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In This Edition

Norman Solomon says, "At The Epicenter Of Super Tuesday, The Sanders Coalition Is Set To Shake The Political World."

Ralph Nader with a must read, "American Fuhrer: Delusionary, Dictatorial Donald Trump Is Drunk On Power."

Glen Ford concludes, "Fear Pervades Black Politics, And Makes Us Agents Of Our Own Oppression."

Jim Hightower points out, "The Amazing Fall Of Donald Trump's Wall."

William Rivers Pitt says, "Pence Hates Science. Tasking Him With Coronavirus Response Could Cost Lives."

John Nichols reports, "Russ Feingold Is Not Afraid Of Bernie Sanders."

James Donahue explores, "The Missing A-Bomb Off The Georgia Coast."

David Swanson finds, "Yet Another Mass Shooter Was A Military Veteran."

David Suzuki concludes, "Pipeline Actions Signal Need For True Reconciliation."

Charles P. Pierce states, "The Thought Of Donald Trump Trying To Cobble Together A Healthcare Plan Amid A Pandemic Makes My Brain Hurt."

Juan Cole warns, "The Plutocracy Strikes Back: CNN Compares Bernie Sanders to Coronavirus."

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar wins this week's coveted, "Vidkun Quisling Award!"

Robert Reich gives, "Six Responses To Bernie Skeptics."

Jane Stillwater considers, "COVID 19, The Stock Market & Me."

And finally in the 'Parting Shots' department The Waterford Whisper News asks, "Are You Panicking About Covid-19 Enough? Follow Our Guide," but first, Uncle Ernie sez, "On Wednesday Morning The Billionaires Were Dancing In The Streets."

This week we spotlight the cartoons of John Cole, with additional cartoons, photos and videos from, Ruben Bolling, Tom Tomorrow, Spencer Platt, Eric Baradat, Sarah Silbiger, Jason Hargrove, David Doel, 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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On Wednesday Morning The Billionaires Were Dancing In The Streets
By Ernest Stewart

"People were very happy. There was a huge sigh of relief, the party has come to our senses, you know? We're not going to implode." ~~~ Juan Vargas ~ corporate stooge ~ D/Ca

"Methane is important to study because if we make changes to our current methane emissions, it's going to reflect more quickly." ~~~ Benjamin Hmiel ~ University of Rochester researcher.

"We would want to ensure that we work to make it affordable, but we can't control that price because we need the private sector to invest. The priority is to get vaccines and therapeutics. Price controls won't get us there." ~~~ Alex Azar ~ U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary

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

It's one of those, "I should have seen it coming but I didn't" things. Glen Ford has been on about it for years and I've read Glen "religiously" for years but I guess it didn't sink in. Beyond that, I had a perfect example in Michigan over the vote on Gay Marriage.

Of course, I'm talking about how black folks turned out for Wall Street Joe over Bernie! The small lead that Joe has over Bernie can be laid directly on their door step. I guess it comes from my youth spent "freedom marching" and supporting black causes and amongst my black friends who were all liberals and various shades of radicals, like myself. I thought because Joe is a wall street puppet who put Anita Hill through the meat grinder and is not a friend to black folks in general they could see the light but I guess all they could see was Barry and if Joe was good enough for Barry he's be good enough for them, I know, my bad. Even though Glen had gone on and on about the "Black Misleadership Class" in Con-gress which are former black liberals who have all been bought and paid for by the corpo-rats like most of their white colleges have.

The Gay Marriage vote in Michigan really shocked me but it shouldn't have. I had assumed that the underdog blacks would have seen the underdog gays and would have supported them as they had the Jews who too had supported the blacks, but like Barry their fearless leader they came out against gay rights and the gay rights bill failed at the polls. Who'd have thought? Apparently not I!

The end result maybe another four years of Lying Donald, which I'm pretty sure is not what the black folks wanted? Bernie's hard core won't vote for Wall Street Joe, and will either vote Green or won't vote at all. I won't vote for Joe as a couple of decades ago I decided I would no longer vote for the lesser of two evils. No more! Joe has a long history of racism going back to the early 70s when he joined with fascist, racist Rethuglicans to stop busing and hasn't changed a bit since then, not to mention to selling his soul to Wall Street. So even if Joe wins, America loses, just as our corpo-rat masters wanted. I'm sure that on Wednesday morning the billionaires were dancing in the streets.

In Other News

I see where methane is a powerful greenhouse gas and large contributor to global warming. Methane emissions to the atmosphere have increased by approximately 150 percent over the past three centuries, but it has been difficult for researchers to determine exactly where these emissions originate; heat-trapping gases like methane can be emitted naturally, as well as from human activity.

University of Rochester researchers Benjamin Hmiel, a postdoctoral associate in the lab of Vasilii Petrenko, a professor of earth and environmental sciences, and their collaborators, measured methane levels in ancient air samples and found that scientists have been vastly underestimating the amount of methane humans are emitting into the atmosphere via fossil fuels. In a paper published in Nature, the researchers indicate that reducing fossil fuel use is a key target in curbing climate change.

"Placing stricter methane emission regulations on the fossil fuel industry will have the potential to reduce future global warming to a larger extent than previously thought," Hmiel says.

Did you know that there are two types of methane and that methane is the second largest anthropogenic-originating from human activity-contributor to global warming, after carbon dioxide. But, compared to carbon dioxide, as well as other heat-trapping gases, methane has a relatively short shelf-life; it lasts an average of only nine years in the atmosphere, while carbon dioxide, for instance, can persist in the atmosphere for about a century. That makes methane an especially suitable target for curbing emission levels in a short time frame.

Hmiel continued, "If we stopped emitting all carbon dioxide today, high carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere would still persist for a long time. Methane is important to study because if we make changes to our current methane emissions, it's going to reflect more quickly."

Besides Methane and Carbon Dioxide greenhouse gasses include Chlorofluorocarbons, Nitrous Oxide, Water Vapor and to some small degree Oxygen, and Argon.

Methane emitted into the atmosphere can be sorted into two categories, based on its signature of carbon-14, a rare radioactive isotope. There is fossil methane, which has been sequestered for millions of years in ancient hydrocarbon deposits and no longer contains carbon-14 because the isotope has decayed; and there is biological methane, which is in contact with plants and wildlife on the planet's surface and does contain carbon-14. Biological methane can be released naturally from sources such as wetlands or via anthropogenic sources such as landfills, rice fields, and livestock. Fossil methane, which is the focus of Hmiel's study, can be emitted via natural geologic seeps or as a result of humans extracting and using fossil fuels including oil, gas, and coal.

Global warming is far more dangerous than even Lying Donald, and yet you seldom hear anything about man kinds greatest challenge on commercial tv. Last year the total of global warming coverage by ABC, CBS, Fox News and NBC amounted to slightly less than 4 hours, and most of that was covering the Green New Deal and Greta Thunberg. However, the volume of climate change coverage on the corporate broadcast nightly and Sunday morning news shows increased 68 percent from 2018 to 2019. That may sound good but that was an increase from 142 minutes to 238 minutes, the report noted that this was not difficult to achieve because the amount of coverage in 2018 was "so pitiful" that news shows had a low bar to meet the following year. This climate coverage represented just .07 percent of the overall broadcast nightly and Sunday morning news shows in 2019.

The only network actually covering global warming was PBS, which, had on average, 10 programs a month in 2019. Which is amazing, as that's going against Lying Donald's theory that global warming is a Chinese hoax!

And Finally

I'm sure you've heard by now what Health and Human Services Secretary Alex (let them eat cake) Azar said the other day when asked about whether a treatment for the fast-moving coronavirus COVID 19 will be affordable, he told Con-gress:

"We would want to ensure that we work to make it affordable, but we can't control that price because we need the private sector to invest. The priority is to get vaccines and therapeutics. Price controls won't get us there."
As you can imagine it totally hit the fan almost instantly and almost as fast they said in would be affordable as the government is financing the research.

