provokes rage and provides grounds for political mobilization in the region.
By Juan Cole

Jared Kushner is essentially an Israeli squatter on Palestinian land in the West Bank, and so it is little wonder that his plan for Palestinians is that they should continue under the Israeli jackboot and that a third of their territory in the West Bank should be given to Israel. The arrogance of this filthy rich privileged Jewish American dismissing dispossessed and disprivileged Palestinians as dumb as rocks for not bending over for him on command is breathtaking.

The United States is a big, powerful, wealthy country and Kushner"s conviction that he can screw over with impunity the poor, surrounded, disorganized Palestinians seems logical.

The fact is, however, that even Great Powers pay a price for doing profound injustices, even if it isn't immediately obvious how.

Because the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza is a subject attended with a great deal of noise and propaganda, it is easy to be misunderstood and smeared. So let me state straightforwardly that I am not saying that US support for Israel per se has harmed our nation. I am saying that US support for the Israeli Apartheid policies toward the Occupied Territories since 1967 has been injurious. Here are some of the ways this backing for naked injustice has injured us

1. Terrorism: The US support for the Israeli ownership of all of Jerusalem injures the religious feelings of 1.8 billion Muslims and it breeds terrorism against the US. It helped get Washington and New York blown up in 2001. I wrote 15 years ago,

"Because al-Qaeda and its fellow travelers do not speak in the language of Palestinian nationalism, it has been possible for certain quarters to obscure to the US public that they are absolutely manically fixated on the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem.

This is what Bin Laden meant way back in the 1990s when he denounced the foreign military occupation of "the three holy cities." Here is what Bin Laden wrote in 1998 when he declared war on the US:

"Third, if the Americans' aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews' petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there. The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel's survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula."

How obsessed Bin Laden & company are with what goes on in Palestine is obvious... in the 9/11 commission report:
"According to KSM [Khalid Shaikh Muhammad], Bin Ladin had been urging him to advance the date of the attacks. In 2000, for instance, KSM remembers Bin Ladin pushing him to launch the attacks amid the controversy after then-Israeli opposition party leader Ariel Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. KSM claims Bin Ladin told him it would be enough for the hijackers simply to down planes rather than crash them into specific targets. KSM says he resisted the pressure.

KSM claims to have faced similar pressure twice more in 2001.According to him, Bin Ladin wanted the operation carried out on May 12, 2001, seven months to the day after the Cole bombing. KSM adds that the 9/11 attacks had originally been envisioned for May 2001. The second time he was urged to launch the attacks early was in June or July 2001, supposedly after Bin Ladin learned from the media that Sharon would be visiting the White House. On both occasions KSM resisted, asserting that the hijacking teams were not ready. Bin Ladin pressed particularly strongly for the latter date in two letters stressing the need to attack early.The second letter reportedly was delivered by Bin Ladin's son-in-law, Aws al Madani."

It wasn't just that the 9/11 attacks killed nearly 3,000 Americans, it was that they launched the US on two wars (both still going on) and vastly securitized and miltarized American society, paving the way for Trumpian fascism. How deeply America has been harmed, and how many liberties and economic opportunities it has lost for the sake of millenarian dreams of Jerusalem by Christian Zionists and Jewish Zionists are incalculable.
2. Opposition: When two people meet, they can hit it off or they can get off on a wrong foot. It is the same with countries. The United States has gotten off on a wrong foot with many of the 1.8 billion Muslims because it supports treating the Palestinians the way white people in the Old South used to treat Black people.

The degree to which Iraqis were influenced to oppose the US presence in their country in the Bush era by US policy of screwing over the Palestinians has usually been overlooked. I wrote at Salon in 2004,

"Sharon wanted to permanently annex about half of the West Bank, and appears to have decided that this action might be made palatable to the U.S. and some European states if he, at the same time, withdrew from Gaza altogether . . .At their joint news conference on April 14, Bush blessed Sharon's plot. Of the "existing major Israeli population centers," (i.e. settlements) on the West Bank, Bush said it is "unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final-status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949." Bush also hailed Sharon's plan to withdraw from Gaza and move its settlers to the West Bank as "historic."
Translated, what Bush really said was that there would be no return to the 1967 borders and that Israel's policy of annexing occupied territory and planting large settlements on it - actions forbidden by the Hague Regulations of 1907 and the Geneva Convention of 1949, which forbid permanently acquiring territory by war - had now received the stamp of approval from Washington. Moreover, Sharon was authorized to take further steps unilaterally, without negotiating with the Palestinians.