You may recall during his time as CEO of Eli Lilly, the global pharmaceutical company repeatedly increased the price of insulin. In the five years Azar was president, the U.S. list price of the company's best-selling insulin drug doubled. So why don't I believe that that the cost of a coronavirus vacine won't double or triple under Alex's stewardship?

But not to worry America because Lying Donald has said that coronavirus is just a Democratic plot, it's "their new hoax." Be that as it may Alex Azar 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!


11-19-1935 ~ 03-01-2020
Burn Baby Burn!

01-21-1941 ~ 03-02-2020
Thanks for the art!

09-19-1926 ~ 03-02-2020
Thanks for the chat!


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.

At The Epicenter Of Super Tuesday, The Sanders Coalition Is Set To Shake The Political World
By Norman Solomon

For many years, corporate media outlets said it couldn't be done. Now, they say it must not be. To the nation's punditocracy -- tacitly or overtly aligned with the nation's oligarchy -- nominating Bernie Sanders as the Democratic presidential candidate would be catastrophic.

But the 17,000 people who jammed into the Los Angeles Convention Center to hear Sanders speak on Sunday night are part of a progressive populist upsurge that shows no sign of abating. What I saw at the rally was a multiracial, multigenerational coalition with dimensions that no other candidate can come near matching.

With scant support from people of color, the media-pumped campaign of Pete Buttigieg has ended and Amy Klobuchar's candidacy is about to collapse. Tom Steyer's self-financed escapade has folded. Despite his win in South Carolina, Joe Biden's campaign is hollow with "back to the future" rhetoric. Mike Bloomberg -- the quintessential "Not Us. Me." candidate -- might soon discover that he can't buy elections no matter how much money he plows into advertisements, endorsements and consultants.

As for Elizabeth Warren: after impressive seasons of articulating a challenge to corporate power last year, she has recently diluted her appeal with murky messages of "unity" while gratuitously sniping at Sanders. Looking ahead, it's unclear whether Warren will renew her focus on denouncing the political leverage of wealth. Top Democratic Party power brokers don't want her to. Before the end of spring, we'll know whether "nevertheless, she persisted."

Meanwhile, media coverage remains saturated by the Sanders-can't-beat-Trump mantra, but that claim is eroding. The New York Times -- which, like other major outlets, has racked up a long record of thinly veiled hostility toward Sanders and has been amplifying the panicked alarms from top Democrats -- recently published two cogent opinion pieces, "The Case for Bernie Sanders" and "Bernie Sanders Can Beat Trump. Here's the Math." Even the Times news department, a bastion of hidebound corporate centrism, acknowledged days ago that Sanders "appeared to be making headway in persuading Democratic voters that he can win the general election. A Fox News poll released on Thursday showed about two-thirds of Democrats believe that Mr. Sanders could beat President Trump, the highest share of any candidate in the field." But make no mistake about it: The bulk of powerful corporate media and entrenched corporate Democrats will do all they can to prevent the nominee from being Sanders. (I actively support him, while not affiliated with the official campaign.) More than ever, the current historic moment calls for a commensurate response: All left hands on deck.

A chant that filled the big hall in Los Angeles where Sanders spoke on Sunday night -- "Si, se puede" -- came from a crowd that was perhaps half Latino. A coalition has emerged on the ground to topple longstanding political barriers of race, ethnicity, language and culture, with shared enthusiasm for the Bernie 2020 campaign that is stunning, deep and transcendent.

"Look around," said Marisa Franco, co-founder of the Latinx and Chicanx activist hub Mijente, during her powerful speech that introduced Sanders at the LA rally. "We are perched at the edge of history. There is so much at stake in the 2020 election. The world around us is bursting with problems and bursting with possibilities. And that's making some people very very nervous. You know why? Because we're winning."

Franco added: "Bernie Sanders presents the clearest alternative to Trump. He is willing to name the problems, what's causing them, and proposes the bold solutions that we need to solve them. . . . We want -- and we demand -- elected officials who are going to fight like hell for us."

(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."

President Donald Trump appears at a rally on the eve before the South Carolina primary on February 28, 2020 in North Charleston,
South Carolina. The Trump administration is coming under increased criticism from democrats for not doing enough to prepare America for the Coronavirus.

American Fuhrer: Delusionary, Dictatorial Donald Trump Is Drunk On Power
The word 'corruption' cannot fully embrace how this insulting megalomaniac is tearing apart our country, our democratic practices, and our moral norms. Who will put a stop to this president's corrupt rampage against the American people?
By Ralph Nader

Delusionary, dictatorial Donald Trump is drunk on power. Trump's monarchical and lawless actions are a clear and present subversion of our Republic and its Constitution. As soon as the impeachment trial ended and Trump was acquitted by the Senate's supine Republican courtiers (except for Senator Mitt Romney), vengeance flooded Trump's fevered mind.

Ignoring warnings from his advisors, Trump is lashing out in all directions, unleashing torrents of foul-mouthed tweets. Note with alarm how this American Fuhrer is consolidating control and using his presidential power to smash all opposition. Remember that last July Trump declared "I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as President." He wasn't kidding, America.

Trump is shocking his current appointees-in addition to those who have quit or been fired in purges. Without evidence, he is accusing the intelligence agencies and the FBI of conspiring against him! Trump has attacked both the Justice Department and Attorney General William Barr because of the sentencing recommendations by four DOJ prosecutors for convicted criminal and Trump advisor Roger Stone. Barr, a Trump toady, was shaken. Barr said it would be impossible for him to do his job if Trump kept interfering.

As Mark Green and I depicted in our new book-Fake President: Decoding Trump's Gaslighting, Corruption, and General Bullsh*t- loser Trump always retaliates against opponents by charging fraud, fakery, and crookery. Trump's intimidation of others is amplified by the media that gives no right of reply to Trump's targets.

What is most troubling are the silences of the countervailing forces that Americans have a right to rely on to fight Trump the tyrant.

Post acquittal, Trump has doubled down on his numerous impeachable offenses (see the Congressional Record from December 18, 2019, page H 12197). But Democrats, who control the House, are not doubling down on their impeachment investigations. Instead, they are following orders from Speaker Pelosi and standing down.

Trump regularly attacks the judges who rule against him or dare to challenge his illegal acts. Yet there is only silence by the many judge's associations and the many bar associations. The American Bar Association, which has over 194,000 members, remains asleep. All of its members, so-called "officers of the court," are attorneys and should understand their responsibilities to uphold the rule of law.

Trump's Party has a long history of vicious voter suppression (chronicled in the new documentary, Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, by Robert Greenwald). These anti-democratic actions should be considered serious crimes. However, the members of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) are largely unprepared to protect voter rights and accurate counting of votes. Some Secretaries of State are aiding and abetting these electoral crimes. Current Georgia Governor Brian Kemp used his power as Georgia's Secretary of State to suppress black voters, cheating his way to the Governor's mansion in 2018.

Trump is now doing what all dictators do when they take power: he is purging the civil service of any critical voices of those who simply want to do their jobs. These civil servants made the "mistake" of enforcing health and safety laws that the supreme leader wanted to go unenforced to benefit the President's big corporate buddies and donors. The government employee unions are not doing enough to fight back and explain what Trump the tyrant is doing to harm people-Trump voters and anti-Trump voters alike. Trump and his cronies are making America more dangerous again by scuttling protections that reduce deaths, injuries, and illnesses.

Whether it is the air you breathe, the water you drink, the vehicles you ride in, or the toxins in your workplace, Trump's corporatist wrecking crew is running federal agencies into the ground. While corporate outlaws fill Trump's coffers and hotels with riches, he gives them huge tax escapes and starves infrastructure. The word "corruption" cannot fully embrace how this insulting megalomaniac is tearing apart our country, our democratic practices, and our moral norms. Protections for children, the elderly, veterans and workers are all on Trump's chopping block.

Who will stand up to this horrible bully who is intent on rolling back America's gains and the anti-monarchy purpose of the American Revolution itself? Some in the media will sound the alarm. Sensing this threat, Trump interfered with government procurement to tilt a large contract away from Amazon because Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post, which has run many articles about Trump's rampage. Trump's Republican campaign committee just filed a loser suit against The New York Times. Whether Trump wins or loses, the intimidation of the media is his goal.

These tactics are working on Chairman Jerome Powell and the Federal Reserve, according to former Fed insiders. As a result, the Federal Reserve has stayed committed to lowering interest rates to the detriment of savers. Intimidation is also working on the House of Representatives Democrats, who abhor the lives ruined by the savage sexual predator. Sadly, these lawmakers are not demanding a House Judiciary investigation of Trump's treatment of women. Credible tort lawsuits are being delayed by Trump's lawyers.

The cowardly silence of Barack Obama is the most stunning. In his extraordinary new book, The Triumph of Doubt, that names names, former head of Occupational Health and Safety Agency (OSHA), Dr. David Michaels, documents "President Trump's desire to reverse anything the Obama administration did-if Obama supported it, Trump would do the opposite no matter what the consequences."

The results are more mercury and diesel particulates in your lungs, more deadly methane accelerating climate disruption, and more coal ash for your children to breathe. Trump's administration is even failing to adequately invest in medical science, which could save you. Until the coronavirus came along, Trump demanded serious funding cuts for the Centers for Disease Control; these funding cuts were thwarted by Congress. Even more damning, the Trump administration fired the U.S. pandemic response team to save money! The CDC's annual budget is equal to a mere three days spending by the Pentagon, whose budget Trump bloats.

So where is Obama? Critiquing music, making movies, attending NBA all-star festivities, and readying for March Madness. Obama is thoroughly enjoying himself. What about also using his high political poll ratings and his massive Twitter following (which is far larger than Trump's) to combat Trump's actions? If not for the wellbeing of the American people, Obama should at least want to protect his legacy.

If Obama remains so carefree in the critical months before November, he will need a sign beside the exhibits to be displayed at his forthcoming presidential library: REPEALED BY TRUMP.

(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).

Fear Pervades Black Politics, And Makes Us Agents Of Our Own Oppression
By Glen Ford

Many Black voters recoiled in abject terror at the very thought that the Democratic Party - "our" party, in many Black folks' minds - might fracture under the challenge of the Sandernistas.

Black voters in South Carolina kicked off Joe Biden's political resurrection last Saturday, and stuck with the worthless corporate hack through Super Tuesday's primary contests. Although the craven Black Misleadership Class will no doubt shout hallelujahs that "hands that picked cotton now pick presidents" and claim Black voters exercised brilliant "strategic" judgment in making themselves indispensable to the corprate Democratic party establishment, the true motivator of Black Biden supporters is a pervasive and deeply corrosive fear. Not just dread of four more years of Trump, although that is central to Black political behavior, but abject terror at the very thought that the Democratic Party - "our" party, in many Black folks' minds - might fracture under the challenge of the Sandernistas.

Voluminous data over many years has shown that African Americans are to the left of Hispanics on issues of bread and butter and, especially, war and peace, and far to the left of white Democrats. But, unlike Hispanics, Blacks cannot be depended on to uphold their own historical political consensus in Democratic Party primary elections for fear of weakening the chances of defeating The White Man's Party. Hyper-conscious of their minority and despised status - and surrounded by hostile, race-obsessed white Republicans in the southern states - older Blacks cling to Democratic Party structures as if their lives depend on it. The ascent of Donald Trump has only tightened the duopoly trap, causing Blacks to invest their votes in candidates they perceive as "good for the party," as if that is synonymous with Black interests.

Ruling class panic at the prospect of losing control of the top of Democratic ticket has deeply infected the party's most loyal constituency. Thus, Black folks over 40, and many younger ones, are behaving like Malcolm X's "house Negro," who asks with genuine concern, "Is we sick, boss?" when the master is feeling poorly. The screechingly raucous, out-of-control Democratic debate in Columbia just days before the South Carolina primary appears to have scared the hell out of Black voters - and lots of white ones, too -- who perceived "their" party coming apart at the seems and blamed the mayhem on Bernie Sanders. With Sanders and Michael Bloomberg bearing the brunt of the assault, Joe Biden appeared like the tranquil eye of the storm, a safe haven for fearful party loyalists. Biden's endorsement by Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg on the eve of Super Tuesday, enveloped Obama's former vice president in an aura of consensus.

Bloomberg's presidential persona was punctured, but he wasn't really in it to win it. The odious oligarch knews he couldn't win the nomination of a party whose rank-and-file overwhelmingly support Sanders' austerity-busting agenda, even if they doubt Bernie's chances against Trump or his ability to get his program through Congress. The formerly Republican Bloomberg's candidacy was a necessary (and affordable) charade to certify him as a born-again Democrat, thus legitimizing his billion-dollar bid to buy control of the party's machinery to insulate it against infection by more upstarts like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) and her mentor, Sanders.

On Tuesday night CNN pundit and former Virginia governor and Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe confirmed that the party welcomed Bloomberg's billions. Bloomberg had already promised to pay the cost of 500 political operatives answerable to the DNC through the November election, no matter who wins the nomination. McAuliffe looked forward to Bloomberg putting his entire state-of-the art New York City headquarters in service to the party. The aim is to progressive-proof the Democrats by making the party a hostile environment for leftish politics. (See BAR, Feb. 19, "Bloomberg Wants to Swallow the Democrats and Spit Out the Sandernistas.") Bloomberg's presidential run is a way to "launder" his billion dollar purchase of the party infrastructure. Other oligarchs can be expected to make it a joint venture to shore up their class's hegemony over the U.S. electoral system, to safeguard the ruling class agenda of endless war and the global Race to the Bottom.

The allure of Bloomberg's gold has exposed the cockroaches of the Black Misleadership Class, hordes of whom scurried across the linoleum to enlist as mercenaries of Obscene Capital. This is the undiluted essence of Black Democratic "strategic" politics. Four members of the Congressional Black Caucus -- Meeks (NY), McBath (GA), Plaskett (VI), and Rush (IL), plus the despicable former Tennessee congressman Harold Ford), and the Black mayors of Little Rock AR, Compton CA, San Francisco CA, Stockton CA, Charlotte NC, Columbia SC, Houston TX and Washington DC - plus former mayors of Columbus OH, New York City, Baltimore MD, Philadelphia PA, and Flint MI - whored for Bloomberg , and can be expected to be at his and the other oligarchs' service for the duration of the party's battles with leftish interlopers.

Bloomberg's withdrawal from the race and endorsement of Biden only further sanctifies his larger mission to purge the party of any taint of leftism. Elizabeth Warren will now choose how she will express her "capitalist to the bone" sentiments. The Black Lives Matter elements - notably, Alicia Garza -- that joined the party when they left the "movement," will follow.

The rot is deep, a product of generations of capital-subordinate Black politics that followed the violent suppression of Black self-determinationist movements and the imposition of a counterinsurgency, mass incarceration regime at the end of the Sixties. Rather than resist the New Jim Crow/Same Old Rich White Man's Rule, the Black Misleaderhip Class eagerly offered themselves as co-managers of oppression - for a small cut of the spoils, and the privileges of racial "leadership."

It has always been clear to Black Agenda Report that the post-Sixties betrayals of the Black Misleadership Class necessitated that a future Black liberation movement must be largely an internal Black struggle to uproot the corrupted elements in our polity. False unity has become Black folks' Achilles Heel, allowing Black charlatans free rein in our communities and reserving most elected positions for servants of Capital. The Democratic Party is a predatory edifice of Black disempowerment, from which our people must either free themselves, or become agents of their own perpetual oppression and accomplices in the degradation of humanity, worldwide.

Black youth see the truth, and will act on it, we are certain.

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

The Amazing Fall Of Donald Trump's Wall
By Jim Hightower

Big, high walls can be troublesome. Ask Humpty Dumpty.