Combined with the American military assault on Fallujah, Bush's embrace of Sharon's position succeeded in making America, in Arab eyes, virtually indistinguishable from Israel. The Egyptian daily al-Jumhuriyyah spoke for many Arabs when it observed in the wake of the Bush-Sharon accord, "the victims being killed daily in Palestine and Iraq are due to the continuation of the occupation ... Violence and extremism have increased as a natural response to the brutality of the occupation."

Before Bush endorsed Sharon's plan, much of the Arab press and popular opinion had stopped short of such an equation. Many, even those opposed to the U.S. invasion and critical of the occupation, were prepared to acknowledge that not all of those fighting the Americans were noble freedom fighters. Now, the rhetoric and sentiment are swinging the other way.

Sharon's plan for West Bank annexation and withdrawal from Gaza had held one danger. Hamas, strong in Gaza, might take advantage of an Israeli withdrawal to use the territory as a base for even more suicide bombings. Sharon was determined to wipe out the Hamas leadership so as to cripple its organizational capacity and render it unable or fearful to benefit from a unilateral Israeli pull-back. Thus he launched the rocket attack on Sheikh Yassin on March 22, which was a piece of political theater. A half-blind man in a wheelchair could simply have been arrested (in fact, Yassin served time in an Israeli prison in the 1990s). The point was to inspire fear among his successors.

Hamas is a Sunni Muslim fundamentalist party, deriving from the Egyptian Muslim brotherhood. Sheikh Yassin's extremist writings are widely read among fundamentalists, including those in Iraq. His murder provoked outrage among both Sunni and Shiite Iraqis. Some of them determined to take revenge on the closest ally of the Israelis, the Americans who were occupying them.

The fuse ran from Gaza to Iraq, and ignited in Fallujah. Sunni Arab fundamentalists and Arab nationalists are particularly strong in al-Anbar Province, the site of the notorious centers of opposition to American rule such as Fallujah, Ramadi, and Habbaniyah. Fallujah in particular has many Islamists close in their thinking to Hamas. The group that killed the four American civilian security guards in Sunni Arab Fallujah on March 31 identified itself as "Phalanges of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin," calling the grisly killings a "gift to the Palestinian people."

American military forces immediately began closing on the city, seeking revenge. Although the link was virtually unreported in the Western press, the ghost of the man in the wheelchair had cast a long shadow over the American occupation of Iraq - one that would grow longer.

Then, on April 2, the radical young Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr announced in his Friday prayer sermon in the southern Shiite city of Kufa that he should be considered the "striking arm" of Hamas "because the fate of Iraq and Palestine is the same." On April 3, the Coalition Provisional Authority issued 28 arrest warrants for associates of al-Sadr, and took 13 of them into custody, including Sheikh Mustafa Yaqubi, his representative in Najaf. The pretext for the arrests was a year-old murder, and the warrants were themselves several months old. It is probable that the decision to act was taken in the light of al-Sadr's April 2 sermon, by Bush administration officials who feared his movement posed a threat to Israel."

The Americans in Iraq never understood themselves as Occupiers, but almost all Iraqis saw them that way, and moreover they saw them that way in part because they saw them as neo-Israelis or as the origin and font of Israeli Occupation policy.

3. War footing: Had the United States held Israel's feet to the fire and insisted on implementing the Oslo Accords, there would have been a small Palestinian state in 1997 and the entire Israel-Palestinian issue would have been defused. Instead, the wound has gotten redder and deeper and inflamed passions. The Steadfastness Front of countries opposed to the United States mostly had nothing against the US per se, they were angered by the ongoing ethnic cleansing and Apartheid policies toward the Palestinians. Those apologists for the fascist Likud Party who say that Arab support for the Palestinians is insincere have never met an Arab. But ironically they are also admitting that Israeli policies have given cynical politicians pretexts for anti-Americanism.

The US problem with Hizbullah in Lebanon grew out of the Israeli Occupation not only of the Palestinians but also of 10 percent of Lebanon.

The US problem with Iran is driven in part by the Palestine issue. It could turn into a big war.

The US is in Syria still mostly to try to block Iran.