However, for a real-life, epic story about wall troubles, ponder the trials and tribulations of our very own president. He can't seem to get his one, "big beautiful wall" funded or even taken seriously, much less built. Trump has continuously demanded that Congress shell out more than 10 billion of our taxpayers' dollars to erect a monster of a wall across some 2,000 miles of the US border with Mexico, ranting that his magnificent edifice would keep "aliens" from entering the US from the south. But even when his own party controlled both houses of Congress, his grand scheme went unloved, unfunded, and unbuilt.

Still, he persists. In January, he directed officials to put up a demonstration section of his 30-foot-tall wall to show the world how effective the Trump bulwark would be. But the thing blew over! Not from a hurricane-force storm, but from moderate winds topping out at only 37 miles an hour. Embarrassing.

More embarrassing was a personal visit Trump made to San Diego last September for a media event hailing a new supertech model of wall that he declared would be "virtually impossible" for violators to climb, signing his name on the structure. "I tell you this strongly," Humpity-Trumpity said, "No more people can come in."

But a climbing group in Kentucky built a replica of that wall and held an up-and-over competition - winning time was 13.1 seconds! Dozens of competitors easily topped it, including an eight-year-old girl and a guy who climbed it one-handed while juggling various items with his other hand.

Trump has, however, proven that one thing truly is impenetrable - his head. Absolutely no embarrassment, logic, or factual evidence can enter his locked mind and show him how silly this extravagant folly is.

(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

Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a news conference on the coronavirus outbreak at the White House on February 26, 2020.

Pence Hates Science. Tasking Him With Coronavirus Response Could Cost Lives
By William Rivers Pitt

The world has been watching the encroachment of the coronavirus closely ever since it emerged from Wuhan, China. Tens of thousands have been infected in 56 countries and counting, some of them lethally, and the virus appears to have a talent for evading even the most authoritarian quarantines. Supply lines out of China began to tremble, and then to quake, and then to break, until the global economy itself has begun to shake.

It is telling, then, that the first real notice Donald Trump took of the progress of the disease came after the stock market began tanking while he was in India. Put another way, he only started paying attention after capitalism caught the coronavirus, and the economic symptoms have since grown worse.

It is even more telling that he downplayed the probable spread of the disease at a thoroughly incoherent press conference on Wednesday, in which he bluntly contradicted experts from his own government who were standing right next to him in order to paint as rosy a picture as possible.

Most telling of all, however, was his decision to place the astonishingly unqualified Mike Pence in charge of the U.S. response to the epidemic.

"Mike Pence literally does not believe in science," said Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in response to Trump's decision. "It is utterly irresponsible to put him in charge of U.S. coronavirus response as the world sits on the cusp of a pandemic. This decision could cost people their lives. Pence's past decisions already have. He is not a medical doctor. He is not a health expert. He is not qualified nor positioned in any way to protect our public health."

Ocasio-Cortez's statement that Pence's "past decisions" have cost people their lives refers to the vice president's time as a member of Congress and as governor of Indiana, when he enabled the worst HIV outbreak in that state's history. While in the House, he voted to defund Planned Parenthood in 2011. Two years later, the first-year governor allowed the Planned Parenthood facility in Scott County to close. It was the only HIV testing center in the county.

Some 20 percent of Scott County's 24,000 residents live below the poverty line, and intravenous drug use has been a constant issue. By 2015, an HIV outbreak caused by infected users sharing needles became a public health crisis; at one point, 20 new cases of HIV per week were being reported.

In response, and despite pleading exhortations from fellow Indiana Republicans, Pence dragged his feet on instituting needle exchange. He ignored the scientific arguments for taking that action because he was "morally opposed" to the practice. Eventually Pence relented, needle exchange was allowed, and the HIV outbreak was contained. Two months had passed between the outbreak and Pence's decision, which he finally came to after days of prayer.

"Trump is a Trojan horse for a cabal of vicious zealots who have long craved an extremist Christian theocracy," Jeremy Scahill wrote for The Intercept in November of 2016, "and Pence is one of its most prized warriors." His extremist anti-science roots run deep, ranging from his denunciation of contraception, to his attacks on women's reproductive health, to his doubts about the connection between cigarettes and cancer. Pence has advocated that LGBTQ people be subjected to so-called "conversion therapy," another perversion of science that has done incalculable damage.

Pence, in short, is a hardcore Christian supremacist whose first instinct is to deny scientific facts if they brush up against the hard shell of his extremist views. Putting a man like that in charge of a crisis like this, in which science is the best weapon we have, is a gross miscalculation and a wildly irresponsible act.

Yet, of course, in Trumpworld, the less something makes sense, the more it is likely to happen.

Trump is a self-described germaphobe who reportedly makes his aides, or anyone else for that matter, practically bathe in Purell hand sanitizer before entering his presence. His frantic reaction to the Ebola outbreak in 2014 further underscores his fear of disease. Why would a man with such an ingrained terror of disease tap someone as vividly unqualified as Mike Pence to run point during this crisis?

The answer, I suspect, lies in the looming ballot booths of November, and in the wallets people will carry when they vote. From Trump's perspective, the global coronavirus epidemic is first and foremost a personal political problem. A strong economy is the last, best reason a lot of people have for keeping him around next year, his dubious claims of credit for that economy notwithstanding. If the economy falters because of the spread of the disease, all he will have left is his unswerving base. Putting Pence out front on this issue strengthens his position with those voters.

Despite Trump's happy claims to the contrary, the horse may be well out of the barn when it comes to containing a large coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. A new case in California appears to be the first in this country involving a patient with "no known travel to a country where a virus outbreak has been taking place, or connection to a known patient," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

More ominously, a whistleblower has reported that officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) "sent more than a dozen workers to receive the first Americans evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, without proper training for infection control or appropriate protective gear," according to The Washington Post. "The workers did not show symptoms of infection and were not tested for the virus."

This, after HHS Secretary Alex Azar informed Rep. Jan Schakowsky during a Wednesday appearance before the House Ways and Means Committee that a coronavirus vaccine may not be affordable for everyone. According to Secretary Azar, the Trump administration is hesitant to place price caps on a vaccine out of concern for private sector investment in the research. In a nation where tens of millions live without health insurance, the potential for price gouging is an immediate threat. Ask anyone with diabetes who has been forced to ration their insulin about the experience.

To make a terrible pun, these facts bode ill for hopes of effective containment.

A wise president would take pains to arm citizens with the facts. A wise president would tell people to take precautions and prepare for possible disruptions in the daily routines of life. In other words, a wise president would say exactly what officials from the CDC said at that Wednesday press conference, right before Trump told everyone the exact opposite.

A wise president would also not gut the agencies tasked to deal with precisely this type of situation, but that horse is also out of the barn and far down the road.

It is a grim irony that Trump's usual practice of whistling past the graveyard may come to cost him more politically than the outbreak itself if his own actions have exposed the country to greater peril, which seems more certain by the hour.

Mike Pence will be no help in this, and as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said, a lot of people are probably going to get hurt because of it. Slapping a muzzle on government scientists, as the administration did Thursday, is a frighteningly poor second step. Tapping Pence to lead this effort was the first.

(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.

"I believe that Bernie Sanders is potentially creating a miracle of turnout." ~~~ Russ Feingold

Russ Feingold Is Not Afraid Of Bernie Sanders
By John Nichols

There is a bit of a freak-out going on among our esteemed political seers. The prospect that Bernie Sanders might win the Democratic nomination for president has a good many prominent Democrats griping, and a lot of pundits pontificating.

Never mind that national polls have Sanders beating President Donald Trump in November match-ups. Never mind that surveys from battleground states such as Wisconsin - like last week's Marquette University Law School poll - identify Sanders as the Democratic contender who runs best against Trump in states that Democrats must win to secure an Electoral College advantage.

It is difficult to turn on a television or pick up a newspaper without getting a load of punditry about how Sanders is too outspoken, too radical, too socialist, too unelectable.

But Wisconsin's former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold is not fretting.

The veteran state and national legislator, who has run as a Democrat in good years and bad, told me during last week's Cap Times talk at the First Unitarian Society of Madison,

"I am amazed at what Bernie has done. I am very impressed."

That does not mean Feingold will necessarily vote for Sanders in the April 7 Wisconsin primary. "There are two candidates that I have a very strong feeling about. Both I know well. Yes, they're in the same lane. Their names are Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders," he said. "I've been saying for months that if I had a ballot in front of me, I would vote for Elizabeth."

"But," he added, "I am still thinking."

One if the things that has Feingold thinking is the strategy Sanders has brought to the 2020 race. "I have a hard time criticizing what Bernie's doing," he said.

He explained that, "after the 2016 election, there was an enormous amount of conversation in (Democratic) circles and otherwise: What happened? Why did we lose? What should we do? Should we try to persuade the people that voted for Obama and then voted for Trump? Should we try to get them back? Or should we try to broaden out the number of people from diverse communities who would vote? And my belief is that it should be the latter. Yes, of course, you should try to convince people who voted for Trump. But, you know, I have a little trouble understanding people who voted for Trump. And there are so many young people from diverse backgrounds, and others, who if they feel that the political process is open to them, they will vote. And I believe that Bernie Sanders is potentially creating a miracle here - of turnout that would go in that direction."

What about the fact that Sanders is a democratic socialist? The former senator responded by referencing a line White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney tossed off regarding an altogether different political question.

"I know people are saying, 'Well, how in the world is a socialist going to be elected?'" Feingold said. "And I think we need to go to the wise words of Mick Mulvaney: 'Get over it.' He's a socialist. So what? That's what I say."

(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.

The Missing A-Bomb Off The Georgia Coast
By James Donahue

There is a scary story about a missing nuclear bomb that has been lying in shallow water, just off Savannah, Georgia, since it was dropped there in February, 1958.

It seems that a B-47 bomber was carrying this bomb on a training mission when it collided with a fighter jet. The bomber was severely damaged, but still flying. To assure a better chance at a safe landing, the crew elected to drop the bomb somewhere near Tybee island. Without its plutonium-filled warhead attached, the bomb did not explode. The military spent a few weeks searching for that deadly piece of hardware, but then gave up.

The 12-foot-long, 7,600-pound device has been lying out there ever since, a deadly pile of rusting debris filled with uranium and explosives that may someday raise havoc with the local real estate if something is not done.

While some of the older natives in the Savannah area recall the incident, the story fell among the many interesting legends of the area until recently, when former Air Force pilot Derek Duke researched the incident and began publicly calling for a new search. Because of Duke's work the general location of the bomb has reportedly been found, but it has yet to be recovered.

Using a side-scan sonar and a Geiger counter Duke and his partner detected and mapped a site about the size of a football field. This was achieved in 2004. But the recovery effort apparently has stopped there. The bomb lies buried in the muck deep under the bottom of the ocean.

In February 2015 a satirical news site published a story in which two vacationing Canadian divers accidentally located and recovered the bomb. But this has turned out to be a fake story.

Duke believes the radioactive uranium containing the explosive power of 400 pounds of TNT should be removed before the bomb releases its contents on the local environment.

"It needs to be found so it moves from the dark, scary realm of lost and unknown and we know where and how it is," Duke said in an AP report.

The Air Force hasn't been in a rush to locate the bomb, however. Military officials insist the device is no danger, even to the nearby beach community of about 4,000 people now living on Tybee Island. And they are reluctant to spend an estimated $1 million needed to locate and recover it.

"The bomb off the coast of Savannah is not capable of a nuclear explosion," Air Force spokeswoman Maj. Cheryl Law told the Associated Press. Law said that even the uranium still inside the bomb would not be dangerous if released in the water. "To have that hurt you, you would actually have to ingest it," she was quoted as saying.

Why do we find Major Law's remarks so disconcerting? Is it because we have been lied to before by our military? Can we convince all of the military men who fought in the recent conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq, and all of the natives of these countries now suffering from various forms of radiation poisoning because of the spent plutonium tipped bombs and shells fired there, that this stuff is harmless? Have we convinced the Gulf War Syndrome victims that the chemicals they were exposed to in that conflict did not cause their illness? And how about the Vietnam veterans whose lives were ruined because of their exposure to Agent Orange? Don't we recall how our military insisted that the chemical we used to destroy the foliage in that jungle area was perfectly safe? And how about the GI's who died of various illnesses after they were purposefully exposed to radioactive fallout during A-bomb testing during World War II?

What is even more frightening about the lost bomb at Tybee Island is that Duke uncovered a letter written in 1966 by W. J. Howard, then assistant to the secretary of defense, to the chairman of the congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy.

Howard's letter listed four nuclear weapons that had been lost and never recovered at that time. Two of these weapons were described as "weapons-less capsules" and incapable of causing a nuclear blast. The Tybee Island bomb, however, was not one of them. This bomb, and a second one lost in the deep Western Pacific in 1965, were described by Howard as "complete" weapons.

While the military appears complacent about the dangers of this bomb, Duke has been alarmed enough to devote years of personal research. He apparently worked with a team of former military experts and sonar scanning devices to conduct his own private search.

With some financial help, (certainly less than $1 million) Duke succeeded in locating the bomb buried under several feet of silt. Modern sonar equipment, which can be attached to the sides of small pleasure craft, is being used to locate sunken ships, aircraft and a variety of other long lost treasures on the floors of lakes and oceans all over the world. Other technology exists that can find buried metallic objects. It would take time and a careful mapping of the ocean floor so that every square foot of the area is scanned. But a small private group, if given enough financial backing, might just succeed in recovering the Tybee bomb.

The fact that small, private exploratory teams might succeed in locating such a device ought to make the FBI, the NSA, the CIA and any other government agency devoted to protecting the United States against terrorist attack, sit up and take notice. Why have we been so complacent about a nuclear bomb lost in something like 20 feet of water on our Atlantic coast for more than 50 years?

While we are publicly going to great lengths to prevent Iran from developing so-called "weapons of mass destruction," we have carelessly written off one of our own nuclear bombs, lost in shallow water off our Atlantic coast. What would prevent terrorist groups, equipped with sophisticated search equipment, from finding that bomb? And who is to say that the bomb hasn't already been recovered?

If the bomb is as dangerous as Howard's letter implies, Duke should have been heard on this matter. An attempt to recover that old relic, even if only to assure ourselves that it is still out there, might be money well spent.

(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.

The problem in trying to interest people in the veteran factor, no doubt, is the war culture and the troop
propaganda that engulfs the United States. These are reasons for the work of World BEYOND War,
including something else that's now in Milwaukee, namely this billboard

Yet Another Mass Shooter Was A Military Veteran
By David Swanson

Yet Another Mass Shooter Was A Military Veteran Thursday yet another mass shooting was committed by a military veteran, this one in Milwaukee. Virtually all military veterans are not mass shooters. Many peace activists are veterans. Many everything under the sun are veterans. But mass shooters are very disproportionately military veterans.

Some mass shooters who are not veterans are acting out a pretense of being in the military and/or are using military weapons. Militarism impacts a society in many ways. But one of them is through the violence of veterans, people who have been trained and conditioned to engage in violence but not always guided successfully into nonviolent post-military life.

Among males aged 18-59 in the United States, 15% are veterans.

Among male mass-shooters aged 18-59 in the United States, 36% are veterans.

A mass shooter is well over twice as likely to be a veteran.

Were this statistic discovered with regard to any unrelated demographic feature, such as red hair or Hinduism, it would be huge news and a topic of intense widespread research. Yet, when it's discovered that people who've been trained and conditioned to kill are more likely to kill (as obvious a connection as one might imagine) nobody cares.