The West Bank colonization project of right wing Jewish nationalism brings in its train conflicts for the United States. Trump's recent whacking of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and of the leader of the Iraqi militia, Kata'ib Hizbullah, was in part for the protection of the Likud Party from the backlash its West Bank policies have created in the region.

If there had been an Oslo-style Palestine, its president could just come out and tell Iran and Hizbullah and the Iraqi Shiite militias to stay out of Palestinians' business. But the ongoing human rights catastrophe, which Kushner attempts to paper over and tries to blame on what he alleges is the stupidity of the Palestinians, provokes rage and provides grounds for political mobilization in the region.

(c) 2020 Juan R.I. Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. He has written extensively on modern Islamic movements in Egypt, the Persian Gulf and South Asia and has given numerous media interviews on the war on terrorism and the Iraq War. He lived in various parts of the Muslim world for nearly 10 years and continues to travel widely there. He speaks Arabic, Farsi and Urdu.

The Dead Letter Office-

John gives the corporate salute

Heil Trump,

Dear Oberster Richter Roberts,

Congratulations, you have just been awarded the "Vidkun Quisling Award!" Your name will now live throughout history with such past award winners as Marcus Junius Brutus, Judas Iscariot, Benedict Arnold, George Stephanopoulos, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Prescott Bush, Sam Bush, Fredo Bush, Kate Bush, Kyle Busch, Anheuser Busch, Vidkun Quisling, and last year's winner Volksjudge Samuel (the con) Alito.

Without your lock step calling for the repeal of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, your help in keeping witnesses, and the truth, out of the Impeachment hearings, Yemen, Syria, Iran and those many other profitable oil wars to come would have been impossible! With the help of our mutual friends, the other "Rethuglican Whores" you have made it possible for all of us to goose-step off to a brave new bank account!

Along with this award you will be given the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Golden Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds presented by our glorious Fuhrer, Herr Trump at a gala celebration at "der Fuhrer Bunker," formally the "White House," on 03-15-2020. We salute you herr Roberts, Sieg Heil!

Signed by,
Vice Fuhrer Pence

Heil Trump

The State Of The Dis-Union
By Robert Reich

An impeached president who was on trial and is up for re-election will be delivering a state of the union address to the most divided union in living memory. He will be giving his address to both his jurors and prosecutors, and most importantly, to the voters that will decide his fate in November.

It's not unprecedented for an impeached president to give a state of the union address. Bill Clinton delivered his State of the Union in 1999 while in the middle of his Senate trial. But that's where the similarities end.

Clinton was not up for re-election when he gave his speech, so he didn't need to employ any campaign-style rhetoric. Trump is a polarizing, divisive president who is addressing an America that has never been so divided.

But this begs the question: why are we so divided?

We're not fighting a hugely unpopular war on the scale of Vietnam. We're not in a deep economic crisis like the Great Depression. Yes, we disagree about guns, abortion, and immigration, but we've disagreed about them for decades. So why are we so divided now?

Ferocious partisanship is not new. Newt Gingrich, the Republican Speaker of the House who led the House's impeachment investigation into Clinton, pioneered the combative partisanship we're used to today. But today's divisions are far deeper than they were then.

Part of the answer is Trump himself. The Great Divider knows how to pit native-born Americans against immigrants, the working class against the poor, whites against blacks and Latinos, evangelicals against secularists - keeping everyone stirred up by vilifying, disparaging, denouncing, defaming, and accusing others of the worst. Trump thrives off disruption and division.

But that begs another question: Why have we been so ready to be divided by Trump?

One theory is the underlying tension that an older, whiter, and less educated America, concentrated in rural areas, is losing out to a "new" America that's younger, more diverse, more educated, and concentrated in urban areas. These trends, while much more prominent these days, have been going on since the start of the 20th century. Why are they causing so much anger now?

Another hypothesis is that we are geographically sorting ourselves into Republican and Democratic regions of the country, surrounding ourselves with like-minded neighbors and friends so we no longer talk to people with opposing views. But why are we doing this?

The rise of social media sensationalizing our differences in order to attract eyeballs and advertisers, plays a crucial role in exacerbating the demographic and geographic trends I just mentioned. But it alone isn't responsible for our polarized nation.

Together, all of these factors contribute to the political schism we're experiencing today. But none of them alone point to any large, significant change in the structure of our society that can account for what's happened.

Let me have a go.