Mother Jones magazine maintains a list of mass shootings here. I've modified it here. I've modified it in the following ways. I've added a column for veteran status. I've removed shootings by women or by men outside the age range that makes the statistical comparison possible. I've removed a shooting by a foreign-born shooter who could not have joined the U.S. military. This has reduced the list from 118 shootings to 103.

I have not counted as veterans shooters who had been security guards or prison guards unless they were in the military. I have not counted as veterans shooters who were on record describing their future crime in explicitly military terms as if participating in and referencing by name the U.S. military, unless I could determine that they had actually been in the U.S. military. I have not counted as veterans two men who tried to join the U.S. military and were rejected. I have not counted as a veteran one man who worked at a U.S. Navy base as a civilian. I have not counted as a veteran a man who attacked two military locations, despite the obvious role of the military in the crime.

For many of the shooters, I have not been able to determine veteran status one way or another - I have not counted any of those shooters as veterans.

I have included as veterans those trained by ROTC, whether or not they continued in the military beyond that. I have included one man who was a member of the Saudi military being trained by the U.S. military in the United States when he committed his crime.

If people trained and conditioned and given experience burning down buildings were found to be burning down buildings, I think someone would care.

Mother Jones is interested in the gender of the shooters, in their mental health history, and various other factors. None of these factors is a complete explanation of anything, any more or less than veteran status is. Yet they are of interest.

(c) 2020 David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 and 2016 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

Governments must work with Indigenous Peoples to resolve issues around rights
and title where treaties haven't been signed and honour the treaties that have been.

Pipeline Actions Signal Need For True Reconciliation
By David Suzuki

Actions by and in support of the Wet'suwet'en land defenders are as much about government failure to resolve issues around Indigenous rights and title as they are about pipelines and gas.

Some Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and their people are defending their rights to traditional practices, clean air and water and a healthy environment. They say the Coastal GasLink pipeline threatens those rights. The $6-billion pipeline, to ship fracked gas 670 kilometres from Dawson Creek to Kitimat for liquefying and export, is part of a heavily subsidized, $40-billion LNG Canada project owned by Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsubishi Corporation, and state-owned Petronas (Malaysia), PetroChina and Korea Gas Corporation.

The hereditary chiefs suggested an alternative route, but the pipeline company nixed it as too costly. The company and government point to support from elected chiefs and councils along the pipeline route, many of which have signed benefit-sharing agreements as a way to gain much-needed money for their communities.

But, as Judith Sayers (Kekinusuqs), University of Victoria adjunct professor from the Hupačasath First Nation, writes in the Tyee, "Neither the elected chief and band councils that support the pipeline, nor the federal or provincial governments, nor Coastal GasLink ever obtained the consent of the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs and their supporters."

That's partly because governments have failed to resolve issues around Indigenous rights and title, unless forced to after lengthy court battles, as with the 1997 Delgamuukw decision and the 2014 Tsilhqot'in decision, which recognized Indigenous title over unceded territories.

Perhaps governments are afraid that Indigenous rights and title would infringe on massive resource development schemes, although, under the previous decisions, they can still approve such projects as long as they can justify them and engage meaningfully with Indigenous titleholders.

If the principles set out in the Truth and Reconciliation report, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and court decisions are to have meaning, both levels of government must resolve issues around Indigenous rights and title and respect for Indigenous law.

One complication is that few people truly understand Indigenous governance systems. As Sayers writes, "The Wet'suwet'en were never defeated in a war, never surrendered their lands and never entered into a treaty." Hereditary chiefs have jurisdiction over traditional territories, whereas elected chiefs and councils have authority on reserves. Elected band councils are an outcome of the 1876 Indian Act (and its precursors), enacted in part to destroy traditional governance systems and laws.

Some see the hereditary systems through a colonial lens - as monarchy or divine right - but they're much more representative and consensus-based than many realize.

Now that actions have spread across the country, blocking rail lines, bridges, roads and ports, complaints about inconvenience and disruption are rife. But colonial society has been inconveniencing and disrupting Indigenous lives for hundreds of years. Now the RCMP, acting on behalf of extractive industries and government, are forcing Wet'suwet'en off their own territory.

Politicians rant about "protesters holding the economy hostage." But Canada has held Indigenous people hostage up until the last residential school closed in 1996 - and longer through an unfair foster care system.

Recent actions are also calling attention to rapidly expanding fossil fuel development during a climate crisis, and the problems that come with giant resource projects, including violence against women. The Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls found direct links between extractive industries, "man camps" and increased violence against Indigenous women.

They also put a spotlight on society's failure to respect the knowledge, laws and traditions of the people who have been here since time immemorial.

All Canadians should learn about Indigenous history and culture. We need to move beyond our narrow, extractivist, endless-growth mindset. The colonial worldview is failing us. We're in a climate crisis, yet governments and industry are hell-bent on tearing up the landscape with fracking, immense oilsands mines, seismic lines, access roads and forestry to reap quick profits by selling it all to other countries. We need to realize that we have more to learn from Indigenous Peoples than they from us.

Governments must work with Indigenous Peoples to resolve issues around rights and title where treaties haven't been signed and honour the treaties that have been. Until then, major resource projects that potentially infringe on these should be put on hold.

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

President Trump Hosts Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez At The White House

The Thought Of Donald Trump Trying To Cobble Together A Healthcare Plan Amid A Pandemic Makes My Brain Hurt
The Supreme Court's announcement it will hear a case with the Affordable Care Act on the line raises the possibility.
By Charles P. Pierce

Let's see. There's an epidemic disease spreading around the globe-which, as anyone who owns a globe can tell you, includes the United States of America, Donald J. Trump presiding*. The primary issue among the remaining Democratic presidential candidates is how best to get the country to universal healthcare. So what better time could there be for the Supreme Court to again involve itself with the Affordable Care Act? Those people, like Joe Biden, who argue for building on the ACA have to confront again the possibility that, one day, there will be no ACA upon which to build.

This time, though, the Court has agreed to decide on an attempt by Democratic governors and House members to save the law from a radical decision handed down by a lower court. From the Washington Post:

The House and Democratic-led states asked the court to review a decision last year by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. Hearing a challenge from Texas and other Republican-led states and backed by the Trump administration, the panel struck down the law's mandate that individuals buy health insurance but sent back to a lower court the question of whether the rest of the statute can stand without it. The lower court had said the entire law must fall.

The House told the Supreme Court that the 5th Circuit decision "poses a severe, immediate, and ongoing threat to the orderly operation of healthcare markets throughout the country, casts considerable doubt over whether millions of individuals will continue to be able to afford vitally important care, and leaves a critical sector of the nation's economy in unacceptable limbo." The House and Democratic states also have been eager to get the issue before the Supreme Court because the majority that has upheld the ACA in two previous challenges remains.

The Court carefully arranged things so that any decision cannot be handed down until after the November election. Still, depending on the Roberts-Gorsuch-Kavanaugh majority to overturn a lower-court decision that gives conservatives almost everything they want on the issue seems to be a thin reed on which to hang any hopes. The statistics of what will happen if the Court gives the administration* everything it wants remain terrifying-Charles Gaba has the details in his corner of the electric Twitter machine-and the thought of this administration* trying to cobble together a healthcare plan in the middle of cobbling together a response to a worldwide pandemic just makes my brain hurt.

(c) 2020 Charles P. Pierce has been a working journalist since 1976. He is the author of four books, most recently 'Idiot America.' He lives near Boston with his wife but no longer his three children.