In the fall of 2015, I visited Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri, and North Carolina for a research project I was doing on the changing nature of work. I spoke with many of the same people I had met twenty years before when I was secretary of labor, as well as with some of their grown children.

What I heard surprised me. Twenty years ago, many said they'd been working hard and were frustrated they weren't doing better. Now, that frustration had been replaced by full-blown anger - anger towards their employers, the government, Wall Street.

Many had lost jobs, savings, or homes in the Great Recession following the financial crisis of 2008, or knew others who had. By the time I spoke with them, most were back in jobs but the jobs paid no more than they had two decades before in terms of purchasing power.

I heard the term "rigged system" so often I began asking people what they meant by it. They spoke about flat wages, shrinking benefits, and growing job insecurity. They talked about the bailout of Wall Street, political payoffs, insider deals, soaring CEO pay, and "crony capitalism."

These complaints came from people who identified as Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. A few had joined the Tea Party, while a few others had been involved in the Occupy movement.

With the 2016 political primaries looming, I asked them which candidates they found most attractive. At the time, Democratic Party insiders favored Hillary Clinton and Republican insiders favored Jeb Bush. Yet no one I spoke with mentioned Clinton or Bush.

They talked instead about Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. When I asked why, they said Sanders or Trump would "shake things up" or "make the system work again" or "stop the corruption" or "end the rigging."

In the following year, Sanders - a seventy-four-year old Jew from Vermont who described himself as a democratic socialist and wasn't a registered Democrat until the 2016 presidential primaries - came within a whisker of beating Clinton in the Iowa caucus, routed her in the New Hampshire primary, and ended up with 46 percent of the pledged delegates from Democratic primaries and caucuses.

Trump - a sixty-nine-year-old ego-maniacal billionaire reality-TV star who had never held elective office or had anything to do with the Republican Party and who lied compulsively about everything - won the Republican primaries and then went on to beat Clinton, one of the most experienced and well-connected politicians in modern America (although he didn't win the popular vote, and had some help from the Kremlin).

Something very big had happened, and it wasn't due to Sanders's magnetism or Trump's likeability. It was a rebellion against the establishment.

That rebellion is still going on, although much of the establishment still denies it. They have come up with myriad explanations for Trump's ascendance, some with validity; some without: It was hatred of Obama, it was hatred of Hillary, it was people voting third party, it was racism and xenophobia.

It's important to note that although racism and xenophobia in America date to before the founding of the Republic, they have never before been so central to a candidate's appeal and message as they've been with Trump. Aided by Fox News and an army of right-wing outlets, Trump used the underlying frustrations of the working class and channeled them into bigotry, but this was hardly the first time in history a demagogue has used this cynical ploy.

Trump convinced many blue-collar workers feeling ignored by the powers that be that he was their champion. Hillary Clinton did not convince them that she was. Her decades of public service ended up being a negative, not a positive: She was indubitably part of the establishment, the epitome of decades of policies that had left these blue-collar workers in the dust. (It's notable that during the primaries, Bernie Sanders did far better than Clinton with blue-collar voters.)

A direct line connects the four-decade stagnation of wages with the bailout of Wall Street, the rise of the Tea Party (and, briefly, Occupy), and the successes of Sanders and Trump in 2016. By 2016, Americans understood that wealth and power had moved to the top. Big money had rigged our politics. This was the premise of Sanders's 2016 campaign. It was also central to Trump's appeal ("I'm so rich I can't be bought off"), which he quickly reneged on once elected, delivering everything big money could have imagined.

The most powerful force in American politics today continues to be anti-establishment fury at a rigged system. Vicious partisanship, record-breaking economic inequality, and the resurgence of white supremacy are all byproducts of this rigged system. The biggest political battle today isn't between left, right, or center: it's between Trump's authoritarian populism and democratic (small "d") populism.

Democrats cannot defeat authoritarian populism without an agenda of radical democratic reform, an anti-establishment movement that tackles runaway inequality and heals the racial wounds Trump has inflicted. Even though he's a Trojan Horse for big corporations and the rich - giving them all the tax cuts and regulatory rollbacks they've ever wanted - he still has large swaths of the working class convinced he's on their side.

Democrats must stand squarely on the side of democracy against oligarchy. We must form a unified coalition of people of all races, genders, sexualities, and classes, and band together to unrig the system. Trump is not the cause of our divided nation; he is the symptom of a rigged system that was already dividing us. It's not enough to defeat him. We must reform the system that got us here in the first place to ensure that no future politician will ever again imitate Trump's authoritarian demagoguery.

For now, let's boycott the State of the Union and show the ratings-obsessed demagogue that the American people refuse to watch an impeached president continue to divide us.

(c) 2020 Robert B. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. His latest book is "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few." His web site is

Immigration's Third Wave
"What goes around comes around..."
By Jane Stillwater

I'm currently reading Benjamin Madley's lengthy and obviously well-documented tome, An American Genocide. This book is truly a hard slog. I can only stand to read four or five pages a day. Its appendices and footnotes alone take up 326 pages. Good grief.

However, the simple gist of the book is only this: "When the California gold rush began, American miners from the East Coast streamed into our Golden State by the thousands and then systematically slaughtered, exterminated and/or murdered almost every California Native in the state. In cold blood." It was a true bloodbath.

American vigilantes and militiamen shot, hung, drowned, scalped, burned alive and/or hacked to death every single California Indian they could find. The elderly? Women, children and babies? Didn't matter. They were all murdered in their beds. Or bonfires were made of the babies -- who obviously burned faster and brighter.

And if that wasn't horror enough, our very own federal and state governments happily paid for the ammunition and matches for all this heartless slaughter as well. And we even paid for the horses, wages and supplies.

There are almost no American Natives left in California today. Did you ever wonder why? Now you know.

And now there's a whole new wave of immigrants coming here as well. But are they also going to slaughter all of us who are already here -- like the gold miners did to the California Natives? No. This third wave of immigrants is not like the gold-mining second wave. We got lucky. They just want to be Americans too.

So what's my point here? Simple. If you set foot on American soil, you instantly become an American. Period. End of story. No one has to be lynched, murdered, slaughtered, burned alive or even put into cages. There is enough wealth here for all of us.

But what's the alternative? That we Americans today will also become just like those heartlessly evil, baby-slaying and un-Christian gold rush miners -- murderers and pond scum with black marks on their souls and rotting in Hell at the end of the day. (Having descended from seven generations of Methodist ministers, I recognize fire and brimstone when I see it.)

PS: I'm going to San Diego during the second week in March, to attend a book conference, and will have a few free days there before it begins.

I would love to go down to the US border at Tijuana while I'm there, and see what our modern-day gold-mining evil-doers are up to now. Does anybody have any contacts with refugee camps in that area that I could go see and report back about? If so, please let me know. Thanks.

PPS: Immigration's fourth wave? Not gonna be pretty. If Americans don't stop farting around with the rest of the world's treasures, food supply, freedom, ecosystems and oil, we're gonna have all sorts of Visigoths and Barbarians at our gate -- and boy, are they really gonna be pissed off!

What goes around comes around.

(c) 2020 Jane Stillwater. Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world. And while you're at it, please buy my books!

The Cartoon Corner-

This edition we're proud to showcase the cartoons of
~~~ Chip Bok ~~~

To End On A Happy Note-

Have You Seen This-

Parting Shots-

CBS Inks Deal For 30-Episode Bloomberg Ad
By The Onion

NEW YORK-Citing its productive relationship with the multibillionaire in the two months since he announced his candidacy, CBS officials confirmed Tuesday that the network had inked a deal to air a 30-episode advertisement for Michael Bloomberg's presidential campaign.

"We've had a great run with Mayor Bloomberg's shorter ads, so we're thrilled to welcome him into our lineup with a full series of hour-long episodic commercials," said a spokesperson for the television network, indicating the commercials will run immediately after NCIS on Tuesdays, though independent reports have confirmed they will also re-air throughout the week as often as the former New York mayor wants them to.

"Mike is a relentless, self-made presidential candidate we think will really resonate with viewers when they are given this opportunity to see the full arc of his run for the White House. We have his campaign merchandise for sale in CBS's online store, and with any luck, we'll soon be in talks about a second 30-episode ad. Frankly, we're willing to keep this running for as many seasons as the mayor would like."

CBS officials said the deal included a proposed crossover episode of Young Sheldon in which Bloomberg would guest star, warning the Cooper family about the dangers of consuming large, sugary drinks.

(c) 2020 The Onion

The Animal Rescue Site

Issues & Alibis Vol 20 # 06 (c) 02/07/2020

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