The Quotable Quote-

"What being a socialist means is... that you hold out... a vision of society where poverty is absolutely unnecessary, where international relations are not based on greed... but on cooperation... where human beings can own the means of production and work together rather than having to work as semi-slaves to other people who can hire and fire."
~~~ Bernie Sanders

Radio personality and CNN weekend host Michael Smerconish came under fire Saturday-along with
the network-for "casually" portraying the surging prospects of Democratic presidential frontrunner
Sen. Bernie Sanders as comparable to the threat of the infectious coronavirus which continues to spread in
the United States and around the world.

The Plutocracy Strikes Back: CNN Compares Bernie Sanders to Coronavirus
When I was young, people used to rail against plutocracy, and you always thought they were a bit kooky. But now I don't know what else you would call the United States.
By Juan Cole

On Saturday morning CNN host Michael Smerconish compared Sen. Bernie Sanders to the coronavirus, asking if anything could stop either one. CNN has apologized. Smerconish is a lifelong Republican who left the party in 2008 in part over George W. Bush's inability to kill Osama Bin Laden and he voted for Barack Obama. His trajectory shows how close the corporate wing of the Democratic Party is to the old pre-Trump Republican Party, such that people felt comfortable migrating between them.

Another corporate Democrat, Chris Matthews of MSNBC, likened Bernie Sanders' overwhelming victory in the Nevada caucuses to the fall of France to the Nazis.

These two instances of Bernie Derangement Syndrome are particularly unfortunate because Sanders is a Jewish American who lost family in the Nazi Holocaust, and the Nazis notoriously spoke of Jews as a disease in their racist body politic, which they held, monstrously, needed to be eradicated.

This keeps happening because Sanders threatens the established Plutocratic order in the United States.

When I was young, people used to rail against plutocracy, and you always thought they were a bit kooky. But now I don't know what else you would call the United States. We have three billionaires running for president, and the Roberts Court has given them permission just to use their own money to buy the election if they can (Trump could). The billionaires who comprise the Forbes 400 wealthiest owned more wealth in 2017 than the bottom 64 percent of the United States population. That is, these four hundred multi-billionaires have more than 212 million of America's 327 million citizens combined. And the Forbes list isn't even all of the billionaires. People with only one billion aren't even wealthy enough to be on it.

The top one percent now own 40 percent of the privately held wealth in the United States. In the Eisenhower era, the top one percent only owned 25 percent of the privately held wealth. Yes, the staid Republican-ruled Father Knows Best America of the 1950s was a Bernie Sanders social democratic paradise in comparison to today's plutocracy. (h/t Seattle Times.)

They got to have so much of the country's wealth because the top one percent, some 3 million people, annually take home 20 percent of the country's income. That means that of all the US economic growth since 1970, almost none of it has gone to the working people at the bottom of the pile, whose average wages have been relatively flat for 50 years. The increases in wealth are scooped up by a tiny group.

It is as though all the extra money in the country went to the 3 million people in Arkansas, and everyone else in the country were wage slaves mostly making $12 an hour.

And if we scan out from the top one percent to the top 20 percent, these 6.5 million people own 90 percent of the country's wealth. It would be like people in Indiana owning 90 percent of the wealth in the US, with everyone else in relative poverty.

Having so much money lets you buy congressmen and senators, something called "legislative capture," so that the uber-wealthy can just change any rules that get in the way of their continual accumulation of the lion's share of the nation's income.

People like Smerconish and Matthews are fine with this avalanche of inequality and all the lives it blights and all the monopolies it creates and perpetuates.

If Bernie Sanders becomes the Democratic front runner, the crucial problems of inequality and wealth concentration will be put front and center. For the Plutocrats, who have been able to pull the wool over peoples' eyes because they also own the mass media, this possibility is indeed a nightmare- it is the fall of France to the Nazis or a virulent virus threatening the purity of their bodily fluids.

People invested in this plutocracy are rooting so hard for Joe Biden or Michael Bloomberg that they are blue in the face, though their real color is red. That is why for the next two days we will hear enormous hype about the Biden win in South Carolina. I like Joe Biden personally and congratulate him on his victory. But he won't address wealth concentration or inequality if he becomes president, and my guess is that he won't touch the Trump tax cut for the billionaires. But his fourth and fifth place finishes so far and his poor performance even in New Hampshire don't suggest to me that he actually has much momentum, and South Carolina could be a fluke.

Not only will we hear a lot of hype around candidates who support the plutocracy, but the outrageous attacks on Sanders, using innuendo and Nazi imagery, will continue in the corporate media, which is owned by the billionaires.

(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-

Alex gives the corporate salute

Heil Trump,

Dear Sekretar fur Gesundheit und menschliche Dienste Azar,

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 hinting that the coronavirus vacine won't be affordable for all, 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 Azar, Sieg Heil!

Signed by,
Vice Fuhrer Pence

Heil Trump

Six Responses To Bernie Skeptics
By Robert Reich

After decisive victories in New Hampshire and Nevada, and a second place finish in South Carolina, Senator Bernie Sanders has emerged as the clear front runner. Right on cue, the establishment on both sides of the aisle has raised a four-alarm fire about Bernie's electability and his chances against Trump. Here are 6 responses to these Bernie skeptics.

1. "America would never elect a socialist."

P-l-e-a-s-e. America's most successful and beloved government programs are social insurance - Social Security and Medicare. A highway is a shared social expenditure, as is the military and public parks and schools. The truth is we have already have socialism… for the rich (bailouts of Wall Street, subsidies for Big Ag and Big Pharma, monopolization by cable companies and giant health insurers, giant tax-deductible CEO bonuses) - all of which Bernie wants to end or prevent. And Bernie is not a socialist, he's a Democratic Socialist, which is very different and very American. FDR was a democratic socialist, just not in name. Democratic socialism, as practiced in Europe, hinges on the same three core principles that used to be practiced in America, before big corporations undermined them - strong safety nets; public investment in healthcare, childcare, and education; and tough regulation of Big Business.

2. "He'd never beat Trump in the general election."

Wrong. The best way for Democrats to defeat Trump's fake anti-establishment populism is with the real thing, coupled with an agenda of systemic reform. This is what Bernie Sanders offers, and it's what the polls are reflecting. All of the pundits proclaiming that Bernie has no chance against Trump are using a political framework that may have been correct decades ago when America still had a growing middle class, but it's obsolete today, as more and more Americans feel politically disempowered and economically insecure. The real political divide today isn't left versus right. It's democracy versus oligarchy.

In the latest polling average from RealClearPolitics, Bernie beats Trump by the widest margin of all candidates. After his decisive victory in Nevada, a Morning Consult survey found that Democratic voters view Bernie as the best candidate to take on Trump. And recent polls show Bernie beating Trump in Michigan and Pennsylvania, two crucial battleground states Hillary Clinton lost to Trump in 2016. If you're a moderate Democrat whose chief concern is beating Trump, Bernie is the clear choice.

3. "But how would he pay for it?"

Nearly every time the media discusses Bernie's transformative plans, they ask the same tired question: How will he pay for it? Funny that they never ask how we'll pay for endless wars or bailouts, tax cuts, and subsidies for the top 1 percent.

Nonetheless, Bernie's campaign just released a detailed memo outlining how they plan to pay for his policy ideas. Take college for all and canceling student debt. Sanders will fund the $2.2 trillion proposals with a modest tax on the very Wall Street speculation that crashed our economy in 2008. 40 countries throughout the world have imposed a similar tax, including Britain, South Korea, Hong Kong, Brazil, Germany, France, Switzerland and China.

Sanders's wealth tax would also go a long way toward paying for his other ambitious plans, like Medicare for All.

Speaking of Medicare for All, it will leave us spending less over time.

Single-payer systems in other rich nations have proven cheaper than private for-profit health insurers because they don't spend huge sums on advertising, marketing, executive pay, and billing. Multiple studies have found that Medicare for All will save us billions in the long run, including a recent study which found that Bernie's plan would save $458 billion annually and more than 68,500 lives every year. The nation already pays more for healthcare per person and has worse health outcomes than any other advanced country. Leaving our cruel, for-profit system in place will eventually become more expensive than implementing Medicare for All.

At the end of the day, the question shouldn't be how will we pay for it. As long as proposed spending will be less than the future costs of insufficient public investment in education, climate change, and inadequate healthcare, it makes logical sense to enact these plans.

4. "He couldn't get any of his ideas implemented because Congress would reject them."

First of all, Bernie has served on Capitol Hill for nearly 30 years - working across the aisle to advance a host of legislative priorities. He worked alongside Republican Senator John McCain to reform the veterans' health care system, and has co-sponsored bills with Senator Mike Lee of Utah, one of the most conservatives members of Congress, to restrict executive war powers in Yemen and Iran.

He's stood staunchly behind his bold ideas while still delivering Democrats key legislative victories when his vote was sorely needed, like when he voted to pass the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank.

And here's the most important reality of all: If Republicans maintain their majority in the Senate, no Democratic president will be able to get much legislation through Congress, and will have to rely instead on executive orders and regulations. But we have a better chance of flipping the Senate if Bernie's political revolution continues to surge around America, bringing with it millions of young people and other first-time voters, and keeping them politically engaged.

5. "He's too old."

Untrue. Have you seen how agile and forceful he is as he campaigns around the country? He bounced back with ten times the energy after he had a minor heart attack. These days, 70s are the new 60s.

(Just look at me.)

In any event, the issue isn't age; it's having the right values. FDR was paralyzed and JFK had Crohn's disease, but they were great presidents because they fought adamantly for social and economic justice.

6. "He can't unite the Democratic Party."

Wrong. The establishment keeps mistakenly assuming that moderates appeal to a broader swath of the electorate. Their analysis is woefully out-of-touch, and they're operating within an echo chamber with an outdated mental framework of how politics is supposed to work.

As shown by his dominant win in Nevada, Bernie's brand of populist politics unites people from all walks of life. He won with 29 percent of whites, 51 percent of Hispanics, and 27 percent of blacks, according to entrance polls of Democratic caucus-goers. He won a staggering 65 percent of caucus-goers under 30 years old, and he carried every other age group except for caucus-goers over 65. This is precisely the kind of multiracial, multi-generational coalition that is needed to defeat Trump in November. And as I mentioned, Bernie beats Trump in multiple polls by the widest margin of any of the candidates, including in key swing states. No other candidate has this kind of data to back up their electability case.

The Democratic establishment is wrong to think Sanders is too liberal to win a general election. To the contrary, he's the Democrats' best shot at taking back the White House.

(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

COVID 19, The Stock Market & Me
No fear, culling the herd & Trump's Katrina
By Jane Stillwater

A friend of mine just said, "To be safe from this pandemic, take lots of vitamin C." Okay. Why not. "At least one gram every four hours and you'll be pretty much safe from COVID 19." I can do that. Actually, I think that she's right. And according to Gary Kohls, MD, there are other factors that are keeping us Americans safe from the corona virus -- and they don't involve avoiding trips to China or giving up chow mein.

According to Dr. Kohls, there is a short list of immune-system co-factors that make folks in Wuhan far more susceptible to this virus than us. What are they? Here's the list:

1) The massive disease-producing, immune system polluting 5G networking that was recently inflicted on the Wuhan population just over the last months of 2019 or

2) The massive pollution of the air (and lack of sunlight -- and therefore vitamin D) of urban cities like Wuhan or

3) The massive pollution of the water in urban Chinese cities like Wuhan or

4) The massive over-vaccinations of most Wuhan residents with aluminum adjuvants/mercury preservatives and other vaccine toxins that make vaccine recipients much more susceptible to many viral and bacterial illnesses and

5) The high incidence of smokers in many adult males in Wuhan.

So. Does this mean that I'm not going to get a deadly case of COVID 19 because I don't smoke? That sounds about right. But. President Trump has just nullified a whole lot of America's clean water protection and is happily working on destroying our air quality too. And he's also just given those Pentagon ghouls a huge budget to pollute as much air and water as their little hearts desire -- so forget about # 2 and # 3 on that list.

Plus Verizon and Sprint keep telling us on TV every night about how wonderful 5G is. Wonderful for who?

Plus Big Pharma has forced many of our legislative bodies to pass laws that legally require our kids to have sixty-two (62) different vaccines (complete with all kinds of additives, fillers and preservatives) jabbed into their little bodies. That's a whole lot of formaldehyde, folks -- but will it preserve us from corona? Probably not.

So there's all that. Maybe we Americans should be afraid after all. Nah. I'm fearless. I gave up fear for Lent. Maybe you should too.

But then stock markets all over the world just took a humongous plunge. Should we be afraid of that too? Not if you're wealthy. But. If you are just a normal middle-class American, your pension plan could be wiped out. Or your life savings. Too bad for you. Culling the herd. It's hard to be brave when you're living in a tent under the freeway.

Another friend of mine just said, "The corona virus could prove to be Trump's Katrina if things do get really bad." And how could they get any worse than they are now? Easy. Trump has just put that neo-con guy Pence in charge of saving America from this virus. Pence? The guy who doesn't believe in science? Good luck with that one.

But "Medicare for All" might help keep this pandemic under control here in America and spare our herd from getting culled too badly. Unless of course you are a member of the herd who is actually looking forward to getting culled....

PS: American neo-cons are also busy "culling the herd" in the Middle East by sanctioning medications and dropping bombs on millions of women and children over there. And if neo-cons can gleefully do all this culling to Syrians, Iraqis, Yemenis, Iranians and Palestinians, what's to keep them from doing it to us too?

What neo-cons clearly do not understand is that if they get rid of everyone but the uber-wealthy, then who is gonna shine their shoes?

PPS: I've been hired to be a poll-worker on SuperTuesday -- and, no, I won't be competing with J.Lo.

(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
~~~ John Cole ~~~

To End On A Happy Note-

Have You Seen This-

Parting Shots-

Are You Panicking About Covid-19 Enough? Follow Our Guide
By The Waterford Whisper News

ARE YOU ONE of those unfathomably stupid idiots who's making sure to only listen to trusted experts and health officials? Are you only consulting government health department advice, instead of drowning in a deluge of rumour, exaggeration and falsehoods?

Well then, you're just the sort of mentally deficient cabbage that could do with upping your panic game. This is Covid-19 we're talking about, don't you know that if a butterfly sneezes 10,000 miles away your rectum can explode without warning, you uttering fucking fuckwit.

Okay, time to wise up and start panicking like a normal, responsible adult that knows what's what. Take the following advice:

First, drive a JCB through your local supermarket and take everything. Do everything you need to survive; is that a pensioner over there just politely placing her hands on the last pint of milk? Time to introduce her to your fists of fury. If she coughs on your hands, then we're sorry but take that samurai sword you should have already bought and chop off both your fists.

Go to your local pharmacy and buy everything. Yes, even items that in no way relate to combating a flu. You might not need half a tonne of Durex lube now, but what if that's what the Coronavirus wants you to think?

Now take all 47,578 face masks you purchased and glue them together and drape them over your house. Drink 8 litres of hand sanitiser to disinfect your internal organs. Kidnap a GP so you have 24/7 round the clock medical care.

If we haven't mentioned it at this point you should just be screaming constantly to aid the panic. It seems insulting to have to ask but we presume you've already killed your elderly relatives to put them out of their misery?

Keep up to date: open hundreds of tabs on your web browser and scan through websites with serious sounding names like,, and conspiracynews.pork.

Now let the glorious panic wash over your body once more. Carry a fuel canister and matches with you at all times, burn your clothes if they were exposed to the outside air. Did you come into contact with any human in the last entire existence of your life? Douse them in fuel and burn them too. There's no time for rational thinking.

Shower in bleach. Yes, it burns, but what's the alternative? Listening to experts giving you practical advice?

We mentioned the bubble suit already, right? Shit, sorry, okay you need to be living in a bubble suit like as of two weeks ago.

Are you coughing now? Oh God, the worst has happened. Now, those so-called 'experts' will say you should self-isolate but you're not going down without a fight, get out there and start coughing on loved ones, why should you have to suffer alone.

(c) 2020 Waterford Whisper News

The Animal Rescue Site

Issues & Alibis Vol 20 # 010 (c) 03/06/2020

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